Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lessons in Lore - Kel'Thuzad


Because we had a long weekend and I forget to put it up last week, here's a lore post for you.

Kel'Thuzad was a high ranking member of the mages of Dalaran at the time of the second war. About 20-25 years ago. He had long been interested in Necromancy and was one of the key people who interrogated Khadgar about Medivh after the Guardian had been killed in his tower. His goals and views often differed with others in Dalaran, which made him all the more susceptible to the calling of the Lich King.

When Ner'zhul was made into the Lich King, he sought out people who may be willing to be his hands as they worked out his plan to weaken the inhabitants of Azeroth before the arrival of the Burning Legion. Kel'Thuzad was a prime target and he responded just as the Lich King had hoped. Drawn by the Lich King, Kel'Thuzad went to Northrend and offered his service to the Lich King in exchange for immortality and power beyond his wildest dreams. His mission was to return to the Eastern Kingdoms and begin a secret following of people that would worship the Lich King and undeath as a religion of sorts. Eager to prove his worth, Kel'Thuzad was more than happy to do this. And so was created the Cult of the Damned.

Eventually, the time to unleash undeath upon the people of Lordaeron came. Kel'Thuzad and his cult put cauldrons filled with the plague of undeath in towns around Lordaeron that were actually controlled by the cult. There is actually a quest involving these cauldrons in the western plague lands. This plague is what turned normal humans into the undead that would then mindlessly serve the Lich King. Many members of the cult were eager to sacrifice themselves in this manner. While undergoing operations in Brill, Kel'Thuzad was found by Arthas and Jaina Proudmoore. Arthas eventually killed Kel'Thuzad in his fight against the Scourge, but it was only the beginning of the end.

Haunted by Kel'Thuzad, Arthas was eventually driven into the grasp of the Lich King and became a servant himself. He then recovered the remains of Kel'Thuzad and burned a scar of death through the city of Silvermoon to the Sunwell where he resurrected the mage as a Lich, destroying the Sunwell in the process (or so we thought). Kel'Thuzad, along with Arthas, were then able to draw the Burning Legion into the world by summoning Archimonde, who then proceeded to wage war against the alliance and horde forces in Kalimdor, and was killed in the process. Arthas was then called back to the Lich King to protect him from Illidan, who had been tasked with destroying the Lich King for his betrayal of the Legion. Arthas prevented this and was reborn as the Lich King himself. Throughout all of this Kel'Thuzad kept a low profile, supporting the ultimate goal of the Lich King to be free of the Legion and to rule as he saw fit.

This culminated in Kel'Thuzad overseeing the Scourge operations in the plague lands from his citadel of Naxxramas. Within the context of the game, he was defeated by us, the adventurers in the game, but his phylactery, the source of his power, was given to the wrong hands, and not destroyed. This meant that Kel'Thuzad lived on. As of today, when Patch 3.0.2 is loaded, Naxxramas will have moved to Northrend, to fight another battle of the Lich King. I don't know all the details, but I'm eager to find all of the reasoning behind the move of Naxxramas and Dalaran in the expansion.

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