Alliance Forces - Neutral Parties - Horde Forces
Titles & Monikers:
Bregor Silverbelt (father, died 596 K.C.)
Thelsamar, Loch Modan
Years of Service
629 K.C. - Present
The Blood War
|“||"Nineteen men had tried to take him, nineteen men had made a slip,
And twenty would be the warrior with the greatsword on his hip."
Khudaal Silverbelt, Ranger of Thelsamar and Ironguard of the Dwarven Vanguard. A skilled outdoorsman and deadly assassin who now works in tandem with the forces of Ironforge to ease the guilt weighing on his conscience from his time spent as a hitman.
As a Death Knight, Khudaal utilizes blood magic in his line of work. It enables him to heal himself by damaging his enemies, or attack by damaging himself. However, it comes at the cost of resisting druidic and holy magic, and healing from druidic and holy sources will be less effective for him. Khudaal responds much better to Elemental and practical forms of healing. He wields poisons to his advantage, using Injectonium C for stealthier missions, and Barsley Brew X for everyday fighting. He mixes the Barsley Brew X with oil and tar to make it stick to his blade.
Khudaal is also an accomplished pilot. His speed and agility as an assassin enable him to react adeptly to the multitude of changing variables of airborne combat. Khudaal flies a specialized bomber plane in the service of the Dwarven Vanguard, providing air-to-surface support for ground troops. His aircraft, Blood Rain, has seen combat numerous times in both offensive and defensive missions. Specially modified by Khudaal, it brings hope to his allies and fear to his enemies wherever the roar of the engines might be heard.
- 1 Physical Description
- 2 History
- 3 Assassin
- 4 The Dwarven Vanguard
- 5 Personality
- 6 Bomber Pilot
- 7 Campaigns
- 7.1 Operation Blackrock and Roll
- 7.2 Depths of Vashj'ir
- 7.3 Defense of the Wetlands
- 7.4 Breaking the Anvil
- 7.5 Battle for Menethil Harbor
- 7.6 Operation Knightfall
- 7.7 Hills of Ash
- 7.8 Shadow in the Sands
- 7.9 Whispers in the Dark
- 7.10 First Crusade for Lordaeron
- 7.11 Anvilrage Antics
- 7.12 The Caged Cuckoo
- 7.13 Visions of the Vale
- 7.13.1 Kun-Lai Landing
- 7.13.2 The Lightning Thieves
- 7.13.3 Ale's Gone Bad!
- 7.13.4 Defense of Stoneplow
- 7.13.5 A Shadow Over Inkgill
- 7.13.6 Legion Invasion
- 7.13.7 Tussle in the Townlong Temple
- 7.13.8 Mists of Monstrosity
- 7.13.9 Aiding Fallsong
- 7.13.10 Path of Devastation
- 7.13.11 Obelisk Destruction
- 7.13.12 Ghost Iron Chef Competition
- 7.14 Shadows from Within
- 7.15 Silverbelt's Fall
Khudaal stands five feet tall, and is a bit stocky, especially in the shoulders. However, he is not a burly man, and is rather wiry despite the broad frame provided by his bones. He wears a bushy red beard with a braid on each side, and has a small braid woven into the short hair near his left ear. He also wears a ponytail in the back, tied off to keep it from getting in his way.
He has icy blue eyes, which burn with an unholy fire. His skin is a pale, ashen color with a slight violet hue. He is usually a bit dusty from his adventures. Up and down his arms, and across his chest, he has several battle scars from the knives of enemies who got a bit too close. One scar slashes down over his right eye, from eyebrow to cheekbone, but the eye is untouched. His left ear is missing, and has been replaced with an iron prosthetic forged by one of his close friends. On his left bicep lies, in black ink, a rune that does not belong to any known alphabet. Around his neck, he wears a ring on a chain. This ring is his mother's wedding ring, a band carved from gold ore. The stone was polished until smooth, and spidery veins of gold twist through the rock. The chain it hangs from is simple, just a plain silver chain crafted from small rings.
Known professionally as the 'Crimson Reaper,' Khudaal dresses in leather armor dyed blood-red. The leathers, which were crafted by Khudaal himself, are faded and well wrinkled from many years of use. Patches and stitches can be seen, expertly integrated into the armor so as to make it seem like a feature rather than a fix. Battle scars litter the armor as well, slashes and slices all over where enemy blades didn't quite make it through the padding. He currently wears three feathers on his pauldron: a crow feather, an owl feather, a kite feather, and a hawk feather. These feathers represent Khudaal's mastery of certain mountaineering skills within the Vanguard.
Khudaal was born in Thelsamar, near Loch Modan. He lived with his mother Ilsa Silverbelt, as his father Bregor was killed by Twilight's Hammer Cultists during a raid on the village while she was still pregnant.
He was raised as a hunter, trained by his mother's friend to stalk the woods hunting the black bears commonly used in the region's famous blood sausages. It was here that he learned how to skin animals and use the leather to create armor and other useful items.
When Khudaal turned sixteen, he decided to join the Rangers of Thelsamar to help protect his hometown against attacks from gnolls, giant spiders, and the cultists from the north. He was placed in the scout division because of his knowledge of hunting. Here, he learned how to stalk a target even better. He learned much about poisons and first aid techniques, and became rather well-regarded by the people of the village.
Many years have passed, since he left his hometown, and he is now wandering Azeroth and other worlds seeking his fortune and his fate. In his many travels, he managed to lose the thicker sounds of the distinctive accent that most dwarves speak with, but he does still have a mild accent.
The following details were disclosed after Khudaal joined the Dwarven Vanguard as a way of explaining his mysterious past.
Khudaal's mother Ilsa provided for her son by selling her wares in town, she was a celebrated chemist who brewed magnificent potions for the townspeople. However, with expenses in the land increasing due to local tax increases to cover the costs of the wars, Ilsa was forced to find a way to bring in more money to feed her quickly-growing son. She struck a deal with a travelling caravan to journey south to Stormwind City, where she could sell potions to a much larger audience. For five years, this arrangement worked well. She made a very good profit from each trip, and Khudaal grew into a young man without knowing much hardship.
When Khudaal was eighteen, he received word that his mother had been killed by a band of orcs raiding the roads of Elwynn Forest. Due to a shortage of guards in the area, the roads were unprotected. By the time word spread about raiders in the area, it was too late. Khudaal journeyed south to recover her remains, and found that the guards had already buried her in Northshire Abbey's graveyard and blessed by the Light. Khudaal was infuriated, as his family had always worshipped Khaz'goroth the Shaper. However, he felt that it would be even worse to exhume her body to bring her home, so he said his goodbyes and left before his anger at the situation got the better of him.
Some days later in Goldshire, drowning his sorrow in a pint of beer, he became aware of a woman in the back of the tavern giving a speech to the patrons. She was wearing a mask, but her words carried weight. She denounced the kingdom of Stormwind, citing the deaths of thousands of good men and women fighting the king's wars. She pointed out the poverty of Westfall, the orcish raids on Lakeshire and the roads of Elwynn. She claimed it was the duty of the people to revolt, to remove the government from power so that the people could once more know peace as it should be.
The patrons laughed her out of the inn, but Khudaal quietly agreed. When he finished his pint, he slipped outside and found the woman. He pledged his loyalty and support to the cause, and gave himself over to the Defias Brotherhood.
Khudaal excelled greatly at his new line of work. His training as a ranger enabled him to stalk his targets like prey, and his knowledge of hunting enabled him to quickly and quietly end their lives. In this fashion, he claimed hundreds of lives, from assassination targets, to victims of his thievery, to bounty hunters come to claim his head, and some just for fun when he got drunk and felt like showing off. It didn't take long before the rumors started to circulate about a new assassin working with the Defias gang, and the people of Elwynn Forest and Westfall took to battening up their shutters a bit tighter at night.
After some time, Khudaal's infamy grew beyond his capability to silence. Tales of a 'Crimson Reaper' wandering through Elwynn Forest, Duskwood, and Westfall were shared with terrified enthusiasm around tables, campfires, and inns. Word of a dwarf with red hair dressed in leathers dyed red with blood was shared often, and his enemies grew in number. Aside from dodging the law, Khudaal now had to outwit the knives hired by his enemies, usually related to previously completed jobs.
During one particularly bloody month, Khudaal was singlehandedly responsible for the deaths of twenty hired knives who had set out to claim the bounty on his head. A song was created by a bard in the Lion's Pride Inn, called 'Twenty Men'.
To the town of fair Goldshire came a stranger one fine day
Hardly spoke to folks around him, didn't have too much to say,
No one dared to ask his business, no one dared to make a slip
The stranger there among them had a greatsword on his hip,
Greatsword on his hip.
It was early in the morning when he rode into the town
He came riding from the west side, slowly lookin' all around
"He's a killer, rogue and runnin'", came a whisper from each lip
"And he's here to do some business with the greatsword on his hip,
Greatsword on his hip."
In this town there was a hitman by the name of Killin' Red
Many men had tried to take him and that many men were dead
He was vicious and a killer, though a youth of twenty years
And the trophies on his knife belt numbered one and eighteen ears,
One and eighteen ears.
Now the stranger started talkin', made it plain to folks around
Was a Badlands warrior, wouldn't be too long in town
He was here to take an outlaw back alive or maybe dead
And he said it didn't matter that he was after Killin' Red,
After Killin' Red.
Wasn't long before this story was relayed to Killin' Red
But the hitman didn't worry, men who tried before were dead
Nineteen men had tried to take him, nineteen men had made a slip,
And twenty would be the warrior with the greatsword on his hip,
Greatsword on his hip.
Now the morning passed so quickly and it was time for them to meet
It was twenty past eleven when they walked out in the street
Folks were watchin' from their windows,
Everybody held their breath,
They hoped this fearsome hitman was about to meet his death,
About to meet his death.
There was twenty feet between them
When they stopped to make their play
And the swiftness of the hitman still talked about today
The warrior had not cleared scabbard when a dagger fairly ripped
And the hitman's aim was deadly, with the steel knife on his hip,
Steel knife on his hip.
It was over in a moment and the crowd all gathered 'round
There before them lay the body of the warrior on the ground
Oh, he might have went on livin' but he made one fatal slip
When he tried to match the hitman with the steel knife on his hip,
Steel knife on his hip.
(To the tune of Marty Robbins' 'Big Iron')
After four years of banditry, Khudaal's infamy became an issue for the Defias Brotherhood. While he was good at his job, they couldn't risk him becoming a threat to the gang bosses. And so, one night, they drugged him, bound him in rope, and sold him to a cult known as the Children of Whispering Shadows.
Khudaal was subjected to intense physical and psychological torture at the hands of the cultists. He was mentally enslaved by the cult's leader, unable to think or act for himself unless it was in alignment with the cult's ideals. Against his will, his life force was bound with that of a voidwalker named Zar'ilith. The being granted him power, and was bound to his will using the voidwalker's name-rune, which was tattooed on Khudaal's left arm. Khudaal's connection to Zar'ilith enables him to meld with shadows and become perfectly invisible in broad daylight, but at the cost of being unable to fully accept Holy energies into his body.
Under direction of the cult, who had brainwashed the dwarf, Khudaal began doing their work. He killed their enemies, participated in their rituals, and enabled them to grow in power. It was through his efforts that dozens of innocent farming families were kidnapped and sacrificed in dark rituals, it was at Khudaal's hand that several villages were put to the torch for the delight of the cult's patron god.
The one job that he now regrets the most is a family in the Wetlands; the Prestols. Bronnen and Layla were their names, and they had three children: Harren, Velka, and Chava.
They owned a small farm near the cliffs of the Wetlands, land that the Cult wanted to obtain for a summoning ritual. Khudaal’s job was to make them leave the land one way or another. The Prestols refused to leave on three separate occasions.
The Cult didn’t like unfinished jobs. If Khudaal didn’t secure the use of the Prestol’s land for the Cult, they’d find someone who would, and Khudaal would find himself sleeping at the bottom of a river.
In an attempt to secure the land, Khudaal went to their home one night and threatened them to leave, on pain of death. Their boy, Harren, was frightened, and attacked Khudaal with a wood axe. Khudaal killed him, in front of his family. The father, seeing his son murdered in front of him, also rushed Khudaal. Bronnen met the same end. Khudaal, enraged and caught in a blood lust, murdered Layla and Velka, and kidnapped Chava. He sold Chava, who was a girl of ten, to some slavers bound for Kalimdor.
Many sleepless nights followed this act, and the guilt welled up inside of him. The guilt was the thing that finally enabled Khudaal to free himself from the cult leader's thrall, and think for himself for the first time in eleven years. With his mind freed, he ran from the cult to the city of Stormwind, where an unlikely encounter led to his joining the Dwarven Vanguard. As such, Khudaal marks the year 629 K.C. as the year his life truly began, as the life he knew that came before the time he joined the Defias has been lost to him.
He searches for the girl Chava to this day, hoping that she has not perished in the service of the Horde, hoping that if he does find her, she will offer him forgiveness, and will accept his life debt.
After escaping the Children of Whispering Shadows, he went to Stormwind and tried to make an honest living by selling leather goods. One day, Khudaal was approached by General Bromas Ebonram of the Dwarven Vanguard in the Dwarven district of Stormwind, he was looking to recruit new members into his order. Seeing this as his way to leave his past behind him, as a way to begin to make amends for the destruction he had wrought for over a decade, he decided to have the interview. He now serves with the Vanguard fervently, doing as much good as he can as a means of repaying the debt of having escaping the noose.
After being enlisted, Khudaal joined the Vanguard on several expeditions, making several close friends with whom he has shared several adventures. He is quickly rising in the ranks of the Vanguard, his ambition driving him to become an officer, and to do deeds of great renown. He looks forward to the adventures ahead, eager to see what the world has in store.
Khudaal is now a generally kind person, and cares much for his family and friends, two groups which seem to come together as one in his mind. He is willing to lay down his life for those he deems worthy of his friendship and protection, and will go to the ends of the earth to ensure their safety.
He adheres to a strict morale code, though none can say what it might be. However, if he's ever seen doing something a bit questionable, it's usually done so he can "Keep to tha' code."
Those fifteen long years of stalking enemies in the wild made him a hard man, and he will sometimes be colder, less remorseful, and more callous than the normal person. When it all catches up to him, however, he tends to drown his feelings with a pint or ten in the nearest tavern.
Khudaal enjoys fishing on his time off, and sketching the scenery of new places he visits. He's keenly interested in Draenei and Draenic culture. He likes cooking, and strolling through the woods on a sunny day. He is fond of bears. He has also recently taken a deep interest in engineering.
Khudaal got his first chance to be something more than a man with a knife during his mission abroad in Pandaria, known colloquially among the troops as the Visions of the Vale campaign. Recruited to join in as part of the Dwarven Vanguard's vehicular forces, Khudaal was asked to help clear the way for the landing forces. Khudaal saw an excessive amount of ground and naval units, and saw a way to fill a need in choosing an aerial unit. Being a cunning man, he predicted that aerial superiority would be the deciding factor in not only that fight, but the fights to come.
Khudaal was assigned a standard-issue dwarven military bomber for the campaign. The plane was a mid-sized craft with two engines, a short-range fuel tank, and a mid-sized bomb bay. He painted the nose and tail a crimson red, and named it Scorched Thunder. With that plane, Khudaal helped to successfully clear the path for the landing forces, and then went on to secure several key victories across Pandaria. In the end, he proved to be a competent pilot, one who relied on his dexterity and agility as an assassin to maneuver the bomber through the constantly changing conditions of aerial combat.
After the campaign in Pandaria reached a successful conclusion, Khudaal aimed to hone his skills as a pilot. He began to work on Scorched Thunder with the help of some gnomish engineers, modifying it to be better suited to address the issues he found with the standard issue craft.
He began by increasing the size of the craft, extending the wingspan to double the original length, and lengthening the body to fit a larger crew of five. He installed two engines to reach a total of four, which were hooked up to a long-range fuel tank. The plane also has an option to be equipped with a temporary external fuel tank for even longer missions. Furthermore, it was retrofitted to contain a large bomb bay, quadrupling the original bomb capacity. It also has two extra bays, modified to hold liquid. The plane received added armor for protection, and has gun turrets located on the front, tail, belly and top of the plane. It also has a series of guns mounted on the side. So defended, Khudaal has taken to calling the plane his 'Soaring Stronghold'.
The new plane is now painted crimson, and has been renamed Blood Rain. This bomber, now the jewel of dwarven aircraft, is aptly named. The plane is known to fill the two water-tight bays with blood, emptying them upon enemy forces to sow fear and discord in their ranks.
The Blackhand Battalion invaded the lands of the Dark Iron dwarves, who are his allies and kinsmen. Through great difficulty, Khudaal and the Dwarven Vanguard managed to repel the invaders from those lands. Khudaal sustained minor injuries.
Depths of Vashj'ir
The Horde of Sylvanas and the Cult of the Twilight's Hammer attempted to secure a valuable deposit of Azerite in Vashj'ir. The Dwarven Vanguard, in conjunction with several other forces from the Grand Alliance, repelled the attackers, securing the Azerite for the Alliance's use. Khudaal took three scalps in personal combat, and personally destroyed a dragon turtle with an artillery piece on it, earning him the title of Turtlebane. He received several serious wounds in the ensuing fights. The scars on his arms and chest are from those injuries, bound together by the shadow magic of a corrupted priest.
Defense of the Wetlands
The Blackhand Battalion attacked the Thanedom of Modr, the lands held by the Dwarven Vanguard. The Vanguard repelled the invaders, but at great cost to the land and its people. Khudaal sustained several minor injuries, and lost his left ear to a Nightborne named Jaaleath Villas, who bit it off while the two were wrestling on the ground. Khudaal paid him back in kind, slicing the elf's left ear off. Confused medics accidentally re-attached the Nightborne's ear to Khudaal's head after the battle, but it was soon rectified by Burainn Trueforge, who replaced it with a metal prosthetic. Khudaal was honored for his valor in battle with a promotion to Dragoon.
Breaking the Anvil
Khudaal and the Dwarven Vanguard sought out and destroyed a band of over one hundred Dragonmaw Orcs led by the Blackhand Battalion in the Dragonmaw Pass in retribution for the innocent lives taken by the Dragonmaw Clan and Blackhand Battalion during the attack on the Wetlands. Khudaal sustained heavy injuries from an axe, nearly dying during the fight. As he lay on the ground, choking on his own blood, an orc monk named Kraulnar Stonefist took pity on him, and saved his life with healing mists. This monk then carried Khudaal to safety from pyrite flames burning the valley, delivering him to the Vanguard at risk of his own life. Khudaal swore a life-debt to this orc, and vowed to never meet him in combat. Khudaal secured the scalps of fourteen enemy orcs. That day, Khudaal formed a vendetta against the leader of the Blackhand Battalion, Orgaz Wyrmsplitter, whom he wanted dead. He shares this blood feud with many of his kin.
Battle for Menethil Harbor
Khudaal and the Vanguard fended off Horde attacks as they recouped from the Battle for Dragonmaw Pass. Minor injuries were sustained, and the attack was successfully repelled. A shadow fiend summoned by allied forces rendered the land uninhabitable for some time until it was cleared out in a later expedition.
A force of rogue Undead sent by Lady Sylvanas approached Stormwind from the south by way of Stranglethorn. Khudaal and the Dwarven Vanguard stood against the horde at multiple points, finally repelling the force under the eaves of Elwynn Forest. Khudaal sustained minor injuries, and was distinguished for his valor with a promotion to Warbrand.
Hills of Ash
A force of rebel Dark Iron dwarves led by ex-Vanguard Dragoon Duglum Deepflint invaded Thundermar with the intent of purging the land in fire. The Dwarven Vanguard was deployed to repel the invasion. Khudaal sustained minor injuries during a fight against a Dark Iron shaman, and brought down a fire elemental by destroying the totem binding it to the plane of existence. In the defense of Thundermar, Khudaal slayed Duglum Deepflint's Corehound pet, earning him the title of 'Corehound's Bane'. However, he was bitten during the fight, spilling his intestines in the process. Duglum also shattered Khudaal's knee, and nearly executed Khudaal with his hammer, when Burainn Trueforge stepped in to save him from death. Khudaal, weakened and unable to fight, was attacked with fire magic by Duglum, and was consumed by fire. It was only when Thaugrim Anvilrage stood in to heal him with Holy magic that Khudaal was saved, but Khudaal was burnt from head to toe, and several of his leathers were fused with his flesh. Khadry Stormheart healed Khudaal's knee, and Khudaal later received stitches on his abdomen. Khudaal developed heavy scarring on his stomach as a result. The armor that fused with Khudaal's flesh was also removed at a later point by skilled surgeons in Stormwind.
Shadow in the Sands
Pitiful Pirate Plunderers
Khudaal and the Vanguard were dispatched to find and recover equipment for Gadgetzan, equipment stolen by pirates not too far away from the town. Khudaal was selected as the mountaineer with the experience to lead the party through the caves to the other side, where they found bloated corpses filled with insects. Khudaal sustained minor injuries that night, and forced the A'qir back.
Khudaal and the Vanguard were assigned to protect the supply caravan with other Grand Alliance forces. Amathet forces raiding from the desert made to kill the caravan merchants and steal the supplies, but with the combines efforts of the Alliance forces, they were forced back, and the supplies were saved. Khudaal sustained minor injuries.
Two days later, Khudaal participated in an assault on Amathet forces to take out solar arrays overlooking the Gate of Unending Cycles. Using his mountaineering skills to his advantage, Khudaal had little trouble ascending to the peaks of the mountains, where he slayed several Amathet enemies before helping to secure the solar array. Khudaal sustained negligible injuries.
Magical Mar'at Mysteries
Soon after Khudaal and the rest of the forces of Azeroth marched into Uldum, they were faced with strong Amathet pushback at the border of Tanaris and Uldum. Working in tandem with air forces, Khudaal sustained only one cut to his arm while forcing them back, and opening the way to the oasis of Mar'at.
Nagging Nahom Neighbors
The day after, Khudaal and the Vanguard faced terrible odds with other forces from the Grand Alliance as they stood outnumbered against a massive force of Sunsworn. However, with strength of will and arm, they managed to win the day, and survived a blast as a colossal Amathet construct detonated beneath their very feet. They were saved at the last second by Seriphene Vanyali of the Silverguard, and secured their foothold in Mar'at.
Steps of Suffering
Two days later, after taking a day to rest and recover, Khudaal and the Vanguard were mobilized against Tol'Vir forces near the Halls of Origination, stopping them from destroying life as we know it on Azeroth. Due to his prowess in battle, Khudaal was awarded an Amathet Assassin's Blade from the loot, which he added to his knife belt.
Persistent Pimple Poppers
The day after, Khudaal and the Vanguard joined Alliance and Horde forces in repelling a massive A'qir assault on the base camp in Mar'at, defending the infirmary from a dread worm of shadow. Khudaal sustained moderate injuries, crushing blows to his abdomen. Khudaal learned that the Vanguard's enemy, Orgaz Wyrmsplitter, had been freed from his chains to aid in the fight. Incensed, Khudaal took to stalking the orc, and learned that he had been granted armor and weapons once more. He began plotting with his superiors to put the orc back in chains to await the Vanguard's justice.
Bring the Darkness
The next evening, Khudaal was mobilized solo, to aid Alliance forces in removing an A'qir threat while defending ritualists. With their combined efforts, the massive swarm of A'qir was pushed back, and the ritual site secured. Khudaal sustained moderate injuries, several pincer wounds to his legs and midsection. However, a friendly shaman healed him, with only a little soreness to bother him afterwards.
In Utter Darkness
During the final stage of the A'qir assault on the oasis, Khudaal continued to stand alone on special orders from Captain Drarin Thundersteel. He worked with Alliance forces to defend the west side of Mar'at, where shadow-afflicted A'qir and other Void abominations made to overrun the site of the infirmary. Using acidic poison to great effect, Khudaal slew dozens of A'qir singlehandedly, even taking on an Umbral Hulk. Khudaal sustained heavy injuries in the defense of Mar'at, receiving heavy bleeding wounds to his abdomen, and crushing blows to his chest. Picked up and thrown by the Umbral Hulk, Khudaal broke a leg when he landed. When the A'qir began to overrun their position, Khudaal was saved when Meranthe Azurebloom carried him to safety. After the retreat to Ramkahen, Khudaal recovered from his wounds rather quickly. It was confirmed that Khudaal had secured fifty-six kills from the swarm of corrupted A'qir abberants.
Whispers in the Dark
The Dwarven Vanguard find themselves faced with a mystery. In light of a suspicious noise, the guard on duty, Khadry Stormheart, went to investigate. She found three dead Warbrands, Khudaal's bunkmates, stuffed under their beds. Khudaal, however, was missing. The Vanguard searched Dun Modr for clues, and found that a large party of humans had abducted Khudaal and taken him north.
Chasing their quarry, they traversed through the Arathi Highlands and the Hinterlands, following clues in the mud for fresh tracks from the prey they were pursuing. Upon reaching a compound, several temples in a hollow, they were ambushed by a number of Eldritch Knights. Reinforcements came upon the Vanguard from the rear and nearly broke their formation, almost killing a Dark Iron legionnaire from the Vanguard's garrison known as Stalgard Cinderstone. Now faced with a large number of Eldritch Knights, the Vanguard nearly crumbled. However, with their resolve, they pushed their foe back. Some retreated into the compound to rally reinforcements, others died where they stood. One was taken captive, bound with shackles. However, while the dwarves argued over how to proceed, the Knight broke free and stabbed Captain Drarin Thundersteel in the stomach with a corruptive blade. The Knight escaped, and the Vanguard retreated to Dun Modr, having accomplished little aside from discovering the compound in the Hinterlands. Drarin was later healed by Durghan Thunderaxe, while the Vanguard leaders talked strategy.
The next day, the Vanguard, being a little short on hands due to other responsibilities across the Thanedom, elected to use two tanks to clear the way into the Whispering Hollow and the surrounding compound. They attracted the attention of a patrol, but the tanks made short work of them. Arriving at the compound, they were faced with two hundred armed cultists, and after a lengthy battle, dispatched about half. At this point, the cultists began an empowerment ritual that caked all their bodies together into a single mass that could act as a body itself. The tanks fought the Eldritch Hulk and came through victorious.
They advanced to the foot of a pyramid where Khudaal was being kept prisoner, the subject of a ritual by a man known as the Speaker. The tanks were of little use due to a shadow barrier protecting the entire temple. After disembarking from the tanks, the Vanguard pushed up the pyramid, slaying Eldritch Knights that got in the way, finally killing the general of their forces, the High Oracle Erasmus Donahue.
At the very top of the pyramid, they beheld the results of the Speaker's ritual. Khudaal had been possessed by the Speaker, and infused with terrible Shadow magicks. Khudaal, under the Speaker's influence, heavily injured many of the dwarves of the Vanguard before finally being restrained by Captain Drarin Thundersteel. However, upon being restrained, the Speaker started chanting, a ritual meant to detonate Khudaal's body in an explosion of shadow energy. The ritual was stopped, and the Speaker forced back into his own body. The Speaker drained the life of some other prisoners held nearby, women and children kidnapped from the Thanedom of Modr, in an attempt to become strong enough to escape. However, while fleeing, he was run through with a sword, and killed.
After being freed from the Speaker's clutches, Khudaal was given some hasty healing by Durghan Thunderaxe, and brought back to Dun Modr for intensive treatment.
First Crusade for Lordaeron
Khudaal joined the Dwarven Vanguard in assisting a coalition of Alliance forces in driving Horde enemies out of Lordaeron. Scouts of the coalition had spotted Windrunner loyalists in the area around Tarren Mill, land which certain parties in the Alliance wanted back in their hands at long last. Khudaal assisted in these efforts, manning artillery, and joining forces on the ground. He took heavy injuries several days in a row, but was always saved by his friend and shieldbrother Thaugrim Anvilrage. Khudaal nearly died twice, once upon inhaling a large amount of Blight when storming the walls of a Horde-captured fortress, and again when his lungs were nearly gouged out with a pikestaff. Khudaal made an eventual recovery, but began to harbor bad feelings toward forsaken forces.
Invited to Shadowforge City along with the rest of the Vanguard, Khudaal was asked to test a new line of golem units for use in the Vanguard's battles. Pitted against four different models of golem, the members of the Vanguard perform admirably, highlighting flaws in the golem defenses, and pointing out their strengths. With that data, Thaugrim Anvilrage would be able to improve upon the golem models.
However, things got out of hand. Dark Iron rebels hidden in the crowd watching the demonstration begin to attack the Vanguard, and mobbed the area. An assassin made an attempt on Thaugrim Anvilrage's life. Enraged, Khudaal chased after the assassin - straight into a trap. He was ambushed by three cultists and a corrupted priest who attacked Khudaal with shadow magic. Succumbing to the attacks, Khudaal went insane, and attacked his own friends before disappearing into the depths of Shadowforge City.
The Caged Cuckoo
Khudaal had been trapped inside a fanatical illusion by visions and voices in his head, convinced that friend is foe. He was last seen at the Vanguard’s test of the new Anvilrage Golem line, where he was captured by rebel Dark Irons and subjugated to their willpower. After a quick spat with fellow Vanguard member Beolrik Orcgrinder, he vanished into thin air, escaping into Shadowforge City.
After that, he silently stalked the grim halls of the Dark Irons, constantly hiding from the perceived shadow fiends surrounding him. Five days after the incident, he was captured after suddenly appearing in the middle of the Grim Guzzler and causing a commotion, flipping tables, spilling drinks, and breaking several noses, all while shouting about a ‘vile fiend’. Seeing that he was insane, the city guard imprisoned him for his own safety, but there were rumors of Dark Iron rebels assassinating an Ironforge “spy” to make an example. Political tension in the city had increased greatly, as the rebellious underworld of Shadowforge City grew even more uneasy with the forces of Ironforge.
The Vanguard, having caught wind of these rumors from the Mountaineering division, have perceived the truth kept from the rest of Khaz Modan by the senators of Shadowforge. The Ironforge spy in question must be Khudaal, and the rebels planned on ending him once and for all. Their objective was to infiltrate Shadowforge City and extract Khudaal without being caught.
As the Vanguard approached the city gates, they were stopped by a group of guards. Beolrik Orcgrinder, disguised as a Dark Iron, was allowed to pass through unhindered. Other Dark Iron members of the Vanguard, shedding their uniforms, were then able to follow Beolrik through, along with Kolgan Deepwater who took advantage of a distraction.
While those dwarves made their way into the city and extracted Khudaal, the city guard was called upon to hold Odron's group of Bronzebeard and Wildhammer dwarves in place. This order later turned to fighting after several racial slurs were bandied around and Ingvildr Ironsoul accused of theft. The Vanguard slayed the guards in their way, some of which had come up from behind to block their retreat. However, upon defeating the officer, Invildr Ironsoul was grabbed, and pulled off the ledge to plummet into the magma below. Saved at the last minute by Dughan Thunderaxe, Ingvildr and the officer were brought back safely.
Beolrik, who had infiltrated the deepest layers of security in the Detention Block by blustering about his rank, freed Khudaal, and had Burainn transport him out, unconscious. Khudaal was successfully smuggled out of the city dressed in Dark Iron armor, and taken back to Dun Modr for treatment.
The officer saved by Ingvildr has been inspected, and revealed to be an agent of the rebel forces inside Shadowforge. He awaits his fate in a prison cell in Dun Modr. Khudaal was treated by Ingvildr, who lifted the curse in his mind, allowing Khudaal to regain control of himself. He recovered under the care of the Dun Modr medical team.
Visions of the Vale
Answering the call to arms in Pandaria, Khudaal and the Dwarven Vanguard joined a coalition of armies formed from the Grand Alliance and the New Horde. While ground troops deployed along the shore along Zouchin Village, Khudaal helped the landing force by providing aerial cover in his Vanguard-issued bomber, Scorched Thunder. He helped take down several enemies from the resisting force of shadow-inflicted Mogu, engaging in a dogfight with a winged lion and bombing ground troops to relive his allies. In the end, however, the coalition's forces sustained heavy losses, including a gunship carrying hundreds of soldiers.
The Lightning Thieves
With the loss of the gunship, the coalition's vehicle caravan was rendered highly vulnerable to aerial assault. The coalition received scouting reports that an elite group of Mogu were planning on launching a powerful cloud serpent from a nearby camp to decimate the vehicle forces. Khudaal joined a strike force to take out the Mogu, and kill the serpent. In the ensuing battle, Khudaal was struck with a spear to the chest, just above his heart. Bleeding out at a rapid rate, he quickly fell victim to cardiac arrest, and died on the battlefield. Medics were called in to remove him from the field, and a gnomish priest saved Khudaal's life by resuscitating him, filling his body with potent Light energies. Khudaal was treated at the base camp in Halfhill, and made a speedy recovery after being hooked up to a blood bag and being looked after by medics throughout the night. He later learned that the operation was successful, and that the Mogu and their serpent had been slain.
Ale's Gone Bad!
In an attempt to take things a little slower after the events of the night before, Khudaal joined an operation to collect supplies for the coalition at Stormstout Brewery, after they had moved into the Valley of the Four Winds. Khudaal helped load carts with barrels of ale and sacks of grain, securing plenty of supplies for the force to use. However, the group came across several kegs of void-tainted ale, which spawned void-alementals. These alementals waged psychological battle against the operation; as the members got more drunk fighting the alementals, they got more and more sad, remembering terrible events from their past in vivid clarity. Khudaal was among the few who were not affected, the only hurt he took was a stubbed toe. He used his poison, Barsley Brew X, to great effect. As he injected more poison, the tainted beer making up the alemental he was fighting became less potent, and it eventually became so unstable that it fell apart, sinking into the ground. He returned to the camp at Halfhill, no worse for wear.
Defense of Stoneplow
The Mantid once again threatened the hamlet of Stoneplow, in the Valley of the Four Winds. Khudaal was deployed among other forces from the coalition to push the insectoid menace back so the villagers could safely evacuate. Khudaal utilized his bomber to great effect when he dropped dozens of bombs among Mantid ranks, incinerating dozens, and filling a War Kunchong with shrapnel.
A Shadow Over Inkgill
The coalition discovered corrupted waters flowing from the Vale, and were requested by locals to check on the Inkgill in nearby Kun-Lai Summit. Working out of Binan Village, Khudaal was deployed on a scouting mission to check of the rumors were true, that the Inkgill had been seduced by whispers and strange prophecies. Upon arriving in Inkgill Mere, the scouting force found the village under the influence of a terrible curse, one which began to affect their own minds. While the force managed to secure the area and dispel the curse, many were affected by the presence of Void energies, Khudaal among them. His perception of reality began to be warped, and he was greatly affected by what he saw, nearly breaking down. However, Khudaal was able to banish the visions from his mind with the help of the rest of the coalition, and sustained only minor injuries in a fight against a waterspeaker containing the curse that affected the village. Upon returning to the camp, he was treated for his wounds and affliction, with no lasting effects.
Taking advantage of the ongoing conflict with the forces of the Void, surviving agents of the Burning Legion had reopened a portal at the Peak of Serenity in Kun-Lai. They had summoned a starship and a host of demonic forces, which threatened the safety of the coalition as they pushed forward to take the Void forces down. Khudaal flew his bomber, Scorched Thunder, and helped secure the area while ground forces closed the portal. He personally took down a Champion of Chaos, and did a great deal of damage with bombing runs against the starship. However, Legion fighter craft shot his plane with a bolt of fel energy, detonating one of the bombs in his hold. The explosion didn't destroy the plane, but after returning to the coalition camp that evening, the gnomish engineers had to work all night to begin patching the plane back together.
Tussle in the Townlong Temple
After a day of rest, Khudaal was recruited by the coalition to reinforce a group of warriors at the Townlong Temple, and help the Bulwark of the Black Ox push back a swarm of mantid invaders. The fight was long and arduous, but Khudaal and the other forces successfully repelled the mantid when the Black Ox Nizhao himself appeared, and granted them a blessing to give them strength. Khudaal left that battle with negligible injuries.
Mists of Monstrosity
Khudaal, after the battle at Townlong Temple, received word of coalition members disappearing into mists surrounding the encampment. He decided to follow them, to scout out the perimeter and bring the missing members home. However, he was walking into a trap, and found himself ensnared in a trap in his own mind.
Tempted by voices inside his head, Khudaal drank from tainted waters at a lake he stumbled across. These waters corrupted his mind, destabilizing him and warping his perception of reality.
This is what Khudaal saw:
Khudaal stared in awe as he saw things; unimaginable things. Things he had no right seeing. The past, the present, the future, all was laid bare before him. He saw the mistakes of his previous life in gruesome detail, he saw his present service with the Vanguard, his dozens of victories.
He saw the future; not just one, but all of them. Every conceivable end for every possible thing! He saw a world at peace, all peoples united under one banner and sharing the resources of the world. He saw a world of char and ash, the flames of war and chaos spread over every inch, nothing living left upon the surface of the world. He saw his friends grow old and happy, he saw his enemies wither and die. The more he saw, the more amazed he grew. He saw the sun and moons chase each other around and around and around, an endless cycle of days beginning and ending, nations being born and entire civilizations crumbling to dust. He saw his family, once nothing more than a few penniless dwarves in Thelsamar rising to be a great power in the seat of Ironforge, he saw his descendants rule as king over the lands of conquered enemies. Tides changed, and with nothing more than a whisper, entire continents vanished beneath the wrath of tsunamis and monsoons.
Khudaal looked upon a world rebuilt in his image, so powerful he was that all the gods in all the universe bowed down to him! He held all in his grasp, men and women and children thrived with his benevolence, or died at his word. So beloved by all that they willingly offered all they had to him; their possessions, their power, their bodies, their souls! Countless generations rose and passed away, lines of ancestors devoted to him! All sacrificed themselves at his feet, so fervent was their worship. All looked upon him with love, and despaired.
He saw countless worlds rise and fall out of the stars in which they were born; he saw entire galaxies form and collapse, he saw colors and shapes he had never seen before! Khudaal saw wars to end all wars, billions of people vanishing in a sudden flash of light, entire worlds charred and crumbling under the fury of galactic empires. He saw his entire race wiped clean from the slate of history, erased by time. He saw the birth of the universe, and he watched as time ran out, moment by moment, until nothing remained. No time. No space. Just him! He walked in universes where the laws of physics broke down, rewritten constantly by the machinations of an insane man. He watched universes freeze, and creations burn. He saw secrets that must never be told, heard knowledge that must never be spoken!
He saw it all, and cried out, not realizing that he was crying. Whether from awe, or despair, or sadness, or immeasurable joy, he could not say. He was no longer bound by the limits of reality, his mind had no constraints! More and more poured into him, his eyes burning as the unknowable knowledge seared itself into his mind. And Khudaal screamed! It was like the whistling of a piccolo, many times magnified - shrill and shriller until it keened with the terror of a lost soul and filled his head with the piercingness of itself.
It all faded to black, and as Khudaal lost track of time and space, losing even himself in the depths of his visions, he mumbled to himself:
"And tae think, tha' fer all time, all is finally evitable... only I, from now on, am inevitable..."
Khudaal awoke in the encampment the next morning, with his perceptions significantly altered by his visions. He had also lost all memories of his mother, and the man he was striving to be - a gentler, kinder man who thought before acting.
The next day, Khudaal was asked to join a party going to Fallsong Village, from which scouts had reported seeing agents of N'Zoth. When the party arrived, they found the villagers active, but slightly off. Soon enough, it was discovered that the villagers were under some dark influence, and began attacking the party. Khudaal, having been corrupted by Void energies, began to cut the villagers down, killing them without thought. The forces alongside Khudaal were forced to subdue the dwarf, who succeeded in escaping his bonds two times. He was later treated for his affliction, forcibly purified by a priestess.
Path of Devastation
Once more, Khudaal moved against the mantid threat. Going up again in his bomber, Khudaal joined a large force in repelling enemies from the breach in the Serpent's Spine. He used incendiary and shrapnel bombs to great effect, cutting down several waves of enemies. Khudaal single-handedly took down a War Kunchong and a squadron of flying Mantid Warriors. His craft sustained minor damage, and it was easily repaired.
Khudaal, having been noted for his skills as a saboteur, was recruited into a small company sent to destroy obelisks scattered throughout the Vale of Eternal Blossoms to stem the flow of N'Zoth's corruption into the vale. Khudaal performed admirably, receiving only minor injuries against the void forces defending the obelisks. He was also responsible for discovering a threat lurking below the soil, noting the disturbed surface. His action and instinct helped him prevail, and helped the rest of the team avoid great injury.
Ghost Iron Chef Competition
The war being over, the forces of the coalition sought to unwind. Khudaal took part in the Ghost Iron Chef cooking competition, serving up a variety of dishes for those that were present. He served an appetizer of crab cakes, a meal of fish stew, and a dessert of dwarven Cranachan, all made with locally sourced ingredients from the Pandaren environment. Khudaal's skill with a cooking knife earned him second place in the competition.
Shadows from Within
The Fall of Zenchi
Word had reached the Vanguard of people disappearing in the Kaldorei refugee camps of Greenwarden's Grove. At the order of General Ebonram, a sizeable force led by the Thane and Stone General set out for the Grove, only to be assaulted by illusions, and ambushed by a large host of Skardyn that had mysteriously strayed far from their home beneath Grim Batol. The fighting was fierce but the Vanguard won, at the cost of Warbrand Khan Zenchi who fell in combat. The dwarves then marched back with Zenchi's body to Dun Modr. Khudaal sustained minor injuries from the fight, and learned to hate the Skardyn.
The Great Bulwarks
When reports of Skardyn activity near the foothills of the Great Bulwarks, those nearly impenetrable and impassable interlocking peaks south of Grim Batol, reached the Vanguard, they quickly mobilized to hunt the dreaded foe. Upon arriving in the foothills, the Vanguard quickly found a small outpost set up by the Skardyn, littered with the bones of dwarves. Appearing lightly defended, the Vanguard stormed the post, quickly putting down the Skardyn defenders.
It was at that point that several Vanguard noticed a Skardyn Illusionist before a great effigy of dark nature at the back of the camp. When confronted, she quickly vanished into a cloud of fog. What the dwarves did not realize was that this was all part of her plan, as a great illusion was cast upon the minds of the Vanguard. Bronzebeard and Wildhammer saw Dark Irons as Skardyn, and Dark Irons saw Bronzebeards and Wildhammers as Skardyn. Pandemonium ensued with shield-sibling fighting shield-sibling without realization. Khudaal himself nearly killed a recruit of the Vanguard, Vinyssa Emberwave, in his ferocity.
Eventually the dwarves were able to overcome the great illusion on their minds. There were, however several dwarves wounded during the uproar, and the Vanguard hastily departed the area with their wounded. The camp was torched, but the exact reasoning of why the Skardyn were even there in the first place was never uncovered. Khudaal escaped the battle with moderate injuries sustained in his fight against Emberweave. He recovered quickly, but has found it difficult to apologize to the recruit for his actions against her.
A Grim Reminder
The Grim Barrows rest several leagues to the south of Grim Batol: mass graves for the untold thousands of dwarves that perished during that infamous siege. Eyewitnesses describe strange sounds and ominous lights at the heart of the barrows during the darkest hours of the night. With all material wealth being robbed from the graves during the Second War by the Dragonmaw, locals fear the worst. Under the command of Lieutenant Anvilrage, a Vanguard force was dispatched to investigate.
Reaching the Barrows in the early hours of the night, they found the great burial mounds at first quiet and foreboding. Once they began to wander among the mounds they quickly discovered that things were in fact off. The elements were silent to the shamans, and those that tried to speak to the ancestors only received garbled messages about numbers. There was also discovered to be residual arcane energy in the air, with the signs of possible transmutation magic being performed in the area.
Dispatched to for his skills as a saboteur, Khudaal was assigned to reconnaissance on the eastern edge of the Barrows. Among the eastern mounds, Khudaal discovered two dwarf sized holes dug hastily into the dirt with still more residue of arcane energy. In the central area they found what appeared to be the ghost of a dwarf, shackles on his wrists, dragging a dwarf sized sack around. Doing the right thing, the dwarves quickly freed him from whatever was binding him to the world, and he passed on with his thanks.
It was at that point that the Vanguard made their way to the far edge of the Barrows, among the three largest burial mounds. It was there that they were greeted by three figures.
The first was a dwarven male hidden by a mask and heavy robes. The second was the Skardyn Illusionist. The third was what appeared to be a female Bronzebeard dwarf, thin and lithe in appearance, yet several spots on her body were covered in distinct reptilian scales. Her teeth were like razors, and her tongue like that of a snake. Her eyes pulsed a bloody red. She wore ornate grey and black robes, augmented by master crafted pieces of steel armor displaying ancient symbols of the Dark Iron clan.
Lieutenant Anvilrage hastily charged in with several others, including Khudaal, only to be frozen in place by the magic of the new figure, referred to as Mirkarth by the Illusionist. The Illusionist and the masked man soon vanished, leaving the Vanguard to face this Mirkarth in battle. The woman displayed an ancient looking spear. Made presumably of dwarven steel accented with thorium, the spear displayed a massive eye made out of different assortments of precious gems about halfway up the spear’s length. Those familiar with history would note it was almost made to honor the visual appearance of Modgud’s legendary dagger.
Proving to be a master Transmutationist, Mirkarth fought the Vanguard nearly to a stalemate. Khudaal fought valiantly, using a grapple to help subdue the woman as the rest of the Vanguard's forces attacked. In the end, she was overwhelmed by the steel of Dwarven hearts, and Kuragath Feldgrim dealt the final blow, bifurcating her.
The Vanguard had won, but they had also uncovered a great threat. Mirkarth and the Illusionist were just two of seven dwarven sorceresses that had served Modgud during the War of Three Hammers. Each a master of a different school of Arcane magic, they were feared in their day for their prowess and for the weapons they wielded in semblance of their Empress. Yet the ancestors had each told the dwarves a different number. Some mentioned six, others five, others four. What they meant was still unknown.
An Icy Tomb
After a War Council in which Ironforge Intelligence brought forth the many immediate threats within Khaz Modan, Stone General Odron Twinhammer called for the Vanguard to solve the Frostmane Troll threat. Mountaineers report that the Trolls have been sacking villages with unusual aggression, and that they primarily targeted graveyards.
The Vanguard met with local mountaineers in Amberstill Ranch. The graveyard had been ransacked, all of the bodies stolen. Led by Khudaal, the Vanguard tracked the trail of the Trolls, where they came upon a camp outside Helm's Bed Lake as a fierce blizzard took the lands. Sent ahead to scout out the camp, Khudaal found that the trolls were sleeping in their tents, with no guards on duty. Still asleep, the savages were unable to meet combat with confidence and were slaughtered by the Dwarves.
Once the Frostmane Trolls were slain, the blizzard parted. On the shores of the lake a Troll Lich appeared, with an army of fallen Dwarves and Trolls behind him. Without fear, the Vanguard charged into combat, clearing the field of undead and shattering the form of the Lich... temporarily.
Tragedy struck in the horrors of the fight. Khudaal Silverbelt met his end in his combat against the undead. He was on the front lines with nothing more than his daggers and his bravery, and was struck with an icy axe to the chest, rending the flesh of his heart. He died nearly instantly, bleeding into the snow.
Orrand Ironfist chased the Lich back to the lake, kicking its inanimate skull into the open hole of the frozen water. Below the surface he beheld possibly hundreds of corpses; Dwarves, Trolls, Troggs. So many risen there, dumped into that frozen lake. Ironforge was immediately made aware, and the area was fenced off.
Beyond conventional healing, his body was tethered to his soul using dark magicks by his shieldbrothers. The Crimson Reaper was stuck in a purgatory of sorts, partway between life and death. Using a form of spirit magic, Khudaal's friend Kallach Wintermane was able to temporarily open a doorway to life, allowing Khudaal to speak to the living world. Unsatisfied with life, left with so many things he still wanted to do, to account for, Khudaal begged his shieldbrother Thaugrim Anvilrage to bring him to the Knights of the Ebon Blade to have him raised as a Death Knight. Thaugrim agreed, and set out to Northrend with the corpse of his friend.
Nail in the Coffin
Khudaal swiftly returned to Khaz Modan to bring his vengeance home to the trolls. Yadgra'zul, their leader, surived in the way all liches do: by his phylactery. Vanguard scouts watched how the savages moved after the battle of Helm's Bed Lake. It became apparent that they were converging upon one cavern, and fortifying that position.
Mercilessly, The Vanguard sought them out. They tore through their war beasts outside the cavern, what remained of the undead thrall within and the few remaining necromancers of the tribe. The Vanguard came upon the rest of the stolen bodies, their defiled dead who had been taken from their graves. By the order of Thane Lightbeard, the soldiers of the Vanguard gave them a warrior's funeral, and burned them.
Deeper inside the cave, the bones of the mighty Dire Troll Dej'rak defended his master's phylactery, until the newly-risen Khudaal took control with necromantic power. The phylactery was destroyed, though its final pulse of dark magic killed yet another one of the Vanguard; a recruit, by the name of Thager Graniteborn was struck down. In an act of powerful faith, Sunnir Forgeheart called upon the Holy Light to return Thager to life.