Episode 20: The Wrathgate
I had spurred Surfal to go as fast as he could all the way across the Dragonblight. The cold air was fierce, but the news was the assault against the Wrathgate was to begin at any moment. We pushed onward until we finally reached our goal and the enormous black gate that stood between the dragonblight and the citadel came into view.
I could see the fighting, that it had been going on for some time.
Then I saw the Lich King, standing at the gateway, while Highlord Bolvar stood against him. All around them, mingled together as one army, stood the forces of the Alliance and the Horde. I could see now that this was it. The plan was working. There would be no way for the Lich King to stop us now. I flew downward toward the masses, but then I caught sight of several forsaken machines that were being wheeled to the cliff face looking down over the battle. They looked like catapults of some kind.
They looked like they were aiming… for the soldiers and the Lich King.
I watched in horror as the first catapults fired their payloads. Green barrels flew down into the attacking forces and exploded into massive clouds of gas.
I pulled on Surfal’s reins and he slowed his descent. I was close enough now to hear the screaming, to know that I had just watched witnessed the Forsaken turning against the Horde and the Alliance. The green gas spread higher into the air as soldiers tried to retreat from the chaos. I thought about what I should do next, attacking the Forsaken seemed the logical option, but I was still just one man.
Then, fire erupted from the air and I watched as several red dragons swept over the area, blasting the gas with fire and consuming whatever cruel disease the undead had unleashed on the soldiers.
Why would they have done this?
The Lich King had been right there, ready to fall at their feet, and now the Forsaken had stolen their chance at victory.
Only now did I realize something else. The battle had claimed the lives of so many and the fire that now consumed the area burned up those who might have still been alive beneath him. No one would know of this catastrophe if he didn’t get the word out.
“Hold on tight, Surfal,” I said aloud. “We’re going to Stormwind.”
Holding the creature tightly, I reached into the nether and found my target.
With a pop and fizzle, we teleported together.
I slid off the horse’s back and landed against the hard polished stone floor of the Stormwind Keep. In front of me stood King Varian Wrynn of Stormwind. He looked surprised by my sudden appearance, but certainly not worried.
Several guards surrounded me and I heard one ask, “How did you breach the magical barrier?”
“My family helped put it up,” I said in response. “My King, my name is Sionis Sepher.”
King Wrynn frowned. “Sepher? What in the world brings you here?”
“Highlord Bolvar is dead,” I said bluntly, knowing how painful this news would be for the King. “I’m sorry.”
“Dead?” Varian asked. “How?”
“We were betrayed by the Undead,” I replied with anger filling my body. “I witnessed it myself, my King. The Forsaken struck at us with a virus that killed hundreds of horde and alliance soldiers.”
“Horde?” Varian asked. “They attacked the Horde as well?”
“This news is unbearable. We must rally the troops right away. Whatever the Forsaken might be up to could extend beyond Northrend. They could be preparing to attack our city right now.”
There was a flash of light and I saw Jaina Proudmore appear beside the King.
“King Varian,” she announced. “I have news.”
“I’ve heard it already,” Varian growled. “We’re figuring out how to deal with it now.”
“My King,” she said, glancing at me, but probably not recognizing that I had been one of fellow students in Dalaran so long ago. “I suggest we first contact Thrall, the orc warchief. After all, his people were also caught in this mess. Perhaps we can try to negotiate something.”
“No,” Varian snapped. “I’ve negotiated long enough, Jaina. I’ve stood by and watched those monsters turn Lorderon into a freakish nightmare and I can stand for it no longer. We’ll retake the capital city of Lordaeron and purge the lands of this undead nonsense once and for all.”
“Please Varian,” Jaina pleaded. “Let me speak to Thrall first.”
Varian hesitated, but finally agreed. “Go and speak then, but know we will be taking action, regardless of what Thrall has to say on the matter.”
“Fine,” Jaina said with a sigh. “Come mage, you will be going with me.”
I was reluctant at first. She couldn’t know who I was, so why would she want me to come along? Perhaps because I could well be the only witness to the war crime?
I took her hand and together we snapped through time and space once more. When we fizzled at our destination, I was impressed, and slightly terrified, to see that Jaina had transported us directly into Orgrimmar.
In fact, when I turned around, I realized we were standing directly in front of Thrall’s throne. My eyes nearly bugged out of my head as several enormous Orc soldiers started rushing toward us with weapons drawn.
Then, a voice growled out loudly and the soldiers immediately stood down.
“Jaina,” Thrall, the ruling Orc Warchief, said loudly. “What in the world are you doing here?”
“Thrall, it’s terrible! Have you heard about the Wrathgate?”
“My chief shaman was supposed to report in when it the battle was over. Why?”
“There was no battle. The forsaken ambushed our forces, Thrall. They killed hundreds!
“What? The horde attacked you at the gate?”
“The forsaken attacked US!” Jaina shouted. “Both the Horde and the Alliance fell at the gate today.”
“That’s impossible,” Thrall stuttered. “Why would they do that?”
“Your guess is as good as mine,” Jaina said with a shrug, “but King Varian is already gathering forces for an assault. He is going to attack the Undercity.”
“This is insane!”
There was another flash of light. I turned to see yet another mage, this one undead. He stumbled forward a few steps and then fell over, dead. Next to his body was a hunched over woman. As she stood and looked at them, I immediately recognized her as Sylvanas Windrunner; the Dark Lady of the Forsaken.
“Thrall,” she murmured. “The Undercity is lost. Putress and his men…”
She too collapsed and Thrall shouted for a warlock to aide her. Truthfully, I had always felt sympathetic to Sylvanas following the third war, but she had proven time and time again that she had no interest in helping the Alliance. Now, to see her so weak almost made him pity her.
“What is happening, Sylvanas? I’ve been informed that the undead attacked us at the Wrath Gate! Is this true?”
“It is, Thrall,” the Dark Lady replied. “There has been a revolt within the city. Grand Apothecary Putress rounded up followers against me. He has taken complete control of our city.”
“Well, you won’t have to worry about that for very long,” I replied. “King Varian is going to take back the Undercity and reclaim Lorderon for the Alliance.”
“What?” Sylvanas snapped. “Your human king had better not touch…”
“Sylvanas,” Thrall said with a raised tone, “we are in no position to challenge the humans.”
“Thrall,” Jaina said with a sorrow laden tone, “I don’t know what we can do. Things are spiraling out of control now…”
“I know Jaina,” Thrall replied. “I don’t know what will happen now.”
“Then, I should leave you for now,” she replied. “I hope when we meet again, it is in peace.”
Jaina took Sionis’ hand and they were suddenly ripped back to Stormwind.
Too much teleportation could do a number on your senses. By now my head was pounding, my eyes felt like they might bleed, and I was more dizzy than I had ever been in my life. When they appeared again, King Varian was nowhere to be found. Jaina cursed loudly and then rushed off toward the back chamber of the Keep. I followed along, mostly because I didn’t know what to do at this point, and we entered the Stormwind War Room to find the King was already in battle gear and had several old maps of Lordaeron spread out across his table. Several magi were gathered in the room with portals to Ironforge, Darnassus, and the Exodar.
“Jaina,” he grunted when he saw her. “How did it go?”
“The Undercity is no longer in Horde control,” she replied.
“Then who is controlling it?”
“A rogue group of Undead that claim responsibility for the attack at the Wrathgate has taken control of the city.”
“Good,” Varian replied, turning to look at me. “Grab your battle regalia, mage. You’re going to need it for this fight.”
I nodded in a panic. I didn’t know what to do. I had seen the King before, sure, but never had I been so directly involved in something like this.
“As you wish,” I said, adding a salute for good measure.
“Jaina, you get ready too. We’re going to the Undercity. As long as the Horde doesn’t get in the way, I’ll kill these betrayers and reclaim our lost capital in the name of the Alliance.”
Jaina didn’t look convinced, but she gave a bow regardless. “I shall do as you request.”
“Thank you, Jaina.”
With that, my mind switched back to the destruction these undead had caused. I wanted revenge just as much as the next man, and thankfully, the King himself was giving me that chance. I decided I needed to get moving.
There was a war to win.