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Lore Retcons and Reveals in World of Warcraft Chronicle Volume 3
29/03/2018 à 12:27
World of Warcraft Chronicle: Volume 3
retcons several parts of Warcraft's lore, such as Med'an's story, and provides clarification on some murky bits. With the help of
, we're highlighting some of the interesting lore changes in this post.
In addition to the lore reveals described in this post, there are two major updates we covered in separate articles -
New Canon Info on Champions of Each Dungeon/Raid
Updated Old Gods Lore
You can purchase the latest volume on Amazon for
as well as the
, Sargeras enslaves the demons while in
, he makes a pact:
“He embraced fel magic and enslaved demons to his will, forging them into an army called the Burning Legion. Vol 3 pg 10
He offered a simple pact in exchange for the demons’ newfound power: fight at his command, or be extinguished. It was not a difficult choice. Pg 49 Vol 1
Rise of the Horde
, Kil'jaeden initially worked closely with Ner'zhul, and so when Ner'zhul was tortured into agreeing to be the Lich King, having Kil'jaeden torture Ner'zhul in
La Naissance du roi-liche
made for dramatic effect. However in
the dreadlords under Kil'jaeden's rule torture him instead.
The orc's physical body was torn apart bit by bit, but his spirit was kept alive, intact, and utterly aware of what was happening. A group of dreadlords--Tichondrius, Balnazzar, Detheroc, Mal'Ganis, and Varimathras--took turns subjecting Ner'zhul to the most horrific agony. (Pg 17)
The events of the novel
Day of the Dragon
, in which Alexstrasza is rescued from Grim Batol, have been greatly changed. In the novel, Rhonin and Vereesa set off to Grim Batol, but are beset by many attacks along the way by Dragonmaw Orcs. Vereesa initially does not know of Rhonin's true mission, and the dwarf Falstad Wildhammer joins their party much later in the novel. Rhonin at one point is even captured by Deathwing and to be used as a pawn for negotiation. In
, Rhonin recruits Vereesa and Falstad Wildhammer at the start for his mission and the novel simply describes them as arriving at Grim Batol to find the battle under way.
Rhonin had been stunned to find that an orc clan still had this much power after the Second War, and he was determined to break its strength. He rallied a small group of friends--including the high elf ranger Vereesa Windrunner and the dwarf gryphon rider Falstad Wildhammer--and rushed to Grim Batol to free the red dragons.
La guerre de l'Araignée
we learn that the nerubians are immune to both plague and telepathic domination. In
, it appears that they are saved from the plague through the efforts of their leader, Anub'arak.
Any attempts to spread the plague of undeath in their home were ruthlessly snuffed out by the nerubians' leader, a powerful warlords named Anub'arak.
Tichondrius joins Kel'Thuad and Arthas in the Siege of Dalaran to give more background to the Skull of Gul’dan and how it ended up in Felwood.
Many other relics lay alongside the tome, one of which was the Skull of Gul'dan. TIchondrius was drawn to the item and its aura of fel energy, and he pilfered it from the vault before withdrawing from the city. (pg 65)
There is no mention of Jaina helping Thrall to cleanse Grom. Previously she was there in
Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
As the battle raged on, Thrall led a daring assault through Warsong lines and captured Grommash. In unison, Horde shaman and Alliance priests called on their magics to purge the bloodlust from his veins. (pg 74)
Illidan comes up with the plan to defeat the Legion in the Twisting Nether while in prison, while in-game we see the realization play out during the cutscene where his eyes are burnt out during the War of the Ancients (
Dans la maison de mon père
). There is no mention of Xe'ra at all.
The only way to permanently destroy demons was to kill them
the Nether or in areas inundated with its energies. And that meant taking the war to the Legion's own domain. When he finally emerged from his prison, Illidan was desperate to begin his war against the Legion. He had no intention of working with the other night elves. He hadn't forgiven them for his imprisonment. What was more, he knew they would never trust him. (Pg 77)
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
, Arthas is ordered by Kel'Thuzad to go to Kalimdor and encourage Illidan to consume the Skull of Gul'dan which leads to Tichondrius' demise. In
, Arthas comes up with the idea by himself:
If Arthas could strike down Tichondrius and destroy the Skull of Gul'dan, it would stop the spread of fel magic and deal a significant blow to the Legion's war effort. Yet slaying the dreadlord was easier said than done. Arthas himself could not destroy Tichondrius without alerting Archimonde to the Lich King's treachery. But what if someone else did the killing for him?
That thought crossed Arthas' mind when he discovered Illidan Stormrage carving a path destruction through the woodlands...Arthas sensed Illidan's insatiable yearning for power. It would be an easy thing to use the night elf's ambition as a weapon.
, Kael agrees to help Tyrande and Maiev fight Illidan--who'd just fled the Tomb of Sargeras. Beset by undead in Silverpine Forest, Tyrande unleashes the power of Elune, which breaks the bridge she is on and sweeps her down the river. Kael and Maiev then meet up with Malfurion, and Maiev lies about Tyrande's fate, claiming that the earth tore her asunder and pointing the blame at Illidan. Kael then speaks up and reveals that the bridge collapsed instead, and Malfurion, furious with Maiev's lies, calls her the betrayer. Illidan then saves Tyrande, and due to that, Malfurion lets him go in peace. Secretly, Maiev follows Illidan through his portal, and without the aid of his naga, is easily captured once again.
there is no mention of this encounter after the Tomb of Sargeras. Instead, Illidan retaliates against the Lich King, destroying Icecrown Glacier through arcane energy. On the verge of defeating the exposed Lich King, Illidan was foiled by the night elf and blood elf armies attacking his forces. With the battle lost, Illidan retreated to Draenor, realizes it is infested with demons, and decides to stay there and gain control instead of risking imprisonment on Azeroth.
The bombardment finally cracked the Lich King's prison, leaving the entity exposed. A few more strikes were all that Illidan needed to extinguish the lord of the Scourge. But as he prepared his final barrage, chaos engulfed him. The combined night elf and blood elf armies crashed into Illidan's forces.
Arthas: Rise of the Lich King
we learn that Arthas and Ner'zhul merged together when Ner'zhul called Arthas to him for aid after defying Kil'jaeden. Arthas is then drawn to the armor by his own volition, and the two beings fuse into one as the Lich King planned. As he travels to the glacier, he hears the warning voices of Uther and Muradin in his head as doubts. In
, he is commanded to merge by the Lich King, who believes Arthas will be easy to subdue. Before Arthas took up the helm, he has hesitations--but this time he is concerned about being used by his master or having his mind destroyed.
At his master's command, Arthas stepped before the Frozen Throne and shattered it with a single strike from Frostmourne.
...If Arthas took up the helm, the Lich King promised him that he would ascend to true power, but the death knight hesitated. Was his master merely seeking to use him? Would the Lich King destroy his mind after he donned the helm? He did not know for sure, but one thing was certain: if he did nothing, his master would fade away, and Arthas would be weakened. (pg 100).
Balnazzar's involvement in the Ashbringer weapon is clarified. Originally, Sylvanas ordered Varimathras, Balnazzar's brother, to kill him as a sign of loyalty--but his death was staged, as the two brothers worked together to undermine Sylvanas. Balnazzar then seemingly worked together with Kel'Thuzad--Mograine would be eliminated, as he was unstoppable at defeating the Scourge with Ashbringer, and Balnazzar could continue to pursue the plans of the dreadlords. To this end, he then killed the Paladin Saidan Dathrohan and inhabited his body. Saidan then founded the zealous Scarlet Crusade and corrupted Renault Mograine to kill his father. The death of Mograine corrupted Ashbringer, which Kel'Thuzad claimed upon resurrecting Mograine as a Death Knight.
, Balnazzar is attacked by Sylvanas' forces and flees into the Plaguelands. His motivation to kill Saidan came from a desire to protect himself through creating a new army--the Scarlet Crusade. He needed to kill Mograine, the example of piety and valor, to make it easier to turn the Paladins to the dark side. Kel'Thuzad does retrieve Alexandros's corpse and the Ashbringer eventually, but this is treated as an unrelated act.
He kept to the shadows, fearful that the Scourge might one day discover his presence. In the paladins, Balnazzar saw a means to protect himself--a means to create a new army.
Balnazzar killed a venerated paladin named Saidan Dathrohan, and then he assumed his form. In the guise of such a respected holy warrior, the dreadlord was confident that he could twist most of the paladins into his service. Yet there was one he believed was beyond his reach: Alexandros Mograine. The wielder of the Ashbringer embodied piety and valor. The sooner he was gone, the sooner the other paladins would fall under Balnazzar's influence. (pg 103)
In the original lore, Garona was mind-controlled by Gul'dan and Cho'gall knew how to control her. With Cho'gall's defeat, Garona was free. However in
Chronicle Volume 2
, Khadgar breaks Garona's spell and she is temporarily free. But then in
, Cho'gall lures Garona out and then enslaves her again, which allows the attack on Varian to occur, just like in the older version of the story.
Cho'gall bested the assassin in combat and brought her under his dominion. Long ago, the Shadow Council had woven mental shackles around Garona's mind, making her into their unwilling servant. The human Archmage Khadgar had unraveled these bonds and given the half-orc freedom. Yet Cho'gall knew how to remake them.
Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
, Rexxar reconnects with the Horde as the dying orc Mogrin asks Rexxar to deliver a message to Thrall. He also adventures frequently, meeting up with Chen Stormstout and Vol'jin. In the war against Kul Tiras, Rexxar organizes and rallies the troops. In
, Rexxar cautiously joins the Horde as it feels like a place of pride and honor. Chen and Vol'jin are not mentioned and Thrall rallies the troops instead. But in both stories, Rexxar has credit for slaying Daelin Proudmoore.
The settling of Durotar drew the attention of Rexxar, an old beastmaster who had invaded what it had become. For years, he had lived alone, learning how to survive and thrive in Azeroth's wilds. Thrall's Horde seemed like a force of pride and honor, and Rexxar cautiously joined the orcs in their new home.
...Thrall rallied the orcs, the Darkspear Trolls, the Tauren, and even the nearby Stonemaul Ogre clan for battle.
We learn that before joining the Horde, Sylvanas reached out to her people in Quel'Thalas as well as the Alliance. Quel'Thalas feared the Forsaken and rejected her, while the ambassadors to the Alliance were killed. In addition, Thrall previously had misgivings about the Forsaken, but now has sympathy for them.
Sylvanas reached out to her former people in Quel'Thalas, asking them for sanctuary. She had given her life to protect them, and she expected something in return for her sacrifice. Yet her request was refused. The blood elves feared the undead and treated them as monsters.
Growing more and more desperate, she sent ambassadors to both the Alliance and the Horde. Her emissaries to the Alliance never returned.
...Thrall invited Sylvanas Windrunner to Orgrimmar. He had sympathy for her followers--the orcs had once been corrupted as well, and that had been a hard legacy to overcome--but he also recognized the strategic value of the Forsaken. (Pg 113)
As Me'dan is not present in
, much of the story with Cho'gall from the comics is changed. In the comics, Cho'gall has Med'an kidnapped when Garona is mind-controlled and forced to attack Varian during a peace meeting between the Alliance and Horde leading up to Wrath. Cho'gall brings Med'an to C'Thun's room, who is later rescued by Meryl and Valeera. Garona then sought to kill Cho'gall, who wanted to kill Med'an and use his energy to summon the Old God back to Azeroth. With the help of the Council, Meryl, Aegwynn, and Atiesh, Cho'gall is buried in a pile of rubble, only resurfacing in Cataclysm.
However in Chronicle, Cho'gall has a more interesting story. He sets out on a quest to awaken the Old Gods, which is sidetracked at first by Garona's successful attempts to assassinate many of his followers. After luring and entrapping Garona, Cho'gall once again focuses on his mission, making his way to Ahn'Qiraj and breaking C'Thun's chains through a powerful ritual. C'Thun was now free to awaken the dormant silithid and prepare for war, events which led to the Opening of the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj and the 40-player raid.
But Cho'gall did not need to physically pass it. Outside the wall, he and his cultists performed a great ritual. Their magic extended beyond the barrier, piercing into the prison chamber where C'Thun was chained. The influx of power shattered the Old God's bonds. C'Thun's liberation came at a price for Cho'gall's followers. The energies unleashed by the ritual destroyed most of the cultists who had taken part. (pg 125)
In The Burning Crusade, we learn that blood elves such as Varedis (
Il faut arrêter Varedis
) were handpicked by Kael'thas and sent to Illidan for training (
Le disciple d'Illidan
, Kael'thas doesn't really know what's going on and doesn't appear to have picked any for Illidan.
Illidan Stormrage forged his demon hunters from blood elves and night elves who came from all walks of life. They were sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers...The one thing they had in common was the hatred that burned in their souls. They had all lost someone to the Legion. And they were all consumed by a need for vengeance.
Illidan trained these elves within the Black Temple, but he kept their existence a secret from the rest of his allies. Even Kael'thas Sunstrider, leader of the blood elves, knew only rumors about what was happening. (Pg 136)
Previously, much has been made of Garithos pushing the Blood Elves away from the Alliance. However, we see Lor'themar reflecting on the actions of the Blood Elves and also taking responsibility for the rift.
The blood elves needed allies, and they would not find them among the humans, dwarves, gnomes, or night elves. Kael'thas's decision to join Lady Vashj and Illidan had soured relations between Quel'Thalas and the Alliance. (pg 150)
makes the timeline and motivations of Kael'thas' defection to Kil'jaeden clearer. Kil'jaeden whispered to Kael'thas's mind that Illidan was withholding the secrets of fel magic because he believed the Blood elves to be unworthy. Kil'jaeden would reveal the power of fel magic if Kael'thas would simply abandon Illidan. While Kael'thas resisted at first, he grew furious and reached a turning point when Voren'thal and the Scryers defected from the Blood Elves and pledged loyalty to A'dal. Illidan refused to help Kael'thas fight the Scryers, which Kael'thas interpreted as a sign that he was viewed as unworthy by the night elf. He then defected to Kil'jaeden.
The incident widened the rift between Kael'thas and Illidan. The prince demanded that the former night elf retaliate against the naaru, but nothing was done. Illidan was so focused on his demon hunters that he paid little attention to Voren'thal's army. This only proved to Kael'thas that what Kil'jaeden had told him was true: Illidan did not care about the prince and his people.
...He lost all faith in the former night elf, and he looked to Kil'jaeden as a new benefactor.
We learn in-game that Benedictus is allied with the Twilight Hammer when we kill him in the
L’Heure du Crépuscule
reveals that he is recruited by the Twilight Hammer much earlier. His faith in the Light was shaken after seeing Arthas fall, as he felt that the Holy Light should have protected him. This chapter took place during The Burning Crusade.
Yet the Third War had been different. The fall of Lordaeron and the appearance of the Scourge had pushed his conviction to the breaking point. Why had the Holy Light not protected Prince Arthas, King Terenas, the paladins, or the other good people of the kingdom? Why, in humanity's hour of greatest need, had it abandoned its pious servants?
...Some spoke of the Void, a universal force of energy that would never abandon its servants as the Holy Light had.
...And it was this curiosity that opened the way to the Old Gods. They whispered in the archbishop's dreams and showed him the Light from their perspective. The holy energy was not as benevolent as it had once seemed. It tolerated only perfect order and obedience...He considered the Hour of Twilight not the apocalyptic end to all things but a chance to break free from the Holy Light's tyranny, a chance to create a new world where he would be the master of his own destiny. He came to believe that the Old Gods and the powers of the Void were the natural state of the universe, and that it was wrong to fight that reality as he had once tried as a practitioner of the Holy Light. (pg 162)
Cho'gall now sets out to Northrend during the events of Burning Crusade. He loosens the bonds of Yogg-Saron, providing the Old God with greatly-strengthened powers. He then escalates the conflict between the Alliance and Horde, commanding Garona to attack Varian at a peace summit. This is similar to existing lore, but without details on Med'an's recapture by the Twilight Hammer cult. With no Med'an in this story, Garona pledged to work with Jaina and Aegwynn to learn more about the Twilight Hammer, instead of only providing information if she'd receive help saving her son. The part of the story where Cho'gall tries to rez C'Thun and Med'an faces off against the ogre is not described.
The two-headed ogre willingly chipped away at Yogg-Saron's enchanted bonds. He could not break them, but he managed to weaken the chains.
That was enough to increase Yogg-Saron's influence tenfold. The Old God's control over the keepers became as strong as iron. It commanded the greatest of them, Keeper Loken, to create an army from the Forge of Wills. (pg 163)
The Lich King, in a dormant slumber, wars with the competing voices of Arthas, Ner'zhul, Matthias Lehner, a representation of Arthas' humanity. He runs through Matthias with Frostmourne. Ner'zhul is initially pleased that he can now merge fully with Arthas, who has other plans. He doesn't want to follow anyone's orders again, and so runs through Ner'zhul with Frostmourne.
, Arthas decides that sharing the Lich King's power with Ner'zhul would lead to disorder and that one mind was needed for maximum power. He waged war on Ner'zhul, torturing the Orc with his lingering guilt at sending the orcs to the Burning Legion. He then subdues Ner'zhul to nothing but sorrow in his consciousness.
The two beings went to war for permanent control of the Lich King's power.
Ner'zhul had the initial advantage, for he had lived with this power far longer than Arthas had. But Arthas was prideful, stubborn, and determined. He found the single weakness in Ner'zhul's soul: the lingering guilt over his unwitting role in enslaving the orc race to the Burning Legion...Through force of will, Arthas clawed his way through the orc's mental wounds and tore apart Ner'zhul's mind...Not only did Arthas drown him in his guilt, but he deliberately snapped the bonds of his sanity, causing the orc to spiral further and further into despair.
In the short story
"Edge of Night,"
Sylvanas enters into a pact with the Val'kyr because she is terrified of the hell she has found herself in death. Before throwing herself off the wall, she has a vision that the Forsaken would be exploited, but that doesn't stop her. In
, her motivations for accepting the help of the Val'kyr also involve protecting the Forsaken.
Spectral beings known as the Val'kyr found her soul there and gave her a glimpse of her people's future. Without her to protect them, the Forsaken would be squandered by the Horde and eventually made extinct. (Pg 188)
In the novel
, Xavius is dealt with and simply the nightmare is sealed away. In
, Xavius' spirit is also sealed away in the Rift of Aln, which is where we fight him in Legion.
Neither Tyrande Whisperwind nor Malfurion Stormrage could eradicate it completely, so they sealed away the corruption, along with Xavius' spirit, in a corner of the Emerald Dream called the Rift of Aln. (Pg 191)
The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm
, the Mak'gora between Cairne and Garrosh is brought about by Cairne mistakenly attributing the attacks of Twilight Orcs to Garrosh. This attack, orchestrated by the Twilight Hammer, ruined peaceful meetings between Alliance and Horde druids and severely wounded Hamuul Runetotem. In
, Garrosh's warlust and invasion into Ashenvale led Cairne to the fateful duel.
After Thrall had departed, Garrosh turned his gaze northwest, to the lush forests of Ashenvale. It was a land of plenty, and it was well within the Horde's reach. Most of the region belonged to the night elves, but that did not stop Garrosh from sending troops into the woodlands. He was not interested in asking the Alliance for resources or trading for them. Why would he do that, when he could simply take what he wanted by force? Some of the Horde's members welcomed these bold and aggressive maneuvers, but Cairne Bloodhoof did not. (pg 196)
What do you think is the biggest lore change? What makes the most sense to you? Personally I liked the clarifications to the Ashbringer story as well as Kael'thas joining Kil'jaeden.
(Notes: there are Amazon affiliate links in this post, which provide a small kickback to Wowhead to help with site operations. Thank you to Blizzard for sending us an advance copy of this book.)
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