Perhaps the hottest topic in the gaming world today is the inclusion of the Death Knights as a Hero Class in the new expansion of World of Warcraft, Wrath of the Lich King. What's not to be excited about when you can now play a badass character who can Tank, do ranged attacks, and cast spells? Death Knights are truly every gamer's fantasy character. However, playing a Death Knight is not all there is to it. If you want to gain an insight into the character and how it fits into the World of Warcraft, then you better check out the Dark Knight's history or lore. If you're not familiar with how Death Knights came to be, let me fill the gap. The first Death Knights were of the Old Horde. Legend has it they they were once orc warlocks or necrolytes whose souls were put in the bodies of dead Knights of Stormwind. How this came to be is the stuff that dark, bloody, legends are made of. Below is a brief summary of how the Death Knights first came into Azeroth.
The Horde, drunk with power over its victory against the Knights of Stormwind, found themselves a new leader when Orgrim Doomhammer killed Blackhand the Destroyer. One of his first acts as the new Horde warchief was to kill all orc warlocks of the Shadow Council. This action would be the first step towards the birth of Death Knights of the Old Horde. When he was about to kill Gul'Dan, the Storm Council's leader, Gul'Dan gave him an offer he couldn't refuse: an invincible army to serve him. Gul'Dan gathered the remaining necrolytes or warlock servants and proceeded to kill all of them as sacrifice. With the power of the sacrifice, he was able to put the souls of the dead warlocks of the Shadow Council into the bodies of the fallen Knights of Stormwind. Thus, the Death Knights came into being.
The Death Knights of the Old Horde were powerful. They were given jeweled truncheons where their power was concentrated. Their spells were feared, and at their most powerful, they can bring back the dead to serve them. However, their loyalty to Gul'Dan would also be their demise, in that when the rest of the Horde attacked Gul'Dan, the Death Knights were killed protecting him. Those who survived joined other factions, becoming Liches under Ner'Zhul's rule. But mostly, the first Death Knights have petered out from existence, except Teron Gorefiend, the first Death Knight of the Old Horde who is still said to be roaming the Outlands.
I hope this has given you an insight of what role the Death Knights play in the bigger scheme of things in Azeroth. Let's just now cross our fingers that the Death Knights Hero Class of the new expansion will be everything it is promised to be: powerful, compelling, and utterly fun to play.
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