Sunday, October 30, 2011

Catching up on Lore

I willing admit that I am sinfully behind on my WoW Lore. While I have played WoW for several years now, and have a fairly good understanding of what is going on, I am way behind on reading the many works in the "Expanded Universe" of Warcraft. I have played all the games, I even read a few of the books, but I had been a "Horde first" kinda guy and as such I missed out on a lot of the Alliance side of the Lore. I am working on questing my way back through the game with Alliance toons, and soon my timelines will reflect that. But I also have a ton of written material to read through....

I began to read again recently. My previous WoW novel experience began with The Shattering, by Christie Golden. While it was a fantastic story that set up much of the Catacylasm expansion, I felt that it really needed another pass with a good editor. The writing was awful. Rades over at Orcish Army Knife convinced me to read Arthas next, which I found to be a much better novel, both in prose and content. While it certainly wasn't Game of Thrones or Wheel of Time quality, it was obvious that an editor had picked through it.

 Then A Dance With Dragons came out. I read through it and spent a good deal of time away from WoW. When I returned I joined a new guild and began to raid again. Lore was replaced with boss videos and heavy grinding. My old Blog reflects this, as it just kinda died.

But the old Lore bug bit me again when, as I leveled up another Death Knght and realized I was confused by the events of the battle at Lights Hope. Who were these ghosts, why was Darion Morgaine so important, and whats up with his Cloud Strife sword?  I decided to research the people and events of the battle of Lights Hope, where the Ebon Blade is freed from the Lich King by the mysterious force beneath the church. This led me to three pieces of Lore : the Ashbringer comics, the short story Of Blood and Honor, by the great Chris Metzen, and the Death Knight manga.

Epic sword is epic!
Ashbringer told the story of... well... the Ashbringer. Its an uber powerful sword wielded by Darion Morgraine, at least until he gives it to Tirion Fordring at the end of the Death Knight quest chain. The story starts during the second war and goes all the way to the beginning of the Death Knight quest chain. If you need answers like I did as to what the hell happened at Lights Hope, this is your answer. It sets up the whole thing quite nicely, as well as shows the origins of the Scarlet Crusade and the Argent Dawn. Bonus! The force beneath Lights Hope is revealed and this book even shows how Tirion Fordring joined the Argent Dawn, coming back from his banishment. The Subject of Tirions banishment intrigued me, as it as another story I hadn't heard. I told you I was way behind! So I had to go back to the "EU" and dig around some more.

Ashbringer led me to Of Blood and Honor, the Metzen story about Tirion. Its a quick read, but a nice little Lore nugget. This one tells of Tirion and Eitrigg the orc, and of the lengths Tirion goes to to honor his word. It seems to pick up after the events of Lord of the Clans (which I haven't read yet) as Thrall maks an appearance at the end. They also did a wonderful job connecting this story to Ashbringer, as Tirion's son is a minor player in that story.

Tirion with the Ashbringer
Eitrigg. Tirion's BFF?
While I probably should have followed the Thrall trail into Lord of the Clans, I instead decided I wasn't done with Death Knights and Lights Hope. Maybe it was because my main is now a DK (named Kvothe by the way. + 10 internetz if you get the reference!), or maybe I just had scourge on the brain, but I chose to read the Death Knight manga next. This was no easy find, as Tokyopop went out of business. Grab these babies if you see them on store shelves because you may get to flip them for a nice profit a little on down the road! Isn't capitalism great! But I digress...

Death Knight was way more than I had hoped for. It covered everything. Arthas, Malganis, the expedition to Northrend, the Scourge overrunning Lordaeron, the invasion of Quel'Thalas, I mean everything. It was also awesome because the main character is the Death Knight Thassarrian, and in the course of his unlife as a Death Knight, we learn of his friendship with Koltira Deathweaver, and get a retelling of the battle at Lights Hope from Thassarrian's point of view! Epic beyond words.
So full of win!

My journey ended there. I get a bit burned out when I read from one world for too long. Time to return to the game and quest some more! I will say that my journey into Lore this time proved to be a very positive experience. I will add summaries to the timelines in a few days. The "EU" stuff (books, comics, etc.) will now have its own section, as trying to squeeze them into the game timelines became a massive burden. It will be a few weeks become I have this site running the way I want it to run, but be patient, I have way more to talk about! I haven't even touched on my thoughts about the new expansion....

1 comment:

  1. Ashbringer and Death Knight are GREAT reads, both for fantastic story and really good art! If you like the art in Death Knight you might also want to try to find the manga Shaman - same artist, Shattering/Cataclysm-related, and a very enjoyable story. :D