Tag Archives: Dalaran

Infinite Azeroths 2: Time and Again

Time travel. It’s complicated. And I don’t mean just the extremely powerful magic necessary to make it reality. Once you’re there, in the past or in another timeline, there is an almost infinite number of factors you have to take into account. Every step you take can end up undoing hundreds of possible lives. And every major change that brings a given timeline out of its alignment… out of its one, true fate can be disastrous. This is what the Infinite Dragonflight has been attempting for… forever, I will have to say because our mundane descriptions of duration or time lose meaning here. They attempted to throw timelines out of alignment, and thus to disintegrate them. Why? To bring chaos, entropy. And when all universes, all realities are destroyed, our entire multiverse ceases to exist and the only thing left are the Old Gods – external parasites from beyond all of creation. Without our universe to contain them, they are free. And perhaps they deserve to be free, but not at the cost of uncountable myriads of innocent lives.

Azeroth-28. An empty, dark corner of Dalaran, one that is ruled by a militaristic, jingoistic and magi-elitist Kirin Tor. One that enviously looks out to other worlds out there in the galaxy and seeks to dominate them all – but lacks the manpower and resources to do so. Not long ago, their Emperor, Khadgar, went into the white tower of Karazhan, using its temporal instability to seek new power that could overthrow the other worlds out there. He went missing for years and his Council tried to keep the Empire intact. Until, one day, he reappeared as mysteriously as he disappeared – having witnessed an alternate Azeroth, one much less developed and already embroiled in a conflict with yet another timeline. He saw this as an opportunity. Now they could command not one Azeroth, but two… or more. An infinite number of Azeroths, all striking out at the potential threats among the stars. But he underestimated the defenders this Azeroth had – the Timewalkers.

In that dark corner of Dalaran, suddenly a magical vortex opened. But this time, it was not another lazy mage quickly transporting himself from the top floor to the street. This time, it was a dwarf clad in bronze robes with the symbol of infinity on his tabard. Or rather someone that looked like a dwarf – it was, in fact, a bronze dragon, Keeper Morozdormu. And behind him, three more characters, subordinates, step out. An arakkoa hunter with a pet arcane serpent coiling behind him – Watcher Tarakan and Pita. Then, a red-haired human male with a hopeful look – Historian Llore. And finally, a dark-skinned, human-looking female mage – Weaver Agam. The four looked around until the dwarf spoke up.

“Alright, folks,” Moros said, “it looks like we landed safely, with no witnesses. Time to work.” He raised his left hand, with a strange hourglass in it. “According to our Vision of Time, we can safely stay here for just over a day. Let’s get digging!”

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Mesonyx Attacks!

VerroakArtAvatarIn most places, if you talked about inhabitants of Mesonyx, the fourth planet from our sun, people wouldn’t treat you very seriously. This isn’t most places. We’ve been sending people to a parallel past Draenor and taking ingredients from there. We have fought an invasion of Infinite Dragonflight. We finally opened a rift to a completely alien planet, met space gnomes, killed an evil undead alien god, and we regularly trade with two distant worlds. We have employees from other planets – and not just the common Draenor, but we have a darfellan and a shivarra. So naturally, an alien from Mesonyx doesn’t raise too many eyebrows. It does however answer some questions and doubts Azerothians had about the world. For example, the canals must be real and there are actually native races up there. Or rather down there, considering what we’ve learned. Anyway, let’s explain this in a proper order.

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Infinite Azeroths: Blackmoore

Timeline: Azeroth-14
Character: Kel’thuzad, Court Sorcerer of Lordaeron

“I proclaim you guilty!” a verdict sounded across the throne chambers of Lordaeron. “I hereby sentence you to death,” King Blackmoore proclaimed with a hit of his royal scepter against the glided arm of the throne. The peasant threw himself on the floor, begging for mercy on his knees.

“Please, my king, forgive me,” he begged, “I just wanted to feed my family!” Aedelas Blackmoore was never well respected in the kingdom. He was always considered a ruthless ruler who claimed to be just but was anything but it.

“Enough!” Blackmoore shouted, and silenced the whispering crowd with a wave of his arm. “I proclaimed the sentence. There are no more appellations. You will be hanged at dawn.”

Although the peasant protested, he was carried away by the guardsmen. Many in the crowd murmured about the unjustice of this sentence, but I didn’t care. Justice is a term mortal men made up to make themselves feel better. The only thing that really matters in this cruel world is power. And Aedelas Blackmoore had power. By serving him, I would share in this power. But an even greater power evaded him…

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Mad King of Tirisfal

MenrimThe Mad King of Tirisfal is an element of human history that few remember. Perhaps some forget him out of ignorance, and some prefer not to know him, for he was one of the darkest moments in that race’s history. The Mad King, whose real names was intentionally erased from memories, was born in the last years of Thoradin IV’s reign and grew up in the waning years of the tumultuous period following his death. When he was merely sixteen, his father, a lord of now destroyed city of Tirisfal, died of an “encoraching necrotic corruption”, which might have been a magical curse, or merely a disease medicine of their time did not know. The youth inherited vast libraries of forbidden knowledge his young mind was not able to handle – and indeed, even adults would not handle some of the tomes the old lord gathered.

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Flashpoint

VerroakSo that whole “dumping the dwarves to seek it on our own” thing didn’t exactly work out. When we stepped out of the ship and met some of the friendly vrykul there, subjects of King Aurgelmir, son of Ymiron who took over after his death, the dwarves claimed they are still not absolutely sure where to go and must first check some of the clues they had before. What they did know for sure was that we had to go Dragonblight, and from there, we would look for further clues as to where the artifacts could have been buried. It was undoubtedly a great mystery but if you knew just the right people, you could find out almost anything. So we continued through the Howling Fjord, among the corposes of giant iron monstrosities Loken created in this timeline, and towards Grizzly Hills and Dragonblight.

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Constants and Variables

VerroakWe found ourselves in a version of Stormwind far more diverse than we would guess. Cities were full of races delegated to be monsters normally. Furbolgs, arakkoa, mogu, even races that are part of the Horde were walking freely in a human city. Walking across the Gilnean District that took place of the park, we found a Worgen scholar and asked him for some details. Krasus was one of the first people I asked about, and the scholar was certain Krasus was an elven archmage of Dalaran who disappeared mysteriously some time during the Cataclysm – around the time he died in our timeline – and Rhonin was still the Grand Magus. Even more surprisingly, Broxigar was still alive and well, and an advisor to Warchief Dranosh Saurfang. All this pointed to the fact here they never went back in time. That resulted in some vastly different personalities… which apparently resulted in Alliance and Horde working together?
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Damaging the Timeline

Previously on Arakkoa Chronicles: Doing Sargeras’s Bidding

So there I was, in the middle of Dalaran, now ruled by Kel’thuzad, who was conspiring with Sargeras to create a plague of undeath that would easily completely ravage this world. Remember, on this Azeroth there are no paladins to stem the tide. There is no Prophet Medivh to warn the leaders to leave for Kalimdor. If the Scourge rises here, this Azeroth will left completely destroyed, and when the time comes, the Burning Legion will invade what remains behind and finish the deal. There isn’t even a Lich King that could use an equivalent of Arthas to rebel against the Legion. And I was expected to help these events to come.

I was in no hurry to actually go see Kel’thuzad and went for the Dalaran libraries to find some kind of spell that would help me get to Kalimdor and to Caverns of Time. Yes, I would leave this world to devastation – it’s not my world, in two different ways, and I didn’t want to damage the timeline that wasn’t mine either. Unfortunately, as I was looking through the books, I met Krasus, aka Korialstrasz, the consort of the Lifebinder, still alive in this timeline. As you might expect, the goddamn OP protagonist saw right through my human disguise and ordered to arrest me. Only by telling him I have information about Kel’thuzad’s treason he recalled the guards – but still forced me to go with him.

I was brought to his office in the Violet Citadel where together with Rhonin they began to interrogate me. Seeing this as a chance for getting out of the whole “helping destroy the world” thing, I told them the truth. That I’m an alien AND I’m from an alternate timeline, and that Sargeras is now inside Prince Anduin and sent me to help Kel’thuzad devise a plague of undeath that will bring forth Legion’s invasion. Although it sounded like a pretty tall story, some of the details that I shouldn’t know in this timeline convinced them. In the end, they decided they would get me a transport to Kalimdor if I help them save Jaina – still alive, but comatose.

When I arrived with them to Jaina’s chamber, she appeared barely alive. Very pale, very shallow breath – yet there no was immediate danger to her life, as she was in a stable condition for a while. I took a sample of her blood and with one of the simplest test, I found that Kel’thuzad must have created a unique contagion specifically for these cases. It was mostly made from Nether ingredients, making me unique suited to treat her. You see, no one in that universe, barring Kel’thuzad himself, would be able to help her. As I lived for long years on Outland, a continent consumed by the energies of the Twisting Nether, I gathered (and still had with me) plenty of nether-infused herbs, just the right thing I needed to combat this contagion. These herbs just don’t exist in this timeline.

So I started working. Treating her took me better part of the day, because I had to find all the right ingredients in all the right amounts, but in the end, she started stirring and her skin got its color back. Finally, late in the evening, she woke up and started screaming at me, thinking I’m some monster Kel’thuzad summoned, but Korialstrasz quickly calmed her down and explained everything. That’s when she explained how she got in that position – she found proof of Kel’thuzad’s dealings with Sargeras and his plague laboratory. The archmage quickly stabbed her with a needle full of his new contagion and took charge of the city, to make sure no one stops him anymore. Unfortunately for him, his plan was just ruined.

With Jaina still weak from weeks in bed, Rhonin and Krasus left her under my care and went to confront Kel’thuzad. I don’t know what exactly transpired, but soon after they entered his chambers, a lot of lights and noise started coming out of his windows. When the two mages came back a couple of minutes later, they explained that Kel’thuzad is dead, but he didn’t go down without a fight. As he was dying, he apparently told them they’re too late and the Scourge is already spreading. Rhonin thinks he was bluffing, but Krasus wants to make sure he wasn’t.

Nevertheless, I waited for the next day and the two mages fulfilling their end of the bargain. Before I could leave, I was however called to testify everything I knew about the situation before the Council of the Six and some special guests. The remaining five archmages gathered together to choose the new sixth. At the same time, King Kael’thas got wind of the recent events and arrived in Dalaran with Ranger-General Sylvanas Windrunner and one of his top magisters, Aethas Sunreaver. Additionally, Uther was transferred to Dalaran from Alterac. When I was called in to the Council chambers, Aethas was already made a member of the Six, and Kael’thas, Sylvanas, Uther and Turalyon were listening to my explanations.

At first, Uther didn’t want to believe me, but after Jaina told him how “selflessly” I treated her (really, I was doing it for my own gain), he agreed to listen. After I explain Anduin’s true identity, the Six agreed they must act to stop their plans. As their first move, they sent Uther with Turalyon back to Stormwind to unmask Sargeras, while I was given the passage on a goblin ship going to Kalimdor, currently docked in Southshore, occupied by Dalaran-friendly forces after the battle I witnessed couple of days prior.

I don’t know how Uther’s and Turalyon’s mission went as I quickly proceeded to Southshore. Once on board with the goblins, I could finally drop the human disguise, as the goblin crew was informed what I was, and in Kalimdor it would be pointless. I mean, they were informed I’m a bird person from a “far away land”, not an alien from an alternate reality. I finally left the Eastern Kingdoms to their own devices and my return home wouldn’t take much longer.

Next on Arakkoa Chronicles: The Road Home


Doing Sargeras’s Bidding

Previously on Arakkoa Chronicles: Kingdoms of Azeroth

Having little other choice, I played along with the mission Anduin/Sargeras gave me for the time being. I embarked on a trip throughout the Eastern Kingdoms with the stated intention of reaching Dalaran. However, while on my way north, I kept looking for ways to sneak away. I concluded that probably the only people capable of sending me back are the bronze dragons, and they live in Kalimdor. Obviously, I inquired Abbot Turalyon what do they know about Kalimdor and he spoke of it like about a myth – speaking of minotaurs, centaurs, harpies and “other mythical creatures”, including some unfounded tales of “minotaurs” (read: tauren) being carnivorous and living in labyrinths. Seriously, who makes those up? Tauren and labyrinths?

Most of the trip went pretty smoothly, at least its early parts did. Elwynn Forest is very similar, and yet oddly different. I never spent much time there, but I think the trees are all different, probably because the orcs never ravaged these forests. Redridge was a bit greener than you folks may know it, and it was definitely calmer. While in Redridge, I briefly spoke to a man called Tirion Ellerian, but I don’t know if he’s of any relation to the Queen of Stormwind. We then went on to Burning Steppes which were still, unsurprisingly, burning. They lacked a giant statue of Anduin Lothar though, as well as there being no orcs running across the landscape. The Dark Iron Mountain, as Turalyon insisted on calling it, was still considered a dangerous place because of the black dragons that keep lairs in there, but the Dark Irons themselves were apparently gone after Magni Bronzebeard collapsed the central pillar and destroy Shadowforge City.

Searing Gorge bore more trails of the war between Dark Irons and Ironforge, as especially noticable in the Cauldron, where all the Dark Iron machinery was in ruins. It was here that we first heard of some people called “Blackwyrm Cultists”. Turalyon explained they were dangerous and crazy people who worshiped not only the black dragons, but their mysterious masters as well – clearly the Twilight’s Hammer of an Azeroth with no orcs. When we came up to the gate between Searing Gorge and Loch Modan, we realized it was barred, due to the war and dwarves officially keeping out of it. Seeing no way to open it and not wanting to lose our time on killing that stupid thunder lizard, we had to go through the Badlands.

Let me tell you, it’s odd but refreshing to see Badlands not completely torn up and without the giant mark in the middle of it that looks as if Deathwing landed on it with his gonads. Just as I was starting to wonder what’s going on with Theldurin the Lost, a man I had contact with in our reality, a group of Blackwyrm Cultists appeared and demanded us to kneel before their dark masters. Little did they know, I only kneel before my dark masters, so we had to kill them, including “Theldurin the Mad”, their local leader. For the rest of the trip, Turalyon kept bugging me about the spells I was using, having never seen a druid in battle before. Oh yeah, did I mention Sargeras gave me that human disguise? I should’ve mentioned that earlier. I pretended to be an old human hermit called “Deckard Cain”. What, they never heard that name before.

Unfortunately, the dwarves have erected another gate in the pass just north of Uldaman, barring all entry to their territory from the south. This time, however, we got to talk to the dwarves manning it and with some mental gymnastics, we were able to convince them to let us through. I still don’t know how we were able to do that. Nevertheless, when we go to Thelsamar we went through another control. We had to some basic illusions to conceal my Outland herbs, but we were finally allowed through. We continued on fairly peacefully through Loch Modan and to Dun Algaz, finally leaving to the Wetlands. At this point I thought of running off to Menethil Harbor, but I realized that even if it exists in this timeline under another name, they likely won’t have ships sailing to Kalimdor.

When we were almost through the Wetlands, we got attacked by another group of Blackwyrm Cultists, this time led by a giant gnome who I did not recognize at first. Deformed by some magical experiments, he looked like some unfortunate, inbred half-dragon. Only when he opened his mouth, I knew who we were facing – “mighty Millhouse Manastorm” who was trying to light up “our sweetcheeks”. Unfortunately, at this size, his pyroblasts were the size of a small meteor so we could not afford to wait or even kill him. We ran as fast as we can, as he continued to devastate the local flora. We quickly made it through Thandol Span, which he was far too large to cross.

As Abbot Turalyon prepared to sleep, I decided to try another way of getting off the Eastern Kingdoms. I remembered there are pirates in Faldir’s Cove and as soon as Turalyon was soundly asleep, I ran away. To my surprise, there is no “Faldir’s Cove” in this timeline. There are just Stromgarde Docks, which I didn’t even know the city had. In the morning, Turalyon started looking for me and told the Stromgarde guards that I’m a senile old hermit who may have wandered off into the wilderness. They found me near the city and I agreed to rejoin Turalyon, knowing I have to keep playing along for at least some more time.

Rest of the way through Arathi Highlands and Hillsbrad Foothills was pretty uneventful, at least until we realized where we found ourselves. Through my spyglass, I noticed an army coming from the north, from Tarren Mill, under Stromgarde banners, headed by Danath Trollbane. From the south, from Southshore, was coming a Lordaeronian army led by Uther, a simple knight in this timeline. Realizing we found ourselves right on the frontlines, we quickly hid in a nearby cave. You know the cave under one of the Fingers of Hillsbrad that is full of yetis? That’s where we hid. There were no yetis inside, and I cannot explain why. From our safe hideout, we observed the battle and although Uther was still quite a formidable commander and fighter even as a knight, his army was still defeated. As we would later learn, Uther was captured during the battle and transferred to Alterac’s dungeons as a valuable hostage.

With the battle out of our way, we continued across Hillsbrad Foothills, around the Fingers, and finally came across the Dalaran Plains. Some of the local farms were burned, and the farmers explained to us it was done by a Lordaeronian commander, Garithos. Without much trouble, we finally got to Dalaran. Abbot Turalyon found us a nice accommodation with a view on the Cross Isle (it still exists in this timeline) while I looked for the Violet Citadel to check the situation in the city. You would be surprised how odd this Dalaran felt. I’ve never been to old Dalaran before, and the structure of the city was completely different than its current one. That was, unfortunately, the most pleasant of the surprises there.

When the Supreme Magus was supposed to do his proclamation to the people of Dalaran, I expected Jaina, who Turalyon informed me to be the leader, but instead I saw Kel’thuzad. As it turned out, Jaina fell ill with a mysterious disease and remains in a coma. While she was gone, Kel’thuzad took her duties as an Acting Supreme Magus. This really complicated things if I wanted to get out of helping the Scourge, and it seemed at the time I would no longer get out of that.

Next on Arakkoa Chronicles: Damaging the Timeline


Kingdoms of Azeroth

Previously on Arakkoa Chronicles: Enter the Nexus

When I realized I was in an alternate timeline, I needed some way to find out what exactly is going on. I shifted to flight form and flew around the town, looking for clues. Then I noticed a big statue of Medivh in the graveyard and to my surprise, Medivh has died two years prior in “mysterious circumstances”, and the plaque was dedicated by his apprentice – in this timeline, Prince Anduin Wrynn. Close by was the grave of King Llane Wrynn who died several years ago in a hunting accident. Medivh’s death was a surprising turn of events, but it could mean two things – someone realized his plans and got him killed, or he orchestrated for himself another host, perhaps his child or apprentice.

I needed to actually ask some people for direct information, but I knew that with no information about Draenor, my natural form would cause too much consternation. So I shifted into moonkin form and attempted to talk to the city guards. Unfortunately, they immediately started yelling at me for being a “monster on the loose”, which meant there must be no druids in here either. So I flew off and started looking for something that could help me get around. In the end, I decided to look for a human disguise in the Royal Library in the Stormwind Keep. Unfortunately, Prince Anduin was staying up late in there. And as it turned out, he wasn’t quite himself.

Anduin immediately recognized me as a Draenor native, which he shouldn’t have, given this world’s history. Then, he immediately asked if Kil’jaeden sent me. To save my hide, I complied and listened what he wanted to say. Everything immediately became clear when he started talking about his experiences from Medivh’s point of view. This wasn’t just Anduin, former apprentice of Medivh. Inside was Sargeras, the Dark Titan, who jumped host at the time of his death. Despite being allegedly so colossally intelligent, he just assumed Kil’jaeden sent me and didn’t question me much. But then again, the fact of being a Draenor native on Azeroth with no Dark Portal might have been odd enough.

Turns out that while Medivh was still in contact with Gul’dan, a version of Garrosh Hellscream from the future appeared on Draenor and manipulated rise of the Horde. Through his actions, the orcs never drank the blood of Mannoroth and formed the “Iron Horde”, which very quickly failed to either exterminate the draenei, the arakkoa or do much of importance at all. Somewhere around this time, Gul’dan was slain and Medivh lost contact with Draenor, realizing his Dark Portal plan was done for. He started scheming for a new plan, but a chance to strike didn’t come for years.

Meanwhile, a scion of a long-lost Alteraci noble family appeared in Alterac, named Daval Prestor. Yes, that’s Deathwing – but none of the humans in that timeline apparently realize his true identity. Daval Prestor managed to put himself in an influential position on the court of Alterac and got the heir of Alterac, Aliden Perenolde, betrothed to his daughter, Katrana Prestor (Onyxia). No, I do not know where’s Nefarian. In his time in Alterac, Daval Prestor took tutelage of Renault Mograine, here the young son of a knight from Stratholme, Alexandros Mograine. Prestor’s influence over the young Mograine was strong, and coupled with Mograine’s apparently naturally villainous behavior, lead to drama.

When Renault Mograine came of age, Alexandros died by the hands of “an unknown assassin” who killed him with his own sword. Renault immediately started brandishing some ancient claim his family had. Apparently, the Mograines are descended matrilinearly from the ancient Arathi kings of Stratholme, a kingdom now defunct after it was incorporated into Lordaeron. When Terenas Menethil died of natural causes about six years ago and Arthas was about to be crowned, Renault started demanding he be crowned too, as a King of Stratholme. Arthas obviously denied and Renault rose up in rebellion in response.

Through Prestor’s machinations, almost all of the nobles in eastern Lordaeron supported Mograine’s claim. In addition, Alterac, now ruled by King Aliden Perenolde and his wife, Queen Katrana Prestor, supported his claim as well and mustered their armies. Soon, he manipulated Jaina Proudmoore, Supreme Magus of the Kirin Tor, and Galen Trollbane, King of Stromgarde to stand in his support. Fearing for his safety, newly crowned King Arthas rallied King Genn Greymane of Gilneas, Daelin Proudmoore of Kul Tiras and King Varian Wrynn of Stormwind to his defense. Thus, the War of Stratholme, also known as the Great War, began.

For the first time since centuries, the human kingdoms were at war with one another and for the first time in recorded history it was a conflict of that scale, involving all the kingdoms to some degree. While Ironforge (which has conquered the Dark Irons and allied with Wildhammers) and Quel’Thalas remain officially out of the conflict, they unofficially send resources and volunteers to Lordaeron and Stratholme, respectively. By now, the war has been going on for over six years, devastating all the kingdoms and devouring some of the greatest heroes. Genn Greymane died on the field of battle, and Liam Greymane is now King of Gilneas. Alonsus Faol was killed in the siege of his Monastery in Lordaeron. Anasterian Sunstrider was poisoned by an unknown assassin.

If that wasn’t enough, Sargeras revealed to me his further plans. When he was still Medivh, he began developing a highly contagious plague with the help of no other than Archmage Kel’thuzad of the Six. That plague is meant to turn its victims into undead minions that would do Sargeras’s bidding and destroy both sides of the war. However, when the plague was still in its infancy, Medivh’s body could no longer hold the power of Sargeras and he had to evacuate. Medivh died in the dark ritual that transferred the spirit and power of the Dark Titan to the body of Prince Anduin. Now isolated on the wrong side of the conflict, he needed me to go to Dalaran and help Kel’thuzad in devising this world’s version of the Scourge.

I may be evil, but I had no desire to help with this kind of devastation. However, I had to play along and go on this mission, lest Sargeras realized something’s amiss and killed me on the spot. Using his influence as the crown prince of Stormwind, he got me the companionship of Turalyon, Abbot of Northshire, conveniently providing exposition whenever needed. This man is nothing like the Turalyon we know. Without finding the purpose in life in fighting the Horde, he became a fat and careless priest. We embarked on the long road to Dalaran, with me thinking only about a way to escape to someone who could bring me back home.

Next on Arakkoa Chronicles: Doing Sargeras’s Bidding