If you think a novel about a courtroom trial is going to be a dull affair, think again -- War Crimes isn't just a story about a trial, nor is it just another story about Garrosh Hellscream. In fact, it's anything but another Garrosh Hellscream novel. We were thrilled to get an exclusive interview with Christie at BlizzCon 2013 about her new title, a gigantic cast that includes some unexpected faces in the spotlight, and what we can expect to see -- as well as information on the book's release.
The brutal siege of Orgrimmar is over. Garrosh Hellscream, the most infamous orc on Azeroth, now sits in chains. His tyrannical leadership of the Horde has been ended by his many enemies, and he must answer for his crimes.
Renowned leaders from across the world gather in Pandaria to witness Garrosh's trial. Visions of his past atrocities are presented in vivid detail for all to see. But as history is revisited, old grievances and bitter memories come back into the light, and those in attendance begin to wonder if anyone among them is truly innocent. Mounting tensions and rising enmity steer the court to the brink of chaos... as the world waits with bated breath for the verdict on the war crimes of Garrosh Hellscream.
Posts with tag baine-bloodhoof
I'm not in the habit of writing letters to fictional characters, but in the face of what we've all seen yesterday, it seemed like as good a time as any to start. Look, I realize this is going to be hard to accept, but your fate isn't exactly in your hands. What you want, and what you'll get, are two entirely different things -- and it might not be fair. It might not be particularly right. It certainly isn't going to feel very good, but the influence you hold only goes so far. And in this case, you can't exactly order around a king.
But let's look beyond that for a second, all right? Because honestly, you seem to be more than a little irritated, justified or not. And I remember who you used to be, a long time ago. I remember a lady who was a bastion of rational thinking, one who looked before she leapt, made sound judgments, and realized that in this big, wide, crazy world of Azeroth, things aren't always black and white, good and evil. Sometimes, most of the time in fact, they lay somewhere in between.
So I'm wondering, Lady Proudmoore -- who are you?
This post contains huge spoilers for patch 5.4, including the end cinematic for the Siege of Orgrimmar. Reader beware!
Things are about to get much worse.
- Deathbringer Saurfang
On the surface of things, it seems like we may be about to turn the corner. Garrosh Hellscream's True Horde is about to face its enemies and the Warchief has alienated so many of his former allies that the Horde itself has erupted in civil war. But once we start thinking about the aftermath, it all starts to seem a little murkier.
After all, even though we know that there will apparently be a new warchief appointed after the fall of Hellscream, that won't immediately fix the tensions that led to the Horde making war on itself. Hellscream's former supporters won't just vanish - with the vast majority of orcs behind him, Hellscream's legacy is bound to continue and any new warchief is going to have to face those orcs who took up arms for the True Horde and come up with a way to re-integrate them into the Horde as a whole. Meanwhile, it's likely that those who supported the Darkspear Rebellion are going to want to see substantial changes made to the way the Horde functions - the orcish ideals of Lok'tar Ogar, of unquestioning loyalty to the warchief are by necessity broken now. The Horde of the future is a Horde that has survived a mutiny, has seen a leader deposed - it cannot be bound by tight-knit expectations of loyalty and honor. The blood elves and forsaken, tauren and goblins and trolls who had a hand in making the new warchief possible will have demands, and they're not all going to be possible to meet.
Meanwhile, the Alliance will have found itself in the position of kingmaker for its enemy. What does the future hold for Alliance/Horde relations? Will the Alliance forget the past several years of Horde aggression or will it demand concessions from its weakened enemy? And if Varian Wrynn doesn't take advantage of this moment to reclaim Azshara and Ashenvale, or Gilneas, what backlash will he have to face from within his own faction? Thanks in no small part to the threat of the Horde, Wrynn has found himself rising to the position of war-leader for the Alliance as a whole. But can he maintain that position with a much less threatening Horde, especially if he doesn't move to take advantage of its weakness?
Let's look at potential threats to any return to stability. This week, we'll discuss the forces at play within the Horde.
So who should it be? The obvious choice is one of the racial leaders, though exactly which one is up for debate. I thought it would be fun to analyze some of the potential candidates and tease out what might make them a reasonable choice of warchief both inside and outside the story. Let's start with some of the easily dismissible, for brevity's sake.
This post contains some minor spoilers for patch 5.3, so be warned!
I feel for Aethas, in this sense. I sympathize with his impulse toward reconciliation. Why shouldn't he have tried? History was on his side. Quel'Thalas and Dalaran have, in fact, been traditional allies for quite a long time, much longer than they have been enemies. I don't think his hope was unreasonable, but it did turn out to be impossible. There is just too much bad blood - on many sides - for any sort of truce to exist at this point, and it will likely be a very long time before those wounds are healed enough for bridges to be rebuilt. Sometimes compromise just isn't an option.
Fair warning: there are minor spoilers for patch 5.3 below the cut.
Please note that this is a review for the Dominance Offensive, which is the Horde side of the 5.1 reputation. At this point in time, I don't have an Alliance character at level 90, so I'm unable to play through the Operation Shieldwall quests. However, I have been assured that not only are the Operation Shieldwall quests just as good, in some ways they are even better than the Dominance Offensive material. I'm not even sure how this is possible, because these dailies are just that good.
But enough gushing. Let's get into the nuts and bolts of what makes this reputation grind so different from everything before it.
Baine comes packing the powerful War Stomp keyword, knocking out a hero or ally when he swings, and further damaging them when they exhaust. His high health pool and Protector keyword will let him protect your weaker allies to keep their Tribe powers rolling in the late game.
We previewed the ultra-rare extended art version of the Malorne the White Stag master hero card last week, and Cryptozoic has begun their own official previews of War of the Ancients, which features playable lore characters as heroes for the first time in a standard WoW TCG set. Play as Malfurion, Queen Azshara, Broxigar the Red, and more heroes from every era of Warcraft history as you protect the timeways of the Caverns of Time with the Timewalkers faction.
Timewalkers: War of the Ancients releases October 2nd.
Filed under: WoW TCG
Tides is Christie's seventh novel in the Warcraft series, focusing on Jaina Proudmoore and the events surrounding Theramore's ultimate fate, as well as the lead-in for the next expansion, Mists of Pandaria. Like her novels The Shattering and Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects, Tides ties in with what we'll see in game -- but it's got a unique twist the likes of which we simply haven't seen before.
Christie was kind enough to fill us in on that unique twist, as well as Garrosh, Theramore, and what it's like penning the tales of Jaina Proudmoore.
Blizzard continues its trend of books that tie into World of Warcraft with its latest novel, Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War. This book takes place after the events in Cataclysm and after the last cinematic of the Dragon Soul raid. Deathwing is well and truly dead, and the world is a better place for it -- but for how long? Given the explosive nature of the Alliance/Horde conflict in Cataclysm, it's readily apparent that we're not about to go striding into the sunset, holding hands and singing songs of peace and harmony.
Tides of War revolves around Jaina Proudmoore and the events at Theramore Isle, which we'll see in game when patch 5.0.4 hits live servers. Jaina's been noticeably absent during Cataclysm; while we see Theramore forces out and about in the world, Jaina herself remains firmly ensconced in her tower abode on Theramore Isle. But there's a change on the winds, one that's been hinted at ever since the novel The Shattering was released. In The Shattering, Jaina was told that eventually, some day, she was going to have to choose a side. In Tides of War, she makes that choice in a spectacularly dramatic fashion.
But there's far more to this novel than just Jaina Proudmoore.
This past week, I was tabbed out of the game writing an OverAchiever on Bloody Rare as a follow-up to our guide on Northern Exposure when something interesting started happening in the background. In the sliver of laptop screen dedicated to WoW, the chat channels exploded with warnings that the Alliance was attacking Orgrimmar. Given that the Midsummer Fire Festival is still going on with lots of players busy stealing enemy fires, this isn't particularly unusual. I shrugged and went back to work.
And yet, the warnings just kept coming. Curious, I tabbed back into the game to discover that a full 40-man Alliance raid was fighting its way to Garrosh Hellscream. Other players said that none of the other Horde leaders had been attacked, so I can only assume the raid was starting For the Alliance! with the toughest foe among them.
Now, Garrosh is by no stretch of the imagination anywhere near as popular as Thrall was, but lots of Horde players are still willing to defend him from attack because, well, he's got his moments. Orgrimmar's central district quickly became a lagfest of epic proportions as dozens of players who'd been gossiping in trade or loitering around the Auction House rushed to defend Garrosh. The Alliance raid was ultimately defeated, but they rallied and tried again -- unsuccessfully -- an hour later.
This was the first of three days that I saw the same Alliance raid desperately trying to kill Garrosh, and something started to niggle at me by day two. Namely, For the Alliance! and For the Horde! are among the very few achievements that are significantly tougher if you play one faction over the other.
It's good to be Horde. All over the world of Azeroth, the Horde is conquering new territory, claiming new land and expanding far, far beyond the few holdings it had in vanilla World of Warcraft. Back then, the Horde merely eked out an existence, defending small outposts where it could. Sylvanas and her Forsaken stayed by and large in Tirisfal Glades, with a tiny outpost in Silverpine and a slightly larger one in Hillsbrad Foothills. The tauren stayed largely confined to Mulgore, with a few settlements to the south and southeast. The trolls took refuge in Orgrimmar, with no real land to call their own save one tiny village on the coast and another small outpost in Stranglethorn Vale.
Now, the Horde is branching out in a major way. Sylvanas has dominated the forests of Silverpine and the rolling farmlands of Hillsbrad and is working her way east through the Western Plaguelands. The trolls have taken back the Echo Isles, and the orcs of Orgimmar are claiming new land to the north and the east, moving in a tidal wave of barbaric conquering. The Horde is flush with the glorious victories in Northrend, eagerly seeking more territory. In Cataclysm, it's very, very good to be Horde.
Or so popular opinion states.
Warcraft lore is a continually fluctuating beast of a thing that can change at a moment's notice. This is particularly true for stories and plot developments that we hear over the course of beta testing, prior to an expansion's actual release. Nothing announced for Mists of Pandaria in the way of plot development is really set in stone and slapped into lore until the day you can purchase the game for yourselves and play it to your heart's content.
Even then, things might not be what they appear to be. Early this week, we had a fairly eye-opening announcement from Community Manager Zarhym in which he stated that perhaps Thrall wasn't slated to make a return to warchief once Garrosh had been removed, unlike all previous assumptions had suggested. Given the fact that Thrall's just saved the world, not to mention the fact that he's about to be a father, it's hard to picture him gladly taking his place as warchief again. There are more reasons than just those, of course.
But then that leaves the major question: Who the heck is going to be warchief? We don't have answers, but we've got five interesting possibilities for you to consider.
At the beginning of season 3 of Two Bosses Enter, I changed the rules a tiny bit, finally allowing raid bosses to be a part of the competition. While some have brought up that the power differentials between a 5-man dungeon boss and a 10- or 25-man are an unfair dynamic, I counter those statements with only this: It's my fake arena show, not yours! Jaina vs. Morchok, go!
On the last thrilling and chilling episode of Two Bosses Enter, the lost and angry essence of Baine Bloodhoof utterly wiped out the satyr guard Peroth'arn from the Well of Eternity. It wasn't even close. You guys and gals love your tauren heroes, and I will not deny you the championing of one of your prolific and hooved role models. The Echo of Baine was well represented in the comments, as we will soon see after checking out this week's combatants.
Are you ready for a serious rumble between two powerhouses? Master of the arcane versus an elemental monstrosity -- one is going home next week.
|Echo of Jaina||1876 (57.3%)|
Filed under: Two Bosses Enter
With a resounding roar of the crowd and the spectacular boom of the fireworks overhead, Season 3 of Two Bosses Enter has begun! Our first matchup mixes up the past and the future in one fell swoop by bringing two combatants from two edges of time into the same arena. From the bleak future of End Time comes the coalesced fear, anger, and sorrow of tauren chieftain Baine Bloodhoof, a powerful entity lingering on in an Azeroth obliterated by Deathwing. Plucked from the past is Peroth'arn, a satyr guard of the Well of Eternity, placed in the majestic palace courtyard to ward off invaders of the Well rituals. Both of these combatants have their work cut out for them in this matchup.
Since many bosses are being designed these days with area of effect abilities and environmental obstacles that must be overcome in order to defeat the encounter, I want to stress the rules a little bit on Two Bosses Enter -- environmental abilities and cool stuff are fair game and always have been fair game. The arena can be whatever you want it to be. For instance, Echo of Baine has a very cool ability with which he destroys platforms floating in lava. From here on out, the mages of Dalaran employed by the great Tirion Fordring on his Board of Tournament Creation and Trusts will now magically transform the arena into whatever the combatants could reasonably ask for. Remember this when discussing the outcome, readers.
|Echo of Baine (End Time)||2078 (65.2%)|
|Peroth'arn (Well of Eternity)||1107 (34.8%)|
Filed under: Two Bosses Enter
He is quiet, kind, and likely more keenly aware of the troubles of the world than most. He is drawn to the Light in a profound way, much as his father would like to dismiss it. Unlike his father, he isn't interested in the rigors of war and the brutal realities of fighting. He's already been a leader, though his reign was as a figurehead. He's suffered far more in his young life than most. His mother died when he was merely a baby, and his father disappeared and returned a man who was utterly changed by circumstances beyond his control.
He is the heir to Stormwind's throne, to a kingdom that is tattered at the edges and trying desperately to hold itself together. While the rest of the world seems to revel in the chaos brought about by Deathwing's return, eager for the battle between Alliance and Horde to rear its head, he quietly follows the path of peace, looking to the future. It's a future that Prince Anduin Llane Wrynn may very well have to put back together again, perhaps sooner rather than later.