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Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The curious neutrality of Anduin Wrynn

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition The curious neutrality of Anduin Wrynn
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.

Prince Anduin Llane Wrynn is the sole heir to Stormwind's throne. Named after Varian's father, the beloved King Llane, and the hero of all heroes, Anduin Lothar, he's got two major figures to live up to. Yet rather than turn down the path of Lothar's heroics, he seems to be gravitating towards the direction that King Llane ultimately followed: A beloved leader, one who treated all in his kingdom with kindness and respect, up to and including Garona -- a member of the Old Horde who by all rights, despite her background as a half-breed, was still the face of the enemy.

And in the end, that spelled King Llane's undoing. His trust was his weakness, and it resulted in his assassination. King Llane died in part because of the machinations of the Shadow Council, but in even larger part because he simply didn't exercise caution like he should. King Llane's death is a cautionary tale that his son Varian took to heart -- but Varian's son is a different story altogether. Anduin Wrynn presents a peculiar puzzle that has yet to be fully explained.

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on what is to come as a result. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: WoW for Dummies, Act I: Alliance

Know Your Lore WoW for Dummies, the vanilla years Act I
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.

World of Warcraft was originally released in the US on November 23, 2004. That is eight years of our lives that we've been playing this game ... for some players. For many players however, their experience with WoW began in Burning Crusade, or Wrath, or Cataclysm -- or even right now with Mists of Pandaria. And because of this, it means these players have missed out eight years worth of lore and story from before they began to play.

One of the questions and suggestions I see pop up most frequently, be it on Reddit, Twitter or even WoW Insider, is what happened during all of that time? What was the story behind these expansions? Sure, there are novels and comics aplenty available for reading, but these are side aspects to the original games that didn't really tie into the game so much. The game itself had its own story going, particularly in those first couple of expansions.

So let's step back in time and take a look at WoW and the basic ongoing story that has kept it going all these years -- not the novels, but the game itself. Get ready for WoW for Dummies: the vanilla years.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: King Varian Wrynn, or: How I learned to love the jerk

Know Your Lore King Varian Wrynn, or how I learned to love the jerk 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.

King Varian Wrynn is a jerk. He's angry, he's rude, he's deliberately inflammatory. Despite the moments of kindness we've seen from Varian, they're just small moments. Yes, he let Saurfang retrieve the body of his son for Alliance players in Icecrown Citadel to witness. But he still holds a deep and unmitigated hatred for the Horde and everyone in it, including Thrall. He will quite happily talk about scouring the Undercity and purging it of all Forsaken, and he seems to be of the opinion that the only good orc for the most part is a dead one.

But his attitude issues aren't limited to the Horde. He is endlessly frustrated and angry with Jaina Proudmoore and her insistence on diplomatic attempts. He was brusque, rude, and outright against letting the worgen join the Alliance when they were desperate for help. His anger even extends to his son Anduin Wrynn, who has done nothing to outright offend his father other than following the path of a priest rather than a warrior. Varian has even gone so far as to hurt his son, nearly breaking Anduin's arm in an attempt to force him to stay put and keep him from leaving to study with the Prophet Velen.

And yet, there is something so inherently fascinating about Varian Wrynn that I cannot tear my eyes away.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Anduin Llane Wrynn, Prince of Stormwind

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.

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.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The VanCleefs, the rise of the Defias, and Westfall

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.
Hope? Is that what I was supposed to feel when I saw my father decapitated by your henchmen? Hope is a cruel joke, played upon us by a harsh and uncaring world. There is no Hope, there is only Vanessa. Vanessa VanCleef.
A little girl watches her father's demise, manages to escape, survives, and then dedicates her life to rebuilding everything her father stood for. It sounds like the sort of story heroes are made of, doesn't it? Ordinarily it would be, but the villains in this particular story are the nobility of Stormwind, including its king, Varian Wrynn -- and heroes just like you.

The story of the Defias Brotherhood begins during the First War, when the orcish Horde first burst forth from the Dark Portal into Azeroth with the help of Medivh. From there, they launched an assault on the kingdom of Stormwind. With the help of a cleverly mind-controlled assassin, the Horde took out King Llane Wrynn, and with his death, the city crumbled. Lord Anduin Lothar, forced to make a decision, led the people of Stormwind and young prince Varian Wrynn north, retreating to the kingdom of Lordaeron to recoup and grieve.

The once mighty city of Stormwind lay in pieces.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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


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.

So far, we've talked about human politics and the first Alliance -- the Alliance of Lordaeron, formed by King Terenas and Anduin Lothar after the fall of Stormwind and King Llane. When we left off, King Varian Wrynn had blissfully taken both the throne and a new wife who had given him a fine, healthy son. He was a staunch supporter of the Alliance of Lordaeron, having had King Terenas to look up to as a father figure and a mentor after the death of King Llane. Stormwind had been rebuilt through the efforts of the people of the kingdom, notably the Stonemasons, led by Edwin VanCleef. Varian was in love, the kingdom was happy, and prosperity blessed the land.

Of course this means that all hell was about to break loose. This is Warcraft, after all. Varian wasn't the only one that held power within Stormwind's walls -- there was also the House of Nobles, the governing body of Stormwind under the King. It was the House of Nobles that originally contracted the Stonemasons and agreed upon a sum of gold to be paid after their work had been completed. Ordinarily this arrangement would've gone well, but there was a wrench that had been thrown in the works back when Varian was crowned king. Her name was Katrana Prestor.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Breakfast Topic: What do you think about Onyxia's return?

Onyxia is one of the greatest NPCs of vanilla WoW, from a lore, quest chain and raid perspective. Hands up how many of you have done the quest line to completion? Who visited Blackrock Spire? Who unmasked Katrana Prestor as the giant black Broodmother she truly was? Who got the key and then headed into the depths of Dustwallow Marsh? Who survived? Given my dragon fixation/interest/obsession, I was always keen to kill her. I would have completed the quest chain but for a little bug on the final quest. Still, it was easy enough to nip in once the need for a key and attunement was dropped. Then Varian Wrynn finished her off.

And now she's back. I don't understand it either but finding out is certainly going to be exciting. Plus there's finally a 310% dragon mount that I actually want. So, constant readers, what do you think about this revelation? How do you think she will be brought back into the picture? Is it just something to keep us entertained until patch 3.3 or could it be part of the bigger picture? After all, this announcement has come just over a week before BlizzCon. It's gotta mean something, right?

Filed under: Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Raiding, Lore, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

The Queue: Tradeskill bits and pieces


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

First off, I want to apologize for an error I made yesterday. I didn't research the sockets that Blacksmiths can give only to themselves enough, and due to one-part misinformation, one-part assumption, I said those sockets overwrite enchants from Enchanting. That's actually not true. Leatherworking's fur linings do overwrite enchants. Tailoring's cloak embroidery overwrites enchants. Blacksmithing's sockets do not. Again, I apologize for that. Socket One-Handed Weapon still never made it into the game, though. With that all said, let's get into the questions.

pietrex asked...

I've got another question about sockets. I remember that we had lots of socketed quest rewards in Outlands. But I've completed three zones in Northrend and seen only few of these. Does it change in mid-70 zones or do we have to wait until we get our hands on gear from Heroics?

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Filed under: Skinning, Leatherworking, Analysis / Opinion, Jewelcrafting, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

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

Onyxia attunement to be lifted


Valnoth announced today that with the return of King Wrynn in Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard will be removing the attunement necessary for Onyxia. In vanilla WoW, Ony was an achievement and many peoples first introduction to raiding in Warcraft. In Burning Crusade it was often ran as a quick way to make a buck or get a nice helmet for an alt.

Ony was one of the last, great old school attunements required in the game. With it gone, only Black Wing Lair and Molten Core remain as attunement required raids. This is a sad day for those of us that enjoyed the quest chain. A friend of mine and I were going to run this through on his Shaman and my up-and-coming Mage. Apparently we'll have to actually kick ourselves into gear and do it soon.

There is no indication if this change will come with WotLK or with patch 3.0.2. However the King returns in 3.0.2, so I would have to assume the attunement will be lifted then. It should be noted however, that Valnoth did say they would attempt to return the chain some day in the future. But we all know how that can go...

Thanks to Jarred for the tip!

Filed under: News items, Quests, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

Blizzard releases preview of World of Warcraft comic #9

If you're a Lore Nerd like Alex and I are, you've probably at least been following the storyline of the World of Warcraft Comic, and you know it's likely going to have a pretty big impact on WoTLK lore, as King Varian Wrynn returns and we finally get an end to the Missing Diplomat Storyline.

Issue #9 continues the journey of Lo'gosh and his companions as they travel toward Ironforge and brings a familiar old villain into the light as well. Blizzard has posted the first few pages of the issue on the official WoW site.

I have to admit, I have one major reservation about the story.

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Filed under: Alliance, Odds and ends, News items, Lore, Comics

Father's Day in Azeroth: A salute to the fathers of Warcraft lore

http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=1019543So it's Father's Day, the time when we all pay homage to the fathers or father figures in our lives, and thank them for all that they do. While we can't say for sure if they celebrate Father's Day in Azeroth, too, there's a lot of people in Azeroth and Outland who have reason to think back on their dads today. Many dads of Azeroth have affected their children's lives or been affected by them. The ramifications of the interactions of these fathers and children have then in turn affected the lore and story of Warcraft in ways great and small.

Therefore, in honor of the holiday, let's look at 10 famous and not-so-famous dads of Warcraft lore (listed in no particular order).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, RP

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