The Fall of Purgation Isle was one of the opening battles of the Viscountess' War, immediately following the Battle of Southshore and the Battle of Azurelode Mine. With the Brotherhood of the Flame poised to advance into northern Lordaeron, Asuryan Kurnous elected to garrison The Silver Company at Purgation Isle, off the southern coast of Hillsbrad, in order to bait Forsaken forces into attack and therefore allow Lordaeronian revanchist forces under Viscountess Madelynne Albrecht to continue their campaign unmolested.
Multiple engagements in Hillsbrad had by this time greatly attrited the forces of the Company, leaving them with just six effective combatants, including Captain-General Kurnous. Despite their dearth of numbers, the soldiers of the Silver Company were incredibly experienced and effective warriors, each of them having seen action throughout the Third War and the Northrend Campaign, in addition to various minor actions from the wilds of Kalimdor to the shattered vistas of Outland. Purgation Isle also boasted incredibly potent natural defenses, offering only a single narrow, spiraling path for the Forsaken forces to advance against the Company's position.
The initial wave of Forsaken forces consisted mostly of plaguehounds and newly-reborn skeletons and ghouls, which proved to be little match for the Company's prepared defenses. Sergeant-Major Rowthe Willey's expertise in field engineering had sowed the line of Forsaken advance with numerous land-mines, utterly destroying the first squadrons of Forsaken and herding the survivors into a bunched-up mass which made the perfect target for the magical expertise of Captain-General Kurnous and Gnomish arcanist Neron N. Nero.
Despite this early success, successive waves of Forsaken troops forced the minefields and closed to the palisades, enduring withering fire from Sergeant-Major Willey's exotic firearms and the precise archery of Gevin Hopesfire and Remington Dalson. Captain-Leftenant Tyladrin Starfire managed to keep too great a number of Forsaken from penetrating the fortifications with his expert sword-and-dagger work, but numbers soon began to seal the Company's fate.
The Company's first casualty came soon after the advance of the Forsaken's second wave, which contained an immense abomination whose acidic bile fell upon Sergeant-Major Willey and killed him instantly. With the Company's suppressive fire reduced, greater numbers of Forsaken were able to reach the palisade, and the Company was forced to withdraw further up the spire towards the aging tower at the pinnacle. In order to cover the withdrawal, Captain-Leftenant Starfire remained at the palisade and sought to delay the Forsaken advance as best he could. His daggers reaped a gory harvest, but the kaldorei was eventually and inevitably surrounded by the undead and slaughtered.
The palisade thus breached, overwhelming numbers of Forsaken were able to surge up the island, and Hopesfire and Dalson were cut-off from Captain-General Kurnous and Nero. Thus surrounded, the two made their peace with one another and with the Holy Light, exchanging their bows for swords and charging the great mass of scourgelings with great valor and conspicuous gallantry. Neither survived the sally.
At this point Commander Chillings, the Banshee Queen's champion confronted the two survivors at the pinnacle of the island. Captain-General Kurnous stepped forwards and challenged the Forsaken heresiarch to single combat, an archaic tradition which Chillings' profound appreciation of irony saw him accept. This diversion allowed Nero to escape into the tower itself. Though he was not by any means an exceptionally skilled swordsman, Kurnous was able to hold his own against Chillings for some minutes, albeit consistently forced to give ground in order to stave off Chillings' heavy blows. A feint and riposte eventually saw Chillings disarm Kurnous and knock him to the ground, and the Forsaken thus raised this sword for the killing stroke. At this point, Kurnous resigned himself to death; this macabre acceptance inadvertently allowed the release of the demonic spirit Kurnous utilized as the source of his fel magic. As Chillings' sword descended, the Demon came free, asserting complete control over Kurnous' body and manifesting its twisted form upon the island.
Whilst Chillings reeled from the Demon's assault, Nero found himself cornered by a pack of plaguehounds. After a quick prayer to almost every higher being the Gnome could think of, Nero detonated the massive cache of explosives Sergeant-Major Willey had packed into the tower. The resulting explosion incinerated both Nero and a large volume of the Forsaken forces. Captain-General Kurnous and Chillings, owing to their duel upon the spire's precipice, were both blown clear of the spire and left to plummet many dozens of meters to the roaring ocean below.
The Fall of Purgation Isle destroyed the Silver Company was an effective fighting force, and Captain-General Kurnous was the only known survivor. The force of the explosion that cast him free of the island allowed Kurnous to struggle against his abject possession, though it would be several days before he was able to fully restrain the Demon again. Despite his body literally being ripped apart by ghouls, rumors persist that Captain-Leftenant Starfire also survived through some form of magical intervention. To this day, it is still possible to hear drunkards report unconfirmed sightings of Mueh'Zalah, the Father of Sleep.
Commander Chillings also survived the blast, though his forces paid a high cost for the capture of the island. He would go on to command the Banshee Queen's armies once more, invading northeast Lordaeron in the following Queen's War.
Some weeks following the battle, Captain-General Kurnous penned a poem of remembrance dedicated to his fallen comrades, entitled Silver Torn Asunder:
"These wayward souls go forth to war,
In the ranks of death you will find them;
Their tattered banner streams afar,
And old loves not forgotten;
"Land of Peace!" said the warriors brave,
"Though all the Light betrays you,
These swords, at least, our Lady save,
By our blood she's renewed!
A glorious band, the silver few
on whom the burden fell
Six valiant swords, no hope they knew,
but mocked the mouth of hell
They met the Banshee's coming hordes,
with a lion's gory mane;
they bowed their heads to feel no more:
Through peril, toil, and pain.
And so honor died! But the Undead's grasp
Cannot drag their proud souls under;
Gleaming swords never sang again,
For silver is torn asunder.
Let no chains hold such souls
Beyond armor's shattered stains
When judgment dawns and trumpets toll
A martyr's blood is golden rain.
Gleaming swords never sang again,
For silver is torn asunder."