- "I don't know what he is, but he is not a psychopath. He is something far, far worse."
Viserth Arenall, formerly Lord Viserth Arenall, was a Stormwind Nobleman and later a member of the Forsaken. He was the head of House Arenall until he was executed for treason. After being raised to undeath, he served as an Ambassador from the Forsaken to Silvermoon City on-and-off, as well as the leader of a cult in Draenor known as the "Cult of the Resurrector".
His whereabouts are currently unknown following the mass killing of the Cult.
In his younger years of life, Viserth was a tall and gaunt man with clearly defined cheekbones and pale skin. He had bright red hair and piercing blue eyes. Portraits of him survive depict him as having an ever-constant neutral expression. In his later years, his hair greyed and his skin wrinkled. At the time of his death, he was roughly fifty years old.
After being raised from the grave, Viserth has undergone several physical changes. His skin is greyed and rotted in places. His hair has turned a deep violet. His eyes, once a deep blue, now glow with the customary sickly yellow of some of the Forsaken. Despite this, Viserth maintains an effort to keep himself looking proper, to better serve as an Ambassador. Whether or not he has succeeded is a subject for debate.
After his recent resurrection, he has been fitted with a replacement jaw, due to it being missing. There is also a great hole in the back of his neck, the size of an ice lance.
- "A terrible thing to happen to a boy."
- "Is it? To become head of a noble house overnight? I think that outweighs the loss of the family."
- - Overheard in the House of Nobles after the Arenall murders
Viserth Arenall was born as the second son of the Arenall family of Stormwind. The Arenalls were minor nobility, and while they maintained an estate within the city limits and had some standing within Stormwind, they were hardly a family of note to the larger noble houses. Viserth's elder brother was a sickly child, and it is very likely that Viserth would have taken control of the House within the first twenty years of his life regardless of what he did.
At a young age, Viserth began manifesting magical talent. At first, his family considered sending him to Dalaran to be trained. Instead, they elected instead to have him remain in the city and hired tutors to stay at the estate, training the boy in magic at home. Viserth was trained in diplomacy, politics, and social graces as well as magic. However, he was denied the ability to leave the estate except on business, and was kept isolated from most residents of the house.
Eventually, Viserth grew tired of waiting. His powers had grown, and he was beginning to seek out knowledge on his own. Early one morning, the city awoke to discover that the Arenall family, save Viserth, had been brutally murdered in the night. The gang responsible was eventually caught, and a grief-stricken Viserth was elevated to the position of Lord Arenall.
After this, Viserth became a recluse, gathering knowledge to himself and only getting involved in political affairs when it benefited him. This would not change until the outbreak of the First War.
The First War and Promises of PowerEdit
- "Bring back some live ones, if they're useful. Kill the rest."
- - Viserth's orders to his troops
By combining fel magic with his own natural affinity for fire magic, Viserth became a potent force on the battlefield. He maintained several secret hideouts during the First War, each filled with collections of knowledge that Viserth acquired during his studies. Eventually, Viserth sent his house guards back to Stormwind. He spent the rest of the war (save a few appearances in Stormwind) traveling amongst the battlefields, stealing secrets from both the orcs and from the Kirin Tor to add to his growing collection.
When the orcs attacked Stormwind, Viserth returned to participate in the battle. He partnered with a division of elves sent from Silvermoon in defense of one of the walls. When the battle turned into a retreat, Viserth elected to travel with the elves back to Silvermoon City.
- "My father used us. That is what he does. He uses people."
- - Eillina Arenall
Silvermoon City was not what Viserth expected. His title meant little among the elves, and other than a few elves he had met during the Battle of Stormwind, Viserth was unable to maintain his political standing the way he had done in Stormwind. Worse yet, his collections of knowledge were largely inaccessible to him during this time. Frustrated and unable to make progress with the elves of Silvermoon, Viserth married a half-elf in a desperate attempt to curry favor in Silvermoon society. Though he gave her a daughter, Eillina Arenall, the marriage was largely loveless.
While getting him a foot in the door, the marriage did not aid Viserth to the degree that he wanted. When word reached him that Stormwind was being rebuilt, Viserth fled the city and returned to his position as the head of House Arenall. The first action he took was to officially divorce his wife, declaring his daughter to be born of an illegitimate marriage. After this, he never spoke to his ex-wife again.
The Fall of House ArenallEdit
- "Stormwind shall fall. Dalaran shall fall. Then you shall die. I will have my revenge, Meriahm Lausten, both on you and on existance itself."
- - Viserth's final words
Returning to Stormwind not only returned Viserth to political power, but also allowed him access to his stores of knowledge from the First War. Fearing their loss again, Viserth began consolidating all of the information into one single source of knowledge. He also took several apprentices, most of whom vanished under mysterious circumstances. All the while, he struggled against his diminishing influence in the House of Nobles. His fellows had long since ceased to trust him, and barred him from the Royal Keep's library and other storehouse of knowledge.
The passive-aggressive war between Viserth and his fellow nobles came to a head at last in the form of an attempted coup. Viserth secretly aided a group of rebels in exchange for promises to hand over the contents of the Royal Library. The rebels failed, and during their imprisonment, they implicated Viserth. He was captured, charged with treason, and placed on trial.
The trial was a highly publicized affair. Viserth demanded to stand before a triumvirate of judges. Eventually, however, he was found guilty of treason - with Meriahm Lausten casting the deciding vote for his death. Several days later, Viserth Arenall was hanged just outside of the city walls. With Viserth's death, House Arenall ceased to exist.
- "You're kidding, right?"
- - The gravedigger, upon opening Viserth's coffin
Viserth was buried in a cemetery several miles outside of Stormwind, along with several of his possessions. His grave, however, was robbed several months after his death, and most of the possessions he was buried with were stolen. Some time after that, his body was stolen by agents of the Cult of the Damned. They brought his body north, preparing to resurrect him in service of the Lich King.
During the ritual to resurrect him, however, Forsaken agents raided the Necropolis where Viserth was being brought back. As a result, Viserth retained his free will upon returning from the dead. His powers were also severely weakened upon his return. Weak and without allies, Viserth reluctantly pledged his service to the Forsaken.
In Service to SylvanasEdit
- "Hello, Archmage Lausten. This is such a pleasant surprise."
- - Viserth's first words to Meriahm after his resurrection
With his knowledge secured, Viserth turned his attention to Northrend. As a representative to the Horde's allies in Northrend, Viserth was able to move freely around the continent. He was present for the Wrathgate and the battle for the Undercity - a series of events that would see Viserth's ability to move amongst the Horde severely restricted. During this time, he also had what would be the first of many confrontations with Meriahm Lausten, who sought to finish the job she had started in Stormwind.
As war escalated between the Horde and the Alliance, Viserth continued to use the chaos to his advantage. He used his minor influence in the Horde to acquisition a small guard. Using this guard, as well as the demons he had bound to his command, Viserth began a secret campaign across Azeroth. He harassed Meriahm and the Blackstone Order at every turn he could, as well as spying on the city of Stormwind. He also plundered multiple sites, searching for artifacts of power. What he was looking for - and what he actually found - remains mostly unknown.
But the careful balance could not last. Disillusioned with Garrosh Hellscream and annoyed that his work insinuating himself with Thrall's advisers was wasted, Viserth secretly planned and financed an attempt to destroy Grommash Hold. When the attempt failed, Viserth fled Undercity and took up refuge with a secret group of allies. Forced to wait until the accusations blew over took it's toll on Viserth's work, but eventually he was able to return as Ambassador to Silvermoon City, fading into the ranks of the Forsaken once more.
Order and ChaosEdit
- "This is not happening. THIS IS NOT-"
- - Viserth, as his voidwalker betrays him
Eventually, Viserth began to actively bring artifacts of power together. Fearing that he was about to attempt something drastic, Eillina - who had been watching her father carefully - approached Meriahm Lausten secretly and asked for aid in killing him.
The two tracked Viserth to the Isle of Quel'danas. What occurred during the confrontation is unknown, but at the end of the battle, Viserth Arenall was incinerated by his voidwalker. His body was obliterated into dust, scattering into the wind.
Immediately following his death, Viserth's voidwalker fled back to the Nether. The rest of his demons were hunted down by Eillina and Meriahm in a private war that forced Meriahm to fake her own death. At the end of it, all trace of Viserth had been wiped from Azeroth. The only exception to this was his stores of knowledge, which were taken by Meriahm and hidden away.
- "When it is time to utter them, I will let you know."
- -Viserth, upon being asked what his last words were
Shortly after, Viserth returned to his old position as Ambassador. No explanation was given for his disappearance nor his subsequent return. He continued to hold no political allegiance or clear agenda, with the exception of a membership to the Undercity Nexus. His contribution to the Nexus is unknown.
Recently, a covert operation by the Magus Senate resulted in his capture. He was held in the Hold, originally slated to be executed immediately upon capture. This was delayed, however, in order for the Senate to use his knowledge to help with the Infinite Crisis. Once this came to light, and the crisis ended, Viserth was summarily executed by the Minister of the Interior, Arranax DeVin.
He was beheaded, and his corpse was burned. The ashes currently reside in the Arcane Vault.
The Cult of the ResurrectorEdit
- "Haven't we killed him... like twice already?"
- - Aithnea Escol
Somehow, Viserth returned from the dead, despite his ashes remaining in the Arcane Vault. He did not resume his duties as Ambassador to Silvermoon, however, instead remaining in hiding until the invasion of the Iron Horde. The only person who saw him before the Dark Portal reopened was Ralph Riddle, with whom he made some sort of deal.
During the invasion, he arrived at Nethergarde with just enough time to ward one of the keeps - the one previously occupied by the Nethergarde Legion - with explosive fel runes. When the Senate arrived, he retrieved the staff previously stolen from him and disappeared. Though he detonated the runes, the Senate managed to escape, and Viserth disappeared once more. His office in the Undercity was destroyed in a fire shortly after. One direct encounter with him confirmed that he passed through the Dark Portal and fled the battle immediately upon arriving on Draenor.
Shortly after, reports began to surface of a cult in the Frostfire mountains called "The Cult of the Resurrector." At first, the only direct witness to the cult's base of operations was Drossy, who claimed that Viserth has taken control of the village and had "a god in a cave." - however, the psychological damage done to her by their encounter rendered a great deal of her testimony questionable at best. Encounters with his followers showed that they lack the fear of death, seeming almost willing to die. The Hand of the Chancellery, Oliviaxi Shadesong, confirmed that Viserth did seemingly have some form of fire being aiding him, though what this exactly was remained unknown. Scouts were unable to locate the village in question after searching Frostfire for nearly six months.
Some time into the Draenor campaign, Viserth began appearing at Nexus gatherings again, usually seen whispering to a member off to the side. He claimed that he is doing covert missions for the Forsaken in Frostfire, though no orders have been declassified that can confirm this. Most notably, he participated in the search for artifacts in Uldum, and vanished for a time shortly after they were recovered.
The Day of ConflagrationEdit
- "The time for pretense is over - I blew a city out of the sky, so I think we've reached the point where I can do that...but I do love to hear myself talk, not unlike several of you. The Resurrector is fake. It's a puppet, made of fire and charred bone that I manipulate. There is no Resurrector and the Cult is worshipping something that is not real. There is no Day of Conflagration. Not yet. I understand that there may be some trust issues here."
- - Viserth, speaking through an illusion to the Magus Senate
With the his work on Draenor drawing closer to completion, Viserth began circulating word among his followers that a "Day of Conflagration" was nearing. This was further forced by Ralph Riddle's involvement with the Senate during the Draenor campaign - the warlock's investigations into titanic technology drew the attention of Dalaran, and the events that followed resulted in the sacrifice of Farel Arc. The loss of Farel in particular annoyed Viserth greatly, as he had seen the boy as a powerful force for order and a potentially worthy rival. That didn't stop him from sending letters to the Senate tormenting them over the loss, however.
As Eillina investigated and formed a loose alliance with the Senate to do so, Viserth continued to push his efforts in Draenor harder and harder. He organized recruitment drives to bolster the ranks of the Cult, even managing to recruit members of the Kirin Tor in Gorgrond by demonstrating the Resurrector's "power" and executing Maltorin, a traitor to the city and one of the people responsible for Farel's death.
Problems arose, however, when a cult infiltrator named Amelia destroyed the Foreign Affairs Office in Dalaran after being outed by the Senate. This sparked a viscous manhunt for cult infiltrators, forcing Viserth to pull his people out of Stormwind and Dalaran. Time drawing short, Viserth, Riddle, and a third of the Cult traveled to the newly-besieged jungle of Tanaan so that Viserth could test out a prototype of the culmination of his knowledge, a mysterious gate. There, he sacrificed the cultists he had brought with him. The result was successful. Viserth and Riddle acquired an unknown woman, who they sent through to an unknown location. However, Eillina and the Senate caught up to them, and Viserth was forced to run while Riddle stayed behind and surrendered to buy him time.
Realizing that Viserth was wearing a Senate ring, and had been spying on them directly for months, the Senate immediately used it to triangulate his position. Troops were dispatched to the cult compound. Panicked, cornered, and desperate to buy himself more time, Viserth staged an attack on Widow's Rise. Located in Raingate, the floating city was built by Meriahm Lausten and was serving as her base of operations at the time. During the attack, Viserth played every card he had - bringing down the city, killing thousands, and manipulating Lysabet into slashing Meriahm's throat.
Personality and PoliticsEdit
- "You and I both know that he's only allied with the Forsaken in name. The only person he serves is himself while he enjoys their protection."
- - Meriahm, to Damon Halliwell
Viserth was a cunning, devious, and scheming man in life and in death. He is well-known for allying only with those he felt could aid him in some way, and refusing to hand out favors where he would get none in return. He is a cold and calculating man who does not enjoy playing the fawning servant - though it was a role he is more than willing to play when the need arose. He is a talented actor, able to shift between maniacal villain and loyal ally while keeping his true loyalties hidden.
His principle philosophy revolves around perceiving the world not as good and evil, but as order and chaos. Viserth believes that he falls on the side of Order, and seeks to bring the forces of what he perceives as Chaos to heel. He believes even reality itself was tainted by Chaos - a stain Viserth makes it his undeath's mission to remove.
Politically, Viserth argues against almost every Horde race except the Forsaken and the Blood Elves. He is pro-independence for the Forsaken, arguing that they would be stronger if they ceased answering to Garrosh's mad demands for war. While he doesn't care for the Blood Elves, Viserth has penned several documents arguing that an alliance between Silvermoon and the Forsaken could crush the human presence in Lordaeron, Alterac, and Arathor and claim these lands for them.
He was allowed to speak before the court of the Banshee Queen only twice. The first was a speech arguing the Forsaken were stronger for Putress' betrayal. The second was a lengthy denouncement of sending any Forsaken troops to Kalimdor. Records of both of these speeches can be accessed in the Undercity's records.
Most of what is known about Viserth Arenall comes from records that survived his attempted purge. Despite his best efforts to destroy anything related to himself or to House Arenall, several important documents still exist. There are giant gaps, however, and there is much that is still unknown about how far his schemes may extend or what secrets he may have discovered.
- "For the first time, I do not wish to come back."
- - Viserth, to the corrupted Meriahm Lausten
In the timeline of Tales of the Infinite, Viserth fled to the Storm Peaks. He was confronted by Meriahm, but she spared him. He aided her in acquiring powers from the Old Gods, though he didn't claim any himself. It is not known what happened when Meriahm returned to Dalaran, but eventually Viserth ended up in the sewers. There, he convinced Meriahm that the Chancellor's plan would fail and to do an unknown series of tasks for him. After this, she executed him with an ice lance through the back of his head, and he stated he has no plans to return from the dead.
The current timeline's Viserth occupies the body his alternate self left behind.
The artwork displayed on this page is a commissioned piece and not my work. The original artist has been notified that it is posted here. If anyone wants to commission the artist, please send me a message either here or in-game and I will put you in contact with them. - Meri