Merry Christmas everyone! Been a while since I last posted a fanfic. Hope you are enjoying the holidays in your own way. Now, the characters in this will be part of a fanfic I am writing (except the one at the end which I'm not going to spoil). As always, World of Warcraft and other Blizzard properties in general don't belong to me. With that out of the way, enjoy.
Kyle Taros, worgen warlock, the Burning Wolf, was no stranger to Winter veil, as during his time on Azeroth he had grown to enjoy it. Of course, it took a long time to feel the holiday spirit as he had no relatives left because of the Burning Legion and he knew no one on that strange world ever since he left the Burning Legion. That changed when he met the female night elf druid Lysa, the male dwarf hunter Aratos, the gnome female Ereza and the male human mage Derick. With the addition of the Horde heroes – the male undead (then half) death knight Feros, the male troll priest Netaka, the orc male shaman Kaestral and the male tauren warrior Lesanius – he knew for a second time what family was like and they got to celebrate every Winter Veil together and as time went on their circle expanded with the blood elf paladin Zerion, the female draenei paladin (and Kyle's girlfriend) Oniana, the goblin rogue Nezzak and Lysa's twin brother – the demon hunter Werithian. Tonight, it was certainly a different holiday than before as he was now in the Shadowlands in a place called Revendreth, not because he was dead, but because of the actions of Sylvanas Windrunner that shattered the veil between life and death. Now, Kyle was a part of the Venthyr covenant that sought to restore Revendreth back to its former glory. At Sinfall, when the worgen arrived to their base of operations to discuss the upcoming Ember court, he was met with a surprise. There were Winter Veil decorations around the walls with more coming on the way with the help of dredgers, who were putting them, and brokers that brought the items from the mortal realms. Those were not the only things though. As the worgen walked the halls, he discovered Venthyr dancing in the air and Theotar the Mad Duke serving others who were on the ground with what seemed to be eggnog.
''Theotar, what's happening?'' Kyle asked, astonished to see everything that's happening in Sinfall.
''Oh, worgen! You're just in time to try this new kind of tea called, in your realm, eggnog. Here, taste it!'' Theotar exclaimed excitedly while giving the drink. The wolf sighed, but decided to take it.
''Mmm, it's very good. Still, that doesn't answer my question nor why you are wearing two Winter Veil hats?'' Kyle questioned, as he saw that there were two hats on his head.
''Oh! The brokers told us of the holiday you were having during this time of the year and I must say I am quite enjoying it as are the others. Even the prince is amused by it.'' The Mad Duke stated, surprising the worgen.
Speak of the devil, Renathal came down the hall wearing a Winter Veil hat and having some kind of a drink.
''Ah Kyle, good to see you. Why you never told us of this delightful holiday is beyond me.'' The prince said, with the Burning Wolf letting oy a sweat drop. ''Luckily, the brokers from Oribos arrived explaining the situation and brought us decorations in order to make Sinfall more ''cheerful''.'' he finished, taking a sip from his drink.
''One: never thought of you as the kind to celebrate it and two, we were busy dealing with the forces of Denathrius and the Jailer. Even though it is nice to have the holiday here, we should discuss the…'' Kyle was cut off by the 'tsk tsk' of Theotar.
''Why Kyle, don't you want to celebrate this holiday? And also the Ember Court is already set up.'' the duke explained with an excited smile, shocking the young wolf.
''Wait a second, that fast? That wouldn't be possible unless… the brokers helped you, didn't they?'' Kyle asked, knowing full well that the court couldn't have been done that quickly without some help from outside forces.
''Indeed it is done. In fact, it will start in two hours. Oh, and we also invited your friends from Ardenweald, Bastion and Maldraxxus as well as other representatives from their respective covenants.'' prince Renathal explained, shocking Kyle for what seemed to be the second time.
''And you didn't tell me because?'' the worgen asked, happy that his friends were coming, but a little surprised that the preparations were done behind his back.
''Because, you helped us in defeating the corrupt Sire, so we decided to do you a favor and not bother with the Ember court. That's just a one-time exception though hehehe.'' Theotar chuckled, passing food to a dredger.
''I am honored and I know that one day Revendreth will be restored to its original purpose.'' Kyle said, getting the prince to smile, a rare thing nowadays. ''For now though, what are we going to do in the meantime?'' the worgen asked, curious on what to do next
''Do as you please. In the meantime, I will go and speak with the Court of Harvesters. See you at the Ember Court, Kyle.'' Renathal said, heading upstairs.
''And I will continue eating, drinking and giving. See you at the Court prince, worgen!'' Theotar said his farewell to the two men. Well, one was a worgen and the other was a Venthyr.
''See you both. I will continue walking around.'' Kyle said, having decided to see if there was anything more noteworthy.
As the Burning Wolf explored, he saw the fallen prince of Quel'thalas, Kael'thas, still in his chains, but with a Winter Veil hat surprisingly.
''So, you decided to celebrate it as well, huh?'' Kyle asked, trying to make a conversation, but he could see that Kael'thas was not in the mood.
''The dredgers gave me the hat, saying that it should hopefully lift my spirits, but that's not going to happen. Not until I had my vengeance.'' the Sun king explained begrudgingly, getting the worgen to sigh.
''Kael'thas, not everything in life, or death, is vengeance. You of all people should know that. Look, I know what you and your people went through, but you have to stop those negative feelings or else they will destroy you. Arthas knew that and look where it got him.'' the Burning Wolf tried to sympathize with the prince and stop him from drowning in even more hatred.
''I know, but my people are not at peace.'' Kael'thas sighed, unaware of his people's restoration.
''That's where you are wrong.'' the worgen said, getting the blood elf to look at him. ''The Sunwell has been restored with the power of the Light and is now once again sustaining your people. Not only that, but they also found kinship with the Horde and now they stand among them. You made a mistake when you allied yourself with the Legion and even though I understand the reasons, your people still hate you for that.'' Kyle finished, shocking Kael'thas with the information that his people were safe.
''I… can't believe this.'' the prince said, but then looked down in guilt.'' I failed them, and I know you are right, but you've got to understand that I can't let of my vengeance. Not yet. When I find the ones that nearly destroyed the sin'dorei's future, only then will I find peace and try to change. I will try to improve myself, though. You've got my word on this.'' Kael'thas finished, sincere in his words.
The worgen nodded, knowing that he meant every word, and then called for the Accuser and asked her to remove his chains, but just for the duration of the holiday.
''I know what I am asking for is insane, but believe me he is trying to change. However, he can only move within Sinfall and nowhere else, with you accompanying him.'' the Burning Wolf stated, making sure that he doesn't run away from them as he is still a potential danger with all the excessive anima in him, but with Winter Veil, he was willing to take the chance.
''Hmmm. Very well, that might help him but I will be the judge of that. Come, Sunstrider.'' the Accuser decided to allow it and released the Sun King from his chains.
''Thank you worgen, for giving me this chance.'' Kael'thas said, grateful to him.
''You are welcome. And I hope you remember our conversation.'' and with that the worgen left and decided to check on general Draven and Nadjia the Mistblade. When he found them, they were inspecting the troops. Should've known the champion thought to himself.
''Where is the spirit? Revendreth won't be gone if you attend the Court. You know this.'' Kyle stated, getting them both to look at him.
''We are overseeing the security of the upcoming ''celebration''. Nadjia here will join the Ember Court shortly after it has begun while I will remain on duty.'' the general explained which got him a sigh from both Nadjia and Kyle.
''I've been trying to convince him to come, but he won't budge (A/N no pun intented). Seems like this Winter Veil won't cheer him up.'' the Mistblade said, disappointed in Draven.
''My work is too important. The Jailer may still be trapped in the Maw, but that doesn't stop his agents from infiltrating our ranks. We must be careful not to let our guard down.'' the stoneborn gave his reasons which, while Kyle and Nadjia understood why, still didn't make it right.
''Draven, the Jailer will not attack us at the Court. He is not that stupid to attack it when everyone is gathered there all at once. It would be too risky. Besides, the other realms are safe as there are other champions that are guarding them and while some will come to celebrate with us, you should take a break. We all appreciate your hard work, but if you overdo yourself it won't help anyone, especially the cause we fight for.'' the Burning Wolf explained, speaking from experience. ''Furthermore, it is Winter Veil, so you should celebrate with those you trust and care. Still, the choice is yours.''
The general gave what the worgen had said a deep thought. For a stoneborn, there was no such thing as rest as they didn't need it, but Kyle made a good point and trusted his judgement, even if he was a living mortal.
''Very well, I will leave the duty to someone else and try to, as you mortals call it, ''relax''. I will attend the Ember Court which should start in 30 minutes.'' Draven agreed and also informed the Mistblade and the Burning Wolf of the time.
''30 minutes? Better get going then. I will see you both there.'' the worgen said, glad that he convinced the general to take his time off.
When Kyle arrived outside of Sinfall, there were already Venthyr, along with couple of dredgers, dancing and talking. The worgen then saw Theotar waving at him, who was accompanied by Prince Renathal. Kyle smiled and decided to join them.
''Phew, I made it and quite early if I may add.'' Kyle said, glad that he arrived early.
''Wait, you're not ready.'' Theotar stated. Before the Wolf could question why, a dredger arrived to give him a Winter Veil hat. ''Ah, there you are little dredger. Where are your manners, Kyle? You need to dress properly for this occasion.'' the Mad Duke said while Kyle put the hat on.
''My apologies, must have forgotten. Had to check on everyone.'' the worgen said, chuckling.
''It's alright Wolf, at least you arrived and on time too. Look.'' Renathal pointed to Feros and Lesanius, who had just arrived with an escort of Lady Vashj, Plague Deviser Marileth and Alexandros Morgraine, along with few Maldraxxi.
''I'll greet them.'' Kyle said and went on to meet with the guests from Maldraxxus. ''Surprised that you arrived early. Certainly not your style. All of you'' the worgen said while doing fist bumps with the death knight, the demon hunter and the warrior.
''Why? It's Winter Veil and we had to see for ourselves, well me, Werithian and Lesanius, how the court would do and from the looks of things, it's doing very good.'' Feros explained.'' And we also betted with the tauren and the night elf if we would be the first ones. Looks like you both owe me money, but you can pay up later.'' the undead added, smirking while the warrior and the demon hunter grunted.
''At least you are here, that's what counts. Nice to see you too, Vashj, Alexandros and Marileth. Hopefully, you will feel better after what happened in Maldraxxus.'' Kyle said, knowing full well that they went through hell back there.
''I will be the judge of that Wolf. Let's see if this court will be interesting.'' Vashj said skeptically, but decided to give it a try.
''It will be refreshing to do something other than fighting, I wonder if Darion will be here. Is he coming?'' Morgraine asked about his son. Before Kyle said anything, Feros decided to answer.
''He is. I spoke with him in Oribos before we set off and he said that he will come shortly.'' The death knight explained, making the father happy.
''Whoever is coming, I am happy to spend time with you apprentice, along with the others.'' Marileth said excitedly making Feros sigh, but kept his smile.
''Well, enjoy yourselves. Oh, and take those.'' Kyle gave Winter Veil hats to each one of them, with Vashj putting hers a little annoyingly.
When he finished speaking with the guests, he felt a wind behind him, meaning only one thing. ''About time you two showed up. I was about to start searching for you in the party. What took you so long?'' Kyle asked Ereza and Nezzak, who just appeared behind him.
''Sorry boss. We had to take a sweep around Sinfall and see if there were any agents of the Jailer. For the record, we were at the sanctum, but we left it when you arrived.'' Nezzak explained.
''Hey, I wanted to greet Kyle, but you just wanted to play the hero and we missed our chance. Still, you were right about the patrol. Security for this is, after all, very important'' Ereza complained, but saw his point.
''Woah, woah, I never wanted to play the hero so you… wait did we just agree on something?'' the goblin asked, surprised.
''See, miracles on Winter Veil happen.'' Kyle joked. ''Oh yeah, Feros, Werithian and Lesanius are on the table over there with their comrades while the prince is with Theotar.''
''Well, it will be nice to see them and speaking of which, your girlfriend is here.'' Ereza teased the Burning Wolf, getting him to turn around while Nezzak laughed about it.
Oniana, Lysa and Aratos arrived along with Lady Moonberry and an escort of Ardenweald guards from the Wild Hunt. The moment she saw Kyle, the draenei leaped to his arms and gave him a kiss, one which he eagerly returned.
''Ugh, I will go and speak with Feros while you two are enjoying yourselves.'' Nezzak grunted while Ereza giggled at his reaction. When the couple let go, the worgen said:
''I am glad to see you, my love.'', the worgen, blushing. '' Wait. I meant I am glad to see all of you.'' Kyle said while letting out a nervous sweatdrop. This got a laugh from Lysa and Aratos and a giggle from Oniana.
''It be fine, Kyle. We knew you lassies meant no harm. Besides, its party time!'' Aratos exclaimed, getting excited about mainly the drinks in the Ember Court which caused the night elf to sigh,but still kept her smile.
''Forgive him Wolf, he's just very excited. As for me, I am happy that we still get together at Winter Veil even during such crazy times.'' Lysa said, with a hint of worry, something Kyle noticed.
''It's going to be okay Lysa, trust me. I know it's not going to be easy to beat the Jailer's forces, but we have done impossible before and we can do so again. For now, just try to relax.'' the Burning Wolf reassured her, which made her and his girlfriend happy.
''As for the both of us, I think you and me will have a good time during this celebration. Right Kyle?'' Oniana asked seductively which caused the worgen to blush.
''Yes.'' Kyle said, a little embarrassed that she made those remarks rather publicly and in front of their friends. ''Take your hats.'' he, said giving them the hats ''Huh, it seems to me that Zerion, Kaestral, Derick and Netaka will be the last ones to arrive.'' The wolf remarked and sure enough, they arrived with Pelagos, Kleia with few Kyrian Ascended as their bodyguards.
''Sorry we are late, we had to run some errands with the Paragons and deal with an attack from the Forsworn.'' Zerion explained while the other two nodded. ''Anyway, how are you holding up?''
''The party is just starting and you are right on time. So get out there and enjoy yourselves and put these hats. Oh, and give those to Kleia, Pelagos and Moonberry.'' Kyle said while giving the hats when a thought rushed in.
''Wait a minute, Nezzak and Ereza never put their ones on! How rude.'' The worgen complained, although he was not surprised that he'd miss them while the others laughed about it.
The Ember Court went on for many hours and everyone had enjoyed themselves. During that time Draven and Nadjia arrived with the general even putting a Winter Veil hat on which both impressed and amused the Court of Harvesters, as well as the Burning Wolf, Theotar and Nadjia who were exhilarated that the stoneborn changed his mind. Lady Moonberry, Kleia and Pelagos were entranced by the decorations and asked Oniana and Lysa about the holiday to which they happily answered. Aratos and Nettaka spent time with Lesanius, Werithian and Feros who told him what it was like to be a part of the Maldraxxus covenant, while Alexandros and Vashj were having a conversation about who was stronger – the Burning Wolf or the death knight Feros. That was interrupted when Darion Morgraine arrived at the Ember Court and the Ashbringer was happy beyond words that he got to spend some time with the death knight as father and son for the first time in many years. On the other hand, Ereza and Nezzak talked with the former naga and discussed her skills during her time in the House of the Eyes and she even suggested that she could teach them a thing or two about it. At the same time, Kyle and Oniana talked, danced and generally had a great time for the entire duration of the Court which sadly came to an end. When nearly everyone departed, the leaders of the Guild (Kyle, Oniana, Feros, Lysa, Werithian, Kaestral, Nezzak, Ereza, Zerion, Aratos, Lesanius, Nettaka and Derick) decided to gather and say their goodbyes for now.
''A pity that the Court ends. I wish it didn't because for one it helped us to almost forget about the threats looming ahead.'' Derick said, sad that it was ending, but he knew that they had to stop the Jailer and Sylvanas.
''I know how you feel and truth be told we all needed this break. However, we must not forget our responsibility to the Shadowlands and Azeroth. We must stop the Jailer from plunging all the realms into chaos or else everything we've done so far would have been for nothing. Not to mention those that are back home.'' Feros said, thinking about the people in Azeroth, especially for one high elf for who he missed dearly back home.
''Feros is right, but there is also something else.'' Kyle said getting everyone to look at him curiously. ''This court also showed us what the residents of Revendreth, Ardenweald, Bastion and Maldraxxus would, no will be like working together and I know that one day peace in the Shadowlands will return and when it does, it will be better than before.'' the Burning Wolf finished with his speech and everyone smiled at his words. No matter any threat, we will stand and face it, united. the Burning Wolf thought, knowing that in unity there is strength and that strength will be needed in the times to come.
Unbeknownst to all of them, there was a figure that was watching them from afar. It was a tall man with a red coat, Winter Veil hat, a white beard and white gloves.''I wish you good luck, heroes of Azeroth and beyond. Oh, and happy Winter Veil!'' Greatfather Winter said from the distance quietly before disappearing without a trace.
It will take time to release the next fanfic I am working on (due to the holidays along with personal reasons), but hopefully it should come in January. In the meantime, happy Holidays and Merry Christmas everyone.
EDIT (2): Okay, so maybe it won't happen in January, but when I am ready given that I have to study for some exams at the end of the month(and beyond). I'm sorry and I will try to take my time with it, not rush it and publish it when it's ready.