Archive of the Tirisgarde
ARCHIVE OF THE TIRISGARDE
Penned by Tirisgarde Researcher Edirah.
Aluneth, Greatstaff of Magna
Azeroth is filled with legendary relics and artifacts, but none compare to Aluneth. For hundreds of years, Guardian Aegwynn used this greatstaff to defend Azeroth from the Burning Legion.
Yet that alone is not what makes this weapon unique. An entity of pure arcane energy known as Aluneth is bound to the greatstaff. Harnessing this unruly being and its power requires tremendous precision and focus. An ordinary mage could never hope to control Aluneth.
Fortunately, you are no ordinary mage.
The wise and mirthful blue dragons were the first creatures on Azeroth to discover Aluneth. While manipulating the fabric of reality, they tapped into another realm of existence and made contact with the strange arcane entity.
The blue dragons loved unraveling mysteries and delving into the secrets of the universe. They were so intrigued by Aluneth's existence that they summoned the entity into the world for further study. Aluneth immediately went on a rampage through the blue dragons' lair, the Nexus. The arcane presence destroyed countless rare artifacts and tomes of power before finally being contained. The dragons were not angry about what had happened--they were delighted by Aluneth's capricious nature.
After years of conducting harmless experiments on Aluneth, the blue dragons satisfied their curiosity and sent the entity back to its own realm.
From chapter forty-three of Ancient Magic and How to Wield It Without Destroying the World:
"And so we come to the story of the Highborne named Meitre and the source of his power, Aluneth. Few subjects are as hotly debated. Last year alone, five magi were treated for severe burns after their discussion of Meitre escalated into a fiery brawl. Let us put the rumors to rest and focus on the facts.
"Meitre lived during the height of the night elf empire, and he was one of his race's most gifted sorcerers. As the story goes, he spent years exploring the world in search of knowledge. His extensive travels brought him into contact with an unknown blue dragon, from whom Meitre discovered the existence of the arcane being named Aluneth and the otherworldly plane where it dwelled.
"The sorcerer never enslaved Aluneth--the being was far too strong and unwieldy for that. Yet Meitre found a way to draw power from the entity, thereby using its energies to enhance his own spells."
From chapter fifty of Ancient Magic and How to Wield It Without Destroying the World, concerning the Burning Legion's first invasion of Azeroth:
"Most Highborne sorcerers sided with the Burning Legion and used their powers to help the demons invade the world. Meitre did not. He joined the night elf resistance and fought to defend the world. It was during these troubling years that Meitre mastered his connection with Aluneth.
"In one battle, he and a group of night elf defenders found themselves surrounded by an overwhelming force of demons. Death was imminent, but Meitre did not abandon hope. He called on Aluneth's energies and wove a mass teleportation spell that transported him and his comrades to safety.
"Let this be a lesson that what makes magi great is not only their ability to destroy but their ability to save lives. True wisdom is knowing the right time to use one instead of the other."
From chapter sixty-one of Ancient Magic and How to Wield It Without Destroying the World, concerning the aftermath of the War of the Ancients:
"Following their victory over the Legion, the night elves outlawed the use of arcane magic. They believed that the sorcerous arts were not safe and that wielding them would only lead to another disaster like the War of the Ancients.
"Meitre could not give up magic. Doing so would mean breaking his connection with Aluneth. The sorcerer quailed at the thought of losing his ability to draw on the entity's power. Perhaps he lacked confidence in his own skills. Whatever the case, Meitre retreated from society and became a recluse."
No one knows exactly what became of Meitre, but he left behind a wealth of scrolls that would form the basis of modern magic. His writings included a number of spells that the sorcerer had created himself.
Even thousands of years after the War of the Ancients, high elf and human magi continued learning from Meitre's knowledge. The ability to cast spells from his scrolls was seen as an important milestone in a young apprentice's education, and a measure of a pupil's aptitude.
Though many magi delved into Meitre's scrolls, no one knew of Aluneth. The entity that had played such a critical role in the sorcerer's life was forgotten... until the time of Guardian Aegwynn.
Aegwynn was the Guardian of Tirisfal, a sorceress imbued with extraordinary power and charged with protecting Azeroth from the Burning Legion.
Like all magi of her era, Aegwynn was familiar with Meitre and his scrolls. During her apprenticeship, she had mastered the ancient elf's spells much earlier than the other students.
Something had always perplexed Aegwynn about Meitre. While studying his writings, she realized that the elf had wielded immense power-more than any regular sorcerer should have been capable of. After Aegwynn inherited the mantle of Guardian, she became obsessed with finding out how.
Aegwynn discovered a series of lost scrolls written by Meitre. They described Aluneth in detail, and even included spells the elf had used to tap into the being's power.
Guardian Aegwynn believed she could use Aluneth as a formidable weapon against the Burning Legion. Yet unlike Meitre, she would not simply tap into the entity's energies; she would bring the being into Azeroth and bind it to her will.
Aegwynn summoned Aluneth with ease, but it would not obey her commands. The fickle creature thrashed against the Guardian's containment magics and nullified her spellwork. Aegwynn reveled in the challenge of taming Aluneth.
After many setbacks, Aegwynn finally bound the entity to an enchanted greatstaff. The task of containing Aluneth was done, but it would take the Guardian years to truly harness its power.
An excerpt from Fire in the North: The Battle between Aegwynn and Sargeras, by the historian Llore:
"Of all the trials Aegwynn faced, of all the foes she fought, none rivaled Sargeras. In the frozen wastes of Northrend, the Guardian confronted the ruler of the Burning Legion.
"This was not Sargeras in his true form, only an avatar containing a portion of his strength. Even so, Aegwynn's opponent was powerful beyond measure.
"Aegwynn raised Aluneth high and called down a storm of arcane magic to annihilate Sargeras. Nothing happened. The entity bound to Aegwynn's weapon resisted her command. As she struggled to assert her will over Aluneth, Sargeras launched a furious assault against the Guardian.
"Ultimately, Aegwynn put Aluneth aside and opted for a more reliable weapon. She summoned Atiesh, a mighty staff passed from Guardian to Guardian, and renewed her attack against Sargeras."
Though Aegwynn defeated Sargeras, the battle changed her forever.
Unbeknownst to the Guardian, the Legion's ruler had transferred a portion of his spirit into her soul. Aegwynn's demeanor darkened. As the years passed, she grew suspicious of the Council of Tirisfal, the order of magi that had imbued her with power and given her the mantle of Guardian.
To distance herself from the council, Aegwynn used Aluneth to forge a secret refuge.
Atop a nexus of magical ley lines that coursed through Azeroth, the Guardian crafted her spell. She harnessed the full potential of Aluneth's energies, and reality warped and shifted around Aegwynn.
Legend has it that a great tower then rose from the earth. It would become known as Karazhan.
For centuries, Aegwynn strengthened her control over Aluneth. She dispatched the Legion's demons with ease and secured Azeroth's safety for generations.
Aegwynn eventually gave birth to a boy named Medivh, who would become the next Guardian. In time, Aegwynn planned to bequeath Aluneth to her son, but that day would never come.
The spirit of Sargeras had passed from Aegwynn to Medivh. Over many long years, the demon lord twisted the new Guardian's thoughts. Sargeras used Medivh to help the mighty orcish Horde invade Azeroth and bring war to the world.
An excerpt from The Fate of Aegwynn, by the historian Llore:
"When Aegwynn learned of Medivh's actions, she confronted him. Mother and child unleashed the full fury of their magics upon each other in a battle that would decide Azeroth's future.
"Even with Aluneth at her command, Aegwynn could not best Medivh. She only narrowly survived her encounter with the corrupted Guardian.
"Medivh was later vanquished, but that brought Aegwynn little solace. She was tormented by what had become of her son-by the darkness that she had unwittingly passed to him. For a time, Aegwynn retreated from society, and she entrusted Aluneth to the Kirin Tor of Dalaran.
"To prevent anyone from abusing Aluneth's power, the Kirin Tor locked the greatstaff away. For years, it would remain in an enchanted vault, under the watchful eyes of blue dragons."
Felo'melorn. Flamestrike. Sword of kings. Bane of trolls. Its legend stretches back through the millennia. It stands as a symbol of hope, loss, and power-of destruction and renewal.
Those who have wielded Felo'melorn have forever etched their names into history. Will you do the same?
Though it is not known for certain, rumors that have passed down through generations suggest that a young Dath'Remar Sunstrider, who would one day become king of the high elves, dreamed of the weapon Felo'melorn. In that dream, the arcane blade burned like the sun and dispatched so many enemies that it created a swift-flowing river of blood.
Dath'Remar would later recount the specifics of the blade's appearance to the renowned magesmith Luminarian as he crafted the weapon on his arcane forge.
From the personal writings of Serena Everwind, night elf priestess during the War of the Ancients:
"Dath'Remar wielded Felo'melorn, Flamestrike, like an elf possessed. He was an unstoppable force, at once majestic and graceful yet savage and deadly. The runes of the blade seemed to pulse in rhythm with the pounding of Dath'Remar's fierce heart as he separated limb from body and head from shoulders.
"When the fighting was done, Dath'Remar stood painted in demon blood. As night fell, we knew that more battles remained, and yet, with this elf and this blade among us, we held out hope that victory did not lie beyond our grasp."
In the hands of Anasterian Sunstrider, great-grandson of the high elf king Dath'Remar, Felo'melorn became a legendary troll-killer.
Among the trolls, whispers spread of a spellbound blade, empowered by arcane magic not only to slay the most formidable and cunning of its enemies, but also to cut through superior numbers and irrigate battlefields with their blood.
Troll witch doctors set about casting hexes and curses against the infamous weapon, but history bears out that even the darkest voodoo did little to negate the effectiveness of Felo'melorn during the Troll Wars.
An account of the battle between the death knight Arthas and Anasterian Sunstrider during the attack on Quel'Thalas, from the personal writings of the former priestess Liadrin:
"All fighting came to a halt. Silence fell over the battlefield. I watched from a distance, helpless as the former prince Arthas cast a spell freezing Anasterian in a coat of ice. The king cast a counterspell, freeing himself as the death knight advanced. Felo'melorn and Frostmourne met, the strident clash of their impact rolling out over the ice and across the blood-drenched tiles.
"The force of their meeting cleaved Felo'melorn, Flamestrike, in half. Arthas's swing continued, severing the right leg of our aged, beloved king. Even as Anasterian dropped to his remaining knee, he struck out, burying his broken blade in the death knight's thigh. Arthas whirled Frostmourne up, over, and down, thrusting it to the hilt behind Anasterian's collarbone and deep into his chest.
"The death knight yanked his blade free; Anasterian pitched forward onto the ice.
"The great king of the high elves was dead. And for many of us that day, our hopes and our hearts died with him."
Excerpt from the journal of Lor'themar Theron, concerning Prince Kael'thas's return in the immediate wake of Quel'Thalas's destruction:
"Our fallen king, Anasterian, lay upon a table in the tavern hall; his broken blade, Felo'melorn, rested upon his chest, the two pieces joined. I told our prince that the weapon had been shattered in the battle with the death knight Arthas.
"Kael'thas walked to his father's body and ran his finger over the fracture, remarking that he did not believe it possible for Flamestrike's blade to be sundered.
"I was left wondering what legacy, if any, awaited our people and the legendary blade that now symbolized not strength or dominance, but fallibility."
In the time following the devastating Scourge attack on Quel'Thalas, Prince Kael'thas renamed the high elf survivors the sin'dorei, or blood elves. While the prince and a band of blood elves assisted the human troops of Grand Marshal Garithos against the remaining undead forces, it was rumored that Kael'thas kept the pieces of his father's sword, Felo'melorn, on a sideboard in his dilapidated quarters.
Kael'thas dreamed of making Flamestrike's blade whole again so that it might serve once more as a symbol of hope, to show his people that even in the face of overwhelming hardship, the blood elves would not be broken.
In time, Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider realized his dream of rejoining the broken pieces of Felo'melorn.
It is said that the sword was reforged with "magic, and hatred, and a burning need for revenge."
There are some who speculate that the sword was taken to a descendant of Luminarian, the magesmith who originally created the weapon on his legendary arcane forge before the War of the Ancients. This assertion has never been independently verified.
An account of Kael'thas Sunstrider's battle with the death knight Arthas, from the personal writings of Kael'thas:
"The death knight charged, his blade, Frostmourne, arcing down. I blocked with my staff, but it was no use; the stave shattered. It was then that I revealed my surprise...
"Felo'melorn. Flamestrike, mended, made whole once again. It burned with righteous fury as our two swords clashed. Each of us held steady, blades pressed tight. I smiled and asked Arthas if he remembered Felo'melorn.
"He snidely replied that he saw it snap beneath Frostmourne in the instant before he slew my father. When he shoved me back, I told him that I had found the blade, had it reforged...
"'Broken swords are weak where they are mended, elf,' the despicable former prince said.
"'Human swords, perhaps,' I replied. And I knew... that day I knew this one thing at least: I might not win, but Felo'melorn would not be broken again.
"Filled with renewed purpose, I attacked."
From the journal of Lyandra Sunstrider, distant relative of King Anasterian:
"Today, at last, my efforts to uncover the location of my birthright have borne fruit.
"It is now made known to me that the sword of my ancestors, Felo'melorn, Flamestrike, resides within the Lich King's stronghold of Icecrown Citadel.
"It was there that the blade was taken to after leaving the possession of the traitor Kael'thas Sunstrider.
"At last, I shall validate my claim to the Sunstrider throne. I shall seek out Flamestrike, and I shall realize my destiny."
Last journal entry of Lyandra Sunstrider, distant relative of King Anasterian:
"Icecrown Citadel, I curse your name.
"Along empty halls I made my way, through a twisting labyrinth of black saronite, until I beheld a warm, red glow pouring from a room at the end of a dismal passage.
"I entered and saw... Felo'melorn, Flamestrike, mounted upon a dais. At last, the sword that would solidify my claim to the Sunstrider throne! I approached, awestruck, reached out...
"And the door slammed shut behind me. The prize I had so long sought was at last within my grasp...
"But now... I am trapped. Surely death awaits me. Or perhaps... something worse."
Excerpt from a speech given by Aethas Sunreaver:
"My brothers, in the time since the Sunreavers's expulsion from the Kirin Tor, we have endeavored to secure readmission. I tell you now that the key to our salvation exists... it exists within the frozen black halls of Icecrown Citadel, in the possession of a fallen elf--Lyandra Sunstrider.
"She dwells there now as a reanimated shell of her former self, but I have learned that it is Lyandra who holds the infamous blade of kings, Felo'melorn. Flamestrike. It has been trusted to remain in her keeping by the Lich King himself, to aid in battle against the Legion. Lyandra was obsessed with the blade while she was among the living, and when she ventured to Icecrown to claim it, that obsession proved to be her downfall. However, Lyandra's tragic misstep provides us with an opportunity...
"An opportunity for the Sunreavers to retake our rightful place... among the Kirin Tor!"
Ebonchill, Greatstaff of Alodi
- Main article: Ebonchill
The half-elf Alodi wielded Ebonchill during his long tenure as the first Guardian of Tirisfal. He infused the greatstaff with his extraordinary power, and he began a tradition of passing the weapon down from mage to mage. For thousands of years, this practice continued uninterrupted. Some of Azeroth's mightiest spellcasters used Ebonchill to hunt down and vanquish the Burning Legion's wicked agents.
When the Legion stole Ebonchill, the tradition put in place by Alodi was broken... but only for a time. Now, in your hands, the greatstaff can once again fulfill its purpose to safeguard Azeroth.
The tale of Ebonchill begins with a half-elf mage named Alodi. Though he did not create the staff, he made it into the legendary weapon it is today.
Alodi never knew his real parents. From infancy, he was raised in an orphanage for magically gifted children in Dalaran. His only connection to his parents was Ebonchill, which they had left with the boy when they abandoned him at the school.
His dubious parentage and mixed ancestry made life difficult for Alodi. Most magi pitied him, but others treated him with scorn. No one believed he would rise to greatness. They were mistaken.
In time, the orphan would become the first Guardian of Tirisfal, one of the most powerful magi to have ever lived.
From his early days in the Dalaran orphanage, Alodi had been fascinated with frost magic. This was due in part to the icy enchantments woven into Ebonchill. With the staff, Alodi learned how to freeze water and manipulate air temperature, often to the chagrin of the orphanage headmaster.
Shortly after Alodi became Guardian, he honed his mastery of frost magic and imbued Ebonchill with his own powers. A wintry aura enveloped the staff. Much to the astonishment of Alodi's companions on the Council of Tirisfal, the weapon never felt cold to the touch. Ebonchill contained only a sliver of Alodi's might, but even that was more than most magi could ever hope of wielding.
Alodi became Guardian at a dire time for the Council of Tirisfal. This secret order of magi was created to protect Azeroth from demons. For many years, its members succeeded in their quest.
Then a dreadlord named Kathra'natir changed everything. The demon infiltrated Dalaran and thwarted the council's attempts to stop him. Kathra'natir sowed unrest in the streets, threatening to engulf the city in turmoil.
To defeat Kathra'natir, the Council of Tirisfal's magi took drastic measures. Through a complex ritual, they infused all of their power into Alodi. It was an act of great trust and faith.
Kathra'natir was no match for the newly empowered Alodi. The Guardian unleashed his astonishing power on the demon and banished him from the world in short order.
During Alodi's tenure as Guardian, he used Ebonchill to hunt down every demon that stalked the lands of Azeroth. Many records tell of him calling down vicious ice storms to overwhelm his enemies, or encasing the Legion's agents in solid blocks of ice before exiling them from the world.
Near the end of Alodi's one hundred years of service as Guardian, he turned his attention to his apprentices. He had trained and tutored many young magi in the ways of the arcane. They had become the family that he had never had, and he treated them all as his own sons and daughters.
Alodi decided to pass on Ebonchill to one of these learned apprentices. He did not choose the most powerful. More important to Alodi were compassion, wisdom, and comradery. After much consideration, he entrusted his greatstaff to the apprentice who most embodied these traits.
So began a tradition of bequeathing Ebonchill that would endure for millennia.
All was well with the Council of Tirisfal until the rise of Guardian Aegwynn. The gifted mage grew suspicious of the order. She believed that the council was abusing its power by manipulating the politics of human kingdoms. At the end of her one hundred years of service, she refused to step down as Guardian.
Aegwynn's disobedience eventually forced the council's hand. It formed the Tirisgarde, a group of talented magi charged with hunting down and subduing the wayward Guardian.
Among the Tirisgarde was a promising but arrogant young spellcaster named Tarthen. His aging master had long ago inherited Ebonchill, and he was in the process of choosing which apprentice would take it up next.
Tarthen fully expected to receive the greatstaff. He eclipsed his fellow apprentices in raw power and potential. But Tarthen's master put little weight in such things.
When the day of the ceremony came, the elderly mage gave Ebonchill to another apprentice--one who embodied the qualities of compassion, wisdom, and comradery.
After his master passed on Ebonchill to a different apprentice, Tarthen wallowed in anger and bitterness. He believed he had been wronged, and he was determined to prove himself.
Tarthen stole Ebonchill from its new owner, taking great care to cover up evidence of his crime. In secret, he practiced with the greatstaff and learned to wield its extraordinary energies.
Only a handful of Tarthen's most trusted Tirisgarde allies knew of his theft. They alone witnessed him bending Ebonchill's magics to his will, and they were in awe of the power at his fingertips.
Once he was confident he had mastered Ebonchill, Tarthen set out to do what no other Tirisgarde had thus far managed--he would defeat Aegwynn and forever etch his name in the histories.
An excerpt from a missive sent to the Council of Tirisfal:
"We have studied the residual magics at the battle site. Here is our assessment of what transpired.
"Tarthen confronted Aegwynn in Stranglethorn Vale. In terms of the power used by the two magi, the duel that ensued was one of the greatest to have ever occurred between a Tirisgarde and the renegade Guardian. But it was also one of the shortest.
"Tarthen bore Ebonchill in battle--the greatstaff reported stolen some months ago. When he unleashed the weapon's stored power on Aegwynn, she immediately turned the energies back on him with a counterspell. A storm of frost magic surged over Tarthen, encasing him in a layer of diamond-hard ice.
"Despite the hot weather in the region, Tarthen was still frozen solid when we found him. It took considerable effort to thaw his corpse and free Ebonchill from his lifeless hand."
The Council of Tirisfal magi who recovered Ebonchill returned the greatstaff to its owner. Over the following years, the tradition of handing down the weapon from master to apprentice continued. Many of these magi used Ebonchill to protect Azeroth from demons, but not the human named Arrexis.
Arrexis was a lover of knowledge. For days on end, he would lock himself in his personal archives, poring over ancient tomes and scrolls. When Ebonchill passed to him, he decided to study the greatstaff rather than wield it in battle. Arrexis knew well the weapon's history and deadly potential.
From his examinations, Arrexis believed that he could employ Ebonchill as a catalyst to power great spells--feats of magic that normally only a Guardian would be capable of. Over time, he harnessed the weapon's energies and used them to research new types of warding spells.
Arrexis lived in a time of upheaval and turmoil for the Council of Tirisfal. The current Guardian was named Medivh, and he was the son of Aegwynn. Like his rebellious mother, he shunned the council and largely kept to himself.
Unbeknownst to the council and the rest of the world, a great evil stirred in Medivh's soul. Sargeras, leader of the Burning Legion, had possessed the Guardian.
Due to Sargeras's manipulation, Medivh forged a pact with the orcish Horde and began paving the way for its invasion of Azeroth. To prevent the Council of Tirisfal from meddling in his affairs, the darkened Guardian secretly assassinated some of its members.
Medivh's gaze soon fell upon Arrexis and Ebonchill.
In pursuit of his studies, Arrexis gathered his apprentice magi and established a research camp near Medivh's domain, the tower of Karazhan. The structure was built atop a nexus of potent ley lines. The energies that coursed through Karazhan sometimes warped reality in the region.
Arrexis and his followers experimented with their warding magics outside Karazhan, attempting to neutralize the tower's strange powers. The records indicate that Guardian Medivh visited the magi at this time and offered his advice. He suggested that Arrexis could apply his warding spellwork in new ways, specifically to prevent demons from clawing into the world.
Though some members of the Council of Tirisfal distrusted him, Arrexis did not. He welcomed Medivh's support.
Arrexis's trusting nature would be his downfall.
No one knows for sure what Medivh did during his visit with Arrexis. The details are shrouded in mystery and hearsay. Some rumors claim that the Guardian altered Ebonchill so that it would disrupt Arrexis's warding spells and destroy the venerated mage.
Whatever the truth, it is known that Arrexis heeded Medivh's advice. The elderly mage and his followers conducted a great ritual to protect an area from demonic incursions. The spell was only meant to be a test, but it had disastrous consequences.
When the magi began their casting, they inadvertently opened a path between Azeroth and the realm of demons, the Twisting Nether. Arrexis and all of his followers were ripped through the gateway and were never seen again. One account states that within the Twisting Nether, a handful of demons fell upon the shocked magi and slaughtered them to the last.
The demons were led by an eredar known as Balaadur. He took Ebonchill as a trophy of his bloody victory, and the ancient tradition of passing the greatstaff from master to apprentice died alongside Arrexis and his doomed protege.
- Its name in alpha stages was History of Azerothian Artifacts.
- Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Added.