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Acherus: The Ebon Hold (pronounced a-ker-us) is a former Scourge necropolis floating above and to the east of the Broken Shore in the Broken Isles. It is the headquarters of the Knights of the Ebon Blade and is the Order Hall for all death knights of the Alliance and the Horde. As such, Ebon Hold has been designated as a sanctuary, with PvP combat forbidden within its halls.
Built by the skeletal architect Obrahiim and said to be so powerful that not even the dread citadel of Naxxramas would be able to withstand a direct assault, Acherus was originally located in a region of the Eastern Plaguelands east of Tyr's Hand known as the Scarlet Enclave. Here, under the direct command of the Lich King, the death knights of Acherus were trained in its halls for a specific purpose: the destruction of both the Scarlet Crusade and the Argent Dawn, the last bastions of Light (albeit corrupted, in the case of the Scarlet Crusade) in the Plaguelands.
Within the halls of Acherus were mounds of bodies, the corpses of slain heroes gathered by the Scourge to resurrect as death knights. Under the watchful eye of the feared Instructor Razuvious, Scourge necromancers raised bodies chosen by the Instructor and gauged for their worthiness. If they were found worthy, they were attired in the trappings of a "herald of Arthas"; if they were found wanting, they were consumed by hungry ghouls. Also present inside are runeforges, where death knights emblazon their weapons with runes that better aid them in their battles against their enemies. In the Heart of Acherus, other unworthies were kept in chains for initiates to slay in cold blood as part of their training.
Given their task, the death knights of Acherus laid waste to the towns of Havenshire and New Avalon and destroyed the last standing army of the Scarlet Crusade before turning on Light's Hope. During the Battle for Light's Hope Chapel, the Lich King revealed that he sent the death knights on a suicide mission in order to lure Tirion Fordring out of hiding. After the Lich King fled back to Northrend when Fordring cleansed the Ashbringer, the death knights who remained on the field formed the Knights of the Ebon Blade under the command of Highlord Darion Mograine, and took control of Acherus from the Scourge to serve as their base.
Though Acherus hovered above the destroyed Scarlet lands as the base of operations for the Knights of the Ebon Blade, the invasion of the Burning Legion prompted its leadership to move the floating bastion to the Broken Isles to best combat the army of demons.
Death Knights initially access this version of Acherus through their artifact weapon questline.
Additionally, Death Knights may cast their ability to travel to Acherus. Casting Death Gate from inside Acherus allows the Death Knight to travel to the graveyard closest to their previous location.
Areas of interest
- Hall of Command
The Hall of Command is the lower level of the hold. This is where the flight master and command table are located, as well as the portal to Dalaran.
- Heart of Acherus
- Broken Shore with Acherus on far right
Acheron, meaning "river of woe", is a river that runs in northwestern Greece, and is connected to various underworld myths. In Greek mythology, the river Acheron was a branch of the river Styx; Acheron was the border to Hades, and those seeking to enter Hades had to pay Charon, the ferryman, for passage. Those who could not were condemned to wander the banks of the Acheron for one hundred years.
In his epic Aeneid, the Roman poet Virgil uses "Acheron" to refer to all of Hades, and says the following to the main character, Aeneas: "Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo" ("If I cannot deflect the will of Heaven, I shall move Hell").
Acheron was also described as the river that formed the border of Hell. In the Inferno, book one of his Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri - given a guided tour of Hell by Virgil - meets Charon at the banks of the Acheron and pays for passage across (at Virgil's insistence and despite Charon's reservations, as Dante was still a living man during his journey through Hell).