Here’s the last video in GBTV EIC Scott Hawkes’s series entitled “A Guardian’s Tale”. He’s taken us through the first roughly ten levels of the personal story of humans with the choices he made. You know how I always talk about the press being really bad players? At least Scott admits he played poorly. Things to take away from this video: you’re stuck in one mode without versatility when you don’t weapon swap, and you get ROFLstomped a lot when you don’t use your dodge key.
Scott Hawkes, editor in chief at Gamebreaker TV, has been doing this pretty nifty series called “A Guardian’s Tale”, where he’s going through his experience playing his guardian last beta. Today he put out part five, but this is part two. I’m skipping part one, because we’ve all seen character creation. We’ve also seen the human intro before as well, but it’s kind of cool to see it as a guardian. I don’t show enough guardian footage.
Before you read this post, go to this one and let me know what kinds of topics you’d like to see me post about. I’ll do my best to cover them all! That said, now we return to the lore of GW2. Last time, we finished the lore of the present-day GW expansions, which means we can now move on to the 250 years leading up to GW2. I was going to go chronologically, but it was considerably easier to do this topically. So, we’re going to go race-by-race and go through the last two-and-a-half centuries.
With the defeat of its leaders and the near extinction of the mursaat in 1072AE, the White Mantle began losing its hold on Kryta. The Shining Blade began growing in strength and openly fighting with the Mantle to take back the kingdom. Having found the only remaining descendant of the royal family in a priestess at the Temple of Ages, the Blade set up a strong hold nearby where Princess Salma helped lead the army. When the new leader of the Mantle began enlisting local bandits and executing anyone and everyone, Krytans and non-Krytans alike, that said or did anything against them, the Shining Blade had to find its own allies. They enlisted Zinn and his apprentice Blimm, two outcast golemancers who would help in exchange for a lab, and a unit of the Ebon Vanguard to help train Blade soldiers, pending the unlikely authorization for more troops from King Adelbern in Ascalon.
With their new allies and the city guards, the Shining Blade fought for and retook Lion’s Arch from the White Mantle and crowned Queen Salma. From here, the Blade began one-by-one eliminating various inquisitors and mursaat from the field. Then, one day, the Shining Blade received intelligence that the White Mantle were planning a final, all-out assault on the city. In a final defense, the newly trained Blade soldiers alongside Zinn and his new anti-mursaat device routed the attackers, killed the last leader of the Mantle, and ended the civil war in 1079AE. From this point, Queen Salma reduced the Shining Blade to her personal guard and instated a new army, the Seraph, that would also serve as local guards and police through the kingdom. Over the next decade, the rest of Kryta was united under Queen Salma’s rule.
The Last Day Dawns On The Kingdom Of Ascalon… Again
Things in Ascalon were not looking so well. With the exile and death of Prince Rurik, King Adelbern began slowly dipping into madness as what little remained of his kingdom was crumbling around him. In 1080AE, he called the Ebon Vanguard back to Ascalon. They were sent, under the lead of the newly married Gwen Thackeray, to establish the new fortress of Ebonhawke in the southeasternmost reaches of the kingdom. Despite this new reinforcement, the situation continued more and more down hill until 1090AE. With most of the Flame legion standing outside the city walls, Adelbern made up his mind to end the fight forever rather than lose Ascalon to the charr. As the walls crashed down, the warbands poured through, and the soldiers retreated in hopeless defeat, the king drove his magical sword, Magdaer, into the ground unleashing the Foefire. Half of the palace crumbled as the sword-shaped, white flame rose into the sky. It erupted across the city, instantly incinerating every charr within the walls. Worse yet, all of the humans in the entire kingdom, save those in Ebonhawke, were ripped from their bodies and damned to an eternity as maddened, vengeful ghosts bent on defending their dead kingdom from all of the living — human and charr alike. Enraged at how the “Sorcerer King” stole their victory from them, the charr launched the largest-scale siege in history on Ebonhawke. But, the fortress had been built to never fall under any attack, and fall it has not.
The Loss of Cantha and Zhaitan’s Wake
After the final defeat of Shiro Tagachi and the loss of Emperor Kisu in 1072AE, Cantha had rallied under its new emperor, Usoku. Usoku spent the next several decades building the Canthan army until in 1127AE, he was finally able to defeat and bring into his rule both the Kurzicks and Luxons. From this point, a purge began of all non-humans in Cantha along with all dissenters. Contact with Tyria began diminishing in this period of extreme nationalism. When Zhaitan rose from the depths of the ocean with Orr in 1219AE, it took control of the Sea of Sorrows. The undead navy ensures that any crew brave enough to sail its waters pays in full. Since then, no contact is had with Cantha save for the very, very few fortunate enough to wash up on the shores of Tyria.
Along with the rising of Orr came the massive flood that destroyed the coasts of Kryta, including the Tarnished Coast and the city of Lion’s Arch. Somehow surviving the mess, the Krytan Queen led her people inland to the northeast where she founded Divinity’s Reach. While originally intended to be a temporary safe haven for survivors, Divinity’s Reach expanded and was built up into a large city that houses the royal palace and provides sanctuary to all forms of life. Preventing any tyrannical rule, the Queen established the Senators, a legislative body that balances its power with that of the queen. However, all was not well. With the upheaval of human society, the centaurs united and began revolting in earnest after countless centuries of subjugation and enforced disorganization.
The Loss of Elona
While the Sunspears and Kormir had saved the world from destruction at the hands of Abaddon and Varesh Ossa in 1075AE, they simultaneously brought around the eventual destruction of Elona in releasing Palawa Joko. Upon his release, Joko went into hiding while building his undead army. Around 1135AE, he finally came out with his infinite legions to conquer all of Elona. Beginning with diverting the river Elon into the Crystal Desert to cause a great famine, Joko and his minions quickly swept over Elona. Fueled by his ages-old vengeance against Turai, all Ossa descendants were hunted down and exterminated. In order to further ensure his rule would be permanently unchallenged, he scattered and began hunting down all of the Sunspears, even turning some of them against their former comrades. From this point onward, Palawa Joko ruled Elona in absolution. When Kralkatorrik rose and crafted the Dragonbrand from the charr homelands down to the Crystal Desert in 1320AE, contact with Elona was lost for good.
Present Day Humans - 1325AE
Kryta is still in a state of constant warfare with the centaurs. To make matters more complicated, secret members of the White Mantle have begun resurfacing, hoping to take control of the kingdom they once ruled. Lion’s Arch was rebuilt starting from 1230AE by pirates and sailors and is now a multi-cultural hub under its own rule. Ebonhawke, at least, has seen vast improvement. In 1320AE, with the help of Logan Thackeray and Destiny’s Edge, Queen Jennah was able to secure an asura gate from Divinity’s Reach directly to Ebonhawke, easing the pressure of the siege. As well, after several decades, the Blood and Ash legions mostly pulled out of the siege, leaving only the Iron legion and their war machines. But at last, thanks to a brave group of adventurers recovering the Claw of the Khan-Ur, a truce was drawn between the charr and humans in 1324AE to allow both sides to focus more on domestic conflicts. Despite this truce, charr and humans still do not get along and do not like each other. Despite their lack of involvement in the world, the humans still worship the six gods. This worship, however, is a considerably less widespread than before.
So, I thought I’d take a break from talking about content in GW2 and do my next several posts on some of the lore. ANet created so much lore in GW that it’s hard to even pick where to start. However, I’m mostly going to go semi-chronologically and semi-topically. Let’s start with the very beginning of Tyria.
Before the Gods
Very little is known of Tyria from times before the gods. We know that there are powerful, ancient creatures known as the Elder Dragons, who predate the gods. We know that the dwarves existed during this time, and that the Great Dwarf walked the world. The Tome of Rubicon is an ancient text from this age that tells some of the ancient dwarves as well as predicts the end of the dwarven race, an event that has already come to pass. Also mentioned in the Tome are two largely races whose history is almost entirely unknown, the Mursaat and the Seers. In fact, the war they once waged is all that is known of their ancient history. Some number of millennia ago, the gods came to Tyria.
The Six Gods
The six gods, as they are known today are Dwayna the goddess of light, Balthazar the god of war, Grenth the god of death, Kormir the goddess of truth, Lyssa the goddess of beauty, and Melandru the goddess of nature. This is not the original pantheon of gods, though little is known before this. Abaddon preceded Kormir as the god of chaos, and was preceded by an unknown god. Grenth was preceded by Dhuum as the god of death, taking the throne by force. Other than these changes in the pantheon, these are the only gods the humans have ever known.
Tyria Before the Humans
It was long believed (but now known to be false) that the gods created the dragon Glint to watch over the world. She existed before the gods arrived in Tyria, once a servant of an Elder Dragon. Roughly 3,000 years ago, the gods brought the Forgotten, a race of serpent-like creatures, to guard over Tyria. For a time, the Forgotten guided the other races through a time of general peace. It was in the year 205BE (I’ll explain calendar notations soon) that the humans were brought to Tyria by the gods.
Life With Humans
The gods brought the humans to Tyria and forever upset the peace of the world. The Forgotten and the gods themselves helped the humans establish many civilizations. Unlike other races, humans had no natural defenses or weapons, but had the resourcefulness and determination to build armor and weapons. Among the civilizations that arose were Orr, the nation to the most southwest of Tyria, build around the city of Arah where several of the gods lived, and Kryta, the largely coastal region to the more western part of Tyria, above Orr. The most well-known civilization of the humans was the most difficult and painstaking to create.
War Against Charr
One of the many races that existed before humans are the Charr — ferocious, savage, primitive beasts with a feline resemblance. The Charr already inhabited the area east of Kryta, past the Shiverpeak Mountains. They had long suffered through internal war until the first true leader of the Charr, the Khan-Ur, unified the legions and helped the Charr fill this lush, green area. Until the humans arrived. The humans, with the help of the gods, drove the Charr out of the southern portion of the area and founded Ascalon around 100 BE. Having seen the end of the war, the Forgotten then left the human civilizations under the care of the gods. The three settlements of Orr, Kryta, and Ascalon to this time remained as one kingdom under the rule of King Doric.
War Between the Gods and Subsequent Exodus
For 100 years, the humans prospered and all was well. In the year 1BE, Abaddon gave the gift of magic to sentient races. Wars quickly ensued as each race wanted to dominate the others with this use of magic. King Doric prayed to the gods to end the war, and so the gods sealed most of the world’s magic in the bloodstones, hiding them in a volcano in Orr until the volcano errupted years later, scattering the bloodstones across Tyria. Unhappy with the restriction of magic, Abaddon and his Margonite servants rose and fought against the other five gods and the Forgotten. In the end he was defeated, and imprisoned within the Mouth of Torment, portal to another realm where Abaddon spent the rest of his existence. The Mouth of Torment drained the Crystal Sea to the east of Orr and south of Ascalon, creating the Crystal desert. The Forgotten moved in to occupy the Crystal Desert and the area below it known as The Desolation and were not heard from for ages. The gods, subsequently, left Tyria forever, seeing the world as it was. This event is known as The Exodus. Dates before this are written as BE, or Before Exodus, and dates after are written as AE, After Exodus.
Division of Human Kingdoms and the Guild Wars
After the Exodus, Kryta and Ascalon separated and became their own separate nations. Human society continued to thrive, and eventually societies began to form. Humans grouped together to form Guilds. In time, guilds grew beyond the influence of the law of kingdoms and wars between guilds for territory ensued. There were multiple Guild Wars, for which the game series were named. The last of these, commonly referred to as The Guild War, ended in 1070AE with the crowning of the last king of Ascalon, King Adelbern. During the wars, fighting erupted in the streets of Arah, the City of the Gods. At this point, Orr’s national army was mobilized to repel all intruders and guilds, beginning a small conflict with the other two nations.
Safety of Ascalon and Human Civilization
Though the humans had settled and established Ascalon, the Charr threat remained. Despite the Guild Wars, the kingdom of Ascalon still had to fight off the Charr’s attempts to retake their lands. Around 900BE, the Great Northern Wall was built, separating the vast majority of Ascalon from Charr territory above the wall. This wall became a point of fear and hatred to the Charr, as it was the last time they saw the lands they once called home for a long time.
Unification of the Charr
The Charr, leaderless, sought for as many ways to defeat the humans and take their lands back, but each time they fell short and were thwarted. The Charr blamed the human’s gods for their defeat, and searched for gods of their own. Of the four legions — Blood, Iron, Ash, and Flame — it was the Flame legion that solved the problem. The shamans of the Flame Legion came upon the the Titans in a volcano. The Titans promised the Charr the power to defeat the humans and conquer all of Tyria. The shamans, save for one, were beside themselves at the discovery of their own gods. The only shaman to speak against the Titans was sacrificed, leading to the rest of her gender being confined to the role of housewives rather than their traditional role of warriors.
The Searing and the Charr Invasion
In 1070AE, took the Cauldron of Cataclysm, a gift from their new gods, and set to forever destroy the humans. Unleashing its power, the Charr rained crystal destruction upon Ascalon, scorching the land, destroying the structures, breaking down the Wall, and opening way to the Charr Invasion. After conquering their way through Ascalon, the Charr moved forth into Kryta and Orr, unprepared for what awaited them. In Orr, they bested the kingdom’s army. However, when all was lost, the king’s adviser, Vizier Khilbron, invoked an ancient scroll in an event known as the Cataclysm. Everyone in Orr, Charr and human alike, was killed that day as the entire continent was sunk. In Kryta, Saul D’Alessio discovered in his near death new gods he called the Unseen Ones. It was these Unseen Ones that drove the Charr out of Kryta. It was around this that the White Mantle emerged to oversee Kryta. It is here that the story of Guild Wars first began with the campaign known as Prophecies.