- For the character with the title "the Ashbringer", see . For the comic book mini-series by Wildstorm, see World of Warcraft: Ashbringer. For the in-game weapon introduced in World of Warcraft: Legion, see . For the original GM item, see .
The Ashbringer is a powerful sword named for its ability to slaughter the undead and leave nothing but ash in its wake. It shares its name with its original wielder, , the former Highlord of the Silver Hand known as the Ashbringer. Reports vary as to whether the sword was named after Mograine or vice versa.
Alexandros's oldest son, Renault, betrayed and murdered him with the sword, transforming it into the . Alexandros was resurrected as a death knight to lead the Four Horsemen of the Scourge, and kept the sword until his youngest son Darion killed him in Naxxramas and reclaimed the blade. Darion later discovered his father's soul had become corrupted and trapped in the sword, so he plunged it into his own heart in attempt to save him. His father's soul was redeemed, but Darion became a death knight. The sword was eventually purified after Darion betrayed the and relinquished it to .
The sword's story has been slowly revealed since World of Warcraft's inception, and it had a pronounced role in Wrath of the Lich King, but players were unable to wield it until the release of Legion.
- 1 History
- 2 In World of Warcraft
- 3 Trivia
- 4 Rumors and speculation
- 5 Gallery
- 6 Videos
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- See also: Old Hillsbrad Ashbringer event
During the assault on Blackrock Spire in the Second War, Highlord Alexandros Mograine took a mysterious, dark crystal from a dead orc warlock. The crystal was the "living embodiment of shadow" and it came from Draenor. Upon touching it, Mograine's hand became tainted and could not be healed.
Mograine kept the crystal a secret for years until just before the Scourge invasion of Lordaeron. He then revealed it to the other leaders of the Silver Hand, suggesting that they try to find the crystal's antithesis — a manifestation of the Holy Light itself — that could be used against the undead in the impending invasion. Mograine's peers were appalled at the sight of the dark crystal and tried to destroy it with holy spells. Unexpectedly, the crystal absorbed the spells and became the crystal of pure light that Mograine suggested moments before. They agreed to forge a weapon from the crystal that would smite the undead with such power that only a cloud of ash would remain in its wake.
Mograine and Fairbanks traveled to Ironforge, where forged the blade on the Great Anvil. Magni hoped the sword would be used to avenge his brother, Muradin, whom he believed had been killed by the Scourge.
Fall of the Highlord
After Arthas's betrayal, the Silver Hand was dissolved but the remaining leaders banded together to fight the undead of the now-Plaguelands. The Ashbringer became the most lethal weapon in their arsenal — so much so that it quickly garnered the attention of Kel'Thuzad. (in the newly-possessed body of Grand Crusader Saidan Dathrohan) sought to manipulate the remnants of the Silver Hand for the Burning Legion. After Mograine stated his intentions to attack the Undercity, Balnazzar put plans into motion to eliminate the Highlord in order to protect his brother, (who was manipulating and her Forsaken).
Balnazzar made a pact with Kel'Thuzad to eliminate the Highlord: the bane of the Scourge would be destroyed, and the dreadlords' agendas would continue. He corrupted Mograine's son, Renault, and set a trap for the Highlord. Renault led his father and to Stratholme, where legions of the Scourge attacked them. Renault fled and hid while Mograine and Fairbanks fended for themselves. Fairbanks eventually became trapped alive under a pile of corpses. Mograine alone continued to smite thousands of the undead with ease, but was eventually wearied and dropped his blade in fatigue. Renault came out of hiding and slew his father with Ashbringer, which corrupted the blade. Later, Kel'Thuzad resurrected Mograine as one of his death knights of Naxxramas and reclaimed his corrupted blade. Renault became Commander of the Scarlet Monastery, and Balnazzar gained complete authority over the Scarlet Crusade.
Seeking to free his father, Alexandros's other son led a mission into Naxxramas with a small party of Argent Dawn members. Upon finding him, Alexandros was unresponsive to his son's pleas and attempts to redeem him, forcing Darion to reluctantly kill him. Darion took the Corrupted Ashbringer, with his father's spirit bound to it. Alexandros's voice led Darion out of Naxxramas to Renault at the Scarlet Monastery. Darion confronted his brother, who lashed out and attempted to kill him. Before Renault was able to deal the final blow, Alexandros's spirit emerged from Ashbringer and decapitated him, saving Darion. The spirit of Alexandros then retreated back into the blade.
Some time later, during a Scourge assault on Light's Hope Chapel, Darion impaled himself with the corrupted Ashbringer in another attempt to free his father. Darion was resurrected as a death knight and became Highlord of the Death Knights of Acherus.
In World of Warcraft, it was stated that Alexandros is one of the founders of the Scarlet Crusade. The comic later depicted the formation of the Scarlet Crusade occurring after Alexandros's death, in which case he would have never been a member.
In World of Warcraft
The Ashbringer has been the subject of intense speculation since the release of World of Warcraft. Rumors were fueled by data-mined graphics and item statistics, as well as NPCs alluding to its existence.
At the launch of World of Warcraft, the only reference to the Ashbringer by name was made by . It was hinted at further with the introduction of Dire Maul. , , , , Commander Eligor Dawnbringer, Shen'dralar Zealots and all make references to the Ashbringer. Information from these NPCs implied that the Asbhringer was somehow lost and that and knew the location, and were even willing to tell the player; however, they have never shared their knowledge.
The mystery surrounding the Ashbringer created great interest and discussion among players, who searched for a hidden or unlockable quest that would reward the Ashbringer. Rumors regarding an acquirable Ashbringer persisted until a European CM admitted that it was not in-game, quickly followed by Eyonix's confirmation:
The caster legendary item being referred to was patch 1.11.0., which was added in
In the original version of the Naxxramas raid, players encountered Highlord Mograine as a death knight of the four horsemen. He wielded the , which could be looted after the battle. It is not obtainable in the current version of Naxxramas.
Upon wielding the blade, the player becomes friendly with the Scarlet Crusade (although it does not appear in the reputations window) and hated with the Argent Dawn. A scripted event can be triggered upon entering the cathedral in the Scarlet Monastery.
In the event, welcomes the player as the crusaders bow before him or her. Unexpectedly, the spirit of Mograine's father, Highlord Mograine, appears in full Dreadnaught's Battlegear and smites his son for his betrayal. The Highlord frees 's spirit from his undead form and disappears. Fairbanks proceeds to tell the story of Renault's betrayal and says that the Corrupted Ashbringer is beyond redeeming.
Wrath of the Lich King
This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
At the Lich King's command, Darion launched an attack on the Argent Dawn at Light's Hope Chapel. In the battle that ensued, Corrupted Ashbringer began to turn on Darion. When the death knights were forced to surrender, revealed that the Lich King knowingly sent Darion and his knights into a trap. Shortly thereafter, the Lich King himself appeared. Darion relinquished the Ashbringer to Tirion, which became purified in his grasp, forcing the Lich King to retreat.
In Howling Fjord, Alliance players can complete a quest to retrieve a from Utgarde Catacombs. Upon returning it to Valgarde, a nearby cleric unmasks himself as Tirion Fordring and equip the artifact, which is revealed to be the Ashbringer. The dialogue explains that Tirion was convinced by his advisors to travel to Valgarde in disguise, while was entrusted to transport the sword separately to Northrend. This was a security precaution to protect the leader of the Crusade, should the Lich King's forces go after the sword's keeper in an attempt to kill Tirion. Fordring can later be seen wielding the Ashbringer in Icecrown.
Destruction of Frostmourne
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
After the victorious march on the Icecrown Citadel, Tirion returned to his old home - Hearthglen. There, he began establishing a new Argent Crusade base, and the Ashbringer, the sword that shattered the Frostmourne itself, serves as a symbol of a new dawn for everyone.
This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.
- Main article: Ashbringer (artifact)
Ashbringer is the artifact used by retribution paladins in World of Warcraft: Legion. Tirion was captured by the Legion and died after being tortured, though an adventuring paladin was able to recover the Ashbringer at the Broken Shore. Before he died, Tirion declared the adventurer the new Ashbringer and the sword's wielder.
- The Corrupted Ashbringer appears as an obtainable weapon in Diablo III.
- In Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, appears as a legendary card, and upon death he equips the player with an Ashbringer weapon.
- The Ashbringer is a type of cleaver falchion, a bladed weapon in use in Europe, through the 13th and 14th century, bearing great resemblance to a machete. 
- When attempts to corrupt the Highlord during The Search for the Highlord, the Ashbringer takes on its Fallen Hope artifact appearance.
Rumors and speculation
According to Blizzard's then-lead writer, Micky Neilson, the plan was originally for the crystal from which Ashbringer was created to be from a darkened naaru. This was implied but never explicitly stated.
With the reveal of in Warlords of Draenor, however, a third (and potentially more likely) possibility has emerged for the source of the Ashbringer's crystal.
Old questline and earlier appearance
The Ashbringer may have been originally intended to be in the game much earlier. Parts of what seems to be a scrapped quest line can be pieced together:
- learned of the location of the Ashbringer and wrote about it in his book, , of which players only had the last page.
- Shen'dralar Zealots in Dire Maul said that knew the location of the Ashbringer and was willing to tell the adventurer if one were to bring him the . Also in Dire Maul was the full (but unreadable) copy of Nat's book, A Thoroughly Read Copy of "Nat Pagle's Extreme' Anglin.", which could be found in dusty tomes. It could be surmised that the Prince, being a historian and bibliophile, likely read Pagle's book, learned of the Ashbringer's location, and discarded the book in Dire Maul where the adventurer found it.
- The zealots' words suggested that the Ashbringer was likely to be the legendary item associated with Blackwing Lair but was changed to , which required Elementium Ingots from Blackwing Lair. This was supported by the fact that the Ashbringer's original item ID was changed to host Thunderfury.
- At one time, could be looted from Large Vile Slimes in the Weeping Cavern of the Western Plaguelands. Lengthy discussion on the official forums led to the premature yet popular conclusion that Timolain was the name of the mage referred to by and , and therefore was the crafter of the Ashbringer in its original questline. was also speculated to be the crafter of the Ashbringer at one point, as the Scarlet Crusade had no affinity for the arcane.
The implementation of the Ashbringer was likely delayed so that the story could be fleshed out with the addition of Naxxramas. Blizzard has since acknowledged these old rumors by implementing a very similar questline to obtain the , an item which makes it possible to transform the Ashbringer artifact into a look-alike.
Mograine's second son
During the days of The Burning Crusade it was a common speculation that would eventually end up being revealed as the second son of Highlord Mograine. It all began with the Corrupted Ashbringer Scarlet Monastery event which mentioned another Mograine living in Outland and who might be able to forge Ashbringer anew. David's relative youth for a member of the Sons of Lothar, his isolation, his blacksmithing skills and dialogs all led people to think he was the one was speaking about, but Wrath of the Lich King eventually revealed that the other son was actually , which was now the canon holder of the .
A statue of Tirion Fordring wielding Ashbringer in Hearthglen.
- Quotes about Ashbringer
- Scarlet Monastery Event: Retribution of the Ashbringer
- action figure (wielding Ashbringer)
- ^ Azeroth Armory: Forging Ashbringer
- ^ a b c World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. Blizzard Entertainment. Old Hillsbrad Foothills. Highlord Mograine.
- ^ High Inquisitor Fairbanks says: It is known as Ashbringer; named after its original owner.
- ^ Medievaldragon 2008-06-16. :: Blizzplanet :: World of Warcraft: Ashbringer # 1 by Wildstorm. Retrieved on 2008-06-17.
- ^ Zyuu 2008-06-11. Ashbringer Comic #1 Preview. Curse.com. Retrieved on 2008-09-14.
- ^ Death is Contagious
- ^ https://twitter.com/Loreology/status/464089278067130371
- ^ Micky Neilson on Twitter (2013-09-09) in response to this question.