Isaac Degaullier was one of the first paladin-knights to hail from the Duchy of Westridge, taking on the mantle during the Orcish Wars that would eventually take his life. For his righteous and valorous deeds during the war, he was canonized a saint by the Church of the Holy Light. He was named the patron saint of the Holy Order of Saint Isaac, the organization of Paladin-Knights of Westridge.
Early Years Edit
Born to a family of miners in the rocky valleys of Westridge, Isaac Degaullier took up his parents' trade in the years prior to the Orcish invasion of Stormwind. His father and mother, seeking a better life for Isaac, insisted that he learn the three virtues of the Holy Light so he might some day become a priest. The humble beginnings shaped the young Isaac into a burly strong man, yet he always maintained a sense of kindness and charity towards animals and the downtrodden. With what little money they had, Isaac's parents paid for him to be taken into monastic training, leaving his old life behind.
The First WarEdit
Isaac was 24 years of age when word of the orcs reached Westridge. Then innocent and pure in mind and spirit, Isaac volunteered against the monastery's wishes to act as a chaplain among the militia raised by then-Duke Albert Montclair to march out to meet the orcs in the field. It was in the fires of war that Isaac experienced the truth of what savagery mortals could inflict upon one another. Determined to stop the orcs and defend his family at any cost, Isaac committed himself fully to the war effort and devoted his time to tending to the wounded and preaching the virtues three.
As it is known, Stormwind (then Azeroth) was grossly outnumbered by the forces of the Orcish Horde. Town after town were burnt to the ground, and the forces of Westridge which Isaac served under were beaten back to the very lands from whence they came. After Duke Albert fell in battle, his son Maxen took up his sword and rallied the remaining forces of Westridge in a last defense of the realm. With no martial prowess of his own, Isaac continued to do what he could to aid the battered and broken men and women of Westridge.
Through a desperate prayer, Isaac was able to harness the power of the Holy Light and mend wounds far greater than any priest of the Light had managed before. Shocked by his abilities, the knights of Westridge brought Isaac before Duke Maxen, who was then planning the evacuation of the land. Enamored by the tale of Isaac's abilities, the lord offered Isaac a horse to ride among the surviving nobles and priests to Stormwind City ahead of Westridge's evacuation. Isaac staunchly refused, claiming that his place was among the common people. Maxen reluctantly allowed him to stay, sending off the priests and nobles without him.
The commoners struggled to make their way through the wilderness to reach Stormwind, the main roads too dangerous and held by the orcs. Guarded by what few foot soldiers and knights remained, including Duke Maxen himself, the caravans were attacked by the orcs time and time again. Isaac, infuriated at the orcs' savagery, lashed out at the attackers - wielding the light as holy flame. Inspired by Isaac's holy fire, the soldiers stood their ground against the orcs, defending the caravan through to the cover of Stormwind City. To his despair, Isaac received word that mother had been killed and his father's whereabouts were unknown when the people of Stormwind set sail. The voyage to Lordaeron served as a time of meditation for the battle-hardened priest.
The Second WarEdit
Upon arriving in Lordaeron, Isaac was sent with a number of knights and priests to Stratholme by Duke Maxen for a selective gathering. Upon their arrival, Isaac and the other Westridgean knights were greeted by none other than Archbishop Alonsus Faol - who revealed his plans to raise them as Knights of the Silver Hand. Isaac readily accepted the challenge.
The training he and the other aspirants endured was grueling - as a priest of no martial background, Isaac was bested time and again by knights well versed in swordplay and combat. Unable to tap into the dire fear and circumstances needed to receive and demonstrate the light's boon while in training, the young Isaac was passed over as a candidate for knighthood within the order. Disheartened, Isaac withdrew from the training to head to the front lines.
On the battlefield, few could match Isaac's prowess in wielding the light's power both as a weapon and healing. A true battle-cleric, Isaac was only surpassed by the greatest of paladins in the field, his discipline and resolve unbroken against the Orcish Horde. He fought alongside Duke Maxen and the Westridge Cavaliers, and word of his accomplishments and deeds soon spread through the Alliance ranks. It was not long before Isaac received summons from Archbishop Faol to Stratholme, where he was finally made a Paladin-Knight of the Silver Hand.
So Sir Isaac carved his path through the battlefields of Lordaeron, Khaz Modan and Azeroth, shielding his brethren and smiting the wicked. Several victories were attributed to his prowess on the field and mastery of the light. Ever the pious one, the paladin gave several speeches on the virtues of mercy, justice and humility, speaking of his low background and the blessings the light bestowed upon all mortals.
Shield of the DefenselessEdit
It was during the liberation of Stormwind that defined and immortalized Sir Isaac as a hero and champion of the Holy Light. The orcs, having since conquered Azeroth for years, had established their own communities among the ruins of the human kingdom. When the Alliance armies made their push into the land in late 6 L.C., they encountered Orcish families of among the battlefields. Many of the Alliance forces took to immediate slaughter, butchering Orcish babes in their beds and putting toddling Orcish children to the sword. At the time, Sir Isaac served under a Lordaeronian Field Marshal by the name of Joric Albrecht, a man whose lineage outstripped most in the means of martial ancestors. Field Marshal Albrecht, seeking vengeance for his son's death at the hands of the Horde, ordered his men to seek out one hundred Orcish children and to bring him their heads.
Sir Isaac, staunch in his beliefs, took a stand against the Lordaeronian commander, questioning his very character and faith. Seeking satisfaction, Albrecht challenged Sir Isaac to a duel to the death - certain that he would win with his swordsmanship. The duel on the field was viewed by hundreds of soldiers. The battle endured for hours, Field Marshal Albrecht landing a number of strikes with his blade and Sir Isaac smiting the Commander with righteous fire. By nightfall, both men had neared collapse. Just as Albrecht was about to finish Sir Isaac with his sword raised high, Sir Isaac lunged and impaled the commander through a gap beneath his helmet. Seeing the light's will done through Sir Isaac's, the Field Marshal's successor rescinded the order and gave new commands for the soldiers to save any orcish children they could. Sir Isaac was regarded as a righteous hero amongst the soldiers who watched the battle, and his virtue swayed many to see mercy done.
The weeks that followed saw the Alliance push ever towards Stormwind City and the recapture of the throne. Sir Isaac, promoted to the rank of Commander, led a vindictive crusade that saw the liberation of Eastvale and its holdings from Orcish control. As the Alliance closed in on them, the Orcish Horde grew desperate in their measures. A number resorted to sacrificing their own bretheren to summon demons of terrible power.
The orcs that held Westridge Keep were no exception. Groth'mar, son of Jor, a fearsome orcish warlock had put a dozen orcs to the sword in order to summon a void lord. As the forces of the Alliance under Duke Maxen approached, the warlock directed the void lord to rain down fire and brimstone. Sir Isaac, charging ahead of the Westridgean forces, raised his sword to the heavens and brought up a mighty holy shield that dashed the meteors on its immaculate surface. Infuriated, the void lord charged out in turn to meet the paladin head-on. Unable to retreat from the impending monster, Sir Isaac rushed on to his fate, his sword ablaze with righteous fire, spurring his horse to leap into the center of the void lord's mass. The demon erupted in a gout of brilliant light, its very core pierced by Sir Isaac's holy blade. Engulfed by flame and dissipating shadow, Sir Isaac vanished into nothingness. Groth'mar, seeing the awesome power wielded by one man, immediately surrendered him and his remaining followers to the forces of Westridge. Overcome by grief for their lost champion, the knights, priests and Duke Maxen himself wept long into the night.
Canonization and LegacyEdit
After Stormwind was liberated and celebrations were had, Sir Isaac was canonized a Saint of the Church of the Holy Light. He stands among legend as one of Stormwind's first paladins.
One November, the Council of Bishops further venerated Isaac Degaullier by adding a special collect prayer to the Codex of Rights. All liturgical events in the Diocese of Stormwind read the collect on October 23rd, the memorial day of his canonization. The collect reads:
"O Light, who deigned to consecrate your servant, Isaac, with the mantle of the paladin,
grant, we pray, that the devoted members of his holy order
may be inspired by the unparalleled faith of their blessed patron
who consecrated his own life as an oblation of love."
His actions ultimately prompted the creation of the Order of Saint Isaac, a brotherhood of paladins founded on his example and the ways of the first paladins.