Field Photographer Friday is a weekly look at the lore and history behind locations around World of Warcraft. This week, we're taking a look at Uther’s Tomb!
Prales inside Uther's Tomb
Uther’s Tomb is located in southern Western Plaguelands on the Eastern Kingdoms continent. It was constructed following Uther’s death during his fight against his former pupil Arthas Menethil at Andorhal. The battle took place following the Second War during the fall of the Lordaeron kingdom when Arthas returned to Andorhal as the Lich King to reclaim Kel’Thuzad’s remains. Uther’s body was retrieved by the few remaining paladins and buried in the southern ruins of Andorhal. This is how the Tomb would remain for several decades before first appearing in World of Warcraft upon its release.
During the Burning Crusade expansion, Mehlar Dawnblade, a blood elf paladin and former pupil of Uther, wanted Uther’s Tomb desecrated because he felt Uther had mishandled Arthas. He believed this led him down the path to becoming the Lich King and destroying the blood elf capital region of Quel’thalas. Mehlar tasked Horde heroes with the attempted desecration of the Tomb, but they awoke Uther’s ghost upon arrival. His ghost expressed regret over Mehlar straying from the Light and asked the heroes to return to Mehlar and tell him he’s forgiven. We can assume the forgiveness is for the attempted desecration of the Tomb, but it’s not clearly stated. Mehlar isn’t happy about the response and demands time alone to think everything through. During the same time, Alliance heroes were sent to Uther's Tomb by Anchorite Truuen, a draenei fascinated with Alliance heroes of the past, to return the Mark of the Lightbringer. Upon arrival, Uther's Ghost asks Anchorite to keep the Mark as a symbol of inspiration to all those he encounters.
Like many locations, Uther’s Tomb received a visual update during the Cataclysm expansion. The main building and statue inside remained unchanged, but the pyres and pathways around the Tomb were expanded and made to more closely match Alliance architecture. While this update isn’t explained in lore from what I’ve seen, it’s likely tied to the resurgence of Alliance in the Andorhal area working to clear out the Scourge and fight against the Horde who are doing the same.
At the launch of the Legion expansion, Tirion Fordring and his Argent Crusade paladins met Gul’dan and his forces at the Tomb of Sargeras. Unfortunately, Tirion’s forces were outmatched and he was captured and tortured, eventually dying from his wounds. Shortly before his death, the spirits of those buried around Uther’s Tomb became restless. Around the same time, Horde and Alliance paladins from the reformed Knights of the Silver Hand traveled to Uther’s Tomb in search of information on the whereabouts of Tirion and the Ashbringer. While there, Mehlar Dawnblade and the keeper of the Tomb, High Priest Thel'danis, asked for the paladins’ help in quelling the restless spirits. Priest champions from the Conclave also converged on Uther’s Tomb to rid it of darkness and collect Pure Holy Light. This culminated in the death of Sanctus the Unforgiving, a demon wraith present at the Tomb presumably to corrupt or steal the Holy Light.
The founder and former leader of the Knights of the Silver Hand.
Arthas Menethil, Crown Prince of Lordaeron and Knight of the Silver Hand, was the son of King Terenas Menethil II and heir to the throne; before losing his soul to Mal'Ganis.
Kel'Thuzad was once a human mage of the Kirin Tor. He went on to become the founder of the Cult of the Damned and one of the principal agents of the Lich King. -Wowpedia
Former pupil of Uther the Lightbringer; veteran Blood Knight paladin.
An amateur Alliance historian, fascinated with heroes of the past.
Former Supreme Commander of the Argent Crusade and bearer of the Ashbringer.
Gul'dan was the first orcish Warlock and de facto founder of the Orcish Horde. He betrayed his people for personal gain and lead to their enslavement by the Burning Legion.
The keeper of Uther's Tomb.
Join me every Friday as I work to expand my lore knowledge while completing the Field Photographer achievement. Read lore summaries for each location and follow up with resources where you can go more indepth! I encourage you to share your own selfies and any additional lore resources you know of in the comments below, or tweet me @PrestonDvorak. Bonus points* if the selfie is somewhere you shouldn’t be (such as an Alliance player in Orgrimmar)!
*Points are meaningless and have no monetary value, but they’ll never give you up or let you down.