That Sword in the Skull

There’s something special to gear that have a story of their own to tell – weapons especially so, and to my knowledge few weapon types have as many personal stories revolve around them as swords. From Excalibur to the Star Wars Lightsabers, there’s just something about swords that seems to captivate to the point where they seem to be almost made of the stuff of legends.

While Hani Foonmall wields a very plain-looking sword – I always thought of it as whatever Hani managed to get her hands on with proper weight, balance and the ability to hold an edge; with Nhani Moonfall I’ve long experimented around with various moon-adorned or otherwise special swords because it better suits her. Hani is plain and unassuming, Nhani is a bloody icon. She has a radiance to her, part of that is making her look the part.

So when I first came across someone swinging Quel’delar, my reaction could very well be described as “..want.”

Not counting the two something weeks it took me to gather the 17 thousand or so I paid for the hilt, the resulting quest line was interesting and held as much mundane as it held epic. Not to spoil too much for what few people there might be that are still waiting to see it first hand.. seeing the isle of Quel’danas being in the progress of being restored post Burning Crusade was a very unusual sight, and I almost felt sorry about not getting to see it like that again. I understand why Blizzard doesn’t want to cut people off from content, but it was good to see an epilogue of sorts in atleast one matter – see a situation where raids don’t just continue infinitely but a situation where things actually do die and the world actually can move on.

Of course, there was the quest itself, and doing it as a Night elf – an emissary of the Temple at that – felt like I was taking the first stumbling steps to reforge more than merely a sword.

Of course, the story doesn’t quite end there and this post is actually just a tad late as I obtained the sword as early as almost a month ago. The funny thing was.. I spent a whole lot of time thinking about which version of the sword I actually wanted; none of them were itemized for tanking, so for a long time I had my eyes set on one of the two-hander versions, notably the Might of the Faithful (strength/haste) one. A friend of mine kept making a strong argument for why I should pick the one-hander, but I figured I was already set for that with how threat wasn’t an issue, tanking weapons kept me more durable and I hated the look of the two-hand axe I had for my secondary Arms spec.

So I got the sword, enchanted it, and.. was immediately greeted by a sensation that it wasn’t… well.. right. I’d spent the whole quest feeling that the moment I’d put on the sword it’d immediately fit into the whole look, so it took me completely by surprise when it didn’t. It found myself with an overpowering feeilng that I should’ve picked the one-hander. I’m not entirely sure why – possibly how the quest text exclaimed the sword molds itself around the strengths of the wielder, or how my mental image of Nhani has become so firmly attached to the tank concept that I couldn’t picture her primary look withuot a shield.. For whatever reason, when the feeling hadn’t gone away when I woke up the next morning, I made a ticket, humbly asking for it swapped.

A day later, Might of the Faithful was gone, and I had Cunning of the Shadows in my mailbox. Much love to the Blizzard GM team.

What really struck me was how I noticed the difference right off. Conventional wisdom – as far as I know – says that warriors should use fast one-handers when tanking to burn rage through heroic strike and cleave faster. In what I can only describe as a defiant streak, Quel’delar seemed determined to tell conventional wisdom where to stick it and suddenly handed me the ability to overpower the threat output of my Yelnenu Death Knight co-tank. I had an absolute blast the first raid night after obtaining Quel’delar, because I went from very much backup tank to being able to take and hold the lead. Though perhaps not the most cooperative approach, it was definitely empowering.

I absolutely love this sword to bits, now. While there are a whole lot of people running around with a whole lot of Quel’delars, this one is her sword – no one else can wield it ’til her passing. Moreover, it feels like I’m actually capable of doing some level of damage with it, and occasionally my Death Knight co-tank will exclaim things such as how whenever she sees warrior tanks complain about lack of area threat in the future she’ll just tell them to get a slow weapon. It looks iconic, it feels powerful and has a certain elven feel to it, while looking a whole lot more stylish and nimble than the Quel’serrar.

Of course, for a minor nitpick, I sometimes do boggle at the name. It’s consistently refered to as “The Sister Blade”, and yet the name doesn’t seem to fit that. Quel’serrar is called “The High Blade”, and we know the Quel’ prefix from the Quel’dorei – the Highborne. That said, we have seen the ‘delar suffix before – Lok’delar, Stave of the Ancient Keepers, and Rhok’delar, Longbow of the Ancient Keepers. So what does that make Quel’delar? The High of the Ancient Keepers?

I know I’m just nitpicking, of course, nevermind overanalyzing something that Blizzard likely just picked because it sounded good. On the other hand, sometimes I can’t help but wonder if they aren’t simply tripping over their own lore, much like with the Draenei.


8 Responses to “That Sword in the Skull”

  1. 1 Skyll K. Chagorantis
    February 26, 2010 at 13:37

    It is funny, that when I got my Quel’Delar (Might of the Faithful) on my paladin, I also went straight to those skeleton mages in that particular valley of Icecrown and went berserker on them, feeling very much like the chosen retribution of the Light.

    and it only took me 11k to get the sword, so kudos to you for standing a 17k farm!

  2. 2 TheNic
    February 26, 2010 at 17:07

    Before I start, I must appologize for all the digression I will get into ((I think I got digression right))

    I want to start by saying, I have not played Warcraft 1 or 2 – tried the 2nd one but the graphics makes me want to kill someone – and I played W3 just before WotLK came out, however I played Warcraft 3 about 5 times, and I am still not tired of it, but whenever I see something that has much to do with W3 in WoW I get all giddy – the Alliance quest lines in dragonblight was like orgasms…*looks around* what? I have even almost rewritten Warcraft 3 as myself as Arthas very speciall body-guard and friend that is bound to his heart (not love, just bound to protect it)
    Anyhoo – a friend of mine in my warriors guild got the hilt – much thanks to me since I am the one who got my guild into running PoS HC every day to clear all trash for it, and he got it the first time, and he loved the sword (he is warrior too) and the quest line. Well, he got me very interested, so I pushed my guild further to run PoS ((Still havn’t managed to get the fucking Rimefangs Claw yet, 10 kill no drop -.-)) the 2nd time the hilt dropped, I pressed need and went into the bathroom cause I was to nervous too see if I would win the roll ( don’t judge me :P) well I won, and right after that it was right away to do the quest line. it … was…EPIC! won’t say more about the quest line since I don’t want to spoil, ((when my friend tried to spoil it for me I almost decapitated him))

    But since non of them – as you said- were made for pure tanking, I went for the 2h str one as my friend, I now weild that together with the axe from PoS HC in my fury spec, and I love it, I had almost everything I could buy from emblems in my tank gear, but I have almost completly trashed that now just because of Quel’Dalar, I love to dps now, and my dps gear is quite bad overall, I managed to push 4,7k dps on Anub’Arak in TotC 25 normal. I am not on top of the dps chart, but I stay alive the most since I am one of the few who can actually obey the raid leader…And part of my non tanking is that I can’t take the preasure, and my dps is still only 1.5k so my aggro is terrible.

  3. February 27, 2010 at 00:23

    I’ve been actively searching for the hilt, not for just for the sword, but for the Quests and lore. I’m a large fan of the high elves,(in case you missed it, I have a complete Silver Covenant RP set and an “orb of the sin’dorei”) and the thought of going to some of those areas threatens to give me a “loregasm”. XD I plan to take many, MANY screenshots with several outfits, and probably spend several hours in the sunwell alone(30min cooldown on the orb…)

    I’m still torn over which sword to choose (myself being a warrior Tank with a DPS off spec) and for the life of me, I can’t decide on which one to choose. (By the way, Nhani; I’m really glad someone else noticed the “name problem” with the sword. I feel SOMEWHTAT less like a nerd… but my statement above about the quest chain still solidifies my position.)

    Ah, well. 😛 on the bright side, with the one-handed version, you can dual wield Quel’serrar, and Quel’delar at the same time. XD

    • 4 TheNic
      February 27, 2010 at 17:24

      how do you get serrar??

      • March 1, 2010 at 18:32

        The original was part of a long quest chain that starts in Dire maul and ended with you slaying Onyxia with the “Heated Ancient Blade” that you would take back to Dire Maul and “restore” Quel’Serrar.

        With the recent Onyxia revamp, “Burnished Quel’Serrar” and “Gleaming Quel’Serrar” are in her 10/25 man drop list. They’re basically level 80 versions of the original, and are excellent blades for… tanking….

        Wait a second…

  4. February 27, 2010 at 23:17

    I haven’t done the Q line yet, but to be frank my orc hunter uses axes more then swords.
    Glad the GM’s were kind enough to give you a other sword, makes you know there are real people working at Blizzard.

  5. 7 Nirene Feathersong
    March 2, 2010 at 00:24

    I’m happy enough they didn’t decide to make a tank version of Quel’delar. That way Blizzard stay true to their lore, which reffers to Quel’serrar being a weapon used for protection, while Quel’delar is more the type of “righteous slaughter” weapon, much like the Ashbringer. Besides, both these blades are easily obtainable if you put your back into it. God knows how lucky I have been, but I alone managed to obtain two battered hilts for my warlock and warrior characters on Shattered Hand (EU) simply by farming the living daylight out of those new 5-man heroics. And of course I’ve always chosen the type that fits each character stat-wise.

    And I have to agree to a large extent that the whole quest-line was really stunning. From reforging the sword with saronite (and we all should know what saronite really is) and imbue it with the cursing power of the Lich King (or whatever it is) to actually purifying it in the Sunwell, it’s hard to describe it any other way than being a purely epic adventure.

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