So a friend of mine recently asked for “a request for some lore background on the characters that the T9 armor sets are named for”. The tier 9 sets are the latest sets (for now) within the game.
Simply put, these armor sets are named after the most powerful character within that class/ faction. Here is the run down of Alliance and Horde tier 9 gear and their namesakes.
Alliance - Thassarian’s Battlegear or Plate. Thassarian was the first Death Knight to rejoin the Alliance. This is why this set is not named after Darion Morgraine. Morgraine never rejoined the Alliance, but yet remains a faction entity (The leader of the Knights of the Ebon Blade) Thassarian is found throughout the Death Knight (Lich King’s will) quests as well as through the quests in Northrend.
Horde - Koltira’s Battlegear or Plate. Koltira Deathweaver is the first Death Knight to rejoin the Horde. Just like his counterpart Thassarian, he is found throughout the storyline of the expansion Wrath of the Lich King.
===>When it comes to the two Death Knights, you can not really expect too much lore from them. They were introduced at Ebon Hold during the starter quests for the Death Knights. They both seem very loyal to Darion Morgraine and from him the cause and will of the Lich King. Once it is found out that the Lich King were using them as pawns, they remain loyal to Morgraine and remove themselves from the Lich Kings service and rejoin their respective factions.
Alliance - Malfurion’s Garb, Regalia, or Battlegear. Malfurion Stormrage. Major activist in Azeroths past, present, and future. The first real druid and currently the most powerful druid. Malfurion is one of the few most powerful characters of Azeroth. He is responsible for saving Azeroth not once, but twice from the onslaught of the scourge. And by his actions, Archimonde (the “third” most powerful Demon) was destroyed. Thousands of years old and mate to Tyrande Whisperwind, Malfurion is currently “trapped” within the Emerald Dream.
Horde - Runetotem’s Garb, Regalia, or Battlegear. Hamuul Runetotem is the Archdruid of Thunderbluff. He was the first druid of the Taurens (although history claims Taurens have known druidism for centuries). He was also mentee to Malfurion Stormrage. Runetotem learned druidism from Malfurion around the time of the last war with the Burning Legion (the Third War). And from this, he has taught many Taurens to become druids. His true power is something to behold.
Alliance - Windrunner’s Battlegear. Vereesa Windrunner, former Ranger of the Kingdom of Quel’ Thalas, wife to Rhonin, General of the Silver Covenant, and sister to Sylvanas Windrunner. Vereesa Windrunner is a character seeping with lore from her famous sisters Alleria (who was amongst those of the expedition who left through the Dark Portal into Dreanor/Outland) and Sylvanas (the undead leader of the Forsaken) to the release of Alexstraza the Dragon Queen from her capture by the Orcs. She currently resides in the Violet Tower next to Rhonin.
Horde - Windrunner’s Pursuit. Sylvanas Windrunner, former Ranger of the Kingdom of Quel’ Thalas, sister to Vereesa, the first Banshee, and the leader of the Forsaken. Sylvanas, like her sister, is seeping with lore. Killed by Arthas during his rampage to get to the Sunwell and raised as his captive Banshee, she later regained her will and body to become the leader of the undead known as the Forsaken. She can be found in Undercity as well as seen through quest lines in Northrend.
Alliance -Khadgar’s Regalia. Khadgar, former apprentice to the Last Gaurdian of Tirisfal Medivh, commander to the expedition forces sent to Dreanor/Outland, and current advisor to A’dal (the leader of the Naruu in Outland and the ruler of Shattrah city) Khadgar has been one of the most powerful wizards. He was apprenticed to Medivh and even fought against this Arch mage during his slip from sanity and into the hands of Sargeras.
Horde -Suntrider’s Regalia. Kael’ thas Sunstrider, prince of Quel’Thas, grandson of Dath’ Remar Sunstrider, leader of the Blood Elves for a period of time before he was drawn into the clutches of Kil’Jeaden. A story not to different from Arthas’ own, Kael’thas betrayed his people for power to seek revenge against what had been done against them. However, unlike Arthas, Kael’ thas became a disposable pawn and eventually forsook everything he was to gain even more power.
Alliance - Turalyon’s Garb, Plate, or Battlegear. Turalyon is the High General of the Alliance Expedition that went to Dreanor/Outland. He is also a Knight of the Silver Hand. Turalyon’s lore resides mainly as the defender of the Alliance during the Second War and throughout the battles fought in Outland. *Why they did not use Uther here is unknown to me as Uther was more widely celebrated and was known to be the most powerful Paladin in the Alliance.
Horde - Liadrin’s Garb, Plate, or Battlegear. Lady Liadrin was the first Blood elf Paladin. She thus came to be when the Blood elves used the captured Naruu M’uru to grant certain Blood elves paladin abilities. After Kael’ thas steals away M’uru, Liadrin goes to Shattrah City to speak before A’dal and through these actions as well as renouncing the House of Sunstrider, she and the other Blood Elves become true paladins in the manner of gaining their abilities without the aid of a captured Naruu.
Alliance - Velen’s Regalia or Raimnent. Prophet Velen, leader of the Dreanei, reportedly over 25,000 years old making him one of the oldest characters in the history of Warcraft, former friend and co-ruler of Kil’jeaden and Archimonde. Velen is by far one of the most powerful characters in Warcraft. He led the Dreanei to safety for thousands of years and eventually landed…albeit crash landed…on Azeroth where they joined the Alliance.
Horde - Zabra’s Regalia or Raimnent. Zabra Hexx, former resident of the Scarlet Monestary, is a mystery to many. This character is not found in game, but rather within the Ashbringer comics. Within these comics, Alexandros morgraine saves his life and after Alexandros’ death he meets with Darion Morgraine. During this meeting, Zabra has a vision of a floating castle above a burning city (Ebon Hold above Tyr’s Hand?) and then vanishes.
Allaince - VanCleef’s Battlegear. Edwin VanCleef prior to the Second War and destruction of Stormwind was a master rogue. After Stormwind was destroyed however, he was called upon as a master stonemason to rebuild Stormwind. Because of his genius in this field, the new Stormwind was rebuilt faster. However, the Nobles refused to pay for the construction and offered government jobs to those who kept silent. Not partaking in any of this, VanCleef vowed to get his revenge. Thus the Defias Brotehrhood is made and thus we are given a quest to kill VanCleef. But is was deemed he was important enough to have a tier armor set named after him.
Horde - Garona’s Battlegear. Garona Halforcen, by her namesake implies she is half orc and half dreanei. She eventually becomes an emissary to Gaurdian Medivh and trusted spy to the Alliance. She eventually assassinated King Llane. Mother to Me’dan. Garona’s location is currently unknown however it is interesting to know that she was to be the Grand Master of the Rogues for the release of Wrath of the Lich King however she was removed and remains to be unknown.
Alliance - Nobundo’s Garb, Battlegear, or Regalia. Farseer Nobundo, once Vindicator/Paladin, defender of Shattrah city, and first of the Dreanei to become a shaman. During the fleet of the Dreanei from the devestation of the Horde on Drreanor, Vindicator Nobundo stayed behind to buy time for his brethren. A red mist covered the city and eventually was the cause of the “broken”, the deformed Dreanei who were cut off from the light. Nobundo fled from Shattrah and eventually was found by the elements to become a Shaman.
Horde - Thrall’s Garb, Battlegear, or Regalia. Warchief Thrall, once slave. Thrall is the current leader of the Horde and resides in Orgrimmar. He is a monumental force as he was chosen by the elements to regain the path of the shaman for his people. After he recieves his new found powers, he sets the orcs free who are at the time being held in internment camps around the Eastern Kingdoms. After doing so, he remakes the Horde in his image. He is yet another of the few most powerful characters in Warcraft.
Alliance - Kel’Thuzad’s Regalia. Once an Archmage of Dalaran, Kel’ Thuzad’s lust for power brought him to the Lich King and powers of necromancy and demonology. Later on he becomes an enemy to the Alliance, but it seems that Warlocks admire power no matter the source….
Horde - Gul’dan’s Regalia. Once a powerful Shaman, Gul’dan forsook that path for more power and from the hands of the burning legion recieved powers of a Warlock. Taking the role as leader, Gul’dan was monumental in the devastation of Azeroth by opening portals and leading the Horde to battle after bloody battle. Gul’dan was part of the old Horde, but again apparantly Warlocks admire power no matter the source…
Alliance - Wrynn’s Battlegear or Plate. King Wrynn, son of King Llane. Once captive of Onyxia. Supreme leader of the Allied forces. King Wyrnn’s prowess as a warrior is widely known. His past is blood soaked from his father’s death, the destruction of Stormwind, the death of his wife, his own capture and the events leading to the Rise of the Lich King.
Horde – Hellscream’s Battlegear or Plate. Once the leader of the Warsong clan, friend of Thrall, and known as the “Redeemer of Orcs” by his actions of killing Mannoroth. Grom Hellscream is also known as the Slayer of Cenarius. Although his past is full of blood and betrayel, Grom Hellscream was one of the few to have his honor intact and was also able to fight the blood pact and will of Mannoroth. He fought alongside of Thrall as they rescued the orcs from the internment camps and eventually died at the hands of Mannoroth.