For this occasion, nothing less than my snow white gryphon will suffice. As I prepare to land on the steps of Stormwind Keep, I try to assemble the words that I am going to say to the young king. But my mind is blank.
I found the compass, off the shore of the Broken Isles. The compass his father, King Varian Wrynn, lost in the battle, moments before his death. My chest is tight with grief, and I remain standing just outside the gate of the keep.
As I approach the throne, Anduin smiles. But then he sees the pain in my face and his features set in the impassive mask he has learnt to adopt. I kneel before him, holding up the precious memento. Our gazes meet, clouded with sorrow.
I had a different name when I was alive, but it seemed wrong to keep it. And what does it matter, in the end? After everything I have lost already, a name seems a trivial thing. There is no one alive today to remember who I was.
We are forsaken. It has become an empty phrase for so many of us. I hear it said over and over, as if the repetition could wash away the horror of the words. The horror of looking upon the years ahead, devoid of warmth and joy, existing in the empty space between life and death.
Why do I not just end it? Because, after all I’ve seen and done, how can I know that what awaits me on the other side is not worse?
I cannot trust my eyes, for they tell me that they see my brother. I am completely immobilised, frozen in shock.
My brother fell in the war against the Scourge, many years ago. There is bitter irony in his story. When all of us survived the first onslaught which drew as scar through our beloved Silvermoon, we knew how lucky we had been, and thanked the gods. But then Belathas and our cousin Anastir joined the Blood Knights, and later followed the Lady Liadrin to Shattrath. Years later, the Scourge struck again. Their regiment was deployed to Northrend. Only Anastir returned, his face made rigid with the news he bore.
Yet here he stands, Belathas, my brother. I walk up to him and say, „welcome home, Death Knight.“
Idoia and Idris
„I have sacrificed everything. What have you given?“ I am tired. Tired of that question that the Illidari lord over us. I understand that they have suffered, but so have all of us. What have I given? I grit my teeth, not for the first time today. My voice comes out a mere growl as I respond, „Look at me. Look at the face of death and ask me this insolent question again.“
And only now does she look at me, closely. Or so I assume; although I cannot see the burning eyesockets behind her blindfold, I know her attention is focused on me. I return her gaze. Her lips, curled in a snarl, relax into a surprised little „o“. She looks strangely familiar to me. In fact, she reminds me of my…
„Sister!“ she exclaims, suddenly, and flies into my arms.
Duty takes many shapes, not all of them easily understood. There comes a time when we reach the end of diplomacy, but an armed conflict remains inadvisable. This is where we step in. Did you know how many lives can be saved by individuals having providential accidents? Wars can be averted, politics can take a sudden turn for the better.
You mistrust us. That is your prerogative. We are under no obligation to share our findings with you. We do not need to justify our actions. History will never know what it owes us, but know this: we have saved this world countless times. A single blade, at the right time, is more powerful than the armies of Horde and Alliance combined.
I quiver with rage. Rage is an emotion known intimately to every orc. We are taught early on how to master it, when to contain, and when to let it go. And right now, it takes ever fiber of my being to keep the rage inside, because right now, right here, is not the time to unleash the beast.
Beloved Ysera has died by my hand, felled by the might of the Doomhammer and the Elements, but it is Xavius who is responsible for her death. Xavius‘ malice… and Malfurion Stormrage’s recklessness. Xavius goaded him, and Malfurion fell for it like a fool. It was a ploy to trap and corrupt Ysera, and it succeed. And I, I was forced to pick up the pieces, and slay the Mistress of Dreams with my own hands.
There will be a time for my rage. Xavius has much to answer for. And so does Malfurion.
There are so many demons. They are a never-ending stream, pouring out of the void, and nothing can stop them. We fight. We have never surrendered, not the first time the Legion invaded, and not now. But by the Light, there are so many of them. For every one that goes down, three more take his place. We are outnumbered. Is this the day Netherlight Temple falls?
A horn sounds in the back of the Temple; the Silver Hand has arrived! The Highlord herself is leading the charge! But will it be enough? The demons spill in through an ever increasing number of portals. I call upon the Light, to grant us strength. That, and a miracle.
But then, a voice, and a flash of light. Lothraxion. Against all odds, against all hope, the Grand Army of the Light has reached us in time. I whisper my gratitude. For a second, I allow myself to close my eyes, and to breathe. We must have faith.