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Posts with tag Blackrock-Orcs

Know Your Lore: Blackhand the Destroyer

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.

There are no spoilers for Warlords of Draenor here, because we're not talking about that Blackhand. No, the Blackhand we're going to talk about today is the original, the first Warchief of the Horde, the leader of the Blackrock orcs. A raider of the Sythegore Arm and a feared wolf-rider, Blackhand was both tactically brilliant and overly fond of flattery - he rose to the position of Warchief because he possessed both the ruthless cunning necessary to lead the Horde and the ego and vanity that Gul'dan used to manipulate him. It was this strange mix in his personality, his bloodlust and desire for power yet gullibility and willingness to be misled that led him to the position of Warchief, led him onto an alien world, and ultimately led him to his death.

Blackhand was first in command of the Blackrock clan. He had three children with his mate Urukal, Griselda, Rend and Maim. Griselda's fate shows us that not all orc clans were as egalitarian as the Frostwolves. But before all of that, before he sold his children to warlock magic to make adults from them before their time, before he was Warchief, before he drank the demon blood after Grom Hellscream, Blackhand was an ambitious, cruel, and eager warrior who sought glory in battle, and his own aggrandizement.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Blackrock Legacy

Know Your Lore The Blackrock Legacy
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.

They claimed to be the true Horde. They may yet prove it.

The Blackrock orcs seem, on the surface, to be a relic of a bygone age. A tribe of orcs holding on to a past swept aside by Turalyon's hand clutching Lothar's broken sword, a defeated remnant of Gul'dan's legacy. Once led by Blackhand the Destroyer, the Blackrock clan rose to prominence when Blackhand became Gul'dan's proxy as Warchief of the newborn Horde. And it remained central when Orgrim Doomhammer, Blackhand's second in command, slew Blackhand and seized power, for Doomhammer too was a member of the Blackrock clan. After the final defeat of the Horde atop Blackrock Spire, it seemed certain that the Blackrocks would trouble Azeroth no more.

Yet Blackhand's sons Rend and Maim, who had served Doomhammer even after he killed their father as leaders of the splinter clan the Black Tooth Grin, led the Blackrocks into the mountain that bore the same name and set about rebuilding them. When Teron Gorefiend came to Blackrock Spire, the brothers Blackhand refused his call to join Ner'zhul's Horde, seeing themselves as the true inheritors of Blackhand's legacy. In time, the Black Dragonflight came to the mountain, attracted by the reds still held in bondage there, and Nefarian brought the Blackrocks into his service. Maim Blackhand died in the war with the Dark Iron Dwarves to determine which force would rule the mountain, while Rend died when Thrall sent members of the Horde to kill him for his claim to the title of Warchief that Doomhammer had bestowed upon the shaman.

And yet, the Blackrocks were not done. Ironically, it may have been one of Thrall's most loyal supporters who brought one of Garrosh Hellscream's most dangerous enforcers into the fold.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: Where is WoW's story headed in the distant future?

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.

Because of the way we experience the setting, the story of World of Warcraft progresses in bursts. It's fair to think of each expansion as a new series, and the patches as episodic, in the same manner as British TV series such as Doctor Who or Turning Evil. Therefore, each expansion brings new settings, new dangers, and a new, overarching storyline, while each patch is an advancement of that storyline, bringing it to a conclusion with the ultimate patch of each expansion. In this way, Patch 4.3 is effectively a multi-part episode concluding the story of our confrontation with Deathwing.

I bring this up because with Mists of Pandaria, we're going to see a whole new place and explore it. In essence, it will be an expansion that introduces a great deal of new -- new lands, new peoples, new experiences. While it will still be part of Azeroth and still part of the unfolding storyline, it's also a change to switch gears and get away from the familiar. In a game like WoW, it's necessary to introduce new elements in this way to keep the setting engaging. It may be hard to relate now, but Ragnaros, Ahn'Qiraj, the Old Gods, the Silithid, all were introduced in World of Warcraft and not any of the RTS games. Look at the Warcraft III map of Kalimdor. You'll notice pretty much everything south of Feralas is blank on it.

This puts me in mind to speculate on the future of the game and where the lore is going to take us. Not just in Mists, of course, as I expect that much of the lore of the expansion is well and truly fleshed out already, and I'm as eager as anyone to see it. But we've got expansions down the road and trends to consider. None of this absolutely will happen ... but some of it might.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: I suck at playing mage

This is the story of a girl named Una.

Una was a promising young woman who hailed from the forests of Elwynn. She had many friends who loved her humor, wit, and engaged conversation. She baked a delicious peach and berry cobbler, and was known to take joy in simple things, like brightly colored boot socks. In apprentice mage school, Una was frequently complimented by her teachers for her brilliance. Her loving parents supported her choice to pursue magic, and with her gifts it was no surprise when she graduated top of her class.

Not long after Una began her service to the Stormwind guard, she was tasked to journey to the Redridge Mountains to help stabilize an encroaching force of Blackrock orcs. When Una arrived she learned that the orcs had taken refuge in a former human stronghold known as Stonewatch Keep. With a determined heart, Una set out to recapture the keep.

Una died.

Okay, so, what am I babbling about? Let me explain: Una is my level 29 mage. She was the second character I ever made, back in 2005 when vanilla WoW was in full swing. I had high hopes for her, but ended up abandoning her quite quickly in favor of priest. Why? Because I absolutely suck at playing mage. I'm an awful, terrible, baddie mage who can't even get to level cap! *cries* I don't really know what it is either; I have tried to go back and play Una many times over the years, and despite becoming quite savvy with priest (including shadow!), rogue, and feral druid, I still die to the same level 24 orcs in Redridge.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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