WoW.com's prestige in the community has afforded us the opportunity to speak to major Azerothian leadership figures on any subject, and we're letting you, the reader, Ask A Faction Leader!
We recently spoke to Tirion Fordring, Highlord of the Argent Crusade, and he shed light on several key issues, including bad-luck blades, volume control, dead horses, holy cows, and killing or being killed. In this installment of Ask A Faction Leader, we'll be sitting with Darion Mograine, Highlord of the Knights of the Ebon Blade.
Our first reader question:
I was looking to inquire as to what the rhyme and reason is behind your surprisingly red (or auburn?) hair is. Most death knights like myself either have a nice frosty shade of white or a deep glacier blue hue to their hair. Look all I'm saying is your eyes glow blue and your hair is red, it doesn't take a prophet to see the clash there. What would you say the % chance of you getting a haircut to match the rest of your fallen brethren is?
Altarius, Death Knight
The first question asked is one about my hair color? Someone has their priorities in a strange order. But yes, it is an understandable question.
The color of a death knight's hair has to do with how long he or she went before being raised under the Lich King's thrall. You'll notice my father kept his trademark fiery red hair, even while undead, because he was raised fairly soon after death. The longer you've been dead, the lighter your hair gets, unless it's straight black to begin with. Black hair usually won't lose its color.
Because I was risen almost immediately after sacrificing myself and redeeming my father's soul, I kept my blond hair. But if you're wondering why it's orange now, that's easy too. It's stained with blood.
Dear Darion Mograine,
I know it was supposed to be a big secret between us Death Knights, but the druids that we used to drag in and mercilessly slaughter to show off the power of our Plague Strikes to our acolytes? Where did they come from, exactly, and now that some entity from up above has found it prudent to take this aspect of Plague Strike away from us, is it really necessary to continue the demonstrations?
Don't get me wrong, one less tree is one more warm fuzzy feeling in my heart - but Death Strikes will only heal me so far, and we're always low on healers as it is.
Vouvray <Insomniac Legion>,
I can see how this might be a little unnerving, especially for the newly-risen, but it's hard to train acolytes for combat against the dead without training them against the living first.
You'll notice that the druids aren't always present. Lady Alistra summons in a number of undead for her training sessions as well as the druids in question. The Lady may say that the summoning of the druid was accidental, but she's just putting on a show for the acolytes. I actually spoke with Archdruid Fandral Staghelm, asking him if he could send over an elite cadre of druids skilled in the art of healing -- the antithesis of Alistra's power -- to aid in her displays. He graciously accepted in return for information on Scourge curses and some Plagueland soil samples.
The druids in question are immediately brought back from the brink by their allies, and we're careful to juggle Rebirth cooldowns. To date we've yet to lose a single druid in our sessions.
I did send a courier to the Archdruid to let him know that the magic behind our Plague Strikes had shifted somewhat during the war and that the druids were no longer required for the demonstrations, but he curiously hasn't responded yet. I imagine he's probably quite busy.
So a while back, some people beat up your Dad in Naxxramas and took his corrupted Ashbringer.
I hope he didn't take it personally. We needed the epics at the time.
Don't worry, it wasn't canon. Don't you read the comic?
What exactly is the deal with Forsaken Death Knights?
This question comes up a lot too, along with the one about my hair.
The Forsaken are unique among undead in that they escaped Arthas' mental grasp. Like any other participants in the war against him, though, the Forsaken can be killed and raised under his command. Now, there are three facets to being a death knight:
1. Being raised by Arthas.
2. Being under Arthas' command.
3. Being imbued with necromantic powers.
By removing the second, you restore free will. Generally, those who've been released from Arthas' thrall join me under the flag of the Ebon Blade. The Forsaken are just unfortunate in that this is the second time that Arthas has enslaved them. At least it makes the transition from death to unlife easier when you've already done it once before. Or possibly harder. My Forsaken death knights tend to be my most ruthless, and that's likely why.
Dear Highlord Mograine,
As my experiences with you and the Quests you sent me on. I found that your cause is much better than the Alliance and Horde rivalry. But what gets to me is... Why won't you let me or anyone else who is not a Death Knight come into the Acherus? I've done many favors and slaughtered powerful creatures with your tabard, I'm a Champion of the Ebon Blade, I helped you claim a section within Icecrown. Do you just hate me or the fact that I was never dead before? ( Incase you didn't know, I came out of my grave more times than you died.) Can you at least let me fly in? I certainly hate stoppping over at the Light's Hope Chapel then look at the Acherus for countless moments to wonder what your planning back in your home.
Karlina, Champion priest of the Ebon Blade
Don't get a persecution complex, sweetheart; this isn't an elitism thing. Allow me to explain.
Acherus was intended to be Arthas' mobile warship once it was fully staffed. It's also full of a lot of new Scourge magic that's very hazardous to the occasional living adventurer. The magic that allows our necropolis to float, for example, causes disease and sickness in any non-Scourge being, save for the most powerful paladins. Think of it as ... unholy radiation, I suppose. If we allowed all races access to the necropolis, chances are very good that the drawbacks would be worse than the advantage.
We are, however, working some magic to counteract the noxious atmosphere of the necropolis. Should our efforts prove successful, we intend to share it with the gnomes. If it works with magical radiation, it might just work for the natural kind. And as much as undeath can change a person, a gnome is always, always a gnome.
Dear Highlord Darion Mograine,
I just have to ask, why in the Acherus all the Champions are either Draenei, Orcs, Taurens, or Humans?
Why not the other 6 races like Night Elves or Gnomes. Is it because you are racist or is it that the other races don't want to join. Thanks for letting me ask this question.
Somehope - Bloodhoof US
Night Elf, Death Knight
Not to put too fine a point on it, Somehope, but if you wanted to have a bunch of menacing elite guards, would you choose gnomes?
Once the Lich King and his Scourge minions are eliminated, how likely do you think it is that we Death Knights will fall victim to the unwanted and focused affections of the Scarlets and their Crusades?
The Scarlets are no longer a threat. Their fervor was mainly due to the mind control they were under by the dreadlord Mal'Ganis, and now that their entire leadership -- including Mal'Ganis, at least for now -- has been eliminated, they will either come to their senses and abandon their foolish crusade or crumble under the weight of their leaderless organization.
My only regret is that I wasn't personally able to raise Whitemane or Abbendis myself. Have you seen those two? I may be dead, but man, do they make me feel alive. Partially, anyway.
For the Might of Mograine!
Greetings Highlord Darion, master of all that is sinister and dark, ruler of the Ebon Blade, and slaughterer of many puppies. I seek an answer from your endless pools of knowledge, a question which not even that the likes of Rhonin could answer. Tell me oh wise one, what was your definite plan in Northrend? You seem to be only occupying small camps and shelters, where's your main base?
If you were as loyal a Knight of the Ebon Blade as you claim to be, you would know that our main plan is to defeat Arthas, and our main base of operations in Icecrown is the Shadow Vault. You don't tend to see me there because I'm out in the field with Fordring, but Duke Lankral is doing an admirable job of holding the fort.
You're suspended without loot. I'll need your badge and your blade.
Since you're what I'd call a "disease expert," I have a question for you. I've got this red and itchy rash that's started to form underneath my armor. I've tried aloe and some other creams to no avail. What should I do?
MechChef, UD DK
He's attached a photo here, let me take a ... wow. Okay. I'm no healer, but two words, man. Resto druid. Or a resto shaman, the poor man's resto druid. Or even a holy paladin, as much as I hate to say it.
And speaking of paladins, this is what happens when you click off Hand of Protection, kids.
If I were an ice cream cone, how would you eat me?
Bubbles the Female Gnome Death knight
What is this I don't even
That's all for our audience with Darion Mograine! Next week, we'll be speaking with Nexus-Prince Haramad of the Consortium! If you have questions for the Prince, whether you need advice or have questions about capitalism or poaching or anything in between, send them via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "AAFL".