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The QueueDec 2, 2022 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: In which Liz talks about lore (in the most limited sense)

The problem with Warcraft lore is that sometimes I try to understand it, which inevitably ends with me thinking that Warcraft lore is terribly convoluted, full of retcons and sharp turns and sentences that are just way too long. The result is usually a lot of time spent in order to leave me frustrated and still confused, but every now and again I dig back in and try to figure out what the heck is going on in this ridiculous game world, and more importantly why?

For better or worse, this is one of those times. We’ll see how that plays out in time, but for now, let’s Queue.


Was able to complete The Waking Shores last night.

1) I didn’t realize that Sabellian had a way to cleanse corruption. Good on him, but I feel like I missed a story beat somewhere. Or is the “how” and “when” supposed to be a mystery for now?

2) Sabellian seems to have the edge on Wrathion regarding leading the Black Flight, and by “edge” I mean carbon-steel sword vs. soft butter. Will there actually be a reason to vote for Wrathion (I’m just assuming that NPCs won’t be able to make up their mind and will be turning to the PC for final arbitration in the matter). I’m normally on team Wrathion, but Sabellian has him beat so hard I feel that I need to call the authorities.

Fallanger also asked: I was wondering about the corruption of Sabellian, specifically the how, if memory serves vash’j’s naga lost their corruption after a while in outland. Happened the same with Sabellian?
Found something to help clear the corruption in blade edge?

So let’s dig into both of these questions.

Sabellian is still a bit of a mystery. We did meet him in Outland during The Burning Crusade, where he had been trapped after Deathwing took a number of dragons and eggs there, thinking the eggs would be safe. But at this point in time, Deathwing was most certainly Deathwing, and the dragons (and likely the eggs) would have been corrupted — but Sabellian claims he cleansed this corruption.

How? We don’t know, and we only have his word that he’s done so. It’s possible that Draenor was an easier place to cleanse this corruption, since there were no Old Gods there — or perhaps being in a place without Old Gods did the work for them. We don’t know him, or whether he’s someone we can trust: we just met him in Outland where he convinced us to kill some of Gruul’s sons for him. We do know that after we wiped out the Gronn in Blade’s Edge mountains, Sabellian took over and “bent the Blade’s Edge mountains to our will.”

He and his followers only felt the need to re-emerge into Azeroth when they felt the Dragon Isles reawaken, which led to the confrontation between Sabellion and Wrathion which we now all have to deal with.

So… should Sabellion lead the Black Dragonflight? Does he have an edge in the competition? By age and experience, certainly. He’s far older than Wrathion, and he was Deathwing’s second in command.

But that’s also kind of the problem. He was Deathwing’s second in command, worked alongside Deathwing, and like the rest of the Black flight he was corrupted. Now he reappears on Azeroth after thirty years ignoring the place, asking us to swear fealty to him.

Uh, dude, I hardly even know you. One should never swear fealty to a dragon until at least the third date.

But on the other hand, you have Wrathion. He spent years trying to get the Alliance and Horde to wipe each other out in order to have a united Azeroth that was prepared to face the Burning Legion when the threat arrived. And when that didn’t work out, he freed Garrosh Hellscream with the intent of (maybe?) creating an alternate universe army to face the Burning Legion with the help of the Infinite Dragonflight (or an early iteration of it). Then he shows up to help us defeat N’Zoth and expects everyone to greet him with open arms.

Yeah, I’m with Anduin on that one.

I think Wrathion is a very interesting character, and he’s tremendously fun to watch, but I don’t exactly trust him. For all that we see an inner monologue full of self-doubt (at least as presented in The Vow Eternal), Wrathion is very young and he often acts it. This doesn’t do much to win him friends (see again: Anduin).

But what I will give Wrathion is that he’s actually been in Azeroth, trying to do things to help… in his own way. Most of his plans have been ridiculous and worked terribly, but at least he was interested enough in the place to try. He did help us fight off N’Zoth. He did save Alexstrasza when Raszagath attacked. Perhaps he has his own reasons that aren’t entirely altruistic, but he’s been here and done things, which I think counts for a lot. Sabellian has been in Outland and only returned to Azeroth because once the Dragon Isles were rediscovered, there was an empty throne to claim… and power along with it.

Yeah, I don’t exactly trust that timing.

However, in the competition between Sabellian and Wrathion, I vote Ebyssian, who is apparently the only level-headed Black Dragon out there.  Ebonhorn, where are you? Come and save us from these bickering brothers, please.


So, lorewise, what are Dracthyr? I might have missed a cutscene that explained them. Or, it may not have been explained. I know they are ‘experiments’ but that’s it. Thanks in advance.

Neltharion created them as his own personal army, though exactly how or why he created them hasn’t been fully addressed to my knowledge. The Dracthyr combine the powers of all the Dragonflights, with abilities that echo the powers of blue, green, red, bronze, and black… and that makes me think of Netharian killing and experimenting on dragons in Blackwing Lair in an attempt to create a more powerful Chromatic Dragonflight. Was this some sort of continuation of his father’s work? Did Netharian know about the Dracthyr? We don’t know.

Neltharion controlled the Dracthyr with some kind of Titan artifact, but he lost control over them when the artifact was shattered, and he locked them away. Nozdormu suggested he feared their potential outside his control, what they might become when allowed free rein to do as they pleased, but we don’t have a clear explanation of his motives.

But it does seem that they weren’t created with ill intent: he used the Dracthyr to fight the Primalists (including Raszagath), to protect Azeroth and the Titans’ works. He was doing his prescribed duty as the Aspect of the Black Dragonflight. Perhaps he even left them to help preserve Azeroth in the future, and he does seem to have left something of an alarm clock which woke them when the Primalist threat returned.

Neltharion had his own methods, but at the time he created the Dracthyr, he was still the Earth-Warder, working to protect Azeroth. But his thoughts and reasons remain his own, lost to time.


Is there a way to slow down the drake mount or landing unceremoniously is the only way to stop other than circle a place until it runs out of energy?

I’m afraid there’s no way to have a leisurely trip through the skies by using Dragonriding. You can slow down by angling up to bleed off speed, or angling down to slam into the ground, but there’s no way to just move more slowly. I think this is one of the system’s big downsides: you’re always going so fast that you don’t have time to look around, to get your bearings, to find that quest marker you’re looking for, or to just enjoy the view. You’ve gotta go fast.

Dragonriding certainly seems to be a love/hate system with very little in between. For my part I both love it in ways and hate it in ways, so I’m straddling that line.

And that’s all for today, friends. It’s Friday, so I wish you a good rest of your day and a good weekend to follow. Possibly you’ll even get to punch a dragon! Who knows what exciting futures await!

I’ll see you back again next week. Take care of yourselves everybody.

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