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Know Your Lore: The Blackrock Legacy

Know Your Lore The Blackrock Legacy
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.

They claimed to be the true Horde. They may yet prove it.

The Blackrock orcs seem, on the surface, to be a relic of a bygone age. A tribe of orcs holding on to a past swept aside by Turalyon's hand clutching Lothar's broken sword, a defeated remnant of Gul'dan's legacy. Once led by Blackhand the Destroyer, the Blackrock clan rose to prominence when Blackhand became Gul'dan's proxy as Warchief of the newborn Horde. And it remained central when Orgrim Doomhammer, Blackhand's second in command, slew Blackhand and seized power, for Doomhammer too was a member of the Blackrock clan. After the final defeat of the Horde atop Blackrock Spire, it seemed certain that the Blackrocks would trouble Azeroth no more.

Yet Blackhand's sons Rend and Maim, who had served Doomhammer even after he killed their father as leaders of the splinter clan the Black Tooth Grin, led the Blackrocks into the mountain that bore the same name and set about rebuilding them. When Teron Gorefiend came to Blackrock Spire, the brothers Blackhand refused his call to join Ner'zhul's Horde, seeing themselves as the true inheritors of Blackhand's legacy. In time, the Black Dragonflight came to the mountain, attracted by the reds still held in bondage there, and Nefarian brought the Blackrocks into his service. Maim Blackhand died in the war with the Dark Iron Dwarves to determine which force would rule the mountain, while Rend died when Thrall sent members of the Horde to kill him for his claim to the title of Warchief that Doomhammer had bestowed upon the shaman.

And yet, the Blackrocks were not done. Ironically, it may have been one of Thrall's most loyal supporters who brought one of Garrosh Hellscream's most dangerous enforcers into the fold.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Who is your unsung Cataclysm hero?

The Cataclysm has given us new heroes, villains, and every type of character in between. Many of these characters exist in small outposts, towns, villages, keeps, and forward positions in whichever war they are embroiled in at the moment. Some of these characters are momentary heroes who may or may not be getting the respect they deserve.

One of those characters that Cataclysm fleshed out and turned into a wonderful hero is Eitrigg's son, Ariok. Eitrigg himself is a Blackrock orc who, in the company of his son, has come to the Burning Steppes to fight his former clan and stem their ravenous tide. Ariok accompanies the Horde player character through the zone, eager to show his father his strength. He understands the menace that the Blackrocks of the Burning Steppes present. His fight is sincere and strategic, and his character grows wonderfully over the course of the zone and the story. The final moments of the zone are epic, and Ariok stands proud and strong that he was part of this decidedly important battle to both the Horde and the Alliance.

Who are your unsung heroes of Cataclysm? Do you think John J. Keeshan (Ariok's counterpart in the Burning Steppes for the Alliance) gets his just praise? How about the heroes of both factions in the Twilight Highlands?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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