Thursday, September 9, 2010

The fall of the King

This blog has been long overdue for a World of Warcraft entry. This has been somewhat intentional, as I have been waiting until I was part of a group that successfully killed the Lich King. Two weeks ago our 10 man raid killed Lich King, and finally, last night, our 25 man raid killed Lich King.

There will be spoilers in this entry and for the few readers who read my blog, you can skip this one or for the even fewer readers who read this blog and play WoW, you've probably already killed the Lich King, or have read about it on one of the strategy websites.

But for those non-wow players who do decide to read this entry, I will try to make this as entertaining and interesting as possible.

You directly encounter Arthas in the Culling of Stratholme dungeon, where you are transported back in time to protect Arthas from the time keepers who want to destroy the would-be Lich King. However in present time, you can see the effects Arthas left in his wake during his rise as king of the undead in the Plaguelands and Stratholme (Well, Arthas wasn't responsible for the initial downfall of the Plaguelands and the city of Stratholme, but he did charge Kel'Thuzad with the responsibility of keeping the neighborhood chock full of undead things. But Kel'Thuzad appears in Northrend in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion).

Anyways, the continent of Northrend is a cold place filled with beauty, mystery, new allies and foes. The region of Icecrown, however, is a nasty place devoid of life where the Lich King rules over his undead minions. But there are members of the Horde and Alliance races who have set up camp in Icecrown that are dedicated to eradication of the Lich King and his unliving subjects.

Incidentally, the whole Arthas/Lich King thing confused me and still does to a point, but what I've figured out is that the Lich King is comprised of Ner'zhul, a dead shaman but now evil spirit and the physical body of Arthas Menethil. However, I still can't figure out exactly who is speaking and doing all the terrible things...Arthas or Ner'zhul or both?

Silverwolfe, (my druid healer) is in a large group comprised of healers, warriors and magic users intent on killing the Lich King. They storm the Lich King's castle and kill a bone wraith, undead lich, undead orc death knight, 2 flesh beasts, an undead mad scientist experimenting with poisonous gas clouds to eradicate all life in the world, a trio of conceited-even-in-death blood elves, a hungry vampire, an angry undead frost wyrm and rescue a LIVING dragon.


After all that killin', Silverwolfe and her friends are teleported up to the throne room where they see Highlord Tirion facing the Lich King on his icy throne. (Be sure to note and remember the human chained above the Lich King's throne. From the screen shot it looks like a black X. This will be important later)

Look at Lich King, he's so smug. You just want to wipe the smirk right off that cold undead-ish face.

After some smack talk, Arthas the Lich King magically seals Tirion in an icy tomb and the battle begins.

The Lich King is a mighty foe, for while he is fighting one of our fearless warriors, he is inflicting diseases, shadow bolts, shockwaves and raising dead undead things on the rest of the group.

When he grows tired of the hand-to-hand combat with our warrior (we've whittled about 30% of his health down at this point), he begins casting Remorseless Winter, a nasty winter storm spell that deals lots of cold damage. He also begins summoning Raging Spirits which are actually aspects of an individual in the group. These suckers throw a mean punch.

Then he shoves his big bad sword Frostmourne (the marshmallow mace has been long replaced) into the ground which creates a huge quake and the edges of the platform fall away. And woe to the hero who is slow in leaving the crumbling edge...

At this point the heroes fall on the King with their swords, daggers, maces, staffs and deadly spells and he gets annoyed. Turns out the Lich King has many a minion up his sleeve. He begins summoning Val'kyr. They look like angels, but don't be fooled by their white visage or those lovely wings. Their soul, oops, sole purpose is to pick heroes up and fling them off the edge into the cold abyss.

The Lich King also casts a nasty spell (Defile) that looks like an oil spill on the ground that spreads when it comes into contact with warm bodies and does a crap load of damage.

So while you're trying to not get picked up by Val'kyr or trying to kill the Val'kyr that is heading toward the edge with a friend you have to try to avoid big nasty puddles of black goo. Thanks Lich King.

But Silverwolfe and her band of hero friend persevered and really pissed the Lich King off. He casts that Remorseless Winter spell again and summons more Enraged Spirits. When the Spirits are forced back into oblivion, we fall again the Lich King, but he's having none of that nonsense. This time his sword gets in on the action. After the Lich King drops a heavy amount of shadow damage on one poor hero, the sword sucks their soul in, where the hero finds the Lich King's father (did I mention that Arthas, the Lich King, killed his own father, Terenas?) and the two battle an evil spirit before the hero is returned outside of the sword.

*Spoiler alert*

Well, the Lich King loses his temper and unleashes the fury of Frostmourne, killing the entire raid. After throwing his hissy fit, he gloats over killing the heroes and relishes the idea of the powerful new members of his undead army (us). He then begins channeling us back to (un)life

Remember poor Tirion, our Highlord entombed in ice? Yeah, we pretty much lost faith and patience with him at this point. But he breaks through the ice and opens a can of whoop ass on the king.

Tirion breaks Frostmourne during the fight, releasing all the spirits held within, including Terenas. The spirit of Terenas resurrects all of the fallen members of the party.

As you can imagine, those spirits that have been contained within the sword Frostmourne have a bit of a grudge against the Lich King. You see all those swirling thingies? Those are the spirits of all the people the Lich King has killed. They are angry. Very angry. They hold Lich King in place, allowing the group to kick that evil king's butt.

After the Lich King is slain, Tirion discovers it is Bolvar Fordragon chained at the top of the throne. Bolvar was believed to be slain during a surprise Scourge attack but he survived and the Lich King took him and tortured him up to the point of the fight. However, he is in sad shape, his body pretty much burned and broken. He tells Tirion that there must be balance between the good and evil forces in the world, and ultimately, there must be a Lich King not only to contain the threat of the Scourge but to keep the Lich King imprisoned. The helm of domination, that ugly hat Arthas was wearing, was by created by demons and bonded to the Ner'zhul the Lich King (this is the simple version of the story. It's a bit complicated) and grants any mortal the powers of the Lich King.

Tirion reluctantly agrees to place the helm on Bolvar, who becomes encased in a tomb of ice to imprison the essence of the Lich King and ensure the helm doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

It's a great victory, but bittersweet in the great sacrifice Bolvar makes for the well being of the world and it's what makes a great epic tale.

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