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Warcraft Lore Facts - The First-Generation Death Knights - wondersign.net

Warcraft Lore Facts - The First-Generation Death Knights

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Also known as the Death Knights of the Old Horde, or the way-cooler-than-modern-DKs-Death-Knights.

I suppose this can also be a sort of thank-you video for 2000 subscribers, since I've always been a big fan of the first death knights and wanted to do a video on them.

Also, I think only Teron Gorefiend could make yellow look menacing on a character.

Before the Scourge began, during the Second War, Warchief Orgrim Doomhammer purged the Horde of most of its warlocks and disbanded Gul'dan's Shadow Council while the latter was in a coma. After waking up, Doomhammer planned to execute Gul'dan as well, only for the warlock to point out that now the Horde had no spellcasters for its war with the humans; as such, he was allowed to live until he proved his usefulness. Gul'dan had the idea of reviving his old Shadow Council, and, as such, took their souls and placed them in the corpses of slain Stormwind knights, in a ritual that necessitated Gul'dan sacrifice his few remaining necrolytes. The result of that ritual was the first death knights.

Unlike modern death knights, which keep most of the physical features they had before undeath, these first death knights had disgusting and disfigured bodies, so much so that even some orcs screamed in terror when seeing them for the first time, and, as such, most of them tended to hide their faces behind dark hoods. Another thing which differentiates them from modern death knights is that the first generation ones focused a lot more on spellcasting rather than melee combat, as befit their origin as warlocks. They did not often use fel magic, however, instead becoming master necromancers, much more capable than the Horde's first attempt at necromancy, the necrolytes. Despite this, some of these death knights have proven they can fight toe-to-toe in melee combat even with master paladins, and all of them carry a jeweled truncheon imbued with the spirits of the sacrificed necrolytes, which can be used for this purpose.

Unlike what Gul'dan had hoped for, the first death knights were never loyal to him after being reanimated, serving only themselves. They did proclaim their loyalty to Orgrim Doomhammer and the Horde, and never broke those oaths, even when Gul'dan deserted in search for the Tomb of Sargeras, but it can be argued that it simply was not in their interest at the time to betray the Horde. In Beyond the Dark Portal, it was Teron Gorefiend, the first of the death knights, and his followers that convinced Ner'zhul to enact his plan to open portals to other worlds for the Horde to invade. They served the elder shaman loyally, but only in exchange for the promise that, once this goal was achieved, they would receive a world for their own.

In addition to their former abilities as orc spellcasters and the new necromantic powers they gained, the death knights also had access to their respective hosts memories. This was used to great effect also during Beyond the Dark Portal, when a group under Teron Gorefiend infiltrated Stormwind with the help of that information.

Despite their great power, these first death knights, perhaps more so than the modern ones, were especially vulnerable to the Light. During Beyond the Dark Portal, when the paladin Turalyon attempted to interrogate the death knight Gaz Soulripper using the Light, a method which worked on orcs, he wound up almost accidentally killing him and nonetheless caused him great pain. Later on, during the battle at the Black Temple, Turalyon dueled Teron Gorefiend himself, and, despite the death knight's great dark power giving him the initial advantage, the paladin then defeated him with relative ease by calling upon the Light.

One of the more notable death knights was Ragnok Bloodreaver. During Beyond the Dark Portal, he was sent to the Tomb of Sargeras to recover the Scepter of the fallen titan along with a group of orcs. After succeeding with heavy losses, he tried to coerce the other orcs to venture further and claim the Eye of Sargeras as well, but was unable to. Later on, after Draenor's destruction, Ragnok gathered an army of fel orcs and, with the help of an ethereal mercenary, began enslaving nether dragons. He planned to use his forces to overthrow Illidan and become the new Lord of Outland in his stead, and even managed to defeat and take over the Dragonmaw clan while doing so. He was eventually defeated when he attempted to assault the Dark Portal and was repelled by the Horde and the Alliance, and was eventually disintegrated by the paladin Jorad Mace.

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