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Shadowlands Alpha - Intro Questline Playthrough (Story Spoilers)
2020/06/25 at 6:51 PM
On the latest Shadowlands Alpha build, the Shadowlands Intro questline is now available for testing. After witnessing Sylvanas breaking the Helm of Domination in the
Shadowlands Announcement Trailer
, we follow her into the Maw for the first time and witness the horrors of the zone first-hand. In this post, we played through the storyline!
If you're looking to read about the leveling storylines of Shadowlands, we played through all of the zones! Read about them on our news posts.
Bastion StorylineMaldraxxus StorylineArdenweald StorylineRevendreth Storyline
WARNING: SHADOWLANDS STORY SPOILERS AHEAD!
The intro experience starts with our character in Acherus, the Ebon Hold, parked in front of Icecrown Citadel. As we first log in, the dialogue received from Highlord Darion Mograine mentions the events of the Shadowlands Announcement cinematic. Acherus is landed in the dock where the Deathbringer Saurfang encounter happens in the Icecrown Citadel raid.
Highlord Darion Mograine: Before her minions abducted key leaders, the Banshee Queen attacked Icecrown. She cut a path to the Frozen Throne and seized the Helm of Domination.
Highlord Darion Mograine: Look to the sky and you will see the results of her actions. I... have never beheld anything like this.
Highlord Darion Mograine: But shattering the helm also freed Bolvar Fordragon from the burden of being the Lich King.
Highlord Darion Mograine: Bolvar has recovered, and believes he knows where the Banshee has taken those she abducted.
As we use the teleporter to arrive to the Frozen Throne, we find Bolvar looking at the shattered remains of the Helm of Domination. Several leaders of both the Horde and the Alliance are there:
Alliance: Muradin, Tyrande, Greymane, Mekkatorque, Alleria
Horde: Lor'themar, Rokhan, Thalyssra, Valeera, Calia
When we talk to Bolvar, he mentions that Sylvanas breaking the Helm of Domination made it so her soul became linked to it, and the shards can now be used to track her. We go to the Maw in
Through the Shattered Sky
Lor'themar Theron: ...the peace remains tenuous. These are troubled times. Our people need stability--Alliance and Horde alike.
Lor'themar Theron: We cannot risk sending Azeroth's leaders on what might well be a suicide mission. Our friends who were abducted would offer the same counsel.
Tyrande Whisperwind: Coward! I would pay any price to see the Banshee impaled upon my glaive!
Genn Greymane: I too want Sylvanas to answer for her crimes. But Lor'themar is right. Anduin wouldn't want us to risk the well-being of the Alliance for his sake.
Calia Menethil: The Kaldorei need you if they are to have any hope of finding peace, High Priestess.
Tyrande Whisperwind: You dare speak to me of peace? After the atrocities your kind inflicted?!
Highlord Bolvar Fordragon: Enough! The war is over. We can ill afford to start another.
Highlord Bolvar Fordragon: A far more pressing threat is at hand, and we must prepare to face it.
When Sylvanas shattered the Helm of Domination, her soul became indelibly linked to the helm, much as mine had become when I donned it the first time.
I can sense her presence, and I know where she has gone.
If you wish to rescue your leaders, the shattered helm can open a path. It cannot bring you back, however. That, you must do on your own.
Highlord Bolvar Fordragon: When the Banshee shattered the helm, it tore a gaping wound through the veil between our world and the Shadowlands.
Highlord Bolvar Fordragon: During my vigil upon the Frozen Throne, I caught fleeting glimpses into the realms of Death. Among them, I saw a place of inescapable darkness.
Highlord Bolvar Fordragon: This is where you must go, if you are to save those Sylvanas has taken. Together, we can open the way.
Highlord Bolvar Fordragon: The dangers you face will be considerable. Alone, you may well be outmatched.
Highlord Bolvar Fordragon: To aid in this task, the Knights of the Ebon Blade shall lend you their strength. Darion Mograine has volunteered to fight at your side.
Highlord Bolvar Fordragon: Living mortals were never intended to cross beyond the veil. Where you are going, you may be unable to return.
Highlord Bolvar Fordragon: But there is no other course. Death comes to claim Azeroth. It falls to you to defend her.
Highlord Bolvar Fordragon: The time has come. Take up the shattered helm and we will open the rift.
Into the Maw
As we enter the Maw, we first meet with Highlord Darion Mograine, who is happy we succeeded to get there. However, there are no signs of Tyrande, and he theorizes she might have run ahead into the chaos. We rally Ebon Blade soldiers in
A Fractured Blade
and defeat Mawsworn forces in
. As we delve deeper into the Maw, we find an Ebon Blade member who asks you to defeat an elite Mawsworn in
After this, we group together with Mograine and the Ebon Blade, and scout the nearby area for any of our allies in
Fear to Tread
. As we advance through the clues left, which include spikes of ice and enemies burned down to friends, we meet up with Lady Jaina Proudmoore and Thrall!
Highlord Darion Mograine: Frost magic. Looks like the work of our friend, the Lord Admiral.
Highlord Darion Mograine: The conflict seems to move in this direction. We should follow the trail before it grows... cold.
Highlord Darion Mograine: More of Lady Proudmoore's handiwork.
Highlord Darion Mograine: It would be unwise to break the enchantment. Let's move along.
As we find Jaina and Thrall, she tells us that Thrall is injured and they need to seek shelter, which we do in
On Blackened Wings
. As we prepare to leave, we're assaulted by Mawsworn Kyrian. We kill some of them but eventually become overwhelmed, and Jaina ports everyone to safety while leaving Mirror Images behind to serve as a distraction. As we run towards the cavern in
A Flight from Darkness
, Jaina tells us she managed to evade the forces of the Maw many times now, giving more credit to the theory that time is different in the Shadowlands.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: There's a cave just around the bend. With any luck, we can reach it before they notice.
Thrall: Let us hope so. Our captors will not be please you've managed to slip past the, again.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: Well, there goes our luck.
Tariesh: You will not evade our grasp, mortals!
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: So much for remaining unnoticed. Let's hurry.
Highlord Darion Mograine: What did Thrall mean by "slip past them again"? You've escaped before?
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: Indeed. I've broken free countless times, only to end up back in a cage.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: I've hid inside this cave before. We can't stay long, but it should buy us a little time.
Highlord Darion Mograine: Lord Admiral, before we found you, did you see any sign of the Night Warrior?
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: Tyrande? Here? No, I have not.
Highlord Darion Mograine: She leapt into the rift just ahead of us. She vowed to find Sylvanas Windrunner... at any cost.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: This is troubling. An ancient ritual infused her with incredible power. I fear it may be growing beyond her ability to contain it.
Tariesh: Your cell awaits, Mage!
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: I've had enough of your cages, fiend!
Tariesh: There is nowhere to run! Nothing escapes the Maw!
Tariesh: These allies of yours are insignificant. You will all end up in chains!
Highlord Darion Mograine: Not if we end you first!
Tariesh: It is useless... to resist...
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: We should be safe enough here... for the moment.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to thank you earlier. Your arrival was... most fortunate.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: I was beginning to lose hope that I'd see anyone from our world again...
We then talk to Jaina in
A Moment's Respite
, where we learn more about The Maw. As she shows visions of her knowledge of the Maw, we see Baine Bloodhoof among them.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: Alright... where to begin?
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: They call this place "the Maw." From what I gather, it serves as a prison for the most foul, irredeemable souls that ever existed.
Thrall: Something has changed. We have seen pure, noble sounds held captive here as well. They cry out in torment.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: Indeed. And I'd wager that Sylvanas Windrunner is somehow behind it.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: It seems she has made a powerful ally. The shades here whisper of someone they call... the Jailer.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: The Jailer rules this realm. We don't know much about him, but he seems to have a special interest in us.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: He has personally overseen our... treatment here.
Thrall: We have endured countless torments. At times, it felt as if we were being tested. Though for what purpose, I cannot guess.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: Whatever the Jailer and the Banshee are planning, it won't end well... for any of us.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: The others are being held captive. I have tried to reach them in my many attempts to break free.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: What I have not found is a way to leave this place. The Maw feels... inescapable.
Highlord Darion Mograine: Some of the souls here have wandered this realm for untold ages.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: I've only been able to speak to a few souls. Most haven't been here long. Those that have were either aggressive... or broken.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: They manifest as malevolent shades that wander the dark reaches of this place.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: If there were some way to extract their secrets, it might tell us what we need to know.
Highlord Darion Mograine: The Ebon Blade has ways to compel the dead to speak. I suggest we have words with them.
After this, we go outside the cave with Darion in
, where we use the Shattered Helm of Domination to convince them to talk to us. After a couple of souls do not talk, we go for an amalgamation of souls in
Speaking to the Dead
. After we successfully bind them and return them to the cave in
Soul in Hand
, we go after our next prisoner.
The Lion's Cage
Jaina tells us she knows where King Anduin is, but her strength alone isn't enough to reach him. We go after Anduin in
The Lion's Cage
. After going through a gauntlet, we find Anduin... being kept captive by none other than Sylvanas. After a cinematic (currently not implemented), we manage to get to Anduin but Sylvanas is gone.
Anduin Wrynn: I will... not... be broken!
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: Struggle all you like. You will never leave here, little lion.
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: All that you fought for, all that you struggled to protect, will be consumed by the Maw.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: Damn her! Anduin, are you alright?
Anduin Wrynn: I... will live. It's good to see you.
Anduin then tells us to free him by obtaining the key to his shackles in
The Afflictor's Key
and free shackled souls in
An Undeserved Fate
After Anduin is saved, Jaina ports us back to the cave with Anduin and Mograine manages to make the amalgamation speak in
From the Mouths of Madness
Highlord Darion Mograine: Ah, you're just in time.
Highlord Darion Mograine: I think our... friend has something to share.
Highlord Darion Mograine: Speak! How do we leave this place!
Tormented Amalgamation: Futile! The path... sealed... long ago...
Highlord Darion Mograine: So there is a way out! Tell us where to find it!
Tormented Amalgamation: Waystone... at the Cauldron... perhaps...
Tormented Amalgamation: No! Dormant... broken...
Tormented Amalgamation: Nothing... escapes... the Maw...
Highlord Darion Mograine: That's all we'll get from it. Could you make sense of what it said, Lord Admiral?
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: The Cauldron he speaks of lies beyond the River of Souls. I believe Baine is being held captive here.
Highlord Darion Mograine: Then it seems our course is clear.
We then go cross Gorgoa, the River of Souls in
By and Down the River
. As we move out of the cave, Thrall raises his concerns about Tyrande, who has yet to be found. As we cross the river of souls, we find Helya, who throws us right into the river. As we escape from it, we find many tortured souls, but eventually, make our way out of it.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: You're troubled, Thrall. What is it?
Thrall: Tyrande is out there, somewhere in this madness. We cannot leave her behind.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: Agreed, but we have no idea where she is. We will do our best to find her, but this waystone may be our only means of escape.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: If there's a way out of the Maw, then there has to be a way back in. We will return for her.
Thrall: Hold. I hear something...
Helya: Your unworthy souls will feed the coming darkness!
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: "Unworthy"? I hear you were beaten quite soundly by "unworthy" champions, witch!
Helya: You will pay for that insult! The skies of your world will be darkened by the wings of my Mawsworn!
Thrall: For Azeroth!
Helya: Drown! Drown among the souls of the damned!
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: What is this madness?
Thrall: This noise... it's unbearable!
Anduin Wrynn: Keep moving!
Thrall: Look! Upon the precipice above! Is that...
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: The Jailer.
Anduin Wrynn: He has Baine!
After another cinematic, we rescue Baine, but he's very wounded, especially his spirit. Neither Anduin nor Thrall seems to be able to heal him. Thrall tells us he's seen similar magic coming from the Shadowmoon Clan and suggests we find a blade from the Mawsworn in
Wounds Beyond Flesh
, while looking for a suitable weapon for him (as he has thrown his axe on Helya) in
A Good Axe
. After we find the blade and a suitable weapon for Thrall (of course, an Axe), we defeat a Withering Presence drawn from Baine in
Draw Out the Darkness
Anduin Wrynn: I think he's coming to.
Anduin Wrynn: Baine, can you hear me?
Baine Bloodhoof: Anduin? I had thought my end had come...
Thrall: It almost did, were it not for this champion.
Baine Bloodhoof: Then you have my eternal gratitude, <player>.
Leaving The Maw
After we recover Baine, it is time to leave the Maw in
The Path to Salvation
. Jaina conjures a mass invisibility spell on all of us so we can cross the Jailer's forces. We reach a waystone that seems to react to our presence.
Thrall: We seek a waystone located beyond the cauldron. Have you seen it?
Baine Bloodhoof: I spotted an obelisk of ancient stone upon the high ridge.
Baine Bloodhoof: It didn't seem important. The Jailer's forces pay it little heed. What do you think it is?
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: Our way out of here--we hope.
Baine Bloodhoof: The Jailer has many forces here--too many for us to defeat on our own.
Thrall: Jaina, can you hide us from their sight?
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: My spell will get us past most of his guards, but there will likely be some who can see through it.
Baine Bloodhoof: The size of the Jailer's army rivals that of the Legion... and it's growing larger.
Anduin Wrynn: So many souls pouring into the Maw. The dead of Azeroth... Draenor... worlds beyond our imagination. All damned to this place.
Baine Bloodhoof: To be forged into weapons for the Jailer.
Thrall: Despite all Sylvanas has done, I never thought she would be part of something like this.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: Look! On the platform ahead! That must be the waystone!
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: We need to reach it before the Jailer takes notice.
Anduin Wrynn: The waystone was said to be dormant, yet it seems to be reacting to our presence.
Anduin Wrynn: And yet... I can't find a way to activate it.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: I don't think the stone is responding to us. I think it's responding to <player>.
We then activate the waystone in
Stand as One
. As we charge the waystone, the Jailer's forces start to attack and overwhelm us, the Jailer talks to us, showing a weird interest in Azeroth's world-soul. However, we do manage to activate the waystone and arrive in Oribos.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: When the Jailer realizes our plan, he'll send all his forces against us.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: Our only chance is to keep them at bay long enough for the waystone to fully charge. Every second counts!
Baine Bloodhoof: I think the stone is gaining power!
The Jailer: A relic of the First Ones... responding to a mortal?! Impossible!
The Jailer: Mawsworn, take them! Nothing escapes the Maw!
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: Hold the line! The waystone must finish charging!
The Jailer: Yield to the inevitable. My forces are endless!
Thrall: We have stopped endless armies before. We will never yield!
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: It's nearly charged! Do not falter!
The Jailer: You cannot stop what is to come! All that you see--all that you know--will be undone!
Anduin Wrynn: The Jailer's forces are closing in! Stand your ground! For Azeroth!
The Jailer: Death comes for the soul of your world!
Lady Jaina Proudmoore: The waystone is fully charged! Activate it, <player>!
After we arrive in Oribos, we earn the achievement
Into the Maw
. Currently in the Shadowlands Alpha, there is no follow-up quest, but it is known you are sent into the first leveling zone in Shadowlands,
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Love all the people who are angry that Calia is leading the Forsaken, forgetting that Sylvanas was Alliance in life as well, and tried to join them first after founding the Forsaken.
Yes, but the Alliance not just abandoned her and the rest of the Forsaken, but
killed them on sight
, not caring that they specifically
from the Scourge; the Horde welcomed them into their ranks, understanding the suffering that they have gone through. Calia
gone through the same torment that the rest of the Forsaken have, and, in fact, was even transformed into an Undead through Holy Magic instead of regular Necromancy. The way they write Calia, it feels, at least to me, that she just comes along after having abandoned her kingdom for several years and decides that she wants to rule them because it's her birthright. Of course, their track record with writing characters clearly has shown that, well, they're not the best at it, as Sylvanas
go through all that the rest of the Forsaken did, including being scorned by the Alliance and welcomed by the Horde, so you expect her to
consider the Horde more highly.
But back to Calia; the reason Horde players are mad about this is because she
Alliance, not "was Alliance in life but Horde in undeath" as you seem to be suggesting, but Sylvanas
that, until Blizz made her completely omnicidal. The Horde doesn't need another Alliance leader when we already have the Traitor Chief, Baine. If they wanted Calia to lead a faction of undead, then they should have used her to introduce an Allied Race of Light-created undead whose bodies are intact, like Taliesin initially theorized. I'm sure there would have bee a large number of Horde players upset at Alliance getting an undead Allied Race, but at least it would be better than her becoming leader of the Forsaken and being shoehorned into the Horde leadership, where she doesn't belong.
Why the hell is calia there? She doesnt lead anybody and has no right to stand with the horde. Theyre going to end up making her the forsaken leader arent they.....
Well, there's literally no other noteworthy undead besides the Ebon Blade and Lilian, the latter of whom doesn't even want to work for the Horde
a comment here
, but, to sum it up, I think it's time to promote some other notable Forsaken who seems to be rather high ranking as their new leader. They might not currently have too much characterization or even screen time (in a sense), but any I listed there would be a better pick than Calia, or even Lillian, who I like (despite her involvement in Calia's apparent leadership of the Forsaken), but, as you mentioned, doesn't really seem to necessarily
to work for the Horde, but just kind of...does.
Sylvanas captures hated characters like Baine and Anduin, and anyone still playing will still be forced to oppose her, even after choosing to support her over said characters, and go rescue them?
Why the hell is calia there? She doesnt lead anybody and has no right to stand with the horde. Theyre going to end up making her the forsaken leader arent they.....
If anyone has the birth rite to it is Calia. She is the last of her Line and the True Heir are to Lorderon. Most of the Forsaken are HER people. SO why not Calia ?
Because, essentially, she, like the rest of the Alliance,
the people of Lordaeron and saw them as monsters, at least up until Blizz decided to make have the Alliance near-unanimously agree that they no longer hated the Forsaken for being undead and a splinter faction of the Scourge, quite out of nowhere, really, especially since the Forsaken weren't ever really doing anything to
their case with the Alliance. It just makes characters like Anduin come across
like an all-loving, overly-forgiving angel-boy. I can understand why a good number of Alliance players, and even
players, preferred Varian; while he certainly learned forgiveness and leniency over the course of several expansions, he wouldn't simply forgive the Horde for anything that they had done.
As for Calia, again, she fled Lordaeron and went into hiding while her people suffered, with her own brother being the cause of a lot of it. Meanwhile, Sylvanas helped the Forsaken break free and carve themselves a home amongst the ruins of their fallen kingdom and protection in the ranks of the Horde.
worthy of being their leader, at least until Blizz decided to have her jump into the deep end of the crazy-pool, whereas Calia...has done jack-all, really. She has done absolutely
to prove that she would make an effective leader for
, much less a group of people she let suffer all these years, and for Blizz to have her just prance back into the story and decide that she wants to lead them would just be more fuel to the "Blizz are hack writers" fire that they seem intent on keeping lit.
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