The day has come at last, World of Warcraft: Chronicle, is on sale now! To celebrate, and because people had been mistaking part one for a direct transcription, this next preview will be a full excerpt from the Chronicle. In particular, this will focus on the former Guardian of Tirisfal, Aegywnn, and shed light on the mage order hall in the upcoming Legion expansion. For those familiar with other Warcraft novels, such as Jeff Grubb’s The Last Guardian, you may notice some significant changes have been made to Aegwynn and Medivh’s backstories…
As with before, heavy spoilers for World of Warcraft: Chronicle are below the jump, so read at your own risk:
The Vanishing of Aegywnn
600 Years Before the Dark Portal
After their battle in Northrend, Sargeras began twisting Aegywnn’s thoughts. He pushed her to isolate herself from the Council of Tirisfal, drawing on concerns that she had always harbored about the order. Chief among these concerns was something Aegwynn had recently discovered: the Council of Tirisfal’s members were interfering in the politics of human nations. The magi argued that what they were doing was necessary – their order had stayed in the shadows for too long. With their knowledge and wisdom, they had the power to prevent war and suffering in the mortal world.
Aegwynn, however, viewed the council’s shadowy activities with skepiticism and unease. She feared that if she stepped down, they would choose a weaker Guardian, someone they could use to pursue their political agendas. Thus Aegywnn decided to stay on as Guardian past her first century of service. She used her powers to extend her own life for decades longer than what would have been otherwise possible. Though some members of the council were displeased with Aegwynn’s choice, they accepted her decision. After all, she had performed incredible feats during her time as Guardian.
Over the next hundred years, Aegywnn’s relationship with the council became more and more strained. Sargeras’s subtle influence made her ever more paranoid about her fellow magi. Her growing unease lead her to construct a refuge far from the eyes of the council. Within the barren and remote Deadwind Pass, she forged the grand tower known as Karazhan. Its whereabouts would remain a secret from the council for many years.
Aegywnn would often retreat to Karazhan to work in peace and quiet. Yet the tower also served another vital purpose. It acted as a conduit for the potent ley lines in the surrounding region, through which Aegwynn could siphon power when needed.
In time, the aging members of the council began passing away, their powers still held in Aegywnn’s grasp. New sorcerers arose to join the order. They continued the council’s practice of interfering with the nations of the Eastern Kingdoms. Many of these new members also pushed for a more hard-line approach to deal with the wayward Guardian and force her to relinquish her powers.
During one of Aegwynn’s rare visits to Dalaran, the council demanded that she step down as Guardian or face immediate consequences. Aegwynn balked at their threat. Her distrust of the council had now shifted to outright hostility. She told the magi that putting the fate of Azeroth in their hands was tantamount to dooming the world.
Furious with Aegywnn’s behavior, the council members agreed among themselves to take action. If the Guardian would not give up her powers voluntarily, the would force her to do so. The council long debated how best to accomplish this. Some members proposed empowering a new Guardian, but this idea presented too many dangerous possibilities. If Aegywnn and another Guardian were to do battle, the results could be disastrous for the world. Of even greater concern was that such a conflict would call public attention to their clandestine order.
Ultimately, the council agreed on a more subtle course of action. They formed the Tirisgarde, an order of magi girded with relics and armaments that could diminish the Guardian’s power incredible powers. After years of training, these resourceful and gifted hunters set out to find Aegywnn and bring her back to Dalaran.
The Guardian eluded many of the Tirisgarde with ease. However, the hunters did succeed in finding Karazhan and reporting its location back to the council.
With Karazhan no longer safe, Aegywnn magically sealed off the tower from outsiders. She then set out to locate a new refuge – one that neither the council nor the Tirisgarde would ever find. After much consideration, she decided to build this stronghold in the ruins of ancient Suramar, deep beneath the sea. Her dwelling, the Guardian Sanctum, would stay hidden from the Tirisgarde for centuries.
The Last Guardian
45 Years Before the Dark Portal
Far from Stormwind, the Council of Tirisfal continued its tireless hunt for the renegade Guardian Aegwynn. Waves of unflagging Tirisgarde scoured the world to find Aegwynn and hold her accountable for her defiance.
Aegywnn, however, remained safer in her sanctum, deep within the sunken ruins of ancient Suramar. Only rarely did she emerge to walk the outside world. At times, she would contact the Council of Tirisfal and observe its activities. Much to her dismay, she found that its practice of interfering with politics had become more overt and troublesome. Now, the Council of Tirisfal was actively practicing statecraft.
It was during one of these sojourns that Aegwynn crossed paths with Nielas Aran, one of the most dogged and unrelenting Tirisgarde ever. He hounded the Guardian for months, using the enchanted artifacts at his command to nullify her magic and hamper her attempts to escape his grasp.
These fierce encounters became like a game of wills and wits between Neilas and Aegywnn. During their protracted duels, the opponents bantered back and forth, seeking insights into each other’s strengths and weaknesses. To Aegwynn’s surprise, she discovered that Nielas harbored misgivings about the Council of Tirisfal. He was well aware of the order’s political machinations – activities he did not condone.
Nielas realized that Aegywnn was not that traitorous rebel that the Council of Tirisfal had made her out to be. As he discerned more about the Guardian’s own motivations, he began to sympathize with her plight. Nielas also sensed that Aegwynn was wrestling with some unseen darkness in her soul. But for all of his brilliance, he would never know that this darkness was actually the lingering presences of Sargeras. Hoping to help Aegwynn overcome her struggle, Nielas laid down his arms and abandoned his hunt.
Before long, an unexpected love blossomed between the two former enemies. They agreed that they would work together to prevent the Council of Tirisfal from ever having control over another Guardian. Knowing she could not maintain her mantle of Guardianship forever, Aegwynn proposed a solution to Nielas. They would bear a child capable of inheriting Aegywnn’s Tirisfalen powers. Only then could a new Guardian arise free from the Council of Tirisfal’s manipulation.
Nielas readily agreed, seeing this plan as a redemptive act for Aegwynn. If she could not purge the darkness from within herself, then perhaps she could create an heir who would be free from her own personal burdens.
In time, Aegwynn gave birth to a son. She named him Medivh, or “Keeper of Secrets” in the high elven tongue. The infant possessed an incredible affinity for magic, a natural gift passed down from his parents. Aegwynn also locked her powers away within the boy’s spirit, where they would linger until Medivh reached maturity.
There was, however, something much darker in Medivh: the lurking spirit of Sargeras stirred in the child’s soul. Though Aegywnn did not know it, the demon lord has possessed the infant while he formed in her womb.
Aegwynn and Nielas searched far and wide for a safe place where Medivh could be raised. They ultimately settled on Stormwind due to its isolated location and tenuous ties with Dalaran and the other northern nations. There, Nielas became the official conjurer of Stormwind’s royal court.
Having secured a future for her son, Aegwynn left Medivh in the care of Nielas. He would educated and tutor the boy in the ways of the arcane arts until the time came when Medivh assumed the role of Guardian. Aegwynn herself departed Stormwind, retiring from her duties as Guardian. The long centuries had taken their toll on her, and she could bear no more. She disappeared from sight, but always, she would watch her beloved son from afar.
What became of Nielas Aran? How did young Medivh grapple with his Tirisfalen powers? To answer these questions and more, you must read World of Warcraft: Chronicle for yourself.