Real Life Lore: Tyrian Settlement Through 12th Century Eyes

As a medievalist I read a lot of books which form the basis of fantasy worlds like Tyria: Arthurian romances, tales of chivalry and myths of exquisite beasts which have been told and retold for centuries and have become embedded in our culture. In the present day, people draw upon these legends for inspiration, be it for books, films or videogames, and the world of Guild Wars is no exception.

What I’d like to do today is begin to look at possible sources of inspiration for Tyrian lore, beginning with the pre-history of the world, and what the game creators may have drawn upon in the birth of Tyria.

A brief gloss of Tyrian pre-history is possible through archaeological evidence in-game, however there are little surviving texts from that period which makes it difficult to have a true understanding of the events of that time. The Giganticus Lupicus, or true giants, are believed to have walked Tyria before 10,000 BE (before the Exodus of the Gods), when they went extinct at the hands of the Elder Dragons. They can be seen as the ‘true inhabitants’ of Tyrian land, having been the original occupants. Far later, around 786 BE, the Six Gods settled in Tyria and brought humanity to the world, who pushed from Orr into Kryta and Ascalon.

A similar situation is recorded in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae (published c. 1136), which tells the tale of the original settlers of the British Isles, their battles and struggles, and the stories of the kings who ruled, including Arthur. Brutus, who is exiled from Greece for the accidental murder of his parents, sets sail with the Trojans for a new land free from persecution and attack. In his hunt, he comes across a Goddess in a dream, who tells him the following:

 “There is an island […] once inhabited by giants,

But now it is deserted, ready to receive your people.

There kings shall arise from your line, and unto them

Shall all the lands of the Earth be subject.”

 

If we look at what this passage says, we can clearly see the parallel between the message from the Goddess, and the assumed message from the Six Gods of Tyria: humans go to a land which was once dominated by giants but is now empty (in Tyria, this is due to the rampage of the Elder Dragons, from which the land is still recovering), and are sent to rule. The humans in Tyria’s eldest age, with the assistance of the Gods, assume power over three kingdoms, and conquer the natives in those areas, such as the Charr in Ascalon.

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TalkTyria Guild Wars 2 Video Bonanza!

It doesn’t need to be said that since the first Guild Wars 2 beta weekend event, the floodgates, as they say, have been opened. And by opened, I mean busted down with a swelling tidal wave of chatter, media, rants, and raves. But most of all, media. In the lull between events, fans are eagerly devouring everything the ‘net has to offer to ease the pain (I know I am).

Our lovely resident videographer, LoremasterKaae (you may have heard of this fine lass before) was hard at work filming and editing some of her adventures over the weekend.

Thanks to her efforts, we’ve (finally) got some fun videos on our youtube channel. I thought I’d point out a few of my personal favorites for you guys to take a look at, if you haven’t already:

Guild Wars 2 Crafting – Leatherworking
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Logan Thackeray: brother, rebel, guardian, human, legend.

Spoiler Warning: This article contains significant spoilers for Edge of Destiny, and minor spoilers for Ghosts of Ascalon. 

Writing about Logan is like writing about two or three different personalities that evolve during a story following what seems to be the engine that runs Logan’s life: his emotions.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Logan Thackeray, descendent of Gwen & Keiran Thackeray, is, first of all, a little brother. And like every little brother in the world (Tyria included) he looks up to his older one in awe. Dylan Thackeray sure is a good role-model: a strong fighter, passionate about his kingdom, and sure about his place. He is a Seraph, and we may very well say he is The Seraph. Dylan is the stereotype of the soldier, his strongest desire being only to protect his queen and fight for her as her champion, something he never had the chance to do. Because of that, he has his first reason for annoyance towards Logan when he becomes Jennah’s champion. Being the younger brother of someone that seems so perfect and sure about his way is just too much for young Logan, who at first chooses to play the role of the rebel. Instead of joining the ranks of the Seraph (where Dylan always thought his true place was) he becomes a mere scout-for-hire who works for caravans near Ebonhawk, almost a mercenary in the eyes of Dylan who always looks down on him, denying Logan that big brother relationship he always looked for, and that he will finally find with Rytlock.

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