If you began playing World of Warcraft when the game came out, then you played through a period of interbellum. The Third War ended four years before World of Warcraft started, and the mortal races that banded together on the slopes of Mount Hyjal to defeat the Burning Legion were now beginning to approach a war footing once more.
We talked before about the Third War (in two parts, in fact), and in the next few weeks, we'll talk about the period between the Third War and the original story of WoW, the events of the 1-60 game that was remodeled in Cataclysm. Why did the people of Azeroth turn away from the unity established in the fight against the Burning Legion? Why did the former high elves turn away from their once-allies? Why did Illidan raise the naga? How did Arthas Menethil transition from a death knight into possibly the most powerful mortal-born entity ever to exist on the face of Azeroth? These were the times that blasted souls.