The White Mantle are a group of outlaws based in the Brisban Wildlands. They originated as a religious cult formed years ago in Kryta by Saul D'Alessio, a drunk and thief who preached the false doctrine of the Unseen Ones, his mysterious invisible masters. Saul the Deceiver delivered a false message of salvation during Kryta's darkest hour, when the charr invasion threatened the nation's survival. Saul led an army of white-robed followers against the charr, and after their victory on the battlefield, the White Mantle seized power.
But the protection of the White Mantle came at a price. The cult became arrogant and abusive. The wealth of the land was held only by those who worshipped the Unseen Ones. Worst of all, each year Krytan citizens were chosen for "special education" and never seen again. In truth, the White Mantle offered these ill-fated Chosen as sacrificial victims to their demonic masters.
In the wilds of Kryta, the patriot leader Evennia gathered unto her a loyal band of patriots. They called themselves the Shining Blade and vowed to hack away the corruption and decay that robbed Kryta of her greatness. The true nature of the White Mantle and the inhuman sorcerers they worship was exposed for all to see in a series of violent conflicts that left the Mantle high council dead and the future of the cult in doubt.
Most outside the Shining Blade consider the White Mantle a myth told on Mad King's Day, unaware that they are in fact still operating. They often target defenders of Kryta and Queen Jennah. In 1325 AE they had a cell in the Hunting Lodge, and one of their main hideouts was Jannaj's Bandits. The books found by the Shining Blade in the lodge showed that the Mantle's current purposes involve Krytan history, asuran architecture, and bloodstones. There was also a book titled, "To Serve the Unseen". Countess Anise always reminds Shining Blade Exemplars that not all followers of the White Mantle are fanatics. Many people don't even know they are being manipulated by the Mantle—only their leaders know the truth.
The soldiers at the Seraph Observers have been deployed to not only look for White Mantle, but to investigate rumours of revived White Mantle activity. No evidence of this has been found—only relics, ghosts, and a whole host of bandits, led by Seanan.
| Click [Expand] to read the unexpurgated story of the rise of the White Mantle, as told by Durmand.
His name is Saul. This is his tale.
burned, the charr invaded the nation of Kryta. Their army marched through the Far Shiverpeaks
and fell upon Kryta like lions upon a kill. Already weakened and divided, the Krytans were easy prey. During Kryta's invasion, its potential savior, Saul D'Alessio, stumbled through the jungle, waiting for death. A gambler, a cheat, and a drunkard, Saul had been exiled to the wilderness for his many crimes, and he expected to die there. Instead of death, he found salvation at the hands of the Unseen Ones.
The Unseen Ones were radiant beings: tall, thin, and winged, both superior and kind to man. They healed Saul in body and soul, giving him wisdom and understanding. Saul returned to Kryta reborn, a messenger of hope. Abandoned by their leaders, betrayed by their countrymen, hungry and worn, the people of Kryta flocked to Saul's banner and rallied to his cause. Saul and his followers saved desperate and defenseless Krytans from the charr, but there were too many invaders, and Saul's disciples were too few.
Hope remained, but it was hope that required an ultimate sacrifice.
Saul and his most dedicated followers devised a desperate plan. They knew the location of the charr's main encampment. If they could find the charr leaders and cut them down, the resulting confusion would give other Krytans the chance to rally...or escape. Saul and his followers did not fool themselves. They were not heroes, and they knew they couldn't withstand the main charr invasion force. The best they could hope was to trade their lives to give Kryta some precious time. Saul thought their sacrifice would be a worthy death, if in dying they could save Kryta.
In the name of their faith, they could do no less...
Under cover of night, Saul and his trusted followers stalked through the charr war camps. They were aware that the slightest miscalculation would awaken their foes, bringing the full fury of the charr down upon them. After reaching the charr main camp, they dispatched the charr leader and his lieutenants. Their success was short-lived, for their battle raised an alarm among the other charr. Bloodthirsty charr sought revenge. Saul knew this would be the price of their bravery. For one last time, he knelt and led his followers in prayers to the Unseen Ones.
This time, the Unseen Ones answered. They manifested among Saul's amazed followers, offering to protect him and his most devoted servants. The Unseen Ones would fight alongside Saul's people and help defeat the charr. But the aid of the gods would come at a price. Saul faithfully agreed. The Unseen Ones descended on the encampment, repelling wave after wave of invaders. The charr invasion failed that day, and the surviving charr fled back beyond the Shiverpeaks.
The Unseen Ones had made a promise, and they demanded their due. Kryta was safe, and Saul's most devoted servants could continue to worship and serve their new gods. The rest of the witnesses would have to die, however, for they had seen the true power and glory of the Unseen Ones. As Saul watched his followers struck down, he realized his gods were neither good nor wise. The Unseen Ones had promised to protect him, but not in the way he had hoped. To keep him from telling others what he had seen, the Unseen Ones took Saul with them. As he faded from mortal view, Saul realized he had not saved his people. He had betrayed them to new, harsher masters. And he wept, knowing he, a traitor who had unwittingly deceived his own people, would forever be considered a hero of Kryta.
— Saul's Story
The White Mantle in their prime.
- The Unseen Ones are in fact the mursaat, an ancient race of spellcasters. After the release of the Titans during the first campaign nearly all of the known members on Tyria were eradicated apart from Lazarus the Dire, who was weakened after his final aspect was corrupted in the Eye of the North mission The Justicar's End.