Lore Sundays: Legendary Shadowmourne

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“Shadowmourne; a newly forged weapon already steeped in this world’s history, reborn into an unrivaled destiny. With this weapon you bear a solemn responsibility, and the time to carry out that change is at hand.”
– Darion Mograine

Prince Arthas Menethil, art by Unknown

As we all know, World of Warcraft has rich lore behind every aspect of the game. The game is filled with important character figures such as Thrall, Jaina, Arthas, but there is also a large number of items in the game that has a lot of history behind it and the Legendary Shadowmourne is one of them.

Shadowmourne Lore

Arthas and Frostmourne

Before the time when Arthas began his reign as the Lich King, Prince Arthas Menethil was first a servant, ruled by a mighty runeblade he believed was the key to saving his people – the Frostmourne. Finding and claiming this runeblade in the frozen wastes of Northrend was an odyssey unto itself, and the search cost Arthas his mentor, his relationship with his subjects and his humanity. Even worse, it cost the living of Azeroth far more than this.

After claiming the blade and trading his life for it, Arthas ravaged the kingdoms of Lordaeron and broke free from the control of the Burning Legion. By the time Arthas ascended as the one who leads the Scourge, Frostmourne was already filled with the souls of the dead who dared to oppose him. Now, Arthas has become so inseparable from his weapon that even the sword found its way into the throne of the Lich King – the Icecrown Citadel. Frostmourne, constantly filling Arthas’ ears with ghostly whispers, is the ruler of Northrend as much as the Lich King is.

Highlord Darion Mograine with Ashbringer
Highlord Darion Mograine, art by Cordie Cliffside

Highlord Darion Mograine

In these dark times and the quest to arm the forces of the living against the Scourge, Highlord Darion Mograine has formed the Ashen Verdict, a union between the Argent Crusade and the Ebon Blade. Although the paladins of the Crusade wield the power of the Light, and their leader clutches the Ashbringer, a few of Mograine’s dark warriors have begun to question their hopes for victory.

These death knights insist that the Ashbringer and the skills of the Argent Crusade will not be enough to best Frostmourne alone. They swear that Darion Mograine has long been quietly aware of another legendary blade – one that could be the key to defeating the Lich King and cleansing Northrend from his plague; but it doesn’t exist yet, for now, this weapon is only an idea. It is spoken of the idea quietly, and Mograine has a habit of silencing those who discuss it in public. But the hope of an artifact to rival Frostmourne is still present amongst the warriors of the Ebon Blade. Just the idea of the blade inspires the furnaces to burn late into the night, the bellows to pump air and the greatest smiths of the Ashen Verdict to swing their hammers until their last bit of strength wears off.

shadowmourne art
Shadowmourne, art by Thomas Tenery

Shadowmourne… A great two-handed axe fit for a giant, born of sacred and corrupt powers, host of a thousand dead souls and be able to be wielded only by the greatest arms masters of Azeroth. Its creation seems almost impossible; and yet, the rumors are still present.

Some smiths claim that Shadowmourne must be nothing more than just an axe, honed to unparalleled perfection, while others would shape it from a weapon of immense import in the world. Highlord Mograine believes that only the hammer of Arthas himself will provide a worthy model – but such ambition is only the beginning of Shadowmourne’s creation.

To contain the energies that will empower this weapon, Shadowmourne would be hewn from piles of impure Saronite; the hardened blood of the Old God, Yogg-Saron. To fuel its power to kill, it should be drenched in the souls of the most potent servants of the Scourge as they are slain, one by one, with the unfinished blade. To help break through the Lich King’s armor, it has to be adorned with the fragments of the Frozen Throne, originally crafted by Kill’jaeden out of ice from the Twisting Nether.

It is said that only with these components that Shadowmourne can be finished. Even if the axe could be completed, questions and fear remain. Is forging the souls of the dead into a weapon traded with the blood and the essence of the Twisting Nether truly any different from the crafting of the Scourge’s Runeblades?

What if the Lich King could control the blade and the wielder of the blade? If Arthas, one of the most dedicated knights of his age, lost his humanity to the magic of Frostmourne, might Shadowmourne bring the same misery to the living who will wield its sister blade? And who will be bold enough to try to wield such a weapon? Might Shadowmourne bring the same doom and misery to the living as it’s sister blade Frostmourne did?

Who will craft and wield this legendary blade is yet to be seen.

Shadowmourne in the game

Shadowmourne is a legendary two handed-axe which can be obtained in the game only by warriors, paladins and death knights.

To begin the quest chain to obtain Shadowmourne, players must reach friendly reputation with The Ashen Verdict. Once the character has reached friendly reputation, Highlord Darion Mograine will offer The Sacred and the Corrupt to the player in the Icecrown Citadel.

Players need to obtain the legendary hammer of the prince, Light’s Vengeance. The hammer was discarded by Arthas upon taking the runeblade Frostmourne in the Frostmourne Cavern.

Players must obtain other various items, including items dropped from Festergut and Rotface in the Icecrown Citadel, Primordial Saronite, which will be needed to craft Shadow’s Edge. Once the axe is crafted, it needs to be filled with souls, infused inside the Icecrown Citadel, and other various requirements are done, the player returns the axe to Highlord Mograine, which upon turning in the last quest will reward the player with the Legendary Shadowmourne.

After forging Shadowmourne, the player has one more quest left which is killing the Lich King. Upon the completion of the quest, the player is rewarded with Sealed Chest which will drop off Lich King. The chest begins another short chain of quests with some very excellent rewards.

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