If there was anything that I could honestly say that Cataclysm did that I loved, it was advance the storyline for the entire world. Well, the old world at least. There’s still some timey wimey whatever stuff going on in Outland and Northrend – but this isn’t about that. No, this post is about the blood elves. More importantly the complete and utter lack of story involving them in Cataclysm. The same could be said for the draenei, but I don’t know nearly enough about them. So I’ll leave that to other bloggers.
But there was a huge missed opportunity for the sin’dorei in my eyes. They could have become a major player in the new Horde. Especially with the Forsaken now dead set on conquest of the Eastern Kingdoms, it will only be a matter of time before they have to cross blades with the Argent Crusade who have firmly rooted themselves in the Plaguelands, and with an army backed by a new font of holy power lying just to the north, one has to wonder if Lady Sylvanas would reach out to old friends in order to complete her mission to claim all of Lordaeron for the Forsaken.
But that didn’t happen. In fact, despite the successful reclamation of the Ghostlands by a unified force of Forsaken and Blood Elves, there is little to no mention of their ‘friends to the north’. Perhaps they fear the Sunwell’s possible effects on the undead? Or maybe there is underlying mistrust after the betrayal of Prince Kael’thas? Who knows. The real question for me is more so, if the timeline for WoW has indeed move forward… what exactly is going on beyond the forests of Quel’thalas?
What We Have Here is a Failure to Conspire
The question is really based on a small insignificant piece of dialogue from Wrath of the Lich King, where there were hints of a frustration in the ranks of Blood Elf society. Despite Regent Lord Lor’themar’s decision to stand with their new found allies in the Horde then with the corrupted Kael’thas and his fel-tainted elves during the battle for the Sunwell, Ranger General Halduron Brightwing urges Horde players to not get involved with Lor’themar’s political scheming with the Grand Magister Rommath during the quest to reforge the ancient blade Quel’delar.
Political scheming? What’s this? Is there something going on here? Not entirely surprising since much of blood elven culture has been one of duality. There is the seen – a simple tailoring shop – and the unseen – that uses demons and slave labor. Even the guards seem to be on duty to prevent anyone from seeing the tears in the seems of the blood elf society. The protesters in the Bazaar are quickly silenced and brain washed into behaving, the constructs patrolling the city shout off things like “happiness is mandatory”, and I will remind you that these were all occurred after Lor’themar assumed the role of leader.
Could it be possible that the blood elves are trying to reclaim their former glory through dystopia? Praise the glory of the sin’dorei or be silenced forever? It would go a long way to explain why Halduron would go the distance to make contact with the high elves during the crisis in Zul’Aman (much to Lor’themar’s dissaproval) instead of seeking reinforcements from Silvermoon. If the man in charge of Quel’thalas’ defense is becoming distrustful of Silvermoon’s leadership, then I think we may all have cause for worry.
The Eternal Sun Shall Guide Us
And there in lies a great opportunity to advance the story of the sin’dorei! The fact that the leadership is scheming, inept, and resort to such drastic measures as brainwashing problematic citizens could indeed be reason enough for a revolution in the ranks. But who would rise up against Lor’themar? The Farstriders? They are now too few, and stretched too thin to be of any use. It would take a powerful force to rise up and seize the reins of Silvermoon. Someone who commands loyalty from their soldiers, is respected amongst a number of species, who has battled their demons and come out with a new found respect for the Light and what it means to uphold its ways.
Oh for Brann’s sake, I’m talking about Lady Liadrin! Being the leader of the Blood Knights, she commands a large and powerful force that is now rekindled by the rebirth of the Sunwell. She is on a mission to the see the blood elves returned to their former glory, and she is a reformed follower of the Holy Light. I could easily see her leading her paladins to usurp the Regent-Lord and uniting the blood elves under her.
After all, if the blood elves quench their thirst now through the holy energies of the Sunwell, a Light-centric society would make sense. It would also introduce an interesting concept of a theocratic government, which really hasn’t been touched on before in Warcraft. The only possible exception being possibly the draenei since their spiritual leader is also their faction leader and their society has a strong affinity for the Light, but can you really say the draenei have a form of government? I always say them as refuges, not an entire civilization. Either way, a Light based theocratic blood elf government would be a fascinating angle to explore. It would also bolster the story of the Reliquary who are searching for ancient arcane artifacts for more power. Why are the Reliquary bothering with this if the Sunwell now provides what they’ve needed since the Burning Crusade? If they had rejected the Holy Light and decided to seek out purely arcane means to cure their cravings and redeem their society, well that’s suddenly a much more interesting reason.
It would also go a long way to explaining why the Forsaken would not want to get involved with the blood elves. After all, the energies of the Holy Light are fairly painful to the undead, and their reverence for the Forgotten Shadow would put them at odds with their former allies, and would further drive the Forsaken into more isolationist tendencies of wanting to rely on their own instead of the orcs, blood elves or even the Horde in general.
I really think it would be an engaging and fascinating change up for the blood elves in Cataclysm. Instead we got warrior trainers and Lor’themar got a few new lines. Wonderful. Fabulous. Great. What wasted potential. Well, maybe the next expansion will do SOMETHING with them?
So after posting the rules and guidelines for the Ironman Challenge, I opened up a poll to decide what race and class I should play for this. Declaring that I couldn’t trust myself to make it too easy or too hard, I figured my loyal and always appreciated readers should decide what I should play and what they would read about.
The poll was set to go until Saturday, but seeing as how we got 28 votes already and the Warchief Elections ran a better part of a month and only got like 110 votes, I’m gonna say this was about all we were going to get. Especially after votes were turned into a trickle of once every4-5 hours after this afternoon’s rush of about 10 votes. I decided to end the poll early and sent the call out on twitter (if you are upset by this and didn’t hear about, well… maybe you should follow me on twitter. 😛 ) And after all was said and done, I am happy to present to you the reader voted on winner of the Ironman Toon poll:
He is Ironkerion (get it?) an Undead Warlock. I’m a bit shocked that one came out on top. I figured people would pick a hard class for me to do this with (okay, the runner up was warrior. But warlock just barely beat it. Okay fine there’s an uproar about it, I can switch.) So a pet class it is. I’m actually a bit intrigued, I haven’t played a warlock since early WotLK, and that toon was mostly leveled during Burning Crusade (My first max level toon actually). So this is semi nostalgic for me. He’s currently level 5, dressed in the all white gear you can find off of the Deathknell cloth armor vendor, and just setting off into the great big world.
I really don’t expect much a difference from levels 5-10 anyway. I seem to recall pre-Cata there wasn’t an abundance of green gear to be had in the 1-10 areas (heck, I remember everyone going to Ghostlands because that’s where you got the “best” 10-20 gear compared to Silverpine and the Barrens.)
In case you want to follow along or see if I’m around to say hi or anything, Ironkerion is on the horde side (duh) of the Zangarmarsh realm – US. So all you folks in <It Came From The Blog> better say hello. 😉 He’s currently my only toon on that realm, so it’s definitely a “no financial aid” situation. My imp is named Grobham or something like that. It seems oddly fitting. I too enjoy grob and ham. Often with a side of hathuun and rice. Expect many a joke about demon names folks. This is what you voted for.
Speaking of votes, here is a quick breakdown of how it all turned out:
LET THE IRONMAN BEGIN-ETH!
(Like that -eth suffix? Makes it more medievally in my opinion. Which in metal terms makes it instantly like 3-4 times more bad ass.)
Well, I mentioned earlier this week that we had received some announcements for the new Warchief candidate that had decided to squeeze into Deathwing’s old spot (He’s still sending us emails. Nonsensical trash like “The Barrens shall burn in my wake!” or “Not even Southshore shall be spared my wrath!” and some such), but we were discussing the best way to announce it. Well, when we got a look at the campaign ad, that issue was quickly resolved. So here it is ladies and gentlemen, squeaking in just before debate season starts, your new fifth candidate for Warchief:
That’s right, Horde. The Banshee Queen is on the scene. I wasn’t kidding when I said that Basic Campfire and Thrall had better watch out, because the Queen of the Dead is packing some major support. Until now there hadn’t been a candidate that the Forsaken had truly backed. Oh sure, some of them liked Thrall and others really enjoyed Basic Campfire’s easy to get behind platform, but all bets are off when Sylvanas Windrunner throws her hat in the ring. Even a large number of Blood Elves have decided to support Windrunner as the new warchief.
The Dark Lady is a hard candidate to follow, she’s proven her chops against both the Alliance and the Scourge, not to mention her dedication to the Horde by accepting the help of Thrall to recapture the Undercity from insurgents that she could have easily joined up with. Her Royal Apothecary Society has created some of the most potent biological weapons ever seen, and the Alliance has seen that she doesn’t mind testing them on live subjects.
While some detractors have mentioned that using weapons like the New Plague as a deterrent could have troublesome repercussions, some do admit that it’s better than the policy of open war that Garrosh has been advocating. The tauren have been especially out spoken against the announcement of Windrunner’s candidacy, seeing forsaken leadership as one step closer to a possible ‘Lich King’ scenario. Lady Sylvanas dismissed such complaints, “The Lich King is dead but we are still here. If that’s not proof enough that we’re not in league with Scourge, I don’t know what is.”
I don’t think I need to express how much of a game changer the appearance of Lady Windrunner is in this election. With legions of voters including the forsaken, the sin’dorei, and many female voters openly expressing their support for this new candidate, we should expect even more heated debates coming this next week. For those of you out there who wish to support Lady Sylvanas Windrunner as a candidate, her team was kind enough to do up a new button for everyone. They’ve made some of their own changes to it:
Well, this is it folks. The last two camps of the 2010 Warchief Elections have delivered their ads, and boy are they… um… well let’s call it ‘unique.’ The first one of these we got was a small paper flyer that was pushed through our mail slot the other day. It’s got all the production quality of a college student with Photoshop and a nearby Kinko’s. So, well, here’s Richard Knaak’s ad:
We sent out people to every single Horde capital in order to get a response on this one. Generally, all we got was “Who is Richard Knaak?” and “What in the nether is a retcon?” We tried to explain to them that the Draenei were a retcon which was generally met with “No. The Draenei are demons.” After our teams decided this was a lost cause we headed to Dalaran to ask Rhonin about this. When we showed him the flyer, he had a concerned look on his face: “I don’t normally get involved in the politics of the different factions, but I don’t think he’s joking.”
What exactly would Knaak retcon if not elected? One would assume he’d make himself the new warchief, but there are a number of other possibilities. What if he changed the Horde so it was a run by a council of each races leaders and there was no warchief at the head of it all? While it wouldn’t cater to desire to be all powerful, it would thoroughly change everything for no reason and upset the fans of the Horde, which would still be in line with much of Knaak’s M.O.
However, Knaak’s ad wasn’t the only one that we got to see this week. We finally got to see “Daval Prestor” who apparently, after realizing that no one was buying that pseudonym twice, has dropped the name and just come in to the game as Deathwing proper. His campaign statement is a bit on the forced side in my opinion:
At first, I thought the Vote or Die thing was just a throwback to that ‘get teens to vote’ thing a few years back, but then I remembered that it’s Deathwing. That’s probably just an honest to goodness threat to voters. While I don’t think this course of action is necessarily legal, I am not going to be the one to tell the giant dragon that has magma pouring out of his body. Surprisingly, the voter support for this one was very strong. Many people we talked to were very much in favor of not dying it turns out and they said that will definitely be considering that when they show up to vote.
Not surprisingly, the Forsaken are not taken with this ad – again. “We’re already dead! What use is it to threaten us with it again? Deathwing is obviously missing the point of what it is to be a walking corpse.” says Ageron Kargal, a resident of the town of Brill, “I mean, when are the Forsaken are going to get a Warchief that respects and understands us?” To date, while some Forsaken have been polled wanting to elect one candidate or another, many are undecided for this very reason. Who can blame them? With the exception of Basic Campfire, all the candidates are very much alive – a fact that sets them distinctly apart from the population of the Undercity.
However, following the release of Deathwing’s campaign ad, there was quite a stir in terms of the election. It turns out there was a problem with Deathwing’s run for Warchief. As the Horde by laws clearly state: “A potential Warchief must exist on this plane of existence in order to run.” We sent a correspondent to Deepholm to ask the Destroyer for his opinion – but he was quickly devoured. However, murdering tyrant or not, his name will be taken off the ballot come election due to this. In response to this, Deathwing issued a press release that simply stated: “You want me on your plane? Very well. I WILL BE THERE SOON.” The press release appeared to have been written in blood. Possibly that of our correspondent.
However this does leave an interesting twist on Election. With Deathwing out of the running, there is a vacant slot on the ballot. Will someone step forth the fill it? Who would even try considering the massive amounts of support already given to Thrall and Basic Campfire? Is there someone in Azeroth crazy enough to jump in to a losing race? We shall see.
The Candidates have all released their ads, and with debate season quickly approaching what will can we expect from the four final candidates? Will someone snatch up that last open ballot position? Keep it tuned in here to OddCraft as we are dedicated to bringing you up to date coverage of the Warchief Election!
While Garrosh Hellscream has been promoting his platform of the Horde dominance across all of Azeroth, the other camps have been scrambling to get their own campaign advertisements out in order to match him. Word has it that it Thrall has been focus testing a number of slogans that would match Garrosh’s appeal to the Horde’s sense of honor but also invoke the message of peace.
On the other hand, Deathwing – I mean Davan Prestor – has declared that puny ads mean nothing when raw power is on his side and Richard Knaak has stated in interviews that if he loses the election, he’ll just retcon it in his next book. However, we did see the appearance of Basic Campfire’s new campaign ad this week. It poses a powerful philosophical statement about the Campfire’s view about the direction that the Horde should take:
This profound message invokes a number of images. Yes, we must cook our food in order to survive. Yes, even the simple cooks deserve a place in this newest Horde. Yes! We must show Care Over Other Koncerns! Well, I may be stretching that last one a bit. But it is a powerful verb to represent what I’m sure is a very powerful campaign. However, when I took the time to show the new ad around the Undercity to ask about what the Forsaken thought of Basic Campfire’s new message, I found a very different tune that what I had been hearing in Kalimdior.
For the most part the Forsaken found the ad absolutely offensive. Saying that cooking denoted eating, and that since the Forsaken aren’t alive – Well they don’t really have to eat. They do eat, but they don’t have to. Except for the ones without lower jaws. They’re upset because they can’t even eat if they wanted to. But it seems it’s not in the interest of Basic Campfire’s political career to remind the undead of these things.
In order to see if there were some kind of consensus about this from the formerly-living, I decided to ask the Knights of the Ebon Blade what they thought of the campaign. They were not offended. They simply laughed at me and asked if we were really considering electing a couple of logs that have been set on fire as a warchief. After explaining the other candidates to them, Highlord Darion Mograine himself pledged his support for Basic Campfire. So I guess not all undead are resurrected equal.
That’s all from the Warchief Election News Headquarters here at Oddcraft. Your regularly scheduled Stormwind Tour should be up soon. Lok’tar Ogar and have a nice day.