November 18, 2009
Armageddon is the 25th and final main installment of the World of Warcraft comic. This title, albeit being only the fourth in the series, concluded the fourth story arc. It was originally announced that the comic would subsequently split off into two titles: one Horde-centric and the other Alliance-centric. These eventually became the graphic novels Bloodsworn and Dark Riders, respectively.
The bonus-sized epic final showdown! Will Med'an and the newly formed Council of Tirisfal vanquish the evil Cho'gall and the Twilight's Hammer? Will the unlikely union of Horde and Alliance be torn asunder?
From within Theramore's shattered mage tower, Jaina teleports herself, Med'an, and the council — Broll, Dalynnia, Hamuul, Maraad, Rehgar, and Rohan — to a ledge floating in the Twisting Nether, where they can induct Med'an as Guardian. Aegwynn, Meryl, and Valeera remain behind on Azeroth. Valeera blames herself for Meryl's possession by Kathra'natir, which prevents him from joining the council, but he comments that he has come to prefer action rather than spending the battle in protected meditation like the council will. Meryl uses Kathra'natir's power to teleport himself, Aegwynn, and Valeera to Ahn'Qiraj to meet up with Garona and aid Med'an during the battle.
In the Nether, the council performs the ritual to infuse Med'an with their combined powers. The new Guardian thanks the council for their trust before teleporting to Ahn'Qiraj to face Cho'gall.
In Ahn'Qiraj, Cho'gall calls on his anubisaths (who will serve as lenses for the Old God's power) and elementals, and orders the Twilight's Hammer to unfurl their banners and declare themselves to the world.
A lava elemental takes up guard duty in C'Thun's chamber while Garona continues trudging through the Old God's corpse in search of the base of Atiesh. Upon finding it, she follows Meryl's instructions and wraps it in a cloth.
Meryl, Aegwynn, and Valeera arrive on a platform overlooking the area where Cho'gall is standing. Meryl comments that they'll need the base of Atiesh if they want to help Med'an against Cho'gall, explaining that while the object is filled with fel energy, Med'an's blood, knowledge, and powers will overcome the taint. Meryl scries for Garona's location and notices that she's about to emerge with the base into C'Thun's chamber, which is still guarded by the elemental. Valeera immediately heads over to help, pushing Garona out of the way of the elemental's fists just as she exits C'Thun's body. The elemental proceeds to accidentally bring the chamber ceiling crashing down on itself, allowing Garona and Valeera to head outside just as Med'an arrives in front of Cho'gall. The ogre notices Garona and Valeera's presence, followed by Aegwynn and Meryl, and in typical fashion gloats at what useless allies Med'an has chosen.
Cho'gall and Med'an attack each other with magic. Cho'gall notes Med'an's increased power, which he'll channel to blast his master free after the boy has been slain. The ogre begins his great ceremony, focusing power through his anubisaths and chanting in the language of the Old Gods while sending the elementals to attack Aegwynn and Meryl. Aegwynn tells her grandson to ignore them and focus on the anubisaths, but Med'an refuses to abandon his friends and summons blasts of lightning to destroy the elementals. This distraction gives Cho'gall time to finish his ritual, making him a conduit for his master's power and causing him to unleash devastating storms in various locations across Azeroth in an attempt to tear apart the very earth that holds the Old God prisoner.
In response, Med'an calls on the council's power to create a ward around Cho'gall, trapping his power in Ahn'Qiraj but also sending deadly bolts of magic ricocheting around the area. Garona and Valeera climb up to where Meryl has summoned a shield for himself and Aegwynn.
Cho'gall gloats that Med'an's ward merely concentrates his master's power. The ogre unleashes his magic against the Guardian, who throws up a shield of his own. The two adversaries reach a stalemate, but Cho'gall points out that Med'an's resources are finite and he will inevitably weaken. Hearing this, Garona wants to try to end the battle there and then and unwraps the base of Atiesh. Kathra'natir is immediately drawn to the surfeit of fel power in the object and tries to reach for it. Meryl has to focus on controlling the demon to pull him back, causing his shield to dissipate and leaving Aegwynn, Garona, and Valeera exposed to Cho'gall's magic. Moments later, Aegwynn is hit by one of the richocheting energy bolts, mortally wounding her. Meryl regains control of Kathra'natir and — in a bid to stop the dreadlord from claiming the artifact — offers himself as a conduit for Atiesh's power, channeling the staff's energy into Med'an. Med'an purifies the staff's magic of its fel taint and unleashes a blinding wave of energy at Cho'gall.
However, Meryl collapses from the effort, releasing Kathra'natir's spirit. The dreadlord tries to reach for Med'an but finds that the boy is too strong to approach. He instead sets his sights on the stream of power flowing from the council to the Guardian and follows the torrent to its source in the Twisting Nether, where he begins to block the flow of power and absorb it into himself while the council are busy with their ritual.
With the council's power cut off from him, Med'an is easily knocked aside by Cho'gall, who muses that Kathra'natir has done him a great service and will be spared for last as a reward. The ogre begins conjuring a huge orb of magic to send crashing down on Med'an. The exhausted Meryl hands the base of Atiesh to Garona. Aegwynn points out that the base still glows even with its fel power gone as a result of her son pouring a greater magic into it. Her blood tells her that it is Med'an's legacy and will answer to his touch alone. Garona heads for Med'an with the base in hand but is struck down by one of Cho'gall's bolts.
Meanwhile in the Nether, Kathra'natir drains Dalynnia's magic from her body and tosses her corpse off the ledge.
Back in Ahn'Qiraj, Valeera runs over to help Garona and tells Meryl to do something about Kathra'natir. Meryl laments that his arrogance brought the dreadlord into the battle and now the demon has slipped beyond his control. Aegwynn crawls over to Meryl and tells him that they need to buy time for the council to defeat the Kathra'natir. She states that she is dying and asks Meryl to channel her remaining life energy into Med'an to strengthen him until Garona and Valeera can reach him and the council can win their victory. Meryl initially refuses, but Aegwynn insists, saying that her death will atone for her old sins by striking a blow for Azeroth and saving her grandson. Meryl relents and channels Aegwynn's remaining strength into her grandson. With her last breath, the chamberlain thanks her dear friend for the deed. Med'an senses his grandmother's death and uses the influx of power to strike back against Cho'gall.
In the Nether, the council trap Kathra'natir by linking their powers and replicating the ward technique that Med'an used earlier. Jaina senses Aegwynn's sacrifice, but Rehgar reminds her and the other council members that they need to resume their meditations immediately.
In Ahn'Qiraj, Garona and Valeera are only a few steps away from Med'an when they're suddenly struck down by Cho'gall, who begins to reach for the base of Atiesh but is interrupted when Valeera jumps up on him and stabs him in the hand. He easily knocks her aside, but the brief distraction gives enough time for Med'an to grab hold of the base. In his hands, the base immediately transforms into the restored Greatstaff of the Guardian. Through it, he channels the council's combined strength to unleash a final burst of magic against Cho'gall, blasting him into a nearby structure and burying him under the rubble. Throughout Ahn'Qiraj, the anubisaths crumble into dust.
With the battle over, Med'an tends to Garona and the unconscious Valeera. Broll, Hamuul, Jaina, Maraad, Rehgar, and Rohan arrive through a portal from the Nether with the imprisoned Kathra'natir while Meryl arrives carrying Aegwynn's body in his arms. Jaina is devastated at Aegwynn's death, but Med'an offers comfort by saying that his grandmother will live on through him and never be forgotten. Meryl states that he is no longer Winterstorm but Felstorm and that he needs to depart soon, as his presence pollutes the council. He continues that Kathra'natir knows too much of the council to be allowed to roam the Nether. Med'an agrees and reluctantly channels the dreadlord's spirit back into Meryl. The Guardian turns to council members, thanking them for letting him see the world through their eyes and showing him how much he still has to learn, before channeling his powers back into them. Rohan states that while many council members have pressing business back home, Aegwynn was an old friend and he would see to her final rest.
Meryl, Med'an, Jaina, Garona, Valeera, Broll, Hamuul, Maraad, Rehgar, and Rohan bury Aegwynn at Morgan's Plot west of Karazhan; when Aegwynn gave her life force to Med'an, he sensed her final wish that she be buried next to her son. After a moment of silence, Meryl tells Med'an that he'll begin his exile by hunting down the remaining Twilight's Hammer. Garona reveals that she'll be going with Meryl, until perhaps Valeera manages to convince Varian to call off his hunt for the half-orc. Med'an protests, but Garona tells her son that he's best off studying the Light with Maraad. She continues that she owes Meryl more than she can ever repay him and that the Twilight's Hammer remain a threat. However, Cho'gall — the last being on Azeroth who held sway over Garona — is no more, and for now, at least, they have won.
- ^ http://www.wow.com/2009/07/27/horde-centric-comic-launching-in-2010/ WoW.com - Horde-centric comic launching in 2010.
- ^ http://wildstorm.blog.dccomics.com/2009/11/06/the-cut-110609/ WildStorm.com - The Bleed - The Cut.