Today is of course the beginning of September which draws to a close the month of August… and with it Blaugust. I really should be making a post about the initiative and such, but I am not quite ready to do so. Expect to see this post within the next few days. However I will say that I am really pleased at how well the more low key version of the event seemed to go. What I want to talk about instead however is my Warrior, Skyhold and how freaking awesome it has been to go through this Norse infused Titan journey. One of my favorite sections of the World of Warcraft lore is that of the Titans and Old Gods, but even more so than that… Ulduar. For those not familiar, Ulduar is this romp through largely Norse themed mythology as you are introduced to the “Gods” that we are used to hearing in a slightly different light. So instead of Thor we have Thorim or instead of Hoder we have Hodir. On one level I am sure folks think it is a bit cheesy, but I ate up every bit of it… and was constantly interested on which Titans we would see in the next expansion… and even more so which Old Gods we might encounter. I remember being completely enthralled with tinfoil hat theories about Old Gods being buried beneath various sections of Azeroth, and even cool maps that tried to guess where the next one might be located. All of this will come into play later, but mostly I have to gush on how thoroughly happy I have been with both the Warrior Class Hall and related content, and choosing Stormheim as a starting location.
Everything about both the zone and the Warrior class seems to be steeped in the lore of the Titans… more specifically the lore of the Norse themed Titans. Up until this point Wrath of the Lich King was hands down my favorite of the World of Warcraft expansions, and I didn’t really understand why. Thanks to this expansion I am starting to, because apparently I love all things Nordic and more importantly Vrykul. In Stormheim, you are introduced to a “good” faction of Vrykul called the Valarjar. As a Warrior you end up as a champion of the Valarjar, and find out that they are all the chosen folk of Odyn. Storyline wise you are diametrically opposed to Helya and the Vyrkul that follow her… that are a blast from the past the Kvaldir. Now you would be forgiven if you don’t recognize the name, but the Kvaldir were a very specific type of Vrykul that you encountered several times in Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord the starter zones in Wrath of the Lich King. They also made a similar appearance in Vashj’ir because they were ultimately the force waging war with the Naga during the Battlemaiden sequence of quests. This expansion wraps things up neatly and while we already knew that they were essentially the dead lost at sea… we find out that “Helheim” is where the dead of the sea goes to serve Helya. There is this awesome quests sequence where you have to go into Helheim itself, and in many ways it reminds me of Coldharbor from Elder Scrolls Online. I dinged 102 last night and I feel like I just barely scratched the surface of all that Stormheim has to offer.
With 102 thought opened up the quest chain to allow me to collect the other artifact weapons. So I ventured forth and set about to collect the protection and arms artifacts. The protection quest was cool enough, but nothing to write home about. The arms quest however… was pretty great. This is a call back to the first paragraph of this post, and the speculation of where the old gods might be hiding in Azeroth. Up until this point we have only really encountered three Old Gods… C’Thun, Yogg-Saron, and Y’Shaarj. There are rumors and speculations as to where the others night show up, and one of those locations has long be Tirisfal Glade due to a bit of flavor text. During the Arms quest you venture into the Tomb of Tyr, which you find is located deep inside a lake within a previously unknown area of the Glade. Inside you learn the story of Thoradin the King of Arathor who gave his life in battle with something buried underneath the Glade. Much like the giant glaive embedded inside the skull in Darkshore, when you get into the tomb you see a sword embedded in something that was chained up Yogg-Saron style in a tomb. In the process of retrieving the blade you wake Zakajz which appears to be Faceless One. After doing battle you take up the sword and “execute” it in true warrior style, but more than that… it seems to lead credence to the theory that there is in fact an Old One somewhere beneath the Glade. Why else would the Titans have chained something down there, and it also makes me wonder if Tyr’s tomb is going to eventually be the entrance once Bran Bronzebeard does some digging with dynamite and such. I’ve barely scratched the surface of this expansion and I am already more excited about it than I have been since Wrath. I really hope they finally make good on some of these plot threads and give us serious payoff in the process.