The Lost and the Forgotten
In the world of Azeroth, sacrifice and tragedy are as much a part of life and death as heroism and villainy. There are figures that are born of fire and virtue that become the things of legends and fairytales—we live and breathe their stories every time that we log into the world of Warcraft, and there are very few of them who are simply forgotten—washed away in the ebb and tide of history.
But the heroes that are forgotten, the heroes that that are steeped in tragedy, betrayal, and sacrifice, those are the heroes that stem the tides and break the waves of history and progression. Those are the heroes that dictate the order of the world from their forgotten place beneath the surface. These heroes are forgotten because they have to be—because life demands that we pass them by thanklessly. Be wary, heroes! Today’s highlight is Highlord Bolvar Fordragon, and the things that are written beyond the cut you may not want to know. Consider yourselves warned!
When first we meet Lord Fordragon, he is the Regent Lord of the Kingdom of Stormwind and the personal guardian of the Child King of Stormwind, Anduin Wrynn. His ascension to Regent Lord is one that we know very little about—we know only that when King Varian Wrynn is kidnapped on his journey to Theremore, Lord Fordragon is the man with whom the well being of Stormwind is entrusted. His Lordship prior to that is sadly irrelevant, but suffice to say his service in the armies of the Human Alliance are obvious, and he is likely a veteran of at least two of the Three Wars.
No king himself, Bolvar is appointed a number of advisors, and among them is the Lady Katrana Prestor, heiress to Lord Daval Prestor, claimant of the Kingdom of Alterac. The manipulative Lady Prestor manages to convince Lord Fordragon that the faction responsible for the abduction of King Varian may turn to Stormwind itself and make an attempt on the Child King, Anduin, and as one of the few Lords of Stormwind aware of the King’s fate, he chooses to centralize the armies of Stormwind, focusing them on Stormwind and turning away from the Alliances asking for their aid in the wars against the Scourge, the Blackrock remnants, and the Horde. Calling the armies home to protect the kingdom proved to be a splintering force that created rifts within the Alliance that had long healed since the disappearance of Lord Prestor before the Third War—the legacy of the Destroyer.
The remainder of Bolvar’s regency is uneventful but for the return of King Varian and the unmasking of Deathwing’s prodigy, Onyxia. With Varian Wrynn’s reclamation of the throne of the Kingdom of Stormwind, Lord Fordragon’s stewardship comes to an end, but his heroism and his sacrifice, and the real story of Bolvar Fordragon begins here.
Fordragon is appointed Highlord of the armies of Stormwind and dispatched with the spearhead of the invasion of Icecrown to Northrend as the master and commander of the Alliance forces in the frozen wastes, and from his seat overlooking the rear gate to the saronite fortress, Icecrown Citadel, the Highlord commands the siege of Angrathar the Wrath Gate, his forces supplemented by the Kor’kron Vanguard and its Overlord, Dranosh Saurfang.
Legions of Scourge fall to the steel and spells of the combined Alliance and Horde siege—so many that it becomes impossible for the Lich King himself to ignore the increasingly bold assault on one of his most fortified positions. Highlord Fordragon mounts the broken, lifeless bodies of the Scourge war machine and issues a challenge. “Arthas! The blood of your father, of your people demands justice! Come forth, coward, and answer for your crimes! You will pay for all the lives you’ve stolen, traitor!” he cries into the howling wind.
The Wrath Gate groans and its saronite maw opens. The battle is joined by Arthas and his Vrykul honor guard, and almost immediately, Saurfang and his Kor’kron fall, their souls stripped away by Frostmourne, and the tides of the battle shift, threatening to overwhelm the breaking Alliance line when the catapults of Kor’kron Hold snap to life, hurling cauldrons of plague down upon the battle, decimating friend and foe in the most ultimate act of betrayal since the murder of Terenas Menethil III.
The Lich King flees, his Vrykul and the Alliance broken by the Forsaken war machine, and Bolvar Fodragon collapses, gasping for breath among his dying friends and soldiers.
With his body wracked by poison and plague, Bolvar lies among his comrades, death creeping through him , contemplating his failure, his betrayal, and his death, and suddenly the world flashes red and orange, and the Battle of the Wrath Gate is bathed in flame. Bolvar’s last living memories are of the red dragonflight soaring overhead, burning away the plague in an intervention they were sworn to never make, and as his armor, the plague, and his righteous soul are melted and fused into one terrible creature, Fordragon dies and his body is collected by the Scourge and delivered to the Lich King upon the Frozen Throne.
Upon the Frozen Throne, Highlord Fordragon is made to bow before his Lich King in undeath; tortured both body and soul in an effort to turn him into the champion that Tirion Fordring was meant to be. Day and night, hour after hour, for an eternity of time and an eternity more, the Highlord suffers, his righteous soul the only barrier standing between him and service among the legions of death knights of the Scourge.
And then the intervention. Icecrown Citadel itself comes under siege, the masters of the spire falling one by one to an army of heroes seeking to preserve Azeroth—to endure and prosper in the light by destroying the darkness. They storm the Frozen Throne and destroy the Lich King, and Fordragon is relieved.
Alone upon the throne, the immolated Fordragon is free from the twisted torture of his soul—his body broken, destroyed, fused with plague and with his armor melted, charred, and grafted to his flesh, he looks out over the battlefield—the Lich King lying in the throes of death, uncrowned with Frostmourne shattered, and the heroes of Azeroth break, exhausted and worn; the siege of Icecrown Citadel over at long last. As they descend into the spire, Highlord Tirion Fordring collects the Lich King’s cursed crown.
“Without its master’s command, the restless Scourge will become an even greater threat to this world. Control must be maintained. There must always be a Lich King,” says the freed soul of Terenas Menethil III.
“The weight of such a burden . . . it must be mine,” Tirion says, entranced by his reflection in the Lich King’s crown. “For there is no othe—“
“Tirion! You hold a grim destiny in your hands, brother! But it is not your own!” Bolvar cries from his seat upon the Frozen Throne.
“Bolvar! By all that is holy . . .”
“The dragons’ flame . . . sealed my fate. The world of the living can no longer comfort me. Place the crown upon my head, Tirion. Forever more, I will be the jailor of the damned!”
“No, old friend,” Tirion pleads, “I cannot—“
“Do it Tirion!” Bolvar roars. “You and these brave heroes have your own destinies to fulfill! This last act of service . . . is mine.”
“You will not be forgotten, my brother,” Tirion says turning, and with his eyes betraying a pain that only the most righteous can suffer, he turns the crown in his hands and places it upon Bolvar Fordragon’s head. Ice begins to form at Fordragon’s feet.
“I must be forgotten, Tirion!” Bolvar cries in rage. “If the world is to live free of the tyranny of fear they must never know what was done here today. Tell them only that the Lich King is dead! And Bolvar Fordragon died with him!” he rages, ice creeping up his body, dousing the flame and char in his body as it reaches to consume him. His eyes burst into a furious flame, and the broken champion is devoured by the Lich King.
“Now go! Leave this place!” the Lich King threatens, “and never return.”
And Bolvar Fordragon is forgotten.