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Posts with tag war-of-the-ancients

Know Your Lore: Tyrande Whisperwind

Tyrande Whisperwind
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.

As a leader, Tyrande Whisperwind holds the distinction of being the oldest living native racial leader on Azeroth and the most enigmatic. Though we know plenty about the other various racial leaders of the Alliance, Tyrande has remained a quiet figure working behind the scenes, rarely speaking up. In fact, most of Tyrande's appearances have been in novels and Warcraft 3 -- in World of Warcraft, she's barely had any screen time at all.

But even though Tyrande isn't much of a presence in World of Warcraft, she's arguably one of the strongest leaders the Alliance has. Not just because of the length of time she's been leading the Night Elves -- over 10,000 years -- but because that time has afforded her the opportunity to fine-tune her leadership. Tyrande doesn't possess the brash nature of Varian Wrynn or even Genn Greymane, the temper of the Dwarven Council of Three Hammers, or even the quiet vigilance of Velen. What she does possess is the intelligence to know when alliances are necessary -- and the patience to deal with even the most frustrating of allies or enemies.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Wyrmrest Accord and the order of the world

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 dragonflights may have been created at the same time, but for the thousands of years they've existed on Azeroth, they've hardly been friendly with one another. It started with the Black Dragonflight and Neltharion's betrayal during the War of the Ancients. In the moment that Neltharion took the name Deathwing, in the moments thereafter during which he destroyed nearly all of the Blue Dragonflight with the Demon Soul -- in those moments, the dragonflights were introduced to a new concept: deception. It was unthinkable that any dragon would deliberately seek to harm another, and yet it happened.

The fallout was immediate. Malygos, driven mad by the betrayal of one of his closest friends and the loss of his flight, fled to Northrend. In his madness, he split the Nexus from the rest of the land, separating Coldarra from the rest of the Borean Tundra. And then he stayed there, alone in his despair and insanity, refusing all visitors in his grief. The Blue Dragonflight crumpled, held up only by those who stood and tried their best to hold together the shattered remnants of the flight.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

World of Warcraft: "Wolfheart" novel description now available

A preview description for the next book set in the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm universe, Wolfheart, has appeared courtesy of BlizzPlanet. The novel, penned by Stormrage and War of the Ancients trilogy author Richard A. Knaak, follows the exploits of Varian Wyrnn, Genn Greymane, night elf leaders Malfurian Stormrage and Tyrande Whisperwind, and surprise guest Maiev Shadowsong. From the description, it appears the novel will focus on the tensions between Stormwind and Gilneas due to their tenuous new alliance, the Highborne's reintegration into night elven society, and the continued fight in Ashenvale against the surmounting Horde odds.

Christie Golden's Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects, is currently on the shelves, chronicling Thrall's journey post-Cataclysm with the Earthen Ring and his counterpart Aggra, as well as the dragons and their quest to stay alive and allied during Deathwing's brutal return. With Wolfheart, it seems we're getting an Alliance leader's story opposed to that of Thrall, who was once the Horde's warchief.

World of Warcraft: Wolfheart is going to be available on Sept. 13, 2011. Hit the jump for the full description.

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Filed under: Lore, Cataclysm

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 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: Rhonin, leader of the Kirin Tor

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 is the story of an extraordinary man, his draconic best friend, and the elf he loved and eventually married. Well ... not exactly. Common thought lends itself to the perception that this is all there is to his story, that there is little more to the flame-tressed hero than a series of events in which he stepped up and played the part of the hero again and again, flawlessly performing astonishing feats of magic, his doe-eyed, winsome elven woman at his side. That he is friend to the dragons, fearless leader of the Kirin Tor, a man of great and shining destiny.

Common thought would be entirely wrong.

Let's begin again: This is the story of a man who desperately wanted nothing more in the world than to be left alone to practice his magic and attain glory -- not for the good of the world, but the good of himself. Selfish, self-centered, cocky, quick to anger and arrogant, he is drawn inexorably into his destiny not by fate, but by the scaly hands of a meddling dragon. The dragon, however, isn't really concerned with the man at all -- he's merely using the man for his own selfish draconic reasons. And the winsome, doe-eyed elven woman? She may be beautiful, but she's also annoying, stubborn, and just as arrogant as the man, when it comes right down to it.

The man's name is Rhonin, his life is largely out of his hands, and he's not particularly happy about it.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Speculation: The War of the Ancients' connection to Patch 4.1's legendary staff

From the leaked information about the potential legendary staff from the next tier of Cataclysm raiding, we are slowly processing the information we have and coming to some pretty neat, yet speculative, conclusions. From images of the staff, we see what looks like a wooden body with an elaborate head, very much reminiscent of the Firelands motif we have seen so far. However, the staff components, labelled in the model view in stages, give us the ultimate clues that lead us to believe that the next tier of raiding will include the War of the Ancients, or at least deal with going back in time to when Malygos, Ysera, and Nozdormu were at their strongest.

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Filed under: Lore, Cataclysm

Patch 4.1 PTR: The story moves forward

Patch 4.1 offers us more than the return of a couple of awesome old raids as new 5-man instances, we also have a host of new phased content to consider. Over at MMO-Champion, there are some interesting tidbits that have been datamined for our consideration. What are they, you ask? I'm glad you did.

In addition to various clues about the new instances and what they might contain, we're also treated to a list of various phased events. Someone named Tarecgosa will be involved in events at Coldarra (we have some sort of intro hinted at twice), which could mean the Blue Flight is finally getting ready to pick a new leader. Meanwhile, the Firelands opens up with new dailies, and Anachronos finally decides it is his time to return to the Caverns of Time, perhaps opening up the War of the Ancients raid we've been teased about.

It definitely looks like the Cataclysm is kicking it up a notch in patch 4.1, but much remains to be answered. Why are ZG and ZA making a return now? Are we finally going to find out what Hakkar the Soulflayer has to do with Hakkar the Houndmaster? (I ask this because if ZG is back at the same time that we're being sent back to the War of the Ancients; that's a big coincidence.) Will we finally get to see Neltharion's fall into madness and transformation into Deathwing? This should all be very interesting.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Lore, Cataclysm

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

Know Your Lore: The Eternals part one -- the Ancients

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 Cataclysm coming up and the beta now up and running comes plenty of new information about what we'll be seeing in Cataclysm. One of the highly anticipated zones is Hyjal, where players will work with the Guardians of Hyjal to retake the mountainous peaks where Nordrassil has begun to grow anew. Parts of these quests involve the Eternals of Azeroth -- characters we've only seen in novels or game manuals, but never been exposed to in World of Warcraft. Today we'll be looking at some of the major players in the Eternal lineup, and how they relate to World of Warcraft.

WARNING: Some of the descriptions and Eternals in this post are taken from Cataclysm content. While I will avoid spoiling any Cataclysm quest lines or events, there will be screenshots -- if you'd rather avoid all Cataclysm content altogether you may want to skip this post.

To begin, we have to define what exactly an Eternal is as far as Azeroth is concerned. Eternals are the immortal, divine beings of Azeroth who wield godlike powers and are generally either revered or worshipped by the mortal races in one way or another. There are many different kinds of Eternals out there oddly enough -- the Titans, the Elemental Lords (who have been covered in great detail by Matthew Rossi), the Loa spirits, the Old Gods, and the Ancients. Today we're going to look at the Ancients -- Eternals worshipped mostly by night elf society as deities. The big Eternal in night elf society is of course Elune, but what about the other Eternals in the night elf pantheon? Let's take a look.

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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 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: 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

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