The Rise of Humanity: World of Warcraft Chronicle Vol 1 (Part Six)

Welcome to the World of Warcraft Read Through where I am diving into the lore of Warcraft chronologically. For a running list of characters, look here. You do not have to have played the game or have any previous knowledge of the world, but please note, since this is an in-depth read, there will be spoilers.

We keep chugging along in our read through of the massive tome that is Chronicle (just the first of three so far). Last time, the Old Gods took advantage of the Keepers, sowing mistrust. But while Yogg Saron sought to escape, he might end up with more than he bargained for.

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©Blizzard Entertainment 2016

Summary

When Loken took over Ulduar, he banished some of the titan-forged from their once home. They were forced to settle elsewhere. The giants went to the mountains and the seas. The earthen went underground where they fought with the vicious and savage troggs. The vrykul formed small communities around the area while some became nomadic. While it seemed that these races could live in peace, it was only a matter of time before someone sought dominance. It began with two fire giants, Volkhan and Ignis. They convinced the violent clan of the Winterskorn vrykul to join them on their campaign. While the vrykul showed signs of the curse of flesh, the army still massacred the earthen, leaving few survivors to escape to seek out Tyr and his companions for help.

While Tyr, Archaedas, and Ironaya helped the earthen push back the Winterskorn, the giants’ second assault proved more difficult. They had captured and enslaved proto-dragons to use as war mounts, and the Keepers were forced to ask the Dragon Aspects for assistance. As in the fight with Galakrond, the Aspects worked together to easily defeat the Winterskorn, trapping them in a mist that kept them asleep as they succumbed to the curse of flesh for thousands of years.

Following the defeat of the Winterskorn, Tyr created a diversion and stole the Discs of Norgannon, relics that have recorded everything throughout the life of Azeroth. They would use the information within the discs to prove Loken’s betrayal and overthrow him from Ulduar. Knowing Loken would come after them, Tyr, his friends, and a large group of titan-forged traveled south. Rather than chasing the group himself, Loken sent two C’Thraxxi, servants to the Old Gods, to hunt them down. Tyr vowed to protect the others, telling them to leave while he made his stand. The battle lasted days until finally, exhausted, Tyr expended the rest of his power, killing himself and one of the C’Thraxxi. The other, Kith’ix, fled.

Upon finding her friend, Ironaya named the surrounding area “Tyr’s Fall,” which was “Tirisfal” in the vrykul speech. She lay his silver hand where he fell. The vrykul vowed to watch over the site and made the land their new home. Archaedas and Ironaya led the remaining titan-forged, made up of mechagnomes and earthen, further south to Uldaman, the easternmost vault. Here they would protect the Discs. The earthen requested to be put in slumber to protect themselves from the curse of flesh, hoping for a cure to be found.

With Tyr dead, Loken assumed the other two would not attack, but he worried about the Discs. He replaced them with his own Tribunal of Ages, manipulating the events to suit his ills. However, the data became warped. As a final failsafe, he changed the titan communication so that only his death would summon the constellar, Algalon. He hoped that if he was killed, Algalon would simply wipe everything else off the map.

Meanwhile, the varying vrykul clans took over much of the northern lands. A powerful clan known as the Dragonflayers were ruled by King Ymiron. They trained proto-dragons and fought off other savage races. But soon, their offspring were being born small, often malformed. Fingers were pointed at both Ymiron and the keepers. Ymiron ordered these children killed, but many sought out the help of the clan in the south. Leaving the children with those in Tirisfal, the offspring continued to be born smaller and mortal and would be called humans. The other titan-forged shared a similar fate.

Just as Yogg-Saron had hoped, the curse of flesh would weaken the titan-forged. But it would also give rise to mortal qualities of necessity that the Old God had never anticipated: courage, resolve, and heroism.

Not yet knowing what these humans and other mortal creatures would one day become, Yogg-Saron and the other Old Gods returned their focus to escape. It would be some time before they could achieve it.

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An Ordered Azeroth ©Blizzard Entertainment 2016

Analysis

In the grand scheme of things, much of this section doesn’t matter to our major plot points regarding the novels. However, we meet many of these characters in-game. The Discs of Norgannon are a minor quest reward within Uldaman, a Classic Vanilla mid-level dungeon. It is not really important to the game or the lore. We encounter the keepers and many of the titan-forged in the game’s second expansion, The Wrath of the Lich King. I won’t really go into details of those encounters at this point, as that is much later in the timeline. Suffice to say that the majority of this section feels like filler for our readthrough, which could explain why it took me so long to pump this one out.

The Winterskorn war is important only in the fact that it brings Tyr out of hiding and causes him to take action. He realizes that he can’t just leave Loken to sit and wreak havoc on the lands and its people. Stealing the Discs was ridiculously easy for him, basically having Loken monologue while his friends snuck in. In the end, the Discs proved useless, which makes Tyr’s death because of them all the more frustrating. Loken continues his self-preservation streak from last time. I have to wonder why he tied the fate of the world on his death yet didn’t tell anyone. You would think it would be the perfect deterrent for anyone to kill him.

We have now had two very similar encounters regarding Tyr. If you remember during his brief introduction during the Black Empire, he is the keeper of courage and strength. He certainly exhibited these attributes during Dawn of the Aspects, where he helped the proto-dragons (now Dragon Aspects) defeat the monstrosity known as Galakrond. He saw what complacency and indifference could do and stood up for what he thought was right. He even lost a hand in the process. Now we have him here, laying down his life to protect his fellow keeper and many titan-forged. While he died over something as stupid and useless as stealing those discs, his legacy will remain and grow.

Tirisfal, a land that will become the place of such joy and conflict. It is truly an epicenter in the world of Azeroth. Seeing the name brought a flutter and a rush of memories. That is what makes books like this so great. There was also an interesting note, made in a separate section of the text, regarding the energy surrounding the glade. Because both Tyr and the C’Thrax Zakazj died and were buried here, their auras mingle in the earth. They state that some would reach for the energy of Tyr and the others toward the C’Thrax. It is such a wonderful play on the dark versus light that we have been experiencing through the universe so far. It always seems to be a constantly shifting balance in Azeroth, and I love when we get more and more examples of this.

. . . . . 

It took some time to get through the keepers’ stories, but we made it. As I slogged through all this information, I was tempted to skip it and jump ahead. I started this project coming up on two years ago, at the start of the Legion expansion for the game. In that time, Blizzard has produced two more Chronicles, two middle-grade books, seven graphic novels, an audio story, nearly ten YouTube stories, a short story, and a novel. I worked through five sections of the first Chronicle collection and one book. I am so far behind it’s ludicrous. Granted, I was not blogging for the majority of that time, nor do I have a team of writers, but even if I were to pump out a post a week, I could never catch up. I want to get to the point where I am talking about the more recent works and novels.

I am posting this on the release date for yet another expansion, and my excitement for the game is giving me the push I need to get moving on this project, but I am at a loss on how to continue. These Chronicle books are dense, and while they are wonderful backstory, I will be pushing my way through at least two of them before I get to the meat of what I want to talk about. When I started this project, I did not anticipate them releasing two more, nor did I expect to want to go so in-depth for each section. Something has to give.

I think from this point on, I need to come up with a new direction. I have some options that I’ll mull over.

  1. Skip to the short stories and novels, inserting any information from the Chronicle
  2. Post from the Chronicle in larger chunks rather than breaking it up into smaller, manageable sections
  3. Post a more summarized summary or just combine with analysis
  4. Post more than once a week

That last one just isn’t feasible for my life, as much as I would love to spend all my time talking about WoW. I could easily combine numbers 2 and 3, or even 1 and 3. I haven’t decided yet. I would really love to stick with my original plan of getting it all out there and analyzing everything, but it makes more sense to stick to the major works. People don’t need to know everything, and if they do, they can buy the Chronicles. However, it will be hard to tell if I’ve really missed anything within them that would help with our novel readings. If I still have readers, let me know in the comments below how you feel I should take it, and I guess you’ll see next time where I am headed.

. . . . .

If we go the Chronicle route, we enter Ancient Kalimdor with the trolls and the rise of the Empire of Zul. Short story/novel-wise we would be tackling Death From Above and the mantid cycle (although I am not convinced my timeline is perfect).

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