I’m always reluctant to give credit to people, especially Lunk, but when they deserve it, I do it (and then complain about it). So as you might or might not know I was looking for a while for a way to expand my facilities. Namely, I wanted to build a new research facility – one far away from the prying eyes of Alliance and Horde, one that could research whatever I wanted without oversight from anyone. Two ideas crossed my mind, an island somewhere in the Great Sea, or some abandoned world out there in the Nether. While I was still waiting for the adventurers to go to Draenor to boost my sales, Lunk stumbled upon an island not far away from the Darkmoon Island. An unpopulated, isolated, dark island – the perfect place for me and my future research facility.
Monthly Archives: October 2014
Infinite Azeroths: There But For the Grace of the Light
Zin-kalim, the capital of the Kaldorei Empire, over 12,000 years ago. Inside the higher levels of the glorious, marble palace a little girl paced around nervously. When she noticed a bird sitting on the window-sill, she runs up to it and scared it off. Near her, two royal guards stood guard before a large, glided door. Standing almost motionlessly, they only kept looking at the little girl. They were visibly unnerved by her constant pacing, and yet remained motionless, as was their duty. In their minds, they were just counting time for their shift to be finished. Suddenly, the little girl noticed something – a tall, handsome night elf male was slowly approaching. The guards remained motionless, but watched the new arrival carefully.
Then, the doors behind them opened. A male midwife with a bloodied apron came out, cleaning his hands on a piece of cloth. The girl momentarily stopped walking around and looked at the man. The midwife smiled.
“Congratulations, princess Aszune, you have a sister. Your mother wishes to call her Azshara.” The newly arrived male approached them all and without speaking a word, he kept just looking between them. The midwife looked at him, not recognizing the person. “Who would you be?” the midwife said, “The herald to bring the news to the people?”
The guest smirked and spoke up with an eerily echoing voice. “In a way. I am a herald… of your doom.”
Kingdom of Caer Darrow
Caer Darrow has always been a little different from the rest of Lordaeron, but few people know how much. Population from the capital has always seen it as part of the generalized “eastern lands” – strange realms with strange accents and strange habits that only marginally count as Lordaeronians. Most of them did not realize that the genesis of Caer Darrow and those eastern lands was completely separate. Five thousand years ago, when the human civilization was beginning to form, most of the continent of Lordaeron was populated by a disparate selection of tribes of greatly varying languages and cultures. Only when the Arathi united humanity and began to unify language, religion and law most of the human lands fell in line. But one small piece retained its unique, isolated culture – and that was Caer Darrow.
Worlds of the Nether: Darfell
I was asked to speak about my world, Darfell. I am greatly honored by such an offer but I have to say I am not a specialist in geography or history. I will not tell you where lie the lands of Hamakwana that the First Sleeper visited in search of his beloved. I will not tell you how many people live in Otoaara, or how large in square miles is the largest island on Darfell. But what I can do is tell you how it looks, sounds and feels. We do not have long traditions of written language and great epic books that chronicle everything that ever happened on our world. We do not write equations that describe the nature of life and existence. We are simple people, who live with what the world gave us, be it sea and stones, or the rich travelers from beyond. This is the account of how a darfellan sees his world.
Infinite Azeroths: Dranosh
Character: Warlord Dranosh Saurfang, Warchief Varok’s son and heir
Being the heir of a Warchief is a rather fickle business. As much as we like to pretend we abandoned our old bloodlust and that we no longer hold the villains of the Old Horde in high regard, we are still orcs. We still love battle, and at a moment’s notice, someone can jump out at Varok, I meant father, and decide it’s now their turn to lead the Horde. I do not fear for father’s life, for he is a warrior like few others, but everybody has a bad day from time to time. Or someone could poison the blade of his enemy and make the new Warchief win without honor. So as certain as I can claim to be in public, I am never completely certain if I will ever become the Warchief. Or if I want that to happen to at all.
Blast from the Past
Sometimes I wonder if being so apathetic to world-threatening villains really pays off. I mean, the general idea is that if I leave them alone, they leave me alone and maybe I can profit from both sides. Usually that wouldn’t work only on villains that are bent on world-destruction, like the Burning Legion or the Scourge. So when there are issues like “that angry mogu from legendary times” or “a bunch of bored orcs”, you expect them to just pass you by or make business with you. Take those satyrs that have been acting up in Kalimdor – they’re good customers. But this Iron Horde? These people are jerks. And they’re your regular mortals too, they just don’t know who to leave alone. So what did they do when they saw my tower? They decided to attack on sight. Are signs of civilization offensive to orc sensitivity or something?
Infinite Azeroths: The Princess and the Uncle
Character: Emperor Chen Stormstout
Chen woke up with a loud yawn. He stretched around a bit and then just sprawled on his bed, unwilling to get up and get to his duties. He had duties now, as much as he hated that idea. After he accepted Shaohao’s nomination to become the new Emperor of Pandaria, he almost immediately began to regret that decision. All the formalities and everything he’s expected to do every day. The entire Pandaria has gone a bit out of rhythm with imperial duties due to lacking central leadership for ten thousand years, but Taran Zhu was quick to dig up all the protocol from Yaochi’s and Shaohao’s times. One of the first decrees Chen made was adjusting some of that protocol to be more… modern. Less time spent on passing judgments on every small thief in the Empire, and more time for beer. But no matter how would he change the protocol, he would not be allowed to continue sleeping.
Deathlords of Xa’tac
It’s hard to write anything definitive about the Xa’tac civilization. Most people out there among the stars know them only as “Deathlords of Xa’tac”, but in this way they omit the long history of the Xa’tac people, most of which wasn’t that different from histories of other worlds – as in, not filled with gruesome ritual sacrifices and enslavement of millions into undeath. They have come to be known in this way due to their short and brutal rule of many worlds and the campaign of conquest that enslaved and completely exterminated multiple worlds. They became a threat so powerful the Burning Legion itself stepped up to destroy them. And once they were wiped out to the last man, the demons were content to simply fly away and never look back. The Deathlords of Xa’tac became a boogeyman that mothers scared unruly children with. But we can’t forget where they came from and how they became what they were.
There’s too many gods of death
Everyone wants to be a god of death it seems. Why is that so? I don’t know about others, but I much prefer life. When you’re dead, you can’t taste things, or feel the soft, new nest underneath you. When you’re dead, you can’t expand your knowledge. So why there’s so many gods of death? I mean, think about it. Arthas, the Lich King, presented himself to the vrykul as a “death god”. His “best friend” Yogg-Saron of course had to suffix his already scary title of “Old God” with “of Death”. Now, DEATHwing decided his name doesn’t have enough death in it so he proclaimed himself an Aspect of DEATH. Even the squawking quilboar had an organization called “Death’s Head”. It seems that if you want to sound scary you have to put as much DEATH as possible in your names and titles. Coming soon: deathy death death of death (and death). And then there are these Xa’tac.
We came chasing after Kairozdormu, or at least what once passed for him. He became something far more dangerous and terrifying than any of the Infinite dragons. All the various alternate versions of him, fused together into some horrific amalgam made him a true nightmare. We did not know how closely he worked with the actual Infinite Dragonflight, but we knew he actually summoned them to his side during the fight at the Temple of the White Tiger. And that was before he turned into the thing I saw at the remains of the Azeroth of the Lotus Eaters. So when we went chasing after the trail he left behind, we expected to come out on one of the numerous alternate Azeroths – one of those that have been destroyed by the Old Gods, or the Infinites themselves. But then, we came out still in the timeways. Except, it was a different corridor. One even Chromie and Moros were unfamiliar with.