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World of Warcraft - Lore & Storyline discussion [SPOILERS]


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#1 Nakari

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 07:36 PM

I think it would be a good idea to split the lore and storyline discussion from the main WotLK thread into a new thread, to avoid accidential spoilering of people, and not bloating it even more. As this thread is in it's nature very spoilerish, I think we can do without the [.spoiler] tags... folks who want't to experience all of the lore on their own should probably avoid this thread.

I'd like to begin with something that surely merits some discussion: the ever-popular Ashbringer saga and the (sort of) retconning of some of the old content.

The revised Ashbringer/Naxxramas storyline
The 'old' storyline which you can do on live involving Highlord Morgraine, the Corrupted Ashbringer and his older son, Renault Mograine is apparently discarded and replaced by something new. Here is what we know:

*Kel'thuzad seems to have been killed, but his Phylactery was given to the treacherous Father Inigo Montoy, and he's now back in action.
*Somehow Darion Mograine, the younger of Alexandros Mograine's sons aquired the Corrupted Ashbringer, and in turn got corrupted by it/the Lich King, and now leads a cadre of his own Deathknights, the Knights of the Ebon Blade.
*The corrupted Alexandros Mograine was either killed or at least defeated, and is no longer part of the Four Horsemen encounter.
*Most of the Naxxramas bosses seem to be still alive, as evidenced by the talk of Eligor Dawnbringer and the presence of Noth, Heigan, Gothik and Instructor Razuvious in the Deathknight starting zone, so we can conclude most of our exploits back in the good old days of Tier 3 simply didn't happen.

Based on this, and filling in the holes with wild speculation, my theory what happened so far is this:

- The Scourge Invasion began as experienced ingame
- Darion Mograine and a group of heroes make a daring assault on Naxxramas, and manage to defeat his father, and he takes the corrupted sword from him
- They then proceed to kill Kel'thuzad (just pretend that as a lore character, you don't need to clear all four wings and defeat Sapphiron beforehand :P), and Darion takes his Phylactery
- The Corrupted Ashbringer slowly gains influence over him and his followers, and against his better judgement he gives the Phlyactery to Inigo Montoy
- Possibly this was the Lich King's plan all along (i.e. "sacrifiing" Kel'thuzad as a means to corrupt the heroes... he has done it before, remember? I guess it sucks to be Kel'thuzad in his schemes :D)
- After a while, Darion and his followers have completely fallen under the Lich King's sway, turned into Deathknights, and were given Archerus as their own Necropolis
- From there, they later lead an assault on the Scarlet Crusade-held towns of Havenshire and New Avalon, destroying them easily (during this, the player as one of Darion's Deathknights uncovers that the Scarlet Crusade is sailing to Northtrend, forming the Scarlet Onslaught)
- Most of the Scarlet Crusade's standing forces in the Eastern Kingdoms are decimated
- The Lich King then orders Darion to attack Light's Hope Chapel in an attempt to draw Tirion Fordring into the open, fully aware Darion has no chance of victory because of some unknown power/artifact below LHC
- The plan succeeds, until Darion unexpectedly makes a heel face turn and gives the Corrupted Ashbringer to Tirion, who seemingly simply cleanses it by touch (and we were led to believe it was uncleansable ;)) and proceeds kicking the Lich Kings ass
- Following these events, the Knights of the Silver Hand and the Argent Dawn form the Argent Crusade, and the Knights of the Ebon Blade break free from the Lich King's grasp
- The Lich King and those still loyal to him (including Orbaz Bloodbane, the two vampire-zombie-canibal blood elf princes, Noth, Heigan, Gothik and Razuvious) make a hasty retreat in Naxxramas, taking it north to the Dragonblight where it is now.

Unanswered question: What exactly is this awesome power below LHC that makes it so dangerous to the scourge? (at least it explains how such a small outpost could survive that long in the middle of the plaguelands, surrounded by undead).

#2 Tacitus

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 09:05 PM

A few points:

I doubt that that simply discarded the old Naxxramas, given that the Lich King is a powerful necromancer, what's stopping him from raising them again?

We gave the phylactery to Inigo, he turned it in for the Scourge in order to gain Lichdom, you have a quest somewhere to kill him (can't remember which side or whether it was neutral).

He sent the Knights to die only to draw Tirion out in the open, he had every intention of killing him there.

LHC is on hallowed ground according to Arthas and he taunts Tirion to fight him somewhere else to see his power without external help.

The Ashbringer is still open to speculation, but I have no idea about it.
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#3 Tyrian

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 09:18 PM

I am much more interested, personally, in how they develop the Titan storyline and what will become of the "Azeroth is scheduled for re-visitation" idea that The Uldaman quests hinted at years ago.

#4 Nakari

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 09:29 PM

A few points:

I doubt that that simply discarded the old Naxxramas, given that the Lich King is a powerful necromancer, what's stopping him from raising them again?

We gave the phylactery to Inigo, he turned it in for the Scourge in order to gain Lichdom, you have a quest somewhere to kill him (can't remember which side or whether it was neutral).

He sent the Knights to die only to draw Tirion out in the open, he had every intention of killing him there.

LHC is on hallowed ground according to Arthas and he taunts Tirion to fight him somewhere else to see his power without external help.

The Ashbringer is still open to speculation, but I have no idea about it.


Well, I guess the Lich King just raising every boss in Naxxramas again after we've killed them is theoretically possible, but it just seems (no offense meant) rather stupid - if the Lich King could (re-)raise all his minions as often as he wants, there's really no point in a Lich's phylactery or killing his minions at all. It's established in Warcraft lore that you can raise a recently deceased, though it requires a powerful spellcaster (we as players are for gameplay reasons far better off than we should be) and the body must be more or less intact. This is referenced in a quest in Dragonblight that requires you to kill High General Abbendis and take her head, which the questgiver comments on with "Let's see how they'll resurect her now".

For me, the far more logical explanation is that we simply didn't kill those bosses, and my (admittedly mostly made up) theory about Darion and his "mercenary/raid group tunred into Deathknights" seems to nicely explain a few things like Night Elve or Troll DKs, and why they follow him instead of the Lich King after the attack on LHC without much of a fuss.

I didn't know of the alliance (?) quest to kill Inigo Montoy, though it doesn't really invalidate my theory.

In response to your third point, yes I don't deny that, I just said the plan backfired pretty badly when Darion gave the Ashbringer to Tirion Fordring following his "turn from the dark side", as now one of the (if not the most) powerful Paladin in existence wields a Scourge-Slaughtering-Superweapon.

There seems to be more about LHC then just "hallowed ground", as we don't see the scourge afraid of churches or chapels elsewhere and the dialog specifically mentions "You well know what lies beneath the Chapel" or something like that.

#5 Nurru

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 09:36 PM

We gave the phylactery to Inigo, he turned it in for the Scourge in order to gain Lichdom, you have a quest somewhere to kill him (can't remember which side or whether it was neutral).


It's the culmination of the Alliance Wintergarde chains. This chain also explains that Naxxramas is in Northrend to aid in the siege on Wintergarde, not as some sort of EPL retreat.

#6 Zedd

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 09:48 PM

I wonder how the "Chamber of the Aspects" things will play out.

#7 Liebestod

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 10:24 PM

I doubt we'll ever see the "power under LHC" explained. Given that LHC isn't part of the plot anymore after the Death Knight starting quests.

As for Darion Morgraine, I wouldn't be surprised if Blizzard doesn't bother to explain the lore at all. Obviously it's already been fudged a bit, maybe they'll release some materials that will clarify, but I doubt we'll see anything ingame to explain what happened. The possible exception to this is that it seems that there will be a second Scourge Invasion before WotLK is released, leading to the razing of Orgrimmar and Darnassus, but I kinda doubt that it will be that lore-intensive.

The WotLK lore so far is looking quite interesting. I'm still disappointed that Azjol-Nerub won't be a full outdoor zone, though, as this basically guts the Nerubian and Yogg-Savon (new old god) lore that Blizzard would've been able to introduce. Personally I think that the Faceless Ones would have made incredibly interesting enemies to see developed, but it seems more likely that they'll simply appear in the Azjol-Nerub raid with little development and that's it.

#8 glowacks

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 12:24 AM

Yogg-Savon (new old god)


Are you serious? I felt it was rather lame that they rip off Cthulhu with C'thun, but Yog-Sothoth too now. Queue Shob-Noggerath and Nyarlethop to come in the next expansions....

I suppose Lovecraftian Mythology, being in the public domain, gives them a good source of old god sounding names that very few players will recognize the source of. I suppose we can't expect them to come up with good names for all their characters after the crappy names of nearly all the Molten Core bosses and the lovely Brtuallus in Sunwell. But outside of those most of the names at least are reasonable. C'Thun is really a fine name and does a great job evoking an old God feel due to the saturation of the Cthulhu name - using the rest of the Mythos that no one's ever really heard as sources of names seems incredibly unoriginal.

#9 Liebestod

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 12:35 AM

I haven't actually done the quest in question, but I heard the Old God to which it refers being named as Yogg-Savon, or something like that. I wasn't aware that it was another Lovecraft ripoff, though obviously it's not surprising.

#10 Zaniel

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 01:07 AM

One thing to remember is that Blizzard lore and timelines are related to LEVEL. So the Naxx bosses all being alive in the DK starting area makes sense, as that's level 55. It isn't until T2-3 at 60 that Naxx gets destroyed.

Also, Naxx does get beaten, since they've already talked about how Kel'Thuzad gets reborn from his phylactery. So it's not that some of Naxx happened while some didn't. Everyone in there got killed (or re-killed). It's just a matter of when.

#11 Nurru

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 01:14 AM

One thing to remember is that Blizzard lore and timelines are related to LEVEL. So the Naxx bosses all being alive in the DK starting area makes sense, as that's level 55. It isn't until T2-3 at 60 that Naxx gets destroyed.

Also, Naxx does get beaten, since they've already talked about how Kel'Thuzad gets reborn from his phylactery. So it's not that some of Naxx happened while some didn't. Everyone in there got killed (or re-killed). It's just a matter of when.


This doesn't work with the timeline. Read back about the different Mograines and who runs the Death Knights. Either that or some things simply aren't cannon.

#12 Smurrf

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 02:14 AM

There's a key note in the quest lines in the DK starting area that states that Naxx has moved off, and that a miracle has occurred. If I remember correctly, it has to do with that scroll you pick up at the inn. I must admit though, I'm still confused as to where that puts it in the timeline. Does it mean that the venture at 60 through Naxx I never happened, or that Arthas managed to pull the Necropolis off to Northrend before anyone else could come up and destroy it?

#13 Pyros

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 02:31 AM

Ok maybe I misunderstood the whole thing, but when I did the DK questline, myunderstanding is everything that happened during it actually happened BEFORE the scourge invasion, and maybe even before the original wow storyline. When exactly, it's hard to tell, Arthas isn't supposed to be moving around after he became the Lich King, and at the same time, when he's still in the plaguelands, he wasn't the Lich King yet, and Nerzhul was imprisonned in the frozen throne. But the world state seems to show you're still corrupting the land with cauldrons and stuff, while the wow timeline already has the plaguelands totally ravaged by the cauldrons and the scourge, and tyr's hand is the last bastion of the scarlet. In the DK questline, the scarlet are still pimping, before you kick their ass out and they leave for northrend too.

It's not very clear when it happens, but to me it definitely happens way before naxxramas attacking stuff, which is why every boss is walking around doing their own thing. Then the end of the DK line happens, and they leave Archeron, and maybe at that point go to naxxramas to lead another attack against the forsaken and everyone else.

But really there's no moment the Lich King would be sitting in a necropolis in the middle of the plaguelands, unless it's Arthas BEFORE he becomes the lich king, which doesn't make much sense then, naming him the lich king. Or it's Nerzhul and this happens much much before Arthas stuff, but not sure what nerzhul looked like after he became the lich king.

#14 Kazanir

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 03:00 AM

You're simply wrong. The entire Acherus questline clearly occurs after the events of WoW 1.0:

- It includes reference to Naxxramas suddenly departing the Plaguelands.
- It coincides with the storyline of the Scarlet Onslaught and Argent Crusade going to Northrend.
- Note that Inigo Montoy is *missing* from the LHC battle.
- Meanwhile the other post-Naxx/Invasion NPCs (like Dawnbringer, Rayne, etc.) are present.
- The rest of the Plaguelands is already corrupted before you arrive -- only the Scarlet holdings and LHC remained.

It seems obvious that part of the point of the questline is to establish that the Naxx bosses are very much not dead despite having been slain in WoW Classic.
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#15 s[orc]ery

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 03:19 AM

The thing you have to note when talking about the Death knight quest chain is that it covers several different phases in time. I believe that the first phase (uncorrupted New Avalon) was pre-WoW and pre-Naxx 1.0, but the decimation of the Scarlet Crusade and the forming of the Scarlet Onslaught/Argent Crusade was nearing the end of TBC. Also, the fact that Inigo Montoy is missing during the LHC event means it clearly occurs after WoW 1.0.

As for the bosses, i think we have to accept that they were never killed except for Kel'Thuzad, who is resurrected using the stolen phylactery.

#16 Shadout

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 03:54 AM

One thing to remember is that Blizzard lore and timelines are related to LEVEL. So the Naxx bosses all being alive in the DK starting area makes sense, as that's level 55. It isn't until T2-3 at 60 that Naxx gets destroyed.

Also, Naxx does get beaten, since they've already talked about how Kel'Thuzad gets reborn from his phylactery. So it's not that some of Naxx happened while some didn't. Everyone in there got killed (or re-killed). It's just a matter of when.


While LVL = timeline is a decent general rule it seems to be broken all the time by Blizzard.
Like the Dranei and BE arriving later but you still lvl up with them in the past (low lvls).
And for DK's if it truly was lvl 55, then Naxx shouldnt even have been in Plaguelands yet, so its some weird mix of past and present, as others already mentioned.
Blizz seems to jump between past and present during quests and zones, even if the LVL doesnt fit with it.

Generally in-game events arent really canon lore before its mentioned in non-game references (like WoW books) I guess, or directly in a quest text explaining past events (not those explaining current events or asking you to do something, as those might easily be changed to an NPC doing it later on, which surely makes it a possibility that someone else killed Kelthuzad).
Like how the WoW comic currently is screwing up with major parts of Onyxia and Stormwind gamelore.

I dont think we have anything to indicate Arthas cant move around just because he is The Lich King, if he coulndt, the whole War3 story would be pointless, why bother attracting a fresh new body which can remove the lich king from his prison, if you wont use that new body for something useful... :)

I suppose Lovecraftian Mythology, [...] using the rest of the Mythos that no one's ever really heard as sources of names seems incredibly unoriginal.

Thats exactly what you could expect from Blizz. All their games are obviously heavy on pop-culture references. They dont take those names because they are unoriginal, but because they want to have that specific link to Lovecraft.

#17 Nurru

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 03:59 AM

ery;848257']The thing you have to note when talking about the Death knight quest chain is that it covers several different phases in time. I believe that the first phase (uncorrupted New Avalon) was pre-WoW and pre-Naxx 1.0, but the decimation of the Scarlet Crusade and the forming of the Scarlet Onslaught/Argent Crusade was nearing the end of TBC. Also, the fact that Inigo Montoy is missing during the LHC event means it clearly occurs after WoW 1.0.

Darion Mograine has Ashbringer and leads the Knights of the Ebon Hand. This could not have happened without Alexandros Mograine in Naxxramas being defeated and losing the sword. That should place the entire timeline of the DK area to after Naxxramas as Kazanir mentioned.

Either that or I'm mixing up Mograines again.

#18 Liebestod

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 04:21 AM

The Archeus quests appear not only right after vanilla WoW occurs, but it apparently takes place after TBC is winding down if not ended entirely. iirc, one quest talks about the Horde and Alliance bringing its heroes back from Outland.

#19 Kazanir

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 05:27 AM

Nurru is right.

Alexandros Mograine - Commander of the Naxxramas armies, the former Ashbringer. Betrayed by his son Renault after killing an army of the Scourge at Stratholme. Then raised as a death knight by Kel'thuzad. Returns to slay his son Renault and heal Fairbanks after the Ashbringer is recovered from him in Naxxramas.

Renault Mograine - Betrayed his father and slew him with the Ashbringer during the battle at Stratholme. Promoted to command the Scarlet Crusade in Tirisfal by Balnazzar as reward for his actions. Slain by the ghost of Alexandros after Alexandros is defated in Naxx 1.0.

Darion Mograine - Revealed to have been in Outland by Fairbanks in the SM cutscene. Somehow returns to Azeroth and claims to have "given everything to free [his] father" in a battle near Light's Hope Chapel. (See his gossip text before the final DK battle at LHC.) Apparently fell in this battle and was raised to command the Ebon Hold death knights by the Lich King. This story is (sort of) borne out by his cutscene with his father's ghost at LHC before Arthas arrives.

I expect we'll see two parts to the world event that will open the expansion:

1) The razing of Orgrimmar and Darnassus by the armies of the Lich King, prompting the call to arms and the sending of the legions of the Horde and Alliance to Northrend.

2) The aforementioned battle involving Darion and Alexandros Mograine near Light's Hope, somehow explaining all the loose plot elements that don't fit together between the Naxx story, the SM cutscene, and the DK quest storyline.
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#20 Mr. Crow

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 05:46 AM

Here's what I find confusing. In WoW Classic, Alexandros Mograine is one of the Four Horsemen and has the Ashbringer. In all your preparations to go into Naxxramas, you can overhear Eligor Dawnbringer saying this at LHC.

"The Ashbringer is dead and there will never be another like him. The lesser Mograine is a far cry from the man his father was. You know this, Commander! It was, after all, your own leadership that was responsible for the death of the Scarlet Highlord Mograine. It was your leadership that manipulated a grieving child to try to recover the sword. A child that has grown into a man with nothing but vengeance and hatred in his heart! And for what? You are no closer to the sword now than you were five years ago. Yet you think that recovering Ashbringer will somehow turn the tide of battle? Let me let you in on a little secret, Commander. The power of the Ashbringer came from the man who would wield it... I was there, Commander. I watched him burn legions of undead in righteous fire before he would even unsheathe the blade. Alas, your grasp on history is... lacking."


Taken in the past context, a lot of this monologue is confusing. We can assume that "the lesser Mograine" is Renault, because he is not killed until after the assault on Naxxramas and the Corrupted Ashbringer's recovery. "The grieving child" is a bit of a cipher though -- is it supposed to be Taelan Fordring? Was there meant to be a storyline that Taelan was to be the Crusade's tool to reacquire the Ashbringer? Yet by the time you get to LHC, Taelan must already be dead -- because "Lord Fordring and his knights" are meant to be a threat against the Scarlets.

Given what we now know about Darion Mograine, Eligor's speech takes on some different qualities. Both "the lesser Mograine" and "the grieving child" become Darion Mograine; the Scarlet Crusade plays a part in Darion's sortie into Naxxramas under the guise of rescuing Darion's father (but angling really for the Ashbringer); Darion's dialogue before the "Light of Dawn" quest notes the irony that LHC would be the site of the battle, since that was where Alexandros was apparently redeemed and where Darion himself fell from grace. Somehow, Darion keeps the Ashbringer and becomes a Death Knight in the process, "a man with nothing but vengeance and hatred in his heart." "You are no closer to the sword now than you were five years ago" implies that the sword did change state somehow, but does nothing to explain how.

Eligor's last comment here does explain something: "The power of the Ashbringer came from the who would wield it..." Taken out of the hands of Alexandros Mograine, the Ashbringer's power was corrupted and useless -- which is why Renault couldn't take it originally, and why Darion could do little more than wield it, much less redeem it. And yet merely in the hands of Tirion, the sword was redeemed, it's power restored, and Frostmourne's opposite number unleashed.

So here's the squirrelly thing: the information that we see before we originally entered Naxxramas fits better with the story we know now (the DK quest series) than the information we discover AFTER we entered Naxxramas (the Corrupted Ashbringer event and it's false lead-in to BC). It's almost as thought the introduction of Darion "I'm A Deathknight" Mograine was supposed to happen post-Patch 1.11, but instead they hamfisted some tie-in to the Burning Crusade instead... which makes even LESS sense, since there's no way for this hitherto-unknown second son to even GET to Outland if the Dark Portal hasn't re-opened yet.




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