Remnants of the past lay scattered within forgotten lands, reminding those living of what their world has endured over the past thousand years. Those who seek to preserve this history know full well the power of this knowledge. An understanding of the past breeds an understanding of the present, as it is not uncommon in this world for long forgotten evils to arise once more and terrorize those that have ceased to remember.
The birth of the world
More than ten thousand years ago the Giganticus Lupicus, commonly known as the Great Giants, walked upon the land. How they became extinct is unknown, though one can easily find what is suspected to be their bones scattered around the continents of Tyria and Elona, from the Tarnished Coast to the northernmost portions of the Charr Homelands and Far Shiverpeaks to as far south as Kourna - the most common place of these gigantic bones being the Crystal Desert.
Over eight thousand years after the Giganticus Lupicus disappeared, a race of serpents known as the Forgotten were brought to Tyria by the True Gods to be the guardians of the world. For centuries, they did their job with order, though they couldn’t keep peace with races such as the Charr, they maintained balance in the world and the races flourished, until the Humans arrived.
Not long after the Humans appeared in the world the Forgotten slowly got pushed back. The Humans spread like wildfire across the known continents of Tyria, Cantha, and Elona and even to further locations within the world. But as they spread, the Humans slowly undid the work of the Forgotten. No longer having a purpose, the serpents left the world of man for the then Crystal Sea. Over time they gained a new purpose, serving once more as caretakers, not of the world, but of the prophetic dragon Glint.
In Cantha, the Humans appeared from the south hundreds of years before they arrived in Tyria and Elona. They settled on the coast, by the Jade Sea and within the Echovald Forest. As humanity expanded in Cantha, the Humans and the Forgotten thrived without conflict unlike in the north. During the year 510 BE, a warlord known then as Kaing waged a war with intentions to unite the clans and did so, though his reasons are still unknown. Upon uniting the clans, he renamed himself Kaineng Tah and declared himself the first Lord Emperor of the Dragon. Kaineng's son, Yian Zho took control after his father's death and led a campaign to control the Kurzicks and the Luxons. However, the second emperor was not as successful as the first, and only managed to force the two factions to unite with themselves and eventually turned them into vassals through an even more brutal method than seen before or yet by any emperor.
The early human era
Despite the Forgotten leaving the world of Tyria, the Gods did not falter in the development of the world. One of the Gods, Abaddon, introduced the most influential creation in all of Tyria: magic. Its purpose was to make the lives of all intellectual races easier, but it soon became used as weapons and caused inter-racial wars throughout the world.
By the year 1 BE, when magic was given, Humans occupied lands throughout the world and most of the continent of Tyria. Unlike modern times with individual countries, all the Humans of Tyria were ruled by the original noble ruler of all lands, King Doric. It was he who traveled from Ascalon to Arah and pleaded before Dwayna, Balthazar, and Melandru with the hope of having the gift-turned-curse removed and the bloodshed stopped. The Gods agreed and created the bloodstones which were separated into five pieces. Four of the stones were linked to the four schools of magic – Preservation, Aggression, Destruction, and Denial – the fifth becoming the keystone required to connect them, ultimately sealed using King Doric’s own blood. The bloodstones prevent any one individual from harnessing all four schools of magic. Finally, the five stones were placed in the volcano known as Abaddon's Mouth – the largest volcano on the Ring of Fire Island Chain.
However, the creation of the bloodstones did not go unhindered, for Abaddon, the God who gave out magic too freely, disagreed with limiting the gift and as such rebelled against the other Gods. His rebellion cost him greatly though, for while he was able to defeat two Gods at once, he was no match for all five Gods, and for his rebellion Abaddon was imprisoned within the Realm of Torment. The blow that defeated Abaddon was so powerful that it weakened the barrier between Tyria and Abaddon's realm and caused the creation of the Desolation and Crystal Desert. Shortly after Abaddon's imprisonment and the bloodstones' creation, the Gods left Tyria forever, no longer walking with man, but not forgetting Tyria for they still watch over the world.
This event would become known as the Exodus of the Gods and later mark the year 0 for the commonly used Mouvelian calendar. For a time, all was good and the world was finally at peace once again. Peace, however, can always come to an end: the Humans prospered over the next hundred years until Abaddon's Mouth erupted, scattering the five bloodstones across Tyria. Though the bloodstones have never been reunited, their magic seeped into the land and air and greed sprouted once again in the hearts of man, giving rise to new wars, this time amongst the humans themselves.
In years past
The Tyrian disasters
Throughout the centuries, the continent of Tyria found itself in constant warfare. The multiple Guild Wars raged across human lands - constantly ending and starting again, creating a series of wars between Humans. In all these years, not much aside from the constant wars and temporary times of peace existed. However, nearly two hundred years prior to the Searing, a powerful arcanist known simply as Lord Odran sought to reach into the unknown, and in doing so, by sacrificing many souls, found access to the Hall of Heroes. Though the spirits were outraged at Odran's intrusion on the land they had paid to access with their life and blood, they could do nothing against beings of the living. For years, Odran explored the Rift and the many worlds, placing his portals in deadly locations and concealing them with spells. Until one day, the spirits of the Rift found a way to harm that which was corporeal and when Odran returned to the Rift they tore his body apart. In doing so that which they hated most came to pass as the spells of protection and concealment over Odran's portals were removed and mortals gained free access to the Hall of Heroes.
Years have come and gone since Odran's death and not even a decade ago the world shook. The Charr invaded the land of man and destroyed the Kingdom of Ascalon and its Great Northern Wall during the cataclysmic event known as the Searing before rushing west and south, to attack Kryta and Orr. Though the last to be attacked, Orr suffered the worst fate of the three Kingdoms. In an attempt first thought to be to stop the Charr, the Vizier of Orr sought an ancient scroll - and in it, a powerful spell - and upon reading the words on the scroll, Orr sunk to the depths of the Sea of Sorrows in an event known as the Cataclysm. Kryta had the kindest fate from the devastating Charr invasion, for it was saved due to a single man: Saul D'Alessio. Though an outcast and exile of Kryta, Saul returned with a force to defeat the Charr - the Unseen Ones. Though he believed he was bringing salvation, at the moment of his own disappearance at the hands of the very saviors he had sought he realized that he had doomed Kryta to a life worse than that which the Charr had planned - blind devotion to slavers.
The Humans are not the only creatures that have issues in Tyria. The Deldrimor Dwarves too have their issues, for their king's cousin Dagnar Stonepate, leader of the xenophobic Stone Summit wishes to overthrow Jalis Ironhammer and desires to rule all of Tyria. This has caused a civil war several years in the making between the Dwarves - one that the Deldrimor Dwarves would rather not go through with, but will if they must. The Caromi and Centaurs are also facing their own problems with threats of being driven out of their homelands.
The Empire's problems
Over two hundred years ago, Emperor Angsiyan began negotiations with the warring factions in the south, the Kurzicks and the Luxons, with the help of his personal bodyguard, Shiro Tagachi. Through the emperor's and Shiro's actions, the warring factions came to peace and even entered further into the Empire of the Dragon than they ever had. However, in 872 AE (1382 CC), during the Harvest Ceremony, Shiro betrayed the emperor and slew Angsiyan, along with his retinues, as he prayed to Dwayna. Before Shiro could enact any of his plans, the champions of the Kurzicks and the Luxons - Saint Viktor and Archemorus - along with a Canthan Assassin, Vizu, killed Shiro. In dying, Shiro let out a deadly wail that petrified the Echovald Forest and solidified the Jade Sea. Even today, the land of Cantha suffers from the wail now known as the Jade Wind.
Not even a decade after Shiro's death, the Canthan avian creatures known as Tengu left their peaceful life and turned to pillaging and raiding the new settlements on Shing Jea Island. Claiming that their land was being trespassed upon, the Sensali and Angchu clans started more and more fierce skirmishes until a group of Sensali slaughtered and burned down a village. War would have broken out if not for Emperor Hanjai and the Angchu Tengu and even though war was averted for a long time, the Sensali - who felt betrayed by the Angchu for being excluded in peace treaties at the time - continued raids from their mountainous homes. These raids continue to this day and at times have broken out into small wars that even included the Angchu - these wars are now known as the Tengu Wars which ended not long ago in the year 1071 AE. It wasn't until Togo was able to negotiate peace with the Angchu once more that the last of the Tengu Wars ended.
Cantha saw only a year of partial peace before the next major threat hit the Empire of the Dragon. Shortly after the end of the last of the Tengu Wars a plague that turned beings into sickened, pulsating creatures known as Afflicted spread from Shing Jea Island to Kaineng City and even reaching into the Echovald Forest and the Jade Sea. Shortly after the appearance and spread of the plague the source was identified as the returned spirit of Shiro Tagachi and soon Shiro'ken appeared in large numbers with the Afflicted. Along with the threat of Shiro's return, the sources of the corrupted Wardens and the Outcasts were discovered in the forms of Urgoz and Kanaxai.
Disease, death, and undeath
Cantha is not the only land to be faced with a mass disease. The island of Istan was the origin of an insufferable plague from 452 AE to 456 AE. The Scarab Plague swept through Elona, left Istan abandoned, and wiped out the royal family of the Primeval Kings. Shortly after the end of the Scarab Plague, the bloodiest wars of Elona broke out as various factions sought to gain royalty. The Pretender Wars that ravaged Elona brought about the Shattered Dynasty Era, the end of which spawned the union between the three provinces which survives to this day.
Before the Scarab Plague and the Pretender Wars an order was formed by Queen Nadijeh to protect all Elona. Once called the Sunspear Guard, the Order of the Sunspears protects Elona without linking themselves to any one province. The Order helps the people of Elona whether through force or through support. Just as there are those who act to help others, there are those who act to help themselves. The pirating Corsairs act around and outside the law, keeping to their own Code of the Corsairs, sailing the treacherous waters around Elona. There have been times when the Corsairs were gathered together as a force, and not just as small groups, and both times this happened the Great Corsair Wars occurred. Little has been recorded about the First Great Corsair War but the second war entails of Lady Glaive gathering an armada to fight Seamarshal Matoha, before fleeing north and turning Istan into the maritime power of today.
A decade after Odran's infamous creation of the portals a new threat came from the Desolation to the northeast of Elona. The undead lich, Palawa Joko, came out of the sulfurous wastelands seeking to conquer all Elona. Having quickly forced the Vabbian princes to their knees, Palawa Joko turned his forces south and clashed with Turai Ossa's shattered forces. After 100 bloody days during the Battle of Jahai, Turai took his elite guard and the remnants of the Sunspears and took a twisting path to Palawa behind his armies where Turai defeated him in single combat, later entombing the undead abomination with his newly formed elite force. After years of ruling, Turai turned to books and prophecies. Believing himself to be a Chosen mentioned in the Flameseeker Prophecies, he took his people and traveled to the Crystal Desert to Ascend - an event now called the Great Pilgrimage.
A recent plight
In recent days, earthquakes have appeared throughout the three known continents, opening passages to long lost underground tunnels and threatening the major cities of Tyria. The threat was discovered to originate from creatures of stone and fire. The races of Tyria have been threatened once more by this new danger and in response to it, new races have appeared. The Asura have been chased from the depths and the Norn have been found in their isolated land to the north. But as new races are found, old groups fall. Ascalon and Orr have fallen, the White Mantle and the leaders of the Charr High Legions are threatened with the fall of their false Gods, the Stone Summit have scattered and a prophecy as old as the Dwarves themselves tells of the end of their race.
After the main threat of the Destroyers which decimated hundreds of lives, another threat appeared from the shadows. The Asura known as Zinn foolishly aided an unknown "mysterious stranger" and created three machines of immense power animated by an unknown energy source. The shady being ordered the golems to attack the royalty of Kryta, Cantha, and Vabbi. This "mysterious stranger" is still out there, and may strike once more.
Since then, the War in Kryta has become increasingly deadly. Despite their Gods reveal, the White Mantle still manage to keep its grasp on Kryta. Ruled by Confessor Isaiah, the White Mantle have increased its brutality through the use of Inquisitors and Peacekeepers, and still more Jade constructs and Mursaat are revealed as the war progresses.
|History of Tyria||Canthan Culture||History of Elona||GW:EN and Now|
|The Guild Wars 2 Wiki also has an article on Lore.|
- Within the context of Guild Wars and fictional settings in general, lore is a term for a setting's backstory and related setting elements. (Wiktionary's Lore page)