A Symphony of Frost and Flame
- By Andra
Andra in her dreams, where the Lich King is no more.
They say that the first line written by an author when starting a new book is always the hardest one. In my case, well, that wasn't too hard.
The first thing I'd like to make clearis that what I'm writing now is not just an ordinary book, but a journalwhich ensures me that my story will not remain untold.
Now let's get started
Chapter 1: Beginnings (pages 3-7)
I'll start with the beginning, as most writers tend to do, actually.
I was born inside the violet gardens of Dalaran, at least that's what I like to believe because sadly, I did not get the chance to meet my parents. But despite that, I'm happy at least I got the chance to see Dalaran, the old Dalaran, the one I like to remember.
Since I was living there, one thing was certain for me, I was to become a sorceress. A one of great power, I liked to believe.
Of course the Archmages of the Kirin Tor took great care of me, and I thank them for that, else I wouldn't be what I am today.
Since fresh childhood I was trained in the ways of magic, some said I was a fast learner, some were even afraid of my great potential. At the age of fifteen, I was finally called before the High Council in the Violet Citadel, where I was to be promoted to the rank of "Field Agent". Like the title says it, I got to do the field work for the Kirin Tor, like a scout of some sort.
At first I liked the idea of it. I completed my daily assignments flawlessly and I followed orders without question.
I was starting to think that life couldn't get any better since the job of a field agent seemed extremely easy.
Of course, as it proved out later, my life would never be settled down like
majority of the people would wish.
Some months later, exactly when my sixteenth year of life would begin I was called again before the council.
They claimed to have an urgent and important task for me, "The greatest one so far, Andra." they said.
Of course like any other teenager, I was completely intregued by the idea of a more dangerous and perhaps exotic task. But it didn't prove to be what I wished for.
"Venture forth into the forests of Silverpine. There you shall keep an eye open for a great Keep, a ruined one, but of great importance."
Damned wizards. They've sent me out to spy again. It didn't matter, how could I refuse it still? I couldn't. So I accepted the task.
Chapter 2: Shadowfang (pages 7-10)
After ten days of traveling, I had finally reached Silverpine Forest. The journey there was harsh and ruthless, nonethelss I've made it through.
After another day of venturing through the forest, I've came across the small village called Pyrewood, which was situated at the foothills of the "great" Shadowfang Keep.
Of course my task there was my priority so I started to ask the villagers if they had seen anything out of order in the last few days.
Unfortunately for me, the villagers were under the control of the Worgen. The vile "wolf-men" that had infested those lands. but I did not know that until I've personally stumbled across one of their patrols inside the village.
I made quick work of them. Some of the villagers thanked me, others said nothing, and stared longley at me for my deeds.
Since the situation seemed pretty weird to me, I decided to venture inside the keep and find out what was the cause of this strange phenomenon. As soon as I laid foot inside the keep, I was attacked by wolves and worgen of a kind. With a few well placed fireballs they dropped dead before me.
Alas the whole keep was infested with them so getting pass them was a hard thing to accomplish. In no time I made it out to the Courtyard. There vengeful spirits of the fallen residents were waiting for me.
Chapter 3: Inside the Keep (pages 10-14)
Of course I had a pretty effective portfolio of spells so the ghosts weren't a problem either.
I slowly made my way to the top floor of the keep where something different was waiting for me. A giant black wolf, guarding a library. That's right, a library. Now, I could make good use of that.
The fight itself was easy. Keeping a long distant between me and the enemy, hehe that's what I do best.Finally the wolf was dead. I teleported behind the giant portcullis and continued my way to the top.
I did not know what to expect further. I've already faced worgen, ghosts, and wolves. What else could be waiting ahead of me?
Well I don't know what you think, but it was the last thing I expected. An Archmage. An evil one.
"Who dares to interfere with the Sons of Arugal!?" He shouted.
He received no answer, just a well placed frostbolt.
I think it was the hardest fight I've ever had before, and he was the most cunning foe as well. It was really difficult to hit him due to his teleportation spells. For one moment he was in front of me, the other one he vanished.
All I had to do is to catch him off guard for just long enough to freeze him in place with a Frost Nova then finish him off.
Now, the keep wasn't somebody's property any longer, and the worgen were without a master.
I've completed my assignment for the Kirin Tor so I was ready to return back home, but who said I couldn't accomplish something else than just an assignment. But I didn't. My innocence would not let me do it, so I returned to Dalaran.
Chapter 4: The Return (pages 14-18)
I was welcomed as a hero. In fact, I was one. Who would have thought that a young mage would defeat the powerful Archmage Arugal just by her own strength. And the other Archmages inside the Violet Citadel agreed, I was a hero indeed.
Days passed. Things were starting to get normal again, but not for me.
I just couldn't forget what I saw back there, inside Shadowfang.
Suddenly, things were starting to link inside my head. Arugal was using shadow magic to enslave the worgen and to control the poor villagers. Also the keep had a giant library, which was just the thing I needed.
Finally I couldn't stand it anymore.
One night I sneaked inside the Violet Citadel's library, and up into the forbidden section. Forbidden because there was the place where the other high ranking wizards kept the ancient tomes of shadow magic.
With the invisibility spell that I had just learned. getting inside unseen was no problem for me.
Once I found myself inside that section I "borrowed" as many tomes as I could carry and went back to Shadowfang Keep, riding on the back of a gryphon.
Once again inside the keep, I started to read about the Shadow Magic and place all the books I've finished reading into the library.
Then I've realised that the Arcane ways I knew were just a fraction of the whole magic in the universe.
After I was done with the books, I left them behind inside Shadowfang and came back to Dalaran, with my new knowledge about demons and shadowy rituals, I was beginning to desire more and more.
In Dalaran I wasn't welcomed as I was before. People were looking despiting at me, even with hate. Even the friends I had within the inner studying circles would not talk to me anymore. Then I had realised what I have done, but it was too late, I was called before the High Council again.
Some say that the third time is always lucky, in my case, it was the most unlucky.
"You are to be kicked out of our order and forbidden to lay foot inside our city ever again!" said Antonidas.
Chapter 5: After the War (pages 18-21)
Time passed. I had nothing to do except wonder aimlessly in search of a new goal for my existence. Soon the War started. I only heard about it in tales told inside bars and such. I did not take them for real, still the Undead threat seemed to be credible, for the least.
Fate made it that after long months of traveling and living on the few things I had with me, I reached the forests of Elwynn. There I've spent my time aiding the people with all sorts of things.
Everything from getting rid of the pesky nearby wolves to assassinating the Defias Brotherhood leaders in those lands.
Finally, someone contacted me through a letter. It seemed like my efforts there didn't go unnoticed.
The letter was from a woman named Drusilla La Salle, which claimed to know what I was searching in those lands. I did not have anything better to do so I decided that it was worth checking her out, and so I did.
"I know what desire burns in your soul, Andra." she said. "Follow me and you will never have to suffer from the hunger for magic ever again."
Quite a tempting offer. That woman knew exactly why I was there.
Only the high ranking wizards in Dalaran were able to read the thoughts of a person, so that's why I started to respect Drusilla. Out of fear.
Chapter 6: Warlock Training (pages 21-26)
As I had little choice, I followed Drusilla's instructions.
Her first task for me was fairly a simple one, venture into the nearby Defias infested lands, and retrieve a special tome for her. I did not care what was written inside the tome, I was just glad that finally someone was understanding me.
The tome was kept inside a Defias camp. That meant it was heavily guarded. I took my chances and stepped forward.
In no time I had reached the camp and incinerated all the Defias present there. The tome was mine for the taking.
From pure curiosity, I opened the tome on the first page and read the following: "Powers of the Void -By the hand of Khadgar". I did not know who this Khadgar was, and honestly I couldn't care less.
All I cared about was to return to Drusilla and receive my reward in exchange of the magical tome.
She was more than delighted at the sight of the book. And as promised, in exchange, she taught me how to summon and control an Imp. One of the "lesser demons" she claimed.
My previous readings about demons made it easy for me to do that, almost effortless.
Finally someone understood me. Finally someone cared for my fate, or at least I liked to think so.
Days passed, and my hunger for magic became greater and greater with each passing moment.
I was so eager to find out more that I have learnt everything Drusilla could teach me. Then she sent me to Stormwind. It was there where I should meet a warlock which went by the name Gakin. Gakin the Darkbinder.
Again, I had nothing to lose by doing so, and I paid him a visit as well. He was older, and more demanding than Drusilla.
"In order for us warlocks to survive, we need to periodically expand our knowledge" he claimed. And he was right.
After just a month's time spent within the circle of warlocks inside Stormwind, my power alone was staggering!
Chapter 7: VanDarksharde (pages 26-30)
I can still remember the day... the day I met him. The day I met Melchiah VanDarksharde
It all started with a small "misunderstanding" inside the inn of Goldshire. Some gnomes there were too curious about me. Demanding questions of my occupations and such. Unfortunately for them, they couldn't accept a refuse, so we all ended locked in combat in front of the numerous citizens.
I knew it was a mistake, and thus I suggested we took the fight elsewhere. Stubborn gnomes. Their curiosity was the end of them.
It felt good, really delightful to see others suffer around me. What had I become? At that time... even I did not know.
A short time after the fight, I retreated back to Stormwind, hoping that my deeds weren't noticed.
On my way there, I passed a cemetery. A voice shouted from its direction, ordering me to stop running. For no particular reason, I did what the voice told me.
As I approached the cemetery, a green mist started to flood the air surrounding me.
The voice revealed itself to be a man. A man who has long lost his humanity.
As I exchanged words with him, he revealed his name as well. Melchiah VanDarksharde. My future husband. Who would have thought such a person could have feelings for one like me? Well, I surely figured out late enough.
Gaining his trust was pretty hard. He sent me out to Duskwood, into Raven Hill, to retrieve a small locker for him, from inside the well there.
As I pulled the box out, he appeared near me, and demanded I gave him the box immediately.
I had my doubts at first, thinking he will harm me with its insidings. I will not tell what the locker contained, but I will tell it didn't harm me in any way.
Chapter 8: Raven Hill (pages 30-32)
We started to spend more and more time together, our feelings for each other getting stronger, until one dared to say them out loud.
It was an excellent day. And we both decided it was time for us to move together somewhere. In a place both of us would like, somewhere dark where we wouldn't be disturbed by others. Raven Hill was our choice. And it proved out to be quite an excellent one.
As soon as we stepped inside the town, and into our new home, we were surprised to find a young gnome mage there.
As I was very annoyed to find someone else there, I attacked her on sight. Luckily Melchiah was there to stop me doing something I would've regretted.
The gnome told us her name, Lially Fizzlebroket. and claimed she was only hiding there from the local militia.
Together, Melchiah and I decided that we should let her live and actually let her live WITH us. Not in the same house, but Raven Hill was pretty large so in one next to ours.
Chapter 9: Necro Training (pages 32-35)
As any other mage, Lially was curious as well, As I explained things to her, she felt drawn by the great potential of the shadowy part of magic and soon begged us for training.
At first we both refused to train her, since none of us were really able to do so. But then it came to me. Since Melchiah wanted to establish a dark cult of his own, they needed instructors. I freely volunteered to be one of the main trainers.
In order to be able to train others, I needed to finish my own training first. And the only place to do that was Caer Darrow, now known as Scholomance.
The journey was hard and exhausting. As I laid foot into the icy lands of Alterac Mountains, I started to think if what I was doing would prove out to be something useful.
The bone cutting wind there drained me of all my powers, and slowly I was beginning to feel numb. I thought it was my end. Not quite the one I was wishing for.
The idea of dying frozen in a place where no one would ever find me wasn't too mind soothing.
When all hope seemed to be lost, a voice came into my head.
"You are yet to play your part in my grand design, little sorceress."
At this time, when I remember it, the voice still makes me shiver. It seemed to be all knowing and have a great influence around anyone. Yet I heeded its call, and kept going forward with new found strength.
All was not lost, I had soon reached the Plaguelands and then right onto the small isle, Caer Darrow.
Chapter 10: Scholomance (pages 35-42)
At the first look it was just a ruined place, like the majority of the surrounding land. I ventured inside the abandoned keep and down into the basement. At the following sight I was stunned.
The undead were everywhere, into some sort of underground structure.
Four sentinels were guarding the first gate. Four sentinels which seemed to be frozen for ages. Despite their giant weapons and their fierce appearance, I was let inside without being bothered.
I could not believe my eyes. Human acolytes were training all over around me, and others were gathering into some sort of a classroom. Then I realised, it was a school of Necromancy! And even more, I was allowed into it. Now, who would deny such a chance? A chance to study the dark arts and become more powerful than one could ever imagine.
"Before you can train here, you must wear some fitting clothes." said a chilling voice beside me.
It was a skeletal mage which I learnt to call Vectus. He gave me all the answers I needed, for many many questions. Oh and also, the outfit. Well the outfit was a fairly simple one. The only choices of color were black, purple or green.
I decided to go with black, since I was familiar with it, and soon I was given a complete outfit, made of mageweave cloth.
Now that I was dressed up, fit for the "occasion", it was time for me to proceed to my first Necromancy class.
Vectus then began his course. A course about dragons.
The idea was simple. The undead steal the black dragon eggs from the Burning Steppes, bring them inside Scholomance, where some other good-for-nothing student will be responsible for their hatching.
Vectus always believed that through studying the black dragons the Scourge will advance its knowledge dramatically.
Perhaps it was true, I will never know. But unfortunately for the young whelps, once hatched, the student responsible for them needs to spread the Undeath Plague within the nest, and then sacrifice himself in order for the new born dragons to feed on his flesh. Then the plagued whelps were ready to serve the Scourge.
I found Vectus's courses quite interesting but not as surprising as I wanted them to be. When they were over, my next class was within the deeper halls of Scholomance, in a crypt where I was to meet Instructor Malicia. A High Elven female, now in service of the Lich King.
She was training some younger students further in the arts of Undeath. In fact, those students were willingly sacrificing themselves in order to be raised as ghouls.
I did not like that sight, so I decided to skip that one class and advance further beneath Caer Darrow, and into the Alchemy Lab. There I saw my first Lich. It went by the name Ras Frostwhisper.
"You are late, human. For we have already begun."
I did not know what to answer, I just laid my head down and whispered "Forgive me, master.", then quietly took a sit with the other students.
Ras was one of Kel'thuzad's favorites. By joining the Cult of the Damned among the first, and by committing suicide in the name of the Lich King, in order to be granted immortality.
Frostwhisper's teachings were among my favorites. When he was speaking, he was doing it with enthusiasm. I could later see why Kel'thuzad had such great confidence in this one.
Chapter 11: Meeting with the Master (pages 42-45)
After the Lich was done speaking, it was time for me to proceed to my final class for that day. A class which proved out to be very useful and the one I enjoyed the most.
I was to finally meet the headmaster of Scholomance. A Death Knight trainer, known as Darkmaster Gandling.
Indeed he was training Death Knights, but I soon found out that the training of a Necromancer could be quite similar.
I still remember his words. Once heard they will surely be burnt in ones memory.
"To conquer is to corrupt. To corrupt is to take what it is to be righteous and hopeful, to be living, and invert it through any means in your arsenal. The attributes of the living all have synonyms with fatal flaws that are their undoing: hope is dogma, righteousness is zealotry, living is empathy. Recognize what makes that which lives desire to live, and turn it upon itself. Our Master, the Lich King, was born under this very doctrine."
I still tremble upon this memory.
I've spent a whole year inside Scholomance. An year in which I've learnt a lot more than in sixteen previous years spent in Dalaran.
I thought the Scourge was vastly superior. And for good reasons. They conquered everything they looked upon.
Unfortunately for them, while I was making my exit from Scholomance, I also "borrowed" as many Necromancy books as I could carry, and of course, transported them inside Shadowfang Keep, where I knew them safe.
Chapter 12: Knights of Ebon Hold (pages 45-50)
I will never forget what I've learnt in the year spent inside Scholomance.
Due to that year, I was now ready to fulfill my duty as an instructor for Melchiah's future "dark cult".
When I returned to Raven Hill, Lially's training began immediately.
She was the first to "graduate". But meanwhile she was training Melchiah was bringing in more and more recruits. Recruits that were willing to give their life for Melchiah and I.
That feeling was incredible. For one to know that there are others who believe in his ways and are willing do pay any price to see one's dreams accomplished.
Is that what the Lich King felt? No one knows.
Since the number of new initiates was overwhelming, I decided to search for another instructor to help us out. Fate made it that I received a letter from a small group of Death Knights, which wished to join our cause.
The news came in with a great timing. I went away to meet the leader of the Death Knights, one called Monnor. Once our deal was established, Monnor joined me to Raven Hill.
After some time of talking, Melchiah finally agreed that Monnor was able to be a fitting instructor for the future order of Death Knights. And so he was, Head Instructor Monnor. We were growing great in numbers.
We were an order alright, but we lacked a name. I decided to call our growing order, the Knights of Ebon Hold! In honor of the grand Scourge Necropolis, a Necropolis which would further be our main base.
Months passed, and our order was still growing in numbers. Having no contact with the outside world, we were free to do our bidding undisturbed.
One day, Melchiah had the thought to train me into the ways of a Death Knight. Since I was already a Necromancer now, and I had already experienced the training of Scholomance, it was fairly easy for him to train me.
I only needed close combat practice, and that could be arranged.
Raven Hill was full of rogue Skeletons and other kinds of undead, which were under the control of Morbent Fel.
"Why don't you exercise your great powers with these puny undead, and then put an end to Morbent Fel so Duskwood can be ours?"
I really liked the idea. And Morbent Fel never knew what hit him. Now, Duskwood was under the control of the Knights of Ebon Hold. We had all the reasons to be jolly, but I knew something else would happen soon.
Soon... Soon, we were to be called inside Acherus: The Ebon Hold. Soon, the Scourge would rain chaos upon its enemies. Soon... all would be lost.
Chapter 13: The Scarlet Apocalypse (pages 50-54)
"Apocalypse! That's what awaits the enemies of the Scourge!"
Could it be? Was it really Instructor Razuvious from Naxxaramas right in front of me?
"You are to report immediately to Prince Valanar, beneath us, at Death's Breach. Suffer well."
Moments later, I was landing into Death's Breach on the back of a skeletal gryphon that was flying twice as fast as the ones I've seen before.
"Do you smell it?
Fresh meat... The scent of Scarlet Crusader wafts through the air
Apologies, Death Knight. I'm sure you're not interested in my choice of fine cuisine. You are here to work! To lead the charge! Yes... I know. The Lich King has told me all that I need to know about you, Andra.
The time for bloodshed is now."
With those final words, I led a group of Death Knights over the front lines, and into the Heavenshire fields. There, we began slaughtering the militia and farmers alike.
"CHAOS, Andra! The Crusade is in a frenzy. They have diverted all forces outside of New Avalon to set up a blockade at Light's Point, east of here. They are desperately trying to strip the Havenshire Mine of all resources and load the cargo aboard the frigates they have docked on the coast."
The Scourge indeed is cunning. Who would have thought of a such ingenious plan: hide inside a miner's cart and then wait for one to drag you onto a ship. In their hurry, they were sure to forget one fatal thing: to check the mining carts.
From the ship we could annihilate the Scarlet fleet, using their own weapons against them.
With the ENTIRE Scarlet fleet destroyed, New Avalon was defenseless. It was a great opportunity for the Scourge, and so they took advantage of it. Together with the other Death Knights, I rode on the back of a Frost Wyrm, ravaging anything in my way.
Soon... the city was left burning, completely wiped out of any Scarlet resistance.
Such a great show of power. A whole land conquered in a couple of days.
The Scourge war machine was unstoppable!
Chapter 14: The Light of Dawn (pages 54-59)
Only one major force was standing against the Scourge now. The Argent Dawn, situated at Light's Hope Chapel.
Highlord Darion Mograine rallied a small band of Champion Death Knights, in order to attack Light's Hope and to vanquish the last of the Lich King's enemies.
"Soldiers of the Scourge, death knights of Acherus, minions of the darkness: hear the call of the Highlord! RISE!"
At that moment, five thousand undead soldiers rose from the ground. Five thousand, against a defiant force of only three hundred defenders of the Light.
"The skies turn red with the blood of the fallen! The Lich King watches over us, minions! Onward! Leave only ashes and misery in your destructive wake!"
After that last cry, blood started to rain from the skies, signaling the start of the battle.
The Argent soldiers were standing defiant, but their strength was notable. They managed to strike down all of our warriors, letting only a few Death Knights to survive.
We were clearly defeated. Highlord Tirion Fordring was present there that day. It was him that drawn the Lich King to that place.
Darion threw the Corrupted Ashbringer to Tirion, which purified it and redeemed its former glory. With it, he struck the Lich King. forcing him to retreat.
But it wasn't that what made me change my mind. The words exchanged between Tirion and Arthas were the ones hurting.
"You were right, Fordring. I did send them in to die. Their lives are meaningless, but yours..."
What was that supposed to mean? That we were puppets the whole time, forced to play because the Lich King was pulling our strings?
Moments later, after Arthas has retreated, Tirion held a speech.
"We have all been witness to a terrible tragedy. The blood of good men has been shed upon this soil! Honorable knights, slain defending their lives - our lives! And while such things can never be forgotten, we must remain vigilant in our cause! The Lich King must answer for what he has done and must not be allowed to cause further destruction to our world.
I make a promise to you now, brothers and sisters: The Lich King will be defeated! On this day, I call for a union.The Argent Dawn and the Order of the Silver Hand will come together as one! We will succeed where so many before us have failed! We will take the fight to Arthas and tear down the walls of Icecrown!"
Very touching, and Mograine agreed with them. Let's face it, in those moments, we were desperate.
"So too do the Knights of the Ebon Blade... While our kind has no place in your world, we will fight to bring an end to the Lich King. This I vow!"
After that was said, the Death Knights fought to retake Acherus from the Scourge's hands, and thus it became our base.
Chapter 15: A Symphony of Frost and Flame (pages 59-60)
Indeed we had no place in the world. We were as good as the Forsaken, and many often tended to think of us like that.
Many of the surviving Death Knights joined the Alliance or the Horde, others returned to the Lich King, in hope of being accepted as members of the Scourge again. And some others... joined our cause, my cause. A cause of pure righteousness. A cause which didn't make difference between the factions. A cause with members that serve it because they have the same beliefs as their leader.
We are the Knights of Ebon Hold, and we will slay anyone that stays defiant against our goal!
Together, we will achieve the Lich King's destruction, and our dream to see the Scourge undone!
I will stop here. I will stop here because the future events remain hidden, for now. All we've got is a dream. The dream of a symphony of frost and flame, which will be the Lich King's end.