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Lore > WoWNov 23, 2015 5:00 pm CT

Know Your Lore: Shaman Artifact lore in Legion

Shaman artifact lore

Shaman Artifact lore is pretty fascinating so far — let’s talk about the masters of the elements. One of these three Shaman Artifacts is famous for being wielded by one the most well known Shaman ever, another is a piece of Azeroth’s ancient history as well as a wonderfully thematic piece, and the final is, at best, wholly out of left field. It’s an interesting Artifact, to be sure, but it doesn’t exactly scream Shaman.

But the Shaman class has ties to both Azeroth and Draenor — while the Orcs brought their own Shamanic tradition (or rediscovered it) to our world, there were already Shaman here, and so it’s fitting that one of the Artifacts that Shaman will be getting is a piece of Draenor’s long history, while the others hail from Azeroth proper. Let’s take a look at these master weapons, and the stories they’re telling us.


The Fist of Ra-Den

From the official site:

Aman’Thul the Highfather, leader of the titan Pantheon, entrusted his greatest servant, Highkeeper Ra, with this artifact, which could channel the fury of the storms. Ra used it to bestow life on the titan-forged mogu race, and he wielded it in battle against the Black Empire for years beyond counting. Later lost to Ra, the weapon was ultimately recovered by the August Celestial Xuen, who saw its immense and dangerous power, and chose to safeguard it until someone worthy could take up the weapon in a righteous cause once again.

Last week Anne mentioned The Black Empire,  the enormous Old God-dominated kingdom that ruled all of Azeroth before the coming of the Titans and their servants. It would be against these creatures that the Watchers were first deployed, along with the Vrykul, Earthen, Giants, Tol’vir, Mogu and other Titanic Seed Races. The descendants of the Black Empire would found the Aqir Empire, later to fracture into the Qiraji, Nerubians and Mantid. Ra-Den is of course the Watcher who would later be betrayed and usurped by the Mogu Lei Shen, known to us as The Thunder King.

The idea that Xuen’s been sitting on this weapon all this time fascinates me. Just how bad is the Burning Legion invasion this time around? Pretty bad considering Xuen sat on this during the first coming of the Legion to Azeroth, through the whole time the Mists were up, and even when the Sha were running amok and the Heart of Y’Shaarj was discovered by Garrosh, even that wasn’t bad enough to get him to pull this weapon out of storage. Think about that — the Vale of Eternal Blossoms was destroyed, the Sha of Pride was in the very heart of it, and the Old God’s malefic influence was slowly corrupting the whole world, and even that wasn’t enough to get Xuen to think “Oh, right, that fist weapon that was made to battle the Black Empire, maybe someone could use that.”

This is the fist weapon that Ra-Den used to awakened the Mogu, the ancient power source for the Engine of Nalak’sha itself. It’s a remarkable thing to have in a mortal’s hands, if you think about it.


The Doomhammer

From the official site:

Forged in elemental lava on the orc homeworld of Draenor, this massive hammer is connected deeply with the elements, and its true power is only awakened in the hands of those who can speak to the elements in kind. The Doomhammer was long wielded by Orgrim Doomhammer, one of the greatest orc warriors of the Horde, and now rests with Thrall, one of the most powerful shaman Azeroth has ever known.

Okay, this is kind of like the Ashbringer in that it’s not a new weapon, we know the lore behind it already, but I am curious about the whole ‘forged in elemental lava’ thing. It would be nice to get to see some lore into how this weapon came to be, how the Doomhammer line ended up using it (they weren’t Shaman by and large) and how we’re going to end up with it. Did the planet Draenor just spit this thing up out of a volcano? Did one of the furies, perhaps of Earth or Fire (or an unknown Magma Fury) craft it? Is it connected to Cyrukh, the twisted Firelord of Draenor? There’s a lot we don’t know about Draenor and its elementals, it would be nice if we get to see some of it when we acquire the Doomhammer.

Also, I feel like I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention Thrall here. Assuming he doesn’t die, how do we end up with his hammer? Does he sense it’s time to pass it on? This is a weapon of very specific merit and history to the Orcish people, and now it’s leaving them (unless you play an Orc) — how does that come about? A Draenei using the Doomhammer would be as strange as an Orc using the Ashbringer, ultimately.


The Scepter of Azshara

From the official site:

A powerful scepter created by Queen Azshara long ago, before her transformation into a naga. The scepter swirls with waters from the Well of Eternity prior to its corruption, granting the scepter great magical and restorative powers. The Scepter of Azshara was lost during the War of the Ancients, shortly before Azshara and many of her followers were swallowed by the sea. Taken up by surviving night elves who knew nothing of the power it truly held, it was buried with an unknown priestess in a family tomb in Azsuna, waiting to be discovered by someone that could unlock its true potential.

Okay, this is cool, and it’s got a good connection to Azshara and the history of the region, but what about it is particularly Shaman? I kind of feel like Azshara is a famous Mage, the weapon sounds connected to Night Elves in a way that would make it a better Priest weapon, I don’t know. I’m interested in the story of why Azshara destroyed Azsuna, maybe they were dabbling with magics we would today recognize as Shamanic in nature. Night Elf Shaman? That’d be interesting.

I mean, we know that Night Elves descend from the Dark Trolls. Most Trolls today have Shamanic traditions — did the Dark Trolls? Did the Night Elves abandon those shamanic traditions when they first learned of the power of the Well of Eternity, or were there some offshoot of the Kaldorei who kept those traditions alive until Azshara finally stole their ancient secrets from them to construct this sceptre? To what end? Is it related to the destruction of Azsune, or perhaps somewhere else entirely.

One thing’s for sure, your choices here are between the hand of one of the Titan’s greatest, the hammer that shaped generations of Orcish history, and a lost relic from the time Queen Azshara rule the land. A lot of history here.

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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