Warning: The following text contains spoilers relating to the plot of Prophecies.
The Searing is the name given to the event during which giant, burning crystals brought about by powerful Charr magic landed on the once beautiful land of Ascalon and turned it to red dust and rock. Once the embers settled the Charr were able to overcome the Great Northern Wall and march through Ascalon, Kryta and Orr. The ramifications of The Searing and the following invasion forever changed these three kingdoms:
- In Ascalon the searing broke a once proud kingdom, leaving it an empty husk of its former self and close to collapse. The armies of the Charr marched through Ascalon territory believing that what resistance remained would be easily overcome. Yet those that remained would not yield to the invaders from the North. Two years after the Searing, Ascalon's lands south of the Wall still hold out against the Charr and ruler, King Adelbern, still believes they can survive, though few share his optimism.
- In Orr, news of the Searing meant that whispers of a threat from the North were suddenly very real. The Orrians were taken by surprise. Expecting their armies to score victories they fell into disarray when, upon encountering Charr forces, they were defeated. The invaders continued their indefatigable march towards Arah. In desperation, Vizier Khilbron, adviser to the king, invoked a forbidden spell that not only destroyed the invaders, but the entire kingdom as well.
- In Kryta, the Charr also had early success, but from the midst of defeat, Saul D'Alessio rose to rally the Krytans and was able to lead his people to victory aided by belief in new gods he called the Unseen Ones. He founded the White Mantle to replace the old royal family of Kryta and they have been in power since.
Note: The cinematic for "The Searing" once contained fireballs raining from the sky rather than crystals, though the crystals were still found all over post-searing ascalon. This sparked confusion and was later changed to showing blue fire summoning the crystals (rather than the previous orange) and showed the actual crystals raining from the sky. Some things are still uncoordinated with this, such as when Erol from the Ruins of Surmia mission says, "...when the sky rained fire and destroyed Ascalon." He fails to mention crystals at all, though this may just be for the sake of the dialogue.
Two of the missions in the Guild Wars Bonus Mission Pack cover this event; one in Ascalon, showing what happens to Gwen, and one in Kryta, showing how the White Mantle is formed due to the resulting Charr invasion.