- It's probably worthy speculation, but we might want to separate out the first three headers, which are direct mentions of the curse in quest text/in-game dialogue from the Storm giant/human sections which are more "here are races that started stony and then became fleshy, let's put 2 and 2 together"-ish.
- Technically, if we just go by what's directly mentioned in-game, it's not even sure that the Vrykul have the curse, just that Sjonnir knows about it. Vyzen2 (talk) 19:49, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
- Does it seem a reasonable guess to ask if the presence of gender in modern dwarves, vrykul, gnomes, and humans is a side-effect of the Curse? No earthen, iron dwarves, or other such races are ever seen with a feminine appearance. If anything they seem to be churned out like robots from the titans' mystic Forges, possibly with preprogrammed orders.
- I think that's a probable assumption, though Wikis aren't technically the places for theories. The only thing is that there are female Frost Vrykul, but they kind of need to be fleshy for the Lich King to raise them as Val'Kyr I think. Titan lore is not quite done yet. We still have to wait for those last few pieces of the puzzle.Gigawolf1 (talk) 02:17, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
After reading over the Gnew Gnomish Gnation Redux on the official forums, Zozo's ideas fit really, really well into the puzzle of Azeroth's Genesis. Gnomes, Dwarves, Vrykul, Giants. They all had a purpose, but what?
Loken's Bargain is one of several massive machinated caverns found in the Storm Peaks. Via an aerial mount, the entrance can be found in the sheer cliff north of the Valley of Ancient Winters.
The name suggests that Loken somehow bargained with Mimir or vice versa. Not to tarnish your vision of the gnome's creator, but it's quite possible Loken fooled Mimir. He fooled Thorim, and they were brothers.
Lets look at the state of each of the Temples in Storm Peaks. Storm is fine, obviously. Thorim is still present. Wisdom has been grasped by strange vines which seem oddly (or not so oddly) similar to Old God tentacles. Fair enough, Loken is clearly serving Yogg-Saron, an Old God. Then it gets interesting. Life is in ruin. This could simply be symbolic for the Scourge's desecration of the land, or it could be that Freya is the Guardian of that Temple and her absence is causing it to fall apart. Invention: again, strange. Bodies of friendly Mechagnome Attendants litter the floor, and hostile Mechagnome Laborers harvest the corpses.
This lends itself to the Loken's Bargain theory: Loken tricked Mimir into revealing the secrets of the Mechagnome race, and somehow took control of a portion of them. With those mechagnomes, he destroyed most of the loyal gnomes and exiled the rest. Mimir is either banished, killed, or reduced to a powerless state, as seen when handing in Norgannon's Shell.
A clear possibility is that, in attempting to wipe out the free mechagnomes, Loken or Yogg-Saron attempted to use the Curse of Flesh on them. The few that were protected by Titan devices remained mechanical: as you can see, there are very few of them left. The rest were afflicted by the Curse and became gnomes.
Another important thing you need to note: the Curse is not meant to be used in the same way as, say, the Plague of Undeath. Yogg-Saron considers it's victims to be weak and powerless. It's a weapon that's meant to debilitate it's victims, not convert them.
One last thing, I promise: The Iron Dwarves glow with the same energy that naturally flows through the Mechagnomes, which are clearly also made of Iron. Loken's Bargain could easily have been the knowledge of how to shape Iron and animate it. Mimir, the more I think about it, seems to exemplify the same traits as the gnomes themselves; specifically Mekkatorque: Brilliant, but overly trusting and absent-minded. The entirety of the relation between Mimir and Loken may be seen as an analogy for the relation between Gelbin Mekkatorque and Sicco Thermaplugg.
Gnomes were obviously not meant to be a seed race. They are made from Iron, not stone. As evidenced by the Discs of Norgannon from Uldaman, the Earthen were created from a variety of Azeroth's geological types. They were meant to be inhabitants of Azeroth and were made of it.
Unfortunately, we have not met any non-hostile Vrykul or Giants not afflicted with the Curse of Flesh. As to whether they were made from Stone or Iron, we cannot say. However, the fact that they were seed races made to inhabit Azeroth suggests stone. Madrak, a handle created to make it easier for mortals to interface with Titanic archives, tells us that only Earthen, Vrykul, and Giants were meant to be seed races.
Gnomes, however, were NOT a seed race. They were made from Iron. This suggests a major point: Iron is not native to Azeroth. Iron may be a common metal on whatever world the Titans herald from, or it simply may be a creation of theirs.
Back to Mimir. He clearly created the Mechagnomes to maintain his machines. I'm making a large assumption here, but bare with me: Mimir became attached to the Mechagnomes. He refused to let them leave the planet with the Titans. This love for his creations would inadvertently fuel the greatest of the Old God's plots, for Iron was left on Azeroth. The Earthen, and presumably Vrykul and Giants, were made of Stone and later flesh; they could not be manipulated by the Titans: they were part of Azeroth.
The Titans reluctantly agreed to allow the gnomes to stay, once again showing their massive lack of foresight: the Mechagnomes would be the next Sargeras.
Some time later, Loken was enthralled by Yogg-Saron: I hope to find out why. The other guardians of Azeroth are unaware of his corruption. He tricks Mimir into revealing the secrets of the Mechagnome's anatomy: with this, he takes samples from the Earthen, Vrykul, and Giants being created by the Forge of Wills (to replace those corrupted by the Curse of Flesh) and uses his new knowledge to turn them into the first Iron Giants, Dwarves, and Vrykul. Vrykul, whom I believe to be the warrior caste of the Titan's creations, are chosen to defend the forge: specifically Sjolnir the Ironshaper.
Mimir is cast aside, as are the Mechagnomes who were given enough free will to see that Loken is evil. We don't know Mimir's fate, but we DO know that the gnomes who were exiled were afflicted with the Curse and became the gnomes we know today. A side affect was a natural attunement to Azeroth's ley energies, resulting in a natural affinity and resistance to Arcane magic.
Mimir is killed or made so powerless he cannot warm Freya and Thorim of Loken's plot. Loken kills Sif and turns Thorim against the Frost Giants, immediately eliminating two of Loken's most dangerous foes. Freya's fate is unknown, but she retains enough power to send her avatar to Sholozar Basin eons later to defend it from the Scourge. At some point the Temple of Life is desecrated.
In other words, in a much more simplified format, Loken used Mimir's knowledge to corrupt the seed races and curse those that would not join him. It is possible that the Giants and Vrykul were unable to find protection and therefore there are no more Earthen Giants or Vrykul.
Here is what I believe of the seed races:
Clearly, the Titans did not see the Trolls as a threat. It's entirely possible they were an anomaly in the evolution of Azeroth that the Dragons did not notice or care about: Freya suggests that all current life on Azeroth was created by the Titans, but Troll myth speaks of the Titans clearly as "Travelers", meaning they existed during the forming of Azeroth.
The Earthen were created for labor, and before the Mechagnomes were accepted by the Pantheon, care of Titanic devices. They still retain that knowledge, though it only applies to stone, not iron.
The Gnomes replaced the dwarves as caretakers when they were recognized as a seed race. They still retain the ability to manipulate iron.
The Vrykul were meant to be warriors and defenders. Oddly enough, their allignment with the Lich King may actually be following orders: the Lich King is as much an enemy of the Old Gods as he is of us.
The Giants are an enigma. Due to their extreme similarities to the Titans, I am lead to believe that they were meant to civilize the planet. Clearly, the corruption of Loken and their persecution by mortal races lead to a failure in that aspect: their hostility towards smaller races may simply be their way of expressing that failure.