King Adelbern

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I will have my vengeance! Join me in death!

King Adelbern

King Adelbern (1011–1090 AE), known to the charr as the Sorcerer-King, was the last monarch of human-controlled kingdom of Ascalon. To prevent the charr from conquering Ascalon City in the late stages of the Human-charr conflict, he used his sword Magdaer to unleash the Foefire, a spell that destroyed the capital and led to the creation of the Ascalonian ghosts who fight for their king even in death and infest the countryside to this day. The ghost of Adelbern resides deep within the Ascalonian Catacombs, guarding his kingdom against all threats from both above and below ground while waiting for the return of his son, Prince Rurik.


Early years[edit]

Born circa 1011 AE, Adelbern was blessed by the god Balthazar.[1] In his younger days during the time of the Guild Wars, Adelbern was the champion of his guild, Ascalon's Chosen, and fought against Kryta. Well-liked by the citizens of Ascalon because of his easy demeanor and battlefield heroics, he was crowned king by the people's demand despite not being next in line for the royal crown who would have been the previous king's younger brother Duke Barradin. However, Barradin did not object to Adelbern becoming king and stepped aside to honor the wishes of the people. Barradin and Adelbern had children, Lady Althea and Prince Rurik, who were intended to be wed to unite and strengthen the two bloodlines.

Adelbern started out as one of the most popular kings in the history of the walled nation, but towards the end of his reign, he was driven increasingly mad and obsessed by the war against the encroaching charr and suspicion towards Kryta which he had fought against in the Guild War. Although he was in need of supplies, he refused aid from Ambassador Zain, who had traveled to Ascalon from Kryta as a representative of the White Mantle, and intended to arrest him and place him on trial for suspected treachery until Prince Rurik intervened on the ambassador's behalf.[2][3]

The Searing caused by the charr drove the Ascalonians from Rin in 1070 AE, a source of shame and ire for the king. Not willing to stand down, Adelbern was determined to defend the city from the charr. However, Prince Rurik, his only child, advocated making peace with Kryta and taking shelter within its borders. This remained a source of tension between the father and son, culminating in Adelbern disowning Rurik who led a faction of Ascalonians into Kryta. Rurik ultimately perished during conflict with the Stone Summit dwarves while traversing the Shiverpeak Mountains in 1072 AE. The king was devastated by his son's death and hardened his resolve towards the defense of his nation.

After Vizier Khilbron had unleashed the titans into Tyria, Adelbern fought against the titan invasion in Ascalon and pushed them back from the eastern section of the Northern Wall until he and a handful of soldiers were surrounded by the enemy. The king was saved, however, when the dragon prophet Glint sent a group of heroes to his aid at this critical moment, which allowed the Ascalonians to prevail against the titans.[1]

During the Krytan Civil War in 1079 AE, the increasingly paranoid Adelbern was approached by Evennia of the Shining Blade who pleaded him to commit troops to aid Princess Salma's rebel forces against the White Mantle zealots in Kryta in exchange for Salma assisting the king in driving the charr from Ascalon for good. Evennia disappeared without a trace some time after reaching Old Ascalon, however; White Mantle propaganda would claim centuries later that Evennia and her fellow Krytan emissaries had been assassins whom Adelbern had hanged from the walls of Ascalon City.[4][5]

In 1080 AE, Adelbern recalled the Ebon Vanguard, who consisted of both Ascalonians who had followed Rurik on the trek through the Shiverpeaks and slaves saved from the charr, from the Eye of the North. After celebrating them for their bravery, the king ordered the Vanguard, led by Gwen Thackeray, to fortify the Stronghold of Ebonhawke in an attempt to solidify Ascalon City's supply lines and establish a last-ditch holdout position against Ascalon's enemies. Kimmes the Historian, who chronicled these events, pondered about the king's decision to add specific civilians and families to bolster the Vanguard's forces on their trek south as it was unclear whether these additions were a sign of support from the king or an act to remove those questioning his rule from sight.[6]

Fall of Ascalon[edit]

Adelbern unleashes the Foefire with Magdaer.

Adelbern's efforts to keep Ascalon isolated and rely only on his troops proved futile, however. Ascalon City, the Ascalonian capital after Rin, eventually fell to the encroaching charr army in 1090 AE. Accounts of this conflict differ between human and charr records.[7]

In human accounts, Adelbern's forces fell to the charr, and Adelbern himself was left to fight the charr alone. He eventually fought his way to the Imperator of the Flame Legion, wielder of the Claw of the Khan-Ur. The Claw clashed with Magdaer, Adelbern's sword, and caused a spark of power that engulfed the land for leagues around. This event became known as the Foefire.

The charr accounts offer an alternate version of the events. Rather than fighting to the death, Adelbern's forces retreated from the city, leaving their king behind. In his rage and despair, Adelbern struck the ground with Magdaer, producing the immense burst of energy now referred to as the Foefire.

Adelbern suffered the same fate as other Ascalonian ghosts due to the Foefire and became a ghost driven to fight the charr and any other opposing force on Ascalonian soil to the end of time or until the curse he cast can be lifted. According to a legend, the curse can only be lifted in a ritual performed by the current Ascalonian ruler from King Doric's lineage who wields Adelbern's crown and Magdaer or Sohothin.[8][9]

Ghosts of Ascalon[edit]

Ascalonian Catacombs[edit]

By 1325 AE, Adelbern was preparing his ghostly army to take the fight to the surface. The arrival of an adventurering party, including Eir Stegalkin, Rytlock Brimstone and the Pact Commander, stirred Adelbern who came to greet them. At first the king believed that his son Rurik had returned when he sensed the sword Sohothin's presence but soon realized his error when the wielder of the sword turned out to be the charr Rytlock instead. Angered, Adelbern swore to make all charr pay for what they had done and mocked the party's efforts, daring them to face his four champions who were already in later stages of preparing the ghostly army for the invasion of the land above.

The party proved to be better skilled than Adelbern had expected, however, when they successfully defeated the four champions and returned to the enraged king to claim Magdaer. Adelbern faced them in battle himself but was ultimately bested as well. Before disappearing, Adelbern's last words were a dire warning about greater horrors lurking within the catacombs which the adventurers' actions had unwittingly unleashed.



Combat abilities[edit]

  • Pulls Enemies Close
  • Summons Foefire

DefianceDefiance bar teal.png

When attempting to Launch.png Launch him, Adelbern will be knocked down instead of taking Defiance Bar Damage. This is due to his old fight mechanic, where players used stones to interrupt him while bypassing his Defiance.
  • Fire Swing - Melee attack that cleaves.
    • Gash Gash - Melee attack that cleaves.
      • Final Thrust Final Thrust - Melee attack that cleaves and inflicts Burning.png Burning for 2 seconds.
  • Foefire - Creates an area of effect firestorm at target location that pulses twice per second over 6 seconds, dealing damage with each pulse.
  • Pulls nearby enemies in a point-blank area of effect.
Stolen skills


  • 1-2 random pieces of equipment of DMasterwork rarity or above.
Name Type Rarity Quantity
Bag of Jewels.png Bag of Wondrous Goods Container DMasterwork 1
Gilded Strongbox.png Gilded Strongbox Container FExotic 1


Concept art


  • King Adelbern is voiced by Bob Joles.
  • King Adelbern has a striking similarity to Constantine XI Palaiologos, last Emperor of the East Roman Empire who likewise died at the ultimate fall of his realm's capital city. Legend has it that he never died and awaits under the earth to reconquer his lost city as "the Immortal Emperor".
  • Adelbern means "noble bear" in Old German.
  • "Adelbern's Ghost" from the Guild Wars 2 Original Soundtrack is named after him.

See also[edit]

Gwwlogo.png The Guild Wars Wiki has an article on King Adelbern.
Associated items


  1. ^ a b The Last Day Dawns
  2. ^ The King's Message
    Ambassador Zain: A message with the royal seal? Let's see. Honored Ambassador et cetera..."Your request for permission to enter the city and address the people of Ascalon is emphatically denied. This being the fourth such denial, His Majesty bids you reconsider this ill-conceived journey and contemplate a return to Kryta."
    Ambassador Zain: King Adelbern and I have learned very different lessons from the wars of past. Isolation is not the answer. Only in peace and mutual friendship shall we find our salvation. I still have hope that in time, he will realize the truth of this.
  3. ^ Helping the People of Ascalon
  4. ^ War in Kryta dialogues
    Councilor Vaylor: Ascalon sends a single unit and calls that aid? Where is Evennia? Obviously she failed to clarify Kryta's needs, your highness.
    Captain Langmar: Ascalon has sent no one, yet. As I told Evennia, it is not the Ebon Vanguard's place to formalize such an alliance. She now travels to Ascalon to seek audience with King Adelbern. He decides where to send Ascalon's troops. [...]
    Captain Langmar: I have faith that Evennia's strong persuasive skills and the promise of support in our war against the Charr will sway King Adelbern in Kryta's favor.
    Captain Langmar: Until Ascalon joins in full force, you have our knowledge at your disposal.
    Princess Salma: I see. Then we accept your council for now, but hope that King Adelbern doesn't take too long to commit to alliance. Kryta will need more than this to win the war against her oppressors.
  5. ^ Open Letters Posted Message in Ascalon Settlement: My brothers and sisters from Ascalon, you know my history. I fought with you against the charr! I bled with you, I wept with you as the once-great country was consumed by the ravenous beasts. And this is not the first time the White Mantle aided Ascalon in their fight with the charr. Generations ago, Zain the Merciful brought food and clothing for your countrymen. What did the Shining Blade send? Assassins, who your king had hanged from Ascalon City! Join me, and the White Mantle will reclaim your home from the charr, and we shall form a grand human empire the likes of which has never been seen before! —Lord Caudecus Beetlestone
  6. ^ The Founding
  7. ^ The charr and human accounts of the conflict are described in Ghosts of Ascalon.
  8. ^ Reunion with the Pact Logan Thackeray: So, he had Sohothin and the crown of the Ascalonian king who set the curse in the first place. I see why he thought it might actually work. The legend says only an heir...
  9. ^ Return to Camp Resolve
    Logan Thackeray: For the ritual to be successful, it must be performed by the current Ascalonian ruler.
    <Character name>: Well, the Ascalon line is dead.
    Logan Thackeray: Prince Rurik may have had no children, but you're forgetting that all humans come from a single source. Both Krytan and Ascalonian royalty descended from King Doric.