You know nothing about me. Or my priesthood. The family you destroyed.
Zafirah, the Deadeye Priestess, is a priestess of Balthazar from the Zaishen Order who is proficient with both a rifle and daggers. She intends to carry out her god's plan to kill the Elder Dragon Kralkatorrik no matter what it may cost her.
As a child, Zafirah lived in an Elonian family consisting of herself, her parents, and a brother and a sister, somewhere in Vabbi. The family did not worship the Six Human Gods and lived however they could in the land ruled by the lich king Palawa Joko. Zafirah's days were spent doing household chores, farming and target practice with her mother who was proficient with a rifle. At some point the family was targeted in an Awakened raid, and Zafirah barely escaped with her mother's rifle and a pouchful of bullets; her last memory of the family were their death screams becoming one with the desert wind. Before sending her away, Zafirah's family had instructed her to head for the Free City of Amnoon and made her promise that she would survive no matter what happened.
Zafirah fled north through the Scourgeway into the Desolation, only to be blocked by the Bone Wall where she witnessed a would-be trespasser being executed by Awakened guards. Realizing she would never get past the vigilant guards, Zafirah wandered the Desolation for several weeks, avoiding Awakened patrols and killing wildlife to feed herself while planning some way to get through the Joko Gate as she knew her bullets would not last forever. She resolved not to grieve as she could not waste time or effort; instead, she hardening herself while her skills as a game hunter improved over time.
After having spent 31 bullets, Zafirah ran across a woman who had spotted her felling a rock gazelle—the first friendly encounter Zafirah had had since leaving home. Although Zafirah was uncertain whether to trust the woman at first, she soon learned from the woman that the gazelle had belonged to local shepherds who had paid the woman's Hamaseen organization to protect the herd. Instead of berating or threatening her, however, the perceptive woman offered a deal to Zafirah: she would forgive the girl for shooting the gazelle and help her get to the other side of the Bone Wall in exchange for Zafirah pledging her aim to the Hamaseen. Surprised by the offer and having nothing left to lose, Zafirah accepted the woman's offer and followed her to Amnoon where she was introduced to Zalambur, a young and ambitious Hamaseen officer.
Zalambur recognized Zafirah's talents as a sniper and used her for his own gain to increase his reputation and influence among the Hamaseen. Against Zafirah's wishes, he replaced her mother's battered rifle with a new, improved rifle branded with the symbol of the Hamaseen in what he would come to view as a gift to one of his most trusted and skilled underlings. As years passed, Zafirah's targets turned from wild game into Awakened and eventually her fellow Elonians, allowing Zalambur to climb the ranks of the Hamaseen to a leadership position. Despite having become a feared and respected deadeye, Zafirah felt nothing but emptiness and the fear of the other Hamaseen. She could never be one of the Hamaseen as everyone kept her at arm's length out of worry that she would kill them next if they ever acted against Zalambur's wishes.
While escorting a group of priests from the Zaishen Order through the Desolation into the Elon Riverlands on Zalambur's orders, Zafirah got to know one of the priests, Atsu, better as he observed her sniping in action and was surprised that the priest did not react to her handling of the rifle with selfishness or fear but genuine praise for a divine gift. Although Zafirah tried to discourage Atsu at first, she had a strange sensation of a great presence within her which made her hesitate. Sensing Zafirah's confusion, the priest gave her his dagger and asked her what her purpose as a deadeye working for the Hamaseen was. Realizing that she could kill to protect people rather than further one man's ambitions, Zafirah left the Hamaseen and joined the Zaishen, keeping Zalambur's gift rifle as a memento of her past.
As a Zaishen, Zafirah felt welcome and was praised for her skills in the service of Balthazar, the God of War and Fire. Realizing that the presence she had felt had been Balthazar's calling all along, she swore herself to the god and preached his teachings across Elona. Zafirah finally felt that she belonged to a family as part of something greater than herself or any one person.
When Balthazar arrived in the Crystal Desert with his army of Forged in 1330 AE, he swayed the Zaishen Order and the Elonian branch of the Church of Balthazar to accompany him on his mission to hunt down the Elder Dragon Kralkatorrik. Zafirah served the God of War faithfully although she felt a change within Balthazar that she did not realize the meaning of until later when his new ruthlessness was revealed. She rationalized why Balthazar acted differently than what the Zaishen had taught her, and the god's will was so strong that it made his faithful, including Zafirah, to follow his orders without question. While on the campaign, Zafirah learned that her fellow acolytes had gradually fallen in combat against the Pact Commander and other forces that opposed Balthazar's ambitions in the region.
After the Commander had prevailed and killed Balthazar in the Battle of Kodash Bazaar, Zafirah appeared in the Free City of Amnoon which was celebrating the Commander's triumphant return. She was too afraid to tell people about her allegiance and that she remembered Balthazar differently. Instead, she quietly observed the Commander from the sidelines and chose to disappear into the crowd when the Commander got too close.
With her god slain and her fellow priests dead, Zafirah was filled with despair at her losses as she wandered alone before her despair turned into a need for revenge. She mourned the fallen for six days before she returned to the fight, intending to finish what Balthazar had begun by going after Kralkatorrik even if she had to do it herself. However, deep down she knew she would never be able to prevail against Kralkatorrik even with Balthazar's sword, and the true reason for her mission was to end her life on her own terms after she had lost her priesthood, her second family.
In 1331 AE, Zafirah learned where Balthazar's missing greatsword had ended up in after the Battle of Kodash Bazaar. She ambushed the Durmand Priory team, who had been sent to retrieve the sword, before claiming the sword for herself and retreating into Argon Garrison in Jahai Bluffs where she was cornered by Vigil soldiers. Deciding to fight to the bitter end, she flooded ground level with poison gas, positioned herself in a tactically advantageous position on the roof and sniped anyone trying to get to her. Despite this, Zafirah did not kill any of her opposition, preferring to either injure them or let them pass out from the gas.
Zafirah eventually came face to face with the Pact Commander who had arrived at the garrison in search of the greatsword. She recognized the Commander and, using voice amplification, began accusing the Commander for their actions while also letting the Commander know how much Balthazar and his priesthood had meant for her. A duel ensued during which Zafirah used both her rifles and daggers against the Commander, intending to avenge Balthazar's death by killing whom she deemed as his murderer.
Despite her best efforts, Zafirah was unable to defeat the Commander. Worn out, she ultimately resigned to her fate as she expected the Commander to kill her too. However, the Commander chose to spare her because she had appeared in a vision, and asked her to join the allied forces who intended to kill Kralkatorrik without disrupting the Elder Dragon's magic. Although Zafirah was confused by the Commander's actions, she decided to let the sword be taken and gave the Commander her name although she did not promise to join the Commander's side.
Shortly after the Commander had arrived in the allied forces' base of operations at Sun's Refuge, however, Zafirah appeared from the shadows and revealed that she intended to keep an eye on the Commander and the sword. Upon being introduced to the Commander's companions, she was quick to remind them all that she was not their friend. However, her initial hostility lessened when she witnessed the Commander using Rytlock Brimstone's help to relight Balthazar's greatsword with Sohothin's flames.
As the greatsword began moving on its own after the ritual, Zafirah realized that it was looking for Balthazar whose presence it was sensing. She grew confused when the Commander explained that the sword was reacting to the dragon Aurene, who had previously visited the refuge, and that the sword was likely perceiving Balthazar through the dragon. Following the revelation, Zafirah learned that the Commander and Blish intended to take the greatsword to the Mists and attach a tracker on it while luring Kralkatorrik to eat is so they could keep track of the Elder Dragon's movements.
Zafirah stayed in the Sun's Refuge and was among the people welcoming the Commander back, only to learn that Blish had sacrificed himself to ensure that the tracker would continue functioning after Kralkatorrik had consumed it. She offered encouraging words to the mourning Commander and offered to tend a hearth for six days to honor Blish's passing, a gesture which the Commander accepted.
During her stay in the refuge, Zafirah perched herself atop the roof of one of the ruins within the cave, observing the allied combat training from her vantage point while wondering why she continued sensing Balthazar's presence despite the god's passing. Nearby Sunspear Cadets wondered whether Zafirah would train them someday although they hesitated in approaching her.
Zafirah eventually followed the Commander's allies to Thunderhead Keep in order to prepare their forces to face Kralkatorrik. She was among the first to greet the Commander who arrived with the sylvari Caithe and Aurene. She was surprised to feel Balthazar's presence within Aurene upon meeting her, and the Commander left the priestess and the scion to get acquainted. While the Commander was out testing new Dragonsblood weapons on the Branded, Zafirah spoke with Pact Marshal Logan Thackeray before leaving the area, claiming that she had something important to do.
Unbeknownst to her allies, Zafirah traveled to find surviving human members of the Zaishen Order. She told the Zaishen about a prophecy revolving around Aurene replacing Kralkatorrik, and convinced the Zaishen to return with her to aid the Commander in the fight against the Elder Dragon. They arrived in Thunderhead Keep just in time to join the fight against Kralkatorrik whose minions were threatening to overwhelm the Commander's forces. While the Zaishen joined the fray in the halls of the Auditorium below, Zafirah stayed on a nearby balcony to snipe the Branded and provide ranged support for the allied forces.
Although Kralkatorrik was wounded in the fight, he ultimately prevailed in killing Aurene and fleeing while Branding much of the Auditorium. Zafirah was found in the depths of the keep in shock after the Crystal Dragon's departure, unable to comprehend how the victory she had believed to be certain had turned into a devastating loss which had cost the life of Aurene, Tyria's hope for salvation, instead. Despite this loss and the realization that the world was on the brink of doom, Zafirah turned her despair into grim acceptance. Even if Kralkatorrik's actions led to the end of the world, Zafirah would continue fighting until her very last breath to honor the ideals of Balthazar and the Zaishen.
- Act III
- Small Victory (Epilogue) (as Priestess)
- Episode 4: A Star to Guide Us
- Episode 5: All or Nothing
- Episode 6: War Eternal
- Long-Range Damage
- Dagger Storm
- Dodging Strikes
- Dual Slash
- Fanged Leap
- Masterful Shot
- Shadow Flare
- Stolen skills
- When spawning (random)
- This'll just take a moment.
- Commander, mind your head.
- Thought I'd lend a hand.
- When despawning (random)
- Reloading. Fight well, Commander.
- Clean kill. Changing positions.
- Zafirah rides a red Canyon Spiketail when mounting.
- She wears Zafirah's Tactical Outfit.
- She will attempt to finish the player if she downs them. She uses the Phoenix Rank Finisher.
- Zafirah is voiced by Cherise Boothe.
- "Zafirah" from the Living World Season 4 soundtrack is named after her.
- A Star to Guide Us: Faster than a Speeding Bullet — Complete the duel in less than 8:00. (5 )
- A Star to Guide Us: I Brought a Friend — Why fight your own battles when you can make someone else do it for you? (1 )
- A Star to Guide Us: Sniper, No Sniping! — Get through the sniper battle without getting shot. (3 )
- Associated items