Freedom

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Cover art
"Legendary rogue Valeera Sanguinar is the focus of this tale told by the Pompous Thespian to the crowd at the Hearthstone Tavern. When she goes in search of missing friends, Valeera’s definitions of friendship and freedom are called into question by Garrosh Hellscream. And the temptation to accept his offer of unlimited power is put to the test when she finds herself confronting a most unexpected foe."[1]

Freedom is the third and final issue of a series of official Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne web comics. It was released on July 23rd, 2017 and focuses on Valeera Sanguinar, Garrosh Hellscream and Anduin Wrynn.

The script was written by Andrew Robinson, while the illustrations were created by Manual García and Javier Mena.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Once more, the comic opens upon the Hearthstone tavern and the Pompous Thespian's throng of listeners. The night elf asks if anyone else seeks the Frozen Throne, and a shield-wearing blood elf (seemingly a Sunfury Protector) steps foward, saying that she has let others rule her destiny for too long, and that she seeks the freedom to answer to nobody and the wherewithal to see the world at her whim. The night elf asks the audience if they know who else sought freedom, and the listeners reply with Illidan Stormrage, Thrall, and Magni Bronzebeard. The thespian reveals that he is talking of Valeera Sanguinar and begins telling of how she marched to Northrend, but is interrupted when the audience, including the Wildhammer Fact Checker, points out that Valeera was first a gladiator slave alongside Varian Wrynn, and later pledged her loyalty to Varian and his son, Anduin. The thespian continues by stating that the Scourge had once more sullied the land, and both Varian and Anduin had disappeared in the countryside, causing Valeera to fear the worst. However, Garrosh Hellscream soon appeared in Stormwind, seeking recruits for his army, and told Valeera he knew who had taken the two men whom she loved. The thespian is abruptly interrupted by the confused audience again, and he replies that Garrosh had fallen under the influence of the Lich King. The Wildhammer Fact Checker states that context is important and suggests that the night elf establish the specific year where this supposedly happened, but is dismissed again.

The elf continues his tale with Garrosh offering Valeera a pair of blades, claiming that they would enhance her abilities as well as grant her new ones. Valeera asked about the one who took Varian and Anduin, and Garrosh explained that the process of becoming a knight of the Frozen Throne could be "unpleasant", and that some handled it better than others. Garrosh continued that the Lich King had recently raised an extremely unwilling soul, who had been "broken" by the process and was so deranged he could not be controlled. He escaped into the wilds and began using his abilities to raise his own army of the dead, threatening not only the Frozen Throne, but the world at large. Garrosh concluded by stating that the fates of Valeera's human friends hung in the balance, and that only he and the rogue stood between the shadow and his goal of absolute chaos. Suddenly, Garrosh and Valeera found themselves facing the "Shadowreaper", as Garrosh called it, and its army of undead. Valeera leapt into the fray with the blades Garrosh had given her, but each attack turned her more and more into something not unlike the evil creature she faced, and she began gaining new abilities and powers with all the might of a servant of the Lich King. Garrosh and Valeera fought their way to the insane shadow at the undead army's heart, but in response, the creature sent forth its "ascendant" to transform one of the undead soldiers into a hulking monstrosity. Valeera fully embraced her darkness and gleefully slew the ascendant. However, as she prepared to attack the shadow, it told her "I know you will not harm me. You love me."

The audience interrupts the story again by pointing out the anachronistic nature of the story, and that Anduin couldn't have been more than ten or twelve when this supposedly happened. The thespian replies that he never said it was Anduin, though the listeners are not convinced, and when the audience members again complain about the nonsensical timeline, the night elf dismisses them by describing it as "dramatic license". The thespian continues the tale by saying that Valeera turned on Garrosh as she realized that he tried to make her kill the only person left in the world she cared about. Garrosh replied that Valeera had been a slave all her life, even after she escaped the gladiator pits, and revealed that he was the one who had taken Varian and Anduin. He continued that the Lich King sensed both the potential and the weakness within Valeera, and that her devotion to the Wrynns was just another form of slavery. Meanwhile, Anduin began casting dark magic, shouting that "soon, everyone will be saved". Garrosh urged Valeera to destroy the last person she cared about and "end this nightmare" if she truly wanted to be free. The rogue stepped forward and stabbed Anduin the chest, causing him to collapse on the ground. The storyteller finishes by stating that Valeera raised her dagger, her hands shaking, conflicted by emotions. When the audience asks what happened next, the thespian simply points to the tip jar. After receiving more gold, he concludes by stating that nothing happened, and that the point of the story was to think about Valeera's choice, and if "freedom" is all it's cracked up to be if one takes it to its logical conclusion.

The comic concludes with the thespian taking his gold and stepping outside into the cold night air, chuckling to himself that "Death knights were so long ago! Like they even still exist!". However, he is suddenly approached by a hooded stranger, who asks if he would like to know the truth about the Frozen Throne.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]