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Posts with tag sylvanas-windrunner

Know Your Lore: What exactly is up with women in Warcraft lore?

Know Your Lore What exactly is up with women in Warcraft lore 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.

Between Rossi, myself, and those who came before us, there have been a metric ton of Know Your Lore columns. If you're wondering exactly how many, I suggest you take a look at our lore guide for a categorized list of them all. Occasionally, I'll go back and look through the list just to see what we've missed and what needs to be filled in or updated from old columns. And I've been looking at that lore guide and going over the things in it, and I keep noticing one really particular thing about it.

There are hardly any women on that list. There's a scant handful compared to all the other heroes and villains and history and everything else on it. And it's not that women don't exist in the Warcraft universe -- they're all over the place, honestly. It's that there is only a handful worth of them that have enough character development and story to warrant dedicating a column to them.

To which I say wait a minute, what is up with that?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Why Garrosh Hellscream shouldn't die

Know Your Lore Why Garrosh Hellscream should not die 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.

Garrosh Hellscream is one of the most polarizing figures in Warcraft lore at the moment. You either hate him or love him, and there are very few players who stand somewhere in the middle. Ever since his introduction in The Burning Crusade, Garrosh's journey has been a series of ups and downs, starting with the moment that then-Warchief Thrall showed Hellscream how his father died. It was as a hero to the orcish race, and Garrosh has spent the majority of his time on Azeroth trying to live up to that heroic image.

It's a tough role to fill. And in the press event for Mists of Pandaria, it was revealed that Garrosh would be taken down, his role as warchief ended. Given all of the chaos Garrosh has sown in his short reign as warchief, it's no wonder that it's not just the Alliance gunning for the warchief's downfall -- the Horde isn't particularly happy with him, either. So it seems entirely likely that Garrosh will fall, his reign will end, and the world will move on.

And frankly, Garrosh's death is the worst possible thing that could happen.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: State of the Horde, 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's good to be Horde. All over the world of Azeroth, the Horde is conquering new territory, claiming new land and expanding far, far beyond the few holdings it had in vanilla World of Warcraft. Back then, the Horde merely eked out an existence, defending small outposts where it could. Sylvanas and her Forsaken stayed by and large in Tirisfal Glades, with a tiny outpost in Silverpine and a slightly larger one in Hillsbrad Foothills. The tauren stayed largely confined to Mulgore, with a few settlements to the south and southeast. The trolls took refuge in Orgrimmar, with no real land to call their own save one tiny village on the coast and another small outpost in Stranglethorn Vale.

Now, the Horde is branching out in a major way. Sylvanas has dominated the forests of Silverpine and the rolling farmlands of Hillsbrad and is working her way east through the Western Plaguelands. The trolls have taken back the Echo Isles, and the orcs of Orgimmar are claiming new land to the north and the east, moving in a tidal wave of barbaric conquering. The Horde is flush with the glorious victories in Northrend, eagerly seeking more territory. In Cataclysm, it's very, very good to be Horde.

Or so popular opinion states.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: 5 must-do Horde zones to complete before Mists

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.

Cataclysm wasn't just about Deathwing, the Aspects and the Dragon Soul. It also contained a huge chunk of new lore information in the 1-to-60 zones that were revamped with the expansion's launch. Some of these areas have a lot to do with Deathwing's story, but some of them contain little stories of their own, stories that haven't been fully completed, plot elements that we may see pop up again in Mists. The revamp set out to breathe some new life into these 1-to-60 leveling zones, and it accomplished that in a major, major way.

I keep repeating myself in Know Your Lore posts and suggesting that people go play through those level 1-to-60 zones that were added in Cataclysm. But it occurred to me that while there are some really amazing zones out there, most people have no idea where to start or which ones they should really be playing through. Which zones are the best in terms of lore? Which ones are the most fun? Which ones may contain elements we may see addressed again in the upcoming expansion? Which ones absolutely should not be missed?

Let's make it a little easier for you.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Lichborne: Divining the direction of death knight lore in Pandaria

Forsaken Death Knight in Ebon Hold
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Let's face it: We had it pretty good in Wrath. Since that expansion was our grand debut, we were everywhere. We had an opening experience where we connected with our origin and found out that our own factions, for obvious reasons, barely trusted us. We were instrumental to the battle in Northrend, doing things other factions wouldn't do, with a clear goal of destroying those who wronged us. We were perfect tragic figures with some robust story and great characters in the form of Thassarian, Crok Scourgebane, and Darion Mograine, among others.

In Cataclysm, things have been, to say the least, a little bit sparser. With Arthas dead, do death knights have a purpose in lore anymore, or are we just around because it'd be sort of silly to remove the class and have everyone reroll? I tend to think death knights are still a pretty interesting and dynamic class, story-wise, and this week, we'll look at where we are at the end of Cataclysm and where our story might go in Mists of Pandaria.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Know Your Lore: Scholomance revisited

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.

On a lone island located in the middle of Darrowmere Lake it sits, the remnants of the keep of Caer Darrow. The history of this isle dates all the way back to the high elves of Quel'Danas, who used the site as the location of one of many runestones the quel'dorei used. But the history of this isle has been lost in the face of far more recent history -- the history of the noble Barov family and their downfall, the history of a school dedicated to horrors the rest of Azeroth would rather forget.

During the Second War, the ancient site was invaded by the Horde, who took the runestone and broke it into pieces that were taken to create Altars of Storms. And some time after that, the Barov line came to own the property, as well as several others across Lordaeron. The Barovs, however, were not content with their mass amounts of land -- they wanted to make sure they held that land and their fortune for as long as possible. And so they struck a deal with a powerful mage, one who could easily give them all they asked and more ... for a price.

The mage's name was Kel'Thuzad.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Top 10 lore developments of 2011, 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.

Since Rossi is taking a look at the top lore reveals of Cataclysm, I decided to jump in hand-in-hand with that. A little over a year and a half ago, I addressed some of the storytelling methods of Wrath -- what worked, what didn't work. It wasn't a look at specific lore moments as much as a look at how Blizzard was handling lore as a whole. Compared to the early days of WoW, Wrath made some giant strides forward in how we as players interacted and mingled with the various storylines of the expansion.

Much like Wrath, Cataclysm observed all that had come before, took a good look at all of it, and promptly made some giant strides of its own. What we've gotten in the past year has been nothing short of astonishing in terms of creating a meld of gameplay and lore that draws the player in and keeps them there ... to a point. After all, nothing's perfect in this world, and there are always things that could be tweaked and improved upon. Let's take a look at the top 10 lore developments of 2011 -- not the story we've seen in the foreground, but all those wonderful mechanics behind it.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Cataclysm's hanging plot threads

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.

With the announcement that the upcoming patch 4.3 would likely be the last major content patch of Cataclysm, players rejoiced at the revelation of the transmogrifier, Void Storage, and even the upcoming Deathwing raid. But there's another side to the story of course, a concerning one that affects how well, in the end, Cataclysm really performed. The launch of the new expansion, Pandaren or no, promises a new bout of stories and quests and zones to play in, and that's a reason to be excited.

But Cataclysm introduced a different kind of game -- one where the lore was far more present and cohesive, intertwined in quests, cutscenes, and phased play. It revamped the entirety of the old world as we knew it, introducing new landscapes, new characters, and new stories that pulled leveling players through zones with effortless ease. With the announcement, one has to wonder whether or not all these new threads left carefully dangling will ever be addressed.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The mysterious connection between spirit healers and the Val'kyr

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 about the only thing you're happy to see when you're dead. Beings of ghostly blue, these winged saviors of Azeroth's adventuring masses have been there since the very beginning of WoW, and are the closest thing Azeroth has to angels. They possess the power to bring the dead back to life, when said adventuring masses have had their adventuring cut abruptly short by accidentally pulling one or two more murlocs than they could handle. Gracious and kind, it seems that these beings only exist to help Azeroth's lost find their way back to the world of the living.

You only see the true scope of their power when you're dead, and it's safe to say if you're coherent at the time, you're probably not prepared or happy for what comes next. From quietly resting beneath the earth to a shambling mass of undead material, these ghostly creatures exist to pull the dead back to life -- at a cost. Where once was a whole and complete adventurer, now there is only forsaken; a living corpse with free will, although it's questionable as to how much of that will is actually free.

One brings players back to life; the other curses them with a life of undeath. Is there a connection between the benevolent spirit healers of Azeroth, and their dark doppelgangers, the Val'kyr? It's a question that's been posed to me on more than one occasion, and since we've slogged our way through the order of the Warcraft cosmos, it's one we can take a look at now.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Update on current Horde politics

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.

Around this time last year, Know Your Lore did a series on the politics surrounding both Horde and Alliance, along with some predictions as to what was going to come to pass. Some theories were right, some were wrong -- but as far as the Horde is concerned, there has never been as tumultuous a time as right now in Cataclysm. While some of the conflict is out in the open, other signs of discontent are found in hidden away or in discreet areas, out of sight unless you're directly looking for them.

Garrosh Hellscream's reign as Warchief kicked off with a bang. The first few weeks of his rule as Warchief saw the destruction of Orgrimmar and its subsequent rebuilding as a result of the Shattering's devastation. In addition, the Horde found a new set of allies in the quirky, greedy, and often bizarre goblins, something that could be construed as either good or bad, depending on which way you look. On top of all of this, the duel with and subsequent death of Cairne Bloodhoof affected Garrosh deeply and caused him to create a closer alliance with the tauren race, giving them a special section of Orgrimmar in contrition for what happened.

Garrosh seems to have a somewhat level head on his shoulders and the best of intentions at heart, but a closer look reveals that the Horde is no longer as united a front as it was in the days of vanilla ... and some of that blame can be placed squarely on Hellscream's shoulders.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

WoW TCG Assault on Icecrown Citadel 4-player game now available

Grab three friends and roll the dice to see who gets to be the Lich King -- Cryptozoic Entertainment just released the Assault on Icecrown Citadel four-player game! The game is built on the WoW Trading Card Game, but rather than having to build and use your own deck, you take control of decks themed around Icecrown's biggest heroes: Tirion Fordring, Sylvanas Windrunner, and Jaina Proudmoore. Each hero plays differently, and you'll need all of their unique abilities and weapons to defeat the Lich King, also controlled by a player. To top it off, it's packaged with a special Treasure Pack containing cards unique to the set and Worldbreaker loot cards.

I was lucky enough to get to play the game before its release, and I can vouch for its fun factor. Being able to play as a lore hero instead of an average Joe gives the game a really epic feeling.

The Assault on Icecrown Citadel game retails for $39.99 and is available at retailers now.

Filed under: WoW TCG

Know Your Lore: Sylvanas Windrunner, 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.

Sylvanas Windrunner had a very important question to answer both for herself and her people at the end of Wrath of the Lich King: "What now?" Since their emergence as an ally of the Horde, the Forsaken have sought ultimate vengeance against the being responsible for their unfortunate fate. At the end of Wrath, the Forsaken and Sylvanas attained that goal; the Lich King was dead, and the Forsaken were left with ... well, nothing really.

Sylvanas had a lot to think about as a leader, her people were looking to her for guidance and a new goal to singlemindedly march toward. What Sylvanas discovered in her pondering was that she'd forgotten about one simple fact regarding the Forsaken -- they were undead. Ever since the beginning of World of Warcraft, new Forsaken were introduced as being former soldiers of the Scourge who had broken free of the Lich King's control. With no Lich King, there was no Scourge, and with no Scourge, there was no way to bolster the Forsaken's numbers. Without new Forsaken, Sylvanas' people would quickly die out.

Please note: The following post contains spoilers for the Forsaken storylines featured in Cataclysm content. If you have not played through Silverpine, Hillsbrad Foothills or the Western Plaguelands, turn away! And go play through those zones, because they are amazing.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Is faction antagonism story-driven or player-driven?

Spoilers for Cataclysm in this post, me hearties.

One of the things I've noticed in my time back-and-forthing between Alliance and Horde toons is that each faction seems to have many, many vocal partisans who believe the opposite faction to be filled to the brim with churls, knaves and scalawags. Perhaps even hooligans and ne'er-do-wells. You see it all the time in general chat: "Those ally fellows are nothing but mountebanks!" Or perhaps: "Horde? Nothing but disreputable scoundrels, bounders and cads!"

What I find interesting is how much of this factional divide is created by the game itself ... how much comes from quest lines and zone design and world events ... and how much is purely based on the players. It's true that over the past several expansions, we've seen a shift in the game itself from the days of the AQ gate event and the opening of the Dark Portal, when Horde and Alliance stood shoulder-to-shoulder against threats to Azeroth, to the present Wrath/Cataclysm direction when even Old Gods, Lich Kings and insane dragon aspects can't get the Horde and Alliance to cooperate.

Still, until fairly recently, I'd never really felt much of the infamous Horde/Alliance hatred from the game itself. Even the Wrathgate /Battle for Undercity and the Broken Front quests didn't come close to matching the intensity of a forum flame war or a really acrimonious Wintergrasp battle. Playing Horde back in the day, you couldn't help but notice the perception of superiority Horde players (including myself, at the time) felt over Alliance. But the story didn't really have much to do with it.

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

Know Your Lore: Nathanos Marris and the dark rangers of the Forsaken


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.

When looking at the new race and class combinations that are coming out with Cataclysm, some are far easier than others to digest, such as the addition of the hunter class to the human race. Of course the humans can be hunters, that's not a terribly far-fetched statement at all. But what about the other new race that, as of Cataclysm, gets to take up the bow and tame beasts as well? I'm speaking of the Forsaken, of course -- the thought of an undead creature holding a biscuit and coaxing a wolf to be his new best friend is just a little off-putting.

In Wrath, we've seen a sudden return of the dark rangers -- the forsaken remnants of what used to be Sylvanas' corps of elven rangers. As Ranger General of Silvermoon, Sylvanas led and commanded the Farstriders back before the Third War. After the events of the Third War, Sylvanas found herself turned into a banshee, and then after regaining her body, a dark ranger -- the first dark ranger of the Forsaken. But the Forsaken we play in game aren't really elven -- they're humans, the former residents of Lordaeron. How do they fit in? There's a few different and absolutely reasonable theories kicking around, but first we should take a look at the first and only human ranger lord -- Nathanos Marris.

WARNING: The following post may contain some spoilers for the upcoming Cataclysm expansion. If you wish to remain unspoiled, stopping here would be advised!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Cataclysm Spoiler: Sylvanas' plans no one saw coming

With all of the awesome Cataclysm news coming out about skills and talents and spells, it might be easy to miss the immense lore moments and motivations of the faction leaders. We have Sylvanas news, and it's big and very much a spoiler.

Want to know what the Forsaken Queen is up to in Cataclysm, and why this expansion is going to rock the Horde and the Alliance even moreso?

Again, we are warning you: there are spoilers here that are quite huge in the world of lore. The big part of the spoiler is in red. After the break.

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Filed under: Lore, Cataclysm

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