Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag Varimathras

Know Your Lore: Lore summed up part 3 - Wrath of the Lich King


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.

Part one covered the original launch game, and part two covered the Burning Crusade expansion. Part three is about Corgis Unleashed.

No, no, I kid. Part three is of course about Wrath of the Lich King, when our titular king of the liches gets upset. Miffed. Irate. Angry, even. This one is going to be long - even longer than the BC recap, so long that I see no choice but to split it into two parts. The Lich King was a long time in coming - players were clamoring for him from the moment World of Warcraft launched, and when the expansion bearing his name finally hit, it changed everything.

Like The Burning Crusade, WotLK started with an event. But unlike TBC, this particular event, the Scourge Invasion, was leaps and bounds more dramatic than expected. This time, the monsters were the players, so to speak.

It began with mysterious boxes appearing in Booty Bay and other cities and towns, spreading across Azeroth slowly. The boxes appeared in capital cities, shipped from unknown locales... and slowly, all over the world, the curse of undeath began taking root. At first members of the Argent Dawn could keep ahead of the tide of plague, but as it continued, more and more of Azeroth's heroes succumbed. Soon an irresistible tide of undead threatened Orgrimmar, Stormwind, Ironforge, Undercity (yes, even the forsaken were not immune) and other locations. Some ran and hid in the countryside, avoiding major cities, because these undead seemed to possess a sadistic enjoyment and sought to infect as many as possible.

Read more →

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

Know Your Lore: Sylvanas Windrunner, 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.

It can be reasonably argued that of all the faction leaders currently featured in Cataclysm, none are quite as questionable in both motive and actions as Sylvanas Windrunner. The history of Sylvanas and her role in Wrath of the Lich King has already been discussed in the Forsaken politics article from earlier this year; at the point it was written, we had no real idea what exactly she was going to be doing in Cataclysm. Now we have answers, and those answers do nothing but raise even more incredibly disturbing questions.

Where do the Banshee Queen's loyalties lie? To the Horde, to her people, or to some other power entirely? Sylvanas' past was fraught with grief and horror; her future seems to be teetering on the brink of something even worse. With the introduction of the worgen, Sylvanas has something to focus on -- but what exactly are her motives, and who is it that she's ultimately fighting for?

Please note: The following post contains spoilers for the Forsaken storylines featured in Cataclysm content. If you have not played through Silverpine, Hillsbrad Foothills or the Western Plaguelands, turn away! And go play through those zones, because they are amazing.

Read more →

Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Nathanos Marris and the dark rangers of the Forsaken


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.

When looking at the new race and class combinations that are coming out with Cataclysm, some are far easier than others to digest, such as the addition of the hunter class to the human race. Of course the humans can be hunters, that's not a terribly far-fetched statement at all. But what about the other new race that, as of Cataclysm, gets to take up the bow and tame beasts as well? I'm speaking of the Forsaken, of course -- the thought of an undead creature holding a biscuit and coaxing a wolf to be his new best friend is just a little off-putting.

In Wrath, we've seen a sudden return of the dark rangers -- the forsaken remnants of what used to be Sylvanas' corps of elven rangers. As Ranger General of Silvermoon, Sylvanas led and commanded the Farstriders back before the Third War. After the events of the Third War, Sylvanas found herself turned into a banshee, and then after regaining her body, a dark ranger -- the first dark ranger of the Forsaken. But the Forsaken we play in game aren't really elven -- they're humans, the former residents of Lordaeron. How do they fit in? There's a few different and absolutely reasonable theories kicking around, but first we should take a look at the first and only human ranger lord -- Nathanos Marris.

WARNING: The following post may contain some spoilers for the upcoming Cataclysm expansion. If you wish to remain unspoiled, stopping here would be advised!

Read more →

Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Current Horde politics -- the Forsaken

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.

While the politics of Horde races such as the orcs, blood elves, tauren and trolls span literally thousands of years, and feelings and current beliefs held by both races are deep-seated within that history, not all of the Horde races have such an extensive past. In the case of the Forsaken, the history goes back not thousands of years but approximately six or seven by Blizzard's timeline. A relatively new race, the Forsaken were introduced in World of Warcraft as playable members of the Horde faction, a move which confused some of the player base as the Forsaken were most definitely up to no good. Why would Thrall, who has been presented as a good character, agree to ally with a group that were presented as primarily evil?

This was never directly addressed other than being waved off as an alliance of convenience, but most of the Horde seemed to either distrust or share outright loathing for the Forsaken. While other races started out on good terms with the rest of their Horde brethren, players rolling Forsaken found themselves at neutral standing with all three of the other Horde races available. There are exceptions, however. The Tauren -- particularly Magatha Grimtotem -- seem interested in working with the Forsaken and possibly developing a "cure" for their undead state and aren't quite as unforgiving when it comes to dealing with their undead comrades.

While the relative time of the Forsaken on Azeroth has been short, in the few years of their existence they've managed to accomplish much -- largely due to the efforts of their leader, Lady Sylvanas Windrunner. Sylvanas had quite a history of her own prior to becoming the banshee queen, and it is doubtful that the race would have accomplished anything, much less banded together, without her leadership. I've covered some of the history of the high elves in last week's post, but this week I'm going to look at Sylvanas in a little more detail as the leader and the driving force behind the Forsaken.

Read more →

Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: Wherein we are aghast


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Oh ho, what is this? Another edition of The Queue, approximately one day after the one before it? How unexpected! Who knew that daily features could be so... daily? I, for one, am shocked. And perhaps a little appalled.

Tori asked...


"What do you think will happen with the Undead after the Lich King is defeated? I realize for gameplay purposes they won't suddenly disappear from the Horde, but from a lore view Sylvanas' entire grudge against Arthas was most of the reason for using the Horde as a means to her end.

Plus after all the Wrath Gate drama... it just seems as though the Forsaken should almost be their own faction or something."

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

The Lore of Patch 3.3

In many ways Wrath of the Lich King can be considered the logical conclusion of one of WarCraft's major story lines. Arthas, the evil sovereign of the scourge, will meet his doom in Icecrown Citadel. Each Wrath patch up until now has lead to this defining moment -- the face off between Arthas and the players representing the next generation of heroes of Azeroth. Who will win? What happens after Arthas is defeated? Is Arthas defeated?

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.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Varimathras' replacement: "B"


Earlier this year, we wondered just what would happen now that my favorite dreadlord, Varimathras, was vanquished in the Battle for the Undercity, and now Kisirani has provided us with a hint: someone whose name includes a "B." When someone repeats the question on the forums, she posts a note delivered by a bronze whelp hinting that someone will be back in Varimathras' place as of patch 3.3. The note is signed only with a "B," and (as Kisirani probably intended), it's anyone's guess just who that is.

And if by "anyone," you mean the denizens of the Blizzard forums, they all seem to think it's Nathanos Blightcaller, a Forsaken who has been sitting in the Eastern Plaguelands since the game began. He's recently been mentioned again in the game, as Varian Wrynn has sent Alliance players after him in Bolvar's place, and so it makes sense that he may rejoin the Banshee Queen and take his place at her side. Balnazzar, Varimathras' demon brother, is another guess, though he's currently serving secretly with the Scarlet Crusade, so who knows how he'd come to that position. And of course, besides Bornakk, anytime you hear B you have to think of our friend Bolvar, whose fate we'll probably learn in patch 3.3 no matter what. As for who it really is, we won't know for sure until we see them in the Undercity.

Filed under: Horde, Undead, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Lore, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

Varian Wrynn is Right


Warning: This article contains spoilers of varying intensity for the Wrathgate world event, the new Arthas Novel , and the Warcraft Comic Series. It is also 3 pages long. Be sure to click the links at the bottom to head to the next part!

Among WoW players these days, it seems to be a popular opinion that King Varian Wrynn is a narrow minded short-sighted bigot who will lead the Alliance to ruin. This is an easy opinion to have, since he does show a considerable amount of anger at times when dealing with the Horde, and it's long been the general opinion that "no-one is truly evil" in the Horde and Alliance conflict. This is even the opinion of some of my fellow writers.

Here's my problem with this: The underlying causes of Varian Wrynn's anger are all unconditionally justified. Varian Wrynn is not angry at the Horde because of a series of misunderstandings and misinterpretations. He's been witness to or victim of multiple wrongdoings and atrocities perpetuated by the Horde time and time again, both the new Horde and the Old. Most, if not all of these times, the wrongdoings have been the result of outright maliciousness on the part of the Horde or its members, and in the case the so-called "peaceful" New Horde, there's been no sign whatsoever that Thrall is punishing or disciplining the perpetrators of these acts, and at the least, it is clear that he is not properly dealing with the consequences.

Read more →

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, NPCs

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Horde Rogue

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-third in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

Any class needs its role models. Rogues don't have all that many great heroes from lore, but the ones they do have stand out, especially for the prominence of women in this class.

Garona Halforcen is probably the most famous of rogue protagonists, one of the main characters of the original Warcraft I storyline that launched the whole Warcraft series. She's been strangely missing ever since the end of the First War, actually, but it seems that she is finally making her comeback to the story in the World of Warcraft Comic Book. Her full story is best left for others to tell (such as the immensely talented Elizabeth Wachowski, or the mysterious collective mind known as WoWWiki), but for now, suffice it to say that she represents a lot of what makes rogues who and what they are. Here's a few reasons why:
  • She's incredibly cool.
  • She doesn't talk about how incredibly cool she is.
  • She has conflicted loyalties, neither all good nor all bad.
  • There's so much we don't know about her, and so much we want to discover.
  • She's something of a lone wolf, extremely independent and active.
  • Her skill with words was just as important as her skill with weapons.
  • She has a great wealth of complicated emotions and ideas that drive her deeper into the story.

Read more →

Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blood Elves, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Ask A Beta Tester: Kalecgos, Wintergrasp, and how much is this going to cost me?


We're going to get right down to business this evening, folks. I was kind of heartened to see Willferal (our first questioner) ask about something that's bugged me for a while.

EDIT: several commenters have taken issue with the lack of a spoiler warning on this post when it went live at 9:00 pm EST. I genuinely apologize; it should have occurred to me to write one, and it's entirely my fault that one wasn't present. So consider this fair -- if belated -- warning that there's a significant, if general, spoiler in this AABT concerning an important quest chain in Wrath, and if you're trying to avoid spoilers completely, please do NOT read AABT. This column is nothing but a pile of spoilers compressed into a spoiled package and tied with a spoilery bow.

Willferal asks...

I know that in Wotlk, the players are fighting Malygos. But in TBC, Kalec/Tyri are blue dragons that help us, and Kalec is especially vital in his help to kill Kiljaeden. What's their role in Wrath?

I wish I knew. I never found any mention of Kalecgos while leveling, and Tyrygosa only got a brief mention at last year's BlizzCon. Tyrygosa's role in BC wasn't that extensive, but Kalecgos was all that and a box of crackers in Sunwell, so this is a little...mystifying. They both seem on passable (Tyrygosa) to good (Kalecgos) relations with the mortal races, so the involvement of their entire flight in Malygos' war would -- I hope -- concern them somewhat. I really hope Blizzard goes somewhere with this, but as of now I don't think you can expect to find anything in Northrend.

Read more →

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Leveling, Enchants, Wrath of the Lich King

Barrens Chat: Spoiled Rotten


So, this is somewhat of a spoiler strip. It is something that has been mentioned and posted in previous articles, but just in case you skipped those for obvious reasons, you probably should skip this, also.

That being said, I noticed while drawing this out and looking at a screen shot of Thrall that he looks like a green, balding version of the Geico cavemen. With big teeth, of course. Maybe it's just me.

I know I've started doing them on the computer entirely again, but I uh... misplaced my drawing paper. When I get paid this Friday maybe I'll go pick up more, but that's a really long drive to the nearest art store.

Possible alternate text for a couple of the panels after the jump!

Gallery: Barrens Chat

Spoiled RottenBubbles bubbles everywhereAlways a catchDead RingerRevolution evolutionAll hands on deck

Read more →

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Humor, Comics, Barrens Chat

Ask a Beta Tester: Raid zones, plot, and more on phasing

I decided to do something a little different with the image above for today's Ask a Beta Tester. Instead of beating you over the head with another of my awesome Dalaran screenshots, I've plugged in some music you can listen to while you read, if you'd like. Just hit play, and get in a Wrath kind of mood.

Milkgas asked quite a few question, but many of them involve story spoilers that I don't think readers would appreciate seeing in this particular column. What I don't answer, you can truck over to Ask a Lore Nerd and I'll squeeze them in on the bottom behind my usual "spoilers be here, yarrrr" line. We can definitely hit a few of them though.

Has there been any hints in the quest text of either the Uldum or the Karazhan Basement as a raid or dungeon in this expansion or the next?

Nothing that I've seen! We'll have Ulduar as a raid zone in Northrend, so to me that seems like a definite no on Uldum. I don't think they would put two Titan raids in one expansion, unless Uldum turned out to be a 5 man dungeon. We've seen nothing about the rest of Karazhan.

Read more →

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

Model changes for Varimathras and Alexstrasza


We certainly enjoyed the model changes to Varian Wrynn and Sylvanas Windrunner, and now Blizzard's finished the unique models for Alexstrasza (human form, that is; you can see her dragon model update here) and Varimathras, as befits their key roles in the storyline for Wrath. I'm a tiny bit disappointed with Alexstrasza's model; her armor is mostly a red copy of Sylvanas' new threads, which are admittedly all sorts of awesome but makes me wonder if there's some kind of Armor Barn in Azeroth for hipster bosses. Alexstrasza does, however, show even more skin than Sylvanas does, so from some peoples' perspectives this might be a feature rather than a bug.

Varimathras is a nice update although he retains his old animations and emotes (you can't really see it from the perspective of the screenshot above, but I think his legs and hooves are a significant improvement on the shaky anatomy of the current dreadlord model). Both he and Alexstrasza's changes are somewhat less shocking than the complete overhaul to Wrynn and Sylvanas, but we're still pleased to see Blizzard taking an interest in the visual badassery of major faction leaders and NPC's. I would tend to agree with Zach Yonzon's contention that it would be amazing to see an update to all the faction leaders if Blizzard could swing it at some point, although I have the sneaking suspicion, judging from what CM's have said about the difficulty of programming in new Druid forms, that this is a fairly lengthy process. However, after seeing the model changes in the beta, I don't think anyone's going to argue it's not worth it, and a number of people have argued for player model changes as well. The extraordinary design work in Northrend will probably add fuel to that fire.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Lore, Bosses, Factions, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

Boss models updated in Wrath Beta


A nice surprise awaited the citizens of Stormwind and the Undercity when the new Beta build went live earlier. New, unique models for King Varian Wrynn and Lady Sylvanas Windrunner debuted in their respective cities, looking every bit as awesome as faction leaders should be. Although Lady Sylvanas received a makeover over a month ago -- changed from the erroneous Night Elf model into the proper High or Blood Elf model -- this newest iteration is more regal, more intimidating, and just more badass. Taking a screenshot proved difficult as throngs of admirers threw all sorts of emotes at the new Dark Lady from /cowers to /kisses.

King Varian Wrynn in Stormwind also received a graphic overhaul, upgrading from pre-TBC PvP Honor gear to a unique armor set with an eagle and lion motif. He also no longer dual-wields Jade Serpentblades but more appropriately what looks like Quel'serrar. So Wrynn has apparently taken care of the Onyxia problem. Twice. Alex Ziebart points out that he also seems to be wearing Anduin Lothar's belt (always thank your lore nerds!). It's a cool model except that he always seems to be scowling and occasionally yawns. But the details matter -- Varian's face is also battle-scarred -- and I want to seriously give props to the Blizzard artists behind these new models. They're just completely fantastic.

[EDIT: I probably should have mentioned this, too, since I'd already checked it out but reader RogueJedi86 called me on it -- they also updated the dragon model for Alexstraza, and can be viewed on World of Raids. She really likes her trinkets and baubles like the sophisticated lady that she is...]

In other news, this Beta build also saw the traitorious Varimathras converted into a duotone Rubik's Cube. Maybe a placeholder for better graphics or punishment for being such an arrogant lackey? If anything, however, with all these unique models coming out, perhaps it's a good time to update the other boss models in the game. Thrall, the baddest of all badasses, still looks like he's in Level 40 greens [NOTE: Reader Skeeran correctly reminds me that Thrall's armor is Orgrim Doomhammer's armor as seen in Warcraft III... but it still looks like Level 40 greens.]. Even worse off is Cairne Bloodhoof, who looks like he got all his gear from the Wailing Caverns. Since these bosses are soon going receive a lot of visitors, it's probably a good time to dress them up properly to receive them. I mean, Tyrande Whisperwind is still wearing a nightdress...

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

WoW TCG March of the Legion event dates and locations announced

As you may recall, Upper Deck recently announced the March of the Legion tour, a series of tournaments against their own legionnaires for fabulous prizes. They've updated the tour page today with information on the first leg of the tour, including the identities of the legionnaires and the places they'll be visiting, including Northern California, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Philadelphia, Florida, Michigan, and Ontario (Canada). The events last through June, so there's sure to be more locations and dates added later.

The legionnaires are no slouches, though. We're talking lead developers and high class judges for the TCG here, so it sounds like you'll have your work cut out for you if you want to win yourself a Varimathras extended art card and a Leeroy Jenkins T-shirt by defeating them. Of course, as mentioned, just showing up gets you that Weeble extended art card, and it sounds like the event should be fun. Let us know how it goes if you show up to one!

Filed under: News items, Contests, WoW TCG

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events

Event Date
Hallow's End 10/18 - 11/1
Day of the Dead 11/1 - 11/3
Darkmoon Faire 11/2 - 11/9
BlizzCon 2014 11/7 - 11/8

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories