Blizzard Creative Team posted the last of the Leader Short Stories … Velen: Prophet’s Lesson by Marc Hutcheson.
From the novel World of Warcraft: Rise of the Horde by Christie Golden, and the in-game story at the end of the Sunwell Plateau war under the guidance of the Shattered Sun faction fans know Velen is able to see the future of Azeroth through visions given to him through meditation, the Naaru, and the Ata’mal crystal.
However, this new short story reveals a bit more. Velen is now portrayed as a sentinel of alternate universes. Nozdormu only seems to have vision over Azeroth’s timelines and parallel Azeroths, but never beyond.
It’s obvious that Velen has a more important role to play in future World of Warcraft expansions — especially now that the Dragon Aspects have relinquished their immortality to defeat Deathwing.
The Velen short story is set after the defeat of Deathwing. Something very cool, because the details in this story might offer hints of things to come.
In addition, until now Med’an had not been mentioned in-game or in written media outside the now-cancelled DC Comics World of Warcraft ongoing series.
With the mention of Med’an in this story, Blizzard might be hinting at some upcoming expansion introducing the character, or an appearance in an upcoming novel or graphic novel telling a follow-up story around him.
Fans still don’t know exactly what role if any the New Council of Tirisfal might play in the upcoming Theramore destruction, and/or the World of Warcraft: Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War novel.
Theramore was for a time the seat of power for the New Council of Tirisfal and evaded destruction when Cho’gal and the Twilgiht’s Hammer sent elementals to flatten the fortress.
The New Council of Tirisfal and Med’an’s whereabouts are at the moment unknown.
Vindicator Maraad was last seen aboard the Alliance gunship in Icecrown. In the present, Vindicator Maraad has returned to Azuremyst after the victory over the Lich King and Deathwing’s defeat.
He’s Garona’s uncle, and thus has blood-ties with Garona’s son: Med’an.
The short story kinda follows up Prince Anduin Wrynn’s calling to serve the Light — as seen in World of Warcraft: The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm by Christie Golden. It was King Magni and his cleric friend who determined Anduin was more fit to be a priest than a warrior.
As seen in the World of Warcraft: Wolfheart by Richard A. Knaak, Anduin decided to join Velen to continue his studies — in continuity with Archbishop Benedictus’s betrayal and lack of proper training in the Light.
This short story mentions the physical attack Varian inflicted upon his son Anduin (World of Warcraft: Wolfheart).
This explains how Anduin came to be in the naval fleet that wrecked in Pandaria during a crossfire between Horde and Alliance ships. Anduin has been studying alongside Velen in Exodar ever since the Darnassus summit that decided the admitance of the Gilnean Worgen into the ranks of the Alliance.
The Exodar has been repaired by now under the leadership of Vindicator Romnar.
The Prophet refuses to see anyone but Anduin. He’s lost in the myriad of visions of the future, trying to pinpoint the path. The Naaru seem to be silent, and Velen isn’t able to decide what best course of action his people must take.
In his visions, Velen glimpses alternate possibilities after the Exodar has been repaired. The exodar exploding and destroying Azuremyst, the exodar landing in Outland and successfully restoring order, etc.
After Anduin confronts Velen why he didn’t warn about the Cataclysm, there is a vision where he sees the Horde, the Alliance, the Draenei, the dragons and the naaru in a final battle that can only be described as a war against Sargeras.
A few years ago, during my interview with Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson at New York Comic Con 2009, both hinted about Gilneas and the return of Sargeras. Gilneas has come to pass with World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Sargeras is still to come into reality in the MMO.
This story shows that even an ancient entity and holy servant of the Light like Velen is not immune to wrongness.
The Exodar repaired and ready to depart back to Outland, Velen’s eyes open to the rightful path. It’s not in meditating into the myriad of futures seeking counsel from from Naaru on which path is the right one. The right path is in caring for the lives of now, and serving the present needs, making the people of Azeroth strong to face the threats of the future. Not only those of Azeroth’s future, but of the universe’s as a whole. The war against the Burning Legion is coming.