THERE YA ARE! BACK FROM YOUR ADVENTURES? The hearth is lit and you have a deck of virtual cards at your disposal, but who is that wonderful hero who holds your fate? Are you a Penniless Paladin, a Worth Opponent or a Mediocre Monk? I know I am! Come join us as we investigate the beginnings, and ends, of Warcraft’s finest in Lore’d of the (Hearth)Stone.
This introductory Lore’d of the (Hearth)Stone will showcase none other than my favorite Lady Liadrin, Matriarch of the Blood Knights. There’s a very real need to discuss the past before we dive into her reason for existence and what sets her apart from your average Azerothian citizen. That brings us to a brief history of Paladins.
The order of Paladins was formed from clusters of priests that trained themselves for combat during the height of The Second War. In essence, this fledgling group was tired of the crap the Horde was doing and having no one doing anything about it. Shortly after the sacking of Stormwind during this time, the group of paladins were officially formed as a means to heal the wounded and bring hope back to the Alliance during a war they were very much losing. Originally, they were simply of one class, the one and only Holy Paladins of the Hand. They were trained in the art of combat as knights, but the true purpose they held was supporting and healing those touched by the war.
A lot of Quel’dorei and Sin’dorei heroes were wee little plebs before Dar’khan Drathir, the biggest traitor in all of Azeroth’s history, went and told Arthas how to get through the magical barrier. The Matriarch was one of these plebs. During the height of the Amani conflict, the Lady’s parents were killed by Amani trolls. The young priestess developed a very special hatred for their kind as her parent’s blood still ran. One fine day, along with the ultimate jerkface Dar’kahn and her apprentice Galell, Liadrin was called to investigate some malfunctioning runestones. During this assignment an Amani raiding party ambushed her and her companions, taking her captive in the process. None other than the big bad voodude himself Zul’jin was there to interrogate the captives in a very much evident sacrificial chamber. Not only did they discover that Lor’themar Theron had been captured as well, but they discovered an Amani plot to understand how the runestones protected their beloved land of Quel’thalas. Zul’jin essentially drugs the Lady with his voodoo powers,then shortly after begins to gut Lor’themar.
During her drug-induced trip, the Lady envisions each of her companions in odd instances. Lor’themar seemed to have been doused in flames. She would then watch her apprentice’s skull being cracked open. Finally, she saw Dar’kahn as an animated corpse, which foreshadows his inevitable demise during The Third War. Still a bit groggy but coming to, Liadrin realized everyone’s salvation lay with her. In a defiant act, she unleashed the pain she felt back at her captor. Using a burst of light, she created an opening for Theron to take a tiny knife from his belt, and cut himself loose. Finally, with the threat suddenly diverted, Dar’khan gathered enough strength to teleport them all to safety. Liadrin, Galell, and Theron would all see promotions after the Amanis were defeated in the Second War, but Dar’kahn would not. The martial slight drove him into a deep depression in which he slit his wrists until Arthas gave him an opportunity to get back at the people that were mean to him and made him cry.
During the Third War, the Lady who was now a High Priestess, would see the failing health of King Anastarian go from bad to worse. The Banshee Queen began parading herself in front of the gates of Silvermoon as a testament to Arthas’ power, and finally would help Kael’thas esplode the tainted Sunwell after Arthas went and poured dead-guy juice in it. True story.
The negative transaction didn’t sway her faith. Liadrin never felt the Light had forsaken her. She still guilty for being helpless during the battle ahead of the Sunwell and her people’s destruction. She, at the time, was living in the now-dubbed Ghostlands in an abandoned manor. Slaughtering the roaming undead that littered the land, she had metamorphosed from a simple little priestess to a notably strong warrior. She would restlessly hunt for the Dar’khan and swore to end his existence for the sake of all the fallen he betrayed. Although she would never get her vengeance, she would later return to Silvermoon after aiding it from afar. Surviving off of mana tapping crystals for five years, she would come upon the dependence of another, the captured and endless power of M’uru. The Blood Knights would be formed with a vengeance by absorbing the Light from the captured creature. Liadrin never did accept it as a permanent solution.
Now the Blood Knight Matriarch, the Lady Liadrian, would find scorn from other Elves as did all blood knights as to how they came about their power. She was present at her people’s initiation into the Horde. There, she confided in the now Regent Lord Lor’themar Theron only to watch Dar’khan make his return, now more lich-like and under the firm control of the Lich King. She would also have to slay the wretched turned husk of her former apprentice Galell, who said he could not shake the painful words of M’uru out of his mind. The Lady finally questioned the path she had taken.
Meanwhile in the Outlands, Kael’thas had fully allied himself with the Burning Legion. Ever powerhungry, Sunstrider plotted the capture of M’uru from his kinsmen in Silvermoon City. Betrayed now by the one who they hoped they’d call King one day, the Blood Elves of Quel’thalas broke ties. The Lady knew she had some apologies to make. Traveling to Shatterath, she emerged into the world of Azeroth as a Champion and acted up front, rather than behind the scenes. She called for Adal to forgive her for she was desperate at the time of M’uru’s arrival in Silvermoon. She would then renounce House Sunstrider and join the Shattered Sun Offensive. Adal would ease her by telling her that the Naruu knew of his fate long before his capture, and that her aid would be gladly accepted and the Light would return to her people once more. She would go on to recapture the Sunwell and aid in its cleansing. The salvation ended the Burning Crusade.
A noble woman to the very end, and that is why I am proud to say, as a Blood Elf Paladin, I follow her. Oy, looks like a table opened up for ya! Best get to it then, challengers abound to be awaiting.