Gareth Bayne
Banehoth.png

Race

Human

Age

53 (at death)

Place of Birth

Northern Headlands, Gilneas

Title(s)

Kingslayer, The Ardent Defender

Occupation(s)

Paladin

Affiliation(s)

Grand Alliance

Kingdom of Gilneas (formerly)
Argent Crusade

Ashen Verdict

Family


Riada of Sagehold † (Wife)
Aemon Bayne (Son)

Status

Deceased

Sir Gareth Bayne was a paladin of the Argent Crusade credited with sacrificing his life to turn the tide of the battle in the final confrontation with the Lich King.

Appearance

Gareth was extremely handsome as a young man. His face was comely yet masculine, with high cheekbones, well shaped lips, and a strong chin. His eyes were a soft shade of amber, although they were often obscured by mop of wavy black hair. He stood just a bit above average human height, and his body was strong and browned from years of farmwork. Naturally, he was popular among women.

Gareth aged as time went on, and light wrinkles began to work his way onto his brow and between his mouth and nose, although this seemed to add an air of wisdom and regality to the Paladin. His hair grew long and silvery, and he kept it tied back. Gareth had a styled goatee, which was trimmed in two strips along his chin.

Gareth was rarely seen without his full set of Armor in battle.

Combat and Gear

In a time when almost all Paladins solely utilized their massive hammers and offensive spells to smite their enemies, Gareth was one of the first to specialize in protecting his allies from others, and one of the best.

Decades of training, along with his unwavering connection in the light enabled him to brandish a towering shield, nearly the height and width of his entire body. This shield was capable of fending off many attacks at a time, as well as reflecting spells and projectiles with ease. However, it was not only used for defense. A bash with this shield was incredibly powerful, and capable of knocking humanoids into the air.

If an enemy were to somehow get past his shield, Gareth had an answer within his in his thick and heavy plate armor. Wrought in shimmering metal and adorned with the colors of Gilneas, this armor covered the Paladin from head to toe, and even included a gorget to protect his neck. Gareth's blessed armor was capable of absorbing blows that would annihilate others. (http://www.wowhead.com/transmog-set=1226/cataclysmic-gladiators-redemption )

Opposite from his shield, Gareth held a flail. The handle and chain would have been sufficient weapons alone, but Gareth could easily shatter a skull with the massive spiked ball on the end. The light seemed to guide the accuracy of the weapon, and anything caught within the chain would quickly feel it's burning judgement.

Finally, but perhaps most important in Gareth's arsenal was his connection in the light. Not only did it assist him in carrying the heavy burden of his armaments, but it also enabled him to mend wounds, consecrate the ground around him when he needed to strike in an area, and hurl bolts of light energy at his enemies from afar.

Earlier armor and combat

He wore only mail and leather before he became a paladin, and was forced to rely on his natural abilities and bits of informal training. Early on his Paladin career, he was granted heavy and protective plate armor. ()

(http://www.wowhead.com/transmog-set=934/battlegear-of-valor)

History


Early Life

A young Gareth in Gilneas.

Gareth Bayne was born in the Northern Headlands of Gilneas, some time before the first war. He was raised a tanner, as well as a sheep herder, and was far from the comforts of his industrial homeland. His mother died in childbirth, and his between him and his father, there was little they could do to make ends meet. At the time, wolves were a threat to sheep, and it was in the hilly fields that Gareth had his first taste of combat. Over time, he took a liking to the hunt, and sought to help his nation out against bandits that pillaged the countryside. Through his trials, Gareth earned the trust and admiration of fellow adventurers, including the betrothed priests, Ysolda and Jukka, the mage, Debussy and the avid hunter, Lord Giles.

The Witch-Hunt

Debussy was Gareth's best friend and one of his greatest allies in Gilneas.

During their adventures, however, a dark force stirred in Azeroth, ready to sweep it clean of all civilizations, Gilneas included. The satyr Feriax set about corrupting the land and subtly manipulating the nobles in an effort to turn it against the other human kingdoms, while the Orcish horde stood poised to conquer them from the south. The greatest of his servants was a witch named Lilith. Formerly an innocent young woman, her heart was defiled by the immense power she wielded and a mad desire for revenge. Over the years, Lilith used the teachings of Feriax to train other witches, forming the nefarious Shadow Coven.

Through their work, Gareth and his party became aware of this threat, and worked fervently to thwart the Coven's efforts to varying degrees of success. Eventually, King Greymane and the nobles grew privy to the spectacle among their ranks, but their was little they could do against the subversive evil rising among their citizenry. Soon, dissent grew among the party itself. Despite her obvious malignancy, Lord Giles became transfixed by Lilith's beauty, eventually betraying his fellows out of mad love for her. In addition to these problems within, Gilneas also faced an international political crisis, as the Kingdom of Stormwind was besieged by a nigh unstoppable enemy from afar, demanding help.

Lilith, Dark Mistress of the Shadow Coven.

Despite these setbacks, Gareth and his team, with the help of Greymane's loyal military, were able eventually able to assemble a force capable of rooting out the witches, pinning them down to the village of Deadhollow. Lord Giles led a small force of his own, defending his lady with a storm of blades and gunfire. Gareth's raid fought valiantly, slaying traitors and witches alike. However, the fel magic wielded by Lilith was far too great for soldiers alone. She slaughtered dozens in a gale of emerald fire and used their wailing souls to tear a hole in reality, falling back to the fortress of Gaval Moch. Although he was presumably killed in the explosion, Lord Giles' remains were never found.

The party quickly assembled what forces that could walk and rushed towards the fort. In her desperation, Lilith called upon her full power, summoning first a swarm of felbats and then attempting to summon a force of greater demons to tear apart the interlopers. However, Gareth's team reached the fortress too soon. The battle that ensued was incredibly taxing on both sides. Ysolda, Debussy and the vast majority of the Gilnean forces fell to Lilith's might, but when all seemed to be lost, Gareth took up Ysolda's fallen blade, called upon the light within it and thrust it into the witch's abdomen, swiftly beheading her thereafter. This would be the first time Gareth drew strength from the light in this way, but it would be far from the last.

The Second War

Gareth investigating a troll camp in Loch Modan.

After his heroics at Gaval Moch, Gareth was rewarded handsomely by King Greymane, being both knighted and given land in Silverpine. However, in many ways he considered this a hollow victory. Many of his friends had died at the hands of the coven, and those that lived were scarred for life. Jukka, who had once been kind and resolute grew insular after the death of his wife, and resigned himself to a life of dedication at the Scarlet Monastery, never to be seen by Gareth again.

In addition to his knighthood, the young adventurer was also given the honor of escorting King Greymane during the Council of Seven Nations. There they were warned of the horrors the Horde was capable of, including the demonic magic wielded by the likes of Gul'dan. Greymane was unconvinced of the orc's power in the face of an industrial giant like Gilneas. Gareth, however, saw personally the evil that these warlocks represented, and privately condemned his King's inaction. It was during this time that he met Riada of Sagehold, a mighty barbarian in service to Lord Daelin Proudmore. After sparring, the two kindled a friendship that soon blossomed into romance. Gareth gained great admiration for cleric Turalyon, after he delivered a powerful speech that convinced even prideful King Genn of the Alliance's necessity.

Somewhat to the chagrin of his compatriots, Gareth elected to represent Gilneas on the battlefield, where he would eagerly follow in the footsteps of Turalyon, eventually joining the Knights of the Silver Hand and training as a Paladin. With his loss at Gaval Moch in mind, Gareth took up his shield and flail to defend his allies, becoming one of the first of his order to be specialized in Protection. He would go onto win many battles of the Alliance, notably participating in the Siege of Lordaeron, March on Blackrock Spire and Destruction of the Dark Portal. At some point during the war, Riada gave birth on the battlefield to Gareth's son, Aemon, and the two were hastily married.

Beyond the Dark Portal

Gareth standing victorious after the Siege of Lordaeron.

After the defeat of the Horde, Gareth returned with his wife and son to Gilneas, where three lived comfortably as a family for some time. However, duty soon called for both parents. Riada's position as a vassal warrior of lord Proudmore frequently bound her to missions in Tirasian territory, and political matters between Gilneas and the other kingdoms were making her visits increasingly difficult. To make matters worse, Gareth received word from his order that the Horde was crossing into Azeroth once more to steal precious artifacts for some dark purpose. Once again inspired by Turalyon's dedication, Gareth decided to accompany the Alliance on his their expedition to the orc's dying homeworld and rid his people of their threat once and for all.

With the possibility that both he and Riada would be incapable of raising their son in the near future, Gareth stored away his funds, enlisted Aemon in Gilneas' finest academy, and named his servant trusted friend Merianne Greenwillow as his guardian. After a tearful goodbye, he departed his homeland for the last time.

Gareth accompanied the Sons of Lothar to battle on the harsh planet, and was once again celebrated for his valor, using his growing power in the Light to both annihilate his foes and save his allies. Despising the mistreatment of the dead, he was particularly steadfast in his conquest of Auchindoun, the Draenei's defiled burial ground. However, there was little he could do but accept his fate when he discovered the very planet he set foot on was about to be obliterated. Selflessly, in order to protect his world from the blast, he agreed to assist Khadgar and Turalyon in destroying the portal to Azeroth, thus depriving himself of his only way back home.

Although Gareth survived, he was unable to locate Turalyon and what was once Draenor became the shattered anomaly known as Outland. There he would remain for nearly two decades, assisting the Sons of Lothar in their desperate bid for survival, although in the blistering, corrupted, occasionally spore-filled air he sometimes felt he was losing both his sanity and his command over the light.

The Burning Crusade

Gareth During his long wait in Outland.

Eventually, the mighty Ered'ruin Lord Kazaak managed to reverse the Sons' work, opening the Dark Portal once more. However, instead of demons pouring out, a combined force of Alliance, Orcs, and a number of other strange races fought their way in. Although reluctant to assist this, "New Horde," Gareth made fast friends with the Alliance, from which he would learn both the successes and the terrible tragedies that befell them. The paladin suddenly found himself to be a man with no home or friends to return to, and became quite aloof. He assisted the Alliance in defeating Kazaak, the Fel Horde and a number of other immediate threats before returning to Azeroth to see what had become of his home.

Although not present for the Third War, Gareth was devastated when he witnessed its aftermath. Silverpine Forest, much of which he had once called home was a corrupted shadow of its former self, inhabited by bloodthirsty worgen, shambling corpses, and the occasional corpse capable of intelligent thought but hellbent on waylaying him with clubs and daggers. He ventured to the Greymane Wall, where he realized the enormous futility of trying to reach his son. Infuriated by the evil that befell his world, Gareth eventually came in to contact with his former brother Tirion Fordring, and pledged his shield to the Argent Dawn in an effort to rid the world of his new evil.

Wrath of The Lich King

An older Gareth during a visit to Darnassus.

Under the banner of the Argent Dawn, Gareth fought valiantly once more, assisting the Alliance in their defense of Stormwind and Shattrath during the Scourge Invasion. It was during Arthas' descent into the former on an enormous Frostwrym that Gareth saw him for the first time in decades. The innocent boy he remembered walking the halls of Capital City had become a merciless bringer of death and destruction, someone who, as it became readily apparent, grew infinitely more powerful than the witch that killed his friends so many years ago. Despite this power, the overwhelming defenses of Stormwind became too great for the Death Knight alone for the time being, and he was forced to retreat. Soon after, the combined forces of the Alliance, Horde and newly established Argent Crusade would give chase into the icy heart of Northrend, starting the War Against The Lich King.

The Paladin fought alongside his argent brothers on many occasions. However, he found a worthy adversary in the famed Scourge general Özar. A great and terrible overlord from millennia ago, this death knight imbued his dark weapons with untold Titanic power before his first death, and scoured Azeroth to reclaim them in the name of The Lich King. By this point, he was already able to reclaim his sword, and with it, cost Gareth's men many hard fought battles. In spite of this adversity, Sir Gareth was able to secure key victories in The Dragonblight and Zul'Drak, and ultimately, assist in the final push into Icecrown. There he faced the dark lord head on, backing his armies onto a cliff on the Northeastern edge of the glacier. What followed was The Battle of Hel Point, which, by an outsider's perspective would be a decisive victory against the Scourge. However, before the final blow could be struck against the General, Özar channeled a massive torrent of dark energy into his enormous pet Magmawyrm, causing a cataclysmic corpse explosion that tore apart Gareth's crusaders and caused the entire battlefield to crumble into the sea. Gareth was able to protect the men immediately around him from the blast with a shield of light energy and evacuate those he could, and Icecrown was soon secured by the crusaders. However, as Özar's last act of malice showed, the war proved to be bloody and taxing on the living.

As Tirion's forces breached the Lich King's Citadel, Gareth stood on the front lines, keeping back the swarms of undead that poured out while his allies destroyed them from afar. Despite detesting undead, Gareth was able to put aside his differences with the Knights of the Ebon Blade as they joined forces with the Crusade in the Ashen Verdict, uniting in the cause of destroying Arthas once and for all. The heroes fought their way past many mighty foes until at last they stood atop Icecrown Pinnacle, with the fallen prince perched atop its throne.

Although many differing accounts exist of the final battle, what is known is that at one point, the Lich King had incapacitated Fordring and defiled the ground, killing all those around him save one, Sir Gareth Bayne. Gareth was able to call upon the light in this desperate struggle to the point that he cleansed the growing corruption within him, and raised his mighty shield against Arthas in a final stand. Despite this miraculous fortitude, Gareth was unable to hold off the might of the Lich King for much longer, and was eventually impaled by Frostmourne, his soul severed from his body and his lifeless corpse thrown off icy reach of the pinnacle. This final act of heroism, however, bought Highlord Fordring enough time to shatter his bonds of ice, and destroy Frostmourne, saving the Ashen Verdict from their fate, and ultimately saving Azeroth.

After his sacrifice, Gareth's remains were recovered along with his armor, flail and shield in the Sanctum of Light. At some point, after paying his respects, his son, Aemon, recovered Gareth's shield and used it in his own conquests across Azeroth.

Themesong

Warcraft_3_Soundtrack_Human_1

Warcraft 3 Soundtrack Human 1

Gareth's "themesong", "Human 1" from the Warcraft III soundtrack.

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