|The Order of the Silver Hand|
Lord Grayson Shadowbreaker (Stormwind)
The Order of the Silver Hand is the order of paladins created after the First War by Uther the Lightbringer and Archbishop Alonsus Faol. The Order served the Alliance of Lordaeron faithfully during the Second War and much of the victory can be ascribed to their great tenacity and prowess upon the battlefields of the war.
- 1 History
- 2 Ranks within the Silver Hand
- 3 Chapters
- 3.1 The Argent Silver Hand
- 3.2 Stormwind's Chapter of the Silver Hand
- 3.3 Stromgarde's Chapter of the Silver Hand
- 3.4 Lordaeron's Chapter of the Silver Hand
- 3.5 Gilneas' Chapter of the Silver Hand
- 3.6 Alterac's Chapter of the Silver Hand
- 3.7 Kul Tiras' Chapter of the Silver Hand
- 3.8 Ironforge's Chapter of the Silver Hand
- 3.9 Quel'Thalas' Chapter of the Silver Hand
History[edit | edit source]
Foundation and the Second War[edit | edit source]
The Holy Order of Northshire Clerics, led by Archbishop Alonsus Faol, was devastated during the First War. Seeking to create an order that would suffer less attrition in battle, Faol recruited noble knights to train in the ways of the Light, and members of the priesthood to train in martial combat. In Alonsus Chapel in Stratholme, Uther the Lightbringer was appointed the first of the paladins. He was followed by Saidan Dathrohan, Tirion Fordring and Turalyon, as well as Gavinrad the Dire, a candidate proposed by Lord Anduin Lothar. The Order of the Silver Hand was thus born.
The paladins were instrumental in winning the Second War, and the sight of them wielding their mighty warhammers and holy powers gave others inspiration on the battlefield and the home front. Uther and his paladins were truly a sight to behold. Even some of the Alliance's greatest knights and warriors were in awe when they saw them smashing orcs down while healing fallen allies at the same time. Uther was the first paladin known to have manifested his powers on the battlefield and was given the title of "the Lightbringer" by Turalyon. Turalyon himself did not master his powers until after Lothar's death during the Assault on Blackrock Spire, but once he did the orcish army cowered from his blinding light, which shone "brighter than the brightest day". After the war, the Order of the Silver Hand began training new paladins in Stormwind and Ironforge. Arthas Menethil, Prince of Lordaeron, was sworn into the order in a ceremony performed in Stormwind's Cathedral of Light.
The Excommunication of Tirion Fordring[edit | edit source]
Several years later, Tirion Fordring's life was saved by the orc Eitrigg. When Eitrigg was later captured by the Alliance, Tirion felt he owed a debt of honor and fought to rescue him. For assaulting Alliance soldiers, Tirion was excommunicated from the Silver Hand and exiled from his lands. His son, Taelan, later joined the Silver Hand.
The Third War[edit | edit source]
Many years later, during the Third War the Order would be decimated by the corrupted Prince Arthas Menethil, with the murder of Uther, the destruction of their bastion in Stratholme, and the general fall of Lordaeron. It would be in the wake of the Third War that Tirion Fordring would claim to restore the order in Lordaeron and subsequently merge it with the Argent Dawn and its later form, the Argent Crusade. Fordring's claim, however, is hotly contested by many hard-line conservatives of the order. Those conservative knights cite Tirion's exile from the Silver Hand by Uther as fact enough to disqualify him from having the authority to restore the Order in Lordaeron, thus rendering Tirion's now disbanded chapter as having been a false branch of the Order.
Controversy regarding Tirion's Argent Crusade aside, the Silver Hand in Stormwind, and of the Alliance, was relatively unaffected by the events in Lordaeron. Lord Grayson Shadowbreaker serves as the de facto head of the Order in Stormwind, although the title of Grand Master remains vacant. Given that Tirion did not take the title of Grand Master when he "succeeded" Uther before forming the Argent Crusade, the title may have been reserved for the Lightbringer alone, or no man has felt themselves worthy enough to take up such a mantle.
With the lack a clear Grand Master since the death of Uther the Lightbringer the Order has fractured into several regionally based splinter organizations, from councils to chapters.
Ranks within the Silver Hand[edit | edit source]
The Silver Hand was conceptualized as a military organization of holy warriors willing to bring the light's will to the Horde. As a result, the initial organization of the Silver Hand was very basic. It had one leader, Uther the Lightbringer, and the leader gave the orders. Said leader took orders from the leader of the Alliance of Lordaeron, being Terenas Menethil II. Following the end of the Second War and the defeat of the Orcish Horde, the Silver Hand went under reformation to bring longevity to its cause in the aftermath. Though the various divisions may have other sorts of rankings amongst themselves, there are only three official ranks of the Silver Hand.
Grand Master[edit | edit source]
The Grand Master was the name given to the rank of the leader of the Silver Hand as a whole. Rather than lead just a single chapter or branch, the Grand Master had the authority to order all sects of the Silver Hand, whether it be in battle or organization. This position was held by Lord Uther the Lightbringer since its inception and was originally the only rank within the Silver Hand. Lord Uther, being seen as the model paladin, went unopposed in his assignment as Grand Master. He led the order for several decades following the end of the Second War from the Silver Hand's capitol within Stratholme, though it ultimately fell apart following his death at the hands of his apprentice, Arthas Menethil.
Since Uther's death, there has not been a new Grand Master appointed. Attempts to take the seat have been fervently rejected by various Highlords or paladins of the Silver Hand, as many believe there will never be a man able to fill what Uther had made. As a result, council based organizations have largely replaced the need for a central leader, as the remaining Highlords have banded together to organize their branches.
Highlords or Lords[edit | edit source]
Highlords/Lords are appointed to branches and chapters of the Silver Hand. They oversee the maintenance of the region they have been appointed to and typically have either many or at least several knights under them. The term Highlord is typically used within the Silver Hand to denote appointed Lords of the Silver Hand who also hold peerage. This is to prevent confusion amongst terms to call a Lord of the Silver Hand, though some ignore this and go by the title of Lord regardless. Highlords/Lords are below the Grand Master and are typically seen as representatives and leaders of their designated region or branch.
Many have noted that despite his claims to rebuild Lordaeron, Tirion Fordring did not declare himself Grand Master, rather he took up the mantle of a Highlord instead. Some have used this to denote that even he did not feel it was proper to claim dominion over the entirety of the Silver Hand.
Knights[edit | edit source]
Knights of the Silver Hand are the most common members of the order as all members of the Silver Hand are knighted upon their elevation from aspirant. It is customary amongst the paladins of the Silver Hand to also bestow upon a newly knighted paladin a title befitting their virtues. In the example of Sir Uther, he was named the Lightbringer to denote how he would lead the warriors of the Light to bring peace to the war torn lands of Humanity. Though it is typically avoided, paladins may be accidentally granted the same title as another. When in the case of a deceased paladin, this could be seen as a sign of respect and by carrying on the torch they left behind. The only title known to be forbidden to bestow is the Lightbringer, as that was reserved for Uther and bestowed by Turalyon himself.
Chapters[edit | edit source]
Following the end of the Second War and many of the human nations returning to their own affairs, the Order became separated. In order to better facilitate teaching and induction of new paladins, the order devised chapters specific to each region where the Silver Hand could be found.
The Argent Silver Hand[edit | edit source]
Last led by Tirion Fordring
Simply referred to as The Silver Hand by its members, Tirion Fordring set out to revitalize the order in the north following the death of his son Taelan on the outskirts of Hearthglen. Working alongside the Argent Dawn, this chapter of the Silver Hand was largely unseen until the first assault on Naxxramas. After which, they once again faded into obscurity. They finally came to light with the siege on Light's Hope Chapel, where the devout came to the defense of the Argent Dawn against the Scourge.
Controversy came from Highlord Fordring's proclamation that it was the Silver Hand reborn in Lordaeron, which many believed he had no right to claim due to his banishment. Due to his inactivity in its early days, many ignored it as an old man attempting to restore his name. Under Highlord Fordring, he ordered this branch merged with the Argent Dawn, forming the Argent Crusade under Highlord Fordring and the leaders of the Argent Dawn.
Due to the merge, this branch has been officially disbanded.
Stormwind's Chapter of the Silver Hand[edit | edit source]
Led by Grayson Shadowbreaker
The main chapter of Stormwind was founded shortly after the Second War ended and the rebuilding of Stormwind began. A large amount of Stormwind's knights under Anduin Lothar later became paladins, including General Turalyon, one of Lothar's allies and friends. Stormwind's chapter has thrived even following the downfall of Lordaeron's chapter and the Third War and serves as the primary chapter of teaching within the Silver Hand. It is led by Lord Grayson Shadowbreaker and is recognized as the central chapter of the Silver Hand, having replaced Lordaeron's chapter in that regard. As such, many look to Lord Shadowbreaker as the leader of the Silver Hand proper, though he has not taken the mantle of Grand Master nor has he attempted to extend his sphere of influence.
Stromgarde's Chapter of the Silver Hand[edit | edit source]
Arathi was one of the first to take up the banners of the Silver Hand during the Second War, with many Arathi knights quickly taking their oaths and being brought into the fold. When the Second War ended and Strom pulled out of the Alliance, most knights of Stromgarde returned home to the Arathi Highlands. It was here where they established their chapter fully within the city. With the Sanctum as their base, the chapter continued fervently along with the rest of the Silver Hand's people, instructing and bringing the light's word to the area.
When Thoras Trollbane was assassinated and Stromgarde Keep besieged and mostly taken over, a large number of Stromgarde's paladins remained vigilant. Thanks to these light blessed warriors, the Sanctum and one of the districts of Stromgarde remained in Arathi hands. When Stromgarde rejoined the Grand Alliance it also brought forth a bit of sanctuary within the war torn city.
Lordaeron's Chapter of the Silver Hand[edit | edit source]
Possibly one of the most debated sections of the Silver Hand is Lordaeron's Chapter. Founded as the original chapter of the Silver Hand by Grand Master Uther the Lightbringer, Lordaeron's chapter has been the point of controversy amongst many of its former people and of light worshipers. The Chapter was officially disbanded twice, once by the traitor prince Arthas Menethil, though this was later undone by his father King Terenas Menethil, and for the second and perhaps last time by the order men themselves when they banded together with the remaining armies of the Kingdom of Lordaeron in order to form the Scarlet Crusade.
Since its disbandment, many have risen claiming to have revived the order. For the longest time, one of those who claimed such things was the former lord of Hearthglen, Tirion Fordring. Though many backed Tirion's claim, there were just as many who opposed it as the former lord was exiled for having rescued the orc, Eitrigg. Regardless of this however, Lord Fordring's paladins later merged with the Argent Dawn to create the Argent Crusade, effectively ending yet another rebirth of the chapter.
Gilneas' Chapter of the Silver Hand[edit | edit source]
Despite Gilneas' strong light worship and the present of their own grand cathedral, Gilneas never had an official chapter formed within its borders. During the Second War, King Genn Greymane put forward several of Gilneas' finest knights, as the other nations did, for paladin candidates. As with many religious knights, it was during this time that some Gilnean knights became paladins.
However, due to the construction of the Greymane Wall an official chapter was never established within Gilneas due to a lack of communication with the knights beyond the wall. Due to this, Gilnean paladins are few as the nation boasted one of the smaller populations of knights prior to the wall to begin with thanks to Gilneas' token support of the Alliance.
Alterac's Chapter of the Silver Hand[edit | edit source]
Alterac may have hosted several knights of the Silver Hand prior to their betrayal during the Second War, though it is unknown if many still live. Prince Aliden Perenolde was reported having been a paladin prior to his death and Hath's Vigil boasted a small population of Alteraci paladins before its destruction. Despite this, there was never a chapter established in Alterac as most paladins in the region would have been able to access Lordaeron's far more established chapter with little issue.
Kul Tiras' Chapter of the Silver Hand[edit | edit source]
Little to nothing is known about the chapter of the Silver Hand within Kul Tiras. Kul Tiran paladins were quite common during the Second War. With Kul Tiras being relatively unscathed by most world events, the chapter has flourished on it's own with little issue, its knights still being seen amongst the front lines of the Grand Alliance forces.
Ironforge's Chapter of the Silver Hand[edit | edit source]
Led by Valgan Highforge
One of the longer lived chapters in Azeroth, Ironforge's chapter traces its lineage as far back as most chapters. It is unknown who founded the Ironforge chapter but it is currently led by Valgan Highforge. The knights of this stout order are perhaps one of the most populace chapters, as the dwarven people make up a large portion of the Silver Hand's membership. They are based mostly out of the Hall of Mysteries within the mighty city of Ironforge.
Quel'Thalas' Chapter of the Silver Hand[edit | edit source]
Little is known or is left of the Kingdom of Quel'Thalas' chapter of the Silver Hand. Though high elven paladins were not unheard of, as with the people the chapter remained mostly to it's self. The chapter was obliterated when Quel'Thalas was invaded and destroyed by Arthas and the Scourge to revive the necromancer Kel'thuzad.
In it's place amongst the Sin'dorei people now stands the Order of Blood Knights, which began as a bastardization of the order of the Silver Hand as the elves' exposure to fel corruption caused becoming a paladin to be extremely difficult. With the restoration of the Sunwell, it has become possible for Blood elves to re-establish themselves as paladins, with the Order's matriarch, Liadrin, even returning to a more light based path. However, despite this the Blood Knights are not considered a part of the Silver Hand.
Quel'dorei remnant paladins have largely been absorbed into other chapters, though a small number still identify primarily as Paladins of the Quel'thalas chapter. Likewise, several latterly-trained Blood Knights have begun to campaign for the recognition of their redeemed order as a legitimate component of the Order, though the majority have no such desire.