The novel centers around Malfurion Stormrage; Christie Golden confirmed it was definitely not about Illidan at BlizzCon 2008, and Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson said Malfurion would play a major role at New York Comic Con 2009.
The storyline explores the corruption of the Emerald Dream, and takes place some time before the cataclysm but after the Lich King was defeated (in a later scene in the book, Sharlindra says "She [Sylvanas, talking in her sleep] mentions the traitor Varimathras, slain by her, and the Lich King, finally defeated!")
When the world of Azeroth was young, the god-like titans brought order to it by reshaping its lands and seas. Throughout their great work, they followed a magnificent design for what they envisioned Azeroth would become. Although the titans departed Azeroth long ago, that design endures to this day. It is known as the Emerald Dream, a lush and savagely primal version of Azeroth.
WORLD OF WARCRAFT
Many are the mysteries surrounding the Emerald Dream and its reclusive guardians, the green dragonflight. In times past, druids have entered the Dream to monitor the ebb and flow of life on Azeroth in their never-ending quest to maintain the delicate balance of nature.
However, not all dreams are pleasant ones. Recently the Emerald Nightmare, an area of corruption within the Emerald Dream, began growing in size, transforming the Dream into a realm of unimaginable horror. Green dragons have been unexpectedly caught up in the Nightmare, emerging from it with shattered minds and twisted bodies. Druids who have entered the darkening Dream lately have found it difficult -- sometimes even impossible -- to escape.
Nor are these the Nightmare's only victims: more and more people are being affected. Even Malfurion Stormrage, first and foremost of the druids on Azeroth, may have fallen victim to this growing threat. As uncontrollable nightmares spread across the world, a desperate quest begins to find and free the archdruid.
Soon nature's enemies will learn the true meaning of the name
The opening chapters follow various characters, and the nightmares and visions they experience. Some, such as Krasus, and the townspeople of Goldshire, are unable to awake. These nightmares are attributed to the spreading of the corruption of the Emerald Dream, both within the Dream itself and into Azeroth as well. Through these nightmares and visions, Tyrande Whisperwind learns of the impending death of Malfurion, who has not returned from and has been out of reach within the Emerald Dream, as are all the others who have recently walked it, including Ysera and the green dragonflight. As a result of this a convocation of druids is called by Fandral Staghelm on Teldrassil, where he reveals that Teldrassil is threatened by the Dream's corruption, and that the druids' efforts to heal Teldrassil will yield to them a way to save Malfurion. In attendance at the convocation is Broll Bearmantle, who has received visions of Teldrassil's corruption and death. Tyrande asks the druids to visit Malfurion's sleeping body in Moonglade to address the situation. Fandral does not take the reports of nightmares and endless sleep spreading throughout the world as linked to Teldrassil's corruption or to Malfurion's dire state, and insists on the healing of Teldrassil as the solution. He had initially intended to use the Idol of Remulos to heal the Tree, but Remulos himself forbid it.
Tyrande is not convinced by Fandral's plan, and, desperate to save Malfurion, asks Broll to travel to Bough Shadow, in Ashenvale, where there is a portal that enters the Emerald Dream. He steals the Idol of Remulos from Fandral's chest in Cenarion Enclave and Tyrande secretly accompanies him to Bough Shadow after meeting in Auberdine, leaving Shandris Feathermoon charged with ruling Darnassus until her return.
Thura, an orc woman, is now the bearer of the enchanted wooden axe once owned by Broxigar. She has been receiving visions which depict Malfurion betraying Broxigar in the middle of battle leading to his death. As a result, she goes on a hunt to find Malfurion and kill him.
Within the Emerald Dream, Malfurion is slowly transforming into a tree against his will by the work of someone referred to only as "the Nightmare Lord." He is somehow using Malfurion's druidic powers to spread the corruption throughout the world, but Malfurion can only see shadows and hear his voice, and so does not understand who the perpetrator is, or how to escape. Malfurion is actually the one behind the terrifying or alarming visions the other characters have been receiving- he has been trying to draw them into the Dream to help him. They are his only means of communication without alerting the Nightmare Lord.
Along the way, Tyrande, Broll and Lucan Foxblood plan to enter the dream and are confronted by Eranikus who is reluctant to help them. He is despondent about the growing corruption and sees any plan to fight against it as futile. They leave him behind to enter the dream and are attacked by a corrupted green dragon. They manage to escape into the dream, where they find that the corruption has resulted in the death and decay of large swaths of the Dream, with many of the inhabitants of the dream, including elementals, Ancients of War, and dreamforms of druids, having become corrupt and hostile as well. They must fight against them as they search for Malfurion, and the origin of the everpresent shadow of a tree and the vision of an mysterious fortress built at the heart of the Dream. Eranikus, who despite complaining and despairing, aids them from time to time, explains that nothing ought to have been built there.
Broll and Tyrande fall victim to various nightmares as a result of the spreading corruption meant to throw them off the path. This requires that they go in and out of the Dream as the situation requires, with the help of Lucan, who was born inside the Emerald Dream and has some power to bring others in and out at will (though where they end up on either side is unpredictable). Inside, they manage to fight against the corruption and its turned denizens. Thura gets a hold of Lucan and finds her way to Malfurion. She destroys his tree form with Brox's axe, which was enchanted by Cenarius and thus had the power to do so, freeing Malfurion in the process.
Outside the dream, those afflicted by the sleeping sickness have begun to attack the waking around the world, including in Stormwind and Orgrimmar. Those waking who stand against them in the ensuing battles are forced to kill their own in order to survive, and inside the dreamforms of those afflicted continue on as corrupted. But finally, with Eranikus's help, they make their way to the heart of the dream where they discover that the shadow of the tree was cast by the Nightmare Lord himself.
Malfurion finds out when the tree is shown to have blood for sap that it is actually his nemesis from the War of the Ancients Lord Xavius. This is the origin of the mysterious fortress- it was an apparition of Xavius's castle in Azshara before the Sundering. He initially survived Malfurion's spell transforming him into a tree during the War of the Ancients, and has since entered the Dream in this form and taken on its corruption. Eranikus gives his life in the heroes' defense, and with the help of Ysera, Malfurion destroys Lord Xavius yet again.
Hamuul Runetotem and Broll discover that Staghelm has actually been tricked into believing his dead son Valstann was alive again, when it was really a vision given to him by the Nightmare Lord. Through this vision, he made Fandral graft a branch of Xavius's tree form onto Teldrassil, which is the source of its corruption. He has also been the one keeping Malfurion from leaving the dream, using morrowgrain. Fandral is taken to Moonglade to recover after he is discovered and the branch broken off.
Now that they have destroyed the ostensible corruptor of the Dream, the sleeping sickness fades, and the sleepers (who weren't killed) wake up. Malfurion promises never to leave Tyrande again, and the two get married in Darnassus, with many Alliance nobles and even Alexstrasza and Ysera in attendance. However, though Xavius was ruling over the Nightmare, it is strongly suggested that a much larger and unseen malevolent force is behind even his actions, with the implication that the Old Gods are responsible.
- Lucan Foxblood
- Keeper Remulos
- Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem
- Archdruid Fandral Staghelm
- King Varian Wrynn
- Lord Xavius/Nightmare Lord
Note: These characters were only mentioned or had little to no role during the story.
- Queen Azshara
- Baine Bloodhoof
- Cairne Bloodhoof
- King Magni Bronzebeard
- Marshal Dughan
- Rehgar Earthfury
- General Shandris Feathermoon
- General Marcus Jonathan
- Lich King
- Zor Lonetree
- Major Mattingly
- Prince Arthas Menethil
- King Terenas Menethil II
- Lady Jaina Proudmoore
- Kur'talos Ravencrest
- Archdruid Elerethe Renferal
- Archmage Rhonin
- Valeera Sanguinar
- Dranosh Saurfang
- Varok Saurfang
- Valstann Staghelm
- Illidan Stormrage
- Primalist Thurloga
- Lord Edrias Ulnur
- Captain Varo'then
- Zaldimar Wefhellt
- High Thane Falstad Wildhammer
- } Sylvanas Windrunner
- Vereesa Windrunner
- Anduin Wrynn
- Tiffin Wrynn
- Crystalsong Forest
- Emerald Dream
- Great Dark Beyond
- Mount Hyjal
- Stonetalon Mountains
- Stormwind City
- Thunder Bluff
- Twisting Nether
- Originally, the novel was going to be published as a mass market paperback. However, this was changed, and it was instead released as a hardcover first.
- Author Richard A. Knaak agreed to Autograph 5,000 copies of Stormrage Hardback Version. Scheduled for release on March 8, 2010.
- ^ http://www.blizzplanet.com/blog/comments/world_of_warcraft_stormrage_excerpt
- ^ Amazon.com
- ^ 2008-25-08, World of Warcraft: Stormrage goes Hardcover. Richard A. Knaak. Accessed on 2009-11-04
- ^ Premiere Collectibles - World of Warcraft: Stormrage (2010-01-28). Retrieved on 2010-01-28.
- 2008-20-07, Blizzplanet: Richard A. Knaak Interview at WoWPodcast. Medievaldragon. Accessed on 2008-21-07
- Chris Metzen, Micky Neilson, Blizzplanet. 2009-02-09. Chris Metzen & Micky Neilson Pocket Star Books Lore Q&A Video Interview. Blizzplanet. Accessed 2009-02-09.