When looking at likely prospects for new playable races next expansion, it’s impossible to ignore the Vrykul. Originally making their first appearance in Wrath, these progenitors of humanity have made a comeback in Legion. With so much time invested in telling their story, it seems a logical conclusion the Vrykul could be made available for play.
Unlike the Shal’dorei, the Vrykul have been featured in more than a single expansion. And unlike the Ethereals, we have a much more comprehensive view of their history — most of our questions surrounding the Vrykul have been addressed, if not fully answered. It wouldn’t be out of the question to see them as an option for playable race.
In fact, given what we might see coming next expansion, you could almost call it “highly likely.”
— Know Your Lore: The Vrykul — a new playable race?
Last week we talked about Keeper Odyn and the dread being he had summoned from the Shadowlands. Odyn forced his stepdaughter Helya to call up this creature for him. The entity made a pact with Odyn, teaching him how to see into both the Shadowlands and the world of the living, by swallowing his eye whole. With this knowledge, Odyn learned how to create the Val’kyr. These creatures, neither living nor dead, he then used to return the souls of deceased Vrykul from death, housing them in new immortal bodies. In the Halls of Valor, his Valarjar army waited to fulfill the purpose for which it had been created.
Helya objected to this plan so strongly that Odyn forced the transformation on her. Although he claims otherwise in Skyhold, he made her the first of the Val’kyr. After Loken intervened and freed Helya from Odyn’s control, she took her vengeance. She sealed the Halls of Valor away so that Odyn’s Valarjar couldn’t reach Azeroth any longer, trapping them both. But we still have many questions left to answer about what happened.
— Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Helya’s betrayal and the Death God
The Titan Keeper and Prime Designate Odyn did not trust the Dragon Aspects. As he saw it, only those originally created by the Titans for the ordering of Azeroth could be entrusted with such a responsibility. The dragons were of Azeroth, but they weren’t worthy.
He hit upon a plan. Many of the Titan-Forged Vrykul had died valiantly battling the Old Gods in the name of Azeroth and her great destiny. The world itself was a Titan yet unborn, one of Odyn’s own creators — no mere dragon could be worthy of the responsibility of shepherding it into existence. And so, Odyn did the unthinkable.
— Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Odyn and the power of death
Last week, we took a look at a race that took center stage for a chunk of the latest expansion. The Shal’dorei are the kind of new entry to Warcraft lore that almost begs to be made a playable race. But there are other races out there that are worth exploring as well — and one of them has been around since WoW’s first expansion. I’m speaking, of course, of the Ethereals.
We first encountered these strange creatures all the way back in Burning Crusade. Ethereals have an extensive but hidden history. We’ve been told parts of it, but we’ve never gotten the whole picture. Given their renewed presence in Legion, is it likely we’ll see them playable in a future expansion?
— Know Your Lore: The Ethereals, a playable race?
There were once seven nations of Humankind in the Eastern Kingdoms. All descended from the proud Arathi people and the first Empire of Strom, but they followed many different paths. The people of Strom turned insular and became Stromgarde, a walled fortress that held the history of their first nation. Mighty Lordaeron rose to dominate the region, built in the shadow of the lost tomb of Tyr in the Tirisfal Glades.
The Mages of Dalaran forged a unique destiny for themselves, dedicated to arcane study. The people of Alterac carved out a place in the mountains where Humans once fought Trolls. Many of Strom’s original ruling bloodlines headed south and founded Stormwind on the frontier. Meanwhile, Gilneas grew proud and independent.
But one people never had a king or a queen. One people chose to take to their ships and found a place unlike any of the other nations. An island that provided them with a kind of independence. It lacked the stiff-necked arrogance of Gilneas or the rejection of Stormwind, the mysticism of Dalaran or the ambition of Lordaeron. For one nation, the sea would be the means to its survival and the road to its future.
That nation was Kul Tiras, and no one knows what’s become of her. Like the ships that once plied the sea in her name, she now sails on uncharted waters, if she is still afloat.
— Know Your Lore: Kul Tiras
It’s about that time in an expansion’s lifetime that we begin looking forward to the next. New expansions typically feature one of two new things: A new class, or a new playable race. Either way, each prospect also introduces new lore. In the past, each playable race has been tied to the expansion in a tangible way. Pandaren obviously featured heavily in Mists of Pandaria. Goblins and Worgen joined the Horde and Alliance respectively as part of Cataclysm’s story. Death Knights were intricately tied to Wrath’s story.
Legion’s story hasn’t quite come to its conclusion – we’ll need the Antorus raid for that, at least. Yet the release of Argus isn’t just about the Eredar homeworld, just like Legion hasn’t been the Burning Legion’s tale. And in between all fighting all the demonic forces the Legion has to offer, there are hints to be found at what might be coming next. The most logical of these? A new player race we’re now intimately familiar with – the Shal’dorei.
— Know Your Lore: The Shal’dorei, a playable race?
Last week Blizzard released the three part Alleria and Turalyon audio drama, A Thousand Years of War. One line in it grabbed my attention. When Alleria made mental contact with Argus’ world-soul, it revealed to her its origin. In that revelation we learned that before it slumbered within Argus, the light that made up the world-soul drifted in the void. It came close to a star for warmth, and the planet formed around it for protection. Up until now we knew that some worlds had world-souls and some didn’t. Now we’ve learned that world-souls predate the worlds they form within.
The audio drama makes a point of equating Argus and Azeroth. It points out that the two worlds are similar. Therefore, we can assume that Azeroth’s world-soul also existed before Azeroth the planet did. And this implies that every Titan came about in this way. A formless entity of light so powerful that it formed a world around itself for protection as it grew.
This led me to several questions…
— Know Your Lore, TFH edition: The genesis of Titans
Nothing forms a bond quite like family. And no other family has been quite as high-profile as the Windrunners. Each of the Windrunner sisters has experienced what could be considered a uniquely tragic history. Yet all three share similarities that continue to haunt them to this day.
It’s not often that we see true blood-related families in Warcraft lore. Of course we have royal situations, like Varian and Anduin, or Genn and the rest of the Greymane clan. But typically these family situations tend to focus on one person over the other. Genn has a much larger story focus than his wife or daughter. Varian and Anduin tended to trade the spotlight, coming together briefly to share a clash or two before heading off to their own separate questlines.
Outwardly, the Windrunner sisters appear to have done the same. But their stories echo one another, and as a whole, they paint a family picture the likes of which we don’t often seen in Warcraft.
— Know Your Lore: The Windrunner sisters
Recently a bit of a contradiction has occurred to me. Namely that the actual source of the Legion’s fabled invincibility has seemed somewhat contradictory. Chronicle Vol. 1 told us that demons always return to the Twisting Nether to be reborn when destroyed. That’s why Sargeras had to create Mardum to imprison demons. Slaying them merely sent them to the Nether to regenerate.
However, it was eventually discovered that a death in the Nether was a true death. Illidan himself says so several times, it’s also said in Chronicle that a death in the Nether or in any place sufficiently suffused with fel energy would be a permanent death for a demon. Both Archimonde at the end of Warlords of Draenor and Kil’jaeden at the end of the Tomb of Sargeras raid are said to be slain in places of heavy fel power and thus presumed to be permanently dead.
This article is full of spoilers for Patch 7.3, Antorus the Burning Throne, and the end of the Legion expansion. If you read it, you will be exposed to those spoilers.
— Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Argus and the Twisting Nether
In the beginning of everything, there was only the Light. It was a sea of living energy, filled with the potential of life. But as that sea expanded, pockets of nothingness began to form. This was the Void — and as it grew, it began to move against the Light. Eventually, the two forces clashed together so violently that the universe was created. And over the course of those explosions, shards of Light gathered in the Great Dark Beyond, forming clouds from which creatures emerged.
One of these creatures was the Naaru.
According to history, the Naaru are a benevolent force for the Light. They see the limitless possibilities that exist in the universe and seek to cultivate them. They want to nurture life and hope throughout the cosmos.
Unfortunately, history is sometimes a little…inaccurate.
Today’s Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition. The following contains speculation based on known material. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn’t be taken as fact or official lore.
— Know Your Lore, TFH Edition: Cycle of the Naaru