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  • In World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King we have the Alliance-side quest line centered around Brann Bronzebeard. Its conclusion definitely applies here. After escaping with Brann from the Engine of the Makers, he asks to be introduced to King Yorg Stormheart, king of the Frostborn Dwarves. He happens to be a Mountain Dwarf. Upon meeting him, Brann immediately recognizes Yorg as his dead brother Muradin. However, we find out earlier, in Dragonblight, that Muradin Bronzebeard is still alive--and word has already reached Magni. The resulting reunion of the brothers Bronzebeard is simply touching, especially for fans of Warcraft III and earlier. Just as soon, Muradin's memories return in flood, and he resolves to fix his mistakes... Namely Arthas. The brothers split once more. Thrall (and his Grandma), eat your hearts out. I'd mention THAT little heartwarming moment, myself, but I've got a bone to pick with the Horde these days.
  • Okie-doke, this Hordie will step in for you. Close to the end of a lengthy quest chain in Nagrand, which involves you running about the place and finding out what's up with the spirits of the Mag'har ancestors, sweet old granny-type orc Greatmother Geyah mentions that she is Durotan's mother. Immediately you inform her that Durotan's son, Thrall, is now the Warchief of the Horde, and you rush off to Orgrimmar to tell Thrall where his granny lives. Thrall comes to Nagrand and, after telling Garrosh Hellscream that Grom slew Mannoroth and redeemed himself and the orcs, spends the next few hours happily reminiscing with Geyah. It's made extra heartwarming by all the effort you made to bring them all together.
  • The draenei quests on Bloodmyst Isle. After a long grind through multiple quest chains, you're congratulated by the head of the small settlement for all your hard work, and he informs you that because of you, your exiled people will forever have a home. Par for the course, but then you turn to leave the building... and everyone you helped on your quests, from the injured soldier you helped clear a safe path back for to the elekk stablemaster you ran errands for, is there, applauding you - complete with one of the leaders of the dranei, who's come all the way from the Exodar to thank you personally. Manly Tears.
  • After the defeat of Deathbringer Saurfang in Icecrown Citadel, as an Alliance player, you get to see a man who, until this point, has had nothing but bile and hatred for the Horde (and, if you know his complete backstory, completely justified in those feelings), perform one of the most heartwarming gestures ever. Keep in mind, Deathbringer Saurfang was originally a Horde warrior that fought alongside one of the most famous Alliance paladins but was struck down re-animated by the Lich King himself. He also was the son of High Overlord Saurfang, who is more or less the leader of the Horde forces just under Thrall.

 High Overlord Saurfang says: Behind you lies the body of my only son. Nothing will keep me from him.

Muradin Bronzebeard says: He... I can't do it. Get back on your ship and we'll spare your life.

A mage portal from Stormwind appears between the two and Varian Wrynn and Jaina Proudmoore emerge

King Varian Wrynn says: Stand down, Muradin. Let a grieving father pass.

    • For this troper, a father as well, this gives me a new respect for Wrynn.
  • The achievement "What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been" involves completing other achievements associated with the various holidays throughout the year. The less-inclined often scoff at those who dedicate themselves to completing it, questioning why a badass adventurer would take time off from saving the world to participate in petty festivities. When you do complete it, however, Alexstrasza the Dragonqueen sends you the following letter:

 With the drums of war pounding in the distance, it is easy for the denizens of Azeroth to forget all that life has to offer.

 You, on the other hand, have maintained the dignity of the good races of Azeroth with your ability to remember what we fight for. To not celebrate our victories is another form of defeat. Remember that well, reveler.

 May others be inspired by your good cheer.

  -Alexstrasza the Life-Binder

 "Oh lad, how I missed those endless days in Lordaeron, sharpening your skill with this dull blade. Forging you into a weapon meant to withstand the demands of a great destiny. Heh! You sure put them skills to use, didn't you lad? If only I'd been able to stop you that day, how different things migha' been. If only I'da never discovered that accursed blade. Farewell, Arthas, my brother."

  • This piece of art from Blizzcon '09 that Chris Metzen had to stop to deliberately point out as his favorite. "For all the epic weapons, that's who those guys are."
  • From a development standpoint, the Shrine of the Fallen Warrior. Can also double as a Tear Jerker.
  • If you do the Battle of Darrowshire make sure you stay for a bit after you complete the quest.
    • Since Cataclysm, the quest line that sends you around the Eastern Plaguelands lets you choose an item that grants a perk while you're in the zone. Once you've finished Darrowshire, you can take Pamela's Doll ("Is someone following you?"). You don't get a bonus to damage, or money earned, or anything. But every now and then little Pamela appears and follows you around, keeping you company while you fish or visit Light's Hope Chapel.
  • Earlier on in the storyline, there's Thrall consoling High Overlord Saurfang after the Battle of Undercity. "I'm sorry about your boy."
  • "Will you help me find my dog?"
    • Oh god i agree....I still think the weapon he helped create should be a heirloom item.
  • Lorewise, the conversation that Lady Liandrin has with the Naaru in Shattrath City during the Burning Crusade. Her people were abandoned by the alliance, chose to follow a dark, demonic path and were turned into Complete Monster by Kael'thas who vampircally corrupted a Naaru to regain their connection to the Light. It's the beginning of the redemption of the Blood Elf People. It's revealed after killing the final boss of the Sunwell Plateau raid that this was all part of a major Xanatos Gambit by said Naaru, and a shard from his remains are used to reignite the Sunwell, this freeing the Blood Elf people from the need to feed on fel magic.
  • Children's Week. You get your very own orphans, Human and Draenei for Alliance, and Orc and Blood Elf for Horde, and you take the orphans to various places in Azeroth, Outlands, and/or Northrend. At the end of the questline, you return the orphan to his/her matron, the orphan gives you his/her pet and sends you a letter telling you how much fun they had and that you're his/her new big brother/sister.
  • In Cataclysm, the entire Western Plaguelands seems like it will be be one of these, especially for everyone who played through the Western Plaguelands up until the expansion comes out. There's something about seeing the WPL 80% cleansed of Scourge taint very relieving.
  • YMMV heavily (see the Headscratchers page for details), but the short questline Brothers In Death from the Death Knight starting area always tugs at my heartstrings a little bit. Death Knights were created to be cold-hearted killing machines, encouraged to fight to the death to test their strength and weed out the weak, operating on a pure survival-of-the-fittest mentality. If one gets captured, it's because they were weak and deserved to die. And yet, Thassarian still cares about Koltira enough to risk the Lich King's retribution by sending you to rescue him. Koltira is touched by the gesture, and then plays a distraction so you can get back safely. If you stick around by Thassarian for a bit after accepting the quest, he has a short chat with Bloodbane, where he comments that he doesn't give a damn about the Lich King, the Alliance, and the Horde, Koltira is his friend and that's all that matters.
    • Continues a bit at the end of the Andorhal chain for Alliance players. Even though the battle ends badly (see the above entry), Thassarian ends it by deciding to go to Undercity and confront Sylvanas by himself over what happened to Koltira, showing that he still cares deeply about his friend even though earlier in the chain they both acknowledged that they couldn't call each other brother anymore and would probably have to fight to the death one day soon.
  • In the latest Novel, Thrall meets an alternate version of his friend Taretha (in this timeline he still died as an infant). After proving his claims and asking her for help, he tells her what happened to her in the real timeline and how he blames himself for failing to save her. She tells him that it doesn't matter, because even though she died she ultimately made a difference for countless people.
  • In Northern Stranglethorn you end up having a baby Lashtail Raptor start following you around and thinking of you as it's parent. Naturally, there are quite a few quests with the hatchling. Cut to a few quests later, and the newly reborn Bloodlord Mandokir takes the baby away. After a failed quest to try and have it escape, Mandokir expresses that he will get the hatchling to forget all about you. Much later, inside Zul'Gurub, after slaying Mandokir, you see that the baby is still there, and still remembers you. The text says that while she is a little bigger and has a few scars, she is overjoyed that you actually came back for her. Upon rescuing her, you are allowed to keep her as a vanity pet, her title being <Playername>'aka.
    • "She recognizes you. Her father/mother has finally come back to save her."
    • Also, after rescuing Ohgan'aka, it is possible to see her traveling with you in Northern Stranlethorn as a npc, without the vanity pet tag.
  • It's a minor one, but this troper's heart was warmed by the baby Murlocs in Loch Modan. Especially when they're selected and do a baby version of the Murloc battle cry.
  • In Cataclysm, After having endured years of players not finding her, Mankrik finally reclaims his wife's body and gives her a proper burial.
  • Another quest new to cataclysm (and involving an old NPC) is a short quest line involving Azuregos. After being farmed for money and gear for years, his mind is beginning to fail him. After a lengthy chain started by Kalecgos, future Aspect of Magic players find the former resting in the spirit world with one of the countless and undoubtedly familiar Spirit healers that help adventurers resurrect when they die. He has discovered the name of this one and fallen in love with her. Azuregos proceeds to chew the player out, calling him/her out on the fact that the player in question probably doesn't even realise they HAVE names. The quest cropping up as a result of this is the player convincing the dragon that it can't last, and breaking both hearts. This eventually doubles as a heartbreaking moment when the player realises what he or she has done. While still a good action, a couple in love are still split up. This truly sinks in with the words of the Spirit healer as she resurrects you:

  Thank you, *race*. Ultimately we both knew this wouldn't last... You should return to your world now, it is not yet your time. Don't worry, *race*, this one's on me.

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