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Know Your Lore: Jaina Proudmoore and the Kirin Tor

Know Your Lore Jaina Proudmoore and the Kirin Tor 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.

For most players, the Kirin Tor are simply one of many factions available during Wrath of the Lich King. They ran the city of Dalaran, once located just north of the Hillsbrad Foothills, then later relocated to Northrend. In Wrath, players both Alliance and Horde could earn reputation with the Kirin Tor -- the Kirin Tor didn't have a faction bias. They were quite happily a neutral organization, far more interested in matters of magic and learning than any political matters.

But there is far more to the story of the Kirin Tor, and to the city-state of Dalaran. And now that the Kirin Tor has a new leader, it's taking those first few steps away from neutrality and into alignment. Because of this, the Kirin Tor has stepped into a dangerous new light, one with some ethical questions that are far, far more political than one would expect from a collection of mages and intellectuals united under one banner.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Jaina Proudmoore


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.

Duty first. Grief second. Self-pity? Never.

Daughter of a Grand Admiral, once intended of a prince, and one of the greatest mages in the history of Azeroth -- it's a hell of a reputation to live up to, but Jaina Proudmoore is nothing if not conscious of the example she sets to others. While other leaders have suffered greatly and bear the scars of their past as a badge of honor to further their pursuits, Jaina has had her own share of grief. Yet unlike the other leaders of her time, she bears her sorrow quietly, burying it under responsibility and an unwavering dedication to the greater good of the world.

Jaina Proudmoore was the youngest of Grand Admiral Daelin Proudmoore's children. The only girl born to the family, Jaina had a lot to live up to -- and she was determined not to spend her life as one of other ladies of the noble court. From a young age, Jaina showed a remarkable aptitude for the magical arts. Around age 11, she was sent to Dalaran to study among the mages of the Kirin Tor -- something that may have been a daunting task for other children her age, but not Jaina. She'd spent her childhood reading tales of Aegwynn, one of the greatest Guardians the world had known. The tales of how Aegwynn had overcome the stigma of being a female wizard and achieved far greater success with her position than any man in the Guardian line only served to fuel Jaina's ambitions, even though she was but a child at the time.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Third War part one

There's always more lore to discover here at Know Your Lore.

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.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Golden's Arthas delivers the lore goodness

A note from Alex Ziebart: When Simon and Schuster sent Daniel and I a pair of free, early review copies of Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, we immediately went about planning how we were going to handle a 2-man review. We've been good friends for years, and one of our favorite past times is debating things like this back and forth. We rarely agree on books, and we can argue our sides until we're blue in the face. We were going to write an Alex vs Daniel knock down, drag out argument about Arthas and it was going to rule. Unfortunately, things didn't go our way.

When we finished reading the book, we got together to talk about it. It was... unsettling. We completely agreed with each other on almost every point that was raised. The high points and the low points, we were completely on the same spectrum. That's just not right. We decided that, rather than write two reviews parroting each other, we would just go with the one. Daniel's review says everything I want to say better than I could have said it, so once you read what he says, just pretend you can hear me say "Ditto" at the end. Take it away, Danny!

As WoW Insider's self-proclaimed junior lieutenant Lore Nerd, when Simon & Schuster so generously offered to send us a couple of free advanced copies of Arthas, the new World of Warcraft book by Christie Golden, I was all over that. As soon as the book showed up on my doorstep, I turned on the answering machine, grabbed a soda, popped some popcorn, curled up in my favorite chair, and pretty much read the whole thing straight through. The only breaks I took were to discuss various scenes and their ramifications for lore with Alex. And by discuss, I mean "fanboy out."

But I am being completely serious when I say, of all the Warcraft manga, comic books, and novels I have read, Arthas has the most solid, balanced writing and best realized characters. It's not a perfect book, but it's a very worthwhile read for anyone who has even the slightest interest in the why and how of that big armored dude up on the Frozen Throne.

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

Know Your Lore: Dalaran


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!

Dalaran has been one of the most prominent nations in the Eastern Kingdoms since its founding, though it's actually quite small. A nation only thousands strong at its height has perhaps held more sway over world leaders in its time than any other nation, and has attracted the ire of some of the most powerful entities Azeroth has ever seen.

Dalaran, located in the heart of former Lordaeron territory, has been the center of Arcane knowledge since its creation, and could be considered the Humans' answer to Quel'Thalas, though the nation accepts Elves (and many others) in its ranks as well. Magic is Dalaran's lifeblood, and is even ruled through the strength and wisdom of its magi. Dalaran is a magocracy, a government ruled by a council of mages known as the Kirin Tor, elected by citizens of the nation. Their icon is the Violet Eye, with Violet being the motif used for the nation itself, and the color purple representing the Arcane as a whole in Warcraft (Arcane Missiles, Netherstorm).

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

The funny, morbid, and sad coins of the Dalaran fountain


Level up fishing so you can fish in the Dalaran fountain.

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...

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Filed under: Fishing, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Expansions, Humor, Lore, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Ask a Lore Nerd: Portals, pandaren, and Jaina Proudmoore

Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week Alex Ziebart answers your quests about the lore in the World of Warcraft. If you have any questions, no matter how big or small they might be, ask them in the comments section below and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

Let's get this party started with Lionheart's question...

What is that barred off instance looking portal thing in Stormwind, by Old Town? Were the gates once open?

There are actually two of these in Stormwind. Neither of them were ever open, they're relics of unfinished projects. One is a closed off little guarded island in the Canals. That one was going to be the Stormwind Vault, probably a dungeon like Arcatraz or the upcoming Violet Hold in Dalaran. Probably.

There's also the barred off one at the end of the Canals, right down the way from that one. This is probably the one you're referring to, I'm going to guess? I don't think we've gotten a real answer on this was supposed to be, but it was probably going to be the portal to player housing. They actually did start work on player housing at one point, but never got far. There are relics of it in the game files. Half completed houses/structures, things like that. They all use the Stormwind motif for their appearance, and they would have to put it somewhere. Through this portal is a safe bet.

thinice asked...

Jaina Proudmoore and Arthas. Any chance they'll hook up against in the future? What are the details of their history together?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Death Knight, Ask a Lore Nerd

Know Your Lore: Tirion Fordring


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? E-mail us! Or, if you have a question for our sister column Ask a Lore Nerd, e-mail us those, too!

Despite how cool Tirion Fordring is, this was is actually one of the more challenging topics for Know Your Lore. It's difficult to write about Tirion without just giving a summary of the book about him, becase there's not much more to him until Wrath of the Lich King. Even after reading this, I'm still going to strongly recommend that you go out and find a copy of the Chris Metzen written book Of Blood and Honor.

At the creation of the Order of the Silver Hand, Tirion Fordring was chosen to be among the first of the Paladins. Alongside him were people such as Saidan Dathrohan, Turalyon, Uther the Lightbringer, and Gavinrad the Dire (who!?). During the wars with the Orcish Horde, Tirion pretty much did what every other Paladin did: Kill a lot of Orcs and save a lot of lives. The real juicy stuff came a bit after that.

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

Wrath in pictures for your weekend

If you tend to be a strictly weekend-centric WoW Insider reader, you may have missed some of the best stuff to come out of the Wrath beta thus far: the eye candy! Class updates, mechanics changes, pfft, who needs that stuff? No no my friends, me, I'm all about the shinies. Okay, and I like all of that other stuff, too. Luckily, we have a little bit of everything, and in case you did miss our eye candy, let's take a look back at some of it, shall we? Be warned, however, that most of these galleries contain some minor spoilers. If you don't want to be spoiled, be careful!

The Borean Tundra
The Borean Tundra, accessed from either the Orgrimmar zeppelin tower or the Stormwind Harbor, is one of two starter zones in Northrend. The Tundra houses Valiance Keep, Warsong Hold, D.E.H.T.A. the Coldarra (home of the Blue Dragonflight) and much more.
The Howling Fjord
The Howling Fjord is the second of the two Northrend starter zones, accessed via Menethil Harbor or the Tirisfal zeppelin towers. The Howling Fjord is home to Valgarde, the Forsaken's Vengeance Landing, the Vrykul fortress Utgarde, and the Ember Clutch.

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Filed under: Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Expansions, Jewelcrafting, Screenshots, Galleries, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Phat Loot Phriday: Antonidas' Aegis of Rapt Concentration


I'm a Resto/Elemental Shaman. I like shields. I especially like Epic shields. I especially like Epic shields with spell damage on them. And boy do I like Epics that have a nice tie to the lore.

Name: Antonidas' Aegis of Rapt Concentration
Type: Epic Shield
Armor/Block: 6336 / 174
Abilities:
  • +28 Stamina, +20 Intellect
  • Improves spell crit rating by 20, and increases spell damage and healing by up to 42
  • Antonidas is (actually was, because he was killed by Arthas, as all great Warcraft characters were) the head of the Kirin Tor, that conclave of wizards that you're hearing so much about lately. His pupil was Jaina Proudmoore (and it was she who he expected to eventually take over the Kirin Tor). When Arthas killed Antonidas (to claim the Book of Medivh), the Violet Citadel and Dalaran were both left wide open, and Archimonde moved in to finish off the job and destroy the city.
  • Now, of course, Dalaran is being rebuilt, and it's soon going to be flying over Northrend. Until then, Antonidas' shield has found its way back into the hands of players.
How to Get It: In fact, Archimonde must have grabbed it when he trashed Dalaran, because this is a drop from him at the Caverns of Time Mount Hyjal instance. In that instance, you fight Archi (as I like call him) fighting to gain control of the World Tree, and apparently he's been hauling this shield around with him ever since he sacked Dalaran-- drop him, and with a little rolling luck, it's yours.

As a sidenote, apparently this was one of the drops on the world first kill of Archi as well. So not only can you get a shield that belonged to one of the greatest arch-mages the world of Azeroth has ever known, you can also get a shield that belonged to one of the best guilds in the game! Two for one!

Getting Rid of It: Sells for 9g 55s 99c. Disenchants into a Void Crystal. Breaks my elemental Shaman heart.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding, Phat Loot Phriday, Lore

New servers (must be Thursday!)

From the continuing-battles-against-queues department, I bring you the following tidbit. Six new realms are now open, forming their own new battlegroup, Emberstorm. The realms are closed to transfers for six months and the gates of AQ are starting out closed. Ordinn says that a few more realms are planned to be opened next week, in addition to an unspecified number when the Burning Crusade hits the streets, though he says "the exact timing will depend on the amount of those new and return players."

The new realms open now are as follows:

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Filed under: Realm News, Blizzard, News items, The Burning Crusade

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