Know Your Lore
If you've been playing World of Warcraft for a while, or were familiar with the Warcraft 3 game or tie-in books like Lord of the Clans and Rise of the Horde you were aware of a certain conception of orcs and their nature and identity.
A couple of weeks back we took a look at the origin of Sargeras and the Eredar. This week, we pick up with Sargeras' first assault on Azeroth, the War of the Ancients. This conflict changed the face of the world forever, splitting the primeval continent of Kalimdor into four pieces (that we know of) -- modern Kalimdor, Northrend, the Eastern Kingdoms and Pandaria.
One of the things I've loved this expansion is playing a draenei in it. Getting to see what Draenor looked like before the orcs committed genocide on the draenei has been awesome, and the draenei story in Shadowmoon Valley and Talador (including Auchindoun) was one of my favorite parts of any expansion. In fact, some of my disappointment with the game's max level content has been a lack of continuation of that very story. We got to see Yrel become an Exarch, and that I was happy about, but aside from that I've really felt like we've missed out. I wanted a raid where I helped the Sha'tar retake Shattrath, for example. I wanted to get to see what's going on up at Farahlon. I'm hopeful we'll still get to see this stuff, because for me all the quality story beats in Warlords of Draenor have been the draenei
The barbarians of Sanctuary are called this by those who do not understand them or their ancient culture, which was a casualty of the schemes of Baal and the actions of Tyrael. In destroying the Worldstone, they destroyed Mount Arreat and with it the very vigil that the barbarians maintained for countless eons.
We've seen that in many ways this Draenor seems to mirror the one we know today as Outland, which suggests that The Burning Legion is coming... but probably not in the way we expect.
We've been told by Nozdormu (who himself was told by Aman'Thul, highfather of the Pantheon of Titans - or so we are told) that there is one true timeline. With the existence of this Draenor, that would seem to be false. But what the Titan meant by one true timeline has never been fully explained.
Warlords of Draenor plays with time and space in ways that aren't as obvious as the initial step through the Dark Portal. One of these includes the means by which we recruit Archmage Vargoth to be our follower. One of the strangest is the Cowled Ranger, because while she appears to be a simple night elf on a mission, things get complicated once she reveals what that mission is - the Cowled Ranger is attempting to answer a question players have asked since The Burning Crusade came out.
This is the story of an orc whose life played full circle, ending where it began -- before it began actually, in an odd twist of fate, time and a little bronze magic. It plays in counterpoint to the tale of Emperor Shaohao, who hid away his kingdom, so confident and prideful in himself and his people's abilities that he was certain they would thrive in abject isolation from the rest of the world. The orc, on the other hand, came from an absence of pride into a sudden and overwhelming abundance of it... and it slowly ate him alive.
Despite the presence of Uldyssian and his followers, it was merely a chapter, a small one in a saga that links us from the creation of the world of Sanctuary to the present day. One cannot discuss the Sin War without discussing nephalem, for in a way, the nephalem are far more important to the cosmos than Sanctuary, Inarius or Lilith. More important than the Archangels or Prime Evils.
So far, we seem to be taking part in a weirdly cyclical version of history, where things happen out of place and out of order from the timeline we know. But there's an undercurrent of familiarity, as if time was attempting to reassert itself.