World of Warcraft’s Shadowlands expansion asks players to choose between one of four Covenants, each with its own unique theme, storylines, and rewards to be earned. Rather than deal with the FOMO associated with picking only one of the four, I’ve chosen to play four characters at once, dammit.
This is not how I normally play through a World of Warcraft expansion. I pick a single character to focus on, a choice made in the weeks leading up to an expansion’s release. For recent expansions I’ve been alternating between playing Alliance and Horde, going through as one faction first, then swapping to a character of the opposing faction to experience the other side of the story.
Shadowlands is different. For one, there’s only one side of the story this time around. Where the previous expansion, Battle for Azeroth, presented very different campaigns for the warring factions, Shadowlands unites all of Azeroth in a fight to preserve the balance between life and death. Both sides get the same quests in the same zones. My characters aren’t fighting for Alliance or Horde, they’re fighting for life itself.
Okay, what they’re really fighting for is all the themed goodies that come their way as part of the Night Fae, Kyrians, Necrolords, or Venthyr. Up for grabs are unique mounts, pets, armor, weapons, and more. Check out what I can earn as a member of the Night Fae Covenant. Look at that lovely neon pastel mount. The lil pet! They’ve got backpacks with bugs on them, which is so good. As an added bonus, folks who choose the Night Fae get the ability to transform into a glowing blue critter.
The Night Fae were my first choice, for obvious reasons, but it was not an easy decision by any means. Each Covenant has its own charm. The Necrolords can create their own undead constructs. Venthyr can host fancy dinner parties and roleplay as vampires. The angelic Kyrian get to go door-to-door dressed in their Sunday finest, handing out literature about their totally legit afterlife cult. As I wandered the shadowlands as my Night Fae rogue, completing world quests to earn faction toward faerie rewards, I couldn’t stop thinking about the vampire, necromancer, and cultist rewards.
Welp, thanks to the game’s Threads of Fate system, which allows players to skip the story and go directly to choosing a Covenant once they’ve completed it the first time, I now have spies in every Shadowlands organization.
In the Night Fae we have Quality, a human rogue dedicated to getting one of those backpacks with the bugs on it. She’s currently camped at the Command Table in the Heart of the Forest, waiting to see if the companions she’s sent on timed missions have managed to survive their latest adventure.
In the Necrolords’ camp I’ve planted Gerbil, my worgen druid. Why would a druid, dedicated to nature, pledge herself to a Covenant dedicated to spreading plague and animating dead bodies? I dunno, maybe she’s hungry, she is part dog.
My gnome warlock, Murlock, has pledged herself to the Venthyr, lured by their air of aristocracy and evil. Perhaps she fancies herself the future Lady Murlock. Actually, all she wants is the shoulder wings from the Covenant armor set.
Finally we have Salisbury, a tauren paladin I’d forgotten I’d made. Dressed in an armor outfit from two expansions’ past, Salisbury has been sacrificed to the Kyrians of Bastion. Look at her big dumb cow face. She’ll never figure out they’re a cult until it’s far too late.
That’s my four-character World of Warcraft: Shadowlands team, assembled to ensure that I never feel as if I am missing out on Covenant-specific goodies and gear. Kudos to Blizzard’s hardworking developers for getting me all mixed up in this nonsense again.