Zhaitan, like the other Elder Dragons, is thought to have last awakened around the time of the disappearance of the Giganticus Lupicus, and then fallen back into slumber from consuming all life they could find. For millennia, it rested beneath the land that would become the Kingdom of Orr. When the Six Human Gods revoked the gift of magic back into the Bloodstone to split it into the familiar four schools in 1 BE, they tapped into the dormant dragon's energy and increased the power of magic in doing so, not knowing of Zhaitan's existence.
In 1219 AE, Zhaitan awoke and brought the lost nation of Orr (which had previously been destroyed by the Cataclysm) to the surface. The rising of Orr caused a Great Tsunami which drowned thousands, destroyed Lion's Arch and the Battle Isles, and dramatically reshaped the coastline of the northern continent. The corsair armada docked in the shattered peninsula was wiped out, and in its place there came an undead navy, manned by the Risen servants of Zhaitan. The black-sailed ships swept across the Strait of Malchor, blocking sea access to Cantha and Elona, and beginning an age of isolation for Tyria.
In 1325 AE, Zhaitan launched an attack on Claw Island, defeating the Lionguard stationed there and readying an attack on the rebuilt Lion's Arch. With the Elder Dragon poised to rip out the heart of Tyria, the Vigil, the Order of Whispers, and the Durmand Priory pooled their collective resources and formed a Pact to retake Claw Island. The combined forces of the Pact, under the leadership of the sylvari Firstborn Trahearne, managed to defeat the champion Blightghast and launch a counter-offensive into the Steamspur Mountains and eventually Orr. In a battle above the skies of Arah, the Pact airship The Glory of Tyria, incorporating engineering secrets of every race and crewed by a reunited Destiny's Edge, engaged the dragon and crippled it using the ship's MEGA-LIT cannon. As Zhaitan made its final stand, The Glory of Tyria bombarded it with special anti-Elder Dragon armed cannons, and the Elder Dragon fell to its (presumed) death in the depths of the City of the Gods.
Since Zhaitan's defeat, the corruption of Orr has begun to reverse, and the Risen forces have thinned.
 Personal storyline involvement
- Zhaitan was designed by Kekai Kotaki, and modeled by Katy Hargrove. The model's design was so complex that it had to be animated in several stages.
- In Islam, Shayṭān is a name for the devil.