See Also: Legends of The Dark Hand Covenant
The Dark Hand Covenant is a Horde guild on the Ner'zhul PvP server. Its members are all undead characters of various classes. In lore, the guild's members are of neither Scourge nor Forsaken heritage, as they were risen as undead through alternative means prior to the advent of the Scourge plague. However, since no discernation can be made, they have been accepted into the ranks of the Forsaken, as well as the Horde.
History of the Dark Hand Covenant
The Corruption of Mauron
The Dark Hand Covenant was originally formed by a Stormwind Captain named Mauron Alnamis who came to be possessed by an orcish warlock. In year 8, following the second war and prior to his possession, Mauron led a deployment of troops beyond the Dark Portal when the Alliance raided Draenor in an attempt to close the Portal once and for all. Mauron's troops fared very well on Draenor, and were able to completely eradicate the vile Blackheart Clan, a vicious band of orcs loyal to the Burning Legion. However, during a showdown with Mauron, the clan's warlock leader, Al'Ghul, managed to plunge an enchanted dagger into Mauron's chest before being stricken down, which then transferred the warlock's soul into Mauron's body before his dying breath. The effects of this would not be known until after the Alliance's return to Azeroth after the destruction of the Dark Portal and the sundering of Draenor.
The Blackheart Templar
After returning to Stormwind, it seemed to his troops that Mauron was losing his sanity, as he began to act erratically and abnormally. He gathered his most trusted subordinates who would remain loyal to him and fled to his home of Stromgarde. There, he lost the last vestiges of his sanity as the will and consciousness of the warlock Al'Ghul finally took over, completely destroying the last remnants of Mauron's mind. This corruption of Mauron eventually spread to his loyalists, whom he then re-dubbed The Blackheart Templar, reflecting Al'Ghul's former Blackheart Clan. Mauron then tasked them with preparing Azeroth for the coming of the Burning Legion, which had been the goal of the orcs during the second war.
Forming of the Covenant
By year 9, Mauron and his Blackheart Templar had begun a trek north through the lands of Lordaeron. They entered Silverpine Forest and passed through Ambermill, near the wizard city of Dalaran. There, they encountered Alliance mages and villagers who impeded them. One such mage was a fledgling wizard named Embron, who was one of the first to be killed by the Templar. It was at this time that Mauron discovered his ability to form a Death Aura, giving him the ability to raise corpses into undead. He used this ability to raise Embron and the other dead villagers and make them the very first members of his personal army, which he dubbed The Dark Hand Covenant. By year 10, the Covenant had grown to roughly one hundred undead members.
The Banisher of Souls
The Covenant soon assimilated a member that dubbed himself Banisher, rebuking his former mortal name. He was a priest leading a missionary expedition through Lordaeron and was passing through Silverpine on the way to Gilneas when they were ambushed by the undead of the Dark Hand Covenant. The expedition was completely annihilated and assimilated into the Covenant. Banisher, being the first and only full-fledged priest in their ranks, was the only one capable of using holy magic and exorcising undead souls. He became the executioner of the Covenant, and would exorcise, or 'banish', the souls of problematic or unworthy members as a form of discipline, or even execution.
Peak of the Covenant
Over the next ten years, Mauron led the Covenant across the world, setting up several designated ritual sites and altars for the use of summoning several demons into the world. For each deed he performed for the Burning Legion, Mauron gained more power and ascended the Legion’s chain of command. Also in this time, Embron rose to power to become Mauron’s right hand man.
At the peak of The Dark Hand Covenant's existence, the cult had accumulated several hundred members from all corners of the world. The primary sect of the group was led by Mauron and the Blackheart Templar and operated out of the Skittering Dark in Silverpine. Several splinter sects of the cult were stationed in various locations to monitor and maintain their ritual sites. The group of warlocks that handled the summoning rituals became known as the Inner Circle and were Embron's most trusted and loyal minions. The bulk force of mages in the cult became known as the Blue Guard, and the bulk force of warriors became known as the Red Guard.=== The Scourge of Lordaeron ===
In year 20, when the mysterious plague began to spread through Lordaeron, troops were sent out to investigate. One deployment, led by Captain Dalan Blackwind, was sent through Silverpine to check for signs of the plague. In the dark forest, the troops encountered a splinter group of Covenant agents and were almost completely wiped out. Dalan, along with a few survivors, managed to find a cave in which they took refuge. Before long, they came to find that the cave was in fact the home of the Covenant, and they were unable to escape their deaths and subsequent revival as undead agents. Over time, Dalan would rise to become a prominent general in the Covenant ranks, leading troops of undead soldiers and mages into battle.
The History of Dalan
As a child, Dalan was raised in the farmlands of Brill. He helped tend to his own family's crops, and eventually, as a teen, started working at Agamand Mills with his best friend, Everett. Dalan had a close friendship with Celedine, a local girl, and although they never had a real relationship, they were very affectionate toward each other. In their late teens, Celedine left Brill to join the armed forces of Stormwind. Disappointed, yet unable to leave Brill himself, Dalan joined the local forces of Lordaeron, in the hopes that they would one day be reunited, even if it was side by side in battle. By the time Dalan reached his early twenties, the Scourge began to appear in Lordaeron. Everett and his family retreated to Stormwind where he joined the paladin order, and Dalan was put in charge of the troops that he would lead into Silverpine, and into a new life in undeath.
A Rogue's Ordeal
A year after Dalan's assimilation into the Dark Hand Covenant, a rogue named Krall had come to Dustwallow Marsh, where the Alliance had established a base of operations on Kalimdor. A member of a secret society of manipulative aristocrats, Krall had assassinated the leader of an opposing organization who was fighting for political control of Theramore Island, and then he turned around and killed his own leader, fearing that neither group was any better than the other. He then fled Dustwallow, but was chased down for the atrocity he had committed. Eventually, he found his way to Ashenvale, where he was unable to elude his pursuers any longer. There, they caught hold of him, and he was promptly killed by a paladin's hammer, maiming his face in the process. Before long, Mauron passed through the forests of Ashenvale with his Dark Hand Covenant forces, unknowingly passing Krall's lifeless body. Mauron's Death Aura reacted to Krall's body, reanimating him. He was taken into Covenant arms, but refused to join their ranks. He would not be swayed and was seemingly resistant to Mauron's corruption, as his body was purified of all taint by the paladin's killing blow. Krall was locked away in a prison and scheduled for 'banishment' for his unwillingness to submit to Mauron's will.
Embron the Betrayer
Eventually, Mauron came to recognize the strength of the growing Scourge, and since they had ties to the undead, felt that their cause would best be served in accord with them. Mauron gathered the Blackheart Templar and led a portion of the Dark Hand Covenant into the freshly corrupted Plaguelands to seek an audience with Kel'Thuzad, leader of the Scourge in Lordaeron. Embron, disagreeing with this act, used his abilities to draw the soul of Al'Ghul out of Mauron's body and entrapped it within the pages of a mystical grimoire. With Mauron lifeless and hollow and Al'Ghul banished away, Embron took control of the Templar and the Covenant and led his forces away from the Plaguelands. This act forced Embron to sacrifice a large portion of his magical ability, leaving him weak and vulnerable. He would, however, go on to lead the Covenant for a full year afterward.
The Revolution of Will
With Mauron gone and Embron weakened, the mystical bindings of the Dark Hand Covenant began to falter, and Embron's hold over his troops failed. Among the slew to become self-aware were Dalan and Banisher, who, in cooperation with the prisoner Krall, formed an alliance within the Covenant. Before long, half of the Covenants ranks had joined with the revolution, and within the confines of the cult's cavernous home, a mutinous battle took place. One half against the other, undead soldiers and mages raged against each other. Banisher rose to take a stand against Embron, and the two engaged in a magical duel. Their energies clashed, creating a magical explosion that caused the cave to collapse. In the process, all of the remaining agents were either killed or put into a mystical hibernation. Dalan, Banisher, and Krall were among those put into the sleep.
The New Covenant
Three years later, in year 25, the undead agents of the Forsaken would find the remains of the battle and transport the hibernating bodies to the township of Deathknell, where Dalan and Krall immediately awakened. Refreshed to see themselves free and independent, they ventured into the world with their own goals in mind. They retained the name of the Dark Hand Covenant, with the intent of reworking the ideals of what it stands for, choosing to instead combat the Burning Legion rather than aid in its arrival.
The Blackwood Saints
Within a few months of their awakening, Dalan and Krall encountered a familiar face in Tirisfal Glades. Banisher had awakened from his slumber and tracked them down. He rejoined them in the new Dark Hand Covenant and sought to aid them in their mission. Later, the group returned to Silverpine to inspect the ruins of the cave only to find it completely clear of any signs of their presence. While staying in the Sepulcher, they met Felexandria, a Forsaken warlock who shared their views. She immediately struck up a bond with Banisher and joined their cause. Before long, Dalan and Krall decided that they must travel the world to seek out remnants of the Covenant in order to halt what they've already accomplished. Banisher and Felexandria stayed behind in Lordaeron while Dalan and Krall crossed the sea to Kalimdor.
In the nation of Durotar, Dalan and Krall met a duo of undead rogues named Darklance and Shadowscythe. The two had begun to build up a reputation for themselves in the local regions and were known as The Twinblade. Krall saw their potential as rogues and they became members of the Dark Hand Covenant. Darklance in particular showed the most promise and became an apprentice to Krall.
Connections to the Dark Hand Covenant
After the revolution of the Dark Hand Covenant and the overthrowing of Embron, the mystical grimoire used to imprison the soul of Al'Ghul was lost. It was found during the clean up of the cave and retrieval of the hibernating bodies, but since its purpose was not known, it was pawned and sold and traded and continued to change hands over the years until it eventually ended up on a bookshelf in a warlock's collection of grimoires in the basement of the Slaughtered Lamb pub in Stormwind.
The Corrupted Light
Lucimara, a human warlock, was meeting with her trainer beneath the Slaughtered Lamb when she came across Embron's grimoire. Not knowing its purpose and thinking it useless, Lucimara was allowed to take the grimoire and attempt to unlock its mysteries. She attempted to cast a summoning spell found within its pages, thinking she would acquire a new minion. Instead, after a powerful burst of energy, Lucimara sensed the sudden presence of a vicious, malevolent spirit emerging from the grimoire. The spirit announced itself as Al'Ghul before darting off into the sky.
After her experience with the grimoire, Lucimara, with her sisterly paladin friend, Lucentia, ventured out to seek the origins of the grimoire, as well as those of Al'Ghul.
Return of the Blackheart Templar
After the release of the spirit of Al'Ghul from the boundaries of the grimoire, the remaining members of the Blackheart Templar, who had been sleeping all this time, were finally awakened by Al'Ghul's energies. They rose and, together, ventured out to seek the fallen body of Mauron so that they might bring about their master's full restoration.
Roster and Hierarchy
The Former Dark Hand Covenant
- Captain Mauron Alnamis - Founder and leader of both the Blackheart Templar and The Dark Hand Covenant.
The Blackheart Templar
- Main force of undead mages.
The New Dark Hand Covenant
- Krall (Guild Leader) - Although Dalan and Krall share leadership of the Dark Hand Covenant, Krall is the leader on paper, and takes on the official responsibility.
- Dalan (Master at Arms and Second in Command) - When not aiding Krall in leadership of the group, Dalan acts as strategist and weapons master.
- Darklance (One half of the Twinblade)
- Shadowscythe (One half of the Twinblade)