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This Storyline article is a recount of the story of the first chapter of Guild Wars released in April 2005. Becoming familiar with key dates in the history of Tyria will help make certain events in this story clearer.
The story in Chapter One closely follows the players. In one way it is the story of the players, yet in another way, it uses the players to unlock monumental events in the overall history of the game. In this summary, events will link to their own articles and will only be "re-explained" here as much as needed to enhance readability.
Players begin the game as recruits in the Ascalon Academy. The nation of Ascalon has just come out from the Guild Wars and seems to be returning to its never-ending struggle against its savage neighbors to the north, the Charr. This area is a tutorial area that allows players to get used to the game. Following a short mission, the actual events of the story begin to unfold.
A Kingdom in Despair
The Kingdom of Ascalon
A terrible magical event conjured by the Charr, called "the Searing," kicks off the actual story of the game. The Searing rains fire and giant crystals on the beautiful land of Ascalon turning it into a desolate, shattered wasteland. King Adelbern of Ascalon believes his kingdom can still withstand the Charr with the help of the Great Northern Wall, while his son Prince Rurik disagrees and believes Ascalonians should take the initiative and take the fight to the Charr.
The king's estimates are soon proven false as players discover in the Great Northern Wall mission that the Charr are amassing a great army to overtake Ascalon. The forces of Ascalon are thrown into chaos at the sight of the approaching forces and a hasty retreat to Fort Ranik is needed. There, with the aid of the players, the assaulting Charr forces are pushed back.
During their retreat, the Charr take many prisoners and Prince Rurik, determined to teach them a lesson, decides to free those captives. In the Ruins of Surmia mission, he frees many such prisoners with the aid of the players. While fleeing the Charr, the Prince finds the mouthpiece of the legendary horn Stormcaller.
Rushing back to the Nolani Academy, the Prince and the players are distraught by the sight of an invading Charr army burning and ransacking the ruins of the great city Rin. With the help of Stormcaller's magic, the players are able to stop the onslaught and save the city.
This victory is shortlived, however, as it is followed by a confrontation between the Prince and his father. Prince Rurik begs his father to accept an offer from Kryta for shelter, having seen the abilities of the Charr first hand, he is convinced that Ascalons need to pull back and regroup. His father refuses any cooperation with Krytans, and after a heated argument, the king banishes his son from the land.
The Long Journey Across
The Northern Shiverpeak Mountains
Prince Rurik decides to leave Ascalon and head for Kryta and a new home free of the Charr. He is joined by the players as well as many Ascalonians who believe in their prince. The journey to Kryta, however, would not be an easy one. For between the two nations lies a great mountain range known as the Shiverpeak Mountains.
The Shiverpeaks are home to the Dwarves, and the players arrive at the most inopportune time. The fleeing Ascalons become embroiled in a civil war between the Deldrimor Dwarves and a new faction called the Stone Summit. Unlike the hospitable and traditional Deldrimor Dwarves, the xenophobic Stone Summit seek to drive all strangers out of the mountains and believe they are superior to all other races.
This does not bode well for the Ascalon refugees attempting to navigate the passes, as the Stone Summit try to prevent them from doing so at all costs. Throughout the Borlis Pass and the Frost Gate missions, players make their way through legions of Stone Summit to clear the path for the refugees. This is not without a price as the brave Prince Rurik, nearing the end of the Frost Gate, is caught in an avalanche, and meets his demise at the hands of Dagnar Stonepate, leaving the Ascalons to face an uncertain future in Kryta.
A New Home, a New Challenge
The Kingdom of Kryta
Arrival at Kryta offers little rest for the players as they discover that the land of Kryta is beset by the plague of an undead legion led by a figure known as the Lich Lord. After helping the White Mantle (the order that rules Kryta) repel another wave of undead in the Gates of Kryta mission, the Mantle extend a welcome to the Ascalons offering them a settlement north of their capital Lion's Arch. While at Lion's Arch, Mhenlo receives a request for assistance from Master Togo in Cantha. Mhenlo asks some of the players to make a detour into Cantha to help him in the Factions Campaign. Thereafter, the players begin helping the White Mantle in their battle against the undead.
While assisting in one of those expeditions, the players end up saving Confessor Dorian, the leader of the White Mantle, from an undead mob in the D'Alessio Seaboard mission. In that mission, they also help him secure the Scepter of Orr, an artifact of great power, from the undead who also seek it.
As a reward, the players are enrolled into the White Mantle and given the honor of administering the Test of the Eye and finding the Chosen among the people in the Divinity Coast mission. The Chosen (people deemed by the Eye of Janthir to have great talent/power) are selected by the Eye each year and lead away by the White Mantle to presumably study and become great scholars. After the players administer the test and lead the Chosen to their destination, they are surprised to find out that the Chosen have been kidnapped by a small rebel group known as the Shining Blade that opposes the White Mantle.
The Hunter Becomes the Hunted
The Maguuma Jungle
The White Mantle ask the players to go into the Maguuma Jungle and find where those Chosen were taken, bring them back, and inflict justice upon the Shining Blade. In the Wilds mission, players are able to discover how the Shining Blade traverse the Jungle. They are able to catch up to the group that kidnapped the Chosen. Upon confronting them, the players discover that the Shining Blade kidnapped them to supposedly save them from the White Mantle.
The players then embark upon the Bloodstone Fen mission to find out what exactly the White Mantle do to the Chosen. At the end of that mission, players discover that the White Mantle kill the Chosen in cold blood to serve their masters, the Unseen Ones. Along with discovering this, the players also confront and kill a prominent White Mantle leader, Justiciar Hablion.
With the death of Hablion and the exposition of their true identity, the White Mantle go on a rampage to destroy the Shining Blade and the players who are now seen as traitors. Furthermore, there seems to be an agent within the Blade betraying critical secrets to the Mantle. The Shining Blade leader Evennia is able to find a magical portal to open the ancient Henge of Denravi and asks the players to activate this portal in the Aurora Glade mission. The Shining Blade desire to use this fortified location to make a stand and wage war against the White Mantle.
Emboldened by their new base, the Shining Blade seek to enlist allies in their fight against the White Mantle, including Vizier Khilbron. In exchange for his aid, the Vizier asks Evennia to acquire the Scepter of Orr from the Mantle, which the players do in the Riverside Province mission. Unfortunately, while delivering the scepter to the Vizier in the Sanctum Cay mission, the players discover that the Shining Blade were indeed betrayed by one of their inner council members, Markis. They succeed in delivering the Scepter to the Vizier and fleeing with him, but the Shining Blade are scattered and the White Mantle capture Evennia.
The Crystal Desert
Vizier Khilbron suggests that players head to the Crystal Desert to try and achieve the feat of Ascension (gaining the attention and blessings of the Gods of Tyria). Only through Ascension, the Vizier believes, will players be strong enough to face the White Mantle's masters and true source of power, the Unseen Ones.
The Desert is a pause in the story as players no longer interact with Ascalons or Krytans, but with ghosts of long forgotten nations. The ghost of Turai Ossa guides the players through the Ascension process which takes them through three missions:
- In Elona Reach, the players gather the Vision Crystal to focus the gaze of the Gods on themselves.
- In the Dunes of Despair, players help Turai Ossa to take over the Throne of Pellentia and to regain control of the Temple of Ascension.
- In Thirsty River, players defeat six teams of Forgotten (the serpent-like inhabitants of the desert) to prove themselves worthy.
After completing these tasks and passing the final test of facing the Doppelganger, players are brought to the Dragon's Lair for an audience with the dragon prophet Glint. There they face multiple challenges in the form of various facets before finally gaining an audience with the prophet herself. Glint tells the players about the Flameseeker Prophecies which describe the events that had unfolded in the world of Tyria thus far. She also informs them about the treachery of Markis, and about the true identity of the Unseen Ones. They are a powerful race of spellcasters known as the Mursaat. She sends them to the Southern Shiverpeaks to face the White Mantle and rescue what remains of the broken Shining Blade.
The Confrontation Resumed
The Southern Shiverpeak Mountains
Players arrive at the Southern Shiverpeaks to find the remains of the Shining Blade fleeing into the mountains to escape the wrath of the White Mantle. The Mursaat have come out of hiding and are helping the Mantle in their fight, and all the major forces in the mountains (the Deldrimor Dwarves and the Stone Summit) are reeling before their advance. Players must work with the Deldrimor Dwarves to save the Shining Blade and put an end to the White Mantle's rampage.
Players first rescue Evennia from the grasp of the White Mantle during the Ice Caves of Sorrow mission. They also discover that the Mursaat possess a devastating ability known as Spectral Agony against which the players have no defense. Evennia and the dwarves instruct players to seek out an ancient creature known as the Seer, who might know of a way to counter this powerful ability. The players are able to get to the Seer in the Iron Mines of Moladune mission and with the help of infusion, are able to face the Mursaat and kill Markis for his treachery.
This is yet another short-lived victory. The presence of yet more non-dwarves in the Shiverpeaks arouses the Stone Summit ire, and the players find out that the capital of the Deldrimor Dwarves, Thunderhead Keep, has fallen to the Summit. In that mission, the players, along with King Jalis Ironhammer, the king of the dwarves, are able to drive off the Stone Summit invaders, kill the Stone Summit leader Dagnar Stonepate and then make a stand against the Mursaat invaders. They slay Confessor Dorian and send the White Mantle forces reeling.
The Vizier re-appears to tell the players that the fight is not over yet. They must now travel to the Ring of Fire Islands to take the fight to the Mursaat and unleash the only weapon that can destroy them.
A Final Treachery and a Final Stand
The Ring of Fire Islands
Upon arriving at the islands, the players discover that the Mursaat have gone to great lengths to prevent anyone from approaching the Door of Komalie, the location of the secret weapon rumored to be powerful enough to destroy the Mursaat.
With the help of the dwarves, players are able to make it past the initial defenses of the Mursaat in the Ring of Fire mission and on to the base of the great volcano, Abaddon's Mouth. In that mission, players are finally able to get to the Door of Komalie and break the seals around it to unlock it. They are surprised, however, to learn that they were betrayed.
The door unleashes terrible creatures known as the Titans. With the help of the Scepter of Orr, Vizier Khilbron, who is revealed to be the evil Lich Lord, is able to control these creatures. He used the players to gain access to the Scepter and to the Titans. With the Mursaat defeated and the Titans under his command, the Lich Lord hopes to rule all of Tyria.
In the Hell's Precipice mission, players put a stop to the Lich Lord's plans and are able to once again close the Door of Komalie and bring an end to the Vizier's treachery.
According to Glint, the Hell's Precipice mission takes place "long into the Season of the Scion".
Vision of Glint
Free of the Lich Lord's control, the Titans seek to crush the centers of human civilization. They mobilize massive armies against the major cities in Tyria.
Aided by a vision of Glint that the players receive at her shrine in Droknar's Forge, the players embark on a series of quests to rid Tyria of the Titans. They begin by staving off a pressing Titan assault on Droknar's Forge. They then help fend off assaults on Ascalon, Kryta, and the Maguuma Jungle.
With a little luck and plenty of skill, they are victorious and the Titan armies are decimated. Glint advises the players to seek this opportunity to strike at the center of the Titan high command, which lies deep in the Charr-held lands north of Ascalon. The journey is long but eventually the players carve a path through the Charr forces and reach the Titan Source, whereupon they defeat the three Titan lords and free Tyria of the Titan menace.
The aftermath of the Prophecies campaign is detailed in the backstory of Eye of the North, see Storyline (Eye of the North) for details.
Despite the victories at the end, there are some unanswered and unsettling questions:
- Will the royal family and the Lionguard regain their power in Kryta from the broken White Mantle?
- With the fall of the Lich Lord, what is the fate of the Undead Army, and will future Tyrians venture to Orr and Arah to learn more of the Tyrian nation's fate?
- Will the Deldrimor Dwarves re-establish their hold on the Shiverpeak mountains?
- Will the Shining Blade populate the Maguuma Jungle with the rebuilding of the Henge of Denravi?
- Did the Titans scourge the Mursaat from Tyria, or will the enigmatic race pose future problems for the continent?
- What will become of the heroes' relationship with Glint?
- What happened to the Scepter of Orr?