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Posts with tag malfurion-stormrage

BlizzCon 2010: WoW Insider interviews author Richard A. Knaak

Not only did we get an interview with Christie Golden here at BlizzCon 2010, we also met up with Richard A. Knaak, author of the World of Warcraft novel Stormrage. Richard sat down with us for a few questions about his work on Stormrage, his work with Blizzard, and his views on the often vocal fan reactions, both positive and negative.

WoW Insider: Richard, thank you for joining us, it's great to meet you! Obviously you did Stormrage earlier this year -- how closely did you work with Blizzard on the book?

Richard A. Knaak
: Everything was back and forth with them. I've been very fortunate from the beginning to work with a group of really fantastic people and I've been able to immerse myself in the game. Mick Neilson, who's the publishing lead right now and Evelyn the lore mistress, between those two especially every one of my questions would be answered quickly and efficiently, with a lot of graphics in case there was something that wasn't visible for me to see on the game.

They sent you screenshots?


I get lots of screenshots -- I see lots of things you won't be able to see for awhile! There's other people like James who works with Mick, he's one of the top publishing people too. And of course Chris [Metzen] has been there from the beginning -- he basically grew up reading my Dragonlance work, that's fantastic to me. Everyone's been great at Blizzard.

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Filed under: Interviews, BlizzCon

Know Your Lore: The naga, 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.
You will be more than you have ever been ... promised the voices. And when the time comes, for what we grant you ... you will serve us well ...
The scaly, serpentine naga of Azeroth's oceans have been plaguing players since Warcraft 3, and in Cataclysm, their influence grows even more prevalent than before. Though we've heard tales of the naga throughout the game, only the motivations of Lady Vashj in The Burning Crusade were made somewhat clear. As for the naga on Azeroth, they simply seem to be out to kill ... well, everything. It's the origins of the naga, however, that bring them into play in Cataclysm, and with the introduction of Vash'jir, we'll be seeing a lot more of them.

The naga were originally the Highborne nobles that sought to control the powers of the Well of Eternity. Led by Queen Azshara, leader of all kaldorei prior to the Sundering, the Highborne were magic users and high-ranked members of kaldorei nobility who wanted nothing more than to worship their beloved queen and grant her anything she wished. Unfortunately, what she wished was total global domination -- and the way to achieve that presented itself in the form of the Burning Legion.

WARNING: The following post contains some small spoilers for the upcoming Cataclysm expansion. If you wish to remain spoiler-free, do not continue.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: History of the Shen'dralar

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.

There's been plenty of chatter regarding the upcoming expansion, and both Rossi and myself have been doing our best to fill in the background on lore figures and races that will play some kind of part in it. One of the questions I find myself asked a lot in regards to Cataclysm is how the new race/class combinations will fall into play lore-wise once the expansion launches.

The answer to that question is easier than you'd think -- most lore for these new race and class combinations already exists in one form or another in game. Over the next few weeks I'll be giving you some background and history into each class and race, and how these combinations make sense in the face of existing lore, as well as speculation on possible conflicts we might see in the future with regards to these choices. Please note, the following post may contain spoilers for the Cataclysm expansion -- if you'd rather avoid all discussion or speculation regarding Cataclysm, it'd be advised to steer away now.

Today we'll be discussing one of the most baffling of the new announcements -- night elf mages. Although the original announcement left some (including myself) horribly confused, later revelations made the choice perfectly logical. While they've been addressed briefly in the post regarding elven evolution, we're going to take a closer look at the Shen'dralar -- the Highborne that make their home in Dire Maul.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Cataclysm Press Event: War of the Ancients raid confirmed

World of Raids got to sit down and have a chat with Game Director Tom Chilton during the recent Cataclysm press event, and along with information regarding raids, classic dungeon revamps and new instances was the revelation that the Caverns of Time will not be ignored in the coming expansion. In fact, players will be seeing a very familiar event that had a whole trilogy of novels written about it: The War of the Ancients.

The War of the Ancients covers the events of the Sundering that originally split Azeroth into the shattered continents we see today. As yet there's no information as to what kind of role players will have in the war, although Chilton did say that this will not be an event that is available upon release -- it will be part of the progression on the fight against Deathwing. Despite this, I know many players will be excited at the chance to finally see the events of the war firsthand. The biggest question in my mind though is which timeline we will be addressing; the original one, referenced in Warcraft III, or the timeline of the War of the Ancients Trilogy, and whether or not Broxigar, Rhonin and Krasus will make an appearance. Check out the full interview for more details on raids, instances, and questlines that are old favorites.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: Current Alliance Politics -- the Night Elves, 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.

WARNING:
The following post contains spoilers for the novel Stormrage by Richard A. Knaak. Readers still in the middle of the novel may want to veer away from this post, as I'll be discussing events covered over the course of the book.

Now that we've established what happened to Tyrande and Malfurion (in the midst of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey ... stuff), we can begin to pick apart what happened in between the Sundering, the Third War, and present day. Tyrande Whisperwind is currently leading the night elves along with Archdruid Fandral Staghelm -- and Staghelm has a history that also stretches back thousands of years, one that's led him to his current less-than-friendly leadership.

Fandral Staghelm was born about 1,000 years after the Sundering and studied the druidic arts under Malfurion Stormrage, soon rising in ranks and becoming one of Malfurion's top lieutenants as well as training many of the new Druids of the Wild. Where Malfurion was even-tempered and kind, Fandral was hotheaded and aggressive, frequently clashing with Malfurion, and nowadays Tyrande over how night elf society should be run. He holds many strong beliefs that echo the beliefs of ancient night elves, including the belief that night elves are the supreme race on the planet, all other races are inferior, and night elves are the only "true" druids. Charming, isn't he?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Current Alliance politics -- the Night Elves, 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.

While I had plenty of fun with Horde politics, I couldn't really cover the Horde side of the game without giving equal time to the Alliance half as well, so the next few weeks will be catching up on Alliance politics. Admittedly the Alliance hasn't had quite as tumultuous a time as the Horde, but there are still several factors coming into play that haven't previously been addressed. Varian Wrynn may make an ... exciting and explosive new leader, but the rest of the Alliance we see today is still fairly new as well. Today we'll be looking at the Alliance race with the largest impact on both the Alliance, and Azeroth both past and present day -- the night elves.

While the events of the War of the Ancients and the Sundering are well known, the events surrounding the night elves' allegiance to the Alliance are still a little cloudy. Was it simply gratitude to the Alliance for their help during the Third War and the events at Hyjal that caused them to join? If so, why did they turn away from the Horde, when they were present at Hyjal as well? For the night elves, the answer boils down to this: It's all about the trees.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Elven evolution

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.

I love reading the comments on KYL. Sometimes you guys have some really great ideas, and sometimes you guys know just where to poke a hole in whatever fanciful theory I've got out for discussion -- but by and large, it's just nice to see people asking questions and thinking. The bonus to having comments, however, is that I can see where people are confused and put together something to straighten it all out. The subject today is elven evolution -- the difference between the night elves, blood elves, high elves, Highborne, Shen'dralar, quel'dorei, sin'dorei and all those other terms thrown out there that make the simple process of figuring out where all those elves originated incredibly confusing. Elven evolution is fairly straightforward; it's just the extra terminology that throws people.

All elven ancestry starts with the kaldorei, which means "children of the stars" in their native tongue. These guys are night elves, and they are the first elves that ever existed and the elves from which all elven ancestry on Azeroth originates. Don't think of them exactly the same as the night elves we can play in Warcraft today, but as a slightly older version, though they looked virtually the same. Malfurion, Illidan, Tyrande, Azshara ... All of these elves were descendants of the original kaldorei.

Where the kaldorei came from is up in the air, though there are multiple theories. The night elves believe that the kaldorei were originally their own race, a primitive group of nomadic, nocturnal creatures who settled by the Well of Eternity and were blessed by Elune, transformed and subsequently adopting the name kaldorei. Ancient troll legends suggest that those nomads who settled by the Well of Eternity were actually trolls that were turned into the first kaldorei. This is where the crux of that argument about the elves' origins stems from. The elves believe that the primitive group of nomads were simply early elves who hadn't evolved into "proper" elves yet, and the trolls believe that the primitive group of nomads were actually primitive trolls who split off from the Amani Empire.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Blizzard offers Stormrage novel quiz contest

If you're looking for something to do on a lazy Saturday afternoon, here's an idea: Why not win a copy of Blizzard's newest WoW novel, Stormrage? Blizzard is giving away 20 numbered and signed copies of the novel, and all you have to do to win is answer a series of questions about the plot.

Don't worry if you haven't read it, all of the questions and their answers come from 3 recorded excerpts of the novel available on the site. Listen to the excerpts, answer the questions, and you'll be in the drawing. 20 winners will be chosen at random from the correct entries on May 19th, which means you still have quite some time to get your entry in. Of course, there's no time like the present, and you're probably not doing anything better, right? Good luck.

Filed under: Blizzard, Contests, Lore

Know Your Lore: Lore 101, 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.

In the last Lore 101 segment, I went over resources -- the novels, manga, comics, source guides, games and everything else that make up the story behind World of Warcraft. It's a lot of material to follow, and the sheer volume of it can be daunting, but there's no better way to sort out the story and what happened to who, when and where, than by following the original sources.

While this is all well and good, today's post covers why everything in part one may or may not be... well, invalid. That's right, the novel you just picked up and read through may very well not count in the long run. The comics may not actually apply. A later novel may wipe out the timeline of existing events in one fell swoop, and the information you thought you had a solid grasp on might be invalidated in an instant.

And that's perfectly okay. Let's take a look at what makes a story like Warcraft tick.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

WoW.com reviews Richard A. Knaak's Stormrage


Before we begin, in the interest of full disclosure, we will make it clear that Simon and Schuster did forward us free copies of Stormrage for this review. They did not, however, dictate any of the opinions held in this review. In addition, our network has a policy against keeping 'giveaways' sent to us, so our copies of the novel will be given away on our site sometime in the future. With that out of the way, let's get to the review.

The last book we reviewed here on WoW.com was Arthas: Rise of the Lich King. It was written by Christie Golden and was a little over three hundred pages of Prince Arthas Menethil's personal history, from his childhood to his fall to the Scourge. If that's what you're expecting out of Richard A. Knaak's Stormrage, drop those expectations. All of that can be found in the War of the Ancients trilogy. Despite the similar naming scheme, Stormrage is a novel that takes place at the same time as the events going on in Wrath of the Lich King. It's specifically stated that the Wrath Gate incident has already happened by the time the events in this novel begin. This isn't backstory, this is buildup to Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Know Your Lore: Malfurion Stormrage

The Warcraft timeline of events is a constantly shifting mass of lore information, and while some events and characters remain constant, others have changed significantly over the five-year run of the game. Malfurion Stormrage is one of those characters; noticeably absent from the World of Warcraft scene, his history was dramatically altered with the release of the War of the Ancients trilogy by Richard A. Knaak in 2004. Not only were the events of his youth altered, there were additions and changes made to the war he participated in that directly contradicted events presented in previous Warcraft games. In light of the impending release of the Stormrage novel, also penned by Richard A. Knaak, we're going to take a look at Malfurion, his history in games and novels to date, and what he's been up to so far in the World of Warcraft.


Please note: As the events of the Warcraft novels are considered canon according to Blizzard, I will be using those events as a basis for his history. Keep in mind there is an alternate timeline, but that timeline is no longer applicable -- and if you've got a problem with it, blame Chromie and the rest of the Bronze dragonflight.


Who: Malfurion Stormrage, aka Shan'do (honored teacher) Stormrage, aka the baddest druid that ever druid...ed.


What: Night elf – no demonic presence here!


History: Malfurion Stormrage was one half of a set of twins, Illidan Stormrage being his brother. The two had a fairly idyllic childhood along with their close friend Tyrande Whisperwind. As they grew older, the three elves found themselves having to choose their individual paths as adults. While Tyrande joined the priesthood of the Sisters of Elune, Malfurion and Illidan found themselves with a very different sort of teacher -- the demigod Cenarius, who was attempting to teach both of the twins the ways of druidic magic. Druidism was not something that the kal'dorei had previously followed, so the magic that Cenarius was teaching the twins was entirely new to them. Malfurion showed an amazing aptitude for the druidic arts right off the bat, while Illidan, despite being powerful in his own right, couldn't seem to grasp the spells and nuances of nature magic. Cenarius informed Malfurion that his brother was meant to follow a different path (and boy howdy what a path that was), and that it was Malfurion that was destined for the path of the druid, then showing him how to walk the Emerald Dream.


Malfurion had always been a different sort of night elf -- while the kal'dorei that surrounded the Well of Eternity were followers of sorcery and arcane magic, tending towards more flamboyant dress and speech, Malfurion was much more simple and humble. He dressed in a subdued manner, and the magic that he practiced was pretty much the direct opposite of the sorcery of the night elves. He also tended to question the ways and actions of night elf society and of Queen Azshara. These questions left him with few friends and few associates -- but it turns out Stormrage was right to question things, as his first trip into the Emerald Dream was a vision of the Well of Eternity and something terrible going on with the waters surrounding the palace of the Queen.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Stormrage novel collector's edition now on sale

The saga of Malfurion Stomrage continues in the latest book Stormrage by Richard A. Knaak. Today our friends at Simon and Schuster write in to let us know that the collector's edition is now on sale for us all, in a limited edition of 5000 copies.

From the jacket:
Recently the Emerald Nightmare, an area of corruption within the Emerald Dream, began growing in size, transforming the Dream into a realm of unimaginable horror. Green dragons have been unexpectedly caught up in the Nightmare, emerging from it with shattered minds and twisted bodies. Druids who have entered the darkening Dream lately have found it difficult -- sometimes even impossible -- to escape.

Nor are these the Nightmare's only victims: more and more people are being affected. Even Malfurion Stormrage, first and foremost of the druids on Azeroth, may have fallen victim to this growing threat. As uncontrollable nightmares spread across the world, a desperate quest begins to find and free the archdruid.
The collector's edition costs $32 and will ship the week of March 8th, 2010; whereas the normal editions of Stormrage release on February 23rd, 2010.

Stay tuned to WoW.com in the coming weeks when we'll have early reviews of the book for you, as well as an interview with author and Warcraft storyteller Richard A. Knaak.

Filed under: News items, Lore

Excerpt of the Stormrage Novel available online

I already mentioned that there's an excerpt from the upcoming Stormrage novel in the back of TokyoPop's Warcraft Legends Volume 5 manga, but if you're anxious to get yet another glimpse before February 2010, you're in luck. Pocket Books has posted a new excerpt over at their site, and all you need to grab is an email address.

The excerpt doesn't reveal any new lore per se, but it does tease pretty damn well, and should bring up some pretty nostalgic memories for a lot of Alliance players. Combine this with the excerpt from the manga, and you'll get a pretty good idea of where the story's going, I think -- Right into the Heart of the Emerald Nightmare, as we confirmed with authour Richard Knaak at BlizzCon a week ago.

As to whether it will cover the Cataclysm, or not, that's a bit up in the air. However, considering we know that Malfurion will be back in the waking world fighting Ragnaros at Hyjal, chances would seem to be good.

You can check out the excerpt at Simon and Schuster's website.

Filed under: News items, Lore

BlizzCon 2009: Wow.com interviews Richard Knaak

On the second day of BlizzCon 2009, I got the chance to sit down with Richard Knaak, best selling author of countless novels, including many in the Warcraft universe, such as the War of the Ancients Trilogy, Day of the Dragon, and Night of Dragon. His upcoming projects include the Stormrage novel, as well as the Dragons of Outland manga trilogy. We talked about all this and more, and you can read our conversation below.

So of course, the big thing on everyone's mind is the new Stormrage book. How's it coming along? Is it near completion?


It's near completion, we're in the editing process, getting the OKs from Blizzard. You can find an excerpt in the latest volume of the Legends Manga, along with a story I wrote, sort of a Prologue that ties in with the book.

Can you give us a sneak preview of what to expect lore-wise?

You know Blizzard likes to keep these secret, so I am going to be very limited in what I can talk about. It is Malfurion. It is about the Nightmare. And it is very current. That's the three biggest things I can say about it right off the bat. You'll see characters you know from the game and obviously from other books, and places you know from the game, and it's very current, very relevant. Of course, that's about all I can say. You know Blizzard, they love their secrets!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, WoW Social Conventions, News items, Lore, RP, NPCs, Interviews, BlizzCon

Stormrage novel cover art revealed

This isn't the biggest news in the world, but for those of you that really dig World of Warcraft's extended universe, it might be pretty exciting. Medievaldragon over at BlizzPlanet has an incredibly hi-res picture of the artwork that will grace the cover of the upcoming novel Stormrage, courtesy of Pocket Books.

I can't help but notice Malfurion's rather feral appearance there. Despite how much Blizzard loves the whole "falling from grace" thing for their characters, I somewhat doubt they will take that road with Malfurion, even with everything going on in the Emerald Dream.* Is he stalking some prey? Is he running from whatever gave him those scars? Is he pissed that Tyrande went Shadow and made him respec Resto, hence the foliage? Who knows, but I'm curious to find out, even if my least favorite Warcraft novelist is tackling this one. Maybe we'll get an excerpt to read in our swag bags at BlizzCon? We can hope, right?

*If they do, I assume it will be temporary. Chris Metzen seems awfully attached to Malfurion when he talks about him, so I don't expect they'll kill the poor guy off.

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon

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