(Part 5 of 4 of a series of lore-related posts inspired by the Cataclysm trailer! Bonus round!)
Nestled on the borders of Silverpine Forest and the Alterac Mountains is a little secluded house with a watermelon garden, a rowboat, and some other innocuous features. But despite its innocent appearance, inside is a veritable NEST of intriguing clues, possibilities and theories.
First, some facts to establish a foundation:
Countless years ago, Neltharion the Earth-Warder was one of the noble Dragon Aspects. He was corrupted and turned to evil due to the maddening whispers of the Old Gods, who promised him power. He did a whole bunch of bad stuff and became known as Deathwing.
Many years later, he began using a human alter ego named Lord Daval Prestor, who claimed to be from Alterac. He also said he was distant cousin to Aliden Perenolde. This was never confirmed due to the ostracized status of the Perenoldes (see 2 paragraphs down). In the novel Day of the Dragon, King Terenas and the other Alliance leaders named Prestor the King of Alterac.
Princess Calia Menethil was betrothed to Lord Prestor at one point in time. As far as we know, the marriage never took place. She has been missing since her brother Arthas murdered everyone in Lordaeron and raised them as Scourge.
Aliden Perenolde is the son of Aiden Perenolde, the former ruler of Alterac who betrayed the Alliance to Doomhammer's orcs during the Second War. Since then, the Perenoldes have lost all official status and rank in the eyes of the Alliance. Aliden can still be found in Alterac, and bizarrely, has an orc companion named Nagaz.
Horde players have a quest to kill Aliden Perenolde and retrieve from his mistress Elysa a necklace formerly belonging to Thrall's childhood friend Taretha. When you kill him and speak to Elysa, she says "No, no please don't hurt me! I never meant your people any harm, he's had me against my will! Please... spare me!"
Big deal, right? This just further cements the fact that Aliden is a real douche...or does it? I originally viewed Deathwing's claim that he was Aliden's cousin as one of convenience, a lie that would lend his disguise an air of believability. But what if he actually WAS in allegiance with Perenolde back then?
Why would they partner up? Well, Perenolde has nothing. No kingdom, no rulership, nada. All taken away because of his father's actions. He probably holds a grudge against both the Alliance for revoking his kingdom, and the Horde for originally causing this whole mess. If Deathwing were to arrive on his doorstep with the lure of Alterac's thone, Aliden would find it hard to resist, especially if he's anything like his father, who was a coward and traitor.
Remember that in the Cataclysm trailer we see Deathwing burst out of his underground home where? In a rocky, craggy, snow-covered mountain range. How convenient that Alterac is largely unpopulated, so no one could stumble upon what Deathwing's up to. Largely unpopulated, that is, except for Perenolde's Syndicate agents!
Additionally, Deathwing's been pretty busy recently down in Deepholm getting big-ass metal plates welded to his scales. Maybe he simple wanted a partner (or more likely, a minion) to watch over "his" kingdom of Alterac while he was gone. Or maybe he needed a lackey to watch over...someone??
Yes, I am theorizing that Elysa is Princess Calia Menethil. Entrusted to Perenolde by Deathwing for safekeeping years ago, never let out of his sight, and terrified of the Horde? Keep in mind that Aliden probably HATES the Menethils, since Calia's father Terenas would have been the one to strip the Perenolde family of their rank.
Grimmtooth pointed out in a previous comment that he wasn't keen on the Deathwing/Calia idea since it seemed unlikely, because "to keep her at his side, Deathwing/Prestor would have to isolate her from the world completely." Exactly, Grimm. And this is how! In the hands of an isolated, obscure outcast who hates both the Horde and Alliance.
Wouldn't Alliance characters "recognize" Elysa as being Calia? Possibly...except Alliance characters never actually interact with her. This is getting into some quasi-roleplaying ground, but to Alliance players, Elysa basically doesn't exist. They only deal with Nagaz, and Horde deals with Aliden/Elysa.
Granted, these connections are all a little sketchy and fuzzy. So let's continue on.
The Alliance have a quest to kill Aliden's orc buddy Nagaz, Dark Council. Over this short questline, we learn that Nagaz is a member of the Argus Wake, a group with ties to the Shadow Council, and thus, to the Burning Legion. (Argus is the original homeworld of the Draenei, now occupied by the Eredar.)
A letter penned by Nagaz contains the following lines:
"And when this is done, the next stage of our plan may begin. With a nation of our own and a base of power in this region, we may then prepare the way for the Third Host. Soon, the Legion Lords will reward our works by raining fire from the skies once again!"
He's a fun guy, this Nagaz.
Well, as we've seen in the Cataclysm trailer, there will soon be fire literally raining from the skies, courtesy of Deathwing. And the Third Host? What new person, place or thing would be the third of its kind? The Old Gods, of course. We've only seen two so far - C'Thun and Yogg-Saron.
Now you might be saying, hold on, Nagaz was talking about the BURNING LEGION, not the Old Gods! And this is true. However, we've always viewed these two power groups as separate entities, but are they really?
According to WoWWiki the Legion wants to "undo the works of the titans and restore the universe back to its original, chaotic and disorganized state," and essentially destroy all life they encounter. They're bad dudes.
The Old Gods, on the other hand, once wreaked such havoc upon Azeroth that (once again, from WoWWiki): "the elements were thrown into such great disorder that Azeroth degenerated back to a state of primordial chaos, atrophy and destruction; a world where no life could ever form or exist." Eventually the Titans stepped in and smacked them down, imprisoning them underground, so the Old Gods aren't big Titans fans.
The Burning Legion and the Old Gods want the same things, they both love to corrupt and manipulate mortals into serving them and furthering their causes, and they've worked separately for years without any lasting success. What's the old saying - the enemy of my enemy is my friend?
Why haven't they allied before? Well, they probably never saw the need. But after the events of Wrath, two Old Gods are dead, and the Legion's strongest agent (the Lich King/Scourge) is also "dead." (Let's forget about Bolvar for now.) Both sides might look at their losing record and think "Hmm. This isn't working."
With Arthas dead, the Burning Legion's presence on Azeroth is severely weakened. They'll need some help to still continue their mission - after all, conquering the world is totally a group quest. As for the Old Gods, well, they've sorta been doing their own thing without any real cooperation or teamwork, and we've seen how that has turned out. But now THEY are the ones who have a mighty leader, a General, about to step up to the main stage. Wouldn't it be convenient if a ready, willing supply of foot soldiers and cannon fodder were to volunteer themselves?
And so everything comes together:
Deathwing is corrupted by the Old Gods, and still serves them in a quest for ultimate power.
Tired of losing, the Old Gods and the Burning Legion (aka Shadow Council, aka the Argus Wake) team up.
Deathwing enlists malcontent Aliden Perenolde to control and watch over Alterac, and entrusts Calia Menethil to him for safekeeping.
The Legion sends Argus Wake agent Nagaz to help Perenolde, as Deathwing's ambitions mutually coincide with their own. This also lets them keep an eye on things, and have someone ready "on hand" should any trouble arise.
When Deathwing is ready, he surfaces in the deserted Alterac Mountains, rains fire from the skies down upon Azeroth, uses Calia Menethil as a political weapon as previously discussed, and together with an army of demons, razes the world.
Finally, here's another final throwaway bit of conspiracy speculation. Nagaz's presence there in Perenolde's house has always struck me as strange. It just seemed so...weird and out of place.
Well, at Blizzcon 2010, Chris Metzen revealed the name of the next Old God:
Pretty similar names...just saying!