Hearthstone’s “Book of Heroes” sets out to tell the backstories of the basic class heroes, following them through their lives as they grow and change to become the version of themselves that we see depicted in their character art. This isn’t always easy, however, since the format of a Hearthstone fight isn’t always the most ideal way to communicate story beats in a tale told through multiple forms of media for years. Valeera's chapter attempts to lay out the story of how she became one of the most skilled rogues in Azeroth, and to help fill in the blanks, here are the Missing Pages from Valeera Sanguinar’s story in the Book of Heroes.
Chapter 1: Strangers in Arms
Valeera’s family was killed by bandits when she was young, driving her to the life of a thief in order to survive. Her people, the Blood Elves, were in sad shape at the time, having lost their home, much of their population, and their source of magic known as the Sunwell to the forces of The Lich King. Additionaly, Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider had left the Alliance after facing horrible mistreatment from a racist and incompetent human general named Garithos and blood elves were without allies.
One day when trying to steal a shaman's talisman, she was caught and jailed by the Horde, but managed to attract the attention of an arena promoter. While she had developed an escape plan, it was thwarted by her being sold to Rehgar Earthfury for his gladiatorial team with an orc named Bloodeye Redfist and the night elf Broll Bearmantle.
Bloodeye was killed shortly after, however, leaving Rehgar with an empty space to fill in his team. This replacement came in the form of a human he found washed up on the shore who also happened to have lost his memory. Neither he nor anyone else knew that he was actually King Varian Wrynn, or at least half of him. Through a powerful spell, the black dragon Onyxia had split him into two separate people. One of them was weak-willed and used by the dragon as her puppet ruler while she took control of the kingdom. The other half embodied Varian’s strength and willpower, and was intended to be killed, but managed to escape and fell into the sea.
The three new gladiators were transported to Orgrimmar for training, but Broll and Valeera frequently fell to arguments and blows over the differences between the two elf races. Still, as they trained and fought together, the three learned to depend on each other.
Eventually the team was taken to fight in gladiatorial contests in Dire Maul and emerged the tournament’s victors. The fight also gave Varian a new name by the crowd, Lo'Gosh , orcish for "Ghost Wolf” after his ferocious fighting skills.
Chapter 2: A Test of Will
In spite of them winning the Dire Maul gladiatorial contests, Rehgar broke up the team when he sold Valeera to Helka Grimtotem, the niece of Magatha Grimtotem and a gladiator mistress, for 2000 gold. Helka wanted Valeera to lead an all-female gladiator team, but the elf managed to escape after they set out for an exhibition game by stealing a wyvern named Bristlefur. Meanwhile, Broll and Lo'Gosh (Varian) had escaped from Rehgar Earthfury after Varian saw a vision that hinted to his past in the tauren city of Thunder Bluff, and Valeera searched the continent looking for them, missing her old teammates.
Chapter 3: Entangled Secrets
The black dragon Onyxia was currently ruling Stormwind by using the submissive version of Varian she had split as a puppet who acted frivolously and bowed to her every wish as she was disguised as the lovely noblewoman, Katrana Prestor and did everything she could to sabotage the Alliance from within to weaken and prevent it from being a threat to the ambitions of the black dragons. Upon learning of the gladiator Lo’Gosh, and suspecting who he really was, she sent an assassin to kill him on the road. As luck would have it, this was the exact moment Valeera finally caught up with her friends. Discovering the assassin, she followed and caught him off guard, killing him with the aid of beasts in the area. She was exhausted from the fight, but was rescued by Aegwynn, the Guardian, Medivh’s mother and the current councilor to Jaina Proudmoore in the city of Theramore.
Chapter 4: Cursed
Aegwynn reunited Valeera with Broll and Lo'Gosh, now fully revealed as the lost king of Stormwind and determined to return to claim his rightful throne from the usurper. As they were currently in Jaina’s city of Theramore on the continent of Kalimdor, this required a long sea voyage to the Eastern Kingdoms. On this voyage, the ship was attacked by the naga, which the three friends helped to fight off. However, during the fight, Valeera absorbed the arcane energies of a Naga sea witch's trident, triggering her addiction to mana. Addiction to magical energy had long been a problem for blood elves ever since the loss of the Sunwell to the undead Scourge, as their previous exposure over centuries had caused their bodies and minds to depend on magic as another form of nourishment to sustain them. Now that Valeera had her first taste of arcane power, it was like a drug.
After arriving in the Eastern Kingdoms at Menethil Harbor, Valeera and her companions journeyed to the dwarven city of Ironforge, but were waylaid by Vendellin Soulfire, a blood elf warlock sent in another attempt by Onyxia to assassinate Varian. During the fight, he sensed Valeera’s attraction to his fel magic caused by her new mana addiction, and cursed her with the mark of the demon Kathra'natir, causing her to become possessed.
The demon Kathra'natir posessing Valeera from a WoW comic.
This possession caused Valeera’s mana addiction to rapidly worsen, with the demon taking full control of her body whenever she would lose self control. While Broll and Varian continued their travels, Valeera stayed in Ironforge for a while to adjust and recover from magic withdrawal. While alone in her room, Kathra’natir attempted to fully possess her by feeding on her negative emotions to break her and taunting her with visions of her dead parents to deepen her sense of being abandoned. She was rescued from giving in by a vision of Aegwynn who reminded Valeera of the people in her life who loved her. Now in full control of her own body again, she left Ironforge to reunite with Broll and Varian.
Chapter 5: The Showdown
After a long journey, Valeera, Broll, and Varian made it to Stormwind City where they revealed Onyxia's true identity and reunited Varian with his other half, making him a whole man once again in his quest to save Anduin from the dragon. After Onyxia's death, Varian made Broll and Valeera his personal bodyguards and advisers. Together with Anduin, Valeera convinced Varian that he should seek peace between the Horde and the Alliance. A peace summit was called to be held at Theramore, but Broll was summoned back to the night elf city of Darnassus and couldn’t attend. Unfortunately, the attempts at peace were sabotaged by a third party: the old god-worshiping cult known as the Twilight’s Hammer.
Led by the ogre Cho'gall, this cult had recently been shocked by the defeated of the old god C'Thun by the united forces of the Alliance and Horde. Having just weakened the chains of Yogg-Saron in Northrend, Cho’gall was determined to give his dark master time to prepare and gather strength by ensuring the factions wouldn’t unite again. To accomplish this, he sent assassins, including a brainwashed Garona Halforcen, to disrupt the peace talks and assassinate Varian and other members of the delegation in an attempt to ignite war between the factions. While the assassination failed, thanks partly to Valeera, the peace summit was still ruined since both the Horde and Alliance believed the other faction had sent the assassins. The only thing that prevented a full war was the sudden return of the undead Scourge that drew the attention of the factions away from each other.
Chapter 6: Threads of Memory
While the Horde and Alliance delegations left to deal with the invading undead armies, Jaina and Aegwynn were left to look over the captured Garona, with Valeera also staying behind to investigate who the true perpetrators of the ambush were. Together, the three of them learned about the Twilight’s Hammer and the magic mental chains Cho’gall used to control Garona. While the mages were unable to break these chains, Garona vowed to use all her willpower to fight the mental control and uncover more information about the cult and its true goals.
Chapter 7: Darkness Descends
From Garona, Valeera learned that the Twilight’s Hammer was operating out of the lost city of Ahn’Qiraj and the shattered remains of the old god C'Thun. Knowing she would need help to take down Varian’s would-be assassins, Valeera teamed up with one of Jaina’s mage friends, a centuries-old undead named Meryl Winterstorm. When the pair had to fight Cho’gall himself, he proved too powerful and almost destroyed both of them. In desperation, Valeera willingly offered herself to the demon Kathra'natir in order to draw in his vast fel power and drive Cho’gall back. However, once he was defeated, Valeera still had a demon with free reign over her body. As it so happened, Meryl was a member of the secret Council of Tirisfal, mages who had protected Azeroth from demons for many centuries. With the other members of the council, he had banished Kathra'natir from Azeroth thousands of years ago and the two old enemies knew each other well. To keep Valeera safe, Meryl challenged the demon to possess his body with the tempting magic power it wielded should Kathra’natir gain full control. The demon accepted and left Valeera to possess his new host. However, Meryl’s will proved to be too powerful for Kathra’natir to overcome, resulting in the mage’s body becoming a living prison for the demon. He then made Valeera promise to keep this a secret and went into a self-imposed exile to keep the world safe should he ever lose control, changing his name to Meryl Felstorm as a sign of the corruption deep inside him.
Kathra'natir attempts to possess Meryl Winterstorm, only to be overcome and impriosned in the mage's body in a WoW comic.
Chapter 8: An Unexpected Invitation
In the following years, Valeera pledged herself to Varian Wrynn and all members of his family, serving as his personal spy. Varian’s son, Anduin, also sometimes used her to send secret messages without Varian knowing. During this time, she was recruited to join the Uncrowned, a secret order of rogues led by Lord Jorach Ravenholdt. Ravenholdt was the leader of his own assassin organization operating from his manor in the Alterac Mountains, and one of the most legendary rogues in history. Valeera became a member of the Council of Shadows, the ruling body of the organization.
A classic Hearthstone card depicting one of the assassins in Jorach Ravenholdt's employ, along with Valeera's fellow Shadows, Tess, Garona, Taoshi, and Captain Tethys.
When the Burning Legion launched its third invasion of Azeroth, Varian was killed in a failed attempt to stop the invasion at its source at the Tomb of Sargeras on the Broken Shore. Sacrificing himself to allow the rest of the Alliance forces to escape, Varian was obliterated by Gul'dan*. In response, the forces of Azeroth launched a counter-attack from the floating city of Dalaran. The Uncrowned took up residence in a secret hideout in the city’s sewers and uncovered that Mathias Shaw, the leader of Stormwind Intelligence (SI:7), had secretly been replaced with the dreadlord Detheroc to infiltrate and sabotage Azeroth’s defending forces.
Valeera and the rest of the Council of Shadows, residing in the Hall of Shadows. The Uncrowned really like shadow themes I guess.
*To clarify, this wasn't the Gul'dan from the Azeroth we know. This was Gul'dan from an alternate timeline who had been flung into our timeline through story elements that would take their own guide to explain, since time is a bit complicated in WoW at times.
The Epilogue Pages:
After the Burning Legion’s defeat, Valeera continued to help Anduin, who had now succeeded his father as king of Stormwind. Acting as his personal spy, she was key in delivering secret messages between the Horde and Alliance, such as Anduin’s friend Baine Bloodhoof. She was so good at her job that even Mathias Shaw and SI:7 didn’t know about many of these communications. Even when Anduin’s circle of people he would trust and rely on grew smaller, Valeera was always dependable and loyal in her friendship. After the defeat of N'Zoth and the end of the Fourth War between the Alliance and Horde, it was Valeera who delivered the terms of peace and armistice between the factions.
Never throwing in with politics or limiting herself to a single faction, Valeera has always claimed friends from both the Alliance and Horde and devoted her loyalties to them alone. She is forever a loyal ally to those who call her friend, and a fierce blade in the dark to those who cross the ones she cares for.