Fortified citadels lie in ruins. Once-verdant forests burn brightly in the twilight of the setting sun. And arid stretches of desert, known to have claimed even the hardiest of travelers, now house fertile oases.
The breaking of Azeroth changed a great many things. While the altered landscapes of the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor may be the most noticeable evidence of Deathwing's violent return, many of Azeroth's heroes have also undergone drastic physical and mental transformations of their own.
Recently, we focused on how the Cataclysm has affected the lives of the accomplished shaman Thrall and the new Horde warchief, Garrosh Hellscream. Today we examine Anduin Wrynn, son of King Varian, and the indelible impact that the great changes sweeping Azeroth have had on this young man.
Although only a teenager, Stormwind's prince, Anduin, has persevered through numerous trials and tribulations, such as being kidnapped by the scheming black dragon Onyxia. His greatest challenge, however, might lie in his relationship with Varian. Anduin is no stranger to his father's love and affection, but he is constantly wary of sudden outbursts from Varian's violent, gladiatorial side. Anduin has also struggled against his father's insistence that he become a warrior.
Events just prior to the Cataclysm signaled a new chapter in Anduin's life. While undergoing martial training in the dwarven bastion of Ironforge, Anduin witnessed as Moira Thaurissan—the estranged daughter of the late King Magni Bronzebeard—held the city hostage with a contingent of Dark Iron dwarves. Despite being the legal heir to Ironforge, she drew the ire of Varian for her heavy-handed tactics. Before long, the king and a team of SI:7 agents infiltrated the city, intent on killing the brash dwarf heiress. Only through Anduin's wise and resolute intervention did Varian stay his hand and spare Moira's life, thus averting a political disaster that might have ignited a dwarven civil war.
During his time in Ironforge, Anduin also discovered his true calling in life: to be a priest devoted to the tenets of the Holy Light. For those who know Anduin well, this discipline is a perfect fit for the prince, who has consistently proven himself to be compassionate and thoughtful. No longer the child-prince of Stormwind from years past, Anduin is fast becoming his own man with the courage to speak up for what he believes in. He does not share Varian's outright hatred and mistrust of the Horde. On one occasion, he even imparted sage advice to the tauren chieftain Baine Bloodhoof after the death of his father, Cairne. Yet in Azeroth's current state of turmoil, it is unknown whether Anduin's destiny with the Light will proceed on its current course, or whether his path will take a different turn.
We'll be examining other key characters' transformations—including those of Magni Bronzebeard—in the months ahead, so come back soon.