Knights of the Silver Hand
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The Knights of the Silver Hand (a.k.a. Order of the Knights of the Silver Hand, Order of the Silver Hand, or simply the Silver Hand and the Paladin Order) was the order of paladins created after the First War by Uther the Lightbringer and Archbishop Alonsus Faol. The Silver Hand helped lead the Alliance of Lordaeron to victory in the Second War.
When Uther refused to purge the city of Stratholme during the Third War, the order was suspended by one of its own members Prince Arthas, though the knights continued to fight against the Scourge despite this. Years afterward, the order in Lordaeron was then reformed by Tirion Fordring, who later merged it with the Argent Dawn to form the Argent Crusade in order to take the fight against the Lich King to Northrend. Despite this, human and dwarf paladins from Stormwind and Ironforge are still referred to as Knights of the Silver Hand, suggesting the order remained active within the Alliance.
The Silver Hand was formally re-established during the third invasion of the Burning Legion, supported by each major paladin order on Azeroth: the Hand of Argus, the Blood Knights, the Sunwalkers, and the remnants of the Argent Crusade. Its new Highlord, taking up a weapon of legend, leads the Silver Hand in their struggle against the Legion.
Foundation and the Second War
The Holy Order of Northshire Clerics, led by Archbishop , was devastated during the First War. Seeking to create an order that would suffer less attrition in battle, Faol recruited noble knights (to train in the ways of the Light) and members of the priesthood (to train in martial combat). In Alonsus Chapel in Stratholme, was appointed the first of the paladins. He was followed by , and (candidates recommended by Alonsus Faol himself) as well as (a candidate proposed by ). The Order of the Silver Hand was thus born.
The paladins were instrumental in winning the war, and the sight of them wielding their mighty warhammers and holy powers gave others inspiration on the battlefield and the home front. Uther and his paladins were truly a sight to behold. Even some of the Alliance's greatest knights and warriors were in awe when they saw them smashing orcs down while healing fallen allies at the same time. Uther was the first paladin known to have manifested his powers on the battlefield and was given the title of "the Lightbringer" by Turalyon. Turalyon himself did not master his powers until after Lothar's death during the Assault on Blackrock Spire, but once he did the orcish army cowered from his blinding light (which shone "brighter than the brightest day").
After the war, the Order of the Silver Hand began training new paladins in Stormwind and Ironforge. , Prince of Lordaeron, was sworn into the order in a ceremony performed in Stormwind's Cathedral of Light. During these times, what would later become the Scarlet Bastion was considered as the barracks of the Order.
Several years later, 's life was saved by the orc . When Eitrigg was later captured by the Alliance of Lordaeron, Tirion felt he owed a debt of honor and fought to rescue him. For assaulting Alliance soldiers, Tirion was excommunicated from the Silver Hand and exiled from his lands. His son, , later joined the Silver Hand.
The Scourge of Lordaeron
The appearance of the plague of undeath nearly marked the end of the Order of the Silver Hand. The paladins entered a dark period when one of their own, Prince Arthas, turned his back on the order. When Uther refused to follow Arthas' command to kill the infected population of Stratholme before they could die and be reborn as undead, Arthas accused Uther of treason, relieved him from command, suspended his paladins from service and sent them away. After Stratholme was purged, some former paladins, now called deathlords, also committed the same heinous act in many other cities across Lordaeron.
Arthas later lost his soul to the cursed runeblade Frostmourne and became a death knight in the service of the Lich King. Returning to Lordaeron, Arthas killed several notable paladins, including Gavinrad the Dire and Uther Lightbringer. Other fallen paladins whose souls were twisted and bound to the will of the Frozen Throne would later also join the ranks of the Scourge as death knights.
After the Third War
The paladins who remained in Lordaeron continued to fight against the Scourge. Under the lead of Lord Commander and Highlord , who wielded the Ashbringer, the paladins fought the undead throughout the Plaguelands. From their base at Hearthglen, they were able to gain some victories, but they weren't able to achieve their goal: the complete destruction of the Scourge.
Worried about the Forsaken entrenching themselves in the Ruins of Lordaeron, the paladins established a base in what would later be known as the Scarlet Monastery in Tirisfal Glades. They also made an alliance with Lord of Tyr's Hand for mutual assistance. However, during an attack on Stratholme, Lord Commander was killed and his corpse possessed by the dreadlord as a fleshly costume. Balnazzar started slowly working against the order's objectives from the inside. Fearing that the Ashbringer might destroy the Forsaken before his plans could come to fruition, had Balnazzar arrange Alexandros's death (by manipulating his son, , into killing him).
The possessed Saidan Dathrohan then reorganized what remained of the Silver Hand in Lordaeron into the Scarlet Crusade. These paladins strove fanatically to destroy evil, without any regards to the means used, and despised all non-human races. Other paladins, disgusted with the Scarlet Crusaders' zealotry, formed the Argent Dawn, which took a less extreme approach and accepted members from all of Azeroth's races into their ranks.
World of Warcraft era
This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.
Paladins in the kingdoms of Stormwind and Ironforge remained part of the Knights of the Silver Hand. Everyone in the order thought that Merideth Carlson was mad for coming up with the idea of a special horse feed destined to nourish spiritual horses. Relationships with the horse breeder were eventually mended.
The Silver Hand had no presence in Lordaeron until Tirion Fordring came out of exile. When his son Taelan was killed for trying to leave the Scarlet Crusade, Tirion vowed to create a new order, dedicated to extinguishing the evils of the world.
- "The death of my son at the hands of these monsters will not pass without incident. Take solace in knowing that the Order is reborn. I now take my place as Highlord of the new Order of the Silver Hand."
A group of paladins led by Irulon Trueblade helped the Alliance when they crossed the Dark Portal into Outland against the demons of the Burning Legions and the death knight Ragnok Bloodreaver and his forces.
This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
In addition to the Scarlet Crusade, the Silver Hand found a rival in the newly-emerged Blood Knight order, a group of errant paladins who had come to prominence in the restored elven lands north of Lordaeron. Some of these elves had been knights of the Silver Hand before the Third War, such as Mehlar Dawnblade, a former pupil of Uther who held his former master indirectly responsible for the fall of Quel'Thalas. To prove their dominance over the Light, Blood Knights were sent to defile the Alonsus Chapel, the Silver Hand's founding place. The ghostly knights Aelmar the Vanquisher, Cathela the Seeker, Gregor the Justiciar, Vicar Hieronymus, and Nemas the Arbiter appeared to defend the chapel. Whether to wounds received in battle against Baron Rivendare, or at the hands of the Blood Knights, the chapel's Silver Hand defender, Aurius, also fell, to return years later as a death knight.
Wrath of the Lich King
This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
After the Battle for Light's Hope Chapel, Tirion called for a union between the Argent Dawn and the Order of the Silver Hand. Together they formed the Argent Crusade, which sailed to Northrend and fought to end the reign of the Lich King. Along with the Knights of the Ebon Blade, they were instrumental in Arthas's ultimate defeat (with Tirion himself using the Ashbringer to sunder Frostmourne).
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
The Paladin trainers in the kingdoms of Stormwind and Ironforge were still greeting new members as part of an Order of the Silver Hand that did not merge with the Argent Crusade. Those paladins of the Alliance that didn't join the Argent Crusade were presumably still members of the old Knights of the Silver Hand.
This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.
Following the death of Highlord Tirion Fordring, a paladin hero unites the Argent Crusade, the paladins of Stormwind and Ironforge, the Blood Knights of Silvermoon, the Sunwalkers of Mulgore, and the Vindicators of the Hand of Argus into a restored Order of the Silver Hand, and is named as its new Highlord. Their new base lies within a hidden sanctum beneath Light's Hope Chapel.
The Order of the Silver Hand took its name and symbol from the legend of Tyr. A paragon of order and justice, Tyr sacrificed his right hand in a fight against an unfathomable evil. Although it was within his power to fix his hand after the fighting had ended, the hero instead chose to replace it with a closed fist made of the purest silver. In this way, he impressed upon those who followed him that true order and justice can only be accomplished through personal sacrifice.
- , which is to be given to Uther's spirit, is a medal given upon acceptance to the Knights of the Silver Hand.
- , which can be received from Uther's spirit, bears the symbol of the Silver Hand.
- belonged to Gavinrad the Dire. Its flavor text reads "Engraved with the image of a silver fist, held up triumphantly."
- belonged to Uther the Lightbringer. Its flavor text reads "A heavy piece of canvas, probably used as a blanket or shawl." It is the in-game representation of the Shroud of the Lightbringer.
- , and are rewards from .
- , and are rewards from .
- , the artifact for the Holy paladin, is the hammer of Tyr, whose legend inspired the symbol of the Silver Hand.
Some of the most notable members of the Silver Hand include:
|the Redeemer||Son of Turalyon and Alleria||Honor Hold||Alive|
|Grand Crusader||Leader of the Scarlet Crusade (possessed by Balnazzar)||Scarlet Crusade (formerly Lordaeron)||Deceased|
|Highlord||Highlord of the Scarlet Crusade||Scarlet Crusade (formerly Lordaeron)||Deceased|
|Highlord||Highlord of the Argent Crusade||Argent Crusade (formerly Lordaeron)||Deceased|
|the Dire||Guarded the remains of Kel'Thuzad in Andorhal||Kingdom of Stormwind||Deceased|
|Head paladin trainer in the Hall of Mysteries||Kingdom of Ironforge||Alive|
|Haunts Raven Hill as Mor'Ladim (formerly a follower of Uther)||None (formerly Stormwind)||Undead|
|Companion of Tyrigosa (formerly a mercenary)||None (formerly Lordaeron)||Alive|
|King||Lich King of the Scourge (formerly Prince of Lordaeron)||Scourge (formerly Lordaeron)||Deceased|
|the Ashbringer||Death Knight of Naxxramas (formerly the Ashbringer)||Scourge (formerly Lordaeron)||Deceased|
|Death Knight of Stratholme (formerly Defender of Alonsus Chapel)||Scourge (formerly Lordaeron)||Undead|
|Lord||Head paladin trainer in the Cathedral of Light||Kingdom of Stormwind||Alive|
|Sir||The Headless Horseman (formerly a Scarlet Crusader)||None (formerly Scarlet Crusade)||Undead|
|High Exarch||High Exarch of the Grand Army of the Light (formerly Commander of the Alliance Expedition to Draenor)||Grand Army of the Light||Alive|
|the Lightbringer||Grand Master of the the Silver Hand||Alliance of Lordaeron||Deceased|
|Lord||Leader of the Argent Dawn in the Plaguelands||Argent Crusade||Alive|
|Vindicator||Co-leader of the Hand of Argus||Exodar, Hand of Argus||Alive|
|Lady of Light||Matriarch of the Blood Knight Order||Kingdom of Quel'Thalas, Blood Knight Order||Alive|
|Leader of the Sunwalkers||Thunder Bluff, Sunwalkers||Alive|
|High Commander of the Grand Army of the Light||Grand Army of the Light||Alive|
For a complete list of Knights of the Silver Hand, see List of Knights of the Silver Hand paladins.
Status during the Third War
While most of sources state that Uther the Lightbringer was accused of treason, relieved of his command with his paladins suspended from service by Prince Arthas Menethil near Stratholme, the newer source, Ultimate Visual Guide stated that Arthas disbanded the Knights of the Silver Hand. The subsequent second part, Ultimate Visual Guide - Updated and Expanded states that Arthas just sent Uther and his Knights away and that they were decimated during the war.
It is speculated that Bolvar Fordragon, a paladin of Stormwind, was a member of the Silver Hand.
In the RPG
- Even after the triumph at Mount Hyjal, the paladins remembered Arthas's betrayal and just how close their order and all of Azeroth had come to complete destruction. Many paladins felt responsibility for Arthas, because the Holy Light teaches that every person can strengthen other people. Since they were unable to strengthen Arthas, the entire world suffered. After such an enormous breach of trust, the paladins resolved anew to eliminate all traces of corruption in their ranks.
- While the Knights of the Silver Hand survived the Scourge, few paladins were left in the order. The remaining knights started hunting Arthas's servants, the undead, with a ruthlessness that frightened some, but they were determined to fix their mistakes.
- The stalwart paladins of the Silver Hand who traveled to Kalimdor worked to establish a new church there.
- Humans founded the Knights of the Silver Hand, and though they remained the bulk of its membership, the new order started to accept dwarves into the ranks to replace paladins lost during the Third War (they had previously accepted a few dwarven paladins as far back as the Second War, though it was uncommon). The order was not nearly as active as it once had been, but those belonging to the organization became some of the most active members of the Alliance.
- In addition to the night elves, many guests and diplomats from elsewhere reside in Darnassus, including Knights of the Silver Hand.
- Templars see corruption in their homes and many other organizations, including the Knights of the Silver Hand. While the templars see paladins as allies and vice versa, templars feel that the Silver Hand overemphasizes tradition and order over general goodness and the other values of the Light.
- Verius attempted to infiltrate the Order of the Knights of the Silver Hand after the Third War.
- Brann believes that blue dragons may be found in the ranks of many mortal orders, including the Knights of the Silver Hand.
- Forthisal D'Neve is studying with the Knights of the Silver Hand to become a paladin.
- The Phylactery of Faithfulness, a small box containing religious scripture affixed to a leather cord and tied around the forehead, is commonly used by night elves and members of the Silver Hand.
- Once indoctrinated, a lightslayer receives missions to combat the Holy Light, particularly the Scarlet Crusade (though Knights of the Silver Hand and ordinary priests and parishioners are also fair game).
- According to Brann Bronzebeard;
- We have the Knights of the Silver Hand on our side, but this is a group that has experienced more hardships than most during these dark days. Once the pinnacle of enlightenment, goodness, purity and light, they are forever shamed that the powerful Lich King who sits upon the frozen throne was one of theirs. They wrack their brains on where they went wrong, why they couldn’t see the streak of evil that obviously lurked inside Arthas. If he were truly a paladin, as they are, then there is no way he would have been corrupted. I think they have rather a too high opinion of the paladins, but I’m not the one to tell them.
- Even though paladins are some of our most powerful weapons against the Scourge, with their holy power over undead, the paladins are not what they once were. Some have been driven into obsessive madness, forming the Scarlet Crusade and killing living and undead alike in their eagerness to eradicate the Scourge. Others traveled across the sea with Jaina Proudmoore to help defeat the Burning Legion and now reside on Theramore. They certainly do what they can to destroy undead they discover on Kalimdor, but the Scourge's numbers there are like a thimble of beer compared to the great kegs that are Lordaeron and Northrend. We’ll need the paladins to defeat the Scourge, but they are not up to the task right now, and I don’t know how much longer we can wait.
- ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Game Manual
- ^ a b
- ^ a b
- ^ a b
- ^ Tides of Darkness, 84
- ^ Tides of Darkness, 86
- ^ Tides of Darkness, 129-130
- ^ Tides of Darkness
- ^ Tides of Darkness, 127
- ^ WoW Character Selection Screen, pre-2.01: "Although paladins were once exclusively human, a number of stout-hearted dwarves have recently been welcomed into the Order of the Silver Hand."
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, 62
- ^ Of Blood and Honor
- ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, The Scourge of Lordaeron: The Culling
- ^ Rise of the Lich King, chapter 12
- ^ Death is Contagious
- ^ Uther Lightbringer, The Paladin
- ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, The Scourge of Lordaeron: Frostmourne
- ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Path of the Damned: Digging up the Dead
- ^ Warcraft III - Undead -> Units -> Death Knight.
- ^ World of Warcraft: Ashbringer, #1
- ^ World of Warcraft: Ashbringer, #2
- ^ Shadow Wing
- ^ Lich King (tactics)
- ^ World of Warcraft Forums - Ask CDev #1 Answers. Retrieved on 2010-06-30.
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 44, 166
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide - Updated and Expanded, pg. 44, 190
- ^ a b c Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 125
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide, 18
- ^ Lands of Mystery, 8, 187
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide, 177
- ^ Lands of Mystery, 22
- ^ Magic & Mayhem, 15
- ^ Magic & Mayhem, 11-12
- ^ Lands of Mystery, 114
- ^ Lands of Conflict, 170
- ^ Magic & Mayhem, 145
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, 47
- ^ Lands of Mystery, 167