And now, the main event!"Face the true might of the nathrezim!"Balnazzar
was a dreadlord in the service of the Burning Legion. He had been sent to Azeroth, alongside many other dreadlords, to help ensure the loyalty of the Lich King, the Scourge, and prepare the way for the Burning Legion's invasion.
He, and his brothers, Varimathras and Detheroc, were tasked with overseeing the Scourge forces that ruled Lordaeron at the end of the Third War. He was, effectively, the ruler of the whole of Lordaeron, and may be the last person to be able to truly make that claim. When Arthas returned from Kalimdor, bearing news of Archimonde's
defeat, he and the Lich King were quick to announce their true loyalties, and drive out the Dreadlords. Having been driven out of the ruins of Lordaeron's Capital City, they reconvened deep within the Tirisfal Glades, and plotted their revenge.
With the Lich King's powers waning, and his control of the Scourge weakening, the Dreadlords were able to restore their control. Detheroc opted to take control of the remaining Alliance forces in Lordaeron, while Balnazzar retook the Capital City as his base of operations. Sadly, they overlooked some of the Scourge's stronger willed former servants making their own bid for power. Sylvanas, having been denied her chance to kill Arthas once and for due to the interference of Kel'thuzad
, had decided that she could at least take over Lordaeron and deny Arthas the kingship he held so dearly. Gathering up as many of the lost and confused former minions of the Scourge, she was able to defeat Valimathras, who promptly swore his loyalty to her in order to save his own hide. Together, they defeated Detheroc, and banished him back to the Twisting Nether. They then allied with the Alliance remnants, under the command of Grand Marshal Garithos. Together, Sylvanas, Valimathras, and Garithos launched their attack on Balnazzar's forces in an effort to reclaim the Capital City.
Balnazzar's forces were defeated, and the dreadlord soon found himself cornered by his enemies. Sylvanas ordered Valimathras to slay his brother. Valimthras protested, claiming that it was forbidden for one dreadlord to harm another, but that just made Sylvanas want to see him kill Balnazzar even more. Conceding, Valimathras slew his brother. Or so it was believed."What will this mean to the Crusade? Could it be possible that they have been under the control of this demon? Unwittingly serving as the pawns to a greater evil?"
-Duke Nicholas Zverenhoff
Whether Balnazzar recovered very quickly as dreadlords are notoriously hard to permanently kill, or else he and Valimthras merely staged his death is unknown. Either way, Balnazzar returned soon after. Still desiring revenge against the Scourge, and now the Forsaken too, Balnazzar killed and possessed the corpse of Grand Crusader Saidan Dathrohan. In his guise as the Grand Crusader, Balnazzar went about slowly corrupting the Scarlet Crusade. The first order of business was achieving full control of the Scarlet Crusade. To that end, he needed to eliminate one of the Scarlet Crusade's greatest champions, Highlord Alexandros Mograine, the Ashbringer
. To ensure the Highlord's demise, he made a brief alliance with Kel'thuzad, who also feared the Ashbringer's power. Together, they sett up a trap within the burning ruins of Stratholme. He then turned Mograine's own son, Renault
, against him. Promising the young paladin power, prestige, and even the Ashbringer itself, if he would help him eliminate Mograine. In the end, Renault stabbed his own father in the back with the Ashrbringer, killing him and corrupting the holy sword. Although Kel'thuzad gained a powerful new minion that day, in the form of the death knight he created with the remains of Highlord Mograine, Balnazzar had successfully eliminated the greatest threat to his position within the Scarlet Crusade.
Balnazzar claimed the Scarlet Bastion, a former barracks of the Silver Hand in Stratholme, to serve as his new headquarters. With his position secure, he began spreading rumours within the Crusade, of undead spies, who looked and acted like the living, but were in fact deadly agents of the Scourge. He was no doubt amused as paranoia and suspicion consumed the Scarlet Crusade, as he, possessing the corpse of Saidan Dathrohan, was one of those undead infiltrators.
Balnazzar was also responsible for the creation of the Headless Horseman
. Having purposely led Sir Thomas to the village were his family had taken shelter, and convincing him that it was plagued and that it needed to be cleansed. Driven mad with grief, Sir Thomas lashed out against his fellow Scarlet Crusaders. Balnazzar then issued the order to execute Sir Thomas, as there was clearly nothing that could be done for him. Before Sir Thomas was interred within the Scarlet Monastery's graveyard, he cursed the fallen knight to rise each Hallow's End as a death knight, and spread fear, despair, and fire. He also killed Jarien and Sothos
, two former mercenaries who desired to become Scarlet Crusaders. While he claimed they failed their initiation tests, it seems likely that they might have had the potential to be good crusaders after all.
Ultimately, however, despite all his machinations, Balnazzar's schemes were undone by adventurers. Storming the Scarlet Bastion at the request of the Argent Dawn, they fought Saidan Dathrohan. Forced with the possibility of his own destruction, Balnazzar shed his disguise and fought them in his true form. That wasn't enough, however, and Balnazzar was defeated. Taking the dreadlord's head with them as proof, they reported the terrible secret they uncovered to the Argent Dawn."Damn you mortals! All my plans of revenge, all my hate...I will be avenged..."
Losing his head seems to have only been a temporary setback. Following the Cataclysm, Balnazzar was restored once more. Having no more need of his disguise, but still being in need of minions, Balnazzar slaughtered the surviving Scarlet Crusaders within the Scarlet Bastion, and Tyr's Hand, and raised them as his own undead army, the Risen. This may have been a mistake, however, as the living Crusaders were vastly more powerful then their Risen counterparts.
Balnazzar had no doubt hoped to take advantage of the disarray that the fall of the Lich King had left the Scourge in. Instead, he found himself stymied at every turn by the Argent Crusade and their adventurer friends. First, Tyr's Hand fell to the Argent Crusade, as they cleansed it of the Risen Crusaders, and then they turned their attention to his base within Stratholme. He was soon defeated once again by agents of the Argent Crusade, as they made an effort to reclaim the city from the undead forces occupying it.
Considering his track record, and how temporary death is to most dreadlords, he will no doubt be back again one day.