Humans are one of the most widespread and influential species in the world of Tyria. They are spread throughout the world of Tyria, including Cantha, Elona, and the eponymous continent Tyria, though it is implied they live further south than Cantha, which is where they may have originated.
Wherever they originated, humans are not native to the world as they were brought there by the Six Gods. The gods themselves only predate humans by a short period of time.
- See also: History of Tyria
Humans arrived on the Tyrian continent in 205 BE (305 CC, -5 DR). Since their arrival, three major human polities have arisen, Ascalon, Kryta, and Orr. Orr was the first region colonized.
Before the Exodus of the Gods, the gods lived in Arah (nicknamed the City of the Gods) and aided humans in numerous tasks such as pushing the Charr north so that the settlements that would become known as Ascalon could be established. With their aid, King Doric became the first ruler of all human realms. It was he who prayed to Dwayna to stop a war in 115 BE; it was he who pleaded to the gods a year before the exodus to stop the many conflicts caused by the gift of magic being given too freely; and it is his blood that seals the bloodstones.
After the creation of the bloodstones, the colonies of Ascalon and Kryta gradually split off into their own kingdoms - turning the unified human kingdom into three. During this time, open conflicts raged between the various human guilds and are now referred to as the Guild Wars. The Guild Wars were so widespread that they drew the Tyrian human kingdoms into war with each other in order to stop the battling in their own streets. It took the foreign threat of Charr to finally bring an end to the internecine conflict. The event now known as the Charr invasion ravaged the three human kingdoms, forcing them to put aside their squabbling or face destruction - and some did.
The Charr brought about the Searing through the use of the Cauldron of Cataclysm granted to them by their own gods. This event shattered Ascalon's greatest defense: the Great Northern Wall. By dint of geography, Ascalon buffered the rest of humanity from the Charr. When the wall fell, the Charr were free to attack Ascalon as they pleased, sending warbands to Orr and Kryta.
The Charr threat was overpowering and, as such, the King Jadon and the rest of the Krytan royal family fled the throne. In their time of desperation, the Krytans looked to the newly formed White Mantle and their leader, Saul D'Alessio. Thanks to them and their new Unseen Ones, the Charr were defeated - but not without consequences. Many Krytans and White Mantle died or went missing, including Saul.
Orr saw a different fate; when the Charr were encircling Arah and passed with ease through the Orrian's defenses, Vizier Khilbron went into the catacombs and spoke a spell from the Lost Scrolls in an attempt to prevent the Charr from sealing their victory and to defend Orr. He succeeded only in stopping the Charr, for they never reached the streets of Arah. The spell Khilbron spoke brought about the Cataclysm, destroying most Orr, leaving only few shattered islands.
- See also: An Empire Divided, Canthan Culture, Conflict in Cantha
Humanity arrived in Cantha in 786 BE, over 500 years before their arrival on the continents of Tyria and Elona. During the "Late Pre-Imperial Era", as it is known by the Canthan calendar, humans were mere separated tribes that settled along the northern coast (though supposedly the Kurzicks and the Luxons both are said to have inhabited their current homelands during this time as well). 510 BE, or 0 CC, marks the year that the warlord Kaing united the northern Canthan tribes by force and deemed himself as the first "Emperor Lord" - in turn changing his name to "Kaineng Tah." Kaineng Tah, a man renowned for his horseback riding, died under mysterious circumstances while hunting in 464 BE, reports claiming that his horse went wild and killed him, and was succeeded by his eldest son (but not eldest child), Yian Zho. Yian Zho is said to have been his father's equal in everything but ruthlessness, an area he exceeded at. In less than a decade, Yian Zho assaulted the Luxon and Kurzick people under the pretense of insurrection; during this time he slaughtered hundreds of elders in mass public executions which brought forth wars that led to the Luxon and Kurzick people not just uniting under a single banner, but being forced to become vassals of the Empire of the Dragon. Yian is blamed for igniting the war between the Kurzicks and Luxon that has waged incessantly since 459 BE.
Even after hearing word of humanity on Tyria and Elona to the north, the Canthan people remained isolationists until 100 BE, when newly crowned King Doric received the first Canthan ambassador in Ascalon. With the addition of magic 100 years later, the heroic professions became widespread. This led to the man now known as Chang Hai, heir to the throne, to leave for the solitude of Shing Jea Monastery. In time, he sought to become Weh no Su, and upon succeeding to do so, became the first Ascendant Emperor of Cantha.
Excluding the war between the Kurzicks and the Luxons, life for humans in Cantha was uneventful for 220 years, when the Dragon Empire of Cantha and three human kingdoms of Tyria made their first recorded contact. In 694 AE, the then Emperor Singtah became the victim of one of the most well known and astonishing assassinations. Having been known as an exceedingly cruel dictator, holding mass public executions and heavy taxation, he was murdered in a fire that engulfed and destroyed the first Raisu Palace. Singtah's son, Senvho, commissioned the palace to be rebuilt into what is seen today.
During what scholars call the beginning of the Age of the Dragon, 872 AE, the war between the Kurzicks and the Luxons was nearly brought to an end and a peace formed. This could not have been possible without the aid of the now infamous assassin, Shiro Tagachi, who was fluent in a language both factions could understand. Through Shiro's various actions as a bodyguard - from performing peace negotiations to his famous act of repelling Am Fah rebels in 858 AE to rescuing Emperor Angsiyan's son from corrupt ministers in 865 AE - Angsiyan's trust for the man grew.
Trust in Shiro became the emperor's downfall during the Harvest Ceremony, an event where Dwayna blesses the current emperor of Cantha with magic to distribute among the masses. Shiro, his mind having been corrupted by a Fortune Teller, began to fear that Emperor Angsiyan intended to kill him. To prevent this, Shiro prepared a dark ritual before the ceremony and, when Angsiyan allowed his bodyguard and retinue to join him (something which had never been done before), Shiro slew the emperor while in prayer and stole the magic from Dwayna. The heroes of the Kurzicks and Luxons, having been warned by the ringing of the ceremonial bell long before it should have been rung, stormed up the Harvest Temple. With the aid of Vizu, Saint Viktor of the Kurzicks and Archemorus of the Luxons managed to kill Shiro. However, as he died, the magic that Shiro stole was released in a massive explosion - petrifying everything in an event known as the Jade Wind.
In 880 AE, Emperor Hanjai's personal ambassador managed to prevent an open war with the Tengu of Cantha, when hostilities grew due to the spread of settlements on Shing Jea Island. However, this peace was only with the Angchu Tengu - the Sensali Tengu claimed the Angchu as traitors and continued raiding human settlements and farms. In 902 AE, the long standing trade relations with the northern kingdoms were closed off and Cantha went into isolation until Ermenred traveled to Cantha to meet Emperor Kintah and managed to open informal trade routes - which became formalized in the Second Treaty of Lion's Arch in 1071 AE - the same year as the end of the Tengu Wars.
The Tengu Wars escalated due to continued advancing of settlement of Shing Jea Island under Emperor Kisu, during which Canthan farmers passed on diseases to the Tengu and their hatchlings. It wasn't until Master Togo managed to earn the trust of the Angchu Tengu that peace became a possibility - the Sensali, once more, reverted to their raiding ways. The Day of the Tengu was held to celebrate the first anniversary of the peace accords that officially ended the Tengu Wars.
- See also: History of Elona
Since 200 BE, the Primeval Kings have ruled Elona. Under their rule, humanity in Elona had spread from Istan to the northern valleys of Elona and north into the Crystal Desert, where the Tomb of the Primeval Kings lie. They even colonized a part of Tyria: the kingdom now known as Kryta. One of the Primeval Queens, Queen Nadijeh, established the Sunspear Guard (now known in modern times as the Order of the Sunspears).
The Primeval Kings' dynasty ended in 452 AE, at the beginning of the Scarab Plague. The plague of unknown origins killed people from the inside when scarabs burrowed out of their skins. It lasted until 456 AE, which is when Admun Kolos took the throne and founded the Great Dynasty. The so called "Great" Dynasty lasted just over a century, however, and Elona fell into its darkest period: the Shattered Dynasty Era, which was stricken with the Pretender Wars. The bloodiest of all of Elona's wars were caused by various groups either claiming to be heir to the Primeval Kings or warlords seeking power. It wasn't until 640 AE that the wars ended, and the humans of Elona settled into three provinces that are known today: Vabbi, Kourna, and Istan.
In 757 AE, the creation of the Bone Palace marked the beginning of the undead Palawa Joko's known reign. However, it was not until 860 AE that the Scourge of Vabbi assaulted the human provinces of Elona. The war between man and undead raged for two years, during which Vabbi fell and the armies of Kourna and the Order of the Sunspears strained to match Joko's might. On top of the Jahai Bluffs, in the battle now known as the Battle of Jahai, the warmarshal of Kourna, Turai Ossa, bested the undead leader in a one on one fight. With their lord defeated, the undead army and Corsair mercenaries shattered and fell underneath the combined strength of the remaining armies of Vabbi, Kourna, and the Sunspears.
After Joko's defeat, Turai led a united Elona as king. But over the years, the man fell into obsession over mysteries and prophecies. In time, he stepped down from his sovereignty and led those who would follow into the Crystal Desert, searching for the gift of the gods: Ascension. However, what they sought was never found, and now their souls suffer in the burning sands.
Cultures and Nations
The human culture varies from location to location, but there are key similarities between all the cultures. The most apparent, though still not universal, similarity is the faith in the True Gods. Humanity has been favored by the True Gods when they walked the land and as such humanity worships the gods the most out of all races of Tyria.
Canthans have a heavy influence in their culture of the moon and their reverence of it, though the extent of this influence is unknown. Many humans also hold the stars with importance. This is most easily seen in the Canthan New Year and the celestial prophecies, such as Nightfall.
- See also: Ascalon
Once a vast and prosperous nation, Ascalon now lies in ruins, its population diminished. The majority of Ascalonians live in the now ruined Ascalon City, ruled by King Adelbern during the Prophecies campaign and Eye of the North expansion. At some point between the expansion and Guild Wars 2, Ascalon will finally be lost to the Charr, when Ascalon City falls and the Charr move into Ascalon permanently. What's left of the Ascalonians will be forced back to the Ebonhawke fortress and Kryta.
- See also: Kryta
Kryta is a land split into two during its civil war. Ever since the Charr invasion, the White Mantle have ruled over Kryta, and leave those who do not worship their Unseen gods poor and vulnerable. Their faith was founded by Saul D'Alessio and on the summer solstice they hold the annual Test of the Chosen to find new recruits among the commoners, leaving farmers with fewer hands to tend the fields.
On the other side, however, resides the Shining Blade - a group of rebels who seek to overthrow the White Mantle and bring equality and peace back to Kryta. Ever since 1072 AE, the Shining Blade has rallied behind the daughter of the previous king who fled from the throne during the Charr invasion.
- See also: Orr
The sunken kingdom of Orr once held the home of the Human Gods in its capital city, Arah. Known for its highly devout populous, spires and marbled roads, the people of Orr prided themselves for their maintenance of the City of the Gods. In 1071 AE, this ended in the event known as the Cataclysm when the Charr assaulted the three human kingdoms of Tyria.
Empire of the Dragon
- See also: Cantha
The Empire of the Dragon, which shares its name with the continent of its origin, Cantha, was formed out of the earliest recorded human tribes that resided on the northern coast. The Canthan Empire dates back to the late pre-imperial era, 276 years before the start of the Canthan calendar.
Kurzick Great Houses
- See also: Kurzick
The Kurzicks occupy the Echovald Forest and are one of the two vassal entities of the Empire of the Dragon, the other being the Luxon Armada. The Kurzicks are a very religious nation of people who take the worship of the True Gods very seriously. They are at constant war with the Luxons due to the struggle for the scarce and precious resources Amber and Jade, which solidified at the time of the Jade Wind. Their nation is led by the Council of Nobles and their culture by the Great Houses - House zu Heltzer, House Vasburg, House Brauer, House Lutgardis, and House Durheim.
- See also: Luxon
The Luxon Armada dwells on the Jade Sea and is one of the two vassal entities of the Empire of the Dragon, the other being the Kurzicks of the Echovald Forest. The Luxons are a very nomadic and combative faction. They are at constant war with the Kurzicks due to ancient unexplained hatred and the desire over the scarce and precious resources Amber and Jade, which solidified from the Jade Wind. Their nation is led by the Council of Elders and their three clans - The Crab, The Serpent, and The Turtle.
- See also: Istan
The province of Istan is a small island, ruled by their elected clanmarshal and the Council of Elders, that is plagued with frequent Corsair attacks. Istan is widely revered for many things, such as being home to the main base of the Order of the Sunspears. The Istani are also widely revered for having a powerful navy, and science and art pervade much of their culture both historically and in the present. The ruins of the Primeval King's dynasty remain throughout the island, many untouched due to fear of a return of the Scarab Plague.
- See also: Kourna
Kourna, led by its warmarshal, is nation full of dried soil. With only the Elon to water the plants, the Kournans have a massive waterworks system that allows the agriculture of the nation to flourish. Kourna is widely known for having the superior Elonian military.
- See also: Vabbi
The artistic province of Vabbi is led by their clanmarshals, the most prominent having been named the Merchant Princes of Vabbi, who rise to prominence through trade, deeds, and money rather than bloodlines. Desolate outside of the vast estates and palaces, Vabbi is home of the Festival of Lyss, a multitude of hanging gardens such as the floating Seborhin tree, and the grand temple of Lyssa, the Sebelkeh Basilica. Vabbi is also known for being the richest province of Elona.
- See also: Corsairs
The Corsairs are a seafaring culture of nomads, navigators, pirates and mercenaries that originated from Elona. Corsairs live outside the law, whether they’re standing on solid ground or the treacherous deck of a fast ship. They have remained "free of oppressive laws" by learning to survive in treacherous waters, sailing where other human nations will not or cannot follow. Their fleets remain hidden near the most dangerous stretches of the Elonian coast. After the Cataclysm in 1071 AE, the corsairs occupied the mostly deserted island remnants of Orr, plundering the remaining goods and using the islands as cover.
- See also: Zaishen Order
The Zaishen Order is a guild that honors the god of fire and war Balthazar and protects the holy places in Guild Wars. They are lead by the Zaishen High Council. Only the order knows the path to the most Sacred place, the Hall of Heroes, and they are not eager to tell this secret to everyone. Only when the time is right, will they reveal their secrets to an outsider.
- See also: Xunlai Guild
The Xunlai Guild is an organization which is responsible for the storage of items and some tournaments throughout the world of Tyria. They are also the primary banking service in the world with their headquarters in Kaineng Center. The Xunlai are constantly working alongside the Zaishen Order, especially when dealing with guilds and tournaments.
Order of Whispers
- See also: Order of Whispers
The Order of Whispers are a secret society working to protect Elona. They were established by Turai Ossa as his elite and secret organization. Since their establishment, they have been working behind the bureaucratic scenes. They send members throughout Elona to keep the existence of beings such as demons and Titans outside the knowledge of the populace.
There are many groups and beings that may have been or once were humans but have since become something different - either through magic or evolution. These include:
- Some Afflicted - mutated beings, mostly humans, who serve Shiro Tagachi.
- Some Undead - rotting beings, mostly humans, who have been reanimated to serve various masters.
- The Druids - formerly Krytan humans who have become spirits within the Maguuma Jungle.
- The Juggernauts - Kurzicks who sacrificed themselves to become plant-creatures in order to defend the Echovald Forest.
- The Margonites - humans who have become demonic through Abaddon's blessings.
- The Wardens - suspected to have once been druids or holy men who have merged with the Echovald Forest.
|The Guild Wars 2 Wiki has an article on Human.|
- ^ ab Interview with Jeff Grubb; Kill Ten Rats
- ^ Q&A With Ree Soesbee, GuildMag
- ^ The Ecology of the Charr