The Searing

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The Searing is an event which took place during the human-charr conflict in 1070 AE (255 years before the events of Guild Wars 2). The charr shaman Bonfaaz Burntfur used magic to rain burning crystals down over the human holdings in Ascalon, causing widespread destruction. These events were depicted in Guild Wars Prophecies.


Following the human's spread and conquest of Ascalon, the charr sought out a means to defeat the humans and their gods. The Flame Legion found the solution in the form of the titans. Through the titans' guidance, the charr was given the Cauldron of Cataclysm, a powerful magical artifact imbued with mythical magic of ancient entities fallen into sleep and quiescence.[1] The shamans studied the Cauldron, eventually unlocking its secrets and enchanting other cauldrons with similar but weaker power.[2][3] United under the Flame Legion's command, the humans of Ascalon became distracted, their attention drawn away from the charr by The Guild Wars. Sparked by guilds vying for control over the Bloodstones, territory, and political influence, the nations of Ascalon and Kryta were forced to send in their military to stop the fighting, but only succeeded in escalating things further. In 1013 AE, the Third Guild War began.[4][5] The Third Guild War was the bloodiest of the three, with the nation of Orr forced into the conflict for the first time. The human nations were so focused on each other, that none of them were prepared for the growing might of the charr.

The charr marched south quickly, preventing word from the human-held lands in the north from reaching the Northern Wall.[6] Using guile and deception, the charr gathered information on Ascalonians from intimidated soldiers and by utilizing the extensive catacombs system that stretched across the nation,[7][8] laying ambushes in Diessa Lowlands,[9] and conquering Drascir, the capital city of Ascalon and sister city of Rin.[10] King Adelbern, the ruler at the time and a hero of the Third Guild War, was forced to relocate his capital from Drascir to Rin, but maintained a station at Ascalon City, which had long been the central commercial hub of Ascalon. After a time, it had seemed as if the charr assault had begun to wane, several soldiers believing the charr forces were defeated even.[11] But this was just a ruse made by the charr.

The charr brought south with them the Cauldron of Cataclysm, and while Vatlaaw Doomtooth distracted the Ascalonian forces by inciting grawl hostilities, and charr forces battered against the wall, Bonfaaz Burntfur of the Flame Legion's leadership performed a powerful ritual through the cauldrons, calling forth giant, burning crystals from the sky in an event known as The Searing.[2][12][5]

With the Great Northern Wall's destruction, the charr pushed their advantage in what would become known by humans as the charr invasion that brought an end to the Third Guild War. The main forces of the charr assaulted Ascalon in full force, capturing prisoners, destroying cities, and taking spoils of war back north. Fueled by their false gods, the Flame Legion's shaman caste wanted more than just a reconquest of Ascalon now, and set sights on all human nations of Central Tyria.[13] Warbands led by Rox Ashreign marched through the norn territories of the Far Shiverpeaks and made their way onto Kryta.[14][15] Meanwhile, forces led by Imperator Ventus marched south through Ascalon and towards Orr, carrying several Searing Cauldrons with the intent to perform another Searing from Arah. These forces were defeated, those in Kryta thwarted by the White Mantle and mursaat with few losses to humanity, while those who marched towards Orr died in the Cataclysm caused by Vizier Khilbron.

Effects of the Searing[edit]

The regions impacted by the Searing ranged from lands far north of the Great Northern Wall to where the Shiverpeak Mountains and the Blazeridge Mountains meet. However, the Searing was arguably most devastating to Ascalon City, Rin, and Surmia. Ironically the most intact structure following the Searing was the Great Northern Wall. Parts of the Shiverpeak Mountains were likewise affected by the cataclysmic change in climate, causing areas that had at one point enjoyed frequent snowfall to turn barren.

The Searing was devastating to both the human kingdom of Ascalon and the land itself. The destruction cracked the landscape, dried up rivers, turned fields barren, and caused extinctions among many indigenous plant and animal species. Upheavals and craters reshaped the landscape while fires burnt away the lush forests and fields, leaving barren rock and ash-clogged fields. Water vanished from the rivers and lakes, some being replaced with tar, and without the plant life to sustain them, all but the hardiest animals died out. Cities were reduced to ruins and villages were all but eradicated.

Today remnants of the Searing can be seen throughout modern-day Ascalon. One such is the Shards of War located in Agnos Gorge in the Plains of Ashford.


  1. ^ The Ecology of the Charr
  2. ^ a b Chapter 10, pages 124-127, Ghosts of Ascalon by Matt Forbeck and Jeff Grubb:
    "The Northern Wall stood unbreached for nearly two hundred years, but way back in 1070, the charr discovered a great magic, based on mighty cauldrons filled with mystic energy. The charr shamans, in particular those that commanded the Flame Legion, unlocked the secrets of the cauldrons and brought about the Searing. Great burning crystals fell from the sky and scourged the lands around them, breaking the Great Northern Wall."
    "The charr flowed through the wall in an unstoppable wave that washed all the way through Ascalon until it crashed on the shores of Orr. In Orr, its most powerful vizier cast a forbidden spell of his own that stopped the charr cold, but only at the sacrifice of his entire nation, sinking Orr beneath the sea. But that, as they say, is another story."
    "The Searing forced King Adelbern to move his capital from Rin to Ascalon City, the only major city in his nation that still stood. There, he felt, he would make his last stand against the charr invasion."
  3. ^ Blast from the Past:
    Researcher Fero: Well, braid my ears! Those ancient Flame Legion poobahs may've been evil, oppressive oiks, but they knew how to enchant a weapon.
  4. ^ Orrian History Scrolls
  5. ^ a b Guild Wars Prophecies manual,
  6. ^ The Flight North
  7. ^ The Assassin's Revenge
  8. ^ Charr in the Catacombs
  9. ^ Ascalonian Townsfolk:
    Ascalonian Townsfolk: My son would have been about your age. He was killed in a Charr ambush in Diessa.
  10. ^ The Human Rise of Rin, Part 1
  11. ^ Ascalon Guard:
    Ascalon Guard: Not much for a soldier to do now that the Charr have been taken care of.
  12. ^ The Searing (cinematic)
  13. ^ A Flickering Flame:
    Scorch Emberspire: Through our gods our people found a purpose, one that bound us together and drove us onto a path of conquest.
    Scorch Emberspire: Following signs from the gods, we cut a swath of destruction into the lands of men. Victory was our birthright. Fire and steel became the hands with which we would grasp it.
    Scorch Emberspire: Always toward Arah, where the gods once lived. All that awaited us there was death. What sort of god would lead its people to destruction?
  14. ^ The Movement of the World
  15. ^ The Rise of the White Mantle