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Posts with tag Day-of-the-Dragon

Dawn of the Aspects paperback available for preorder

Dawn of the Aspects coming in paperback in November
Dawn of the Aspects, the five part ebook-only novel by Richard Knaak, is now slated to be released in paperback for book enthusiasts this November. The novel is now available for preorder on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. But for those simply expecting a print version of Knaak's tale, you might be in for a surprise -- also included in the edition is a print version of the short story Charge of the Aspects, released on Blizzard's website at the tale end of Cataclysm.

Dawn of the Aspects tells two distinct tales -- the tale of Kalecgos and his struggle with the resolution to Cataclysm that saw all of the Aspects drained of their powers, and the dragonflights with out a purpose, and a much, much older tale of just how the Aspects and dragonflights came to be. It's a really good, if confusing at times, story in which Kalecgos desperately tries to find a new purpose for dragonkind, while simultaneously taking a journey to the past and seeing the story of Galakrond, supposed progenitor of all dragonkind.

As for Charge of the Aspects, the short story by Matt Burns takes place on the eve of Deathwing's downfall, and features the four Aspects, together with Thrall, trying to figure out just how to kill Deathwing once and for all. It's available for free on the official website, but this is the first time the story has been available in print -- and it honestly provides a pretty good framing point for Dawn of the Aspects as well. If you're interested in a physical copy of both of these tales, preorders are now open on Amazon as well as Barnes and Noble. The book is $12.50, and is slated to be released November 19, according to both websites.

Filed under: News items, Lore

Review of Dawn of the Aspects

Review of Dawn of the Aspects
On Monday, the fifth and final installment of Dawn of the Aspects, by Richard Knaak, will be available for purchase. For those that have been waiting to download and nab the entire publication in one go, your wait is just about over. For those of us that have been reading since the beginning, it marks the end of what has been, honestly, one of the strangest tales to come out of the Warcraft stable in quite some time.

While I could simply review part five of the book, talk about my impressions and what the installment was like, to me it makes far more sense to talk about the book as a whole, now that I've finished the whole thing. After all, this was a different kind of experiment -- an entirely digital publication doled out in monthly installments for a small fee. Was the experiment worth it? Did the story hold water in the end? And perhaps most importantly -- was the story any good?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

Dawn of the Aspects Part V excerpt now available

Dawn of the Aspects Part V excerpt now available
It's been a long journey, but it seems that the latest Warcraft fiction offering is now wrapping up and coming to an end. An excerpt from the fifth and final chapter of Dawn of the Aspects is now available for reading on the official website. Dawn of the Aspects, by Richard Knaak, details the origins of the Aspects and the five dragonflights. The five-part miniseries has been released in installments over the last several months, and the fifth chapter ought to wrap up the tale and establish exactly what Kalecgos has learned from the mysterious artifact he's found.

As for the blue dragon's mysterious dive into the past, it seems that the events of long ago are finally reaching their climax -- Alexstrasza, Ysera, Nozdormu, Neltharion and Malygos are preparing for the final battle with Galakrond, a battle that will change the course of their race forever. Will Kalecgos discover the true purpose of the artifact? Will he break free of its mysterious hold, or will he remain stuck in Malygos' memories for eternity? And will Malygos and the not-quite-Aspects prevail, or will history itself unravel? Good question! While the excerpt doesn't provide any answers, it does offer a good glimpse at the final chapter. You can read the excerpt in full on the official website.

Dawn of the Aspects part five will be available for purchase in several different ebook formats for a wonderfully low $1.99 on June 17. Head to Simon & Schuster to purchase the installment in ebook format -- and if you're looking for a different format for your e-reader, the website has links to several different retailers on their listing page. Hopefully the release of the final chapter will encourage Blizzard to release a print edition of the novel in full, too -- I have an empty spot waiting on my bookshelf!

Filed under: Blizzard, Lore

Review of Dawn of the Aspects, part four

Review of Dawn of the Aspects, part four
It is absolutely official, now -- I have no idea how the Aspects actually came to be Aspects. For that matter, Tyr's purpose seems to be just as mysteriously vague. However, there was far more light shed on both questions in part four of Dawn of the Aspects, now available for a variety of e-readers. Despite the muddied waters of draconic origins, it is apparent that more of these mysteries will be answered in full by the time the fifth and final installment rolls around.

What did we know, to date? We knew that the Aspects were empowered by various Titans and charged with watching over the world. But that's about it -- the process of how that empowering came about is by and large a giant unknown and has been for years. What surprises me is just how willing I was to let the origin of the dragonflights slide as something that wasn't terribly important, in the long run. But when one considers that their origin appears to be tied to the fate of Tyr, it suddenly bears far more interesting implications.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

Dawn of the Aspects Part IV preview

Aspects
For all you lore fans out there, Dawn of the Aspects Part IV will be available in five days, on May 20th. To tide us over, community manager Bashiok has posted a preview on the story forum, featuring our fearless dragon quintet facing an undead menace. I don't want to spoil too much for those who are waiting to read the whole thing once it's all finished, but as the penultimate addition to the story, there's some name dropping that might come as a surprise if you haven't been following along. The excerpt hints at some tense situations for the soon-to-be Aspects, and Ysera, in particular, plays an important part in this scene. There are even a few hints that she might have some kind of hidden, unexpected power, but we all know that's because Ysera is the best Aspect anyway. The position of my druid as my perpetual main has in no way influenced my opinion on this matter.

Make sure to check out WoW Insiders' reviews of the previous parts of Dawn of the Aspects. The full part four preview is the break, and keep your eyes peeled for Dawn of the Aspects Part IV.

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Filed under: News items, Lore

Review of Dawn of the Aspects, part three by Richard A. Knaak

Review of Dawn of the Aspects, part three by Richard A Knaak
The action in Dawn of the Aspects heated up exponentially in part two of the series by Richard A. Knaak -- and part three only continues to both clarify and confuse in the most brain-bending, delightful way.

The third installment of Dawn of the Aspects, released Monday, continues to explore the purpose of the mysterious artifact Kalegos uncovered back in part one. It seems as though the visions Kalec has been experiencing are growing far more intense, enough to make the former Aspect question the reality of the future we're currently living in. More importantly, there are some important and thoroughly bizarre revelations that may actually shed some light on the Aspects as they turned out in present day.

Although the installments continue to be slightly confusing, we're beginning to get a grasp on just what this story is all about. And as mentioned in our last review, it's becoming far more clear that what happened in the past is apparently not only relevant, but incredibly important to the events of present day. Dawn of the Aspects is, so far, proving to be a delightful mystery of a book, not quite like anything we've seen come before.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

Review of Dawn of the Aspects, part two by Richard A. Knaak

Review of Dawn of the Aspects, part two by Richard A Knaak
Things have just gotten incredibly weird.

The second installment of Dawn of the Aspects has just been released to an assortment of retailers, ready to be downloaded to the e-reader of your choice. The novel, written by Richard Knaak, continues to explore the events at the dawn of time, before the Age of Dragons began. As Kalecgos continues his descent into the mad visions bestowed upon him by an ancient artifact, he begins to discover more and more unsettling facts about the formation of dragonkind. But will Kalecgos be able to divine what these visions are trying to teach, or will he be swallowed into the past for good?

In our review of part one, we touched on the somewhat convoluted nature of the story, with the hopes that part two would begin to make things slightly more clear. Yet that question of the purpose of dragons on Azeroth, their origin, and what they should do now that the Age of Mortals has begun is still left unanswered. And despite the novel's focus on events long past, it's beginning to become more clear that Kalecgos' visions, mad as they are, definitely have more than a little relevance to present-day.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

Review of Dawn of the Aspects, part one by Richard A. Knaak

Review of Dawn of the Aspects, part one by Richard A Knaak
Everything we know about the formation of the Aspects is wrong. Well, not wrong -- but so far from what is truth that the reality of the situation is a dizzying puzzle that has only begun to be addressed. Dawn of the Aspects is a puzzle within a puzzle within a puzzle, and part one of the tale has only just begun to unravel these pieces into what will hopefully be a coherent whole by the end of the story.

While we've had hints and suggestions as to how the Aspects and the varying dragonflights came to be, it's never been truly defined. And when we made our trip to Northrend in Wrath of the Lich King, the proto-drakes found roaming the peaks and valleys of the continent were an intriguing puzzle. How did dragonkind make that leap from proto-drake to dragon? Who was Galakrond, and how did his existence tie into the existing dragonflights? Was he the father of all dragonkind in a literal sense, or in a far more figurative fashion?

Perhaps most importantly, at the dawn of the Age of Mortals, does any of this information really matter at all? If you're at all interested in the history of Azeroth, the answer is a resounding yes.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

Blizzard releases excerpt from upcoming Dawn of the Aspects

Blizzard releases excerpt from upcoming Dawn of the Aspects
If you're curious about the upcoming novel Dawn of the Aspects, Blizzard has just released an excerpt on its official site. The book, which will release part 1 on February 19, follows Kalegos on a journey to the past -- specifically, to the days before the Aspects were Aspects, and Galakrond still flew the skies of Northrend. It's a tale about the creation of the Aspects, and the history of dragonkind.

More importantly, while Kalecgos is observing events of the past, he's doing so from the standpoint of the future -- the days after Deathwing's defeat. While the ending of Dragon Soul was definitely interesting, it raised far more questions than it answered. What happens to the dragonflights, not that they've lost their powers? What purpose do they serve in the world, and how can they continue to make a difference in this so-called Age of Mortals?

Richard Knaak is an excellent choice for the novel, especially given his history with writing nearly every prior tale involving the Aspects and their history. The excerpt shown on Blizzard's official site is interesting, and even the small piece that we're shown holds valuable information regarding Galakrond, his history, and how it compares to the history we've been told so far. Suffice it to say, not everything is exactly as it has seemed, and the miniseries may clear up a giant chunk of Azeroth's history that to date has been left unexplained.

Head to the official site to read the excerpt, and don't forget to get your copy of the ebook when it releases on February 19.


Filed under: News items, Lore

Dawn of the Aspects Part 1 to release February 2013

Dawn of the Aspects Part 1 to release February 2013
Part one of World of Warcraft: Dawn of the Aspects will see its release a little later than previous reported at NYCC last year. Simon & Schuster currently has the release date set for February 19, 2013. Unlike previous Warcraft novels, Dawn of the Aspects will be released in parts as an ebook rather than a print novel. Part one will be available for $1.99, with four more parts to follow over the coming year. And for those that can't wait, we've got an exclusive look at the full cover for the upcoming novel after the break.

Penned by Richard Knaak, Dawn of the Aspects explores the relationship between the proto-drakes of Northrend and the Aspects of here and now. Even though Deathwing has been taken care of and the Hour of Twilight has been halted, the question of what comes next for the Dragon Aspects is still unanswered. With their powers expended, how can any of the Aspects, or even dragonkind for that matter, hope to still make a difference in the world?

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Filed under: News items, Lore

Know Your Lore: Azeroth's savior and the Badlands

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.

A large portion of the new Elemental Bonds quest line available for players in Hyjal involves ex-Warchief Thrall struggling to come to terms with different facets of himself and his life to date: Uncontrolled, unchecked anger at the circumstances of his youth, worry and fear that no matter what he does in his life, it will never be the right thing. And in the midst of all of this, a strong, overbearing desire to just settle down with his woman, have some kids, and just be a family man -- something for which he feels incredibly guilty. After all, when the weight of a dying world rests on your shoulders, the last thing you should be thinking about is starting a family.

He comes to terms with all of this, however, and emerges even stronger than before. It seems as though Thrall is prepared to be the savior of Azeroth, the one who will stand with the Aspects at whatever designated time lies before us in the not too distant future and make certain that the world is restored, whole and complete. The one who can properly fill in as Earthwarder. Except ... being the world's savior doesn't leave much time for raising a family, does it? That deep-down desire to just be a normal orc and raise a normal family doesn't seem to be an option at this point -- after all, the world will need someone to continue to faithfully watch it, after Deathwing is gone. Unless, of course, Thrall isn't the savior of Azeroth at all.

Perhaps that fate rests on one tiny, fragile egg.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Rhonin, leader 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.

This is the story of an extraordinary man, his draconic best friend, and the elf he loved and eventually married. Well ... not exactly. Common thought lends itself to the perception that this is all there is to his story, that there is little more to the flame-tressed hero than a series of events in which he stepped up and played the part of the hero again and again, flawlessly performing astonishing feats of magic, his doe-eyed, winsome elven woman at his side. That he is friend to the dragons, fearless leader of the Kirin Tor, a man of great and shining destiny.

Common thought would be entirely wrong.

Let's begin again: This is the story of a man who desperately wanted nothing more in the world than to be left alone to practice his magic and attain glory -- not for the good of the world, but the good of himself. Selfish, self-centered, cocky, quick to anger and arrogant, he is drawn inexorably into his destiny not by fate, but by the scaly hands of a meddling dragon. The dragon, however, isn't really concerned with the man at all -- he's merely using the man for his own selfish draconic reasons. And the winsome, doe-eyed elven woman? She may be beautiful, but she's also annoying, stubborn, and just as arrogant as the man, when it comes right down to it.

The man's name is Rhonin, his life is largely out of his hands, and he's not particularly happy about it.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Twilight 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.

For those that have been following along over the past couple of weeks, I've been following a certain order of progression with the dragon flights. Originally, there were the proto-drakes. The largest of these was Galakrond, from whom the Aspects of the dragon flights were created. Next, the Black dragonflight and its leader, Deathwing -- created from Galakrond himself, fought to achieve supremacy over Azeroth. From Deathwing's eggs, the Netherwing were born, or rather, evolved due to exposure to the energies of the Twisting Nether. Today we follow that order with the latest addition to the dragons of Azeroth -- the Twilight dragonflight.

The Twilight dragons don't really have a lot of 'history' to speak of, as they've only been recently developed, but there's enough to go into as far as their origins go. The Black dragonflight, intent on breeding a superior race of dragons that would overtake and control Azeroth, has spent several years trying to create this dominant race, with little success.

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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

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