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Shadows Rising (Shadowlands Prequel) Coming July 14

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Blizzard Watch got their hands on an excerpt from the upcoming Shadowlands prequel novel written by Madeleine Roux that will be released on July 14 and it features the community-favorite Zappyboi! The article contains spoilers.

A new World of Warcraft book that will explain the loose ties between Battle for Azeroth and Shadowlands titled Shadows Rising is coming and Blizzard Watch managed to get their hands on an excerpt from the book and here are some of the highlights:

  • Anduin entrusts Turalyon to uncover Sylvanas' whereabouts.
  • The new Horde Council is derailed by a failed assassination attempt on Talanji. The Council sends Zekhan on a mission to uncover the rising threat against Queen Talanji.
  • Nathanos and Sira Moonwarden have been tasked by Sylvanas to kill Bwonsamdi.

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Shadows Rising Excerpt by Blizzard Watch

Quote

Zekhan had not avoided the unforgiving boot of war by staying still. No, he learned to make himself useful, to stay useful, and to know when that usefulness had come to its end. He had not been stationed at Varok Saurfang’s side on the battlements of Lordaeron by twiddling his thumbs or taking a nap. And so, he did not stand still while his commander fell into a quiet, intense exchange with the Earthen Ring shaman.

Zekhan casually fell into step behind the tall and well-armed leader of the Darkspear trolls, Rokhan, using his shadow as a concealment of sorts, ignoring the screams and cheers of the crowd as the assembled council members and their assorted bodyguards, advisors, and hangers on retreated to the tempting shade of the feast tents. Zekhan wasn’t foolish enough to think those celebratory cheers were for him. No, he was in a shadow and was a shadow: first his father’s, then Saurfang’s, and now Thrall’s.

And as a shadow, he crept along, looking for something interesting enough to occupy his time. “Keep ya hands busy and ya mind sharp,” his father Hekazi had told him when Zekhan was still knee-high to a raptor. “And ya will never want for work nor amusement.”

Work and amusement would have to go hand-in-hand that day. A drum circle with a trio of wild dancers had been set up outside the tents to welcome the esteemed guests. He watched the goblin, Gazlowe, sidle up toward the drums, doing a silly two-step and making the dancers laugh. The music, the steady, infectious rhythm of it gradually spread to the others approaching the tent, tense shoulders moving to the beat, narrowed eyes widening with appreciation at the talented (and scantily dressed) dancers.

Only Talanji and her Zandalari contingent stood apart. The detached detachment. He wasn’t exactly surprised. While the Horde Council had welcomed her and her folk warmly, her response so far had been nothing but chilly. Zekhan had kept a close eye on her, intrigued and, admittedly, a little besotted with the beautiful queen. She had the most delicate tusks and arresting blue eyes…

She also, quite clearly, had a temper.

Talanji paced back and forth on the far southern end of the feast tables, a turquoise-skinned, yellow-haired young troll girl fanning the queen with a massive palm frond. Annoyed with the little puffs of wind, Talanji batted at the girl, shooing her away. Zekhan frowned. Had there not been more bodyguards with Talanji when they arrived? Or had one of her handmaidens gone missing? Orgrimmar was not the most confusing city to navigate in the world, but perhaps one of the Zandalari had gotten lost on their way to the meeting that afternoon.

Maybe, he thought. Maybe. He sidled closer, sensing an opportunity. The Horde needed every advantage it could get, and that meant securing Talanji’s faith anew. Their grieving ally did not seem keen on joining them in war or peace, or willing to provide troops. Or ready to embrace the council. No, she didn’t seem very impressed at all.

“Might I be of service, ya Majesty?”

Zekhan gave a low bow and brought out his most dazzling smile. The girl fanning the queen made a tiny sound of alarm. The queen herself stared at him—through him—then rolled her eyes.

“And how could you possibly be of service?” Her keen eyes no doubt took in his humble garments and dirt under his fingernails. Meanwhile, she and her servants glittered like firebugs at dusk.

“Ya entourage be lookin’ a little light. If ya need an errand run or a fresh cup of wine—”

Talanji tilted her head to the side, her earrings jangling softly as she interrupted him. “You are spying on me now?”

Not the response he was hoping for. Zekhan backed away, already bracing for the lecture Thrall would give him for bothering the queen. He threw up his arms as if in surrender, a cold shiver overcoming him, like someone had traced the tip of a knife down his spine. And then he fell backward, steady one minute and flailing the next, his elbow smashing into something hard and then wet. A goblet. Talanji’s missing servant had returned and Zekhan had crashed right into him.

The cup clattered to the ground, splashing wine all over Zekhan’s feet and the hem of Talanji’s gown.

“Mind yourself!” the servant carrying the tray and goblet shouted, scrambling to scoop up the fallen goblet. He was older than Talanji, the servant, with scars criss-crossing his nose and a visible sheen of sweat over his brow. “Clumsy oaf! That was the queen’s wine!”

“Just a mistake,” Talanji said, calmly lifting her skirt to inspect the damage. “He meant no harm…”

But Zekhan stopped listening to the queen, staring at the stain on the fine white silk of her dress. First Arcanist Thalyssra’s silken voice was suddenly in his head…

I cannot wait for you to sample our arcfruit sangree, Lor’themar. We have generously arranged enough for all of Orgrimmar to enjoy.

The ugly splotch on the queen’s hem was purplish blue and turning black. What’s more, the puddle left behind on the dirt smelled distinctly of death.

“Another cup for you, Majesty. I will return,” the servant was saying, bowing to Talanji as he shuffled away.

“No,” Zekhan knelt and swept his fingers through the spill on the ground, then sniffed. Whatever it was, it wasn’t wine. An herbal tea, maybe, or something worse. “What you be servin’ her?”

“W-Wine,” the servant stammered, but the sweat on the troll’s brow poured heavy down his temples. “Just wine.”

Standing, Zekhan had just enough time to wedge himself between Talanji and the scarred servant, who yanked a dagger from under his tunic and lunged toward the queen. The commotion had aroused the interest of the entire council, and now Zekhan felt the feasting tents explode into chaos around him. The drums went abruptly silent followed by hushed whispers from the crowd outside.

“Back!” Zekhan thundered at Talanji. “Behind me!”

Continue reading on Blizzard Watch 

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3 hours ago, Reno2171 said:

Be nice if they told these stories in game.

Nah, this way they can have it both ways, say the books aren't really cannon when people don't like the story/characterization in them AND point to the books when a lot of stuff ingame doesnt make sense. "The main villain's motivation and the reason for this entire expansion is clearly explained in book 16 of the Sylvanas saga".

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Another sad day for Warcraft lore fans. Not unexpected, considering what they did the few previous expansions too with the books.

WoD was redeemable I feel as the MoP -> WoD transition had you do a major questline to figure out what happened. Still, not everything was explained as the "War Crimes" book was a whole lot more comprehensive. Especially in regards to how Garrosh managed to escape. The in-game quest line gave a few good pointers at least, but it still felt like a tease.

 

Nowadays they're not even trying anymore. the pre-expansion patch (Legion -> BfA) was just ridiculous in terms of lore transition. And the book with Anduin raising people from the dead... Ugh don't get me started on that one.

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Something to point out: the books are meant as a teaster/extra profit before the expansion hits.     Or to put it another way, there's no way the book would come out after the expansion is out, and would need a few weeks to sell cleanly.

So while smarter people shouldn't be surprised anyway (I'm saying early November), all the people banking on Shadowlands coming out in the summer should take note, the absolute best case scenario if the stars align and whatnot is August.

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