Frost death knights get one of the best stories in Legion. Did you know there are some secrets you only get to see if you have the Blades of the Fallen Prince equipped?
Frostmourne was a soul stealing weapon that had the power to corrupt anyone who touched it. The Blades of the Fallen Prince seem to share this at least to some extent. Wearing them enables you to see echoes and memories of previous Lich Kings.
The first thing the current Lich King tells you to do after creating the twin blades is to purge them.
“I sense powerful spirits remain inside the blades. Enter into the spiritual realm within and purge them of all that resist your domination!”
Inside the blades you find echoes of Ner’zhul and Arthas. Based on their conversation, I’d say that Ner’zhul is the dominant one. At first I thought this was similar to a residual haunting and that they were just echoes repeating the past. Then they noticed me and started directly interacting. This argues that something else was actually going on inside the swords.
The Echo of Ner’zhul is standing off to the side tempting Arthas. “Take up the blade, Arthas Menethil. Embrace your destiny!”
The Echo of Arthas is standing in front of a ghostly image of Frostmourne and he nods when he hears this. “Yes…you are right. I will bear any curse to have my revenge!” Then he senses your presence and turns around to face you. “What? An Intruder! You won’t stop me! Frostmourne will be mine!” He raises his mace. “Nothing will stand in the way of my vengeance!” Then the Echo of Arthas attacks you.
This enrages the Echo of Ner’zhul and he screams at you. “How dare you interfere! His soul belongs to ME!” Then Ner’zhul starts periodically shooting balls of purple crap at you.
The Echo of Arthas surrounds you in spiky ice in an attempt to trap you in place. “Feel the icy chill of death around you!” Break free of this fast or Ner’zhul’s purple crap will be a problem.
After you wound him badly enough, the Echo of Arthas disengages and runs back towards the ghostly Frostmourne. He seems to be having a breakdown of some sort. “Argh! The darkness…I can’t…I…” Then he screams, “ARRGHHHHHH!” and starts channeling dark pact.
The Echo of Ner’zhul encourages him. “Let the darkness consume you. Feast upon the souls of the damned!”
Waves of undead appear due to his summoning and start marching towards the Echo of Arthas. If they reach him, he will sacrifice them with the dark pact and regain his health. I suggest you don’t let that happen.
After fruitlessly trying to kill his summoned undead, Arthas stops channeling and attacks you again. When he is defeated he gasps out something very similar to his first death. “I see…only darkness…before me…” Then he dies again within the swords.
Ner’zhul is very upset with you. He screams, “Curse you, Interloper! All my plans…ruined!” then he teleports away. You don’t defeat him, so Ner’zhul or whatever was pretending to be him, is still inside your new weapon. I’m guessing that Arthas is too because his ghostly memories show up in the real world and speak to you.
Memories of Arthas the Lich King can be found in Azsuna, Val’Sharah, Highmountain, and Stormheim. He will show up as a star on your mini map. You can only see him if you have the Blades of the Fallen Prince equipped.
These memories of Arthas seem to be warning you.
In Aszuna, Arthas is waiting near Challiane’s Terrace. This is near a bunch of Night Elf ghosts. These elves were presumably left to live on as spirits from when Queen Azshara cursed Prince Farondis and his people to perpetual undeath.
Here the Memory of Arthas tells you:
“See the spirits writhe and twist. The numberless shades forsaken by time. The dead outnumber the living, and always will.”
Is this a commentary on the area, or an observation about you as a death knight? Or even a hint as to what the new Lich King might be planning for the world?
You can find Arthas near Andu’talah in Val’Sharah. This is near the Starsong Refuge flight point. The immediate area has been corrupted by the Emerald Nightmare.
Here the Memory of Arthas sounds tired and he addresses you by name. This is the only time he has any emotion in his tone.
“The darkness does not die, Ravyn. Rage against The Nightmare. Struggle as you will. The infinite dark is patient. We will all be claimed in the end.”
Twice we have seen Arthas die and say he could only see darkness. He could be commenting on his own fate and the fate of all death knights here. But the infinite dark sounds very much like a Void reference to me. The Nightmare was created by Yogg-Saron who serves the Void Lords. Is Arthas telling you who is driving the Lich King here?
In Highmountain you can find Arthas waiting for you inside Thunder Totem. He is specifically in the Hall of Chieftains standing in Ebonhorn’s viewing pool. Does this location somehow grant him the ability to speak more clearly than the other locations?
Here the Memory of Arthas says:
“You believe that you are in control…that your will is your own. Yet you do as He commands. You exist by His whim alone. You imagine yourself to be free, but you will always be His instrument.”
This straight up sounds like Arthas is warning you about the new Lich King. I’m assuming that is who “He” is. The death knights are definitely in danger of losing their independence.
In Stormheim, you will find Arthas hanging out around the ghostly remains of Vrykul in the Field of Fallen Kings. The undead here are not controlled by the Lich King and seem to be animated because of the proximity to Helheim.
Here the Memory of Arthas tells you:
“So many fallen kings, silent in their numberless graves. Even the mighty are rendered nameless by time. Every king must kneel before death.”
I wonder if he is talking about himself here? Or is this another subtle warning about the plans of the Lich King?
I am deeply suspicious of the Lich King. Here are my interpretations of the echoes and memories seen with the Blades of the Fallen Prince.
Something inside Frostmourne–and now the twin blades–was trying to bring the Echo of Arthas to heel. Arthas was fighting it and so Ner’zhul tried to recreate the original corruption of Arthas in order to regain control of him. You interrupted this when you entered the blades and that plan was ruined.
I suspect that doing this enabled the Memory of Arthas to appear to you. I think the Memory of Arthas is telling you as much about the Lich King’s plans as he can. He is not able to tell you directly because what is left of him is still under some form of control.
When he mentions that the dead outnumber the living, Arthas is telling you that the Lich King is making a power play. The Lich King has the ability to raise endless armies of the dead to achieve his goals.
When he talks about being claimed by the darkness, I believe we are getting a hint of what is behind the Lich King’s plans. What if the Lich King is himself a puppet of a greater power? Something dark and Old Godlike might be pulling his strings.
Speaking of puppets, Arthas is calling you one. I feel like he is warning that the Ebon Blade is being pulled back under the Lich King’s direct control. The entire death knight class campaign seems to point to this as well. There is a strong chance that all free undead–Forsaken and death knights–are at a risk of being recaptured by the Lich King. This gets really bad if this includes Sylvanas, and through her the entire Horde.
Finally Arthas mentions that every king must kneel before death. This sounds to me like the Lich King is planning to conquer a few kingdoms. Or maybe all of them. If I’m right, he is building up to an undead war across Azeroth.
Sounds like something the Void might approve of. Lots of other things are pointing to a Void/Old God expansion. I am wondering if the Lich King and his “plans” will be a part of it.