Agamaggan

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in The Ancients Lore, World of Warcraft News

Agamaggan was one of the Ancients, an immortal Giant Boar which legend say was among the first living creatures to roam Azeroth.  The creature’s body was surrounded by thorny vines.  His immense appetite made his body grow as years passed, making him a juggernaut of raw strength, using his thorny vines and tusks as weapons.  Agamaggan was often hunted by the trolls, unsuccessfully.

During the War of the Ancients, 10 milennia ago, Cenarius sought the assistance of Agamaggan, convincing the god boar that if the Burning Legion won the war, all life would be destroyed in the world.  Agamaggan assaulted the stronghold of Azshara, slaying thousands of Doomguards and Felguards with fury.  Among his abilities, Agamaggan could stomp the ground with his massive hoof, breath corrosive acid upon his enemies and cast a rain of thorns that would detach from his back causing considerable harm.

The battle between Agamaggan and the demons was lengthy, and ranged across the continent, toward the west.  Agamaggan fought the pit lord Mannaroth ?  Archimonde’s lieutenant and servant of Sargeras.  Finally, Agamaggan fell before the Legion sacrificing himself, but his assistance was vital, allowing Malfurion and others to enter the stronghold of Azshara to reach the Well of Eternity.

Agamaggan was slain in the land currently known as The Barrens, near the Valley of Giants.  The Quillboar believes that wherever Agamaggan’s blood fell, the land grew the thick thorn vines that characterized him.  The blood spilled created a mineral known as Bloodstone,  which Quillboar use to amplify their magic in many uses to give them strength, intellect, agility, speed, nature spells and more.  Legend says Amagamman might walk among the living someday, and the Quillboar awaits that day.

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Aviana

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in The Ancients Lore, World of Warcraft News

Aviana was formerly a mere raven of the wild.  One day Elune summoned the raven to her for a special delivery.  The raven sent the message of Elune to Cenarius.  Doing her job well for years, Elune asked the raven to serve as messenger to other deities and eternals.  Each deity would greet and reward Aviana with special gifts along the years.  These special gifts evolved the Raven, and became almost an equal to the deities.

Among the abilities she gained was to shapeshift into any form.  Aviana grew curious of the Night Elves, and joined the temple of Elune shapeshifted as a Night Elf.  When Azshara and her servants delved deeper into the Well of Eternity?s magic, Aviana could sense the corruption of the reckless use of its magics, and fled back to Elune.

During the War of the Ancients, Aviana would serve as tactical spy of Cenarius who sent her to watch over the Demons of the Burning Legion, and as messenger.  When humans or Night Elves were in danger, Aviana would take the form of a soldier or friendly shape to help other elves get away from Doomguards and Felhunters that were tracking and chasing them.  Her duties were vital to save many lives.

Aviana is known to many races including trolls, elves, tauren, and dwarves.  She takes the form of any of those races and poses as one of them to spy from within.  She usually watches from above and afar, as her main duties are to be a messenger or to gather info for Cenarius and Elune.  Aviana prefers to attack from out of sight high above casting magical spells to neutralize her enemies.  When in a female form, she ranges with her bow and in raven form, she will claw and beak her way out before attempting to escape.

Aviana lives in G?hanir, the Mother Tree ? the biggest tree of Azeroth atop the biggest peak—which has the seeds of all tree species of Azeroth.  The tree is a realm high in the sky above the clouds, where all the spirits of birds and winged creatures from all climates and zones of Azeroth are gathered after their death.  Even the spirits of dragons inhabit G?hanir as the afterlife place.  The demigoddess Aviana is the guardian of G?hanir.

G?hanir is apart from the real world,  more akin to the Emerald Dream, but separate from both.  It is a realm of its own.  Aviana?s true form looks humanoid.  Pale ivory face, and feathers for hair.  Her arms and hands are decorated with feathers, while her legs end in taloned small and delicate feet.  Among her magical abilities, Aviana creates spells on feathers. When she gives someone a feather, she grants the individual the ability to fly.  Another enchanted feather may make an individual become light of weight.

Aviana is patron of the Druids of the Talons, who venerate her.  She grants them the ability to shapeshift into ravens.  In this form, Druids of the Talon can gather information and deliver messages.  Aviana can hide in the shadows with shadowmeld.  No spell or flame-based spell can negate her ability, unless it is a daylight based enchantment.  When Aviana is shapeshifted, no one can see her true form unless using a spell of true seeing.

Aviana died during the War of the Ancients, and her realm tree G’hanir died with her.  Alexstrasza still held an acorn from G’hanir.  When the War of the Ancients ended, Illidan had created a new Well of Eternity by releasing 3 vials of water from the original well into the lake at Mount Hyjal.  Alexstrasza planted the acorn from G’hanir—the Mother Tree, into the lake of Mount Hyjal, hoping to create a new World Tree, to replace the lost G’hanir.  The New Tree was named Nordrassil.

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References:

War of the Ancients: The Sundering

Warcraft RPG: Shadow & Light

Ursol and Ursoc

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in The Ancients Lore, World of Warcraft News

The brother Bears were well known friends to the Ancients and night elves.  The bears held glyph markings on their fur.  Ursol and Ursoc visited the villages of the Night Elves, specially during festivals to the Moon.  Ursol carved statues made of dead trees, while Ursoc was fond of brew.  Both learned this from mortals.  Both bears would spend time allowing Night Elves children to mount them, and also spent time drinking ale with the Night Elves.

Ursol was a shaman spellcaster, while Ursoc was a strong warrior using his paws and teeth.  Combining their powers they would strike as one any enemy with efficiency, using strength and magic.

Ursol and Ursoc are patrons of those who favor balance of nature and the living beasts of the wild.  Among the most loyal followers of Ursoc and Ursol are the Furbolgs, practicing their magical traditions as Shamans—copying Ursol; while other Furbolg follow on Ursoc’s customs—carving wood statues and structures.  Timbermaw Hold in northern Felwood is an example.  The stronghold’s entrance is a giant wood carved in the shape of a growling bear head—as homage to the twin bears.

The Night Elves are also followers of the twin bears, Ursoc and Ursol, dedicating their lives to the Eternals taking the aspect of the bear:  The Druids of the Claw.  Every Druid that follows the path of the bear, needs to undergo a ritual by talking to the Spirit Bear in the Moonglades.

Ursol and Ursoc befriended generations of Humans and Night Elves.  During the War of the Ancients, Ursoc and Ursol were the first to answer the call of Cenarius to combat the Burning Legion.  They clashed with the Doomguards and died defending the land.

The worshipers of the twins, hope to someday find any ancestral alewell or carvings made by their patrons.

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References:
War of the Ancients: The Sundering
Warcraft RPG: Shadow & Light

Malorne

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in The Ancients Lore, World of Warcraft News

Malorne was an enormous white stag that roamed the land as protector of nature.  His eyes are silver and his body shines with a white glow.  He was among the first living creatures in Azeroth.  The Tauren were hunting Malorne one day, and in his attempt to escape Elune bargained with Malorne in exchange of help.  Malorne accepted Elune’s help and loved her as part of the deal.  Elune mothered Cenarius from that relationship.  You can read the Tauren legends about Malorne and Cenarius here.

Malorne the Waywatcher shows up to help the Night Elves when great crisis affect the world or the Night Elf civilization in the shape of a giant white stag.  Although he has great magical power, he is never shapeshifted into any other form.  Malorne has avoided two civil wars among the Night Elves simply by making himself present before the astonished eyes of the Night Elves.

Malorne is a great diplomat of sorts.  He would first engage in conversation with other individuals to seek reasoning.  When diplomacy doesn’t work, Malorne uses his calming aura to tranquilize his opponents—which cancels out any spellcasting or physical abilities.  If they persist, he uses non-lethal magic to restrain or separate opposing forces.  If two forces engaged in combat, he would heal both sides and try to find a solution to stop the fight.

Malorne may enter the Emerald Dream and the Physical world at any time, and perceives what happens in both realms as if he had omniscience of what happens simultaneously in both planes.

Rumors are of the existence of a group of druids that take on the aspect of Malorne as Druids of the Antler, but it has not been proven.  Night Elves do worship Malorne for his great assistance during the War of the Ancients against the first invasion of the Burning Legion where he lost his life in defense of the world of Azeroth.

Cenarius had gone into a frenzy seeing Ursoc and Ursol, Aviana, and Agamaggan die.  Cenarius crushed hundreds of Felguards and Felhunters with his antlers and some others got impaled against the dead corpse of Agamaggan’s thorny side as Cenarius charged them outwards.

The demons finally got hold of Cenarius, and before the demons could slay him, Marlone came into the fray blinding all demons with his majestic white flashing body.  Marlone’s hoof crushed many demons, while his antlers swoop many others.  Marlone defended his son Cenarius, and with a look toward the elves as if telepathically commanding them to come for his son,  Jarod Shadowsong and others dragged Cenarius to safety.

Malorne would have surely single-handedly defeated the Burning Legion, had Archimonde not showed up.  Black lightning stroke the land around Malorne, baking it … then green fire from the ground engulfed Malorne, burning at his coat, while the land and rock formed giant hands that pinned his four legs to the ground.  Archimonde swelled in size matching Malorne’s height.

Malorne freed himself from his magical trap, and charged Archimonde with his antlers, causing tremors and lightning as demons and Azeroth’s races nearby shook and fell to the ground flat on their backs with astonishment.  Finally, Archimonde grabbed Marlone by the neck and with great force snapped his neck.  Cenarius’s brave rescuer laid limp and lifeless, as Archimonde tossed him to the side.

Malfurion knowing Cenarius was uncouncious and that Archimonde had just slain Marlorne,  casted a spell that engulfed most of Archimonde’s body with vines.  The Archdemon, analytical as always, decided to retreat by vanishing in a green flare of flames that consumed the vines.

Shortly, Alexstrasza, Ysera, and the Bronze dragon consorts of Nozdormu, along with their dragonflights joined the War of the Ancients.  Ysera came to a halt and opened wide her brilliant jade orbs with a deafening shriek.  As she landed, thousands of demons were thrown in all directions with her paws and wings … making her way through to her goal, until she came still, her chin on Malorne’s head, sobs could be heard.  Her lover was dead.

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References:

War of the Ancients: The Sundering

Warcraft RPG: Shadow & Light

Cenarius

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in The Ancients Lore, World of Warcraft News

The demigod of the Groves, Cenarius, is son of Elune and Malorne the Waywatcher—white stag.  Cenarius has a upper torso like a Night Elf, while his lower torso is that of a stag.  His body is 10 feet tall supported by four strong legs ending in hooves.  His eye-orbs are golden, his moss-green hair falls down to his shoulders.  His hair and beard grows leaves and twigs.  On his head, Cenarius has two glorious and enormous Antlers that add more length to his ten-feet body frame.

The forest lord shepherded the forests and groves of Azeroth, protecting all living beings and nature.  Cenarius is mostly worshipped by Night Elves and Taurens, but worshipped as well by other woodland beings.

Cenarius is very powerful using druidic magic—he may command the roots to grow to entangle his enemies or summon forest spirits to materialize as treants.  Cenarius avoids any physical attack and slows downs any enemy that tries to engage him with entangling roots.  Cenarius can heal an army with a rain of tranquility, or individuals.  He can telepathically communicate with anyone in any language and plane shifts between both the Emerald Dream and the physical world at will.  Cenarius can also travel through many layers of the Emerald Dream.  There are layers below the Emerald Dream that are represented as the world before the Titans created life in Azeroth and before the Well of Eternity was built upon Azeroth.  There are other layers above that transports you to periods of time where the mountains were still been shaped by the Earthen and Sea Giants.  War of the Ancients: The Sundering book reveals the different layers of the Emerald Dream.  Malfurion was able to penetrate Deathwing’s wards blocking his lair by delving below the layer of the Emerald Dream, in a primal world younger than the Emerald Dream—refered to as a world before the Titans defeated the Old gods.

Although legends of Night Elves say that Cenarius is son of Elune and Malorne, Krasus revealed to Malfurion of a deeper relationship between Cenarius and Ysera the Dragon Aspect of the Emerald Dream.  Although Malfurion thought at first both were lovers, it is later revealed to him that Ysera is mother of Cenarius, which either contradicts the former belief that Elune mothered Cenarius, or confirms that Elune is truely one of the shapes taken by Ysera to manisfest herself to the Night Elves—reference: War of the Ancients book three: The Sundering.

Cenarius became interested in the Amani Trolls that found and explored the magics of the Well of Eternity, 16 milennia ago.  The waters of the Well evolved the Amani Trolls into the primitive Night Elves.  As their intellect and mastery over magic grew, he decided to make himself known to the Night Elves to protect them and teach them.  Although few followed his teachings, Malfurion became his best student in druidic ways.

To most of the population, Cenarius was but a legend, except for a few who witnessed his presence among the mortals.  Malfurion taught Malfurion to walk the Emerald Dream after finding he was ready.  When the the highborne of Azshara allowed the Burning Legion to enter Azeroth, Cenarius rallied the Ancients Agamaggan, Ursol & Ursoc, Malorne, Aviana and other deities and Eternals to engage the Burning Legion’s Doomguards, Felguards and Eredars.

Many Ancients died, but Cenarius remained to help rebuild the land and the Night Elf civilization for ten thousand years.  Cenarius was finally slain during the second coming of the Burning Legion, when Mannaroth defiled with his blood a fountain to let Grom Hellscream drink from it.  Mannaroth wanted to take revenge against Cenarius for his involvement during the first invasion’s defeat.  Grom Hellscream transformed into a ccorrupted orc and convinced the Warsong Clan to drink from the defiled fountain.

With almost god-like strength, Grom Hellscream and the demon-tainted Orcs defeated Cenarius in Ashenvale, when Cenarius defended the forests from the Orcs Wood Camps who were cutting off trees for their campaign as ordered by Thrall.

Thrall was away with Cain Bloodhoof seeking the Oracle, which proved to be Medivh.  Grom Hellscream listened to the Troll Witch doctors, who felt a powerful magic source, and fell before the temptation of Mannaroth’s defiled fountain thinking that it may help him defeat the demigod Cenarius.  Although Cenarius died, the Night Elves think that Cenarius might be reborn with a different shape.  The leader of Circle of the Druids,  Dendrite Starblaze—in the Moonglades, is often seen talking while rising his face to the sky, as if talking with Cenarius’s spirit.

You may read the Tauren legends about Cenarius’s birth here.

To learn more about Cenarius, buy the War of the Ancients Trilogy books and Warcraft RPG: Shadow and Light.

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References:

War of the Ancients: The Sundering

Warcraft RPG: Shadow & Light

Elune

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in The Ancients Lore, World of Warcraft News

Elune is the most powerful Eternal of Azeroth and the only true goddess in the world of Azeroth—Warcraft RPG: Shadow & Light ranks her as lvl 85 healer.  She avoids any and all types of combat.  She appears before Night Elves disguised as a ghostly Night Elf female with a skin that glows with intensity.  Her eyes are pure moonlight silver, and her clothing along her arms, chest, legs and head are adorned with silvery jewelry.

Elune has the ability of calming races engaged in battle by singing a song of peace at night, until sunrise.  She can heal or grant a follower the gift of healing. She can also resurrect a dead creature.  Elune has never made herself known to any living creature in the physical plane in a physical form.  She appears as a ghostly-image in dreams or in her most adept’s mind.

Elune protected all living beings and let them grow and thrive.  She would cast her calming influence over many races to avoid conflicts among races.  Malorne, Cenarius and Elune helped the primitive Night Elves to evolve without falling corrupted to the arcane magic of the Well of Eternity for many centuries.  Despite their attempts to help the Night Elves, Azshara and the highborne were corrupted by the magic of the well.

After the War of the Ancients, the Well of Eternity was destroyed by Malfurion.  The catastrophic earthquakes sundered the middle jungles of Suramar and Zin-Azshari underwater, leaving an eternal scar of chaotic energies—a storm zone known as the Maelstrom.  The sundering caused Volcanoes to arise and release lava and ash into the athmosphere.  This period in history, known as the Sundering, at the end of the War of the Ancients, caused the world of Azeroth to enter a a darkened era.  The ashes from volcanoes caused the athmosphere to block the Sun for 8 milennia.

During those milennias, Elune helped to heal the land and to nurture the world back to life.  Most of the Ancient Eternals perished during the invasion of the Burning Legion, including Malorne, Ursol and Ursoc, Agamaggan, and others.

With help of her son Cenarius, she could heal the land, and 3,000 years ago, the sun was once more seen upon Azeroth when the ashes in the atmosphere extinguished.  The trolls, humans and the recently awakened Earthen had barely survived the coldness and darkness of those 8 milennia with no sun.

Barely entering a new era of peace and land harmony, a new threat loomed in the horizon when High Elves taught Humans to wield magic.  The reckless use of magic in the hands of some humans called the attention of the demons once more, resulting few milennias later into the second coming of the Burning Legion.

According to War of the Ancients: The Sundering,  Krasus revealed to Malfurion that Ysera mothered Cenarius. We recommend you to read War of the Ancients: The Sundering.


UPDATE 9-21-05:  Richard A. Knaak answered to Blizzplanet:

Blizzplanet: “War of the Ancients Trilogy reveals that Ysera is mother of Cenarius and lover of Malorne. Are Ysera and Elune one and the same?”

Knaak: “Elune and Ysera are not the same. Here is the explanation, per Blizzard, who did not wish any further elaboration in the novel at the time:

According to the Sundering, it is said that Ysera is Cenarius’s mother. However, Dungard the Earthen says that he thought Elune ‘birthed’ Cenarius.

Elune birthed Cenarius, but gave him up to Malorne because Cenarius was more a creature of the mortal world and could not be with her. Malorne, who had relations with both Elune and Ysera, knew that he could not properly care for his son, but Ysera’s love was so great for Malorne that she took Cenarius as her own. Hence being his mother (or adoptive mother).”

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References:

War of the Ancients: The Sundering

Warcraft RPG: Shadow & Light

Queen Azshara

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in The Ancients Lore, World of Warcraft News

Azshara was a young Night Elf female, that with her mastery over magic, became Queen of the Night Elf civilization.  Her elite guards and servants became the only ones to tap directly upon the Well of Eternity.

Those serving Azshara were separated from the civil Night elves with the name of Highborne or Quel’dorei.  Their experimentation of the Well of Eternity made them master it over the years.  With the arcane magics of the well, the elves were able to control the molecular structure of trees by blending and merging them into forms their minds shaped them to take, creating masterpiece buildings, housings, and other structures to shelter their civilization.

The Palace of Azshara was built on the Well of Eternity.  As their civilization expanded, destroying other Troll tribes in the Middle Jungles, and to the west, and as the Aqiri was crushed and sealed in Southern Silithus, and Nerubians pushed to the northern lands(Northrend), the obssession of Azshara and her highborne grew stronger.  They wanted to purify the world of Azeroth of all lesser races, and even their own race.  Their goal was to leave only the Highborne alive to initiate a new golden age.  To this goal, they amplified a spellcasting on the Well of Eternity, seeking more power.

By accident, Sargeras felt the intensity of the magic of the Well of Eternity upon a small world.  Sargeras made contact with Lord Xavius, counselor of Azshara.  Sargeras convinced them to allow him to be their god in exchange of power, promising he would purify their land.

Mannaroth and Hakkar the Houndmaster entered Azeroth, heralding the arrival of the Burning Legion.  Azshara was a selfish, arrogant and her vanity rivaled her thirst for power.  She allowed the Burning Legion to kill all night elves not member of her Highborne.

Malfurion sensed a wrongness in his dreams which became a constant nightmare.  Telling Cenarius of his nightmares, Cenarius was convinced that Malfurion was experiencing precognition abilities, and deemed him ready to learn the ways of the Emerald Dream.  Once in the Emerald Dream, Malfurion was able to seek the source of the wrongness down to Zin-Azshari—within the palace of Azshara.  That is how Malfurion knew the truth about Azshara and the Highborne’s plans and for weeks, Cenarius and Malfurion built an army of Night Elves and Ancients to battle the demons.

Malfurion destroyed the Well of Eternity in an attempt to halt forever the portal that would allow Sargeras to enter Azeroth.  The implosion of the unstable portal within the Well of Eternity caused a cataclysmic earthquake that sunk the middle jungles and the surrounding lands.  The sea rushed in from around the huge Ancient Kalimdor continent to fill the void.

The sundering of the land divided the huge Continent created ages past by the Titans and their servants: Earthen(Dwarves) and Sea Giantsj—separating different lands of the continent into smaller land masses known later as Western Kalimdor, Northrend, Lordaeron, Azeroth, Undermine and other islands.  Where once there was only one massive continent, now there existed 4 minor continents.

After the implosion of the Well of Eternity, massive earthquakes ravaged the middle jungles, risen volcanoes spouted lava and ashes.  The earthquakes sundered the land underwater, while volcanoes blackened the athmosphere, blocking sunlight upon Azeroth.  For 8 milennia, the world was in darkness.  The Well of Eternity became into the Maelstrom, a chaotic storm of arcane magic.

The Highborne and the Queen Azshara had undergone a transformation as the corruption of the Well of Eternity transfigured them to become adapted to their underwater surroundings.

Azshara, the most precious of female elves, became a monster.  Azshara is 20 feet tall, her skin has thick scales from her torso up.  Her legs transmuted into five octopus-like tentacules.  Her hair became living serpents(Like Medusa) and from her torso, four arms serve as tools to grab and throw javelins, however,. some of her javelins cast an electric charge upon her opponents and can shoot a dark ink spray upon enemies to blind them, while she makes her escape or to engage her enemies from a more treacherous angle.

Her loyal Highborne elves became the Naga.  Their body became reptile-like, growing scales.  Their legs turned to long tails that allow them to swim with efficiency underwater.

Azshara reigns her underwater kingdom from her former Zin-Azshari, now known as Nazjatar.  According to the Art of World of Warcraft book, found in the World of Warcraft Collection, the palace of Azshara is a structure atop a base in shape of a snail-like octopus.

References:

War of the Ancients: The Sundering
Warcraft RPG: Shadow & Light

Aegwynn and the Dragon Hunt

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

As the politics and rivalries of the seven human nations waxed and waned, the line of Guardians kept its constant vigil against chaos. There were many Guardians over the years, but only one ever held the magical powers of Tirisfal at any given time. One of the last Guardians of the age distinguished herself as a mighty warrior against the shadow.

Aegwynn, a fiery human girl, won the approbation of the Order and was given the mantle of Guardianship. Aegwynn vigorously worked to hunt down and eradicate demons wherever she found them, but she often questioned the authority of the male-dominated Council of Tirisfal.

She believed that the ancient elves and the elderly men who presided over the council were too rigid in their thinking and not farsighted enough to put a decisive end to the conflict against chaos. Impatient with lengthy discussion and debate, she yearned to prove herself worthy to her peers and superiors, and as a result frequently chose valor over wisdom in crucial situations.

As her mastery over the cosmic power of Tirisfal grew, Aegwynn became aware of a number of powerful demons that stalked the icy northern continent of Northrend. Traveling to the distant north, Aegwynn tracked the demons into the mountains. There, she found that the demons were hunting one of the last surviving dragonflights and draining the ancient creatures of their innate magic.

The mighty dragons, who had fled from the ever-advancing march of mortal societies, found themselves too evenly matched against the dark magics of the Legion. Aegwynn confronted the demons, and with help from the noble dragons, eradicated them. Yet, as the last demon was banished from the mortal world, a great storm erupted throughout the north.

An enormous dark visage appeared in the sky above Northrend. Sargeras, the demon king and lord of the Burning Legion, appeared before Aegwynn and bristled with hellish energy. He informed the young Guardian that the time of Tirisfal was about to come to an end and that the world would soon bow before the onslaught of the Legion.

The proud Aegwynn, believing herself to be a match for the menacing god, unleashed her powers against Sargeras’ avatar. With disconcerting ease, Aegwynn battered the demonlord with her powers and succeeded in killing his physical shell. Fearing that Sargeras’ spirit would linger on. Aegwynn locked the ruined husk of his body within one of the ancient halls of Kalimdor that had been blasted to the bottom of the sea when the Well of Eternity collapsed.

Aegwynn would never know that she had done exactly as Sargeras had planned. She had inadvertently sealed the fate of the mortal world, for Sargeras, at the time of his corporeal death, had transferred his spirit into Aegwynn’s weakened body. Unbeknownst to the young Guardian, Sargeras would remain cloaked within the darkest recesses of her soul for many long years.

Book found at Scarlet Monastery

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Aftermath of the Second War

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

The devastating Second War against the orcish horde left the Alliance of Lordaeron in a state of shock and disarray. The bloodthirsty orcs, led by the mighty warchief, Orgrim Doomhammer, not only smashed their way through the dwarf-held lands of Khaz Modan, but had razed many of Lordaeron’s central provinces as well. The unrelenting orcs even succeeded in ravaging the elves’ remote kingdom of Quel’Thalas before their rampage was finally stopped.

The Alliance armies led by Sir Anduin Lothar, Uther the Lightbringer, and Admiral Daelin Proudmoore pushed the orcs south into the shattered land of Azeroth – the first kingdom to fall before the orcs’ ruthless onslaught.

The Alliance forces under Sir Lothar managed to push Doomhammer’s clans out of Lordaeron and back into the orc-controlled lands of Azeroth. Lothar’s forces surrounded the orcs’ volcanic citadel of Blackrock Spire and laid siege to their defenses.

In a last-ditch effort, Doomhammer and his lieutenants staged a daring charge from the Spire and clashed with Lothar’s paladins in the center of the Burning Steppes. Doomhammer and Lothar squared off in a titanic battle that left both mighty combatants battered and drained. Though Doomhammer narrowly succeeded in vanquishing Lothar, the great hero’s death did not have the effect the warchief had hoped for.

Turalyon, Lothar’s most trusted lieutenant, took up Lothar’s bloodstained shield and rallied his grief-stricken brethren for a vicious counterattack. Under the ragged standards of both Lordaeron and Azeroth, Turalyon’s troops slaughtered the bulk of Doomhammer’s remaining forces in a glorious, but terrible rout.

There was nothing left for the ragged, scattered orc survivors but to flee to the last standing bastion of orcish power – the dark portal.

Turalyon and his warriors chased the remaining orcs through the festering Swamp of Sorrows and into the corrupted Blasted Lands where the dark portal stood. There, at the foot of the colossal portal, the broken horde and the rugged Alliance clashed in what would be the last, bloodiest battle of the Second War.

Outnumbered and driven mad by the curse of their bloodlust, the orcs inevitably fell before the wrath of the Alliance. Doomhammer was taken prisoner and escorted to Lordaeron while his broken clans were rounded up and hauled north – back to Lordaeron.

Book found in Scarlet Monastery.

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Arathor and the Troll Wars

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

As the high elves fought for their lives against the trolls’ fierce onslaught, the scattered, nomadic humans of Lordaeron fought to consolidate their own tribal lands. The tribes of early humanity raided each other’s settlements with little heed for racial unification or honor.

Yet one tribe, known as the Arathi, saw that the trolls were becoming too great a threat to ignore. The Arathi wished to bring all of the tribes under its rule so that they could provide a unified front against the troll warbands.

Over the course of six years, the cunning Arathi outmaneuvered and outfought the rival tribes. After every victory, the Arathi offered peace and equality to the conquered people; thus, they won the loyalty of those they had beaten. Eventually the Arathi tribe came to include many disparate tribes, and the ranks of its army grew vast.

Confident that they could hold their own against the troll warbands or even the reclusive elves if need be, the Arathi warlords decided to construct a mighty fortress city in the southern regions of Lordaeron. The city-state, named Strom, became the capital of the Arathi nation, Arathor. As Arathor prospered, humans from all over the vast continent traveled south to the protection and safety of Strom.

United under one banner, the human tribes developed a strong, optimistic culture. Thoradin, the king of Arathor, knew that the mysterious elves in the northlands were under constant siege by the trolls, but refused to risk the safety of his people in defense of reclusive strangers. Many months passed as rumors of the elves’ supposed defeat trickled down from the north. It was only when weary ambassadors from Quel’Thalas reached Strom that Thoradin realized how great the troll threat truly was.

The elves informed Thoradin that the troll armies were vast and that once the trolls had destroyed Quel’Thalas, they would move on to attack the southlands. The desperate elves, in dire need of military aid, hastily agreed to teach certain select humans to wield magic in exchange for their help against the warbands.

Thoradin, distrustful of any magic, agreed to aid the elves out of necessity. Almost immediately, elven sorcerers arrived in Arathor and began to instruct a group of humans in the ways of magic.

The elves found that although humans were innately clumsy in their handling of magic, they possessed a startling natural affinity for it. One hundred men were taught the very basics of the elves’ magical secrets: no more than was absolutely necessary to combat the trolls. Convinced that their human students were ready to aid in the struggle, the elves left Strom and traveled north alongside the mighty armies of King Thoradin.

The united elf and human armies clashed against the overwhelming troll warbands at the foot of the Alterac Mountains. The battle lasted for many days, but the unflagging armies of Arathor never tired or gave an inch of ground before the troll onslaught. The elven lords deemed that the time had come to release the powers of their magic upon the enemy.

The hundred human magi and a multitude of elven sorcerers called down the fury of the heavens and set the troll armies ablaze. The elemental fires prevented the trolls from regenerating their wounds and burned their tortured forms from the inside out.

As the troll armies broke and attempted to flee, Thoradin’s armies ran them down and slaughtered every last one of their soldiers. The trolls would never fully recover from their defeat, and history would never see the trolls rise as one nation again. Assured that Quel’Thalas was saved from destruction, the elves made a pledge of loyalty and friendship to the nation of Arathor and to the bloodline of its king, Thoradin. Humans and elves would nurture peaceful relations for ages to come.

Book found at Scarlet Monastery.

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Archimonde’s Return

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

Once Kel’Thuzad was whole again, Arthas led the Scourge south to Dalaran. There the lich would obtain the powerful spellbook of Medivh, and use it to summon Archimonde back into the world. From that point on, Archimonde himself would begin the Legion’s final invasion. Not even the wizards of the Kirin Tor could stop Arthas’ forces from stealing Medivh’s book, and soon Kel’Thuzad had all he needed to perform his spell.

After ten thousand years, the mighty demon Archimonde and his host emerged once again upon the world of Azeroth. Yet Dalaran was not their final destination. Under orders from Kil’jaeden himself, Archimonde and his demons followed the undead Scourge to Kalimdor, bent on destroying Nordrassil, the World Tree.

In the midst of this chaos, a lone, mysterious prophet appeared to lend the mortal races guidance. This prophet proved to be none other than Medivh, the last Guardian, miraculously returned from the Beyond to redeem himself for past sins. Medivh told the Horde and the Alliance of the dangers they faced and urged them to band together.

Jaded by generations of hate, the orcs and humans would have none of it. Medivh was forced to deal with each race separately, using prophecy and trickery to guide them across the sea to the legendary land of Kalimdor. The orcs and humans soon encountered the long-hidden civilization of the Kaldorei.

The orcs, led by Thrall, suffered a series of setbacks on their journey across Kalimdor’s Barrens. Though they befriended Cairne Bloodhoof and his mighty tauren warriors, many orcs began to succumb to the demonic bloodlust that had plagued them for years. Thrall’s greatest lieutenant, Grom Hellscream, even betrayed the Horde by giving himself over to his baser instincts.

As Hellscream and his loyal Warsong warriors stalked through the forests of Ashenvale, they clashed with the ancient night elf Sentinels. Certain that the orcs had returned to their warlike ways, the demigod Cenarius came forth to drive Hellscream and his orcs back. Yet Hellscream and his orcs, overcome with supernatural hate and rage, managed to kill Cenarius and corrupt the ancient forestlands.

Ultimately, Hellscream redeemed his honor by helping Thrall defeat Mannoroth, the demon lord who first cursed the orcs with his bloodline of hate and rage. With Mannoroth’s death, the orcs’ blood-curse was finally brought to an end.

While Medivh worked to convince the orcs and humans of the need for an alliance, the night elves fought the Legion in their own secretive ways. Tyrande Whisperwind, the immortal High Priestess of the night elf Sentinels, battled desperately to keep the demons and undead from overrunning the forests of Ashenvale. Tyrande realized that she needed help, so she set out to awaken the night elf druids from their thousand-year slumber.

Calling upon her ancient love, Malfurion Stormrage, Tyrande succeeded in galvanizing her defenses and driving the Legion back. With Malfurion’s help, nature herself rose up to vanquish the Legion and its Scourge allies.

While searching for more of the hibernating druids, Malfurion found the ancient barrow prison in which he had chained his brother, Illidan. Convinced that Illidan would aid them against the Legion, Tyrande set him free. Though Illidan did aid them for a time, he eventually fled to pursue his own interests.

The night elves braced themselves and fought the Burning Legion with grim determination. The Legion had never ceased in its desire for the Well of Eternity, long the source of strength for the World Tree and itself the heart of the night elf kingdom. If their planned assault on the Tree was successful, the demons would literally tear the world apart.

Book found at Nijel’s Point

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Iron Forge: The Awakening of the Dwarves

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

In the ancient times, after the Titans departed Azeroth, their children, known as the earthen, continued to shape and guard the deep recesses of the world. The earthen were largely unconcerned with the affairs of the surface-dwelling races and longed only to plumb the dark depths of the earth.

When the world was sundered by the Well of Eternity’s implosion, the earthen were deeply affected. Reeling with the pain of the earth itself, the earthen lost much of their identity and sealed themselves within the stone chambers where they were first created. Uldaman, Uldum, and Uldur.  These were the names of the ancient Titan cities where the earthen first took shape and form. Buried deep beneath the world, the earthen rested in peace for nearly eight thousand years.

Though it is unclear what awakened them, the earthen sealed within Uldaman eventually arose from their self-imposed slumber. These earthen found that they had changed significantly during their hibernation. Their rocky hides had softened and become smooth skin, and their powers over stone and earth had waned. They had become mortal creatures.

Calling themselves dwarves, the last of the earthen left the halls of Uldaman and ventured out into the waking world. Still lulled by the safety and wonders of the deep places, they founded a vast kingdom under the highest mountain in the land.

They named their land Khaz Modan, or “Mountain of Khaz”, in honor of the Titan shaper, Khaz’goroth. Constructing an altar for their Titan father, the dwarves crafted a mighty forge within the heart of the mountain. Thus, the city that grew around the forge would be called Ironforge ever after.

The dwarves, by nature fascinated with shaping gems and stone, set out to mine the surrounding mountains for riches and precious minerals. Content with their labors under the world, the dwarves remained isolated from the affairs of their surface-dwelling neighbors.

Book found at Hall of Explorers

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Beyond the Dark Portal

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

Only a few months after Nethergarde’s completion, the energies of the dark portal coalesced and opened up a new gateway to Draenor. The remaining orc clans, under the leadership of the elder shaman, Ner’zhul, charged forth into Azeroth once again. Intent on stealing a number of magical artifacts that would increase Ner’zhul’s power, the orcs planned to open up new portals in Draenor that would allow them to escape their doomed red world forever.

Convinced that Ner’zhul was planning a new offensive against the Alliance, King Terenas of Lordaeron sent his armies into Draenor to end the orcish threat once and for all. Led by Khadgar and General Turalyon, the Alliance forces clashed with the orcs across the burning landscape. Even with the aid of the elven Ranger Alleria, the dwarf Kurdran and the veteran soldier Danath, Khadgar was unable to prevent Ner’zhul from opening his portals to other worlds.

The tremendous magical storms caused by the portals’ converging energies began to tear the ravaged world apart. Ner’zhul, followed only by his most trusted servants, managed to escape through one of the portals as Khadgar fought desperately to return his comrades to Azeroth. Realizing that they would be trapped on the dying world, Khadgar and his companions selflessly decided to destroy the dark portal so that Azeroth would not be harmed by Draenor’s violent destruction.

By all accounts, the heroes were successful in destroying the portal and saving Azeroth;  but whether or not they escaped the death throes of Draenor remains to be seen.

Book found at Scarlet Monastery

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Charge of the Dragonflights

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

Satisfied that the small world had been ordered and that their work was done, the Titans prepared to leave Azeroth.  However, before they departed, they charged the greatest species of the world with the task of watching over Kalimdor, lest any force should threaten its perfect tranquility.  In that age, there were many dragonflights.

Yet there were five flights that held dominion over their brethren.  It was these five flights that the Titans chose to shepherd the budding world.  The greatest members of the Pantheon imbued a portion of their power upon each of the flights’ leaders.  These majestic dragons (as listed below) became known as the Great Aspects, or the Dragon Aspects.

Aman’Thul, the Highfather of the Panteon, bestowed a portion of his cosmic power upon the massive Bronze dragon, Nozdormu.  The Highfather empowered Nozdormu to guard time itself and police the ever-spinning pathways of fate and destiny.  The stoic, honorable Nozdormu became known as the Timeless One.

Eonar, the titan patron of all life, gave a portion of her power o he Red leviathan, Alexstrasza.  Ever after, Alexstrasza would be known as the Life-binder, and she would work to safeguard all living creatures within the world.  Due to her supreme wisdom and limitless compassion for all living things, Alexstrasza was crowned the Dragonqueen and given dominion over her kind.

Eonar also blessed Alexstrasza’s younger sister, the lithe green dragon Ysera, wih a portion of nature’s influence.  Ysera fell into an eternal trance, bound to the waking Dream of Creation.  Known as the Dreamer, she would watch over the growing wilds of the world from her verdant realm, the Emerald Dream.

Norgannon, the titan lore keeper and master-magician, granted the Blue dragon, Malygos, a portion of his vast power.  From then on, Malygos would be known as the Spell-weaver, the guardian of magic and hidden arcanum.

Khaz’Goroth, the Titan shaper and forger of the world, bestowed some of his bast power upon the mighty black wyrm, Neltharion.  The Great-hearted Neltharion, known afterwards as the Earth-warder was given dominion over the earth and the deep places of the world.  He embodied the strength of the world and served as Alexstrasza’s greatest supporter.

Thus empowered, the Five Aspects were charged with the world’s defense in the Titans’ absence.  With the dragons prepared to safeguard their creation, the Titans left Azeroth behind forever.  Unfortunately it was only a matter of time before Sargeras learned of the newborn world’s existence …

Book found at the Explorer’s League Library—Iron Forge

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Civil War in the Plaguelands

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

Ner’zhul, the Lich King, knew that his time was short. Imprisoned within the Frozen Throne, he suspected that Kil’jaeden would send his agents to destroy him. The damage caused by Illidan’s spell had ruptured the Frozen Throne; thus, the Lich King was losing his power daily. Desperate to save himself, he called his greatest mortal servant to his side: the death knight Prince Arthas.

Though his powers were drained by the Lich King’s weakness, Arthas had been involved in a civil war in Lordaeron. Half of the standing undead forces, led by the banshee Sylvanas Windrunner, staged a coup for control over the undead empire. Arthas, called by the Lich King, was forced to leave the Scourge in the hands of his lieutenant, Kel’Thuzad, as the war escalated throughout the Plaguelands.

Ultimately, Sylvanas and her rebel undead (known as the Forsaken) claimed the ruined capital city of Lordaeron as their own. Constructing their own bastion beneath the wrecked city, the Forsaken vowed to defeat the Scourge and drive Kel’Thuzad and his minions from the land.

Weakened, but determined to save his master, Arthas reached Northrend only to find Illidan’s naga and blood elves waiting for him. He and his nerubian allies raced against Illidan’s forces to reach the Icecrown Glacier and defend the Frozen Throne.

Book found at Southshore

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Icecrown and the Frozen Throne

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

Kil’jaeden cast Ner’zhul’s icy cask back into the world of Azeroth. The hardened crystal streaked across the night sky and smashed into the desolate arctic continent of Northrend, burying itself deep within the Icecrown glacier. The frozen crystal, warped and scarred by its violent descent, came to resemble a throne, and Ner’zhul’s vengeful spirit soon stirred within it.

From the confines of the Frozen Throne, Ner’zhul began to reach out his vast consciousness and touch the minds of Northrend’s native inhabitants. With little effort, he enslaved the minds of many indigenous creatures, including ice trolls and fierce wendigo, and he drew their evil brethren into his growing shadow. His psychic powers proved to be almost limitless, and he used them to create a small army that he housed within Icecrown’s twisting labyrinths.

As the Lich King mastered his growing abilities under the dreadlords’ persistent vigil, he discovered a remote human settlement on the fringe of the vast Dragonblight. On a whim, Ner’zhul decided to test his powers on the unsuspecting humans.

Ner’zhul cast a plague of undeath – which had originated from deep within the Frozen Throne, out into the arctic wasteland. Controlling the plague with his will alone, he drove it straight into the human village. Within three days, everyone in the settlement was dead, but shortly thereafter, the dead villagers began to rise as zombified corpses. Ner’zhul could feel their individual spirits and thoughts as if they were his own.

The raging cacophony in his mind caused Ner’zhul to grow even more powerful, as if their spirits provided him with much-needed nourishment. He found it was child’s play to control the zombies’ actions and steer them to whatever end he wished.

Over the following months, Ner’zhul continued to experiment with his plague of undeath by subjugating every human inhabitant of Northrend. With his army of undead growing daily, he knew that the time for his true test was nearing.

Book found at Scarlet Monastery

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Kel’Thuzad and the Scourge

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

There were a handful of powerful individuals scattered throughout the world who heard the Lich King’s mental summons from Northrend. Most notable of them was the archmage of Dalaran, Kel’Thuzad, who was one of senior members of the Kirin Tor, Dalaran’s ruling council. He had been considered a maverick for years due to his insistence on studying the forbidden arts of necromancy.

Driven to learn all he could of the magical world and its shadowy wonders, he was frustrated by what he saw as his peers’ outmoded and unimaginative precepts. Upon hearing the powerful summons from Northrend, the archmage bent all of his considerable will to communing with the mysterious voice. Convinced that the Kirin Tor was too squeamish to seize the power and knowledge inherent in the dark arts, he resigned himself to learn what he could from the immensely powerful Lich King.

Leaving behind his fortune and prestigious political standing, Kel’Thuzad abandoned the ways of the Kirin Tor and left Dalaran forever. Prodded by the Lich King’s persistent voice in his mind, he sold his vast holdings and stored away his fortunes. Traveling alone over many leagues of both land and sea, he finally reached the frozen shores of Northrend.

Intent on reaching Icecrown and offering his services to the Lich King, the archmage passed through the ravaged, war-torn ruins of Azjol-Nerub. Kel’Thuzad saw firsthand the scope and ferocity of Ner’zhul’s power. He began to realize that allying himself with the mysterious Lich King might be both wise and potentially fruitful.

After long months of trekking through the harsh arctic wastelands, Kel’Thuzad finally reached the dark glacier of Icecrown. He boldly approached Ner’zhul’s dark citadel and was shocked when the undead guardsmen silently let him pass as though he was expected.

Kel’Thuzad descended deep into the cold earth and found his way down to the bottom of the glacier. There, in the endless cavern of ice and shadows, he prostrated himself before the Frozen Throne and offered his soul to the dark lord of the dead.

The Lich King was pleased with his latest conscript. He promised Kel’Thuzad immortality and great power in exchange for his loyalty and obedience. Eager for dark knowledge and power, Kel’Thuzad accepted his first great mission: to go into the world of men and found a new religion that would worship the Lich King as a god.

To help the archmage accomplish his mission, Ner’zhul left Kel’Thuzad’s humanity intact. The aged yet still charismatic wizard was charged with using his powers of illusion and persuasion to lull the downtrodden, disenfranchised masses of Lordaeron into a state of trust and belief. Then, once he had their attention, he would offer them a new vision of what society could be – and a new figurehead to call their king.

Kel’Thuzad returned to Lordaeron in disguise, and over the span of three years, he used his fortune and intellect to gather a clandestine brotherhood of like-minded men and women. The brotherhood, which he called the Cult of the Damned, promised its acolytes social equality and eternal life on Azeroth in exchange for their service and obedience to Ner’zhul.

As the months passed, Kel’Thuzad found many eager volunteers for his new cult amongst the tired, overburdened laborers of Lordaeron. It was surprisingly easy for Kel’Thuzad to achieve his goal: namely, to transfer the citizens’ faith in the Holy Light into belief in Ner’zhul’s dark shadow. As the Cult of the Damned grew in size and influence, Kel’Thuzad made sure to hide its workings from the authorities of Lordaeron.
With Kel’Thuzad’s success in Lordaeron, the Lich King made the final preparations for his assault against human civilization. Placing his plague-energies into a number of portable artifacts called plague-cauldrons, Ner’zhul ordered Kel’Thuzad to transport the cauldrons to Lordaeron, where they would be hidden within various cult-controlled villages.

The cauldrons, protected by the loyal cultists, would then act as plague-generators, sending the plague seeping out across the unsuspecting farmlands and cities of northern Lordaeron.

The Lich King’s plan worked perfectly. Many of Lordaeron’s northern villages were contaminated almost immediately. Just as in Northrend, the citizens who contracted the plague died and arose as the Lich King’s willing slaves.

The cultists under Kel’Thuzad were eager to die and be raised again in their dark lord’s service. They exulted in the prospect of immortality through undeath. As the plague spread, more and more feral zombies arose in the northlands. Kel’Thuzad looked upon the Lich King’s growing army and named it the Scourge, for soon it would march upon the gates of Lordaeron and scour humanity from the face of the world.

Book found at Southshore

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Kil’jaeden and the Shadow Pact

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

Around the time of Medivh’s birth on Azeroth, Kil’jaeden the Deceiver sat and brooded amongst his followers within the Twisting Nether.  The cunning demonlord, under orders of his master, Sargeras, was plotting the Burning Legion’s second invasion of Azeroth.

This time he would not allow any mistakes.  Kil’jaeden surmised that he needed a new force to weaken Azeroth’s defenses before the Legion even set foot upon the world.  If the mortal races, such as the night elves and dragons, were forced to contend with a new threat, they would be too weak to pose any real resistance when the Legion’s true invasion arrived.

It was at this time that Kil’jaeden discovered the lush world of Draenor floating peacefully within the Great Dark Beyond.  Home to the shamanistic, clan-based orcs and the peaceful draenei.  Draenor was as idyllic as it was vast.

The noble orc clans roamed the open prairies and hunted for sport, while the inquisitive draenei bulit crude cities within the world’s towering cliffs and peaks.  Kil’Jaeden knew that Draenor’s denizens had great potential to serve the Burning Legion if they could be cultivated properly.

Of the two races, Kil’Jaeden saw that the warrior orcs were more susceptible to the Legion’s corruption.  He enthralled the Elder orc shaman, Ner’zhul, in much the same way that Sargeras brought Queen Azshara under his control in ages past.  Using the cunning shaman as his conduit, the demon spread battle lust and savagery throughout the orc clans.

Before long, the spiritual race was transformed into a bloodthirsty people.  Kil’jaeden then urged Ner’zhul and his people to take the last step: to give themselves over entirely to the pursuit of death and war.  Yet the old shaman, sensing that his people would be enslaved to hatred forever, somehow resisted the demon’s command.

Frustrated by Ner’zhul’s resistance, Kil’jaeden searched for another orc who would deliver his people into the Legion’s hands.  The clever demonlord ffinally found the willing disciple he sought – Ner’zhul’s ambitious apprentice, Gul’dan.  Kil’jaeden promised Gul’dan untold power in exchange for his utter obedience.

The young orc became an avid student of demonic magic and developed into the most powerful mortal warlock in history.  He taught other young orcs the arcane arts and strove to eradicate the orcs’ shamanistic traditions.  Gul’dan showed a new brand of magic to his breathren A terrible new power that reeked of doom.

Kil’jaeden, seeking to tighten his hold over the orcs, helped Gul’dan found the Shadow Council, a secretive sect that manipulated the clans and spread the use of warlock magics throughout Draenor.  As more and more orcs began to wield warlock magics, the gentle fields and streams of Draenor began to blacken and fade.  Over time, the vast prairies the orcs had called home for generations withered away, leaving only red barren soil.  The demon energies were slowly killing the world.

Lethargy of the Orcs

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

Months passed, and more orc prisoners were rounded up and placed within the internment camps. As the camps began to overflow, the Alliance was forced to construct new camps in the plains sought of Alterac Mountains.  To properly maintain and supply the growing number of camps, King Terenas levied a new tax on the Alliance nations.

This tax, along with increased political tensions over border disputes, created widespread unrest.  It seemed that the fragile pact that had forged the human nations together in their darkest hour would break at any given moment.

Amidst the political turmoil, many of the camp wardens began to notice an unsettling change come over their orc captives.  The orcs’ efforts to escape from the camps or even fight amongst themselves had greatly decreased in frequency over time.  The orcs were becoming increasingly aloof and lethargic.

Though it was difficult to believe, the orcs – once held as the most aggressive race ever seen on Azeroth –  had completely lost their will to fight.  The strange lethargy confounded the Alliance leaders and continued to take its toll on the rapidly weakening orcs.

Some speculated that some strange disease, contractible only by orcs, brought about the baffling lethargy.  But archmage Antonidas of Dalaran posed a different hypothesis.  Researching what little he could find of orcish history, Antonidas learned that the orcs had been under the crippling influence of the demonic power for generations.

He speculated that the orcs had been corrupted by these powers even before their first invasion of Azeroth.  Clearly, demons had spiked the orcs’ blood, and in turn the brutes had been granted unnatural heightened strength, endurance and aggression.

Antonidas theorized that the orcs’ communal lethargy was not actually a disease, but a consequence of racial withdrawal from the volatile warlock magics that had made them fearsome, bloodlusted warriors.Thought the symptoms were clear, Antonidas was unable to find a cure for the orcs’ present condition.  Then too, many of his fellow mages, as well as a few notable Alliance leaders, argued that finding a cure for the orcs would be an imprudent venture.  Left to ponder the orcs’ mysterious condition, Antonidas’ conclusion was that the orcs’ cure would have to be a spiritual one.

—Book found at Eastvale Logging Camp—Elwynn Forest

Mythology of the Titans

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

No one knows exactly how the universe began. Some theorize that a catastrophic cosmic explosion sent the infinite worlds spinning out into the vastness of the Great Dark – worlds that would one day bear life-forms of wondrous and terrible diversity. Others believe that the universe, as it exists, was created as a whole by a singular, all-powerful entity.

Though the exact origins of the chaotic universe remain unclear, it is clear that a race of powerful beings arose to bring order to the various worlds and ensure a safe future for the beings that would follow in their footsteps.

The Titans, colossal, metallic-skinned gods from the far reaches of the cosmos, came forward and set to work on the worlds they encountered. They shaped the form of their worlds by raising mighty mountains and dredging out vast seas.

They breathed skies and raging atmospheres into being – all part of their unfathomable, far-sighted plan to create order out of chaos. They even empowered primitive races to tend to their works and maintain the integrity of their respective worlds.

The Titans, ruled by an elite sect known as the Pantheon, brought order to a hundred million worlds scattered throughout the Great Dark Beyond during the first ages of creation.

The benevolent Pantheon, seeking to safeguard their structured worlds, was ever vigilant against the threat of attack from the vile, extra-dimensional entities of the Twisting Nether. The Nether, an ethereal dimension of chaotic magics that connected the myriad worlds of the universe together, was home to an infinite number of malefic, demonic beings, who sought only to destroy life and devour the energies of the living universe.

Book found at Scarlet Monastery

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Origin of the Tauren, Cenarius and Elune

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

Mists of Dawn

Before the age of memory, the gentle Earthmother breathed upon the golden mists of dawn. Where the amber clouds came to rest, there were endless fields of flowing wheat and barley. This was the basin of her works. The great basket of life and hope.

The Earthmother’s eyes shone down upon the lands she had breathed into creation. Her right eye, An’she (the sun), gave warmth and light to the land. her left eye, Mu’sha (the moon), gave peave and sleep to the stirring creatures of the dawning. Such was the power of her gaze that the Earthmother closed one dreaming eye for every turning of the sky. Thus, her loving gaze turned day into night for the first dawning of the world.

While the right eye shone down upon the golden dawn, the Earthmother’s gentle hands spread out across the golden plains. Wherever the shadow of her arms passed, a noble people arose from the rich soil. The Shu’halo (the Tauren) arose to give thanks and prayer to their loving mother. There in the endless fields of dawn, the children of the earth swore themselves to her grace and vowed to bless her name until the final darkening of the world.

Sorrow of the Earthmother

As the children of the earth roamed the fields of dawn, they harkened to dark whispers from the deep beneath the world. The whispers told the children of the arts of war and deceit. Many of the Shu’halo fell under the shadow’s sway and embraced the ways of malice and wickedness. They turned upon their pure breathren and left their innocence to drift upon the plains.

The Earthmother, her heart heavy with her children’s plight, could not bear to watch them fall from grace. In her grief, she tore out her eyes and set them spinning across the endless starry skies. An’shee and Mu’sha. Seeking to ease the other’s sorrow could only chase each other’s faint glow across the sky. The twins still chase one another with every turning of the world.

Though sightless, the Earthmother could not long stray from the world of her heart. She kept her ear to the winds and listened to all that transpired across the fields of the dawn. Her great heart was always with her children—and her loving wisdom never fled from them.

The White Stag and the Moon

Into the brave hearts of her pure children, the Earthmother placed the love of the hunt. For the creatures of the first dawn were savage and fierce. They hid from the Earthmother finding solace in the shadows and the wild places of the land. The Shu’Halo hunted these beasts wherever they could be found and tamed them with the Earthmother’s blessing.

One great spirit eluded them, however. Apa’ro (known as Malorne to the Night Elves) was a proud stag of snow white fur. His antlers scraped the roof of the heavens and his mighty hooves stamped out the deep places of the world. The Shu’Halo hunted Apa’ro to the corners of the dawning world—and closed in to snare the proud stag.

Seeking to escape, the great stag leapt into the sky. Yet, as his escape seemed assured, his mighty antlers tangled in the stars which held him fast. Though he kicked and struggled, Apa’ro could not loose himself from the heavens. It was then that Mu’sha found him as she chased her brother An’she, towards the dawn. Mu’sha saw the mighty stag as he struggled and fell in love with him immediately.

The clever moon made a bargain with the great stag—she would set him free from the snare of the stars if he would love her and end her loneliness.

Mu’sha loved Apa’ro and conceived a child by him. The child, a demigod some would claim was born in the shadowed forests of the night. He would be called Cenarius and walk the starry path between the waking world and the kingdom of the heavens.

Forestlord and the first druids

In time, the child, Cenarius, grew to the stature of his proud father. A brother to both the trees and the stars. The great hunter roamed the far places of the world, singing the harmonious songs of the dawning. All creatures bowed before his grace and beauty—there were none so cunning as the son of the moon and the white stag.

Eventually, Cenarius befriended the Shu’Halo and spoke to them of the turning world. The children of the earth knew him as brother and swore to help him care for the fields of life and the favored creatures of their great Earthmother.

Cenarius taught the children of the earth to speak to the trees and plants. The Shu’Halo became druids and worked great deeds of magic to nurse the land to health. For many generations the Shu’Halo hunted with Cenarius and kept the world safe from the shadows that stirred beneath it.

Hatred of the Centaur

As the mists of dawn faded and the age of memory advanced, the demigod, Cenarius, went his own way through the fields of the world. The Shu’Halo (Tauren) were sorrowful at his passing and forgot much of the druidism he had taught them. As the generations passed, they forgot how to speak with the trees and the wild things of the land. The dark whispers from the deeps of the world drifted up to their ears once again.

Though the children of the earth closed out the evil whisperings, a terrible curse befell their roaming tribes. Out of the black lands of the west came a horde of murderous creatures, the Centaur. Cannibals and ravagers, the Centaur fell upon the Shu’Halo like a plague. Though the braves and hunters fought with the Earthmother’s blessing in their hearts, the Centaur could not be defeated.

The Shu’Halo were forced to leave their ancestral holdings behind, and roam the endless plains as nomads forever after it was held that one day hope would return—and the scattered tribes of the Shu’Halo would find a new home under the loving arms of the Earthmother.

Books found at the Elder Rise, Thunderbluff

  • The origin of the Centaur is told by Celebras at Maraudon instance in Desolace.  Cenarius fathered two sons: Remulos and Zaetar.  Zaetar fell in love with an Earth Elemental named Princess Theradras.  From that unholy love were born the evil Centaurs.  Remulos fathered the Dryads and the Keepers of the Grove.

  • The Earthmother is rumored to be Therazane the Elemental Lord.  Other fans think it is Alexstrasza.  No further proof has been revealed in-game of the Earthmother’s identity.  Another theory is that Eonar the Lifebinder titan created the moon and the sun as part of her own essence, therefore creating Elune. We will update as info arrives.  These are only theories, not canon nor true.

  • War of the Ancients: The Sundering revealed that Ysera the Dragon Aspect was Malorne’s lover and mother of Cenarius.

    UPDATE: I invited Richard A. Knaak to a mini-Q&A to explain few questions that many fans commonly share among themselves—things that confused fans after reading War of the Ancients Trilogy.  Elune and Ysera are not one and the same, here he explains the relation between Cenarius and Ysera.

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The Alliance of Lordaeron

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

Lord Lothar rallied the remnants of Azeroth’s armies after their defeat at Stormwind Keep, and then launched a massive exodus across the sea to the northern kingdom of Lordaeron. Convinced that the Horde would overcome all of humanity if left unchecked, the leaders of the seven human nations met and agreed to unite in what would become known as the Alliance of Lordaeron.

For the first time in nearly three thousand years, the disparate nations of Arathor were once again united under a common banner. Appointed as Supreme Commander of the Alliance forces, Lord Lothar prepared his armies for the coming of the Horde.

Aided by his lieutenants, Uther the Lightbringer, Admiral Daelin Proudmoore, and Turalyon, Lothar was able to convince Lordaeron’s demi-human races of the impending threat as well. The Alliance succeeded in gaining the support of the stoic dwarves of Ironforge and a small number of high elves of Quel’Thalas.

The elves, led at that time by Anasterian Sunstrider, were largely uninterested in the coming conflict. However, they were duty-bound to aid Lothar because he was the last descendent of the Arathi bloodline, which had aided the elves in ages past.

The Horde, now led by Warchief Doomhammer, brought in ogres from its homeworld of Draenor and conscripted the disenfranchised Amani forest trolls into its fold. Setting out on a massive campaign to overrun the dwarf kingdom of Khaz Modan and the southern reaches of Lordaeron, the Horde effortlessly decimated all opposition.

The epic battles of the Second War ranged from large-scale naval skirmishes to massive aerial dogfights. Somehow the Horde had unearthed a powerful artifact known as the Demon Soul and used it to enslave the ancient Dragonqueen, Alexstrasza. Threatening to destroy her precious eggs, the Horde forced Alexstrasza to send her grown children to war. The noble red dragons were forced to fight for the Horde, and fight they did.

The war raged across the continents of Khaz Modan, Lordaeron, and Azeroth itself. As part of its northern campaign, the Horde succeeded in burning down the borderlands of Quel’Thalas, thereby ensuring the elves’ final commitment to the Alliance’s cause. The greater cities and townships of Lordaeron were razed and devastated by the conflict. Despite the absence of reinforcements and overwhelming odds, Lothar and his allies succeeded in holding their enemies at bay.

However, during the final days of the Second War, as the Horde’s victory over the Alliance seemed almost assured, a terrible feud erupted between the two most powerful orcs on Azeroth. As Doomhammer prepared his final assault against the Capital City of Lordaeron – an assault that would have crushed the last remnants of the Alliance – Gul’dan and his followers abandoned their posts and set out to sea.

The bewildered Doomhammer, having lost nearly half of his standing forces to Gul’dan’s treachery, was forced to pull back and forsake his greatest chance at victory over the Alliance.

The power-hungry Gul’dan, obsessed with obtaining godhood itself, set out on a desperate search for the undersea Tomb of Sargeras that he believed held the secrets of ultimate power. Having already doomed his fellow orcs to become the slaves of the Burning Legion, Gul’dan thought nothing of his supposed duty to Doomhammer.

Backed by the Stormreaver and Twilight’s Hammer clans, Gul’dan succeeded in raising the Tomb of Sargeras from the sea floor. However, when he opened the ancient, flooded vault, he found only crazed demons awaiting him.

Seeking to punish the wayward orcs for their costly betrayal, Doomhammer sent his forces to kill Gul’dan and bring the renegades back into the fold. For his recklessness, Gul’dan was torn apart by the maddened demons he had set loose. With their leader dead, the renegade clans quickly fell before Doomhammer’s enraged legions.

Though the rebellion had been quelled, the Horde was unable to recoup the terrible losses it had suffered. Gul’dan’s betrayal had afforded the Alliance not only hope, but also time to regroup and retaliate.

Lord Lothar, seeing that the Horde was fracturing from within, gathered the last of his forces and pushed Doomhammer south, back into the shattered heartland of Stormwind. There, the Alliance forces trapped the retreating Horde within the volcanic fortress of Blackrock Spire. Though Lord Lothar fell in battle at the Spire’s base, his lieutenant, Turalyon, rallied the Alliance forces at the eleventh hour and drove the Horde back into the abysmal Swamp of Sorrows.

Turalyon’s forces succeeded in destroying the Dark Portal, the mystical gateway that connected the orcs to their homeworld of Draenor. Cut off from its reinforcements and fractured by infighting, the Horde finally buckled in upon itself and fell before the might of the Alliance.

The scattered orc clans were quickly rounded up and placed within guarded internment camps. Though it seemed that the Horde had been defeated for good, some remained highly skeptical that peace would last. Khadgar, now an Archmage of some renown, convinced the Alliance high command to build the fortress of Nethergarde that would watch over the ruins of the Dark Portal and ensure that there would be no further invasions from Draenor.

Book found at Darkshire, Duskwood

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The Battle of Grim Batol

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

Meanwhile, in the war-torn lands of the south, the scattered remnants of the Horde fought for their very survival. Though Grom Hellscream and his Warsong clan managed to evade capture, Deadeye and his Bleeding Hollow clan were rounded up and placed in the internment camps in Lordaeron. Notwithstanding these costly uprisings, the camps’ wardens soon re-established control over their brutish charges.

However, unknown to the Alliance, a large force of orcs still roamed free in the northern wastes of Khaz Modan. The Dragonmaw clan, led by the infamous warlock Nekros, was using an ancient artifact known as the Demon Soul to control the Dragonqueen, Alexstrasza, and her dragonflight. With the Dragonqueen as his hostage, Nekros built up a secret army within the abandoned – some say cursed – Wildhammer stronghold of Grim Batol.

Planning to unleash his forces and the mighty red dragons on the Alliance, Nekros hoped to reunite the Horde and continue its conquest of Azeroth. His vision did not come to pass: a small group of resistance fighters, led by the human mage Rhonin managed to destroy the Demon Soul and free the Dragonqueen from Nekros’ command.

In their fury, Alexstrasza’s dragons tore Grim Batol apart and incinerated the greater bulk of the Dragonmaw clan. Nekros’ grand schemes of reunification came crashing down as the Alliance troops rounded up the remaining orc survivors and threw them into the waiting internment camps. The Dragonmaw clan’s defeat signaled the end of the Horde, and the end of the orcs’ furious bloodlust.

Book found at Menethil Harbor

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The Birth of the Lich King

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

Ner’zhul and his followers entered the Twisting Nether, the ethereal plane that connects all of the worlds scattered throughout the Great Dark Beyond. Unfortunately Kil’jaeden and his demonic minions were waiting for them. Kil’jaeden, who had sworn to take vengeance on Ner’zhul for his prideful defiance, slowly tore the old shaman’s body apart, piece by piece.

Kil’jaeden kept the shaman’s spirit alive and intact, thus leaving Ner’zhul painfully aware of his body’s gross dismemberment. Though Ner’zhul pleaded with the demon to release his spirit and grant him death, the demon grimly replied that the Blood Pact they had made long ago was still binding, and that Ner’zhul still had a purpose to serve.

The orcs’ failure to conquer the world for the Burning Legion forced Kil’jaeden to create a new army to sew chaos throughout the kingdoms of the Azeroth. This new army could not be allowed to fall prey to the same petty rivalries and infighting that had plagued the Horde. It would have to be merciless and single-minded in its mission. This time, Kil’jaeden could not afford to fail.

Holding Ner’zhul’s spirit helpless in stasis, Kil’jaeden gave him one last chance to serve the Legion or suffer eternal torment. Once again, Ner’zhul recklessly agreed to the demon’s pact. Ner’zhul’s spirit was placed within a specially crafted block of diamond-hard ice gathered from the far reaches of the Twisting Nether.

Encased within the frozen cask, Ner’zhul felt his consciousness expand ten thousand-fold. Warped by the demon’s chaotic powers, Ner’zhul became a spectral being of unfathomable power. At that moment, the orc known as Ner’zhul was shattered forever, and the Lich King was born.

Ner’zhul’s loyal death knights and Shadowmoon followers were also transformed by the demon’s chaotic energies. The wicked spellcasters were ripped apart and remade as skeletal liches. The demons had ensured that even in death, Ner’zhul’s followers would serve him unquestioningly.

When the time was right, Kil’jaeden explained the mission for which he had created the Lich King. Ner’zhul was to spread a plague of death and terror across Azeroth that would snuff out human civilization forever. All those who died from the dreaded plague would arise as the undead, and their spirits would be bound to Ner’zhul’s iron will forever.

Kil’jaeden promised that if Ner’zhul accomplished his dark mission of scouring humanity from the world, he would be freed from his curse and granted a new, healthy body to inhabit.

Though Ner’zhul was agreeable and seemingly anxious to play his part, Kil’jaeden remained skeptical of his pawn’s loyalties. Keeping the Lich King bodiless and trapped within the crystal cask assured his good conduct for the short term, but the demon knew that he would need to keep a watchful eye on him. To this end, Kil’jaeden called upon his elite demon guard, the vampiric dreadlords, to police Ner’zhul and ensure that he accomplished his dread task.

Tichondrius, the most powerful and cunning of the dreadlords, warmed to the challenge; he was fascinated by the plague’s severity and the Lich King’s unbridled potential for genocide.

Book found at Southshore.

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The Founding of Quel’Thalas

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

The high elves, led by Dath’Remar, left Kalimdor behind them and challenged the storms of the Maelstrom. Their fleets wandered the wreckage of the world for many long years, and they discovered mysteries and lost kingdoms along their sojourn. Dath’Remar, who had taken the name Sunstrider (or “he who walks the day”), sought out places of considerable ley power upon which to build a new homeland for his people.

His fleet finally landed on the beaches of the kingdom men would later call Lordaeron. Forging inland, the high elves founded a settlement within the tranquil Tirisfal Glades. After a few years, many of them began to go mad. It was theorized that something evil slept beneath that particular part of the world, but the rumors were never proven to be true. The high elves packed up their encampment and moved northward towards another land rich with ley energies.

As the high elves crossed the rugged, mountainous lands of Lordaeron, their journey became more perilous. Since they were effectively cut off from the life-giving energies of the Well of Eternity, many of them fell ill from the frigid climate or died from starvation. The most disconcerting change, however, was the fact that they were no longer immortal or immune to the elements.

They also shrank somewhat in height, and their skin lost its characteristic violet hue. Despite their hardships, they encountered many wondrous creatures that had never been seen in Kalimdor. They also found tribes of primitive humans who hunted throughout the ancient forestlands. However, the direst threat they encountered were the voracious and cunning forest trolls of Zul’Aman.

These moss-skinned trolls could regenerate lost limbs and heal grievous physical injuries, but they proved to be a barbaric, evil race. The Amani empire stretched across most of northern Lordaeron, and the trolls fought hard to keep unwanted strangers from their borders. The elves developed a deep loathing for the vicious trolls and killed them on sight whenever they were encountered.

After many long years, the high elves finally found a land which was reminiscent of Kalimdor. Deep within the northern forests of the continent, they founded the kingdom of Quel’Thalas and vowed to create a mighty empire which would dwarf that of their Kaldorei cousins. Unfortunately they soon learned that Quel’Thalas was founded upon an ancient troll city that the trolls still held to be sacred. Almost immediately, the trolls began to attack the elven settlements en masse.

The stubborn elves, unwilling to give up their new land, utilized the magics which they had gleaned from the Well of Eternity and kept the savage trolls at bay. Under Dath’Remar’s leadership, they were able to defeat the Amani warbands that outnumbered them ten to one. Some elves, wary of the Kaldorei’s ancient warnings, felt that their use of magic might possibly draw the attention of the banished Burning Legion.

Therefore, they decided to mask their lands within a protective barrier which would still allow them to work their enchantments. They constructed a series of monolithic Runestones at various points around Quel’Thalas which marked the boundaries of the magic barrier. The Runestones not only masked the elves’ magic from extra-dimensional threats, but helped to frighten away the superstitious troll warbands as well.

As time wore on, Quel’Thalas became a shining monument to the high elves’ efforts and magical prowess. Its beauteous palaces were crafted in the same architectural style as the ancient halls of Kalimdor, yet they were interwoven with the natural topography of the land. Quel’Thalas had become the shining jewel that the elves had longed to create.

The Convocation of Silvermoon was founded as the ruling power over Quel’Thalas, though the Sunstrider Dynasty maintained a modicum of political power. Comprised of seven of the greatest high elf lords, the Convocation worked to secure the safety of the elven lands and people. Surrounded by their protective barrier, the high elves remained unmoved by the old warnings of the Kaldorei and continued to use magic flagrantly in almost all aspects of their lives.

For nearly four thousand years the high elves lived peacefully within the secluded safety of their kingdom. Nevertheless, the vindictive trolls were not so easily defeated. They plotted and schemed in the depths of the forests and waited for the numbers of their warbands to grow. Finally, a mighty troll army charged out from the shadowy forests and once again laid siege to the shining spires of Quel’Thalas.

Book found at Darkshire, Duskwood

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The Old Gods and the Ordering of Azeroth

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

Unaware of Sargeras’ mission to undo their countless works, the Titans continued to move from world to world, shaping and ordering each planet as they saw fit. Along their journey they happened upon a small world that its inhabitants would later name Azeroth.

As the Titans made their way across the primordial landscape, they encountered a number of hostile elemental beings. These elementals, who worshipped a race of unfathomably evil beings known only as the Old Gods, vowed to drive the Titans back and keep their world inviolate from the invaders’ metallic touch.

The Pantheon, disturbed by the Old Gods’ penchant for evil, waged war upon the elementals and their dark masters. The Old Gods’ armies were led by the most powerful elemental lieutenants: Ragnaros the Firelord, Therazane the Stonemother, Al’Akir the Windlord, and Neptulon the Tidehunter.

Their chaotic forces raged across the face of the world and clashed with the colossal Titans. Though the elementals were powerful beyond mortal comprehension, their combined forces could not stop the mighty Titans. One by one, the elemental lords fell, and their forces dispersed.

The Pantheon shattered the Old Gods’ citadels and chained the five evil gods far beneath the surface of the world. Without the Old Gods’ power to keep their raging spirits bound to the physical world, the elementals were banished to an abyssal plane, where they would contend with one another for all eternity. With the elementals’ departure, nature calmed, and the world settled into a peaceful harmony. The Titans saw that the threat was contained and set to work.

The Titans empowered a number of races to help them fashion the world. To help them carve out the fathomless caverns beneath the earth, the Titans created the dwarf-like earthen from magical, living stone. To help them dredge out the seas and lift the land from the sea floor, the Titans created the immense but gentle sea giants. For many ages the Titans moved and shaped the earth, until at last there remained one perfect continent.

At the continent’s center, the Titans crafted a lake of scintillating energies. The lake, which they named the Well of Eternity, was to be the fount of life for the world. Its potent energies would nurture the bones of the world and empower life to take root in the land’s rich soil. Over time, plants, trees, monsters, and creatures of every kind began to thrive on the primordial continent.

As twilight fell on the final day of their labors, the Titans named the continent Kalimdor: “land of eternal starlight.

Book found at Hall of Explorers

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The Scourge of Lordaeron

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

After preparing for many long months, Kel’Thuzad and his Cult of the Damned finally struck the first blow by releasing the plague of undeath upon Lordaeron. Uther and his fellow paladins investigated the infected regions in the hope of finding a way to stop the plague. Despite their efforts, the plague continued to spread and threatened to tear the Alliance apart.

As the ranks of the undead swept across Lordaeron, Terenas’ only son, Prince Arthas, took up the fight against the Scourge. Arthas succeeded in killing Kel’Thuzad, but even so, the undead ranks swelled with every soldier that fell defending the land. Frustrated and stymied by the seemingly unstoppable enemy, Arthas took increasingly extreme steps to conquer them. Finally Arthas’ comrades warned him that he was losing his hold on his humanity.

Arthas’ fear and resolve proved to be his ultimate undoing. He tracked the plague’s source to Northrend, intending to end its threat forever. Instead, Prince Arthas eventually fell prey to the Lich King’s tremendous power. Believing that it would save his people, Arthas took up the cursed runeblade, Frostmourne.

Though the sword did grant him unfathomable power, it also stole his soul and transformed him into the greatest of the Lich King’s death knights. With his soul cast aside and his sanity shattered, Arthas led the Scourge against his own kingdom. Ultimately, Arthas murdered his own father, King Terenas, and crushed Lordaeron under the Lich King’s iron heel.

Book found at Scarlet Monastery

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The Two Empires: Trolls and Aqiri Civilizations

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

About 16,000 years ago (long before the Night Elves foolishly called down the wrath of the Burning Legion), Trolls lorded over much of Kalimdor (then a single continent). There were twin Troll Empires—the Gurubashi Empire of the Southeastern jungles—and the Amani Empire of the Middle Forestlands.

There were smaller tribes that lived far to the north (in the region now known as Northrend). These tribes founded a small nation known as Gundrak, but never achieved the size or prosperity of the Southern empires.

The Gurubashi and Amani Empires had little love for one another, but rarely warred against each other. At the time, their greatest common enemy was a third empire—the civilization of Azi’Aqir. The Aqir were intelligent insectoids who ruled the lands of the far west. These clever insectoids were greatly expansionistic and icredibly evil. The Aqir were obsessed with eradicating all non-insect life from the fields of Kalimdor.

The trolls fought them for many thousands of years, but never succeeded in winning a true victory over the Aqir. Eventually, due to the troll’s persistence, the Aqiri Kingdom split in half as its citizens fled to separate colonies in the far northern and southern regions of the continent.

Two Aqiri city-states emerged—Azjol-Nerub in the northern wastes, and Ahn’Qiraj in the southern desert. Though the trolls suspected that there were other Aqiri colonies beneath Kalimdor, their existence was never verified.

With the insectoids driven into exile, the twin troll empires returned to business as usual. Despire their great victory, neither civilization expanded much farther than their original boundaries. However, ancient texts speak of a small faction of trolls that broke off from the Amani Empire and founded their own colony in the heart of the dark continent.

There, these brave pioneers discovered the cosmic Well of Eternity which transformed them into beings of immense power. Some legends suggest that these adventurous trolls were the first Night Elves, though this theory has never been proven.

Empires’ Fall

Aside from their shadowy origins, it is clear that the Night Elves came to power soon after their discovery of the Well of Eternity. Despite the trolls’ attempts to keep them from expanding their territories, the Night Elves built up a mighty empire that expanded rapidly across primordial Kalimdor. Wielding fierce magics never before imagined by the superstitious trolls, the night elves had little trouble doing what the evil Aqir could never do: topple the two greatest empires in the world.

The night elves systematically dismantled the troll’s defenses and supply chains. The trolls, unable to counter the elves’ destructive magics, buckled under the onslaught. The night elves proved to every bit as cunning and bloodthirsty as the savage trolls—incurring the latter race’s eternal hatred and disdain. The Gurubashi and Amani Empires fragmented within only a few short years.

Eventually, the night elves were burned by the arcane fires they had sought to control. Their reckless use of magic had lured the demonic Burning Legion to the world. The demons crushed much of the night elves’ civilization. Though there are no records to indicate that the Legion attacked either troll civilization, it is likely that battles took place across the breadth of the continent.

At the end of this terrible conflict – known as the War of the Ancients—the Well of Eternity imploded. The resulting shockwave shattered the greater landmass of Kalimdor. The center of the continent was blasted beneath the sea, leaving only a small group of broken, single continents.

Thus, great chunks of both the Amani and Gurubashi Empires still exist in the present day lands of Quel’Thalas and Stranglethorn (respectively). The Azj’Aqir kingdoms of Azjol-Nerub and Ahn’Qiraj have also survived in present day Northrend and Tanaris (respectively).

Both troll civilizations recoiled from the vast destruction of the primordial world they had known. The dauntless trolls rebuilt their ravaged cities and set about to reclaim some of their former power.

Wrath of the Soulflayer

The long centuries following the Great Sundering of the world were difficult ones for the troll race. Famine and terror were commonplace within the broken kingdoms. The Gurubashi trolls, driven to deperate ends, sought aid from ancient, mystical forces. Though both of the troll kingdoms shared a central belief in a great pantheon of primitive gods, the Gurubashi fell under the sway of the darkest one.

Hakkar the Soulflayer, a vile, bloodthirsty spirit, heard the trolls’ call and decided to aid them. Hakkar gave his secrets of blood to the Gurubashi and helped them extend their civilization across most of Stranglethron Vale and certain islands of the South Seas. Though he brought them great power, Hakkar wanted more and more for his efforts.

The bloodthirsty god demanded souls be sacrificed to him daily. He dreamed of gaining access to the physical world so he could devour the blood of all mortal creatures. In time the Gurubashi realized what kind of creature they had courted with—and turned against him. The strongest tribes rose up against Hakkar and his loyal priests—the Atal’ai.

The terrible war that ensued between Hakkar’s followers and the rest of the Gurubashi tribes is spoken of only in whispers. The budding empire was shattered by the magic unleashed between the angry god and his rebel children. Just as the battle seemed most hopeless, the trolls succeeded in destroying Hakkar’s avatar and banishing him from the world.

Even his Atal’ai priests were eventually driven from the capital of Zul’Gurub and forced to survive in the uncharted swamplands of the north. Within those shadowy fens they built a great temple to their fallen god—Atal’Hakkar—where they could continue to do their master’s work…

The rest of the Gurubashi tribes went their separate ways after the great civil war had left their lands in ruins. The Skullsplitter, Bloodscalp and Darkspear tribes set off to claim their own lands within the vast jungles of Stranglethorn. Though a fragile peace had settled over the broken empire, some spoke of a prophecy that Hakkar would one day be reborn into the world—and on that day—he would comsume it whole.

Book found in Booty Bay

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The World Tree and the Emerald Dream

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

For many years, the night elves worked tirelessly to rebuild what they could of their ancient homeland. Leaving their broken temples and roads to be overgrown, they constructed their new homes amidst the verdant trees and shadowed hills at Hyjal’s base. In time, the dragons that had survived the great Sundering came forth from their secret abodes.

Alexstrasza the red, Ysera the green, and Nozdormu the bronze descended upon the druids’ tranquil glades and surveyed the fruits of the night elves’ labors. Malfurion, who had become an arch-druid of immense power, greeted the mighty dragons and told them about the creation of the new Well of Eternity.

The great dragons were alarmed to hear the dark news and speculated that as long as the Well remained, the Legion might one day return and assault the world once again. Malfurion and the three dragons made a pact to keep the Well safe and ensure that the agents of the Burning Legion would never find their way back into the world.

Alexstrasza, the Lifebinder, placed a single, enchanted acorn within the heart of the Well of Eternity. The acorn, activated by the potent, magical waters, sprung to life as a colossal tree. The mighty tree’s roots grew from the Well’s waters, and its verdant canopy seemed to scrape the roof of the sky.

The immense tree would be an everlasting symbol of the night elves’ bond with nature, and its life-giving energies would extend out to heal the rest of the world over time. The night elves’ gave their World Tree the new name Nordrassil, which meant “crown of the heavens” in their native tongue.

Nozdormu, the Timeless, placed an enchantment upon the World Tree to ensure that as long as the colossal tree stood, the night elves would never age or fall prey to sickness or disease.

Ysera, the Dreamer, also placed an enchantment upon the World Tree by linking it to her own realm, the ethereal dimension known as the Emerald Dream. The Emerald Dream, a vast, ever-changing spirit world, existed outside the boundaries of the physical world. From the Dream, Ysera regulated the ebb and flow of nature and the evolutionary path of the world itself.

The night elf druids, including Malfurion himself, were bound to the Dream through the World Tree. As part of the mystical pact, the druids agreed to sleep for centuries at a time so that their spirits could roam the infinite paths of Ysera’s Dreamways. Though the druids were grieved at the prospect of losing so many years of their lives to hibernation, they selflessly agreed to uphold their bargain with Ysera.

Book found at Scarlet Monastery.

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War of the Ancients

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in World of Warcraft News, WoW In-Game Books

The Highborne’s reckless use of magic sent ripples of energy spiraling out from the Well of Eternity and into the Great Dark Beyond. The streaming ripples of energy were felt by terrible alien minds. Sargeras – the Great Enemy of all life, the Destroyer of Worlds – felt the potent ripples and was drawn to their distant point of origin.

Spying the primordial world of Azeroth and sensing the limitless energies of the Well of Eternity, Sargeras was consumed by an insatiable hunger. The great dark god of the Nameless Void resolved to destroy the fledgling world and claim its energies as his own.

Sargeras gathered his vast Burning Legion and made his way towards the unsuspecting world of Azeroth. The Legion was comprised of a million screaming demons, all ripped from the far corners of the universe, and the demons hungered for conquest. Sargeras’ lieutenants, Archimonde the Defiler and Mannoroth the Destructor, prepared their infernal minions to strike.

Queen Azshara, overwhelmed by the terrible ecstasy of her magic, fell victim to Sargeras’ undeniable power and agreed to grant him entrance to her world. Even her Highborne servitors gave themselves over to magic’s inevitable corruption and began to worship Sargeras as their god. To show their allegiance to the Legion, the Highborne aided their queen in opening a vast, swirling portal within the depths of the Well of Eternity.

Once all his preparations had been made, Sargeras began his catastrophic invasion of Azeroth. The warrior-demons of the Burning Legion stormed into the world through the Well of Eternity and laid siege to the night elves’ sleeping cities. Led by Archimonde and Mannoroth, the Legion swarmed over the lands of Kalimdor, leaving only ash and sorrow in its wake.

The demon warlocks called down searing infernals that crashed like hellish meteors into the graceful spires of Kalimdor’s temples. A band of burning, bloodletting killers known as the Doomguard marched across Kalimdor’s fields, slaughtering everyone in their path. Packs of wild, demonic felhounds ravaged the countryside unopposed. Though the brave Kaldorei warriors rushed to defend their ancient homeland, they were forced to give ground, inch by inch, before the fury of the Legion’s onslaught.

It fell to Malfurion Stormrage to find help for his beleaguered people. Stormrage, whose own brother, Illidan, practiced the Highborne’s magics, was incensed by the growing corruption amongst the upper class. Convincing Illidan to forsake his dangerous obsession, Malfurion set out to find Cenarius and muster a resistance force.

The beautiful young priestess, Tyrande, agreed to accompany the brothers in the name of Elune. Though Malfurion and Illidan shared a love for the idealistic priestess, Tyrande’s heart belonged to Malfurion alone. Illidan resented his brother’s budding romance with Tyrande, but knew that his heartache was nothing compared to the pain of his magical addiction.

Illidan, who had grown dependent on magic’s empowering energies, struggled to keep control of his nearly overwhelming hunger to tap the Well’s energies once again. However, with Tyrande’s patient support, he was able to restrain himself and help his brother find the reclusive demigod, Cenarius.

Cenarius, who dwelt within the sacred Moonglades of the distant Mount Hyjal, agreed to help the night elves by finding the ancient dragons and enlisting their aid. The dragons, led by the great red leviathan, Alexstrasza, agreed to send their mighty flights to engage the demons and their infernal masters.

Cenarius, calling on the spirits of the enchanted forests, rallied an army of ancient tree-men and led them against the Legion in a daring ground assault. As the night elves’ allies converged upon Azshara’s temple and the Well of Eternity, all-out warfare erupted. Despite the strength of their newfound allies, Malfurion and his colleagues realized that the Legion could not be defeated by martial strength alone.

As the titanic battle raged around Azshara’s capital city, the delusional queen waited in anticipation for Sargeras’ arrival. The lord of the Legion was preparing to pass through the Well of Eternity and enter the ravaged world. As his impossibly huge shadow drew ever closer to the Well’s surface, Azshara gathered the most powerful of her Highborne followers. Only by linking their magics together in one focused spell would they be able to create a gateway large enough for Sargeras to enter.

As the battle raged across the burning fields of Kalimdor, a terrible turn of events unfolded. The details of the event have been lost to time, but it is known that Neltharion, the Dragon Aspect of the Earth, went mad during a critical engagement against the Burning Legion. He began to split apart as flame and rage erupted from his dark hide. Renaming himself Deathwing, the burning dragon turned on his brethren and drove the five dragonflights from the field of battle.

Deathwing’s sudden betrayal was so destructive that the five dragonflights never truly recovered. Wounded and shocked, Alexstrasza and the other noble dragons were forced to abandon their mortal allies. Malfurion and his companions, now hopelessly outnumbered, barely survived the ensuing onslaught.

Malfurion, convinced that the Well of Eternity was the demons’ umbilical link to the physical world, insisted that it should be destroyed. His companions, knowing that the Well was the source of their immortality and powers, were horrified by the rash notion. Yet Tyrande saw the wisdom of Malfurion’s theory, so she convinced Cenarius and their comrades to storm Azshara’s temple and find a way to shut the Well down for good.

Book found at Scarlet Monastery.

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