World of Warcraft: the Ebon Insurrection

WoW Insider posed the truly interesting Blog Community Topic of “Pitch your World of Warcraft expansion”. I was thinking for a moment to re-use something I wrote some time ago but then I realised it would mean two Draenor expansions after another, including a revamp. We know that’s not going to happen since Outland is “old content is old”. So I’m doing the complete opposite. So here it is: The expansion that will never (?) be.

– – – – –

The Iron Horde was stopped. Thousands of lives lost, two worlds almost completely shattered. Fierce battles saw heros come forth. Fierce battles saw old allegiances … forgotten. Who was in the very frontline of all the fighting? Who held the tide of enemies back? Who saved the world?

Why … The one kind of soldier neither Vol’Jins Horde or the Alliance dare to call a “hero”. The undead. The Death Knights. The Knights of the Ebon Blade under command of Mograine had been aimless for years following the end of Arthas, the Lich King. Their mission complete Death Knights across Azeroth either laid down and died, thankful for the eternal rest, or they did what they are programmed to do. Fight. The war in Pandaria proved a lucrative business for mercenary outfits, many Death Knights turned “dog of war”. They fought, they won – they won a glorious victory for the Alliance … yet they never got any recognition for their sacrifice. The pattern repeated with the “mission to Draenor”. The Knights of the Ebon Blade is finally fed up … but not all of them. Some knights follow Darion Mograine. Others don’t. The reason is simple. The result – the Order shatters.

One of the discoveries in “alternate Draenor” turned out to be many a Death Knights salvation. By magical means – the very magic fabric of the Light itself – the undeath, at least the form of undeath Death Knights suffer, could be turned. The undead knights suddenly found themselves with the option of returning to the living – or keep their suffering, wander aimlessly in a world where there’s not place for an undead knight. Some choose the “cure”. Others were too far gone, or to loyal. Those who accepted the cure was shunned, cast-out, from the order.

The cured Death Knight became a strange anomaly. On one hand, they retained their old abilites – such as different presensce, the ability to raise undead minions, the ability to heal themselves through the pain and suffering of their foes. On the other hand – they were no longer dead(ish). They had returned to the living, such as life can be. Both Horde and Alliance found themselves in need of these veteran soldiers and welcomed their new brothers in arms. They formed a new order – Knights of the Black Sword. This time … they even accepted living prospects.

The resentment grew among the Ebon Blade followers. The deflectors, the traitors had shattered the (un)holy order. Resent grew to anger, anger grew to hate. Then – Acherus moved. the loyal Knights of the Ebon Blade, true to their beliefs, sought refuge in the only place where an order of undead knights can find solace. Northrend.

It’s been 5 years since the Iron Horde war. Both Alliance and Horde struggle to keep the peace. It’s a precarious peace. The only thing stopping either side from war is the struggle to revitalise their shattered economies. Westfall, Durotar – it doesn’t matter. Both sides suffer from the cost of war. Neither have the resources for a new war. They have struggled to keep their civilisations afloat and thus neither Alliance nor Horde saw what was coming – until too late.

The Knights of the Ebon Blade used Northrend as a staging area for a quest of a fabled land – Icemark, a continent yet unknown, north of Northrend. A land of ice and storms, of fire and brimstone. Pristine, uninhabited (save some small, long forgotten colonies of vrykul). The Ebon Blade didn’t have to break a sweat conquering it. And now … they are posed for retaliation. An army of barbaric tribes under the command of Mograines loyalists threatens to wreak a terrible revenge on the people who spurned them.

Welcome to World of Warcraft: the Ebon Insurrection!

Five new zones – Argent Holdout (starter zone, Alliance and Horde), Ice Plains, Hellfreeze, Dis, Empyreon.
Level cap raised to 110.
Instant boost to level 100.
New playable race – Vrykul (choose your allegiance, Horde or Alliance, at level 100).
New neutral faction – the Argent Onslaught (remnants of the Scarlet Onsalught redeemed themselves forming a magnificent fighting force with the Argent Crusade).
New dungeons – Ebon Caverns, The Portcullis, The Ice Halls, Ragnarok Village – and many more!
New raids – Assault on Acherus (7.0), The Dead Fields (7.1), Salvation (7.2), the Argent Onslaught (7.3)
New battlegrounds – the Argent Arena, the Isle of Despair, an open 24/7 PvP zone with objectives and quests
Professions raised to 800, new and improved proffession leveling systems using improved Garrison mechanics
Race specific buildings or garrisons – create your own vrykul stronghold!
Wargames – a minigame based on Real Time Strategy; command mercenary troops in battle against the Ebon Scourge!
A new Sanctuary, Lordaeron – Sylvanas has reluctantly agreed letting Lordaeron be a base of operations for both Horde and Alliance; the Kirin Tor has used their magics and “done a Dalaran”. Lordaeron Crater is all that remains in Eastern Kingdoms, but the dread city of death is floating in the sky close to Icemark.
New battle pets, mounts and much more!
New past-time fun – race down the steep snowclad mountainside on skis, or brave the elements and use your mountaineering skills to reach the top of the world!
New profession – Woodworking; create new weapons or other tools of the trade!

(With this idea currenct Death Knights will of course be still loyal to either Alliance or Horde since they were the ones who accepted the gift of life. Nothing changes with the class, other than the pure immersion bit. Roleplayers could probably find a lot of fun with it – for others it’s more a cosmetic that don’t even show. But rejoice: Your death knight gained a heartbeat!)


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