|The Order of the Silver Hand|
Base of Operations
Theatres of Operation
The Order of the Silver Hand is an order of paladins with a rich history. Originally created after the First War by Uther the Lightbringer and Archbishop Alonsus Faol, the Order rose to prominence during the Second War while under the command of the Alliance of Lordaeron. In the years that followed, the order gained more and more recruits, with branches of the order being created in many Alliance kingdoms including Gilneas, Stromgarde, Ironforge and Stormwind.
The future of the Order took a dark turn when the bulk of its number in Lordaeron were massacred during the Third War. Among the dead were many of the senior paladins, including Uther the Lightbringer, Sage Truthbearer, Gavinrad the Dire and Ballador the Bright. Ultimately, while the order survived the war, the chaos that had been created by the scourge had deep ramifications for the order as a whole. The position of Grand Master, once held by Uther the Lightbringer, was left vacant, with no individual paladin daring to lay claim to the position. In its place, multiple councils were formed as Paladins split into multiple smaller branches, each with their own focus and goals.
The order as a whole remained in the sidelines of history throughout many future military engagements until the resurgence of the Scourge in what would become known as the War against the Lich King. During this period, Tirion Fordring, the last surviving paladin of the original five that helped form the order, attempted to bring the Order of the Silver Hand together with the Argent Dawn and form the Argent Crusade. A controversial move, it was not widely accepted by the bulk of the paladins due to Tirion's own history, however the Argent Crusade, under Tiron's command, did take great strides in fighting the war against the Lich King in Northrend, which saw the man claim much respect despite his tainted past.
During the recent return of the Burning Legion, the Order once again took a significant blow, with the defeat of the Argent Crusade at the Broken Shore and the subsequent death of Highlord Tirion Fordring a few weeks later. Following his death, Sir Maxwell Tyrosus, one of the senior paladins within the Order of the Silver Hand, convened with other notable leaders to declare a new Highlord, before reforming the Order of the Silver Hand into a neutral organization accepting all paladins, regardless of race or faction. They based out of the Sanctum of the Light, underneath Light's Hope Chapel, the Order of the Silver Hand waging war against the Burning Legion forces on the Broken Isles.
Following the defeat of the Burning Legion, the Blood Knights as well as the Sunwalkers departed the Silver Hand. In their wake, Turalyon rallied the order to aid with the defense of the Kingdom of Stromgarde, facing off against Liadrin, thus cementing the order's return to the Alliance.
Foundation and the Second War
The original formation of the Order of the Silver Hand dates back to the end of the First War in the year 598 K.C. During the war, an order of the light's faithful, known as the Holy Order of Northshire Clerics, had tried to fight against the invasion of the Horde, but were ultimately massacred, the men of the order simply unprepared for the chaos and dangers of warfare. In response to the loss of life Archbishop Alonsus Faol, leader of the Church of the Holy Light, worked alongside his close friend and apprentice Uther to create a holy order filled with men and women who could fight the enemies of humanity with the divine power of the light and their own martial prowess. Within the Alonsus Chapel, Uther the Lightbringer was anointed as the first Grand Master of the Order of the Silver Hand and was joined by four other men of equal skill and devotion; Turalyon, Tirion Fordring, Saidan Dathrohan and Gavinrad the Dire. The Order of the Silver Hand, was born.
Following the formation of the Order of the Silver Hand, the holy paladins within took to fighting the orc horde, who had pushed deeper into the Eastern Kingdoms following their victory over the Kingdom of Stormwind. The Second War was a long, bloody conflict, and the newly formed order saw a great deal of conflict. Of all the Paladins in the order, it was Uther who was first to manifest his powers on the battlefield, which inspired the fellow paladin Turalyon to dub Uther as 'The Lightbringer' a title which would remain with him from that day forward.
Following the end of the Second War, the Order of the Silver Hand stationed themselves in Stormwind City, within the Cathedral of Light which was one of the few buildings that had been completed in the reconstruction of the great city. The order entered a time of relative peace, with many of the Paladins helping the old, sick and dying among the populace. Additional bastions of the order were established, with recruits being trained in multiple nations of the Eastern Kingdoms, including the dwarven kingdom of Ironforge. Of all the recruits that joined the holy order however, none were seen as more important than Arthas Menethil, son of King Terenas Menethil II and crown prince of Lordaeron. The young man had been tutored by Uther the Lightbringer for some time, and at the young age of 19, Arthas was knighted within the Cathedral of Light, his ceremony attended by many prestigious individuals including four of the five original paladins; Uther, Tirion, Saidan and Gavinrad. As part of the ceremony, Uther placed the ceremonial silver plates of the order on Arthas's shoulders, while Gavinrad presented him with his holy weapon, Light's Vengeance.
The Excommunication of Tirion Fordring
Several years after the ceremony which knighted Arthas Menethil as a Paladin of the Silver Hand, scandal would rock the order in the form of what was seen by many as a great betrayal. Tirion Fordring, one of the original five who helped form the order during its early stages, was excommunicated from the holy order, an act which sent ripples throughout the rank and file of the Silver Hand. Tirion, during a routine patrol of his lands in Lordaeron, had encountered an orc hermit, who he came to know as Eitrigg. While the two initially fought, it was Eitrigg who saved the life of the Paladin when parts of a ruined watchtower collapsed and landed on the Paladin. This fact was unknown to many, and when events surrounding the Orc spiraled out of control, Tirion attempted to prevent the Orc from being beaten by a hunting party that he himself had been forced to accompany.
For his aggressive actions, and known corsortion with an enemy of humanity, Tirion Fordring was arrested and put on trial before many notable leaders and colleagues. Despite reaffirming his commitment to the Alliance, he refused to denounce the Orc, who he had come to know as an honorable individual. In light of this, rather than have the noble man executed, the sentence passed down was that of exile. Tirion was cut off from the light, stripped of his position within the order and was forced to surrender his lands and his titles before being ordered to leave the lands of the Alliance, and never return.
This however, was not the end of Tirion's involvement in this matter, for when it came time for the orc, Eitrigg to be executed in front of the gathering crowds of Stratholme, it was Tirion who came to his aid, defeating several knights with nothing more than a rusty sledgehammer. Tirion then attempted to talk down the alliance soldiers and the jeering crowd, but it seemed that it was all for naught, or rather, it would have been, had an ambush not occurred at that exact moment by the Horde, who had somehow managed to sneak into the city and were now fighting a pitched battle in the streets of the city. Rather than stick around and wait to be captured and executed, Tirion freed Eitrigg from the hangman's noose and escorted him out of the city.
Outside of Stratholme, Eitrigg collapsed, having suffered greatly at the hands of his captors. Rather than allowing the orc to perish, Tirion mustered up his willpower, refusing to believe that the Light had been taken from him for good. Indeed it had not, for as Tirion placed his hands on the orc, the healing power of the light poured forth from him and healed the honorable warrior. Eitrigg then departed with the Horde soldiers who had survived the attack on Stratholme, led by none other than the new Warchief of the Horde, Thrall, son of Durotan.
The Third War
In the years that followed the exile of Tirion Fordring, the Order of the Silver Hand continued to grow. Many more men and women joined its ranks, including Taelan Fordring, son of the exiled Tirion Fordring. However, despite the good fortune the Order had maintained over the years, events were transpiring that would spell doom for the bulk of the order and see it crippled by a betrayal from within.
It started with the emergence of a plague within the provinces of Lordaeron. This foul disease spread among the population, and despite great efforts from the priests and paladins of the light, there seemed to be no cure for the affliction. Soon after, undead would begin to terrorize the lands of Lordaeron, led by an unseen master. The forces of the Alliance tried to stem the tide, but the numbers of undead continued to climb. This would draw the attention of Arthas Menethil, the crown prince of Lordaeron and Paladin of the Order of the Silver Hand. He and his close friend, Jaina Proudmoore, daughter of Lord Admiral Daelin Proudmoore of Kul Tiras, fought against the undead and discovered one of their leaders, a necromancer who went by the name Kel'Thuzad. Arthas chased down the necromancer, cornering him in the outskirts of the city of Andorhal before executing him, but as the old necromancer perished, he gave Arthas a chilling warning, to seek out Mal'ganis, a dreadlord who was within the city of Stratholme.
Arthas set out for Stratholme immediately, but was forced to stop at Hearthglen for a brief respite. Rest however would not come, as the city was soon attacked by an army of undead, much like the forces that had been engaged at Andorhal. It was then that Arthas learned the truth about the plague. That it was doing far more than just killing the population, it was raising them as undead, turning them into the mindless enemies that they were now being forced to fight. Giving no quarter, the undead forces attacked the city relentlessly, and it seemed that the defenses would fall, being unprepared to engage such a large enemy force. As defeat loomed however, Arthas and his men were saved by Uther the Lightbringer, who had rode to Hearthglen as soon as he head heard the news of the attack. While victory over the undead was a cause for celebration, the battle against the undead menace was far from over. Arthas set out for Stratholme, with Uther and the Knights of the Silver Hand following the prince.
It was at Stratholme that the fate of the order would take its first dire turn. Upon arrival at the city, Arthas informed Uther about the plague and what it did to the citizens. Too late he realized that the plague had already taken root within the city. Knowing what must be done, Arthas ordered that the city be purged, to prevent the plague from spreading or the undead from joining the forces of the enemy. Uther chaffed at the idea, and refused to follow the orders handed down to him, which forced Arthas to declare his acts treasonous. In a damning speech, Arthas then relieved Uther of his command and suspended the Order of the Silver Hand from active service. Uther and the bulk of his knights, unwilling to take part in the mass slaughter that would occur within the city walls, rode away. Jaina Proudmoore soon followed them, leaving Arthas and a small group of loyal soldiers to carry out the task that in his mind, must be performed. The event that followed was known as the 'Culling of Stratholme' and as a result the bulk of the population of the once grand city were excuted, either by Arthas and his men, or by the dreadlord Mal'ganis who was determined to bring the undead of Stratholme under his command. The battle in the city was a long and bloody one, but eventually Arthas and his men were victorious, with the dreadlord fleeing the field, but not before issuing a challenge to the young prince, to come to the frozen wastes of Northrend and find him there. Arthas immediately set out to follow the dreadlord, sailing to Northrend with many soldiers of Lordaeron at his back. It was a dangerous quest, to be sure, but no one could have known exactly what would happen in the frozen wastes, and the doom it would spell for the Order of the Silver Hand.
The Purge of the Silver Hand
Despite Arthas suspending the Order of the Silver Hand from active duty, the Paladins of the Order continued to operate in Lordaeron, doing their best to combat the undead menace. When Arthas returned from Northrend some time later, there was much jubilation in the streets of Lordaeron city, but that jubilation soon turned to horror as Arthas put his father, King Terenas Menethil II to the sword, killing him and heralding a return of the undead which eventually decimated Lordaeron City, killing most of the population. The Paladins of the Silver Hand were shocked at this betrayal by one of their own, but none more so than Uther, who took the betrayal of his protege to heart. Rather than collapse into despair however, Uther ordered that the Paladins of the Silver Hand congregate in one location, Andorhal, where they would fight against the undead menace. Joining Uther were three paladin orders; The Champions of Peace, led by Gavinrad the Dire, the Champions of Light, led by Ballador the Bright and the Champions of Truth, led by Sage Truthbearer.
These three paladin orders held the line against the undead forces, but the betrayal of Arthas was not quite finished with the slaying of his father. Leading an army of the damned, Arthas fell upon the city of Andorhal, first attacking the graveyards in the outskirts where he slew Gavinrad the Dire and the Champions of Peace before sending his forces into the city proper, where he butchered Ballador the Bright and Sage Truthbearer and massacred the forces loyal to them. The final battle took place within the graveyard at Sorrow Hill, where Uther the Lightbringer stood alone against the armies of the damned. The battle was a fierce one, and Uther was able to kill many of the undead forces that had engaged him, but sadly for the Order of the Silver Hand, the undead eventually overwhelmed the great paladin and cut him down, his body being left to rot where it fell. With the death of Uther and the decimation of most of the Lordaeron army, the Scourge flooded throughout the provinces of Lordaeron. Paladins, regardless of rank were slaughtered as the Scourge claimed region after region in their advance into the elven kingdom of Quel'thalas.
A Return from the Ashes
With the Lordaeron branch of the Silver Hand decimated, it fell to the other branches to continue training new Paladins to serve in the order. Stormwind and Ironforge saw the most activity, as the Gilneas branch had cut itself off from the Alliance along with the rest of their kingdom, the Stromgarde branch was decimated following the death of King Thoras Trollbane at the hands of an unknown assailant and the Kul Tiras branch had remained uneasily quiet, having no contact with the rest of the Alliance. While the order attempted to rebuild itself to be stronger and more resilient, it still remained mostly leaderless, with no paladin willing to step up and attempt to claim the position of Grand Master. Instead, the leaders of the various branches of the Silver Hand seemed to operate independently of each other, although they did work together when the need arose. Within Lordaeron, echoes of the Order still existed, but nowhere near at the strength that they were during the prime of the Order. Saidan Dathrohan, one of the original five, had formed a new holy order in the wake of the Silver Hand's collapse. Dubbing it the Scarlet Crusade, he and those loyal to him took a more fanatic and zealous approach to reclaiming Lordaeron from the undead. Unknown to all, even those in his own order, Saidan Dathrohan had already been killed and possessed by the dreadlord Balnazzar, who was using the reputation of the paladin to create an army he could use to exact revenge against the undead scourge and the Forsaken, two forces which had betrayed him and his demonic masters.
Despite its successes, the zealotry of the Scarlet Crusade did not sit well with many of its faithful. Seeing the order they once followed start to go down a dark path, these men and women broke away from the ranks and formed their own order, the Argent Dawn. This holy order based itself in Light's Hope Chapel, a bastion of the light which had remained mostly untouched by the undead. This did not stop the Scourge from targeting the Argent Dawn however, as they waged an assault on the holy site determined to wipe it out completely. While the assault failed miserably, the price paid in lives lost was quite dear to the Argent Dawn.
The Formation of the Argent Crusade
Despite multiple attempts from the Scourge to wipe out the Argent Dawn, none of them succeeded and indeed the Argent Dawn in retaliation for lives lost made gains of their own, even invading the scourge bastion of Stratholme and defeating the undead commander there known as Baron Rivindare and strike teams of the Argent Dawn even managed to invade the dread citadel, Naxxramas and put an end to Kel'Thuzad, who had been raised as a Lich by Arthas during the Third War. This enraged Arthas, who had taken up the role of the Lich King in the years that had passed since he laid waste to Lordaeron, and so in order to ensure that the Argent Dawn was wiped out for good, he sent one of his dread citadels, Acherus, to the Eastern Plaguelands. This dread citadel was home to some of his greatest champions, and became a bastion for the reanimation and training of Death Knights loyal to the Scourge. As more and more death knights were trained, they turned their attention to the Scarlet Crusade forces nearby and wiped them out, before redirecting their might against Light's Hope Chapel.
The resulting battle, known in the history books as the 'Battle for Light's Hope' saw a massive army of ten thousand scourge soldiers march against three hundred of the light's chosen. The battle should have ended with the elimination of the defenders and the destruction of the chapel, but fate would work in mysterious ways and rather than see the scourge victorious, the defenders of Light's Hope eliminated the undead army with the aid of the light and the paladin Tirion Fordring, who had emerged from his exile after the death of his son Taelan. As the battle came to a close, the Lich King himself appeared on the field, taunting the paladin for his foolishness in leaving himself exposed. He attacked Tirion Fordring, while simutaneously holding off the defenders of Light's Hope. Just as it seemed that the Lich King was going to kill the veteran paladin, one of the Lich King's death knights, Darion Mograine, threw Tirion his blade, the Ashbringer, which had been corrupted and defiled over the years. The moment Tirion caught the blade, the weapon was purified in a bright glow of light. Tirion was able to break out of the Lich King's hold and even strike and wound the master of the Scourge himself, forcing him to retreat from the field.
With the battle officially over. Tirion turned to the survivors of the Argent Dawn and gave a rousing speech before calling for the Order of the Silver Hand and the Argent Dawn to come together and form the Argent Crusade. While those in attendance at Light's Hope were more than happy to sign on to this new venture to eliminate the Lich King for good. This caused ripples throughout the rest of the Silver Hand, especially in the southern kingdoms. Conservative paladins refused to accept the merger, citing that Tirion was cast out of the Silver Hand and exiled from the Alliance for his actions in Lordaeron so many years ago. Stating that he lacked the authority to merge the Order of the Silver Hand with the Argent Dawn. They declared his branch to be a false one and continued to see Lord Grayson Shadowbreaker as the de facto leader of the Order of the Silver Hand, despite the position of Grand Master still being empty.
The Return of the Burning Legion
In the years that followed the formation of the Argent Crusade, the Order continued to flourish. Tirion Fordring and his Argent Crusade gained a great deal of respect among the knights of the order for the manner in which he defeated the Lich King during the Scourge Campaign and the way he had reclaimed much of the Plaguelands from the grip of the Scourge. While still not considered the 'leader' of the Silver Hand, the actions of his past were all but forgotten by most, save for those hardline conservatives who refused to give ground.
By this time, many orders had sprung up all across the Eastern Kingdoms, small individual chapters of the Silver Hand, each with their own Highlord. While they often worked together against greater threats, there were also at times, great divisions which separated individuals and groups and prevented leaders from seeing eye to eye. This however all changed when the Burning Legion made their first major incursion into the world of Azeroth since the Third War. As soon as Tirion Fordring received word of the Legion's movements, he marshaled his forces and took them to the invasion point, a place known as the Broken Shore. The resulting assault was a disaster for the Crusade, with the demons defeating the paladins and either throwing them in cages, or killing them outright. Alliance and Horde forces that arrived later fared no better and the leaders of both factions were forced to watch as Tirion was scorched by felfire and dumped into a lake brimming with fel energy. Believing the veteran paladin to be dead, the forces of the Alliance and Horde fought on against the demon threat, but were ultimately outmatched. The Warchief of the Horde, Vol'jin, was mortally wounded on the field, and the High King of the Alliance, Varian Wrynn, was slain by Gul'dan after he heroically sacrificed himself to allow for his men to escape from the battlefield.
The Legion then began their real invasion of the world of Azeroth. Demonic ships warped into space above multiple towns and rained fel fire down on the defenders. Structures similar to those seen on the Broken Shore rose up from the ground, opening gateways and spewing forth countless demons. Branches of the Silver Hand united together, leaving aside the bulk of their differences to battle against the demonic incursions, which ultimately was a success, although many lives were lost in the process.
The Order of the Silver Hand Reborn
With the Legion invasion blunted, various forces from across Azeroth all converged on the Broken Isles, an island not far from the Broken Shore where so many had lost their lives. Upon arrival, Lord Maxwell Tyrosus convened with other Paladins and set out to recover three weapons of great power; The Ashbringer, the weapon wielded by Tirion Fordring. Truthguard, a holy shield rumored to be constructed by the titanic watcher Tyr and the Silver Hand, the personal weapon of Tyr. Each of these weapons were recovered through valiant actions by the champions of the Order of the Silver Hand.
Following the recovery, Maxwell Tyrosus brought all of the Paladins of Azeroth together in one place, the Sanctum of Light, a place of holy power that had been built under Light's Hope Chapel. Within the great hall of the Sanctum, he named a new Highlord of the Order of the Silver Hand and reformed the order under one leader as an organization that transcended race and faction barriers. Unlike the previous reformation by Tirion Fordring, this formation was accepted by most, if not all of the senior paladins, with great veterans the likes of Sir Gyran Stoutmantle and Lord Grayson Shadowbreaker traveling to the Sanctum of Light to pledge their loyalty to the new Highlord.
Following the Legion
The unity of paladins on Azeroth would not last, however, as war broke out across Azeroth. The Blood Knights and Sunwalkers departed from the order to aid the Horde; with Turalyon using his ties to the order to rally them under his cause. Without the Highlord, whom had departed to the war as well, the Silver Hand splintered; leading to the remaining Horde factions within to depart.
Taking up the banner of the Lion once more, they fielded for the first time under the Alliance once again with Turalyon on the fields of the Arathi Highlands, facing off against their former brothers in arms under Liadrin. Aided by the Army of the Light, they fought alongside the united Dwarven armies led by Muradin Bronzebeard, and the nationals of Stromgarde led by Danath Trollbane.
Ranks within the Silver Hand
The Silver Hand was conceptualized as a military organization of holy warriors willing to bring the light's will to the Horde. As a result, the initial organization of the Silver Hand had a very basic, military structure. The Order was led by a single individual, the Grand Master, Uther the Lightbringer, and he was in charge of the day to day running of the Order. He saw to matters himself, but also delegated where necessary. As the Order of the Silver Hand was initially an Alliance organization, Uther ultimately took orders from the leader of the Alliance of Lordaeron, which during the period of the Second War and leading up to the events of the Third was King Terenas Menethil II.
After the collapse of the Order during the Third War and the death of the Grand Master, the Order underwent many changes. The position of Grand Master remained vacant and was never filled and instead of one singular leader, many Paladins rose to prominence, claiming the title of Highlord for their own individual orders. These Highlords would often come together and speak at councils where they would decide on which course of action to take when large operations were being considered.
Below the rank of HIghlord there is no set ranking structure. Traditionally the ranks as set by the original order were those of Templar, Knight and Squire. However many Highlords have chosen to eschew that ranking system in favor of their own system which incorporates many of the standard military ranks within the Alliance or Horde military forces.
Last held by Uther the Lightbringer.
The Grand Master was the name given to the rank of the leader of the Silver Hand as a whole. Rather than lead just a single chapter or branch, the Grand Master had the authority to order all sects of the Silver Hand, whether it be in battle or organization. This position was held by Lord Uther the Lightbringer since its inception. Lord Uther, being seen as the model paladin, went unopposed in his assignment as Grand Master. He led the order for many years following the end of the Second War from the Silver Hand's capitol within Stratholme, until his death at the hands of Arthas Menethil during the Andorhal Massacre.
Since Uther's death, there has not been a new Grand Master appointed. No individual paladin has attempted to lay claim to the seat, even those of high rank such as Lord Grayson Shadowbreaker. The reasons for this are not clear, however it is rumored that many Paladins simply do not believe that they could do the title the justice it deserves. Even the great Tirion Fordring, who attempted to reunite the Order of the Silver Hand when he merged it with the Argent Dawn, did not attempt to lay claim to the seat of Grand Master.
Following the death of Highlord Tirion Fordring, the Order of the Silver Hand reformed under the leadership of a single Highlord. While not claiming the venerated position of Grand Master, this individual acts as the leader of the entire order in all other matters related to order business.
The Highlord is a position separated from Lord in more modern times. The Silver Hand appointed an affluent paladin of Azeroth as the Highlord of the Silver Hand upon its reformation, thus making the title the successor of the former Grand Master position.
Lords are appointed to branches and chapters of the Silver Hand. They oversee the maintenance of the region they have been appointed to and typically have either many or at least several knights under them. The term Highlord used to typically used within the Silver Hand to denote appointed Lords of the Silver Hand who also hold peerage. The rank of Highlord is below that of the Grand Master and those who hold the rank are typically seen as representatives and leaders of their designated region or branch.
This term was more traditionally referred to as Highlord before the Order of the Silver Hand reformation, in which the position of Grand Master was retired for Highlord to over take it.
Knights of the Silver Hand are the most common members of the order as all members of the Silver Hand are knighted upon their elevation from squire. It is customary among the paladins of the Silver Hand to also bestow upon a newly knighted paladin a title befitting their virtues, although this is not a requirement in all cases. In the example of Sir Uther, he was named the Lightbringer to denote how he would lead the warriors of the light to bring peace to the war torn lands of humanity. Though it is typically avoided, paladins may be accidentally granted the same title as another. When in the case of a deceased paladin, this could be seen as a sign of respect and by carrying on the torch they left behind. The only title known to be forbidden to bestow is the Lightbringer, as that was reserved for Uther and bestowed by Turalyon himself.
Squires of the Silver Hand are trainees that have recently joined the Order. After they have received basic training, these squires are assigned to a Knight of the Silver Hand, whom they work with and learn from until the Knight that is watching over them believes that they are ready to be inducted into the order as Knights of the Silver Hand.
Silver Hand Orders
Following the end of the Second War, with many of the human nations returning to their own affairs, the Order of the Silver Hand became somewhat divided in purpose. This led to many splinter chapters and groups, which in the modern Silver Hand, still exist.
The Argent Crusade
Leader: Maxwell Tyrosus
Simply referred to as the Silver Hand by its members, Tirion Fordring set out to revitalize the order in the north following the death of his son Taelan on the outskirts of Hearthglen. Working alongside the Argent Dawn, this chapter of the Silver Hand was largely unseen until the first assault on Naxxramas. After which, they once again faded into obscurity. They finally came to light with the siege on Light's Hope Chapel, where the devout came to the defense of the Argent Dawn against the Scourge.
Controversy came from Highlord Fordring's proclamation that it was the Silver Hand reborn in Lordaeron, which many believed he had no right to claim due to his banishment. Due to his inactivity in its early days, many ignored it as an old man attempting to restore his name. Under Highlord Fordring, he ordered this branch merged with the Argent Dawn, forming the Argent Crusade under Highlord Fordring and the leaders of the Argent Dawn.
With the death of Highlord Fordring on the Broken Shore, the leadership of the Argent Crusade, fell to Lord Maxwell Tyrosus, who was the previous leader of the Argent Dawn before it merged to form the Argent Crusade.
The Blood Knight Order
Leader: Lady Liadrin
Little is known or is left of the Kingdom of Quel'Thalas' chapter of the Silver Hand. Though high elven paladins were not unheard of, as with the people the chapter remained mostly to its self. The chapter was almost completely wiped out when Quel'Thalas was invaded and destroyed by Arthas and the Scourge to revive the necromancer Kel'thuzad.
Rising from the ashes of the decimated Silver Hand of Quel'thalas, the Order of Blood Knights now fills the role of the Silver Hand within the Kingdom of Quel'thalas. Originally little more than a bastardization of the original order due to the fel taint which had infected the Blood Elves, the restoration of the Sunwell has allowed it to transform into the holy order it was originally designed to be.
Following the death of Highlord Tirion Fordring, Lord Maxwell Tyrosus and other senior paladins of the Order appointed a new Highlord to lead the Order of the Silver Hand. Shortly after the appointment, Lady Liadrin swore loyalty to the Order of the Silver Hand, officially placing her paladins within the ranks of the Order.
Stormwind's Knights of the Silver Hand
Leader: Grayson Shadowbreaker
The main chapter of Stormwind was founded shortly after the Second War ended and the rebuilding of Stormwind began. A large amount of Stormwind's knights under Anduin Lothar later became paladins, including General Turalyon, one of Lothar's allies and friends. Stormwind's chapter has thrived even following the downfall of the Order in Lordaeron and serves as the primary chapter of teaching within the Silver Hand. It is led by Lord Grayson Shadowbreaker and was recognized as the central chapter of the Silver Hand for many years, having replaced Lordaeron's chapter in that regard. As such, many looked to Lord Shadowbreaker as the leader of the Silver Hand proper.
Following the death of Highlord Tirion Fordring, Lord Maxwell Tyrosus and other senior paladins of the Order appointed a new Highlord to lead the Order of the Silver Hand. Since that appointment, Lord Grayson Shadowbreaker has traveled from Stormwind to pledge loyalty to the new Highlord, placing Grayson's Knights of the Silver Hand under the command of the ruling Highlord.
Ironforge's Knights of the Silver Hand
Leader: Valgan Highforge
One of the longer lived chapters in Azeroth, Ironforge's chapter traces its lineage as far back as the Second War. It is unknown who founded the Ironforge chapter but it is currently led by Valgan Highforge. The knights of this stout order are perhaps one of the most populace chapters, as the dwarven people make up a large portion of the Silver Hand's membership. They are based mostly out of the Hall of Mysteries within the mighty city of Ironforge.
Following the death of Highlord Tirion Fordring, Lord Maxwell Tyrosus and other senior paladins of the Order appointed a new Highlord to lead the Order of the Silver Hand. Since that appointment, Sir Valgan Highforge has traveled from Ironforge to pledge his loyalty to the new Highlord, placing Trueforge's Knights of the Silver Hand under the command of the ruling Highlord.
Hand of Argus
Leader: Vindicator Boros
The Vindicators of Argus have long since been seen akin to Paladins, as their creation is almost exactly the same. With the reformation of the Silver Hand, the gap was finally bridged, with the Vindicators joining the Silver Hand full force. Bringing with them their eons of experience, the Hand of Argus stands as the chief representatives of the Draenei among the Silver Hand, welcomed as brothers.
Leader: Apone Brightmane
Though not the same as Paladins, the tauren warriors known as the Sunwalkers could not deny the similarities of their abilities. Akin to the Vindicators, the Sunwalkers ultimately joined with the Silver Hand to better their training and handling of An'she's gift, as well as to put their abilities to use among those who were like-handed in combat.
Chapters of the Silver Hand
Even though the Silver Hand has reformed, many chapters of the Silver Hand still exist. Some of them hold true to the original doctrines of the Silver Hand, including hatred of the Horde, while others have adapted to the new, neutral, leaning areas of the Silver Hand. They are divided by national and racial affiliation for the most part, with some going as far as to not follow the doctrines of the reformed Order entirely, considering themselves separate; akin to Tirion's Silver Hand and that of the Alliance's Silver Hand pre-Legion invasion.
Despite the collapse of Alterac, the Silver Hand was active in the area up until the fall of Lordaeron. As a result, Chapters have risen from those who sought refuge in the mountains, or were otherwise inspired by the Knights in the area.
Leader: Zaria R. Blackmoore
Though in recent times, through the pressing forces of Alteraci nationalists, and the guiding hand of Zaria R. Blackmoore, a new chapter had arisen from the traitorous kingdom of Alterac. Within the township of Strahnbrad, the Alterac Silver Hand (also known as The Citrine Eagle) seek to prove to the forces of the Eastern Kingdoms that the once traitor kingdom can arise anew in the glory of the light, and show those who doubt them their intentions are pure.
Under the guidance of various influences, the Alterac Chapter has slowly risen as the strongest and most prominent force within the Alterac Mountains. With the aid of those noble souls who wish to assist them, the chapter has taken to charity and humanitarian work, including the Adopt-A-Pet Charity Program. The once small and simple Chapter continues to grow and further branch out from the Silver Hand, hosting any would-be partisan who would hear the call of the Citrine Eagle. In spite of misunderstandings of recent, the chapter remains strong.
Leader: Nathaniel Halliway
A group of holdouts lingered in the Alterac Mountains long after their King was disposed. Wayward paladins, priests, and individuals strong in faith all banded together in contrast with the Alterac Syndicate and sought to forge a better future for themselves in their old home. There they waited for thirty years for a Perenolde to return to the throne. These nationalists believe themselves to be the true blood of Alterac, and have long since worked alongside the denizens of the land, whomever they might be. Currently they are in a small power struggle with The Citrine Eagle for their mixing of cultures and races; as well as the Citrine Eagle's more brute tactics against the natural entities of Alterac or - now native beings.
This faction of Alteraci holy men and women has recently been subject to a splinter within their order, a camp under the leadership of Johanna Welkes has since claimed loyalty to the Citrine Eagle, and has become a major player in disposing the Knights of Perenolde.
No notable Chapters have surfaced in Dalaran culture.
Despite Gilneas' closing off to the outside world, knights from all seven kingdoms became paladins, Gilneas included. These knights were scarce to begin with, but with the return of Gilneas into the Alliance fold, chapters were sure to rise in time.
Leader: Cedrec Delcarn
Despite Gilneas' strong light worship and the present of their own grand cathedral, Gilneas never had an official chapter formed within its borders. During the Second War, King Genn Greymane put forward several of Gilneas' finest knights, as the other nations did, for paladin candidates. As with many religious knights, it was during this time that some Gilnean knights became paladins.
However, due to the construction of the Greymane Wall an official chapter was never established within Gilneas due to a lack of communication with the knights beyond the wall. Due to this, Gilnean paladins are few as the nation boasted one of the smaller populations of knights prior to the wall to begin with thanks to Gilneas' token support of the Alliance.
The town of Gregor's Crossing was known to host what was possibly the closest thing to a chapter in Gilneas. Led by Lord Xavier Gregor, who was made a Knight of the Silver Hand during the Second War. Along with two of his companions, the trio established a Chapel within Lord Gregor's town. There, they trained a small amount of paladins and kept the community alive, amongst them was Lord Gregor's own son, the now lord Adrian Gregor.
Since Gilneas' inclusion into the Alliance, more and more men and women of Gilneas have sought out the honor of becoming a paladin, to fight the undead and avenge the fallen. One of the more sizable populations of Gilnean paladins still remains in the Ashen Coast, namely Gregor's Crossing. Following the failure of the Silver Hand council and Congregation of the Silver Hand to properly over see the training of new Gilnean paladins, the Order of the Onyx Knights was formed by the members of the Blades of Greymane to facilitate the official training of paladins within the Kingdom.
The order eventually evolved into that of the Onyx Dawn, including clerics as well in its ranks.
Order of Triumph
Leader: None - Order Disbanded
The Order of Triumph is a a sub-section of the 226th Regiment, based primarily in Kalimdor. It was created shortly after the regiments reposting to spread the message of the Holy Light across the distant lands of Kalimdor. It's ranks are steadily growing as more soldiers are posted to the 226th Regiment. The Order's paladins are pushed to the limit when it comes to training so they won't fail when they are needed in the horde-controlled Kalimdor.
Kul Tiras Chapters
Kul Tiras was an avid follower of the light, and as a result, was known to field paladins alongside their naval forces.
Leader: Sir John Dunelm
Little to nothing is known about this chapter of the Silver Hand based out of Kul Tiras. Kul Tiran paladins were quite common during the Second War. With Kul Tiras being relatively unscathed by most world events, the chapter has flourished on it's own with little issue, its knights still being seen amongst the front lines of the Grand Alliance forces.
As the birth place of the Silver Hand, Lordaeron has always held chapters of the Silver Hand. Even after its fall, many still remain.
Lordaeron's Chapter of the Silver Hand
Leader: William Glendover
Possibly one of the most debated sections of the Silver Hand is Lordaeron's Chapter. Founded as the original chapter of the Silver Hand by Grand Master Uther the Lightbringer, Lordaeron's chapter has been the point of controversy among many of its former people and of light worshipers. The Chapter was officially suspended by the traitor prince Arthas Menethil, though this was later undone by his father King Terenas Menethil. It was then officially disbanded by the order men themselves when they banded together with the remaining armies of the Kingdom of Lordaeron in order to form the Scarlet Crusade.
Since its disbandment, many have risen claiming to have revived the order. For the longest time, one of those who claimed such things was the former lord of Hearthglen, Tirion Fordring. Though many backed Tirion's claim, there were just as many who opposed it as the former lord was exiled for having rescued the orc, Eitrigg. Regardless of this however, Lord Fordring's paladins later merged with the Argent Dawn to create the Argent Crusade.
The Kingdom of Lordaeron Restored, under claimant Madelynne I, has attempted to revive the order as well. However, there have been many detractors from this rebirth just as Lord Fordring’s. The chapter was initially led by Jorn Buzan until he was forced to step down. Lacking a leader for some time, Madelynne I offered the position to Darion Blackmorn of Wolf's Crossing. Although sometimes accused of having greater loyalty to Lordaeron than to the Church, the Northern order functioned with a high level of activity and strength for some time under Blackmorn's leadership as Highlord. Blackmorn resigned and withdrew his support for Madelynne I after the battle of Edenfield. Feeling betrayed by his former allies, he then closed off his borders to Blackmarsh. The position of Highlord was later given to Sir Theodore Varill. Sir Varill led the order effectively for sometime, though he eventually retired from the position to take up stewardship of Ravenwood following the death of Throstan Andro.
They are now currently led by Duke William Glendover of White Haven.
The Knights of the Holy Flame
Leader: Highlord Zephon Carhagen
The Knights of the Holy Flame are a branch of the Silver Hand which formed shortly after the Battle of Bloody Justice. Created by Zephon Carhagen, these men and women act as the branch of the Silver Hand within the Duchy of Avern. They are light based warriors, but unlike other chapters of the Silver Hand they swear their loyalty to the Holy Church of True Justice and its patron goddess, Aella.
Order of the Sable Dragon
Leader: War-Prior Angèlique mab Reginald
A chapter of the Silver Hand established by the Mynydd, for the Mynydd. It was established by the honored knights and Clerics Syr Glyndwr the Intrepid, Syr Afon "One-Eyed" ap Gareth, and Syr Esyllt mab Maldwyn the Pious.
The chapter is unique to both Mynydd and the Silver Hand as it takes on the cultural practices of the Mynydd while maintaining Common translations and practices of the Church. The Order is sworn to the Arglwydd, but is ultimately beholden to the Highlord of the Lordaeron Chapter.
Order of Saint Mograine
Leader: Lord Nicholas Buzan
A chapter of the Silver Hand established by Lord Nicholas Fitzgerald Buzan, a native of Lordaeron who had gathered a small following of recruits and trusted brethren to form the chapter. It's believed to be formed right after the fall of Kil'jaeden at the tomb of Sargeras, yet small pieces of evidence laid about point to the Order dating back to the third war when Alexandros Mograine was still alive... This was a point refuted by the founder and he stated that it never existed prior to the third Legion invasion of Azeroth.
Idealistically the Order follows the belief that Alexandros Mograine was a living saint, and that the chapter is to follow in his ways and leave nothing but ash in their wake. As of late the Order's been suspended from service twice due to a small civil war and an inefficiency in leadership, and has returned for a third and final time to defend the people of Azeroth against Sylvanas windrunner and her horde.
Stormwind became the new home of the Silver Hand following the fall of Lordaeron. As a result, chapters have flourished among its people, especially with it housing the Cathedral of Light.
Leader: Tenevus Stromheart
A subsection was founded by Lord Tenevus Stromheart shortly after his removal from the office of Chancellor of the Silver Hand Council, the Silver Hand Chapter has quickly grown into one of the largest, if not the largest, chapters in all the Eastern Kingdoms.
Although the Chapter is often accused of wavering from many orthodox principles, such as the acceptance of non-paladins and priests into the ranks of the order as auxiliaries and Lord Stromheart's current claim to the title of Grand Master, the Chapter remains one of the most steadfast and easily recognizable holy organizations within the southern lands.
Order of Saint Isaac
Leader: Maxen Montclair
Founded after the Kingdom of Stormwind was liberated at the end of the Orcish Wars, the Order of Saint Isaac is a subsection of Stormwind's chapter based in the Duchy of Westridge. The order lost a number of its Paladin-Knights during a failed charge on Lordaeron City during the Third War, but has since rebounded.
Leader: Alonsus Secundus
Despite the desolation that the Order faced during the Rise of Darkness, the operation of the paladins of the Cathedral of Light in the Diocese of Stormwind remained uninterrupted. From there, under the leadership of the Archbishop, they led the Silver Hand Revival. The paladins at the Cathedral are grizzled, war-like, and orthodox, but have also grown rather bookish. The cathedral paladins act as guardians of the church and teachers to the new generation of paladins as the most gallant holy paladin detachment in the south.
Leader: Ivay Osrana, co-led by Alphonsus Dawnhelm
The Order of Saint Uther is an organization dedicated fiercely to the resurrection and proper maintenance of the Order of the Silver Hand as a result of the disgraces committed against the Holy institution founded by Uther the Lightbringer. Founded on May 5th 624 K.C. by Master Paladin, Sir Ivay Osrana, with strong support from other veteran Knights of the Silver Hand and Church. The Order adheres strictly to the ideals and practices of the original Order of the Silver Hand and will not suffer corruption within its ranks. The order is presently led by Ivay Osrana, and is quite often referred to by many as a tried and true representation of the Order as Uther himself would have kept it, where others have made several changes to conduct and code. The Order has recently upped measures and activity to expand beyond Osrana and his closest allies into a tried and true display of the Silver Hand's might.
Stromgarde has been known to be a haven for knights. As a result, paladins were not lost in this cause, with many vindicators having given their lives to the cause of the Stromic people.
Order of the Crimson Fist
Leader: None - Order Disbanded
Arathi was one of the first to take up the banners of the Silver Hand during the Second War, with many Arathi knights quickly taking their oaths and being brought into the fold. When the Second War ended and Strom pulled out of the Alliance, most knights of Stromgarde returned home to the Arathi Highlands. It was here where they established their chapter fully within the city. With the Sanctum as their base, the chapter continued fervently along with the rest of the Silver Hand's people, instructing and bringing the light's word to the area.
When Thoras Trollbane was assassinated and Stromgarde Keep besieged and mostly taken over, a large number of Stromgarde's paladins remained vigilant. Thanks to these light blessed warriors, the Sanctum and one of the districts of Stromgarde remained in Arathi hands. When Stromgarde rejoined the Grand Alliance it also brought forth a bit of sanctuary within the war torn city.
A newly-created branch in Stromgarde known as the Order of the Crimson Fist took form after the hard work and dedication of Lady Melysa Marwyn. The chapter was comprised entirely of paladins, priests, monks, and aspirants from the Arathi Highlands and was based from the Sanctum of Stromgarde. With many of its members either dead, or scattered throughout Alliance lands in the aftermath of the March on the Highlands, the Order of the Crimson Fist was disbanded in June of 624 K.C.
The Blazing Dawn
Leader: Binor Dungalion.
The Blazing Dawn is an independent order founded and led by Sir Binor Dungalion of Stromgarde. Its purpose is to uphold the Three Virtues and the traditional teachings of the Order of the Silver Hand, and to train Knights who are worthy of the legacy of Uther the Lightbringer. The Blazing Dawn is a roaming order, dedicated to providing aid where it is most needed as dictated by their code of service.
Leader: Belethial Dawnsinger
As of mid-year in 624 K.C., word has circulated of a possible branch of the Thalassian chapter of the Silver Hand in the works, spearheaded by Alwynen Dawnwrath. After the chapter exchanged hands by those who then left in whatever states the fates dealt them, it came to rest in the hands of Alwynen's final squire. To this day it is held by Belethial Dawnsinger, who has expanded its holds from its origins to the secondary outposts closer to the alliance capital.
Order of the Crimson Phoenix
Leader: Neo Starstrider
Following the inflow of refugees who believed in Light Worship into Quel'Anaris, the thought was struck to form a chapter of the newly refurbished Silver Hand within the lands held by the House of Embershield. While not exactly a Thalassian chapter in its own right, due to the lands being ancestral, and still held by the Anasorein, many thought it better fitting to refer to it as a Thalassian Chapter due to its close proximity to Quel'Thalas.
Following the Legions defeat and imprisonment of Sargeras, the Crimson Phoenix was officially dissolved and removed as a chapter of the Silver Hand, though unofficially it had reformed later as a brotherhood for knights in the Astral Kingdoms.
Leader: Elevia V. Highblade
Wishing to establish a foothold for the Silver Hand in the Grand Duchy of Quel'Aranal from where she originates, Elevia alongside the new Grand Inquisitor, Serana Dawnsinger. The Chapter taking inspiration heavily from the Scarlet Crusade, the duo wished for their chapter of the Silver Hand free from the more liberal practices of the main branch of the Silver Hand and thus founded the Quel'Aranal chapter, it is currently in it's infancy, slowly growing out of the city of Sun's Reach.
Council Based Organizations
Over the years, the Silver Hand has seen many councils rise and fall. These councils were created to give representation to various chapters of the Silver Hand on critical decisions. These typically all function in the same manner, with a head speaker and various positions to keep management smooth. These councils largely disbanded just prior to the reformation of the Order during the Legion's invasion.
The Court of Uther
The Court of Uther of the Silver Hand, sanctioned by the Light itself, is an organisation of men and women, those sworn to the Silver Hand outside of the political authority of church. Lead by Sir Tenevus Stromheart, once leader of the Silver Hand Council, the Court of Uther stands as a judicial authority of the Silver Hand and has so, over the course of many years, secured the Light's ambition, regardless of the many new and upcoming groups that seek to secure authority of the Silver Hand. The Court of Uther engages many allies and affiliates that are not directly manageable from what is told regarding the organisations. The Court stands to hold many paladin accountable for their dealings and subsequently able to resist against averate human contact.
The Congregation of the Silver Hand was a Congregation sanctioned by the Council of Bishops to replace the previous Silver Hand Council. The original Congregation of the Silver Hand elected Gottfried Helheim to serve as its first Grand Knight, during which time, the Congregation engaged in numerous campaigns, including what was later known as the Rescue of Turalyon. Sadly, the campaign would end in Lord Helheim's death. Melysa Marwyn was later elected to serve as his replacement after being nominated by then Bishop of Stormwind, Johannes Moorwhelp. Several organizations, either disheartened by Helheim's demise or simply losing faith in the organization as a whole, departed from the Congregation shortly after the final battle that saw Helheim's demise.
Marwyn, who sustained a devasting injury during the Siege of Orgrimmar resigned the office on November 9th, 623 K.C. Despite Marwyn adhering perfectly to the rules of order in an effort to make the trasition as seemless as possible, the majority of the Peers refused to wait for additional nominations, defeating the motion to wait one week and pushing a vote to elect a successor, which devolved into chaos and wild accusations of corruption against the Council of Bishops after the Lord Chancellor of the Church was given the floor to clarify the standing of one of the Peers. Having called for order several times, only to be ignored by Lady Seltara and others, Marwyn was unable to lawfully conclude the voting process.
Despite numerous claims to the contrary, the Council of Bishops refused to recognize the vote, citing that Tanya Seltara and her supporters had acted out of parliamentary order. In light of the accusations of corruption made against the Council of Bishops by Seltara and her supporters and after threats of excommunication and other reprimand seemed to have litle effect, the Council of Bishops issued an act for the universal dismissal and suspension of the Congregation of the Silver Hand on November 10th, 623 K.C. Marwyn penned a letter to the Council of Bishops the next morning, taking personal responsibility for the controversial session and expressing her desire to see the Congregation reborn. Unwilling to acknowledge the decision of the Council of Bishops, Lady Tanya Seltara, Lord Zephon Carhagen, and those who supported them continued to meet in the form of the the Independent Paladin Assembly.
Following his election, Archbishop Caspius rewrote the Constitution of the Congregation, which was promulgated on 1 March, 624K.C. at Tyr's Hand, Lordaeron and the Congregation was officially reinstated by the Council of Bishops as the Reformed Congregation of the Silver Hand. Caspius appointed Melysa Marwyn to serve as Grand Master of the Congregation and elections for congregational officers were held immediately after Marwyn took her oath of office. Following Caspius' tenure, Alonsus agreed to respect all appointments regarding the Order of the Silver Hand.
Led by the Bishop of the Silver Hand, Lilith Sahl Olethos and Grand Master, Melysa Marwyn-Ashvale, the Reformed Congregation served as a body by which veteran paladins and all loyal members of the Order come together in the effort to uphold the honour and Code of the Silver Hand. The Congregation planned under its prefect to act as a nearly non-council.
With the approval of the new Archbishop, the leadership made a number of necessary changes to the Congregation in the effort to transform it into a more effective body. In an effort to do so, the Grand Master cut meetings almost entirely in favor of training sessions and military action. Her vision was very popular with the majority of paladins.
After a number of internal conflicts, the Archbishop decreed that the title of Grand Master, which proved much too divisive for usage in a universal Silver Hand, would not return to usage as it had been under Caspius. In the wake of this, the Council of Bishops, charge led by Allrick Antonius, suspended the Congregation with a nearly unanimous margin (with the exception of Alonsus II). Despite His Holiness's staunch disagreements with the Council of Bishops on the matter of the Congregation of the Silver Hand, the Archbishop has promised not to overwrite the Council's decision until he can ensure that reasonable efforts are made to address the concerns they voiced.
The Congregation has since been the largest organization representing Alliance paladins on the face of the globes. Paladins from the world over gather at the congregational meetings and fight in holy wars ordained by the Congregation's main assembly.
The Congregation condemned the leaders of the Court of Uther for usurpation.
The Independent Paladin Assembly was as the name implies, an independent collection of Paladins that have separated themselves from the Council of Bishops and the Church. Formed after the Congregational Schism, an event which shattered and suspended the First Congregation of the Silver Hand, it was lead by Protector Tanya Seltara who was supported by several other independent paladins including Zephon Carhagen a veteran paladin of the Second War. While not publicly spoken of, there is still much controversy surrounding the IPA, although the organization has resolved its anxiety with the Holy Church and reformed within the Congregation of the Silver Hand (current) as a Independent Paladins Chapter.
For a time the Order was held together by an organization known as the Silver Hand Council, a conglomerate of persons and organizations who represented the interests of the Paladins of the greater order. Eventually, as a result of in-fighting between Chancellor Tenevus Stromheart the Silver Hand Council Disbanded and soon after reformed under new leadership.
Now lead by Chancellor Meinas Highcastle the Council continues to function in many ways as it once did, albeit with far less energy and publicity. Since its reincarnation, the Council has also refused to accept the supremacy of the Church in relation to the dealings of the Order of the Silver Hand, preferring autonomy, and, as such, as been branded as a rogue organization by the Council of Bishops.