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Know Your Lore: Lore summed up part 5 - Cataclysm Begins

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.

We've covered the original game's story, gone to Outland to recap the Burning Crusade, and spent two weeks recapping the events of the Lich King's contumely. Now, we find ourselves facing the dragon that broke the world.

Deathwing's power came in equal measure from the Titans themselves and the Old Gods who opposed them. From the Titan Khaz'goroth Deathwing was granted the role of Aspect of Earth, lord over the land and all beneath it. From the Old Gods imprisoned within the deep earth, Deathwing gained the strength of a kind of madness, a mania with destroying that which he had been set to guard. Rejecting his nature as Aspect of Earth, he would in time dedicate himself to the death of all things living on the surface of Azeroth.

Even before the Lich King's return, Deathwing was taking steps. His prime consort, Sinestra, used the madness of Illidan to cover her own actions, convincing the Dragonmaw chieftain Mor'ghor to give into her keeping a clutch of Netherwing dragon eggs - essentially the eggs of her own descendents, as the Netherwing were born from black dragon eggs Deathwing left behind on Draenor before it was destroyed, exposing the eggs to the raw chaotic magic of the Twisting Nether. In turn, after Sinestra's experiments on the eggs in Grim Batol failed, Deathwing transported a clutch to the Obsidian Sanctim - these dragons were destroyed by the same adventurers who would ultimately kill Malygos. Yet these were hardly the only such eggs warped by Deathwing - a raid on the Ruby Sanctum would reveal that Twilight Dragons now served Deathwing, born from his experiments on the Nether eggs.

All of this was merely preamble. While the situation in Northrend died down following Arthas' death and the secret elevation of the new Lich King, the world had no time to rest. Deathwing had rested in Deepholm since his defeat by the other aspects. Now, he would rest no longer.

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

Bashiok comments on Fire Festival; new Hallow's End surprises

Blizzard has been getting hit with a few complaints since the Midsummer Fire Festival began -- that the holiday was just a stat-bump for the items and was relatively the same event as last year. Even the highlight item, the Frostscythe of Lord Ahune, was part of the controversy. Bashiok took to the forums to discuss the changes that had to happen for the Midsummer Fire Festival to even happen and gave players a clue to confirm the widely held belief that Hallow's End this year will play into the larger story between the Forsaken and the worgen.

The Midsummer Fire Festival remained largely the same due to the amount of work that had to go into rearranging fire locations due to the cataclysm, changing around all of the decorations, and generally spending a lot of time switching over from the old world. Bashiok does cop to the fact that the event is more or less the same as last year's, but reminds us that the Midsummer Fire Festival has already had its major overhaul back a few years ago.

The more interesting news, however, is that Bashiok says we've got some surprises coming our way with respect to Hallow's End, WoW's take on Halloween. We've been long speculating, based on data-mined items and story cues, that Hallow's End will deal with the continuing story of Sylvanas' march into the kingdom of Gilneas and the worgen's fight to take back their homeland. Plus, who doesn't love the classic Halloween monster movie tropes of zombies and werewolves?

Bashiok confirmed that there are changes in store for Hallow's End. To what extent, we do not know. However, I will be looking forward to surprises because, really, I love surprises. I'm a giant sucker for surprises. Bring on the surprises!

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: The Alliance


Welcome back to Know Your Lore, WoW.com's column about the story behind the game we all play.

This week on KYL, we move away from the Fall of the Lich King (although in the months to come expect more Icecrown related KYL's) and out to the larger world and the major factions that contend across it. I thought we'd start with the Alliance this week for a number of reasons, the first and most important among them being that the Alliance would not exist without the Horde, while the Horde's existence owes itself to forces transcending the Alliance. Because of this, doing the Alliance first will leave open questions that the Horde section next week will help answer.

The Alliance as it stands at this moment in time is a far different entity than the one originally known as the Alliance of Lordaeron. That Alliance was one of seven human nations (Azeroth, Lordaeron, Stromgarde, Kul Tiras, Alterac, Dalaran and Gilneas) with the Dwarves of Ironforge, Gnomes of Gnomeregan and High Elves of Quel'Thalas. This Alliance was born directly out of the statecraft of King Terenas Menethil of Lordaeron and the military leadership of Anduin Lothar, the Lion of Azeroth and last living member of the original Arathi bloodline.

Each member of this alliance had various reasons for being in it and varying degrees of loyalty to it (the High Elves, for example, were only in the Alliance because as the last Arathi, Lothar could compel their loyalty due to ancient pacts and abandoned it as soon as it was possible for them to fulfill said pacts, while Gilneas retreated behind the Greymane Wall not long after the end of the Second War over differences of opinion with Lordaeron) and it certainly lacked in coherence compared to the Horde it was opposed to.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Lore, Factions, Know your Lore

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