Blood of the Highborne
|Blood of the Highborne|
March 31, 2014
Blood of the Highborne is a novella focusing on the creation of the Blood Knights. Its existence was first mentioned at Blizzcon 2010, when Chris Metzen said that it had been written but they had never found a good way to release it. It was released digitally as part of the World of Warcraft: Paragons collection on March 31st, 2014.
In an interview with WoW Insider, Micky Neilson said that they had decided to release it along with Unbroken and the Leaders of Azeroth stories in a single volume. According to Neilson, Blood of the Highborne serves a similar purpose to Unbroken (to formally introduce the Blood Knights as they did the draenei shaman), though as a novella, Highborne is considerably lengthier. The novella is told mostly from the perspective of Lady Liadrin, and explores her life throughout the Second War and years prior, the Third War, as well as its aftermath, detailing her journey from priestess to warrior to Blood Knight. Lor'themar Theron serves as a deuteragonist, exploring his own early regency and tribulations with the assistance of Halduron Brightwing, as well as detailing Dar'Khan Drathir's lust for power and eventual betrayal. The story also touches upon the dangers of magical addiction through Galell, Liadrin's one-time apprentice.
Retcons and inconsistencies
- According to Dragon Hunt, the Sunwell exploded after Dar'Khan bound it and something went wrong leaving a crater at its place. Blood of the Highborne slightly retconned the part as it was Kael'thas and his group who left nothing but an empty hole in the place of the Sunwell.
- The novella says that An'daroth lies southwest of the outer gate. The outer gate should be the Thalassian Pass as the inner gate is said there to be the main gate at Silvermoon City. As such, An'daroth can't be southwest of it.
- The book says that the glow of the Sunwell rivaled that of the sunlight reflecting off the Great Sea. Quel'Thalas is surrounded by the North Sea in the game.
- The novella's premise was the subject of some confusion. Its existence was first revealed in answer to a question about Kael'thas Sunstrider and his turn to the Burning Legion (Metzen mentioned at BlizzCon 2010 that the novella would detail exactly that), and while Kael is a supporting character, this plot thread is not addressed. Micky Neilson acknowledged this on Twitter, and had begun work on a Kael'thas story that would have explored the prince's fall from grace as part of the villains' collection of short stories. However, Neilson left Blizzard before the story could be finished and as such, it was never published.
- Blood of the Highborne is one of the longest-awaited stories in Warcraft publication history. It was first conceived around 2007, though publication difficulty never saw it released. According to Neilson, it received alterations after the canonization of In the Shadow of the Sun to better fit with the character portrayals there, though was still not released until years later.
- The idea of Kael'thas working with other mages, and being defended by volunteers, to destroy the Sunwell was first revealed with the release of the Fury of the Sunwell patch in 2008.
- Although never stated or hinted at in the novel, Micky Neilson believes the first chapter of the novella was originally meant to take place during the Troll Wars. This seems dubious as it would have made Zul'jin over 3,000 years old. The second chapter starts shortly before the Third War.