I haven't participated in a Blog Azeroth shared topic in ages and this weeks topic intrigues me to find out the story behind the class I play, a Deathknight.
I have played WoW from Vanilla and Deathknights did not appear as playable characters till Wrath of the Lich King, but their presence was there in the Warcraft universe way before World of Warcraft existed, so it was only a matter of time before we would get to play as them. A lot of interaction through questing, pin pointed key names and the faction standing against the scourge, the Argent Dawn. Quite frankly its quite confusing to keep up with who did what where, but I personally remember Kel'thuzad being the main name to stand out, alongside the Lich King of course. I knew he was one of the Lich Kings top agents, but since doing my research for this post, he pretty much ruined Azeroth and changed everything.
We got a great history lesson throughout these quests, involving many different families and people who were slowly corrupted and/or destroyed. Alexandros Mograine of the Argent Dawn and his sons Renault and Darion were definitely the core of the story, and WoWWiki have it written so perfectly;
'During the assault on Blackrock Spire in the Second War, Mograine of the Silver Hand
witnessed an orcish warlock channeling magic through a dark orb. After
the warlock's death, Mograine went to claim it for the Alliance, but his
hand was badly mangled as soon as he touched it. Though describing the
orb as the "living embodiment of shadow," he was still curious as to
what power it might hold and kept it in an iron chest.
Mograine kept the orb a secret until the Scourge reached Lordaeron. He revealed it to several other members of the Silver Hand, suggesting that they search for the orb's polar opposite - a manifestation of the Light
itself - to be used against the impending undead holocaust. Mograine's
peers, appalled at the sight of this dark crystal, attempted to destroy
it with a holy spell. Unexpectedly, the crystal absorbed the spell and
became its antithesis, the very crystal of pure light that Mograine
suggested moments before, and even restored life to his mangled hand. It
was decided that from this crystal a weapon would be forged that would
smite the undead with such power that only a cloud of ash would remain
in its wake—The Ashbringer.
Under the command of Saidan Dathrohan, Mograine and Fairbanks traveled to Ironforge to ask King Magni Bronzebeard to forge the mighty blade. Magni, having only just learned of his brother's
apparent demise, was more than willing to craft a weapon to battle the
undead, and described it as the greatest creation wrought by his hand.
Mograine and the other former Knights of the Silver Hand banded together to continue the war against the Lich King.
Alexandros was appointed Highlord and the Ashbringer was the Order's
greatest weapon. However, the blade caught the attention of Kel'Thuzad. Striking a deal with Balnazzar,
who had covertly taken control of the Order by possessing Dathrohan and
wished to use it against the Lich King, the two planned to kill him. To
do so, Balnazzar corrupted Mograine's son Renault and had him lead his father into a trap. Renault led his father and High Inquisitor Fairbanks to Stratholme
where an army of undead waited for them. Renault fled and Fairbanks,
being the first to fall, was trapped under the pile of undead corpses.
Mograine stood alone against the undead, yet managed to destroy all sent
at him. In fatigue, Alexandros dropped his blade. Renault returned and
killed Mograine with his own sword, corrupting the Ashbringer. Unable to use the blade, Renault left it with his father's corpse.
However, Kel'Thuzad raised the Ashbringer's corpse turning him into a death knight of the Scourge, and reclaimed his blade. Kel'Thuzad took Mograine back to Naxxramas to have him serve as one of the Four Horsemen. Later, led by nightmares of his father's tortured soul, Darion led a small group of Argent Dawn members into Naxxramas
to free him. Darion was the only one to survive the assault, escaping
with the blade but forced to leave his father's body behind.
When Darion returned to the Scarlet Monastery with the blade,
Alexandros's corrupted spirit manifested and confronted Renault,
accusing him of murder before mercilessly killing him. Later, during a
Scourge assault on Light's Hope Chapel,
Darion plunged the Ashbringer into his own chest in an act of
self-sacrifice that obliterated the Scourge armies and seemingly freed
Alexandros's soul of the Scourge's corruption. In doing so, however,
Darion damned himself into undeath and was escorted off the battlefield
The Argent Dawn quests in Eastern Plaguelands were a great stepping
stone to set the scene and ultimately we would be lead to Naxxramas, for the first time in game.
Sadly I didn't raid in vanilla so I never got to experience it back
then. The main attraction, if you want to call it that, was to be an owner of the Corrupted Ashbringer sword, which was eventually removed from the game. Owners of it got to experience a special in game event when you would enter Scarlet Monastery, showing Alexandros get his revenge upon Renault. When Naxxramas re-appeared for WotLK I was pleased to see they didn't re-instate the ability to get it as it would lessen the importance of it.
Darion made his re-appearance as a high lord at Ebon Hold, the DK starting area. The zone is extremely well planned out, having familiar faces teach you the ways of being the perfect Deathknight.
As you quest through the zone, and kill many many people, the ultimate quest, the Battle for Light's Hope Chapel, is where the Deathknights, led by Darion still wielding the Corrupted Ashbringer, march upon Light's Hope Chapel and Tirion Fordring. The Deathknights are no match and are defeated on the holy ground which the chapel stands. Alexandros suddenly appears to Darion, as a flash back. Arthas then appears and claims his soul. Defeated, Darion then learns from Tirion of his betrayal by Arthas, sending them in to purposely die. Arthas attacks Tirion, which forces Darion to break his bonds to the Lich Kings service and throws the Corrupted Ashbringer for Tirion to push Arthas back. Shocked by this, Arthas escapes (of course!) and we see Tirion join the Knights of the Silver Hand and Argent Dawn to create the Argent Crusade. Darion leads his Knights of the Ebon Blade to assist in the destruction of the Lich King and the scourge and for to create a place for the renegade Deathknights to call home. I found a fantastic WoW Machinima of The Battle for Light's Hope Chapel, please check it out!
We, the newly freed Deathknights, are now free to go about our business as any other class would, not before we get pelted with old food when we walk through Orgrimmar/Stormwind for the first time though!
It must have taken so long for the developers to weave all of this lore together and to create the start up zone to perfection, sure the story was there, but a lot of people know the lore inside out so any incorrect points would have shattered the experience for players.
I've really learnt a lot from doing this research, I knew the general points of the story, but it feels nice to increase my understanding of the history involved with the development of my character.
Huge thanks and credit to WoWWiki for this post!