So with Legion, Blizzard decided to remove the Legendary Ring storyline from the game. Since this storyline does a lot to set up the explanation behind the Legion expansion, as well as go into many of the motivations for staying around on Draenor after the destruction of the Dark Portal, I felt that it was deserving of a story summary so that people can have some level of reference if you want to know what went down in Warlords of Draenor.
Chapter I: Call of the Archmage
Upon reaching max level, you will find a familiar glowing friend wandering around your garrison. This arcane construct brings word to you from Archmage Khadgar who requests your aid with a mission he has and asks that you come meet with him at his tower in Zangarra. There he, along with trusty Watcher bodyguard Cordana Felsong, explain that to accomplish this mission he will need your help and to do so you will need a special tool that will help you along the way. A powerful piece of equipment that will not only give you the strength for the challenges that lie ahead but tether you to Khadgar so that he can keep an eye on you and your actions in the dire days to come. He suggests the item be a ring and asks you to seek out the Arrakoa of Skyreach to retrieve a ring made of pure Solium, a rare metal heated and infused with the raw power of Draenor’s sun, to act as a base material for your new ring.
After fetching the material, Khadgar begins work on infusing your ring with new power and bringing out its own latent strength. While working he explains that while the Horde and Alliance continue their battle against the forces of the Iron Horde, Khadgar has a different and far more threatening target in mind: Gul’dan. The Orc Warlock who forged a pact with the demons of the Burning Legion and has a noted history of manipulating events from the shadows to get what he wants. Khadgar wants to flush the warlock out of the shadows and the best way to do that would be to start by gathering powerful reagents for a tracking spell. Khadgar requests that you retrieve a Core of Flame from the Slag Mines belonging to the Bloodmaul Ogres in Frostfire Ridge, the Core of Iron that is used to power the Iron Horde’s Iron Star trains that depart from the Grimrail Depot in Gorgrond, and finally to adventure deep into the Everbloom to extract the Core of Life from the closest thing on Draenor to the progenitor of life – a Genesaur. Khadgar has also heard word from Talador that Gul’dan’s Shadow Council has infiltrated the hallowed halls of the Auchindoun and suspects that Teron’gor, Gul’dan’s right hand, is behind it. He wants you to retrieve a sample of Teron’gor’s foul fel-touched blood to be used a focus for the tracking ritual.
In exchange for your assistance, Khadgar offers to empower your ring even further but to do so he will require additional materials. This time he wants to imbue the solium with the magic from the crystals of the Apexis, an ancient Arrakoa civilization that first learned how to harness the power of the sun. To enhance your ring, he needs precisely 4,986 crystals. Any less than that number would be inadequate and the wizard insists that any more would be simply ridiculous. You can trust him. He’s a mage. He did the math.
Once you’ve retrieved all the reagents, Khadgar will attempt to perform a scrying ritual to find Gul’dan only to find that the warlock is actively countering the spell leading Khadgar to deduce that Teron’gor’s death must have spooked the old orc into running. Unfortunately, this means that Khadgar will need even more power to contend with Gul’dan’s magic and complete the ritual to locate him. However, he has an idea. The Archmage knows of a certain dragon – Kairozdormu – that came to Draenor’s past attempting to help Garrosh Hellscream flee his war crimes trial. Since this modified timeline permeates with Kairoz’s influence, Khadgar should be able to use the dragon – alive or dead – to connect to this age of Draenor and spread his magical power across it. So you head to the eastern hills of Nagrand where you find time-lost illusion detailing what followed shortly after Garrosh & Kairoz’s arrival in the past version of Draenor. It would appear that the dragon’s plans quickly soured after arriving back in time as Garrosh immediately betrayed and murdered Kairoz. However after meeting his bloody end, Kairoz’s angry spirit still dwells in its final resting place of the Time Lost Glade where his spirit and timeline has seeped into the very land of Draenor. To master this power, Khadgar beseeches you to finish Garrosh’s work and end the dragon’s existence. As the battle goes on, it is finally revealed why Kairozdormu freed Garrosh and fled to Draenor. Kairoz saw something in his experiments on the Timeless Isle. Something that drove him to seek out a way to make not just an army, but an infinite number of armies to fight against it. To become infinite himself. His first goal was to use Garrosh to convince Grom Hellscream to unite the Orc clans into becoming the first of Kairoz’s infinite army, but Garrosh’s backstabbing quickly ended that.
You return to the tower in Zangarra victorious. Khadgar has tapped into Kairoz’s remaining essence and expanded his power and uses the Apexis Crystals you gathered to upgrade your Solium ring into a more powerful incarnation: a Time Lost Solium ring!
Chapter II: Gul’dan Strikes Back
Armed with the ability to tap into the very essence of Draenor, Archmage Khadgar now needs a means to penetrate the powerful fel magic that Gul’dan uses to shroud himself. To do so means having to delve into what the Kirin Tor would consider ‘fringe arcane science’ at best. The knowledge possessed by the ogres of the Gorian Empire would fall under such a category. Khadgar says that the Sorcerer King of the Gorian Empire, High Imperator Mar’gok, has mastered the art of something called “Felbreaking.” A technique designed to surpress and nullify magic including the vile powers of fel magic. This knowledge would prove invaluable. The Archmage asks that you venture deep into the ogre capital of Highmaul and retrieve a Fel Breaker’s Tome as well as the magical sigil of the Sorcerer King himself to help in learning the practices contained in the tome. Khadgar also recommends picking up Abrogator Stones as you penetrate the ogre city. These ancient and powerful magical stones that have been passed down through the generations of ogre mages would be a useful fuel to empowering your ring even further – a fair exchange for overthrowing an empire.
Once you have brought an end to the Gorian Empire and retrieved the requested items for Khadgar, the wizard will attempt once more to scry Gul’dan’s location. Utilizing the fel breaking techniques to tear through the warlock’s veil, Khadgar finally makes contact with the orc. The victory is short lived however as it seems that Gul’dan has been inquiring about the human mage he witnessed in the escape from Tanaan Jungle. Gul’dan mentions Khadgar by name and mentions that it would appear that they have quite the history with each other. This means that the warlock is now aware of the transgressions of the original timeline of your native Azeroth, where Khadgar killing his master, Medivh the Last Guardian of Tirisfal, shattered the mental link that the Guardian shared with Gul’dan and plunged the warlock into a coma that cost him and his Shadow Council control of the Horde. Khadgar happily announces that they’ve located Gul’dan to which the old orc replies in jest that likewise he has found the Archmage.
Just then a figure draws out from the shadows and before Cordana has a chance to act an orc assassin stabs Khadgar with a poisoned blade. The assassin flees into the marshy lower levels of Zangarra and Cordana orders you to track her down. You climb down the rocks into the swamp like valley and begin to play a dangerous game of cat and mouse before finally chasing the assassin to a cave and battling it out until either you perish from the poison in your blood or the assassin is captured. You return to the tower with the assassin – Garona Halforcen – in tow where you find Khadgar being kept stable by Jaina Proudmoore, the current leader of Dalaran’s Council of Six. You use the poison to quickly form an anti-venom to help aid in Khadgar’s healing and as the Archmage wakes, Jaina helps him up. However, if you are a member of the Horde, Jaina will chastise Khadgar for allying himself with you and the Council does not approve of this choice either. Khadgar will simply shrug it off and say that he needs all the help he can get on Draenor and it won’t be the first time he disappointed the Council. However before Jaina departs, Khadgar makes one request that she helps transfer the power of the Abrogator Stones you gathered into your ring since he has been weakened by the ordeal. The process turns your ring into a Spellbound Solium Ring. Jaina wishes Alliance members well with their newfound power and threatens that she will be keeping her eye on you if you are a member of the Horde.
Chapter III: The Foundry Falls
Now that he has healed, Khadgar is willing to admit that it was perhaps foolish to go after Gul’dan with magic alone. Fortunately, an opportunity has arisen with Garona, the assassin you captured. If he can find some means to break the magical hold that the warlock has on Garona’s mind, she might be able to assist bring down her master. Khadgar has a plan but to enact it he must ask you to venture into the very heart of the Iron Horde’s war machine: The Blackrock Foundry. There he will need you to pry out the heart of a primal elemental fury that fuels the massive furnaces below the foundry, steal a Flamebender’s Tome that describes the secret techniques that the Blackrock Clan uses to channel and control the powerful elemental forces of Draenor, and lastly to reclaim a magical Thaumaturgical Orb that was stolen from the Draenei during the Iron Horde’s siege of Karabor.
Once you’ve collected the three components, Khadgar will begin to pour over the Flamebender’s Tome that speaks of a ritual to the elements that required a sacrifice from the chieftan of a clan. This causes the wizard to ponder on what Blackhand must of sacrificed to gain such knowledge and deduces that it must be his eponymous hand. Khadgar asks you to break into the core of the foundry and kill the Warlord of the Blackrock Clan, then bring back his arm to utilize as a focus for the ritual to free Garona.
Meanwhile, Khadgar also has a plan to further enhance your ring by utilizing the knowledge sealed in three distinct Elemental Tablets that pre-date written history itself that hold the methods of tapping into the primal power of the planet itself. However, the tablets will likely have shattered throughout time and thus will require you to find all the pieces scattered throughout the foundry to reassemble them. Once you do, he performs a ritual to infuse the ring with Draenor’s elemental power. However in doing so – he accidentally kills you. While you are dead, you witness a vision of Gul’dan speaking to Grommash Hellscream. The warlock taunts the warlord by telling him that the Iron Horde is collapsing under the assaults of the outsiders (that would be you) and even the foundry has now fallen. He tells Grom to drink from the demon’s blood and that it will be the only way to guarantee success for Hellscream’s Iron Horde. Grommash angrily declines and yells at Gul’dan to leave his sight just before Khadgar resurrects you with a pair of goblin jumper cables much to Cordana’s surprise that they actually worked.
Chapter IV: Darkness Incarnate
With everything gathered from the Blackrock Foundry, Khadgar attempts to break Gul’dan’s hold on Garona by torturing her until she gives up the information on where Gul’dan is hiding. In the wakes of the orcs screams, Cordana stops Khadgar horrified by what depths the wizard is willing to sink to and that he is losing himself in pursuit of the mission. The Archmage relents, agreeing with Cordana that what is the point if they are willing to become just as vile as the warlock himself to accomplish their goals. He however does have another suggestion: an Orb of Domination. A relic used by the Shadow Council to ensnare minds into serving and joining their cause. The old mage suggests that he may be able to reverse engineer the Orb and use it free Garona. He directs you to a cavern below a Draenei village where the Shadow Counil has been using a orb to brainwash people and to bring the orb back to him. Cordana is against this idea vehemently since using the orb would be tapping into the dark powers that they sought to stop in the first place, but the orb does its job and rips out Garona’s inner demons for you to battle and ultimately break the warlock’s hold on her. In thanks, the assassin pledges herself to you and Khadgar while Cordana takes the Orb of Domination away to see it destroyed.
Garona leads you to Bladefury’s Command in northern Talador where Gul’dan was headed to a meeting with the Warlords of the Iron Horde. You sneak in past the guards to discover what the warlock is up to. There you witness Gul’dan overthrow the Iron Horde by subduing Grommash and convincing the other warlords of his ineffective leadership by bringing up the countless loses including that of Hellscream’s own son – Garrosh. Turned by the warlock’s arguments, Kilrog Deadeye steps forth to embrace his foreseen fate and drink of the demon blood, his body twisting and breaking to reform into the first of a new Fel Horde. Shocked by this news, Khadgar is terrified that history may repeat itself and Azeroth is now more in danger of the Iron Horde than before. He asks you to use your resources as a General of your faction’s forces to build a shipyard to assault Tanaan Jungle from the sea while your allies assault the gates at the Iron Front. Garona also agrees herself to your growing army and becomes a legendary follower.
With a foothold established in Tanaan and you and your allies primed to storm the gates of Hellfire Citadel itself, Khadgar suggests a two pronged attack. First he wishes for you to rip the Tomes of Chaos, the foul books bound with tortured souls that are used to train new warlocks, out of the hands of Gul’dan’s followers. He also wants you to use your shipyard to chase down Gul’dan’s flagship – ‘The Master’s Call’ – that has been scouring the seas of Draenor and charting the arcane leylines of the world. That chart must not reach Gul’dan’s hands and could prove useful to the Archmage in bringing your ring to its apex of power.
Once you’ve collected all the tomes full of their disgusting pictures, Khadgar asks you to take them back to Cordana for proper disposal. However when you arrive back at the tower in Zangarra, you find Cordana intently staring into the Orb of Domination which she apparently did not destroy. She quickly dodges any question you ask about why she has the orb. She takes the books from you and begins to place them around the room to prepare to destroy them, but instead the erupt into a ritual circle of fel flame. As the green flame engulfs the room, Cordana demands that you hand over your ring and that she needs it. You decline with a choice of saying “No.” or “OH HELL NO.” and she declares that she will take it by force. You fight with Cordana who unleashes both her Watcher training combined with the cinders of fel magics. She screams that the Orb has shown her the truth: Khadgar is a just child who dabbles in forbidden powers too great for him to control. Gul’dan however has true mastery of these dark arts. As you weaken her she breaks off the battle and states that nothing will stop Gul’dan and the Burning Legion from burning this world, Azeroth and every other world to the ground. She opens a portal and walks into it saying that your leaders will ultimately betray you and that the Legion will be victorious. When you return to Khadgar, he bursts into a rage against Gul’dan and his trickery before quieting and staring off at the horizon to mourn the loss of his bodyguard and friend to the darkness.
Now that the books have been dealt with and you have retrieved the ley line chart, Khadgar can identify three primary points of leyline connections: His tower in Zangarra which he knew since that is why he built it there, the Throne of Elements in Nagrand, and the Temple of Karabor in Shadowmoon Valley. He says with this knowledge he should be able to bring your ring to its maximum potential and create something truly legendary. The wizard is a bit apprehensive however after killing you the last time he tried to do this (which he apologizes for again) he will need some assistance. Luckily, you have made powerful allies in your time on Draenor, and you head off to one of the leyline sites to perform the final ritual. Members of the Alliance will travel to meet with Yrel and the rest of the Council of the Exarchs and the Naaru K’ara where they work with Khadgar to infuse your ring with the blessing of The Light and awaken it to its true potential. For the Horde, you will find that the Frostwolf Clan (including the spirit of Ga’nar) has come out in mass to the Throne of the Elements to watch their shaman Drek’thar call upon the Primordial Elemental Furies to beseech them to give your ring their blessings. With its power fully awakened, your ring has become a power unequaled on Draenor. Khadgar only hopes it will be enough to stop Gul’dan.
With your ring firmly fastened on your finger, you assault the Black Gate and stop Gul’dan by defeating Archimonde the Defiler and sending the demon general back to the Twisting Nether, but not before Gul’dan manages to escape by being hurled through the very Black Gate that Archimonde had emerged from. No one is sure of where the warlock had escaped to, but Khadgar picks up the old orc’s fel charred walking cane and utters that he knows that this is not over. He invites you to enjoy your victory celebration with your allies, but he must depart back to Azeroth to prepare for whatever will come next.
He hopes that you will be present and ready for when the call goes out for heroes once more.