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The Unseen Ones

What fate awaits the mursaat in Guild Wars 2?

With the release of Season 3, any fan of the mursaat was probably pretty speechless when they saw Lazarus the Dire jump into action for the first time in more than 250 years!

For those unfamiliar with the mursaat, they were one of the main antagonistic forces in the original Guild Wars. They were tall, thin creatures with long feathers sprouting from their back, who wore golden armor and were known to be extremely adept magic users. They were involved with the fight with the Elder Dragons taking place long before the events of the first game, almost 10,000 years ago, and were trying to help the other races fight them. However, the other races were afraid to fight the Dragons, which left the mursaat and Forgotten as the only elder races willing to go on the offensive. Of course, even with armies of magical constructs and superior magical abilities at their command, they suffered huge losses and were defeated. The mursaat were angry at the other races, for had they not hid from the Dragons and aided the mursaat and Forgotten, they truly may have had a chance at defeating the Elder Dragons.

So the mursaat slipped away into a half world, where they decided to wait until the Elder Dragons returned to their dormant state. For a long time, they remained in hiding, and at some unknown point engaged in a war against the Seers, another elder race, who were likely angry at the mursaat for abandoning them to the dragons. The mursaat eventually won this war, leaving the Seers crippled and decaying.

Mursaat caster, Guild Wars Prophecies

Many years later, one of their cities, which is yet to be discovered by the players, in the jungles of Kryta, was found by an exile called Saul D’Alessio. Saul worshipped them as his new gods, and created a new religion which formed the White Mantle, who took control of Kryta and are dedicated to serving the mursaat, whom they call the Unseen ones. Despite this, they eventually went extinct due to the opening of the Door of Komalie, which released a terrible race known as the Titans. The Titans eradicated most of the mursaat, and the few remaining leaders were killed during the Krytan civil war. Now you may ask: if they all died, how did one come back?

Lazarus the Dire, one of the mursaat, took more drastic steps to protect himself. When the Titans were released, and all hell broke loose, Lazarus split himself into several aspects. He would have to hide these aspects inside another living host while waiting for the Titan outbreak to end. So he “blessed” several White Mantle priests, while in reality he was actually fusing his aspect with them. When the Titans were gone, he went to retrieve the aspects and reform himself, which turned out to kill their hosts when taken from them, though this side effect bothered Lazarus little. However, the last host sought out the assistance of a talented asura, who manipulated the aspect so that when Lazarus came to collect it, he was fatally damaged.

Lazarus, Living World, Season 3

More information on the backstory of the mursaat can be found in Draxynnic’s article “The Commander’s Guide to Mursaat History” found in  the Annual 2016. However, this brief overview covers the most important and relevant points:

  • Continuing on, Lazarus then went into hiding, and was thought to have been dead, until Living World Season 3. A group of White Mantle, working to resurrect Lazarus behind the confessor’s back, caused the Maguuma Bloodstone to explode, likely during a ritual or experiment of some sort.
  • However, Lazarus was able to consume the explosion, which was rich in magic, to fully resurrect himself. He then proceeded to gain the support of part of the White Mantle, the other half still loyal to their confessor’s efforts to take control of the Krytan throne.
  • After that, Lazarus aided in the defense of Aurene, and offered help in the fight against the Dragons, though he was declined, for now.

Lazarus’s come back brings hope for the mursaat as a whole. First off, if Lazarus was resurrected, it is possible the rest of the mursaat could be resurrected as well. Of course, the circumstances leading up to his resurrection are very mysterious, and there are likely more factors involved than the consumption of magic. The most obvious is: did they actually resurrect him, or just heal him?

We know that in Eye of the North, Lazarus was severely weakened, but not dead. However, we don’t know if he actually perished between Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2. It is highly likely that he was on the verge of death, but not actually dead, and just needed the magic to rejuvenate himself. If that is the case, there may not be hope for the rest of his people, unless of course there were any mursaat who were unaccounted for that somehow slipped away into hiding, either unharmed or weakened like Lazarus. At this point, so early in Season 3, it is hard to tell what fate awaits the mursaat. On another note, Lazarus’s offer to fight the Dragons brings up a hard question. Does he genuinely want to help Tyria, and is it actually true that he’s willing to help us just for the salvation of Tyria? Given the past nature of the mursaat, this seems highly unlikely. However, he very well might just be telling the truth.

naveed

Justiciar Naveed held an aspect of Lazarus the Dire within his own body

First off, although we discussed the possibility of resurrecting other members of the mursaat, that possibility is very unlikely. It is more probably that there is no chance for any of the others, and Lazarus really is the last mursaat. If this is to be believed, then Lazarus cannot do anything for his race. When people have lost everything they care about, and there’s nothing left to fight for, they fight for what others would fight for. With no hope left for his race and their preservation, Lazarus wants to devote his life and powers for something bigger than himself, and his entire race for that matter. With this idea in mind, Lazarus might really be trustworthy. Of course, there’s still the Commander and the Pact in the way.

Throughout history, the mursaat have been known to betray, hide, enslave, kill, and deceive. It won’t be easy for Lazarus to gain the trust of the Pact Commander and the rest of their allies. Many, if not everyone, will likely not be thrilled to see a mursaat join their ranks. The only faction possibly interested would be the Priory, who might see Lazarus as a research opportunity. Likely sometime later in Season 3, Lazarus will do something big to finally gain the Commander’s trust (deserved or otherwise), but for now, his potential alliance with Dragon’s Watch is in doubt. Whether he is to be trusted or not, Lazarus is extremely powerful, and would prove invaluable against the Elder Dragons. We already saw him when he helped to defeat the destroyers attacking Aurene. He has unimaginable powers, as the mursaat have been known to have, but on top of that, let’s not forget, he likely is even more powerful as a result of the magic he consumed when Bloodstone Fen exploded. This power will make Lazarus either a critical ally, or a terrible enemy. The dragons are getting so powerful that we may just need the mursaat as allies, though we must remember that relying on them could result in terrible consequences if they decided to turn on the Pact.

I hope this article has given you something more to think about while we wait for Episode 4 to come out tomorrow. And I don’t know about you, but I’ll be jumping up and down if it turns out Episode 4 brings back any more original Guild Wars surprises!