Many roleplay guilds run with a theme of some sort, whether it's a group of heroes all thrown together with a specific cause, a family or noble house, or even a rag-tag group of mercenaries. Those aren't the only themes available to play, however. World of Warcraft has several different organizations established in lore, and some players choose to place their characters in those organizations. It's a good way to root the character in the existing lore, but it's also an excellent way to help define the character you're playing. Due to popular request, over the next few weeks I'll be addressing some of Azeroth's major organizations and taking a closer look at each.
The Blood Knights of Silvermoon are a relatively new organization by Azeroth's standards, formed for one purpose and now practicing another. Though it could be stated that their story began and ended in The Burning Crusade, that's not exactly true. There are plenty of plot threads left hanging that Blood Knights can play with.
The Blood Knights
The Blood Knights are Blood Elf paladins. Not all paladins need to belong to the Blood Knight organization these days, but if you are a paladin and you are a Blood Elf, you were a Blood Knight at one point in time or another in your character's history.
When Silvermoon was ransacked by the Scourge and Kael'thas Sunstrider made his way to Outland in an attempt to find a cure for the Blood Elves' natural addiction to magic, those left behind were mostly Blood Elves who were unfit to travel through the portal and fight for Kael'thas in Outland. They also searched for a cure for the addiction but were largely unsuccessful. One day, a gift arrived from Kael'thas -- a Naaru who had been captured during Kael'thas' assault on Tempest Keep.
This Naaru, Mu'ru, was held prisoner in Silvermoon, and a Blood Elf magister named Astalor Bloodsworn discovered that by siphoning the Naaru's powers, the Blood Elves could wield the Light in the manner of a paladin. Lady Liadrin was the first to use this method and founded the order of Blood Elf paladins known as the Blood Knights. Countless Blood Elves trained under the watchful eye of Liadrin, learning how to master their control over the Light, all the while siphoning energy off the captured Naaru.
Over the course of The Burning Crusade, it was revealed that Kael'thas had pretty much gone stark, raving bonkers. He returned to Silvermoon and stole Mu'ru away for his own purposes, leaving the Blood Knights with nothing left to siphon. Liadrin traveled to Shattrath to speak with Ad'al and beg forgiveness for her actions, and Ad'al revealed that Mu'ru and A'dal knew all along that this would occur.
The prophet Velen foretold a prophecy, "Silvery moon, washed in blood, Led astray into the night, armed with the sword of broken Light. Broken, then betrayed by one, standing there bestride the sun. At darkest hour, redemption comes, in knightly lady sworn to blood." Liadrin, shocked, agreed to follow A'dal and the others down the true path of the Light, joining the order of the Shattered Sun and assaulting the Sunwell in an attempt to put down Kael'thas and whatever his plans might be for good.
The assault on the Sunwell included the defeat of Mu'ru, who had by now darkened to a void state. Once Mu'ru was defeated and Kil'jaeden banished back to the nether, the Sunwell lay dormant, the world saved. But the Naaru had one last trick up its sleeve -- Prophet Velen arrived at the Sunwell and used the heart of Mu'ru to reignite the font of power and imbue it with the Light. Liadrin witnessed it all.
Lady Liadrin says: My brothers and sisters, words cannot describe what I felt upon seeing the Sunwell rekindled. In that moment, the Light revealed to me the truth of the terrible things I had done. Our people had walked a dark path and mine was among the darkest of them all. But the Light showed me that I was not lost. It helped me to find the strength to survive in spite of all that had happened and all the evil I had wrought.And the Blood Knights are, to a degree. The Light that they practice is no longer siphoned from a naaru -- it radiates from the Sunwell itself.
It is a strength that we sin'dorei all share. It is a strength we will need to free ourselves of the addiction ravaging our people. It will be the most difficult battle we have ever faced, but our resolve and the power of the Sunwell will sustain us until we have been restored to our greatness.
Blood Elf Pilgrim says: Well said, my lady. We sin'dorei will be free and we shall be great again!
Blinded by Light
What happened Prior to the invasion of the Scourge, many High Elves were practitioners and members of the Church of Holy Light. After the destruction of the Sunwell and the complete lack of any kind of aid from the Alliance, many of these High Elves grew to view the Holy Light with a sense of contempt -- Liadrin included. With this contempt was a loss of faith, which led to their loss in power. That's why the Blood Knights needed Mu'ru, because the Light was no longer something that came to them naturally. With the reconstruction of the Sunwell, the Blood Knights are now properly wielding the Light, just as they had years before.
How this affects your character It depends on whether or not your Blood Knight was a paladin before the loss of the Sunwell. If he was, then the subsequent fall from grace, as it were, and the rediscovery of the Light is probably something that affected him greatly. If he wasn't, he may still be affected. After all, the Light is an active practice of virtue, and the way the Blood Knights originally got their powers was far from virtuous.
What to consider How did your Blood Knight react to the sudden change in how he wields his powers? Is he ashamed of how he abused the Light in the early days of The Burning Crusade, or is he secretly wishing he were still master over the Light in all ways? Is it easier for him to wield the Light, now that the Sunwell has been restored, or has it become far more difficult to handle?
What happened The Sunwell was originally a font of arcane power. Now it's a mix of arcane and Light, allowing the Blood Knights to properly practice their powers. But Lady Liadrin or any of the other Blood Knights didn't restore the Sunwell -- Prophet Velen, the leader of the Draenei, restored it. In addition, the Sunwell was ignited with the heart of a Naaru -- the same Naaru the Blood Knights originally siphoned their powers from.
How this affects your character It's an odd series of events, if anything, but it's an odd series of events ripe with points to ponder. The Sunwell originally had nothing to do with whether or not the High Elves could be paladins; they were simply followers of the Light. Now, the Sunwell radiates with the Light. Mu'ru essentially sacrificed himself to guide the Blood Knights back to the Light, and his heart ensures that they will continue to follow the correct path.
What to consider How does your Blood Knight feel about the Naaru? Does he view them as Light-giving gods? Does he view them as allies? What does he think of the Sunwell's restoration? How does he view the Prophet Velen? Is he willing to trust the Draenei leader's actions, or is he wary of hidden motives?
What happened The original Blood Knights in The Burning Crusade were remarkably arrogant and often looked down their noses at the other, "lesser" Blood Elves. They were masters of the Light, bending it to perform at their whim. But the revelation of Mu'ru's sacrifice and Kael'thas' corruption and treachery struck a blow to all Blood Elves, and the Blood Knights were left with the quiet realization that their actions were wrong, that their mastery over the Light wasn't the correct way to handle it.
How this affects your character Was your character one of the arrogant Blood Knights? Did he look down his nose at others or consider himself superior? The actions of Mu'ru and the subsequent actions of Liadrin suggest that most Blood Knights were at least in some part embarrassed by their past actions, if not humiliated.
What to consider Is your Blood Knight one of those who considered himself superior to the other Blood Elves? How does he view them now? Is he contrite for his actions, or is he still convinced that he is somehow better than his peers? Did he learn anything from the events of The Burning Crusade, or his he still as haughty and arrogant as ever?
The Blood Knights as an organization haven't been around for terribly long -- only two or three years at best, according to the Warcraft timeline. Yet the sheer amount of change that they've seen in those two or three years is enough to give any Blood Knight roleplayer pause. Don't let the sheer amount of story sway you from exploring what the organization has to offer.
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