World of Warcraft – Green Hills of Stranglethorn Vale

Our first day went as well as one can expect first days to go.  Most of our time was preoccupied with making the necessary arrangements to establish a base camp.  I located an ideal setting by a freshwater river inlet.  Judging by the old, abandoned docks nearby this site was inhabited sometime ago.  As for the original inhabitants, only time can tell that tale.

For this expedition I have assembled Ajeck Rovack, and Sir S. J. Erlgadin, along with my trusted servant Barnil Stonepot.  I fought alongside Ajeck’s father’s side in many battles in defense of the Alliance.  Seeing her grown is quite special.  Her father schooled her well in the ways of weaponry.  Her skills with a bow make me wonder if there is elven blood running through those veins.

Sir S. J. Erlgadin comes from human aristocracy.  His father, Count Erlgadin, was renowned for his generosity.  It was the Count who lobbied for improved working conditions for the Stonemasons Guild during the restoration of Stormwind after the Second Great War.

In the years that followed after Stormwind betrayed the Stonemasons Guild, Sir Erlgadin grew bitter about the role of the nobles within the Kingdom.  He no longer wished to uphold the position that his father’s bloodline had earned for him in the House of the Nobles.  But I digress.  The purpose of his story is not to act as a political treatise or a biography.  This is the account of my experiences hunting big game in the Green Hills of Stranglethorn.

We rose with the sun.  Barnil began to prepare the morning meal.  I noticed Ajeck’s attention was somewhat distracted.  The day’s trek would be long and our hunt would bring us close to danger.  A lack of focus could easily lead to an errant mishap.  Yet Ajeck seemed unable to divert her gaze from Barnil who stood by the edge of the river rinsing out his mess kit.

Just as I was about to question Ajeck’s lack of interest in the day’s hunting strategy, she reached for her quiver, drew an arrow and unleashed a shot right towards poor Barnil.  But it was not Barnil that Ajeck was shooting at.  For when Barnil stepped aside, mouth agape, a large river crocilisk floated to the surface with Ajeck’s arrow perfectly placed between his two large eyes.

We set out toward the west through the thick overgrowth of the tangled jungle.  Moving with slow deliberate steps we paced through thick foliage in search of prey.  The morning passed in frustrated silence.  Nothing was stirring in the Vale, not even a breeze.  By the afternoon, the expedition had grown restless. Barnil no longer strode with the cautious steps of a predator tracking prey.  Rather, he clumsily clomped along the path often stepping noisily on dried leaves or fallen branches.

During one such misstep, Erlgadin laid a heavy hand on Barnil’s shoulder.  Ajeck and I gave a casual glance.  Assuming the man was simply giving Barnil a much-needed scolding for his carelessness.  Erlgadin, however, gestured slowly with his head toward a nearby fallen tree.  Gazing back at us were two piercing black eyes just above a mouthful of razor sharp fangs.

The beast was a male strangelthorn tiger.  Before I could cock my rifle, Erlgadin raised his crossboaw and fired upon the beast.  The bolt missed its mark and caught the beast heavily in the left flank.  The tiger made a futile attempt to flee but its wound was too grave.  The beast stumbled for a few tragic seconds until Barnil finished the kill with a thrown axe.

The kill brought about a festive mood amongst the expedition.  Barnil poured mead for all to enjoy.  But our festivities were short-lived.  As we were preparing the corpse for transport back to base camp we were all caught off guard by a horrendous growl.  In all my years I have never heard anything so blood curdling.

On a rocky precipice above, silhouetted by the setting sun, I could make out the largest cat of prey I have ever laid eyes upojn.  I was able to loose one clumsy volley with my rifle.  But the cat held his ground.  He growled once again.  This time louder than the first, and vanished.

We gathered our belongings and headed solemnly back to camp.

I had promised the expedition that we would spend the next day hunting panthers, as their furs are in high demand throughout Azeroth.  It only makes sense that such demand should exist with all of the able-bodied hunters, trappers and fur-traders off giving their lives so valiantly in the name of the Alliance.

Ajeck, and Sir Erlgadin were anxious to learn how to hunt effectively with a Dwarven Rifle.  I had the two humans leave their primitive range weapons at base camp.  Barnil and I outfitted them with some of Ironforge’s finest firearms.

On this day we ventured to the south following some fresh panther tracks.  Soon we reached a ravine spanned by a tremendous rope bridge.  I could not help but to think of Brann’s descriptive writings of this region when I saw the engineering marvel.  So often it was assumed that th enative trolls were a primitive and uneducated race.  Yet as I gazed upon the master craftmanship of the bridge I was able to recognize the skill with which the Troll builders overcame the seemingly impossible feat.

Before long, Ajeck tracked the panther to the southwest.  We walked quietly, guns at the ready, in anticipation of our prey.  A snapping of twigs from a nearby copse of trees drew our attention immediately.  Something was in there.  One stern glance at Barnil was enough to convey my thoughts.  Barnil slowly lowered his rifle.  This kill iwas not for us.  It was for our Human companions.  Countless panthers had lost their lives in front of our smoking barrels.  This kill would be for the Humans.

Both Ajeck and Sir Erlgadin stood poised, guns leveled at the bristling overgrowth at the base of the swaying trees.  The midday sun beat heavily upon us.  A slow trickle of perspiration trailed down from Elrgadin’s temple as he pulled the pin back.  Upon the sound of the click, the thick flora parted and a large black panther—a beautiful specimen—darted out onto the plain.

The humans trained their sights on the panther as it ran along the edge of the tree line.  The barrels of their guns moved in perfect parallel tandem.  Barnil gave me an urging glance, but I shook my head no.  This hunt was for the Humans.  Not Barnil or me.  Erlgadin fired a booming shot, missing the panther altogether.  Apparently he was unprepared for the violent kickback of the rifle blast.

His gun tossed back violently in his arms.  The barrel swooped sideways and came up beneath Ajeck’s rifle.  Ajeck had chosen that exact moment to pull her trigger.  The rifle, th eaim now knocked clumsily toward the tree line, went off with a distinct boom.  A flock of birds screamed out of the canopy, scattering in every direction.  A plume of smoke rose from the tree.  We watched in awe as a tremendous branch fell squarely on the fleeing panther, breaking its back.

As the weeks passed our stockpile of panther, and tiger skins grew immense.  I decided it was time for the expedition to shift our focus to a new challenge.  Raptors.

The Humans, while appreciative of the training Barnil and I offered, decided to refrain from hunting with firearms.  Ajeck was much more comfortable with a finely strung bow and Sir Erlgadin never left camp without his sturdy crossbow.

We set out at first light, heading south past the Tkashi Ruins.  Barnil voiced concern that we might encounter members of the Bloodscalp Tribe.  I reminded Barnil that the Bloodscalps were more concerned with destroying their tribal enemy, the Skullsplitters.  Needless to say, Barnil was not comforted in the least.  I, however, had a loaded rifle, a satchel full of gunpowder and three deadly hunters with me to ease any concerns of an unfriendly ambush.

I’ve stood before a towering Infernal on the battlefield, the army of the Burning Legion advancing from all directions.  An unruly band of Trolls seems as harmless as a jackrabbit in the hills of Dun Morogh.

We passed the Tkashi Ruins without event, much to Barnil’s relief.  The party proceeded to head westward toward the Great Sea, skirting the Ruins of Zul’Kunda just to the south.  As we ascended the high sea bluffs we spotted our first raptor.

The beast never so much as detected our presence.  In fact, the only greeting he received from the expedition was a bullet between the eyes.  Sir Erlgadin let out a hearty “hurrah” as Ajeck nodded toward me with keen approval.  I sifted through my pack in search of my pipe hoping to ejoy a celebratory smoke.  Barnil began to scurry up the hillside to retrieve the Raptor’s corpse.  I stared at the fallen beast with the satisfaction that accompanies every big kill.

But I could not bask in the glory of th ekill for long.  For when I turned my eyes toward the horizon, several silhouettes appeared cresting the hill, just above poor Barnil.

“Flee, Barnil!”  I shouted.  Ajeck, Sir Erlgadin and myself loosed a volley of bullets, arrows and bolts over Barnil and toward the pursuing raptors.  One of us landed a kill amidst the confusion.

Our hastily aimed shots were enough to buy Barnil’s escape.  Barnil clamored back down the hill and rejoined the party.  We scurried off into the jungle, a pack of ferocious Lashtail Raptors stalking our every move.

The Hunters were now the hunted.

I led the party toward the sea, hoping the shoreline would provide refuge from the raptors.  In our haste we had drifted too far north to a precariously high elevation.  The mistake was made.  The fault was mine.  We stopped just short of a sheer cliff.  The raptors just a few paces behind.

I stepped slowly forward, gun raised.  I had led these brave hunters to their death.  I would die defending them.  Lashtail Raptors are particularly fierce.  Known for their unrelenting blood-thirst.  They far outnumbered us.  But I would be damned if I let them kill me and my comrades without shedding some of their own blood first.

Ajeck and Sir Erlgadin readied their weapons, flanking me on either side, our backs to the sea.  Barnil let out a defeated sigh and drew his axe.  The lashtails were almost upon us.  Their steady stride had slowed.  They were stalking their prey now for they knew they had us trapped.

And then something miraculous happened.  From off to our side we heard the distinct and terrifying roar of the great white tiger.  Despite their numbers, the raptors turned and scattered in all directions.  We saw but a brief white flash as the tiger darted past us and pounced on one of the raptors.  No command needed to be given.  All four members of our party knew it was time to run.

We sprinted all the way back to base camp, never slowing.  Later that night we sat quetly around the campfire, knowing our lives had been saved by a bizarre twist of fate.  Such are the risks of the big game hunter.  We toy with fate by delivering it.  Yet each of us at some point will face fate’s razor sharp teeth.  This Dwarf is just glad that moment did not come upon the Green Hills of Stranglethorn.

World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade – Shadowmoon Valley

Shadowmoon Valley was opened to show a new order, a new ruler in Outland … Illidan the Betrayer.  Most demons such as Dreadlords and Satyrs are tagged as Illidari Servants.  One of the biggest Blood Elves settlements are found in this region. Lore fans will be intrigued to find out there are Blood Elf Demonhunter initiates training with demons tamed by Blood Elf Warlocks.  Warlocks keep the Pitlord named Azaloth banished, for he is too powerful for the trainees. A quest from the Aldor sends you to find a way to free Azaloth as a diversion and to thin the number of demonhunters.

The Bonechewer and Dragonmaw Clans have settlements in Shadowmoon Valley and seem to serve Illidan as well.  The Shadowmoon Council and an Eredar operate from Deathforge, an excavation site within a long cavern similar to the Cauldron in Searing Gorge.  Fans will also be shocked to find Gul’dan in Shadowmoon Valley to the west of the volcano named Guldan’s Hand.  It is an echo or imprint of what happened many years ago when he first chanted the ritual words of the Cipher of Damnation—which severed the harmony of the spirits of elementals and forever abandoning the Shamanistic society of the orcs. The Earthen Ring members are at Gul’dan’s hand to make sure the elementals of Outland may once more return to the Orcs. To do so the Cipher of Damnation needs to be chanted once more—and you have to kill the firelord summoned by Gul’dan years ago.

What caught our eye though was to find Maiev Shadowsong alive, held prisoner at the Warden’s Cage underground prison. She’s as arrogant and moody as usual emoting the following text: “This cell won’t hold me for long. I will have Illidan’s head one way or another”.  Akama the leader of the Broken Ones is found in front of Maiev’s Cell as a neutral NPC.  He offers a quest to players.

Akama’s Promise

Akama: To many of my people, I am known as a traitor. As Illidan’s lapdog.  It is best that they continue to think that for now.

(Akama inserts the crystal into the medallion in his hand)

I am not as strong as I once was.  Being so close to evil itself all these years.  I do not know if I can trust myself with an artifact as powerful as this.

Take this as my promise to you that when the time comes and you face Illidan, I will be on your side.  Take it to the one being we know we can trust with its power.  Take the medallion to A’dal in Shattrath City.

QUEST OBJECTIVES

Bring the Medallion of Karabor to A’dal in Shattrath City.

(As you give the medallion to A’dal, it disappears into his being in a flash of light.)

(You are briefly shown a glimpse of a moment … perhaps in the future.  You see Akama and Maiev coming out of the Warden’s Cage, fighting their way to the Dark Temple.  A third figure shrouded in shadows is aiding them.  Upon closer inspection you notice that the figure is you.)

WoWScrnShot_113006_190641.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_191939.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_192119.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_192128.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_192132.jpg
WoWScrnShot_113006_193918.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_194452.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_194520.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_194549.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_200331.jpg
WoWScrnShot_113006_200516.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_200544.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_201047.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_201118.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_202308.jpg
WoWScrnShot_113006_202318.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_202337.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_202511.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_202557.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_202559.jpg
WoWScrnShot_113006_202720.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_202726.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_202908.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_202915.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_202933.jpg
WoWScrnShot_113006_202937.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_202951.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_203016.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_203019.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_203022.jpg
WoWScrnShot_113006_203024.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_203027.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_203030.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_203106.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_203652.jpg
WoWScrnShot_113006_203838.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_210206.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_212436.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_212444.jpg WoWScrnShot_113006_212514.jpg

World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade – Blade’s Edge Mountains

The World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade expansion offers great sights and landscapes in Outland. One such place is Blade’s Edge Mountains, north of Zangarmarsh.  Before Draenor was torn apart, this region was the homeland of the orcish Thunderlord Clan. Khadgar and the Expedition Force were sent here by the Laughing Skull clan to destroy the Thunderlord’s Stronghold in exchange of the Book of Medivh, which the Laughing Skull clan stole from Ner’Zhul (read the Warcraft 2 campaign mission). This happened 20 years ago.

In the present, the new Horde has claimed the Thunderlord ruins to serve as their operation base. The Night Elves have a village named Sylvanaar to the southwest, and Raven’s Wood to the northwest.  The Mok’Nathal village – a race of half-ogres – is found in the Blade’s Edge Mountains at the southeast. The zone is also inhabited by the Arakkoa, a ravenous race with vulture-like features who wear colorful robes and plume headsets. A mysterious faction lives hidden in a cave named Blackwing Coven with orc, arakkoa, draenei and Broken One members. Within such coven exist black dragon eggs and whelps which rises the question whether Deathwing may be in Outland. No one knows for sure what the future may hold.

To the north, is the Ogre stronghold where you may find the dungeon named Gruul’s Lair. A Gronn. One of the demigods and thought-to-be ancestors of the Ogre race. The canyons harbor perilous creatures such as the Nether drakes, elemental flying serpents, stealthy spiders, reptiles and rock flayers.

The Burning Legion has scattered bases in the Blade’s Edge Mountains, and no surprise, for each zone of Outland has a Portal. Blade’s Edge Mountain has a portal at the Death’s Door zone – to the southeast, protected by doom engineers, demons and an Eredar. This is one of the rifts opened by Ner’zhul 20 years ago (in Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal). The rift portals were sealed by Illidan the Betrayer few years ago (read the Warcraft III: Frozen Throne campaign mission).

However, players will be able to open these portals at some time. Blizzard revealed at BlizzCon 2005 there are 5 worlds planned, and two more – for a total of seven. And there may be more worlds thereafter through the lifespan of the popular MMORPG. The Blade’s Edge Mountains is named so due to the natural sharp spike-shaped rocks. While flying over the region you may see black dragon corpses impaled by these large spike formations of the mountains. Below you may take a sneak peek of how Blade’s Edge Mountains look alike.

WoWScrnShot_110906_225018.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_225021.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_225028.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_225038.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_225756.jpg
WoWScrnShot_110906_225802.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_225811.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_230333.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_230345.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_230353.jpg
WoWScrnShot_110906_230627.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_231247.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_231255.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_231308.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_231353.jpg
WoWScrnShot_110906_231411.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_231417.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_231430.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_231526.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_231529.jpg
WoWScrnShot_110906_231531.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_231923.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_231932.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_231939.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_232259.jpg
WoWScrnShot_110906_232316.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_232319.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_232340.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_232349.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_232409.jpg
WoWScrnShot_110906_232412.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_232428.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_232535.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_232541.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_232809.jpg
WoWScrnShot_110906_233321.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_233355.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_233402.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_233445.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_233453.jpg
WoWScrnShot_110906_233513.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_233520.jpg WoWScrnShot_110906_233536.jpg WoWScrnShot_111006_012420.jpg WoWScrnShot_111006_012426.jpg
WoWScrnShot_111006_012440.jpg WoWScrnShot_111006_012446.jpg WoWScrnShot_111006_012455.jpg WoWScrnShot_111006_012503.jpg WoWScrnShot_111006_012511.jpg
WoWScrnShot_111006_013920.jpg WoWScrnShot_111006_013922.jpg WoWScrnShot_111006_014126.jpg

Naxxramas – Letters

Samla,

As we follow our Lord Arthas north, ever north, my heart grows heavy. While he once shined with the Light, I now sense a darkening of the young paladin’s spirit. His zeal is shadowed by a brooding, over some nightmare in his soul that I cannot divine…

We will soon make landfall in the frozen wastes. Although many of his men grow sick from the chill and from battles against putrid beasts, Arthas tells us that what he seeks in the ice will turn the tide of battle. But I took no comfort in his words. For after he said them… the grim smile planted on his curled lips chilled me deeper then any blizzard could. Pray for us, Samla, and pray for our world.

Torgal

A ruined Document, found in the remains of a Ghoul in the Burning Steppes

Dear Pamela,

Tomorrow we make our stand in Andorhal, and I fear this will be my last letter to you, my love. The Undead are unfatigued and we, I fear, are only human. We cannot hold out against them. But fret not, for although we are sure perish, our hope stays strong. The Light will prevail!

And, my dearest, I take comfort knowing that, as those dark terrors storm our walls and crash over us, my last thoughts will not be of death. I will think of you in my arms, and I will know peace at last.

Christoph

Reuben,

I write this letter knowing you may never see it; I simply can’t remain idle, listening to the constant pounding against the Hearthglen walls. The undead are outside our village, unceasing in their assault, and we have been charged with defending the townsfolk until reinforcements arrive.

My leg was broken in the last charge, and so I sit, useless, with my sword at my side should there be a breach in our defenses. There is no idle banter… Only the sounds of fighting and death. The air is thick with fear.

Prince Arthas is here. Fighting on the front lines with the men. Were he not present we would have fallen long ago. His love for this land and its people is infectious; I gladly serve under him, and will to the end of my days.

The fighting grows more intense; broken leg or not. I cannot sit here. Every sword is needed. I hope these words find you in happier times.

Your friend,

Leagrim

Dearest Amelia,

Tonight I have seen things that will haunt me to the end of time.

Stratholme is aflame… and we are responsible.

Our Prince led us into the streets of the city tonight; he ordered us to break into the homes of the townspeople and… kill them in their sleep. They were plagued, claimed Lord Arthas, and had to be killed before they killed us.

It was a slaughter, hundreds died silently to the swords of those sworn to protect them. I could stand it no longer; I fled.

Deserter I may be, but I could not commit such atrocities. In every home I could not help but see your face, or those of our children, upon the victims as they died. If standing against that means being a traitor, then so be it.

I hope to find my way back to you in time, but the roads are unsafe. Give our children my love in my absence.

James

For Immediate Dissemination Unto The Townships of The Kingdom of Lordaeron:

May This Bulletin Serve As Both Warning Unto The General Population of Our Lands, As Well As Writ Of Bounty In Regards To A Most Heinous Orcish Villain and Enemy of The Crown.

It Is To Be Known That A Reward In Sum of No-Less-Than Ten Thousand Gold Coins Shall Be Granted
By The Supreme Commander Of The Alliance, Anduin Lothar Himself, Unto Whosoever Delivers Unto Justice The Identifiable Corpse Of Wolfeye The Doombringer.

Those That Would Seek This Bounty Are Hereby Warned! It Is Said That This Vile Brute Bedecks Himself In The Bloodied Skulls of His Victims and That He Commands A Force Of Foul Orcish Raiders One Hundred Strong!

It Is Advised That Those As Would Seek This Bounty Proceed With Extreme Caution!

Posted By The Order Of

Field Marshall Rorhane

My Emily,

A few short days ago, we broke camp in this Light-forsaken place, operating under the King’s orders to return home. My heart was ligh despite my bleak surroundings, for I knew that after the frigid trek to the shore and long, grueling voyage. I would find solace in your arms.

We reached the shoreline today to find our ships, our means of return, nothing more then charred husks; we cannot leave, and have no choice but to press on into the heart of this abysmal wasteland.

I have gone to the very end of the world to keep you safe, Emily… and now… I wish with all my being that I had remain in Lordaeron with you.

Thoughts of you fill my every waking moment. You are my warmth in the frozen land, beloved, and no one can take that from me.

Maxwell

The Worgen Storyline

The Howling Vale

Sentinel Melyria Frostshadow: “Though we have put many resources and much effort into driving the remaining demons from the Felwood to the north, our successes have been few. We have been able to keep much of the demonic presence from Ashenvale.

To the north, near the Felwood border, the ruined shrine of Mel’Thandris has been overtaken by mysterious wolf-men. Their chilling calls have led the area to be known as the Howling Vale. The Tome of Mel’Thandris kept at the shrine may shed some light on why these wolf-men have come.”

Objective: Go to the Howling Vale and study the Tome of Mel’Thandris, then return to Sentinel Melyria Frostshadow at the Shrine of Aessina.

Velinde Starsong

Sentinel Melyria Frostshadow: “Velinde Starsong was my predecessor here in Ashenvale Forest. At first it seemed she had the situation in Felwood under control, but little by little her efforts faltered. One day, she simply disappeared.

I was sent here to continue her work. I’m afraid I know nothing of the priestess, however. Perhaps Thyn’tel Bladeweaver, one of the commanders of the Sentinels, knows further details of her disappearance that I was not a party to.

Surely she will understand the import of such information.”

Objective: Speak with Thyn’tel Bladeweaver at the Warrior’s Terrace in Darnassus.

Velinde’s Effects

Thyn’tel Bladeweaver: “The Tome of Mel’Thandris showed you this? I suppose there would be little harm in allowing you to examine her belongings. This key will allow you to open the chest where we stored her things in the Sentinels’ bunkhouse. She kept a journal of her duties, if there is anything to be learned, it will be from that.

I should tell you, the Sentinels believe that she had her own reasons for leaving, and expect that she could return at any time. The priestess has done much in the past to earn our trust.”

Objective: Search through Velinde’s chest for her journal, then return it along with the key to Thyn’tel Bladeweaver in Darnassus.

NOTE: The book is at Velinde’s bedroom on the second floor of the Inn. Go to the Mail Armor vendor shop in the Tradesmans’ Terrace in Darnassus city (Teldrassil).  Go upstairs and walk across the bridge toward the Inn’s second floor. On a shelf is a chest that requires the key given by Thyn’tel.  Inside the chest is Velinde’s journal.

From the journal of Moonguard Sentinel Velinde Starsong

Elune has granted my wishes. The lives of my fallen comrades will not be in vain, and I shall avenge their deaths using the Scythe of Elune. It is an ancient thing, a branch, twisted and gnarled of wood that could be older than even the Kaldorei.

For many hours I examined the tool that the goddess granted to me. It is no ordinary weapon, that is for certain, nor is it a simple magical implement. With it… it is as though the barriers of time and space are weakened.

Holding the Scythe in my hands, I received a vision of chaos. Wolf-men… the worgen… battled an incredible enemy. The worgen fought savagely, as fit their primitive race, but their enemy was unflinching: the Lords of the Emerald Flame.

And that was when I realized the true power of the Scythe. By focusing on it, I became able to communicate with the worgen. It was not speech I used to contact them, however. It was something different… I could not describe it.

What mattered was that the worgen heard and understood me. By further channeling the energy of the Scythe, the barriers weakened more, and I was able to draw the worgen into our world. A score and a half I was able to summon in my first attempt. They followed me into battle, and with their brutish strength at my command, we tore into the demons of Felwood.

Elune has granted my wishes. The forest will be cleansed.

May Elune’s blessings be upon me until my work is done.

All goes well. I have summoned larger numbers of the worgen to fight at my side. THough they are of simple mind, they have shown impressive ability to coordinate their attacks and function as a group.

I have identified leaders in their packs. To them I have given command of small groups of warriors. We strike from many places in the forest at once, and my campaign against the demons is a fruitful one.

May Elune’s blessings be upon me until my work is done.

A pack is lost. I sent the worgen to range through the forest and identify areas of demonic infestation, but they did not return. I begin to worry about the leaders that I have entrusted control to. They are of simple mind, and this small bit of authority I have given them, they stretch to the utmost. Am I losing control. Perhaps I shall cease summoning additional worgen for the time being.

May Elune’s blessings be upon me until my work is done.

Though I have not summoned additional worgen, their numbers continue to increase. It is as though the Scythe no longer requires my intervention for the summoning process. This is troubling. I have gathered as many as the packs as I could find, and ordered them to remain at the Shrine of Mel’Thandris.

Meanwhile, I have searched the libraries in Darnassus and consulted with the Circle of Ancients in Darkshore. Not one scrap of information about these worgen did I find. I have heard reports, whispers, of a wizard of the Kirin Tor named Arugal. From what I have heard, it is possible that he also summoned worgen. I would consult with this wizard—distasteful as it may be—and see what he knows.

The worgen are dangerous, and I wish to stem the tide. On the morrow, I will travel to the port in the Barrens and book passage to the New World.

May Elune’s blessings be upon me until my work is done.

The Barrens Port

Thyn’tel Bladeweaver: “Ratchet is the only port in the Barrens. Most likely Velinde found a trading vessel in Ratchet to take her to Blackwater Cove in Azeroth. We’ve had limited dealings with the goblins that run the port, but the master of the dock should have information about the comings and goings of ship passengers.

Follow the road southeast through Ashenvale and you will find yourself in the Barrens. Watch your step, , warriors of the Horde patrol the land. You will be safe at the port, though.”

Objective: Speak with Wharfmaster Dizzywig in Ratchet.

Passage to Booty Bay

Wharfmaster Dizzywig (goblin): “Ah yes, finally found it. Should have told me she passed through here that long ago. Let’s see.

Velinde. Booked passage to Booty Bay on the Black Osprey. I don’t have anything here saying otherwise, so I’d assume it arrived in port safely.

Not much more help I can be to you, but she asked about overland travel over on that side of the world, and I mentioned Ruzzgot, a caravan driver based out of Booty Bay. Might be that this Velinde traveled with him.

Move along, now. I haven’t all day for you.”

Objective: Take a boat to Booty Bay and speak with Caravaneer Ruzzgot.

The Caravan Road

Caravaneer Ruzzgot: “Turns out I was wrong about you, and that isn’t something that happens everyday.

It just so happens that I remember this Velinde you’re looking for. Isn’t every day that a night elf priestess that wants to travel with a dirty old—but great for your shipping needs!—caravan like my own.

We split up on the way north, she was headed for Darkshire. The clerk there keeps all sorts of records. Might know something useful.

Be careful in the jungle, it is a deadly place even at the best of times.”

Objective: Speak with Clerk Daltry in Darkshire.

The Carevin Family

Clerk Daltry: “No, I don’t have any records of a Velinde Starsong staying in Darkshire… though, if you don’t mind me saying, I can hardly imagine a night elf priestess taking a room in the inn, if you get my meaning?

These wolf-men you mentioned though, that’s something I’ve heard about. Just the other day, Calor came into town with a string of their heads. He works with the Carevin family. Hunters of demons, undead, and other monstrosities. Speak with Jonathan, he’s the head of the household.”

Objective: Speak with Jonathan Carevin in Darkshire.

The Scythe of Elune

Jonathan Carevin: “Your story rings true… I do not entirely understand your motives, but if your business here in Duskwood involves ridding the forest of worgen in any number, then I can forgo understanding for results.

There is a mine to the south that has been overrun with worgen… They appeared out of nowhere, but from what we know, that is where they first were found.

Go about your business, but I would ask that if you find anything of import, you share it with me. We will accept any aid in our war against evil.”

Objective: Look for signs of the Scythe of Elune then return to Jonathan Carevin in Darkshire.

HINT: Go to Roland’s Doom Mine in Duskwood. The cave is between the Rotting Orchard and the Tranquil Gardens cemetary in southern Duskwood. Deep inside the cave is a mound of dirt on the ground. Interact with it.  The Spirit of Velinde will talk to you:

Velinde Starsong’s Ghost: “I have failed … I have failed in my duty … failed my people … The Worgen run rampant, and the Scythe of my goddess is lost”

Answered Questions

Jonathan Carevin: “We shall rein in the worgen problem, have no worry of that. This evil that your friend introduced to our woods will be contained, and I bear her no ill will for her actions. Strange events are afoot in these times, , and the darkness knows no respite.

I will keep you no longer. I suspect that there are others that should hear of what you have found in the mines of Duskwood.”

Objective: Return to Thyn’tel Bladeweaver in Darnassus.

World of Warcraft – The Undead Plague

The devastating undead plague began in Northrend after the Second War. There, from the depths of the Frozen Throne, the Lich King Ner’zhul afflicted a remote human village through his will alone: a morbid test meant to gauge the plague’s effectiveness. The infected villagers died, and when their zombified corpses rose soon after, they had become lumbering, mindless servants of Ner’zhul.

The experiment was successful, but the Lich King was interested in nothing less than perfection. He contaminated every human inhabitant of Northrend, binding them to his icy will even as he continued to fine-tune his infernal disease.

Through the course of his experimentations, Ner’zhul insured that the affliction would specifically target humans for ?undeath?. Though non-human races and creatures (and even the land itself) were susceptible to the plague, it was humanity in particular that Ner’zhul meant to scour from the world. As a result, infected flora and fauna reacted differently—diseased and decaying, but not truly undead, and not under the thrall of the Lich King.

Hence, while undead representatives certainly do exist among the ranks of the non-human races, these particular agents are examples of undead created through necromancy rather than the plague.

Once Ner’zhul’s adjustments were complete, his mind reached out to Dalaran, to the disgruntled human, Kel’Thuzad. The archmage answered the call, trekking through the arctic wastes of Northrend to eventually climb the steps of the Frozen Throne*. There he pledged to act as the Lich King’s lieutenant in exchange for immortality and untold power. He was then given cauldrons of concentrated plague to spread throughout the lands of Lordaeron via his acolytes in the Cult of the Damned, and soon dead villagers throughout the realm began to rise and walk again, marching against the living in obedient servitude to their new master.

And thus, the Scourge was born into an unsuspecting world.

Naxxramas – Page 1 | Road to Damnation | The Undead Plague

Twisting Nether and Great Dark Beyond

Many fans wonder what the Twisting Nether and the Great Dark Beyond are.  A fan offered a very good example of what they are:

“You have the universe, the universe is made up of two plane of existance.

The solid plain of existance, the one in which the suns, planets, and moons form, is known as “The Great Dark Beyond”. This is basically the name that the people of Azeroth use as a word for “outerspace”. This physical realm is where the planet of Azeroth sits, and is the realm in which the Titans travel the cosmos searching for worlds to re-construct into order.

The second plane of existance is an ethreal plane, one made of protein that has no form, no planets, nothing but an empty infinite expanse. This is called the “Twisted Nether”, and is considered the “glue” of the universe, as the entire nether is woven into the rest of the physical universe. The Titans know of the Twisted Nether, but because it is such a chaotic world, they refuse to travel within it. The chaotic nature of the twisted nether was a perfect home for those that gave themselves to chaos, the races that would later become known as demons.

The relationship between these two dimensions is to hold the universe together.

One of the perks the demons gain from the Twisted Nether, is the fact that the Twisted Nether, is agian, the glue of the universe, this means that every single point of the twisted nether, is also connected to every single point of the great dark beyond. One could enter the twisted nether by portal, walk three steps through another portal, and be on the other side of the universe.

The Twisted Nether was used is this way to bring the orcs.

Medivh used the twisted nether as a “bridge” across the universe, allowing the orcs to move instantly from their homeworld of Draenor, all the way to Azeroth within an instant” –  Grocalis @ Tichondrius

A very detailed and descriptive explanation of the Twisting Nether—more official, from Chris Metzen—may be read at Warcraft RPG: Shadow and Light page 152-160

Kel’Thuzad and Naxxramas: Road to Damnation

This continual harassment grows tiresome. I was in the midst of important studies, delicate magic that requires weeks of preparation and ritual.” Kel’Thuzad had been forced to wait for hours, fuming at the insult, before he was permitted the bare courtesy of confronting his accusers. The group’s apparent spokespersons, Drenden and Modera, had long been two of his most vocal critics. Nonetheless, they would not have launched this latest inquisition without support from Antonidas, who had yet to show himself. What was the old man up to?

Drenden snorted. “That’s the first time I’ve heard your sort of magic called ‘delicate.’”

“An ignorant opinion from an ignorant man,” said Kel’Thuzad with cold precision.

A distant voice spoke to him then, the voice of a friend. By now its remarks had grown so familiar that they felt like his own thoughts. They fear and envy you. After all, thanks to this new course of study, you are continuing to gain in knowledge and power.

There was a sudden flash of light, and a scowling gray-haired archmage appeared in the hall. A small wooden chest was tucked under his arm. “I would not have believed it if I had not seen it myself. You have abused our patience for the last time, Kel’Thuzad.”

“The venerable Antonidas graces us with his presence at last. I began to think you had fallen ill.”

“Age frightens you, doesn’t it?” Antonidas snapped. “You realize there’s only one alternative.”

Let him think so, if that comforts him.

Calming somewhat, Antonidas said, “As for my health, you need not have concerned yourself. I was merely busy elsewhere.”

“Searching my chambers for evidence of forbidden magic? You should know better.”

“True, your chambers bore no such evidence. The warehouses you own in the northlands, on the other hand…” Antonidas gave him a disgusted look.

Damn the man for being a self-righteous snoop. “You had no right—”

Antonidas tapped his staff to the floor, silencing him, and turned to the other magi. “He has turned the buildings into laboratories for a series of foul experiments. See for yourself, colleagues. Behold the fruit of his labors.” He opened the chest and tilted it so that all could see.

The decaying remains of several rats. Two were still scrabbling clumsily at the sides of the chest in a vain attempt to escape. Several magi bolted to their feet, and there was a hubbub of dismay. Even the golden-haired high elf who had been sitting in the back of the room seemed startled, though Prince Kael’thas was a man whose age made that feat nearly impossible.

Turning back to the captive rats, Kel’Thuzad saw that they had collapsed and stopped moving. Another set of failures, apparently. No matter. Someday he would create a stable undead specimen. His hard work would be vindicated. It was only a matter of time.

There are loose threads in the spell that silences you. Shall I show you how to unravel it?

Time, and his unknown ally, whose enigmatic voice occasionally helped him to move one step closer to his goal. Show me, he thought.

A young woman arrived in another flash of light. As she went to stand by Antonidas, the high elf’s gaze followed her with troubled, brooding intensity. But Jaina Proudmoore took no notice; she was utterly focused on her duties. The handsome prince didn’t stand a chance.

Her vivid blue eyes spared Kel’Thuzad a curious glance. She took the box from Antonidas, who explained, “My apprentice will see to it that the chest and its contents are incinerated.”

The woman inclined her head and teleported from the room. Across the room, the high elf frowned at the spot she had vacated. Under other circumstances, Kel’Thuzad might have found the silent drama amusing. However, left unchallenged, Antonidas was continuing his tirade. Mutely seething, Kel’Thuzad resumed his efforts to free himself.

“We have permitted this state of affairs long enough. Rapped his knuckles occasionally for his more questionable pursuits. Tried to guide him. Now we find he has been practicing evil magic. The name of the Kirin Tor is fast becoming a curse on the lips of the local villagers.”

“You lie!” Kel’Thuzad burst out, and a few of the magi were his again, waiting for him to offer an explanation. “Peasants remember the Second War just as well as we do. Say what you like about the orcs; their warlocks wielded great power. Power against which we had precious little defense. We have an obligation: we must learn to wield and counter these magics ourselves.”

“To form an army of dead rats, their unnatural existence measured in hours?” Antonidas asked dryly. “Yes, my boy, I found your journals, too. You kept quite detailed records regarding this abominable enterprise. You cannot mean to use these pathetic creatures against orcs. Assuming, of course, that the orcs should ever emerge from their current lethargy, escape the internment camps, and somehow manage to become a threat again.”

“Being younger than you hardly qualifies me for boyhood,” retorted Kel’Thuzad. “As for the rats, they are the gauge by which I measure my progress. It is a standard experimental technique.”

A sigh. “I am aware that you spend most of your time in the north these days. Your increasingly lengthy absences were what caught my attention in the first place. Yet even you must have heard that the king’s new tax has given rise to civil unrest. Your selfish pursuit of power could incite the peasantry to revolt. Lordaeron would be engulfed in civil war.”

He hadn’t known about the tax. Antonidas must be exaggerating. Besides, true magi would focus on matters of greater substance. “I will be more discreet,” he offered, gritting his teeth.

“No amount of discretion could possibly hide a secret of this magnitude,” said Drenden.

Modera added, “You know that we have always walked a fine line in order to protect our people without becoming a danger ourselves. We dare not sacrifice our humanity—not in appearance, and certainly not in truth. At best, your methods would see us condemned as heretics.”

It was too much. “We’ve been called heretics for centuries. The church has never been fond of our methods. Such sentiments notwithstanding, we are still here.”

She nodded. “Because we avoid dark magic, which leads to corruption and catastrophe.”

“Because we are necessary!”

“Enough.” Antonidas sounded weary. To Modera and Drenden, he added, “If words alone could have reached him, they would have done so before now.”

“I have heard your words,” Kel’Thuzad said in exasperation. “Merciful gods, I have heard them until I am sick of them! It is you who will not hear mine, and put aside your antiquated fea—”

“You mistake our purpose here today,” interrupted Antonidas. “This is not a debate. At this moment, your properties are being thoroughly searched. All items tainted by dark magic will be confiscated and, once identified to our satisfaction, destroyed.”

His nameless ally had warned him this might happen, but Kel’Thuzad had not believed. Strange. He felt almost relieved that events had come to this pass. The need for secrecy had limited the scope of his work, hindered his advancement.

“In light of the evidence,” Antonidas said heavily, “King Terenas has agreed with our judgment. If you do not abandon this madness, you will be stripped of your rank and holdings, and you will be exiled from Dalaran—indeed, from all of Lordaeron.”

His mind racing, Kel’Thuzad bowed and left the hall. Doubtless the Kirin Tor were keeping his so-called disgrace quiet, fearing repercussions should his actions become public knowledge. For once, their cowardice would work in his favor. His wealth would never line the king’s coffers.

* * * * *

pack of wolves stalked Kel’Thuzad for miles, just out of spell range, before they fell behind. Glancing warily over his shoulder, he saw them snarl and flatten their ears before darting away. Thankfully the arctic winds were dying out as well. In the distance he could make out the summit, a bleak mountaintop, the sight of which gave him a sense of triumph and foreboding. The very peak of Icecrown. Few explorers had ventured onto the glacier, and even fewer had survived to tell the tale. But he, Kel’Thuzad, would scale its heights alone and look down on the rest of the world.

Unfortunately almost no maps existed of the frigid continent of Northrend, and he found them woefully inadequate, like the supplies he’d proudly packed for this journey. Uncertain of the path ahead and his ultimate destination, he could not teleport. Not sparing himself, he staggered onward. He had lost track of how long he’d been walking. Despite his fur-lined cloak, he was shivering uncontrollably. His legs felt like pillars of stone: awkward and numb. His body was beginning to shut down. If he didn’t find shelter soon, he was going to die out here.

Eventually a glint of light drew his gaze: a stone obelisk carved with magical symbols, with a citadel beyond it. At last! He hurried past the obelisk and crossed a bridge of what looked like pure energy. The citadel’s doors opened at his approach, but he stopped short.

The entryway was guarded by two grotesque creatures that resembled giant spiders from the waist down. Six narrow legs supported each creature’s weight; the other two limbs were attached like arms to a vaguely humanoid torso. More fascinating than the creatures themselves, though, was their current state. Their bodies showed an assortment of open wounds, the worst of which had been roughly bandaged. One guard’s arms were bent at improbable angles. Ichor oozed from the other’s fanged maw, but the guard made no effort to wipe it away.

Despite the familiar stink of undeath, the guards showed no sign of confusion, unlike Kel’Thuzad’s rats. The spider-like creatures must also have retained most of their original strength and coordination. Otherwise, they would have made poor guards. Their creator was clearly a skilled necromancer.

To his surprise, they moved aside to let him pass. Unwilling to question his good fortune, he gladly entered the citadel, which was significantly warmer. In the hallway ahead was a battered statue of one of the half-spider creatures. The building itself was of recent construction, but the statue was quite old. Come to think of it, he’d seen similar statues in the ancient ruins he’d passed through on his way north. The cold was slowing his wits.

At a guess, the necromancer had conquered a kingdom of these spider-like beings, successfully converted them into undeath, and taken their treasures as the spoils of war. Exultation filled him. He would surely learn great things here.

At the end of the hall, a gigantic creature lumbered into view: a grotesque mixture of beetle and spider. It approached him at a deliberate pace, and Kel’Thuzad observed that its towering body sported an even greater number of wounds and bandages. Like the guards, it was undead, but its sheer bulk made him feel more frightened than impressed. He doubted he had sufficient skill to vanquish such a monster, much less raise it from the dead.

The creature greeted him in a deep bass voice that reverberated within its ponderous body. Although it spoke perfectly understandable Common, the sound chilled him. Strange buzzing and clicking underlaid its words. “The master has been expecting you, archmage. I am Anub’arak.”

It had both the intelligence and motor skills for speech—astonishing! “Yes. I wish to become his apprentice.”

The huge creature simply looked down at him. Possibly it was debating whether he would make a tasty snack.

He cleared his throat nervously. “May I see him?”

“In due time,” Anub’arak rumbled. “Thus far, you have devoted your life to the pursuit of knowledge. An admirable goal. Still, your experiences as a mage cannot have prepared you for serving the master.”

What could have inspired such a speech? Did the majordomo consider Kel’Thuzad a rival? That was a misconception to dispel as soon as possible. “As a former member of the Kirin Tor, I have more magic at my command than you could probably imagine. I am more than prepared for whatever tasks the master gives me.”

“We shall see.”

Anub’arak led him through a number of tunnels that took them far beneath the earth. At last Kel’Thuzad and his guide emerged into a vast ziggurat whose name, so Anub’arak said, was Naxxramas. From its architecture, the building was another product of the half-spider creatures. Indeed, the first chambers Anub’arak showed him were populated by the undead things, which swiftly lost their novelty. Actual spiders also skittered here and there among the undead, busily spinning cobwebs and laying eggs.

Kel’Thuzad hid his distaste. He wouldn’t give the enormous majordomo the satisfaction. Indicating one of the undead spider-things, he said, “You bear them some resemblance. Are you all derived from the same race?”

“The nerubian race, yes. Then the master came. As his influence spread, we made war upon him, foolishly believing we stood a chance. Many of us were slain and raised into undeath. In life I was a king. Today I am a crypt lord.”

“In return for immortality, you agreed to serve him,” Kel’Thuzad mused aloud. Remarkable.

“‘Agreed’ implies choice.”

Which meant that the necromancer could compel obedience from the undead. Kel’Thuzad might be the first living being to come here of his own free will. Faintly disquieted, he changed the subject. “This place is full of your people. I take it you rule here?”

“After my death, I led my brethren in conquering this ziggurat for our new master. I also oversaw the process of altering it to serve his design. However, Naxxramas does not fall under my authority. Nor are my people its only occupants. This is but one wing out of four.”

“In that case, lead on, crypt lord. Show me the rest.”

* * * * *

he second wing was everything Kel’Thuzad could have hoped. Magical artifacts, laboratory equipment, and other supplies that put his old laboratories to shame. Huge rooms that could hold a veritable army of assistants. Undead beasts that had been cleverly sewn together from a hodgepodge of animals and reanimated. Even a few undead humanoids composed of body parts from assorted humans. The human body parts bore no wounds: unlike the nerubians, the humans had not fought their fate. The necromancer must have acquired the bodies from a local graveyard. Wise to avoid drawing notice. The Kirin Tor would have taken immediate action.

Unfortunately the third wing proved less interesting. Anub’arak showed him an armory and an area for combat training. Next the crypt lord led him through chambers filled with hundreds—no, thousands—of sealed barrels and shipping crates. Why would Naxxramas need so much in the way of supplies? Well, the pyramid was well stocked in the unlikely event that it was besieged.

At last he and Anub’arak reached the last wing. Giant mushrooms grew in a garden area and gave off noxious fumes that made Kel’Thuzad feel ill. The soil beneath each mushroom seemed unhealthy, possibly diseased. Going closer to inspect it, he stepped on something that squished: a fist-sized creature that resembled a maggot.

He shuddered and hastily moved on. The next room had a number of small cauldrons filled with a bubbling greenish liquid. Curious despite the substance’s revolting odor, Kel’Thuzad took a step forward, but a massive claw abruptly blocked his way.

“The master wishes you to remain among the living. Your time has not yet come.”

His breath caught in his throat. “It would have killed me?”

“There are many who will not serve the master in life. The fluid resolves that difficulty.” At Kel’Thuzad’s blank look, the crypt lord said, “Come. I will show you.”

Anub’arak took him to a cell that held two prisoners. Villagers, by their homespun clothing. The man was cradling the woman in his arms; she was ghastly pale and soaked in sweat. Alive, both of them, though the woman was clearly ill. Kel’Thuzad glanced at the crypt lord uneasily.

Her desperate glassy eyes found Kel’Thuzad and brightened. “Mercy, my lord! My body fails. I have seen what will happen next. One bolt of flame, I beg of you. Let me rest in peace.”

She was afraid of becoming the necromancer’s thrall. According to Anub’arak, she would have no choice. Kel’Thuzad looked away queasily. After all, she couldn’t live much longer anyway.

She struggled out of the man’s arms and clung to the cell bars. “For pity’s sake! If you will not aid me, at least take my husband to safety!” And she wept hopelessly.

“Hush, sweetheart,” the man murmured behind her. “I will not leave you.”

“Make her be quiet!” Kel’Thuzad whispered fiercely at Anub’arak.

“The noise distresses you?” With one lightning-quick motion, Anub’arak shot one claw through the bars and speared the woman through the heart. Then the crypt lord casually shook the corpse off onto the floor.

Her husband howled with anguish. Guiltily relieved, Kel’Thuzad began to turn away, but froze when the corpse started thrashing and arching against the stone floor. The male villager gaped in shock and fell silent.

The dead woman’s skin was changing color: shifting to a faintly greenish gray. Gradually the spasms died off, and she scrambled unsteadily to her feet. She rolled her head to one side, then shivered as she spotted her husband. “Guards, get this man out of here.” she rasped.

The guards didn’t move. With a groan, she raked her fingers through her tangled brown hair, and Kel’Thuzad got a good look at her face. Blood vessels were darkening under the skin, and her eyes seemed feral, crazed.

Her husband asked doubtfully, “My love? Are you all right?”

A bitter laugh escaped her and twisted into a snarl when he took a hesitant step toward her. “Don’t come any closer.”

The man ignored her protest and went toward her, but she shoved him away with enough force to send him flying. He hit the cell bars and slid down, stunned.

“Stay back.” Her speech was becoming more guttural. “Hurt you.” She wrapped her arms around herself, backed up until she bumped against the opposite side of the cell. “Hurt you, hurt you,” she whined, and something began to be wrong with the way she said it.

Uncomprehending, Kel’Thuzad watched her slowly, jerkily lift a hand to the hole in her chest. She hissed, grimaced, and brought her fingers to her mouth. Licked them. Sucked at them. Then in a blur of movement, she was leaping at her husband, lashing out, baring her teeth—

The man screamed, and blood spurted onto the cell floor. Kel’Thuzad flinched away. Closing his eyes didn’t help; he could still hear unspeakable sounds. Ripping, shredding. Chewing. A soft, wretched mewling that he very much feared meant the undead woman was aware of her actions on some level, but unable to stop herself.

Sickened and horrified, he teleported out of Naxxramas altogether, staggered a little distance away, and threw up. Finding a patch of unsullied snow, he scooped up handfuls and scrubbed viciously at his mouth and face. It felt as if he would never be clean again. What had he gotten himself involved in?

One by one, his scattered thoughts fell into place. The necromancer was no simple academic, interested in studying a widely condemned field of magic. Nor did he plan to stop at fortifying his home against attack. He was mass-producing a fluid that converted people into zombies. Naxxramas also had an enormous stockpile of supplies, weapons, armor, training grounds….

These weren’t defensive measures. They were preparations for war.

A sudden wind buffeted him with an unearthly shriek, and a group of cold wraiths coalesced in front of his eyes. He had read of them years ago in the Violet Citadel. The vague description of their cloudy, translucent forms had mentioned nothing of the frigid malice in their glowing eyes.

One of the wraiths drifted closer and asked, “Second thoughts? As you see, your little trick will not avail you. You cannot escape the master. At any rate, what could you hope to accomplish? Where would you go? More to the point, who would believe you?”

Fight or flight: those would have been the heroic choices. Heroic, but pointless. His death would serve nothing. By agreeing to become the necromancer’s apprentice, Kel’Thuzad bought himself time in which to bolster his own skills. With enough training, he could surpass the necromancer or catch the man off guard.

He nodded to the wraith. “Very well. Take me to him.”

The wraiths teleported him back to the citadel and escorted him downward through a series of halls and rooms that Kel’Thuzad knew he wouldn’t be able to remember later. At last, deep beneath the earth, he and the wraiths entered a huge cavern whose dank chill sank into his bones. In the center of the cavern was a dizzyingly tall spire of rock. Blanketed in snow, a set of stairs spiraled up the sides of the spire.

He and the wraiths began the ascent. His heart pounded with excitement and dread. When he realized that his steps were slowing, he sped up again. His resolution didn’t last long, however. It felt as if a weight was pulling at him. Evidently the long journey across Northrend had tired him more than he’d thought.

Far above him, at the top of the spire, he could barely make out a large chunk of crystal. Untouched by snow, it had a faint bluish gleam. There was no sign of the necromancer.

One of the wraiths used a frigid gust of wind to give him a push. His pace had been lagging again. Irritably he tugged his cloak closer and forced himself to keep climbing, though he was breathing hard.

Time passed, and a blast of sleet brought him back to full awareness. He had stopped in the middle of the stairs to lean on his staff. The air was foul and suffocating; he was panting by now. “Give me a moment,” he managed.

A wraith behind him said, “We cannot rest. Why should you?”

Grimly Kel’Thuzad resumed the climb and hunched his shoulders against the growing exhaustion. He raised his head with an effort and saw that the glimmering crystal was drawing close. At this distance, it looked like a jagged throne with hazy dark shapes inside it. There was a palpable aura of menace about the thing.

The wraiths brushed against him and startled him into crying out. Echoes of the sound reverberated throughout the cavern. He clutched at his fur cloak with clammy, trembling hands. His breath rattled in the back of his throat, and he had the sudden terrible urge to turn around and start running. “Where is the master?” he asked, and his voice was high and quavering.

No answer, just a storm of hail that lashed at him cruelly. He stumbled and recovered his footing. With each step, the throne looming above him felt more oppressive, pushing his head down, bending his spine. He could barely walk upright. Before long, he fell to his hands and knees.

The necromancer spoke directly to Kel’Thuzad then in a voice that was no longer even remotely kind. Let this be your first lesson. I have no love for you or your people. On the contrary, I intend to scour humanity from this planet, and make no mistake: I have the power to do it.

Relentless, the wraiths did not permit him to stop. Beyond humiliation, he abandoned his staff and began to crawl. The necromancer’s malevolence beat down upon him and pressed him deeper into the snow. Kel’Thuzad was shaking and whimpering, and o gods, he’d been wrong—stupidly, colossally wrong. This wasn’t fatigue. It was stark terror.

You will never catch me unaware, for I do not sleep, and as you should have already guessed, I can read your thoughts as easily as you might read a book. Nor can you hope to defeat me. Your puny mind is incapable of handling the energies I manipulate on a whim.

Kel’Thuzad had long since torn his robes, and his leggings were useless against the icy rock of the rough-hewn stairs. His hands and knees left bloody tracks behind him as he struggled up the last spiral. The throne radiated bone-chilling cold, and mist surrounded it. A throne not of crystal, but of ice.

Immortality can be a great boon. It can also be agony the likes of which you have not yet begun to fathom. Defy me, and I will teach you what I have learned of pain. You will beg for death.

He came within a few feet of the throne and could go no farther, pinned helplessly beneath the thing’s overwhelming aura of inhuman might and hatred. An unseen force bore down on him and ground the side of his face into the unyielding stone. “Please,” he found himself sobbing. “Please!” Further words escaped him.

Finally the pressure eased. The wraiths flitted away, but he knew better than to rise. Doubted, in any case, that he could. His eyes, however, unwillingly sought out his tormentor.

A set of plate armor was seated within the throne, rather than upon it. Kel’Thuzad might have thought the armor merely black, but, blinking hard, he saw that no light at all was reflected from its surface. In fact, the longer he looked, the more it seemed to devour all light, hope, and sanity.

The ornate spiked helm obviously doubled as a crown. It was set with a single blue gem and, like the rest of the armor, appeared empty. In one gauntlet, the figure clasped a massive sword whose blade had been etched with runes. Here was power. Here was despair.

As my lieutenant, you will gain knowledge and magic to surpass your most ambitious dreams. But in return, living or dead, you will serve me for the rest of your days. If you betray me, I shall make you into one of my mindless ones, and you will serve me still.

Serving this spectral being—this Lich King, as Kel’Thuzad was beginning to think of him—would assuredly bring Kel’Thuzad great power… and damn him for all eternity. But that knowledge came far too late. Besides, damnation had little meaning without the prospect of true death.

“I am yours. I swear it,” he said hoarsely.

In response, the Lich King sent him a vision of Naxxramas. Small black-robed figures stood in a broad circle outside on the glacier. Their arms, visibly wreathed in dark magic, rose and fell in time with a droning chant that eluded Kel’Thuzad’s understanding. Tremors shook the earth beneath their feet, but they kept casting.

You will go forth and bear witness to my power. You will be my ambassador to the living, and assemble a group of like-minded people to further my plans. Through illusion, persuasion, sickness, and force of arms, you will establish my hold upon Azeroth.

To Kel’Thuzad’s astonishment, the ice shifted and cracked, and the top of a ziggurat pierced the frozen ground. A building was being pulled up out of the soil. While the robed figures redoubled their efforts, the vast pyramid continued its impossible emergence. Chunks of dirt and ice flew outward with explosive force. Soon the entire structure had broken free of the earth’s embrace. Slowly but surely, Naxxramas rose into the air.

And this will be your vessel.

Naxxramas – Page 1 | Page 2 – The Undead Plague

Warden Belamoore: Dalaran Research Journal

When killing Warden Belamoore in the Dalaran Internment Camp she drops a journal book:

Kegan Darkmar, leader of the small group of undead who came to us in search of asylum from their brethren, defies our common attitudes toward his kind.  His skin may be rotting and blood may have long stopped flowing through his veins, but he acts very nobly and seems to care more for his compatriots’ safety than his own.

Indeed, there is a humanity within him that, I confess I sometimes see lacking in the humans around me.

But why do I mention this?  I do so to give credence to what I am about to write.  For these words came from Regan’s lips and it is my hope that my colleagues will.  Upon reading this journal, know why I believe what he said.

Remnants of the Old gods still linger in the deep hollows of the world.  New forces seek to harness that ancient power, and those who succeed will have a terrible weapon against their enemies.

That is what Kegan uttered as he handed his bloodstone pendant to me.  And there was fear, and maybe reverence, in his eyes as he did so.  And as his hands met with mine they lingered, as if reluctant to give up the pendant.  Revulsion swept through me.  Yet to this day I know not if I reviled against his dead flesh pressed to mine, or if the pendant itself made my skin crawl.

For I felt a power within it.  A deep hidden hungry power.  And one yearning for release.

Although my colleagues in Dalaran were cautious to study the bloodstones that Kegan and his followers brought with them, instead quarantining the four refugees and leaving the bloodstones on their persons, the sincerity of Kegan obliged me to study his bloodstone pendant.

My hopes were to verify for my colleagues tha this type of stone did possess magical properties.  And if we wizards of Dalaran did not wish to exploit the power of bloodstones, we should at the least learn their properties, since our foes may one day use them against us.

And so my studies began.

I started my tests with the assumption that bloodstone was a type of rock like quartz or obsidian.  So I began a series of procedures to determine what minerals were contained within bloodstone.  What forces were applied to produce its color and hardness, and other properties common to rocks, and ore.  But the bloodstone pendant, to my frustration, did not react to my procedures as would normal ore.

In fact, it often acted in precisely the opposite fashion as expected.  It was almost as if the pendant was deliberately fouling my experiments.

Like it was thinking, and alive.

Angered but not discouraged, I switched from assuming the pendant was an inert piece of rock, to assuming it was a living thing.

But again, I failed.

None of my new tests brought to light any revelations of the origin of bloodstone.  At the time the only riddle I solved was that bloodstone was neither living, nor dead!

But it was then, at the brink of failure, that a breakthrough was made.  My latest test involved a glass beaker, whose brim was chipped.  Leaving a small, jagged space along its edge.  When the test was over again revealing nothing, I went to clean my worktable and cut myself on the beaker.

The cut was not deep but nevertheless bled fiercely.  Before I could wrap my injured finger in a bandage, a good deal of my blood had spilled on my worktable.

And as I was cleaning up this new mess, I noticed the strangest thing.

The blood that had spilled near the bloodstone pendant was slowly moving toward the piece of jewelry.  As if gravity had somehow bent itself toward the bloodstone, the blood that touched the pendant seemed to disappear, and the red color of the stone deepened as it drank more of my blood.

After seeing this, my head grew light.  Perhaps from my recent injury (though I did not believe I had lost that much blood) or perhaps because I had finally, after so much frustration uncovered one of the bloodstone’s properties.  I reached behind me for my work stool and sat down, pondering.  Thoughts and questions raced through my head dizzying and threatening to topple me.

Does bloodstone drink blood?  Does it crave blood?  Does it attract blood?

Or, is bloodstone made of blood?  And if so, then whose blood?  Mine?  The blood of any human?  Any animal?

Or maybe bloodstone is the blood of some unknown thing, the very thing that Kegan had both feared and revered when he handed me his pendant.

That is the question that must be answered.  It is the key.

Fire rekindled within me.  I then dove back into my experiments.  This time I made no assumptions.  Methodically performing every test at my disposal. This increased my required efforts tremendously. But I would be more likely to make discoveries.

And, although my lab here is small and I have no subordinates to spare to aid, I did find one more intriguing quality of bloodstone.

In addition to blood, there are elemental forces fused within the stone.  Fire, water, thunder, and rock are mixed with the blood (But again, the blood of what?).  And although this mixture is outwardly inert, all these forces seem to rage inwardly against each other.  So many more questions were then raised about this amazing and foreboding material.

But to answer those questions, more studies and experiments must be performed on the pendant, and I fear tha the Lordamere Internment Camp cannot marshal the manpower nor the equipment for the task.  So I sent the bloodstone pendant with a courier to Dalaran with specific instructions on how to test it, so they may avoid my earlier frustrations.

As I waited for the results of these tests, I spent my time speaking to Kegan.  Although I constantly pressed him for what he knew about bloodstones, he never told me more than what he said the day he gave me his pendant.  And he did not often speak of his time within the fold of what he called “The Forsaken”, which is the name he calls his clan of undead.

But Kegan was very eager to speak on other subjects, particularly his time growing up in Lordaeron before its fall.

He still holds much love for that lost kingdom.  Even though it is now ruined and dead.

My growing fondness for Kegan gave me patience as I waited for my test results.

But after weeks of no news my patience faltered, and upon further inquires to Dalaran, I learned that the bloodstone never reached my colleagues.  My courier was somehow lost on the way, and the bloodstone pendant was lost with him!

This is grave news for although Kegan and his followers still have bloodstone specimens with which we may experiment.  I fear the pendant may fall into unsavory hands.

I have sent another messenger to Dalaran, and hear that even now they are scouring for the pendant, in the ruins outside our protective sphere.

I only hope we’re not too late.

Quest Related: Prison Break In

Find the traitors and recover their artifacts, then return to Magus Voidglare in Tarren Mill.

Bloodstone Wedge
Bloodstone Marble
Bloodstone Shard
Bloodstone Oval

I came to Tarren Mill to research, but now must resolve a crisis. You see, four Forsaken fled the Undercity a few months ago. They turned their backs on their brethren, but what’s worse … they stole from the Dark Lady.
These thieves broke into a secure vault and stole four artifacts, items our apothecaries required in certain studies. Sylvanas would have these artifacts returned.
The thieves fled the Undercity to Dalaran, and those wizards quarantined them in the Lordamere Internment Camp.

World of Warcraft – Murloc History and Lore

Murloc origins are shrouded in mystery. This is due not only to the fact that these creatures appeared on Azeroth’s shores fairly recently (as far as world history goes, anyway) but also because murlocs shun mortals and rarely, if ever, speak anything but their own garbled language.

What’s been known up until now about the fish-men is the following: they are not the most intelligent creatures. They congregate on shorelines in tribes and villages. They have been known, in certain instances to worship enigmatic sea-deities (sometimes including naga). And they seem to care little for the mortal races.

However, recent accounts by select individuals who managed to gather information? either by spying, torturing or surreptitiously gaining the murlocs’ trust, have brought some interesting details to light?

First, murlocs may not be as dumb as everyone thinks they are. Several clues point to the fact that their steady infiltration of the world’s land masses may be a coordinated effort. Whether or not this enterprise has been undertaken strictly of their own accord is not yet known.

Also, the murloc race may be far older than most believe. Several accounts and clues seem to substantiate this. In fact, it is now believed that murlocs (or, more appropriately, their ancestors) may even pre-date trolls. Of course these ancient murlocs lived in the oceans’ depths and therefore were never known to the world’s early land-dwelling races.

In the last few years, the vile naga have begun reemerging from their watery abodes, causing historians to speculate that their migration may have triggered the murlocs’ slow encroachment onto land. Some also guessed that the murlocs might be working in concert with the sinister amphibians.

But perhaps the most startling revelation to come from recent intelligence-gathering efforts was this: the naga may not be the only nightmarish horrors lurking in the seemingly bottomless oceans of the world.

Several indicators from the murlocs themselves point to the possibility that the fish-men are but worshippers or underlings of perhaps several deep-sea monstrosities that currently lie sleeping, or at least waiting, in the murky fathoms ? and even more disturbing, that the murlocs’ emergence is an indication of their incipient awakening.

If that is the case, the mysterious and somewhat underestimated murlocs may be the world’s first glimpse at something far more terrifying.

© 2018 Blizzplanet - Read our Privacy Policy; and Terms and Conditions

©2004-2018 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. World of Warcraft, Warcraft and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

DMCA.com