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Posts with tag KYL

Know Your Lore: The Third War part one

There's always more lore to discover here at Know Your Lore.

I had intended to go over the events of the novel Day of the Dragon this week, but I decided to save that for a more Cataclysm oriented post and instead work on this, the final of our overview of the wars that made the Warcraft setting. In a very real way, Wrath of the Lich King is basically a third chapter in the saga of the Third War that unfolded in the Reign of Chaos and Frozen Throne storylines. Furthermore, while a great many aspects of the setting debuted before it, the Third War introduced the Kaldorei, or night elves, to the setting, helped bring the Burning Legion to prominence, first showed us the Draenei, and otherwise helped set the stage for the world of Azeroth as it appeared when World of Warcraft launched.

You can trace the existence of the Forsaken, the loyalty of the Trolls and Tauren to the formerly purely Orcish Horde under Thrall, the establishing of a human colony on Theramore Isle, and even the activities of former and current luminaries such as Illidan Stormrage, Kael'thas Sunstrider, and even the Lich King himself to the events of the Third War.

It's hard to say when, exactly, the Third War actually began, since it was really a rather complicated affair. Certainly, the capture of Ner'zhul by Kil'jaeden and his transformation into the Lich King is of great importance to the Third War, but it's not the beginning of that comflict. Not even the moment when a nascent Lich King was hurled into the glaciers of Northrend can be called the start of the Third War, nor the moment when the sorcerer Kel'Thuzad answered the summons of that dread entity and made his way north to become the kernel of the Cult of the Damned. These moments are all important, for without them there would have been no Third War, but they are not the war's starting point.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Scarlet Crusade

Welcome to Know Your Lore, where each week Elizabeth Wachowski and Alex Ziebart bring you a tasty little morsel of lore to wrap your mind around. Sweet, sweet lore. Mmmm.

This week on Know Your Lore, we're going to talk about the faction that manages to be one of the most beloved organizations in the game while also being one of the most hated. Whether you love them or hate them, the Scarlet Crusade remains one of the most interesting factions in WoW, and they're attached to the Ashbringer that the WoW community is so fascinated with. Better yet, they return in Wrath of the Lich King.

The Scarlet Crusade was founded during the fall of Lordaeron, shortly after the Knights of the Silver Hand had been decimated by the Scourge and largely disbanded. Though its founders did not necessarily have the most sane or noble intentions, many of the men and women who joined their ranks did have only one primary goal in mind. They wished to free Lordaeron of the Scourge in the name of the Light, and crush the undead utterly. Considering those undead brought their homeland (one of the most powerful kingdoms in the world at the time) to its knees and blighted it beyond belief, that was a pretty noble cause.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Know Your Lore: The Defias Brotherhood

Welcome to Know Your Lore, where each week Elizabeth Wachowski and Alex Ziebart bring you a tasty little morsel of lore to wrap your mind around. Sweet, sweet lore. Mmmm.

The Defias Brotherhood is something that I'm sure both factions have at least a little familiarity with, though the Alliance most definitely has more exposure to them. There aren't many Horde questlines that will give you a brush with this faction of bandits, but even my Horde friends take a trip to Westfall to check out the Deadmines every now and then.

I don't blame them, either. Not only is the Deadmines an awesome instance, the Defias Brotherhood also has quite the interesting background. While there are superhuman entities involved in their story, it isn't laid on as thick as in other Warcraft plotlines. Theirs is more a story of political and social unrest, and the power of manipulation. I would go as far as to say this is part of the single largest plotline in Warcraft currently, spanning half a dozen zones, three expansions, a comic series, and involving at least five different major factions.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Ask a Lore Nerd

I'm a lore nerd. Plain and simple. Nerdy nerd nerd. Thus, my kryptonite is questions such as, "Who is Aran's son?" and "Why are Blood Elves in Mount Hyjal anyway?" These questions make me weep and wish Know Your Lore was more than just weekly.

I've decided to draw a little inspiration from these questions instead of seethe with nerd rage. I ask you, WoW Insider readers, ask me your lore questions! I'll follow them up with nice and easy explanations tomorrow afternoon. If you have a more complicated, more involved questions, maybe I'll take it over to Know Your Lore.

I don't mind getting questions we've answered on the site before, it's pretty easy to miss posts that fall off of the front page, so ask pretty much any lore-related question you'd like, and I'll do my best to answer you! Not everything is as epic as Azjol-Nerub and Oshu'gun, so even small questions are just fine. Don't be afraid!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Ask a Lore Nerd

Know Your Lore: The Grimtotems

This has been one of the most-requested Know Your Lore subjects over the months we've had this feature, but I've held off because until recently there just wasn't that much information about the Grimtotems. With the new Dustwallow Marsh content in 2.4 and the revelations in the WoW comic book, it's finally time to explore one of the most mysterious factions in the game -- Magatha Grimtotem and her tribe of tauren outcasts.

Who: The Grimtotem Clan.

What: 1,430 members of a powerful Tauren clan.

History: Way, way back before Cairne Bloodhoof met Thrall and created a new tauren homeland in Mulgore, the tauren were organized into clans, each with their own leader. The Grimtotem were NOT one of these clans. Instead, the Grimtotem name passed down through generations of survival in other clans, until the Tauren were unified under Cairne. Then the Grimtotem banded together as, basically, an opposition party, defined by their distrust of Cairne's alliance with the orcs and trolls.

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Filed under: Tauren, Know your Lore

Simplified WoW lore

The WoW community is growing ever larger, and for lots of people the entire Warcraft story is a puzzling maze of overlapping tales. I know if I were a new player and someone told me, "Oh yeah, you can go play this other stategy game to get some of the story... or you could read some books!" I might balk at the time commitment required just to understand the background story for this new game.

Dawnbow has a solution though. This is the cliffs-notes version of WoW Lore. It won't keep you on the edge of your seat with spine-tingling suspense, but it'll give you a rough idea of what's going on behind the scenes of the game, without you having to spend extra time and money on other things.

A few responders to her original post on the forums say that there may be a few errors here or there in her summary, but don't worry too much about that. Lore fans often disagree on details -- sometimes they're both right, sometimes both wrong, and sometimes Blizzard just hasn't been consistent. Either way, if you're looking for a quick catch up on the essentials of the WoW story, spend a few minutes with some simplified WoW lore, and then check out WoW Insider's own Know Your Lore column for some the juiciest character portraits you'll ever read about a game story.

Filed under: Lore, Forums

Know Your Lore: Bad Dragons

Once upon a time, cavemen roamed the earth, great volcanic eruptions disrupted the cavemen's gaming time, and I wrote an article called "Know Your Lore: Good Dragons." Now it's time to cover the "bad dragons" - the Blue, Black, Chromatic and Infinite Dragonflights. And yes, I know you're all going to complain about the blue dragonflight being "bad", but unless you really want to run every dungeon at level 80 without a mage, you're gonna have to fight them.

Blue Dragonflight

  • Leader: Malygos.
  • Characteristics: The blue dragons may be the most intelligent of all the dragonflights. They're the masters of magic, the weavers of the arcane, and the guardians of icy areas. Of course they're going to be villains at some point! "Arcane magic corrupts" is one of the primary lessons of WoW, along with "elves are jerks" and "never get involved in a land war in Kalimdor."

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

Know Your Lore: Good dragons

Before we get into this week's KYL, we have a little bit of business to take care of. Some of you may have noticed that this feature has been rather inconsistently published in the past month. This is due to my beginning a new job and classes at the same time. So to keep up our publishing schedule, and to bring a fresh face to the column, Matthew Rossi will be taking over KYL every other week, beginning next week. Please do not throw eggs at him.

And, now, on with the show! It's pretty much a given that in any fantasy game, you're going to have to kill a dragon or two, and WoW is no exception. There are tons of dragons hanging around, so much so that it becomes a problem to tell exactly what they're doing. Because of this, a concerned (and confused) reader wrote in a few weeks ago asking us to do a piece on the different dragonflights that were sent by the Titans to guard the world of Azeroth. As you wish, reader. As you wish. However, there are a LOT of dragons, so today we'll cover the "good" dragonflights: Red, Bronze, Green, and Nether. Next time we'll get the "Bad Dragons": Black, Blue, Chromatic, and Infinite.

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Filed under: Lore, Bosses, Know your Lore, NPCs, Mounts

Know Your Lore: Gods and monsters

Azeroth differs from the real world in many, many ways. For example, outside the game, you will rarely find that your wages for completing jobs come in leather form, unless you work in adult entertainment. You will also find it difficult to fit an elephant, a stack of ore, and five large swords into a small brown sack. And in Azeroth, you won't go to pick up a quest only to be told that the Mag'har have decided to go with a more qualified adventurer, nor will your flying mount get repossessed by the bank. But there's one thing Earth and Azeroth have in common: A lot of the violence and conflict is caused by religious differences.

Since Azeroth has no handy televangelism networks or airport pamphleteers, most players don't know too much about the religions and gods of the Warcraft universe. So Know Your Lore has prepared a guide to the major religions, their worshippers, their enemies, and other important information. Read on, lest ye be smited by boils!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Aegwynn

Azeroth isn't an easy place to live. Aside from those damn immortal night elves, most of the characters we know and love today weren't around for most of Warcraft history. Thrall? Born after the First War. Jaina? Barely middle-aged. Arthas? Is he even old enough to rent a car?

But on today's Know Your Lore, we have a lore figure who's lived for well over a millenium. She's seen it all and done most of it, despite being a mere human woman. So put your hands together for the second-to-last Guardian of Tirisfal, Magna Aegwynn!

Who: Magna Aegwynn, Guardian of Tirisfal.

What: Human Guardian.

History: Once upon a time, a council of mages met in the woods of Tirisfal to figure out a way to keep the Burning Crusade away from Azeroth. The mages decided to imbue one protector, or Guardian, with the magical powers of the Sunwell and charge them to secretly fight the Legion. The mages empowered the Guardian through a long ritual which caused them to lose part of their power. Once a Guardian was created, he would be the only Guardian until his death, or until the mages completed a long ritual to strip the Guardian of his power and create a new one. The Guardian would be given the title of Magna and a room in the Violet Citadel.

This system worked well until the time of Magna Scavell. Scavell was an aging Guardian who took in five apprentices, all of whom wished to succeed him as Guardian. Four of the students were men and one was a woman, Aegwynn. While the male students made fun of Aegwynn, claiming that women weren't good at magic, Aegwynn studied hard and eventually learned to read the Meitre Scrolls, the spells of long-dead Highborne wizards, which few could comprehend. Because of this, the Council of Tirisfal chose Aegwynn to be the next Guardian and transferred the power from Scavell to Aegwynn through their ritual.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore Special: The top ten lore quests, part 1

Questing in WoW can be a dull experience. Go out and kill ten harpies, go out and retrieve ten elephant tongues, go deliver this letter to a guy standing five feet away because I'm a lazy ass and can't be bothered to move. Eventually, you get bored, turn on Instant Quest Text, and start following objectives instead of storylines. But, as Amanda pointed out in June, sometimes it pays to read the story.

Many of the quests mentioned in that article's comments are miniature lore storylines in themselves -- Rakh'likh the Defiler, Linken's quests, all the really annoying chains in Eastern Plaguelands that I never finished because I enjoyed wearing the Scarlet Crusade disguises too much. A lot of these don't have much to do with the main lore of Azeroth. But sprinkled in-between are a couple of quests that really get deep into the heart of WoW, bringing in heavy-hitting lore figures and major events in the Warcraft universe. They're the quests everyone should do simply to see what happens. And so, Know Your Lore presents: The Top Ten Lore Quests in World of Warcraft!

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Filed under: Quests, Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Fandral Staghelm

I've talked to Alliance players, read WoW comics, surfed the forums, and seen raids on Darnassus, and one thing is clear: Pretty much everyone hates Fandral Staghelm. He's rude, snotty, argumentative and dismissive. In other words, perfect for a Know Your Lore feature! I'm sick of the generic faction leaders that have no flaws whatsoever, like the saintly Uther or the noble Thrall. It's like all the Warcraft politicians are Lincolns -- we need an occasional Nixon in there to spice things up.

So here's the guy you love to hate, the guy that Alliance encourages Horde to kill, the guy that greets you by making fun of his co-leader -- Arch Druid Fandral Staghelm!

Who: Arch Druid Fandral Staghelm.

What: Night elf druid.

History: Fandral Staghelm is 9,000 years old, which oddly enough makes him one of the younger night elf lore figures. He was born after the War of the Ancients, so he's significantly younger than Malfurion, Illidan and Tyrande, and didn't have to witness the terrors of the first Burning Legion invasion. Nevertheless, when Malfurion called for a new generation of night elves to learn the ways of the druids, Staghelm answered and rose to become one of Malfurion's top students. But he was more impetuous and easy to anger than the night elf leader, and they often quarreled. Luckily, Malfurion chose not to solve this disagreement in the manner to which he was accustomed. ("Hey! Let's blow up the world again!") The druids slept through the millenia, guarding the Emerald Dream and occasionally waking to help the night elves and possibly spend time with their angry, angry wives.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Druid, Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Garona Halforcen

Most classes in WoW have some sort of lore hero that signifies everything that is good about their class. Druids follow Malfurion Stormrage, mages can look up to Jaina Proudmoore, and even the brutish warriors have Grom Hellscream and his axe. But what of the poor, misunderstood rogues? Where is their WoW hero? Dead? In hiding? Waiting for a raid invite? Stealthed somewhere and AFK?

The truth behind Azeroth's most famous rogue may be stranger than you can imagine. So quickly, before she kills you, meet ...

Who: Garona Halforcen.

What: Half-orc, half-something. We'll get into this more later.

History: Garona came of age before the First War, when the Burning Legion was beginning to form the orcs into an army to attack Azeroth. As a young woman, Garona traveled throughout Draenor and learned much about the local culture. The warlocks of the Burning Legion-controlled Shadow Council realized that they could have a use for an intelligent, well-versed orc, and they inducted her into the Stormreaver Clan. She quickly rose through the ranks to become a prominent member of the Shadow Council and the personal spy of its leader, Gul'dan.

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Filed under: Orcs, Rogue, Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore Special: Tales of the Eastern Kingdoms

Azeroth is a beautiful world. From the jungles of Stranglethorn Vale to the bucolic fields of Westfall, from the deserts of Tanaris to the icy peaks of Winterspring, Azeroth is jam-packed with stunning scenery and, just as important, a deep sense of history. But sometimes it's hard to connect the Azeroth of WoW with that of the previous Warcraft lore. Where did Zin'Ashari sink into the sea? Where did Arthas kill his father? Where did Thrall and Grom Hellscream defeat Mannoroth?

That's why Know Your Lore is presenting a special guide to the geography and history of Azeroth. Zone by zone, we'll go through important historical events and landmarks for both the Horde and Alliance. Today we're doing the Eastern Kingdoms, the center of human civilization on Azeroth. Ready? Okay!

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Filed under: Features, Screenshots, Lore, Know your Lore

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