Crusader Bridenbrad was a Paladin of the Argent Crusade who was commended by Tirion Fordring for his heroism in saving many lives from the Scourge.
A TALE OF VALOR
Bridenbrad was in the Broken Front aiding the attack against the Scourge when the undead army came down upon him and his comrades. The many men of that allied force scattered but Bridenbrad alone returned and dragged more than a dozen of them back to safety, one by one through the carnage.
Bridenbrad 's heroic actions caused him to catch the Plague of Undeath, however, and he chose to stay in the mountains so as to not spread it further. Tirion Fordring sent brave heroes to try and find a means to save Bridenbrad, resorting to asking for the help of Keeper Remulous, Alexstrasza, and finally A'dal. While Bridenbrad's life could not be saved, A'dal and his Naaru redeemed Bridenbrad's soul and promised him "paradise eternal".
"There is no greater love than this, that a man should lay down his life for another."
The Story of Crusader BridenbradEdit
It was the lonliest, darkest, coldest of corners in all of the Lich King's frozen Ice Crown. And yet - even there in the silent nook carved into the hills was life - fragile and tenuous, a mere spark flung from the blazing fire and left to die silently in the snow, alone and forgotten.
There lay a lone Crusader, a Paladin of the Argent Crusade, a valiant and faithful servant of the Light. He had fought many battles on behalf of others, giving freely of himself to serve the greater good. For the Light, he gave his all, unselfishly, humbly, compassionately. And now he lay fighting his final fight alone with only the stars overhead as a witness to his struggling breath.
Crusader Bridenbrad. Stricken with the plague as he saved his comrades from the scourge. For his selfless act, he would now pay the ultimate price, the loss of his own life. He did not complain, nor pity himself, nor did he regret his actions that now had his life ebbing away as he laid there alone. His only regret was his concern that he would be raised in undeath to serve the Lich King.
The story of Crusader Bridenbrad's bravery and plight reached the ears of Tirion Fordring, who decided that this valorous hero should not be lost, and sent out a search party to find him and bring him back in the hopes of saving his life. Find him, they did, but Bridenbrad refused to be taken back where he would infect others. No, he would stay in this lonely, seemingly Light-forsaken place.
"I know why you've come... they've sent you to bring me back, but that cannot happen. I carry the plague of undeath, and I'll not share my fate with those near me. No, I shall stay here. My only regret lies in what I may become when death grips me. I do not fear death itself, but I loathe to consider serving the traitor, Arthas. Leave me... and see to it that no one else comes looking. You would do me a great disservice if you were to expose anyone to the plague that I carry."
Upon hearing Bridenbrad's reply, Tirion Fordring, touched by the Crusader's selflessness, valor and devotion, asked the rescue party to journey to Azeroth's most powerful beings and petition for their aid in helping him.
Keeper Remulos towered over them and creaked as he listened to the request. "In a being of nobility and light, all is not without hope." The Keeper sent the rescuers into the Emerald Dream to recover an acorn infused with restorative powers. After returning to Crusader Bridenbrad, he was incredulous that Fordring would recruit such help on his behalf.
"Tirion sent you to Remulos? I'm... I'm flattered. One does not call favors in with beings of such power idley, no matter how noble or altruistic they might be. You are too kind to have gone to such lengths on my behalf. You have my thanks. Plant the seed - I am ready."
Alas, the seed offered a mighty burst of life and energy, but it was not enough to purge the plague. Bridenbrad sank back onto his snowy bed and coughed.
"I feel refreshed... renewed... but the plague still grips me. Not to worry, I am still eternally grateful that you went to such lengths for me, a complete stranger. If nothing else, you've bought me a few more precious hours not plaguing the world as a hideous undead. Thank you. Please extend my thanks to Tirion as well, and let him know that it has been an honor to serve beside him."
Tirion Fordring, not ready to give up on his Crusader, sent the rescue party to the dragon-queen, Alexstrasza, in Wyrmrest Temple for help."Please go to her and humbly request her aid on my behalf."
Alexstrasza was quick to offer her assistance. Standing impressively larger than life despite her small stature beside her Consort, she got right to the issue at hand. "In this dark time, I'll not be the one to abandon a champion of the Light." She sent the party on a quest to find a blossom called "Dahlia's Tear", a remnant of a devout being who fell victim to the same plague. She took the blossom and handed it back with her blessing. "With Dahlia's Tears and ancient magic, I fashion you some small amount of hope for your great crusader."
Bridenbrad, though near death, was happy to see them return. "You have returned yet again. Why do you risk yourself so?" Alas, even the Boon of Alexstrasza could not purge the plague. The Crusader lifted his hand as if in farewell and whispered, "thank you for everything that you have done. Your selfless actions have renewed my hope that there is yet great good left within this world - I can depart without fear that darkness will prevail in my absence."
Tirion Fordring looked out over the darkness that was the scourge infested Ice Crown, in the direction of the Silent Vigil where Crusader Bridenbrad lay breathing his last breaths. The rescue party stood silently beside him, feeling defeated. Suddenly, Tirion stuck his sword point-down into the snow and turned to face them.
"There is yet one more path of light I would like to pursue..... one last gleaming hope for a paladin who deserves any salvation that we can extend. I cannot impress how important it is that you move quickly - I fear our crusader does not have much more time in this world."
A nearby Kirin-Tor mage stepped forward to offer the party a portal, and within moments they were standing before A'Dal, bathed in white Light as gentle ringing filled their ears.
"I know why you have come. I know of Crusader Bridenbrad, and of your travels in hope of saving him. Bridenbrad's valor has sparked remarkable selflessness in you, and this is a miracle unto itself. The Light will take care of its own. I will extend my blessing to Bridenbrad and he shall not endure the corruption of undeath."
As the rescuers returned to Bridenbrad, it was obvious he was in his very last moments of life. His skin was turning grey and his breaths were shallow.
"You have returned to me. I must admit... it is good to see you again... your face renews my hope that this land will be free of Arthas's grasp one day soon. I'm proud to have met you..."
As his words trailed off, his eyes dulled, yet a dim smile remained on his face. As his life slipped from him, a gentle ringing filled the air and the dark, Silent Vigil lit up with white Light. The heavens above opened as a white beam descended down to the earth, cradling up the Crusader's body and lifting it slowly to the sky.
A'dal's voice could be heard gently reassuring those assembled: "Fear not, young one, for this crusader shall not taste death. In life, Bridenbrad was the bearer of great deeds. Now, in passing, he shall taste only paradise. The light does not abandon its champions".
They stared up in wonderment at the great Beings of Light, and the body of the Crusader being lifted up. Then, just as suddenly as the Light appeared, it left, and the Silent Vigil was dark again, save for the small campfire casting it's orange flickering light. It crackled loudly and a bright ember flew upward, then landed in the snow and was snuffed out. No one spoke.
"He has departed, hasn't he? I felt a small bit of light leave the land". Tirion Fordring continued to stare toward the directon of the Silent Vigil, where Bridenbrad no longer lay dying. The rescue party stood quietly beside him, also staring in the same direction. "We shall take heart in his shining example and in your selflessness. Thank you for all that you have done."
And thus, a story of valor and faith, heroism and tragedy, life and death, touches us all. For although we are not always able to save a life from being extinguished, we, servants of the Light, are never abandonded by it. It lives in us and through us, and in the end, it redeems us as it's own. Even in the deepest of pits, the Light is deeper still. The Light is with those who serve it, whether patient or healer, so be encouraged.
For the faithful patient shall be healed by the Light or comforted by it in death, and the faithful healer will be transformed forever by being it's instrument of healing and comfort.
- Source: The St. Bridenbrad Clinic Handbook, written by Dr. Feleina Naylor.