|Guild||Formerly the Unity, now the Scarlet Redemption|
|Current Residence||Cathedral of Light, Stormwind City.|
- "Go in peace; may the Light guide your path, as it does mine."
- —Zhakaron's way of farewell
Zhakaron or "Zhak" to close friends is a member of the Hand of Argus, apprentice and adopted son of Prophet Velen. Orphaned biological son of Arkaron, a great Vindicator and Zhena, a priestess, Zhakaron has vowed to follow in his family's hoofsteps and to combat the shadow wherever it lurks. Recently, it has been revealed via Velen's visions that Zhakaron is in fact, the One Promised by the Light, a long prophesised figure who will play a vital role in uniting all mortal races who oppose the Burning Legion into the Army of Light. Upon discovering his destiny, the young Paladin was initially reluctant, but has grown to accept that he must stand against the darkness. With enemies closing in all around, only time will tell if Zhakaron and his allies will emerge victorious.
Zhakaron is tall and broad-shouldered, with a heavy, muscular build. He has long black hair that he often keeps in braids and sapphire eyes that glow with the power of the Holy Light. His skin is aqua blue, and the tentacles on his face are often bound together in an intricate pattern by gold rings. In other mattes, Zhakaron has noted to have thick cheekbones, a large forehead, strong jaw and a rather dashing smile that is said to give hope to even the most hardened of hearts.
He also keeps a short, trimmed goatee which he shaves on occasion. Commonly dressed in armour of burnished copper and gold, also wearing a blue velvet cloak and crystal-esque motif is heavily present on most parts of his armor, most notably on a decorative section of his robes that rise above the shoulders. Zhakaron also has been noted to be something of a stickler for fitness, demanding that all who fight for him exercise frequently. In fact, when not in combat or in silent meditation, the Paladin can be found exercising.
Normally, for his training, the Paladin favors leather pants and boots, preferring to show off his admittedly stunning physique.
- "For all his quiet aloofness, young Zhakaron has a veil of destiny surrounding him. He alone has the strength to vanquish his enemies and the wisdom to heal once the battle is won. He is, even in the darkest days strong and faithful; a beacon of Light even as the shadow closes in around us."
- —Prophet Velen
The words that would best describe Zhakaron are, "Optimistic, loyal, kind and forgiving". Although neither arrogant nor vain, he is considered by many to be brash and confident, but his bold exterior masks an artistic heart. A heart of courage and strength that would willingly sacrifice himself to save others.
Despite this fact, however, Zhakaron is quite aware that his power outmatches many of his others. What's else is that he does not hesitate to remind others of this fact, if the situation demanded it.
In other matters, Zhakaron is fiercely loyal to Prophet Velen and never seeks favor from him. He exemplifies the truth and never tells lies, not even when it will aid his cause. In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, the Paladin has proven to be highly popular with the soldiers that he commands on the battlefields of war.
As a leader in the Alliance's army, he is meticulous and leads his forces with peerless devotion and military genius. He prefers to lead his troops on the front lines, unerringly placing himself in the thickest of combat.
However surprisingly, he disdains combat with the Horde, even with the Orcs for their near destruction of the Draenei race twenty years previous. It has been said that Zhakaron holds immense respect for Thrall's New Horde, even though they are his enemies as both a member of the Alliance and to his order.
As Zhakaron himself once revealed, he holds the Burning Legion, not the Horde, responsible for all that the Draenei have endured. As such, he shows no mercy nor hesitation when fighting against Demons and minions of the Legion.
Zhakaron's opinion of the Horde's member races varies. He strongly admires the Orcs under Thrall's leadership, as well has a growing respect for the stoic Tauren. He distrusts the Trolls, in the knowledge they only recently abandoned Voodoo and cannibalism. He has mixed feelings for the Blood Elves; partly out of compassion for seeing how far such a proud race could fall. Partially as well, due to the corruption wrought by the traitor Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider. The one faction that Zhakaron openly admits he dislikes is of course the Forsaken. He does not hate them, per se but would like to see them returned to true life, or at least, use less brutal tactics in their war for independence.
His attitude towards the Alliance have been revealed as one of fascination and respect, especially towards Humans. Seeing humans as being a young species with great potential, Zhakaron has taken up residence in Stormwind City where he regularly attends the Royal Court meetings of King Varian Wrynn.
Other races have been met with varying degrees of friendship in Zhakaron's eyes: He once stated he considers a Night Elf Druid, named Dynivor, his "Honor-Brother" and holds the same view of friendship and camaraderie for all Night Elves in general. Zhakaron has good relations with the Dwarves of Ironforge, seeing them as a strong and hardy people. The Gnomes have been met with fascination and in some occasions, with humor by the Paladin. However, he admits that he finds the Gnomes' skill with technology ingenius. The High Elves, though few, have been regarded with some distrust, Zhakaron is perfectly willing to forgive and welcome the proud, brave Quel'dorei.
As per the planet Azeroth, Zhak believes that the Draenei people are to consider themselves esteemed guests, not permanent residents. While considering Shattrath his true home, he admits that the honorable alien peoples of Azeroth have, (In his own words) "Grown on me".
Zhakaron's view towards the Death Knights of Acherus was initially one of disdain and suspicion, but over time, after seeing how effective the fallen warriors were in combat against the Scourge, his attitude began to soften. In particular, he developed an immense amount of respect for Darion Mograine, leader of the Death Knights for his bravery, and for his willingness to attack the Lich King unaided.
As a Paladin, his exploits have shown numerous examples of headstrong behavior, cunning and subtlety of mind. He staunchly believes in the good in others, and insists on giving second chances. A firm believer in the power of the mortal spirit, Zhakaron encourages others to shed off their hard exteriors and to let their good side emerge. Holding true to his personal code of honor at all times, Zhakaron isn't above showing respect to members of the Horde, even when confronting them in battle.
Zhakaron's personality flaw, which he himself explains, is both his greatest strength and his greatest weakness: His faith in the Holy Light. He believes in the power of the Light to a point bordering on zealotry and considers all other forms of magic inferior, if not below the Light. He respects all other powers, as a personal rule, of course, but feels that the Light is the greatest of all powers.
Another interesting, if sometimes whimsical part of Zhakaron's personality is just how much he truly enjoys the rush of fighting: Though not to kill, he does in his own words, "Love a good brawl now and then" and more often than not, has proved this many times. For instance, while once drunk at the Pig and Whistle Tavern, he took an insult to the Scarlet Redemption quite personally, and even knocked the offending Dwarf unconcious. This did not go well with the other patrons, to say the least and in a few moments, a fullscale bar-room brawl erupted. By its end, with Zhak had participated and emerged as the only fighter left standing.
To represent his order and to further satiate his lust for battle, Zhak also once joined a tournament of several fighters of distinction at Fray Island. There, he competed against several of the Alliance's greatest warriors, death knights, even two other Paladins who he fought and defeated. The fact that the combatants were to use tournament issued weaponry and armor did not deter him in the slightest- he fought with distinction and believed his arena name, "Scarlet" to be a fitting title.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Magical Mastery: Zhakaron is considered by many to be an immensely powerful Paladin and he has lived up to this title on many occasions. After his first year in Azeroth he was considered nothing more or less than the most gifted student that Prophet ever trained.
Zhakaron was known to be prodigiously talented magically, and was admittedly more skilled in physical combat than most warriors. He was also the only Paladin to be feared by several Death Knights.
Some of his many other talents were: Physical Strength: Even as far as Draenei go, with their powerful bodies and great muscle mass, Zhak has great strength and once was able to lift an entire table of full grown Human men, over his head with little difficulty.
Genius-level intellect: Though many of his order are very intelligent, Zhak is a genius who possesses a superior intellect, capable of devising an elaborate master plan to defeat the seemingly unbeatable Scourge. This was seen quite predominantly during the events surrounding the Second Scourge War, when he, through various strategic plans and an almost machiavellian manipulation of key persons (such as Varian Wrynn) was able to set the path for Tirion Fordring to destroy the Lich King.
For all of his positive traits, and in spite of all of his prodigious skill, Zhakaron has many weaknesses of note.
Trust: Although not a physical weakness, Zhak is a very trusting individual who expects the best from others. This makes him somewhat blind to flaws and one time led him to tip five gold to a rogue pickpocket.
Fire: Zhak has a particular fear of fire. Though no one is entirely sure where this phobia originated from, Zhak has admitted that he dislikes being even around torches. This has given him a small disadvantage when battling mages & warlocks, as they can manipulate the power of flame.
- "My father was Archaron, a famous Vindicator, he...he died in battle against the Orcs. My mother was named Zhena, a priestess. She was injured in the fighting....though she didn't survive, with her dying breath she gave me to Prophet Velen."
- —Zhakaron discussing his parents
Born to the Paladin Archaron, and to Zhena, priestess, Zhakaron was only an infant when the Orcs turned against the Draenei people. His father who was a renowned fighter, was slain in combat in the earliest of the battles against the Orcs. His mother, who was unable to save her husband, died of her wounds inflicted in battle before she could escape. Her last living act was to thrust her son into the arms of Prophet Velen, who led the Draenei people into hiding.
Prophet Velen then underwent a vision, seeing the boy clad in his father's armor, confronting the Demons of the Burning Legion whilst surrounded by Light. All around him as well, stood the combined forces of the Alliance and the Horde, fighting together.
Sensing the child's future, Velen then decided to honor his parent's dying wish and to raise Zhakaron as his own. Though, knowing that Kil'Jaedan would eventually discover the boy's destiny, decided to keep it a secret until he came of age.
- "His was very much the same as all other Paladins. I remember he would often come to me for additional training. Young Zhakaron's hunger to learn seemed insatiable. Yet, I perceived the young warrior's lust for knowledge as simple exuberance and eagerness."
When he was old enough to walk, the young Zhakaron chose to enter into Paladinship, following in his father's footsteps. Like the other students, he was trained in the arts of the Light, warfare, healing and in many forms of armed combat.
However, the young Paladin would often confide in Prophet Velen for additional training, to which the elder Draenei noted Zhakaron's "insatiable" desire for knowledge about the Light.
Although he would not make many friends during his adolesence, Zhakaron did value those who were close to him, especially his trainers, Baatun, Jol, Kavaan, and Ahonan in particular.
When his training was completed, the then 14 year old Zhakaron was officially proclaimed a Paladin by Prophet Velen in a fashion similar to that of his father long ago.
He then was inducted via a series of tests designed to examine his strength, compassion, intelligence and magical ability; all of which he excelled in. When his final test came, Zhakaron was called to stand before the Naaru O'ros.
Kneeling before the Naaru, Zhakaron was imbued with the Light-given power bestowed upon all Draenei: The power to heal. In his mind's eye, the Paladin apprentice heard the voice of the Light speaking about how the Naaru would forge all mortal races who opposed the shadow into the Army of Light, a powerful force which would one day destroy the Burning Legion.
Inspired by the vision granted to him by the Naaru, Zhakaron took up his new Paladin hammer and pledged that he would stand against the Darkness, just as Archaron had years before.
Although the Draenei had lived in safety since going into hiding from the Orcs, eventually they were discovered by Prince Kael'Thas' Blood Elves. The then 18-year old Zhakaron was at the forefront of the battle, utilizing his power in his first taste of combat against the Sin'dorei. After ordering a retreat from Tempest Keep, Prophet Velen took as many Draenei as he could upon the Exodar and fled.
The Exodar's engines having been sabotaged by Blood Elf agents, was sent hurtling throughout the Twisting Nether until it crash-laned upon the Azuremyst Isles of Darkshore, in northern Kalimdor.
Zhakaron was badly injured in the crash, but survived by calling upon his Holy Light power, healing his wounds. After making contact with other surviving Draenei, Zhakaron utilized his Gift of the Naaru, healing many other wounded.
After performing several tasks that assisted the other Draenei in locating the Azure Watch, Zhakaron then went forth to reestablish contact with Prophet Velen.
Information concerning the young Paladin's activities around this point are scarce; however, it is known that during his time in the Exodar, Zhakaron assisted greatly in fighting off Murlocs, gathering supplies for the Exodar's stores, and numerous other tasks.
However, his largest role in the Crash Site was when he singlehandedly fought off a Blood Elf invasion of the Azuremyst Isles by defeating their leader, the Man'ari Eredar, Sironas, in personal combat.
Life as a WandererEdit
After the Blood Elf incursion had been defeated, Zhakaron grew restless, desiring to bring justice to the enemies of the Light, he spoke with Prophet Velen. And after much deliberation with the one that had been the closest thing to a father to him all his life, Zhakaron eventually set out into greater Azeroth, hoping to find adventure.
His first stop was in the Night Elf city of Darnassus, where he met with Lady Tyrande Whisperwind.
After a somewhat awkward discussion about Elune and the nature of the Holy Light, Zhakaron convinced the leader of the Night Elves to accept the presence of travelers as they passed through.
With that, the young paladin ventured out into the world, vanquishing evil wherever he found it, making many friends and eventually contacting a fellow Draenei named Krystali, and the two became good friends.
Krystali, a Hunter, was able to rally several members of all races of the Alliance into a special force known as "The Unity". Consisting maninly of Humans and Dwarves, the Unity's ideals of equality among members and peace with the Horde influenced Zhakaron's thinking profoundly.
His first task while in the Unity was to rally as many members as possible, and to this end, Krystali directed the Paladin towards Stormwind City, capital of the Alliance.
After taking a boat ride from Darnassus and making his way to the city on foot, Zhakaron was amazed at the beauty and power of the capital of the Alliance. Although considering his mission important, Zhakaron took time to explore the city fully, even spending a day and a half studying under the tutelage of Lord Grayson Shadowbreaker in the Cathedral of Light.
When he'd learnt all he could from Lord Grayson, Zhakaron went forth under guard to meet Varian Wrynn, King of Stormwind and new leader of the Alliance.
Zhakaron knelt before the King, pledging his hammer and his power in the Light to the Alliance. To Zhakaron's surprise, the King welcomed the Draenei with open arms, even proclaiming:
- "Stormwind honors your service to the Alliance."
- —Varian Wrynn
Rise in CommandEdit
Not long after his meeting with Varian, Zhakaron found himself at the forefront of the defense of Stormwind City as it came under attack by a massive army of Scourge creatures. Although the purpose of the attack was to disrupt the Alliance's efforts to build a fleet to invade Northrend with, Zhakaron and the Royal Guard fought to protect the citizens rather than the city itself.
Taking something of a military command of the troops fighting in the city, the Paladin personally led the defense against the Scourge's ground forces. In battle, Zhakaron personally slew over 40 such creatures and organized a daring defense of Stormwind Keep. When reinforcements arrived from other theaters of war, the Scourge army was crushed and the attack repelled after several long hours of bitter fighting.
When the battle was finally over, Zhakaron joined in the festivities celebrating the victory, but later attended a meeting of the Alliance's battlemasters to discuss strategy.
During the meeting, Zhakaron pointed out several times that the Alliance's best chance for victory against the Scourge was to utilize its Light-blessed fighters and superior firepower, but was frustrated by the lack of tolerance that came from the response to his suggestion for a joint-operation with the Horde.
When the question of what the Alliance should do in the Plaguelands, the Paladin volunteered to lead a battle-group to reinforce Chillwind Camp and the Argent detachment there. After his brave defense of the capital, the Alliance Battlemasters agreed and bestowed upon Zhakaron the rank of Knight-Captain and placed him in command of a battalion.
Not long after, Zhakaron led his unit into their first taste of combat against the Scourge at Sorrow Hill; a position north of Chillwind Camp. Given two days to prepare for the offensive, the Paladin created a three phase plan to liberate the Western Plaguelands.
The first phase of his plan entailed testing the strength and resolve of the Undead forces surrounding the Plague-cauldrons. Scouts took to the field under cover of night and systematically probed their enemy's capabilities surrounding three such cauldrons.
Two squads of three returned from their missions with much needed intelligence, but, after several hours, the third was still missing. Disregarding Argent Commander Ashlam Valorfist's protests that the unit was lost, Zhakaron took a single squad to the third cauldron to rescue his scouts.
With his hammer and faith alone, Zhakaron destroyed more than 20 Ghouls and 15 Skeletal Mages surrounding the device. Then, after scouring the area, the troops discovered a single Scarlet Crusader's corpse not far from where the scout force was assigned.
Angered by the intervention of the Scarlets, Zhakaron and his troops marched to Mardenholde Keep and demanded to the Scarlet leader that his soldiers be released. However, the arrogant and xenophobic Scarlets adamently refused, stating that the Paladin's scouts had been trespassing upon Scarlet lands and therefore were possible carriers for the Plague.
When the Paladin demanded a second time that his troops be released, the Scarlet leader stood undaunted and accused the Draenei of collaberating with the Scourge.
Furious at the insult, Zhakaron reared back his fist and proceeded to knock the leader out with but a single punch to the jaw. Seeing their commander unconcious, the other Scarlet Crusaders then allowed the Draenei to take his men.
With his troops returned, the second phase of the operation began in earnest: Under the cloak of deceptive deployments on seemingly routine operations, Squads 1 through 3 were to assume blocking positions west of Caer Darrow, whereas Squad 9, consisting of six special troops of the Argent Dawn was assigned the same task to the east.
The remaining units were then supposed to "hammer" the Scourge against the "anvil" by rapidly moving through the fields, scouring it for enemy troops and installations, and clearing it of any civilians. A tight encirclement of the area was to prevent the Scourge from calling for outside aid.
The plan was working beautifully for the first three days; leading his troops as he favored from the west of the base, Zhakaron and his men were able to locate and destroy large portions of the Undead forces in both the south and west. Further, by attacking the base itself with artillery, they negated the Undead's use of superior numbers, and also forced the Dreadlords in command to call for aid from Andorhal and the surrounding areas.
Phase three, which entailed reinforcements from the rest of the battalion assaulting the rear of the advancing Scourge troops, was to scheduled to take place not long after the Dreadlords themselves had been located and destroyed.
However, on its way to attack the Scourge's troops now surrounding Zhakaron's force, the reinforcements themselves came under attack by troops from the Scarlet Crusade's outpost in Hearthglen.
Pinned between the Scourge to the west and the Scarlet Crusade to the north, the remaining allied forces would have been wiped out if not for an inventive tactic by Alchemist Arbington: By using an experimental anti-plague toxin, he was able to reverse the cauldron's corrupting energies and made them poisonous to the Undead.
With this, Zhakaron's units were able to break through the Scourge's weakening forces and linked up with their reinforcements in time to smash the remaining Undead, and counterattack the Scarlets.
When the fighting ended, Zhakaron had won a major victory, destroyed a major Scourge base and had halted an offensive by the Scarlet Crusade.
Life on the front linesEdit
After his victory, Zhakaron took to fighting in the Eastern Plaguelands, particularly in and around the city of Stratholme. Although combat in the region had subsided with Naxxramas' retreat back to Northrend, the Scourge still had a substantial presence that threatened the Argent Crusade's base at Light's Hope Chapel.
In the weeks that followed the battle for the Chapel, there had been something of a stalemate with the withdrawl of the most powerful of the undead's commanders. The forces of the Argent Crusade had somewhat diminished due to the losses inflicted during the battle, while the Scourge, although leaderless, now attempted to claim what few uncorrupted areas remained.
That all changed however with the arrival of newly completed Death Knight legions from the dread citadel of Acherus. Although he did not trust the Scourge's betrayers, Zhakaron was willing to make a compromise with Darion Mograine's forces for the greater good.
In order to accustom his forces to fighting against the vastly superior numbers of the Scourge, Zhakaron organized a new strategy which entailed fighting short skirmishes against isolated units of undead. The purpose of these minor battles were mainly to train his new recruits while slowly picking off Scourge units.
After 21 days of such combat, the new Death Knight troops had destroyed nearly a dozen enemy positions and had proven themselves to be supremely talented rural fighters. Additionally, with their ability to control the undead, the Death Knights were able to garner hundreds of new recruits to fight for them, while weakening the Scourge at the same time.
Although a Paladin and a Draenei, the troops under Zhakaron's command slowly began to respect their commander for his never-give-up attitude and his willingness to treat Death Knight's like equals.
In time, the units that the Unity had created were regarded so highly that Krystali, after meeting with Zhakaron, reckoned if the young Paladin were to be given command of any unit, he could single-handedly whip it into fighting shape.
After several campaigns and hundreds of Scourge creatures destroyed, Zhakaron grew bold enough to directly petition that his units be transferred to Northrend to participate directly in the war. However, the Alliance High Command was initially reluctant, believing that should the Death Knights be exposed to the Lich King's influence once again, that they would return to his control.
Dismissing such a notion as ridiculous, Zhakaron travelled without orders, to Northrend with only a single squad of mixed troops to assist him.
Although initially outraged at his actions, General Arlos quickly ordered Zhakaron and his unit of friendly Paladins and Death Knights to the forefront of the siege of Valiance Keep. With support from Alliance regulars, the unit was able to drive back the Nerubian and undead forces, inflicting heavy losses. During the battle, Zhakaron was badly wounded after a dying cultist drew a dagger and plunged it into his side. Raising his hammer of the Naaru, Zhakaron called on all the power of the Light to aid him, and wandered into the enemy lines alone.
Believing that this would have been his last stand, the Paladin fought harder than he ever had in his life.
However, by willingly placing himself in danger to save his comrades, the Paladin was able to achieve a status of oneness with the Light. Drawing on this newfound power, Zhakaron became a glowing beacon of righteousness, a living avatar of the Holy Light.
For two hours, the Draenei fought ceaselessly against the Scourge's creatures; using every power at his disposal, from holy lightning to his Retribution Aura, he eventually found himself with all of his enemies slain before the keep.
With the battle won and the Alliance's hold on Northrend secured, Zhakaron finally collapsed from utter exhaustion.
Zhakaron was rescued by Krystali, who, pleased with the young Paladin's progress, brought his unconcious form to the Exodar, where Prophet Velen agreed to bestow the rank of Master upon him.
Reuniting the factionsEdit
- "Hmn. As the terrible war in Northrend progresses, the Alliance and the Horde continue to batter each other on an ever widening playing field. I suppose that it will take some kind of miracle for the people to see their shortsighted ways: We are fighting against the very faction whose strength and resolve could turn the tide in our favor."
- —Zhakaron, reminiscing about the new war with the Horde
After the battle for the Wrathgate, Zhakaron was outraged; not only had the Foresaken broken their word too many times to be trusted, but also with the eruption of a new Alliance-Horde conflict. Filled with righteous anger, Zhakaron proceeded to storm from the ranks of the Unity, temporarily went rogue with the forces under his command and took up the fight against the Scourge himself. With only a select few still following him, the young Paladin attacked and destroyed every Scourge and Foresaken outpost in the Plaguelands that he could find.
When called upon to answer for his actions, Zhakaron was brought before a council of the Alliance nations, headed by King Varian. Rightfully pointing out that he was merely performing his service to the Alliance, indeed superbly, Zhakaron convinced the council that legally, he had not commited any crimes. Granted a pardon for his actions under the circumstances that he would never again commit such a bold move, Zhakaron then worked to strengthen the now severed Allliance-Horde relations.
All Out WarEdit
Determined to defeat the Scourge, reunite the warring powers and restore peace to the world, Zhakaron and his most loyal followers proceeded to purge powerful individuals in the Horde who could tip the vote in favor of war with the Alliance. Despite his very best efforts, the Horde proceeded to widen the conflict by launching daily raids on Stormwind City. Under his command, the Alliance's military was hard-pressed into repelling these assaults. In fact, some of the most vicious combat of the Paladin's career stemmed from the Horde's raids- Yet, despite the ferocity of the Horde's armies, not one of the attacks was ever fully successful. After scoring decisive victories at both Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin, Zhakaron and his troops caught the attention of a new union called the Scarlet Redemption.
Return to OutlandEdit
Under the command of Tristran, an elder Paladin who had broken off from the main branch of the Scarlet Crusade after its collapse, the Scarlet Redemption was a union dedicated to reforming the original order into what it once was: A force of righteousness to oppose the spread of evil in the world.
Zhakaron's first mission within the Redemption was to return to his homeworld of Outland and to assist the Alliance forces fending off the Legion.
When he first had laid eyes upon his homeworld for the first time in a decade, Zhakaron was brought to tears, yet composed himself in time to fight against a vast army of Demons the Legion had summoned to try to break the Allied hold on Outland. Weathering the attacks from gibbering demons and insane mortal cultists alike, Zhakaron and his Redemption troops fought their way to the Pit Lord commanding the assault and finally brought him down after a vicious fight. With their leader killed, the Legion forces were thrown into disarray, and scores of evil creatures killed by the advancing Alliance Expedition units.
Closing the portals that were feeding the Fel army with reinforcements however, proved to be a more difficult task than the Paladin's own forces could handle on their own. Temporarily, the Alliance and the Horde joined forces once again to stem the onslaught of void creatures and black soceries of the Warlocks. The assault on the portals was something of a reenactment of the tragic battles fought by Turalyon and the Alliance Expeditionary Force. Once again, warriors and Paladins alike fought demons and corrupted Orcs. One side holding true to the Light, the other fallen into blackest heresy.
Ultimately, the union prevailed and though hundreds had fallen in defense of the portal, it was a victory for all who opposed the Legion.
As for the Legion's encampments and foul sites that dotted the landscape were deemed corrupted by Fel energy. Zhakaron then called upon the Argent Dawn units supporting the troops, to catalogue and record all of their contents before being transported to their camp on Azeroth where they could be safely destroyed. They also oversaw the reduction of the sites themselves into rubble, or buried them beneath tons of sand.
The Fall of the Lich KingEdit
The Alliance had gained a hold in Outland once more, ready to wage a new crusade against the Burning Legion. Yet, back on Azeroth, a more pressing matter came when the Scourge launched a new offensive in an attempt to retake the territories lost earlier in the war. In Northrend, the Argent Crusade had constructed a great coliseum to train and prepare a force strong enough to launch the final assault on Icecrown Citadel. However, the Scourge amassed its army with the intent of wiping the coliseum from the world.
Upon hearing the news, Zhakaron immediately returned to Azeroth through one of Shattrath City's portals and with the aid of the Scarlet Archmage, Jeratai, returned to Northrend. Teleporting to the forefront of the battle, Zhakaron and a small company of Scarlet Redemption warriors fought with the Scourge once more.
Impressed with their zeal and power, Highlord Tirion Fordring recruited Zhakaron, Jeratai, and the Grandmaster of the Scarlet Redemption, the Paladin Tristran for the attack on the Citadel.
Weeks were spent training for the assault, during which time Zhakaron gained considerable skill with the molding of Saronite, blood of the Old God, Yogg-Saron. Determined to finish off the threat of the Undead once and for all, the Argent Crusade battered down the gates of the Citadel and confronted the Scourge's final defenders.
In the ensuing battle for the Citadel, Zhakaron fought and killed the last of the Lich King's lieutenants before confronting Deathbringer Saurfang, the most powerful Death Knight, at the base of the Spire.
During the fight, all three heroes, Zhakaron, Tristran, and Jeratai combined their power into one awesomely destructive blast that breached the Deathbringer's defenses.
Dranosh Saurfang died with his father, Varok vowing to bury him next to his mother's grave in Outland. The Redemption's heroes then praised Varian Wrynn for his compassion towards Varok in allowing him to take up his son's body.
Darion Mograine however, increasingly worried about the power that Frostmourne possessed, warned the heroes that without the antithesis of the weapon that the attack would be doomed to fail.
Angered and determined to finish the fight, the young Paladin confronted the Ebon Highlord for instructions on how to construct such a weapon. Darion then showed Zhakaron his plans to use Arthas' own discarded hammer in the creation of a powerful axe called, Shadowmourne with the power to breach the Lich King's armor. Fighting his way through the Citadel over the course of two days, Zhakaron and his companions came together to forge the legendary axe.
The final assault upon the Frozen Throne followed soon afterwards.
Spoilers start here. Read on at your own risk!
The Lich King's Last StandEdit
- "No question remains unanswered. No doubts linger. You are Azeroth's greatest champions! You overcame every challenge I laid before you. My mightiest servants have fallen before your relentless onslaught, your unbridled fury... Is it truly righteousness that drives you? I wonder. You trained them well, Fordring. You delivered the greatest fighting force this world has ever known... right into my hands -- exactly as I intended. You shall be rewarded for your unwitting sacrifice. Watch now as I raise them from the dead to become masters of the Scourge. They will shroud this world in chaos and destruction. Azeroth's fall will come at their hands -- and you will be the first to die. I delight in the irony!"
- —The Lich King, during the final battle
Wielding the power of Light and shadow in his hands, Zhakaron was a terrifying sight to behold. With him, Tristran, Jeratai and the other councilors of the Scarlet Redemption marched with Highlord Tirion towards the Frozen Throne. Rising from his throne, the Lich King drew Frostmourne and proceeded to freeze Fordring in a block of ice.
Stepping down from the stairway leading to the place where he merged with Ner'zhul, the Lich King challenged the heroes to one final battle to decide the fate of the world.
What followed was a conflict of legendary proportions, what some would describe as the greatest duel ever fought between Paladin and Death Knight; the embodiment of the Light, battling against his very antithesis. The Lich King's power had grown substantially with every hero that he'd slain, yet even Frostmourne could not break the fabled axe that Zhakaron now wielded.
One by one, the greatest and mightiest of the Scarlet Redemption fell to the power of the master of the Scourge. Only Zhakaron remained to finish the fight that had so long ago begun, yet, even with the full might of Shadowmourne, even the greatest champion could not match his enemy.
Both Paladin and Lich King parted, exhausted by their fight, until they charged at one another, each with the intent of delivering the final blow.
As the dust cleared from the last strike, Frostmourne was coated in thick, blue blood, and the plate of the Damned which the Lich King wore was rended by the blow, and yet, he stood triumphant as Zhakaron fell, lifeless to the ground.
As the Dark Lord of the dead gloated in his victory, Tirion uttered one final prayer to the Light, asking for the strength to free himself. The Light answered his call and destroyed the ice block.
Glowing with power, Tirion leapt forth and shattered Frostmourne with one blow from the Ashbringer.
Shocked by the loss of his weapon, Arthas watched in horror as the souls were freed from his control, including that of his father, Terenas Menethil. With the Light brought to Northrend, the Heroes were raised once more at full power. Zhakaron and his allies charged the Lich King and struck him with all their might.
Until at last, Arthas was finally slain by the very power he'd sought to corrupt.
As he lay dying, the soul of his departed father appeared before him, comforting the fallen King with gentle words of forgiveness.
- "I see...only darkness...before me."
- —Arthas Menethil's final words
With that, Arthas Menethil breathed his last, dead at the steps of his own throne.
The death of their master would have brought the Scourge spiraling out of control, sending them on a genocidal campaign of destruction across the planet, destroying everything. To stop this, Bolvar, who had long been thought deceased, took a seat upon the Frozen Throne and proclaimed that he would be the new Lich King. Though Tirion was reluctant, he obliged, and placed the helm of domination on Bolvar's head. Bolvar's final words to the heroes were that they tell the world only that the Lich King was dead, and that he, Bolvar had died with him.
Turning back towards the body of Arthas, Zhakaron discarded Shadowmourne, vowing that it would never fall into the wrong hands. Plunging the fabled weapon so deep into the spot where the Lich King had fallen, Zhakaron made sure that none could ever draw it again. To replace Shadowmourne, he took up the legendary weapon of Uther, Valius, Gavel of the Lightbringer.
With that, Zhakaron and his allies began the long journey home to tell tales of their victory, leaving the fallen Paladin to forever contain the Scourge within Northrend.
To honor his sacrifice, the Scarlet Redemption promptly oversaw the construction of a monument in Bolvar's honor.
Written upon the base, were the words:
- ""Victory over Death. In loving memory of the Paladin, Bolvar Fordragon. You were the best and the brightest to ever come of our order. Bolvar gave his life so that the Scourge could at last be defeated, forever. So long as we honor your sacrifice, your light shall never fade.""
Spoilers end here. You may read on without further risk.
Driving back the LegionEdit
With their victory over the Lich King, the heroes of the Scarlet Redemption turned their attention back towards other pursuits, and left the Scourge's army in Northrend in ruin. Welcomed back to Shattrath City, Zhakaron and friends joined forces with the Aldor with the intent of the retaking of the whole of Outland. Wielding the hammer of Uther, Zhakaron cut through the Demons' ranks with all the power of the Light. And yet, even as he won victory after victory, the Legion's numbers in Outland still vastly outnumbered his own. Further, fighting across miles of smoking wasteland had greatly depleted his troop's ability to adapt. Even with their weapons, training and power, the Legion still had the advantage of numbers, and intimate knowledge of the terrain.
Finding himself unable to make any significant progress on the battlefield, Zhakaron prayed for a solution, and was answered in the form of a friendly village of Orcs known as, "The Mag'Har" or "Uncorrupted". They, being the original people with whom Zhakaron's kin had friendlier ties with, were the very same Orcs who were untouched by the Blood Pact. Initial suspicions were cast aside as the Shamans in the Redemption's army met regularly with the Mag'har to seek guidance in spiritual matters.
Not long after reestablishing contact with the Orcs, it was heard that the Legion had sent a force to lay siege to their village and bring the Mag'har under their sway. To make matters worse, the new leader of the uncorrupted, Garrosh Hellscream, the belligerent and stubborn son of Grom Hellscream had openly declared that his clan would never again have friendly dealings with the Alliance.
Stating, (Correctly as it turned out) that Garrosh's foolishness would lead to the end of his clan, Zhakaron came close to denying the Mag'har aid in the coming battle. However, during the night, in a dream, the Paladin was overcome by a terrible dream of a demon-controlled Outland, where the forces of the Naaru had been destroyed, all hope lost.
After awaking, his resolve strengthened, Zhakaron immediately departed to the front to aid in the first line of defense of the Mag'har settlement.
To further motivate his men, and as a way of bonding them with their Mag'har "allies", Zhakaron promised rewards and glory to those units who confirmed the most kills. Orcs who fought beside the Redemption, took this contest to heart, and claimed huge bounties of Demon skulls. Despite having to fight across warp-blasted terrain and facing gibbering horrors, the allied forces did their duty well.
Given that their people had been befallen by the Legion almost twenty years previous, the Mag'har entered the battle with a special glee, determined to take revenge for what happened that had robbed the Orcs of their honor. Many of the skulls and smashed demonic weaponry used by the Legion's ground forces became some of the most prized war trophies by the Horde.
At a critical point during the battle however, some of Garrosh's troops turned on their allies, and upon the Redemption troops. Having fallen into blackest heresy, the Redemption and Horde forces were hard-pressed into weeding out corruption in their ranks.
In the wake of the betrayal however, there was little doubt for either side that the Legion was still powerful, even with most of its senior commanders destroyed.
Providing the bulk of the troops that faced the demonic platoons, were several Draenei from Shattrath City, who had eagerly joined the Redemption seeking to gain righteous retribution for the Legion's attempted genocide of their race.
Perhaps, as a form of amends, and to further deny the warlocks any fresh material to raise from the dead, Zhakaron personally delivered all corpses of Horde soldiers, along with all prisoners liberated from the enemy camps. But, even with this gesture of respect, tensions between the two factions still ran high.
In the wake of his victory, Zhakaron was offered a place on the high council and though he declined, Jeratai saw fit to give the younger Draenei a recommendation to Tristran. The Grand Crusader, then saw this as the perfect opportunity to recall Zhak from the front and place him into a position of teaching. Pleased at the thought of having his own apprentice, the younger Paladin agreed, and returned to Stormwind City.
The months went by without incident, and Zhak taught many Paladins aspiring to knighthood, but never officially took on an apprentice, believing that none of his recruits were worthy. By the time of his twenty-third birthday, he still had not selected any of the new recruits. Eventually, the time came when King Varian, wanting all member races of the Alliance to have good relations with the newly introduced Gilneans, asked the Paladin to act as a diplomat to Greymane City. Before his trip to the isolated peninsula of Gilneas, Zhakaron was briefed by Prophet Velen to act on his behalf as ambassador of the Exodar.
King Greymane, long the isolationist, but determined to find a cure for his people, welcomed the Paladin into Gilneas, and Zhakaron briefed the King on all that had occurred in the years that Gilneas had been cut off from the rest of the world.
- ""The Lich King is dead and never shall the Scourge rise again. Bolvar, the hero of the Fordragon's, gave his life to set us free: But even so, the world is still a dangerous place. We are now at war with the Horde and there is the very real threat of Deathwing and his Black Dragonflight. Your Majesty, I offer all my power, services and the strength of the Light to aid your people. Just as I destroyed the Lich King and ended the Scourge, so too shall I destroy Deathwing and end this calamity!""
- —Zhakaron to King Greymane
- "This world's darkest hour is not yet over; although the shadow of death has lifted, there is indeed a grave and terrible threat lurking somewhere beneath the planet. The Old Ones are awakening once more. If I may suggest, my Lords and ladies: Ironforge and Gnomeregan should step up their operations to uncover the Titan's artifacts. Darnassus should send its strongest Druids to help heal the lands that suffer from the cataclysm. Stormwind and the Exodar can assist in the evacuation of refugees to Shattrath City. If there is one thing I know as well, it is that the Horde intends to conquer Gilneas. That is why, my Lords we must send troops to aid King Greymane."
- —Zhakaron at a council of the Alliance races
Not long after the emergence of Deathwing and the declaration of war between the Alliance and the Horde, Zhakaron attended a meeting of the entirety of the Alliance's races, where he played a role as a representative of the Exodar. The Draenei, a neutral party when it came to the politics and mistrusts in the Alliance, were among the perfect candidates to act on part of their comrades as commanders and leaders in the rescue efforts of refugees left homeless by the Cataclysm. With the backing of all the other Alliance's leaders on his side, the Paladin was selected to lead the Seventh Alliance Legion as it worked on a double task- To resettle refugees and to lead the charge against the Horde during the war.
With the Seventh Legion at his command, Zhakaron participated in numerous raids and assaults on the Horde's territories, focusing especially on Quel'thalas and the Undercity where the presence of warlocks and demon-worshippers was most prominent. It was also during these raids that the Paladin began to notice the changing political structure of the Horde. While it was clear that the Horde had a powerful war machine already, their troops began using more than just aggressive tactics- politics and negotiations between the two sides would have ground to a halt if not for the efforts of Sir Andrew, acting as a mediator of disputes and the occassional partner in strategy with Zhakaron.
Regardless of the change in leaderhsip, it became clear that the Alliance still held the advantages of numbers, strategy and firepower.
War in Gilneas.Edit
As Prophet Velen had predicted, Zhakaron eventually seperated from the Scarlet Redemption and joined with a new Order bent on creating true peace - the Arbiters of Light. Upon the dawn of the new year, Zhakaron and his allies were steadily pushing against the Black Dragonflight and the Twilight's Hammer Clan - battling their troops at the excavation site at the Master's Glaive - preventing them from removing the weapon from the fallen Forgotten One.
After this, the 7th Legion was sent to Gilneas with a contingent of Arbiters with orders to train and equip the local freedom fighters in the Gilneas Liberation Front - additional fighters from Darnassus evacuated refugees and non-military personel from the city as the Forsaken began their attack. Troops from the 7th Legion's First Company drove back the enemy artillery as it began shelling the city, while running assaults on the Horde's rearguards and supply lines in Silverpine continued for weeks with Forsaken casualties mounting daily.
Under the leadership of Lord Crowley, the fighters of the GLF became brave and resourceful - utilising Druids in Bear form to attack Forsaken convoys and troop deployments and then retreat into the woods. The village of Pyrewood, rather than accept the Horde occupation, promptly accepted the Worgen curse with the survivors purposely killing themselves and setting fire to the town to prevent the Forsaken from using it as a base.
Troops from the northern from peeled off and began attacking rural Gilnean farms and villages - left vunerable by the GLF's guerilla operations. Greymane Manor, the home of King Greymane became the sight of conflict as the remaining fighters from the Gilnean army began evacuating refugees to waiting ships where they would be transported safely to the Night Elf capital of Darnassus.
The Forsaken's adapting tactics were unusually swift but characteristically brutal: Men, women and children alike were rounded up and slaughtered and raised without mercy. Any who resisted or was suspected of harboring guerillas was promptly executed without trial. Operations undertaken by Zhakaron and his forces to halt these demonstrations were met with limited success.
- The character of Zhakaron is based off the real Draenei Paladin on the RP realm, Wyrmwrest Accord.
- Zhakaron's player is very much the same as his character in personality.
- Although an Alliance player, Zhakaron's character has fought side-by-side with Horde players on multiple occasions. As a gesture of respect, he has also guarded low-level Horde players from higher level monsters, wherever he finds them.