Know Your Guild Wars Lore: In the beginning...

Shawn Schuster
S. Schuster|02.10.09

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Know Your Guild Wars Lore: In the beginning...

In this week's Know Your Lore feature, we've decided to start our exploration of other games, besides just Lord of the Rings Online. This isn't to say we won't return to LotRO soon, but we'd just like to mix it up a bit and showcase the lore of other MMOs with deep stories as well. So this week we're exploring the lore of Guild Wars, a game with an extremely deep story, courtesy of the talented writers at ArenaNet like Jeff Grubb and Thadeus Lamount.

As announced at PAX last year, Guild Wars' lore is about to get a jump start soon with a series of new novels being published about the lore between GW1 and GW2. This is exciting for any Guild Wars fan as it places the game firmly within the status of other MMOs with their own novels, such as World of Warcraft, Warhammer Online and of course, Lord of the Rings Online. So we're going to kick off our journey into Guild Wars lore with an explanation of how it all began. How was the world of Tyria created? When did humans arrive, and where did the other creatures come from? Follow along below for more of our first looks at the lore of Guild Wars.
The earliest known records of the land we know as Tyria played host to the Great Giants (Giganticus Lupicus) who roamed the lands and were created by the gods. While little is actually known about these Great Giants, their bones and fossils are preserved throughout Tyria, especially in the Crystal Desert. They are believed to have become extinct around the year 10,000 BE, or Before the Exodus, according to the Mouvelian Calendar.

The Age of Humans
A considerable time later, in the year 1769 BE, a race of serpents stepped out of the Rift from the Mists (land of the gods) into Tyria. These serpents were much more advanced than the ordinary snake-like creatures that already roamed the land, and were appointed as custodians by the old gods. Their job was to shepherd the other creatures of the land while the gods resumed their creation of the world. Their most important reason for this was the creation of humans in 786 BE.

"But then a new race of creatures was birthed upon the world. They were neither serpent nor beast. They were neither plant nor stone. These creatures had no chitinous hide to protect themselves. They had no claws to tear flesh. They arrived naked and defenseless, except for one thing: their desire for control. " History of Tyria, Volume 1.

Humans first appeared in Cantha and settled the northern coastline before spreading across the entire continent. Even at such an early stage in the world's life, the humans began separating themselves into tribes and venturing across the other lands. In 462 BE, the Luxons first broke away from the Canthan Empire, becoming a vassal clan. Three years later the Kurzicks followed their lead, declaring independence and becoming a vassal clan of their own. In 205 BE, humans first began to appear on the continent of Tyria and the islands of Istan in Elona as exploration became prevalent.

Not long after the humans arrived on Tyria, the serpent creatures were driven from the land. Realizing that they were no longer needed, they re-established themselves in the furthest reaches of the Crystal Desert where humans couldn't thrive. Once they were out of human sight, they were henceforth referred to as the Forgotten.

The Creation of Magic
Despite the fact that the Forgotten believed they were done with their duties, the gods were not done with theirs. As a generous gift to their intelligent creations, the gods bestowed magic to ease the sufferings and turmoil of everyday life in Tyria. Yet they didn't count on the ill effects of magic and the greed that dominated the intelligent creatures. Great wars were fought as each group battled for dominance with their new gift of magic. The humans were hit the hardest in these wars, almost to the point of extinction, before King Doric travelled to the city of the gods to beg the creators for help. The gods listened and intervened by taking back the gift of magic and trapping it inside a tall stone known as the Bloodstone. The stone was broken into five parts: four equal in power and one to act as a keystone.

These first four stones represented specific schools of magic: preservation, destruction, aggression, and denial. The gods allowed magic to remain in the world, but never again would all schools of magic be available to one single creature. As a deal with King Doric, his people (the humans) would forever be in charge of guarding and protecting these stones, in exchange for the divine intervention that saved their race.

These stones were then sealed with a drop of King Doric's blood and dropped into the volcano off the southern shore of the Kingdom of Kryta. Confident that the stones would be secure and magic would be at eternal balance, the gods then left the physical world of Tyria. This was known as the Exodus.

This is just the beginning of an elaborate story involving three continents, great human wars and the increasing influence of the Bloodstones. Oh, and that's not even getting into the Great Dragons! While we still have loads of content to cover in this lore, we're going to stop here to let the basic origins of the Tyrian world sink in a bit. You can certainly look forward to more on the lore of Guild Wars, as well as other lore-driven MMOs, on future installments of Massively's Know Your Lore.

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