The Warcraft Lore series is a collection of articles delving deep into the history of many important Warcraft figures and events. Since World of Warcraft’s story is ongoing in the famous MMORPG and in some new novel publications, I will try to constantly update these articles. My main sources are Warcraft books and comics, Warcraft 1 / 2 /3, World of Warcraft, WoWWiki, WoWpedia, YouTube and some theory-crafting sites. The following article will inform you about the Scarlet Crusade.
Because the story of the Scarlet Crusade is really big, I will separate it into two smaller parts. The first part contains the Prologue, the creation of the Knights of the Silver Hand, the Birth of the Scarlet Crusade, the Stratholme Incident, the Fall of the Highlord and Darion Morgraine.
The second part features the Evolution of the Scarlet Crusade, the Scarlet Enclave, Decay of the Order, Sally Whitemane and the Four Horsemen.
Let me know in the comments about any errors or inconsistencies you may find. Feedback is greatly appreciated. Enjoy!
Keep in mind that this is the second part of the Scarlet Crusade series. If you are interested, the first part can be found here.
Evolution of the Scarlet Crusade (Vanilla World of Warcraft Era)
Soon, more races were inducted to the Scarlet Crusade, including high elves and dwarves. However, their main goal remained the same – to eradicate all the undead from the Eastern Kingdoms. Therefore they were extra careful and they started believing that any and all outsiders were potential carriers of the undead plague and must be destroyed. The Scarlet Monastery became a hostile place for all adventurers and the order became a problem for every race in Azeroth.
Balnazzar at his base in Stratholme
During this time, the Scarlet Crusade developed many anti-undead weapons in an attempt to create a second Ashbringer. After many tests a holy staff named Light’s Wrath was created. However, the dreadlord Balnazzar intervened by creating a huge magical explosion. The damaged staff proved really hard to control killing several undead and crusaders in the process. The Scarlet Crusade contacted the mage city of Dalaran, whom immediately dispatched an elite group of Kirin Tor mages to Tyr’s Hand in order to control the staff before the whole continent was destroyed.
Sylvanas’ Forsaken who have made their capital in Lordaeron, had huge issues with the Scarlet Crusade raiding their villages and towns. Sylvanas tasked Nathanos Blightcaller to take care of this new threat, sending a portion of the Forsaken’s army in Brill with him. Nathanos and the Forsaken, aided by the Horde, prepared a counter-attack on Tyr’s Hand catching the crusaders off-guard. The chief advisor to Saidan Dathrohan, Demetria, was killed in this battle. After his defeat by the Forsaken, Balnazzar was forced to retreat back to his main base in Stratholme.
Tirion Fordring, wielding the Ashbringer, many years later
Meanwhile, Tirion Fordring enlisted the aid of adventurers to help his son, Highlord Taelan Fordring, leave the Scarlet Crusade. After a short discussion, the Highlord accepted his father’s gift (some mementos), he abandoned the order and snuck out of Hearthglen to regroup with Tirion. Unfortunately, they were ambushed by Grand Inquisitor Isillien who murdered Taelan for his desertion. Tirion Fordring killed Isillien in retribution and joined the Order of the Silver Hand in a desperate attempt to extinguish the evil from the world..
Sally Whitemane (Vanilla World of Warcraft Era)
After Taelan’s death, one of the most skilled and clever female paladins, Sally Whitemane, took control of the Scarlet Crusade. She used her holy powers to (how ironically) resurrect Renault Morgraine. Renault was given the leadership of the order and he began expanding the Crusade’s territory outside the monastery. Slowly but steady, the Scarlet Crusade was becoming a great threat in the northern Eastern Kingdoms. The leaders of the Alliance and the Horde were forced to send groups of adventurers to take care of the fanatical sect.
High Inquisitor Sally Whitemane
The adventurers killed Renault (for a second time) but Inquisitor Whitemane managed to escape. The Scarlet forces regrouped in the Cathedral and they managed to push back the invaders, marking the beginning of an endless conflict between the forces of Azeroth and the Scarlet Monastery. High Commander Goodchilde, with Sally Whitemane on his side, was appointed leader of the order after Renault’s death.
The Scarlet Enclave (Wrath of the Lich King Expansion)
During Sally’s reign, the Scarlet Monastery was attacked by the Scourge three times. After the successful defense, the Scarlet Crusade attempted a counterstrike against the Scourge base in Northrend, building a fleet specifically for that purpose. The crusaders managed to reach the Icecrown Glacier, however, they were stopped by the Lich King’s lieutenants.
The Acherus Necropolis, flying over the Scarlet Enclave
After failing to defeat the Lich King, the Scarlet Crusade expanded to Eastern Plaguelands to a region that today is called The Scarlet Enclave. This region consisted of the Scarlet capital Tyr’s Hand, Havenshire and New Avalon. The leadership of the Scarlet Enclave forces was given to High General Brigitte Abbendis while Sally maintained control of the Scarlet Monastery in the Tirisfal Glades.
During the return of the Lich King, the death knight town, Acherus, arrived above the Enclave. As the Death Knights of Acherus began to march on Havenshire, Abbendis claimed to receive visions from the Light, instructing her to take the most faithful of her troops and journey to Northrend. This became known among the Scarlet troops as the “Crimson Dawn”, a revival of the Crusade and its “holy mission”.
Decay of the Order Part 1(Wrath of the Lich King Expansion)
Soon, the Lich King’s forces discovered that a courier had been sent from Hearthglen by High Commander Galvar Pureblood, informing Abbendis that an army of crusaders from Tirisfal were being assembled to reinforce the Enclave and battle the forces of Acherus. However, one of the Death Knights managed to track down the courier and kill him. After obtaining the message from the human’s dead body, the Death Knight diguised himself as the courier and delivered the message to Abbendis.
The in-game quest, where the player’s Death Knight kills the courrier
Realizing that the Plaguelands were lost, Abbendis ordered “the courier” to return to Pureblood, inform him to turn his armies around and prepare for the journey to Northrend. It was at this point that she declared that the Scarlet Crusade was no more – that they were now the Scarlet Onslaught. Of course the message never reached Pureblood and he and his forces were obliterated by the Scourge. When Abbendis realized it, she boarded her ship, abandoned the Crusade and set sail for Northrend.
Decay of the Order Part 2 (Cataclysm Expansion)
With the Plaguelands completely lost to the Scourge, the only active stronghold of the Scarlet Crusade was the Scarlet Monastery in Tirisfal Glades. Sally Whitemane along with Commander Durand were responsible for the operations inside and possibly outside the Monastery. Over the years, Whitemane proved a really tough opponent, using the power of the light to resurrect herself, every time she fell in battle. With the help of the Forsaken assassin, Lilian Voss, the adventurers discovered a unique set of swords, the Blades of Anointed. They thrust the blades into the dead body of Sally, eliminating her forever, finally ending the Scarlet Crusade.
The Scarlet Monastery
The Four Horsemen (Legion Expansion)
During the Legion campaign, the Knights of the Ebon Blade attacked the Scarlet Monastery in order to resurrect Sally Whitemane as a member of the Four new Horsemen. There were a few crusaders left in New Hearthglen and the monastery was led by High Commander Goodchilde. However, the Knights of the Ebon Blade easilly revived Sally and Inquisitor Whitemane was added to the Four Horsemen. The others were Thassarian, Darion and Nazgrim. The Knights of the Ebon Blade failed to resurrect Tirion Fording as the fourth Horseman.
Sally Whitemane as the third Horseman
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