Episode #5 – “Don’t Use the Plague, Sylvanas: Women Villains, Part 1”

Episode #5 – “Don’t Use the Plague, Sylvanas: Women Villains, Part 1”

Aug 13

Our fifth episode, the first half of a two-part series features Tzufit and Apple Cider talking with guest Anne Stickney (@shadesogrey) from WoW Insider about the concepts, lore and discussion surrounding some of Azeroth’s most notorious women villains. We get to the roots of how these women’s stories differ in motivations and story arcs from their male counterparts, as well as their shared pasts and futures.


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Below the cut is a full transcript of Episode 5, “Don’t Use the Plague, Sylvanas: Women Villains, Part 1.”

Apple Cider Mage:  Hello and welcome to Justice Points, the amazing Azerothian podcast about social justice, feminism, and World of Warcraft.  It is I, you host, Apple Cider Mage, along with my other co-host.

Tzufit:  Hello, this is Tzufit.

Apple Cider Mage:  And we have an amazing show this week.  We are so excited.  It’s our fifth episode and we’re going to be talking about World of Warcraft’s female villains – the biggest, the baddest.  And with us this week we have a super special guest.  If she’d like to introduce herself?

Anne Stickney:  Hi!  I’m Anne Stickney.  I write for WoW Insider and I’m also on Twitter as @shadesogrey.  I guess that’s about it.  I write a lot and I’m also one of the co-hosts on the WoW Insider podcast.

Apple Cider Mage:  I heard that you knew a little something about lore in World of Warcraft?  Just a skosh.

Anne Stickney:  A little bit, you know.  I mean, you know, just a little.

Apple Cider Mage:  We’re very excited to have Anne on the show this week.  I have been reading Anne’s stuff for quite a long time and we felt that she was a really appropriate person to come and talk about some of the more well-known women villains in World of Warcraft, which is a pretty interesting topic given how World of Warcraft writes and treats their villains overall.  But I feel that a lot of the female villains tend to have very different stories from some of their counterparts like Garrosh and things like that.  So we’re going to dig into that today and it’s going to be off the hook.

Tzufit:  It’s going to be loretastic.

Apple Cider Mage:  So we basically kind of wanted to jump into the discussion, and this came up more and more often as we were doing our notes for the show this week, is that basically I feel like the women in World of Warcraft that are villains seem to have a slightly different purpose, a lot of times, than some of their male counterparts.  I feel like a lot of the male villains in World of Warcraft – it seems to revolve around power:  gaining power, losing power, seeking more power, what can I do.  There’s obviously the other – like vengeance and things like that.  But I feel like a lot of the women villains seem to just take a very different path to glory as it were.

Tzufit:  A lot of the male villains really have these very defined steps on the way of what they want to accomplish and what this big end goal or end game is and that end game looks a little bit different for the men than it does for the women.

Anne Stickney:  I think, honestly, one of the biggest differences when you look at, well number 1, the numbers.  There’s like way more male villains out there than women villains.  More importantly, the origins.  Typically, when you run into like big bad guy, he’s been corrupted by something.  That’s like one of their common tropes is “oh they’ve been corrupted by the Old Gods,” or “oh they’ve been corrupted by the Burning Legion,” or “oh they’ve been corrupted by this, that, and the other.”  That’s the typical MO for a WoW villain.  But the women, more often than not, aren’t really so corrupt.  They’re working for their own purposes.  It’s not a matter of simple corruption.  So more often than not, their stories are far more interesting, I think.  There’s a little more depth there, which I find interesting.

Tzufit:  I think a lot of the women villains maybe have had run-ins with a big bad of one kind or another that’s influenced where they’ve gone.  But it’s not such a passive thing, I guess, as with a lot of the male villains where it’s just, like you said, “oh the Old Gods corrupted him,” or “the Burning Legion corrupted him,” or it’s just like this other entity took over and that’s what we’re doing now.

Apple Cider Mage:  They seem to have a lot more of an angle where they were affected by something and that’s ultimately what bends them into their path of killing people or undermining people or sabotage or revenge.  It makes a very compelling story.  The problem is that those compelling stories fall more to the wayside.  We’ve never seen a female villain on the box art, I don’t think, or in an opening cinematic.

Anne Stickney:  Not to my recollection, no.  Not in World of Warcraft, anyway.  I know that Vashj, Vashj was in one of the cinematics for Warcraft 3, but that was before Outland and everything.

Tzufit:  I think Vashj appears very briefly in the Burning Crusade trailer where it’s just her and Akama standing on a hill with Illidan or something like that.

Apple Cider Mage:  That was an animatic for the Black Temple patch.

Tzufit:  Oh, you’re right.  That’s what it was.

Apple Cider Mage:  She figures into the story and we’re definitely going to talk about Lady Vashj later.  Don’t think we’re forgetting her.  But she factors into the Burning Crusade story, but that still was Illidan’s thing.  That was still her helping Illidan.  The big bads haven’t really been women at all.

Anne Stickney:  Oh now, now, now.  Now I’d have to argue.  It depends because Vanilla WoW was a very different kind of story where it was told in chapters.  One of those chapters very deliberately involved Onyxia.  And Onyxia was big, cause she was the daughter of Deathwing.  But everything that she did in Stormwind directly influenced where the Alliance is today, where the human part of the Alliance is.  I mean, you could argue we’ve got Vanessa Van Cleef on the list.  You could argue that Vanessa wouldn’t even exist without Onyxia.

Apple Cider Mage:  That’s actually a very good point.

Tzufit:  Oh absolutely she wouldn’t.  It’s sort of especially devastating for Alliance players because she was hanging out in our Keep for how many years.

Anne Stickney:  Yeah, nobody even knew about it.  Again, she was the black dragonflight and the black dragonflight obviously they’ve all been kind of corrupted over time and that was because of Deathwing and because of the Old Gods.  But at the same time, Onyxia very much followed in her father’s footsteps where it was all about the subterfuge and about setting people against each other without putting yourself in there as a target.  People didn’t really suspect that she had anything to do with it until very, very late in the game.

Apple Cider Mage:  And I feel bad that we left her off of our list, actually now that I think about it.

Tzufit:  I think it’s probably just because we haven’t heard from her in quite some time at this point.

Anne Stickney:  Oh she’s gone.  She’s like long gone.

Tzufit:  She was a zombie and then we got rid of her again.

Anne Stickney:  Yeah, she’s long gone.  But her influence is still there and that’s why I find her probably one of the more fascinating ones, because she took human form and she basically went in and just kind of ran Stormwind from the back end.  She got rid of Varian for how many years.  She kept him firmly under control for how many years without people even knowing it.  Again, daughter of Deathwing, obviously she’s got a lot of power, but her purpose was basically “I’m just going to wreak enough havoc so that these guys aren’t going to mess with our ultimate plans over there in Blackrock Mountain.  I’m going to keep them busy with all this other mess.”  And she made a big mess.  It’s still not cleaned up.  Still not cleaned up, years later.

Apple Cider Mage:  I feel that female villains could very much have the wreak as much havoc as their male counterparts and I kind of wish that we would have seen a woman rise to as much prominence as – cause anybody that played in Vanilla, Onyxia was the end-game boss for quite a while when we first had raids.  So it would be interesting to see another woman come to that kind of prominence, especially figuring into end-game like Onyxia did, especially from the all-encompassing power that she had over quite a few people.

Tzufit:  The other thing that I think is particular impressive with Onyxia is you got a lot of setup there, a lot of back-story.  And that’s one thing that, occasionally when we do get female raid bosses or female villains, sometimes they’re just kind of tossed in and there’s not a lot of explanation as to why they’re there or what their motivations are.  Onyxia, we had a full picture.  We had a complete package.  So it would be nice that if we do get say a female end-boss in the future or a really big female villain, that we do get that complete picture again.

Anne Stickney:  It warrants it.  It really does.  It doesn’t really matter if it’s a male or a female villain.  Dragon Soul, right?  Dragon Soul – you had that moment where you went into the Nexus and that tauren shaman, she was in there.  There wasn’t really much story given to her.  But then after you kill Ultraxion, you go on the airship and there’s a dude tauren who’s like “Oh, I’d been hoping you’d get this far.”  We always mock this on the WoW Insider show.  It’s like, “So you were hoping that we’d totally foil your plans?  Cause that’s what we just did.  We completely foiled your plans and now you get to fight us.  So you were hoping that would happen?  Does Deathwing know about this?”  He doesn’t even have any real back-story or anything and he was just like random tauren #346 happens to order a bunch of stuff around.  She was – oh, she’s big old shaman starting this thing in the Nexus and that’s about it as far as her story goes.  I think it depends on the villain, but I think that more often than not the women villains, the bigger ones, the big names that you see out there, they’ve got that back-story and that back-story may not be completely fleshed out like say Illidan, where it goes all the way back to the War of the Ancients and then some.  But they’ve got just enough there to keep them interesting.  I wish we could see an expansion villain that was a woman.  Azshara would be so perfect for that.

Tzufit:  I mean, we have to face Azshara eventually, right?  It doesn’t make any sense that that giant loose end is still out there.

Apple Cider Mage:  Especially when we have so many other characters from that time period who have either stepped up to the plate, gotten killed.  You still see her influence all over.  We have fought naga almost every expansion now at this point.  We’re waiting and we’re waiting.

Anne Stickney:  I would kind of argue that that makes sense for Azshara, though, because she’s kind of – well you know what?  We’re going to talk about Azshara anyway so maybe we’ll just do that when we get to Azshara.  We have a list, here, so maybe we should just go down the list.

Apple Cider Mage:  Obviously we’ve got a lot of material here.  I feel like there’s so much to say about women villains because not a lot gets said about them.  I would even go so far as to say that there’s quite a few money on this list or people we didn’t even include on this list that, despite them being villains, they are still interesting, compelling, and I would say even sympathetic characters.  They are characters that I don’t necessarily feel that very black and white.  They’re good.  They’re evil.  I don’t like them.  And I think the biggest name for this discussion, or should I say brawl that always occurs, is definitely Sylvanas.  Sylvanas is one of the most contentious female figures, not even just villains, but contentious female figures in the whole World of Warcraft.

Anne Stickney:  And the thing is, you can’t quite call her a villain because she’s a faction leader, but her motives are so ambiguous that you never really know which side of the line she’s standing on or if she’s just walking down the middle of it or what’s going on with her.  I think that’s what makes her a contentious figure.  Even more so than the other stuff that you mentioned is just the fact that she’s a faction leader, so theoretically she should be a hero.  She was like a hero when you played her in Warcraft 3 obviously.  She broke free of the Lich King’s control and had her moment of triumph that wasn’t really a triumph at all.  She’s kind of walking that line back and forth, and that’s what makes her interesting.  Which side is she really on?  Do we know?  We don’t know.  And I don’t know if we’ll ever find out.

Apple Cider Mage:  Things about her that make her so likeable also make her so unlikeable when it comes to people discussing her because she has a back-story and a history that, the more I dug into it – I’ll go on record and say that I have not liked Sylvanas quite a lot of times because of the things that she’s done in the present, especially as an Alliance player.  But the more I delve into her back-story and her history, there’s no way I can’t say that if I was in her position, I would have done the exact same thing.

Anne Stickney:  She’s amazingly complex.  She really is.

Tzufit:  I know that Sylvanas was really the first WoW lore character who, when I was a new player, I wanted to know everything about her.  My friends all played Alliance, but they weren’t around a whole lot so I decided I was going to make a Horde alt and I made a Forsaken.  It’s even more so the case now since Cataclysm, where they’ve redone all the starting areas, but with the Forsaken starting area where it’s really especially pounded into your head, this whole sort of cult of personality surrounding Sylvanas and the giant statue of her in Brill and all this stuff about the Dark Lady.  Even prior to Cataclysm, just going through the Forsaken starting area – and I remember the first time I got to Undercity and I trekked all the way down there and saw Sylvanas and I was like, “This lady is awesome.  I have to read everything about her.”  Part of what fascinates me about her, even now, is that all that stuff that you read in the game about this devotion that the other Forsaken have to her and how she protects them, and she essentially is the reason they exist, you kind of feel some of that as a player, outside of the game, too.  You just get really sucked into, “This lady is badass.  I want to help her.  I want to do what she tells me to do because she’s got to have a plan for us, right?”

Apple Cider Mage:  I would say that she is one of the most emblematic faction leaders in terms of just creating unwavering devotion in her followers, whether intentionally in some cases or unintentionally in other cases.  I feel that that has migrated just even out into players because whether it’s the emotes in the game that people have – “Dark Lady watches over you” – or the fact that every person that I’ve met that plays Forsaken to any great degree just absolutely loves her.  It’s just such a widespread feeling and I feel that there’s no way that people could feel that much love for this character if she was really just kind of this 100% morally bankrupt completely black and white evil villain.

Anne Stickney:  The thing that sets her apart from every other faction leader in the game, and I mean every single one, she created her faction.  She created the Forsaken.  They did not exist prior to her.  So she’s actually one of the youngest in terms of faction leaders.  Now, in terms of relative age and everything, obviously she was a blood elf at one point in time and her origin story, that all played out earlier Warcraft games and Warcraft 3.  It was really sad to watch because she was a ranger general.  She was pretty much the biggest badass of the blood elf army and she almost single-handedly stopped Arthas from getting to the Sunwell.  He was on his way there to go resurrect Kel’thuzad and she didn’t want any part of that.  She held him off and she held him off – it was herself and her rangers.  At the bitter end there, it was just her.  She held him off long enough and was enough of a thorn in his side that he couldn’t just leave her be after he killed her.  What he did to her when he made her a banshee wasn’t out of “I’m going to go ahead and make you one of my strongest lieutenants” or anything like that.  Most of his motivation was, “You have been such a gigantic pain in the ass that I’m not going to let you rest and I’m not going to let you rest even when you’re dead.  I’m going to bring you back to life and you’re going to serve me because I’ve had just about enough of you.”  When he brought her back, he brought her back as kind of this mindless slave.  Now, you could also argue that Arthas realized her value just by how long she held him off and that’s why he wanted her on his side and working for him.  If she was that much of a pain in the butt to him, how much of a pain in the butt would she be to his enemies?

Tzufit:  And of course that’s the terrible part of it, too, is that he brings her back as a banshee while the battle is still going on with the blood elves.  So then she gets to watch as she helps destroy the rest of her people and as she helps go pollute the Sunwell.

Anne Stickney:  And everything that she was working so hard to protect.  As a member of the Scourge, as a banshee, she didn’t have her freedom of will.  So she couldn’t really control what she was doing.  But you have to realize that somewhere in the back of her mind, she’s watching all of this and kind of screaming internally and going “What the hell am I doing?”  That moment where Arthas – there’s that whole, what was it?  I think Illidan attacked the Lich King at the Frozen Throne and cracked it or something like that.  Just for a second there, Arthas lost control.  The Lich King lost control.  It was enough that Sylvanas broke free of that compulsion to follow him, and that’s when she took matters into her own hands.  Her first order of business was, “I am going to kill Arthas immediately.  I’m going to kill him and I’m going to make him pay for what he did to me, because what has happened to me is worse than death.”

Apple Cider Mage:  He demoralized her so utterly.

Anne Stickney:  Oh yeah, absolutely.  So is it any wonder, is it really any wonder when she came to her senses her first thought was, “I need to kill Arthas.”  That was her driving motivation.  That was why she brought the Forsaken together because here was this group of people, formerly dead, now stuck in this undeath where they would never be accepted.  They would never be able to go back to the way it was.  They would never be able to really interact with their family or their friends or anything again.  They’re just looking for guidance.  Sylvanas brought them together, gave them guidance, gave them a purpose, said “We’re going to go retake Lordaeron because it’s ours and I’m going to lead you and we’re going to kill the Lich King.  We’re going to kill Arthas.”  That was pretty much what drove her throughout Vanilla and throughout Burning Crusade.  Then in Wrath, she finally got it.  She finally got to do it.  But even then, that short story “Edge of Night,” that short story – she comes up to the Frozen Throne and she sees Bolvar sitting there and she realizes the Lich King is not dead because he can never die.  Even though Arthas is gone, there always has to be a Lich King.  There always has to be one.  “Now that I’ve fulfilled my purpose and I’ve killed Arthas, what’s left for me?  Well nothing.  I can go now.  I can go rest now.  I can go die now.”  And she’s solely thinking of herself in that aspect, and that’s why she tried to kill herself.  She was mostly successful but she learned in that moment that beyond death, like that second death, there’s nothing.  There’s nothing waiting for her.  And that’s even more terrifying than living this shadow of an unlife is the fact that she will never have rest, ever, ever.  So is any wonder she went kind of a little cuckoo?  I don’t think so.

Apple Cider Mage:  Her fate was so tied to Arthas’ and so tied to her revenge, and I feel like that’s one of the reasons that I could respect her as a villain.  So many of these arcs with these women villains seem to be twisted or impacted by some other male figure.  Arthas just did such horrible stuff to her, just terrible things, for her doing the right thing – doing everything that she could to protect her people.  I can’t fault her at all, one bit, for her actions in regards to wanting to get revenge and things like that.  It’s everything that happens after Wrathgate that I think becomes a lot more of the hotbed issues.  Her character progression after Wrathgate has seemingly been to make her more and more like Arthas, or the Lich King, rather.

Anne Stickney:  Yeah, she’s almost becoming what he was.  Now here’s the interesting part about that whole Wrathgate thing.  There was the whole Battle for the Undercity.  There was the coup.  There was Putress and Varimathras, and the only reason Varimathras was serving her was because she said, “Hi you have 2 choices:  I kill you or you serve me.  Pick 1.”  And he said, “Ok, cool.  I’m all yours.”  But he wasn’t cool with it and he was constantly trying to find an out for it, and part of me wonders if Sylvanas actually arranged that whole coup just kind of backhandedly.

Tzufit:  It’s certainly implied at different points.  I don’t think it will ever be stated explicitly, but there definitely seem to be hints of that.

Anne Stickney:  Because here’s the thing:  You have an agent of the Burning Legion serving you, but you know that his servitude is kind of contingent and he’s not really faithful and he’s not really loyal, and if you give him half an opportunity, he’ll probably turn on you.  So what’s the easiest way to get rid of that guy without just flat out getting rid of that guy and going back on your word where you say, “Oh, I’m not going to kill you?”  Well, if you set it up so that he takes power, you can turn around and go to the rest of your faction, go to the rest of the Horde and go, “Whoa.  This dude just turned on me and kicked me out of the city.  You guys need to go take care of him.”  Then send Thrall, and send the rest of the Horde armies into the Undercity and they take care of him, and they kill him.  You don’t have any blood on your hands and you come out of it smelling like a rose because it’s like, “Oh, poor helpless Sylvanas.  We need to help her out.  We need to get the Undercity back for her.”  And she’s just sitting there going, “Yep.  You sure do need to do that.”

Tzufit:  And that’s exactly why I would tend to think that this absolutely was a setup because – not that Sylvanas is perfect and something like that couldn’t go under her radar, but that big of a plan and a project and all of the resources and time that it would have taken to setup everything that happened at the Wrathgate, do you really believe that went on in Sylvanas’ house without her knowing?

Anne Stickney:  It absolutely did not, and the only thing that prevented that from working 100% and her coming out smelling like a rose and her being one of the trusted members of the Horde was the fact that Garrosh was put into place.  Garrosh didn’t understand her.  Garrosh didn’t understand the Wrathgate.  Garrosh didn’t understand the Forsaken.  All he saw was a leader who was not in control of her people.  Now Thrall, had Thrall stayed in place, Thrall would have understood perfectly.  Thrall knew her.  He knew the Forsaken.  He knew their history and everybody else in the Horde, they had had enough time to get to know her and get to know her history and get to know the history of her people.  Garrosh didn’t have that.  So what does Garrosh do?  He holds it against her and he holds the whole Battle for the Undercity against her.  He looks at it as a sign of her weakness and he doesn’t want weak people in the Horde.  Garrosh is a very different sort of character.  His influence in Cataclysm and in Mists really offset how the Horde was working together.  Had he not been a factor in all of that, I think Sylvanas would have been in much more stable ground with the rest of the Horde.  But as it is, she’s still using the plague.  There’s that whole thing with Gilneas.  I think what she realized in that moment, though, when she tried to kill herself was 2 things:  1.) There’s nothing waiting for her after death and that’s terrifying to her.  2.) There’s an entire faction of people just like her and she’s the only thing that brings them together.  She’s the only thing uniting them under one banner.  She’s the only person giving them a purpose.  If she’s gone then they just die, and they’re left to that same fate of nothing.  She wasn’t willing to do that.  I don’t think she was willing to do that.

Apple Cider Mage:  Coming from it as an Alliance player, I feel like the exact opposite about Garrosh and Sylvanas.  Obviously I do not have the Horde perspective that you do.  I felt that Wrathgate was supposed to be the 1-2 punch right before she decided to go after Arthas.  If the arc of her plans had gone the way she wanted, she would have wiped out the Horde and the Alliance at Wrathgate, gone up to Arthas herself and tried to kill him, and then rode home in a blaze of glory to take over the entire rest of Azeroth.  I always felt that Wrathgate was her charges getting away from her but with her plan in mind, in that they got out of her control and fucked up her plans royally and she had to double back and make it look like she wasn’t behind it.  I feel like Garrosh’s interactions with her, especially in the undead starting experience and Gilneas with the whole, “Now Sylvanas, don’t use the plague.”  And she’s like “Oh, I totally won’t, Garrosh.”  Wink, wink.  And he walks off and she’s like, “Yeah we’re totally using the plague ha-ha-ha-ha.”  That’s her end-game.  She wants to get rid of everybody.

Tzufit:  Yeah, I agree with that.  But I think you can have it both ways.  I think Sylvanas could absolutely have just been playing the odds.  You know what, if her plan worked at the Wrathgate – awesome.  Let’s charge on Arthas.  Let’s kill Arthas and then, like you said, ride home in the blaze of undead glory, kill everybody else and now at least we’re on an equal playing field.  But if it didn’t work, then totally great contingency plan – “Well I didn’t know it was happening.  It was this coup and let’s go save the Undercity.”  It works either way, no matter what the outcome is.  And Sylvanas is smart enough that I think she would have known that.

Anne Stickney:  See and part of me thinks that Putress was probably working against her wishes.  Like he was trying to play a bigger hand than he actually had, and she was afraid that he was going to try and take over.  So why not pretend to let him take over and we’ll let the armies take him out, too?  1-2 punch, we get rid of 2 of the biggest handicaps to my rule, to my reign here as the Queen of the Forsaken and I come out of it scot-free.  I think that the plague of undeath was definitely something she was working with, obviously.  But I think that Putress was trying to almost overstep her authority, and she wasn’t about to stand for that.

Apple Cider Mage:  I can definitely see that as a machination of let him gain enough steam to make him think that he can take over.  Let him realize his folly, get killed off, and now I have a super amazing plague and nobody to talk about it afterwards.

Anne Stickney:  What’s interesting about her dynamic now is that, again, she’s taking on this kind of almost mirror image of Arthas where her actions and particularly the involvement of the Val’kyr are kind of influencing what she looks like.  She’s looking more and more like a mini Lich King of her own.

Apple Cider Mage:  And that’s scary.  That’s kind of what makes me feel like she’s more of a villain now.  Now that she doesn’t have the revenge aspect to go on and she has nothing waiting for her in the afterlife, I feel like she’s just going to go for broke now.  She has 4 lives left, essentially, given the current count of the Val’kyr.  The problem that I really had with the starting experience, because I did the starting experience for undead a couple times over cause it’s just that good, was the mind control aspect.  There’s no way you can walk out of mind control with a clean conscience.  That’s where I feel she’s going down the Lich King road of the whole, “I don’t need to have people have free will.  I can just control them.  I can just raise them against their will.  I can just take people out of the ground.  I can just raise them as my own.  I don’t need to worry about the future of the undead now.”  I think her recklessness and her immorality in that regard is – number 1 – scary as heck to Garrosh because here’s a woman that could create an infinite number of people out of dead things and now she doesn’t seem to have any ethical or moral steering wheel.

Tzufit:  That’s sort of a racial trait of the Forsaken anyway.  Part of what we’re told happens when you’re raised is you don’t get empathy back.  You don’t get emotions back, except in a few very rare cases.  So I think it’s not shocking that Sylvanas doesn’t recognize the hypocrisy of what she’s doing and maybe even can see the way in which she’s acting like the Lich King, but doesn’t care – or I hate to even use those words because it’s not like she’s making an active choice not to care.  The capacity doesn’t even exist for her anymore.

Anne Stickney:  I don’t know about that, because she seemed to be pretty emotional when she was going to kill herself.  What Sylvanas is and what she is now, what it can be boiled down to is – from Warcraft 3 until Wrath of the Lich King, she had one very particular purpose for herself and for her people, and it was killing Arthas.  Once that was over, all of a sudden she was faced with that big question of now what do we do?  What’s the purpose of the Forsaken?  How do we establish ourselves?  What do we do, because basically we’re a bunch of undead people and we can’t procreate.  We’re just facing a future where we’re going to eventually die out, so what do we do?  That’s kind of what’s driving her right now is that whole “I need to find a purpose for us again, because if I don’t nobody will.”

Apple Cider Mage:  That’s one of the issues I had with the short story in that it treads some very familiar ground with the writing of these women coming to a dead halt once the man that impacted their lives is suddenly, finally gone and they’re quest for revenge is over.  Then they don’t know what to do with themselves and suddenly they’re at a loss.  The fact that the short story made her kill herself was a little bit of a weird moment for me.  I understand what it meant in context, but it was still kind of a weird moment.  I know Tzufit has a little bit more of a meta-context to why Sylvanas’ story is kind of really jarring.

Tzufit:  I know that the first time I read Sylvanas’ origin story and just the way that it’s described and all of the language used in terms of when Arthas turns her into a banshee and his motivations for doing so, which as Anne already described earlier on, she’s this very powerful warrior who has been a giant thorn in his side the entire time that he’s trying to get to the Sunwell.  So he decides to punish her in the worst way that he can conceive of and it’s essentially torture, and torture that’s going to life her entire undeath at this point, which seems like is going to be forever as far as we know.  The way that it was described, it always struck me as being a little bit of a rape metaphor.  And that does not sit especially well for me, particularly considering where the story goes, how it advances.

Anne Stickney:  I don’t think it was so much that, though.  Part of it was, “I want to punish you because you’ve spent so long being a thorn in my side.”  And I think the other part of it was, “This woman has been a thorn in my side more so than any other mortal I have faced yet to date.  I need her working for me and I’m just going to make the process painful because she was such a gigantic pain in the butt.”

Tzufit:  I think Arthas absolutely sees it as a tactical decision, but it’s also about exerting control over someone who has not let him have his way.

Apple Cider Mage:  It’s got some interesting overtones and I really feel like the fact that her fate was so tied to his and now that she’s sort of going in the steps – the fact that her plot development is now going in the way of Arthas or the way of the Lich King, feels like they’re doubling back a little bit on her development.  It does feel weird because she’s turning into the very thing that created her.  And that feels sort of gross and icky and I’m not sure I really like it.

Anne Stickney:  It’s an interesting direction for them to take her, because it’s like “Well, what is my purpose?”  Her purpose has been tied to getting rid of Arthas for so long that she’s actually sort of started to become him.  I think that says more about the nature of revenge and how revenge is kind of all-consuming than it does about anything else, really.  The more you fixate on something, the more you become that thing.  I don’t know.  I don’t know what direction they’re going to take that story.  Obviously we didn’t see much of it at all in Mists, so who knows?

Tzufit:  The one thing I keep in the back of my mind with Sylvanas, too, is that her revenge has been completely focused on Arthas.  But there are actually 2 entities that caused her to become what she is and that’s Arthas and Ner’zhul.  So is it possible that Sylvanas’ revenge actually isn’t complete yet and that the other half of that revenge is “I am going to obliterate the Burning Legion and maybe that means the end of the Scourge and, by extension, the end of the Forsaken in the process, but I am going to take them down.”

Anne Stickney:  We might see it evolve to that.  That would be the natural progression of it.  Her vision was really small when she first became a Forsaken.  Arthas did this to her so therefore Arthas must die.  But the whole reason that Arthas became what he was was the Lich King.  Well the Lich King can’t die.  Well do they really know how the Lich King was created?  Has she found that out yet?  Is that something that she would find out?  If she found that out, would her focus then turn to the Burning Legion?  Would it turn to Kil’jaeden?  That would definitely bring her back into the fray in a way that she hasn’t been before.  I’d like to see it go that direction, actually.  That’d be a really smart place for it to go.

Tzufit:  Right, and it would be a way for Blizzard to bring her back from the brink of being all the way towards this very, at best, morally grey area – if not full-on villain.  While she’s still going to be using incredibly questionable tactics, at least if they go in that direction, it’s going to explain why she still has goals that are in common with the rest of the Horde; especially if, as it looks like, we’re heading toward a showdown with the Burning Legion at some point.

Anne Stickney:  Yeah.  Anyway, we’ve got more people on this list.

Apple Cider Mage:  We could go a whole episode about Sylvanas, but we have so many other villainesses that we could talk about.  One of the other ones that I found really interesting because I don’t know much about her, being an Alliance player, is old Magatha – who is really not old in anything but maybe her wisdom and her age.

Anne Stickney:  She’s called the elder crone and it’s supposedly this title of respect within the Grimtotem.  She’s interesting.

Apple Cider Mage:  I didn’t know that she had so much story with the Cataclysm changes to all of the zones.  The thing that I knew about Magatha, other than her being an old tauren questgiver, was that she had a part to play in the precursor to Garrosh’s Horde in that she brought about the death of Cairne.  She’s been a political mastermind in a lot of ways and a very, very powerful woman in the shadows for a lot of reasons.

Anne Stickney:  The reason that Magatha was in Thunder Bluff was because Cairne knew that she was a threat.  He wanted to keep her close.  That’s why she was there.  She was where he could keep an eye on her.  Magatha, much like the rest of the Grimtotem, lived in this headspace where the tauren are the supreme race and it’s kind of like a mirror image of what you see with Fandral and the night elves only it’s with the tauren.  Magatha is that tauren figure that thinks that the tauren shouldn’t be allied with anyone else.  They should be working for themselves.  They should be their own sovereign whatever and she should be in charge of it all because she’s the one with all the power.

Tzufit:  Although, oddly she’s willing to ally with the Forsaken, which I’ve never fully understood the motivation there.  I don’t know if it’s just fully out of convenience and we’re going to completely turn our back on you the second we have what we want.  Both in the Cataclysm quests and then prior to, you saw the Grimtotem working with Forsaken in this very pragmatic way.

Apple Cider Mage:  Maybe she thinks that they have more of a future than the Horde?

Anne Stickney:  Yeah.  The whole reason that the Forsaken joined the Horde – it was actually Hamuul Runetotem that kind of convinced them to bring the Forsaken into the Horde.  It was because he was kind of sympathetic to their plight and he thought maybe a cure could be found for this whole undead state that they were in.  Maybe they could find a way to bring them back to themselves or something like that.  He managed to talk Cairne into it, and Cairne talked to Thrall, and they all talked together and they decided let’s bring the Forsaken in.  Magatha, however, her experience working with the Forsaken – she wasn’t really playing that kind of “Oh we’re going to help you” kind of role.  She was more of a “Hey.  You have plagues.  You have so many convenient ways of killing people.  And you know what I’d really like to do?  I have a lot of people I’d really like to kill.”

Apple Cider Mage:  A whole list.

Anne Stickney:  “I think that you and I, we could work together on this.”  The Forsaken are kind of morally ambiguous anyway, so they’re like “Sure, why not?  It means more dead people.  We’re cool with that.”

Tzufit:  We should probably explain, cause Apple Cider kind of pointed to it in her introduction with Magatha, why exactly Magatha is so critical to the Cataclysm story and all the events that she set in motion which lead to Garrosh being a big baddie.

Anne Stickney:  She pretty much single-handedly set up Cairne’s death.  There was a whole situation up in Ashenvale where a bunch of Horde druids and a bunch of Alliance druids were meeting.  They were ambushed by members of the Twilight Cult.  They had nothing to do with anybody in the Horde, but they looked like members of the Kor’kron.  And they slaughtered everybody, and Hamuul barely escaped with his life.  Cairne saw this and said, “Garrosh, what the heck are you doing?”  He went to Orgrimmar to confront Garrosh directly.  Meanwhile, Magatha’s been talking to Garrosh because it’s been rumored that Garrosh is going to step into that place of being a warchief.  So she gets to Garrosh before Cairne does and she says, “I think it’s really cool that you’re getting to be the leader and everything like that and I’ve butted heads with Cairne so many times and I’ve never really felt like a member of the Horde.  But if you’re in charge we’d totally back you and support you 100%.”  And Garrosh, because he’s a big, dumb idiot, was like, “Wow, that’s a great idea.  I think that’s awesome.  Cool.  Nobody else – Thrall wasn’t able to get the Grimtotem to work with us.  But I was.  So I’m a cool dude, right?”  Cairne shows up.  Cairne says, “What the hell are you doing?”  Garrosh says, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”  Cairne says, “I challenge you to this duel to the death.”  And Garrosh says, “Ok, fine.”  They get a shaman to bless their weapon.  Magatha is the shaman that blesses Garrosh’s weapon and she puts poison on Gorehowl.  Garrosh didn’t even know about it.  He had no idea.  But the oil that she used to anoint his blade or whatever was poison.  So the moment that Garrosh nicked Cairne, it wasn’t even a fatal blow.  Cairne was poisoned and paralyzed and unable to defend himself.  As Gorehowl whistled down – there was this great quote that Cairne said.  “And thus my life ends” – I don’t know.  It was really kind of heartbreaking.  Garrosh thought he’d beat the snot out of Cairne.  To him that was a satisfactory conclusion.  Why?  Because this was a duel to the death.  This was a mak’gora.  It was a time-honored tradition in the Horde, and it was something that Cairne initiated and he fought bravely, but he died.  When Garrosh found out that Magatha was responsible, he was ticked.

Tzufit:  Because she stole honor from him, essentially.

Anne Stickney:  She basically robbed him of honorable combat.  She robbed Cairne of an honorable death.  That did not sit with Garrosh well at all.  He was pissed.  So Magatha takes this opportunity, once Cairne is dead, to throw the coup that she always wanted to throw and take over Thunder Bluff.  Of course, Baine Bloodhoof, he’s not in Thunder Bluff.  He’s out at Bloodhoof Village.  There’s nothing stopping the Grimtotem.  Cairne isn’t there anymore.  Hamuul is still recovering from injuries.  So what the heck?  Why not?  Woohoo!  Grimtotem Party!

Tzufit:  And she slaughters a ton of tauren in the process, too.  It’s really a sad moment in the book.  This is all in The Shattering.

Anne Stickney:  Garrosh sends her a note and that note – oh my gosh.  That was the best paragraph there.  He sends her a note and essentially he says, “Magatha.  I’ve heard you’ve risen to power.  I hope you die a long and painful death and know the Horde doesn’t want you in it.  You will be brought to your reckoning.  I’m not sending anybody to support you.”  I think Magatha realized in that moment, “Whoops, I’ve done messed up.”  Baine was in hiding for a while and then he came back and managed to overthrow Magatha.  What did he do?  He like destroyed her totems, didn’t he?

Tzufit:  Yeah, he destroys her totems.

Anne Stickney:  He didn’t kill her.  He destroyed her totems.  He destroyed her source of power and he cast her out of Thunder Bluff along with all of the Grimtotem that were loyal to her.  He was like, “Unlike my father, I’m not willing to keep you here unless you’re willing to say that you’re no longer a Grimtotem.”

Apple Cider Mage:  That just wasn’t going to fly.

Anne Stickney:  Yeah.  So Magatha kind of disappeared for a while and then she reappeared a little bit later.  Now she’s got this mysterious Doomstone thing and we haven’t seen her since.  But she found another source of power.

Apple Cider Mage:  I don’t like the idea of a very powerful shaman possessing a stone that makes elemental powers even more powerful.  That doesn’t sound like a good idea.

Anne Stickney:  Well, her totems are gone.  I mean he destroyed her totems.  He destroyed her source of power.  So what does she do?  She goes and finds a new, better source of power.

Tzufit:  For me, one of the difficult things to understand with Magatha is exactly what her motivations are or what the end-game plan is.  So yes, obviously, she wants to elevate her tribe to the place where she thinks they should be.  As you explained, she sees the Grimtotem as sort of the pure race of tauren.

Anne Stickney:  It’s very much a racial supremacy kind of thing, which is a little ew.  But that’s what it is with her.  To her the tauren are everything and those other races should not even exist.

Tzufit:  But with all the chaos that she wrought in Cataclysm and just sort of the way that she did things with all the subterfuge and playing people against each other and being very aware of the distrust that already existed, I was ready for the reveal that she’s on the side of the Twilight’s Hammer or the Twilight Cultists.  At some point, I would have never been shocked if the random shaman that we see in Dragon Soul would have made a lot more sense to me if that had been Magatha.

Anne Stickney:  Oh no.  No.  Because you know what Deathwing wanted?  Deathwing wanted the end of the world.  Magatha doesn’t want the end of the world.  Magatha wants a world in which she is supreme.

Apple Cider Mage:  It would have been funny if somehow there was a reveal that, after Garrosh dies that Sylvanas and Magatha step out of the shadows and then sort of bro-fist each other and they’re like, “We’re talking over now.”  Then they kill the entire Horde.

Anne Stickney:  No.

Apple Cider Mage:  We’ve talked an awful lot about Horde villainesses.  Let’s take on down to Alliance town because, frankly, I think we’ve talked a lot about the Horde politics and things like that.  I think we need to talk about Vanessa Van Cleef.

Anne Stickney:  I love Vanessa.  I love her character.  I love the fact that she exists.

Apple Cider Mage:  So much.  I was telling Tzufit before we started recording that a couple years before Cataclysm came out, I was just joking around in guild chat about how I wanted to see more women villains.  We were basically talking about fan fiction and stuff like that.  I joked around that I had written fan fiction that Edwin Van Cleef had a daughter and that she was going to take over for him after he died.  Everybody laughed about it.  I was like, “No, she’s totally going to be beautiful and smart.  She’s totally going to take over.”  And then what happens in Cataclysm?

Anne Stickney:  Her story is really interesting.  It’s really interesting.  I’m hoping that she’s not really gone because a girl that smart, a girl that has the capacity to do all that mind control and everything else, also has the capacity to fake her own death if necessary.  So I’m hoping that she’s still around somewhere.

Apple Cider Mage:  You don’t see a body – not dead.

Tzufit:  That’s too good of a character to be a throw away for 1 zone and 1 dungeon.

Anne Stickney:  The thing that I really like about Vanessa is that she is the mirror image of Varian Wyrnn in a very subtle kind of way.  He created her in a way.  Without the whole Onyxia thing – we mentioned previously when we were talking about Onyxia how Vanessa wouldn’t exist without Onyxia.  Vanessa’s story mimics Varian’s story and it mimics it in this really odd way.  Both of them lost their parents when they were very young.  Both of them witnessed their parents’ death, and both of them dedicated their lives to bringing back what their parents had – their parents’ goals and dreams.  Varian’s been working very hard on getting Stormwind back to that peaceful, idyllic place of his childhood that he remembers growing up in.  Vanessa is trying to continue her father’s legacy.  Her motives may not be the best motives in the world, but she’s really trying to follow in her father’s footsteps.  It’s weird how the 2 mirror each other so much, because Vanessa’s essentially a product of what happened to Varian.  I just get this mental image of the 2 of them actually sitting down and talking like civilized human beings and realizing that they have so much in common.  “Oh you saw your dad die?  I saw my dad die, too.”  “Yeah, but you ordered my dad’s death.”  “Oh.  Well this got awkward really fast.”

Apple Cider Mage:  The only problem that I really had was that they did make her motives very skewed.  Honestly, because she’s so human and because she has such a similar back-story to Varian, the fact that they made her so seemingly unstable when she really represented a really good counterpoint to the image that Stormwind tries to project about itself being idyllic and peaceful.  For its citizens, she is a huge representation of the failures of the Stormwindian politics.  She is a huge symbol of that and I really felt that they didn’t go into that.

Tzufit:  And I think that’s something that the original Edwin Van Cleef storyline did really well.  By the time you get to the end of that quest line, and by the time you’re actually tasked with going into the Deadmines and killing Edwin, you’re not really sure you’re doing the right thing.  I mean, yes, he’s absolutely a threat to Stormwind.  You know he’s going to be violent.  He’s got this giant warship down there.  It’s bad news.  But there’s a lot of moral ambiguity that’s going on, because in the end, he is trying to do the right thing for these people of Westfall who have absolutely been screwed over by Stormwind.

Anne Stickney:  The thing about the Defias, you kind of have to go back to how the Defias was formed.  This was the Stonemason’s Guild and they rebuilt Stormwind after it was nearly destroyed in the First War.  They were promised a pretty extravagant payment for all the work that they did.  They did a lot of work.  They rebuilt Stormwind Keep.  They rebuilt the walls.  They rebuilt all this stuff.  They weren’t given the payment that they were promised.  A lot of that had to do with the fact that Onyxia was in there.  Onyxia took that moment to influence the council nobles and say, “You know what?  Maybe we don’t have the resources to pay these guys.  Maybe we shouldn’t pay these guys as much as we promised we’d pay them.”  Varian kind of objected to it.  Tiffin was the main objector to that.  Tiffin was really, really, adamantly on the side of paying them what they were owed.  And Tiffin died in a riot that ensued when the Stonemason’s Guild realized that they weren’t going to be paid.  Obviously they pitched a fit.  They started trying to tear down the walls and trying to take down all of the work that they had done because obviously they weren’t going to be paid for it.  Tiffin got hit by a rock and died.  She died at the hands of the people that she was really standing behind, which makes her death even more tragic in that circumstance.  I almost kind of think that Onyxia sort of machinated it that way.  She made that happen.  I have a feeling that that rock wouldn’t have quite hit her head if Onyxia hadn’t been standing right there and watching it happen.  In the Warcraft comics, it shows Varian and Tiffin.  Tiffin’s holding Anduin.  And then Katrana is standing on the other side of Varian and she watches Tiffin get hit.  She’s got this weird little smile on her face like “There we go.  That’s the final puzzle piece I needed, because Tiffin was the one thing standing in my way.”  The Stonemason’s Guild were obviously pushed out of Stormwind after all of that, for good reason.  They killed the queen.  That wasn’t exactly cool of them to do.  But they still weren’t being paid.  So they decided, Edwin Van Cleef brought them all together and they decided that they were going to take their payment wherever they could.  So they basically became this band of highway robbers.  Anybody coming out of Stormwind was in immediate danger of being attacked by the Defias.  The Defias would steal everything that they had on them and send them on their way.  They wouldn’t necessarily kill them, they’d just steal everything and send them on their way.  It was sort of like a Robin Hood thing, only a backwards kind of Robin Hood thing.  They went about it the wrong way.  They really did go about it the wrong way, but they were entirely justified in doing so.  When Vanessa witnessed her father’s death, she was very young.  She was kind of shuffled off to Westfall and she was raised by a family that lived there in Westfall.  I think that part of her dual nature and part of her madness, but not really madness, was the fact that she was trying to reconcile everything her father had ever told her about Stormwind with these very nice people that she was living with.

Apple Cider Mage:  I feel it’s sort of sad because you get to see a lot more of this in the Cataclysm storyline, Westfall is still shouldering the brunt of Stormwind’s mistakes.  There’s so many poor people.  It’s such a sad zone to do because in a lot of ways it kind of reflects a lot of current, real world sort of stuff.  It makes it really depressing.

Anne Stickney:  The first time I went in there, you get there and there’s the cart and the horse and the crazy dude who’s like CSI dude but not really.  He’s like, “Go talk to the homeless dudes in that field over there.”  So I’m like “Ok.  Oh wow, homeless dudes.  You guys have seen really rough times.  It’s a bunch of hobos.”  So you’re talking to them and occasionally one of them will die and then a bunch of children will appear out of nowhere and rob the body.  The first time that happened I was like “Oh my god.  This is horrible.”  It’s kind of funny, but it’s horrible.  This is what Stormwind’s come to.

Apple Cider Mage:  Yeah.  Stormwind has forced Westfall to shoulder all of these refugees and then what does Westfall turn around and do?  They shut everybody out of the only standing village in the entire zone.

Tzufit:  The only fortified area at all.

Anne Stickney:  And they kind of have to.  They’re kind of forced into that – Mistmantle, the guys that’s the head of everything there.  His hand has been forced.  He was originally in Vanilla, he was the bastion of “We need to stand up and make the People’s Militia, because obviously Stormwind’s not going to help us.  They were successful.  They got rid of Edwin.  And then Stormwind promptly came to them and said, “Hey, we’ve got this campaign going on in Northrend and you guys were so successful down here that we’d like to recruit you into the army.”  They get absorbed into that army up in Northrend and then when they come back, they’re supposedly coming back as heroes but Westfall’s gotten even worse.  It hasn’t gotten any better.  It’s deteriorated while they were gone.  He can’t help but feel guilty about that.  But what can he do?

Apple Cider Mage:  Stormwind should have been taking care of Westfall instead of shunting refugees there.

Anne Stickney:  Right, and once again it comes down to Stormwind.  It comes down to Stormwind’s inaction.  Vanessa has obviously been raised on her daddy’s knee with stories about the big bad royalty – big bad capitalists and all of that other stuff.  So she understands that story from his standpoint.  She’s never heard the other side and the other side is there was a giant black dragon that was manipulating everyone.  Sorry.  That was never stated anywhere along the line.

Tzufit:  But see that relationship between Vanessa and the people of Westfall in general is where it breaks down a little bit for me in terms of ways that the story could be even more powerful.  It seems like it would be a natural thing for there to be an alliance between Vanessa, with this sort of re-imagined Defias and the people of Westfall, the Westfall Brigade, because both of them have very real and legitimate grievances against Stormwind.  Now they have completely different ways of going about resolving those grievances.

Anne Stickney:  Yeah, I was going to say.  I don’t think that I would ever see Gyran go, “Ok, we’ll go ahead and side with the Defias.”

Tzufit:  I think it would have made for a much more compelling story rather than what Apple Cider complains about, and I think rightfully, that what you end up with is this version of Vanessa who comes across as this person who’s very crazed, very single-mindedly focused on the revenge of her father.  That’s what we hear her talk about is revenge for her father’s death.  We don’t necessarily hear the ideological concerns that Edwin had come up with originally when we saw it the first time around.

Anne Stickney:  And I think that a great deal of that, though, has to do with the fact that her father didn’t just die right in front of her.  They cut off his head and took it back for the bounty.  She came out to a headless corpse and she was like, what, 6-7-8?  Not exactly emotionally capable of handling that kind of thing.  That’s enough to make anyone a little cuckoo in the head, especially since they were high fiving each other.  “Dude, bro, we totally got rid of Van Cleef.  I’m going to get that awesome, sweet chest piece.  Yeah, me too man.”  Her world has just come crashing down around her and she’s going to focus on that.  It’s kind of interesting because Varian had this very single-minded hatred of the orcs because he witnessed a half-orc, Garona, kill her father in cold blood.  What did Garona do?  Garona cut out Llane’s heart and took Llane’s heart back to the Shadow Council.  Not only have they seen their parent die, they’ve seen various body parts taken of their parents.  It’s interesting how their stories marry just so much.

Apple Cider Mage:  In the respect that Varian manages to receive peace and redemption for his estrangement or his troubles with seeing his parents die, I really wanted to see that happen for Vanessa.

Anne Stickney:  Varian had a support system in place, though.  Varian had Anduin Lothar and they went to Lordaeron and King Terenas was very supportive and almost like a second father to Varian.  He had Arthas to be his friend.  He had a lot of people standing under him and picking him up and supporting him and going, “Look kid.  It’s going to be Ok.”  Vanessa had nobody.

Tzufit:  Well she’s raised by the Fullbroughs, though, who are – everybody sort of agrees are this fantastic, nobody would have any reason to kill them.

Anne Stickney:  It was interesting because she was raised by a family-

Tzufit:  The Saladeens.

Anne Stickney:  They found her.  They found her out in the middle of nowhere, wandering around, and they didn’t know who she was.  She wasn’t coherent at all.  She was kind of catatonic.  They took her in and they raised her as their daughter and she renamed herself Hope, which was kind of interesting.  I thought that was clever.  I’m like “Oh, Vanessa.  You clever girl.”  But she immediately devoted herself to helping the homeless and helping the people that Stormwind has cast out.  That was her MO.

Apple Cider Mage:  I want that to be her real future.  I want her to come back.  I want her to come back as this amazing political agitator / socialist campaigning for the rights of Westfall underclass.

Tzufit:  And you know, again, because I want to read more into it than I think is there, I would love the notion that she took the name Hope for herself because she really believed there might be a chance that she could turn this thing around, that she could help the people of Westfall, and that’s why she got into the work that she did.  Finally, she sees that Stormwind’s sending these adventurers down here again and they’re sniffing around in all this Defias action and at that point it’s her breaking point.  She knows this story.  She sees where it’s going.

Apple Cider Mage:  Yeah.

Anne Stickney:  She’s an interesting character.  I really hope that her death wasn’t one of those final deaths.  You know what I mean?  I’m hoping that she managed to wriggle her way out of it in one form or the other, because she’s a cool character.  Anyway, we have more people on the list.

Apple Cider Mage:  We have just a couple more people left.

Anne Stickney:  So another 2 hours?

Apple Cider Mage:  Yeah, we might have to split this episode into a 2-parter because we’ve just got so much stuff to talk about.  I don’t think anybody would really mind if we split this into a 2-parter anyway.  And that concludes part 1 of our episode on women villains of Azeroth.  We will have part 2 next week.


  1. Newsom

    This is so interesting but it’s too painful to listen to. Please do some sound checking?

    • justicepoints

      Unfortunately I’m very new to Audacity – I have no idea how to cut out mic distortion.

      • Newsom

        It sounds like your guest has her volume turned up way too high. I listened anyway and it’s extremely interesting, keep it up!

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