|Race||Undead (formerly Human)|
|Class||Death Knight (formerly Paladin)|
|Affiliation||Knights of the Blackened Claw (Scourge)|
|Age||51 (at time of death)|
|Birthplace||Lordaeron City, Lordaeron|
|Current Residence||Icecrown, Northrend|
- "In life, I belived the pap about honour and virtue succeeding, but death has revealed the truth!"
- —Karl Baarfden
Karl Baarfden was a Knight of the Silver Hand who, after being mortally wounded in battle, chose to serve the Lich King as a Death Knight rather then die.
Formerly tall, upright and stern, Karl's death and rebirth have ravaged his once-noble features. His skin is bone-white in colour, with much of the flesh missing; most dramatically, much of the right side of his face is gone, leaving only bare bone exposed. Even one used to the ravaged appearance of the Forsaken would find his appearance to be somewhat disturbing simply due to how badly damaged his body is. Whereas once he towered, he now has a stooped, hunchbacked form, yet retains a lot of the broad-shouldered bulk that he had in life. His long grey hair appears to be the only thing that survived his death; even then it appears as an unkempt mane.
His armour is just as decrepit as his body; worn and battered, chunks of it appear to have been ripped away in combat, as if to mirror his own wounds. His Runeblade, however, is kept in immaculate condition. He is understandably protective of it; the Blade is, after all, the only thing between him and final, complete death.
Aside from his usual Deathcharger, he has, on occasion, used a Frostwyrm for transport.
In life, Karl Baarfden was a noble and heroic man, a dedicated and loyal Paladin of the Silver Hand. His death and rebirth seems to have twisted him, turning his personality around. Whereas once he strove to protect the innocent and uphold the law, he now revels in slaughter and death. He sees honour and virtue as weaknesses, and is only contemptuous of those who claim to follow such beliefs. Certainly, he is not above using his opponents compassion or honour against them.
Karl seems to harbor a particular hatred for all things living; even the members of the Cult of the Damned and his fellow Death Knights are not immune to his loathing. He believes that all living beings should be slain and serve the Scourge as undead, even if they already do serve in life. Karl harbours an intense hatred of Paladins, possibly because they remind him of what he once was. He particularity delights in brutalizing his trainees, his violence serving, to his mind, as a lesson in the ways of the Scourge.
Sir Karl leads his "order" with an iron hand. He does not tolerate any dissent or questioning of his orders. Nor will he tolerate any signs of compassion or mercy for a foe; he orders his men to destroy their foes utterly, slaughtering whatever they may encounter. Those who disobey him are usually disciplined through brutal beatings; on more then one occasion, he has out and slain an insubordinate and had them raised as a mindless Ghoul as punishment.
His greatest enemies, however, are those former Death Knights - specifically the members of his order - who chose to betray the Scoruge. His hatred for them exceeds all else and he has ordered that any such Death Knight is to be exocuted on site, regardless of the circumstances.
Born in Lordaeron City, Karl Baarfden was raised in a tradition of military service dating back to the empire of Arathor. Trained from a young age, he gladly served his nation as a Knight, showing exceptional skill and ability in the saddle. At the same time, he demonstrated his loyalty to his nation, and his faith in the Holy light, never once wavering in his duties. It was these traits that bought him to the attention of the recently formed Order of the Silver Hand during the Second War. Karl was inducted into the order, becoming a Paladin and fighting against the Orcish Horde and their allies.
Post-war, he remained a part of the order, proudly serving alongside his fellow knights. However, even the Silver Hand were not prepared for the events to come. Karl was caught in the middle of the city as it was overrun with the armies of the living dead, both from without and within. Surrounded, he opted to fight his way free of the city in the vain hope that he may escape and fight against the Scourge. However, it was not to be. Assaulted on every side, he was worn down by the relentless attacks of the undead armies. No matter how many he slew, more would take their place. Eventually, exhausted, he collapsed amid the ruins of his former home, realizing that his life was at an end.
However, instead, he head a voice in his mind, one that offered him another chance; he would escape Death if he promised to serve a greater power. It was in this moment that his resolve faltered and fear of his own mortality caught up with him. Karl agreed, taking the bargain offered by the voice. He died, and then moments later rose from the dead as a Death Knight, one of the Lich King's champions. Twisted by the change, Karl eagerly took up the Lich King's cause, aiding in the destruction of the land that he had once defended.
Residing in Naxxramis, the Lich King found a new way to use his experience to further the Scourge. Karl was appointed by the Scourge as an instructor to newer Death Knights, helping not only to train them in the use of their abilities but enforcing their loyalty to the Scourge. His brutal treatment of the recruits is used to "educate" them in the harsh, unrelenting nature of the army they now served.
It was from these recruits that Sir Karl raised his own "order" of Death Knights, known as the Knights of the Blackened Claw. Initially formed by himself and two other former Knights of the Silver Hand, Scithis Lebaum and Sir Durfrey, the order grew to encompass Death Knight recruits that Karl saw as particularly promising.
Re-assigned to Acherus, Karl and his knights were a part of the Scourge vanguard that were tasked with the final destruction of both the Scarlet Crusade and the Argent Dawn. Knowing full well that this final war would result in unmatched carnage and horror, Sir Karl helped raise and train the new army of Death Knights that would be the instrument of the Lich King's war. However, he was also fully aware of the final plan for them, the intention for them to die in order to complete the Lich King's plan.
What he did not expect, however, was that the Lich King would be wounded, nor that the Death Knights, aware of their situation and now free of his will, would choose to side with the Argent Dawn against him. Realising what was happening too late to do anything about it, Karl ordered his remaining loyal knights to retreat. Fleeing from the battle, they retreated to Northrend, where they await the chance to avenge themselves on their treacherous brethren.
For some reason that nobody is able to fathom, Karl is often accompanied by a particularly large and vicious Darkhound. He calls the creature Dreadwolf, and has been known to command it as an attack dog on occasion. The origin of the creature is unknown, as is its reasons for accompanying Karl and following his orders. Few, however, would question its sharp fangs.
Oddly enough, Dreadwolf's eyes seem larger then those of a normal Darkhound, and seem to be ready to pop out of its skull.