Word of the Conclave
It is recorded by Juvess the Duskwhisperer.
Before you took up Light's Wrath, many pious warriors and devout priests tried to control it. All failed.
Let their shortcomings serve as a lesson and a warning. Noble intentions are not enough to harness this staff's formidable power. You must sharpen your focus to a blade's edge, and make your will as unyielding as steel. For the moment your discipline falters, this weapon will claim you as it has all others.
Years ago, the fanatical Scarlet Crusade set out to create a staff of unparalleled holy might. A weapon that would rival even the legendary Ashbringer in righteous fury.
The Ashbringer derived its power from a shadowy artifact that had been purified in the Light and affixed to the blade. The Scarlet Crusade sought to do the same for its staff.
The order sent its most loyal crusaders into the war-torn Plaguelands in search of a suitable relic. The few who returned bore a strange jewel bristling with darkness. Some sources say it had been part of a truncheon carried by one of the first death knights to walk the world. Other accounts hint that the dreaded lich Kel'Thuzad has shaped the jewel with his spectral hands.
Whatever the truth, the Crusade would use the black gem to create the staff known as Light's Wrath.
Ten of the Scarlet Crusade's learned priests gathered in Hearthglen to create Light's Wrath. For weeks, they practiced a ritual that would purify the dark jewl and bind it to the staff.
What they never accounted for was a demon in their midst.
A nathrezim named Balnazzar had infiltrated the Crusade and assumed the identity of its leader, Saidan Dathrohan. When the demon learned of the plans to forge Light's Wrath, he feared that such a weapon could unmask his deception and shatter his hold over the Crusade.
Balnazzar disrupted the cleansing ritual, and the crusaders lost control of their delicate spellwork. A storm of holy energy ripped through the meeting place, instantly killing the ten priests. Yet Light's Wrath was left intact. The blast had purified the jewel and affixed it to the staff.
Upon close inspection, Balnazzar found that the staff trembled with unstable energies. Wielding it with any reliability would be near impossible. Rather than destroy the weapon, the demon allowed the Scarlet Crusade to keep it. He looked forward to the mayhem it would cause in the years to come.
A letter from Grand Inquisitor Isillien to High General Abbendis of the Scarlet Crusade:
" I received your last letter, and I understand your concerns. But in terms of raw power, Light's Wrath has surpassed our wildest expectations. The recent battle near Tyr's Hand is proof of this.
" The Scourge outnumbered our righteous warriors twenty to one. It would have been a massacre if not for Light's Wrath. The staff's blazing light carved through the Scourge like a scythe through wheat, leaving none behind.
" It is true that Light's Wrath killed its wielder and many of the soldiers at his side. It is also true that the surviving crusaders have been left dumbstruck, unable to dress or feed themselves without assistance.
" But at a ratio of twenty to one, I consider such losses acceptable."
From The Hunt for Light's Wrath, compiled by the Kirin Tor of Dalaran:
" Detected another explosion of holy energy in the Plaguelands. The fifth in the last year. The recent disaster bears all the similarities of the others. Light's Wrath is to blame.
" From what I can gather, the Scarlet Crusade raided a small village in search of the Scourge. They used Light's Wrath to 'cleanse' the living townfolk, thinking they were afflicted by the plague of undeath.
" This went on for some time before the priest using the staff lost control of its power. What was once the town square is now nothing more than a smoldering crater, filled to the brim with bodies.
" As before, the weapon was gone by the time I arrived. Some other fool Crusader likely has it.
" I should have never volunteered for this task.
" - Israen of the Kirin Tor"
Of all the Scarlet Crusaders who bore Light's Wrath, Inquisitor Halbin has the greastest chance of success. His discipline and calculated focus were unmatched among the order's members.
In the Scarlet Monastery, Halbin put the staff's power to use, torturing Forsaken prisoners. He seared his captives with holy fire, extracting information for the Crusade to utilize in its was against the undead. The more Halbin interacted with the Forsaken, the more he grew to loathe the cursed beings. He no longer cared about gathering intelligence from them. He simply wanted to hear their screams.
During one night of feverish torture, Halbin's anger overwhelmed his thoughts. His hold over Light's Wrath slipped. It was only for an instant. That was all it took to seal the inquisitor's doom.
An explosion rocked the torture chamber and engulfed Halbin in holy fire. It is said he died a slow death, his howls of agony ringing through the monastery for days on end.
It is unknown exactly when Light's Wrath slipped between the Scarlet Crusade's fingers. Eventually, the staff fell to the care of a priest named Jakhar. The devout troll was a member of the Horde Expedition. a mighty force sent to wage war against the Scourge in Northrend.
Aboard a zeppelin en route to the warfront, Jakhar practiced harnessing Light's Wrath. She dreamed of smiting the Scourge with the weapon, of making the undead pay for all the lives they had destroyed.
Over Northerend, a fierce storm knocked the zeppelin from the sky, and the dirigible plummeted to the icy tundra. Though every passenger survived the crash, they had no time to celebrate. They had landed deep within Scourge territory.
Jakhar's intense training paid off. She wielded Light's Wrath with precision and decimated the Scourge. Under her guidance, the Horde fighters carved a path through the enemy lines and reached safety.
In Northrend, Jakhar became the bane of the Scourge. She purified the land of undead with Light's Wrath, leaving a trail of holy fire wherever she went. Her heroics earned her high praise from the Horde's commanders, but Jakhar was not satisfied with words alone.
No matter how many members of the Scourge she destroyed, it was never enough. Jakhar always wanted more. She became single-minded in her quest, often putting her Horde allies at risk.
Though she cleansed more and more undead, there was a price. With each day that passed, thoughts of retribution consumed her... and her iron hold over Light's Wrath began to slip.
From The Hunt for Light's Wrath, compiled by the Kirin Tor of Dalaran:
" Another incident. This time in Northrend.
" A Horde priest named Jakhar found the staff. By all accounts, vey knowledgeable in the Light. Remarkably, she used the weapon for some time against the Scourge before the accident.
" Jakhar led a small force of Horde deep behind Scourge lines. The priest wreaked havoc on the undead before she lost control of Light's Wrath. A lance of holy magic erupted from the weapon, injuring the Horde soldiers and permanently blinding Jakhar. They barely made it back alive.
" The troll seems quite humbled by the ordeal. Sha has vowed to spend the remainder of the war using her powers to heal, rather than to destroy.
" Regarding the staff, Jakhar and the other soldiers abandoned it while retreating from Scourge territory. If I have any luck at all, the weapon will be where they left it, out there in the wastes.
" Good thing I packed my winter robes.
" - Israen of the Kirin Tor"
After Jakhar abandoned the staff in Northrend, Light's Wrath found its way back to the Eastern Kingdoms. The staff passed from one owner to the next. Kindhearted priests and paladins bore the weapon to heal the sick and protect the innocent, but none could wield it for very long.
In time, the mysterious Dark Riders learned of its whereabouts. These hooded horsemen originated from the tower of Karazhan. They spent their days stalking the land, procuring artifacts and relics of great power.
A Dark Rider named Ariden was the first to try to take up Light's Wrath... and the last. The moment his cursed hand touched the staff, a wave of holy energy erupted from the weapon. So pure was the magic that it drove the Dark Riders away and sent them slinking back to their haunted tower.
It was one of the few artifacts they would ever willingly abandon. Perhaps the only one.
From The Hunt for Light's Wrath, compiled by the Kirin Tor of Dalaran:
" Praise the Light, the staff is finally in my grasp.
" I tracked Light's Wrath to the cultists of the Twilight's Hammer. They had recovered the staff and were planning to reverse the purification ritual performed on it some years ago. In so doing, the cultists would have transformed Light's Wrath into its antithesis: a weapon of pure darkness.
" I stormed the Twilight's Hammer encampment just before the cultists completed their ritual. Their resistance was short lived, and I dealt with them quite handily. Far be it from me to brag, though I think I have earned the right to after this mad quest.
" Expect me in Dalaran shortly with this blasted staff.
" -Israen of the Kirin Tor"
An untitled missive from the Kirin Tor's archives, author unknown:
" I report with great sadness that Israen has perished.
" While preparing Light's Wrath for transport to Dalaran, he inadvertently triggered its powers. It seems the spell he cast to lock the staff in a protective shield caused an explosion of holy energy.
" I know this comes as quite a shock. Israen was always an attentive and calculating man. He knew more about the staff than any of us. But perhaps that knowledge made him careless.
" We have taken precautions so that we do not repeat his mistake. Seven magi have sealed Light's Wrath in dampening runes. We will arrive in Dalaran soon to deposit the staff in the Nexus Vault."
T'uure, Beacon of the Naaru
T'UURE, BEACON OF THE NAARU
T'uure is one of the purest physical embodiments of the Light in existence. The dynamic energies that flow through this artifact can heal wounds both physical and mental. They can inspire hope in times of overwhelming darkness, and fortify timid hearts with courage.
But perhaps T'uure's greatest strength is what we can learn from its past. If there is one thing to take away from its history, it is this: even one brave soul wielding the Light can save the lives of thousands.
The draenei have many legends about the benevolent naaru. Few are as cherished as the tale of T'uure.
Like other naaru, T'uure vowed to protect all mortal civilizations in the universe from the clutches of darkness. This noble quest eventually led the holy being to a world called Karkora. Its mortal denizens faced annihilation at the hands of a monstrous entity known as Dimensius the All-Devouring.
As Dimensius shrouded Karkora in Void energies. T'uure expended its own life force to spare the world from doom. The naaru shattered into fragments and sparked a colossal holy nova. The energy cascaded over Karkora, washing away the void and banishing Dimensius from the world.
From a draenei holy tome entitled Lessons in Hope and Sacrifice:
" T'uure had shattered, but even broken, its Light was undiminished. Each piece blazed like a star, drawing naaru from the far corners of creation. They scooped up T'uure's glittering fragments, and they sang songs of the sacrifice that had saved a world.
" The naaru gifted these shards to various races that they believed showed potential for good. The largest piece of T'uure was passed to our own ancestors: the ancient eredar of Argus.
" It is said that this artifact plummeted from the sky like a falling star. Night turned to day, and T'uure's glorious Light painted the heavens in shades of gold for a full week."
The eredar were a highly erudite people who cherished learning, and they studied T'uure with great curiosity. The first among them to truly harness the artifact's power for good was the wise leader named Velen.
During Velen's time, a strange curse spread across Argus. The victims found their minds addled, their memories diminished. Few things terrified the eredar as much as losing their precious knowledge. They reacted with fear and paranoia.To prevent others from contracting the affliction, many of the eredar considered quarantining the cursed or even banishing them from Argus.
Yet Velen would not abandon his people. At great risk to himself, he walked among the cursed with T'uure in hand. Velen called upon the artifact's powers and cured all of the stricken eredar.
An excerpt from The Corruption of the Eredar and the Flight of the Draenei, by the historian Llore:
" When Sargeras came to Argus to corrupt the eredar, nearly all fell under his sway. Velen and his followers were the exception. With the naaru's help, they embarked on a harrowing escape from their home. The going was not easy. Demons awaited the fleeing eredar at every corner.
" Despair gripped the renegades, and many even considered giving up. It was during this dark and trying time that Velen brought T'uure to bear. Its brilliant energies shone before the renegades and renewed their dwindling confidence. Emboldened by the artifact, Velen's followers believed that they could do the impossible, that they could complete their daring flight from Argus. And so they did.
" From that day forward, the renegades called themselves the draenei. It is a name that everyone on Azeroth now knows. But if not for T'uure, perhaps the draenei would have never come to be."
Aboard a dimensional fortress called the Genedar, the draenei fled across the stars. The demons pursued them relentlessly, determined to punish the renegades for escaping corruption.
The long millennia that followed were harsh on the draenei. They could not rest. The threat of capture haunted their dreams. To defend themselves against the Legion, many turned to T'uure and other holy artifacts brought from Argus. The draenei studied these relics and honed their connection to the Light under the tutelage of Velen and the naaru.
A student named Askara showed more promise than the rest. In time, she would earn the right to carry T'uure, and she would become one of the greatest healers the draenei would ever know.
Askara had lost her entire family on Argus, but she found a new one aboard the Genedar. She saw the draenei as her brothers and sisters, ans she vowed to do whatever she could to protect them.
Yet she was not gifted with physical strength or a talent for forging armaments. Instead, she turned to the Light. Her mastery of holy magic became so great that Velen eventually gave T'uure to her. Askara spent her every waking hour studying the artifact and unlocking its extraordinary potential.
It was during this time that Askara received a vision of the future. She foresaw her people finding a sanctuary from the Legion. A new life. A new world to call home.
But strangely, she did not see herself there.
The draenei visited many different worlds in search of a safe haven, but they rarely stayed for very long before the Burning Legion would learn of their whereabouts. Before the demons could confront them, the draenei would gather aboard the Genedar and disappear into the stars once again.
The Legion's relentless pursuit bred depression and pessimism in many draenei, but they did not suffer in silence. Askara sought out her forlorn kin and spoke to them of their troubles. She carried T'uure with her at all times, the relic casting an aura of holy magic around her that lifted the other draenei's spirits.
" It is true that the Legion is vast and mighty, buy they do not stand in the Light as we do," Askara often said. "No matter how strong our enemy is, if they walk in darkness, they will always stumble and fall."
From the draenei holy tome entitled The Second Sun of Shar'gel:
" The Burning Legion had lain in wait for us on Shar'gel, watching as we disembarked from the Genedar and set foot on the world. We believed we had found a place to settle. A place to start over again.
" We were wrong.
" Fel portals screamed open all around us, spewing forth doomguards, felhounds, and other horrors. The Legion's forces cornered us, cutting off our retreat to the Genedar. I thought we were done for.
" Then I saw... her. I saw Askara.
" She planted herself between us and the demons, T'uure held high. A storm of light erupted around her, blinding the Legion's minions and shielding us from their fel-touched blades. As we battle our way to the Genedar, T'uure grew brighter and brighter until it shone like a second sun on Shar'gel."
When the Burning Legion beset the draenei on Shar'gel, Askara finally understood the strange vision of the future she had seen so long ago. One day, her people would locate a new home, but she was not fated to join them. She would die on Shar'gel to give them a chance to find that sanctuary.
Askara and seventy other draenei volunteered to distract the Legion. With their blood, they would buy the rest of the renegades the time to escape Shar'gel. The battle between the demons and these brave defenders would go down as one of the greatest instances of self-sacrifice in draenei history.
Hundreds of demons smashed into the seventy-one like a battering ram of fel-forged steel, but the defenders gave no ground. Not a single inch. Every time a draenei teetered on the brink of death, Askara was there. She charged through the battle lines and mended the wounded with T'uure's holy Light.
Because of Askara, the seventy-one fought with the courage and strength of a thousand. Because of her, the draenei race escaped annihilation.
After the Battle of Shar'gel, T'uure fell into the Burning Legion's hands. The demons had witnessed Askara's heroic last stand, and they attributed her immense power to the strange artifact. Legion forces squabbled over control of the relic before Kil'jaeden the Deceiver finally decided whom it would go to.
He entrusted the artifact to an eredar priestess named Lady Calindris. She was one of the few demons who understood the draenei's holy magics. What was more, Calindris had an intimate knowledge of T'uure itself. Long ago on Argus, the priestess had acted as a caretaker of the eredar's holy relics.
It took years before Calindris finally bent T'uure to her will. After a series of grim rituals, she transformed the artifact into a dark reflection of itself. Where once T'uure inspired hope, now it would spread fear. Where once the relic healed, now it would cause wounds to fester.
Lady Calindris relished bending T'uure to her will and using its corrupted power against her foes. She loathed the draenei, and the thought of befouling their cherished artifact delighted her to no end.
Calindris grew so talented at wielding T'uure that the demon lord Kil'jaeden gave her a special task. She would serve as a torturer on the Legion's prison worlds. Calindris was well suited for this role. She made an art out of inflicting suffering on her captives, and images of T'uure filled their nightmares.
Much like Askara, Calindris eventually received a vision of the future. She foresaw the Legion invading the world of Azeroth and bathing it in fel fire. Strangely, Calindris herself was not there.
But T'uure was. A stranger wielded the artifact in its glorious true form, and its Light blinded the Legion's forces, shining over the land like a second sun.
Xal'atath, Blade of the Black Empire
XAL'ATATH, BLADE OF THE BLACK EMPIRE
An ancient and terrible force trembles deep within Xal'atath, Blade of the Black Empire. Though this dagger can serve as a powerful tool for those who wield shadow magic, tread cautiously.
Xal'atath has a mind of its own. Ignore its maddening whispers. Do not trust the lies it spins. Take from it what you need, but always remember that the dark presence in the blade is not your ally.
Xal'atath had its dark genesis in an age long before the Horde and the Alliance, an age when the legendary Old Gods and their Black Empire engulfed the world in shadow.
There are many theories concerning the blade's creation. The more outlandish claim that it is all that remains of a forgotten Old God who was consumed by its kin in the early days of the Black Empire. Other theories state that Xal'atath is the claw of Y'Shaarj, ripped from the Old God's monstrous form and bestowed upon its servants for use in ritual sacrifices.
As unbelievable as these theories are, perhaps there is truth to them, Xal'atath pulses with the foul essence of the Old Gods. It is even said that the blade can grant its owner visions of the Black Empire, but all who have looked upon such horrors have lost themselves to madness.
Mighty beings known as the titan-forged eventually defeated the Black Empire. They shackled the Old Gods and their minions in prisons beneath the earth. Harmony descended on Azeroth, but it was not to last.
Xal'atath made sure of that.
The blade remained in the world, passing from mortal hand to mortal hand and leaving only death and chaos in its wake. One of the unfortunate souls who took up Xal'atath was a troll named Zan'do. The ambitious witch doctor hailed from the mighty Gurubashi tribe. His rivals had ousted him from a position of power and prestige, and Zan'do spent his days nursing dreams of retribution.
It was a simple thing for Xal'atath to latch onto Zan'do's anger and twist him into a pawn.
Guided by Xal'atath's whispers, Zan'do and a handful of loyal witch doctors sought out a strange mound of blackened stone. Troll mystics had forbidden their people from disturbing this site, but Zan'do ignored the taboo. He believed the mound held great power--power he could use to defeat his rivals.
He and his followers would soon discover what the mound really was: the body of a slumbering servant of the Old Gods named Kith'ix.
Xal'atath urged Zan'do to make blood offerings to the creature. With his mind corrupted by the blade, the witch doctor did not hesitate. He dismembered some of his companions with the dagger, and then he used their blood and organs as reagents to awaken the monstrosity. In a final act, Zan'do buried his gore-stained dagger into Kith'ix's hide... and the giant rumbled to life.
Zan'do and his followers were never seen again. Trolls would later visit the site and find only scattered bones picked clean of flesh.
After Kith'ix awakened, it brought the shadow of war upon Azeroth. The monstrous creature rallied other Old God minions to its side and launched a campaign to grind troll civilization into dust.
Unlike the trolls who had roused it, Kith'ix knew how to harness Xal'atath's true potential. Calling on the blade's power, the C'Thrax spread pestilence among the trolls to weaken their bodies, and it bombarded them with visions of death to weaken their minds.
Though the trolls would eventually destroy Kith'ix and defeat its armies, Xal'atath would haunt the dreams of the war's survivors until the end of their days. Many tribes would recount legends about the black blade that had nearly driven them to extinction.
From chapter four of Modgud's Doom, concerning the day the Dark Iron sorceress acquired Xal'atath:
" Modgud embraced her clan's long history of studying arcane magic. As the wife of Sorcerer-Thane Thaurissan, she had first pick of the Dark Irons' most powerful enchanted artifacts. Yet she was never quite satisfied with the offerings on hand. Modgud would often dispatch her servants to find new relics that she could study and use as instruments in the creation of spells.
" One of these dwarves returned with a blade that thrummed with dark energy. Modgud was immediately taken by it. For days, she retreated into her archives to unravel the dagger's mysteries. At times, she could be seen talking to the weapon. When she later emerged, Modgud called for the dwarf who had brought the blade in order to thank him.
" No one could find him. No one could even remember his name or his face. It was as if he had simply vanished into thin air."
From chapter twenty-three of Modgud's Doom, concerning the battle between the Dark Iron clan and the Wildhammer clan in Grim Batol:
" War golems smashed through Grim Batol's gates, and the Dark Iron soldiers poured into the Wildhammer capital. Bitter rivals these two clans were. Neither side showed the other mercy.
" The Wildhammer's bravery was their greatest weapon, and Modgud sought to take that from them. Under the thunderous clash of hammer against axe, she screamed an incantation and wove her profane spellwork. She slid her enchanted dagger over her palm and let her blood spill onto the stones.
" Modgud's foul ritual brought Grim Batol's shadows to life. They sprang from the city's dark nooks and crannies, falling upon the Wildhammers with blades forged of night."
From chapter twenty-seven of Modgud's Doom, recounting the final moments of the Dark Iron invasion of Grim Batol:
" By some feat of courage, Thane Khardros rallied his remaining Wildhammer warriors and launched a desperate counterattack against the Dark Irons. Khardros bulled through his enemies with the single-minded focus of a war golem, only coming to a stop when he found Modgud.
" Here, the fate of Wildhammer and Dark Iron would be decided.
" The sorceress unleashed her dark power on Khardros, but he pressed his attack. Then Modgud reached for her black blade-the weapon that had turned Grim Batol into a den of nightmare. It was not there.
" She had lost her cherished weapon. Or, as some would claim, the weapon has abandoned her.
" With one mighty blow of his hammer, Khardros mortally wounded Modgud and secured victory for the Wildhammers. It is said that as the sorceress lay dying, she repeated one phrase over and over again; 'You promised...'"
Decades after Modgud lost Xal'atath, the blade was taken up by a human bishop named Natalie Seline. She had lived through the First War, when the orcish Horde invaded Azeroth and conquered Stormwind.
After the war, Seline realized that to defeat the green-skinned orcs, humanity would need to study the strange powers they wielded. She closely examined their magics, and she visited battle sites where their dark arts had befouled the land.
From her investigations, she learned of an otherworldly blade that the orcs had once used in their bloody rituals-a blade that held sway over the shadows themselves. Troubled that such a profane weapon could exist, Seline swore to hunt it down and destroy it in the name of the Light.
From The Secrets of the Void, by Natalie Seline:
" The moment I touched the blade, a name was spoken in my mind: Xal'atath. I knew then that I could not destroy the dagger. Not yet. How can one defeat a power she does not understand?
" And I had much to understand. Very much indeed. Xal'atath whispered to me in waking and in dreaming. It taught me that there is more to this world than Light. There is also Void.
" In the ebb and flow between these two forces, one can find power and knowledge beyond anything the Church of the Holy Light has ever revealed to us. One can cross the divide between Light and Void. One can pull strands from each side and weave a tapestry of day and night.
" Of course, there are consequences. There always are when walking in the shadows."
By the time of the Second War, Natalie Seline had learned how to wield shadow magic from Xal'atath. She had taught her dangerous arts to other worshipers of the Light and rallied them against the Horde. Seline and her followers waged their war in secret, hunting down orcs across the human kingdoms.
Xal'atath continued whispering in Seline's mind, slowly unraveling her sanity. Despite her noble intentions, she became more and more obsessed with the blade and the mysteries of the Void.
And so did Seline's companions. They were overzealous in their campaign against the orcs, putting innocent lives at risk. Some strayed too far into shadow, forsaking the Light completely. Though Seline urged her followers to use caution, her calls were ignored and even treated with suspicion.
It is unclear exactly what happened to the former bishop, but some sources state that Xal'atath incited rebellion among her allies. It convinced them that Seline was holding them back from their true potential--holding back knowledge and power that they could have if they killed her.
In the dead of night, the conspirators murdered Seline and then took Xal'atath for themselves.
For years, the Kirin Tor magi in Dalaran had watched Natalie Seline, greatly troubled by her dark teachings. After her death, they set out to scour her writings from history. Magi picked through the villages and cities Seline had traveled, gathering up every scroll and tome that she had penned.
The Kirin Tor hid these writings in Dalaran, hoping that would be the end of Seline's dangerous brand of magic. Yet despite their efforts, they could not bury the doctrine of balance she had preached. In the years to come, others would take up her teachings and devote themselves to the Light and the Void.
The magi also knew of Xal'atath, but they never found it. Like Seline's teachings, the blade would not simply fade away.
It had more minds to twist, more pawns to use, and more innocents to terrorize.
Note from the Author
Research efforts press on. There's more information to be uncovered in these texts, with only time to hold us back from uncovering all of it.
Come back after further research has been completed and I will continue to expand the accounts recorded here.
- Juvess, Head Historian of the Conclave
- Its name in alpha stages was Of Light and Void.
- Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Added.