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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Wizard101: Empyrea Part 2 Expectations (Part B)


Yesterday, we started exploring what we should expect in Empyrea Part 2. You can read the first post here. Today, we're headed in deeper, looking at some art and and more ideas about what's coming in Empyrea Part 2. Sit back, relax, and give it a read!

Aero Dwarves, Revisited

A couple of times in this post, we'll be looking at some concept art from artist Clint Young. In my first Empyrea theorycrafting post, I shared a video from Wizard101 confirming some Aero Dwarves in Part 2. This concept seems to support that idea.


I wasn't quite sure what this was or what it matched up to in-game. I noticed the use of propellers as a theme throughout. Then I saw the concept below, which was attached to this one. You'll notice at the bottom that it's labelled "Imperia house interior." This is clearly a floating and in some cases flying village, and Joel at KingsIsle gave us a bit in the video to connect this to - the Aero Dwarves.



The Cabal and the Arcanum Door

It wasn't until Mirage that we really got a taste of what the Cabal could do. It would challenge our view of characters we've known for a long time, like old individuals from Wizard City. You can read more about that in my Ten Big Mirage Reveals post. Medulla was largely controlling the Cabal's functions in Empyrea Part 1, but with him out of the picture, things could get interesting in Part 2.

I don't think all of the information about the Cabal is out there quite yet. There's still the mysterious door in the Arcanum which is blocked by an electric cage. If ever we're going to learn more about the Arcanum and the Cabal, Empyrea Part 2 would be the time.


Betrayals

I would expect at least a few. Mirage did a great job with the Djinn Conspiracy. I did not expect that, and it was a fantastic twist. We also saw Gretta Darkkettle and Duncan Grimwater, some of the earliest characters in the game, revealed as Cabal agents. It's possible we'll get some big reveals about who's been working for them.

The Arcanum 

This school that's its own world of sorts has been the topic of much discussion and was a huge deal when it was released with Polaris. Remember from a Mirage reveal that the Arcanum is supposed to be a massive ark, hence the name. The Cabal was once a part of the Arcanum, which could potentially set up some interesting dynamics with Arcanum scholars being double agents. But even if things don't get quite that wild, we do know for sure that something interesting is happening with the Arcanum in Empyrea Part 2.

While we know the Cabal has had a long history with the Arcanum, Spider is awfully busy attempted to reclaim his heart. How would Raven feel is the Arcanum scholars sided with us in attempting to preserve that heart... and the Spiral?


Scholars Revisited

In one of my previous theorycrafting posts, I examined where exactly all of the Arcanum scholars came from. I want to revisit that list because since then, we've gotten confirmation on a few, and it might be relevant to Empyrea Part 2.

  • Myth - Baba Yaga - Avalon
  • Death - Qismah Shasa - Mirage
  • Ice - Tarrak Hadfield - Polaris
  • Life - Zander - Wallaru
  • Balance - Jaki Whisperwind - Unknown
  • Fire - Ignus Ferric - Empyrea
  • Storm - Ione Virga - Empyrea
  • Shadow - Velma Von Venkman - Darkmoor
  • Astral - Qyburn Stellargaze - Celestia
  • N/A - Librarian Fitzhume - Unknown

We've established a home world for all of the scholars except Jaki and Fitzhume. Many, primarily those teaching the seven main school spells, are from worlds within the current arc. Jaki's world is a mystery. Some people have suggested Wallaru, and others have suggested Cool Ranch, but that theory was debunked by developers.

Jaki Whisperwind does not come from Cool Ranch. To say more would be to say too much.

A similar response was given when it was suggested that Librarian Fitzhume was from Monquista.

I have, in fact, been mistaken for a Monquistan once before, and I consider it a grave insult. Monquistans are so conceited and rude! How could you possibly compare me to them? - No, I am from a place you haven't yet heard about, and that's for good reason. My home world doesn't just throw open its world door to all the riff-raff in the Spiral. We are very exclusive, and I, for one, very much prefer it that way.

The fact that these scholars' home world is being kept a secret is curious. Fitzhume at the time also refused to specify Ignus and Ione's home worlds for similar reasons, until we discovered they're from Empyrea - a world we were headed to visit! Does this suggest that these two scholars could be from worlds in the fourth arc?

What I'm even more interested in is the fact that we know Empyrea has jungles and cities and a number of different environments. What Jaki is from somewhere in Empyrea that has yet to be revealed? Specifically, what is she's from a Life-based area that's part of a Paradox Chain? That's a stretch, but always something to keep in the back of your mind.

The Arcanum as a Ship

It was revealed during Mirage that the Arcanum was intended to be a ship that would survive the destruction of the Spiral, and it became clear that this was important to the Arcanum Scholars. While the Cabal had ideas about being shepherded into the rebirth of the First World, the Arcanum Scholars might actually have the means to accomplish such a task. Would they be willing to allow the destruction of the Spiral if they could carry on independent of it?


The mysterious door in the Arcanum would have some Cabal secrets in it, or even a new form of magic, but the whole place could also be seeing some changes in Empyrea Part 2. Professor Falmea had this to say during the last KI Live:

I know [the Arcanum] is supposed to be kind of in its own little dimensional pocket, so it's very separate from the rest of the Spiral. And something very exciting will happen in the Arcanum with Empyrea Part 2. 

The Mysterious Tree

One of the final and most interesting mysteries of the Arcanum is the tree there. Many schools of magic and academies of the Spiral have their own trees, including Bartleby and the school trees of Ravenwood, some of the school trees in Dragonspyre Academy, Mortis in the Shadow Palace, and this tree in the Arcanum.

Supposedly, KingsIsle has said that they cannot say the name of this tree or it would wake her up. She is clearly an Aspen or a Birch tree. You can see that she funnels information or energy or power of some sort throughout the Arcanum and from a mysterious black-hole-like formation outside in space. Because Falmea said that the Arcanum exists in its own little dimensional pocket, this could be the doorway back into the Spiral. What role this tree plays in the Arcanum and why the Arcanum even has its own tree ought to be explored in Empyrea Part 2.


Spider's Children Return

Spider has three children which all have slightly different powers and in some cases, different motivations. After the defeat of The Rat and The Scorpion, they were essentially taken away by Grandfather Spider, so it's safe to say they're making a comeback. 

The Rat & The Scorpion

Spider's two evil children have the power to shapeshift and control minds and raise armies from the dead. That's no small feat for taking them out, especially when they have the full support of Grandfather Spider. One of my guesses would be that we'll end up in a large battle against Spider and at least two of his children.

The Bat

Things are a little more complicated with Spider's third child. Perhaps he's in his rebellious phase. The Bat doesn't want to see the Spiral destroyed, so he's been actively working to obstruct the Cabal and his father from completing their work. Until your interference in Empyrea Part 1, he was largely operating under the radar as a sort of double agent. Now, his true loyalties have been exposed and it's very likely he'll be involved in helping us attempt to protect the remainder of the Paradox Chains and stop Grandfather Spider.

Castles in the Sky

Empyrea, admittedly, isn't what most of us imagined - including me. I had always believed (and still do, really), that the paintings showing the floating cities and a stormy vortex are Empyrea and the Chaos Vortex. This doesn't match the vibe or the visuals of Empyrea at all, however. This leads me to wonder if we haven't been operating entirely inside this vortex and there is another part of Empyrea which indeed lives up to the origins of the what the name means - a sort of heavenly place.

The Luphilim

One of the things that made me think of those castles in the sky was the Luphilim. They're a very elegant and ancient species decorated in royal-looking armor and who tend to be protectors of the ancient beings we've been visiting. My theory has always been that they come from Empyrea and I believe they are tasked with protecting the Chaos Heart, ancient beings, and anything else that could lead to the Spiral's undoing. If that does indeed turn out to be true, we could be encountering more of the Luphilim in Empyrea Part 2.


The Storm Titan & the Chaos Vortex

Early on in the second main arc, I wondered if the Storm Titan wouldn't show up, because we'd dealt with a titan in both of the previous story arcs. First, the Dragon Titan, a fire-based being. Then the Ice Titan, buried deep in Wintertusk. It only makes sense that we'd eventually run into the Storm Titan as well. Unlike with Morganthe, the end of arc three seems like it might be a suitable place for such a titan to appear with a never-ending storm surrounding the world. Still, it might be one too many characters or threats to deal with.

Empyrea Environments

Artist Clint Young shared some environment work he did for Wizard101. It's unclear whether or not this is Part 1 material or Part 2, and in some cases it's unclear whether or not it's directly related to Empyrea, but we can place at least one or two of the pieces. Let's take a look.


This is a concept he shared of a jungle. It's obviously not exactly the type of thing that will be in the game, but it gives it a look and feel; it's a study. This may be for Aeriel Jungle, or for a future location in Empyrea. It doesn't look too far removed from the type of paintings we saw in Jaki WhisperWind's room, which could support the idea that there's a greater variety of environments in Empyrea than we think. The waterfall in particular reminds me of it. Speaking of waterfalls, there's another big one coming.


The final concepts, shown below, show huge masses of floating rock and entire islands in a stormy environment. These are some of my favorites, and I hope we encounter some areas in Empyrea Part 2 that look more like this, with wide-open grasslands and massive formations. Aeriel in general looks a bit like these (the general appearance, anyway).



The Chaos Heart

Before we get too far into discussing the Chaos Heart, we need to do a little review to make sure everyone is up-to-date on exactly how we got where we are and what our potential paths forward are. Mirage revealed that at the beginning of time in the First World, Grandfather Spider and Grandmother Raven were actually in love. Or at least, Spider loved Raven. For some yet unknown reason, the titans' battle "forced" Raven to lock Spider up, until we unleashed him at the end of Khrysalis Part 2.

I suspect that we'll find out more about this love affair in Empyrea Part 2. Did Spider cause the warring of the titans as a form of chaos? Whatever the case, Spider's exile caused problems within the Spiral, causing Grandmother Raven to rip out his heart and use it charge the Spiral's essence. Raven literally stole Spider's heart.

Chaos Heart Concept Art

We do have one concept of the Chaos Heart, also by artist Clint Young. It gives us a little taste of what we might find in the final encounter of Empyrea Part 2. Keep in the mind the comparison between the other rough concepts and how the locations actually turned out. I find it intriguing nonetheless.


What are you excited for in Empyrea Part 2?

Stay tuned for additional theories. Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!




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