Friday, September 18, 2009

Lessons in Lore - Yogg-Saron

The Lucid Dream. The Monster in your Nightmares. The Fiend with a Thousand Faces.

The Old God of Death.

That's him in all his tentacled glory. Yogg-Saron is indeed an Old God and one of the ancient beings responsible for the curse of flesh which afflicted the Titan creations and gives us the races we know today. The Titans themselves could not destroy the old gods without destroying the world of Azeroth, so instead, they imprisoned them. Ulduar is the prison of Yogg-Saron. That is it's purpose, and that's why we've come here to begin with. Because the prisoner has gotten loose.

That's really about all of the history we have for old Yoggy. Of course, we know there's lots of stuff currently going on. For one, Yogg-Saron is free, but has not physically moved himself out of Ulduar. I'm not really sure how he could without legs... although I guess he could move around on his tentacles. He's been doing a lot of work through the watchers that he's corrupted however. I started with Loken, who was the chief jailer. Loken then was used as a pawn to capture and corrupt the remaining keepers, and even uses us, the players, in his scheme to get Thorim. What he needs all of the keepers for is unclear, other than to get rid of the people that could prevent him from completely breaking free.

By the time we get to Ulduar, we've already encountered much of the old god throughout Northrend. In the Grizzly Hills we see Vordrassil, the world tree of Northrend is destroyed and laying in pieces. Thousands of years ago the ancient druids planted this tree to be the first world tree, but the roots went to deep and entered the domain of Yogg-Saron, corrupting the tree, and prompting the Druids to destroy it. This tells me that Yogg-Saron has some domain over the deep places of the earth and this is further reinforced by the whispers you can here when entering the mines of Icecrown.

The faceless ones seem to be at the command of Yogg-Saron, and also come from the deep places of the earth as seen in the dialogue with the Nerubians. And then to top it all off, we have SARONite. The Tuskarr call it the Black Blood of Yogg-Saron, and it is believe that it is an actual by-product produced by the old god. Saronite, the metal has very magic resistant properties, especially holy magic, and thus was chosen specifically by Arthas, the Lich King, to construct the many gates and towers throughout Icecrown, and the armor and weapons that are used by the Scourge. But prolonged exposure to Saronite has maddening effects. Miners forced to excavate Saronite in Icecrown can be seen leaping to their deaths and mumbling in an insane matter. Who knows what effect all the Saronite will have on the scourge?

The only other confirmed old god was C'thun, who was locked up inside An-Qiraj until relatively recently. He was killed, but there are rumors that while his body was destroyed, his presence remained, and now the Twilight Cultists have descended up on the ruins in an attempt to resurrect him. So now, even though Yogg-Saron has been defeated, and the keepers of Ulduar liberated, can we be sure that he is completely dead? Or will his presence somehow remain, manifested throughout Icecrown via the saronite deposits. And just what is the connection between the Old God of Death, and the Lich King?

During the fight with Yogg-Saron, some people must enter his mind and witness three different visions. These seem to be visions of events that Yogg-Saron was present at. Or at least it makes sense that he would have been if he has the memories of the events.

The first event is the creation of the Demon Soul by the five dragon flights during the War of the Ancients. Ultimately, this was done by Neltharion and was a catalyst for his corruption into Deathwing. So was Yogg-Saron the old god behind Deathwing's creation? Perhaps the death of Yogg-Saron is a precursor to the reemergence of Deathwing coming in the Cataclysm.

The next event is Garona Halforcen's assassination of King Llane. This was ultimately the reason that the humans lost the war against the invading orcish hordes during the first war. Without their leader to guide them, the humans fell apart. We know now that Garona was being controlled by the Twilight Cultists when the assassination occurred. And the cultists are worshipers of the old gods. So again, Yogg-Saron is telling us of his involvements of these events.

The final scene is not one that we are familiar with from history, and seems as if it may have occurred much more recently. The Lich King stands before an immolated champion and a prisoner, torturing the champion and trying to break him to his will. Who is the champion, and who the prisoner? Some say it may be Bolvar and Saurfang the younger. Others speculate the Lich King refers to Arthas, whom he broke when he joined with the Lich King. Yogg-Saron's involvement in this vision is more vague. Is he in league with the Lich-King? Or opposed to him. As Yogg states, "He will learn... no King lives forever, only death is eternal!"

There's still a lot of mystery surrounding Yogg-Saron, and I hope that we get a few more insights into what happened at Ulduar down the road. Perhaps a connection will be made when we go to Icecrown. Or during the cataclysm with Deathwing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lessons in Lore - General Vezax

There's not a lot we know about this guy. The one thing we do know is that he's a General, and he is a Faceless One. The fact that he is a general seems irrelevant, however it may be worth mentioning that another General served an old god as well. That was General Rajaax who served C'thun in Ahn'Qiraj. The names are actually very similar as well.

Faceless ones are ancient evil beings in the service of Yogg-Saron. They were first encountered in Azjol-Nerub by the Nerubians, who dug too deep while fighting the scourge, and contributed to the near extinction of the nerubianswhen they were confronted from two sides by the enemy. There are many locales around Icecrown where we find evidence of the faceless ones, including in the mines and underneath Icecrown citadel. The name faceless one comes from the indistinguishable looks of the monsters. Though they resemble elephants, there's really know evidence of eyes or ears or mouths. Just a lot of appendages.

General Vezax looks more bug like than elephant like and has massive claws for hands, as well as a somewhat discernible face. There is no explanation for this, but he does seem to command the faceless ones that surround him.

The only other tidbit of information is more recent, and comes from a blue post in the forums, which is kind of abnormal from a lore standpoint. However, it has been suggested that General Vezax is in reality the corrupted form of the Watcher Tyr, who we have no current knowledge of his whereabouts. All of the other watchers showed up in Ulduar, so it would make sense that Tyr would as well. But there is a difference noted in that all of the temples of the watchers were destroyed or violated, except for Tyr's Temple of Order, which is simply vacated.

So is General Vezax the corrupted form of the Watcher Tyr? Being that close to Yogg-Saron's prison is bound to have it's consequences. But there is another room that isn't explored on the Ulduar map, opposite of Hodir's room. We may never know. What do you think?

Just one more boss left to do. The old god himself. Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Yogg-Saron. Finally Defeated.

We did it! We finally killed that over weight sack of brains. Using a raid lock out from over four weeks ago, we went inside Ulduar and after nearly an hour and a half, brought the big bad brain down. I'm so proud of everyone in my guild. We all had to pull together to get him down and we did it! Much screaming and rejoicing was had. Then we went and cleared out Iron Council, Razorscale, and Ignis just for kicks. So much fun to have it finally put behind us.

Now we're going to take it easy and do some Ulduar hard modes. It will probably be some time before we come back for Yogg again. And I'm okay with that. Before Ulduar, we completed a Trial of the Crusader run normal and netted the Upper Back Pain and 360 Pain Spike achievements in the process. As far as I know, we may be the first on our server to get that back pain one, but that's only going on what Guild Ox says.

Kind of on a gaming high right now.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Trial of the Crusader Completed!

Due to the weekend being a holiday weekend and wanting a shot at being one of the first guilds on the server to complete the Trial of the Crusader, we did our raid Tuesday night in the Coliseum. The Faction Champions gave us a bit of a headache as they most always do, but we had it after 4 tries. We one shotted the Twin Val'kyr, again, even though I still don't feel like I understand the fight. And then we tackled Anub'arak!

I only knew the basic strategy as no real information other than what was from the PTR was available. We tried to keep him on the permafrost so he wouldn't burrow, but we never seemed to be able to completely keep him from doing so. It may be that you can't keep him from burrowing and that the permafrost is more for avoiding the spikes in the second phase and slowing down adds.

Whatever the case, after 4 or 5 trial and error shots, we got him! We went on to attempt the heroic Northrend Beast fight and had a good laugh when the Jormungar entered the arena BEFORE we had killed Gormok.

We ended the night by taking down Koralon, the newest boss in the Vault of Archavon. Two shot, and a lot of fun for some Emblems and Tier 9 gear!