#91 – “DeBriefings in a Twist”

Arch Druid Fandral Staghelm. I’d say he’s an interesting character, but I actually don’t find him to be one – he has potential to be interesting but I haven’t really seen that actually put to use. There’s a whole lot of insinuations floating around him in various quests and whatnot, but none of them are ever really picked up on, and I don’t really buy into the idea that the only thing about him is that he’s on a thousand year old angst fit over the gruesome death of his son.

That said, I don’t mind putting him to use to create interesting situations, especially if it makes him seem more interesting a character to me. I even went so far as to rig him so I could get some more movement and poseability out of him for it; of course, it’s also the quickest and dirtiest rig I’ve ever done, so his mobility is.. limited, at best. He can point accusingly, that’s a start.


21 Responses to “#91 – “DeBriefings in a Twist””

  1. 1 Elveswarrior
    March 8, 2009 at 21:38

    strange enough that is exactly how i imagen the arch druid. now we just need him to find out that hani is a former sentinel under the command of tyrande and hell will be lose :)

    on another note is that the lost left leg of nila i see in first picture? XD

  2. 2 Yerdiss
    March 8, 2009 at 22:33

    Heh, I was all like “Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear”

  3. 3 Nhani
    March 8, 2009 at 22:58

    And we’ve only gotten started.. *ahem*

    Yes, that’s the long-lost left leg – I specifically put it in mind this time around by chanting “I will not put the right leg first, I will not put the right leg first.”

  4. 4 Moltrazahn
    March 8, 2009 at 23:00

    … Oh fu#k… Tiny is so … Uhm.. whats the word.
    At any rate… I cant even … Tell you what, ill just Qoute the above: “Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear”

  5. 5 Elveswarrior
    March 8, 2009 at 23:17

    what nila needs is a hakama ! :D when standing still it roughly looks the same as the “long skirt” she got atm but it contains legs so you can run or kick or whatever ^^

  6. 6 Ellessar
    March 9, 2009 at 01:08

    Yeah I ahree there, he has the potential to make a few great lore things around that fandral staghelm, too bad Blizz never picked up on it really.

    Keep up the good work though :)

  7. 7 Moltrazahn
    March 10, 2009 at 00:37

    Well, lorewise, we know Staghelm is like he is becauss he saw his son get torn in half during the war of the shifting sands (Ahn Quraj). And ever since then has been a weee bit tipsy, however how in the world he became the new arch druid (or even candidate for it) is beyond me. Oddly enough, i dont think his agenda is evil as such, i think he really does take his job seriously. However i guess he just dig into his job not to face the reality of things… That he is a sad, SAD angry, Bitter, Grumpy, Sadistic, old Elf…. An old elf who likes showing his upper body.

    I wonder what would happen if Tiny started talking about his son… i think he would eat her, no shapeshifting, just eat her *nods* … so i hope she dosent know about his son :P

  8. 8 Nhani
    March 10, 2009 at 02:12

    To be honest, I think I liked Staghelm better as a character before we were told about his son – at that point I could picture that while he likely always was arrogant, atleast he was largely in tune the natural world at large before the whole loss of immortality bit and only recently ‘snapped’, explaining how he gained his rank and why no one seems to have objected.

    With that in mind, I felt that adding the whole “oh he’s just upset about the death of his son a thousand years ago.” seemed a bit like weakening the characterization and making a whole lot more shallow. Especially with how a whole lot of nature elementals themselves express how Staghelm has Got It Wrong(tm) or is someone where Balance has Failed(tm) – both very serious allegations towards someone who somehow still got shunted into the position of Arch Druid.

    I can’t shake the feeling that somehow Staghelm was intended as an anchor for the whole “We lost our immortality D;” hook with the Night elves (which I think had potential), but that for some reason that hook ended up being seriously downplayed and underused to the point where it seems almost like a mention-once-and-then-forget thing, leaving Staghelm similarely underused and underdeveloped. The Wildstorm comic seems to involve him from time to time, but I’m not exactly an avid reader of it, so I’ve no idea where they’re headed with him, if anywhere.

    Still, all of the above nonwithstanding, I’m putting some effort into happily skirting around the topic of why and just make the most of his behaviour. In the end, he was brought by for a very specific reason ;)

  9. 9 Moltrazahn
    March 10, 2009 at 07:33


    WEll! im sold, let it rip Nhani :P

  10. 10 Nhani
    March 10, 2009 at 09:26

    *cracks knuckles*

  11. 11 Derrael
    March 10, 2009 at 10:58

    Oh dear.

    I’m both interested and terrified to see how this goes on from here.

  12. 12 Weertangel
    March 10, 2009 at 19:38

    Well, about staghelm, let me give u the updated info:First he’s an night elf supremesist, witch means he thinks night elves are better then everyone,and he himself is better then the night elves… 2nd he got to be the current Archdruid couse Malfurion got into a coma under misterious surcumstances(some suspect he has something to do with that) Malfurion was also against creating a 2nd world tree,since Staghelm thought the night elves would get their imortality back. but after Malfurion got into the coma, there was nobody left to object.. and it has’t worked out as he thought it would,ad to that the signs of corruption that have been spotted the only way it is tought to solve both things is to get the blessing of the 3 dragon aspects that blessed Nordrassil 10.000 years ago, or at least of 1 of them.

    For the rest, nice page! really like the snarl staghelm wears in the last panel :)

  13. 13 Nhani
    March 10, 2009 at 20:28

    Well that’s the whole problem right there – why was he second in line? How can someone so utterly out of tune with the natural world be the next runner up for the position of arch druid? Especially when at odds with Keeper Remulos, presently the most prominent (and with Zaetar dead, I’d believe senior) son of Cenarius?

    If even a significant portion of the druids themselves seem to be disapproving and even openly opposed to him, what actually put him in that position? Because it clearly wasn’t his attunement to nature. And, seeing how the Cenarion Circle seems to fall far more in line with Keeper Remulos and his majordomo, is Staghelm anything but a strawman?

    I know he pops up in places in the Wildstorm comic, so with my not reading it I’d love to hear about whether they expand upon him any or not. Becuase, to reiterate what I said earlier, Fandral Staghelm really strikes me as a character they had intended to be very important in a select few plot hooks that they then almost entirely forgot once out of Teldrassil. There was even the whole Morrowgrain trail which was put to end very abruptly and was later quietly waved away with the Ahn’Qiraji content patch by having a tauren druid mumble something about Morrowgrain shipments coming under attack.

    It doesn’t add up. I can see what archetypes he’s constructed out of, I can see a large heap of plot hooks embedded in him for development.. but it doesn’t really seem to go anywhere. To me he seems a bit like Uldum (that titan ruin in Tanaris) – a trail that’s meant to lead somewhere but was then given a back seat for other events.

  14. 14 Elveswarrior
    March 10, 2009 at 20:35

    blizz “dropped” a few interesting questline from WoW classic :( dunno if you have done the sunken temple but there is a quest line with the green dragons soul in the trinket that says soemthing about you having to choose sides eventually but ends up just before where i think we’d have to make the choice and it never continued :(

  15. 15 Nhani
    March 10, 2009 at 20:50

    They did, Uldum is another noteworthy example. That said.. they did pick up the parts with Eranikus, sortof, in the Ahn’Qiraji patch – the green dragon whose soul you try to set free ends up being the corrupted dragon sent to attack Moonglade in an event part of forging the Ahn’Qiraji key quest line. Nevermind that the whole Missing Diplomat line which was left hanging for so long was finally mopped up with the Wildstorm comics getting to address the matter of Varian Wrynn and the rest of the quest line finally getting put into the game as a result.

    For Staghelm, I’d admit to randomly hoping that Blizzard will take up his case further, either in the Wildstorm comics or with the Emerald Nightmare plot which has been brewing since long but has yet to be truly dweleved into. Maybe there’ll be some manner of mention in that upcomming Stormrage novel?

  16. 16 Weertangel
    March 11, 2009 at 19:54

    Well, i don’t follow the wildstorm comic since it is’t available here in the netherlands,but conserning Staghelm, i would’t say he’s disconnected with nature, just uses it for his own ends,for the rest there’s not much known about him, but i would’t be suprised if the next expansion brings ppl to the emerald dream, where one needs to fight the nightmare there, even picked up something that Cenarius(u know, the “dead”demigod) and Malfurion are battling it there,maybe they do something then with the whole “dragons of nightmare”thing that they added some years ago, since it now only are some boss mobs with no quests attached to them as far as i know.

    But hey, maybe something u can use in the comic? ;)

  17. 17 Nhani
    March 11, 2009 at 20:22

    If you mean the ones in Ashenvale, Duskwood, Feralas and Hinterlands (forgot their names now), then they’re actually used in the Ahn’Qiraji quest line – you need something from all of them. Additionally, they also drop a Nightmare Engulfed Object which turns out to be Malfurion’s Signet Ring, carrying a message to Remulos.

    As for nature, using it for his own ends is what I’d very much call out of touch with it. Ignoring for a moment the several nature spirits (Onu, for example) that remark on Staghelm being unsuitable, the way he’s acting it’s almost like they took a (pre-redemption) Blood Knight to put in charge of the Cathedral of Light.

    So far, I’m rather hesistant to develop on either Staghelm or the Emerald Nightmare in a Beyond the Tree setting without actually knowing what’s going on – I don’t mind tweaking or downright altering Warcraft continuity for my own purposes, but when changing something I already know how it works, I can better take repercussions into account. I can theorycraft up a whole lot of ideas what’s going on with Staghelm, but I’m concerned about undertaking a change that might end up needing a retcon later to be assimilated with other plot developments.

  18. 18 Weertangel
    March 14, 2009 at 16:07

    Just remember that this is YOUR comic, u can take a part of the wow tales and make your own storyline in what U think might happen(or has happend) just like those ppl who made Tales of the Past 1 2 and 3 machinima movies made their own version of what happend with the Ashbringer before Wotlk came out, u can do something similar, and ppl would love u for it! :)

  19. October 5, 2009 at 02:09

    Just noticed something: “Paladin Delgren believes one of our own, Athrikus Narassin, is poised to cause great harm on our lands.”

    NOTHING has ever come of this warning. But then, Rei and Hani don’t have to do everything.

    • 20 Nhani
      October 5, 2009 at 10:05

      Well, maybe Staghelm was right and Delgren was simply wrong – then again, what if he wasn’t? We’ve seen nothing of Kalimdor since we left it – it could be consumed by elemental fires by now and we wouldn’t know; but then again, we don’t know what kind of timeframe this supposed “great harm” is meant to be on either, or if it’s even real.

      The trail went cold in Stormwind; the question there is was Narassin merely a wild goose chase that in a roundabout way caused their exile, or an actual danger that they lost sight of.

  20. 21 BrokeWarlock
    July 18, 2011 at 01:38

    Kinda weird to read this after 4.2 actually used Fandral for something big. I’m hoping that somewhere in the questline they put in to explain Fandral’s past, we’ll learn the story of his rise… alas, that’ll have to wait a few more days until somebody gets far enough to see it.

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