•   Thursday, May 23, 2024
World of Warcraft

WoW Lore: Is the light, like the void, our enemy?

The story of the eternal battle between light and darkness is as old as humanity itself. Almost every classic epic begins with brave heroes riding out to confront dark forces. The story of World of Warcraft was also defined by this black and white conflict from the very beginning. The fronts in WoW were clearly marked in the past years: Naaru versus Void Lords, Titans versus the Burning Legion, Alliance versus Horde.

Table of Contents

  1. 1Continuationwith surprises
  2. 2Orderbrings violence
  3. 3Thedark side of the light
  4. 4Curseor blessing?
  5. 5Thefear of the light
  6. 6Anew war?

Granted, the developers can't go wrong with classic hero stories. But are these simplistic storylines still up to date? Is the Void really devious and evil? Does the light really bring healing and peace? And what happens when the fixed roles of light and darkness are suddenly reversed? Blizzard's team of writers experimented a lot in Legion and BfA and occasionally left the conventional storytelling path. In Shadowlands, we can now expect a new twist in the story that, according to Ion Hazzikostas, will change our worldview of WoW forever. Because in the future, there will no longer be any old-fashioned friend or foe images in the game. In plain language, this means that even the light can be among our possible enemies. And in the game there are now even enough hints that the forces of light don't only have good things in mind.

Sequel with surprises

If we review the events of Legion and Battle for Azeroth, there were plenty of hints in the game that the Void and the Old Gods await us as the main theme in the next WoW expansion. The fall of Alleria Windrunner, the return of the Voidwalkers, Azshara's scheming, and the awakening of the Old God N'Zoth - they were all the perfect precursors for the Void Lords, who have been waiting to devour Azeroth and the entire universe since the beginning of time. But things turned out differently. Instead of preparing for the decisive battle against the Void, a different adventure awaits us in Shadowlands.

Order brings violence

Good, new enemies lurk in the Shadowlands, no less dangerous than the Old Gods or the demons of the Burning Legion. As if from nowhere, long-forgotten death gods are reaching for ultimate power, and they are not only targeting our heroes, but threatening to destroy the balance between life and death. The afterlife may be inconspicuous in the cosmic scheme of things, but the realm of the dead holds great secrets. There, for the first time, we find traces of the true creators of the universe. According to records we find throughout the Shadowlands, "the First Ones" were responsible for dividing the Warcraft universe into many different domains. This order and balance of power has been the guarantor of the continuation of life for thousands of years. What the creators did not expect, however, was the high potential for violence that resulted from this strict separation. The war that then broke out between the domains threatened to destroy again everything that the first created.

And this is the great dilemma that finally caused the creators to fail. Because all beings, no matter which faction they belong to, work tirelessly to destroy the balance. So the Dungeon Master is as much a rebel as the Old Gods are. And even if it's hard to imagine, the Naaru are part of it, too.

The Shadow Side of Light

Xe'ra, the Mother of Light, is the highest of the Naaru. Moon goddess Elune formed her during the great order of light and shadow as the first pure being of light. Xe'ra pursued the ways of light so radically that she was willing to forcefully impose her dogma on mortals. Source: buffed N'Zoth's prophet Il'gynoth warned us in the Emerald Nightmare that the Light was up to no good. In battle, he whispered, "The Golden One claims the empty throne. But the crown of light will only bring darkness." At the time, most of Il'gynoth's prophecies made no sense. Today, however, the Void Creature's words appear in a whole new light.

From the Shadowlands beta, we know that Sylvanas King kidnapped Anduin Wrynn and other notable heroes such as Jaina Splendor Sea, Thrall, and Baine Bluthuf to the Shadowlands. While the newly formed Horde is able to cope well with the loss of Thrall and Baine, the High King's absence spells disaster for the Alliance. In these difficult times, a legendary hero emerges from the shadows to lead the Alliance in place of Anduin. High Exarch Turalyon takes the scepter in Shadowlands. Given the difficult situation the Alliance is in, Turalyon is the savior personified. Let's not kid ourselves, the reluctant Anduin was not very popular as High King of the Alliance. Many subjects longed for a strong and experienced leader to reunite the peoples of the Alliance and lead them into a glorious future. And Turalyon can meet this challenge without a doubt! The paladin has fought against the demons for millennia since his disappearance and, with the Army of Light, has at his disposal, at least in theory, a formidable force vastly superior to the Horde. His exploits alongside Xe'ra and the Light-forged Draenei surpass even the myth of the legendary King Varian Wrynn. But is Turalyon's leadership truly a boon to the Alliance? Or is his role the prelude to a dark chapter in Azeroth's history?

Curse or blessing?

Dark chapter? Turalyon's return and his new role as leader of the Alliance in Shadowlands bodes well after all. Of course, we can dismiss Il'gynoth's words as lies at this point. But was the creature's dark vision of the future really just a ruse by the Old Gods to sow distrust among mortals, or should we take Il'gynoth's whispers seriously? After all, some of Il'gynoth's prophecies have already come true. And even if we don't know exactly which person the Void Creature is referring to at the moment, his words foretell a dark future for Azeroth. For as radiant as Turalyon may seem as a great savior, the High Exarch casts a long and dark shadow ahead.

Alleria defied Xe'ra and answered the call of the void. Although she saved her husband thanks to shadow magic, the naaru threw her into the dungeon of the Xenedar. Source: Blizzard Whoever thinks of the shadowy side of Turalyon, of course, immediately has his wife Alleria Windrunner in mind. The legend of the high elf heroine is no less imposing than that of her famous husband. But instead of following the light, Alleria has chosen the dark path of the Void. In Legion, we witness her dark rebirth. Why the Void chose Alleria, of all people, as a prophetess is still a mystery to us. On the whole, the true intentions of the Void Lords do not play a role in this story; the really exciting thing was Turalyon's reaction when he learned of his wife's secret life. When the high elf, with the help of the Void, freed Turalyon and other soldiers of the Light from the clutches of the Burning Legion, Alleria expected no thanks. Quite the opposite. Instead of celebrating the narrow victory over the demons, the Naaru Xe'ra imprisoned the elf in the dungeon of the Xenedar. Turalyon protested briefly, but in the end he agreed with Xe'ra and accepted Alleria's punishment. If the Xenedar had not crashed at the beginning of Legion, Alleria might have had to pay for her supposed heresy forever.

The Fear of the Light

Alleria's story is just one of many that illustrate how radical and dangerous the Light can be. Turalyon's piety and fear of the void were so great that he was even willing to blindly follow Xe'ra and sacrifice his own wife. When the naaru was blown into a thousand pieces by Illidan, Turalyon was so enraged that he was about to kill the demon hunter. The fact that Xe'ra was trying to impose her will on Illidan during the ritual, literally to fulfill her vision, had simply escaped Turalyon's notice. Did you notice it too? While the High Exarch accepted Alleria's punishment equanimously, Turalyon's emotions erupted after Xe'ra's death. Hatred, anger, and above all panic were written all over his face. And this fear, which you can clearly see in Turalyon's eyes in the cinematic, is exactly the point that makes the Light so dangerous. The Light guides mortals in distress and gives them comfort. But the price for this guidance is high! Namely, in return, the light demands unconditional allegiance and blind obedience. Since no mortal is perfect, this often results in compulsion and great fear. These negative emotions finally culminate in pure terror, which in the end claims as many victims as the madness of the void.

A new war?

At the death of Xe'ra, Turalyon froze in fear. Without the Naaru, the Army of Light was leaderless. What path will the High Exarch take as their successor? Source: buffed Well, unraveling this complex story structure that Blizzard serves us on the topic of light and shadow is not that easy. Most of us have grown up with stories that portray light as a source of peace, healing, and harmony. World of Warcraft (buy now €14.99 ), however, already broke with this outdated worldview several times. The best example of the fact that the Light can also be misused for sinister purposes is the Scarlet Crusade. The fanatical priests and knights of the order may have dedicated themselves to the fight against the undead, but that did not stop the Crusade from terrorizing those whose lifestyles deviated from the doctrine of the Light. In the starting area of the Mag'har Orcs in alternate Draenor, we come up against radical Draenei paladins who adhere to the teachings of the Light just as fundamentally as the Scarlet Crusade does in Azeroth. The Army of Light is also guided by a similar set of beliefs. So why didn't the Army of Light unleash its power in BfA in the war against the Horde? Simple. It was Anduin Wrynn who restrained Turalyon and his soldiers, as the king feared that the Xenedar alliance would commit the same war crimes as Sylvanas and her minions.

At this point, an intriguing question arises: What path will High Exarch Turalyon take as replacement king when Anduin is no longer around to stop him? We must not forget that every Warcraft party, whether it brings curses or blessings, pursues its goals with a strict radicalism. And it is precisely this that regularly brings Azeroth to the brink of destruction! Should the Light prevail, it will mean the end of the world as much as the return of the Black Empire and the Old Gods. There will be no place for shamanistic orcs then, just as there will be no place for the devious warlocks or shady rogues. This illustrates how important the balance between the powers is and how fragile the universe actually is. Blizzard's story writers have recognized this problem and have therefore subsequently adjusted some passages in their books and comics. Thus, the grand finale of World of Warcraft is completely open!

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