Humans have lost their homeland, their security, and their former glory. Even their gods have withdrawn. And yet, the human spirit remains unshaken. These brave defenders of Kryta continue to fight with every ounce of their strength.
— In-game description
Once the dominant species of Tyria, the humans have not fared well in the last few years. Their kingdoms, once spanning the entire continent, lie in ruins, leaving only Kryta. As the previous threats waned, an even more deadly one, that of the Elder Dragons, has threatened the very existence of the human race.
Humans are one of the five playable races in Guild Wars 2.
Screenshot of human characters
Selecting a human character will start players off in the tutorial Defending Shaemoor where players defend against the attacking the centaurs.
During character creation, a player can customize a human's physical appearance and answer three race specific biography questions which affect their personal story:
the social status the character was raised as.
what one of their biggest regrets is.
which of the Six Gods they are blessed by.
The human home instance is in the Salma District of Divinity's Reach.
Human racial skills center on the human gods.
The separation of time and distance has meant the human race, more than any other race in the game, has developed a variety of different cultures within it. As human refugees flooded into Kryta from the crumbling edges of human civilization they stayed together to try and hold on to aspects of their history and culture which connected them to the homelands they could not return to. No other place shows this more than the human capital - in Divinity's Reach many of the districts are named for and filled with the architecture and the peoples of Ascalon, Cantha and Elona.
Humanity is filled with examples of great social inequality, homeless on the streets struggling through each day while the rich dine on fine food in opulent homes. But this doesn't mean they're stuck with the lives they have. Every human has the opportunity to take life and make something more of it - to make a difference to not only their life but the lives of those around them.
The other races view the humans as a traditional and conservative race, dying out and doomed to disappear from Tyria just as the dwarves did. But the humans struggle on, their spirit still strong, refusing to give up where others might walk away. In Ascalon, for example, the inhabitants of Ebonhawke, against the odds, still stare down the charr each day from that fortress' great walls. Despite being seen as the most conservative of the races, humans are willing to use new technologies and attempt to adapt and compete with the other races. Humans are tinkerers and craftsmen, a few inventors such as Uzolan help to expand the human's technical knowledge. Of all the races, they hold the best knowledge in history and agriculture.
Humans typically wish to bury their dead, however recently with the influence of Zhaitan and the number of undead increasing many choose to be cremated instead.
Most humans are very dedicated to the worship of their pantheon, the Six Human Gods: Balthazar, Dwayna, Grenth, Kormir, Lyssa, and Melandru. Each god is a patron of several broad areas of concern including war, healing, death, truth, beauty and nature (respectively). These gods are credited with bringing the humans to Tyria and had historically taken a large part in the development of the human race, often using their powers to guide and intervene in events. However, in the past 200 years the Six Gods have stepped back and while they still answer the prayers of their followers, they are much more distant than before, letting humanity stand on its own feet.
This silence from their gods has changed little of their faith, though some now question an undying devotion to these now absent gods. Temples are still made devoted to their worship, and the streets of Divinity's Reach are named and decorated for each of the gods. Some even choose to devote their lives to the worship of a particular god - a Priestess of Dwayna might find herself working in a hospital or a Priest of Balthazar arranging competitions for his god. Historically several festivals were held devoted to one or more of the gods, in particular Wintersday, but whether these are still celebrated is unknown.
The human race is governed by a hereditary monarch and a body of ministers which contains representatives of all the human nationalities. The ministers design law and present their proposals to the queen, who authorizes or rejects their implementation into society. Initially, this system was designed as a temporary government for the refugee camps, but in the 150 years since the flood of Lion's Arch it has become a stable system and a cornerstone of Krytan culture.
The government is supported by its armies. The largest group is the Seraph, the police force and defenders of the people throughout Kryta led by its captains, each assigned to different territory of Kryta. The Ministry Guard support and protect the interests of the Divinity's Reach ministers, and report directly to the Legate Minister. The Shining Blade are a small elite force who protect the queen, and are commanded by the Master Exemplar.
This government isn't without its troubles. The nobility does not always agree with Queen Jennah's decisions. The Chamber of Ministers is filled with intrigues and plots often centered on Legate Minister Caudecus, who is seen by some as a rival to the queen. The different military groups are entangled in these power struggles in a complex web of which group has authority in what circumstances.
This section covers events that occur after Guild Wars. For further information on the humans' history, see the Guild Wars Wiki's section on human history and storyline articles.
At the end of Guild Wars humanity was still the dominant race in Tyria. Spanning three continents with an extensive trade network and significant population, humanity had spread to every corner of Tyria. From these heights humanity started to falter and for the past 250 years they have been in decline.
The human's war with the charr continued in Ascalon. On the back-foot since the searing, the humans repeatedly lost ground against the charr. From 1070 AE to 1090 AE, King Adelbern was able to maintain a tenuous grasp on Ascalon, until the charr marched on Ascalon City and in his madness he unleashed the Foefire turning much of the human population of Ascalon to ghosts. After the Foefire Ascalon was completely controlled by the charr but for the human fortress of Ebonhawke which stands against the charr to this day.
Cantha was united in 1127 AE under the strong fist of Emperor Usoku who then embarked on a campaign to drive out non-human races from the continent. Under his tyranny Cantha became increasingly isolationist and contact with Tyria became increasingly rare. When the minions of Zhaitan cut off sea routes to Cantha all information was cut off too.
Horrible famine swept through Elona after Palawa Joko dammed the Elon river - with the humans so weakened he was able to walk in with his undead armies. In approximately 1135 AE, he had completely taken control of Elona. Joko's stronghold in the Crystal Desert made, and continues to make it near impossible to access Elona via land while Zhaitan makes it impossible to cross to it by sea.
In 1219 AE, the great wave which accompanied the awakening Zhaitan smashed through the Krytan capital, the largest human settlement in Tyria at the time, and all of the coastal areas. Lion's Arch was completely destroyed and abandoned as the capital. When Lion's Arch was born again it was founded by pirates and it became a free city and was no longer under humanity's sole guidance.
Kryta, united under Queen Salma in 1088 AE, became the last stable, reasonable human nation and refugees fled to it from all of the troubled corners of the three continents. The new capital Divinity's Reach became the center of the human universe and their last hope to recover their feet even as it continues to struggle against centaurs and bandits. Many humans would die before letting anything harm Divinity's Reach and their queen.