Fifteen years have passed since the treaty between the Alliance and the Horde, but there is still unrest.
The Alliance under King Anduin is falling apart from the inside as Darnassus and Gilneas move in a more conservative direction as Khaz Modan feels more inclined to ally with the more militant King and Queen of New Lordearon rather than a seemingly passive Stormwind. Only a politcal marriage might be able to mend the fences but can a man who was raised to worship the Light be willing to betray himself for the greater good?
The Horde on the other hand is seemingly rising from it's ashes. More trolls have become part of the Horde and have become fully adjusted members. The borders of the Horde empire have expanded on all fronts and now thanks to Sindorei magic and Goblin engineering rivals the weakening Alliance. However the old Warchief Vol'jin is dying and now the matter of succesion comes into place. Will it be his son, the young Sen'jin who will rule? Or will the more popular Durak be chosen? Or will the legacy Garrosh Hellscream planted rise from obscurity and seize the throne?
And with all of this, the horrible reality comes true. The Burning Crusade has found Azeroth and there are no more portal shutting tricks left. A third large scale Burning Legion invasion will commence and only the Alliance and the Horde together have a chance to defeat the threat and become part of the Army of Light that was foretold. But then again, prophecies can be misread...
She had grown to love Stormwind. It wasn't like Silvermoon with its grand spires and floating…things, whatever they were. It was still a large city, the heart of the Alliance but there was something…cozy about it. The small streets, the canals, the fact people themselves actually swept the streets, cleaned up the horse dung and protected the peace rather than sentinels and animated brooms. Also unlike Silvermoon, she had free reign over the rooftops. As a 'honourary' member of the SI7 she was allowed to go wherever she wanted. And what she wanted the most out of today of all things, was to clear her head as she ran and jumped over the rooftops. The sun was out as everyone seemed to be as well. The Stormwind Lion was presented everywhere. The Honour Guard rode them on the streets, banners and tabards flew everywhere. The colours of blue and gold was seen in every street of the city.
Plenty of rooftop dwellers waved at her with their little blur and gold flags. "Happy coronation day!" they exclaimed.
The smell of steam and smoke alerted her she reached the dwarven sector of town, which meant she was close to Old Town and of course, the palace. She had to hold her breath from the fumes during every job and barely looked down since she memorized every jump and nook and cranny for the past two decades she lived in this city.
"Oi, Valeera!" one of the dwarven merchants shouted from down below and waved at her." Running late again?!" She gave him a small nod and prepared for another jump. She hated balls and gala's and…whatever else that included a lot of people. But it was the king's 15th year of rule and all his guards were required to be there. But Valeera would be late, fashionably so. She was a blood elf after all, and all blood elves had put on some sense of airs.
The dwarf continued his business with a client but his human bodyguard, a young man who was deep in his cups, laughed. "Better hurry along! The king needs his pacifier!" This made Valeera stop. The dwarf merchant turned with disbelief to his bodyguard before he face palmed as she jumped down on the street level and walked over. The human was drinking again, his face red as he kept laughing." He still using one or do you offer him yours-"
There were a lot of traits that applied to Valeera. Loyal, tenacious, stubborn, sometimes heroic…but being impulsive was what she was mostly known for. Her fist launched and collided with the man's jaw before she knelt and swoop kicked the floor from under him. Her green dagger came out of nowhere to the naked eye and was held close to the man's neck.
"By the beards of my ancestor-STOP! "the dwarf ran over." Please don't kill him, I owed his mother a favour. He didn't know any better!"
The young man sobered up quickly as his red face quickly became quite pale. Valeera could not help but smirk a little. She stood up and slid her dagger away in its sheath.
"You should get a better bodyguard Hoghren, even a Murloc could've taken him out."
"Stupid witch!" the young man found his courage as he got up." I will-"
Hoghren took him by the arm." Thank Lady Sanguinar for her mercy." The dwarf gave the young man a stern look. The man stared back but as the saying went, 'when you stare at a dwarf, a dwarf stares back at you'...or something like that.
The young man looked down and muttered his apologies. " My apologies, ma'm…I meant you no offense."
Valeera smiled." None taken. Happy coronation day to you all." In the distance, she ehard the bell toiling from the Cathedral Square. She was LATE! With that she dashed off, climbed her way back to the rooftops and sprinted off. She faintly heard the dwarf shout at his so called bodyguard but that faded away quickly as she broke into a full run.
She arrived at the palace a few moments later. The party was well underway since many of the Alliance's nobility were stood outside near the banquet table. Stormwind's high society with their colourful tunics mingled with dwarven and gnomish dignitaries. She noticed several darker clothed nobility who spoke in more hushed tones than their Stormwind peers. One even adjusted his monocle when a dwarf slapped him in the back as he laughed boisterously. Gilneans, Valeera knew, and with less people present than last year. And the ones being there even seemed to be there against their will. She narrowed her eyes as she saw them talking quietly with some nobles from Lordearon and Stromgarde. Lordearon and Stromgarde were as thick as thieves ever since the War of the Roses fifteen years ago, with their royalty being married and all. Earlier she saw a few Alterac, another member of the Northern Kingdoms, in town at taverns and brothels but those were sailors, probably their transport. Her attention was focused on the noblemen however though.
In her years as a rogue and member of Stormwind's court, she knew hushed muttering in cliques rarely meant well.
Valeera snuck into a servant's room and dressed herself as one of the waiters, tying her ears and long blonde hair in one bun and covered it with a chef's hat. She picked up a tray and went around the guests. She offered a draenei some shrimp salad as she overheard the Gilneans.
"King Greymane is deathly ill." One of their number said." He hasn't been seen since last the last Wickerman festival."
The first's wife nodded. "Princess Tess has already taken over most of his functions, if he were to abdicate it would be a formality really."
"Holy light…" a Lordearon noble gasped." Does King Anduin know?"
"Send some of Stormwind and Exodar's best healers…but even so I don't think this friendship between Gilneas and Stormwind will last." The Gilnean man took one of Valeera' shrimps and paid her no mind aside from a small thank you." Gilneas has always been conservative. And every time we ended up with the Alliance we lost a lot more than we gained. It took us years before we got Gilneas back and for the past six we had to pay out of our own coin to rebuild our land."
The Stromgarde noblewoman nodded." King Anduin means well and I'm glad he put a stop to the war but….he's a weak king. I mean he preaches on and on about the Light but it was your people's Harvest Witches that saved Westfall and Stormwind from starvation."
Her Lordearon compatriot nodded." Does your Princess still entertain the thought to step down from the Grand Alliance and join the Northern Kingdoms? With Gilneas at our side and soon the Wildhammers we can take back Lordearon from the Forsaken, theoretically speaking."
The Gilneas noblemen frowned." I can't speak for the princess but…possible."
Valeera moved away as she tried her best to hide her anger. She warned Anduin this would happen! The Northern Kingdoms were pardoned for the War of the Roses five years back and what happens? They speak of treason at the king's own feast! She had to find the king or his spymaster, Mathias Shaw.
She moved to another portion of the feast towards the exit when she saw more dignitaries were there, some whom she didn't expect. Lord Halmadir, the Horde ambassador from Silvermoon who held office in the Cathedral Square, was seen chatting with some other Horde dignitaries. One of them was the Yaungol ambassador named Gulan.
The Yaungol had been part of the Horde for some time now but it was strange to see them in Stormwind speaking in a civil tone and not burn something out of boredom. They were speaking in the orcish tongue so they didn't bother to hide their conversation like the Gilneans were, which was foolish since Valeera did know how how to speak and understand orcish. Who knew her time as a gladiator would serve her well in espionage? She picked up a wine glass tray and made her way.
"How are things with the Warchief?" Halmadir asked, his arm around some drunk human girl who had no idea what they were talking about but rather peered into her empty wine glass. Valeera took this as a excellent way to slip in and took the woman's empty glass and offered a new one. As the human woman took the glass, Valeera kept her ears on the conversation.
Gulan grunted softly as his nuzzle twitched." Not well. Before I left Orgrimmar he did not leave his bedchambers for three days. Already the vultures are flying around him." He spat." Disrespectfull."
Halmadir raised his brow at the gesture." I concur…so, who are the candidates?"
"Sen'jin, Vol'jin' son is the obvious one. Lacks a spine but he has a lot of friends. He reminds me a lot of this human king. Goes around healing the sick, feeding the starving…but like I said, soft. He would be a puppet to the Horde council. If Sen'jin is chosen it would be Eitrigg, Zen'tabra and Drak'thul who rule. On the other hand we have Durak, by Ordos' flames…"
"Thrall….I mean Go'el's boy?" Halmadir clarified.
"Yes. The orcs have become a minority in their own Horde and demand a orc to be put back on the throne, this was even before Vol'jin got sick and its getting louder now even so. Durak is young, hungry for glory and fresh off his campaign in burning the Razorfen Kraul. If he is chosen…we might have another Garrosh Hellscream on our hands." Valeera offered some wine to the Yaungol but he refused, shaking his massive horned head.
Halmadir nodded, deep in thought." And Warlord Torakk Bloodrain? Last I heard he seems the type as well. The Beastmaw Clan is growing quite rapidly and has nearly all the Horde races represented in it. If anything out of those two pups he would have experience needed to run the Horde."
Gulan rubbed his chin in thought." That is a good assumption…it depends if Baine or, Ordos help us, Sylvanas steps up to the challenge."
Halmadir took the wine glass offered from Valeera. "Sylvanas has been very quiet, fortifying her strongholds in Lordearon. It's like she's preparing for something but I don't know what…"
Valeera heard enough and made her exit. She made her way inside the palace, passed more nobles doing whatever nobles did. As she took off her hat and undid the bound which unleashed her long, blonde hair, she heard Mathias Shaw walk next to her. So when she turned she wasn't surprised to see the leader of SI7 having appeared out of nowhere next to her. He was dressed in his double breasted suit, no doubt coming from the party himself.
"Why did you hear, Lady Sanguiar?" Mathias asked.
"Probably the same as you. Gilneas is going to join the Northern Kingdoms after Greymane dies, Vol'jin is kicking the bucket soon so the Horde might be thrown into a succession war, Sylvanas is doing Light knows what…"
Mathias nodded." And what of the night elves?"
She raised her brow." What about them?"
"Noticed how none were here?"
"I…did notice." She admitted.
"The Darnassian government has been slowly eroding from meetings such as this. According to our spies, High General Feathermoon has kept in touch with Gilneas and the Azuremyst Isles. Frequently asking them to 'leave the Golden Lion behind. He can only roar but relies on you, his huntresses, to do his dirt work.'".
"Very poetic…" Valeera glared.
"And sadly true…"
"He should be told of all of this!"
"Valeera, he knows."
The blood elf frowned." Excuse me?"
"He knows. The Northern Kingdoms, Darnassus…he is allowing them to leave the Alliance." Mathias rubbed his nostrils." I told him all of this and he just left the feast."
"To do what?" Valeera frowned.
"What do you think?"
"Pray..." she sighed. He was a good man but he had to much of a heart to be a good king.
"Stormwind's only real allies seem to be Ironforge, Gnomeregan and Exodar. Better than nothing I suppose…" he stopped." Would you mind telling the king to at least try and make nice? Maybe consider…you know."
"I will." She replied. Shaw gave a small nod and left. As she turned she bumped into a smaller form, a teenage girl who fell flat on the ground…and dropped her stolen wares. Silver forks and knives, some coins and cookies.
Valeera frowned and helped the young raven haired girl from the ground. When she looked into the young girl's eyes, she couldn't help but see the father's eyes. She even had the same snarl when he got angry. She could've been pretty were she not dressed like a tomboy. " Let me go, I'm fine!"
Before Valeera could speak, the guards came around the corner.
Her eyes darted from the objects to the ground to the guards and quickly put things together.
"There you are, Varia!" Valeera dusted the young girl off." And you got the stuff for the feast, very good." She looked to the guards with a slight frown. They bowed their heads slightly and walked off, one giving the young girl a nasty look.
Valeera waited before she grabbed the black-haired girl by her shoulder, left the silverwork where it lay and nearly dragged her to a small room." The HELL is wrong with you?!"
"Let me go!" she shrugged Valeera's hand off." I could've gotten away if you didn't get in the way with your big-"She stopped herself when Valeera glared dangerously." Yeah, I could've gotten away…"
"First off, people saw your face. Second, you carried to much to get anywhere and third, there were hundreds of different routes in this palace alone that had less guards in it than the front door. And even if you could get away, YOU LIVE HERE! Your mother would be in very big trouble."
"At least she would have her face away from her books for five minutes…" the young girl folded her arms.
"Attention ,is that what it's all about?" Valeera asked to which Varia shrugged her shoulder. Teenagers, she hated teenagers…a thought came to her.
"Alright in that case you've got mine. If you want to be a thief, I might as well train you to be a good one. Tomorrow at dawn, we're going to teach you how to run, what to steal and think of escape routes."
Varia looked at the blood elf with disbelief." You serious?"
"Very. So tomorrow at dawn at the courtyard, be there or I'll tell the guard captain to drag you to the king himself."
"No! Not the king!" Varia pleaded." Alright, alright. Tomorrow, dawn. Courtyard."
"Good." She ruffled her hair." Now go home."
Varia nodded and ran off. As she left, Valeera shook her head." You would've had a tough time with this one, Varian…"
She made her way to the chapel as night fell. But instead of going inside she climbed upward…towards the king's bedchambers. She had learned to avoid the windows and avoid what goes on in them. Marital spats, people reading books, affairs, demon summoning once, Valeera saw it all.
The king's bedchambers were at the very top and had a nifty balcony to hang on to. The blood elf quickly climbed inside to find the king himself praying.
She still couldn't believe how much Anduin had grown. He was a man now, with long blonde hair and a beard. A mane really, like a Lion. He wasn't as muscular as his father was but you could see he had trained in plate armour. He hadn't even taken off his suit yet.
His lips moved as he muttered the sermons. Quietly Valeera waited as she looked outside as one by one the stars came out and fireworks were being set off.
She heard Anduin stand and turned to face him." Evening, your highness."
"Evening, Val." He smiled." You missed the ceremony."
"I've seen it fourteen times before, I think I can miss this one." She smirked." Besides I was to busy spying."
"Seems everyone is these days." He walked towards the balcony and looked outside to the fireworks." Let me guess, Mathias asked you to convince me to get Darnassus and Gilneas back in line?"
She nodded." Also said you should consider…marriage."
"To Tess Graymane?" Anduin asked.
"He didn't say, but yeah…probably." She leaned on the balcony as well." With Feathermoon already sleeping with Jarod and all…." She smirked." Or you should marry a Wildhammer dwarf. Nobody would see that one coming."
Anduin laughed." True. Or a goblin. I heard Boss Mida is still available."
She pulled a face." Now you are just being disgusting."
"You started it." He chuckled as another firework went off." Did you do anything else today?"
"Have you come to wash away all my sins, father Anduin?" Valeera asked in a staged humble voice." I am a very naughty girl."
"Depends what kind of sins, my child." he smirked
She mocked pondering. "Well….I punched a boy in the face today."
"That's not to bad, knowing you." he said.
"Then I held a dagger to his throat…" she continued.
His brow rose. "That's a bit worse…"
"I spied on your so called friends."
"Not really nice but go on."
"And I saved your half-sister from getting into trouble."
The High King of the Alliance sighed sadly." What did she do?"
"Stolen some things, nothing major. It was just to get attention from Amelia she told me."
" You believe her?"
"I believe her, I was like her before I met Broll and your father. Well…sort of anyways. Told her I would train her or she would have to see her half-brother."
"You said it like that?" Anduin nearly panicked.
"No, I said she would have to see the king. I kept your secret, don't worry."
The king folded his hands and made a fist as he leaned on the balcony." It tears me apart not to tell her Val. I had to swear to Amelia."
"I know, Anduin…" Valeera placed her hand on his shoulder." The good of the kingdom outweighs personal happiness. Mathias told us this before. Secrecy of the confessional and all that…"
"Even Velen said it was for the best….She's my sister and I can't even see her, Val. I wasn't allowed to be there when she grew up, held her when she hurt herself, be the big brother she needed." Het let it all out." I know I can't be the king my father was. I'm not a warrior who could rally people together. Make the tough calls he made. I'll have to marry some noblewoman someday but I want…I want…"
"I know…" she turned his face to her, pulling him close and touched her lips with his. The king of Stormwind returned the kiss and held her in his arms. The blood elf gently pulled him to the bed where they let their emotions and feelings speak for themselves. She knew what they had wouldn't last. Either by marriage or him dying of old age, she would lose him. But until then she would enjoy every moment she was with him and protect him with her life. Their coupling went on until sleep claimed them.
A few hours later, Valeera awoke to Anduin tossing and turning. "Anduin…?" she asked softly, sleep still having her in its folds. The king suddenly sat up straight, screaming as his face was as pale as the twin moons.
"They're here!" he got threw the duvet away and got dressed.
"Anduin what are you talking about?" Valeera quickly got dressed herself. Anduin motioned outside. As she looked outside the balcony, she understood what he meant.
The sky was light green as green stars seemed to keep falling from the heavens. In the distance, fires erupted as she felt a sickening, warm glow inside her. She sensed fel magic, the demon magic.
The beacon fires in the mountains were lit one by one as the bells from the cathedral toiled again.
She had nightmares like this ever since Quel'thalas burned and she had to pinch herself at least once before she followed her king. It was the end times. The Burning Legion had come.
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Georg VerammeWrite a Review