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Posts with tag Tolvir

Know Your Lore: Titan facilities of Azeroth

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.

Let's just be up front about this now -- the Titans left stuff everywhere. It would be hard to disbelieve in them, frankly. They left bases, research stations, fortresses, labs and more. We don't even know what everything they left behind originally did or why it was there in many cases. Some places have somewhat clear reasons for existing (Ulduar, for instance, was tasked with holding the Old God Yogg Saron prisoner, but the Halls of Stone and Lightning point to other goals for the complex) but others, such as the ruined complex now known as Ahn'Qiraj was simply a 'research facility', and we have no idea what it was researching or why such a complex was needed so close to Uldum.

At any rate, there are a lot of Titan complexes currently known of on Azeroth.

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

Quest for Pandaria part 3 now available

Quest for Pandaria part 3 now available
You know, of all the things I mourned about Cataclysm, I think highest on the list would have to be the fate of the tol'vir. Despite being a fascinating race in their own right, one that was absolutely ripe for potential, their story was overshadowed by yet another jaunt with Harrison Jones. It was disappointing, particularly because the end of the tol'vir story arc was so open-ended. What happened after the war was completed? What of the tol'vir now?

Quest for Pandaria attempts to answer a few of those questions in its latest installment as Chen Stormstout and his niece Li Li continue their search for the lost continent. Upon heading to the sandy deserts of Uldum, both Chen and Li Li come face to face with the aftermath of the tol'vir war -- and deal with the consequences of the fallout in their own way. It's another small glimpse of the elusive tol'vir race, this time illustrated through the eyes of complete strangers to tol'vir society.

And it's also another well placed step towards rounding out Chen's character. I love Chen Stormstout, and I love the direction they're taking him. This is the third chapter to the four-part story written by Sarah Pine, and I think it's my favorite so far. You can take a look at the chapter in its entirety in the Expanded Universe section of Blizzard's official website.


Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The top 10 lore reveals of Cataclysm, part 1

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.

Spoilers for every single Cataclysm raid and zone to be found here.

On the whole, Cataclysm has revealed a great deal of lore for the Warcraft universe. We've been to all four of the elemental planes and destabilized two of them by destroying the elemental lords who were effectively the dictatorial forces of their respective elementals. As of this writing, only Therazane remains as undisputed master of her elemental plane. (Indeed, with the destruction of Deathwing, she's actually in a stronger place than she was.) We've seen the Twilight's Hammer cult rise to world-shaking prominence and played a role in setting them back by destroying Cho'gall. We've finally managed to balk them on the eve of their Old God masters' final triumph by destroying Deathwing just as he was about to unleash an even more destructive assault on Azeroth than his first.

The Dragon Aspects lost their immortality just after we discovered that there were actually safeguards in place to appoint new ones. We discovered the secret land of Uldum and its Titanic ruins, and we prevented the activation of the Halls of Origination at Deathwing's behest and discovered the connection between the Qiraji and Uldum. We also saw the war between the Alliance and Horde begin lurching toward a new phase. We discovered the fate of Gilneas and the Gilneans, saw tantalizing hints as to the development of the goblin people and their mysterious kajamite, and even more. It's been an eventful expansion in terms of what it established. For the next couple of weeks, I'm going to talk about where Cataclysm took us and what we discovered.

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

Cataclysm Post-Mortem: Uldum

Alex Ziebart and Mathew McCurley (that's me) decided to give each Cataclysm zone the once-over now that we're many months out from the release of the expansion. In this post-mortem series, we'll examine what worked and what didn't work in terms of story, quests, and overall feel for the zones and the cool moments that dotted the landscape.

On the southern end of Kalimdor, a forgotten civilization hides behind otherworldly technology, forged by the Titans to protect the great machinery of Reorigination. The tol'vir, great protectors of the ancient machinery, stand stalwart against the corruption and fighting. Some tol'vir have succumbed to the aqir long ago, but the civilization remained unknown to the whole of Azeroth. After Deathwing's violent breach from the Maelstrom changed the world forever, the resulting chaos broke the shield that hid Uldum and revealed its sands. Now, Deathwing and his allies fight to corrupt the tol'vir and bring chaos to Uldum and beyond.

Uldum continued the Cataclysm zone progression by moving you from the rocky, subterranean world of Deepholm into an open-air desert, a welcome change for the claustrophobic adventurer. Giant pyramids, monumental statues, and an Egyptian motif made Uldum one of the most beautiful and well-realized zones in Cataclysm. As players embarked on two very distinct quest lines, the story of Uldum unfolded as the forces of the wind broke the Skywall through the desert sky and into Azeroth's realm. On the other side of the zone, players were sent on a sprawling adventure with fan favorite Harrison Jones on a bumbling expedition to figure out the purpose of the Obelisks of Uldum and get into some wacky trouble.

This is going to be the most controversial of the Cataclysm post-mortems. I can feel it. Uldum was a zone that people either loved or hated during the content push to 85. We are going to try to keep it civil.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: The tol'vir


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 talked about the tol'vir before Cataclysm launched. While what we learned about them then was tantalizing, what we've learned about them since has helped develop our understanding of them quite a bit. Proud, ritualistic, formal, feral, the tol'vir are a race bound by their ancient task and pinned between their duty and their desire to return to a state of existence they see as more perfect than the one they currently inhabit.

The last remaining bastion of free tol'vir on the surface of Azeroth is the mysterious land of Uldum. Created eons ago by the Titans, Uldum is part of the planetary monitoring system that once girdled the ancient continent of Kalimdor alongside Ulduar and Uldaman. While Ulduar seems to have been intended to imprison the ancient Old God Yogg-Saron, and Uldaman perhaps served as a manufacturing center for earthen (although it may also have served other purposes), Uldum's purpose was linked to Ulduar in a very real and direct way. Ulduar was where Algalon would come to make his judgment about the fitness of the Azeroth experiment if the prime designate Loken was destroyed. And Uldum?

If one thinks of Algalon as the means by which a world is judged, then think of Uldum as the executor of his will. Ulduar is where Azeroth would have been condemned, and Uldum is how the sentence would have been carried out. The tol'vir of Uldum, therefore, have the most important task of all the Titan's creations, as they maintain the world-destroying engines and keep their power out of the hands of those who might otherwise use them. Unfortunately for the tol'vir, those who would undo the Titan's work for their own ends have often subverted or corrupted these last guardians of Titanic secrets in order to gain access to what they guard.

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

Know Your Lore: The aqir and their descent, part 2 -- Nerubians


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 covered the ancient aqir and their qiraji descendants last week. What we didn't really cover was the group of arthropods who headed north, enslaved the Ulduar region's tol'vir and founded ancient Azjol'Nerub. From the time of their expulsion from the central part of the ancient supercontinent of Kalimdor by the Gurubashi and Amani trolls, to their defeat and subordination of those tol'vir, and up to their recent near-total destruction by the Scourge during the War of the Spider, the aqir offshoot calling themselves nerubians have existed apart from their southerly kind. While the qiraji serve C'thun, the nerubians seem wary of the Old Gods and their Faceless Ones, even when gripped by the Lich King's undeath.

Furthermore, while many nerubians ended up in the service of the Lich King, forcibly resurrected by him, it's telling that the nerubians were immune to the plague of undeath and waged a war against him for over a decade, only losing when they found themselves trapped between the servants of the Old Gods and the dreadlords that at the time served as the Lich King's advisors and jailors. Their immunity to the plague did not confer immunity to undeath when directly raised, and so Anub'arak, last king of the nerubians, ended up a slave like much of the rest of his race.

As of the pre-Cataclysm world, nerubian undead can be found in the plaguelands serving alongside the Cult of the Damned as well as in Northrend itself, while the battered and hateful remnants of the empire of the nerubians are so desperate that they'll accept help from the races of the Alliance and Horde.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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