Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat: The Destroyer of Worlds
If you’ve been playing WoW for a while, you’ve probably been to Outland. Shattered world, formerly known as Draenor — you’ve heard of it. Every since we started exploring Draenor in Warlords I’ve been wondering about Outland. The differences we’ve seen between this Draenor and the one we’re familiar with — Grom Hellscream having a son named Garrosh in Outland, but no son on this Draenor, or Ner’zul’s wife Rulkhan being alive when she died several years before the Legion’s arrival on Draenor, or Akama’s change from priest to paladin.
When Garrosh Hellscream and Kairoz traveled to the Draenor we see in Warlords, the bronze dragon had a plan for that world. He spoke of creating a Horde of many worlds, of recruiting an Infinite Horde of uncorrupted orcs in order to bring them to his Azeroth to help defeat the Legion. Even after assassinating Kairoz with the Vision of Time, it was the bronze dragon’s plan that Garrosh repurposed, the Vision of Time he used to bring Grom into his plan.
This leads me to a simple question. Have we ever been to an alternate Draenor before?
This is a Tinfoil Hat KYL, meaning that nothing in it is to be taken as actual canon.
There are in fact a host of discrepancies between the Draenor we read about in Lord of the Clans and Rise of the Horde and the one we visit when we first go to Outland. There’s Auchindoun, which seemingly changes from a fortress of the Bleeding Hollow orcs to a draenei holy spot, there’s Garrosh Hellscream himself who is never mentioned before we fight our way past the demons streaming through the Dark Portal and onto Outland — he’s never mentioned by Grom himself while talking to Thrall, for example. When we see Illidan go to Outland in Warcraft III, there is no sign of the Alliance Expedition — when Maiev hunts down Illidan and captures him and when Kael and Vashj come to rescue him, it’s an entirely different Hellfire Peninsula they visit, with no sign of Honor Hold and a Black Citadel looming over everything. When we travel to Hellfire Peninsula there’s literally no sign of the night elf stronghold built by Maiev’s Sentinels to help them capture Illidan.
The Dark Portal remained closed for years after Khadgar used it to travel with the Alliance Expeditionary Force to Draenor, and then sealed it using the Book of Medivh. It was only reopened when Kazzak used ‘an artifact’ (and we have no idea what it was) to reactivate the portal and use it to escape Azeroth. So my question becomes this — since we know that the Dark Portal can be attuned to different timeways, different worlds — how do we know Kazzak used to to go to the same Draenor?
The list of differences between Warcraft III and The Burning Crusade is staggering. Here’s just a few — Magtheridon resided in the Black Citadel, not the Black Temple, and it was in Hellfire, not Shadowmoon Valley. Akama joined forces with Illidan after he began closing the demonic portals, and was not there to hear him plan to do so. At one point, it’s stated outright that the majority of orcs died when Ner’zhul opened the portals and destroyed Draenor, yet when we travel to Outland there are many, many more orcs (and more uncorrupted ones, the Mag’har) than can ever been seen when Illidan moves against Magtheridon. So what happened?
I know you guys. Right about now you’re typing about continuity errors and how I’m overthinking things. But that’s the point. So rather than just assume it’s all a bunch of mistakes, really run with the idea — what if somewhere out there, the original Outland that our Illidan went to is still ticking along, and our Illidan is alive and insane in the Black Citadel of Hellfire Peninsula, waiting for enemies who aren’t coming because Kazzak dialed the wrong Outland while making his hasty retreat? One assumes that it’s Kazzak who reopened the portals and let the Legion through again — Illidan had sealed them, after all, and when we run into Kazzak on Outland he’s been appointed overall commander of the Legion forces. Is it possible even he didn’t know he was on the wrong world? He’d never been to Outland, as far as we know. Kazzak was one of the Legion demons who invaded Azeroth during the Third War — brought through by Archimonde himself after Arthas helped Kel’Thuzad use the Book of Medivh to help summon the demon lord.
Supposedly Khadgar sent both the Skull of Gul’dan and the Book of Medivh back through the Dark Portal before sealing it, as strange and unlikely as this sounds. Clearly, the Skull of Gul’dan ended up in the hands of the Burning Legion… or at least a Skull of Gul’dan did. How did the Legion get their hands on Gul’dan’s skull if Khadgar sent it back through the portal? Well, we now have at least two Outlands and a third, as yet unexploded Draenor — but Kairoz said he wished to build an Infinite Horde, an army of uncorrupted orcs from across all timeways. This implies that there are many more Draenors and Outlands out there for us to discover — and it could very well mean that on the Outland we see in WCIII, Gul’dan’s skull never makes it back. Because how do we know that the Outland Illidan goes to is the one Khadgar was on? That Outland had an Honor Hold. So in other words, we may be dealing with as many as three separate Outlands – The one that Khadgar and the Alliance Expedition left our Azeroth to essentially create, another with a wildly variant geography that Illidan, Kael, Lady Vashj and the Blood Elves went to, and a third Outland that combines elements from each — so on this third Outland (the one we visit in Burning Crusade) Illidan exists, but he resides in the Black Temple, not Citadel, and it’s in Shadowmoon Valley, not Hellfire Peninsula. Perhaps each time someone creates a portal to or from Outland, they change the world they’re traveling to, and create a new Outland.
How many Draenors are there? How many Outlands? Must all Draenors become Outlands, or are there as many alternate timeways where Draenor endures as there are ones where it shatters and falls? Perhaps Garrosh Hellscream, a resident of the Burning Crusade Outland, isn’t even the son of the Grom Hellscream who died fighting Mannoroth. Perhaps the Khadgar leading us on Draenor knows so much about Gul’dan because on the Outland he ended up on, the timeway he created, he and Gul’dan met and fought instead of him trying to stop Ner’zhul. How many Khadgars are there? How many Gul’dans?
How many of us? Are we even from the same Azeroth as Warcraft III?
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