|Blood Knight Order|
|Main leader||Lady Liadrin|
|Secondary leaders|| Knight-Lord Bloodvalor
|Other major cities||Undercity, Orgrimmar|
|Theater of operations||Azeroth, Outland|
- "... the defenders of Quel'Thalas, the faithful servants of Silvermoon, and the true masters of the Light."
- — Knight-Lord Bloodvalor
With the strong support of the magisters and the blood elven guard force, the former of which had a hand in their creation, the Blood Knights are a popular group within sin'dorei society. They are led by their matriarch and founder, Lady Liadrin.
As high elves, many future Blood Knights were members of the Church of Light, many of whom became priests and a few became paladins. Several other Blood Knights were once members of the Royal Guard, proud defenders of high elven society. After the Third War, the vast majority of the high elves took up the name "blood elves" in honor of their slaughtered people, and in the wake of their ancient kingdom's destruction, many of the elves of Quel'Thalas came to view the Holy Light with contempt. This led to a great number of the blood elves losing their faith, and in turn, their Light given powers, coming to believe that the Light had failed them in their homeland's hour of greatest need. Thus, they needed to find a new way to access the light. They did this by sapping Light energy from the captive naaru M'uru held beneath the Blood Knight headquarters. In a mad lust for power, Kael'thas Sunstrider sent the felblood to attack Silvermoon City and seize M'uru for his own personal uses. The Blood Knights vowed to aid A'dal and the Shattered Sun Offensive in defeating Kael'thas, Kil'jaeden, and restoring their homeland to its glory.
From the official Burning Crusade website:
- Not long ago, in Outland...
- Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider and his blood elves waited until the newly arrived naaru departed Tempest Keep. He had little interest in what the naaru hoped to accomplish on this shattered world: it was Tempest Keep that had brought him here. At the prince's signal the elves stormed the dimensional fortress, quickly defeating its automated defenses and claiming its satellite structures. The only real threat the elves discovered was a lone naaru who had stayed behind to maintain the keep's defenses. With some difficulty, Kael'thas subdued the energy being and sent it to Quel'Thalas so that the magic-addicted blood elves could feed upon it.
- Back in the capital city of Silvermoon, Magister Astalor Bloodsworn was not content with this idea. After long months of study and experimentation, he and his fellow wizards learned how to manipulate and corrupt the naaru's luminous energies. In the end the wizards devised a process by which the powers of the Light could be transferred to recipients who had not earned such abilities. Instead of feeding upon the naaru's magic, the blood elves would wield the naaru's Light-given powers themselves.
- Lady Liadrin, formerly a priestess, had recently renounced her vows, for she felt the Light had abandoned her people. She learned of the wizards' achievement and volunteered to be the first to bend the stolen powers to her will. With her decision a new order was born: the Blood Knights. These renegade paladins are able to harness the sacred powers of the Alliance's noblest heroes.
- Most members of the Blood Knights were once part of the Royal Guard--proud defenders of high elven society who came to believe that the Light had failed them in their hour of greatest need. They see their appropriation of the captive naaru's powers as well-deserved justice.
- Although Warchief Thrall and High Chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof openly opposed the blood elves’ methods, they recognized the Blood Knights’ strategic value. Indeed, it is likely that the group figured heavily in the Horde's ultimate decision to offer membership to the blood elves.
- Blood elf paladins have swiftly grown confident in their borrowed abilities. Nevertheless, as even the most inexperienced mage will attest, when powerful forces are manipulated against their intended purpose...
Though many blood elves applauded the creation of the Blood Knights, just as many dislike their methods and their attitude, especially the Farstriders. Curiously the naaru don't express any sort of dislike for the Blood Knights and even allow them in their cities. Blood Knights, despite their capture of M'uru, don't seem to have any enmity with the naaru of Shattrath City, some even living in the city.
This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
The Blood Knight order was formally introduced after the reclamation of Quel'Thalas. Having styled themselves as their homeland's defenders and the "true masters of the Light", the creation of the Blood Knight order quickly gained popularity, many denizens of Silvermoon viewing their power as a testament to the fortitude of the sin'dorei as a whole. Under the leadership of Lady Liadrin, the Blood Knights established themselves as one of Quel'Thalas' most prominent organizations. Its members were instructed to drain power directly from the subdued M'uru, which granted them a variety of Light-based abilities aside from that of martial prowess.
The Blood Knights were a key component in the blood elves joining the Horde; Thrall and Cairne Bloodhoof themselves noting the considerable power of the order -- though opposing their methods just as much as the Farstriders did. With their new alliance sealed, a regiment of Blood Knights began to wrestle Halaa from the Draenei and their own new allies after the journey into Outland.
A Blood Knight named Mehlar Dawnblade would oversee the order's activities within Forsaken lands, and would task adventurers with defiling Uther the Lightbringer's tomb in Lordaeron. To his surprise, the Lightbringer does not fault him for his actions, and urges him to instead turn his rage into helping to rebuild beautiful Quel'Thalas. Mehlar would later attempt to create a powerful anti-Scourge item named the Scourgestone; Blood Knights enlisting the help of even Lady Sylvanas Windrunner to this end. 
The trials of the Blood Knight order were undertaken by newly-inducted members. These ranged from expeditions into the Ghostlands and the Plaguelands, to directly funding the powerful order, to trial-by-combat against other Blood Knights; the end result of which would be an ever-increasing rank and status in the order, ending with the title of champion and mastery over the Thalassian Charger. The Blood Knights would attempt to assert their dominance to the paladins of the world with their destruction of the Alonsus Chapel.
The will of the order would soon be tested, however, when they would lose their powers for a short time after an unexpected turn of events.
Treachery of the Prince
Travelling to Quel'Thalas once more, Kael'thas and his "felblood" minions entered Silvermoon, took M'uru from his place under Blood Knight headquarters, and spirited the naaru to the Sunwell Plateau. In the empty chamber, the magisters that drained the Light energy stand around, dazed; young initiates seeking to learn the powers of resurrection (who would normally tap the power directly from M'uru) must instead collect the residual holy energies from the dazed magisters.
Now without any 'natural' way to channel the Light, the future of the Blood Knights looked unclear. Magister Astalor Bloodsworn, however, proclaimed that Kael'thas would not break the order -- and that Lady Liadrin was already seeking a new source of power.
For the dialogue between Lady Liadrin and A'dal, see: Lady Liadrin.
Seeing Kael'thas' treachery for herself, Lady Liadrin travelled to Shattrath and met with A'dal, who informed her that M'uru had known his fate - to aid in the redemption of the people of Quel'Thalas, as prophesied by Velen. With this new insight, Liadrin pledged herself and the Order to the Sha'tar and the Shattered Sun Offensive, the army raised to battle Kael'thas and his nefarious master, Kil'jaeden. With Liadrin absent from Silvermoon, the duties of training aspiring Masters - normally undertaken by Liadrin herself - are now being handled by Lord Solanar Bloodwrath.
The Sunwell restored
Following the death of Kael'thas, the corruption and demise of the darkened M'uru, and the defeat of Kael'thas' demonic master, Liadrin observed the sight of the defiled and destroyed Sunwell, lamenting that the blood elven people may never atone for the sin they had commited in damning M'uru to his fate. Prophet Velen revealed the "heart of M'uru"; unblemished and pure. It is channelled into the Sunwell, and in a massive blaze of light, the blood elves' fount of power is restored. Liadrin is both astonished and taken aback by this turn of events, and Velen mentions that this may be the road to rebirthing the soul of a nation. With the Sunwell restored, the Blood Knights now channel their power directly from it -- a far less damaging and far more harmonious relationship than their previous method of gaining power.
Wrath of the Lich King
This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
The Blood Knights were hinted to have played a role in the Northrend campaign, though they seem to have taken a step out of the spotlight. The Blood Knights Malithas Brightblade and Liandra Suncaller fought with the Horde champions in the Argent Tournament, and several were seen as part of the elite Kor'kron Guard regiment found in Icecrown Citadel. The denizens of Silvermoon continue to take a great amount of pride in their Blood Knights, and even Lady Sylvanas Windrunner herself was eager to see them in action.
During the quest to restore Quel'Delar, Lady Liadrin is seen speaking to groups of blood elf pilgrims about the Sunwell's revitalization. Acknowledging the road ahead as a difficult battle, she resolves that the sin'dorei will prevail, and be restored to their greatness.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
The more aggressive quotes spoken by the Blood Knight trainers have been reworded; now referencing the Light without referring to the naaru's manipulation. The path to rank and power in the order has become less dubious in nature - instead of undertaking increasingly harsh actions such as defiling Alonsus and stealing power from the naaru, the Sunwell-empowered Blood Knights instead go about forging powerful items and weaponry for the order's use.
Mists of Pandaria
This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.
Roughly two months following the discovery of Pandaria, Lor'themar Theron leads a Blood Knight division to the myth-shrouded continent. The Blood Knights serve as either protectors of the Reliquary (the Blood Knight Kaelis Sunsoar directing the Reliquary's movements in Krasarang Wilds), or looking to the safety of the regent lord himself in Kun-Lai Summit. Blood Knight Aenea is tasked with tracking down and capturing a mogu warlord for interrogation in the Valley of the Emperors, and she and Ranger Orestes accompany Horde heroes to his location.
The Blood Knights are later fielded on the Isle of Thunder, when the Sunreaver Onslaught is on the cusp of breaking into the Thunder King's stronghold. A Blood Knight regiment can be seen at the sin'dorei base camp, the Dawnseeker Promontory.
Horde-specific paladin spells and items
There are a great number of similarities between Alliance and Horde paladins, but there are also major variations of the Horde paladins over their Alliance cousins. These are but a few:
The , during the old system of class-specific quests before the Cataclysm expansion, was the reward obtained after the completion of the Paladin quest given by trainers at level 20 and, as such, comparisons to the Alliance equivalent of the time - - were inevitable.
While the Ranseur itself has been made unavailable due to the removal of its associated quest - although the item has not been removed - an item using an identical model can be found in Outland, namely ; a reward from a quest in the Sethekk Halls.
Like the Alliance, blood elf paladins receive their class-specific warhorse mount at level 20, from their class trainer for 1. Formerly, it was completely free and obtained from a quest, but 1 gold is not too difficult to obtain.
Also like the Alliance, blood elf paladins receive their epic charger mount quest at level 40. Prior to the Cataclysm the quest requirements were somewhat different - described as somewhat easier than the Alliance's - and the only instance required was Stratholme (though some may have wished to run Scholomance, as Dark Runes were required for the early portion of this quest). Now however, it is trained from the Paladin trainer.
There are also variations in appearance. Alliance paladin horses are white, with blue livery and silver armor plating (gold at 60). Blood elf paladin horses are black, with red livery and brass armor plating.
Blood Knight tabard
With the coming of the Cataclysm, and the changes made to the class-specific quests, the Blood Knight tabard is now much easier to obtain. Instead of requiring the completion of an expensive quest chain, the tabard now comes as a reward for the Horde's Blood elf version of a Paladin quest at level 50 in addition to the Tier-1 look-alike helmet of choice, which has now become standard reward for class quests at this level.
Uniform & equipment
The Blood Knights generally display a certain dress-code, more often than not including their tabard. The standard Blood Knight uniform consists of a plate set, decorated by a collage of red and black. Lower ranking members are occasionally seen in more informal clothing, though there are exceptions. The order does not appear to be particularly strict in enforcing its dress-code, and many variations and alterations of the standard uniform exist.
Unlike their Alliance counterparts, the Blood Knights tend to make use of swords more than maces, though exceptions do exist. Most Blood Knights are seen wielding either one-handed or two-handed swords, or spears. The Blood Knight order is shown having two major types of shield - the first seen on lower ranking members such as Adepts (which uses a common model, Lor'themar Theron having also formerly used it), and another shield, sporting the trademark symbol of the order - using the same model as a or .
While other organisations or groups have the models of their uniforms available to players - whether in its entirety or to some limited degree - the Blood Knight uniform can be arguably considered one of the "easiest" (due to various changes to obtaining both honour points and PVP-related gear from previous expansions) for a player to completely obtain.
Two of the earliest and more "iconic" Blood Knight-esque weapons in the game are the , obtained in the Ghostlands from the quest The Traitor's Destruction. The second one, the is, with the advent of the Cataclysm expansion, no longer available to players (it was the reward for level 20 Blood Elf Paladins). However, the model is used a second time - in the form of - and is still available as a reward from the Sethekk Halls quest Terokk's Legacy.
The majority of a Blood Knight's armour - incorporating the head, chest, gloves, legs, boots and a choice of two variants of shoulderpads - can be obtained through the level 60 PVP sets, namely the Warlord's Aegis and Champion's Redoubt. For a third variant of shoulderpads in the Blood Knight red-and-black colour scheme, the - a reward from the Pick Your Part quest in the Netherstorm - is an available option.
After obtaining the above items, only the cloak and a suitable belt remain. Two cloaks which perfectly match the colour scheme are available. The first one is the , which is part of the loot table of Kael'thas in the normal-mode Magister's Terrace. For those unwilling to play the odds, the is by far an easier option, although it does come with the drawback of costing 130 Justice Points, however this can be easily obtained by a single run through almost any level 85 normal-mode dungeon. Given that fighting in the contested town of Halaa (in Nagrand) is now virtually non-existent on many (if not all) servers, the initial example of a Blood Knight belt - the - can be considered somewhat impractical due to it requiring 20 PVP kills (Halaa Battle Tokens) in the town and a to buy it. Once again, the Justice Point vendor in Shattrath comes to the rescue, with the , although the price (312 Justice Points) is somewhat steeper than the War Cloak.
Roles and motives
The stated goal of the Blood Knight order is a simple one: to defend Quel'Thalas, and to destroy her enemies. Their specialized Light-based powers have made the order a useful front line of defense against the Scourge, while their traditionally common mindset with the magisters had led to some playing roles of state enforcement.
In terms of the sin'dorei military, the Blood Knights have been referred to as "the backbone of the blood elf army."
The Blood Knights, and their matriarch in particular, were once highly eager to demonstrate the superiority and dominion of their rapidly-growing order to the "false paladins of the world," though in light of recent events it appears this creed has somewhat subsided.
Ranks of the Blood Knight Order
There are four "ranks" that are obtainable by blood elf paladins, and some that are only obtainable by the NPCs.
- Initiate: Where all Blood Knights begin, at level 12
- Adept: Obtained after completing the Blood-Tempered Ranseur, around level 20-25, and learning .
- Knight: Obtained after learning the Blood Charger summon, level 40.
- Master: Obtained after completing the Blood Charger quest and receiving the , around level 60. This rank is also held by some NPCs (Master Pyreanor in Orgrimmar, for example).
- Champion: Some blood elf paladin trainers (Champion Cyssa Dawnrose in the Undercity, for instance) have this rank.
- Knight-Lord: Presumably the teachers of aspiring Blood Knights (Knight-Lord Bloodvalor in Silvermoon).
- Matriarch: The rank held by Lady Liadrin, supreme leader of the Blood Knight order.
|Terrace of Light||Shattrath City||Matriarch and supreme leader of the Blood Knight order.|
|Farstriders' Square||Silvermoon City||Trains aspiring Masters (post-Patch 2.4)|
|Farstriders' Square||Silvermoon City||Creator of the Blood Knights, led the project to drain energy from captive naaru.|
|Farstriders' Square||Silvermoon City||Oversees Blood Knight training in the lower ranks.|
|The Bulwark||Western Plaguelands||Former student of Uther the Lightbringer, aids in creation of .|
|Royal Quarter||Undercity||Only Blood Knight trainer in Eastern Kingdoms outside of Quel'Thalas.|
|Grommash Hold||Orgrimmar||Only Blood Knight trainer in Kalimdor.|
|Eversong Woods||Quel'Thalas||Blood Knight master; oversees trials by combat.|
|Razor Hill||Durotar||A pupil of Lady Liadrin and direct surbordinate of Halduron Brightwing; dispensed to aid in the Horde attack on Theramore.|
|Valley of the Emperors||Kun-Lai Summit||One of the named Blood Knights deployed to Pandaria.|
|Chamber of Command||Black Temple||Illidari Council member.|
|The Eye||Tempest Keep||Advisor to Kael'thas Sunstrider; the "Blood Hammer".|
|Terrace of Light||Shattrath City||Only known Blood Knight affiliated with the Scryers.|
For a more detailed archive of Blood Knights see List of Blood Knight paladins.
Concerns and controversy
- Main article: Blood elf controversy
The introduction of paladins to the Horde along with shamans to the Alliance was initially controversial. The decision to eliminate faction-specific classes was explained by Blizzard as an attempt to refine and distinguish the two classes from one another. They had previously suffered from comparisons of their abilities, and the attempt to "balance" them and yet have them remain distinct led to the two classes becoming more and more similar to one another. The introduction of these classes to both sides would reduce the controversial issue of faction balance. Nevertheless, this decision has met with some criticism by players and even Blizzard employees have expressed that the decision was not an easy one.
- Following the abduction of M'uru, exactly how sin'dorei paladins could continue wielding their powers was the source of wide speculation. It was noted by Astalor Bloodsworn that Lady Liadrin was actively seeking a new source of power for the order, and her conversation with A'dal left a number of possibilities open. For one, it is possible that either A'dal or another Naaru continued to empower the Blood Knights, now allies of the Shattered Sun Offensive. Despite such allusions, however, it was never explicitly stated how the Blood Knights were able to retain their powers between the betrayal of Kael'thas and the defeat of Kil'Jaeden.
- Even following this, it remained unclear as to how Blood Knights continued to wield their powers. The issue was raised during the first round of "ask creative development," and the lore team revealed that Blood Knights now channel their power through the renewed Sunwell - now a mixture of both the holy and the arcane, thanks to M'uru's final "spark."
- Various Blood Knights seem to display a somewhat totalitarian attitude shared with some of the Magisters, as seen with Gatewatcher Aendor on behalf of the Blood Knights and Priest Kath'mar on behalf of the magisters. This further contributes to the political divide within Silvermoon. Whether this is still the case is unknown, as despite the radical changes sweeping Quel'Thalas with the Sunwell restored, Quel'Thalas itself has not been updated to convey much of it.
Blood Knight faith?
Following the Sunwell's revitalization, the Blood Knights no longer need to harness their powers via "unconventional" means. Blood Knights take their power directly through the Sunwell itself - now a mixture of both holy and arcane energy - to fuel their order and paladin-esque abilities. However, where this leaves the blood elves in relation to conventional Light worship remains somewhat unclear.
On one hand, Lady Liadrin appears to have reconverted to the Light's teachings, or at the very least has rekindled a reverence for its power. Simply viewing the Sunwell firsthand and feeling its embrace wrought on a new perspective for the Blood Knight Matriarch, and several blood elf pilgrims have also been seen adhering to her opinion; as seen by her encouraging exchange with them in Quel'Delar's penultimate quest.
On the other, there is nothing to suggest that blood elf paladins have a practical "need" for Light worship, as all the process essentially requires at this point is channeling the Light via the Sunwell.
At this point, it is possible that both components are present in the Blood Knight order - those that have rekindled their faith in the Light, and those who simply have not since the Sunwell itself allows them to retain their Light-given powers either way.
- The Blood Knight order appears to hold political sway within Quel'Thalas, the Silvermoon guardians appearing to be particularly respectful to both the Blood Knight player and Champion Vranesh. On the other end of the spectrum, they do not seem to hold the Farstriders in a very high regard.
- The term "Blood Knight" refers to both the order, and the Blood Elves' own individual take on the paladin class. Many Blood Knights not directly affiliated with Quel'Thalas retain the title (such as the knights in Outland), and a number of Kael'thas' Blood Knights continued to wear their uniforms even on Quel'Danas. The Darkfallen Blood Knights further suggest that "Blood Knight" can be a personal take on the class. On the other hand, there is nothing to suggest that Blood Elf paladins affiliated with the Argent Crusade consider themselves anything other than paladins of the Light.
- It should be noted, however, that the Darkfallen Blood Knights are likely another mockery of the Prince to cause more rage in the hearts of possible Blood elf heroes who enter the Crimson Hall, since they do not wield any Light-based powers, and are most likely paladins or warrior from the original Northrend expedition of Illidan like their Queen, and not the risen Horde or Outland Blood Knights, who didn't exist at all by that time. As a result they are less likely to have taken that name by their own will.
- A Blood Knight who uses the "/eye" emote on a Silvermoon City Guardian will be treated with a courteous kneel.
- A recurring theme in the Blood Knight order is the prevalence of the term "blood" in several of its members' surnames. This is likely a self-styled reference to both the blood of their many brethren who perished during the Third War, and to the moniker of their order.
- Most of the sin'dorei battlemasters appear to be Blood Knights: Althallen Brightblade, Lyrlia Blackshield, Yula the Fair, Duyash the Cruel, Irissa Bloodstar, and Andrissa Heartspear. Notable exceptions include Mabrian Fardawn, who appears to be a warrior, along with Asara Dawnblaze, Saeld Brightflare, and Magister Surdiel, who are magi.
- A grand master pet tamer, Antari, appears to be a Blood Knight.
- ^ Araelun
- ^ Arthaus. World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 76. ISBN 9781588467812.
- ^ White Wolf. Alliance Player's Guide, 153. ISBN 9781588467737.
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Manual, 10.
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade - Shamans and Paladins (2006-08-28). Archived from the original on 2007-12-28.
- ^ Burning Crusade Behind The Scenes - Blood Elves. YouTube (2008-03-19).
- ^ Wrath of the Lich King manual, pages 8-9: Winds of Change: From Dark Horizons to a Beacon of Hope in the World of Warcraft
- ^ Yula the Fair
- ^ http://wow.joystiq.com/2012/09/13/wow-insider-interviews-micky-neilson-and-sean-cheeks-galloway/#continued
- ^ Champion Vranesh
- ^ 
- ^ a b c In the Shadow of the Sun
- ^ a b Deimes 2010-11-20. Ask CDev #1 Answers - Round 1.
- ^ [20D]
- ^ 
- ^ Gatewatcher Aendor
- ^ TCG Through the Dark Portal/198
- ^ [60D]