Legion is just around the corner and in the past few weeks Blizzard has been providing us with plentiful amounts of lore in-game and also outside of it. Today I will be focusing onthe Harbinger shorts that were released covering small stories for Illidan, Khadgar, and Gul’dan. Soon I will be covering the lore of our Gul’dan and the alternate reality Gul’dan in a separate article, so I won’t be discussing his Harbinger story in this installment. I also want to preface this by saying I won’t be reviewing these stories as they are pretty self explanatory, however I will be discussing small lore tid-bits that I believe are worth mentioning.
Just in case you missed them, here are the two Harbinger stories I’m talking about:
In the Harbinger short Khadgar went to the tower of Karazhan to search for knowledge that Medivh collected in the hopes of discovering some way to defeat the Legion. He encounters the lingering spirit of Medivh, which attempts to sway Khadgar to pick up the power of the Guardian which is locked away inside a tome. In this moment, it is clear Khadgar seeks that power, and he even admits he has desired to become a Guardian, but he also knows that the power he would get is just too great. Instead of accepting the gift of power from Medivh, he destroys the tome. This act of defiance reveals that this echo was actually a Dreadlord. In a beam of arcane brilliance, Khadgar annihilates the Dreadlord, sending it back into the Twisting Nether. In his closing statement, Khadgar realizes the knowledge he was seeking from Karazhan, “No single person, not even a Guardian, can stand against the Legion alone.”
Ultimately not a whole lot can be gained from this short, other than it is unknown how long the Dreadlord has been posing as Medivh inside the tower of Karazhan. This could potentially lead to the addition of Medan, who was led astray by a dreadlord, but we don’t really know. We also learn more about the more human characteristics of Khadgar, such as his own struggle with the lust for power, which only further shows Blizzard’s ability to develop characters is rapidly improving per expansion.
The short on Illidan had a particularly strong focus on the Illidari he trained to fight the demons. During his speech, he talks about the suffering which the demons caused, and how the Night Elves and Blood Elves came to Illidan filled with nothing but hate and seeking revenge. We are given a glimpse of the ritual where the candidate is bound to the demon soul which empowers them. There is also an emphasis throughout the short that the Demon Hunters were made to be the predators of the demons instead of the prey. Another notable point is that Illidan holds a stone which allows them to enter the worlds of demons to be offensive instead of defensive. Despite all of these revelation, the major highlight, in my opinion, is when a female Illidari ask what is the difference between the demons and them. She notes that the power of the demons pump through them and naw at their minds. Near the end of the short the question is answered with, “You wish to know the difference between the demons and us? They will stop at nothing to destroy our world, and we will sacrifice everything to save it.”
My biggest take away from this story is the determination the Illidari have; It is unlike anything we have seen, even among our own ranks inside the factions. Driven by desperation, they merged with the things that ruined their lives in order to become weapons against them. I find the idea that the demon inside the Illidari can attack the mind of the individual to be extremely interesting; It can lead to potential corruption from within if the demon is able to latch onto any particular suffering it’s host might have.
That is all I have for the Harbinger shorts recap. With even this little bit of information there is still so much to think about so go ahead and let me know what you think in the comments. Do you think the spirit of Medivh in Karazhan was always a Dreadlord? Is the fact that demons inside of the demon hunters attack the thoughts of the hunter add some room for plot twists? While you let your brain chew on all those little bits, don’t forget to keep your eyes open because the Burning Legion is still coming.