Blizzcon 2009 approaches rapidly in 10 days. About a month ago, I found at the Trademark Office website that Blizzard filed a new trademark titled Cataclysm. I submitted it to the press and it has spread globally.
Lot of speculations have birthed since then. I have written my share of articles in the past weeks supporting the theory that Cataclysm refers to a World of Warcraft expansion based in the South Seas and the Maelstrom. As well as the Emerald Dream. Both as a combo.
I remind you the Burning Crusade introduced a combo: Outland, Quel’Thalas and Azuremyst.
In previous articles I mentioned the hologram of the world of Azeroth in the Halls of Lightning by Loken’s room. Which can also be found at the Planetary hall in Ulduar. You can see a screenshot here.
In that image you can see Kalimdor is broken nearly in half. Most of The Barrens, Dustwallow Marsh, Mulgore and some of Stonetalon Mountains are represented as a crater that sunk underwater.
However, amidst that huge crater lies an island. What could be tall enough as to not be submerged underwater with everything else? Thunderbluff. Who do we know lives in Thunderbluff that has ties with the Old gods? The Grimtotem tribe. Their leader? Magatha Grimtotem.
As read in the Tauren History, Cenarius taught the Tauren druidism long ago. However, when Cenarius abandoned them, who we know as the Grimtotem tribe fell to the old whispers. Everyone knows nowadays that’s in reference to the Old gods.
There are other hints that support the theory behind Cataclysm, beyond the fact there was a Sundering 10,000 years in the past. Ralo’shan the Eternal Watcher in Silithus mentioned a new sundering that originates from the nightmare.
Malfurion revealed to Remulos in Moonglade the Nightmare’s source is the Old gods. Thus Ralo’shan gave us a hint that the second Sundering will originate from the Emerald Dream.
Then we have the quote from World of Warcraft: Arthas (novel by Christie Golden) where Arthas the Lich King had a vision of the near future, a precognition. In it he saw possibly Nazjatar rise from the depths of the Maelstrom to the surface of the sea. He saw Cenarius in the Emerald Dream’s Nightmare. And lastly, a cataclysm—read more.
The mountains themselves came to life, taking giant strides, crushing everything luckless enough to cross their paths. With each mammoth footfall, the world seemed to tremble and shake.
Followers and non-followers of the World of Warcraft comic book should check us back this Monday at 5pm EST for our update. Things are getting exciting with the recent introduction of Medivh and Garona’s son: Med’an. Glimpses into what may happen down the line in upcoming WoW expansions, and the introduction of various key NPCs into the MMO: the new Council of Tirisfal.
Speculation: Is the rebirth of the Council of Tirisfal the platform to introduce our journey into other worlds to fight the Burning Legion at their own backyard? Is the new Council of Tirisfal involved in the staging plan that will send us through the portals scattered throughout Outland to reach other worlds? (Reminder: Metzen revealed at BlizzCon 2005 there were plans for at least 7 new worlds accessible through the portals created by Ner’zhul. Illidan sealed them in Warcraft III: Frozen Throne, but with the betrayer defeated, adventurers may access these portals to reach other worlds that have fallen to the Burning Legion. According to the WoW RPG: Shadow and Light, we might find rebel factions in those worlds as allies to fight the Burning Legion).
It is highly possible that Turalyon and Alleria may be stranded in one of these worlds if they escaped the destruction of Draenor through one of the portals.
So far we have been hinted of new worlds beyond Azeroth, and Outland. The World of Warcraft: Rise of the Horde showed us a background story of Velen, Archimonde and Kil’jaeden in their homeworld: Argus. World of Warcraft Classic introduced a Warlock quest to summon their Dreadsteed mount. It involved a ritual where demons pour into the western-wing of Dire Maul. The world Xoroth is mentioned which is rumored to be the Nathrezim (Dreadlords) homeworld. Whether it is or not the same world is unknown, but Mal’Ganis flees to his homeworld through a portal during an Onslaught Harbor quest (Watch our video).
There is another scene in Death’s Door, in Blade’s Edge Mountains where an Eredar named Baelmon the Hound-Master summons one of those giant two-headed dog-like demons: Void Hounds.
Baelmon: “Make ready the chambers, another ally will soon join our ranks! Our ally has arrived! Clear the way to the materialization chamber!”
The second portal in-game is in the western-side of Zangarmarsh dubbed the Portal Clearing.
The third portal in-game is located in the Twilight Ridge, on the western edge of Nagrand, high in the mountains and can only be accessed with a flying mount. This portal is surrounded by the Shadow Council orcs and ogres, an Eredar and other demons. They are attempting to activate and re-open the portal. This gate will allow players one day to access another world that has been overrun by the Burning Legion.
Aside from these three portals already existent in-game, Chris Metzen revealed in 2005 there were plans to add four more portals in Outland in undetermined locations. Among other worlds that have been directly mentioned or indirectly implied in certain World of Warcraft quests is also the homeworld of the Worgen. These were summoned into Azeroth from another plane by Arugal and by the night elf Velinde Starsong who was given the Scythe of Elune. It is unknown what world they come from. The Elemental Plane is somewhere in the Twisting Nether. It was built by the Pantheon of the Titans to hold the Lieutenants of the Old gods (the Elemental Lords) isolated from Azeroth.
For those with sharp eyes, you can see many worlds monitored by Loken in the Halls of Lightning. And there is also the planetary hall in Ulduar displaying various floating worlds through holograms. How many worlds are displayed in Ulduar? Seven worlds. The exact amount of worlds Chris Metzen revealed are planned for future expansions of World of Warcraft. Blizzard is clearly hinting at us in the Planetary Hall what to expect in the long lifespan of World of Warcraft. Future Expansions will be aimed to set our journey into the stars.
New challenges. Other Titan seeded races. More Titans to fight. Otherworldly Old gods and their servants across the sky—remember Harbinger Skyriss (the Qiraji) imprisoned in Tempest Keep: Arcatraz? One of Skyriss’ clones says: “We span the universe, as countless as the stars!” This is what A’dal the Sha’tar naaru says in the quest titled Harbinger of Doom: “Prince Kael’thas has chosen his warden poorly, and now the entities that we kept locked up within the Arcatraz are breaking free. One in particular, a servant of the Old Gods known as Harbinger Skyriss, seeks to usher in his masters’ vision of conquering all of the worlds in the universe, you must not allow him to escape. Return to Tempest Keep, enter the Arcatraz, and slay Harbinger Skyriss before it is too late! “
We might encounter Demons not aligned with the Burning Legion with their own agendas—Altrius the Sufferer (a demon hunter) revealed a bit of lore in the quest titled Against All Odds about these rogue demons: “Some demons pledge allegiance to no one but themselves. A true enemy of demons finds and destroys his prey regardless of affiliation, however. The demon Xeleth – a Legion defector – was once worshipped as a god by primitive swamp creatures in Zangarmarsh. When Draenor was nearly destroyed, he retreated into a slumber deep beneath Marshlight Lake. Find the portal at the lake and plant this spear into the ground.”
This Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne video shows the single-player campaign where Illidan seals the portals of Ner’zhul that allowed the Burning Legion to send reinforcements to Magtheridon. Illidan sealed these portals with the help of Kael’Thas, Lady Vashj, Akama and his draenei (Click on the zoom-in button for a full-screen view).
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.
The Balnir Farmstead has a past mystery … a place that holds a dark secret that no one but Prince Arthas Menethil knows. A secret that would be dragged within for years. A secret that would forever damn his soul.
Read our preview of World of Warcraft: Arthas, Rise of the Lich King.
Watch our video interview with Chris Metzen & Micky Neilson about Arthas, Rise of the Lich King and WoW: Stormrage
My copy arrived today by mail. It is now official. Garona is half-draenei according to World of Warcraft # 15. For the first time, the official comic book has a Cast of Characters section at the back, on the last page. The profile for Garona says:
“An orc-draenei half-breed, trained from childhood as an assassin.”
Many years ago, ex-WoW Community Manager Katricia had a slip of tongue and claimed Garona to be half-draenei. This has been a long debated topic among lore scholars. But now the debate has been put to rest. The return of Garona and the revelation of her half-human son has made the comic book become a magnet for World of Warcraft lore enthusiasts. The new story arc has made this comic book very interesting. You should subscribe or pick this issue soon to get hooked to the series. Those wondering who Meryl is, this is his profile:
“A powerful undead mage , he has survived for thousands of years by the strength of his own magic. An original member of the now defunct Council of Tirisfal, he is now Med’an’s guardian and mentor.”
From the creative minds of Wildstorm’s World of Warcraft comic book writer Walter Simonson (Mighty Thor) and Chris Metzen, Blizzard has released a loregasmic preview teaser of World of Warcraft # 15. After King Varian Wrynn decapitated Onyxia’s corpse to display her head in Stormwind, Garona makes her appearance for the first time since the events from Warcraft: The Last Guardian. The preview reveals that shortly after Garona assassinated King Llane, she found out about her … pregnancy. She gave the baby to an ancient human mage, named Meryl, to raise him. It is now confirmed that Garona was cursed by Sargeras to betray and do things against her will. Therefore, she couldn’t bare to rise her own child for fear she would kill him.
This plot brings about so many intriguing questions. Who is the father of Garona’s baby? Medivh? Khadgar? King Llane? On the other hand, Meryl is described as undead, but one who has lived by sheer will and through the use of his own magical powers to prolong his life for milennia; he exists even before Ner’zhul created the Scourge. Is Meryl one of the previous Guardians of Tirisfal?
Garona’s baby has grown up, and there is a prophecy behind him found in a scroll digged from Hellfire Peninsula. This child is to become the savior of Azeroth. Do you feel the vibe that this guy, Med’an, is the heir of Medivh? Watch the PDF preview and get that HOT comic book at a newsstand near you!
This issue will be on newsstands on January 21.
In stores 1/21.
The road back to Theramore begins in issue #15 of the ongoing series. After the events of the last arc, King Varian and Prince Anduin must return home. But who will return with them? And what role will Garona Halforcen play in this next quest? Check out the preview pages.
Recently, I transcribed the first pages of World of Warcraft: Arthas, Rise of the Lich King by Christie Golden. The book to be published on April 21 introduces a very key feature of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion’s storyline that reveals Arthas was wounded in the duel against Illidan, and after he merged with Ner’zhul, Arthas went into a long sleep where the orc, the prince and the boy (Matthias Lehner) brewed an inner-turmoil during his long dark dream. The answer to end this long dreamscape was to cast his own heart out to strip away his weakness.
If you read the book preview, and experience the Icecrown quests with Matthias Lehner you will see a big tie-in between the book and the in-game quests. Probably a connection with what might happen in the Lich King dungeon encounter. Some fans do not have yet the Wrath of the Lich King expansion or don’t play WoW at all. If you don’t mind heavy spoilers, watch the two videos below showing you the quests given by the child Matthias Lehner (Arthas Menethil anagram). You get to control Arthas and use his abilities in two quests. You fight Illidan too. More interesting is what happens when Tirion Fordring—wielding the Ashbringer—faces Arthas the LIch King at the Cathedral of Darkness in Icecrown.
At the bottom of this page, you may read the transcript of all the questline.
Koltira Deathweaver: The Scourge is still reeling from our attack, (name). Now is the time to capitalize on our momentum.
The strategically important valley below us is wide open. We’ve located a disassembled demolisher vehicle in what we believe is working condition in the southeastern corner of the Valley of Lost Hope area.
If you can get the remaining parts from the Scourge scavengers, you should be able to get it running again. A single working demolisher can wreak havoc on the enemy’s ground units.
Object: The demolisher has suffered much damage.
The Demolisher has seen better days, but the structure hasn’t suffered any permanent damage. The parts you obtained should be enough to get it running again, at least temporarily.
Do your Worst
Matthias Lehner: You’re going to use this machine against the Scourge? You’re not going to win against them like that.
You can destroy hundreds… even thousands of them. But you won’t win. Not out here.
When you’re done playing with your machine, meet me to the north. There is an old army encampment. What I will show you will teach you a little bit about who you’re up against.
Use the Refurbished Demolisher to destroy 150 Decomposed Ghouls, 20 Frostskull Mages and 2 Bone Giants in the Valley of Lost Hope. Speak to Matthias Lehner at the First Legion Forward Camp when you’ve completed this task.
Matthias Lehner: You see? You killed your fair share, but for every one you destroyed, another rose from the dirt to take its place.
You don’t know what you’re up against, (name). Let me show you.
Army of the Damned
Matthias Lehner: You probably think you’re quite strong—fighting these undead and crushing their bones beneath your war machines.
That is nothing compared to the strength it took to create them.
I saw the prince do it himself. I can show you how it happened… if you’d like.
Matthias Lehner at the First Legion Forward Camp wants you to raise an army of 100 Ghoulish Minions
Matthias Lehner: The prince’s true power wasn’t his ability to make armies out of corpses… that was easy
But killing his own men, with whom he’d shared many battles… the prince’s true power was his ability to do what had to be done.
Tirion Fordring: Just this morning, my scouts informed me of a Cult of the Damned procession leaving from Icecrown Citadel to the Cathedral of Darkness, bearing an artifact.
And now I learn that it might be Arthas’s own heart… a thing containing the last bit of his remaining humanity.
This is a sign of the Light. As long as such an artifact exists, there is a chance that Arthas Menethil can become a man again!
Meet me at the cathedral’s entrance. Be sure to bring a cultist’s hood—we’re going incognito.
Tirion Fordring, at the Crusader’s Pinnacle, wants you to obtain and wear a Cultist Acolyte’s Hood and meet him at the entrance of the Cathedral of Darkness, northwest of Icecrown Citadel
Note: At the Cathedral of Darkness, once you acquire the Cultist Acolyte’s Hood, walk to the bonefire on the right side of the door. There is Tirion Fordring disguised with other Argent Dawn agents.
Tirion Fordring: There you are. Are you ready then? Once we start, there is no turning back.
You: I’m ready, Highlord.
Tirion Fordring: It’s time. May the Light give us strength.
Note: Tirion and the Argent Crusade agents walk slowly into the Cathedral of Darkness, and stand near a table close to the altar where the Heart of Arthas has been brought by the Cult of the Damned. Arthas the Lich King walks in.
Tirion Fordring: Keep yours head down and follow my lead.
Tirion Fordring: Here it comes. Stand ready.
The Lich King is here. May the light guide our blades.
Arthas the Lich King: Uninvited guests? Did you think you’d go unnoticed inside my dominion?
I must confess—you were not altogether unexpected. I hope you find your final resting place … to your liking.
Tirion Fordring: You sound a little too confident. Especially considering the way our last encounter ended.
Arthas the Lich King: Last time we met, you had the advantage of fighting on holy ground. You’ll find that our situation has been … reversed.
Tirion Fordring: That might be, but I don’t need to stand on holy ground to run that disembodied heart of yours with the Ashbringer.
Arthas the Lich King: I call your bluff. You’re a paladin after all. Your obsession with redemption goes beyond the inane.
You surely wouldn’t destroy humanity’s only chance to redeem its most wayward son. You’d sooner die!
Tirion Fordring: The heart … the last remaining vestige of your humanity. I had to stop it from being destroyed. I had to see for myself. And at last I’m sure …
Only shadows from the past remain. There’s nothing left to redeem.
Note: Tirion Fordring charges with blazing-speed toward Arthas’ ice-encased heart … and destroys it. An immense flash of light blinds everyone. Tirion is knocked unconscious by this, while Arthas the Lich King is badly hurt, falling to his knees … barely holding himself with Frostmourne.
Arthas the Lich King: Arrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhh !!!!!!
Disguised Crusader: Tirion’s down. Defend him with your lives !
Arthas the Lich King: You … will pay for that, old man. Slay them all !
Note: The Cult of the Damned surrounds the Argent Crusade agents and clash in combat. The Cult of the Damned is decimated with the sudden assistance of Highlord Darion Mograine and his Ebon Blade Knights. Darion opens a death gate to facilitate everyone’s escape from the Cathedral of Darkness back to the Crusader
The front cover of the upcoming WARCRAFT LEGENDS VOL. 3 is now available. This manga book will hit bookstores on March 17, 2009 at the price of $10.99. Part three of this trilogy, continues the adventures of the tauren Trag Highmountain (from Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy) now an undead. The three stories within the manga are written by Richard A. Knaak, Christie Golden and Dan Jolley.
Christie Golden is known to be a World of Warcraft player on an RPG server. It would be interesting to see her take on a goblin disguised as the Greatfather Winter. This is also the first time we see Hemet Nesingwary in a printed story outside the game.
The exciting Warcraft: Legends adventure continues with this latest installment of stories set in the Warcraft universe. From the critically acclaimed team of Richard Knaak and Jae-Hwan Kim (Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy) comes part three in the continuing adventures of Trag Highmountain, the heroic tauren reborn as one of the undead. In “Crusader’s Blood,” a blood elf mage and a forsaken warrior embark on a quest of vengeance against a ruthless Scarlet Crusade captain.
From acclaimed writer Christie Golden comes the tale of a down-on-his-luck goblin named Krizz looking for a way to make some easy coin
A new audiobook has been announced by Tantor Media Audiobook. World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal was co-written by Aaron Rosenberg and Christie Golden. The audiobook is slated for May 2009. A narrator hasn’t been appointed, but hopefully it is Dick Hill again. The other three audiobooks were the first Warcraft books in the series. It’s great to see that recent books are getting the audiobook treatment and opens the possibility that more will be converted.
You can pre-order World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal audiobook here.
Richard A. Knaak sends heads up that Tantor Media Audiobooks has released a new Warcraft: Day of the Dragon Audiobook MP3 Sample, narrated by Dick Hill, for those fans who would want to listen to a three-minutes recording prior to purchasing it. The Audiobook will be available in a few days on December 29, 2009. You may listen to the MP3 Sample here.
Our recent interview with Dick Hill, if you missed it. It contains a different 4-minutes sample provided to us by Dick Hill.