The mursaat were an ancient, terrible race of spellcasters, but have not been seen for hundreds of years and are now thought to be extinct. Once known as the Unseen Ones, they could use their magic to slip beneath the skin of the world.
The mursaat were a race of floating humanoids with powerful magical ability. They had elongated toes and long black feathers emerging from their backs, and usually wore golden armor. There were no mursaat fighters, instead they had powerful Jade Constructs that were capable of defending them when their magic was not enough and served as their foot soldiers.
Uniquely among the races of Tyria, the mursaat were able to practice all four disciplines of magic simultaneously, having never had it absorbed into the Bloodstone, which was later sundered into four pieces. This made them especially dangerous. Of particular note was their most devastating ability, Spectral Agony, which could kill an unprotected target incredibly quickly.
The mursaat presence in the continent of Tyria was centered around the Flameseeker Prophecies. They went to great lengths and committed great atrocities to prevent the prophecy from ever being fulfilled; erecting great fortresses of dark jade on the Ring of Fire islands, and using Saul D'Alessio and his White Mantle followers as pawns in seizing control over Kryta in order to find and slay the Chosen Hero. They are depicted as cruel beings due to the fact that they refused to cooperate with the other ancient races, were selfish and cowardly people, were only concerned with preserving themselves and exploiting others to do their dirty work, and were living in hiding of a half-world.
One of the few distinguishable features of their culture was their jade architecture which could be found wherever they wished to establish a position of power, such as in temples dedicated to them. The mursaat were capable of establishing great fortifications of dark jade—magical defenses and portals—and were especially known for their towers. Their magical constructs would also carry a fraction of their agonizing power, and were elaborate and powerful enough to the point that they could act on their own and possess unique skills.
As one of the so-called "elder races", the mursaat's influence stretches far back into ancient history, to the time of the Great Giants, when magic was wild. 10,000 years ago, when the Elder Dragons last walked the surface of Tyria, feeding on its magic, the mursaat allied with the other surviving races—the dwarves, the Seers, the jotun, and the Forgotten—in order to find a way to stop the Dragons. The races agreed to give their magic to the seers, who would seal it within a Bloodstone, starving the Dragons. The mursaat, however, having found a way to become invisible, to literally become out of phase with Tyria, betrayed the other races and left them to rot, keeping their own magic and fleeing into a half-world. Some time later, at the time of writing of the Tome of the Rubicon, they warred with the Seers, nearly wiping out the race.
In 272 AE, the dragon Glint compiled the Flameseeker Prophecies which among other things foretold of the demise of the mursaat at the hands of the titans. From this time, the mursaat's priorities shifted to preventing this eventuality from coming to pass.
The mursaat did not resurface until relatively recently. In 1070 AE, during the charr invasion, the exiled Krytan Saul D'Alessio stumbled upon a city of massive towers reaching into the heavens—a mursaat city. Saul, awed by its denizens, returned to Kryta a changed man, and before long he and his White Mantle took power from the kingdom's disgraced crown, with the mursaat, who remained invisible to all but the Mantle's most devoted, controlling things from behind the scenes.
When it was discovered that the White Mantle were keeping the titans at bay by performing annual sacrifices of Chosen atop the Maguuma Bloodstone, the Scepter of Orr was stolen from the Temple of the Unseen by the Shining Blade rebel group, beginning the Krytan Civil War. A group of Shining Blade, having Ascended and thus gaining the Gift of True Sight, were able to bypass the mursaat's invisibility and, with the aid of one of the few remaining Seers, able to partially shield themselves from their Spectral Agony. The mursaat were driven out of the Shiverpeak Mountains and the titans were released, breaking the mursaat's stranglehold on Tyria.
When the titans first emerged from behind the Door of Komalie, one of the mursaat, Lazarus the Dire, survived by splitting himself up into several aspects and sealing them within members of the White Mantle, disguising them as blessings. Six years later, after the threat of the titans had passed, Lazarus returned to reclaim these aspects, finding that reclaiming them killed their hosts. The host of the final aspect, Justiciar Naveed, sought the help of the asura Glayvin in the desperate hope that they could remove the aspect without the loss of his life. This was not possible, however, but they did manage to damage the aspect, meaning that when Lazarus absorbed it into himself, its power turned on him and severely wounded him. Lazarus fled, vowing vengeance on "countless generations". Not long after, the final few mursaat were killed in the Battle for Lion's Arch, and the race was not seen since.
The mursaat have been believed to be extinct since the Battle for Lion's Arch at the end of the Krytan Civil War, even by leading experts on mursaat history in the Durmand Priory. However, those same experts do admit that the mursaat tend to reappear when they're finally believed gone for good.
In 1329 AE, nearly a year after the death of the Elder Dragon Mordremoth, the White Mantle reemerged from the Stronghold of the Faithful deep within the Maguuma Jungle and an "Operation Rebirth" was revealed, ushering in the revival of Lazarus. Days later, the Maguuma Bloodstone within Bloodstone Fen exploded, releasing its magic to be absorbed by an unknown individual, and following the chaotic aftermath Lazarus showed himself, fully healed, before the White Mantle and its Confessor whom he then deemed a heretic.
Shortly after, as Glint's Egg hatches, Lazarus appears to defend the newborn dragon against destroyers, somehow knowing of the egg, Tarir, and the attack. There, he aids in defending the egg and offers an alliance with the Pact Commander, claiming to have learned from past mistakes.
However, Minister Caudecus' journal claims that Lazarus could not have been revived because one of five relics containing aspects of Lazarus was stolen from Xera and replaced with a fake for the ritual to revive the mursaat. In turn, it is now believed that the "Lazarus" seen so far has been an imposter. However, due to Justiciar Bauer being the source for the ritual's supposed failure and his journal showing devotion to Lazarus, calls this claim into question, leaving the true nature of Lazarus unknown.
- Several features of The Lost Shores are allusions to the mursaat, such as Ascended equipment, agony, and infusion.
- Other names for the mursaat include the Unseen Ones, the New Gods, the Bringers of Wisdom, the Eyes That Watch All, and the Silent Saviors of Kryta.