Filed under: Heroes of the Storm
Posts with tag Uther
There will be spoilers for the revamped Scholomance Mists of Pandaria heroic in this post.
Arthas Menethil is dead.
He's not just dead; he's really, most sincerely dead. He is no more. He has ceased to be. Bereft of life, yes, but as Sylvanas Windrunner saw during her own recent experience in Northrend, he does not rest in peace. The Lich King lives on in the form of Bolvar Fordragon, but Arthas? Arthas is dead. No king rules forever.
And yet Arthas' hand reached far across the world before he died. Even before he became a Lich King, Arthas forever warped the world of Azeroth. Even before his soul was blasted and rent asunder by Frostmourne and he became a servant of the then-Lich King, the former Ner'zhul, Arthas destroyed a city by his own hand and his own will. What Arthas did can never be truly undone. As much as they hate him, the Forsaken of Undercity owe their freedom from the Burning Legion to Arthas' move against the Dreadlords following the Battle for Mount Hyjal. As much as she hates him, Sylvanas owes not only her current existence but the val'kyr that have twice raised her from death to Arthas.
Unlike Tinfoil Hat KYLs, this particular post is speculation and rumination without a theory to support or prove. It's musing on the nature of undeath, the role of the Lich King, the discordant notes and unreliable narrators of this particular part of the story. It asks several questions and does not have any answers to them.
Does Bolvar Fordragon sit alone atop the Frozen Throne? Does Sylvanas Windrunner rule herself? Can we trust the val'kyr's word? And if Arthas Menethil still existed within the Lich King, holding the Scourge in check, then what did Tirion Fordring destroy in the Cathedral of Darkness? What of Matthias Lenher?
I have no answers but many questions.
There are several paladin traditions on Azeroth. Two are directly interrelated, stemming from the same basic source and coming together in a modern form. Another was originally a mockery of those traditions, now worked into a reflection that suits those who use it. Yet another was brought to the world with the Exodar, a tradition that goes back thousands upon thousands of years. The final one is newborn, a philosophy born of recent meditations on the horrors of war and the need for balance against the darkness.
A few months back, I started on an overview of the Third War. As you can see from reading it, the following week, I did not in fact talk about the Third War at all. If you're familiar with my Thrall piece for KYL, you understand this is something that happens to me from time to time. I fully intended to go into more details about the war, but I got sidetracked by something shiny or a colorful ball of twine or what have you.
But with Wrath of the Lich King a month from its exit from center stage, it's time to look back again at the war that made it all possible.
After the Culling of Stratholme, Arthas Menethil had taken his first steps into obsession. The Culling itself is often treated as an indefensible act that proves Arthas was already evil, but I personally see it as the first tipping point, when a young and idealistic man who wanted to do right by his people was presented with an untenable choice and let his own impulsive nature decide. Waiting outside the city for the residents to turn into undead and destroying them as they attempted to escape was, after all, neither a more merciful nor a more prudent option. In the end, Arthas made the choice he did, and in so doing alienated both Uther, his direct superior as a paladin (and one who has his father's ear, to boot) and Jaina, his on-again, off-again romance. This left him free to pursue Mal'Ganis to Northrend.
His actions would change the face of Azeroth and her nations forever.
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.
These questions lend themselves to a spectacular conclusion to a great tale. In The Lore of Patch 3.3, Michael Sacco, Alex Ziebart, and I will take a look at all the various plots, characters, and environments that lead up to this grand confrontation with the Lich King.
You'll want to know this story. You'll want to know this lore.
For when you finally face off against the wielder of the Frostmourne, you'll know why you're going toe-to-toe against him, and why your fate can make or break the very face of Azeroth.
This article, while containing essential lore, also contains heavy spoilers. Do not proceed if that bothers you.
I don't know how much this guy wants to talk about Warcraft, but then again, the group hosting him seems to be pretty geeky (they've had folks from Star Trek and Stargate on before), so maybe it'll be all about McConnohie's work for Blizzard (and not, say, his stint on General Hospital). If you want to talk to the Lich King himself, you can call in Sunday night at (914) 338-0314. I bet it'll be quite an experience.
So enjoy your uninterrupted playtime. Or, if you're at work or school during that time, be jealous that there's other people playing while you slave away. Then read WoW.com to take some of the pain away. But hey, look on the bright side. This means you have at least another week to get that Onyxia achievement or try to farm up a Foror's Compendium before Patch 3.2.2 hits.
This week I have a special request: I want any questions you might have about potential future expansions. Any questions at all are welcome, but I'm on a speculation kick recently, so next week's column will probably focus on the future and then we'lll be back to our regular deal after that. So no matter whether you think the Maelstrom could be next or something else entirely, ask!
"Any chance that the Vrykul will be a playable race in a future expansion?"
We have another appearance from Allison Robert today for you Druid players, so that's fun! Guest answers tend to be a lot more fun, no? I certainly think so, because it means less work for me to do! I'm kidding, I'm kidding, but it's definitely fun to spread the love around a little.
Has there ever been any lore surrounding Thane Korth'azz and Lady Blaumeux from Naxxramas? The other horsemen seem to have back-stories but I can't find anything on them.
You might say that paladins are the guardians at the gates of hell -- they fight evil wherever it penetrates into their world and they take the fight to the evil's source in the hope of quenching it forever. Although they focus on guarding their people from undead and demonic forces on the rise, paladins actually stand against evil everywhere, including the evil in their own hearts.
Being a paladin means that you have a relationship of some sort with the Holy Light, that mysterious force of goodness and faith that flows to some degree within all living beings with positive intentions. Most paladins (and many priests) believe that when you do something that you believe to be good, the power of the Light increases in you and your connection to the rest of creation is strengthened, whereas doing something evil (such as acts of greed, despair, or vengeance) will darken the universe and weaken your connection to it. Whether this belief system is a religion or a philosophy is open to interpretation, and seems to depend in some part upon which race you are.
There are three sorts of paladins in World of Warcraft, aligned with the humans, the draenei, and the blood elves. All of these share certain similarities, but each has its own differences as well.
I'm serious. This completely nonsensible and illogical statement is brought to you by the 53 tiny lore moments you'll get if you'll just sit yourself down somewhere and level up fishing. Yes, it's boring having to fish up dozens of useless fish to get to the good stuff in Outland and Northrend. Yes, you could be farming up gold or materials that will help you level in Wrath. I don't care. Go fish.
You see, while you'll be fishing up a lot of equally useless fish in the Dalaran fountain, you'll also get coins. No, not in the sense that you'll be fishing up ingame money, but you'll fish up coins tossed into the fountain of this very old city by 53 people, many of whom will be known to you if you've played the game for any length of time. Some of them, perhaps most of them, are funny. Some are serious. Some are heartbreaking. I admit to a touch of being a lore geek, and it was wonderful being allowed a peek into the irreverent or hopeful or sad heads of Jaina Proudmoore, Thrall, or Stalvan Mistmantle. It is idiosyncratic little touches like this that make WoW hopelessly fun to play, and it is my fondest wish that whatever person at Blizzard who thought this up is pulled off whatever they're doing right now and chained to a desk until they come up with more stuff like this.
So, if you don't do anything else with your time between patch 3.02 hitting and Wrath going live...level up fishing so you can fish in the Dalaran fountain. But don't read any further if you're not interested in Wrath spoilers, because there are a few here...
Just a friendly reminder for everyone: Today is the last day of the Harvest Festival, the annual event honoring the fallen heroes of the Horde and the Alliance. That means you have one more day to head to the front entrance of Ironforge and Orgrimmar to hang with some ghosts, buy some cheap fireworks (those Midsummer Ground Flowers are awesome, and I am totally stocking up), and go pay your respects to Grom or Uther.
Yeah, it's a small holiday, and a weird one at that. I mean, you either honor Uther, who was a jerk to Tirion Fordring, ineffective against the Scourge and was betrayed and killed by his protege, or Grom, who betrayed the Orcish race to the Burning Legion at least twice, and whose clan is still one of the major sources of strife and bad Horde-Alliance relations on Azeroth today.
And what about hanging out with all those ghosts? I mean, isn't anyone concerned that they could be scourge? And what about those Forsaken ancestors? Shouldn't they look like humans as ghosts, since they were humans in the first place? And wouldn't a good portion of those Orc and Troll ancestors come from the tradition of savagery and cannibalism and demon worship that the Horde is supposedly trying to break free from?
Oh well, at least it's free fireworks and free food. Enjoy it while you can! Brewfest is a scant week away too, so be sure to review the new Coren Direbrew loot and plan your trip to the Grim Guzzler now.
You won't get anything from the quests right away (except a book, which doesn't appear to be on the list of "Well Read" achievements, probably because it's faction-specific), but in a few days, you should get a nice, foodie surprise in the mail that I still use on my Warrior. It's Harvest Festival time again! For the Fallen!
And of course, you know what this means. Brewfest is just around the corner!