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Archive for the ‘Paladin’ Category

I loved the dragon-head pauldrons of the plate set that dropped from the Hour of Twilight dungeons of the last major Cataclysm content patch from the moment I first saw them. I attempted to solo those dungeons with my plate-wearing characters at the end of Mists, but couldn’t quite manage it. By the end of Warlords, though, my Paladin could handle those dungeons with ease, and so I spend a few weeks running them daily, until I’d collected all three colors.

Over the past few months, I’ve put together a set of Transmogrification kits using these pauldrons for each of the three plate-wearing classes.

~*~*~

Ruby Dragonsworn

Faceplate of the Forgotten (N), Temporal Pauldrons, Truesteel Breastplate (3-670), Ogre Beater’s Belt, Elder Tortoiseshell Legplates, Gloves of Gnomebliteration, Ramkahen Front Boots, Ashkandi, Greatsword of the Brotherhood

Life Dragonsworn

Temporal Pauldrons, Breastplate of Solemn Vows, Elder Tortoiseshell Girdle, Legplates of Fractured Crystal, Gauntlets of the Heavy Hand, Jasper Clawfeet, Blade of Infamy, Garrett Family Crest

Bloody Dragonsworn

Temporal Pauldrons, Mightstone Breastplate, Sha-Trapper Waistguard, Sha’tari Keeper Legguards, Truesteel Gauntlets (2-655), Ramkahen Front Boots, Massacre Sword

~*~*~

Emerald Dragonsworn

Demonbreaker Helm, Pauldrons of the Dragonblight, Breastplate of the Terrible Price, Girdle of the Immovable, Greaves of the Bloodwarder, Crystalplate Gauntlets, Highstrider Boots, Sword of Nefarian’s Hand

Dream Dragonsworn

Pauldrons of the Dragonblight, Wildguard Breastplate & Leggings, Earthswell Belt, Bamboo Plate Gauntlets, Crafted Dreadful Gladiator’s Warboots of Alacrity, Dragon’s Call, Emerald Shield

Unholy Dragonsworn

Pauldrons of the Dragonblight, Sunveil Breastplate, Truesteel Waistguard (1-640), Legguards of Stratholme, Refitted Bruiser Gauntlets, Raceway Boots, Manslayer of the Qiraji

~*~*~

Azure Dragonsworn

Seabone Heaume, Pauldrons of Conviction, Breastplate of the Bold, Belt of the Emerald Guardian, Legplates of the Bold, Pillager’s Gauntlets, Coldbite Warboots, Blue Workman’s Shirt, Frostbitten Greatsword

Ley Dragonsworn

Pauldrons of Conviction, Everbright Breastplate, Truesteel Waistguard (3-670), Greaves of the Outcast Knight, Gloves of the Stela, Boots of Valiance, Runescribed Blade, Bastion of Light

Frosty Dragonsworn

Pauldrons of Conviction, Chestguard of Salved Wounds, Clear-Eyed Waistguard, Truesteel Greaves (3-670), Schooner-Savior’s Grips, Insubordination Boots*, Hailstorm

~*~*~

I had been thinking how nice it would be to have topaz and onyx colored versions of these shoulders with which to do a set of Bronze and Black Dragonflight kits. It looks like I’ll be able to get the topaz version, at least — the plate Transmogrification set for winning the Deaths of Chromie scenario is exactly that!


armor preview image from Wowhead

Looks like I’ll be running that scenario with my Paladin, then.

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I’d been sitting on my level 100 boost, not knowing quite whether I wanted to use it on an existing character or save it for a new character concept. This weekend, it occurred to me that I often wish that my Dwarf Paladin, who’d been stagnating at level 63-ish ever since I faction changed her from a Blood Elf during Cataclysm, were higher level — so why oughtn’t I just spend the boost on her?

To be sure, I just want her to be higher level so that I can use higher level stuff to make outfits for her, but it’s not like I’d be spending the boost on a character I’d actually play if I used it on any other character — any other character I boosted would be just for the purpose of being a mannequin, too. That’s how I spent my level 90 boost, after all — on the Male Tauren Warrior, so that I’d have a male model to dress up on occasion.

So I did it.

Doing the boost meant I got to see the “how to play your DPS spec” tutorial (which seemed very rudimentary indeed) and do the Alliance version of the Broken Shore scenario again. The Alliance version feels more emotionally powerful to me. I tried to take screenshots of things I might have missed the first time through, with Kaylynda. As I was taking pictures of the Weary-Eyed Mourners at Varian’s funeral and being impressed by the variety of their outfits, I remembered someone saying that the mourners are actually Alliance Garrison followers. I’m less familiar with the Alliance Garrison followers than the Horde ones, but once I thought of that, I began to recognize them — or at least their clothing, from their Horde equivalents.

Anyhow, here is the outfit I’ve been longing to make with this character that she needed to be higher level to wear. I like the Alliance versions of the Trial of the Crusader gear so much better than the Horde versions…

Turalyon’s Charge

Turalyon’s Plate with Lightbringer Greathelm, Sunsoul Girdle, Truesteel Boots (3-670), Brilliant Hexweave Cloak (2-655), Ironfoe, and Maximillian’s Shield

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Shaman, Restoration 31 August 2016

Demon Hunter, Havoc 9 September 2016

Shaman, Elemental 23 September 2016

Shaman, Enhancement 23 September 2016

Mage, Fire 8 October 2016

Mage, Arcane 15 October 2016

Mage, Frost 22 October 2016

Priest, Discipline 28 October 2016

Rogue, Outlaw 29 October 2016

Warlock, Destruction 12 November 2016

Monk, Brewmaster 23 November 2016

Death Knight, Frost 26 November 2016

Hunter, Survival 26 November 2016

Warrior, Arms 30 November 2016

Paladin, Protection 1 December 2016

Druid, Balance 2 December 2016

Hunter, Marksmanship 10 December 2016

It didn’t seem quite right to claim Thas’dorah as a Tauren; that bow rightfully belongs to the children of the Sunwell. So I used the Orb of the Sin’dorei before I picked it up. I guess my camera angle was bad right at the moment when I clicked on Thas’dorah, because this is the best screenshot I got of the triumphal moment.

Hunter, Beast Mastery 10 December 2016

Demon Hunter, Vengeance 10 December 2016

Monk, Windwalker 23 December 2016

Monk, Mistweaver 23 December 2016

Death Knight, Blood 29 December 2016

Death Knight, Unholy 29 December 2016

Rogue, Subtlety 30 December 2016

Rogue, Assassination 30 December 2016

Warlock, Affliction 6 January 2017

Warlock, Demonology 6 January 2017

Druid, Guardian 11 January 2017

Druid, Feral 11 January 2017

Druid, Restoration 11 January 2017

I didn’t get a very good screenshot of picking up G’Hanir because the camera swung around to be under the surface of the nearby pond… but I was feeling to lazy to do the whole scenario over again just to get a better screenshot of the triumphal moment.

Priest, Holy 14 January 2017

Priest, Shadow 14 January 2017

Warrior, Fury 15 January 2017

Warrior, Protection 15 January 2017

Paladin, Holy 16 January 2017

Paladin, Retribution 16 January 2017

~*~*~

The Artifact questlines that packed the most emotional punch (for me) were the Ashbringer, the Doomhammer, and Fu Zan.

Three Artifacts are found on Niskara: Holy Priest, Marksmanship Hunter, and Blood Death Knight. I wasn’t able to determine the “canonical” order in which these events occur.

Three Artifacts are found at Tyr’s Fall in Tirisfal Glades. To the best of my understanding the canonical order of events is as follows: Arms Warrior, Shadow Priest, Holy Paladin.

Three Artifacts are found in the Tomb of Old Kings on Shield’s Rest island in Stormheim. To the best of my understanding the canonical order of events is as follows: Protection Warrior, Protection Paladin, Beastmaster Hunter.

Three Artifacts are found in the Karazhan Catacombs. Because all three questlines end with killing the same boss, I’m not sure which order they would canonically go in, but if I had to hazard a guess, I’d say Balance Druid, Unholy Death Knight, Affliction Warlock.

Two Artifacts are recovered from Felsoul Hold in Suramar. I’m not sure which event happened first, the Havoc Demon Hunter or the Demonology Warlock.

Two Artifacts are recovered from Icecrown Citadel. I’m not sure which event happened first, the Frost Death Knight or the Fire Mage.

Two Artifacts are retrieved from the Nexus. I’m not sure which event happened first, the Arcane Mage or the Discipline Priest.

Two Artifacts are retrieved from the Broken Shore. To the best of my understanding the canonical order of events is as follows: Retribution Paladin, Vengeance Demon Hunter.

Two Artifacts are found in the Helmouth Shallows of Stormheim. These two events, Survival Hunter and Fury Warrior, seem to be quite independent of each other and might have occurred in either order.

The locations for the Frost Mage (a Legion place that wasn’t Niskara), Destruction Warlock, and Beast Master Hunter were unique, but the other questlines for those classes went to shared locations.

The Druid Artifact quests go to one shared location (for Balance) and to three places that no other class goes: Grizzly Hills, the Shattered Locus, and Nordrassil.

Only Shamans go to Vashj’ir, the Temple of the White Tiger, or Deepholm.

Only Monks go to the Temple of the Jade Serpent, the Vortex Pinnacle, or the Terrace of Endless Spring.

Only Rogues go to the Temple of a Thousand Lights, Legion Citadel (it’s not on Niskara), and Stormwind.

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At last, the final two of the thirty-six Class & Specialization specific Artifact Weapons are mine.

The Holy Paladin quest took me once again to Tyr’s Fall in the Whispering Forest of Tirisfal Glades. With the big bad of the other two questlines not there at all and a different big bad for this questline, it is clear that the sequence of events there was Arms Warrior, Shadow Priest, Holy Paladin. So what were the secret Paladins doing while the Arms Warriors and Shadow Priests were poking around there? Going to Dalaran to get help, I guess.

I’m pretty rusty with Paladin healing, and that combined with the changes to the class mechanics meant that my party wiped on our first attempt at the final boss. I might have to re-evaluate my talent choices for that spec before I try to take it into a dungeon.

As expected, the Retribution Paladin quest went back to the Broken Shore.

I won’t spoil what happens, other than to say that it appears to me that even though I collected the Paladin Artifacts in the order Protection, Holy, Retribution, the canonical order in which the Highlord acquired the Artifacts seems to have been Ashbringer first, then the other two. The Ashbringer questline segues most directly into the post-acquisition-of-first-Artifact event at the Order Hall, and the Highlord going to get the Ashbringer first would give the Battlelord time to be first to Shield’s Rest and the Battlelord and the High Priest time to have their own adventures at Tyr’s Fall before the Highlord gets there.

I do still have to acquire the Underlight Angler before my Artifact collection will be 100% complete, but I’ve got a lot of fishing left to do to get it, and spending my playtime doing nothing but fishing is usually an activity I reserve for when I want to play WoW on Sunday.

Now that I’ve completed this Alt Progression goal, the next two Alt Progression objectives are to complete a zone and get its Pillar of Creation and to level to 103 and complete the chapter of the Order Hall Campaign that opens up at that level. Because they’ve all already done the Falling Star questline, doing these two things will complete unlocking all the tints for the default appearances of the Artifact Weapons.

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Kamalia hasn’t gotten much play this week. Being so close to the first Legion alt-leveling milestone of getting each Class its first Artifact weapon and to level 101 to unlock Champion missions at the Order Hall, I wanted to get that done.

~*~*~

I chose Arms first with my Warrior because Mr Rossi says it’s the best for leveling and World Questing.

Skyhold is aesthetically lovely. As much as my Warrior has been intrigued by the Vrykul ever since Northrend, though, she finds Skyhold rather lonely with only Valarjar and Val’kyr there. And despite previous encounters with Titan structures and constructs, it wasn’t until she unexpectedly found herself in Skyhold, staring at Odyn, that the works of the Titans caused her to wonder about the reality of the Earthmother. Perhaps if she’d been to Ulduar with Khadgar and Brann to see Magni, she might not be feeling so unsettled. But only my Paladin, Shaman, Druid, and Mage did that. I might have to come up with an in-character motivation for my Warrior to go talk to Archivist Elysiana to do that questline (at least the Ulduar part of it)…

~*~*~

It was a thoroughly delightful surprise to discover that the Tauren Seers were involved in the first stages of the quest chain for the Protection Paladin Artifact. Some of the later quest chain text speaks of “a great warrior” who went to one of the locations before the paladins do. I’m guessing it was probably for the Protection Warrior Artifact (because I went somewhere quite different for the Arms one) but the warrior didn’t go to exactly the same specific location, just the same general area, so my headcanon can be that my Paladin did in fact go there first.

This sword and shield are so pretty that I don’t feel sad about not being able to use the Alliance movie tie-in weapons with my Tauren Paladin anymore 😛

As for the Paladin Order Hall, now that I’ve actually been to the Sanctum of Light, I totally get what I’ve read about Priests being utterly smitten with jealousy when they get to visit the Paladin place as part of their Order Hall Campaign. The Mage place is still my favorite Order Hall, but the Paladin place is a very close second!

~*~*~

I’ve read that the Balance Druid and Affliction Warlock Artifact questlines are substantially similar in much the same way that the Disc Priest and Arcane Mage Artifact questlines are. After playing through the Balance Druid questline, I’d guess that the first few quests are different for Balance Druids and Affliction Warlocks, but that after you meet up with Revil Kost in Duskwood, they are essentially identical. I saw a Gnome Warlock running around in some of the same places that I was investigating.

I can’t think of The Scythe of Elune without wanting to call it “The Scythe of Elooooone“, ala Oxhorn (one of the very early movies, though I don’t remember exactly which one anymore).

In one of the other treasure chambers of the Karazhan Crypts, I found this strange statue.

I have never, ever seen this image before. What is it? Where did it come from? Something about the style of it makes me wonder if perhaps it might have been designed to be part of Yaungol lore, in a questline that got cut? Or does it portend some as-yet-unknown Tauren faction?

~*~*~

With the first milestone completed, my next objectives are to level the characters who want multiple Artifacts to 102 so I can get the rest of the Artifacts I want to collect and to bring Light’s Heart to each Order Hall. In my headcanon, though, Light’s Heart will actually be at the Fel Hammer because my Demon Hunter is the primary character with whom I intend to pursue the continuation of that quest chain at level 110.

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Kaelinda accompanied Karaelia to the Isle of Quel’Danas. “I should very much like to see this prismatic blade fully restored,” she explained, “and it might help your case with Ranger General Brightwing if a Sin’dorei on pilgrimage is with you. It has been some time since I last visited the Sunwell, since its renewal.”

As they approached the entrance to the Sunwell complex, a warden warned them, “Only those who have the Ranger General’s approval may enter the Sunwell Plateau.”

Kaelinda sighed. “This is the most sacred place known to the Sin’dorei, but it had been long enough since we regained control of the Sunwell that the guard had been relaxed and it had become much easier for pilgrims to gain entrance. Then Garrosh happened, and the guard here got more stringent again to protect against him trying to use the Sunwell for nasty purposes. Did you know that Regent-Lord Theron was thinking about opening talks with Stormwind for the Sin’dorei to rejoin the Alliance? Then there was that terrible incident with the Divine Bell in Darnassus, and the Purge of Dalaran, and now the guard here is tighter than it has ever been except for right after we reclaimed this place.”

Ranger General Brightwing scowled at them. “You would raise the hopes of our people with tales of Quel’Delar? Without proof of the truth of your claims, I see no reason to take you at your word.”

Karaelia unbuckled the scabbarded sword and handed it to him. He examined the hilt, and his demeanor changed.

“Oh, so you are the one with whom Myralion Sunblaze has been working. Well, then. And Magistrix Dawnstrider, I apologize, I did not recognize you at first. Still, I must verify that you are not trying to hoax our people with a cunningly crafted replica.”

“These have been trying times, of late,” Kaelinda acknowledged.

“I know of a way that we can test this sword,” said the Ranger General. “If you know the blade’s history –” he paused, looking at them in a significant sort of way, and they both nodded. Satisfied, he continued, “then you will recall that it was last wielded by Thalorien Dawnseeker in the defense of the Sunwell against the Scourge. He fell in what is now the Dead Scar, buying time for his regiment to make their own preparations. You will find his remains at the southern end of the Dead Scar on this isle. Visit them, and if his spirit gives you its blessing, I will allow you to enter the Sunwell with this blade.”

~*~*~

Karaelia looked out over the blackened, bone-carpeted Dead Scar and wondered how she would find one man’s remains among the debris. Perhaps the sword would give her an indication of when she had found its former master?

She was glad for Kaelinda’s company. The mage quickly prepared a small seeking spell that would search for armor items bearing the sigils of the Dawnseeker family. She sent it out across the Dead Scar, where it zipped back and forth, hovering here and there for a moment or two. At last it hovered in the same spot for several seconds, then exploded in a spray of firework-like sparks.

As Karaelia and Kaelinda approached the spot, both the sword and the armor-clad skeleton lying there began to glow. A ghostly regiment of high elves appeared. Their commander addressed them.

“We must defend the Sunwell from the enemy at all costs. I am ordering you to withdraw to the Sunwell proper to help prepare the defenses. I will make my stand here and buy you as much time as I am able. Use it well and make our prince proud. It has been a great honor to fight beside you in defense of our land and people.”

The ghostly regiment turned and walked northward toward the Sunwell. The commander faced southward, readying himself — and then he noticed Karaelia and Kaelinda.

“You! Strangers!” he said, “You are not my soldiers. Will you stay and stand with me to face the enemy?” When they nodded, he faced southward again and shouted, “Listen well, Scourge defilers! None of you will reach the Sunwell so long as I stand!”

A death knight on a deathcharger approached, proclaiming, “You will fall as your lands and city have before you. My lord will win a great victory here, and none will remember your name!”

Waves of Scourge assaulted the high elf commander, but with Karaelia and Kaelinda’s assistance, they were all destroyed. The ghost turned to them. “I… I wasn’t meant to survive this attack. Why has this happened? Why have you come here?”

His gaze fell upon the hilt of Quel’Delar. “It’s the sword!” he exclaimed, “Quel’Delar! You possess it!”

Astonishment filling his voice, he continued, “I don’t know how, but the blade has chosen you to be its new wielder. Take it with my blessing, and wield it against the Scourge as I once did.” He knelt before Karaelia, then vanished. The glow surrounding the sword and the armored skeleton rapidly faded away.

~*~*~

“You truly do carry Quel’Delar,” said Ranger General Brightwing, when they related to him what had occurred in the Dead Scar. “This is a great day for all of Quel’Thalas and the Sin’dorei. You have my leave to enter the Sunwell and finish the sword’s restoration. The children of Silvermoon have dreamt of this day for years.”

A warden escorted them into the Sunwell Plateau complex, leading them on a separate path from the one the rest of the pilgrims were taking. They soon reached the Sunwell itself.

At the edge of the Sunwell, a group of pilgrims was listening to Lady Liadrin. Karaelia and Kaelinda sat down to listen, too. The pilgrims nearest to them scooted away, instinctively shying from the evil radiated by the saronite in the blade of Quel’Delar.

“My brothers and sisters,” the Blood Knight Matriarch said, “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 all.

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.”

The group of pilgrims applauded, then dispersed. Lady Liadrin withdrew from the edge of the Sunwell, following her own challenge to resist renewed addiction, and sat down on a bench. She closed her eyes and appeared to be meditating.

Karaelia knelt at the edge of the Sunwell and carefully immersed Quel’Delar in it. A shower of light burst forth, sparkling and crackling. A gasp, followed by the “ooh” and “ahh” of a crowd at a Midsummer Fire Festival fireworks show, arose from the pilgrims. The blade began to shine with a pure, clean radiance. It almost seemed to be singing with joy.

As Karaelia reached for the hilt, she could no longer feel the sticky sensation of saronite’s evil pulling on her soul. At the same time, the hilt seemed to be pushing her away with little arcs and pulses of light. Karaelia looked around, saw Lady Liadrin, and understood.

Thalorien Dawnseeker had told her that Quel’Delar chose its own wielders. It had chosen her to bring it here, but now that it was restored and purified, it was not hers to continue to bear.

She knelt before Lady Liadrin. “My Lady,” she began, unsure of quite how to say what she meant.

“Yes, young one?” Lady Liadrin opened her eyes, and Karaelia watched her expression change to awe as she looked over Karaelia’s head and saw Quel’Delar glowing in the Sunwell.

“My Lady Liadrin,” Karaelia began again, and now she knew what she should say, “here is Quel’Delar, the prismatic blade gifted by the dragonflights to your people so long ago and lost in the Scourge attack on the Sunwell. I know not why it chose me and my family and friends to recover it, but now that it is restored, there is only one person who has the right to wield it: you. You, the champion of the Light for the Sin’dorei.”

Lady Liadrin rose to her feet, placing a slightly shaking hand on Karaelia’s shoulder. “Am I truly laying my eyes on the weapon of Thalorien Dawnseeker?” she said, in a slightly breathless voice. “This is a wondrous day for all Sin’dorei. Our people, sin’dorei and quel’dorei alike, have dreamt of this for years. Quel’Delar rises again, as the Sin’dorei rise again and again from the ashes of defeat and betrayal!” Liadrin’s voice strengthened as she spoke, and now as she proclaimed these triumphant words, she stepped past Karaelia to the edge of the Sunwell, reached out, and Quel’Delar leapt into her hand. Liadrin held the prismatic blade high above her head, and the cheering of the elves echoed off of the faraway ceiling of the room.

Lady Liadrin lowered Quel’Delar. Wordlessly, Karaelia handed her its scabbard. As she sheathed the blade and buckled it to her side, Liadrin turned to look at Karaelia directly. “Thank you, Tauren — no, I know you, I have seen you working with my Knights. Karaelia. Thank you, Karaelia, for doing this great service for my people. You have done us, and yourself, a great honor. Light — or how do your people say it? An’she? An’she be with you.”

~*~*~

“So,” said Keija, when Karaelia returned to the farmhouse at Halfhill, “where is that sword we made from that battered old hilt that Kam gave you? I thought you went to the Sunwell to cleanse the taint of saronite from it. What happened? Did you drop it all the way in and lose it at the bottom, or something?”

“No,” Karaelia replied quietly, shaking her head. “I didn’t lose it. I gave it to Lady Liadrin. That sword… it choses its own masters, and once I took it there, and cleansed it, my part in its story was done. It was never really meant for me.”

Around the common room of the house, her sisters’ heads nodded. Kamalia looked up from her leatherworking and smiled at Karaelia. “I knew there was a reason why I felt like I ought to give that hilt to you. Well done, little sister, well done.”

~*~*~

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“You want me to help you with what?” Keija sounded bemused, which was reassuring. Since encountering the Shas of Anger, Violence, and Hatred in Kun-Lai, the warrior had struggled to keep her temper under control. “Little sister, I could have forged you a perfectly serviceable new blade for that old hilt any time. All you had to do was ask.”

“Well, I did mean to ask you, but then I got kind of distracted…”

“Don’t we all! Let me have a look at that.”

Karaelia handed the hilt and blade of the broken prismatic sword to Keija, who studied them with an artisan blacksmith’s practiced eye.

“Hmm… These pieces are in surprisingly good condition, for being frozen in ice and banging around in the bottom of your bags for all those years… A dragonforged prismatic blade? Well, I guess I’ve seen enough replicas of Quel’Serrar — some of them better than others, to be sure — floating around… and the Titan techniques I’ve been learning at the Thunder Forge might come in handy… you’re sure those elves are sure we should be using saronite for this project? I never liked working with that stuff, even when I got decently good at it.”

~*~*~

Karaelia tanked, Kaohana healed, and Keija, Kaelinda, and Kregga made sure that things got dead and stayed dead. Kaelinda had come along because of her scholarly interest in the hilt, and Kregga had come because a Death Knight’s skills might be needed when dealing with the remaining minions of the Lich King. They encountered very little resistance, however, as they made their way through the Pit of Saron to the domain of the Lich King’s Forgemaster.

“Watch my back,” Keija warned, “and be patient, now. This will probably take a few hours.”

It did, but she’d said that several times as they were assembling supplies for the expedition, and they were prepared.

Keija muttered and grumbled and sometimes complained very loudly about how much she hated working with saronite and occasionally cursed at the material and the arrangements of the Scourge forge. Partway through, she called Kaelinda over to come help with keeping the enchantments on the blade stable while she manipulated the metal.

The reforging was approaching completion when they all heard the Lich King’s voice in their minds.

What is this noise that awakens me from my slumber? Ah, you have found Lana’thel’s precious sword. You are bold to try to reclaim this prize!

The Lich King began sending waves of minions at them, first ghouls, then other assorted types of undead creatures, then finally bonewyrms. Karaelia, Kregga, and Kaohana held them off while Keija and Kaelinda continued working on the sword.

Finally Keija announced, “It is done!”

Very well, the Lich King rumbled, Take it and begone. The next one who attempts to steal one of my treasures will not be so fortunate.

~*~*~

“You have remade the blade of Quel’Delar in defiance of Blood Queen Lana’thel’s pronouncement!” Magister Sunblaze crowed as they emerged, exhausted, from the Pit of Saron. “Now the blade must be tempered before you can show the complete folly of her words.”

“Well, duh,” Keija grumbled quietly, sounding more surly than Karaelia had heard for a long time, even in Pandaria. “That jagged saronite edge is brittle and will shatter the moment it strikes anything. What do you suggest, oh great Magister?”

“In the Forge of Souls there is a Crucible which should be suitable,” Magister Sunblaze responded, genteely ignoring Keija’s sour tone.

“Hmph,” growled Keija, “I guess that figures, for saronite.”

~*~*~

Karaelia could feel the Lich King at the back of her mind, watching them, but no obstacles were thrown in their way as they fought through the anguished spirits in the Forge of Souls to the Crucible of Souls.

The Crucible — an incongrously brilliantly glowing object in the dark, oppressive halls of Icecrown Citadel — sputtered, flickered, and hissed as Keija plunged the blade into it, pulled it out, hammered at it here and there, and then plunged it in again, several times until she was satisfied with the quality of the edge.

“This is the best work I’ve ever done in saronite,” Keija said at last. “It better be good enough for that elf.”

~*~*~

“This is exquisite!” said Magister Sunblaze admiringly, holding the tempered blade aloft and watching the play of light upon its surface. “But..” his face clouded, “tempering the blade should have restored it. Why hasn’t it worked?”

“I don’t mean physically restored,” he added swiftly, seeing Keija’s face darken and her fists clench, “the physical restoration you have done is perfection itself! I mean, er, magically restored. It feels to me as if it sits quietly in its sheath, little different from a mundane blade.”

“Really?” said Karaelia. “As I carried it back here, after we tempered it, I felt it… pulling on me. It felt almost as if the sword itself possessed a will. You don’t feel that?”

“That’s what you get for remaking it with saronite,” Keija muttered.

“No…” said the Magister slowly, “…I don’t. But if it is pulling on you, as you say… Dare you bring it where it wishes to go?”

“It is not right,” Kaelinda said thoughtfully, “that the sword should be this silent for you,” she nodded toward Magister Sunblaze, ” and yet this insistent for you.” She nodded toward Karaelia. “If we do not take it to its destination, though, we will never learn why. But where is it wanting to go?”

“We are in the Lich King’s citadel, and he called this sword one of his prizes,” Kregga put in. “I say we take it to the Halls of Reflection, to the room where Arthas kept Frostmourne, and see if the lingering resonances of that shattered blade in that room call forth a response from this blade.”

Karaelia took the sword back from Magister Sunblaze and studied how it felt as she hefted it. It seemed to be pulsing with darkness. “Yes,” she agreed, “that does seem to be the direction in which it is pulling me.”

~*~*~

Cautiously, Karaelia and the others approached Sword’s Rest. They were still several yards away when a spectre of Uther Lightbringer appeared.

“Halt!” the spectre commanded, “Do not carry that blade any further! Do you realize what you’ve done?”

In the presence of the shards of Frostmourne, Quel’Delar leapt out of Karaelia’s hands, whirled away, and then turned to attack her!

Reflexively, Karaelia brought her shield around and bashed at the renegade weapon. Her friends unleashed equally reflexive attacks, and the blade clattered to the ground as if it were a person who had been knocked unconscious.

“You have forged this blade from saronite,” the spectre of Uther chided, “the very blood of an Old God. The power of the Lich King calls to this weapon.”

“I told you I thought that using saronite to reforge the blade was a bad idea at the beginning, right?” Keija whispered loudly.

“Each moment you tarry here,” the spectre continued, “Quel’Delar drinks in the evil of this place. There is only one way to cleanse this sword. Make haste to the Sunwell and immerse the blade in its waters.” The spectre faded away.

“The Sunwell!” Kaelinda exclaimed. “How can we know that doing this will not defile the Sunwell again?”

~*~*~

“How can evil take root in such a sword?” Magister Sunblaze gasped, shocked, when they told him what had happened in the Halls of Reflection.

Keija rolled her eyes. “Uther told us, and I was telling you all along, that it was the saronite that did it. We should have taken it to the Thunder Forge and used lightning steel instead.” Her mood seemed to be improving, thankfully.

“I would not have thought it possible if the evidence weren’t here before my eyes,” Magister Sunblaze continued, ignoring Keija. “If the greatest of dragonkind’s creations could be corrupted and turned against them, why not a mere sword?” He shook his head wonderingly.

“I believe Uther is right,” he said decisively. “Trust in Uther’s words when he says that you will not always be able to control the blade while it is subject to the evil of the Lich King’s influence. You must heed his advice quickly, and take Quel’Delar to the Sunwell as quickly as possible. With Regent-Lord Theron in Pandaria, you will need to gain admission from the Ranger General, Halduron Brightwing.”

~*~*~

Note: the appearance of the Lich King in this part of the story is not part of the original questline. It is inspired, rather, by the role of the Lich King in certain Legion Artifact weapon questlines that take place in Icecrown Citadel.

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