After the release of the Salvation Pass raid wing, Narrative Lead Bobby Stein and Game Designer Andrew Gray joined host Rubi Bayer to discuss the revelations within. Be warned—this episode contains spoilers!
The organization known as the White Mantle has been active in Tyria for over 250 years. It was first introduced to players of the original Guild Wars® as a potential ally, but the members of the White Mantle eventually revealed themselves to be fanatical followers of entities called the mursaat. The White Mantle’s founder, Saul d’Alessio, saw the mursaat as gods and spread his faith throughout Kryta. Saul disappeared, never to be seen again, but his successors continued to devote themselves to his unseen masters. Acting on behalf of the mursaat, the White Mantle spirited away devout Krytans and sacrificed them on bloodstones to keep the Door of Komalie shut.
While the White Mantle often hires sellswords to bolster its forces, core members of the organization truly believe that they serve a higher power and a greater purpose. They see themselves as saviors of Kryta. Some of their goals are essentially benevolent, but they’re willing to turn to horrific methods to achieve them. The cult was eventually overthrown by Queen Salma and the Shining Blade, who reestablished the Krytan monarchy. The White Mantle survived and rebuilt, persisting in secret, and evidence of their presence can be found in the Guild Wars 2 human personal story and in the open world.
Salvation Pass reveals that the White Mantle have established a stronghold in the Forsaken Thicket and are employing the bandit forces in the area. The wild magic suffusing the area is bad enough when it warps natural creatures like Slothasor, but it becomes even more dangerous in the presence of White Mantle member Matthias Gabrel and his chaotic, bloodstone-fueled power.
Bobby described himself as a casual player but said that trying out raids in Guild Wars 2 helped him become more skilled and engaged. One method nonraiders can use to experience some of the interactive story elements in the raid environment is to team up with other players who have cleared the content and then explore their cleared instance. Bobby and Andrew don’t want to spoil anything that’s coming in the future, so players are urged to keep an eye on what happens in the final wing of the raid and continue giving constructive feedback on the way story is implemented.
The episode concluded with a behind-the-scenes video on the creation of Salvation Pass, featuring Bobby, Game Designer Crystal Reid, and FX Artist Franco Galletta. They discussed how the White Mantle was revealed through the visual design of Salvation Pass, as well as the creation of Matthias and his abomination form.
If you missed the episode, you can check out the recording below!