WARNING: This article may contain SPOILERS
The Unseen Ones Revealed: A Cultural Paleoanthropolgical Survery of the Mursaat
An analysis of the historical roots and culture of the Mursaat by Quintus Antonious with support from the Guild Wars Paleoanthropological Society
Introduction: Saul D'Alessio, the White Mantle, and the Unseen Ones
Saul D'Alessio was a drunk, a thief and a gambler. Generally the kind of person we would refer to as a lowlife. One day, he could amassed a debt he could not pay. In order to pay it, he turned to robbing merchants on the road from Bettletun to Shaemoor on the Divinity Coast. Unfortunetly for Saul, one of his victims was able to reconize him and he was exiled from the Kingdom of Kryta. He was blindfolded and was taken three full weeks into the heart of the Maguuma Jungle, where they left him, alone with no hope of suvival.
Saul wandered the Jungle for four days, surviving only on what he could forage, which wasn't much. Finally, on the fourth day, a raving, starving, half mad Saul stumbled into a city. It was a miraculous site; the architecture of the city was like none he had ever seen before. Towers, reaching as far skyward as he could see, and made of some manner of shining material. The inhabitants of this wonderous place were human-like in appearance but floated effortlessly, trailed by small, feathery wings, and clothed in gold.
Surely these creatures were deities, gods! Saul bowed before them; he had found his gods, and they had found their most devouted disciple.
Saul returned from the Jungle a new man. Bathed, clean, and with full healthy features, he bore little resemblence to the dirty gambler and thief that had been exiled from Kryta, and he wore pure white robes, hemmed in gold. No longer did he wish to gamble or drink, he was a completely new person, and immediately he began to spread his message of hope and Unseen gods to the people of Kryta.
At the same time this was happening, a dark cloud was decending from the North: The Charr. Ascalon had fallen in a blaze of fire, and now the Charr were invading Kryta. It seemed that the weak monarchy of the Krytan Kingdom would quickly be swept aside, just as Ascalon. But it was not to be. Saul, who had been travelling around Kryta for the past year gathering followers, promised salvation from the furry demons with the help of his mysterious gods. His faith was powerful, and in a time of no hope, people flocked to his cause. Thus began the White Mantle, known for the white and gold robes worn by the most faithful of the order. In a glorious sweep, Saul led his followers against the Charr, driving them back to where they came, and ushering in a new era of prosperity for the people of Kryta. Unfortunetly, Saul was killed when a group of Charr surrounded the small group of warriors he was leading into the Charr homeland. He died a hero's death, and the White Mantle lived on, worshipping the Unseen Ones who lead them to victory, and ruling Kryta in Saul's memory.
I: The Mursaat-What We Know
Through the course of the Flameseeker Prophecies, we are introduced to the Mursaat, who turn out to be the true creatures behind the Unseen Ones of the White Mantle.
What we know about the Mursaat is limited, but there are a few key facts that we find in the game.
1) They are the Unseen Ones, the gods of the White Mantle
2) They were first encountered by Saul D'alessio in the Maguuma Jungle
3) They have a city somewhere in the Maguuma Jungle
4) They are the keepers of the Door of Komalie and fear the completion of the Flameseeker Prophecies
5) They are the enemies of both the Titans and the Seers
6) The Charr burn effigies of them, possibly thinking them on of their 'Fire Gods'
7) A symbol of the Mursaat is the Eye of Janthir
8) They use the Eye of Janthir in order to determine the identities of the Chosen and then sacafice these Chosen on the Bloodstones in order to keep the soul batteries charged to keep the Door of Komalie closed
II: The Eye of Janthir
A symbol of the Unseen Ones was the powerful artifact known as the Eye of Janthir. No one really knows where this artifact came from, only that it was "given" to the White Mantle by their Unseen gods and is also a symbol of the Mursaat.
The Eye resides at the Divinity Coast town of Shaemoor, and is used to determine who the Chosen are. It is said that the eye can "see" the true magical potential in a person.
We find the Eye of Janthir represented in many places throughout the White Mantle as it is a key symbol in their religious dogma. We can surmise that this is because it is also an important symbol to their gods, the Unseen Ones, who are later revealed to be the Mursaat.
In the above image, we see the Eye of Janthir engraved on various stones and architectures in the town of Shaemoor where the Eye is located. Because the Eye is central in both the religion of the White Mantle and the purpose of the Mursaat (to keep the Door of Komalie closed) it becomes a pivitol symbol in the cultures of both people. In other words, where we find the Eye, we will either find the Mursaat, or the White Mantle.
III: The Temple of Balthazar in the Maguuma Jungle
The Temple of Balthazar in the the Maguuma Jungle is a place few have seen. It is deep enough in the Jungle region and well protected by hordes of creatures that few take the time and trouble to travel to it.
Recently, I accompanied field researcher and skilled explorer Malhavoc Adhamar into the Jungle on an expedition into the Jungle. I asked Malhavoc to assist me in an attempt to locate the City of the Unseen, the mythical location where Saul D'alessio first discovered the Mursaat, and subsquently lead to the founding of the White Mantle. What makes this city more than a myth is the fact that Saul somehow survived his exile in the Jungle, coming back in better shape than he left, and with clothing no one had ever seen before. Also, the apparence of the Mursaat later in the game confirms that the City must exist. Thus, I found myself accompaning possibly the best explorer I have ever met into the heart of the Jungle.
He led me down to an area I had only heard of, but never had the opportunity to see, the Temple of Balthazar. Intially, it was just a tourist stop before we went deeper into the Jungle in search of the City, however, what we found there amazed us.
The Eye of Janthir, in the Temple! Here we see depictions of the Eye engraved, quite literally, everywhere on the Temple. It's also interesting to note that the carving at the very crest of the Temple bears a striking resemblence to a Mursaat.
As this diagram shows, there are undeniable comparisons between the Eye of Janthir and cooresponding engravings at Shaemoor, and the depictions found in the Jungle. There can be no doubt, this is the Eye of Janthir.
Beyond the obvious engravings, the material that the Temple is constructed from has a highly polished sheen that luminested. This is very similar to the Jade Armors/Bows and the Mursaat structures found in the Ring of Fire.
Furthermore, the architectural design of the temple has strong comparisons to the design of the armor and robes worn by the White Mantle. If Saul D'Alessio found a city constructed in this manner with this type of architecture, it can be surmised that he mimicked, or was directed to mimic, this style to please the Unseen Ones.
In this diagram, I have marked the comparisons between the engraving pattern and styles to the engravings of the armor and robes worn by the White Mantle, as well as the design in which both are constructed. In addition to this, the engraving on the peak of the Temple is nearly identical to the engravings worn by the various Mantle armors.
Although I was not able to locate the City of the Unseen during this expedition, I have come to the conclusion, based on the previously presented evidence, that the Mursaat, or the people who would one day become the Mursaat, built this Temple in the Maguuma Jungle sometime in the past.