NVIDIA Announces BlizzCon 2009 All-Expenses Trip Contest

July 7, 2009 – Buy any qualifying NVIDIA GeForce graphics card between July 1, 2009 and August 1, 2009 and receive an entry code for a chance to win an all expenses paid trip to Blizzcon 2009 for you and a guest. The entire trip is valued up to $2400 USD!

But that’s not all. The same entry code is also good for one FREE digital download of the complete World of Warcraft Classic. This download includes a full install of the complete retail version of the game with unrestricted 30-day access to character classes, cities, quests, chat, and other features from World of Warcraft Classic.

Contest is open to all legal residents of the US, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Netherlands, Finland, Norway and India (excluding the state of Tamil Nadu) who have attained the age of majority under the laws of the country or state of residence as of the start of this promotion.

For complete contest details, rules and regulations, and additional information on how to enter through the mail without a qualifying product purchase, please visit: http://www.nzone.com/WoW. For additional information on Blizzcon 2009, please visit: http://www.blizzard.com/blizzcon.

The World of Warcraft bundle and code promotion will begin at 12:01 a.m. PST on July 1, 2009 and will end at 11:59:59 p.m. PST on August 1, 2009. All mail-in entries must be postmarked by 11:59:59 p.m. PST on July 15, 2009 AND received by 11:59:59 p.m. PST on August 1, 2009. Please refer to the full contest details at http://www.nzone.com/WoW.

South Seas Lore: The Broken Isles

During the last moments of Medivh’s life, while fighting Khadgar and Sir Lothar, Gul’dan reached out with his mind to learn from Medivh’s mind the location of the Tomb of Sargeras.

When Sir Lothar decapitated Medivh, Gul’dan was still linked mind-to-mind, thus causing Gul’dan to go into a coma for days.  By the time he awakened, he was under custody by the forces of Orgrimm Doomhammer, who had killed Blackhand, taking his mantle as new Warchief of the Horde.

Through deception, Gul’dan offered Doomhammer a new army of Death Knights risen with necromancy from the corpses of Humans.  Secretly, he had imbued the spirits of the slain Shadow Council’s orc warlocks into these human corpses.

During the Second War, Gul’dan betrayed Doomhammer taking the Twilight’s Hammer and the Stormreaver Clans from the war to travel by sea.  Gul’dan used powerful magic to rise an isle from the bottom of the ocean floor.

His ships arrived to what is now known as Stormreaver Bay. His destination was the Tomb of Sargeras.

This was the secret location where Magna Aegwynn had buried Sargeras’ avatar eight hundred years ago. An ancient Kaldorei temple beneath the waves of the Great Sea.

What lied within the Tomb of Sargeras would grant Gul’dan power, but instead he found death. The demons within protected the Tomb of Sargeras, and slayed Gul’dan and his followers.  On the outdoors, whoever survived, was majorly slain by Doomhammer’s forces who came to avenge the betrayal.  Because Gul’dan retreated his forces for this personal quest, the Horde lost the Second War.

To this day, we know Cho’gall survived the ordeal, as well as one of the Stormreavers known as Drak’Thul. Other Stormreaver hermits can be found throughout these isles too.

The next visit to the Tomb of Sargeras happened some time later, when Ner’zhul sent Teron Gorefiend through the Dark Portal to retrieve four items of power: The Eye of Dalaran, the Book of Medivh, the Skull of Gul’dan and the Scepter of Sargeras.  The latter obtained from the Tomb of Sargeras.—Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal (RTS) and World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal (Pocket Books)

In the Warcraft III: Frozen Throne, we also find out other Stormreavers survived the carnage.  The demons bound the souls of those Blackrock, Twilight’s Hammer and Stormreaver orcs that died there, and eternally replay their battle.  Though the fel enchantments binding their souls were destroyed by Maiev and her sentinels, there is no telling if the demons have restored what was undone.

Illidan and Lady Vashj came to the Tomb of Sargeras to retrieve the Eye of Sargeras, an artifact that Illidan used later in Dalaran to channel a spell aimed to shake Icecrown to its foundations in an attempt to destroy Ner’zhul the Lich King.

This earthquake is what caused the emergence of the Faceless Ones and the Forgotten One from the depths of Azjol-Nerub.

The Broken Isles is composed of four major islands and a few scattered smaller isles.  It is currently occupied by the Death Hiss Naga.  Goblins and their mercenaries have built settlements here lurking for any means of profit and merchantile opportunities. The Lostfin Murlocs tribe. The Makrura. Sea Giants. Hydras. Snapdragons, Dragon Turtles. Sea Turtles. All these may be found in the Broken Isles or within the temple.

Izal-Shurah is an ancient Kaldorei library. It is now a Makrura stronghold. Suramar city was formerly the home of Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind and the brothers Stormrage. Other locations in the Broken Isles, of importance, are the Boughs of Azshara which once was a fabled garden; and Arauk-Nashal.

The walls within the ancient Kaldorei temple where the Tomb of Sargeras is located, has various glyphs marked with Gul’dan’s blood. These tell the story of his last moments of life. Maiev Shadowsong abandoned her Sentinels and Naisha, a close friend, when Illidan used the Eye of Sargeras to cause an earthquake that collapsed some of the tunnels of the Tomb of Sargeras.

Whether we will find Naisha and her friends alive or as ghosts in World of Warcraft is unknown.  Drak’Thul may have rescued them. Or the Druids of the Talon and Dryads may have been able to help them survive. Only time will tell.

Cataclysm – Deciphering the DaVinci Code … a new playable race?

Today, I would like to wonder in amazement at the possibility that Community Managers in US and Europe are dying to tell, and to share with fans what is been brewed by the developers behind the veil of secrecy.  Maticus and I have been pondering a few ideas a few weeks ago, and this morning.  She brought up to me some of Wryxian’s signatures and comments knowing I am a lore crazed fan. [wonders to himself, if he is a major loser for having loregasms at age 36]—coughs—ahem, as I was saying …

I think we should listen and track down signatures by community managers and forum representatives.  One might find interesting things that might mean or not mean something.  Subliminal messages?  Puzzles right under our nose awaiting to be deciphered? Simple poetry without the purpose of hinting something about expansions?  Who knows.

What matters is that they are there, and it is our job to investigate, speculate, and why not, entertain with conspiracy theories. For instance, one of Wryxian’s previous signatures mentioned the Scythe of Elune. This is one mother of a questline that fans have been craving for a while aside from the Ashbringer storyline.  Is the next expansion allowing us to delve into the continuation of the Scythe of Elune questline? Or did Wryxian feel very poetic about it, or felt like playing mind-games with us poor lore fans? I can imagine an evil Wryxian puncturing a lore fan voodoo doll with pins to make us suffer—in delight. Suffer …delight?  That kinda doesn’t match, err. I’m not a sado, don’t get me wrong. (a disturbing sound plays in mind at the thought of that)

Blizzard Quote:
imageWryxian: “The lives of my fallen comrades will not be in vain, and I shall avenge their deaths using the Scythe of Elune.”—Wryxian signature

Recently, Wryxian shocked everyone who had ears to listen, or better phrased, eyes to read and understand in between lines.  This comment appeared on June 30th on the official forums, barely a day before I reported to have seen the trademark Cataclysm filed by Blizzard Entertainment on the US Trademark and Patent Office website. Hmm.

Blizzard Quote:
imageWryxian: As you can imagine, a crocolisk like me is also rather keen on the idea of a water based expansion. But maybe I could be somewhat subdued by some particularly large and opulent fountains. Mmm waterrrr.. glug, glug, glug. *swims away with a blissful tail wiggle*

Fans are discussing this topic, and have added their own conclusions and findings. For example, that quote above from Wryxian about opulent fountains sorta hints Gilneas.  Lon-ami cross-referenced Wryxian’s comment with what the Genn Graymane Copper Coin says.  This coin can be fished in Dalaran’s fountain:

Genn’s Copper Coin: “Pah, the fountains in Gilneas could grant ten times as many wishes as Dalaran’s!”

Bingo? Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson mentioned in our interview they had big-big plans for Gilneas.

The latest signature, fresh from the oven, by Wryxian will probably shock you, dumbfound you, and whatnot.  Is this really a poetry stunt with no meaning behind it?  Or do we have here an interesting puzzle of someone dying to tell fans something? You know, with BlizzCon about to hit our faces on August 21-22—you know, [whispers: an expansion announcement]

Blizzard Quote:
imageWryxian: ““I have ceased my senseless destruction of their homes and consumption of the young. How little I knew then of the great civilization that I was destroying.”“

I hate and love puzzles. Specially games that give me a challenge.  In this case, I am a lore fan that also loves puzzles, so the lore fan in me can’t but drool all over at those poetic words.  “I have ceased my senseless destruction of their homes and consumption of the young.”  What in the world destroys homes, and eats young? “How little I knew then of the great civilization that I was destroying.”—Civilizations?  Hmm.

Let’s change the wording a bit. Instead of young, let’s change it to young races. Considering the world civilizations put together—what makes sense out of this phrase is if it came from a dragonflight.  Dragons observe and monitor younger races and civilizations. Let’s go deeper with the idea that this phrase is from a dragon-like creature.  What if we are getting here a hint about a new playable race in the next World of Warcraft expansion?

Ohh, but wait … didn’t Tom Chilton just had a interview where he said this? [on page 2 of 4]

Blizzard Quote:
Chilton: An example I could throw out there would be, in Blackwing Lair we had the drakonid race. We always looked at those and said, oh that would be a pretty cool player race – it would be cool to play as one of those guys. There’s not a lot there as far as, where did they come from and what are they? But they are in the world and it wouldn’t be completely inconceivable that a player would end up being able to play that, and we could continue to expand on the depth of that race and that sort of race.”

Holy conspiracy theory, Batman !!!

What if the signature is a puzzle hinting a new playable race will be announced at BlizzCon, and it is the Drakonids?

Would it be Black Drakonids?  Blue Drakonids?  Green Drakonids?  Or … Chromatic Drakonids?  That is the dilemma.

The Blue Dragonflight is now leaderless.  Malygos is dead.  There is no telling what the blue dragonflight might do from this moment forward.  Will they appoint a new leader such as Kalecgos?  Or will they simply decide to follow their own guts? For example, Malygos irresponsibly start the Nexus War to wipe out all mages for their abuse of magic, without measuring the consequences of the power he was diverting from the ley lines in the process.  Many mages of all races died.  What if the blue dragonflight feels responsible and wishes to help heal the young races as a way to repay their leader’s disgrace? Enter the blue drakonid playable race.

On the other hand, after raiding Blackrock Mountain, we killed Nefarian.  Onyxia died earlier.  And Lady Sinestra probably died in World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon (Pocket Books).  What would the surviving Black Drakonids do with no leaders?  Well, Deathwing is lurking beneath Grim Batol, but he doesn’t even care about his dragonflight, the filthy little #$%@.

What if they go Yoda on themselves and strive for a new path: “I have ceased my senseless destruction of their homes and consumption of the young. How little I knew then of the great civilization that I was destroying.”—and decide to join the Alliance.  The one they carelessly destroyed following Nefarian. Reflect on this. Let us know if you share the madness.  We will sure find out at BlizzCon.

Update: Another fan Orcruin and Lon-ami cross-referenced the signature about civilizations with a note you can find in-game inside the Message in a Bottle.  You can loot an item named Damp Diary – Day 512.  Lon-ami says it is a reference to the isle named Tel Abim, which is located in the South Seas.

Join this discussion in our forums.

South Seas Lore: Plunder Isle

Plunder Isle has been the Bloodsail Bucanneer pirates stronghold for nearly a decade.  It is ruled by Duke Falrevere.  These are the archenemies of the Blackwater Raiders Pirates in Booty Bay.  The Bloodsail are bad guys full of ruffians and assassins.

Little is known about Duke Falrevere except he was a former Lordaeron noble.  His wife’s fate is unknown—just that she was in Kul’Tiras.  His daughter, Jesse Falrevere, is commodore of the Bloodsail Buccaneers.  Duke lost his son Magrann Falrevere when a cannon shot by a Blackwater Raider ship sunk his ship.

Duke Falrevere was successful businessman who owned warships and merchant ships in Kul’Tiras.  He was a rival of Admiral Daelin Proudmoore.  There were major differences between both men. Duke was a human supremacist who did not believe in the alliance with elves and dwarves, or any other races.

During the Third War, a dwarf arrived on a gryphon and aboarded the Devil Shark (Duke’s main battleship) requesting help.  When the Devil Shark reached Drisburg on the north side of Kul’Tiras, he saw the Scourge raiding the place. The chances to win such a battle were not worth in his eyes. He wouldn’t sacrifice the lives of his men for mere gnomes and dwarves settled there.

He blamed the invasion of the Scourge and the destruction of most of Lordaeron to the elves and dwarves. Some of his men abandoned him to die for Lordaeron against the Scourge.  Others remained with him and shortly after built the Bloodsail Stronghold in Plunder Isle.

Personally, I’m not sure how canon this is, because in-game we see a few races have high ranking positions among the Bloodsail Buccaneers on the fleet found south of Booty Bay: Captain Stillwater (Gnome), Ironpatch (Orc), Garr Salthoof (Tauren), Captain Keelhaul (Goblin).  They have various warlocks that summon imps and succubus.  How much has the Bloodsail Buccaneers have fallen under the influence of the Burning Legion and dreadlords is not known.

More after the break.

Duke has four Commodores: Commodore Jessi Falrevere, Commodore Lester Zank (Human Warlock), Commodore Wallace Boltscrew and Wallace’s lover Annetta Crank.  Both Wallace and Anneta are engineers and have built a small fleet of submarines to serve the Bloodsail Buccanners.

Duke plans one day to invade Kul’Tiras and become its new ruler.

Plunder Isle is found east of Isle of Kezan, and south of Zandalar Isle, and southwest of Booty Bay.  It’s a tropical isle with palm trees, and tropical forests, and rocky coasts.

The Bloodsail Hold is on the west coast of Plunder Isle.  The hold has cannons aiming to the sea to defend from any fleet attempting to invade their territory. On the east side of Plunder Isle, the coast has Murloc villages.

To the northeast, the Basilisks inhabit the Den of the Cold Eye, a series of caves.  Meeting their gaze has doomed many adventurers to become crystal stone statues.—summary from the pages of World of Warcraft: Lands of Mystery by White Wolf Publishing.

You may find in the pages of WarCraft Legends Vol. 4 (Tokyopop) a story by Dan Jolley—based on the Bloodsail Buccaneers.

Wouldn’t you love an all-out Bloodsail Buccaneers vs. Blackwater Raiders Battleground?  Imagine scripted NPCs offering daily quests that you must accomplish during your PvP encounters. You can either man Battleship cannons, fight old-Booty-Bay-PvP-style, maybe you could mount submarines like you do Siege Vehicles. While the submarine pilot can shoot torpedoes, another player in the same submarine could man a turret to shoot down any flying machines attacking the submarine.

You must take control of an Oil-Refinery. If you take control of the Shipyard, you can have access to new Battleships. Instead of killing the opposite faction leader, the aim of this battleground would be the first to annihilate the Bloodsail Buccaneers battleships wins the event. For that you would have to PvP your way to control the shipyards.

You also need to eliminate the opposing faction battleships, submarines and flying machines before they get to the Bloodsail Commodore. Who doesn’t love some Pirate battle action? World of Warcraft meets Pirates of the Caribbean.

Share with fans your own personal ideas about a Pirate-like Battleground. Let’s hear your creative ideas.



South Seas Lore: Possible Raid Bosses

The South Seas expansion is not merely about raiding a particular(s) corrupted Goblin Trade Prince. The lore importance of it is cataclysmic by default.  There are many bosses already established either in previous games, or printed books.

The main boss of World of Warcraft was no doubt Onyxia and Nefarian.  All quests for Horde and Alliance led there.  The Alliance had been in chaos due to lack of military support from Stormwind. Each town fending by themselves alone.  Onyxia turned out to be behind the disappearance of King Varian Wrynn (as seen in the World of Warcraft comic book ongoing series) and behind the turmoil in Stormwind, as she was revealed to be Lady Katrana Prestor in human disguise.

The Burning Crusade expansion was focused on the final boss: Illidan, in the Black Temple.  As well as his servants: Lady Vashj and Kael’thas Sunstrider.  However, at the closure of this expansion we had the Sunwell Plateau dungeon which featured the summoning of Kil’jaeden and the sacrifice of Anveena (the avatar of the Sunwell).

Finally, the Wrath of the Lich King expansion is centered around two figures: Yogg-Saron in Ulduar, and the final boss Arthas the Lich King in the Icecrown Citadel.

However, who would be the main bosses in the South Seas if this was the next expansion? Below you can read some of the main possible candidates.

Once upon a time, there was a single massive continent known as Kalimdor. The Queen of the Night Elves was loved and venerated. Her arrogance, vanity, and thirst for power over other lesser civilizations turned out to be her own downfall.  She and a select few of Night Elves known as the Highborne considered themselves above all other civilizations, and even above other Night Elves.  They wanted to purify the world. Their magical experiments upon the Well of Eternity was sensed by the renegade Titan Sargeras, lord of the Burning Legion.  Sargeras communicated through the Well with the Highborne, and Queen Azshara agreed to serve Sargeras with his promise for purification of their world and a golden age.  The Highborne doubled their spellwork efforts to open a portal fueled by the Well of Eternity to allow Sargeras entry into Azeroth.

With the help of the Ancients and the Dragonflights, the Night Elves—led by Malfurion Stormrage, Tyrande and Jarod Shadowsong—halted the summoning of Sargeras. This destabilized the highborne’s spellwork and the raw magical forces upon the collapsing portal caused the Well of Eternity to implode.  A cataclysm ensued, sundering the land.  The massive land of Kalimdor broke. The sea flooded in to fill in the gaps, and great masses of land were now underwater—forming the Great Sea. A permanent scar of this cataclysm remains even now after ten thousand years: the Maelstrom.  It is the former Well of Eternity, which still exists beneath the ocean floor—according to Prospector Brann Bronzebeard.

Queen Azshara and the Highborne were trapped in their palace underwater. The Queen casted a forcefield to protect herself and her followers from drowning. The effort was overwhelming, and for the first time, a drop of sweat crossed along her forehead. In that desperate moment, the whispers of the Old gods reached Queen Azshara.  Should she obeyed and served the Old gods, she and her highborne would be spared from death.  She accepted. Suddenly their spines were flooded by a searing hotness, and their features began to change.  The once loved Queen Azshara and her highborne were transformed, blessed by the might of the Old gods.  Enter the Naga.

Many fans wrongly think that Illidan awoke the naga—during the Warcraft III: Frozen Throne (RTS) cinematic.  They weren’t sitting there slumbering for ten thousand years.  Proof of that comes during a quest in Borean Tundra.  A naga siren by the Riplash Strand is held captive by the Kvaldir.  She offers a quest to help her stop the Kvaldir’s efforts who plan to free a Kraken beneath the waters near the Riplash Ruins.  The naga siren confirms that Queen Azshara imprisoned this Kraken 500 years ago.  Which means she has been ruling Nazjatar beneath the Maelstrom all this time, probably shaping the history of Azeroth one way or another under the instructions of her masters: the Old gods.

In World of WarCraft RPG: Shadow and Light, Queen Azshara is represented slightly different to her Naga (former Highborne) subordinates. She looks like Medusa (snakes instead of hair). From her waist down, her body resembles that of an octopus. She is a living arcane battery absorbing the raw power of the broken Well of Eternity. The naga and probably other obedient races channel her excess power through faith and prayers which she bestows and grants to her followers. Otherwise, she would be overwhelmed by so much power.—read more in Warcraft: War of the Ancients Archive

Neltharion the Earth-Warder had fallen to the whispers of the Old gods, and betrayed the Dragon Aspects.  He deviced a golden disc shaped off his own blood by goblin blacksmiths, and offered it to the dragonflights to imbue in it part of their own powers to be used as a weapon against the Burning Legion. However, Neltharion used the Demon Soul for his own benefit and decimated the Blue dragonflight, many Night Elves and demons in a display of power. Gone was Neltharion. Now he would be known as Deathwing—read more in Warcraft: War of the Ancients Archive (Pocket Books). You heard of him in Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal (RTS), WarCraft: Day of the Dragon and in World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal (Pocket Books).

The last time we heard of Deathwing was in November 2008 in the pages of World of WarCraft: Night of the Dragon. He has been hiding and scheming these past 20 years after the Second War. His hideout is right under the nose of the dragonflights, where no one would thought possible he would be hiding.  Deep beneath the volcanic magma under Grim Batol. With the failed experiments of Nefarian and Lady Sinestra, he finally created a powerful breed of dragons … the Twilight Dragonflight.  This is why we fought Sartharion in the Obsidian Sanctuary beneath the Wyrmrest Temple.

On February 2009, during the New York Comic Con, I interviewed Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson. (watch the video). They confirmed there are plans for Deathwing to be a raid boss in World of Warcraft (MMO). Could he be one of the bosses in the South Seas expansion?  Mount Kajaro in Isle of Kezan looks like the perfect Deathwing Lair.  Or is he part of the source of the Nightmare in the Emerald Dream? That’s yet to be seen. We got the hint in the War of the Ancients novel that Deathwing is able to enter the Emerald Dream at will, undetected by Ysera.

The truth of who is behind the Nightmare will be revealed in the upcoming novel titled World of Warcraft: Stormrage by Richard A. Knaak—according to Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson.

The Twilight Hammer has been constant throughout all the World of Warcraft expansions one way or another. They were at the Master’s Glaive—the remains of a dead Old god.  They were in Blackfathom Deeps to bring back Aku’mai—the favored pet of the Old gods.  They were at Blackrock Depths preparing the way for Ragnaros. They were in Silithus attempting to summon Al’akir? These are the Elemental Lieutenants of the Old gods: Ragnaros the Firelord, Therazane the Stonemother, Al’akir the Windlord and Neptulon the Tidehunter. These were exiled and imprisoned by the Titans outside Azeroth in the Elemental Plane.

However, mages have been able to summon elementals.  Emperor Thaurissan summoned Ragnaros accidentally three hundred years ago in Blackrock Mountains. And the Twilight Hammer are attempting to bring doom to the world by summoning the Lieutenants of the Old gods, to help in the process of releasing the Old gods from the places the Titans chained them.

Neptulon sounds like a good potential boss to be fought in the South Seas expansion, unless he is reserved for a future Elemental Plane expansion.

This one will thrill many lore fans. He was thought dead in WarCraft II (RTS) and even in the recent World of WarCraft: Beyond the Dark Portal (Pocket Books) where he got two axe strikes on the chest.

The first sign that he was not dead came through our interview with Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson back on February 2009.  Neilson said Cho’gall was not dead.

Cho’gall appeared barely a few weeks later on the World of Warcraft comics book (Wildstorm Comics) in issue # 15-20.  He is the leader of the Twilight’s Hammer Cult. In the comic, he is behind a plot to resurrect C’Thun in Ahn’Qiraj after we raided it and killed him.

Cho’gall is following a prophecy found in Outland about the son of Medivh and Garona—Me’dan.  This child has great power, and is prophesized to either be the savior of Azeroth or its doom.  Cho’gall used a captured Med’an to become host of C’thun.  The attempt failed as Meryl and Valeera Sanguinar came to the rescue.

Will we find Cho’gall in the South Seas attempting to summon Neptulon, freeing the remaining Old god, or worse yet … bringing back Sargeras?

Is he dead? The answer is no.  Chris Metzen said in our interview there were big plans for Sargeras in World of Warcraft. When? It’s a matter of time. Is his avatar in the Tomb of Sargeras?  Or was his body retrieved by the Twilight Hammer during the Second War?  After all, Cho’gall has been alive all this time.  Or was Sargeras’ avatar retrieved by Queen Azshara and the naga for some nefarious plan? If so, are the Old gods behind the resurrection of Sargeras? Hmm …

Finally, another event that could be a cataclysm to the world of Azeroth is the release of one of the Old god from his prison.  We have seen that Ulduar was the prison of Yogg-Saron.  Could Uldum and Uldaman be Old gods prisons too?  Did anyone even thought about that? Has anyone thought why the Well of Eternity was created?  Was it only and exclusively to create lifeforms in Azeroth as one of the Titans experiments?  Or was there some other reason why they built the Well of Eternity?  Why doesn’t other seeded worlds reshaped by the Titans have their own Well of Eternity?  Why Azeroth?  Could the Well of Eternity be rather a prison for the most powerful of the Old gods, and used as a device to channel arcane magic into Azeroth in a good and controlled way to nurture the environment created by the Titans?

Remember in Warcraft: War of the Ancients (Pocket Books) when that long tendril grabbed Krasus?  It seemed as if the tentacle came straight from within the imploding Well of Eternity, as the cataclysm of the Great Sundering was happening.  Could it be that the Well of Eternity was all along a prison for the most powerful of the Old gods? Hmm …

That would fit with the new introduced lore that the Old gods are necrophotic symbiotes, and that the Titans preferred to imprison the Old gods instead of killing them because it would kill the hosts: the Vrykul, Earthen, and other species that were affected by the Curse of Flesh.  What if the Well of Eternity was used as a catalyst to siphon the Old gods’ arcane power in a way that would benefit the Titans to nurture life in Azeroth?

With the World of Warcraft comic book showing us that Cho’gall attempted to resurrect the Old god C’thun, we have been hinted that you can’t really kill an Old god.  His spirit is still there in Ahn’Qiraj.  We saw Cho’gall placing Med’an (son of Garona and Medivh) over C’Thun’s dead body to use him as new host.  What if killing an Old god is instead freeing them from their prison?  Gasp, so now we have C’Thun and Yogg-Saron killed by us.  Or are they truly dead? Did we free them accidentally from their prison by slaying their physical form?

Regardless of which answers are true or incorrect, an Old god might be one of the final bosses to tackle in a South Seas expansion.

Hope this was an informative and entertaining conspiracy theory for the lore fans and non-lore fans visiting us on a daily basis.  Check us back tomorrow for the continuation of our South Seas Lore series.

South Seas Lore: Isle of Kezan

With the speculation on the recent trademark filed by Blizzard Entertainment running rampant to be possibly the next World of Warcraft expansion, I wanted to talk about the different isles of the South Seas, which may be found near the Maelstrom. In this series, the first isle on our spotlight is the main hub of transportation of the South Seas connecting with Kalimdor, the Eastern Kingdoms and Northrend.  The seat of power of the Trade Princes and their Trade Coalition.  The homeland of the goblins.

Isle of Kezan is a tropical island with palm trees, forests and active volcanoes spewing lava that flows down toward the ocean.  This is the southernmost isle among the isles within the South Seas, and straight south of the Maelstrom.

The Isle of Kezan is the homeland of the goblin race. They went to war long ago against the original inhabitants of the isle: the Trolls; and claimed the isle.

The goblins have no king or ruler.  Instead, they are ruled by five Trade Princes that lord over their merchant empire.  This group of princes are known as the Trade Coalition.

Beneath the rule and hierarchy of the Trade Princes and the Trade Coalition follow the Barons who oversee their trade princes’ lands, business and Trade Fleets.

There are entrepeneurs known as Moguls. These run several businesses for profit, such as the Venture Company who are corrupt and greedy regardless of the harm they inflict nature through deforestation, and mining. The Venture Co. uses slaves and mercenaries. They are led by Mogul Razdunk (Tinker and Techno-Mage).  This guy looks like a raid boss. Mogul Razdunk mounts a Steam Armor he operates from within the robot. Another known and respected group is the Tinker’s Union who profit from alchemy and mechanical gadgets.

Locations within Isle of Kezan:  Undermine, Mount Kajaro, Bilgewater Port, Voodress Village, Edj Port.

From what can be seen or distinguished in the Isle of Kezan map provided by Blizzard Entertainment within the Burning Crusade Collector’s Edition Behind the Scenes DVD, the volcanoes are located to the south.  The Rain Forest to the west.

Bilgewater Port: It is on the northwest coast of Isle of Kezan.  It has a boat to Kul’Tiras, a boat to Valgarde and another boat to Ratchet.  All merchantile activities, and transportation is operated by the Bilgewater Cartel

Edj Port: This port is located on the northeast coast of Isle of Kezan.  It is operated by the Blackwater Raiders pirates. Players can aboard a zeppelin from Isle of Kezan to Booty Bay. The goblin Baron Revilgaz controls this port and business and works for the Steamwheedle Cartel. He can be found in Booty Bay in-game.  The Blackwater Raiders operate outside the influence of the Trade Coalition.  Their goods are of contraband origin.

Voodress Village: This is the last troll settlement in Isle of Kezan. They were formerly the rulers of the isle before the Goblins overthrew them.  What little survivors are left, are now in this place.  The goblins no longer care to war on them, and have focused on their marketing schemes.  Voodress Village is near the Mount Kajaro.

Mount Kajaro: It is the biggest volcano in Isle of Kezan. It is considered a sacred place by the trolls.                                                                           

Undermine: It is the capital city of the goblins in Isle of Kezan.  Most of Undermine, as the name implies, is underground.  It was built within the natural volcanic tunnels and tubes. Undermine looks more like a raiding dungeon by its description. The goblins have built tunnels of glass underwater on the sea floor to connect to other areas.

The Undermine capital is divided in areas. While you may find the Trade Princes in palaces, in other areas you will find slave pens.  The Venture Company can be found here too.  Another possible boss could be Zovzik. He is an alchemist who created the Hobgoblins.  He experimented on goblins who grew grotesquely in size. These Hobgoblins lost their intellect, and are used to fight in the front lines. They only live for three years.

This bit of info is a personal summary from the pages of World of Warcraft RPG: Lands of Mystery by White Wolf Publishing.  The book is entirely narrated from the point of view of Prospector Brann Bronzebeard.  Since all the Northrend content in this book published back on 2005—two years before even Wrath of the Lich King was announced, has held true now that the expansion is out, I would have to think that all the info thereby about the South Seas will stand true and canon (unless updated) whenever Blizzard Entertainment releases the South Seas expansion.

Related topics:

Tokyopop Celebrates Trag Highmountain NPC Appearance in PTR 3.2

What a surprise!  Blizzplanet is mentioned in the latest Tokyopop article. This is about the third time.  A few months ago, a Tokyopop editor reached me to add a quote of mine on the pages of WarCraft Legends to recommend the manga to fellow WarCraft Lore fans.

Tokyopop Production Artist & Creative Consultant for Blizzard Titles Michael Paolilli posted on the official site an article where Tokyopop is celebrating the inclusion of one of their published characters in the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King PTR 3.2.  Trag Highmountain originally appeared in a story by Richard A. Knaak titled WarCraft: The Sunwell Trilogy among other manga characters that jumped into the Burning Crusade expansion such as Kalecgos, Anveena, Krasus, Jorad Mace, Tyri and Dar’Khan Dathir.

Trag Highmountain is now an undead tauren seeking revenge against Arthas the Lich King for his unwilling undeath state. Things don’t go as planned, and Trag is forced to serve as a Death Knight leading a raid upon the noble Taunka.  Beyond that, find out what happens in WarCraft Legends Vol. 2-4 for the story and its conclusion.  What matters now is that Trag Highmountain is a new NPC introduced in the PTR 3.2.  He can be found in the entrance to the Argent Tournament Grounds in Icecrown.

Michael says the following in the article: “Well now Trag Highmountain from Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy and the 4 part series in Warcraft: Legends has also joined the game.  He is being added as part of Call of the Crusade, and can be found near the entrance to the Argent Tournament grounds in Icecrown.  You can see video of Trag in full polygonal glory here, courtesy of wegame.com and Blizzplannet.”—in reference to our recent video of Trag Highmountain in the PTR 3.2.

Get your hands on the WarCraft Legends manga at a bookstore near you or online.  They are canon and they are developed by Tokyopop and Blizzard Entertainment’s Creative Team.  Here are some of the Blizzard developers involved in each of the WarCraft Legends volumes: Chris Metzen (Senior Vice President of Creative Development), Jeff Donais (Director, Creative Dev.), Shawn Carnes (Lead Developer, Licensed Products), Rob Tokar (Publishing Lead), Micky Neilson (Story Consultation and Development), Glenn Rane (Art Director), Cory Jones (Development and Licensing), Jason Bischoff (Associate Licensing Manager), Samwise Didier, James Waugh, Tommy Newcomer and the lore guru Evelyn Fredericksen.

Next time you hear someone say Warcraft Legends and StarCraft Frontline mangas are not canon, pwn them good.  Not only are all these Blizzard developers involved deep in the elaboration of each of its stories, but the characters can be found in the World of Warcraft MMO as NPCs with quests.

The recent WarCraft Legends Volume 4 (available now) has a story by Christie Golden titled “A Warrior Made” (Part 1) featuring Thrall’s mother: Draka.  The upcoming Warcraft Legend Vol. 5 contains “A Warrior Made” Part 2 by Christie Golden and Blizzard Entertainment’s lore guru Evelyn Fredericksen debuts in the series with a story to be yet revealed.

PTR 3.2 – Thrall and King Varian Arrive to the Coliseum Video

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King PTR 3.2 had a patch update a few days ago.  Blizzard is adding bits of content on each patch update.  At this point, the Coliseum dungeons are still closed.  However, we get to see a special event that replays itself every 20 minutes or so.  Thrall and Garrosh Hellscream land on the Argent Tournament Grounds from the area the goblins are located, and walk toward the western side of the Coliseum. There they meet Highlord Tirion Fordring.  A few minutes later, on the opposite side (northeast), King Varian Wrynn and Lady Jaina Proudmoore spawn with Stormwind Guards and walk to the same spot to meet Highlord Tirion Fordring.

They have come to be spectators of the Argent Tournament efforts in the Coliseum.  We see references to the Secrets of Ulduar Cinematic, in which Garrosh Hellscream and King Varian Wrynn clash within the walls of the Violet Citadel in Dalaran.  Only Rhonin was able to disrupt their battle. It’s nice to see continuity play out in-game with these lore events.  We have a video to show you the arrival of King Varian and Thrall to the Coliseum.

New Expansion Might be Announced at BlizzCon 2009

VideoGamer held an interview with World of Warcraft Game Director Tom Chilton as a follow up to their Leipzig coverage.  In this interview Tom Chilton confirms their plan for a yearly WoW expansion stands correct.  The South Seas, the Maelstrom and the Emerald Dream, (and can I say Gilneas hinted?) have pop into the radar through Chilton’s own lips.  So … a yearly expansion (check) … the south seas (check). See you at BlizzCon fellas.

Blizzard Quote:
VideoGamer.com: The first expansion was set in Outland, the second in Northrend, which was a little closer to home. Is there anywhere else left on the original map that can accommodate an expansion or does it have to be somewhere foreign?

TC: No I don’t think it has to be anywhere completely foreign yet. There are parts of the map that we have left ambiguous and unexplored. There are parts of Eastern Kingdoms and Azeroth that haven’t been filled out yet. Out there in the South Seas there are islands, there’s out where the Maelstrom is.

There’s still quite a bit of land mass. We keep referring to the Emerald Dream, which is maybe not exactly in Azeroth, but is sort of tied to it in some way or another. But there are definitely places in Azeroth itself that are close to home that haven’t been filled out yet, so there’s more room for that sort of thing.

We recently unearthed a new trademark by Blizzard that might or not tie-in with the theme of a Maelstrom and South Seas expansion.

We interviewed Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson last February, where they said there were plans for Gilneas, and talked about the upcoming World of Warcraft: Stormrage book which hits bookstores on February 2010. It deals with the Nightmare and the Emerald Dream.

The stars are aligning. (sits in yoga-position and hums).

Image from World of Warcraft RPG: Lands of Mystery.

SDCC 2009: Sideshow Collectibles Might Announce New Diorama

The San Diego Comic Con 2009 runs through Thursday, July 22 to Sunday, July 26.  You will find Sideshow Collectibles at Booth # 1929.  I am somewhat close with the Sideshow Collectibles representatives and keep in contact a few times throughout the year.  During a mini-Q&A I had with Sideshow Collectibles CEO Greg Anzalone and the Production Manager Brant Bridges, the latter said:

Brant: Yes, we are hoping to do more Blizzard products.  Nothing in the immediate future, but we do have some ambitions.

A few weeks ago, when I asked Sideshow Collectibles if they were to unveil a new Diorama this year at the San Diego Comic Con, I got a very interesting response that might or not mean something is brewing in the house of ideas. (expensive ideas by the way, lol)

The answer was: “We can

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