Who had the biggest influence on the White Mantle? We compare the two leaders.
Why has Balthazar returned to Tyria? Explore the possibilities inside!
We sit down with that_shaman to talk data - mining and more.





2 GUILDMAG #19 | In This Issue



EDITORI ALS 60 THRIFTY THREADS Grab your self a new out fi t for the summer, i nspired by the White Mantle and volcanoes.
LORE & HISTORY TO HUMBLE A GO D Balt h aza r h a s ret urned to Tyria, se eki n g p owe r for an u nknown cau se - but why?



26 THE COST OF SA V ING TYRI A Recap the lat est Living Worl d episo des in prepa ration for the u pcoming fi nale.
37 L IGHT MY FI R E Berse rke r s em bo dy fi re, but t h eir lore is decidedly la cking - so h e re we a re! THE CENT A UR T RIBES W atch tower Cl i ff s is hom e to som e very an gr y cent aur s, but not all cent aur s a re the sa m e...


56 ZIN N: SUPER G ENIU S Who is the ep onymou s Zinn, cre ator of M.O.X and golem an ce r extraor di na ire?
THE ALPHA & THE OMEGA Showdown of the White Mantle le a de r s! We com pa re Sau l and Caudecu s’ i n fl uen ces.
64 FAITHFUL An Inqu isi tor journeys to u nse en dept hs in t h is s t andalone s hor t s tor y.
20 T HE WAR IN KRYT A Ne ed a refresher on the Mantle’s prev iou s demise? We’ve got you cove red.
COMMUNITY AN INTER V IE W W ITH THA T _ SHA MAN Ne w writer Vi an si ts down with t h at_shaman to t alk dat a-mining and why h e does i t.


We t ake a p e ek i nside Relics of Or r , an NA- ba sed PvE guild.


COMMUNITY AR T Delve i nto t h is issue’s collec tion of i nspiring a r t, curat ed by resident cr i tic Kent Benson.


WAR PRO FITE ER S: PARTS II & III The journey conti nues as the sol diers fa ce t h re ats fr om bot h the ju n gle and the Bla ck L ion.


LEGACY 23 ye a r-ol d Za chariah’s worl d is about to ch an ge foreve r in t h is ne w series.


THE MAN BEHIN D THE MASK Ki t the Tra vele r presents a u n ique s tor y wr i tt en excl u sively for GuildM a g.


Ed it o r’ s Le t ter | GUILDMAG #19











Welco me t o Guild Mag I ssu e 19! E pis o d e 6 o f Sea s o n 3 is j ust aroun d th e corn er, s o we’r e her e t o mak e sur e y o u’r e ca u ght u p o n ev erything you n e ed t o kno w b efor e the epi c fi nale .

the team

WRITER S Kent Benson, NovaInfu se, Starconspirator, Via n de Bod COP YEDITORS Littleboat, Kalabajooie, Talus DESIGNER S Anthonz, Xero e
Join our awesome team www.g uildm ag .c o m/j oin
t’s a lmost time for th e fi nale of Season 3 of G uild Wars 2 ’s Living World. So far, we’ve seen a resurgence of the Whi te Mantle; the so-called mursaat Laza rus reveal himself as Balthazar, human God o f War; and not to mention a plethora of new maps to explore and yet another season with out much of Rytlock! As July 25th approaches, it’s my pleasure to present to you GuildMa g’s 19th digital magazine: Flame s of the Mantle. In this issue, we explore everything you need to
prepare for whatever may come in the fi nale. From lore on Balthazar, White Mantle leadership and the War in Kryta to our Season 3: Episod e 4 & 5 recap and a n exclusive interview with community legend that_shaman, there’s plenty to keep you bu sy for the next couple of weeks. As always, we’ve also packed this ma gazine with hand- picked community a rtwork and thrilling pieces o f fi ction produced by our talented team of wr iters, a ll centering around this issu e’s theme. In “Faithful”, a White Mantle Inquisitor’s nerve is tested as she journeys to the bloodstone. Meanwhile, Ken t
Benson continu es h is series with parts two and three of “War Pro fi teers” - if you missed the fi rst in stalment, make sure to c atch up in GuildMag I ssue 17 fi rst! To close, I’d l ike to r emind our readers that we’re alway s looking for new volunteers to join our awesome tea m. From writers and copyeditor s to designers and streamers, there’s a position for any skillset; if y ou’re looking for new skills t o add to your resume, GuildMag is the perfect place! You can fi nd more information at
4 GUILDMAG #19 | LORE - To Humble a God

To Humble a God

Like it or hate it, the reveal that “Lazarus” was Balthazar al l a long has dropped a bombshell o n the Guild Wars 2 story. While it would not be true to say that the twist w a s entirely without h ints*, few expected that the human god s wou ld be returnin g to the story any time soon, let alone that one already had in the guise of a mursaat. So, how is it that we come to find ourselves fighting again st a god?
LORE - To Humbl e a God | GUILDMAG #19
6 GUILDMAG #19 | LORE - To Hum bl e a God
We can deduce Baltha zar’s motivations for the actions w e see from the dialogue in the instances. If you stick aroun d after the fi ghting ends in the Tai mi’s Pet Pr oject instance to talk to NPC s such as Marjory and Taimi, a recurring theme is tha t Balthaza r does not appear to be as strong a s he sh ould b e - a human PC, i n fact, will observe that viewing Balthazar’s true form should have blin ded all onlookers. I n the Heart of the Volcano instance, w e see the culmination of this - just before the destruction of Taimi’s machi ne, Ba lthazar states “I was weak… I’m feeling much better n ow.” So it appears that something had caused Balthazar to lose his power, and his reason for being on Tyria wa s to absorb eno ugh power t o renew himself - fi rst from a bloodstone, and then from Primordus and Jormag. This does raise the question, however : what caused Balthazar to lose his power, and what ra mifications might this  have for t he story going forwards? We do have one hint  to this: earlier in the final batt le, Balthaza r states that a mysterious “they was responsible for “dimming his light”. This suggests two things. First , it
indicates that Balthaza r’s depowerin g was not accidental, or wa s at least the result of the actions of a third party. Secon d, unless Balthaz a r is using the singula r “they” for an ad versary whose gender is indetermina te, i t suggests that Balthazar’s depowering was cau sed by a group, not by a single entity. And his statement th at “they will see me now” su ggests that Balthazar will be looking for a rematch with his recentl y renewed power. Another curious thing is that Balthazar states, “I have learned there is no h onour in war.” To pu t this in context, Balthaza r has always been portrayed as a god that feels that there is hon our and
glory in war, and that wars should be fou ght in an honourable manner (as opposed to the deception and trickery employed b y Menzies). Something must have happen ed to cause this shift in charact er. So, what caused Ba lthazar’s depowering in th e fi rst place? Who are th e mysterious “they”? In the rest of th e article, I will consider three possible scenarios, and th e possible directions the stor y could go in each. The first possible scenario as to how Balthazar has been depowered is that he was supplanted by a challenger w ithin the Fissure of Woe, in a similar manner to h ow Grenth deposed Dhuum. The prime suspect for this is, of course, Menzies, wh o has been attempting to  su pplant Balthaza r since the original Guild Wars. However , it is possib le that som e new challenger has arisen in the intervening time,  one w ho proved more successful

The Dhuum Scenario

LORE - To Humbl e a God | GUILDMAG #1 9
than the Lord of Destruction. If th e challenger proved victorious through the use of some trick, pa rticular ly one that exploited Balthaza r’s sense of h onour, th is might also explain his changed attitude. One fl aw in this scenar io is that Balthaza r states that “they abated me” - the “they” indicates that a gr oup was responsible, not a single entity . However, the precedent o f Grenth had Dhuum being defeated not by Grent h alo n e , but by Grenth and seven companions, who wou ld become the seven Reaper s. Similarly, Balthazar may have been brought low by a group - possibly M enzies and a group of Shadow Army commander s and/or traitorous Eternals, or possibly some other group. In this scenario, there are at least two possible directions the story could go. On e is that we support Balthazar’s replacement agai nst the newly re-energised Balthazar. The alterna tive, however, is that despite the PC’s current (and quite understandable) opposition to the  former God of  War, we will find   ourselves supporting Balthazar to  retake hi s throne; as  distasteful as it may be,  Baltha zar may be better than the alternative.
A second possibility is that, to
put i t bluntly, the rest of the pantheon (or a substan tial majority, anyway) had enoug h
of Balthazar’s shenanigans and pulled him down themselves. Balthazar has a lwa ys been presented as on e of the most morally questionable of the human gods. According to the Or rian History Scrolls, it was Baltha zar that encouraged humanity to  go to war a gainst t he other r aces - a gainst the explicit wishes of Melandru at least. The story of Kaolai gives another example: to spar e vil lage from
punishment for a brea ch of etiquette, Kaolai challenges Balthazar to a game o f Nui.
What the breach of etiquette was, what the punishment w a s going to be, and even the
One hint to Lazarus’ true identity was his usage of fi re. Previous appearances had indicated that his p ower lay in necromancy (Saul’s Story) an d air magic (the aspect in Justiciar N aveed), so his widespread use of fi re could hav e been a clue. However, this could easily be overlooked since an aspect of Lazarus was already known to u se air magic, which i s a branch of elemental magic - it wou ld be entirely reasonable that a lon g-lived being such as a mursaat might h ave mastered both necromancy and elemental magic, and might employ fi re mag ic in situations where wide-scale destruction is called for.

The Abaddon Scen


8 GUILDMAG #19 | LORE - To Hum bl e a God
nature of the game is n ot know n - however, when Balthazar found himself defeated by a mortal seven days later, he slew Kaolai in a fi t of rage. While h e later repented and raised Kaolai’s spirit to a place of honour in Tahnnakai Temple, these acts show a readiness to resort to violence that could w ell be viewed as a liability b y the res t of the pantheon. It’s possible that, at some stage after Kormi r’s ascension, something caused the other gods to decide that the liabili ty was too much. Perhaps it was a single act that was so outrageous that th e other gods simply could not forgive him, or perhaps it was simply the cumulativ e effect of multiple such a cts that made the other gods d ecid e that it was the last straw. Regardless, the end result is with Balthazar cast  down and the pantheon needing replacement - perhaps this time, unlike Abaddon, they had on e prepa r e d i n advance, or perhaps they are still looking. Balthazar’s lesson,  here, might  be an ironic  repet ition of something that one of the other gods might have said to  him as
they were administ ering his depowering - one could easily imagine that one of the more peaceful goddesses such as Dwayna or Melandru might express such an opinion , especially if the tr igger was Balthazar engaging on an otherwise unnecessary war over some point of hon our. One flaw in this scenario is, of course, Lyssa’s mirror . Interacting with the mirro r with a human mesmer in the Taimi’s Pet Pr oject inst ance indicates that Lyssa “must have helped Balthazar for reasons known o nly to her - however, this may be the PC jumping to c onclusions. The mirror might have been stolen, or it might have been a gif t given before
Balthaza r’s fa ll from gr ace. Alternativ ely, Lyssa might have given it to Balthazar for her own reasons (to taunt Balthazar with his d epowered state, o r to give him a means to assume a new id entity to hide from any enemies that might take the opportunity to fi nish him o ff ) withou t anticipating the use that Balthazar would put it to. Another possibility is that there may be dissent w ithin the pantheon, with Lyssa still supporting Balthazar, possibl y without the knowledge of th e other gods. If the decision to cast Balthaza r down was unanimou s amo ng the gods, we’re probably looking at another si mple fi nish o ff or contain the fallen god” scenario, similar to Abaddon and Dhuum. Alternativ ely, we may be looking at a the possibility of a struggle a mong the gods, where the fall of Balthazar i s simply the fi rst sign to be see n on Tyria. If so, it’s l ikely that we’ll eventually fi nd ourselves in the position of supportin g one sid e of the pantheo n against the other. The third possibilit y is that it isn’t just Balthaza r that has fall en - the entire pantheon is in trouble, and Balthaza r is just the first w e’ve seen.

The Ragnar

ok Scenario

LORE - To Humbl e a God | GUILDMAG #1 9
I’ve seen theories linking the depowering of the gods to th e rise of the dragons, but I’m no t inclined to agree with those. The dragons, while powerful, are still fundamentally beings of Tyria, while the gods are… not. While the dragons do have some ability t o in fl uence the Mists, I don’t think there’ s any direct connection that would allow the dragons to siphon power from the gods. However, there are hints that there might be other threats in the Mists. The cause of th e destruction of th e human homeworld rem ains a mystery, that perha ps even the gods themselves had mostly forgotten. The Orrian History Scrolls state that “what passed beyond in the M ists, only (Abaddon) remembers” - perhaps this information was passed onto Kormir, but even if it was, it might have come with so much other knowledge that it would take time for her to sift through. The Mists also constantly create demons and other beings, some of which might rival the gods, or there might be other pantheons of gods, Elder Dra gons, and similar beings from oth er worlds. In particular, the Forgotten Virashek in the Ga t e of An guish passed on the rumour that the Ravenhea rt Gloom links to places “worse than the Realm of Torment”, from which an attack might come. One of the bat tles against such a foe might have caused Balthazar’s power to be drained, causing him to
seek re-empowerment b y whatever means necessary in order to re-enter the fray. H uman legend states that when th e gods left Tyria, they left in order to shepherd other worlds. This may simply be an exaggeration of the actual r esponsibilities of the gods, as many human legends have shown to be - however, this might lead to a possible justification for Balthaza r’s seeming d i sregar d for T yria. If the destruction of one world allows for the ability to protec t many mor e, that may well be a sac rifice worth making, although the inhabitants of that world m ay, of course, think differently. In this  context, Balthaza may have  reached the  rea lisation that  honour in war is something you can often only afford from position of strength, where your existence is not truly on the line.
If th e situation is truly desperate, any dirty trick or sacri fi ce becomes justi fi e d if it means that you, and the majority (or at least some) of those you protect, survive to feel bad about it later. This scenario is probabl y the most interesting, as it could lead to an entirely new direction for the story. The concept of a ‘mist war’ has been in Guild Wars 2 from release, but it has largely bee n portrayed as a simple bat tle for the resources of t he Mists. Outside that, however, there may be a second Mist War, against a foe which might trul y be out to destroy worlds… a n d we may find ourselves fighting alongside the gods and their servants to protect Tyria against this threat. It’s also possible t h at this scenar io can be combined with one of the others - that th e pressure of a conflict of this nature caused
10 GUILDMAG #19 | LORE - To Humbl e a God
Balthaza r to do something that his peers saw a s crossing a moral event hori zon, causing them to depose him or to allow a third party to overthrow him. I should note that there is als o a theory fl oating around that the situation may b e so bad that the other go ds may also be hidin g in disguise among the people of Tyria (including Lyssa being Jennah, or Jennah and Anise). While this theory cannot b e entirely discounted , I consider it do ubtful, at least without the additional f actor of Balthazar having gone rogue. If the other gods are hiding on Tyria, it seems unlikely that Balthazar would have such a cavalier attitude towards Tyri a’s destruction as he shows in the Heart of the Volcano instance. So, all up, we have three broad possibilities for  what has happen ed: Balthazar w a s cast  down by a  direct challenger ; by his fellow gods in the pantheon; or by some external force which
threatens all of th e gods. Whichever i t is, there may be a good c han ce w e’l l see a revi si t to Orr before it’s all over, as the Season 3 Episode 6 teaser image released on J uly 12 suggests. It’s poss i b l y the bes t place t o learn more about the gods, even if it probably won’t help much with whatever i s going o n with the gods now. While I generally try to be non - judgemental wh en discussing the lore, I d o have concerns that a situation where w e end up having to fi nish o ff Bal tha zar o nce a n d f o r a l l - or , worse, the entire pantheon if it turns out that they’re fully cooperating with Balthazar - will feel like they’ve sacri fi ced a key piece of the gam e’s lore for the sake of a boss fight (or six). What I’d prefer to see is a situatio n where, once we get the full picture, Balthaza r’s actions and  his willingness to sacrific e Tyria become at least
understandable. This does not mean that we won’t end u p bringing him down noneth eless - some of the best villains are people w ho genuinely think they’re do in g what’s necessary - but it woul d put it in the context o f things having gone so badly that we might at least consider that the r isk Balthaza r took was worth it. A para llel could be drawn to h ow many people believe that the mursaa t were justi fi ed in sacri fi cin g the Chosen to keep the Door of Komalie closed - w hile cert ainly a distasteful a ct, it may well be justi fi ed if it helps to hold back a threat wh ich might destroy so much more.

Final Thoughts

12 GUILDMAG #19 | LORE - The Alpha & The Omega

The Alpha

The Omega


o r those intereste d in the history of the White Mantle, the update of th e 8th of Februa ry, despite its delays, certainly delivered. In Episode 4 of the third Living World story arc, w e saw the culmination for Caudecus’ plots to seize the throne of Kryta, leading to the dow nfall of th e present Con fessor of th e White Mantle and,
perhaps, the destruction of h i s faction of the White Mantle at the hands of the Seraph and the S hining Blade. Meanwhile, in Bastion of the Penitent, raiders hav e the opportunity to learn of the fate of the fou nder of the White Mantle, Saul d’Alessio… and, if they have the skill and valour, to r escue him from that fate, if only t o his death.
It says something a bout the evolution of the White Mantle that these two men almost cou ld not be any more di ff erent. As much as the Shining Blade w ould like to paint things otherwise, the White Mantle under Saul w e re gen u ine h eroes, a militi a that saved Kryta in its darkest hour when its standing army and royal line had failed. If the mursaat had trul y been
LORE - The Alpha & The Omega | GUILDM AG #19
the benevolent beings that Saul had believed them to b e, he would likely now be liste d among humanity’s gr eatest heroes. However, that was n o t the case, and Saul’s remova l allowed the mursaat to reshape the White Mantle int o fanatics that would murder in their name. W ith the defeat of the mursaat and the W hite Mantle evicted from Kryta (openly, a t lea st), devotion to the religion o f the Unseen would fade and steadily b e replaced by a determination to seize Kryta a t any cost. In this context, it seems worthwhile to look b ack over the lives of the two men, and to compar e and contrast t o see how this re fl ects on the White Mantles that they lead. Three areas in particular stan d out a s distinctions between the two men: their respective social standings before joinin g the White Mantle, their degre e of faith, and how much they actually care about Kryta . We don’t know much about Saul d’Alessio’s soci al standing before his disgrace. It’s possible that, prior t o amassing his gambling debts, Saul may have been of higher standing, making his fa ll analogous to that of Kasmeer’s family - however, one might suspect that if Saul had b een a noble or otherwise o f high station, this wou ld be mentioned i n the records of the W hite Mantle’s fo unding.
Whatever he might hav e been, Saul arr ived a t the city of the mursaat from the dregs of society. G ambling debts had driven him to commit robbery t o survive, and on being caught, he was sentenced t o banishmen t - not simply b y sending him to another nation, but instead his sentence was carried o ut b y abandoning him i n a regio n of hostile wilderness w here he was expected to die. He stumbled upon the mursaat as a convicted criminal on the verge of starvation. Given this background, it is surprising that a man who ha d e ff ectively been sentenced to dea th was accep ted so rea di ly by the people of Kryta on h is return.
Perhaps it speaks of the transformation worked upon Saul by the mursaat - t hey had taken a broken man and
rebuilt him as a charisma tic
leader, and replaced his rags with the white mantle that wou ld give th e name to the organisation he wou ld found . Or perhaps it simply speaks o f the situation of Kryta that the y were willing to accept anyone wh o might be able to lead a defence a gainst the charr , however d ubious his past background might be. By contrast, Lord Caudecus Beetlestone has likely n ever experienced a day of privatio n in his life. He joined the White Mantle as the holder of th e second most p owerful o ffi ce in Kryta, and that only after his term of regency wa s ended b y Jennah reaching her age of majority. His ‘p rotectiv e custody’ in Jennah’s palace wa s certainly an inconvenience to him, but little comparison to what Saul likely su ff ered in the jungle. Without having been forma lly accused of anything, h is privilege among Krytan society remained until he openly announced h imself as the Confessor of the W hite Mantle, and by th en he was fi rmly ensconced among his followers that l ikely conti nu e d to serve his every need. In the

Social Standing

Saul arrived at the city of the mursaa t from the dregs of societ y [. . .] a s a convicted crimina l on the verge of starvation .
height of a rrogance, he would even return to the manor he had been forced to abandon after his failed a ttempt on Jennah’s life - and i t was there , in his expansive mansion, tha t justice fi nally caught up with him. According t o all evidence, Saul genuinely believed that the mursaat were divine beings w ho w ould protect and care for the people of Kryta in the ab sence of the Five Gods. He was the founde r and, for a time, the strongest spokesman o f the religion of the Unseen. However, he also demonstrated toler ance towards the old religion of the Fiv e Gods - his decree that the Temple of the Ages and other holy sites be left unmolested was r espec ted by his successors, and ma y have been respon sible for the preservation of the Krytan royal line, a lthough he could not have kn own it at the time. While his faith was not unshakeable, su ff ering a critical blow when confronted with eviden ce that the mursaa t were not the b enevolent beings h e had believed they were, according to all evidence he genuinely
believed in the mu rsaat as divine saviours up to that point. For Cau decus, on the other hand, th e beliefs of th e White Mantle were just one more tool in his b id to ascend to th e
t h rone of Kryta. Not only d oe s he fail to share those beliefs, but when it appeared that the more devout members of the White Mantle w ere close to returning a mursaat to life, he saw this as a threat to his power, actively seeking to sabotage Lazarus’ retur n. Fortunately for Caudecus, it seems that enough members of the White Mantle agreed with his policy that he retaine d a signi fi cant army even after Lazarus the Dire’ had declare d him to be apostate. It is, perhaps, in their attitude towards others that th e greatest contrast between th e two can be seen. Where one, for all his mistakes and fl aws, seems to have been genuinel y motivated b y seeking to achieve the best for Kryta,
the other was driven only by naked ambition. Despite having been sentenced to be left to die by the judges of Kryta, Saul w as willing t o put his life on the line for its people. Even the
small front ier village of Demetra was worthy of his personal attention, and it was there that Saul’s faith in the mursa at was put into con fl ict with his desire for a bright future for Kryta… and lost. Saul recognised that in founding the religion of the Unseen, h e had not b een the saviour of Kryta but instead brought d own a n ew doom. When the mursaat sensed this realisation, they took him to b e tortured until he agreed to become their puppet. H is refusal to help them maintain control of Kryta led to his torture being prolon ged for hundreds of years, until deat h wou ld come as a release. Even after being con fi ned in the Bastion of the Penitent, it appears Saul did not give up - a note planning an escape attempt stresses that “t hey must know th e truth” and is signed with the initial ‘S’. For Caudecus, by contrast, the people of Kryta were merely pawns to be sacri fi ced if it brought him closer to the throne. In the human personal story we see his machinations: spawn a crime



Saul genuinely believed that the mursaat were divine beings who would protect and care for th e people of Kryta in the absence of the Five Gods.
14 GUILDMAG #19 | LORE - The Alpha & The Omega
LORE - The Alpha & The Omega | GUILDM AG #19
wave in Divinity’s Reach and Queensdale; sabotage Kryta’s water infrast ructure; and incite a centaur invasion. This caused signi fi cant loss to the people of Kryta in both lives and property, all in the name of undermining the Q ueen’s reign in h ope of having h er declared u n fi t to rule. His disregard for the welfare of the people h e would rule only becomes clea rer a fter he is unm asked as the Confessor of the W hite Mantle and he declares that h e would rather see Kryta destroyed than in the hands of anyone else… and backs up that declaration with a full-scale assaul t on Divinity’s Reach. E ven his own family was not immu ne - when his wife an d daughter realised what sort o f man he had become, he arranged for each to pay with their lives. While Saul rose from a convicted cr iminal that was e ff ectively s e n tenced to d e a t h to become the de facto ruler o f Kryta, Caudecus had alr eady been the de facto ruler of Kryt a before, and his life ended wit h execution for treason. W here one was empowered b y his faith on ly to be broken anew
after the revelation that his faith had been misplaced, the other acted pur ely on his own behalf, even to the p oint o f sabotaging the resur rection of the o ne to wh ose religion he ga ve lip service. Where one su ff ered a fa te worse than death on behalf of Kryta, never knowing if his sacri fi ce was in vain, the other was willin g to sacr i fi ce a s much of the nation as it took if it meant he could rule over the ruins of what was left. These distinctions echoed the changing face of the White Mantle. In Saul’s time, it was a militia r a ise d from the peop l e , for the people, at a time when Kryta’s tr aditional leader s had fa iled them. The White Mantle of Caudecus, on the other hand, was dominated by corrupt ministers seeking to preserve and expand their power and wealth at any cost, deliber ately sabotaging Kryta in order to wea ken the established (and, to a ll evidence, q uite competent wh en not being u ndermined from within) government.
In one ironic fashion, however , the White Mantle seems to have come full cir cle. While Saul was a true believer in the mursaat, talking with some of his followers in the “Rise of the W hite Mantle” storybook instance y ields responses tha t indicate that many of them are not i n fact true believers, but join ed the White Mantle as that was their best way o f contributin g to the defence of Kryta. Even in th e time of Guild Wars: Prophecies , it’s questionable how many of the lower-ranking member s of the W hite Mantle truly believed o r whether they wer e just serving in what was then Kryta’s de facto national army. However, it is certain tha t, with Saul’ s death, devotion to the Unseen w ould become an increasing par t of the White Mantle’s identity. Over the centuries where La zarus remained divided into aspect s and all other mursaat wer e believed dead, however, this religious i dentity would dwindle, u ntil for many the focus shifted from the service of the mursaat to the building of temporal p ower for themselves.


For Caudecus [. . .] the people of Kryta were merely pawns.

THe war in


20 GUILDMAG #19 | RECAP - The War in K ryta



RECAP - The War in Kryta | GUILDMAG #19
ryta , the last fr ee nation of humans, has been plun ged into civil war . Minister Caudecus, recently revealed to be the cur rent Confessor of the W hite Mantle, has rallied his forces against the crown. Once again , the White Mantle has p ulled Kryta in to a b loody con fl ict. Once again, the human natio n stands divided . “Once again?” you ask? Indeed , for Kryta was involved in an inner con fl ict once before. Nearly two hun dred and fi fty years ago, the fi r st Krytan civil war ended; a civil wa r that was, in fact, instigated by th e White Mantle as well. It is important to understand the events that transpired all those year s a go. For those unfamiliar with the tales, it is valuable to under stand history. When we un derstand history, it c an be ea sier to assess the present and the future. For those w ho kn ow the old stories, it is important to refresh one’s mem or y. A gem, no matter how brilliant, can always bene fi t from a thorough polishing every now and th en. So then, what exactly happened i n the war? Wh at was it that transpired during this bloody time i n history? It is a tale of fanaticism, betrayal , sacri fi ce, and loss. But it is not without hope. I t is both complex and elementary. It is a cornerstone in the history of the human race. It is, as the
old tomes ca ll it, the War in Kryta.
In order to u nderstand the war itself, one must fi rst understand the reasons for its occurrence. Back dur ing the height of the war betwee n the charr and the humans, th e Krytan king fl ed the throne in order to escape the coming charr forces. When the charr fi nally arrived, they fou nd themselves not facing the Krytan army, but the forces of Saul D ’Alessio: th e W hite Mantle. After driving the charr forces back with the h elp of their “Unseen Gods”, the W hite Mantle were made the official governing body of K ryta, with Confessor Dorian taking  charge in the  wake of Saul’s disappearanc e. With no known royal candidate to take the throne, the Krytan people gladly accepted the rule of their new saviours. Unbekn ownst to the Krytans and the Mantle, the former king had sired an illegiti mate heir to the throne. Her name was Salm a. The discovery of Pr incess Salma div ided Kryta . Many people believed that Salma was the rightful heir and
that the White Mantle had committed atroc ities tha t were entirely unforgi vable. Others believed that the Mantle were justi fi ed in their sacri fi ce of hum an lives in order to protect the inhabitants of Kryta, and that the Mantle had done well in protecting their people. Though limited to those who knew of the sacri fi ces, si nce the Mantle did well t o h id e these deeds, this divide made some inhabitants of Kry ta unruly and di ffi cult for the Mantle to control. In response , the Mantle established a forc e dedicated to keeping the country in a peaceful sta te. This force was kn own a s the Peacekeeper s. The Peacekeepers, h owever, were little more than bandits paid for and sponsored by the Mantle. They constantly extorted people out of their mon ey and har assed locals for their own gain or amusement. On top of that, t ravel bans were put in place, al lowing only those with permits to tra vel between Krytan provinces. Unfortunately, very  few permits were given to those who need ed them, effectively placing Kryta in a self-imposed siege. The White Mantle seemed completely indi ff erent to the harassment o f their people as well as the economic



he War: A Brief


22 GUILDMAG #19 | RECAP - The War in K ryta
impact of the travel ban, thus proving themselves corrupt in th e eyes o f many. O nce- faithful members abandon ed the Mantle and joined the ever-growing n umber of supporters un der Princess Salma: the Shin in g Blade. The con fl ict between Man tle and Blade escal ated soon after , resulting in one of Kryta’s bloodiest con fl icts . However, many do not exactly understand the di ff erent forces involved or their motivations. Who were the Shin ing Blade? What did the White Mantle fi ght for? What, or who, exactl y were these “Un seen Gods” or “mursaat” that the Man tle followed, and what exactly di d they want from the humans? Questions such as these must be answered. We begin, then , with the most praised and better understood of these factions, the Shin ing Blade. The Shining Blade b egan as a movement among Krytans wh o ha d dis c o vered w ha t ha d been really happen ing to the Chosen. The ugly truth w as that the White Mantle were sacri fi cing the lives of innocen t Krytans upon a bloodstone altar. This was, howev er, unkn own by the general
public. The White Mantle had convinced them that these people, or “Chosen” a s they were called, were gathered u p by the Mantle in order to lear n from the Grand Masters in th e Temple of the Unseen. It’s not known how the fi rst member s of the Shining Blade became awar e of this, but they formed a n insurgency from early i n the White Mantle’s reign, ambushing White Mantle convoys to rescue th e Chosen and building their numbers t o spread the word and launch further atta cks. Upon the discovery of Salma ’s existence, they fl ocked to her side; procla iming her the true ruler of Kryta and opposed anything related to the White Mantle. A t fi rst they were a small force, nothin g more than a minor nuisance for the White Mantle. That soon changed. After r evealing the ugly truth of the W hite Mantle’s operations and meeting with a grou p of Ascalonian refugees, their numbers grew and they were soon a threat with pow er to rival the Mantle’s. Though the Sh ining Blade’s initial size made them little more than a nuisance to the White Mantle, their numbers steadily grew. Soon th ey were strong en ough t o pose
a true threat and eventual ly became the major opposition to the White Mantle and their Un seen Gods. The Shinin g Blade had less-than- humble beginn ings, but their deter mination to save the inhabitants of Kryta an d restor e the Doric bloodline to the throne helped them grow into Kryta’s saving grace. Though they are n ow only a small force o f personal protectors to the Kr ytan monarch, they boa st a grea t history. Had it n ot been for the e ff orts of th e Shinin g Blade, Kryta may well still hav e been under the oppression of the White Mantle and their deities. The Lionguard was originally the royal army and police force of Kryta. With the White Man tle’s assumption of power, the Lionguard saw its jurisdiction and fund ing steadily eroded until it was reduced to a glori fi ed city watch for Lion’s Arch and some outlying sett lements that the White Mantle lacked concern for. While outwardly loya l to (if somewhat envious o f) Kryta’s new over lords, it was the Lionguard w ho sou ght the restoration of the throne , after discovering the lost heir, Princess Salma, with the aid o f foreign adventurers. For muc h of the con fl ict, th e Lionguard remained outwardly subservient t o the Mantle, hiding the rediscovered heir

The Shining Blade

The Lionguard

2 3
in the wilderness west of Kryta. However, th ey turned a blind eye towards en emies of the Mantle operating in the settlements that remained under their jurisdi ction, including Lion’s Arch. The moment that the Lionguard declared for Salma was the beginning of th e end for the White Man tle, as Kryta’s most important city was turned to the rebels withou t a fi ght. Within the year, the Whit e Mantle’s strength would be b roken by the city’s defenders, and the White Mantle were forced t o withdraw from Kryta. However, the Lionguard would   never again be th e royal army of Kryta. Qu een Salma’s reform s instituted the Seraph to serve that role,
which included former members of the Lionguard as well as the Shining Blad e and reformed White Mant le. The Lionguard itself w ould continue to remain the city guard of Lion ’s Arch alone. The origin of the White Mantl e is quite the str ange tale. An organisation that ruled Kryta started out with just one man ; a m an exiled for his crimes against the people. This man was Saul D ’Alessio. Though h e was n ot a w holly good man, he was not entirely evil. Saul was a man prone to his vices, one of which was gambling. With a mountain of debt facing him, he took to stealing from merchant s in order to pay it o ff . Unfortunately for him, he was arrested and exiled. In his wanderings within the forest, Saul found st range creatur es that he ca lled his “Unseen Gods”. They asked him to r eturn to Kryta and spread their teachings. He did just that, but when he returned, he found Kryta in ruin. The king had fled and
the charr were i n the middle of their invasion. The p eople were broken and scared. N aturally, they fl ocked to Saul, w ho taught them of these gods wh o would save them. His following grew as h e defeated more and more of the invading charr. However, after one of the greatest victories against the invaders, these gods took Saul to their homeland, and he w as never seen alive again. From that point on th e White Mantle, now under the rule of Confessor Dorian, gr ew. In the peaceful yea rs after the invasion of the charr , they became the leaders and peaceful overseers of Kryta. This soon changed, as th eir fanatic ism drove them t o sacri fi cing innocent civilians upo n a bloodston e for their gods. When the heir to the throne was discovered, thei r claim to power weakened even more. Since then, these once-peaceful Krytan hero es became one of the greatest enemies of the p eople since the charr invasion. The White Mantle’s beginning s are of a noble nature. Saul merely wanted to help h is people. He was a good man , despite his fl aws. Even the original leaders of the White Mantle at fi rst tried t o keep the peace and help their countrymen grow. This, of course, changed due t o the in fl uence of their go ds. Th ese unseen deities were powerful beings we now kno w a s mursaat, but not m uch is

The White Mantle

RECAP - The War in Kryta | GUILDMAG #19
known of their r ace or their intentions. The mursa at were some of the l ast r emnants of the ancient races of Tyria. Unlike the jotun, who had fallen fro m a great empire into savagery, the mursaa t rem ained a powerful race. The prev ious rising of the Elder Dr agons had worn awa y at their numbers immensely. Th ey were a race on the verge of extinction, and th us were desperate to do what they had to in order to survive. Thi s instinctual drive for survival pushed them to the extreme when a prophecy foretold their annihilation. The Flameseeker Pr ophecies were written by an ancient dragon known as Glint. Withi n these prophetic writings, it was foretold that the mursaat would be destroyed by the T itans (great beasts immune to the mursaat’s powerful magic). Out of fear , the mursaat used Saul D ’Alessio t o gather up a s many humans a s possible. These human s were called the “Chosen” and were sacri fi ced upon a blood stone within the Maguuma Jungle. The purpo se of this was twofold. First, the mursaat wanted to rid themselves of the “chosen ones” predicted t o bring about their ruin within the prophecies. Secon d, the mursaat used the sacri fi c e of these humans to power large c rystals known as soul batter ies.
Soul batteries were sour ces of power meant to seal sh ut a doorway that kept their destruction, the T itans, at bay . This doorway was a portal called the “Door o f Komalie” and led to a place called the “Foundry o f Failed Creations”. Within this realm, the T itans roamed. Their powerful magic, along with their resistanc e to the mursa at’s greatest attacks, made them impossible for the m ur saat to defeat. Though much can be said against the mursaa t and their arrogant, self-serving nature, one must remember tha t they did w ha t they t hought necessary. Though their actions were cruel and monstrous towards humans, they did not do it  out of any hatred for the  human r ace. The mursaa t were m erely doing whatever they  possibly could to ensure their
survival. They were fi ghting for their lives against a seemingly unchangeable fate . To them, the ends ju sti fi ed the means. Four factions fough t in the Krytan civil war, and ea ch fought for what th ey thou ght was right. The Shining Blade fought to protect the Chosen and p reve n t the Whi t e Mantl e from perfor ming additional sacri fi ces. The Li onguard fought to empower the true heir of Kryta in order to keep the b loodline of Kin g Doric on the throne. The W hite Mantle fought to rema in in control and to appease their gods, w ho they believed sincerely cared for them. The mursaat fought in order to survive their

The Mursaat

The End

RECAP - Th e War in Kryta
RECAP - The War in Kryta | GUILDMAG #19
inevitable destruction, doing whatever they believed necessary to do so. In the end, it was the Sh ining Blade and Lionguard that were victorious over all. The mursaat wer e destroyed as prophesied and th e White Mantle faded into obscurity. Princess Salm a became the Queen o f Kryta and the Shining Blade b ecame the guard of the royal line from that day on . History i s not something that can be loo ked at through a single lens. History is a prism tha t must be admired from all angles in order to appreciate the entire picture. Though there are dispu tes about which side was righ t in doing what was d one, and though some claim that these facti on s wer en’t a ppr opria tely portrayed within the old tales, one must not forget that each side of a con fl ict has its reasons. Not every party is two-dimensional. There are technically three sides to a coin.

The Cost of

Saving Tyria

S3 Recap: Episodes 4 & 5

26 GUILDMAG #19 | RECAP - The Cost of Saving Tyria
RECAP - The Cost of Saving Tyria | GUILDMAG #19

The Head of the Snake

eason Three of the Living World continu es to pull on more plot threads with two of its most recent episodes: 4 - “The Head of the Snake” and 5 - “Flashpoint”. Both these episodes make the fate of the human stor y a centra l concern. Episode 4, and the raid wing that released with this episode, focuses on th e two characters responsible fo r the rise and fall of the White Mantle, while Episode 5 bring s one of the human gods back to Tyria. As we look forward t o episode 6 and the conclusion of Season Three, we’re left with many more question s than w e have answers.
The hunt for Caudecus Beetlestone began w hen I received an invitation from Queen Jenn ah to join her in the Upper City of Divinity’s Reach. Before setting o ff , I checked in with Taimi t o see if she’s heard from Braham, his stinging r emarks in Bit terfrost Frontier still fresh i n my mind. It seems R ox was able to talk some sen se into him which
is a relief. He’s formed an “exploratory commit tee” of sorts and i s headed towards Jormag. Knowing that he isn’t heading to face the Dragon alone is some relief; that h e’s calling his grou p “Destiny’s Edge” though doesn ’t seem like he’s thinking c learly yet. Taimi’s worried about losing him to the Dragon and is determined to fi nish her Dragon minion resea rch to con fi rm a “brilliant idea” she’s had to deal with the next primeval for ce o n our list. Jennah’s praise on welcoming me was fl attering but a lso felt unwar ranted given the mess our fl edgling gu ild is in. I’m not feeling like much of a leader having gotten a piece
of Jory’s mind after we saved A urene and borne the brunt o f Braham’s peevishness about not h onoring Eir. The qu een, on the other hand, seems to deal with her challenges with ease and grace. She disagree d though and said she envies my ability to “smash things” that stand in my way. I guess someone else’s gr ass reall y does look greener. Needing my h elp to smash through something else for her, she con fi d ed that she expected a White Mantle attack on the city a t any moment. Her plan: to su spend the Ministry until the White Mantle’s threat an d i n fl uence could be eradicated . To do th is, sh e gathered the Ministers together in the Upper City hoping to bait

A Meeting of


28 GUILDMAG #19 | RECAP - The Cost of Saving Tyria
the Mantle into revealing themselves; my presence was meant to r eassure the Ministers, but w hat I really did was some informat ion gathering, hopin g to fi nd evidence of their contin ued interference and give the queen a public rationale fo r her actions. Many Ministers with connections t o Caud ecu s and the W hite Mantle were present, including Min ister Arton whom Caudecus had se t up to look like the mastermin d behind the loss of Falcon Company, an elite Ser aph squad that a c h i l d hood friend , Deborah, had been a part of and which was taken out by centaurs. Arton doesn’t know that Caudecus was actua lly behind this. Minister and Lad y Wi were also present, tho ugh many of their friends now sa w them a s tra itorous as their daughter Va lette, since word reached the Reach that she was in league with Caudecus and had helped him escap e when Lazarus reappeared. T o my surprise, Minister Estelle, whom Kasmeer and I h ad exposed a s trying to blacken the queen’s nam e b y saying she was in league with Sc arlet Briar, was also present. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, after all. The guests were unnerved b y the presence of so many Shin in g Blade and Ministry Guar ds which makes sense w hen you’ve got a mix of people with something t o hide and those w ho get jumpy at the show of force. A fter
dealing with an asura gate golem malfunction, I found a transmitter tha t resembled the communicator Taimi had given me. With Taimi’s help, I used my communicator to ping and locate several other of these suspiciou s listening bugs guarded by Security Sparks, and reported back to the queen. The Man tle were eavesdropping and i t was tim e for Jennah to make her move. During the queen ’s speech annou ncing the Ministry’s suspen sion, the city was suddenly attacke d by the White Mantle! Jade Cannons fi red bloodstone
projectiles fr om outside the city, attempting to br ea ch its walls. Meanwhile , from within the city, White Mantle mesmers began porting in Mantle troops including Jade Constructs and, with the assistance of many tra itor Ministers, they began attacking the Shining Blade, citizens, the qu een and me. Our monarch is a gifted and powerful mesmer herself so she easily c onju red a barrier dome to prot ec t the city. Inside, I protec ted the queen (not that she needs much protection) as sh e set up defensive barriers at th e east and west entries to the Chamber o f Ministers. We fought o ff many White Mantle soldiers, making our way to the throne room so Queen Jennah could construct her fi nal barrier. As we reached the throne room door, the White Mantle’s assa ssin fi nally showed herself: Minister Est elle, to n o one’s surprise. Tasked with the “honor” of regicide, Estell e found herself slain by m e, th e queen, and Seraph Captain Logan Thackeray, limping his way into battl e, still visibly recovering from his d etention in Mordremoth’s blighting pod. The queen ’s battle prowess is impressive and I’d be proud to have her join Dragon’s Watch shoul d she ever give up her royal seat. For the time being, however,
She confided in me that she expected a White Mantle attack on the city at any moment.
we turned our atten tion t o Lake Doric, now besieged by White Mantle forces. I t seems Logan wasted n o time in rallying the Seraph before making his way to th e Upp er City to assist the queen. He’d seen t o the setup of a command post and instructe d me to speak to a Lieutenant Fores to gain access to Lake Doric; the citizens there needed help. Once there, I rendezvoused with Logan a t the Seraph command post in D oric’s Landing. He introduced me to Legi o nnaire N ylia Steelpaw , a charr bent on protecting the a lliance humans and charr have worked so hard to forge , no thanks to Caudecus and his campaigns to stir up the Separatists a nd their discord, built on the lies h e fed them. With charr support , we turned to the three areas Logan needed sco uting in order to help the Seraph ’s mounting forces to defeat and drive the W hite Mantle back: Harvest Ca scades to the north; Saidra’s Haven to the east and New Loamhurst to the south. He also wanted to know how Seraph su pplies and ally forces were looking a t Lakeside Bazaar. Since spies had in fi ltrated their ranks, h e needed someone he