“Revisiting the Past” or “Mor’Ladim Lored”
One thing I particularly enjoy about any game is the background story and lore. Blizzard has constructed a meticulously detailed world in Warcraft, and peppered it with small stories that don’t necessarily drive the main narrative, but give you a little glimpse into the world from a multitude of perspectives.
With the imminent advent of Cataclysm, World of Warcraft’s third expansion, I have been leveling a new Alliance character, a mage called Septimus, to re-experience some of this lore. I have to admit, I am guilty of skipping over quest text in the race to get to level 70 in The Burning Crusade and level 80 in Wrath of the Lich King, neither of which I am proud of. But now that the Old World will be decimated by Deathwing, and god knows what may be lost to the ages, I think it is time to go back and take a look at some of the things that make Blizzard behemoth what it is.
If you were a vanilla WoW player and played as Alliance, especially Human, you are all too familiar with the name of Mor’Ladim in Duskwood. A skeletal fiend in the Raven Hill cemetery with an aggro radius the size of a football field, this beast likely claimed most of the lives of hapless Alliance adventurers, until Vaelstrasz came along and killed more raiders than Indiana Jones in the Lost Ark. Mor’Ladim used to roam the fields of Raven Hill, killing anything it came into contact with, and although I the undead lord is well-remembered by vanilla WoW players, I sincerely doubt many recall his motivation for indiscriminate killing. The story isn’t particularly complicated, or original for that matter. It’s just cool that so much thought and background was put into a single character that roamed a small area in the game, related to but one quest.
I found a book, The Story of Morgan Ladimore, that recounted the life and times of Mor’Ladim. You can click through the pages of this book in the gallery below, or read them in the section beneath that. A sad little story, forgotten, buried, long lost.
Morgan Ladimore was a great and noble knight who fought in defense of the innocent, the poor, and the afflicted. For many years, he worked diligently throughout the outlying areas of Azeroth, bringing relief to the suffering and swift justice to evildoers.
He was married to a young girl named Lys in the summer of his eighteenth year. They were much in love with each other and would eventually produce three children, a son and two daughters.
Morgan was thirty-two when war broke out in Lordaeron. Morgan was called to the side of the legendary paladin Uther the Lightbringer to fight against the orcs and the undead. Leaving his wife and children in the safety of his home, Morgan left for war.
The years passed and the war dragged on, and Morgan would witness many horrific events, including the disbanding of the Paladins of the Silver Hand, the death of Uther and the spread of the plague. The only thing that kept him from the brink of madness was the knowledge that he would someday be reunited with his wife and children.
Morgan would eventually return to his homeland, but find it nothing like how he remembered it. The once verdant forest was corrupted and teemed with the undead and other dark forces. Destroyed houses and farms could be found everywhere, and the cemetary near Raven’s Hill now dominated much of the area. A shocked and bewildered Morgan eventually made his way to his home, only to find it in ruins. Not knowing what had befallen his homeland, he headed towards the village to find answers, and, he hoped, his wife and children.
Morgan inquired about his family, but could not find any answers. A priest in Darkshire, as it was now called, said that he might search the cemetary at Raven Hill for a gravestone. Morgan refused to believe that his family was dead, and continued to search every farm and house in Duskwood, but to no avail.
Morgan rode from Darkshire to nearby Lakeshire, thinking that perhaps his family had fled. On his way there, he decided, against his better judgement, to stop by the Raven Hill cemetary. Morgan spent hours walking amongst the gravestones. He recognized many names of people that he knew and became more and more distraught. Then he saw them: a small, untended plot amongst the many with three small gravestones. A feeling of dread washed over him as he approached. Morgan brushed off the dust of the most prominent gravestone to reveal the name on it. Simply carved upon the grave, letters spelled out his worst fear:
Beloved Wife and Mother
Morgan’s apprehension turned to dismay and then to grief, and he fell to his knees weeping. For hours he stared at that one grave, begging the cold stone for forgiveness and sobbing apologies. Then, hours later, something in him snapped, and he began to lash out. He brought his sword out of its scabbard and began to rain blows on the gravestones, screaming in rage. Blind in his fury, he lashed out and swung wildly, catching the notice of a trio of the cemetary’s attendants. As they tried to restrain him, he turned his focus to them, hurling accusations of guilt upon the innocent attendants, then killed them all.
Later, when the rage had passed, realization crept into Morgan’s mind, and he saw his bloody sword driven into the chests of one of the attendants. Driven to the brink by his emotions, he removed his belt knife and plunged it into his heart.
Morgan Ladimore’s body and the three bodies of his victims were found the next day. He was quickly buried, without ceremony, in a hastily dug grave on the outskirts of the cemetary. Because Morgan committed murder against innocents, something that went completely against his beliefs and his nature, and because of the grief that he held in being unable to save his family, Morgan could not die a peaceful death, and lived on as one of the restless dead.
Only days later, his grave was disturbed, and his body could not be found. The being that was Morgan now wanders Duskwood, consumed by his grief over the loss of his wife and children and his own self-hatred. Mor’Ladim, as he now calls himself, roams Duskwood with mindless vengeance and hatred, and has been known to commit murder indiscriminately.