Richard Knaak is one of the few resident Warcraft series writers. His storytelling style is visibly different from others, more so towards the traditional fantasy genre. Written in 2001, Day of the Dragon is considered as the first book of the Warcraft series. It is also the first book of the Warcraft: Archive four-book series. Warcraft is a fantasy universe I am fond of, dearly. Hence, I read Day of the Dragon with a high anticipation over my holiday in Bandung, devouring every bit of the lore within.
For those who are familiar with the recent lore development, reading Day of the Dragon is real treat. Never have we been so close to some of the key figures in recent days. Imagine reading Deathwing in human form, the Old Horde corrupted by demonic power, and the general mistrust of the use of magic – just to name a few.
Back to the era whereby the day of the dragon has passed, dragonqueen Alexstrasza – one of the five great Aspects of the dragon flights – is captured by the orcs from the Dragonmaw clan and is imprisoned within the caves of Khaz Modan. Deeply weakened by an artifact called Demon Soul, she resigns to her fate of birthing red dragons only to be trained by the orcs to do evil deeds.
Her consort, Korialstrasz also known as Krasus in his human form, must find a way to free his beloved queen. And it is no easy task. Uniting the rest of the weakened dragon Aspects seems impossible. Malygos has gone mad; Nozdormu is obsessed with collecting artifacts throughout the timeline; and Ysera is lost in her dream world. Only Deathwing the Destroyer – the black dragon flight Aspect – is not weakened by the Demon Soul. And he is plotting his sinister moves in bringing the world to an end (you could say again, but this event happens before Cataclysm).
Hope is now placed upon a human mage Rhonin from Kirin Tor of Dalaran. Krasus sends Rhonin on an observatory mission to Khaz Modan escorted by an elvan ranger Vereesa Windrunner. During their journey, they have recruited the help of the human paladins as well as the dwarves and their quest has changed. But is it enough to face the adversities of the orcs, trolls, and goblins? With the Horde losing ground and the Alliance gathering its forces under a mysterious character called Lord Prestor, how would this ultimate battle play out?
Day of the Dragon answers a lot of questions I used to have. Locations and characters such as island kingdom of Tol Barad, Gemm Greymane, and Gilneas are not featured in World of Warcraft until 2011. It appears to me that Day of the Dragon was well ahead of time. Lore development these days are tightly coupled with the game development. Deep inside, I am wishing that Blizzard would release new lore that will not be seen in the game till, say, a decade later. This will give the fans something to look forward to, something beyond what we have anticipated today.