The Coming Storm

Interlude


Another sleepless night passed for the king of Stormwind and sadly it was not uncommon lately. True he had sleepless nights ever since his home was burned down by the Orcish horde, but now his insomnia was more present than ever before. He stared at the ceiling for what must’ve been hours and noticed the sun was slowly edging closer. The house of nobles was going to come together and again there would be conflict. Half the lords wanted to attack the Horde while the people starved and the other half was plagued by bandit and True Horde attacks but were unwilling to pay extra coin. Furthermore Kul Tiras and Dalaran were arguing with Stromgarde over trade agreements that were not kept and other old cows that were dragged out of the ditch to be used as ammunition. Even abroad problems brewed as the Khaz Modan kingdoms of the dwarves and gnomes began attacking Zandalari allied strongholds across their territory and the Council of Three Hammers decided to prepare for a massive assault on the island of Zandalar itself. Meanwhile Darnassus and some militant factions on the Exodar continued their assault on the Horde homelands. The king sighed wearily already. He hoped Anduin would have a better and more peaceful reign then he had.

The sleeping form next to him breathed softly still for which he was grateful. At least one of them had a good night’s rest. Truth be told he had woken her earlier, about three hours before or so he thinks, and coupled with her in the hopes the exercise would tire him and send him to sleep. She served her king dutifully as ever and on other nights she would have succeeded into taking him with her to the lands of dreams, but this was not one of those nights.

Varian turned his head gently to look upon his secret lover. Amelia was her name, one of the servant girls several years his junior. She was well rounded and had a attractive figure but it was not those features that appealed to him. Her long blonde hair and blues eyes reminded the king of his lady wife who had passed away many years ago. Amelia was not like Tiffin at all, no-one was. She was more docile and very eager to please. But she was smart though despite the fact she grew up a orphan. Besides dusting and cleaning she helped put some order into the royal library by introducing a decimal system to catalogue all the books. The head librarians found it outrageous that a servant girl was outperforming his duties and demanded her resignation. In the end Amelia became Donyal Tovald’s assistant and was being groomed to become the new librarian when he would retire, which was in a few years.
Until then she was just a servant girl who sometimes helped in the library…and visited the king’s bedchambers at regular intervals. There were even some nights they did not couple and instead read in each other’s company. She even brought in fresh Crab Legs from the docks once to celebrate their “anniversary” last week. He could be himself around her. Not be Lo’ghosh or Varian Wyrnn or the High King of the Alliance. Just himself, just Varian.

She awoke with a deep breath before she placed her golden head on her king’s chest.
“Good morning, Amelia.” Varian smiled weakly and strayed her hair.
“Good morning, my lion…” his mistress replied with a lazy smile as she opened her eyes. “Sleep well?”
“I did.” He lied and kissed her forehead. He held her in his strong arms and kept her close.
“Is it dawn, my king?” she asked as she strayed the cheek which had his scar.
“Not yet, not for a few moments.” He replied and drank in her smell and warmth. He hated himself for this but could not help it. He loved Tiffin and thought of her every day but he needed the comfort however base it was. Few knew of this arrangement, defiantly not his son. He would not understand, the boy was to idealistic. Very naive in how men treated each other. Varian made no illusions, there might be a time he would have to re-marry (a possibly chance was he had to marry either Tess Greymane, which he abhorred, or perhaps Calia when she reclaimed some of Lordearon) and he would have to set Amelia aside. This was temporary, nothing more. He leaned in and kissed her deeply. She returned the kiss hungrily, a mischievous grin on her lips.” You wish me to please you some more, my Lion?”
The king of Stormwind gave a predatory grin before he gladly took her request and pushed away the weary thoughts if just for a while.

It was shortly after dawn as both dressed. Amelia finished tying her apron behind her back before she helped Varian strap on his armour. Her deft and swift hands were the envy of any squire that once squired for him. “There.” She smiled proudly.” All done, my king.”
“Indeed, Miss Amelia.” Varian replied.” You should consider a change of profession. I’m sure quite a few knights could use you as their squire.”
“And be taken away from you?” she asked, coy. She kissed him deeply one last time before she picked up her book from the night stand.” Will you be busy later tonight, my Lion?”
“Depends how the meeting this afternoon goes, why?” Varian asked.” Do you have plans?”
“We have to redecorate the main hall for Winter Veil soon. That will take most of the day. But no, but I may have something to tell you then.”
Varian strapped his belt buckle around his waist before he put Shalamayne in its scabbard.” Oh? Do tell.”
“Later, I am not sure as of yet.” The servant girl placed the book in her bag.” Trust me, you will be the first to know.”
“As you wish my lady. I have my secrets so you are entitled to yours.” He mocked a bow.” I bid you a good day.”
Amelia giggled and did a curtsey.” You as well, my king.” She went to the book closet and pulled on volume 7 of the history of Azeroth. A clicking sound triggered as the closet revealed a secret passageway. The servant girl quickly darted into the secret passageway before the closet closed itself. The king afforded a small smile before he left his bedchambers and got to the duties at hand.

He was halfway to his dining room when he noticed a man was walking next to him. It was a auburn haired young man with deep brown eyes who wore a noblemen’s attire, which was very useful to infiltrate the palace Varian knew.
“Master Shaw.” Varian said.
“Your highness.” Shaw replied and kept In step.” Sleep well?”
“You tell me.” Varian turned to face him.
Shaw tsked.” Your highness, I thought we were far past this. SI:7 Keeps its eyes on all members of the royal family at all times lest what happened to your father or your wife, may the Light take them in, will not happen again. We are also keeping our eyes on Miss Amelia just in-” he stopped when Varian glared at him dangerously.
The king let that sit with the spy master before he spoke. “Destiny often has a way to get what it wants.” Varian reminded himself of what a certain black dragon once told him.
“I rather create my own destiny, for myself and my charges.” Shaw replied.” Before you enter the negotiations today, some news?”

The two men entered the dining room where Varian’s breakfast was already set. Al alone at the head of a long table. The royal guards saluted but other than that gave no peep. Varian nodded his thanks as always and sat down.” Depends, is this food poisoned?”
“Only three men died today who sampled your food.” Shaw said.
The king frowned.” The worst thing of all is that I am not sure you are jesting or not.”
The spy master merely smirked before he continued as the king dined.” News from Kalimdor. Tyrande Whisperwind has been buried in one of the Barrow Dens in Moon Glades. None know where her husband or Illidan are.”
“Illidan is trouble…” Varian tore a bread in half before he pulled out some of it out to make a small trench.” How did you lose him?”
“The same way we keep losing track of Kalecgos or Onyxia back in the old days. Our agents lack wings. We are doing our best to find him and the Arch Druid again.”

Varian smeared some butter on the bread before he sliced off some ham from the meat and placed it on the bread.” And of the war?”
“Which one?”
“Both.” Varian took a big bite from his meal and chewed.
“Kalimdor wise the Night elves have been pushed back to Ashenvale. There are rumours from our spies in Ratchet that the Warchief has been wounded…or even killed. Our source there, Lord Khort, may have been compromised since we have received no further messages on this fact.”
“I expected as such…” Varian frowned, he knew that man’s loyalties to Vol’jin was a double edged sword.” Send a spy in, one of Jaina’s back in the day. I need to know what happens in Durotar and if I have to fear for another Horde civil war if the rumours of Garrosh’s bastard son are true.”

“Already done sir, I send Agent McLeary and Mishka. They have experience infiltrating in Durotar.” Shaw took out a scone from the basket and invited himself to some jam as he smeared it on said scone.” Furthermore Queen Calia is in talks with King Trollbane and Lord Edward Grimshore for an alliance of convenience against Sylvanas. Which is good since the For-”
Varian frowned.” Who is this Grimshore fellow?”
“A survivor of the House of Grimshore of Lordearon, Black Dragon on a red field if I recall. Several of their members fled to here or Kul Tiras but Edward was somewhat of a black sheep who fled to Alterac instead. Information is scarce but my contacts believe that Edward started a drug trade under the allias of Serinox with a younger assistant named...” Shaw gulped the scone in befor he took out his notebook from his belt.” Captain Pink. Eventually this drug empire grew bigger and bigger and with the Perenolde’s out of the picture, which some claim Serinox himself orchestrated, he is now the unofficial leader of what’s left of Alterac.”

Varian frowned after he drank some apple cider.” I warned Calia this would happen. Zealots, traitors, mercenaries, desperate men, unchained monsters and now criminals. Sometimes I wonder if Terenas looks down on us and judges us for our sins.”
“He would want Lordearon restored to its proper people, your majesty.” Shaw said.
“But at what cost, Mathias?” Varian shook his head and resumed eating.” What of my son?”
“The zeppelin has not reported in yet. It is not uncommon for those to run in late…but I send in Renzik and some agents to find out.”
“Good.“ The king resumed his breakfast.
“You seem…not troubled?” the spy master raised his brow.
“My son has two of your best agents, a small regiment of my best men at his side and he has experience dealing these type of matters. He will be fine.” He smiled somewhat.” He is a Wyrnn.”
“That is what worries me.” Shaw said.
“Why?” Varian asked.
“Because he is not like you. He is a Wyrnn yes but he is also a student of Prophet Velen, a priest…not many holy men make good kings. They will not do get their hands dirty to save their people.”
“Unlike me…” Varian sighed. The spy master fell silent. The king pushed his breakfast away from him.” When I pass, my son will find out many things I did behind his back. For the good of the realm, or all the realms belonging to the Alliance. I made hundreds starve so thousands would spared the horrors of Garrosh’ Horde. I give my coin to goblins to keep the very party at bay whom I signed a treaty of peace with while my roads go unprotected.” He rubbed his brow.” And I am doing what I can to keep a Alliance of different kingdoms and races with different ideals together while the reason they were brought together no longer exists as my own lords are on the verge of rebelling.”

Shaw spoke. “Being a king is not a easy task.”
“No.” Varian agreed.” That is why I have to ask you this, Mathias. I ask you to be Anduin’s dagger in the dark when the time comes. Make the deals he will never make, kill those to dangerous whom he spares with his mercy.”
The leader of SI:7 stared at his king.” You wish to make him a puppet king?”
“Only when you believe what he does is a mistake….and hopefully when he takes the throne and finds out about my sins, you will not have to do what I ask of you.” He stood up and placed his hand on Master Shaw’ shoulder as his guard stepped behind him.” Can I count on you?”
“Always, my king.” Shaw promised.

Stormwind’s bells rung eight times as life returned to the empty streets during the hours of the night. Shops opened, guards patrolled the squares, the vagrants begged for food and work as the prostitutes plied their trade. Varian rode past on his horse with his escort as all bowed to him.
There were more beggars than the day before, Varian saw, and that amount was going to grow unless the nobles would dig into their pockets. He gave them a short nod as the cheering went even louder. “Long live King Varian! Long live the king!” they cried.
“At last they still love their king.” Count Remington Ridgewell said with a smile.

“Let us make sure that love is earned.” Varian nodded. He saw the count smile until a shot rang. The count’s face turned into that of shocked horror as the sound of armour being penetrated rang. Varian felt himself fall of his horse and for a moment felt himself drifting through the air. He did not feel himself hitting the cobbled floor, he did not hear the man who shot him call out “Death to the tyrant king, power to the nobles!” or saw him get jumped by SI:7 and the loyal guard. A gnomish priest ran over and tried in vain to stop the bleeding.
Varian did not see the people scream and run as panic filled the streets of Stormwind. All he felt was peace as his life blood left him from the deadly wound in his neck. It was peaceful, like going into a sleep. His eyes which had stared at his bedroom ceiling now stared into the morning sun. The sun began to take form of a blonde haired woman who smiled at him and took his hand.
“Tiffin.” Varian smiled as he took his wife’s hand and was pulled into the heavens.

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