Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
Veteran of the Wrathgate: A Rogue's Tale (spoilers WotLK Dragonblight chain)
Veteran of the Wrathgate: A Rogue’s Tale
*disclaimer – Several characters in this story are based on player created characters in World of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment. The Wrathgate battle scene and Alexstrasza’s final speech are directly credited to the cutscene based on a quest chain in the Dragonblight zone of Northrend in the latest expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. Bolvar Fordragon, Arthas, Putress, Saurfang, and Alexstrasza are all creation of Blizzard Entertainment. All content is based on lore which is the sole property of Blizzard Entertainment and this story is meant for entertainment purposes only.
Chapter 1 - To Ale, To Memories, To Arms!
Silver Enclave, Dalaran, Northrend
As she nursed a mug of ale at her favorite table in Hero’s Welcome, the gnome laid her head against the cool glass and gave a sigh. So much, sometimes lately it felt like too much. She’d seen things, adventured places, defeated so many foes in the name of the Alliance. Would she ever walk the corridors of Ironforge, and hear her own name, her true name shouted in greeting?
Already so many innocent lives and soldier’s lives sacrificed in the fight against The Lich King. She shuddered at the memories of the endless armies she assisted in pushing back at Wintergarde and Naxxramas. How many more? How much of her world would be destroyed if they didn’t fight back? Old memories, usually kept buried by training and force of will, surfaced….
Giggling, the gnome child peered around her mother’s skirts at her father. Then quickly ducked out of sight.
“Ah HA! Katie, my girl! Are you suddenly taken with shyness?” he questioned.
“Shhh father, you can’t see me! I’m invis-cable!” young Katie whispered.
“Invisible?” So you’re a young mage-ling now, are you?” her father whispered back.
“No, I’m a spy for King Bronzebeard.” Said the tiny gnome girl whipping two spoons out and brandishing them like daggers.
Her father laughed as her mother scolded, “Don’t encourage her! Katie, go finish setting the table.”
“Yes, Momma.” The would-be infiltrator said with a sigh, and a return to her chores as her father giggled in background.
She half-smiled to herself at the memory. If only she could use the caverns to tell the girl gnome to listen to her mother.
“Shadowbunny!!” Carmien called joyfully as he stepped into the Inn. Of course the Paladin did everything cheerfully from eating lunch to participating in battle. “Well met, my friend.”
“Hiya, Car,” she replied with a smile to her Gladiatorial partner, “nice work in the ring yesterday.”
“What were you thinking of SB? You looked a bit blue as I entered,” Carmien, questioned thoughtfully.
“Oh, it’s just memories. Nothing serious.” She stowed the memories away and grinned at him.
“That’s good,” he grinned in return. “And now, we have orders my rogue friend. We’re to report to Highlord Bolvar as soon as possible. There’s been movement by the Lich King in the Blight, and we’re trusted.”
She drained the last bit of her ale, thumped the mug down on the table, and gave him a half salute, “Yes sir. Let’s go!”
She threw her cloak and gauntlets back on, checked her backpack for “supplies,” and went to the door and whistled for her war bear, Fred.
“Right-o Freddie. We’re working today! To the landing! GoGo!” and she was off. Feeling the warmth of Carmien’s aura surrounding her and lending speed to the already swift gait of Fred, they were at Kraus’ Landing in no time.
Chapter 2 - Of Wrath and Betrayal
Fordragon Hold, Angrathar(The Wrathgate), Dragonblight, Northrend
As her Nether Ray, neared the landing point at the Hold, Shadowbunny took a good look at Highlord Bolvar Fordragon. As a high ranking member of SI:7, she had run her fair share of missions for him directly and without his direct knowledge. With her service in Outlands, it had been a few years since she had seen him in person until their battle together to rid Wintergarde of the lich monstrosity, Thel’zan the Duskbringer, recently.
She landed, and jumped from the ray’s back. Stopping a few feet from Bolvar, she saluted smartly and reported, “Knight-Lieutenant SI:7 Shadowbunny, my lord. Ready for assignment.”
The Highlord smiled fondly at her. Veteran to veteran. “Shadowbunny! I wish we were meeting under better circumstances. Your excellence at intelligence and battle have helped bring the Alliance to this point.”
She smiled back, “For the Alliance, my lord. I hope it is enough to let the Light shine victory on us today. What are my orders, my lord?”
Carmien saluted as well, “My lord Bolvar. Your paladins and soldiers are formed and at the ready. The scouts report that Saurfang’s forces stand ready as well.”
Bolvar nodded. “Good. Good.” He paused for a moment. “Now for your orders.”
Shadowbunny glanced at Carmien, but ever the soldier, he did not betray the puzzlement she felt. A stubborn rogue, she spoke her mind, “Pardon, Lord Fordragon, but won’t we be engaging in the battle at the gate with you today?”
Bolvar shook his head, “No, that is not why you were summoned here. I wish the two of you to lead a small contingent that will stand guard here at the hold. If we should…” he trailed off cleared his throat and said more strongly, “If we should need reinforcements or a second line of defense I trust you to lead it and to keep these innocents safe.”
A jolt of fear ran through her mind as she contemplated the meaning of the fall of the Alliance and Horde forces today, but she and Carmien responded in unison, “Yes, my lord.”
“The Light go with you my lord,” Carmien quietly stated to his superior.
Bolvar looked at them both, hard, “The Light go with us all, son. We ride.”
As she and Carmien kept their ordered watch from the hillside, the battle below began…
Bolvar leads a charge into the undead in front of the Wrathgate shouting, “Back you mindless wretches! Fight on, brothers!” Soon Bolvar is joined by Saurfang the Younger, and the Horde forces. They fight side by side until the last undead is defeated.
Bolvar and Saurfang approach the gate together as the Highlord shouts, “Arthas! The blood of your father, of your people, demands justice! Come forth, coward! And answer for your crimes!”
The gate rumbles open and Arthas emerges, legions of undead trailing in his wake, his voice is not loud it’s almost as if it comes from within the mind, “You speak of justice? Of cowardice? I will show you the justice of the grave and the true meaning of fear.”
With a shout, “Enough talk! Let it be finished!” Saurfang charges Arthas, and is struck down. As his soul is taken by Frostmourne, Bolvar says, “You will pay for all the lives you’ve stolen, traitor.”
An explosion of green behind Bolvar. Putress and the Forsaken with Catapults as Horde and Alliance soldiers fall by the hundreds. Those soldiers not affected begin to flee as Arthas recovers from a fall to his knees and flees to his Citadel.
Putress yells, “This is the hour of the Forsaken!”
Bolvar falls and is lost to sight in the green cloud. A red cloud is seen in the distance, as it nears it is revealed as the Red Dragonflight. They clear the field with cleansing flame.
Shadowbunny heard Carmien’s gasp and was pulled out of her own horror enough to shout an order, “Hold fast! It’s too dangerous down there.” Already the horror filled screams filled the air as the citizens of the hold realized what had occurred.
“Car. We have got to get these people out of here. Order the mages to open portals to Dalaran. I’ll go check the field.” She noted the soldier take over behind his eyes from the shocked Paladin who had lost a mentor as he nodded.
“You there mages. Portals to Dalaran now!” Carmien ordered, “Soldiers, round up those who have lost their wits get them to safety.”
In the meantime, Shadowbunny reached the battleground. She heard the pounding of hoofbeats, and knew her friend was not far behind. Most of the fallen had already been consumed by the dragon’s fire. She cautiously approached Queen Alexstrasza.
The dragon queen looked at Shadowbunny and Carmien as they approached. She nodded and spoke, “Our fate is emblazoned upon our souls at birth. Bolvar’s fall, while tragic, was unavoidable.”
All that you can do now is honor your hero, Rogue and Paladin. Collect Bolvar’s shield from the field of battle and return it to your king. When you present the shield to Varian, tell him this: ‘All is not lost. From the ashes of the fallen will rise a force that will unite nations and purge the evil from this world.’ He mustn’t lose faith. Go now, your people need heroes. They need you.”
Shadowbunny watched silently as her friend picked his mentor’s shield up from the field of battle. As they made their way back up the hillside with their troublesome burden, she remembered past endeavors, past battles, and the soldiers that mere hours ago stood at the ready to defend their homes. And she mourned.
“Magister Dysun, a port to Stormwind if you please,” she asked wearily.
“SB, is that…” Dysun questioned, as he threw up the port.
Carmien went through, and over her shoulder as she entered she nodded, “Yes.”
His eyes widened, and she felt the portal take her.
Last edited by Drunkenfairy : 01-07-2009 at 04:16 PM.
For continuity’s sake, I am paraphrasing/directly using parts of the story as told in the quest chain in game. As ever World of Warcraft, it's quests, world, and it’s characters are the property of Blizzard Entertainment. Shadowbunny and Carmien are based on player created characters in the game.
Chapter 3 - To be the messenger
Canal District, Stormwind City, Azeroth
As they summoned their mounts to make the dash for the Keep, Shadowbunny glanced at Carmien, seeing the steely resolve in his face she knew her friend would be fine. His duty would carry him through this day and those to come. They dashed through the canals of Stormwind with the heavy news.
As the Keep loomed in front of them, she dismounted. “Guard, Please let King Wrynn know that Knight-Lieutenant Shadowbunny and Paladin Carmien bring word from the Wrathgate.”
The King’s Guard saluted smartly, “Yes, Lieutenant!” He turned,quickly delivered the message, and was back, “The King wishes an audience with you right away.”
The guard led them up the well-known hallway to the throne room. As they approached the throne, Shadowbunny saw that Lady Jaina Proudmoore was seated next to Varian.
“May I present Knight-Lieutenant Shadowbunny and Paladin Carmien, Your Majesty!” announced the major-domo.
Shadowbunny and Carmien bowed in unison, “Your Majesty, My Lady.”
As Carmien gave her a slight glance, Shadowbunny nodded. He began by approaching the throne and handing the massive shield to the King. “Your Majesty, I regret to inform you that Champion of the Alliance, Highlord Bolvar Fordragon was slain in the Battle at Angrathar this morning.”
Carmien took a deep breath and recounted in great detail and with accuracy the events as they had unfolded as well as the dragon queen’s message. Shadowbunny would never forget the look in the King’s eyes as her friend delivered the message of his brother’s death. For Bolvar had been the King’s brother in all but name. Bolvar had protected his kingdom, protected his legacy, protected his son during the years of the King’s absence. Lady Jaina’s glance caught hers for a moment and she could see the same sorrow and empathy etched in the great mage’s face.
The King brushed away a tear, nodded, and looked up from the shield. “The Dragon Queen is right, Carmien and Shadowbunny, I will be the force that rises from the ashes of our fallen and I will purge the evil of the Horde from this world. The deaths of our brothers and sisters will not have been in vain.”
It took all the effort of her training for Shadowbunny to not show the surprise and alarm she felt to cross her features. She searched her mind for a way to help diffuse the King’s thinking. The Horde had lost, too, in this battle. She shivered internally as she thought of Frostmourne taking the soul of Saurfang the Younger. However, before she could gather her wits to speak Jaina did.
“Varian, no. This must have been some kind of deception. I know the Warchief from our battle against Archimonde. He would not have allowed this to happen after giving his oath of his forces’ assistance to Bolvar at the Wrathgate.” Jaina took a deep breath, “I mourn Bolvar as well. He was a great, good man, but we cannot risk war with the Horde while we are facing Arth..the Lich King. I ask Your Majesty’s permission to take a diplomatic party to Orgrimmar. Please at least allow me to gather their explanation before all out war is declared by the Alliance.” She finished.
Varian took a deep breath. “Very well, Jaina. We will see what they have to say for themselves. Shadowbunny and Carmien, please accompany Lady Proudmoore to Ogrimmar. I will also send two of my honor guard with you.”
Jaina inclined her head slightly, “Thank you, Your Majesty. Come everyone, stand close and I will do the teleport.”
Chapter 4 - From within, it devours
Warchief Thrall's Throne Room, Ogrimmar, Kalimdor
With an audible pop, the Alliance diplomacy party arrived in Thrall’s throne room. As the members of the Horde gave gasps of surprise, the Kor'Kron Elite guards moved to engage and destroy the supposed invaders. Thrall raised his voice with an order, “Stop.”
Shadowbunny was hard pressed to not move against the dark lady, Sylvannas Windrunner, leader of the Forsaken. However, she remembered Jaina’s warning as the party left Stormwind to do nothing that would incite the Horde to action. She pressed her palms against her leggings to keep them off her dagger hilts. She listened in shock as the Warchief and Sylvannas outlined the events that had led to the atrocity she had viewed at the Wrathgate. “The Horde have lost control of the Undercity, by the gods,” she thought.
Shadowbunny could tell that Carmien was as tense as she in the presence of so many of their tenuous allies. The agreement to lay aside their differences was necessary to success in Northrend. She knew that, but it was hard as a veteran of so many Warsong Gulch, Alterac, and Arathi battles to be diplomatic. Although she could admit that the fault for the battles lay on both sides.
She forced her attention back to the exchange between Thrall and Jaina as the Warchief promised to retake the lost Horde stronghold, and make the traitors pay for their crimes against the Alliance and the Horde forces.
Thrall then looked directly at Shadowbunny, “You were at the Wrathgate today?”
“Yes, Warchief.” She answered with pride and with a set to her jaw.
He couldn’t stop a chuckle at the serious look, “Such pride. It is an honor to meet you. Please know, gnome, that I have no wish for war with your people. I hope we meet again as Allies.”
“Warchief?” Shadowbunny had made a decision, although she noted Jaina’s worried glance at her, “Saurfang the younger was a noble fighter. He died a good death, as a warrior, as a leader. Have the Spirits bless his memory.” And she bowed to the Horde leader. She had omitted the destruction of his soul by Frostmourne. She hoped the Spirits could intervene on his behalf, and she turned before anyone could see the wetness that suddenly affected her eyes.
Jaina gave her a look of sympathy, and then said to Thrall, “We return to the King. I, too, hope we meet again as Allies.” She threw up the portal to Stormwind and motioned for Shadowbunny, Carmien, and the guards to go through.
*Blizzard’s not mine. So on and so forth. Contains spoilers for The Battle of Undercity quest line. And I have absolutely no idea why my font sizes are all over the place. I'm not really a writer, just amusing myself.
Chapter 5 - Even Champions Need to Eat
Pig and Whistle Tavern, Old Town, Stormwind City
The clinking of glasses and dull roar of conversation was a welcome change after the strange and tiring day Shadowbunny had just experienced. She stared for a moment into her mug of the Pig and Whistle’s finest ale and gave a grimace at the irony of ending the day as it had begun. She really hadn’t thought that she would be hungry, but as soon as Reese Langston placed the bowl of beef and barley stew, loaf of bread, and hunk of Alterac swiss in front of her. She immediately dug in as if it could be her last meal. With an inward sigh, she drove her thoughts away from such negative thinking.
“How’s your food, Carmien?” she asked the Paladin, who was apparently as hungry as she.
“It is the best food I have ever had bless the Light!” Carmien stated with the same thankfulness to be eating a good meal that she felt.
As they both finished, Reese came to take their dishes. “Is it true SB, Car? Are the rumors of the Forsaken true?”
She sighed. “Reese. You know that I am not at liberty to discuss intelligence. I’m sorry.”
He shrugged cheerfully at the gnome he’d had the pleasure of serving since her days in training with Mathias, “I know. It was worth a try though. Another mug?”
She smiled in return, “Yes, I will take one more. Is the one room upstairs available this evening? My friend and I have some matters to discuss.”
“Anything for you, SB. You two go on up, and I’ll send Elly along with your pitcher and mugs.” Reese replied with a grin.
“Sneaky gnome. Do you have everyone wrapped around your finger?” Carmien questioned with a shake of his head.
She gave him an innocent look, “Who me? Nah, I’m not devious at all. Let’s head up.”
Carmien settled in at the table before the fireplace with the delicious ale. After Elly had gone, Shadowbunny searched the room for traps and listening devices. “As clear as I can make it,” she stated, seating herself across from him. “Can you believe in just a few hours we’ll be invading The Undercity?” she asked.
“No. I wish I could disbelieve most of the events of this day. And it verges on treason, but I could wish that Varian had more control of his temper. Before I left training and soldiered alongside members of the Horde…” he trailed off taking a deep draught from his mug.
“I know, Car. The atrocities are on both sides in the battles between the Horde and the Alliance, and they are nothing compared to what all will suffer if the Lich King is allowed to succeed.” She paused. “I know Jaina is also concerned. I’m thankful that she will be accompanying us in the morning.”
Carmien stared at the flames, “We never really have a chance to pause do we? I know Bolvar is a Champion and the Light embraces him, but…”
She reached across the table and squeezed his hand as well as her smaller one could, “I know my friend, I know. I am just thankful his fate was not Saurfang’s.” A shiver of dread ran up her spine, “That alone was enough to cement my belief that our Alliance with the Horde is necessary. We must use all our resources and rid this world of Arthas Menethil and Ner’zhul forever.”
They sat for an hour finishing their ale and going over strategies, maps, and possible supplies that could be needed in the coming fight. When their preparations were complete, Shadowbunny and Carmien both gave longing glances at the two double beds that occupied the room, and then sighed in unison. With a glance at each other, they both laughed loudly.
“I have to go report in to Mathias now. I guess I’m bunking at headquarters tonight. You?” she inquired.
“Yes, sadly. I must report to the Archbishop since I am in Stormwind. I’ll take my rest there. See you at the flight master in four candlemarks?” Carmien asked as he tugged parts of his armor back on.
“Wouldn’t it be nice to have one day that didn’t have a massive battle planned on it?” she smirked and headed for the door.
“That wouldn’t be Azeroth,” he laughed at her.
Chapter 6 – Double O Bunny
SI:7 Headquarters, Stormwind City
“Rat with no tat takes his pack to M,” Shadowbunny whispered to the guard at the top of the stairs, and waited as he considered her.
The human in black leather smirked, “I don’t know. Those red-pigtails seem pretty suspicious.” He tugged on one of them, and found a dagger pricking his kidney and a gnome kicking his shin. “Ow, SB. Feisty as ever, I see.”
She glared at him, “I’ve had a very long day, Xan, don’t mess with me.”
“Aw, you’re so cute when you’re ticked,” he grinned reaching to tug on the other side, “OW! Dang it! You pricked me.”
“Don’t worry. They aren’t poisoned…yet.” She smirked at him, and then gave his leg a hug. “It’s been ages, Xan!”
“I know, I know. We’ll have to catch up later though. Mathias is glaring at us.” He patted her on the head because he knew it would irritate her, and she glared at him again as she headed toward her mentor.
“Shadowbunny, reporting in sir.” She stopped in front of Mathias and his goblin assistant.
She recounted the days’ events to the leader of the Alliance intelligence forces knowing that he had probably already received several other similar reports. She added a few details using the thieves hand language. It never hurt to be too cautious, and everyone didn’t need to know about Varian’s almost irrational anger. As she completed her report, Mathias looked at her closely.
“You’re keeping something back, SB. What else is there?” he questioned her in the voice that had garnered more secrets than any other methods employed by SI:7.
She sighed, glanced away for a moment, and spoke to him of the horror at the Wrathgate. The terrible moment that continued to haunt her when she had witnessed Saurfang’s death by Frostmourne.
He looked at her with compassion but not pity. “Will this affect your duties? Would you like to go on leave, and have another…”
“No, sir!” she interrupted hotly. “I will perform my duties for this organization and the Alliance. I am not some weakling to be turned away by Arthas’ terror tactics.”
He grinned down at the firey gnome he’d trained and worked with through several wars and across continents, “I figured you’d feel that way, but I had to offer.”
She glared at him now, and then she yawned. She looked up with surprise as he laughed at her, “You need sleep. Go to bed. Xanatos will wake you when it’s time.”
“Thanks, Mathias. Bed does sound good. Heck, floor sounds good.” She nodded to him, and went upstairs. She was asleep before she finished removing her boots.