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Posts with tag sundering

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition: The haunting refrain of the Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore The haunting refrain of the Mists of Pandaria
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.

This column had a different subject earlier today. I was going to talk about the Warchief situation leading into patch 5.4, as we'll be playing through that content on Tuesday. But as I was gathering screenshots of relevant questlines and information on my Alliance alt, I flew absently into the Vale of Eternal Blossoms and happened upon the above scene, coming to a full stop and simply sitting there as I took it all in. Refugees. Hundreds of them, happily filing into the Vale just after the gates were opened and talking excitedly about the golden valley that was certain to be a verdant new homeland for those that had suffered at the hands of the yaungol and Zandalari in Kun-Lai.

And it hit me like a particularly vicious kick to the gut. It's been so long since I unlocked the Vale and leveled through that content last year that I'd forgotten this idyllic little scene, before all the chaos erupts. You, the player, are the hero of all of these pandaren -- you are the one who fought back the yaungol, the Zandalari, and offered these people a glimmer of hope. You're the person that single-handedly convinced the August Celestials to open the gates of the Vale and offer refuge to those that had lost their homes in Kun-Lai.

And you're the one that allowed what's going to happen in patch 5.4.

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. Please note: There are some spoilers for patch 5.4 content in this post.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Everything is connected

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition Everything is connected
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.

Last week, we looked at the true origins of the mogu as revealed in patch 5.2. Let's face it -- Pandaria is full of mysteries. It's been feeding us answers to questions very, very slowly, but each answer raises another score of questions as a result. And despite getting answers to the unique origins of the mogu, it still leaves us wondering who Ra-den really was. More importantly, it raises the question of Titan Keepers, and how those Keepers are assigned.

By all rights, Pandaria should have more than Ra-den to watch over it. The mysterious continent is chock-full of Titan technology, and due to the death of Y'shaarj, it presents far more problems than even Ulduar had to offer up in Northrend. With all that said, where are the other Keepers of Pandaria? Do any still exist? Are they in stasis, or guarding something in an area still unexplored? More importantly -- all of Pandaria is connected, but how? And how does Emperor Shaohao fit into all of this?

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: Pandaria and the Sundering

Know Your Lore Pandaria and the Sundering SUN 930
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 earliest days of Azeroth's recorded history of wars and conflicts detail the events of the War of the Ancients, which culminated in the destruction of the Well of Eternity and the Sundering of the great continent of Kalimdor. While we have vague remnants of history before that time -- wars between troll empires and aqir, the Titanic creation of our world; it is becoming increasingly clear that our scope of knowledge of these early days of Azeroth is quite small.

Pandaria was once part of the main Kalimdor continent before it vanished into the mists, forgotten. But even before the Sundering, Pandaria had a vast, rich history that was far more complex than the snippets of tales and legends from troll or tauren. And while we don't know if the pandaren are native to Azeroth, or Titan creation like the dwarves and gnomes, one thing is imminently clear -- the pandaren are a far more advanced civilization than any other native Azerothian race.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The curious whispers of Tirisfal Glades

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.

Long ago, before Human civilization had progressed into kingdoms and civilized society, the Kaldorei of Kalimdor participated in a war that ultimately split the world apart. The war was about power, as all wars ultimately are in Azeroth -- this time, the powers of a mysterious font of energy known as the Well of Eternity. Suffused with arcane magics, the Well commanded the attentions of countless Highborne who grew dependent on its powers. So too, did the Well draw the attention of the dark forces of the Burning Legion and its leader, Sargeras.

Though the War of the Ancients ended in a victory for the Night Elves, it wasn't the last they'd see of the Well of Eternity. In an act of desperation to keep the arcane font alive one way or another, Illidan Stormrage used a vial of water from the original Well to create a new one, high atop the peaks of Hyjal. Horrified by his actions, his brother Malfurion had him imprisoned, and the Aspects created the World Tree and charged the Kaldorei with guarding the new Well. The practice of arcane magic was forbidden from use in Kaldorei society, punishable by death.

But the Kaldorei underestimated the depths of the Highborne's addiction. And both Highborne and Kaldorei alike didn't realize there were far worse, darker powers to worry about ...

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 why it happened. The events presented are events that happened in Azeroth's history, but the conclusions are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Sargeras and speculation on the next expansion

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.

Planes and planets, demons and mortals -- we've covered the gamut of the Warcraft universe in the past few weeks, including rampant speculation. With BlizzCon 2011 not too far away, people are already talking about what may or may not be announced, including whether or not we'll see news about the next Warcraft expansion and what that expansion could be.

Beyond all of that, however, we have the matter of identifying who exactly the real bad guy of this expansion is. Is it Deathwing? Is it the Old Gods? We don't know, and we won't know until we're closer to the expansion's end and dealing with Deathwing personally -- but whether Deathwing will be the final boss of this expansion is something that's still up in the air. Matthew Rossi wrote an interesting article last week questioning whether Cataclysm has too much potential content, and it's an excellent question. Given all we've seen of the expansion so far and the sheer amount of plot threads that have yet to be addressed, it makes one wonder exactly what else will be revealed in the months to come.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Warcraft cosmos, Tinfoil Hat edition

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.

Last week, we wrapped up the second half of the Warcraft cosmos series and covered the additional planes of existence within the Warcraft universe. These layers of planes and the way they interlock is a tricky topic that, quite frankly, gives most people a headache when they think about it too long -- myself included. However, now that we've got the basic layers and interaction between all these planes of existence, there is an incredible amount of speculation to be done.

That's right; today's a Tinfoil Hat edition of Know Your Lore. If you are unfamiliar with the Tinfoil Hat concept, these are columns in which we take existing known lore and place our own spin on it to try and speculate on future events. None of the Tinfoil Hat columns should be taken as actual lore by any stretch of the imagination. However, there is a great deal of fun to be had in picking things apart and trying to predict, so let's see what we can come up with, shall we? But first, let's clear up the matter of demonic death.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The curse of the worgen and the Scythe of Elune, 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.

Though we've speculated time and again as to the origins of the worgen race, and we know for certain now that these worgen were at one time night elves, worgen history itself has been somewhat shrouded in mystery. The druids responsible for the worgen curse -- Druids of the Pack -- were deliberately using a druidic form that was forbidden to the night elves. So why would they choose to use it? What kind of situation would require defying Malfurion Stormrage's orders?

More importantly, we have the case of the Scythe of Elune, an artifact that has been referenced here and there since the early days of vanilla, where both Velinde Starsong and Arugal were tied in to the Scythe's unusual history. But where did the Scythe come from originally? What makes it so peculiarly special? More to the point, how on earth did the worgen get into Gilneas? Interestingly enough, everything ties together -- from the Scythe to the origins of the Druids of the Pack to the unfortunate fate of Gilneas.

Please note: Today's Know Your Lore contains spoilers for the five-issue miniseries Curse of the Worgen -- an excellent series that I highly recommend people pick up. If you do not wish to be spoiled, turn back now!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Rise of the Zandalari

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 beginning, there was Azeroth. It existed as one continent called Kalimdor. Prior to the Sundering -- indeed, prior to the rise of the elven race at all -- there were the trolls. The troll race is one of the first sentient races on Azeroth, it's been suggested on more than one occasion that the troll race predates even the arrival of the Titans. Needless to say, Azeroth is full of trolls, from the Darkspear, Horde allies that joined during the orcs' trek to Kalimdor from the Eastern Kingdoms, to the various splinter tribes scattered across Azeroth.

But the troll races share a common point of interest -- once, long, long ago, these trolls were all part of one empire, one tribe of trolls from which all others originated. The Zandalari tribe isn't an unfamiliar name to those that have played through Northrend content. The Zandalari were assisting both Alliance and Horde against the maddened remnants of the Drakari ice trolls. However, players were first introduced to the Zandalari in vanilla, when the mysterious progenitors of the troll race appeared to ask for help from both Alliance and Horde against the combined might of the Atal'ai trolls to conquer Zul'Gurub -- once the capital of the Gurubashi Empire.

Please note: This edition of Know Your Lore spoils some elements of the upcoming 4.1 patch, Rise of the Zandalari. If you'd like to avoid spoilers for upcoming content, turn away now, before it's too late!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The naga, 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.

The naga of Outland led by Lady Vashj all swore themselves to serve Illidan Stormrage. It's never explained whether or not Vashj had any ties left to Queen Azshara, though it can be assumed that since Azshara sent Vashj to Illidan to begin with, Lady Vashj hasn't really done anything to earn Azshara's wrath. Or perhaps when Vashj slithered through the portal to the shattered world of Outland, she slithered out of Azshara's notice entirely.

Though Lady Vashj and her meddling with the water flow of Zangarmarsh in Outland had little to do with Azeroth, there were still repercussions for her actions. Not everyone followed her blindly, and not everyone approved of her plans for the shattered world. Skar'this the Heretic can be found in the heroic version of the Slave Pens instance in Coilfang, and he is not happy with Vashj or her plans. Skar'this is the only friendly naga in Outland and seeks revenge against Vashj and all the other naga of Outland for their supposed affront to Neptulon.

WARNING: The following post contains 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: 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, Tin Foil Hat Edition: The final boss of Cataclysm

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 image above was taken from a blog post I made back in January of this year, a post discussing possible links between the Old Gods, the dragonflights and Deathwing. Unfortunately, not more than a month or so after it originally aired, several points in the post were disproved, largely due to the release of the Stormrage novel and revelations contained therein. But with the release of Cataclysm and the events playing out on beta servers, I feel this deserves another look -- because what we are potentially looking at is a sequence of events that prove that Deathwing isn't really the one responsible for all this disaster we're going to see on Azeroth, nor is Deathwing the one we should really be worried about.

Please note that this post is a "Tin Foil Hat" edition. It is pure speculation based on events already presented in Warcraft lore and certain things I've seen lurking around the Cataclysm beta servers. There are potential spoilers for Cataclysm in this post -- but only if my mad, deranged theories are somehow correct. However, I am going to include several screenshots from the Cataclysm servers, so if you'd rather not be spoiled in any way by the upcoming expansion, I'd advise steering away now.

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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

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

Finding Blizzard's Cataclysm

The other day, we posted that Blizzard had trademarked the name "Cataclysm," and right after that, the community exploded with speculation: is it the name of WoW's next expansion, Blizzard's next-gen MMO, or some other project? Nothing is guaranteed yet (is it ever with Blizzard?), but the Internets have pretty much landed on the new expansion as the answer. "Cataclysm" actually means "a momentous and violent event marked by overwhelming upheaval and demolition," but it also has a pretty specific relation to water, and that's got lots of people thinking that it's the name of the Maelstrom expansion. In fact, The Sundering, or the world event in Azeroth's history where the Well of Eternity was destroyed and the Maelstrom (that swirly thing in the middle of the map) was created, was referred to as "the Cataclysm." So there you go -- pretty solid evidence, even though, as I said, nothing is guaranteed until we hear it from Blizz.

Stropp's got an interesting piece of speculation that says though "Cataclysm" is still probably the next expansion, the event the word refers to has yet to happen. He claims that if Blizzard really wants to speed up the 1-50 leveling process, they should just destroy Old Azeroth as we know it, and just have all the new characters start at level 50. That would be pretty nuts, but then again, Blizzard's never shown a real affinity for the old content, and by the next expansion, we'll be heading up to level 90 or even 100.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Expansions

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