Author Archive

Medievaldragon

Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

***Fans who would love to watch Blizzard-related panels and appreciate our efforts can support Blizzplanet’s patreon in a monthly-basis, or a one-time basis. Our staff are volunteer fans like you. Your donations will help us travel to all the Blizzard events we attend year-round to bring you the latest interview with the developers, photos, and panel videos (where allowed).

World of Warcraft on Linux: How To play on Wine

Many skilled Linux users have offered instructions on how to tweak settings to play World of Warcraft in Linux, using Wine.  You should read all the instructions and link sources.  However, be warned that Blizzard Entertainment does not condone nor offer support to Linux platforms, and you should do so at your own risk.  We aren’t responsible and you agree so.  The author of the How To is not part of Blizzplanet staff.

Links you should visit and read:

Short instructions

Required Downloads and Patches

Full Instructions (Read)

Aqiri: The Qiraji and Nerubian Race Origin

The history of the Qiraji and Nerubians haven’t been completely explained. There are still things in the dark lorewise.

There are two general theories made by fans concerning the Qiraji and the Nerubians.  The first Theory was well explained by Ghostwalka @ Argent Dawn:

Long ago, during the time of the first Troll Empire, there was a race of Sentient Insects known as the Aqir.

They were spawned as many other races were spawned, and among them they included all facets of insect life; Wasps, Scarabs, Beetles, Bees, Spiders, Scorpions, Ants, and others.

They wished to destroy all non-insect life on this planet and attacked the Amani Empire time and time again. However, thanks to the power of the Troll Race in the form of their innate regenerative abilities and knowledge of Voodoo and Loa Spiritualism, they were beaten.

The Aqir Empire split in two. One went to the farthest south reaches of Kalimdor, the other to the North and across the sea to what would eventually become Northrend.

The ones who fled north are the Nerubians, and we know their sad story all too well. Their race is almost gone now, save for the living colonies yet to be hunted down and enslaved by the Lich King.

The ones who fled south were known as the Silithid. The Silithid, with their ant and wasp-like nature of hiving and burrowing into the depths of the earth… found something.

That was the remains of the Old God, C’thun.

C’thun; a husk of what he once was. He was and is a Forgotten One… a remaining part of an Old God that the Titans failed to destroy in the long ago.

C’thun took the Silithid for his own, dominating them with a mind older then any on this planet. C’thun used his powers to transform them into Avatars of what he once was, while keeping their insectile nature in tact.

The ones who became C’thun’s Avatars are now known as the Qiraj, and serve him.

And now C’thun seeks to regain his full power and body, and a might capable of reshaping the world as he did of old, and for that the Qiraj have prepared long for. Now we, the Horde and the Alliance, fight to stop them before it is too

late…

…And the Old God is unleashed on our world…

The Second Theory:

Something we have to take in consideration is that the Qiraji and the Nerubians – both – build Obsidian Statues and Sphynx(Destroyers) constructs. So … we have to assume that the Qiraji and Nerubians were both created by C’thun.

Both the Qiraji and the Nerubians come from the Aqiri—which is supposedly what few chosen Silithid became into when C’Thun used them as a template.

This is not entirely assumption. The book of The Two Empires says:

Eventually, due to the troll’s persistence, the Aqiri Kingdom split in half as its citizens fled to separate colonies in the far northern and southern regions of the continent.

Two Aqiri city-states emerged—Azjol-Nerub in the northern wastes, and Ahn’Qiraj in the southern desert. Though the trolls suspected that there were other Aqiri colonies beneath Kalimdor, their existence was never verified.

So … to recap. The Silithid is a race that was born like any other species with the Well of Eternity.

C’Thun the Old god jumpstarted the genetic code of some Silithid insects transmuting them as a template for his creation—the Aqiri.  The Aqiri then used the Silithid as a slave race.  The origin of the Aqiri (Qiraji and Nerubians) may be found through in-game quests of World of Warcraft.  Here is a collection of lore details.

Somewhat, the Aqiri suffer transmutations that split the Aqiri into two sub-races: Nerubians and Qiraji. As centuries and thousands of years went by, the transmutations became more evident.

This seems to be the most acceptable assumption—because we are aware of both sub-races having knowledge of how to create Obsidian statues, both sub-races or at least Nerubians are known to have undergone transmutations. These tidbits of info are important.

Not everyone has the Warcraft RPG: Manual of Monsters—so that will be confusing to some fans. Therefore, I will quote it for their benefit:

Quote from Manual of Monsters:

Azjol-Nerub contained huge libraries of literature, philosophy, and arcane lore. Occasionally, the kingdom would kidnap humans and elves for experimentation.

There above, we have that tidbit about experimentation with humans and elves.

Crypt Fiends of the Scourge are raised mummified Nerubians. And the Manual of Monsters throws in additional tidbits of when they were once Nerubians far before the Lich King arrived to Azeroth.

QUOTE from Manual of Monsters:

The original crypt fiends, the first to navigate successfully the difficult and dangeroous transmutations, were ancient lords of the spider kingdom of Azjol-Nerub.

It is interesting to hear the word transmutation in both the Crypt fiends and the Nerubians’ past—thousands of years before the Undead Scourge arrived.

In the Qiraji we also see the differences between themselves—the flying guards that look like humanoid wisps, Buru the Gorger, Kurinaxx, Rajaxx and his warriors, even the twin Emperors.

There is a hint that they have undergone their own transmutations, and experimentation by absorbing genetic code from the elves or other species.

By the way, Buru the Gorger looks pretty much like the Ancient Lords of the Nerubian empire—Sorta like Anub’arak.

So having all these similarities between the Nerubian and the Qiraji—I would say both races split genetically from a common template—the Aqir—which was originally C’Thun’s creation by using the Silithid as vessel/template of what would become his servants.

This is hard to understand using the word template. For example, the Night Elves could be compared to the Silithid.

They made the Highborne a template to create a new race made at the image of the Old gods—- the Naga. By the way, Knaak confirmed it yesterday. The Old gods created the Naga. It was hinted in the book, but not completely clear since we didn’t hear Azshara accepting the proposal. Now it is confirmed.
——-

Hope there is not much debate and that I came as close to what could be the intended lore by Blizzard.

So … here I will enter even more darker waters of the lore that has not been at all been explained by Blizzard. Most of what you will read below is assumption and speculation.

We know both the Qiraji and Nerubians have similarities as creation of C’thun. However, there are a major differences.

1. The Qiraji in Silithus are close to the reach of C’Thun following orders.

2. The Nerubians are independent from C’Thun, have a strong will—with immunity to mental commands (The Lich King Ner’Zhul wasn’t able to control them during the War of the Spider)—they have huge libraries of music, literature, philosophy, arcane lore. The Qiraji lack all that.

3. Anub’Arak—in Warcraft III: Frozen Throne—is one of the Ancient Lords of the Aqiri—that led the Nerubians in Northrend. He says the Faceless Ones to his knowledge was only a legend. However, he trembles in fear and recognizes the Forgotten One.

This is shrouded in mystery. There was no further details in the Frozen Throne expansion about the Faceless Ones, their past or their connection with the Nerubians.

However, we do know the Faceless Ones are servants of the Old gods. I think I heard somewhere they are children of the Old gods.

Then we have the tidbit of info that the Forgotten One looks exactly like the eye of C’Thun in Silithus’ 40-man raid zone at Ahn’Qiraj.

What I can assume from these tidbits is that something happened thousands of years ago. There are two options:

A. Speculation: Malygos, the Sundering or something caused the Faceless Ones and/or the Forgotten One to be sunk alive in imprisonment beneath the icy depths of Azjol-Nerub—thus they were no longer able to control the Aqiri-Nerubians—and therefore the Nerubians became independent from C’Thun’s influence for thousands of years—growing Libraries of music, philosophy, arcane lore.

B. Second option is that the Ancient Lords of the Aqiri Nerubians raised in civil war against the Forgotten One and the Faceless Ones, imprisoning them beneath their Kingdom of Azjol-Nerub.

Both options above sound acceptable. However, I can’t forget the fact that Anub’Arak thought of the Faceless Ones as legends. If he is one of the Ancient lords, how comes he doesn’t remember them? Anub’arak might be born after the Faceless Ones were imprisoned? That could be a reason why he doesn’t remember them.

Throughout the Undead Campaign there are many earthquakes.  These are sequel earthquakes triggered previously by Illidan.

Illidan used the Eye of Sargeras artifact at Dalaran to cause earthquakes in Northrend with the goal to crush the Icecrown and to destroy the Lich King. (Reference)

However, the earthquakes accidentally cracked the icy prison of the Faceless Ones and the Forgotten One.  The Quotes below are from the Campaign Mission:

Baelgun(dwarf, friend of Muradin Bronzebeard): I won’t let ye through this door, traitor. The recent quakes have awakened dark things under the ice … ancient, horrid things. We’ve vowed to keep them locked where they are.

The ice cracks, and horrific noises erupt from the depths of the Old Kingdom. Though the horrors within this place are fierce you must fight your way through to the exit. Let nothing stand in your way.

Anub’arak: They are the horrors the dwarves spoke of. I thought they were only legends.

King Arthas: What?

Anub’arak: They are the Faceless Ones …

Anub’arak: It cannot be … A Forgotten One. Look to your defenses, death knight! Fight as you’ve never fought before!

MAIN QUEST
The Forgotten One
– Kill the Forgotten One
– Arthas and Anub’arak must survive

Bursting forth from the ice, an unfathomable horror of a long forgotten time has emerged to block your passage. Destroy it and break free of the Old Kingdom.

As you see there is not much lore or details surrounding them.  What we know is that Illidan accidentally set them loose with the Earthquakes, and they came from beneath the subterranean kingdom of Azjol-Nerub.

This compilation of lore tidbits and speculation was meant to be informative, but also to raise awareness and to create fair debate and discussion. There is no official lore on the Faceless Ones and their connection with the Nerubians.

During the Q&A with Luke Johnson—author and developer of the new line of World of Warcraft RPG Books—he revealed that Wow RPG: Lands of Mystery and Wow RPG: Monster Guide will talk about the Nerubians and other monsters related to them. He didn’t want to specify.

Aaron Rosenberg, popular Star Trek, Warhammer and D&D book writer, who is done work for the Warcraft RPG Books too, recently told us in the public Q&A that he was assigned to do the Nerubian and Northrend creatures’ lore in the upcoming World of Warcraft: Lands of Mystery—from the point of view of Brann Bronzebeard.  So expect a bunch of new lore.

So I recommend reading them when they are released, as they are current with World of Warcraft, and might offer further details.  You can pre-order both books at our Store:
http://www.blizzplanet.com/content/97/

You can read he Frozen Throne Campaign where Anub’Arak found the Faceless Ones and the Forgoten One here:
http://www.blizzplanet.com/content/326/

Below is the Forgoten One—- looks like the eye of C’Thun

World of Warcraft – Naxxramas Necropolis

In upcoming Patch 1.11, one of Azeroth’s most feared denizens – Kel’Thuzad, the right hand of the Lich King himself – will return with the horrors of the undead in his wake. New background on the lair of Kel’Thuzad, the dungeon Naxrammas, has been released:

Several years ago, the Lich King preyed upon the mind of one of the most reckless magi of the Kirin Tor: Kel’Thuzad, whose obsession with the dark arts had ever concerned his fellow magi. Eventually he became one of the Lich King’s most valuable servants. It was Kel’Thuzad upon whom the Lich King bestowed the task of assembling the Cult of the Damned, opening the way for the Scourge and ultimately for the Burning Legion’s invasion of Azeroth. The Lich King promised Kel’Thuzad eternal life, and the Lich King kept his promise. After Arthas slew the wretched mage, Kel’Thuzad was brought back from the dead to continue his cursed existence as a powerful lich, locked in the service of his dark master for all eternity. The necropolis Naxxramas is the seat of Kel’Thuzad’s evil, from which he oversees the Scourge and heeds his lord’s command. A dreadful dawn is rising in the east as the Lich King’s dark minions prepare to descend upon Azeroth. Soon the Scourge will march again, and this time there is no prophet to speak the warning, no gallant knight to fight the coming darkness, no legendary hero to thwart the monstrosity on the Frozen Throne. Who, then, will be the fire that burns against the cold, the light of hope that prevails beneath the shadow of the necropolis?

  • Player Limit: 40-players Raid dungeon
  • Location: Deep within Stratholme Instance, in the Eastern Plaguelands, can be found the entrance to Naxxramas Necropolis instance.  To the left-side of Baron Rivendare’s Slaughterhouse can be found a gate that leads to the sub-instance.  The Necropolis floats above the city of Stratholme.
  • Description: Four wings instances – Abomination wing, Necro Wing, Death Knight Wing and Spider Wing.  There will be 18 Bosses.  Prepare for a Frost Wyrm battle and the final showdown with Kel’Thuzad.
  • Importance: The last time the Spellbook of Medivh was seen was when Kel’Thuzad summoned Archimonde – the demonlord of the Burning Legion – into Azeroth at Dalaran.  The final boss of Naxxramas Necropolis is Kel’Thuzad, which gives path to the idea that warlocks may be able to loot the Spellbook of Medivh, as an important item needed to open the Dark Portal in Blastedlands when World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade is released.

Tigole: “Naxxramas is going to be the most difficult thing in the game until the expansion pack comes out. It will be the pinnacle, and it’s absolutely massive. You’ll see this big necropolis floating above Eastern Plaguelands. It’s a 40-man raid zone, and it’s bigger than the Undercity [one of the main cities in the game]. Things could change, but we’re up to something like 18 bosses in there, and they are really cool, too. But it’s going to be hard. Really hard. We’re hoping to release it in the spring.

Naxxramas will just be open. But we do want to do a world event, which we want to call the Scourge Invasion, or hopefully something cooler than that, that would basically be something for everyone who’s not going into Naxxramas. So they would see the impact without having to actually go in.  In other words, get ready for undead to pop up in some unlikely places.”—New York Times

Tigole: “Naxxramas will come out in Patch 1.11 and will be previewed at E3 in a couple of weeks. This raid dungeon is massive and hosts more bosses than you can wave a stick at. And a really big stick at that. Currently, Naxxramas is in internal testing. After a few more weeks of internal testing, well put it on the PTRs for an extended test period so that you guys have time to hammer the encounters and provide us with feedback. We’ll also be doing a lot of tuning during internal testing and during the PTR time. Expect the difficulty of encounters to fluctuate a lot on the PTRs. Expect a lot of info regarding Naxxramas to come out during E3.  Patch 1.11 will introduce Tier 3 items.”—April 27, 2006

Continues: Road to Damnation – Page 2

Background Lore

 

Read the following background history of Kel’Thuzad:


Click Image
BlizzCon: Naxxramas Map

World of Warcraft –  Tirisfal Glades Grove

The official Warcraft story at Worldofwarcraft.com says that Tirisfal Glades was the landing place of the High Elves led by Dath’Remar Sunstrider after the Night Elves exiled them from Kalimdor.  Taking that at starting point, there is a Grove west of Deathknell that is sealed off, as a potential placeholder.  It can’t be accessed. However, it is a big area as you may see on the map to the right.

Speculation: If this grove is where the High Elves first created a settlement, whatever is underground within the mysterious grove could possibly be an Elemental—there are some elementals like Myzrael and the Princess Theradras ( mother of the Centaurs located in Maraudon ).  Or whatever is uderground in this Tirisfal grove is related to the Old Gods. See what I mean in the story of The Founding of Quel’Thalas:

“His fleet finally landed on the beaches of the kingdom men would later call Lordaeron. Forging inland, the high elves founded a settlement within the tranquil Tirisfal Glades. After a few years, many of them began to go mad. It was theorized that something evil slept beneath that particular part of the world, but the rumors were never proven to be true. The high elves packed up their encampment and moved northward towards another land rich with ley energies”

One of the Old gods killed by the Titans is in southern Darkshore.  It is unknown if another dead Old god is in Tirisfal or not. Officially there are only five known Old gods. Three are imprisoned and chained beneath the surface of Azeroth.  One has a Titan’s Glaive through its skull at Darkshore.  And C’Thun in Ahn’Qiraj (Silithus).

A possibility for this Mysterious Grove in Western Tirisfal Glades could be also where Krasus lived.  In Warcraft: Day of the Dragon novel, it says that the Elven-built Sanctum of Krasus was built upon a mysterious grove.  Krasus was one of the Six Senior Archmage Leaders of the Kirin-Tor.  Secretly, though, Krasus was no High Elf.  He was secretly Korialstrasz the red dragon—the consort of Alexstrasza the Queen Dragon Aspect.

Korialstrasz shapeshifted into a High Elf and posed as one to infiltrate the High Elven and Human races, watching their magic development and evolution.  As consort of the Queen Dragon of the Aspect of Life, he felt his sworn duty was to watch, guide and protect the lesser races.

You can read at Warcraft: Day of the Dragon—page 265, the following:

The sanctum of Krasus had been built over an ancient grove, one older than even the dragons themselves.  It had been built by an elf, later usurped by a human mage, then seized long after its abandonment by Krasus himself.  He had sensed the powers lingering underneath it and had managed to draw from them on rare occasions, but even the draconic wizard had been surprised to one day discover the concealed entrance in the most remote part of his citadel, the entrance that led to the glittering pool and the single, golden gemstone set in the midst of the bottom.

Each time he entered the chamber, he felt a sense of awe so rare for one of his kind.  The magic here made him feel like a human novice just shown his first incantation.  Krasus knew that he had only touched a bare trace of the pool’s potential, but that was enough to make him leery of trying to seize more.  Those who grew greedy in their need for magical power tended to eventually become consumed by it—literally.

Of course, Deathwing had somehow managed to avoid that fate so far.  Despite being so deep underground, the water was not devoid of life—or something approaching it.  Even though no clearer liquid existed in all the world, try as he might, Krasus could never completely focus on the tiny slim forms that darted around, especially in the vicinity of the gemstone.  At times, he had sworn they were nothing but shimmering, silver fish, yet now and then the dragon mage swore that he saw arms, a human torso, even on a rare occasion, legs.

It is kinda long to type here but Krasus used this pool rare times.  He would drink from its water to rejuvenate his strength.  Any crafted object or cup would be rejected by the pool’s waters.  Krasus had to use his hands to drink the waters.

I see a connection here …. that place west of Tirisfal could be the grove where the Citadel of Krasus is, which could also be the place the High elves first landed in when exiled.

The quote above says that an elf created the citadel (possibly Dath’Remar Sunstrider) over a ground older than the dragons … therefore that grove west of Deathknell could be where the high elves first landed in Tirisfal Glades and built the first settlement.  Later, the High Elves became insane with the old whisperings coming from beneath the ground, and had to leave. The High Elves sailed off the coast of Tirisfal Glades, heading toward the north—where they found Quel’Thalas.

The pool could possibly be a Sunwell created by Dath’Remar—from one of the vials of Illidan. The high elves took with them “some” of the remaining 4 vials of water from the original Well of Eternity that Ilidan had before being imprisoned 10,000 years ago.  Ilidan only used 3 vials in Hyjal before captured.  This is mere speculation.  The first and only Sunwell in the lore was created in Quel’Thalas by the Sunwell Grove. There is no mention in the official lore of a second Sunwell in Tirisfal Glades. So the interrogative remains:  What is the origin of the pool beneath Krasus’ citadel?  Is it Old god related or Titan related? Is Krasus’ citadel in the mysterious grove to the west of Tirisfal Glades? There is no further lore in any of the pocketbooks or RPG books revealing what is within the mysterious Grove of western Tirisfal Glades.  However, something else to note is that Warcraft RPG: Magic and Mayhem says an interesting new lore few know about:

“In total, 13 Black Iron golems block the entrances to Undercity, each one responsible for a different entrance, with the largest entrance to the tunnels and caves guarded by two of the massive statues When the forces of the Scourge attempt to rush the gates, the golems easily rebuke them.  They are 30 feet tall.”

“The Banshee Queen is clearly not the creator of these relics, since they were in the Undercity long before men discovered it. How Sylvanas managed to tame them is a closely guarded secret”—NOTE: This could or not be official. Don’t hang onto it. Warcraft RPG: Lands of Conflict did not mention them at all. Luke Johnson—Wow RPG Developer from White Wolf Publishing did not wish to mark this Iron Golem as canon lore either, and kept the right to be silent on the topic due to NDA terms.

It seems Lady Sylvanas has more secrets than we thought.  If these golems exist in Undercity, it is meant to be hidden knowledge from the Horde. One fan once theorized that Sylvanas might have struck a bargain secretly with the Old gods.  This is not referenced anywhere in the lore.  What is known of the Undead Forsaken is that they are creating toxins and a new plague behind the back of the Horde, and even tested a poison against one female Tauren at the Apothecary District in Undercity.  Their intentions are clear. Whether Sylvanas stroke a bargain with the Old gods somehow is unknown, but it is fairly strange that there is no representation of the Undead Forsaken at the Ahn’Qiraj War Effort or Cenarion Hold ….

These 13 Golems have rich runes of an ancient undecipherable tongue and wear a strange iron-forged death mask. Could the origin of the 13 Golems have anything to do with the secret pool beneath Krasus’ Sanctum?  Old gods or Titan-made?  Take everything in this page with a grain of salt.  It is speculation based on released info, not official lore.

  • The theory of Undead Forsaken Sylvanas having something to do with the Old gods comes to be after reading one of the quests where four Forsaken betrayed Sylvanas fleeing to Dalaran, and stealing four bloodstones vital to Sylvanas.  They were put in quarantine at the Dalaran Internment Camp under close watch of Warden Belamoore.  This is the journal of her investigation tying the bloodstones of Sylvana with the Old gods.

 


Tirisfal Grove Map

 

World of Warcraft – Zul’Gurub

Over a thousand years ago the powerful Gurubashi Empire was torn apart by a massive civil war. An influential group of troll priests, known as the Atal’ai, called forth the avatar of an ancient and terrible blood god named Hakkar the Soulflayer. Though the priests were defeated and ultimately exiled, the great troll empire collapsed upon itself. The exiled priests fled far to the north, into the Swamp of Sorrows, where they erected a great temple to Hakkar in order to prepare for his arrival into the physical world.

In time, the Atal’ai priests discovered that Hakkar’s physical form could only be summoned within the ancient capital of the Gurubashi Empire, Zul’Gurub. Unfortunately, the priests have met with recent success in their quest to call forth Hakkar—reports confirm the presence of the dreaded Soulflayer in the heart of the Gurubashi ruins.

In order to quell the blood god, the trolls of the land banded together and sent a contingent of High Priests into the ancient city. Each priest was a powerful champion of the Primal Gods—Bat, Panther, Tiger, Spider, and Snake—but despite their best efforts, they fell under the sway of Hakkar. Now the champions and their Primal God aspects feed the awesome power of the Soulflayer. Any adventurers brave enough to venture into the foreboding ruins must overcome the High Priests if they are to have any hope of confronting the mighty blood god.

Zul’ Gurub is a 20-man raid instance located in the northeastern portion of Stranglethorn Vale.

Features:

  • Over 120 new Epic and Superior items, including a new five-piece set for each class!
  • Players can build up their reputation with the new Zandalar Tribe faction in order to gain a variety of rewards!
  • Tons of Zul’Gurub quests available at the new base in Yojamba Isle!
  • Highly scripted boss encounters unlike any you’ve experienced before!

Blizzard Developer – Jeffrey “Tigole” Kaplan: “I wanted to take a minute to talk about the intended “goal” of the zone. Zul’Gurub is often referred to as a “casual raid zone”. But I think the term “casual” can at times be misleading. Rather than get hung up on the semantics of “casual” versus “hardcore” I think it’s best if everyone understands Zul’Gurub’s place in the overall zone and dungeon flow of World of Warcraft.

Zul’Gurub is intended to fit in somewhere between Upper Blackrock Spire and Molten Core. Zul’Gurub only requires 20 people compared to the 40 it takes to do Molten Core or Blackwing Lair. This lower raid cap contributes to the zone being deemed more “casual”, as it takes less organization to get 20 people together than it does for 40.

Another goal of the zone is that it can be completed relatively quickly. Once the zone is mastered, raids will be clearing it in under 2 hours.

Now what I just said can be a little misleading. I know that a signifcant number of people are going to read it as “I can clear Zul’Gurub in under two hours.” But the important thing about what I said is that those fast clearing times will happen once the zone has truly been mastered. Even though the zone is referred to as “casual”, there is still a learning curve to it. The encounters in Zul’Gurub are challenging and require good coordination and skill. The encounters will also be tuned assuming raid groups DON’T have Molten Core or better loot. What this means for well-equipped, hardcore raiding guilds is that they will find the zone to be fairly easy.

The coolest thing about Zul’Gurub, in my opinion, is it allows everyone to have the chance to see some of the coolest parts of the raiding experience—highly scripted boss encounters. There are a LOT of bosses in Zul’Gurub and a lot of time has been put into making all of those fights unique and challenging. I think players of all playstyles will find the zone fun.”

Background Lore of Zul’Gurub may be read at the Two Empires Story

World of Warcraft –  Undermine

Many players wrongly think that Undermine is an Isle.  The truth is that Undermine is the capital of the Isle of Kezan, the largest and southmost of the South Seas Islands. Isle of Kezan is ruled by the Trade Coalition, composed by five Goblin Princes of Trade.

Isle of Kezan was formerly controlled by Jungle Trolls.  However, the Goblins invaded the island and almost erradicate the presence of trolls in the area through a war long ago.  Isle of Kezan still has Troll presence, but the Goblins are no longer concerned about them, focusing more into their merchant business.

Isle of Kezan has many places of interest such as Mount Kajaro – a volcano—that is held sacred by the Kezan Jungle Trolls.  They live at the nearby Voodress Village.

Bilgewater Port – to the northwest – is the primary port of the Goblins in Isle of Kezan. It is controlled by the Bilgewater Cartel.

Edj Port – to the northeast – is run by Baron Revilgaz and his Blackwater Raider Pirates.  Baron Revilgaz oversees its operations from Booty Bay.

Undermine has some surface areas, but it is mostly underground.  A series of volcanic caverns, tunnels and chambers that span out of Isle of Kezan through the ocean floor, connecting to adjacent smaller islands to the west of Isle of Kezan.  Slave pens and the Palaces of the Goblin Princes of Trade are located in Undermine.

Besides Slaves, the tunnels are inhabited by a strange breed of goblins named Hobgoblins.  Their lifespan is barely three years, and are overgrown in size.  Hobgoblins are purple-skinned.  They came to exist through alchemists experiementing during the second war on goblin subjects.  More details of the Hobgoblins in the RPG Book mentioned below.

The World of Warcraft Collector’s Edition Behind the Scenes DVD shows within the Art and Design section, a series of slideshows while the Developers talked about their work. In the slideshows could be seen a map of Isle of Kezan (Undermine). The map was drawn on a chalkboard with ink-markers.

You could see a Beach resort to the northeast, and Mount Kajaro (volcano), Black Beach and a Rain forest to the southwest. (if you have the Collector’s Edition, to find this map, load the DVD Menu as follows: Extra Features > World Creation at minute 8:51 )

Most exciting to find out in the Behind the Scenes DVD was to see two boat routes and two Zeppelin routes:

The Bilgewater Port offers transportation to Kul’Tiras and Ratchet. While Edj Port – on the Northeast – profiting Booty Bay’s Blackwater Raiders offers two Zeppelin routes from Undermine to: Booty Bay and Valgarde (Northrend).  However, there is a mysterious cut-line from Undermine to Nazjatar—the underwater homeland of the Naga, beneath the Maelstrom.  The cut-line might suggest that players might be able to reach Nazjatar in a Goblin Submarine.  This is, of course, not confirmed.

An unofficial fan-made rumor: In War of the Ancients Trilogy, Deathwing lived inside a volcano with his slave servants: goblins.  The goblins created an adamantium plate to cover his body.  The proximity of Demon Soul caused Deathwing’s body to be torn apart.  There are at least five rumors of possible locations Deathwing could be hidden since the Second War. Even his son Nefarian employs the help of Goblins in Blackrock Spire.  A hint?  Mount Kajaro represents a good atmosphere for a Deathwing Lair.  However, there is no mention of it in the RPG book or elsewhere.  Time will tell.

You may find plenty and extensive details and history of Isle of Kezan and its Undermine capital in World of Warcraft RPG: Lands of Mystery – page 74-79.  The book is 100% nicely narrated by Prospector Brann Bronzebeard.

World of Warcraft –  Northrend Continent

Main Source: World of Warcraft RPG: Lands of Mystery.  If you wish more indepth details you can buy the book and search Northrend Regions from page 84-113. Read Lands of Mystery’s full
Table of Content which contains descriptions and lore of Kalimdor, South Seas, Undermine, and Northrend.

Northrend is the continent located far north of the Maelstrom.  Northrend is a glacier … a snowy place. There has been no official announcement, but based on the massive size of Northrend, it will be a future World of Warcraft Expansion.

There are many regions within Northrend:

  • Coldarra
  • Crystalsong Forest
  • Grizzly Hills
  • Howling Fjord
  • Icecrown Glacier
  • Sholazar Basin
  • The Borean Tundra
  • The Dragonblight
  • The Stormpeaks
  • Zul?Drak

 

Coldarra

 

Among the places of interest within Northrend, known to fans, the Dragon Aspect of Magic – Malygos – lives in a cavern named the Nexus, located at the island Coldarra—he is known to gather relics of arcane power, keeping them locked away from mortals—frozen Orcs, Nagas, Trolls and Wendigos are among the species that had dared to enter the sanctity of Malygos’ lair.  They remain frozen, like statues, as a show to display what happens to those who venture into the Lair of Malygos—as described in Warcraft: Day of the Dragon novel.  Krasus the red dragon came to visit Malygos in that book, to ask for help to free Queen Alexstrasza from the Dragonmaw Clan, during the Second War.

Crystalsong Forest

The place has an epic history of a battle between black dragons and blue dragons.  The Tuskarr legends say that many blue dragons died that day in Crystalsong Forest. Their magic released into the air.  When an elder Blue dragon casted a spell to turn the black dragons into ice, the loose magic in the air accidentally amplified the spell—causing the natural green forest to turn into crystal.  The only thing spared from such fate was the Emerald Dream Tree (The Great Tree).  The only current residents found in this region are Green Dragons and Crystalline Golem workers—sent here by the Storm Giants of Ulduar to gather crystals for their experiments.

Grizzly Hills

Places of interest in the Grizzly Hills are: Grizzlemaw, Draktharon Keep and Thor Modan.  The Grizzly Hills are inhabited by over 20,000 Furbolgs living at their settlement Grizzlemaw.  Thor Modan was built by Ironforge Dwarves.  It is a camp of stone huts and tents.  The dwarves are excavating in search of relics and clues about the Titans.  Mostly Explorer’s League work.  Darktharon Keep was formerly a Ice Troll ruin, now taken by force by the Undead Scourge as their new garrison to watch the passes of the mountains.

Howling Fjord

During Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Arthas wished with all his hatred to finish his mission: to kill Mal’Ganis the Dreadlord and destroy the Undead Scourge, and wouldn’t allow his father’s orders get in the way.  Arthas destroyed the ships of King Terenas’ men when they came to Northrend to recall Arthas’ army by orders of King Terenas. By destroying the naval ships, the nearly 5,000 survivors of both armies: those who came to Northrend with Prince Arthas and those troops who came to deliver a message to Prince Arthas on behalf of King Terenas Menethil II built a settlement near the coast of Daggercap Bay—within the region: Howling Fjord, naming the settlement as Valgarde.  The population is composed of Humans and Dwarves.  According to World of Warcraft Collector’s Edition Behind the Scenes DVD, a map of Isle of Kezan (Undermine) shows a Zeppelin-route from Undermine to a town of Northrend, known as Valgarde—at the southeastern-most side of the continent.

Icecrown Glacier

Arthas the Lich King lives, at the Icecrown Glacier. A massive tower of ice named Icecrown came to be when Kil’jaeden sent the icy-prison of Ner’zhul crashing down from the sky into the glacier.  Furbolgs of Grizzly Hills saw the flashing that blinded the sky as the object fell.

Over 200,000 Undead Scourge: Ghouls, Crypt Lords, Frost Wyrms, Abominations, Death Knights, Necromancers, Liches and other support forces live in the Icecrown Glacier.  A surprising force.  Beneath the Icecrown, however, exist a series of caverns and tunnels built with Nerubian architecture.  Ner’zhul assimilated and adapted the Nerubian architecture into the Undead Scourge’s structures after the War of the Spider.

During Warcraft III: Frozen Throne, Illidan was sent by Kil’jaeden to destroy Icecrown using the power of the Eye of Sargeras.  Accompanied by Naga Witches to channel the spellwork, Illidan used the safety of Dalaran’s ley nodes and magical shielding to create earthquakes upon Northrend to crack the ice beneath Icecrown. ( Read More )  The incident caused the Lich King Ner’Zhul’s icy-prison to leak his powers daily causing him to lose mental control over large part of the Undead Scourge in Lordaeron.  As consequence, Sylvanas Windrunner was able to recover her individual will and caused a Civil War in the Plaguelands, taking the Ruins of Lordaeron for her new band of Undead Forsaken.

The Lich King summoned his loyal servant King Arthas the Death Knight to travel to Northrend.  After Illidan’s failure to destroy the Icecrown and the Lich King, Kil’jaeden gave one more chance to Illidan to fulfill his mission.  This time Illidan, his Naga and Blood Elves forces came to the Icecrown and initiated the rituals before the Magic Obelisks that grant access to the inner walls of the Icecrown Citadel. ( Read More

King Arthas was able to defeat Illidan in combat and ascended to the top of the Icecrown Citadel.  There the Lich King ordered King Arthas to break his Icy-prison.  The chestplate and helmet containing the Spirit of Ner’Zhul the Lich King came loose as the icy-prison cracked open.  King Arthas wore the chestplate and helmet.  Immediately the Spirit of Ner’zhul and King Arthas merged—becoming into one entity.  Arthas became the living vessel of the spirit of Ner’zhul.  Sitting at the Frozen Throne, Arthas the Lich King watches over the Undead Scourge, rebuilding the Icecrown Citadel, and gathering strength to one day unleash the Undead Scourge against the world of Azeroth’s nations.

The Sholazar Basin

Not much is known of this region except that the place has no ice and barely has snow.  Some have settled farms in this terrain.  Whether it will become a future Northrend battleground instance is unknown.  However, detail of interest is that the region is charted as an anomaly.  The place is a copy of Un’Goro—with hot springs, steam vents, geysers, and a tropical jungle.  Possibly a zone made by the Titans for experiments.

The Borean Tundra

Located at the far western edge of Northrend, the Borean Tundra is a habitat for the Tuskarr race.  However, small presence of Drakkari Trolls, Blue Dragons, Undead Scourge and Naga inhabit the place.  The most important places within the region are the Tuskarr capital Kaskala; the Riplash Ruins look Nerubian structure.  However, it seems as though a large portion of the underground Azjol-Nerub caverns was pushed upwards by a cataclysm, ascending the underground ruins toward the surface as the ice broke.  Nerubians no longer inhabit these Riplash Ruins, therefore the Naga took residence within the abandoned ruins.

The Dragonblight

The Dragonblight is the place where all dragonflights come to, to die.  It is a graveyard.  It is a place mentioned in the Warcraft lore for near the borders of Dragonblight existed a Human settlement that the Lich King infested with the firsts version of the Plague for testing purposes.  This happened by the end of the Second War, 10 years after the Dark Portal. The Humans inhabiting the Dragonblight became into the first Undead Scourge of the Lich King. Months later, Kel’Thuzad became a Necromancer at the service of Ner’zhul and returned to Lordaeron to create the Cult of the Damned.  Many of the Frost Wyrms of the Undead Scourge were risen from the bones of dragons at Dragonblight.

The Dragonblight has many locations of importance: the graveyard, the Wyrmrest Temple and the entrance to Azjol-Nerub Inner Kingdom.  The Wyrmrest Temple is Titan-made.  Storm Golems may be found in this temple mysteriously.  More to be concerned is that the Blue dragonflight inhabits the temple—as if watching or communing over the spirits of the dragons.  The Wintergrasp Lake is on the northwest of Dragonblight region—frozen soild.  Tauren inhabit the Lake at a settlement named Icemist Village. The Tauren here are cooks, fishermen, tailors and create tools.  They sell and trade all their works to visitors.

The Storm Peaks

The epic battle of Sargeras and Aegwynn – known as Dragon Hunt– took place in Northrend over 800 years ago (-823 before the Dark Portal).  According to Warcraft RPG: Shadow & Light—page 107— and to World of Warcraft RPG: Lands of Mystery Ulduar, the third base of the Titans, is at The Storm Peaks of Northrend.

The wind in the peaks is extremely violent and dangerous.  The entrance to Ulduar is hidden.  The residents of Ulduar are the Storm Giants—created by the Titans.  The Storm Giants are low in numbers nowadays.  Brann Bronzebeard calculates nearly 150.  To have labor support, the Storm Giants created constructs to help gather minerals and to guard Ulduar.  This constructs are named Crystalline Golems. Places of interest in the Storm Peaks are Ulduar and the Temple of Storms—Titan-made building far to the west of Ulduar.

Zul’Drak

This is the Drakkari Ice Trolls homeland.  They have lived here since before the Great Sundering.  They are cannibalistic, practice voodoo, are larger and bigger than other types of trolls, and worship spirits.  Every six years, the Ice Trolls navigate to Zandalar in the South Seas to a meeting of all troll tribes.  The capital city of Zul’Drak region is Gundrak. The architecture of the ruins is similar to that of Zandalar Isle in the South Seas.  It is unknown whether the Ice Trolls of Northrend were the first Trolls.

Post a Comment and share you impressions.

  • Read a full Table of Content of World of Warcraft RPG: Lands of Mystery so that you know what the book contains before deciding to purchase it.
  • Read our recent interview with World of Warcraft RPG Developer Luke Johnson (White Wolf Publishing).

 


Click the image

World of Warcraft –  Placeholders

There are three zones not revealed in the in-game Azeroth Continent map.  One is west of Burning Steppes, the other one is east of Burning Steppes.  They are as big as Deadwind Pass or bigger.

Eastern Wetlands
Another area is east of Grim Batol(Wetlands). There is a large patch of land from north to south: covering a height from Eastern Wetlands, Loch Modan, down to Badlands. Hopefully future content. The land to the East of Wetlands could be accessed openly through southeastern Badlands until patch 1.9—where access was blocked.  The area was pretty large, but there was no content there and lacked textures.

Western Burning Steppes
The land west of Burning Steppes seems to have two entrances.  One is through the right-side – uphill – of Black Char cave in Searing Gorge and the second entrance is near the Altar of Storms—northwestern Burning Steppes.  Once you walk into both entrances your character is blocked by an invisible barrier.

Eastern Burning Steppes
Rumor is the new Burning Crusade Alliance Race’s starting location could be there.  If indeed the Draenei becomes the new Alliance Race, this placeholder would be the logical choice.  It is just northeast of Swamp of Sorrows where the Draenei of Azeroth lives at.

This section will be updated as new info of World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade becomes available.

World of Warcraft –  Old Ironforge

In closed beta, there was a ramp to an underground Old Ironforge, accessed from King Magni’s chamber.  The hallway would lead to a underground chamber and at the end there was a closed gate. The access to Old Ironforge was blocked in a patch during Open Beta.  I heard a player once comment that a developer had said it was there just for looks and there is nothing planned, but … according to Warcraft RPG: Lands of Conflict—page 77—Prospector Brann Bronzebeard comments that Old Ironforge does exist.

Below Ironforge, exists a natural chamber made of organic stone formations.  No chisel or pick has touched the area.  What lies below is the Hall of Thanes, where the past Kings of Iron Forge are buried.  Down there are two important places held sacred by all Dwarves:  The Old Throne and the object for which the Fortress is named for … the Iron Forge.  The enormous artifact is a legacy left behind by the Titan Khaz’Goroth for the Earthen—former stone-skinned race the Dwarves descend from.  The Iron Forge is a relic and is never been used by the Dwarves.

It is kept as a treasure within the Hall of Thanes to honor the dead Kings.  Brann Bronzebeard thinks that the Titans left the anvil behind for some purpose the Dwarves need to find out.  Maybe once the Dwarves uncover the truth of their ancestry, they will find its purpose.

World of Warcraft – The Vault

There is currently a placeholder entrance, in the form of an instance whirlpool, blocked by a gate. At the gate are two Stormwind guards (NPC). Many fans have wondered and speculated about the building. In fact, Warcraft RPG: Lands of Conflict confirms that the building surrounded by water is actually the Vault.  The Stockades prison is for normal prisoners, while the Vault is for powerful renegade Mages,  Archmages, Warlocks, Ogre Magi, Demons and other super-powered beings, which require maximum security. The Vault building is located at the center of the canals between the Dwarven and Cathedral Districts in Stormwind city.  The building, as you can see on the Stormwind City Map, looks exactly like The Stockades prison.

Unofficial rumors are that some heroes of the Second War might be in that prison.