Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lessons in Lore - Hodir and Freya

Hodir is a watcher of Ulduar, just like Thorim, Freya, and Mimiron. He had resided in the Temple of Winter in the Storm Peaks, but by the time we get there, he is gone, his servants are dead and the place smells of sulfur. This would indicate that Fire Giants, the mortal enemies of the Ice Giants, had something to do with Hodir's disappearance. The only known Fire giants exist as bosses in various instances/raids. Ignis is a Fire Giant. Whether they were actually involved is not known. What is known is that Hodir is now in Ulduar, under the control of Yogg-Saron, via Loken who betrayed all of the watchers. Hodir is found in the Halls of Winter in Ulduar.

Prior to that, Hodir had been a guardian over the Ice Giants, who themselves had taken on the name "Sons of Hodir" to identify with their patron. The Sons of Hodir play heavily into the Thorim quest line as I mentioned before, so it's interesting to me that the Sons of Hodir seem to have more connections to Thorim in game than Hodir.

There has been some speculation that Hodir is the inspiration for Greatfather Winter of the dwarves and Winter's Veil.. He makes mention to the "Veil of Winter" when you request his help against Yogg-Saron.

Other than that, there's not much else to say about him, which is surprising since there's a whole faction named for him in the game.


Freya is the last watcher of Ulduar. She is known mostly for being in tune with nature, and watcher of all things living. Our first encounter is with her is actually the Avatar of Freya, an aspect of Freya that she separated from herself and left in charge of watching over the life in Sholozar Basin. We interact with the Avatar via several quests in the basin centered around repelling the scourge that are spilling into the basin from Icecrown.

Freya had resided in the Temple of Life in Storm Peaks. Currently all life there is dead, including the plants. There is evidence of a battle that took place there between Freya and a being of similar size. I assume this to be Loken, but it could have been any of the beings within Loken and Yogg-Saron's control.

Within Ulduar, Freya is found in the Conservatory of Life with her three guardians. The area is still lush and vibrant, despite it's watcher being corrupted. However, all of the animals and plant life are now hostile towards players.

The last thing I'll say about Freya is that she is referred to as a "Daughter of the Titans." There is some speculation on whether or not the watchers are actually Titans. Is the daughter of a Titan, a Titan? Maybe, but it could just be a title instead of an actual family link. I maintain that the watchers are not actual Titans, but creations of the Titans for specific purposes. There is a quest in Storm Peaks that implies the watchers are Titans though, so there is that to consider.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lessons in Lore - Thorim and Razorscale

Anyone who has quested in the Storm Peaks should be familiar with the story of Thorim, his wife, Loken, the Sons of Hodir, and Veranus. You, the player, actually have a hand in getting Thorim from where he is at the Temple of Storms, into Ulduar under the control of Loken and Yogg-Saron. Need a refresher? Allow me to paraphrase. Beware that if you have not done the quest chain, the following is a spoiler.

The quest chain starts from a Goblin in K3 about the large blue women (aka the Hyldnir) who took the Goblin men prisoner. You go off to save them and in the process get involved with the Vry'kul ladies and their war with the Sons of Hodir. Disguised as a big blue woman yourself, you proceed to take part in their games to see who will be the champion and rule by Thorim's side.

After jumping around on the backs of dragons flying around the Temple of Storms, you prove yourself and end up in front of Thorim himself. Oddly enough he seems a bit coo coo. At first he thinks your his wife, Sif, but then recognizes you for the in disguise that you are. Through a short conversation you find out what has happened.

Thorim was originally one of the chief watchers over Ulduar, the Terrace of the Makers, and the races of frost. Loken, Thorim's brother, killed Sif, Thorim's wife, and blamed it on Amgrim, the king of the Frost Giants. Thorim, in his rage, through his hammer at Arngrim, killing him, but before Arngim died, he was able to put a rune on the hammer, preventing anyone, including Thorim, from using it. Thorim then retreated to the Temple of Storms in a stupor of despair.

Taking your arrival as a sign, Thorim wakes from his stupor and begins to plot against the real villain, Loken. First you mend the relationship with the Sons of Hodir and Thorim by working for them some. In return you manage to get Thorim his armor and hammer back from the spirit of Arngrim. Once things are all patched up with them, you then set out to get Thorim his epic mount back. This is Veranus, the brood mother of the local proto-drakes who Thorim had released into the wild before he went into his stupor.

Armor, check, hammer, check, proto-drake mount, check. Okay! Off you and Thorim go to Loken's throne at the Temple of Wisdom. Thorim and Loken exchange some trash talk and a little fisticuffs, but Loken cheats and a strange tentacle gasps Thorim and Veranus. Thorim and his drake are taken off to Ulduar. Loken laughs at you and reveals that he was the blue woman inside the mine who got you started on this whole quest chain to begin with. In thanks, he doesn't kill you.

Loken has Ignis fuse some metal plates onto Veranus, creating Razorscale. Razorscale flies around Razorscale's Aerie in Ulduar, causing problems for some of the Explorer's League members who are there. A sad end to a noble beast.

Thorim resides in the Halls of Lightning where he is still plagued by visions of Sif, his long dead wife, presumably thanks to Yogg-Saron.

A lot of the mythology of Thor lines up with Thorim. They both had wives named Sif, were betrayed by their brothers and had named hammers. Apparently Thor was defeated by a Jormungar as well, and we see one of these when we enter the arena where Thorim is standing in the Halls of Lightning.