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Posts with tag Beyond-the-Dark-Portal

Know Your Lore: Khadgar, Archmage of the Kirin Tor

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.

What do you do when your life is stripped away? Khadgar is an Archmage of the Kirin Tor -- one of the members of the Council of Six, and a powerful mage in his own right. Ancient and wizened, in his lifetime Khadgar has confronted the shadow of Sargeras, faced the orc legions that poured through the Dark Portal, seen Draenor shattered into a wasteland, and even confronted Deathwing himself and survived. And after all that was said and done, he was the first human to reach out and connect with the enigmatic naaru, bringing A'dal and his forces to Outland.

And he's done all of this by age forty-four.

Forty-four? Yes. There's much more to Khadgar than his appearance might suggest. Although his body may be ancient and wizened, there is nothing stopping what is still a fairly young and incredibly intelligent mind. But Khadgar may not be where he expected to be when, at age 17, he was asked to apprentice to the most unlikely tutor in the Eastern Kingdoms. His name was Medivh.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Blizzard releases The Story of Warcraft

Blizzard releases The Story of Warcraft
Are you lost in a sea of Warcraft games, expansions and patches? Not sure which came first, the orc or the egg? Wondering what happened in the patches you missed, or the expansions you didn't play through when they were current? Blizzard has just released The Story of Warcraft, a massive guide that goes through and explains the story of the Warcraft universe game by game, from Orcs and Humans all the way to Cataclysm's Hour of Twilight.

Each chapter of the story includes a synopsis of the events in each particular game or patch. In addition, the guide contains video trailers and key art for every chapter. If you've ever been wanting to get into the lore of Warcraft, but simply didn't know where to start, this guide is for you. According to Blizzard, more bonuses like wallpaper and character cards for various Azeroth heroes will be added at a later date.

This is a pretty amazing guide, and it's something Blizzard has desperately needed for a very long time. I'm glad we've got an outline out there for people to follow. Blizzard is also taking suggestions for future updates -- check out the official announcement post and leave your comments if you have any ideas to share.


Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Lore

Know Your Lore: Garrosh Hellscream, part 1


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.

Last week's Know Your Lore with Thrall left the former Warchief in Nagrand, seeking guidance not only in regards to the raging elements of Azeroth but his own life as well. The former Warchief knew he couldn't step down without leaving someone in charge, and so he had to pick a temporary successor. It was his choice, however, that baffled and angered many World of Warcraft players -- rather than picking someone well known like Saurfang, or perhaps giving Vol'jin a chance to shine, Thrall chose Garrosh Hellscream.

Garrosh's life has been anything but easy. First introduced in The Burning Crusade expansion, Garrosh was apparently -- let's face it -- a petulant crybaby who couldn't even muster the interest to lead the people of Garadar when the impending death of Greatmother Geyah approached. It was up to us as players to convince young Hellscream that life would be all right without the Greatmother, but he simply refused to listen. It wasn't until Thrall visited Nagrand that Hellscream finally stepped up, in a much larger capacity than anyone imagined.

But where did young Garrosh come from? What was his life before we encountered the sulky, unwilling leader of the uncorrupted orcs of Nagrand? What caused him to be so fearful of stepping up to lead? And more importantly, why exactly is he fit to lead the Horde, a much larger group of individuals than that tiny village, when he couldn't be bothered to step up in Garadar?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Netherwing

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.

In Azeroth's history, there's a distinct path that dragon evolution follows. First, there are the proto-drakes of Northrend. From these drakes came the other drakes of lower Azeroth, and the five flights that were developed to watch over the world; red, blue, green, bronze and black. The more the game is played out and the longer the story runs, the more we learn about the dragons -- why they're around, what their purpose is on Azeroth. Today, we're going to focus on one of the new flights of dragons, one that didn't see its creation on Azeroth, and instead finds its origins on the planet of Draenor: The Netherwing.

The genesis of the Netherwing is an odd story, some of which was explained in the article covering the Black Dragonflight last week. Deathwing the Destroyer, the by-now insane leader of the black flight had made a deal with Teron Gorefiend shortly after the orcs were defeated in the Second War. Gorefiend had been ordered by Ner'zhul to go to Azeroth and retrieve several artifacts of power that Ner'zhul needed to open dimensional gateways to other worlds. By doing this, Ner'zhul hoped to escape Draenor, and the influence of the Burning Legion, for good -- and take his people to another land in which they could begin to rebuild after the staggering losses from the wars, and the orcs corruption.

The gist of Deathwing's deal was this -- Deathwing and his black drakes would help Gorefiend find the artifacts he was looking for. In exchange, Deathwing wanted access to the Dark Portal so that he, some of his drakes, and some cargo he had could be transported to Draenor. They would continue assisting the orcs on the other side of the portal as long as the orcs left the drakes, and the cargo, alone. While Gorefiend wasn't sure he trusted Deathwing's motives entirely, the addition of drakes to their fighting forces would make things much, much easier -- and so he agreed.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Black Dragonflight

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.

The history of Azeroth, as well as its origins, is often confusing and lacking in solid information. However, there are a few facts that are well known – once upon a time somewhere in the universe, there were great creatures known as the Titans. The Titans were an odd race of beings that were obsessed with creating order out of chaos. They traveled from world to world, setting things up so that life would progress in an orderly, structured fashion. Sort of like those people you can hire to organize your kitchens and closets.

Enter Azeroth. The Titans came to Azeroth and muddled with it, creating order out of the races that existed on it and tidying everything up, but there was a larger problem that took some intensive cleaning. Ancient creatures known as the Old Gods decided they'd really like to take over the nice chunk of rock -- and where the Titans were concerned with creating order and structure, the Old Gods wanted just the opposite. The Old Gods wanted chaos and destruction where the Titans wanted order and structure, and there was a great war between the two. In the end the Titans prevailed, but they discovered something that was more than a little disturbing – they couldn't simply kill the Old Gods. The Old Gods had integrated themselves too deeply into Azeroth, and destroying the Old Gods meant destroying Azeroth itself.

This presented a problem, but the Titans had a solution that they decided would work – they imprisoned the Old Gods deep beneath the earth, leaving them there to rot. After all of this, the Titans decided to put in some safeguards to make sure the planet would remain running smoothly, orderly, and without any grabby tentacled interference from below.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Twelve Days of Winter Veil: Day ten

WoW.com continues celebrating Winter Veil with our Twelve Days of Winter Veil contests. Today is day ten of our countdown and we are giving away a set of World of Warcraft novels written by Christie Golden to one lucky winner courtesy of Pocket Books. The set includes:
  • Arthas
  • Beyond The Dark Portal
  • Rise of the Horde
  • Warcraft Archive
The contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), and everyone who enters must be 18 or older. To enter, leave a comment on this post before 12pm ET (noon) Friday, December 25, 2009. Please be sure to use a real email that you check often to enter, so we can contact you should you be the winner. You may enter only once and one winner will be selected randomly. The winner will receive 1 set of Christie Golden World of Warcaft novels including Arthas, Beyond The Dark Portal, Rise of the Horde and the Warcraft Archive with a total retail value of US$58. Click here to read the official contest rules.

And if you don't win today (or even if you do!) check back later today for loot card giveaways and tomorrow for more contests -- the prizes only get better as we count down the Twelve Days of Winter Veil!

EDIT: Contest closed. Thanks everyone!

Filed under: Contests

WoW Rookie: Reading about Warcraft

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic, and be sure to visit the WoW.com WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

Even if you're not a roleplayer, it's almost impossible not to find yourself swept up by some aspect of the hundreds of compelling stories tucked into the World of Warcraft. The question is, how can you dig deeper? Where do you find more? The answer: Books ... Manga ... Comics ... RPGs .... Page after page after page of glorious lore. Blizzard approves the storylines and lore included in the Warcraft and World of Warcraft line of novels, although you won't find a straight and clear progression across the whole line. Not every story and character crosses over from books to game (and vice versa).

Besides the Warcraft novels, WoW-starved readers can chew through enough manga, roleplaying game books and gaming guides to sate any lore feeding frenzy. The best part? You enjoy +Lore bonuses to your online play experience. Even the RPG books add color to the overall picture. Follow us beyond the break for a basic reading outline to escort you down Warcraft's path of lore.

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Filed under: Features, The Burning Crusade, Lore, WoW Rookie, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

BtDP up for Scribe award, Warcraft audiobooks delayed

Here's a few bits of WoW book news from our friend Medievaldragon over at Blizzplanet. First up, the good news: Aaron Rosenberg and Christie Golden have been nominated for a "Best Adapted" award from the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers (just proving that for everything in the world, there's an association for it) for the World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal book that they wrote together. Pretty groovy, and supposedly well-deserved -- if you ever sit down to read any of the Warcraft literature, we've heard that's a great place to start. Winners of the prizes will be announced at GenCon this year, so good luck to the writers there.

And secondly, a bummer for those who've been waiting on the audiobook versions of the Warcraft books -- Medievaldragon says that he heard from Tantor Media, the company behind the productions, that they've been postponed. He's convinced that they've only been held off temporarily, but we're not so sure -- given the current economy, Tantor may have figured it wasn't worth the licensing and the trouble. But you never know -- apparently they've all been recorded, so perhaps we'll see them at some point in the future, even if it's only in digital form. We certainly hope so.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends

Christie Golden drops more info about Arthas

BlizzPlanet has a nice tidbit from Christie Golden about her upcoming novel about Arthas Menethil (better known as half of the Lich King, that bad guy we're going to be spending a lot of time with in the expansion). The book is due out next year (so odds are that we'll be approaching the end of the story by the time it hits store shelves), but it'll offer a look at the bad guy way before he started being bad -- the book starts with Arthas as a 10-year-old Prince, and covers everything between there to his little meltdown we witnessed in Warcraft III. The romance with Jaina is supposed to get some good coverage as well, so the book should be a good read.

And there are some bonuses for close readers as well -- we'll have seen some scenes before (including one between Arthas and Muradin in Beyond the Dark Portal), but of course, in this book, they'll be from Arthas' perspective. Arthas is undoubtedly the villian of the next ten levels in WoW (they even named the thing after him), but it's really exciting to have a villian with such an interesting and twisted past behind him.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Lore, Bosses, NPCs, Death Knight

Ask a Lore Nerd: Books, boats and Blood Knights


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, the column that answers your questions about the story and lore of the Warcraft universe. Click the Comments link below (or e-mail us!), ask your question, and blogger/columnist Alex Ziebart will answer your question in a future installment!

Without further ado, let's get to the questions. Justin of Firetree-US wrote in to ask...

Along the coastline in the Swamp of Sorrows there are skeletons of giant turtles with structures built onto the back of their shells. Is this a nod to the Gnome submarines used in
Warcraft II? If I remember correctly, they were turtles as well.

While yes, the Gnomes did use the turtles as submarines in Warcraft II, they aren't the only ones that have made use of them. According to a few quests in Darkshore, the Naga have put the Giant turtles to work as transports. Also, in Wrath of the Lich King, the Tuskarr use giant turtles with carriages on their backs as transportation as well. In fact, you can use them to get from one end of Northrend to the other. Edit: I was wrong, the Gnomes didn't use the turtles. It was a Horde unit. Same answer applies, though.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Ask a Lore Nerd

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