With the threat of the Scourge destroyed, Azeroth subsides into a brief period of peace. However, the infinite armies of the Elemental Lord, Neptulon, march on the cities of the Horde and Alliance. With all-out war eminent between the two factions, none can know what terrible fates may await under the dark tides of the ever-swirling Maelstrom. Only time will tell if the mortals of this world can set aside their differences and combat the threat... of the tides.
World of Warcraft: Rage of the Maelstrom
Tides of Change: The Story So Far Edit
One year ago, heroes of the Horde and Alliance first set foot on the shores of Northrend.
Inhabited by savage beasts and the merciless undead Scourge, the adventurers of Azeroth faced many trials, but ultimately emerged victorious, claiming revenge for the deaths of the Lich King's newest plague.
As the Alliance and Horde closed in on Icecrown, a faction of Forsaken betrayed the Horde, attacked both the Scourge and their former allies, and initiated a bloody coup in the Undercity. Their leaders, the Dreadlord Varimathras and the Apothecary Putress, were slain, but open war between the Horde and Alliance had already begun.
The Dread Citadel, Naxxramas, returned to the frozen wastes, commanded by the Archlich, Kel'Thuzad. Though his fortress nearly annihilated the Alliance's efforts in Northrend, he was eventually struck down by the heroes of the Argent Crusade.
The Blue Aspect, Malygos, Hand of Magic, awakened from his slumber for the first time in millennia, only to find magic running rampant in the world. He gathered his flight and began a crusade against the Kirin Tor and all magic users, starting the Nexus War. Though bloody and terrible, the conflict was ended by the mages of Dalaran and their champions, and Malygos was slain. Since then, Azuregos, his eldest son, has taken up the mantle of Blue Aspect, with the aid of the Wyrmrest Accord.
Beneath Wyrmrest Temple, the black dragons perfected their Twilight flight, and prepared many of them to wage war on the Wyrmrest Accord. Their efforts were stopped, however, by the Wyrmrest Accord, who slew their leader, Sartharion, and ended the lives of their twilight bretheren. Their flight lives on, however...
Meanwhile, an eldritch power stirred beneath Northrend. The Old God, Yogg-Saron, had long been imprisoned in the titan city of Ulduar, but the last of its Keepers had fallen. Though the Horde and Alliance refused to unite to end the Old God's threat, The Explorer's League mustered the adventurers of Northrend, defeated the Old God, freed the Keepers of Ulduar, and prevented the Titan's cleansing of Azeroth.
To unite the Horde and Alliance for one final push on Icecrown, Highlord Tirion Fordring of the Argent Crusade hosted the Argent Tournament, in the far north of Icecrown. Though the challenges promised to find a select few worthy of an attack on Icecrown, an attack by the Scourge at the trial's conclusion wiped out any true champions. The assault's leader, King Ymiron of the Vrykul, was slain, but not before he could reignite the war between the Horde and Alliance.
Finally, the Argent Crusade and the Knights of the Ebon Blade, now the Ashen Verdict, stood at the gates of Icecrown. Through a bit of coercion, the Highlord convinced the armies of the Horde and Alliance to aid him in assaulting the Citadel - though neither was aware of the other. When the facade faded, a great battle broke out before the Citadel, between Horde, Alliance, the Ashen Verdict, and the Scourge. While the battle raged, heroes of both the Horde and Alliance cast away their differences and united to slay the Lich King, but at terrible cost: Tirion Fordring, Highlord of the Argent Crusade, was slain.
These victories and losses, however, mean nothing before...
The Fury of the Maelstrom. Edit
Long ago, the ancient Night Elves discovered magic while they carved a civilization on the shores of the Well of Eternity. They grew strong in the eldritch art, and their leading class, the Highborne, became forever dependent on it.
The Dark Titan, Sargeras, offered the Highborne Queen, Azshara, infinite power, at the price of summoning him into their world. She accepted, and the terrible War of the Ancients began, resulting in the Sundering, a cataclysmic event that tore the world apart, leaving a churning scar, the Maelstrom, at the point where the Well once stood, as a reminder of that terrible event.
Some Highborne survived, however, for as they were dragged down under the waves, an unknown force altered their form, changing them into the serpentine naga. They ruled their kingdom from the depths for ten thousand years, but returned to the surface at the bidding of Illidan Stormrage, where they made war on the Scourge and Alliance on his behalf. The Naga yet remain in much of Azeroth, but their true power still lies beneath the churning waves.
The Naga have discovered the power that blessed them with their current forms: Neptulon the Tidehunter, Elemental Lord of Water, and now seek to summon him from the Rift where the Well once was. Should he arrive, the world would be thrown into chaos, and a new Elemental War would begin.
Rumors that the Black Aspect, Deathwing, yet remains on Azeroth have become persistent of late. The fortress of Grim Batol has suddenly been retaken by the Black Dragonflight for unknown reasons.
The Kingdom of Gilneas, once a member of the Alliance, is now a battleground between the Naga, the former citizens of that kingdom afflicted by the Curse of Worgen, and a rogue faction of Death Knights attempting to raise a New Scourge.
The Twilight's Hammer, now lead by a revived Gul'dan, has declared their attempts to summon the other three Elemental Lords into Azeroth and incite their wrath, destroying all who oppose them.
And finally, a fragment of the Dark Titan himself stirs within the depths of his Tomb on the Broken Isles. Only the secretive Council of Tirisfal knows what might come of his return.
Gilneas (Level 78-82) Edit
The first of three starting zones available. Gilneas contains strong bases of both the Horde and Alliance, unlike Kul Tiras and Zandalar. Gilneas is accessible through the now-shattered Greymane Wall in the south-west end of Silverpine Forest. The zone's scenery could be conisidered what Silverpine looked like before the Scourge. While the ground is still a light grey and there are still imposing pines, the sky is a natural blue. The Alliance base here is Guardian's Hold, and the Horde base is Shattered Hand Outpost. Both bases contain all races of each faction. The Worgen also present a threat here, the Curse running wild without Archmage Arugal to contain it. The ruins of Genn's castle, Beigecloud Citadel, can be found in the southern areas of the Kingdom. The Ebon Grip, the Ebon Blade's stike force, has been sent to Gilneas to quell the Worgen and confirm or disprove rumors of a rogue death knight controlling the remains of the kingdom.
Zul'Dazar (Level 78-82) Edit
The capital of the Troll race was not always an island. During the sundering, the High King of Zandalar raised a great shield that protected the land from the crashing waves. When the disaster subsided, all that was left was the island. Zul'Dazar is the Horde-specific starting zone. The Horde capital city, Zandalar, is located in this zone. It is predominantly inhabited by trolls, ruled by King Rastakan. The spell binding the crashing waves has begun the break, however, and much of Zul'Dazar is already becoming submerged and besieged by Naga. The Kul Tiras navy has established the base of Tidegarde here.
Kul Tiras (Level 78-82) Edit
When the human empire of Arathor fractured, one of the many new nations formed was Kul Tiras, a kingdom that based its trade of fishing and seafaring. During the First and Second Wars, it was lead by the stalwart and heroic Daelin Proudmoore. Recently, however, Daelin's troops encroached upon the rightful lands of the Horde. His daughter, Jaina, attempted to stop him, but in the end, it became obvious that Daelin's death would be the only way to end the war. Until the destruction of Gilneas, Tandred, brother of Jaina, ruled the city-state. However, Tandred was not prepared to lead during the crisis that followed, and passed the mantle of leadership to Jaina, who promptly annexed the nation in Theramore. The Alliance capital city, Boralus, is located here. The Forsaken have retaken the old Scourge town of Drisburg.
Crestfall (Level 81-84) Edit
During the Second War, the Orcish Horde descended upon Crestfall and used it as a staging point for the many naval battles of the war. Before anything could be contructed, however, Anduin Lothar and Daelin Proudmoore had the outpost burned. Afterwards, the island was developed refugees from the war as a farming town. Unfortunately, the Naga Depth-Lord, Zethresh, controls the west shore of the island. In response to this, the Horde has rebuilt their old holdings on this island as Rexxamar, and the Alliance has fortified the peasant villages as Daelin's Stand.
Kezan (Level 82-85) Edit
The island of Kezan has been the home of the goblin race for as long as anyone can remember. Underneath the tropical paradise is the sprawling city of Undermine. Here, the goblin companies and cartels meet in relative harmony, lest they incur the wrath of the bruisers. While the land is relatively safe from the Naga, the Black Dragonflight has overtaken Mount Kajaro and the southern portion of the isle. Some say that the mountain contains information on the whereabouts of the treacherous Deathwing, Aspect of the Black Flight. The Alliance and Horde bases of Wyrmbane Keep and Rokaromar are smaller than camps elsewhere, and adventurers are advised to find work in the Undermine instead.
Tel Abim (Level 84-88) Edit
The verdant island of Tel Abim provides nearly all of the citrus fruit in Azeroth. The fertile soil in incredibly strong, and to that end it is in no way surprising that the Satyrs have begun destroying this environment. The local Gorlocs of the Nightspear Tribe have attempted to stop the pillaging of their homes, but to no avail. Legends speak of an ancient Satyr lord who was defeated by Malfurion Stormrage long ago. Some say he may still live beneath the waves, and that he commands the Saltgrasp Satyrs from there.
Plunder Isle (Level 83-87) Edit
Duke Falrevere was once a respected human merchant, albeit slightly racist. One of Daelin Proudmoore's greatest rivals, his fleet was massive. During the Third War, however, he learned of the Scourge armies that beset Drisburg, but refused to help, citing that, though he might save the town, his precious fleet might be lost. Since that date, his fleet has been known as the Bloodsail Buccaneers, and have become fugitives from the law. They now make their home on Plunder Isle, though it has been subject to many failed invasions by the Darkwater Raiders, their arch-rivals. Currently, the Raiders base their efforts from the nearby atoll of Revilgaz Point. Rumors have it that Falrevere has gone mad, or somehow sided with the Black Dragonflight.
The Maelstrom (Level 87-90) Edit
10,000 years ago, the massive magical energies of the Sundering tore the world apart and left a torrent of magical energies where the Well of Eternity once was. This storm is now know as the Maelstrom. Due to the massive magical energies surging through the Rift of the Maelstrom, a dome of air exists at the bottom of the ocean. The forces of the Argent Dawn, now known as the Argent Defense, have created a great portal down to the ocean floor. The Argent Fleet acts as a base on the water's surface, and Light's Guard acts as a base below the writhing sea.
The Broken Isles (Level 87-90) Edit
During the Second War, the orcish warlock Gul'dan sought to achieve godhood by abandoning his allies and raising the ruins of Suramar from the deeps. Within the now-island, the Tomb of Sargeras lay, and within it, Gul'dan's Stormreaver Clan sought to find the body of the Dark Titan. Instead, he was brutally tortured to death by raving demons. Years later, Maiev Shadowsong and Illidan Stormrage would visit the isles for the Eye of Sargeras: a powerful artifact that was almost used to destroy the Lich King. Nowadays, the forces of the Alliance garrison within Terrorgarde Keep, and the Horde's reformed Warlocks, under the close eye of Thrall, have rebuilt Demon's Hold, an old stronghold of the Stormreaver Clan.
Gilneas: Beigecloud Citadel Edit
The Howling Courtyards (Level 79-82) Edit
The lowest section of the Citadel, the courtyards are filled with Worgen that the Ebon Grip is attempting, and failing, to contain. They carry the horrific curse of the Worgen, which has spread rampantly, and is greatly desired as a weapon by both the Horde and the Alliance. Even so, the Worgen find an enemy in their own curse: the magical effects of it have tainted the flora of the Courtyards, causing it to rise up and attack the wolf-men. Both forces, however, are hostile to the Horde and Alliance.
The Pale Atrium (Level 90) Edit
Inside the Citadel, the rumors of rogue Death Knights appear to be true. Undead forces, bearing the banner of Alterac, roam the great open atrium of the Citadel. The Fountains of Purity, once the crown jewel of Gilneas, have frozen solid, leaving the great hall as a chilling display of the death knights' power. The mystery of the undead's appearance, however, remains unsolved.
Bosses: Revenant of Purity, Dareld Falconcrest, Shade of Aliden, Beve Perenolde (Heroic Only)
The Grand Palace (Raid) Edit
The uppermost areas of the castle were Lord Greymane's private quarters, to which access was given solely to his most trusted servants and the Greymane family. The hallowed halls now lay in ruins, playing host the Death Knights' twisted rites. The Worgen lay siege to the palace, but to little avail. Rumors abound that the Death Knights have located the corpse of Genn Graymane and are casting their dark magic upon it.
Bosses: Argoulas Frostarm, Falthredia Darkensun, Julian Greymane, Barnesly (Optional), Death Speaker Archidictus, Genn Greymane, Aiden Perenolde (Hard Mode Only)
Kul Tiras: Tol Barad Edit
The Lesser Vaults (Level 77-80) Edit
The least secure section of Tol Barad, only relatively minor criminals are placed in the Lesser Vaults: petty murderers, mortal thieves, sociopaths, minor warlocks and shadow mages. However, any prisoner of Tol Barad presents a great threat compared to the denizens of any normal prison. The flooding of Kul Tiras has cause many of the sections of the prison to be abandoned, and the Naga have used this to their advantage, freeing many of the prisoners in exchange for their loyalty.
Bosses: Krixxix Greenskin, Pungie Togglesnap, Laekus the Outcast, Talthredsha, Nazjatar Elite (Heroic Only)
The Underprison (Level 90) Edit
Under the island of Tol Barad, many of the more restricted levels of the prison reside. Powerful entities, demons, creatures of the void, and spellcasters of great power were incarcerated within the Underprison, before the floods caused a breech in the wall, drowning many of the guards, and allowing the Naga of Zin'Ashari to annihilate the rest. The forces within the prison now roam free, destroying all in their path. The Ethereum, having many of its agents contained within Tol Barad, has struck a formal alliance with the Naga.
Bosses: Gaseousan the Uncontained, Grenimonde, Herald Zalgolx, Vekxis (Heroic Only)
The Deepvault (Raid) Edit
The Deepvault has room for a single, powerful entity. The void-being, Armegdious, was once contained within the deep prison. Recently, however, the Ethereum slew Armegdious and used his energies to revive their leader: Nexus-King Salhadaar. The Nexus-King now rules Tol Barad from below, and soon the Ethereum will harness the void energies in the keep, and break out into the world above.
Bosses: Nexus-King Salhaddar.
Zul'Dazar: Zul'Atal Edit
The Halls of Sacrifice (Level 79-82) Edit
The nearest to the surface, the Halls of Sacrifice are where all enemies of the Atal'ai are slaughtered and sacrificed to the Elemental Lords. By destroying this key area, the Zandalari Tribe hopes to halt the flow of power to the Elemental Plane, and slow the weakening of the barrier between it and Azeroth.
Bosses: Hydromancer Ekkalia, Ogirm the Dark, Twilight Lord Kor'shal, Fiery Colossus (Heroic Only)
The Inner Temple (Level 90) Edit
The Temple of Zul'Atal, one of the most sacred sites for Trollkind outside of Zandalar itself, was overrun by the Atal'ai and the Twilight's Hammer in wake of the Naga's invasion. Responsible for the weakening of the hexed ocean barrier, the Atal'ai seek to flood Zul'Dazar and claim lordship over all tribes. Meanwhile, their rites, combined with those of the Twilight's Hammer, draw ever closer to summoning the three remaining of the Elemental Lords into our world to combat Neptulon, and begin a second Elemental War.
Bosses: Windaarus the Ever-Gale, Aquiss the Bound (Heroic Only, Optional), Fyrina the Incinerating, Grunndar, Cho'gall
The Elemental Sanctum (Raid) Edit
Zul'Atal's bottom level contains the rift into the Elemental Plane. The other three Elemental Lords, Ragnaros, Al'akir, and Therazane, are all partially summoned. In the process of weakening their Titanic bonds, the Twilight's Hammer nearly destroyed the Temple. The collapsing sanctum must be cleared of the Elemental Lords, or the entire world of Azeroth will be endangered.
Bosses: Arkayr the Crimson, Uglurb, Arnkruss, Ragnaros the Firelord, Al'akir the Windborn, Therazane the Stonemother
The capital of Kul Tiras, Boralus is under siege by naga. Though aided by the rest of the Alliance, its own army and navy are severely taxed. The armies of Nazjatar have cut off almost all supply routes, and the cities' prosperity is collapsing quickly.