Before there were humans or dwarves, before there were even worlds or the stars that light the night sky, there was but one thing in the universe—the Mists. The Mists touch all things. They are what binds the universe together, past, present, and future. They are the source of all good and evil, of all matter and knowledge. It is said that all forms of life, no matter how simple or complex, can trace their origins back to this one place.
In the middle of the Mists is a spot where time moves neither forward nor back. It is a tear in the fabric of the cosmos, the point of perfect balance between all forces of the universe. This place is known as the Rift, and there is nothing to which it does not connect, nothing that cannot be reached from inside it. Those who have the know-how to travel across the universe through the Mists must pass through the Rift on their way to all other places. It is the center of all things.
In the center of the Rift, deep inside the Mists, stands the imposing walled fortress known across the multiverse as the Hall of Heroes. This structure is the pinnacle of the afterlife. When a hero dies, his spirit goes to one of two places: either it is buried with the deceased body, forever trapped inside the rotting flesh and rancid bones of the corpse, or it is released into the Rift. This latter honor goes to only those few whose deeds in life were legendary enough to be known across multiple worlds, and fewer still earn a place among the souls ensconced inside the Hall itself.
For a long while, the Rift and the Hall of Heroes were accessible only by those who had passed from the mortal world into the immaterial. It was the Land of the Dead, an exclusive club whose membership cost the blood of one's own life. But within the last century all that has changed.
The Mists is the oldest thing in existence, the proto-reality that exists between the worlds, constituting the fabric of time and space that connects the multiverse together. Everything that has existed, does exist, and will exist is made out of the Mists.
Mist realms and the multiverse
Within the Mists are worlds (of which Tyria is just one), each with their own realities and histories, floating as islands in the ether. Humans are from one of these worlds, brought to Tyria by the Six Gods.
The Mists resonate from the worlds around them, forming bits of their own reality—islands of existence that reflect the histories of their worlds. Some worlds are enormous, such as the Underworld, the home of the dead; others are simply residences for powerful spirits or deities. At the center of the Mists is the Rift, and within the Rift is the Hall of Heroes, the final resting place of powerful and virtuous souls.
There are a set number of versions of Tyria, each mechanically corresponding to a world. Player characters are unique to every world; there are no "alternate versions" of player characters that exist in other worlds (the alternate version of the asura Pact Commander in the Infinity Ball storyline is not actually from an alternate reality, but from a potential future that exists within the Mists). Important non-player characters, however (e.g. Destiny's Edge) exist across all versions of Tyria. The timelines in these alternate Tyrias do not diverge, so e.g. in all of them Snaff has died.
In the Mist War (mechanically represented as the World versus World game mode), these different versions of Tyria fight each other for resources in their own respective battles against their worlds' Elder Dragons—the borderlands are the literal borderlands between different versions of Tyria.
Children of the Mists
The protomatter that makes up the Mists strains toward creation, often spawning demonic creations either in nightmarish or humanoid forms. Demons are malicious creatures most often born from shards of existence within the Mists that have turned corrupted by strong malignant forces. They instinctively hate all living beings and relish in torturing their victims, but they are not averse to manipulating or even working for or with the living for their own gain.
Not all creatures from the Mists are demonic, however. When the Mists come into contact with a suitable template, for example, it can copy that form, creating a sentient entity with an appearance mimicking its "progenitor" and which can have as sophisticated a mind as the template it has been based on. These "children of the Mists", such as the humanoid Razah and the draconic skyscales, begin their lives as blank slates and can be steered towards either good or evil via their interactions with other beings.
The first generation of skyscales that had come into existence on Tyria as adults suffered from accelerated aging although subsequent generations were able to hatch and live longer once the eggs had been exposed to various types of magic.
Access to the Mists
Certain magical entities such as the Six Gods and the Spirits of the Wild can enter the Mists with little effort, either via opening portals or simply phasing into the Mists. Elder Dragons, however, do not appear to be innately capable of entering the Mists unless they either abuse the powers of a corrupted Spirit of the Wild or devour a god's divine magic.
For the majority of mortals, the Mists are accessible through portals, most of which are temporarily made by channeling the power of a force within the Mists, such as the havrouns calling upon the Spirits of the Wild. Using their intimate connection with their chosen Spirit, however, havrouns can simply step into the spirit realm without the use of portals. Some beings such as the mursaat could likewise shift into the Mists although they apparently had no connection to any of the spiritual entities to do so.
There are a few permanent portals as well—these portals were created by the mage Lord Odran, including The Portal in the Tomb of the Primeval Kings. Other known portals in the past included the Door of Komalie, the Mouth of Torment, and a portal on the Battle Isles; these four portals became inaccessible over the past 250 years due to the rise of the Elder Dragons. Portals can also form naturally in places where the barriers between Tyria and the Mists are thin, or at sites of massacre where a great influx of the dead have weakend the barrier.
According to old human legend, Lord Odran opened various portals into various worlds within the Mists. When Odran's mortal body died, the wards and enchantments that had kept his portals hidden failed, and the gates to the Hall of Heroes were laid open to all who were able to find them. The wizard lord had been canny though; Odran knew that one day he too might be ensconced in the Hall of Heroes, so he had hidden the portals in the most treacherous locations he could find while believing that the fear of death would keep the meek at bay.
However, Odran had underestimated mortal ambition and greed. Over time, the whereabouts of the portals were revealed. Though they remained difficult to get to, there were those with enough skill and enough bravery to reach them. As a result, the numbers of intruders to the Hall of Heroes rose, and the spirits there began playing groups of mortals against each other for sport, placing bets on which will make it farthest while giving special aid to those they favored.
Between 1320 and 1325 AE, five asura gates were built within Fort Marriner of Lion's Arch. They replaced the Zaishen arena, and became the only known fixed means of entering the Mists in Central Tyria at the time.
In 1325 AE, the Sons of Svanir had caught Wolf's Havroun Solvi meditating while he was on one of his spirit walks. They pierced him with a magical spike made from corrupted Mist, trapping him in an in-between state, and abused his havroun power to open portals and invade the Mists with icebrood in order to destroy the Spirits of the Wild to honor the Elder Dragon Jormag. However, a party led by Eir Stegalkin and the Slayer of Issormir was able to thwart the Sons' plans by entering the Mists with help from Snow Leopard's Havroun Svena, and they were able to free Solvi but not before he passed away due to his injuries and left the mantle of Wolf Havroun on his apprentice Valda.
Meanwhile, the Snaff Savant and Shodd were testing the Savant's invention known as the Infinity Ball which was designed to produce possible results of what would happen in the future. They were eventually able to open a portal into what appeared to be an alternate future timeline of Tyria from which the Savant's and Shodd's evil alter egos, the Grand High Sovereign and Grand Vice Admiral Shodd, emerged. The Grand High Sovereign claimed to have conquered their timeline's Tyria with steam creatures and threatened to do the same to the Savant's Tyria once they had killed the Savant. However, the Savant and Shodd were able to defeat their doppelgangers instead with Zojja's help, and they shut the portal down to stop the invasion of steam creatures from the Sovereign's realm. The Savant swore to never use the Infinity Ball again, and Zojja in turn promised to end the Savant's life if they ever gave in to megalomania. Despite the Grand High Sovereign and Vice Admiral Shodd's claims, however, it appears that the doppelgangers had not necessarily come from an actual alternate future timeline but were simply created in response to the Infinity Ball's unleashed power from a potential future within the Mists.
By 1330 AE the portals in both the Tomb of the Primeval Kings and the Mouth of Torment became active again, and a new portal to an unknown location in the Mists was opened in the Foundry from which the Forged army brought in reinforcements to the Domain of Vabbi. After Balthazar's defeat in Vabbi, Desmina opened a new portal to the Underworld at Reaper's Gate, where the veil between Tyria and the Mists was already weak.
- Explorable zones
- Glint's Lair
- Heart of the Mists
- Mistlock Sanctuary (lounge; requires pass)
- Realm of Torment
- Edge of the Mists
- Eternal Battlegrounds
- Blue Borderlands
- Green Borderlands
- Red Borderlands
- Obsidian Sanctum
- Armistice Bastion (lounge; requires pass)
- Team Deathmatch
List of known portals to the Mists
- Desert Highlands
- Domain of Vabbi
- The Desolation
- Raid on the Capricorn, a Conquest map that had been in the game since launch, was removed as a consequence of the removal of underwater combat in Structured PvP in the April 2014 Feature Pack. It was remade and re-released as Revenge of the Capricorn on July 26th, 2016.
- The writing on Lord Odran's map of the Mists is in Ascalonian and translates to "beware the danger of secrets kept".
- ^ a b c d e I attended the GW2 China Beta Festival! Here's some pics I took of the event, as well as some lore/update info I asked from the Devs!, Reddit.com (Archived)
- ^ Orrian History Scrolls
- ^ Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire—Road to the Desert
- ^ Cathedral of Silence
- The Seventh Reaper: So shall it be. You seek the heart of Orr? Then you must go to the very beginning. The rock where the gods first set foot upon this world. [...]
- <Character name>: Where the gods first walked? What does that mean?
- Trahearne: Human myth says that when the Six Gods came to Tyria, they built the city of Arah. The "source" must be the place where they first set foot on Tyria.
- <Character name>: A place so powerful that it drew the attention of Gods from deep in the Mists? It must be amazing.
- ^ Lore interview with Jeff Grubb, GuildMag.com
- ^ a b Guild Wars Nightfall Manual], GuildWars.com
- ^ Pogahn Passage
- The Hunger: You misunderstand, little mortal. You are not my master.
- Bayel: You are charged to help me hunt these Sunspears. You will do as I say.
- The Hunger: I answer to my lord Abaddon. I answer to Warmarshal Varesh. I do not answer to you. Are we clear?
- Bayel: I am Varesh's general. You should respect...
- The Hunger: Varesh does not need generals anymore. She needs us. Do not make her choose.
- The Hunger: We are partners, at best, until all your Sunspears are slain.
- Bayel: And then?
- The Hunger: Then? We renegotiate. I know where these Sunspears are going. Follow me.
- ^ Defend Klement and Fabri from pirate thieves
- ^ Finding a Purpose
- Razah: I have been alone for what seems like ages. I am Razah, created from the Mists. I have no memories of my creation, though; the past is shrouded in fog. Abaddon bound me to this plane. His minions blessed me with knowledge to fulfill a great purpose. However, I can sense that Abaddon is no more. Now I am without purpose, my existence without meaning. So tell me... are you here to give me my purpose?
- <Character name>: We must find our own purpose in life, Razah.
- Razah: Search for my own purpose? An interesting concept. To not be told what to do; to merely...exist to find a purpose. I find you curious, unlike anything I have ever encountered. I wish to journey with you to learn more about your ways. Perhaps my purpose is to travel through the world with you. [...]
- Razah: The barriers are no more. I offer you my skills and my insight. As a child of the Mists, I have an affinity for things spiritual. In return, you will show me how you experience life and aid me in finding the purpose for which I was created. I must take this time to reflect. I will meet you later.
- ^ Glory of Dragons
- <Character name>: What...what are they?
- Aurene: Newborns. A new species, like wyverns and drakes. Call them skyscales. I'm taking a few to help with Kralkatorrik. [...]
- Caithe: You're going to ride one up to collect his blood? Will they trust you?
- <Character name>: Maybe if I feed them first. They're related to dragons. And dragons eat magic, don't they? I have to try.
- ^ Newborn Skyscales
- ^ Saving Skyscales
- ^ Raising Skyscales
- ^ a b A Spirit of Legend
- ^ The Ruined City of Arah explorable Mursaat path
- Scholar Yissa: The mursaat are a lost race, but once they ruled humans as the Unseen Ones.
- Scholar Yissa: What legends I have uncovered say they used powerful magic to shift themselves out of phase with this world.
- Scholar Yissa: I believe they used this as a way to escape the Elder Dragons.
- ^ a b The Movement of the World
- ^ Vonbrig Kemp historical dialogue
- ^ Into the Mists
- Styrr Frostblade: Faugh! I'll fight all of you at once! Jormag's will is mighty! In Dragon's name, we claim the Mists and destroy the spirits themselves! [...]
- Styrr Frostblade: With Solvi's power at my command, I can open as many portals as I need! [...]
- Apprentice Valda: He was teaching me to spirit walk when we were attacked. He screamed, then vanished... and in his place, a ragged portal appeared.
- Apprentice Valda: The Sons of Svanir came through it, and I've been fighting them off ever since. They boasted about subduing my master with a magical spike made of corrupted Mist.
- Havroun Weibe/Grechen: Hmm. That, combined with Solvi's power, could create such a portal. They must have attacked Solvi's body in the waking world while his spirit was here.
- <Character name>: Then we'll rescue Solvi's body just as we did Valda's spirit. We'll heal the wound in the veil between worlds, and kill those who inflicted it.
- ^ The Wolf Havroun
- Apprentice Valda: There! That spike has Solvi's spirit pinned between life and death. His soul is trapped.
- Apprentice Valda: That's why the portal won't close. It's waiting for him to cross over.
- <Character name>: Get away from Havroun Solvi, Frostblade. Your invasion of the Mists ends here and now.
- ^ Split Second
- Mysterious Stranger: Hello, Zojja. Recognize me? I'm the one you tried to bully into subservience and mediocrity.
- Mysterious Stranger: But I left you behind, and achieved greatness: I am the Grand High Sovereign of my reality.
- Zojja: Whatever you call yourself, you don't belong here. And you can't stay.
- Mysterious Stranger: I can do anything I want. And here, as in my world, the only obstacle to my transcendence is you.
- Mysterious Stranger: To become all that I am capable of becoming, you must die. It's my destiny...and my pleasure.
- Mysterious Stranger: Wait until you get to know my creations. In my reality, they conquered Tyria. [...]
- <Character name>: Shut up, Shodd. Forever. The Infinity Ball is a dead end. I'm going to gut it and keep the shell as a reminder of what a genius shouldn't do. [...]
- Zojja: If you turn into a dimension-travelling dictator from the future, I'll have to put you down like a rabid skelk.
- ^ Comment by Bobby Stein, Reddit.com