The Faceless Herald.
"You may triumph in the field of battle for a day, but against the might of the Legion, there is no victory!" Khadgar said defiantly, as the heroes closed in from all sides. "I will not fail the Herald again."
Before they could apprehend him again, the former mage threw a fel fireball at his feet, and it caught on the hem of his robes. Jaina and Vereesa threw icy water at him, but it was too late to save him; the fel green flames consumed him entirely within seconds.
"He chose to kill himself instead of accept defeat?" Jaina breathed. "Can the Herald really be Turalyon? I can't believe a former Alliance General could become a monster capable of inspiring such fear in someone who was his friend."
Alleria helped Sylvanas to stand, who immediately complained.
"Next time, you're the one who gets knocked out."
The doors ahead opened, and Medivh's voice ushered them onward.
"Come heroes, time is waning, and it won't take long for the Legion to push back again. You must defeat the Herald if the armies of Azeroth are to push the Legion back from whence they came."
They hurried up the stairs, the passageways becoming ever narrower as they climbed higher and higher, until they reached Medivh's private chambers where the Guardian himself was waiting for them.
"Beyond this doorway, the Herald awaits." He gestured. "From here he oversees the invasion of the Legion into Azeroth. Karazhan is acting as a beacon for them to find our world."
"Can't you turn this 'beacon' off?"
"Not while the Herald stands out there." The Guardian shook his head. "Good luck heroes."
Medivh teleported away, but before they could proceed, they heard a battle happening behind them. They beheld another vision of the past, this time the fight between the corrupted Medivh, Khadgar, Lothar, and Garona.
With a single swing of his sword Lothar decapitated the shifting form of the Guardian, watching with a cold expression as the body slumped to the floor. Khadgar almost collapsed from the onrush of fatigue, having had most of his strength drained from him during the battle, while Garona moved to ensure there were no demons lurking nearby. Lothar helped the mage to stand, and together they approached the body of Medivh.
"It couldn't have been helped you know," Lothar sighed, as Khadgar knelt to inspect his mentor's body. "We tried to alter it, but it was all part of a larger scheme."
"I know," Khadgar rose unsteadily to his feet. "All part of a greater cycle, a cycle that now at last may be broken."
"I'm going to behead that snake when we're done here, end that cycle once and for all." Alleria snarled, before leading them through the door Medivh had indicated.
They climbed a final tight circular staircase and emerged out on to the top of the tower. But instead of seeing the familiar night sky of Azeroth, they found themselves surrounded by unfamiliar constellations and alien worlds burning with familiar green flames. Standing at the edge of the battlements, looking out at the burning worlds, was a figure that could only be the Herald of Sargeras.
"I've been waiting for you to come, I wanted you to see the inevitable fate of your world." He said in a deep voice, distorted by the helmet he was wearing. "No world has stood against the Legion forever; they resisted, they bargained, they surrendered or turned on their own, but one by one worlds greater and more populated than Azeroth have fallen. The worlds you see before you fought until the last being stood upon the corpses of his people before the surface of his world turned to ash."
"Turalyon! You once fought against the Horde, protecting innocents from their barbarism and bloodshed." Uther argued, recognising the voice despite the distortion. "You once fought side by side with your fellow Paladins against the darkness, wielding the Light for the salvation of all life. How could you turn your back on the noble task of protecting billions of innocents from harm? How could you abandon the Light for the evil you fought so fearlessly against?"
"The Light abandoned me!" he clenched his fists in anger.
Turalyon, the Herald of Sargeras was dressed scaly black armour with searing green trim along the edges of each plate, and fel crystals embedded into the shoulder plates. On his back was strapped his old Alliance sword, the blade shattered long ago and blackened from countless fiery battles. When he turned to face them, they saw a glowing skull at the centre of his breastplate, green flames licking out from the eye sockets and open maw; his helmet, however, was truly monstrous. It was shaped like a twisted, snarling skull, with two glowing green orbs in the eye sockets, and ram-like horns protruding from either side towards them.
"After they had slaughtered every soldier who accompanied us into hell, I prayed to the Light for salvation, for a portal home to miraculously open and deliver us from evil, but nothing came of it and we were taken alive. They tortured us for years, tormenting our minds with visions of death and destruction, while our bodies were subjected to overwhelming degrees of pain, but kept alive and awake to deny us the sweet embrace of death. When I was left alone, I prayed without ceasing for someone, anyone to come to our aid, but the only answer was silence and the screams of my friends being tortured."
"We eventually grew brave enough to plan our escape, and when the time came we all broke out of our cages and made a break for freedom; we'd planned to find one of their spellbooks so Khadgar could open a portal to another world, we knew any world would be better than the hell we'd known for so long. Kurdran was caught first when he tried to free his Gryphon, and Danath tripped and was swarmed by the filthy Mo'args. We found one of their books and I defended Khadgar with Alleria while he opened a portal, and when it opened… We realised it had all been a trick. Demons appeared from the portal we opened, bludgeoning Khadgar unconscious and threatening to kill him to get us to surrender."
"After that we lost hope that we would be rescued, and Sargeras himself came to give us a choice; join his Legion or suffer for eternity until our minds finally broke."
"So, you surrendered." Arthas said derisively, Uther turned and noticed Alleria was not among them.
'Does she think seeing her will break Turalyon free from the Legion's hold? Like it did for freeing me from the Lich's?'
"You wouldn't have lasted as long, little Prince!" The Herald spat. "Alleria continued to resist, even as we were converted to the Master's cause. She called us traitors, cowards, and said we were weak. Danath, Kurdran, and Khadgar were sent to prove their loyalty by helping to subjugate worlds that were resisting the Legion, while I was tasked with breaking the woman I loved, to use our connection to convince her to join the Legion, or kill her. I devised a scenario that I knew would break her, playing on her attachments to her family, but it seems the woman I loved had kept secrets from me. She refused to betray her home for anything, not even her love for me could convince her; and when I went to end her life, she broke free of her bonds and tried to kill me instead."
He slowly reached up and lifted off his helmet, revealing a scarred, inhuman face that Uther did not recognise. His hair was unkempt and grey, his face was slate grey and marred with countless scars, and his right eye blazed a sickly green.
"She only managed in taking my left eye before reinforcements came to capture her, but she slew a dozen of them and leapt through a portal I had only opened to threaten her with." He gestured to the horrific scar that covered his left eye, the empty socket drawing their attention like a black hole on his once handsome face. "She betrayed me to save herself!"
"I escaped to protect Azeroth," Alleria's calm voice said, and they all turned to see her stepping on to the battlements. "I never lost hope because I knew my sisters would never abandon me for anything, even if they were subjected to the same hell I was! I never lost faith because I knew that all the Legion could offer was corrupted power that would make me the same kind of monster we had fought against for so long."
"End them, my Herald!" a thunderous voice boomed, shaking the ground beneath them. "Azeroth must burn, these fools stand in the way of our glorious task."
"It's not too late Turalyon!" Uther pleaded, taking a step forward. "The others repented from this dark path."
"What?" Turalyon's eye widened. "How?"
"For all the power the Legion offers, it strips away your soul, corrupting who you are, until you're nothing but another minion in their army." Yrel said gently. "My people are monsters now, devoid of all emotion except hate."
"When they saw what they had done, what they had become, they surrendered, they sought redemption for their actions," Uther urged. "Danath and Kurdran are still alive, they were not truly lost to the darkness and neither are you."
"He… He took his own life rather than betray you." Jaina said sorrowfully.
"He never lost faith in me," Turalyon breathed.
"The others spoke of their belief in you too, they did what they did out of their loyalty to you, not because they believed in Sargeras' monstrous 'plan'."
Turalyon turned away and looked at the burning worlds again, Uther noticed his hands were starting to shake ever so slightly.
"Where was the Light when I needed it, Uther? On that godforsaken world where we were tortured for decades, where did it go? Why did it abandon me?" he roared the last question into the vacuum.
"It never abandoned you," Arthas said slowly, and everyone looked at him as he spoke; Turalyon kept his back turned though, continuing to stare out at the two worlds burning. "Your faith in it was shaken, and your doubt eroded your connection to the Light, until it did not come to you because your belief in it was shattered."
"What would you know of such things? You're just a child."
"Because I was once in the same position as you," The prince said slowly, before recounting the events that led up to his fateful decision at Stratholme. "My faith in the Light faltered, and when it did not answer me, I made the biggest mistake I could have possibly made, and hundreds of innocents paid for it with their lives."
"How… How did you find it again?"
"It's a very long story," Arthas chuckled, looking to Uther and Jaina. "But I was inspired to believe again because I knew that I would never be truly alone."
"You know the price of betrayal, Herald!" Sargeras' voice boomed. "Kill them and pave the way for the Legion to destroy their pathetic world."
Turalyon clenched his fists momentarily, the only indication of the turmoil in his mind.
"You only slaughtered hundreds in one city, I've helped lay waste to countless worlds, caused millions of species and races to go extinct, how can the Light possibly find me now?" he growled, not looking at them. "How can I go back to Azeroth after all the things I commanded be done to it…"
They heard him fight back a sob.
"The people of Lordaeron are aware of what I did to my own citizens, and I may never be loved like I once was, but that's fine by me. I believe in the Light more than ever because I know what its absence feels like, what can happen if I lose heart, my actions at Stratholme have strengthened my resolve to never let doubt cloud my mind like that ever again." Arthas stated calmly.
"The people of Azeroth do not know that you joined the Legion, they do not know the actions you are responsible for inflicting upon them, to them you were lost when the Portal closed all those years ago." Uther continued, "I too have fallen into darkness, caused the deaths of countless people and creatures, and just like Arthas my faith has been strengthened, not weakened, by the mistakes I made."
"In the Light, we are one." Yrel said quietly.
"You know the Light represents all that is good, that it is pure and untainted. You may doubt yourself and your chances for connecting with it again because of all the evil you've wraught, but the Light does not judge us for our mistakes. No matter how far we fall it is always there to guide the way back to the path of good, justice, and righteousness."
He held a hand out towards Turalyon.
"Come back to us, and we will help you find redemption for your misdeeds. No one is beyond saving."
Turalyon dropped his helmet to the floor, it hit the stone with a loud clang and seconds later the entire world seemed to shake with anger.
"DO NOT BETRAY ME HERALD!" The Dark Titan bellowed.
"You will find peace in the Light, and your soul will not suffer for your sins. Sargeras holds no sway over the Light, it is a realm to which even he cannot reach."
Turalyon turned to face them again, a mixture of emotions etched on his face. He took a deep breath before unsheathing his great sword, the broken blade was made whole by a tongue of green fel fire that burst from the tip as he wielded the weapon. He took another deep breath, before he opened his eyes and looked at them, his mind set on his path ahead.