Scarlet Crusade

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"The Scarlet Crusade" redirects here. For the Classic quest, see H [4] The Scarlet Crusade.
NeutralScarlet Crusade
Scarlet Crusade logo.png
Main leader Unknown
  Formerly  Scarlet Commander Forsythe †
 High Commander Goodchilde †
 High Inquisitor Sally Whitemane †
 High General Brigitte Abbendis †
 Grand Inquisitor Isillien †
 Highlord Taelan Fordring †
 High General Abbendis †
 Grand Crusader Dathrohan †
Secondary leaders  Crusader Alrick
 Huntmaster Scarborgh
 High Commander Galvar Pureblood (status unknown)
  Formerly  Inquisitor Fairbell †
 Commander Durand †
 High Priest Benedictus Voss †
 Crusader Lord Valdelmar †
 Grand Admiral Barean Westwind †
 Commander Renault Mograine †
Race(s) HumanHuman Human
  Formerly DwarfDwarf Dwarf
High elfHigh elf High elf
UndeadUndead Undead
Character classes Various
Capital Unknown (Lordaeron)
New Hearthglen (Northrend)
  Formerly Scarlet Monastery
Other major settlements Unknown (Lordaeron)
Onslaught Harbor (Northrend)
  Formerly Gilneas City, Stratholme, Tyr's Hand, New Avalon, Hearthglen
Base of operations Cold Hearth Manor
  Formerly Scarlet Palisade, Scarlet Watch Post, Scarlet Bastion, Scarlet Hold
Theater of operations Lordaeron, Northrend
  Formerly Desolace
Language(s) Common, formerly Dwarven and Thalassian
Sub-group(s) Scarlet Onslaught
Former sub-group(s) Crimson Legion †
Scarlet Fleet
Affiliation Independent
Status Crippled and divided. Onslaught continues to operate with seemingly no objective in Northrend while their remnants in Lordaeron have repurposed as the "Scarlet Brotherhood".[1][2]
Tabard Scarlet Tabard.jpg

“Can you not see it, brothers and sisters? There is but one way to wipe the Scourge from the face of Azeroth. The Scarlet Crusade offers you the protection that you so desperately desire, and if you will pledge yourselves to us, surely we will reach our ultimate goal. Defy us, and you will be dispatched in a blaze of golden light unlike any you have ever witnessed...”

Scarlet Commander Renault Mograine

The Scarlet Crusade (also known as the Scarlet Brotherhood[3] or simply the Crusade) is a fanatical religious sect[4] that evolved from the Knights of the Silver Hand, dedicated to the eradication of the undead from Lordaeron. A major adversary of the Forsaken and Scourge, their name has become synonymous with corruption and extremism,[5] and several quests in Tirisfal Glades involve attacks on Scarlet Crusade troops, leaders, and strongholds. The Scarlet Crusade maintains several bastions throughout the former lands of Lordaeron, namely the Scarlet Monastery, and up until the Cataclysm - Hearthglen, Tyr's Hand, the fortified Scarlet Bastion of Stratholme, and several smaller camps and scout towers spread throughout the whole area of northern Lordaeron.

It is one of the hierarchies left over from the kingdom of Lordaeron after its destruction by the Scourge. After the attack on the Scarlet Enclave, the Scarlet Crusade renamed itself to the Scarlet Onslaught and operated in Northrend, though some members of the original Scarlet Crusade did not transfer to the Scarlet Onslaught. Since the fall of the Lich King, the Scarlet Crusade has experienced a downfall, losing many of its holdings in the now-recovering Plaguelands to the Argent Crusade, and many of its surviving members, ironically, to undeath as the Risen.

During the third invasion of the Burning Legion, the remnants of the Scarlet Crusade in Lordaeron regrouped at the Monastery under the command of High Commander Goodchilde, they were soon assaulted by the Knights of the Ebon Blade who totally wiped them out, in order to resurrect Sally Whitemane as a member of their new Four Horsemen. In Northrend, while the Scarlet Onslaught was largely dismantled and originally stated to be the replacement for the Crusade, New Hearthglen continues to operate, even though it has lost the majority of its leadership and its goals have been dashed away, and was interchangeably referred as the Crusade and as the Onslaught.

As of the end of the Fourth War, the "Scarlet Brotherhood" was formed, marking a resurgence of the Scarlet ideology in Lordaeron, they declared themselves to be House Menethil loyalists and were politically opposed to the Alliance, which they saw as being led by a traitor.[6]


Symbol of the Holy Light, Scarlet Crusade variation.

Third War

Those who would later become the founders of the Crusade met in Southshore[7] during the Third War, where together they purified a dark crystal into what would become the core of the holy Ashbringer sword. By that time a faction had started growing in the Knights of the Silver Hand, largely led by Abbendis. This faction was intolerant of what they deemed as the "lesser races".[8]

The core of the Crusade's forces began as a group of survivors of the Silver Hand who regrouped in Hearthglen after an offer of Taelan Fordring. Ashbringer in hand, Highlord Alexandros Mograine led the knights of the now disbanded Silver Hand through Lordaeron. Such were his acts that he and his weapon quickly became legends.[8]

The Ashbringer

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Following the death of Terenas and Uther at the hands of Arthas Menethil, the core of the Crusade's force came to a meeting in Hearthglen to determine whether they should pursue and eliminate Arthas or fight to take back Lordaeron from the Scourge. Their meeting concludes with the decision of Saidan Dathroan to focus their efforts on Stratholme and Andorhal to stop the spread of the undead epidemic.[8]

During an assault on Stratholme, however, Saidan Dathrohan became separated and lost during the assault. They were overjoyed when he finally reappeared, but none of them could have imagined the truth: that during his absence he had been killed and replaced by the dreadlord Balnazzar.[8]

The remnants of the Silver Hand managed to strike an alliance with the communities of Tyr's Hand while also establishing a forward base in an old monastery not far of Capital City.[9] However, dissensions started appearing in the leadership of the human resistance. Lord Maxwell Tyrosus suggested that in order to retake their fallen cities, the order should recruit among the night elves of Kalimdor and the dwarves and gnomes of Khaz Modan. Other prominent leaders such as High General Abbendis disagreed, considering the fate of Lordaeron the affairs of men.[8]

When Alexandros Mograine showed the will to attack the Forsaken, Balnazzar began manipulating the organization to serve his own ends. Together with his brother Varimathras, he devised a plan to remove a serious threat to both of them: Mograine and his Ashbringer sword.[9] As Saidan Dathrohan, he started talking a lot with Alexandros's son Renault, playing on his desire for approval and recognition, until he eventually managed to convince him to betray his father. Renault led his father and High Inquisitor Fairbanks into Stratholme, where they were set upon by the Scourge. Though Alexandros fought bravely, and many undead fell before his blade, he eventually dropped the Ashbringer, which Renault used to stab his father through the back before fleeing. Fairbanks, who had been buried beneath the undead bodies and thought slain, eventually returned to the Scarlet Monastery and tried to tell the others what had happened. Saidan Dathrohan claimed he had been tainted by the undead, and he was executed. However, there were those who believed that their comrades had fallen from their once-noble purpose, and left to form their own order, the Argent Dawn. Those that remained formally named themselves the Scarlet Crusade.[9]

One day, Renault's younger brother Darion, who had joined the Argent Dawn, came walking into the chapel of the Scarlet Monastery. Renault initially assumed he had come to join the Scarlet Crusade, until he saw what he was carrying: the Ashbringer. Furious, he began to savagely beat Darion, not noticing that a strange shadow was emerging from the blade. The shadow coalesced into the form of Alexandros Mograine and, after accusing his son of betrayal and murder, killed him. Darion took the Ashbringer and left, and soon after Taelan Fordring was appointed as commander at the Monastery.[10]

High General Abbendis was later mortally wounded by the undead and died in his daughter's arms while defending Hearthglen. The reinforcements from the Monastery led by High Inquisitor Whitemane managed to save the city.[10]

A Cleansing Fire

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In year 24, the Scarlet Crusade patroled Lordaeron villages, checking them for the plague. On one such patrol, Saidan and Sir Thomas led a group of crusaders into a village, which was deemed corrupted by the Grand Crusader. Thus, the crusaders slew the townsfolk.

Later, the crusaders struck at a settlement north of Dalson's Tears in the Western Plaguelands which housed Sir Thomas' family. Unbeknownst to him, Thomas killed his family, and it was too late when he realized what he has done, and went mad. The other crusaders dragged him back to the Scarlet Monastery. Saidan then convinced Thomas to join the crusaders in an attack against the Scourge during Hallow's End. Although he killed Scourge, Thomas also killed his fellow crusaders. As such, the Crusade was forced to cut down their former brother. Then, the soldiers brought his body back to the monastery.[11]

Light's Wrath

At some point, the Scarlet Crusade set out to create a staff of unparalleled holy might. A weapon that would rival even the legendary Ashbringer in righteous fury. As the Ashbringer derived its power from a shadowy artifact that had been purified in the Light and affixed to the blade, the zealots sought to do the same for its staff. The order sent its most loyal crusaders into the war-torn Plaguelands in search of a suitable relic, and the few who returned bore a strange jewel bristling with darkness. Some sources say it had been part of a truncheon carried by one of the first death knights to walk the world. Other accounts hint that the dreaded lich Kel'Thuzad has shaped the jewel with his spectral hands. Whatever the truth, the Crusade would use the black gem to create the staff known as Light's Wrath.

Ten of the Scarlet Crusade's learned priests gathered in Hearthglen to create Light's Wrath. For weeks, they practiced a ritual that would purify the dark jewel and bind it to the staff. However, when Balnazzar learned of the plans to forge Light's Wrath, he feared that such a weapon could unmask his deception and shatter his hold over the Crusade. The nathrezim disrupted the cleansing ritual, and the crusaders lost control of their delicate spellwork. A storm of holy energy ripped through the meeting place, instantly killing the ten priests. Yet Light's Wrath was left intact. The blast had purified the jewel and affixed it to the staff. Upon close inspection, Balnazzar found that the staff trembled with unstable energies. Wielding it with any reliability would be near impossible. Rather than destroy the weapon, the demon allowed the Scarlet Crusade to keep it. He looked forward to the mayhem it would cause in the years to come.

During a battle near Tyr's Hand, the Scourge outnumbered the Crusade by twenty to one, until the staff was used to destroy the undead. However, it killed its wielder and many of the soldiers at his side, while the surviving crusaders have been left dumbstruck. At some point, the Scarlet Crusade raided a small village in search of the Scourge, using Light's Wrath to "cleanse" the living townfolk, as they were afflicted by the plague of undeath. But once again, the priest using the staff lost control of its power, and what was once the town square became nothing more than a smoldering crater, filled to the brim with bodies. Of all the Scarlet Crusaders who bore Light's Wrath, Inquisitor Halbin's discipline and calculated focus were unmatched among the order's members. In the Scarlet Monastery, he used the staff to sear his Forsaken prisoners, extracting information for the Crusade to utilize in its war against the undead. However, the more Halbin interacted with the Forsaken, the more he grew to loathe the cursed beings. In time, he no longer cared about gathering intelligence from them and simply wanted to hear their screams. One night, anger overwhelmed his thoughts and seal the inquisitor's doom.

It is unknown exactly when Light's Wrath slipped between the Scarlet Crusade's fingers. Eventually, the staff fell to the care of a troll priest named Jakhar, a member of the Horde Expedition sent to wage war against the Scourge in Northrend.[12] before the elite magi of the Kirin Tor hid it away lest it unleash further deadly calamities.[13]

World of Warcraft

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The Scarlet Crusade has adopted the symbol of Lordaeron as one of their standards.

The Crusade seemingly established their own Church to persuade the folk to join in.[14]

At some point, rumors flew that a plaguebearer was hiding around a village. The Scarlet Crusade had seen to it that every last inhabitant was rounded up and burned alive. Among the villagers was the family of the paladin Lord Thorval, who yearned to hunt down the Crusaders.[15]

Due to its origins as the regrouped survivors of the Silver Hand, the Scarlet Crusade counted members from citizens and races of all over the Alliance of Lordaeron, including high elves of Quel'Thalas, dwarves of the Alterac Mountains and human citizens of Stormwind, Alterac, Kul Tiras and Dalaran.[16] Their opinion of the exterior world turned sour, however, and they started seeing other races than humans as unclean.[9] Seeing this trend, the Forsaken forged some documents to make sure to alarm the Alliance leadership about their supremacist views to prevent any potential of them from joining forces.[17] Human outsiders were still recruited but only after facing dangerous trials. It was additionally suspected that the organization had ties to wealthy intolerant families that supported them.[18]

The Scarlet Crusade continued to cling to their scattered holdings, obsessed with eradicating the undead and retaking their once-beautiful homeland.[19] The Crusaders became intolerant of all non-human races, regardless of alliance or affiliation. They started believing that any and all outsiders were potential carriers of the undead plague - and must be destroyed.[20] The Scarlet Monastery was converted into a Scarlet Crusade stronghold by Scarlet Commander Mograine, who commanded a large garrison of fanatically devoted warriors, and High Inquisitor Sally Whitemane, the true master of the fortress. However, after Commander Mograine's mysterious death,[10] he was eventually replaced by High Commander Goodchilde.

At some point after the formation of the Scarlet Crusade, the Scarlet Monastery was attacked by the Scourge three times in the Summertide Assaults.[21] The Crusade also attempted a strike against the Scourge base in Northrend, and built a fleet specifically for that purpose. The attempt failed, although the Crusaders reached as far as the mouth of Icecrown Glacier. There were many casualties among the high ranks of the Crusade, including its first and only Grand Admiral, first Captain General and first Chief Assassin.

The Scarlet Crusade also created many new anti-undead weapons, outside of Light's Wrath. The human mage Timolain was also commissioned to create powerful new bows and guns.[22][23]

The Scarlet Crusade has been raiding the Forsaken's holdings,[24] and the Forsaken of Brill have fended off their incursions, retaliated in kind, and tested their poisons on Captured Scarlet Zealots.[25] The Forsaken in turn has enlisted Horde adventurers to aid Nathanos Blightcaller in conducting strategic strikes against the Scarlet Crusade in Tyr's Hand in order to soften them up for the assault on Stratholme.[26] Nathanos directed adventurers to slay Demetria — the chief advisor to Grand Crusader Saidan Dathrohan.[27]

Meanwhile, Tirion Fordring enlisted the aid of adventurers to redeem his son Taelan Fordring, who has risen through the ranks of the Scarlet Crusade and is now their Highlord.[28] Tirion has the adventurer collect numerous mementos[29][30][31] and deliver them to Taelan in order to restore his faith in honor and nobility.[32] Tirion's plan worked; Taelan was moved by the mementos and desires to reunite with his father so they can both become heroes of the Alliance and of Lordaeron. Taelan and the adventurer sneak out of Hearthglen to regroup with Tirion but they were caught by Grand Inquisitor Isillien who murdered Taelan for his desertion. Tirion Fordring slays Isillien in retribution while the adventurer dispatched Isillien's Crimson Elites. In the aftermath of the battle, Taelan's death had spurred Tirion to redeem the Order of the Silver Hand so that evil, regardless of its politics or pleasantries, is extinguished from the world.[33]

In Stratholme, the undead Scourge — led by the powerful lich, Kel'Thuzad, is locked in battle with a contingent of Scarlet Crusaders, led by Grand Crusader Dathrohan. Both forces held portions of the ravaged city and both sides were locked in constant, violent combat.[34] The Argent Dawn has been sending adventurers into Stratholme to contend with both factions. Despite their tenuous alliance, Duke Nicholas Zverenhoff of the Argent Dawn condemned the Scarlet Crusade as blasphemers and directed adventurers to slay Archivist Galford and burn down his archives in order to take away the Scarlet Crusade's most valued documents and punish them for their heretical zealotry.[35] Adventurers eventually confronted Grand Crusader Dathrohan and during their battle with him, uncovered that he was really the nathrezim Balnazzar in disguise. Adventurers sent the  [Head of Balnazzar] to Duke Nicholas Zverenhoff as proof of Balnazzar's evil masquerade. Zverenhoff was shocked that the Crusade was manipulated by such an evil force and pondered what the ramifications of Balnazzar's corruption will have on the Scarlet Crusade should the truth come out.[36]

Some Scarlet Crusaders allied with the Argent Dawn at Light's Hope Chapel in order to attack Naxxramas, though the temporary truce was not sanctioned by the Grand Crusader.[37]

During Season of Discovery, a group of Crusaders was sent down south to Khaz Modan to track down and apprehend ex-paladin Aeonas whom they considered an heretic.[38]

The Burning Crusade

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By that point, the Scarlet Crusade's misguided zeal was so strong that it had even tainted the blessing spoken over their holy water.[39] The Blood Knights of Quel'Thalas sought to exploit that taint to prepare a mixture that was to extinguish the eternal flame of the Alonsus Chapel in Stratholme.[40]

Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath-Logo-Small.png This section concerns content related to Wrath of the Lich King.

There was, however, one region of the Eastern Plaguelands which had been remarkably untouched by the plague that had despoiled the remainder of northern Lordaeron. This region was appropriately known as the Scarlet Enclave, consisting of the Scarlet capital of Tyr's Hand led by Lord Valdelmar, and the towns of Havenshire and New Avalon. These towns came under the protection of the Crusade forces after successful negotiations between Silver Hand knights and local administration.[9] Crusaders stationed in Tyr's Hand, led by High General Brigitte Abbendis - one of the Crusade's original founders.

All that changed with the arrival of Acherus in the skies above the Enclave. In short order, the Scourge had established a base camp in the Ebon Hold's shadow and began their campaign of destruction. As the death knights of Acherus began to march on Havenshire, Abbendis claimed to receive visions from the Light, instructing her to take the most faithful of her troops and journey to Northrend. This became known among the Scarlet troops as the "Crimson Dawn", a revival of the Crusade and its "holy mission".

The Fall of the Scarlet Enclave

Main article: Scarlet Onslaught
New Hearthglen, the main base of the Scarlet Onslaught in Dragonblight.

By that point, the death knights had laid waste to Havenshire and were now seeking to find out more about this "Crimson Dawn" mentioned in New Avalon's registry, taken from the town hall after they murdered New Avalon's Mayor Quimby. They discovered that a courier had been sent from Hearthglen by High Commander Galvar Pureblood, informing Abbendis that an army of Crusaders from Hearthglen and Tirisfal were being assembled to reinforce the Enclave and battle the forces of Acherus. One of the death knights, disguised as the courier (having murdered the real courier, taking his clothing and Pureblood's message), delivered the message to Abbendis. Realizing that the Plaguelands were lost, Abbendis ordered "the courier" to return to Pureblood, inform him to turn his armies around and prepare for the journey to Northrend. She gave "the courier" a copy of her diary, claiming it would explain everything. It was at this point that she declared that the Scarlet Crusade was no more - that they were now the Scarlet Onslaught.

The message never reached Pureblood, and his forces were annihilated by the Scourge as a result. With the combined army marching to their doom, High General Abbendis boarded her flagship, the Sinner's Folly, and set sail for Northrend, leaving the Crusade to its fate.


Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

With the exposure of Balnazzar[41] and Mal'Ganis,[42] the senior leadership eliminated, the Lich King's defeat, and Tirion Fordring retaking his old town of Hearthglen for the Argent Crusade, the Scarlet Crusade has become a shadow of its former self. Due to the decline of the Scarlets in the Plaguelands, the Argent Crusade has become the strength in the region, effectively succeeding the Scarlets as the new hierarchy of the former Kingdom of Lordaeron. Only a few loyal members have survived and remained in the Western Plaguelands, such as the Scarlet Smith, the Scarlet Judge, the Scarlet Interrogator and the Scarlet High Clerist, clinging to the hope that Abbendis would return and tortured by hunger.

It has been discovered that the Crusade has completely lost Stratholme, with Balnazzar shedding his disguise and killing the remaining Scarlet Crusaders within the city. Balnazzar then used his necromantic powers to resurrect them as the Risen.[43] Unknown how, but a similar fate has befallen the Scarlet presence in Tyr's Hand, including the members formerly found at Light's Hope Chapel. Hence, in an ironic twist of fate, the eastern Scarlet holdouts in Lordaeron have literally become what they sought to destroy.

What is known is that the Scarlet Crusade have expanded their fortifications to the west of the Solliden Farmstead, in a new, small area called the Scarlet Palisade, and that they managed to keep the Scarlet Monastery in their control. Thus, the Tirisfal Glades appear to be the last remaining bastion of living Scarlet Crusade activity, and dissident crusader Joseph the Awakened intends to bring other crusaders back to their senses. However, he seems to fall into the grips of insanity either with the knowledge that he was forced to kill his former comrades or through some unknown means. So even if Joseph completes his goal the Scarlet Crusade may still be lost in the sway of insanity.

Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria This section concerns content related to Mists of Pandaria.

Recent events indicate that the Scarlet Crusade is still active in their last bastion in Tirisfal Glades, the Scarlet Monastery and are slowly rebuilding the order. New members have been appointed to lead the Scarlet forces inside, as well as one surviving member of the former leadership, Sally Whitemane, the High Inquisitor of the Scarlet Crusade. Along with Commander Durand, who replaced Renault Mograine as Scarlet Commander - they are responsible for the operations inside and possibly outside the Monastery. Due to the corruption wrought by Balnazzar in the Plaguelands and Mal'Ganis in Northrend's branch of the Crusade, the Scarlet Onslaught, the Scarlets became ashamed of their past and have tasked their new archivist and lead mage, Flameweaver Koegler to burn the pages of history.

In the Hall of Champions, Armsmaster Harlan has dedicated his life to the art of wielding the weapons and indelicate instruments of the Scarlet Crusade, and he is pleased to provide a demonstration for the Crusade's blasphemous enemies.[44]

According to Lilian Voss, the only way to bring the Crusade to an end is to eliminate Whitemane, and this deed can only be accomplished by thrusting the  [Blades of the Anointed] into her body, otherwise she will keep coming back.

Soon after Lilian and the heroes of the Horde and the Alliance entered the Monastery and killed many of the remaining forces[45] along with Sally.[46] Following this, some members of the order went into hiding,[2] while others started to regroup and reoccupy the Monastery.


Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

High Commander Goodchilde, leader of the remnants crusaders before the fall of the order.

At the time of the third invasion of the Burning Legion, the Knights of the Ebon Blade assaulted the Scarlet Monastery, now led by High Commander Goodchilde, in their quest to resurrect Sally Whitemane as a member of their new Four Horsemen. Thassarian declared they would not leave until every last crusader had been killed and every banner burned.[47]

The Scarlet Onslaught in New Hearthglen appeared to be still alive and well after the death of their leaders, executing heretics and betrayers. A few former crusaders along with their apostate champion Mariella the Heretic later joined the ranks of the Conclave.[48] Several Crimson Pilgrims also appeared in Dalaran.

A lone Scarlet Quartermaster settled at Darkmoon Island in order to sell Crusade-related paraphernalia in an attempt to raise funds for the order.

Battle for Azeroth

Battle for Azeroth This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.

A set of Scarlet Brotherhood propaganda pamphlets can be found near the Calston Estate in Tirisfal. In the pamphlets, the Brotherhood proclaims that King Anduin Wrynn of Stormwind is an undead-loving traitor who worked with his "lover" Sylvanas Windrunner to stage a fake massacre at the Gathering in the Arathi Highlands. According to the Brotherhood, this was done in order to drum up sympathy for the Forsaken and to lure out Princess Calia so that she could be murdered and raised into undeath, allowing Anduin to marry her and usurp Lordaeron.[49][50] The pamphlets advise members of the order to rally behind the worgen king Genn Greymane and help him wipe out the Forsaken, after which they will turn on Greymane and destroy the worgen as well in order to ensure that Lordaeron belongs only to "pure-blooded humans".[51] Finally, the pamphlets state that the Brotherhood has secretly raised someone that they claim to be the son of Princess Calia and an Arathi nobleman and therefore the rightful king of Lordaeron, whom they will reveal and place on the throne after the undead and worgen have been wiped from the land, thereby restoring the Menethil dynasty.[6]

Most of these pamphlets, if not all, are not true. Of note, Calia's child is actually a daughter, not a son, and her husband was a Lordaeron footman, not an Arathi nobleman.[52] Whoever the Scarlet Brotherhood has, if they have anyone, is likely not actually the Menethil heir as they claim.

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Following the Fourth War, Mathias Shaw mentioned in his reports that the Scarlet Crusade in the Eastern Plaguelands has retreated,[53] its influence having waned over the last few years, but above all that he was informed, at least from what they know, that the Crusade was totally wiped out by the Ebon Blade when they went to the Monastery to destroy them and resurrect Sally Whitemane to integrate her into the Four Horsemen. He also mentions the existence of a group which calls itself the "Scarlet Brotherhood", and whose only attacks consist of anonymous pamphlets uttering absurdities.[1]


Shadowlands This section concerns content related to Shadowlands.

In the Shadowlands, Houndmaster Loksey and Fanatic Crusaders could be found atoning for their sins in Revendreth.

By the time the Forsaken started rebuilding Brill, Scarlet Warriors patrolled the road to Cold Hearth Manor and around Stillwater Pond.

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

Years later, following the war against the Jailer, the Bronzebeard brothers reported that even with their leadership wiped out by the adventurers, there were still enough members of the Scarlet Onslaught in New Hearthglen to continue their twisted crusade against anyone they think an enemy.[54] They also mentioned a surprising number of crusaders in the Onslaught Harbor.[55]


Dragonflight This section concerns content related to Dragonflight.

Following the reclamation of the Ruins of Lordaeron by the Forsaken, the Scarlet Crusade mounted an assault on the undead yet again, claiming Fenris Isle and the Dawning Isles in Silverpine Forest under the command of Scarlet Commander Forsythe.[56] On the isles, they were training, and their archmages were holding portals for more of their footsoldiers to join them from somewhere. They also took Valgan's Field and had a small presence at the Decrepit Fields. The crusade was infiltrated by a hero of the Forsaken, and Forsythe was eventually slain by the hero and Lilian Voss, driving the Crusade out of Fenris Isle.[57]

Once part of Grand Crusader Dathrohan's inner circle, the Scarlet Cultist Jerome Hayton wanted to restore the Headless Horseman in order to cleanse Azeroth. He used the spirit of Suzannah Thomson as bait,[58] and managed to trap the spirit of Sir Thomas to perform a ritual that he learned from the works and legacy of Dathrohan.[59] Although he was successful in restoring the Horseman, the latter instantly killed Jerome.[60] Suzannah implored adventurers for aid, and after the Headless Horseman was defeated, husband and wife reunited and departed for the afterlife.[61]

After their defeat Silverprine Forest, the Scarlet Crusade attempted to regroup under Inquisitor Fairbell who took refuge in Gilneas City. Like the undead, the Crusade viewed the worgen as cursed monsters and heretics that needed to be purged, and hoped to make the ruined kingdom their new stronghold in Lordaeron. Shortly after the night elves moved to Amirdrassil on the Dragon Isles, King Genn Greymane and his people (further supported by the Desolate Council) launched a campaign to finally reclaim their home, clashing with the Scarlet zealots who attempted to stop them. The Scarlet Crusade even attempted to exhume the bodies of fallen Gilneans buried in Aderic's Repose in order to burn their bones and "return" them to the Light. King Genn learned of this and with the help of Alliance adventurers, prevented the zealots from defiling the Gilneans who sacrificed themselves for their kingdom. Despite the Scarlet Crusade's efforts, Fairbell was killed by King Genn, his daughter Tess, and the adventurers, forcing the zealots to abandon Gilneas and go into hiding once more.[62][63]


Monuments to the Scarlet heroes.

Once, the Scarlet Crusade controlled much of the Plaguelands in northern Lordaeron. All of their major holdings have been destroyed or taken over by other forces.

In the Eastern Plaguelands they had the city of Tyr's Hand, and the Scarlet Bastion within the ruins of Stratholme under their control. Both fell to the undead when its inhabitants were transformed, at least in Stratholme, into the Risen. Some time prior to the war against the Lich King they lost the Scarlet Enclave, east of Tyr's Hand, to the Scourge. Its survivors would organize into the Scarlet Onslaught and sail to Northrend where they would begin anew.

In the Western Plaguelands they once settled the town stronghold of Hearthglen, but they would ultimately lose it to the Argent Crusade who transformed it into their new headquarters. They held outposts throughout Western Plaguelands as well, though, these have all been purged; such as the Charred Outpost.

In Northrend, the Onslaught primarily operates out of New Hearthglen, located in the Dragonblight, on Northrend's southern coast. There are two other bases in the Dragonblight: the Onslaught Base Camp located north of the Carrion Fields beneath Naxxramas, and the Scarlet Point east of the Crystal Vice. There is also a more secluded base, the Onslaught Harbor, set on a broken island off the mountainous, western coast of Icecrown.

The last bastions of the Crusade were located in the Tirisfal Glades. The Scarlet Monastery, a peaceful monastery that was converted into a stronghold of the fanatical Crusade,[20] and the Scarlet Palisade, an outpost which protects the Solliden Farmstead, as well as several towers scattered through the zone. One of these towers, the Scarlet Watchtower, was dispatched by the Forsaken, killing its leader, Captain Perrine. The Forsaken ultimately dispatched the Crusaders at the Scarlet Palisade as well after rescuing Lilian Voss, removing it as a threat. The Scarlet Watch Post was then slaughtered when their leader, High Priest Benedictus Voss was killed by his daughter, Lilian, in vengeance. The monastery was noted as being attacked several times, though it was ultimately finished off by the Knights of the Ebon Blade when they sought to raise Sally Whitemane as one of the Four Horsemen.

The status and safe locations of the Scarlet Brotherhood are largely unknown. They reference having the last Menethil heir in a secure safe location, which is specified to be secret. While it is possible this location, and heir, is fabricated (namely as Calia was noted as having a daughter, not a son as the Scarlet Brotherhood claims); it is unknown. The only hint of their presence is that the Brotherhood's pamphlets are entirely centralized in Tirisfal Glades, namely near the Calston Estate. The last remaining Scarlet tower in Tirisfal to not have been destroyed is the Crusader Outpost. Led by Captain Vachon, the area is assailed by adventurers sent by High Executor Derrington [64]. Rather than kill the captain, however, the area is merely assailed to set the Crusade back and the Captain is never actually killed; despite being present through both this attack and a previous attack from Lilian Voss. Whether he or any of his remaining crusaders became part of the Brotherhood or were slain another time is unknown.


Icon-search-48x48.png This section contains information that needs to be cleaned up. Reason: Needs more facts, sources, and neutral point of view.

Though the Crusade's ranks are all human, it is not openly welcomed by the Alliance. However, its mission appeals to most within the Alliance, who generally agree that the undead need to be removed from Lordaeron so its citizens can return home. As news of the Crusaders' rising madness compete with tales of their good deeds and names of heroes amongst their ranks, especially the less informed peasants of regions far away from former Lordaeron still view this organization as a stalwart defender against the undead threat. In part, this is true, as the Crusade has indeed rescued refugees and defended civilian settlements in the Plaguelands many times, including a project to re-settle villages that have been destroyed by the Scourge during the war. Scarlet Crusaders protected the Solliden Farmstead and its inhabitants, making it one of the few places in northern Lordaeron where the native farmfolk were able to survive to this day and also one of the few places in Lordaeron where they can get food that is unaffected by the plague of undeath. Until the Forsaken sent their newly risen champions from Deathknell to deal with the situation.

Generally, the actions of the Scarlet Crusade are tolerated out of ignorance, and both the Alliance and the Church of Holy Light distance themselves from the Crusade's activities officially, but without trying to interfere. The Scarlet Crusade, maintained recruitment officers within the Alliance prior to its destruction - examples can be found in the Cathedral of Light in Stormwind and in the Alliance outpost of Nijel's Point.

The Scarlet Crusade has killed countless refugees fleeing the horrors of the Scourge, regarding them as possible carriers of the plague or even undead sympathizers, and their growing zealotry made the Crusade enemies all over Azeroth. Travelers were advised to stay clear of Scarlet Crusaders regardless of whether any undead are in the party.

Despite their "alliance" against Kel'Thuzad in the flying citadel of Naxxramas,[65] the Scarlet Crusade and the Argent Dawn were strongly opposed to each other. At Light's Hope Chapel, Duke Nicholas Zverenhoff denounced the blind zealotry of the Crusade, and how they have destroyed many innocents in the name of the Light, even calling them blasphemers for their crimes.[66] During their meeting, Eligor Dawnbringer of the Brotherhood of the Light managed to keep relations between the organizations from turning violent, but he threatened them to leave them to the justice of Tirion Fordring and the Knights of the Silver Hand if the representatives of the Crusade were no longer present on amicable terms.[65] Another example of their hostility, after raiding a Scarlet Crusade prison house, the Death knight of Acherus discovered that there were a number of Argent Dawn prisoners there, with apparently most of them already dead.[67]


Scarlet Onslaught

Main article: Scarlet Onslaught

The rallied forces of Brigitte Abbendis that sailed to Northrend to combat the Lich King. Establishing numerous footholds, such as New Hearthglen and Onslaught Harbor; they sought to find justice for Lordaeron and their own crusaders who had been slaughtered fighting the Scourge. Despite this, they remained overtly hostile to any and all outside forces; leading to the Argent Crusade under Eligor Dawnbringer to dispatch Abbendis and many of her subordinates. Rallied by Barean Westwind, the legendary Scarlet admiral who was found by Abbendis wandering Northrend (claimed to have survived by a miracle of the light); the remaining Onslaught members moved to Onslaught Harbor to assail the Lich King directly. Here, they were once again harried by heroes at the behest of the Knights of the Ebon Blade; where it was revealed that Barean had indeed died years ago in Northrend.

Similar to the Crusade's own Saiden Dathrohan, Barean's corpse was possessed by the defeated Dreadlord, Mal'Ganis, who had harbored a desire for vengeance after his near death in battle against Arthas Menethil. Disappearing and leaving the Onslaught leaderless, it miraculously survived in New Hearthglen past the war. It was revisited again by priests of the Conclave, seeking allies in their war against the Burning Legion. There, Mariella Ward and her fellow Scarlet Apostates were recruited after defeating the new Scarlet leader, Inquisitor Ward; though the Onslaught remains firmly rooted in New Hearthglen.

It is the only branch of the Crusade that is still active with a militant force; though they are extremely far from their homeland and their objectives, if they have any, are completely unknown.

Crimson Legion

Main article: Crimson Legion

An elite force of the Crusade is the Crimson Legion, led by the Grand Crusader himself. The Crimson Legion appeared to have directly linked back to Dathrohan and guarded his sanctum within Stratholme. They held their own version of the Scarlet Crusade tabard, an alternating pattern of white and red with a white version of their Scarlet flame iconography upon the middle. This tabard was also worn by high-ranking members of the Crusade, such as Brigitte Abbendis, though it is unknown if that means they were also part of the Crimson Legion. It, alongside most of the Crusade in the Eastern Plaguelands, was decimated by various forces. They were put to an end when Balnazzar revealed his treachery and shed his Dathrohan disguise; raising them all into the ranks of his Risen.

Scarlet renegades

Main article: Scarlet renegades

The Scarlet renegades were former members of the Scarlet Crusade who have openly rebelled against the order. They sought to reform the order after having realized the evil corruption of the crusade. The Renegades sought redemption after the actions of the crusade and have thus allied themselves with the Alliance. They asked for their aid to seize control of the crusade and, while successful in doing so, their leadership appears to have fallen to madness.

Their status following Mists of Pandaria is unclear.

Books and other texts


Name Role Description Status
Mob  Saidan Dathrohan Grand Crusader One of the original five paladins founded during the Second War. He was commander of Stratholme. He was killed by Balnazzar in order for the demon to possess his body. Deceased
Mob  Demetria Scarlet Oracle She was the chief advisor to Grand Crusader Saidan Dathrohan. Deceased
Mob  Abbendis High General He was one of the founders of the original Scarlet Crusade. He used to command the city of Tyr's Hand. He was slain by an army of Undead. Deceased
Mob  Brigitte Abbendis High General She was the founder and commander of the Scarlet Onslaught. She was slain by a group of Alliance and Horde soldiers. Deceased
Mob  Isillien Grand Inquisitor He used to train priest adapts into becoming inquisitors for the Scarlet Crusade. He was killed by Tirion Fordring for killing his son, Taelan Fordring. Deceased
Neutral  Taelan Fordring Highlord He was commander of Hearthglen and lord of Mardenholde Keep. Taelan recognized the corruption that had befallen the Scarlet Crusade and defected. However, while escaping from Hearthglen he was killed by Grand Inquisitor Isillien for his "betrayal". Deceased
Mob  Barean Westwind Grand Admiral Was commander of the Scarlet Crusade's fleet. He seemed to have died at sea and his body was then possessed by Mal'Ganis. Deceased
Neutral  Orman of Stromgarde Captain General He was the first Captain General of the Scarlet Crusade. A statue erected in his name says that he was lost at the mouth of Icecrown Glacier. Unknown
Mob  High Commander Goodchilde High Commander Located in the Monastery after its siege by Knights of the Ebon Blade. Deceased
Neutral  Galvar Pureblood High Commander He was the High Commander of Hearthglen during the period in which High General Brigitte Abbendis formed the Scarlet Onslaught and sailed to Northrend. Unknown
Mob  Renault Mograine Scarlet Commander He was the Commander of the forces in the Scarlet Monastery, after his demise was succeeded by Durand. Deceased
Mob  Durand Scarlet Commander Successor to Renault Mograine, the commander of rebuilding Scarlet Crusade forces in Scarlet Monastery. Deceased
Mob  Rodrick Scarlet Commander Commander of the forces in the Scarlet Enclave. Killable
Mob  Lorik High Protector He was the High Protector of Mardenholde Keep. Unknown
Mob  Tarsen High Protector He was the High Protector of Northridge Lumber Camp. Unknown
Mob  Ferren Marcus High Abbot He was a loyal servant to the Scarlet Crusade. He died while defending the Scarlet Monastery against the Undead forces at the First Summertide Assault. Deceased
Mob  Landgren High Abbot, Archbishop He was the Archbishop of the Scarlet Crusade/Onslaught. He is a secondary commander of the forces of the Scarlet Onslaught. He commits suicide by jumping off a cliff while soldiers are chasing him. Deceased
Mob  Valroth High Inquisitor He is the High Inquisitor of the Scarlet Onslaught. Deceased
Neutral  High Inquisitor Fairbanks High Inquisitor He was a High Inquisitor of the Scarlet Crusade. He witnessed the betrayal of Renault killing his father. He attempted to preach the wrongdoings and was killed and hidden in the chamber. Deceased (Undead)
Mob  Benedictus Voss High Priest He is the High Priest of the Scarlet Crusade in Tirisfal Glades. Killed by his daughter. Deceased
Neutral  Arellas Fireleaf High Wizard He was the High Wizard of the Scarlet Crusade. Unknown
Neutral  Harthal Truesight Lord Paladin He led an attack on Stratholme and presumably died during the fight. Unknown
Mob  Scarlet Lord Borugh Lord Paladin He was the military commander of New Avalon's defense. He is seen after the fall of Havenshire. Unknown
Neutral  Invar One-Arm Chief Assassin He was the first Chief Assassin of the Scarlet Crusade. Unknown
Neutral  Yana Bloodspear Chief Assassin She was the second Chief Assassin of the Scarlet Crusade. Unknown
Mob  Herod Scarlet Champion He is the Scarlet Champion of the Scarlet Crusade. Deceased
Mob  Harlan Scarlet Armsmaster He is the Armsmaster of the Scarlet Crusade, replaced Herod in the Hall of Arms. Killable
Mob  Koegler Scarlet Archivist, Flameweaver He is a mage responsible for Scarlet Crusade's archives within the Scarlet Monastery. Due to the corruption of the Crusade, Koegler was tasked to burn down the pages of history, in order to conceal all shameful events. Deceased
Mob  Braun Scarlet Houndmaster He is responsible for training the hounds supposed to guard the Scarlet Monastery. Killable
Mob  Loksey Houndmaster He is the Houndmaster of the Scarlet Crusade. Deceased
Mob  James Vishas Interrogator He is an Interrogator of the Scarlet Crusade, found in the Scarlet Monastery. Once believed to have been killed in Scarlet Monastery. The badly wounded James survives and was taken in as a gladiator in the Brawler's Guild. His injuries were cured and now fight in the arena as Dungeon Master Vishas. Killable
Mob  Doan Arcanist He is a firm believer that Arcane Magic is the only way to stop the Scourge. Deceased
Mob  Brother Korloff Monk He is a monk responsible for physical and spiritual training of Scarlet forces inside the Scarlet Monastery. Killable
Neutral  Fellari Swiftarrow Ranger Captain She was the Ranger Captain of the Scarlet Crusade. Unknown
Mob  Melrache Captain He was a Captain stationed in the Scarlet Watch Post. He was killed by Lilian Voss. Deceased
Mob  Perrine Captain He was a Captain stationed in the Scarlet Watch Post. He was killed by Lilian Voss. Deceased
Mob  Vachon Captain He is a Captain stationed in the Scarlet Watch Post. Despite his outpost having been attacked by Lilian Voss, he remains unharmed. Killable
Mob  Gebler Scarlet Lieutenant He was the Scarlet Crusader who caught Lilian Voss. He later was killed by her before executing her. Deceased
Mob  Lieutenant Sanders Lieutenant He was killed by Lilian Voss. Deceased
Mob  Durgen Cavalier He was a high ranking member of the order and patrols Hearthglen. Deceased
Mob  Holia Sunshield Defender She was killed while trying to slay the Dreadlord Beltheris. Deceased
Neutral  Dorgar Stoenbrow Warrior He was Lord of the Red Caverns. Unknown
Neutral  Valea Twinblades Warrior She was a warrior fighting the Scourge in Eastern Plaguelands. Unknown
Mob  Radley Huntsman She was a normal member of the Scarlet Crusade. Deceased
Mob  Dansel Adams Hunter He sent word to the High General of Naxxramas leaving the Plaguelands. Unknown
Mob  Faralis the Fanatic Priest Located in the Monastery during the Burning Legion's third invasion. Killable
Neutral  Yuriv Crusader He was the husband of Clarice Foster and died by the hands of the Scourge. He is buried in Silverpine Forest. Deceased
Neutral  Crusader Jorny the Deified Crusader He died using the  [Ancient Tome of Teleport: Dalaran]. Deceased
Alliance  Brother Anton Emissary He was an emissary located in Desolace, tasking players with killing the undead in the area. He was found dead after the Cataclysm. Deceased
Alliance  Brother Crowley Emissary A priest situated in Stormwind who is unaware of the wrong doings of the Scarlet Crusade. Alive
Mob  Stable Master Kitrik Stable Master He is the Stable Master of the Havenshire Stables. Killable
Mob  Meven Korgal Messenger He was slain while delivering a message. Deceased
Neutral  Shill Dinger Prisoner He is an ordinary member being held as a prisoner in Blackrock Depths. Alive
Mob  Quimby Mayor He was the Mayor of Scarlet Enclave. Killable
Mob  Nancy Vishas Citizen She once lived at Misty Shore, she may have been killed by Horde agents. Unknown
Mob  Grandpa Vishas Citizen He once lived at Misty Shore, he may have been killed by Horde agents. Unknown
Neutral  Halbin Inquisitor Former wielder of  [Light's Wrath]. Deceased


Name Role Description Status
Alliance  Raleigh the Devout Warrior He was a defector of Scarlet Crusade and had tasked players into killing of several key-members of the Scarlet Crusade. Alive
Horde  Renee Lauer Captain, Innkeeper In life, she was a Captain of the Scarlet Crusade. In death, instead of commanding an army she chose to live a simple life as an Innkeeper. Active (Undead)
Mob  Valdelmar Crusader Lord He was the commander of Tyr's Hand after the death of High General Abbendis. He was slain by an army of Undead and risen as one. Killable (Undead)
Mob  Marjhan Scarlet Commander She served as an ambassador of the Scarlet Crusade at Light's Hope Chapel. Sometime later she was killed and raised as an undead. Killable (Undead)
Mob  Malor the Zealous Commander He had stayed back in the ruins of Stratholme as a commander. Sometime later he was raised as an undead. Killable (Undead)
Mob  Willey Cannon Master He was the Cannon Master of the Scarlet Crusade. Sometime later he was raised as an undead. Killable (Undead)
Mob  Huntsman Leopold Ambassador He was an ambassador of the Scarlet Crusade to the Argent Dawn. Sometime later he was raised as an undead. Killable (Undead)
Mob  Archivist Galford Archivist, Instructer He was the main Archivist of the Scarlet Crusade. Sometime later he was raised as an undead and became an instructor. Killable (Undead)
Mob  Rohan the Assassin Assassin He was an assassin located at Light's Hope Chapel. He was later killed and risen as an Undead. Killable (Undead)
Mob  Mataus the Wrathcaster Wrathcaster He was a Wrathcaster located at Light's Hope Chapel. He was later killed and risen as an Undead. Killable (Undead)
Mob  Jerris Foreman He was a Foreman before becoming an Undead, and even after becoming one. Killable (Undead)
Mob  Marcrid Foreman He was a Foreman before becoming an Undead, and even after becoming one. Killable (Undead)
Alliance  Joseph the Awakened Scarlet Champion He no longer serves the Scarlet Crusade and now leads the Scarlet renegades. Unknown
Horde  Lilian Voss Agent In life, she was an agent of the Scarlet Crusade and the daughter of Benedictus Voss. In death, she represents the Forsaken on the Horde Council. Active (Undead)
Neutral  Sir Thomas Crusader Better known as the Headless Horseman. Deceased
Mob  Scarlet Highlord Daion Scarlet Highlord Joined the Scarlet Onslaught. Unknown
Mob  Captain Hartford Captain Joined the Scarlet Onslaught. Killable
Mob  Captain Welsington Captain Joined the Scarlet Onslaught. Killable
Mob  Commander Jordan Commander Joined the Scarlet Onslaught. Killable
Mob  Bishop Street Bishop Joined the Scarlet Onslaught. Killable
Mob  Torturer Alphonse Torturer Joined the Scarlet Onslaught. Killable
Mob  Lead Cannoneer Zierhut Lead Cannoneer Joined the Scarlet Onslaught. Killable
Mob  Stable Master Mercer Stable Master Joined the Scarlet Onslaught. Killable
Mob  Blacksmith Goodman Blacksmith Joined the Scarlet Onslaught. Killable
Mob  Captain Shely Captain Joined the Scarlet Onslaught. Killable
Mob  Foreman Kaleiki Foreman Joined the Scarlet Onslaught. Killable
Mob  Efrem the Faithful Crusader Left the Scarlet Onslaught and the Scarlet Crusade. Now seeks to become the Lich Kings Champion. Unknown
Mob  Onslaught Commander Iustus Commander Ambushed a group of the 7th Legion. Wanted dead by the Alliance. Killable
Mob  Bloodmage Thalnos Bloodmage Now known as Thalnos the Soulrender. Killable (Undead)
Neutral  Sally Whitemane High Inquisitor In life, she was the leader of the Scarlet forces inside the Scarlet Monastery. In death, she is now one of the Four Horsemen of the Ebon Blade. Active (Undead)
Neutral  Timolain the Accursed Mage Former mage of the Crusade Active (Undead)

Ranks and classes

Military ranks

  • Grand Crusader
  • Scarlet Oracle
  • High General
  • Grand Inquisitor
  • Highlord
  • Crusader Lord
  • Grand Admiral
  • Captain General
  • High Abbot
  • Archbishop
  • High Inquisitor
  • High Priest
  • Scarlet Commander
  • High Commander
  • High Clerist
  • Lord Paladin
  • Commander
  • High Protector
  • Cavalier
  • Ranger Captain
  • Scarlet Champion
  • Cannon Master
  • Captain
  • Houndmaster
  • Stablemaster
  • Foreman
  • Lieutenant
  • Huntsman
  • Instructor
  • Guardsman
  • Infantryman
  • Elite
  • Crusader
  • High Wizard
  • Arcanist
  • Chief Assassin
  • Wrathcaster
  • Mayor
  • Centurion
  • Champion
  • Vanguard
  • Soldier
  • Trainee
  • Trooper
  • Councilman
  • Fleet Defender
  • Defender
  • Gallant


In the RPG

A member of the Scarlet Crusade in Dark Factions.

Icon-RPG.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

The Scarlet Crusade is a group of maddened zealots so dedicated to the removal of all undead that they commonly attack the living.[68] In the Western Plaguelands, the Scarlet Crusade strikes against the Scourge from Hearthglen.[69] Many Knights of the Silver Hand remained on Lordaeron for several reasons ranging from missing the fleeing boats, to a sense of duty to clear their homeland of the undead. With the destruction of Lordaeron in front of them and the knowledge that Arthas had betrayed them, some knights actually went mad. They hunt the undead in Lordaeron with a zeal that frightens. Many innocent mortals have been killed through misunderstandings, or simply "just making sure". These paladins have a frightening policy: When in doubt, assume the person is undead and kill him. These knights would never admit that they walk the same dark road that led to Arthas’s damnation, but few of them continue to follow the three virtues. Those who question their leaders are assumed to be undead sympathizers and are slain. Many serve the Scarlet Crusade out of fear, as to speak up means instant death.[70]

The Scarlet Crusade is what happens when mad zealots take over a good cause. While the Alliance is in agreement that the Scourge needs to be eradicated from Lordaeron so they can return home, few Alliance members would agree with the methods used by the Scarlet Crusade. The Crusade’s members are mostly soldiers — many are Knights of the Silver Hand — who saw such devastation wrought by the Scourge that they resort to extreme measures to destroy the undead. This includes killing any mortal they assume to be undead, killing mortals to get to undead or killing mortals who may sympathize with undead. “Sympathizing with the undead” is how Crusaders interpret someone arguing that their methods are severe. They are the natural enemies of the Scourge and the Forsaken, but they are also the enemy of anyone who cannot prove that he is alive — usually within ten or so seconds. The Crusade has indeed destroyed several undead encampments on Lordaeron. They may end up alone on the continent — or more likely, die trying.[71] The Scarlet Crusade sees no difference between the Forsaken and the Scourge and battle the Forsaken zealously.[72]

Despite its excesses, the Crusade is a powerful force in the eastern kingdoms, having already destroyed several undead encampments in Lordaeron[72] and defeated a number of dangerous Liches as well as the Dreadlord Beltheris. They are expected to continue battling until either the Scourge are driven from Lordaeron or the Crusade itself is destroyed.

The Scarlet Crusade distrusts any non-humans although they once had other races, such as High Elves and Dwarves, in their ranks.[73]

History of the Crusade

Isillien was formerly a priest of the Holy Light in Lordaeron, assigned to be the liaison for the Knights of the Silver Hand. There he worked closely with the elder High General Abbendis and his youthful charges, tutoring the young paladins in their quest for truth. Priests and paladins fought as the Scourge attacked the city, but they fled as Lordaeron fell around them. Some whisper it was the wounds both men received in battle, or perhaps just the shock of seeing their whole purpose destroyed, but since that day both Isillien and Abbendis had become quite insane. Isillien and Abbendis wandered the area as the Scourge defiled the land, destroying what undead they could, gathering what warriors would join them. They had but one concern: eradication of all that had destroyed Lordaeron.[68]

Isillien and High General Abbendis gathered together several other people to join them. Among them were Abbendis's daughter Brigitte, Alexandros Mograine (wielding the newly-forged Ashbringer) and his son Renault, Taelan Fordring, and Saidan Dathrohan. This group was focused on the singular goal of defeating the Scourge in all its forms.[74][75]

In the times after the ascension of the Lich King and the rise of the Forsaken, the elder Abbendis and Isillien felt that although they had a good base, they really needed to attack the Scourge where they were the thickest: in the Eastern Plaguelands. Isillien took on the title of Grand Inquisitor, while the elder Abbendis led the majority of the forces to Tyr's Hand in the east to strike at Stratholme. As they established their bases and took in many more warriors, they destroyed any undead they found.[68]

Taelan Fordring, one of Isillien’s protégés, adored his tutor and his general. He offered his family’s keep and land, untouched by the undead, for their base of operations. The group gained members whose lives had been ruined by the Scourge. Most members have seen a loved one die and, more often than not, be raised to fight alongside her murderer. Isillien became the spokesman for the group, his ravings gaining more followers than repelling them — and who could argue with the man that the undead were evil?[68]

Some had reason to pause when Isillien’s young page was found with Isillien’s knife through his heart, and the priest calmly reported that the page had died that afternoon while hunting, and the undead had raised him and sent him back as an assassin. He was so convincing that the incident cemented the fear for most: if a freshly killed and raised undead can look just like a regular human, they had no idea who among them may or may not be with the Scourge. After a month of quarantine, all priests and warriors with the Crusade were declared clean. Frequently, groups of refugees fleeing the undead also fell beneath their furious swords. As the Grand Inquisitor claims, one cannot be too careful. All undead — good, evil or neutral, Scourge or Forsaken — are the rivals of the Scarlet Crusade. The undead are abominations and must be destroyed before the land and the people can heal. They count the Alliance and the Church of Holy Light as their allies, but these organizations quickly distance themselves from these fanatics and instruct all travelers to give a wide berth to any Crusaders.[68]


A Scarlet Crusader on the cover of Lands of Conflict.

The Scarlet Crusade is structured much like the military. The male Abbendis and Isillien were the leaders. Abbendis was the official head of the Scarlet Crusade. He considered himself the arm of the Crusade while Isillien is the heart. Abbendis guided the military attacks of the Crusade from Tyr’s Hand in the Eastern Plaguelands, communicating frequently with Isillien, who guides the priests in the Crusade in their new roles as inquisitors, based in the Western Plaguelands. He is in charge of questioning undead and mortals alike to ferret out whatever information he can on the movement and settlement of the undead. Isillien acts as the leader of the priests and guides the inquisitions in the west along with his impressionable paladin Taelan, while Abbendis controlled the warriors in the east. The Crusade has thirteen generals leading the lower ranks: 2,000 troops based in Hearthglen and 10,000 based in Tyr’s Hand. The generals were not only chosen by the ranks they had in the war, but also by their dedication to the cause. Few make it very high in the ranks if they do not have a burning fervor to destroy all undead. Veterans who have fought the Scourge before are quickly promoted. Any dissent in the ranks is considered to be caused by undead infiltration, for the Crusade cannot fathom a reasonable mortal having any disagreement with the elimination of the undead. Such individuals are considered to be undead themselves, or worse, deranged undead sympathizers. Thus the organization of the Scarlet Crusade is flawless, as the crusaders work with one mind towards one goal. If they do not work with total agreement, it is at least complete fear of their superiors that keeps them in line. It's based in the Plaguelands, but hunts undead everywhere it can in northern Lordaeron.[68][76] With the death of the elder Abbendis fighting the scourge, his daughter took over as High General.[77]

Currently, the head of the Scarlet Crusade is Grand Crusader Saidan Dathrohan. Serving beneath him are Demetria (the Scarlet Oracle), High General Abbendis, Grand Inquisitor Isillien, Highlord Taelan Fordring, and Crusader Lord Valdelmar. The grand crusader handles the grisly, prolonged siege of Stratholme. Abbendis commands military assaults and assists the grand crusader in the siege, while Isillien handles interrogations and intelligence in the west.[78]


Membership in the Scarlet Crusade is high, relative to the human population of the region. The strong sense of abandonment, futility and fear runs high in all humans on Lordaeron, and the Scarlet Crusade feeds that fear with reassurance that the evil will fall while the good remain untainted. The Crusade attracts mostly warriors, people who find in this post-war state that living by the sword is the only way to survive. They feel the need for a strong community where their skills will be utilized, and the Scarlet Crusade maintains that they need strong warriors for their cause. Some priests are drawn to the righteous eradication of the undead, but they often see the Crusade for the zealots they are and rethink their entry. This, of course, is considered suspicious, and they are often slain for their misgivings. The biggest problem prospective members encounter is assuring the Crusaders that they are not undead themselves. Since the Grand Inquisitor was almost killed by his own page (so the story goes), the group is incredibly paranoid about the undead infiltrating their ranks. There is however one undead in their ranks (High Inquisitor Fairbanks) however he has been locked away in an secret room, why the crusaders haven't killed him yet remains a mystery. The supposedly common knowledge that undead are hideously deformed and easy to discern from the living makes no difference to these people; they believe necromancers are capable of disguising the undead as living. Thus, new members (if they survived alerting the Crusade to their desire to join) are quarantined for 30 days to see if they begin to exhibit signs of the plague or being an undead. They are visited by the Grand Inquisitor or the High General during this time and are "questioned". No Scarlet Crusader discusses his quarantine and initiation.[68][79]

Membership is comprised chiefly of human warriors, ex-paladins, priests and paladins (dark or otherwise),[80] scarlet knights, scarlet inquisitors, Scarlet Chaplains, Scarlet Crusaders, and scarlet battle mages professions.


Scarlet Crusade and Argent Dawn members looking at each other in Dark Factions.

Despite their increasingly small numbers, the members of the Scarlet Crusade never falter, turn aside, or retreat. The Scarlet Crusade fights directly and it fights to the death.

Most military forces fight conservatively and hoard their members, but the crusaders take no care for their own lives. They wade into battle with zealous fervor, slashing and hacking until they either fall or vanquish all enemies.

Only the backing of the priests and paladins keep the order alive, both literally and figuratively. The impassioned speeches and charismatic leadership of the order’s healers motivates their troops into battle, and their healing magic keeps their zealots whole. The military training of the order’s paladins serves the crusade well, as the paladins train the members in basic troop formations and simple tactics that increase their odds of survival.

Generally, members of the Scarlet Crusade don’t bother flanking their enemies, as they’re used to fighting undead that are slow and easy to strike and immune to backstabs. Scarlet Crusade units fight in tight formations. They form rings whenever possible, standing shoulder to shoulder, so no one member risks being surrounded by a shambling mob of undead. If forced to disperse, members try to pair up and fight back to back.

Paladins and priests freely use their healing abilities and spells in combat, not only to bolster their own troops, but to harm undead enemies. Paladins and priests try not to use their turn undead ability, as their goal is to destroy their enemies, not scatter them. If overwhelmed by superior numbers, though, or confident in their ability to destroy nearby undead with a turn attempt, the commanders call upon their holy power. Many Scarlet Crusade priests can rebuke undead; they force their undead foes to cower long enough for the knights to do their work.

When fighting living opponents, the Scarlet Crusade varies its tactics only slightly. The Crusade rarely takes on hordes of living enemies; when they do engage the living, it is usually to target individuals or small groups. Members of the Crusade do use flanking maneuvers when fighting the living. They’re most concerned with preventing the escape of their prey, as living opponents move much faster than undead, and often panic. Mounted knights run down fleeing enemies, while the foot soldiers remain behind to engage slower targets. Foot soldiers also use trip attacks to reduce the odds that their prey will escape.[81]


The Western Crusade’s headquarters are in the rural area of Hearthglen, the inheritance of Taelan Fordring. Their main headquarters are in the Eastern Plaguelands in the small community of Tyr’s Hand.[79] They command from the Scarlet Basilica. The community is also host to several churches including a newly built Scarlet Monastery, a massive building that draws refugees looking for safety.[79]

Notes and trivia


This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.
  • Several items that dropped within the level 60 incarnation of Naxxramas bore the title "Grand Crusader" such as  [Belt of the Grand Crusader],  [Leggings of the Grand Crusader], and  [Spaulders of the Grand Crusader]. This hints that Balnazzar may have at one time attempted to raid Naxxramas with his Scarlet Crusaders but was then repelled by the servants of Kel'Thuzad who then claimed parts of his armor in the process.
  • It is known that the naaru gave visions of the Light to several human prophets following the Troll Wars. These visions were of holiness, protection, justice, retribution, and compassion. Mereldar and the other prophets codified and wrote down these emanations of wisdom, which would eventually lead to the creation of the Church of the Light.[93] As such, it is possible that the spiritual leaders of the Scarlet Crusade focused their worshiping on the "retribution" aspect of the Light and chose to ignore the others when they created their own version of the church.[14]


Trading Card Game
Fan art


See also


  1. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms, pg. 109
  2. ^ a b Chris Metzen on Twitter (2014-12-29).​ “I'm sure there's a handful out there in hiding... But their power is broken for now.”
  3. ^ N Mage [40D] Rituals of Power
  4. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 113
  5. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 103
  6. ^ a b  [The Last Menethil]
  7. ^ Ashbringer/Old Hillsbrad Ashbringer event
  8. ^ a b c d e Death is Contagious
  9. ^ a b c d e Ashes to Ashes
  10. ^ a b c Dust to Dust
  11. ^ A Cleansing Fire
  12. ^ Word of the Conclave#Light's Wrath
  13. ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2015-10-23. Legion: Priest Artifact Review. Retrieved on 2015-11-08.
  14. ^ a b  [Give to the Church and the Light Will Provide]
  15. ^ The Memoirs of Lord Thorval
  16. ^ Hall of Champions statues
  17. ^  [Forged Scarlet Memorandum]
  18. ^  [Brazier of Invocation: User's Manual]
  19. ^ World of Warcraft: Game Manual
  20. ^ a b
  21. ^ Compendium of Fallen Heroes
  22. ^ Bardu Sharpeye#Quotes
  23. ^ Alexia Ironknife#Quotes
  24. ^ Legends Volume 3: Crusader's Blood
  25. ^ H [1-30] Johaan's Experiment
  26. ^ H [60G] The Crimson Courier
  27. ^ H [60G] The Scarlet Oracle, Demetria
  28. ^ N [56] Redemption
  29. ^ N [57] Of Forgotten Memories
  30. ^ N [58] Of Lost Honor
  31. ^ N [60D] Of Love and Family
  32. ^ N [60] Scarlet Subterfuge
  33. ^ N [60G] In Dreams
  34. ^ Stratholme (Classic)
  35. ^ N [60D] The Archivist
  36. ^ N [60D] The Truth Comes Crashing Down
  37. ^ Scarlet Commander Marjhan#Quotes
  38. ^ A Paladin [35] Orders from the Grand Crusader
  39. ^ H IconSmall BloodElf Male.gifIconSmall BloodElf Female.gif Paladin [60G] True Masters of the Light
  40. ^ H IconSmall BloodElf Male.gifIconSmall BloodElf Female.gif Paladin [60] True Masters of the Light
  41. ^ N [60D] The Truth Comes Crashing Down
  42. ^ N [25-30G5] The Admiral Revealed
  43. ^ N [15-30D] The Dreadlord Balnazzar
  44. ^ [[Armsmaster Harlan#Adventure Guide
  45. ^ N [10-30D] Rank and File
  46. ^ N [10-30D] Unto Dust Thou Shalt Return
  47. ^ N Death knight [45] The Scarlet Massacre
  48. ^ N Priest [45] Scarlet Redemption
  49. ^  [The Traitor King]
  50. ^  [The Would-Be Queen]
  51. ^  [The Cursed Old Wolf]
  52. ^ Before the Storm, pg. 253
  53. ^ World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms, pg. 81
  54. ^ Exploring Azeroth: Northrend, pg. 84
  55. ^ Exploring Azeroth: Northrend, pg. 130
  56. ^ H IconSmall Undead Male.gifIconSmall Undead Female.gif [50-70] Our Enemies Abound
  57. ^ H IconSmall Undead Male.gifIconSmall Undead Female.gif [50-70] This is the Hour of the Forsaken
  58. ^ N [10-70] Shades of Scarlet
  59. ^ Jerome Hayton's Journal
  60. ^ N [10-70] No Laughing Matter
  61. ^ N [10-70] The Tale of Sir Thomas
  62. ^ N [70] Aderic's Retort
  63. ^ N [70] Righteous Fire, Righteous Fury
  64. ^ H [1-30] At War With The Scarlet Crusade
  65. ^ a b Eligor Dawnbringer#Quotes
  66. ^ N [60D] The Archivist
  67. ^ N Death Knight [8-30] A Special Surprise
  68. ^ a b c d e f g Lands of Conflict, pg. 166
  69. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 21
  70. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 169
  71. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 375
  72. ^ a b World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 372
  73. ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 186
  74. ^ Monster Guide, pg. 152
  75. ^ Dark Factions, pg. 155
  76. ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 165
  77. ^ Dark Factions, pg. 157
  78. ^ Dark Factions, pg. 156
  79. ^ a b c Lands of Conflict, pg. 167
  80. ^ Dark Factions, pg. 184
  81. ^ Dark Factions, pg. 185
  82. ^ H IconSmall Undead Male.gifIconSmall Undead Female.gif [50-70] Our Enemies Abound
  83. ^ World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms, pg. 106
  84. ^ H [33D] Hearts of Zeal
  85. ^ N [60] A Light in Dark Places
  86. ^ Chris Metzen on Twitter (2013-12-20).​ “love Argent, hate Scarlet....” (when asked about the Church's position on the topic)
  87. ^ Dreadnaught's Battlegear#Notes
  88. ^  [Nat Pagle's Guide to Extreme Anglin']
  89. ^ Eligor Dawnbringer#Light's Hope Chapel
  90. ^  [Corrupted Ashbringer]
  91. ^  [Ashbringer]
  92. ^ Corrupted Ashbringer/Scarlet Monastery Event#Dialogue with Fairbanks
  93. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 126

External links