Good morning folks!
Ever since I waited with bated breath for a chance at the Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King betas, I have been a spoiler junky. I have always been a lore junky, ever since Warcraft II (was still young with Warcraft: Orcs and Humans). I have enjoyed the lore characters and locales. With World of Warcraft, it was amazing to see these characters fleshed out, and given a face (and sometimes a voice).
I have that same feeling with Cataclysm. Possibly I’ll get lucky this time around and get to be in the Cataclysm Beta, but there’s no guarantee. But, even without that accessiblity, I still relish every piece of news that comes out about the new expansion.
I’ve began some preparation in getting my characters prepared to have the world torn asunder. Granted, it’s slow preparation, as I do not have the time that I used to, but they are grabbing bits of gold here and there, heirlooms being handed out to assist in the leveling process. I still intend to have Khrados at level 80 by the release of the expansion. I feel that it would be more rewarding, to level two characters through the new content. Possibly following different paths, or picking up quests that the other left out…. hmmm, I see a future topic coming up.
“The stories of two brothers whose lives were seprated by undeath, collide as the world around them is ripped apart” #plothook (thanks @grayseer for the idea of story summary in this format)
It’s a lot of waiting to tell you the truth. I have tried to keep myself from burning out, or getting bored by taking regular breaks (sometimes weeks at a time), raiding only when I know that I can, and feel like I can. Hopping on alts, and seeing the old world through a different set of spells, and even changing offspecs to try some new stuff before it all changes.
I feel that I’m successful in this endeavor. To top it off I still get excited every time something new is released about the expansion. It seems to keep my heart in it. Especially new artwork, as I’m the artsy type, and love to see pretty eye candy. This leads to my second part of my post, what I’m most looking forward to in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
Personally, my most anticipated aspect of the expansion, is the release of Deathwing.
I have read nearly every book in Warcraft’s list, including catching the Sunwell Trilogy mangas before Sunwell was released. In fact I believe that I’ve read all except for Malfurion. And contrary to some others feelings, I don’t really mind some of the writing style of Richard Knaak, though there are some points where he seems to push the lore to the edge of believability.
After reading the “Well of Eternity” trilogy and getting a bit more story behind the dragon aspects, I really began to like the character of “Deathwing”, or “Neltharion, the Earth-Warder” and his slow decline into insanity. I read through his history, and visualized how he would appear, if not in-game, at least in artwork. There have been several attempts at capturing the essence of his form, but none truly stood out as meeting my expectations.
The one above, was from the scrapped RPG “Warcraft Adventures.” I never thought that I would ever see Deathwing smoking a hooka. I’m kind of glad that this never made it to store shelves. When I first saw this image, the thought below came up…
Then I found more as they began coming in, some getting closer and closer to what I envisioned, and some taking the plated scales too literally. I have been a fan of dragons since I was a little kid, and Deathwing was the epitome of the “bad guy” dragon. The tention between him and Alextrasza is permeable. There are very few images of Deathwing prior to his corruption, though I was able to find what appeared to be a single sketch of the original Neltharion.
It’s only a headshot, but I do not see the metallic plates that are said to hold his very being together, suggesting that this is the original Neltharion. If that is the case (though this may only be a fan art), then Deathwing has gone through some wicked alterations. I guess the Old Gods aren’t real nice to those who follow them the closest.
When Blizzard announced Cataclysm and I got my first glances of Deathwing, I was estatic. The artwork for his new form is amazing. It truly shows how far he has come, and how much his body has suffered for his transgressions and decisions.
((( Note: This is off the top of my head, can’t see wowwiki from here )))
The Old Gods were once rulers of Azeroth, instigating the ongoing battles of the elements upon each other. Upon the arrival of the Titans, the Old Gods were fought, but not defeated, and instead imprisoned beneath Azeroth, and the warring Elementals were forced into the Elemental Realm, a dimensional plane separate from Azeroth. With this change, the Titans created the Great Dragon Aspects, each a defacto leader over the different aspects of life on Azeroth. Among them was Neltharion, the Earth Warder. He was chosen to watch over the lands of Azeroth, and the very earth upon which all life would live. He was a massive dragon, appearing almost as if a living mountain, his skin as hard as the stone of which he tended. The Black Dragonflight was his to lead, however he pleased.
The story goes that as time passed, Neltharian began to hear whispers, unsure of their origin. These whispers began to increase in number and volume, slowly changing how Neltharian thought of the world around him, and the other dragonflights. These whispers were those of the Old Gods, still imprisoned within Azeroth by the Titans. They hoped to weave their plans into Neltharian, so that he could facilitate their escape and eventual return to power.
This all occurred near the time of the first Sundering, when the demons of Sargeras had begun to invade Azeroth and the original Well of Eternity. There seemed to be little struggle against these suggestive whispers, as Neltharian began to plot against the other dragonflights to gain power over them. His “weapon” of choice was the Dragon Soul. Unbeknownst to the other dragonflights, this was not a weapon to twart the encroaching demons, but instead a way in which he could gain the power of the other dragons and use it for himself. With this knowledge withheld, Neltharian was able to talk the other dragonflights into providing a piece of their being to be woven into the essence of the Dragon Soul.
Upon this completion, Neltharian began to reveal the true purpose of the item. Malygos was enraged at the betrayal, as he was a close friend of Neltharian. Out of rage, he and the Blue Dragonflight began an attempt to stop Neltharian. This attack was unsuccessful, and Neltharian was singlehandedly able to destroy most of the Blue Dragonflight, causing Malygos to flee and go into hiding.
It was this day that Neltharian began to be known as Deathwing the Destroyer, and the Dragon Soul was then known as the Demon Soul, which Deathwing had attempted to fuse into his very being. Soon, the Red and Green dragonflights, with the assistance of Rhonin and some of the Night Elves and Malfurion Stormrage, had attempted to fight back, though not as successful as would be hoped for. Deathwing was critically wounded, and retreated, left to lick his wounds until his eventual return.
He did return later, during the Second War, the Demon Soul sealed away, he was far less powerful than before. It was at this time that he had goblin minions forge metal plates to attach to his body. His interaction with the Demon Soul had begun to slowly manifest itself by increasing the power he held slightly over time. Eventually this took its toll on his body, and it had to be held together by external means.
Those left from the Black Dragonflight, had begun experiments, once attempted by Deathwing himself to create the perfect dragonflight, the creatures whose loyalty lied only with the Black Dragonflight, and would allow them to attain power over the other dragonflights. Initial attempts had created the Chromatic Dragons, used by Nefarian (son of Deathwing) to gain his own standing among the Dragonflights. With little success, others from the black dragonflight began to do their own experiments. One such attempt was made by Deathwing’s prime consort Sintharia. From these experiments arose the Twilight dragons, beings created from the remaining eggs of the Black Dragonflight, and the essence of the condemned Netherwing (note: The Netherwing are actually Black Dragons who have been twisted and changed by the Twisted Nether upon birth). These new dragons have had some success, though many of their victories likely unseen to the annals of history.
With the limited success, it was time for Deathwing to return himself. After regaining much of his power, the decision was made to break the barrier between the Earthen Elemental realm and the surface of Azeroth. This would occur during the Cataclysm. Here Deathwing would rise up from Deepholm and break the dimensional barrier, altering the very surface of Azeroth itself.
From this history, we are provided with the current day Deathwing, a monsterous creature, formed of rock and molten earth, obtaining the essense of the Earth Warder, but mentally altered to extreme preportions.
This. Is. Deathwing.
Now, this is his draconic form, as with all dragons, he can attain the appearance of a human, or whatever species he wishes. Recently released were some images of Deathwing’s “human” form. It appers that due to his alterations, it is dificult for him to attain the proper form of which he once had as Lord Duval Prestor. He was once a prim and proper dignitary, and eventual leader of Alterac, only becoming so by manipulating the other kingom’s leaders, including the King of Lordaeron.
Now, this appears to be his “human” form.
If you can’t already tell, I’m pretty excited about the release of Cataclysm, and the appearance of Deathwing. I think that the lore of Warcraft can go in a lot of directions from here, provided little retcon is done.