Warcraft (c) Activision Blizzard
No Rest For The Wicked
News From The Broken Shore
The missive rested in Darion Mograine's hands. Despite the numerous times he read the thing over, it didn't shift the incredulity he felt towards the words. It was almost completely impossible to comprehend, but he knew the hand that wrote this would not lie.
An Ebon Knight novice delivered it to him hours ago from the Light's Hope Chapel. The novice had been labouring as a stonemason to aid in constructing a new perimeter wall around the secluded sanctuary and sure up its defenses. Another one of many suggested exercises from Tirion Fordring, helping maintain a spirit of cooperation between the two diametrically opposed orders that the Ashen Verdict helped foster.
The letter itself had been penned by Highlord Maxwell Tyrosus, the leader of the Argent Dawn and in its contents was a recounting of the battle of the Broken Shore. After the Legion had made numerous inroads and attempts at establishing a foothold across the Eastern Kingdoms or Kalimdor, they settled for a font of power known as the Tomb of Sargeras. The letter informed Mograine of the events of the battle. Though the Ebon Highlord had heard the reports from his own Knights - those who bore first-hand witness to events of the Broken Shore - and though they bore the same commonality, seeing the words in ink somehow impressed the truth upon him all at once.
Tirion Fordring was dead.
Highlord Mograine had dismissed the Death Knight some time ago and remained in silent contemplation since. No matter how many times he re-read the simple script, a feeling in his long dead heart wished for the ink to magically shift and reveal a different tale.
His teeth grit under his helm, a mix of rage and frustration and grief stirring in his cold chest. "Why did you have to go it alone, you stupid old man? If you had only asked, I would've brought all of Acherus into the fold."
The rhetorical question hung in the air unanswered. He knew why the craggy old bastard wouldn't call upon him. It had nothing to do with arrogance, or thinking that he could handle the threat alone, and everything to do with the fact that Darion would do exactly that. And in all likelihood share the same fate as Tirion.
As a Paladin, as the second Ashbringer, and as a personal friend, Tirion wanted to keep his Death Knight counterpart out of harm's way. Maybe even out of some sort of misguided paternal affection?
"Damn you, old man…" Darion muttered under his breath, shredding the parchment between his fingers and with it, his anger towards the Ashbringer seemed to disappear into the void. "I hope you find some rest, Tirion. Light knows you deserve it."
If anyone in this world earned their rest, it was Tirion Fordring - A champion without peer, a close friend. And perhaps, in a way, a second father.
"The Legion has much to answer for…" The Highlord growled, a cold dead anger surged in his chest and his brows knitted together in a deep scowl as he watched the parchment scraps sweep away with the wind.
"Highlord, a moment if I may?" The Lich Amal'Thazad requested humbly, floating gently towards the master of the Ebon Hold. At his side, a Student of Frost stood with a wooden slatted board in the crook of his arm, dozens of papers were stacked on it, an ink well set in a flat at its top and a quill in the student's spare hand. No doubt he was acting as a scribe for the discussion.
"Now is not a good moment to test my patience, Amal'Thazad." Mograine informed him tersely, "Make it quick."
"We've received word that the Banshee Queen, Sylvanas Windrunner, has been appointed the new Warchief of the Horde." Amal'Thazad explained.
"New Warchief?" Darion questioned, glancing up at the Lich, "Then Vol'jin of the Darkspear has fallen in combat?"
"Killed by infection from a Fel tainted blade. Additionally, Prince Anduin Wrynn of Stormwind has become the King with King Greymane and Prophet Velen acting as his chief advisors."
The Highlord shook his head. He'd heard that report as well. "The Alliance's High King is dead, and the new King is a boy so green he pisses grass. The Horde's new Warchief is a ruthless sociopath. And the Argent Crusade has lost their Highlord. The Burning Legion will suffer for this."
"More than that, our agents in the Horde and Alliance ranks report that the funerals of both High King Varian Wrynn and Warchief Vol'jin were infiltrated by demons. Attacks that sparked riots in the capital cities." Amal'Thazad went on morosely.
Darion Mograine growled in frustration, "Of bloody course. Demons have no honour or decency. Naturally, they'd spit on that which is held sacred by the living. So, how were these infiltrators detected? I imagine they were infiltrating through some form of guise - Unless Orgrimmar and Stormwind have a few new sunroofs?"
The scribe stifled a snort of amusement but Amal'Thazad continued his report as though he hadn't heard it. "A faction of elven warriors released from the Night Elves' Vault of the Wardens. They call themselves the Illidari. They are demon hunters, trained by the renegade Demon Hunter Illidan Stormrage. They lent their aide to uncovering the demons and have now established pavilions in both Orgrimmar and Stormwind."
The Highlord's head turned only fractionally towards the Scribe, "I don't need to tell you to send out an offer of alliance with these Demon Hunters? They would be valuable assets in the war to come."
"It's already been done Highlord." The Scribe inclined his head politely.
"Good." The Highlord turned his attention to Amal'Thazad once more. "Have you sent any more diplomatic envoys to the Banshee Queen yet? We will be needing our missing brother's aide in this war to come."
"Yes, I have the signed and sealed letter here." Amal'Thazad took a proffered letter from the Scribe.
"Give it to me." The Lich did so, and Mograine promptly tore it in half. "His confinement is an outright and ongoing insult to the Ebon Blade. Diplomacy has gotten us nowhere and the Banshee Queen's refusal to listen has left us little choice in the matter. Summon Thassarian. I know whatever else he's been doing, he's been attempting to scope out routes of infiltration into the Undercity. More than that, he grew up in the area and is familiar with the lay of the land. We will need his expertise if we are to-"
The Highlord was abruptly cut off. At that moment, all of Acherus seemed to draw to a complete stop. A chilling thought, like ice down all their spines, brushed against the consciousness of every single Knight, inside Acherus and out. Without fail, every single one of the Knights recognised and were revolted by the invasive caress upon their minds.
Darion was simply one of the first to voice it in bitter tones. "So, it appears the Lich King wishes to open negotiations to bring his errant Knights back into the fold."
"That appears to be the case, my lord." Amal'Thazad removed his skeletal fingers from his brow, recovering from the intrusion into his own mind.
"Summon all of our forces across Northrend, we will need every able body we can muster. In the meantime, I will see to negotiations with our… potential benefactor." The Highlord ordered, making his way to the teleportation platform that'd take him to the upper level.
"It shall be done, Highlord. Suffer well." Amal'Thazad bowed from the waist before quickly floating off, issuing brisk commands to his Scribe who wrote his instructions down fervently.
With an application of runic power, and a quick incantation, the teleportation pad instead deposited Darion Mograine at the summit of Acherus. There, a projection of the Lich King seated atop the Frozen Throne sat in silence, waiting for him.
Darion's eyes narrowed suspiciously at the magical image, irked though he was at being summoned like some sort of dog, he could not deny the aid of a potentially valuable ally. "I'm listening."
Basically, I didn't like how a lot of the Legion Order Hall quest line went for the Death Knights. I don't mind what they had to do, so much as the reasoning towards WHY they did it. So here I am trying to make a more cohesive narrative for the quest chain. I'm not changing the major beats, just expanding the context around them.
I'm also actually making a reason WHY the Four Horsemen were as revered/desired by the Lich King as they were. And it will be explained when I get to that point.
Also, Tirion was like Dad 2.0 to Darion and ya'll can fight me on that.
I welcome feedback and criticism,