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Warcraft Expanded Universe(Books, Comics and Mangas)*Updated with Illidan*
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Storyline: It was quite good, shows where our favorite Alliance side Death Knight had come from, a farming family, with his father being a 'hero' in the Second War, and receiving as his mother put it 'A heroes grave'. The back and forth between Thassarian and his sister was excellent, I enjoyed it, especially when they were teasing each other about neither having suitors.
We get to see some of his life as a soldier and find out that while he's excellent at foot work and fighting, he lacks the necessary skills to respond quickly in a crisis, which means he's better off just following orders. From what it shows, he wasn't part of the Lordareon war vs the Cult of the Damned, but he was added into the army that went north, and we see the point where Arthas turns on the mercenaries from a different point of view; that of the loyal soldiers seemingly stranded in the north. We also learn how Thassarian dies; killed by Falric in the chamber were Frostmourne had been, after the young man went looking for Arthas and the 2nd.
The scene shifts to the fall of Lordaeron, and we finally see what happened after Arthas killed his father.... and it has been proven it was more then just Arthas, Falric and Marwyn; you see Thassarian and an army of Scourge ripping the city apart. At one point, they capture his mother, and we watch as the now Death Knight lieutenant kills her, stating he does as his commanding officer orders like all good soldiers.
After this, it changes to the assault on Silvermoon and we meet with Koltira, who is forced to watch as his brother and a young woman die to the Scourge, Thassarian recovering one of the gems then needed to take down the shield. Koltira follows Thassarian and attempts to reason with him, to reach out to the spark within him, but the Death Knight ignores that and let's him live. They later meet again, and Thassarian slays the High Elf in Arthas name, and he is revived as well.
From there, we see the two training at Icecrown, then they, and others are sent to destroy Light's Hope, and we see the event from his eyes, and during the final battle, his father's spirit appears to help Thassarian break free. After the fight, Thassarian is sent to Stormwind, to become the first Alliance Death Knight, and it's quite interesting to watch the 'hero' make the walk we have all done, as the people of Stormwind pelt us with trash and spit on us. When he reaches Wyrnn, it's the exact same speech as the quest, and was well shown.
After this point, it goes on to expand on the Alliance side Borean Tundra quest, and makes a small reference to Koltira's quest line as well. The final fight with the San'layn atop the ziggurat was well penned and drawn, and I enjoyed it immensely.
Two things here though:
1. The book proves that those who are saying "Oh well, more Lordaeron people then we realized escaped" are wrong; it wasn't just Arthas and his two lieutenants, it was a full on army of Scourge forces that just tore the city apart.
2. The Lordaeron Harbour (which looks almost identical to Stormwind) is shown.... which means this order thing of Garrosh's, sending the Forsaken to attack Gilneas for a port is merely Blizzard attempting to shoe-horn a reason for an attack in.
So, that's all for now, and more then likely I'll necro this thread again in June when Dragons of Outland comes out.... and the few preview things I saw at the end of Death Knight is making me drool, it looks like it's going to be a beautiful work of art.
(he's upside down in the tree, clearest pic I could find of him)
World of Warcraft: Sunwell Trilogy
by good ole Knaak.
Book 1: Dragonhunt
In which we meet our cast of characters: Kalecgos, Anveena, Tyrigosa, and Jorad Mace...oh, and the team pet Raac. We also meet the big bad Dar'Khan and his army of Scourgelings. Alright, anyways; Kalec is sent south from the realm of the Blues to investigate a new magical source that is causing interest in Malygos. En route to finding it, he is attacked by a group of Dragon hunters: A dwarf known as Harkyn Grymstone who saw his family killed by a dragon, and has the scars to show it, as well as an Orc by the name of Groth, and a pair of Trolls named Snee and Voll. The amigos fail to capture Kalec at first and he is rescued by a young human woman named Anveena Teague, who takes him home, seeming undisturbed that her guest is really a dragon.
The four hunters attempt to ambush Kalec again, and fail as the Teagues keep them busy. While fleeing, Kalec is injured again, and crashes down into a lake, and somehow is forced to change into his half-elf form. From the lake, we jump to the memories of a grizzled Paladin, hearing Arthas mocking him in his dreams(more about him in a bit). The damsel, our dear Anveena, even though she has just met Kalec, finds him and tells him to be alright, and that everything will be fine....../snort Attempting to go home, the two are attacked by an Abomination, and after Kalec cuts off the head with his magic sword...the body attacks him, bad move hero. After the fight, the two end up at Anveena's house...which is in ruins, seemingly burned down, and at first the fair maiden thinks it was the Hunters, but Kalec says otherwise as they are attacked again bu more Scourge. Kalec puts down some more Scourge and then suddenly the hero and damsel are attacked from behind, and a pair of collars placed on them....and a horde of Scourge rise up, with a well dressed Elf leading them.
The Elf, deciding that now would be a good time to reveal all about himself, tells the two he is Dar'Khan, the one responsible for allowing Arthas and his forces into the Elf lands and gave him the key to the Sunwell....on the assumption that he would get the power as Dar is a very power hungry type(blood elf in training). But, something went wrong, and instead of drawing the power into him, the Well exploded(as magical bodies of water seem to do in Azeroth), and only by the grace of Arthas, was Dar able to survive. Deciding that after Dar threatened to kill the two was a good time, a Blue dragon(okay, the manga is black and white so it's really a dark coloured one) attacks, and seeming obliterates the annoying elf. Kalec, having had his thunder stolen, looks over as he hears a familiar voice..... the voice of his intended, Tyrigosa who enjoys pretending to be a High Elf when she's not a 25 foot dragon of doom.
So, Scourge gone, time to dig through the destroyed house of Anveena, trying to find the bodies of her parents; instead they find a golden(guessing here) egg, and within it, is the little dragonlet that becomes known as Raac. As Kalec refuses to leave Anveena behind with that collar on her for the rest of her life, as while Maly could remove it for Kalec, he wouldn't do it for a human; so Tyri agrees to fly them both to Tarren Mill where they could possibly find someone to help them...a man known as Borel. Their first day of searching is useless and Tyri shows just how useful she is: She makes gold out of thin air so that the group can get a room at the inn. Kalec, being dead tired, falls asleep quickly....and wakes up to a blunderbuss to the face from our old friend Grymstone. In the town, Groth and the two trolls capture Tyri and Anveena flees to the forest where she runs into the Paladin from earlier, Jorad Mace, who advises her not to return to the town to help the Blues....as the Scourge is there.
And here, in the final act of book 1, we learn that Dar'Khan was the one who set Grymstone on the hunt for Kalec, as the Blues would be drawn to the power of the Sunwell, which is somewhere in the nearby area. Of course, right then, Anveena and Raac race into town, and spying Raac, at first Dar think he's found it...well, sorta right. Then from out of nowhere, Jorad pulls a big damn hero moment, and knocks the head off a Scourge. Grymstone, realizing just how much he's been played for a fool, let's Dar'Khan have it with his rifle, blasting the elf backwards and orders his partners to attack the Scourge; which Groth, Snee and Voll are just too happy to do. Dar, showing that he is actually a Scourge, pops back up, intending to destroy them all....and Tyri let's loose a full blast of flame, reducing him to cinders, and the Scourge escape. In the after math of that little play, Grymstone advises the companions that his cousin could probably remove the collars, sending them north into Alterac.
Book 2: Shadows of Ice
The book opens above the mountains of Alterac....and the action starts right away as something huge attacks Tyri, sending the group scattered across the mountain. Anveena wakes up face to snout with a massive tauren, who offers her a drink(that's nice of him). Kalec wakes up...with a face full of snow, and a gaggle of undead after his arse(think Anveena got the better wake up there); while fleeing, he falls in a crevice, after a very talkative corpse orders his death. Switch back to the beauty and the beast, and we learn that Trag Highmountain(three guesses who that is), saved her but didn't find her friends as he was trying to get her away from Ichor(that would be the talkative corpse), and while speaking on that, we meet the mysterious owner of the ruins that Anveena is in: Baron Valimar Mordis; who declares that he will stop Ichor no matter what.
From there, we flash quickly to Jorad and Tyri....frozen in giant blocks of Ice(and I mean giant, they had Tyri in Dragon form at this point....). Flash back to the Baron, who, as expected, is amused by the question of 'Why is a Tauren with a 'human'?'; and we learn about the back story of Mordis...who's not a human at all, but a member of the living impaired(read as Undead). It's a happy story...till the Scourge kills him and raises him up, where he goes on a rampage killing things till his own disgust at himself snaps him out of the brainwashing and he flees. At this point, he meets up with Trag again, and the two head north to stop the Scourge as best they can, mainly Ichor. It's then we learn that the creature that attacked Tyri was a Frost Wyrm, raised up by Ichor with the help of an Orb of Ner'zhul(alright I'll wait for you stop laughing at the idea of Ner'zhul's orbs....come on that's enough, let's keep it moving). The Baron makes a cryptic remark about Anveena being a way to finally stop Ichor, then we flash off to Kalec, who was buried except for his nose in the snow, which Raac, being Raac, licks to wake him up. From there, the dragon and dragonlet head across the snowfields, looking for the allies and find a cave. Walking down the cave, they find it getting warmer and warmer...and emerge into a cavern where a group of Dwarves are working on excavating the frozen body of a Mammoth from the earth.....
So the dwarves, understandably, are angry finding a half-elf watching them work on a giant elephant, and Kalec takes yet another shot to the head(good thing his skull is strong as titanium eh?), and from there, we find Anveena, still in her standard clothing, standing on a balcony while snow blows past, discussing the beauty and the plan with Mordis, till Trag steps out to tell him to let her go inside, as she feels the cold even if the Baron doesn't. Again, after Anveena walks past, we get more cryptic comments about how useful she will be. Yet another flash, and suddenly we're back with Jorad and Tyri, and a voice is telling the Paladin to wake up...who does so by bashing the ice with his hammer! Then he tries to break Tyri free, and tells her that she has to change, which she does....and Jorad, seeing her for the first time, finds her beautiful. The two half-frozen Popsicles, leave the cave and strike off for somewhere(I blame the brain freeze on poor planning), and run smack dab into Ichor and his Scourge pack.
So Kalec wakes up...bound again...man he has bad luck. And he tries to convince the Dwarves to let him go, then Trag shows up and we learn that the Tauren wants to help Kalec save all of his friends. From there, we're off to watching Jorad and Tyri facing off against the Scourge, and doing good, till someone hit's Tyri from behind and Jorad stops fighting so she doesn't end up with a case of the deads. Bound, the two meet Ichor's very first prisoner..cousin Grymstone. Another flash and we're back at the Baron's, and we learn the start of his plan for Anveena, as he has her look deep into an Orb he possess...wait, that's the same Orb that Ichor had earlier! Could it be...could this nice Undead really be evil!....Okay, sarcasm over: Trag watches from the shadows as the Baron puts Anveena under a spell, and the last page of the chapter is simply the words "....Wouldn't you?" after he asks her if she would do anything for her friends.
So big reveal time...Mordis, our friendly neighbor hood undead Scourge fighter is really a Forsaken, and he plans to do the same to Anveena, Kalec and the rest after he uses her up for his grand plan. We see Trag and Kalec plotting something as the scene changes to the prisoners of Ichor; and we learn that it wasn't Ichor who raised the Wrym, but the Baron, intending to destroy the other walking deads. Grymstone and his people had been fooled by the Baron's good acting skills as well; and they were digging up the other behemoths of the ice to help him stop the evil one. Ichor, deciding he wants some fun, heads for Tyri, but even nearly unconscious, she burns like a sun and blasts a few dozen Scourge who get too close. Threatening Jorad next, Grymstone finally breaks and tells the Scourge leader he'll lead him to the Baron if he spares the other two. Back to the Ruins, where Kalec, Raac and Anveena have a quick reunion before fleeing, then back to the Scourge forces are approaching the cave. And we go to Trag, who is intending on striking down the Baron...and get's hit from behind as the Baron looks down in contempt.
The final act of book 2 opens with a war between Scourge and Dwarves, and the Baron joins in for the fun of it. All three groups: The companions, the Scourge, the Dwarves are fighting, and the Baron takes control of Anveena, using the Orb to strengthen his Wrym, that goes on a rampage. Ichor, seeing the spell around the girl, tries to kill her, but Kalec get's in the way; and we get to see him make two ghoul's heads explode and fountain gore! Woo! Kalec, being the hero he is, heads off to take down the Baron, with Ichor in hot pursuit, wanting the orb, while Tyri and Jorad go after the Frost Wrym. Above the battle, The Baron watches with cruel amusement, enjoying it all....till Trag appears behind him, wraps him in a bear hug, and shatters the Orb of Ner'zhul as well as shattering the Forsaken's hand, breaking the spells and causing the ruins to come crashing down, seemingly killing them, while Ichor is caught in a rock slide and dies again, and the Wyrm falls to pieces. Kalec falls, but Anveena catches him with magic. We see our new friend Grymstone happy that the Baron is dead...wait, what's that behind him! LOOK OUT! Ooo, too bad, dead dwarf, as Dar'Khan makes a reappearance, grabbing Anveena and fleeing on a Wyvern that somehow got teleported out of Kyrnn. End of book 2.
Book 3: Ghostlands (also known as
Sylvanas' Hooker vacation
...no, seriously, this is her
apparently, both as a Forsaken Queen and a Ranger General....I think Jae-Hwan Kim has necro tendencies....)
So, the end of the series opens with Anveena and Dar flying across the Ghostlands, Jorad telling how he met Borel the mage who told him about Anveena, and we see Lor'themar and his fellow Blood Elves moving across the lands, trying to cleanse it of the Scourge once and for all. When one of the scout's see Dar, they sound the alarm, and we get a flash back to the end of the Sunwell from Lor's perspective...and by that, the damn thing goes off in his face(explains the eye at least). He's not real clear on how he survived, but he knows he'll chase Dar to the ends of the Earth! The final page has Borel landing in the elven lands; a cloaked and hidden figure.
The companions trek across the Ghostlands on foot, forced to do so by the pure crap in the air screwing with the weather, and swearing to take down Dar. We see Dar'Khan still gloating to Anveena, when he's attacked by the Blood Elves, and he summons an army of undead Elven Scourge, that chase the living ones off. Anveena takes off during the fight and flees, running into Borel who tries to get her away. From there, we go back to the companions, where Tyri is complaining and saying she was the most powerful....and of course, Karma existing even in Azeroth, has her attacked by a pair of tentacles......(I wish I was making that up heh).
Turn the page...and oh thank god, it's just a Felhound the size of a tracker trailer. The two men attack the beast as it drains Tyri's life and magic, and their attacks; a pitiful hammer and a magic sword, do nothing but make it mad. Wait...what's that up on the hill? Is it a bird? Is it a gryphon? No, it's SUPER #$%^! Sylvanas starts screaming at full speed as she begins to pepper the creature with arrows, causing damage to it to make it drop Tyri, who Jorad saves while Kalec goes ginsue on it, as apparently the scream of a banshee stops felhounds from healing, who knew? With the felhound dead, it all seems good...till someone points a sword at Kalec. From there, we go back to Borel and Anveena, the mage still trying to get her to run. We learn that her parents were never real, that they were constructs designed to protect Anveena, and that Raac was their replacement after they were destroyed. Pissed off and possibly on the rag, Anveena let's loose a burst of magic, sending Borel, who has a dragon shadow, flying. Still stunned, the girl sits there as Dar'Khan walks up to her, and we find out the collar can be used to control her as well. He looks over at the fallen Borel, who was really a dragon(yeah, who didn't see that coming/sarcasm off) and an evil plan takes root.
So, back to the companions and the sword; oh it's Lor and his people, pissed that a half-breed is on their lands, same with humans. The group, has a few arguments before Kalec shuts them all up by saying the Sunwell is still around. From there, we go back to Dar and Anveena, the elf still gloating(he has a problem with that), and Sylvanas steps out of the shadow to challenge him. He taunts her, and forces her to really look at Anveena, to see her true essence...which makes the Banshee Queen have an anguish attack which opens her up to 'SURPRISE! DRAGON FOOT TO THE FACE!' and follows it up with a blast of Sunwell magic. Back to Kalec and Lor, who explains about Sylvanas and what happened to her....and we get to see yet another view of the death of Sylvanas, including the removal of her soul and her original Banshee transformation. Lor of course, automatically thinks Sylvanas has plans of her own for the Sunwell(yeah, like that's hard to believe....) Back to Dar who has Sylvanas held against a piece of a ruined wall, her mouth closed with more magic.
From here, it's the standard charge toward the big bad, fighting through his mooks(Scourge), and the group splits up as the Ascension spell starts up, which will pour all the power of the Sunwell into Dar'Khan. Tyri, trying to gently pluck Anveena from the spell, is sent flying again(damn Knaak and his violence to dragons!), and Kalec, getting up first, goes for Dar on his own...only to have the Undead Elf use his magic to make the collar activate blasting him. Dar begins to gloat some more, stating that one day Arthas, then all of existence will bow to his new Godhood. Of course, this opens him up to an attack, as Sylvanas starts to scream, staggering him for a minute...till he casually swings a hand and nearly squashes her like the bug he feels she is(sorry, had to cheer for Dar'Khan at this point). Tyri, still not learning, steps up...and Dar'Khan pulls out his big guns: Borel.
Que battle of the dragons, while all around, the others rush to stop Dar'Khan; and fail miserably(and you see the half-dragon thing that was mentioned before, and Kalec still get's zapped). Raac, being the brave little thing he is, takes over to get in front of Borel...and with merely a murmur, wakes the other dragon out of his brainwash. Thinking quickly, Borel sends Raac at Anveena, realizing her memories were what important and that she was a real girl and not the construct he had made originally..or at least, not anymore. Anveena snaps out of it, draws her power out of Dar'Khan...then obliterates him(least till he comes back again). She tells Kalec to sleep and rest. When he wakes up again, he sees her and Borel speaking about her future, and she tells him that she will stick to her decision. Borel reveals who he really is(and not a real surprise); Good Ole Krasus, still at it as always. From there, the party splits: Anveena, Kalec and Raac are remaining in the Elf lands to help them regrow, while Tyri returns home to Maly to let him know what happened(then heads off Outland a few weeks later) and Jorad goes north to hunt for Arthas. End of series.
As my slightly off-topic comments state, I do enjoy the book, but even I know it's 'bad'. Still, it's a good piece of lore to let us know what happens during the Four Year period, and we get to see one of the big reasons why Sylvanas lobbied for the Blood Elves to get accepted into the Horde; she helped to 'save' the Sunwell and knew it would be a good ally at some point.
Volume 1: Dragons of Outland
Chapter 1 Here Be Demons
, starts with Jorad Mace, having given up on traveling north to fight against Arthas(for the moment), assisting with the battles at the Portal and the Stair of Destiny. It shows some of the setting up of the forces on the other side of the portal as well as the battles against the demons. Eventually, a messenger comes to warn the forces at the Stairs, and Jorad just happens to be the one who receives it and heads off towards Honour Hold to pass it along. En route, he finds a dead Alliance member, lands and is attacked by Felguards and is saved by Tyrigosa. They have a small reunion scene, then head off again. While flying(lots of flying in this book), they came under attack, and crash, and you see a group of beings looking down at them; an orc/human Death Knight(first generation), an ethereal, and a group of fel orcs.
Chapter 2 Outland's Children
, starts with seeing the Alliance forces meeting the Draenei at the Temple of Telhamat, and the Exiles joining up with the Alliance. The scene then shifts back to Jorad and Tyri, and we see Broken looking over the two downed warriors. The leader orders his men to tie down Tyri(in her dragon form) and to restrain Jorad. We learn a bit about the corruption, and that the Broken believed that with enough magical power, they might be able to reverse their curse. We're not able to find out exactly how they intended that as a pair of Netherwing Dragons show up and the Broken run, taking Jorad with them. The two; Valkou and Zzeraku, are revealed to be 'new' acting more like children, but they interest Tyri, who feels a strange echo from them. We also, again, see the Death Knight and his forces, and we learn that he intends to overthrow the Betrayer and take Outland for himself... and possibly more.
Chapter three Treachery
, starts off with the three dragons go looking for Jorad, as Tyri feels bound to keep the human paladin safe. While they fly, Tyri's mind wanders as she looks over the world, feeling the magic all across Outland and thinks about the destruction of the world. Zzeraku, who had been zapped by Tyri earlier to make him and his brother stop fighting, lead her into a trap, which we all know as the exploding geysers, then the two nether's took off, leaving Tyri to listen to the stories about the Nether Dragons from the leader of the Broken. They tell her that most of the dragons come from the Blades Edge Mountain.
Chapter Four Blade's Edge
, has the group, with the addition of the Broken tribe leader, flying across Outland, heading towards the Blades Edge, letting us see some excellent shots of Hellfire and Zangarmarsh. Once they reach the mountains, they come across the bones of a Black, and Tyri lands, intending to investigate. The Broken warns them against doing so... and he was right; as a pair of lesser Gronn attack, trying to kill Tyri as well. She get's above them and blasts them with magic, killing them both, which makes both the Broken and Jorad uneasy; she had been acting strange for a while. They finally reach the Netherwing fields, and Valkou tries to warn them off.
Chapter Five Blood Upon the Blade
, starts with an attack on Tyri and the two mortals by Fel Orcs on the back of Nether Rays(big ones too). They have a weapon from the Ethereal that is used to trap Tyri, and Jorad, in a desperate attempt to save her, calls upon the Light, breaking it. The group crash lands on the ground, and the Broken and the re-empowered paladin fight on, letting us see the strength of the Broken when he crushes the skull of an orc and stabs the spear that he had took instead of Jorad, driving it into the eye of another orc. The Broken falls off the cliff, taking his killer with him, and Jorad burns the others with the Light, then collapses, finally noticing Tyri is missing. The scene shifts to the Death Knight, who was named earlier as Ragnok Bloodreaver and shows him berating his forces, as well as threatening the Ethereal, letting him know if he fails him again, he's going to end up as nothing. The chapter ends showing us the lair of the Knight, with Nether Dragons perched all along the mountains.
Chapter Six Shadow's Legacy
, the pace increases, as Bloodreaver and his forces attack Shadowmoon Valley and the Dragonmaw fortress, the Knight stealing the Nether Dragons there for himself. He gains control of most of the forces, though Zuluhad and his other lieutenants escaped. He tortures one of the orcs to gain the fear induced loyalty of the others, and tells them it is all destiny. Jorad ends up being delivered back to the Broken in Hellfire, and tells the Chief's son what happened to his father, letting him know it was his fault he had died. The son is upset and orders Jorad put in the pit till such a time as he's ready to deal with him, but Jorad is able to explain all that had happened and he changes his mind, deciding that what he had learned was the greater threat. A scout then arrives and tell the Broken and Jorad that the Fortress was attacked, and the son deduces that Bloodreaver will strike at them next.. but Jorad corrects him, telling him it's more likely they'll be going for the Portal. Finally, we learn that Tyri is in a cavern with powerful magics, keeping her from leaving. As she explores, she finds another Black body, nothing but bones again, and realizes it had been there for a long while, which causes her to wonder why the Black flight had been in Outland all those years ago. As she continues deeper into the cave, she finds a massive room full of cracked eggs, and muses that if there were so many eggs, why was there not hundreds of Blacks in Outland... then once she touches an egg, she is shocked to find it feels the same as the Nether Dragons, which means they are the spawn of the Destroyer...
Overall, even being a Knaak book, it was good. I enjoyed the story, and Kim's work is beautiful, especially Tyri in both forms. The Broken and Draenei were well drawn, and you get the sense of strength within their bodies. The only thing I don't like, was the Death Knight; as supposedly all of them had escaped Draenor back as the cataclysm that tore the planet apart, and unfortunately, they didn't add in a back story for him, at least this volume, so here's hoping for the second one. I also liked that they showed Hellfire and the like before the big war began, showing things being set up and the like, and the few war scenes were well down also, with the Felguards at the Stairs having their full size. I am looking forward to the next part, which hopefully won't take forever to arrive.
Shadow Wing: Nexus Point Book 2:
Alright, so finally got the book, after waiting 2 weeks more then what the receive by date said...and by the Naaru, I loved it. One of the best mangas out there...and sadly the last for now. Anyways.
Chapter 1 Dark Legacy,
picks up where the last book left off, with the army of the Death Knight and his forces approaching the Dark Portal, while Jorad Mace and the Broken Draenei try to reach it first to warn them of what is coming. While this occurs, Tyri, with Valoku the Nether Dragon, finds the remnants of the eggs the Nether's hatched from. She hears some of their story from him, and explains where he and the Nethers come from: Deathwing and the Black flight and he tells her believes that the Gronn, lead by Gruul, were the reason why the Black guards were slaughtered. Another Nether Dragon arrives, ZZeraku, who warns them what is happening above and the three head off to try to stop the war.
Chapter 2 Upon Deaf Ears,
Jorad and the Broken reach the stairs, and due to being Broken, the Draenei there try to drive them and the older Broken loses his temper and leaves declaring them all as fools. Due to Jorad taking off earlier, he is declared as a traitor, but he proves that he is not by drawing on the Light, finally reconnecting to himself after all these years. Before anything can be dealt with definitely, the army of Ragnok arrives, and things quickly descend into chaos as the Horde and Alliance fight against the invading forces: The Death Knight wants the Portal and he's willing to make a sea of corpses to get it.
Chapter 3 Chaos,
as the name suggest, this chapter is solely about the war; as with the first volume, the war scene is drawn beautifully, and we see a lot of death and destruction on all sides. At one point, the same Draenei from earlier who stood against the Broken joining up is attacked and knocked down, and the Fel Orc who did so is about to slay him...till an axe slams into the orc's back and the Broken revealed they returned to help. While the war continues and Jorad tries desperately to get o Ragnok, Tyri and the Nether Dragons arrives and want to free the spell bound ones to stop the death. Over the course of the battle, Zzeraku tries to get his people to stop fighting and let Tyri help them, but they are unable to fight back against the control, but he is badly injured and Valoku takes a place meant to kill him...which ricochets and slams the Dark Portal shut.
Chapter 4 Rift,
with the Portal closed, Ragnok loses his cool and bellows for his Ethereal partner Kadavan, who arrives and with typical energy being sense, tries to convince him to give up the fight and run away, since nothing he could do could open the Portal. He gives Ragnok the controller to the Nether Dragons then beats a hasty retreat. When Jorad sees the Ethereal advancing in the opposite direction, he sends Tyri after the bandaged one, knowing he knows something, while Jorad goes after the Death Knight, still intent on stopping him no matter what.
Tyri catches up to the Ethereal, and in the ways of the massive dragons, convinces him quite simply to help her free the Nether Dragons and stop the control device; he wants to follow on his nether ray, but she merely picks him up in a claw and flies after Jorad and Ragnok. While that occurs, the Paladin and the Death Knight are in a knockdown brawl on the back, each using their power to their fullest...but during the fight, the controller is destroyed and the collars on the Nether Dragons start to overload and drain energy from them. Enraged, Ragnok goes to suck the life from Jorad, who calls upon the Light, prepared to give up everything to finally destroy the evil one...he succeeds of course and the body drops, the soul gone. The war stops at that point, but something worse is happening in the sky: The Nether Dragons are going to go nuclear unless something can be done to stabilize them. Tyri has a plan, but it's dangerous as it could kill her...but she can't just let the Nethers die: She casts a massive spell and tears open a rift to the only location she can think of......
Chapter 5 Nexus,
as the title name says, she pulls all of the damaged Nether Dragons to the Nexus, as she figured that the energy of the Nexus would stabilize them...she's right, but at the same time she also empowers them and transforms them into more then they were. Valoku, finally having enough of everyone trying to master his flight members, declares that they will gain the power of the Nexus then take over Azeroth. Tyri tries desperately to talk him down which almost succeeds.....till Arygos shows up and screws up everything by attacking the Nethers, which kicks off a Blue vs Nether flight war. Tyri calls out for Kalec for help, wanting to stop this but gets cut off...something is stirring in the Eye, and she realizes just how much of a mistake she made.
Chapter 6 Lord of the Nexus,
Tyri tries her best to stop the war and get the Nether Dragons out of there, but in their power hunger madness, they declare that the Nexus is them and they are the Nexus....just as Malygos breaks out and stops the fighting from pure presence. Soon after that Kalec arrives, and the two watch, scared out their skulls as they have no idea if this is a good thing or a bad thing. The Nethers, showing a lot of stupidity, attack the Magic Aspect, but do no damage, still screaming how they are the Nexus and the Nexus is them...which, all things considered is the wrong thing to say when the Aspect of Arcane Magic is in front of you. Deciding that what they are saying is true, Malygos absorbs the energy of the Nether Dragons, and when he's finished the madness is gone...or is it?
His exact words "I see the world clearly again... I see all that has happened to it -- to the Magic.
to the Magic. There is much to consider... and much we may have to do."
After that, as Malygos leaves and the other Blue Flight members following, Kalec opens a rift back to Outland for Tyri, then returns home to watch over Anveena. Tyri thanks him and leaves. We then see something interesting: Kadavan the Ethereal had been drawn through the rift as well, and was now in Northrend. He mutters some typical Ethereal phrases about profit and the chance at more profit in this new land.
The book ends with Tyri and Jorad having a discussion about all that happened and find out that Tyri blames herself for failing the Nether Dragons. She tells Jorad that she cares for him and finds him one of her dearest friends then leaves. Jorad goes to assist the Alliance...and in the background, Zzerku, who had come around, is looking for Tyri, when a Blood Elf captures him(sadly we know what happens to him due to Night of the Dragon). As the book closes, Jorad goes to Tyri after receiving a message from her, and the final image is of the Blue Dragon Princess standing watch over a batch of Netherwing eggs.
As I said at the start, I loved this book; it's a great story and a good finale piece of the Blizzard Tokyopop partnership. We also know what happened to Malygos now, and how his mind came back and why.....and explains the sudden war on Magic. Sadly, this is going to be the final Warcraft manga, but hopefully the graphic novels will make up for it.
And finally got a copy of Mage: Not a bad book, for being another one of Knaak's. The main character is an apprentice named Aodhan, who was being trained at the time of an attack on the city by the Blue Flight. The story is more or less an extension of the Violet Hold, with Aodhan tricked into releasing his Uncle, who was being held prisoner for disagreeing with the Kirin Tor(or so he said). While the defense of the city rages on, Aodhan and his uncle work to reverse the removal of Crevan's magic, and we get to see a few other spells that exist in Warcraft... including apparently a trap that can seal you in a book(yeah, I don't get it either). With the help of the book, Crevan gets his magic back, and reveals he has been a servant of Malygos, one of the Mage Hunters we would normally battle in the instance.
The Hunter cares for his nephew, and rather then killing him when the deception is revealed, as the Aspect wanted, he instead puts his nephew into a cell, intending to come back for him. He also releases other prisoners, and we learn something interesting(or at least, a new addition); of those released, there were several Ogre Magi, no names are given though.
From that point, it turns into a raging city battle, with the more experienced members of the Tor fighting against both the Dragons and the escaped convicts of the prison, while Aodhan searches for his uncle, finally finding him at the keystone that keeps the city in the air. Your standard duel occurs, with the boy distracting his uncle long enough for his teacher to arrive and stop the city from collapsing.
Over all, the book isn't horrible... but it's no Golden heh. There was a bit of a back story for Aodhan and his uncle, but it was the standard: warrior family embarrassed to have magi in the blood line. It's more or less meant to be a stepping stone in the Nexus War, and explain the purpose of the Violet Hold and why it was damaged when we enter it, and what we are doing. For a Knaak book though... Rhonin is mainly seen just protecting the city, and doesn't stop the plummet, so it's entirely possible Knaak is learning; after all, a few years ago, Rhonin would have been the big hero no matter what.
So, as said in the General Lore thread; my copy of Shaman shipped on the 8th, got it today. Gotta say.......kinda of disappointed; I mean, did all the lead up to 'A shaman who controls the Elements rather then asking them for aid' made it seem like it was meant to show a splintering among the Ring.....Anyways:
The book opens on the War of the Hammers, and shows that the emergence of Ragnaros was felt across Azeroth, and the rending of the lands that were the Redridge Mountains, drove the Earth insane and caused catastrophic damage across the planet....primarily where the Earthen Ring fore runners, a large group of Tauren Shaman were gathered, with the 'most' powerful at the time, the Tauren Shota, trying to turn his fellows away from allegiance with the Elements into becoming their masters and leaders. Then, Rag's rage tears apart the meeting area of the Tauren and they are forced to try to save everyone; including Shota's apprentice. Unfortunately, they fail, and both the young Tauren and Shota perish......or so it seems.
Flash forward to the present, 257 years later after the 'death' of Shota. We see a gathering of the Ring, with the current shaman races; Tauren(and the female one looks way too freaking human), Troll, Orc and Draenei. They are a group gathered by Muln Earthfury to discuss the current troubles that exist in the world, and that the Elements seem to be listening to the Shamans less and less. We're also introduced to Muln's apprentice, the orc shaman Kettra Bloodthirst(man, they need more female orcs like her in game.....), and she is an interesting character; yearning to learn Shamanism and is proud of her heritage as an orc(just don't get attached). We also see Drek'thar....and the years are not kind: He's being carried around on stretcher by a pair of Frostwolves(oh, did I mention that Kettra is a Wolf? Yeah sorry, forgot), and during his greeting speech with Muln, his mind wanders..and he begins to relive the past...gotta say, watching Drek foaming at the mouth, not a pretty sight.....
Anyways, a group of Centaur attack a village near the meeting place, and we end up seeing the problems of the Shamans; while the Elements respond, they do so with a lackluster resolve, and the Tauren of the village who survive and the Earthen Ring members are driven off. After a while, a runner comes to tell the Ring that someone has driven off the threat and stopped the fires....and when Muln and his people reach the ruins of the village they find a large cloaked shape.........the Shaman Shota, his body changed by the Elements: a limb of rock, horns of ice, eyes of fire. Shota explains that he 'mastered' the Elements while in a 'womb of earth', and that his new way, the way of conquering the Elements was better then old.
This view of course sunders the Ring, with those who feel the helplessness of the people deserve this new way. Muln and Kettra have a falling out, as she wants nothing more then to learn this new way, while the old Shaman holds to the old ways after seeing Shota stop the threat of a massive whirlwind threatening Bloodhoof village. Muln travels to Orgrimmar to speak with Thrall(I like the artists work, but her Thrall...not as much), and the leader of the Warchief admits to feeling conflicted lately and not sure of the direction to take the Horde. Muln also visits with Drek'thar during a lucid moment...that seems to go bad as he tells the Tauren of a new threat; one who had been consumed by fire and will do so again.
Muln consults the Elements, who fight among themselves...and has revelation: He sees the past of Shota, and realizes that the old Tauren is not who he seems..after getting a flash of Ragnaros. After that, it flips to Shota and those of the Ring who followed him; including Kettra. They reach a location in Feralas, where a trap is sprung: Shota had been training Grimtotems in the conquering of the elements and the Ring and the Grim's fight a violet and vicious battle. Muln and the remainder of the Ring arrive to help, and the grand reveal is made: Shota is really a Fire Elemental and a servant of Ragnaros...and there are others like him.
After that, it's a brawl between everyone; with Muln and Shota going head to head, and the Tauren shaman convincing Earth, Air and Water to quench the Fire Shota before Flame devoured them all. The battle ends...but with casualties, including Kettra. Muln tries to heal her...but she declines, believing she brought her death on herself. The book ends with Muln and the Ring declaring they will fight all across Azeroth, and will not let Ragnaros and his forces win.
The book has several excellent scenes in it: the main one is the discussion between Muln and Kettra where they are arguing about the old ways vs the new, and Muln brings up the corruption of the orcs, and Kettra declares that it helped to save them by changing. The opening scenes as well, with the War of the Three Hammers is just beautiful and I hope to the Naaru that they choose Rocio Zucchi(who also did Deathknight) to be the one to pen the books if they are ever made into a graphic novel; her art is great.
So, there you have it: buy it or not, it's a good addition into the Warcraft mangaverse.
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