Alliance: Chapter 16
The dragon cast his spell, already Illidan felt the arcane magicks force the laws of space and time bend to its will. He turned to his twin who clenched his staff with one hand and absentmindedly went through the contents in his pouch. Illidan wanted to say something, anything to put his brother at ease, but nothing came to mind. What was there to say? Tyrande was dead and even if they caught Maeiv she wouldn’t come back. Only justice, no, only revenge remained.
“Remember.” The dragon said.” Shadowsong needs to be brought back alive, only then will this war stop between your people and the Horde. You both know Azeroth needs to be in peak condition if it wishes to survive the assault of the Burning Legion.”
Illidan drew his war glaives and stared into the majesty of colour that was the portal to Grim Batol.
“Our new…contact has informed me that there is a battle ongoing between the coalition, the Horde and the Alliance. Hopefully she hasn’t fled yet.”
“We will find her.” Furion spoke, anger in his voice.” Open the portal.”
The dragon was about to speak but Illidan frowned.” You heard my brother, open it.”
An explosion of colours signaled the opening of the portal.
“After you, brother.” Illidan offered. Furion nodded and stepped through, shortly followed by his twin….right into chaos itself.
The smell of blood, sweat and fear assaulted his nostrils while the shouts of war cries, curses and the dying and wounded assaulted his ears. He always thought back of the first battle he ever fought in, how scared he was of that Felhound until he steadied himself and relied on his magic to save him and his companions. Now others feared him and he no longer had companions who held him down.
Furion was already casting his spells, vines as large as snakes wrapped themselves around those who attacked them and crushed their bones in their deadly hold.
“It’s the betrayer!” One of the night elven Wardens shouted to her kin.” Kill him, in the name of Elune!”
The wardens abandoned their Orcish and troll allies and flung themselves to the brother’s Stormrage.
“Keep one alive.” Illidan went into a defensive stance.” We need to know where Maeiv is.”
“Normally I would be the one who should tell you this, brother.” Malfurion took out a leaf from his pouch.
Illidan smirked.” Indeed…”
The clash was brief but brutal. Furion threw his leaf, which began splitting off into several tinier blades, and cut through the Wardens like a hot knife through butter. Illidan deflected the strikes before he engulfed himself in green flame, which burned his opponents in a burning heap. The screams and cries of pain filled the air and made a smile appear on his lips. It felt good to use his magic, it felt good to kill.
Furion held the survivor by her neck.” WHERE IS SHE?” Before she could retort he immediately slammed her on the wall before throwing her across the room.” WHERE IS SHE?!”
Thorned vines burst through the wall and held the survivor in its grasp. The warden screamed but Furion didn’t relent.
“T-tunnel!” she cried out in pain.” South! Down the elevator shaft! Past the mines!”
“Good.” Furion replied and smacked her across the head with his staff. He motioned his antlered head to the tunnel down below, Illidan gave a nod and followed. When they arrived at the elevator shaft they saw the platform laid discarded to the side. Illidan saw remaining traces of warmth from tracks headed elsewhere. For curiosity’ sake he saw them disappear into a wall. Secret passageway? It didn’t matter, Maeiv wasn’t headed that way. He had a idea what kind of woman she was and there was no way she would flee with unwashed orc peons and troll slaves. They had to go down the elevator and follow the trail.
The archdruid was lowered down by the vines as Illidan glided himself down with his wings. The moment both brothers hit the ground they began to run. Illidan sensed his brother using nature to track Maeiv down, making him see what the vines see. He was surprised something green still grew deep within the cursed Grim Batol. Then again his brother was the archdruid, he always got what he wanted. This made Illidan snarl a little. Malfurion always got what he wanted.
The duo ran down a flight of carved in stairs, deeper into the ruins of the once dwarven home. The former lord of Outland heard footsteps, many footsteps. He also recognized the breathing, the same breath he heard over 10 000 years as she kept watch over him.
The brothers Stormrage turned around the corner and found several corpses. They were dwarves but of the most horrible kind, they looked more akin to lizards than dwarves. Monsters. Two wardens, one male and one female, lay dead among them. No time for the dead.
Illidan sniffed. “We’re close, the blood is fresh.”
“Then let us make haste.” Furion replied and ran off again.
The two kept running until they arrived at a large hall, a lower level where once the poorest of Grim Batol would’ve left. So far away from the surface.
“Over there!” Furion pointed downward. Illidan followed his brother’s motion and saw Maeiv’s energy along with her remaining wardens, a large number still. A large root burst through the wall as Malfurion rode it downward.” MAEIV!” He cried out.
Illidan jumped off the level and glide downward, so long for the stealth approach.
“Illidan! Malfurion! Traitors both!” Maeiv snarled and drew her weapon. The Wardens scattered and launched their attacks. One of them, a male, leaped forward as he held some strange weapon Illidan never saw before. It seemed to made of some kind of metal that whispered to him. Was calling to him. It took him quite a bit of willpower to shake it off.
Illidan deflected a strike from one of his attackers and severed his head from his shoulders with a swipe from his warblades before he landed on the ground. Three more wardens with similar weapons encircled him.
He didn’t pay attention to his brother’ struggles, he could take care of himself. Maeiv joined the attack on Illidan.
“I was not prepared for you last time, monster. But now I am.” She glared.
“Two of us against the thirty of you?” he smirked.” I’ll fight blindfolded to increase your chances.”
She snarled.” Why did you come back, Illidan? You do not belong here in this realm.”
“Haven’t you heard, Maeiv? I am on the side of the angels now. I am a bonafide hero of Azeroth. Here to save the day.”
“Liar!” she and her men took up positions.” I knew what kind of man you were the first day we met. Cerifax had a saying. People do not change that much. Some are born wolves, some are sheep. You may be wearing sheep’s clothing but your fangs are showing through.”
Illidan held his warblades In a defensive stance.” I have sinned yes, and no matter how much I atone will wash that guilt away. I committed genocide in the name of our people, committed treason in the name of love. But all I did was to keep Azeroth save and by Elune I swear to you I will kill you if it means giving this world another day.”
“Then let us begin lest you sully Elune’s name once more.” she replied.
“Agreed.” He concurred.” Tyrande would not approve you uttering her name.”
At once they moved. The weapons were whispering, he couldn’t make it out. Couldn’t they hear? Couldn’t Furion hear? He saw Maeiv grin, she knew the weapons had some kind of effect. This had been a trap all along.
“Kill the betrayer! You know the plan!” She cried out. The now four wardens all attacked him at once. One threw knives, another a spear and one even cast a shadowbolt spell. Maeiv came for him with her glaive, the very weapon that took his life a few years ago back in Outland.
Like before she had the numerical advantage and tools to throw him off his game. But unlike before he still had his wits. This time HE was prepared.
He leaped in the air and threw his war glaives at the ground. The watchers jumped away, save one who got hit in the leg. His cries were quick but brutal as he burned up and was turned to ash. The remaining three leaped for him. One of the weapons sliced at his chest and for a moment he felt himself black out, his purple blood streaming from the wound. He shook his head, he couldn’t die now. Not yet.
Illidan tapped into his demonic self, the monster part of himself and let it out. The pain was horrible but it felt good. The power that surged through him was the best feeling he had. Better than a fine meal, a woman or a warm bath. It was the best feeling, that of power. When the blades came again, he didn’t hear the whispers anymore. His power was far grander than theirs.
He took one Warden by her arms and snapped it off before he kicked her away towards the black abyss. Maeiv, enraged by the loss, came at him with everything she had. She blinked around him, threw daggers, tried to stab him. She hurt him but he was still standing. He engulfed himself in flame and threw his own dark spells at her.
One of them caught the remaining Warden who fell down screaming as the horrors of the mind swallowed her whole. Maeiv deflected the spell with her glaive, which shattered on impact. It took her a brief moment to find out she was alone. But Shadowsong was a fighter. She picked up the weapons that whispered and slashed at him.
“I GAVE UP IMMORTALITY TO KEEP YOU LEASHED!” She cried out. He was driven on the defensive, the demonic force ran out as he turned back into his feeble mortal shell. He fell weak, drained….and it had taken him a great deal of luck to pick up one of his war blades to deflect her strikes.
“I GAVE UP MY FAMILY, MY OWN FREEDOM TO DO MY DUTY AS ELUNE TASKED ME!” She kicked him back.” YOU WILL PAY FOR WHAT YOU DID, MONSTER! NAISHA AND ALL THE OTHERS WILL BE AVENGED!”
Illidan fell to his knees, panting.” Tell me…would Naisha condone…you having killed Tyrande?”
Maeiv prepared for the killing blow.” She would’ve seen what kind of travesty our kind would have become. Us being allies with the mortal races? Letting the greenskins walk over us? Tyrande was weak, dancing to the tunes of that human king. But when I’m done here with you and Furion, I will return to Darnassus and free my people from that yoke! I will bring them back to Elune’s light!”
Despite the blood loss, the fatigue, the impending death…he laughed.
This threw Maeiv back as the laughter intensified. “What are you doing?” she asked with hatred in her voice.
“I just now realized how insane I must’ve sound.” He laughed.” Your mentor had a wise saying, let me tell you what Cenarius himself said to me once. You should not fight monsters lest you become a monster.” He stood up.” I have become what I fought, a demon. And now you have become what I was. Madness.”
“Enough!” She raised her blade and went to strike.
Illidan didn’t even flinch when it came down. After all, he had his big brother to protect him. The swing stopped midway as roots pulled Maeiv into the air. She screamed loudly as she was held suspended in the air while Malfurion glared at the display.
“SHANDO!” She looked to Malfurion.” You know what monster your brother is! What did you save him?!”
“The only monster I see is you, Maeiv. You killed the woman I love in the name for some petty vendetta that lasted 10 000 years to long. And now it is time we ended that.” He nodded to the roots who began to pull at each of Maeiv’s limbs. Illidan blinked and looked to his brother. Before he could react Maeiv’s cries seized immdiatly when the roots pulled her limbs off in one strong pull. The torso fell down the abyss as a small shower of purple blood rained on the twins.
Illidan paused. “Mal, what did you do?”
“What does it look like?” he looked to his little brother.” I got justice for Tyrande.”
“You…you killed the only chance we had for peace!” Illidan took Malfurion by the shoulders.” You ruined everything!”
“I did what I had to do!” Malfurion pushed him back.” And who are you to speak of morals?!”
“Exactly! You are not meant to do these things! I AM THE MONSTER! NOT YOU! NEVER YOU!”
The twins did not speak for some time. They sat down as the distant sounds of battle came through the tunnels. After a while that to began to die down. Hours must’ve passed. Their job was done. Maeiv was dead, Tyrande was avenged…and the Kaldorei still sought war. Tyrande had to be avenged. They needed a culprit. They needed a monster. Someone to hate and bring to justice.
“Tell them I did it.” Illidan told his brother.
Furion looked up from his revelry.” What?”
“Tell them I killed Tyrande, that all of this was my plan to draw you into a trap and kill you.”
Furion laughed.” Are you jesting, brother? Who would believe that?!”
“Everyone. You are a hero, Mal. Azeroth will believe everything you say. I can be the monster the world needs me to be. The Legion is coming and Azeroth needs to be unified. Azeroth still needs you.”
Furion seemed conflicted but he knew he had no choice.” What do you want me to do?”
“Hunt me down, get our people together and united for when the time comes.” The former lord of Outland stood up.
“Illidan, you just came back…” the archdruid rose as well as he leaned on his staff.” To banish you again…”
“It will have been the same as when you banished me before the battle of Hyjal. I will be fine, I always am.”
He saw his brother struggle with this, the elder looking for words.” I…I don’t know what to say.”
“Just promise me you will look after our people. Even now Tyrande is gone.”
“I promise. For her sake…and yours, brother.” Malfurion extended his hand. Illidan gazed at it before he embraced his twin, a small tear caught in his mask.
“Malfurion Stormrage went down here!” a voice went through the tunnels.” The vines are still here.”
“Must be SI7…” Malfurion let go.” Illidan, you have to run.”
Illidan nodded.” Farewell, brother.” With that he ran.
He heard Malfurion whisper farewell as well before he sensed him throwing root and starfire spells his way. One of them actually hit him, made it real.
So Illidan Stormrage was on the run once more.
The portal was about to be opened. Several Kirn Tor magi poured their every ounce of power into the spell. It was hard to enter a realm that could only be accessed by dreaming if you weren’t privy to the secret rituals needed to enter. It was impossible to even enter it in physical form…unless you were Kirin Tor. Unless you were Jaina Proudmoore.
“The portal is nearly ready.” She announced and turned to her troops. Her lover, the blue dragon now in his half-elven form Kalec, stood beside her. Khadgar and a half-orcish mage were there as well.
“You don’t have to do this, son.” Khadgar said to the orc with a concerned look in his eyes.
“I have to.” Med’an replied.” This concerns all of Azeroth. The sooner this thing is revealed the sooner Uncle Maraad will stop to try and kill himself.”
“Wel alright…but if you get killed remember, your mother will kill me as well. Horribly even.” The elder mage smirked. The half-orc smiled and amicably punched the mage on the shoulder.
Jaina turned to Vareesa Windrunner who was inspecting an arrow before she put it in her quiver. Darius Crawley was adjusting his knuckles while casting glances at the other companions Brann Bronzebeard got them.
A Forsaken girl held out her palm as a purple flame appeared and disappeared. She had the look of a mage and a rogue, a perfect killing machine. Jaina did not know where this Lilian Voss came from or why Brann trusted her, but she placed her trust in him. Not in these Horde he brought along.
A orcish blademaster was sharpening his blade while Brann made sure his banner was strapped on tightly in the back.
A tauren Death Knight stood up from meditation and held his rune axe at the ready.
Jaina shook her head, once she wouldn’t have mind to fight alongside the Horde. But after Theramore, that all changed. Her task was to keep her new home of Dalaran and her people safe.
Along with these strong individuals, she know she could trust, there were also a lot of adventurers. These brave men and women had experience fighting the Burning Legion, the Scourge, Deathwing and even Garrosh himself. She couldn’t help but have a small smile. This Shadow Council would end today thanks to them.
The portal was ready and was opened. It was time.
Kalec looked up.” I sense draconic energy.” He said and turned to her.” He wis there in person, much like we are.”
“That would explain why we never really saw him move…” she concluded. “Alright. Kalec, you deal with the dragon. Everyone else take down everyone you see in there who isn’t us. We close down the portals and we will know who else is part of this Shadow Council. And remember, do NOT stare into the abyss! Keep looking at the floor or your opponent! And for the love of the Light don’t fall off!”
She slammed her staff on the ground which opened the portal.” Forward!” she cried and led the charge.
They arrived in a castle with a courtyard which seemed to hang around in oblivion. Nobody, not even the dragon, expected them to enter. None of them even had any form of defense. Immediately Jaina threw a Frostbolt at a Stormwind Mage trainer who was frozen solid. Around her chaos broke out as her forces came down on the Shadow Council…and they came down hard. Spells were cast, metal clashed against dream like metal, Kalecgyos and the Shadow Council ringleader fought over the non existant skies until he was brought down upon the castle which reduced it to a smoking ruin.
Under her guidance, the Shadow Council who dared to rule the world from the shadows was quickly imprisoned. The portals were destroyed, plans were found and catalogued and the ringleader of the Shadow Council was chained in the heaviest of magical metal Dalaran had to offer.
Jaina walked over to the dragon who had turned himself back into his humanoid form.” It’s over, your Shadow Council is no more.”
“You…FOOLS!” he snapped.” We only tried to save Azeroth from the shadows! Our cause was just!”
Kalec held the prisoner up and seemed to glare into his kin’s very soul.” You are a disappointment to all the dragonflights, Kairozdormu. I expected this from Wrathion but from YOU?! Nozdormu WILL hear of this, I assure you.”
The Bronze Dragon sighed annoyed.” The fool had a chance to join us but he refused. Bloody fool wanted to be left alone with his mortal female to rut with.” Kairoz smirked.” Much like yourself now I-“
Jaina slammed her staff across the captured dragon’s head and knocked him out. Kalec blinked at this.” Good hit, love. You been training with Jojo Ironbrow again?”
Jaina smiled at her lover before she turned to the adventurers.” You now know the names of those who serve the Shadow Council. Go to King Anduin or Warchief Vol’jin and tell them. Go!”
With that the adventurers all left towards their respective factions. Kalec held the enchained Kairoz in his arms and would bring him to the Violet Citadel.
“You did it, Jaina!” Med’an said.” You stopped the Shadow Council!”
She shook her head.” No, we all did it. Together.”
As everyone cleared out to leave the dimension, Jaina looked back once. A single thought went through her heat like a Gnomish train on a track that went round and round. This was to easy…