Welcome back, my new friends, to another introduction of the races that populate Tyria. We’ve covered the humans, we’ve meet the charr, and we’ve seen the norn. Today I’d like you to meet a race that is larger than life even though they are are the smallest of all the playable races. Give a warm welcome to the ASURA.
Though the asura may be the smallest of all the races, only reaching up to the belt buckle of a norn, they more than make up for that in other areas. Perhaps the most obvious is that they are smart. Not just smart, mind you, but smart to the point of being beyond the realms of understanding even by the player that is controlling their actions. Because of this superior level of intelligence, they often times come across with a bit of snark as they have to hold their massive intellects in check in order to even communicate with other people.
This has lead some to question why they are not the dominate race of Tyria? If they are clearly so smart, wouldn’t they have been able to conquer all the other races and bring peace and stability to the world? The answer: they haven’t been on the surface long enough for this to happen.
Originally, the asura dwelt in the deep, dark places of the world. In the subterranean world they were kings, having conquered over their eternal enemies (the skritt), they were free to develop their technology and experiment without fear. That all changed with the rise of the Great Destroyer 250 years ago.
The Destroyers ravaged the asura, who were unprepared for this new enemy, and while their technology was great, it was not enough to stymy the tide that washed over them. In order to survive the onslaught, many asura moved to the surface world, where they founded the great city of Rata Sum.
This technological marvel serves as the capital city for the asuran race, and their genius can be seen in every facet. Even the design of the city has been laid out in a logical and orderly fashion. Asuran Gates stand prominent near the entrance of the city, ready to bridge the distance between far off points in the blink of an eye. Many have praised this amazing city for its ease of navigation, and for the relative proximity between important points such as the bank, Black Lion Trading Post and crafting stations.
Each asura is trained in one of the three colleges, and the player will have the choice of which college they graduated from:
College of Dynamics: “The College of Dynamics produces gizmo-makers extraordinaire. Energy, enthusiasm, and boldness are our best qualities. We believe in leveraging the expendable nature of all things. If a prototype explodes, it isn’t a failure unless the lesson goes unlearned.1“
College of Statistics: “Builders and architects make up the College of Statics, and we build to last. Some call us conservative, but we excel at creating new designs, using old materials in innovative ways, and expanding the purview of known magics for practical applications.2“
College of Synergetics: “As members of College of Synergetics, we study how energy patterns form and alchemagical fractals propagate. Few beyond our college understand the philosophical and mystical complexities of our interests. We devoutly research the true nature of the Eternal Alchemy.3“
As for an official government, the asura are loosely ruled by the Arcane Council. Individuals that serve on the Council only do so because they have been tricked into the role, and they will remain in that position until they can dupe someone else into taking the position. After all, serving on the Council only takes away from more important research that they could be conducting.
They may be small of stature but they more than make up for it with their brilliance! Be sure to come back tomorrow as we conclude our look at the races of Tyria with an overview of the sylvari.