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Know Your Lore, TFH Edition: What are the Old Gods?

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition What are the Old Gods
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.

They are malignant entities, forces of chaos and destruction that were locked beneath Azeroth long, long before most of the sentient races we know today came to be. The Old Gods, horrific creatures capable of warping mind and thought, bending "lesser creatures" to their whim, once reigned supreme on Azeroth until they fell to the Titans. Yet they persisted still, even from within their prisons deep beneath the soil. C'thun, Yogg-Saron, N'zoth, and even the haunted last breaths of the Old God Y'Shaarj have presented a persistent menace that simply will not go away.

And according to at least some accounts told in Titan records, it's because they can't go away. They can't be killed. Destroying the Old Gods would result in the destruction of Azeroth itself, which is why the Titans chose to merely imprison them instead of flat-out destroy. But one question lingers, in the midst of all the this muddled history. Who -- or perhaps more appropriately, what -- are the Old Gods? Where did they come from? Which version of their history is correct ... or is the truth simply sitting somewhere in between the two?

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

Know Your Lore: The Sha

Know Your Lore The Sha 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.
Have you had the dream again? A black goat with seven eyes that watches from the outside.
- The Puzzle Box of Yogg Saron
We did not bring them to this land, they were there all along. But we unleashed them from their prison, allowing them to run rampant over the verdant hills and fields of Pandaria. Our arrival on Pandaria's coast was nothing more than a catalyst that sparked a chain of disastrous events the likes of which Pandaria has never before seen ... at least, not in written history.

The Sha are a unique villain, the first in Azeroth's history that we alone are responsible for. We've dealt with the horrors of the Burning Legion, we've fought the armies of the Lich King, we've even brought down and vanquished the fallen Aspect Deathwing. But we've never before had to fight something that was spawned not from the evil of the universe, but the evil within ourselves.

Which makes the Sha utterly fascinating ... and their origins even more so.

Please note: The following post is chock-full of spoilers for Mists of Pandaria.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The secret of Pandaria

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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's just possible that the curious race we're going to meet in this mystic land, may just teach us a thing or two about who we are, and why we fight." -- Chris Metzen, BlizzCon 2011
What do we know about Mists of Pandaria? We've been told that the major conflict highlighted in this expansion will be between Alliance and Horde. We've also been told that this will be one of the bloodiest wars since the days of Warcraft II. We've been told that there will be consequences for our actions, and we were told when the expansion was announced at BlizzCon that the pandaren have something to teach us. So what's up with that? And what's up with the crazy map making a reappearance?

That's the funny thing -- it's all interconnected, possibly. Today we're going on a Tinfoil Hat trip through Mists of Pandaria to talk about my favorite crazy map, some theories on Azeroth, and why exactly Garrosh needs to be removed.

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 and 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

Playing WoW for charity: Interview with the WoWathon team


The gamers who are playing WoW, marathon-style, for charity are still streaming their mega-leveling session over on Ustream. Thanks to fellow gamers and readers like you, they are getting close to have surpassed their goal of $5000 in order to stay playing until they get level 80. Every penny of the donations goes to Child's Play, the Penny-Arcade charity for helping sick kids in children's hospitals.

The WoWathon team are leveling, chatting, eating, singing -- living their lives on the internet for your viewing pleasure and hopefully your donations. They are also, unbelievably, being griefed while questing and trolled in chat. Unflappable, these Gamers for Good continue their quest to help raise money for an excellent cause -- sometimes with Blizzard GMs as guardian angels.

They took time out after reaching level 40 and even woke up one of their team (Thank you, Alex!) to answer my interview questions:

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Filed under: Fan stuff, News items, Interviews

WRUP: Eldritch terror edition

Well, it's that time of year again -- that special time of year when a young man's thoughts of buying BlizzCon tickets turn to a creeping psychosis. When dark whispers echo from the cavernous depths of the serpentine tunnels beneath the earth's crust, their walls emblazoned with pulsing eldritch symbols unknown to any living civilization. When dreamers with minds unguarded bear witness to the psychic rumblings of beings lost to time. If you listen closely you can hear it, sussurating even now...

Ïa! Ïa! BlizzCon tickets f'thagn!

Oh, and it's also that time of week (Saturday) where we check in with our many writers (and one Peruvian pygmy mummy) and see what the heck they're doing this weekend. The two may intersect in ways you probably anticipated.

So let's see just what's causing our writers' sanity levels to drop dangerously low this weekend.

  • Adam "Holisky: Trying to pull off 75 daily quests from Friday through Sunday.
  • Alex Ziebart: I won't be doing anything. I profaned an ancient tomb and now I've switched bodies with a Peruvian pygymy mummy! A primeval headhunter is running around in my body! If only I could alert an expert in mystical anthropology who could provide a tincture, or perhaps a talisman, to break the spell.
  • Allison Robert: Praying my connection holds through an Ulduar-25.

NO, THIS IS NOT A HORRIBLE DREAM, DEAR READERS. THIS IS REAL LIFE. AND THERE'S MORE, LURKING JUST BEYOND THE JUMP.

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Yogg-Saron, Old God of Death speculation

One of the things that caught my eye in the Ulduar preview that was posted awhile ago is the description of Yogg-Saron. The flavor text describes him as 'the Old God of death.' Considering our big target in this expansion, the Lich King, that's extremely interesting.

Wrath of the Lich King has heavily hinted at some sort of connection between Yogg-Saron and the Scourge, though we never quite find out what it is. The Scourge make heavy use of Saronite, an ore with Yogg-Saron himself as its origin. When the Alliance investigates this ore in the Dragonblight, they discover the Scourge says Yogg-Saron's name with some degree of hate and contempt.

A lot of people fear there's a "puppet of the master" thing surrounding the Lich King, that he's not actually his own power, he belongs to Yogg-Saron. I find this unlikely for one really big reason: The Scourge hates Yogg-Saron, and everybody else that we've run into that have fallen under Yogg-Saron's will either love him utterly or serve him faithfully. If you go to the Saronite Mines in Icecrown and do the quest Slaves to Saronite, you see just how faithful some of his servants become once they've been controlled. If Yogg-Saron were controlling the Lich King, we'd see a very different Scourge.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Moviewatch: It's beginning to look a lot like fish-men


Do we have any Lovecraft fans in the audience? If so, perhaps you'll recognize this jaunty carol set in the Warcraft universe by machinima-maker Asfaril. And if you're not a Lovecraft fan? Well, it's still an entertaining murloc video.

Previously on Moviewatch...

[Thanks, Mats]

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

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