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Posts with tag Tribunal-of-Ages

Know Your Lore Tinfoil Hat Edition: How is flesh a curse?

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.

Please don your tinfoil hat - all that follows is speculation based on in-game evidence. It is not canonical lore endorsed by Blizzard.

One of the big reveals of Wrath of the Lich King is the Curse of Flesh. Upon our arrival in Ulduar's Halls of Stone, we escort Brann Bronzebeard to the Tribunal of Ages, a repository of Titan knowledge. After a fierce battle with the Tribunal's defense systems, Brann manages to access the Tribunal's information and learns the history of Azeroth, including how the Titans created Azeroth and how the Old Gods came to infest it, and how the Titan's creations of stone and iron were infected by the Curse of Flesh, making them more easily assimilated by the Old Gods. After defeating and imprisoning the Old Gods, the Titans re-engineered their creations to ensure they were no longer susceptible to the Curse... leaving the ones they'd already created to suffer it, and slowly change into the dwarves, gnomes, humans, troggs and their offshoots. Thus was Azeroth peopled in many cases.

It sounds plausible enough. But there are some problems with it - namely, not all of the Titans information sources agree with it. For instance, the first Titan trove accessed by the mortal races of Azeroth was in Uldaman, in the Badlands. This Titan complex, lying in the heart of the Eastern Kingdoms, is potentially the source of the dwarves and gnomes who live nearby in the mountains of Khaz Modan.

The Lore Keeper of Norgannon we meet at the end of Uldaman tells us that the Titans deviated from their normal plan when creating seed races.

A cross-section of Azeroth's crust was used as the foundation for the Earthen's synthesis rather than the typical biomass construction foundation used by the Creators.

Research on the world's composition led the Creators to theorize that an enhanced being could be synthesized that would epitomize the resiliency of this world's essence. This was accomplished by choosing to use a blend of Azeroth's various stone core compounds as the foundation.

What does this mean? Rather than the typical biomass construction foundation used by the Creators implies that the use of stone and other materials in the Titan constructs of Azeroth is not standard. This is not what the Titans usually do. Why did they do it on Azeroth, then? They appear to have done it quite extensively as well - the Earthen, the Mechagnomes, the Vrykul, the Mogu, the Tol'vir - a whole host of inorganic entities, using 'a cross-section of Azeroth's crust' to construct them. And why is the resilience of Azeroth's essence so remarkable?

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

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: In the beginning

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition In the beginning SUN
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 the beginning, the Titans created Azeroth. They set the world in motion, and then left to continue on whatever path it was that the mysterious beings followed. Yet something happened to the planet, something bad enough that it warranted the return of the Titans. Upon their return, they discovered the Old Gods, a malignant group of entities that were intent upon sowing chaos. Perturbed, the Titans tried to kill an Old God -- and they discovered to their horror that killing the Old Gods would kill the very planet itself.

And yet, instead of simply rebooting and starting over anew, they kept Azeroth. They imprisoned the Old Gods beneath the surface of the world, and planted various fail-safes to make sure the creatures were never freed. And just in case an Old God managed to escape, Algalon the Observer would visit and determine the status of the world. If it was deemed too far gone, he would activate a signal that would re-originate the world -- Azeroth would be destroyed and rebooted.

Why did they leave Azeroth alone? Why didn't they simply re-originate the world at the first sign of trouble? Why put in a failsafe to do so, instead of taking care of the problem immediately? But perhaps most importantly ...

What is Azeroth?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on how it happened. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

Please note: This edition of KYL also contains some spoilers for patch 5.2 content.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Sha

Know Your Lore The Sha SUN
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.
Have you had the dream again? A black goat with seven eyes that watches from the outside.
- The Puzzle Box of Yogg Saron
We did not bring them to this land, they were there all along. But we unleashed them from their prison, allowing them to run rampant over the verdant hills and fields of Pandaria. Our arrival on Pandaria's coast was nothing more than a catalyst that sparked a chain of disastrous events the likes of which Pandaria has never before seen ... at least, not in written history.

The Sha are a unique villain, the first in Azeroth's history that we alone are responsible for. We've dealt with the horrors of the Burning Legion, we've fought the armies of the Lich King, we've even brought down and vanquished the fallen Aspect Deathwing. But we've never before had to fight something that was spawned not from the evil of the universe, but the evil within ourselves.

Which makes the Sha utterly fascinating ... and their origins even more so.

Please note: The following post is chock-full of spoilers for Mists of Pandaria.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Upcoming Adjustments announced for Old Kingdom, Nexus, Culling of Stratholme

Zarhym popped into one of the many official forum topics complaining about the seemingly inordinate amount of times Old Kingdom pops on the Dungeon Finder to offer some welcome news for exhausted dungeon runners: Old Kingdom and Nexus alike will be receiving some adjustments meant to bring the dungeons in line with other Wrath heroics.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Instances, Bosses

One Boss Leaves: A landslide win for Anub'arak

Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. Welcome to what's nearly the end of the current round of the five-man Wrath of the Lich King season. Grab a seat, and let's get ready to rumble!

It's no surprise, really, that Anub'arak took control of this week's Two Bosses deathmatch with a 73% pounding of the Tribunal of Ages. We're not sure that voters really considered any realistic scenario when casting their votes, but we did get a few interesting setups from spectators. The quality of the floor, in particular, seemed to be a sticking point for many.

Tyr: Wouldn't Brann fall through the floor if Anub keeps burrowing holes in it? I mean, I'm sure that in Azjol-Nerub, his own kingdom, he has enough escape holes pre-burrowed to hide in, but an old titan complex just waiting to be condemned? Brann'll be lucky if the ceiling doesn't collapse and crush him on his way down.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Features, Lore, Bosses, Two Bosses Enter

Two Bosses Enter: Anub'Arak vs. Tribunal of Ages

Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. Welcome to what's nearly the end of the current round of the five-man Wrath of the Lich King season. Grab a seat, and let's get ready to rumble!

I'm hiding my eyes behind my hands for this one: Anub'Arak (Azjol-Nerub) versus Tribunal of Ages (Halls of Stone). Storyweavers, get ready to spin your webs ... This is the type of match where a good blow-by-blow account in the comments can go a long way toward swaying the vote.

But first, the pound ground rules:
  • This match takes place inside the Tribunal of Ages in the Halls of Stone ... or perhaps the Tribunal has been transplanted to the Two Bosses Thunderdome ... or perhaps they're someplace else ... Any way you slice it, the Tribunal's basic encounter mechanic functions as usual. Work with it, people! It's a fantasy tournie.
  • No matter where you choose to set the match and who you may choose to stand in for Brann Bronzebeard, his survival ultimately determines the success or failure of the mission. Anub'Arak is therefore challenged with holding the Tribunal at bay long enough for Bronzebeard to complete his task. Technically, a "win" for Anub'Arak means that neither opponent dies.
  • All of the competitors' abilities, including crowd control and other effects to which bosses are usually immune, work on their opponents.
  • Assume that the opponents share similar levels, health pools and comparative overall damage output.
  • Don't get caught up in gameplay mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter.
  • Don't neglect style, story and scale.
Welcome to the Two Bosses Thunderdome. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls ... Dyin' time's here.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Features, Lore, Bosses, Two Bosses Enter

One Boss Leaves: Tribunal overcomes Eck's ick


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. Welcome to Round Two of the five-man originals Wrath of the Lich King season. Grab a seat, and let's get ready to rumble!

Tribunal of Ages' defenses proved too high-tech for Eck the Ferocious in this week's Thunderdome, with 59% of spectator votes anchoring the little gorloc's bounds and handing victory to the Tribunal. Two Bosses readers continue to dial up the creativity and effort in their play-by-plays of the fight, hoping to win more votes for their gladiator of choice. "Like ... like what?" you're asking. Like this story (which actually supports a victory for the hapless Eck) from reader Sky Paladin:

The snow was grey, here. The plague on Northrend left few things untouched, and the snow was not one of them. Dark blotches flared here and there, with odd white patches where footprints had disturbed it. A small trail of white blotches marked where Roo, a small gorloc child, struggled enthusiastically to make his way to the Halls of Ulduar. Bounding slowly beside him was his guardian and friend, Eck the Ferocious.

"This place very scary," Eck commented to Roo. "You sure this the right way? Iron dwarves really not very tasty."

"We remember," Roo replied. "Yes-ss, we came here with hero from before. Just over the big hole to forever. You can jump, yes?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Features, Lore, Bosses, Two Bosses Enter

Two Bosses Enter: Eck the Ferocious vs. Tribunal of Ages


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. Welcome to Round Two of the five-man Wrath of the Lich King season. Grab a seat, and let's get ready to rumble!

Hold onto your hats, boys and girls -- this week's a wild one in the Two Bosses Thunderdome. Gather 'round in amazement as Eck the Ferocious tackles the Tribunal of Ages encounter from Halls of Stone. Been held back by that challenge a time or two yourself, eh? You're not alone. First-bracket boss Anomalus found himself shut out by the Tribunal, as well, falling short by less than 3% of the Thunderdome vote.

Eck's first-bracket victory over Amanitar was slightly more energetic, with Eck bounding to a 6% margin over his opponent.

Time for a quick review of the Two Bosses Thunderdome ground rules:
  • This match takes place inside the Tribunal of Ages in the Halls of Stone. Why is Eck here? Because it's a fantasy deathmatch, of course. (Work with it, people, work with it.)
  • In this scenario, we'll retain the basic mechanic of the Tribunal of Ages encounter. Brann Bronzebeard's survival still determines the success or failure of the mission. Eck is therefore challenged with holding the Tribunal at bay long enough for Bronzebeard to complete his task. (If you can prefer to come up with some other figure to stand in for Bronzebeard, feel free to exercise your creativity in the comments.)
  • Assume that foes share similar levels, health pools and a comparative overall damage output.
  • Don't get caught up in game mechanics and what player characters might do in each encounter.
  • Style and scale are your main considerations.
And now, the weekly Thunderdome call-out: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls ... Dyin' time's here.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Features, Lore, Bosses, Two Bosses Enter

One Boss Leaves: Anomalus comes up short


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

For the second week in a row, the victor of Two Bosses Enter ... One Boss Leaves was determined by a margin of fewer than 100 votes. Anomalus fell short of his task of protecting Brann Bronzebeard throughout the Hall of Stone's Tribunal of Ages event, falling to the combined forces of the Tribunal's defenses.

"Anomalus wins this one without a sweat," wrote Saravok for the dissenters. "Anomalus engages the adds while moving around to avoid the mobs. When he opens a rift, his own adds join the fray. Soon enough, having lost about 25% of his HP, he shields himself. The Tribunal adds now fight Anomalus' adds. Anomalus' adds are losing -- but BAM, the AoE evens up the contest, and the fight rages on.

"Anomalus retakes the battle, with the Tribunal kicking it up a few notches to boot. Once again, our elemental hero takes a beating, pops up some rifts and hides in his shield. The multiple rifts now attack the adds, with lots of AoE. The Tribunal adds are quickly slaughtered."

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Filed under: Features, Bosses, Two Bosses Enter

Two Bosses Enter: Anomalus vs. Tribunal of Ages


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

This week's Two Bosses Enter is less boss-versus-boss than it is boss-versus-event: The Nexus' Anomalus versus the Tribunal of Ages encounter in the Halls of Stone. The Tribunal of Ages event tasks adventurers with protecting Dwarven explorer Brann Bronzebeard from waves of mobs as part of the Halls of Stone quest -- a boss-level encounter in terms of difficulty and loot, if not in actual boss-versus-boss combat. It'll be Anomalus' Chaotic Rifts and Crazed Mana-Wraiths against the Tribunal of Ages' Kaddrak, Abedneum and Marnak plus the cadre of Dark Rune Protectors, Dark Rune Stormcallers and the Iron Golem Custodian.

The ground rules:
  • For the sake of this deathmatch, we'll have to get a little (ok, a lot) creative with Anomalus' presence here in the Tribunal. In this scenario, we'll retain the basic mechanic of the Tribunal of Ages encounter. Brann Bronzebeard's survival still determines the success or failure of the mission. Anomalus is therefore challenged with holding the Tribunal at bay long enough for Bronzebeard to complete his task.
  • This match takes place inside the Tribunal of Ages in the Halls of Stone.
  • If you assume that Anomalus is "too dumb to move," we'll have a very boring match indeed. Be open to other possibilities.
  • Assume that foes share similar levels, health pools and a comparative overall damage output.
  • Don't get caught up in game mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter.
  • Style and scale are your main considerations.

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Filed under: Features, Bosses, Two Bosses Enter

Know Your Lore: The Sons of Hodir


Welcome to Know Your Lore, where each week Alex Ziebart brings you a tasty little morsel of lore to wrap your mind around. Sweet, sweet lore. Mmmm. Have suggestions for future KYL topics? Leave a comment below! This week, the role of Alex Ziebart will be played by Matthew Rossi.

Hi. You may remember me from not finishing the KYL on Thrall. Well, since this week our Alex Ziebart has to take a small breather, I'm filling in for him as part of our "Hey, I finished that post you didn't so you owe me, and also the pictures are back from the developer and I'd hate to have to post them to the website" arrangement. Alex informed me as he handed over the package in that park, just before my trained snipers totally failed me, that this week would be discussing the Sons of Hodir from a lore perspective. Since until such time as Agent Deathwolf tracks him down and retrieves the microfilm I have no choice, that will be the topic of today's post.

Since I happen to be exalted twice with these guys, it seems a fair enough question to ask who they are and where they come from. So far, we have fragments of the story, but not the whole picture as yet. If it even needs to be said at this late point, I will be dropping spoilers for Storm Peaks quests like they were remarkably heavy antiques that you asked me to help you move into your new apartment on the 17th floor and I wanted to make sure you never asked again.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Features, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

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