In the last article we covered the Council of Tirisfal and their creation of the Guardian to fight the Burning Legion, which trickles into the physical world. Guardians continued their duty to keep the peace of Azeroth, however they only had two fates. They either retired their powers to the next Guardian or died while fighting against the burning Legion.
The cycle of passing on powers or passing away from one Guardian to the next continued until Scavell, who would find himself struggling to find a worthy Mage to take his place as Guardian as he began to reach the end of the traditional one-hundred years of service. Likewise, the Council feared that it would take time to find a new Guardian, and so while they searched, they asked Scavell to remain in his position. He agreed to the request, understanding the importance of selecting a promising new Guardian. It also was beneficial that the relationship between the Council and Scavell was good. After years of searching, a promising female Mage entered the picture. Her name was Aegwynn and she held the most skill and dedication of all of her peers.
Years later, Scavell, with the Council of Tirisfal, granted the apprentice Aegwynn the power of the Guardian. In turn she would begin her task of banishing the forces of the Burning Legion with haste. Aegwynn was a true prodigy of the arcane; She held the ability to use massive amounts of power, however, she was stubborn with the Council of Tirisfal. She did not trust the authority figures, and it put her at odds with the Council. Although she rarely listened to them, the Council was never truly concerned, as her effectiveness to defeat demons far surpassed her willingness to cooperate.
After serving for some time, Aegwynn sensed something stirring in Northrend. Aegwynn traveled to the frozen north and discovered demons feeding off the arcane energy of the Blue Dragons. Seeing such atrocities, she traveled to Wyrmrest Temple where she called upon the dragons to keep their pact to protect all of Azeroth. With Alexstrasza as their leader, several Dragonflights agreed to aid Aegwynn. At Galakrond’s remains, they set an ambush for the Legion forces. The Guardian summoned a blizzard, which whipped around the battlefield to aid herself and the Dragonflights. Despite the success of their trap, they were taken by surprise when the burning form of Sargeras, leader of the Burning Legion, rose from the ground. This wasn’t the true form of Sargeras however, but merely an avatar, yet it radiated an aura of extreme strength. Almost instantly, a fight broke out between Aegwynn and the avatar. Both sides rained fury from the sky and scorched the earth under them. During their battle, a storm of magic consumed the area around them, which forced the Dragons to flee. After hours of fighting Aegwynn was victorious, yet the fight drained her of the majority of her strength. In defiance of his defeat, Sargeras moved a fragment of his soul into the weakened Guardian, where he would begin to brew hatred in her soul. After regaining her strength, Aegwynn would collect the defeated form of the avatar and seal it away in the sunken city of Suramar, which lay at the bottom of the Great Sea. This location was chosen due to the seals which the powerful sorcerers placed long ago to close demon portals and negate fel magic. It would be here, among these ancient seals, that she knew the body’s fel magic would be smothered into silence. She hoped that inside the city, the avatar’s remains would lay dormant until the end of time.
After the events in Northrend, Sargeras went to work corrupting Aegwynn from the inside. His corruption played on her distrust of the Council of Tirisfal, bringing her to isolate herself. Of all of the matters which concerned Aegwynn about the Council, it was their interference with human politics that she found the most troubling. While she believed that was not their role, they argued that what they were doing was needed to prevent war and suffering. Despite their constant reassurance she remained skeptical. This skepticism bred fear that if she were to step down another, weaker Guardian could be manipulated by their political agenda. As a result, she would use her vast power to extend her life far beyond the century of service that was typical of a Guardian. Despite being displeased with her decision, the Council accepted it since she was by far their most accomplished Guardian. Over the next hundred years, she would grow farther and farther away from the Council. During this time she built the tower of Karazhan in Deadwind Pass. This structure would remain a secret from the Council for some time. While serving as a retreat, the tower also served as a conduit for strong magical ley lines, which she could siphon more power from when needed. While older members of the Council died and new ones filled their roles, they continued to interfere with politics of the Eastern Kingdoms. Many of these new members sought to force Aegwynn to surrender her powers in order to elect a new Guardian. During a visit to Dalaran the Council demanded that she step down or face consequences, yet knowing her own power, she merely laughed at the threat. Furious with Aegwynn, the Council decided that they must find a way to force her to step down. Their first thought was to empower a new Guardian, however that idea was quickly thrown out when they considered the potential destruction that Aegwynn battling another Guardian would cause. Instead, they decided to form the Tirisgarde, which was another order of Mages entrusted with relics which could weaken the Guardian’s powers. After training with these new tools, the hunters set out to bring Aegwynn back to Dalaran. She was able to evade the Tirisgarde for some time, however it wasn’t long before some of the hunters discovered Karazhan. This forced Aegwynn to flee back to Suramar, which she would then name the Guardian Sanctum.
Despite her refuge from the Tirisgarde, Aegwynn occasionally went on outings to Dalaran to visit the Council of Tirisfal and observe their activities. Much to her frustration, the Council was still meddling in human political affairs, believing that they could manipulate the kingdoms towards a utopian end. During one of these outings, she encountered Nielas Aran, who was the most persistent Tirisgarde she had known to exist. Several times Nielas used his artifacts to hamper Aegwynn’s escape and just be a general nuisance by blocking her powers. Each encounter served as a game of wit, where they prodded each other for information about their strengths and weaknesses. During one of these encounters, she discovered Nielas did not like the Council’s political schemes. On the same note, Nielas saw the merit behind Aegwynn’s betrayal and no longer viewed her as a rebel. This revelation brought him to abandon his hunt for her. Nielas began spending time with Aegwynn and eventually love would begin to blossom. Together, they worked to prevent the Council from having control of another Guardian. Nielas hatched a plan to produce an heir who could accept the mantle of Guardian. Aegwynn did not agree at first, but in time she would accept the plan and eventually give birth to a son named Medivh which means ‘Keeper of Secrets’ in the High Elven tongue.
Together Aegwynn and Nielas settled on Stormwind to be the place where Medivh would be raised, mostly due to its weak ties to Dalaran. Upon his birth, Aegwynn locked her power inside of the boy’s soul, which would awaken when he was old enough to control it. Consequently, when he was still in the womb, Medivh was also possessed by the fragment of Sargeras that writhed inside of Aegwynn. Nielas became the Stormwind conjurer for the royal court, while Aegwynn disappeared for a very much needed rest after centuries of service as the Guardian. Due to Nielas’s role in the Stormwind court, Medivh grew up around Anduin Lothar and Prince Llane Wrynn and, although the trio were mischievous, the children were beloved by the kingdom’s population. While Medivh grew, Nielas taught Medivh extensively about the arcane arts and Medivh possessed extreme affinity for magic from both of his parents who were highly-adept in the arcane arts.
The weight of his destiny tormented Medivh’s mind throughout his young life; The stress and pressure of these thoughts came to a violent eruption on the eve of his fourteenth birthday when the powers of his mother screamed to be awoken. Violent dreams ravaged Medivh, from the powers fighting to be unleashed. Desperately, Nielas attempted to help Medivh, however the power that Medivh had inside him lashed outward, killed Nielas and caused Medivh to fall into a coma. When Medivh awoke over twenty years later, he found the world around him different. His childhood friends had grown: Llane was ready to succeed his father as the King of Stormwind, and Anduin had become a Knight in the Stormwind military. Medivh was quick to realize the massive amount of power at his fingertips and, despite the coma, he felt fine, yet Inside of Medivh’s soul, Sargeras was realizing the potential of his new tool to invade Azeroth.
With every passing day, Medivh was growing even stronger, and slowly Sargeras twisted Medivh’s thoughts to turn him against the humans of Azeroth and eventually, Medivh would come to believe that the humans were standing in the way of his true power. Medivh reached out to Gul’dan and urged him to invade Azeroth with the Horde. In return, Medivh would give Gul’dan the location to the Tomb of Sargeras. Upon agreeing the terms of their deal, the two opened the Dark Portal.
The Dark Portal
Shortly after the opening of the portal, Aegwynn clashed with Medivh in a fierce battle, which ultimately resorted in Medivh’s victory, but badly drained him his strength. Another who confronted Medivh would be a blue dragon, Arcanagos, who visited Karazhan in an attempt to stop Medivh from his dark path. As expected, Medivh would not listen to the pleas, which prompted another battle to erupt. This conflict ended Arcanagos’s life, yet again draining the Mage of his strength. Not long after this battle, the Mages of Dalaran sent the young Mage Khadgar to apprentice under Medivh in Karazhan. War between Humans and Orcs had reached a fever-pitch, with the Orcs pushing inland from the Black Morass. During the invasion from the Morass, the Horde sent an emissary to Medivh to monitor him, as Gul’dan had no trust for Humans. This emissary was Garona Halforcen. Inside of Karazhan, amidst plenty of arguments over culture, a friendship formed between Garona and Khadgar, and a brief flame of romance flickered between Garona and Medivh. Their brief passion resulted in a child, which they named Med’an, and while the child was thought to be the Guardian after Medivh, this notion appears to be reexamined by the Harbinger short Blizzard published about Khadgar.
A vision within Karazhan revealed to Khadgar and Garona that it had been Medivh to contact Gul’dan and bring the Orcs into Azeroth. Before this time it had been entirely unknown how they reached Azeroth. Together the two fled from Karazhan to warn the King of Stormwind of Medivh’s treachery. King Llane dismissed this as another of Medivh’s mood swings, however Anduin took this news far more seriously. A select force from Stormwind, along with Khadgar, Garona, and Anduin, confronted Medivh in Karazhan. It was an intense battle which ultimately ended in the death of Medivh at the hand of Khadgar. Despite killing Medivh his body had begun to change into that of a demon which was ended by Anduin. Sargeras was finally banished, but for how long?
Medivh’s tale does not end with his death inside of the mysterious tower of Karazhan. During the battle between Khadgar and Medivh, it was Sargeras’s soul that was banished, but Medivh’s who was set free. Medivh’s soul found itself venturing to his mother, Aegwynn, who used the last of her magic to bring a physical form to her son’s spirit. Long after the second war, a prophet appeared before the races of Azeroth to gave a warning of the end of life as they knew it. King Terenas of Lordaeron and Antonidas of Dalaran both dismissed the prophet as a madman. Only the apprentice of Antonidas, Jaina Proudmoore, believed that this prophet might be right. Around the same time, Thrall had a dream to journey to the realms of Kalimdor if he wished to save his people. Finally, the prophet revealed himself to be Medivh and urged the forces of the Orcs, Humans, and the Night Elves to join forces to defeat the Burning Legion. The combined races faced off at Mount Hyjal against the Burning Legion, and ultimately against Archimonde. Were it not for the efforts of Medivh, it is believed that the World Tree would have fallen that day. No one is aware of what happened in the aftermath of the battle of Mount Hyjal. Some believe that Medivh departed from this material plane, or that he possibly just retired to some remote part of Azeroth.
It is hard to say how different Azeroth might have been were it not for the arrogance of Aegwynn or the corruption of Medivh. These figures played a vital role to the story of Azeroth as we know it today. Would we have ever encountered the Orcs? What if a weaker Guardian was killed by the avatar of Sargeras? These questions are ones we will never know the answers to, but what we do know is that Azeroth no longer needs a Guardian. The players, as our characters, with all of our stubbornness and will to survive, are the new protectors of Azeroth and together, we are an unstoppable force against the Burning Legion.