It’s not often that I read something that makes me wish it was just a teaser for a series of novels, but this did.
Anne Stickney, who some of you may know as the brilliant Know Your Lore writer for WoW Insider, and others as the writer of Shades of Grey, has expanded on the concepts of one of her earlier pieces to write a brilliant new piece of speculative work on the Lore of Azeroth.
I’ll put the specific link here again, just to make sure it doesn’t get lost in the blizzard of linkage.
The way I feel about her hypothesis is, if it’s not true, it SHOULD be.
The story of World of Warcraft is sweeping fantasy, and to have that kind of massive backstory upon which is set the smaller but more personal events of our game is perfectly in keeping with the best fantasy fiction.
The story that we play though and live out is very small, very personal to our characters. Just as Annes intro to that article says, we see our small piece of it, much as mice scurrying around the feet of the masters of the house. We fight our mouse wars, and we live our mouse-sized loves, and our mouse world is full of intense passion and incredible pageantry, but there are forces at work that are beyond not just our power, but our awareness and capacity for understanding.
The Lord of the Rings, much abused as it has been, is still a great touchstone to illustrate this point. There is a grand war in the background between all these incredible, ancient forces, but our initial introduction to the world is through the eyes of Bilbo Baggins, the most humble of the races of man. We might as well have been introduced to a world of high sorcery and warring gods through the point of view of a rabbit, and indeed, why not?
Having such a detailed and thorough backstory for what is and why it is that way is great, especially when your characters are not the movers and shakers. You see a world of unfathomable events through eyes of innocence, and discover it’s wonders and terrors with the main character together.
Really, I’ll say it again. I read the tin foil hat ideas that Anne Stickney put forth, and it sounds so very, very plausible… but if it’s not, I really wish it were. I love the idea that all of these grand events that we have seen from the ground level through the eyes of our characters really are moving towards this incredible final culmination… and I won’t spoil where Anne thinks we’re going, but it is definitely the kind of thing that leads you to imagine, “Wow, what if…”.
Reading an article like that first thing in the morning sure does help the rest of the day go well.