This post contains possible spoilers about the new Legendary daggers, the questline, the new 4.3 5-man instances, the purified Black Dragon egg, and whatever else.
We know a few things about the new Rogue Legendary daggers - they're called the Fangs of the Father, and they're connected to the purified Black Dragon egg that we saved with Rhea in the Badlands. That's it! Who is this Father? And what's the connection between him, the purified egg, and Deathwing?
The obvious father reference would be to Deathwing, the "father" of the Black Dragonflight, and "father" to many other twisted experimental dragons...but who else could it be? There's a number of interesting possibilities, actually.
Here's some theories. They're not predictions, mind you - just ideas that I think could work and be interesting.
When I first heard "Fangs of the Father", I immediately thought Deathwing. I then dismissed this as being the standard, unimaginative reaction, and began entertaining some farfetched thoughts of the daggers being related to Archbishop Benedictus, a different type of father. It would make for an interesting twist if Benedictus betrayed humanity, only to reveal that it was actually a double-double-cross and he was still on our side after all, and had only signed up with Deathwing to get close or gather crucial information. Furthermore, Deathwing probably wouldn't consider Benedictus much of a threat - an old man, weak, easily dispatched. After all, he's only a human, and a cowardly one at that, since he betrayed his own people.
Of course, if this was all an act so that the canny Benedictus would be able to learn of/expose/exploit some secret weakness in Deathwing's power, culminating in the creation of powerful Aspect of Death-slaying weapons, it would be a pretty awesome twist. The "traitor" of Stormwind would redeem himself, and prove to the arrogant Deathwing that even a weak, harmless-looking mortal could secretly have "fangs" of his own.
However, it probably wouldn't be very satisfying to have Benedictus turn villain in what is supposed to be a shocking betrayal, only to have him flip back to being a good guy, all in one content patch. It would be pretty shoddy storytelling, actually. Furthermore, this would be some pretty serious James Bond action - I don't know if Benedictus is really the super-spy double agent type.
The Surrogate Father
What else could the "Father" refer to? Well, this hatchling is being raised in secret, away from Deathwing's notice - essentially an orphan. I would assume it's being raised at the Caverns of Time, since that's basically the only place on Azeroth where it could be safely hidden away. (Also, there's gotta be some kind of time hijinks involved - I mean, I can't have been that long in Azeroth time since Rhea's quest in the Badlands.)
So who is looking after the egg? Is it being raised by a surrogate father? Such as a member of the Red, Bronze or Green flights? Maybe the pure Black Dragon has come to regard this adoptive guardian as its actual father. If something happened to this father figure - maybe it gets called to wage war against the Black flight, or perhaps it is injured/killed protecting the youth from Deathwing's agents - it would make for a powerful motivating factor. After all, if Disney has taught us anything, NOTHING BUILDS CHARACTER LIKE HORRIBLE TRAGEDY.
In fact, exposure to the evil ways of the Black Dragonflight so early on in the young dragon's life might really shape and form the basis of its personality and morals. It might be bitter about being kept away from its kin, and resent the other flights for keeping it away from other black dragons, not truly understanding what terrible be its siblings had become until it witnessed their savagery and malice firsthand.
It would also be interesting if the egg's surrogate father wasn't a dragon at all, but a mortal! Maybe one of the guys hanging out at the Caverns of Time, such as Bortega, Galgrom or Alexston Chrome (pictured above). It would actually make a lot of sense, if the Flights wanted to make sure this dragon didn't grow up to be like Deathwing - being dependent on a mortal being might instill a sense of humility and respect for non-dragon lives, traits Deathwing clearly does not possess.
It would be even better if the young dragon was grumpy and cranky about being forced to live with and obey a "mere" mortal, who it viewed as an inferior creature...until said mortal bravely saved the dragon's life, of course. Possibly through some heroic sacrifice. And not because of any obligation to the Dragonflights, or because the uncorrupted dragon was a weapon to be used against Deathwing...but because of love. Because the mortal man viewed the dragon as his son/daughter. Because that is what a parent would do for their child.
/INSERT ALL THE TEARS, EVER
An Unknown Black Dragon
What DO we know about this egg's heritage, anyway? We know its mother was Nyxondra, but we never really learn who the father is. Is it Deathwing? Or is it some other male Black Dragon? Normally I would assume it was some generic dragon, but then again, Deathwing is exactly the type of sicko who would designate himself as the SOLE father of his flight, with a harem of lady dragons. :| So who knows.
In a way, I hope it's NOT Deathwing - that Nyxondra's mate was actually just a normal dragon. Why? Because it'd be much more interesting! Would this unnamed male dragon feel any kinship towards its purified child? Probably not...but then again, look at Sartharion - not all Black Dragons are vile and evil. Some of them feel genuine love and compassion - for their own kind, if nothing else. A storyline involving the angry/reluctant/conflicted father could be really gripping, and potentially VERY sad and/or tragic.
Heck, even if the father disowned the child, it could make for a very emotional storyline! Can't you picture it? The father learns that its child has survived, but instead of shock and confusion, responds with hatred and disgust at its "traitor" child, calling it worthless, weak, tainted by the diseases of compassion and love, etc. To the corrupted Black flight, I'm sure a purified hatchling WOULD seem like an abomination, a monster...or perhaps secretly, an agonizing reminder of what they used to be and cannot ever be again.
Then again, maybe the father dragon wouldn't even care about its wayward son - maybe it would be too intent on avenging his fallen mate. Don't forget, Nyxondra WAS treated pretty poorly by Rhea, and later on, even screams out that her and her kin will have vengeance.
Nyxondra yells: My Kin won't forget what you've done! We will rage, mortals!
In any case, perhaps the youth would be heartbroken...but then again, it might also be motivated/spurred on by the vicious rejection to prove its father wrong and make a difference. As we all know, there's little in the world that motivates someone - especially a YOUNG someone - like a burning desire to prove your worth, and to prove your parents wrong. And what a sense of poetic justice, if we players helped the young dragon mature and overcome its self-doubt, maybe even by striking back directly at its cruel father!
If the father WAS an ordinary dragon, it could tie in very nicely with the Legendary Daggers and how personally motivated the pure young dragon might feel about taking down Deathwing. There would be a lot of emotion boiling around inside it - anger, sorrow, feelings of vengeance, feelings of justice, etc. The young dragon might want to avenge its corrupted father, or it might want to redeem its father's twisted soul. Perhaps it might even create the daggers from its fallen father's fangs/essence. The possibilities are endless!
Sadly, I feel these potential hooks would all be lost if the father was Deathwing. With him as the father, I doubt there would be the strong sense of emotional conflict or compassion. He's not an individual who is making difficult decisions for the good of his people (Kael'thas) or evokes a sense of sympathy (Illidan). Deathwing is just...a brute. A mindless, stomping, Godzilla-esque monster. You don't feel sorry for him. You COULD (Buglamp wrote a nice post about how Deathwing is actually a tragic figure) but Blizzard hasn't really ever given us much in-game incentive to ever regard him as anything other than a big bully.
There is a strong argument that Deathwing is NOT the father, actually. Sintharia, also known as Sinestra, was known as the only female Black Dragon to survive mating with their monstrous, mutated leader. Does this mean that Deathwing cannot be the egg's father? Not necessarily. This information about Sinestra is some years old - it's possibly he's learned how to knock claws with his consorts without horribly killing them.
Anyway, if Deathwing DOES end up being the father, it'll be a rather one-dimensional display of outrage, d-peen (dragon) and machismo. In other words...boring.
So these were my thoughts/idle speculations about the Fangs of the Father. At least, they were until Blizzard released a preview for them today, adding some juicy hints and bits of information to get me salivating all over again!
For one thing, we now know the name and human appearance of the purified young dragon: Wrathion.
The Black Prince
This kid looks BAD. ASS.
(It's kind of a terrible and cheesy name. But whatever.)
The preview starts with a very interesting quote from the "Black Prince" himself...one that hints at a lot of complexity in his storyline, already.
"They wanted to hold me, to keep watch over me – a prisoner in all but name. But I will NOT be held accountable for the sins of my father. My destiny will be my own."- Wrathion, the Black Prince
Okay, so the kid's already chafing a bit under the watchful, overprotective - and probably suspicious - eyes of his guardians. And he's already starting to feel a little surly and rebellious towards them. He's defiant and independent, which are interesting traits.
He does say that he won't be held accountable for the sins of his father, so it seems to be implied that Deathwing is his daddy. This COULD, however, be a figure of speech - that he won't be judged because of the terrible actions of his predecessors, or that Deathwing is the proverbial "father" of the Black Dragonflight. Then again, his father might just be a normal Black Dragon, and Wrathion might simply be saying that whatever evil his father did shouldn't fall upon his shoulders.
We also learn that the Fangs of the Father storyline will involve a LOT of shady business, as suitable for rogues. The preview mentions burglary, intrigue, ASSASSINATION, etc, and slyly teases us that Wrathion might have a secret agenda. That there will be a "shocking revelation" at the end of the storyline.
I'll be honest. I love it. Even though I wrote earlier that Wrathion could, under the right circumstances, become this champion of virtue, striking back at his corrupt kin to redeem the flight, I REALLY like the idea of this cranky brat rebelling against his wards. It's totally believable, too - if you were a Red Dragon, you'd probably be extremely wary and suspicious of him simply because of his heritage, even though you KNOW he's free of any Old God corruption. And an upbringing defined by paranoia and distrust is bound to make a young soul bitter and rather jaded, let alone a young dragon being forced to live in hiding, whose MOTHER WAS MURDERED and whose guardians are devoted to killing the rest of his kin. Yeah, I could definitely see some resentment forming here.
The Red Dragons went through so much effort to procure a pure egg to redeem the Black Dragonflight, but judging from Wrathion's statement, it seems like they may have ruined everything by being overprotective and smothering; by acting sanctimonious and judgmental towards the completely-innocent youth; and by essentially raising him as a prisoner. All "for his own good," I'm sure. There's some twisted, sad irony here.
Remember, the Bronze Dragonflight has a bad habit of acting first, asking questions later,
something Salandria learns annually during Orphan's Week.
Also, Wrathion's bad attitude might finally answer why this Legendary is a ROGUE exclusive! I always wondered what the connection was between the pure egg, Deathwing, and these powerful daggers. Maybe Wrathion is going to work with Rogues and only Rogues because he needs their unique skills? That is, he needs allies who can work without drawing the attention of his jailers (I mean, guardians) and who can infiltrate and break into fortified locations? Allies who don't get all nervous and hesitant about things like "morals" or "ethics" or "murder"?
I think I like this kid already.
To make matters even BETTER, Wrathion's story and the Fangs of the Father also tie in with Ravenholdt, infamous estate of assassins, thieves and brigands. Not only is this awesome - RAVENHOLDT! - but it's also intriguing. It's so random...why involve this talented but obscure group of rogues? Why would Wrathion be interested or associated with them?
Well, remember that Ravenholdt is the sworn enemy of the Syndicate, a faction of Eastern Kingdoms criminals led by Aliden Perenolde. A man who Deathwing - when he was disguised as the human diplomat Daval Prestor - claimed was his cousin. (Also a man who I've ranted about previously as being the jailer of Calia Menethil, but if you're interested in that theory you can read it in my original post.)
Is this going to end up with Ravenholdt, representing Wrathion, finally facing off against the Syndicate, representing Deathwing? I have to admit, I have a hilarious mental image of two gangs lining up against each other, Warriors-style, and I'm not at all opposed to this idea.
Finally, it's worth noting that that Wrathion has clearly aged some since we last saw him (where he was an EGG). There has to be some timestream manipulation at work here. Maybe he was raised in some distant time period for a number of years, and now that he has reached adolescence, has been brought back? It seems...a bit odd, to bring him back while he's still a petulant kid, but maybe he insisted.
Well, off the top of my head, when I think "shocking revelation" and "time-traveling upstart youth," there's a LOT of potential. Maybe the big twist is that something in WoW, something that's always been there or that we've taken for granted all this time, was actually the result of Wrathion messing around back in the distant past? Sure, WE know that we're not supposed to interfere with the timeline, that it's crucial we leave past events unchanged - but this is a CHILD. An angry, rebellious child, who would probably ignore the lectures and warnings coming from his Bronze Dragonflight mentors, who he likely sees as overbearing and discriminatory.
"Wrathion, go to your room, eat your vegetables, and don't destroy the timeline."
I mean, in his situation, if he thought he had a chance to change time and save his entire flight from becoming corrupted and evil, he'd probably throw caution to the wind and just act! Such as confronting Neltharion before he fell under the sway of the Old Gods. Or even preemptively confronting the Old Gods themselves, bravely - but naively - trying to stop their evil from ever latching onto the Earth Warder.
A young, foolish and innocent Black Dragon single-handedly going up to an Old God and telling it "Hey dude, leave my dad alone!" while shaking its tiny black-scaled fist. I'm sure that would go well.
Regardless of what Blizzard has planned for Wrathion, I will be following his tale - and that of the Legendary daggers - very closely. I am so jealous of Rogues right now!