- For the character with the title of Ashbringer, see Alexandros Mograine. For the comic book mini-series by Wildstorm, see Ashbringer (comic). 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, Alexandros Mograine, the former Highlord of the Silver Hand known as the Ashbringer.
Alexandros' oldest son, Renault, betrayed and murdered him with the sword, transforming it into . Alexandros was resurrected as a death knight to lead the Four Horsemen of the Scourge in Naxxramas, and kept the sword until his youngest son Darion killed him and reclaimed the blade. Darion later discovered his father's soul had become corrupted and trapped in the sword. Darion plunged the sword into his own heart to redeem his father's soul. His death resulted in Darion becoming a death knight of the Scourge. The sword was eventually purified after Darion betrayed the Lich King and relinquished it to Tirion Fordring.
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. The Ashbringer is featured in a titular four-part comic miniseries.
- 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 siege of Blackrock Spire in the Second War, Highlord Alexandros Mograine found a mysterious, dark crystal on the body of a dead orc warlock. The crystal was the "living embodiment of shadow" and originated 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 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 impending undead 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 mentioned moments before. The group 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 Magni Bronzebeard 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' betrayal, the remaining leaders of the Silver Hand banded together to fight the undead of the Plaguelands. The Ashbringer became the most lethal weapon in their arsenal — and it quickly garnered the attention of Kel'Thuzad. Balnazzar (in the newly-possessed body of Grand Crusader Saidan Dathrohan) sought to manipulate the remnants of the Silver Hand to advance his goals for the Burning Legion. After Mograine stated his intentions to attack the Undercity, Balnazzar put plans into motion to eliminate Alexandros in order to protect his brother, Varimathras (who was manipulating Sylvanas Windrunner and her Forsaken).
Balnazzar made a pact with Kel'Thuzad to eliminate Alexandros and end his threat to both of them. Balnazzar corrupted one of Alexandros' sons, Renault, and set a trap for the Highlord. Renault led his father and High Inquisitor Fairbanks to Stratholme, where legions of the Scourge awaited them. Renault hid while Alexandros and Fairbanks fended for themselves. Fairbanks eventually became trapped alive under a pile of corpses. Alexandros alone continued to smite thousands of the undead, but eventually became weary and dropped Ashbringer. Renault came out of hiding and slew his father with the sword, which corrupted the blade. Later, Kel'Thuzad resurrected Alexandros as one of his death knights of Naxxramas and reclaimed his corrupted blade. Balnazzar gained complete authority over the remnants of the Silver Hand that reformed as the Scarlet Crusade, and Renault became Commander of the Scarlet Monastery.
Seeking to free his father, Alexandros' other son Darion 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' 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. While successful, 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 was 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
Launch to patch 1.10
Ashbringer was the subject of intense rumors and speculation during the early years of World of Warcraft. At launch, the only mention of the weapon's existence was by Caretaker Alen. This, combined with a datamined Ashbringer from the game's files, created rumors among players that there was a secret quest to obtain it. Blizzard did not comment on whether it could be obtained or not.
Rumors of an obtainable Ashbringer were fueled further with the additions of Alexia Ironknife, Bardu Sharpeye, Narain Soothfancy, Commander Eligor Dawnbringer, Shen'dralar Zealots, and ; all of which mention the weapon. Information from these sources suggested that Asbhringer was somehow lost, and that Nat Pagle and Prince Tortheldrin knew the location; however, neither shared their knowledge. Players continued to search feverishly for a secret quest that would reward Ashbringer.
In February 2006, the official Chinese World of Warcraft website published a promotional image for the then-upcoming patch 1.11, featuring a character wielding Ashbringer. This immediately drew player speculation that Ashbringer would finally be obtainable, until a European CM and Eyonix clarified it would not be:
European CM Response on Ashbringer! | 2006-02-24 19:15 | Eyonix
This was the first official statement that Ashbringer was not obtainable by players, and quashed rumors. The caster legendary item Eyonix hinted at was Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian, added later in patch 1.11.
In the original version of the Naxxramas raid, players encountered Highlord Alexandros Mograine as a death knight of the Four Horsemen. He wielded the , which could be looted from the Horsemen. When equipped, Scarlet Crusade NPCs become friendly, and Argent Dawn NPCs become hostile. A scripted event can be triggered upon entering the cathedral in the Scarlet Monastery with it equipped.
In the (non-canon) event, Scarlet Commander Mograine 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 slays his son for his betrayal. The Highlord frees High Inquisitor Fairbanks' 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 and that Alexandros' other son resides in Outland, and can forge a new one.
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, the Corrupted Ashbringer began to turn on Darion. When the death knights were forced to surrender, Tirion Fordring 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 equips 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 Ares the Oathbound 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
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.
- Main article: Ashbringer (artifact)
Ashbringer is the artifact used by retribution paladins in 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.
- During the Ashbringer acquisition quest, the Ashbringer uses the Fallen Hope artifact appearance when Balnazzar attempts to corrupt the player character.
- According to Blizzard's then-lead writer Micky Neilson, the plan was for Ashbringer's crystal to be from a darkened naaru, though it was never explicitly stated.
- The Corrupted Ashbringer appears as an obtainable weapon in Diablo III.
- In Hearthstone, Tirion Fordring appears as a legendary card, and upon death he equips the player with an Ashbringer weapon.
- Ashbringer replicas can be seen in the Blizzard World map in Overwatch.
- An Ashbringer replica was in the works at the Blizzard Consumer Products but was never released due to not meeting the quality that they wanted while also staying true to the model in-game.
Rumors and speculation
- Tempest Keep had not yet arrived on Draenor when Alexandros Mograine obtained the crystal, meaning that its source could only be one of the naaru from the Genedar - K'ure, D'ore or K'ara, who have all entered a darkened state. Only K'ara remains unaccounted for on the main timeline and could be the source of the Ashbringer's crystal.
Old questline and earlier appearance
The Ashbringer may have been originally intended to be in the game during Classic. Parts of what seems to be a scrapped quest line can be pieced together:
- Nat Pagle learned the location of the Ashbringer and wrote about it in his book, , of which players only had the last page.
- The full but unreadable copy of the book (A Thoroughly Read Copy of "Nat Pagle's Extreme' Anglin.") could be found in Dire Maul.
- Shen'dralar Zealots also in Dire Maul claimed Prince Tortheldrin knew the location of the Ashbringer, and was willing to tell the adventurer if one were to bring him the .
- The Prince, being a bibliophile, ostensibly learned of the Ashbringer's location from Nat's book, and discarded the book in Dire Maul where the adventurer found it.
- The zealots' words suggest there were plans for Ashbringer to be the legendary item associated with Blackwing Lair, which would be released four months after Dire Maul. However, the Blackwing Lair legendary became instead. This was supported by the fact that the item ID for Thunderfury was originally used for Ashbringer, found from datamining.
- 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 an incorrect but popular conclusion that Timolain was the name of the mage referred to by Bardu Sharpeye and Alexia Ironknife, and therefore was the crafter of the Ashbringer in its original questline. Bloodmage Thalnos was also speculated to be the crafter of the Ashbringer at one point, since the Scarlet Crusade had no affinity for the arcane.
Blizzard acknowledged these old rumors in a quest line to obtain the , an artifact appearance for the Ashbringer Legion artifact that causes the Ashbringer to resemble the original .
Mograine's second son
During The Burning Crusade, many players speculated David Wayne was this second son assuming a fake name, considering he's human, he left the Sons of Lothar to be part of "something larger" (which is left unspecified), his presence in Outland, and his skills as a blacksmith. Wrath of the Lich King later revealed Darion Mograine to be Alexandros' second son. Fairbanks' statement about a son in Outland was incorrect or retconned.
Darion Mograine wields before the Battle for Light's Hope Chapel.
A statue of Tirion Fordring wielding Ashbringer in Hearthglen.
The remnants of M'uru had the same look as the dark crystal that was purified for Ashbringer.
- Quotes about Ashbringer
- Scarlet Monastery Event: Retribution of the Ashbringer
- Sprocket Gyrospring action figure (wielding Ashbringer)
- TCG card
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ BlizzCon 2018 - The Vault | World of Warcraft