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Last night, I completed Rise of the Lich King by Christie Golden. It was a sad occasion because I was enjoying the book so very much. I won’t spoil the book for anyone because I really think that you should run out and get it (or download it on your iPhone), especially if you are into the game’s lore at all.

ArthasCover

The story chronicles Arthas’ life from the age of a young prince all the way up to his current status, the Lich King. Of course, the book doesn’t reveal any major events that we don’t already know about, either from playing Warcraft 3 or from reading the lore on the internet. What the book does do is give us a glimpse into what was going on in the mind of Arthas during all of this. It also allows us to see things unfold from, not just his perspective, but that of Lady Jaina Proudmoore and Sylvanas Windrunner.

I won’t go into more detail because I think you should read it yourself. Is it the best book for a person who knows nothing of Warcraft lore? I honestly cannot say. This is the first book I’ve read so far of Warcraft. But there are many otherwise major characters that are glossed over and who inexplicably appear and disappear – no mention is made about where they came from, why they’re there, and where they go after you never read of them again in the novel. For a current player with some knowledge of lore, this would not be a problem. But I can imagine that it would be a point of frustration and possibly confusion if you’re brand new into it and you have questions. There are a few times that this occurs, but one really frustrating one might be Illidan Stormrage. Out of the blue, he’s introduced into the story towards the end and then … well, his part is over.

Given that the book is about Arthas and not Illidan, it wouldn’t do to spend five chapters on a character that doesn’t have much to do with this particular storyline. So it makes sense that not much time was spent on him. At the same time, a person unfamiliar with the lore would have some gaps to fill.

I do intend to personally go back and start reading the previous Warcraft novels. I wouldn’t mind starting with any authored by Christie Golden. She is not a difficult read. I’d say that anyone over the age ten could enjoy this book. And by that I do not mean to be insulting. I mean to say that this is a very accessible book that even the youngest readers or fans of the game will enjoy.

From a role-playing perspective, this book really made me want to log onto WoW immediately and create a human paladin. Fortunately, I was able to resist! Golden’s vivid descriptions of paladins and their use of the Light were memorable and exciting to read, though they represented only a very small part of the book. There were also mage and death knight descriptions – path of frost was my favorite – but the Light was, well, delightful (I’m sorry).

If you’re doing any role-playing within the game and you need some ideas or inspiration behind your character and his or her motivations, you might be able to find some here – especially if your character is a human, blood elf, or forsaken.

My bottom line: Go buy this book. At the very least, borrow a copy from your local library if they have it available (mine didn’t).

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I have my own reasons for seeking vengeance. Arthas murdered my people and turned me into this...monstrosity.

I have my own reasons for seeking vengeance. Arthas murdered my people and turned me into this...monstrosity.

Eventually, we (and by we I mean you) are going to get our chance to take down Arthas. Selfishly, I wish it could be a 5-man instance because I will never have the time or desire to gear up through raiding for the purpose of participating in the 10 or 25-man that will feature Arthas’ demise. But, make no mistake; it’s coming.

And, as you know, there isn’t anybody in the Warcraft universe that wants Arthas more than Sylvanas Windrunner. Sure, there are millions who want him taken down – from beings like Kil’jaeden all the way down to some lowly peasants whose families either became Scourge or were killed by them. Sylvanas burns for revenge and I think it would be a bit of a slap in the face to her if she isn’t directly involved in his tortuous demise. Sylvanas would never give someone a quest to go snap Arthas’ neck. No, she would want to do that with her own cold hands.

The least Blizzard could do is allow for the raid party to get Arthas down to 1% and then, after somehow being delayed, Sylvanas strolls in and shoots an arrow right between the eyes. Or, more likely, she drags him off to Undercity where she can make him suffer before killing him.

What do you think? Will Blizzard shut Sylvanas out of the Arthas raid?

It’s taken me a little while to put together a little back story for Elsinne. Thanks to alot of help from my buddy Arrens, over at Through the Eyes of Death, I was able to put this little bit of info together.

Even though she couldn’t make a fireball out of thin air to save her life, Elsinne Starsong was unimaginably agile. During her younger years she was constantly scolded for balancing on furniture and jumping around on rooftops. These artful displays went completely unappreciated by anyone until one day she met Elara. Elsinne was on her way home from the futility of arcane school one evening, walking carefully but effortlessly along the top rail of an iron fence. Elsinne gave little thought to this; it was a mindless activity. Elara, a petty thief who lived in Murder Row, was impressed by Elsinne’s almost musical motion.

Elara was a good twenty years older than Elsinne, but they became friends. Elsinne always had a bit of a rebellious streak and this played right into Elara’s hands. For some years, they would get themselves involved in mischief and petty crime. They’d never be discovered. Elara would eventually become part of a rogue society that operated out of Murder Row. Elsinne couldn’t join—her family would disown her in a heartbeat—but often Elara would meet with Elsinne in secret and give her private lessons. Elsinne always trained fast and often ended up performing even better than her teacher who had official training. The main lesson that Elsinne took from Elara was that of efficiency. Do what needed to be done. No more, no less. Nothing fancy. No showboating. Showing off is what gets people thrown in prison or killed.

As with most other surviving blood elves, Elsinne’s family was destroyed during the Scourge invasion. Her brother’s body, though, was never found. She searched for it for weeks after the Scourge had been driven back, but there was no sign of him. If it can be said that there was an upside to any of this, though, there was now nobody left to continue to push her towards arcane arts that she never had the aptitude for. She was free to leave the oppressive, authoritarian Silvermoon City without feeling that she was disappointing anyone. She left Silvermoon directed only by the winds and largely motivated by the desire to stay alive.

Other Interesting facts about Elsinne Starsong
Age: 72

Favorite color: White

Favorite activity: Swimming/Bathing

Favorite place: Mulgore (for meditation and Lake Stonebull)

Favorite race to deal with: Tauren—they appreciate peace and living simply, efficiently

Fears: Bears (also has a logical distrust of druids by extension)

Dislikes: orcs for their perceived savagery, humans for their recklessness, authoritarian societies (blood elf in particular), cold weather

Admires: Sylvanas Windrunner for her ability to inspire, lead, and command (Elsinne desires these abilities herself)

Friends: Elara

Family: None

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