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Warcraft: The Last Guardian is a tie-in novel to Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. It is the closest thing to a retelling of the first game of the franchise, Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, that there is.
The story stars Khadgar, a young mage from the magocratic city-state of Dalaran, who is chosen to be the apprentice of Medivh, the greatest wizard of the known world. After arriving to the eccentric magus' home tower of Karazhan, Khadgar is given the impossible task of... cleaning the library. Dozens of apprentice candidates have failed, but the young man does indeed succeed.
Soon after Khadgar finds out that Karazhan is built in a location where the time and space are bent, causing people within to occasionally see visions of the past and future. Furthermore, the Magus himself seems odd, leaving the tower for months at a time with no warning and then falling asleep for weeks after returning.
Just to make Khadgar's life more interesting, the Kingdom of
Azeroth Stormwind, wherein Medivh's home is located, is beset by green monsters called orcs, whom no one has ever before seen. The barbarians strike from the eastern marshes of the Black Morass with increasing severity, only kept at bay by the King's champion Anduin Lothar, with whom the young mage becomes friends during a visit to the capital of Stormwind.
One day, an ambassador of the orcs named Garona, who is in fact half
human Draenor human Draenei, arrives to Karazhan. Despite Khadgar's hostile initial reaction, the two quickly become friends and begin to unravel a mysterious plot to kill powerful wizards, make the orcs win the war and unlock the body of the demon-lord Sargeras, which had been sealed in the bottom of the ocean by Medivh's mother.
After almost a decade, the book got a kind of a sequel, called Tides of Darkness, which retells the events of WC2.
One of the original three novels which started the Warcraft Expanded Universe.
This book contains the following tropes:
Garona: "In your histories, there are continual justifications for all manner of hellish actions. Claims of nobility and heritage and honor to cover up every bit of genocide, assassination, and massacre. At least the Horde is honest in their naked lust for power."
- Badass Bookworm: Khadgar.
- Cool Old Guy: Lothar.
- Evil Mentor: Medivh
- Evil Sounds Deep: This is how you know Sargeras is in control
- Evil Sorcerer: Medivh
- Evil Tower of Ominousness: Medivh lives in one of these.
- Foregone Conclusion: When the book was released (before WC3) anyone who had played the original game knew that Medivh is evil. Nowadays, anyone and their mother knows that Medivh is possessed by the soul of Sargeras, the Dark Titan, and is killed by his friends.
- Foreshadowing: Medivh makes a very brief mention of the Kaldorei. The book was released before Warcraft III.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: Garona.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Garona's life is treated as a fairly typical example of this trope with all the loneliness and outcast status that it implies.
- It Gets Easier: Medivh says this line towards the end of the book.
- The Horde
- The Igor
- Just Friends: Garona and Khadgar's relationship.
- The Kingdom: Retconned into being Stormwind when it was originally Azeroth.
- Not retconned, it offically, if quietly, changed its name from Azeroth to Stormwind.
- Meaningful Name: Medivh won't quit calling Khadgar "young Trust" because his name is Dwarven for trust.
- More Than Mind Control: Medivh is so powerful in his will that it requires Sargeras to convince him that he's breaking the cycle to finally get him to give into his evil plans.
- Rage Against the Mentor: Khadgar's version is quite even handed upon the discovery that Medivh unleashed the orcs on Azeroth.
- Sorcerer's Apprentice Plot: In this case, it's Khadgar getting a vision from messing with the tower's weird properties.
- Spanner in the Works: Medivh recruits Khadgar and Garona to serve as a spanner in Sargeras' plan.
- Supporting Leader: Lothar.
- Upgrade Artifact: Medivh has a spell that teaches Khadgar how to ride a gryphon.
- Xanatos Gambit: Sargeras allows his avatar to be destroyed by Aegwynn so he can reincarnate himself in her unborn baby. Then he proceeds to open a gateway to Draenor and release the Orc horde on the world.
- Turned into a full-blown Gambit Roulette in Rise of the Horde, where it is retconned that the Horde were created entirely separately and their mere existence was total coincidence and had nothing to do with Sargeras' plan.
- The demon who devised the Horde's corruption was Kil'jaeden, the direct right-hand of Sargeras himself. Rise of the Horde only implies that he had ulterior motives for creating the Horde beside their military power.
- Wax On, Wax Off: Khadgar's first task is to clean Medivh's library.
- Wizarding School: In the flashbacks, Khadgar's days in the magic academy at Dalaran are highly reminiscent Harry Potter's misadventures at Hogwarts.