Know Your Lore: Legion’s loose ends
The Burning Legion has been defeated – mostly. Azeroth is safe…except for that mammoth sword sticking out of Silithus and the whole giant gaping bleeding wound situation. But hey, we’ll be actively working on that issue in Battle for Azeroth. Once we patch up the planet, it’s smooth sailing, right? Or maybe not so much. While our fight against the Burning Legion may have been the focus of this expansion, it wasn’t our only struggle.
We may be leaving the Broken Isles in Battle for Azeroth, but we’ll be leaving some questions behind. Every expansion has its fair share of loose ends – storylines in a state of “resolved for now.” Some of these plot points may be addressed in the next expansion, but it’s not really guaranteed. And although this expansion excelled at delivering coherent storylines, there are still some questions left lingering at Legion’s close.
What did Legion leave us with, in the end? What loose ends should we be expecting to see picked up in Battle for Azeroth? Which questions will be answered, and which ones will be left for the future? We don’t have solid answers yet – Battle is still in alpha, after all – but we can make some educated guesses.
Players leveling through Val’sharah witnessed the resurgence of the Emerald Nightmare. Although much of the Nightmare was defeated in the novel Stormrage, some remnants still lingered in the Rift of Aln. Malfurion Stormrage managed to seal the vicinity around the Rift, but his magic didn’t last very long. In Legion, the Nightmare once again surged forth, this time attacking the World Tree Shaladrassil.
Over the course of Val’sharah and the Emerald Nightmare raid, we managed to once again defeat Xavius, the Nightmare Lord – this time, for good. Or so we’re led to believe, anyway. Players that stick around after the end of the Emerald Nightmare raid will find a vision of Ysera, who slowly walks into an alcove beneath a tree. There, a Remnant of the Void still lingers – a warning that our victory isn’t as complete as we’d hoped. The Priest Artifact Xal’atath will whisper to players who interact with the remnant: “Almost completely gone, as if it never existed. But the rift is deep and vast, and somewhere down there it stirs. Something has changed, the last prison weakens. We must prepare.”
The implication here is obvious: We’re not done with the Void. Not by a long shot. This has only been reinforced by the introduction of Void Elves as a playable race. We’re aware of the presence of the Void now. Alleria and Locus-Walker have given us a pretty thorough education on the subject. But if you think defeating the Emerald Nightmare was the last we’d see of the Void…think again.
How likely are we to see this come up in Battle for Azeroth? Very – Azshara’s already been mentioned as a prospective villain, and her ties to the Old Gods are well known. As for the Emerald Nightmare and that lingering remnant…we’ll have to wait and see.
The Lich King’s grasp
Every class in Legion had its own Class Hall and accompanying storyline. Some were more lore-heavy than others – and some had unsettling surprises. None so much as the Death Knight experience, which made it immediately clear that the Lich King – Bolvar Fordragon – was far from inactive in Icecrown. Your character might be the Deathlord of Acherus, but the Lich King is pulling the strings. Players seeking the Blades of the Fallen Prince are tasked with defeating tortured souls that remain in the shards of Frostmourne. The last two should be familiar – echoes of Ner’zhul and Arthas are both encountered and defeated.
Later, players are sent to acquire a new set of Four Horsemen. Included on the Lich King’s short list is Tirion Fordring, who perished in the initial assault on the Broken Shore. Needless to say, the Paladins of Light’s Hope aren’t about to hand over Fordring’s body. When you manage to barely escape with your life, a new figure is appointed to lead the Horsemen – Darion Mograine. But it’s the search for a suitable mount that turns out to be one of the most disquieting storylines of the entire experience.
You, the Deathlord, are sent to an ancient glacier where feral undead are buried deep beneath the ice. You must confront them – and Bolvar makes it blatantly clear: If you fail, he will claim Acherus. Arthas may have once sought revenge on Ebon Hold for its rebellion, but Bolvar has other plans. What plans? We never find out. But Bolvar isn’t just keeping the Scourge in check up in Northrend. He’s up to something. More importantly, it’s unclear if there’s any Bolvar left to be found anymore. Perhaps he’s just the Lich King now.
Are we going to see this addressed in Battle for Azeroth? Right now, it’s unlikely.
Somewhere during the beginning of Legion, Sylvanas Windrunner made a deal with Helya, ruler of Helheim. Helya gave Sylvanas a magical lantern – the Soulcage. With the Soulcage, Sylvanas intended to subjugate Eyir and force her to make more val’kyr for the Forsaken. Thanks to Genn Greymane, she doesn’t succeed, and the Soulcage is destroyed. Furious, Sylvanas takes off, her plans thoroughly thwarted.
Later on, Odyn sends us to Helheim to get rid of Helya for good. Once she dies, Odyn is freed from the curse that kept him bound to the Halls of Valor. We also save Illidan Stormrage’s soul, which comes in really handy later for dealing with that whole Burning Legion issue. Sylvanas’ plans have been thwarted, Helya’s been dealt with, and everything seems to be great, right?
But what exactly was that deal that Helya made with Sylvanas? Helya gave Sylvanas the Soulcage – what did she get in return? What did Sylvanas have that Helya, leader of the underworld, could possibly desire? And was that deal negated the moment the Soulcage was shattered? Was it permanently dismissed once we killed Helya? Or was there something more going on there – something that we’ll revisit at a later date?
At the moment, it doesn’t look like this is anything we’ll see in Battle for Azeroth. But we’re still in alpha – and this expansion features Sylvanas fairly heavily. It also features a heavy nautical element, which kind of lends itself to Helya as well. Is Helya really gone? When you’re dealing with the leader of the undead Forsaken and the leader of the underworld, death isn’t exactly a certainty.
Who killed Chromie?
What do demons, void lords, elementals, and Scourge all have in common? Apparently, they all want Chromie dead – along with both the Horde and Alliance. In the Deaths of Chromie scenario, players are whisked back and forth through time in a dizzying attempt to save Chromie from her almost-inevitable demise. It’s a plot worthy of an Infinite dragon – except there’s no Infinite to be found here. Instead, there’s a variety of different enemies, all intent on one thing: eliminating Chromie. Why? We never find out.
That’s concerning. Even more concerning is just how many forces are working together. Evidence of the Emerald Nightmare is once again discovered. The elements are angry – for reasons largely undefined. It makes sense that demons would be involved – the Burning Legion is the utmost threat this expansion, after all. But there’s also the concerning amount of Scourge and undead involved. Shouldn’t these guys be under the Lich King’s domain? Are they working on their own, or does Bolvar have some kind of undefined vendetta against Chromie?
We never find any of it out. At the end of the scenario, Chromie is quite happy to be alive, and not really interested in figuring out who was responsible. So we’re left with a mystery – and it may be following us into Battle for Azeroth. Everyone in the scenario is level 112, which we’ll be hitting next expansion. Will we get some answers at that point, or will everyone’s favorite Bronze dragon leave us hanging? We’ll have to wait and see.
These are only a few loose ends from Legion – there are more out there, of course. Expansions work on several different levels, story-wise. They serve to deliver an engaging storyline – which Legion did in spades. But they also serve to plant seeds for future stories as well. When you have an ever-evolving storyline, you need to make sure the story doesn’t simply run out.
So while we may not get definitive answers to the loose ends listed above in Battle for Azeroth, it doesn’t mean we never will. It just means we need to file that information away for later. Who knows – in another expansion or two, we may be picking up these old threads and seeing where they lead. Until then, we’ll see where the story leads in Battle for Azeroth – and what interesting new threads we’ll uncover on the islands of Kul Tiras and Zandalar.
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