Against the looming threat of the Burning Legion, stands none other than the Guardian. In days past, a group of powerful Mages united behind this individual, but this has changed in the more recent history of Azeroth. Amidst quickly escalating conflicts against the Legion, many have begun to question if there is need for a Guardian, or if Azeroth is simply better without one. Before we can draw a conclusion, we must first examine the organization behind the Guardian, as well as the history of the Guardians themselves.
The Beginning: Human Mages
Before the Humans rapid rise of power, High Elves worked together with the Human tribe of Arathor to defeat the Amani trolls, in what later came to be called the Troll Wars. In exchange for aiding the High Elves, some of these Humans were taught magic, which in turn, played a vital role to their victory in the Troll Wars. This tribe of Humans subsequently began expanding to different regions of the Eastern Kingdoms and built some notable cities such as Gilneas, Alterac Valley, and Lordaeron, mostly as a result of the increased number of human Mages. The leadership of Strom, the Human capital at the time, became concerned that these outposts would break away from Arathor. Out of all these settlements, it would be Dalaran which became one of the most powerful. With the ideal location Dalaran became a trading center for the human civilization with large amounts of influence. Eventually a Mage named Ardogan would be elected as Dalaran’s ruler, and under his rule, Dalaran became its own city-state and a haven for Mages. This haven was desperately needed, due to the growing distrust in Mages by the non-Mage population of Arathor.
Despite the protection Mages provided, distrust continued to grow within the Human tribe, which brought more Mages to withdraw from cities. Many of those who left their homes, found their way to Dalaran, where they were promised a chance to live without paranoia. Together, the Mages brought Dalaran to new heights not yet seen in the Human world. Gleaming spires and sprawling arcane libraries were built in the name of their esoteric practices, and under the protection of the Mages, trade exploded inside Dalaran, and with it, so did the city’s population. Use of magic without restraint had consequences however: ripples of arcane energy flowed from Dalaran into the Twisting Nether; a realm where Darkness and Light bleed together in chaotic, limitless space. Demons that inhabited the Twisting Nether, noticed this energy and were drawn to it. Some of these demons were able to slip into the physical world, where they then began terrorizing the Magi’s City. This sudden increase of hostile activity within an otherwise peaceful city startled the leadership, and the strongest of the Mages struggled to deal with these demons while keeping the public unaware.
With peace being disrupted, the Mages feared a potential uprising, so they reached out to the High Elves, who held more wisdom than them. High Elven investigators were sent to Dalaran to study these strange appearances. When their investigation ended, these High Elves warned the ruling Mages that more of these demons would appear if limits were not placed on the excessive use of magic in the city. The ruling Mages argued that placing limits on magic would be extremely harmful to the society that they had so painstakingly built; powerful Mages will leave, weakening the city’s ability to defend their strong trade economy. They also feared that Mages would go elsewhere to study magic, which would only cause more problems down the line. In an attempt to keep the situation under control, the High Elvin Council of Silvermoon and the Magocracy of Dalaran formed an organization in order to deal with the invading demons, known as the Council of Tirisfal. Members of this group would be gifted Mages who are given the responsibility of tracking down demons to banish them back into the Nether, as well as instructing other Mages in the hazards of excessive magic use.
The newly devised method of dealing with demons worked well for some time. When stronger demons came into the picture, the Council would channel their magical abilities into a single individual, who would act in their name. This ritual was only used when the situation was dire because it had two major weaknesses; the first was that the Mages who were granting their power must be close, which also put them in harm’s way, without the ability to use their magic to defend themselves. Second, this influx of magical power could outright kill the intended vessel, due to the overwhelming amount of power being focused. Many times this ritual was used without complication, so the Council continued using it whenever the need arose. Everything changed, however, when the hearts and minds of the non-Mages who lived in Dalaran became infected, turning them against the Magi, and likewise, plagues began infecting the region Dalaran resided in. This activity instantly drew the Council’s attention and after an investigation, they discovered that a Dreadlord by the name of Kathra’natir was behind these deeds. The Council confronted the Demon, using their usual ritual to empower a champion. However, this Dreadlord used the ritual’s weakness against the Council, and struck the members who were channeling their power, weakening the champion until he could be easily crushed by Kathra’natir. All would have been lost if it were not for a half-Elf named Alodi that kept the Council from being obliterated.
In the shadow of their defeat, the Council sought a way to defeat the Demon, realizing that they could no longer rely on their ritual, nor could they attack as individuals. Instead, they discovered that by using another complex ritual, they could permanently empower a single individual. Alodi was the first to undergo this ritual and upon its completion, he would name himself the Guardian of the Order of Tirisfal. With his new strength, Alodi was able to banish Kathra’natir back to the Twisting Nether. Hailed as a hero, Alodi prolonged his life using magic and served the Council by continuing to track down demons. After a century of service, Alodi gave up his power willingly to another. This would begin the tradition of the Guardian of Tirisfal, passing his or her powers down to another strong and capable Mage. With the Guardian’s effort, Azeroth was put into a millennium of prosperity without the interference of demonic influence.
This is just the first part in the story of the Guardians. Much more is coming soon!
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