Character: Timewalker Watcher Tarakan Krasha
From the first mission briefing I was warned about that timeline. Well, they warn me about every timeline but they said this one is particularly dangerous as few who venture there ever return. Not because they all die, quite contrary. They all lead long, happy lives. A bit too happy, perhaps. I was informed the Timewalkers called that particular timeway “Azeroth of the Lotus Eaters”. About a decade ago, Azerothians discovered an odd magical lotus that is apparently absent from most other timelines. Some say it was an Infinite intervention, but I did not believe it. I mean, what’s so weird about a drug appearing in one timeline? Now I believe I may have been wrong, but I’ll get there in a minute. That lotus emitted a pollen that caused an irresistible urge to consume it. Once consumed, it had a sweet and unnaturally pleasant flavour which drove people to eat more of it. After a while, everyone was addicted – humans, elves, demons, dragons. No one could resist it. The whole planet, walking in a state of half-conscious bliss, driven only to consume more of the magical lotus. But as it turned out, it was far from the worst thing that could happen to that timeline.
Timeline: Unnumbered, distant timeline
Character: Biker Grom Hellscream, boss of the Warsong Gang
Two older draenei commoners sat on the chairs outside of a liquor shop on the outskirts of Telmor. To them, it was just another afternoon in a dreary backwater town. They spent their time like any other afternoon, having nothing more important to do, just gossiping about their neighbours, complaining about the politicians and the lack of money. But as they were busy with their daily rout, an ear-splitting noise began to reach them. One of them looked out into the distance and saw something they both hated – a gang of motorcycle-riding orcs, wearing leather and metal chains and shouting like madmen to the wind. In front of their column, a loud and proud leader of the gang – Grommash Hellscream. The two men quickly sat politely in their chairs, pretending not to see the commotion. When the loud noise of the orcish motorbikes passed, they looked at each other.
“Them orcs,” one of the men said, “They’re gonna make trouble, I tell ya.”
Last time, I presented to you all a general overview of what my design of Farahlon would look like, including a handy map presenting most major points of interest. I promised to go into details about the specific points later, and here I am. In this part, I’m going to present the storyline that introduces you to Farahlon. There isn’t much in terms of very unique gameplay in this specific part, so that will have to wait for the next parts.
Character: Garrosh Hellscream, Champion of Archimonde’s Felguard
“Honor is the most important thing in an orc’s life,” Geyah once said. “No matter how dire the battle, never forsake it,” she said.
But she was a foolish old woman. She did not see the things I have seen. I have seen worlds bathed in the emerald flame of the Burning Legion. I’ve seen entire civilizations brought to ruin and entire races wiped out, snuffed out like a candle. I’ve seen destruction that would destroy the mind and heart of a lesser man. But I no longer have a heart. I have embraced the inevitable. The blood of demons now courses through my veins and I pledged myself to the Great Defiler. Whatever dreams I once had as an orc, whatever values I may have held then, are now forfeit. Draenor, where I grew up, is no more. Azeroth was enveloped by the glory of the Burning Legion and all of its magic now serves the true masters of the universe.
Character: Galen Trollbane, Chieftain of the Arathi Clan
Galen sat in his tent, calmly eating grapes and drinking wine from golden goblets. Although the tent was full of jewelry and luxury goods, it was clear they were not bought or produced by his people. These were spoils of war, taken from cities and traders and haphazardly thrown about the tent to present them to their leader. Although there were still stains of blood on Galen’s skin and leather jerkin, he didn’t seem concerned – he was resting after a long battle and taking in everything he managed to take from his enemy. But his enemy didn’t produce most of it either – they were dangerous savages, invaders from another world who burn and pillage everything in their path. The orcs, as they call themselves, were however unlucky to ever step on the lands of the Arathi Clan – because the humans were just as savage.
As you may or may not know, I sent Riktal through my dimensional rift recently, and she returned with information on some kind of version of Draenor on the other side. The information she relayed to me did not, however, make much sense considering what I knew about the planet from my own youth. She appeared in a place called “Frostfire Ridge”, which as far as I’m aware, never existed on Draenor, but appeared to have some elements of Blade’s Edge Mountains, pulled out and stretched, with random lands put in-between to fill out the gaps. What I learned looked like someone wanted to just redesign Draenor according to his own whims, established past be damned. If that is all indeed Kairozdormu’s meddling, it’s going far beyond what I would ever expect possible of him.
Recently, Krasha reactivated some kind of magical rift he once had in his basement. I am told he used this to get into some other timeline that he then couldn’t get out of. Naturally, I doubted at least a large part of the story he told us, as did everyone else. Would you believe if your absent-minded employer told you a story about how he saved an alternate timeline and personally healed Jaina Proudmoore from a poison inflicted on her by Kel’thuzad himself? It sounds like a pretty tall story… until you get to realize it’s all true. Or at least it’s mostly true, as I recently had the chance to experience this alternate timeline, albeit from a completely different angle.
When the Warcraft setting first started, it was merely a thinly veiled fantasy version of early medieval England. The human faction openly referenced God, and used a calendar which seemed to place it in the 6th century AD. The obviously most striking departure from medieval England was the invasion of hellish monsters called Orcs, suggested to come from “underworld”. Some people, who started their interest in the franchise all the way back then, are very nostalgic about this ancient time. However, we can’t hide that there was very little to the setting back then. A couple of place names, an orcish invasion from hell, and names for characters which had very little personality.