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Ask a Lore Nerd: Your curiosity will be the death of you

Alex Ziebart

Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week Alex Ziebart answers your quests about the lore in the World of Warcraft. If you have any questions, no matter how big or small they might be, ask them in the comments section below and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

This edition of Ask a Lore Nerd is very heavy on the Scourge and various other Wrath-related questions. Love it or hate it, that's what we've got this week. I tried to dance around spoilers where possible this week, but starting next week the spoilers are gonna come rollin' in. There will be warnings, of course, but they'll be there. Just sayin'.

Meethan asked...

What are Liches raised from? When encountered, Liches have sorceror and somewhat necromatic powers. Can they be raised from anyone or must it be a mage? Would you consider Kel'thuzad to be "Lord of the Lich"?

As far as Kel'thuzad goes, I believe the title that was given to him is "Archlich." Almost all liches were raised from necromancers, warlocks and mages, though the Lich King pretty much does whatever the hell he wants and can raise other people as a lich if he really wants to do that. That's probably rare, because turning someone that isn't skilled at spellcasting into a being that is built for spellcasting would just be silly. The Burning Legion used to employ a lot of liches as well, but they lost most of them when the Scourge betrayed them.

Some especially skilled spellcasters have turned themselves into liches, but it's a pretty rare thing. Becoming a lich is a pretty good prospect for the less-than-sane casters in Azeroth (and Outland), since you become more or less immortal in undeath, assuming you can keep your phylactery safe.

Locke asked...

In front of Illhoof in Karazhan, there's a smoking dead body. Any info on that?

That's probably just some poor sap that Illhoof killed at one point or another, nothing major. Maybe someone from the raid that went into Karazhan before you and died before their buddies broke the Demon Chains?


Many have long wondered what effect the death of an Aspect, who the Titans imbued with power, would have on Azeroth. They also wondered what effect Deathwing going to Outlands would have had.

In the beta we have a bit of lore where we find out the Titans discovered the Old Gods could not be killed or it would harm the world, known to them as Kalimdor. Do you think the same would happen if an Aspect died? Do you think they will have us kill Malygos? Or will Alexstrasza stop us from finishing him in the name of the safety of Azeroth?

I don't think anything negative would necessarily happen to Azeroth if an Aspect died, except that it would be down a 'guardian' of sorts. In the case of Deathwing (and Malygos), getting rid of them might be better in the long run. The "what if they died" question is probably inspired by the Aspects because they're immensely powerful, rather than there's any foundation in the statement that Azeroth would die without them. They've been around forever (compared to the humanoid races), and they're absurdly strong. Any wonderings on whether or not their death would have a massive impact on Azeroth's health is pure speculation on the part of Azeroth's citizens.

The Old Gods are a bit of a different situation- they're quite literally inside of Azeroth. From what I can tell questing in the Wrath beta, the Old God Yogg-Saron is underneath the entirety of Northrend. Yanking him out of the ground would collapse the entire roof of the world, it seems. C'Thun is similar- we only fight an eyeball of his, and it's as big as most other raid bosses. His entire body probably stretches under most of southern Kalimdor. Removing them would literally make Azeroth fall in on itself.

As far as Malygos? Yeah, I think we'll kill him. Alexstrasza has made it very clear that she absolutely hates loss of life, but leaving the situation as it is would just cause more death. Taking out Malygos is the road with the least bloodshed, likely. Alexstrasza is also big on "from death, there is life." The whole circle of life deal. She'll probably give us the go-ahead to take him down, and then work hard on rebuilding things after Malygos is out of the way.


Why do Tauren have boomsticks as their racial ranged weapon?

Umm... hello? Cows with guns? It's freaking awesome. Beyond that, no reason. Giant bullmen shooting arrows from a bow is pretty lame, even if they have a native american motif going.

Larry-Steve asked...

WoW Insider gets TONS of questions about lore weekly. Why is it that the questions answered in the article really don't clarify much, or even answer any lore questions in general? Or, if so, the answer is "we don't know." There has to be better questions about lore to answer for Ask a Lore Nerd...

Many of the questions asked quite honestly have no answer available. I do skip over a lot of them, because me saying, "I don't know" or "Nobody knows" gets really old, really fast. However, there are a lot of questions where you can make theories or have fun discussing that I try to help along. Or, someone asks a question that has no answer, but is part of their roleplay or things like that- that's also something I try to help out with. If I don't know something but it's a fun topic, I try to make it quite clear that I (we) don't know, but there are still fun dots we can connect in the story.

That said, I try not to do just those sorts of questions each week. There's definitely questions we can answer, and those are my primary focus. I just think that people can have a lot of fun discussing those things, too. Moreso than listening to me rattle off facts from a Warcraft RPG book/novel/Warcraft II/III.

Rimelight asked...

Questions on Death Knights:

Why do their eyes glow blue?

Because it's awesome. Also, icy blue is a lich thing in Warcraft. It's just sort of a "Hey, we used to be Scourge!" sort of thing. It goes with the Scourge's whole icy/frost motif.

Why are their voices funky?

Because it's awesome. Also, they're a hero class. That comes with perks. It fits because Death Knights are a powerful Scourge 'unit.'

Are they dead in the sense that Forsaken are dead, that they are walking corpses held together and kept from rotting by their souls/magic/etc?

Because it's awesome. Er, wait. Yes, they're dead like the Forsaken are dead. That's how it's described in the opening cinematic for them, anyway. Death Knights died at the hands of the Scourge in Scourge territory (Plaguelands, etc), and were turned to the Lich King's side. Edit: I am referring to player Death Knights. Death Knights in general can be living or dead, but it's specifically stated the Death Knights of Acherus are Undead.

Ask a Lore Nerd is here to answer all of your questions about the lore and story of the Warcraft universe. From the religions of the universe to the 'evils' of Azeroth, everything is fair game. If you want more in-depth answers to some of your questions, you may find what you're looking for in Know Your Lore or the WoW Insider Directory.

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