The first of three excerpts from the new World of Warcraft: Before the Storm novel is revealed, and with it, Anduin’s letter to Sylvanas. Anduin Wrynn is a priest, son of Varian Wrynn, and now king of Stormwind. While he has been known to champion peace in the past — especially in his conversations with Wrathion and even Garrosh Hellscream in Pandaria — his letter shows a different side of him.
In the World of Warcraft: Before the Storm excerpt, Anduin first acknowledges time when the Forsaken sought a home in the Alliance, and were cast away. Still petrified by the atrocity in Lordaeron committed by Arthas, the Alliance refused to aid the Forsaken, and so the undead race found a home in the Horde.
When Arthas Menethil was still the Prince of Lordaeron and Knight of the Silver Hand, he had an encounter with a necromancer named Kel’Thuzad, who brought a plague to Lordaeron. The plague was deadly and hit the citizens where it had been least expected: in the very bread that families ate.
After discovering this, Arthas purged the city of Stratholme. Although he felt sickened to kill citizens of young and old indiscriminately, Arthas was even more desperate to get rid of the infected and even the potentially infected. Although Jaina Proudmoore, his love interest at the time, and a powerful, brilliant mage in her own right, pleaded for any other way to solve the issue as opposed to mass genocide, it fell on deaf ears.
Later, and ever more desperate, Arthas became a death knight, leading undead forces of the Scourge to destroy cities like Lordaeron, Dalaran, and even Sylvanas’ previous home, Quel’Thalas.
That was where Sylvanas met her death as Quel’Thalas’ Ranger-General. She later broke free of the then-Lich King’s control and eventually made a home for more independent undead beneath the ruins of Lordaeron’s capital.
It is interesting to note that in World of Warcraft: Before the Storm, Anduin acknowledges Arthas in his letter to Sylvanas, all the while indicating that the Horde and Alliance have faced a common foe once before, and may be able to work together once again.
In addition, Anduin has also spoken with Alonsus Faol, a Forsaken who still follows the Light, and who was once the archbishop of Lordaeron. Foal agreed to help with negotiation between the factions, and, as Anduin emphasized in his letter, it is about families and families torn apart.
Despite having worked together to defeat the Burning Legion, the Horde and Alliance nonetheless struggle against each other to harness the power of Azerite. In Sargeras’ final moments, he struck the heart of Azeroth with his sword, creating a devastating wound that revealed the material.
While Anduin mentions this in his letter, and how there are still hostilities between both factions, he goes back to the need to save Azeroth. He believes that the substance can save her and pave the way for a better future for everyone if both Horde and Alliance worked together to explore it.
A single day of cease-fire is proposed, and families will be able to meet the ones they’ve lost. While participation will be voluntary, Anduin writes that no harm should come to his participants and vice-versa to the Forsaken.
The site for the cease-fire event will be the Arathi Highlands, and humans and Forsaken would assemble in the open field from dawn to dusk. Anduin plans to have his people assemble at Stromgarde Keep.
Interestingly, in Battle for Azeroth, the western region of the highlands becomes a warfront as a fight between Horde and Alliance breaks out for Stromgarde. For the Horde, it is a strategic location for an attack on the Eastern Kingdoms, as well as a location to begin an assault against the Worgen.
In the final part of his letter, Anduin states this cease-fire as not an offer of peace, but a single day of compassion. However, as the Horde and Alliance race to uncover the secrets of Azerite, while is jeopardizing the balance of power, Anduin wants to gain the trust of Sylvanas more than ever. The summary of World of Warcraft: Before the Storm says, “Anduin enacts a desperate plan aimed at forging a lasting peace between the factions,” indicating that this letter may just be a piece of the puzzle of Anduin’s ultimate plan.
Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out Jesse Lyle’s World of Warcraft: Legion review.
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