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The Changing Landscape of Tyria in Guild Wars 2

Updated Thu, Jul 22, 2010 by Sardu

For the release of the first novel set in the Guild Wars 2 universe, Ghosts of Ascalon, ArenaNet has also given fans a sneak peak into the major regions of Tyria and how they've changed since the original Guild Wars by providing a new world map. While many of the marked locations no doubt tie directly into the storyline of the new novel, this new map of Tyria still sheds plenty of light on the size and scope of the world as players will experience it in the upcoming MMOG.

Shown above: The original Guild Wars: Prophecies map, the orignial map overlayed with the new map of Tyria, and the map of Tyria provided on the Ghosts of Ascalon page at the official game site.

As you can see in the above images, Tyria has remaind somewhat consistent between the original Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2, though you can also see a number of areas where the desctruction caused by the elder dragons has forever changed the landscape. The new map of Tyria can be broken down into a number of major regions, five of which can also be loosely associated with the five playable races of Guild Wars 2. These include Ascalon (charr), the Shiverpeaks (norn), Kryta (humans), Maguuma Wastes (sylvari) and the Tarnished Coast (asura).

Below you'll find a detailed breakdown of each of these regions along with pertinent info on the main locations marked on the new map of Tyria for Guild Wars 2.

Once a proud kingdom of humanity before being violently overtaken by the charr in a catastrophic event known as the Searing, Ascalon as it stands in present day Tyria has been reduced to little more than ash and rubble. It is here that players in the original Prophecies campaign embarked on the first leg of their heroes journey, eventually moving westward across the Siverpeaks and beyond in an attempt to save the survivors of Ascalon's war with the charr.

In Guild Wars 2, the ghosts of the previous era now inhabit the ruins of Ascalon. It is here that the charr also reside as described below. Key points of interest include:

Ascalon Catacombs - Originally only accessible in pre-Searing Ascalon, the Catacombs have notably been marked on the new map of Tyria. The location marked is roughly at the former Sardelac Sanitarium entrence, though it remains to be seen just how much of the once extensive network of caverns remains intact.

Black Citadel - Built upon the ruins of the former human city of Rin, the Black Citadel is now the headquarters of the charr's Iron Legion, and serves as the charr capital city.

Dragonbrand - This massive scar which cuts south across the landscape of Ascalon was left by one of the elder dragons, Kralkatorrik, on its way to the Crystal Desert where it is believed to currently reside.

Ebonhawke - The last vestige of humanity in the region, Ebonhawke is a fortress nested along the foothills of the Blazeridge Mountains on the eastern boarder of Ascalon. Originally founded by Gwen and Lt. Thackeray, survivors of the Battle of Ascalon fled here after King Adlebern's fall.

Separated geographically from Ascalon proper by the Dragonbrand, travel to and from Ebonhawke is made possible due to use of the asura gate network.

Flame Citadel - Not much is known about the Flame Citadel currently, though its location on the map is north of the shatterd human lands of Surmia, and just northeast of an area in Prophecies known as Dragon's Gullet. It would seem likely, however, that the Flame Citadel is of some importance to the Flame Legion, one of the four charr High Legions which has been outcast from charr society.

Once the home of the proud Deldrimor dwarves and the dasterdly Stone Summit dwarves, after the events of Eye of the North the norn were forced to flee into the southern Shiverpeaks due to the awakening of the elder dragon Jormag. Prior to these events, heroes in the original Prophecies campaign lead the refugees of Ascalon on a perilous journey across these mountains in hopes of reaching Kryta, eventually returning to the southern peaks to prepare for the final confrontation with the Lich and his army of Titans.

On the new map of Tyria, a number of key locations have been highlighted:

Durmand Priory - One of the three main orders players can join in Guild Wars 2, Durmand Priory is a monestary hidden in the Shiverpeaks which houses many volumes of information rescued from Lion's Arch. The monks of the monestary are a collection of fighter-scolars that come from multiple races, and seem to be likely candidates for those players interested in seeking out profession challenges to unlock new traits.

Frostgorge Sound - This area seems to be a large bay in what was formerly known as the Far Shiverpeaks. It is likely that the awakening of the elder dragon Jormag which forced the norn south plays a role in the creation of this massive new landmark.

Hoelbrak - After being driven south by Jormag, the norn established Hoelbrak, the largest of their settlements in the Northern Shiverpeaks. 

Sorrow's Embrace - A key location in Guild Wars history, Sorrow's Embrace is in the former location of Sorrow's Furnace, the Stone Summit mine where the Tome of the Rubicon was thought to be forever buried beneath age old ruins. It's this tome that contained the true name of the Great Destroyer which, when spoken aloud would bring about the return of the elder dragons.

Vigil Keep - Vigil Keep was established by the Vigil, one of the various multi-racial orders which players can choose to join in Guild Wars 2. The Vigil consists of crusaders who believe that by facing and testing the powers of the elder dragon Zhaitan directly, one day such knowledge can eventually be used against it in battle.

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