Leaders of Azeroth Series Complete

Story Forum
With the recent release of Prophet’s Lesson, the Leaders of Azeroth short story series is finally complete. In case you missed any of these excellent stories, you can now check out the complete series in the new and improved Expanded Universe section.

Alliance Leaders

King Genn Greymane - Lord of His Pack- by James Waugh

“Never take a man’s hand, Son…” King Archibald Greymane said, his strong frame now a muddied silhouette against the fading glow of twilight. “’Tis always better to stand tall on your own. It is what separates the great from the meek.”

The Council of Three Hammers - Fire and Iron by Matt Burns

The sky above Aerie Peak beckoned Kurdran Wildhammer like the distant glow of a campfire on a frigid winter night. After twenty long years trapped on the hellish world now known as Outland, he was home. Never once had he regretted joining the Alliance expedition to battle the orcish Horde on its homeworld, but over the harsh years there the longing to see this sky had burned in his heart.

High King Gelbin Mekkatorque- Cut Short by Cameron Dayton

"We've done a security sweep of the upper floors in sector 17, sir. The place seems fairly untouched since our, uh, departure. Granted, everything stinks of trogg...."

"Mmmm, yes—that delightful mixture of mold, mange, and sour monkey. Puts one off of his lunch, I know."

Tyrande & Malfurion - Seeds of Faith by Valerie Watrous

She could have been asleep. The night elf's features were perfectly relaxed except for her mouth, which frowned slightly as though her dreams were not pleasant ones. Her body was intact and largely unharmed, unlike many of the others they had seen in recent days. Tyrande Whisperwind knelt by the corpse to take a closer look. There was bloody kelp in the dead woman's hair and she reeked of the sea and slow rot. Dead several days. She had probably been one of the first victims of the Cataclysm, swept away by the flood. No priestess of Elune could bring her back now.

King Varian Wrynn - Blood of Our Fathers by E. Daniel Arey

Something had awakened King Varian Wrynn from a deep sleep. As he stood motionless in the gloom, the faint patter of a distant dripping sound echoed off the walls of Stormwind Keep. A feeling of dread washed over him, for it was a sound he'd heard before.

Varian moved cautiously to the door and pressed his ear against the burnished oak. Nothing. No movement. No footfalls. Then, as if from far away, the dull and muffled hum of a crowd cheering from somewhere outside the castle. Did I oversleep today's ceremonies?

Velen - Prophet’s Lesson by Marc Hutcheson

The Seat of the Naaru's soaring energies inspired inner peace from the most bloodthirsty of warrior pilgrims, awe from even the most jaded of Azeroth's inhabitants. The figure floating before the Seat had long taken comfort from this column of Light. Velen looked out from his meditation chamber, seeking insight... in all the connections, great and small, where he might perceive the lines of the future. For the past several months, those lines had increasingly felt fragmented.


Garrosh Hellscream - Heart of War by Sarah Pine

You disappoint me, Garrosh.

Try as he might, the memory of those words just would not die. It did not matter how many times he heard the proud shouts of “Welcome, Overlord!” as he passed through Agmar’s Hammer, or how long he stood in the ruins before the Wrath Gate and stared into the enchanted flames that still burned there. Even the strike of his blades against the beasts or Scourge that dared oppose him only provided temporary respite. All the hot, sharp splatter of blood against his face could not drown out that voice. The moment he returned to the road, he heard each word spoken in his head with every fall of his great wolf’s paws against the snow.

Gallywix - Trade Secrets of a Trade Prince by Gavin Jurgens-Fyhrie

Hey, pal. Trade Prince Gallywix here. You’re holding this book in your hands because you wanna be like me. Who wouldn’t? There ain’t a goblin alive more powerful and dangerous than me. I can give you everything you need to succeed.

But first, a friendly legally binding warning just for you.

Vol'jin - The Judgment by Brian Kindregan

The young troll crouched in the rain, staring ahead to where the path faltered in the face of the jungle’s dense undergrowth. The sunlight could not penetrate that foliage, nor could the breeze. That part of the island was called First Home, and nobody went there besides shadow hunters and fools.

Vol’jin was no shadow hunter.

Baine Bloodhoof - As Our Fathers Before Us by Steven Nix

A rickety old cart trundled down the path toward the Great Gate, where a small patrol waited to guard it on its way to the distant zeppelin tower. There, the water it carried would be distributed to the orc settlements around Durotar, the land hit hardest by the recent drought. The young kodo pulling the cart moved with the languid pace of a well-traveled routine, cresting the hill before disappearing from sight.

Sylvanas Windrunner - Edge of Night by Dave Kosak

Sylvanas Windrunner drifts in a sea of comfort, physical sensations replaced by the purity of emotion. She can grasp bliss, see joy, hear peace. This is the afterlife, her destiny. The eternal sea in which she found herself after she fell defending Silvermoon. She belongs here. With each recollection, her memory of this place palls. The sound grows distant; the warmth, cooler. The vision takes on the pallor of a half-remembered dream. But with horrific clarity, the memory always ends the same: Sylvanas's spirit is wrenched away. The pain is so intense it leaves her soul forever torn. The grinning face of Arthas Menethil, with his lopsided smile and dead eyes, leers at her as he pulls her back into the world. Violates her. His laughter—that hollow laugh—the memory of it makes her skin crawl!

Lor'themar Theron - In the Shadow of the Sun by Sarah Pine

The surface of Lor'themar's desk had ceased to be visible underneath all the paper piled on top of it. Reports, missives, orders, and inventories teetered precariously in stacks he had long since stopped trying to organize. All of them were related to the short yet brutal war over Quel'Danas and the Sunwell. None of them was currently on his mind.
Lor'themar is still stuck in TBC. Wtf?
As a member of the alliance I thought both sides were equally well done. Of course people will "fanboy" and "fangirl" for the one they like most, but really I liked them all. Well done, and kudos to all the talented writers.
About Lor'themar, it's probably because Blizz has big plans for the BE after MoP, in an expansion centering around them and some BC stuff, so they don't want to reveal anything about it just yet, so many hints in what they say. I can't wait.
05/03/2012 02:13 PMPosted by Knalivas
About Lor'themar, it's probably because Blizz has big plans for the BE after MoP, in an expansion centering around them and some BC stuff, so they don't want to reveal anything about it just yet, so many hints in what they say. I can't wait.

Yes, and we'll have Gnome lore and development too.
05/03/2012 01:55 PMPosted by Sophex
Watch as people compare the collective word count of horde ones vs. alliance ones.

I couldn't care less. Just needs moar gnomes!

Everything needs moar gnomes.
So maybe now the Gnomes can legitimately reclaim Gnomeregan, Magni can be uncrystallized, Tyrande can do something, Velen can go all Starfox 64 on Azeroth via the Exodar, Greymane can be a Gilnean Werewolf in Pandaria, Baine can smash face like Cairne did in WC3, Vol'jin can kill things other than trolls, Gallywix can sell Gamon to the Alliance as an active training dummy, and Lor'themar can escape Silvermoon!

They were awesome stories all, I'm just totally sick of Thrall, Garrosh, Varian, Anduin, Sylvanas, and Jaina being the only leaders that ever do anything in WoW. For the huge rivalry of Gnomes v. Goblins engineering-wise and Draenei v. Blood Elves a la Shattrath, you think there'd be more to it. I mean if the goblins exploded Azshara into the Horde symbol, the Gnomes should be peeved enough to bull something equally insane.
Is there currently any intention/discussion of publishing these in a collection? Not that I object to reading them online whenever I want to, they are all really short, but it would be kinda neat. The other short stories are even shorter I think, but could be included too.
I would just like to say that all the writers that contributed did a fantastic job.
The writing is pretty good. I'm still disappointed about the time frame of the Theron story, and I'm not even a Blood Elf.
05/03/2012 04:16 PMPosted by Alphadruid
reduces her to a manipulator instead of a leader

She's always been a manipulator, one of the first things she does in WC3 after being raised is to manipulate the dread lords. The problem with looking to her as a faction leader is that the Forsaken don't really have notions of inspiration or camaraderie. She doesn't have to try to keep them united like the living races, so she's more of an example of the Forsaken than a leader.

The story served more to give a direction for the Forsaken in a post-Arthas setting, and some of the 4.0 quests involving her apply the moral ambiguity you mentioned to the race as a whole. They have just as much a claim to making sure their race survives and thrives as any other, but the only way to bolster their numbers relies on the death of others. Thus the ambiguity is in whether they kill for the thrill or to thrive.
Soooooooo Lor'themar was the only story not be written new? stuck in BC and recycled from one a few years ago?? We want updated lore for our class characters, painting pictures of the future and that of the blood elves

This hardly seems fair
Soooooooo Lor'themar was the only story not be written new? stuck in BC and recycled from one a few years ago?? We want updated lore for our class characters, painting pictures of the future and that of the blood elves

This hardly seems fair

It's also odd, every WoW-census I've seen puts Blood Elves as either the most or second most popular race. Why wouldn't you update our lore? And his story seems to contradict what we see in game. In the story, Lor'themar seems to want greater cooperation between the high and blood elves, in the game, his messenger is very annoyed to find out Halduron is letting high elves into the ghostlands to help with the latest troll threat.

Essentially, all we got from the Lor'themar story is that he's a lousy leader who lets Sylvanas boss him around, and manages to tick off the other higher up blood elves..
I liked Lor'themar's story a lot it had great character development and a look at the leadership of the B.E. I can also understand why some of the resentment from fellow posters about there being little to no lore set in the present. It felt more like ground work for a larger story maybe even a book (?) I'd love to read more about him and the other B.E. leadership.
Though I haven't read all the stories yet, it doesn't seem like the purpose of the stories is to update events, just to add some character development. I support that. Frankly, I don't think people should want to see important timeline updates through stories like these. WoW's primary medium is that of a game. If there's going to be important changes to any faction, I think Blizzard should strive to make sure the player gets to experience that in the game.

For instance, I remember being disappointed when I found out that Varian's return was not something Alliance characters got to experience at the time. You just woke up one morning and he was back on the throne. How did he get there? Go read the comic. That quest chain that revealed a little bit about the start of his disappearance? No sequel that had you experience finding him and bringing him back to the throne.

Anyhow, I like the character development they gave Lor'themar. I was disappointed in the Sylvanas storyline. It feels like Blizzard doesn't have a firm hold on what they want to the Forsaken condition to mean. How much of what's in their mind is truly the person they were? What's at the heart of the corruption of their souls? What do they desire without revenge to motivate them? The idea that Sylvanas is just trying to avoid hell ultimately makes her a less interesting character (it also makes the "hell" punishment seem fickle, because everything in the game points to the Forsaken condition compromising the free will of people who had been good men and women beforehand, corrupting their thoughts and actions).
Varian's story made me cry. Love love love love!

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