So Anduin's finally here, meaning I get to crawl out of my procrastination pit to make another lore thread. I'd love to write a longer intro if it wasn't for the fact that this is already a very long post. I'm sorry. There's a lot of Anduin to talk about. I can write a TL;DR in the comments if requested.
Previous lore threads here.
The Boy Ruler
For years, the human nation of Stormwind prospered in the southern Eastern Kingdoms, until the Orcish Horde (corrupted by the demonic Burning Legion) invaded Azeroth through the Dark Portal, sparking the First War between orcs and humans which ended when King Llane Wrynn was killed by the assassin Garona and the capital of Stormwind City fell to the Horde. The champion Anduin Lothar subsequently led Llane's son Varian Wrynn and the survivors of Stormwind to Lordaeron, where he helped form an Alliance of nations that ultimately defeated the Horde in the Second War (though he fell in battle at the end of the conflict).
With the Horde's defeat, Varian and the people of Stormwind returned home to rebuild their kingdom. After being crowned king, Varian married the noblewoman Tiffin Ellerian, and in the year 15 (15 years after the Dark Portal's opening), they were blessed with a son whom they named Anduin Llane Wrynn in honor of the boy's grandfather and Sir Lothar. However, this peace wouldn't last: the black dragon Onyxia (daughter of Deathwing), disguised as the human lady Katrana Prestor, created conflict between Stormwind's House of Nobles and the Stonemasons' Guild who had reconstructed the capital. This sparked riots that resulted in Tiffin's death, with the rioting masons fleeing to form the criminal Defias Brotherhood.
Prestor took advantage of Varian's (whose name I'll stop bolding now) grief by afflicting him with a magical lethargy for nearly a decade, during which time other parts of Azeroth were devastated by the Third War and the invasion of the Burning Legion. In the king's mindless state, his son was the only thing that could hold his attention. As Prince Anduin grew up and took in more of the world around him, Varian began shaking off Prestor's enchantment, forcing Katrana to create a new plan to reestablish control over the king.
In the year 25, when Anduin was 10 years old, the prince convinced his father to attend a peace meeting with the orc warchief Thrall in Lady Jaina Proudmoore's city of Theramore in Kalimdor. However, while en route to Theramore, Varian went mysteriously missing and was feared dead. At Katrana's suggestion, Anduin was quickly crowned King of Stormwind, with the paladin Bolvar Fordragon as his regent lord. Anduin did his best as king, but neither he nor Bolvar ever lost hope that they'd one day see Varian again.
In reality, Prestor had hired the Defias to kidnap Varian and used a dark spell to split him into two separate beings: one embodying his charming, amenable side and the other representing his strength and will. She planned to destroy the latter and use the king's passive half as her puppet, but the willful Varian managed to escape while his passive half was captured by naga (snake-like humanoids). Over a year later, he was ransomed back and returned to Stormwind's throne. Anduin was happy to reunite with his father but quickly noticed that something was off about him: he was unusually interested in Katrana, seemed to have lost any interest in governing his kingdom, and couldn't remember anything about his kidnapping. The prince shared his suspicions with Bolvar and the visiting dwarven king Magni Bronzebeard (Muradin's brother), but Katrana decided that the prince was too perceptive for his own good and tried to have him killed during a riding trip, nearly causing him to fall off a cliff until he was saved by Varian. Days later, the truth was finally revealed when a second Varian appeared in Stormwind.
While the passive Varian had been captured and ransomed, the king's warrior side had washed up on Kalimdor with amnesia and become a gladiator, earning the name Lo'Gosh ("Ghost Wolf") for his ferocity. After escaping and rediscovering parts of his past, he fought his way back to his kingdom and son, bursting into the capital to unmask Katrana alongside his fellow ex-gladiators Broll Bearmantle and Valeera Sanguinar, the dwarf Thargas Anvilmar, and the Stormwind marshal Reginald Windsor.
Chaos erupted when Onyxia assumed her true form and began fighting the intruders. Anduin and Bolvar soon joined the battle, the prince putting his archery skills to good use against Onyxia's minions. In the fighting, Windsor was killed by the dragon while the two Varians began fighting each other and accusing each other of being an impostor (
this meme, in other words) until Anduin reminded them to focus on their common enemy instead. The battle abruptly ended when Anduin was grabbed by Onyxia and taken to her lair in Kalimdor. Varian's two halves agreed to put aside their differences and set out to rescue their son.
In her lair, Onyxia toyed with Anduin by using him as bait for her whelps, but the prince managed to keep himself alive using only a sharpened rock. Before long, the two pissed Varians—accompanied by Broll, Valeera, Thargas, Jaina, and the entire Stormwind guard force—arrived and fought their way to Onyxia, with Broll, Valeera, and Thargas saving Anduin from being eaten alive by Onyxia's offspring. After a long and brutal battle, Onyxia tried to kill the two Varians with her sorcery, but her spell had the opposite effect of merging the two kings back into a single man. The reborn Varian Wrynn decapitated Onyxia and reunited with his son at last. However, the fusion was not perfect, and in the years to come Varian would often struggle to control his furious Lo'Gosh side.
Dreams of Peace
Following Onyxia's defeat, Jaina rescheduled the Alliance-Horde peace summit in Theramore. Anduin and Valeera convinced Varian to attend and a few days later, Warchief Thrall and his advisors—the diplomatic Rehgar Earthfury (formerly Lo'Gosh's gladiator master) and the hotheaded Garrosh Hellscream—met with the king and his companions at Theramore. Anduin helped relieve tensions by being the first to lay down his weapons for the summit, and during the meeting he partook as a voice for diplomacy between the factions. The king and warchief gradually started getting along, but the meeting had to be cut short when news came that the Lich King Arthas Menethil, ruler of the Undead Scourge, had awakened in Northrend and begun attacking cities across Azeroth.
Unfortunately, as the leaders were preparing to leave, they were attacked by members of the Old God-worshipping Twilight's Hammer cult. The cultists were accompanied by Garona, the assassin who had been forced to kill King Llane and had now been ensorcelled by the Twilight's Hammer leader Cho'gall to kill Varian, Anduin, and Thrall. Battle erupted, with Valeera and Rehgar protecting Anduin from the attackers. The assault was fended off, with the cultists fleeing and Garona being captured, but Varian and Garrosh both accused each other of ordering the attack (Varian was especially livid at the sight of his father's killer). Jaina defused the situation and convinced them to let Garona remain in Theramore as her prisoner. Meanwhile, Anduin was taught to throw daggers by Valeera (following a suggestion by Rehgar) and quickly became pretty proficient at it, but before long he and his father had to depart back Stormwind (Valeera remained behind to investigate the attack). While the Twilight's Hammer failed to kill any of their targets, they did manage to ruin any chance of peace between the Alliance and Horde, just as Cho'gall had hoped.
For now, however, there was a more immediate threat lurking in Northrend: shortly after Anduin and his father's return home, Stormwind City was attacked by the Scourge. At one point in the ensuing battle, Anduin saved Varian's life by throwing a dagger at an undead sneaking up behind the king, but he lamented the need for fighting. After the Scourge was fended off, Varian assigned Bolvar to lead the armies of the Alliance into Northrend and take the fight to Arthas himself. As Varian and Anduin waved farewell to the paladin, Anduin wondered if there was something wrong with him for wishing for peace rather than reveling in battle like Varian. In response, his father told him:
"You're a valiant lad, Anduin. And when you have to fight, you acquit yourself bravely. With honor. That is enough. I do not thirst for war as some men do. But… it's true that I feel most alive in the midst of battle. Maybe that means there's something wrong with me… though that's just as well, considering our present circumstances. A great and terrible war is coming. When we win and the Lich King has been defeated, then let us hope your time, a time of peace and healing, will begin. When that day comes, you will be greater than I."
Upheaval in Ironforge
The war in Northrend ended with the Lich King's defeat a year later, but the conflict cost thousands of lives—including, to anduin's sorrow, Lord Bolvar. (In reality, Bolvar had become the new Lich King after Arthas' death, but Varian hoped his son would never learn the truth.) In the wake of the war, abnormal natural disasters began affecting parts of Azeroth and new tensions flared up between the Horde and Alliance. The now 13-year-old Anduin's relationship with his father became strained due to outbursts from the king's Lo'Gosh side as well as his aggressive stance toward the Horde. Varian and Jaina (whom Anduin affectionately called "Aunt") agreed that it would be best for the prince to be away from Stormwind at times, so the sorceress gave Anduin a magical hearthstone (of WoW, Hearthstone, and HotS fame) which would allow him to teleport to Theramore to visit her whenever he liked.
Varian later sent Anduin to spend some time with King Magni in the dwarven city of Ironforge. Upon arrival, Magni asked the prince to call him "Uncle" and assigned one of his personal guards, Aerin Stonehand, to serve as the human's bodyguard. Anduin was dismayed to find out that Aerin would also give him battle training and realized that his father had sent him to the dwarves to toughen him and "make him a man", but despite his lack of skill with heavy weapons, Anduin enjoyed his stay and quickly became more than a little fond of Aerin. The prince occasionally also visited the city's Hall of Mysteries to feel closer to the Holy Light which both humans and dwarves revered, and became friends with the dwarves' High Priest Rohan.
Ironforge and the surrounding lands of Khaz Modan were one day suddenly struck by a huge earthquake. Anduin and Aerin traveled to the town of Kharanos to help tend to the wounded, but in the middle of the relief efforts, an aftershock caused the town's inn to collapse, killing everyone inside—including Aerin. Following this tragedy, Magni decided to undergo an ancient ritual of the earthen (the dwarves' stone-skinned ancestors) to "become one with the earth" and commune with Azeroth itself about the world's ailments. The night before the ceremony, Magni told Anduin that based on what he'd heard from Aerin and Rohan, the prince might not be cut out to be a warrior like his father. Instead, he could be a priest who worked with the Light to heal rather than harm, and Anduin immediately felt that this was his true calling in life. In the same conversation, Magni gifted Anduin with the ancient Bronzebeard mace Fearbreaker, which showed signs of "liking" the human by glowing in his hands.
Magni performed the ritual the following day, but to the onlookers' horror, it transformed the king into a (seemingly) lifeless diamond statue. Ironforge was shocked by the sudden loss of its ruler, and after Magni's funeral Anduin remained with the dwarves until a successor could be found. While most were hoping the king's brothers Muradin and Brann would turn up, in the end another Bronzebeard appeared: Magni's estranged daughter Moira. Years before, she had been kidnapped by but eventually fallen in love with Dagran Thaurissan, emperor of the maligned Dark Iron dwarves, becoming pregnant with his child before he was killed by Magni's forces (who assumed the princess had been magically seduced). Now, Moira and her Dark Irons marched into Ironforge to secure the throne for her infant son, holding everyone in the city—including Anduin—hostage.
Remembering his hearthstone, Anduin used it to escape to Theramore only to find himself in the middle of a conversation between Jaina and tauren Baine Bloodhoof. As it turned out, Baine's father Cairne, leader of the tauren, had recently been killed in a duel with the new Horde warchief Garosh Hellscream due to treachery from Cairne's rival Magatha Grimtotem. She and her Grimtotem tribe had then violently taken control of the tauren capital of Thunder Bluff, forcing Baine and his allies to turn to Jaina (whose name I'll stop bolding now) for help. While the tauren was at first uneasy about Anduin's presence, Jaina convinced them to open up and talk about their situations. Anduin quickly developed admiration and sympathy for Baine and decided to give him Fearbreaker. Deeply moved, Baine offered some wisdom from Cairne:
"My father once said, 'Destruction is easy.' Look what havoc the Grimtotem were able to wreak in a single night. But creating something that lasts—that, my father said, was a challenge."
With help from Jaina and the goblin Gazlowe, Baine eventually retook Thunder Bluff, exiled Magatha, and took his place as High Chieftain. Anduin remained in Theramore until Jaina accidentally revealed that Varian was heading to Ironforge with a team of assassins from the Stormwind spy agency, SI:7, to kill Moira. Anduin convinced Jaina to open a portal to Ironforge, and with Rohan's help he reached his father just as Varian was preparing to publicly execute Moira. Recalling Baine's words, Anduin convinced his father to show mercy since it wasn't their place to decide the dwarves' politics for them and killing Moira would simply lead to another succession crisis. Varian did, however, decide that Moira couldn't be trusted to rule by herself and that the dwarves should instead be ruled by a Council of Three Hammers with representatives from each of the dwarf clans—Moira for the Dark Irons, Muradin for the Bronzebeards, and Falstad Wildhammers for the Wildhammers. The people of Ironforge welcomed Varian's decision, and Anduin and his father returned home.
A New Destiny
Not long after the events in Ironforge, the dragon Deathwing burst into Azeroth and unleashed the Cataclysm across Azeroth. The humans of the long-isolated nation of Gilneas, many of whom had been afflicted with the worgen curse, were displaced from their home by a Horde invasion and sought refuge with the night elves in their World Tree Teldrassil. The night elf leaders Tyrande Whisperwind and Malfurion Stormrage invited Varian, Anduin, and other Alliance leaders to the capital of Darnassus to vote the worgen into the Alliance.
However, at the summit's opening banquet, Varian loudly insulted Gilneas and its ruler King Genn Greymane for abandoning the Alliance years prior. During his father's ranting, Anduin caught the eye of the Prophet Velen, immortal leader of the draenei (Yrel's race), known as one the most powerful priests on Azeroth and for his ability to receive visions of possible futures. Anduin subsequently began having discussions with the Prophet to learn more about the Light, and Velen—who sensed that the holy force was very strong with the youth—decided to teach him all he could.
After Varian rejected the actual vote to let Gilneas into the Alliance, Anduin's disappointment in his father caused him to decide to leave with Velen instead of returning to Stormwind. This led to an argument with Varian, who—despairing at the thought of losing his child the way he'd lost Tiffin—grabbed Anduin's arm, accidentally hurting the boy. Now wary of his father, Anduin stuck to his decision and left with Velen for Azuremyst Isle, the land where the draenei had first arrived on Azeroth by crash-landing in their dimensional ship the Exodar. (Afterward, Varian did eventually end up reconciling with Genn and welcoming the worgen into the Alliance after they helped him quell his rage and repel a Horde invasion of Ashenvale Forest.)
Anduin studied with Velen in the Exodar for several months, but the Prophet eventually began refusing to see anyone except his human pupil,
becoming lost in his visions as he searched for clarity on the believed future war between light and darkness. In Velen's absence, the other draenei repaired the damage caused during the Exodar's crash and threatened to use the ship to leave Azeroth behind, causing a riot between them and a group of human refugees who had come seeking shelter from the Cataclysm. The fight escalated into bloodshed and Anduin begged Velen to intervene, reminding him that every life is sacred and that he had lost sight of the present by focusing on his visions. The Prophet realized that the boy was right and immediately broke up the fight between the guards and refugees. Afterwards, he thanked Anduin and told him that he would one day be a powerful priest and wise king.
Anduin eventually returned to Stormwind for Remembrance Day, a festival in which the Alliance honored fallen heroes like Uther the Lightbringer, but was disappointed to see Varian seemingly still ruled by his anger. One the eve of the festivities, Stormwind's religious leader Archbishop Benedictus (who was secretly a Twilight's Hammer cultist) arranged for father and son to meet at Queen Tiffin's grave in the city cemetery, where he gave Varian the key to a locket Tiffin had given her husband before she died. After Benedictus left, Anduin and Varian reconciled, with the king giving Anduin his mother's locket and apologizing for not seeing the man his son had become. Suddenly, the royal pair were attacked by Twilight cultists (it's implied they were sent by Benedictus), and although father and son fought side-by-side, the battle ended with Varian mortally wounded. Lady Jaina and the guard captain Marcus Jonathan found Anduin cradling his dying father and tried to convince the heir to come with them to the safety of the keep, but Anduin refused to leave Varian's side and called on a blessing of the Holy Light to heal his parent's wounds, saving his life—just in time for Varian to hold his Remembrance Day speech.
When Varian began amassing a warfleet to invade the Twilight Highlands, the Twilight's Hammer's stronghold, he sent Anduin throughout Stormwind City to assist in the preparations and help the guard major Samuelson investigate cult activity. Due to his overprotective nature, the king insisted that his son be accompanied by a renowned Alliance adventurer (the WoW player character). Together, Anduin and the hero discovered and foiled a Twilight plot to blow up Stormwind's Cathedral of Light, and also found evidence that Samuelson himself was a Twilight cultist. When confronted in Stormwind Keep, Samuelson attacked Varian with a dagger, but Anduin saved the king's life (for the third time, for those keeping count) by shielding him with holy magic. Samuelson transformed into a faceless one, a monstrous minion of the Old Gods, but was killed by the adventurer. On Varian's part, he admitted that he had underestimated how much his son's power had grown.
The White Pawn
Following Deathwing's defeat, Warchief Garrosh sought to conquer Kalimdor for the Horde and destroyed Theramore—and almost all its inhabitants—with a mana bomb. Jaina snapped and went on a warpath against the Horde, turning away from Varian and Anduin and calling them naive fools when they refused to help her immediately retaliate against the orc capital of Orgrimmar. While the sorceress pursued her own vengeance, Stormwind began constructing a war fleet. Anduin accepted that they had to fight back against the Horde but resolved that he didn't want to attack out of hatred like Jaina did. (Jaina's rage eventually subsided and she ultimately retrieved Fearbreaker—which Baine had given her before Garrosh's attack—from the ruins of Theramore to give it back to Anduin and apologize to her "nephew" for what she had said.)
A time later, Anduin (codenamed the "White Pawn") was traveling the south seas on the flagship The Vanguard when it was attacked by the Horde and ran aground on Pandaria, the long-forgotten homeland of the pandaren. Emerging from his cabin and finding no signs of the crew, the prince headed inland into the Jade Forest. Upon hearing of his son's disappearance,
(including an Alliance adventurer) to Pandaria to rescue the White Pawn and the flagship's captain, Admiral Taylor. Meanwhile, Garrosh sent his own elite force to claim Pandaria for the Horde.
Shortly after arriving in Pandaria, the adventurer worked with the pandaren Lorewalker Cho to find Anduin and help him learn more about Pandaria—including the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, a long-sealed place known for its healing pools, and the sha, dark spirits who feed on and amplify negative emotions. The prince decided he couldn't return home yet as he wanted to search for the vale, and when the SI:7 agents Amber Kearnen and Sully McLeary came to retrieve him, he cast a mind control spell on Sully to escape. He shortly made his way to the great statue of Serpent's Heart but was captured by the Horde.
While all this was happening, SI:7 had rescued Taylor and allied with a race of fish-men called jinyu while the Horde forces did the same with the monkey-like hozen. With their new allies, the Alliance and Horde
, inadvertently destroying the statue and unleashing the Sha of Doubt. In the chaos, Anduin managed to slip away and hitch a ride with a merchant's family to the gloomy Krasarang Wilds, home to one of Pandaria's four August Celestial demigods: the spirit of hope, Chi-Ji the Red Crane. He began studying under Chi-Ji at the Temple of the Red Crane, but was forced to flee into the jungle with the other monks when the temple was overwhelmed by an outbreak of the Sha of Despair and its minions a few days later. Anduin subsequently worked with both Alliance and Horde adventurers (telling the latter to put aside their differences for now) to help the refugees, cleanse the temple of the sha, and rescue Chi-Ji.
The Golden Lotus—the Vale of Eternal Blossoms' sworn guardians—later petitioned the celestials to open up the vale due to an invasion from the mogu, a race of cruel warlords who had long ago ruled Pandaria and now sought to reclaim their empire. Protected by Sunwalker Dezco, a tauren paladin who respected the prince's friendship with Baine, Anduin traveled to the temple of the celestial Xuen the White Tiger to ask that the Alliance and Horde be allowed into the vale. After adventurers overcame the White Tiger's trials, Xuen agreed to the request and opened the gates of the vale with his fellow celestials. Anduin and Alliance forces settled into the valley's Shrine of Seven Stars, with the prince later using his holy magic to help the Golden Lotus defend the vale against the mogu's final invasion attempt.
The Breath of Darkest Shadow
Two months after the discovery of Pandaria, the Alliance and Horde fleets arrived to the continent and began fighting each other on the shores of Krasarang. The Alliance established the base of Lion's Landing, where Anduin reunited with Varian. He warned his father about what the war might do to Pandaria, and father and son agreed to work together to protect the continent. As the war progressed, Varian sent Anduin to negotiate with Jaina, now the leader of the Kirin Tor magi in the city of Dalaran, and ask her to expel the faction of Horde blood elves known as the Sunreavers from the city. However, even though she despised Garrosh, Jaina
as she wanted Dalaran to remain a beacon of peace between the Alliance and Horde.
Alliance spies soon discovered disturbing news: Garrosh (whose name I'll stop bolding now) was searching for a mogu artifact called Shenqing, the Divine Bell, a weapon that could harness sha energy. In a meeting between Varian and other Alliance dignitaries—including Jaina, Genn, and Tyrande—some leaders wished to also try to weaponize the sha, but Anduin convinced his father that the entities were far too dangerous to use. The Divine Bell was eventually found by the Alliance and stored in Darnassus, but it was subsequently stolen by the Horde with the help of the Suneravers. Enraged, Jaina purged the blood elves from Dalaran and pledged the Kirin Tor to the Alliance. Meanwhile, Anduin researched ways to counter the bell and learned of the Harmonic Mallet, a pandaren object able to turn the bell's chaos into harmony, but which had long ago been hidden away by the legendary hozen known as the Monkey King.
Anduin worked with adventurers to seek out the Monkey King and reassemble the scattered pieces of the mallet, along with retrieving the magical ointment required for the mallet to work. However, the Monkey King warned that there was only enough ointment for one true swing. Only days later, upon learning that Garrosh was preparing to ring the bell in the Kun-Lai mountains,
but was unable to stop him from using the artifact to infuse his soldiers—including his bodyguard Ishi—with the sha. After the possessed orcs were killed by adventurers, Anduin struck the Divine Bell with the mallet, breaking it. Infuriated, Garrosh shattered the artifact to cause the masses of rubble to fall on top of Anduin, crushing his bones and very nearly killing him. The prince was brought back to Lion's Landing where Velen and pandaren monks restored his health. However, for the rest of his days, Anduin would be haunted by aches in his bones—the legacy of the bell.
Despite Varian's protests, the still-healing Anduin insisted on wandering around Pandaria with his bodyguards and Sunwalker Dezco and eventually sought out the Tavern in the Mists, a place playing host to Wrathion the Black Prince, an uncorrupted but enigmatic young black dragon who claimed to be working to protect Azeroth. The two princes developed an odd friendship of sorts, albeit one mostly based around how different their outlooks were: Wrathion considered Anduin too soft, while Anduin distrusted Wrathion's ruthless methods and often warned adventurers to think twice before getting involved in the dragon's schemes.
and taken to the Temple of the White Tiger to stand trial for his war crimes, with all the leaders of the world invited. With Taran Zhu—lord of the Shado-pan order—as judge and the August Celestials as jury, the Alliance appointed Tyrande as the orc's Accuser while Baine was given the impossible job of being his Defender. During the proceedings, the bronze dragons Chronormu (Chromie) and Kairozdormu (Kairoz) used an object called the Vision of Time to show visions of past events alongside witness testimonies.
Anduin was among those called to testify, but despite his past run-ins with Garrosh he remained firm in his belief that revenge was pointless and that people could change and redeem themselevs. On Garrosh's request, the prince began visiting the orc in his cell at the end of each day's proceedings, hoping to understand his reasons and find signs of remorse, but with little luck. As Anduin went to see the ex-warchief a final time on the last day of the trial, he ran into the high elf Vereesa Windrunner, who had conspired with her undead sister Sylvanas to murder the orc, but who upon seeing Anduin decided to tell him that Garrosh's food was poisoned. The prince hurried to the orc's cell and—even though Garrosh despised and tried to provoke him—decided to save the former warchief's life by knocking the poisoned food out of his hands.
The final day of the trial ended in chaos: Anduin discovered that Chromie had been locked inside Garrosh's cell by Wrathion, who was working with Kairoz and claimed to be doing what was best for Azeroth before causing Anduin to faint. By the time the human awoke, a group of Garrosh's loyalists had attacked the temple exterior while Kairoz and Garrosh had used the Vision of time to escape through a time portal, leaving behind twisted, alternate timeline versions of many of the leaders present—including King Anduin, a frightened boy wielding Fearbreaker, who ended up being mortally wounded while trying to save his counterpart from the bloodthirsty alternate Vol'jin.
Chronormu appeared and told Anduin that the combatants had to accept their alternate selves to send them back to their own timelines, a task Anduin would have an easier time with than the others. After comforting his dying alternate self and watching King Anduin fade from existence, Prince Anduin went to work healing the other combatants. The attackers were eventually all fended off, but in the fighting Jaina was mortally wounded. All of the healers were exhausted from the fighting and it looked as if they were too late to save her, but Anduin refused to leave his "aunt's" side. At his former pupil's words, Chi-Ji appeared and released a healing wind that saved Jaina's life. Though Garrosh had escaped, the celestials revealed that the trial had still had a purpose: they were always planning to spare Garrosh's life, and it was not only he but everyone present who had been judged during the events of the preceding days.
Rise of a King
Garrosh and Kairoz escaped to an alternate past version of the planet Draenor, but various events I won't go into here eventually resulted in the alternate Gul'dan traveling to the main universe, present-day Azeroth to usher in a massive new invasion of the Burning Legion. Alongside Sylvanas Windrunner and the Horde army, Varian and the Alliance fleet rushed to confront the demons on the Broken Shore, the source of the invasion. On the journey, Varian—knowing he might not return—
. The battle ended in disaster, with King Varian losing his life to Gul'dan and the Alliance army barely escaping after Sylvanas and the Horde were overwhelmed and forced to suddenly retreat. Warchief Vol'jin, too, was mortally wounded, naming Sylvanas the new warchief with his dying breath. With his father gone, Anduin became the King of Stormwind. While the grieving king and other Alliance leaders discussed how to counter the Legion at Varian's memorial service in Stormwind, an enraged Jaina left the city, refusing to work with the Horde after their seeming betrayal.
Months later, after many struggles between the forces of Azeroth and the Burning Legion, an adventurer found a trinket off the coast of the Broken Shore—a compass with a portrait of Anduin which Varian had lost in the sea. When the compass was brought to Anduin, he realized that he hadn't had a chance to mourn and became melancholy, abandoning his duties. By request from Genn Greymane, the adventurer sought out Anduin and accompanied him as he walked through Stormwind in disguise to hear what his people said about him. After overhearing a conversation between Velen and Greymane, Anduin decided he had to see the place where his father died in order to understand the sacrifices Varian and the Alliance had made. Traveling to the Broken Shore, where Genn and Velen were already present,
lying in the dirt. As he touched it, he almost sensed Varian's presence and finally accepted the duties of a king. In that moment, Anduin began to heal.
While rereading his father's letter in Stormwind, Anduin was attacked by a nathrezim (same demonic race as Mal'Ganis and Dreadlord Jaina) assassin but quickly incapacitated it. When he asked the demon what the Legion hoped to achieve, the dreadlord mocked that Anduin had never lived up to Varian's expectations, had made his father weak with his dreams of peace, and didn't stand a chance against the Legion. In response, Anduin killed the nathrezim with a hammer of Light and reflected on his father's legacy:
"Yes, I changed my father. But he also changed me. Will that be enough for the Alliance? For Azeroth? It will have to be. There will be peace. One day."
Tragedy in Arathi
In the end, Sargeras—ruler of the Burning Legion—was defeated, but in a final act of evil he struck Azeroth with his gargantuan sword, impaling it in the desert of Silithus and causing a mysterious golden substance to flow to the surface. After
from Mathias Shaw—leader of SI:7—Anduin decided to pay diplomatic visits to the other Alliance races. While visiting Moira and the Council of Three Hammers in Ironforge, Anduin unexpectedly reunited with his old Uncle Magni, who had awakened as a being of living diamond to act as the Speaker for Azeroth herself—the titan world-soul dwelling inside the planet—during the Legion's invasion and now revealed that the substance—Azerite—was the essence of the world-soul, who needed the help of mortal healers like priests to heal her wounds.
Moira and Velen decided to introduce Anduin to the Conclave, an order of priests from all creeds who had banded together against the Legion from their base of Netherlight Temple, home to a naaru (angelic Light being) named Saa'ra. While in the temple, Anduin secured the Conclave's help in healing Azeroth but also met two prominent members of the order: the famed Archbishop Alonsus Faol, now an undead; and Calia Menethil, older sister of Arthas and once princess of Lordaeron, now home to Sylvanas and her undead Forsaken.
The visit to the temple inspired Anduin to create a plan to further Alliance-Horde peace, and with Faol and Calia's help began planning a Gathering between the Forsaken and their living relatives, despite initial strong opposition from most of his advisors and fellow leaders. In the midst of this, he was dismayed when he learned from Valeera Sanguinar—who had long acted as his spy and messenger—that his friend Baine had been ordered by Sylvanas to cut all contact with the king. Still, he pressed on with the plan, which Sylvanas agreed to: the Gathering would involve a small number of handpicked Forsaken and humans meeting in the Arathi Highlands on a field between nearby Alliance and Horde bases. Calia convinced Anduin to let her attend the Gathering, hoping to catch word of her long-lost husband and child.
The day came, and while the Gathering at first unfolded peacefully, it quickly turned to chaos when some Forsaken began trying to defect to the Alliance and Calia revealed her identity as the heir to Lordaeron. Sylvanas responded by sending her dark rangers to kill all of the Forsaken in the field, including those loyal to her, and personally slew the "usurper" Calia in front of Anduin as he rushed out onto the field. The king retrieved Calia's corpse and brought it to the Netherlight Temple, where he was unexpectedly told by Saa'ra to help Faol use the Light to resurrect Calia as an undead. The king later returned to Arathi with Greymane to help bury the fallen Forsaken, and concluded that while most people could change, Sylvanas Windrunner was truly lost.
The Blood War
After the events in Arathi, Anduin sent a number of SI:7 spies to keep eyes on Orgrimmar. The spies soon started reporting that the Horde were planning to march an army to Silithus under the leadership of High Overlord Varok Saurfang. In response, the night elves pulled forces away from Ashenvale to reinforce Silithus, but this was all a ruse: in truth, Saurfang and Sylvanas were marching the Horde north to attack Ashenvale and the World Tree Teldrassil. As elven refugees began flooding into Stormwind, Anduin oversaw the efforts to shelter them. When word came that Malfurion was going to confront the Dark Lady alone, Anduin gave his hearthstone—attuned to Stormwind—to Tyrande, allowing her to save her husband. In the end, Sylvanas burned Teldrassil, killing all of the elves still in it. With war now inevitable, Anduin resolved that his only choice was to stop the Dark Lady permanently.
The Alliance mustered their forces and
. Though Anduin used the Light to bolster his forces, the tide of battle turned when Sylvanas unleashed the deadly Forsaken blight on the battlefield. Luckily, the unexpected
allowed the Alliance to enter the city, capture Saurfang (whom Anduin respected), and
to demand her surrender. Unfortunately, the warchief had rigged the entire city to explode with blight, and the Alliance leaders were only saved by Jaina's intervention.
Following the Battle for Lordaeron, the Horde infiltrated Stormwind to free a pair of Zandalari troll prisoners, leading Anduin to fear that the Horde would ally with the Zandalari and their legendary navy. In response, he sent Jaina to her homeland of Kul Tiras (which she had a strained relationship with, to say the least) to recruit its equally legendary fleet, as well as dispatching the elite 7th Legion to disrupt the Horde on Zandalar.
At some point thereafter,
, who admitted he hadn't killed the king in Lordaeron since he hoped Anduin would stop Sylvanas. Anduin replied that he couldn't do so alone and left—but kept the cell door open, allowing Varok to escape (leading to another plot that hasn't yet played out as of the writing of this post).
A time later, the Alliance assaulted the Zandalari capital of Zuldazar, killing their ruler King Rastakhan and leaving the Horde fleet in disarray.
wanted to push their advantage and crush the Horde, but Anduin remained firm that the Alliance must never lose sight of what they stood for by using such dishonorable tactics.
Sorry if some of the end parts seem rushed, I kinda had to throw those together pretty quickly. I'll try and get the quotes/abilities lore thread up in the next couple of days.
Source: Original link
© Post "Lore of Anduin Wrynn — Character Lore" for game Heroes of the Storm.
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