This Storyline article is a recount of the story of Nightfall, the third campaign of Guild Wars released in the fall of 2006. Becoming familiar with key dates in the history of Tyria will help make certain events in this story clearer.
The story in this campaign revolves around great and terrible events happening in the continent of Elona. The players are cast as the heroes who save Elona from darkness, however, the story is also strongly tied to the concept of heroes introduced in Nightfall. In this summary, events will link to their own articles and will only be "re-explained" here as much as needed to enhance readability.
For characters native to Elona, the story begins as they join the Order of the Sunspears on the island province of Istan as promising new recruits along with a headstrong but loyal young warrior named Koss. As Spearmarshal Kormir is giving them a basic introductory greeting they discover that Corsairs have assaulted nearby Chahbek Village and they are immediately put to the test as they try to save the village from the pillaging and plundering. This latest assault is one of many recent increased Corsair attacks on Istan.
After defeating the Corsairs in the Chahbek Village (mission), the new recruits begin to train and rise in the ranks of the Sunspears. Before long, they are introduced to Dunkoro, a wise military strategist and veteran monk. Curiously, they are challenged in a test by General Morgahn of the Kournan military which has been heavily present on the Island of Istan conducting unknown business.
Part of this unknown business becomes known as a Kournan emissary asks the players to investigate this young Kournan woman named Melonni who is snooping around asking questions that seem to relate to what the Kournans are doing. The players meet with Melonni only to discover an entire excavation team sent by Kormir to investigate some ancient ruins was wiped out and strange glowing purple marks left on their bodies. Strangely, soon after this happened, armed Kournan crews rushed into the site to do some excavation of their own.
The slaughter of the digging crew demands immediate investigation. The players accompany Spearmarshal Kormir in the Jokanur Diggings to get to the bottom of what happened in the excavation taking place in Fahranur, The First City. After going through large numbers of restless undead creatures that were awakened by some evil in the heart of the city, the players finally come face to face with the Apocrypha, a herald of darkness who foretells of the coming of Nightfall.
After defeating the Apocrypha, Kormir is greatly troubled by the prophecies of this creature. In addition, there are Chaos Rifts opening in various cities around in Tyria and Cantha and even in Kamadan. The Zaishen Order is troubled by this and comes to Elona to assist. Faced with this growing threat, Kormir sets out to learn more about Nightfall as well as enlist the aid of allies of the Sunspears in Tyria and Cantha. While Kormir is away, Jerek is appointed as leader of the Sunspears in her absence.
One small issue troubling Jerek is a young new recruit named Tahlkora. She insists she heard Warmarshal Varesh and General Kahyet, Varesh's mentor, plot against Istan. Her claims are dismissed as nonsense by Jerek and he wants the players to subdue her. However, pursuing the leads that Tahlkora provides leads players to some startling discoveries.
In the Blacktide Den, the players discover that it was General Kahyet who coordinated with Ironfist of the Corsairs to organize the increased Corsair assaults on Istan. It is also revealed that Kahyet is an ardent worshipper of the exiled god Abaddon. She too, revels in the inevitability of an upcoming Nightfall that would embrace all of Elona even as she is struck down by the players.
The death of a Kournan general on Istani soil at the hands of the Sunspears is not an act to go without consequence. Soon, players find that they have to present a case for why they struck down this high ranking officer. The players present their case in the quest Trial by Fire and as judgment is about to be passed, Spearmarshal Kormir returns to share her findings. Warmarshal Varesh is seeking to unleash the dark god from his prison and has been plotting against Istan and the Sunspears.
The Horns of War
War is at hand. The Sunspears declare war on Kourna and announce their goal to depose Varesh and end her threat. The province of Istan joins their cause, both to stop Varesh's dark magics as well as to retaliate Varesh's plotting against their home land.
The combined forces of the Sunspears and Istan storm Gandara, the Moon Fortress and Kormir leads a brilliant military assault that quickly has the Kournans reeling, however, Varesh simply calls all her troops back to the main temple of the fortress, setting up an obvious showdown. Dunkoro fears it is a trap, but Kormir, while knowing it is a trap, feels that the Sunspears must be the ones to take the brunt of Varesh's magic.
True enough, at the final confrontation in the center of the citadel, Varesh unleashes powerful demons upon the battleground. The forces of the Sunspears and Istanis are quickly thrown into chaos and routed. The attackers are broken, many killed and captured (including Koss and Kormir), the players however, manage to escape to a safe spot.
And a Hero Shall Lead Them
Crushed by Varesh, the Sunspears refuse to simply fade away, guided by Dunkoro's planning and Melonni's knowledge of the area, the players are able to establish a hidden base for the Sunspears in Sunspear Sanctuary in underground caverns right under Varesh's nose. From their newly established base of operations, they carry out a number of carefully planned tactical strikes against the Kournan military. First, they free Koss and a number of other sunspear prisoners, then, in the Venta Cemetery (mission), they succeed in evacuating all the prisoners and injured out of Kourna and back to Istan. Varesh sends her enforcer, General Bayel to investigate. The ruthless general asks that she sends The Hunger, a powerful demon, to aid him.
Upon returning to Kamadan, players explain to the leaders of Istan what took place in the battle in Gandara. The brave and wise leaders believe that they cannot leave Varesh unchecked and decide to continue the fight. However, they realize they are overmatched and decide to call upon the aid of Elona's third province which has been detached from these affairs up to this point, the rich merchant province of Vabbi.
The Road to Vabbi
Finding a passage to Vabbi is no easy task. The only known way is through the mighty Fortress of Jahai which is full to the brim with Kournan forces. Scouting around the fortress reveals a seemingly minor issue, the Kournans have been enslaving the local Centaur population in their land. Recently, they apprehended the leader of these Centaurs, Mirza Veldrunner.
This event plays to the benefit of the players as a local Centaur Zhed Shadowhoof, urged by a mysterious figure named the Master of Whispers, offers his aid to the players. The sunspears help Zhed free the captured Centaurs including the wise and proud leader, Mirza in the Kodonur Crossroads (mission). The Centaur aid would prove invaluable later on.
At this point, players must make a choice. The Master of Whispers and shady Corsair named Margrid the Sly offer to aid the players in two tasks that must be done immediately, and thus cannot both be done by a single party. The Master of Whispers offers to help them clear a secret passage into Vabbi and Margrid offers them a way to rescue Kormir from the Kournans.
Players who join the Master of Whispers have to undertake a test to show the Djinn named Dehjah that they are capable of the upcoming task. When they have proven themsleves worthy, Dehjah enlists their aid in defeating a powerful demon named the Drought which is lurking in the Waterworks of The Floodplain of Mahnkelon. The demon corrupts the land and the mighty river Elon itself.
In the Rilohn Refuge (mission), players storm the Waterworks and slay the powerful demon. In doing this, they also clear the secret passage to Vabbi which lies behind a secret door in the Waterworks.
Sleight of Hand
Players joining Margrid will discover that dealing with Margrid is always a form of business transaction. She would help them free Kormir, but only if they help her free her own sister, Shahai the Cunning, from the Kournans as well as help her seize a valuable item from the Kournan treasury.
In the Pogahn Passage (mission), player enter Gandara disguised as Kournan soldiers and are able to obtain the item and free Kormir and Margrid's sister. They flee to join their comrades making their way to Vabbi.
Another General, Another Excuse
The story rejoins in the Moddok Crevice (mission) where players make their way through Bahdok Caverns in an attempt to reach Vabbi. However, their path is known to The Hunger who guides General Bayel to set a trap for the party just before entering Vabbi. However, the players are able to defeat the vicious general and his demonic ally.
The death of Bayel is, once again, a grave act. Varesh informs the princes of Vabbi that she will be sending her troops into Vabbi to pursue the killers of her right-hand man. This however is, once again, an excuse for sending forces into Vabbi in preparation for starting her ritual to unleash her god. General Morgahn objects that the Kournan armies are spread too thin chasing Sunspears, fighting Corsairs and securing their own land, Varesh however seems to care very little. She summons the Margonites, dark servants of Abaddon, as powerful new allies in her army.
As the players make a push through Vabbi, they are introduced to Kehanni, a priestess of Lyssa who, at the behest of the Master of Whispers and guided by visions from her goddess, helps players gain admission into the Garden of Seborhin to attend the Festival of Lyss, the biggest event of the season in Vabbi which would guarantee them access to the Princes of Vabbi.
The Mighty, The Wise and The Magnificent
During the Tihark Orchard (mission), players attend the festival and participate in various activities to gain access to the Princes. When they finally speak to the princes, Ahmtur the Mighty, Mehtu the Wise and Bokka the Magnificent they fail to make their case. The princes believe that Varesh's forces are there to protect them. The party is soured by a small raid from Harpies at the end in which the players heroically drive them off. All is not lost, as Kehanni herself noted, the players did succeed in introducing themelves to the princes and this soon pays off.
An unknown playwright offering a play at Prince Bokka's theatre extends an invitation to the players after their heroics in the garden to attend his play. However this is a trap set by Kournans and an assassination attempt to get rid of both the Prince as well as the Sunspears (the players) who have been a thorn in Varesh's side.
This assassination attempt is an act of war and the Princes are now fully aware of Varesh's hostility. However, they choose to act in different ways and the players have to split once more to get all the princes on the same page.
Making a Mighty Statement
Prince Ahmtur the Mighty refuses to back down. A military man and a proud ruler, he decides to make a stand against the massive invasion of Kournan and Margonite Forces to the Citadel of Dzagon, the capital of his realm. In the Dzagonur Bastion (mission), the players who follow the Master of Whispers help the prince make his stand and send the Kournans and their Margonite generals reeling in a surprising defeat.
Finding the Hidden Princes
Prince Mehtu (a scholar) and Prince Bokka (an epicure) unfortunately fail to make similar stands. Instead, they opt to flee into the Hidden City of Ahdashim. An ancient and magical city protected by Djinn which serves as a sanctuary for the Princes of Vabbi. They sought to hide there from Varesh's invasion. Players who follow Margrid the Sly use her knowledge and skill to gain access to the city and reach the princes to implore them to come out of hiding and make a stand against Varesh. The two hidden princes, seeing that they are not as hidden as they thought, agree to come out of hiding and unite to fight Varesh.
Varesh's Last General No More
Prince Mehtu the Wise discerns the true intentions of Varesh. All her attacks were a diversion to clear the way for her true goal, to strike at the Sebelkeh Basilica in The Mirror of Lyss. The holiest site in all of Vabbi and perhaps all of Elona. The players rush to the temple but they are too late.
Varesh committed an atrocity, slaughtering all the priests and servants of the Basilica and summoning a powerful demon, The Blasphemy, to help turn the once holy place into a dark portal for Abaddon's minions.
The crime is not without a price. Varesh's last remaining (human) general, General Morgahn, leaves her side and joins the players. A worshipper of Lyssa and an acolyte of the very Basilica that Varesh crushed, Morgahn was too late to save the Basilica and his close friends there. But this crime helped open his eyes to Varesh's true nature, and he decides to aid the players stop Varesh. He provides them with insight as to her plans. She is headed into the Desolation to perform the final part of her dark ritual in the Mouth of Torment, the very spot where the Gods of Tyria struck down Abaddon so long ago and imprisoned him in the Realm of Torment.
In Pursuit of Varesh
The players have little time to find Varesh, already Nightfall is starting to occur all across Elona. Rifts and disruptions in the fabric of reality are happening every where. At this point players can either choose to follow a vision by Melonni in the Nundu Bay (mission) and defend the village of Ronjok against the Nightmare about to swallow it or they can follow Koss into the Jennur's Horde (mission) and help reclaim the Garden of Seborhin from the Nightmare hordes.
After this, a disruption happens in the Jahai Bluffs that consumes Kormir and throws her into the Realm of Torment, but at the same time, it frees Palawa Joko, the infamous undead lord who tried to invade Elona centuries ago, from his prison. While the Sunspears are saddened by Kormir's disappearance, the appearance of Palawa is a great opportunity, for if anyone knows how to cross the sulfurous lands of the Desolation, it would be him.
With the aid of the Centaurs, players are able to catch Palawa Joko before he goes too far. They learn from him how his armies of old used to traverse the desert unharmed by the sulfurous haze that kills any mortal that steps into it. In the Gate of Desolation (mission), the players are taught by Palawa Joko how to tame Queen Aijundu and thus gain the ability to ride inside the Junundu Wurms to traverse the Desolation.
The players use the Wurms to storm the Bone Palace and help Palawa reclaim his throne as well as break into the rear lines of Varesh's armies. Palawa then instructs the players on how to add powerful Siege abilities to their wurms which would enable them to crush the Horde of Darkness, the elite Margonite vanguard protecting Varesh as she tries to complete her ritual.
The players finally reach Varesh and in the Ruins of Morah (mission) face off with her to try and prevent her from completing that dark ritual. General Morgahn offers to aid them in battle and together they succeed in striking down Varesh.
Their victory is short-lived however, as the powers of the imprisoned god grow stronger every minute and the Realm of Torment begins to swallow the realm of humans, beginning with the spot where Abaddon was crushed, the Mouth of Torment. As soon as the players defeat Varesh, they are pulled through a dark Vortex into the Realm of Torment, the domain of a dark and powerful god.
Into the Heart of Darkness
As players venture in the Realm of Torment, they find Kormir. She reveals to them that any who were touched by Abaddon (or came in contact with his minions) will be pulled into this realm, not just the foul and the wicked. Not only that, but Abaddon has built alliances with the fallen god Dhuum and the malignant forces of Menzies. Kormir implores the players to try and find a way to stop Abaddon. Dunkoro disagrees. He does not think the battle should be fought in the Realm of Torment nor does he believe they can triumph over a deity.
His views quickly change when they encounter his son in the Realm of Torment. Having died a few years earlier, his son's spirit did not depart into The Underworld and the care of Grenth, but instead was sucked into the Torment because he was killed fighting Abaddon's minions in the Tomb of the Primeval Kings. Dunkoro becomes determined to free those imprisoned spirits and in the Gate of Pain (mission), the players are able to break the dam holding back the river of souls thereby setting them free and weakening Abaddon.
Determined to take the fight to Abaddon, the players believe they cannot simply fight Abaddon, they need aid from the five Gods of Tyria. They search the forsaken lands of the Realm of Torment until they come across the ruins of an ancient temple. The temple was for the six gods. It was the site where the Margonite first defaced the other five gods' statues to dedicate themselves to the worship of Abaddon.
To Slay a God
In the Gate of Madness (mission), the players delve deep into the unforgiving realm of the Depths of Madness to reach the temple. After fighting off hordes of Torment Demons, Shiro'ken, Titans and Margonites, the players face off against the Lich Lord (Undead Lich), the main villain of the Prophecies storyline, and Shiro Tagachi, the main villain of the Factions storyline, both allying themselves with Abaddon.
After overcoming all these insurmountable obstacles, the players and Kormir make a plea to the Gods in this ancient temple, asking them for aid in their struggle against Abaddon. The avatars of the gods appear to tell them that they have been watching and they give them their blessing. They also give Kormir a gift, which they tell her only a mortal can use. However, they decline to interfere in the upcoming battle insisting that the heroes have all the necessary gifts of the Gods in them.
Confused but determined, the players and Kormir assault the ancient and powerful god, Abaddon, in the Abaddon's Gate (mission). In the ensuing battle, the players would renew his bonds and then assault him in his weakened state until they are able to destroy him.
Once destroyed, his knowledge and power become unleashed, threatening to destroy the entire realm. At this point, Kormir recognizes what her gift is, and throws herself into all that knowledge and power, in essence, supplanting Abaddon and becoming the new Sixth God... Kormir, the Goddess of Truth and Knowledge.
The side quests in the Realm of Torment help shed some light and tie some loose ends with regards to certain story elements in Prophecies and Factions:
- The Charr invasion and The Searing were guided by the Titans. These demonic creatures were in league with Abaddon to destroy as much of Tyria as possible.
- Abaddon was also behind The Cataclysm, the event which brought about the end of Orr. Terick, a demonic agent of Abaddon, tricked Vizier Khilbron into using the forbidden magic and destroying the ancient city of Arah. This was the objective of Abaddon who wanted to see the old City of the Gods crushed.
- The Fortune Teller who manipulated Shiro Tagachi into murdering Emperor Angsiyan, the event which damned Shiro and brought about the Jade Wind and the destruction of much of Cantha, was also a demonic agent of Abaddon.
- The destruction of the Tomb of the Primeval Kings was caused by Abaddon's power beginning to boil over to the mortal world. This also caused the various Chaos Rifts that appeared in different parts of Tyria, Cantha and Elona such as the rifts that appeared during the Dragon Festival 2006.
The ending cinematic depicts the following.
- Koss and Melonni resuming their romantic affair in Kourna.
- Dunkoro, Tahlkora and Zhed Shadowhoof in Istan.
- General Morgahn training Sunspear recruits.
- People bowing before a statue of Kormir in Jahai Bluffs.
The Domain of Anguish
After the defeat of Abaddon, a very powerful Margonite named Mallyx the Unyielding rallies the remainder of the defeated god's forces and retreats to his Ebony Citadel in the Domain of Anguish deep in the Realm of Torment. The new god Kormir transports the players to the Gate of Anguish where they meet High Priest Zhellix, who tells the players they should not immediately storm Mallyx's citadel or they will be overrun by his armies. Instead, the players follow Zhellix's advice and first defeat Mallyx's four overlords: Lord Jadoth, The Fury, The Greater Darkness, and the Dreadspawn Maw, in their respective areas. Once these four are defeated, the players storm Mallyx's citadel itself with the help of High Priest Zhellix in The Ebony Citadel of Mallyx (mission) and defeat Mallyx himself.