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Artifact Series: Paladin

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In the latest part of our artifact series, it is time to move away from the bloodthirsty ways of the Warrior, or the pestilent ways of the Death Knight. Today, we follow the path of the light. It's time for the Paladins.

 

To follow the path of the light is no easy feat. Paladins put themselves in the line of fire in order to defend the weak, to help bring justice to the world in the eyes of the light, to rid this world of the dark evils that have so often conquered it. Regardless of the path they follow, the Paladin bestows their blessing upon those they meet, the power of the light radiating from within them.

 

Each Paladin makes a choice to follow one of these three specialisations:

  • Protection serves as a bastion of the light; Paladins which follow this path use their Holy magic to defend those around them, shielding them from harm. 
  • Holy represents the ability to call upon the powers of the light to heal the wounded, to protect those that cannot protect themselves.
  • Retribution is a path followed by those who must punish the unworthy with a combination of their Holy magic and their weapons.

Protection Paladin - Truthguard

 

A fitting name if there ever was one, this shield and sword are wielded by those who take up arms to protect. The story behind the weapons is as follows:

 

"The titanic watchers Tyr and Archaedas created this shield when their comrade, Loken, fell to corruption. They gave Truthguard to a vrykul champion who used it to expose Loken's treachery. When Tyr and his allies later stole the Discs of Norgannon and fled, the champion stayed behind and held off many of Loken's servants. A desperate Loken sent horrific monsters after Tyr, who fell in combat. In time the vrykul champion migrated to Stormheim in the Broken Isles, where the shield was eventually entombed in the Path of Kings." (source)

 

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While the story of Tyr is not known to many, any players of World of Warcraft will have encountered areas that are based on the Watcher.

 

Tirisfal Glades? Tyr's Fall.

 

Tyr's Hand, Eastern Plaguelands? You guessed it, named after this Tyr.

 

The Knights of the Silver Hand? Their emblem, a silver hand... Tyr's Hand.

 

So why does everyone care so much about this titanic Watcher? He wasn't even important enough to be included in Ulduar, so why should we care? Tyr, in fact, has a fantastic story behind him.

 

When the proto-dragons existed, a massive beast named Galakrond ruled the skies. The aspects that we know today were convinced by Tyr to band together and attempt to kill Galakrond. When the time came, they assaulted the sleeping Galakrond in a mountain range. His sheer size and power scattered the force, leaving Tyr to fight the beast alone momentarily. He used his hammer and fists to beat the proto-dragon, but this was short-lived. The beast threw him off and clamped its jaws down in his direction. It caught his hand and ripped it clean off, leaving only a bloody stump for Tyr to marvel at.

 

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Galakrond preparing to battle the future Aspects

 

He fell unconscious and was taken to a frozen lake by the proto-dragons that we know now as our Aspects. He shortly went missing, but Kalec, one of Malygos' flight, assured them that he had been taken by an intelligent species, not an animal searching for food. They later discovered that the other Watchers had come to his aid. 

 

When Tyr healed, he began to realise that one of his fellow watchers, Loken, was falling to some form of corruption. In an attempt to decipher just how far Loken had betrayed them, he commissioned the aid of a Vrykul champion in order to steal the Discs of Norgannon. This artifact was a library of information that the titans had collected over their years of experiments with life on Azeroth, namely the differing forms of Earthen. 

 

After Loken discovered the theft of the Discs, he sent countless, horrific monsters after the group. Tyr urged the group to move on while he stayed back to cover their retreat. He fell under the relentless assault that Loken sent forth, but he ensured his party members escaped.

 

Before perishing, Tyr crafted the shield for the Vrykul champion with the aid of Archaedas, a stone watcher.

 

Without a doubt, Tyr is an incredible character within lore. He sacrificed a great deal in order to ensure he fulfilled his role as the titans wished. Without his input, the aspects we know today may never have come to fruition. Galakrond may even still have been ruling to this day. 

 

I do feel, however, that the wielder of the artifact is a very poor choice by Blizzard. The Vrykul have never expressed any affiliation with the light, therefore there is no backstory for the Vrykul ever training to become Paladins. It seems a very odd choice then, that a Vrykul was to wield the Paladin artifact. It would perhaps have been a better choice to make the weapon one wielded by Tyr himself, rather than a human race that mimics the traits of warriors. 

 

Alternative Artifacts for Protection Paladins

  1. The Weapons of the Knights of the Silver Hand

Unfortunately, there are not a great deal of famous paladins that wield the combination of a 1-handed weapon and a shield. It is most likely that Blizzard would need to create further lore if they wanted to add-in other alternative artifacts for this specialisation. 

 

I think that this would be a fantastic route to look into. The Knights of the Silver Hand were an order of Paladins that were created after the end of the First War. The leader of the order was Uther the Lightbringer, however, he created the order along with Archbishop Alonsus Faol. 

 

Whenever they were present on the battlefield in the Second and Third Wars, they inspired any soldiers around them. The sight of a Knight of the Silver Hand immediately rallied armies to their side, ready to fight and die for their cause. 

 

There are a number of paladins that could have been chosen as the basis for this artifact and it most likely would have made more sense than a Vrykul. Lore was invented anyway to supplement this weapon's creation, so it could have been created in relation to any of the first 5 paladins of the Silver Hand.

 

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Arthas as the Crown Prince of Lordaeron

 

They could have even looked back at the weapon of Arthas when he was still Crown Prince and used that lore to create a backstory for the weapon being passed down to him through the Silver Hand.

 

Holy Paladin - The Silver Hand

 

It looks like we're going to be re-visiting Tyr again, but this time it's his own weapon. The story goes like this:

 

"As one of the titanic watchers, Keeper Tyr bore this weapon in countless battles against the titans' enemies. When one of his fellow keepers, Loken, fell to corruption, Tyr and his allies stole the Discs of Norgannon to investigate the extent of Loken's betrayal. Discovering the theft, Loken sent horrific monsters after Tyr's group, but Tyr sacrificed his life to fight the creatures while his comrades escaped with the discs. His hammer was lost with him somewhere beneath the land now named in his honor: Tirisfal." (source)

 

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I'm sure many of you can agree with me when I say: Oh, so very disappointing. Protection and Holy have essentially been given exactly the same lore for the two weapons, given they are wielded by two different people. I feel like this is a big cop-out on Blizzard's part. 

 

Let's see what we can come up with!

 

Alternative Artifacts for Holy Paladins

 

  1. The Hammer of the Lightbringer

This weapon was wielded by Uther the Lightbringer, its adamantite head garnished with Silver Hand emblems on both sides. 

 

This mighty weapon was initially forged when the Knights of the Silver Hand was first established. Archbishop Faol imbued it with the power of the light and bestowed it upon the the first Grand Master of the Paladins - Uther. 

 

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Uther holding the Hammer of the Lightbringer and a Libram

 

When the time of Uther's death came about, his hammer was recovered but there has yet to be a Paladin deemed worthy of carrying such a weapon. Since the player is going to become the leader of their class in Legion, surely it would make sense for us to be worthy of such a great weapon? 

 

This was a perfect opportunity to really solidify the player's position as the leader of the Paladins, but it seems that opportunity was missed for regurgitated lore.

 

Retribution Paladin - Ashbringer

 

The last addition to the Paladin artifacts is, thankfully, not the same piece of lore concerning Tyr. The story surrounding the Ashbringer is as follows:

 

"King Magni Bronzebeard forged the Ashbringer from a piece of crystal purified by wielders of the Holy Light. This gave the sword strange Light-bearing powers. It was named for its ability to slaughter undead, leaving nothing but ash in its wake. Ashbringer passed through several hands, serving both Light and Shadow, before it came to the legendary paladin Tirion Fordring, who used it to shatter the Lich King’s runeblade, Frostmourne, on the top of Icecrown Citadel. Tirion has carried Ashbringer with him ever since." (source)

 

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For the first time since beginning this article, I feel happy for Paladins. Finally, you can wield the Ashbringer permanently. The weapon of Tirion Fordring, this is one of the most iconic weapons in the game.

 

The origin of the sword is just as grand as its appearance; it originates from the Second War, where Highlord Mograine had slain an orc warlock. He found an artifact on the orc's body, a pure manifestation of shadow. He touched the orb with his bare hand and quickly found the hand had shriveled up, taking the appearance of an undead's hand.

 

Mograine attempted to keep the orb a secret, but the arrival of the Scourgeforced him to reveal it to his fellow members of the Silver Hand. They concluded the orb was a force of pure evil and they would need a force of pure light to combat the coming onslaught by the Scourge. In an attempt to destroy it, a Holy spell sent at the orb forced a reaction to occur. The orb purged itself of the dark taint and became an orb of pure light.

 

The members of the council decided that the orb would be forged into a weapon that would slice through the undead with such force that only ash would be left behind. 

 

The Ashbringer.

 

They traveled to Ironforge to meet with King Magni of the Dwarves, the brother of the supposedly slain Muradin Bronzebeard. King Magni forged the sword for them himself on the Great Anvil of Ironforge, pouring such grief and emotion into his actions that he believed he would never be able to forge such a weapon again in his life. The sword was one of a kind.

 

The extract references the concept of the sword serving both the Light and Shadow: this refers to the fact that Mograine eventually fell to the might of the Scourge, deceived by his son Renault. Renault was under the influence of the dreadlord Balnazzar, who forced him to slay Alexandros, Darion's father, with the Ashbringer. To use the sword for such a heinous act corrupted the essence of the sword, turning it into the Corrupted Ashbringer.

 

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The Corrupted form of the Ashbringer

 

The Ashbringer is purified once again during the Battle for Light's Hope Chapel. Tirion reveals to Darion that they were being used by the Lich King and he and his Death Knights were sent knowingly into a trap to die. Darion relinquishes the sword to Tirion who, upon touching it, frees the sword from its corruption and purifies it.

 

Tirion goes on to use the sword to defeat the Lich King and shatter the legendary weapon, Frostmourne.

 

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Tirion wields the Ashbringer within Icecrown Citadel

 

As a weapon for Paladins, the Ashbringer is the most iconic there is. There is no better weapon to be given as an artifact and I think the backstory truly details that. The sword responds so strongly to the touch of the light, its essence is made of pure light, it represents everything the Paladins stand for. I see no reason for an alternative weapon, since this is a perfect match.

 

A weapon worthy of the any Paladin, regardless of stature. Let's just hope the players are worthy of the weapon.

 

Next time on the Artifact Series, we will be moving on to the mail-wearing classes, namely the Hunters!

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I have been playing Paladin for quite a while (end of WOTLK). I enjoyed it a great deal until they change the class itself, especially when removing/changing the healing spells in WOD. Now, they are giving us horrible artifacts :( 

I read the warrior artifact article and really looked forward for the Paladin one. In comparison, the Paladin is so disappointing. Usually WoW lore is great, but why on earth would they give the same lore for both the weapons?!

 

Also, I have never heard of Galakrond before. Who is he? Would be grateful if you could provide some information on him. Is he as powerful as deathwing was in cataclysm?

 

:) thanks :)

 

Ps: Will you be doing the priest artificats as well? My alt is a priest and I hope the lore is better than the one for paladins.

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Hi there Amarax,

 

I know the feeling, the same happened for me with the Arms Warriors in Warlords (Whirlwind pls).

 

The Paladin lore just seemed so lacking for the first two artifacts, I'm praying that we might see some changes throughout Alpha/Beta, at least to give them slightly different lore. 

 

On the topic of Galakrond, I'll give you a quick run-down of who he is:

 

Prior to the what is referred to as "mortal history", the titans were still ruling over Azeroth and seeing to its maturing. At the time, the ancestors of the proto-drakes currently found in Northrend were found in huge numbers across the world. They were known as Proto-Dragons. The largest of them was Galakrond. 

 

We don't know a huge amount about the beast, but what we do know is that he was far larger than any other proto-dragon of the time. He sought to kill and feed from the other proto-dragons that were alive, then turning them into his own undead proto-dragons. 

 

As he fed from the living proto-dragons, he became more powerful, but also further corrupted. His body itself began to mutate because of his cannibal activities and eventually he began growing extra limbs, eyes on his body, his colour changed. Malygos notes that he is surrounded by a strange green aura which Richard Knaak, the author of the Dawn of the Aspects books, says is most likely some form of Fel energy. 

 

In order to defeat Galakrond, the leaders of each proto-dragonflight banded together under the banner of Tyr the Watcher to overthrow the legendary beast. He slowly became weaker since the dragonflights now knew to hide from him and he could only feed from his own undead followers. Due to this, they were eventually able to force him to choke to death on a boulder.

 

In regards to whether or not he is more powerful than Deathwing... 100% yes. Galakond is in a completely different league from Deathwing. If the Scourge had succeeded in re-summoning him, there would have been no way to defeat him in the present-day. It is likely life would have been unable to flourish if he had remained alive, since he would have simply fed off of those who could not hide. 

 

If you compare the Cataclysm to what Galakrond could do, I feel like we would be comparing a Death Knight to the Lich King. No contest.

 

Of course, I'm aiming to do every artifact for all the classes. Hopefully the Priest artifacts will be a better read for you!

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Just a little comment, 

 

Don't think you would be able to use Arthas' hammer as an artifact weapon considering it was used to create Shadowmourne in the ICC legendary quest line. Might need to confirm this but if memory serves me correctly Morgraine asks you to retrieve it from the cave where frostmourne was found by Arthas, and when it is returned to Darion he uses it as the base to forge the axe and sister weapon to frostmourne, Shadowmourne.

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Thanks for the comment Hearu.

 

I think that's a pretty solid idea as an alternative to the Ashbringer for retribution; you're correct about the hammer. It was initially called Light's Vengeance and was used by Arthas throughout his life as a Paladin. He was initially given it as a gift when he completed his ritual of initiation into the Paladin order. I think it was Gavinrad the Dire that initially gave it to him, one of the first Knights of the Silver Hand.

 

He eventually ends up discarding it in Frostmourne Cavern, but Darion sends us to retrieve it. He believes that the only weapon that could provide a template to rival the strength of Frostmourne is Light's Vengeance. He combines it with the metal saronite, thereby creating the first step of the legendary quest: Shadow's Edge.

 

Unfortunately, to compete with the Ashbringer is a pretty tough task. As a paladin weapon, the Ashbringer in its non-corrupted form, as the player will wield, is a "holy" weapon. It is used to do the bidding of the Light. If I remember correctly, Arthas actually purged Stratholme while still wielding Light's Vengeance. To some extent, perhaps this almost taints the weapon, thereby ruling it out as a Paladin artifact. I suppose you could consider that Arthas believed he was doing the right thing and that it was just in the eyes of the Light, but that's a whole different discussion.

 

Nonetheless, a really good suggestion, I missed that one. Definitely one that could have been considered by Blizzard.

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I'll support Truthguard in the fact that there isn't many shield and sword Paladins. Going for another race to find something that embodies pure defensive abilities is going to have to be a requirement for the class to succeed. What I don't like is the scale factor. A Vykrul wielded this.... so it would be like trying to use a piece of battleship plating as a shield.

My idea would have been to construct a shield in Ironforge, just as the Ashbringer was. Build something from scratch seeing as no real Paladin has done this before. Though in a way this helps tie in lore from other races, who in a way we are all trying to save from the Legion too. 

 

I'm not even going to get started about The Silver Hand. I understand the lore desire, but no. Its a VW on a stick. No crace (cept maybe Tauren) in its right mind should even have the ability to hold it. 
Uther the Lightbringer, THAT should have been the hammer, I agree. You still get your hammer and tome, but its more to scale and people would understand that lore. Plus the idea of wielding his hammer from Warcraft 3 days is a hat tip to my childhood. Dang shame they didn't consider this. I'm thinking I may walk away from Paladin heals if this stays as is. 

 

Ashbringer. Nuff said. LOL!!!!!  At least they nailed that. 

Edited by CelticArchangel

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A Vykrul wielded this.... so it would be like trying to use a piece of battleship plating as a shield.

 

This was the issue for me as well. It seems like there is a lot of forced Vrykul lore in Legion, whether due to them wanting to bring them back into the fold, or just by their own choices. The Warrior-Vrykul link I can vaguely understand, but it had no place in the lore of the Paladin. 

 

 

My idea would have been to construct a shield in Ironforge, just as the Ashbringer was. Build something from scratch seeing as no real Paladin has done this before. Though in a way this helps tie in lore from other races, who in a way we are all trying to save from the Legion too. 

 

Lore could have easily been created, whether linking it to a legendary Paladin, creating a link, whatever. Truthguard, in my opinion, wasn't the right choice by a mile. I would rather have seen Prot Paladins using some kind of shield "made" of the light. They could have even used an off-hand that, when they block, creates a shield made of pure energy, constructed by the Light. Not Truthguard. 

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      In the land of Drustvar, the stalwart protectors of House Waycrest hold fast along the western border, but recently all contact with them has been lost. Travel beyond the frontier to learn of their fate and battle the resurgence of an ancient and terrifying enemy.
      Drustvar is a region known for the tenacity of the soldiers who protect it. Long after the defeat of the mysterious Drust who once dwelled there, the descendants of Arom Waycrest and his people continue to eke out a living in this unyielding land. They are known throughout Kul Tiras as being a hearty, stoic, and deeply superstitious people, and would make keen allies in the fight against the Horde—but now it’s up to you to discover why they’ve gone silent.
      Welcome to Drustvar.
      When first arriving in Drustvar, you’ll be greeted by a dark and foreboding shoreline on the eastern border. Drustvar is a rugged land plagued by superstition, and signs of witchcraft are everywhere. The pathways through Glenbrook to Fallhaven are fraught with danger, so you’ll need to stay on your guard. Dark rumors swirl as to what may have befallen the Waycrest family—and if the Alliance has any hope of convincing the Kul Tirans to join them, you’ll need to untangle the mysteries that lay ahead.
      Verdigris roofs and awnings adorn buildings of brick and wood, their amber window panes alight from within. The sea’s intrinsic role in Kul Tiran culture is reflected in the architecture, and anchors and other symbols of the sea decorate doorways and awnings.
      A stygian pallor looms over the town of Fallhaven, reeking of mystical meddling. A large and ominous construct stands as sentinel in the center of town, and the townsfolk are . . . unresponsive. You’ll need to work diligently to break the curse on the town before you can make any progress toward getting to the heart of the troubles in Drustvar.
      Cobblestone paths wind through the region and in and out of the various villages and towns. History and culture are deeply woven into the fabric of Kul Tiras, but so too are the workings of dark witches. Cursed and hopelessly twisted townsfolk and creatures work in servitude to these mystics’ machinations, set to a task you’ll need to decipher and put an end to—if you have the stomach for it.
      Visitors to this region will need to rely on their wits, solve a few not-so-small issues the citizenry faces, and hopefully make some inroads with the people along the way.
      There are more mysteries to unravel, and an ancient enemy is stirring in the land, causing a tremendous slew of trouble.
      Take the Highroad
      Traveling westward will lead to a large chain of rugged snow-touched mountains running from the northern border of the region to the southern Iceveil Glacier, nearly bisecting the region in two. Along Highroad Pass, you’ll come across various wildlife and creatures, including Chillwind Yetis who find the cold of the mountains to their liking and food sources plentiful.
      The road is fraught with danger, but you’ll eventually arrive in the town of Arom’s Stand, which overlooks a valley to the west. A tribute to Arom Waycrest stands vigil even as the people here struggle against the darkness that has swept over the land.
      Did you Know? Arom Waycrest was the first Lord of Drustvar, who helped his people overcome great opposition from a powerful enemy: the Drust. On the southwestern coast you’ll cross into the Crimson Forest. Various shades of red assail your eyes and bear witness to the veracity of the name. The town of Falconhurst sits on the coast, and as in your previous travels through the region, you’ll find this settlement is under siege by dark forces.
      Tainted Rule
      North of the Crimson Forest, the Ashenwood Grove bears witness to creatures adorned with fungi and strange creatures known as Fungarians patrolling the pathways. Farms dot the area and mines can be found dug into the mountainsides, but what should be bustling enterprises have ground to a halt as the witches’ special brand of pestilent creatures wreak havoc.
      Each clue found and mystery solved only puts forth more questions as to what could be ultimately manipulating events in Drustvar. Perhaps you’ll find the source of the troubles within Waycrest Manor*—ancestral home of the Waycrest family who watches over Drustvar.
      *Waycrest Manor is a 5-player dungeon in Drustvar.
      A vast coastline surrounds Drustvar to the east, south, and west, where those brave enough can fish, boat, swim, and hunt for treasure. Inland, the mountains and forests provide a chance to hunt a variety of . . . interesting . . . creatures. To the north, the rolling hills and mountains of Stormsong Valley await, while eastward lies Tiragarde Sound—and even more opportunities to earn your way into the good graces of the Kul Tirans.
      You can also check out more zone previews and everything else about the upcoming expansion in our Battle for Azeroth hub!