Death Knights are the warriors of death and destruction. Both generations have served as an army of undead and unending brutality. Gul’dan and the Lich King had both produced armies that were to be feared. However, it would be the army of the Lich King that persevered after their original leader’s fall. Their mere presence provokes fear inside the hearts of even the holiest of Paladins. Can you feel it – the cold touch of death and the fingertips of darkness on your mind?
The first generation of Death Knights was created by Gul’dan after the slaughtering of the Shadow Council and Orgrim Doomhammer sparing his life. In exchange for sparing his life, Gul’dan promised his servitude as well as the making of a new army for the Orcish Horde. Gul’dan managed to produce the first generation of Death Knights by placing the souls of slain Shadow Council members into the bodies of fallen Stormwind defenders. Teron Gorefiend was the very first of this generation. The Death Knights of this generation served Orgrim, and later Ner’zhul, as soldiers of the Horde. When Ner’zhul fled with his followers, he left the Horde and the Death Knights leaderless. Teron Gorefiend would later fall in battle against Turalyon. Those left of the Death Knight ranks moved to Shadowmoon Valley and pledged their loyalty to Teron Gorefiend. For their loyalty, they were beheaded and made into the Ghostriders of Karabor. Teron Gorefiend was later reanimated by unknowing adventurers and then finally defeated in the Black Temple.
After passing through one of the Dark Portals, Ner’zhul ended up before Kil’jaeden, who tortured Ner’zhul before binding him to armor inside the Frozen Throne. Now becoming the Lich King, he was tasked with preparing the world for the Burning Legion’s invasion by weakening it. One of the tools he used were the Death Knights of the Scourge. These Death Knights were reanimated corpses that did not exhibit the same free will that Gul’dan’s Death Knights had. However, not all of the Death Knights were forced. Many decided to pledge their loyalty to the Lich King with the promise of immortality and power beyond their imagination. When Arthas and the Lich King merged, the Death Knights became a much larger fighting force.
Fast forward a little: Acherus was sent to destroy the Argent Dawn, which resulted in a new group of Death Knights being formed and trained. After this, the events of the Death Knight starting zone occurs, where the players end up helping the Scourge destroy the Scarlet Crusade and launches an assault on Light’s Hope Chapel. The Death Knights of Acherus end up breaking away from the grip of the Lich King, leaving the players to join their respective factions while the rest formed the faction known as the Knights of the Ebon Blade.
The remaining story for the Death Knights will be a continuation of the story of the Knights of the Ebon Blade. They will be covered separately as a faction, but don’t worry. There is a lot more juicy lore for you to look forward to with the Death Knights coming in Legion.