The final legend for the core Revenant has been revealed: Shiro Tagachi, the Betrayer, Scourge of Cantha, Plague-bringer, and Unleasher of the Jade Wind. His past is dark and storied, with centuries of suffering as his legacy. Yet, when his story began, he was just a human, an Imperial bodyguard.
Shiro Tagachi is from Cantha, the continent that lies far to the south of Tyria, across the Unending Ocean south of Orr and the Ring of Fire Islands. Some basics about Cantha: Most of northern Cantha is ruled by the Empire of the Dragon, which was founded several hundred years before Shiro was born.
The south of Cantha is divided into two regions. To the west lies Echovald Forest, where a faction known as the Kurzicks live in seclusion from the Dragon Empire’s influence. To the west is the Jade Sea, where the nomadic faction called the Luxons live independent of the Dragon Empire’s oversight. The Kurzicks and Luxons are very different and thus despise each other, waging open war on several occasions throughout their history. (Note: the Luxons were totally better, and Kurzicks stink. No, I’m not biased at all based on which faction I joined in Guild Wars 1. Glory to the Luxon Armada!) However, shortly after the Dragon Empire was founded, both Luxons and Kurzicks were subjugated and made vassals of the Empire, so the two factions have cooperated at various points in their past as well.
Shiro was a guardsman in service to Emperor Angsiyan, and quickly caught the Emperor’s attention with his skill with the blade. The Emperor appointed Shiro Tagachi as his personal bodyguard. Unknown to the Emperor, even while Shiro was still a guardsman he was being influenced by a third party.
The Fortune Teller first accosted Shiro on the street, telling him of his potential for greatness. Shiro brushed her off, but later began paying heed to the Fortune Teller’s words. This would prove to be his downfall, and have consequences for the entire Empire. Eventually, the Fortune Teller warned Shiro that Emperor Angsiyan would kill him during the upcoming Harvest Festival. Shiro became insane and paranoid, fearing for his life. According to tradition, the Emperor usually performed the main ritual of the Harvest Ceremony alone, but against all protocol the Emperor asked that Shiro be with him during the ceremony. Taking this as a sign, Shiro slew Emperor Angsiyan during the main ritual and absorbed his soul, along with the magic the Emperor had built up for the Harvest Ceremony.
Some of the Ritualists in the temple managed to set off an alarm before they were slaughtered by Shiro, calling in guardsman set outside. Shiro slew all of them until the champion of the Kurzicks, Saint Viktor, and the champion of the Luxons, Archemorus, were the only ones left standing. Unknown to Shiro, an assassin named Vizu had become suspicious of him and she had watched him kill the Emperor. She shadow-stepped behind him and stabbed him in the back, distracting him and making him drop his enchanted blades. Archemorus and Saint Viktor took advantage of this, charging Shiro and killing him with his own swords.
But as Shiro Tagachi died, he screamed. And the stolen magic built up within him rushed out, becoming a cataclysm known as the Jade Wind. It called forth massive waves in the Jade Sea, then froze them in place by turning them to solid jade. The Jade Wind also went through the Echovald Forest, petrifying the trees and plants until only stone remained.
The Kurzicks and Luxons adapted to their new environments, and life in the Empire moved on. Centuries later,Shiro Tagachi returned. At first, he was only in spirit form, but he sought to become flesh and blood once again. He brought a plague that transformed people into monsters called the Afflicted, then he made an army of constructs called Shiro’ken. He used his forces to assault the Emperor’s palace, seeking the Emperor’s blood to complete his resurrection. Master Togo, head of Shing Jea Monastery and half-brother to the Emperor, led the player character and a group of heroes to stop Shiro, which they almost succeeded in doing. Master Togo sacrificed himself to save the Emperor, but unfortunately as half-brother to the Emperor, his blood was just as useful to Shiro’s purposes. Shiro Tagachi lived again.
The player character was able to defeat Shiro once more, and the Oracle of the Mists, a wise man skilled in the ways of the Mists, turned Shiro’s body to jade. Shiro’s spirit reappeared, and was sent to the worst prison the Underworld had to offer.
And so the story of Shiro Tagachi, deceiver and destroyer, seemingly came to an end. Later, during the events of Guild Wars Nightfall, we find out just what happened to him. When he died, he was banished to the Realm of Torment, which had become the domain of Abaddon, God of Secrets, and his armies of demons. Shiro became one of Abaddon’s generals, and a secret about Shiro’s past was revealed. The Fortune Teller that pushed Shiro down the path of insanity and darkness was a demon sent by Abaddon to corrupt Shiro. The player character eventually reaches Shiro again and defeats him for good.
Which brings us to the present day. Now, Revenants can tap into Shiro’s power to become swift and deadly assassins, destroying all in their path. Just make sure not to draw too deeply and become afflicted with the same madness that turned Shiro into a traitor and a murderer.