Know Your Lore: War of the Titan-Forged
When last we looked at the Titan-Forged, one of the Keepers had gone mad. Reeling from the aftereffects of the disturbing and confusing infusion of Titanic energies when the Pantheon were sent to inhabit their bodies by Norgannon (an escape from death at the hands of Sargeras and his Burning Legion) the Keepers were at their most vulnerable. Loken, one of the most clever of their number (It was Norgannon who gave Loken his power as a Keeper) was also one of the most vulnerable, unable to comprehend what had happened. In his despair, he fell victim to the whispers of the Death God Yogg-Saron, killed his brother Thorim’s wife in a jealous rage when she rebuffed him, and caused Thorim to declare war on the Frost Giants.
When Loken used the Forge of Wills to create an army of constructs and interfered with the war between Thorim and the Frost Giants (causing Thorim to exile himself to the Temple of Storms) he’d begun his descent into madness. For he knew he had to conceal what he had done — the death of Sif, the false accusation against the Frost Giants, and now his use of the Forge of Wills, because he was in danger of being found out by the Titans themselves, or their servant Algalon. And behind him, always the whispers of the Death God, giving him advice that would lead him further and further away from the Titans’ plan for Azeroth.
Concealing His Crime
The first move Loken made was simple enough. Besides himself, the most intelligent and perceptive of the Titan-Forged Keepers was his old friend and ally Mimiron. Like Loken, Mimiron was chosen by Norgannon. Like himself, Mimiron stood against Neptulon when the Keepers made war on the Elemental Lords and through sly wit and inventive tactics defeated him. Mimiron, who was Loken’s clever brother.
Worse, Mimiron was already curious about Loken’s new army of Iron Vrykul and Dwarves, made from the Forge of Wills. He could see there was something off about them, and if he looked too closely, he might discover that in order to use the Forge for the purpose of making the army, Loken had accepted the power of Yogg-Saron. In his madness Loken didn’t understand that the Old God had used the Forge of Wills to introduce the Curse of Flesh to the Titan-Forged. But Mimiron was starting to wonder. The flaw introduced by Yogg-Saron drew his attention and if he was to truly examine the Forge he would discover it. So he couldn’t be allowed to do this.
It grieved Loken to kill Mimiron, but his secret was all-important. He made it look like a lab accident, an explosion in the Temple of Invention. But Loken did not reckon on the cleverness of Mimiron’s mechagnome servants. They saved the Keeper by creating a new body to house his spark, one resembling theirs. Mimiron survived, but forever changed by the experience, in many ways even more like his creations than ever before. (As an example, it was Mimiron who created the Goblins by experimenting on them with Kaja’mite.)
In his new, slightly distracted state, it was easy for Loken to capture Mimiron and confine him within Ulduar. This suited Yogg-Saron’s plans for the Keepers, who were, after all, the ones who could end his confinement.
The Madness Continues
Both Hodir and Freya were concerned about what had happened to Mimiron. And Loken feared that either or both of them might bring their concerns to Odyn, the Prime Designate of Azeroth. As Prime Designate, Odyn could call Algalon to check on the status of the planet, and Loken was terrified that Algalon would determine that he was corrupted by his use of Yogg-Saron’s power. So Loken hatched a scheme to ensure this would never happen.
First, he managed to ambush both Hodir and Freya at their respective Temples with his army of new Titan-Forged birthed from the Forge of Wills. Through sheer numbers and the power he’d accepted from Yogg-Saron Loken managed to capture both of them and befuddle their minds, bringing them to Ulduar as well. However, he knew that even distant Odyn in his Halls of Valor would soon notice that four of Ulduar’s Keepers were no longer performing their duty. He needed a more permanent solution. He was no match for Odyn in a straightforward confrontation, even with the power of the Death God.
Luckily, Odyn had spent thousands of years alienating himself from the other Watchers. He’d forced his adopted daughter Helya to use her powers to rip Ulduar’s Halls of Valor from the complex (creating a vast rift in front of the city-prison in the process) and using the same magics she’d used to aid Highkeeper Ra he’d forced her to essentially place the Halls in another realm of existence. Worse, in his arrogance, he’d chosen to create a Stormforged army of Vrykul as he didn’t trust the other Keepers and the plan to empower the Dragon Aspects to watch over Azeroth. In order to do this, he needed servants that could broach the realms of the dead and retrieve valorous souls to be placed in these Stormforged bodies, and so he’d created the Val’kyr over Helya’s objections.
Worse still, he forced Helya to be the first of the Val’kyr.
Now Loken spoke to Helya. It wasn’t hard for him to find the resentment she harbored towards Odyn. It was even easier to convince her to rebel against the Prime Designate. Better still, neither of them would even have to fight Keeper Odyn. By placing the Halls of Valor in the sky, he’d made them uniquely vulnerable to Helya’s main gift, the creation of barriers between planes. As she’d locked Skywall away for Highkeeper Ra, now she locked the Halls, and Odyn himself, behind the same magical barriers that kept the Elemental Planes sealed away.
Odyn was gone. Loken could claim the title of Prime Designate, because there was no one left to say otherwise. Or so he thought.
Two of the Keepers remained. Tyr, renowned as their greatest warrior (while Odyn has been the general of the ancient war with the Black Empire, it had been Tyr who’d been their greatest single combatant) and Archaedas, defeater of Therazane and sealer of the Qiraji tunnels during the ancient war against the Old Gods. These two were more direct than Loken, but in his madness he underestimated their cunning.
They saw the events in Ulduar and determined to avoid Loken and his new Titan-Forged until they could understand what was happening. As the years passed, they observed the spread of the Curse of Flesh among the Earthen, Vrykul and Mechagnomes and offered those so afflicted a safe haven with them. Others, believing their gods had abandoned them, grew cruel and capricious and made war under Loken’s subtle promptings.
Next week, the Winterskorn War and the Flight from Ulduar.
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