Once upon a time in classic World of Warcraft, there was an organization called the Argent Dawn. This organization made its home in the heart of the Plaguelands ruined by the Scourge during Warcraft 3 and sought to fight back and cure the land of the plague that ailed it. But the Argent Dawn could not do it alone, which is where players both Alliance and Horde came into the picture. In the Plaguelands, both factions worked for the same cause, and the Argent Dawn oversaw it all.
Later, the Argent Dawn evolved into the Argent Crusade, setting its sights on Northrend and the Lich King's throne. Those loyal to the Argent Dawn readily joined the Argent Crusade and traveled to the chilly peaks of Icecrown in the hopes of putting an end to the Lich King. After a long war, the mission was a success, and the Argent Crusade returned home -- but what of those who belong to the Argent Crusade? What does an Argent Crusader have to do these days?
For roleplayers with characters who belong to this organization, there may be a little less to work with than there was in Wrath of the Lich King; the Argent Crusade isn't really a highlight of Cataclysm. But that doesn't mean there aren't points to consider when playing your courageous hero.
This guide is for members or former members of the Argent Dawn and Argent Crusade. While the Blood Knights we covered last week are Blood-Elf exclusive, the Argent Dawn and Crusade are neutral organizations; they will take any race, any class into the fold. The only thing required for membership in the Argent Dawn or Crusade is a fierce devotion to cleansing the land of any Scourge influence -- and a little dedication to the Holy Light won't hurt you, either.
Paladins and priests are the most common members found associated with the Argent Crusade, because of that affinity with the Holy Light. But there are plenty others -- hunters, members of the Kirin Tor, warriors, even rogues and other dark classes associate with the organization. If your character ever spent any amount of time in the Plaguelands, you are doubtless familiar with the Argent Dawn; if you fought in Northrend, then you absolutely know of the Argent Crusade.
The Argent Dawn and the Argent Crusade
The Argent Dawn is actually a splinter branch of the Scarlet Crusade, oddly enough. Back in the days of the Third War, the Scarlet Crusade was formed to rid Lordaeron of the Scourge. However, members of the Scarlet Crusade soon became more and more corrupt as time went on. After the death of Scarlet Highlord Alexandros Mograine, a group of Scarlet Crusade members, suspicious of the Scarlet Crusade's corruption and warned by High Inquisitor Fairbanks, left the organization for good. These were the founding members of the Argent Dawn.
The Argent Dawn sought to do what the Scarlet Crusade was supposedly doing -- rid the world of the Scourge. However, the Argent Dawn took a different approach, opening its doors to non-Humans and even non-Alliance, if there were any of the Horde who wished to join. The Argent Dawn focuses primarily on the Holy Light, making it slightly more appealing to Alliance than Horde, but there are Horde members, and anyone is welcome to join the ranks.
The Argent Dawn spent much of its time trying to work together with the Scarlet Crusade to eliminate the Scourge. However, the Argent Dawn was hardly friendly with the Scarlet Crusade, despite the two organizations' supposedly working toward the same cause -- hardly friendly, that is, until the dread citadel of Naxxramas came to rest above the Plaguelands. The Argent Dawn formed an uneasy alliance with the Scarlet Crusade, hoping that between the two forces, they would have enough people to fight back Kel'Thuzad's army of undead.
It seemed to be working well enough, and Kel'Thuzad was defeated. But it wasn't for long. When heroic adventurers returned to Light's Hope Chapel with the Phylactery of Kel'Thuzad, they returned the item to Father Inigo Montoy. It later turned out that Montoy did not take the Phylactery to the Argent Dawn to be destroyed -- instead, he took the Phylactery and fled to Northrend, where he used the Phylactery to ressurect Kel'Thuzad.
The Argent Dawn had little presence in The Burning Crusade, but that would all change in Wrath. After the Battle for Light's Hope Chapel, played out in the death knight starting experience, there was a shift in the Argent Dawn's purpose. Tirion Fordring decided to reform the Order of the Silver Hand, a sect of paladins established by Uther after the First War. The Order of the Silver Hand merged with the Argent Dawn, and this is when the Argent Crusade was established.
Like the Argent Dawn before it, the Argent Crusade is a neutral organization devoted to the eradication of the Scourge. It was at the forefront of the assault on Icecrown Citadel in Wrath of the Lich King, seeking to strike out at the heart of the Scourge's power rather than try to stem the flow of the tide in the Plaguelands. Now that the Lich King has been defeated, the Argent Crusade has retaken Hearthglen and from there, it seeks to restore the Plaguelands to their former beauty.
What happened With the Lich King's defeat, it may seem as though the Argent Crusade has little to do. But events in the Plaguelands, both east and particularly the west, are still under way. The last vestiges of the Scourge are still being held at bay in the Plaguelands, as well as a new problem -- the resurgence of the Forsaken that seek to claim Andorhal as their own.
How this affects your character Both Alliance and Horde members of the Argent Crusade have points to ponder here. If Alliance, you're still struggling to take back Andorhal and the rest of the Plaguelands -- the fight is still not over. If Horde, you have the same issue with eradicating the Scourge as the Alliance. But there's also the fact that one race out of the Horde is attempting to claim the lands for its own purposes, and those purposes may not lie in the same direction as the Argent Crusade's.
What to consider For Alliance characters, the reclamation of the Plaguelands has been an effort over many, many years. How does your character feel about the Lich King's demise? Did you assume the plague would simply retreat at the Lich King's death? Are you tired of the constant struggle, ready to give in and simply retire? Or are you determined to complete your task, continuing to pour your efforts into healing the plague-ridden land?
For Horde characters, the story is a little different. Since Sylvanas and the Forsaken are launching an all-out assault to claim Andorhal as their own, there is a potential conflict of interest for Horde members of the Argent Crusade. How does your character feel about the Forsaken and their efforts? Do you turn a blind eye to the actions of Sylvanas, or do you try to find a way to stymie her efforts without incurring her wrath? Are you tired of the fighting, simply wanting it to all be over, or are you curious about the true nature of the Forsaken's intentions, willing to research this for the Argent Crusade at the risk of potentially being a traitor to the Horde?
What happened The Argent Dawn and Argent Crusade are both neutral organizations that believe there are far worse things in the world to worry about than Alliance and Horde conflicts. This means that Alliance and Horde characters often serve side by side with a common goal that unites them both.
How this affects your character In Cataclysm, the conflict between Alliance and Horde rose to a fever pitch and fully ignited. All around the world, attacks and battles are waged daily between Alliance and Horde. But in the ranks of the Argent Crusade, all are equal, regardless of faction, which can create another conflict of interest -- this time, for both factions.
What to consider How does your character feel about the opposing faction? Are you fine with working in unison, or are you suspicious of the other faction's motives? Do you continue to serve the Argent Crusade with as much zest as you did prior to Cataclysm, or did the events following Cataclysm's launch change your mind? Are you content with the neutrality of the organization, or do you wish the Argent Crusade would simply pick a side and be done with it?
What happened The Argent Crusade focuses primarily on the Holy Light. While not a strict religious organization, there are still plenty of religious influences in its behavior and methods. For most priests and paladins, this isn't really an issue, as they've been practicing the ways of the Holy Light for years. For those who don't follow the Holy Light, it's not really an issue as much as an interesting situation to play around with.
How this affects your character If your character is a priest or paladin who follows the tenets of the Holy Light, there isn't much to consider here. But if your character is a class that doesn't work with the Holy Light, it makes for some interesting potential roleplay moments as you try to wrap your head around what the Holy Light is, if it works, and whether or not you really believe in it.
What to consider How does your character feel about the Holy Light? Are you curious about it? Do you want to know more about how it works? Or are you skeptical of the tenets, questioning their validity? How do you handle being in an organization that places so much weight on something you may not necessarily grasp? Is it something you want to try and learn, or is it something you're simply content with leaving to the paladins and priests of the world?
Though the Argent Crusade's main stand against the Lich King was a success, the battle is far from over. Keep in mind, as with the plot points we'll be going over with other organizations, these plot points shouldn't be the primary focus of your character. You'll want to make note of the other things your character should be thinking about from a racial perspective and even a faction perspective. But the struggle of the Argent Crusade definitely has some plot points to keep in mind, and doing so can add a layer or two of extra flavor to the character you play.
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