Wednesday, December 04, 2013

That Thing You Do

Okay, we get the idea MMO Champion.

Something is DEFINITELY going on with Karazhan.

Quite apart from the fact that every ley line in Azeroth converges under the place, this was the home of Marcus Medivh. Possibly the most famous sorcerer in Azeroth's history, this is the guy who summoned the orcs to Azeroth. You know the one's full of Mannoroth's blood that we're now aware doesn't happen once Mr G. Hellscream nips back in time to prevent it. However, we are assured the timelines remain intact and we won't see a change to anything vital once the Expansion launches... except, if you take a moment to check the cast of characters involved in said arrangement, you'll find at least one guy with a fairly huge link to Karazhan. So famous was this guy, they even named a herb after him... and with 10 Years of Warcraft Inevitable Anniversary Celebration now the next stop on our unchangable real life journey, it's probably not a surprise someone with a Karazhan link is featuring in the expansion.

So, he's in this.

Khadgar (dwarven for trust) was Medivh's apprentice at Karazhan, and became a commander of the original Alliance expedition to Draenor. He's one of the original Guardians of Tirisfal , the guys whose job it was to biff the Burning Legion when they arrived on Azeroth. Now, my particular interest in this guy is that he discovered the plot to open the Dark Portal from none other than Garona Halforcen, who is one of only a few significant female players in this entire setup. He was able to kill Medivh but was cursed for his bravery with old age, was responsible for watching the construction of Nethergarde Keep before the Orcs re=emerged through the portal and he was forced to mount an Expeditionary Force to Draenor...

Now you're asking yourself at this point, what has Karazhan got to do with all of this, apart from the fact that Khadgar is tied to the place with the curse on his body? Well, in order to fight back the Orcs and to finally shut the Dark Portal, Khadgar utilised two key items: the Skull of Gul'dan (last seen held by a Mr I. Stormrage) and Medivh's Spellbook... as yet, that spellbook's never been seen in game. If I wanted a great way to link the current campaign with perhaps THE most classic instance the Game ever fostered, and I needed somewhere for a 10th Anniversary Celebration... They 'redid' Onyxia as the classic Year 5 Encounter. I bet no goblin would take your money or a wager on Karazhan getting not simply a  revamp but a complete realignment for year 10, quite simply because it's a place that historically suffers quite a bit in the Timeways...

Anne Stickney's already considered the larger lore implications and various people have had things to say about the historical context of this, but I'm here to point out that the datamining 'joke' (which is what this has now become) seems at least to me to have passed 'trolling' status. In fact, if this is on the PTR now, and it has been for a while, I'd bet that this means that Karazhan will be forming a part of the pre-Expansion event as well as getting a revamp later down the line. In fact, if I was looking for a way to insert myself into the timelines of this planet, Karazhan is pretty much the first place I'd want to go. After all, on the roof  is a portal to Netherspace. Not many places apart from the Caverns of Time where you'd get a decent chance of punching a hole through the fabric of reality, especially without having to dust up Time Guardians first. Most importantly of all, at least for Garrosh, the man who patrols this part of odd-time in Karazhan has a 'version' of his Axe in his loot table. Does this mean Prince Malchezaar has met Hellscream before? Does this mean that Gorehowl is going to attain a significance akin to Gul'dan's Skull?

I'd bet Medivh's Book of Spells is in Karazhan somewhere, we just never realised, and if you want a beautifully precise way of linking this classic instance into not simply the new Expansion but the 10th Anniversary celebrations, you have it here with an elegance that will demonstrate that yes, you can write time-travel expansions with a measure of perfect believability. All we need to do now is let time move on, and see if the past will allow an illumination of future events...


dobablo said...

Other than that, yes plese to more crazy self-referential stuff in-game.

Point of Lore. Khadgar was never a Guardian. The last two original Guardians were Aegwynn and Medivh.
He wasn't on the original Council of Tirisfal, and he turned down a seat on the New Council of Tirisfal but he is a member of the Council of Six (Dalaran leadership).

Kamalia said...

Having something with Karazhan be involved in the pre-launch Event when the Dark Portal goes all red and wierd-like definitely makes sense.

Medivh's Spellbook is probably under his pillow in his decadent personal chambers. Why didn't we think to look there already? :P

If Blizz does do a complete revamp of Kara at some point, I hope that "original Kara" remains accessible somehow, too.

Anonymous said...

"Does this mean Prince Malchezaar has met Hellscream before?"

Would it have to be "before"? He might be a time traveller himself:
"All realities, all dimensions are open to me" / "Simple fools! Time is the fire in which you'll burn!"

The axe is surely bop, so Malchezaar must have killed Garrosh. If not, he's a cheater ;-)

Morrighan said...

I was thinking something similar recently. For all that this is not the timetravel expansion I still have questions. Firstly, the Velen listed on the website is the Velen of the alternative timeline, not our timeline. That means there are two Velens.

Secondly, even accepting this will not change our timeline, how will the story of Medivh play out in this alternative timeline.

A lot of enemies we destroyed will be alive and well and possibly living alternate lives in this timeline ( says hi to Kil'jaeden, for example). At the moment it impacts upon us again, through the opening of the Bright Red Portal, then all of those characters have a chance of impacting too. Perhaps we will see a living Medivh come through a portal he helps create? At which point he might try and reclaim his old home?