Know Your Lore: Rogue Artifact lore in Legion
Rogue lore is a little…different in Legion, partially in regards to Rogue Artifact lore, and partially just due to the Rogue class itself. Rogues fall into a space similar to Warlocks in that the class itself isn’t exactly known for being altruistic. But while you can argue that Warlocks in the Alliance and Horde are working on mastering the dark magic of the Burning Legion in the hopes of using their own weapons against them, Rogues really don’t have that excuse. Rogues are just…rogues, creatures of opportunity, masters of stealth who are not above a little petty thievery and murder, if the price is right.
But hey — it’s really hard to get by in the world, even by petty thievery and murder, if the world doesn’t exist — so I suppose that’s as good an excuse as any to take on the Burning Legion, right? Let’s take a look at Rogue Artifacts.
Please note: This column covers content for World of Warcraft: Legion, and contains some spoilers from the alpha.
Assassination: Anguish and Sorrow
From the official site:
The orc warlock Gul’dan had these daggers made for his personal assassin, Garona. The blades are said to drink blood and inflict traceless poison, leaving little sign of their grim work: the perfect tools for an assassin. She used them to carry out countless atrocities while under Gul’dan’s control, including the murder of Stormwind’s King Llane, whom she had befriended. Afterwards, in anguish, she asked a trusted ally, Meryl Winterstorm, to help her hide the blades away in the hope that they’d never have to be used again.
The weapons for Assassination Rogues are two of the most notorious daggers in the history of Rogue lore. Anguish and Sorrow were the blades of Garona Halforcen, the very blades she used to kill King Llane Wrynn during the First War. Yet I find myself slightly confused by their inclusion here. First there’s the fact that description text clearly states Garona would rather they never be used again — which is understandable. When Garona carried out these acts, she was under the direct control of the Shadow Council, working against her will.
In the case of King Llane, he was the one human being who actually treated her with respect from the moment they were first introduced. She wasn’t exactly someone you could call a friend, but she was far closer with the king than with any other Human ally — possibly even including Medivh, who fathered her son. Killing Llane wasn’t just another job. She didn’t want to do it. She was forced to do it, and in the Warcraft comics it’s noted by Varian that Garona was crying while she was carrying out the task.
With all that said, it seems a little odd that Garona would suddenly be fine with the idea of anyone wielding those daggers again. They aren’t just instruments of swift death, they’re a reminder of a time in Garona’s life in which her self-control and free will were stripped from her. Mind you, they were stripped by the Shadow Council, who were working in league with the Burning Legion, so perhaps she’s all right with these weapons being used against the Burning Legion. At this time, Assassination Rogues aren’t available on the alpha, so we have yet to see just what acquiring these weapons will take.
Outlaw: The Dreadblades (Fate and Fortune)
From the official site:
Shortly after the Cataclysm, Admiral Eliza Goreblade discovered a pair of ornately crafted cutlasses inside a recently unearthed wreck not far from Booty Bay. Though the origins of the blades are unclear, their power was not, as Eliza quickly made her name known pillaging countless ships across the Great Sea, none able to best her in combat. Rumors spread among pirates and sailors about the Dreadblades, the most common ones all agreeing that they are cursed, and that if they should ever stop being fed new victims, they’ll claim their owner instead.
Outlaw Rogues, on the other hand, are the only current Rogue spec that can be played on the alpha, and you can go through the process of acquiring these blades. The story here starts out simply enough: You’re looking for the Dreadblades, cutlasses that were found by Admiral Eliza Goreblade after the Cataclysm. According to the description on the blades, “No blade can shed the blood of so many innocents and not demand a toll on its wielder as well. These blades have a thirst that will never be quenched, you should leave them be.”
Of course we aren’t going to do that.
But playing through the Rogue quest chain reveals that these particular blades aren’t just any blades. Confronting Eliza also reveals that she’s working with or in the control of an Eredar named Talgath. Talgath is significant: On Argus, he was a friend of Velen’s, and when Velen turned down Sargeras’ offer, he asked Targath to help him gather other like-minded Eredar to flee the world. Talgath decided to turn around and tattle to Kil’jaeden instead, and later became the Eredar in charge of hunting down the Draenei. He was the one who discovered Draenor, noticed the Orcs, and brought them to Kil’jaeden’s attention.
Needless to say, he’s bad news. But defeating Eliza and taking the Dreadblades for yourself does nothing to resolve the situation with Talgath — he’s simply there via a Legion communication device, and the connection is cut once Eliza is slain. And that is a pretty good indicator that despite your success, it’s incredibly likely that we haven’t seen the last of Talgath, and this isn’t the end of the story as far as Fate and Fortune are concerned.
Subtlety: Fangs of the Devourer
From the official site:
Goremaw the Devourer, Sargeras’ personal hound, claimed countless lives before it was eventually ambushed and killed on another world long ago. Following the hound’s death, Mephistroph had its fangs crafted into two powerful daggers that still carried with them some of the potent withering essence that made Goremaw’s bites so deadly. These daggers were passed to Akaari, one of Sargeras’ most deadly assassins, who wields them to this day.
This is kind of where we start to sense a theme with the weapons Rogues are using in Legion: every weapon was in some way an instrument of the Burning Legion. And that’s where a little bit of that correlation between Warlocks and Rogues comes in — you’re using the Legion’s weapons against them. With Rogues, however, it’s not dark spells and sorcery, it’s blades, steel, and in the case of Subtlety, the fangs of one of Sargeras’ hounds. That might not seem very subtle, but hey, a blade’s a blade, right?
As with Assassination, the Subtlety Rogue isn’t yet available on the alpha. But given where the fangs are said to be — with one of Sargeras’ most deadly assassins — you can pretty much gather that getting your hands on these things is going to require every ounce of stealth and subtlety you’ve got. Outlaw’s weapons pit you face to face against your enemy, it stands to reason that Subtlety’s blades will require the expertise and tools of that specialization to acquire.
Rogues are in a strange spot in the Legion alpha right now. The class hall feels very small and unfinished compared to other classes, and Rogue lore itself raises a lot of questions. Specifically, the fact that you’re working for an organization called the Uncrowned. Garona appears to be the leader, and she has this to say when you first arrive:
We are the Uncrowned; the slayers of kings; the downfall of empires; the unseen blades that write the true history of this world. You have a critical role to play in our plans — if you are willing to pledge yourself to the order.
It seems slightly odd that Garona, she who wept over King Llane’s corpse even as she killed him, would suddenly be just fine with starting, leading, or otherwise being involved with an organization that touts itself as the “slayer of kings.” It feels tremendously out of character for her, especially given everything she went through in the Warcraft comic series, and in The Last Guardian. It makes me wonder if perhaps there was more to her absence during the Cho’gall encounter in Cataclysm — if maybe, just maybe, Garona hasn’t actually freed herself from the Legion’s grasp as fully as we’d thought. We’ll have to wait and see on that one — and hopefully we’ll see a little more depth added to Rogue lore as the alpha continues as well.
Just in case you missed them, don’t forget to check out our coverage of the other Artifact weapons we’ll be seeing in Legion:
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