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 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.
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.
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.
Sadly 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!