*jumps back in the saddle and immediately falls off the horse*
A good day to you, my dear readership! I'm sure some of you have faded due to my few weeks of silence. Fear not, though. I'm back from the dead and largely recovered from the beating that the holiday season gave me both mentally and emotionally! I'm ready to ride once more!
*jumps into the saddle again, misses, and falls off the other side of the horse*
...okay, so maybe I'm a little out of practice...
Anyway, I first wish to give a sincere thanks to Fethas Ravenmoon for providing me with the guest post that went up at the end of last week. I should have gotten it up sooner, but there have been a lot of things taking my time. She helped to make sure that last week wasn't completely silent, and now I'm here to make sure that this week is equally not as silent!
Undeath and the Light? Forbidden?
So, earlier last week I had a brief discussion over Twitter regarding the idea of Forsaken paladins. I was asked what I thought about them, and the disscussion evolved into whether or not the lore could support such a thing.
As I understand it, the question originally arose during Blizzard's announcement of the new race / class combinations for Cataclysm. Perhaps some people were questioning the validity of tauren paladins, and perhaps they were looking for a another race horde-side that could adopt the class. Certainly, there was controversy when it was given to the blood elves, and it seems as though tauren will be little different.
But what about the Forsaken? As undead former humans and elves, shouldn't they be able to fit into any class they had in life? Or is the belief that the Light abandons all undead a justified belief? Certainly, people will point to various characters like Trevor, who was a devout priest in life, but left abandoned by the Holy Light in undeath. They could also point to the ideas behind the Forgotten Shadow, and the fact that wielding the Light can be a very painful experience to an undead.
But does this mean that no undead can wield the Holy Light? Hardly. The most prominent example to counter the idea is Sir Zeliek, one of the Four Horsemen of Naxxramas. According to Eligor Dawnbringer:
"Sir Zeliek, a paladin in life, so strong in his faith, that even in undeath, the power of the light still heeds his call, smiting his foes in battle."
Indeed, an encounter with Sir Zeliek can be a very unique experience, for this fallen paladin has been known to ask for the forgiveness of the heroes even as he smites them down. He is a clear and explicit example of a death knight of the Scourge who can still wield the Holy Light.
Zeliek is not the only example, however. The trading card game even gives us a similar character in Chancellor Velora, who has the ability to deal holy damage. Indeed, even her flavor text sheds some light on her situation (no pun intended):
"The Light rewards faith, not form."
And what about the player characters? In the quest Garments of Darkness it is strongly hinted that a playable Forsaken priest must learn how to wield light to heal before delving into the darkness.
So does this mean that Blizzard has ultimate freedom to create undead paladins as another potential race / class combination? Will we soon be seeing a legion of Forsaken paladins swathed in holy armor as they march upon Deepholm?
Yes, yes. I know I just proved that undead can wield the Holy Light. But understand that, just because something is not impossible, does not mean that said thing is not improbable. Seeing the Forsaken suddenly embrace the Holy Light would stretch that faction's lore just a little too far. You see, the examples given above can largely be considered the exceptions and not the rule. These characters are rare and should be considered unique.
But, hey, seeing an undead holy knight who uses the Light not only to smite his enemies, but also as a form of repentence for his sins would be intriguing, wouldn't it?