THE UNSEEN ONES: A FACTUAL AND SPECULATIVE STUDY OF THE MURSAAT
The real test of a Believer is his range of sight
Faith does not require clear vision
But rather an acceptance of what is truly there
-- Oath of the Unseen
The following will be a summary of both fact and fiction. It will entail most of what we, the player, encounter about the Mursaat in-game, as well as theories and hypotheses based upon these facts, most of which are my own. As such, I would invite you to continue reading with a broad and open mind, and with respect to the beliefs of others. Lore allows us to expand our mind and venture on beyond what is presented as fact, and to move freely in a rich and powerful world. It is through such methods that we come to new and different ways of understanding.
“There are two types of humans in Kryta: those who worship the mysterious Unseen Ones and those who do not.” – The Guild Wars Manuscripts
Since the inception of Guild Wars, no race has ever captured the imagination and fascination of its players like the Mursaat have. Countless of threads on a multitude of forums have been dedicated to trying to understand who or what these creatures are, where they come from and why they do what they do. To me, their popularity can be attributed to their mysterious nature, awesome power, ambiguous motives and impressive appearance. In this summary, I shall touch a diverse number of topics, ranging from established facts to recent discoveries, as well as plausible and obscure theories. The intent of this writing is simple: to give an insight into my visions on some aspects regarding the Mursaat, but above all, to further increase the reverence that this awesome race so very much deserves. I hope you will enjoy.
The Mursaat are a race of humanoid spellcasters. They wear golden robes and golden armor, and hover above the ground. The Mursaat, as a species, are solely spellcasters. Being part of the original campaign, they consist of necromancers, elementalists, monks and mesmers.
Note: for those of you interested, Quintus Antonius began an effort some time ago to translate the Greek/Anglo-Saxon names of these bosses. For more on this, I refer to his work:
III. The Divine Caretakers
"Won't be long now. The Divine Caretakers have prepared for the coming of the undead." – White Mantle Seeker
The Mursaat are worshipped by the White Mantle as gods. The Mursaat think of themselves as gods. But in what capacity are they truly divine? What exactly makes a god?
In a way, the Mursaat can indeed be thought of as divine creatures, at least to some degree. They are creatures that have lived for a very long time, since the time of the writing of the tome of the Rubicon, and have had a profound influence on the history of Tyria. Much like the Old Gods, the Mursaat can bestow upon their followers the gift of magic, albeit a very specific kind of magic. This fact can be witnessed when Saul is given the powerful gift of ‘spectral agony’.
"To you, we give our greatest blessing. Wield it with care, for its effects are devastating." – Optimus Caliph
The Mursaat are worshipped by their followers as divine creatures. The White Mantle propagate very clearly the idea that their Unseen Masters are indeed beings of the divine, with knowledge and power beyond that of a mere mortal. In addition, the Mursaat can, in a way, create life by animating pieces of jade into self-thinking, autonomous creatures with devastating power. However, not all jade constructs seem to be the result of being directly animated by the Mursaat. The following takes place when the player is about to confront Markis. The jade construct brakes free from the jade tower seemingly by itself:
But, this issue is rendered irrelevant when considering that in both cases, the Mursaat would be responsible for the creation of the jade construct. Therefore, neither alternative diminishes the capability of the Mursaat of creating ‘life’, insofar that sentient jade animations can be considered as such.
Now, back to the question of the divine. I think, above all, the fact that the Mursaat are among the most powerful beings in all of Tyria, strengthens their claim of being divine the most. But does all of this truly make them divine?
"We thought them gods. I think they thought themselves divine as well, until the Titans nearly wiped them out.” – Justiciar Naveed
The Mursaat are anything but. The White Mantle believed they were. The Mursaat may have believed it themselves. But they were not. It is interesting to delve into the hearts and minds of the Mursaat, to try and understand their deep-rooted desire to become gods, or at least to be perceived as such. This, sadly, would require more information on their background and origin.
IV. The Golden Birds
“A host of gleaming angels...no not angels but birds...carrion birds...bright and terrible as the sun.” – Dark Oak
"Over the bones of the bird of prey, the fire is put out.” – Vision of Glint
The Mursaat are in many ways related to birds. Birds of prey, to be more precise. Why this is, is as of yet a mystery. But there must be a specific reason for this connection. What this reason is, will hopefully be revealed to us in the near future.
Now, imagine in your mind, a Mursaat. Talons on their hands. Claws on their feet. Long, black feathers protruding from their backs. Narrow, beak-like masks. Hovering above the ground, so as to emulate flight. Bird-like shrills when crying in agony. The Mursaat are living compositions of bird-like features. This, along with references like ‘carrion birds’ and ‘birds of prey’, makes for an intriguing connection.
Again, we have yet to learn why.
V. Rata Sum
There is no evidence that Rata Sum is a Mursaat city. There are however, clues. So let us broaden our minds, and let us once again review the possibility that the story of Rata Sum has not yet been told entirely.
How could Rata Sum be connected to the Mursaat? How does even the faintest of links exist between this golden city and this mysterious race of spellcasters? Here are some facts as well as suggestive clues.
The most obvious and most frequently used reason for this alleged connection is the famous anagram. Rata Sum does indeed spell out Mursaat. Coincidence? Or the developers leaving us a breadcrumb?
The Asura did not build Rata Sum in its entirety. When the Great Destroyer drove the Asura from their homes in the Depths of Tyria 250 years ago, they arrived at the ruins of some previous civilization, setting up geomystical generators for power within these already fortified confines and establishing the area as their new capital. The aesthetic sensibilities of these ruins are reflected in modern asuran architecture. Originally, Rata Sum was a hastily erected outpost protected by ruins. The picture posted below shows what is talked about.
You can separate in that pictures the ‘hastily erected outpost’, wooden huts and such, as well as the ‘ruins protecting the outpost’. It is an undisputable fact that the majority of Rata Sum is not Asura-made, but are remnants of a previous and unknown civilization. Another thing to consider is this. Whether or not Rata Sum was built by the Asura, perhaps the very reason they chose to settle there, was the potential offered by that area. Perhaps this is the same reason why the previous civilization chose to settle at that exact location. Perhaps there’s some sort of power attributed to the area. What exactly are the so-called ‘geomystic’ generators? Are they generators that extract or channel energy from the earth, the source of which is unknown? What exactly is the power of the Asura? What is the source of power of the Mursaat, for that matter. I present a vague clue to ponder:
I shall move on.
The story of Saul gives us an interesting description of the mysterious Mursaat city. I quote the following:
“On the fourth day, Saul emerged from among the trees to see what he thought was a hallucination – a city of massive towers reaching into the heavens. It was a sight to behold, alabaster and golden filigree.” – The Guild Wars Manuscripts
Alabaster and golden filigree. I does not take you long, nor does it require any stretch of the imagination, to find both in Rata Sum:
Interestingly, even though it has never been specified which ‘dense forest’ Saul found himself in, there is a suggestion. Close to Rata Sum is an outpost called ‘the Tarnished Haven’. The following description about this place is given to us:
“Founded by exiles from Kryta, this settlement is a common destination for political refugees. Those who find themselves "on the outs" with the current ruling faction in Lion's Arch come here to hide from the political upheaval rampant within the Krytan state. As a result, the haven's inhabitants are a combination of expatriates, agents, spies, and refugees.” – In-game Description
Founded by exiles from Kryta. Next, I offer the following quote about Saul’s punishment:
"Though he successfully paid his debt to the Lucky Horseshoe, he was eventually fingered by one of his victims and tried as a thief. His punishment was exile from the Kingdom of Kryta.” – The Guild Wars Manuscripts
Exile from the Kingdom of Kryta. The Tarnished Haven was founded by the exiles of Kryta. Consider also, why would they ride out with Saul precisely 3 weeks? This would suggest that Kryta had a very specific process of executing their punishment. In other words, they would bring exiles to a very specific place before letting them fend for themselves. It is exactly because of this, that the Tarnished Haven came into existence. If a great number of spies, traitors and thieves were brought to that area over the course of years, it would explain the creation of a small village in that area designed specifically to harbor fugitives and exiles. If Saul was exiled from Kryta, he would most likely have been brought to this area. Then, wandering through these forests, Saul stumbled upon the city north of that area, Rata Sum. Again, merely a hypothesis.
One should also consider the White Mantle presence near Rata Sum. Not merely justiciar Naveed, but the White Mantle guarding the so called ‘Grimoire Arcanum’, a mysterious book containing instructions on how to deal with certain Mursaat magic. Why can we find this book within this region?
Yet another clue comes from Old Joness. This clue is old and much has been speculated about it, but I quote again:
"Its real name is Ullen River, but those of us who know it best never call it that. It's the Dark River to us. Dark as in absence of light, yes but that's only part of it. A shadow lies over that region, and it is cast by something...unseen, I suppose you could say." – Old Joness
A shadow lies over that region, and it is cast by something… unseen. The reference to the “unseen” speaks for itself. One should note, also, that the Ullen river borders the region in which Rata Sum is located. In addition, the Great River near Rata Sum may very well be connected to the Ullen river, as it seems to flow in that direction. This, however, can’t be verified due to in-game restrictions.
And finally, in closing, the presence of Lazarus the Dire. One could make the argument that Lazarus is within that region because Justiciar Naveed, and therefore the aspect of Lazarus, is there. I shall offer no rebuttal on this. However, if I may offer a different approach on this, it is interesting to remember that at the time of EoTN, most of the Mursaat had been wiped out. Now, if most of your brethren were being slaughtered, and your very existence were threatened, where would you most likely retreat to? Just something to think about.
VI. The Mursaat & White Mantle Hierarchy
It has long been believed that Optimus Caliph was the supreme leader of the Mursaat. This is, however, not the case. As far as direct evidence goes, the leaders of the Mursaat are Talios the Resplendent and Ambrillus the Guardian.
"That's them! Talios and his pet physician. The Mursaat leaders.” – Dinas
In the event that even the claims of in-game characters are a matter of dispute, one should remember that Dinas was, at one point, deep within the White Mantle ranks. His claim therefore has much credibility. I shall say one last thing about Optimus. Even his name, which in the past had been the prime reason for people thinking he was the Mursaat leader, does not arrogate to him that position. His name literally translates as, “highest representative”. Not leader, but representative. And that, I think, he absolutely was.
Based on what we know now, I would construct the Mursaat and White Mantle hierarchy as the following:
Note: only time will tell, but I would make the case that Janthir is some form of deistic entity worshipped by and perhaps even leading the Mursaat. This, at this point, cannot be verified however.
One should also note the reformation of the White Mantle that took place after the events of Prophecies when considering their hierarchy.
VII. Motives of the Unseen Ones
The Mursaat are introduced to us as the so called ‘gods’ of the White Mantle. But, venturing further into the story, we become quickly aware of the gruesome fact that the Mursaat are guardians of the Door of Komalie, and require many souls in fulfilling this task. This very fact is, I think, the essence of trying to understand the motives of the Mursaat. All of this begins with the Flameseeker Prophecies.
The Flameseeker Prophecies are a collection of proclamations foreseen by the dragon Glint in 272 AE. They are predictions concerning the future of Tyria and the survival of humans in the face of great and terrible events that would engulf their world. These predictions not only concerned the fate of humans, but also that of the Mursaat. It was prophesied by Glint that the Mursaat would meet their demise at the hands of the Chosen. Consequently, for years the Mursaat and their Mantle counterparts hunted down and killed the Chosed to prevent the prophecy from coming to pass.
Who are the Chosen? To understand this, we must first understand who wé are. We, the players, were the Chosen that completed the prophecy; we were the ones to slay the birds of prey. What does Glint say about us?
“You have Ascended and awakened the gift of True Sight that lay dormant within you.” – Glint
The Mursaat master the art of concealment. They have quite literally become the ‘un-seen’. After we ascend, we become very aware of the fact that the Mursaat are numerous, and present in many places. Our ‘gift of True Sight’ has awakened, and the ‘unseen’ now become very much ‘seen’. The gift of True Sight is therefore something to be feared. When awakened, it allows the bearer to negate the effects of their concealment. Consequently, the Mursaat constructed the brilliant ruse that those in possession of this unique aptitude, would be granted the honor of studying within the Temple of the Unseen with the Grand Masters. Weapons, artifacts and knowledge would be theirs. Only, this lie, in the form of the yearly Test of the Chosen, would lead each and every one of them straight to the Maguuma Bloodstone, where their blood would paint the stone’s surface and their souls be sucked into soul batteries. It is this ironically named ‘gift’ that is the greatest curse of the Krytan people. The presence of this magical aptitude, even in its dormant state, will condemn every Krytan who posseses it to an eventual death atop the Bloodstone.
An interesting question is the following: how did the Mursaat become aware of the Flameseeker Prophecies? To our knowledge, no living creature in Tyria is aware of this prophecy, except for the Mursaat, the Lich, the Ghostly Hero, Glint herself, perhaps the Forgotten and to some extent Meerak. There are four possibilities: either they learned it from Glint, or the Lich, or the Ghostly Hero, or in some other way. No evidence can be found for any of them, but I would like to note the following. In the event that they learned it from Glint, there is one obvious way in how they could have achieved it: ascension. This is a possible, albeit strange, hypothesis.
“Only those who Ascend will find the portal that takes them to her." – Ghostly Hero
If the Mursaat would have learned it from Glint, it would have required ascension. I will not elaborate on the age-old theory of the ascension of the Mursaat. For this, I quote from the work of Quintus Antonius:
The conclusion, however, I shall repeat: it is a plausible, and some might say likely, theory. On a sidenote: the Mursaat have the ability to conceal themselves from others. Only those with the gift of True Sight awakened, can see them. It would seem to me that the Mursaat would first have to ascend, to have their own gift of True Sight awakened, before finding some way to gain these powers. In any event, even if the Mursaat were granted an audience with Glint, why would she then tell them of their own demise? It seems unlikely, but there is a way to circumvent this criticism:Originally Posted by ”Quintus Antonius”
"When I got caught, a Mursaat called The Inquisitor interrogated me. He just took my thoughts from my head." – Shining Blade Scout Ryder
It is possible that they came to know of the Prophecies by simply taking them from Glint. This, however, is purely speculation. They may very well have learned it from the Ghostly Hero during their time in the Crystal Desert just as he informs us, the player, of these prophecies:
“We foolishly thought that we were the ones in the Flameseeker Prophecies. The ones who would rise to be led to the Hall.” – Ghostly Hero
Now, back to the Chosen. The Mursaat are intelligent, that much is certain. I would even go so far as to say they killed two birds with one stone. They identified those with the gift of True Sight, the potential Chosen, and subsequently slayed every last one of them to prevent the true Chosen from ascending. At the same time, they considered another aspect of the prophecy. It is at the hands of the Titans the Mursaat would meet their demise. And so the Mursaat used the souls of the Chosen slain atop the bloodstone to charge the soul batteries, which they constructed, so as to keep the Door of Komalie closed and preventing their possible eradication. This process can be clearly seen here:
Slaying all potential Chosen while at the same time keeping the titans safely locked away. A brilliant move indeed.
Note: in the unlikely event one should question whether the soul batteries are indeed Mursaat-made, I would make the following comment. First, the Maguuma bloodstone was once part of the larger stone used by the Old Gods, in which they bound all four schools of magic, along with a keystone. When the volcano in which the stone was placed, erupted, different shards were spread across Tyria, one of which is the current Maguuma bloodstone. I find it inconceivable that through this process, the bloodstone would somehow be equipped with ready-to-use soul batteries. Second, the soul batteries themselves closely resemble the Mursaat, which strongly indicates that they are indeed Mursaat-made.
Another interesting thing to note: it is the White Mantle doing the actual slaying of the Chosen, not the Mursaat. Such a profound ritual would definitely have an impact on the order. I believe this important and integral part of their order is reflected in some of their symbolism:
Those golden and jagged circles appear above the bodies of the Chosen seconds after being slain. I think they offer the best explanation for the jagged circles on the White Mantle armor, not only by design, but also by symbolic significance.
VIII. Ashford Abbey
Ashford Abbey has always been shrouded in mystery. It is a very unique structure, unlike any other building in Tyria. Additionally, the structure is engraved with strange symbols and carvings. There has already been a discussion about the connection between the Abbey and the Mursaat, at length I might add, but for the sake of being thorough, I shall propagate it once more.
We can clearly see the eye-symbolism, possibly referring to the Divine Eye of Janthir. There are wings and beaks, referring once again to the carrion birds, the golden Mursaat. And lastly, there are symbols of lightning, the defining power of the Mursaat vested in their powerful spectral agony, teleportation, ether towers and so on. This, along with the unusual architectural design, makes for an interesting case.
But again, these are matters of dispute. But it does not end there. As I’ve said before, no being in the whole of Tyria, that we know of, is aware of the Flameseeker Prophecies except for Glint, the Lich, the Mursaat, the Ghostly Hero, perhaps the Forgotten, and strangely enough, Meerak the Shouter.
"Hail the Flameseeker Prophecies! All shall be revealed in time, and with the revelation comes the end! Yes, the end!" – Meerak the Shouter
How does this obscure, Ascalonian monk possess knowledge of the Prophecy? And not only that, he seems to know, to some extent, of the Mursaat aswell:
"Heed the Prophecies! Beware the unseen enemy!" – Meerak the Shouter
If you remember, Meerak is first seen in pre-Searing Ascalon standing in front of the Abbey. Elaborating more on this would bring me to utter and insane speculation. But just something to think about.
On a sidenote: considering what I have written above on Rata Sum, combined with the mystery of the Ashford Abbey, the following makes for a happy coincidence (?):
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01-09-2012, 19:36 #1
The Unseen Ones: A Factual And Speculative Study Of The Mursaat
01-09-2012, 19:36 #2
First, I shall enumerate the various known facts about this thing called Janthir.
Janthir is, first and foremost, an island north of Kryta. Its inhabitants are said to possess the gift of True Sight, and after Saul traveled there many years ago and returned to Kryta, he brought with him the Eye of Janthir. This is a magical artifact that possesses, though in a limited capacity, this gift of True Sight. It is through the use of this artifact that the White Mantle can search and identify those where the gift of True Sight lies dormant within.
Note: the Isle of Janthir comes to mind, especially when thinking of the stone tablets of Janthir, when reading the following quote by Prince Methu the Wise:
“I even have stone tablets that were found on an island far off the coast... an island that mysteriously disappeared thereafter.” – Prince Mehtu the Wise
We now know that the Isle of Janthir is indeed an island off the coast of Kryta. And it's very fitting that this island somehow has the ability to disappear, much like the Mursaat possess this extraordinary ability.
Then we come to the so called 'tablets of Janthir', stone tablets inscribed and spread across Kryta. Because I have not been able to give a satisfying explanation to all of them, I chose only to include those where, in my opinion, I succeeded.
"At his heart, every man has inside him a place of darkness. The challenge of the righteous man is not only to recognize in himself that which he seeks to strike down in the wicked, but to understand that he too is wicked." -- Verse 3, The Book of Confessors
The confessor is the high priest of the White Mantle, the leader, if you will. He is therefore knowledgeable of everything that transpires within the White Mantle order. He knows of the sacrificing of the Chosen, countless of Krytans that are murdered each year during the Summer Solstice. This verse comes from the book of Confessors, a book aimed specifically at those in that position. I guess it would serve as a moral guide, a rationalization of what they know and condone.
"The crossroads will come, a hiccup in time when the rest of history has not been written. At this juncture, when the fate of the world hangs in the balance, the forces of evil will rise. It is at this point, that the chosen ones may fail." -- Scroll of Seeing
This, to me, seems to reflect the driving force behind the actions of the Mursaat. It is important to remember that the Mursaat are aware of the Flameseeker Prophecies as predicted by Glint. These prophecies tell us that the Chosen will rise up against the Mursaat and that they will find their demise, through the titans, at the hands of these Chosen. Now, if a prophecy would most definitely come true, why then would the Mursaat invest so much time and effort in trying to prevent this prophecy from coming to pass? Prophecies are hardly written in stone. I believe they merely represent a potential outcome. So one that can be averted or altered.
The Scroll of Seeing seems to be a prophecy as well, perhaps written by Janthir. He, after all, is the “all-seeing eye”. One must also remember that the tablets of Janthir are written from the perspective of the Mursaat, White Mantle or the Krytans. The ‘forces of evil’ would in this case be the Undead, the Lich and the players. The ‘chosen ones’ are the players, but this is of course something the Mursaat aren’t aware of. ‘The chosen ones may fail’. It is entirely possible that we, the player, would have failed in our mission. We could have died in the course of trying to fulfill the Flameseeker Prophecies. This is exactly what gave the Mursaat hope. The prophecy made by Glint told that the Chosen could possibly succeed in destroying the Mursaat. Convertly, the prophecy of the Mursaat, in the form of the Scroll of Seeing, told them the chosen could possibly fail in doing so. Which prophecy eventually came to pass, we already know.
In our faith, we are blind
In the Unseen, we seek true sight
In ourselves, we find obedience
-- "Peasant's Prayer", Book of Loam
“In our faith, we are blind” is quite obvious. This goes back to the Mursaat attempting to emulate actual gods. Take, for example, the Old Gods. The people of Tyria never see them. They know of them, yes, but never see them. If the Mursaat want their claim of the divine to be taken seriously, they too must be ‘un-seen’. Being exposed to your believers holds the risk of showing your weaknesses and limitations. We know for a fact that even the Old Gods are mortal. They are not perfect, nor are they omnipotent. In that case, it is best to reveal as little as possible so as not to diminish the perception your followers have of you. Believers should be kept blind.
“In the Unseen, we seek true sight” is quite obvious aswell. It is the Unseen Ones that place so much importance in the gift of True Sight. They themselves have it. The Eye of Janthir has it. We know exactly why they seek out Krytans with this magical aptitude each year. But the Krytans themselves are of course completely unaware of this. All they know is that having this gift, is a blessing. For them, it would mean going to the Temple of the Unseen and studying with the Grand Masters and in doing so, seeking or awakening , in full, their gift of True Sight.
“In ourselves, we find obedience” is again quite obvious. On a number of occasions, the importance of obedience is stressed. This of course, only serves the Mursaat and the Mantle in fulfilling their duties. Faith that makes the believers obedient, is a good faith. It makes Krytans easier to manipulate and control.
It should come as no surprise then, that the above is a ‘peasant’s prayer’, something the Krytan simple folk would teach their children from an early age. Indoctrination of the masses.
"Although it stands to reason that a Believer should be mindful of that in which he believes, it seems that we are all at times negligent. Consequently, if someone were to ask the Believer in what he believes, the person who can answer without stopping to contemplate and reflect is rare." -- Exerpt from The Book of Tests
Not much can be said about the above. It is merely a statement on the fundamentals of faith. A believer will be, most of the time, acutely aware of what he believes in. Otherwise there’d be very little reason to believe at all. However, at times we are all negligent. Because of this, there will be times when we will question our faith. Things might happen, certain events might befall us, and cause us to question what we believe in. In that regard, faith is like a river. It flows, and will flow, in a very specific direction. But along the way it may twist and turn depending on the terrain.
The true Believer does not ask for compensation
The true Believer does not ask his gods to deliver him from sin
The true Believer places his life in the hands of faith, trusting in the Unseen
-- Verse 11, Book of Heresy
I think the Book of Heresy would be dedicated to describing everything the faith of the Unseen would not tolerate. Just as they specify that believers in the Unseen should be blind and obedient, they also specify what believers in the Unseen are forbidden to do. I think the above is an example of working around the fact that the Mursaat are not actually gods. The Old Gods can compensate. They can bestow upon us blessings. This, the Mursaat cannot. And so they forbid their followers to ask any of it, be it compensation in whatever form, so as not to give away the simple fact that they are anything but divine. Ask nothing of us, so that you cannot ever see that there is nothing to give.
Besides these known facts, I would very much make the case that Janthir also refers to an entity. There’s a few things I would like to say about this. First, I offer the following quote:
"The Divine Eye has an intelligence of its own.” – Mantle Knight Franklin
Mantle Knight Franklin specifically states that the Eye of Janthir won’t just follow anybody. It has a mind of its own. In other words, it is a separate and conscious entity. And this is merely the ‘eye’ of Janthir. If this aspect alone is sentient, why would this be any different for the ‘rest’ of Janthir, so to speak. Another thing to consider is this: if ‘Janthir’ has an eye, then perhaps it has two? Or perhaps three? Perhaps it has other aspects? The Divine Eye is merely one aspect attributed to something called Janthir, so perhaps there’s more. Perhaps they refer to a complete and sentient being. Without strong evidence to support this, I can merely end in closing by saying that I really do believe Janthir to be a separate, autonomous and deistic entity either ruling the Mursaat, being worshipped by the Mursaat, and probably both.
On a sidenote: the ‘eye’ of Janthir is not only present on shrines specifically related to Janthir, but also on Jade pillars:
Lastly, there seems to be a connection between Janthir, island or entity, and the strange red gems which can be found in shrines, devices and weapons used by the White Mantle. I attribute these gems to Janthir because originally, they were to be found solely on shrines related to the Eye of Janthir, and shrines of mending following that same design. It was only later that these gems would also be found on the Oppressor weapons used by the Mantle after the reformation.
Their use, however, remains a mystery.
X. The Mursaat & Glint
Is there, at least in some part, a shared history between Glint and the Mursaat? A past long forgotten and steeped in mystery?
Both Glint and the Mursaat have lived on Tyria for a very long time. Glint is aware of their existence. Whether the Mursaat know of hers, remains unknown. Both Glint and the Mursaat have the extraordinary ability to create aspects of themselves. Both Glint and the Mursaat are aware of the Flameseeker Prophecies. Venturing into the more vague, there’s the Mursaat-ascension mythos that would directly place Glint and the Mursaat together in time and space.
In the event that there would exist such a link, I offer the epitome of speculation:
The mural above can be found all over the Tarnished Coast, and very much so near Rata Sum. It is predicated by the assumption that the creature next to the dragon represents an original, ‘proto-Mursaat’, if you will. The civilization responsible for building Rata Sum could very well be the older, pre-ascension Mursaat civilization. Again, these are merely hypotheses for which no hard evidence can be found.
XI. Disciples of the Sun
There seems to be a vague connection between the Mursaat and the sun. First, I bring your attention back to what Dark Oak says:
“A host of gleaming angels...no not angels but birds...carrion birds...bright and terrible as the sun.” – Dark Oak
Bright and terrible as the sun. Also, the Mursaat themselves are dressed in golden robes and pieces of golden armor. And then there’s the test of the Chosen. The yearly ritual of identifying the potential Chosen and bringing them to Loamhurst is fixed upon a specific moment in time.
“Today is the Summer Solstice. The sun has reached its apex, and Justiciar Hablion has gone to Shaemoor to prepare for the tests.” – Mantle Knight Franklin
This test is administered during the Summer Solstice, when the sun has reached its apex. It seems important that the test is administered at this specific point in time. When considering this, I was reminded of something else. At one point, Ambassador Zain was selling strange sextants to Ascalonian merchants.
"Some new trouble regarding Ambassador Zain has come to my attention. He has been giving strange artifacts to our merchants in lieu of gold. These Eldritch Sextants must be viewed with some suspicion, and we cannot discount the possibility of a Krytan plot.” – Warmaster Tydus
The most common use of a sextant is sighting the sun at solar noon. This may be entirely unrelated, but there has never been an explanation for these strange sextants and they do stress the apparent importance of the sun being at its highest.
Also, during the test of the Chosen, when the Eye of Janthir arrives at Loamhurst, powerful rays of light pierce the clouds above. This can be seen here:
Again, all of these things appear to be small fragments of a larger picture which at this point remains obscured.
First, I would like to recognize the work of Quintus Antonius, allowing me to make the occasional reference. Secondly, I’d like to thank ArenaNet for giving us this marvelous world of Tyria, and for allowing us to delve deep into its stories and mysteries. Without them, all of this would be impossible. And lastly, I’d like devote this work to the Mursaat, my eternal Unseen masters.
The real test of a Believer is his range of sight
Faith does not require clear vision
But rather an acceptance of what is truly there
-- Oath of the Unseen
Last edited by Confessor Zephaniah; 02-09-2012 at 14:31.
05-09-2012, 16:44 #3
I would consider this to be the spiritual successor to my very old and now outdated work on the Mursaat. Although I can't say I agree with everything, I definitely would endorse this article. Thanks for your contribution!
05-09-2012, 17:24 #4
Dang, you put a lot of effort into this. Nice work, interesting read.
I am very much looking forward to seeing the lore of GW 2 delved into. I hope ANet put as many treats in there as they did in GW 1 and we learn more about the Mursaat, Scepter of Orr, etc..
05-09-2012, 18:23 #5
One suggestion I have to strengthen your work is to take into account things that have been said by the developers regarding various Mursaat issues. For instance, the devs have said that the Enchanted Armors are NOT related to the Mursaat. I think this is a bit ridiculous given their clear resemblance, but that's what the devs said. It is possible the armors came first and the Mursaat then adapted them, or that the two groups are related but not descended from each other (i.e. one culture that took two branches).
In real world archaeology, however, armor and dress were almost always distinctive to one culture. Egyptians, for instance, always differentiated cultural groups in their artwork by the way they dressed and the armor their warriors wore. So finding armor or clothing of a particular type is almost always an indication that a certain culture was there. The same is true of architectural styles. So, for me, the presence of ancient armor that looks like the Mursaat is almost a slam-dunk case for a Mursaat presence in the Crystal Desert at some point in the past. But, the devs know the answers to all these questions, and if they say it's not Mursaat, then I'm not sure I can argue.
07-09-2012, 00:02 #6
There have even been reports from GW2 where it is confirmed that the Mursaat are inter-dimensional beings travelling between realms. It reminded me of a fascinating quote:
"That creature, the one you called an Unseen One, possesses such frightful power. It is removed from the pattern of the world, but for how long?" - Glayvin
I always wondered what Glayvin meant with "removed from the pattern of the world". Ah, I really need to get me GW2.
08-09-2012, 14:53 #7
The Mursaat were said to be travelers from another dimension through the Mists in Guild Wars 1. The Seers say as much.
09-09-2012, 08:52 #8
And the GW2 lore doesn't mention either word as well - what it says is that they became "out of phase" with Tyria. The exact wordings in fact were:
"I believe they used their spellcasting abilities to slip beneath the skin of the world, out of phase with Tyria."
Another line being:
"What legends I have uncovered say they used powerful magic to shift themselves out of phase with this world."
While it may be nitpicky, "out of phase" does not necessarily mean "into another dimension." Arguably, spirits are out of phase with the world too when they wish - when they hide themselves from the sight of mortals. Whatever this power is - dimension hoping, going to the Mists, or just being able to fully conceal oneself - it's suspected to be how the mursaat escaped the Elder Dragons. And furthermore, they're said to have not returned until they became known as the Unseen Ones, indicating that they only returned to Tyria (from wherever they went) shortly before being found by Saul.
One thing I'd like to note - perhaps this counters my own "not dimension hoping" argument - but in the norn personal storyline from the bio option "defend the Mists", one enters the Mists but it is still the "same" area - just a bit altered (misty and living NPCs disappear to be replaced by what exists within the Mists, mainly spirits, whom are not seen in Tyria). So it could simply be that the mursaat learned to do the same thing spirits can naturally - to go into the Mists in the same location. "Phasing out" into the spirit realm, if you will. It just goes down to whether you'd still consider the Mists an alternate dimension (personally, it doesn't fit such for me) or just an alternate state of existence.
Last edited by Konig Des Todes; 09-09-2012 at 09:07.
09-09-2012, 11:52 #9
It's possible I'm remembering wrong. It's been at least four years since I looked at anything lore related.