Storyline of Beyond
This storyline is a recount of the latest content of Guild Wars released that began in 2009. Becoming familiar with the storylines of the previous games will help make certain events in this story clearer.
Beyond begins in Kryta with the War in Kryta, following the events of Guild Wars Prophecies and Eye of the North, along with the stand-alone quest chain Zinn's Task. It then continues the story of Gwen and Keiran Thackeray in Hearts of the North. The third chapter deals with Cantha in Winds of Change.
War in Kryta
The White Mantle suffered losses when the veil of godhood was lifted from their so-called deities, exposing the Mursaat as powerful, yet mortal, creatures. The revelation of this manipulation and deceit fueled a revolt in Kryta, led by the Shining Blade—and Kryta fell into civil war. The strongest force for unification, the Shining Blade are scattered and losing power, forced to deal with too many enemies at once. It has become Blade against Mantle, royalists against warlords. All fight one another for control of Kryta.
In an attempt to find a way to turn the tides of war in their favor, both the Shining Blade and the White Mantle have sent agents across the reaches of Tyria, searching for powerful allies or magics. Each side has vowed to bring peace to Kryta—no matter the cost.
By the fulfillment of the Flameseeker Prophecies, the White Mantle find their control over Kryta slipping. Their leader, Confessor Dorian, and the White Mantle's Inner Council have been defeated. Their allies, the Unseen Ones, have been made nearly extinct with the release of the Titans. Meanwhile their foes, the Shining Blade, have gained strength. With the discovery that a priestess of the Temple of the Ages, Salma, is a rightful heir to the throne of Kryta, the Shining Blade have fortified a position in the Talmark Wilderness with plans to retake the kingdom.
The White Mantle, now led by Confessor Isaiah, have hired bandits known as the Peacekeepers to confront the Shining Blade and have enacted the White Mantle inquisition. The Peacekeepers are ruthless to the local population, but the The Shining Blade are hesitant to send soldiers to defend the villages. Salma and Evennia fear villages would be burned in retaliation if villagers openly supported the Shining Blade. In need of allies, Livia travels to gain support of the Asura, while Evennia seeks help from Ascalon.
Livia returns with the golemancer Zinn and his assistant, Blimm. The two were exiled from Rata Sum after Zinn's creations were used in failed assassination attempts on many world leaders, including Salma herself. In spite of her initial trepidation, Salma agrees to grant them protection and lab space in Shaemoor in exchange for their assistance in the conflict. Meanwhile, Evennia appeals to the Ebon Vanguard for help. Captain Langmar agrees to help the Shining Blade if afterward they reciprocate by helping to fight the Charr. Captain Langmar joins Lieutenant Keiran Thackeray and his Ebon Falcons to directly assist Salma, leaving Gwen in charge of the Vanguard. Seeking more help from Ascalon, Evennia continues to Ascalon City to request help from King Adelbern personally.
With support of the Lionguard, the Shining Blade manage to retake Lion's Arch. Salma takes the throne, leaving Bartholos in charge of their Talkmark outpost. With their new fortified position and allies, the Shining Blade plan to strike at the White Mantle. They take out key Inquisitors then proceed to assassinate three of the few prominent Mursaat left. Their spy, Dinas, informs Salma that the White Mantle plan a massive retaliatory strike on Lion's Arch itself. With precious little time left, all allies of the Shining Blade are called to return to defend the city for a final confrontation. However, Captain Langmar, Captain Greywind, and Lieutenant Thackeray are cut off while assisting Krytan civilians flee the oncoming army.
Waves of White Mantle and Jade constructs charge through the front gate of Lion's Arch, intent on putting an end to the Shining Blade once and for all. However, the defenders stand strong, and the White Mantle leaders, High Inquisitor Toriimo and even Confessor Isaiah fall in battle. The assault presses on with ever increasing numbers of jade constructs, but Zinn triggers his re-purposed golem core to reflect their Spectral Agony back on themselves. One by one, the remaining Mursaat are defeated. With the fall of their leader, Talios the Resplendent, the assault ends with victory for the Shining Blade. The remaining White Mantle are broken and without a leader. Thus ends the Krytan civil war.
With the end of the war, Queen Salma restructures the military. The Shining Blade ceases to be an army, but instead the personal guard to the crown. She founds the Seraph as the new army and protectors of the kingdom, appointing Bartholos as its first commander. She welcomes both Shining Blade and White Mantle survivors into the new army, with the goal now to rebuild and heal the war torn kingdom. However, the victory is bittersweet, as Captain Greywind delivers news that Captain Langmar and Lieutenant Thackeray have gone missing in action.
Hearts of the North
After hearing of the disappearance of Langmar and Thackeray, the Ebon Falcons begin searching for the two. After searching around Kryta, the Ebon Falcons report to Gwen in the Eye of the North the results of their searching: Langmar was found dead near the Giant's Basin and Lieutenant Thackeray was still missing. Gwen immediately orders a search for Keiran, which turns up no results for weeks.
Eventually, an arrowhead uniquely made by Lieutenant Thackeray was found in Watchtower Coast. Using the arrowhead and a spare bow as a focus, the Ebon Vanguard were able to watch what Keiran Thackeray has done since disappearing. Using the Scrying Pool and other focuses, Gwen and the players witness Keiran meeting a Canthan Assassin named Miku, track down and kill Danthor the Adamant, pursue the White Mantle deep into the Maguuma Jungle, and eventually return to save Beetletun from a plot by the White Mantle to seed doubt into the Krytans' minds. During his journey, Keiran is shown his faults by Miku and forces himself to change, in turn slowly becoming a Paragon. After helping Beetletun's occupants in fighting off the White Mantle, Keiran and Miku part ways; Miku says she'll leave for Cantha while Keiran leaves for the Eye of the North.
With knowing how Keiran has changed, Gwen makes a devotion to change and heads out to meet Keiran, meeting him "half way." The two re-unite in Anvil Rock.
Winds of Change
The defeat of Shiro Tagachi ended the plague that had afflicted Cantha. However, it took adventurers and members of the imperial guard a few grueling years to track down all of the Afflicted and the remnants of the Shiro'ken army that the Betrayer had unleashed in his final attempt to destroy the empire.
Over the past few years, life has begun to spring up in Echovald Forest as many areas have seen new growth take hold. Some even claim to have seen a change in the Jade Sea—small pools of water forming or even waves moving beneath the frozen surface—but these reports are unsubstantiated rumors at best.
Life has returned to normal for most Canthan residents. Kaineng still struggles under the burdens of bureaucracy, overpopulation, and crime, while the Kurzicks and Luxons remain locked in a never-ending battle over scant resources. Shing Jea Island remains an oasis of pristine valleys and beautiful vistas. Monks come to the island regularly for scholarly pursuits, while the general populace descends in droves for every festival held within the safe confines of Shing Jea Monastery.
Commerce returned to a brisk pace once the Affliction ended, and since then, many Canthans have sought to re-establish old trade routes to Elona and Kryta as well as locate new opportunities farther north. However, recent reports of earthquakes and giant cracks opening in the middle of urban Cantha have some believing this time of relative peace and prosperity has now come to an end.
After the defeat of Shiro Tagachi, the Canthan government has struggled to keep the Afflicted and street gangs under control, leading to harsh conditions for the populous. The Ministry of Purity, established by Reiko Murakami in the seven years since Shiro's defeat, has finally managed to push the Afflicted to the brink of extinction.
Initiate Zei Ri, upon meeting the hero who killed Shiro Tagachi, requests for aid in finishing off the Afflicted. One by one, Zei Ri and the heroes cleanse Bukdek Byway, the city's sewers, Sunjiang District, and finally Pongmei Valley of Afflicted, while Ministry of Purity forces fight Afflicted elsewhere. With Kaineng City finally freed of Afflicted, Zei Ri and the heroes head to Shing Jea Island, where a group of villagers swayed by the Ministry of Purity's words and actions went into Minister Cho's Estate that's been isolated since Shiro's return. After ensuring the villagers' safety and making way for Ministry forces to clear the area later, Zei Ri returns to Kaineng City. The heroes then aid Initiate Tsuriai's leading efforts to permanently remove the Afflicted from Shing Jea Island, cleansing Haiju Lagoon and freeing Zunraa from corruption a second time. Zei Ri and the heroes then leave once more for the Jade Sea and Echovald Forest to clear out the last of the Afflicted remaining on the continent. With the Afflicted gone at long last, Zei Ri leaves for Tahnnakai Temple and the heroes head to meet with Xan Hei.
With Xan Hei's aid, the heroes bring the fight to the gangs of Kaineng City - the Am Fah and Jade Brotherhood. After confronting the leaders of both gangs, the heroes are left uncertain of the Ministry of Purity's actions due to Reisen the Phoenix's parting words. In an attempt to re-affirm the heroes' faith, Xan Hei offers them to attend one of Reiko's speeches so that they can see her vision in its entirety.
However, Miku, Reiko's niece, returned to Cantha during the speech and when attempting to meet her brother, Ashu, was called an assassin trying to kill him. The heroes saw that this was wrong and went to her aid, resulting in a confrontation with Xan Hei and Zei Ri that ended with Xan Hei's death. While Miku searches for answers of her aunt's actions on her own, the heroes aid the Imperial Guard with combating the Jade Brotherhood and Am Fah's retaliations from the Ministry of Purity's war against them. With the Ministry of Purity ever closing in on them, the two gangs eventually retreat and cease being a threat for a time.
While the gangs are in retreat, Miku calls upon the heroes for aid to rescue her brother. Infiltrating Tahnnakai Temple, the group reaches Ashu at Vizu's shrine. However, Ashu refuses to leave and, instead of forcing her brother's hand, Miku lets him be. The encounter had left Miku certain Reiko had done something to her brother, though, and resumes her search for Guardsman Jinnai.
Enthralled by their victory over the Am Fah and Jade Brotherhood, the Ministry of Purity turns their sights on the Tengu. With false declarations of wanting to protect the Angchu tribe while eliminating the hostile Sensali, the Ministry of Purity moves to capture the Tengu of the Aerie and the Roost. With the captives freed, the Angchu have decided to remain out of the combat to show the Ministry of Purity wrong. The Sensali, on the other hand, lured the Ministry of Purity to the eastern side of the island before striking Tsumei Village in retaliation for the Ministry's actions. At the end of this conflict, Captain Bei Chi of the Ministry of Purity slays Ryun Grayfeather as the Tengu offered peace, showing the survivors the true face of the Ministry.
The announcement that no new content would be produced for Guild Wars means that any plans for future Beyond storylines were cancelled. Below is a compilation of the known information on those future campaigns.
Return to Elona
The Land of the Golden Sun has weathered a long night and lived to see a new dawn. It has been three years since Varesh Ossa's reign of terror nearly unleashed Abaddon upon the world, and the effects of that event still resonate throughout all three provinces.
Kourna, home of Warmarshal Varesh, was perhaps hardest hit in the aftermath. In addition to the dark lord's nightmares, which have yet to completely fade from the minds and memories of its people, Kourna had to deal with a power vacuum after the loss of its leader and most of its military. The Sunspears, along with Morgahn, an ex-general of the Kournan armies, proved invaluable to its recovery.
Both Istan and Vabbi fared much better after the death of Abaddon. The Istani, long supporters of the Sunspears, were lauded for the aid they provided in the campaign against Varesh. Attendance at Kamadan festivals has seen a marked increase, as people from across the world come to the Sunspear homeland to pay their respects. In Vabbi, the three princes spread their wealth copiously throughout the province to heal any wounds to their vaunted architecture as well as the rarified sensibilities of their people. Annual performances of Norgu's Nightfall in the Bokka Amphitheatre draw huge crowds...if not rave reviews.
All of Elona has prospered from increased trade with Cantha and Kryta in recent years, and many Elonians have begun traveling the world, for both pleasure and adventure. But as word spreads of strange rumblings from beneath the ground, adventurers are likely to return to Elona to investigate.
The Live Team planned on continuing the story of Elona as part of Beyond. One suggestion thrown around early on was to expand on the story of Palawa Joko and continue that plot thread, which was left dangling in Nightfall. By the time of Winds of Change, a story had been written, but the resources required to implement it were no longer available.
The Rise of Ebonhawke
The mighty kingdom of Ascalon has seen better days. Humbled under the relentless assault of the Charr, its cities ruined, its population scattered across the globe—Ascalon has become a conquered and savaged nation. Brave heroes have slowed, but not stemmed, the invading hordes. A large military force under the command of King Adelbern continues to defend the nation from incursion, but they slip farther and farther south as their battle lines collapse beneath the strength of the Charr forces.
In these dire times, brave cadres of Ascalonians—among them, the Ebon Vanguard—have taken up the fight to save Ascalon from the Charr and free it once more. These small units—many made up of humans who have escaped Charr enslavement—have slipped behind (and, in some cases, broken through) the Charr lines. They harry the invaders and divert supplies and troops away from Ascalon, leaving the Charr to gnash their teeth at human ingenuity and perseverance.
The disappearance of Evennia in Old Ascalon during the War in Kryta was said to be part of "something larger" that the Live Team were not quite ready to get into yet, indicating that the story of Ascalon was not yet over. Additionally, the establishment of Ebonhawke was mentioned in the initial press release announcing Beyond, and the switch of the storyline from a floating timeline to approximately real-time that started with the War in Kryta and later continued with the Living World in Guild Wars 2 would have put the founding of Ebonhawke in 1080 AE at some point in 2012, in real-world time.
In any event, the details of the founding of Ebonhawke, which presumably would have formed the basis of an Ascalon storyline, are detailed in a book written by Kimmes the Historian after the events of Guild Wars called the Founding.
Guild Wars Beyond ties up a few loose ends while creating new ones that lead to Guild Wars 2.
Answers to previous loose ends
- The White Mantle were not defeated at the end of Prophecies.
- More Mursaat than just Lazarus the Dire survived the conflict against the Titans.
- What becomes of the White Mantle after the War in Kryta? (answer)
- What happens to the Ministry of Purity after Reiko's fall?
- What happened to Evennia?
- What is the story of the seer in Zinn's laboratory?
- ^ Passing the Torch: Designer John Stumme joins the Live Team, ArenaNet Blog
- ^ Relics of Orr Minisode 10.5, Lead Designer of “Guild Wars Awesome”, Relics of Orr
- ^ Interview with the Live Team - Part 1, Winds of Change - Guild Wars 2
- ^ Guild Wars Live Team Interview, Kill Ten Rats
- ^ NCsoft and ArenaNet Celebrate Guild Wars 5th Anniversary with Guild Wars Beyond and the War in Kryta
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