Rhonin : Lore, Warcraft & You!

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Welcome to another Lore, Warcraft, & You! The series of articles where we look at prominent figures in Warcraft lore, and where they affect you in-game in World of Warcraft, how they play an integral role in the storyline and where you can find them.
Today we look into famous red-haired super-mage; Rhonin.

Rhonin_Ulduar_Trailer

Rhonin was a human mage, formerly entrusted with the leadership of the Kirin Tor during the time of the Wrath of The Lech King expansion. (The Kirin Tor being the ancient Magus Senate of Dalaran)
He did not gain this position easily as many of his exploits in his youth even made his place as a mage of Dalaran even questionable. Rhonin has been a key figure in various world-ending scenarios where he has either single handily taken on danger instead of assessing a situation or teamed alongside some of Azeroth’s more powerful heroes.
Curiously no surname has ever been given to Rhonin, yet he has had several nicknames and is sometimes referred to as Rhonin Redhair for his flame-like hair, and the accompanying hot-headed temperament in battle.
The book Night of The Dragon also refers to Rhonin as ‘Rhonin Draig’cyfail’ or in the human tongue; ‘Dragonheart’. Call him what you will, Rhonin is an extremely powerful, yet reserved, intelligent mage. Well skilled in the use of a blade due to his actions in the Scourge invasion add to the diversity and flexibility of his combat style. It’s this ability to work in dire situations and intuition lead decisions that has allowed him to be successful and resourceful in so many situations and stories over the course of Warcraft history.

Reply Code Alpha

Reply Code Alpha

Fundamentally Rhonin is best known in-game for his involvement as a quest npc in Dalaran, awarding the player with a piece of loot once they return from the depths of the Ulduar raid with the Titan Reply Code object from defeating Algalon the Observer. The reply code once the player explains to Rhonin the events that took place in Ulduar is then noted to be a pre-defined message of a possible two that Algalon should of sent back to the Titans in the discovery of either a positive or negative assessment of live on Azeroth. The curse of flesh, which ultimately resulted in humanoid life on the planet, is a deviation from the Titans original plan for the world upon their involvement in essentially conquering azeroth millions of years ago.
The Titans captured thousands of worlds like Azeroth, with the intent to govern life the way they saw fit on each world, seeing order in the universe the ultimate goal.
The Alpha reply code was to be sent back to the titans by Algalon if Azeroth was still a vision of this order and perfection, otherwise if any malignant alterations had taken place, another reply code would be given, initialising the order for planetary re-origination, which presumably would involve the complete terraforming of Azeroth and the death of all life on the planet to reset it to a point where they could start over.

Rhonin Is a key character in this expansion, yet doesn’t take an active role outside of a cutscene introducing the Ulduar raid and the quests after its defeat, however he is incredibly popular as the main protagonist of many books such as Day of The Dragon, by Richard A Knaak.

These books are canon to the story and tell a story of Rhonin that isn’t as noticeable in the mmo.
During the events of the Second war, Rhonin was seen as a dangerous, unpredictable mage, due to an event where he used his powers recklessly in battle, ending the lives of all his comrades.
This disgrace and the remorse he felt ultimately resulted in his involvement in the events of the Second war with the Orcs. Krasus, a mage and secretly a consort of the red dragonflight convinced Rhonin to reclaim his honour by selflessly volunteering for a dangerous mission to Khaz Modan, where he helped break the power of the orcs and freed Alexstrasa the life binder, whom at the time was captured by Nekros Skullcrusher.
Alongside Rhonin, a young elven ranger named Vareesa Windrunner, Krasus the dragon mage, and Falstad Wildhammer. Vereesa was weary of Rhonin and had heard of his disastrous failings in the line of duty that had caused the death of all his kin, but ultimately throughout the journey she became to respect him and in good time fell in love with the mage.
Rhonin was successful in destroying the demon soul which was used by Deathwing to capture Alexstrasa and gained the respect of his fellow comrades in the selfless and painful pursuit. The book is a masterpiece honestly, I would definitely recommend picking up Day of the Dragon if you only ever read one of the books.

Vereesa Windrunner

Vereesa Windrunner

The aforementioned love between Vereesa and Rhonin blossomed after the events of Day of the Dragon and they got married, Vareesa even became pregnant with his to be Twin- offspring.
During Vereesa’s pregnancy Rhonin was once again called into duty despite wanting to spend time with his wife and be at her side during this time.
The events to follow involved Krasus asking him for help in sealing a rift in time that had appeared, leading to an event in the past, 10,000 years ago.
They entered the rift as well as the inquisitive Orc, Broxigar who also found the rift.
This was covered in the book trilogy, The War of The Ancients.

During his time in the past, Rhonin got involved directly into the events of this time period after trying not to get involved in things that could change history forever. Unfortunately he met and became friends with many of Azeroth’s strongest lore figures, such as; Malorne, Cenarius, Aviana, Shadowsong, Tyrande Whisperwind, and of course Illidan Stormrage, whom he became direct mentor of in an attempt to harness the wild magic’s and power dwelling within him.
Unfortunately he was unsuccessful in changing anything with Illidan, and ended up changing and trying to fix mistakes Illidan had made along the way prior to Illidan’s destined defection.
It would be less useful to explain the events that took place in their entirety here in this article, so I will likely make a separate post about the War of The Ancients due to the events size and complexity.
As a reward for all he had done in the past, Nozdormu thanked Rhonin for sealing the rift and being as careful as he could to not directly impact the timeline and allowed him to teleport to Vereesa to the point of her labour so he would not miss the birth of his own twin sons; Giramar and Galadin. Along with this gift, Nozdormu also gave the twins the respect of the Bronze dragonflight if they would even need their own help with matters in the future.

Rhonin has no living family members, due to the events involving the Scourge plague taking many of his own loved ones and his own father, who was killed during the fall of Andorhil. Rhonin made the decision to make his own family, and as a part of that, when he was approached by the council of Dalaran for help, responsibility overweighed his personal life, and so accepted the leadership position of Archmage of the Kirin Tor. To defend his family and his people in uncertain times, was effectively the same goal, and his loyalty for his past mistakes still dwelled heavily on his decisions.

Theramore After Mana BombSadly in present day, Rhonin is no longer with us, and many people didn’t expect the popular main character of so many of Blizzard’s stories to die anytime soon.
Rhonin was killed trying to dampen the mana bomb that destroyed Theramore in the Tides of War book and in-game scenario events, he managed to save Vereesa, General Shandris Feathermoon and Jaina Proudmore, whom he named as his successor as leader of the Kirin Tor.
His sacrifice in the end was not for the hatred of the Horde, but for the loyalty to his people. He never saw the Horde as an evil force as many of the other Alliance members did, and did his best to remain neutral, even in dire times.
This cannot be said for Jaina Proudmore, whom hates the Horde for what has happened and swore vengeance for Theramore.

And so ends another chapter on a lore figure who changed the World of Warcraft we know and love. If you have enjoyed my article, please leave me some feedback below. Thank you kindly for reading, I’ll see you all next time!

 

Medivh : Lore, Warcraft & You!

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Medivh, last guardian of Tirisfal. The feather adornments on this key lore characters shoulders should be no surprise to Warcraft 3 and World Of Warcraft players instantly, yet not all of his lore is quite as common knowledge as most people would think.

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Eight whole centuries before the coming of the Orcs, Aegywn decided to birth a son, so that she could pass on her powers and ensure the line of Guardians for new generations to come. In this pursuit of lust and her need to do all she could to continue her lineage she settled on seducing the court conjurer, one Nielas Aran. A competent human mage of the Order of Tirisfal, one capable of supplementing the power she would pass on to her son and also noble of heart.

Magus Medivh, born a human son to his mother, Aegwynn, the former guardian of Tirisfal (Guardians are an order of powerful mages, blessed by the Order Of Tirisfal, an elite covenant specialising in dealing with protection of Azeroth from the Burning Legion over millennia). Medivh was left to be raised by his father in Stormwind Keep and would be taught the morality and respect for his power, in the hopes he would learn compassion when he became a powerful mage. He became friends with other important lore figures, such as Prince Llane Wrynn and Anduin Lothar. On a day out with his friends Llane and Anduin, the three were ambushed by three jungle trolls. None of the three were hurt badly and there battle was not too much of a risk for the trained Princes, however Medivh fell ill and fainted when he tried to use his magic to defend them. In his sleep he entered a coma, only to awake later with nightmarish visions of death.

Medivh’s life was filled with torment and anger as he tried to discover to what his power should be used for. Sadly inside the womb of his own mother, this fate was already pre-determined, as Sargeras cursed his mother for her thwarting of the demon lords plans prior to the 3rd war, and so corrupted her unborn son, so that he would do the bidding of the legion regardless of his upbringing.

This fate manifested itself as Medivh neared the age of his ascension, when he would graduate to becoming a fully fledged mage; He met with his father after this coma-like state and unintentionally entered a powerful trance with him. When the two touched they both entered a coma like state, which eventually lead to the complete drain of energy and magic from his father after several days, transferring his power to his son and causing Nielas to die in front of him.

(To this day, Nielas exists in-game as the ‘Shade of Aran’ boss within Karazhan, a 10 player raid instance on the Eastern Kingdoms.)

 

Shade of Aran

Shade of Aran

Medivh soon became entranced with the idea of the Legion, and the respected powers that lie dormant in such mysteries and proceeded to experiment on dark energies and unusual forces mortals are usually unable to reach. Medivh was no ordinary mortal human, he had the blessing of Sargeras, and the power of the Order behind his resolve.

Eventually Medivh’s possession forced his mind to want to be free of everything, as sought in his madness to destroy Azeroth and the people around him. He found an answer in the Orc Gul’dan, a powerful Dark Shaman, already possessed by Sargeras off in a distant world known as Draenor. Medivh contacted Gul’dan and promised the Orc the location of the Tomb of Sargeras as a reward for killing the humans and laying siege to Azeroth. (This Tomb he refers to here is actually the Temple Of Elune, which lies within the ancient Kaldorei city of Suramar, the very same city Illidan, Malfurion and Tyrande all grew up in prior to the Sundering.)

Gul’dan agreed, and the promise of power allowed the two to use the power of a dark portal, and ancient gateway system that connects world throughout the stars above as the instrument of the coming of the Orc forces to Azeroth.

In the time of this madness, Medivh had convinced his mother, the Order of Tirisfal, and the mages of Dalaran that he was fine, and that his momentary comas were the inability of his own comprehension of power, and that now he had control.

In response to Medivh’s upbringing and graduation to becoming the powerful mage he now was, they sent him his very own Apprentice, a young mage called Khadgar. Khadgar would then live with Medivh at his castle, Karazhan, a place where he would learn his master’s art and learn to be powerful under such names as Moroes, who would be Khadgar’s aide.

 

Khadgar

Khadgar

In the course of madness, Medivh succeeded in opening the linked portal between Azeroth and Draenor with the help of Gul’dan and his own Shadow Council. This moment caused the appearance of his mother, Aegwynn, who tried to convince her son that this course of action was wrong and what he had done would undo the world. Medivh ignored her and continued with the rituals. She decided to stop him by force, and the two battled. Medivh had trained his power, and now sat on the forces given to him by Sargeras, which caused the balanced fight to break in his favour, defeating his mother and burning her alive in the aftermath of the conflicting magic’s.

This drained Medivh heavily and after concluding the business with Gul’dan and ensuring the link was established he retreated to Karazhan for rest, meanwhile the Shadow Council went back through the Dark Portal to Draenor to prepare an invasion force.

Arcanagos, a Blue Dragon has seen Medivh’s misuse of magic, of which the Blue Flight controlled and paid a visit to Karazhan in the hopes of confronting the Guardian of Tirisfal. Medivh, again refused to listen to the dragon, and they entered combat, which lead to the burning of the dragon from within, the power to great for the whelpling to survive. This dragon would later be resurrected as the formidable raid boss; NightBane within the Karazhan 10-player instance in WoW. Medivh was reeling from the past years conflicts, his mind in tatters after the death of his father, his mother by his own hand and now the meddlesome Blue Dragonflght.

Karazhan

Karazhan

Soon after, the Orcs of Draenor had pushed on with their invasion and had successfully established forward perimeters within the Human borders in Black Morass, a zone situated between what would now be known as Blasted Lands and the Swamp of Sorrows. The Horde’s emissary, Garona Halforcen came to Karazhan to see the mage. Secretly however the two fell in love and had passionate encounters throughout her visits to the castle, which would later result in the mixed-race child Med’an being born into the world.

Eventually Khadgar would be the one to realise his master was the cause of the Orcish invasion and entertained an audience with Garona, Lothar and King Llane in an effort to find a solution to the crazed fallen Guardian.

The three agreed that something had to be done about him, and that his tyranny would only regress further into the depravities of the Burning Legions corruption. They entered a battle with Medivh promptly after, but they underestimated the powerful mage before them.

Upon entering the encounter, Khadgar, whom was only 17 years of age suddenly aged several decades older. Lothar and Llane struggled on in the fight, but were ultimately defeated by Medivh, whom was to end their lives had it not been for Khadgar taking up Lothar’s blade and thrusting it through the heart of the Guardian with all his strength. Upon this deathblow, Medivh was released from Sargeras’ curse that had since been on him since his time in the womb. His mind recalled all the horrors he had committed and very literally his life flashed before him as he died.

The curse left his body with such force it cursed the very area around them, the heroes who defeated the fallen guardian fled, as Karazhan became a corrupted, twisted remnant of the Guardians corrupted hatred driven by Sargeras, which became the raid instance we know to this day.

 

The end of Medivh’s story with corruption ends there, however it was known that when Khadgar had destroyed the spirit of Sargeras that held his master, Medivh’s spirit was said to have escaped. This spirit foresaw the eventual downfall of Lordaeron, and with his mother’s help his spirit form attained form again, and was resurrected by the remainder of her powerful magic. Upon his resurrection, Medivh briefly went back to Karazhan, where he would see a vision of Khadgar from the past, seeing the apprentice bury his master. He realised his life had not begun, and for the first time in his existence, Medivh was actually himself.

Medivh Visits King Terenas

Medivh Visits King Terenas

Long after the second war, Medivh returned as a prophet, foretelling the coming of an apocalyptic threat. The current king, Terenas Menathil of Lordaeron and Antonidas of Dalaran both dismissed the prophet’s mumblings as madness.

This was shortly before the king’s son, Arthas entered into his own story. The events of Warcraft 3 foretell the happenings after this point, and eventually after the Battle of Mount Hyjal, Medivh disappeared from the story. There are some theories that he may have met his end on the mortal plane and ascended to other places, or that he is infact lying in wait in the form of a crow, a familiar form he took on throughout history’s events. The latter of these ideas could be enforced by the loading screen for the raid instance in World of Warcraft clearly showing a black crow in the corner of the artwork, and outside the very instance in the sky, a single crow flying around the castle, watching over the land.

Whatever befell the powerful mage, the Last Guardian of Tirisfal may return, especially with the events of the next expansion; Warlord’s of Draenor featuring his very own apprentice as a key lore and quest driven figure throughout.

Perhaps the mysteries of his whereabouts will manifest themselves, but only time will tell.

 

Hopefully you have enjoyed this article of Medivh, probably one of the best written characters in the Warcraft lore. Stay tuned for more soon, as we explore all the key figures that will be playing into the story of tomorrows WoW!