As described in the War of the Ancients Trilogy (Knaak, Richard), two versions of history of the War of the Ancients are given. One is the account of a history created from the influence of three characters traveling back in time 10,000 years into the past at the time of The Great Sundering. They witnessed firsthand the events of period, eventually becoming responsible for changing key aspects of the timeline. The novels also contains references to what occurred in their first timeline, before they influenced history. For ease of terminology pre-altered timeline is referred to as timeline (prime), and the second timeline is referred to as timeline (new).
Blizzard considers the War of the Ancients Trilogy an official documentation of the history regarding the War of the Ancients.Blizzard Entertainment 2010-11-24. History of Warcraft. Archived from the original on 2010-11-24.</ref>
- Any piece of literature authorized and licensed by Blizzard Entertainment is in-fact, official. The book series written by Richard A. Knaak in particular is an excellent example of real "Azerothian" history and lore available outside of our game software. We work closely with authors that help us expand our game universe, and the information should be considered official.I'm very sorry but your assumptions are not correct.
A number of sources and aspects of World of Warcraft's current timeline corroborate this. The RPG Player Guide series for Horde and Alliance make references to material from these books (for example Hakkar the Houndmaster and his death, and the Earthen involvement during the war, and the time anomaly). At the same time, other sources describe certain events similar to other accounts (perhaps suggesting that all accounts exist as knowledge to historians of Azeroth, see flavor lore). The current official history seems to be a blending of various accounts of the War of the Ancients given in various sources.
Please see War of the Ancients (WC3 account) or War of the Ancients (WoW account) for other versions of the history, as described in Reign of Chaos manual, and the official World of Warcraft homepage.
This article is a summary of the two versions of history given in the trilogy, altered, and the unaltered, with special emphasis placed upon how they may differ from other versions.
Hakkar does not appear in any accounts of Third War history in other sources, including Warcraft III, and is said to have been killed during the War of the Ancients in other sources, suggesting that this part of Knaak's second timeline is based on the original accounts of War of the Ancients, and future events from other sources.
Other accounts mention most "dwarves" locking their underground gates and hiding underground during the war and letting the night elves fight the demons alone. There is only a few references to any "Earthen" fighting demons during the war in other sources. Most dwarves fought an underground war in the shadows to prevent the return of the demons to the world of the living. Knaak may have based this part of the timeline (prime) after some of these earlier accounts.
No other account of the war, directly mentions the tauren (although some tauren legends mention the Sundering). No other source states specifically that they did not fight during the war. Since, no other account touches this subject, it could have gone either way, its simply unknown. This idea appears to have been an invention by Knaak, and doesn't seem to be based on any previous account, nor does it conflict with any previous content.
- Though the furbolg were around at the time of the War of the Ancients 10,000 years ago, they did not take part in the war against the Burning Legion.
- It was said that Illidan Stormrage killed Azzinoth and took his warglaives. In the new timeline, however, Illidan Stormrage did not attain the Warglaives Of Azzinoth before being imprisoned for 10,000 years. This raises the question if the Warglaives Illidan used is the one used by Azzinoth.
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Thrown back in time Edit
shortlyafter the end of the Third War, the human mage Rhonin was looking forward to settling down with his wife, the high elf Vereesa Windrunner, but he was called away, once again, by his friend and mentor, the dragon-mage Krasus.
Nozdormu the Timeless One, Aspect of the bronze dragonflight, had barely managed to contact Krasus and draw his attention to a strange anomaly in the mountains of Kalimdor. Krasus convinced Rhonin to travel with him to Kalimdor to investigate.
Once there, Krasus, Rhonin, and Brox discovered a "hole" in time. They were pulled in, and end up 10,000 years in the past, just before the first invasion of the Burning Legion...
Krasus found he was much weaker than normal, his magical abilities almost totally gone. Rhonin on the other hand became far more powerful. They believed this was somehow tied to the existence in this time period of the Well of Eternity, the fount of magic the night elves wield as the center of their culture. Brox later escaped.
Night Elf alliesEdit
Meanwhile, the young night elf Malfurion Stormrage was becoming more adept at the druidic magics his Shan'do Cenarius was teaching him. But in the process, he became more detached from the extravagant and arrogant ways of his own people.
His twin brother Illidan, on the other hand, would like nothing more than to be a powerful caster of arcane magic, and to earn the respect of his peers and the powerful Moonguard.
Both Malfurion and Illidan, were close friends with Tyrande Whisperwind, an apprentice to the Sisters of Elune. It was Tyrande who discovered the captured Orc, Brox, who was unlike any creature they had ever seen. She treated him kindly and healed his wounds, gaining the Orc's respect.
Meanwhile Malfurion becomes concerned about a vision he received while in the Emerald Dream. It appears the Highborne, the powerful mages of night elf aristocracy, were calling on something evil up in the tower of the palace. He could feel how the spell disturbed nature and the Well, and could not believe that their beloved queen would not know of this strange and dangerous spellcasting.
Corruption of the HighborneEdit
Lord Xavius was the one responsible for the strange spellwork that happened in the palace of Queen Azshara. He was convinced more power could be drawn from the Well of Eternity with a properly focused spell... but he unlocked something far more than he could have dreamed of.
Across the Twisting Nether, the corrupted Titan, Sargeras stared back at Xavius, and took control of him. With Xavius' help, he influenced all of the highborne, including the queen herself. From that moment on, they were focused on the single goal of bringing Sargeras into the world of Azeroth, where he and the armies of the Burning Legion would cleanse the world of the unfit.
Krasus finds himselfEdit
Krasus noticed that his, and his companions' captivity, were being watched by one of his own kind. He managed to convince the dragon to take him to the queen of the red dragon flight, Alexstrasza, the aspect of life, and his long time companion.
Alexstrasza, in her wisdom, quickly understood the situation, even though Krasus was hesitant to tell much of the future knowledge he had. Krasus met his younger self, Korialstrasz, and they both found they fare better in each other's presence. Apparently Krasus and Korialstrasz could not share a single time, as they are one and the same. This weakened them unless they were together. Alexstrasza brought Krasus to the Chamber of the Aspects, where a meeting between the dragons were to be held. There, Krasus met the other three great Aspect, including Neltharion (Deathwing). Neltharion proposed to create a mighty artifact, in which the dragons imbued their power to and used it as a weapon to drive back the Burning Legion. Unknown to the other dragons except Krasus, who travelled from the future and knew of Deathwing's betrayal, Neltharion actually tried to use that artifact (The Demon Soul) to control the other dragon to achieve his ambition of godhood.
Krasus tried to warn the other dragons, regardless to the damage of timeline due to his rash action. But as he accidentally met Neltharion's eyes, the Earth Warder's power easily penetrated the unaware Krasus's thoughts and was horrified to find out that Krasus was about to spill out his terrible secret. He secretly bewitched Krasus with one of his most cunning spells. When Krasus tried to tell the other dragons about Deathwing's play, he was bewitched and could only utter nonsense words before fainting. Hence Deathwing's betrayal by using the Dragon Soul (Demon Soul) was undiscovered until the day the Earth Warder decided to act.
After Krasus fainted, his queen and Korialstrasz brought him back to the red's lair. During his unconsciousness, Krasus was again contacted by the Timeless One, who told him that the world was coming to an end and all would be eradicated unless one night elf could be found. Before Krasus could ask for the name of the night elf, the Timeless One was again gone. Krasus woke and told his brief encounter with the missing Aspect to his queen, who believed in his story and ordered Korialstrasz to take Krasus to find the night elf.
Unwillingly, Krasus parted with his queen along with his younger self, Korialstrasz, who knew nothing about Krasus's identity. They flew back to Zin-Azshari under Krasus's guidance, and were horrified by the genocide of the night elves by the demons pouring out from the gates of the palace. Korialstrasz and Krasus killed a few demons and slowed down their hunt of the escaping night elves, but they were of no match to the endless ranks of demons. They retreated, and Krasus figured out a plan. By wandering aimlessly in the forest, Krasus was soon arrested by the patrolling guards led by Jarod Shadowsong. Krasus was very willing to be arrested and had shown no resistance whatsoever. Korialstrasz, who remained unseen in the sky, followed his older self to the settlement of the night elves. There, Krasus met the priestess Tyrande Whisperwind, and was quite surprised to see the orc Broxigar beside her. Krasus saw the unconscious Malfurion Stormrage, who was trapped in a crystal prison, belonging to Lord Xavius during his quest to destroy the portal and the shield array over the Well of Eternity. Under the joint efforts of Krasus, Brox, Korialstrasz and Tyrande, Malfurion managed to escape and defeated the evil Xavius. He also managed to shut down the shield spell, the Highborne's portal and destroyed the palace tower which housed the portal.
Invasion of the LegionEdit
Xavius and the High-Borne summoned Hakkar the Houndmaster, who came under the order of Sargeras. The Houndmaster summoned forth many felbeasts to hunt down the unfit. All of his scouts but one, however, were reported missing, indicating that powerful resistance forces were in play against the Legion. Under the joint effort by Hakkar and the Highborne, they still were unable to create a stable vortex large enough to let Sargeras to pass through. Queen Azshara suggested to cut the Well to outside, save for their own use. Xavius and Hakkar saw the merits and began to construct the matrix. However, their knowledge were not sufficient to finish their work. Xavius once again sought help from the portal by speaking to Sargeras. Sargeras was furious but still he sent one of his most trusted commanders, Mannoroth the Destructor, to provide help. With Mannoroth's knowledge, the Highborne managed to complete the shield spell. As a result, all night elves outside the portal felt drained and weakened, particullary the Moon Guard.
Malfurion managed to sneak into the palace by walking through the Emerald Dream. He managed to use the elements to destroy the lord counselor, and shut down the portal and shield array. Soon after, the Highborne started their work to rebuild the portal and resummon Sargeras. When the portal was complete, Sargeras sent Archimonde the Defiler to assist with the invasion. Archimonde used his magic to strengthen the magical barriers around the palace so that it was impossible to launch an assault on the demons' stronghold.
Still unaware of exactly where he was, Brox chose to cooperate with the Moonguard for the moment. However, the only night elf to believe his story was Malfurion Stormrage, who felt the orc's tale was somehow tied in with the spellcraft he observed while in the Emerald Dream. Certain that Broxigar was a piece of the troubling puzzle, the young druid helped the warrior escape with intention to bring him before Cenarius. A patrol with several members of the Moonguard gave chase.
As if that wasn't bad enough, while the two were on their way to the Moonglade of Cenarius, two felhounds attacked them. Familiar with the threat, Brox quickly incapacitated one using only a piece of wood.
The coming of the LegionEdit
Meanwhile, Lord Xavius was still trying to further strengthen the portal so as to prepare for the arrival of Sargeras. However, there was never enough energy from the Well of Eternity for the Highborne sorcerer's to harness. The only way to do this would be to prevent all other Night Elves from harnessing the power of the Well. Lord Xavius and Hakkar were unable to do this and thus Lord Xavius reached out for the help of Sargeras.
Sargeras then sent through the portal his Lieutenant, Mannoroth. Where Hakkar failed, Mannoroth succeeded, and an effective shield spell was cast preventing all other Night Elves from harnessing the power of the Well of Eternity. Thus emboldened, Lord Xavius managed to massively strengthen the portal, and where before very few Felguards would come through the portal every day, now dozens reached the world of Azeroth in mere hours, and thus the world was ready for the "cleansing" Sargeras promised.
Along with the Felguards came Eredar Warlocks, Infernals and Doomguards. Meanwhile, all the people of Zin-Azshari gathered around the Palace of Azshara seeking aid since their powers had waned along with the shielding of the Well of Eternity. When the gates finally opened and the populace expected some words of comfort from their Beloved queen, they were instead treated to the gathered army of the Burning Legion. The Legion quickly set about killing all the Night Elves outside the palace and completely decimating the city of Zin-Azshari.
Black Rook HoldEdit
Lord Kur'Talos Ravencrest along with his soldiers commanded the ebony fortress known as Black Rook Hold. Many decisions were held out here, most concerning actions against the onslaught of the Legion.
Defense against the LegionEdit
The Night Elves under Lord Ravencrest managed to get the best of Mannoroth and the Legion earlier in the war. However, when Sargeras learned of Mannoroth's disgrace he sent his trusted Eredar Lieutenant Archimonde through the portal, Archimonde then assumed the role as commander of the Legion's forces for the duration of the war. When Ravencrest replenished his forces at Black Rook Hold and prepared to capture the Night Elven Capital, Zin-Azshari and rescue their "captive" Queen Azshara, they were met by a more cunning force. Archimonde out smarted the resistance by keeping the sinister eredar warlocks hidden in the clouds and several other ranks of demons hiding over the hills to ambush the night elves on their flanks. This strategy worked effectively as the large resistance began crumbling under the Legion's merciless onslaught. So horrible were the losses that Ravencrest was forced to sound the retreat and run for their very lives. The Legion gave no pause as they pursued the resistance beyond Suramar all the way to distant Mt. Hyjal. Krasus(Korialstrasz)realizing that if they went any further that the whole cause would be lost, tried desperately to launch a counter assault. With the aid of Rhonin, Malfurion, Illidan and the Moon Guard Sorcerers, the Legion stalled and was temporarily pushed back.
Neltharion always believed that as the Earth Warder, it was his granted right by the creators to rule Azeroth as he saw fit. Slowly but surely the foul seed planted in his mind by the Old Gods ate at him like a parasite, making his mind ever more treacherous. He began to think that he could trust no one, not even his fellow Dragon Aspects. "Malygos will take what is yours, Alexstrasza seeks dominion over you. They are no better than the Demons, they must be dealt with like the Demons." is all he comprehended, betrayal was all he predicted. So he decided to be the first to act, he forged the Dragon Soul's matrix with his own blood and power. Forging a weapon that would not only relinquish the threat of the Burning Legion but enslave all of Azeroth to his will alone. So began the betrayal of Neltharion.
While in the original version of history Illidan betrayed his people to warn Azshara of a coming attack, in the altered version of history Malfurion never intentionally set out to destroy the Well of Eternity. The Well was destroyed accidentally. In this version of history Illidan obviously never heard any plans to destroy the Well, and thus never warned Azshara.
In the alternate history, Illidan was convinced to aid in the release of the orc warrior, Broxigar, by Tyrande. Brox had been transported through time and the night elves had taken him captive, having never seen an orc and not knowing what to make of him. Most night elves, including Illidan, judged him by his appearance and believed he was a dangerous brute. Tyrande, on the other hand, pitied Brox and plotted his escape.
After Brox had been freed and led to safety by Malfurion, Lord Kur'talos Ravencrest made it his priority to recapture the orc. Ravencrest commanded Illidan to accompany his search party, being aware of Illidan's skill with magic and knowing that Illidan would follow orders better than the sorcerers of the Moon Guard. Illidan obeyed Ravencrest, intending to ride with him and gain favor with the lord while not making any sincere effort to track down his brother and Brox.
Something unexpected occurred while Illidan was with the search party, however. The riders found the remains of a Moon Guard patrol. While investigating the scene, they were ambushed by the things that had slaughtered the Moon Guard sorcerers: felhounds, creatures that devoured magic and were immune to conventional magical attacks. Illidan instinctively jumped out of the way of an attacking felbeast, inadvertently slamming into Ravencrest and knocking him out of harm's way as well. Illidan subsequently figured out a way around the felbeast's immunity to magic and killed it. After seeing Illidan do this and believing Illidan had intentionally saved his life moments earlier, an impressed Ravencrest took the young night elf on as his personal spellcaster. The ambitious Illidan was happy to accept such a prestigious position.
Of course, if Brox had not been taken prisoner and escaped, none of this would have happened.
After the war against the Legion commenced and the night elves fought alongside Brox, Rhonin and Krasus, Rhonin was also impressed by Illidan's skill with magic. The human mage from the future took it upon himself to teach Illidan all he knew. Unfortunately, Rhonin was unable to keep Illidan's recklessness in check. While Illidan led the sorcerers of the Moon Guard efficiently and killed countless demons with their aid, he was often unaware of the effect his spells had on his comrades. Illidan would often cast complex and powerful spells that involved the cooperation of every member of the Moon Guard, who would lend him their energies. Illidan used these energies effectively and wreaked havoc among the Legion's forces, but more often than not he drew on his fellow sorcerers too heavily, pushing them close to the breaking point.
Illidan's behaviour may have been caused by the fact that he drew heavily on the addictive power of the Well of Eternity to fight the demons, a power which many (including Tyrande and Rhonin) had come to view as tainted.
In the middle of the war, Illidan discovered to his dismay and vexation that despite all of his efforts to impress Tyrande with his rise in power and in station, she was attracted more to Malfurion than she was to him. While he was brooding and wallowing in self-pity one day, thoughts began entering his mind, a voice that said Tyrande would be his if not for Malfurion...that if Malfurion was to fall in battle, Tyrande could still be his...that if Illidan allowed some tragedy to befall his brother, all his ambitions could be realized. Initially Illidan considered the idea but chastised himself angrily moments later for even thinking such things. Disgusted with himself, he stormed away, not seeing the figure of Xavius hiding in the trees nearby. Xavius was the one who had magically planted the thoughts in Illidan's head, in the hopes of causing dissension between the Stormrage brothers.
Finally, in one battle, Illidan recklessly cast a spell that wiped out some of the night elf forces along with the demons they had been fighting. He did not appear to notice and Rhonin began to make his way to Illidan with the intention of reprimanding him, but the dragons arrived before he could do this. Later Ravencrest told Rhonin to take over command of the Moonguard, realizing that Illidan's methods were uncontrolled. Rhonin was happy to oblige, especially after seeing more night elves perish as a result of Illidan's spells. Illidan mistakenly believed that Rhonin had taken his place out of ambition and that Ravencrest had cast him aside permanently. He doubted that he would be allowed to lead the Moon Guard again and felt cheated and bitter. Ravencrest fell in battle later that day, eliminating any chance of the misunderstanding between the two being cleared up.
After this battle ended, Illidan could not be found by his brother among the night elf forces. In fact, he had gone to Zin-Azshari to pledge his loyalty to the Burning Legion. After winning an audience with Sargeras, Illidan told him that the artifact known as the Demon Soul contained power enough to easily expand the interdimensional portal and allow him entrance to Azeroth. Sargeras was aware of how the dragon Neltharion had used the Demon Soul to effortlessly decimate the Legion's forces (before the insane Aspect used it to also decimate the night elf forces and attack the other dragonflights), and agreed with Illidan. He ordered Illidan to go with Captain Varo'then to retrieve the artifact, but not before giving Illidan a "gift". Sargeras froze him in place and burned away Illidan's eyes. Illidan, in immense pain, had to magically induce a coma to recover from the ordeal, but when he awoke he found that the new vision Sargeras had granted him was vastly superior to what his old eyes allowed him to see. With his eyes gone and the flesh around the sockets charred, the bone being exposed in places, Illidan was given a blindfold to wear for the sake of appearances; the area between his nose and forehead was now extremely unpleasant for any normal person to look at.
Unbeknownst to the demons, Illidan intended to betray them. He had pretended to join them only to learn more of the magic the Eredar practiced and to acquire the Demon Soul, which he planned to use to personally close the portal, eradicate the demons already on Azeroth and become the greatest hero Kalimdor had ever known...
Illidan, Varo'then and a contingent of demons succeeded in acquiring the Demon Soul, ambushing Malfurion and Brox after they had stolen it from Neltharion. After bringing the artifact to Zin-Azshari, however, Illidan's plan hit a snag. He had hoped to convince everyone that he should be the one to wield the Demon Soul and bring Sargeras into Azeroth. Sargeras still did not fully trust him, however, and decided that he would wield the Demon Soul himself from the other side of the portal.
Without access to the Demon Soul, Illidan came up with another plan. He would wait until Sargeras began working to open the portal, at which time he would sneak away and cast a spell to reverse the effect of the portal, creating a maelstrom that would suck the demons back into the Twisting Nether from whence they came. To aid in the casting of this spell, Illidan took some of the Well's water.
On his way to cast the spell, Illidan encountered Tyrande, who had been taken prisoner by the Legion and was in the process of escaping. Eager to impress her with his cleverness and heroism, he took her with him to the location where he planned to work his magic. Tyrande was horrified by what had happened to Illidan's eyes and by how much he reveled in painfully killing a felbeast in their path. She also had doubts concerning whether his idea would work and was shocked when she learned that he intended to use a vial of the Well's water to cast his spell, which legend said was dangerous in the extreme. Illidan grew angry at her and forced her to stay quiet and watch him as he cast the spell that he thought would save the world.
Too late, Tyrande sensed dark presences aiding Illidan's spellwork. These were, in fact, the Old Gods who hoped to enter Azeroth themselves after Sargeras and claim it for themselves. The spell Illidan was casting would actually bring them closer to their goal, a fact which Illidan was unaware of. Before Tyrande could tell him what was happening, Illidan's spell had already been cast.
Illidan's spell had no obvious effect on the portal, and soon he and Tyrande were found by demons and surrounded. While fighting for their lives they were found by Malfurion, who was now wielding the Demon Soul. Illidan and Malfurion fought the demons together and sought to use Neltharion's creation to pull the demons back through the portal. Before they did so, the Old Gods tried to mentally control the Stormrage brothers as they had Deathwing, tempting them with visions of power if they would only allow the Old Gods into the world. Though it took a great deal of willpower, Malfurion was able to resist their efforts. He then saw that Illidan had fallen prey to the manipulation of the Old Gods. But when Malfurion cried out his brother's name, Illidan appeared to come to his senses. He ceased casting the spell and assured his brother that he was in control of himself once more.
The Stormrage brothers succeeded in ridding Azeroth of the demons. Finally, Malfurion was able to close the portal itself, but with unforeseen consequences. The destruction of the portal appeared to kill Sargeras, who was halfway through the portal at the time it closed. It also resulted in The Great Sundering, and the night elves, dragons, Earthen, furbolgs, and tauren found that they were all in danger of drowning. Their only hope of survival was to run to higher ground: Mount Hyjal. Many perished, but many others reached Hyjal safely.
Unknown to the survivors, Illidan had taken seven vials of water from the Well before its destruction and planned to use them to create a new well, much as he had in the original timeline. He was certain that the Legion would somehow find its way back to Azeroth someday, and believed that the night elves would be lost without the magic of a Well to aid them in that inevitable war.
At this time, Illidan had been accepted back into the ranks of the Kaldorei, but with reservations. Many night elves still distrusted him, and were unnerved by his eyes. Malfurion, meanwhile, was being hailed as a hero. Illidan was even more jealous of his brother than before, this time jealous of the adulation being heaped upon Malfurion.
A party of night elves led by Jarod Shadowsong caught him pouring the vials into a lake. They assumed the worst, and Jarod tried to take Illidan into custody. He told Illidan "If not for your brother, I'd--"
Those were the words that caused Illidan to snap. To his thinking, the night elves were turning on him, were ungrateful for what he was doing, and the only reason they did not kill him on the spot was because of their worship of his brother. In his paranoid state, Illidan also believed that they wanted to keep him from his magic. Illidan flew into a rage and used his magic to brutally kill several of his would-be captors before he was subdued...by Malfurion. When Maiev Shadowsong walked onto the scene and saw her injured brother, she immediately tried to kill Illidan, but was stopped by the other night elves.
At Illidan's trial for the murders he had committed and the creation of another Well, he insisted that the Legion would return and that he had been saving the Kaldorei race. He proclaimed "You'll all be praying to me as if I were a god when the demons return!" Jarod Shadowsong began to decree that Illidan be put to death, but before the sentence could be handed down, Malfurion arrived to speak in Illidan's defense (Illidan, for his part, resented having to rely on his brother and was not appreciative). Malfurion told those in attendance that Illidan might be right, that the Legion might one day return. While he acknowledged that Illidan was dangerous, he asked that he be imprisoned rather than executed. Even, Malfurion told them, if it meant he stayed imprisoned for ten thousand years.
In this timeline, as in the original, the decision was made to lock Illidan away underground indefinitely.
The Well of EternityEdit
The Well of Eternity was a well which the Night Elves used predominantly for their spells. When the Quel'dorei tried to bring the Burning Legion to Azeroth, they cut the powerflow to the rest of the Night Elves. They then used it for themselves. Since many night elves were worried about this, they all went to the palace to ask Azshara for her assistance.
When the gates after several hours opened it was not their beloved Queen who came, but the Burning Legion. After that, the first portal was destroyed and all the night elves had their spellcraft restored. At the end of the War of the Ancients, the Well was destroyed. This split, called the Sundering, broke the supercontinent Kalimdor into what it is now- the three landmasses of Kalimdor, Northrend and the Eastern Kingdoms.
The world asunderEdit
On the differences between the accountsEdit
The primary differences between the different accounts (aside from the presence of Krasus, Rhonin and Brox) are the role of Jarod Shadowsong and the experiences of Tyrande Whisperwind towards the conclusion of the war. The Warcraft III manual clearly describes the final battle against Azshara and hints at her death, but "The Sundering" establishes that Azshara was not present at the end of the war and that she survived as a Naga. The absence of Hakkar the Houndmaster from Warcraft III suggests that no visible differences occurred in the histories, though the question of Jarod Shadowsong's fate remains unknown.
As an addendum, the guide actually says, "it was clear that Azshara and her elite high-borne followers had been smashed to the bottom of the sea." This seems to leave plenty of room for the idea that she became a Naga. This was, of course, stated directly on www.worldofwarcraft.com (when it was available) in the history section.
It should be noted that Metzen and his writing team support the information put forward in the novels as actual events, and the events in other Warcraft novels are proven to be the true lore. Since there is no difference in the timelines of Azeroth following the conclusion of the War, the point of which version is correct is not vital to a general understanding of the history. It is only in terms of a few specifics that it becomes problematic.
The Warcraft Encyclopedia all but confirms that this history is genuine.
Temporal mechanics Edit
That Blizzard has accepted this story as official lore, and because of the time travelling nature of the story, it is quite possible that there exist several causality loops in the story such as:
- Rhonin and Krasus and the changing of Neltharion's name to Deathwing.
- Rhonin and Krasus know him as Deathwing and begin to refer to him as such while in the past. It can therefore be theorized that it was Rhonin and Krasus who actually caused the name change that they learn about thousands of years later.
- Rhonin and Krasus and the changing of the Dragon Soul's name to the Demon Soul.
- This event follows the same path as the changing of Neltharion's name.
- Brox and the corruption of the Orcs.
- Having traveled back to a time well before the Burning Legion first encountered Orcs on Draenor, it becomes reality that Brox is the "first" orc encountered by the Legion. It can also be theorized that Brox's encounters with the legion in the past actually led to Kil'jaeden's corrupting them on Draenor years later through Mannoroth's descriptions. This, in turn, would lead to the orcs coming to Azeroth and, subsequently, to Brox's traveling back in time.
- Illidan's knowledge of humans
- When first meeting the death knight Arthas, Illidan exclaims, "You reek of death, human". Since humans is not known during the War of the Ancients period and is further confirmed in the novel The Sundering that the night elves haven't heard of humans, and Illidan is confined for 10 000 years in his cell, it is possible that Illidan knows that Arthas is human since his former mentor, Rhonin is a human. Rhonin called himself "human", a race that the night elves haven't heard of. So, it explains how Illidan knows of humans.
Such events are called causality loops, theoretical anomalies in time in which an individual goes to a different time period and brings about a change because of knowledge or actions in their own time period that eventually lead to that person gaining that specific knowledge or doing a specific action. If all this seems too complicated, think of it this way: Say "Jane" goes back in time and meets her ancestor "John" and they somehow end up birthing a child. Generations later, this event would directly lead to Jane herself being born and then going back in time to repeat the process. You can see here that these events would happen in an infinite time loop.
A particular sentence of Rhonin shows that loop infinite theory : "Did Brox pull back History on its way, or was he part of History since the beginning ?"
Of course, this is all theoretical in the real world and, even in the Warcraft universe, is still technobabble that may or may not be true.