|Knights of the Silver Hand|
|Main leader||Uther the Lightbringer (formerly, deceased); Tirion Fordring (currently)|
|Secondary leaders||Lord Grayson Shadowbreaker|
|Race(s)||Human, Dwarf, High elf, Half-elf|
|Other major cities||Stormwind City, Ironforge|
|Secondary languages||Dwarven members speak their native tongue|
|Theater of operations||Azeroth|
|Status||Tirion's order has been Merged to become the Argent Crusade while the Stormwind order remains with the Alliance|
Knights of the Silver Hand (a.k.a. Order of the Knights of the Silver Hand, Order of the Silver Hand, or simply the Silver Hand) was the order of paladins created after the First War by Uther the Lightbringer and Archbishop Alonsus Faol. Years after its decimation by the corrupted Prince Arthas during the Third War, the order in Lordaeron was then reformed by Tirion Fordring, who later merged it with the Argent Dawn to form the Argent Crusade in order to take the fight against the Lich King to Northrend.
However, the Knights of the Silver Hand present in Stormwind and the Southern Kingdoms were not affected by the ravages of the Scourge, and thus remain active members of the Alliance. All Human and Dwarf paladin player characters join the Silver Hand upon completion of their class introduction quest.
Foundation and the Second War
The former order led by Faol, the Holy Order of Northshire Clerics, was devastated during the First War. When Faol refounded the order in Lordaeron, he recruited noble knights and former clerics to train in the ways of war and the Light. Even a few members of the priesthood decided to take up the more physical and steadfast path. In Alonsus Chapel in Stratholme, Uther the Lightbringer was appointed the first of the paladins, followed by Saidan Dathrohan, Tirion Fordring, Turalyon, candidates recommended by Alonsus Faol himself, and Gavinrad the Dire, a candidate proposed by Lord Anduin Lothar. The Silver Hand was thus born.
The paladins were instrumental in winning the war, and the sight of them wielding their mighty warhammers and holy powers gave others inspiration on the battlefield and the home front. Uther and his paladins were truly a sight to behold. Even some of the Alliance's greatest knights and warriors were in awe when they saw them smashing orcs down while healing fallen allies at the same time. Uther is the first paladin known to have manifested his powers on the battlefield.
Destruction of the original Order
The introduction of the Plague nearly marked the end of the Order of the Silver Hand. The Knights of the Silver Hand entered a dark period when one of their own, Prince Arthas, turned his back on the order in his dark pursuit of vengeance. He fully embraced the evil he had been hunting and became a death knight in the service of the Lich King. Returning to Lordaeron, Arthas killed Uther Lightbringer and decimated the Order.
After the Third War
Even after the triumph at Mount Hyjal, the paladins remember Arthas's betrayal, and just how close their order and all of Azeroth came to complete destruction. While the Alliance still had the Knights of the Silver Hand, few paladins were left in the order, and they were not up to the task of defeating the Scourge. The stalwart paladins of the Silver Hand who had traveled to Kalimdor worked to establish a new church there.
Many paladins felt responsibility for Arthas, because the Holy Light teaches that every person can strengthen other people. Since they were unable to strengthen Arthas, the entire world suffered. The remaining knights hunt Arthas's servants, the undead, with a ruthlessness that frightens some, but they are determined to fix their mistakes.
Though decimated in Lordaeron, the Silver Hand eventually bounced back. The Knights of the Silver Hand is an organization of paladins who have also studied and devoted themselves to the three virtues. It is the holy order that gives the paladins their sense of righteousness and allows a sense of community to strengthen their resolve. Although it is a proud organization, the paladins must give up a great deal to join, including their independence.
Humans began the Knights of the Silver Hand, and they remain the bulk of its membership. They are proud of the paladins' contribution to the Second and Third Wars, though they are shamed at Arthas's betrayal. After such an enormous breach of trust, the paladins have resolved anew to eliminate all traces of corruption in their ranks. The new order has also began to accept dwarves into the ranks to replace paladins lost during the Third War (although they had previously accepted a few dwarven paladins as far back as the Second war, it was uncommon). The order is not nearly as active as it once was, however those belonging to the organization are some of the most active members of the Alliance. Some knights of the Silver Hand (and former paladins) are also members of the Argent Dawn.
The Knights of the Silver Hand have a noble history. They continue draw upon the power of the Holy Light to protect their allies and smite their enemies.
The Order of the Silver Hand took its name and symbol from the legend of Tyr. A paragon of order and justice, Tyr sacrificed his right hand in a fight against an unfathomable evil. Although it was within his power to fix his hand after the fighting had ended, the hero instead chose to replace it with a closed fist made of the purest silver. In this way, he impressed upon those who followed him that true order and justice can only be accomplished through personal sacrifice.
Miscellaneous information regarding the order in the present times (post Third War).
- The paladin order, also called the Knights of the Silver Hand, grew out of humanity’s culture, and its greatest heroes and fiercest proponents are humans. Ironforge dwarves possess the toughness needed to withstand the onslaught of the paladins' many enemies.
- Paladin warriors universally belong to the Knights of the Silver Hand.
- Some of the surviving paladins formed the Scarlet Crusade in an attempt to reclaim their homeland. This zealous order hunts Arthas's servants, the undead.
- Others joined the Argent Dawn (some were both members of the Silver Hand and of the Argent Dawn, others were former members of the Silver Hand).
- In addition to the night elves, many guests and diplomats from elsewhere reside in Darnassus, groups such as the Knights of the Silver Hand.
- Templars see corruption in their homes and many other organizations, including the Knights of the Silver Hand. While the templars see paladins as allies and vice versa, templars feel that the Silver Hand overemphasizes tradition and order over general goodness and the other values of the Light.
- Verius attempted to infiltrate the Order of the Knights of the Silver Hand after the Third War.
- Brann believes that blue dragons may be found in the ranks of many mortal orders: Including the Knights of the Silver Hand.
- Forthisal D'Neve is studying with the Knights of the Silver Hand to become a paladin.
- The Phylactery of Faithfulness is a small box containing religious scripture affixed to a leather cord and tied around the forehead. Commonly used by night elves and members of the Silver Hand, use of this item has started to spread through the Horde faithful.
- Once indoctrinated, a lightslayer receives missions to combat the Holy Light, particularly the Scarlet Crusade (though Knights of the Silver Hand and ordinary priests and parishioners are also fair game).
- Many paladins remained loyal to the Alliance. They may have fought under different flags but still pledged themselves to the Alliance's cause forever.
- The Argent Crusade was created from the union of the Argent Dawn and the Knights of the Silver Hand.
- The Badge of the Silver Hand, which is to be given to Uther's spirit, is a medal given upon acceptance to the Knights of the Silver Hand.
- The Tabard of the Lightbringer, which can be received from Uther's spirit, bears the presumed symbol of the Silver Hand.
Status of the Order
According to Brann Bronzebeard;
- We have the Knights of the Silver Hand on our side, but this is a group that has experienced more hardships than most during these dark days. Once the pinnacle of enlightenment, goodness, purity and light, they are forever shamed that the powerful Lich King who sits upon the frozen throne was one of theirs. They wrack their brains on where they went wrong, why they couldn’t see the streak of evil that obviously lurked inside Arthas. If he were truly a paladin, as they are, then there is no way he would have been corrupted. I think they have rather a too high opinion of the paladins, but I’m not the one to tell them.
- Even though paladins are some of our most powerful weapons against the Scourge, with their holy power over undead, the paladins are not what they once were. Some have been driven into obsessive madness, forming the Scarlet Crusade and killing living and undead alike in their eagerness to eradicate the Scourge. Others traveled across the sea with Jaina Proudmoore to help defeat the Burning Legion and now reside on Theramore. They certainly do what they can to destroy undead they discover on Kalimdor, but the Scourge's numbers there are like a thimble of beer compared to the great kegs that are Lordaeron and Northrend. We’ll need the paladins to defeat the Scourge, but they are not up to the task right now, and I don’t know how much longer we can wait.
According to the Tirion Fordring questline, from his perspective and opinion, the order no longer exists, having been destroyed by Arthas. After losing their leadership and being driven from their headquarters, the paladins scattered all over the continent, with some even following Jaina Proudmoore across the ocean to stay in Theramore. Tirion Fordring believes that no other paladin had the right to take up Uther's mantle as the leader of the Silver Hand. However, spurred by his son Taelan's death, Tirion vows to reform the Order, and to take his place as Highlord to combat the Scarlet Crusade and the Scourge.
Time will tell how many paladins will unite under his banner: the fact that Uther Lightbringer himself ordered his exile might keep some hardliners of the old order from trusting his way.
However, other characters in the game have a different view regarding the current status of the Order. Several in-game sources and the Warcraft RPG indicates that an "Order of Silver Hand" in some form is still in existence. According to the paladin history in character selection screen (pre-patch 2.01):
"Although paladins were once exclusively human, number of stout-hearted dwarves have recently been welcomed into the Order of the Silver Hand"
"But until then, be patient... Knight of the Silver Hand."
The dwarven paladin Bromos Grummner also invites a new dwarf paladin into the Order of the Silver Hand:
"You're a Knight of the Silver Hand now, be ready to play the part."
Even articles and short stories in the RPG, for example Alliance Player's Guide of 2006, confirms the current existence the Order, and that there are still individuals calling themselves "Knights of the Silver Hand" in modern times. Although it appears to be much smaller than the original order, as well as reference to some kind of leadership which is still in control.
Trey Lightforge is described as being a Knight of the Silver Hand.
For example, according to Alliance Player's Guide, it says that the Argent Dawn has members who are still Knights of the Silver Hand (as well as members who were former Silver Hand Knights). The book also discusses that organization of the Knights of Silver Hand still exists, even though it was nearly wiped out, and elsewhere in the book that Tirion Fordring has not yet taken over leadership of the Silver Hand and is still in exile.
They are members of a "current" order of the Silver Hand, which "bounced back" after its decimation. Tirion is pledging to reform the original Order by reestablishing himself as the leader of the current one. The RPG discusses the existence of the current Order of the Silver Hand that still exists. Brann believed if Tirion Fordring could be recruited into the Silver Hand, he could whip it back into action, and also bring the Scarlet Crusade back into the realm of sanity.
In Wrath of the Lich King: Return of the Silver Hand
It was announced at BlizzCon 2007 — based on the quest chain involving him and his son — that Tirion Fordring will appear in the new expansion, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, near the port of Valgarde in the Howling Fjord. He has been identified as Highlord Tirion Fordring (he hinted at this after completing  : "I now take my place as Highlord of the new Order of the Silver Hand").
After  , the last of the death knight quests, Fordring unites the Silver Hand and the Argent Dawn into the new Argent Crusade. Now along with the Knights of the Ebon Blade, they travel to Northrend to end the Lich King's reign.
For a complete list of Knights of the Silver Hand, see List of Knights of the Silver Hand paladins.