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THE BLOOD LEDGER
As recorded by Senior Archivist Filius Sparkstache
As instruments of death, these daggers are exquisite. As tools of assassination, they are unparalleled. And every moment of every day that you carry them, they will seek to bend your mind to the will of their master, .
Perhaps one day you will be able to thank him personally for that.
These daggers were forged to spill the blood of heroes and innocents. In the hands of , they did just that.
Anguish and Sorrow were named well. In their history, they have killed kings, commanders, soldiers, magi, demons, and countless others. If things had gone a little differently, it might have been these weapons that allowed the first Horde to conquer Azeroth.
The story of these daggers begins on Draenor, soon after the Burning Legion had sunk its claws into the orc clans.
In the early days of the Horde, had taken Garona under his care. As a half-orc, half-draenei outcast, Garona had found survival to be brutally difficult since she was born. She had learned quickly how to avoid unwinnable fights, and how to quietly kill relentless pursuers.
Gul'dan bound her mind to his will and began to secretly train her in the art of assassination. She did not fully understand his intentions, but she gre to resent his cruelty. Still, she obeyed. Survival demanded nothing less.
Garona proved to be skilled with almost any weapon she held, but Gul'dan was not satisfied. His grip on the Horde was still tenuous; assassinating his enemies could backfire if the involvement of his Shadow Council became known.
He needed weapons that would allow Garona to kill for him with impunity.
The Horde's first warchief held the solution to Gul'dan's problem. Warchief Blackhand and his clan, the Blackrocks, had the most advanced weapon foundries among all the orcs of Draenor. Gul'dan approached them quickly, asking how their ancestors has created the powerful, legendary weapon of Doomhammer.
" It was a gift from the fiery heart of Draenor," they told him.
That was no help. Gul'dan wanted to break the orcs' reverence of the elements; asking the Furies of Draenor for more weapons might strengthen it instead. Gul'dan turned to Kil'jaeden for assistance, imploring the Burning Legion for aid.
Kil'jaeden saw the value of having a covert assassin at the Shadow Council's command. He gave Gul'dan strict instructions... and the raw materials needed to create two of the deadliest weapons Draenor would ever know.
Warchief Blackhand was intrigued by Gul'dan's request. The warlock has asked for two daggers created from a mysterious type of ore that no orc had ever seen before, and he wanted them imbued with a power that would only reveal itself when the time was right. Blackhand agreed to make the weapons himself in his foundry.
As Blackhand quenched the blades, he felt a terrible, dark presence fill them with unspeakable might. This was no Elemental Fury-it was the raw hatred of Kil'jaeden sinking deep within the daggers.
Blackhand could feel untamed agony radiating from the weapons. He named them Anguish and Sorrow, for he knew they would never be satisfied unless there were drinking the blood of new victims.
Gul'dan was delighted with the daggers' power. Not only were they brimming with the dark presence of a Burning Legion lord, but they also were imbued with the means to control the will of the one who wielded them.
To test the weapons' potential, Gul'dan handed them to Garona and gave her a simple command. She obeyed instantly. An unfortunate Shadow Council acolyte had no chance to defend himself before she tore open his throat with one slash.
It was not a pleasant death. But it was fast, quiet, and efficient. When the orc took his last breath, the wound that killed him became irregular. Nobody would be able to tell whether he had died to a knife, an axe, or a spear. Gul'dan saw the possibilities immediately. A mysterious death could be used to sow confusion and redirect suspecion wherever he pleased.
These daggers would prove to be extremely valuable.
As the Horde waged war on the draenei, Gul'dan dispatched Garona with care and precision. Influential orcs who expressed doubt or dissent were often found dead shortly after a skirmish with draenei forces. The wounds did not look as if they had come from orcish weapons, so Gul'dan was never suspected.
Nor was Garona. As a ""half-breed,"" she lived beneath the notice of most orcs, and those who noticed her saw only a servant of Gul'dan, held on a tight leash.
Her quiet work aided the Horde in securing victory against the draenei, and then her blades helped maintain control in the war's aftermath. Life on Draenor withered due to the presence of fel magic, but tensions within the Horde stayed manageable.
Whenever they didn't, Gul'dan gave the command, and Garona obeyed. Her daggers were busy.
For many years, Garona was bound to the will of the Shadow Council. She obeyed them to survive; she killed on their behalf to appease them. She often dreamed of using these daggers to slay her masters, but when she woke, her ensorcelled mind buried those thoughts, keeping her loyal.
That power, fortunately, seems to have died decades ago, along with Gul'dan in the Tomb of Sargeras. And to be clear, nobody is happier to see these daggers exacting payback from the Burning Legion than Garona.
When the Horde invaded Azeroth, Gul'dan ordered Garona to find the sorcerer and keep an eye on him. In time, Garona would reveal herself to , seeing humans as a potential means of escaping Gul'dan.
Had she known that these daggers helped the warlock control her actions, she might have abandoned them, and history would have gone down a very different path. In the end, though she tried to resist, Gul'dan manipulated her into murdering the king of Stormwind, Llane Wrynn.
Garona was now considered a traitor. She was forced to return to the Horde, bringing these daggers back with her.
Garona did not receive a hero's welcome from the Horde. Warchief Blackhand had been killed by in a mak'gora. Gul'dan was in a coma, and his Shadow Council was on the run. Garona was tortured for information on the Shadow Council's location.
As the Horde moved to finish off the human-led Alliance, Garona made her escape. With only these weapons and her survival instincts, she set out across Azeroth to find a new life.
The poor Horde trackers sent to hunt her down never really had a chance.
Eventually, as Garona was pulled into the events of the Second War, she began to understand the power these daggers were exerting on her will. Even so far away, she could feel Gul'dan trying to compel her back into his clutches.
She sought out the help of an undead mage named Meryl Winterstorm, asking him to hide the blades somewhere beyond anyone's reach. Garona wanted to make sure that no other victim would die to them, and that no other mind would be subject to Gul'dan's tricks.
These daggers remained buried for decades.
These weapons do not have a history of glory. They did not earn honorable victories. They were meant to cause pain, and they have caused untold damage to both Draenor and Azeroth.
Respect their power. Never forget the innocents who have died to them.
Make the Burning Legion pay for every drop of blood their wielder was forced to spill.
As you probably guessed, these cutlasses were not forged on Azeroth. Be very careful with them. They were designed to trap weak, greedy minds. Though their master was sent back to the Twisting Nether, he may try to return and influence you in the future. Stay vigilant.
The Bloodsail Buccaneers surely had no idea, at first, that they were meddling with the Burning Legion. By the end, it seems they assumed they had snatched a piece of forbidden power from under the demons' noses. But if they believed there would be no consequences for their "gift," they were tragically mistaken.
It was not happenstance that these weapons fell into Admiral Goreblade's possession. It was planned and carefully executed by a Burning Legion commander who had plenty of experience corrupting fools and turning them against their own worlds.
These cutlasses were meant to do that here, on Azeroth.
The eredar who created these cutlasses is named . It's impossible to say for certain when he first began to study Azeroth and its inhabitants, but it is certainly no accident that he crafted a pair of weapons that caught the eye of a pirate crew leader.
Talgath's role in the Burning Legion is to help corrupt the native populations of different worlds. He has brought down countless civilizations, and he knows how to tempt mortal hearts. Sometimes he has found heroic champions who could be turned, but very often he has discovered willing minds among those who live on a world's fringes.
Talgath stumbled upon an effective method of corruption: find the selfish, the greedy, and the ruthless... and make them compete for power. Not only would he learn which among them were the strongest, but the "winners" would struggle so hard to obtain their prize that they would be unwilling to question its true cost until it ws too late.
Azeroth's pirates must have immediately seemed vulnerable to this tactic. They raided one another in search of treasure, giving little thought to the risks they would undertake.
The choice to create a pair of nimble cutlasses, the sort of weapons favored on the high seas, meant Talgath saw great potential in corrupting pirates to the Burning Legion's cause.
These weapons first showed up on Azeroth a few decades ago. Several Alliance ships reported that they had escaped a band of pirates whose leader carried glowing blades oozing black smoke, and soon it became clear that those ships were the lucky ones. A newly empowered crew of pirates was preying on Alliance vessels, and when the raiders captured a ship, they left no survivors.
Grand Admiral Daelin Proudmoore led the search for the rogues, and after weeks of hunting, his small fleet cornered their ship a few miles off the Eastern Kingdoms' shores. The pirate crew seemed to be possessed, barely human, but after a coordinated cannon barrage, Proudmoore sent their vessel, the Bellwether, to the bottom of the ocean.
The admiral sailed away, believing he had killed them all. In truth, one had survived.
The single person who swam away from the sunken Bellwether was a teenage boy, a young pirate recruit who had seen his crew descend into corruption and madness firsthand. He had joined them for profit, so watching his captain and shipmates succumb to uncontrollable bloodlust had been a truly horrific experience.
He was compelled to retrieve these cutlasses from the ship's wreckage, but when he heard them whispering in his mind, he had the good sense to resist. He took the weapons and the treasure back to his crew's old lair and buried them deep underneath an isolated island. He believed the riches were cursed, ans so he left them behind.
The weapons would remain buried for years.
It took the upheaval of the Cataclysm to unearth these cutlasses again. A ship carrying some Bloodsail Buccaneers, a small but dangerous pirate crew, took shelter near a patch of tiny islands as the seas heaved to and fro. After the initial elemental unrest passed, their leader, Admiral Eliza Goreblade, noticed that rogue waves had revealed something beneath the sand.
When they looked closer, they found a cache of gold, jewels, and old weapons. It was the last stash of the Bellwether, a windfall nobody knew had been missing.
The buccaneers gleefully took it all. Admiral Goreblade reserved a pair of gleaming cutlasses for herself, the only weapons in the cache that hadn't become rusted and worn over time. Unfortunately, that decision led her crew to ruin.
After claiming these cutlasses, Goreblade was taken by a vision. She saw herself commanding an impossibly large pirate fleet, one that could conquer the high seas and all the nations of Azeroth. Every ship that dared to challenge her burned, and every city gave up its treasures or was destroyed.
It was an intoxicating sight, and she drank every drop of its promise. When she awoke, she had her crew set sail for a rival pirate hideout. The corrupted Bloodsail Buccaneers proceeded to slaughter all the unfortunate souls they found there.
The loot they took was secondary. The killing was what truly satisfied them. These weapons had taken root deep within their minds, and now there was no escape.
Goreblade's buccaneers became an unseen, deadly menace on the South Seas. The master of these weapons, Talgath, had seen what attracting too much attention would do, so he encouraged Admiral Goreblade to attack only isolated ships and make certain they did not escape.
For several years, the pirate crew did exactly what they were told. They killed without mercy, and the power of the cutlasses grew ever stronger. When other Bloodsail Buccaneers learned how deep into insanity this crew had fallen, they tried to intervene. Goreblade's pirates survived the counterattack and managed to steal the Bloodsail Buccaneers' most prized ship, the Crimson Veil, for themselves.
Soon, some crew members began to change. Their forms withered and faded. Only their skeletons remained.
Admiral Goreblade did not mind. The cutlasses hungered for blood, and now, so did she.
Shortly before the Legion's recent arrival, Admiral Goreblade finally discovered the true power behind her weapons. Talgath revealed himself and told her that she had only tasted a meaningless drop of the Burning Legion's strength. If she aided the demons in the coming war, he promised that she would ascend to immortality and find out what might the Legion could truly bestow.
The admiral agreed immediately. She made a pact, giving the souls of all her crew to Talgath's tender care.
She had already come to enjoy being the unseen terror of the seas. The possibility of bringing a world to ruin consumed her mind.
When the Legion attacked, so did Admiral Goreblade. It now seems clear that several convoys of reinforcements--from both the Horde and the Alliance--were destroyed by her crew before they could reach the Broken Isles.
It is fortunate that the Bloodsail Buccaneers' true leader, , sought help. Had she been left unchecked, there is no telling what more damage Goreblade could have done to the Legion's enemies.
At least that threat is over.
Talgath, the master of these blades, was defeated. His spirit is back in the Twisting Nether, waiting to return.
His grip upon these cutlasses has been broken. The madness he infused into them, the thirst for blood, has been lessened. That does not mean he won't try to lay claim to the blades again.
But perhaps he will not. After all, he has plenty of reason to fear the creature who now possesses them.
Fangs of the Devourer
FANGS OF THE DEVOURER
Exercise caution with these daggers. The assassin you killed, Akaari, paid a terrible price to wield them. Their history is filled with silent, secret murders across countless worlds, but never before have they been used by someone who still possessed their free will.
You will become one of the most dangerous killers the universe has ever known. Tread carefully.
These daggers may have passed through the hands of a master weaponsmith, but their danger wasn't born of his hands. No. These are fangs, ancient yet well preserved, taken from the maw of a slain felhound. This creature was more dangerous than any of its like that we've even seen. Indeed, it seems that this particular hound was the pet of the Great Enemy, .
He must have cared deeply for this hound--in his own way--for he sculpted its power, gifting its sharp teeth with enough shadow energy to pierce reality itself. How many terrified innocents died to these fangs? We may never know.
But we do know this creature's name. Sargeras called it .
When the Legion invaded a new world, Goremaw would often accompany them, tearing enemy soldiers to shreds. Between battles, the felhound's eredar caretakers would collect the shadow energy dripping from its fangs, using it to craft powerful new weapons and reagents.
Goremaw's end came on an unremarkable world. It had already been pacified, its leaders corrupted and its heroes slain. A child, burning with righteous fury for his dying world, crept into the Legion's stronghold and killed several eredar guards--and Goremaw--while they rested. When Sargeras saw his slain hound, he was consumed with rage. That world, and all who lived upon it, was scattered as ashes in the Great Dark. Such a quick death was perhaps a small mercy for them.
But though Goremaw had died, its usefulness to the Legion had not ended.
A dreadlord, , believed that Goremaw could still serve the Legion. He extracted the felhound's fangs and took them to a great demon forge on the eredar homeworld of Argus. There were many challenges in preserving the fangs' dark energies. Mephistroth dared not handle the task himself. His subordinates were eager to distinguish themselves, even at great risk. But the fangs' twisted power often proved too dangerous. When it pierced their minds and inflicted unspeakable agony, the dreadlord simply discarded them, giving their souls to the demon forge and finding another servant to take their place.
But in the end, their work was successful. The fangs had been sharpened to a permanent edge, their shadow powers preserved for all time.
Mephistroth had created two of the deadliest weapons the universe had ever known. These daggers could twist the air and bend light, allowing their wielders to conceal themselves effortlessly. He presented the daggers to Sargeras, who was greatly pleased. Goremaw had been a terror on the battlefield; in the hands of a skilled assassin, its fangs would be a terror in the shadows.
It took time for Sargeras to find someone worthy of wileding the Fangs of the Devourer. Loyalty was a concern. Skilled assassins are deceptive by nature, all to capable of betrayal. Sargeras would not abide the thought of Goremaw's legacy falling into the hands of the Legion's enemies.
Consider that for a moment: using these weapons against the Legion will be a personal affront to the Legion's lord.
Finally, Sargeras found someone suitable to carry these daggers into battle. An eredar tracker named Akaari had distinguished herself in several Legion invasions, silently murdering those who suspected that the demons' promises were laced with doom.
She was summoned to Argus and told of the great honor being offered to her. Sargeras promised Akaari that she would become a fearsome instrument of death, one of the deadliest creatures alive in any known realm. The price? Akaari would need to give up her will. If she wanted to be this living weapon, betrayal would become impossible.
It was a grim bargain, but Akaari accepted it.
There are dark places beneath the surface of Argus. In these secret chambers, weapons are forged and wills are broken. Akaari spent centuries down there, her essence being shaped and molded, intertwined with the daggers' power. The souls of other eredar assassins were sacrificed and bound to hers, granting her the experience of a hundred lifetimes and thousands of kills.
Just as Goremaw had been changed, so was she. She emerged from those chambers a remorseless construct of death, perfectly obedient to Sargeras. He knew that the daggers were safe in her hands, because her hands were an extension of his will.
And in her hands, the daggers spelled doom for those who opposed the Burning Legion.
Sargeras had his eyes on a small, militaristic world. Its inhabitants would have fought hard against a Legion invasion. Though they would have fallen eventually to direct force, Sargeras believed they might be vulnerable to fear and paranoia. This world was Akaari's first mission with her newly granted powers. A test. She infiltrated its strongholds alone.
Within a month, the world was in chaos. Tales of an unseen assassin had spread like wildfire, and as heroes and leaders died silently, the world's warriors broke into factions, believing each other to blame for Akaari's assassinations.
When the Legion finally revealed itself, the world begged to surrender. An eternity of servitude seemed better than living in fear of daggers striking from the shadows.
Akaari had passed her test in stunning fashion. She was brought back into the ranks of the Legion to support their efforts directly.
Akaari proved she was an indispensable ally. Her weapons allowed her to play with kings and other leaders like toys. Not only could she eliminate whom she wanted, but she could also take their place in disguise, perfectly mimicking their appearance and manner.
A world does not fall because of a single assassin. But it certainly falls more quickly. A dagger through the right person's heart can win a battle or topple a kingdom. A panicked army that just lost its leader is more easily destroyed than a stalwart, determined force.
The Legion already had plenty of experience in corrupting weak minds and mortal hearts. Akaari was the demons' proof against failure. Whenever someone had the strength or the sense to resist temptation, Akaari's blades handled the rest.
Yes, Akaari was Sargeras's asset, loyal and unquestioning. But even though her will was gone, her guile remained. She requested that Sargeras allow her to roam the Twisting Nether for a time. He agreed, curious to see how she would further the goals of the Burning Legion.
She spent time skulking among the ranks of Sargeras's own armies, rooting out discontent and erasing ambitious demons who hoped to seize power at the Legion's expense. She became skilled in the art of interrogation, able to inflict untold pain and suffering upon any creature able to scream. She built a citadel on a dead world to hold prisoners and extract knowledge from them.
Over time, her actions created malcontents within the Legion. The demons imagined her daggers in their throats, and their constant fear of her inspired thoughts of escape.
When the location of Akaari's citadel became known to the rest of the Legion, she made a show of abandoning it. It had become useless, an unhelpful symbol. But it had served its purpose. She would return to the citadel in time, but only in secret, and only to prepare for particularly difficult invasions or to interrogate particularly important prisoners.
She returned to Sargeras with new skills and a new philosophy: fear was a double-edged sword, useful, but not always the right choice. An unseen assassin inspired terror, yes, but an unknown assassin inspired complacency. An enemy could not prepare to face a danger that seemingly did not exist.
Akaari dedicated herself to becoming truly invisible. A silent killer. Her work continued.
And then she met her end in her most secure stronghold. It was probably not the fate she imagined for herself.
We may never know what compelled Akaari to sacrifice her free will in service to Sargeras. But there can be no doubt that she served him well.
She embraced the intricacies of fear and knew how to strike it into the hearts of her victims. When confronting those without fear, she skillfully eliminated them. When terror became counterproductive, she learned how to kill without being noticed at all.
These lessons were once employed by the Burning Legion. Now they belong to its enemies.
Only time will tell how Sargeras will respond.
- Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Added.