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Posts with tag lordaeron

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Alternate Azeroth

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.

Warlords of Draenor takes place in an alternate, splinter reality in which Garrosh Hellscream has gone back in time and prevented the leaders of the old orc clans from drinking the Blood of Mannoroth. In this version of reality, several events have changed dramatically -- leading players to ask many, many questions about alternate Azeroth, how its history has been altered, and how that changes the Azeroth we know and love today. The answer is very simple: it doesn't. Not in the slightest. That alternate Azeroth, and whatever future it may hold, has no bearing on Warlords of Draenor at all. We won't be exploring that world, and our Azeroth remains unchanged.

However, people still continue to ask. So we're going to take a little trip into that alternate reality and explore what that version of Azeroth would theoretically look like without the Dark Portal. We're going to explore this alternate world, take a look at what likely never came to pass, and what happened as a result. And then we're going to quietly put all of that away, because this is all information and events that we are not going to see in Warlords of Draenor. But it'll be nice to get it out of our systems, won't it?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition. The following contains speculation and history based on known material. 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, TFH Edition: Heroes of the Storm

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition Heroes of the Storm
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.

Since The Dark Below was unveiled as a hoax -- or at the very least, a trademark that hasn't actually been filed -- players are still curious about the question of the next expansion. And now we have a new trademark supposedly filed, titled Heroes of the Storm. Let's face it -- we still don't know if this is real. We don't know if it's Warcraft, or if it's tied to some other franchise. We don't know if it's an expansion title, or perhaps some new thing that simply hasn't been announced yet.

But let's put all that aside for a moment and take a look at the title and what it means in relation to Warcraft. If this is, somehow, the title for the next expansion, what exactly would that expansion entail? The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria -- all of these titles seemed to straightforwardly suggest what the expansion itself was going to be about. So what does Heroes of the Storm imply?

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 how it happened. 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

Breakfast Topic: Do cities in Azeroth have nicknames?

Outside of Azeroth I found myself clinging to the armrests of my seat, not fearing death but the possibility that I might vomit in sight of the cute guy (with a nice beard) sitting next to me. I was flying into Chicago for a two hour layover, and the turbulence was notably awful. At one point I thought to myself, "Maybe this is why they call it the 'Windy City?'"

Then because I'm a hopeless nerd, I immediately wondered, "Do Azerothian cities have nicknames like the 'Windy City' or the 'Big Apple?'" I had no idea myself, but I knew just the person to ask when I got home: Anne Stickney.

"You know, I don't really think so in official lore anyway," she told me. "Although the Undercity could almost be considered that, because that's actually the capital city of Lordaeron."

Just one nickname out of dozens of cities in Azeroth? Sounds to me like it's time for us to stage an intervention. What kinds of nicknames can you guys come up with for the major cities in World of Warcraft?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Know Your Lore: State of the Alliance, 2012

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.

It has never been harder to be Alliance. Throughout the years of war brought about by the orcish invasion of Azeroth, the Alliance has seen its ups and downs. During that first assault, Stormwind was destroyed, its king assassinated. However, the direct result of this was an Alliance of kingdoms that paved the way for the Alliance as we know it today -- a smart, level-headed group of races focused on survival. The survival of each race individually, and the survival of the world as we know it. A noble cause, and the Alliance is well-known for its nobility.

Yet despite bouncing back from that original, horrific assault, the Alliance seems to be in a downward spiral in the days of Cataclysm, one which is spinning horrifically out of control. And despite the best efforts of Alliance leaders, trying to staunch the flow of death and despair is becoming increasingly more difficult. This has much to do with the effects of the Shattering, and even more to do with those enemies of old; the orcs and their united allies in the Horde. Even though the Alliance has come back before, the question of whether or not they can do it again is a heavy one that weighs on the minds of all. It has never been so hard to be Alliance, it has never been this dark.

Or so popular opinion states.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The humans, 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.

We've talked about their politics and their ancestors, but humanity itself has not really been described in detail -- and it deserves to be. The humans of Azeroth derive from the ancient servitors of the Titans, and their origins lie in the frozen continent of Northrend (indeed, before it was a continent of its own), but they've developed over time into a brash, persevering people of their own who rose to master the Eastern Kingdoms and who had endured two hideous wars with alien invaders, the plague of undeath that shattered their strongest kingdom, and times of chaos and uncertainty. It is humanity that holds the Alliance together today, serving to unite disparate peoples in a collective that grows more cohesive in the face of growing Horde expansionism.

The ultimate drive to exist that has kept humanity going past world-shaking calamities must be respected. When war and strife come, humans have risen to the challenge. Although one of the shortest-lived of Azeroth's native races and possessed of one of the youngest cultures, human have risen on the strength of their determination.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Blackwing Descent and the Prestor 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.

Dragons in World of Warcraft have long been reclusive creatures of mystery; they didn't generally interact with other creatures of the world, with few exceptions. Until the launch of WoW, few chose to speak to the mortal races. The red dragon Korialstrasz was a notable exception who interacted with humans and others quite frequently, even holding a place on several councils in organizations like the Kirin Tor and Silvermoon. However, Korialstrasz took mortal form and the name Krasus when doing so and was careful not to reveal his identity.

The same applies for other dragons prior to World of Warcraft, and even in WoW itself. Chronormu, or Chromie as she's more typically called, often interacts with mortals on behalf of the Bronze Dragonflight. As time has passed in game, however, more and more dragon are interacting with mortals in dragon form, no longer feeling the need to disguise themselves or keep their identities a secret. But once upon a time, this ability to disguise and take another form wreaked havoc among the human kingdoms. It all started with a man named Daval Prestor.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Shadowfang Keep


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.

Since I talked about Gilneas last week, it only makes sense to continue the discussion with one of the most worgen-centric places in all of the World of Warcraft, namely storied Shadowfang Keep. It debuted in vanilla WoW as a brooding ruin infested with those dastardly worgen and the angry, unquiet ghosts of their victims. Now, some six years on, it's a brooding ruin infested with those dastardly undead, led by three traitors to both the Forsaken and Gilneas itself, also jam-packed with the ghosts of its former worgen masters and their victims.

In short, time hasn't done much to improve Shadowfang Keep's general disposition. Well, unless you like your keeps to be atmospheric, top-filled with raging monstrosities and jam-packed with the loots -- in which case, the former estate of Baron Silverlaine awaits you.

Yes, before it was a dungeon, Shadowfang Keep was the ancestral home of Baron Silverlaine, a noble who owed allegiance to Gilneas and whose ancestral lands lay just outside of where the Greymane Wall would be erected. Ruling over the settlers of neaby Pyrewood Village, the Baron seemed a relatively capable leader... until, of course, the coming of the Scourge.

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Filed under: Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Jaina Proudmoore


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.

Duty first. Grief second. Self-pity? Never.

Daughter of a Grand Admiral, once intended of a prince, and one of the greatest mages in the history of Azeroth -- it's a hell of a reputation to live up to, but Jaina Proudmoore is nothing if not conscious of the example she sets to others. While other leaders have suffered greatly and bear the scars of their past as a badge of honor to further their pursuits, Jaina has had her own share of grief. Yet unlike the other leaders of her time, she bears her sorrow quietly, burying it under responsibility and an unwavering dedication to the greater good of the world.

Jaina Proudmoore was the youngest of Grand Admiral Daelin Proudmoore's children. The only girl born to the family, Jaina had a lot to live up to -- and she was determined not to spend her life as one of other ladies of the noble court. From a young age, Jaina showed a remarkable aptitude for the magical arts. Around age 11, she was sent to Dalaran to study among the mages of the Kirin Tor -- something that may have been a daunting task for other children her age, but not Jaina. She'd spent her childhood reading tales of Aegwynn, one of the greatest Guardians the world had known. The tales of how Aegwynn had overcome the stigma of being a female wizard and achieved far greater success with her position than any man in the Guardian line only served to fuel Jaina's ambitions, even though she was but a child at the time.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Breakfast Topic: Transformed by the blood

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

Spoiler alert: This post contains fairly heavy lore spoilers for the
Cataclysm expansion. If that's not your thing, you should stop reading now.

In Cataclysm, during the quests in Silverpine Forest, Horde players learn that human refugees from Hillsbrad have fled to Fenris Keep, and our glorious Banshee Queen Sylvanas sends us with a loyal val'kyr to kill and raise the poor humans as Forsaken, to bolster their forces in Silverpine. Using the new on-the-go questing feature, Sylvanas informs players to find and convert the human leaders inside their keep.

This is when things get a little hairy, as the keep is guarded by elite worgen guards. Battling through, the players find themselves arriving at the middle of a meeting between the big names of Southshore and Lord Darius Crowley.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Cataclysm, Worgen, Guest Posts

Is the Alliance aiming to retake lost lands in Cataclysm?

Derthelz on the official forums asked a good question -- why is the Alliance prepared to kill Arthas but not to try to retake their lost city of Lordaeron? After all, the upper half of the Eastern Kingdoms is almost completely lost to the Alliance, despite the area being the former home of some of Azeroth's most powerful nations. Why doesn't the Alliance try to take them back?

Crygil says that, actually, they just might:
"Who said that the Alliance wouldn't attempt to reclaim these lands? That is a very dangerous assumption to make, especially if you're of the forsaken persuasion.
The Lich King is a threat to all the inhabitants of Azeroth and, as such, he needs to be put down before territorial disputes can be resolved. Leaving those claims for the future only makes sense; far easier to fight one war at a time. For now, it's better to focus on the task at hand."

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Filed under: Cataclysm

WoW.com Guest Post: Is Arthas redeemable?


Richard Powell, otherwise known as Tharion Greyseer, has been an advocate of Warcraft lore and storytelling since he was first enthralled by Warcraft III:Reign of Chaos. Acting on his love of the lore, he started LoreCrafted to help highlight the setting's backstory and bring forth a similar appreciation from within other players. He can be often be found speculating on some of the deeper aspects of this fictional world as he tugs at the various plot threads woven by the developers.

As the Ashen Verdict beats down each of the barriers within Icecrown Citadel and defeats some of the most horrific of what the Scourge has to offer, a singular question pricks at the back of the mind of many a hero: does Arthas Menethil deserve redemption? Do not misunderstand. This is not a question of whether he will be redeemed, but a question of whether he should be redeemed. The difference is important.

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Filed under: Lore, Guest Posts

The Frozen Throne is now in Icecrown (sort of)

We took notice of this in an earlier edition of the Queue, but I thought this little bit of news merited its own article for the benefit of lore junkies, raid leaders, or anyone who just might have missed it. After being asked a question over where Angrathar was really located in the larger Icecrown raid complex, I flew out to no-man's-land of southern Icecrown/northwestern Dragonblight and tried to get a good handle on the architecture. While doing so, I noticed a new and extremely tall spire nestled in the mountain range past the Wrath Gate and flew over to investigate. At the top of a saronite spire is huge chunk of misty ice capped by a flat surface with a black design vaguely reminiscent of the one on the Lordaeron throne room (although for all I know this is entirely unintended). From above, it bears a startling resemblance to an image datamined by Boubouille some time ago that was guessed to be the location of the eventual fight with the Lich King -- and I think this exterior "set" could be quite useful for any raid attempting to work on positioning once details of the fight become known. Curiously enough, the Throne itself doesn't appear to be present in-game at the moment, but that might change soon.

Filed under: News items, Raiding, Lore, Bosses

The Lore of Patch 3.3

In many ways Wrath of the Lich King can be considered the logical conclusion of one of WarCraft's major story lines. Arthas, the evil sovereign of the scourge, will meet his doom in Icecrown Citadel. Each Wrath patch up until now has lead to this defining moment -- the face off between Arthas and the players representing the next generation of heroes of Azeroth. Who will win? What happens after Arthas is defeated? Is Arthas defeated?

These questions lend themselves to a spectacular conclusion to a great tale. In The Lore of Patch 3.3, Michael Sacco, Alex Ziebart, and I will take a look at all the various plots, characters, and environments that lead up to this grand confrontation with the Lich King.

You'll want to know this story. You'll want to know this lore.

For when you finally face off against the wielder of the Frostmourne, you'll know why you're going toe-to-toe against him, and why your fate can make or break the very face of Azeroth.

This article, while containing essential lore, also contains heavy spoilers. Do not proceed if that bothers you.

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Filed under: Patches, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Some new WoW-related tattoos in our gallery

Time once again for us to update our WoW tattoo and license plate galleries with submissions from you readers. This time around, we've got a few new updates to the tattoo gallery, including Raevyndra of Rexxar's new arm ink above, these two pieces sent in by Tonya, and Sean J.'s pretty elaborate Horde crest. If tattoos are your thing, there's definitely some cool WoW-related ink to check out in there.

This is the only new license plate addition at the moment, but if you happen to have a WoW-related plate on your car that we haven't seen just yet (or can grab a picture of someone else's -- just stay safe if you happen to be driving at the time), be sure to send us a note on the tipline. Stay tuned for more tats and plates when we see them.

Gallery: WoW Tattoos

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Galleries, Fan art

More WoW tattoos to admire


The_rabid_child's lovely tattoos posted on LJ today reminded me that it's about time we updated the WoW.com Tattoo gallery. Below you'll find a whole gallery full of tattoos sent to us by players with various Warcraft art or Alliance or Horde logos permanently embedded in their skin. Good times!

Truthfully, most of the tattoos we get from you all tend to be Horde tattoos, but we're not quite sure why that is. Are Horde-type folks more willing to ink up their bodies, or are they better at taking the pain? We do have a few exceptions -- Mike P. sent us this Lordaeron tattoo above (which in fact does look at little painful) that shows a little Alliance pride. If you've got a tattoo you want us to include here, feel free to send it along, and you just might see it here on the site.

Gallery: WoW Tattoos

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Galleries, Fan art

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