Once a devoted priest of the Holy Light, he now sees his dedication to the Crusade as an even greater purpose. This dedication is real; it’s a powerful and total commitment to something that has measurable results — something the Holy Light never gave. Early in the life of the Crusade, he developed techniques for inquisition and questioning, as well as holding cells and torture chambers to extract information or to hold prisoners or initiates to see if they are infected by the plague. Undead are also held in these cells, and Isillien often visits them late at night, always alone. Crusaders say he enters the dungeon looking angry and almost mad (“mad” relative to the average crusader, which would be justifiably insane to the average eye). He exits calm and smiling, and speaks to no one about what he has been doing, and no one cares enough about the undead to wonder too much. He is 55 years old.
The priest Isillien was formerly a priest of the Holy Light in Lordaeron, assigned to be the liaison for the Knights of the Silver Hand. There he worked closely with the elder High General Abbendis and his youthful charges, tutoring the young paladins in their quest for truth. He fled with Abbendis as Lordaeron fell to the Scourge. Priests and paladins fought as the Scourge attacked the city, but they fled as Lordaeron fell around them. Some whisper it was the wounds both men received in battle, or perhaps just the shock of seeing their whole purpose destroyed, but since that day both Isillien and Abbendis have been quite insane.
Isillien and Abbendis wandered the area as the Scourge defiled the land, destroying what undead they could, gathering what warriors would join them. They had but one concern: eradication of all that had destroyed Lordaeron. Isillien became the spokesman for the group, his ravings gaining more followers than repelling them. Isillien is the heart of the Crusade. Abbendis and Isillien felt that although they had a good base, they really needed to attack the Scourge where they were the thickest: in the Eastern Plaguelands. Isillien took on the title of Grand Inquisitor and control of the Western Crusade, while Abbendis led the majority of the forces to Tyr’s Hand in the east to strike at Stratholme. Isillien guides the priests in the Crusade in their new roles as inquisitors, based in the Western Plaguelands. He is in charge of questioning undead and mortals alike to ferret out whatever information he can on the movement and settlement of the undead. Isillien controls the warriors through his impressionable paladin Taelan in the west. Isillien taught Taelan Fordring about the Holy Light and what it was to serve.
When the Scarlet Crusade was founded, Isillien realized that the order would be forced to deal with living adversaries as well as undead. Sadly, most spells focused toward either harming one or the other — a difficulty he was determined to resolve. Isillien developed a series of variations on healing spells that would not only inflict harm upon the undead, but on living victims as well. He passed this teaching on to each potential inquisitor, and it has become one of their trademark abilities.
During a meeting of members of the Knights of the Silver Hand in Southshore, he tried to destroy the dark crystal then-Commander Mograine had recovered after the Battle of Blackrock Mountain with Smite - only to find out it absorbed the Light. This discovery led to the creation of the Ashbringer.
- Tirion Fordring attempts to rescue his son, Taelan Fordring, from the clutches of the Crusade. After entering Mardenholde Keep disguised as a member of the Crusade, you are given the task of escorting Taelan out of Hearthglen after revealing that his father still lives. Taelan realizes he has served as nothing more than a pawn of the Grand Crusader, and no doubt associates Isillien with this deception. Before Taelan reaches the end of the road, however, he is confronted by the Grand Inquisitor himself. Taelan takes the fight to Isillien, leaving you to contend with Isillien's elite guards from behind. The dialogue that takes place between Isillien and Taelan is as follows:
Grand Inquisitor Isillien yells: You will not make it to the forest's edge, Fordring.
Highlord Taelan Fordring yells: Isillien!
Taelan: This is not your fight stranger. Protect yourself from the attacks of the Crimson Elite. I shall battle the Grand Inquisitor.
Isillien: You disappoint me, Taelan. I had plans for you... grand plans. Alas, it was only a matter of time before your filthy bloodline would catch up with you. It is as they say: Like father, like son. You are as weak of will as Tirion... perhaps more so. I can only hope my assassins finally succeeded in ending his pitiful life. The Grand Crusader has charged me with destroying you and your newfound friends, Taelan, but know this: I do this for pleasure, not of obligation or duty.
Isillien calls for his guardsmen.
Isillien: The end is now, Fordring.
The battle between Taelan and Isillien commences. Finally, Isillien brings Taelan down.
He quickly strikes down Taelan.
Isillien: Did you really think you could beat me? Your friends are soon to join you, Taelan.
Grand Inquisitor Isillien turns his attention towards you.
A minute later, Tirion Fordring arrives at the scene.
Tirion: What have you done, Isillien? You once fought with honor, for the good of our people... and now... you have murdered my boy...
Isillien: Tragic. The elder Fordring lives on... you are too late, old man. Retreat back to your cave, hermit, unless you wish to join your son in the Twisting Nether.
Tirion: May your soul burn in anguish, Isillien! Light give me the strength to battle this fiend. Face me, coward. Face the faith and strength that you once embodied.
Isillien: Then come, hermit!
Isillien and Tirion engage in combat, and here Isillien falls. The impact this fight has is very long-reaching.
Tirion: A thousand more like him exist. Ten thousand. Should one fall, another will rise to take the seat of power.
Tirion Fordring falls to one knee.
Tirion: Look what they did to my boy.
Tirion Fordring holds the limp body of Taelan and softly sobs.
Tirion: Too long have I sat idle, gripped in this haze... this malaise, lamenting what could have been... what should have been. Your death will not have been in vain, Taelan. A new Order is born on this day... an Order which will dedicate itself to extinguishing the evil that plagues this world. An evil that cannot hide behind politics and pleasantries. This I promise... this I vow...
Grand Inquisitor of the Scarlet Crusade
Lord of Mardenholde Keep