For months, I have theorized that the final assault against the Icecrown Citadel dungeon and the battle against the Lich King will be assisted by heroes. This is strongly suggested due to the introduction of faction champions in the Argent Coliseum—i.e. if you are Horde you will fight Alliance champions. And viceversa. My theory is two-fold: If you are Horde, Thrall and Garrosh will fight alongside you against the Lich King. Whereas if you are Alliance, King Varian and Jaina Proudmoore will. I am unsure if there will be other faction heroes—for example, King Magni and Mekkatorque; or Cairne and Vol’jin are very underused. Vol’jin at least had a participation in the Battle for Undercity, but the other heroes haven’t been used.
As an example, Akama the draenei helped us in the Illidan the Betrayer battle, and below 20% health Maiev Shadowsong joined the battle to defeat him in the Black Temple. It is smart to think that in order to defeat Arthas the Lich King we might need the assistance of faction heroes to take him down.
The second theory was that Trag Highmountain would play a role in the battle against the Icecrown Citadel dungeon. This character comes from the pages of Tokyopop’s manga through Warcraft Legends Vol. 1-4, a story written by Richard A. Knaak. Trag however debuted in a previous manga titled Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy along with Kalecgos, Anveena, Dar’Khan Drak’thir, Tyri and Jorad Mace—who already have NPCs in-game since the Burning Crusade expansion days.
Trag Highmountain rose as a undead tauren in Warcraft Legends Vol. 1. He had destroyed the Orb of Ner’zhul sacrificing himself. However, the orb rose him as undead later. He sought help from his tribe’s shaman, but was deceived by his own people. Thrall helped Trag heal within, and allowed him to reach Borean Tundra aboard the ships that sailed to settle the Warsong Hold.
From there, Trag found the Taunka at the Taunka’le Village and helped them contain the attacks from the Anu’bar. Trag accompanied a Taunka in his search for a beloved female. They found her corpse at the Galakrond’s rest graveyard. Here Trag found a bone of Galakrond and created a weapon out of it with the hope to kill Arthas the Lich King with it. His thirst for vengeance against the one responsible for his undead state is vast. However, he succumbed to the Lich King and became his Death Knight puppet. His first mission was to lay siege to the Icemist Village. Without spoiling further, Trag Highmountain recovered his freedom, and as revealed today in patch 3.2 he claims he will help us in the final assault against the Lich King.
Trag: “I will join in the assault upon Icecrown Citadel when the time to strike is upon us.”
Last year, after I met Jeff Kaplan at the Blizzard campus’ cafeteria, I shared with him an idea for the Lich King encounter. I have no clue if he ever got to follow up on that before he moved on to the Next-Gen MMO development, but we will see.