Aegwynn was a proud, sometimes arrogant woman who was convinced that she had the best interests of Azeroth in mind, and she did not care for or particularly need the advice of the Council of Tirisfal. More often than not, she sought out demons and fought them on her own without even contacting the Council, who doubtless had begun to realize their error in choice. This culminated about 500 years after Aegwynn took up the mantle of Guardian, when she traveled to Northrend to defeat a large group of demons that were hunting dragons.
After burning the demons to a crisp with the help of the dragons, Aegwynn was confronted by none other than Sargeras, leader of the Burning Legion (or rather, an avatar of Sargeras). The Guardian and the Dark Titan fought furiously, but Aegwynn prevailed with the help of the dragons and destroyed Sargeras’ avatar. She took what was left of his physical form to a place now called the Tomb of Sargeras and buried it deep below the earth where none could find it. But the fight and the victory got to Aegwynn in a way that none of her previous battles had. She’d fought and defeated the leader of the Burning Legion, on her own, with no Council to help her. She’d done what was thought impossible — so why was she listening to the Council at all?
Indeed, why should the Council of Tirisfal choose the next Guardian, when she possessed greater judgment and finesse than the lot of them combined? These thoughts haunted her for the next several hundred years, until at last she realized that despite the use of magic to extend her lifetime almost impossibly long, she was still mortal and would not last forever. But the Council’s meddling had become unbearable to the arrogant Guardian, and she decided that she would choose her successor in a way that nobody on the Council had anticipated: by giving birth to him.
Aegwynn traveled to Stormwind, where she seduced the court conjurer Nielas Aran. There were two factors in her choice, and neither were love. Nielas was a practiced and powerful magician in his own right; therefore, the child he fathered would posses the same affinity for magic as his father — and more importantly, Nielas was nowhere near Dalaran, the Kirin Tor or the Council of Tirisfal, so the child could be raised far, far from the Council’s prying influence. While Nielas was initially delighted that Aegwynn appeared to have fallen in love with him, he was soon disappointed to find the opposite was true — that he was just a means to an end, that end being Aegwynn’s son.
Aegwynn had the baby and named him Medivh, or “keeper of secrets” in the high elven tongue. Shortly after giving birth to the boy, she locked the knowledge and powers of Tirisfal deep within him, to manifest when he came of age. Then she left Medivh with Nielas and promptly took off, content that her plans would work and that Medivh would inherit her powers when the time was right. But Aegwynn — proud, cocky, arrogant Aegwynn — had not taken one important fact into consideration: the fact that her son was not the only being that grew within her and waited to be born …
Sargeras was far more cunning and devious than Aegwynn had ever thought possible, and when she killed his avatar, it released his spirit, which promptly transferred to Aegwynn’s body and lay in wait for hundreds of years. When Medivh was conceived, Sargeras moved from Aegwynn’s body to the newly forming child and rested there within Medivh, waiting until the time was right to strike.
Medivh had a relatively happy and uneventful childhood in Stormwind, raised with Llane Wrynn, the prince of the kingdom, and Wrynn’s friend Anduin Lothar. The three boys were well suited to each other, though the bookish Medivh had a harder time keeping up with the more active and muscular boys. He studied magic with his father Nielas and took to it aptly enough, casting spells and conjuring with little effort, largely due to his bloodline. But on the eve of Medivh’s 14th birthday, he was struck by nightmares, evil creatures that chased him through his dreams. He woke up in a cold sweat and went to his father’s room for help — and when Nielas touched his son, the powers his mother had buried within him awoke.
The backlash from the resultant explosion of magical energy killed Nielas instantly and sent the 14-year-old boy into a deep coma that allowed the slumbering Sargeras to take over. Sargeras kept the boy in this coma for 20 years, during which he worked on Medivh’s mind, manipulating his powers and twisting his thoughts. At age 34, Medivh awoke — no longer a boy on the brink of manhood, but a man passing into middle age. Twenty years he’d lost — and those 20 years were the formative years of a man’s life, the years in which he learns what it is to be a man and what his place is in the world around him. Gone in an instant.
Medivh awoke and seemed to be fully in control of his senses, despite the inexplicable coma that had puzzled his friends and the priests that had watched over his unconscious form over the past 20 years. Assuring everyone he was fine, Medivh resumed his magical studies, eventually taking up residence in a remote tower called Karazhan. Medivh did not build Karazhan — nobody recalls who built the tower originally, but there are records of an explosion that carved out the rocks of Deadwind Pass and weakened the fabric of reality in the area. That, combined with the unusual nexus of ley lines concentrated on the tower, was more than enough to attract Medivh to the tower and its unusual properties.
The dark whispers of Sargeras tormented the mage, who began a desperate bid to learn everything — all things magic, all things powerful — in an effort to grow his own burgeoning powers. Medivh craved power, focused on obtaining as much of it as he could — but how much of that was Medivh and how much the Dark Titan that dwelled within him? Whether it was mage or demon that sought out these things, Medivh didn’t seem to care about where he got his power from, even going so far as to deal with the Burning Legion directly. As his frantic race for knowledge continued, Medivh realized the one thing standing in his way and preventing him from achieving all he desired was the humans of Azeroth. Thus decided, he began to research a way to rid the world of them entirely.
It was because of this that Medivh sought out Gul’dan, leader of the Shadow Council on the planet Draenor. He made a deal with Gul’dan, promising that he would reveal the location of the Tomb of Sargeras if Gul’dan and his armies would come to Azeroth and wipe out the human population. This is why Medivh opened the Dark Portal and let the orcs into Azeroth — to relentlessly slaughter every last vestige of humankind. Obviously, this was not Medivh’s idea but the idea of Sargeras, whose lieutenant on Draenor had been working with the orcish Horde in order to prepare them for the invasion.
The Dark Portal, Medivh’s corruption and Aegwynn’s stubborn refusal to turn the powers of the Guardian over to someone of the Council’s choosing were all ultimately machinations of Sargeras and the Burning Legion, a second bid to take over the planet that had been denied them during the War of the Ancients. The Burning Legion was fiendishly clever and had engineered the perfect way to take over the world — and one man who had been denied 20 years of his life was at the center of the plot. Her son’s strange behavior did not, however, escape Aegwynn’s notice, and she confronted Medivh to try and convince him that what he had done was unspeakably wrong.
The two fought, and Aegwynn was defeated by her son and subsequently banished to the far off continent of Kalimdor, unable to do anything to stop her son’s corruption. A member of the blue dragonflight named Arcanagos also approached Medivh, visiting the tower of Karazhan to try and show the mage the error of his ways. Unfortunately, Medivh proved far too strong for Arcanagos, and he was burned from within, with nothing remaining of the blue but charred bones and ash. And then the Kirin Tor, who had been curious about this man who’d spent the majority of his life in a coma, sent an apprentice to him.
The apprentice’s name was Khadgar, and though Medivh was at first abrupt and rude to him, Khadgar soon found himself in Medivh’s good graces. The tower of Karazhan was a fascinating riddle to the young apprentice. Teeming with power, Medivh’s home was also the source of rips in reality that caused spontaneous visions of both past and future. Medivh’s library was gigantic and contained many tomes and spellbooks that were thought lost or destroyed. Khadgar worked on reorganizing the library and met another strange visitor to the Guardian’s tower, a half-orc named Garona who served as emissary between Medivh and the Horde. Garona was unlike any other orc Khadgar had seen — clever, quick-witted and observant. Garona caught the eye of Medivh as well, and the two had a brief affair that resulted in Garona’s pregnancy, unknown to either of them at the time.
But during one particularly disturbing vision in the halls of Karazhan, Khadgar saw that it was Medivh who was responsible for the orcs that had come to Azeroth, that Medivh had deliberately brought the Horde to Azeroth and fully intended that they wipe out the human race. Meanwhile, Medivh grew more and more mad, absent-minded and crazed. Khadgar and Garona sought out Llane Wrynn, now king, and Anduin Lothar to tell them what had been discovered and convince the two men that their childhood friend suffered from a corruption darker than anyone had realized.
Anduin led a troop of soldiers to Karazhan, where Medivh waited for his turncoat apprentice’s return. In thanks for his betrayal, Medivh magically aged Khadgar from age 17 to an old man — a fate eerily similar to the fate that had befallen Medivh when he’d slipped into the 20-year coma. Khadgar managed to injure Medivh, but it was Anduin Lothar who struck the final blow, severing Medivh’s head from his body and banishing Sargeras’ spirit back to the nether.
Via Joystiq/ WoW.com