Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lessons in Lore - The Four Horsemen

I've been doing a few forums posts in my guild forums on the backgrounds of the bosses we fight. It's a lot of fun to know why you're killing some of the things you're killing in game, besides the phat purples. Our guild leader asked me to do some research on the four horsemen, and so I posted this today on our forums, and I'm cross posting it here.

The Four Horsemen
"The most powerful death knights within Naxxramas are the four horsemen. They represent the pinnacle of Kel'Thuzad's guard. The first, Thane Korth'azz, holds the power of flame. The next, Lady Blaumeux, calls forth the power of shadows, drawing the souls of the living into the voracious embrace. Sir Zeliek, a paladin in life, so strong in his faith, that even in undeath, the power of the light still heeds his call, smiting his foes in battle. The final death knight, Lord Mograine, was the finest warrior that the death knights had ever seen. However, after the events of Azeroth, he vanished without a trace. Kel'Thuzad has appointed Baron Rivendare in his place."
—Commander Eligor Dawnbringer

If you go to Wintergarde Keep, there's a guy walking around in one of the buildings talking about the bosses in Naxxramas. That's Commander Eligor Dawnbringer, and that's what he has to say about the four horsemen. He was previously at Light's Hope Chapel, mediating between the Argent Dawn and Scarlet Crusade, but enough about Eligor. You wanted to know about the four horsemen.

Well, for those that may not know, there are actually five horsemen. One of the original Horsemen, from pre-Wrath Naxxramas, was replaced with Baron Rivendare when Naxxramas moved to Northrend. That horsemen was Alexandros Mograine. There's a lot of lore around Mograine, and surprisingly, there's fair amount about Rivendare as well. There's less so about the other horsemen, but we can make some assumptions based on what we know about them. Here they are, one at at time.

Alexandros Mograine

There's a lot of lore behind Mograine, and his story is even current in the game through his son Darion. I wrote a blog post about him some time ago, you can read that here if you like. Here is the short version. Mograine was a Paladin of the Silver Hand, one of Uther's men, and an outstanding guy. On the battle field in front of Blackrock mountain he finds an orb of dark power, and takes if from an orc warlock. Then he and several followers of the light use their holy power on the orb, turning it from black to a glowing white. Then he makes a sword out of it and calls it the Ashbringer. Turns out this sword does a good job of killing scourge. Mograine actually founds the Scarlet Crusade, but unbeknownst to him, the Burning Legion possesses one of the commanders of the Scarlet Crusade and plots against Mograine so that they can turn the Crusade to their own purposes. They do this by possessing one of Mograine's two sons, Renault. In front of Stratholme, after a horrific battle in which Mograine slays thousands of scourge with the Ashbringer, Renault appears and murders his own father. Renault is then made a High Commander in the Scarlet Crusade and is the High Commander Mograine within the Scarlet Monastery.

Mograine, now dead, is raised as Death Knight and placed in the service of Kel'thuzad as one of the four horsemen in Naxxramas. This next part is a little screwy due to game mechanics. When Mograine was a horsemen in old Naxxramas, he would sometimes drop the Corrupted Ashbringer. If a player then equipped it and went to the Scarlet Monastery, the NPCs would recognize the sword and bow to you. And when you got to Highlord Mograine, Renault, Alexandros Mograine's spirit would rise from the sword and slay his son for murdering him. Pretty cool, huh? Well, lore-wise, the person who did this was Darion Mograine, Alexandros' second son, who went to Naxxramas to find out what happend to his father, killed him, took the sword, and then went to find his brother and tell him what happened, only to have his dead dad's spirit rise up and kill his brother in front of Darion's eyes. Trippy.

This last part is a bit of a spoiler, but it helps explain where Darion is currently. After the events in Naxxramas and the Scarlet Monastery, Darion returns to Light's Hope Chapel where the Argent Dawn is preparing for war against an innumerable amount of Scourge. The war is nearly lost until Darion realized that in order for his father's spirit to truly rest, Darion must make a sacrifice of love. In the middle of the fight Darion kills himself with the Corrupted Ashbringer. His sacrifice causes a holy light to obliterate the entire scourge army, but at a huge loss. Kel'thuzad then raises Darion as a Death Knight. Anyone who has played through the Death Knight area will know who Darion is, as he plays a huge role there. And he can be seen later in Icecrown as the leader of the Knights of the Ebon Blade.

Baron Rivendare

We all know Baron Rivendare as the last boss in the dead side of Stratholme. While there's really not a lot else known about him, it's actually a bit more than we know of the other horsemen. Rivendare was a wealthy land owner and a friend of Kel'thuzad before Kel'thuzad was lured by the then Lich King, Ner'zhul. When Kel'thuzad came back and created the Cult of the Damned, Rivendare gladly joined his friend and helped to spread the plague that consumed Lordaeron. For his loyalty and eagerness to destroy the Argent Dawn, Rivendare was made a Death Knight and placed in charge of the Scourge forces in Stratholme. From above, we know that Darion put his father's soul to rest (at the cost of his own), and thus when Naxxramas moved to Northrend, he had to be replaced, and Rivendare is that replacement.

Sir Zeleik

Now we get to horsemen that have a little less background. Zeleik was a paladin, and thus most likely of the Order of the Silver Hand before he was killed and subsequently risen as a Death Knight. What's unique and interesting about him is that while his body is now ruled by the Lich King, his mind is not. Thus when you hear the horsemen shouting in Naxxramas, they will all make threats and say taunting phrases, but Zeleik tries to warn you away. This could be seen as a mark of his power and devotion to the light when he was alive, that he can retain his sanity in death.

Thane Korthazz

He's a dwarf. And quite possibly has the most entertaining taunt when he calls your raid "slack-jawed daffodils." Other than that, we don't know much. Again, he was probably a paladin. In the Ashbringer Comics, he is called one of Uther's Men, so he was also once a member of the Silver Hand. The scourge seem to have a knack for turning the best paladins into our worst enemies.

Lady Blaumeux

And of the Lady Death Knight, we know practically nothing. She uses shadow magic, and is wholly submissive to the Lich King's will. She was probably a former Paladin or Priest in life, and probably also with the Silver Hand as that seems to be a trend among the other horsemen, but beyond that, I haven't found any other information.

So there you have it. Several of the pictures come from the Ashbringer comic put out by Wildstorm Comics, a division of DC. I cannot recommend the series enough, it's great. All of the pictures were taken from That's about as much as I could turn up on them all. Thanks for reading and have a good morning.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What We've Been Up To

So I'm glad I put a handy guide to the right of the page that tells me what I'm supposed to blog about each day.  I'm not left scrambling for an idea.  Actually, since it is Character Day, it's a great opportunity for me to post some screenshots and talk about some of the things that have kept Lal and I busy over the past two months.  

First, one of my proudest accomplishments.  For those that may not know, I'm a raid leader in the guild Veritas on the Moon Guard realm.  It's a role playing realm, and the founders of our guild set out to do something they were told was impossible.  Create a guild that is both active in role playing and progressive in raiding.  Before Wrath we had completed Kara and were working our way through Zul'aman, with the occasional 25 person raid when we were invited by another guild.

With the advent of Wrath and 10 person raid content available for all raids, we as a guild decided to focus on the 10 person content.  I was in charge of organizing and leading our first raid into Naxxramas.  Our first week, we cleared three of the wings, and got to Thaddius, the last boss of the fourth wing we did, the Abomination wing.  The week after that we had a rough start, but we came back for a second night and cleared all the way through Sapphiron! Kel'thuzad would have to wait because we ran out of time.  We got him the next week though. Our most recent raid was done in just four and a half hours, so I'm pretty proud of our guild and our raiders for doing so well.  We've started a second team led by another raid leader to accommodate everyone who wants to go.  Here's a shot of us on Ket'thuzad's throne after we took him down.  I think this was our second time.


That's Elionene on the left, and Lal is to her right.  That's a pretty big thrown for a guy that doesn't even have any legs...

Salthier has been hanging out around Dalaran mostly. He's got a few epic pieces of gear and is always available to tank for someone if needed.  He used to be an Enchanter/Alchemist, but recently Jewel crafting became a very desirable profession for a lot of people and Lal decided to drop herbalism to take up JC.  Since that meant Sal's supply of herbs was gone, I dropped Enchanting and took up Herbalism for him.  He's up at 450 now after several days of crawling through lowbie zones.  Lal's already up to 440 in Jewel crafting too.  What about Enchanting? Well, Driya has that covered now.  So, yeah, Sal sits around Dalaran and makes Titanium out of Saronite bars once a day and brews up some flasks for Elionene and Lal when they go raiding.


Where Salthier gets a lot of play is during the holidays.  So far, since October, I've been able to complete each of the holiday meta achievements and get him that holiday's title.  The shot up above is from the Lunar Festival.  Sal spends a lot of time in that bank.

Lal is also getting the holiday titles.  She's actually better at it than me, but she doesn't like the achievements that involve battlegrounds.  PvP is not her thing.  It's not mine either, but I don't mind it much if I have a goal in mind.  Here's a nice shot of Lal after getting the Merrymaker achievement during Christmas.


I'll say one thing.  These holiday title achievements sure get people to go to the old world cities. I've spent a lot of time in Ironforge.

It's easy to see we've been busy in game, even though I haven't had time to blog about it.  There aren't any holidays in March which is good.  We need a break!  I'll have time to focus on getting our raid to beat Malygos and Sartharion with two drakes up.  I also plan to write more character stories for Elionene's Journal and more lore for our guild site and for this site.  I think I remember that Lore Thursday was one of people's favorite parts of this blog, so look forward to that tomorrow!

In closing, here's a shot of Salthier in cat form during a trip to the Crystal Song forest.  I really hope they do more with this zone in the future.  Elionene would love to get rep with the Silver Covenant.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Hello? Is this thing on?

Wow, that was an extended hiatus, wasn't it?  We've moved, we're in a new state, and I've got a lot of free time since I've yet to find steady employment.  I've also been missing this blog and writing in general.  You would think without a job, I would have plenty of time to write, but it's taken a back seat to job searching, taking care of errands, and I've actually gotten a fair amount of play time in.  In fact, here's an update.

- Both Elionene and Salthier now level 80, and decked out in raid and heroic gear.  

- Lal is also 80, but even more shocking than that, is her Shadow Priest, Driya, is also 80.  Yes, my wife who once said she would never play this game, now has two level 80 priests.  She's wonderful.

- I respecced Elionene to Survival when they nerfed BM hunters.  Even after Bm got a buff, I stayed SV because of the replenishment ability.  I'm currently the only member of our Naxx-10 team that has that buff, and I enjoy bringing both great DPS and mana utility to the raid.  Not to mention Explosive shot is the bomb.  (okay, pun intended)

- Veritas has cleared Naxxramas-10.  I would even say we have it on farm.  Our last two runs, we've cleared it in less than 5 hours. We're starting a second team to get more people involved, and we're weighing options for doing Naxxramas-25

- Veritas has also taken down Sartharion in the Obsidian Sanctum with one drake up.  

- We're currently working on Malygos.  Our first try was last night.  We took about 6 or so tries at him in a 2 hour window.  We got better each time.  Our final attempt had him down to 13% or so.  We need to work on our DPS in the first phase, and our dragon riding in the third phase, but I think we can get him next week.

- I've also recently rekindled interest in my lowbie Shaman who I planned to make a healer.  She's up to level 30 now.  I'm going to start using Jame's leveling guide from wow-pro to get her up to speed!

I plan on returning to blogging regularly so keep an eye on this site for more Veritas raid news, character stories, lore, and other random wow stuff.  I apologize for the absence!