WAWK: Paladin Artifacts Edition

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SPOILER ALERT

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

Paladins have had fairly concrete history within Warcraft ever since the Warcraft II days where the first paladins were created by Alonsus Faol in order to combat against the Orcish Horde that decimated the southern human settlements in the First War. The first paladins of the Silver Hand were Uther the Lightbringer, Saidan Dathrohan, Tirion Fordring, Turalyon and Gavinrad the Dire, though worship of the Holy Light has since been discovered to be practiced by other races.

The dwarves followed the humans’ lead with the Order of the Silver Hand, the Blood Elves founded the Blood Knights order, originally siphoning holy power from a naaru, though now the Sunwell is purified they can use the powers from there. Draenei also have a link to the naaru spanning over 25,000 years, and their vindicators have been using the Light since. Finally, the newest sect of paladins come in the form of tauren Sunwalkers, where Aponi Brightmane discusses with Tahu Sagewind how spiritually they’ve only worshipped Mu’sha, the eye of the Earthmother representing the moon. They agreed that both An’she and Mu’sha are both sacred, so this new belief allowed tauren to draw powers from the Light in the form of both priests and paladins, like how druids are able to draw powers from the moon.

Their artifacts, The Silver Hand, Truthguard and Ashbringer, are heavily lore-focused around human and vrykul however, so while it would have been nice to see weapons with links to the other races at least they’re getting some fairly notable weapons to begin with! The Blood Knights and especially Sunwalkers are fairly new orders so are unlikely to have any special artifacts associated with them, though I’m sure the draenei vindicators likely had an artifact lost on another world that they could have used in the fight against the Legion!

Introductory Quests

Lord Maxwell Tyrosus, local badass among those at Light’s Hope Chapel urges you to talk with him once you reach Dalaran. He tells you that although the loss at the Broken Shore was devastating, that there are others with the conviction to save our home, Azeroth. Meeting with Travard of Tyr’s Guard and Orik Trueheart and telling them to meet you at Krasus’ Landing.

Once there, you meet with Tyrosus, Aponi Brightmane (the first Tauren Paladin), Vindicator Boros (one of the Draenei Triumvirate) and Lady Liadrin (leader of the Blood Knights) and you hop straight into choosing your artifact weapon! No messing around with Paladins, here!

PalaHo

Holy – The Silver Hand

The Silver Hand is a famous symbol among paladins: their first organisation was the Order of the Silver Hand. It has always been a mystery among players as to why they called themselves this, and had associations with with the great titan watcher Tyr, though in Legion we now know that a secret order of paladins have been watching over Tyr’s tomb for hundreds of years. How these paladins have remained secret for so long is beyond me, though with Alonsus Faol’s interaction with Tyr’s Fall, it wouldn’t surprise me that the Paladin Order’s name had something to do with him.

However, this secret paladin order is under attack by the Twilight’s Hammer and they are appealing for help from paladins across Azeroth to aid them in their charge. Tyrosus asks that you speak with Travard, the leader of this order, to find out how to reclaim it from evil. We’re sent to find Sparks of Tyr, artifacts used by Tyr himself to store moments of history, and to do that we have to find Travard’s brother, Galford.

Galford is missing in Northrend however, but Travard mentions that a dragon called Lanigosa at Wyrmrest knew of Galford, so she is the best option we have to find him and the Spark. We find out that Galford heard of the tale between Tyr and Galakrond, and eagerly set out to find more at Galakrond’s Rest.

Flying to Galakrond’s Rest we find an abandoned campfire, and clicking on it causes a void wrath to attack you. Interesting to see the void having a part in this! A taunka spirit tells you that Galford’s mind was flooded with memories stored within the Spark, and learned more of the fight between Galakrond and Tyr, so we go down to the skeleton’s maw to find a broken sword.

Clicking on it spawns another void wrath to spawn, and the spirit returns to talk of Loken’s betrayal and how Jotun, Tyr’s friend, held off Loken’s pursuit as Tyr fled south. Flying north to find another clue, we find a broken statue and carelessly dropped note at the tip of Galakrond’s tail. The note appears to have been written by Galford, saying that he saw Jotun in the Spark, and wishes to meet with him, whereas using the statue causes the spirit to tell us that Galford rushed south to meet with Jotun to meet his doom, as it would appear the Spark did not tell him of Jotun’s curse.

We fly south to the Path of the Titans to find Galford’s broken body, before Lanigosa flies down to meet us. We tell her that Galford held the Spark, and now Jotun had killed him and taken it for himself. We get buffed by the blue and quickly defeat Jotun and receive the Spark before flying back to Dalaran.

Returning to Dalaran and speaking with Travard, he mentions he has another one of Tyr’s Sparks. Now that too many know of the tomb’s location, it must be closed forever – though first, we have a Hand to reclaim! Travard tells us to go to Dalaran’s Crater in Alterac, so when you go through the portal don’t forget to bubble! Then fly on over to Tyr’s Fall in western Tirisfal Glades.

The Twilight camp is abandoned (cleared by another class’s artifact experience) though Travard says that we must collapse the tomb and reclaim the Silver Hand before whatever evil inside stirs too much. You take a small team of NPC paladins with you to clear the tomb, and you find it’s full of masterless faceless ones! After a few quick battles, you fight against a mini-boss called G’norz the Crazed, before going into the crypt itself.

Once again, you fight through a few shadowy packs of faceless aberrations, before finally getting to the final resting place of the C’Thraxxi Zakajz and Watcher Tyr and finding the same celestial chains that hold Yogg-Saron all shattered in the tomb. Where the Old God general should be however, is a Horrific Aberration, a creature of the void. I expected this to be the final stage, but after a slightly disappointing fight, Travard says he has the Spark and has to finish the ritual to retrieve the hammer.

Going back up to the entrance of the tomb and you’re followed by more creatures of the void as well as Mordoth the Hunter. This fight was actually fairly challenging to heal as someone who’s not played Holy since WotLK, though after a certain amount of time, the ritual completes and the tomb becomes incredibly unstable. Mordoth threatens that he will see you once again, though I don’t know if that’s an empty threat or we will eventually see the void ascendant again. With Chronicle v1, I’m more interested than ever with anything to do with the Old Gods and Void!

Nevertheless, just before you escape you can take the Silver Hand, and then Travard instructs you to flee to Dalaran, where you can rendezvous with Tyrosus and begin to set up your class order hall!

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Protection – Truthguard

Protection Paladins get the shorter end of the stick when it comes to famous Paladin weapons – though it makes sense as many paladins in lore barely if ever walked around with sword and board. As with many unknown artifacts however, Truthguard appears to have heavy links to the Broken Isles in that it was the protective weapon of a vrykul champion that helped defend the titanic watcher Tyr against Loken and his faceless servants. The shield itself was created to expose Loken’s lies and turn many vrykul to Tyr’s cause, though when the latter fell, the champion migrated to Stormheim where the shield was eventually entombed within the Path of Kings.

As the Holy artifact started you with speaking with Travard, the Protection line asks that you speak with the other Paladin you rallied to Krasus’ Landing: Orik Trueheart. With the help of the tauren Sunwalkers, Tyrosus believes that we can find the ancient shield. Trueheart explains what the shield is, and Tahu Sagewind explains that he has the ability to commune with the long departed champion. We just have to find the final resting place of a vrykul named Gorvold at Shield Hill in the Howling Fjord, in order to find clues as to where to find Truthguard.

After a short trip to Howling Fjord, you find Trueheart and Sagewind waiting for you there. Trueheart tells you to speak with Sagewind to begin the ritual, though suggests that you can read the saga for yourself to understand what’s going on and to fill in some details about the Shield Seeker, Gorvold. In short, the vrykul learned of the powerful ancient artifact and scoured Northrend for it, though eventually he learned that the next clue would bring him south.

He found stunted vrykul (known to us as humans) worshipping and avoiding the site of Tyr’s Fall. From the ruins he found that the trail did not end there, and Tyr’s champion moved on. No one knows where, but Gorvold followed this trail with reckless abandon, eventually falling in battle and taking his secrets to his grave.

Sagewind explains that he needs more time to prepare for the ritual, and you have to go find the correct grave where Gorvold eternally sleeps. Once you do (hint: it’s the one at the back) Sagewind communes with the vrykul and finds out that he went to Stormheim and found the shrine to Tyr’s champion but was denied entry multiple times. In his disgrace, he returned to Northrend and sought to wash his failure in the blood of others.

When you return to Dalaran, you find out that one of the warrior’s artifact scenarios involves that very tomb, but never entered the shrine itself. You then journey to Shield’s Rest with Cato and Trueheart to find the tomb guarded by a storm dragon and its rider. Avoiding void zones on the ground and using the spears that spawn on them on the pair makes it a short fight, and you are granted entry to the tomb.

You find out that Yrgrim, mentioned in the saga in Howling Fjord, was the champion after all, and a runestone explains that he journeyed to Stormheim in order to find someone worthy to pass on his armaments. Passing through the windy corridor and dispatching the windshapers, you find the next runestone explaining that Yrgrim constructed an arena to test any potential successors of his weapons. All failed, so he created the shrine with powerful wards that would burn those who tried to open it with cleansing flame. Only those strong of will and pure of heart would be able to hold back the flames.

Luckily we’re a paladin. We’re good at that will and heart stuff. But to be safe, we have to bubble through the flames anyway because Cato refuses to heal you through it.

Entering the shrine you find Yrgrim, resolute and patient. You find that he never succumbed to the curse of flesh, and you prepare for his trial. All it involves is a fight with him and Runeshaper Griselda, making sure to stun or otherwise CC any special ability, and interrupting what you can. Use AoE to clear the ice, and it won’t take long to defeat Tyr’s champion. Collect Truthguard, and make your way back to Dalaran to create your class hall!

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Retribution – Ashbringer

As one of the more famous weapons in WoW, Retribution Paladins definitely get the big stick when it comes to awesome weapons. Although its incarnation began in WoW itself instead of the RTS, it’s definitely one that players have been wanting to wield since legendaries were first introduced into the game.

You can see the beginnings of Ashbringer in the Escape from Durnholde dungeon if you decide to go sightseeing in Southshore, where a dark crystal was infused with Light to such an extent that any undead that came near it turned to ash. King Magni Bronzebeard harnessed this crystal’s energies and forged a sword to use the crystal as a weapon against the unliving to enact vengeance for his brother Muradin, who he thought was killed by the Scourge.

The weapon passed many hands, beginning with Highlord Alexandros Mograine before his son Renault betrayed and killed him with the blade. From then, the Ashbringer was corrupted and stayed in the now death knight Alexandros Mograine’s hands until Darion, his youngest son, killed him in Naxxramas. To release his father’s soul from the blade, Darion plunged the sword into his own heart, freeing his father but turning himself into a death knight. Eventually, the Lich King turned his focus on Light’s Hope Chapel and sent Darion and a number of death knights on a suicide mission to bring Tirion Fordring out.

The plan succeeded, but what the Lich King didn’t anticipate was Darion betraying him and relinquishing Ashbringer to Fordring, once again purifying the blade for the use of the Light. The blade would only leave Tirion’s hands briefly in Howling Fjord when he traveled on his crusade against the Lich King, but it was only his death in the battle of the Broken Shore that the blade became lost, and it’s up to us to find it!

It’s not as simple as returning to the site where Tirion fell however, so we must travel to Uther’s tomb in the Plaguelands to get answers for finding the blade. After flying to the tomb you find that after the death of Fordring, the dead around Uther’s tomb have become restless. While Tyrosus prepares the ceremony to commune with the Lightbringer, you have to exorcise spirits and purify graveyards around the tomb.

When you are done, Tyrosus is ready for the ceremony. You find out that Tirion still lives! Barely, but he still lives on the Broken Shore. After getting reinforcements from Light’s Hope Chapel, you fly to the Broken Shore to reclaim Tirion and the Ashbringer. On the shores as you land, you lead the paladins into an epic starting battle that leads to almost all of them falling, other than yourself and Tyrosus.

While he signals for hippogryph riders to take the fallen back to Light’s Hope, you forge on  through the felfire to kill Jailer Zerus. You find Zerus after a few more demons and he’s attempting to break Fordring’s spirit and turn him to the Legion’s side. Quickly dispatching him, Tyrosus returns again to try and take Tirion out of his fel prison, and you venture on into a small cave known as the Lost Temple to try and retrieve Ashbringer.

After killing a few more demons, Balnazzar taunts you to claim the Ashbringer, and when you do Balnazzar appears and attempts to turn you into an ally of the Legion. He forces you to kneel, but then Tirion’s voice whispers in your mind an echo of the Lich King fight “Give me the strength… to shatter these bonds…” and you are able to release yourself from Balnazzar’s control. After a short fight, Tyrosus comes in to explain that Fordring called for you by name.

Once you get outside, you find Fordring on his last breaths, telling you to become the Ashbringer and to stop the Legion before his last light fades. It’s time for you to return to Light’s Hope and to create your order hall underneath the Chapel.

WAWK: Monk Artifact Edition

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The second of WoW’s classes to be added, Monks have been part of the game for nearly four years as of this writing, and I believe it’s safe to say that they’ve been one of the more volatile classes when it comes to gameplay ever since. In Mists itself, Windwalkers could never focus on a mastery to stick around with up until Warlords where all three specs received fairly large overhauls in their gameplay. Now in Legion, all three specialisations have completely changed their style of playing once more. Let’s face it, if you choose to play a Monk you’ve got to get used to change. That may be why their player numbers are on the lower side of things…

Regardless, their weapons are equally unimaginative between themselves – with little lore outside of Pandaria it’s hard to think of impressive artifacts that they can wield. What they can wield, is staff crafted from the first of Pandaria’s forests; using the same staff that their most famous and last emperor, Shaohao, used during his series of trials; and wearing the fist weapons literally imbued with the essence of the Windlord, Al’Akir, Blizzard have made a good effort to design weapons for monks that we can feel are awesome. They’re no Felo’melorn, Ashbringer nor Doomhammer, but Fu Zan, Sheilun and the Fists of the Heavens are mighty weapons to take up against the Legion.

Introductory Quests

Straight after settling Dalaran in its new location above the Broken Isles, Initiate Da-Nel runs up to you claiming that Grand Master Hight has requested all senior monks to return to the Peak of Serenity as soon as possible, so it’s high time that we use our personal teleport to get to there!

Master Hight explains that the Broken Shore was a massive blow to the Horde and the Alliance, but before he can finish a young monk comes rushing in, warning of a Legion invasion at the Peak! The monk then gets picked up by an infernal and pummeled against the opposite door, before you dispatch of the infernal.

Heading out of the doors, you find that the Legion are swarming everywhere at the Peak, so you’ll have to fight your way through to the Cave of the Crane. When you reach the cave, Number Nine Jia thanks you for helping save the ancient scrolls, and tells you that Chen Stormstout was teaching a class of youngsters when the attack began, so we have to go round and help him. She will turn you into a zen sphere to take you close to Chen, but not close enough that you’ll have to fight through some demons to get to him.

When you get to him, Lasy Keletress will taunt you, saying that you can’t hide and that the monastery will burn. When you save him, he will assist you in fighting demons on the way back to the monastery, where you will meet back up with Master Hight. The Grand Master will tell Chen to take the cubs to a safe location far away from the Peak, while you and Hight will seal the portal.

Running down the steps, you face against the Portal Master, Jorvinax, before destroying the master fel stone in front of the Legion portal. When you try to destroy it however, hordes of demons come through the portal, so you do a small jump and spinning kick to take out the stone and black out… Before arriving at your class hall, the Temple of the Five Dawns on Shen-zin Su, the Wandering Isle.

Fearsome Jang greets you at the base of the Temple, and tells you the bad news that Grand Master Hight now rests with the ancestors, and that the new leader for the monk order should be you. After a short ceremony, you are able to choose which artifact to pursue.

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Brewmaster – Fu Zan, the Wanderer’s Champion

As one of the oldest weapons on Azeroth, Fu Zan dates back to when the titans first molded Azeroth. Long ago, Keeper Freya set out to populate the world with life, and she place one of the first seeds in Pandaria. From the seeds grew Fu Zan, the first of all of Pandaria’s forests, and the ancestor to all of the region’s forests. Before continuing on her journey, Freya fashioned a walking stick for her travels before passing it onto the Jade Serpent, Yu’lon, who later gifted it to a hozen known as the Monkey King.

The Monkey King hung his most prized possessions from the staff, and it is said that the bearer of the staff cannot be harmed by any weapon, so we must begin our search for this weapon with the Monkey King himself. He was last spotted at Tian Monastery in the northern part of Jade Forest. When you arrive at the Ring of Balance, the Monkey King is already there, overseeing a bunch of hozen being trained in the ways of the monk. He then gives you three rhyming riddles for you to solve, in the riddle of purity, of the barrel and of the land.

Fortunately, Blizzard’s quest tracker will lead you directly to where you need to go and what you need to gather. Gone are the days of working things out for yourself… Then giving up and searching for the answer on Thottbot, Allakhazam or (currently) Wowhead. All three of the answers are in the Valley of the Four Winds, so you’ll have to take a flight over to the Pools of Purity as your closest stop, taking care of Desecrator Ma’veth who is currently corrupting a Pandaren Water Spirit. Take the Pure Water Core from the Spirit, and the Monkey King will appear in front of you to tell you to carry on finding the other riddles.

The next stop for both the riddle of the barrel and of the land is at the Imperial Granary, where the Legion are, predictably, setting fire to everything. Grab sacks of grain dotted around the place, and in the top floor of the building is a demon holding onto a barrel of brew. Kill him and take it for yourself. When you hand in the riddles, the Monkey King makes you go flying again – this time to the Temple of the Jade Serpent in the Jade Forest. I get that you want us to see Pandaria again Blizzard, but couldn’t you have kept everything in the Jade Forest? It doesn’t give a great sense of urgency too, as when you’re flying over the continent you don’t actually see any signs of Legion invasion – only at the points where the Monkey King tells you to go.

The Monkey King tells you his final task is to help him with brewing in order for him to tell you where his weapon lies. It’s one of those simple “I tell you a clue what item to press, and keep doing it until the bar fills up” kind of deals, and after you finish with all the ingredients the Monkey King tells you that the staff was only a gift from Yu’lon while he completed his task. After the task was finished, he had to return it to her (seems like a good closing clause for us to relinquish the weapon at the end of Legion too, huh?).

We accompany the head hozen to the temple to request the staff from the Jade Serpent, and we find that the temple is suddenly overrun by the Legion, despite it being peaceful and tranquil just moments before. You’ll have to fight your way round and save who you can starting from the Scrollkeeper’s Sanctum. You fight your way through to Belphiar, an observer, who is currently feasting on the minds of a couple pandaren, though when you defeat him you find that Lorewalker Stonestep did not make it, unfortunately – you may remember the Lorewalker from the 5man instance.

The Monkey King tells you that Yu’lon is in trouble, and that you have to come and help immediately to fight off the demons while the Jade Serpent recuperates. When she eventually revives herself, she goes on into the temple itself to fight off a monstrous felbat while you fight its rider, Lord Korithis. When you succeed, she will grant you Fu Zan and offers to take you back to your order hall.

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Mistweaver – Sheilun, Staff of Mists

Mistweavers get to wield the staff of the last and legendary emperor of the Pandaren, Shaohao. The last time the Legion launched a full-scale invasion of Azeroth, the emperor received a prophecy that the Legion would leave the world shattered, so to save his people he embarked on a series of trials. When he finished, he became part of the land, and vanished into the mists that enshrouded the continent, now separate from the rest of Kalimdor. The staff he took on his journey, Sheilun, clattered to the ground, where it lay until monks of Tian Monastey found and took it to the Terrace of Endless Spring for safekeeping.

The current major Legion invasion has broken into Pandaria and Shado-Pan defenders have rushed to secure the area. They haven’t reported back, so it’s up to us to save their hides! Considering this is the healing line, I’d guess some are alive, but we have to help keep them that way…

Tak-Tak will take us back to Pandaria, to the Terrace of Endless Spring, where you will find our good old Shado-Pan friend Taran Zhu waiting for you.

And he’s gotten himself injured again.

When you heal him up, he will tell you to free the other Shado-Pan while he takes on Hellwarden Xaphan. Taking down the jailer will allow you to carry on up the terrace, where you get to choose which of the Shado-Pan members you wish to focus on keeping alive while they go be a terrible tunnel-focusing DPS. The choice is between Fei Li, the firemage; Taoshi, the rogue; or Hawkmaster Nurong, the hunter. Whichever you choose will affect how the fight progresses, but it’s largely down to your own playstyle as a mistweaver to go for mana regen, mobility or attack speed.

Or you can go for all three bonuses if you feel up to the challenge and overgear the scenario. Speak with Taran Zhu, and your crew can start attacking Aspersius. When you defeat the fel-blighted water elemental, Sheilun, the Staff of the Mists, is yours to take! Short and sweet for the mistweavers, not an awful lot going on here!

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Windwalker – Fists of the Heavens

Moving away from the Pandaren culture (seeing as there’s more than just Pandaren Monks in this game), the Windwalker artifacts look at one of our side-character races, the tol’vir. Tol’vir smith Irmaat crafted a magnificent pair of handblades thousands of eyars ago, however he was unsatisfied with his work, so he set out to try and capture the essence of the Windlord, Al’akir. The elemental lord of air was not amused by the tol’vir, and to spite him he poured significant amounts of raw elemental fury into the blades, and when Irmaat unleashed their might, a giant vortex sprung up, taking out the city and scattering the weapons to the winds.

Little more is known of them, so it’s up to us to see if the legends are true as these weapons would be beneficial against the Legion invasion. Iron-Body Ponshu tells you that Li Li Stormstout is one of the most traveled people on the Wandering Isle, so it is best to start with her to find the whereabouts of this weapon. She tells you that she met with a tol’vir in Booty Bay, and tells you the legend of the handblades concerning Irmaat and Al’Akir.

She tells you to take her kite and meet her in Ramkahen, and once you land she tells you that while you’ve been taking the scenic route, she’s been in discussion with King Phaoris, ruler of Ramkahen, and found out that he can help as long as we take care of a problem for him: an elemental called Nader attacking his people.

You quickly take care of Nader, where he mentions a lord Typhinius, and grab the essence of the whirlwind for the first clue and return it to Phaoris. He tells you that using the stone will take you to Skywall itself, and says that the Fists of the Heavens should be in the elemental plane of air. When you arrive, Li Li immediately gets herself into trouble with Typhinius, and its up to you to save her. You then make your way through Skywall (ahem, Vortex Pinnacle) to destroy 3 stormtouched orbs to bypass the raging winds.

Getting to the end of the platform will cause Typhinius to appear again, and send four of his minions against you, alongside a couple extra enemies per wave, with an air elemental dragon (the Cataclysm winds dragons, not the new storm dragons from Legion content) who you defeat and then jump onto the back of. Zaurac, the dragon, will take you to Typhinius himself, who you also end up defeating. When you win, the Fists of the Heavens are yours to keep!

WAWK: Mage Artifact Edition

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Unsatisfied with dominating the damage charts in previous expansions – sometimes even to the point where stacking them late into the tier could be used to skip mechanics entirely and speedkill bosses, mages get an assortment of artifacts this expansion that belong to very well known mages in lore. Arcane get access to Aluneth, the staff of Aegwynn, the only female Guardian of Tirisfal and mother of Medivh; fire wields Felo’melorn, the spellblade belonging to the Sunstrider family through the War of the Ancients, the Troll Wars and the fight against the death knight Arthas; and frost mages will be able to use Ebonchill, the staff of the first Guardian of Tirisfal, Alodi.

Introductory Quests

Meryl Felstorm calls upon you to meet with him in Dalaran, at the Violet Gate, to warn you of an escaped dreadlord on your hands (cue Jaina memes). Kathra’natir, who he banished and trapped within his own body in the comics, has broken free. The dreadlord seeks a relic called the Forge of the Guardian – an item used to infuse the Council of Tirisfal’s power into the Guardian. You join Felstorm to confront the dreadlord in Violet Hold, where the Forge was hidden.

When you head inside, you fight with Kathra’natir (don’t forget to spellsteal his leech ability) shortly before Felstorm freezes him into a block of ice. He claims that the dreadlord is too strong, so you’ll have to use the Forge of the Guardian, being siphoned by rifts for its magic to be infused with the power of the Guardian Alodi temporarily to defeat him.

After defeating him, Alodi forms as a spirit and tells Felstorm that the Legion will continue to seek the Forge of the Guardian once Kathra’natir returns to strength again. You have to transport it to an even safer location than the Violet Hold – to your class hall, the Hall of the Guardian. Felstorm says he will reform the Tirisgarde, and elite order of mages, with you as its champion.

The Tirisgarde themselves weren’t as powerful as the Guardian themselves, though they were able to use powerful artifacts and work together in order to overcome obstacles, and it is now that you’re prompted to pursue which artifact to go for first: Aluneth, Felo’melorn or Ebonchill.

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Arcane – Aluneth, Greatstaff of the Magna

Aluneth was most notably wielded for a time by Aegwynn, the only female Guardian of Tirisfal, although stories indicate that it is far older than she. She is said to have found the staff roughly a century after she took up the mantle of Guardian, and to have wielded Aluneth in many battles against the Burning Legion. Several years before relinquishing her title, she retired the staff, but none know where she might have stored it.

Felstorm starts the search with the blue dragonflight, as the Kirin Tor entrusted the staff with them, fearing its unbridled power. Fortunately, the Kirin Tor have a blue dragon on their Council, so you’re told to meet with him at the Violet Citadel, along with taking some scrolls that Aegwynn used to bind the elemental Aluneth into the staff.

When you meet up with the blue dragon, he tells you that the staff was kept within the Nexus Vault and warns you that after the blue dragonflight was dissolved, the Nexus was all but abandoned – there’s no knowing what may be waiting for us down there. He instructs you to go to the Azure Dragonshrine to find out what’s happening within Coldarra since the end of the Nexus War.

When you get there, you find the area filled with void beings so you have to find clues as to what happened here. Ethereal portals, void-tainted blades on the corpses of focus wizards and void siphons placed where void energy was released when Malygos forced Azeroth’s ley lines into the Twisting Nether are all clues as to what’s happened at the shrine, before finding an ethereal communication device at the south-eastern corner of the shrine. It appears that to find out more we’re going to have to turn the device on!

Turning it on causes Nexus-Prince Bilaal to appear and tell you that you’re too late, that the powers within the Nexus Vault already widen the breach into the Twisting Nether, and that the Ethereum (remember these guys from TBC?) will be able to use this power to become void creatures themselves. Kalec tells you to scout out a few key locations in Coldarra and report back to him what you find.

The Ethereum have altered the Surge Needles and are tapping into the void energy caused by a rift that’s created underneath them, shielding the Nexus foundations, and inspecting the nexus building itself tells Kalec that the energy from Aluneth appears to be breaking free from the weakened vault. He formulates a plan to use the altered Surge Needles against the Ethereum. To begin with, you need to empower yourself with the unstable arcane energy around the foundation of the Nexus by either defeating the arcane aberrants around the area or siphoning the breaches of arcane energy.

Once you infuse yourself with enough energy, you turn into a disco ball of light, Kalec tells you to unleash that energy on the focused void underneath all three of the Surge Needles. When you do, Azuregos of all blue dragons senses your presence within Coldarra, and Kalec asks that you put an end to the ethereals within the vault and claim Aluneth for yourself, to free Azuregos from their grip.

When you enter, Azuregos tells you that the Ethereum have stolen anything of worth, and tells you to take the fight to them instead of taking the treasures straight from him. Nothing is ever simple these days, is it? Defeating the scions of fire, ice and magic releases Azuregos from the trap and will aid you in getting to the vault. Making your way through the Nexus, it becomes apparent that Aluneth is no longer fully contained and there are series of traps around the halls that would be harmful toward you if you happened to step in them. Blinking over arcane flood and avoiding the explosions will make light work of the instability as you fight your way through the Nexus.

When you reach the Librarium, Azuregos claims that Malygos broke the entrance to the vault when he breached the Twisting Nether during the Nexus Wars. Before you can continue to find another way into the vault, an echo of Aluneth appears and tries to kill you. After dealing with that, you continue through the Nexus to find another way into the vault – through the rift.

Since you last came here, it seems that the Ethereum have done some internal decorating by removing the bridge to the rift, so you ride atop Azuregos to make your way over to Nexus-Prince Bilaal, who has turned himself into a void revenant – similar to Xhul’horac in Hellfire Citadel’s void version. Once you defeat him, Azuregos can open a portal to the Nexus Vault and explains to you that you can only leave the vault with the weapon, you must first gain control over it.

Using the three scrolls Felstorm gave you at the start of your journey, you must place them in positions around the vault in order to calm the volatile arcane projections spinning around the room. The staff proceeds to insult you as you calm the energies around him, and claims you’re not as powerful as Aegwynn… Well no shit! She’s a Guardian! Still, you claim the staff as your own, and I’m sure it’ll carry on giving you sass throughout the expansion.

When you return to the Nexus, Azuregos congratulates you on acquiring the staff, thanks you for freeing him, and tells you that he will secure the Nexus to ensure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands again. When you are done, he provides you with a portal back to Dalaran to notify Kalec of what’s happened, before you return to a now-rebuilt Hall of the Guardian, to begin your journey against the Legion in the Broken Isles.

MageFire

Fire – Felo’melorn

One of the more famous weapons on the list for mages, its history of wielders are still just as important as its frost and arcane counterparts. The Sunstrider dynasty have used this weapon against the Burning Legion back in the War of the Ancients, as well as against their adversaries in the Troll Wars before Kael’thas Sunstrider reforged it to be used against the Lich King and Frostmourne. Unfortunately the blood elf lost in the conflict, and was forced to leave the weapon behind in his retreat of the frigid wastes of Northrend.

Felstorm tells you that Archmage Modera has recently uncovered some information on the whereabouts of this artifact, where she tells you to meet with her at Dalaran Crater as her lead on the artifact is unable to enter the city of Dalaran. When you meet with her at the crater, Aethas Sunreaver, the betrayer of Dalaran at the Divine Bell incident during Mists of Pandaria, arrives to aid you and tells you of Lyandra Sunstrider’s quest to find Felo’melorn after Kael’thas’s betrayal. He tells you that after years of no contact, he decided to search for the blade when the Legion came knocking on our doorstep. He saw a vision of Lyandra with the weapon in hand, standing in front of Icecrown Citadel.

Sunreaver creates a portal for you to take you to Icecrown, to take the blade from Lyandra and warns you that she won’t relinquish it easily… And that the Lich King may bring some minions to prevent your access of the Citadel. As soon as you portal in, the Lich King senses you in his halls and sets you trials that you’ll have to pass in order to take the blade for your own. He threatens that if you fall, you will become a mindless minion of the Scourge… Seems Bolvar’s influence is working on the new Lich King!

Going through the first hallway you’re met with blocks of ice that break open when you walk near them, unleashing a geist on you, alongside some patrols to keep you occupied. The harder part of the trial is the miniboss at the end of the hallway constantly blowing winds down the hall in central or outer edge passages, constantly pushing you back while you fight your way through. Defeat the conjurer, and you’re met with a permafrost wall to destroy with your AoE abilities.

When you break through, Lyandra Sunstrider, now more clearly an agent of undeath, taunts you and tells you that if you try to take the blade, she will strike you down. You’re also met with a room that has falling chunks of ice that you have to navigate through, while AoEing packs of mobs and keeping away from those same ice blocks as before.

Eventually you will make your way to the Crimson Hall where you will find Lyandra waiting for you. She will send packs of burning undead at you before fleeing back further into the hall. You will fight against her for a small while before a fiery version of Marrowgar, named Gorewing, becomes reanimated. Aethas picks that moment to rejoin your effort in fighting against Lyandra and holds her at bay while you deal with Gorewing.

Once you’ve dealt with the flaming Marrowgar, Lyandra becomes targetable again and you can finish her off. When you do, the Lich King will congratulate you on your new weapon and tells you to leave, claiming that the living have no place within his citadel of ice. Claim your new weapon, and return to Dalaran with your floating orbs of fire in tow over your head… Now you can really RP like a Blood Mage! When you return, Aethas is under trial for his return to Dalaran, and after some discussion among the Council, is free to go – let’s hope he doesn’t have any ulterior motives to betray the Kirin Tor once more. You’re then prompted to return to the newly refurbished Hall of the Guardian to begin your journey into the Broken Isles.

MageFrost

Frost – Ebonchill

Frost Mages get to use the staff of the first Guardian of Tirisfal, Alodi. You meet him during the introductory quests and appears in the manga as well as the Warcraft movie. When he stepped down from Guardian, he kept the staff until his dying day, and passed it onto his favourite apprentice and so on up until archmage Arrexis wielded it during the First War.

Being frost mages, apparently all we want to do is to study, so we must look through the stacks of books in the Hall of the Guardian for clues as to what happened to the fate of Arrexis. We learn of a Phantasm Zone, a prison dimension within a dimension that would fly through the Twisting Nether forever, with its occupant able to see out, but never escape – this occupant being Millhouse Manastorm’s father, Magnus Manastorm. A missive dating back to when the first mages were being taught magic by the high elves lies in one corner, though more interesting and related to Arrexis in another book we find out about an eredar lord named Balaadur, who convinces or forces archmages to enter tears in reality where he can finish them off and use their weapons as his own trophies.

A hint of Medivh’s corruption to Sargeras is in an old journal underneath a bookcase, where Arrexis speaks with the last Guardian about experiments made to bring up wards brought about droves of mana leeches, as well as mentioning the weakness of reality within Karazhan to Medivh. In a brief moment, Medivh had a strange smile when staring at the wards and telling Arrexis to continue with his ritual on the demonic realms.

Finally, we learn from an old scrap of paper that apparently his ritual was successful, but he and all his apprentices died. From what we learn, many of the Council also died, and they wanted no repeat of it, so scrubbed all records of Arrexis and his ritual – despite considering it an accident and failed experiment, with the death of other members in the Tirisgarde foul play was suspected. Someone named Daio was also sent packing for his part in the debacle, and mentions Balaadur as a key player within this experiment.

Telling Felstorm of what you’ve learned, linking Balaadur with Arrexis, and the new owner of Ebonchill, Felstorm suggests recreating the ritual to attract the eredar lord’s attention and attempt to ambush us. So we now have to head out to Karazhan to find and retrieve information, to the Blasted Lands to seek out Daio the Decrepit, and to go to the Bank of Dalaran to gain access to Alodi’s Mana Gems as we have no access to apprentices to fund extra mana for the ritual.

Heading to Alodi’s vault to begin with and you’ll find that guardian orbs are floating around exploding, so quickly dispatching them allows you to freely walk around the room for a few brief moments before they turn themselves back on. You can then take the portal in central Dalaran to Karazhan to begin the next two stages of finding out what the ritual was that Arrexis attempted. When you arrive at the camp, you find the place is overrun by arcane hunters and mana scavengers – clearly the ritual site is still infused with energy after all these years!

Grabbing a functional ward, you then can find the ritual notes a little further up the camp, which will then trigger Merina’s spirit who tells you to find the focus crystal near her corpse at the back of the camp. With focus crystal in your possession, we can go and seek out Daio the Decrepit, at the small part of the Taunted Scar in Blasted Lands that’s still desolate of life. He explains that the ritual caused Arrexis to be dragged screaming into the Nether and his entire cadre of mages to be slaughtered. It caused Daio to give up the arcane in pursuit of the fel to understand what happened and how to bring justice to Balaadur.

Daio is not particularly trusting of your ability to take on Balaadur and his minions, so summons demons of his own before joining your cause. When you’re successful, he gives you a demonic stone from Baladuur’s realm to attune the ritual to demonic energies. Returning to the Hall of the Guardian, you’re told to go somewhere highly visible to draw the attention of the eredar lord, so Faronaar, a Legion-entrenched area in Azsuna is suggested as the ritual site.

Once you land, you’re told to set up wards at key locations and then to go to the Altar of End Times to activate the ritual focus. Once you do, several waves of demons will attempt to stop you until you reach near-completion of powering the focus. When that happens, Balaadur will come for you and drag you into his realm, where you will fight one against one until either of you triumph. When you take him down, take Ebonchill as your own and head back through the portal to Faronaar, before taking another portal back to the Hall of the Guardian to find it all repaired, and for you to begin your journey into the Broken Isles.