Useful threads: setting, story & roleplay 📖

Purpose: Maintaining and expanding the original “Useful threads: setting, story & roleplay” maintained by Sparklighter/Fyne. Several threads from the post-2019 forum have been added, and more will be added as more resources pop up (please notify me if there’s any particular thread/guide you want included!)

The threads that could be salvaged from the old forum are now reformatted, and will be added to this thread to finalize the transfer of still-salvageable guides from the pre-2019 forum.

PLEASE NOTE - Many of these guides will be outdated and in desperate need of maintenance to bring them up to par, especially with the release of the Chronicles book series. Editor’s notes have been sprinkled within to address the most egregious of issues, but likely missed at least some.

Additionally, the structure of this thread will likely change over time.

If you would like to contribute to bringing these up to date, do get in touch either on this thread or privately - updated guides help everyone.

Discord: WorriesDK#2020
Battlenet: Worries#21545

General and Introductory Guides

The Basics

What is roleplaying according to Blizzard?

The Blizzard Community reps have a look at roleplaying, from Blizzard’s point of view.

Why RP?: or Why we talk funny by Adnaw

A former MVP explored the history of role play video games, including WoW, and looks at how to get started.

RP Tips by Dwoozle, posted again (again) by Tardon

How can I hook the interest of the roleplayers around me?

Guide to Roleplay by Lirena of Earthen Ring

A brief look at some of the core skills which underpin successful roleplay.

Newcomers guide to roleplay by Spradley

A tongue-in-cheek but thoughful and helpful guide. The Spradley School for Kids Who Can’t RP Good and Want to Do Other Stuff Good Too.

General Tips

The concept of the "Character Toolkit" by Fyne

How to use the tools provided by the game to express your character to those around you, the way costumes, props, etc, are used in theatre and film.

OOC in say and the dreaded (( )) by Adnaw

Our own bad habits, and why we’re in charge of them rather than anyone else taking the blame.

How to use /wargame for RP by Tsathoggua

A look at the /wargame feature from Cataclysm, and how it can be used to enhance and assist roleplay, including but not exclusively RPPvP.

The Conversationalist's Handbook by Azhaan

Inspired by Eyildr’s post on constructive and civilized debate, this guide is intended as a guide to those who wish to increase their conversational skills within their roleplay, to make their characters better conversationalists, more charming, or more socially graceful.

On the Application of Power (in roleplay) by Dampierre

A look at the social dynamics of power, and how to use them in roleplay to craft interesting and entertaining stories with verisimilitude.

Sue Me? Avoiding Mary Sue Tendencies in RP by Danellos

How to avoid being a bit TOO much what you wish you were. A look at the “Mary Sue.”

Violence is Dangerous, a roleplaying resource by Gahalla

A thorough guide with suggestions for how to tackle the topic of violence in your roleplay, both as a player on the ground and as the host master for an event.

The Three Great I’s in Shaping a Great Community - by Tazkram

An essay-style guide on how to build a community, by someone who’s gone through the ropes of it many times.

Leading Management and Managing Leadership - by Tazkram

Another essay-style guide on guild and community management, how to build a solid core that can persist in your absence.

General Roleplay Guides - by Tenasa

A series of text-visual guides for everything from character concepts, power levels and class abilities!

Useful Roleplaying toys

A number of players chip in with useful suggestions of toys for roleplay. Wondering how to achieve a particular effect, or looking for inspiration? Look no further!

Race Guides

Horde

Blood Elf

A Guide to Blood Elf Role-Play by Sorathiel

The advent of The Burning Crusade expansion brought a very popular new playable race with a long and complex history. This thread includes a good background to the race, taken from a variety of sources, as well as some opinion and suggestions.

Quel'Thalas; A Summary by Aerilen

A compilation of lore tidbits and deconstruction of the Quel’Thalas questing experience.

Goblin

Time is Money: a guide to goblins in Cataclysm by Adnaw

Time is Money: a guide to goblins in Cataclysm is a look at a lot of the information available thus far on the goblins of the Bilgewater Cartel, principally including in-game information.

Goblin Roleplaying by Nazzix

A useful and thorough guide for those looking to add even further depth to their goblin, or to discover how useful goblins are for roleplay.

Nightborne

Nightborne RP Guide by Korlith

A thorough, chaptered guide to one of the new Allied races.

Orc

How to have "Lok’tar" at Orc roleplay by Tazkram

A concise look summarizing the fundamental elements of the timeline and culture of Blizzard’s orcs on Azeroth.

Orcish Clans - a helping hand

A flowchart for picking a clan by Gorrka

Frostwolf Clan: The Lone Wolf Dies but the Pack Survives🐺 by Frostherald/Telaryn

A thorough, well-sourced guide to one of Warcraft’s most detailed and storied clans.

Warsong Clan: May the Warsong Never Fade by Manata/Acrona

Another meticulous and well-sourced guide on a very thoroughly written orc clan

So you want to be a Blackrock? ⛰ by Demirgen

A thorough investigation of the third major clan of Warcraft lore, noted for their brutality and efficiency

So you want to be Bleeding Hollow? by Gardhal

An essay-style look into the Bleeding Hollow, one of orc-kinds more “savage” clans.

Dragonmaw Clan: How to train your Dragonmaw by Ábél

A substantive and fairly well sourced essay-style intro to the Orcish clan of dragonriders.

Tauren

How to roleplay tauren by Caerake (2010)

This is a guide written to help new players start out with Tauren roleplay. It is largely a compilation of information provided by other sources. The guide is not meant to represent the ultimate - one and only - way to roleplay a tauren.

Tauren Roleplay Guide by Seryddol (2016)

A later iteration of the guide above, written in part with the help of Caerake and the greater Spirit Wolves community.

Troll

(Guide) Darkspear Never Die! - Roleplaying A Member Of The Best Tribe by Watrus

A comprehensive, in-depth guide to the Horde’s good ol’ jungle tribe.

Alliance

Draenei

The Great Draenei Compendium by Nhadira

So you’ve chosen to play a Draenei! This is an exciting race, with richly deep and immersive lore, that spans back all the way to…way back when. Draenei have both a lot of history, and little cultural explanation by Blizzard. Here is a look at how to both use and overcome those challenges.

Dwarf

Dwarf Roleplaying: a guide by Thunderbraid

In Thunderbraid’s first guide, he gathers and presents many different perspectives and possibilities for playing a dwarf.

Gnome

An undead's guide to... Gnome RP! by Mharla

A general primer and overview of gnomes as a race and people.

Night Elf

A Guide to Roleplaying a Night Elf character by Celegil, Aldrannath, and Kestrel of Steamwheedle Cartel server

This is a guide written to help new players start out with night elf roleplay. It has had contributions from a wide range of players over numerous servers, and has been updated to include the events of the novel Stormrage.

An Indepth essay on Night Elf politics by Barlowe of Earthen Ring

A long, thorough essay on a way to navigate the complicated social landscape of a near-immortal race.

(A-RP) Night Elf Roleplay - now with BFA Lore by Acrona and Mythundis

A well-maintained, active thread on Night Elf roleplay on Argent Dawn in particular, with various useful links and guides for Night Elf roleplay in general!

Void Elf

The Void's Vainglorious Vagary - A Void Elf RP Guide by Morrowburn

An in-depth guide on one of the new allied races.

Worgen

Howling Oak: a guide to worgen in Cataclysm by Adnaw

Howling Oak: a guide to worgen in Cataclysm is a look at a lot of the information available thus far on the worgen of Gilneas, principally including in-game information.

Neutral

Pandaren

The only known guide was lost in the forum purge. :frowning:

Class Guides

Death Knight

The Death Knight - How to create and roleplay your own by Arindha

Delightfully formatted to fit the new forum layout for easy reading!

Demon Hunter

DH Quotes/Resources

A list of sourced quotes and references to Demon Hunters - everything from physical appearance/details, to how they’re received and their role in society.

Druid

The only known guide was lost in the forum purge. :frowning:

Mage

Classy Roleplay: Mage by Creic

An exploration of in-game texts to understand magic and mages in the setting.

Monk

Classy Roleplay: Monk by Creic and Xu

An exploration of in-game texts to examine the role and training of the monks of pandaria.

The Monk Roleplaying Guide by Zen

Another guide exploring the same themes, focusing on monks as a class.

Paladin

Blood Knights by Aerilen

A look at the canon sources of information on the history and current themes of the Blood Knight paladins of Silvermoon.

Warlock

Dark Intent: A Guide to Warlock Role-Play by Arlemont

A guide which seeks to clearly distinguish between canon lore, non-canon lore, and speculation by players regarding warlocks and demonology in the setting.

Archetypes and themes

Essays and Discussions

Tips for Improving Roleplay, a discussion

A thread with several clever twists on “the normal way” to approach RP in order to make it more engaging. Remember - a tip is not a rule!

Lore Tidbits

If you’re looking for lore notes minor and major to spice up your roleplay, this thread is a good place to go exploring the more esoteric aspects of Warcraft lore!

Thematic Guides

ARGH! - Arakine's Roleplaying Guide to Healing!

A deep dive into medical and healing roleplay, drawing inspiration both from real life and in-lore sources.

The Healer’s Compendium by Arìenne

A compendium describing and listing various resources for healing in RP, and how to make it enjoyable for the people around you!

Order and Justice - The Argent Crusade by Anastre

A guide to Argent Crusade roleplay in Cataclysm and beyond.

Power of Voodoo - Troll Religion by Tsathoggua

Troll religion in the game might seem daunting, as it has been expanded upon at great length throughout the history of the game setting. This is an introductory guide for those seeking to explore troll culture.

Peons: A roleplaying guide by Safli.

Yes, that’s correct. Peons. A simple but well-thought-out guide to making use of peons either as regular characters, or as temporary characters for an event.

"Death shall cleanse the world!" - Necromancer RP guide by Vredd

Necromancy and necromancers as antagonists and protagonists, how to effectively represent one in the game.

RP tool: Governmental Systems of Azeroth by Drevv

Exploring the political systems of the various player character cultures.

FERANOS's guide to Metals and Minerals, updated by Telaryn

For miners, blacksmiths, jewelcrafters, engineers, enchanters. For those who wear plate or mail, or use weapons. Feranos has trawled through canon lore sources for information on the metals, minerals, and materials which are crafted into so many of the items our characters use.

FERAL's guide to Quest Herbs by Féral of Defias Brotherhood

For alchemists, herbalists, surgeons, medics, apothecaries, enchanters. For those who use potions or first aid. Féral has trawled through quest text sources for information on herbs which appear in potions, poultices, and more, that our characters use.

External sites and resources

The Argent Archives

The Archive Website

Part story and artwork collection, part character and event archive, the Argent Archives gives you a way to tell everyone what is going on in YOUR character’s world, and see what is going on in theirs.

Argent Archives Tutorial

A simple look into how best to utilise the Argent Archive

The Missing "Users' Manual"

The long-rumoured manual for how experienced AA users can make the most of their time.

Beginner's Guide to the Races

Blizzard’s own introductory guide to the themes and histories for roleplaying the various races in the game. Each is concise, and thorough.

Eleven Ways To Be A Better Roleplayer

The bloggers at Look, Robot have written a useful list of reminders for roleplayers experienced and new.

20 Likes

FAQ

Q: How do I get a guide added to this list?

A: Make me aware of it! I don’t browse the forums nearly as much to catch every productive thread and/or discussion that comes along. Means of contacting me are above.

Q: Why is (x) thread from the old useful threads collation gone?

A: Likely it was already removed from the forum by the time I started collating. :frowning: Some of these guides are a decade and some old.

1 Like

[Guide] Blood Knights - by Aerilen

Contents:

  1. What is a Blood Knight?
  2. History/Timeline
  3. Ranks and roles
  4. Equipment
  5. Faith
  6. Relations to the other two factions of Silvermoon
  7. Speculation

Before I get started I would like to point out that this isn’t a mandatory “DO THIS MY WAY OR TAKE THE HIGH WAY” thing, you pay for your sub so you’re more than welcome to simply ignore what’s here. All the information from Blood of the Highborne has come from other people so if I am wrong point out some mistakes and i’ll correct them!

I would also like to thank Silvaren/Sarinteal for letting me devour, cannibalise, butcher and carve up parts of his own aged Blood Knight guide. And Noraleon for being my proof reader, cheers guys

1. What is a Blood Knight?

When you boil it down the Blood Knights are quite simply a brotherhood of blood elf paladins. There are numerous differences between them, the Silver Hand and the Vindicators which range from their training to their culture. And of course history. The primary role of a Blood Knight is to defend Quel’Thalas and fight whoever their enemies are.

“We Blood Knights are bound to defend Quel’Thalas, .” - Lord Solanar Bloodwrath, Quest: A Demonstration of Loyalty.

“The Blood Knights of Silvermoon are the backbone of the blood elf army” - From the trading card “Araelun”.

Their first few members comprised of former priests and royal guards (BotHB), later more would be drawn to the Order as their reputation soared upwards

2) History/Timeline

This isn’t going to be an incredibly thorough tale, if you want that then you can easily go to Wowpedia. The involvement of Blood Knights in each expansion will be summarized in bullet points.

i) The End of WC3:TFT to TBC

-M’uru was gifted to Silvermoon for the elves to feed from.

-Grand Magister Rommath and Astalor Bloodsworn devised a better use, they pacified the creature and Rommath summoned Liadrin. After telling her of a new order of warriors who can master the Light and not be servants to it, Liadrin agreed and became Lady Liadrin.

-The creation of the Blood Knights was criticised by the Farstriders, their methods were immoral.

-The public held the same view, there were rumours of the knights feeding from “some creature from the Nether”.

-Lor’themar too, had his doubts.

-The Blood Knights begin to train, co-operation and working together is a heavy focus (for this reason a Blood Knight character who refuses to work with others is a little silly). They reclaim Sunsail Anchorage from the Wretched.

-Becoming masters of the Light wasn’t pleasant however, forcing the Light to their will caused the Knights to suffer from headaches and other pains, it also awoke suppressed emotional issues – this goes hand in hand with the ability Seal of Blood, which allowed a Blood Knight to do significant damage to a foe at the expense of their own life-force.

-Arthas takes an interest in the Blood Knights, commands drathir to kill and raise them; Drathir becomes enchanted with the idea, sets up an ambush to kill the Knights.

-The Knights prevail and manage to kill Drathir, the opinion of them begins to turn as news of their efficiency and prowess at fending off the undead and their numerous victories spreads.

ii) The Burning Crusade

-The Blood Knights and their powers are viewed positively, their new powers and dominion over the Light is praised. Most noticeably by the Silvermoon City Guardians.

-The Blood Elves join the Horde - in part - due to the prowess of the Blood Knights, they immediately begin to fight over Halaa with the Draenei - for the Horde!!!

-The Blood Knights begin their campaign against the other Paladins of the world, taking every chance they can to one-up their counter parts and prove their dominance. The most notable events is Alonsus Chapel being left vulnerable to the Scourge and Uther’s tomb being desecrated.

-Kael’thas turns on Silvermoon, steals M’uru and venture to the Sunwell Plateau.

-With the loss of M’uru the Knights wield the dregs of Light he left behind.

-Lady Liadrin defects from Kael’thas’s forces after seeing his treachery, she travels to Shattrath and pledges herself and her Order to the Sha’tar. The Shattered Sun Offensive is formed.

-Kael’thas and Kil’jaeden are defeated. The heart of M’uru is used to purify and re-ignite the Sunwell. Liadrin’s faith is renewed.

-The Knights now obtain their powers from the Sunwell, and the old creed of anti-Light begins to wither away.

iii) Wrath of the Lich King

-Sylvanas strong-arms Lor’themar into sending troops to Northrend despite the wounded from retaking the Sunwell still in sick-bays, some Blood Knights are sent north.

-Liadrin is preaching to blood elven and high elven pilgrims at the Sunwell about the Sunwell’s rebirth.

-The Horde champions at the Argent Tournament are Blood Knights.

-Blood Knights are part of the Kor’kron attacking Icecrown.

iv) Cataclysm

-Blood Knights are members of the Reliquary, aiding them in places such as the Blasted Lands.
The Aggressive nature and quest text wording from TBC is re-done, their antics are no longer as morally questionable.

-A group of Blood Knights are sent to help in the attack on Theramore.

v) Mists of Pandaria

-Lor’themar leads knights into Pandaria, they protect the Reliquary and the Regent Lord in Kun-lai. Some even direct Reliquary movements.

-The largest mobilisation of the Blood Knights since TBC happens in 5.2, they aid the Sunreaver Onslaught in taking down the Thunder King and reclaim whatever titan treasures they can.

vi) Warlords of Draenor

-The Sunsworn are mainly a force of Blood Knights, they are led by Liadrin. They protect Auchindoun with the Draenei and help retake Shattrath from the Legion. However Knights are dotted over the continent.

vii) Legion

-To be updated.

3) Ranks and Roles

Initiate:

What is an Initiate?

An Initiate is exactly what it says on the tin, a Initiate, a trainee, a apprentice to the ways of the Blood Knights, it’s worth pointing out that they are technically not a Blood Knight or considered part of the brotherhood yet either. It’s not actually said how the player character joins the Order (to my knowledge) however after reaching level 12 you’re summoned by Knight-Lord Bloodvalor.

“<name>, you have excelled in your early training and distinguished yourself among those who would become Blood Knights. You are ready to undertake the next phase of your training and, to that end, Knight-Lord Bloodvalor himself has asked to speak with you.

I have no doubt that Knight-Lord Bloodvalor wishes to set a trial for you to test your abilities and training. You will find him in the Blood Knight headquarters in Silvermoon City’s Farstriders’ Square. I wish you well, <name>.”

From this it seems the majority - if not all an Initiate does - is train and once they distinguish themselves and become competent enough, they are summoned for their first trial.
The first trial, is quite simply, a deadly trick.

“Mastery of the Light* requires a focused mind and tremendous willpower. Without these, you are little better than a street thug.

There is an island in the northeastern reaches of the Ghostlands, called the Isle of Tribulations, that we use to hone these skills. You will find a brazier within a shallow cave there. Kneel before the brazier, light it, and focus on what you see before your eyes.” Knight-Lord Bloodvalor, Quest: The First Trial.

When the brazier is lit a blood elf jumps out of the shadows and ambushes you, after he is killed the character then returns to Knight-Lord Bloodvalor.

“I know what must be going through your mind. Yes, I sent Stillblade to kill you.

Do not take offense, <name>; It was a necessary test. The Blood Knights are a brotherhood, we must ensure that our brothers are alert and prepared at all times. Was it necessary to take Stillblade’s life to make the point to you? Yes, and that is as much a part of your training as any sword drill.” - Knight-Lord Bloodvalor, Quest: The first trial.

The next quest goes on:

“Do not think me unduly harsh, <name>. Stillblade knew well what he was being sent to do. He understood and accepted his duty and is an example for all aspiring Blood Knights.

“My words are no eulogy, <name>. Stillblade’s service to us is far from over and you will be the instrument of his resurrection.” - Knight-Lord Bloodvalor, Quest: A study in Power.

While this trial is certainly deadly, it appears that who-ever perishes is simply resurrected; this is a very touchy spot in role play however. I’m not going to go into it in this thread. The next part of the description is quite irrelevant at this point. The character is sent to Magister Astalor to learn a new method of wielding the light after Kael’thas pilfered M’uru from Silvermoon. In the modern time frame of WoW this is most likely done via faith and belief in the Light or simply using the Sunwell.

The next part of the quest is also irrelevant, you gather the last vestiges of light what M’uru left behind in a vial; again, this is completely irrelevant now, there are no vestiges of light left and the Order has long since moved on from Naaru draining.

The final part of the quest has you resurrect Stillblade after returning to Knight-Lord Bloodvalor.

“While you were preparing the vessel*, I sent a group of initiated to retrieve Sangrias Stillblade. You will find him on the top level of Silvermoon’s inn with an attendant. Make your way there will all haste and unleash the vessel’s magic to restore him to life.

Time is of the essence, <name>. Once he has been dead for too long not even the Light can bring him back to us.”

Again, this is a touchy spot where role play is concerned but the Initiates -are- taught Redemption via this quest, the problem with this quest is that it’s so out-dated now and there isn’t really a replacement for it. The new homogenised quests don’t teach you redemption. While I think it’s perfectly valid that the first trial is carried out I think that the latter half will have to be done with a lot of creativity from the player; a vial filled with holy waters perhaps or simply a vial filled with holy magic generated by faith?

Adept

What is an Adept?

An Adept differs from an Initiate by becoming a fully fledged member of the Blood Knights, while not quite a full knight yet they are no longer an “initiate”, they are no longer a trainee; they have learned the duties of a Blood Knight and have worked hard to master the powers of the light.

“Initiate <name>, you have worked hard to master the powers of the light won by our magisters. You have learned the source of our abilities.*” - Master Kelerun Bloodmourn, Quest: The Second Trial.

The path to becoming one can be considered the most difficult task there is to go up a rank within the Blood Knights, first of all soon-to-be Adept is charged with besting four Blood Knight Champions.

“You stand on the verge of adept status in the order, <name>. First you must prove your worthiness by undertaking another trial. The second trial differs from the first in that there will be no surprises this time. The challenge before you is simple; you must face and best four Blood Knight champions in combat.” - Master Kelerun Bloodmourn, quest: The Second Trial (1)

The player character is then sent along to Knight-Lord Bloodvalor.

“I knew you had potential to pass the trial, <name>. Your remaining duties are mostly ceremonial but they are no less dangerous than staring down one of our champions with his weapon drawn. Listen closely, and I will tell you what else you must do to claim your new rank.” - Knight-Lord Bloodvalor, Quest: Return to Silvermoon.

The next part of the trial involves the Adept crafting the weapon which symbolises the order (more on that later), the blood-tempered ranseur. The weapon is no longer in the game due to the removal of these quests, however the same model can be found but in black and red – Terokk’s Quill. This item is a dungeon quest reward from “Terokk’s Legacy” in Sethekk Halls.

“Before a newly-minted adept can be accepted into the ranks of the Blood Knights, <gender> must procure the resources to create our order’s distinctive weapon, the blood-tempered ranseur. You must also earn the right to wear our order’s insignia. When the order was founded, a set number was forged and distributed so each new adept inherits <gender> from a veteran.” - Knight-Lord Bloodvalor.

An interesting fact comes from this quest, there are only so many actual Blood Knights and an Initiate can only rise to an Adept and become a member of the order, someone needs to die. Then Aerilen, surely there can only be so many Blood Knight role players? No, I think this is a bit of a caustic attitude to have “me and my friend were playing these guys first, you can’t play them because of it. What is played out via role play should never be representative of lore. Besides, we don’t know how many were actually made.

Anyway! Onto the items required to forge the Ranseur.

Blood of the Wrathful

“In order to properly temper the metal of your weapon it must be quenched in the blood of the wrathful. Though blood of most demons holds a substantial amount of power, common blood is not sufficient in the forging of your ranseur.” - [Bloodvalor’s Notes] Quest: The Path of the Adept.

Here it’s insinuated the demon blood needed should belong to that of a greater demon, in the quest the mob that drops the item is a doom guard. It’s quite staggering how the Blood Knights simply throw their newbies in at the deep end and expect them to obtain the blood of a powerful demon.

“Discreet Inquiries with the warlocks of Orgrimmar have proven helpful in locating a supply of the blood. The Searing Blade cultists within Ragefire Chasm possess an orb filled with the kind of blood we’ll need for your weapon. I am told the orb is guarded by an orc calling himself Jergosh the Invoker.” - [Bloodvalor’s Notes] Quest: The Path of the Adept.

When it comes to role playing out the Adept trial I think it’s worth noting that you can’t really follow this by the book any more seeing as the inhabitants of RFC has changed. It also reads like this is handled on a “case-by-case” basis, where one Initiate is sent off to collect the items can be in a completely different place to another; go wild with this.

Item description: “A stoppered Flask of potent demon blood, perfect for quenching a newly-forged Blood Knight weapon.”

Crate of Bloodforged ingots

“On its own, steel is a fine metal, but a weapon forged from it is unremarkable. Bloodforged ingots represent a superior material created in a process that is a well-kept secret. Rumor has it that any smith bold enough to handle and work the metal becomes cursed, but our craftsmen have proven this false.

"The Metal’s reputation increases its scarcity, but the Forsaken have sent word that a supply may exist within Shadowfang Keep. A skilled smith by the name of Landen Stilwell grew curious enough to smuggle a crate of ingots into the keep. It is not known where Stilwell keeps his stash, but our informant tells us the smith is being held prisoner in the keep’s dungeon. Use any means at your disposal to obtain the ingots.” - [Bloodvalor’s Notes] Quest: The Path of the Adept.

A strong but scarce metal that the Knights hunt down for their ranseurs, it’s very rare so in order to obtain some your character may be raking through the ruins of Shadowfang or some other nook and cranny of Azeroth.

Item description: “A crate filled with dark metal ingots radiating a sense of wrongness.”

A corrupted Kor gem

“The Magisters’ tomes record that these gems are used by some spell casters to hold energy for their magics, making them even deadlier. Although purified versions of the gem can be safely used by journeyman spellcasters, they are too weak for our purposes.

In the caves of Blackfathom Deeps, naga spellcasters have imbued kor gems with their own dark powers, augmenting them in a way that makes them perfect for use in your ranseur. Slay them mercilessly until you have secured the gem you will need.“ - [Bloodvalor’s Notes] Quest: The Path of the Adept.

There are still naga within the Blackfathom Deeps, the inhabitants haven’t really changed so if you wish to have your character venture there and retrieve some then go wild. Alternatively you can always find the corrupted kor gems elsewhere. For example when I dm’d the trial for a friend, they were held by a group of undead scarlets who were up to no good.

I also think this item plays into the difference between the mace which the Silver Hand use and the Ranseur, as mentioned later in the guide (in the equipment section) Liadrin channels spells through her ranseur like it was a staff. The Ranseur also has more int than the alliance equivalent though it also has less strength.

The Insignia isn’t needed to forge the weapon, it doesn’t become part of the weapon,

“A small black and red enameled metal pendant in the shape of a falcon.” - Item description.

With it being a pendant, it’s safe to assume it’s usually attached to a necklace.

“The insignia you will wear as an adept was last carried by a brave and fearless Blood Knight from the Dawnstar family. His exemplary service is a good omen for your own life in the order.” - [Bloodvalor’s Notes] Quest: The Path of the Adept.

This insinuates that the insignias carry a reputation of who has worn them and their deeds. Perhaps an insignia which has had a history of craven, alcoholic or weak owners can be a bad omen for the soon-to-be Adept?

“Blood Knight Dawnstar led a daring, but unsuccessful attack on the Scourge stronghold of Deatholme. His body rests where he died, locked in combat with our greatest foes.”

This will be unique to every character, everyone will retrieve an insignia from a different corpse. In a different part of the world. It also raises questions about what Blood Knights do with their own dead. Do they simply leave them where they drop for new Adepts to set out and find? Or do they retrieve the bodies if they can? This quest implies it’s the former but there isn’t a great deal of information on it.

Once turned in the Knight-Lord congratulates you and sends you to Bemarrin to have the weapon forged.

“Once again, you have proven yourself worthy before the order and your peers. It is with great pleasure that I bestow upon you the rank of adept, <name>. Prince Kael’thas will be proud of you.*

Any of us would be honoured to fight by your side on the field of battle. Continue to serve as an example for those who aspire to join us. Show neither mercy nor weakness, defend your people and your brothers tirelessly, and hone your mastery of the Light*.” - Knight-Lord Bloodvalor, Quest: Forging the weapon.

If you speak to the Knight-Lord again to get the progress chatter text he says:

“Congratulations, <name>. Achieving the rank of adept is no mean feat, believe me. I’ve seen the number of people who enter that building, and how few of them last long enough to visit me bearing these materials.”

The trials to join the order fully can be very taxing and has clearly claimed a fair few lives.

The final quest isn’t worth mentioning, you hand over the items to Bemarrin and he simply forges the item for you; nothing of note is said. The character is an Adept and has the weapon of the Blood Knights alongside an Insignia to prove it; they are a Blood Knight.

Blood Knight

What is a Blood Knight?

This is by far the most common rank of Blood Knight add you will see, there are dozens if not hundred of them; from trash mobs in Outland to faction aligned characters; the the large amount of them stood in formation in Dawnseeker Promontory to those who are helping the Reliquary such as Kaelis Sunsoar. They are easily identified by the black and red armour, the tabard and shield. They also seem to fill a vast range of roles which will be covered later.

The player Character becomes a Blood Knight after obtaining the first paladin mount (which was at level 40 a long time ago), I cannot remember if there was an epic quest chain for this, I can’t find anything after a good hour of trying to rake around for it.

Master

What is a Master?

Masters are members of a circle which represent the best that the Blood Knight’s have to offer, knights are hand-picked by the leadership of the Blood Knight Order to undergo the trials to become a Master. Masters are identified by their mounts, the Chargers.

“Within the ranks of our Order, there exists an inner circle of elite knights. Members of the circle represent the most dedicated, skilled and trustworthy of all Blood Knights and are handpicked by the leadership. Most simply know the masters by their thalassian charger mounts.

Each candidate for membership must have a sponsor within the circle and must demonstrate their dedication to the Order’s central tenets. I have chosen to sponsor you for standing as a Blood Knight master, if this is your wish.” - Lord Solanar Bloodwrath, Quest: The Master’s Path.

Role playing one can be difficult and I would only suggest you let your character become one if you’re not really intent on dick-waving and plan on leading a guild. No doubt some people would love for me to say “too many people are role playing these, tone it down folks” but it would be hypocritical of me after the “what’s role played isn’t representative of lore”. But I can safely say that as far as Argent Dawn is concerned, there are a swathe of people who don’t quite grasp what a master is.

The first task, “A gesture of commitment”.

“A Blood Knight’s Loyalty does not stop at the end of <his/her> blade, . The order asks more of its members than mere drilling and combat. A true knight contributes to all of the order’s activities, even the ones that may not seem glorious on the surface.” - Lord Solanar Bloodwrath, Quest: A gesture of commitment.

In this quest the player character is to give a load of expensive and rare items to help support Magister Astalor Bloodsworn’s draining of what remains on M’uru after he was pilfered. But again this is no longer relevant but there are countless other situations you can insert, “we need these metals and furs and cloth for repairs” and they can be as equally or more expansive as you wish them to be; I can’t see this “task” being a cheap one.

“We Blood Knights are bound to defend Quel’Thalas, . This is a central part of your training. Our enemies are fierce and unrelenting. Silvermoon and its people remain free by our efforts and our allies”. - Lord Solonar Bloodwrath, Quest: A demonstration of loyalty.

Again, I think this is something that varies from case to case, in the player-character’s own they’re sent to kill off some skeletal siege engineers near the Thalassian Pass. Dream up what you want here. A good example would be to do something with the Cultists in Windrunner Spire, War Crimes stated that they’re still there. Maybe they’re trying to branch out and they need to be contained? Maybe they’re trying to craft another abomination to harass Tranquillien with?

The final part of this quest tasks you with extinguishing the eternal flame in Alonsus Chapel, which is no longer relevant; the Blood Knights are no longer in the business of pissing all over the Silver Hand to prove they’re the masters of the Light. But it’s worth mentioning that the new Baron in that dungeon could have gotten into that situation by the player destroying the protective enchantment on the Chapel, the Scourge got to him and he was raised. But that’s just speculation.

Again, you’ll have to generate something of your own to finish this off if you’re pursuing this. The chain is ended with:

“Well done, <name>. All who would oppose us would do well to heed the warning you delivered. Our foes should know that they are in peril, from the lowest foot soldier to the mightiest hero. You have earned your place in the ranks of the masters. Your dedication and prowess serve as an example for all Blood Knights. As a symbol of your new status, I grant you the ability to summon and command the thalassian charger.” - Lord Solonar Bloodwrath, Quest: True Masters of the Light.

What’s odd with this quest is that you also get the tabard, but the tabard isn’t unique to Masters alone; the two initiated near the entrance to the Halls of Blood (the building in which the Knights locate themselves in Silvermoon) wear it.

Masters also seem to take on the training of those below them although it looks like they are very specific with who.

“Master Pyreanor, a senior Blood Knight and advisor to the Warchief requires your presence in Orgrimmar. He has taken an interest in your training, .” - Champion Bachi/Champion Cyssa Dawnrose, Quest: Seek Out Master Pyreanor.

Knight-Lord

What is a Knight-Lord?

The majority - if not all of them - are mentioned in the novella Blood of the Highborne, they were the first few Knights alongside Liadrin when Rommath created the Order. And from what’s experienced in the quests they manage everyone below them, from Initiates to Masters; they make sure the Order is running smoothly.

Matriarch

What is the Matriarch?

The Matriarch is Lady Liadrin, she is the leader of the Blood Knights and she is only answerable to Rommath and Lor’themar Theron.

The oddity, Champion

It’s hard to really nail down where abouts in the table of ranks a Champion stands, they seem very varied. On one hand they hand out some quests for you and are very prestigious such as Vranesh. On the other… four of them get beaten up by an Initiate (though this may be due to it being the player character).

Edit: From my own speculation, I would say that they simply sit alongside “Master” or slightly above due to Champion Vranesh wandering back and forth between Farstriders’ Square and the Royal exchange on a charger. There isn’t a great deal of information on what the Champions do beyond the old player interactions with them – you beat four of them for your Adept trial (arguably because the player character is an “adventurer”) and Champion Bachi taught you your spells. I could be completely wrong on this and the mount can simply be an oversight by Blizzard.

*I have thrown asterisks on these parts because the wording would have most likely changed, Kael’thas is no longer praised and the Order no longer encourages bastardising the Light or defiling tombs if we go by the new (homogenised and bland) quest text alongside the tone of the Order post TBC.

Roles that a Blood Knight can fit in to

Blood Knights can be found pretty much anywhere! Some are within the Reliquary such as Elijah Dawnflight or Kaelis Sunsoar. While others may find themselves serving under Halduron Brightwing such as Kelantir Bloodblade.

The Errand Runner

Delivering objects and messages, not very glorious but it is done. By the looks of it Initiates are the main source of errand boys/girls but higher ranks may be used if there’s nothing better for them to do.

“Excellent. It appears everything is here. Don’t worry, your next task will include plenty of opportunities to wield your weapon again, I promise.

I’ll have an initiate bring it all to Magister Astalor. There’s no need to send you on such a trivial errand when there are more important things to be done.” - Lord Solonar Bloodwrath, Quest: A Gesture of Commitment.

Guardian

Master Pyreanor is a good example of this, pre-Cata his official duty was to protect the Ambassador to the Warchief and eagerly spars/trains with other Blood Knights. He mirrors Champion Cyssa Dawnrose in this aspect, though Dawnrose is stationed in the Undercity. There are also numerous Blood Knight Honor Guards dotted over Azeroth and Outland.

Perhaps your knight is/was guarding some blood elf of minor note on their tasks/ventures?

Soldier

“We Blood Knights are bound to defend Quel’Thalas, <NAME>.” - Lord Solanar Bloodwrath, Quest: A Demonstration of Loyalty.

“The Blood Knights of Silvermoon are the backbone of the blood elf army” - From the trading card “Araelun”. I would however take this source with a grain of salt, as the same TCG labels Velen a shaman and Lor’themar a paladin.

This one is rather obvious.

Leader

There are numerous examples of this, such as Kaelis Sunsoar who has found himself within the Reliquary and being a commander for them in 5.1; he hands out dailies in Ruins of Ogudei. Blood Knights can make the perfect leader for a guild or fit into an officer position quite easily, though of course it depends on what the subject matter of the guild actually is – naturally they won’t be heading .

Advisor

“Master Pyreanor, a senior Blood Knight and advisor to the warchief, requires your presence in Orgrimmar.” Champion Cyssa Dawnrose/Champion Bachi, Quest: Seek out Master Pyreanor.

This links in with what I mentioned above, they can be an advisor to a guild leader or it could even be a one-off in some grand server campaign! Not to mention that it can make for some interesting backstory details.

4) Equipment

Blood Tempered Ranseur

What even is a Ranseur, Aerilen? A ranseur is a spear that was used across Europe in the 15th century and used again as a more ceremonial weapon in the 17th century. Six foot long and shaped somewhat like a trident, the two extra ‘prongs’ were used to trap a foe’s weapon and pull it from them or the person with it onto their !@#/off their horse.

As mentioned earlier it is a weapon that “Initiates” gather the materials for in order to rise and become an “Adept”, the materials are quite unique and rather powerful.

According to Blood of the Highborne the weapon itself is a blend of a mace and a stave, a blend of strength and balance. It is the iconic weapon of the blood knights in a similar vein that the warhammer is for the Silver Hand. Interestingly Liadrin uses it somewhat like a stave in that she channeled a spell through it. This could go hand-in-hand with the difference in stats between the two weapons - the warhammer has more strength and less intellect while the ranseur is the opposite.

Scourgebane

Scourgebane is a trinket developed by Mehlar Dawnblade and Lady Sylvanas Windrunner.

The player character is sent off to gather twenty Scourgestones after speaking with Argent Officer Garush (Quest: Prove your Hatred). Returning them to him he crushes them up:

“the Scourgestones are weak when separated from the skeletal grasp that once held them. Simply holding them in my hands caused them to fracture and break” - Mehlar Dawnblade, Quest: Wisdom of the Banshee Queen.

Windrunner is irritated that you show her these stones though she advises you to “acquire something equally vile to fortify them.” You’re tasked with acquiring the [Putrid] Vine from the corpse of Atal’alarion in the Temple of Atal’Hakkar.

“The Banshee Queen has guided you well. This is precisely what I need to combine the fragments. <Mehlar watches as the vine interweaves through the fragments, binding them together.>

There! Scourgebane, I shall call it. Be wary when you use it, for it serves you against its will.” - Mehlar Dawnblade, Quest: Ancient Evil.

The trinket gave a significant damage increase against undead and demons when it was used, it also caused the player’s weapon to have a bright white glow while the buff lasted.

Mounts

Thalassian Warhorse - Received upon becoming a knight, “A loyal companion to any who would protect Silvermoon.”

Thalassian Charger - Received upon becoming a Master, “Basking in the power of M’uru has strengthened its will.”

Hawkstriders - It’s not uncommon for Knights to ride these, Aenea who accompanies the Horde hero in a mogu-dominated area in the Valley of Emperors rides one.

Uniform

You can easily obtain the stereotypical outfit that the Blood Knights wear, it is simply the level 60 rare PvP set in combination with the shield [Blood Knight] (drops from Watchkeeper Gargolmar in Hellfire Ramparts) or [Bloodforged Guard] which is a quest reward from “Blast the Infernals!” in Shadowmoon Valley. The sword is [Archmage’s Guile] which is bought from Eldara Dawnrunner if you’re revered with the Shattered Sun Offensive.

You can also obtain most of the stereotypical Adept outfit, minus hand and shoulder slot items although it’s all mail items. [Felstalker Breastplate], [Felstalker Bracers] and [Felstalker Belt] are all leatherworking items that can be crafted. You can get the leggings from two different items. [Sunfury Legguards] From the Shadowmoon Valley quest: Varedis Must be stopped or [Mag’hari Huntsman’s Leggings] from the Nagrand quest: There is no Hope. The boots are obtained from Damek Bloombeard at the Molten front, they are [Fiery treads]. Adepts also wield [Archmage’s Guile] while their Shield is [Outland Shield of ] which is a world drop in Outland, there’s usually one or two on the AH.

Though, there are a fair few Blood Knight adds that don’t adhere to the uniforms or have aggressive variations of them. Usually named figures (Such as Mehlar Dawnblade), they tend to at least adhere to the black and red colour code.

Enchantments

Again, it’s not uncommon for some Blood Knight NPC’s to have their weapon enchanted, the most common is a flame enchantment upon their swords.

Insignia

“A small, black and red enameled metal pendant in the shape of a falcon”. As mentioned earlier in the Adept section, it’s insinuated the history of the people an Insignia has been carried by is important. They’re owned by anyone who has passed their Adept trial.

5) Faith

Faith in the Light certainly wasn’t dead in Silvermoon or Eversong, if a paladin character clicked on a priest they would dismiss them with “I don’t have the time for a sermon now”. Not to mention the priests were actively working -with- the Light to help Silvermoon rather than using it to help Silvermoon.

“Already the rangers speak of your blessings with awe and respect. Now you can see how the Light serves us, allowing us to help others, but only after we have helped ourselves.” - Ponaris, Quest: Cleansing the Scar.

While there may certainly have been a minority of knight which may have followed the Light still, the majority were disillusioned and disenfranchised like Lady Liadrin.

However, since the renewal of the Sunwell the reverse seems to slowly be coming true; the revised quest texts for example lack a lot of the open hostility towards other Paladin orders who revere the Light, and towards the Light in general. However, due to the Sunwell radiating holy as well as arcane magic now, you don’t need faith to channel it.

Edit/Big Update: A faithless Blood Knight concept is just as valid as one with faith, though one who still clings to the mindset which was apparent in TBC may turn a few heads, not only that but they still suffer the same headaches and emotional instability that was caused from leeching from M’uru:

https://twitter.com/MickyNeilson/status/669361548582739968

Hi, question! Are there side-effects to drawing from the Sunwell like we saw with M’uru in TBC?

Yep! Side effects were described in Blood of the Highborne.

6) Relations to the other two factions of Silvermoon

Silvermoon is split up into three influential factions; the Farstriders, the Blood Knights and the Magisters (not the Magisterium or the Magistry).

Relation towards the Farstriders

This is probably the easiest one to delve into, it’s very obvious what both factions think of each other. Blood of the Highborn states that they view the Blood Knights as immoral and that carried on into TBC. There is also this interaction - which no doubt Silvermoon role players have gotten sick of.

“Champion Vranesh surveys the small ranger practice ground with a condescending smirk.”

To which the Rangers will respond with after he departs; “They’re nothing more than petty thieves, that’s what they are”; “They’ll see the Light, I hope”; “With M’uru gone, perhaps those haughty Blood Knights will see sense”; “Is there no sanctity left in this world?”

In more recent times the relationships between the Rangers and the Blood Knights were shown once more in 5.1 with Ranger Orestes and the Blood Knight Aenea.

“Lor’themar Theron: Orestes! Aenea! you are to accompany on his mission.

Aenea: Yes, my lord.

Ranger Orestes: Another mission with Aenea? If I must.” - Quest: Legacy of the Korune

Ranger Orestes certainly doesn’t seem impressed to be partnered with Aenea, whether that is due to her being a knight or personal interaction is up for interpretation.

Relation towards the Magisters

Blood of the Highborne states that the Magisters simply viewed the Blood Knights with pragmatism, beyond that there isn’t anything that really defines their relationship; there are only two magisters that actually have directly anything to do within the Blood Knight Order and that’s Grand Magister Rommath and Astalor.

And on the flip side there’s nothing that really highlights the Blood Knight attitude towards the Magisters, there certainly doesn’t seem to be any animosity.

7) Speculation (this has a lot of opinion in it)

Are/Can Blood Knights be city guards?

This idea stems from three sources, the first which is from the card game “When Silvermoon City Sentinels enters play, it deals 1 holy damage to each hero for each ally named Silvermoon Sentinels in your party”.

The second being their reaction towards hunters asking for the hunter trainer: “Oh. You’re seeking one of… them. Well, if you truly want to waste your time speaking with those backwards individuals, you’ll find the rangers in Farstriders’ Square. Zandine can take care of you.”

The third being Gatewatcher Aendor, a Blood Knight who is harassing a citizen alongside some guardians and a golem.

However, even with these sources I don’t think they are strong enough to solidly plant Blood Knights as being guards in the traditional sense.

On the first source: Beyond doing holy damage in the card game, nothing else actually confirms that they are knights. In-game they do not do holy damage and none of their few abilities are actually even related to holy magic. And even then Blizzard blurs the lines of “classes” by giving mobs and adds abilities which should belong to other classes, take Lor’themar - a ranger - and his mass charm/mind control ability for example. It doesn’t make him a priest and it doesn’t make him belong to the priesthood either.

On the second source: I think this falls more in line with the Farstriders becoming the least influential faction of Silvermoon and the guardian being very opinionated (and outright rude). Take what he says about professions for example. The Farstriders are essentially Silvermoon’s skinning and Leatherworking industry and yet:

“Tyn is quite the talented skinner; she produces the finest lynx hides I’ve yet seen. If you wish to learn from her, you’ll find her on the southeast end of the Walk of Elders.”

“Along the southeast end of the Walk of Elders, Lynalis has set up a fine leatherworking stand. She’ll train you… for a fee.”

While he considers Farstriders backwards, he seems to sing the praises of a noteworthy skinner and is rather indifferent to leatherworking.

“If digging in the dirt is the sort of past time you find enjoyable, go share your insanity with Belil in Farstriders’ Square. I’m certain he’d be happy to see he’s not the only crazy one.”

“Bemarrin teaches the trade of Blacksmithing in Farstriders’ Square. While a somewhat… dirty trade, I suppose it has its merits.”

“An odd choice… but I suppose I’m not one to judge. Danwe is the one you’re after; her engineering stand lies near the Court of the Sun, on the path to Farstriders’ Square.”

It’s odd that they don’t seem to object to skinning - which some could consider barbaric and very dirty - while believing mining and blacksmithing to be “crazy” and dirty respectively. They also find engineering “odd”.

I simply believe that everything the guardians churns out is a simple and shallow stereotype of blood elves, the Farstriders have fallen out of favour so he’s rude about them. Mining gets you dirty so he thinks the idea of it is crazy. Tyn makes fine products so he sings her praises. Engineering is believed to be odd because of the blood elven conservative nature.

On the third source: Gatewatcher Aendor is the only instance of a Blood Knight shown to be “guarding” but it seems to be a very unique position because he’s not a “guardian” he’s a “Gatewatcher”. His scene helps uphold the idea that Silvermoon is a totalitarian state, just like the priest Kath’mar in the Bazaar. However, just like the priest Kath’mar he seems to have a very unique role in Silvermoon. I think that both characters are there to simply uphold the new policies and direction the blood elven leadership have taken. Kath’mar silences dissenters and Aendor shakes down those who may/have caused trouble. I’d also like to throw out that a Gatewatcher does not equal a city guard either. Also, given how far Blood Elves have progressed and how “stable” their nation has come, would there be any need for the iron-fisted totalitarian approach? Are Kath’mar and “The Gatewatcher” even needed any more? We don’t know.

Overall I don’t think there’s any solid lore to suggest that Blood Knights are guards or they take it upon themselves to patrol the streets to catch thieves and/or unruly elves. The City Guardians seem to be under influence of the Blood Knights at the very least, you can have them kneel for you if you emote /eye upon them. I don’t even think they’re close to being paladins never mind Blood Knights, the argument for them being Blood Knights falls down completely when they address Vranesh:

“Our lives are yours, Blood Knight.”

If they were then they would address him as their superior rather than “Blood Knight”. Not to mention their uniform is completely different in both design and colour scheme.

The Golems and Guardians are the City Guards and it should be left at them, IMO.

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[Guide] Dwarf Roleplaying by Thunderbraid

Table of contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Bronzebeard Clan
  3. The Wildhammer Clan
  4. The Dark Iron Clan
  5. Dwarves and the Horde
  6. Dwarves and the Alliance

Introduction:

I will start off by quoting this, from WoWwiki, drawn from the RPG:

"Dwarves are short and stout creatures mostly inhabiting Khaz Modan in the Eastern Kingdoms. They are shorter than humans but taller than gnomes, taking advantage of their size when possible and relying on their robustness and strength when not. The average dwarf is steady, observant and composed both during work and combat, yet able to rage with fierce zeal and persistence when the situation calls for it. While a dwarf prefers to plan forward to overcome challenges, many of them easily lose their temperament and self-restraint when exposed to conditions stirring their feelings and concerns.

In past ages, the dwarves rarely left the safety of their mountain fortresses, spending their time on refining metal and stone into powerful weapons and beautiful jewelry. However, when the call to battle sounded, they rose up to defend their friends and allies with unmatched courage and valor. dwarves like drinking, Mining, finding treasure. But the things the dwarves are most interested about is them and their past with the Titans."

As we can see already, dwarves in World of Warcraft are different to dwarves in other fantasy settings. They are not dying out and they are not obsessed with mining and blacksmithing even if they are still good at it. Also, by being called ‘dwarves’ and not ‘dwarfs’.

We can also see that dwarves are not so obsessed with beer that they drink it even when fighting. Beer is an alcoholic. Alcohol effects dwarves the same way it effects humans, it does not make them stronger and more aware. So drop that now. A dwarf is composed and intellectual, they live longer than humans, meaning they can learn more.

In the regards to magic: At no point in World of Warcraft has it been stated that dwarves hate magic like they do in other fantasy settings. They have lived with their gnomish cousins for many years, after all. They of course detest demons with a passion like any Alliance race.

In regards to the accent: It does not matter, humans have many accents also, it is quite possible for dwarves to have varying accents. I will take Thunderbraid as an example - He is highly educated from the upper rings of Ironforge, and if we look at a good example of this - Senator Barin Redstone - His quest text does not contain any accent what-so-ever. Similary there will be more ‘common’ dwarves, and they will have the stereotypical accent, however, there is no need to overdo this accent if you do not wish to, if you read the quest text of dwarf NPCs, it is not unreadable. There is the occasional ‘ye’ and others like it, but little else.

It is possible to roleplay a dwarf without ruining your immersion by not using an accent.

The Bronzebeard Clan

I will not bore you with history, you can read up on it easily elsewhere. Suffice to say that the Bronzebeard Clan are the most populous Clan in World of Warcraft, the Stormpikes are part of the Bronzebeard Clan.

The tendancies of the Bronzebeard Dwarves are explained well enough above, in the quote from WoWwiki. They are composed and intelligent, yet are able to rage with fierce and frightening zeal when the situation calls for it.

Archetypes:

The Soldier: A Dwarf soldier is well trained, disciplined and dutiful. Dwarven soldiers are trained by dwarven weapon masters, and as a result, are superior to human soldiers and quite capable of beating an orc in a fair fight, this may factor in to roleplay if you wish it. It is easy to roleplay a dwarf as a loveable ally, and you can do that, but some may wish to take a more hardline with their dwarf, and regard humans are children (To be honest, they are, if you compare ages), a dwarf is quite capable of being arrogant and confident of himself.

The Craftsman: Dwarf craftsmen (and women) are the best. No doubt about it. This can factor into roleplay, you will want good money for your work, you will be proud of your work - possibly bordering on arrogance.

The Engineer: The eccentric end of dwarven society. They like inventing things. They have the best relations with their gnomish cousins, and as a result will likely hate goblins more than any other race in the world.

The Archaeologist: Another eccentric, but highly respected, role in dwarven society. They discover the mysteries of the Titans, for crying out loud. Archaeologists can range from the educated scholary types to bat-crazy bomb wielding ‘miners’, possibly driven slightly cuckoo by what they have uncovered.

The Politicians: Yes. There are politicians in dwarven society. Senator Barin Redstone. These suffer from all the flaws you would expect, they are involved in underhand dealings, bribings, backstabbings and all the nasty stuff you would expect from a fantasy political field.

The Rogues: As honourable as a Bronzebeard Dwarf can be, there will be of course criminals, who have turned to crime through all the usual manners - Lack of work, dishonour, revenge, money. Dwarf bandits and highwaymen that are not Dark Irons exist. I have met many great roleplayers of such a kind in the past.

A mix: It is possible to mix archetypes together, taking Thunderbraid again - He’s an odd mix of soldier and politician, the latter being somewhat unwillingly, as he’s a General, he needs to deal with Senators, to deal with Senators, he sometimes has to stoop to their level.

As I hinted on, archaeologist engineers are a popular choice to roleplay, and are capable of both being serious and hilarious to roleplay with.

The Wildhammer Clan

Ah, the Wildhammers. They are the least populous of the Clans. And they’ve had a hard lot in life. When they were in Ironforge, they were confined to outside the city. When they finally left Ironforge and forged their own city to match it, it got infested with dark spirits and other nasties. Now, however, the Wildhammers are settled and are regarded as crazy, backwards and wild by their Bronzebeard cousins. But the two are not mortal enemies, they are like, as it was put in the Tides of Darkness book - Quarrelsome siblings, they love each other, but cannot resist taking jabs at each other.

I would imagine Wildhammers to be somewhat less educated than the Bronzebeard Dwarves, with very few ‘Senator Barin Redstone’ type characters among them, if any at all. Wildhammers are still dwarves, however, and they are dwarves that fight from the backs of gryphons. Wildhammers love their gryphons, and their stormhammers. In that order. They are skilled and powerful fighters, they have no need for armour, though we have seen Wildhammers in the Alliance using plate armour, this shows that they can adapt as well as any other dwarf to changing situations. They care not for the secrets of the Titans, and instead keep to the present.

In regards to archetypes, Wildhammers care deeply for nature, and will fight to preserve it. It could be possible to say that they are somewhat less arrogant than a Bronzebeard Dwarf can be, and are more ‘humble’, but they are still more unpredictable than a Bronzebeard Dwarf, it is hard to figure out how a Wildhammer will react to certain situations.

The Dark Iron Clan

I love all dwarves in WoW. And the Dark Irons are no exception; they are, in my honest opinion, a masterpiece of lore from Blizzard. They are scheming, dishonourable and downright nasty bunch of dwarves – Which have often been portrayed as honourable in most other fantasy settings. It’s why I love the Dourhands from LOTRO so much. They’re different!

Dark Irons are hated by the two other Dwarven Clans, for previous transgressions of which there are many and of differing severity. They have no accent, and I, for some reason, always pictured them having either a distinctly evil, moustache twirling sounding English accent, or a German accent.

Roleplaying a Dark Iron was unfeasible in vanilla, TBC and Wrath, because they were exclusively enemies with the exception of the reclusive Thorium Brotherhood. But now, with Cataclysm, the Dark Iron Dwarves have split, with one following the Twilight’s Hammer and Cho’gall, and the other following Moira [and now being accessible as an allied race]. Details of this can be found in the book The Shattering: A Prelude to Cataclysm. An awesome book by Christie Golden.

Dark Irons are naturally inclined to be secretive, arrogant and scornful of every other race, but there can always be some bright lights in a black hole. Franclorn Forgewright springs to mind here. He is the one who designed the Stonewrought Dam, a Dark Iron! Designing the Stonewrought Dam! I bet most non-Dwarves don’t know this, as it may be a cause for mocking from Dark Irons and shame for the Bronzebeards. Who knows!

One thing is for sure, Dark Irons who stay with Moira will be distrusted and hated by the two other Dwarven Clans, you must be prepared to accept this if you roleplay, do not take all the insults that are bound to fly your way OOCly, and everything will be all fine and dandy.

Dwarves and the Horde

The Dwarves are part of the Alliance for a reason. The Horde is hated, I will not try to explain how they may get along in some parrelel universe. But this is World of Warcraft, so I will explain why a Dwarf is justified in hating or disliking every race on the Horde side.

The Orcs: No brainer here. The orcs invaded Khaz Modan after they sacked Stormwind in the First War. A period of time that is woefully unrecorded by Blizzard, during this time, the Horde sacked all the dwarven strongholds aside from Ironforge, earning the eternal ire of the dwarven race.

The Trolls: The trolls are simply a savage, unpredictable and revolting race of degenerate blueskins, added to this, the dwarves have been eternally hounded by the persistent Frostmane Trolls. The hatred for trolls on the side of the dwarves is unsurprising and natural. Where the dwarves are civilised, the trolls are not. Civilised societies in a fantasy setting will naturally have disdain for those who are not as ‘smart’ as them.

The Tauren: Perhaps the most difficult to justify. I will go with ‘Guilty by Association’. The Tauren are aiding the orcs, as a result, they are just as bad, the tauren have also slaughtered dwarven archaeologists for intruding on land that until recently, wasn’t the tauren’s at all. Some dwarves may rightly feel anger at this, despite the peace reached by Brann Bronzebeard.

The Forsaken: They are undead. Plain and simple, the dwarves believe in the Light, the Forsaken are an affront to the Light. Some may even venture to say they are an affront to the Titans, because they shouldn’t rightly exist. The Forsaken also attack Dun Garok regulary, many dwarven lives are on their hands.

The Blood Elves: The dwarves enjoyed good relations with the High Elves, particulary the Wildhammers (Though the Bronzebeard Dwarves are said to have had good relations also) so it may be right that they view the ‘betrayal’ of the Blood Elves with shock and disgust, added to that, they collaborate with demons. Dwarves do not like demons.

The Bilgewater Cartel: Guilty by Association. Also, they’re thieving little greenskins that scam good dwarf merchants of their money. Now we have a good reason to kill them all!

(Note, all these arguments have been said from a purely dwarf point of view, few objective points have been raised for a reason. Yes, the tauren were justified in killing dwarves, but the dwarves may not think that.)

Dwarves and the Alliance

Same as with the Horde. I will explain how dwarves like Alliance races more than they do others, yet I will also hint on disagreements. The Alliance is not a happy union of all races where they can all live freely under the banner of freedom and democracy.

The Humans: The Dwarves and the Humans have always been allies, they aid each other when needed, this is the same as any other fantasy universe. HOWEVER. There are differences between allies, and best friends. Warhammer Dwarfs regard Humans with variation, some are right honourable, good folk, others are spindly, cowardly manlings. Lord of the Rings Dwarves also: The men of Arnor were good and honourable. The men of Gondor as they were during the War of the Ring were weak-willed and ready to fall.

The same can be said for dwarves in WoW, dwarves greatly respected Lord Lothar, Lord Uther and King Terenas, but they are dead. Similary. Depending on an individuals experience of humans, his/her opinion will be different. A dwarf who was called a ‘brainless dwarf’ by Garithos or was attacked by a Scarlet Crusader would have a different opinion of humans than one who had fought beside Lord Turalyon or Danath Trollbane.

As hinted on before, some dwarves may feel themselves ‘superior’ to humans, because on the whole, a dwarf will be more skilled and learned than your average human.

The Gnomes: No brainer here again. The gnomes and the dwarves get along brilliantly.

The Night Elves (High Elves, too): An interesting one. I’ve seen many roleplayers play their dwarf as hating Night/High Elves with a passion, again, this comes down to experience. If the dwarf was on the receiving end of a Night Elf Sentinel before the Battle of Mount Hyjal, then yes, he/she might dislike the Night Elves.

For the most part, however. Night Elves and Dwarves are hinted to get along very well. Wildhammers may have a closer relationship like they did with the High Elves because of similar ties to nature, but the Bronzebeards too - For example, Magni Bronzebeard was said to of greatly respected both Tyrande Whisperwind and the Night Elf people as a whole in The Shattering: A Prelude to Cataclysm book, Magni being the King of the Dwarves, it is possible to draw the conclusion his view represent that of the majority of his people.

The Draenei: An odd one. The closest tie I can think of is the Light. The dwarves might also respect the tenacity of the Draenei, and find common ground in the hatred of demons and orcs.

The Worgen: Same as humans, with the added oddity that they are slavering monsters. The dwarves as a race have had very little contact with feral Worgen, and they had little contact with the humans of Gilneas. I would say that dwarves would view Gilnean Worgen with careful interest.

Dwarves and the Future

The future is very interesting for the dwarves, arguably I would say they’re more interesting than the orcs or the humans.

We still know little about the Titans, the dwarves once being Earthen, servants of the Titans, they are clearly the most connected to their creators, and anything involving the Titans and Azeroth will inevitably include the dwarves as well.

There is also the matter of Moira, Muradin and Falstad, the Council of Three Hammers. What will happen in a Cataclysm content patch? Will Moira turn out to be an alright sort? Will she turn out to be a scheming little beep that only wants Ironforge for herself? Will we see a surprisingly development with her baby forming an attachment not with her, but with Falstad or Muradin? What will this child become? Will he become a force that unites the Dwarven Race? Or will he split it again? Warrior? Shaman? Mage? The possibilities for his character are endless, and the implications for Dwarf RP, even with him at his young age, are immense [this is in particular where this guide shows it’s age - just imagine how many threads can be pulled for RP from here :)].

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An undead’s guide to… Gnome RP! by Mharla

Greetings people!
After being encouraged to post a guide on gnomes recently, I’ve kept thinking about it. Finally, here I am!

First of all, I’d like to point out that this is a GUIDE. That means this text is no way a strict way to “roleplay” gnomes, neither is a strict source of information. I’ll be using wowwiki if I need information that I’m not sure of or when I lack the info.

Let’s start with general attributes and game mechanic explanations.

Stats and Racials Explained

They have high Agility and Intelligence, low Strength and around average Stamina and Spirit.

Physical attributes are pretty much obvious. They’re usually not so strong physically due to their small “stature”, but they’re quite nimble. Their keen mind is furthermore presented by their racial passive, Expansive Mind and their dexterous nature is presented by their racial active skill, Escape Artist .

In addition to that, they receive arcane resistance and engineering bonus. These may be simply explained as gnomes’ affinity with arcane magic and technology.

But then we’d be missing a very important point: Their curiosity and versatility! Most races are keen on either technology or magic since either of the subjects need a background and accumulation of knowledge, know-how and experience to be an aspect of a race. Gnomes on the other hand have improved in both. This shows us how capable they are when it comes to accumulation of knowledge and how curious they are to try out different things.

Enough about racials. Now there is an issue that is to be considered: Misconceptions! I had actually posted this on forums of a guild I’m in. I’ll do some editing on that.

Misconceptions

Gnomes are a joke race. They have pink beard and green hair.

This definitely is not the case. Sure, Blizzard uses gnomes as a part of their humor and becouse of the capability of having unusual hair styles and color, people keep making funny (or not-so-funny) gnome characters. But this does not mean they are -just- a joke race. Think of scissors. You can kill a man with it. But are scissors weapons? Only if you want them to be. But if you don’t push them into someone’s guts, you can make wonderful things with them by cutting cloth or paper!

Another misinterpretion is their eccentricy. It is a part of them. I mean, it’s normal for them. Laughing at a gnome becouse of eccentricy is the same as gasping at an orc becouse it’s green. An eccentric orc is a joke. An eccentric gnome… is a gnome. Of course this does NOT mean ALL of them are eccentric.

Gnomes seem intelligent but they’re absent minded fools.

What happened in Gnomeregan was a tragedy caused by a betrayer. Sicco Thermaplug (current boss in Gnomeregan) was a visionary but too ambitious engineer. He went crazy when his friend, Gelbin Mekkatorque (gnome leader) was chosen over him for the High Tinker position. When trogg invasion occured, he tricked Gelbin into releasing the radiation bombs; convincing him that no more than a small number of gnomes would perish (which would be a tragic but worthy sacrifice to save the whole race). Gelbin’s fault was his naivity. He trusted his friend and did as he suggested.

If you want to bad-mouth gnomes and are gonna say “lol m8 they lost a city becouse of a betrayer olol nabs”, I’d like to point out a few other betrayer/power-hungry/gone mad cases: Gul’dan, Nerzhull, Illidain, Kil’jaeden, Archimonde…

At least it caused gnomes their city, not total destruction of a world!

Everyone knows dwarves are the real deal! They have giant forges and they are the ones who build and invent stuff, they even got explorer’s league!

Dwarves probably are the race that explores most. However, when it comes to inventions, that is not the case. When dwarves were amused at their discovery of gunpowder, gnomes already had automated cities (which blew dwarves’ minds).

Now that the misconceptions are cleared, let’s talk about their history!

Gnomes Historically

Let’s talk a bit about the race.

Their legacy had been unclear for quite some time. Now that WotLK is out though, we have some clues. Although not certain, it is thought that gnomes were once mechagnomes, who were transformed via Curse of Flesh. Considering the “head” mechagnome, Gearmaster Mechazod is a creation of titans, it is clear that gnomish origins go WAY back. [Chronicles has since clarified that the gnomes trace back to mechagnomes in Uldaman]

About their closer past, noone really knows about gnomes, not even gnomes themselves. The first “known” gnome is a mage named Indus, a part of Council of Tirisfal (about 26 centuries ago according to wowwiki). Other than her and another mage, Erbag in the Council of Tirisfal about 8 centruies ago, it was dwarves who first discovered a gnome mecha-settlement about 2 centuries ago. Two races became allies quickly. Shortly after dwarves let gnomes build Gnomeregan, War of Three Hammers occured. Gnomes helped the alliance during the second war directly. In Third War, their weapon and vehicle designs helped the alliance, but gnomes shut themselves in Gnomeregan due to guile of Sicco Thermaplug.

Nowadays, they’re bent on retaking their capital city. With the pre-cataclysm events, they have taken major steps and acquired the area outside the city. I am yet to play the gnome starter zone, but since gnomeregan is still a dungeon, I guess the main situation is mostly the same in the core city.

Gnome RP opportunities

So how do you RP a gnome? The answer is simple, however you like it. Gnomes are a curious and a very capable race. They are daring and fearless when it comes to testing their curiosity. A gnome is ready to take it to the end. They are also creative and imaginative. This allows them to make wonderful and incredible inventions… and sometimes, it causes over-complex solutions (like World Enlarger, which enlarges whole world where it could only shrink the target).

A gnome is what others cannot understand. They will mock your hair becouse they’re tied to their traditions. They will mock your imagination and creativity, becouse they have limited their minds. They will mock your height, becouse they’re too afraid to look at things at a different angle. You, on the other hand, will be a testament to freedom of thought and imagination!

Classes

Class-wise, World of Warcraft allows you to pick Warrior, Rogue, Mage, Warlock and Death Knight. With Cataclysm, we can become Priests as well! [And Hunter, with Legion!]

Gnome warriors are the defenders of their cities, sturdy gnomes who are strong in muscle as they’re strong in heart.

Gnome rogues have various jobs in the society and sometimes are loners. It’s very common for them to be lore/treasure hunters and explorers. Unlike other races typical “solo” rogues, as a gnome, they have great faith in others, especially other fellow gnomes.

Gnome mages are the sharpest mages on the world. They invent their own ways to devise new spells, call and shape energy and master the arcane.

Gnome warlocks are a good example of where curiosity can take a gnome to. Probably less evil inherently compared to other warlocks, they are nevertheless as deadly as them.

For death knights, it’s a [pick a gnome story]+[pick a death knight story].

"Also consider other classes, RP-wise. It is known that some gnomes revere the holy light for example. Even if they are not religious as a race, there can be priest individuals. "

This one in quotes is from the older post. We still do not have a complete explanation of gnome priests though. Please let me know if there is any :slight_smile:

And remember these are just examples to give a hint about a quick-character thinking.

Flavor

To flavor your character up, you can add a background story, various ambitions and general behaviour ruleset.

For background stories, a gnome is quite free. First of all, unlike other races, they were isolated from the Third War. Although this looks like narrowed options, it actually leads to a completely unique option: Gnomeregan! Who were you in gnomeregan? A mage? A tinker? A guard? How did the invasion and “incident” happen for you? Did you fight? Run away? Suicide? Ask for power even if it means you’d sell your soul? How do you feel about Gnomeregan now? Up for a fight to take it away? Think it should be abandoned? Think it should be destroyed?

And also do not forget that you are NOT limited to gnomeregan. Becouse all (about all) gnomes were in Gnomeregan and there wasnt a gnome unit in warcraft III doesnt mean there weren’t ANY gnomes out there! Be imaginative! A very simple solution is that you could be a mage in Dalaran, for example! Or a representetive in any city!

As for ambitions of your character, I’ll leave that to you. Two very easy-to-think ambitions would be retaking of Gnomeregan and learning your legacy to full extent. Since you’re a gnome and meant to be curious, it could be anything! You could be a gnome who wants to learn the secrets of druidism, for instance.

Aand behaviour. This part is pretty fun really. You can add up any sort of eccentric behaviour to a gnome and in fact, you should! It’s great fun. Don’t think it’s a bad thing that people laugh at you when you behave that way. Gnomes ARE eccentric and others DO laugh them (sometimes from their back). When you combine it with your normal RP actions, you’ll be respected enough. (more to come)

Something I noticed I left out in the previous guide: Rivalry with goblins! Especially with a goblin brand being added in Cataclysm to the Horde, this can shine ever more! In a -very- basically put way, gnomes make a great variety of objects which are -rather- safer but they make overcomplicated plans which end up in incredible costs of creation while goblins usually make something that explodes, very unstable but very cost-efficient because of their lust for money. Again, these are stereotypes that can be used but not to be blindly clinged to.

I’ve left many points open, but that’s becouse I want this to be a guide, as I’ve told. I’ll tell about my character, Mnemosi, as an example.

Mnemosi was my first character in this account of mine. I had tried wow on a friend’s account and one of the characters I made was Gelominori. Both were gnome mages in Moonglade realm. Anyway, Mnemosi was a candidate as an archmage of Gnomeregan, along with his brother Gelominori. When the incident happened, Mnemosi did his best to help evacuate as many people as he could.

Finally, he tried to create a magical barrier to protect his fellow gnomes, but he was more of a library-wizard, he wasn’t used to such spells. Anyway, the spell succeeded as Mnemosi chanelled all the arcane power he could muster, but the radiation effecting him took away all the energy discharged. He was discovered by dwarves and was put to rest in a nursery. When he woke up, he started looking for his brother. He also realized how his power was gone. He started training as a battlemage. One day, he discovered that his brother was killed by Satyrs.

(little explanation here: I had stopped playing mnemosi at this point, so i sold all my stuff and gave them to a friend. I just kept my mount, some runes, a little gold, Doomsayer’s Robe, a hat and a lantern)

This, along with some voice whispering to him since his visit on Uldaman, drove him crazy. He pronounced himself a doomsayer and walked the earth speaking words of death, doom and destruction. He eventually was cured by Tyande and went back to his duties to protect the gnomes, the Alliance and Azeroth.

When playing Mnemosi, I have one ruleset. He gives too much detail on any question and when he does, he gets excited and talks too fast. Something like this:

-Hello sir gnome, interesting robe you got there!
-Yes, it’s a magical robe. Not only it’s magicalbutalsoit’sarobeofdarkpowerswhichIrecoveredsomewherefrombadlandsIthinkItwhispersmesomeweirdvoicesthatma-
/me takes a deep breath.
goes on talking till stopped

He’s also very imaginative and naive. He used to believe that the guild he was in was created by his imagination.

I’m pretty sure I’ll keep saying “dang, forgot to say this” so I’ll post right after this to reserve a spot. I hope you liked it and it was of help. I’m open to any lore/info/typo corrections.

For gnomeregan!

Thanks to Venaar for the encouragement!

Classes Revised

Class-wise, World of Warcraft allows you to pick Warrior, Rogue, Mage, Warlock and Death Knight.

I believe the class of a gnome is both very important and also very irrelevant.
What makes their class important is their curiosity and their eccentricy (is that a word?), which also render your class irrelevant.

Your average warlock of other races is an evil/power hungry caster that forces demons to his biddings. You can be a gnome that wonders how fel power works. Maybe you can treat your demon as a test subject. Dont forget gnomes also tend to be naive. Maybe your character thinks that the demons are his friends and he sometimes does as they wish, because that’s what you get for having “bad” friends! (heck, if anyone can make friends out of a demon, it’d be a gnome. but it’s of course off-limits for believability since demons are inherently evil).

Dont forget that wow classes arent the only “available” classes. You can be a tinker-mage that uses magic to empower his trinkets. You can be a rogue-scout that specializes in stealth for exploring the deepest reaches of dungeons and caves.

Gnomes are also a race that are very smart and have accumulated incredible amount of knowledge. Thus you have the potential to be a mage that is the most knowledgable about his craft between his collagues. You can be a warrior or a rogue that calculates the exact movements and consequences on the fly. And this accumulation of knowledge also means that gnomes can be very focused. In many cases, they arent too eccentric and more bent on their work. Always have a gnome flavor somewhere, but the flavor doesnt need to be humorous, a gnome can be more serious than others if he’s focused.

Remember that you dont have a tag RPwise. You arent tagged as a mage or rogue or warlock. This holds for everyone. But for gnomes, you can take this to any level you want. Forget about your so called “class”. You are allowed to be curious and eccentric, make use of it. Mix classes and add non-game “classes”/professions like tinkers or scouts. Your race is a race that created a trinket that can enlarge the whole word. You have no limits.

All in all, never belittle the fellow gnomes. You are a race with great potential. But dont forget to be a gnome. Gnomes almost always have little hobbies, almost always are into research and almost always are intriguied by new things and of course, they’re almost always eccentric in a way. Don’t forget to add this side to your gnome. Don’t be a boring character. Dont be a mage that knows everything, calculates everything, knows all about spells and knows all about engineering and tries to enforce his power and influence on others. Thats not a gnome. Greedy ambitions are rarely a gnomes thing and if thats the case, they’re focused and end up being blinded on other sides. Think of thermaplugg, he focused on getting gnomeregan. He did, but he’s the king of nothing now, a haunted city with deformed and insane individuals.

Before leaving off, wanted to add another little part that didnt exist in the first guide: Famous WoW gnomes!

Gelbin Mekkatorque : High Tinker and leader of Gnomeregan Exiles (and of course, Operation: Gnomeregan). I believe he’s currently stationed outside the city.

Sicco Thermaplugg : The gnome responsible for the Gnomeregan incident. I believe he is still the last boss in Gnomeregan.

Erbag : One of the first known Gnomes. He was one of the Order of Tirisfal who voted positively on making Aegwynn the Guardian.

Indus : I think she’s the first known Gnome. A very powerful mage who is also a great tinker, known as “the Inventor” in Dalaran.

Millhouse Manastorm : Yep, he should be in this list. An unaccounted passenger locked in Arcatraz, he’s rumored to be making shady dealings nowadays. [future patches proved this to be true]

Wilfred Fizzlebang : Here is a gnome gone wrong, what I was talking about before about Sicco. He’s gone too arrogant, ambitious (and thus boring), ended up getting himself killed.

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ARGH! - Arakine’s Roleplaying Guide to Healing!

I realise that this is a topic that has been done before a number of times. Why do I think that my guide is so special and wonderful? Because I am, by training, an Actual Scientist ™. So yes, I’m trying to involve my Dirty, Dirty Science (biomedical science with a focus on anatomy and toxicology) into WoW’s magic.

Summary

  1. Introduction & Theoretical Background
  2. Common Types of Injury
  3. Diseases, Poisons, Blood Loss & Fever
  4. Where I Got Hit, Getting Shot, and Herbalism & Pharmacology
  5. RP Considerations

Introduction & Theoretical Background

There are three fundamental problems with trying to conduct a medical / scientific review of WoW healing:

-It’s magical
-It’s abstract
-It’s fantastical

To my mind at least, roleplaying should be governed by two rules:

  1. Wheaton’s Law: Thou Shalt Not Be A Dick.
  2. Tell beautiful stories. Let reality, rules, science, and so on take a back seat when the story demands something special. My view here is that something is special if it happens one in a million times. It stops being epic if it happens every Tuesday.

Given these constraints and considerations, my approach is as follows:

  • Your healing should be appropriate to your character, and should be another way to express your character’s beliefs, ideals, and philosophy
  • Injury and illness should promote RP and story-telling, rather than serving as an inconvenient speedbump on your one-person quest for badassitude
  • Healing should not trivialise danger and the consequences of danger. You should not go from “I have a sucking chest wound” to “back in the fight” over the space of five minutes unless your story demands it. Yes, your game-mechanical character can do that, but where’s the fun of that? The whole point of danger is that it poses a risk to your character. If there’s no danger, then you’re not really a Big Damned Hero, and someone might want your brown coat back
  • Magic should be able to alleviate the really rubbish bits of living in a low-tech world or being sick (like getting tetanus, cholera, or being rendered paraplegic). The aim of this game, RP, and story-telling is to have fun. I don’t want to spend 8 weeks RPing Arakine’s burn injuries after one of the officers in the Gilded Blades tried to set her on fire.
  • Some psychiatric issues have clear and unambiguous causes (e.g. tau protein in Alzheimer’s disease). But we’ve had to come a long way to get there. Others are kind of touchy and may upset the people you play with. Don’t make light of things like depression, addiction, or PTSD by curing them easily and with no cost.

So. What if you don’t want to play the kind of gritty / realistic healer that I favour? You may of course want your healer to be more powerful, to be able to re-attach severed limbs, or snatch patients from death’s jaws every single time. That’s entirely up to you - I do not want to tell you how to play your character. Should you still read the guide? Well, yes. You’ll see what your magic is saving the poor normal mundanes from. It also might give you some ideas as to what your healing looks and feels like.

2) Common Types of Injury

Contents:

  1. Wounds, Cuts & Other Injuries (or, I’ve just been stabbed in the …)
  2. Burns (or, I’ve just been burned in the …)
  3. Broken Bones (or, My I’ve just been crunched in the …)
  4. Concussion

Wounds, Cuts, and other Injuries

I would strongly urge you to use the following search terms in an image-search to get a clear idea of what you’re dealing with. Fair warning - most of them are NOT going to be for the faint-hearted.

There are four broad types of category, increasing in severity (and grossness):

  • Clean: This is a sterile wound. You’re probably not going to get one of these outside of some kind of magical ritual
  • Contaminated: This means that there’s ‘stuff’ in the wound and it needs to be cleaned. This could be anything from soil to clothing.
  • Infected: This is bad news, and usually results from a contaminated wound not being cleaned. It will be red and swollen, and pus will probably be evident.
  • Colonised: This is a chronic condition where an infected wound has become long-term. Think something like a bed-sore.

There are then eight general kinds of wound. Go do an Image Search on your search engine of choice:

  • Incision: Something caused by a sharp, edged weapon like a sword. You’ve been cut open.
  • Laceration: This is where your skin as been torn in an irregular way as a result of blunt-force trauma. It is NOT the same as an incision.
  • Abrasion: Your skin has been grazed. Like when you trip and skin your knee, or if you’ve ever managed to sandpaper yourself.
  • Avulsion: Your limb or bodypart has been ripped off. This generally happens when a wookiee gets angry after you beat them at a boardgame.
  • Puncture / Penetration: This is where something (usually sharp and narrow) goes into you. You end up with a bloody hole in you.
  • Haematoma: A bruise. Basically, you’ve managed to rupture blood vessels and blood is leaking around inside you.
  • Crush injuries: This happens when you get mashed flat or suffer blunt force trauma.
  • Gunshot Wounds: These combine aspects of a number of the above. Unless you’ve been shot with a high-powered rifle (in which case, you’ll have a nice, neat hole going through you), the bullet will probably cause hydrostatic shock, tumble, and do terrible things to you. Pro tip: don’t get shot.

The way you treat a wound will naturally depend on the type of wound in question, but it basically boils down to:

Clean it
Close it (with stitches, adhesives if necessary)
Dress it

Obviously, if your patient is about to bleed out, stop that first. Generally, do whatever you need to do to stop your patient dying by whatever means necessary! See, for example, this article on medical glue.

Certain kinds of wound are going to need surgery. The aim of surgery will usually be to open something that’s become closed, or close something that’s become open. It will involve being elbow-deep in your patient, and a lot of blood. Remember that surgery will inflict another kind of trauma on the patient. Certain kinds or obvious and clear - if someone is choking, you’d “trache” them with your dagger. If their brain is swelling? Drill a hole into the back of their skull to trepane them.

Natural Healing of wounds. The following is a gross over-simplification:
Clotting (5 minutes)
Swelling & Immune response (1 to 48 hours)
Tissue Growth (2 to 14 days). The new skin is going to be tender, soft, and pink. If a scar forms, it’ll do so at this stage.
Maturation (2 to 28 days)
Remodelling (1 to 12 months) For larger wounds, it can take up to 3-4 months for tissue to reach 50% of its original strength.

One thing to note is that cauterisation is a way of turning a blood-loss problem into a burn trauma problem. You’re not doing anything to solve the cause of the underlying bleeding, and instead you’re inflicting 2nd (maybe even 3rd) degree burns on your patient. This is last resort territory, because infections come with burns.

Once a wound has been treated doesn’t meant it will stay treated. Depending on how active you get, you may suffer dehiscence. This is where a previously sealed wound reopens.

How could magical healing work? I would imagine that magical healing of a wound would either have the wound regrow in front of you (Healing over Time effects) or reveal fresh, new skin after a suitable special effect (think something dramatic like Holy Shock). I imagine that this process would be unsubtle and direct - noticeable, and the resulting flesh would still be weak and tender. Strength of tissue comes through time rather than necessarily ‘healing’. Dev Q&A suggests that it doesn’t generally hurt, but that may just be because the Devs never had a particular sadistic healer!

Burns

Not the national poet of Scotland in this context, sadly.

Burns are injuries caused to skin and underlying tissue usually caused by heat (but chemicals and radiation cause them too). They are characterised by how deeply they penetrate into underlying tissue:

First Degree Burns (1-3 days to heal) are basically superficial damage to outer layers of the skin. They tend to cause redness and some blistering.

Second Degree Burns (4-8 weeks to heal) causes damage to deeper layers of the skin, but the deepest layers of the skin are untouched. These HURT.

Third Degree Burns (does not heal), or full thickness burns, kill your skin. They don’t actually hurt because you no longer have nerves.

Fourth Degree Burns (does not heal, and probably has fallen off) is catastrophic, and usually involves damage to underlying muscle / bone / tendon. This is where the tissue is reduced burned black. You’re going to lose the limb.

You treat 1st and 2nd degree burns with pain relief, cleaning and dressing the wound. 3rd degree burns will require skin grafts and extensive surgery. The real problem with 2nd and 3rd degree burns is that you’ve breached the skin, and therefore exposed the body to infection.

A key aspect of treating burns is keeping someone hydrated. If you survive the initial tissue damage, but aren’t cared for properly afterwards, you may well die from dehydration. See: Parkland Formula for Burns - Burn Percentage in Adults: Rule of Nines

Smearing honey over first and second degree burns has been practiced since Ancient Egypt.

Magical treatment would depend on severity, perhaps easing pain, hastening recovery, or downgrading a wound by one classification. I could easily imagine “Lay on Hands” or other ‘extreme intervention’-type emergency spell turning a 3rd or 4th Degree Burn into a 2nd, for example.

Broken Bones

Closed: There’s no bits of bone sticking out of the patient.
Open: You have bits of broken bone sticking out. Infection becomes a real problem here

The general method of treatment is as follows:
1.Clean it if need be
2.Relocate (this will HURT). This is called ‘reduction’.
3.Immobilise
4.Wait. It takes aaages

Common healing times:
-Fingers & Toes: 3-6 weeks (thicker / bigger bits take longer)
-Wrist: 4-6 weeks
-Lower Arm: 8-10 weeks
-Upper Arm: 6-8 weeks
-Femur (Upper leg): 12 weeks
-Tibia (lower leg): 10 weeks
-Ribs: 3-6 weeks

The major contributions magical healing could make here would be to drastically accelerate healing times, and also reduce pain. Overnight is a nice idea from making your character playable for RP, but that’s almost a 90x acceleration.

A brief side-note on how to set a Broken Nose:

Breaking your nose hurts, and will most likely put you into shock. Expect nausea, dizziness, and maybe even vomiting. Re-setting it will probably hurt about as much.

You have 20-30 minutes to reset it after the injury before swelling becomes too much.
1.Have the patient blow their nose. This will hurt, and it’ll be gross. A mixture of blood and snot will come out.
2.Put your fingers together to form a triangle, like you were praying.
3.Wrap your hands around your nose, but not too tight
4.Take a deep breath. This next bit is going to hurt.
5.Drag your fingers down your face, exerting pressure on both sides equally.
6.Apply ice.

This is a cosmetic injury. I would imagine the major role here would be to reduce pain and swelling, and re-knit the bone. Unless you’re a Blood Elf - we take cosmetic matters VERY seriously :smiley:

Concussion

Concussion is bad. It happens when your brain gets mashed into the inside of your skull. Needless to say, your brain wasn’t designed for such deceleration in mind.

Symptoms:
-Nausea
-Dizziness
-Lack of coordination
-Light sensitivity
-Headache (No? REALLY?)
-Blurred / Double Vision
-Memory Impairment
-Confusion

Treatment:
-Rest

The really sad thing about concussion is that it can cause dementia. You get a whole lot of people (athletes and soldiers) getting a dementia that looks very much like Alzheimer’s diseases WAY too early. This is called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Recently in the news with the NFL. Also common with people who have endured blast injuries, and boxers.

Magical healing wouldn’t do much here, other than make the patient sleep more easily.

Diseases, Infection & Poison

We live, in a modern world, in a wonderful place - we have antibiotics and even a few antivirals. Azeroth doesn’t have such things. Without access to antibiotics, public sanitation, and a wholesome and nutritious diet, getting any kind of disease is basically a crapshoot. Here are a list of diseases from our world to show how dangerous mother nature can be:

  • Influenza (1918): 50-100 million worldwide (about 3%-6% of the global population)
  • Cholera: 50% lethality rate in those without access to treatment]Dysentery: 1 in 1,000 mortality rate. You crap yourself to death.
  • Smallpox: 30% lethality. You die of being utterly gross.
  • Measles: 1 in 10,000 mortality in the modern world.
  • The Plague: 40-60%. Necrosis, bubers. It’s just nasty.
  • Dengue Fever: 1-5%
  • Typhus: 1 in 5,000,000. Fever, coma.
  • Leprosy: Negligible. Grossness
  • Ebola: 50-90% lethality rate. You dissolve and then die.
  • Malaria: 10-20% without treatment. Gin and tonic is actually an almost-viable treatment here.
    The take-home message here is that we live in a very sanitary and safe 21st century, with access to antibiotics. Azeroth has none of this.

Some brief thoughts on diseases:

  • Contagious v Communicable: A contagious disease is something that will probably infect you merely by exposure to the relevant agent (e.g. virus, bacteria, fungus). A communicable disease is one that has a special mode of transmission (e.g. a vector). You don’t get malaria by being in the same room as someone. You get malaria by being bitten by an infected person, for example.
  • Poor Sanitation: A number of diseases arise from what is called faecal-oral transmission. Basically, don’t poo where you eat.

Cure disease and disease immunity are staples of fantasy roleplay. Your magical intervention might lessen the severity of the disease (for example, you turn influenza from medical apocalypse as it was in most of our history into something that means you just take a few days off work for as it is now), or treat the symptoms. I LOVE the idea that even magic cannot cure the common cold :slight_smile:

Poisons, Toxins & Venoms

Everything is poison, there is poison in everything. Only the dose makes a thing not a poison
Animal-derived poisons delivered by bite or sting are called venoms. Non-animal biological poisons are called toxins. They generally work by interrupting biological processes. You treat them by giving an antidote. Antidotes are rarely pleasant, but generally less likely to kill you than the poison. Some poisons simply have no antidote. Activated charcoal is usual given to someone who’s eaten a poison. For injected poisons, you constrict supply to the area, limiting circulation of it. Magical healing applications are obvious.

The following are conditions that I do not believe one should / could cure with magical healing, as they represent physiological processes rather than trauma. You therefore should use your healing / magical skills to support the patient rather than remove the condition:

Blood Loss

This is a very serious condition even today. The only reason we don’t really worry about it all that much in a hospital environment is because we have access to blood products ‘on tap’. Modern medicine generally recognises four grades:

Class 1 haemorrhage: You lose up to 15% of your blood volume (total being 5 litres for an average human, give or take), meaning 750 ml / 1.3 pints. Whilst gross, this isn’t really a problem. What else comes in 750 ml? A bottle of wine! You don’t really notice much in Class 1.

Class 2 haemorrhage: 15-30% of blood volume (0.75l to 1.5l) of blood are gone. In other words, 1-2 bottles of wine. You will start to look pale and act a bit strange (anxious, restless). Heart rate and breathing rate are both up.

Class 3 haemorrhage: 30-40% (1.5l to 2l) of blood is gone. This is where you start needing to transfuse a patient; they go into shock. Blue lips and very pale (or battleship grey if they’re black), with heart rate massively up (120 bpm). Extreme confusional state, but also may be unconscious.

Class 4 haemorrhage: 40%+ of blood is gone. You need heroic efforts and a hospital to keep the person alive. Blood pressure in the floor, very high pulse rate but also very weak.

In the real world, transfusion only really became available and viable during / after WW1, meaning that Class 3 and 4 were usually fatal. Treatment in the modern world is transfusion and oxygen. In Azeroth? Well. You’re probably stuffed.

Circulatory shock is NOT related to emotional / psychological shock. When you have insufficient blood you run the risk of death by cardiac arrest or lack of oxygen.

Assuming you donate 500ml of blood, it takes about 1-2 days to restore the lost VOLUME of blood, but about 1-2 weeks to replace the PROTEIN in blood. A (fairly heroic) assumption - assuming good care and diet - would be 1 week of ‘feeling generally rubbish’ - per litre lost. But then the point here is to have fun, not play a barely functional cripple :slight_smile:

The only real way you can replace this is to maintain fluid balance and eat iron-rich food; steak, apricots, pate.

I suspect that the only way magical healing would work would be to mean you don’t die. The problem with ‘healing’ is that this isn’t really an injury, but rather a biological consequence of having a hole in you. Any magical intervention would basically need to create a few litres of liquid inside the patient. Metallic-tasting herbs that promote blood growth, perhaps? Or a friendly air spirit to oxygenate the blood? If you do want to go down the route of magical healing, then you’re going to have to find a way to add a few litres of liquid into a person.

Fever

Fever is NOT a disease, but rather a sign. You have fever because your body is responding to something - an infection, a poison, a metabolic disorder, cancer - something like that - apparently 75% of seriously ill adults have a fever.

Generally, if you have a fever, you’ll also have ‘sickness behaviour’. On the topic of sickness behaviour, Bed Rest and Bed Sores! Take good care of your patients, even when they’re resting. Otherwise they can rot.

You generally don’t treat a fever, unless someone is dangerously overheating. Keep the patient cool and watered. Find out what’s causing the fever and treat that.

Psychiatric Issues

I have no idea how well magical healing might work for any of the following. They probably stray beyond the bounds of the ARGH! in that they’re more long-term issues. But in general, I think the following should all be issues of character development and sensitive character portrayal:

  • PTSD
  • Depression
  • Addiction
  • Personality Disorders

I’ve just been hit in the… (Or, how to make getting hurt more interesting!)

Head: On the bright side, your skull is fairly robust. The problem, however, is that everything it contains is exceptionally fragile. Further, your scalp has lots of small blood vessels in it that will bleed a lot, even from relatively minor injuries. Think about how hard you’ve been hit - you’re probably going to end up concussed, stunned too. If you’re going to nut someone, be sure to aim for their nose, not their forehead.

Neck: The neck is a really terrible place to get hit; it contains the carotid artery and your airways. If you cut either, you’re toast. Note that the carotid carries blood more or less directly from the heart so blood will probably squirt out of your neck. Oh, and also don’t break your spine.

Thorax: Yes, you have ribs and a spine. The problem is that you don’t want to mess with your lungs, your heart, or your spine - don’t break that. A ‘good’ result of being hit in the thorax is that you’ll merely be winded - gasping for breath. A bad result is a sucking chest wound - a situation in which you can’t actually use your lungs anymore. Needless to say, getting stabbed in the heart is game-over. Not even Lay on Hands from Knight Commander Clooney can save you.

Abdomen: Your abdomen is full of squishy organs, and lacks the protection of ribs. If you’re unlucky, you might get stabbed I the liver and bleed out in minutes. If you get stabbed in the stomach, you’ll instead bleed out in hours. Generally ‘gut’ wounds are messy to deal with because you empty the contents of stomach / bowels into the body cavity.

Pelvis: Getting kicked in the fork isn’t fun for anyone. You’re going to be stunned. For those of you who wish to walk around with a box / cod-piece, they apparently chafe. Also, having one of those kicked or maced into your crotch isn’t going to make the experience pain-free.

Limbs: Impacts are quite traumatic - it’s reasonable to lose sensation in the limb (especially if you’ve just been hit with a mace). This is because they’ve got big nerve bundles. Remember also that you’ve got nice, big, juicy arteries there too.There is basically no safe place to take a hit. The following is an excellent description of the medical consequences of getting shot: Where’s the best place to take a bullet if you get shot?

Herbalism & Pharmacology

My approach has been to review clinical trial data on “phytochemistry”; that is the medicinal effects of plant extracts, and then try and apply that to Azeroth. My approach here has been to look at the pictures of the various herbs and where they’re found (swamps, Panda-land, and so on). So basically complete and utter guess-work :slight_smile:

Liferoot (aka Marsh Mallow, Althaea officinalis) is a mouth-wash and throat-gargle, anti-parasitic, and anti-cough. It grows in salt marshes, in damp meadows, by the sides of ditches, by the sea and on the banks of tidal rivers.

Goldclover (aka Marigold, Calendula officinalis) is used to treat skin conditions such as ulcers.

Silkweed (aka Centella, Centella asiatica) is used to treat cardiac and circulatory issues.

Bruiseweed (Purple Cornflower, Echinacea purpurea) is used to limit duration of common cold. Its habitats include dry open woods, prairies and barrens, as well as in cultivated beds. Although the plant prefers loamy or sandy, well-drained soils, it is little affected by the soil’s pH.

Kingsblood - Purple Passion Flower or Maypop (Passiflora incarnate)) is used as an anxiolytic, and also to help in substance withdrawal. The maypop occurs in thickets, disturbed areas, near riverbanks, and near unmowed pastures, roadsides, and railroads. It thrives in areas with lots of available sunlight.

Peacebloom - Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is used to treat anxiety and stress, and also as a mild sedative. It grows in moist environments in most biomes. Well. Or it could be weed. Or just daisies.

The following fruit have legit medical applications:

Pomegranate (Punica granatum) is used as a topical antifungal. Pomegranates are drought-tolerant, and can be grown in dry areas with either a Mediterranean winter rainfall climate or in summer rainfall climates.

Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) is used to treat urinary tract and other infections.

Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) is used to treat cardiovascular disorder and clotting disorders.The following are commonly sold as herbal remedies in the real world, but are actually toxic to some degree:

Curly Dock (Rumex crispus) contains Oxalic acid, which does horrible things to your kidney, as well as causing chemical burns. 15-30g will kill you. Yet it’s still in homeopathic lists. Nice. It grows in a wide variety of habitats, including disturbed soil, waste areas, roadsides, fields/meadows, shorelines, and forest edges.

Sassafras (Sassafras genus) is carcinogenic. Sassafras is commonly found in open woods, along fences, or in fields. It grows well in moist, well-drained, or sandy loam soils and tolerates a variety of soil types, attaining a maximum in southern and wetter areas of distribution.

Snowbell (Styrax) causes contact dermatitis.

Healing Potions & RP

To my mind, there are a number of possible ways to think about this, and it all depends on how you want them to play out (and potentially where you bought them from). The only advice I’d offer is that they shouldn’t work like they do in game. That is, you’re sat on death’s doorstep, having lost both legs and are currently on fire. You drink your potion. And voila! You’re healthy again :slight_smile:

They are fraudulent / placebo-based Here, have some of this coloured water, made by a Kun-Lai mountain princess! Contains genuine Elekk tusk! Secret recipe, for you, only 200 gold!
In this model, they ‘work’ because you take the potion, and then your body heals itself unrelated to having taken it.

They just make you feel better This is basically like having anything filled with caffeine + sugar + ibuprofen. It won’t actually cure your sucking chest wound, but it’ll make you feel better. Chicken Soup is, in my family at least, a universal curative. It has been known for EVER that willow-bark, for example, is a pain-killer and reduces fever, amongst other things.

They have biochemical / pharmacological effects There are herbs that contain molecules that act on the diseases in question at a biochemical level, or in other ways help healing. Think of this as something like an antibiotic, or maybe something that promotes wound-closure and healing.

Magic Done it and Ran Away This could range from something like homeopathy-actually-works through to some aspect of nature magic actually working. Sadly, I’m a medical scientist, not a thaumaturgist or alchemist.

Scientific (?!?!?!) Considerations (Hah. Who am I trying to kid)

I imagine that magic can influence a biological system in four major ways:

1. Stronger. You buff the stamina or health of the patient, rather than fighting the disease directly.

2. Faster. You accelerate the natural healing process.

3. Extreme Circumstances. A lot of medicine is about probabilities. Magical intervention lets you load the dice. Think of this as Knight Commander Clooney (Dr Doug Ross from ER <3) performing CPR and saving the patient in the nick of time against the odds.

4. Miracles. This is where there’s not even a chance of life. Just been shot by a steam-tank? Pass me that Band-Aid. I’ll have you fixed up in a moment.Something like Lay on Hands is a good example of (3) and (4) in the above list.

Philosophical / Theological Considerations

To my mind at least, an Elunatic should heal in a manner that “Looks and Feels” different to a Holy Light fundy like Arakine. With regard to this, and having spent a wee bit of time browsing WoW-fluff, the following distinctions come out:

‘True’ healing seems only to be done via:
Divine: Priests & Paladins

Nature: Druids, Shaman, Monks

This divide is interesting in that nature healing spells tend to have more Healing-Over-Time effects. I therefore imagine Nature-healing to look-and-feel more like Type-2 above.

One problem I have with the whole ‘nature-healing’ thing is that natural disease is as much part of a balance ecosystem as is a human or an elf.

Cinematic Considerations

For those of you who can remember it, I imagine this is like the scene in Starship Troopers were Rico is having his leg sewn back together in the giant womb-tank. By contrast, I imagine paladin healing to be decidedly unsubtle; Holy Shock to me is rather like getting punched in the face by the Light. The result is something that looks utterly miraculous. The image that comes to mind for me is the scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Indy pours the Holy Grail onto his dad’s gunshot wound. There’s bubbling and pain and le voila. There is no attempt at natural process.

Non-Standard Healers

Death Knights: Blood Boil could be used as an extreme measure to sterilise blood whilst its inside a patient. Yes, this is an extreme measure. Not one I’d want to have done to me personally. A less extreme variant could be to simply induce a fever to aid in fighting off a disease The whole ice-thing is extremely useful. The major use of being able to cool things down is to reduce swelling. You could also make the argument that a DK’s control over plague could let them cure disease in others; I personal disagree, with that interpretation, seeing them more as horrible pits of necromantic (therefore Arcane) undeath and infection rather, but your own mileage may vary.

Mages: To my mind at least, mages make the ideal surgical assistants. They can provide sterile surgical space and medical equipment. Clean water is also extremely valuable. Alongside this, being able to provide ice to cool things down. If you really want to push the boat out, imagine creating a micro-portal and scrying inside someone to perform key-hole surgery?

Tailors: If you can sew cloth, you can sew people. Some of the more exotic types of thread may have interesting therapeutic uses, such as allowing healing spells to work better on them, or simply dissolve over time.

Alchemy & Herbalism: I am, by nature, a Western-trained molecular medical scientist. I therefore tend to be sceptical of homeopathy and alternate medicine. But then we’re playing in a world that has wizards, dragons and elves :slight_smile:

Rogues: A good understanding of anatomy could be turned to any number of medical / therapeutic uses; massage, setting broken bones, and so on.

Engineers: You can come up with any number of useful therapeutic devices. I think most would be anachronistic (yes, I’m looking at you, cyberware). But I’m not here to tell you how to play, but rather encouraging you to be creative.

General Magic: Tissue preservation. No longer do you need to rush a transplant. You could instead keep the tissue in stasis.

Other things to consider:

Alcohol: Water is not safe. Alcohol sterilises it. It also serves as a mild painkiller

Swearing: I read an interesting study that shows that swearing serves as a mild painkiller. I can’t find the citation, sadly [Editor’s note: This effect now has a Wikipedia page!]

Cardiac Arrest becomes a lot less scary if you have an Elemental Shaman to hand

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Classy Roleplay: Monk by Creic and Xu

Good evening, Argent Dawn!

Welcome back to another part of the ‘Classy Roleplaying’ series, this time diving straight into the deep end with the legendary Monk! As always, this is simply a discussion thread which will contain information found from source websites and canon / non-canon lore!

Disclaimer: No information in this thread is being forced upon you, the community or any roleplayer who reads this. Quite simply, this is a thread detailing important information regarding the Monk class and its origination to give some sort of guideline should anyone wish to follow it! The sources of this information are from external community websites and are for discussion / guideline only, and as said before should not be taken for 100% canon lore.

The Monk:

Monks as the newest of the classes has yet to be fully fleshed out by the game developers. However they have left building blocks and clues in the game as it is. Which allow us to form a picture of how they work. One matter of importance is that the term “Monk” covers two very different type of character:

There are generally two classification for a monk. One of the Pandaren taught, martial artists and a studious pupil. And devouted member of almost exclusively of light based and usualy either a paladin or a priest, for example The Scarlet Crusade. For the purposes of this thread this is the distinctions we will draw. However if you can think of any others than apply them as you see fit

“The Emperor’s Burden” is an 8 page long book which can be found in the game, due to it being rather difficult to find, we’re putting the contents up here as Emperor Shaohao has a large relevance to Pandaria and The August Celestials

The Emperor’s Burden - Part 1:

Ten thousand years ago, the day Shaohao was crowned Emperor of Pandaria, he followed the tradition of all the emperors before him and sought the counsel of the great Waterspeaker of the jinyu. With a light heart the young emperor stood before the prophet and awaited to hear what he presumed would be good news.

The Waterspeaker listened to the song of the great river, but his eyes widened with terror.

From the Book of Burdens, Chapter 1:

“And the Waterspeaker saw before him a kingdom of sorcerers surrounding a great well, and from this well they called forth a host of demons. Green fire rained from the skies, and all the world’s continents shattered.”

Terrified by the vision presented before him, Emperor Shaohao realized that he was not to live a life of luxury. From the humble town of Dawn’s Blossom, his journey to save Pandaria began.

The Emperor’s Burden - Part 2:

It was at this location ten thousand years ago that Shaohao, the last emperor of Pandaria, sought out the counsel of the Jade Serpent.

From the Book of Burdens, Chapter 3:

"Forlorn and without hope, the Last Emperor ascended the sheer slope of Mount Neverest. Daggers of cold sliced through his silken robes, and the biting wind heaped scorn on his journey.

“Only at the very peak of the mountain did the emperor find quiet and solace, and here he spoke with the Jade Serpent, the spirit of wisdom.”

The Jade Serpent urged Shaohao to divest himself of his burdens, to purify his spirit, and to become one with the land.

The Emperor was perplexed by the Jade Serpent’s council, but no further answers were to be found atop the frigid peak. Dejected, Emperor Shaohao trudged back down the mountain to consult his companion, the Monkey King, and determine his next move.

The Emperor’s Burden - Part 3:

It was at this very location ten thousand years ago that Shaohao, the last emperor of Pandaria, defeated the Sha of Doubt and imprisoned it within the land.

From the Book of Burdens, Chapter 5:

"Shaohao meditated for three days and three nights, for the counsel of the Jade Serpent was unclear. How could one purge oneself of all doubt?

“Weary of waiting, Shaohao’s travelling companion the Monkey King whittled a strange grimacing visage out of bamboo. He urged the Emperor to place the mask of doubt on his face…”

While mischief was the Monkey King’s motivation, the mask worked - As Shaohao pulled the mask away, his doubts took on a physical form. For seven hours they fought, until the Sha of Doubt was buried.

From that day onward, the last emperor had no doubt that he would save Pandaria from the Sundering. He became a creature of faith.

The Emperor’s Burden - Part 4:

It was at this very location ten thousand years ago that Shaohao, the Last Emperor of Pandaria defeated the Sha of Despair and imprisoned it within the land.

From the Book of Burdens, Chapter 9:

“After his success in the Jade Forest, Emperor Shaohao was filled with courage but fretted over an uncertain future. He sought the counsel of the Red Crane, the spirit of hope, deep within the Krasarang Wilds.”

“The Red Crane told the Emperor that hope was within all of us, if we looked deep enough. With that, the Monkey King presented Emperor Shaohao with a Mask of Despair. A forlorn visage of terrible sadness. The Emperor donned the mask and drew out his own hopelessness…”

The Battle against the Sha of Doubt lasted four days and five nights in a pouring rain. But with the help of the Red Crane and the Monkey King, all of the Shaohao’s despair was extinguished.

From that day forth the Emperor knew the future was bright. He became a creature of hope.

The Emperor’s Burden - Part 5:

It was at this very location ten thousand years ago that Shaohao, the Last Emperor of Pandaria defeated the Sha of Fear and imprisoned it within the land.

From the Book of Burdens Chapter 14:

“Although purged of doubts and despair, Emperor Shaohao was still overcome by fear. He sought the counsel of the Black Ox, spirit of bravery and fortitude who lived in the steppes beyond the wall”

“The Black Ox, Red Crane, Emperor, and Monkey King discussed the nature of fear at great length, until at last the Monkey King was inspired to act. A mask of fear was created, terrifying to behold. With trembling hands, the emperor donned the horrific mask, so as to draw forth his own fears…”

The battle against the Sha of Fear lasted a week and a day, during which time legend has it that the sun never rose. When the Sha was at last defeated and imprisoned in the earth, Emperor Shaohao was forever changed, for he longer felt his own fears. He became a creature of courage.

The Emperor’s Burden - Part 6:

It was at this very location ten thousand years ago that Shaohao, the Last Emperor of Pandaria, defeated the Sha of Anger, the Sha of Hatred, and the Sha of Violence.

From the Book of Burdens, Chapter 19:

“Confident and fearless, Emperor Shaohao thought nothing could stop him. But at the urging of the Red Crane, he sought the counsel of the White Tiger, the spirit of strength.”

“The White Tiger saw in Shaohao a dangerous recklessness that often accompanies those with no fear. He gathered together the greatest warriors of Pandaria to test the Emperor.”

“Emperor Shaohao was given a ten-foot pole, and was challenged to strike one of the warriors. For hours they fought, but the warriors were too quick and too nimble for the untrained Emperor. He grew angry, he cursed, and finally, broke the staff over his knee.”

Humbled, the Emperor asked the White Tiger what was wrong, and learned that his own passions made him weak. To save Pandaria, Shaohao would have to combat his own anger, hatred, and violence.

The Monkey King sprang into action, and carved three masks. The Emperor wore each mask in turn, and with the help of his friends, as well as all the greatest warriors of Pandaria, the Sha of Anger, the Sha of Hatred, and the Sha of Violence were defeated and imprisoned beneath the ground.

The Emperor was forever changed, and as he set forth on the final leg of his adventure, he was a creature of patience, love, and peace.

The Emperor’s Burden - Part 7:

The Shado-Pan order was founded ten thousand years ago under a charter from Shaohao, the Last Emperor of Pandaria.

Emperor Shaohao knew that the dark energy of the Sha - the physical embodiment of negative emotions like anger, fear, hatred or doubt - represented a great threat to the pandaren if allowed to fester beneath the land. He tasked the greatest warriors of Pandaria with the duty to restrain and control the Sha.

On this very location, mere hours after Emperor Shaohao bested his own anger, hatred, and violence, the first of the Shado-Pan took their knee and spoke an oath to the Last Emperor. The same words have been spoken by every Shado-Pan initiate ever since, for the last ten thousand years.

The Emperor’s Burden - Part 8:

Ten thousand years ago, Emperor Shaohao, the Last Emperor of Pandaria, used the power of these sacred waters to spare Pandaria from the devastation of the Sundering that destroyed the rest of the world.

From the Book of Burdens, Epilogue:

"At the dusk of the final day, the sky was bathed in green fire, and the very ground trembled in terror. But the Emperor was not afraid. His mind was clear of any doubt or despair. He feasted and he sang as the sky tore open.

“Seeing fear and doubt in his subjects’ eyes, Emperor Shaohao delivered a proclamation: That one should live each day to its fullest, and sleep each night with the peace of a mind unburdened.”

Legend tells that he ascended to the Terrace of Eternal Spring, there to separate Pandaria from the rest of the world. But try as he might, he was unable: the ground trembled, but did not move. Soon, he began to doubt, and the Sha of Doubt began to emerge from the east. He began to fear, and the Sha of Fear begain ripping out its shackles to the west. Desperately, he called out to the Jade Serpent for help.

The Jade Serpent circled the Vale, and spoke to the beleaguered Emperor. “Pandaria is more than just the Pandaren Empire,” she told Shaohao. “Your enemies to the west are as much a part of this land as your empire behind the wall.”

Seeing that all things were connected in an eternal whole, and that his beloved land was more than just the Pandaren Empire, Shaohao at least understood. His staff clattered to the floor as his spirit became one with the land. When the world tore itself apart, Pandaria drifted quietly into the ocean. And as the Emperor’s robes fluttered empty to the ground, the land became enveloped in impenetrable mists, hidden away from the rest of the world.

The Masters:

As many Monk players, and non-Monk players are aware, there are class quests for the Monk every ten levels, starting from level 20 where you are given a direct speech from one of the Master trainers are the Peak of Serenity.

Much of what is said by the NPC’s are very useful knowledge and can be interpreted as to what a Monk is truly capable of. Unfortunately we could not get our hands on any of the quotes from the NPC’s and so we are unable to show them, but the next time you are doing your daily at the Peak of Serenity, make sure to read what is said!

However, moving on! The Masters all teach a different element of the Monk class which are listed below!

Master Cheng (Male Pandaren): We would interpret as the Master of reflex and swift motion, his lesson is to teach the Monk the importance of movement. This means the Monk fights swiftly and without hindrance, but not like a lightning bolt of course!

Master Woo(Female Dwarf): We would interpret as the Master of defense against persistent attacks. Therefore we know that a Monk has techniques and the ability to ward off even persistent foes. A Monk has the endurance and is a stoic defender who will take more than just a flurry of blades to down. This doesn’t mean that a Monk is some titan-steel monstrosity or have the ability to ward off -every- attack.

Master Kistane(Female Pandaren): We would interpret as the Master of channeling the mists to assist her and her allies. This is important as the mists are essentially the essence of Emperor ShaoHao after he gave his pure body and soul to the land of Pandaria, anyone channeling the mists is channeling his spirit.

Master Yoon(Male Gnome): We would interpret as the Master of ‘healing’ - He is practiced in using powerful, focused healing to maintain himself in battle. The Mistweaver Master, this shows us that there are Monks who are strong healers, and not just a healing spec for in-game mechanics.

Master Cheng(Female Blood Elf): We would interpret as the Master of agile combat. She has mastered the art of fighting on the move. She teachers the importance of never staying in one place and not letting yourself be bogged down or made stationary. In the words of Bruce Lee(I know…): “One must be like the water in a stream, you must flow around the rock.”

Master Tsang(Male Pandaren): We would interpret as the Master of meditation and the ability to sense what is happening around him. In this respect we like to refer to the two abilities Monks have: Zen Pilgrimage and Transcendence

Zen Pilgrimage: “Your spirit travels to the Peak of Serenity in Pandaria, leaving your body behind.”

Transcendence: “You split your body and spirit, leaving your spirit behind for 15 min.”

Also, the quest “Finding your center” from Lorewalker Cho allows the player character to meditate after drinking a brew made by Lorewalker Cho, during the teaching of how to meditate you have an ‘out-body experience’ where you find Anduin Wrynn.

Essentially, one could extend this and use it to show their character has a powerful will or that they have a powerful soul; however we wouldn’t recommend it as it would require much detail and much knowledge on how to role play this successfully, correctly and within ‘guidelines’.

Master Hsu(Male Tauren): We would interpret as the Master of armed combat. He specializes in using all kinds of weaponry and is masterfully proficient with nearly any weapon under the sun. This shows that the Monks possess a variety of methods through which to fight. As always weapons are down to personal chocie but in true Martial Arts fashion he shows us that the sword or the axe is just as common as the staff. Variety is a Monks best friend so try not to fit into a cookie cutter mold

The August Celestials(Source):

“These spirits defend the temples of Pandaria from the evils of the Sha.”

Chi Ji the Red Crane
Niuzao the Black Ox
Xuen the White Tiger
Yu’lon the Jade Serpent

They serve as the four pillars of Pandaria, sustaining the lands under their protection from the four temples that bear their names. Xuen the White Tiger to the north in Kun-Lai Summit, the powerful Niuzao the Black Ox to the west in the Townlong Steppes, Chi-Ji the Red Crane from the Krasarang Wilds to the south, and Yu’lon the Jade Serpent from her temple in the Jade Forest. Since before the time of Shaohao the last Pandaren Emperor, these four have advised and aided the peoples of Pandaria, protecting the land from the malign influences of the Sha, the rapacious expansion of the mantid, and the cruel oppression of the mogu. It’s fair to speculate on whether or not the pandaren, jinyu and hozen could have hoped to have freed themselves without the August Celestials.

Yet these four spirits and their temples, while powerful influences on the culture and life of the lands of Pandaria, are not omnipresent parental figures. They do not shepherd their followers, but encourage them. They won’t stand idly by and allow them to be destroyed, but neither will they control their lives.

The August Celestials serve to defend as much by inspiration and education as by directly using their power. While the mogu claim that Niuzao has the powers of a god, in each case it’s less about what the Celestials can do than it is about the example they set, the approach to life they offer. Xuen’s weighting of mortals from beyond the mists before convincing his fellow Celestials to open up the Vale of Eternal Blossoms shows this most clearly. The Celestials are not afraid to lend their force to the defense of Pandaria - we see Niuzao clearing mantid off of his temple and trampling them beneath his mighty hooves, witness Yu’lon and Xuen’s raw power in the defense of the Vale (and Yu’lon even makes an appearance of sorts in the cleansing of her Sha-corrupted Temple) and see Chi-Ji in action at the final confrontation with the mogu outside Mogu’shan Palace.

In the end, in this age of mortals, the August Celestials seem to have anticipated the need for mortal hands and mortal hearts to defend and protect the land. Each of the Temples serves to educate as well as defend, inculcate virtues as strongly as it fortifies a strong point.

The Sha

[Editor’s note: Since the end of Mists of Pandaria and the destruction of the Heart of Y’shaarj, the power of the Sha has waned greatly, though their influence still lingers in the dark corners of Pandaria]

Thanks to an above post containing a YouTube link to an interview with Dave Kosak and Chris Metzen, we have learned more about the Seven Burdens of Shaohao, which are the manifestations which he created to become a pure being, these manifestations being The Sha.

So what we have learned from the opening quest in Pandaria, negative emotions have a horrible effect on the lands of Pandaria which result in the physical manifestations of the Sha appearing, such can be seen from Rell Nightwind when he begins to doubt during the slaughter of the Horde soldiers swimming ashore in the Jade Forest opening.

So! The Sha that we are aware exist are:

Sha of Doubt
Sha of Despair
Sha of Violence
Sha of Hatred
Sha of Anger
Sha of Fear

There is much speculation revolving around the “Seven Heads of Y’Shaarj” - Yah-Sha-Raj, being one of the old gods! Quests reveal that the Titans were the ones to kill Y’Shaarj, but with his dying breath he cursed Pandaria with shadows of his former self, very well being the Sha. As we are aware, the Sha become dormant between the period of Y’Shaarj dying and the Burdens of the Emperor coming into light. Again, the titans are speculated to have played a part in this.

"We mantid worshiped the Seven Heads of Y’Shaarj. Great was the Old One, and terrible was his wrath. He consumed hope and begat despair. He inhaled courage and breathed fear. When the Usurpers came, the ones you call Titans, Y’Shaarj was destroyed. His last terrible breath has haunted this land ever since, but the shadows he left behind are mere whispers of his former glory. I tell you now because you have earned this warning.
Your gods are not YOUR gods, outsider.
If the Old Ones ever return, we mantid will once again stand by their side. The wisest among you will do the same. "

-Kel’ruk the Wind-Reaver

As read in the book ‘The Emperor’s Burden’ which can be located around Pandaria, detailing the story of the original Emperor Shaohao, like all Emperor’s before him, he was to seek the knowledge of the Waterspeaker:

“And the Waterspeaker saw before him a kingdom of sorcerers surrounding a great well, and from this well they called forth a host of demons. Green fire rained from the skies, and all the world’s continents shattered.”

The only way Emperor Shaohao was able to save the land of Pandaria, and its people was to rid of all things negative in his being, and all things negative of his being are the Seven Burdens of the Emperor - where as, there are only six. Quite simply, as said in the interview with Dave Kosak “The seven heads of Y’Shaarj breathed out the … Seven Burdens, although that was from an early draft of the story, we really only see six sha in the game … which have to do with the Burdens of Shaohao.”

The Emperor succeeded with the council and knowledge of the Jade Serpent and imprisoned the doubt, despair, violence, hatred, anger and fear which he removed from his body, beneath the land of Pandaria. This is where the idea of Pandaria being a ‘living creature’ comes into play.

The Pandaren were forced to train themselves to be peaceful, compassionate and rid of their own negatives to keep the Sha dormant. However, with the lands of Pandaria being discovered by the Horde and the Alliance; the war which is waging currently, woke the Sha and in great depth too.

We witness many main storyline characters in the Jade Forest becoming possessed by the Sha, Rell Nightwind’s doubt manifests into covering his arms in Sha sleeves, Nazgrim the Warlock from the Horde side too, manifests his emotions and both are ‘exorcised’ by Taran Zhu. And as we are aware, some cannot have the possession of the Sha removed from them Ga’trul(Horde) and Doren(Alliance) are examples of this, NPC’s who the opposite faction kill in quest lines.

The Sha are not a power to be reckoned with, however. As Garrosh Hellscream arrives in Pandaria and attempts to harness the power of the Sha to strengthen his troops in the battle against the Alliance, he instead fails and witnesses his soldiers erupting into random violence. The Sha control those who attempt to control it.

Pandaren monks as we know them were built from a sub-society of healers - there is plenty of reason and evidence to acknowledge that monks can function, and always have functioned as healers, as well as fighters - for many thousands of years now. Note that the description of the Mistweaver spec is virtually the same thing; ‘a healer who mixes traditional herbal medicine with Pandaren martial arts’.

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Dark Intent: A Guide to Warlock Role-Play by Arlemont

“Let them hate us, so long as they fear us.”

Introduction

Hello and welcome to my guide to role-playing a warlock. In this guide I hope to cover the basics of warlocks and their magic as well as some of the finer (Yet important) details involved. In my opinion, other guides that I have seen have relied too much on either non-canon RPG sources or on outdated lore. I’ve nothing against people who use the RPG source books to spice up their role-play but I think it is important that a guide should stick to what is canon and clearly define speculation. I’d rather people understand the canon lore first before making a choice to use RPG lore afterwards.

For this guide I have made use of Wowpedia (Checking the sources of course), Wowhead, some novels, Twitter and various in-game sources. I haven’t cited everything because this guide assumes the reader has a general understanding of the WarCraft setting and the fundamental lore basics of various races. If I’ve not cited something, try Googling it first or ask me for sources. There will be parts of the guide that features speculation or opinions from myself or others, but I have tried to be clear on that. In some circumstances I cannot provide sources due to them coming from a book and not appearing anywhere reliable on the web (This is mainly down to copyright law). I’ve listed the books in the last section. So obviously there’s a level of trust needed in me as you read this, but understand my intentions are to provide a logical view of warlock role-play.

You do not have to follow this guide or listen to what I have to say. I only write this to provide advice and insight for people looking to get into warlock role-play. My guide is less do’s and don’ts and more of an interpretation (With an attempt at accuracy) of what warlocks are. By presenting the various facets of warlock lore and role-playing I hope to leave it to the reader on how they wish to make use of the information presented. Feel free to make a comment if you have any criticism - I’m happy to make changes if it makes sense.

What is a Warlock?

Surprisingly this has become an increasingly difficult question to answer these days as the WarCraft universe is added to and shaped by the Blizzard development team. In the old days the answer was simple: “A sorcerer who dabbles in Fel magic and communicates with demons”, but the class has received more depth and complexity than over the years. The term warlock is both broad and specific.

I think it is more apt these days to define a warlock as a spellcaster who deals with destructive magic gained from sources of power that are typically frowned upon by mainstream society, often accompanied by demonic minions. I will get into both demons and sources of power later on in the guide. They are typically former mages or shaman (Although this is not necessary) who have decided to take risks and grasp what they view as far greater powers.

Warlocks have been around for a long time in the WarCraft setting. The earliest known warlocks credited to be the Man’ari eredar. Since then many mortal servants of the Burning Legion have made themselves useful as warlocks, with the promise of great power. Sadly, the demonic masters of the Legion see their warlocks as puppets and tools that are to be used then discarded when they are no longer of value to them.

You should consider role-playing a warlock if you:

  • Want to play as either a villain or an anti-hero.
  • Want to play as someone who dabbles in dark, twisted magic.
  • Want to play as someone who is outcasted, reviled, mistrusted, misunderstood and often mistreated by their so-called allies.
  • Want to play a class that makes use of minions. Your demons can have their own personalities and character depth.

Here is Blizzard’s description of warlocks:

In the face of demonic power, most heroes see death. Warlocks see only opportunity. Dominance is their aim, and they have found a path to it in the dark arts. These voracious spellcasters summon demonic minions to fight beside them. At first, they command only the service of imps, but as a warlock’s knowledge grows, seductive succubi, loyal voidwalkers, and horrific felhunters join the dark sorcerer’s ranks to wreak havoc on anyone who stands in their master’s way.

Warlocks can ignite distant enemies in searing flame, send them fleeing in terror and pain, or afflict them with corrupting diseases and curses that steal the victim’s vitality.

These practitioners of the profane are feared across Azeroth, and many who have felt their wrath now prefer to fight alongside a warlock than against one.

- Warlock Class page

Ethos & Morality

Contrary to popular, prejudiced belief not all warlocks are the same. Aside from their magic, warlocks can differ with their personalities, creeds, backgrounds and moral outlook. A warlock in an evil cult is likely going to have a different opinion on how to use demons than a warlock of the Horde or the Alliance might do, for example. This gets even more complex on a racial level.

In general, the warlocks in the Alliance and the Horde use their powers for the good of their respective factions. Whether this is out of genuine loyalty and commitment or because of more self-serving purposes depends on the individual in question.

In the Horde, orc warlocks are generally former shaman who turned to fel magic and demon worship, perhaps joining the Shadow Council. They can also be the younger students of these Shadow Council renegades. Blood elf warlocks see their powers as just another facet of magic to be studied and used against their enemies. A Forsaken warlock may feel obliged to use their magic in the name of the Banshee Queen and they could often care less about the damage their magic does to the world around them. For a goblin you’re more than likely to see them use their powers as means to access more wealth. Warlocks make good mercenaries and are definitely good at killing, thus are likely to be paid well.

Witchdoctors and Hexxers in Troll society are very broad terms themselves but troll warlocks often go by these titles as well. According to troll warlock trainers, troll warlocks may or may not hear voices in their heads that teach them what they know (See Unjari Feltongue & Voldreka) though we can only speculate what the source of those voices are (Personally I suspect they might be some kind of loa). None-the-less it’s a curious and potentially fun angle to have with troll warlock role-play. UPDATE: It would seem other races may get fel voices in their heads, likely demonic entities. The various Cataclysm starting area quest givers mention this.

Unlike the Horde, the Alliance warlocks are typically a little more unified and are a bit more cosmopolitan. While we don’t know the name of it, it is implied the warlocks in the Slaughtered Lamb belong to an organisation that is pro-Alliance though perhaps for self-serving means. This collective appears to be known about only to select people such as warlocks, King Varian, some nobles and the guards (Here’s one such source). When one looks at the warlock quest givers from vanilla there’s an implication that this organisation might extend to other warlocks outside of Stormwind, even as far as the Barrens and even has connections with warlocks in the Horde - (Check both versions). It would seem that while warlocks can be loyal to their leaders, factions or even only themselves, warlocks are prepared to work together to further their powers no matter their background. This is further supported by the existence of the Council of the Black Harvest.

The warlocks in these factions are anti-heroes. They may have either good intentions or selfish attitudes but in the end their powers are being used for the possible benefit of the Horde, Alliance and even Azeroth itself while being incredibly dangerous, chaotic and destructive. Many such warlocks do what they do for the greater good or for the survival of Azeroth. Others might align with these factions out of self-preservation. After all, these factions are responsible for bringing down foes like the Scourge and the Illidari - What chance do they have as an enemy of these superpowers?

There are those, however, who believe serving the forces of evil is the only chance of survival they can ever hope to have. The Burning Legion allegedly numbers in the millions and the Old Gods’ power is immense. These warlocks have already risked much to gain the powers they have, but that means little if they’re going to face destruction at the hands of evil anyway. Evil warlocks align themselves as such because they typically believe the bad guys are going to win anyway. So why not serve them, survive and gain more power along the way? It’s either that or simple madness has rotted their brains.

Social Status & Legality

These are big topics that are often in much dispute so while I’ll provide my own insight, I will be sure to stick to the canon. Buckle down as this is going to be a long section!

It’s no secret that most of Azeroth dislikes warlocks. It’s not without reason, too. Warlocks dabble in dark powers, consort with demons and many of them are responsible for the murder of innocents and the destruction of nature. However, the leaders of the Alliance and the Horde have (often begrudgingly) accepted that not all warlocks are evil in heart and that many are willing to use their powers to defend their people and Azeroth. This means they’re tolerated but most people still bear no love for them. Warlocks, despite the official acceptance, remain on the fringes of society as social pariahs. They gather in dark places such as the basements of taverns, caves or on the outskirts of towns (- They have a tower here).

Both the Blood Elves and the Forsaken make open use of warlocks however recent events (Relatively speaking) might have shaken the views of people from their respective societies. The renewal of the Sunwell has potentially made many sin’dorei more devoted to the Light and as such it would come as no surprise if elven warlocks become a bit more marginalised as a result. The Battle for the Undercity, on the other hand, saw an attempted demon-backed coup d’etat by Putress and Varimathras. It might have led to some partial ostracization from some corners of Forsaken society as a result, potentially out of mistrust for individuals who consort with demons. It’s important to know that what I speak of here is not strictly canon but I see no reason why some people might consider these events to have changed their view on the warlocks in their community.

Orc warlocks have had a particularly bad time under now overthrown leadership of Garrosh Hellscream. The warlocks were first rounded up and were under strict guard by the Kor’kron. By the time of the siege they were killed off and hung up on hooks, but not before Grol’dar summoned a Doomlord as a final act of defiance. Since then some orc warlocks might feel particularly angry towards any remaining Garrosh sympathizers and may distrust non-warlocks. Vol’jin’s stance on warlocks is yet to be seen but I suspect he tolerates them if the existence of troll warlocks is anything to go by. Before Garrosh went crazy, orcish society typically had disdain for warlocks as one would expect, yet the Horde never seemed to shy away from using them. They’re frequently found in settlements openly practicing their craft, sometimes with their demons out, but are typically doing so for the purpose of serving the Horde.

Warlocks in troll and goblin society are a bit of a tricky one. Troll culture is steeped in mysticism and sacrifice but the Darkspear have always been a bit different to most other tribes. The Darkspears also have respect for nature and the elements too. This might see troll warlocks put on the fringes of society, but perhaps more openly tolerated when compared to other races. We have little to go on with goblin warlocks but we can only assume a rich and powerful goblin warlock can easily earn the respect of other goblins, especially those seeking to earn coin from him/her. A poorer warlock might struggle to gain that respect, but I’ve no doubt other goblins won’t be too hasty to cross a warlock. There are also some more conscientious goblins who will probably have disdain for them, too.

In human cities, being a warlock typically makes you a target for abuse and hate. While warlocks can obtain military ranks and perhaps even excel as a soldier, it’s harder to maintain a decent civilian life. As a noble or the owner of a business where reputation is everything, it’s probably a good idea to keep your dealings as a warlock behind closed doors and possibly even a secret. Other humans may not need to rely on their reputation so much and can perhaps afford to be more open to the public. It depends on how they measure the risk versus the bother of maintaining false appearances. To a human warlock who cares only for his craft and his goals, he’s probably not going to care about what Johnny the Farmer thinks of him. This all holds true for worgen warlocks who have a preference to stay in human settlements and cities. Worgen warlocks in Elven lands will likely be extra careful in making sure they are not caught practicing their stuff.

The dwarves distrust anything that is mysterious and unnatural. That is to say, most dwarves do. The exception is found in Dark Iron warlocks (Yes, non-Dark Iron dwarves may be warlocks too, but it is rarer) as they have no qualms with dabbling in profane powers. They are actively used in the Dark Iron forces and Dark Irons have made use of warlock magic for a long time. This may or may not hint to there being warlocks on Azeroth before the First War, but this may be an oversight on Blizzard’s behalf.

There’s not a great deal of lore regarding how gnomes view warlocks. We can typically assume their magic is not held in the highest esteem, yet in gnomes are not the sort to hold it against one of their own so long as they use their powers for good. It seems gnomes hold a similar view to blood elves in that the dark arts are just another facet of magic to be studied and used against their enemies. It is said that the warlock masters of Gnomeregan had once taught all of Khaz Modan’s warlocks. The examples of gnome warlocks we see appear to be just as eccentric and enthusiastic. Combined with the chaotic nature of warlock magic this enthusiasm may lead to gnome warlocks being forcibly exiled from cities.

To speak of the legality of warlocks is a tricky thing to do. This is where most of the debate lies regarding warlocks these days. Exactly how legal are warlocks in the Horde and the Alliance? The truth we don’t really know all too well. Seriously, the lore is either vague or nonexistent. I can however tell you of the things we do know about the legality of warlocks. We know that warlocks are legal and we know that their powers can be used so long as they’re doing good. We see faction leaders such as Varian Wrynn and Jaina Proudmoore openly using warlocks and their demons during the battle Garrosh’s trial and the defence of Theramore (See War Crimes and Tides of War). It was even Varian Wrynn that commissioned the staff for the warlock in the level 20 class quest for Alliance warlocks.

According to Chris Metzen at Blizzcon and a Blizzard post we know that demons are typically not allowed in the major cities. There does, however, appear to be some exceptions. Looking to Orgrimmar, the Undercity and Silvermoon we can see examples of demonic minions out in the open, often in plain sight. It also seems to be an exception in the case of the Slaughtered Lamb basement and the warlock hall in Ironforge, though I would still say it’s not a good idea to bring the demons out onto the streets. The guards will likely either slay the demon or ask the warlock to dismiss it. What we don’t know, however, is how the warlock is treated thereafter. Are they also slain? Are they arrested? Are they given a slap on the wrist and let go? We simply don’t know. I think the best advice I can give for guard role-players is to take the option that creates more enjoyable role-play for both parties involved. Don’t be zealous and punish the player behind the character.

Lastly we also know Fel magic is illegal in Night Elf territory. There does appear to be grounds for exceptions when it comes to requiring aid in times of war, perhaps, but idle practice of fel magic is probably going to end up in tears. Again what we don’t know is what happens to the warlock. Are they executed, thrown in a barrow, exiled? We don’t know. Once more both parties should look to a resolution that is enjoyable and sensible for both sides. Role-playing is collaborative, not competitive.

That’s it really. Anything else you might hear is either from the non-canon RPG books (Such as warlocks being illegal in Ironforge, which is blatantly contradictory with the warlocks in Ironforge) or from the imaginations of other role-players. The idea of a warlock license or papers is completely fabricated by players. It’s my advice you don’t give this any credit at all as this can have a negative impact on the warlock community. The moment someone isn’t aware of this fan-made law and admit they don’t have a license, they’re typically assaulted by authority role-players. If given enough ground this can drive a warlock community into the ground. I base this on my experiences on the Earthen Ring server about three years ago, where I migrated from. The warlock community barely existed there, at least on Alliance side, thanks to the license nonsense. Some people will argue it makes sense, but if it is to make sense then anyone with magic should also be given a license. At the end of the day if you’re being irresponsible with any kind of magic, the guards are not going to like you.

Sources of Power and Warlock Specializations.

It’s a common misconception that warlocks only dabble in fel magic and little else. Truth is that warlocks have a pretty varied selection of different sources of powers and this makes warlocks differ from one another. Most warlocks dabble in everything, typically favouring one of them more than the others. That’s how we have the three specializations, gameplay-wise. Here I’m going to list the variety of magic that is applied by warlocks.

- Fel Magic - I’ll start with the well known one first. Fel is a form a magic and power that is gained from the destruction of things, such as a sacrifice of life. It manifests itself as a bright chaotic green flame (Sometimes and rarely purple as well) that can destroy or even corrupt anything that it touches. It is its own form of magic and is not arcane at all, contrary to RPG sources. It can corrupt life, either making it sickly or monstrous. It can also corrupt objects like weapons, armour, metals and other objects, sometimes making them cursed. To some, corruption can be seen as a blessing. Being saturated in the power of fel can turn one into a demon, growing visible deformities yet their powers and strength grow substantially. Like other forms of magic, it can be euphoric and highly addictive. The power of fel can be contained in crystals and can be siphoned from demons who are typically beings of fel. Fel does not originate from demons, though demons do make for a good source. Drinking the blood of a powerful demon will often turn you into a demon too. A lot of Blood elves once tapped into demons and fel-crystals to sate their magic addiction. This connection to fel turned their eyes green. Fel is also responsible for the green skinned orcs. Whether or not an orc drank the blood of Mannoroth simply being near fel for extended periods of time can affect one’s physical appearance as fel radiates. These effects take a long time to wear off and it is unlikely that once you become a demon you will never be yourself again. The only instance of a person becoming normal again after turning into a demon in the lore is Avrus Illwhisper a satyr who was redeemed by Elune herself. Fel magic is particularly held in high regard by Demonologists.

- The Void & the Shadow - At the dawn of time the Light and the Void clashed together to form the universe. Everything is made up of either one of them or potentially both of them. The Void is both a form of dark energy as well as a place. It is a place where Void creatures reside, such as Voidwalkers and where the souls of the damned are trapped and tormented. The power of the Void can be used to raise the dead into undeath or it can be used to destroy and bring misery to the world. It is the antithesis of the Light. The Shadow is one such product of the Void. Shadow magic is not arcane at all and some people even consider it divine, such as the Cult of the Forgotten Shadow. To be struck with shadow magic is to feel intense pain, either physically, emotionally or mentally. Souls are a source of shadow magic and they can be contained in objects like soul shards and various kinds of stones of different purposes (Soulstones, Healthstones and some people may recall Spellstones and Firestones!). The shadowy power of souls can fuel rituals of summoning, create soulwells and can expedite the process of summoning a demon. Shadow magic, while used by almost all warlocks to varying degrees, is typically the primary source of power for Affliction-based warlocks. The power of souls and shadow can be used to create various curses, diseases and afflictions.

- The Twisting Nether - On the face of things, there’s not much difference between a warlock’s fire magic and a mage’s fire magic. They both call on the arcane power of the Twisting Nether and form into into magical fire. So what is different exactly? Well the differences can be found in how they call on that power and how it is used afterwards. A mage exerts his will upon the Nether and the ley-lines around them to cast arcane spells (As well as elemental forms of arcane spells) but a destruction warlock makes themselves a living conduit of the Twisting Nether itself. This is dangerous and highly risky. It makes their fire magic more chaotic and unruly. A mage’s fire magic is typically controlled into various shapes and feels a little restrained in contrast to a warlock’s fire that twists and turns, blows up wildly and reduces people into ash within seconds. Warlock fire magic appears to be defined by hateful emotions if we take the names of various fire spells into account (Incinerate is a very direct and blunt choice of word, as is Immolate). As a warlock uses this kind of power they begin to become unstable and as such they are set on fire themselves. Whether or not this hurts the warlock or not is presently unknown. These warlocks typically use this instability to fuel other more powerful spells (See Burning Embers, Chaos Bolts, Ember Tap, Flames of Xoroth).

- Blood Magic - When WoW started there was little lore on blood magic. Since then however, almost every expansion has added more lore to it and it is used by warlocks to a tiny degree. One should not confuse the blood elf pyromancer Blood Mages with the bloodmages who use actual blood as a form of power. It might be the case that blood magic involves fel magic, shadow magic or arcane magic but this is speculation at this point. Kasim Sharim, Bloodmage Drazial, Bloodmage Lynnore, some Defias bloodmages and various troll witchdoctors are all examples of genuine practitioners of blood magic. On Draenor we see the Bleeding Hollow and Shattered Hand Clans make extensive use of it. Blood magic is a sacrificial form of magic, like fel, yet appears to lack the corruptive element. It can be used to resurrect people, turn them into monstrosities (See Ariok in Warlords of Draenor), heal wounds of others, used in a form of teleportation magic involving crystals, create shields, enrage people and can make a caster more powerful. Blood Death Knights also make use blood magic through their runic power, able to manipulate blood and lifeforce for defensive or offensive magic. Blood Magic role-play is a potentially exciting facet of warlock role-playing, as it is dark and mysterious, steeped in superstitions and vile rituals of sacrifce. It was Kilrogg Deadeye who performed such a twisted ritual to sacrifice one of his eyes to see a vision of his own death. Examples of warlock blood spells include Health Funnel, Life Tap, Sacrificial Pact, Blood Fear and Dark Bargain.

It’s also necessary to know that there can be some blurred lines between a warlock and a mage. There is little to stop a mage-turned-warlock from using his old mage spells. A warlock likely wouldn’t forget every spell from his previous calling. As for a former shaman it is different. A warlock cannot call upon the elements for aid as they reject such ‘evil’. However it’s worth noting that the Dark Shaman don’t just force the elements to do their bidding, in some cases they make use of the Void (This is seen in Nagrand quests in Warlords of Draenor).

When it comes to the warlock specializations we know that they’re a thing in lore thanks to the Council of the Black Harvest. However I think it’s totally fine to role-play as hybrids of these specs as we’ve been able to play as such before the major talent overhauls. That said I think one should be careful not to get too carried away. Some spells are iconic to a certain specialization and you would really be pushing it too far if you were to mix the most powerful spells of each spec. For example, metamorphosis is goal of many demonologists and something that they strive for. Just the same, the Chaos Bolt spell is an immensely powerful that is hard to master for a destruction warlock. To play as a warlock that has mastered both of these spells will seem rather contrived if we take into account these spells should take a long time to learn, let alone master.

Also don’t be afraid to play an old school warlock, back like they were in the vanilla/TBC days when specializations weren’t so clear cut as they are today. Quite a few people like to harken back to those days so you won’t be alone, for sure. It’s also cool to make use of removed spells as they haven’t gone anywhere in lore. Drain Mana, Fire Shield, Curse of Shadows and Searing Pain are some examples of removed spells.

As long as you recognize what spells are supposed to be strong and which ones are more bread & butter spells, you shouldn’t go wrong. Feel free to interpret how spells would work in lore, so long as they don’t contradict it. Read the descriptions of spells, since they sometimes give a little detail about their nature. Fair warning though, some spells that are clearly Fel magic often gets slapped as “Shadowflame” damage. This is because there’s no Fel school in the game mechanics and thus in lore these spells are not shadowflame spells. The Fel-Flame spell is an example of this.

Demons

Most, if not all, warlocks are capable of summoning demonic minions into their service. There are many kinds of demons out there and some aren’t even demons at all! It’s worth noting that the ability to summon a particular demon does not equate having the ability to control it. In fact, this is typically one of many ways a warlock faces their doom. Wilfred Fizzlebang is probably the most known example when he attempted to summon a doomguard but ended up summoning the man’ari eredar Lord Jaraxxus instead and was subsequently put down. So as you can see, summoning demons is risky business and is one reason why warlocks are held in contempt by most.

You should also note that while various breeds of demon may be more powerful than one another generally, many of these demonic species have their own ranks of power. Two demons of the same kind may vary in power greatly. A good example of this is the warlock summoned Void Lord and the Void Lord Dimensius the All-Devouring. Both the same variety of their species yet one is drastically more powerful.

Knowing a demon’s true name gives a degree of power over that demon, though it is not required for summoning and binding - It likely just increases your chances of success. Of course, the more powerful demons are probably good at keeping secrets. There is a unique book however that lists all the demon names in existence. It’s also worth noting some demons may have an ability to know your name too.

Here’s a list of demons that can be summoned by the warlock. Not every demon is listed here and those demons can possibly be summoned too yet that’s likely to end in tears anyway.

- Imps/Fel Imps - One of my favourite demons, in honesty. Imps can be described as small, fiendish, mischievous, and cunning. They are known to be wisecracking annoyances but take it from me they do have their uses too! They have a good grasp of magic, particularly fire magic and can prove to be reliable familiar. Fel Imps are a more powerful variety and typically only Demonologists or Imp-enthusiastic warlocks have them in their service. These imps should not be treated the same as a normal imp and must be shown respect. A lesser warlock might easily lose their control over a Fel Imp if it was sufficiently angered. However, the ritual to summon a Fel Imp is said to be trivial. Oh, and imps are terrified of rainbows (Seriously).

- Voidwalkers/Void Lords - Firstly these guys are not demons at all and reside in the Void, not the Twisting Nether. So what are they exactly? Well, they are the ‘living’ embodiment of the Void. Their power can range from petty to god-like. When touched or struck by one of these creatures the victims are tormented painfully, just like being struck by a shadowbolt. Voidwalkers make for loyal guardians. A Void Lord is a powerful form of Void creature that can be difficult to summon and control. Both creatures are not ones for talking much and perhaps even find it strange when a warlock decides to engage it in conversation. They also cannot read as “Words are not the way of the void”. It is implied in quests that there are various glyphs/runes/items that are involved in the summoning and binding of a voidwalker. Allegedly the first human(Or Forsaken) to summon a Voidwalker was Egalin. Void Lords are rare to come by but they are usually glad to give away the names of rival Lords. This may imply disunity within the Void.

- Succubi - The succubus is a member of the Sayaad race. There’s not a great deal of lore on these and even their male counterparts, the incubi, are nowhere to be seen. What we do know is that they are seductive maidens of death and torture. They make for good spies and agents as they can cast powerful illusions upon themselves and can charm victims magically. They are not to be toyed with and warlocks can easily fall prey to their own succubus’ charms. They are both proud and facetious. They don’t like their time being wasted with things they deem as trivial. While dangerous, they are a popular choice of minion thanks to their skill at murder, deceit and their sultry appearance. Summoning a succubus requires a stimulus - A symbol of love. This is typically some physical item that represents the ideals of love (An example).

- Felhunters - Also known as felhounds. These ugly dog like creatures are simple yet vicious creatures that hunger for both flesh and magical energy. They cannot see by conventional means and instead they ‘sniff’ out magic and hunt their prey while following their ‘scent’ (Speaking metaphorically here). They can grow bigger when then manage to feed. Because of this innate ability to detect magic and their hunger to feed upon it, they make adequate allies when fighting mages or other warlocks. A copy of the ‘Tome of the Cabal’ has the necessary incantation for summoning a felhunter for the first time, but you also need three Rods of Channelling and the aid of three other warlocks as well. This of course isn’t necessary after the first summoning.

- Felguards - The felguards are members of the mo’arg species, sharing kinship with the mo’arg engineers and the shorter gan’arg. They are the soldiers of the Burning Legion and serve as powerful shocktroopers. They respect strength and are hard to control, thus only gifted demonologists could ever hope to bind one into service. They should be used with respect and one should stand well away from them when they are engrossed in combat - You don’t want to ‘accidentally’ get hit by their weapons! A Felguard is famous for saving the life of Varian Wrynn when fending off a tauren pirate, though against its will as evidenced when it told Varian “Your fate will be the same” before running off to kill more pirates (War Crimes).

- Observers - A very powerful yet mysterious demon that is not a common pet to have. For one, they are hard to summon and bind. It is nearly impossible to perform a binding ritual if the observer is not willing. Thus, it is advised that a powerful warlock offer an observer a source of magic for it to devour. This is what observers life for - To bear witness to new forms of magic and then devour them. They are remarkably intelligent, potentially more so than most warlocks, thus often have a unique relationship with their masters. They seem willing to help so long as they are fed delicious sources of magic and their time is not wasted.

- Shivarra - These tall demonic maidens have six arms and are devout followers of the Burning Legion. They usually serve as priestesses within the Legion. No matter your skill, power and achievements a shivarra in your services will still hate your guts. Every moment they serve you is a moment they despise you. They are hard to summon, bind and control. They are however very skilled with swords, can turn invisible and mesmerize their foes. They are also adept with shadow and fel magic. This demon is beyond the capabilities of most warlocks, being a high ranking member of the Legion and is even likely to break free of a binding.

- Wrathguard - These are one of the most powerful demons a warlock can summon and only the most powerful and capable of demonologists can hope to achieve such. This is because they are no simple demon but deformed man’ari eredar. The wrathguard are the personal guardians and soldiers of high ranking members of the Burning Legion. They respect only strength and cannot be truly bound conventionally and one must reduce the number of runic symbols in the circle. This is because Wrathguards are highly resistant to charms and compulsions. A demonologist must remain visibly strong and powerful in order to keep the wrathguard in service. Strangely enough, if we take their quotes into account, once they believe their new master is worthy of their service they seem oddly enthusiastic about being commanded and are always eager for battle. Seriously, they really do seem to enjoy being told what to do. This does not, however, appear to hold true for the higher ranking and more powerful wrathguards. Or perhaps it is true, only that they find the leaders of the Burning Legion worthy enough to command them.

- Infernal/Abyssal - These are not strictly demons but are mindless constructs made from special stone and infused with dark magic such as fel. They can then later be summoned as a crashing meteoric rock from the sky. They burn and bash everything in their destructive wake. They are obedient, but thanks to their destructive nature they can be difficult to control. Imagine a bull in a china shop but on fire. Because of this chaotic nature, however, they are often favoured by warlocks with a similar attitude.

- Doomguard/Terrorguard - The Doomguard are members of the Ered’ruin species. They were once Titan in origin and served Sargeras as his servants before falling to corruption. They can fly and are powerful masters of shadow magic. These demons typically require an entire ritual involving several warlocks to summon and bind into service, often requiring the sacrifice of a random participant’s life. The Terrorguard may or may not be Ered’ruin. They are physically similar and assume the same roles in the Legion but are typically more powerful.

A warlock role-player must understand there is a time and place for each and every one of these demons. I’m not just talking about summoning them in places like the streets of cities. I mean these demons have specific strengths and uses, and all must be used with caution. One shouldn’t summon a powerful demon, like a wrathguard, to take care of easy prey or relegated to simple guard duties. It’s also worth noting that demons have uses outside of combat, especially the more sentient and intelligent demons. They can help with research, solve riddles, dispel magic and many other things.

As for the demonic horses these are a special duo. Felsteeds are a breed of Azeroth-native horses that were corrupted and twisted by the Shadow Council. This seems to have been done in Desolace only but there is one rare example in Searing Gorge. Whether or not the secret to corrupting horses remains only in the hands of the Shadow Council is unknown. It is not known if other warlocks in lore are capable of making their own or they must travel to Desolace then capture and enslave one of the existing felsteeds. We’re simply unsure. While it seems likely that warlocks can create their own felsteeds, it’s worth considering the enslavement option as it creates a good deal of role-play!

A Dreadsteed of Xoroth is a true status symbol in the warlock community. Not just any warlock has one of these. It is simply rare (Or at least should be). These horses are not native to Azeroth and come from the planet of Xoroth, rumoured to be the homeworld of the Nathrezim. They are used by the Dreadlords as their steeds. The process is both difficult and dangerous, testing the warlock to their limits. There is in all likelihood the hopeful warlock may end up a dead warlock. You should check out the now removed questline to summon and bind one at Wowpedia or Wowhead to see what is required and involved with summoning one. These items are largely rare and typically expensive in lore. They may also be illegal contraband in some places. So what is the benefit, exactly? While most warlocks are content with normal horses or felsteeds, a Dreadsteed is much faster and its demonic and scaly hide make for decent armour. Its appearance strikes fear into the hearts of warriors and commoners alike. You do not want to get in the way of a warlock who rides one of these badboys.

Notable or Interesting Warlocks

Here are some examples of warlocks with varying levels of fame and power:

Gul’dan
Wilfred Fizzlebang
Kanrethad Ebonlocke
Jubeka Shadowbreaker
Zardeth of the Black Claw
Hex Lord Malacrass
Teron’gor
Niby the Almighty
Vitus Darkwalker
Neeru Fireblade
Fel-Caller Guloto
Cersei Dusksinger
Strahad Farsan
Summoner Nolric

Useful Links and Sources

To round up the guide, here is a list of some relevant and useful links (Mostly Wowpedia but always check the sources!):

Warlock
Fel
Demon
The Void
Blizzard lore posts - Very useful but slightly misleading at times, check the sources for context.
Soul Shard
Warlock Quests
An Unusual Tome - Worth reading on the entire Green Fire quest chain, too.
Jubeka’s Journal

It’s worth reading the following books too, as they all contain snippets of relevant lore that isn’t typically found on sites like Wowpedia, sadly:

Rise of the Horde
The Last Guardian
War of the Ancients Trilogy
Arthas
Tides of War
War Crimes

Thanks for reading!

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Howling Oak: A guide to Worgen in Cataclysm by Adnaw

Worgen - Are humans afflicted by a curse that causes them to morph into bestial wolf-like men. Most have little control and are little more than slavering beasts. The Gilnean worgen that have joined the Alliance on the other hand have been saved from the plight of mindless ferocity and although still savage retain some control over their humanity as well.

Contents:

  1. History
  2. Geography
  3. Important NPCs
  4. Other NPCs
  5. Military
  6. Culture
  7. Why Join the Alliance Now?
  8. WoWpedia Articles
  9. Suggested sources of inspiration

1. History:

After the second war with the orcish Horde Gilneas withdraws from the Alliance and builds the Greymane wall. This wall runs the length of Gilneas’s border with Silverpine forest. They believe they can hold their own without the Alliance and keep any that come against them at bay.

The City comes under attack by Worgen, the people within the city also turning against their brethren and a last stand is made at lights Dawn Cathedral by Lord Darius Crowley and his political rebels to allow for the unaffected to escape. The city is lost to the worgen and those left unaffected are moved out to the safer parts of the country. Most move to Duskhaven and the royal family retire nearby at Greymane estates. It is during this time the Gilneans try to regain some semblance of normality. Also some of the worgen are kept in stockades and experimented on with potions and elixirs until one is successfully found to help temporarily give them some form of control.

The great Cataclsym first damages the reefs that had been preventing approach by ship and in a greater quake the wall allowing the Forsaken the breech they need to attack the Kingdom by sea and land.

Druids of the pack were the original druids cursed with being worgen. This happened in the ancient fight against the demons. They gave up balance and allowed the beast to overtake them. Those original druids are now asleep in the emerald dream, but the curse was spread before all of them were placed there. The night elves have traced the Scythe of Elune to Gilneas.

The night elves with the help of Lord Darius Crowley and the Scythe of Elune perform a ritual that allows worgen infected to once again maintain balance and permanent control over themselves.

Prince Liam Greymane is killed in a battle with Sylvanas in an attempt to retake Gilneas City, he sacrifices himself in his father’s place.

The Gilneans escape thanks to the help of the Night Elves and are welcomed into Darnassus, They establish there a place within the city called the Howling Oak. The tree was planted from a seed from Tal’doren.

2. Geography:

Tal’doren - Home of the original druids that fell to the worgen curse. A large tree with a moonwell in its branches. Strangely, this is in Gilneas, and not in Kalimdor.

Greymane Wall - Wall Erected by Genn Greymane to cut off Gilneas from outsiders after conflict and war with the orcs.

Duskhaven - A small town that is refuge to the Gilneans after the Worgen forces them to evacuate the City. It eventually sinks.

Gilneas City - Capital city of Gilneas

Stormglen Village - A small village in the south of Gilneas. The town is left abandoned and taken over by spiders.

Emberstone Mine - A mine that is eventually overtaken by the Forsaken.

Emberstone Village - A small village in the Northeast of Gilneas, it is overrun by Forsaken.

Keel Harbor - A port in Northwest Gilnaes. Final evacuation point from Gilneas.

3. Important NPCs:

Prince Liam Greymane - Son of Genn Greymane, killed by Sylvanas.

Gwen Armstead - Helps establish the evacuation, Mayor of Duskhaven

Lord Darius Crowley - Lead an insurrection against King Genn Greymane when he built the wall separating him from his land and people. He was then imprisoned. He is set free during the Worgen assault on the city and help defend it but is overwhelmed and succumbs to the Worgen curse. He later leads the Glinean Liberation Front against the Forsaken in Silverpine.

Lorna Crowley- Daughter of Lord Darius Crowley, she is later captured by Forsaken.

Lord Godfrey - A Gilnean Nobleman that dislikes worgen. After a plot to turn the now worgen King Greymane over to the forsaken fails, he commits suicide. He is then brought back as a forsaken by the Valkyr. He kidnaps Lorna Crowley in hopes of forcing a ceasefire with the forsaken and Gilneas Liberation front. When Lord Darius Crowley concedes, Lord Godfrey turns on the horde as well striking out at Sylvanas and killing her, although she is brought back by the Val’kyr. He then being hunted by both Horde and Alliance, runs and hides in Shadowfang Keep.

Krennan Aranas - Famous Alchemist that creates the mixture that allows the Worgen infected to maintain some level of control over themselves, although temporary.

Dark Ranger Thyala - Leads the first attack by sea of the Forsaken. She is slain in the battle.

Queen Mia Greymane - Queen of Gilneas and wife of Genn and mother of Liam.

Princess Tess Greymane - Daughter of King Genn Greymane and sister to Liam.

Belrysa Starbreeze - A night elf priestess of the moon. She is waiting to help the Gilneans to understand the Worgen curse and the old druid order that it came from.

Banshee Queen Sylvanas Windrunner - Ruler of the Forsaken, she kills Prince Liam and leads the Forsaken attack on Gilneas in an attempt to retrieve the Scythe of Elune.

4. Other NPC’s for name examples:

MALES:
Vitus Darkwalker - Warlock Trainer
Sergeant Cleese - Warrior Trainer
Huntsman Blake - Hunter Trainer
Captain Broderick - Prison Captain
Vincent Hershem - Prisoner
Sean Dempsey - Prisoner
Tobias Mistmantle - Prisoner
Josiah Avery - Civilian
Jack “All Trades” Derrington - Profession Trainer
Gereard Walthorn - Weapons Vendor
Fielding Chesterhill - Cook

FEMALE:
Samantha Buckley - General Goods
Loren the Fence - Rogue Trainer
Marle Allen - General Goods
Mary Oxworth - Banker
Amelia Atherton - First Aid
Melinda Hammond - Civillian
Sister Almyra - Priest Trainer
Willa Arnes - Innkeeper
Celestine of the Harvest - Druid Trainer
Myriam Spellwaker - Mage Trainer
Rachel DeSimone - Civilian
Jenn Stravaganza - Civilian
Jaime Harriott - Civilian
Carrie Eileen Steen - Civilian

5. Military

The military appears to hold regular military titles (ex. Sergeant Cleese)

Military Branches:
Royal Gilnean Guard
Gilnean Militia
Gilneas City Guards

6. Culture:

Gilneas is run by a monarchy with mayorships for towns and governors for regions.

The Gilneans worship the light much like the other humans and Gilenas City holds the Cathedral of Lights Dawn. Although some follow the “old religion,” (Druidism) it was not as advanced as the current druidism of the night elves.

They have a Royal Guard, a Military, and towns have also established a watch.

Mandrake root is one of the important ingredients in the serum that allows Worgen to maintain control over their humanity temporarily.

Although many of the inhabitants of Gilneas have contracted the Worgen disease, not all have been successfully captured and given the serum, and those that are not afflicted as a worgen have much distrust and some dislike of the new more sentient worgen among them.

Gilneans bury small tokens or mementos just above the graves of those that have died to help keep their souls at rest.

The overall flavor and theme appears to take small doses of Victorian England, both in speech, style of dress, and overall themes.

7. Why Join the Alliance after all this time?

The Worgen decide to join the Alliance which they had originally spurned in desperation and gratitude. Their numbers now so diminished and their land now lost they had little other place to turn. Besides this they were also grateful for the help that saved those that remained by the unlikely ally of the Night Elves. The night elves have given them a home in their own city of Darnassus. They also have created an area within the grand city of Stormwind. King Genn Greymane now stands with King Varian Wrynn in Stormwind.

8. WoWpedia articles ( for further research)

Worgen & Worgen(playable)
Gilneas
King Genn Greymane
Prince Liam Greymane
Gwen Armstead
Lord Darius Crowley
Lorna Crowley
Lord Godfrey
Greymane Wall
Scythe of Elune
Druids of the Pack

9. Suggested reads for character inspiration

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell

Jane Eyre

Jane Austen’s works (Although not Victorian they capture much of the early romantic and social drama that is prevalent in the Worgen)

[Argent Archives] The Missing Manual by Barloy

Intro

www.argentarchives.org

The Argent Archives is an online portal to Argent Dawn’s roleplaying scene. You can use it to upload your character’s profile, post adventures as or about your character, create events for all other AA users to read, upload images about your character, or well, just to see other people do the same!

These limited features can be used in many ways, however. Using them the right way could offer certain benefits. For example, if you add enough banners and images to an event, we might publish it to the front page, which will result in a lot more view counts, which is good publicity for your event!

“I doubt anyone really reads those event nodes, or my profile page! I’m not putting effort into the AA!”

Well it’s your choice, but here are some numbers:
The Fablewind Faire has an event page which they re-use almost every week. It has over 26.000 views, merely by being on the small event section on the right side of your screen. (It’s 3K views less than Amarae’s character profile has, though!)

Did you go to see the Fakelwind Farce, hosted by the East Bank Scoundrels? Their one time event received just about 1000 views, which is about the same as a recently uploaded front-page news article gets.

In the long run, it pays off to use the Argent Archives. Much of your roleplay will be secluded, for a limited audience to witness. Perhaps you like it that way, but perhaps you’d rather broadcast your achievements, so that likeminded roleplayers can read about it and find you. That’s what the Argent Archives is, a medium through which likeminded roleplayers can find eachother.
This guide will explain how to best use the Argent Archives. It’s going to be a long guide, so I’ll include an index!

Index:

Section one: general tips

  1. Registering a new character
  2. Profiles
  3. Brackets
  4. Adventures
  5. Noticeboard items
  6. Images
  7. !! Events !!

Section two: optimizing your AA use

  1. Advanced search
  2. Articles
  3. Events to the front page
  4. Advertising
  5. Friendlist
  • Too long, didn’t read

  • Frequently asked questions

  • Recurring problems

  • Useful links

SECTION ONE: General tips

1. Registering a new character

We suggest using the same e-mail address for all your characters. It’s far easier to keep track, and if you ever encounter a problem, the admins will have an easier time helping you out. You can register an endless amount of characters.

IMPORTANT: Always use your ingame name! If your name is already taken, use the contact button to tell the admins about it, and we’ll see if we can free it up for you.
It can take a while for the admins to activate your account, but if it hasn’t been activated after 3 days, send us an e-mail!

2. Profiles

Your profile is like the centerpiece of the party. You’d be surprised how many people check out your profile after you published some content on the AA. Many people love to use images on their profile, and we can only encourage that, but keep the following in mind: Like any SEO expert will tell you, pictures containing text can normally not be found by a search engine! If your entire profile / guild node / event is one big picture with text on it, the search tool will be less eager to post your node in its results.
Instead, use brackets!

Good use of pictures:

Not-so-optimal use of pictures:

3. Brackets

Read all about them! No, seriously, you have no idea (perhaps you do) how good it is to link to others. A quality link to a quality profile might reward you with links to your own profile.

I could write essays about the proper use of brackets, but Alabast beat me to it!

IMPORTANT: http://www.argentarchives.org/brackets

4. Adventures

I’ll include a few tips for making adventures more pleasent to read, as well as proper use of the different kinds of adventure.

NOTE: Recently, people have been uploading adventure-like nodes on the noticeboards. That’s not good, and not nice, cheating for higher viewcounts.

Most of the adventure types explain themselves: Diaries, poetry … Okay, perhaps only two of them explain themselves. However, each time you make a new adventure, the green text underneath the “what kind of adventure is this” question explains exactly what each kind is for. It’s important to only use published works if you want other roleplayers to actually find the text in-game, AND if it is a work of considerable size, like a book, or an important scroll.
Everything else fits in the stories and notes section.

IMPORTANT: Never dedicate an adventure to an OOC message. We’ll look the other way if there’s a small OOC note somewhere in the adventure, but if the adventure is all OOC, we’ll likely take it down.

What makes a good adventure?
It all depends on who you want to be reading your adventure. People who’ve met your character and roleplay with it will automatically check the adventure. But if you want to reach more people, continued excellence is a must!

    1. Include pictures. People generally don’t read long texts (you’re allowed to quote me if you reached this point, even!), and pictures really help to make things more interesting.
    1. Whitespace: ADD IT! It won’t slow your adventure down! Use paragraphs and whitespace until you’re sure your adventure is more pleasent to read.
    1. Spelling and stuff: Check it, or let a friend proofread for you. It’s not a must, ofcourse, but it helps!

5. Noticeboard nodes

The noticeboards are located in 3 different cities: Stormwind, Thunderbluff and Booty Bay.

They’re meant for people to post small notices on, like “Looking for mercenaries” or “Have you seen this mechanical squirrel?”.

I have noticed that people have been starting to use the noticeboards as a way to bypass the quick rate at which adventures disappear, or that they post them in both Stormwind and Booty Bay in the hopes of reaching more counts.

IMPORTANT: Do not post posters of considerable length on the noticeboards, or start back-and-forth messaging. Instead, make an adventure to post your large poster in.

The rule of thumb is: If it’s not a short notice, it belongs in the adventures section.

Quite good:
http://www.argentarchives.org/node/139833 - Alright, might have been better if it were written, with images added to it, but then notices are often one-time things that do not need to be found again later.

http://www.argentarchives.org/node/139540 - Still a bit long, but not too long! This is a pleasent notice to read.

Not-so-good:

http://www.argentarchives.org/node/139848 - Sorry to be picking on nodes by the same guild, but they’re the best examples of how it should not be done. This notice might be for public eyes, but it’s far too long for our noticeboards! They’d have made a perfect adventure, however (a banner, whitespace, … excellent!)

6. Images

I love the images section. It allows me to go back in time for like 7 years and see events I totally forgot about. An image of the past is a wonderful thing! But I can only find these pictures if they were uploaded correctly back in the days! So here’s a few tips:

  1. Unless you’ll use the images in an adventure, include TEXT, CONTENT TAGS and LINK TO GUILD/ NEWS-EVENT LINK. I can not stress this enough! I know it can be irritating to have to update that part if you need to upload a lot of images, but not only will your content have more views if it’s linked to an event/guild, you’ll find it a lot easier to retrieve in the future. Content tags especially should be considered, so that images may show up if you do a search for a guild or profile node.
  2. Don’t steal artwork! We’ll take it down, no matter what.
  3. Keep it stylish!

7. Events

Everyone can upload an event. It’s in the same tab as images / adventures / … “Create Content”. Events are amongst the nodes that are most read, often ranging in the thousands, but they’re also the nodes that are least well constructed. I’ll dedicate more to events on the next section regarding “optimizing” your AA use. Here’s a few general tips:

  1. An event doesn’t have to be long. Very often, a simple message like “We’ll be going there, at that hour with those intentions” is better than four long pages of text explaining every detail of the event. Always consider that most people do not want to read the entire text.
  2. Images instantly upgrade your event to a higher level. It shows that you’ve put thought and effort into making the event, and promises some quality. Not only that, but with enough images, your event might end up on the front page for extra publicity! More on that in the next section.

IMPORTANT: Upload even your small events, or recruitment drives, or just a guild event. Let people know your guild is doing something, even if it’s just a guild event that isn’t accessible for outsiders! When the AA came out of beta-mode, guilds often used the event section to catalogue their guild events, which attracted lots of people!

Ofcourse, if you have a dozen events a week, don’t start uploading them all, causing other people’s events to disappear until the day they take place. We’ll keep track of that as admins.
Let people know what you’re doing so that they can judge if your guild is for them or not.

SECTION TWO: Optimizing your AA use

If you’ve mastered the first section, you might want to read on about optimizing your AA use! There’s a lot you can do to make the AA a far more pleasent place to browse through.

1. Advanced search

The search tool isn’t perfect, and it can be slow in updating new content. It could take a week or longer for your profile to finally show up! But there’s more to the search function than just that small textbox in the upper left corner!

When you’re in the search tab, you’ll find the “advanced search” option right underneath the textbox with “enter your keywords”. Here, you can select what types of content you’d like to see, or give in a specific phrase that should be searched for.

I just searched for an old character of mine, and only wanted to see images, and it allowed me to find this old picture by Colaina of the meeting during the WotLK introduction event:
http://www.argentarchives.org/node/16761

2. Articles

You must have had an event sometime where you thought: “wow, this is awesome!”. Well, the article section is all about that. We want to show people the cool roleplay going on on Argent Dawn. Used to be we were able to visit most events as reporters, but the realm is so big now, and our time so limited, we can barely cover 0.1% of the roleplay ongoing.

You can make an article about your event, even about your guild!

How? Create an adventure > PM the link to an AA admin (not via contact!) > Done!

Just like that? Well, there are a few rules! You can find all of them at >>http://www.argentarchives.org/articles

  1. Images. The more, the better! Add a main banner of 590 x 150 px, and if you want to be perfect and well loved by the entire AA staff, add a small banner of 275 x 100 px for when your article moves down.
  2. Make it interesting enough. It’s impossible to please everyone, and some articles will mean nothing to certain people and quite a lot to others. Write about a guild event, but in such a way that it’s not all about your guild, but more about the roleplay others could take part in.
  3. Less text, more message! Endlessly long articles will only be published if they have an absurd amount of images too. So make it a short but informative article.
  4. Spelling: You can’t be perfect, but try to be. Have a friend read it over!
  5. Different subjects. If you love to make articles, you might upload two or three in a row. Don’t upload two or three in a row about the same subject! If your articles are all about what one guild did in a timespan of 3 days, it gets boring to read. Find different things to write about. And it’s excellent if you can find a subject that isn’t all over the AA already, or all over the forums!
  6. Include people’s opinions. You’ll often find articles with quotes from people who witnessed an event. This is good! It’s expertly good if these are people who are not in the spotlight all the time!

Here’s an example of a terrible article:

http://www.argentarchives.org/node/139708 - Barloy generally sucks at making articles, but this was really bad!! No, but really, while the article is short, and the story could be quite interesting to a few people, it’s not something that should be on the front page. There obviously was a lot of potential for quotes from bystanders, but I included no other names than those who duelled. And those are two people who are already quite known within the Alliance community!

There’s plenty of pictures, but then those pictures say little about the event itself, it’s just more of the same.
It was good roleplay, and it deserved some attention, just not on the front page!

Here’s an example of a good article:

http://www.argentarchives.org/node/137899 - It’s a bit long, but the pictures are excellent! There’s plenty of quotes, which makes up (and more) for the long text. It’s informative, and those people who weren’t there will know what it is about, allowing them to partake in the roleplay.

3. Events to the front page

If you have constructed an event according to how we suggest you do it in section one, there’s a big chance your event is fit to be a front page article! This means:

  1. It has plenty of images.
  2. It’s got a reasonable amount of IC text, but not too much!
  3. It’s an event you want people to see and go to.

If that’s the case, don’t hesitate and PM the link to an AA admin and ask if it can be put on the front page. We’d rather have a dozen small front page articles about events than one giant article about an event that is already over!

Here’s an event I’d like to post on the front page when it draws near:
http://www.argentarchives.org/node/137276 - It needs a few more images, but it’s one of those big public events that can’t get enough attention!

4. Advertising

“Gaaah, I put so much time in this guildnode, but I don’t think people are seeing it!”

There are a lot of guilds and people on the AA, and many of them upload stuff daily, or get links to them. It’s not hard for your guild to be skipped over.

Luckily advertising on the AA can help you get the attention you think you deserve!

You can read all about it here http://www.argentarchives.org/advertising

NOTE: You’ll notice there’s a price to advertising. But that’s not always the case. We often give strong discounts, or allow people to advertise for free, depending on how many people wish to advertise.

It’s easy to upload an ad, but you need to pay attention:

  1. Go to “create content” > “Advertisement”
    2. Fill in the form: “Title” is important, it allows the admins to find your ad quickly. “Ad groups” is also very important, it’s where you want the ad to be displayed. It all depends on the dimensions you chose for your ad!
    “Description” isn’t that important and can be skipped. The “destination url” is the most important part, it’s where you want your ad to link to when someone clicks on it. This could be anywhere, even your guild website! Mouseover is optional.
    3. File attachment: You’ll find this at the bottom of the form. This is where you put in the actual banner. Once you’ve uploaded the picture, you’ll see two checkboxes: “Delete” and “list”. Check “list”, or it won’t work!
    4. Submit and PM an admin! This is important, since we do not check the advertisement section all that often!

IMPORTANT: Your ad has to be in-character. This is easier for law-abiding guilds, but criminals might have to get creative!

5. Friendslist

This feature is often overlooked, likely because it is somewhat hidden away and hardly advertised.

The friendslist allows you to invite people to become your friend on the AA, which in turn allows you to see the content they recently uploaded.
This is quite handy, because the AA grows so rapidly it’s easy to miss content your friends uploaded.

To add a friend, all you have to do is visit their profile, go to the bottom of the page and click “add Barloy to friends”.
A request will be sent, pending approval from that friend.

You can then see your friends’ activity underneath your friendslist on the left side of the screen.

TL;DR!!

Here’s a few important things you might not know:

If you have constructed an event according to how we suggest you do it in section one, there’s a big chance your event is fit to be a front page article!

Upload even your small events, or recruitment drives, or just a guild event. Let people know your guild is doing something, even if it’s just a guild event that isn’t accessible for outsiders! When the AA came out of beta-mode, guilds often used the event section to catalogue their guild events, which attracted lots of people!

Ofcourse, if you have a dozen events a week, don’t start uploading them all, causing other people’s events to disappear until the day they take place. We’ll keep track of that as admins.
Let people know what you’re doing so that they can judge if your guild is for them or not.

Do not post posters of considerable length on the noticeboards, or start back-and-forth messaging. Instead, make an adventure to post your large poster in.

The rule of thumb is: If it’s not a short notice, it belongs in the adventures section.

Read all about them brackets! No, seriously, you have no idea (perhaps you do) how good it is to link to others. A quality link to a quality profile might reward you with links to your own profile.

I could write essays about the proper use of brackets, but Alabast beat me to it!

F.A.Q.

1. The AA is so slow!?
True, apologies! We’re not taking donations for a better server simply because when those donations stop, the AA might entirely disappear (moving it isn’t so easy anymore).

2. The AA is so buggy!
True, there are a few things that do not work like they should. -Most- problems can be solved by using google chrome or mozilla firefox (the former is prefered). If that doesn’t help, contact the admins!

3. Can I be an AA admin?
The path towards an AA admin position is long and full of perils. The best way to start is making quality articles, which’ll bring you a reporter status, allowing you to publish articles without AA admin editing. If you’re known for good behaviour in the community, your chances dramatically increase.

4. I want this feature added to the AA, I have a good idea, implement it!
The tech admins are occupied, too occupied! We’d love to implement new features, but at this point it’s likely the entire website should be remade before that happens.

5. Why do you allow all this questionable quality roleplay to be posted it angers me so!!??
The AA allows you to find the roleplayers you want to roleplay with, and those you’d rather stay away from. Everyone has his or her preferences, and we’re not here to judge!

Recurring problems

1. My character’s name is already taken - upon registration

Cause:

    1. The AA does not make a difference between “e” and “é” or “a” and “à”. It doesn’t understand accents!
      This means that Barloy is the same name as Bàrlöy. Ofcourse, this causes for registrations to collide.
    1. The name is actually taken as it is, but someone already had a character named like that in the past, deleted that character since then, but did not ask for his character to be deleted from the AA.

Solution:
All you can do is Contact the AA admins via the contact button in the upper right corner.

Include in your mail:

    1. A link to the profile that currently has your name (if you can find it).
    1. The name you’re trying to register.

And we’ll take care of it for you! Most of the time, we can give you the name, as the other user’s profile is either inactive or empty. If not, we’ll handcraft a profile for you!

2. The background of my profile doesn’t save when I submit! - When editting a profile

Cause:
You’re likely using internet explorer as a web browser.

Solution:
We hate to force you to change web browsers, but currently there is no other solution. Google Chrome is best, then mozilla firefox.

3. I can’t edit my profile at all, it just shows a blank page without the edit button! - Right after registration

Cause:
This generally happens on user registration, we’re yet to figure out what causes it!

Solution:
http://www.argentarchives.org/node/135812
Saerynn is personally taking care of this! However, if you do not have an AA account to PM with, use the contact button in the upper right corner of the page. We’ll remake your profile for you, which will solve the problem.

1 Like

Order and Justice - A Guide to Argent Crusade Roleplay by Anastre

Last updated: 30-04-2012

Soldiers, heroes, traitors, saviours. The amount of names given to the men and women of the Argent Crusade are too numerous to number. They were at their pinnacle as they, under the leadership of Highlord Tirion Fordring, brought an end to the reign of the Lich King. But now their role of protectors of Azeroth and fighters of the Scourge seems to have been played out. In a world filled with racial tensions, is there still place for warriors of the Light who devote themselves only to fight evil? Is it still realistic to think races of both the Horde and the Alliance can work together under one banner?

This guide aims to answer these questions as well as detailing how a Crusader is expected to behave, think and fight. As detailed above, the role of the Argent Crusade in the current game lore is a lot smaller than it was during the Wrath of the Lich King. However, as the Crusade carries on to restore much of the Plaguelands into a habitable area, tensions will probably arise in the future as both the Forsaken and the Alliance are interested in the ‘new lands’. As such, investing time into creating an Argent Crusade character is probably investing time into a nice Roleplay character which will be at the center of that tension.

Careful attention to detail has been taken during the creation of this guide but it is of course possible some points have been overlooked. Discussion is more than welcome in the comments below but please do keep yourself to the facts when making a suggestion to edit a part in the guide.

Disclaimer 1:
Needless to add, this is one view of the lore. This guide is intended to help - if you want to do it differently, go ahead! It’s your game too.

Disclaimer 2:
During the creation of this guide, the lore as it is portrayed in-game, game lore and official novels has taken precedence over various other, non-official lore sources such as the RPG books by White Wolf.

The structure used for this guide will probably be very familiar to those who have read ‘A Guide to Roleplaying a Night Elf character’. That is because I was the founder and main contributor of the guide on my previous character Celegil. So…no plagiarism here, only plagiarising myself!

Contents

  • Chapter 1: History of the Argent Crusade
  • Chapter 2: Becoming and being an Argent Crusader
  • Chapter 3: Current activities of the Argent Crusade
  • Chapter 4: Timeline
  • Addendum I: The Light and The Three Virtues
  • Addendum II: The Watcher Tyr
  • Addendum III: Argent Crusaders: ‘Hippies, Traitors’?
  • Addendum IV: The Brotherhood of Light (& the Inigo Montoy incident)
  • Closing remarks

Written by Anastre/Celegil

Chapter 1: History of the Argent Crusade

To start the Argent Crusade’s history with its founding at the start of the struggle against the Lich King would be forsaking a lot of facts and history which all took place long before the battle at Light’s Hope Cathedral. Therefore we have to go back a lot further, to the end of the First War in fact.

Origins

Long before any Orc had set foot on Azeroth, there existed a group of clerics and light-wielders whose duty it was to spread the words of the Light across all of the Kingdom of Azeroth. Back in the day, the kingdom of Stormwind as we know it today was much larger and held all the lands south of Khaz Modan firmly in its grip. The clerics were lead by Archbishop Alonsus Faol who together made up the ‘Holy Order of Northshire Clerics’.

It’s unclear if the order was mainly founded to spread the beliefs of the Light or as a military order. Both books and in-game lore are very vague on this matter. Fact remains that the clerics were both adept at healing and destruction. As the Orcs set foot on Azeroth and unleashed their hordes onto Azeroth, the order was almost completely wiped out. This suggest that that combat training wasn’t their main priority and the clerics weren’t prepared as to what it meant to serve as a combatant in a war.

The lore again, contradicts itself as to Archbishop Faol’s whereabouts. In the newest lore concerning this topic (Warcraft II Battle.Net edition), it is indicated that the Archbishop fled to Lordaeron with the survivors of Stormwind. Earlier lore states that the Archbishop was already in Lordaeron and learned of the demise of his clerics from Anduin Lothar. For now, we will follow the newest lore facts.

While in Lordaeron Archbishop Faol, along with his apprentice Uther Lightbringer decided to create a new order in memory of the lost clerics of Northshire. Within Alonsus’ Chapel in the city of Stromgarde, the Archbishop annointed Uther as ‘first of the Paladin’s’ and together they founded the ‘Knights of the Silver Hand’, or ‘Order of the Silver Hand’.

Formation of The Silver Hand

After Uther had been sworn in as the first Paladin, the apprentice and the Archbishop began to work on the foundation of their newly created order. To bolster the ranks of the ‘Paladins’, Uther and the Archbishop recruited a number of other would-be members. Among the first were Saidan Dathrohan, Knight of Lordaeron and Tirion Fordring, Governor of Hearthglen. Directly after the order’s founding, the Archbishop decided that instead of spreading the words of the Light, the new order would solely focus on waging war with the Orcs and to serve in defence of the human kingdoms.

Very important to note is the fact The Silver Hand took its name and symbol from the legend of Tyr. Tyr is one of the titanic watchers who is believed to have been a paragon of order and justice during Humanity’s very early infancy. This indicates the fact that The Silver Hand and its future successors all have the goal to create order through justice. Although ‘order’ and ‘peace’ are two different words, it could be said that Paladins are indeed peacemakers as war creates the opposite of order, namely ‘chaos’.

Precise and factual lore-details are scarce concerning the acts of The Silver Hand during the Second War but it is said the knights were crucial in securing a victory against the Orcish hordes. Although the knights were few in number, their presence and imagery of brave knights in silver armour wielding the very power of the Light with their warhammers were a sight to behold. Although the Paladins were very powerful warriors indeed, it is safe to say their presence was mainly used to inspire the normal foot soldiers.

Tirion and Eitrigg

To understand Tirion’s later ability to make friends with both the Horde and the Alliance, we have to zoom in on his personal story for a moment before continuing on to the Third War.

After the Second War had ended, Tirion one day encountered a lone Orc living in an abandoned tower. Since Orcs were sworn enemies of the Humans, Tirion drew steel and battled the Orc untill Tirion was knocked unconscious.

Oddly enough, Tirion found himself awake beside his second-in-command Bathilas. It was clear however that Tirion had been healed by the Orc instead of being killed. Tirion later returned to the tower and discovered that the Orc named ‘Eitrigg’, had healed Tirion because he wanted to have peace with the human. Tirion decided that Eitrigg would have to leave the tower however in order not to be discovered by Humans again. Unfortunately, Bathilas didn’t trust Tirion’s words that the Orc situation had been ‘dealt with’ and decided to track Eitrigg’s steps with a number of his men. Eventually they found Eitrigg and nearly killed him in the ensuing battle.

Tirion, who had quietly followed Bathilas, decided to protect Eitrigg by fighting Bathilas’ men. Tirion and Eitrigg were defeated and both were thrown in prison. Tirion was set on trial and stripped of his rank as a Knight of the Silver Hand and Govenor of Hearthglen while Eitrigg would be executed.

After being released from prison, Tirion rushed back to Stratholme where he freed Eitrigg from captivity. During their flight in the wilds, the two were eventually surrounded by Orcs of the new Horde, now lead by Warchief Thrall. Eitrigg eventually decided to follow Thrall’s men. Tirion meanwhile had gained the respect of Thrall and the Horde. This respect would later lead to Tirion’s ability to win the Horde for his campaign against the Lich King.

After this event, Tirion was forced to live as an exile hidden deep within the wilds of Lordaeron. He even decided to fake his own death by creating a gravestone for his son Tealan to visit.

Destruction of The Silver Hand

After years of peace, Uther Lightbringer and his new apprentice, Prince Arthas Menethil, were send to investigate reports of Orcs who had broken out of internment camps which were established at the end of the Second War. Uther and Arthas however, soon found out that a lich named ‘Kel’Thuzad’ had been poisoning granaries. The grain from these granaries were being spread across Lordaeron and already reached numerous villages.

As Uther and Arthas rushed through the kingdom to stop the plague from being spread, they eventually reached Stratholme, one of the biggest cities in Lordaeron. Unfortunately, Uther and Arthas learned that the plagued grain had already been distributed and that most of the people within the city were already infected with the plague. Arthas, thinking there was no other choice, ordered Uther and the other Knights of the Silver Hand to begin purging the city.

Uther in turn was horrified what his apprentice was proposing and tried to stop Arthas by saying he would never purge an entire city, even if Arthas had been king. While Arthas was increasingly falling under the sway of his arrogance, he ordered the entire Silver Hand disbanded, something which Uther flat out ignored.

Arthas later travelled to Northrend to face Mal’Ganis and claim Frostmourne to become the true embodiment of The Lich King. After that, he returned to Lordaeron to slay Uther and almost decimating the Silver Hand. The remaining members of The Silver Hand managed to keep fighting and win a small foothold in Hearthglen.

The end of the Third War may have marked the end of the demon onslaught in Hyjal and brought upon the salvation of Azeroth, Undead hordes were still a daily reality in the Scourge infested Lordaeron.

Fractions within The Silver Hand

Many of the surviving members of The Silver Hand decided to leave the order to instead create new groups, focusing completely on reclaiming Lordaeron from the Scourge. Thus the Silver Hand slowly crumbled apart. Among the orders founded were:

The Scarlet Crusade: Lord Commander Saidan Dathrohan (remember him from earlier?) commanded a sizable amount of former Silver Hand members and had build a monastery within Tirisfal Glades to keep the pressure against the Scourge in the ruins of Lordaeron’s capital. Meanwhile, he had also gained the help of Lord Valdelmar of Tyr’s Hand and managed to keep a small section of Stratholme under his control. However, no one knew that Saidan was slowly being possesed by the dreadlord Balnazzar. Balnazzar’s influence caused Saidan to eventually believe all who were not part of his men and women were in fact Scourge servants. The Scarlet Crusade was born and would try to eradicate all the ‘un-pure’.

The Argent Dawn: As many of the former Silver Hand discovered what Saidan was trying accomplish, a number of Paladins decided that Saidan’s goals were nothing short of zealotry and madness. These Paladins founded The Argent Dawn, a neutral organisation which welcomed any race of any faction to fight against the Scourge. However, the Argent Dawn also knew that it would have to keep friends with the Scarlet Crusade (or at least for now) in the common interest of restoring the Plaguelands. To keep relations with the Scarlet Crusade, The Brotherhood of the Light was created to keep the mutual tensions from growing violent.

Remnants of The Silver Hand: A number of remnants decided to stay true to their Silver Hand heritage and continued to serve the Alliance. As time passed by however, all of them either fully joined the Alliance or joined the Argent Dawn.

During a number of years (between Classic and Wrath of the Lich King), the situation within the Plaguelands barely changed. Victories were made within the necropolis of Naxxramas but these defeats for the Scourge weren’t critical enough for the Paladins to gain ground.

The formation of The Argent Crusade
During these years of stalemate, Tirion Fordring was still living in the wilds of Lordaeron as an exiled hermit. He was horrified when he eventually learned his son Tealan had joined The Scarlet Crusade and had risen to the position of High Lord. Tirion enlisted the aid of a few adventurers to reclaim lost mementoes of his son. These mementoes would, according to Tirion, sway Tealan away from the Scarlet Crusade. Though Tealan eventually agreed with his father and tried to flee from the Scarlet bastion of Hearthglen, he was killed by Grand Inquisitor Isillien in front of Tirion’s eyes.

Broken by the loss of his son, Tirion vowed to restore the original Silver Hand. It wasn’t till a number of years later however that Tirion saw his wish fulfilled. During a bloody battle at Light’s Hope Chapel against thousands of Scourge and Death Knight’s, Tirion confronted the leader of the Death Knights, Darion Mograine.

Years before, Alexandros Mograine, father of Darion, was the wielder of a powerful sword called ‘Ashbringer’. It had the power to burn all Scourge who came close to it. Alexandros was eventually betrayed by his other son Renault, who had been influenced by Balnazzar. Darion eventually managed to get hold of the Corrupted Ashbringer and killed himself to release the captured spirit of his father. This caused Darion to become a Death Knight in service of the Lich King.

As Tirion confronted Darion, the Lich King appeared and almost managed to suffocate Tirion. Darion, now breaking free of the Lich King’s will, threw the Corrupted Ashbringer to Tirion. This caused the sword to become ‘pure’ again and Tirion managed to release himself from the Lich King’s suffocating grip.

Though The Lich King disappeared through a portal back to Northrend, Tirion’s power had grown as he was able to wield the Ashbringer. This made him the official leader of The Silver Hand.Tirion declared the Order of the Silver Hand and the Argent Dawn would come together as one, creating a new single fighting force.

The Argent Crusade was born and would venture to Northrend to late defeat the Lich King in Icecrown Citadel. During the crusade against the Lich King, numerous initiatives were taken to bring the Alliance and Horde together in order to face the common foe. One of these initiatives was the creation of the Argent Tournament in order to prepare champions of both factions for the final battle. After the tournament, Tirion Fordring lead the forces of both factions and the Argent Crusade to Icecrown where they would defeat the Lich King together.

Present Day
After the Argent Crusade, together with aid of the Horde and the Alliance, managed to defeat the Lich King, most of the regiments have returned to Lordaeron. Tirion Fordring too has returned to Lordaeron and has made Hearthglen the current main base of operations of the Argent Crusade. From there, Tirion is coordinating efforts to ensure the restoration of the Plaguelands. This restoration process has been quite successful as crops are currently being grown again at farmlands south of Hearthglen. The restoration appears to be going slower in the Eastern Plaguelands, though this is probably due to the fact the plague’s impact there was much greater.

Though the Argent Crusade has kept a friendly relation with both the Horde and the Alliance, it is not unthinkable tensions will soon flare up. With Sylvannas and her Forsaken using Valkyr to raise ‘new’ Forsaken, it is probable that Tirion will take a strong stance against such actions in the nearby future.

Chapter 2: Becoming and being an Argent Crusader

First and foremost, an Argent Crusader is a person who follows the teachings of the Light OR at least thoroughly respects the Light and its servants. Though an Argent Crusader doesn’t have to be a Paladin, it appears a very large portion of the Crusade’s members (if not, the majority) are indeed Paladins. Crusaders in general are portrayed as respectful and friendly folk, optimistic about the future and seem to generally wish peace for all.

A lot, if not almost all members of the Crusade are indeed followers of the Light. This means that all of the Crusade’s members also follow the teachings of the Light. One of the teachings explained in great detail are the Three Virtues namely Respect, Tenacity and Compassion.

Warning: The Three Virtues are part of lore explained in the White Wolf RPG books, it is not considered official canon but Blizzard has stated that a lot of the RPG books can indeed be considered canon. Since the Three Virtues give a lot more meaning to being a Crusader, it is included in this guide. Further explanation of the three virtues and their role while worshipping the Light can be found in addendum I.

Next to being a follower of the Light, an Argent Crusader is a person who is willing to do ‘good’. An evil character will -never- be allowed within the ranks of the Crusade and even if one turned evil while being in the Crusade, he or she would quickly be detected by either a superior or even Tirion himself. The reason for this is because it is stated numerous times in quests (‘An Audience with the Highlord’ and ‘Tiron’s Help’) that Tirion personally oversees all new recruits who wish to join the Argent Crusade. The quest ‘Tirion’s Help’ even states the following:

We need to take this to the Argent Crusade. Every single paladin in that order was hand-picked by Tirion himself. If there’s anyone free of cultist infiltration, it’s those guys.

Judging by the enormous amount of Argent Crusader’s within Northrend and the Plaguelands, it’s probably safe to say that Tirion doesn’t actually ‘see’ his candidates during the hand-picking proces but selects candidates for the Argent Crusade through reports and documents about the would-be Crusader. An officer within the Crusade would most probably double check the would-be recruit for any evil tendencies.

Every character can become an Argent Crusader as long as they have a pure hearth and strife to create order and justice for themselves and those around them. There are numerous variables to create while pondering about how a character would join the Argent Crusade and how he or she would get in contact with them. To create brief examples how a character ‘could’ become a Crusade, a list below has been made with a description how each of the playable race’s could join the Argent Crusade.

Racial examples

Human: The most logical race to become a Crusader and the race which currently holds a majority within the Crusade due to many of them being former members of the Silver Hand or the Argent Dawn and judging by in-game numbers. A typical Human would have grown up with stories about the Knights of The Silver Hand and their good deeds. A Human with a pure hearth would ask a caretaker within The Church of Light as to how he or she could join their ranks. The young Human would probably be waved away as being foolish but through tenacity, respect and compassion(the three virtues!) towards the caretaker, the Human character would eventually learn where to go and who to meet.

Dwarf: Though rare in number, some Dwarf Paladins were allowed into the mainly Human Order of the Silver Hand as far back as its founding. A Dwarf character would probably have heard stories about his kin fighting on fronts far away with Humans against the Orcish hordes during the Second War. Like Humans, a Dwarf who would visit the Church of Light and shows tenacity, respect and compassion towards the caretaker in gaining information about the Argent Crusade would eventually learn where to go and who to meet.

Blood Elves: The story of the Blood Elves and their connection to the Light is a long one and probably best read separately. Starting with the rebirth of the Sunwell, the Blood Elves started their long and painful road to recovery from their fel addiction. Some of the Blood Knights might have chosen to walk that road of recovery in service of the Light by joining the Argent Crusade. As most Blood Elf forces were kept home during the fight against Arthas in Icecrow, some Blood Elves might have chosen to leave their homeland to join the Argent Crusade and get revenge on Arthas’ crimes.

Tauren: There are a number of ways how a Tauren would join the Crusade. Most recently, the emergence of the Sunwalkers would allow Tauren Paladins to join the Crusade as Lightwielders. Further back in the past, a travelling Tauren could have learned of the troubles within the Plaguelands and offer his aid as an act of faith or a service towards the Earth Mother.

Orc: Not many Orcs are visible in-game as members of the Argent Crusade. This is probably due to their limited contact with the Silver Hand before the Argent Dawn was created. A typical Orc could join the Argent Crusade due to being cast out of his clan and having no other place to go.

Trolls: Trolls are an even lesser presented race within the Argent Crusade. It’s quite probably due to their violent nature that not many have chosen to join the ranks of the Crusade. Still, a possible reason for a Troll to join the Crusade could be simple curiosity or gaining information about the information for Vol’jin.

Forsaken" The Forsaken are a bit of an oddity within the Argent Crusade because some of the Forsaken’s methods are exactly the opposite of what the Crusade is trying to accomplish. Think of Sylvannas using her Valkyr to create new Forsaken, just like the Lich King. Since most Forsaken are fiercely loyal to their people, finding one amongst the Crusade can be rather difficult. Also due to the fact the Forsaken worship the Shadow over the Light. Still, a Forsaken who feels he or she wants to continue serving the Light in death could choose to join the Argent Crusade.

An alternative way a Forsaken could join the Argent Crusade is that a Forsaken character doesn’t agree with Sylvanas’ methods of raising the dead with Val’kyr. There is an NPC named Apothecary Judkins at Plaguewood Tower who claims to have done just that. An ex-Forsaken within the Argent Crusade could for example work on potions or methods to counter The Plague. - Thanks go to Eyil for this suggestion.

Draenei: The survivors of the Exodar are probably the least in number due to the fact they were low in population to start with. Still, Draenei are very close to the Light due to their connection with the Naaru, thought of as pure beings of Light or even the Light itself! This last point is open for debate since the lore doesn’t offer conclusive evidence one way or the other. A typical Draenei could feel joining the Argent Crusade is a repayment for the warm welcome their people received from various denizens of Azeroth, safe for the Blood Elves of course.

Worgen: Having finally been forced to venture beyond Greymane Wall, the people of Gilneas separated themselves from the rest of the world after the conclusion of the Second War. Therefore, Gilneans probably still remember the Knights of the Silver Hand but many would have missed the period where the Argent Dawn was rising along with the Scarlet Crusade. A Worgen character probably would have the same reasons for joining the Argent Crusade as a regular human. Worgen could feel guilty about the way they ignored many of the world’s problems such as the fight against the Lich King. This could be a reason for a Light worshipping Worgen to join the Argent Crusade so he or she finally starts working to solve the world’s problems.

Goblin: Only a handful of Goblins can be found ingame serving the Argent Crusade. Due to their greedy nature, it is unlikely a Goblin would join to help others mostly free of charge. Still, a Goblin could always find himself being saved by a Paladin for example and would see serving the Argent Crusade as a debt to be repaid.

Gnomes: Just like the Goblins, there are only a handful of NPC’s ingame which can be found serving the Argent Crusade. For a Gnome, joining the Argent Crusade and following them onto the battlefields could provide them with a proving ground to test their inventions. Think of weapons or a new form of plate armour which can resist bullets!

Regardless of your race, as said before its firmly recommended your character is either respectful towards the Light or a follower of the Light. Characters who act spiteful towards other races and disrespect the tenants of the Light would probably be kicked out the first day after he or she joined the Crusade. More likely, he or she wouldn’t be allowed in anyway.

Chapter 3: Current activities of the Argent Crusade

Now that The Lich King has been defeated in Northrend, you could think the role of the Argent Crusade is played out. Though the amount of crusaders which are shown in the Plaguelands don’t even come near to the amount shown in Northrend, there is still quite a lot of activity and work to do for the Crusade. Down below are some current theatres of operation.

The Plaguelands

Being closest the Hearthglen and the old home of the Order of the Silver Hand, former Lordaeron is currently sees the most intense Argent Crusade activity. During the quests which were updated during the Cataclysm expansion, the player travels through the Plaguelands and aids the Crusade during various tasks. These involve aiding Cenarion Circle allies, reclaiming Tyr’s Hand from the Scarlets and finally exposing a traitor within the Crusade.

The existence of the traitor Bisp during the quest ‘Bagging Bisp’ is a little odd since the whole questline conflicts entirely with earlier statements given by NPC’s during Wrath of the Lich King and examples discussed earlier in this guide. Perhaps the questline to expose Bisp is an example that even Tirion can’t see everything and that some traitors might exist within the Argent Crusade.

The Battle of Stratholme

As players reaches the end of the Eastern Plaguelands questing experience, they will be asked to take part in reclaiming the Scourge bastion for the Crusade. Through numerous dialogs during this questline, it is made clear that the Battle of Stratholme eventually ends up being the deathblow to Scourge activity within the Plaguelands.

During the first half of the new Stratholme instance, players encounter a new Scarlet splintergroup ‘The Risen’. Though it appears the Risen indeed proof to be a threat to the Argent Crusade, all of them are wiped out at the end of first half of the Stratholme instance quests. Commander Eligor Dawnbringer says the following after completing the quest ‘The Dreadlord Balnazzar’:

“Well done, heroes. Balnazzar had been a threat for far too long. He had a hand in the Scourge and the Scarlet Crusade, two of our most difficult foes. The Risen may have tipped the balance against us, had they time to fester. Regrettably, Balnazzar is not yet finished. Defeating a dreadlord in the mortal plane only sends it back to the Twisting Nether. He will be back one day, perhaps even working again with his brothers, Varimathras and Detheroc.”

As said above, Balnazzar isn’t truly killed but banished back to the Twisting Nether. This leaves open the possibility that he may return at some point in the future [editor’s note: he did!]. For now however, it is extremely unlikely a small group if any Risen made it out of Stratholme as most of them would have been cut down by Argent Crusaders who had surrounded the city.

At the very end of the Stratholme instance quest, Crusade Commander Eligor Dawnbringer says the following after completing the quest ‘Lord Aurius Rivendare’:

“Your actions were pivotal in successfully reclaiming the city. Rivendare’s death signifies the beginning of a new era for the Plaguelands. The few remaining Scourge should fall easily, and the land will at last be reborn. Stratholme may take quite some time to be rebuilt and fully cleansed, but it is an effort I will take great pleasure in watching unfold. Perhaps one day we will see the next great defender of the Light armed in the Bastion of the Silver Hand, or ordained in Alonsus Chapel. No matter the outcome, our work here will bear great fruit one day.”

Though no changes or phasing techniques are used to reflect this change, it can be said with a decent amount of certainty that the Argent Crusade now has full control over the Plaguelands. Through rebuilding and cleansing Stratholme, the Argent Crusade could over time gain a very powerful position aside the Horde and the Alliance.

Other theatres of operation: Though the bulk of the Argent Crusade currently resides in the Plaguelands, that doesn’t meant that the Crusade only focuses on combating the Scourge. The Burning Legion are also sworn enemies of the Argent Crusade due to Balnazzar influencing Knights of the Silver Hand into becoming Scarlet Crusaders. Though the Scarlet Crusade and its successor, the Scarlet Onslaught, are now almost completely eliminated (safe for a few vestiges in the Scarlet Monastery in Mists of Pandaria’), it is very plausible the Argent Crusade will look out for a chance to truly end Balnazzar’s reign once and for all. That is, when he returns from being banished to the Twisting Nether.

Beside the Burning Legion, the Argent Crusade would ‘most likely’ fight any foe which threatens to endanger Azeroth. The Twilight’s Hammer could also be a likely target for the Argent Crusade since they appear to actively oppose groups affiliated with the Light. ‘The Black Bishop’, hiding in the Church of Light in Stormwind and more famously Archbishop Benedictus, are all members of the Twilight’s Hammer who oppose the forces supporting the Light. Benedictus even goes as far as saying there is no Light at all.

Chapter 4: Timeline

The following time-line is based on the latest official timeline published on the old World of Warcraft website on August 7 2010 in combination with in-game information, manuals and novels.

- Sometime before Year 0:
The Holy Order of Northshire Clerics is founded by Archbishop Alonsus Faol to spread the word of the Light amongst the Kingdom of Azeroth as its Dwarven allies and, with lesser success, the High Elves.
- Year 0:
The Dark Portal is opened and brings the Orcish Hordes onto Azeroth. The Holy Order of Northshire Clerics joins the battle with the armies of the Kingdom of Azeroth.
- Year 0-1:
Stormwind is destroyed as is The Holy Order of Northshire Clerics. Archbishop Faol flees to Lordaeron.
- Year 1-6:
The Order of the Silver Hand is founded by Archbishop Faol and Uther Lightbringer in order to combat the Orcish hordes. Other founding members are Tirion Fordring, Saidan Dathrodan and Turalyon.
- Year 6-8:
The Second War at its peak. The Order of the Silver Hand is paramount to achieving final victory for the Alliance of Lordaeron.
- Year 19:
The events of ‘Blood and Honor’ take place. Tirion Fordring is eventually exiled and expelled from The Silver Hand for aiding the Orc Eitrigg and attacking Alliance soldiers while freeing him.
- Year 20:

  • The Third War begins
  • The Silver Hand is disbanded by Prince Arthas Menethil in response to Uther denying aid in the Purge of Stratholme.
  • Fall of Lordaeron: The Silver Hand is almost completely decimated.
    - Year 21:
  • The Third War ends
  • The Lich King is triumphant.
    - Year 20-25:
  • The Resistance begins
  • The Scarlet Crusade is formed to organise a new resistance to reclaim the Plaguelands.
  • The Argent Dawn is formed in response to the Scarlet Crusade’s increasing madness, arrogance and racism.
  • The Brotherhood of Light is created to keep tensions between the Scarlet Crusade and the Argent Dawn tolerable.
    - Year 25: (Start of World of Warcraft)
  • Tirion Fordring enlists the aid of adventurers to turn his son away from The Scarlet Crusade’s treachery but this ultimately ends with the death of his son Tealan at the hands of the Scarlets. Tirion vows to recreate the Order of the Silver Hand.
    - Year 27:
  • The Argent Crusade is formed.
  • March on Northrend
    The Death Knights of Archerus attempt to conquer Light’s Hope Chapel. During the assault, the Argent Dawn proves to be victorious as Tirion enters the field. In the aftermath, Tirion receives the Corrupted Ashbringer from Darion Mograine after which the sword is purified. This legitimises his claim to bring remnants of the Order of the Silver Hand and the Argent Dawn together as into one fighting force: The Argent Crusade.
    - Year 28:
  • The Final Battle
  • The Argent Tournament takes place
  • The Lich King is defeated at Icecrown
    - Year 28/29: (Cataclysm Expansion)
  • Reclaiming the Plaguelands
  • Tyr’s Hand is liberated from the Scarlet Onslaught
  • Stratholme is liberated for the Argent Crusade
  • Restorations within the Plaguelands begin.

Addendum I: The Light and The Three Virtues

The Light in itself isn’t a physical being or a deity. Though these two facts have been confirmed, there has been much debate on the forums and a lot of vague descriptions within the current lore making it hard to give an exact definition to the Light as a religion. What we do know is that the worship of the Light in itself is a way of life instead of reverence for a certain deity or force. The powers some gain (for example, Paladins) after a period of time following this way of life can be seen as a confirmation that the person is on the ‘good’ path of the Light.

The Light as a religion or way of life can mostly be compared to having a very optimistic outlook on life. Even when evil wins ground, the Light teaches characters there is a reason why the evil wins ground. This is a very quintessential part of the Light since various lore examples can be given where the victory of evil has ultimately resulted in the victory of good sometime later.

Take for example the Invasion of Quel’thalas. Before, Quel’thalas only had a relatively small amount of Light worshippers. Though the invasion caused this small group to forsake the Light initially, the victory over Kil’jaeden and the rebirth of the Sunwell through the aid of the Naaru showed the Blood Elves the Light was still with them. According to snippets of lore since, the Blood Elves slowly start to embrace the power of the Light over that of the diminished Arcane which ultimately is a positive outcome.

As such, a character who is an Argent Crusader will need to be optimistic of the future. Even though setbacks and deaths will harm the character’s morale, he or she will eventually need to find inner strength to persevere.

The Three Virtues

One of the main teachings of the Light are the Three Virtues. These virtues are paramount in day to day activity’s for a follower of the Light and basically are words of wisdom and a guideline how to deal with yourself and the world.

Though the Three Virtues were first detailed in the White Wolf RPG books, they have since been confirmed as ‘official lore’ with the release of patch 3.2. At the Argent Tournament, Argent Confessor Paletress enlightens visitors of the three virtues and their role in worshipping the Light. What follows below is a small summary of the information she shares. Should you wish to read the exact text of Argent Confessor Paletress, look further below. - Thanks go to Strorm for highlighting Paletress’ text and the fact the Three Virtues are now considered official lore.

Respect: As a worshipper of the Light, you need to be aware of the self and the universe. By being respectful, you can gain a connection with the universe and make it a better place. Being disrespectful harms the universe and eventually harms yourself since you are part of the universe.

Tenacity: Only through perseverance can you affect the world and the universe. Basically, Lordaeron wasn’t build in one day! There will be setbacks and failures, but through those failures you will eventually be able to succeed. Keep working on grasping those healings skills and perhaps one day, with patience, you might become a true master.

Compassion: The last of the virtues. Through compassion you can affect the world and the universe around you. But when being too passionate, you might harm the world more than do it a favour. Not being passionate enough might harm the world too. This virtue basically tells us you need to find a balance between being too passionate and not being passionate enough. Should you attack that Scourge group on your own or should you wait for reinforcements? Should you leave that dying beggar or help him? That is the challenge of the last virtue.

Argent Confessor Paletress about the Three Virtues
"Thank you all for attending this sermon. It’s wonderful to see so many familiar faces! Today I would like to touch on the three virtues of the Light.

These are dark and difficult times for us all. The armies of the Scourge amass to the south. Companions fall on the battlefield and rise to serve our enemy moments later.
Many of you have experienced a betrayal of trust. Yet you persevere, as we all must. In these times, no one is a stranger to the virtue of tenacity. In the face of despair and hatred, we continue to stand true to our beliefs and fight on. There can be no doubt as to your tenacity… but there are other virtues to consider.

Respect is the first virtue taught to those joining the path of the Light. >>Look across the aisle to those you would call enemy. Despite the hatred that separates you, there are qualities to respect in your opponent. Their prowess should be acknowledged. All of us gathered here have a concept of honorable combat. Conducting yourself with honor and treating your opponent as you wish to be treated shows respect. Respect your opponent on the field, whether he be your brother or your sworn enemy. No matter where your beliefs truly lie, such respect is acknowledging a connection…
…and in acknowledging those connections, you are closer to the Light.

There is one further step on the path of Light: compassion.
Rivalries abound in this day and age. It is easy to see differences wherever you turn. The challenge is in looking beyond appearances and understanding our similarities. Through this understanding, you can feel compassion for the losses others have suffered…
…even if the victim bears another banner. By feeling and understanding compassion in enemy and ally alike, you reaffirm your connection with the world.

Acting on these tenets, these virtues, help make the world a place we all can appreciate. A world of honor and justice. Think on my words, friends. In the darkness that surrounds us all, the Light is needed more than ever."

Addendum II: The Watcher Tyr

During ‘Ask the CDev #1 - Answers’, more insight was given about one of the Titanic Watchers named Tyr. Before contemplating about the meaning and importance of the myth of Tyre to the modern day Argent Crusade, let’s start by quoting the myth itself as described during the Ask the CDev session.

“The story of Tyr slipped into memory long ago, when the young race of humans struggled to survive using the limited supplies provided to them by the parents who had abandoned them. They occasionally took to gathering around a fire whilst trying to read from scrolls telling of ancient heroes and leaders – tales from the civilization that had cast these creatures out. One of these scrolls spoke of a great leader, a paragon of order and justice, who sacrificed his right hand in a fight against an unfathomable evil. Although it was within this hero’s power to fix his hand after the fighting had ended, the hero instead chose to replace it with a closed fist made of the purest silver. In this way, the hero impressed upon those who followed him that true order and justice can only be accomplished through personal sacrifice.”

Although unconfirmed, this myth ‘could’ be one of the basic foundations for the later created Light religion. But also the Silver Hand used the symbol of Tyr, both in their tabards and their name as the order was one to spread order and justice in defence of Lordaeron. Finally, his name was also used in the name of one of the original Scarlet enclaves: Tyr’s Hand. As such, it is quite probably Tyre’s myth is still used in the game world like we use the Greek Pantheon in modern day name giving and symbolism.

Addendum III: Argent Crusaders: ‘Hippies, Traitors’?

Since the Argent Crusade’s formation during the early days of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, numerous debates have sprung up if Argent Crusaders can be considered hippies or not. This has since then grown into a stigma of perceiving Argent Crusaders as soft, peaceful, ignorant and childish personalities which some RPers find very out of place in the violent Warcraft world. Especially now the Argent Crusaders can mostly be seen ‘growing flowers’ in the Plaguelands since the Cataclysm expansion, a lot of RPers consider rolepaying an Argent Crusader a boring experience.

Although Argent Crusaders can definitely considered ‘peaceful’, they are not entirely peaceful themselves. Argent Crusaders mainly wish order and justice to spread, just like the Silver Hand. Was the Silver Hand entirely peaceful? Absolutely not, they slaughtered many Orcs. Was the Argent Crusade’s mission of bringing down the Lich King peaceful? No, it was a massacre considering the amount of deaths on the Crusade’s side around Icecrown Citdael. Even though the Argent Crusade is mostly conducting peaceful activities in Cataclysm (not exclusively though, Stratholme is a nasty battle against the Risen as well), that doesn’t mean they will actively oppose Sylvanas for example when she might grow too bold. As said before, Argent Crusaders wish order and justice. If that means a war is necessary to achieve that order and justice, they won’t hesitate to do so.

Another popular ‘mistake’ is the fact that Argent Crusaders are perceived as ‘traitors’ by a lot of RPers and can be read in many topics around the forum. The Argent Crusade along with Tirion Fordring lead the battle against the Lich King. Before Deathwing came along and fried Azeroth to cinders, the Lich King was considered to be the deadliest threat to the safety of all of Azeroth. Beside the Lich King’s war crimes during the Third War, remember the Scourge Invasion event prior to the actual launch of Wrath of the Lich King? That is canon, official lore and was a true nightmare for the people of the areas affected. And it is -very recent-.

Now let’s go back to the moment the Lich King was defeated and the Argent Crusade along with Tirion Fordring wend back home. Do you think -anyone- would have thrown rotten apples at the Crusaders? Of course not! They were considered heroes, examples to children!

With the recent tensions and a war gearing up between the Horde and the Alliance, it could happen that a few bitter characters feel the Crusaders are abandoning their service to their respective homelands. But it’s very unlikely an entire faction or race would think of the Argent Crusaders as traitors. They’ve just done way too many good deeds to save Azeroth from destruction to get tomatoes thrown at them.

Addendum IV: The Brotherhood of Light (& the Inigo Montoy incident)

Lore on the Brotherhood of Light is sadly extremely scarce and hard to come by. All we have at the moment are a limited number of quest texts and some dialogue. But it should be enough to draw a small but clear picture about them.

During the ‘tense’ alliance between the Argent Dawn and the Scarlet Crusade in the battle for the Plaguelands and Naxxramas, ‘The Brotherhood of Light’ was created as a subsection of the Argent Dawn. The group was tasked to unite the ‘zealous’ Scarlet Crusaders and the Argent Dawn under one banner for special tasks and missions in addition to being a diplomatic platform between the Argent Dawn and the Scarlet Crusade.

Initial appearance and role

The Brotherhood of Light came into existence during the Naxxramas raid patch in World of Warcraft Classic. During the quests and dialogue, it is made clear that the Brotherhood is a very small group consisting mostly of members from the Argent Dawn who take a ‘strong’ stance against Undead. Simply said, the Brotherhood of Light is like the Scarlet Crusade just not maddened by Balzannar to believe only the members of the Brotherhood are free of the plague. The Brotherhood’s Commander is Eligar Dawnbringer.

During their initial appearance, the Brotherhood of Light had a pivotal role in taking down Kel’Thuzad during the time Naxxramas floated above the Plaguelands. Sadly, once Kel’Thuzad was defeated, not all wend well…

The Inigo Montoy incident

After adventurers (the players) defeated Kel’Thuzad during the original Level 60 Naxxramas raid, they were directed to bring Kel’Thuzad’s phylactery to Father Inigo Montoy of the Brotherhood of Light. What the adventurers sadly didn’t know is that Montoy was secretly working for Arthas.

During the start of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, it is revealed the Argent Dawn never received the phylactery. The Argent Dawn begins to investigate the issue but doesn’t seem to find much until the Scourge attack the Alliance holding of Wintergarde Keep. As the player, and the Alliance, fight the Scourge back to the crypts below Wintergarde Keep, it is revealed to the player that Montoy was the one who stole the phylactery. He secretly took the phylactery to Northrend and handed it back to Arthas. The Lich King ‘rewarded’ Montoy by turning him into a Lich, something Montoy later doesn’t seem to mind all that much.

Moments later, Montoy, now known as the Lich ‘Thel’Zan the Duskbringer’ reveals that Kel’Thuzad has risen once more using the phylactery within Naxxramas. The Alliance forces, along with Bolvar Fordragon, manage to defeat Thel’zan thus ending the life of Father Inigo Montoy.

During the battle at Wintergarde Keep, Eligar Dawnbringer can also be seen giving players and NPC’s instructions about the horrors they will soon face within Naxxramas. Basically, he gives a verbal description of the raid along with its bosses.

Present Day

The Brotherhood of the Light returned to the Plaguelands after their victory within Naxxramas in Northrend. The Brotherhood, along with Eligar Dawnbringer, take a center role in the reclaiming of Stratholme from the Scourge. Though there’s not a lot of lore value to Eligar’s dialogue, there are some interesting bits to consider. For example, we see a select few number of the Brotherhood aiding Eligar and adventurers (players) in their quest like a Packmaster and a Craftsman.

This, along with Argent Crusade reinforcements later on, ‘could’ mean that the Brotherhood of Light is now merely a small squad or group within the Argent Crusade, just with a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ type of style.

Closing remarks

Hopefully this guide aided you in giving an idea about the Argent Crusade’s history, its members and how to create a character who is an Argent Crusader. If you have any ideas or suggestions for additions to the guide, please leave them below. I might add them later on! For now, thanks for reading and good luck with creating that Argent Crusade character!

Anastre/Celegil

Peons: A roleplaying guide by Safli

Chapter one: Lore

Throughout Orcish history, the Horde has relied upon peons, the overlooked downcasts of the Horde to perform its manual labour. In all three, possibly four wars, the Horde has utilised peons for multiple uses:

• Chopping lumber

• Constructing buildings

• Repairing existing structures

• Mining for ore and gold

• Maintaining siege equipment

• Assembling siege equipment

• Possibly firing siege equipment (the basis of this being an early WarCraft III screenshot)

• Acting as cheap, disposable scouts

• Defending encampments by throwing spears from Orc burrows

• Clearing forestry

• Doing the chores and errands of officers

• Carrying supply crates and boxes

• Unpacking supply crates and boxes

• Packing (presumably) supply crates and boxes

• Cooking and serving food (taken from role-play experience)

• Dissembling metal salvage (taken from role-play experience)

• Being sent en masse to assault the enemy (when the situation is really dire)

• Farming(?)

As you can see, Peons act as an essential part of any Horde warband, performing the many tasks that the grunts and shamen would not ever do, allowing them to concentrate on fighting the Horde’s foes instead.

How an Orc becomes classed as a peon has never really been set in stone, though some ideas include:

• They are a sub-species of Orc, as they tend to appear smaller than the other orcs in WoW

• They are a special caste of Orcs

• They are Orcs which have failed their Om’riggor (rite of adulthood) which is a ritual in which Orcs at the age of 20 are tested to see if they will be strong enough to fight. - I find this to be the most likely explanation as to how one becomes a peon.

• It is a punishment rank of the Orc for those who show disobedience toward their superiors.

Needless to say, the majority of peons are too weak and/or mentally inept to serve in the field of war, and lack any particular skills of merit. For this reason, peons are forced to work for the rest of their lives in menial labour, with very little break or respite. During the first and second wars, peons received some of the most abysmal treatment, this likely fuelled by the demonic blood that ran through the Orcish race at that time period.

Upon Thrall becoming warchief of the Horde however, the conditions for the peonry were colossally improved. This was because he encouraged his people to treat them in a manner most exceedingly gentler. Whilst this certainly reduced the abuse they received, it alas did not stop it however, for Orcs of the upper classes such as the Kor’Kron Guard continued to act brutally in regard to them. This was especially true when Thrall and his advisor’s eyes were not laid down upon them.

Despite this, the peons now live a much happier life, and serve the Horde wherever and whenever they may need them, for without peons there could be no Horde.

Peons themselves are at the very, very bottom of Orcish society, and even the most common Orc has the authority to order them around. Peons themselves only have one title they can ambitiously work toward, that being peon overseer, which allows a peon to have limited authority over his or her peers.

Peons often presumably find it difficult to sleep from working all day, and for that reason, there exist peon sleep potions, which are basically strong alcoholic beverages to aid them in dropping off.

Chapter two: Why should I role-play one?

For several reasons of course! Firstly, people generally seem to really like the presence of IC peons, role-playing as one I have received several compliments and kudos from passersby about the fact that was what I was role-playing.

They are relatively easy to role-play as well, due to the simplicity of their characters as presented by the WarCraft RTS games, a mere studying of their quotes from those games acts as an ideal guide.

Since peons act as the very foundations of the pyramid of Orcish hierarchy with very miniscule chances of ascending higher, it allows one greater free reign over what one may do in role-play. For example, a peon need not stand in line when an army receives a briefing, and can walk around and comment on things as one has no real need for fear of demotion. Admittedly, this will in all likelihood end up in the Peon being shushed, slapped, and/or shooed, but I hope you understand my point.

Peons can be as serious and as light hearted as one desires them to be role-played, and creating a new character to act as a peon is cheap, easy, and quick.

Chapter three: How to start up your adventure into the world of Peon RP with a simple character template

Start a new character, an Orc, make sure he/she is bald and lacks thick facial hair, this makes the character resemble the peons of the RTS games. The class I would recommend would be either warrior or rogue, though monk could act as an adequate choice if it were available.

Let us presume that one has chosen a warrior, enter the game world and attempt to obtain the ‘Woven’ cloth set from a low level armour vendor. Advisable is the vendor up north at Razor Hill, which has this set available.

Equip all of the items of the set; though if you are a warrior, keep wearing the worn trousers you started with for they appear suitably ragged. Once you are all dressed, simply obtain a mining pick. If one lacks an axe, one would recommend you obtained one of them as well, just in case.

Equip the pickaxe, and voila! Done! You are a peon! Now that you have equipped a nice template set, feel free to modify it your own personal whim. You are now ready to get into role-playing!

Chapter four: Anything else?

Only three tips. The first being, if one wishes to simulate the immense weakness of a peon, try capping your level at 20. This way, most hostile mobs will still provide a danger so grunt escorts will continue to serve a purpose, and travelling is less impeded by having access to a basic mount.

As for the second one, acting as a peon actually means role-play is available most of the time if you are located in a hub (excluding blood elf settlements). One would recommend walking up to random bystanders and asking “Something need doing?”, and if all works well, this individual may provide you with a menial yet engaging task to perform in character. One must note that this functions at best within a base camp during a RP war campaign.

The third and final tip is that the more peons that there are present in an area, the greater the potential for role-playing scenarios! For example, three peons could attempt to go on a mining trip up to a cave, providing IC material for nearby soldiers who will have to escort them. If there existed several peons, they could work together to clear a forest or repair a stronghold! The possibilities are most wide!

Chapter five: ‘But I don’t think the Horde needs any more peons, its role-play scene is good enough without hundreds of you annoying fellows.’

It doesn’t need them no, and this certainly isn’t going to fix all of Argent Dawn’s problems, but if it brings smiles to people’s faces, I felt I may as well encourage and endorse it with this thread. Admittedly, peon role-play really isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I’ve met one person who despises it completely and utterly, but I can’t lie to you by saying it isn’t fun and rewarding.

I hope you enjoyed reading my thread, and thank you exceedingly for doing so. I hope you consider venturing into the wondrous world of peonry some time soon.

Thank you, and may Aman’thul the High father keep you safe!

The Monk Roleplaying Guide - by Zen

Hello there, grasshopper!

This is my friendly monk guide. If you have any questions, ask away. I hope that by reading this it answers some of the more frequently asked questions about what monk RP can entail or involve - or find the interest to roll one if you haven’t already! (Get it? Roll?).

What exactly are monks?

In perspective of the class we play, they’re heavily based on the Shaolin monks of ancient China. They’re not a new class to the Warcraft universe, but to the other races they are a mostly new occupation. To be a monk is certainly a way of life, and not simply something one does in his spare time, as it takes years of training to be capable as a hand to hand fighter on battlefields, especially when they are often dominated by steel and magic. A well studied monk has access to potent Chi energy; the spirit energy within all people that only monks know how to fully control at will. Chi strengthens their punches to the strength of mace strikes, it even allows them to perform great feats of Chi magic, capable of healing or harming whoever the monk wishes in many ways.

They train mentally and physically to be as strong, yet agile as possible. A monk’s athleticism is what makes him a deadly fighter. On the battlefield, they can easily outmaneuver footsoldiers in heavy armor, and perhaps even the spells of mages and projectiles of archers. They fight with their legs as well as their hands, and in one-on-one combat they would be amongst the hardest combatants to battle - in fact, well trained monks are competent enough to fight many enemies at once. They can serve as healers of their allies, skilled soldiers on the front lines, or bolster their rank’s offence or defensive capabilities with pandaren brews that sharpen one’s mind rather than blur and slow it. Monks have lightning fast minds, reflexes, and attacks. They have played an important role in Pandaria’s battlefields for thousands of years, and will no doubt bring new tactics to the table as more races learn their ways.

History - Pandaren Monks - How the monk came to be.

Most, if not all of this is taken from in-game lore texts but I have condensed it down to what I feel are the most important parts. Monk history is tied directly to pandaren and Pandaria history.

Reknowned monks:

Emperor Shaohao - the Last Emperor of Pandaria was presumably a monk.
Lord Taran Zhu - ‘his prowess is legendary’, say the Shado-Pan, whom he leads.
Chen Stormstout - the famous wandering brewmaster is also a skilled monk.
Master Bruised Paw - the Hidden Master of Pandaria.
Master Shang Xi - the last Master of the Training Grounds of the Wandering Isle.
Aysa Cloudsinder - student of Master Shang Xi and philosophical leader of the Tushui.
Ji Firepaw - student of Master Shang Xi and philosophical leader of the Huojin.
Kang the Fist of First Dawn - the first monk who taught the pandaren slaves under the mogu to fight unarmed.

How the monks began.

In the days of the mogu dynasties, slaves were the lifeblood of the empire. Pandaren, hozen, and jinyu worked fields, dug mines, and built the mighty fortresses of their masters. To help combat fatigue, maintain morale, and return the wounded to work, the mogu permitted a special caste of slaves that specialized in the brewing of remedies. Simple teas and poultices were their speciality at first. Over the years these specialists became healers, community leaders, and brewmasters.

These early “monks” became symbols of hope and pride amongst the pandaren. Emperor Lao-Fe was a monster among beasts, however. His favoured punishment among pandaren slaves was to separate families. Slaves who displeased him would have their children sent to the Serpent’s Spine, to suffer and die as fodder for the mantid swarms.

This was the fate that befell a young pandaren monk named Kang. In a moment of clarity during his grief, he saw the mogu overlords for what they were: weak. They possessed dark magics and horrific weapons, but their empire was completely reliant on slave labour.

The servant races were not permitted to carry weapons, so Kang determined that the pandaren themselves would become the weapons. So it came to pass that pandaren monks began their training in the martial arts, and Kang became known as the Fist of First Dawn. It was these heroes who first learned how to fight without weapons, in secret. Monks taught the other slaves the secrets of martial arts. When the revolution came, the monks were the first into battle, inspiring the humble farmers, smiths, and masons to follow…

They were quick, agile, deadly. In contrast, the favoured weapons of the mogu were based on fear rather than practicality. They were large, cumbersome, and difficult to wield. Pandaren monks took advantage, developing fast strikes and the skill to quickly move around the battlefield. The larger, slower mogu were often completely disoriented by the speed of the pandaren monks in open combat.

Over the years, fighting styles have changed dramatically, incorporating any number of other abilities, weapons, styles, etc. But the core foundation of pandaren fighting techniques remains the same: Defeat an opponent of any size with your bare paws if you have to.

Roleplay Specializations - Your tiger style is no match for my serpent style!

The three in-game specs are Brewmaster, Windwalker, and Mistweaver. However, it’s rare for monks to refer to these styles by these names e.g, one doesn’t study the path of a Windwalker or a Mistweaver, they are loose terms - as broad as saying you’re studying the path of the warrior or the paladin - you don’t say ‘protection paladin’ ICly either. Whilst it does give an inclination as to what kind of monk you are - a Windwalker being an aggressive fighter, and a Mistweaver being a healer, there are more fitting ways of describing it.

Each of the August Celetial’s Temples in Pandaria marks the location of defeat for the Prime Sha by Emperor Shaohao thousands of years ago. Monks who train at these locations have developed different styles for combating the Sha relevant to their location. These are the styles practiced by monks today. Any self-developed, personal styles would have been branches of these original four.

Fierce Tiger Style

Xuen, Windwalker - Devleoping fast, powerful and lethal strikes, aggressive and unrelenting.

Sturdy Ox Style

Niuzao, Brewmaster - Focuses on defence and endurance, able to either absorb powerful blows and fluidly dodge and avoid them.

Wise Serpent Style

Yu’lon, Mistweaver - the primary mistweaving healing monk’s training Involves a lot of studying, meditation, advanced understanding of Chi energy. Healing techniques.

Spirited Crane Style

Chi-Ji inspires a few moves such as the Spinning Crane Kick, but is comparable to a Mistweaver kind of martial art. They balance offensive attacks to power and augment their healing abilities.

Whilst it’s fine to develop your own style I’d put some thoughts into what the style is actually about and how it’s different from something that already exists - it would most likely be a developed form of one of these styles. Styles under the tutelege of the Celestials and developed over 10,000 years are not easily improved upon.

Races and Monks

As far as pandaren style monks are concerned, and the playable class; monks as we know them have only really become available for the rest of the world, but in the monk order hall there are plenty of non-pandaren masters. This means enough time has passed for us as RPers to also feasibly play as masters if we aren’t pandaren, though keep in mind that it has still only been a few years for non-pandaren to train as monks. Most pandaren masters are still going to have a larger amount of experience than non-pandaren masters. This is also important when we consider that being a master monk doesn’t necessarily mean you’re as good as you can get, but more on that later.

There have been the pandaren venturing from the Wandering Isle, but it is rare that they will take on the time and commit themselves to teaching someone until they have mastered it. There are a few exceptions though. Brother Korloff of the Scarlet Crusade was taught by a wandering pandaren, and he then trained the Scarlets; hence why the Scarlets have monks. The Draenei starting area was retconned so that Mojo Stormstout was on Azuremust when the draenei crashed there, so on a chronological level, draenei monks could have been around since Burning Crusade. There are Argent monks, though since the Argent Crusade was born out of a breakaway faction of the Scarlets, it’s plausible these monks are former students of Korloff, save for their lightwielding abilities.

Auchenai monks seem to be more of the Christian monastic variety, keepers of the dead and holy in their beliefs, rather than the Shaolin style that the pandaren are based off. These monks don’t work with Chi energy either; so if you were to roleplay one, it wouldn’t be quite the same monk you play as in-game.

Aside from pandaren, virtually all other races have not had access to monkly teachings, and so there would not be too much variety in what each race has learned or developed by themselves. The lessons of being a monk are the same for everyone - but the physical implications are different. For example, taller races such as elves might find their longer legs give them an advantage to develop by placing an emphasis on learning kicks, whereas orcs and dwarves have powerful arms to punch with, and adapt to that. Tauren and draenei have hooves, which will affect how they kick, so they might be taught to use their arms more often, or to kick differently. This is how, say - a gnome monk, can still adapt to their strengths and still fight on relatively equal ground as larger, stronger races such as tauren monks.

Chi

What is Chi? You’ve seen it mentioned already but may not know what it really is beyond the resource that monks use. It isn’t just a magic power that makes you stronger for the sake of it. It is a real life reference to an energy of the same name also found in real life.

https://twitter.com/DaveKosak/status/437008735060234241

Simply put, Chi is spirit energy within all beings: monks are the ones that learn to control, exploit and manipulate it, in themselves and in others. Chi is literally the pandaren word for Spirit, and it is the same energy that shaman use to heal.

But monks do not borrow this energy from elemental spirits. They use their own spirit. Once tapped into, it can be expelled from the body in the form of something resembling magic, though it is not arcane, spiritual or divine in origin as it is not sourced from the Light, nature, or some omnipresent collective of spirits. It is one’s own energy, re-shaped and re-applied however the monk sees fit.

It can cause great harm, be thrown as a projectile or channelled into one’s limbs to strengthen their attacks. It can also restore wounds, both magic and physical. There is positive Chi, and negative Chi - which can heal, or cause damage. Hypothetically the only difference between them is the monk’s mental frame of mind, e.g “I want this to hurt / heal.” This works efficiently so because negative Chi intended to harm some can simultaneously be positive Chi that heals others, demonstrated through various abilities that both heal and deal damage to friends and enemies like Chi Burst. To a point, this demonstrates that one must be willing to harm before Chi can be used to do so. There isn’t too much official on how Chi works, so don’t stress out too hard trying to figure out how this might work. Just know that your Chi will hurt those you want to harm, or heal those you want to heal.

The best word used to describe Chi’s capabilities is ‘potent’. It is a malleable resource and much like the arcane to a mage, only one’s experience and knowledge in manipulate limits them - a more experienced monk could bend their Chi energy to far greater effect than a novice. It is the manipulation of Chi energy that separates him from a simple hand to hand fighter. In fact, Chi is an integral part of the monk’s arsenal. By default, attuning to your Chi amplifies your qualities. The strong become stronger, the quick become quicker. A novice in Chi manipulation might still see a noticeable increase in these things, whilst a true master can become a blur of speed who has strikes that hit like rib-shattering hammers!

However, some things are beyond Chi capability. It is not magic, but reshaped, natural energy. It has boundries and doesn’t accomodate for certain things. It can’t create food out of thin air, it can’t re-wind time, it can’t make you see through walls, it can’t create portals or make it begin raining. The kit of abilities we have in-game is a good indication of what monks are capable of - try to stick to the theme of abilities monks have if you want to come up with your own ideas.

Monk Ranks - Masters, Disciples, Apprentices and Initiates

We all know that in real life, many martial arts have a grading system, in the forms of belts or stripes. You could say that it is the same in-game, as there are belts available from the vendor and different colours of belt are awarded as you level up and do the monk class quests (Yellow, Green, Red, and Brown).

However, there’s nothing explicitly stated about the significance of the colour of one’s belt concerning your IC level of skill in martial arts, and so there’s generally nothing official in the way of monk ranks. Some monks in-game have them, others do not. Some have different colour belts despite being the same rank or status. So how do you go about classifying your monk’s level of skill? I would advise splitting it into three categories; students / initiates, disciples, and masters. One would spend most of their time training as a disciple.

What defines a character as a master?

This is a tricky subject as there are two ways of looking at it. You could regard yourself as a master, as others might, if you have mastered the martial arts. You have gotten to the point where no-one can teach you further and it’s simply up to your character to develop his skills further. But that doesn’t mean you know everything there is to know, and it doesn’t mean you’re as good as any other master. You might only have mastered one style or form of fighting, like Fierce Tiger.

It would be the courteous thing to refer to these people as masters, sort of like how we recognize doctors or professors. You could also be referred to as master if your character has students - because then you are effectively a master, you are tutoring someone, but teacher and master don’t always correlate. Becoming a teacher to become a student’s master does not automatically make one a mastered monk. You may not be as proficient as the self-titled master character mentioned earlier, unless you circumstantially are one of those masters. Most often, that should be the case anyway. Most masters will not teach until they are confident that their arts are tried and tested, and most students will only want to train under a master who knows what he or she is doing.

Pandaren are currently the most appropriate race to accomodate a master character. All other races have only just begun to learn these martial arts. Even if there are non-pandaren masters, they would only have been learning for four or so years now ICly - pandaren can have learned for as long as they have been alive. The pandaren people have developed them over thousands of years, they grow up with it and since before MoP, they have been learning it.

On the other hand, don’t feel obliged to play a master character. There is so much fun to be had in playing a character who learns to become stronger and wiser, and there is excellent opportunity to do this as a monk. Playing as a master monk is playing as a being of experience, and you should have the confidence and knowledge to reflect that if you want to do it well.

Power of Voodoo - Troll Religion by Tsathoggua

The introduction of two more “witch doctor” classes to the trolls has prompted many questions to be asked of me, regarding troll religion. The religion and magic of the trolls has received more development in the setting than perhaps any other, even including the Titans and the Light.

Worship of the troll gods has been a focus of roleplay in the <Darkspear Tribe> and <the Cult of the Raptor> as well as many other troll-themed guilds, for years. Over those years, we’ve gathered together lots of information from within the game and beyond.

Many players and guilds have been invited to browse that information on our own forums over the years, but many would not even know to ask.

To make that information more readily available to the influx of troll characters, I have compiled much of it into this thread.

This post is the general introduction to the thread, and the table of contents.

  • General Introduction
  • Table of Contents
  • Troll Religion Introduction
  • The Loa
  • Witch Doctors
  • Primal Loa
  • Elemental Loa
  • Ancestor Loa
  • Muisek and E’ko
  • Druids and Warlocks

Troll Religion, a summary introduction

Some scholars view voodoo as a type of animism, and to an extent that theory is true. The trolls? religion takes a decidedly different dark bent than the shamanistic beliefs of the orcs and tauren, though. Trolls have a complex belief system involving malign spirits and their effect on the world, but no scholar has established what is truth and what is simply long-held belief. The Darkspear trolls come from a dark and bloodthirsty history of sacrifice, cannibalism and black magic. They consider spirits to be individuals much like living creatures. Spirits are greedy, hostile and dangerous.

Trolls also believe their ancestors linger on as jealous spirits who miss the land of the living and require blood sacrifices to appease them. Trolls sacrifice and eat their enemies. They conduct these practices for two reasons. First, they believe the sacrifice of sentient creatures appeases malicious spirits. Second, they believe that after death, an enemy?s spirit can visit misfortune on its killer. By consuming the flesh of their enemies, trolls believe they can also consume their enemy?s spirit, or at least damage it enough to render it impotent.

  • Horde Player’s Guide (2006)

We see troll Voodoo throughout the game setting. Whether in Darkshore, Tanaris, Durotar, Eversong Woods, Stranglethorn, or beyond, trolls across the world have similar animist beliefs. The world is full of spirits [called “loa” by all the tribes of trolls seen in game thus far], and those spirits are fickle and greedy. Their assistance must be bargained for. Whilst all trolls seem to believe in these spirits, and will make appropriate obesiances and sacrifices to appease them in small ways, truly dealing with the loa falls to those in the role of the Witch Doctor. Whilst further explored in post 4, the witch doctor is essential to troll religion. All troll caster classes are variations on the Witch Doctor. This is not to imply, however, that non-casters have no understanding or appreciation for the religious aspects of troll culture.

One can be Catholic without being a priest. One can be Buddhist without being a monk.

For a time, the Darkspear Tribe of jungle trolls certainly tempered the darker aspects of their religion. By Thrall’s encouragement, sacrifices of sentient beings was curtailed and, when done, was hidden. By Thrall’s encouragement, witch doctors did not enslave minor malignant loa [demons], and so no warlocks were seen amongst the Darkspear. By Thrall’s encouragement, cannibalism officially ceased. Change was slow, and a number of troll witch doctors around the world gave quests which hinted that not all of these practices had disappeared. A number of events seem to have somewhat reversed that slow change.

Furthermore, all the currently known tribes of ice trolls practice cannibalism. Sand trolls, forest trolls, and jungle trolls are also frequently cannibalistic, though not always. Even the mysterious dark trolls are believed to be cannibals for the most part. Yet there are several notable exceptions. For example, the Zandalar and Revantusk tribes do not consume troll flesh. The Darkspear tribe, too, was cannibalistic until it joined the Horde, at which point the Darkspears officially gave up cannibalism.

The bargain with Bwonsamdi during the Zalazane’s Fall event was one such event that hints at the reversal of these changes. Chief Vol’jin promised the ancestor loa Bwonsamdi [more on Ancestor Loa in post 7] that sacrifices would resume. Since the rebuilding of the Echo Isles, piles of skulls are certainly seen surrounding various shrines and idols on the Isles. They may be the skulls of humans or centaur, but both those races still technically count as sentient [grins].

Thrall’s departure and Vol’jin’s “disagreement” with Garrosh is another. Vol’jin agreed to Thrall’s terms, because Thrall was the great hero predicted by the great Witch Doctor Chief Sen’jin [Vol’jin’s father, now dead]. With Thrall away, there is much question about whether this Horde is Thrall’s Horde, and Sen’jin did not promise the trolls to Garrosh, but specifically to Thrall. Some trolls may see this as a reason to turn back towards their older style of voodoo in Thrall’s absence. Certainly, little is done to hide or disguise the warlock class amongst the witch doctor trainees on the Echo Isles.

So, how to roleplay this? Just remember that whether or not your Darkspear is a witch doctor, they will generally believe that every thing, every person, every place has its own “loa” spirit, and that said spirit may not be friendly, and likely should be appeased to gain or maintain its favour. Thematically, in-game trollish voodoo is a blending of Hollywood’s cinematic view of voodoo with actual MesoAmerican [Aztec, Mayan] religious elements.

The Loa, overview

The limited amount of information involving troll Loa and gods can be frustrating to those trying to research troll lore. However for the active roleplayer it presents a unique kind of open canvas – trolls have gods for just about everything under the sun, and the number of gods in the troll pantheon has never been fully defined. This leaves an almost limitless amount of room to play when roleplaying a troll character, and creates all kinds of opportunities for myths and legends. Need a god? Make one up – the trolls have so many, it’s not far-fetched at all to produce one that was previously unheard of.

The trolls draw power for their voodoo magics by performing rituals and invoking the Primal Gods, Old Gods, forest spirits, and ancestral spirits: their Loa spirits and gods.

  • Magic & Mayhem, p.22

Both troll empires shared a central belief in a great pantheon of primitive gods, but the Gurubashi empire alone would fall under the sway of the darkest one.
– Troll Compendium

There are no hard and fast rules to define what it means to be a god in Warcraft, save that all gods are immortal. Gods can be fundamentally incorporeal, like Elune, or they may have physical bodies.

Gods are neither omniscient nor omnipotent. Take for example the case of the Soulflayer. Many of the trolls in the Gurubashi empire rose up against his bloody rule. They succeeded in destroying his avatar and banishing him from the world of Azeroth.

It is possible for a god to exert influence over several locations simultaneously. Yet the power of a god is limited.

Q: What is the relationship between the Ancients of the Emerald Dream and the loa?

A: Troll druids visiting the Moonglade have been overheard calling the wisps who reside there loa, just as they refer to Goldrinn, Aviana, and the other returned Ancients as loa. Night elves and tauren have tried to counsel these trolls on “correct” druidic nomenclature, but the trolls thus far have been stuck in their ways.

In patch 5.2, the following books can be found among the Zandalari forces on the Island of the Thunder King:

The Zandalari worship “loa,” powerful spirits who have been a part of the world predating even the titans. Countless loa exist, most weak, but some very powerful. Most are shapeless, whereas others have animal or creature forms.

Zandalari families often worship their own family loas, cities usually have their own civic deities, and the greatest loa are worshipped by the nation as a whole. Powerful, enlightened Zandalari can become loas upon their death - or so it is believed.

These spirits are central to the Zandalari worldview: so say the loa, so go the Zandalari.

I tell them others the loa don’t speak to me, but I see them all over, I hear them talk about me, I hear them tell me to give up. They hungry for flesh, them loa. They hungry for hate. They give up on me. I learn fast I better take what I want because no spirit going to give me nothing.

I tell the elders I want put in the ring, they tell me I crazy, going to get killed. Tell me to take the rock test. Lift them heavy stones over my head, show my back is strong, get a job pushing plow living on dirt. Them elders don’t see the real me. But I see the spirits, all around their heads, even the ones they don’t see. Them spirits see right through me. Hate me. Gotta prove them wrong.

I get in the ring, get them heavy hammers in each hand. They feel good. Feel better when I smash some heads. Feel best slick with blood. When a troll got nothing to lose they see it, I don’t care how big they are. They don’t show the fear but the spirits see. Can’t hide fear from the spirits.

I ain’t supposed to draw blood but I go for the head, that’s where the hate feels best. Spirits abandon them others once I done with them. Now they afraid of me. Better that way. I see you, spirits. I know you best.

Witch Doctors

Several quests in the history of the game have referenced Kin’weelay [now found in Bambala] to be the most powerful witch doctor amongst the Darkspear. “But he is only level 39!” you may cry. Perhaps, but he has abilities that are not reflected by mere combat voodoo, and are very powerful indeed.

Trolls are the ultimate witch doctors. Witch doctors are actually a mixture between the priest’s hexes, curses and healing abilities, and the shamans totems. It was the trolls, so they say, who invented the art. Their pots ever bubble with strange concoctions, and they scatter protective and decorative totems around their dwellings. They speak in tongues most can’t understand, communing with the strange and dark voodoo spirits from their tribal religion that grant them their power. They decorate themselves with ritual tattoos and designs, and shrunken heads dangle from their staves. The iconic troll witch doctor focuses on helping his allies with his strange blend of science and faith. He plants magic totems to help his allies, uses voodoo-based shadow magic, curses his enemies with hexes, and gives them powerful buffs before battle. He’s not a particularly skillful combatant, but when the Horde is in a scrape, somebody calls for the doctor.

  • Horde Player’s Guide (2006)

The witch doctor is an alchemical master, skilled at not only simply brewing potions and alchemical goods, but at awakening the spirits of the ingredients that go into her goods. A witch doctor at work can be unsettling, for she croons and chants to the herbs and animal parts that go into her brew, shaking a rattle to awaken them from their slumber, and sometimes even bursting into dance to ppease them and make them favor her. The powers that witch doctors revere are creatures of wild, ecstatic worship who demand dynamism from their servants.

  • More Magic & Mayhem (2005)

Witch doctors use and bargain with the loa - whether powerful loa or minor loa - to have them work for and not against the witch doctor, and by extension other trolls of the tribe. Considering the trolls’ views on the loa, it is not surprising that much of the magic involved in these bargains is quite dark and unsettling to others.

Kin’weelay? He traps the souls of the newly dead into their own shrunken skulls, then torments them into granting him their knowledge and power. He does so quickly, easily, and without fail. And not just to enemies. When the Darkspear Chieftain’s youngest son Yenniku is given to Zul’Gurub in the years before the events of warcraft III, he is taken by Zanzil. Kin’weelay’s plan? He makes a magical prison, in which to trap Yenniku’s soul forever, just like a shrunken skull.

The various caster classes of troll characters are all variations within the witch doctor archetype.

Many of these variations have titles to be found amongst the troll NPCs in different parts of the game setting. See post 10 for a look at some of the titles most appropriate for troll warlocks and druids.

Although they are savage and nefarious in the extreme, the Troll Witch Doctors have aligned themselves with the Horde out of pure necessity. These dastardly magic users are adept at manipulating the chemical processes within their fellow warriors in order to augment their combat abilities.

  • Warcraft III game manual (2002)

The Primal Loa

The Primal Loa appear to be almost totemic animal spirits, akin to those found in many Real World animist religions. The animal spirits called Primals are considered both ancient and powerful, and they seem to be worshipped as much as petitioned - something seeming to be unusual with the Warcraft troll cultures. There is hinted possibility that they may be the Ancients seen in night elf and tauren stories, but no confirmation at all. The various troll tribes and empires each worship their own selection of Primal loa, based largely it would appear upon the varieties of local fauna. This is not wholly, the case, however, as one Darkspear witch doctor quest-giver found in Zangarmarsh states that

No self-respecting Darkspear troll engages in bird worship. Their spirits are weak, capricious, and best left to the Amani.

In many examples found within the game, troll witch doctors of a variety of tribes either invite or force various Primal loa to possess them, taking on aspects of that loa, both magically and physically. The High Priests of old Zul’Gurub, of Zul’Aman, and Zul’Drak have all done so.

It is also unclear whether differing tribes who have Primal Loa of the same totem animal are merely worshipping the same loa under differing aspects or names, or whether they are actually separate spirits. Similarly to the way the Greeks and Romans, or the Aztecs and Mayans shared pantheons, it may be that Ula-tek and Hethiss and Sseratuss are all the same Primal Loa, worshipped under different names, and with some differing archetypes.

Assuming that this is so, we find the following list of Primal Loa, and their themes. The first name given in each case is the name under which the Darkspear Trolls worship that Primal Spirit.

Shadra [Elortha no Shadra], the Spider. Cunning plans and romance and poison are all her demesne.
Shirvallah [Eraka no Kimbul], the Tiger. A hunter and warrior, full of fury, the Lord of Cats, Prey’s Doom.
Bethekk [Har’Koa?], the Panther. Stealth and guile and misdirection.
Hir’eek, the Bat. Flyer in the Dark, and Collecter of Secrets
Hethiss [Sseratuss, Ula-tek], the Snake. Ula-tek is a patron of treachery and deceit, but Hethiss seems mostly patron of speed.
Gonk, the Raptor. Worshipped or known from “ancient Zandalarian tales” the green raptor loa recently taught Zen’tabra and other Darkspear witch doctors what might be called the way of the Druid.

[Nalorakk, Rhunok], the Bear. Most likely a loa of brute force and endurance.
[Akil’zon], the Eagle, an Amani [forest troll] loa.
[Akil’Darah], the Eagle, a Hinterlands forest troll loa of, for example, Revantusk tribe. Given the similarity of name and form, likely a parallel of Akil’zon.
[Halazzi], the Lynx. An Amani [forest troll] loa, he may be a direct parallel of Shirvallah, but may be not.
[Jan’alai], the Dragonhawk. Almost certainly a patron of Arcane Magics and knowledge.
[Mam’toth], the Mammoth.
[Akali], the Rhino.
[Quetz’lun], the Wind Serpent. Of note, despite the similarity of shape, Quetz’lun does NOT appear to be the same “spirit” as Hakkar. To begin with, the Zandalari appear to have no problem with Quetz’lun or her worship by the Drakkari.
[Oacha’no], the Leviathan. Worshipped by the Tuskarr.

The Elemental Loa

The trolls recognize the elements and the elementals, and have since the days of the Great Troll Empires. The elemental lords and their servants seem to be treated much as is any other loa - as a fickle and potentially malevolent spirit whose aid must be carefully wrangled, or if possible forced. The tale of the Stone of the Tides comes from an in-game book, and explores how one witch doctor failed in his dealings with Neptulon’s servants, and his village was wiped from the face of the world:

LEGENDS OF THE TROLLS, VOLUME III
Stone of the Tides

INTRODUCTION

The ancient Gurubashi Empire was a source of many fascinating and intriguing legends that can be no doubt traced to their environs, as examinations of their belief systems and societal practices have pointed to a great reverence for their natural surroundings.

While I have delved into many aspects of their snake-worship in previous volumes of this study, I put forth here an examination of the trolls’ interesting and unique relationship with the sea.

THE GREAT SEA

The Gurubashi Empire was surrounded on three sides by the sea, so it comes as little surprise that water would figure prominently as an aspect of their society. While the trolls were able to roam and control the large areas of their jungle empire, the sea eluded them. It was vast and immeasurable, no doubt a disconcerting neighbor for the powerful trolls.

It should be noted here that recent discoveries seem to suggest that the trolls had little interest in exploring the lands beyond the Great Sea. While the troll species have been encountered along the length and breadth of Azeroth, Khaz Modan and Lordaeron, little evidence of their civilization has been found in the newly discovered lands of Kalimdor or upon the islands in the South Seas. Whether this demonstrates an unwillingness of the trolls to venture away from their terrestrial holdings or a failure on their part to develop the technologies needed to make such a journey will take further research and analysis that is out of the scope of my writings here.

But one can hardly ignore so large a presence, and new findings in the extensive troll ruins of Stranglethorn Vale show and aspect of their relationship with the sea previously unknown and undocumented.

THE STONE OF THE TIDES

Recent discoveries during surveys of the troll ruins of Stranglethorn Vale have shown references to an object known as the “Stone of the Tides”. Various fragments of the troll legends can be pieced together to paint a rather complete picture of the Stone and its importance to the ancient Gurubashi Empire.

It appears that the Stone of the Tides allowed its bearer to control water in its many forms, rivers, rain, and the tides. Because of the stories related to use of the Stone of the Tides. I have conjectured that it is actually a physical manifestation of the powers of the Waterlord, a powerful elemental of the seas. How and why such an object would leave the Waterlord’s control and fall into the hands of the trolls is another question that is beyond the scope of my knowledge.

THE TIDEBEARER

Like the movements of the eponymous tides, the Stone of the Tides entered the world of the trolls and departed, never constantly staying in the trolls’ hands for longer than a generation at a time.

In troll legends, it is said that the first time the Stone of the Tides came to the Gurubashi Empire, it was found by a troll warrior wandering along the coast of Stranglethorn. He came upon a mysterious blue stone within which milky white strands floated and flowed. Intrigued by the stone, the warrior took it with him and continued upon his journey.

Over the weeks and months, the warrior discovered that the stone had given him control over water. He could summon forth water elementals, creatures formed completely of water–duplicating a feat that only powerful mages of the Kirin Tor are able to perform.

The warrior traveled to Zul’Guru, to the heart of the empire, to show his newfound abilities to the Emperor. He easily gained a court audience after demonstrating his powers in the center of the Imperial capital. His powers easily amazed the Gurubashi Emperor, who immediately gave him a place of honor at court, naming the warrior “Tidebearer”, leaving his old name behind.

For years, the Tidebearer served the Gurubashi Empire, summoning his thrall water elementals in battle and manipulating the flow of water in Stranglethorn Vale for the benefit of the Empire. But as the years went on, the Tidebearer became more reclusive, tending to stay for long periods of time away from court.

The Tidebearer was hiding a secret from the prying eyes of court. The abilities granted to him by the Stone of the Tides also came with a curse. As the years passed, the Tidebearer was fading away. With each coming and going of the tides, the Tidebearer became less of himself, losing his corporeal form–pulsing in and out of existence–until in his dying days he traveled to the beach where he had first found the Stone, and walked into the sea, disappearing for the last time.

Generations later, the Stone of the Tides washed upon the shores of Stranglethorn, and another Tidebearer was chosen, as the troll brought the Stone to Zul’Gurub. So the process continued for generations, the Stone appearing with the tide, and the Tidebearer leaving into the tide.

Modern day accounts of the Stone of the Tides have appeared from place to place, but one must still wonder why an object of such power would appear with such regularity, and by whose design.

– In Game Text

A second in-game book from before the Cataclysm also shows the seaside villages of the Gurubashi Empire having conflicts with the water elemental loa when they have not been well enough propitiated:

"Fall of Gurubashi"

Rising from the ocean, a tower of water, Neptulon sent the great Krakken to doomed I’lalai. So huge were their forms that jungles of kelp swayed through their limbs, and leviathans swam through bodies.

The largest Krakken then raised his arms high and crashed them into the sea, sending waves about him. And they raged toward I’lalai.

The Krakken roared, and their voices thundered like an ocean storm:

“We come.”

Min’loth, standing firm, called forth his magic. The waves sent to I’lalia parted and washed to both sides, and they flooded the jungle beyond. Min’loth then bade his minions chant spells of binding, and a din rang out as dozens of troll voices rose.

And one voice rose above the rest.

Min’loth bellowed and his magic gathered the power of his minion’s spells, and he cast it at the approaching Krakken.

The seas parted and Min’loth’s spell sped toward the servants of Neptulon. Lightning tore the sky and the spell struck them, and a thousand bolts fell, boiling water and burning craters in the earth.

Min’loth cried in triumph, knowing his spell would fell the great beasts.

But the Krakken are old, very old. They remembered when the land was first born from the sea.

They remembered when the Old Ones ruled and when the Travelers came and cast them down. They remembered when magic was new.

They are old and they hold many secrets. And though Min’loth’s spell was strong, it, like the troll, was mortal.

And so it failed.

It failed to bind the Krakken, but it enraged them. Not in aeons had a mortal caused them pain, and the troll’s spell was painful.

And so they shed the bindings of Minloth’s spell, but then roared and stuck with fury.

A rumble was heard as great waves rose from the deep and raced toward the land. When they reached I’lalai they cast a shadow on the city.

But before they destroyed it the Krakken halted, poised.

The troll witchdoctors trembled and cried out to their master. Min’loth gazed at the mountains of the sea, doomed and defiant. He turned to his adepts and whispered, and the trolls etched his last words into stone. Min’loth then faced the looming Krakken.

He grimaced and hurled his staff, his last bold act.

The Krakken then bent their fury upon Min’loth, and an ocean fell upon I’lalai.

And it was no more.

And then the waters fell upon the jungle, washing clean all they met. Trolls and beasts cried out as the waters smashed and drowned them.

Many Gurubashi wondered why the ocean swallowed them, but then they died and knew nothing.

And finally, when the waters reached the mountains, they stopped. Appeased, they retreated back beyond the shores, and they left a wake of death.

They retreated, but they surged around I’lalai and remained, drowning it forever.

And the chief Var’gazul, safe behind the mountains in Zul’Gurub, went out to the jungle and found it washed clean of his people.

And he despaired, for his dreams of conquest were thwarted.

And never was Min’loth the Serpent found.

And finally, Shango seems to have elemental power over storms, which might make him an Elemental loa, but could possibly be more of an ancestor loa, given his descriptions in the RPG books. For the sake of space and post size limits, you can find out more about Shango below, under Ancestor Loa.

The Ancestor Loa

Like other shamanistic cultures in the game, the troll voodoo culture reveres its ancestors. A number of former-trolls-turned-spirits are specifically referred to in-game as loa, and others are evident. The pen-and-paper game setting refers explicitly to many more, as well.

Ancestor loa appear to be dead trolls who, having died and passed into the “spirit world,” continue to be able to affect the living. Their advice can be sought, their power can grow, and their aid or appeasement can be sought.

Zanza is a loa revered by the Zandalari and the Gurubashi and others, as a powerful troll mage [or powerful witch doctor]. His embodiment could be met in the Zul’Gurub instance, prior to cataclysm. He spoke of being a troll witch doctor at the time when the elves rose up against the troll empires [specifically the High Elves and the Amani], and of being the creator of the magics which became the Highborn elf Arcanums. The altar complex on Yojamba Island was dedicated to Zanza, and the altar complex at Bambala outpost may well be the same one.

Bwonsamdi is a loa revered by the Darkspear, and would appear to be an ancestor loa, as during the Fall of Zalazane event he appeared as the ghost of a troll. He is claimed to guard the gates of death, ushering in the dead Darkspear, and either preventing or allowing their return. He seems to parallel the loa Mueh’zala worshipped by the Sandfury.

Also during the Fall of Zalazane event, one of the troll witch doctors called upon the massed ancestor loa and spirits of the dead, to possess him and give advice.

The ancestor loa appear to be as fickle and demanding as any other loa, and likewise bargain for their favour, or for appeasement. Bwonsamdi demands ritual and sacrifice for his aid during the event, Zanza demands that various magics be brought to him to avenge the “theft” of his magics by the highborne or high elves. Even T’chali [a ghost or “loa” in Outland] demands the player characters help him revenge himself on the nearby ogres, and gather up his lost possessions.

Some scholars view voodoo as a type of animism, and to an extent that theory is true. The trolls’ religion takes a decidedly different dark bent than the shamanistic beliefs of the orcs and tauren, though. Trolls have a complex belief system involving malign spirits and their effect on the world, but no scholar has established what is truth and what is simply long-held belief. The Darkspear trolls come from a dark and bloodthirsty history of sacrifice, cannibalism and black magic. They consider spirits to be individuals much like living creatures. Spirits are greedy, hostile and dangerous. Trolls also believe their ancestors linger on as jealous spirits who miss the land of the living and require blood sacrifices to appease them. Trolls sacrifice and eat their enemies. They conduct these practices for two reasons. First, they believe the sacrifice of sentient creatures appeases malicious spirits. Second, they believe that after death, an enemy’s spirit can visit misfortune on its killer. By consuming the flesh of their enemies, trolls believe they can also consume their enemy’s spirit, or at least damage it enough to render it impotent.

  • Horde Player’s Guide

Troll ancestors [ancestor loa] are not considered benevolent, any more than are other loa. Jeavous and selfish, requiring bargains and appeasement, the ancestor loa can be a source of great power to the living, or a source of great threat.

Muisek, E’ko, and Mojo

Troll hoodoo, voodoo, and appeasement of the Loa shows a few distinct elements in Warcraft.

Firstly, we find many references in the game to the use of troll “mojo.” Trolls wear mojo masks, act as mojo menders, and weild bad mojo and even foul mojo.

Darkest Mojo carries the flavour text that it is “A black, cottony clump that fizzles in your hands.” This would well match the dictionary description of mojo in the real world: a mix of herbs, bones, powders, coins, and small items of personal significance. The mojo bag is usually cloth, bound tightly, and worn close to the body. Often to remain efficacious [for luck, health, success, and power], the mojo bag must remain secret and hidden as well. Despite this, most examples of mojo items in the game appear to come in flasks or bottles.

Perhaps mojo in the setting is more akin to ectoplasm, or some similar mystical excrescence?

One of the most central elements binding together many of the troll-related stories in the game, is music and dance. Sound and drumming and dance seem to pervade trollish magics.

From the bone-pounded skin drums of Revantusk Village, to troll NPCs randomly bursting into dance, it is everywhere. Here is a look at some of the troll Hoodoo as performed by NPCs throughout the game. Perhaps it can help to inspire you Witch Doctors out there.

Witch Doctor Uzer’i makes use of the “Muisek” [pronounced: “music”] of various beasts and, eventually, sentient species. Night Elves, he says, use this magic as well, trapping the Muisek of a dying beast in a vessel, and then using that Muisek to enhance one’s own prowess. Uzer’i is also capable of shrinking heads - he has shrunk the head of a dwarf already. In fact, according to the RPG, head shrinking is designed to trap the victim’s soul in the shrunken skull, so that the Witch Doctor can use its power. To capture the Muisek of animals, Uzer’i has prepared a special vessel which shrinks the slain beast, and traps the Muisek inside… sounding much like the head-shrinking in WoW. To imbue the Muisek into a weapon, Uzer’i dances to the Muisek.

Witch Doctor Mau’ari makes use of the E’ko from various beasts and Winterfall. Carrying her small cache will allow the bearer to collect the E’ko [pronounced: “echo”] from slain beasts. Mau’ari then uses that E’ko to make juju which can be used to empower its user, making them “full of juju.” Note the similarity in naming style - this is the “echo” of the slain beasts, while Uzer’i is collecting the “music” from them.

Kin’weelay in Grom’gol is the most powerful Witch Doctor of the Darkspear tribe. He completes a number of quests for you on the same theme: shrunken heads. Kin’weelay holds the power to create shrunken heads in his cauldron, when the heads are brought to him, and bind the souls of the deceased into them. He can then force information from the Shrunken Heads, and perhaps other power as well.

If the form is consistent, he does this by imprisoning the Muisek, the E’ko, in the shrunken head.

Objects into which these formerly-living spirits are imbued seem to be called “juju” in quests. Juju would then seem to be the troll word for a fetish of some sort. Mau’ari imbues the E’ko into jujus. Zalazane collects tainted jujus to fuel his voodoo. Undead trolls in the plaguelands have jujus in their wrappings. And Bom’bay makes use of jujus in his magic as well.

Curiously, according to a quest in Pandaria, the hozen also use the word juju to refer to a small fetish imbued with magic. Then again, contact between hozen and trolls in the South Seas seems possible.

Druids and Warlocks

Aye, mon. Our kind have joined the Horde because they be good for us. They loyal, and they teach us much 'bout tings like honor. But our old ways die hard. The orcs may not approve of all our traditions, but that not mean we can’t continue to practice some them in secret.

You know this, an’ that’s why I send you to Tai’jin in Razor Hill. She teach you more 'bout our history. She teach you the ways of our tribe. Go to her when you be ready.

– Ken’jai, quest text for troll priests, prior to patch 3.3.5

The Darkspear did not entirely give up the practices of voodoo during their allegiance to Thrall. Some, such as those of the shadow priest class within the witch doctors, held closer to their old ways. Troll Warlocks appear as NPC mobs scattered throughout the game, and would appear to regard minor demons as malevolent spirits to be enslaved. In this regard, they have some similarities to the warlocks of the Blood Elves during TBC and WotLK. They make others uncomfortable, they are often shunned socially, but they are important and valuable parts of the trollish religion.

A few NPC mob titles may be entirely appropriate for Darkspear troll warlocks. The player of Adnaw had posted on the old forum an extensive list of troll mob titles. The following from that list seem most appropriate for warlocks:

Flame caster - Mage, Shaman - These Trolls have mastered the art of flame and the element of fire.

Hexxer - Priest (shadow), Mage, Shaman - These trolls are fearsome and vile. They use dark voodoo to hurt, control, and even transform [polymorph, hex] their enemies.

Mystic - Mage, Priest, Shaman - These elders are revered for their voodoo but even more so for their wisdom.

Oracle - Priest, Shaman, Mage - These trolls use their voodoo to interpret signs and the world around them.

Shadow Caster - Priest (shadow) - This troll concentrates all her voodoo on being able to bring the shadows alive to aid her in her fights and life.

Witch Doctor - Shaman, Priest, Mage - These trolls are revered for their potent voodoo and their council. These trolls are often the righthand of a chief.

Souleater - Warlock - Demonic arts. These trolls were not playable in game due to the lack of a warlock class.

Druidism also fits quite easily within the trollish voodoo mindset. Inviting a given Primal Loa [or even Ancestor Loa] to step into your body, giving some aspects or features of that loa’s power, but at the same time taking on some of the “restrictions” of that spirit’s identity, is something done by some priests of ALL of the various troll cultures encountered in the game, Jungle Troll, Forest Troll, Ice Troll. Even the Darkspear witch doctors invited the Ancestor Spirits of the tribe to step inside one of their number during the Zalazane’s Fall event, allowing the departed spirits to communicate with the living [and making the possessed witch doctor both ghostly and gigantic during the possession].

The pen-and-paper game’s version of the setting also refers to troll “Primals.” Not the same as the Primal Loa, these “primals” dedicate themselves so thoroughly to a single Primal Loa that they begin to both take on some minor physical aspects of that totem spirit, but also to become more feral, more beast than mon.

Shape-changing, then, is something which suits troll voodoo quite easily.

I be havin’ a vision! ‘Twas a jungle bigger and wilder dan I ever seen! And before me, de ancient raptor loa only talked about in Zandalari tales-Gonk, de Great Hunter! De raptor spirit spoke ta me, told me he had brought me spirit to a place called de Emerald Dreem. Gonk needed us ta save de life on de isles. But since we not be able ta draw upon de power o’ de loa wit Zalazane in power, Gonk be showin’ us a new way ta connect wit ALL de spirits o’ nature, ta work WIT de spirits, not just be servin’ a single loa at a time. It be difficult at first, ya, mon, but Gonk be showin’ us how ta also reach inta de Emerald Dream wit de spirits and learn from dem directly! De other loa, ‘specially Shirvallah, did not much care for dis plan. Dey still be wantin’ us ta work just for one o’ dem at a time, not wit all de spirits at once. We been workin’ wit de spirits for many moons now, mon, but many o’ us already knew de forms o’ de loa we served before. It not be easy, but de Emerald Dream be a powerful teacher by itself-havin’ de spirits demselves also teachin’ ya… it hurries tings along.
– Zentabra, in-game text

Where the High Priests of the animal loa, the primal loa, can take on some of that loa’s power, and adopt that loa’s form, the raptor loa taught these witch doctors how to negotiate for that power with a variety of primal loa in turn, evidently Bethekk [panther], Naralak [bear], Hir’eek [bat] especially.

Who are the Zandalari, and this “Hand of Rastakhan” fellow?

The earliest known trolls belonged to the Zandalar tribe, from which all other trolls are descended. On the whole, the Zandalari valued knowledge above all else, but a significant portion of the tribe hungered for conquest instead. These disaffected trolls eventually departed to form tribes of their own. As time went on, what remained of the Zandalar tribe came to be regarded as an overarching priest caste for all trolls. The Zandalari worked tirelessly to record and preserve troll history and traditions, and these wise trolls acted to further the goals of troll society as a whole. Greatly respected by all other trolls, the Zandalari nevertheless remained apart from the day-to-day politics of their people.

  • Troll Compendium

King Rastakhan, a hoary and formidable witch doctor, rules the Zandalari from his capital of Zuldazar. The Zandalari are mystical and ancient trolls who revere knowledge and history; their organization is loose. They represent an overall priest caste for all trolls, yet they do not attempt to parley this position into real power with those trolls.

  • Dark Factions

Surkhan was the principal representative of King Rastakhan in Stranglethorn, residing at Bambala outpost amongst the Darkspear Trolls there. He oversaw the Darkspear warden-ing of Zul’Gurub, and sent Darkspear into the jungle to punish the Skullsplitters. Ghaliri also acted as an emissary of Rastakhan, residing in an Alliance camp at the edge of Northern Stranglethorn, but remaining friendly to Darkspear characters and their Horde allies.

Since the events of the Cataclysm, some of the Zandalari have changed in their professed outlook: No longer do these Zandalari decry the actions of the Atal’ai and Gurubashi, nor warn against actions such as those of the Amani. Whilst the Zandalari in Northrend have not changed, and still speak to characters [Darkspear Troll or otherwise] as allies against those who would attempt to abuse the powers of the loa rather than petition the loa for succour or aid, those on Zul’s expedition in the Southern Seas have changed tack.

This “expedition,” led not by Rastakhan but by the prophet Zul, now ally with Zanzil the Outcast and Mandokir to re-summon and devour the power of Hakkar, and to once again abuse the power of the Amani loa in Zul’Aman, and then with the Mogu of the Isle of Thunder in an effort to conquor Pandaria. The Darkspear refuse to stand beside the “new” Zandalari way, and instead call upon members of the Blood Elves and the Alliance races to assist them in stopping both threats.

Several new in-game books suggest this schism among the Zandalari in patch 5.2:

Among the Zanchuli Council are many priests and mages of incredible power and forbidden knowledge. One of the most respected of these is Zul. Even as a child his dark and terrible visions had come true down to the last horrifying detail. He commanded fear and respect as one of the dark prophets: seers capable of witnessing great tragedies before they came to pass.

In the months before the Cataclysm, Zul’s nightmares were haunted by terrible visions of a world torn asunder. He consulted all the signs and was convinced that the Zandalari homeland would be destroyed in the coming apocalypse. He advised the council and the king to unite with the other troll tribes and to abandon their doomed homeland.

Despite Zul’s infamy, the council refused to believe in the scope of the disaster to come. Many felt that Zul was grandstanding to increase his own status and power. They scoffed as he and his followers began assembling a war fleet and reaching out to the lesser troll races.

But Zul’s visions were visions of the truth. Deathwing’s Cataclysm rocked Zandalar to its foundations. Even now the mighty and enigmatic troll empire slides inexorably into the sea, and Zandalari peasants and warriors alike flock to Zul for guidance on what to do next.

I never liked soothsayers. Especially never liked the dark ones. Those eyes all sunken, telling me things I don’t want to hear but know will come true. And Zul, he was the worst of them. Worst because he always saw the worst things. Worst because there’s never anything you can do to stop it.

When King Rastakhan ordered me to join Zul’s fleet, I thought I’d done something to offend the Council. I thought he was sacrificing me and the others just to get Zul off his back and away from Zandalar. I cursed my luck: ferrying that old prophet all around the oceans, meeting with those disgusting Sandfury trolls or crazed Drakkari.

That was weeks ago. Before I heard what happened to the capitol.

I see now why the spirits sent me here. We Zandalari got to find a new home, and Zul was the only one looking. Zul, and his cursed, cursed eyes.

Can you see a future for us, dark prophet? What now, old troll? What now?

I can still see it, still remember how I felt when I laid eyes on it. Blinking to wake up, telling myself I was already awake. The great palace listing to one side, like a drunk hunched against the wall. Still gleaming and gold. Was Rastakhan still inside? King of a crooked throne.

The morning sun glimmering off the seawater that crept into the forum. Pretty but for the jagged fissure tearing up the tile. We thought that was the worst of it. But the Cataclysm had only begun.

Water up a foot by the next evening. A week later, high tide came up to the market awnings. Still the sun shone. Like the world was saying it was sorry. Sorry to take your home. Sorry to give it to the sea.

World don’t get off that easy.

I take back everything I said about this place. When Zul landed us on the northern shores of the mainland, I thought this was the promised land, the salvation of the Zandalari. The fishing villages fell easily. Nobody put up a battle 'til those dark ones came along - the “Shado-Pan.” They don’t stand up and fight. They come at us from the trees. Sometimes I swear they walk through walls. Always behind us, always out of the corner of our eyes - never fighting from the front.

Once we had that old mogu king’s corpse, we were out of there. Mogu, mogu, mogu. I could see why Zul wanted them as our allies: I saw the glory of their ancient empire firsthand when we fought our way through the Valley of Emperors.

But that was weeks ago. Now I’m slogging through a swamp, digging up statues in the rain. The mogu look down on us. I can see it, at least in the ones that have eyes. Some of them are just stones, with stones for hearts and stones for brains.

They’re using us. But Zul says they’ll keep their word once they’re in power again. And Zul… he just seems to KNOW things.

Zandalari books in patch 5.2 - a number of books can be found among the Zandalari forces on the Island of the Thunder King. They are reproduced in the various appropriate sections above, but here they are collected, at least temporarily, in one post:

Zandalari books:

http://www.wowhead.com/item=95411

I take back everything I said about this place. When Zul landed us on the northern shores of the mainland, I thought this was the promised land, the salvation of the Zandalari. The fishing villages fell easily. Nobody put up a battle 'til those dark ones came along - the “Shado-Pan.” They don’t stand up and fight. They come at us from the trees. Sometimes I swear they walk through walls. Always behind us, always out of the corner of our eyes - never fighting from the front.

Once we had that old mogu king’s corpse, we were out of there. Mogu, mogu, mogu. I could see why Zul wanted them as our allies: I saw the glory of their ancient empire firsthand when we fought our way through the Valley of Emperors.

But that was weeks ago. Now I’m slogging through a swamp, digging up statues in the rain. The mogu look down on us. I can see it, at least in the ones that have eyes. Some of them are just stones, with stones for hearts and stones for brains.

They’re using us. But Zul says they’ll keep their word once they’re in power again. And Zul… he just seems to KNOW things.

http://www.wowhead.com/item=95408

I can still see it, still remember how I felt when I laid eyes on it. Blinking to wake up, telling myself I was already awake. The great palace listing to one side, like a drunk hunched against the wall. Still gleaming and gold. Was Rastakhan still inside? King of a crooked throne.

The morning sun glimmering off the seawater that crept into the forum. Pretty but for the jagged fissure tearing up the tile. We thought that was the worst of it. But the Cataclysm had only begun.

Water up a foot by the next evening. A week later, high tide came up to the market awnings. Still the sun shone. Like the world was saying it was sorry. Sorry to take your home. Sorry to give it to the sea.

World don’t get off that easy.

http://www.wowhead.com/item=95412

A direhorn! Little Talak thinks he’s got the rocks to tame a direhorn.

I tried to convince him a raptor would be fine. A beast caller with a good sturdy raptor - that’s a good life. Commands a lot of respect. Raptors take naturally to the spirits. I think it’s their brains. Smart. You can tell by the way they watch you.

But no, Talak wants a direhorn. Carved the sigils into his arm with one of the ceremonial horns, then spoke to the great bestial loa we brought aboard the ship with us. He drank the wild draught, wore the twin-tusk mask, and roared with the inner voice. The spirits are with this one. They like strength, yes, but sometimes they flock toward courage.

So! I helped Talak, frail as he is. I spoke to my spirits. The old loa Grimath, who entered my chest as a child, who guided my hand when I bent the neck of my own direhorn. I drank deep from the well of blood, saw the furies in the air, and whispered Talak’s name.

He’s on the Isle of Giants now. Little Talak. Not so little anymore. He’ll come back a hero or not at all. Spirits be with him.

http://www.wowhead.com/item=95409

I never liked soothsayers. Especially never liked the dark ones. Those eyes all sunken, telling me things I don’t want to hear but know will come true. And Zul, he was the worst of them. Worst because he always saw the worst things. Worst because there’s never anything you can do to stop it.

When King Rastakhan ordered me to join Zul’s fleet, I thought I’d done something to offend the Council. I thought he was sacrificing me and the others just to get Zul off his back and away from Zandalar. I cursed my luck: ferrying that old prophet all around the oceans, meeting with those disgusting Sandfury trolls or crazed Drakkari.

That was weeks ago. Before I heard what happened to the capitol.

I see now why the spirits sent me here. We Zandalari got to find a new home, and Zul was the only one looking. Zul, and his cursed, cursed eyes.

Can you see a future for us, dark prophet? What now, old troll? What now?

http://www.wowhead.com/item=95410

I tell them others the loa don’t speak to me, but I see them all over, I hear them talk about me, I hear them tell me to give up. They hungry for flesh, them loa. They hungry for hate. They give up on me. I learn fast I better take what I want because no spirit going to give me nothing.

I tell the elders I want put in the ring, they tell me I crazy, going to get killed. Tell me to take the rock test. Lift them heavy stones over my head, show my back is strong, get a job pushing plow living on dirt. Them elders don’t see the real me. But I see the spirits, all around their heads, even the ones they don’t see. Them spirits see right through me. Hate me. Gotta prove them wrong.

I get in the ring, get them heavy hammers in each hand. They feel good. Feel better when I smash some heads. Feel best slick with blood. When a troll got nothing to lose they see it, I don’t care how big they are. They don’t show the fear but the spirits see. Can’t hide fear from the spirits.

I ain’t supposed to draw blood but I go for the head, that’s where the hate feels best. Spirits abandon them others once I done with them. Now they afraid of me. Better that way. I see you, spirits. I know you best.

There is no room for weakness among the Zandalari. Strength, ferocity, stamina, power: These are the traits by which success is measured. At adolescence, those Zandalari males not chosen to be priests or scholars must prove their strength to the council, the king, and the gods themselves.

Any display of physical power will do. Tournaments and competitions are held as children come of age. Adolescents prepare for their trials with years of training, communion with the spirits, and by tattooing sigils of power onto their skin. A common rite is to travel to one of the violent, beast-ruled islands near the capital to steal or subdue a wild creature.

The lesser troll races have their own, humbler versions of this tradition. But the mastery of ravasaurs or raptors is nothing compared to the power required to call upon a devilsaur or direhorn.

The Zandalari worship “loa,” powerful spirits who have been a part of the world predating even the titans. Countless loa exist, most weak, but some very powerful. Most are shapeless, whereas others have animal or creature forms.

Zandalari families often worship their own family loas, cities usually have their own civic deities, and the greatest loa are worshipped by the nation as a whole. Powerful, enlightened Zandalari can become loas upon their death - or so it is believed.

These spirits are central to the Zandalari worldview: so say the loa, so go the Zandalari.

Among the Zanchuli Council are many priests and mages of incredible power and forbidden knowledge. One of the most respected of these is Zul. Even as a child his dark and terrible visions had come true down to the last horrifying detail. He commanded fear and respect as one of the dark prophets: seers capable of witnessing great tragedies before they came to pass.

In the months before the Cataclysm, Zul’s nightmares were haunted by terrible visions of a world torn asunder. He consulted all the signs and was convinced that the Zandalari homeland would be destroyed in the coming apocalypse. He advised the council and the king to unite with the other troll tribes and to abandon their doomed homeland.

Despite Zul’s infamy, the council refused to believe in the scope of the disaster to come. Many felt that Zul was grandstanding to increase his own status and power. They scoffed as he and his followers began assembling a war fleet and reaching out to the lesser troll races.

But Zul’s visions were visions of the truth. Deathwing’s Cataclysm rocked Zandalar to its foundations. Even now the mighty and enigmatic troll empire slides inexorably into the sea, and Zandalari peasants and warriors alike flock to Zul for guidance on what to do next.

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RP tool: Governmental Systems of Azeroth by Drevv

I decided to make this thread simply because I thought it might be useful for some people, though not necessarily everyone. I also wanted to do this because of the success of my necromancer RP guide which I did on my DK. Hope you enjoy, should note though, the information listed here is only taken from the most valid sources I could find. There may be stuff from the RPG books here and there, but they’re most likely there due to lack of information on the particular subject anywhere else. Enjoy!

Contents

  1. Alliance
  2. Horde
  3. Neutral

Alliance

Humans – Kingdom of Stormwind

The humans’ political system would be considered an absolutist hereditary monarchy. This means it’s where the crown (the legal embodiment of executive, legislative, or judicial governance) is passed down from one member of a royal family to another, and each monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government. The current royal family of Stormwind is the House of Wrynn, and the current bearer of the crown is King Varian Wrynn. Prince Anduin Wrynn, Varian’s son, serves as the heir to the crown of Stormwind in terms of the order of succession in place in Stormwind’s hereditary system.

Other than the crown however, Stormwind also has a House of Nobles. The House of Nobles form the governing body of Stormwind under the direction of King Varian Wrynn, who acts as the head of government. It’s made up of noble houses that all have an order of succession in place within their respective houses. For example, if the head of a noble house dies, the title in which the former head bore would be passed down to whoever’s next in line, similar to how the order of succession of the crown works.

In recent years the Nobles have mostly seen their powers reduced due to events such as them being infiltrated by Onyxia, which eventually led to the death of the Queen consort of Stormwind. Another form of government present in human lands appears to be democracy. Darkshire and Lakeshire both have an elected magistrate leading the towns, however the towns are still part of the Kingdom of Stormwind and so still pledge loyalty to the crown.

Dwarves – Kingdom of Ironforge

The Kingdom of Ironforge underwent great political changes in Cataclysm. Before Cataclysm, Ironforge was ruled by the High King of the Bronzebeard Clan, who also ruled over what is known as the Senate of Ironforge. A senate is an organization comprising members who use parliamentary procedure to make decisions, often the upper house or chamber of a legislature or parliament.

These days however, Ironforge is ruled by what’s known as the Council of Three Hammers. The Council of Three Hammers is the regency that rules the Kingdom of Ironforge, until Moira is fit to lead the kingdom alone. They are now most likely both members of and the heads of the Senate of Ironforge. They are an oligarchical senate, meaning they’re a senate of a small group of people who have control of a country or organization. The Council is so named because it is comprised of representatives from each of the three dwarven clans of the Three Hammers:

• Muradin Bronzebeard, High Thane of the Bronzebeard clan
• Moira Thaurissan, Queen-Regent of the Dark Iron clan
• Falstad Wildhammer, High Thane of the Wildhammer clan

As for the Senate themselves, a senate is normal to dwarven society, evidenced as the Ironforge Senate existed back in the times of Modimus Anvilmar’s reign, and the Dark Iron clan formed their own Shadowforge Senate based in the Imperial Seat of Blackrock Depths after they left Ironforge. The Senate’s exact role in government is unknown, but their field of issues includes investigating and eliminating possible threats to Ironforge, keeping production of the Dun Morogh mines going on, and setting funds aside for this. Therefore they either visit those locations themselves or send special envoys, such as the brothers Senir and Grelin Whitebeard. Notable Ironforge senators include Senator Mehr Stonehallow and Senator Barin Redstone.

Gnomes – Gnomeregan (formerly known as the Gnomeregan Exiles)

The gnomes as a race are all part of one faction known simply as Gnomeregan which was formally known as the Gnomeregan Exiles. Their form of government seems to be a meritocracy where the government or the holding of power by people is selected according to merit. Rather than a monarch, gnomes elect their leaders by common consent, based on the merits of their work and their benefits to the Gnomish race. The High Tinker is the highest political office of Gnomeregan. These men and women hold grand titles (for example “King of the Gnomes”) but only hold their power for set terms of office, after which they return to the work force.

Whether the gnomish system is a democratic meritocracy (meaning all gnomish citizens vote for candidates for the position of High Tinker) or an oligarchic meritocracy (meaning a select group of gnomes will vote for one amongst them to be High Tinker) is not clear, as there is evidence to support that Mekkatorque was elected by either the gnomish people or a Council of Tinkers. However, there is more evidence which supports the notion that a Council of Tinkers exists and that they elect one amongst them to be High Tinker. How to become a member of this Council is clear as in a meritocracy you are selected according to merit which in the gnome’s case is how good an engineer you are.

While it is unknown how long each term for a High Tinker lasts, it appears that one can be elected an unlimited amount of times. Gelbin Mekkatorque, current High Tinker of the Gnomes, who was described as having taken the position at a young age, has held the office for several decades; having already been leading the Gnomes during the beginning of the Second War. While an election being overlooked during a time of crisis such as the Fall of Gnomeregan is understandable, Gelbin’s holding of the office for so long before-hand seems to indicate there is no limit to how many times one can be elected High Tinker; just so long as they continue to show what is needed for the position.

Night elves – Darnassus

Night elven society is primarily concentrated in Darnassus found on Teldrassil. Its main rulers are High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind and Arch-Druid Malfurion Stormrage. Tyrande is the High Priestess of the Sisterhood of Elune. The Sisters are the major active night elf political faction, and fulfil the roles of magistrates, officials, and the like for the night elf government. In this sense, the night elven government is theocratic, in which the government is ruled by or subject to religious authority.

For thousands of years, the Sisters of Elune held by far the most power. As one of a small handful of kaldorei organizations to survive the War of the Ancients, with membership based upon aptitude and not lineage, high priestess Tyrande Whisperwind reorganized the order to direct the Sentinels. She herself became the sole ruler of the night elf nation, remaining that way for thousands of years. Recently however, changes have come to the night elf government. Following the marriage between Tyrande and Malfurion Stormrage, the latter became co-ruler of the night elves, the first change in official leadership in the past ten thousand years.

The Cenarion Circle, while still under the direction of Cenarius himself, took no active part in governmental affairs, as their numbers included druids from several other species. Though Archdruid Stormrage did take part in the government on occasion, the druids typically remained aloof.

Draenei – Exodar

Currently, the capital of the draenei is the Exodar which is, like the night elves, described as a theocracy. A theocracy is a government ruled by or subject to religious authority, and due to the draenei’s strong devotion to the Light, and the fact it’s ruled by the Prophet Velen, this would therefore make sense. Figures such as Farseer Nobundo may participate in draenei decisions as he now heads the growing shamanistic brotherhood amongst the draenei.

Worgen – Kingdom of Gilneas (formerly)

As worgen are simply cursed humans, their former kingdom of Gilneas – which is now abandoned – was also an absolutist hereditary monarchy, like Stormwind. Being one of the original seven human kingdoms, it was ruled over by a royal family called the House of Greymane. The house’s current head is King Genn Greymane, and he leads the Gilnean worgen to this day. In terms of the House’s order of succession, Prince Liam Greymane was to be the next to bear the crown. However, Liam dies during the Battle for Gilneas, and so because of her brother’s death, Princess Tess Greymane is now the current heir to the throne.

Also, like Stormwind, Gilneas too had nobility. The nobles of Gilneas were the ruling class of the kingdom and served as councillors to Genn Greymane. Some were slain during the civil war, while others were turned into worgen or Forsaken during the forsaken invasion. Others remain human in exile from their homeland. Some of the nobles that are still human/worgen include Lord Candren and Lord Darius Crowley, while some of the undead nobles include Baron Ashbury, Lord Vincent Godfrey and Lord Walden.

Horde

Orcs – Orgrimmar/Nation of Durotar

The orcs’ government is centred in Orgrimmar, the capital of Durotar. It’s considered what’s known as a tribal chiefdom. Chiefdom is a form of hierarchical political organization in non-industrial societies usually based on kinship, and in which formal leadership is monopolized by the legitimate senior members of select families or ‘houses’. Orc society is based around clans, and the collection of all the orc clans is known as the Horde, which is now also used as a term to describe one of the two major political factions of the mortal races in Azeroth. The leader of the Horde is known as the Warchief.

The Warchief stands as the undisputed leader of the Horde similar to a king or Supreme Allied Commander among humans. The warchief holds dominion over the entire Horde, maintains the Horde, has the power to declare war for the entire Horde, take any precaution to ensure the stability and security of the Horde’s member states, and has the final say in the induction of new Horde members. All members of the Horde have to swear a blood oath to join the Horde and are thus obligated to follow the warchief’s commands and support the warchief in times of war if the warchief calls upon them for aid.

The position of warchief can be attained by having the previous warchief chose a successor or challenging the current warchief to a Mak’gora: a prearranged duel with deadly weapons between two people following a formal procedure in the presence of witnesses and traditionally fought until one party yields or is killed, usually to settle a quarrel involving a point of honor. Above all else, the title of warchief is granted to those who display strength and decisive action. Warchiefs must be able to gain respect via combat effectiveness and martial conquests but also have enough tact to keep the Horde united and stable. The warchief may accept ambassadors and advisors from all the different tribes and members of the Horde to makes sure their voices are heard in the running of the fledgling hegemony but ultimately, only the warchief has the final say in matters concerning the entire Horde.

Changes have recently occurred within the Horde, with Durotar serving as one of the principal battlegrounds. Durotar was contested between the Darkspear Rebellion led by Vol’jin, and the Horde of the former Warchief, Garrosh Hellscream. Now with Garrosh defeated, Vol’jin has become the first non-orc to hold the post of warchief as chosen by Thrall, Garrosh’s predecessor. Since the title of Warchief has been taken up by a non-orc, the current leader of the orcs nor the title of this post is unknown, however it’s likely to be Varok Saurfang, as Thrall continues to be dedicated to the Earthen Ring.

Tauren – Thunder Bluff

Thunder Bluff, the capital city of the plains of Mulgore, is where the tauren government is found. The tauren possess a structure of spiritual hierarchy where the most talented and powerful shaman traditionally hold positions of power, though rulership is not limited to spellcasters. Shamans interpret the voice of the Earth Mother and the wishes of the ancestors.

Tauren society is split into tribes, most of which are now united under a High Chieftain, the current bearer being Baine Bloodhoof of the Bloodhoof tribe. The leader of a tribe uses the title “chief” and/or “chieftain.” The three most powerful healers in the tribe support the chief, the most powerful of whom takes the title “seer.” A chief generally consults his seer and her two contemporaries before making a decision, but this consultation is not required.

During council meetings, chiefs make recommendations to the high chieftain, but again the final decision is the high chieftain’s alone to make. “Chief,” “chieftain”, and “seer” are genderless titles. Aged female shamans sometimes take the title of “crone” or “elder crone”, which others use as a sign of respect.

Trolls – Darkspear Tribe

Troll society is, like the orcs and tauren, split into tribes. The Darkspear, Revantusk, Shatterspear tribes and an unnamed tribe in the Twilight Highlands are the only troll tribes who are found within the Horde and currently, the Darkspear chieftain, Vol’jin, is also the warchief of the Horde, the first non-orc to hold the post.

In troll society, there seems to be quite an emphasis around voodoo, which is a type of divine magic with dark, yet natural ties to loa spirits, and practitioners of this art often hold influence within government. Though the chieftain is the one who will generally make most, if not all, the decisions, witch doctors hold an important position in troll society, and shadow hunters, masters of voodoo magic, are of the highest authority of the jungle trolls. In the old days of trolls, before even the Zandalari Empire, the shadow hunters were the leaders of the small tribes. Over time, as trolls gathered in great cities, their influence was lessened. Despite this, the position is still a highly respected one.

Undead – Forsaken undead

The Forsaken are [or were, until recently!] ruled by the Banshee Queen Sylvanas Windrunner, and under her rule, the Undercity – which serves as the Forsaken’s capital – is considered an autocracy. An autocracy is a system of government in which power is concentrated in the hands of one person whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control. Therefore, all Forsaken decisions are made by Sylvanas, and though she may have advisers or representatives from the various groups within the Forsaken (Cult of the Forgotten Shadow, Royal Apothecary Society, etc.) when making decisions, whatever she says is final. Therefore the Forsaken system of government is not too confusing.

Blood elves – Kingdom of Quel’Thalas

Prior to the Third War, Quel’Thalas was ruled as an absolute monarchy, with High King Anasterian Sunstrider as the last high elven monarch. Anasterian’s long rule, which lasted at least 3,000 years, was complemented by the Convocation of Silvermoon, a high council of elven lords who had vowed to assist the ruling Sunstrider dynasty (the elven royal family) in keeping Quel’Thalas safe. However, during the Scourge onslaught, Anasterian himself was killed and the entire Convocation was eradicated - with only one surviving member, the traitor Dar’Khan Drathir, who was also put to the sword by Arthas following Quel’Thalas’ fall.

In the wake of the utter destruction of Quel’Thalas’ leadership, Prince Kael’thas Sunstrider went on to become the sole leader of the newly named blood elves. Though still essentially a monarch, Kael’thas did not appear to officially take the elven crown, instead styling himself as the “Lord of the blood elves” and “The Sun King.” Kael’thas decided not to revitalize the Convocation, and instead commanded Lor’themar Theron, the former second in command to Ranger General Sylvanas Windrunner, to act as Quel’Thalas’ regent in Kael’s physical absence from the elven homeland.

Ultimately, with the betrayal and death of Prince Kael’thas, Lor’themar has become the sole leader of the blood elven people. With the Sunstrider dynasty completely finished, the crown is unclaimed, and even Lor’themar himself has opted not to take it - or restore the Convocation - instead retaining his role as the “Regent Lord.”

As such, the blood elves are currently in a state of interregnum (a period when normal government is suspended), with Regent Lord Lor’themar Theron as their sole leader. The blood elves have a number of other leaders. Halduron Brightwing, the Ranger-general of Silvermoon, serves as the leader of the Farstriders and the blood elven military commander. Grand Magister Rommath presides over the magisters, the most magically-inclined and powerful spellcasters in sin’dorei society, while Lady Liadrin rules the Blood Knight order as its supreme leader and Matriarch.

Goblins – Bilgewater Cartel

Trade princes, also known as merchant princes, are the rulers of the goblin world, each of whom run their own private army, hold lands around Azeroth, and collectively control the Trade Coalition. The Trade Coalition is the name of the goblins’ merchant empire and all goblin organizations are presumably a part of the coalition. The Bilgewater Cartel is one of such organizations, and like the others, is ruled over by a trade prince. The current trade prince of the Bilgewater Cartel is Jastor Gallywix.

The hands of a trade prince are the moguls. They are entrepreneurs: men and women who run various businesses, such as deforesting, drilling, mining, and the like, throughout the world. Barons serve as magistrates for a trade prince’s land and holdings. Slavers run the slavery trade. Captains can run a single ship, and some run entire Trade Fleets. Admirals run more than one fleet. Traders and merchants work for the moguls and barons. At the bottom are civilians and workers, and finally slaves.

Though what’s written here is more the goblin hierarchy, it all shows that the goblin political system is centred on the trade prince, though their power seems to be devolved amongst mainly the moguls and barons as well.

Neutral

Pandaren – Pandaria (formerly Pandaren Empire)

The pandaren governmental system is confusing as they have no central government, and so power is instead concentrated in small towns across the different regions of Pandaria, these towns serving as centres for trade and commerce, and also as small communities. Each small town will usually have a mayor, such as in Dawn’s Blossom in the Jade Forest, Master Windfur serves as the mayor.

Pandaren society is therefore prominently stateless, but that’s not to say there’s no order, as the various towns across Pandaria all seem to work as small communes that both work to produce particular resources and also as simple communities. For example, the Valley of the Four Winds is a region full of farms, ranches and marketplaces, and so is considered the “breadbasket” of Pandaria. >>
Halfhill serves as the effective capital of the region and centre of trade/commerce, as well as being a small town, and in this town it is run by the Tillers Union, a faction dedicated to farming.

The pandaren used to have a central government when their land was styled as the Pandaren Empire. Being an empire, it was therefore ruled by an emperor. An emperor/empress is a monarch, usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm.

During the bleak days that preceded the sundering of the world, when demons flooded onto Azeroth and threw the entirety of the mortal realm into jeopardy, Emperor Shaohao discovered a way to protect his land from the devastation. His deal with fate shrouded his land within an impenetrable mist for ten thousand years. After Emperor Shaohao disappeared, the power in Pandaria shifted to the local level. With all threats walled off there was no longer a need for an emperor anymore, which meant Shaohao became the last Emperor of Pandaria.

Ogres - various clans

Ogre society is split in to a number of clans, or sometimes referred to as tribes. These serve as small communities which will usually have one dominant leader. Examples of these clans include the Stonemaul clan, the Boulderfist clan, and the Gordunni clan.

The head of a clan holds his position through sheer brute strength. Any member of the clan can challenge the leader to a battle to the death. The victor of this duel is declared the new ruler (or retains the position, if the incumbent emerges victorious). In this sense, the ogre’s governmental system is a kratocracy, as each clan is led by by those who are strong enough to seize power through force or cunning.

Furbolgs - various tribes

Furbolgs are split into tribes which will generally serve as social units. Who becomes leader, however, can differ among tribes, and with that there appear to be two forms of government among the furbolgs. Furblog society can be organized in to social units consisting of a number of families united under a common hereditary chieftain. This is true for the Stillpine tribe on Azuremyst Isle whose leader is High Chief Stillpine with the heir to the tribe’s leadership being Stillpine the Younger, the High Chief’s son.

However, another system prevalent among some furbolg tribes appears to be one of spiritual hierarchy in which the most talented and powerful shaman traditionally hold positions of power. This is true for the Barkskin and Blackwood tribes, in which the former was seen in Warcraft 3 being led by a shaman, and the latter is led by Elder Brownpaw, also a shaman.

Ethereals - various organizations

The ethereals are driven by trade and economics, and accordingly their political structures are centered around trade princes and “political companies.” The Consortium and the ethereals that currently control the Mana Tombs in Auchindoun are examples of these “political companies.” The ethereals are similar to goblins, in the way their political systems work, and like the goblins the ethereals will support anyone who would further their profits, and oppose anyone who dares interfere with their plans.

Not much is known about the ethereals and how their society functioned back on their homeworld of K’aresh. It is known that the Ethereum were the ruling class of society and that they were made up of Nexus-Princes. Since the destruction of K’aresh, however, several of these Nexus-Princes abandoned the Ethereum to form other groups and factions with different goals, such as the Consortium or the Protectorate.

The Ethereum was ruled by Nexus-King Salhadaar, who is described as the former ruler of the ethereals on K’aresh. There are only four known ethereals described as Nexus-Princes:

Nexus-Prince Haramad, leader of the Consortium
Nexus-Prince Shaffar, leader of a rival faction of the Consortium in the Mana-Tombs
Nexus-Prince Razaan, leader of an operation in the Blade’s Edge Mountains collecting souls
Commander Ameer, leader of the Protectorate (describes himself as a former Nexus-Prince).

ALL INFORMATION TAKEN FROM WOWPEDIA

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Classy Roleplaying: Mage by Creic

With some recent free time I have had I’ve started to level a Mage, oddly enough it’s not one class I would have seen myself choosing due to the fact I curse and swear about them in Battlegrounds and Arena. But, not the point! It has interested me to do some casual Roleplaying with this character when I get some more free time and experience the class.

However, there are so many different forms of roleplaying I have seen with this class from different players that it becomes hard to see what is in guidelines and what is just maybe impossible. I was spending some time in Dalaran after a few battlegrounds and found “The Schools of Arcane Magic” and decided to see if I could get them all, I am still missing one, but a friend was nice enough to provide me with the written information on that missing one, so here goes-- Oh, and I know some of the books just seem to have completely unserious comments in them, some of which made me laugh. But I’m posting these up as a sort of “guideline”, considering these are in-game lore!

The Schools of Arcane Magic:

  • Abjuration
  • Transmutation
  • Necromancy (Not sure of this one?)
  • Enchantment
  • Conjuration
  • Divination
  • Illusion

Now, I noticed that Evocation was missing from that list, but after some research the most known lore character to be trained in that school was Queen Ashara, so I’m guessing that is why that book is missing?

Abjuration:

<Penned by the skilled hand of Archmage Ansirem Runeweaver>

Abjuration is the study of protective magic and one of the most important schools for a young mage to study. The most generalized abjuration spell is the mana shield, a spell that transmutes raw mana into a barrier that protects the caster from attacks. Properly executed, this spell can protect the mage against even the most formidable of attacks - but the mana shield is very difficult for a novice to master. It often takes a mage months of practice to even conjure a simple mana shield, and thus, more basic alternatives exist.

A series of elemental armor spells were invented to aid the traveling mage in the unfortunate case that he or she might be attacked. These spells require far less raw energy to cast then a mana shield and are more easily maintained over time, but lack the raw potency of the mana shield. Rather than stopping an attack completely, a frost armor spell might simply decrease the effectiveness of the assault. The more advanced armor spells grant other benefits - for example, the potent mage armor spell actually assists the caster in regaining magical power more easily.

Practitioners of the arcane arts are often ambitious, and we frequently find ourselves in situations where magic may slip just slightly beyond our control. It is for this reason that the ward spells exist. Ward spells are quick, potent incantations to protect the caster against a form of elemental damage - damage which is often caused by the caster attempting one of the other schools of magic. This is why studying abjuration early is so imperative.

One of the most renowned practitioners of Abjuration magic is Prince Kael’thas Sunstrider. While the prince is quite formidable in all schools of magic, Kael’thas has created a variation of Mana Shield that is practically unsurpassed in among the residents of Dalaran. Also notable is the Arcanist Doan, who has perfected a spell that combines Evocation and Abjuration to shield himself for a short time while preparing a powerfull area-of-effect spell. This Detonate spell provides Doan with a degree of near invulnerability for a precious few seconds, but few mages have the capacity to cast it safely.

Transmutation:

<Penned by the skilled hand of Archmage Ansirem Runeweaver>

The ninth and final school of magic is transmutation. It is among the most popular and useful of all of the schools, allowing a mage to manipulate time and space. Perhaps the most iconic Transmutation spell is Polymorph, which allows a mage to turn something - or someone - into something else. Fortunately for many of my students, the effects are not permanent. I’ve seen more than one unwary apprentice turned into a sheep, pig, or worse - don’t even ask what “worse” means.

The second most famous use for transmutation magic is teleportation. The most basic teleportation spell is blink, and it remains among the most useful. Blink can be used to quickly escape a foe - or save a mage who has accidentally fallen off a cliff. Do not attempt to use blink to escape falling to your death unless absolutely necessary. This is the kind of trick you can only fail once.

Make absolutely certain you know your destination before attempting to teleport. There’s a reason we have very specific spells to teleport to certain locations - attempts to cast a teleportation “on the fly” often result in one very dead mage inside a wall, chair, or another mage. And I don’t mean in a fun way.

Spells that manipulate time also fall into this category. The ever-popular slow fall spell is an excellent alternative to falling to your death (and much more reliable than Blink at this function). More advanced practitioners of the arcane arts can also learn a spell that slows the movements of their enemies. I’ve heard rumors of a spell that increases movement speed as well, but I’ve never seen it in practice.

Lady Jaina Proudmoore is a skilled practitioner of transmutation magic. She has developed a powerful variation of the popular mass-teleport spell that is capable of moving a significant percentage of her army with minimal effort. This spell helps make her extremely unpredictable on the battlefield.

Necromancy:

<Penned by the skilled hand of Archmage Ansirem Runeweaver>

Necromancy is the study of magic involving the dead. It is highly illegal and should be avoided at all costs. I discuss necromancy here only because it is our obligation to have a basic understanding of the magic employed by our enemies - and make no mistake, any practitioner of necromancy is your enemy. Necromancers and their followers are the enemies of all living things. Their influence must be avoided at all costs.

Necromantic magic has many functions beyond simply raising the dead. Masters of this tainted field of magic can conjure festering diseases, harness the shadows into bolts of incendiary energy, and chill the living with the power of death. Necromancy can also be used to reconstruct the flesh of undead creatures, allowing them to function again even after the foul monsters have been destroyed.

The former archmage Kel’Thuzad is perhaps the most notable example of a modern necromancer. He greatly contributed to the initial spread of the Scourge and the fall of Lordaeron. Now, Kel’Thuzad reigns as a lich from the floating citadel of Naxxramas. His ongoing existence poses an imminent threat to us all.

Enchantment:

<Penned by the skilled hand of Archmage Ansirem Runeweaver>

Enchantment is the process of imbuing an object - or person - with magical power. Some enchantments are temporary, while others can offer permanent benefits. Enchanting can be difficult to learn, but it is one of the most potentially lucrative forms of magic to study. I highly encourage the study of enchanting, as it is one of the studies of magic that is least likely to culminate in my own destruction.

Disenchanting is the process of dispelling or removing magic. The dispel magic spell is among the most important in a mage’s arsenal, as it can potentially reverse the catastrophic effects of a misfired spell. It is also possible to permanently disenchant a magical item. This produces a unique form of crystallized mana that can be used in the process of imbuing another item with magical abilities. While this can get expensive, it is often one of the best ways for a young mage to study the enchanting process.

While he has already previously been mentioned for his skill in abjuration, Prince Kael’thas Sunstrider is also considered one of the foremost masters of enchanting in our time. He has not only mastered the creation of potent magical weapons, but the prince has also learned to manipulate these objects remotely, allowing them to fight on their own. This can quickly allow the prince to fight as if he was defended by several skilled guardians even when he is completely by himself. A potent defense, indeed.

Conjuration:

<Penned by the skilled hand of Archmage Ansirem Runeweaver>

Conjuration is the study of summoning - both creatures and objects. Ever really, really wanted a fresh drink of spring water when you’re in the middle of nowhere? Conjuration, my friend, is the answer. There is nothing more enjoyable for a mage than creating a fresh slice of bread or a glass of water. Just ask any of us!

More formidable specialists in conjuration can summon several glasses of water at once, or perhaps even a tankard. A few daring wizards have occasionally attempted to summon water without remembering the glass - and thus, the art of summoning water elementals was born. Water elementals are a wizard’s best friend. (Felhounds are not, in fact, friendly at all.) A summoned elemental is a formidable ally in combat, a great listener, and they even taste great!

There are several wizards who have chosen to follow the refreshing path of conjuration. Captain Balinda Stonehearth is a fine example of a mage who has chosen to adapt conjuration magic for battle. Perhaps the most famous conjuror of our time, however, was the beloved Archmage Nielas Aran. Aran was not only noted for being able to summon several elementals at once, he also perfected a recipe for conjuring sparkling cider. It should be noted that Nileas Aran was no simple jester. That’s what magic is all about.

Divination:

<Penned by the skilled hand of Archmage Ansirem Runeweaver>

Divination is the school of magic dedicated to gathering information. Powerful divinations can allow the mage to see targets from a great distance, or even view what may normally be invisible. One of the most common uses of divination magic is scrying, which is the art of seeing something that may be far away - perhaps even on another plane of existance.

I’d like to take this time to remind my apprentices that scrying pools are not a toy. They are absolutely not to be used for displaying students of the opposite sex on a pay per view basis. Consider this your last warning.

The legendary archmage known as Medivh is perhaps the greatest known master of divination. His potent spells allowed him to peer into the world of Draenor from our Home in Azeroth - and perhaps even beyond. We can only speculate at the true depths of the power that Medivh once held.

Illusion:

<Penned by the skilled hand of Archmage Ansirem Runeweaver>

Illusion is the art of deceiving reality itself. The mists of illusion can make a mage invisible or inaudible to the world or twist the image of a location into something entirely different. Illusion can be used for disguise or manipulation, but beware, spells to counteract illusions exist in the divination school. It is not viable to base your entire career on illusionary magic.

Contrary to popular belief, illusions are far more than mere parlor tricks. The spell of invisibility is among the most integral in a battle mage’s repertoire, as you will often find yourself in dangerous situations and in need of a quick method for a strategic retreat. Illusions can also be used to deceive your opponents into thinking that you are elsewhere, or even trick your enemies into fighting each other. This is no easy task, but the accomplished illusionist can turn allies into enemies - and his or her own enemies into allies.

The former archmage Jandice Barov - may her soul rest in peace - was an excellent example of a talented illusionist. In life, she developed a spell that displayed several images of her body that were nearly indistinguishable from her real form. These images duplicated her actions from different locations, making it nearly impossible for her enemies to find her. It was almost infallible. Which brings me to another lesson - almost is simply not good enough.

So, my main question is. What do you think of these books? Do you think these are proper guidelines which -should- be seriously looked at when considering the option to play a Mage?

Other books which I noticed on a search on Wowhead:

Blinking Rules & Regulations

Short range full-body instant cast teleportations have specific rules and boundaries which must be adhered to at all times. This book is a guideline for proper usage of this travel option, to ensure a safe and expedient teleportation.

Rule #1: Never blink into space occupied by anyone else. Blink, as it has been taught, replaces the air and water from the casters target position, to the casters starting position. The spells success and widespread use is based on its simple elegance: The real objective of the spell is to replace the casters body with whatever is in front of them - the fact that the caster is moved to that area is the side-effect.

The spell is elegant enough to recognize and avoid people most of the time. Immense Kirin Tor resources are being spent to perfect an already nearly flawless spell, but be warned that deliberate blinking into others may result in one of three outcomes: The caster replaces the target, the target replaces the caster, or both occupy the same space, creating a sickly abomination the likes of which even The Scourge would exile from their ranks. If you would like to prevent one of these three tragedies, please be mindful of your blink target areas. Which brings us to…

Rule #2: Look where you’re going! After a staggering number of incidences that were the product of people violating Rule #1, the Kirin Tor has moved this rule up from its previous position at #8 to here. We understand that accidents happen, but some accidents are not so easily remedied. Remember mages, look both ways before crossing the Astral Plane!

Rule #3: Don’t blink to anywhere you can’t see. This is a variation of Rule #2 that deserves special mention, due to the fact that this rule is the one most commonly broken on purpose. Like Rule #2, we have gotten increasing reports of mages meeting tragic ends with their blink. Some mages admitted to consciously trying to blink through walls, into dark areas, and even inside crates in a desperate attempt to hide from pursuers. We cannot stress enough how foolish this is.

Solid matter is connected to itself rigidly enough to, well, make it solid. Unlike air and water, which can be easily separated and swapped, the bonds of solids WILL translate onto the caster. The Kirin Tor feels obligated to list all documented Small Claims Disaster Cases pertaining to blinking inside solid objects. Memorize these claims, and avoid making the same mistakes yourselves:

10012-c: “Removal of bar stool from hip of Squibly Ratchetdibble via fire. Collateral burns minimal.”

19798-g: “Removal of (3) mithril support rods from head of Jenus Killian via corrosive brew. Thanks to RAS for donation of mentioned brew. Side-effect: Permanent hair loss of affected area.”

14761-aa: “Removal of Cynthia Wallerby from side of barn via Goblin Shredder. Collateral damage is, unfortunately, severe. However, Mrs. Wallerby can still enjoy a full life with one hand and foot.”

16616-x: “Removal of Harland Wilson from statue of General Turalyon via magma, shipped from Ironforge. Collateral damage moderate. Mr. Wilson was unharmed, but nearby school children witnessed the General being melted to retrieve him, and were consequently scarred for life.”

11773-c: “Removal of (6) Snapvine Watermelons from torso of Sinella Redblade. Collateral damage minimal. (4) melons salvaged and donated to local orphanage.”

<This goes on for hundreds of pages>

Polymorphic Rules & Regulations

Species altercation has the highest potential for abuse and disaster, and is the source of the most number of complaints to the Kirin Tor. Polymorphic study has been under constant scrutiny and threat of removal for years, but only recently have these tribulations increased exponentially. In order for this spell to continue to be sanctioned certain guidelines must be put in place to throttle the increasing number of tragedies reckless polymorphs have caused.

Rule# 1: Do not turn a creature of lesser intelligence into a creature of higher intelligence - Cerebral brain function rarely translates in a polymorph… But sometimes it does. Voracious creatures such as serpents and wolves need not have their predatory instincts honed with a human mind. We feel obligated to quote Small Claims Disaster Case 12651-B, Labeled, “Bartholomew: The Bear who Bears Arms.”

Rule# 2: Use simplified creatures for polymorphs - Many rogue mage disciples sanction exotic creature polymorphic studies. But in a desperate effort to lower Kirin Tor insurance claims we are ceasing to support these types of creatures. Sheep are acceptable creatures for any situation. But there are several other common creature types that are supported (Read the latest edition of the Kirin Tor Monthly for an up-to-date list). Polymorphing into creatures like oozes, ethereals, silithid, and worst of all dragonkin is severely punishable which brings us to…

Rule# 3: Polymorphic debaucheries are to be disposed of in a timely and DISCREET manner - The Public need not bear witness to the horrendous abominations wrought from a botched polymorph. Accidents happen, and the Kirin’Tor understands this. However public viewing of creatures like the Were-Whale, Mur-Elf, Amphibious Worgen, Flying Ooze, Grypho-Hippo-Wyvern, Qiraji Bunny, and the infamous “Blue-Checkered Cube” give us all a bad reputation.

Rule #4: Do not polymorph a creature into another more powerful creature - While this looks like plain common sense, we feel obligated to quote Mildly Severe Claims Disaster Case 8791-E, Labeled, “Magus John Quint: Liquefied by Sickly Deer turned Violently Confused Molten Giant.”

Rule #5: Do not polymorph anything that is halfway through a portal - This has yet to not cause an explosion. This is also covered in “Thinking with Portals: A Memorandum on Proper Portal Usage.”

Rule #6: Do not polymorph inanimate objects! - We can’t believe the Kirin’Tor is receiving reports of this, but such a heinous act caused the development of the brand new Highly Severe Claims Disaster Case 1-A, “My Kingdom For A Horse: The One Hundred and Fifty Reasons Why A Kingdom Should Not Be Turned Into A Horse.”

<This goes on for hundreds of pages>

Thinking With Portals - A Memorandum

It is not our intention to replace popular transportation methods such as ship, zeppelins, and flightmasters. These are cheap, practical, and safe methods of transportation. Portals, when used properly, are just as safe and certainly faster. HOWEVER, in practice portals have a history of being a burden on any society in which it is offered to the general public. Of all the major spells developed and maintained by the Kirin Tor (including polymorph), portal technology is the closest to becoming banished from anything but emergency usage.

Why all the trouble? First, Ley Lines don’t grow on trees. Massive traffic through a Line from all over Azeroth wears down the infrastructure and must be periodically replaced. We charge the mage for every portal via reagent taxes, and encourage mages to pass off these charges to those using the portal. But these taxes don’t even begin to cover the time cost of replacing a Line, only the materials.

Remember that a portal most used is a portal most efficient: More persons using a single portal causes no further stress to the Ley Lines, and is encouraged. A “Portalpooling” program is in the works that will give tax breaks to mages who create portals for no less than (5) persons. Read your latest issue of “Kirin Tor Monthly” to see the progress of the Portalpooling program.

Second, while a properly used portal is just as safe as your average zeppelin trip (maybe more so considering the engineering practices of goblins), an improperly used portal can potentially yield dire results. Here is a list of immutable regulations for appropriate portal usage:

Rule #1: Do not create a portal to anywhere but the designated Kirin Tor drop-off zones. The most dangerous aspect of the portal spell is its vast potential. We realize it’s easy for a mage to create a door to anywhere, so our only way to combat such potentially deadly acts is to make it punishable by death. Special Issue License D-6 permits open portal usage, but is rarely issued. Speak with your local Portal Trainer about qualifying for this license.

Rule #2: Create a portal in the proper place, and use it in the proper way. Do not create a portal beneath the feet of someone. Do not linger halfway in and out of a portal. The portal is not a garbage disposal. The portal is not a shield. Do not use a portal like an umbrella, or any kind of shelter from the elements.

Do not back out of a portal after partially entering it. Do not try and “grab” the edges of the portal, either from the inside or the outside. A portal does not create “handlebars” to assist usage, and disruption of its boundaries is dangerous.

Rule #3: Never force or trick anyone to go through a portal. Not only is this a great way to lose repeat customers, it’s also incredibly dangerous (See Rule #2).

Rule #4: Do not have someone who is polymorphed enter a portal. This has yet to not cause an explosion. This is also covered in “Polymorphic Rules & Regulations.”

Rule #5: Do not remove the liquid filter from a portal spell. Portals innately prevent large amounts of flowing water through them so that they can be cast underwater. To allow for water elementals to use a portal, this filter can be omitted when casting. Do not omit this when underwater! We feel obligated to mention Moderately Severe Claims Disaster Case 34-zz: “The Great Lakeshire Drought & The Great Ironforge Flood of 24 A.D.”

Rule #6: Standard Portal dimensions are 3 yards, 1 foot, and 3/4 inches tall, 2 yards, 8 feet, 9 and 15/16 inches wide. Double-wide portal creation requires Special Issue License G-16, and is commonly issued to mages with a clean portal record of 8 years or more. Speak with your local Portal Trainer about qualifying for this license.

<This goes on for hundreds of pages>

Personally, the last three just look like a bit of a “troll” in a sense, but they are still there in-game and deserve to be recognized. But, to the question at hand which is posted above:

So, my main question is. What do you think of these books? Do you think these are proper guidelines which -should- be seriously looked at when considering the option to play a Mage?

Additional information (Extracted from deep dark articles of Wowwiki):

In your character’s eyes, you have spent years studying the arts of magic, so don’t be afraid to get a little cocky of yourself from time to time. You can belittle a Warrior for being a “brute” or “barbarian”. Priests and Paladins are extremely religious and more than likely, they wont like you too much. Paladin’s believe that Mages hate the “Holy Light” and believe you will NOT ever be cleansed of your evil ways, no matter what you do.

Mages are the overall damage dealers on WoW, but they aren’t very good at melee or taking damage. If you take a hit, make it devestating and make sure people know you’re hurt. After all, you’re wearing cloth armor and you’re not the strongest person in the world. If you’re pretending to be a strong muscly Mage, make a Warrior.

Alchemy - Alchemy is a great job to choose mainly because all you have to do is make magical potions, which fits your role perfectly.
Herbalism - The best thing to choose for money making or making some well-deserved potions with Alchemy.
Engineering - Not the first choice for most Mages, but it counts as a logical pursuit and could fit well with you if you do it right.

“The Four Laws (Extracted from Wowpedia)”

Magic is Powerful.

Magic in Azeroth is the difference between a slave and a master, a foot soldier and king. Few races and nations can operate without powerful mages and warlocks. The use of arcane magic is growing; historically, each time this has happened before, a great disaster shortly follows. However, even though the history of the arcane is well known, mages and their patrons invariably come to the same self-serving conclusion: It won’t happen to them.

Magic is Corrupting.

Magic corrupts the soul; if the humblest person in Azeroth became a practitioner of the arcane, by the time the practitioner reached the higher levels in their art, all traces of her humble roots would be lost. Magic breeds pride and arrogance. Magic corrupts the body; it ages the caster before their time and hastens the blight that the world inflicts on things fair and beautiful. Those who claim that only Necromancy and Fel Magic have a corrupting influence are fooling themselves.

Magic is an Addiction.

When one feels the power of an arcane spell coursing through one’s body as it’s being cast, resisting the urge to cast it again is difficult. Frequent use leads to a desire for more and, eventually, to a desire for the evil fel energy.

Magic attracts the Twisting Nether Like Flies to Honey.

The Burning Legion has invaded Azeroth three times, drawn by the power of the Well of Eternity and those who employ it. Magic is a literal gateway drug that allows dark titans such as Sargeras to bring evil influences to the world. Those who employ arcane magic must deal with demons and other servants of the Twisting Nether.

Necronomicon: guide to necromancer RP by Vredd

“All too soon, my choice was made. Too late did I realize that such power does not come… without a price.” - Archlich Kel’Thuzad

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Capabilities
  3. Races
  4. Classes
  5. Appearance
  6. Raising the dead
  7. Minions
  8. Personality
  9. Conclusion

Introduction

As described in “The Schools of Arcane Magic – Necromancy”:

Necromancy is the study of magic involving the dead. It is highly illegal and should be avoided at all costs. I discuss necromancy here only because it is our obligation to have a basic understanding of the magic employed by our enemies - and make no mistake, any practitioner of necromancy is your enemy. Necromancers and their followers are the enemies of all living things. Their influence must be avoided at all costs.

Necromantic magic has many functions beyond simply raising the dead. Masters of this tainted field of magic can conjure festering diseases, harness the shadows into bolts of incendiary energy, and chill the living with the power of death. Necromancy can also be used to reconstruct the flesh of undead creatures, allowing them to function again even after the foul monsters have been destroyed.

Capabilities

As we can see from “The Schools of Arcane Magic – Necromancy” as well as other sources, necromancers do have a number of capabilities beyond raising the dead, though this does remain the bread and butter of the class.

I’ll list some of the capabilities the necromancer will or may have based off of what we have seen in-game:

Raising the dead - this is a no brainer; simply put, a necromancer isn’t a necromancer if they don’t have this ability.

"Conjure festering diseases" - we can only assume that this refers to abilities similar to the ones death knights use i.e. Blood Plague and Frost Fever. Also this has been seen before since necromancers are often responsible for the spreading of plagues, such as the one spread across Lordaeron.

"Harness the shadows into bolts of incendiary energy" - this most likely refers to Shadow Bolt which, though used by warlocks, is in fact also a necromancer ability. This can be seen from mobs such as the Anub’ar Necromancers in Azjol-Nerub and the Dark Necromancers in Stratholme. However, necromancers appear to harness the shadows in a number of other ways too, such as the Auchenai Necromancers who use Drain Soul (also used by warlocks) and an ability called Shadow Mend.

"Chill the living with the power of death" - since most necromancers are former mages, it wouldn’t be too far a stretch to assume that necromancers use darker and far deadlier forms of frost magic. Death knights use these sorts of abilities, even having an entire specialization dedicated to them.

Cripple - in Warcraft 3, this ability was used by the necromancer unit to slow a target’s movement and attack speed, as well as reduce the target’s damage dealt. Besides this however, many necromancer mobs throughout the game use it too, including the Death’s Head Necromancers in Razorfen Downs, and the Shadowy Necromancers in the Battle for Mount Hyjal.

Corpse Explosion - this rather fun ability has been used by necromancers. The Scholomance Necromancer mobs use this ability as well as the Acherus Necromancers who use a variation called Ghoulplosion. Also, death knights used to possess a minor glyph which allowed them the use of this ability, though it didn’t deal any damage.

Unholy Frenzy - unholy death knights will be familiar with this ability. This was also used by the necromancer unit in Warcraft 3 where it had a similar effect, in which attack speed is increased however health is drained. Other necromancers who have used this ability include the Shadowy Necromancers in the Battle for Mount Hyjal.

Bone Armor - similar to Bone Shield used by blood death knights, many necromancer mobs use this ability in which it absorbs damage taken, like Power Word: Shield. Examples of mobs who use this ability include the Malefic Necromancers in Icecrown and the Thuzadin Necromancers in Stratholme.

Soul Tap - this ability is similar to Drain Life and was used by the Thuzadin Necromancers in Stratholme. It leads to the idea that necromancers may use similar life draining abilities.

Drain Mana - a former warlock ability used by the Dark Necromancers in the Culling of Stratholme.

Races

Practically every race is capable of becoming a necromancer. After all, necromancy is ultimately another school of arcane magic. In that case, any race who can become a mage is capable of becoming a necromancer. Also, with the death knight class, every race except pandaren is shown to use necromancy. Here is a list of all the playable races and the extent to which it is possible for them to become a necromancer.

Alliance

Humans - many humans crossed over to necromancy surrounding the events of the Third War, tempted by power, immortality and as Kel’Thuzad described, “an ideal society free of all the burdens the existing one forced upon its citizenry”. Therefore, they make up most of the Cult of the Damned and are highly capable of becoming necromancers.

Dwarves - though all dwarves can become adept in arcane arts, the Dark Irons are the ones who study far darker forms than their Bronzebeard cousins, even bringing warlocks into Ironforge’s ranks. Dwarves are therefore also highly capable of becoming necromancers.

Gnomes - gnomes are found in the Cult of the Damned, and really there’s no reason why a gnome wouldn’t attempt to delve into the dark arts. Their curiosity is often far greater than that of other races, and so necromancy may tempt a gnome or two. Also, they’re shown to be powerful users of arcane magic, and so one could easily become a powerful user of necromancy.

Night Elves - necromancy is the enemy of all living things and the balance of life and death. It would therefore be strictly forbidden by night elf society. Necromancy upon night elves was witnessed during the War of the Ancients, and only one night elf wasn’t disgusted by it: Illidan, and we all know what happened to him. Despite this, night elves are capable of wielding arcane magic, especially after accepting the Highborne back into night elf lands. So the possibility is there.

Draenei - though draenei would completely forbid this, as it goes against their reverence of the Holy Light, we have seen draenei necromancers in Auchenai Crypts. Therefore it’s possible for draenei to become necromancers, however note you’d be exiled and disgraced by draenei society and possibly even executed.

Worgen - worgen are ultimately cursed humans and so would be just as capable of wielding necromancy as regular humans.

Horde

Orcs - as mentioned before with Gul’dan’s necrolytes, orcs are more than capable of wielding necromancy.

Trolls - troll necromancers have been seen. Zalazane is an example and Zanzil could also be considered a necromancer. Despite this, Zalazane’s death was due to his usurping of the domain of Bwonsamdi, the troll loa of the dead, who wasn’t too pleased with him for this. So you may have to keep that in mind as a troll necromancer.

Tauren - tauren, like night elves, would also view necromancy as an enemy of nature and so would react in the same way. Tauren necomancers are possible, however, as we have seen tauren mages among the Grimtotem tribe, so it isn’t that far fetched to suggest one of them may have gone down a darker path.

Forsaken - Helcular and Gunther Arcanus are both examples of Forsaken necromancers. Sylvanas would have recruited many necromancers into her ranks, but only for the sole purpose of sustaining her race.

Blood elves - high elves will also count here. Dar’Khan Drathir and Instructor Malicia are examples of high elf necromancers and the elves make up quite a bit of the Cult of the Damned. Due to their lust for arcane magic, both blood elves and high elves can easily stumble upon necromancy.

Goblin - as we saw from goblin warlocks and shamans, goblins will exploit any form of power just for profit, and so because of that, I don’t see why a goblin wouldn’t try and exploit necromancy. How he’d gain profit out of it I’m not sure, but it would certainly be interesting to see RPed. I hear undead minions make good cheap labour.

Neutral

Pandaren - this is an interesting one. Though you have pandaren mages, the pandaren very much respect their dead and so necromancy would not be accepted nor tolerated. Pandaren necromancers could still be possible but having a good reason for them becoming one would be difficult to play out. It should be noted however that we have not seen any pandaren use necromancy throughout the game with them even being the only playable race who can’t become death knights.

Classes

As necromancers are not a playable class, it’s important to use a class that best suits how they’re both described and seen in lore and in-game. There are four main classes which work best:

Unholy Death Knights – since Legion, unholy DKs have become even more necromancer-like than they were previously. They still retainin their ability to raise a minion and keep that minion out as a “pet”. Aside from this however, they also make use of diseases like Virulent Plague as well as the emphasis on Festering Wounds; they can summon a variety of other undead minions such as a gargoyle, an extra skeletal minion through All Will Serve and even an abomination through Sludge Belcher; finally, with their artifact weapon they can summon even greater armies of the dead in addition to the classic Army of the Dead spell.

Despite this, problems with the death knight include that they can’t wield staffs (however this can be replaced with a tome or a polearm) and they’re undead, meaning that using them to RP living necromancers will not be the best idea. Therefore there are other suitable options include:

Affliction Warlocks – an affliction warlock is a borderline necromancer due to how they dabble with souls and use shadow magic to casts various curses and afflictions. For instance, the Haunt spell is rather necromantic in nature since it states that it sends a ghostly soul into the target. In the section below, you will see how there are a number of warlock gear sets which can be used to brilliantly portray a necromancer.

Shadow Priests – shadow priests clearly use shadow magic and so could also make use of the Realm of Shadows the Scourge uses. In Icecrown you do see Cult of the Damned mobs in Shadowform who are casting Mind Flay. Therefore shadow priests could work.

Mages – most, if not all, necromancers are former mages, and as we saw from Darkmaster Gandling in Scholomance, when you become a necromancer you don’t necessarily ‘unlearn’ your previous abilities. Therefore, you could RP a necromancer who continues to incorporate spells they learned as a mage. Frost mages would most likely work best however, because as mentioned before, necromancers possess frost-related abilities.

The biggest problem with these other options however is that they can’t raise the dead, which some would argue, makes them unable to roleplay necromancers. In the ‘undead minions’ section I’ll present ways to compensate for this.

Appearance

Cloth gear works best for necromancers, though there isn’t really any reason why they wouldn’t wear something a little heavier, as they generally don’t move around much and instead send in their minions. The key really is to use “dark-themed” gear, after all a necromancer is a very shady person and not the most attractive looking person either. In the RPG books it states that necromancers “gradually take on the characteristics of the dead — hollow eyes, shambling gaits, pallid and sunken skin, foul odors and so forth”, and though this is technically non-canon info being in the RPG books, the appearances of necromancer NPCs nonetheless support this idea.

Take this set as an example of a necromancer look, or alternatively look at the various necromancer mobs throughout the game such as the ones I mentioned in the abilities section: [Dead link, removed]

Raising the dead

I thought I’d dedicate an entire section to this as it’s something that as a necromancer you’ll frequently be doing.

In order to raise the dead, unlike the death knight’s Raise Dead ability, you’ll need a corpse. This should be pretty obvious, but what it means is that the necromancer can sometimes be limited and have to rely on offensive and defensive magic due to the lack of corpses.

Despite this however, it can be argued that sometimes a necromancer will summon rather than raise the dead, from a place known as the Realm of Shadows. For example, in Acherus we see the trainers creating minions for their disciples to fight, however Acherus is a big metal fortress in the sky. Therefore, the best possible explanation for this is that these undead minions weren’t raised and were instead summoned from the Realm of Shadows. This will therefore give you a way to create an undead minion without the need of a corpse. For more information on this realm, see:
http://wowpedia.org/Realm_of_Shadows

Most of the time however, you’ll raise the corpse of a fallen soldier in battle. If you’re in the midst of battle and someone falls you can therefore raise them into undeath to do your bidding, which is of course, aid in killing your enemies. Necromancers will most often not be found in a place without some trace of death, which is why many are found scheming in the Plaguelands.

Undead minions

Necromancers can raise/summon a variety of minions, and as we see throughout the game, they come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the types of undead that necromancers can summon or raise can be seen here: >>http://wowpedia.org/Undead

However I will list some of the main types:

Ghouls - seen from both the death knight’s Raise Dead ability and the fact that ghouls are seen to act as the shock troops for the Scourge such as during the Battle for Light’s Hope Chapel.

Skeletons - the ability to raise skeletons was the main ability used by the necromancer unit in Warcraft 3. They fall into two types: skeletal warriors and skeletal mages.

Geists - executed criminals reborn as undead due to necromancy.

Zombies - in Stratholme we saw thousands of these, with all of them being reanimated from the corpses of Stratholme citizens. Should be noted however that zombies are in fact reanimated corpses who have not yet completed the transition into the “true” undead form of ghouls.

Unfortunately, affliction warlocks, shadow priests and mages don’t have the benefit that death knights have of actually raising the dead. Death knights don’t have to worry about this section as they can simply use either Raise Dead, Army of Dead, or even Raise Ally. Non-DKs on the other hand, read on.

There are a couple of approaches to compensating for the lack of raising the dead:

Items - there are items in the game which can briefly summon an undead minion, such as Book of the Dead, Antique Cornerstone Grimoire and Abracadaver. Other than these there are probably other items in the game which have similar effects that I haven’t listed, so look around and see what you can find.

You can have someone RP a minion for you - this can be done in a number of ways. Any class can use Noggenfogger Elixir and so RP a skeleton. As skeletons are the basic form of undead a necromancer can raise, this can work very well. Even better if they’re a mage and so can RP a skeletal mage. The rogue T10 armor is highly reminiscent of geists and so a rogue wearing this gear can RP one. Even the undead race in general could work as a minion as they’re, well, undead.

Pets - another thing you can do, as suggested by some, is use some of the various undead battle pets you can obtain (thank you to Elenthas for listing these):

  • Restless Shadeling - Early morning spawn near Karazhan (Resembles a Shade)
  • Fossilized Hatchling (Troll Necromancers) - Fossil Archaeology (Skeletal raptor)
  • Ghostly Skull - Dalaran Vendor 40g (Floating Skull)
  • Lost of Lordaeron - Tirisfal Glades spawn (Resembles blue ghost)
  • Macabre Marionette - Day of the Dead (Resembles a humanoid skeleton)
  • Unborn Val’kyr - Rare spawn around Northrend (Resembles chibi Val’kyr)
  • Sen’jin Fetish (Troll Necromancers) - Argent Tournament 40 Seals (Floating tiki head)
  • Scourged Whelpling - Rare(?) spawn in Icecrown (Plagued whelp model)
  • Frosty - WotLK Collectors Edition (Resembles frost wyrm whelp)
  • Stitched Pup - Gluth, Naxxramas (resembles Gluth)
  • Blighthawk - Western Plaguelands (Resembles undead hawk)
  • Sinister Squashling - Hallow’s End (Resembles a sinister squashling)
  • Withers - Darkshore Quest/Vendor(?) (Resembles a grey, withered treant)
  • Cockroach (Various) - They’re cockroaches, there’s a lot around.
  • Disgusting Oozeling - Rare World Drop (Resembles a black ooze)
  • Arcanomicon - Hillsbrad Foothills, near Dalaran Crater (Resembles floating magic book)
  • Jade Oozeling - Hinterlands (Resembles smiling green ooze)
  • Arcane Eye - Deadwind Pass, possible rare spawn(?) (Floating blue eye)
  • Toxic Wasteling - Love is in the Air event (Green non-smiling ooze)
  • Viscidus Globue - Viscidus, AQ40 (Resembles Viscidus)
  • Darkmoon Eye - Darkmoon Pet Supplies Rare Drop (Giant orange Darkmoon Eye)
  • Ethereal Soul Trader - TCG Reward, super rare and expensive! (Resembles Ethereal)
  • Gusting Grimoire - TCG Reward (floating magic book)
  • Living Fluid - Primordius, Throne of Thunder, LFR Difficulty(?) (Resembles blood-red ooze)
  • Nordrassil Wisp - Mount Hyjal (Resembles Wisp)
  • Spectral (Tiger) Cub - TCG/Battle.Net World Championship Shanghai 2012 (Resembles spectral tiger cub)
  • Viscous Horror - Primordius, Throne of Thunder (Resembles darker blood-red ooze)
  • Devouring Maggot - Howling Fjord (Resembles Maggot)
  • Mr. Grubbs - Rare Drop Eastern Plaguelands (Resembles Maggot)
  • Son of Animus - Dark Animus, Throne of Thunder (Resembles a mini-Dark Animus)

Personality

Though not all necromancers are the same in terms of personality, there are a few general character traits which would likely apply to all:

-As someone who frequently toys with the balance of life and death, you don’t value this balance in any way other than a tool for you to defeat your enemies.
-You’re unlikely to gain any ties with anyone, instead carrying a callous view that they’re all flesh and bone, ready to be manipulated.
-You’re also very likely to be a megalomaniac, relishing in the ability to summon and command minions who obey your every whim as well as seemingly being able to have control over death itself.

Of course, take these away as mere pointers and not necessarily defining character traits. Ultimately all necromancers are individuals and so will have their own unique qualities as well as these aspects of their personality.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading my guide and hopefully it will help anyone interested in roleplaying a necromancer out there.

An Indepth essay on Night Elf politics by Barlowe of the Earthen Ring

It’s hard to tell, but the broad approach of the Night Elven authorities seems to be that they don’t meddle in very many things…but when they do, they do it with an iron fist.

I had a long discussion about this on another forum once but it seems to be inaccessible, so I’m going to see about getting hold of it. In the meantime…

The Sisters of Elune are described on Wowpedia - citing an official Blizzard encyclopedia now seemingly also inaccessible - as “the major active night elf political faction”, fulfilling “the role of magistrates, officials and the like for the night elf government.” Their highest members are “privyt to the government’s most major secrets.” The Night Elven government is basically a theocracy: the Temple is in charge, with the priestesses representing Elune’s will on earth and the Sentinels as the Temple’s military wing enforcing Her dictates. The Cenarion Circle is an alternative centre of power, but not one likely to offer any kind of political opposition or strife when led by Malfurion, effectively married to the Temple’s head. Certainly the druids are not supposed to mess with politics and government. Things seem a little different with Staghlem there, just as the situation now is generally more complicated than before the war. There are also many semi-independent forest creatures, Ancients, Dryads, Grovekeepers, etc, who presumably operate their own community power structures distinct from the Temple but loyal to it as long as it protects the sacred forests of which I would assume mainstream night elves to consider themselves the divinely-appointed stewards.

If you check out the wowpedia page on ‘Night Elf’, most of which is ripped from lore books, you’ll find that “virtually all remaining kaldorei consider it their sworn duty to maintain the safety and balance of the natural world.” This idea of a universal duty does not really sit well with the idea of a forgiving authority; neither does their description as “a strict but just and sometimes even compassionate people.” Compassion and mercy exists, but within rigidly-defined boundaries that I suspect are made up of explicit laws and implicit social taboos in equal measure. Remember especially that their entire social organisation is effectively a response to one of the worst wars Azeroth has ever seen - and a response to the form of government that allowed that war to happen. That means they are a revolutionary state (they did after all purge the mages), and revolutionary states are not known for their laxity.

Towns and villages seem to be ruled by councils of their elders, maybe elected semi-democratically, who are left to draw up and enforce their own local mores as long as they don’t transgress against the Temple. I tend to go out on a limb and imagine that many other forms of mini-society are possible as long as they don’t mess. So, for example, my character in times past was part of an all-male scholar cult venerating Aviana (messenger-goddess of knowledge) as well as paying respect to Elune, tending to barrows full of ancient texts. In my own personal and mostly private conception of Kaldorei lore, there were a few such cults, who were allowed to exist as long as the Temple was assured that their primary loyalty would be to Elune’s order. Technically the night elves are polytheistic and worship the Ancients and various demigods too, but I’m pretty sure they consider Elune to be the ‘ruler of the gods’ as it were, so you may well have a situation where little devotional cults are allowed, but remain subordinate to the state cult, i.e. the cult of Elune.

So in short a weird mixture of anarchism and authoritarianism - anarchism within certain bounds, swift and merciless state action to maintain them. Maive offers a hint as to just how “swift and merciless” it would be. Until recently these bounds unquestionably excluded use of the arcane (at least among natives), but I’m not sure what the situation is now. It may be like Death Knights in Stormwind - it’s allowed on the condition that it’s accountable to a particular group/faction, i.e. the exile mages’ court. The bounds still very strongly exclude all fel, demonic and shadow magic, and may also forbid unsupervised or large-scale employment of technology.

Similarly, the class system is both simple and strange to us. Before the Sundering, the Highborne were an incredibly hierarchical society; I think of it like an ornate bauble of a government enforcing rigid and fine distinctions between a thousand classes of nobility. The Sisters of Elune (i.e. the Temple - I reckon Night Elves would say “The Temple” in the same way that Americans say “Washington” or “The White House”) were one of the few merit-based organisations. Even the army of the old regime was class-based. Lore says the Temple were the ones who reorganised the army and who were the main organisation taking charge immediately after the apocalypse. So class doesn’t exist as such. The big distinction is: are you a civilian, or are you a Priestess/Sentinel? If you’re the former, who cares? And if you’re the latter, you have your own structures of rank. Of course in such a long-lasting and static society there might be quite ossified ideas about what one does with one’s life, producing many fine gradations that aren’t quite in a hierarchy - town elves, councillors, scribes, craftsmen, wanderers, hunters, religious cultists, etc… so maybe class is just like the organisation of society generally: pluralistic but dominated by a unitary distinction.

All of this fits very well with the lore’s claim that Kaldorei are ‘contradictory’ creatures - “both highly spiritual and pragmatic, an often sophisticated paradox.” The parodox here is how a strict, powerful state maintains a pluralistic society. Of course, maybe it’s not that much of a paradox after all: a society that is so long-lasting, where old people stick around for so long, and where the same faces are seen for hundreds of years, is going nowhere fast, and will generate extremely strong social taboos that may actually regulate people’s individual behaviour as strongly and as harshly (with de facto punishments like rumour and ostracisation) as laws might otherwise. That said I don’t think the majority of night elves around now are the same ones that were alive in the Sundering. I have my doubts about the limits of any mind to cope with proper immortality, and I think it is indicated in lore that many Kaldorei, after a few hundred or a couple thousand years, wander off and just kind of disappear. Maybe they follow a sort of thousand-year curve from youthful vigour through responsible adulthood to reclusive old age to wild wandering to eventual disappearance. Maybe ritual suicide is a common thing, but maybe it’s taboo to let anyone see it happen, so everyone just ‘disappears’. And of course some do genuinely stick around for ten thousand years. It probably depends on the individual. I deliberately avoided the problem by playing quite a young night elf - only a few hundred years old and very sheltered.

In any case, since the Kaldorei are also described as “hono[u]rable to a fault”, I think this paradox combines with an OOC lore paradox to give us a decent conception of what night elven “honour” means . The OOC paradox is: how is it that the Night Elves have maintained a 10,000 year empire that is supposedly utterly without political strife, when no possible conception of intelligent creatures and their behaviour allows for that long without any arguments? And anyway, how would anything be interesting without arguments and conflicts? Maybe the answer is that night elven honour is about drawing a distinction between talk and action, or rather between minor and major action.

You can talk all you want, disagree with someone, spit on the ground before them. But when it comes down to it, when you’re threatened, you have your duty and you do it. Night Elves may argue, but they’ll drop the argument in a second to fight Orcs. And it may be a pluralistic society, but when the enemy appears on the horizon, everyone falls into place, ready to fight and die. Barlowe, with his decidedly un-kaldorei pseudonym, would prefer to think of himself as having entirely abandoned the traditions of his people. But his analytical brain manages to be willfully blind to the fact that he advocates exactly this kind of behaviour. As a doctor, he treats his patients even though he thinks most of them would be better off dead. And his frequent criticism, from a Republican perspective, of Royalist ‘honour’ - that it’s about allowing your stupid emotions and stupid pride to pollute your ethical behaviour, that you so often choose not to help someone because they offend you - is also in fact a disguised criticism from a Kaldorei perspective of human behaviour in general. Honour among elves: you do what you like with your life, but when duty calls you to protect the forest, that’s your goshdarn job; you say what you like to your friends, but when the war begins you stand to attention.

Of course, there’s one big thing we’ve forgotten: gender. In WoW, Blizzard made it so that females and males were all equal because they did not want the controversy of having an in-game race that was actually sexist. But, wanting to have their cake and eat it, their lore is full of statements that gender was overwhelmingly divided before the Third War. Any player characters now will be dealing with the legacy of that divide, whether or not they’ve got over it.

During the Long Vigil, the Kaldorei were a matriarchy. That means that all the apparatus of political power was in the hands of females, which means that a lot of attendant ideology will have grown up around the divide. Since men had some of their own power structures, it won’t exactly be the same as how women have been treated in our own history: you should think in terms of a ‘divide’, equal and equally bitter on both sides, than exactly oppression. Nevertheless, men were locked out of the highest levels of political participation (though they were probably able to be village elders or serve on similar councils) and that will have had an effect. They had their own structures.

If you’ve already read the link above you’ll have seen that I imagine cults to have been one of these ‘outlets’ for male participation. It seems to me ludicrous to propose that every male was a druid, though a big proportion of them might have been. Men must also have been threaded through the ordinary lives of some communities, but, depending on the place, might have had their little corners: imagine a village where most of the population are women but where sometimes young women go out to court the all-male charcoal burners on the edge of the nearby forest, or the all-male fishermen who live by the river. And of course, there were wanderers: transient populations travelling the limits of the empire, just passing through.

What myths would this create? Well, as Nhani (a night elf RPer on my own realm) argued in the link I have failed to find and intended to summarise but have in fact spent a good couple of hours building upon in full that females would have a broad belief in men’s unsuitability for government. This was supported by the vanished encyclopedia’s reference to “a common belief that the deepest mysteries of Elune can only be comprehended by women”, which I think gives broad assent to the idea that gender norms and gender myths are incredibly important to Kaldorei culture. Nhani reasoned that females might see government as their own business, because they’re stable, compassionate, social, communal, responsible creatures who stick things out and care for territory like a mother bear. They might equally consider males to be inadequate for ruling because they’re savage and volatile, propelled by instincts, by their anger and sexual desire. Of course, my feminist convictions demand I claim that these attitudes probably came about from each sex’s place in the structure of government (i.e. women are seen as good for government because they ARE the ones in government, and government always justifies itself), rather than the other way round. Imagine the Sentinels going to war assisted by a company of all-male mercenaries; imagine a matriarch’s attitude to these soldiers (“savage things, but good as a weapon”). Males ruined the empire before because of their petty striving and their starry-eyed slavery to Azshara; tussling with each other for her affections, their drives towards sex and death collaborated in their destruction. Females, on the other hand, have created an order that still stands after ten millennia.

Male attitudes to females might conversely owe much to the duality between the two most prominent female divinities availabl: Elune and Aviana, the mother and the harpy. Of course, Aviana’s a pretty benevolent diety, but for thousands of years her harpies have raged out of control. For the male with strong sexist beliefs, females might represent solace and care, peace and stability, but also grasping possession, the strictures of government, winding you in rules, trying to enfold you in her wings. These opposites combine in the figure of Azshara, the beautiful, smiling head of government who dispenses her affections and favours in accordance to vicious power politics. Really misogynist night elves with no first-hand experience of the old regime might well talk in private about major continuities between it and the new one. Naturally I don’t mean to overstate the case: there are probably plenty of males who are okay with women in government. Either way, after thinking about these kind of attitudes in the night elves, I realised they were once again on display in my character, even though he’s an ostensible humanelf. ADULT CONTENT APPROACHING While I have never bothered to fully imagine his sex life, being unsure whether I’d prefer it to be filthy and active or rare and frustrated, I can see him seeking comfort in the bed of a particular favoured harlot for a few months before deciding that he has to ‘kick’ the ‘addiction’, never seeing her again, and eventually falling off the wagon into a different pair of arms. Nobody escapes the legacy of 10,000 years of gender separation.

What would that separation have meant in practical terms? For a start the sexes may have wished to stick to themselves. Literacy might be more common among females than males, because the females operated the government and thus had to run its bureaucracy and courts (although in such a long-lived society maybe everyone learns to read and write at some point). It may mean female domination of the literary canon, though, at least post-Sundering. It may have created intricate courtship rituals if courtship between males and females is seen as ‘crossing a divide’. It may also have resulted in a form of sexual conservatism as regards role-swapping, even sexual role-swapping. I would expect the figures of men and women equipped with the genitalia of their opposites to crop up frequently in Kaldorei oral and written culture, either as objects of revulsion or of satire; likewise the image of the eunuch or castrato and the image of the masectomised amazon. It would likely mean that swear words and curses were specific to the genders: females might profanely refer to violatory, acid-dripping members, while men to thunderous, toothy cavities. Both genders would mix this language with invectives against the fel and the arcane.

Meanwhile, the Darnassian language (quite why it’s called ‘Darnassian’ is difficult to work out) probably has gendered terms for inanimate objects; as an example, imagine that ‘sword’ is gendered as male. This isn’t implausible (language will be continuous with language before the Sundering) and would cause lots of jokes about females grasping swords etc etc. If your night elf doesn’t speak very good Common, consider having him or her refer to individual objects as “he” or “she”, perhaps even developing your own scheme to work out which ones would be gendered which way, taking into account the structures of gender before and after the Sundering, and at whic point the object would have been more common. An astrolabe could be female, because male mages consulted them and ‘viewed’ them (this wouldn’t have changed ever since, there being few astrolabes in Kaldorei use); a bow on the other hand might be female, because it is a primary weapon of the Sentinels. Cue jokes from the males about females grasping bows and caressing their strings. You just can’t win! Of course, in this society, maybe it’s the females that make jokes about the men trying to operate a bow, and failing miserably because it doesn’t respond to them. Or being impaled by swords.

A Guide to Quest Herbs by Féral

This is just a listing I’ve been drawing up of plants, herbs and cures, poisons and so on not found in Herbalism, but rather in various quests throughout WoW. It’s hardly comprehensive, but I figured that if anyone wanted RP fuel (i.e. if you’ve a particular malady that needs remedying and a long journey for a cure is in store, or if you’re in a zone on a campaign between events and gathering something up might be useful), that such a list might come in mildly handy. I’ve a cross-referencing list afterward so you can search by zone or use if you like.

Additional notes: If you know of any not on this list, shout and I’ll try to add them as soon as possible; same thing goes for any errors. Some OOC information has been given a slightly IC flavor. Plain and common things such as carrots aren’t in here. I’ve tried to be as accurate as I can but some things are unclear, ex. whether something is magic, or simply natural in its healing properties. Lastly, I’m not suggesting that everyone must take things like burning seeds or Emerald Acorns IC–it’s just there for the sake of being as complete a list as possible. Use it if you want, how you want, but common sense applies.

Key
(M) - Magic
(H) - Healing
§ - Poison
(D) - Dark Magic / Plague

Aloe Thistle (H)
Description - Spiked, thick green leaves growing in clusters
Location - Karnum’s Glade, Desolace
Uses - Unspecified, but if similar to reality, then the liquid within may be used topically for burns and other skin issues.
Source - Quest: A Time to Reap

Azure Snapdragon (H)
Description - Deep blue, faintly-glowing orchid-like plants with violet-blue, oak-like leaves
Location - Near Azure Watch, Azuremyst Isle
Uses - The bulbs of these rare plants are claimed by some to be a panacea, or cure-all. They are used to waken a night elf from her coma, though mental trauma seems to knock her back out, so the herb’s efficacy could be debated.
Source - Quest: An Alternative Alternative

Bileberries (D)
Description - Disgusting fruits with pus-like ichor and leathery skin
Location - Blackhorn’s Penance, Mount Hyjal
Uses - Harvested from purple, orchid-like plants known as Wailing Weeds, which are corrupted by demonic presence. These plants fight back and are mobile once attacked, and fighting one will agitate others nearby as well. The berries, once harvested, are crushed into a pulpy liquid which absolutely stinks. This “bottled Bileberry Brew” can be poured down the throat of the newly dead to reanimate them as a thrall, for example for questioning, for a mere minute or two. The body will remain broken, voice wavering, and mind subjugated.
Source - Quests: Seeds of Their Demise/A New Master

Bitterblossom (M) (H) (?)
Description - A tall, stalklike reedy plant with sagging foliage and spiky, lavender-colored flowers
Location - Goldrinn’s Shrine, Mount Hyjal
Uses - The buds are heavy with stored liquid; the plant grows right around the water’s edge. It is combined with Stonebloom and Darkflame Embers (a cool-to-the-touch stone even when still burning, found in Twilight braziers) to create a draught which, when drunk, snaps Old-God-brainwashed people of various races from their state. It is unknown whether it can cure advanced madness, or merely wipes away brainwashing. The “cleansing draught” must be boiled, and is chunky and reeks of rotted cabbage.
Source - Quests: From the Mouth of Madness/Free Your Mind, the Rest Follows

Blackroot (H)
Description - A grassy herb growing along riverbanks
Location - Western rivers of Grizzly Hills
Uses - The juice of this plant is a laxative.
Source - Quest: Just Passing Through

Bloodberries (M)
Description - Red berries on thick green bushes
Location - Isle of Quel’Danas
Uses - This bush grows wild in many areas of Azeroth, and has long been considered merely a nuisance. Those exposed to the power of the Sunwell, however, and thus potentially other arcane sources, can be distilled into an elixir that is consumed to enhance one’s natural abilities.
Source - Quest: Open for Business

Bloodbloom §
Description - Small leafy plant, green and red, with hues of orange and violet
Location - Valley of the Four Winds
Uses - This plant leaches minerals out of the soil, leading to its dark crimson tint. It is used along with Cave Lily, Ghostcap and Violet Lichen to create a “wounding poison” used on Virmen.
Source - Quest: Haohan’s Vote III: Pure Poison

Bloodkelp (M)
Description - A reddish seaweed
Location - Carried by the naga of Alcaz Island, Dustwallow Marsh
Uses - Bloodkelp can be used as a reagent to power divination spells. It can also stain clothing red, perhaps finding use as a dye, were it not so difficult to obtain.
Source - Quest: I See Alcaz Island in Your Future

Bloodthistle (M)
Description - Small green bush with bright scarlet flowers resembling roses or tulips, with yellow pistils and a pungent smell
Location - Eversong Woods, near areas of high Sindorei magic usage
Uses - This is often used by blood elves to enhance their magical abilities for a short time. It causes withdrawal afterward; frequent users are sometimes known as Thistleheads, and there’s some indication that Shattrath, at least, rules Bloodthistle illegal.
Source - Various lore sources, including Quest: Of Thistleheads and Eggs…

Bogblossom (M)
Description - A very fragile plant, green with an orange cap
Location - Growing atop the giant mushrooms of Zangarmarsh
Uses - These may explode violently if mishandled. When combined with equal parts ancient lichen and dreaming glory, and then mixed in a vial of moonwell water, Bogblossom creates the Ward of Wakening: a viscous, shimmering potion. When this is forcefed to a druid whose spirit is in the Emerald Dream, it forcibly wakens them, leaving them vulnerable for a time as their spirit returns.
Source - Quest: The Ward of Wakening

Briaroot (M)
Description - Unknown
Location - Azshara, presumed
Uses - Carried by the Blackmaw furbolg of Azshara, Briaroot is brewed into a bitter, pungent herbal tea with spicy overtones. This tea will place one into a trancelike state where the imbiber will begin to speak the tongue of the Blackmaw furbolg.
Source - Quest: A Pale Brew

Burning Seed (M)
Description - A tiny, brown seed
Location - Firelands
Uses - These seeds emanate power enough to mark them as having come from Nordrassil itself, though they are twisted black by the Firelands’ flames, harnessing the essence of fire granted to the Druids of the Flame. Consumption by normal druids twists their feline form, at least, into one of fire.
Source - Item Tooltip

Burstcap Mushroom (M)
Description - A soft, spongy fungus, black and pulsating, with sickly-green outgrowths
Location - Zangarmarsh
Uses - These can explode if not handled properly. The Darkspear witch doctor situated in Zangarmarsh insists that these are powerful, and uses them to read omens.
Source - Quest: Burstcap Mushrooms, Mon!

Cactus Apple
Description - Small, red fruits resembling apples
Location - Cacti of Durotar
Uses - It is said that nothing will cool you off quicker than a Cactus Apple Surprise made from these fruits. Whether this is a magical effect or a healing one, or simply fresh taste, is unknown.
Source - Quest: Galgar’s Cactus Apple Surprise

Cave Lily §
Description - A beautiful, small white lily
Location - Dark, damp caves in Valley of the Four Winds
Uses - Combined with Bloodbloom, Ghostcap and Violet Lichen to create a “wounding poison” used on Virmen.
Source - Quest: Haohan’s Vote III: Pure Poison

Cave Mushroom (H)
Description - Unobtrusive fungus: short, dull pink-grey with paler spots
Location - Clustered in pairs in the caves of the Storm Peaks
Uses - These are ingested to slow the poison of Jormungar stings long enough for antitoxin to be obtained and administered.
Source - Quest: Cave Medicine

Coconut Milk
Description - Viscous, white liquid
Location - Coconuts such as those growing in Un’goro Crater
Uses - Can be used as a replacement for mechanical oil in some machines, as well as nutritional.
Source - Quest: Repairing A-Me 01

Crying Violet (M)
Description - Small, delicate purple blooms with yellow eyes
Location - Felwood
Uses - These flowers, which shiver their petals at the slightest sound, are used to ‘bind words’ to carry the voices of the user over a distance to the listener. It may also be used along with other arcanist-favored herbs to infuse glass vials. These vials can then be used to gather and purify fel-corrupted moonwell water, used to cleanse demonic corruption and so on.
Source - Quest: Crying Violet/Purity From Corruption

Dahlia’s Tears (M)
Description - Golden butter-colored flower with broad green leaves
Location - Ruby Dragonshrine, Dragonblight
Uses - Growing in soil cleansed by red dragons’ breath, this plant imparts a feeling of hope even on merely touch. They can be infused with dragon magic to create a powerful, magical cleansing cure.
Source - Quest: Dahlia’s Tears

Darkblossom (H)
Description - A spiky, dark violet flower with yellow pistil and green leaves
Location - Darkmoon Island
Uses - Used for everything from treating wounds to seasoning food, as well as being pretty to look at, the exact blends used for this flower’s various applications are known only to members of the Darkmoon Faire.
Source - Quest: Herbs for Healing

Death Cap
Description - Bright gold with white spots and blood-red “veins” at the base
Location - Caves of Darkshore
Uses - Presumably toxic, this fungus was combined with Scaber Stalks to produce a potion of unknown purpose by local night elves
Source - Quest: Cave Mushrooms

Doom Weed
Description - A small, spiky green-and-violet bush
Location - Graves of Tirisfal, north of Brill
Uses - Rumored to be used by the Forsaken for unknown, but undoubtedly nefarious, purposes. Easily confused with many other local plants, including the similarly-named Gloom Weed.
Source - Quest: Doom Weed

Dreadshade §
Description - Red, spike-petaled, green-leaved and -pistiled flower
Location - Venomous Ledge, Dread Wastes
Uses - This musky-scented flower is an extremely potent poison. It is said that even one drop of dreadshade nectar can stop a kuchong’s heart. They appear to be safe to handle, but not to eat. The exception is the local wildlife, who consume dreadshade, causing them to become quite venomous. It is unclear how the wildlife can eat it, however–perhaps having evolved a resistance, or perhaps only certain species are affected.
Source - Quest: A Shade of Dread

Dreamleaf (M)
Description - Green-leaved, evergreen-looking bush
Location - Around the shrine at the eastern side of the Pools of Purity, Valley of the Four Winds
Uses - A slender-branched sprig of Dreamleaf, coated in sticky leaves, can be brewed with lotus root to make a tea. This tea allows one to have “the Golden Dream,” actually a vision of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms in reality. The knowledge on how to brew this tea is held by the Pandaren of New Cifera.
Source - Quest: The Golden Dream

Drycap Mushroom (H)
Description - Beige-pink, thick mushroom
Location - Cave at the Great Fissure of Hellfire Peninsula
Uses - This very rare mushroom can be made into a healing salve which restores strength to debilitated people, for example those who have drunk contaminated water.
Source - Quest: A Debilitating Sickness

Emerald Acorns (M) (H)
Description - Large Acorns
Location - The Emerald Dream
Uses - Infused with a powerful restorative magic, can used for healing and cleansing.
Source - Quest: Hope Within the Emerald Nightmare

Emerald Shimmercap (M) (H)
Description - An eerily-glowing green mushroom whose surface shimmers with the energies of the Emerald Dream
Location - The green pools of Felwood
Uses - This fungus is infused with the magics of the Emerald Dream, and does not feed from the fel of the pools, but rather works to cleanse it. It can be consumed as a mushroom paste to cleanse fel taint from those afflicted; it seems to bind to the energy while still in the stomach, and is then vomitted back out.
Source - Quest: A Slimy Situation

Fel Cone (D)
Description - A pinecone billowing with green smoke
Location - Beneath the trees of Teldrassil
Uses - Used, at least, on demons to temporarily polymorph them, twisting their form into that of a frog in the example seen.
Source - Quest: Seek Redemption!

Fenberries (H)
Description - Red berries on green bushes (Fenbushes)
Location - Wetlands
Uses - These bushes, growing at the water’s edge, are often muddy when found–but can be washed and prepared into a dwarven folk remedy for hangovers.
Source - Quest: Fenbush Berries

Fire Lotus
Description - Unknown, but likely fiery or crimson in appearance
Location - Kun-Lai Summit
Uses - This plant is used as an incense by the Grummles of Kun-Lai to inspire bravery even in the most reluctant or cowardly of individuals.
Source - Quest: Instant Courage

Flushbloom
Description - Unknown
Location - Alterac (?)
Uses - Little is known of this herb bar that it is, or was, addictive and that Lord Aiden Perenolde of Alterac was a user.
Source - Book: Lands of Conflict

Fulgore Mushroom
Description - A small, green mushroom that gives off a soft glow
Location - Zangarmarsh, near Teldredor
Uses - Used as a light source; propogated through spores.
Source - Quest: Fulgore Spores

Fuming Toadstool (H)
Description - Sickly yellow cap, cream stalk
Location - Damp areas among the crumbled stones of the Ruins of Lornesta, Darkshore
Uses - Can be mixed (with unspecified ingredients) into a salve which will close wounds and lessen pain.
Source - Quest: Unsavory Remedies

Ghostcap §
Description - Pointed and slender, grey-purple mushroom with violet spots, giving off an eerie glow
Location - Caves in the Valley of the Four Winds
Uses - Used with Bloodbloom, Cavy Lily and Ancient Lichen to create a “wounding poison” used on Virmen.
Source - Quest: Haohan’s Vote III: Pure Poison

Haze Leaf (M)
Description - Weedy-looking, green-stemmed and purple-flowered plant
Location - Northwestern Grizzly Hills
Uses - Mixed with Waterweed fronds to create a vial of visions, then mixed with troll mojo to communicate at a distance with a particular troll. It is unknown how the elixir is attuned, nor how it can be adapted to others.
Source - Quest: Vial of Visions

Hellfire Spineleaf (H)
Description - A golden-brown, spine-leafed plant
Location - Southeastern Hellfire Peninsula
Uses - This rugged plant can be either consumed for sustenance or made into a salve to dull pain.
Source - Quest: Preparing the Salve

Imperial Lotus (M) (H)
Description - A stalk of pale flowers growing over “ugly” green leaves; gives off a pungent odor
Location - Ruins of Dojan, Krasarang Wilds
Uses - According to folklore, Lotus Tea will cure any Mogu poison or curse; in addition it is used to impart strength to those in pain or depressed.
Source - Quests: Herbal remedies/Lotus Tea

Kafa’kota Berry
Description - Pink berries growing on pale, grey-green bushes
Location - Kota Peak, Kun-Lai Summit
Uses - When eaten or brewed into a drink, these berries give intense energy bursts followed by periods of lethargy or even withdrawal. A “gourmet” version is brewed from berries predigested by the mountain goats and plucked from their droppings.
Source - Quest: Gourmet Kafa, various in-game lore, buffs, debuffs and tooltips

Limes
Description - Green fruit. They’re limes!
Location - Carried by pirates of Stranglethorn
Uses - Limes are crated in barrels and taken to sea, and then eaten in key lime pies or drunken in sweetened juice to prevent scurvy.
Source - Quest: The Bane of Many a Pirate

Lunar Fungal Bloom (H)
Description - Tiny clusters of pale silvery-white mushrooms
Location - Caves of Darkshore
Uses - These add potency to a poison-curing salve which is based on the poison itself (ex. tainted water), which is mixed with earthroot for its curative properties.
Source - Quest: Gathering the Cure

Magmolia
Description - A small, lily-like white flower
Location - Lava lakes of the Molten Front
Uses - This continues to give off heat even after removed from its heat source.
Source - Quest: Steal Magmolias

Mao-Willow
Description - Cattail-like flowering branches, fluffy light and prickly to the touch, of delicate violet and lavender shades
Location - The fields of Townlong Steppes
Uses - These are made into a soothing paste and layered between bandages to create poultices for wounds.
Source - Quest: A Proper Poultice

Marrowpetal § (D)
Description - Oddly heavy for its size, blue-green with bright violet petals
Location - The bottom of Stillwater Pond, Tirisfal Glades
Uses - Combined with briny sea cucumbers and Xavren’s Thorn herbs, and possibly other ingredients, to create a particularly painful and virulent plague. When consumed, the concoction turns the imbiber into a ghoul; they die shortly thereafter.
Source - Quest: Variety is the Spice of Death

Meadow Marigold
Description - A large, healthy, fragrant flower, gold-orange in color
Location - Fields of Valley of the Four Winds
Uses - This is used as a dye, food flavoring and coloring, and a traditional decoration during Day of the Dead ceremonies. (OOC note: the food bit is a real-life quality of the flower. The real version tends to smell rather pungent rather than fragrant, however, so there may be various differences.)
Source - Quest: Yellow and Red Make Orange

Moonleaf
Description - A silvery-leafed, bushy plant
Location - Blackwald, Gilneas
Uses - Moonleaf grows on its own or in large patches near the tree Tal’doren. When a feral, uncured worgen is nearby, the scent of this plant aids their mind in growing clear for a time. It is also used in the ritual cure ceremony that allows worgen to gain mastery over their forms.
Source - Comic: Curse of the Worgen; Quest: Preparations

Moonpetal Lilies (H)
Description - White lilies with tall golden pistils, and bright magenta/flame-colored interiors
Location - Water’s edge in Shadowglen (Teldrassil)
Uses - These can be combined with other (unnamed) ingredients to create an antidote to spider venom.
Source - Quest: Iveron’s Antidote

Muddlecap Fungus § (?)
Description - Clusters of large, blue-gray mushrooms with orange beneath the caps
Location - Drak’agal, the waterlogged area near the Argent Stand of Zul’Drak
Uses - These mushrooms, which apparently smell quite bad, yet are eaten, can be consumed (with troll mojo or perhaps alone) to muddle the mind of the imbiber. Tooltip and quest text seems to indicate that it’s eaten for this effect, perhaps recreationally.
Source - Quest: Mushroom Mixer

Murkweed § / (D) (?)
Description - A small, spidery purple bush with green leaves.
Location - Eldritch Heights, Dragonblight
Uses - Toxins in Murkweed render the imbiber unconscious, so powerfully so that their spirit is “fooled” (Murkweed elixir is said to separate the body from the soul for a short time), allowing them to enter the “world of the dead” or “world of the forgotten” and speak with the spirits of the dead.
Source - Quest: The Murkweed Elixir

Mushan Urine (H)
Description - Not an herb.
Location - Pandaria, ex. Townlong Steppes
Uses - The urine of Mushan beasts, gathered sometimes as whole bladders from slain animals, serves as an excellent natural antiseptic.
Source - Quest: Natural Antiseptic

Musquash Root
Description - A huge, thick, spike of a root
Location - Erupting from the soil beneath Loch Modan’s dam, Wetlands
Uses - When mixed with a Tear of Tilloa, it can be brewed into a poisonous drink. The creator calls it Blackclaw Stout, though this may not be well-known outside of underground warlock circles. The drink tastes simply like a stout that packs quite a punch. The imbiber then falls dizzy, feels hot, and then dies.
Source - Quest: A Noble Brew

Netherdust Bush
Description - A pink-based, blue-green-tipped bush that sparkles with nether energy
Location - Netherwing Ledge and surrounding area, Shadowmoon Valley
Uses - The pollen of the Netherdust Bush is used by Dragonmaw orc mages and shamans, for unknown purpose–perhaps as a mana source.
Source - Quest: Netherdust Pollen

Olemba Seed (M)
Description - Fist-sized seeds taken from pale, glowing blue cones
Location - In and around the trees of Terokkar Forest
Uses - Olemba seeds contain an oil that can be used to coat a weapon, seeming to somehow enhance the intellect and casting ability of the wielder. (Note: generally, OOC buffs aren’t included in this guide, but these effects are mentioned in the quest text and NPC dialogue)
Source - Quest: Olemba Seed Oil

Pine Nuts
Description - Small nuts obtained by roasting pine cones
Location - The best are from the trees of Thunder Bluff
Uses - These can, quite simply, be eaten. (OOC note: simple foods are not generally included, either, but pine nuts are not mentioned much and so are likely not well-known)
Source - Quest: Pining for Nuts

Plague Tangle (D)
Description - Twisted, decayed grasses
Location - Western Plaguelands
Uses - Growing around the corpses of diseased animals, plague tangles seem to absorb the plague and can be used to generate it anew.
Source - Quest: Latent Disease

Prayerblossom (H) (M)
Description - Broad, spear-shaped leaves with a vertical stalk of butter-colored blooms
Location - Swamp of Sorrows
Uses - Said to grow skyward even in the darkest shadows, and to have an affinity with the Light (perhaps in the form of hope), these flowers are used to soothe even great pain. They are also used in cures meant to combine various elemental reagents to call upon the Light.
Source - Quest: Prayerblossom (there are A/H versions)

Razorthorn Root (M)
Description - A small, thorny root buried under hard-packed dirt
Location - Razorthorn Rise, Hellfire Peninsula
Uses - The roots are used as a reagent by Shattered Sun herbalist-alchemist Mar’nah, though their exact purpose is unclear. The unusual aspect is their acquisition, which often involves slaying a Razorthorn Flayer, then using its pheromone glands to entice Razorthorn Ravagers to dig the roots up.
Source - Quest: Discovering your Roots

Root Trapper Vine (H)
Description - Vines taken from slain lashers
Location - Azure Watch, on Azuremyst Isle
Uses - When properly treated, these vines can be broken down into a healing ointment.
Source - Quest: Medicinal Purpose

Rotberries (D)
Description - Small red berries growing on green bushes, which pulse with a faint, red glow
Location - Eastern Plaguelands (far northwest)
Uses - Purportedly used, along with bits of the undead, in counter-plague research. They are said to “taste like sweet, sweet death” though whether that’s a flavor or they’re deadly isn’t clear.
Source - Quest: Counter-Plague Research

Rot Blossom (D)
Description - A reddish, almost cabbagelike flower
Location - Tranquil Gardens Cemetery, Duskwood
Uses - This plant grows “in strange places” and tends to flourish on dead things. It is used to brew “zombie juice,” described as an alcohol potent enough to wake the dead–except it’s involved in necromancy.
Source - Quest: Gather Rot Blossoms

Ruby Lilac (M) (H)
Description - Broad, spearshaped green leaves that glow faintly red, with a veritcal stalk lined with pink blossoms
Location - Ruby Dragonshrine, Dragonblight
Uses - The power this flower holds is said to be strong enough on its own to create a vaccine for local wildlife, which protects against the plague of undeath.
Source - Quest: In Search of the Ruby Lilac

Sanguine Hibiscus
Description - Blood-red, spike-petalled flower with a “passionate” fragrance
Location - The Underbog of Zangarmarsh
Uses - Eaten by the local denizens; the Sporelings have a variety of unnamed purposes for it.
Source - Quest: Bring Me a Shrubbery!

Scaber Stalk
Description - Blue mushroom with pale, cream-colored spots and green “veins” at the base
Location - Darkshore caves
Uses - Combined with death caps to create a potion of unknown purpose, by a local night elf.
Source - Quest: Cave Mushrooms

Scalding Shroom
Description - Undersea mushroom or mushroom-like plant, with a blue stalk and golden cap
Location - Northwestern Abyssal Depths, Vashj’ir
Uses - Can be used to treat and preserve corpses.
Source - Quest: Scalding Shrooms

Serpentbloom (M)
Description - A low-growing green plant with red and violet tips and center
Location - The Wailing Caverns of the Barrens
Uses - Said to hold untold power in its ability to prevent druids from falling into Nightmare.
Source - Quest: Preemptive Methods

Serpent’s Scale
Description - A pale-stalked, orange-brown-capped mushroom with a slightly “hairy” appearance. Pungent-smelling and soft and spongy to the touch.
Location - The Jade Forest, north of The Arboretum
Uses - Said to be healthful (though tough and not particularly tasty) to cloud serpents, providing important properties and nutrients for them.
Source - Quest: Serpent’s Scale

Shadelight Truffle
Description - A faintly-glowing golden-orange fungus with a white base
Location - The Skyrange of the Valley of the Four Winds
Uses - This rare fungus is only used for flavoring foods, and is replaced by spore replanting when harvested.
Source - Quest: The Truffle Shuffle

Shimmerweed (M)
Description - Unknown; stored in baskets.
Location - Dun Morogh
Uses - Grown by the trolls of Dun Morogh and used in their rituals, this plant is also used by adventurous dwarves experimenting with new brews. They claim that Shimmerweed has a unique taste. (Note: this may simply be hallucinogenic rather than magical!)
Source - Quest: The Perfect Stout

Spideroot
Description - A thorny root
Location - West of Halfhill, Valley of the Four Winds
Uses - The sour-tasting liquid within is used in the concoction of a local farmer’s weed-killer; it nourishes plants while killing off weeds.
Source - Quest: Growing the Farm I: A Little Problem

Stoneblossom (M) (H) (?)
Description - An egglike, dried “fungal bloom”
Location - Grows in clusters in the Shrine of Goldrinn, Mount Hyjal
Uses - It is combined with Bitterblossom and Darkflame Embers (a cool-to-the-touch stone even when still burning, found in Twilight braziers) to create a draught which, when drunk, snaps Old-God-brainwashed people of various races from their state. It is unknown whether it can cure advanced madness, or merely wipes away brainwashing. The “cleansing draught” must be boiled, and is chunky and reeks of rotted cabbage.
Source - Quests: From the Mouth of Madness/Free Your Mind, the Rest Follows

Tarblossom
Description - A beautiful green plant with reddish-tinted leaftips and red-and-violet flowers.
Location - Within the Lakkari Tar Pits of northern Un’goro Crater
Uses - This highly-valued and rare flower is prized for both beauty and durability, with its petals being tougher than leather.
Source - Quest: Hard to Harvest

Tear of Tilloa §
Description - A tiny white-blue flower
Location - Manor Mistmantle, Duskwood
Uses - When mixed with Musquash Root, it can be brewed into a poisonous drink. The creator calls it Blackclaw Stout, though this may not be well-known outside of underground warlock circles. The drink tastes simply like a stout that packs quite a punch. The imbiber then falls dizzy, feels hot, and then dies.
Source - Quest: A Noble Brew

Terokkar Chokeberry (M)
Description - Red berries plucked from green bushes
Location - Terokkar Forest
Uses - One of many reagents used to neutralize dark Arakkoa wards, by combining said reagents into a charm.
Source - Quest: The Final Reagents

Thornwood Trees
Description - Thick, dark-barked trees with curling roots, red-pink leaves and massive spikes (man-sized or larger) that act as thorns
Location - Drak’Agal, the waterlogged area near the Argent Stand in Zul’Drak
Uses - The dead roots of these trees resist moisture and can be burned as firewood even when taken directly from the water.
Source - Quest: Creature Comforts

Thorny Stankroot (H)
Description - Hideously smelly, very thorny large and pale silver-green root, with green foliage
Location - The Twilight Highlands
Uses - When steeped in water it boils into a powerful cure-all for gryphons and possibly birds, though it gives humanoids terrible cramps.
Source - Quest: Roots’ll Do 'Er

Violet Citron (H)
Description - Clusters of dark blue flowers
Location - Dampsoil Burrow, Townlong Steppes
Uses - The pollen has a strangely acidic, citrusy smell and is a component used to counteract mantid poison, particularly potent in young swarming mantid. The venom will chew through skin, infect blood and make for a slow and excruciating death if not treated. Violet Citron must be “mixed properly” (how is not specified) and will then eat away at the poison without doing any “lasting” damage to the body. It is applied infused in bandages.
Source - Quest: Treatment for the Troops

Violet Lichen §
Description - Thorny purple moss
Location - High altitudes in the Valley of the Four Winds
Uses - Mixed with Bloodbloom, Cavy Lily and Ghostcap to create a “wounding poison” used on Virmen.
Source - Quest: Haohan’s Vote III: Pure Poison

Volatile Blooms
Description - Spiky red-orange shrubs
Location - Low-altitude green regions of northeastern Kun-Lai Summit
Uses - Even the smell of the red-hued blooms burns the nose. The plant has an affinity with fire, whether due to oil within the leaves, magic, or something else is unstated. It is easily flammable, to be kept away from open flames; hands are to be washed after handling. Many can be gathered and brewed in an unspecified mixture to create a rather effective explosive liquid.
Source - Quest: Handle With Care

Water Poppy (H)
Description - A silvery-green, bushy herb with a flowery base and a larger violet flower on top
Location - The water at the Drak’sotra Fields of Zul’Drak
Uses - Used in a salve that binds to bandages, which are then used to greatly reduce pain.
Source - Quest: Something for the Pain

Waterweed (M)
Description - Bushy green underwater plants
Location - Northwestern Grizzly Hills
Uses - Mixed with Haze Leaf to create a vial of visions, then mixed with troll mojo to communicate at a distance with a particular troll. It is unknown how the elixir is attuned, nor how it can be adapted to others.
Source - Quest: Vial of Visions

Wiggleweed §
Description - Strangely-glowing seaweed with a tantalizing pattern growing across the stem
Location - Grown around the Vashj’ir stronghold near Deepmist Grotto
Uses - Fed to prisoners; extremely addictive, causing severe bowel pain due to withdrawal illness. It may be used simply to keep prisoners from fleeing. One may be able to slowly lower dosage of the sprouts they eat until the addiction is gone.
Source - Quest: What? What? In My Gut?

Winter Hyacinth
Description - Colorful, somewhat spiky purple and blue flower
Location - Grows only on the ice flowing from the Ironwall Dam of Icecrown into Crystalsong Forest
Uses - Rare and seemingly only decorative.
Source - Quest: A Worthy Weapon

Witch’s Bane (M)
Description - A large, fern-like green bush with layered, violet-red flowering stalks
Location - Grows all over the northern peninsula of Dustwallow Marsh
Uses - When burned, for example as a torch, the smoke will draw out “evil,” exposing it from where it hides.
Source - Quest: The Witch’s Bane

Wolfsbane
Description - A small, thorned and coiled green-brown root
Location - Northern Grizzly Hills, around Silverbrook
Uses - Repels worgen, though efficiency, range and effects are unstated.
Source - Quest: Wolfsbane Root

Wyrmtail (H)
Description - A plant of green, coiled stalks that seem to pulsate
Location - The Dragonmurk and Wyrmbog of Dustwallow Marsh
Uses - Wyrmtail can be used to help heal wounds and to dull pain.
Source - Quest: To Catch a Dragon by the Tail

Xavren’s Thorn (D)
Description - Golden-orange plants with paper-thin, razor-edged leaves
Location - Rocky cliffs northwest of Brill, Tirisfal Glades
Uses - Combined with Marropetal and briny sea cucumber, and possibly other ingredients, to create a particularly painful and virulent plague. When consumed, the concoction turns the imbiber into a ghoul; they die shortly thereafter.
Source - Quest: Variety is the Spice of Death

Herbs by Location

Eastern Kingdoms

Alterac Mountains - Flushbloom
Duskwood - Rot Blossom, Tear of Tilloa
Eastern Plaguelands - Rotberries
Eversong Woods - Bloodthistle
Gilneas - Moonleaf
Isle of Quel’Danas - Bloodberries
Stormwind City - Blood Nettle
Stranglethorn Vale - Limes
Swamp of Sorrows - Prayerblossom
Tirisfal Glades - Doom Weed, Marrowpetal, Xavren’s Thorn
Twilight Highlands - Thorny Stankroot
Vashj’ir - Scalding Shroom, Wiggleweed
Western Plaguelands - Plague Tangle
Wetlands - Fenberries

Kalimdor

Azshara - Briaroot
Azuremyst Isle - Azure Snapdragon
Darkshore - Death Cap, Fuming Toadstool, Lunar Fungal Bloom, Scaber Stalk
Desolace - Aloe Thistle
Durotar - Cactus Apple
Dustwallow Marsh - Bloodkelp, Witch’s Bane, Wyrmtail
Felwood - Crying Violet, Emerald Shimmercap
Mount Hyjal - Bileberries, Stonebloom & Bitterblossom
Mulgore - Pine Nuts
Teldrassil - Moonpetal Lilies, Fel Cone
Orgrimmar - Blood Nettle
Un’goro Crater - Coconut Milk, Tarblossom
Wailing Caverns - Serpentbloom

Northrend

Crystalsong Forest - Winter Hyacinth
Dragonblight - Dahlia’s Tears, Murkweed, Ruby Lilac
Grizzly Hills - Blackroot, Haze Leaf, Waterweed, Wolfsbane
Storm Peaks - Cave Mushroom
Zul’Drak - Muddlecap Fungus, Water Poppy

Outland

Hellfire Peninsula - Drycap Mushroom, Hellfire Spineleaf, Razorthorn Root
Shadowmoon Valley - Netherdust Bush
Terokkar Forest - Olemba Seed, Terokkar Chokeberry
Underbog - Sanguine Hibiscus
Zangarmarsh - Bogblossom, Burstcap Mushroom, Fulgor Mushroom

Pandaria

Krasarang Wilds - Imperial Lotus
Kun-Lai Summit - Fire Lotus, Kafa’kota Berry, Volatile Blooms
The Dread Wastes - Dreadshade
The Jade Forest - Serpent’s Scale
Townlong Steppes - Mao-Willow, Mushan Urine, Violet Citron
Valley of the Four Winds - Bloodbloom, Cave Lily, Ghostcap, Violet Lichen, Dreamleaf, Meadow Marigold, Shadelight Truffle, Spideroot

Other

Firelands - Burning Seed
Darkmoon Island - Darkblossom
The Emerald Dream - Emerald Acorns
The Molten Front - Magmolia

Herbs by Property

Dark Magic/Plague

Bileberries, Doom Weed, Fel Cone, Marrowpetal, Xavren’s Thorn, Plague Tangle, Rotberries, Rot Blossom

Healing/Painkilling/Cures

Aloe Thistle, Azure Snapdragon, Blackroot, Cave Mushroom, Dahlia’s Tears, Fenberries, Fuming Toadstool, Hellfire Spineleaf, Imperial Lotus, Lunar Fungal Bloom, Mao-Willow, Moonpetal Lilies, Mushan Urine, Prayerblossom, Ruby Lilac, Thorny Stankroot, Violet Citron, Water Poppy, Wyrmtail

Magical

Bloodberries, Bloodkelp, Blood Nettle, Bloodthistle, Bogblossom, Briaroot, Burning Seed, Burstcap Mushroom, Crying Violet, Dahlia’s Tears, Dreamleaf, Emerald Acorns, Emerald Shimmercap, Hazeleaf, Waterweed, Moonleaf, Netherdust Bush, Olemba Seed, Razorthorn Root, Serpentbloom, Stonebloom & Bitterblossom, Terokkar Chokeberry, Witch’s Bane

Poison

Bloodbloom, Cave Lily, Dreadshade, Ghostcap, Muddlecap Fungus, Murkweed, Tear of Tilloa, Violet Lichen, Wiggleweed

Other/Unknown (includes herbs whose exact method of operation is undefined):

Cactus Apple, Coconut Milk, Darkblossom, Death Cap, Fire Lotus, Flushbloom, Fulgor Mushroom, Kafa’kota Berry, Limes, Magmolia, Meadow Marigold, Pine Nuts, Sanguine Hibiscus, Scaber Stalk, Scalding Shroom, Serpent’s Scale, Shadelight Truffle, Spideroot, Tarblossom, Volatile Blooms, Winter Hyacinth, Wolfsbane

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Lovely initiative, this! (Do let me know if you’ve finished posting everything, I’ll delete this one. :o)

Also, I’m very tempted to write a Human guide, and a Paladin one…