Suramar Insurgency: A Citizen's Perspective

Wyrmrest Accord
Greetings fellow roleplayers!

An interaction last night made me question why my character, a member of a small noble house out of Suramar, really, really dislikes… even hates… the new leader of the Shal’dorei and the Sin’dorei/Kaldorei as well.

We won’t get into personal background too much, other than to say his parents, the patriarch and matriarch of House Kail’verath, were killed while trying to organize protection for those less fortunate during the invasion.

Nor will we focus on the fact that my character, who is really a spoiled noble (as most nobles are) has decided to undermine both the Shal’dorei leadership and the Horde while funding his activities through criminal pursuits.

What I do want to focus on is the reasons the people of Suramar City should feel the same he does about what’s happened. And while there’s plenty of things that we could go into… I simply focused on building ten things that stood out to me, and the way it would look from the common citizenry (based on some of my personal experience with communities facing insurgency IRL), and not from the ridiculous notion that you can wave your hand and forgive war crimes on either side.

Keep in mind, I’m doing this simply to show the perspective of someone that isn’t going to just swallow the status quo or pretend like nothing bad happened… which is what most of the Shal’dorei I’ve seen played act like.

So strap in, read and comment below! Do try to keep the comments to character perspective discussion, and please try to understand that much of this is done from a perspective of what a citizen would know… not what we as players know… although some information may have snuck in there that might be available only to a select few people in character.

And… remember… don’t let our tendencies IRL cloud our judgement when trying to see these actions through our character’s eyes. Remember, the general citizenry was completely unaffected by the Legion until the terrorist invasion started.
  • Grand Magistrix Elisande was forced to ally with the Legion under threat of the destruction of her people at their hands (canon). And was, originally, one of the few people that opposed Queen Azshara and her alliance with the Burning Legion… being one that rebelled against it and a main factor why the Kaldorei Resistance was able to win out. Her ability to see all possible futures (which had worked prior to this moment) stated any resistance to the Legion would result in her people’s annhilation.
  • A failed coup attempt, led by First Arcanist Thalyssra, was foiled and the Legion was let into the city. This coup resulted in the exile of Thalyssra who then turn into the leader of the terrorist Nightfallen rebellion later.
  • The Legion lived peacefully with the Nightborne until that coup attempt and later terrorist actions from the Nightfallen resulted in tactics such as arcwine rationing, in order to keep people in line due to the fact the Nightfallen terrorist group used misinformation, and outside forces, to influence the less educated and informed lower classes within the City… as terrorist groups often do.
  • Several assassination attempts were made on the Grand Magistrix in plain public view of the citizenry by the Nightfallen terrorists and their insurgent allies (the Alliance and Horde participants in the atrocities committed).
  • The terrorists and insurgents continued to put the regular, lower class, citizenry in danger by holding meetings in the Waning Crescent as well as recruiting future terrorists into their organization there. Which led to the destruction of that tavern, as well as a great many known terrorist affiliated traitors in order to try and keep the peace in the city. Keep in mind this was the first real action the leadership took against the terrorists, although they had been escalating violence well prior to this.
  • This was followed by the insurgency of the Sin’dorei and Kaldorei. Resulting in the deaths of a -lot- of Shal’dorei defenders… those trying to protect their loved ones included. Which, let’s face it… was most of them. Leaving Suramar in the state it is now, fairly indefensible from enemy incursion should someone attack… and unable to police its own streets due to the loss of so many defenders and the chaos of an overturned regime.
  • Quickly thereafter, the terrorist leader Thalyssra declared herself leader of the Nightborne… though no succession was evident to her leadership, nor was she elected to the position by a general vote of the population.
  • The new ‘leader’ then allowed the destruction of the Nightwell, a font of energy that could have helped the Sha’dorei in the future that she was counseled against destroying by her own advisor.
  • The new ‘leader’ then decided to join the Horde on a whim at the behest of one of the leaders of the, until recently, fel-addicted Sin’dorei instead of joining with their more closely related Kaldorei brethren whom they’d fought the War of the Ancients with… over petty word play between Tyrande (a former Suramarian citizen and probably the best choice to lead the Shal’dorei) and Thalyssra. Remember… the Kaldorei are people they were specifically allied with in the past.
  • Let’s not forget that she joined the Horde who is currently led by someone that treats other racial leaders as underlings whom she can boss around like slaves
  • Looking forward to the discussion!

    Happy Gaming!
    Now, I've been as critical as anyone (and more than quite a few) of some of Thalyssra's decisions, but to be honest this reads like something written by one of Elisande's ministers.

    I'm gonna want to see some sources for some of these claims, like how the invading Legion lived "peacefully" with the shal'dorei, or the Nightfallen were the first to instigate violence, or the entire general tone that it was Thalyssra and her rebels who caused all the trouble while poor innocent Elisande and her universe-destroying allies just wanted to live in peace, man.

    I've played through that campaign several times and it's super obvious what the occupying demons were doing, especially to people at the lowest levels of society. Why would any Suramarians except the noble caste ever buy into Elisande's perspective?
    07/20/2018 07:45 AMPosted by Azhaar
    I'm gonna want to see some sources for some of these claims, like how the invading Legion lived "peacefully" with the shal'dorei, or the Nightfallen were the first to instigate violence, or the entire general tone that it was Thalyssra and her rebels who caused all the trouble while poor innocent Elisande and her universe-destroying allies just wanted to live in peace, man.


    You played through the campaign as someone that believed they were the 'good guy'. Remember that. :)

    Also, all of this information can be pulled from the sources within game, in the books, and from the wikis. Simply put... it's been unwhite-washed in some cases (which is what happens when the 'good guys' don't see the destruction they cause as bad and rewrite the histories by their perspective). And tried to be rewritten from a perspective of someone that is just a person trying to live through it within Suramar City... But most of it is word for word.
    07/20/2018 07:45 AMPosted by Azhaar
    I've played through that campaign several times and it's super obvious what the occupying demons were doing, especially to people at the lowest levels of society. Why would any Suramarians except the noble caste ever buy into Elisande's perspective?


    Nothing happened with the demons until the insurgency started. That's stated rather plainly in the literature. Escalation from Elisande's perspective didn't start until the terrorist acts did... then you had to deal with what happend. But when you're outnumbered... which she was... you use your allies.

    And keep in mind, she believed that any resistance to the Legion would result in the distruction of her entire race.

    She was the only -good guy- from that perspective. Unfortunately I find people have a hard time seeing past what they see as right, which is normally their personal perspective.
    As an addition. Never said that the Legion was trying to live in peace. Was just saying they were living peacefully amongst the Suramari citizenry.

    As for the attacks starting. It started with the failed coup Thalyssra instigated, and then after the 'heros' of the Alliance and Horde got her her 'fix' of magic *scratchy, scratchy arms* she started pointing them in the direction of Suramar City. :)

    And apologies for the scattershot replies... coffee and boredom. I'm sure you know how it is.
    07/20/2018 07:49 AMPosted by Gaeron
    as someone that believed they were the 'good guy'. Remember that. :)


    But...

    ... they were the good guys.

    Like, Elisande literally allied with the Legion, and that by itself is pretty much justification enough for any sort of "terrorist" act. Not to mention all the stuff that came about later in the story.

    Like, dude, it's the Legion. In WoW's narrative, allying with them is already an ostensibly villainous act.
    07/20/2018 08:26 AMPosted by Cailias
    07/20/2018 07:49 AMPosted by Gaeron
    as someone that believed they were the 'good guy'. Remember that. :)


    But...

    ... they were the good guys.

    Like, Elisande literally allied with the Legion, and that by itself is pretty much justification enough for any sort of "terrorist" act. Not to mention all the stuff that came about later in the story.

    Like, dude, it's the Legion. In WoW's narrative, allying with them is already an ostensibly villainous act.


    Yeah. You would have to try very hard to convince anyone that joining the Legion is a good thing.
    07/20/2018 08:34 AMPosted by Xaesha
    Yeah. You would have to try very hard to convince anyone that joining the Legion is a good thing.


    Looking at you, Orcs and Draenei. Yeah, you. No, I don't want to hear it.
    Not a terribly out there view. Though, it doesn't necessarily address certain aspects to me.

    07/20/2018 07:31 AMPosted by Gaeron
    The Legion lived peacefully with the Nightborne until that coup attempt and later terrorist actions from the Nightfallen resulted in tactics such as arcwine rationing,
    I would contest the view of rationing as reactionary to the Nightfallen's actions or an action taken previously by the government to maintain order. It was after the coup, but it isn't clear (to me) it was reactionary to it specifically.

    As well, one has to consider that these are the same demons who tried to destroy the world in said War of the Ancients. Who were trying to do the same again. So a lot of this is prefaced on a person being apathetic to the fate of the world they now know exists. A more heroic person would view death opposing the Legion as worthwhile. This is probably the biggest 'issue' I'd have with someone espousing this viewpoint. Whether or not they were heavily affected by the Legion occupation at first doesn't mean they didn't have good reason to oppose it.

    07/20/2018 07:31 AMPosted by Gaeron
    Her ability to see all possible futures (which had worked prior to this moment) stated any resistance to the Legion would result in her people’s annhilation.
    And something that was ultimately proven wrong. It would be evident now that the Legion was thrown back from Suramar and The Broken Shore. And at least to rumor, Sargeras defeated.

    07/20/2018 07:31 AMPosted by Gaeron
    Leaving Suramar in the state it is now, fairly indefensible from enemy incursion should someone attack… and unable to police its own streets due to the loss of so many defenders and the chaos of an overturned regime.
    This seems fairly speculative. There might be details I'm not aware of, but I hadn't heard it confirmed.

    07/20/2018 07:31 AMPosted by Gaeron
    fel-addicted Sin’dorei
    The Blood Elves were never addicted to fel. One might have that perception, though now some are even sporting golden eyes.

    07/20/2018 07:31 AMPosted by Gaeron
    instead of joining with their more closely related Kaldorei brethren whom they’d fought the War of the Ancients with
    Someone's knowledge on this would be unclear, but they didn't. After defending themselves, they deliberately chose not to aid the Night Elf Rebellion and sealed of Suramar.

    07/20/2018 07:31 AMPosted by Gaeron
    Let’s not forget that she joined the Horde who is currently led by someone that treats other racial leaders as underlings whom she can boss around like slaves
    I'm not sure there's a reason a Nightborne would have this perception through their introduction or the following events.
    I would contest the view of rationing as reactionary to the Nightfallen's actions or an action taken previously by the government to maintain order. It was after the coup, but it isn't clear (to me) it was reactionary to it specifically.

    -The data I formed this information from states it was a reaction to it. That's why it's stated that way.

    And something that was ultimately proven wrong. It would be evident now that the Legion was thrown back from Suramar and The Broken Shore. And at least to rumor, Sargeras defeated.


    -Gonna have to address this. So... think about it: her people survived because she allied with the Legion. She didn't. But her people did. It never said she was wrong with her vision.

    -This will address your claim of apathy: the entirety of the race would have died if she hadn't. Pure, unequivocal obliteration or everyone you know or love is a rather good motivator. Especially if you see that they aren't going to die if you do it, and you 'know' they won't. She may not have seen the end of everything... but did the shal'dorei live after she allied with the Legion and everything was said and done? Yes. That's not apathy. That's love of your people, my friend. And if she had thought about it more... maybe she would have realized (or had realized) that it made her the 'villain' to everyone else in the world, but that she could count on them to remove the threat in the end.

    The Blood Elves were never addicted to fel. One might have that perception, though now some are even sporting golden eyes.


    -This is from information directly related to Blood Elves "Thus, the remaining blood elves on Azeroth looked to the Horde to help them reach Outland. Addiction to fel magics and the desperate search for a cure are things the Orcs are very familiar with, and many older orcs who've experienced similar addictions feel a kinship with the blood elves."

    Someone's knowledge on this would be unclear, but they didn't. After defending themselves, they deliberately chose not to aid the Night Elf Rebellion and sealed of Suramar.


    -They made the moves making it possible to keep the Legion from opening the portal to the Twisting Nether that would have destroyed the Kaldorei. I'd say that's fairly allied, even if it was in their best interest (which is what allegiances are for).

    -The last bit, about her treating people like slaves... is pretty much Sylvanas in a nutshell. "Don't keep me waiting, or there will be consequences" is almost word for word something she says to your character several times. It's not particularly in the shal'dorei starting stuff... but I find it hard to believe she keeps up friendly appearances with anyone for long, given the way she talks to people.

    As for some of the other stuff, allying with the Legion doesn't mean you're off the hook for killing some Jo-Schmo-nobody who was just in the city guard and trying to protect his family from an invasion. He just wanted to go home to see little Billy and Jenny, and now both Billy and Jenny are left without a father... and their mother died when she was accidentally trampled by one of your Ancients. So, they are now picking crumbs out of the cobblestones of the street under the overpass because you couldn't diplomatically handle your anger.

    Good job guys... good job. ;)
    I'd love to hear the breakdown of another Suramarian citizen, similar to mine... and with an opposite viewpoint. If you're out there, don't be shy!
    07/20/2018 09:27 AMPosted by Gaeron
    -The data I formed this information from states it was a reaction to it. That's why it's stated that way.
    Then I would need a source.
    https://wow.gamepedia.com/Quest:Dispensing_Compassion
    https://wow.gamepedia.com/Quest:Redistribution
    These are the quests I'm aware of that comment on it. The second claiming there's a false shortage.

    07/20/2018 09:27 AMPosted by Gaeron
    -Gonna have to address this. So... think about it: her people survived because she allied with the Legion. She didn't. But her people did. It never said she was wrong with her vision.
    She does state this, that our victory was a complete anomaly. This throws all her visions into doubt.
    https://wow.gamepedia.com/Elisande_(tactics)
    Echo of Elisande says: In all possible futures I scryed, I did not foresee one in which you were victorious. I wonder...
    Echo of Elisande says: Will you defeat the Legion? Will you fail? Time eddies about you fits and starts. Nothing is certain!

    07/20/2018 09:27 AMPosted by Gaeron
    -This will address your claim of apathy: the entirety of the race would have died if she hadn't. Pure, unequivocal obliteration or everyone you know or love is a rather good motivator. Especially if you see that they aren't going to die if you do it, and you 'know' they won't. She may not have seen the end of everything... but did the shal'dorei live after she allied with the Legion and everything was said and done? Yes. That's not apathy. That's love of your people, my friend. And if she had thought about it more... maybe she would have realized (or had realized) that it made her the 'villain' to everyone else in the world, but that she could count on them to remove the threat in the end.
    This doesn't really address my comment about apathy. The citizen is either the type of person willing to sacrifice themselves and their loved ones for the sake of the world or not. Some people would think dying defiantly would be better than joining a universal threat for survival. Loving your people over the entire world is arguably selfish. Again, I'm not saying someone couldn't see the survival of their people as more important. It just depends on the person.

    07/20/2018 09:27 AMPosted by Gaeron
    -This is from information directly related to Blood Elves "Thus, the remaining blood elves on Azeroth looked to the Horde to help them reach Outland. Addiction to fel magics and the desperate search for a cure are things the Orcs are very familiar with, and many older orcs who've experienced similar addictions feel a kinship with the blood elves."
    What is the source of this? Blood Elves as a race (barring ones like Felbloods) have only been addicted to the Arcane. The only source I saw is Wowwiki, which is notoriously bad.

    07/20/2018 09:27 AMPosted by Gaeron
    -They made the moves making it possible to keep the Legion from opening the portal to the Twisting Nether that would have destroyed the Kaldorei. I'd say that's fairly allied, even if it was in their best interest (which is what allegiances are for).
    I think if you take an action entirely for your own benefit that just happens to benefit someone else, it doesn't make you allied.

    07/20/2018 09:27 AMPosted by Gaeron
    As for some of the other stuff, allying with the Legion doesn't mean you're off the hook for killing some Jo-Schmo-nobody who was just in the city guard and trying to protect his family from an invasion. He just wanted to go home to see little Billy and Jenny, and now both Billy and Jenny are left without a father... and their mother died when she was accidentally trampled by one of your Ancients. So, they are now picking crumbs out of the cobblestones of the street under the overpass because you couldn't diplomatically handle your anger.
    What? Sometimes you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. There wasn't a diplomatic solution. I feel like the only people who would still blame the Horde and Alliance would just be people who supported joining the Legion. Again, which is fine. But takes a certain personality.
    This is interestingly something my own Nightborne addressed last night as well while chatting with a blood elf. She's far more selfish and didn't really see much outside her master's academy, but she did make choices that eventually embittered her to the new leadership.

    I think her biggest disapproval of Thalyssra was with the way nobles were treated. She spent most of her time in an academy overlooking the noble quarter, and she saw a lot of indiscriminate attacks on them. Rebels unleashed feral withered and a giant devilsaur on the nobles, without any concern for who supported their cause. Sure, for gameplay reasons all of the nobles were hostile to us, but it's not too far to say there were probably innocent nobles mixed in as well, seeing as the attacks were anywhere in the streets.

    This isn't her only reason for disliking the new government, but the rest are more her making poor choices, getting backlash for them, and then blaming everyone but herself, which isn't really the topic at hand. She also views the destruction of the Nightwell as extremely foolish, cutting them from a potent source of power that could have been used in the future. She also finds it just as manipulative as the arcwine rations. Now, instead of withholding vital arcwine, Thalyssra gets to choose who is cured of their addiction and who will inevitably become withered. This, in her eyes, is just as corrupt.

    Seeing one side of the city receiving special treatment from the rebellion, just because one was the "poor" group, really put a sour taste in her mouth. Granted, she didn't really like the loyalist side either, but to be honest if you asked her, she would probably say she should be in charge because everyone else is a fool.
    Posted by Gaeron
    -The data I formed this information from states it was a reaction to it. That's why it's stated that way.
    Then I would need a source.


    Imrus, all information I pulled was from gameplay, comics, literature and Google. I didn't write this in order to source every statement I made, based on the perspective of someone living in the city at the time it was attacked. The information is out there, you can find it at your leisure.

    Thank you for pointing me at what she said when she died. I never really thought to look there in regards to that statement, but then... it is information that a common citizen wouldn't have. Which is why I stated all the 'ifs and maybes' type statements regarding Elisande. I think she was poorly written as well, and perhaps the entirety of the storyline regarding Suramar is terribly written given the person they put opposite her.

    The source for the blood elves can be found by Googling that statement. As can most things that I've included here. Technically wikis are just as bad as any other source written by man. I would say prove it's wrong before arguing the point or agree to disagree.

    07/20/2018 10:28 AMPosted by Imerus
    What? Sometimes you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. There wasn't a diplomatic solution. I feel like the only people who would still blame the Horde and Alliance would just be people who supported joining the Legion. Again, which is fine. But takes a certain personality.


    No. It takes someone watching one person they loved die because of someone else's actions. I am basing the opinion, and statements written above not only off of stuff I've found... but off of the perspective of a person caught within that war. It takes very little empathy here to realize that the statement above just doesn't fit in with basic tenants of life.

    It's like... well... going to a warzone like Afghanistan and assuming everyone deserves what they get, and that no one will hate you for blowing up the house that had their child in it just to get at the sniper that was shooting at you. It's why Soldiers get constant touchy-feely classes when put in situations like that.

    That's where this discussion is lost. Trying to quantify humanity (elfity?) in any way shape or form and using the eggs and omelet saying really just belittles someone else's life and experiences, in this case the shal'dorei citizenry.

    As I said before, given real-life experience with something similar to this... I beg the answer to why you would think any other way if you were the beleaguered society? And why you would be happy about the new leader and the alliance she made?
    07/20/2018 11:22 AMPosted by Gaeron
    Imrus, all information I pulled was from gameplay, comics, literature and Google. I didn't write this in order to source every statement I made, based on the perspective of someone living in the city at the time it was attacked. The information is out there, you can find it at your leisure.
    Ah, I'm not trying to be rude, but that's not really how discussion works. Someone asserting a claim has the burden of proof to back it up. And I took the time to double check the matter per linking the sources I have. Head canon is fine, I just take issue if it is being presented as canon.

    07/20/2018 11:22 AMPosted by Gaeron
    Thank you for pointing me at what she said when she died. I never really thought to look there in regards to that statement, but then... it is information that a common citizen wouldn't have.
    Sure, my retort would be that the fact she had supposedly infallible sight of the future's permutations wasn't necessarily well known or trusted either.

    07/20/2018 11:22 AMPosted by Gaeron
    The source for the blood elves can be found by Googling that statement. As can most things that I've included here.
    Sure, I did that. As I noted, it looked like it was from WoWwiki. And that site is notoriously incorrect. That statement specifically didn't have a source on it. Using WoWpedia is better in the future. I highly suggest it, the moderation team there does a fantastic job.

    07/20/2018 11:22 AMPosted by Gaeron
    Technically wikis are just as bad as any other source written by man.
    Technically, but the reality is that some are better than others. And even those should be double checked for accuracy.

    07/20/2018 11:22 AMPosted by Gaeron
    I would say prove it's wrong before arguing the point or agree to disagree.
    I cannot prove a negative. The burden of proof of the assertion wouldn't be on me.

    I don't think I'm being unfair here. But it wouldn't be agree to disagree, you would've just failed to uphold your claim.

    07/20/2018 11:22 AMPosted by Gaeron
    No. It takes someone watching one person they loved die because of someone else's actions. I am basing the opinion, and statements written above not only off of stuff I've found... but off of the perspective of a person caught within that war. It takes very little empathy here to realize that the statement above just doesn't fit in with basic tenants of life.

    It's like... well... going to a warzone like Afghanistan and assuming everyone deserves what they get, and that no one will hate you for blowing up the house that had their child in it just to get at the sniper that was shooting at you. It's why Soldiers get constant touchy-feely classes when put in situations like that.
    I feel like Afghanistan is a bad example compared to what happened in Suramar, which relates to my point. This is the world ending Legion in your streets. There's a massive felstorm in the sky. It is a clear and present world ending event. Everyone saw Argus in the sky and Legion ships flying about. I feel the level of understanding of that is different than the purpose of Afghanistan.

    07/20/2018 11:22 AMPosted by Gaeron
    As I said before, given real-life experience with something similar to this... I beg the answer to why you would think any other way if you were the beleaguered society? And why you would be happy about the new leader and the alliance she made?
    Because if I'm a person who didn't support letting the Legion into the city, then the entire reason my loved one had to fight and die was because of my failed government. If the shield hadn't gone down, they might be alive today. That hopefully my new leader, who tried to stop this, will prevent this kind of thing in the future. Because they were trying to stop the world from ending.

    Again, I think this would be a view if you didn't want the Legion in. If you were fine letting the Legion in, you probably would be mad.

    And to be fair, some people might not see it this way. Some people might still blame how their allies handled it. I just don't think that would be necessarily very common.
    Lack of humanity is your reason for not seeing it from other points of view. Gotcha. One line completes your entire point.
    This is astonishing.

    Seeing people bend over backwards to rationalize how evil, destructive regimes are really not the bad guys is creepy and ominous in real life. But in a fantasy franchise? The Burning Legion has none of the complexity and ambiguity of real scenarios, it is pure evil because, being made up by nerds, it can be in a way that nothing which functions in the real world actually can. And yet, here's a presumably real human trying to rationalize how the Legion and its enablers were the real good guys and accusing those disagreeing of lack of humanity.

    What in the hell is even going on here? I'm not even mad, I'm too baffled.
    07/20/2018 12:11 PMPosted by Gaeron
    Lack of humanity is your reason for not seeing it from other points of view. Gotcha. One line completes your entire point.
    That seems kind of harsh. I outright said I see other points of view (I said it in my first and last post), just that I think the context would make it a less common one. It is unfair to act as though I'm rejecting it outright.
    07/20/2018 08:55 AMPosted by Imerus
    Not a terribly out there view.

    07/20/2018 11:46 AMPosted by Imerus
    Again, I think this would be a view if you didn't want the Legion in. If you were fine letting the Legion in, you probably would be mad.

    And to be fair, some people might not see it this way. Some people might still blame how their allies handled it. I just don't think that would be necessarily very common.
    07/20/2018 12:23 PMPosted by Azhaar
    What in the hell is even going on here? I'm not even mad, I'm too baffled.


    Don't worry.

    It's about not being happy with the leadership, or how people were killed. Not defending the Legion at all. There is a lot to read. And the entirety of the thread is spelled out rather succinctly in the first post. You would want to start there. :)

    Got side-tracked by someone that wanted it to be something else.

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