We've known for a while thanks to screenshots and data from World of Raids that M'uru was the long-expected Dark Naaru boss of the Sunwell. As a lore fanatic and Blood Elf fan, I wondered how they'd explain his disappearance from Silvermoon and his reappearance at the Sunwell, so when tipster James let me know something was up in Silvermoon on the test server, I had to head out immediately and see for myself. He was right: M'uru is no longer in the not-so-secret chamber below the Paladin's guild headquarters in Farstrider Square in Silvermoon City, nor is Lady Liadrin, the founder and matriarch of the order.
Instead, I found the Blood Elf Magisters who had formerly contained the Naaru kneeling or sitting on the floor, or standing in a woozy, stunned daze. Magister Astalor Bloodsworn was the only one who talked, cursing Kael'thas and his Felblood troops for stealing away M'uru, and saying that Lady Liadrin had gone to look for a new source of power for the order.
And yes, she does show up elsewhere to claim that new source.
I figured that if Liadrin would need a new source of light, she'd need a new Naaru. So, why not go straight to the top and head for Shattrath? I waited by A'dal for a few minutes, and was rewarded for my patience, for Liadrin did indeed march into the center of Shattrath. General Tiris'alan of the Shattered Sun Offensive called her a mockery of all they stood for, but A'dal silenced him and welcomed her. She said that she knew now that Kael'thas had betrayed her people and that her path was a false one. A'dal revealed that M'uru knew the path he must take, for Velen himself, leader of the Alliance-aligned Draenei and former high priest of the Aldor, prophesied it. A'dal then spoke of Velen's Prophecy:
"Silvery moon, washed in blood,
Led astray into the night, armed with the sword of broken Light.
Broken, then betrayed by one, standing there bestride the sun.
At darkest hour, redemption comes, in knightly lady sworn to blood."
Liadrin, upon hearing this, said that she understood it all now, and pledged the Blood Knights to the defeat of Kil'jaedan and the restoration of Silvermoon. A'dal welcomed her and her followers to Shattrath, telling her that the Sunwell is only the first step of her journey.
Certainly, this is a major development in Warcraft lore, possibly the largest we've seen since the release of the Burning Crusade itself. Most immediately, it affects the Blood Knights themselves: Many of their quests involve siphoning Power from M'uru or strengthening his prison. Now that he's gone, it's likely safe to assume that those quests will be re-written, and through them, possibly a major part of the whole Blood Knight culture. In addition, this does very arguably make Blood Knights not into thieves of the light, but true Paladins and followers of the light themselves. Beyond that, the whole of Blood Elf culture could be affected. Word of Kael'thas' actions will surely reach the rest of Silvermoon City soon, and if Blizzard chooses to continue this incredible story development, it should affect Blood Elf lore and questing all down the line.
Will Blood Elf Pilgrims still make the journey to Thrallmar and Falcon Watch? The Blood Elves joined the Horde in order to pool their resources to get to Outland, the Horde to revisit the ancestral home of the Orcs and Ogres, the Blood Elves to get to Kael'thas. If the idea of the Outland as the promised land and Kael'thas as a savior is discredited, will they continue to risk the journey? Then again, it could be a promising development for the Blood Elves' culture if they stay in Outland of their own accord to fight the Demonic threat instead of retreating back to Silvermoon.
What about Blood Elf and High Elf relations? Right now, the Blood Elves will gladly help the Forsaken and the Trolls kill their bretheren in Eastern Plaguelands and the Hinterlands. If we see the Sunwell officially reclaimed and the Blood Elves renounce the use of Fel Magic to feed their addiction, will the High Elves accept the Blood Elves accept each other as kin again? Now, as much as I'd like to play an Alliance High Elf, I very much doubt that will happen. The Horde needs Paladins, and there's too much bad blood between the blood elves and almost all other alliance races for a reconciliation any time soon. But there could still be at least some reopening of diplomatic channels, and I could see many High Elves wanting to return to a Silvermoon with a reignited Sunwell, should that be the end result of things once Kil'jaedan is defeated.
But I would be remiss if I did not say that, at the moment, a cursory sweep of Silvermoon City seems to suggest that little has changed outside M'uru's former prison. Rommath, the emissary of Kael'thas, stands in Sunfury Spire where he always has, with little else to say. You can still see Lyria Skystrider, Priest Ennas, and Priest Kath'mar in the corner of the Bazaar acting out their drama. Even the initiates in the Paladin guild itself continue to boast about their power and speak hatefully about those who look at it with distaste. But we've certainly had storylines evolve over multiple patches before, so I'll be anxious to see if Blood Elf society experiences more changes in the future, perhaps if a patch 2.5 comes our way before WoTLK does.
I'll be very interested to watch how this lore continues into Wrath of the Lich King, as well. Certainly, if Lady Liadrin has such a prophesy about her, it seems she may take a larger role in Blood Elven lore from here on out. When Tirion Fordring reforms the Knights of the Silver Hand, it's likely that he will welcome the Blood Elves with open arms, especially now that they are receiving the powers of the light in a legitimate manner. We could very well see Lady Liadrin coming to pledge the sword of the Blood Elves to the Silver Hand - and the downfall of Arthas, perhaps even joining the Horde raiders when they fight Arthas himself. It would be quite the turnaround if the "knightly lady sworn to blood," who at one time looked like a villain to many, becomes the savior and avenger of the Blood Elves that Kael'thas was thought to be.
We shall be watching Lady Liadrin's career -- and the Blood Elves in general -- with great interest. How about the rest of you? What do you think of this twist?