the Holy warrior
- (formerly, later a death knight and then became )
- (formerly, now depowered)
- (formerly, now a death knight)
Paladins are the virtuous defenders of the weak and tireless, unfaltering enemies of the undead. Mixing elements of the warrior and the clerics of the Holy Light, the paladin is a tough melee fighter. The tradition of the Holy Light is unique to a few of the Alliance races (humans, dwarves, and draenei.) and the blood elves and tauren of the Horde.
The paladin is a "warrior of the Holy Light". They uphold all that is good and true in the world and revile all that is evil and sinister — especially undead and the Burning Legion. They offer succor to the beleaguered and smite their enemies with holy fervor. They are particularly potent against undead, as these creatures threaten the goodly races and the Holy Light burns them terribly. The presence of any evil is reprehensible to the paladin, but he focuses his efforts on destroying undead and demons. These warriors uphold the tenets of the Holy Light and defend the Alliance from the predations of any threat to their peoples. Found in almost every corner of Azeroth fighting the forces of evil and barbarism, these stalwart warriors of faith ceaselessly uphold their vigil against demonic forces from beyond the Dark Portal. Humans, draenei, and Ironforge dwarves are the most likely to become paladins, as these races revere the Holy Light. Blood elves known as Blood Knights bend the powers of the Light to their will, though rumor has it they have recently begun to use the Light legitimately. The Tauren recently became paladins in Catclysm, and using power of the Sun, they founded the Sunwalkers. 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. High elves rarely become paladins, though this has changed somewhat, as their blood elf brothers and sisters expand the Blood Knight order. The Blood Knights are commonly mistaken as the enemy of the Knights of the Silver Hand by outsiders unfamiliar with the ways of the Light, but this is false presumption. Paladins are the embodiment of good and selfless dedication to the protection of their peoples. They help the innocent and punish the wicked. As such, paladins are generally of good alignment.
There are however, also Fallen Paladins such as those in the Scarlet Crusade.
During the Second War, some paladins' eyes glowed with inner power of the Light, such as the paladin Turalyon. This is not the case for all paladins, though it occurs in game with certain paladin armor sets.
Paladins are a holy order of warriors whose purpose is to defend and shepherd the war-torn populace of Lordaeron. perceived that the pious Clerics of Northshire, who suffered such terrible attrition in the First War, were ill-suited for the dangers of combat. Along with many of the surviving Clerics of Northshire, he sought those of only the greatest virtue among the knighthood of Lordaeron and tutored them in the ways of magic. Led by the crusading , it now rests upon these paladins — christened the Knights of the Silver Hand — to heal the wounds sustained in combat and to restore faith in the promise of freedom from Orcish tyranny.
15 Years After the Second War
The Archbishop, Alonsus Faol, prior to the Second War, founded the Order of the Knights of the Silver Hand. The holy knights, or paladins, as they are commonly called, led the battle against the evil orcs and helped to save the lands of Lordaeron from ruin. Though it has been nearly 15 years since the end of the Second War, the paladins still work selflessly to protect humanity from the gnawing jaws of evil. Empowered by the Light, these mighty warriors brandish both their warhammers and holy fire in the battle against all those who would trample the meek and innocent.
Although the paladins were once loved and revered throughout the lands of Lordaeron, they have since fallen on into hard times. The entire Order of the Silver Hand was disbanded for refusing to kill innocent townsfolk who were believed to be contaminated by the dreaded Undead plague of the Scourge. Disenfranchised and driven from their former homes, the paladins still work selflessly to protect humanity from the gnawing jaws of evil. Empowered by the Light, these mighty warriors now brandish both warhammer and holy fire in offensive battle against all who would trample the meek and innocent.
The Knights of the Silver Hand was the original paladin order. Formed during the Second War, it was at its height until the time of the Plague. As paladins were immune to the Plague (and indeed all diseases), many members of the Order survived the initial push of the Scourge. Unfortunately, the corrupted Arthas Menethil killed many paladins upon his return (including ), leaving only a scattered few. The Order of the Silver Hand was disbanded by prince Arthas Menethil when refused to aid Arthas in his purging of the city of Stratholme.
Following the invasion of the Scourge, many of the order's paladins joined a zealous group of followers of the Light known as the Scarlet Crusade. However, many of these paladins have become fanatical towards their ambition of destroying the Scourge, to the point that those not wearing their colors are deemed corrupted. After leaving the Crusade, some paladins decided to join the Argent Dawn. Some paladins have also turned from the light and joined Arthas Menethil as death knights.
Others fled south, to the Kingdom of Stormwind. The paladin order, still referring to themselves as the Order of the Silver Hand, now thrives under new leadership at the Cathedral of Light in Stormwind City. Over time, the followers of the Holy Light spread their philosophy to the dwarves of Ironforge, who soon adopted the tenets of the order as well. Though decimated, the Knights of the Silver Hand eventually bounced back.
In a World of Warcraft questline, vows to restore the original order, which later merges with the Argent Dawn to form the Argent Crusade.
Code of conduct
A paladin must be good and will lose all Light-given abilities if he ever willingly commits an evil act. Additionally, the paladin’s code requires that he respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use their help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents. While he may adventure with others from different orginizations, a paladin will never knowingly associate with evil persons, nor will he continue an association with someone who consistently offends his moral code. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers or cohorts whose intentions are good. A paladin who violates this code, becomes an ex-paladin, and loses all Light-given abilities until he atones for his violations. - per wowrpg. Atoning is usually a long and difficult process.
In exceptional circumstances a Paladin may act unlawfully if they are certain it is for the greater good (for example, they can turn against their current master if he turns out to be evil) but they must never work for unjust or evil causes knowingly. Since a Paladin believes in honesty, honour and loyalty, even pretending to support what they know is an unjust cause in order to bring down a greater evil is heavily frowned upon.
Paladins don't always have to work within good or neutral organizations as seen by the Scarlet Crusade and others — however, they do have to believe they are working for good organizations or have faith that their cause is good and just. A paladin can be evil (as illustrated by Renault Mograine and Arthas before he took up Frostmourne, but his holy powers did start to weaken after he culled Stratholme; the further down the dark path he went, the more they faded until eventually left him), but as long as they believe their cause to be just, the Light will continue to serve them. 
- Main article: Paladin quests
Paladins have several class-specific quests which allow the character to learn valuable spells.
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