Role Play: Horde roleplay in Legion
The Alliance may have a lot to think about plot-wise this expansion, but the Horde has just as much going on – and none of it is particularly happy. Horde roleplay in Legion mirrors the Alliance. After all, the Burning Legion isn’t just a threat to one faction or the other; it’s a threat to both sides. Obtaining the Pillars of Creation and putting an end to the Legion’s invasion is equally important to both factions.
At the same time, there’s more going on than just the Legion’s downfall. The Horde really hasn’t had an easy time of things since Mists of Pandaria. And while Garrosh may be gone, he left a tattered, bedraggled Horde behind.
Please note: Today’s column contains some Legion spoilers.
Loss of a leader
What Alliance players may not know, or understand, is that the Horde lost a Warchief right after the Alliance lost their king. Vol’jin made it out of the Broken Shore alive, but he didn’t last much longer after that. Vol’jin’s reign as Warchief was disappointingly short-lived – he barely had time to settle in, and we never really got the time to learn what kind of Warchief the Troll leader would be.
But Vol’jin did unite the Horde under one banner, even if that banner happened to be a rebel faction. He led the charge against Garrosh and his war machine of an army. He established that Garrosh’s idea of a warmongering force was not what the Horde was meant to be – or what it wanted to be. And although the disparate leaders of the Horde may not have always gotten along, they were more than willing to unite and prove that point to Hellscream.
If your character is a Troll, they’re likely feeling a keen sense of loss for Vol’jin. After all, he was the son of Sen’jin, the one who led the Darkspears to a new destiny, and the only leader the Darkspear had. Regardless of your characters race, how do they feel about Vol’jin’s death? Did they think he was a good Warchief? Are they looking for vengeance? Did Vol’jin’s death give your character even more impetus to put the Legion in its place?
A new leader rises
Vol’jin didn’t have a son to follow in his footsteps. What he did have was a vision from the spirits that revealed who the next Warchief would be. The choice wasn’t even one that he understood or necessarily agreed with himself – but Sylvanas Windrunner took the helm when asked. And she told the Horde their Warchief was dead, and asked an important question: Who would help her avenge him?
That’s a pretty loaded question, isn’t it? Of course any sane member of the Horde is going to agree at that moment. They’re watching the corpse of their Warchief burn; they want to take care of those responsible. But what your character should be wondering – if they aren’t already – is what comes after vengeance?
It’s all well and good to bring justice to evil-doers, and Sylvanas is absolutely the best person you could ask for where vengeance is concerned. But what happens once that vengeance is wrought? How does your character feel about Sylvanas? About the Forsaken? Do they view her as a capable leader, or do they question where her true allegiances and motives lie? Are they wondering what’s going to happen after the Legion threat is dealt with? Did they think a different choice would have made a better leader? Has this changed their perception of the Horde?
The Kirin Tor
On another front, Khadgar has basically ousted Jaina as leader of the Kirin Tor, and the Horde are now allowed back in Dalaran again. Khadgar doesn’t feel the same way as Jaina – he wants the Horde and the Alliance to work together. He feels that’s the only way we’ll see any kind of resolution. We can’t beat the Legion if we aren’t united.
At the same time, Jaina’s actions in Dalaran are still a fairly fresh memory. Jaina didn’t just ban the Horde from Dalaran, she forcibly expelled every Horde member she could find, imprisoning and even flat-out killing those who didn’t manage to escape. Jaina’s not in Dalaran anymore, but the streets your character is currently walking around on are the same streets that terrified citizens fled down during Mists.
Does your character trust Khadgar? Do they trust the Kirin Tor? Are they comfortable with being in Dalaran again, or do painful memories linger? Do they agree with Khadgar’s assessment that both factions have to work together? Is that something they’re willing to work towards? Or would they rather the Horde leave all that behind, and fight the Legion on their own?
The Broken Isles are teeming with new races and more than just the Legion threat. But they’re also the original site of Suramar and other ancient strongholds of Night Elf civilization. This may or may not interest your character – if they’re a Blood Elf, it’s apt to hold more significance. Blood Elves aren’t old enough to remember the days when they were part of kaldorei society, but there’s history there.
And the events playing out in Val’Sharah are significant to all Druids. Troll Druids haven’t been part of the Cenarion Circle long enough to remember the Nightmare, but the Tauren certainly do. Also of interest to the Tauren are the Highmountain. Huln Highmountain is a well-known figure in Tauren history, so the chance to speak to his descendants may be of interest to your character.
There’s plenty more to consider, including the revelations about Azeroth. How do the various storylines in the Broken Isles affect your character? They’re teeming with history, but is any of it history your character relates to? Are they interested in exploring and discovering more, or are they focused on defeating the Legion above everything else?
Artifacts and Pillars of Creation
Your character has been entrusted with a weapon of exceptional power, sent to retrieve even more powerful items, all in the name of defeating the Legion. Is your character alright with that kind of responsibility? Is this task something they’re willing to carry out? Being a hero is a great weight on anyone – how is your character faring under the pressure?
Are they eager to retrieve those powerful artifacts and return them to Khadgar? Are they wondering if the Pillars will really make any difference? Do they think the Legion can truly be defeated? Or are they worried that this conflict will only end in defeat?
Is your character focused on defeating the Legion? Are they worried about the future of the Horde, now that Sylvanas leads the way? Do they trust their Warchief to make the right decisions? Or do they feel that maybe for the first time, they’re well and truly on their own?
The assorted races of the Horde have always had to struggle with establishing a place for themselves in the world. That’s part of what brought them together in the first place – the idea that united, they could stand strong. They’re no strangers to adversity; they face it every single day. And if the call to battle sounds out, the Horde is certain to answer – but it’s up to you to determine where your character is standing at the end of it all.
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