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Know Your Lore: Rhonin, leader of the Kirin Tor

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.

This is the story of an extraordinary man, his draconic best friend, and the elf he loved and eventually married. Well ... not exactly. Common thought lends itself to the perception that this is all there is to his story, that there is little more to the flame-tressed hero than a series of events in which he stepped up and played the part of the hero again and again, flawlessly performing astonishing feats of magic, his doe-eyed, winsome elven woman at his side. That he is friend to the dragons, fearless leader of the Kirin Tor, a man of great and shining destiny.

Common thought would be entirely wrong.

Let's begin again: This is the story of a man who desperately wanted nothing more in the world than to be left alone to practice his magic and attain glory -- not for the good of the world, but the good of himself. Selfish, self-centered, cocky, quick to anger and arrogant, he is drawn inexorably into his destiny not by fate, but by the scaly hands of a meddling dragon. The dragon, however, isn't really concerned with the man at all -- he's merely using the man for his own selfish draconic reasons. And the winsome, doe-eyed elven woman? She may be beautiful, but she's also annoying, stubborn, and just as arrogant as the man, when it comes right down to it.

The man's name is Rhonin, his life is largely out of his hands, and he's not particularly happy about it.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Alliance


Welcome back to Know Your Lore, WoW.com's column about the story behind the game we all play.

This week on KYL, we move away from the Fall of the Lich King (although in the months to come expect more Icecrown related KYL's) and out to the larger world and the major factions that contend across it. I thought we'd start with the Alliance this week for a number of reasons, the first and most important among them being that the Alliance would not exist without the Horde, while the Horde's existence owes itself to forces transcending the Alliance. Because of this, doing the Alliance first will leave open questions that the Horde section next week will help answer.

The Alliance as it stands at this moment in time is a far different entity than the one originally known as the Alliance of Lordaeron. That Alliance was one of seven human nations (Azeroth, Lordaeron, Stromgarde, Kul Tiras, Alterac, Dalaran and Gilneas) with the Dwarves of Ironforge, Gnomes of Gnomeregan and High Elves of Quel'Thalas. This Alliance was born directly out of the statecraft of King Terenas Menethil of Lordaeron and the military leadership of Anduin Lothar, the Lion of Azeroth and last living member of the original Arathi bloodline.

Each member of this alliance had various reasons for being in it and varying degrees of loyalty to it (the High Elves, for example, were only in the Alliance because as the last Arathi, Lothar could compel their loyalty due to ancient pacts and abandoned it as soon as it was possible for them to fulfill said pacts, while Gilneas retreated behind the Greymane Wall not long after the end of the Second War over differences of opinion with Lordaeron) and it certainly lacked in coherence compared to the Horde it was opposed to.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Lore, Factions, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: World of Warcraft Cataclysm Gilneas

Welcome to Know Your Lore, where each week WoW.com 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!

The nation of Gilneas is one of the oldest human kingdoms that still exists. Founded after the breaking of the human empire of Arathor, Gilneas was considered one of the great Seven Kingdoms, along with Kul Tiras, Alterac, Dalaran, Lordaeron, Stromgarde, and Stormwind.

Gilneas is located on a rocky peninsula that juts out over the Great Sea on Lordaeron's west coast, southwest of Silverpine Forest. High seaside cliffs keep the kingdom safe from attack by water and the foreboding Greymane Wall keeps it locked safely away from the struggles of modern Lordaeron and, by extension, Azeroth. No one has been allowed in or out of the kingdom for nearly ten years, and no one has seen or heard from the burly, gruff, self-sufficient Gilneans in just as long.

The source of this isolation is none other than Genn Greymane, hereditary ruler of the kingdom under the Greymane Dynasty for decades.

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Filed under: Know your Lore, Cataclysm

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

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