Blizzard Entertainment is no stranger to taking on new forms of media to tell their stories – from the Warcraft movies to multiple sets of World Of Warcraft comics, manga and graphic novels; in fact, Blizzard has probably brought Warcraft to practically every medium you can care to name.
Music? Blizzard president and co-founder Mike Morhaime fronts a metal band commonly known as Elite Tauren Chieftan which writes and performs songs based on Blizzard’s games. Seriously. Table-top gaming? Warcraft and Diablo have both had complete sourcebook libraries published for the D20 system. Novels? The list approaches a hundred in publication. We could keep going.
Now, according to a report from Ubergizmo, Blizzard and World Of Warcraft are setting out to conquer another frontier – one that actually traces its roots back to the early 1900s. Preceded by an animated short, World Of Warcraft: Harbingers, Blizzard will be creating an audio drama in preparation for the release of World Of Warcraft: Legion on August 30, titled Tomb of Sargeras.
Incidentally, this lore dump comes in threes and will also feature another comic, Anduin: Son of the Wolf, and there will allegedly be more Harbingers shorts before the release as well.
Remember what we were saying about Blizzard and multiple media?
Tomb of Sargeras, written by Robert Brooks, and narrated by Steven Pacey, will be separated into four episodes – and no, you don’t need to have prepurchased World Of Warcraft: Legion to listen. As per Gamenguide, they will also feature “iconic music and sound effects,” and Blizzard is apparently very enthusiastic about the format, according to director of story and creative development James Waugh.
“We’re really excited about this internally. If the community likes it, we’ll probably try to do more.”
The first episode of the audio drama will be released on August 1 as a podcast and will be available on iTunes and “other podcast platforms.”
For those who are unfamiliar with the lore or need a refresher (so, like 20-year-old spoilers) Gul’dan was the first orcish warlock, and the figure who essentially kick-started every event in the Warcraft universe, although some might argue that that particular honor belongs more to Medivh, as possessed by the fallen titan Sargeras, leader of the Burning Legion. Gul’dan was directly responsible for the essential destruction of the orcish homeworld, Draenor, and helped to open the Dark Portal between Draenor and Azeroth, resulting in the First War… in other words, the premise of the very first Warcraft game (and his story was already significantly fleshed out even then.)
Of course, it’s not really known yet whether the audio drama will cover the events surrounding the first war, or Gul’dan’s actual descent into the tomb, which occurred at the far end of the Second War (or in other words, the end of Warcraft II.) It’s possible that Harbingers will cover the history preceding the actual descent, and Blizzard has not been clear on whether they mean the Tomb of Sargeras era or the actual Tomb of Sargeras, and now we have headaches.
Either way, as for what happens next? You’ll have to watch Harbingers and listen to Tomb of Sargeras to find out – or if you’re particularly impatient, check out Christie Golden’s novel Rise of the Horde.
[Image via Blizzard Entertainment]