Ever since I started playing World of Warcraft, I’ve had a thing for its Lore. I listen to many different podcasts about this game and I make a point to pay a lot of attention every time a Lore segment comes up. Unfortunately, most of time, it seems that the hosts/narrators assume I already have a solid knowledge about this fantasy world and its main protagonists. I don’t have this background though and that’s why I put a lot of effort into listening religiously to the stories I’m being told. So I end up more confused, than before and I quickly lose interest, it never fails…
What I need is someone to take the time and explain it all from the beginning to my precious self. Podcasts hosts seem, for the most part, to care about their audience but I doubt they’re waiting for me to call them so they can spend a few hours on Skype and lay it all out for me in simple words.
Thus I’m a pretty frustrated Loremaster or was until recently…
A couple of weeks ago, I picked up this manga version of The Sunwell trilogy and the first five pages or so didn’t even have any drawings on them! Feeling cheated into actually having to read words, I drank myself into oblivion and bought a goat on Amazon.fr …
The next morning, as my new goat was being delivered, I sat down with a nice cup of coffee and proceeded to actually give this ‘reading’ thing a try. In simple English words and coherent sentences, the genesis of Azeroth was explained to me in a manner I had not encountered before. It all seemed so simple all of a sudden: the Titans, Sargeras, the dragon aspects all seemed to come to life in my mind.
On these pages, I will try to share some of this in a simple and unassuming manner. Hopefully, it’ll help other lore-noobs like me out there to grasp some understanding of this world we play in. Some players might actually enjoy this game even more for it. I know that for me, in these times of patch expection, it was a source of unsuspected enjoyement and it shone a new light on a lot of characters, regions and questlines.
The Titans are a bunch of almighty giant god-like creatures who travel the universe trying to bring order to it. They take planets, terraform them, stabilize them, put life on them and then move on to the next.
They are governed by a group called the Pantheon. This elitist sect chooses one of its members and one of their most powerful warrior, Sargeras, to defend their multiple creations against the demons of the Twisting Nether.
The Twisting Nether is a parallel dimension where demons and other abominations roam free. It’s not really a different universe but more like a separate level of the same universe. As such, it’s never far away from the world our characters live on, it’s like a layer surrounding it on all sides.
Teleportation and translocation spells are said to use that place in order to bend the physical world and create ‘wormholes’ between different locations in the physical world. Warlocks’ Ritual of Summoning, mages’ Portals and shamans’ Astral Recall apparently make their users go through that nightmarish realm in order to save a few copper in taxi fares.
This Twisting Nether is also where warlocks summon their minions from and it is the reason why you cannot choose names for them as hunters do with their pets. They’re not so much created by warlocks than picked from a wriggling bunch of them and injected on Azeroth. A great example of this are the Infernals, which come from the skies in a very meteor-like fashion.
So now we have Sargeras, this extremely powerful Titan fighting demons across the universe. He’s very good at this and the Pantheon completely trusts him with his demon bouncer functions. The job slowly gets to him though and he starts questionning his masters. After millenia of demon bashing, he finally, loses his mind and ends up blaming the titans themselves for the origin of chaos within their creations.
He now believes Chaos is the only pure and true form of the universe and that the Titans are corrupting it by bringing their so-called order where it doesn’t belong. He decides to dedicate his existence to destroy everything the Titans have created.
On the planet Argus, Sargeras finds the Eredars, a race of extremely evolved and magically inclined giant goats. They have built a huge civilization and have prospered undisturbed on their planet for millenia. He goes to the three leaders of the advanced species and promises them immense powers in exchange for their allegiance and assistance.
Kil’jaeden and Archimonde immediately join the Dark Titan hoping to get some imba loot but Velen disagrees. He refuses to succomb to the demonic powers and ends up having to flee with his followers and the help of K’ure, a Naaru. The energy being offers to take Velen and the loyal eredars to safety. They escape from Argus in the naaru ship Oshu’gun.
You can find this ship still embedded in the fields of Nagrand. K’ure is still there, imprisonned and guarded by the Burning Legion minions. For the quest When Spirits Speak (part of the Hero of the Mag’har quest chain) Mother Kashur asks you to find him and he, then, sends you back to speak to A’dal in Shattrath. By the way, at the end of that quest chain, the moment when Thrall comes back to visit his homeland is, in my opinion, one of the best in the game. It’s up there with the Wrathgate chain…
Velen and his followers now call themselves the Draenei (exiled ones) as they are being chased across the cosmos by Sargeras‘ army which is now called the Burning Legion under the orders of Kil’jaeden. During this exodus, K’ure becomes Velen’s friend and mentor and after centuries, they finally settle on a ‘safe’ planet they call Draenor (which became Outlands at the release of Burning Crusade). This is where they meet the Orcs, a shamanistic and noble society with whom they live peacefully for a while.
The Burning Legion eventually discovers Draenor. Kill’jaeden decides to make the Orcs part of his army and to force them to fight the Draenei. For this, the eredar corrupt the Orcs, give them access to warlocks magic and transform them into a bloodthirsty race of warmongers. The Orcs, manipulated by Kill’jaeden, wage war on the Draenei, destroy their cities and kill most of them. Velen barely manages to escape with a few survivors and they find refuge in Zangarmarsh.
After a period of time, the length of which I couldn’t really figure out, the Draenei eventually come out of hiding and manage to take control of The Exodar, the fourth wing of the Tempest Keep complex floating in Netherstorm.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to find out more on how Kael’thas took over this former Naaru fortress in a future episode…
What the Draenei don’t know is that their new spaceship has been sabotaged by the bloodelves. Upon taking off from Draenor/Outlands, they lose control of the Exodar and come crashing on Azeroth, on the Azuremyst Isles. Velen and the survivors of the crash-landing salvage everything they can from the Exodar and slowly start rebuilding their society.
As Kil’jaeden’s revenge has supposedly been carried out upon the traitor Draenei, Sargeras is now free to push for more and more destruction across the universe. He charges Kil’jaeden to seek out the darkest and most usable races of the vast universe and to force them into the Burning Legion ranks. He makes Archimonde the general of his armies and orders him to lead them on a Burning Crusade across the universe.
At this time, the Titans are unaware of the evil deeds their champion is comitting and keep on trucking through the universe searching for planets to inseminate with life. Eventually, they find a small planet which its inhabitants will later call Azeroth. They spend centuries creating mountains and oceans in order to make it as perfect as possible. In the center of its unique continent, they place the Well of Eternity, an incredible source of energy in order to feed the planet with life. Slowly, plants, trees and all sorts of creatures take over the barren lands and start spreading all over the small planet. On their last day of work, the Titans name this continent Kalimdor, the land of eternal light.
Before leaving the planet to its own destiny, in order to protect it against any possible threat, the Titans decide to grant a shred of their powers to some of the main creatures of Azeroth. Amongst the many dragons living on Kalimdor, there were five main clans (or aspects) dominating the rest. The five rulers of these aspects each receive a special gift from four Titans of the Pantheon.
Eonar, Patron of all Life, shares her power with Alexstrasza the Life Binder, of the Red Aspect, to protect all living things in the world. Her sister, Ysera, the Dreamer, shares with her some of that duty and rules the Green Aspect. Her duty is to watch over all the growing wilds of the world.
Finally, Khaz’goroth, Forger of the World, bestows some of his vast power to Neltharion the Earthwarder, of the Black Aspect, to give him control of the earth and its depths. The Old Gods will eventually make this puppy crazy and he will end up becoming Deathwing during the War of the Ancients.