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- This article is about the Scarlet Crusade lore. For the splintered off faction of Crusaders, see Scarlet Onslaught.
|Other major cities|
|Base of operations|
|Theater of operations|
Decimated, remaining members in hiding.
- “Can you not see it, brothers and sisters? There is but one way to wipe the Scourge from the face of Azeroth. The Scarlet Crusade offers you the protection that you so desperately desire, and if you will pledge yourselves to us, surely we will reach our ultimate goal. Defy us, and you will be dispatched in a blaze of golden light unlike any you have every witnessed...”
The Scarlet Crusade (or the Scarlet Brotherhood and simply the Crusade) is a religious order, that evolved from Knights of the Silver Hand dedicated to the eradication of the undead from Lordaeron. They are a major adversary of the Forsaken and Scourge, and several quests in Tirisfal Glades involve attacks on Scarlet Crusade troops, leaders, and strongholds. The Scarlet Crusade maintains several bastions throughout the former lands of Lordaeron, namely the Scarlet Monastery, and up until the Shattering - Hearthglen, Tyr's Hand, the fortified Scarlet Bastion of Stratholme, and several smaller camps and scout towers spread throughout the whole area of northern Lordaeron.
It was also, before the Shattering, the only hierarchy left of the Kingdom of Lordaeron after its destruction by the Scourge. After the attack on the Scarlet Enclave, the Scarlet Crusade renamed itself to the Scarlet Onslaught and operated in Northrend, though some members of the original Scarlet Crusade did not transfer to the Scarlet Onslaught.
Since the fall of the Lich King, the Scarlet Crusade has experienced a downfall, losing many of its holdings in the now-recovering Plaguelands to the Argent Crusade, and many of its surviving members, ironically, to undeath as the Risen.
- 1 History
- 2 Locations
- 3 Relations
- 4 Scarlet renegades
- 5 Books and other texts
- 6 Corruption from within
- 7 Members
- 8 Ranks and classes
- 9 In the RPG
- 10 Notes & trivia
- 11 Speculation
- 12 Gallery
- 13 See also
- 14 References
The AshbringerThis section concerns content exclusive to the World of Warcraft comics.
The elder Abbendis and felt that although they had a good base, they really needed to attack the Scourge where they were the thickest: in the Eastern Plaguelands. Isillien took on the title of Grand Inquisitor, while the elder Abbendis led the majority of the forces to Tyr's Hand in the east to strike at Stratholme. As they established their bases and took in many more warriors, they destroyed any undead they found. During an assault on Stratholme, however, was mortally wounded by the undead and died in his daughter's arms. Worse still, became separated and lost during the assault. They were overjoyed when he finally reappeared, but none of them could have imagined the truth: that during his absence he had been captured, killed, and finally possessed by the dreadlord .
Balnazzar began manipulating the organization to serve his own ends. However, he needed to remove a serious threat to himself: and the Ashbringer. As Saidan Dathrohan, he started talking a lot with Alexandros's son , playing on his desire for approval and recognition, until he eventually managed to convince him to betray his father. Renault led his father and into Stratholme, where they were set upon by the Scourge. Though Alexandros fought bravely, and many undead fell before his blade, he eventually dropped the Ashbringer, which Renault used to stab his father through the back before fleeing. Fairbanks, who had been buried beneath the undead bodies and thought slain, eventually returned to the Scarlet Monastery and tried to tell the others what had happened. Saidan Dathrohan claimed he had been tainted by the undead, and he was executed. However, there were those who believed that their comrades had fallen from their once-noble purpose, and left to form their own order, the Argent Dawn. Those that remained formally named themselves the Scarlet Crusade.
One day, Renault's younger brother , who had joined the Argent Dawn, came walking into the chapel of the Scarlet Monastery. Renault initially assumed he had come to join the Scarlet Crusade, until he saw what he was carrying: the Ashbringer. Furious, he began to savagely beat Darion, not noticing that a strange shadow was emerging from the blade. The shadow coalesced into the form of Alexandros Mograine and, after accusing his son of betrayal and murder, killed him. Darion took the Ashbringer and left, and soon after was appointed as commander at the Monastery.
World of WarcraftThis section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.
Burning CrusadeThis section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
By that point, the Scarlet Crusade's misguided zeal was so strong that it had even tainted the blessing spoken over their holy water. The Blood Knights of Quel'Thalas seeked to exploit that taint to prepare a mixture that was to extinguish the eternal flame of the Alonsus Chapel in Stratholme.
Wrath of the Lich KingThis section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
There was, however, one region of the Eastern Plaguelands which had been remarkably untouched by the plague that had despoiled the remainder of northern Lordaeron. This region was appropriately known as the Scarlet Enclave, consisting of the Scarlet capital of Tyr's Hand led by Lord Valdelmar, and the towns of Havenshire and New Avalon. These towns came under the protection of the Crusade forces after successful negotiations between Silver Hand knights and local administration. Crusaders stationed in Tyr's Hand, led by High General - the one of the Crusade's original founders.
All that changed with the arrival of Acherus in the skies above the Enclave. In short order, the Scourge had established a base camp in the Ebon Hold's shadow and began their campaign of destruction. As the death knights of Acherus began to march on Havenshire, Abbendis claimed to receive visions from the Light, instructing her to take the most faithful of her troops and journey to Northrend. This became known among the Scarlet troops as the "Crimson Dawn", a revival of the Crusade and its "holy mission".
The Fall of the Scarlet EnclaveBy that point, the death knights had laid waste to Havenshire and were now seeking to find out more about this "Crimson Dawn" mentioned in New Avalon's registry, taken from the town hall after they murdered New Avalon's . They discovered that a courier had been sent from Hearthglen by High Commander Galvar Pureblood, informing Abbendis that an army of Crusaders from Hearthglen and Tirisfal were being assembled to reinforce the Enclave and battle the forces of Acherus.Scarlet Onslaught.
The message never reached Pureblood, and his forces were annihilated by the Scourge as a result. With the combined army marching to their doom, High General Abbendis boarded her flagship, the Sinner's Folly, and set sail for Northrend, leaving the Crusade to its fate.
An elite force of the Crusade is the Crimson Legion, led by the Grand Crusader himself. Throughout the Scarlet Crusade, three different symbols are persistent. The Crusade's official banner is a modified flag of Lordaeron, with the "L" painted in red to symbolize the blood of the living. This "L" letter looks like "C" on the Scarlet Crusade flags. The modified Symbol of the Light seems to mark sanctuaries and holy places. Additionally, whilst the organization counts many non-combatants and line soldiers amongst its ranks, real Crusaders can be identified by the Scarlet Flame on their tabard.
While not officially stated, it would appear that the Scarlet Crusade and the Scarlet Onslaught have seen their last days. With various Horde and Alliance raids on Scarlet outposts (throughout quests involving the various zones and instances in the Eastern Kingdoms and in Northrend), many of the leaders of this organization are dead. The Upper Echelon has been completely destroyed, while the Lower Echelon, whose only remaining member is Grand Admiral , has been completely annihilated with the revelation of who he really is, and his subsequent retreat. Indeed, out of all the named characters that make up the Crusade (grand total of 55) all but 2 minor members have been killed in various quests (or in pre-WoW lore in the case of the first High General Abbendis). With the deaths of the majority of the leadership, it remains to be seen who will lead what is left of the Crusade/Onslaught.
CataclysmThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
With the exposure of Balnazzar and Mal'Ganis, the senior leadership eliminated, the Lich King's defeat, and retaking his old town of Hearthglen for the Argent Crusade, the Scarlet Crusade has become a shadow of its former self. Due to the decline of the Scarlets in the Plaguelands, the Argent Crusade has become the strength in the region, effectively succeeding the Scarlets as the new hierarchy of the former Kingdom of Lordaeron. In hindsight, the Scarlet Crusade has proven to be far more of a hindrance than a help in the war against the Scourge. Only a few loyal members have survived and remain in the Western Plaguelands, such as the , the and the .
It has been discovered that the Crusade has completely lost Stratholme, with Balnazzar shedding his disguise and killing the remaining Scarlet Crusaders within the city. Balnazzar then used his necromantic powers to resurrect them as the Risen. Unknown how, but a similar fate has befallen the Scarlet presence in Tyr's Hand, including the members formerly found at Light's Hope Chapel. Hence, in an ironic twist of fate, the eastern Scarlet holdouts in Lordaeron have literally become what they sought to destroy.
What is known is that the Scarlet Crusade have expanded their fortifications to the west of the Solliden Farmstead, in a new, small area called the Scarlet Palisade, and that they managed to keep the Scarlet Monastery in their control. Thus, the Tirisfal Glades appear to be the last remaining bastion of living Scarlet Crusade activity, and dissident crusader Joseph the Awakened intends to bring other crusaders back to their senses. However he seems to fall into the grips of insanity either with the knowledge that he was forced to kill his former comrades or though some unknown means. So even if Joseph completes his goal the Scarlet Crusade may still be lost in the sway of insanity.
Mists of PandariaThis section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.
Recent events indicate that the Scarlet Crusade is still active in their last bastion in Tirisfal Glades, the Scarlet Monastery and are slowly rebuilding the order. New members have been appointed to lead the Scarlet forces inside, as well as one surviving member of the former leadership, , the High Inquisitor of the Scarlet Crusade. Along with , who replaced Renault Mograine as Scarlet Commander - they are responsible for the operations inside and possibly outside the Monastery. Due to the corruption wrought by in the Plaguelands and in Northrend's branch of the Crusade, the Scarlet Onslaught, the Scarlets became ashamed of their past and have tasked their new archivist and lead mage, to burn the pages of history.
Soon after Lilian and the heroes of the Horde and the Alliance entered the Monastery and killed many of the remaining forces along with Sally. Following this, some members of the order went into hiding, while others started to regroup and reoccupy the Monastery.
LegionThis section concerns content exclusive to Legion.
The Knights of the Ebon Blade assaulted the Scarlet Monastery, now led by , in their quest to resurrect as a member of their new Four Horsemen. declared they would not leave until every last crusader had been killed and every banner burned.
The Scarlet Onslaught in New Hearthglen appeared to be still alive and well after the death of their leaders, executing heretics and betrayers. A few former crusaders along with their apostate champion Mariella the Heretic later joined the ranks of the Conclave. Several Crimson Pilgrims also appeared in Dalaran.
In Tirisfal Glades a peaceful Monastery was converted into a stronghold of the fanatical Scarlet Crusade, the Scarlet Monastery. The monastery is one of Crusade's last bastions along with New Hearthglen in Northrend and the Scarlet Palisade in Tirisfal. The Crusaders are intolerant of all non-human races, regardless of alliance or affiliation. They believe that any and all outsiders are potential carriers of the undead plague - and must be destroyed.
Though the Crusade's ranks are all human, it is not openly welcomed by the Alliance. However, its mission appeals to most within the Alliance, who generally agree that the undead need to be removed from Lordaeron so its citizens can return home. As news of the Crusaders' rising madness compete with tales of their good deeds and names of heroes amongst their ranks, especially the less informed peasants of regions far away from former Lordaeron still view this organization as a stalwart defender against the undead threat. In part, this is true, as the Crusade has indeed rescued refugees and defended civilian settlements in the Plaguelands many times, including a project to re-settle villages that have been destroyed by the Scourge during the war. Also, Scarlet Crusaders are protecting the Solliden Farmstead and its inhabitants, making it one of the few places in northern Lordaeron where the native farmfolk have survived to this day and also one of the few places in Lordaeron where they can get food that is unaffected by the plague of undeath.
Generally, the actions of the Scarlet Crusade are tolerated out of ignorance, and both the Alliance and the Church of Holy Light distance themselves from the Crusade's activities officially, but without trying to interfere. In fact, the Scarlet Crusade, who counts both the Alliance and the Church amongst their allies, maintains contacts to both by several emissaries - examples can be found in the Cathedral of Light in Stormwind and in the Alliance outpost of Nijel's Point.
The Scarlet Crusade has killed countless refugees fleeing the horrors of the Scourge, regarding them as possible carriers of the plague or even undead sympathizers, and their growing zealotry has started to make the Crusade enemies all over Azeroth. Travelers are advised to stay clear of Scarlet Crusaders regardless of whether any undead are in the party. The Scarlet Crusade can be friend or foe, but it is generally the enemy of anyone who cannot prove that he or she is alive — qualifications and interpretation being subject to change without notice.
The Scarlet renegades were former members of the Scarlet Crusade who have openly rebelled against the order. They sought to reform the order after having realized the evil corruption of the crusade. The Renegades sought redemption after the actions of the crusade and have thus allied themselves with the Alliance. They asked for their aid to seize control of the crusade and, while successful in doing so, their leadership appears to have fallen to madness.
Their status following Mists of Pandaria is unclear.
Books and other texts
Corruption from within
There are those that claimed that the Scarlet Crusade really had a more sinister purpose, that it was being used for darker reasons than the honorable - if misguided - cause of clearing the Plaguelands from the taint of the Scourge. This may have been correct, as not only was Highlord Mograine betrayed and murdered by his own son, but also the Crusade was actually headed by the Dreadlord , possessing the corpse of Grand Crusader .
Some Crusaders who had begun sensing the corruption within the Crusade have left the ranks of the order to found the Argent Dawn. These warriors are generally regarded as traitors by the Scarlet Crusade, especially since the Argent Dawn also counts Forsaken amongst its ranks.
During the war against the Lich King, Admiral , once believed to have perished in the Third War, made an unexpected return in Onslaught Harbor. As with Balnazzar, few were aware of Westwind's true form until adventurers slew High General Abbendis and cornered Westwind in a nearby cave.
It's possible that the Scarlet Crusade had become corrupted for reasons other than bad leadership. While himself seemed to have become corrupted from his once-holy path, as shown in the quest In Dreams. High General Abbendis seemed to remain pure, and she knew of the impurity of her troops, wishing she could afford to use only the holy. In addition to this, was secretly in disguise, so it was likely he was attempting to bend the Crusade to his will. As noted in , Admiral Barean Westwind stated after Abbendis dies that she "served her purpose". In addition to this, Abbendis seemed to think there was something "odd" about him. Thus, while the original intentions of the leadership seemed to have been pure, a failure to purify their upper echelons seemed to have been their undoing. How they managed to take these positions is unknown, as it was well documented that the Crusade often purged their own ranks. Surely even the upper ranks would have been checked.
|Grand Crusader||One of the original four paladins founded during the Second War. He was commander of Stratholme. He was killed by in order for the demon to possess his body.||Deceased|
|Scarlet Oracle||She was the chief advisor to Grand Crusader Saidan Dathrohan||Deceased|
|High General||He was one of the founders of the original Scarlet Crusade. He used to command the city of Tyr's Hand. He was slain by an army of Undead.||Deceased|
|High General||She was the founder and commander of the Scarlet Onslaught. She was slain by a group of Alliance and Horde soldiers.||Deceased|
|Grand Inquisitor||He used to train priest adapts into becoming inquisitors for the Scarlet Crusade. He was killed by for killing his son, .||Deceased|
|Highlord||He was commander of Hearthglen and lord of Mardenholde Keep. Taelan recognized the corruption that had befallen the Scarlet Crusade and defected. However, while escaping from Hearthglen he was killed by for his "betrayal".||Deceased|
|Grand Admiral||Was commander of the Scarlet Crusade's fleet. He seemed to have died at sea and his body was then possessed by .||Deceased|
|Captain General||He was the first Captain General of the Scarlet Crusade. A statue erected in his name says that he was lost at the mouth of Icecrown Glacier, implying that he is dead.||Deceased|
|High Abbot||He was a loyal servant to the Scarlet Crusade. He died while defending the Scarlet Monastery against the Undead forces at the First Summertide Assault.||Deceased|
|High Abbot, Archbishop||He was the Archbishop of the Scarlet Crusade/Onslaught. He is a secondary commander of the forces of the Scarlet Onslaught. He commits suicide by jumping off a cliff while soldiers are chasing him.||Deceased|
|High Inquisitor||He is the High Inquisitor of the Scarlet Onslaught.||Deceased-Killable|
|High Inquisitor||He was a High Inquisitor of the Scarlet Crusade. He witnessed the betrayal of Renault killing his father. He attempted to preach the wrongdoings and was killed and hidden in the chamber.||Undead-Deceased|
|High Priest||He is the High Priest of the Scarlet Crusade in Tirisfal Glades. Killed by his daughter.||Deceased-Killable|
|Emissary||He was an emissary located in Desolace, tasking players with killing the undead in the area. He was found dead after the Shattering.||Deceased|
|Emissary||A priest situated in Stormwind who is unaware of the wrong doings of the Scarlet Crusade.||Alive|
|Monk||He is a monk responsible for physical and spiritual training of Scarlet forces inside the Scarlet Monastery.||Deceased-Killable|
|Located in the Monastery during the Burning Legion's third invasion.||Killable|
|High Commander||He was the High Commander of Hearthglen during the period in which High General Brigitte Abbendis formed the Scarlet Onslaught and sailed to Northrend.||Unknown|
|Scarlet Commander||He was the Commander of the forces in the Scarlet Monastery, after his demise was succeeded by Durand.||Deceased|
|Scarlet Commander||Successor to Renault Mograine, the commander of rebuilding Scarlet Crusade forces in Scarlet Monastery.||Deceased-Killable|
|Scarlet Houndmaster||He is responsible for training the hounds supposed to guard the Scarlet Monastery.||Deceased-Killable|
|Lord Paladin||He led an attack on Stratholme and presumably died during the fight.||Unknown|
|Scarlet Commander||Commander of the forces in the Scarlet Enclave.||Deceased-Killable|
|High Protector||He was the High Protector of Mardenholde Keep.||Unknown|
|High Protector||He was the High Protector of Northridge Lumber Camp.||Deceased|
|Cavalier||He was a high ranking member of the order and patrols Hearthglen.||Deceased|
|Ranger Captain||She was the Ranger Captain of the Scarlet Crusade.||Deceased|
|Captain||He was a Captain stationed in the Scarlet Watch Post. He was killed by .||Deceased|
|Captain||He was a Captain stationed in the Scarlet Watch Post. He was killed by .||Deceased|
|Captain||He was a Captain stationed in the Scarlet Watch Post. He was killed by .||Deceased|
|Scarlet Champion||He is the Scarlet Champion of the Scarlet Crusade.||Deceased|
|Scarlet Armsmaster||He is the Armsmaster of the Scarlet Crusade, replaced Herod in the Hall of Arms.||Killable-Deceased|
|Scarlet Archivist, Flameweaver||He is a mage responsible for Scarlet Crusade's archives within the Scarlet Monastery. Due to the corruption of the Crusade, Koegler was tasked to burn down the pages of history, in order to conceal all shameful events.||Killable-Deceased|
|Houndmaster||He is the Houndmaster of the Scarlet Crusade.||Deceased|
|Huntsman||She was a normal member of the Scarlet Crusade.||Deceased|
|Warrior||He was Lord of the Red Caverns.||Deceased|
|Defender||She was killed while trying to slay the Dreadlord .||Deceased|
|Lieutenant||He was killed by .||Deceased|
|Messenger||He was slain while delivering a message.||Deceased|
|Warrior||She was a warrior fighting the Scourge in Eastern Plaguelands.||Unknown|
|High Wizard||He was the High Wizard of the Scarlet Crusade.||Deceased|
|Arcanist||He is a firm believer that Arcane Magic is the only way to stop the Scourge.||Deceased|
|Stable Master||He is the Stable Master of the Havenshire Stables.||Deceased-Killable-Deceased|
|Chief Assassin||He was the first Chief Assassin of the Scarlet Crusade.||Unknown|
|Chief Assassin||She was the second Chief Assassin of the Scarlet Crusade.||Unknown|
|Interrogator||He is an Interrogator of the Scarlet Crusade, found in the Scarlet Monastery. Once believed to have been killed in Scarlet Monastery. The badly wounded survives and was taken in as a gladiator in the Brawler's Guild. His injuries were cured and now fight in the arena as Dungeon Master Vishas.||Killable|
|Hunter||He sent word to the High General of Naxxramas leaving the Plaguelands.||Unknown|
|Scarlet Lieutenant||He was the Scarlet Crusader who caught . He later was killed by her before executing her.||Deceased|
|Lord Paladin||He was the military commander of New Avalon's Defence. He is seen after the fall of Havenshire.||Unknown|
|Crusader||He was the husband of and died by the hands of the Scourge. He is buried in Silverpine Forest.||Deceased|
|Crusader||He died using the .||Deceased|
|High Commander||Located in the Monastery after its siege by Knights of the Ebon Blade.||Killable|
|Prisoner||He is an ordinary member being held as a prisoner in Blackrock Depths.||Alive|
|Mayor||He was the Mayor of Scarlet Enclave.||Deceased-Killable|
|Citizen||She once lived at Misty Shore, until she was taken down by horde agents.||Deceased|
|Citizen||He once lived at Misty Shore, until he was taken down by Horde agents.||Deceased|
|Warrior||He was a defector of Scarlet Crusade and had tasked players into killing of several key-members of the Scarlet Crusade.||Unknown|
|Captain, Innkeeper||In life, she was a Captain of the Scarlet Crusade. In death, instead of commanding an army she chose to live a simple life as an Innkeeper.||Undead|
|Crusader Lord||He was the commander of Tyr's Hand after the death of . He was slain by an army of Undead and risen as one. He now leads the Risen.||Undead-Killable-Deceased|
|Scarlet Commander||She served as an ambassador of the Scarlet Crusade at Light's Hope Chapel in the Eastern Plaguelands.||Undead-Killable-Deceased|
|Commander||He had stayed back in the ruins of Stratholme as a commander. Sometime later he was raised as an undead.||Undead-Killable-Deceased|
|Cannon Master||He was the Cannon Master of the Scarlet Crusade.||Deceased- Killable-Deceased|
|Ambassador||He was an ambassador of the Scarlet Crusade to the Argent Dawn. Sometime later he died and he now is an Undead.||Undead-Killable-Deceased|
|Archivist, Instructer||He was the main Archivist of the Scarlet Crusade. He now is an Instructer and is Undead.||Undead-Killable-Deceased|
|Assassin||He was an assassin located at Light's Hope Chapel. He was later killed and risen as an Undead.||Undead-Killable-Deceased|
|Wrathcaster||He was a Wrathcaster located at Light's Hope Chapel. He was later killed and risen as an Undead.||Undead-Killable-Deceased|
|Foreman||He was a Foreman before becoming an Undead, and even after becoming one.||Undead-Killable|
|Foreman||He was a Foreman before becoming an Undead, and even after becoming one.||Undead-Killable|
|Scarlet Champion||He no longer serves the Scarlet Crusade and now leads the Scarlet renegades.||Unknown|
|Agent||In life, she was an agent of the Scarlet Crusade. She is the daughter of Benedict Voss.||Undead|
|Crusader||Better known as the .||Deceased|
|Scarlet Highlord||Joined the Scarlet Onslaught.||Unknown|
|Captain||Joined the Scarlet Onslaught.||Deceased - Killable|
|Captain||Joined the Scarlet Onslaught.||Deceased - Killable|
|Commander||Joined the Scarlet Onslaught.||Deceased - Killable|
|Bishop||Joined the Scarlet Onslaught.||Deceased - Killable|
|Torturer||Joined the Scarlet Onslaught.||Deceased - Killable|
|Lead Cannoneer||Joined the Scarlet Onslaught.||Deceased - Killable|
|Stable Master||Joined the Scarlet Onslaught.||Deceased - Killable|
|Blacksmith||Joined the Scarlet Onslaught.||Deceased - Killable|
|Captain||Joined the Scarlet Onslaught.||Deceased - Killable|
|Foreman||Joined the Scarlet Onslaught.||Deceased - Killable|
|Crusader||Left the Scarlet Onslaught and the Scarlet Crusade. Now seeks to become the Lich Kings Champion.||Unknown|
|Commander||Ambushed a group of the 7th Legion. Wanted dead by the Alliance.||Deceased - Killable|
|Bloodmage||Now known as .||Deceased - Killable|
|High Inquisitor||Leader of the Scarlet forces inside the Scarlet Monastery.||Killable-Active (Undead)|
|Mage||Former mage of the Crusade||Active (Undead)|
Ranks and classes
In the RPGThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.
The Scarlet Crusade is a group of maddened zealots so dedicated to the removal of all undead that they commonly attack the living. In the Western Plaguelands, the Scarlet Crusade strikes against the Scourge from Hearthglen. Many Knights of the Silver Hand remained on Lordaeron for several reasons ranging from missing the fleeing boats, to a sense of duty to clear their homeland of the undead. With the destruction of Lordaeron in front of them and the knowledge that Arthas had betrayed them, some knights actually went mad. They hunt the undead in Lordaeron with a zeal that frightens. Many innocent mortals have been killed through misunderstandings, or simply "just making sure". These paladins have a frightening policy: When in doubt, assume the person is undead and kill him. These knights would never admit that they walk the same dark road that led to Arthas’s damnation, but few of them continue to follow the three virtues. Those who question their leaders are assumed to be undead sympathizers and are slain. Many serve the Scarlet Crusade out of fear, as to speak up means instant death.
The Scarlet Crusade is what happens when mad zealots take over a good cause. While the Alliance is in agreement that the Scourge needs to be eradicated from Lordaeron so they can return home, few Alliance members would agree with the methods used by the Scarlet Crusade. The Crusade’s members are mostly soldiers — many are Knights of the Silver Hand — who saw such devastation wrought by the Scourge that they resort to extreme measures to destroy the undead. This includes killing any mortal they assume to be undead, killing mortals to get to undead or killing mortals who may sympathize with undead. “Sympathizing with the undead” is how Crusaders interpret someone arguing that their methods are severe. They are the natural enemies of the Scourge and the Forsaken, but they are also the enemy of anyone who cannot prove that he is alive — usually within ten or so seconds. The Crusade has indeed destroyed several undead encampments on Lordaeron. They may end up alone on the continent — or more likely, die trying. The Scarlet Crusade sees no difference between the Forsaken and the Scourge and battle the Forsaken zealously.
Despite its excesses, the Crusade is a powerful force in the eastern kingdoms, having already destroyed several undead encampments in Lordaeron and defeated a number of dangerous Liches as well as the Dreadlord . They are expected to continue battling until either the Scourge are driven from Lordaeron or the Crusade itself is destroyed.
The Scarlet Crusade distrusts any non-humans although they once had other races, such as High Elves and Dwarves, in their ranks.
History of the Crusade
Isillien was formerly a priest of the Holy Light in Lordaeron, assigned to be the liaison for the Knights of the Silver Hand. There he worked closely with the elder and his youthful charges, tutoring the young paladins in their quest for truth. Priests and paladins fought as the Scourge attacked the city, but they fled as Lordaeron fell around them. Some whisper it was the wounds both men received in battle, or perhaps just the shock of seeing their whole purpose destroyed, but since that day both Isillien and Abbendis had become quite insane. Isillien and Abbendis wandered the area as the Scourge defiled the land, destroying what undead they could, gathering what warriors would join them. They had but one concern: eradication of all that had destroyed Lordaeron.
Isillien and High General Abbendis gathered together several other people to join them. Among them were Abbendis's daughter Brigitte, (wielding the newly-forged Ashbringer) and his son Renault, , and . This group was focused on the singular goal of defeating the Scourge in all its forms.
Taelan Fordring, one of Isillien’s protégés, adored his tutor and his general. He offered his family’s keep and land, untouched by the undead, for their base of operations. The group gained members whose lives had been ruined by the Scourge. Most members have seen a loved one die and, more often than not, be raised to fight alongside her murderer. Isillien became the spokesman for the group, his ravings gaining more followers than repelling them — and who could argue with the man that the undead were evil?
Some had reason to pause when Isillien’s young page was found with Isillien’s knife through his heart, and the priest calmly reported that the page had died that afternoon while hunting, and the undead had raised him and sent him back as an assassin. He was so convincing that the incident cemented the fear for most: if a freshly killed and raised undead can look just like a regular human, they had no idea who among them may or may not be with the Scourge. After a month of quarantine, all priests and warriors with the Crusade were declared clean. Frequently, groups of refugees fleeing the undead also fell beneath their furious swords. As the Grand Inquisitor claims, one cannot be too careful. All undead — good, evil or neutral, Scourge or Forsaken — are the rivals of the Scarlet Crusade. The undead are abominations and must be destroyed before the land and the people can heal. They count the Alliance and the Church of Holy Light as their allies, but these organizations quickly distance themselves from these fanatics, and instruct all travelers to give a wide berth to any Crusaders.
Not long after its formation, the Crusade attempted a strike against the Scourge base in Northrend, and built a fleet specifically for that purpose. The attempt failed, although the Crusaders reached as far as the mouth of Icecrown Glacier. There were many casualties among the high ranks of the Crusade, including its first and only Grand Admiral, first Captain General and first Chief Assassin.
The Scarlet Crusade is structured much like the military. The male Abbendis and Isillien were the leaders. Abbendis was the official head of the Scarlet Crusade. He considered himself the arm of the Crusade while Isillien is the heart. Abbendis guided the military attacks of the Crusade from Tyr’s Hand in the Eastern Plaguelands, communicating frequently with Isillien, who guides the priests in the Crusade in their new roles as inquisitors, based in the Western Plaguelands. He is in charge of questioning undead and mortals alike to ferret out whatever information he can on the movement and settlement of the undead. Isillien acts as the leader of the priests and guides the inquisitions in the west along with his impressionable paladin Taelan, while Abbendis controlled the warriors in the east. The Crusade has thirteen generals leading the lower ranks: 2,000 troops based in Hearthglen and 10,000 based in Tyr’s Hand. The generals were not only chosen by the ranks they had in the war, but also by their dedication to the cause. Few make it very high in the ranks if they do not have a burning fervor to destroy all undead. Veterans who have fought the Scourge before are quickly promoted. Any dissent in the ranks is considered to be caused by undead infiltration, for the Crusade cannot fathom a reasonable mortal having any disagreement with the elimination of the undead. Such individuals are considered to be undead themselves, or worse, deranged undead sympathizers. Thus the organization of the Scarlet Crusade is flawless, as the crusaders work with one mind towards one goal. If they do not work with total agreement, it is at least complete fear of their superiors that keeps them in line. It's based in the Plaguelands, but hunts undead everywhere it can in northern Lordaeron. With the death of the elder Abbendis fighting the scourge, his daughter took over as High General.
Currently, the head of the Scarlet Crusade is Grand Crusader Saidan Dathrohan. Serving beneath him are (the Scarlet Oracle), High General Abbendis, , Highlord Taelan Fordring, and . The grand crusader handles the grisly, prolonged siege of Stratholme. Abbendis commands military assaults and assists the grand crusader in the siege, while Isillien handles interrogations and intelligence in the west.
Membership in the Scarlet Crusade is high, relative to the human population of the region. The strong sense of abandonment, futility and fear runs high in all humans on Lordaeron, and the Scarlet Crusade feeds that fear with reassurance that the evil will fall while the good remain untainted. The Crusade attracts mostly warriors, people who find in this post-war state that living by the sword is the only way to survive. They feel the need for a strong community where their skills will be utilized, and the Scarlet Crusade maintains that they need strong warriors for their cause. Some priests are drawn to the righteous eradication of the undead, but they often see the Crusade for the zealots they are and rethink their entry. This, of course, is considered suspicious, and they are often slain for their misgivings. The biggest problem prospective members encounter is assuring the Crusaders that they are not undead themselves. Since the Grand Inquisitor was almost killed by his own page (so the story goes), the group is incredibly paranoid about the undead infiltrating their ranks. There is however one undead in their ranks () however he has been locked away in an secret room, why the crusaders haven't killed him yet remains a mystery. The supposedly common knowledge that undead are hideously deformed and easy to discern from the living makes no difference to these people; they believe necromancers are capable of disguising the undead as living. Thus, new members (if they survived alerting the Crusade to their desire to join) are quarantined for 30 days to see if they begin to exhibit signs of the plague or being an undead. They are visited by the Grand Inquisitor or the High General during this time and are "questioned". No Scarlet Crusader discusses his quarantine and initiation.
Membership is comprised chiefly of human warriors, ex-paladins, priests and paladins (dark or otherwise), scarlet knights, scarlet inquisitors, Scarlet Chaplains, Scarlet Crusaders and scarlet battle mages professions, although hunters and mages also exist among their ranks.
Despite their increasingly small numbers, the members of the Scarlet Crusade never falter, turn aside, or retreat. The Scarlet Crusade fights directly and it fights to the death.
Most military forces fight conservatively and hoard their members, but the crusaders take no care for their own lives. They wade into battle with zealous fervor, slashing and hacking until they either fall or vanquish all enemies.
Only the backing of the priests and paladins keep the order alive, both literally and figuratively. The impassioned speeches and charismatic leadership of the order’s healers motivates their troops into battle, and their healing magic keeps their zealots whole. The military training of the order’s paladins serves the crusade well, as the paladins train the members in basic troop formations and simple tactics that increase their odds of survival.
Generally, members of the Scarlet Crusade don’t bother flanking their enemies, as they’re used to fighting undead that are slow and easy to strike and immune to backstabs. Scarlet Crusade units fight in tight formations. They form rings whenever possible, standing shoulder to shoulder, so no one member risks being surrounded by a shambling mob of undead. If forced to disperse, members try to pair up and fight back to back.
Paladins and priests freely use their healing abilities and spells in combat, not only to bolster their own troops, but to harm undead enemies. Paladins and priests try not to use their turn undead ability, as their goal is to destroy their enemies, not scatter them. If overwhelmed by superior numbers, though, or confident in their ability to destroy nearby undead with a turn attempt, the commanders call upon their holy power. Many Scarlet Crusade priests can rebuke undead; they force their undead foes to cower long enough for the knights to do their work.
When fighting living opponents, the Scarlet Crusade varies its tactics only slightly. The Crusade rarely takes on hordes of living enemies; when they do engage the living, it is usually to target individuals or small groups. Members of the Crusade do use flanking maneuvers when fighting the living. They’re most concerned with preventing the escape of their prey, as living opponents move much faster than undead, and often panic. Mounted knights run down fleeing enemies, while the foot soldiers remain behind to engage slower targets. Foot soldiers also use trip attacks to reduce the odds that their prey will escape.
The Western Crusade’s headquarters are in the rural area of Hearthglen, the inheritance of Taelan Fordring. Their main headquarters are in the Eastern Plaguelands in the small community of Tyr’s Hand. They command from the Scarlet Basilica. The community is also host to several churches including a newly built Scarlet Monastery, a massive building that draws refugees looking for safety.
Notes & trivia
- The Forsaken called them the Scarlet Scum.
- The Scarlet Crusade was unique among the human factions for having many houndmasters and huntsmen even before the hunter class was introduced to the human race in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
- Before the Cataclysm, the Scarlet Crusade in Stratholme celebrated the Midsummer Fire Festival.
- There is a roleplaying server called Scarlet Crusade US.
- The humans of Theramore's Red Team wore the Scarlet Crusade Tabard and some even red helmet. As such, they could have been members of the Crusade.
- Several items that dropped within the level 60 incarnation of Naxxramas bore the title "Grand Crusader" such as , , and . This hints that may have at one time attempted to raid Naxxramas together with his Scarlet Crusaders but was then repelled by the servants of who then claimed parts of his armor in the process.
Interestingly, whereas Commander Marjhan pointed out the cooperation of her troops with the Argent Dawn was not sanctified by the Grand Crusader, she also made clear that she was not acting on her own but has been sent to help. Since Isillien was already dead at that point, this left only High General Abbendis as a possible source of this order. It might have been that the General was starting to secretly work against the Grand Crusader, maybe influenced by the recent death of her long-time partner Isillien and/or a rising suspicion against the Grand Crusader.
The Argent Dawn, despite its "alliance" with the Scarlet Crusade, seemed to hate the Scarlet Crusade more than the Scourge. At Chillwind Camp told you how he fled from the Scourge when they attacked his family's lumber mill, and when the Scarlet Crusade drove them all away he returned for revenge against the Scarlet Crusade, however why he wanted revenge against the Crusade for driving out the Scourge from his family's lumber mill didn't quite make sense. At the same time seemed to also want to undermine the Scarlet Crusade in the face of an overwhelming Scourge offensive. This seemed illogical if the Scourge really was in a position to sweep aside all opposition, to destroy its most dedicated enemy during the offensive. Why people who claimed that they have only one goal, destroying the Scourge would want to destroy their only reliable official ally in that quest during a vital battle against a Scourge offensive seemed to indicate the Scourge might not have as much power as is generally thought, especially because Duke Nicholas Zverenhoff also said that the Scarlet Crusade wasn't doing any good for anybody. On the other hand if the Scourge was as World of Warcraft and players said it was this could just indicate that the Argent Dawn was not as pure as it believed itself to be.
Another example of Scarlet Crusade/Argent Dawn hostility is in the death knight quest . In this quest after raiding a Scarlet Crusade prison house, you discover that there are a number of Argent Dawn prisoners there, with apparently most of them already dead.
references idiocy and a lack of leadership in the Scarlet Crusade, which may indicate the Balnazzar really has been doing nothing and High General Abbendis and Grand Inquisitor Isillien have sole leadership of the Crusade, as if there was no Grand Crusader.
It is known that the naaru gave visions of the Light to several human prophets following the Troll Wars. These visions were of of holiness, protection, justice, retribution, and compassion. and the other prophets codified and wrote down these emanations of wisdom, which would eventually lead to the creation of the Church of the Light. As such, it is possible that the spiritual leaders of the Scarlet Crusade focused their worshiping on the "retribution" aspect of the Light and chose to ignore the others.
- ^ Chris Metzen on Twitter
- ^ Death is Contagious
- ^ Ashes to Ashes
- ^ Dust to Dust
- ^ Chris Metzen on Twitter
- ^ http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/basics/worlddungeons.html#The%20Scarlet%20Monastery
- ^ a b c d e f Lands of Conflict, pg. 166
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 21
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 169
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 375
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 372
- ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 186
- ^ Monster Guide, pg. 152
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. 155
- ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 165
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. 157
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. 156
- ^ a b c Lands of Conflict, pg. 167
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. 184
- ^ ,
- ^ , , ,
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. 185
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, page 126