Qiraji Origin: The Fifth Old god C’Thun

Geologist Laksbane:  “It is history … A history of Silithus … of Ahn’Quiraj … of Titans and Old Gods … I read from the prophecy of C’Thun as written by the Qiraji Prophet Skerran.  A prophecy that portends a cataclysm …

In the time before time, when the world was still in its infancy, a battle between a Titan and a being of unimaginable evil and power raged on this very soil.  The prophecy is unclear about whether or not the Titan was vanquished in this battle but it illustrates that a Titan fell.  An Old God had also fallen – or so it was thought.

The land of eternal starlight, Kalimdor, was a nurturing mother to all of its creatures.  The magic of the Well of Eternity permeated the land and empowered the multitude of flora and fauna that would make the world their home.  From this magical ether were born the silithid.  It was through the silithid that the brooding Old god would reach and attempt to sunder the world that it once held in its unmerciful grasp.

The Old god would create avatars from the silithid in its own image.  These avatars were to be known as Qiraji.  Sentient and with purpose, the Qiraji would name their creator: C’thun was born … For many thousands of years the Qiraji worked feverishly to build a force capable of laying waste to the world that would betray their god.  The great fortress city of Ahn’Qiraj was created to house their growing armies and prepare for the coming of C’Thun.  This can’t be right.  An Old god could never be allowed to enter this world.  The results would be … Oh dear!

There is more.  The moment that C’Thun had so patiently waited for had finally arrived.  His children had spent thousands of years building an army capable of exacting revenge upon the whole of Kalimdor and now the prize was within their grasp.

The Titans had long since vacated this world.  Only the night elves that once inhabited this area were here to defend.  Oh my!  The next passage is fascinating!  A mighty Qiraji known as General Rajaxx would command the initial incursion into Silithus.  Only one would stand in his way:  A night elf known as Staghelm.  They refer to him as Khar’sis or “hand of the earth” in the native Qiraji tongue.

Staghelm and his armies were clearly overwhelmed as the endless flow of Rajaxx’s troops poured into Silithus.  It would seem as if Staghelm, however, was more than just a nuisance to the Qiraji.  Under Staghelm, the whole of the night elf armies had come together to defend Kalimdor, greatly slowing the Qiraji forces.

Unfortunately, the night elf defense was untenable and Rajaxx knew that they could not hold out much longer.  Their tenacity, however, was causing great frustration to Rajaxx and causing even more frustration to his king.  Wait, kings?  Incredible…

Vek’nilash and Vek’lor, known as the Twin Emperors of Ahn’Qiraj, watched the war from the sanctuary of their temple.  The clever brothers devised a plan to demoralize and divide Staghelm’s forces.  Valstann Staghelm served as the right hand of Fandral.  A proud and noble warrior, his dedication and adoration for his father unyielding … and the Twin Emperors sensed this as weakness.  A weakness that could be exploited.

The Qiraji forces were commanded to fall back and hide the bulk of their numbers beneath the sands of the desert.  A small attack was ordered upon Southwind Village while the front lines of Staghelm’s army were kept occupied.

Valstann, eager to please his father, convinced Fandral to allow him to take a small batallion to the defense of Southwind.  Surely with the tide of battle turning their way, no harm could come to his beloved child.  The trap was missed.  Valstann was captured by the hiding Qiraji and Southwind Village obliterated.  Rajaxx himself would take the captive Valstann to the front lines of the battle where – in front of Staghelm and the night elf forces – he would brutally execute the young night elf.  The war continued but the will of the great leader was sapped.  The whole of Silithus was soon engulfed by the silithid and their Qiraji hosts.

Poor man, this explains so much.  The night elf army was pushed back through Un’Goro, to the borders of the Tanaris desert.  something in Un’Goro prevented the Qiraji from being able to take the land.  I do not quite understand this word but I believe it to mean ‘God Lands’.  It is stated that they could not ‘take the God Lands’.

Fascinating, this coincides with theories of Un’Goro being the home of the Titans when they inhabited Kalimdor.  Perhaps Aman’Thul himself watched over ‘The God Lands’.  Hrm, curious … This ends abruptly.  In Tanaris the Qiraji document facing a bronze dragon.  There is much missing from this … More information must be found!  Surely they are planning to invade Kalimdor once more!”

(( Baristolth of the Shifting Sands shifts uncomfortably. ))

Baristolth of the Shifting Sands: “When the time is right, my lady.  All will be clear when the time is right.  The master stirs even now.  Look to the skies for the Brood of Nozdormu have returned.

Beginnings of the Undead Threat

The Undead’s beginnings upon Azeroth do not truly begin with the corruption of Prince Arthas-it began long before that event. The events that brought downfall of Lordaeron were long set in motion before that point; it began with the coming of the orcish clans and the burning legion.

The orcs of Draenor (the world which they originally came from) were noble and shamanistic. They were powerful warriors, strong of body and will. It was for these reasons that the Burning Legion sought them out. Kil’jaeden, a demon of great power among the Legion, wished to enslave the orcish clans and use them as his army against the worlds the Burning Legion had yet to conquer.

Kil’jaeden came to the leader of the clans, a powerful shaman named Ner’zhul. He promised Ner’zhul untold mystical power and knowledge if he made a pact with the demon that would enslave the clans to the Burning Legion. This pact sealed not only their fate but that of their world forever.

As time passed, Ner’zhul realized the fate of the clans at the hands of the Burning Legion, and the orc shaman began to defy Kil’jaeden. The demon, angered by Ner’zhul, turned to the shaman’s own apprentice, Gul’dan, who was far more corruptible than Ner’zhul.

It was Gul’dan who was responsible for the decline of shamanism throughout the clans. The promise of power and control over one’s enemies made his offers even more tempting. With Kil’jaeden’s help, Gul’dan began his manipulation of the clans. The orcs, once noble, became corrupt, mindless savages. With the introduction of demon blood into their bodies, the orcs were even more ruthless and barbaric.

Even though Kil’jaeden had corrupted Gul’dan after his failure with Ner’zhul, Kil’jaeden hated the shaman and vowed to enforce their original pact. Kil’jaeden captured Ner’zhul and began an incredibly slow physical torture on the shaman. While Ner’zhul begged for death, Kil’jaeden reminded Ner’zhul that their original pact was still binding. Kil’jaeden killed the orc but only physically. Kil’jaeden held the orc shaman’s spirt fast before it could find its way to the Twisting Nether.

Kil’jaeden placed Ner’zhul’s spirit within a block of ice gathered from the Twisting Nether. While it was trapped within the ice, he infused into it even more power. The loss of his body and the introduction of such incredible power was the defining line in Ner’zhul’s transformation.

Kil’jaeden hurled the block of ice through dimensions back to Azeroth, where it landed in the continent of Northrend, introducing this great evil to our world. Ner’zhul was gone forever; in his place was a throne of ice and hatred. The once respected shaman leader had become the incredibly powerful Lich King.

Because Kil’jaeden did not trust the Lich King, he sent his dread lords to watch over the spirit and ensure that the Lich King followed his orders. The vampiric servants came to Azeroth willingly, drawn to the destruction and power of the Lich King and the potential genocide of a planet’s entire race.

Over a decade passed. During this time, the Lich King used his vast powers to gain control over the minds of the creatures of Northrend, whom he commanded to erect a great citadel over his frozen throne. Now that all of Northrend was under his domination, the Lich King knew he needed to begin his inflitration of Lordaeron. Trapped within the ice, the former orc shaman began seeking more minds to manipulate and control. His call reached out across the continents.

The Lich King’s summons did not go unnoticed. Especially by a small handful of powerful individuals. Among them was the Archmage Kel’Thuzad, who was a powerful member of the ruling body of Dalaran, the Kirin Tor. His pursuit of all types of magic violated the Kirin Tor’s policies against learning dark magics. Kel’Thuzad abandoned the Kirin Tor, and all his ties to conventional thought and vowed to learn as much as he could from the Lich King.

A pact was struck between the two. Kel’Thuzad would receive immortality and immense power in return for servitude to the Lich King. Kel’Thuzad’s first task was to use his wealth and influence in Lordaeron to found the Cult of the Damned. The Cult promised equality and eternal life to all its members as long as they swore an oath to Ner’zhul the God of the Cult of the Damned.

Ner’zhul then created artifacts that were designed to spread the plague among the human civilizations of Lordaeron. He gave them to Kel’Thuzad, and ordered the wizard to spread them across the land. His Cult followers were to protect the artifacts at all costs.

Once in place, the plague began to seep into the land and affect its ignorant citizens. As Kel’Thuzad watched, the Lich King’s army grew quickly and he soon gained control over large portions of the land. This army became known as the Scourge, for its sole purpoes was to scour humanity from all of Azeroth.

—Book found at Scarlet Monastery

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The Kaldorei and the Well of Eternity

Ten thousand years before the orcs and humans clashed in their First War, the world of Azeroth cradled ony one massive continent surrounded by the infinite, raging seas.  That land mass, known as Kalimdor, was home to a number of disparate races and creatures, all vying for survival amongst the savage elements of the waking world.  At the dark continent’s center was a mysterious lake of incandscent energies.

The lake, which would later be called the Well of Eternity, was the true heart of the world’s magic and natural power.  Drawing its energies from the infinite Great Dark Beyond the world, the Well acted as a mystical fount, sending its potent energies out across the world to nourish life in all its wondrous forms.

In time, a primitive tribe of nocturnal humanoids cautiously made their way to the edges of the mesmerizing enchanted lake.  The feral nomadic humanoids drawn by the Well’s strange energies, built crude homes upon its tranquil shores.  Over time, the Well’s cosmic power affected the strange tribe, making them strong, wise and virtually immortal.  The tribe adopted the name Kaldorei, which meant – children of the stars – in their native tongue.  To celebrate their budding society, they constructed great structures and temples around the lake’s periphery.

The Kaldorei, or NIght elves as they would later be known, worshipped the moon goddess Elune, and believed that she slept within the Well’s shimmering depths during the daylight hours.  The early Night elf priests and seers studied the Well with an insatiable curiosity, driven to plumb its untold secrets and power.  As their society grew, the night elves explored the breadth of Kalimdor and encountered its myriad denizens.

The only creatures that gave them pause were the ancient and powerful dragons.  Though the great serpentine beasts were often reclusive, they did much to safeguard the known lands from potential threats.  The night elves believed that the dragons held themselves to be the protectors of the world, and that they and their secrets were best left alone.

In time, the night elves’ curiosity led them to meet and befriend a number of powerful entities, not the least of which was Cenarius, a mighty demi-god of the primordial forestlands.  The great-hearted Cenarius grew fond of the inquisitive night elves and spent a great deal of time teaching them about the natural world.  The tranquil Kaldorei developed a strong empathy for the living forests of Kalimdor and reveled in the harmonious balance of nature.

Yet as the seemingly endless ages passed, the night elves’ civilization expaned both territorially and culturally.  Their temples, roads, and dwelling places stretched across the breadth of the dark continent.  Azshara, the night elves’ beautiful and gifted queen, built an immense, wondrous palace on the Well’s shore that housed her favored servitors within its bejeweled halls.

Her servitors, whom she called the Quel’dorei or High-borne, doted on her every command and believed themselves to be greater than the rest of their lower-caste breathren.  Though Queen Azshara was loved equally by all of her people, the High-borne were secretly hated by the jealous masses.

Sharing the priests’ curiosity towards the Well of Eternity, Azshara ordered the educated high-borne to plumb its secrets and reveal its true purpose in the world.

The high-borne buried themselves in their work and studied the well ceaselessly.  In time they developed the ability to manipulate and control the well’s cosmic energies.  As their reckless experiments progressed, the highborne found that they could use their newfound powers to either create or destroy at their leisure.  The hapless highborne had stumbled upon primitive magic and were now resolved to devote themselves to its mastery.

Although they agreed that magic was inherently dangerous if handled irresponsibly, Azshhara and her highborne began to practive their spellcraft with reckles abandon.  Cenarius and many of hte wizened night elf scholars warned that only calamity would result from toying with the clearly volatile arts of magic.  But, Azshara and her followers stubbornly continued to expand their burgeoning powers.

As their powers grew, a distinct change came over Azshara and the highborne.  The haughty, aloof upper class became incresingly callous and cruel towards their fellow night elves.  A dark, brooding pall veiled Azshara’s once entrancing beauty.  She began to withdraw from her loving subjects and refused to interact with any but her trusted Highborne priests.

A young, brazen scholar named Furion Stormrage, who had spent much of his time studying the Well’s effects, began to suspect that a terrible power was corrupting the highborne and his beloved Queen.  Though he could not conceive the evil that was to come, he knew that th enight elves’ lives would soon be changed forever.

The Guardians of Tirisfal

With the absence of trolls in the northlands, the elves of Quel’Thalas bent their efforts towards rebuilding their glorious homeland.  The victorious armies of Arathor returned home to southlands of Strom.

The human society of Arathor grew and prospered, yet Thoradin, fearful that his kingdom would splinter apart if it overextended itself, maintained that Strom was the center of the Arathorian Empire.  After many peaceful years of growth and commerce, mighty Thoradin died of old age, leaving Arathor’s younger generation free to expand the empire beyond the lands of Strom.

The original hundred magi, who were tutored in the ways of magic by the elves, expanded their powers and studied the mystic disciplines of spell-weaving in much greater detail.  These magi, initially chosen for their strong wills and noble spirits, had always practiced their magic with care and responsibility: however, they passed their secrets and powers onto a newer generation that had no concept of the rigors of war or the necessity for self-restrain.

These younger magicians began to practice magic for personal gain rather than out of any responsibility towards their fellows.  As the empire grew and expanded into new lands, the young magicians also spread out into the southlands.  Wielding their mystical powers, the magicians protected their breathren from the wild creatures of the land and made it possible for new city-states to be constructed in the wilderness.  Yet, as their powers grew, the magicians became ever more conceited and isolated from the rest of society.

The second Arathorian city-state of Dalaran was founded in the lands north of Strom.  Many fledgling wizards left the restraining confines of Strom behind and traveled to Dalaran, where they hoped to use their new powers with greater freedom.  These magicians used their skills to build up the enchanted spires of Dalaran and reveled in the pursuit of their studies.

The citizens of Dalaran tolerated the magicians’ endevours and built up a bustling economy under the protection of their magic-using defenders.  Yet, as more and more magicians practiced their arts, the fabric of reality around Dalaran began to weaken and tear.

The sinister agents of the Burning Legion, who had been banished when the Well of Eternity collapsed, were lured back into the world by the heedless spellcasting of the magicians of Dalaran.  Though these relatively weak demons did not appear in force, they did sew considerable confusion and chaos within the streets of Dalaran.

Most of these demonic encounters were isolated events and the ruling Magocrats did what they could to keep such events hidden from the public.  The most powerful magicians were sent to capture the elusive demons, but they often found themselves hopelessly outmatched by the lone agents of the might Legion.

After a few months the superstitious peasantry began to suspect that their sorcerous rulers were hiding something terrible from them.  Rumors of revolution began to sweep through the streets of Dalaran as the paranoid citizenry questioned the motives and practices of the magician tey had once admired.  The Magocrats fearing that the peasants would revolt and that Strom would take action against them, turned to the only group they felt would understand their particular problem:  The High Elves.

Upon hearing the Magocrats’ news of demonic activity in Dalaran, the elves quickly dispatched their mightiest wizards to the human lands.  The elven wizards studied the energy currents in Dalaran and made detailed reports of all demonic activity that they beheld.  They concluded that although there were only a few demons loose in the world, the Legion itself would remain a dire threat so long as humans continued to wield the forces of magic.

The Council of Silvermoon, which ruled over the elves of Quel’Thalas, entered into a secret pact with the Magocrat Lords of Dalaran.  The elves told the Magocrats about the history of Ancient Kalimdor and of the Burning Legion.  A history which still threatened the world.  They informed the humans that so long as they used magic, they would need to protect their citizenry from the malicious agents of the Legion.

The Magocrats proposed the notion of empowering a single mortal champion who would utilize their powers in order to fight a never-ending secret war against the Legion.  It was stressed that the majority of mankind could never know about the Guardians or the threat of the Legion for fear that they would riot in fear and paranoia.  The elves agreed to the proposal and foundeda secret society that would watch over the selection of the Guardian and help to stem the rise of chaos in the world.

The society held its secret meetings in the shadowed Tirisfal Glades, where the high elves had first settled in Lordaeron.  Thus, they named the secret sect the Guardians of Tirisfal.  The mortal champions who were chosen to be Guardians were imbued with incredible powers of both Elven and Human magic.  Though there would only ever be one Guardian at a time, they held such vast power that they could single-handedly fight back the Legion’s agents wherever they were found in the world.

The Guardian power was so great that only the Council of Tirisfal was allowed to choose potential successors to the mantle of Guardianship.  Whenever a guardian grew too old, or wearied of the secret war against chaos, the Council chose a new champion, and under controlled conditions, formally channeled the Guardian power into its new agent.

As the generations passed, Guardians defended the masses of humanity from the invisible threat of the Burning Legion throughout the lands of Arathor and Quel’Thalas.  Arathor grew and prospered while the use of magic spread throughout the empire.  Meanwhile, the Guardians kept careful watch for signs of demonic activity.

The New Horde

The Chief Warden of the internment camps, Aedelas Blackmoore, watched over the captive orcs from his prison-stronghold, Durnholde Keep.  One orc in particular had always held his interest: the orphaned infant he had found nearly 18 years before Blackmoore had raised the young male as a favored slave and named him Thrall.  Blackmoore taught the orc about tactics, philosophy, and combat.  Thrall was even trained as a gladiator.  All the while the corrupt warden sought to mold the orc into a weapon.

Despite harsh upbringing, young Thrall grew into a strong, quick-witted orc, and he knew in his heart that a slave’s life was not for him.  As he grew to maturity, he learned about his people, the orcs, whom he had never met:  after their defeat, most of them had been placed in internment camps.  Rumor had it that Doomhammer, the orc leader, had escaped from Lordaeron and gone into hiding.  Only one rogue clan still operated in secret, trying to evade teh watchful eyes of the Alliance.

The resourceful yet inexperienced Thrall decided to escape from Blackmoore’s fortress and set off to find others of his kind.  During his journeys Thrall visited the internment camps and found his once-mighty race to be strangely cowed and lethargic.  Having not found the proud warriors he hoped to discover, Thrall set out to find the last undefeated orc chieftain, Grom Hellscream.

Constantly hunted by the humans, Hellscream nevertheless held onto the Horde’s unquenchable will to fight aided only by his own devoted Warsong Clan.  Hellscream continued to wage an underground war against the oppression of his beleaguered people.  Unfortunately, Hellscream could never find a way to rouse the captured orcs from their stupor.  The impressionable Thrall, inspired by Hellscream’s idealism, developed a strong empathy for the Horde and its warrior traditions.

Seeking the truth of his own origins, Thrall traveled north to find the legendary Frostwolf Clan.  Thrall learned that Gul’dan had exiled the Frostwolves during the early days of the First War.  He also discovered that he was the son and heir of the orc hero Durotan, the true chieftain of the Frostwolves who had been murdered in the wilds nearly twenty years before.

Under the tutlelage of the venerable shaman Drek’Thar, Thrall studied his people’s ancient shamanistic culture which had been forgotten under Gul’dan’s evil rule.  Over time, Thrall became a powerful shaman and took his rightful place as chieftain of the exiled Frostwolves.  Empowered by the elements themselves and driven to find his destiny, Thrall set off to free the captive clans an dheal his race of demonic corruption.

During his travels, Thrall found the aged warchief Orgrim Doomhamer, who had been living as a hermit for many years.  Doomhammer, who had been a close friend of Thrall’s father, decided to follow the young, visionary orc and help him free the captive clans.  Supported by many of the veteran chieftains, Thrall ultimately succeeded in revitalizing the HOrde and giving his people a new spiritual identity.

To symbolize his people’s rebirth, Thrall returned to Blackmoore’s fortress of Durnholde and put a decisive end to his former master’s plans by laying siege to the internment camps.  This victory was not without its price:  during the liberation of one camp, Doomhammer fell in battle.

Thrall took up Doomhammer’s legendary warhammer and donned his black plate-armor to become the new Warchief of the Horde.  During the following months, Thrall’s small but volatile Horde laid waste to the internment camps and stymied the Alliance’s best efforts to counter his clever strategies.  Encouraged by his best friend and mentor, Grom Hellscream, Thrall worked to ensure that his people would never be slaves again.

Mount Hyjal and Illidan’s Gift

The few night elves that survived the horrific explosion rallied together on crudely made rafts and slowly made their way to the only landmass in sight.  Somehow, by the grace of Elune, Malfurion, Tyrande and Cenarius had survived the Great Sundering.  The weary heroes agreed to lead their fellow survivors and establish a new home for their people.

As they journeyed in silence, they surveyed the wreckage of their world and realized that their passions had wrought the destruction all around them.  Though Sargeras and his Legion had been ripped from the world by the Well’s destruction, Malfurion and his companions were left to ponder the terrible cost of victory.

There were many Highborne who did survive the cataclysm unscathed.  They made their way to the shores of the new land along with the other night elves.  Though Malfurion mistrusted the HIghborne’s motivations, he was satisfied that they could cause no real mischief without the Well’s energies.

As the weary mass of night elves landed upon the shores of the new land, they found that the holy mountain, Hyjal, had survived the catastrophe.  Seeking to establish a new home for themselves, Malfurion and the night elves climbed the slopes of Hyjal and reached its windswept summit.  As they descended into the wooded bowl, nestled between the mountain’s enormous peaks, they found a small, tranquil lake.  To their horror, they found that the lake’s waters had been fouled by magic.

Illidan, having survived the Sundering as well, had reached Hyjal summit long before Malfurion and the night elves.  In his mad bid to maintain the flows of magic in the world, Illidan had poured his vials, which contained the precious waters from the Well of Eternity, into the Mountain lake.

The well’s potent energies quickly ignited and coalesced into a new Well of Eternity.  The exultant Illidan, believing that the new Well was a gift to future generations, was shocked when Malfurion hunted him down.  Malfurion explained to his brother that magic was innately chaotic and that its use would inevitably lead to widespread corruption and strife.  Still, Illidan refused to relinquish his magical powers.

Knowing full well where Illidan’s ruthless schemes would eventually lead, Malfurion decided to deal with his power-crazed brother once and for all.  With Cenarius’ help, Malfurion sealed Illidan within a vast underground Barrow-prison.  Where he would remain chained and powerless until the end of time.  To ensure his brother’s containment, Malfurion empowered the young warden, Maiev Shadowsong, to be Illidan’s personal jailor.

Concerned that destroying the new Well might bring about an even greater catastrophe, the night elves resolved to leave it be.  However, Malfurion declared that they would never practice the arts of magic again.  Under Cenarius’ watchful eye, they began to study the ancient arts of druidism that would enable them to heal the ravaged earth and re-grow their beloved forests at the base of Mount Hyjal.

Legend of Stalvan

Madam Eva: “Last night a horrible disturbance rippled through my veins. I sensed that my granddaughter, Alyssa, was in great danger. I consulted the cards and Death stared up at me from the table.  After taking a long journey through a dark trance I was able to uncover a clue to this terrifying mystery. A name came to me, the name of Stalvan.
Seek out the Clerk in the Town Hall and see if you can find out more about this character. I fear for us all.”

Clerk Daltry: “Stalvan, eh? Let me check the town registry.
Stalvan. . .Stalvan. . .let’s see. Ah, here we go! I have a record of a Mr. Stalvan Mistmantle. The last recorded address is the Moonbrook Schoolhouse. My, talk about outdated!  Do me a favor will you, friend? If you happen to go out to Moonbrook, let me know if you get any update on this fellow. I like to keep the records clean.”

A Dusty Unsent Letter

To the Honorable Headmaster Crillian:

My former Master, I write to you so that you might know what your apprentice has been doing of late paying heed to your advice.  I sought to build my knoweldge and wisdom through travel outside the Gates of our beloved Stormwind.  My journeys took me to take up residence ere in the lovely lown of Moonbrook.  The Surrounding fields of Westfall are most beautiful as the harvest approaches.

Within just a few days of my visit I found myself tutoring the local children from the nearby farmlands.  The lessons went so well that the town mayor commissioned me to run a school and construction has begun on a brand new schoolhouse! From Silverpine to Stormwind and now Moonbrook—who would have guessed I would see so much of Azeroth!

Warm regards,

Stalvan Mismantle

Talking later to Clerk Daltry—Darkshire’s Registry—he says that Stalvan Mismantle was heading to The Lion’s Pride Inn in Goldshire.

Clerk Daltry: “Oh my! Must have missed this the first time. In the registry, right beneath the first address for Stalvan there’s another one listed, only partially scratched out. Looks like he was headed to The Lion’s Pride Inn over in Goldshire. Might want to check there”

Innkepper Farley: “The name Stalvan rings a bell. I remember now.

Many years back, on a stormy night, a messenger came in, seeking refuge for the night. Near the stroke of midnight, the man ran down the stairs screaming, his face pale with fear. Still wearing his bedclothes, he disappeared into the downpour.

In his haste he forgot his letters in the chest upstairs. He never returned for them. One remains from that Stalvan fellow, intended for the Canal District in Stormwind. Help yourself to it”

Undelivered Letter

Dear Noble Sir,

Word of your need for a tutor for your children has traveled to me here in Goldshire.  Where I take up temporary residence in the Lion’s Pride Inn.  Due to the unfortunate state of events in the region, I was forced to abandon my post as Headmaster of the Moonbrook Schoolhouse.  Please accept my application to serve as tutor for your offspring.  Headmaster Crillian of the Academy can speak to you of my abilities if necessary.  I shall travel to meet you in person when the winter rains subside and the roads are suitable for travel once again.

Until then,

Stalvan Mistmantle of Silverpine

You deliver the unsent letter to who it was meant to be sent—Crillian Flintridge.

Caretaker Folsom: “My father was the caretaker of the estate long before I was. He had to mop the blood up after the massacre. But that’s neither here nor there.  The last funds of the Flintridge trust have dried up. Now the last of the family possessions are headed for auction. Blame the tax vultures. I guess if you’re really itching to learn more you’re free to look through this junk. Who knows what you might find.”

Searching on the wooden crates and barrels’ interior in search of any belongins that may unravel the mystery behind Stalvan, you find a torn journal page.

A Torn Journal Page

Giles, the boy, seems a bit rambunctious and will be a challenge to educate.  However, the elder daughter Tilloa, seems exceptionally smart.  I couldn’t help but to notice her captivating beauty as well.  She is on the cusp of womanhood now.  Supposedly the Lord has arranged her marriage for next year.  But I disgress.  This week I will accompany the family to their summer cottage near the Eastvale Logging Camp in Elwynn, close to the Redridge Mountains.  I hope to write more while there.


While at Eastvale Logging Camp you find Marshal Haggard

Marshall Haggard: “There was a bundle of parchments in the chest upstairs when I moved into this place. I looked at them once when I first arrived but I gave up once the fog hazed over my peepers. Do an old, nearly-blind man a favor and check the chest upstairs for anything that might help you in your quest to discover more about this Stalvan character. I’m pretty sure there’s a faded journal page that might be of interest to you. Bring it to me and I’ll help in anyway I can.”

A Faded Journal Page

Most strange and uncontrollable feeling.  Never have I felt the way I did today.  Whilst assisting Giles with his history lesson, Tilloa was outside tending to the flower garden.  After a few minutes she came inside and placed a scarlet begonia in my open palm and smiled at me in such a way that my heart felt as though it was trembling within my chest …


Marshal Haggard: “I know of someone who might be able to assist you. Back when I was leading the Stormwind Guard, we used to get drinks at the Scarlet Raven Tavern in Darkshire. The Innkeeper there, Smitts, was quite an expert on the local lore. Show him this page and see what he has to say about it.”

Tavernkeep Smitts: “I followed the legend of that Stalvan character for years. When those visiting nobles were slaughtered a few years back I went with Haggard to investigate. I found these muddy pages but we were never able to link the handwriting to that crazy man in the woods. Your trail of evidence proves his guilt. Take this to Commander Ebonlocke immediately and fill her in on what you’ve discovered!”

Commander Althea Ebonlocke: “My, you have proved yourself to be a quite detective.  I have had my eye on that creep.  Stalvan, for quite sometime.  But if this page was written by the same hand it proves his guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt. Stalvan Mistmantle led a life of depravity. Innocent victims died by his hand. Undoubtedly he is guilty of countless crimes. Now the lunatic threatens Darkshire. The Light only knows what sordid acts he is plotting. Travel to his cottage just north of town, Priest, and execute Stalvan, once and for all.  When the deed is done, travel to Madame Eva’s and show her his family ring. After all, it was her premonition that led to this gruesome discovery. But Darkshire is safer because of her.”

Madame Eva: “Stalvan is dead.  I sensed a wave of hope ripple through the tainted forest.  Once and for all, Duskwood is free from his blood thirst.  My joy is hampered by thoughts of those who fell prey to the horrible beast.  Nonetheless, you are brave and cunning.”

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Wiley’s Note: The Defias Brotherhood

Stoutmantle—Some nerve sending a total stranger to discuss the Defias Gang.  Once you saved my life and now you put it in great peril.  But I owe you.  The Defias Brotherhood is larger than you think.  Every mine from Westfall to Elwynn Forest is under their control.  Kobolds and Gnolls have been enlisted to do their dirty work.  they have goblins crafting metal monsters to place in the Westfall fields to prey on the superstitions of the local residents.

They have a vast underground network built.  Bigger than you know Stoutmantle.  From Booty Bay right to Stormwind Keep.  You may be a brave Paladin but you are a fool if you think you can shut them down.  They are working on a weapon of mass destruction.  After all, if there’s one thing Stonemasons know, it’s how to build big.  You didn’t think this was about pumpkin farms and vineyards.  Now did you?  I repaid your favor.  Now leave me be!

—Wiley

Gryan Stoutmantle: “I wonder what Wiley meant when he mentioned the Stonemasons.  Perhaps that was a slip of tongue.  Could the Defias gang be related to the Stonemasons?  Only one man would know for sure: Mathias Shaw, head of SI:7 Show him Wiley’s Note and see if he has anything to add to this growing mystery.  If you have trouble finding Shaw, check the Barracks in Old Town.”

Mathias Shaw: “This matter might be more complex than Stoutmantle realizes.  The Stonemason’s Guild was run by a man named Edwin VanCleef.  VanCleef was responsible for rebuilding Stormwind after the orcs razed it in the First War.  Apparently, VanCleef and his men were unhappy with their treatment by the King after the reconstruction was complete.  That just might explain a thing or two.

I have written a more detailed account for your Master in Westfall.  Take this to him at once!”

Shaw’s Report

Lord Stoutmantle, led by Edwin VanCleef, the Stonemason’s Guild was composed of the most skilled builders among men.  The Stonemasons helped to rebuild the broken city of Stormwind that was razed by the orcs during the First War.  VanCleef and his tradesmen were peerless builders and their work and artistry was evident in the edifices of the Cathedral of Light and Stormwind Keep itself.  However, the nobles of Stormwind ran up a huge debt by expanding the kingdom’s military presence thorugh Elwynn and into Stranglethorn.  The massive debt crippled the Kingdom’s economy and stripped VanCleef and his stonemasons of their promised rewards.  After spending years toiling to rebuild the glorious city, the Stonemasons were left broke.  Forgotten by the City’s corrupt officials.

Having personally known Edwin VanCleeff my entire life, I can tell you that facing him as a foe is quite a daunting task.  You see, he was my childhood friend, and personally trained him in the ways of the shadows thinking that one day he might consider a career alongside me.  If VanCleef is heading up the Defias Brotherhood, may the Light have mercy of our souls.

—Master Mathias Shaw

Stormwind Assassin’s Guild

Gryan Stoutmantle:  “Edwin VanCleef … I know the name well.  To think that a man so industrious and talented could turn into such a scoundrel unnerves me.  I’ll need further proof before I believe this.  We need to discover the location of the Defias hideout.  My scout reports that a Defias messenger has been seen on the roads between Moonbrook, the Gold Coast Quarry and the Jangolode Mine.  I want you to capture him.  If he resists, kill him and bring me whatever he is carrying.”

“This is indeed firm proof that VanCleef is in charge.  Now all we need to know is where the Defias gang is hiding out.  We’ve had a stroke of luck while you were gone.  We captured a thief trying to steal Saldean’s wagon.  He has promised to lead us to the hideout in exchange for his life.  I want you to defend the traitor so he can reveal the hideout.  Return to me once you have uncovered the location.”

“There is but one task left for you to complete.  Edwin VanCleef must be assassinated.  While it saddens me to condemn any man to a death sentence, it is for the greater good of the people of Westfall that VanCleef is laid to rest once and for all.  Bring me the villain’s head once the deed is done.”

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Teronis’ Journal—Wizard Dartol

I started this journal so I could keep notes on my quest to help Ashenvale.  There is a mystery to some of the events that occurred not too long ago.  And hopefully I will be able to unravel some of it in order to help my people.

Let me start by putting down facts so they don’t slip my mind at a later date.  I’ve recently found hruth to he rumors of the wizard Dartol’s efforts.  Where once I thought it preposterous that a human would come to our lands and learn our ways, this wizard, his evil man, came here and not only survived, but also gained some of our knowledge.  I’m still uncerain how …

I never discovered his goals during my investigation, but his plan seemed simple: using druidic magic.  He wanted to befriend and then control the furbolg.  If it was in an attempt to harm my kin, or for some other malicious purpose, I hope to find out before my path ends.

Regardless, he was apparently more successful than naught in actualizing his plans.  Did he want to attempt his machinations on the Furbolg before trying on my people?  Did the furbolg have something he coveted?  Who knows?

Using an iem he created (a rod or staff of some kind) he atemped to infilrae he furbolg tribes of Ashenvale.  At some point, and his is where many of the details are still unclear, he was discovered by the furbolg while trying to manipulate hem ino acting against one another.  As I’m sure the elves would be, the furbolg were angered, but they reacted much more strongly and killed Dartol.

The furbolg, at least at this time, weren’t the same corrupted creatures they’ve become.  They were stil rational and intelligent—their relationship with our people amicable.

I’m hoping that iff I can recreate the rod with the help of a dryad named Shael’dryn, I can use its power to help our people … and the furbolg.  Not all the furbolg have been corrupted.  Some still live and try to protect the forest.  During their corruption, some of the furbolg fled.  Many were killed and others were forced out of their tribes.

I found a venerable furbolg of the Foulweald Tribe living above Lake Mystral—his name is Krolg.  I’ve watchewd him for days, and I think if I were to approach him in the guise of a furbolg, I could help him and discover a way to re-establish a bond between our people.

Along with killing Dartol, the furbolg split up the rod into three parts so it couldn’t be used against them again.  It has been difficult, but I’ve a good idea where all three parts were placed.

The Gem:  The first part of the rod, a glowing gem, was hidden in a shrine in Northwestern Ashenvale, I believe.  Now this shrine is the ruins at the center of Lake Falathim.  The Sentinels tell me that it’s been inhabited by Murlocs now.

If I can’t find the gem hidden in the shrine, it might be in the possession of one of the Murlocs.

The Shaft Portion: This part of the rod was given to the treants near what is now called Felwood.  Neither the furbolg nor my kind could have suspected that such magnificent creatures could ever fall to the corruption that is overtaken the land.

My research tells me that the guardians kept the peice in a small glade locked within a hest.  To find out any more, I’ll have to speak to Shael’dryn.

Shael’dryn is a dryad who protects the moonwell northeast of Lake Iris.  She refuses to leave the forest or forsake it to the corruption.  I know she has the power and knowledge to repair the rod, or to at least tell me how I can do it on my own.

The pommel: The pommel of the rod was given to the druids of Dor’danil.  There is one major problem with this though.  The druids are dead.  Their spirits now inhabit the area and are no longer hospitable.

This may require more investigation.  I’m not sure I’m powerful enough to fight the spirits of fmy dead kin … let alone delve into the depths of Dor’danil and find hte pommel.

NOTE:  During my preparations in Astranaar, I’ve recently met a dwarf hunter who has spent a good portion of his time in Ashenvale trying to help my people.  He came from a place called Stormwind.  We spoke over a few ales one night, and his tales have given me new hope of finding the pommel.

He tells me he’s been throughout all of Dor’danil, and he’s never seen a chest or any container that may hold the pommel.  He also tells me that rotting slimes have inhabited the area, and they devour almost anything smaller than them.  He’s seen them eat tables, sculptures, bears and even gnomes!

The slimes seem to gain a great deal of sustenance from things magical.  If the chest holding the pommel was enchanted at all, the slimes might have eaten it.

It’s a gamble, but I have no other cllues at this time … As I find out more, I’ll put the details here: but until then, I shall work on finding the parts of the rod and helping Ashenvale.

—part of the Quest Series: Raene’s Cleansing

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The Fall of Ameth’Aran—Darkshore

Sentinel Tysha Moonblade was sent by the Circle of Ancients to explore the ancient ruins of Darkshore.

“To the east you will find the ruins of Ameth’Aran. It is now inhabited by the restless spirits of the Highborne that once dwelt within its walls, but once it was a place where the servants of Azshara freely practiced their powerful magics.  I was sent to explore the ruins and came across two large tablets, scrawled with the stories of Ameth’Aran and its fall. While I read the runes, I was accosted by the spirits, and fled.

Please, if you can, venture to the ruins and decipher the tablets in my place.”

We have few records from the time around the War of the Ancients, especially near the destruction of the Well of Eternity.  Given the upheaval and cataclysmic events that were taking place, it is no big surprise.  Thank you.  With your help my work here is finished, and I will be able to deliver a full report to the Circle.

The Fall of Ameth’Aran

The earth trembled as the ancient trees in the enchanted forest were uprooted and toppled.  The groves and glades tended by the sons and daughters of Cenarius and the stone towers of the children of the stars were brought to the rolling ground.  There was our queen.  Radiant even in the desperation.  In the chaos that was the battles.  The enchanted sky changed colors with the discharge of magic.  With the explosions that threatened to tear the world asunder.

Brother fought brother, Chosen fought blessed.  It was not all the Highborne that fought .  Some stood transfixed as the madness took them.  Mighty cities and humble towns alike were felled around them.

In Ameth’Aran, all was in ruins.  Its people clinging to the ground as though that might spare them from the destruction.  It was then that Athrikus Narassin, favored of Azshara appeared to guide them to safety.

With a spell he could protect them.  He would say.  While around them, brother and sister, father and mother perished. They would have life eternal, and have naught to fear from the Sundering that was to come.

The Lay of Ameth’Aran

Long had the children of the stars dwelled upon the banks of the shimmering waters of the Eternal Well.  To all was known that Elune, light of the eternal twilight, aspect and goddess of the moon, dwelt within its waters at such time that she rested from her works.  Upon the shores of the Well did the children of the stars, favored of Elune, build their homes even as their gaze was trained ever skyward, into the moonlit night.

Though there were many towns and places of habitation constructed upon the lakeshore, Ameth’Aran and Bashal’Aran villages were the foremost.  Having the touch of Azshara, the Kaldorei’s beloved Queen, in their creation.  Her favored servitors, those of the Highborne, she brought to the twin towns to reside, and to govern them she placed Athrikus Narassin.  Though it would be that he would spend most of his days in his Tower of Althalaxx, some ways removed of the towns.

His second , a mage known of his prowess in the arcane arts as much as with his physical abilities was Asterion, who lived among the people of Bashal’Aran, and went many times to Ameth’Aran to see to the needs and wants of its people.

And so it was upon the shores of the Well of Eternity, the twin towns grew and prospered, while the world beneath the stars fell slowly to madness.

Asterion

Thundris Windweaver from Auberdine(Darkshore) sends you to investigate.  The ruins of Bashal’Aran to the east are overrun with demonic minions. The sprites and satyrs that have taken up residence in the area feed upon the magical energies of the area, their powers growing from continued exposure. Even with that, I have noticed that there is one shrine they will not approach. On the western side of the ruins, atop a small bluff, a strange blue aura permeates… There must be an explanation to the demons’ reluctance.  I would like you to investigate it.

Finding the strange blue aura, you find Asterion—second to the service of Athrikus Narassin—is found held prisoner within.

“Ahh … to what could I possibly owe the exceedingly special honor of one such as yourself as company.  Truly it says much of my current companions—- with the offense to my hosts, the noble grells and satyrs—that your presence could be considered an improvement.

But please, do not let my uncivil tongue drive you from the place.  It has indeed been many years, decades even, since I had civil accompaniment.”

If I were to relate the story of my life, I have no doubt it would surpass the limits of your patience. Let us say that mine has been a long and painful life, and this spectral form is perhaps the worst torment of all.

I am held here by the means of magic. Though my words may seem disingenuous, I assure you I would be grateful beyond words if you would help me find the means of my imprisonment. A seal binds me, and by examining the earpieces of the sprites and grells, I may find a trace of it.

Once I have the earrings, I will cast the spell to search for the whereabouts of the seal that binds me.  For centuries I have thought on the freedom destroying the seal would bring to me … Perhaps those centuries have taken a toll upon my mind that I might never recover …

Indeed … the grells of Bashal’Aran do not possess that which I am searching …  however they have come into contact with it recently.  Recently … I would reckon that by your time, not mine.  Recent for me stretches into the veil of the past, almost another Age …

If the grells have come into close contact with the seal that binds my eternal prison, I suspect I know the cause. No doubt the seal has come into the possession of the satyr that lead them.  I feel strongly that this must be true. One of the satyr must surely possess it. If you can obtain it, you would bring me so close to passing the bars of my prison that tears would come to my eyes.

Obtain the Ancient Moonstone Seal and bring it to Asterion in Bashal’Aran.

The pillars of this shrine are as the bars of a prison to me.  No strength I still possess might break them, and no magic I wield might destroy them …  For a thousand years and more I have stared at them, wondering if at long last I outlived even the stone, would I be free?  Or would it be invisible bars that held me then …

The Ancient Moonstone Seal?  It … it is hard for me to even believe that what I hold now is that which has held me for so long.  Le us waste no time.  When the seal is destroyed, I might walk the forests of the earth freely again.

It was the craft of one of the most powerful of the Highborne that created the seal that formed my prison. In Ameth’Aran, the ruins to the south that are twin to these, persists even today an ancient flame, blue in color. In this flame this seal could be destroyed.  Be wary in the ruins.

I am freed.  I can now see with my own eyes the changes that have come to our world … only bits and pieces have I known.  To think that when I last walked freely, the Well still stood and the Highborne held court with Azshara, our beloved queen.

I sense that my jailor, my former master, Athrikus, still lives … Already my feelings of hopelessnes will give way into thoughts of vengeance.

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