Episode #22 – “Lore, Re-Imagined”

Episode #22 – “Lore, Re-Imagined”

Dec 10

Our twenty-second episode features Tzufit and Apple Cider taking a spin in the re-imagination machine to revisit, re-envision and completely destroy World of Warcraft’s lore in their own image or perhaps secret desires. We discuss the Defias Brotherhood, Azshara, Jaina as well as many other characters. (Death to Malfurion!)

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Below the cut is a full transcript of Episode 22, “Lore, Re-Imagined.” Many thanks to @IviaRelle for transcribing this episode.

Apple Cider: Hello! Welcome back to the show. So excited. This week, not only are we- for all of the people in the Twitch chatroom, we are streaming live this week, but we’re also doing an extremely fun episode of Justice Points. That’s right, we’re doing lore reimagining. The lore of World of Warcraft, as imagined by us.

Tzufit: And when you say “as imagined by us” what you actually mean is, “when I play the game this is what happens because it does”.

Apple Cider: Yes. I mean, you could call this headcanon, you could call this the fanciful notions of two women who play World of Warcraft but I like to think of it as reimagination.

Tzufit: Well, I think of it as truth, so.

Apple Cider: (Chuckling)

Tzufit: Guess y’all are just gonna have to deal with that. But yes, this is a very exciting episode, we are doing our first experiment with streaming live, and if this goes well, we may do that a few more times in the future, definitely not for EVERY episode, since we tend to have some pretty serious topics along the way, but when we have fun stuff, we’d like to go ahead and maybe get a chatroom going for that.

Apple Cider: Yeah. This seemed like a good place to have a show that was goofy and fun, a little bit more lighthearted considering that a lot of our episodes, especially recently, have been very serious topics and stuff that don’t lend themselves very well to jokes or fun or anything like that, and considering it’s the holiday season and, you know, all that, we decided, “Hey, let’s do something that we wanna do that’s a little bit more goofy”. (Chuckling)

Tzufit: (Chuckling) So, I’m gonna jump in, if you don’t mind-

Apple Cider: I don’t mind at all!

Tzufit: -with a headcanon that is very near and dear to… my head, I guess? (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: Since this is a headcanon that I have had about Westfall generally, the Defias specifically, for, umm, I guess pretty much since I started playing WoW, because when I first made the move over to a roleplay server, the characters who I played, I had one Horde-side and one Alliance-side who were a mother and daughter, the mother was a Forsaken, the daughter was Human, and both were originally from Westfall. So I have lots and lots of deep emotions (chuckling) about Westfall, and ideas about what Westfall really is to the Alliance, the treatment of Westfall by the powers that be in Stormwind. I have so many feels about this.

Apple Cider: I think we should also probably tell our listeners that one of the reasons why this became kind of a huge bullet point on our notes is because both Tzufit and myself have started a Defias sisterhood branch roleplaying guild. I know if anybody follows us on Twitter, you know this already, but we have characters in a radical militant woman-centered Defias branch that we roleplay and it’s been a lot of fun having sort of very heated discussions about what exactly Westfall is, what exactly Elwynn is, what exactly has been going on with the upper crust of the Stormwind elite, and how that affects the economy and politics ongoing of Westfall. It probably also doesn’t hurt that both of us have roleplayed characters and stories that heavily involve both Westfall and Elwynn in the form of her priest, my rogue, my rogue who also has a sister who’s a hunter, and things like that.

Tzufit: Yeah, and I don’t want to make too many promises in terms of like, “Hey come RP with us!” because, you know, I’m over there like once every other week pretty much (laughing) but with it being the end of the expansion, and my normal raiding schedule, it has not tapered off yet, it may, I don’t know, we’ll see what happens, but usually this is the time when I do other projects like that so yes, we do have a roleplaying guild, it is called the Defias Sisterhood, and if you’re a cool person who knows how to not be a jerk and would be interested in roleplaying with us, definitely get in contact with either me or Apple Cider on Twitter and we can let you know where that is and get you an invite and that kind of fun stuff.

Apple Cider: Yeah. So we should probably actually talk about, what exactly is our reimagining sort of headcanon expansion on Defias. I mean-

Tzufit: Oh yeah, I would be happy, HAPPY-

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: (laughing) to tell y’all about that. Alright, so let me paint you a picture of Westfall as I see it, which is essentially this very productive, agrarian society that has kind of the perfect climate to be the breadbasket for the Alliance. It’s got warm winds coming up from Stranglethorn Vale, it’s pretty much surrounded by mountains on all sides, it has a giant stretch of coast that could be ports to export the grain to Stormwind, because it would be faster to go by sea than to have to go around the mountains and through Elwynn that way. It could be exported up to Lordaeron back when we still had living folk up there (chuckling) in Lordaeron. It could go to Gilneas, back when we still had living folk up in Gilneas. It could go across over to Kalimdor to Theramore, because surely they need some food that isn’t fish all the time, and they certainly don’t have a lot of areas around there that would be great for growing. On top of that, you’ve got Northwatch Hold over there, near Orgrimmar, there are lots and lots of places that Westfall could be sending this grain, and it could be a HUGELY productive and actually probably fairly well-off area of the Alliance, because of that. HOWEVER, things went bad (laughing) when Tiffin supposedly, and we’ll get to THAT in a moment, when Tiffin was killed by members of the Stonemasons’ guild that were rebelling against the fact that they hadn’t been paid for the work that they did to reconstruct Stormwind. So, Westfall, you know, gets punished pretty heavily at that point by Stormwind, and one of the ways that they are punished is not just the fact that Stormwind is kind of closed off and there’s not a whole lot of aid that’s being sent to the outlying communities at that point, but also there’s this notion that every farmer who has a harvest in Westfall has to send a percentage of that harvest to Stormwind for them to distribute as they see fit, and it’s a pretty giant percentage. So, the idea is that Stormwind is kind of keeping Westfall under its thumb, making sure they’re really the ones who are managing that production and distribution of all that grain that could be supplying LOTS and lots of people across the Alliance. Stormwind is really creating the bottleneck for that, because they’re insisting that such a huge percentage of everyone’s harvest goes to them first.

Apple Cider: Yeah, it kind of keeps, in our minds- I mean, we should really keep referencing, this is all our conjecture and our thoughts and our stories, but to me it makes a lot of sense because it feels like Stormwind- and you see this a lot with the Cataclysm revamp, it feels like Stormwind is purposefully keeping Westfall very very poor, and sucking a lot of the natural resources out of it. Now, the part of it that I kind of started figuring out in my own head from the perspective of my rogue who grew up in Elwynn and is still part of the Defias is that Elwynn is where a lot of Stormwind’s more luxury things are produced, a lot more luxury agriculture, a lot more luxury produce. Think about the Elwynn, it’s not a dustbowl, it’s got, in my mind, quite a lot of wealthy people living there. It has vineyards, it has apple orchards, it seems to me that Elwynn is kind of like Stormwind’s suburbs, and that people living and working farms there don’t necessarily feel as financially affected as Westfall.

Tzufit: Yeah, and certainly that’s kind of the peak of- or, you know, of being closer to this city, is this idea that you’ve- because you’re closer to the city, you get to partake in those luxuries a little bit more, your lifestyle is definitely better than what we see out in Westfall, and part of the reason for that, of course, is that you don’t have a whole contingent of people who were rebelling against the Crown for a long time. (Chuckles) So…

Apple Cider: Yeah. It definitely feels like Elwynn and Westfall represent two very different facets of the economy.

Tzufit: So that kind of brings us into how the Defias plays into this for us, which- you know, for me, before I came into this talking to Apple Cider, I had roleplayed a little bit involving the Defias kind of peripherally, but the way that we talk about it now is the notion that Edwin originally- one of my favorite quotes that we found from Edwin is, “The machine will not run smoothly if the parts go renegade,” and if that doesn’t sound like just a total social justice agenda, I don’t know what we’re doing here. (Laughing)

Apple Cider: Yeah, it feels like the Defias could have really become a huge collectivist or socialist construction within World of Warcraft, it would have been an amazing allegory for class struggle and I feel that’s one of the things that really got away from them in turning the Defias into just bandits that you knock over and- it became more of something that I thought about once Vanessa came into the game, is that the Defias really have not been used in a way that is really kind of intuitive and clever, it would’ve represented the class struggle and made a really interesting compelling story within the Stormwind and the Human politics and things like that, if they had kind of kept that essence that kind of made them slightly more morally ambiguous and maybe not 100% like, “Oh, these are just NPC bad guys,” because I feel like Vanessa really had some aims and some goals in improving Westfall that never got realized.

Tzufit: Yeah, and I think there are a lot of seeds for that within the established story itself. Edwin specifically was against anybody in the Defias outright killing someone that they found along the way, and his reasoning for that was that if you kill them you can’t rob them a second time. (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: So… but I think- the way that I explain it is Edwin had this sort of vision initially, and the vision got away from him when it was translated to other people, so you have- it kind of becomes this thing where anybody who gets a tattoo of a cog on their right hand has the right to call themselves Defias at that point, so you do have people who are part of the original Stonemasons guild and who really are fighting against injustices that they see their own government perpetrating in Stormwind and in Westfall and elsewhere, but then you also have the outlier people who are going to be robbing you as you run through Elwynn forest anyway, who are like, “Well NOW I can put a COG on my hand!”

Apple Cider: Yeah, it feels like there were a lot of people that jumped onto the Defias bandwagon with less than pure intentions, but for me it never seemed really plausible to have Defias attacking their own people in Westfall. Like, I feel like the Defias is one of the reasons that not everybody in Westfall is completely dead. To me, it feels like the Defias would protect their own and really try to ensure that everybody in Westfall has something to eat.

Tzufit: Yeah, absolutely, and that is where a lot of my pre-existing headcanon and my expanded headcanon, once you and I talked about it, comes in is the notion that yeah, the Defias in Westfall really were kind of the GOOD guys in a lot of ways, which isn’t to say that, for example, the Westfall Brigade are the bad guys. They’re both serving the same purpose but in two different ways, one very visible and one very not. So, to me, yeah, it wouldn’t make any sense for the Defias to attack people in Westfall and so for my version of the lore, I have always assumed that what the Defias were doing in Westfall was really preventing Stormwind from getting the talons in any deeper. So, doing things like, for example, what my priest does, which is she has been helping farmers in Westfall cook their books for a decade now, so whenever they get a harvest, she manages to skim as much as she can off the top to make it look like they got a lot less than they actually did, so that the percentage they have to send back to Stormwind is a lot smaller and then all of that additional grain gets sent to a major storehouse that people in Westfall are able to use to try and exist at something above starving, pretty much.

Apple Cider: Yeah, that- the reason that I made my rogue from Elwynn is actually to kind of serve as sort of a character motivation and a counterpoint is that my rogue actually grew up on a pretty decent vineyard in Elwynn, so you’d think that she wouldn’t be somebody into the Defias sort of goals because she technically would represent a lot of those luxury goods that we talked about earlier, but the fact of the matter is that one of the reasons that my rogue’s vineyard, owned by her father, is so successful is because her father is actually a smuggler for the Defias, he lets the Defias run goods through his basement, his storehouses, his barns, his barrels where he keeps all of his wine, and in return they make sure that he’s not one of the farms that gets hit by bandits and things like that. He also helps the Defias in that because he has access to a luxury good that many of the elite in Stormwind are happy to pay QUITE a large sum of money for, he always skims a little bit off the top to give to the Defias, sort of as protection money, sort of just to kind of aid the cause where he can, take it out of the pockets of the nobles, but he also lets them in on when he’s going to be catering large events that people can get things broken into at the nobles’ houses and potentially stolen.

Tzufit: Yeah, it’s really convenient to know- to have a whole list of the richest people in Stormwind and know that all of them are going to be out of their houses at exactly the same time.

Apple Cider: It’s very very convenient. (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing) So we should jump into how this has to do with Vanessa. So, cause one of my biggest disappointments watching Vanessa’s story unfold is that what you see her really being motivated by is a desire to avenge her father. That totally makes sense, on one level, but it would be nice if there had really been a second level as well where Vanessa was motivated by the same types of injustices that her father saw and wanted to continue his work. So, I would love to imagine a Westfall and a Vanessa where she was really taking up that mantle that Edwin left when he died, and trying to push that to the next step, really getting people in Westfall to aid the Defias, to understand that the Defias are aiding them, and to work together as much as possible. Unfortunately, Vanessa apparently has met her untimely demise, we certainly can cross our fingers that MAYBE she’ll be back someday but the OTHER part of our fun, and now getting maybe a little bit ridiculous (laughing) is that we think there may be another really cool lady leader behind them.

Apple Cider: Yeah, I mean, this definitely shoulders a lot of- I mean, we have to give credit where credit is due, I think a lot of this has to do with my guildmate Bee’s fanfiction about Tiffin. Tiffin Wrynn, TOTALLY NOT DEAD!

Tzufit: NOPE! If you opened up her grave, it would be empty except for a red mask.

Apple Cider: Yes! It doesn’t make sense, and my guildmate pointed this out, it really doesn’t make sense that somebody from fairly low standing, low class standing, in Westfall would marry into the Wrynn dynasty, as it were. Like, something about that didn’t make sense, and so we kind of thought about it long and hard. It would make a lot more sense if she really wasn’t dead, if she either faked her death or somebody else got killed in her place, she managed to escape, had to leave her son and her husband behind, but eventually went back to the fold, as it were.

Tzufit: Yeah, I love the notion that she’s kind of- that she essentially duped Varian, got herself in a position where she was ready to influence the throne and for one reason or another, she had to get out of that, maybe because she recognized that the situation was getting really, really dangerous with Onyxia being there, not that we knew she was Onyxia at the time, but maybe Tiffin was a few steps ahead of Varian at that point, which wouldn’t really surprise me, but I love the idea that somewhere in the shadows, in the caves in Westfall, Tiffin is sitting on the Defias throne pulling all the strings still.

Apple Cider: Yeah, especially if we don’t know the true status of Vanessa, but we- I don’t know, something about it, about a woman who doesn’t just buy into a political marriage, and has her own goals and her own agenda, and isn’t necessarily happy with a lot of the decisions being made or the choices that she had to make, like, you know, getting married, having a son, and gives it all up again for a greater political future, as it were.

Tzufit: Yeah, and imagine if Varian- or, excuse me, if Anduin finds this out someday, like, that kid’s so conflicted already (laughing) you know? It’s gonna be amazing if he ever finds out that his mom’s sitting there, the head of the Defias.

Apple Cider: Yeah. I mean, we discussed this a little bit on our motherhood episode, but it really felt like nobody misses Tiffin Wrynn. Not her husband, not her son, and so it would be nice to maybe have her come back in the lore, because she felt like such a wooden, flat character all this time, it would be nice to have her have a little bit more power than she’s initially afforded in the story.

Tzufit: And a little more depth to the character, as well.

Apple Cider: Yeah. You know, Defias princess gets pushed into marriage in order to better secure the future for Westfall, to find out that it’s not gonna work out, fakes her death, runs back to Westfall, assumes the mantle, that sort of thing.

Tzufit: Yeah, and I honestly have no issues whatsoever with finding some creative way to resurrect her because this is WoW. People who we think are dead are never dead, so.

Apple Cider: Yeah, absolutely. If it worked for everybody else, why not Tiffin?

Tzufit: Yeah, and to the point that somebody just brought up in the chat channel, as well, it makes the fact that the Defias were the ones that initially kidnapped Varian very interesting, because either that could be a really fascinating plot or they could have been framed because maybe people were starting to get onto what was going on with Tiffin, maybe her cover had been blown, lots of possibilities there.

Apple Cider: Yeah. I mean, obviously a lot of people don’t and didn’t know that the Defias kidnapped Varian at this point, because a lot of those quests got taken out or changed with a lot of the revamps, but I remember that stuff really vividly, and so- it kinda does make sense to some degree. The Defias wanna get stuff done, so who are they gonna kidnap? Obviously the king, it makes sense, they can hold him for ransom, stuff like that, but if you factor in the fact that Tiffin is, in our minds, back with the Defias, it does add a lot more gravitas to the theory.

Tzufit: And maybe that’s the reason why Tiffin had decided to get into that place originally, was that they knew eventually they were gonna kidnap Varian so that they could either ransom him or convince him to do what he needed to do for the stonemasons and for Westfall, and Tiffin was gonna be instrumental in helping to make that kidnapping happen.

Apple Cider: Yeah, and- you know, so, in my mind Tiffin has taken quite a hold on the Defias because. I mean, I don’t know, in some ways I do like the fact that the Defias are, to me, somewhat of a class struggle allegory, but I could definitely see Tiffin taking the reins because they’re FAR too filled with men.

Tzufit: (Chuckling) I think it’s impossible not to do the Westfall questlines- since Cataclysm, obviously, you need to do the new ones- and not see that Westfall is absolutely going through a class struggle with Stormwind, and so I think it makes complete sense that part of the Defias agenda would be trying to right that wrong.

Apple Cider: Yeah. It also makes me feel better, thinking about the Defias being a little bit more organized because then I don’t have to think about the fact that Westfall is completely filled with hobos or that people are eating dirt pies, which is actually really depressing.

Tzufit: Yeah, exactly. OK, so on the general topic of awesome Alliance women who need to have more lore and better lore about them, how about Jaina?

Apple Cider: (Laughing) What, we’re talking about Jaina on Justice Points?

Tzufit: I’m SHOCKED!

Apple Cider: SUPER SHOCKED!

Tzufit: (Laughing) Alright, so obviously, I think the biggest thing with Jaina is, as I have said MULTIPLE times before here and elsewhere (laughing) is that Jaina is SO MUCH MORE OBVIOUS of a choice to be the leader of the Alliance than Varian. Discuss.

Apple Cider: Yeah. (Chuckling)

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: Can we also insert here that I don’t want her to EVER date a Blue Dragon?

Tzufit: Yeah…

Apple Cider: Can we put that on the bullet list?

Tzufit: That did not happen.

Apple Cider: That didn’t happen. Let’s just get rid of that. They broke up, whatever. He went to go chase other Blue Dragon tail, something like that, I don’t know.

Tzufit: Also, while she and Thrall have a cordial, hospitable, peaceful relationship, they do not have a friendship in which Thrall feels it is OK to come up and tell her she needs to get married and have some babies.

Apple Cider: Yeah, seriously? Cause that’s MAD insulting.

Tzufit: Yeah. (Chuckling) That didn’t happen either.

Apple Cider: Yeah. Cause, SERIOUSLY?! That’s RUDE. That’s super rude, but- I mean, looking at this seriously, Jaina has leadership chops aplenty, and people that were saying that she was acting out-of-character in Siege of Orgrimmar, that sort of thing? She’s not acting any more out-of-character than, like, literally any of the other male world leaders that are also in attendance in that room and feel comfortable deciding the fate of the free world without actually asking anybody else, despite the fact that Sylvanas and Moira and Tyrande and Jaina are there, I mean, I dunno, something about Varian just feels like he’s a little bit too personally motivated in a lot of ways to be a really good leader? I dunno. Jaina’s obviously the head of the Kirin Tor now but it feels like that’s not a good place to just stop with her.

Tzufit: You know, I feel that, while Jaina really did undergo a very large character change over the course of the Tides of War book and into how we see her now, that change is completely explained and it makes sense, based on what she’s been through, based on the bombing of Theramore, based on her continued efforts for peace that have been shot down at every turn. But, were I a member of the Alliance, I would be a little concerned with having Varian in charge when he goes from being a total warmonger to being the number one voice for peace overnight, without any explanation. As an Alliance leader, that would make me very nervous because I can’t understand that swing, and it is SUCH a dramatic swing. So, for me, I would prefer to have somebody who, even if Jaina has gone to that other extreme at this point where she really feels like we need to go after the Horde, I see her motivations for that. The fact that I can’t see Varian’s motivations, that would make me very, very nervous.

Apple Cider: Yeah. There’s just- I dunno, Varian’s obviously the king by birth, and I feel like Jaina really has the actual diplomatic skills. I mean, before Varian went completely peace-loving hippie dude, he was really not diplomatic in the slightest, and Jaina was, and that was considered a negative and now it’s considered- it’s- I mean, it feels like everything that would make Jaina a good leader was considered a negative until Varian decided to inhabit that, but he’s still not good at diplomacy. He’s still- he’s not even good at talking to the other leaders of his faction!

Tzufit: He’s not even good at talking to his son, he’s bad at talking.

Apple Cider: Yeah, he’s just bad at talking in general.

Tzufit: Yeah.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: And I have to say, too, that the other races in the Alliance- I don’t really understand that it makes a whole lot of sense, still, that the Humans are the ones who just naturally take up the mantle of being in charge? You know, the Night Elves sure have a lot more history behind them of warfare and knowing how things work with the Orcs- not saying that the Night Elves are without their flaws, they certainly aren’t, but it’s surprising to me that all the other Alliance races are still very much willing to just bow to Varian’s decisions about things, because you would think, for example, in the Siege of Orgrimmar ending cinematics, that other people’s opinions should probably be taken into account when deciding something like the fate of a giant freaking war criminal.

Apple Cider: Yeah. It, like- (sigh) yeah. There’s other- I just don’t understand why the Alliance isn’t under council rule, at this point. It feels like- I dunno. Maybe it’s because I don’t understand quite the figurehead aspect of the factions as it is, but the fact that Humans have long been the de facto faces of the Alliance does feel really shortsighted, especially now that we have Tyrande and Moira and Jaina, AND Varian, AND Gelbin, it feels like both factions should be ruling under councils.

Tzufit: And Aysa! Let’s not forget Aysa.

Apple Cider: Yes! Let’s not forget Aysa! (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: What? Forget about the pandas?

Tzufit: Nope!

Apple Cider: Yeah, like, the Pandaren have not been given any political power whatsoever in the Alliance, they’ve just been expected to just join and not have any say in anything.

Tzufit: Now, it really seems like we aren’t going- they’re not going to stay with us, it doesn’t sound like. Which, I had this conversation with you not that long ago, I don’t understand why- you know, the main that I play now is Pandaren, she’s Alliance. What desire does she have to stay with the Alliance beyond what we’re doing right now if, for one, her faction leader doesn’t appear to have anything to do with it, and two, we’re going to a place that is very firmly rooted in Alliance and Horde history, and doesn’t seem to have a lot of immediate effect on Pandaria itself. Like, it’s just- there’s not a lot of incentive for them to continue on with what they’re doing.

Apple Cider: Yeah. I dunno, it would be so great, to me, to see a coup of the Alliance from Jaina, Moira, and Tyrande, at least. That would be so cool. Like, we’re taking over, now, sorry.

Tzufit: Yeah. Hush, Varian.

Apple Cider: (Laughing) Like, and I think- and I changed this up on the notes a little bit, but I think that’s probably- we should probably talk about Tyrande next.

Tzufit: OK!

Apple Cider: That would be- that’s a great place. OK, so, to me, we gotta get rid of Malfurion. He’s got NO place in Night Elf politics anymore. He’s been gone! He’s been asleep, he’s been fighting the Nightmare, he’s been fighting this, he’s been fighting that, WHO- HOW- like, if you have somebody leave your raid for, like, ten million years, THEY DON’T GET TO COME BACK and just get a seat again on the raid, so why does Malfurion?

Tzufit: Well, it’s not even that. They might come back and maybe get a seat on the raid, but they don’t get to come back and be raid leader if they’ve missed out on the last two expansions.

Apple Cider: Yeah, exactly!

Tzufit: And I guess- and I’ve said this before, too, but it just still strikes me that the idea that Malfurion would be in charge of the Night Elves doesn’t make any sense to me because he’s fundamentally a neutral character. He’s in charge of the Cenarion Circle, which is specifically cross-faction, so I think it seems like a HUGE conflict of interest for him to supposedly be in charge of the Cenarion Circle but then also having some finger on, you know, what gets done in Darnassus? That doesn’t work.

Apple Cider: Yeah. So, in my mind, Malfurion comes back, Tyrande doesn’t like his shit, and pushes him off the tree.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: Just- that’s just how I imagine it, because he needs to not be there anymore, and Tyrande needs to start, you know, being the sole leader of the Night Elves again, cause she’s not a druid, she’s not involved in that group whatsoever- or, you know, maybe not even Malfurion dying, whatever, yeah, go to the Emerald Dream, go to Moonglade, chill out there, smoke pot, do whatever you feel like, but, like-

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: -leave the government to the women who have been ruling your society for thousands of years.

Tzufit: Well, we need to get back to the Tyrande of the Warcraft games, because she was an incredibly strong warrior, a very strong general, she had a great grasp of strategy, she was IMMENSELY powerful, we are once again talking about an avatar of Elune, this is a Big Freaking Deal, you know? So it’s just- we need to see that Tyrande in the MMO, and we haven’t yet.

Apple Cider: Yeah. Honestly, if I was going to completely reimagine lore, I would have her not be interested in any of what Malfurion or Illidan is selling.

Tzufit: Yeah. Yeah… (chuckling)

Apple Cider: At all! After he told her, “Hush,” like, she would’ve been like, “Oh no, you didn’t. [Edited] you, go [edited] yourself,” and then just would’ve walked away, and then would’ve been done, and then would’ve, I dunno, gone a couple of years, figured herself out, gotten a really good job, you know, that sort of thing.

Tzufit: Well, and that brings up the point, too, that it’s really kind of obnoxious that this woman character who really DID have a lot going for her in the original Warcraft games was STILL essentially being used as basically something that Illidan and Malfurion could fight over. It was really cementing the fact that there was a rift between the brothers, because then otherwise Malfurion would’ve just kept excusing everything that Illidan did over and over again, which he kind of does anyway, but she was finally the conflict that drove a wedge between them, and it’s just like, WHO GIVES A [edited]?

Apple Cider: Yeah, I mean, at the risk of being a completely divisive person, I would’ve just written Malfurion and Illidan out of the game entirely, because I think that they’re both really boring characters. And I know that there’s gonna be people that are gonna be like, “OH MY GOD, how could you say that?” and I’m like, they’re totally boring, they’re TOTALLY boring. They’re these two brothers, they get magical powers, and they’re both angsty [edited] and they don’t actually do anything except they have large amounts of magical powers. It’s like really boring, whereas Tyrande is Avatar of Elune and no-one actually gives a [edited] about that when they should because it’s completely crazy. Like, she should be running the Kaldorei with iron fists. I did absolutely like Fandral, though, because I felt that Fandral was really nuanced and he was kind of complex and he was an anti-hero and he was also really kind of devious in a way that still was very moralistic and made sense and had still kind of a sympathetic angle to it, whereas Malfurion and Illidan, I’m not sympathetic about them at all. They’re a bunch of giant poo-babies, but Tyrande and Shandris Feathermoon should be basically running the Kaldorei society, especially now that we have the potential of a quote-unquote “Maiev who’s an antagonist” which I don’t particularly like either but I guess you take what you can get.

Tzufit: Well, what if we- I mean, we talked about a lot of this when Anne Stickney was on the show, and I agree with her and I agree with what chat and what you have said in terms of Fandral really just not getting a fair shake at a story, because I think Fandral, kind of like Jaina in some ways, had this very justifiable and understandable anger. Like, even if you didn’t really understand with what- even if you didn’t agree with what he thought the Night Elves’ society should do, you totally got where this guy was coming from. He watched a war happen where his son was literally ripped in half in front of his own eyes. He’s got baggage (laughing) OK? He gets why it’s bad when Night Elves get involved in [edited] that doesn’t necessarily concern them. He gets that. So, I think that he would’ve been a very interesting counterpoint. I think Maiev has the potential to be a very interesting counterpoint and you know, maybe that’s as a villain, I don’t think it has to be as a villain though, and that’s all about how the writers choose to frame it because while Tyrande’s current stance is informed by the fact that she’s been a part of this society the whole time, whereas Maiev has been removed from it for a very significant amount of time, that sort of lack of vision that Maiev has in some ways may actually be helpful because she knows about the roots of Night Elf society.

Apple Cider: Yeah. I think that- I mean, if we wanted to kind of at least keep somewhat with current lore, Maiev, I think, if we got rid of Malfurion, because I think the problem I have with Malfurion a lot of times is that Malfurion removes any nuance to Tyrande’s character that they could be writing. I think that Tyrande is great because she’s actually not a perfect leader. She’s done a lot of really stupid things, like, REALLY stupid things, and Maiev being a counterpoint to that, especially now that Fandral’s gone, although if I had to completely reimagine lore I would make Fandral still be around because I felt that entire Firelands story was [edited]. (Laughing)

Tzufit: YUP! I mean, bring Maiev back, too, but let’s have Fandral there, as well.

Apple Cider: Oh no, what if Maiev and Fandral, who didn’t die, who didn’t become a boss in Firelands, were both around and they formed a counter government radical government to Tyrande on the platform that Tyrande makes a lot of mistakes? THAT could be SO COOL! Maiev and Fandral versus Shandris and Tyrande?

Tzufit: Basically have a subsection of the Night Elves who probably would’ve defected from that society and defected from the Alliance when the Highborne were accepted. Like, that would be the final straw for them, no question.

Apple Cider: Absolutely! So now you have a schism in the Kaldorei society, in the Kaldorei government, that would be a completely cool non-Horde-pushed Alliance story that has nothing to do with the Alliance reactively pushing back against the Horde.

Tzufit: Yeah. It would be conflict from within the Alliance, instead of from without the Alliance.

Apple Cider: Yeah, and that’s definitely something we touched on when we had Anne on the show, is that Alliance doesn’t really have any stories like that, and conflict coming from within the Alliance, especially the Night Elves, would be SO COOL! It would be very fascinating, so that’s what I would do with Tyrande, personally.

Tzufit: Yeah, and I think for Malfurion it really would’ve been simple and would’ve honestly made plenty of sense to just let him stay in the Emerald Dream.

Apple Cider: Yeah!

Tzufit: And maybe we as characters do have some interaction, because maybe we have a questline that takes us in there, particularly if we’re druids. You know, there could still be interaction with Malfurion if he stays in the dream, but let him stay in the dream! He’s an archdruid, that’s his job.

Apple Cider: Yeah. It’s- you know (sigh) it’s another story that I could completely reimagine in any different direction if you just took the strong male protagonist out of it. Tyrande’s enough of an interesting, nuanced character on her own without Malfurion, we don’t need him, take him out, who cares? He’s terrible anyway, and Liopleurodon brings up in our chat channel that Alliance does have an internal struggle and that is the Council of the Three Hammers. That’s also another interesting story that they actually do something with, because I think Moira coming into her own and trying to jockey for a position in the Alliance with Varian and cozying up to him is gonna be really fascinating and I know that we covered it a little bit on, I believe, our motherhood episode-

Tzufit: Yeah.

Apple Cider: -because Moira represents a blending of two separate Dwarf clans, but is also wanting to be the head of power of the Dwarves in Ironforge. It’s very interesting.

Tzufit: And while we’re revising history, let’s-

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: -one quick revision there which is that while Moira absolutely has a child who’s a fusion of two of the Dwarven clans, that child’s a girl and not a boy.

Apple Cider: Yeah. Let’s do that, let’s make- yeah, like, if we’re revising lore, can we just make, like, fifty to seventy-five percent more of the children be all women? Like, can we just do that? Let’s just do that.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: Just have, she’s a daughter, she’s a daughter-heir. Let’s just do that.

Tzufit: Yeah. And Moira- and there’s some great potential for a mother-daughter story, to go back to what we were talking about in the motherhood episode. How interesting would that be, watching Moira really raise and groom her daughter to be the queen of the Dwarves? Like, can you imagine Moira doing that? It would be incredible.

Apple Cider: It would be so badass. I wouldn’t be able to handle it, really.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: I would just, I would faint, I would just, I would need a couch.

Tzufit: Alright, so we’ve talked about a lot of Alliance headcanons, so let’s move a little bit into Horde, and I’m gonna throw the first one to you, because I know that as many feels as I have about Westfall, you have, like, three times the feels about our next subject.

Apple Cider: (Laughing) Lilian Voss! Lilian Voss! I love you, Lilian Voss! Now, I have to say, can’t take all the credit for Lilian Voss because the reason I got really into Lilian Voss is because of Rades, and his really amazing story- well, his stories, he’s written a whole series of letters that are from particular lore characters and have kind of relevance, and back when I had my original podcast called Bifactional, we actually had him on to talk about Lilian Voss and this, like, level thirty-something rare in Tyr’s Hand who is called- um- her name is- uhh… I completely forget her name, cause I’m terrible.

Tzufit: (Laughing) It’s- oh, [edited].

Apple Cider: Yeah, I don’t remember what it is. It’s- Lydia? No? Is it? [Edited].

Tzufit: What’s her last name? It’s a common Scarlet Crusade last name.

Apple Cider: Yeah, it’s, um… it’s the last name of… of the main Scarlet family… I’m so terrible! (Laughing) It’s like the worst writer ever, I can’t remember half the things…

Tzufit: We will find this.

Apple Cider: This is why we don’t usually do this show live.

Tzufit: (Laughing) Yeah, it is a lot of looking. Abbendis!

Apple Cider: Abbendis!

Tzufit: Thank you!

Apple Cider: (Chuckling)

Tzufit: What’s her first name?

Apple Cider: That’s the problem, what’s her first name? It’s- OK, so it’s an Abbendis rare, and it’s level thirty-something in Tyr’s Hand, and she obviously was there to take the place of an older model that used to be there and- but it made me wonder, is she part of that whole family? And so it kind of got me thinking, you know, wouldn’t it be really cool if there was an entire group of children from the Scarlet Monastery, the Scarlet Crusade, including Lilian, that’s kind of where my love for Lilian really got off the ground, is this idea that all of these Scarlet Crusade children were basically in this program to, like, train them up because they all had exceedingly rare magical powers, and- you know, it’s a common trope, it’s a common trope and it’s a common story, but the thing with Lilian Voss is I think that she got used to really great effect as this person who’s working in the background of the Cataclysm storyline, and is really cool, and I don’t think she’s dead, number one, and number two, I think that Lilian Voss could easily unseat Sylvanas. I know that that’s major heresy, right there-

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: -but I think she could unseat Sylvanas or potentially be the head of a rebel Forsaken undead sort of faction.

Tzufit: That’s more of what I would lean toward. I think easily unseat Sylvanas is maybe a bit of a stretch, given the personality, but I think that Lilian would be another great example, like the other ones we already discussed on the Alliance side, of someone who actually provides a counterpoint, an alternative viewpoint, which is something that WoW is really lacking in a lot of ways. There’s never- and it’s because WoW doesn’t write politics, you know, so fine, whatever, except for very very basic politics between the two factions, but it doesn’t write intrafactional politics pretty much at all, and Lilian would be another great potential for that to happen, where she represents sort of a subsection of Forsaken who just- they just wanna be left alone. They’re not proud of the fact that they’re Forsaken, they don’t like the living because they don’t really want anything to do with them, but as long as they’re left alone, they’re not necessarily as aggressive as the Forsaken as a whole usually are, and I think that would provide an interesting viewpoint.

Apple Cider: Yeah. I think that’s basically kind of what I would really envision if I had to rewrite Lilian is that Lilian comes back and provides some much needed frisson in the Forsaken, because right now it’s basically the Sylvanas show, which I don’t necessarily have a problem with because I think Sylvanas is a great character and she’s very complex. But, the idea that somebody could potentially oppose Sylvanas on her own terms rather than it being a within-the-Horde thing necessarily, would be really interesting, especially because we really do get the shades of the fact that the reason- like, the entire Forsaken, the entire reason of the Forsaken is dependent on Sylvanas, so the idea that Lilian Voss really represented a faction of them that had enough of their own will to say that, “I don’t like what Sylvanas is doing and I don’t even like being an undead but I’m just gonna make the best of it anyway,” like, that was really cool to me as somebody who loves playing Forsaken but doesn’t necessarily like the mind control aspect of the Forsaken.

Tzufit: Yeah, exactly, and that’s always the issue that I have with thinking about playing a Forsaken character and- you know, even though I really don’t roleplay very often, I still, when I create a character, I can’t help but kind of get into their head and think about their history and their personality and their motivations, and so for me it’s hard to do that with a Forsaken character because I wouldn’t really want to be a Forsaken who’s sort of all Sylvanas, all the time, but you don’t get to see a lot of options outside of that in-game with the NPCs that you interact with. With the exception of Lilian Voss.

Apple Cider: Yeah, so I think that Lilian Voss being written in the future as a potentially really cool sort of radical threat to Sylvanas’s power would be really neat to me. Also, having a cool radical Undead girl group of people, could do that as well.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: I’m sorry, I really love the idea of Lilian Voss and her Scarlet Crusade girlfriend who is an Abbendis falling in love with each other and then both having a tragic end where they both magically end up as Forsaken eventually, and then finding each other again and then going on radical adventures where they undo the Forsaken.

Tzufit: And maybe undo the Scarlet Crusade, as well.

Apple Cider: Oh yeah, because both of them hate the Scarlet Crusade, or I can presume they both hate the Scarlet Crusade. (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing) And that might be another interesting possible path is that even though- I mean, the Scarlet Crusade is kind of wrought with problems from a lore standpoint, because of all the issues with the demons that have to do with it, and so on and so forth, but what if, in this imaginary universe, you could manage to get it so that the Scarlet Crusade actually got behind what Lilian Voss was selling, and helped that faction of Forsaken, you know, potentially pose a big threat to Sylvanas’s power?

Apple Cider: It would be interesting, but I definitely see Lilian not ever wanting to go near the Scarlet Crusade ever again.

Tzufit: No, it would have to be a heavily reimagined Scarlet Crusade, that Lynnia Abbendis really-

Apple Cider: Yeah, it would- I could see it being all of the Scarlet Crusade that got left behind and turned into Undead.

Tzufit: Yeah, yeah! That would be interesting, cause they’ve gotta have some feels.

Apple Cider: They- oh yeah, I mean, the rest of them left them behind, got to go off and party in Northrend, and follow a demon, AGAIN, and then the rest of them got left behind to be turned into rotting corpses, so I can imagine they’d be a little bit angry. They could just call themselves something cool like Scarlet Revival or something.

Tzufit: Yeah.

Apple Cider: Scarlet Resurgence!

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: Well, another Horde NPC who we actually talked about a little while this morning because we were playing through the Goblin starting area together is Sassy Hardwrench.

Apple Cider: Ohhh, SASSY HARDWRENCH! Why are you NOT the leader of the GOBLINS?!

Tzufit: SERIOUSLY!! (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: I’m sorry! So it makes more sense that the guy who ENSLAVED all of us, nearly got us all killed MULTIPLE times, decided that he was gonna be in charge of the Goblins, and Thrall was like, “OK dude.”

Apple Cider: SERIOUSLY! How does that make any sense when you’ve got a perfectly confident, perfectly capable, very clever, very ruthless Goblin already in Sassy Hardwrench, who is beautiful and perfect.

Tzufit: (Laughing) Yeah! She’s the one who orchestrates your escape from the island before it- from Kezan before it blows up! I mean, if it weren’t for Sassy, you would be dead. No question, you would be, like, Deathwing hors d’oeuvres.

Apple Cider: Exactly. And, no disrespect to the fine people in the roleplaying community who came up with Her Tallest. It’s great, I love it, I love the idea of a Goblin lady trade prince, but guess what, there’s already Sassy. Sassy’s already there. Like, she’s already been written, you don’t need to make somebody new, because she’s already there and perfect.

Tzufit: Well, and I didn’t know until you brought it up earlier today, I always assumed that Sassy was somewhere in Orgrimmar in the Goblin slums in Orgrimmar, but you told me that apparently- where did you say she was?

Apple Cider: She’s in a little depot in Stranglethorn Vale.

Tzufit: Uhh- I’m sorry, did you not understand-

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: -how Sassy Hardwrench operated from the Goblin starting area? Because there is NO way that she would confine herself to one tiny little depot in the middle of [edited] nowhere.

Apple Cider: EXACTLY! I do not understand this in the slightest because Sassy was pretty much instrumental in getting all of the survivors out to Thrall, and- she’s in a weapons depot in Stranglethorn, although this would be a good time to bring up the fact that I actually have written about Sassy and, in my mind, in lieu of becoming the leader of the Goblins- which she TOTALLY should be, by the way, it just makes sense, and if I had to write it, I would- um, I also thought up the idea of Sassy Hardwrench being a very successful owner of several paradise resorts and spas, all over Azeroth.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: Catering to a queer clientele, and the reason I know about this is because there is one NPC in Hearthglen- not Hearth- yeah, Hearthglen, in the new Western Plaguelands, who specifically mentions requisitioning swim trunks and a robe because he’s going to, like, Hardwrench Hideaway or something like that.

Tzufit: Ohhh my god.

Apple Cider: Like, he’s going to a spa. I was like-

Tzufit: She already has the perfect last name for it, too!

Apple Cider: SERIOUSLY! So the idea that, if Sassy did not take up the mantle of the Trade Prince, that she was also the owner of, like, spas and resorts catering to a very select clientele would be really, really interesting to me.

Tzufit: Yeah, I love that, and I mean she could totally do both, you know, because it seems like the Goblin leader is not necessarily so political in nature as much as it is the Goblin who has the most money, and Sassy could totally be the Goblin who has the most money.

Apple Cider: Absolutely! You know, Sassy has all of these resources to get all these people out of Kezan and stuff like that, why wouldn’t she have a butt-ton of money- although, most of the Goblins did lose all of their money in the actual escape from Kezan, but she could totally make it back. She knows how to-

Tzufit: Oh yeah, I mean, especially if she’s got these awesome resorts going on.

Apple Cider: Yeah, totally! I mean, I just don’t see anybody as resourceful as Sassy in the Goblin race in general, so why not use her? Like, she should’ve been ascended. She- honestly, all the Goblins should have shivved Gallywix the moment that they hit the ground off of the boat, but the fact that she wasn’t the person handing everybody daggers is kind of interesting.

Tzufit: The fact that your final quest for the Goblin starting area isn’t killing Gallywix-

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: -is just total, I mean, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s just beating him into submission with Thrall and then Thrall’s like, “Well, we can trust him to be in charge, guys!” and that’s it.

Apple Cider: Yeah. So, that’s how we would do Sassy Hardwrench. We would rewrite her as the leader of the Goblins because she is not only the leader that they deserve, she’s the leader that they NEED!

Tzufit: Yeah, well, certainly better than someone who’s already sold them into slavery once.

Apple Cider: Another NPC that we ran across as we were leveling Goblins this morning was actually Aggra. Surprise! We’re gonna talk about Aggra!

Tzufit: And we did our best, we tried really hard, since we were back in time before Aggra and Thrall got married and they had the baby, we tried to tell her that this was a bad choice, and that things were not gonna go well for her, but- I don’t know, I don’t think we really made a dent.

Apple Cider: No, I think she’s too far gone, at that point. She just really wasn’t listening to us.

Tzufit: Yeah. [Edited], Aggra.

Apple Cider: Why couldn’t you listen to two time-travelling Goblins give you relationship advice?

Tzufit: (Laughing) But yeah, Aggra- I mean, obviously, once again, baby Thrall needs to have been a girl and not a boy.

Apple Cider: Absolutely.

Tzufit: But also, Aggra should be leading the charge through the Dark Portal back to Outland in Warlords of Draenor. There you go.

Apple Cider: Honestly, I also would like to give her the Malfurion treatment and just have her push Thrall off of the World Tree or something.

Tzufit: Thrall really just- he needs to fade out of the story. I think- I mean, correct me if I’m wrong here, people, I think most of the people even who play Horde now are kind of sick of Thrall, right? Like, I think EVERYbody is sick of Thrall. I’ve been sick of him since Cataclysm, at least, because he’s just this prevalent character who seems like he’s always at the center of EVERY story that we do anymore. It’s all about Thrall.

Apple Cider: He’s boring, I don’t like what he does, he should’ve just stayed in the grand- or, whatever. I dunno, faded into obscurity. He should’ve gone and stayed with the Earthen Ring, a faction-neutral collective, and just stayed there.

Tzufit: Yeah, like Malfurion.

Apple Cider: Yeah, exactly, Malfurion, they’ll all just go off and do whatever.

Tzufit: And you know, he could’ve been raising their kid in the current version of Nagrand that’s, you know, relatively peaceful. there’s some stuff going on out there with the various raiders that are out there, but in general Nagrand’s a pretty nice place to raise a kid, so…

Apple Cider: Absolutely! I don’t have a problem with it. He shouldn’t either.

Tzufit: (Laughing) Sylvanas is one other Horde NPC that we can touch on a little bit, we talked about it a bit with Lilian Voss but I think Sylvanas is interesting in that basically she is never considered to be Warchief? You know, it seems like it goes without saying that Vol’jin is going to be the next Warchief, nobody is particularly surprised by that. Thrall makes that decision- again, he basically makes that decision all by himself.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing) But, Sylvanas would be a really interesting choice, too, because she really has made huge territorial gains for the Horde, certainly more so than Vol’jin has. Vol’jin has the kind of personal gripe against Garrosh because he stabbed him in the throat- well, not Garrosh personally, of course, but Garrosh ordered somebody to go stab Vol’jin in the throat.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: So, you know, that’s gonna weigh on your shoulders a little bit, and Vol’jin was the person who was instrumental in getting that force together to really go into Orgrimmar and remove Garrosh from power, but he didn’t HAVE to be, that could’ve been Sylvanas. She certainly has the army to make it happen, as well, and, guess what? She has Val’kyr on her side, so for everybody you kill that’s just yet another soldier for Sylvanas.

Apple Cider: Yeah. I honestly think that it would be interesting and- I was a little bit sad that my theory got rebuffed, it would be really interesting if Sylvanas came riding into Orgrimmar and just completely took it over, just completely like martial law, like, “[edited] all you guys, I’m taking over now, it’s the Sylvanas show!”

Tzufit: (Laughing) And Lor’themar would probably have her back, so…

Apple Cider: Oh, absolutely! If Sylvanas combined forces with Lor’themar, that’s a LOT of people. Elves and Forsaken? Again, it would also be-

Tzufit: Maybe throw the the Grimtotem in that mix, too?

Apple Cider: Heck yeah! That would be VERY very fascinating to see, just to have Sylvanas- and honestly, I felt like it at times with the Undead and Worgen starting experiences, that that’s where they were kind of going with the fact that Sylvanas is creating yet another plague or using plague or generally doing something she’s not supposed to be doing with the plague. So, I feel like they were pushing her in that direction a little bit, because Garrosh is completely scared of her, but then they didn’t utilize her at all in Mists of Pandaria, and definitely not the end of Cataclysm.

Tzufit: I’m sensing a theme, here, and our theme seems to be largely we want lots of internal conflict within the factions, which I- I think it’s interesting because really what we’re asking for is a little more political intrigue, a little less- um, just, sort of boring factional crap where it’s Horde versus Alliance, because there really are a lot of reasons that the Alliance leaders would have problems with the way things are being handled by other parts of its leadership, and same is true for the Horde, so I think it is a little frustrating that that does not get explored very often, and when it does it’s explored in really simplistic and kind of boring ways like Garrosh calling Sylvanas a [edited] and telling her not to use the plague, and her going, “Ha ha, yeah right.”

Apple Cider: Yeah, although from the chat, Acidsweet says actually Lor’themar hates Sylvanas and vice versa.

Tzufit: Huh. That’s interesting. See, unfortunately, I only really get to see- as an Alliance person, I only get to see Lor’themar quipping with Jaina, so.

Apple Cider: Yeah. He’s got some sassy pants, there. It’d be really interesting to see a continuation of the Vereesa-Jaina-Lor’themar struggle, as it were.

Tzufit: Yeah, absolutely.

Apple Cider: That’s also somebody that I think should have more of a factor in Alliance politics, especially because she represents a sub-faction, the High Elves? Why isn’t Vereesa more of a participant, considering there are not a lot of High Elves left?

Tzufit: Yeah, they finally at least made her a participant in the story now, and it’ll be interesting to see, as they go forward into the new expansion, whether she really does become a political leader in that sense or if she’s firmly rooted in military leadership, which is I think what they’re doing with her now.

Apple Cider: Yeah, or if she’s gonna stay completely attached to Jaina versus doing stuff in her own right. It’ll be kind of interesting to see where it goes.

Tzufit: I mean, I would be really happy if they can maintain the friendship between her and Jaina while also giving Vereesa a little bit more of an independent personality, because let’s face it, we don’t get a whole lot of female friendships (chuckling) in WoW, it’s one of the few, and it would be nice to see that expanded upon.

Apple Cider: Absolutely, especially because they’re both political and military forces to be reckoned with.

Tzufit: Yeah, they have- both of them have very strong opinions, have very strong politics, so it makes sense that maybe they would butt heads occasionally even if they’re really fundamentally working toward the same goal.

Apple Cider: Yeah, especially one that Jaina’s head of the Kirin Tor and they both represent the interests of the floating city of Dalaran in general. Also, on the Jaina note, we need to bring back the Tirisfal and Jaina needs to be the head of it.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: Because that makes no sense, because I knew that they were planning on something like that, because I think they were also gonna make Thrall a part of it? Like, they were gonna make Thrall a guardian of Tirisfal?

Tzufit: Yeah, but here’s the thing, is that if we’re gonna talk about the order of Tirisfal, Aegwynn. Aegwynn, Aegwynn, Aegwynn, Aegwynn, Aegwynn, Aegwynn.

Apple Cider: She didn’t die, she’s not dead, she’s totally not dead.

Tzufit: All Aegwynn, all the time.

Apple Cider: Exactly! (Laughing)

Tzufit: I mean- and it’s just, that’s such a crime that she doesn’t make it into the MMO because she’s- I mean, is there even any really arguing that she’s the most powerful human mage ever?

Apple Cider: Mm-hmm. It’s like- I’m really- yeah, I’m kinda sad that she’s never made it in any form into the story because we obviously got to see Medivh’s dad, who I completely forgot was his dad. (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: I think everybody does that with Nielas Aran, they just forget that he’s a dad. (Laughing)

Tzufit: And on the note of particularly powerful lady mages, we can’t forget Azshara.

Apple Cider: Oh, man. Azshara, Azshara, Azshara, you should’ve been part of the new expansion, you’re not, as far as I can tell, and I’m really sad about that because if I really had to write any one thing about lore, it would be to make Azshara the final villain of an expansion because we have not really had a ton of lady villains, especially ones that we could stick on the box art.

Tzufit: Yeah, and she absolutely would have to be there. You know, you can’t have Azshara be anything but an end boss for an expansion, it would not make any sense except to have her that way. She’s that powerful, she’s that big of a deal.

Apple Cider: Yeah, her power level’s over nine thousand, yadda yadda yadda, terrible joke. I mean, obviously, she’d be a prelude for Sargeras possibly, but there- we’re still, I think, a long time off fighting Sargeras because he’s an otherworldly power that is, you know, a force to be reckoned with. Like, we didn’t even kill Kil’jaeden. Kil’jaeden’s still alive as well, so.

Tzufit: Mmhmm.

Apple Cider: I would just really like the idea of a major lady villain player that takes what Onyxia started, in terms of character development, and shoots it into the sun, you know, goes way off the charts. Really does like an Arthas level job on pulling the strings of literally everything happening in the story.

Tzufit: Yeah, and it’s just gonna be fascinating if and when she does reemerge because she’s been out of the picture for so long now, and we don’t know what she’s been doing all that time. You know, and knowing Azshara, she certainly hasn’t been sitting idly by. She’s been watching, she’s been planning, she’s been trying to figure out that next move, and when it comes it’s gonna be a big deal.

Apple Cider: Yeah. the fact that she was part of the storyline in Ashenvale- not Ashenvale-

Tzufit: Darkshore.

Apple Cider: Darkshore- obviously means that she’s still there in Blizzard’s back pocket. Though, her showing up for a level fifteen quest is hilarious, but…

Tzufit: Yeah, that’s pretty laughable.

Apple Cider: If they only made her show up just to be a stick to Malfurion, I’m going to vomit all over myself. She needs better than that.

Tzufit: Yeah. Well, and also, you know, what’s the deal with Neptulon? What happened? We didn’t save him at the end of the dungeon, so… does she have Neptulon under her control now? Cause that could be a problem. (Chuckling)

Apple Cider: That- I mean, I could definitely see that. Let’s write this, let’s write this out. Azshara, big bad villain, has Neptulon basically as her enchanted elemental. How-

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: How?

Tzufit: I just had this great mental image of that.

Apple Cider: (Laughing) Like she had him on a chain or something. Cause we know that that’s a thing, enchanted manacles to keep elementals bound. She could totally do that. Who better to bind (laughing) the elemental lord of water than Azshara? I mean, it just seems like a thing that she would do. I completely like this idea.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: I think they should borrow that.

Tzufit: Yeah, cause if she wasn’t powerful enough already, here’s the trident and potentially the powers of an elemental lord on top of that, and go ahead and do what you will, Azshara.

Apple Cider: Seriously, it’s- I mean, it’s pretty canon that she does stuff like that all the time anyway, so it doesn’t seem out of her wheelhouse to pull that, and that’s one of the reasons we haven’t seen Neptulon is Azshara spirited him off. I mean, considering the fact that they were going to do a raid with her and the Naga, that seems like a pretty actual plausible point for the lore to go.

Tzufit: I mean, I still- if they- there’s no way you can’t eventually deal with Azshara in this MMO, it doesn’t make sense, it is the biggest- arguably one of the biggest strings that has not been tied up yet. It would be like if we don’t deal with Sargeras someday. It would not make sense.

Apple Cider: Yeah, exactly. Now, what would be interesting is if Azshara coming back eventually forced a bi-factional agreement to work together in that respect because you would- you know, like, say you had Azshara come back and so Tyrande from the Alliance and Sylvanas from the Horde and then Alleria would come back with Turalyon… it would just, you know, it would be like a giant party. (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing) Everybody’s invited.

Apple Cider: Everybody’s invited, we gotta go knock over Azshara!

Tzufit: And it would take that much, too. I mean, certainly, you know, there’s- there would have to be- as much as sometimes it’s tiresome to have NPCs who have to help us on a final boss, I think it’s pretty understandable that Jaina, for example, is gonna need to be there to help us defeat the most powerful mage of all time.

Apple Cider: Absolutely. I mean, and maybe be a little bit more effective than, say, some paladins on the Arthas fight…

Tzufit: Mmmhmmm.

Apple Cider: I mean, I’m not naming any names, but some paladins don’t know how to use their [edited] bubble. (Laughing)

Tzufit: Not really. Maybe we should pitch it to chat and give a few minutes here and see if chat has anybody that they’d like to see brought back or rewritten a little differently.

Apple Cider: Yeah, chatroom, do you have anything of any particular interest that you would like to see rewritten or reimagined in lore?

Tzufit: They want Gamon to come help kill Azshara. I think that makes sense.

Apple Cider: Yeah, exactly. I’m seeing Rexxar- I think that’s Garona, I can’t tell.

Tzufit: Gorgona is actually somebody who was brought up not too long ago, she is in Conquest Hold in Grizzly Hills, and the Horde do some questlines with her there. she is actually- she’s in Grizzly Hills with somebody we end up killing in Siege of Orgrimmar, who is that?

Apple Cider: Oh, I know who you’re talking about. Uh, Malkorok?

Tzufit: It might be Malkorok.

Apple Cider: Yeah, somebody was talking about that, how Malkorok was this shitty piddly little NPC from- so, that would be an interesting reimagining, what if Gorgona took the place of Malkorok except didn’t die in the raid ‘cause that’s [edited].

Tzufit: Yeah, or even if Malkorok sides with Garrosh, and maybe Gorgona sides with the other part of the Horde that’s fighting against him, it would be really interesting to see these two NPCs who had been working together at Conquest Hold suddenly on opposite sides of the table from one another.

Apple Cider: Yeah. Liopleurodon says, “Let’s get Magni unfrozen and throw a match on the Three Hammers powderkeg!”

Tzufit: I love it! Yeah, you can only imagine what Magni’s gonna think when he strolls back into the throne room and there’s Moira with her kid hanging out ruling the kingdom.

Apple Cider: Yeah, especially if we change the kid from a son to a daughter, that’d be great.

Tzufit: Yeah, absolutely, ‘cause especially- ‘cause Magni’s gonna LOSE IT (laughing) on that one.

Apple Cider: Yeah, because I mean, didn’t we bring this up how one of the reasons why the story with Moira was so depressing is because she was thought to not be a confident- potential confident heir because she was a woman?

Tzufit: Right, yeah, exactly.

Apple Cider: So if she had an heir that was also a girl, that would completely just wreck some shit with Magni.

Tzufit: Yeah… yeah.

Apple Cider: I would really like to see Vrykul actually have more of a story, but I don’t even know what I’d do with them.

Tzufit: Yeah. I mean, for me, there’s- so many of the races tend to get forgotten along the way, I want more Gnome lore, I want more- to the suggestions in chat, more Vrykul, more Dark Trolls, I would love all of that at the expense of maybe let’s not have fifteen more Orc storylines.

Apple Cider: Yeah, seriously, I’m tired of Orcs. they got their time. If I was writing lore, I would just not put a ton of Orc storylines at all, ‘cause they’re boring.

Tzufit: Liopleurodon brings up the Greymanes as well, they really have just- who even knows? You know, is Genn hanging out? (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: It’s like, we don’t hear anything about him, we certainly don’t hear anything about Mia- is it- I’ve already forgotten her name!

Apple Cider: Mia, yeah, Mia Greymane.

Tzufit: Mia Greymane, it would be nice to hear a little bit more.

Apple Cider: On that topic, if Jaina ruled the Alliance, what would stop her from having one of her high military generals be Lorna Crowley?

Tzufit: Oh, yeah.

Apple Cider: I love Lorna Crowley, she needs every- she needs way more of a story, because she didn’t get enough time in the starting zone with the Worgen, and she definitely needs to be brought back, I think. She’s awesome.

Tzufit: The weird thing with Lorna too is that she’s such a good rallying point for Alliance characters, but if you’re Alliance you only see her in the Worgen starting area, and then as Horde you see her MORE if you’re doing the Forsaken quest chain in Silverpine, but Alliance characters don’t get to see that and don’t get to see her doing some pretty kickass things there.

Apple Cider: Yeah. So let’s create, within this alliance council that we’re building, Mia Greymane and Lorna Crowley representing the Worgen. That would be really interesting, I think. The Worgen or the Gilneans, that sort of thing.

Tzufit: Hotdogprincess says, “Alternatively, have Thessaly Crow go on a date with my character canonically.” No. We’re fighting about that.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: Like, who doesn’t want to go on a date with Thessaly Crow?

Tzufit: Exactly!

Apple Cider: I’m just saying! Thessaly Crow would have to have a time turner and have several more hours of her day in order to go on dates with everybody.

Tzufit: (Laughing) We need to go on dates, and I need to be able to share her wardrobe because I just want those shoulders so so bad.

Apple Cider: (Laughing) Acidsweet suggests Leza Sunwalker doesn’t get Disney-Mom’d and Dezco dies instead. Now, that is a story-

Tzufit: That’s interesting!

Apple Cider: I would love to see THAT happening, a mom, no husband, husband dies, the kids get saved with her, what happens next? Especially because she was the one that had the visions that brought them to Pandaria in the first place.

Tzufit: Yeah, it really did seem like that was kind of a silly end to that story, when Leza had SO much reason to be there because of those visions.

Apple Cider: Yeah. And, so, that would be a perfect place to rewrite lore. Dezco eats it, she stays alive, and becomes an emissary or potentially huge part of the Tauren faction in the Pandaria storyline. I mean, I would love to read a story about her versus Dezco [edited] getting one of his kids killed-

Tzufit: More dad crimes.

Apple Cider: EXACTLY! Get rid of all the DADS! Seriously! Can we bring back Kinndy? Can Kinndy not die? That would be- Kinndy doesn’t die, Pained doesn’t die.

Tzufit: I’m fine with all that. I mean, that’s the most emotional- I can’t think- alright, so the two most emotional things for me in the Warcraft universe are, number one, dealing with the Oracles who don’t understand why their gods have deserted them, and I’m just- not- OK, I’m done, or the other thing is poor Kinndy’s dad when Jaina goes and talks to him in the Tides of War book, and he’s still wandering around and he’s still lighting the lamps, and oh my god.

Apple Cider: Seriously, Kinndy needs to have not died, she comes back, she becomes Jaina’s right hand at the head of the Kirin Tor, and becomes an amazing powerful mage in and of herself, and then when the Tirisfal gets reinstated, she becomes part of the Tirisfal. Just saying. Just saying.

Tzufit: (Laughing) Kinndy is also in charge of, like, stabbing Kalecgos in the knees any time he tries to come around Jaina at all. Kinndy’s just like, you need to leave.

Apple Cider: (Laughing) Now, the thing that I sort of joked about with Kalecgos, if we wanted to remain with him in the story, which I don’t but it’d be interesting if he did, is- to me, it actually kind of felt like Kalecgos was not dating Jaina because he actually liked her but because he was charged to keep watch on Jaina- and I forget what exactly happened to the Focusing Iris, but it’d be interesting if Kalecgos was told to date Jaina to keep an eye on what she’s doing with the Focusing Iris. I forgot what exactly happens to that thing.

Tzufit: It would be interesting, I would also find it infuriating (laughing) because I think it does seem like Jaina genuinely has feelings for him, and- yeah, I don’t really want that story. (Laughing) But on the other hand, I don’t think it’s very far out of the realm of possibility, to be honest.

Apple Cider: No, because it made more sense to me than Kalecgos actually liking her, which I would also revise that Jaina didn’t like him at all, so. You know, c’est la vie, this is why I’m not in charge of writing at Blizzard.

Tzufit: I like Lio’s other suggestion here, she says “I want Kinelory and Quae reassigned to a recon mission with Amber Kearnen in Warlords.”

Apple Cider: (GASP!)

Tzufit: YUP!

Apple Cider: MY HEART! Ohhh- I- Ohhhhhh~ I love them so much! I love them so much I can’t- oh- why are they not in my- in my heart forever.

Tzufit: (Laughing) Yeah, that would be- that’s just the ideal group of Alliance people right there.

Apple Cider: Acidsweet also says, “Any prominent female Troll at all.”

Tzufit: Yeah, that really does not happen at all, it’s really obnoxious.

Apple Cider: Seriously! So we’d have to basically revise lore to include actually a prominent Troll female to be in the story, I think. Which I think could be done!

Tzufit: Yeah! You could just make Vol’jin make a lady.

Apple Cider: Yeah, Vol’jin could be a lady, also dating a lady, just tons of ladies, just- I think that’s- I think ultimately if you’ve been listening to this show at all for any length of time I think that’s just kind of our ultimate goal in the lore.

Tzufit: Yeah, basically- are you thinking of creating a new character? Here’s the flowchart, so if you say yes, is that character a woman? And then if it says no you come back, “IS THAT CHARACTER A WOMAN?” (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing) Although, groundbreaking things, I would definitely like to see more characters that are gender-nonspecific or are genderqueer or just not necessarily binary, but that’s so far off from Blizzard ever doing something like that.

Tzufit: Yeah. I mean, I think it would also go back to a lot of the fanfiction stuff that we talked about in the queer characters episode, and just making those canon, or even things like, you know, Chromie is always a great possibility for maybe somebody didn’t just screw up on the naming conventions there, maybe we actually are talking about a male dragon who makes the choice to have a woman avatar when he becomes a gnome, and that’s a pretty cool thing, and let’s talk about that, but I think that is, like you said, well WELL away from the realm of possibilities, unfortunately.

Apple Cider: Yeah, it’s sad but I don’t foresee Blizzard including any extant queer characters, trans characters, genderqueer characters, nonbinary characters that aren’t things like- that don’t have a specific gender in general, like you know, elementals or whatever, for a very long time, which is- I mean, if that would be like the MOST major lore revision I could do is just including characters all over the place that just don’t fit in the typical gamer paradigm of things.

Tzufit: Well, we have to end on a happier note than that.

Apple Cider: Well, let’s end on a happy note. Uhhh… (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing) Uhhh… well, we can say once again that we are attempting to put some of this headcanon into practical effect by way of the Defias Sisterhood guild that we’ve been playing around with, and again, like I said, I can’t guarantee that we’re both gonna be on there (laughing) all the time or every night or maybe even every week, but it definitely is something that we enjoy and I guess- I’ve been terrible, I’ve made a blog for us to write some stories for that, and I know I haven’t had any time to write anything for it yet but I’ve been MEANING to ‘cause it is just a really interesting way to kind of reimagine a part of lore that I think honestly needs to be reimagined, because it doesn’t make sense the way it is now.

Apple Cider: Yeah. I’m really a big proponent of information revision, especially because- I dunno, like, I don’t know lore 100%, I’m not super good at it, but I do like the idea of revising lore, too, because I think it’s also fun to do even if you don’t know all the lore, even if you- like, and that was one of the things that I had a little bit of trouble with is when we were on the show with Anne and she’s such a lore repository, it was very hard cause I just had ideas about things where I wanted them to go that were in complete contradiction with how the lore actually is, or would even make sense, but sometimes you just wanna see things differently. You just wanna see people be friends that aren’t friends, or you just wanna see characters that are one way be another way, so I think that’s kind of my takeaway from this is that even if it doesn’t make any sense, write it, make it up anyway, because it’s fun, because it ultimately adds to your enjoyment of the story, you know?

Tzufit: Yeah, I totally agree. I mean, I think- when I was first roleplaying, I really fell into that idea of making sure that everything I did was absolutely lined up with the story, and after a while it gets really boring because there are only a handful of stories that get told in World of Warcraft, and if you wanna tell a different kind of story, you really do need to look at it from a slightly different perspective and maybe one that isn’t 100% in keeping canonically with what Blizzard has written so far, but if what we’re specifically saying is that the writing so far has been lacking, then maybe that’s OK.

Apple Cider: Yeah. So, hope you enjoyed this episode, and thank you for everyone that was listening in live on Twitch. We’ll try to do more episodes in this vein in the future, or just more fun stuff, but we had a lot of fun today, and we hope you did too! We’ll see you next week!

1 comment

  1. crikit

    You blew my mind with Tiffin! I always thought of her as a joke, or an afterthought. Even her name felt like a bit of fluff. Now, I want to see, and play through, a story like that in-game. Especially, if Vanessa is really dead. Or…is Vanessa’s mother ever named? Tiffin, who faked her death, comes back to finish her daughter’s work, furious at her former husband who she blames?

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