If for some reason you’re still really hoping that Blizzard will pull some good storytelling in World of Warcraft, maybe point your eyeballs to the novels instead of the game itself for something super satisfying. Blizzard fansite Blizzard Watch recently published a chunk of the newest novel, Shadows Rising, which’ll lead us in to the Shadowlands expansion later this year. Promo material for the book, which is penned by Madeleine Roux and expected to hit shelves on July 14th, calls it the “official prequel novel” for the new content. Apparently, among the cast of characters is Zekhan himself.
“‘The Horde is nothing!’ With those infamous words, Sylvanas Windrunner betrayed and abandoned the Horde she vowed to serve. The Dark Lady and her forces now work in the shadows as both the Horde and Alliance, including her own sister, Alleria, race to uncover her next move. Struggling to shoulder the crushing weight of leadership, King Anduin entrusts the void elf and High Exarch Turalyon to uncover Sylvanas’s whereabouts. The Horde now stands at a crossroads. The various factions form a council, leaving the mantle of warchief to rest. Thrall, Lor’themar Theron, Baine Bloodhoof, First Arcanist Thalyssra, and many other familiar faces rise to this new challenge. But the threats are numerous, and the distrust runs too deep.”
One poster on Icy Veins cleverly points out that by not putting lore like this directly in the game – you know, where it logically should be – the devs can “have it both ways” by quoting the books to handwave some decisions and then deeming the novels not canon whenever they introduce content the team doesn’t want to work with. Story checks out!
The excerpt itself includes spoilers, so heads-up. Also, the release date for this book does seem to push the expansion off until at least late summer if not later, which is probably what you expected anyway.