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Disambig icon.png This article is about the pirate faction. For the fractal, see Aetherblade Fractal. For the dungeon, see Twilight Arbor (explorable).
The logo of the Aetherblades.

The Aetherblades are a multi-racial group of sky pirates who became prominent during Scarlet's War. They commandeered several Pact airships,[1] and waged war from the skies all over the continent at the behest of Scarlet Briar. As members of Scarlet's Alliance, they were initially allied with the Inquest, who helped them maintain their airships and provided them with golems, although most of the involved Inquest eventually abandoned the alliance once Aetherblade operations were compromised by the Pact Commander. They first attacked on Lion's Arch to set Scarlet's plan in motion, with witnesses claiming that they flew in from the southwest.[2] After Scarlet's defeat and disappearance of their second in command, Mai Trin, the sky pirates retreated and their current whereabouts are unknown, although some hints point at Cantha.


Living World Season 1[edit]

Aetherblades getting ready for action.

The Aetherblades started out as a particularly greedy and bloodthirsty pirate crew in which Mai Trin held high rank; when the sylvari terrorist Scarlet Briar found them and presented them with Inquest magitech and allies, the crew became far more dangerous and far more successful at the business of pirating. Officers like Mai kept the Aetherblades organized and active, and their ranks swelled as more and more unaffiliated pirates and pirate bands signed on, lured by the promise of easy money and power. Once they were in, however, they found it problematic to get out again, as Scarlet had plenty of work for them to do and kept them hard at it or they would face her wrath.[3][4] The Aetherblades managed to steal Pact airships and modified them into their own vessels called aetherships.[1] They were the first known faction to use rapiers, introducing these weapons to Central Tyria.[2]

The Aetherblades first appeared in public at the 1326 AE Dragon Bash, disrupting the effigy lighting ceremony and causing the death of Captain Theo Ashford. Upon investigation by Inspector Ellen Kiel and Delaqua Investigations on behalf of Logan Thackeray who wanted the murderer of his family friend Ashford brought to justice, it was discovered that this was a scheme to generate an opening on the Captain's Council (Ashford's second was also killed, by the Molten Alliance), which would be filled by the Aetherblades' (ostensible) leader, Captain Mai Trin.[5] Mai Trin eluded capture, however, and Lion's Arch authorities discovered that the Aetherblades had a retreat hidden in Lion's Arch, and a second site in the Gendarran Fields.

The Lionguard were able to defeat Mai Trin and First Mate Horrik with help from the Pact Commander, and they hoped that it would bring an end to the pirates' machinations. However, the Aetherblades eventually returned in far greater numbers and with far more airships, attacking Divinity's Reach in an attempt to disrupt the Queen's Jubilee, where it was revealed that the Aetherblades were working for Scarlet Briar. They also set up a base in the Twilight Arbor, after Scarlet had worked out a deal with the Nightmare Court.[6] The defenders of Tyria were able to thwart the pirates' plans by shutting down their operations although many lives were lost in the process. At some point most of the Aetherblades' Inquest allies abandoned the pirates.

Mai spent time incarcerated in Fort Marriner and taunted both Ellen Kiel and the Pact Commander, who had tried to question her for her motives, while ominously stating that they should keep their eyes to the sky. She was later freed by her Aetherblades and taken to the Edge of the Mists, pursued by the Commander's allies Braham and Taimi. Braham vowed to wring Mai's neck for escaping, as the resulting chaos had led Taimi into a dangerous area where she could have been killed. The Aetherblade captain eluded capture, however, and learned that Scarlet wanted her alive for another mission suited for her talents.[7] She and her followers set up a temporary base of operations at the Juncture in the Edge of the Mists.[8]

Marjory Delaqua's later investigations revealed that Mai had been acting at the behest of Scarlet Briar, who had wanted an ally on the Captain's Council. Kasmeer Meade and Marjory speculated that it was so Scarlet could weaken the city's defenses from within.[4] These fears were founded once Scarlet's Alliance invaded Lion's Arch. While several Aetherblades participated in the Battle for Lion's Arch under Scarlet's command, none of the faction leaders of Scarlet's Alliance, including Mai Trin, were present in the city when the Pact Commander killed Scarlet. Mai Trin remained elusive since, and her current whereabouts remained unknown.

Living World Season 4[edit]

By 1330 AE, the Elonian Alehound Crew of corsairs managed to steal an aethership during one of their seaborne raids. However, when they were questioned about the airship's origins upon their return to the Corsair Flotilla, none of the crew members remembered how exactly they had acquired the ship as they had been drunk during the raid. They named the stolen airship The Wobbling Skies.[9]

End of Dragons[edit]

Mai Trin overseeing the flight of the Aetherblade Armada in the Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons Gameplay Features trailer.

In 1335 AE, Gorrik gets kidnapped by Ankka, a former colleague from the Inquest, now first mate to Mai Trins group of Aetherblades. During the pursuit through the Mists, Aurene gets hit by an Extractor, a new kind of weapon, leading to her and the Commanders crash landing on the Canthan Shore, causing an international incident and there by starting the Storyline of End of Dragons.

To repay the Imperial Court's mercy, Empress Ihn allows the Commander to handle the Aetherblade threat. During the investigation, the Commander learns that Joon, the Empress's half-sister, had hired Mai Trin years ago, not knowing of her pirate origins. After raiding an Aetherblade Camp and reuniting with Gorrik and Marjory, the Commander finds a hidden Aetherblade hideout, leading to a fight with Ivan and Mai Trin. After defeating Mai Trin and Echo of Scarlet Briar, the Commander learns that Ankka and all other Aetherblades committed mutiny, leaving Mai Trin behind. Despite heavy objections, the Commander decides to work together with Mai Trin to track down Ankka.

During the visit of Soo-Won in the Yong Reactor, Ankka appears and unleashes the Extractor on Soo-Won, releasing her and forcing a meltdown. Mai Trin sacrifices herself to stop the reactor from exploding. The Commander manages to escape but gets blamed for incident and has to go into hiding.

After tracking down Aetherblade activity in The Echovald Wilds but failing to find Ankka, the Commander gets unexpected help by Canach and Sayida, who have used an Aetherblade Airship to open a social club. Ivan helps the Commander send out a false message to the Aetherblades' communications network and assists with setting up a trap in Xunlai Jade Junkyard. After killing Ankka and finding the Extractor, the Commander learns that Ankka has Sabotaged the Extractor, hindering our plans for one last time.

Known bases[edit]

Aetherships, Aetherblade airships.
Caledon Forest
Gendarran Fields
Edge of the Mists
Seitung Province
New Kaineng City
The Echovald Wilds


  • Captain — Highest rank; currently Mai Trin.
  • First Mate — Second in command; currently Ankka, previously Horrik.
  • Chief Navigator — High-ranking role; currently Ivan.
  • Foreman — Overseer of individual Aetherblade bases; only known individual is Foreman Spur, of the Depth of Despair.
  • Admiral/Captain — Leader of a group of Aetherblades attacking an area.
  • Boatswain — Caretaker for an aethership. Only known individual with this rank was Boatswain Stormsplit.
  • Quartermaster — Supplier for the Aetherblades.
  • Taskmaster — Lower-ranking Aetherblade officer.


See also: Category:Aetherblades

Historical types[edit]


Concept art

Related achievements[edit]


  • Since the attack on Lion's Arch, the only place where players can find Aetherblade pirates in Tyria is the Not So Secret jumping puzzle area in Gendarran Fields.


  • During the creation of the story of the pirates and the Inquest, game designer Stephen Hwang called them the "Pin-Quest" until the designers settled for the Aetherblades as a name for the alliance.[1]
  • During the Extra Life 2020 charity stream it was hinted that there were several easter eggs not yet discovered in the End of Dragons teaser trailer. Soon after, a flag with an icon looking like the Aetherblades emblem was found, and was confirmed to be correct later during the stream by Rubi Bayer.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Who Are the Aetherblades?,
  2. ^ a b Aetherblade Pirates: Look up!
  3. ^ Season One Lore Interview,
  4. ^ a b The Dead End: A Study in Scarlet
    Scarlet Briar: Air superiority wins wars. So build me a comparable fleet, or I'll kill you all and replace you with holos. [...]
    Kasmeer Meade: Scarlet deceived each of her allies into thinking they'd gain something from working for her. Hmm. She'd make a great minister. [...]
    Kasmeer Meade: Hmm. Scarlet plotted to kill someone on the Captain's Council to make room for her puppet.
    Marjory Delaqua: With Trin in place on the council, she could have weakened the city's defenses from the inside. That plan backfired, but Trin escaped to the Mists to prepare for something.
  5. ^ No More Secrets
    Marjory Delaqua: Ahem. Are you seeing what I'm seeing? Looks like our little helper pirate was helping herself.
    Investigator Ellen Kiel: Mai Trin, you're under arrest, by Lionguard authority. You will present yourself–
    Mai Trin: If it weren't for that detective and her cronies, you'd never have known it was me.
    Mai Trin: (laugh) My plan was to open a seat on the council so I could fill it. Now, it's to punish you all for spoiling my first one.
    Mai Trin: Come out, my clockwork crew! Let's show them what it feels like to be impaled on the sharp tip of misfortune.
  6. ^ Short Story: Twilight Preparations
  7. ^ Edge of the Mists
    Sheriff Siriam: A group of Scarlet Briar's Aetherblade flunkies stormed my cells to free their captain, Mai Trin. Together, they escaped into the Mists.
    <Character name>: Because the Mists are beyond Lionguard jurisdiction?
    Sheriff Siriam: That's right, though it's possible her boss Scarlet has new plans for Mai and her crew there. As if attacking Dragon Bash and assassinating one of our Captain's Council wasn't enough. [...]
    Sheriff Siriam: It all happened so fast. Scarlet's minions were everywhere. They had our backs to the wall from the very beginning.
    Sheriff Siriam: One of them broadcast Scarlet's voice. She said, "Vacation's over, Mai. I have work for you in the Mists."
    Sheriff Siriam: The invaders took Mai to a portal outside. They had to fight past a squad of Lionguard to get there. And two strangers.
    Sheriff Siriam: A golem and a norn lad with a fearsome mace. After Mai entered the portal, the golem went after her.
    Sheriff Siriam: The norn shouted for it to stop, but it wouldn't. It declared "Leave me alone! I know what I'm doing!" and actually ran faster. [...]
    Braham Eirsson: Remind me to wring Mai Trin's neck for escaping. If she hadn't, Taimi would have never given me the slip.
  8. ^ The Juncture ambient dialogue
  9. ^ Corsair Flotilla ambient dialogue