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Azeroth 20 Years Later
20 years ago, the world went insane; the weather, the magic of the world, the people, everything changed in a month. The Destroyer, the Beast, the Corrupted One returned, and He ripped Azeroth asunder; thousands died due to His destructive emergence. The World screamed in pain and agony, and many of our greatest defenders, among the druids and the shamans, fell to madness, withdrawing from the world.
After a time to recover from the Cataclysm, the Horde and the Alliance attempted to fight back, but due to infighting and inter faction fighting, many of the grand battles fell through. Finally, in a fool hardy attempt, the Warsong Offensive, lead by Warchief Garrosh Hellscream, and the Alliance Assault, led by King Varian Wrynn, invaded Deepholme, trying to crush the head of the Serpent..... and failed miserably. Deathwing enjoyed parading the corpses of the two leaders, leaving them spiked to the entrances of their respective cities.
Following Wrynn's death, the city of Stormwind fell to an attack by the Black flight, the Hammer and the reborn Defias, as Van Cleef had been found still alive, and willing to throw in with the invaders. Prince Anduin, now King, escaped the city with the help of his father's friend, Valeera Sanguinar and his own friend, the young Guardian Med'an. The three fled the city by sea, heading for a safe port in Theramore, and hopefully from there travel to Hyjal to meet up with Archdruid Malfurion and the true Warchief Thrall.
The Horde didn't do much better; following the death of Garrosh, the Dark Horde, which had been bidding their time for a long while, joined with Nefarion and his Twilights to invade and take the capital city of Orgrimmar for themselves. The great city, cut off by Garrosh's own idiocy, fell to the forces of the Dark, and the continent of Kalimdor became darker. After they took Durotar, the Dark Horde headed south, and laid siege to Theramore, finally destroying it once the new king, his friends, and the Lady of the city gave it up.
By the end of the first year, Thunder Bluff was under constant siege and attack from the Dark Horde and the Dragonflights, finally falling as the Grimtotems, promised their hearts desires, turned on the other Horde members, and handed over Cairne Bloodhoof to be killed. It was a sad day for Horde of Kalimdor, as the bastion of freedom was destroyed.
The Alliance forces on Kalimdor, forced to fight an enemy on three fronts; those of the Warsong in Ashenvale who hadn't given up, the army of the Fire Lord in Hyjal, attempting to destroy the World tree, and the Black flights attacking wherever they could. The Draenei are isolated, forced to activate a shield device to keep their home safe, and only able to teleport to other locations to assist and fight back. The Night Elves, doing the best they could for the refugees of Stormwind and Theramore, are holding on, forced to rely on the new Night Elf magi of the Shen'dalar to get around and help fight the dark forces.
The first sign of the end was at Hyjal; the defenders were pushed back to the regrowing World Tree, and slowly but surely overwhelmed. In one last desperate move, Malfurion had Jaina Proudmoore mass teleport the defenders from the Tree, including his wife, and looked the Fire Lord in the face, and blew all of Hyjal to kingdom come..... and his final sacrifice failed, as the Firelord returned a few days later, and transformed the crater at Hyjal into an entrance to the Fire lands.
The Eastern Kingdoms weren't much better, the Undercity given up by the Dark Lady, when, offered a chance to keep her people alive and well, took it, turning on her orcish, troll and Tauren allies, killing those in the city and destroying the outpost that Garrosh had made in Tirisfal. The Blood Elves destroyed the translocator orb in their city, and worked feverishly to shield their lands, forced to work with the Amani Trolls to fight back against the invading Forsaken and Dragonflights.
Ironforge is a bastion, a place where many are hiding out, the dwarves working to keep their allies alive and well. The Gnomish city of Gnomergon, reclaimed just before the Cataclysm, is also used as a staging point to fight back against the forces of Deathwing in Deepholme. Most of the northren settlements, Khaz Modan and the like, were absorbed into the Twilight Highlands, and are now the property of Twilight Hammer cult, which has also overthrown Silithus and are rebuilding the Temple of Ahn'Quarj.
But there is hope for the Alliance forces within the Eastern Kingdoms: Gilneas, Stromguarde and Durnholde, all rebuilt and working together, fight against the Forsaken and other enemies.
As for the North, tragedy has happened often; the floating city of Dalaran was destroyed by a combined assault of the Black and Twilight flights, the protector of the city, Rhonin the Red-haired, dying after teleporting the entire population out of the city as it fell. Wyrmrest Temple, once a bastion of safety, was crushed by Deathwing and his forces, forcing the Queen of Life, her consort and others to flee to the Nexus, now under control of Tyrigosa and Kalecgos, where they try to fight back against the Black Flight forces, and the remains of the Scourge, which are controlled by the Dreadlords still on Azeroth.
Many years have passed, those who are still leaders of their respective groups have been fighting back, trying to reclaim their world from the darkness and the shadow, this is an Azeroth where many evil and violent things have happened. But the world is not without it's protectors, as a new breed of heroes have been born and fighting back. These are their stories.
"There coming through!" One of the gnome magi called, stepping away as the portal opened. The King of Ironforge, Magni Bronzebeard stood at the entrance of the Mystic Ward in a parade rest as the bodyguards of the visitors stepped out first and looked around before moving away from the portal and standing at attention. The first one out was a tall slim figure, armoured in simple plate, with a simple sword and shield as his weapon. He looked around the ward, and his face broke into a smile as he saw the old dwarf.
"Good to see you again King Bronzebeard." The man's voice was deep, and he grasped the dwarf's outstretched hand with a good solid grip. "Good to see you too lad, very good. How are things in new human settlements?" Magni asked, looking up into the face of the human, a smile on his wise old face.
"Doing well Magni, doing very well." Anduin answered, then looked over at the portal as the next delegate stepped through, the dwarves and gnomes drawing back for a moment. The figure was massive, at least twice as wide as any of the dwarves, but the look of contentment on his face soothed any nerves. "Vindicator Maarad, welcome back to Ironforge." Magni called to him, and the Draenei Paladin nodded at him. "Good to be here again King Bronzebeard." The Vindicator rumbled at him, moving aside as the last person stepped through.
There was a moment of strained silence as the wizened figure looked around, a hood pulled low on his face, and he sighed, a scent of mold and decay on the wind as he did.
"Hello King Magni, it has been a while. Might I ask where Priest Rohan is?"
The voice of the man was echoing, as if coming from deep within the earth and the King nodded, and pointed to the second tier of the building. "Thank you sir." The hooded figure bowed, and a part of his face was visible for a moment, and a few of the gnomes shuddered, the undead Meryl Winterstorm always a little disconcerting to those who didn't know him. The old man moved off, leaning on his staff for support.
"Is he.... alright?" Magni asked quietly, watching the corpse move off. "He's alright, he and the council recently used their powers to give the Guardian a boost to stop a dragon assault on Teldrassil and Meryl hasn't really recovered yet." Anduin answered, and sighed, wondering for how much longer the ancient council member would still be on this world. "So, shall we go sir? We came here to get some supplies and some things we can't get in Teldrassil." Anduin said, clapping the dwarf on his back and the old King chuckled.
"Hello Meryl, I guess your here for the girl yes?" Rohan asked, looking up as he saw the hooded figure at his door.
"Yes old friend, I am."
Meryl wheezed taking a seat and pulling his hood back off his face. "Good, she's been chomping at the bit to get out there and 'smite things'." The old dwarf said, taking a puff on his pipe and ringing a small bell on his bed side table.
The two heard the sound of heavy footfalls, and looked up as a stout figure stumped into the room. The young dwarf woman was about 5 feet tall, with wide shoulders, and long brown hair in a tail down her back. She had a squashed face, with dark black eyes and her mouth was set in a straight line. "Yes Priest Rohan?" The woman asked, looking at the undead with barely concealed disgust.
"Ah, paladin Doris Stonegrinder, this is Magus Meryl Winterstorm, member of the Council of Tirisfal. He is going to be taking you back with him to the new staging grounds for the assault back against the Destroyer's flight." Rohan said matter of fact, puffing on his pipe and seeing the look of shock and dismay flash across her face. "I have to travel with... I mean, I'm going.." She trailed off and Meryl laughed.
"Don't worry girl, you only have to put up with me for a little while."
The undead said, leaning back in his chair and looking her over.
"I need to speak with Priest Rohan more, so please, if you have anything you need to collect, go and do so.
" He told her and the paladin nodded before moving off, feeling shocked that she was expected to leave so quickly.
"Is she always like that?"
Meryl asked, a smile on his cracked face and Rohan chuckled.
"So your sure your all alright up there yes?" Magni asked, looking across the table at Anduin and Maarad who nodded. "Yes, the human settlements in Teldrassil are doing well, the Night elves are surprisingly willingly to let us live in peace.... as long as we follow all of their rules and ideas of course." Anduin laughed at that, and looked over at Maarad who shrugged.
"Most of the humans settlers in the Exodar do well, but some are unable to stand being so close to the crystal's all the time, so those ones we send to either the Night elves or through the portal." Maarad told the dwarf king who nodded. "So, Outland is still a safe haven? The Destroyer's forces don't seem to wish to move through there?" Magni asked, looking at the two and they nodded.
"Indeed, between the defenses at the Portal itself and the Naaru who guards it on the Azeroth side, we're doing good." Maarad said taking a drink of the offered dwarvish stout and smiling at the taste. "How has the attacks on Ironforge been lately?" Anduin asked, waving the offered drink.
Magni sighed and looked over at the King. "It's... been as it has been for the last few years; the Twilight's have stopped their outright attacks, especially after one of the Flight heads were killed on the steps. But they constant try to sneak people in, and it has caused some strange... allies to be formed." He said, considering what to say next and Anduin looked at him questioningly.
"Dark Irons... we've joined with the Dark Irons." Magni said, and the other two looked at each other. "My daughter came to us a few years ago, with my grandson in tow, offering to join her forces with our own." Magni took a drink of his stout. "They didn't like that Deathwing messed up their new home, so they decided to help us poor Mountain dwarves fight the big bad." He groaned at that and Anduin smiled, patting his shoulder.
"Desperate times and all that eh Magni?" Anduin said and shook his head. "Don't feel bad, there is the truce fire between the Elves and the Amani don't forget. How are the Wild clans holding out?" He asked and Magni laughed at that. "They are doing well; the Peak is the most defensive place in the Kingdoms, and they've been helping the Three Kingdoms with the Forsaken... still can't believe they turned on us all." Magni said the last with a growl and Anduin nodded at him saddened by the loss.
"Lad, the new Horde, how is that doing?" Magni asked and Anduin shook his head. "We've been cut off for a while, but the last information I got from our ambassadors is that Thrall is doing well, and his soldiers are fighting back." Anduin answered then looked at the sand clock on the wall. "It's that late already?" He said in shock, and he and the Draenei stood up, shaking the hand of the King. "We need to be getting back Magni, we'll see you again in a few months." He told the dwarf king who nodded as he escorted them back to mage ward.
Anduin saw Meryl standing with the main guards and raised his eyebrow at the sight of a young dwarf woman leaning against the wall near them. "Who's she?" He asked and the old man merely smiled. "Don't worry, she's suppose to come with us." Meryl answered, holding his hand out and recreating the portal to Darnassus. "You first your Highness." The Undead chuckled, bowing to Anduin who moved through, the rest of the group following him. Hm, one down, a few more to find and we can start the next part.
"Send these off to Durnholde, the commander there needs this information." The grizzled man at the desk said, passing the letters over to the runner who nodded. The old man leaned back in his chair, pinching his nose as he groaned, then looked over at the clock on the wall and saw the time. "Hm, they should be here soon." He murmured, standing and buckling his weapon on his waist.
The Commander left his office and nodded as his bodyguards fell into step around him and smiled as he saw his cousin approach. "Hello Prince Galen, heading for the gryphon landing as well?" Danath Trollbane asked, and the younger man nodded. "Yes I am, if Greymane is willingly to stir from Gilneas I might as well be there for when he arrives." Galen answered, and Danath chuckled, slapping him on the shoulder.
The two exited the main door and looked around Stromguarde, which had been rebuilt years ago, and Danath sighed, pleased to see the castle back up and in good shape, but saddened to see the massive siege weapons on the walls, aimed upwards to fire on any approaching Dragon flight members. "Have there been any sightings lately?" He asked, looking over at the Prince who nodded. "No, they seem content to merely use the Forsaken against us. I'm sending another squadron up to Durnholde at dusk, Sergeant sent word that they need some reinforcements." Galen answered, dropping into parade rest at the Landing, and Danath shielded his eyes looking west.
"I'm surprised Gilneas has held up as long as it has, between the Forsaken assaults and the naga attacks." Danath said absently, and Galen grunted pointing as the gryphons came into view. The group on the landing moved back as the Gilneas visitors landed, and Danath chuckled, seeing the hippogryphs the Worgen preferred over the gryphons. The two watched as the old king of the Worgen's carefully dismounted, and Galen leaned over to whisper to Danath; "When was the last time you've seen the King out of his worgen form?"
Greymane chuckled as he approached. "It's been a few years whelp, but my hearing is as sharp as ever." He said, holding out one massive paw for the Prince to shake, who did so with a flushed look. "It's alright boy, you didn't mean it." The old man said, looking at Danath and Galen out of his one good eye. "So, how is Durnholde recovering? Some of my Runners told me that it came under attack earlier, and I was worried about them." Greymane asked and the two Trollbane's looked at each other with smiles. "Please, with Sergeant there, the Forsaken and the Dark Horde were forced back without a loss on the defender's side." Danath answered and Greymane laughed at that.
"He still uses his rank rather then his name, and he's been leader of Durnholde for how many years now?" Greymane chuckled, then heard a cough behind him and turned, laughing slightly. "Sorry Sentinel, I was getting to it." The King of Gilneas said, motioning a tall Night Elf forward. "Prince Galen Trollbane, his cousin Commander Danath Trollbane of the Sons of Lothar, this is Sentinel General Shadowsong." He introduced the three to each other and they nodded.
"May Elune's Light bless you." Shadowsong said, her face hidden behind her helm, as she bowed. "It is good to meet you, I have heard good things from King Wrynn about you both." She said, nodding at her soldiers as they took the hippogryphs off to the stables. "Lead on, we have much to talk about." She said, and the three leaders nodded at her, heading towards the main hall.
"Is it always like this around here?" One the Sentinels asked, looking over at a Stromguarde human who chuckled. "No, it isn't." He answered, the young man trying not to stare at the Night Elves. "My name is Sentinel Narissa Darkstalker, and that is Sentinel Kerria Branchleech." The sentinel said, introducing them both, and the human nodded. "My name is Thomas Ryder." He said, shaking their hands and looking around.
"So, what is going in Kalimdor? We haven't had much contact with them lately, between the attacks on Durnholde and here." He asked the two who looked at one another before Narissa answered. "The human settlements are still doing well. And the Horde and Alliance forces there are fighting back against the Dark Horde as it moves through the continent, trying to take more and more for themselves." She said, sighing.
"Blast, I was hoping for better news then that." Ryder chuckled darkly, looking at the two. "What about here? We've heard things about the fight with the Forsaken?" Kerria asked, leaning against the stable wall and looking at the human. "It's been interesting. You know that the Forsaken took over most of the Highlands and the Basin I'm sure?" He answered, and they nodded.
"Well, they also conqueror-ed Tarren Mill and the ruins of Southshore, so between us and Durnholde, the Alliance forces are a little ragged." He said, looking skyward to check for any approaching threats. "We have Gilneas to the west, the Hinterlands to the North, and the Blood Elves farther north, but between all of those are the Dark Lady and her armies, all of them willingly serving Deathwing." Ryder growled the last part, thinking of the living corpse and how much damage her people had done.
"It sounds bad." Narissa said, shaking her head, Kerria making sounds of agreement. "It is, but we won't give up. We are the proud people of Stromguarde." He said, enjoying talking to the two. There was sudden sound of raised voices, and all three looked at the main building. "King Greymane is an interesting person.... but very hot headed." Narissa laughed, and Ryder shook his head.
"Your asking for what?" Greymane growled, slamming his fist on the table as he looked at Galen with fire in his eyes. "Merely for an additional dozen ships. We converted the cove that used to belong to the Steamwheedle Cartel, and we have a good dock there, but we need more ships Greymane." Galen answered, and Danath sighed, wondering if they would end up in blood or not.
"We can't do that right now. We're fighting a new armada from the Destroyer's forces; we've had new Twilight Hammer attacks from the sea. We can't actually share at this point... however." Greymane said, looking over at Shadowsong who nodded. "The Night Elves can assist with that, but it will take time." She said, leaning back in her chair looking at the human prince who exchanged a look with his cousin who nodded.
"Agreed." Galen said, smiling at her. "Please, just ask, and we will see what we can do to assist you." He told her and there was evidence of a smile under her helm. "I want to send some of the humans home; if you can take them here that is." Shadowsong said, and the Trollbanes looked at each other again. "I'm sure we can take some of them if needed General." Danath said, already thinking of how to move people around to fit it.
"Good. Then, for now King Greymane, we should be getting back to Gilneas, so I can begin sending messages and the like back to Teldrassil." The Night elf said, standing and nodding at the other leaders who stood and bowed. Greymane grumbled, shaking hands with the Prince, then followed the Night elf.
"Hm, wonder why that was a needed thing? The humans coming back I mean, it has been 10 years since they settled in Teldrassil." Galen asked, and Danath shook his head. "Don't try to figure out the Night Elves cousin, that will drive you insane." He told the younger man who laughed.
The sound of sword clashes echoed across the plains, the single fighter dancing around as he faced off against several larger more brutal fighters.
"Kill him! He's just one man!"
The leader bellowed in orcish, his war-axe slicing down towards the smaller figure who blocked it, then swung one of the duel blades he possessed, almost cutting the orc in half.
There were cries of outrage from the others, and they charged at the fighter, striking rapid fire, there polearms, warblades and great hammers trying to crush and bludgeon him to death. The fighter danced across the plains, using his adversaries own battle rage against them; the members of the Warsong who served the new Dark Horde striking each other instead of the fighter.
The fighter nodded, swing his right blade and taking the head of a troll, then used a backhand strike to removed the arm of an orc and cut into it's chest. He leaped backwards, landing and twisting away to get space between him and the last 4 of the Dark Horde members who growled and snarled, charging at him.
There was the sound of thrown daggers, and one of the other tauren dropped, a pair of blades sticking out of his eyes. "I don't need your help." The fighter said, his face cloaked in a leather hood. "I know. But I figured you could use it. Also, on your left." The other voice was female, and the fighter whirled, his blade gutting the orc that had snuck up on him.
The last two warriors stopped, looking around for the other fighter, and the undead wearing the symbol of the Dark Horde suddenly gagged, his head leaving his body as he was struck from behind, a glowing dagger seen for a moment before it disappeared into the shadows. The last Dark Horde member turned to run, and the fighter threw a small glaive weapon, the object slamming into the orc's head and the beast grunting as he dropped.
"I thought I told you I didn't need help." The fighter said, looking into the gloom as a woman stepped out of the darkness and retrieved her weapons from the Tauren's head. "Yes, but we have a schedule to keep. Do you really expect him to stay here for long?" She said, pulling back her red hood and looking over at the other with a pair of bright green eyes, her long blond hair spilling free.
"Just because the King said you were to come with me Sanguinar, doesn't mean I have to like." The first fighter said, pulling his own hood back, revealing a similar type of face to the female, but his eyes were blue with short black hair. "Yes, yes, I know how you feel about me and my kind oh mighty warrior Dawnfire." Valeera said, walking off after stripping the corpses of anything useful and continued to the south, Dawnfire following along after her.
They are coming
. The voice spoke into his mind and the old one opened his sightless eyes and looked to the east. "Why would they come? I have received no summons." The old one said, slowly standing up from near his fire and stepped towards the edge of his camp, waving his hand to dismiss the totem wards.
They come because your needed Elder.
The voice spoke again, and the old man laughed, and held up his massive hands, the tendrils at the back of his head swinging in the wind. "I was hoping the Prophet would at least send me a message before hand." He said, standing there and waiting, hearing the two approach by their footfalls on the Earth.
"Welcome to the camp of the ancient one." He called, and smiled as he sensed one of them jump, followed by a strange grouping of words in another language. "There is no need to swear young one." He gently chided the male, who gulped, and he could hear the other laugh, a female from the voice.
"Hail Farseer, we have been sent by King Wrynn and the Prophet to bring you home. They have need of you." Valeera called, bowing to the old Broken who smiled at her, his sightless eyes tracking the movements of the two. "Both of them eh? Please, sit and relax at my fire, and you can explain to me why they feel the need to interrupt my pilgrimage?" The old Broken said, and the two elves took a seat at the edge of the fire.
"Could I interest either of you in something to eat?" He asked and both murmured no. He heard the male clear his throat and waited for the obvious question. "You are Farseer Nobundo yes?" He asked and Nobundo smiled.
"Yes I am, Deven Dawnfire." He answered and sensed from the way the high elf shifted suddenly that he was sitting stock still. "The Wild's tell us many things lad." Nobundo told him, leaning forward, his elbows on his knees as he looked at them both.
"Farseer, as we said, the King and the Prophet wish you to return, there is something big being planned, and they wish to have your powers there to help them." Valeera said quietly, thanking the old Broken as he offered her a plate of food. "You are right, they would not do this unless truly needed. We will escort you home if you wish to return." She told him, and the old man sat back, opening his mind to the spirits.
What do you think my friends?
Nobundo said in his mind, and had a response almost instantly.
Go home Farseer, your people and the world have need of you.
The voice was the loudest and he smiled, recognizing the Wilds and nodded. "Very well." He said, and the two elves looked at each other and the male spoke again. "As simple as that?" Dawnfire asked, sounding surprised, and the Broken laughed. "When the Spirits tell you to do something, you." Nobundo said, and stood to start cleaning up the camp.
"You want us to leave in the dark sir?" Valeera asked standing to assist as well, and the Broken nodded. "It's always dark for me youngling. Besides, it's safer; the Flight's rarely move at night anymore." He told her, and she chuckled. "Very well Elder, lead on."
"I can't believe it's been 20 years.
" The figure muttered, standing at the grave of a great man and sighed, his voice sounding like it was coming from deep in the ground.
"Highlord, we should move on. You know the Dreadlords are still active here, and the remains of the Scourge as well."
One of the Death Knights said, standing near her leader and looking at him.
"Hm? Yes of course."
He murmured, following along after his Knights, the holy blade on his back glowing lightly.
Highlord Mograine mounted up and headed back towards the Shadow Vault, the current home of the Ashen Verdict which he had been forced to take over after the death of Highlord Fordring during the final battle against the Lich King. He chuckled humourlessly to himself and shook his head.
All that we fought for, all that we sacrificed, and it was all for naught. We killed the Lich King, had a month of freedom from his tyranny, then the blasted Destroyer came back and nearly killed us all with one blow.
Mograine thought, nodding to his men as he passed, heading for the room at the back that had been added in for him.
He stepped inside and froze before whirling, the Ashbringer out and at the throat of his visitor.
"Not wise to hide in my room."
He growled, and his visitor chuckled, stepping into the light. "I knew you wouldn't kill me." The woman said, a high elf from her looks and she sighed, taking a seat. "Sorry, but the new Archmage sent me as the Covenant and the Verdict still have good relations, unlike the Sunreavers." Vereesa Windrunner said, looking at him as the Highlord took a seat at his desk.
"Why are you here?
" He asked bluntly, and she cringed back before shaking her head. "They want you to go south again, to help fight the Forsaken in the Plaguelands Highlord." She answered, leaning back, her eyes blank as she stared at him.
"I've already told them, I will not. Your war with the Undead has nothing to do with our war in the north. Where were you when the Dreadlord Scourge destroyed Crusader's Pinnacle hm?"
He growled, his eyes blazing behind his helm.
"That's not fair Darion, the Sunreavers and the Covenant were assisting the Tor with threats in the south..." She trailed off, realizing she was making his point. "
Ebon Hold was destroyed by the Destroyer, I lost many good friends and allies when it fell. I'll be damned if I help you again."
He said, and pointed at the door.
"Leave Windrunner, or else I'll forget my promise to your husband and slay you here."
He said, turning away to look at papers on his desk.
The high elf sighed and reached up to a necklace around her throat and triggered a spell, vanishing from the room. The Highlord looked back then roared, throwing a glass globe at the wall, sighing as he went back to work.
Vereesa sighed as she appeared in Shattrah and headed for the Terrace of Light, to let the new Archmage and A'dal know she had failed in her task. I never should have brought it up, that was a foolish move. She thought, stepping into the Terrace and smiling as the Naaru's light washed over her.
"Welcome back Windrunner." A voice called and she looked over at the old human seated on the steps leading up to A'dal with a fond look. "Thank you Archmage Khadgar." She said, taking a seat near him and looking at the ground before clearing her throat.
"I already know." He said quietly and she looked over at him, her eyebrows raised and he laughed. "You returned via the pendant; had you succeeded, the Highlord would have been here through a Death Gate." He told her, and she chuckled. "I made a mistake, I never should have brought up the past while talking to him." Vereesa said and they both looked up as A'dal spoke.
*Worry not child. The Highlord is a stubborn man, but he will see the Light eventually. After all, he still bears the Ashbringer does he not?*
The naaru voices was like music, a calming influence on them all. "Your right A'dal, he does." Vereesa said then looked over at Khadgar, who was reading from a tome. "So, what next oh mighty Archmage?" She asked with a laugh and the old man chuckled.
"I need to go and visit King Wrynn soon, while I am doing that, I was wondering if the Covenant and the Sunreavers would mind heading out on scouting missions. You know of course what is in the works, and I feel as many extra eyes and ears will make it all go far more smoothly." He said, and the high elf nodded moving off.
"A'dal, where is that girl, do you know?" He asked, looking up at the Naaru who made a small noise then answered.
*In Lower City, as usual. She is helping the newest refugees settle in.*
Khadgar nodded and stood, summoning his steed, which had been standing near the door to the Terrace and carefully swung into the saddle.
"I need to speak with her before I leave, so hold the fort here." He called and heard the Naaru's version of laughter.
"Please, please please! One at a time, we have space for everyone!" The slightly high pitched voice floated up out of the group of refugee's and Khadgar smiled, recognizing his apprentices voice anywhere.
"Celia! Could I speak to you?" He called and the refugee's grumbled as the short figure moved through them, saying sorry to each as she accidentally trod on feet and struck shins. "Of course Master Khadgar whatever you need!" She said and he smiled down at the half-gnome woman.
Celia Knockturn was the daughter of a gnome man and human female, but had lost both of them a decade or so before the cataclysm. When Dalaran had fallen, she had been just starting her first year of training, and Khadgar had seen the potential in her and chosen her to be his apprentice.... and hadn't regretted it since.
"What's wrong Master? Did something happen? Am I needed for some great quest?" She asked excitedly and he laughed shaking his head. "No, nothing like that, but I will be taking you with me to visit Teldrassil, something has come up and I think I will need another pair of hands." He told her and she clapped her small hands together, then turned and handed the clipboard with all the placements to a Shat'tari guardsman. "Here, you take over for me!" She said, then took off towards the Aldor Rise and her home. "Meet me first thing in the morning!" He called after her and saw her wave back.
Laughing, Khadgar returned to the Terrace to finalize any last details with A'dal before he returned to Azeroth.
The voice, cold and unfeeling said, and the Sentinels nodded, dropping their blades and beheading the captured Dark Horde soldiers.
"Burn their bodies. Blasted abominations, how dare they enter sacred territory."
The leader of the Sentinels, a tall beautiful Night Elf clothed in pure black armour said, staring down at the corpses as they were dragged off, the heads gathered up.
"Was that necessary High Priestess."
A voice asked at her elbow and Tyrande Whisperwind looked down into the face of her old friend.
"Of course it was. They are a Blight on Kalimdor, I refuse to let them continue to fester Shandris."
The Priestess said, her voice harsh to the ears of her long time friend.
"Of course Tyrande."
The other answered, sighing slightly, then looked across the battlefield, watching as the Sentinel forces continued their cleanup of the Dark Horde forces after an assault on Dire Maul, the new capital of the Shen'dralar.
Shandris looked over at her long time friend and felt sadness; ever since the death of her husband, Lady Tyrande had been slowly withdrawing into herself, becoming harder and more vicious. She had heard whispers among the Sentinels about the new General, this Shadowsong, and had a very bad feeling she knew just who it was.
"High Priestess, you should go and meet with the Shen'dralar, they are waiting on you."
Shandris said, and the other woman nodded, then padded off on the back of her nightsabre, a different one from her white one in the Third War, this one was a pure black.
Sighing to herself, Shandris moved off to help with burning the bodies, and hoped against hope that someone would be able to talk her old friend out of this insane desire for vengence on any and all evil creatures.
"So, your here to try to get some of us to finally travel to Dalaran eh Archmage?" The old Highbourne asked, looking at the woman in front of him who nodded. "Yes Archmage Evenshade." Jaina Proudmoore answered, sighing as she leaned back in her chair. The woman was still a beauty, though her long blond hair had some grey showing it now. "You know of course what is going on out there. And the attacks by the Dark Horde are increasing after all." She said, wondering where Tyrande was to help her get them to see reason. I have no idea why Khadgar sent me here to speak with him. She thought, shaking her head with a small smile.
"Do not be insulted Archmage Proudmoore... but we would prefer not to share our secrets with you." Evenshade said, looking at her and Jaina flushed, but bit back the instant retort that wanted to come out.
"Sir, at this point, it would be far better for all of the Magi of Azeroth to be working together as one. If we separate at this point, we could all end up even worse then we are now." She said, holding onto her temper and staring into his eyes.
The Highborne looked at her for a moment then nodded. "Give us a few more days to consider this newest offer." Evenshade said, and Jaina sighed inwardly, knowing that the Highborne would refuse again. "Thank you for considering as always Archmage." She said, standing and bowing, then quickly left the room.
"Arrogant, puffed up, no good... grr!" She growled, sparks flying off her hands. "Sounds like it didn't go well." A voice spoke and Jaina whirled, then laughed, smiling as a tall figure approached. "Your right, it didn't." Jaina said, smiling at the young Draenei Priest who had been sent by the Exodar to travel with them.
"Argo, let's go upstairs, I need some air." Jaina said, and the young man nodded, offering her his arm which she took with a chuckle. "I do not understand why they are so insular?" Argo asked, and Jaina shook her head.
"I have no idea either." She said with a small laugh, and the two looked up, hearing the sounds of footfalls. "Ah, Archmage." Tyrande said, nodding her head at her and Jaina nodded back. "Good to see you High Priestess."
"They refused again I'm guessing?" Tyrande asked, a smile in the sound of her voice and Jaina chuckled. "Every year we come here, and every year they turn us down. I wish Khadgar would just stop, but he and A'dal believe they will agree to it eventually." Jaina answered, shaking her head in disbelief.
"I will speak with them Jaina, perhaps, coming from me they might be a bit more willingly." The Night Elf said to the human and moved passed. "Please do, and I wish you luck!" Jaina called after them, then turned to Argo. "Well, we might as well go look at the city while we wait for the answer." She told him, and the Draenei nodded, the two stepping out into the repaired city.
"Keep running! They are right behind us!"
The voice of the leader of the small group said, looking at the others as they tried to keep moving and stay ahead of the pursuers.
"We should leave them to their fate, they are the living after all."
One of the group hissed, looking at the blood elf, orc and troll with contempt.
The leader backhanded his fellow soldier and snarled.
"No one is left behind for them. We're almost to the border of the Ghostlands, once we reach there, we will all be safe."
He said, his hood falling back, and the deaths head grin visible on his face. The other forsaken hissed at him, but stood and followed along as they started running again.
"You seem convinced that the Elves will help us? Why?" The orc asked and the Deathstalker looked at him.
"The Dark Lady betrayed us, but some of her generals still serve the Horde."
The leader, a man who years ago been called Thomas Wayne, who was know simply a Dark Ranger for the old Forsaken said.
"We need to move faster, I can hear them coming."
He said, looking back as the sounds of horns were heard, and the living ran faster, with the 3 three Forsaken following them.
Thomas looked after them, pity in his eyes as he turned and headed towards the sound of hunting horns.
The small group continued to run, the troll holding up the Blood elf as she had been injured during their escape from the Undercity. "Hold on Aeria, you'll be okay mon." The troll said, looking down at her then over at the orc. "She'll be fine Zim, don't worry." Grell said, looking back and noticing that the main Dark Ranger was gone.
"Wait, where did Thomas..." He started to ask but was cut off as one of the other Forsaken swore loudly, coming to a halt and staring ahead of them.
"How did they.. no it can't be."
She groaned, sinking to her feet as several Abominations approached, a slim figure with them.
"Please, did you think you would escape us that easily?"
The Undead cackled, her eyes a light with madness as she looked at them.
"It can't be, your dead."
One of the old Forsaken said, staring in shock.
"Death is merely a setback for us. King Wrynn should have crushed my head all those long years ago."
The figure stepped forward out of the shadows, and the living looked at each other in fear, as this was their tormentor, a woman who had done thousands of experiments and torture on them, but the two Forsaken with them looked livid.
"I heard the rumours, but I never believed them... you did survive Putress, you vile monster!"
The male roared, his hand going to his sword at his side, but the Apothecary merely smiled and stepped aside as one of the Abominations threw it's hook at the undead, hooking him in the chest and pulling it towards them.
"I might be a vile monster, but at least I'm alive.
" Putress hissed, and drove her hand through the other undead's skull, killing it for the final rest.
She called, looking at the others as they cowered back.
"That would be you."
A voice called, and the Undercity forces whirled as arrows rained down on them from behind. Putress howled, and leaped away, his new elf body superior to the human he had so many years ago and growled as his soldiers died.
"Well, the Dark Lady will be pleased to know your still not breathing old friend.
" Putress called, staring with hatred at the new arrival.
"Yes well, just as reports of your death were false, so were mine."
The new person said, firing a bow at the Apothecary who leaped away again, just barely missing the strike.
"We'll kill you yet!"
She screeched as the elf corpse fled, heading back towards the hunting party. The living turned to face their rescuer with fear in their eyes, till they saw more people emerge from the shadows, living people; Blood Elves.
"We're sorry we couldn't safe him."
The leader said, reaching up and removing his helmet, showing a decayed and desiccated face, pointing at the Forsaken that Putress had killed.
"Wait, I've heard of you.... your the Blightcaller, the human ranger!" Grell said, and the other two looked at each other as Nathanos approached them, reaching down to help the female Forsaken stand.
"What is your name?"
He asked her, and she looked up, stuttering slightly.
She answered and he nodded before looking at the Elves.
Get them healed up and fed, then lets move. The hunting party is still coming after all, and the new shield does us no good if we're on this side of it!
" Nathanos called, and his soldiers got to work.
In the Plaguelands, Thomas ran full out, reaching the hunting party after an hour and dropped to his knees in front of the leader.
"I'm sorry my Lady, but it failed."
He said, and there was a sigh from above him.
"Forget it for now. The idiot failed as well, I don't know why I let him go ahead of us."
Sylvanas said, shaking her head.
"Come Thomas, there will be more escapees we can use to get through the shield and take Ghostlands as our Master orders."
She told him, and turned her charge, moving off, the group following her.
"Mon, da sun be hot today." A tall troll muttered, leaning on the shovel as he looked around the battlefield before going back to digging the pit for the dead bodies. "It's a hot one yeah, but keep digging worm." The voice of the Overseer said, and the troll cringed as he was struck on the back by a whip. "Hey mon! I be doin' me work, ain't no reason to whip...." He trailed off as he was struck three more times, finally shutting up and getting back to work.
The Dark Horde members watched as the slaves continued to clean up the dead and rotting corpses under the harsh Barrens sunlight, forcing them to dig faster or work harder with strikes from whips and clubs. Only the previous day, the battlefield had been full of warriors; Dark Horde against the forces of New Stormwind, and casualties had been high on both sides.
And dat's the way da Dragon's like it, more of us that die for their amusement da better.
The slave troll thought, keeping his head down as he continued to dig. He heard a strange bird call and looked up, but saw nothing in the sky that would have made that sound. Strange. He thought, and lowered his head.
"Hm, only about 30 Dark Horde members, hardly a challenge." A massive form said, sliding back down from the hill and looking at his attack group. "Maybe not a challenge for you big guy, but for us non-giants, 30 men can be a bad thing." His fellow soldier said, crouched low as he looked up at the larger one.
"Vol'jin, is that sense I'm hearing from your lips?" The other asked, a smile on the visible part of his face and the troll chuckled. "Bound to happen some day Rexxar. I can see why the warchief felt like sending you here for this." Vol'jin said, looking at his troll warriors and the orcs that were following the ex-Champion of the Horde.
"You know why I'm here." Rexxar said darkly, moving past them and starting towards the Dark Horde group and Vol'jin groaned, slapping himself in the head.
Good going idiot, remind him that not only did the Dark Horde and the Black Dragon flight wipe out his village in Blades Edge, they killed Misa in front of him and forced him to watch.
The troll thought, shaking his head as the forced followed after the ex-Champion.
The troll slave finished his digging and looked up as the overseer approached him. "Good job slave.... now get in the hole." The orc said with a sneer and the troll stared at him in shock. "What'cho say?" He asked, hoping he had mis-heard it. "You heard me freak, get in the hole now! Your not useful anymore." The overseer said, a cruel smile on his face as he raised his whip.
"NO!" The troll roared and started to leap up at him when there was a whirring sound and the orc groaned as his head left his body. "What in the loa?" The troll said, looking around as a roar echoed across the battlefield and he laughed as he saw orcs and trolls in the colours of the Horde approaching at a run.
"FREEDOM!" The slave yelled and picked up the overseer's whip and used it to attack the Dark Horde members. With the help of the True Horde, the slaves fought back against their captors, roaring and hollering as they struck at them.
There was a massive battle roar, and the slave looked over and his jaw dropped. "Rexxar?" He said, and groaned as he took a fist to the face from a dark Horde member. "Kill him quick before they find out we've had him!" A voice above him said and he looked up as a blade dropped towards his throat.
"Not today traitor." A voice growled and the blade was shattered by an axe then the slave heard the death of the orc that had tried to kill him. "You alright.... wait, Rokhan?" Rexxar asked, staring in shock at the slave. "Hey pal, how you been?" He asked, before he passed out.
"How long did they have him for?" Rexxar asked, looking at his friends as the healers worked on him, healing his wounds and injuries. "We don't know Rex, he vanished a year or two after the Cataclysm, had we known the Dark Horde had him... we would have gotten him back, believe that." Vol'jin said, staring in shock at the missing hero.
"Well, that's just one more thing we owe them then isn't it?" Rexxar said, looking at the troll leader who nodded.
"I still can't believe this old friend." One of two figures on top of the hill looking out into Desolace said to the other. The other laughed, seated on a carved rock there, shaped like a chair. "Yes, so much death and destruction came about because of the madness of the Destroyer, yet this land is regrowing and alive." He said, his voice still strong for his age. He looked up at his friend and sighed, seeing the scars and old burn marks on his face.
"Are you alright Bolvar?" Benedictus asked quietly, seeing a twitch in the other's face that seemed uncontrollable. "Yes Archbishop I am. And come, we need to speak with the leaders here, they allowed us to watch the sunrise as we asked before starting up the meetings." Bolvar answered, and held his hand up to help the older man to his feet.
"Thank you Bolvar, shall we go? From what Anduin has said, the one were meeting with has a bit of a temper." Benedictus said with a low chuckle, and the two humans, chosen by the new king of Stormwind to be the ambassadors for the Horde as they were two who seemed the most open to working with them.
"Where are they? It doesn't take that long to watch the sun rise." The speaker asked, and the Tauren in the room with her laughed, and motioned her to take a seat. "Calm yourself milady, they will be here." He said, his voice low and soothing as he looked at her pacing. "I know Bloodhoof I know... don't see why the Warchief left me here, there are many others better suited for this then I, I should be out on the front with him." The woman said, her gait strange, as if there was something wrong with her feet.
Baine sighed, shaking his head as his ear perked up and he looked at the entrance of the hall. "There here, so you can take a seat Lady Garona, and we can get this under way." He rumbled, seated against the side of the hall on the floor and sighing as he lit his pipe and took a long pull on it. "That stuff will kill you." Garona muttered, waving her hand as the smoke came her way, blown on the breeze.
"Lots of stuff will kill you now a days Emissary." The voice of Bolvar said from the door and the half-orc laughed, leaning back and looking at the human with a twinge of guilt. "Your looking.... well." She said lamely and the human chuckled, taking a seat carefully. "You mean I don't look like a charred hunk of flesh right Garona?" He asked, shaking his head as Benedictus shook hands with Baine, the Tauren nodding respect to the old holy man.
"So, you know why were here right?" Bolvar said, looking at the two Horde members who nodded, Garona absently playing with a knife as she looked at the scarred human. By the Light, she looks the same as when Khadgar met her. Benedictus thought, looking at the half-orc out of the corner of his eye.
"Both Warchief Thrall and King Wrynn wish to have a combined assault on Orgrimmar then head across the sea and take Stormwind." Garona said, looking over at the humans, her face expressionless. Thrall should be here, or my son, they're both better with things like this then I am. She thought, her eyes darkening a little as she thought about the two she cared about most out there alone against the Destroyer's forces.
"That is correct Lady Garona." Bendictus said, taking a sip of water on the table, looking across at her. "They wish it to occur in one month, and already the forces of the Alliance are readying themselves." He said, hoping his people would be safe, as the new seat of the Church of Light was within the Exodar, and would be a target if this assault failed.
"That's good. We received word from an assault group in the Barren's that an old friend has been found, and they are moving on the other slave groups there." Baine said, blowing smoke again as he settled himself into a more comfortable position against the wall. "We are hoping to cut the Dark Horde off from resupplying itself from Thunder Bluff, but that will be hard, as the Reds and Greens, thought they have offered to help us, are currently busy with other threats." He said, sighing, knowing the great dragons would have made it simple to destroy the zepplins in the sky before they could reach the city and resupply or reinforce the troops there.
"That is a problem." Bolvar said, his chin on his hand as he thought about the most information he had recieved then looked at the Horde members. "Is it possible to use the new path to Mulgore and attack Thunder Bluff from below?" He asked, and saw Baine shake his head.
"The Blacks hold that pass, and from what I've heard, one of the Twilight Overlords has made the Bluff his new home." He said, and Bolvar and Bendictus exchanged a look. "Pity, there goes that plan." Bolvar said, and the meeting feel into silence for a few minutes before the Archbishop looked at the Tauren leader.
"Chief Baine, I have a question about your Sunwalkers." He said, and the Tauren looked up at him. "Ask, and if I can I will answer." Baine said, looking at him questioningly. "Have they had any problems calling on the Light lately?" He asked, and the Tauren looked confused. "What do you mean?"
"My paladins and priests, they can cast simple spells but their grand ones... they seemed strained and hard to cast, as if something is interfering with their connection to the Light. I was worried the same thing was happening to the Sunwalkers and possibly the Blood Knights." Benditus answered, leaning back in his chair.
"I'm sure we can figure something out Archbishop, between your people, the dwarves, the elves, the Draenei and my own, someone should be able to figure out the problem." Baine said, making a mental note to talk to his people soon to find out about this problem.
"Lady Garona, where is Warchief Thrall?" Bolvar asked, looking over at her, and the half-orc shifted in her seat. "He and the Guardian are off doing some scouting in Silithus, something is being stirred up there, and they wanted to find out what it was before it was too late." Garona answered, and the old warrior nodded, then stood and started off to go outside.
"If you'll excuse me, I need some air." He told the others and Garona watched him leave before following after, Baine and Bendictus sharing a look. "Should we be worried?" The Archbishop asked, and the Tauren chuckled. "No need. Whatever madness used to be in her head is long gone." Baine answered, and Bendictus didn't look convinced.
"How can you be sure?" He asked again, and this time Baine laughed. "Well, she and Thrall have been sharing a bed for the last few years, and she hasn't killed him in his sleep."
Bolvar stood on the docks looking out to sea and heard the footsteps approaching, and looked over as Garona took a seat, her legs dangling over the edge. "Emissary." He said, looking back out at the sea and she grunted, before laughing quietly. "Please, don't call me that, I haven't been the Emissary for almost 50 years." She told him, her left leg swinging absently as she watched the fishing boats out in the bay.
"Your not a fan of me are you?" Garona asked, and Bolvar laughed, the question coming out of nowhere. "No, I'm not. Your the one who killed Llane." And he held up his hand to stop her from speaking. "I know it wasn't your fault, but still, it started so much.... the First war ended, then the 2nd and so on and so on. For almost a year, I was held captive by The Lich King within Icecrown, my body burned and broken... I only recovered after a long time under the care of the Naaru and the Draenei." He said, and ran a hand over his face with a self-loathing chuckle. "They tried their best, but they couldn't fix it all." Bolvar said, and Garona grunted.
"Could have been worse Fordragon, you could have ended up as his slave like Saurfang junior." She said, not up to listen to him wallow in his own pity. "Or dead like Fordring. At least your still alive and in semi-good shape. At least your mind was your own for that year, at least.... at least you didn't kill those you considered to be your friends." She said the last very quietly and he looked at her, really looked at her.
"Do you know what I had to do to finally break free of this blasted Curse the Shadow Council placed on me?" Garona said, her eyes closed as she remembered the spell cast on her to break the bonds. "I was forced to relive everything evil I had done over my life, forced to watch as all those I killed, or almost killed, passed in front of me, and my family; my son Med'an who provided the power from the Spirits and the Arcane, and my Uncle, who provided the Light, they saw everything." Bolvar looked at her, surprised to see tears in her eyes.
"They saw everything... and they forgave me." She said, wiping her face and shook her head. "They still cared for me, even with my madness... and I can never repay that." Garona spoke the last with pride, a smile on her face. "We are similar Fordragon, allies in this new world. If we don't work together, we're going to follow your friend and brother into death, as Deathwing is the true threat now." She told him, standing and holding out her hand.
Bolvar stared at it for a moment, then grunted, taking it and shaking it. "I still.... I can't..." He stared to say, and she shook her head. "That doesn't matter." She told him, letting go of his hand and smiling up at him. "We do what we can, and we'll beat the Destroyer back."
"Hm, I've heard the rumours. But I didn't believe it." The old orc said, looking at the valley. "Yes, ever since the Destroyer returned, the lands of snow and cold have been getting warmer and warmer." His friend answered, staring with sightless eyes and carefully standing, his wolf companion offering a steady place to put his hands.
"This is bad Drek'thar, the Elements, there even more out of tune then they are in Outland." The other orc, carrying a strange axe said, looking at the Shaman Chieften of the Frostwolves who chuckled at that. "Varok, the Elements have been out of tune for far longer then that; this world seems intent on destroying itself, whether outside forces interfere or not." Drek'thar said, and Saurfang grunted. "Come, there is food waiting for us both in the main camp." The old shaman said, starting off, the wolf helping to steady the ancient orc, one of the oldest on the planet.
"Hard to believe it's been 20 years since this madness started." Saurfang said to his friend who nodded. "Yes, it's been a bad time.... but the Horde is strong and will survive this." Drek'thar said, passing him a jug of mead, the other accepting it with a nod.
"Are the Alliance causing any problems?" He asked, and the Frostwolf chieften shook his head. "Surprisingly, the Alliance is leaving us in peace, but they have other problems after all; the Forsaken and the Dark Horde are hitting them fairly hard, as are the Twilights." Drek'thar answered, his sightless face watching as a few of the younger orc's played a game, their higher voices echoing over to the old timers.
"It does me good to see this. Most of the young are on the other side of the Portal, hiding in Nagrand or Terokkar." Saurfang said, sighing and Drek'thar nodded. "Yes, the Warchief offered us that choice, but he knew they would remain here." The blind shaman said, passing some of his food to his wolf who took it neatly.
"I've been hearing things about Thrall Varok.... are they true?" Drek'thar asked, and Saurfang looked over at him, the jug half-way to his mouth. "Depends, what have you heard?" He said, stalling for a moment. "That our Warchief has found someone to share his time with... someone that isn't a blond human." He said the last with a laugh, and the other orc chuckled.
"Garona Half-Orc, and she seems to make him happy." Saurfang said, shaking his head, wondering about the girl. "She showed up about 10 years ago, with her son in tow, trying to make peace between the Alliance and the Horde.... and it didn't go over well." He said with last with a sigh.
"That's expected; she's still not trusted by all, but she hasn't tried to kill anyone that isn't a threat to us." Saurfang said, relaxing near the fire. "She's an interesting creature, but it's her son that truly worries me. He's a half-breed like her, but he's the son of Medivh." Saurfang said, and Drek'thar looked over at him. "Why does that worry you?" He asked, but able to guess.
The warrior sighed, and shook his head. "His sire was responsible for us coming here. I've heard the tale from the boy, his mother and a few others, but still.... how do we know that the demon who possessed Medivh isn't in the boy?" Saurfang said, and Drek'thar put his hand on the other orc's shoulder. "Don't fret, if there was a problem, Thrall would know and tell you." He said, and the two lapsed into silence, watching as the sun set outside the cave they were in.
"So, your heading north in the morning right?" Drek'thar asked, and Saurfang grunted yes, leaning back and staring out into the dark. "Thrall wants us to assist Blightcaller and the Blood Elves with the next phase of an assault on Undercity. He wants to remove Her from power, and hopefully start pushing the Dark Horde and their forces out of Eastern Kingdoms." Saurfang said, and Drek'thar grunted, petting his wolf as it laid down beside him.
The next day, as Saurfang and his squad prepared to leave, he wondered if the Frostwolves would be there the next time they came back through. "Let's ride members of the Horde, their waiting for us in Evensong!" He called, and the orcs headed north, Saurfang looking back once and seeing Drek'thar with his arm raised in a salute.
"By the Naaru." One of the two figures breathed, staring in shock at the massive citadel rising out of the desert. "They've been busy haven't they?" He asked his companion who grunted before sliding backwards from the edge of the cliff. The other followed, his slimmer body making no noise as he moved. He watched the other, wondering how he could stand to be in the desert sun wearing the thick black plate armour.
"This is bad. We've been hearing the rumours, but I had no idea that the Twilight Hammer had been able to recreate so much of the ancient ruins." Thrall said, looking over at his partner who nodded, the Guardian keeping watch around them. Med'an froze and quickly threw up a spell of invisibility as a group of silithids flew past overhead. "We should move on Thrall, we've seen what we need to see." He said, the half-orc half-human removing the spell when they were alone again.
"I agree but..." Thrall said, looking towards the Citadel again. Med'an chuckled and shook his head. "Fine, you go back, I'll go and investigate. Worse comes to worse, I can teleport away, but if we get separated and I lose you, Mother will skin me alive." He told the Warchief who chuckled humourlessly. "She'd do the same to me if I left you alone to die." Thrall answered and Med'an laughed.
The two had been working together for ten long years, ever since Garona and the young man had arrived in the Horde lands, trying to get them to work with the Alliance as a whole instead of just a few of the smaller groups. Over time, the Guardian had proved himself to the Warchief, showing him that there was more to him then just the power of the Council. Med'an knew that the death of Rehgar during the assault on Deepholme had been a cruel blow, and had forced the Council to find a new Shaman, which had been chosen from the Draenei this time, instead of the Orcs.
The Guardian shook his head and looked at Thrall, waiting for the Warchief to make up his mind. Finally, the orc sighed and nodded, heading back to where the two had left a pair of wyverns. "Come back safe Med'an." Thrall called back and took to the sky, the riderless wyvern following it's pack mate.
"I'll do my best Warchief." The half-orc said with a slight smile, then moved down the side of the mountain, heading towards new Temple of C'thun and the seat of power for the Twilight Hammer in Kalimdor.
Thrall looked back once as his wyvern flew over the border between Feralas and Silithus and shook his head. Even from here, the Citadel was visible, stabbing into the sky like a massive jagged blade.
What is going on in there?
He wondered and shuddered slightly, the aura of pure malice thick in the air. He looked forward again as the wyvern flew over the ruins of Camp Mojache, and growled, seeing the Grimtotems moving through it.
The Warchief was very tempted to strike but sighed and shook his head, knowing it would do no good.
At least we got most of the people out of there before it fell.
He thought sadly, remembering the day the Camp had been destroyed as the Grimtotems had attacked with a group of Black dragonspawn.
His mount continued it's flight through Feralas, the beast knowing the air paths that would be safest. They flew over Dire Maul, and Thrall looked down with a slight smile, seeing the Highborne elves gathering their forces and training in the open courtyard of the Maul.
Thankfully the Crimson Ring was destroyed long ago, so we don't have to worry about that anymore.
Thrall thought, a savage smile on his lips as he recalled the force that had headed in there to clean up that slave ring and gladiator fights.
His wyvern twisted towards the coast, instinctively avoiding the Twin Colossals and the Dream Bough, both of which belonged to Black Flight; the portal to the Dream being guarded by a massive Twilight Dragon called Terrixya, while the Colossals were a breeding ground for the Black flight.
One day soon, we will crush you and your hellspawn Deathwing.
Thrall promised, his eyes narrowed as he watched a large winged figure lift off from the mountains.
Thrall looked to the north and smiled, seeing the familiar sight of Shadowprey City on the horizon.
He thought with happiness.
Med'an grunted, sent sprawling by a well placed kick. The Guardian rolled to his feet and a dagger of Light ripped into the throat of the Twilight Cultist attacking him. The orc fell back, gargling on his own blood and the half-orc quickly ran to the body and stripped it of it's robe and cloak, pulling them on and pulling the hood up over his head.
Now, to see what is going on in that thrice damned Citadel.
He thought, following a group of other Twilights as they headed towards the main entrance of the building.
Chapter 3: Battle for Durotar
"By the Spirits it's hot." One of the scouts grumbled, and was shushed, his squad mates watching as they moved quietly through the desert that was Durotar. The group, made up of Alliance and Horde forces, were the advance scouts for the main part of the Army approaching from the south. The leaders; a tall night elf and a shorter orc, looked at their men then at each other.
"We should split here, we will have better odds." The Elf said, her voice quiet in the still air. The orc grunted, looking to the north where the spires of Orgrimmar were visible on the horizon. "Right." He said, and started off, half the group following him, the others following along after the Elf.
Neither of the groups noticed a slim figure perched above them, it's head tilted slightly as it observed the two groups, then raised a small device to it's mouth and spoke quietly.
"One group is heading towards Razor Hill, another is heading for Sen'jin Village.
" It hissed and moved back into it's observation post.
A few hours pass.
"They should have been back by now." Saurfang said, pacing in the middle of the command tent and the other commanders there exchanged a look. "They'll return when their mission is complete High Warlord." General Shadowsong said, seated in a chair, looking out of her visor at the orc. The older orc looked at her for a moment then continued pacing.
"I know your anxious Varok, but we've been planning this for a while, it will go down just fine." Bolvar commented, looking at the map in front of them, then at the notes nearby. "We know the Dark Horde is attempting to assault New Stormwind again, that's why we choose now." The human said, rubbing his scarred face as he reread the notes. The old orc grunted, but didn't stop pacing. The fourth person in the tent stepped forward, limping slightly.
"Dunna worry about old Cleave Saurfang here mon. He's always like this when he ain't out there chopping heads." Rokhan said with a small chuckle, playing with his own weapon as he looked out the tent flap and saw the sun was high. "Now would be a good time for them out there to see us." He said, and limped out the flat, his injured leg still twisted after his time as a slave of the Dark Horde.
The other three commanders looked at each other and followed. The army assembled was massive; made up of humans, trolls, orcs and night elves, they were going to be the first wave on the attack against the Dark Horde's capitol. There was a buzz of voices that quieted as the four were in the clear. There was a quick exchanged look, then Varok and Bolvar stepped forward.
The human raised his hand and there was a silence, which cause him to smile. "Men and Woman of the Grand Alliance! We are here to finally start the push to drive the Dark Horde from Kalimdor! We will make this city fall, and we will restore the Orc's to their home!" He said, and waited as a roar rose up from the trolls and orcs in the army. Once it had died away he looked at Varok who nodded. "Sons and Daughter of the Horde! We finally get to strike back and drive them out! And once we have Orgrimmar back, it's across the Sea to free Stormwind from the oppressive yoke of the Black Dragons! Lok'tar!" Saurfang roared, and this time it was the Humans who raised a voice in cheering.
The cheering suddenly changed to screams as the command tent exploded, sending the commanders sprawling. The first one up was Shadowsong who looked skyward, her eyes narrowed as she saw a group of Twilight Dragons with riders flying over the army. There was momentary panic, then the sound of the ballistae firing, the massive bolts shooting skywards. One of the dragons were slower then the others and took a round that punched through it, raining hot blood on those gathered below.
There was the sound of rumbling and another army appeared on the rise and began approaching. The commanders exchanged a look again, then let loose their battle cries, and the Alliance Horde army charged the Dark Horde one.
"Keep the weapons ready to fire." General Shadowsong said, mounting up onto her nightsaber and nodding at the other commanders. As she headed for the Night Elf section, her personal guard fell into place around her.
"General, we've had word from the High Priestess."
One of them told her and she nodded.
"What of it?"
Shadowsong asked, and bodyguard handed her a small scroll. The general read it and nodded, pacing it back.
"Keep the Riders back for now; let the Alliance and Horde forces drag the dragons back before we strike.
" She said and the guards nodded.
"C'mon on Varok, they be needin' us." Rokhan said, looking after the Night Elf general with a slight frown. "Good hunting." Bolvar told them, heading for towards the human lines which, alongside the orcs and trolls were already clashing with the leading edge of the Dark Horde forces. The Shadow Hunter and the High Warlord took off on their own mounts, reaching their men. "Blood and Thunder!" Saurfang roared, raising his brother's axe and waving it above his head, then pointed forward. The battle cry was taken up by those around them, growing in sound and fury as they slammed into their enemies.
Once Bolvar reached the Human forces, he quickly sent his commanders outwards, getting the men in position. "First line! Ready! Fire!" He roared, his raspy voice echoing as the riflemen let a loose a volley, the shots tearing into the lines behind the melees at the front. "Second Line!" He called, and the first group dropped to reload. "Fire!" Came again, and again the guns barked, but not as many Dark Horde were taken down this time.
"Let's get down there." Bolvar called, putting his helm on and drawing his blade and shield. "FOR STORMWIND!" He roared at the top of his lungs, and charged, his own foot soldiers following along, their own battle cries echoing as the humans slammed into the Dark Horde, catching the leading edges between their forces and the forces of the Horde. Bolvar's face was expressionless behind his helm, his weapons a blur as he beat back the orcs and taurens around him, moving through the tide towards the two Horde commanders.
Shadowsong stood near the back of the Alliance and Horde army, the siege and long range weapons around her. She watched the horizon and pointed.
She called, and several of the weapons sang, letting loose heavy bolts and glaives towards the returning dragons, cutting down a few of the large flying reptiles who banked and pulled up. The Night Elf general looked down at the battle and nodded, then raised her arm and dropped it.
With a glad cry, half a dozen flights of hippogryphs and riders took off, streaking towards the dragons.
"Aim for the riders and the wings, and if you can, hit the magi and healers in the back of the Dark Horde forces."
She said, her voice carried to the flying units through a spell. She saw their commander raise and arm, then let loose an arrow barrage, the Dark Horde forces crying out as they were struck from above.
"She's cold, but da Elf woman is good at her job." Rokhan said, his weapon taking off the head of a Dark Horde tauren who had gotten too close. Saurfang merely grunted, his weapon flashing as he cut down a pair of orcs in front of him. "We keep dis up, we can force'em back to the city." Rokhan said, ducking as a flurry of arrows went past, the trolls and orcs it had struck crying out. "BASTARDS!" He roared, and laughed as the Dark Horde archers exploded under a mage spell. "Where are their commanders?" Saurfang asked, blocking a strike from an attacking troll and reversing the strike, taking his head.
On the human side of it, the Dark Horde had been taken by surprise by the rush and they were pushing that advantage; the cavalry forces pushing their advantage, the long lances and spears driving the Dark Horde back. Bolvar continued to fight, trying to break the line and seclude certain sections of there enemies. "Down!" Came a sudden cry, and the humans hit the deck as arrows rained down onto their enemies, the hippogryph riders starting to circle back for a second strike, only to be forced to scatter as several dragons attempted to drop down on them from above, the riders peppering the Human forces with dark magic as the Warlocks and magi on the back of the beasts let loose their destructive energy.
After the pass from the dragons, Bolvar was on his feet quickly and hollered for medics as those still on horseback charged the Dark Horde, trying to buy time for the injured. Bolvar was dragging a soldier back towards the healers when a scream went up from the left flank. He looked up and swore loudly as half a dozen Forsaken catapults were seen approaching. "BLIGHT!" He roared, calling on the Light to help the cry echo.
The Dark Horde began to pull back in an ordered retreat, trying to keep space between them and the catapults. There was a low rumble sound from them, a sound like a laugh, as the Alliance and Horde tried to do the same. There was the sound of a catapult firing, and they watched as a barrel flew towards the human forces... only to be blown out of the air by a blast of fire. There was a new roar and looking skywards, the allies let loose a ragged cheer as a flight of Dragons; Reds, Greens and Blues were seen, heading for the catapults.
The voice of Shadowsong echoed, and the Night Elf forces, held in reserve till now, charged forward, the siege engines and batalistas rumbling along, letting loose there own strikes, the Dark Horde's orderly retreat turned into a rout.
The rout continued, the Horde and Alliance forces continuing to push back the Dark Horde and their dragon allies. The black spires of Orgrimmar were visible in the distance, and a roar built up among the forces as the Calvary; horses, raptors, wolves and night sabers continue to score heavy hits on the foot soldiers of the Dark Horde, the more important members; the commanders and magi having gotten onto the dragons and were flying back to their city.
"Commander Fordragon, word from the navy." One of the scouts said, riding his horse close to Bolvar who looked over at him. "And?" He asked, taking the scroll and reading it quickly. "Excellent, sound the horns and let them know that we have reinforcements coming." He told his bugler who nodded, and raised the instrument to his lips and sounded the charge.
Sentinel General Shadowsong and her forces were at the rear of the Alliance and Horde armies again, protecting the siege weapons as they began to get left behind by the riders. She grinned behind her helmet as she looked at one of the wagons in the middle, then looked around for her second in command. Spotting the young woman, she called her over and leaned towards her.
"Ready the Priestess weapon; once we have an opening, we'll use it and wipe out the Dark Horde once and for all.
" She said quietly, and the other Night Elf grinned at her.
"And if some of our allies happen to be caught in it?"
She asked, and Shadowsong merely shook her head.
"If that happens, it happens."
Shadowsong answered, the two Elves chuckling quietly to themselves.
"So, Varok, we reclaim the city soon for da Warchief, exciting ain't it?" Rohkan asked, looking over at the grizzled orc who grunted, his eyes locked on the retreating edge of their enemies. "Yes, but can we claim it with a less bloodshed then we have already had?" Saurfang answered and the troll shrugged. "Least we'll have more help; Vol'jin and Rexx should be arriving soon to help us take the city, and the Alliance navy forces from Gilneas, Stormgarde, and Durnholde will help too." He said, patting his mount as it snorted as a group of elf riders went past. "Think we can trust them." Rohkan asked, and Saurfang shook his head.
Above the forces, the members of the Green, Red, and Blue flights continued their attack on the dragons of the Destroyer's forces, driving them back towards the city as well. From their vantage point above, they could see the ships at sea approaching from Orgrimmar's east, with a larger force of Alliance and Horde forces coming from the west from the Barrens and Ashenvale.
The forces had almost reached Orgrimmar, the black city's gates opening wide for the retreating army, and the cannons on top of the wall began firing, the Alliance and Horde forces forced to split and separate to avoid the attack.
Battle for Hyjal:
The forces of the Cenarion circle and the Horde and Alliance gathered within the Firelands, preparing for the final strike against the Elemental Lord Ragnaros and his elementals and Twilight Hammer cultists. The Guardians of Hyjal were arrayed among the the allies, and at the fore, were the Ancients who had been revived over the years, as well as the Night Elf Ancients of War, the massive tree beings standing ready.
The leader of the force, Archdruid Broll Bearmantle, looked over the lines, and then let his gaze drift towards the rear, where a simple wagon sat, with a large sapling in it's bed. He nodded once and raised his arm, the speeches and words of encouragement already delivered, and lowered his arm. A battle roar ripped from the throats of the allies, and they charged forward, the mounted forces and the Ancients quickly moving ahead of the others. Above them, the Green Dragonflight soared, the massive beasts letting loose their own battle cries as they streaked towards the ruins of the World Tree and the destroyed Well.
From the center of the crater that had been the Well, a massive form rose up, it's body encircled by flame and carrying a massive weapon.
"Mortals! You bring your own doom!"
Ragnaros roared as he swung his hand, and balls of fire dropped from the sky, landing with massive impact craters, and from within them, boiled out dozens of fire elementals. Behind these waves came the Twilight Hammer forces; mounted on twisted versions of sabers and wolves, while above Twilight and Black drakes swooped towards the Greens.
The two forces slammed into one another, and the sounds of battle echoed through the valleys. One of the Ancients, roaring gibberish, tore into a group of Fire elementals, crushing them beneath it's feet and fist, as they in turn set it ablaze. The tree roared once as it fell, slamming into a group of Twilight Hammer cultists and wiping them out.
In the skies, the dragons clashed, with the breath weapons of the three flights dropping into the mass of mortals, elementals and creatures below, killing many. There was also the danger of falling dragon bodies, which, like the Ancient, caused as much damage dead as alive.
On the ground, the druids moved swiftly through the forces, healing where they could as they continued on towards the crater and Ragnaros. At the front of the lines, the larger Guardian of Hyjal druids tore and ripped through the lesser elementals and the cultists that ended up in their way. "Where are they?" A druid asked Broll, looking over at the Archdruid who shook his head. "They will arrive when it's time." He answered simply, his hand snapping out as a group of roots erupted upwards and wrapped around a cultist, tearing him to shreds.
"Why is he just watching?" A sentinel asked, looking up at the towering figure of the Elemental Lord, and Shandris smacked her lightly on the back of the head. "Pay attention Sentinel." She ordered, as the Sentinel Army forces that had traveled with the Druids struck, crashing into a line of Twilight Cultists and driving them backwards, the massive bladed glaives flying as they mowed them down. The General looked around, seeing the other Alliance forces; the Worgen and Draenei holding their own as they kept the main enemy forces off the Druids still striking forward. She let loose a war cry and continued on, buying them the time they needed.
"Dis be nuts." One of the Trolls muttered, his blades a blur as he struck. "Perhaps, but keep fighting." The Tauren beside him said, swinging a large mace and bashing aside a Fire Elemental. The Horde forces continued their own push from the west side of the army, the orcs, taurens and trolls who had joined the force fighting with the same savageness as their Druid allies. They could dimly see Arch Druid Hamuul Runetotem with the others, and exchanged a look. "Hope this works." The tauren said and the troll nodded.
The main group of Druids were drawing closer to the ruins of the lake, and the Archdruids looked at one another. "It's time." Hamuul said and Broll nodded, raising a large horn to his lips. The Night Elf druid blew into it, and the sound echoed across the area, causing a moment of silence from the armed forces. Ragnaros laughed as he leaned forward to look down at the attackers.
"This was your big plan? To blow a horn at me? How...."
The Elemental Lord trailed off as sound began; a deep low thrum, gathering in strength as it went. The Lord of Fire looked to the north, and the lights that were it's eyes seemed to suddenly change and flicker... almost with fear.
From the north came a wave of figures; nearly all four legged with humanoid torsos; the Sons and Daughters of Cenarius, and the last defenders of the mountain. With them came others; the Fey Dragons and treants, the larger more intelligent beasts of the forest, and the furbolgs of Hyjal, finally coming out of hiding to the signal. Above these though, walked the Elders reborn from the spell the Druids had cast before beginning the assault. At the fore was Malorne, and at his side walked his son... the reborn Cenarius.
"The Battle ends now."
The voice of Cenarius echoed across the battlefield, and the cheer from the attackers rose as the reinforcements struck. "Now!" Broll roared, and the Druids began the spell, working together as Malorne charged across the battlefield and struck Ragnaros, the two titanic figures crashing out of the crater. There was the sound of a massive roar and Ysera landed beside the Stag, helping him fight back against the Fire Lord, the Elemental Lord still off balance by the arrival of the reborn Elders.
Where is my student?"
Cenarius asked Broll as he stopped beside the Archdruid, his children forming a circle around the spell casting druids. "He perished years ago Shan'do." Broll answered, and looked at the ruins of the Well. "He died trying to stop Fire Lord 20 years ago." He told the Demi-god who closed his eyes, then nodded.
"Then, while my parents deal with the Killer, we'll finish the spell and end this."
He said and strode into the crater, the others following with the wagon. "Plant the sapling in the center of the lake." He said, and several of the druids scrambled to do so.
There was a screech of pain, and they stopped for a moment to look up and see the three still fighting, though Ysera had a large burn along her flank.
"Stay focused, do not let the battle distract you!"
Cenarius ordered, wincing as he felt the combatants around them perish, knowing they needed to finish the fight before it was too late. "The sapling is in place Cenarius." The druids said, running back to them.
"Then, let it begin!"
Cenarius cried, raising his arms above his head, and the druids followed his lead, sending their energy into the Ancient who then focused his powers and cast them into the sapling. The tree glowed with life, then began to grow upwards, spreading out to fill the ruins of the Well as it went; and from the edge of the lake, new growth began to spread across the valley.
There was another bellow of pain, and Cenarius looked up as Malorne crashed into the ground, and Ysera followed him.
"NO! THESE ARE MY LANDS NOW!"
Ragnaros roared in rage and moved towards the Tree, which had already reached a 100 feet. Cenarius smiled slightly as the Elemental Lord touched the tree..... and for a moment, everything went silent.
Then with a scream of rage and anger, Ragnaros jerked backwards frantically, trying to escape the tree as hundreds of branches and vines erupted of the tree and wrapped tightly around him.
"Your power decimated this land Lord of Fire, it's only fair you give it more power to be reborn.
" Cenarius laughed, as all across the battlefield, the grass and plants erupted upwards and consumed the fire elementals and wrapped tightly around the Twilight Hammer Cultists, dragging them underground.
Ragnaros continued to fight, growing frantic as he couldn't free himself and dropped his mace.
"NO! NO! NOOOOOOOOO!"
He roared as the Elemental Lord of Fire was drawn into the Tree with one final shriek of pure fright. Cenarius smiled again as he looked across the battlefield; those of the Elemental Lord forces who hadn't been captured or killed by the plants or the army were now fleeing, trying to escape as the Alliance and Horde pursued them.
"Did... did we win?" Broll asked in a shaken voice, and Cenarius gently patted him on the shoulder.
"It will take time to seal the portal into the Firelands, but we have defeated the Fire Lord student... and you did a great work with your allies, bringing us back to this world. Thank you."
Cenarius smiled down at him and the Archdruid nodded, then looked towards the forces. "We're not done yet; Hyjal might have been freed, but there are still more locations out there to free from Deathwing." He said, and moved off towards the other commanders.
Battle for Deepholme:
The forces of the Horde and Alliance had made landfall within the Earth realm; the 6 Skybreaker class vessels and the 4 Orgrim Hammers having struck first to drive the forces of the Twilight Dragons who were Deathwing's first line of defense out of the area so the vessels could land and set up the main camps for the assault on the Central Tower, where the Shamans said the Calling was coming from.
Anduin and his forces had been the first off the ship, the King of Stormwind giving orders rapid fire to get ships ready. He looked at the large crystal like castle in the distance and shook his head. "We should have just bombed the damn thing into nothingness." He muttered and heard a low chuckle from behind him. He turned and saw the blind Nobundo walking towards him. "Perhaps your Highness, but if we did that, our world would still suffer from the Planes over lapping the Mortal world." The Broken said, and turned his own sightless gaze towards the tower. "But, she called us here, and we need to free her." Nobundo said and Anduin shook his head at that. "Voices in the night and dreams; I can see why Father had some problems with magic." He muttered, and raised his voice to let his soldiers know to get into position, and to help the dwarves with unloading their tanks and siege engines.
Over by the Orgrim Hammer, Thrall and his own advisers had left the airship. The Warchief looked around the darkened realm and drew the Doomhammer off his back. "Get our ships unloaded quickly, and prepare to attack. The longer we wait, the greater chance of the Twilights returning en mass, and we don't want to let the Hammer Cultists attack us before we are ready." He said, and his men nodded, moving off quickly. Vol'jin watched them go and looked over at Thrall. "Let's hope this goes as planned; there are a lot of Twilights there after all." He said, his own weapon in hand. "If it does, I'll be surprised." Thrall said, looking over as the magi on both factions set up the portals to the main camps to get their forces through.
It took an hour for the permanent camp to be set up, and the forces began moving through. There was tension in both camps, but that was due to where they were. Anduin paced over to Thrall after a while, Nobundo following along, a serene expression on his lined face. "Warchief, we're ready to leave whenever your forces are ready." He called, and Thrall nodded, then bowed to Nobundo who bowed back. "Good to see you again Farseer, and good news as well your Highness. The Horde is ready to move out at a moments notice." He said, and the two started talking quickly, speaking about the forces. Nobundo stood apart, and looked around, his head tilted and his eyes narrowed. He moved off away from them, following a sound.
Nobundo walked out of the camp and looked around, then turned as the ground rumbled, and slowly a large figure rose up, looking down at him. "Took you long enough." Nobundo said with a grin, staring at the Earth Giant who nodded slightly, it's face merely a pair of holes for eyes and another for a mouth. The mouth opened and a low rumbling voice echoed out, sounding like an avalanche.
"We are here Farseer, just as our Lady promised. Now, do you fulfill the promise of the Shamans?
" It asked, and Nobundo nodded, looking towards the camp. "We're ready to strike at the Cultists now, and break the hold Deathwing has on the Plane." He answered and the Rock Elemental nodded as more of it's kind began rising out of the ground. "
Good, She has been waiting a long time for freedom."
The Giant said, and the group moved off towards the others, to let them know the attack would be taking place with more reinforcements then they had guessed.
With the addition of the Elemental forces, the assaulting army had gained a distinct advantage. The Giants strode alongside the tanks and siege engines as they rumbled forward, the earth creatures carrying clubs of stone. The lighter wolf and horse cavalry moved swiftly in front, while the 10 airships flew overhead, with smaller gnome and goblin flying machines acting as their escorts.
"There coming." Thrall said suddenly, and Nobundo grunted as both shamans looked skywards. Anduin nodded at the bugler beside them, and the young man blew several short blasts that echoed. Instantly the forces were on the high alert, and they saw the first of the Twilight Dragons swooping downwards towards the Breakers and Hammers. Thrall and Nobundo raised their hands, and called on the Air, sending it upwards and slamming into the Dragons buffeting them and sending them reeling. One of the dragons fell in front of a Hammer, and the main cannon fired, the blast reducing the reptile to nothing but bone fragments. Anduin let loose a whoop as the armies continued forwards.
"Nicely done Warchief." Nobundo said, and there was a roar from the west flank of the army. Looking that way quickly, the leaders saw a massive serpentine form rise up the ground and strike at a slow moving pair of humans and orcs, consuming both the riders and their mounts. With twin roars, a pair of the Rock Giants attacked the Earth Dragon, clubbing the beast and reducing it to a smear on the landscape. "Keep moving!" Anduin and Thrall roared, the orc shaman helping there words reach the soldiers. From above, another dragon cried out as the upper guns of one of the Breakers ripped into the beast.
"This is too easy." Thrall murmured, looking around and reaching out with his senses. He swore as he sensed movement below the ground. "Nobundo!" He cried and the Farseer reacted quickly, swinging a hand towards an area with several of the Siege Engines. The machines were moved on a wave of earth, just as another pair of Earth Dragons erupted out of the ground, hissing and snarling as their meal was moved out of reach. The two creatures were quickly pulled out of the earth by the Rock Giants and torn apart.
"This is all to weaken us! Keep moving!" Anduin cried, and the armies continued forward, soon leaving the airships behind as they continued to fight against the Twilight Dragons in the sky. The ground forces increased their speed, the mounts straining to keep up with the giants and vehicles as they rushed towards the Crystal Tower. The human king watched as the shamans who had come with the forces went from their mounts to the holding onto the tanks and siege engines, to stay with them and protect them as they would be needed to take down the walls of the Tower so they could enter. "Farseer, can you sense anything ahead of us?" Anduin asked and Nobundo shook his head. "Too much interference here." He answered, making the human king swear. "Blast it, was hoping for better news then that." Anduin murmured.
The army reached the edge of the Crystal Tower, a little ragged but still more or less intact; they had been attacked several times by the creatures of Deepholme, and had suffered some losses. Anduin looked at the other leaders with him, and nodded, seeing no weakness or regret there. "Well, we're here now... so does this mean we start the second part of your plan?" Anduin asked, looking at Thrall and Nobundo who exchanged a glance. "Yes; you and Vol'jin will lead the forces here to hold the Walls and keep most of the Cultists busy while the shamans free Her from the prison that Deathwing created for Her." Thrall answered, and looked at the troll leader who stretched and grinned at them all. "Bout time, been bored." Vol'jin said with a chuckle and headed off towards his forces, the troll chieftain calling out to them as he went.
"Good luck my friends; and come back safe. If you die in there Thrall, Garona will take it out of my hide, you know that." Anduin said, clasping the Warchief's hand. "Keep him safe Farseer." Anduin asked of Nobundo who nodded, clapping the human king on his shoulder. "If he lets me." The Broken answered, lifting up his weapon and moving away from them. Anduin saluted them both, then ran off towards the mortar teams to give them their orders. Thrall watched him go and said a prayer to the Spirits before following after Nobundo.
The group of invaders for the tower stood ready, double checking their gear and weapons as Nobundo and Thrall arrived; there were shamans of all the races there, all looking serious as they knew what was needed. They turned to watch as the siege engines moved forward and began to fire, the cannons barking as they sent explosive rounds into the walls of the Tower, cracks appearing and beginning to spread. The second and third barrage was fired, and the infiltration group could hear sounds now, and saw a tide of black streaming out of the front of the Tower. "There's the Cultists." Thrall murmured, and they saw an answering tide of their own forces striking at them. "And the defenders." Nobundo said, as with a sudden crash, a hole was blown into the wall.
"Forward!" Thrall roared, and the shamans charged into the opening, and into madness on the other side as Twilight Hammer Cultists attacked.
"FOR AZEROTH!" Anduin roared as his forces attacked and tried to draw out as much of the Twilight Hammer Cultists as possible from the Tower to make it easier on the shamans who were striking. The human king heard roars and turned as more of the Earth Dragons rose up from the ground, and were engaging the Rock Giants. Some of the massive Elemental creatures were falling, but for those that did, more rose up from the Earth to replace them.
The King turned his attention back to the battle, and saw a pair of the Dwarf Tanks roll over a clump of cultists, the sounds of their bones breaking loud even with the clashing of weapons. "Magi! Fire!" He roared, and his mages let loose a blast of fire into the Cultists ranks, sending bodies flying as the spells exploded underneath them.
"Go quickly my friends." Anduin murmured as he joined his men, fighting at their sides against a new tide of Cultists.
Vol'jin and the Horde forces were doing the same as the Alliance, keeping the Cultists busy and drawing them out. The Shadowhunter was a blur as he spun and whirled, his spear and blades flashing in the weak light that lit up the plane.
"No surrender, just put'em down!" He yelled at the top of his voice, and cursed inwardly, wishing they had shamans and druids with them fighting, but both groups had been given more important jobs; the druids to Hyjal, and his Shamans were currently striking inwards at the Tower.
"We be the Darkspear! The proud people! We ain't gonna die to no damn doombringers!" Vol'jin roared, and his chant was picked up by his people, and other other Horde forces as the battle raged on... and still more Cultists came out from the main gates of the Crystal Tower.
Thrall, Nobundo and the other Shamans had survived the first assault of the Cultists who had been waiting for them on the other side of Wall, and were now pressing deeper into the Tower, heading downwards, following the sound of the voice that had been in their dreams for months.
"Heal the wounded and lets keeping going." Thrall's voice was a little harsh, but the Warchief wanted to get this mission over with as many of the shamans alive as possible. Nobundo could hear the urgency in the voice of the orc leader and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Calm yourself Warchief, rushing get's us no where but a quick grave." The Broken said quietly, and the group continued on down a corridor, heading for stairs which lead deeper into the dark.
Nobundo wasn't sure what was going through the mind of Thrall, but he knew in his own that this might be his last battle... and he would welcome it if needed. The Broken had lived for a long time, and was ready to find the end of his life, but he wouldn't go quietly if he was meant to die here, and do everything possible to keep the others alive if he could.
The group ran into another squad of Twilights and had a quick and brutal battle... which left two of the shamans, a dwarf and a tauren, dead on the ground. There was a few moments of talk among them, and the group burned the bodies, not wanting to leave them there to be resurrected by the Cultists. Thrall felt rage rising inside of him at the senseless deaths, and Nobundo some grief at the needless death.
The group finally reached the bottom of the Tower, and stepped out into a massive cavern, with the ceiling not visible in the gloom above them. There was the sound of something large moving in the center of the room, and the group slowed. They heard the sound of an intake of breath and then a voice spoke.
"Welcome Warriors, I knew you would help me eventually."
The Elemental Lady of Earth, Therazane spoke as she raised her head to stare down at them. The Lady moved slowly, and the shamans could see massive chains and manacles around her arms and legs, with a large collar like one around her neck.
"Move quickly. We have to break her out." Nobundo said, moving forward to where one of the chains were bolted to the ground. The other shamans spread out and got to work, working quickly. Nobundo called on Fire and got to work, weakening the links where they were bolted to the earth.
As the first chain shattered and was pulled free, Therazane sighed in relief and shifted, standing straighter. "
Quickly my friends, my children and your allies are holding out, but the sooner I am free, the better for all."
She said quietly, and the shamans froze as a mocking laughter was heard.
One voice said, and another continued on.
"That won't be happening now."
A flash of light flared from the entrance the infiltrators had entered the room, and a massive form stomped towards them, a pair of heads looking down at the mortals.
"So, they try to free."
Cho said, and Gall finished.
"The Mother of Earth. Instead they came." "To die."
Cho'gall said, both heads speaking.
"Keep freeing her." Nobundo spoke, standing and striding towards the Old God Mouth piece, his weapon in his hand. Thrall took a step forward and stopped as the Earth in front of him rose up. "No Thrall, this is my fight." Nobundo said, looking back at them, then up at the Ogre Magi who started to laugh... and was cut off as Nobundo slammed a force of pure hardened air into his chest.
"Quickly." Thrall said harshly, and the shamans worked frantically to free Therazane. On the other side of the wall of Earth, Nobundo continued his battle against Cho'gall, the ogre magi trying to crush the Broken under his fists, and casting spells that blistered and tore at the area around him. "Your the big threat we've been so afraid?" Nobundo asked tauntingly, and swung his hammer, striking the ogre magi hard in his knee and sending him crashing down. "I should be more afraid of your stench!" The old shaman laughed as the earth sucked at Cho'gall, trying to pull him downwards.
"MISERABLE OLD MORTAL!
" Cho'gall roared, both voices speaking as he heaved himself upwards, his hands aflame as he charged towards him. "Death comes to all of us, whether we expect it or not." Nobundo said, more to himself as he charged Cho'gall.
The last chain was broken and Therazane stood free. As one, the Shamans charged towards the wall of earth, it suddenly collapsed, and they slowed, staring in shock at the sight of Nobundo's broken and shattered body hanging from Cho'gall's hand. He laughed as he tossed the body at them, several of the Draenei shamans catching it before it hit the ground.
"Pathetic; if that's the best.."
Cho trailed off, his eye widening as Therazane stomped toward him, the floor shaking with each step.
"You killed one of those under my protection beast. Let's see how you like being sealed within a prison."
She growled and pointed at Cho'gall who howled as stone chains erupted from the ground and wrapped around him, dragging the Ogre Magi into the ground. The shamans exchanged a look as Therazane stepped into the wall. "To the surface, quickly!" Thrall said, and the group charged for the stairs.
Anduin was panting as he stood there, his body bloodied and bruised, staring in shock as more Cultists streamed out of the Tower. "Dis be bad mon." Vol'jin said, wrapping his arm where from the elbow down was missing. "Damn that hurts." He said, hissing in pain. "I think we're dead if they failed Vol'jin." Anduin said, raising his sword as he prepared to fight again.
There was a sudden rumble and a crack opened, separating the two attacking forces. From within the valley rose a massive form, and the attacking forces cried out in fear.... till her face was visible, the Earth Elemental Lady smiling at them, then turned a look of hatred on the Cultists.
For 20 years your Master kept me captured and chained!"
She roared and more of the earth chains rose upwards.
"20 years my powers were misused and tortured from me!"
She howled, stomping towards them. The Alliance and Horde forces saw the shamans stream from the hole in the Wall, Thrall at the lead. "Where's Nobundo?" Anduin asked, looking for the old Broken. "Der mon." Vol'jin said sadly, pointing at two Draenei carrying the Broken.
"NO MORE! MY REALM DOES NOT BELONG IN THE MORTAL PLANES!"
Therazane screeched, pointing at the Crystal Tower which began to shake and quake.
She screamed and the Cultists cried out as the chains pulled them into the Tower... which then collapsed onto them, slowly disappearing into the Earth. She turned to look at the mortals who were left and her face fell at the fear there.
"Return to your ships and leave quickly Mortals; I'll be casting the spells to seal the Elemental Portals and return them to the Plains."
She told them, and walked away, sinking into the earth.
Thrall and Anduin exchanged a look and gathered the armies, heading back towards where the airships had been.
Battle for Grim Batol and the End of Deathwing.
It was one week after the defeat of Ragnaros and the freeing of Therazane, and the combined army of the Horde and Alliance were preparing for the final strike against Grim Batol, camped on the plains of the Wetlands. The races mingled with each other as the weapons, supplies and siege vehicles were checked and double checked to make sure they were ready to go and wouldn't break down at the wrong time.
The skies above the army were full with the aerial forces; dragons, airships, gryphons, wyverns, bats, and others. There were five different flights in the sky; the Reds, the Blues, the Greens, the Bronze and the Nether dragons, the semi-transparent dragons having come through the portal to support the end of the Destroyer and free themselves of any taint due to being off-shoots of the Black flight. Only a few knew that the Nether dragons were also there to free their captured kindred, as well as destroying every Twilight flight member they ran into.
At the center of the army was a large tent, protected by spell wards and guarded by several dozen bodyguards of all the races. Within it, the leaders of the races were in deep discussion as they prepared for the final push. Anduin Wrynn looked around the tent as he listened to Archmagi Proudmoore and Sunreaver deciding how the Sunreavers and Silver Covenant mages would be split up. In the center of the tent, Thrall Baine and Prince Liam discussed how best send forces forward to scout, the worgen prince making a case for his own wolf-men to do that, as they would be swifter then Tauren scouts on foot, or Orc ones on wolf back.
In one corner of the tent, Tharan, standing in place for King Magni, was explaining how a piece of Dark Iron tech worked to an interested High Tinker and the Bilgewater Prince. The king of Stormwind let his gaze wander, and saw Chief Vol'jin, his arm regrown from the damage taken during the battle for Deepholme, talking quietly to Sentinel General Shadowsong, the imposing woman nodding once or twice as she agreed with what the troll was saying. In another corner, Lady Liadrin was in a hushed conversation with the Blightcaller, and behind the two, were the Forsaken General and the twin Blood elf ones who had been part of the successful reclaiming of Lordaeron.
In the last corner, Warlord Thura was speaking to chieftain of the Dragonmaw clan, and Falstad Wildhammer, confirming where their aerial forces would be in the conflict. "King Wrynn." Jaina said quietly, placing a hand on his shoulder and the human shook his head, looking down at her. "Yes Jaina?" He asked, and she pointed at the tent flap which had drawn back, and a slim figure entered, walking towards the center of the room.
"Hello my friends." Med'an said, stopping at the map table and looking down at it. "Good to see everyone alive and well, and ready for what is to come." The Guardian spoke, his eyes roving over the map as he noted the positions. "Good to see you as well Med'an." Thrall said, clasping the others hand with a smile. "We were worried, no one has heard anything from you for a long while." He said and Med'an nodded, looking around the room.
"Sorry for the disappearing act... but it was needed; I was hunting down a few threats that could have stopped us from succeeding here." He said, then shook his head. "But that's not for here or now. We need to move soon, as Deathwing is ready for us." The Guardian told the others who nodded, standing and coming over to look at the map.
"The main forces of the Destroyer are here." Med'an said, pointing at the front gates and making a mark on the map. "That's where the bulk of our own warriors will be, keeping them busy. But, as we scouted, we found 3 other entrances into the mountain." He said, marking those locations and looked at the leaders. "I'm not sure how you want to split them up, but after checking, there were no visible traps." He admitted and stood back, letting the others say what they were going to do.
"The tunnels under the mountain would be best for our forces." Tharan said, indicating the High Tinker and the Prince, the goblin grinning toothily as he nodded, his ears flapping. "Yeah, send us in there and we'll blow the mountain up from below." The goblin said with a laugh, and the gnome sighed but shrugged. "My green-skinned friend is right; we're the best choices here as we are the most used to being underground."
"Our forces will strike from the western side." Lady Liadrin said, pointing at the far side of the fortress on the map. "There is still sufficient tree cover there for us to utilize our full skills." She said, pointing at her fellow elves and the troll as they all nodded agreement. "Nothin' like a bit of a forest walk." Vol'jin said, a grin on his face as he stood up.
"Then the front gate strike force should probably end up being the Taurens, the Orcs, The humans, the Worgens and the Forsaken." Baine said, and nods from those around him agreed. "We can cause the most distraction while the others head inwards to deal with them." Anduin said, already thinking of how he would send his troops out.
"The dragons and the aerial fighters will strike from above, keeping them busy." A young looking half-elf said, and they looked over at the consort of the Blue Flight as Kalec moved forward. "The Flights already agreed, but once the mountain is open, the Nether dragons intend to enter and free their captive brethren... or at least, retrieve the bodies." He said quietly and left the tent. There was the sound of large wings and the tent shook.
"Then, let's get ready shall we?" Med'an said and stepped out of the tent, followed by the archmages behind him. "May Elune light your paths." General Shadowsong said, and followed the other elves as they left the tent. "Come on lads, let get our people ready." Tharan said, and left the tent, the goblin and gnome leaders following. The only ones left were Thrall, Baine, Prince Liam, Anduin and Nathanos. The forsaken leader looked at the other leaders and laid his bony hand down on the map table. "I know we are still untrusted, but my people will lay down their lives to help defeat the Destroyer. I hope to expect the same from our allies." He said and left the tent, his general following him.
"I hope we don't end up with problems... last thing we need to do is to fight with our allies." Baine said, taking a puff on his pipe as he looked at the other leaders then left. "I just hope Med'an's final plan works." Liam muttered and excused himself, leaving the tent. "Warchief, I'll go and check over our forces." Thura said, and left as well, leaving Anduin and Thrall in the tent alone.
"I can't believe it's finally almost over." Anduin said, and shook his head as he laughed humourlessly. "Finally, I can avenge my father." He said and Thrall placed a hand on the human's shoulder. "We'll put the Dragon down, and all those who fell to his forces will finally be able to rest in peace." Thrall said, and the last two leaders left the tent.
One Hour Later:
The battle had started shortly after the tent had been emptied. The front gate force had struck hard and fast, opening with a barrage of weapons from the siege weapons, and bursting the gate doors off their hinges, surprising those behind it, and the army had surged forward, the first line tearing into the Destroyer forces waiting on the other side.
The original wedge of forces had been a group of Tauren, who split apart once they were through, allowing the mounted fighters behind them to stream into the front lines of Twilight Hammer cultists waiting for them. The battles there turned bloody in a short time, the worgen warriors and fighters seen leaping above the rest and landing behind the lines, pinching them against the forces coming up from behind.
The leaders fought near the front, Thrall calling on the elements to assist the attackers, sending waves of earth rolling under the cultists and upsetting them off their feet, leaving them vulnerable to attacks. Anduin fought near Liam, the two leaders cutting into the attacking forces with vigor. From the back ranks of the archers, Blightcaller and his fellow Dark Rangers rained showers of arrows into the Cultists, slaughtering them by the dozens. Baine and his fellow Tauren forces continued to tear through the forces, driving them backwards.
Hopefully the others are having as much success as we are. Baine though, his sword cutting a human cultist almost in half.
The group of the dwarves, gnomes and goblins continued on through the tunnels deep beneath the Batol, stopping every hundred meters to set up bombs and explosives... mainly gnomish devices instead of the goblin ones. At the front of the column, Tharan and his dwarf forces; a mixture of Ironforge, Dark Iron and Iron and Steel dwarves, forged ahead, cutting down any and all who got in there way.
The Prince of Ironforge grinned to himself as he wiped his axe clean of the blood of the dwarf cultist that had gotten in his way. "We should only have to seed another few hundred meters then we can burrow upwards and take the Batol from within." He said, and heard chuckles from the dwarves around him. The gnomes and goblins exchanged looks at that comment, worry crossing their faces.
"Wait.. what..." One of the gnomes said and looked upwards, then dove to the side as a large muscular form slammed into the ground where it had been. "Skardyn!" Tharan roared, as more of the mutated dwarves landed among them, and attacked, the tunnel becoming a brawl as the dwarves attacked their cousins, and the goblins and gnomes swarmed the larger attackers.
"Keep going!" Tharan roared at the top of his lungs, and the battle went from a brawl to a running smash, the allied forces trying to complete their mission while more Skardyn continued to swarm out of other tunnels and even through the ceiling and floor in some cases. "Don't stop for the dead! We'll get them on the way back!" The High Tinker called at his fellow gnomes, his steam pistol firing as he took aim and let loose at a Skardyn who had just come through the wall at him.
"At least we know there are tunnels upwards!" The Prince called out, punching in the face of a Skardyn with one of his enhanced arms, cackling madly as the creature dropped like a sack of stones. The force continued on, stopping to rig up more detonators as they went.
On the western side of the battle field, the elvish and troll forces struck hard and fast; the hippogryph, dragonhawk and bat fliers skimming the top of the trees as they fired upwards at the attacking drakes and dragons of the Black and Twilight flights, while below the trees, the elves charged forward, cutting down any cultists they found in the forest.
"Hey mon! This be just like home!" A troll laughed as he bounded through the trees and dropped downwards, crushing an elvish cultist into the ground and leaped back upwards into the tree, still laughing as he went. One of the Night elves took aim, but her fellow sentinel stopped her and shook her head. "It's a troll, you can't expect civilized behavior from them." She sneered and the two moved forward, their night sabers roaring as they went.
In the center of the column of elvish forces, Liadrin and her generals called orders up and down the line, keeping their soldiers moving and keeping pace with the Night Elf sentinels who communicated silently. The Blood Elf looked at the Sentinel General beside her and sighed. "Shadowsong, we're almost to the drop off point to head downwards to strike at the Batol. Ready your soldiers!" She said, and couldn't see the grimace of hate that the other woman flashed at her behind her helm. "As you say Lady." Was all she said, her voice emotionless.
After ten minutes of hard riding, the army came to the edge of the cliff, and the trolls went over the edge, scaling downwards nimbly with their hands and feet, some climbing head first as they went, savage grins on their faces. Behind them came the elf forces, repelling down on thick ropes and getting rides from the aerial forces. The dragons continued to try to pick them off the side of the mountain, but those in the air kept them back, and for every behemoth that fell, a cheer went up from the attackers.
Once at the bottom of the cliff, the elvish forces charged for the gun placements on the top of the walls and over powered the cultists there, throwing them over the edge to plummet to their deaths before taking over the weapons and aiming them skywards to assist their own fliers against the larger Blacks and Twilights.
"Vol'jin, Shandris, Generals; head inwards and free the prisoners as planned!" Liadrin called as she moved towards the temporary headquarters in the main tower near the gun placements. Shadowsong followed her, her weapons held ready.
With whoops and cheers, the assault group charged into the keep, heading towards the prisons where more members of the Horde and Alliance were kept locked up.
In the skies above Grim Batol, the Dragon Flights battled against the Twilights and the Blacks. The three Aspects there; Alexstraza, Ysera and Tyrigosa caused the most damage, as the three largest of the dragons. Alongside them fought the three consorts and Anachronos of the Bronze flight, the Timeless one not able to arrive due to other problems he had sensed.
The Nether dragons also battled against their 'cousins', the transparent dragons and drakes letting loose blasts of magic into them, and driving downwards into the breath weapons of the other dragons. Flying around them were the Wildhammers and Dragonmaws, the two ex-enemies fighting together to bring down the larger threats.
Those who battled on the ground had to watch out for the dropping bodies of dragons and leaking from their breath weapons which caused just as much damage as on the ground as they did in the air. "
Why hasn't he taken the field yet?"
Tyrigosa asked as she loose a blast of frost which coated a Black and dropped the dragon to the ground where it shattered on impact, the new aspect of Magic looking at her handy work with a smirk.
He's probably timing it when we are 'weak'.
" Ysera sneered, her eyes open as she struck a Twilight dragon down, the beast roaring in agony as she flayed it's mind with nightmares. Alexstraza turned her head and let loose a blast of flame and put the creature out of it's misery.
"Do not cause suffering sister, just put them down and finish this."
She said, healing a passing Nether Dragon of a wound on it's side.
There was a sudden explosion, and the Aspects looked down as a portion of the mountain erupted outwards, a section of the wall collapsing and exposing a hole into the Batol.
Neltharaku, leader of the Netherwing's roared, and his flight members dove downwards, entering into the Batol.
Alexstraza murmured, as another rumble was heard and the three aspects turned again, as Deathwing erupted out of the mountain, roaring in rage and anger.
"So, you've finally found the courage."
Deathwing hissed as he looked around at the attacking army and laughed.
"This is what you bring to fight me; pathetic mortals and your weak flights?"
He chuckled and grabbed hold of a blue who flew too close to him, and tore the wings from the beast, letting it drop to it's death still laughing as he turned to face them.
"Well, let's hear it; the speeches, the words, what have you, telling me how evil I am, how corrupted... how sad and lonely."
The Destroyer chuckled as he slowly flew towards the three Aspects, a grin on his face.
"All I have to say brother.. is this!"
Alexstraza roared as she let loose a blast of flame into Deathwing's face, causing the Earth Warder to roar as he jerked back in shock.
"This is from my Father!"
Tyrigosa howled, as she let loose a blast of pure ice, the great Black roaring again as a few of his plates shattered under the onslaught, his magma leaking through.
"And from the Dreams Destroyer.
" Ysera hissed as she let loose her own attack, the shock of the sudden strikes sending the Destroyer reeling back.
He slammed into the side of Grim Batol, the entire building shaking.
"You've lost Earth Warder, surrender!"
Anachronos roared as he dropped down onto the larger dragon and let loose a blast of his sand breath, more of the plates beginning to rust and fade under the attack.
Deathwing roared in rage and twisted, dumping Anachronos from his back and struck fast, his massive claw tearing out the throat of the Bronze who cried out as he dropped.
Howls of rage erupted around them as the Bronze dragons swarmed Deathwing, growling and roaring as they struck at him, pure hatred in their voices as they attacked. Deathwing roared back as he struck around him, his tail, wings and limbs striking at them, knocking dozens from the air as he clamped down on one with his jaws, breaking it's neck with a powerful shake.
"THIS IS E..."
Deathwing was cut off as the other flights swarmed him, and the three Aspects joined in as well, the combined power knocking the Earth Warder back again, slamming him into the ground.
"This is your time Guardian, strike quick!"
Alexstraza roared as she landed on top of Deathwing, helping the others hold him down.
Med'an stood up from where he had been seated, hearing the cry of the Queen of Life. The Guardian looked at the people arrayed behind him; members of all the races, and all the Schools of Magic they could find. "You recall what I said; merely focus your powers, and send them towards me, together, we will strike at the Destroyer for the good of all of Azeroth." He said, looking at the gathered shamans, druids, magi, priests, paladins, and those of the Council who had been able to arrive.
"No matter what, do not stop the spell. We have only one chance at this." Med'an told them and turned to face the Destroyer, still pinned by the dragons and the Aspects. He cleared his mind, and murmured the prayer his uncle had taught him as he raised his hands. "Begin!" He called, and felt the first of the tendrils of power enter into him, his hands steadily growing brighter as he took aim.
"This is for our World, our People! Your time is over Deathwing! No longer will we live in fear from you and yours!" Med'an roared, and the Destroyer's head whipped around to stare at him, and the dragon let loose a roar of rage as he heaved his body, knocking the other dragons off and leaped skyward.
"YOU! THE SO-CALLED GUARDIAN! BAH! YOUR NOTHING!"
Deathwing roared, the ground around them beginning to shake and vibrate as the Earth Warder drew power into himself. His maw opened wide and he let loose a blast of pure magma.
Med'an smiled grimly as he sent the energy he was receiving from the other spell casters and the blast struck the Earth Warder's, forcing it back from where it had come. Deathwing's eyes opened wide as he poured more energy into the attack, which Med'an responded by pushing harder, the blast continuing on towards the Destroyer's mouth.
"Your end is here Neltharion." Med'an said simply, as he felt new power flowing into him, and looking around, he saw the Aspects sharing their power with him. He grunted suddenly, feeling a quick burst of power from some of the magi, and closed his eyes, feeling their deaths as he continued his strike. "
" Deathwing roared as the Earth under him shifted and hands of stone reached up and wrapped tightly around his limbs, pulling him to the ground with a crash. Another stone hand reached up to Med'an, and the Guardian felt new energy enter into him. "Thank you Lady of the Earth." Med'an muttered as he forced more power into the spell, wincing as he felt more of those connected to him die.
With one final strike, he let loose the full blast of power, which ripped apart the magma attack and drove into Deathwing's mouth. The Destroyer let loose one last pain filled roar as the back of his head exploded outwards, and the spell vaporized the top half of his skull. The body of the Earth Warder stood there for a moment, then toppled over. There was a few moments of stunned silence.... then cheers went up all across the battlefield as Med'an collapsed.
In the aftermath of the battle of Grim Batol, and the death of Deathwing, the Horde and Alliance worked together to remove what was left of his influence from the Keep. The final death toll of the last battle is still unknown.... but of those who helped to cast the final spell against the Destroyer, 150 people perished in the spell. Those who survived felt that the Guardian had used them, and once he had regained consciousness, Med'an left the victory party within the camp. He has been missing since then, thought some have mentioned seeing the Guardian wandering the world.
After the fall of the Earth Warder, the Twilight flight scattered, disappearing across the globe. Where ever they are found, the dragons are destroyed on sight. The Blacks who survived the final battle were captured by the other Flights, and a suitable punishment was created; they were forced into mortal forms, and all memories of their previous lives were erased, leaving them to live as the lesser creatures they so hated... and having no memory of that old life.
Grim Batol itself was claimed by the Dwarves again, and all the clans; Wildhammer, Bronzebeard, Dark Iron and Frostborn, are working on repairing it and restoring it to it's former glory. All those of the Netherwing Flight who were found within the Keep were freed, and the Dragons have returned to Outland... except for a small group who decided to remain with the Dragonmaw Clan and help them regain their honour and lives back. Alexstraza merely smiled when asked if that should be allowed.
The Aspects themselves have returned to their lands, stating that they will help the mortal races if they encounter a grand threat but deciding for the most part to withdraw the Flights from the World for a time, to give the mortals a chance to grow. They hunt the Twilight flight wherever they can.
Two things occurred though, which put a pallor over the victory over Deathwing... domes of some strange energy appeared over the Twilight Highlands and Silithus, and only those who are part of the Twilight Hammer cult are allowed through. Anyone else who touches the domes dies horrible deaths.
As for the mortal races; King Anduin Wrynn returned home to Stormwind, but pledged to his fellow Northern allies that he would assist them in the rebuilding of the Seven Nations as soon as possible. The King met his match 6 months after the final battle... with one of his bodyguards, a lovely young woman from Kul Tiras; two years later, a pair of twins are the new heirs of Stormwind. In the north, Archmage Jaina Proudmoore is the official leader of the Dalaran City within Silverpine forest, which has been cleansed of the Forsaken taint, and is now livable again. Pyrewood village and Shadowfang Keep are the main locations for the magical city, while the Keep on Fenris Island is the home of the Archmagi herself. The Forest is the primary home of most of the High Elf population of Azeroth. Stromguarde is completely rebuilt, and Prince Galen continues to lead it, with his cousin assisting as needed; there are rumours that a royal wedding will be soon. Kul Tiras, under the command of Admiral Tandred Proudmoore, has once again joined the Alliance, and is a staunch defender of the Seven Nations. Hillsbrad is still under the gentle but firm hand of Sergeant, and is glad to hear how happy Thrall is. The country of Alterac has been reclaimed, and the last surviving member of the Pernolde family has stepped up to rule it, stating that he will return to the Alliance his great uncle betrayed. Lordaeron, and Capitol City are steadily being rebuilt, and it has been decided, as they cannot find a last living member of the Menethil line, that the lands will be ruled by a council of the Seven Nations.
The Dwarven race has undergone some changes since the end of the War with Deathwing. King Magni has stepped down, and his grandson, Tharan, has taken the throne and declared that any conflict between the Ironforge and Dark Irons will result in quick and decisive action... which could end up with people dead. Muradin is still the leader of the Frostborn, and a close ally of his grand nephew. Brann is still exploring the world. The Dark Irons have been steadily rebuilding their cities and lands within the Steppes and the Gorge, and with the assistance of the Druids, are bringing life back to the wastes. The Wetlands, with the help of Gnome inventions, have finally been drained of the excess water from the flood long ago, and Menethil Harbour and Dun Modr have been completely rebuilt.
The Gnomes... well the Gnomes are the Gnomes; the dwarves have heard explosions from Gnomeragon and the new gnome cities within Dun Morogh, but the Gnomes just keep telling them it's all alright. There is a new High Tinker, a female one this time, so hopefully the Gnomes won't get in as much trouble.
The Worgen; following the Battle of Grim Batol, King Genn Graymane stepped down and Liam replaced him, choosing a mate from within the kingdom. The worgen are also a member of the Seven Nations, and protect the coasts lines from any invaders, alongside Kul Tiras. Worgen travelers are normal to be seen in Night Elf lands now, and though the Elves are normally not fond of visitors, they accept the Worgen as part of the extended family of the races who are part of the Druidic Circle.
The Night Elves have reclaimed lost lands all across Kalimdor... but they are willing to make some concessions; Sun Rock Retreat and Shadowprey City are still Horde cities, with road that both factions can use without fear of attack. With Hyjal steadily regrowing, the Cenarion Circle is working on reclaiming Felwood and cleansing it of the Fel Taint that keeps seeming to pop up there. The new World Tree within Hyjal is blossoming, and it is watched over by the Guardians of Hyjal. The Night Elves have also traveled north to look at the ruins of Nodrassil, trying to see if they could recreate it and save it this time. Teldrassil and Darnassus flourishes, thought there is some friction between the two Sentinel forces; the standard Sentinels and the Wardens, one lead by Shandris and the other by Maiev. Tyrande is still alone... but she has been spending time within Hyjal and at the base of Malfurion's last gift.
The Draenei have spread out from the islands of Azuremyst and Silvermyst, and created new homes across both continents. Most though, have returned to Outland, and working alongside the Ethereals, are steadily rebuilding the Netherstorm, returning it to the once fertile lands when it was the Fields of Farahlan by using the Eco-dome technology. More Naaru have traveled to Azeroth, and have taken up residence within the Draenei colonies. The Prophet Velen still leads the Exiles, and mourns the loss of his friend Nobundo.
In the aftermath of the death of the Destroyer, the orcs have undergone a few changes; Thrall has officially stepped down as the Warchief, and gave the position to one of the heroes of the War against Deathwing; Thura Saurfang. During her first year as Warchief, she traveled the clans of both Azeroth and Outland, challenging and defeating the clan leaders; she did it to unite the orcs under one Warchief, and have all clans as brethren. She is the official leader of the Warsong and the Dragonmaw clans, but has allowed the other clans to continue to be lead by their chieftains. Thrall has returned to the Frostwolves, and relocated them to Winterspring, deciding having them on Eastern Kingdoms was causing far too many problems. Drek'thar, the last of the original War heroes, passed away recently, and a new holiday was created to honour that day.
The Trolls have also undergone an upheaval... but one unexpected; Vol'jin decided, due to most of the major tribes having no official leader, traveled the world and drew them into the Horde; the only tribes to deny him were the Amani and the Hakkari. The new capitol of the Trolls is Shadowprey City, with a second capitol considered to be within Shatterspear Village. The new trolls are slowly learning the ways of the Horde, and are leery of their allies, and keep the Forsaken and Blood Elves at arms length.
The Tauren have been steadily reclaiming the lands taken from them by the Grimtotem when Magtha betrayed the race. Thunder Bluff is being rebuilt and renovated, with some new defenses being added in. Baine has stated that all members of the Horde are welcome in Tauren lands, and that any who bring violence will be met with violence, as his people will no longer roll over and play dead to threats. The Tauren druids and plagueshifters are working to repair any area of the world ruined by Queen Sylvanas forsaken and the left over of the Scourge.
The Goblins.... just the Goblins. As a whole, they are expanding rapidly, but following the rules of the Horde. Their zeppelins and motor vehicles are used as mass transport across Kalimdor and parts of the Eastern Kingdoms. Azshara is still their new homeland, but they have been assisting the other Cartels with rebuilding Kazan and the islands. The goblins are still greedy, and charge their Horde allies only half what they charge the rest of the world when they create new things for them. And I have heard, that a new Prince is being consider for leadership... or should I say Princess.
The Forsaken lands still belong to them, from Hearthglen to Scholomance, across to Tyr's Hand and north to the borders of the Ghostlands. There leader is still Nathanos Blightcaller, and his forces are split between three groups now; the Dark Rangers and those who follow them, those who follow the Cult of Forgotten Shadow and those who follow the Lightslayers. They are still closely allied with the Blood Elves, but have put some distance from the rest of the Horde, as the new Warchief is not particularly fond of the Forsaken, but she is not willing to remove them from the Horde as they are still useful for a power base on the Eastern Kingdoms.
The Blood Elves, lead by Lady Liadrin and her Blood Knights, are nearly back to full power once again. Sunstrider Isle has become the Blood Elf Dalaran now, and all of the Elvish mages are trained there now. The city of Silvermoon is steadily being rebuilt and the Druids of the Circle are assisting with cleansing the last of the taint from the Scourge invasion so long ago. The Blood Elves are close allies with the Forsaken still, and have stated outright to Warchief Saurfang that if the undead are ever removed from the Horde, the Blood Elves will leave as well. There is still some skirmishes against the Amani, but there are people on both sides working on creating a true truce.
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