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Prolific and belligerent, amphibious heket are a nuisance to anyone traveling across Elona. These creatures thrive in water, but prefer to survive in arid areas. The farther they’re found from their spawning grounds, the darker the days ahead will be. No matter where they claim their territory, heket spawn in alarming quantities. From the moment they’re born, they savage each other as they compete for the few resources in the area. The crude concept of bashing someone on the head for food is instinctual, and heket become more aggressive as they grow larger. Once a region cannot support any more heket, they lurch from their breeding grounds searching for food. By the time a band of them begins attacking human travelers, exterminating them is a public service.
- Guild Wars Eye of the North Manuscript
The Hylek were once known as "Heket". The Heket were brutal and mostly savage creatures that did whatever they had to do to survive, they are the theorized ancestors of the newly named Hylek people. The Hylek have made significant strides over the past years and have bettered their society and basic skills along with it, but are still far behind the more developed and advanced races of the times. The Hylek are resilient and quite a bit more intelligent than most would think, and their society continues to develop rather swiftly as time passes. The Hylek thrive in all types of water based environments, but prefer to live in swamps. Wherever the Hylek community decides to settle however, they seem to spawn in alarming quantities. The Hylek's ancestors were very reclusive and xenophobic, not venturing out of their living areas or territories for their entire lives in many situations. However in the recent years it seems that the reclusive Hyleks have changed as much as Tyria has. Hyleks have been seen further and further from their spawning grounds.
The Hylek that survive are noted for being extremely tough. From the moment a Hylek is born, they are in a fierce competition for food and shelter. Their brothers and sisters will fiercely fight them for anything they can find. The ones that do not starve and/or succumb to the harsh environments become fierce and resilient opponents on the battlefield. If the young Hylek reaches maturity they are traditionally given a coming of age festival. As a brood of young Hylek will likely be large, many come of age at the same time. During this coming of age festival young Hyleks will compete against one another in many trials of skill, demonstrating their value to the tribe. The young Hyleks performance during this festival will determine their place in the tribe for the rest of their lives, whether it is as a warrior of the tribe or a merchant. Once they are assigned a role they learn quickly what the social structure of a Hylek tribe is like. The Hylek have a very shamanistic culture. The Hylek live in independent tribes that can range from a few dozen Hylek to several hundred. Each tribe is headed by a single chieftain, usually an elder Hylek that has endured many hardships. Because of their age they are seen as wise and worthy of honor, as many Hylek have very short lives due to combat or the struggles of life. The chieftain usually has advisors that are equally important to the clan, these advisors can range from priests to veteran warriors. The Hylek tribes are fiercely territorial, and most Hylek warriors die fighting their own kin in battles over territory. As a matter of fact it is extremely rare for Hylek tribes to ever be friendly or cooperate with one another. All Hylek are regarded for their faith in the sun, it is their deity. They praise it as the bringer of life and death, and regularly hold festivals in its honor.
As of know the Hylek have four well established tribes, and they are as follows:
- Hylek (Named after the speices)
They make their homes in the Maguuma Jungle and The Tarnished Coast of Tyria
- The Hylek will be one of the selectable sub-races to a Sylvari player in Guild Wars 2.
- The Hylek's lesser evolved ancestors the Heket were enemies in Guild Wars: Nightfall and Guild Wars: Eye of the North.
- Many alchemists take on Hylek apprentices, as the species is highly regarded for their resistance to many toxins other races would find deadly and their natural ability to recognize and create poisonous concoctions.