World of Warcraft Chronicle Volume 1 is an amazing book. Today I’m going to talk about some of the spoilers that have been revealed. If you would prefer a non-spoiler version about it, you can check out this post instead.
This took me longer to write than I had planned because my thoughts about the Chronicle are all over the place. I’m going to try to answer most of the questions I posed in my last post. This is also going to be heavily summarized because otherwise it’s going to be really long. Ok, so it is going to be long no matter what, but I’m trying to minimize the walls of text.
The titans are world souls that have become self aware; in other words they are sentient planets that have achieved godhood. The reason they go around the universe ordering planets is because they are searching for others like themselves. All the crap they do to a planet is an effort to wake a world soul up if it exists. Most planets do not have these souls but something about creating sentient life on a planet helps wake them if they are there.
Azeroth is one of these slumbering world souls. It is very powerful. So powerful that the titans expect it to be the strongest of them all once it wakes up.
One of the first forms of life to exist on most worlds are the elementals. In addition to the elements of earth, air, fire, and water, there is the fifth element of spirit. Worlds with a lot of spirit tend to have happier elementals who are content to live peacefully with each other. Worlds with a shortage of spirit have elementals that are constantly in a rage and fighting. Azeroth is such a world because the sleeping titan within it is sucking up all the spirit.
How weird is it that Azeroth is a baby titan? What will happen if it ever wakes up? I can’t help but wonder if this will be the ultimate end of WoW: Azeroth achieves conciousness and all its peoples–including our characters–become absorbed into the last titan. Suddenly all of Wrathion’s babbling last expansion makes more sense.
So you can see from this chart how many things are opposite each other and also where the various realms are. Note the Void Lords directly opposite from the Naaru. These dudes are the real big bads of the universe. They are composed of pure darkness and void energy. The Void Lords can’t manifest into the real world without using a tremendous amount of energy so they use servants like the Old Gods to act for them. Their goal is to devour all creation. What they want most is to corrupt a baby titan and thus create a dark titan. The Void Lords shoot out Old Gods at random into space hoping they will land on a planet with a world soul in it to corrupt. By blind luck the Void Lords managed to hit Azeroth with four Old Gods.
Sargeras is an evil jerk, but he is not a true dark titan. Sargeras is instead a fallen titan. He was the enforcer of the Pantheon and his job for millennia was killing demons because demons threatened the order the titans were trying to foster. During the course of this he noticed that the demons he killed always came back. To combat the constantly resurrecting demons, he made a prison world to hold them instead and placed it within the Twisting Nether. This prison world was Mardum.
Sargeras found a very dark planet completely shrouded in void energies. He discovered that it was infested with Old Gods and that it was also a sleeping world soul. This baby titan was already completely corrupted by their influence. It would have become a dark titan had it awakened. Sargeras captured some demons that were also on this planet and interrogated them. They told him about the Void Lords and he was horrified. Sargeras was so upset by the corrupted world soul that he smote the planet in two and killed it. Then he went back to the Pantheon and told them what he had found.
This is where the schism between Sargeras and the rest of the titans occurred. Sargeras decided that life itself must be innately corrupted. The only way to prevent the Void Lords from turning everything to void energy was to raze all life in the universe. Life had begun once, perhaps it would one day begin again.
The rest of the Pantheon did not agree and refused to kill everything. They were certain they could find ways to cure the corruption instead. Sargeras left them because he was convinced he was right. He was not crazy or at least wasn’t crazy when he left the Pantheon.
After pondering the horrors of the Void for a while, Sargeras went to the Twisting Nether and Mardum and he ripped open the prison he had created. Ripping open the prison caused him to be completely corrupted by fel energy and he became the fire-faced baddy we know today. He convinced all the demons to become the Burning Legion and join his quest to destroy all life in the universe.
The four Old Gods all landed on Kalimdor, which was the main continent of Azeroth. As soon as they landed, they started exuding faceless ones and all those nasty bug races to be their servants. The Old Gods used their servants to attack the elementals of Azeroth and they eventually forced them to do the Old God’s will.
Eventually the titans discovered Azeroth, and they were horrified to find the sleeping world soul infested with void energies. It was uncorrupted but they knew it couldn’t stay that way for long. They began working on a way to get the old gods off of Azeroth. The titans couldn’t interact with Azeroth directly because of their great size so they created Keepers to do the work for them. The Keepers created additional followers which were known as the titan-forged.
The titan-forged include the earthen, the vrykul, the mechagnomes, the mogu, the anubisath, the tolvir, the giants, and probably more that I can’t remember. There were many different kinds created for many different tasks.
The titan-forged began a long war against the creatures spawned from the Old Gods. First they took out the elemental lords and imprisoned them within the elemental plains. Then they took on the yucky bugs–the aqir–and killed almost all of them. Finally they went after the Old Gods and here they ran into trouble. The casualties were heavy and the titans eventually decided the cost of the war was too high. They decided to take direct measures against the Old Gods instead.
Aman’Thul reached down with his giant hand–from space I guess? This had to look pretty weird when it happened–and grabbed Y’Shaarj and pulled it out of the world and squished it to pieces. This resulted in very bad things for poor Azeroth because the Old Gods had burrowed too deep. A massive wound was left and it filled up with titan blood. This wound became the Well of Eternity.
The titans realized they could not kill the Old Gods without also killing the world so they made alternate plans. They had the titan-forged beat the Old Gods into submission and then imprisoned them. After that, the titans ordered the world and left it in the care of the Keepers.
Eventually the Pantheon ran across Sargeras and his Burning Legion. They tried to convince him that they had found a better way to defeat the Void Lords. This did not end well.
Sargeras killed the rest of the titans, Y’all. The titans are dead. The remains of their spirits fled back to Azeroth and entered the various Keepers and this caused some of the Keepers to go insane. This slow decline of the Keepers led to the Old Gods weakening their prisons and infecting the titan-forged with the curse of flesh. It also allowed the Keepers to be affected by the Old Gods. This makes a lot of sense because the Keepers are slowly being corrupted and so even the sane ones make increasingly bad decisions.
The only Keeper who understood what happened to the titans was Ra. He removed the spirit of Aman’Thul from himself and placed it within the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The Vale water was very similar to the Well of Eternity because it was also composed of titan energy.
I’m not going to write up the complete history of Azeroth because most of it is already known. Warcraft Chronicle Volume 1 adds a lot of small details. From here on out I’m going to skip around and tell highlights. I spent a lot of time on the titans because that information was all new to me and I found it really interesting.
When the Sundering occurred, the continent of Kalimdor did not blow apart. Instead the middle part of it collapsed in the implosion and was sucked under the sea. It’s amazing to see how big the continent was and compare it to how little of the land is left. If Shaohao had not put the Mists up to protect Pandaria, it would have been destroyed by the implosion.
I didn’t include this next tidbit in my last post because it was spoilery for Legion as well as for WoW Chronicle Volume 1. It was one of the things that really caught my attention though. Keeper Odyn asked the titan-forged vrykul sorceress Helya create a flying fortress for him. Helya was a bit of a badass and she had created several other wondrous things in the past such as the elemental planes where the elementals were banished. She detached part of Ulduar and levitated it into the sky thus creating the Halls of Valor.
Odyn wanted to fill the Halls of Valor with his own personal army made from the souls of the vrykul. In order to do this, he wanted to infuse some vrykul with the magic of the Shadowlands. They would be forever cursed to be wraiths but they would also be able to ferry souls from the Shadowlands to the Halls of Valor.
As you might imagine, Odyn didn’t get any volunteers for this crappy job. So he decided to make his own Val’kyr. Helya told him he couldn’t enslave the titan-forged and they fought. Odyn forced Helya into the Shadowlands and she became the first Val’kyr. This was very creepy and reminded me of the Lich King because Helya was forced to serve Odyn against her will. It is also notable that every Val’kyr he created–and they were all created by force–is a woman. Odyn had some serious issues.
Eventually this came back to bite Odyn in the butt. Helya did not appreciate being forced to serve him and the transformation into an undead being had instilled her with a strong need for vengeance. Loken was able to give Helya back her free will in exchange for her sealing Odyn and his army away from the world forever. She did this gladly. Her magic was still strong and the Halls of Valor were sealed.
Helya then took most of the Val’kyr into a new place she created called Helheim. I’m not surprised that some of the Val’kyr now serve Sylvanas. They share a similar terrible past.
Whew! I feel like I have written a short novel. It just barely scratches the surface of WoW Chronicle Volume 1. There are so many amazing painting and maps. There is so much lore. I can’t recommend this book enough.