Video games aren’t all action-packed shoot fests. Some of them prefer to tell a story, whether through the environments or the events of the game. RPGs typically focus on this aspect, and WoW, as an MMORPG, is no different. There’s more to the game than just grinding, raiding, or having to buy WoW gold for equipment.
In the universe of World of Warcraft, Titans are beings called world-souls. They slumbered in peace, though they can wake to shape worlds or maintain order. Everything was at peace, but everything changed when the Old Gods decided to corrupt these beings. Titan Sargeras was the first to find a corrupted world-soul.
Without asking his fellow titans, he slew the corrupted one, destroying an innocent in the process. It was the Old Gods who corrupted it, after all. This fact made the other titans unconvinced at Sargeras’ claims that no life was better than corrupted life. Driven mad by the desire to prove his claims, he raised an army of Demons and thus started the Burning Crusade to purge the living from the universe.
Meanwhile, the other Titans found the corrupted Azeroth. They couldn’t destroy the Old Gods’ influence without destroying the planet, so they went with the next best thing. They locked up the Old Gods with their powers.
Happy to succeed, they rushed to tell Sargeras the good news. However, he was too deep into his madness and war broke out. The other titans, unwilling to kill or perhaps still wanting to convince Sargeras, lost this war.
After the War
With the other titans gone, Sargeras can now destroy Azeroth without any interference. The problem is, he didn’t know where it was or how to get there. As for the inhabitants of Azeroth, they went about their lives, building, inventing, and innovating with magic.
Though the latter led them to prosperity, it also became a beacon to Sargeras who finally found his quarry. He goaded the elven queen Azshara into opening a portal using the power of the Well of Eternity. It was foiled by the brothers Malfurian and Illidan Stormrage. However, Illidan was addicted to the Well’s power and was betrayed by Malfurian who destroyed it. That caused a huge explosion called the Maelstrom, but Azeroth was saved from an invasion.
Building an Army
Sargeras needed an army, so he went to the planet Argus to recruit. He successfully roped in two of the three leaders of the Eredar race. The third, Velen, fled to Draenor with his people. They were then called the Draenei, meaning the exiled ones.
Unfortunately, Kil’jaeden, one of the Eredar leaders under Sargeras, had the idea to corrupt the Orcs in Draenor. It was a very effective tactic, and the Horde was born. They fought against the Draenei as Kil’jaeden’s revenge. When all was said and done, though, he left the Orcs behind on their dying planet.
In a bid to find somewhere else to live, the Orcs opened the Dark Portal to Azeroth but were rebuffed by its inhabitants, and their portal shut. Desperate, they opened more than one portal all at the same time, shattering the world and turning it into the Outland we know today. Some brave heroes jumped into the Dark Portal to stop the problem at the roots, though they remained trapped in the broken world.
There were remnants of the Orcs trapped along with the Alliance heroes, as a majority of the Orcs had fled to Azeroth or taken captive.
The Lich King
After leaving the Orcs on Outland, Kil’jaeden created the Lich King to weaken Azeroth. Its purpose was to raise an army of the undead to conquer Azeroth. However, it got trapped on the Frozen Throne. Still, he can command his army telepathically, so it wasn’t a problem for him.
Anyway, in a bid to combat the undead plague, the human prince Arthas Menethil took up Frostmourne, the Lich King’s blade, to defeat Mal’Ganis. He succeeded, but lost his soul in the process, becoming a Death Knight. Once a shining hero, he became Azeroth’s worst nightmare.
He crossed paths with one Sylvanas Windrunner, and in the ensuing battle, he ripped out her soul. This turned her into a banshee and a servant to the Lich King.
Under the leadership of Thrall, Orcs returned to their peaceful way of living. Due to the increasing problems of the Lich King and an impending invasion by the Burning Legion, Thrall went to Jaina Proudmoore for an alliance.
Yet Another Invasion
Kil’jaeden just keeps on giving Azeroth a hard time. A servant of his opens yet another Dark Portal to Outland, where the newly-forged Horde-Alliance partnership decides to enter the portal to eliminate the invasion at the root. They find the trapped Orcs, former Alliance heroes, and the Draenei there.
A brief period of peace follows the repelling of the Burning Crusade, but the Lich King rises again. This time, he merged with Death Knight Arthas Menethil as a revival despite being defeated once before. He is defeated again but is revived once more in Bolvar Fordragon.
A Change in Leadership
Thrall steps down from Orc leadership in favor of Garrosh Hellscream. A bad move, all things considered. Garrosh destroyed Theramore and rose to the top of Pandaria’s most wanted. He rips a hole in spacetime and escapes to an alternate version of Draenor before it became Outland. This led to the creation of the Iron Horde.
Again, Azeroth proves successful in defending itself, though not without a price. Alliance leader Varian Wrynn is succeeded by his son, and banshee Sylvanas Windrunner becomes the leader of the Horde.
The aftermath and spacetime hijinks placed a vulnerability in Azeroth after the whole Iron Horde debacle. Sargeras (you almost forgot about him, didn’t you?) took advantage of this and yes, started yet another Burning Crusade invasion. He was almost successful in destroying Azeroth but only was able to stab the planet with his sword before being sealed by his fellow titans.
The stabbing opened up a valuable new resource for all its inhabitants, who, predictably, started fighting over it.
Leading Up to Shadowlands
Sylvanas Windrunner started doing some questionable things, even to the Horde. She destroys the Lich King’s helmet and shatters the veil to the Shadowlands. That led to a rebellion, and the new leadership of the Horde became a council.
Well, the Scourge captures the Horde and Alliance leaders, and dead souls all go straight to the Maw. Sylvanas has been teaming up with the Jailer for something.
And that’s the story of Azeroth, way up to the beginning of the newest expansion, Shadowlands. Many players tend to just skip the story bits in favor of rushing to max level. The game does have a good story filled with conflicts of all kinds, just that it gets ignored by many.
What’s written above doesn’t even cover all the small details of the lore. Arthas’ rise to heroism and subsequent fall from grace deserves its own article. Indeed, much of what is known about this character comes from one of the novels set in the universe of the game!
So, buy WoW mounts for sale (at least, if you don’t have any yet) and saddle up, because Azeroth is filled with all kinds of stories to enjoy. Have fun playing the game and discovering these stories!