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Posts with tag garona

Know Your Lore: Anduin Lothar, the Lion of Azeroth (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.

Anduin Lothar made the supreme sacrifice for his people. He lived for them, and he died for them, at the end of a long life dedicated to their welfare. He lived his entire life in the saddle, riding from adventure to duty, fighting first for himself and then for everyone he loved. Last of a bloodline that could claim to be the kings of all humanity, Lothar died not as a king but as a soldier fighting to save his world from those who had willingly sold their souls, their children's lives, and their world to the bloodlust of demons. In life, he had repeatedly balked their victory. In death, he secured his people's future.

There will never be a warrior as great as Lothar. No one, no man, no orc, no one can ever exceed his accomplishment. Uncompromising, he brought forth a compromise that welded together disparate races in a union to defend themselves and their world. Stern, he managed to nurture a band of heroes who would stride forth with his name on their lips and his example in their hearts to plant it as a standard on a foreign world. Aged and weary, he carried his best friend's nation and his best friend's treasured son to safety and brought both through the terrible storm to be returned to their rightful home.

Without Lothar, there would be no humanity left. Without Lothar, orc slaves to the Burning Legion would have destroyed all of the Eastern Kingdoms and, in thrall to their demon masters, laid waste to a second world. Without Lothar, everything changes. This is the life of the Lion of Azeroth.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Garona: A study on stealth and treachery, part 2

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.
Human or orc... An orc would say that it's a human hand -- too slender to be really useful, not enough muscle to hold an ax or bash a skull in properly -- too pale, too weak, and too ugly. You see the parts of me that are orcish. My orcish superiors, and all other orcs, see the parts of me that are human. I am both, and neither, and considered an inferior being by both sides.
-- The Last Guardian

Garona spent the first half of her life unaware of her true bloodline -- and unaware of the mental controls placed in her mind by the Shadow Council. After escaping Doomhammer's forces, she fled, gave birth to her son Med'an, and then handed him over to an old friend for safekeeping. It wasn't that she didn't want to raise the boy; it was that she thought she was a danger to the child.

There were two moments that stuck with Garona the most. The first was that moment in Karazhan's tower, in which she witnessed herself killing King Llane. The second was the moment in which that horrifying vision came to pass -- and there was nothing she could do to stop it. The combination of these two events made Garona realize, in terror, that she seemed to be destined to play the part of the villain, no matter what she had to say to the contrary.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Garona: A Study on Stealth and Treachery, 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.
The stories of battle and victory have always been told, and in the past, it was up to the leaders of each assault to document the past. While fine leaders in war, these chieftains lacked the ability to convey those actions with written words. I present as an example:
"Thok go through shiny hole. Then me fall down, but me good. Me find many good things to eat. We find village. We mash them and eat their food. Thok stop now. Head hurt from write."
The fact that I am of both Orc and Human lineage, combined with the skills and schooling I have acquired from my journeys, has elevated me to the position I now hold. As chief interpreter to the Shadow Council, the duty of preserving the accounts of our conquering of this world and the eventual crusade into the land of Humanity, has fallen now upon my shoulders. I, Garona, now humbly present that history. . .

-- The Destiny of the Orcish Hordes
What kind of terror courses through you when your body will not respond to the thoughts in your mind? Garona Halforcen was originally introduced in Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Throughout the course of the story, Garona continually referred to herself as half human. Garona's heritage was something that had been brought into question on more than one occasion in Warcraft lore. Since humans hadn't been seen on Draenor at that point in time, how could Garona be a full-grown half-orc by the time the Horde stepped through the Dark Portal?

Garona's life was relatively lonely on Draenor. She spent most of it traveling and learning the culture of the orcs. This caught the attention of the Shadow Council, which marveled at her intelligent and cunning. Judging her an invaluable asset, they recruited her as Gul'dan's personal spy and assassin. Despite her standing, she was still vastly alone; as a half-orc, she held no particular allegiance to any clan. It wasn't until she arrived on Azeroth with the rest of the orcs that her keen intelligence and mixed blood came into play.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Current Alliance politics -- the humans, part three

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.

To date, we've covered the beginnings of human politics, from the forming of the Arathor Empire and the original Alliance to the dissolution of the Alliance of Lordaeron and the evolution of the Alliance we know today. Along the way we've discussed Jaina Proudmoore and her progress from a young girl of Kul Tiras to the leader of Theramore, and the growth and subsequent kidnapping of King Varian Wrynn. Varian's story is far from over with the death of Onyxia however, and his influence on the Alliance is an interesting matter in and of itself.

When last we left King Wrynn, he'd just finished rescuing his son from the clutches of the black dragon Onyxia, who'd spent the majority of Varian's reign disguised as Lady Katrana Prestor and subsequently running Stormwind into the ground. Fresh from the victory over Onyxia, Jaina chose this moment to suggest that Varian resume the peace summit that he'd been on the way to when he'd been kidnapped -- an idea that didn't really appeal to the King at all. Once again, Prince Anduin stepped up and persuaded his father that it would be an excellent idea, and Varian reluctantly agreed to it.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Current Alliance politics -- the humans, part one


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.

Over the past several weeks we've looked at the political situation of the Alliance races: night elves, gnomes, dwarves and draenei. This leaves just one race to take a look at, and while it's been around and active for the shortest amount of time in history, it's easily got the largest amount of conflict of any of the Alliance races in game. Without it, the Alliance wouldn't exist in the first place. That's right, this week we're covering the backbone of the Alliance, the human race -- and there is a lot of ground to cover.

Wrath of the Lich King contained several reveals in regard to the history of the Alliance races, but perhaps the most surprising was a neat and tidy explanation for the existence of the humans of Azeroth. While other races have either been around since the dawn of Azeroth or were constructed by the titans, the humans have a unique explanation for their presence that was briefly explained in a quest line in Howling Fjord.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Med'an, Cho'gall and the Prophecy

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.

WARNING:
The following post contains spoilers for World of Warcraft: The Comic. Players who are currently reading through the comics or simply wish to avoid spoilers from the series should avoid this post.

We're taking a step back from Alliance politics this week in light of some new information from the 3.3.5 PTR. The servers have been laggy and somewhat unstable, but I've still been able to log on and play through a few things. One of those things is an interesting new quest chain available in Orgrimmar involving Doomsday Cultists who are suddenly making appearances in the Drag and talking about the end of the world as we know it.

The biggest thing that sparked my interest was mention of Cho'gall. Matthew Rossi did an excellent write-up of the Twilight's Hammer and their leader Cho'gall, but what struck my interest was that Cho'gall's presence in game may lead to more interplay between story lines from the Warcraft comic series and World of Warcraft itself. However, while I made the connection readily enough, there are plenty out there who haven't read the comics and have no idea who Cho'gall, Med'an or any of the other characters I've referenced in previous posts actually are.

In light of this, today we're going to be talking about the last half of the Warcraft comics series -- what happened in them, who was introduced, who died, what happened with Cho'gall, why Silithus was suddenly relevant again, and most of all, who the heck that Med'an kid is that I've been going on about. As I will be talking about these things in detail, this post is absolutely brim full of spoilers for the comics series; readers who are interested in picking up the comics and reading through them may want to veer away from this post.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The First War


Welcome once again my friends to the lore that never ends, we're so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside Know Your Lore.

In the past two weeks we've talked about the formation of the Old Horde on Draenor, and the resulting rise of the Alliance of Lordaeron to oppose them. Unfortunately we were forced to give the actual events of the wars slightly short shrift in the interest of being done someday. So this week, we cover the First War. (Note: there are spoilers for the original Warcraft game and several books and comic books contained in this post. Be warned if you continue to read it.)

When last we discussed the Old Horde, we mentioned that Gul'dan and his Shadow Council were feeling the strain after having been abandoned on a slowly dying world by Kil'jaeden after having apparently slain the draenei. As the demonic corruption slowly poisoned the land and turned the orcs (even orcs who hadn't partaken of the Blood of Mannoroth) a livid green color, two events occurred to forever change the fate of two worlds. The first was seemingly small: a plague known as the Blood Pox started spreading, forcing the establishment of a quarantine zone in Nagrand in the lands formerly held by the Frostwolf Clan. That clan, however, was no longer able to hold those lands due to the second and more immediately portentous event. Gul'dan was contacted by Medivh, the Guardian of Tirisfal and host to the essence of Sargeras himself, and offered to the dark orc warlock the one thing he truly craved.

Power.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, Lore, Know your Lore, NPCs

WoW comic #22 preview

Blizzard and DC/Wildstorm released the preview for the 22nd issue of the official World of Warcraft comic last night. The official soliciation says:

The new Council of Tirisfal is formed. Med'an keeps Meryl's possession a secret. Maraad acts on his vision, but what does it have to do with Valeera? The latest issue of the World of Warcraft comic is on sale August 19. Check out the preview pages now!

The excerpt is about normal fare for the comic, but includes some tasty plot bits that lend plenty of credence to certain leaked information about WoW: Cataclysm ... if you're looking for it. Half-blood prince shamagaladin Med'an seems to be training heavily to learn all the different schools of magic, which calls Jaina to suggest that they... well, I guess you'll have to read it.

Check it out on newsstands (do those still exist?) today!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Cataclysm

Encrypted Text: Emblem of Triumph rewards for Rogues

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we talk about the upcoming Emblem of Triumph gear, analyzing each piece's stats and bonuses.

Due to the tireless work of Boubouille of MMO-Champion and many others, we've been able to discover many of the new items coming our way in patch 3.2. There's a wide variety of gear planned for Rogues, as there are three separate ilvl tiers of gear being distributed. In addition, Blizzard has included two copies of nearly every piece of gear: one for the Alliance, and one for the Horde; each piece possesses its own art and design.

We'll be able to pick up our new Emblems of Triumph from the Daily Dungeon quests and the new Crusader's Coliseum. You can trade the EoTs for a few very attractive pieces of gear, especially for those few slots that you could never find the gear to fill. When planning your gear migration path in patch 3.2, remember to include these items in your spreadsheets. They're guaranteed items that you can plan to acquire within a well-defined timeline.

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Filed under: Rogue, Items, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Patch 3.2 PTR Tier 9 set names


Even though Blizzard already said that they'd be introducing a whole new set (or sets) of tier gear, it's still a little overwhelming to see information for Tier 9 gear considering that Tier 8-8.5 has only recently been unleashed with Patch 3.1 and Ulduar. Still, Patch 3.2 looks like some ways off and we can't get too excited about the Call of the Crusade just yet.

As soon as the PTR went live yesterday, Alex and Adam scrambled to put together a whopper gallery of Tier 9 gear which might've overwhelmed the whole lot of us who were all too eager to find out what goodies are in store with the new patch. While a lot of things can still change now until the patch goes live, we do know a few things. Check out the Tier 9 sets in the gallery below, which has been re-organized by class and spec (because we love you all that much), and let's take a look at the Tier 9 sets after the jump.

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Filed under: Patches, Items, Lore

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.

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

Sneak peek at World of Warcraft comic issue 16

The official WoW website has put up a preview for issue 16 of the World of Warcraft comic. I have to say, this one doesn't look nearly as facepalm inducing as the last few. In fact, aside from a few art oddities (did Valeera just trip up there?), it looks like a pretty good start for this arc.

It looks like this arc is not only focused on Garona's half human, quarter orc, quarter draenei son, but a few other things, too. It looks like this arc will focus somewhat on Fandral Staghelm and the state of Teldrassil, what's happened to Ahn'qiraj since we were there last and potentially the relationship between King Varian and Valeera. To avoid spoilers, I'll stick a few more things behind the cut below.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Lore, Comics

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.

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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)

Preview of World of Warcraft comic issue 15


Yesterday we mentioned that Garona Halforcen, strangely popular assassin from the earlier RTS games, would be making her comeback in the World of Warcraft comic series. WorldofWar.net first reported that issue 18 would be the first reappearance of Garona, but a preview of issue 15 on the official website shows that it's going to start up a bit earlier than that.

The preview reveals that when Garona (who has the same tailor as Valeera Sanguinar apparently) killed King Llane, she was actually pregnant. When she 'disappeared' from the overall Warcraft story, she handed off her child to the Undead Mage/Warlock/Necromancer Meryl for safekeeping since she couldn't trust herself while she went to deal with her inner demons. It's interesting to note that this Undead Necromancer isn't actually a member of the Forsaken, so that Forsaken Warlock action figure you may have purchased awhile back isn't a Forsaken at all. He predates Ner'zhul by quite a bit, and the comic describes him as being undead via his own will and sorcery. He should prove to be a pretty neat character.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore, Comics

Garona's return to Azeroth

Apparently DC first announced this last October, but it's the first I've heard of it: Garona Halforcen is coming back to World of Warcraft. Garona has been a fan favorite character ever since the early RTS games -- she's a half-orc Rogue who originally assassinated King Llane of the Alliance (under one of Medivh's spells and working unintentionally for the Shadow Council). But she's been MIA for a while -- until now. DC's next World of Warcraft comic, number 18, has Garona reappearing in Azeroth, supposedly working with the Twilight's Hammer, and possibly even secretly aligned with the Scourge.

Not necessarily an auspicious re-entrance, but with Garona, just like Jack Bauer, you never know who she's really working for or why. Blizzard has always made it clear that they were going to have her appear in World of Warcraft -- early in the beta, she was actually the leader of the Rogue Ravenholdt faction, though she was later removed from the manor there. The DC comic drops on April 15, and it wouldn't be a surprise to finally see everyone's favorite half-orc rogue in the game sometime after that.

Filed under: Orcs, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Lore, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

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