The Secret of the Naaru [Adventure Path]

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The Secret of the Naaru [Adventure Path]

Post by Bonetti » Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:03 am

Using the 4e tiers, I could see an Azeroth Adventure Path following something like this:

Heroic Tier:

The party is either Draenei recently arrived on Azeroth, or the Alliance members who find them post-crash. Play out the mysteries of the Exodar's radiation, etc. per the starting zones. This should roughly cover 1-10, although it could be expanded with other material from the various Draenei quest-givers around Azeroth.

Paragon Tier:

The Dark Portal opens. Steal whatever story from the Burning Crusade one wants, but tie it heavily to the Draenei and their relationship with the Naaru. I would suggest leading to the Auchindoun back-story around level 15, and let the Tempest Keep material play out 16-20. Ideally, build everything up with the Naaru as the saviors of the Draenei and great paragons of The Light.

Epic Tier:

Open Sunwell Plateau -- or at least part of it, and play out M'uru's story (complete with becoming Entropius). From here, we start to get into speculative, unsupported by lore territory.

This is where one finds out that (a) the Naaru have a dark side, (b) can be turned to evil, and (c) perhaps are to begin with.

In this version of Azeroth, the Naaru turn out to be similar to the Ori (a la Stargate SG-1), beings of incredible power who thrive on worship. So, find sinister aspects to all of the positive teachings of before, and have the remaining Draenei become increasingly prone to crusading while trying to bring the rest of Azeroth into the Path of Naaru-gin. Possibly end with the Draenei tracking the influence back to Argus and finding out that the Naaru are, in fact, yet another arm of the Burning Legion -- perhaps even the founding influence?

Edit: update subject line to tag
Last edited by Bonetti on Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Secret of the Naaru as an Adventure Path

Post by Big Mac » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:11 pm

The Draenai are definitely a way that Spelljammer-like elements could be brought into a Warcraft RPG game. :twisted:

I do like the idea of Argus. Shame there isn't a great deal of information on it yet.
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Re: The Secret of the Naaru as an Adventure Path

Post by Bonetti » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:08 am

Well, the Naaru power the ships, so I think it's more of a Naaru thing. (I'm still convinced they've got an evil secret of some sort, even if they aren't just crystalline Ori...) I'm fairly positive the Draenei didn't have the tech themselves, they had to steal the Exodar from Tempest Keep to escape Draenor.

That being said, yes, it is, and you could probably use the SJ rules for anything related to the ships.

As for Argus, they've left every other world mentioned (except Draenor) undeveloped beyond just snippets. Somehow, I doubt we'll see much of a story with Argus, unless they return to the Burning Legion storyline and visit the demonic homeworlds (Xoroth, Argus, etc.) to wipe out the various sources for the legion's forces.

In my personal opinion, Argus is still there and is still a breeding ground for the eredar in the Legion. And I'm sure some new second-tier eredar have stepped up to take the place of Archimonde and Kil'Jaedan as Sargeras' lieutenants.
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Re: The Secret of the Naaru as an Adventure Path

Post by Big Mac » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:15 pm

Bonetti wrote:Well, the Naaru power the ships, so I think it's more of a Naaru thing. (I'm still convinced they've got an evil secret of some sort, even if they aren't just crystalline Ori...) I'm fairly positive the Draenei didn't have the tech themselves, they had to steal the Exodar from Tempest Keep to escape Draenor.

That being said, yes, it is, and you could probably use the SJ rules for anything related to the ships.
Spelljammer can handle non-standard power sources.

The fact that the Draenei stole the Exodar means that it is either self-powering, had enough fuel or is powered by something that the Draenei could reproduce.

I might go visit one of my friends (who still has a WoW account and ask her to run around the inside of the ship for me! :P
Bonetti wrote:As for Argus, they've left every other world mentioned (except Draenor) undeveloped beyond just snippets. Somehow, I doubt we'll see much of a story with Argus, unless they return to the Burning Legion storyline and visit the demonic homeworlds (Xoroth, Argus, etc.) to wipe out the various sources for the legion's forces.

In my personal opinion, Argus is still there and is still a breeding ground for the eredar in the Legion. And I'm sure some new second-tier eredar have stepped up to take the place of Archimonde and Kil'Jaedan as Sargeras' lieutenants.
This is all very interesting stuff that could be used in novels or the RPG. I'm sorry they cut the RPG line. Hopefully they will have a novel about this at some point.
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Re: The Secret of the Naaru as an Adventure Path

Post by Bonetti » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:33 pm

Big Mac wrote:The fact that the Draenei stole the Exodar means that it is either self-powering, had enough fuel or is powered by something that the Draenei could reproduce.
It was/is powered by O'ros, one of the Naaru.
Big Mac wrote:This is all very interesting stuff that could be used in novels or the RPG. I'm sorry they cut the RPG line. Hopefully they will have a novel about this at some point.
We can hope, but I've been deeply disappointed in both the quality and lore in the novels I've read to date.

So far, fan suggestions have generally been better than what shows up in game or in official canon.
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Re: The Secret of the Naaru as an Adventure Path

Post by Big Mac » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:06 pm

Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:The fact that the Draenei stole the Exodar means that it is either self-powering, had enough fuel or is powered by something that the Draenei could reproduce.
It was/is powered by O'ros, one of the Naaru.
Hmm. That does make it sound like some sort of spelljamming helm was used. It could even be a series helm (powered by a spell-like ability) or a Crown of the Stars (if there appears to be no actual helm).
Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:This is all very interesting stuff that could be used in novels or the RPG. I'm sorry they cut the RPG line. Hopefully they will have a novel about this at some point.
We can hope, but I've been deeply disappointed in both the quality and lore in the novels I've read to date.

So far, fan suggestions have generally been better than what shows up in game or in official canon.
Fans do tend to see flaws in products and come up with better ideas. I think that is because they come up with lots of ideas: some better, some as good as and some worse than the official idea.
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Re: The Secret of the Naaru as an Adventure Path

Post by Bonetti » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:29 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Bonetti wrote:So far, fan suggestions have generally been better than what shows up in game or in official canon.
Fans do tend to see flaws in products and come up with better ideas. I think that is because they come up with lots of ideas: some better, some as good as and some worse than the official idea.
Well, in this case it's because Metzen deals in badly worn tropes and practically never really creates. I won't say more about him (or Knaack's "contributions"), because I don't feel like getting into a major rant :-)

I do think that the lore is getting better managed, now that it's closer to a team watching rather than whatever strikes one guy's fancy on a given day.

Me, I'm just waiting for the first real villain to emerge in the Warcraft Universe, not Yet Another "corrupted by magic/madness/exposure to evil" Villain.

Enough snark...

I will admit that the Naaru == Ori idea wasn't mine. I saw it on a forum as someone was speculating in the early days of Burning Crusade (based on things like the corrupted Naaru under Oshu'gun in Nagrand, and how M'uru was captured by the blood elves to be harvested).

They went a different direction with that -- claiming M'uru's capture was pre-ordained, and introducing a "dark naaru" part of their lifecycle. Then they went and made M'uru a raid boss in Sunwell Plateau, and he turns void at the end.

(That also leads to some interesting speculation as to what the void princes and void walkers and other beasts like that, which are at odds with the ethereals, are and whether the void creatures are somehow also tied to the Naaru...)

One nice thing about such a loose cosmology -- it leaves all sorts of room for interesting speculation and local campaign development.
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Re: The Secret of the Naaru as an Adventure Path

Post by Big Mac » Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:13 pm

Bonetti wrote:One nice thing about such a loose cosmology -- it leaves all sorts of room for interesting speculation and local campaign development.
True. But on the negative side, it takes longer to get stuff done if you have to delete all of it.
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Re: The Secret of the Naaru as an Adventure Path

Post by Bonetti » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:27 am

Well.

If I were running an Azeroth-based game, I'd basically say "this is where canon is frozen" and run it from that point. If later releases changed my decisions, well... I'd incorporate/adapt what I could and ignore the rest.

Then again, it's pretty much always that way, right? :-)

I toyed with an Amber game once, and decided "canon" ended with the first five books. That way, I could run a game using material from the Shadow Knight source book (and the second five books) without being tied down by them, and without the players necessarily knowing what direction everything would take. Meanwhile, it gave me an outline of part of the next generation of Amber to work from.

Actually, you kind of have to do that. Even within WoW, they've contradicted or modified canon with some frequency. I mean, you still have some high elves here and there, despite the whole blood elf storyline (and it makes as little sense for night elves to be the Alliance with the high elves (who are the descendants of the Highborne) as it does for DKs to be in either...

I think Blizzard takes the "never let canon stand in the way of the story" approach. It can be irritating to the real lore hounds.

However, I'm a Dr. Who fan, and I'm familiar with most of the shows (and a few of the books). I'm well aware that "canon" is pretty darn loose, and stuff is changed all the time (and contradicts itself all over the place). That doesn't make the stories weaker or less powerful.

Besides, at two years per expansion, there's OODLES of time before they really consider going back to the planes (or fill in the Naaru backstory). BC was Illidan/Kil'Jaedan, WotLK is Arthas, and Cataclysm will be Deathwing. Early signs are they're not pursuing the corrupted Emerald Dream yet, nor really working through the Maelstrom/Old Gods/Azshara storylines. Both are on Azeroth, and I suspect given the reaction to BC that they'll wrap those up before tackling the Legion + Sargeras for real. (Unless they short-circuit current villains and lump Sargeras in with Queen Azshara. IMO, the remaining Old Gods are a much better choice for that.)

Plus, my money's on the Emerald Dream for the next xpac. Think about it -- BC let them link additional continents/land in Azeroth via instance portals (blood elf, draenei), Wrath gave phased quests/NPCs/objects, and Cataclysm gives phased terrain. The Emerald Dream is known to effectively be Azeroth as if it had never seen the "civilized" races (i.e. a primeval Azeroth), so with all those techs in place they could easily use the phasing tech to place it over the existing maps, and thus decrease the overall size required to implement it...

Hrm, sorry. I got all rambling there.

Hopefully there are some nuggets of ideas under all those brain droppings ;-)
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Re: The Secret of the Naaru as an Adventure Path

Post by Big Mac » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:26 pm

Bonetti wrote:Well.

If I were running an Azeroth-based game, I'd basically say "this is where canon is frozen" and run it from that point. If later releases changed my decisions, well... I'd incorporate/adapt what I could and ignore the rest.

Then again, it's pretty much always that way, right? :-)
Yep. The only way to avoid conflicts between your own fanon and the setting's canon is to design your own world.

But, I personally prefer to stick with canon, as much as possible. It isn't that there is anything wrong with fanon (or the idea of altering parts of a gameworld that you don't like), but if you want to grab fan material from other people I think it is a lot easier if you are all sticking fairly close to a common baseline.
Bonetti wrote:I toyed with an Amber game once, and decided "canon" ended with the first five books. That way, I could run a game using material from the Shadow Knight source book (and the second five books) without being tied down by them, and without the players necessarily knowing what direction everything would take. Meanwhile, it gave me an outline of part of the next generation of Amber to work from.
I've not read any of the novels yet. Maybe I'll start a "Milking Warcraft novels for RPG ideas" thread (rather than continue to derail your Naaru thread).

EDIT: Thread started: Milking Warcraft novels for RPG ideas
Bonetti wrote:Actually, you kind of have to do that. Even within WoW, they've contradicted or modified canon with some frequency. I mean, you still have some high elves here and there, despite the whole blood elf storyline (and it makes as little sense for night elves to be the Alliance with the high elves (who are the descendants of the Highborne) as it does for DKs to be in either...

I think Blizzard takes the "never let canon stand in the way of the story" approach. It can be irritating to the real lore hounds.
I sometimes get a bit annoyed by reimagined TV shows and films (like the new Battlestar Galactica and the latest Star Trek film) for throwing the existing universe out of the window. There are a lot of people out there who say: "lets start again from scratch", but I'm one of the people who would (usually) much rather see an existing story continued.

The new version of WoW looks to be destroying a lot of land (by droping it into the ground). I think they are doing this so that they can create islands that people can not get onto without a flying mount. Essentially, they are letting the "cool MMORPG concept" drive the plot, rather than getting the programmers to design MMORPG programming to deal with the "cool plot" from all lines of Warcraft.
Bonetti wrote:However, I'm a Dr. Who fan, and I'm familiar with most of the shows (and a few of the books). I'm well aware that "canon" is pretty darn loose, and stuff is changed all the time (and contradicts itself all over the place). That doesn't make the stories weaker or less powerful.
At least with time travel it is possible to go back into the past and change the world of today. (You still need rules about changing the past, but as long as you follow those rules you can have "universe 1" replaced by "universe 2" and not have a continuity error.)

I don't know if you know, but TSR once decided to make an encyclopedia of Dragonlance (with the help of fans) and the project ended up highlighting all the continuity errors in the DL canon. They (TSR) shelved the idea, but the fans came back to it and a couple of people tried separately to do their own online versions. Eventually they pulled behind the Dragonlance Nexus banner and after several years hard work we have Dragonlance Lexicon. Dragonlance Lexicon still has gaps in its knowledge, but it is largely complete and I'm pretty sure that professional DL authors check it to see what other authors have written.
Bonetti wrote:Besides, at two years per expansion, there's OODLES of time before they really consider going back to the planes (or fill in the Naaru backstory). BC was Illidan/Kil'Jaedan, WotLK is Arthas, and Cataclysm will be Deathwing. Early signs are they're not pursuing the corrupted Emerald Dream yet, nor really working through the Maelstrom/Old Gods/Azshara storylines. Both are on Azeroth, and I suspect given the reaction to BC that they'll wrap those up before tackling the Legion + Sargeras for real. (Unless they short-circuit current villains and lump Sargeras in with Queen Azshara. IMO, the remaining Old Gods are a much better choice for that.)

Plus, my money's on the Emerald Dream for the next xpac. Think about it -- BC let them link additional continents/land in Azeroth via instance portals (blood elf, draenei), Wrath gave phased quests/NPCs/objects, and Cataclysm gives phased terrain. The Emerald Dream is known to effectively be Azeroth as if it had never seen the "civilized" races (i.e. a primeval Azeroth), so with all those techs in place they could easily use the phasing tech to place it over the existing maps, and thus decrease the overall size required to implement it...
Hmm. Emerald Dream is listed as a plane on WoWWiki. I would mark that down as occupying no space on the material plane, but being a duplicate plane (alternate material plane perhaps) that is as large as the world. In fact, if I wanted to make Warcraftspace, I might have an Emerald Dream version of the entire crystal sphere (i.e. a bunch of "paradise" planets).
Bonetti wrote:Hrm, sorry. I got all rambling there.

Hopefully there are some nuggets of ideas under all those brain droppings ;-)
There are some interesting concepts, but maybe we should get back to talking of Naaru...or start new theads.
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Re: The Secret of the Naaru as an Adventure Path

Post by Bonetti » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:20 pm

Bonetti wrote:BC was Illidan/Kil'Jaedan, WotLK is Arthas, and Cataclysm will be Deathwing. Early signs are they're not pursuing the corrupted Emerald Dream yet, nor really working through the Maelstrom/Old Gods/Azshara storylines.
This needs to be updated: Cataclysm's final villain will be Deathwing, no doubt about it. However, Malfurion Stormrage is in it (the model's in the game, and his biography is one of the novels being released as the lore backdrop), and Ysera is in it (Green Aspect -- the dragon overseeing the Emerald Dream). Also, they're playing more with the Old Gods, and I thought I saw a reference to Queen Azshara as a friendly (i.e. quest-giver type). They may be firing a whole lot more of their bolts this time around than I realized.
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Re: The Secret of the Naaru [Adventure Path]

Post by Bonetti » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:08 pm

Stealing an idea from Ahyera on the official forums:
I miss our pet Naruu, we should really steal another one of those.
That's just begging for a blood elf side adventure :-)

It would be interesting, I think, if it played out in an Alliance (mostly Draenei) game:
Heroic Tier: Explore the ramifications of the Exodar crash, radiation leaks, etc. Join the Alliance. Discover that M'uru was stolen by the blood elves and is being used as a source of power for their paladin-like blood knights. (That was the actual lore, btw -- the blood elves enslaved a Naaru to harness the light. It was "forgiven" by A'dal when the Sunwell opened as being part of M'uru's destiny, and he later was a Sunwell Plateau raid boss.)

Paragon Tier:
Early on: rescue M'uru from Silvermoon, then have Kael'thas steal M'uru (for the plateau, but don't have that revealed yet). Play through Outland storylines, with a heavy focus on Netherstorm and the Tempest Keep stories (Manaforges, Mechanar, Botanica, Arcatraz). This is also helpful because it ties into the Draenei vs. Blood Elf situation.

Interlude about halfway through: run a one-shot as blood elves, which gives a chance to explain why they had M'uru in the first place. It could either end up with the repentant scene in Shattrath, utter failure to take a new Naaru, or some sort of slapstick "We got another one!" silly villains sort of thing. It would be especially nice if this laid hints down that the Naaru were sinister, emphasizing the blood elves' withdrawal and fanaticism in the wake of the loss of M'uru. In other words, they've become Naaru cultists, and the side trip ends with a question in the air of whether the Naaru are using the Blood Elves, or vice versa.

Epic Tier: Same as before, ultimately revealing the Naaru's quest to enslave other sentient races by appearing to be benefactors and harvesting the faith/worship for their own power.
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Re: The Secret of the Naaru [Adventure Path]

Post by Big Mac » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:14 am

Bonetti wrote:Interlude about halfway through: run a one-shot as blood elves, which gives a chance to explain why they had M'uru in the first place. It could either end up with the repentant scene in Shattrath, utter failure to take a new Naaru, or some sort of slapstick "We got another one!" silly villains sort of thing. It would be especially nice if this laid hints down that the Naaru were sinister, emphasizing the blood elves' withdrawal and fanaticism in the wake of the loss of M'uru. In other words, they've become Naaru cultists, and the side trip ends with a question in the air of whether the Naaru are using the Blood Elves, or vice versa.
I wonder if it would be possible to show the Blood Elf side of things, without having the players switch out of their PCs part way through the game.

How about some sort of magic item that makes Draenei transform (so that they look like Blood Elves). Perhaps some sort of spy mission (or rescue mission) could give the original PCs the knowledge you want to give the players in this switch-over plot. :?
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Re: The Secret of the Naaru [Adventure Path]

Post by Teazia » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:05 am

Is the emerald dream storyline now resolved? With Mulf out and the green dragon losing their immortality, it would seem the case.

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Re: The Secret of the Naaru [Adventure Path]

Post by Bonetti » Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:37 am

It's probably as resolved as it's going to be, which ticks me off -- I didn't see it in-game, it appears to have been primarily resolved off-screen[*] in the novel Stormrage. That being said, wasn't a piece of the corruption proven to be resistant to the removal and instead sealed in a rift? If so, then Blizzard is probably keeping that open as a possible future threat. (I think the Nightmare Scar in the Barrens as of Cataclysm is an expression of this.)

I should add that it has been revealed that Pandaria was not the original idea for the post-Cataclysm expansion, and that another idea was partially fleshed out before they shifted focus. The scope of Stormrage, since it's (partially) resolving large plot elements and dealing with a long-time threat, seems matched to an expansion storyline. This may be a way of keeping the material from lying around, unused. That, and Blizzard has come to the conclusion that taking a faction hero global (like Thrall) ticks off the faction that loses it and irritates the faction that gained it. So, they may have simply changed their mind about a Malfurion-centered expansion.

All that being said, this doesn't have a lot to do with the Naaru being secretly bad guys :-) So, to bring it back -- my pet theory for the Dream's corruption remains the imprisoned (sleeping?) Old Gods, and thus even incorporating this material is nothing more than an expression of their corruption via Xavius[**] anyway.

The Naaru are ridiculously powerful "servants" of the Light. Angels, if you will, or possibly even demigods. Imagine if they are currently tapping one dimension for that power, and a small subset of Dark Naaru managed to add (or replace) the Light linkage with a link to the Void -- and grew in power (while possibly themselves becoming corrupted). I could see an origin story of the Old Gods eventually coming back to the Naaru, especially if one wanted to run them as hidden villains...

[*] ...and in a Knaack book, no less. In order to avoid simply ranting at this point, I will simply say that I do not enjoy him as an author. Even when I have enjoyed the underlying material (e.g. WoW lore, Dragonlance), I have always struggled to avoid, in frustration, throwing his books aside with great force. (As Ms. Parker might have observed -- these are not novels to be tossed lightly aside...)

[**] Xavius? Really? Did he really need to be brought back? Why not leave him around for use when the Legion finally returns, since he's grandpappy satyr...
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