Know Your Lore: Demon Hunter Artifact lore in Legion
Because there are only two Demon Hunter specs, there are only two Demon Hunter artifacts. However, both of these artifacts reveal new lore that we really haven’t seen before in World of Warcraft, and as such they’re worth discussing in depth. The Demon Hunter is our newest Hero class, of course, but they’re also an old class in terms of lore, rooted around the actions of Illidan Stormrage and those Elves who found themselves tempted to emulate him. Like Warlocks, Demon Hunters tap into the power of the demons of the Burning Legion, although instead of making deals they steal their power by tearing it from the corpses of their chosen prey.
The Demon Hunters we’ll be playing are members of the Illidari, who once served Illidan Stormrage from his base of operations in the Black Temple. After being captured and imprisoned in the Vault of the Watchers, they escaped just as the Burning Legion moved on Azeroth. Following their escape and the reformation of the Illidari under a new leader, they seized a base of operations on Mardum, the Shattered Abyss. This former prison planet was cracked asunder by Sargeras himself in order to free the demons therein to serve as the original nucleus of the Burning Legion itself — for the Demon Hunters to hold their base of operations on this demon haunted world is a testament to their nature.
Twinblades of the Deceiver
From the official site:
These glaives belong to the former demon hunter Varedis Felsoul. Once a member of the Illidari and a sworn enemy of the Burning Legion, he was slain at the Black Temple. After the Legion’s leader, Kil’jaeden, revived him in the Twisting Nether, Varedis surrendered to the demon within him, forsaking his mortality. In the process, he and his glaives were infused with great power by Kil’jaeden’s eredar allies.
Varedis, if you don’t remember him, was the first Blood Elf Demon Hunter, a prodigy who was the sole survivor of the first five of the Sin’dorei sent by Kael’thas Sunstrider to train at the feet of Illidan himself. Of these five, three died, one went mad (Leotheras, who in time made his way to Serpentshrine Cavern and was banished for his trouble), and Varedis not only survived with his sanity intact, he became known as one of the most gifted Demon Hunters. He trained many — if you’re a Blood Elf Demon Hunter, you were likely initially trained by Varedis.
Illidan recognized his potential and assigned him further masters to train him further, but he quickly outpaced these teachers and soon went forth to infiltrate the Shadow Council. In so doing, he not only succeeded in discovering the Book of Fel Names, but made off with the book and used its power to make himself even stronger. Through the book, Varedis gained the power of demonic metamorphosis much as his master Illidan had, but while Illidan’s change was permanent, Varedis’ was not. Still, it made him extremely potent.
Pleased with him, Illidan made him overall head of the entire Illidari training process. While the bulk of the Illidari Demon Hunters were on Mardum, Varedis was stalked and killed by agents of the Aldor and Scryers who sought to end Illidan’s threat forever. But this wasn’t the end of Varedis. His talents as a Demon Hunter and the fel energies he’d stolen and used (such as the Book of Fel Names) meant that when he died, he drew the attention of Kil’jaeden the Deceiver. Much like his master had, Varedis chose to ally with Kil’jaeden rather than accept death, and the Deceiver used his power to raise the Demon Hunter from death, perhaps because he’d already tainted his soul enough with Fel magics to become almost a demon.
This is an amazing bit of old story returning. Varedis is someone many players from the Burning Crusade era will have personally killed. This is a tip of the hat to the original Demon Hunter lore from BC times, and I’m pleased to see Varedis make a return like this.
From the official site:
In ages past, the dark titan, Sargeras, offered the mighty aldrachi people a place in his Burning Legion. But the aldrachi proved incorruptible: they slew innumerable demons before their race was wiped out. Sargeras personally killed their greatest champion and seized his weapons. Much later, a demon hunter willingly became the servant of Sargeras’ lieutenant Kil’jaeden. Pleased, Kil’jaeden bestowed the warblades on her, that she might wield a portion of the aldrachi’s bygone might, and devastate the mortals of Azeroth with it.
These weapons fascinate me just by their implications alone. When exactly did Sargeras make this offer to the Aldrachi? Was it before the corruption of the Eredar, and if so, were the Eredar his second choice? Did he try the Aldrachi first, see that they were incorruptible, and then decide ‘I’d better find some folks who are more willing to be corrupted‘ and thus moved on to Argus? Or did he make his offer to the Eredar first, see how well that worked out for him, and then hit on the Aldrachi as a suitable second race of servitors only for them to disappoint him by opting for death over dishonor? One thing’s for sure — relatively few beings have ever been personally killed by Sargeras, and aside from Broxigar the Red I can’t think of one by name.
I’m hoping we hear a lot more about the Aldrachi. Who were they? Where and when did they fight and die opposing the Legion? I just find myself desperately curious. If things had gone slightly different would we be playing Aldrachi instead and we’d have Eredar Warblades, weapons of a mysterious long-vanished race that refused Sargeras’ offer? What were the Aldrachi intended to do in the Legion, what role would they have filled? As soon as Vengeance is available as a spec in the alpha I’ll be working to find out.
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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