Rise of Silverpine chapter 3

I do not own A song of Ice and Fire or Warcraft

A year has passed since the truce was made and slowly but surely, things were beginning to look up for the small kingdom.

While the Alliance leaders were not happy with the truce, they too froze all warzones that were not Northrend, focusing on the bigger threat. The Lich King's attack on Stormwind was a clear message that even that far south, no one was save from the dead king's grasp. With the massacre of northern Hillsbrad, the most fertile and populated area of the kingdom, the total population of the new kingdom had dropped by nearly a third. The number of thirty-six thousand was not high to begin with, but with only twenty-five thousand remaining, the people were stretched thin.

To appease the Alliance leaders, the two queens sent a token force, barely over a hundred men, to Northrend. While they were better armed than the majority of soldiers on the icy continent, only commanders and the like having better gear, they were still but a speck compared to the thousands of both Horde and Alliance men and women advancing slowly on Icecrown.

In the short year, the construction of the new stronghold had begun. It was a simple fortification, a tall keep, stables, kitchen and armory with a smithy attached, all of it surrounded by walls. With Ironforge refusing any aid after the news of the truce were made public, stones for the construction had to be dug out from the area while most of the original idea of all stone fortification had to be scrapped for a compromise between stone and wood, the latter which the kingdom had an abundance of.

Thankfully, in the return of Lord Crowley, as some called it, the kingdom finally had good architects. It was an event that no one would have considered even by a long shot. The man had on multiple occasions tried to get his friends and king of Gilneas, Genn Greymane, to open the gate, even more so after the kingdom to North was formed. The fact that the territories that he was lord of were on the wrong side of the wall were not helping the ones who wanted the man to be silent. Lord Crowley eventually staged a rebellion which was quickly crushed and the man - arrested. Darius was broken out of prison some time later by his supporters and with a good number of his men, he went over the wall and into the new kingdom.

There was a slight issue with how Shadowfang was technically his seat and now it was the capitol of the new kingdom, yet in a surprising turn of events, the man forfeited his claim to both the keep and the adjacent Pyrewood village. Still, many of lord Crowley's supporters that came with him from Gilneas were men that the kingdom lacked. High class they might even be called, intellectuals to some. Engineers, architects, generals and even two paladins.

The two queens were originally divided on whether or not to accept the man. He was, for all intense and purposes, a criminal in Gilneas, and by extend – the rest of the Alliance territories. Sansa was worried of the backlash from the other allied states should they accept the man, but Arya, her displeasure at Gilneas' inaction well known, was quick to stand up for the man, if only to spite the Greymanes.

He was given two months to reinstate himself with his position of lord of now only Ambermill before leaving his daughter in charge and leaving for Northrend, mostly just to prove his loyalty to the Alliance cause in front of the other rulers.

With no imminent threat for a while, most of the army was dismissed, leaving only the professionals in place. The majority of the men were from Hillsbrad, simple farmers and a few miners, along with the occasional craftsmen, while the ones from Silverpine were mostly lumberjacks, sturdy hard men.

With the construction of the new keep been unable to progress any faster duo to low supply of stone that had to be mined from Hillsbrad, Sansa pushed for the creation of a small fleet, seeking to prevent a second blockade on Southshore. From the very get-go, everyone was aware that they cannot match the Horde in raw numbers, thus they pushed for quality. They would combine the strong hard trees from Silverpine with cannons of Gilnean design. Gunpowder would be hard to make with the limited resources, yet with only four planned ships, they did not need much in the first place.

Nine months later, with just the base of the new keep in Hillsbrad been laid in place that the first of the newly designed ships was launched. Their Majesties' Ship Grey Wind, a triple-mast frigate with two gun decks was a sight to behold, larger than any existing warship of either factions, with twenty two guns on each board, there were few if any vessels afloat that can match it in a one on one combat. Yet due to the high costs of the ship, along with the naval yard that had to be constructed at Southshore, the original plan of four such ships was scrapped. On a suggestion by one of Crowley's men, a new tactic of smaller lighter ships was put forth. Ships that could easily circle the sluggish Horde vessels, especially with how the red faction began putting more and more iron plating on their boats.

The construction of one of these smaller ships was already underway, yet with the single dock that existed, only one ship at a time could be built.

And yet, despite all this, the kingdom still faced massive problems. The relationship with Gilneas was ever worsening and the debt to Ironforge for the weapons supplied early in the kingdom's life had to be repaid soon. But hope still remained in the form of the kingdom's new export. There were few vineyards in the territory controlled by the Starks and even fewer in Silverpine. The plague there had an interesting effect on the grapes there, altering them so that if wine was derived from them, it would have the most exquisite taste, yet instead of getting you drunk, should you drink too much, you would die.

It was discovered by accident, when one of the new settlers on a vineyard in Silverpine instead of outright removing the 'corrupted' grapes decided to try and make wine out of them, seeing as there was still healthily-looking grapes in the land that was under the influence of the plague for a long time. Seeing as the new wine did not outright kill a rat when he tested it on him, he invited some of his new neighbors on a party of a sort, the main attraction been the deep-purple, richly smelling wine. Yet when half of them ended dead, all of the remaining wine was turned over to the mages.

A month later, the wine was deemed safe for drinking in small dosage, one gnome mage even referring to the wine as having the overload effect, which few people ever understood what it meant. There was still general weariness when consuming it, yet the rich taste of the deep purple was always desired over the plain in comparison Hillsbrad red.

The biggest interest, however, came from the Stormwind nobles, whose' demand far exceeded the supply possible. Of the produced twenty barrels in the year that had passed, fourteen were shipped to Stormwind and sold at the triple the price of the next best. It was not much, yet it showed that the kingdom had another 'special' resource in addition to the long strait pines of Silverpine. Sansa was even considering converting all farms in Silverpine to vineyards while all vineyards in Hillsbrad were to be converted into farms, yet the red-haired queen never realized her idea, seeing as it would leave many of the Hillsbrad wine producers without a trade.

While her sister was trying to stitch together the kingdom before the truce ran out, Arya was growing more and more restless by the day. The petite queen spent most of her time in Hillsbrad, overseeing the construction of the new fortress, even though she did not know a thing about construction. The silver-eyed girl was also slowly learning how to use her sword, its design so different from any in her old home. Her teacher was an elderly fellow by the name of Vincent Hersham, one of Lord Crowley's men. The old man was incredibly patient, so much that even Arya realized it, yet just like any of the one-eyed lord's men, Vincent was incredibly loyal, even to his new queen.

Arya was constantly going back and forth between the construction site and Southshore, checking on the ship construction, Grey Wind standing tall and proud on anchor in the bay, a massive white banner with a grey direwolf head flowing from the last mast.

And yet, there were days that the girl wanted to be away from it all, and despite the many warnings and protests of the guards that constantly shadowed her, she always managed to sneak away at night and venture on her own little trips, sometimes for days.

It was one of Arya's little adventure trips that led her to the ruins of Tarren Mill, where despite the massive blaze that raged there, some sturdier stone walls still remained upright. As the horse trotted through the charred road that used to be the main street, Arya was looking around, a mixture of emotions swirling in her belly. There was great sadness. Even this young, she fully understood everything that had happened here. Anger was present here. At the Forsaken for what they had done, yet a great deal of it was directed at herself for destroying the only evidence that she had.

And finally, and in a no small part, there was a strange rush of excitement. Despite been a ruin, Tarren Mill still held an important position, nearly at the base of Alterac and as such, there might be enemies lurking within the ruins.

As if jinxing herself, Arya was suddenly tackled off of her horse, brought to the ground by a golden and blue blur, the petite girl managing to turn her head the right way just in time to see a dagger been raised with the intent of stabbing her through the head, the girl avoiding death at the last moment, twisting her head.

As the dagger became imbedded into the cobblestone streets, Arya brought her legs to her chest before she kicked the assassin away, pulling out a pistol, thanking Vincent in the back of her head for making her wear one, before aiming it at her would be assassin before she stopped as her grey eyes finally took her assailant into account.

A blood elf.

It was a young girl, probably around nine, slim as elves go, with dirty-blonde hair and green eyes. The girl was clad in blue clothing and wore a forest green bag over her shoulders. Besides the single dagger that she tried stabbing Arya with, the girl appeared to be unarmed. Furthermore, she appeared to be quite scared from Arya and the way she was pointing a pistol at her head.

Seeing as she was too young and that light blue makes for a terrible color if you are an assassin, Arya slowly lowered the pistol, yet her finger remained on the trigger and the dagger – behind her, out of the elf's reach.

"So Sylvanas now sends incompetent children after me?" the elf, apparently insulted, somehow got over her fear before she shouted.

"I am not a child, nor do I serve the dead bitch! And I will have you know, I am the same age as you!"

"Really? And what is a blood elf child doing in Silverpine territory?" asked Arya, suspicion in her voice.

"This is no man's land, human. The Silverpine territory does not start but for another ten kilometers south." Said the elf, getting annoyed at Arya's insistence on calling her a child when the silver-eyed girl herself was one.

"You didn't answer my question." Said Arya, taking a step forward to the downed elf.

"…" mumbled the blond, Arya getting none of it.

"Louder, pointy ears!"

"I said I live here, you banshee!" shouted the elf.

"Banshee? You are screaming more than I do! Wait, what do you mean you live here?!" asked Arya surprised.

"Let's just say I am not on best terms with the Silvermoon authorities at the moment…"

"Great, a child killer…"

"What? No! I just… stole something. A book."

"Must have been some book to have to hide all the way here."

"It is my brother's spell book. When he died in the Ghostlands, I managed to find his body and bury him, keeping his sword and spell book. Only that his order wanted them back…"

"Your brother was a mage or something? And where is the sword?" Asked Arya with excitement to her voice. Before coming here, Arya had one interest – playing knight. With coming to this world, her interest became two – playing knight and magic.

"No, he was a blood knight, a paladin as you Alliance people call them. And I lost the sword a few weeks ago while hunting. Some yetis took it away while I was skinning a deer.

"Do you even know where the yetis are?"

"Of course, a cave not far from here. I have been trying to get in for a while now, but there are just too many of the damn horned bastards."

Arya remained silent for a while, silver meeting green as their wills did battle through their eyes. After a few seconds, the queen put her pistol away before extending a hand and helping the surprised elf up.

"Let's find somewhere to sleep for the night and tomorrow we'll go get your brother's sword." Said Arya, seeing as the sun was going down. Picking up the dagger and holding it to the girl, who wearily took it before sheeting it, the dark-haired Stark suddenly shouted:

"Nymeria!" silence filled the road of the abandoned town before a massive wolf appeared from the ruins of a house, golden eyes looking at the elf for a second before focusing on Arya.

"Where have you been? I could have been killed, you know. No, don't give me that look, I don't care that you were distracted. Last time you did, you stood in place, waiting for that rabbit to come out for hours!" the wolf had the descend to look ashamed in a way that only a wolf or a dog could – giving the puppy dog eyes, which somehow did not look out of place on the enormous animal.

"Oh, sorry." Said Arya, turning to the elf, who looked outright frightened. "This is Nymeria, Nymeria, this is… er… what's your name?" asked the petite human the equally petite elf.

"Elida Sunsworn." Managed to say the now named Elida, not tearing her eyes away from Nymeria.

"I am Arya Stark."

It took some time for the gears to turn in Elida's head, slowly unfreezing from the fear at the sight of the wolf. When it finally clicked, she could do nothing but shout.

"You are queen Arya?!"

Hello there.

For starters, the wine idea might have been a bit of an overshot, but it looked good in my head… but I guess not so well on paper.

Seeing as the difference between kingdoms, I would say that Gilneas and by extent – Silverpine are in early, early industrial age (1750-ish, ok, Gilneas may be a bit early), thus it would make sense that their ships are more modern. Heck, we already have Ships of the Line and even steam powered ones in-game, so I guess a ship modeled after the USS Constitution is not that much out of place.

I also did some calculation in regards to size of the land and population. Most common size that I could find for the Eastern Kingdoms as a whole is that it is as big as Africa or South America. Using the precise Eyeball 1.0 I would say that this means that the length of Silverpine, from end to end is around 600 km while Hillsbrad's width, from Thordain's wall to Silverpine to be around that much as well.

As for population, taking into account different things like how Silverpine is mostly forest area and was ravaged by the Scourge and how Hillsbrad is mostly planes and was left intact, that brings us to the number of around thirty-five thousand people originally, after the Tarren Mill and surrounding villages sack, it drops to only twenty-five which means that the maximum army that could be fielded is around thirty-five hundred, when you remove all things like majority of women, sickly, too young/old, important craftsmen, nobles, merchants, etc. I know that the number seems a bit big, but just in comparison, Gilneas city, not the whole country, is listed as 100 000.

I will be going back to chapter one to edit the numbers, but important note. Shadowfang would remain Shadowfang. I feel that Winterfell is too cheesy in addition to been rather hurtful for the two sisters.

I also have an idea for bringing someone from the GoT universe and the hint is… he shares a similarity with Crowley.

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed it.

Thank you for reading.