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Arlee in Azeroth: A Second Look at the Kyrians

When we got our first glimpse of the Kyrians, they struck me as kind of terrifying. Their whole thing of blindly following the one path of what they were supposed to do didn’t go down well. Playing through the Bastion storyline didn’t help either. I understood why they were all forcing them to give up their memories, but it still seemed awful. A big part of who a person is is based on their memories and experiences, so forcing people to give that up seemed awful. However, after the 9.1 storyline and last playthrough of the Kyrian Pact campaign, I think I judged it prematurely.

The first doubts about the functioning of the Kyrians were sown with the short film Bastian Afterlives. It’s brilliantly done but also made me quite angry. The first concern is when Devos talks to Thenios and wonders if Uther was accidentally sent to Bastion. The way Thenios reacts makes it seem like the Kyrian doesn’t tolerate or even consider thoughts of questions; any doubt must always be crushed. It seemed so dictatorial. Of course, Devos was the epitome of loyalty and tasked with guiding anyone who had gone astray back to the path. So that’s part of it.

Things got even worse when Devos took her concerns to Kyrestia. No one believed that anything could ever escape from the Maw or affect a mortal world, but it would have been easy for any of them to confirm what Devos had said. As she touched Uther’s wound, she saw a vision of Uther’s final moments. She specifically mentions the runes on Arthas’ blade when speaking to the Council, making it appear as if she saw the memory clip shown to us. They could even have asked the Kyrian who carried Uther to the Shadowlands what they saw and experienced as they relived Uther’s final moments. Instead, Kyrestia rebukes Devos and urges her to stay in her own lane.

Even if I were to assume that Kyrestia took what Devos said to heart and at least relayed the information to the other Eternals, this is terrible leadership. I would have thought that the possibility of the Maw’s influence being felt in the mortal realm would be an enormous matter, warranting a thorough investigation, if nothing else, to at least understand why Devos would believe such a thing. Unfortunately, this type of response is entirely believable, as people, especially those in power, often have difficulty accepting things that directly contradict their own deeply held beliefs. In this case, nothing can escape the gullet.

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When I got to the point where I had played through the storyline in Bastion, things didn’t improve much. I really liked Kleia as she seemed to pick things up pretty quickly and seemed like someone who cared about doing the right thing instead of what she should be doing. That said, the overall storyline in Bastion didn’t do much to make me feel better about the Kyrian overall. Especially since most of the apostates seemed to want the leadership to recognize the path’s shortcomings. So, happily, I ignored as much of the Kyrians as possible and set out with the arguably best bond, Night Fae.

It wasn’t until the storyline for 9.1 surfaced that I began to reconsider my views on the Kyrian. The storyline with Uther in particular did a lot to change things. His full story relives his memories and understanding of how he let Arthas down and how that affected everything that happened. More than that, I was really impressed by the way the Kyrian treated him, someone who had supported the greatest uprising they had ever had. They didn’t seem interested in punishing him, just seeing what could be learned from him.

Adrestes took these lessons directly from Uther and pointed out to Kyrestia that loyalty without compassion is what tore the Kyrian apart in the first place. That devotion would set a better example than loyalty. Amazingly, this time Kyrestia listened rather than reacted angrily. She made the same observation that Uther had made regarding Arthas, but for her it was the way she dealt with Devos. That reaction, and the decision to have a Paragon of Devotion instead of Loyalty, initially made me think that maybe the Kyrians weren’t quite as bad as I initially thought. It’s a big deal to show compassion to your enemies and also to be able to spot mistakes and try to correct them. Because of this, Kyrian now has the choice of losing her memories or keeping them.

I’ve been working on leveling and equipping my Brewmaster Monk for the past few weeks. Since Kyrian is the best all-around choice for the brewmaster, I’ve decided to join this alliance. I had already heard about most of the alliance campaigns. For example, I knew Kleia was made Ascended and the Crest of Ascension was destroyed. It was interesting to see that all alliances had to give something to get the Crest of Ascension working again, which seems to be a recurring theme shadowlands. There was one important part of the Kyrian bond that I wasn’t aware of; like Uther before 9.1. came under Kyrian care.

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I mostly assumed he was somehow captured when the Forsaken attacked, which was kind of correct. What I hadn’t realized before was that Kleia had saved him from Lysonia. Not only that, she also let him go on his own afterwards. This is an amazingly surprising decision for someone who would be considered a prisoner in any other situation. This decision also paid off when the Forsworn attacked at the end of the campaign. It was undoubtedly the right choice in this situation, but I was very surprised.

I still think the Kyrians were pretty suspicious when the expansion started. Having an epitome of loyalty looking after anyone who challenges the path is quite draconian. But the lessons they learned from the events shadowlands weren’t all “other people have done terrible things, but we’re fine.” Instead, they looked at where they could have made better decisions, but failed and adjusted accordingly. Having experienced the whole story, I’m pretty lucky to be a Kyrian.

https://www.mmorpg.com/columns/arlee-in-azeroth-taking-a-second-look-at-the-kyrian-2000125084 Arlee in Azeroth: A Second Look at the Kyrians

Fry Electronics Team

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