Alliance: Chapter 14
Everything was going to plan Calia thought. Ever since the raid on Undercity, Sylvanas was acting more and more reckless. The sight of her city burning must’ve struck one of the few emotional chords that witch queen had left. For Calia, the true Queen of Lordearon, it was cleansing.
Brother Crawley’s Scarlet brothers and sisters used their righteous fire and the holy light to cleanse the corridors of Sylvanas’ corruption and finally gave the poor misguided souls eternal rest.
Ivar Bloodfang and Lord Grimshore assaulted Brill and the royal dockyards respectively and thoroughly ruined the commerce and infrastructure there. Lady Catelyn and her pirate fleet (along with some Kul Tiras ‘mercenaries’) performed hit and run tactics to make sure the rest of the Forsaken fleet would be useless in the near future.
King Trollbane had send his best commanders, Captains Cromwell and Thesslocke, with the invasion wave. Stromgarde remembered Forsaken injustice well and brought them (and any troll ally of theirs) to justice with fire and steel. They witnessed how the Forsaken both took away Galen and perverted him into being Sylvanas’ pet. Worst of all he attacked his own uncle and nearly committed regicide if it wasn’t for Lord Grimshore and his band of criminals. Cromwell’s foot aided Bloodfang, bringing much needed disciplined footmen into the mindless carnage of worgen savagery, while Thesslocke’s cavalry made sure the escape route to Ambermill was secure while Thassarian and his mindless undead secured the rear. Calia knew Sylvanas would rally all of her forces to bear after this insult. And with Calia’s forces being blocked off and surrounded on all sides, it was a bait the Dark Lady could not refuse. This is where stage two came into play. While Sylvanas attacked and threw herself at them, King Trollbane, Hadhod Cobaltslayer and Lorna Crawley would arrive with the rest of their forces and surround the surrounders. Calia would have the day and once more house Menethil would rule Lordearon as it should. It was a sound plan if everyone played their part.
Calia severed a Sindorei’s head from his shoulders as she and her Queen’s Guard fought side by side. Trevor held her banner as he protected them with his holy magicks as Sers Nial, her beloved Thomas and Hartman butchered those who came close to them.
“Keep at them!” she called out to her warriors.” We will win the day if we put our trust in the Light! WE STAND AS ONE!”
“For Queen Calia, for Lordearon!” Thomas cried out.
“For the rightfull Queen! For the Light!” Nial added.
“WE STAND AS ONE” Her men shouted. Men, worgen, free Forsaken and dwarf alike. Her people, the ones she fought for.
She smiled. Just a bit longer and then Lorna would arrive and end the madness of the usurper.
Her sword arm felt heavy but she kept on swinging. Her shield was nearly reduced to splinters but it kept the mortal blows away from her, the white rose peeled off completely. Her white armour was covered in crimson and green. Her vision swum as the thrill made her feel immortal, god like. Laughter erupted from his lips as she hacked away. It must’ve been a insane sight, she thought. And for a brief moment she wondered if this is what Arthas felt during every battle. She threw that thought away, she was nothing like Arthas. She would not give away her soul as he did.
She was about to finish one of Sylvanas’ creatures when she was shoved aside. Calia steadied herself when she saw who had pushed her. ”Ser Thomas, what are-“
He started to scream, he did stopped screaming. His skin turned as gray as stone as his blood veins turned as black as night. The scream that came from his mouth was not human. His eyes, nostrils and mouth poured out blood as he fell to his knees. The screaming, that horrible screaming, continued when a skeletal arms punched through his ribcage as his skeleton left his body in a bloody, steaming mess of viscera. Her mind went blank, the sword and shield dropped from her hands, she thought she called his name. How Trevor held her back as he muttered some kind of spell.
“So it’s the two of us then, Thomas?” she once asked him.
“Yes, your grace.” His voice said once.” I hope that is not a problem?”
“Not at all.” She smiled.
Tears came pouring out as she realized she would never hold him, kiss him, tell him she loved…
He gave up everything for her. His ties to Greymane, to Stormwind, to his family and now his life. They would never marry and yet he stayed with her. He performed the ultimate debt and now she could never repay him.
Everything around her went dark. She felt cold, alone, powerless...but she felt one thing. Anger. Rage. A fire within her awoke. She stood up, tears stinging her eyes, and looked her lover’s killer in the eyes. She saw a Forsaken ranger try to climb out of his tree but stopped when he saw she spotted him. For a brief moment she saw into the man’s eyes…before he and a portion of the forest was consumed in flame.
She was shouting in a language she did not understand but she didn’t care. The fire felt good. Watching the forest and the bastard within burn felt good. She laughed, she cried, she screamed. She felt free. The laughter kept coming even as a bone chilling scream raged across the battlefield. A sound one would hear as the world ended.
Men stopped fighting, even ran, as Calia turned her head. Within the ranks of the black rose there was a void now. Forsaken and Blood elf alike made room as a sole dark ranger was stood alone as she screamed, bloody tears running from her eyes. Sylvanas Windrunner looked up, her blood soaked eyes staring into Calia’ soul. Brother Trevor and Ser Nial both began to shiver as Ser Hartman whined and were ready to turn heel as the gaze of the Dark Lady could turn any man to run. But Calia was no man and she had her own rage to feed off.
Silence filled the battlefield. A small trickle of snow began to drift downward. Men began to drag their wounded out of the way as commanders on both sides tried to restore order in the ranks. Banners were pulled out of the ground as the lines re-assembled. She saw Thassarian and Godfrey join her side as Koltira joined the black rose’s ranks. There was another reckoning coming, she thought. Hartman stood beside her, growling angrily at the enemy as her two remaining Queen’s Guard took their place beside her.
Sylvanas drew her two blades as Calia picked up her blade. Both started to walk before running into a full-fledged lunge. The self-proclaimed Queens of Lordearon screamed at each other as their blades met. Behind them both factions rallied into a frenzy and charged after their respective queens and clashed once more.
“Do not forget everyone!” she heard Lord Grimshore shout.” We are the danger! Let’s show that witch who OWNS Lordearon!”
“Knights of Stromgarde, gather around!” Captain Thesslocke rallied her knights around the Stromgarde banner.” Let us avenge our fallen prince Galen! For Stromgarde!”
She even heard Ivar’s blood chilling howling but she didn’t care. Calia kept slashing and dodging, sometimes even began throwing fireballs as if she had done nothing else all her life. Windrunner had to die! HAD TO DIE! Sylvanas screamed at her, the blast wave throwing the white queen back a meter or so.
“YOU KILLED HIM!” Calia cried.” YOU TOOK HIM FROM ME!”
“AND I WILL TAKE EVERYTHING FROM YOU! UNTILL THERE IS NOTHING LEFT!” the usurper retorted.” YOU HARLOT, YOU FALSE QUEEN!”
Calia threw another firebolt before she slashed with her blade. Sylvanas deflected the strike with her blades and counter attacked. She was fast but wore little armour. Calia was slow because of her own armour yes, but her newly gained fire magic and the adrenaline lend a lot more speed then humanly possible. Both Forsaken and men of the Northern Alliance made way out of the two as a silent agreement was apparently in effect. These two women had to deal with this themselves.
Both women met each other again, blade to blade.
“You should’ve killed me when you had the chance...” Calia glared.
Sylvanas came close, a smirk on her face.” I did.”
The white queen blinked.” What?”
“You don’t think the real Calia Menethil used magic, did you? You are still blind!”
“What ar-“ Calia quickly jumped back as a runeblade nearly severed her head from her shoulder. “KOLTIRA!” she cried out in surprise.
“Nothing personal, your majesty but I can’t help it!” Koltira replied.
“Less talking, more killing!” Sylvanas barked at him.
“Yes, your majesty…two.” The blood elven death knight charged in alongside the dark lady.
A wall of ice blocked both attackers as Thassarian appeared with Godfrey, sword and pistols in hand.
“It seems you need assistance, my lady!” Godfrey said as he reloaded his pistols.
“It seems so.” Calia realized.” Where are my Queen’s guard?!” Sylvanas cheated, of course she did.
“No idea but leave Koltira to me, your majesty.” Thassarian nodded.” Godfrey, you get your shot at Sylvanas.”
“I can shoot your old friend in the face though.” Godfrey offered as he slammed the chamber of his pistol back in.
“Sylvanas is your target, Godfrey! Or I swear-“
The wall of ice dissipated as Sylvanas, Koltira and an Abomination charged through, pieces of ice flying around as the snow was coming down hard
Calia threw a fireball at the behemoth while Godfrey fired at Sylvanas who hid behind the same creature.
“Remember me, Sylvanas?!” Godfrey cheered.” And no Val’kyr to save you no-“
A hook sunk into the former Gilnean lord’s chest, embedded deeply. Godfrey looked down and muttered a curse before the Abomination threw him into the air and away from the battlefield like a angry child tossed a ragdoll.
Calia focused back on Sylvanas as the behemoth was taken down by fire and her Queen’s guard.
She blocked out everything else, the woman needed to die!
“My forces outnumber yours, you are DEAD, Calia! AGAIN!”
“I WILL BURN YOU!” Calia retorted.” Just you wait when my forces arrive. You and your people die tonight!”
As expected, she heard the war horn in the distance. She began to smile.” Your end is here, Sylvanas.”
But her smile faded when Sylvanas began to smile herself. She stopped fighting and stepped back. She snapped at her forces who all stopped fighting.
Another war horn sounded…and Calia realized it wasn’t Lorna’s. Banners appeared in the distance as the sun began to rise. White banners appeared with a sunburst symbol on it. The sigil of the Argent Crusade. Both parties stopped fighting as a army of knights in white appeared and marched forward. One, decked in ornate armour and seemingly was blessed by the light himself. He was a man of age, his beard and hair gone white, but the light that came from his armour made him look as strong as a old king of lore.
Calia smiled. She heard the Argent Crusade remained neutral in any conflicts considering the Alliance and the Horde (Any messages for aid she send to them were replied with a polite but a very definite refusal) but she took anyone she could get.” Highlord Tirion Fordring, thank the Light you came!” she pointed her bloodied sword to Sylvanas.” Please, aid me in vanquishing her from our lands and reclaim Lordea-“
Tirion glared at her which stopped her talking, as all her rage and self-confidence melted like snow in the sun.
“Queen Calia Menethil.” The man spoke with authority.” If your father was still with us, he would be horrified by what you did. You are a monster. ”
She was shocked with disbelief. This man, one of the former knights of the Silver Hand called her a monster?
“Look I..dont know where my fire magic comes from, I swear to the light I don’t but-“
He shut her up.” Enough, Calia! I came here to stop this fighting before it escalates any further.” He looked both her and Sylvanas in the eyes.” A month ago, someone came to Hearthglen and stole the shards of Frostmourne. I send my best trackers after it…and found them in your possession, Calia!”
“What?!” Calia blurted.” What, no! I would never do that! That thing stole my brother’ soul!”
“We found the bag in your camp. The army that was marching here under your flag had it. One of the ‘free’ Forsaken claimed he stole it under your behalf so you could use it’s magicks to destroy the Forsaken.”
Calia gasped and turned to Sylvanas, who was smirking still. With a disgusted cry she lunged and slapped the Dark Lady across her cheek. Angrily Sylvanas returned the favour before both were held back by their champions, Brother Trevor and Galen Trollbane respectively.
“Stop her, Fordring!” Sylvanas said.” Before she destroys my kingdom!”
“MY KINGDOM YOU LIAR!!” Calia cried as muttering and shouting started on both sides.
“ENOUGH!” Tirion slammed his sword in the ground. The sun flashed brightly over the hill which nearly blinded Calia.” You are not without sin either Sylvanas. For to long have I watched you commit crimes and done nothing. I will change that. This War of the Roses stops NOW. From now on Hillsbrad, Alterac and Stromgarde belongs to this…mockery you call a Alliance. The final piece of respect I had for your father is thus been repaid, Calia. Shadowfang Keep is returned to Gilneas. See that as a peace offering on your behalf for the invasion on their lands, Lady Windrunner.”
“What?! She stole Frostmourne and you reward her?!” Sylvanas sounded offended. “Who gave you the right?!”
Tirion met her gaze.” Justicar Trueheart?” A female knight walked over and held up two scrolls. One was made from fine parchment, the other from leather. She opened the leather one first and spoke.
“By unanimous decree of the other Horde leaders. I, Vol’jin son of Sen’jin and Warchief of the Horde, authorize Highlord Fording to intercede should he deem it necessary.” She held it for Sylvanas to see.
With a snort the Dark Lady pulled back. “I do not acknowledge that treaty.”
“But you will acknowledge my knights who have experience killing the undead and your army which is severely depleted over the past few months.” Tirion leaned on his sword.” Also Lord Mograine has asked me kindly to return Koltira back to his services. Effective immediately.”
“He swore fealty to the Horde!” Galen spoke.” His life belongs to the Dark Lady!”
“That was before I invoked Vol’jin’s treaty and the mind control your mistress cast on him.” Tirion replied before he looked back to Sylvanas.” Must I ask you again?”
Calia’s heart sang a little when she saw Sylvanas suffer like this. The dark lady looked away, disgusted and angry, before she snapped her fingers and Koltira shook his head.
“Brother?” Thassarian asked. The blood elven knight smiled and held the human death knight, brothers reunited.
“Highlord Mograine also asked you to return to the Ebon Hold, Thassarian. Your presence at Calia’s side has been noticed and not in the good way…” The Highlord of the Argent Crusade said.
“Of course…I understand and I will accept my punishment.” Thassarian let go of Koltira and faced Calia.” Your majesty…”
Calia nodded already, she knew the game was over.” I release you from your oath, Ser Thassarian. May you serve your lord as well as you served me.”
The Death Knight bowed to his Queen, Koltira merely glared at her, before both walked out of the battlefield as both armies made room for them.
“As for you, Calia.” Fordring glared at her.” The new king gave me a similar treaty as well.” He motioned to the Justicar who read said treaty. Calia blinked as did everyone else and mutter in confusion. The new king?
“I, King Anduin Wyrnn. Sovereign ruler of Stormwind and Highking of the Alliance decree that Queen Calia Menethil is no longer part of the Alliance on the charges of necromancy, inciting civil war and destroying the reputation of what the Alliance of Lordearon once stood for. Likewise Stormwind does not acknowledge House Grimshore as the new royalty of Alterac-“ Calia heard a curse from the Alterac troops.” Nor does it condone dealings with the Bloodfang pack, Scarlet Renegades and other less reputable organizations to fight under the Alliance banner.”
She couldn’t believe her ears. Anduin was there when she was coronated! How could he betray one of his own like this?!
“Does Stromgarde suffer the same unjustice, Highlord?” Captain Thesslocke dismounted from her destrier.
“No, King Danath has fought for the Alliance for many years and Stromgarde should not suffer for the sins of their peers. Stromgarde is part of the Alliance still and will receive supplies now Gilneas has been repaired.” The Justicar spoke.” We mentioned this to King Danath on the way here.”
“Hillsbrad is a small portion of what Lordearon once was, but it is something. And something is better than nothing, your majesty.” Highlord Fordring spoke to Calia.” I suggest you pull back what forces you have and disappear…before I change my mind.” He said the last with ice cold tone before he pulled Ashbringer out of the ground and marched back, Justicar Trueheart and the other knights in tow. He turned back once.” The War of the Roses has ended! You have one hour to vacate this area before you will be FORCED to move! Light be with you!” and left.
The next few weeks, Calia was in a daze. As expected the Bloodfang pack and Scarlet Renegades were the first to leave and went on to attack the Forsaken, there was still no word from either. What was not expected was that Alterac helped with the construction and if it wasn’t for the trade Hillsbrad (now called New Lordearon) received from Alterac and Stromgarde it would’ve cost a lot more human lives since the winter that came was a very cold one.
“We’re left on our own as always, Queen Calia.” Lord Grimshore said over a meal they shared along with his Lady wife Catelyn.”And we’ll grow stronger from it. Let that boy king steer his kingdom and his Alliance into the gutter and everyone will flood to our Alliance.”
Hillsbrad was officially Lordearon territory once more yes, but it was chaos still. Brigands popped up everywhere (there was a disturbing rumour they worked for a now free willed Lord Godfrey), fights about land erupted and even discrimination reared its ugly head as Lordearon men fought Stormwind refugees. Even the free Forsaken were not spared from this despite the newly appointed council made these men citizens of New Lordearon. Hadhod and his dwarves left along with his mercenaries. He said only one thing to Lorna Crawley “I warned that Karland boy, shame he wouldn’t listen.”
Calia was not present for the funeral in Stormwind but Thomas got his wish. The Karland name was celebrated across Lordearon, Stormwind and Gilneas thanks to his actions and his uncle’s. Hillsbrad and Southshore were being rebuild and a castle was being constructed from the ruins of Durnholde.
Of her Queen’s guard only three remained. Brother Trevor oversaw the construction of several churches dedicated to the Light until a new Archbishop was elected among the Priests but still swore to serve his Queen. Ser Nial remained as one of the guard and began training new recruits among the veterans of the war to serve as replacements for Ser Thomas and Ser Lightblade. Hartmen tarnished his cloak on several women and by the Lunar festival the following year he had sired at least six bastard children, two of them from highborne nobility.
Lorna was not content to return to Gilneas, at least not yet. She upheld the peace in the land and chased after brigands where-ever she could find them. She had learned to forgive her father somewhat and managed to get him to send some help with the rebuilding. Baros Alexton of Stormwind arrived along with a few workers and helped shape the spine of the upstart kingdom. Roads, houses, castles, watch towers and so forth. He also struck a romance with one of Lorna’s lieutenants, a woman named Thorn. There was to be marriage and it was the first step to have a more friendly relationship with the Alliance across the great sea.
Calia herself worked effortlessly to restore her kingdom, however small it was. Truth be told she enjoyed the work for it kept the gnawing fears from entering her thoughts. Was what Sylvanas said true? Was she a imposter? None of King Terenas….her father’s court survived and could testify if she was a mage in a secret.
Likewise she dare not contact Jaina Proudmoore or Brann Bronzebeard due to their staunch support of King Anduin’s new regime. Paintings and tapestries were made to turn their White Queen into the Dragon Queen and none seem to speak of it anymore as if they expected her to be more divine then usual. Another fear she had however, she had to face. And like always she managed to make a weakness into a weapon.
On Winter’s Veil she and her Queen’s guard arrived in Stromgarde to celebrate the holidays with their allies. For the first time since the War of the Roses, New Lordearon and Alterac and Stromgarde nobility came together. The feast and warming up old ties was needed yes, but that was not why she came. Nial was visiting relatives, Hartman was siring his fifth child and Trevor had given his word to keep the secret until the announcement. He remained outside as Danath invited her to speak in private.
Calia accepted the invitation and met King Trollbane in his solar when the feast was in full sway.
“I read your letter.” Danath poured himself a drink of Pinot noir.” Is it true?”
The king offered her a drink but she refused which confirmed his suspicions.
“It’s true, I’m with child.” The Queen said.
“I see…congratulations?” Danath smiled weakly.
“Thank you.” She replied.” I have not announced it yet of course.”
“It would be a scandal.” He poured her some water which she accepted and drank.” I need not ask who the father is?”
“You know.” Calia sipped from her glass.” That is why I came to you.”
Danath frowned.” Oh?”
“My child is heir to the throne but if it has no father, it will have no claim to it. I need to marry quickly before people get suspicious.”
Danath laughed.” So you’ve come here to find yourself a husband?”
“I did and I think you would fit the bill perfectly.”
Danath laughed some more until the old man saw the seriousness in her eyes. His laughter stopped. “You are serious.”
“I am. Danath…you are a old man-“
“Rub it in why don’t you…” he muttered.
“Please, just listen. It’s hard for me as well.” She sighed before she continued.” You have no heir and with you gone it won’t take long for your nephew to take the throne. Our Northern Alliance accepts Free Forsaken as normal citizens now. He just needs to waltz in here and claim it if you were to die. But if you had a child of your own, he would have no such claim.”
The old king rubbed his chin in thought.” I see where you are coming from, Calia.” he sipped from his pinot.” But what of New Lordearon?”
“Sylvanas won the day she planted Frostmourne’s shards on me. Hillsbrad is just a small portion of what once was Lordearon. It won’t take a few generations before either Stromgarde or Alterac assimilates it with marriages and the like. If we were to marry, House Menethil will survive and New Lordearon will still exist in some shape or form.” She finished her water and continued.” I know this will be a loveless marriage but for the sake of our people and our kingdoms we have to do what’s best.”
Danath frowned.” Don’t patronize me, child. I’ve been in this long enough to know what is best or not.”
“Of course, my apologies…” Calia replied. She placed her glass down and stood up.” I don’t have much time but I will give you some, to give you time to think.”
“We both don’t have much time, Calia.” Danath folded his arms.” Very well, we will marry. Come the Lunar Festival. Agreed?”
“Danath, you don’t have to-“ he interrupted her.
“My line will die out, Calia. At least this way it will last a while longer…even if the child is not my blood.”
She smiled and placed her hand on his shoulder.” Blood is not everything, Danath. It will think you as his father and you will have a chance to be one.”
The old king nodded.” Alright...” he finished his drink and placed it down.” Let’s make the announcement, shall we?”
He offered his hand which she took as both left the solar and walked to the balcony, side by side.
She failed Thomas but she had not failed Lordearon yet. Her child would sit upon the throne in the capitol and Sylvanas would pay for her crimes. She had come across a obstacle but every mountain could be climbed. It was just a question of how long it would take…