The Cabal of the Burning Sword is a secretive order of mages amongst the Mage Circle of Sarceline that have devoted themselves fully to mastering the arts of magic. Cabalists are the absolute best of the best that the Battlemage Corps has to offer, utilizing draconic magics to empower themselves further. Cabalists represent the highest level of prestige within the Battlemage Corps, and are terrors of the battlefield.
- 1 History
- 2 Order Leader
- 3 Roles
- 4 How to Join
The Cabal of the Burning Sword’s history began with the founding of Dalaran. As Dalaran grew and its influence and power became a mainstay for humanity, several problems arose that challenged this authority. Chief among these threats were demons and, to the view of the founders of the Cabal, dragons. Dragons were amongst the most powerful beings on Azeroth, but were reclusive for the most part. The blue dragons in particular hoarded magical artifacts, secret knowledge of the inner workings of arcane magic and the power of the ley lines.
Seeing this power and holding a desire to claim it, a group of mages broke off from Dalaran proper and formed their own cabal. Relocating to the southern lands of the Eastern Kingdoms in order to move far away from Dalaran proper, this new cabal of magi set out to unlock the secrets of dragons. While the blue dragons were relatively few in number, red and black dragons were far more plentiful and became the targets of the magi, a secret war being started between this cabal and the dragons.
Over time, the magi began utilizing the dragon’s potent blood in their spell work, enchanting their armor and swords with this blood and creating devastating spells. Brandishing the black and red dragon’s flames on their swords they named themselves the Cabal of the Burning Sword, becoming terrors on any battlefield they were found on. Their secret war against the dragon continued until the Dark Portal was opened and the land was flooded with the Orcish Horde and their fel magic.
The Cabal of the Burning Sword saw the threat of this new magic and sought to utilize it against the enemy alongside their draconic blood magic while others in the Cabal warned against this path. Few in number, the Cabal fractured when several mages fell to the dark magic and had to be slain by the other members of the Cabal, the remaining mages trying to lend their power to the cause of Stormwind. In the end, their efforts meant little and Stormwind was sacked by the Orcish Horde.
Retreating into seclusion after their failed efforts to utilize and study the dark magic of the Orcish Horde, and failing to aid Stormwind, the remaining Cabalists began a renewed effort to both study and control the darker magics of the world. They began hunting down the Shadow Council that had directed and executed the First War and stealing their secrets in order to better fight against the Orcish Horde’s warlocks.
As the Cabal continued the fight they discovered the creation of the first generation of Death Knights, Gul’dan’s foul necromancy becoming a renewed source of concern. Additionally, they learned of the Dragonmaw’s finding of the powerful Demon Soul artifact, and their enslavement of the Red Dragonflight. Fearing the consequences of the enslavement of an entire Dragonflight, the Cabal reached out to their once enemies of the Red Dragonflight to instead help them.
Their efforts again proved futile as they could not hope to match the power of the Demon Soul and the Dragonmaw’s control over the Red Aspect, Alexstrasza. Angered after the destruction of Admiral Proudmoore’s fleet by the red dragons under the direction of the Dragonmaw and seeing the dragons as too large a threat, the Cabal dedicated themselves once again to wiping out the dragons. Battling against the Dragonmaw specifically and the enslaved red dragons, the Cabal became extremely powerful, garnering more power with each dragon slain and their blood and magic claimed. This attracted the attention of the Kirin Tor, who saw the cabal's actions as reckless and dangerous.
While never officially tied to the Alliance of Lordaeron, and hunted by Dalaran’s Kirin Tor for their use of dark magic, the Cabal still fought for the survival of humanity. With their knowledge of the enemy’s magic they took down many death knights, warlocks and dragons of the Horde, delaying the advance of the Horde in many areas and bringing hope to the humans who witnessed their burning swords alight on the battlefield.
As the Second War turned in favor of the Alliance and the Horde forces were pushed back, the Cabal did not falter in their attacks on those who wielded dark magics in the Horde, and the enslaved dragons. Several magi in the Cabal had ascended to the power of arch-magi in their own rights, while others had become feared as mage-knights, while others dubbed them dragon knights. They fought in every major battle of the Second War, from the siege of Lordaeron’s Capital City to the decisive victory at the Blackrock Spire. They followed Turalyon’s forces south, harassing the remaining death knights and orcish forces through the Dark Portal before aiding in Khadgar’s efforts to dismantle the Dark Portal.
Battle of Grim Batol
After the closing of the Dark Portal, some of the cabalists remained behind in the newly constructed Nethergarde Keep to keep watch over the Blasted Lands and use their knowledge of Fel to stop its spread, as well as to study the rift that still connected Draenor to Azeroth despite the destruction of the Dark Portal. The remaining cabalists received an offer from Lord Albert Montclair who was impressed with their power and their contributions to the war effort. He offered them a place amongst his mages in Westridge and a true base of operations, as well as access to his power and wealth to work with in exchange for their fealty. The Cabal accepted this proposal, seeing themselves taking up a greater purpose in the end, and to find a purpose not shrouded in the shadows.
The Cabal of the Burning Sword struck out to find the remaining Dragonmaw at the behest of their new liege, now with a more singular purpose to protect humanity from dark threats, and to free or destroy the Red Dragonflight in its entirety. Learning of the location of Grim Batol, and a renewed effort by the remaining free orcs to reform the Horde, the Cabal made to intervene.
They arrived to find the archmage Rhonin already leading dwarven forces in a siege on the ancient dwarven city, the Battle of Grim Batol in full swing. Hearing of Rhonin’s plans to destroy the Demon Soul and free the red dragons, the Cabal lent their power to the conflict in order to allow Rhonin and the dwarves to destroy the Demon Soul, freeing the Red Dragons. During the battle, the Cabal learned of the machinations of Deathwing and his manipulation of events, vowing to then hunt down the black dragons and making peace with the remaining four Dragonflights.
The Pact of Westridge
The Cabal continued as they had in the past with no specific directions at the time from the Lord of Westridge beyond that. This time the Cabal would be hunting only the black dragons, utilizing each dragon they slayed in order to garner more power and induct others into their order, recruiting only the most powerful of magi to bolster their small numbers. Their exploits brought great wealth back to Westridge in the form of dragon hoards. It was not long, however, that troubles began up in the kingdom of Lordaeron with a plague sweeping through the lands.
The Third War
By the time the Cabal arrived to the north, the land was being ravaged by the undead. Learning of the betrayal of Kel’thuzad and the Cult of the Damned, as well as learning of the Culling of Stratholme, the Cabal poured their efforts into trying to stem the tide of the undead, though to little avail. While studying the plague and the necromantic power of the enemy, several of the cabalists fell to undeath, with one becoming a lich of their own free will in order to obtain greater power.
After many failings in the realms of Lordaeron, the Cabal was demoralized. They continued the fight to try and stem the tide of the undead, but after the destruction of Dalaran by the hands of Archimonde, and the fall of Lordaeron with the betrayal of Prince Arthas, the Cabal saw no hope for the north. The Cabal retreated from the north to recover, only re-emerging from their hiding whenever a black dragon was found.
The Nexus War
They remained in hiding until they felt the ley lines of the planet being pulled and gathered in the north. Travelling north, they learned of the crazed blue aspect, Malygos and his declaration of war on mortal magic users. Gathering all their power, the Cabal joined this war to utilize their long history of dragon hunting prowess and expertise, emerging from their hiding to lend aid to the forces of Dalaran.
Seeing the blue aspect’s reckless gathering of Arcane as a threat to the stability of reality itself, the Cabal began ruthlessly hunting down Malygos’ flight and their mage hunters, showing little to no mercy to any who took up Malygos’ cause. Seen as an ally of the other flights for the first time, they gathered the powers of the other flights, learning the secrets of the flight’s powers and utilizing them against the blue dragons. They were showed the potency of time magic by the Bronze Dragonflight, empowered in their pyromancy by the Red Dragonflight, and given greater knowledge in the casting of illusions by the Emerald Dragonflight.
As the war continued it became more brutal, the cabalists using every means at their disposal to bring down the blue and azure dragons, stealing magic and tearing apart the very souls of dragons to use as power in their fight. Researching and recklessly utilizing the power Malygos had granted his azure drakes and mage hunters, the Cabal took up these magics as well in order to further counter their enemy. Similarly, they claimed and utilized the vast hoards of magical artifacts claimed by the blue dragons, furthering their own power.
The Nexus War culminated in the battle for the Nexus itself, the home of Malygos and his seat of power. The Cabal participated in this final battle for the Nexus, fighting alongside Alliance, Horde and the Red Dragonflight in order to finally stop Malygos’ plans that would result in the destruction of Azeroth. They fought ferociously against Malygos’ forces, breaking into the Nexus itself and paving the way for the heroes wielding the Focusing Iris to take down Malygos once and for all.
After the war, the Cabal was prepared to hunt down the remaining blue dragons and their azure counterparts, but received an unexpected offer; in exchange for peace and the safety of his kin, the elder azure dragon Eldrigos would share the secrets of the Blue Dragonflight with the Cabal, teaching them and bestowing more powerful boons upon them than they could hope to achieve through their own research. As an additional stipulation, the dragon asked the Cabal to additionally protect the Blue Dragonflight against its enemies and any who would seek to claim their magic by force as the Cabal had sought to do.
The Cabal, seeing this as an opportunity they could not deny, accepted the dragon’s deal and had runic brands placed on their bodies, allowing them to command vast amounts of magic. In addition, Eldrigos allowed the Cabal access to his personal library and vault of magical knowledge, giving the Cabal unrestricted access to some of the deepest secrets of magic.
The Cabal spent the remainder of the war against the Lich King in the Nexus, protecting it from the undead and learning from Eldrigos while mastering their newly granted draconic magics, charging into battle with swords emblazoned with azure flames and their armor and robes covered in draconic rune work.
Once the war against the Lich King was finished, they remained in the Nexus with Eldrigos, returning to Westridge when requested in order to honor their previous agreements to Westridge. However, another calamity would shake the planet when Deathwing reappeared, devastating the planet with his magic. The Cabal once again set out to fight against this draconic threat.
The Cabal discovered many dark secrets, quickly finding the disturbing Twilight Dragonflight and the experiments being done by the Black Dragonflight in order to create more powerful dragons. The Cabal was quick to enter the fray, brandishing their azure flames against Deathwing’s flights and his allies. The Cabal lost many of their own to these empowered black dragons and the twilight dragons, but used all the knowledge they had gained in order to strike back.
The Cabal turned towards magics they had used far in the past, harnessing the maddening blood of the corrupted dragons in order to utilize the dark magics of the Old Gods alongside their Azure magics. The Cabal quickly found this power to take a great toll on them, though some persisted into insanity in order to destroy the Twilight Dragonflight and the allies of Deathwing, eventually succumbing to the dark magic and the sway of the Old Gods.
Despite these setbacks, the Cabal continued fighting, being present at every major battle against Deathwing and his allies. The powerful mages of the Cabal continued to be the premier dragon hunters they were lauded to be, slaying many a great dragon and bringing down even the most powerful of Deathwing’s abominations while claiming their treasures and artifacts in the process. The Cabal played a pivotal role in several major battles during the war against Deathwing and the Old God’s forces.
Abolishment of Dark Magics and Recent History
Since that time, the Cabal have remained powerful magi in their own right, though with the diminishing strength of the Dragonflights some of their power has gone with it. Similarly, there are few dragons who remain a threat, though the Cabal continues to keep a watch on any dragon that could potentially be problematic. The Cabal also dedicated itself to the study of darker magics, in order to provide much needed services against Azeroth’s many enemies, though in recent times this practice has come into question.
Roy Sebale succeeded his predecessors as the leader of the Cabal, and the Mage Circle of Sarceline, gaining access to these secrets and becoming reviled by the dark past of the Cabal. It was his conviction that the Cabal’s many attempts at utilizing dark magic have only led them to ruin, though as a young mage he did not have the sway he needed to change their practices in their entirety.
This changed when dark magics began corrupting those within the Mage Circle of Sarceline, bringing into question the sanctity of the Mage Circle and the Cabal. Several magi were found to have been utilizing dark magics in secret, revealing the dangers of such magics and their effect on the minds of those who use them. Roy once again brought this fact to the Cabal, citing their troubled past and urging them to forego all magic but the Arcane.
Seeing the necessity of purging the unholy magics from the Cabal and in turn the Mage Circle of Sarceline, they turned to the Order of Saint Isaac in order to root out the corruption that had seeped into their arcane order. Those of the Cabal were purged of their dark magics, or stripped of their magic forcibly if they did not comply, while the Circle’s magi were inspected closely by the paladins of Saint Isaac in order to root out the heretical dark magics.
It was clear the darker magics had no place in the Cabal, the Circle or in Westridge, and thus it was purged from their ranks. The Cabal of the Burning Sword, under Roy’s leadership, vowed to use their vast arcane knowledge and prowess to fight against dark magics and root them out where they take hold.
Sir Roy Sebale is the young and enigmatic Grandmaster of the Cabal of the Burning Sword. He certainly did not start as such. Having started out as a timid, if incessantly happy young man, Roy joined the Westridge Ducal Guard as a means to harden himself as a defender of the realm. Upon discovering his innate magical abilities as a sorcerer, Roy enrolled in the Mage Circle of Sarceline and quickly advanced as a prodigal student.
The keen mind and proven capability to lead Roy honed over eleven separate campaigns and deployments earned him the title of Master Mage of the Sarceline Circle of Magi and knighthood within the Brotherhood of the Horse. As an abjurist, he constantly trains to make stronger shields to defend his fellow soldiers and the Kingdom of Stormwind at large. Sir Roy's knowledge of the Arcane has expanded tremendously since becoming a wizard, and then the master mage, allowing him to advise the duke in magical matters and lead the Cabal into the future against Stormwind’s many enemies.
The combat roles that cabalists may take on and their associated requirements are listed below.
An unparalleled master of magic, the Cabalist has perfected the art of spellcasting. Weaving spells of terrifying power or boggling complexity, the cabalist is capable of laying waste to entire armies with but a simple incantation. Cabalists utilize some of the most powerful magic available, augmenting their mastery over the Arcane with draconic spellwork.
- Earn the rank of Private First Class.
- Earn the title of Wizard of Sarceline.
- Pass the Mage's Gauntlet.
Mage-knights, or "spellknights" as they are sometimes called, are the pinnacle of melee focused spellcasting. Rather than spending long hours cloistered in the halls of their study with their nose in dusty old tomes, the mage-knight instead chose to become a fully fledged knight, combining the power of the Arcane with the nobility of knighthood. The result is a powerful marriage of magic and melee equaled by few.
- Earn the rank of Private First Class.
- Earn the title of Wizard of Sarceline.
- Pass the Mage's Gauntlet.
How to Join
To be invited to stand amongst this esteemed body, an aspiring candidate must complete what is known as the Mage's Gauntlet – a series of trials, requirements and deeds that push a mage to their limits in order to be deemed worthy of higher titles.
To be eligible for the Mage’s Gauntlet, an aspiring candidate must first prove their worth, becoming first a wizard of the Mage Circle. Once deemed a wizard of the Mage Circle of Sarceline, and deemed ready by the master mage, a candidate may begin the Mage’s Gauntlet.
The Mage’s Gauntlet serves as a means for both proving one’s abilities to the Cabal of the Burning Sword and as a gauge of what candidates’ true strengths are. Each trial serves as a key test for the various roles and duties of the Cabal of the Burning Sword.
Mage Gauntlet Journals
These journals have been made available for anyone within the Mage's Circle of Sarceline to read in order to better prepare them for the Mage Gauntlet.