Warcraft Manga: The Sunwell Trilogy and the Sunwell Plateau Dungeon
The Sunwell Plateau is an island that will be implemented in a content patch across the sea, north of Silvermoon City. The Sunwell Plateau is where the High Elves created the Sunwell using one of the vials of eternity from the original Well of Eternity.
The Sunwell Plateau will have a 5-players dungeon and a 25-players dungeon. The final boss in the 25-players dungeon will be Kil’jaeden, of the Burning Legion. Sunwell Plateau will be the last major content patch before the launch of Wrath of the Lich King expansion pack.
Now, why Sunwell Plateau? Blizzard seems to be moving strings months in advance. A story needs to be told. Back on 2004, Richard A. Knaak wrote Warcraft Manga: The Sunwell Trilogy for Tokyopop. Tokyopop had asked Blizzard Entertainment if they could license the franchise to create a Manga based on the Warcraft universe.
Back then, Chris Metzen gave Tokyopop one condition … Richard A. Knaak had to be the writer for the manga. This gave Chris Metzen the opportunity to tell a story that would be the domino effect for plans of World of Warcraft first expansion: Burning Crusade. The first book of Warcraft Manga: The Sunwell Trilogy went on sale by March 2005.
Long before the Burning Crusade was announced, and of course, before the first playable race was announced. See how the Creative Director at Blizzard works storylines in advance. This Manga introduced the story of the Blood Elves post-Warcraft III: Frozen Throne. And the Burning Crusade was announced at Blizzcon 2005 (July). Blizzard revealed the Blood Elves as the new playable race, but not revealing the Draenei until May 2006.
Below is a spoiler / recap of the events within Warcraft Manga: The Sunwell Trilogy and the Burning Crusade MMO expansion that leads to the events of the Sunwell Plateau dungeon.
The Warcraft Manga: The Sunwell Trilogy tells the story of a blue dragon named Kalecgos who was sent by Malygos to the Plaguelands in search of a mysterious magic source. Dar’Khan—who appears in early quests of the Blood Elves starting location – was the high elf traitor who led King Arthas to the Sunwell—back in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (RTS). Dar’Khan revealed to Arthas how to open the enchanted gate of Silvermoon with the three-pieces key. Dar’Khan was sent by King Arthas to absorb the Sunwell into himself. Before he was able to absorb the Sunwell, a well-known character from previous novels, using the name Borel, transformed the Sunwell’s essence and spirited it away from Dar’Khan’s reach.
Dar’Khan sought the Sunwell’s essence for a few years and finally tracked it to a house near the plaguelands. Sending off Mercenaries to stop any dragon that could be lured to his treasure, Kalec fell prey to a net. The magestic blue dragon fell from the sky. Anveena, a female human, found Kalec and brought him to her home.
This caused her parents to be killed when Dar’Khan and the Scourge raided her home, while Kalec and Anveena were walking around the wilds. When they returned they found the house in ruins, and underneath the rubbish of the house, hatched an egg. Kalec identified the newborn creature as the magic source which Malygos sent him for.
Kalec found it odd that her parents had come from Quel’Thalas, since very few Humans were given that privilege. Seeking a friend of her parents, named Borel, Anveena and Kalec set toward Tarren Mill to find out more of her mysterious past. In Tarren Mill they met Jorad Mace, an agent of Borel. A Paladin who once served Prince Arthas and King Terenas in Lordaeron city. He still has nightmares of dreadful whispers from Arthas the Lich King, calling out to him to serve him as a Death Knight; and of his failure to protect Lordaeron.
Dar’Khan and his Scourge are drawn to Tarren Mill and he reveals that the winged creature held by Anveena was the treasure he sought … the essence of the Sunwell.
A battle begins, and it was won thanks to the intervention of Tyrygosa (Tyri)—a female blue dragon who shapeshifts into a female high elf. Jorad Mace told them he last knew of Borel to be in Aerie Peak. Together all travel to Aerie Peak the next day. After a lot of events, Dar’Khan captures Anveena and takes her back to Quel’Thalas. Kalec, Jorad Mace and Tyri fly toward Quel’Thalas to rescue her.
There we are introduced to two new characters: Lor’Themar and Halduron – for first time, before the Burning Crusade expansion announcement. They are MMO NPCs at the throne room in Silvermoon City. They fought the Undead Scourge that came with Dar’Khan.
In the meantime, Kalec, Jorad Mace and Tyri are in trouble as Dar’Khan summons a mighty felbeast to drain Tyri’s magic. No other than Lady Sylvanas – leader of the Forsaken – appears to the rescue. Sylvanas came to Quel’Thalas somehow knowing Dar’Khan was in the area. She has a deep hatred for the high elf that betrayed her people … and caused her current transformation into a undead banshee. She wants the pleasure of killing the traitor.
To make the story short, Dar’Khan is defeated before he finishes a ritual with Anveena. Turns out that Anveena is the real essence of the Sunwell. Borel was the key. You will have to read Warcraft Manga: The Suwnell Trilogy to find out who Borel is, and how Anveena turned out to be the Sunwell, instead of the winged creature. Borel is already a known figure from previous Warcraft novels. He is simply using a different name.
Anveena and Kalec headed toward the Sunwell Plateau, where she keeps a magical illusion to cloak Silvermoon City and the Sunwell Plateau from the Undead Scourge and the Lich King. Basically, the Undead sees Silvermoon City as a ruin, when in reality it is been rebuilt in all its glory. And the Sunwell Plateau, which was destroyed when the Sunwell imploded and is seen by the Undead Scourge as a ruined desolate place, is now a verdant forest behind the magical facade. To others it is still a ruin. An illusion.
Moving forward, the Blood Elves (Horde) keep Anveena a secret. Lady Sylvanas also recognized Anveena as the Sunwell and kept her word she wouldn’t reveal the truth. This is how the Forsaken and the Blood Elves started a secret alliance; and shortly after – in early quests of the MMO – Sylvanas sends a letter to Thrall to convince him to accept the Blood Elves into the Horde. The death of Dar’Khan in Ghostlands (during the MMO quests) serves as a deed to accept them into the Horde.
Why the Sunwell Plateau dungeon now? The Blood Elves sought to reach Outland to rendezvous with Prince Kael’Thas. As Blood Elves reached Hellfire Peninsula, and Terokkar Forest the Blood Elves (Horde) find the Scryers (Blood Elves who served Prince Kael’Thas in Outland, and defected). These Scryers were granted sanctuary in Shattrath City by the Naaru. The Scryers reveal to the Blood Elves (Horde) what Prince Kael’Thas has done. You discover Kael’s Blood Elves had killed off Cenarion Druids in Terokkar Forest, and the Kirin’ Var Human mages in Netherstorm with a mana-bomb produced by Manaforges; and attack anyone within range. Even another Blood Elf. Not the welcome they expected.
In Netherstorm, the Blood Elves (followers of Kael’Thas) are discovered to work with the Burning Legion and Satyrs; and are syphoning nether magic from the land and from the Twisting Nether. The Naaru estimate all of Outland will be in jeopardy if the manaforges in Netherstorm continue to drain the land and the nether. The final showdown with Kael’thas, Lady Vashj and Illidan settles it. This is not the paradise the Blood Elves were promised by Kael’thas. Their lord and compatriots have become corrupted, and consort with the demons who caused the destruction of Quel’Thalas.
The only means of magic for the Blood Elves of the Horde is back home … at the Sunwell Plateau. Where Anveena and Kalec reside. Rumors say the Green and Red dragonflights seek to reenergize the Sunwell and the land of Quel’Thalas. (as told by Prospector Brann Bronzebeard in Warcraft RPG: Lands of Conflict—page 114).
The arrival of Kil’jaeden will seal the fate of the Sunwell and the Blood Elves’s destiny. Metzen has a story that needs to be told to wrap up the events revealed in the Warcraft Manga: The Sunwell Trilogy.
Something big will happen at the Sunwell Plateau, that will lead adventurers to head toward Northrend to fight the Lich King, and Malygos – Dragon Aspect of Magic.
The story Metzen wants told is still to come in 2008, through the sequel to the manga, based on the Burning Crusade MMO. In this new Manga from Tokyopop and Richard A. Knaak, Jorad Mace and Tyri come to Outland.
The plot of the Manga is unknown, but both characters have come to life in the MMORPG as NPCs. Tyri gives you a quest to kill an Ethereal from the Consortium, and thereafter asks you to kill the mentor of the Netherwing dragonflight in Netherstorm. With the dragon killed, Tyri serves as new mentor to these young Netherwing Drakes and brings them to Azeroth to meet Malygos at the Nexus (his Lair in Coldarra, Northrend). You can read up the transcript of the Burning Crusade quests given by Tyri. The second Warcraft Manga based in the Burning Crusade MMO will probably tell the second story Metzen wishes fans to learn which will connect to what happens at the Sunwell Plateau and the transition to the Wrath of the Lich King expansion pack that leads players to Northrend.
According to Chris Metzen, at Blizzcon 2007, Malygos has been infused with the Netherwing dragonflight DNA. Malygos had gone insane 10,000 years ago when Deathwing killed the blue dragonflight. This caused Malygos to brew into a depression and into insanity, living a lonely life secluded in his lair: the Nexus.
All these 10,000 years, Malygos has neglected his duties as Dragon Aspect of Magic. A duty granted to him by the Titans (Read More). Now with renewed sanity, from the Netherwing dragonflight, Malygos has recovered and starts detecting all magic activity around Azeroth. He plans to get back as Dragon Aspect of Magic … and that means Malygos will execute every mage that poses a threat to Azeroth.
It was 10,000 years ago when the pitiful night elves: Azshara and her highborne, tampered with the arcane magic of the Well of Eternity. That caused the Burning Legion to come like a locust swarm into Azeroth. (Read Warcraft: War of the Ancients Trilogy)
These is not good news to the Kirin Tor and the mages of Dalaran and the Alliance. Nor to Thrall and the Horde. Heroes and adventurers are allowed to join the Kirin Tor in Dalaran city … floating above Northrend, to engage the blue dragonflight and to climb the Icecrown to destroy the Lich King and his Undead Scourge once and for all.
The Nexus Lair is located in Coldarra—southwestern corner of Northrend. By the Borean Tundra. It will be a level 70-75 dungeon. The Malygos boss event is a 25-players dungeon.
See ya at World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King … the second expansion pack.
Update9-09-07: I got word from our Wow Lore forum members that King Kael’Thas Sunstrider talks to us loud in Shattrath City via hologram projection post-battle after turning in a quest. Seems Kael doesn’t die in the Tempest Keep: Eye dungeon.
Interpretation and speculation abound is that Kael’Thas escapes back to Azeroth and attempts to summon Kil’jaeden into the Sunwell Plateau. This is still to be confirmed as the dungeon hasn’t been released yet. If this rumor is true, Kael’Thas could be the very reason that triggers Malygos to start a war against any arcane magic mage that poses a threat to Azeroth.
This page will be updated when the last content patch of Burning Crusade is released.
Warcraft Manga: The Sunwell Trilogy, book three: Ghostlands