Knights of the Blackened Claw
|Guild Name||Knights of the Blackened Claw|
|Founded By||Karl Baarfden|
|Current Leader||Karl Baarfden|
- "Death and cargnage are our cause; we are their champions"
- —Karl Baarfden
The Knights of the Blackened Claw is an order of Death Knights created and lead by Karl Baarfden. Devoted to the Scourge, they serve as champions of the Lich King's crusade to rule over Azeroth.
After his rebirth as a Death Knight, Sir Karl served alongside numerous other Death Knights in the destruction of Lordaeron, willingly (and gladly) slaughtering the very people he was trained to protect. It was during this period that he encountered two other former Knights of the Silver hand who he had close associations with; Sir Durfrey, who he had served alongside since the Second War, and Scithis Lebaum, who he had trained.
Like him, Both of them were now Death Knights, supporting the Lich King (However, unlike him, both were still alive at this point). In them, Karl saw something of kindred spirits, feeling that he had more in common with them then he did with other Death Knights. The three of them began working together, aiding each other in their crusade to destroy the living in Lordaeron. They began to refer to themselves as an "order" of Death Knights unto themselves, based simply on their pre-war familiarity. Such informal orders were not uncommon amongst the Scourge, especially the Death Knights; however, this one's origins were unsuaul to say the least.
Somehow, the idea grew, until the three of them had formally named themselves as the "Knights of the Blackened Claw"; the name being a mockery of the Knights of the Silver Hand, the organization that they had previously served in. Initially just composed of the three of them, the organization grew as they were promoted and assigned subordinates; those other, lower-ranked Death Knights who Karl or Scithis felt were "worthy" were inducted into the Order. When Karl was appointed as a trainer to newly inducted - or raised - Death Knights, he extended this policy to any recruits that he felt had exceptional potential. Those that failed to live up to that potential were, at best, removed from the order and, at worst, executed and raised as Ghouls.
Having survived the death of one of its founders (Scithis Lebaum was killed, then raised as an undead, then killed again), like many of the other informal Death Knight "orders", the Blackened Claw was assigned to Acherus as a part of the Lich King's plan to destroy the Scarlet Crusade and Argent Dawn. mass training of initiates began to create Death Knights to be expended in the final stage of the battle.
When the time came to attack Light's Hope Chapel, Karl and the other Blackened Claw leaders hung back, deliberately avoiding the battle, knowing full well what was about to happen. However, instead, the assault failed, and the surviving Death Knights, including several of his own, defected to join Mograine's Knights of the Ebon Blade. The rest of the Blackened Claw continue to serve the Scourge faithfully; its members await a chance to get their revenge at those who chose to betray them. However, at the same time, Karl knows the knowledge and skills they possessed are a danger to him and his order and, as such, are not to be taken lightly.
There are four "tiers" of membership to the Order of the Blackened Claw. The top tier is the organizations leaders and founders; no others will be admitted to this rank. The second is made up of Death Knights who either willingly joined the Scourge or have otherwise proven their worth throug their deeds. The third is made up of Death Knights who have seen battle, but are not considred as "worthy". The final tier is made up of new recrits, or those who were raised from the dead to serve.
A fifth, unofficial tier also exists of individuals who are associated with the Order, but not a part of it. This tier is mainly made up of Necromancers and others, but never of actual Death Knights.