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"[rewriting quote]"
—- Ben Grandblade

Lord Benjamin "Ben" Grandblade is a seasoned Alliance veteran and a respected Knight of the Silver Hand. Originally from Dalaran, Ben pledged himself to the defense of the innocent after watching the Scourge desecrate his city. Since the day he was of enlistment age, he has seen combat; from the molten depths of Blackrock, to the howling peaks of Northrend, and to the fel spires of Argus, Ben serves as a crusader of the Light and a protector of the underdog.

Ben lives in a Westfall estate with his wife, their numerous children - some biological, some adopted - his brother-in-law, and several other close familial friends.

Physical Description

Looking to be in his late-twenties to early thirties, Ben clearly takes good care of himself. His stubble is well trimmed down to a state of good upkeep, while maintaining an air of ruggedness to him. His hair is well combed, parted down the center. His left hand, while fully functional, is entirely mechanical, with parts made in Tinker Town by the associates of Tinkmaster Overspark. Ben also keeps a tiny aged pocket watch chained outside his pocket, a Winter Veil gift from his wife.

Personality

Ben is usually seen in public with a stern focus, but he's a very friendly and calm gentleman upon approach. While he's not a fan of wasting words, that does not mean he's not one for good conversation - moreso a deep listener rather than a heavy talker, reclusive with his words out of observance rather than shyness. Despite this, he is a fan of casual banter and joking to all he meets, as a social ice breaker.

As a holy man, Ben carries very strong convictions with him, always eager to spread the mantras of the Light to those in need of comfort. However, unlike other more forceful crusades, Ben does not believe that the Light is the be-all end-all of Azeroth's spiritual buildup. He also has been known to give reverence to Elune, the Earthmother, the Wild Gods, the Titanic Pantheon, and on the rare occasion, the Loa.

History

Early Life

Dalaran's Fall and the Third War

Born in the city of Dalaran, Ben is the youngest child of Archmages Kade and Sarah Grandblade of the Kirin Tor. Despite his parentage, Ben fancied himself a knight rather than a mage, for reasons he rarely discloses. Some say that it has something to do with a Stormwindian baron's daughter he met in his schooling years. His idealistic life amongst the Kirin Tor was subsequently rocked

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Dalaran's fall, the turning point for Ben's life. Upon fleeing to Stormwind, Ben enlisted.

when Archimonde the Defiler razed his home city to the ground, forcing him and his family out into the wilds of Hillsbrad, whilst the undead Scourge slaughtered his people, including his mother. Since that fateful day, Ben has been a man of war.

Cycle of Hatred

Young Ben in Northshire

Ben Grandblade, fresh out of squirehood in Northshire Abbey.

Settling in Stormwind, Ben immediately pledged himself to the clergy, to be trained in his true calling - a paladin of the Alliance, one to defend those who couldn't do the same for themselves. The day Ben came of age, enlistment came none too soon, although it took a long while for him to be deployed outside the home fronts of the Alliance territories. His first true campaign was an unforgiving one - plumbing the depths of Blackrock, fighting the forces of Ragnaros and Nefarian alike.

Ben fighting Abomination

Ben battles the Thuzadin in the Plaguelands.

While Ben took to the Light well, he never became fully familiarized with it until his deployment to Light's Hope Chapel in the withering Plaguelands. Fighting against the dark forces of Kel'Thuzad, Ben's deep-seated hatred of the Scourge only intensified as he bore witness to the horrors that they had inflicted on the innocent populace.

Alliance Service

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Benjamin and his compatriot, Valyera Mirovna, rescuing villagers from the undead in the ruins of Wintergarde.

Years of fighting across OutlandNorthrend[1], Pandaria, Draenor, the Broken Isles, and Argus see Ben where he is today. A staunch knight of the Silver Hand, and a proud soldier of the Alliance. In recent times, he has assumed command of a fighting force by the name of Hearthfires, adopted a young gnomish orphan, and battled against a demonic lord by the name of Xavenoth.

The Blood War

Rebuilding the Silver Hand

Ben Bael Modan

Ben escorting a group of survivors out of the smoldering fortress of Bael Modan after it was sabotaged.

At the end of the Legion invasion, Ben saw to reinforcing the rebuilt Silver Hand's ideals by taking on squires to train. The first of which was Christopher Hawthorne, a young man whom Ben had rescued from the Broken Shore at the behest of Hawthorne's wife, Elizabeth. Falling pregnant shortly before Christopher's deployment, Elizabeth was taken in by Ben's fiancé, Justine, where she served as a wet nurse in her clinic. While Christopher was in recovery for almost the entirety of the Legion War, he made a full recovery in time for the birth of his son, making him a prime candidate for Ben's first squire.

Ben Lightforged Squadron

Ben prepares to join the dogfight against the Legion's Immortal Squadron.

Ben's thoughts fell to Gracie Callaghan, a young serf from Westfall who had been incarcerated and sentenced to war service after causing an accidental violent riot in Cathedral Square, which led to a few fatalities. Ben had been a witness for convicting Gracie, and the inexperienced girl was to be drafted and shipped out for war against the Horde. Feeling guilt over the part he played in her fate, Ben requested that Gracie be placed under his probation, serving out her sentence as a squire for the Silver Hand. While Gracie attitude towards Ben is less than amicable, Ben hopes that her time in the Hand will give her the experience needed to bring back to Westfall and help her suffering friends and family.[2]

Thinking towards future generations, Ben took in his own foster son, Kent Oberdale, who had long expressed a desire to become a paladin when he grew up. While Kent is not brought to combat, he serves as a herald for the knights in Light's Hope Chapel, much like the squires of the Argent Tournament.

Following the devastating War of the Thorns, Ben has seen himself, the Hearthfires, and the majority of the Silver Hand staunchly under the banner of the Alliance, ready to gain vengeance against the Banshee Queen for the vicious genocide of Teldrassil and her children. Currently, the attention of Ben and his regiment have largely focused on the war in Kul Tiras and Zandalar.

The War in Kalimdor

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Ben in Ashenvale with the Kaldorei of the Silver Circle.

Shortly before the ascension of Tyrande Whisperwind into the Night Warrior, Ben made allies with a number of Kaldorei belonging to the vigilant Silversworn of the Silver Circle, including its Keeper, Feyawen Nightfury. He was present for their war council in Azsuna[3], and the subsequent push through Ashenvale to deliver fresh nightsabers to the holdouts on the rim of Astranaar. Along the way, the Silversworn also rid Raynewood Retreat of rampaging orc soldiers, saving many dryads and earning the loyalty of Shael'dryn's Laughing Sisters to the Sentinel army.[4] His aid to the Silversworn earned him the title Dalora, Darnassian for brother, amongst some of the order.

Gift of the Banshee Queen

On return to Light's Hope, Ben was informed that a number of knights had gone missing on the roads by the old Marris Stead. Calling upon the Hearthfires, as well as Tiara and Walter Vanforth, Ben lead the group into the Plaguelands to hunt down and subdue the threat. Following a run-in with a group of blood-drained knights, it was discovered that the aggressor was a San'layn under the Forsaken, dispatched to menace the the newly Alliance-aligned Silver Hand. It was also discovered that Lord Neville Oathkeeper, known for his heroics against the Drakkari, had been taken captive by the San'layn. While she nearly managed to drain him dry, the undead was slain and Lord Oathkeeper rescued.

Blackrock Strikes Back

Shortly after the Battle of Dazar'alor, the orcish General Logor rallied a portion of the Blackrock Clan in the Burning Steppes to push into the Redridge Mountains, hoping to take the town of Lakeshire and gain a crucial foothold against Stormwind. Rallying quickly, Ben and his brigade (aided by the militia of Colonel Troteman) were able to push the invading Horde and Blackrock incursion back through Blackrock Pass. Logor himself attempted to push back in an Azerite War Machine, but he eventually met his end.

Despite their victory, Logor's right hand warlock - a blood elf known as Zanral Twinbeam - took numerous Lakeshire civilians captive, retreating into Blackrock Mountain. Licking their wounds, the Hearthfires quickly pursued him into the fire, expecting to be backed by their allies in Shadowforge City. Upon reaching the mountain, they were instead met with the Dark Iron Cult of Ragnaros, masquerading as emissaries of Queen Moira. Quickly unmasked by the timely arrival of Ellie Heavyhands, a Dark Iron paladin and loyalist of the Queen, the cultists were quickly put down, despite their attempts to summon manifold creatures of the Firelands. Heavyhands informed the Hearthfires that the Lakeshire hostages were being kept in Forgewright's Tomb in the center of Blackrock, where numerous Shadowforge civilians had also been taken prisoner.

Resolved to bring the innocents back alive, the Hearthfires delved deeper into Blackrock. Within the tomb, they disrupted an attempt by an Honorbound shaman to use the captive prisoners' life force to become a fearsome flame ascendant. With the shaman slain and the prisoners rescued, all seemed well.

Unfortunately, this was not the case. Upon escorting the hostages out of the tomb, they were met with a projection of the late Lord Victor Nefarius (more commonly known as Nefarian, son of Deathwing). The pre-recorded message informed them that they had awakened a creation he had subdued within the lava pools below, and wished them mocking luck in defeating it. As the image dissipated, Zanral Twinbeam revealed himself to the group, having been watching from afar. Proclaiming that he had awakened the beast, the warlock made a hasty escape. From below, a fearsome three-headed monstrosity, dubbed "Chromadeus" by his creator, rose from his slumber to feast upon the heroes - and subsequently, Lakeshire.

Herding the civilians quickly deeper into Blackrock, to the safety of Shadowforge City, the Hearthfires were able to battle the abomination from above, utilizing the leftover Ironmarch technology from Warlord Zaela's emptied platform. Although it fought desperately to consume the heroes, it proved no match for the combined might of their assault, falling dead back into the pools which it slept.

The Northern Campaign

In the later stages of the Blood War, Ben and the Hearthfires were deployed to the northern regions of the Eastern Kingdoms. Under the strategy of Lord Marshal Lebryn Edain of the 47th Regiment, the Alliance attempted one final push to gain a foothold in the Alterac Mountains, perhaps in a bid to reclaim the kingdom for the Alliance. While the battle was hard fought on both sides, the Alliance forces were ousted from Alterac by the forces of undead warlord Tyrathor Blightbane. Ben's own regiment was taken prisoner and shipped to an undisclosed prison location.

During this time of imprisonment, Ben was interrogated by the shadow priest Edward Darkpraise in order to garner the location of the Alliance's footholds in Gilneas, but (due to both a lack of knowledge and Ben's unwillingness to divulge) they found nothing from Ben. In spite of their imprisonment, Ben and the rest of his men eventually saw escape at the hands of infiltrating Horde rebels of Varok Saurfang, under the promise that the Hearthfires would aid their rebellion when it came time to oust Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner.

Family and Relationships

Justindra Dayton

The daughter of a wealthy baron of Stormwind, Justindra and Ben were childhood friends during the early years of the First and Second Wars. Although they were separated for an extended period sometime after the Third War, Ben and Justine reunited in adulthood, during her early tenure as an Alliance field medic. They rekindled their relationship then, as if they had never parted.

Both a mother and nurse, Ben was attracted to her natural tendency to care for others over herself, a relationship that eventually led to marriage sometime after the start of the Blood War. While he trusts her in combat, Justine has mutually agreed to remain behind to tend to their family as Ben is deployed, although she serves a crucial combat medic on many an Alliance excursion.
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Danmoras' frightening appearance did not phase Ben's children after a while, affectionately referring to him as "Uncle Dan."

Danmoras

Meeting during the war against the Scourge in Northrend, the Gilnean death knight Danmoras is the elder brother of Ben's wife. While initially distrustful of the death knight, years of battle together have built a brotherhood between the two, including the step-brotherhood forged by Ben's marriage to Justine. Dan's public condemnation of the Deathlord's recent actions - including the attack on Light's Hope and the massacre at the Ruby Sanctum [5]- have set Dan apart from other Ebon Blade knights in Ben's eyes. Dan is also a loving uncle to Ben and Justine's children, his normally dour disposition improving upon interaction with them.

Valyera Mirovna

A fellow paladin of the Silver Hand, Valyera is one of Ben's most trusted compatriots, as well as a close personal friend. In the past, Val's more vindictively cautious personality clashed with Ben's, but overtime the two came to foster a deep respect for one another. Val now serves as Ben's right hand in the Hearthfires, the two casting off the neutrality of the Legion war in order to oppose Sylvanas for the Alliance.

Weaponry

Solais

Bearing an ancient elvish title whose meaning has been long forgotten, Ben’s blade was bestowed to him during his campaign in Northrend. Rumored to have been gifted to him by the Maiden of Ashwood Lake, it has been granted many a boon from Ben’s allies overtime - the Sisterhood of Elune, the Storm’s Wake, and Argent Confessor Paletress all have bestowed their blessings upon it.

Recently, the blade was refined by the smiths of the Army of the Light, coating the blade with molten Argunite.

Oakengraft, Heart of the Ancient

During the War of the Thorns, an ancient of Darkshore was lit aflame by a goblin shredder. Although it fought valiantly against the Horde until the very end, eventually it was felled, burning away to ash and leaving only its pure unblemished heart behind. This heart was reforged into a shield, hard as mithril. Upon receiving it, Ben inscribed the name of the ancient into the shield's plate - Oakengraft.

Memoriam

As the Blood War rages on, Ben spends his down time inscribing the names of those lost onto the plate. Not unlike the legendary Talonclaw, the shield never appears to run out of space for names. Most of the shield is comprised of those who died in the War of the Thorns, and the Battles for Lordaeron, Stromgarde, and Darkshore. However, there are also a great deal of individual names. Some examples are:

Sparkshine, the Witchrender

As the Order of Embers bares many similarities to the Silver Hand, Ben found himself establishing quick relations with the Drustvar defenders, with the Hearthfires lending their aid against both the Heartsbane Coven and the Horde invasion. As such, he was gifted with his own Witchrend hand cannon, a weapon forged with a silver-infused barrel by a smith named Angus Ballaster. Ben named it Sparkshine after a young lady who lost her life too soon in the Bombing of Theramore. Sitting comfortably on a hip holster, the barrel supplements the need for silver bullets, making it a very effective weapon against the wicked and the cursed.

Quotes

"Justice ain't gonna dispense itself." - a quote that Avenger Metz claims Ben stole.

Gallery

(Imgur Album link until proper gallery is created)

Trivia

External Links

Grandblade's Armory Page

Benjamin Grandblade art by @formbextron

Miranda art by Probably Asleep

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