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.
Tag Archives: Lordaeron
Balor is an island familiar to most for being an important battleground during the Second War and for nothing else. However, it took a much greater part in early human history – one that is rarely spoken of these days, for various reasons. Subject of one of the earliest human myths, like most of pre-Light human beliefs it has been conveniently forgotten or written out. When the Holy Light took over the old human faiths and replaced the myths of their gods with moralizing stories teaching people how to behave according to the virtues of the Light, many of those old stories were dismissed as simply stories sown by malicious spirits that would seek to lead the mortal men astray, away from the purifying Light. What those early priests did not consider was that in many of those stories, there was a grain of truth.
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…
The 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.
Character: Emperor Adamant of House Lothar, High King of the Arathi and the Azotha, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm
The trumpets sounded outside the windows with the coming dawn. The bloody trumpets, what was I thinking? the old emperor thought getting up. Although he did not think of himself as old, he definitely changed since the days of his youth. Young Adamant Lothar was a brilliant, handsome warrior – a scourge on the battlefield, and a beast in bed. He likes to pretend he is still like that, by whoring around and taking part in tournaments, but sometimes, only to himself, he thinks that he’s getting old. His stamina in either of the favored stations is not the same as it used to be and his muscular, handsome body has grown in all the wrong directions. But he’s still the emperor, and he can’t let the former kings, his lords paramount of their former kingdoms, see weakness in him. He created this empire and he can’t let it fall in his lifetime.
Character: Yara the Half-Troll, former lover and personal assassin of Sargeras-possessed Anduin
The Black Morass. It’s quite an apt name. It’s dark and gloomy and although it may not literally black it makes you feel black. You know what I mean. The atmosphere, the smell… it makes you think of death. It is rather fitting to my current state of mind. I know what you gonna say, I should seek out happiness right now but… just… not now. You have no idea how I feel. You can’t have any idea how I feel, sista. You did not go through what I did. You did not find out… things about people you loved, things that made you regret you ever loved them. Things that made you regret you did what you did for them. Things that made you regret that you were even alive. Things that make you think that perhaps if you were never born, things would have been different. Better for everyone involved. Before you think I just feeling depressed, listen carefully. Yes, I am depressed. But I have good reasons.
The descent into Azjol-Nerub went fairly smoothly. I fully expected some troubles to crop up – some leftover undead Nerubians, maybe evil living Nerubians worshiping Yogg-Saron, maybe something else of the multiple evils that lie in the unexplored parts of that forgotten kingdom. But no, everything went swimmingly. The most trouble we met so far was a couple of bats and spiders, nothing the group of 10 people couldn’t handle. This Xarthat guy kept leading us deeper and deeper, and it was only getting darker and damper. Really, I’m a bird, I was made for open skies and trees not for cramped, nearly airless corridors. It was a slow and painful torture.
We 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?
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
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