- "Honor is not a stubborn oath, but the integrity to uphold what is right, even when it is not easy."
- —Zack Leingod
Zackary Sven Leingod is a paladin with a strong connection to the Holy Light. He is acclaimed as "The Lion of Stormwind," a nickname given to him by numerous comrades throughout the Alliance for his inspiriting presence and courage.
Early life and the First WarBorn within the heart of Stormwind City, the jewel of humanity, Zackary Leingod enjoyed a life of prosperity and contentment despite his common birth. The people of Stormwind lived out their lives in serenity for many years, though the peace from which they thrived would not last. When reports of ferocious creatures skulking about the Morass reached Stormwind, Zackary had taken little more than his first steps. Stormwind prepared for the coming perils, dispatching humanity's greatest knights to uncover the origins of these frightening beasts. Investigating the Black Morass in righteous pursuit, Stormwind's champions ultimately clashed with orcs for the first time in a series of bloody skirmishes that tested valor and steel. Despite humanity's heroic efforts, the orcs proved too formidable, their malice and will to dominate an overwhelming onslaught of brutal savagery. Following the eventual desecration of Stormwind at the monstrous hands of the orcish hordes, the human's began an organized evacuation of its citizens from the fallen kingdom, lest their people be slain under orcish supremacy. Zack Leingod and his parents spirited away in ships to the kingdom of Lordaeron alongside Lothar and the other survivors of the Horde’s treachery. Zack's youthful eyes could only look back from the sea as haunting flames engulfed his beloved kingdom.
Reaching the shores of Lordaeron with their fellow countrymen, the Leingod family did their best to conform and adjust, accepting the possibility they might never return to their beloved Stormwind. They longed to walk the dirt paths of Elwynn Forest once again. A bout of hardship set over Zackary Leingod. With no ties to the Stormwind aristocracy, his families life in the grandeur of Lordaeron was rife with poverty. Zackary Leingod had lost everything, his prosperity and contentment a distant memory.
Life in Lordaeron had been filled with struggles and setbacks, yet Zackary Leingod endured despite his misfortune. The human and orc conflicts that spanned the Eastern Kingdoms came to an ultimate conclusion, with the Alliance of Lordaeron toppling the Horrde in righteous victory. Zackary had grown into a spirited young boy, now a Lordaeronian citizen despite his yearning to see Stormwind once again. A simple life is what he led, and a peasants' work was what he endured to survive the adversity foisted on him. This was the life awarded to one Zackary Sven Leingod. And it was lives of adversity that shaped boys into men.
The Third War
The Third War had begun, a new age of warfare emerging across Azeroth. Desperate to do his part, Zackary sought to join the ranks of the Alliance military at a young age. Born of peasantry he wished only to change his stars. Zack's weak lungs and feeble physique did little to aid in his efforts, being rejected countless times without a second glance. With unfaltering persistence Zackary was finally accepted as a conscript of the lowborn workers that served as the backbone of the Alliance military. This was not at all what he imagined, but he accepted his role proudly as an Alliance laborer. Obedient and hard-working, Zack often did his best to provide for and deliver to the Alliance military in much the same manner that his fellow, lowly countrymen did. However, there was a notable difference in his common demeanor — one that stood out against his peers. The boy was often known for his optimistic nature, kind heart, and tenacious spirit, whereas his companions did not often share in his same enthusiasm. In truth, Zack wanted nothing more than to become a true hero, like the legendary figures he read about in Azeroth's valiant tales. Regrettably Zack's affliction of asthma and frailty coupled with his lineage barred him from such paths. He was forced to accept the cold hard reality that he would forever be restricted by his lowly heritage and ill-starred health.
Despite the cards Lady Luck had dealt him, Zack often made out by choosing to express a positive attitude, knowing full well that his job was important to the 7th Legion's cause. Even among his peers, Zack often suffered abuse. It was not uncommon for the boy to endure various forms of bullying, harassment, humiliation, and even occasional physical harm inflicted by the other working peasants as they continued about their daily chores and tasks — taking any chance they could to hold power over someone weaker than they. Truly, Zackary existed as a black sheep among his peers.
- "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the will to face the frightening."
- —Sir Hector Thatcher's lesson to Zackary.
In the face of such darkness, the boy still persisted, pushing himself to excel even in his lowly field, dreaming that one day his achieved success might help him fit in. Dedicated and loyal, Zack continued to proudly build, repair, mine, and chop away at the forests of Lordaeron despite his respiratory hindrances and ailing frame. Such impediments were a cruel test of resolve — challenging Zackary's heart and willpower with each grueling task. Sir Hector Thatcher, an exalted Knight of the Silver Hand, began to take an unique curiosity in the boy, one that would eventually yield into a divine interest. The man found himself awe-struck by the compassion and kindness that was witnessed by the child. So much so, that after only a short while, Sir Hector saw to it that Zack be dispatched to his camps — thus leaving behind his life of peasantry labor. The Knight saw to it as a personal task in watching over the boy, encouraging his behavior so that he may continue to grow into the man that he would one day be — a good, loyal man, with a noble spirit. As time passed Hector took it upon himself to train Zackary in secret, instructing him in the ways of the sword as well as the Holy Light. The boy's aptitude and desire to learn encouraged Hector, making him all the more determined to train the young lad. A peasant boy turned knight — a knight made hero.Hector's larger than life persona spurred Zackary onward, inspiring the boy with enriched motivation. As his training persisted so too did his body swell, leaving behind the frail husk of flesh that once was. The vicious asthma that plagued Zack so became an obstacle of fortitude, yet it too faded as the boy pushed himself with unrelenting spirit. In only a few short years, Zackary had acquired astonishing capability with the use of a sword, as well as his capacity to summon forth the divine powers of the Light to strengthen his body and mind. Zack chose the path of retribution, his passion and ambitions seemingly unapproachable, his dedication to become a great hero transcending his training toward new heights. Hector could only grin with feverish delight as he molded the boy to be something greater than what Azeorth had first intended. He would make a hero of this boy yet — producing the next generation that would come after his time.
Alas, under violent circumstances, Hector met his untimely demise, only shortly after Zackary's training was complete. The impact this had on Zackary was a harsh reality, something that shook him to his very core. Remembering Hector's words, Zackary finally found the heart and strength to raise up the fallen paladin's mighty great sword, swearing to honor his ideals and legacy. Now bearing Hector's Light imbued armor, he was finally ready to take up the mantle of hero, something he had only dreamed of as a young boy. Zackary would never forget Hector’s example, the man who changed his life forever.
Forming a silhouette of honor and unwavering spirit, Zackary exemplifies the greatest, and at times, the worst of humanity's notable characteristics. Brave, yet reckless. Confident, though arrogant. Selfless, albeit stubbornly hard -headed. Born with unbridled passion, Zack's human spirit burns with tireless ambition and unbreakable resolve, standing as a bulwark of human tenacity and heroism.
Zackary stands at an average height of 6'0' and weighs approximately 225 pounds. The man's physique conveys a rather muscular build, evidence of his rigorous and disciplined lifestyle. Zack's charismatic smile and azure gaze compliment his chiseled features, donning a strong jawline and smooth complexion. His blonde hair remained shorter than the average human's, deciding to forego long hair for a more manageable appearance.
Personality and traits
The human's demeanor is generally a positive one, conveying a tireless sense of honor, justice, and bravery. Zack displays an unyielding level of determination and zeal even when faced with the most daunting of obstacles. Zack's dreams of becoming a hero started with these ideals and ambitions, and have now become the substructure from which he thrives. A natural born leader, Zack often finds himself in positions of responsibility and integrity. A palpable aura of confidence instills hope in the hearts of his compatriots.
Zack's optimistic perspective, as well as his unwavering dedication to good, allows him to encourage those embroiled in even the bleakest of circumstances. Courage, honor, justice, and humility constitute the foundation of Zack's being. Courage, the ability to act valorous in the presence of unshakeable fear. Honor, a code of ethics that defines his interactions with others. Justice, a righteous yet appropriately merciful pursuit of fairness. And humility, a lasting modesty firmly grounded in his humble origins.
- "The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it."
- —Zackary Leingod
- Auroryn Dawnsworn: It was through Cindrea Emberblade that Zackary found Auroryn Dawnsworn, a Ranger Captain of the Silver Covenant and daughter of the deceased Aelorelle Dawnsworn. The ranger stirred mingled feelings in the young knight. He was enthralled by her elvish beauty, yet intrigued by her reticence. His attempts to speak to her were taken to heart, and the elf ranger and human paladin spent small, fond moments together. Although neither have admitted to the growing feelings, there is a certain warmth to be felt between them when near the pair.