Veteran of the Wrathgate: A Rogue's Tale

*disclaimer – Several characters in this story are based on player created characters in World of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment. The Wrathgate battle scene and Alexstrasza's final speech are directly credited to the cutscene based on a quest chain in the Dragonblight zone of Northrend in the latest expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. Bolvar Fordragon, Arthas, Putress, Saurfang, and Alexstrasza are all creation of Blizzard Entertainment. All content is based on lore which is the sole property of Blizzard Entertainment and this story is meant for entertainment purposes only.

Chapter 1 - To Ale, To Memories, To Arms!

As she nursed a mug of ale at her favorite table in Hero's Welcome, the gnome laid her head against the cool glass and gave a sigh. So much, sometimes lately it felt like too much.

She'd seen things, adventured places, defeated so many foes in the name of the Alliance. Would she ever walk the corridors of Ironforge, and hear her own name, her true name shouted in greeting?

Already so many innocent lives and soldier's lives sacrificed in the fight against The Lich King. She shuddered at the memories of the endless armies she assisted in pushing back at Wintergarde and Naxxramas. How many more? How much of her world would be destroyed if they didn't fight back?

Old memories, usually kept buried by training and force of will, surfaced….

Giggling, the gnome child peered around her mother's skirts at her father. Then quickly ducked out of sight.

"Ah HA! Katie, my girl! Are you suddenly taken with shyness?" he questioned.

"Shhh father, you can't see me! I'm invis-cable!" young Katie whispered.

"Invisible?" So you're a young mage-ling now, are you?" her father whispered back.

"No, I'm a spy for King Bronzebeard." Said the tiny gnome girl whipping two spoons out and brandishing them like daggers.

Her father laughed as her mother scolded, "Don't encourage her! Katie, go finish setting the table."

"Yes, Momma." The would-be infiltrator said with a sigh, and a return to her chores as her father giggled in background.

She half-smiled to herself at the memory. If only she could use the caverns to tell the girl gnome to listen to her mother.

"Shadowbunny!" Carmien called joyfully as he stepped into the Inn. Of course the Paladin did everything cheerfully from eating lunch to participating in battle. "Well met, my friend."

"Hiya, Car," she replied with a smile to her Gladiatorial partner, "nice work in the ring yesterday."

"What were you thinking of SB? You looked a bit blue as I entered," Carmien, questioned thoughtfully.

"Oh, it's just memories. Nothing serious." She stowed the memories away and grinned at him.

"That's good," he grinned in return. "And now, we have orders my rogue friend. We're to report to Highlord Bolvar as soon as possible. There's been movement by the Lich King in the Blight, and we're trusted."

She drained the last bit of her ale, thumped the mug down on the table, and gave him a half salute, "Yes sir. Let's go!"

She threw her cloak and gauntlets back on, checked her backpack for "supplies," and went to the door and whistled for her war bear, Fred.

"Right-o Freddie. We're working today! To the landing! GoGo!" and she was off. Feeling the warmth of Carmien's aura surrounding her and lending speed to the already swift gait of Fred, they were at Kraus' Landing in no time.

Chapter 2 - Of Wrath and Betrayal

Fordragon Hold, Angrathar(The Wrathgate), Dragonblight, Northrend

As her Nether Ray, neared the landing point at the Hold, Shadowbunny took a good look at Highlord Bolvar Fordragon. As a high ranking member of SI:7, she had run her fair share of missions for him directly and without his direct knowledge. With her service in Outlands, it had been a few years since she had seen him in person until their battle together to rid Wintergarde of the lich monstrosity, Thel'zan the Duskbringer, recently.

She landed, and jumped from the ray's back. Stopping a few feet from Bolvar, she saluted smartly and reported, "Knight-Lieutenant SI:7 Shadowbunny, my lord. Ready for assignment."

The Highlord smiled fondly at her. Veteran to veteran. "Shadowbunny! I wish we were meeting under better circumstances. Your excellence at intelligence and battle have helped bring the Alliance to this point."

She smiled back, "For the Alliance, my lord. I hope it is enough to let the Light shine victory on us today. What are my orders, my lord?"

Carmien saluted as well, "My lord Bolvar. Your paladins and soldiers are formed and at the ready. The scouts report that Saurfang's forces stand ready as well."

Bolvar nodded. "Good. Good." He paused for a moment. "Now for your orders."

Shadowbunny glanced at Carmien, but ever the soldier, he did not betray the puzzlement she felt. A stubborn rogue, she spoke her mind, "Pardon, Lord Fordragon, but won't we be engaging in the battle at the gate with you today?"

Bolvar shook his head, "No, that is not why you were summoned here. I wish the two of you to lead a small contingent that will stand guard here at the hold. If we should…" he trailed off cleared his throat and said more strongly, "If we should need reinforcements or a second line of defense I trust you to lead it and to keep these innocents safe."

A jolt of fear ran through her mind as she contemplated the meaning of the fall of the Alliance and Horde forces today, but she and Carmien responded in unison, "Yes, my lord."

"The Light go with you my lord," Carmien quietly stated to his superior.

Bolvar looked at them both, hard, "The Light go with us all, son. We ride."

As she and Carmien kept their ordered watch from the hillside, the battle below began…

Bolvar leads a charge into the undead in front of the Wrathgate shouting, "Back you mindless wretches! Fight on, brothers!"

Soon Bolvar is joined by Saurfang the Younger, and the Horde forces. They fight side by side until the last undead is defeated.

Bolvar and Saurfang approach the gate together as the Highlord shouts, "Arthas! The blood of your father, of your people, demands justice! Come forth, coward! And answer for your crimes!"

The gate rumbles open and Arthas emerges, legions of undead trailing in his wake, his voice is not loud it's almost as if it comes from within the mind, "You speak of justice? Of cowardice? I will show you the justice of the grave and the true meaning of fear."

With a shout, "Enough talk! Let it be finished!" Saurfang charges Arthas, and is struck down.

As his soul is taken by Frostmourne, Bolvar says, "You will pay for all the lives you've stolen, traitor."

An explosion of green behind Bolvar. Putress and the Forsaken with Catapults as Horde and Alliance soldiers fall by the hundreds. Those soldiers not affected begin to flee as Arthas recovers from a fall to his knees and flees to his Citadel.

Putress yells, "This is the hour of the Forsaken!"

Bolvar falls and is lost to sight in the green cloud.

A red cloud is seen in the distance, as it nears it is revealed as the Red Dragonflight. They clear the field with cleansing flame.

Shadowbunny heard Carmien's gasp and was pulled out of her own horror enough to shout an order, "Hold fast! It's too dangerous down there." Already the horror filled screams filled the air as the citizens of the hold realized what had occurred.

"Car. We have got to get these people out of here. Order the mages to open portals to Dalaran. I'll go check the field." She noted the soldier take over behind his eyes from the shocked Paladin who had lost a mentor as he nodded.

"You there mages. Portals to Dalaran now!" Carmien ordered, "Soldiers, round up those who have lost their wits get them to safety."

In the meantime, Shadowbunny reached the battleground. She heard the pounding of hoofbeats, and knew her friend was not far behind.

Most of the fallen had already been consumed by the dragon's fire. She cautiously approached Queen Alexstrasza.

The dragon queen looks at Shadowbunny and Carmien as they approach. She nods, "Our fate is emblazoned upon our souls at birth. Bolvar's fall, while tragic, was unavoidable."

All that you can do now is honor your hero, Rogue and Paladin. Collect Bolvar's shield from the field of battle and return it to your king. When you present the shield to Varian, tell him this: 'All is not lost. From the ashes of the fallen will rise a force that will unite nations and purge the evil from this world.' He mustn't lose faith. Go now, your people need heroes. They need you."

Shadowbunny watched silently as her friend picked his mentor's shield up from the field of battle. As they made their way back up the hillside with their troublesome burden, she remembered past endeavors, past battles, and the soldiers that mere hours ago stood at the ready to defend their homes. And she mourned.

"Magister Dysun, a port to Stormwind if you please," she asked wearily.

"SB, is that…" Dysun questioned, as he threw up the port.

Carmien strides through, and over her shoulder as she entered she nodded, "Yes."

His eyes widen, and she felt the portal take her.