|Highlord Tirion Fordring|
Highlord of the Argent Crusade
One of the first five Knights of the Silver Hand selected by Archbishop Alonsus Faol, Fordring was one of many heroes of the Second War. He later became Lord of Mardenholde Keep in Hearthglen before being excommunicated from the Order of the Silver Hand, stripped of his title and holdings and exiled for defending an Orc by the name of Eitrigg.
Following the death of his son Taelan, Tirion committed himself to refounding the Order of the Silver Hand. The result was the Argent Crusade, an organization consisting of the old Knights of the Silver Hand and the Argent Dawn. Tirion led his new Crusade into battle against the Scourge during the invasion of Northrend and, aided by Highlord Darion Mograine and his Knights of the Ebon Blade, directed the successful assault against Icecrown Citadel which resulted in the death of the Lich King. After the victory in Northrend, Fordring has returned to Hearthglen and directs the Crusade as it works to revitalize the Plaguelands.
Biography[edit | edit source]
The Second War[edit | edit source]
Tirion Fordring was originally a warrior of Lordaeron. Not born a noble like other men of power and land owners, it was only due to his enthusiasm and and honor that he was knighted at the age of 18. Through undying loyalty and service Tirion gained the respect of his superiors and years later, when the Orcs first invaded Lordaeron, he was one of the first knights to be given the honor of standing beside Uther Lightbringer to be anointed as a holy Paladin. Chosen to work beside them were other devout knights who were handpicked by Archbishop Alonsus Faol including Saidan Dathrohan and Turalyon. After his anointing as a holy Paladin, Tirion fought in battle against the Orc Horde. He was present at the Battle of Blackrock Spire, where he saved the life of Alexandros Mograine by killing an Ogre that was about to attack him. Many years after the war had concluded, he along with Saidan, Uther and Gavinrad the Dire were present when Prince Arthas Menethil was anointed as a Paladin in Stormwind.
Eitrigg[edit | edit source]
As the governor of the Alliance principality of Hearthglen and lord of Mardenholde, Tirion lived a comfortable life, well-respected by his subjects and loved by his wife Karanda and their son Taelan. Both a great warrior and a just ruler, Tirion was renowned throughout the Kingdom of Lordaeron. In spite of his acclaimed military prowess, Tirion's experience as a paladin during the orcish invasions had taught him to value peace. After the wars were over, Tirion prayed every night that no conflict would ever bring harm to his subjects again.
Many years after the close of the Second War, when Tirion Fordring was in his early fifties, the holy Paladin encountered an old Orc hermit living in an abandoned tower on his lands. The two immediately battled and traded blows until a piece of the ruined tower collapsed on Tirion, knocking him senseless. He awoke in his bed days later and discovered that he had been found badly beaten, tied to his saddle, and had been healed by his ambitious squire, Barthilas.
Realizing that the Orc had saved him, Tirion set out and retraced his steps back to the tower. There he encountered the Orc once more, only this time, instead of trading blows, they began to trade words. The Orc, speaking the common tongue of humans identified himself as Eitrigg. Their conversation moved from point to point, and through it Tirion learned much of the Orc people before they arrived on Azeroth and began to wage war on the human kingdoms. Having learned much of this Orc, and seeing great honor in him, Tirion promised to keep his existence a secret. He returned to Mardenholde and upon arrival informed them that the Orc had been dealt with and was no longer a threat.
Treason and Excommunication[edit | edit source]
Tirion's word however, would not be the end of the matter by far. Not showing confidence in the words of his superior, the squire Barthilas sent word to Saidan Dathrohan, alerting him to the potential threat of Orcs roaming the lands around Hearthglen. Responding with a full regiment of soldiers, Saidan arrived at Mardenholde Keep and after greeting Tirion, summoned Lord Fordring and his advisors to the Council Chambers. It was in the council chambers, out of earshot of the common people, that Saidan informed Tirion and his advisors of the dire situation that Lordaeron was in. The Horde was on the rise once more with a young upstart Warchief causing no end of problems for Lordaeron in general. This made the situation at hand far more volatile and as such Saidan Dathrohan informed Tirion and his advisors that they were leaving at first light and that Tirion would be the one to lead Saidan and his men into the woods to the location where the Orc was found.
When they reached the location where Tirion had encountered Eitrigg. They were not surprised to find the Orc still in the area. Barthilas, unable to control himself, attacked Eitrigg and the resulting defeat of the Paladin caused the other humans, save for Saidan and Tirion to attack the Orc in turn. Eventually overwhelmed by the humans, Eitrigg was beaten to within an inch of his life but Tirion, enraged at the treatment that the Orc was suffering intervened. He attacked one of the soldiers before announcing to all present of the bargain that he had made with Eitrigg. In response, Saidan declared Tirion a traitor to the Alliance and ordered that he be arrested and taken to Stratholme to stand trial for his crimes.
Three days after his arrest, Tirion was brought into the Hall of Justice to stand trial for his crimes. Presiding over the trial were four of the highest ranking Lords within the Alliance; Lord Admiral Daelin Proudmoore of Kul Tiras, Archmage Antonidas of Dalaran, Archbishop Alonsus Faol and Prince Arthas Menethil of Lordaeron. Also leading the proceedings was none other than Uther the Lightbringer, the First Paladin and leader of the Order of the Silver Hand. The Trial was conducted in the normal fashion, with witnesses to the crimes called to share their knowledge of events. Tirion however, remained loyal to the Orc to the end of the trial, and even when offered the ability to be pardoned of his crimes, he refused. In light of his refusal to renounce his ties to the Orc, Uther the Lightbringer had no choice but to excommunicate him from the Order of the Silver Hand. Sweeping his hand across the chamber, he seemingly cut the connection that Tirion Fordring had to the Light, stripping him of his light given abilities. All trappings of the Order were stripped from him, along with all his titles and holdings. Sentenced to exile, his only comfort was the fact that his son and wife did not have to share his fate, for they had been spared as a last gesture of respect to the former Paladin.
Returned to Mardenholde so that he could gather his belongings, Tirion was forced to explain everything to his wife Karandra. Enraged by Tirion's foolishness, she left him to his sorrow after a brief but passionate argument, declaring that neither she nor Taelan would travel with him into exile. Knowing that he could not ask them to join him, and knowing that they did not deserve such a fate, Tirion said his goodbyes in the early hours of the following morning before he attempted to leave Mardenholde on his steed Mirador. He was stopped as he was preparing his horse by his former Captain of the Guard, but after a brief discussion, it was made quite clear to Tirion that Arden was not about to stand in his way. Making one last request of his old friend, Tirion asked Arden to look after his family before he left Hearthglen and rode straight for Stratholme, determined not to allow Eitrigg to die for his mistake.
Arriving at Stratholme before the execution of the Orc, Tirion disguised himself and stood in the crowd, watching and waiting for his opportunity. It came when Eitrigg was dragged up to the platform to be hanged, and seeing an opportunity he took up an old sledgehammer, a far cry from the weapon that he would have used in his prime, and charged the platform where the guards, Eitrigg and his former squire Barthilas were standing. Fighting to disable, not to kill, Tirion defeated the guards, the hangman and even Barthilas himself without the aid of his light given abilities, but more were coming and as footman and knights rushed to subdue Tirion, he brought them to heel with his powerful voice, calling out to all those who would listen. Paused in their charge many of the Knights and Footmen did pay attention to the former Paladins' words and many of the civilians present stopped their jeering for blood as their ears picked up the words that came from the aged mans' lips.
Barthilas however, demanded vengeance. He engaged in a brief but heated argument with his former teacher, before yelling to all the footmen and knights to kill Tirion and Eitrigg. His shouts of rage were cut short however, when an Orc spear tore through the Paladin's chest. In the moments that followed, seemingly out of nowhere, a force of Orcs ambushed the execution, battling with fierce determination. Tirion, choosing to aid Eitrigg rather that fight, discarded his hammer before grabbing the brutally beaten Orc. He then dragged the warrior clear of the fighting, but looked amazed as he saw how much the Orcs had changed, and how much power they had attained. In particular his eyes were drawn to a large Orc garbed in full dark plate. Identifying him as the leader of this Orc force judging by the way he carried himself and how he ordered the Orcs around him, he was left in awe by the calm leathality that the Orc showed as he battered his way through Stratholmes' defenders.
Eventually carrying Eitrigg just outside the city walls, Tirion turned to the old Orc and realized that he was close to death. With no medical supplies to aid him in keeping the Orc alive, Tirion called upon the only power he had ever known, the power of the Light. To his surprise, the Light answered his call, and the soothing energies mended Eitriggs' wounds, allowing him to return to the world of the living. There was little time however for the pair to move to a safe place, for the Orcs that had attacked Stratholme had found them, and quickly surrounded the pair. To Tirion's amazement, they did not outright attack him and remained cool and calm, watching the pair and waiting. Soon, Tirion knew why, as the Orcs parted to allow their leader to approach, the same dark-plated Orc that Tirion had seen in Stratholme. The Orc leader soon introduced himself as Thrall, the new Warchief of the Horde, a fact which shocked Tirion and Eitrigg both. The Warchief invited Eitrigg to return to the Horde, and Eitrigg accepted but before he left, he swore an oath to Tirion, that they were bound by blood and honor. Once Thrall, Eitrigg and the Orcs had departed, Tirion also left, unwilling to be present at Stratholme when soldiers arrived to aid in the defense of the city.
Fifteen years after he had aided Eitrigg in escaping Straholme, Tirion Fordring found himself once more disguised within the city walls. This time, rather than attempting to free an aged Orc from execution, he was watching a ceremony take place from his place in the crowd. Within the city cathedral stood Taelan Fordring, now twenty years old, and Tirion watched with pride as his son was knighted by Archbishop Alonsul Faol and welcomed into the Order of the Silver Hand. He then departed the city and left the region to live out his life of exile.
Exile and Return[edit | edit source]
Tirion lived out his exile in a small farmstead, in the northwest of Darrowmere Forest on the shores of the Thondoril River. He remained there during the subsequent Third War, although he did his best to defend himself and the surrounding people from the Undead Scourge during this time. One of these times that he defended the people of the land was during a Scourge attack on Light's Hope Chapel. Coming to the defense of the small structure, Tirion aided in the defeat of the Scourge and quickly allied with Maxwell Tyrosus, the current leader of the Argent Dawn, an Order which had formed to combat the Scourge in the region. It was at Light's Hope Chapel that he promised to free his son Taelan from the grip of the Scarlet Crusade, an Order which was much like the Argent Dawn in purpose, but far more zealous and intolerant, almost to the point of blind aggression.
When the time finally came to free his son from the grip of the Crusade, Tirion enlisted the help of many adventurers, all of whom aided him in recovering mementos of Taelan's past. Those same adventurers infiltrated Hearthglen and convinced Taelan to abandon the Scarlet Crusade. Unfortunately, before Taelan could reunite with his father he was struck down by Grand Inquisitor Isillien. Tirion Fordring arrived too late to save his son from death, but managed to exact revenge by slaying the Grand Inquisitor in single combat. Spurred on by the death of his son, Tirion Fordring resolved to reform the original Order of the Silver Hand as a force for good.
The Battle For Light's Hope Chapel[edit | edit source]
Tirion Fordrings' return came during the early events of the Scourge Campaign, but more specifically during the Battle for Light's Hope Chapel. In an attempt to annihilate the Scarlet Crusade and the Argent Dawn, the Lich King sent one of his Dread Citadels, Acherus, along with his most powerful Death Knights to cleanse the area of all life. Lead by Darion Mograine, the son of Alexandros Mograine, the Death Knights of Acherus and their scourge minions wiped out the bulk of the Scarlet Crusade forces before they eventually turned on Light's Hope Chapel. Keen to wipe out the last bastion of righteousness in the region, the Scourge assembled a massive host of ten thousand undead soldiers, death knights and abominations. Sounding the attack, they charged into the field, engaging the Argent Dawn forces led by Maxwell Tyrosus. Only three hundred Crusaders held the line against the undead tide, but unknown to the bulk of the Scourge forces, an artifact which rested beneath the chapel severely weakened the undead host. This allowed the Crusaders, to decimate the Scourge forces, but the battle was not over until Tirion Fordring arrived on the field. His light given strength, combined with the still living soldiers of the Argent Dawn and the power of the artifact wiped out the Scourge force entirely.
The battle was not over entirely however, as was soon shown when an apparition of Alexandros Mograine appeared before Darion and Tirion both. Just as the soul of the former champion said his last words, the Lich King appeared in the flesh, using Frostmourne to claim the soul of the former champion. Enraged at the betrayal, Darion attacked the Lich King, only to be knocked aside as effortlessly as one would discard a childs' toy. It was then that the Lich King revealed his true motivation, that he had sent Darion and his forces to their deaths so that Tirion would rise to the bait. Attempting to claim his life with the power of Frostmourne, it seemed that no one could interrupt the destruction the blade was causing on the venerable paladin, until Darion Mograine threw his sword, a formerly holy blade, corrupted to darkness, to Tirion himself. The moment Tirion gripped the sword, the power of the light purified the blade, disrupting the effects of Frostmourne. Then, without giving the Lich King a chance to escape, Tirion launched himself into a punishing attack. To the Lich Kings' surprise, the blade caused considerable damage to the leader of the damned, and with the threat of another meeting to come, the Lich King fled the field, leaving Tirion, the remaining Argent Dawn soldiers and the Death Knights behind.
It was in that moment that Tirion turned to the survivors and spoke a rousing, honest speech. At the end of that speech he called for a union between the Order of the Silver Hand and the Argent Dawn. Born from that union was a force that would eventually bring the power of the Lich King crumbling down, a holy order that was as pure and true to form as the original Silver Hand. The Argent Crusade had arisen.
The Argent Crusade[edit | edit source]
With the Argent Crusade supporting him. Tirion Fordring and his forces sailed to Northrend, the original home of the Scourge and the bastion of the Lich Kings' power. His forces battled across the entire length and width of the continent with Crusade forces fighting in the Howling Fjord, Dragonblight, Zul'Drak and Icecrown itself. During one particular battle in Icecrown, at the base of the Citadel itself, Tirion Fordring shattered what remained of the Lich Kings' corrupted heart dealing considerable damage to the Lord of the Scourge, but also causing significant damage to himself, preventing him from striking the killing blow.
In the months that followed that engagement, Tirion Fordring and the Argent Crusade created the Argent Tournament Grounds and hosted an intense tournament to test the battle skills of the Heroes of Azeroth. The tournament was sabotaged by the the Lich King himself, but even his attempt to destroy the morale of Crusaders failed when the heroes he attempted to destroy instead killed one of the Lich Kings' most powerful generals, the Crypt Lord Anub'arak.
Following the debated success of the Argent Tournament, Tirion Fordring and his forces engaged in their final battle against the Lich King. Creating an alliance with the Knights of the Ebon Blade. The combined forces became known as the Ashen Verdict. Aided by the forces of the Alliance and the Horde, the Ashen Verdict broke down the gates of Icecrown Citadel, and the heroes of Azeroth invaded the Scourge bastion. The battle waged on for months, each battle bloodier than the last, but eventually the heroes and Tirion Fordring made their way to the very peak of Icecrown Citadel where they faced the Lord of the Scourge themselves. The Lich King quickly assaulted the heroes, freezing Tirion in a block of ice to keep him from interfering as the battle raged on.
Eventually however the Lich King grew tired of the attacks of the heroes, and using a single destructive blast from his weapon, he killed every single champion that Tirion had brought into that battle. He then taunted the frozen crusader before he began the slow process of converting the heroes into powerful minions of the Scourge. Unwilling to let him succeed and conquer the world with a new legion of undead forces, Tirion prayed to the light for the ability to shatter the ice that encased him. The light, unwilling to abandon its' champions, gave Tirion the strength he needed and with a quick leaping strike, Tirion brought the Ashbringer down on Frostmourne, the holy power of his blade breaking the Lich Kings' sword. In that moment, the souls of the damned that had been taken by the blade were released. In particular, the spirit of King Terenas Menethil II, the father of Arthas, arose from the ruined blade. He resurrected the heroes who had died in battle, and instantly renewed, the heroes engaged the Lich King as he was powerless to act, his body trapped in a whirling soulnado as angered spirits attempted to enact their revenge on the being that had cursed them.
Eventually the Lich King succumbed to his wounds and the soulnado dissipated. For a brief moment the soul of Arthas returned, but the body of the former paladin was far too gone, and Arthas embraced the death he had inflicted on so many others. Tirion Fordring and the heroes of Azeroth had triumphed.
It was not yet entirely over however, as the spirit of King Terenas would plainly state. Without the control of the Lich King the Scourge would run rampant, destroying everything in its' path. To ensure that this did not happen, another would have to place the Crown of Domination, the artifact which gave the Lich King his power, on their head. Tirion gripped the helmet, prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice, but he was stopped at the last moment by Bolvar Fordragon. The former paladin had been reanimated by Arthas so that Arthas could corrupt him and make him serve for eternity, but with the timely intervention of Tirion and the heroes, the Lich King never had the chance to finish his plans. Bolvar, unable to attempt the comforts of the living due to his condition, volunteered to become the new Lich King. Tirion initially refused, but soon it became clear that the only option was for Bolvar to wear the crown. Accepting the inevitable reality, Tirion placed the crown on top of Bolvar's head, ensuring that he would become the new Lich King. Sworn to secrecy, only those who absolutely needed to know would ever be aware of the truth, that the Lich King still lived. All others would believe what Bolvar told Tirion that they had to believe, that the Lich King was dead, and that Bolvar Fordragon had died with him.
After the War[edit | edit source]
In the time following the Scourge Campaign, Tirion Fordring kept the Argent Crusade busy containing the Scourge to the best of their ability while also purifying the lands that have been corrupted by the undead with the aid of the Cenarion Circle. Hearthglen, once a bastion of the Scarlet Crusade, was reclaimed by the Argent Crusade and turned into their base of operations in the region, and strategic strikes were made against the two remaining Scourge bastions within Lordaeron, Scholomance and Stratholme, with the latter being claimed by the Argent Crusade entirely following the defeat of Baron Rivindare and the dreadlord Balnazzar and his risen forces.
|Lord of Mardenholde Keep|
|Tirion Fordring||Succeeded by|
|Lord of Mardenholde Keep|
|Tirion Fordring||Succeeded by|