The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.
I was unbelievably tempted to write another big time-travel extravaganza around my theory that Karazhan is living backwards like Merlin - that it was built in the future and its supposed creation in an explosion that made Deadwind Pass was in fact its final destruction at the end of its existence - but it's the kind of theory that I can explain in like four sentences. It doesn't really need a whole KYL.
So instead, I'm going to talk about characters I miss. Some of them haven't really gone anywhere - I can go visit them any time I like - while others have died or disappeared. Some of those characters have never even appeared in World of Warcraft.
Obviously Rexxar is on the list, so we'll talk about him first.
Where have you gone, Rexxar?
What's funny is, I know exactly where Rexxar has gone. He's in the Thunderlord Stronghold in Outland, trying to make some sort of rapprochement with his father Leorox and the Mok'Nathal and keep the Horde presence in the Blade's Edge Mountains. But in the intervening five plus years since then, all Rexxar has done is pop up briefly in the pre-Cataclysm event defending Orgrimmar. Since then, nada. I was desperately hoping that he'd pop up when Chen Stormstout made his Mists of Pandaria appearance, considering Chen was part of Rexxar's motley crew during the Founding of Durotar. You know who else was helping Rexxar out that time? Vol'jin, that's who. Rexxar is the reason Vol'jin and Chen even know each other. So for him to make no appearances in Mists, especially when Thrall was facing down Garrosh for the future of the Horde? I mean, he's a Champion of the Horde!
Seriously, if a Horde civil war doesn't merit an appearance from one of its greatest Champions, I'm not really sure what would. I really want Rexxar to come out from under that rock. Maybe he notices that the Dark Portal doesn't work anymore and Thunderlord is cut off from the Horde and goes to Shattrath to hitch a ride back to Azeroth, ending up the Horde's biggest free agent for the war against the Iron Horde? Guys, I don't really care how you do it, but get us some Rexxar already.
Turalyon and Alleria
I'm not expecting these two to show up, and I don't even really have a lot to say about them that I haven't already said. I just know that if I don't mention these two, I'll never hear the end of it.
Restalaan and Telmor
Restalaan was the commander of the guard protecting the city of Telmor, and a close personal friend of Velen from the flight from Argus. Serving as Velen's second in command, it was Restalaan who made the decision to save two young orcs (Durotan and Orgrim Doomhammer) from being murdered by ogres, and who brought them safely into Telmor (inadvertently allowing Durotan to observe the use of Leafshadow, an ata'mal crystal, and its role in Telmor's shield of invisibility) to meet and share a meal with Velen himself.
Therefore, when Durotan chose to use that information to aid Gul'dan's Horde in its destruction of Telmor, Restalaan died defending Telmor from the Horde. Telmor was a large, important settlement and of great importance in the area due to its proximity to Auchindoun and many of the draenei best and brightest were present when it was sacked. It was one of the decisive battles of the period - if you can call a surprise attack on people who have no reason to expect one engineered by the utter betrayal by someone you saved and treated with respect a battle.
But now, history has been changed. While Durotan still possesses the knowledge of Leafshadow, he's not strongly affiliated with the Iron Horde. Perhaps Telmor does not fall, or not through a sudden surprise attack, and Restalaan could have survived. With him would endure the warrior traditions of ancient Argus, so he's definitely on my list of people I want to see.
Next up, another draenei. I led with an orc hero (well, half orc) so you're just going to have to excuse my draenei sympathies. Dornaa first appeared in the first Burning Crusade version of Children's Week, back in 2007. She was a draenei orphan (and a child at that, fairly rare among a race that appears to be nearly ageless) who the players led around, finding clues to her potentially epic destiny. Bronze dragons freaked out at the sight of her. Naaru spoke directly to her. The elements were hers to command.
Well, next year it will have been seven years. I say it's time to get to see what kind of person Dornaa grew up into. I'm not saying she should be fully realized as a hero or villain yet, but seven years is a lot of growing up, and Warlords of Draenor seems like a good time for this potential hero of the draenei to start popping up.
Yes, Liadrin. We know that there are going to be revelations as to the true nature of the Naaru and the purpose of Auchindoun, and for Alliance players there are all sorts of candidates among them who could be useful for exploring this. But for the Horde, Liadrin is the obvious choice. She has first hand knowledge of the redemptive power of the Holy Light, she has in her time both imprisoned and damned and then been saved by a Naaru, and she is the most senior paladin in the entire Horde. Of the two powerful women who head up the Horde's paladin orders, Liadrin is the more experienced, and moreover, the more experienced with the Naaru and their particular power over the Light.
Furthermore, Liadrin has worked directly with the Shattered Sun Offensive, which means she has a greater than average understanding of the Draenei and their ways - she's simply the best possible person to explore Auchindoun's mysteries for the Horde. And it's past time to get to see how the events at the Sunwell actually changed the Blood Knights as a whole. It's one thing to see Liadrin hanging out at the Sunwell teaching folks about the Light - let's see it in practice. Let's see Liadrin smiting some fools.
Nemuraan, the Harbinger of the Alliance
So who is Nemuraan, you ask? He was a draenei who led a group of survivors hiding from the orcs in Auchindoun, which makes him most likely a survivor of the battle at Telmor. He and his bedraggled people took refuge in the ruins of the once proud city-cathedral, the greatest necropolis on Draenor, until the coming of Danath Trollbane and members of the Alliance Expedition seeking to find and rescue Kurdran Wildhammer. Despite his concerns about allowing these strangers to find where his people were hiding, he aided them against the mutual enemy (the orcs) by summoning forth the very army that had been slaughtered, allowing their ghosts to take some measure of vengeance.
He then aided in the rescue of Kurdran while his captors were occupied trying to deal with the ghost army, and used his Light granted powers to heal his wounds before parting ways with Danath and the others, saying that his people's place was on Draenor. Since we never saw him in Outland, it's likely he perished when Ner'zhul's reckless sorcery tore the world apart.
But now, we have a chance to see him again. What life would Nemuraan lead on a Draenor like the one we're going to visit? I'd like to find out.
There are more, of course - there are always more - but that should do for now. Who do you think should make an appearance?
While you don't need to have played the previous Warcraft games to enjoy World of Warcraft, a little history goes a long way toward making the game a lot more fun. Dig into even more of the lore and history behind the World of Warcraft in WoW Insider's Guide to Warcraft Lore.