Shadowlands Afterlives: Maldraxxus animated short highlights Draka in all her sheer badassery
Unlike Uther, Draka’s presence in Maldraxxus is no secret. She may have sacrificed herself protecting her son (you might know him — Go’el?), but Draka’s fight is just beginning. In the next Shadowlands animated short, we follow her through her ascension in the armies of the Necrolords.
Like Uther’s short, this video starts with Draka’s death at the hands of Blackrock clan members loyal to the Shadow Council. Unlike Uther, the
Sorting Hat Arbiter places Draka’s soul in Maldraxxus — the perfect fit for “a warrior’s soul,” right? Well, you’d think, but Draka lands in the House of Eyes — the spymasters protecting the realm of Death.
Draka herself states this during her training montage: “their ways were not mine” as she attacks a training dummy head-on, with her trainer urging her to be faster in the background. But where we see Uther dwelling on his past (and corrupting Paragons), Draka excels and begins to settle into her more rogue-like role. When the House of Plagues falls, Margrave Akarek himself sends Draka on a mission to the House of the Chosen with the warning “be watchful.” Little does she know, these are the last words her lord will speak to her. Riding forth, Draka is stopped by other residents of Maldraxxus just in time to see Akarek’s necropolis explode and begin to fall from the skies.
Draka’s topple from her mount is a complete reflection of the short’s beginning. Rather than meeting her end (as in the intro), her new training serves her in good stead as she fights her way through Necrolord traitors to complete her final mission for the House of Eyes. In his note to Margrave Krexus, Akarek gives “the key to saving Maldraxxus” — not a physical object delivered, but Draka herself as “an unyielding warrior with the skills of a master spy.”
We know the Arbiter does not make mistakes in where the dead land and that Draka clearly belongs as a defender of the Shadowlands. But why did the House of Eyes choose her? For someone like Garona, this might be perfect, but for Draka? Definitely odd. It makes me wonder if Akarek knew what was coming well in advance and wanted to develop Draka into “one who could embody the might of Maldraxxus itself.” Also, Ararek’s note to Krexus shows that he knew he had to send Draka away — did Akarek know his house would be the next to fall to Necrolord betrayers?
Akarek tells Draka that the destruction of the House of Plagues may not have been due to the carelessness of its residents, but “no matter what happens now, Maldraxxus must stay true to its purpose. For if we fail in our duty, the Shadowlands will fall.” As a fighter and spy, Draka represents the best qualities of the Necrolords and personifies the purpose of the Covenant — defending the realm of Death.
Draka’s ending scene continues to mirror the intro and illustrate her growth, showing her at the head of the armies of the House of the Chosen. This is the Draka we meet in Oribos, owning her role as a protector of Maldraxxus and Baroness of the Chosen. Not to get too spoiler-y, but she is a presence for the player character pretty much throughout the Covenant zone, starting right at the Seat of the Primus in Oribos when you speak with her to join the Necrolords Covenant.
The releases for the Afterlives shorts follow the story path: we’ve gone from Bastion to Maldraxxus and will follow to (hopefully) the story of the Winter Queen in the Ardenweald short out on September 10. Shadowlands can’t get here soon enough!
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