The Coming Storm

Alliance: Chapter 7

Constance

“Here comes the porridge airship.” Constance smirked as she held the spoon filled with milk and porridge in front of a bed ridden kaldorei. The night elf rolled her eyes and took the spoon and bowl from her mischievous lover.
“You are to kind, Lady Bowen. Something that looks half-eaten and spat out…and is that oats I smell?”
“You heard what the priestess said, Mariss.” Constance pulled up a chair and sat next to her bed.” Nothing to strenuous as of yet.”
“I would kill for some stag right now…” Mariss sighed before she dutifully ate a spoon.” Can’t you use your diplomatic ties to get me some, love?”
“That would be a terrible misuse of my powers.” Constance smiled and wiped some porridge of the night elf’s cheek.” I have to use my powers responsively.”
“Well it’s good to know my effort of seducing you to climb up the social ladder has been for naught.” Mariss took another spoonful.”Hm, not entirely for naught. You are good in bed.”

The Gilnean noblewoman laughed and gently smacked Mariss on the shoulder. Mariss joined with a giggle until Constance’s laughter turned to tears. “Sweety..” Mariss placed her bowl aside and held Constance in her arms.” It’s alright….”
“I almost lost you…” Constance held Mariss tightly.”I saw you lose so much blood…”
“I’m here love…” Mariss smiled and lifted Constance’s chin. She smiled and kissed the gilnean ambassador deeply. Constance returned the kiss for a long moment before they broke off.
“Feel better?” Mariss asked with a smile before she wiped the tears away.
Constance nodded, giving a nervous laugh before she wiped the rest of her tears away.” I am, thank you. Sorry…”
“It’s alright….thank goodness Illidan showed up when he did right? It’s like a miracle.” the night elf did not see Constance’s face as she picked up her bowl.
“Yes…” Constance regained her composure, smiling.” A miracle.”

After the meal both talked a bit. About the state of the house after the armada attack, how the dark wooden Gilnean chair Mariss hated was destroyed (as if fate willed it so), how the draenei and the Worgen of both Gilneas and the Howling Oak were gathering in face of this threat and the death of Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind which shook Mariss quite heavily. Constance held her Mariss and suggested she should get some rest.
Constance held the night elf’s hand and kept stroking it long after Mariss began to snore. She did not know how long she saw her partner sleep but a quiet nudge shook her awake. A Darnassian sentinel bowed her head. “My apologies Lady Bowen, but your presence has been called for.”
Constance wanted to stay, be there for when Mariss woke up. But she knew her duty. She nodded and slowly got up.” Keep a eye on her if you please.”
“Of course, Lady Bowen. Elune-Adore.” The sentinel bowed her head.
“May the light be with you. Ishnu-alah.” Constance returned and stepped outside the room. She walked down the stairs, passed other wounded of the attack. Night elven druids, Worgen druids as well as Draenei priests lend their hand in curing them, While the noble draenei dutifully aided the sick and wounded, she saw a anger in the eyes of the kaldorei and the worgen. There would be a reckoning.

As she stepped outside the large tree which served as a hospice of sorts, she saw a Night Sabre pulling up a coach. The coach door opened which revealed Irriende.” Need a lift?”
Constance nodded and got in the carriage. The door closed behind her before the night saber pulled it along.
“I was worried sick when I heard the news.” The highborne said.” You alright?”
“Only Mariss, a few sailors and myself made it out. I was the only one who was not wounded.”
“You also summoned Illidan onto this plane didn’t you?” Irriende asked.
“I had no choice, it was summon him or die…” Constance sighed.” I…used blood magic to accelerate the process.”
“I see…” Irriende sighed.
Constance’s anger flared.” I lost enough to the Horde, I was not going to lose her as well!”
The highborne blinked confused at the outburst.” No I understand, it’s fine. I was just wondering how you did it.”
The gilnean diplomat rubbed her temples.” Sorry, I didn’t mean to shout.”
“At least it is out of your system now, which is good considering we are going to what pretty much is a war council.” The highborne folded her arms.” I spoke to Un'Thuwa-“
“Who?” Constance frowned.
“Oh, a troll mage who just joined our order. He says that Vol’jin did not order such a attack. According to a missive he received from Drak’thul the Warchief believes that a third party hired those orc mercenaries and those zeppelins.”
“He would say that…”
“I know you are angry Lady Bowen but stay focused. We both know the Shadow Council does everything in it’s power to get Azeroth ready for the upcoming war with the Burning Legion. If Drak’thul or none of our higher placed agents in our faction found any traces of such a attack then we can suspect a third party.”

“There are few places in the world that have the finances or knowhow to put a fleet and a crew together and assassinate a major Horde leader.” Constance said.” Either Gadgetzan or Booty Bay come to mind.”
“Fizzgrimble has tapped into all his sources in Gadgetzan and found nothing. Our contact in Booty Bay however has so not replied yet…”
“You think we are compromised?”
“By Elune I hope not….” Irriende began biting her nails.
“So, what do we tell the council? Who is leading it anyway?”
“Shan’do Stormrage has locked himself away and Illidan has been kept aside. General Shandris Feathermoon and Jarod Shadowsong are representing the Night elven people, Shandris has been calling for orc blood. Battlemaster Enlea will represent the draenei since the Exodar ambassador was also killed when she tried to protect Priestess Whisperwind. You will represent Gilneas , a new escort guard is ported to you as we speak. Myself will represent the Highborne.”
“And the Howling Oak?”
“Huntsmen Blake.”

Constance cursed.” Not him…he has been itching for a fight ever since the Peace Treaty.”
“It will be war regardless, Lady Bowen. The question is how many people can we save on both sides by denying support and how fast we can stop this.” Irriende replied. When Constance looked outside she saw many Night elves, and Worgen, lit up blue lanterns which floated to the sky.
“Those are lights to guide high priestess’ soul to Elune.” Irriende said.” The government has announced a year’s worth of mourning.”
Lady Bowen looked up as she saw dozens-no hudnreds of blue lanterns float into the night sky.” The Highborne, are they going to join in?”
“No, I managed to….convince Mordent Evenshade to stay out of this.”
“How?” Constance turned around and saw her companion grinning.
“The same way any woman can make a man do what she wants.”
She blinked.” You…seduced him?”
“Anything for the Shadow Council.” Irriende smirked and magicked a bottle of wine with two glasses into existence.” Some wine before we arrive?

The carriage stopped in front of the Temple of Elune. It was a large marble white structure, decorated with pillars and beautifully engraved carvings of diverse Kaldorei heroes through Kalimdor’s history. Inside the large temple was a large statue dedicated to Elune. The mood inside the temple was somber, as well through most of Darnassus. Three banners were stood ready as the preparations were still made. She saw the Sigil of Wisdom from Darnassus, the Sigil of Gilneas and of course the banner of Exodar. Irriende made her way to the Darnassus banner as Constance made hers to the Gilneas one. At the Gilneas banner several Worgen and human guardsmen stood at the ready. When her eyes fell on the captain she felt her heart skip a beat.
“Arnulf…” she gasped when she saw her brother. The Worgen turned around from facing his men and walked over to Lady Bowen.”Constance.” he nodded.
“Are you my escort guard?” she asked.
Captain Bowen nodded.” Many of our people are occupied with rebuilding Gilneas, I was asked to come here the moment the portals began working again.”
“I see…” she replied.” Captain, can I have a moment with you?”
“Of course.” The worgen replied and followed the ambassador.

The two went to a quiet corner where the sister grabbed the brother by his arm.
“No need to drag me, sis.” Arnulf said.” I can walk fine by myself.”
“Don’t make this worse than it already is.” She frowned.” Let us both do our duties and keep it that way.”
“I will keep my mind on the job, Constance.”
“Good.” She replied. A awkward moment passed.” How have you been?”
“Busy.” Arnulf replied.” Yourself?”
“Same…bought a house here.”
“You still together with….?” He did not wish to finish the sentence.
“Mariss, yes.”
“I thought you got rid of that folly, sister. It was just a phase to get back at father-“
“It is NOT a phase, Arnulf. I love Mariss, I live together with her, we are a couple.”
“What about children?” Arnulf glared.” You are neglecting your duty to our bloodline.”
“Well good thing I have a older brother who sees women as nothing more as breeding mares, isn’t it?” she returned her brother’s glare with her own.
“That is NOT what I said, stop putting words in my mouth!” the captain snarled.
“Then stop being a bigot. I send several letters to you and you didn’t reply back ONE!”
“I was fighting the Horde, Constance! Those letters never got to me!”
“Don’t give me that bull!@#$! You had days off, you could’ve come visit!”
“I was fighting to keep you and your woman safe!”
“Alpha male horsecrap! You fight because that is all you know!”
“You want me to-“

A cough alerted both. As they turned they saw an angry priestess frowning disapprovingly at them.” The council will begin in ten minutes. “
“Of course, thank you. Our apologies.” Constance bowed her head. “Ande'thoras-ethil.” She shoved Arnulf’s side with her elbow who also drooped his head.
The priestess seemed pleased by this and in turn also bowed her head before she left.
The siblings waited a moment as another moment of awkward silence past.
“So, truce?” the brother suggested.
“Truce.” Constance agreed and made the way to her side.” What is the news from the king?”
“Same stance as before the treaty. Gilneas will not get involved in this conflict, especially if there is no hard evidence if it really WAS the Horde.”
“The worgen at the Howling Oak want blood, Arnulf. I cannot stop them from joining the war effort if they wish.”
“What happens at the Howling Oak is not a concern of the crown. If they wish to attack so be it but the king will have none of it.”
“Understood.”

A few moments later the council came together. Night elf, Draenei, Worgen and human all gathered. General Shandris Feathermoon was dressed like a warrior queen, Constance mused, ready for war. A war she was going to lead…and win. Jarod Shadowsong was stood behind her, his face solemn.
“Before we begin, I must announce the archdruid will not be present today for understandable reasons…” Shandris said.” Let us pray a moment for those who died in the cowardly attack and hope Elune will grant them eternal peace.”
The council bowed their heads for a long moment. After the moment passed the united grief quickly dissipated.
“I will not mince words people from Exodar and Gilneas. As of now Darnassus is preparing for war and we plan to invade the Barrens and Durotar and put a end to the Orcish threat once and for all.”
“I must protest General!” Elea spoke up.”I fear you let your emotions speak for you. The Horde has not claimed this attack and let us not forget Maiev Shadowsong led the attack, not a member of the Horde!”

“A attack consisting of goblins and orcs who originated from Bilgewater harbor!” Shandris glared.” Have you not learned your lesson before on Draenor? The orcs are savage monsters and DESERVE to be exterminated!”
“That will go against the treaty we made with the Horde!” Constance chimed in.” Ashenvale belongs to your people now and not once has the Horde broken that promise. Do you wish to break that promise for what, petty revenge?”
Shandris glared daggers which send cold shivers down the ambassador’s spine.
“My mother defended this world ten thousand years ago against horrors you cannot imagine Lady Bowen. She was to grow old and die in her bed, not be butchered by a insane woman, no offense Jarod, who had Horde support!”
“I agree my sister needs to be brought to justice.” Jarod said.” But we are wasting time declaring war to Orgrimmar. So what if most of the attackers were Orcs, many of our number were also part of the Twilight’s Hammer. Should we suffer for their sins?”
“I object, good sir!” Huntsman Blake stepped up as he took off his hat.” There is a difference between religious zealotry and a outright attack. My country also burned by those barbarian brutes and their undead lackeys. I saw we march to Orgrimmar and teach those ruffians a lesson they should’ve been taught last time we were over there!”
Constance stepped in.” I need to inform the council that Lord Blake does not speak for Gilneas.”

“Of course not!” Blake said.” Us Howling Oak folk may be few but we fight as well as any pack! Give us a shot and we can rack in quite a few orc heads!”
“Good because the highborne will not be joining the war effort.” Irriende replied.” After careful debate with Mordent Evenshade and the other Highborne leaders, It is decided we will stay out of this conflict.”
“Why am I not surprised…” Jarod muttered.
“What was that?” Irriende frowned.
“Nothing, it does not matter.” Jarod replied.
“What does matter is that this council is a mere formality.” Shandris said.” As of right now the Mor’Sham ramparts are under attack. Raene Wolfrunner along with her rangers, the Ancients of Ashenvale and the Furbolg tribes have assaulted the main gates and are on the move to the Crossroads.”

The council gasped as the news was thrown in their midst like a grenade. One of the highborne, who received a glare from Irriende, opened up a viewing mirror which showed the horrible sight. Orc, troll and Tauren corpses hung on trees, some skinned, as a large forces of Kaldorei, furbolg and tree men marched forward as Hyprogriffs and chimera’s flew overhead. The image shifted to a large field protecting a Horde town as Wyverns (ridden by orcs and tauren) and Dragonhawks (riden by blood elves) did combat with the hippogriff riders in aerial combat. The image shifted again to a forest with leaves as red as blood where similar night elf forces destroyed goblin houses and fought off their artillery and biplanes.
“The Barrens and Azshara will once more become part of our land and we will destroy Orgrimmar and send the orcs back to their holes in Outland!” Shandris shouted.
“This is…this is horrible!” Elea shouted.” This entire council was a waste of time!”
“No.” Shandris said.” This is a message to your leaders. This is a message to Velen, to King Greymane, to the damned High King Varian Wyrnn himself. The Kaldorei suffered greatly at the hands of the Orcs before and time and again. But this time they went to far. We draw the line HERE-!” She took out her dagger and slammed it on the table.” This far and NO FURTHER! Orgrimmar will fall as will all those who oppose us! Tell you leaders that they can join us in our righteous crusade or step aside. But DON’T get in our way.”

The council room erupted into cacophony as Constance also tried to have her say. A arm pulled at her. At first she thought it was her brother but looked shocked when it was Jarod Shadowsong.” Go to Cenarion Enclave in one hour, go alone.” Before she could ask more questions he slipped off as more people drummed in and shouted. Arnulf took his sister by the arm and guided her outside.
“Well, that could’ve gone better…” her brother jested.
“Could’ve gone a lot worse to…get me home please, Arnulf. I have a lot of people to warn about this bad news.”

A hour passed and much happened within it. Constance did send the message to Gilneas and Stormwind of what happened in Darnassus and the upcoming war between the Kaldorei and the Horde. Sh dismissed her brother and the guards to take the night off and stay out of trouble. After having checked in on Mariss, who was still sleeping, the Gilnean noblewoman took on a long hood and went to the Cenarion circle. Despite the busy hour leading up to midnight, since night elves were more active during the night than during the day, she managed to stay hidden thanks to her magic invisibility spell as she arrived there. She did not have to wait long when a vine pulled on her leg. She stepped back in disgust until she saw the vine was motioning her to follow.
she followed the vine as it crawled into a cave which led downward. Several wisps lit the way as the twisting tunnel led more downward. Eventually she arrived in a large room covered in runes and old stones where two figures awaited her. One was the demon she summoned herself, Illidan Stormrage, and the other a man she grew to respect after having spend years at his side, Malfurion Stomrage. But the proud and tall man she knew looked older by centuries, his strong posture evaporated and a solemn face wrinkled with regret. But still a primal force gleamed in his eyes.

“Shan’do Stormrage, Lord Illidan.” She bowed to both.” I came as you asked.”
“Thank you, Lady Bowen.” Furion said.”I wanted you to come here and explain a thing or two.”
Constance blinked.” I don’t understand…” She looked to Illidan who was whetting his swords with a stone.
“My brother told me of the Shadow Council, Lady Bowen. He told me all he knew.”
“Oh….Archdruid Furion I-“
“ENOUGH!” he shouted which sounded more akin to a bear who roared.” I do not want to hear any more of your lies! I want to speak to your master, I want to speak to Wrathion!”
“W-what for?” Constance asked.
“Simple.” Illidan tossed away the stone as he twirled his sword in his hand.” Your master has more contacts than Varian’s SI7 and the Shattered Hand clan combined.”
“We want his contacts to track someone down, someone who can stop this war from going any further than it already has.” Furion slammed his staff on the ground.
Constance’s mind was reeling, being near these aura’s of nature and darkness was almost to much for her magical senses. It took her a moment to recall whom they were talking about.” Her?”
“Yes.” Illidan grinned. “We are going after Maiev Shadowsong.”

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