Rise of Silverpine chapter 1
I do not own Warcraft or A song of Ice and Fire
No one knew how they came. The Dalaran mages suggested more than once that it was a teleportation gone wrong, yet both girls always refused to have been in touch with magic, let alone been mages themselves. It was just like that, suddenly, in a flash of light, two young females were standing before the makeshift gates of Pyrewood village along with their companions- two wolves.
The villagers shared with them what little they had from living into this god-accursed land, yet urged them to leave before sundown. It made little sense to the two foreign girl, giving them an immensely hospitable welcome despite their obvious poor state of living, yet not welcoming them at night.
Sure, they had their wolves, but it still meant spending the night in the wilds. They were in what once probably used to be a tavern when the younger of the two, a dark-haired, grey-eyed girl voiced her thoughts in a rather forceful manner. It made the locals uneasy, yet they pressed that the two of them should leave before nightfall. They urged them go head south, to where a refugee camp was located in the shadow of a great wall not even half a day away.
Yet as they were leaving but minutes before sundown, the younger one felt her curiosity spike. Dragging the older girl along, the two of them hid next to a tree on a hill overlooking the walled village. They waited and waited, yet as the white moon rose, nothing happened, the occasional howl coursing through the strange, dark woods, something which they both agreed was normal for these parts after their short stay.
What happened next would change the history of the region forever.
What the girls did not know was that the entire village was affected by a dark curse, making them transform into terrible half-human, half-wolf beasts at night. And that night was no different.
As one of the villagers that had caught their scent was silently making his way towards them, the wolves that accompanied the girls turned both their heads sharply towards him, as if sensing the danger, yet the action remaining lost to the two humans. Just as the man-turned-beast was about to leap onto the unsuspecting humans, just as the two dire wolves were going to stand their ground with teeth bared to protect their mistresses, the beast… turned to man.
As the man's heavy panting suddenly filled the air causing both girls to swiftly turn towards the sounds, their eyes landed on a young man in nothing but breaches who was starring in astonishment at his hands, examining them, clutching them before moving to examining his face.
As more and more of the night stalkers caught their scent and made their way up to the hill, one by one all of them returned to their human forms. Shouts of joy filled the night sky, leaving the girls utterly scared and confused, their two wolves constantly circling them uncertainly.
That night, a feasts was held beneath the gleaming moon on the village square as everyone welcomed the two girls with their entire hearts.
Yet the happiness was short-lived. As the sun rose the next day, it revealed a dreadful scene. The village mayor, along with all of the handful of mages and the militia commander. All of them, dead. The assassin was, however, caught. An ugly creature, barely resembling a man. Hunched-over, glowing yellow eyes and pale skin, large patches of which was missing were its most distinctive features. The villagers did not even bother with a trial, burning it on the village square there and then.
Afterwords, the girls were properly introduced to the entire situation, all of their questions answered. They quickly realized they would probably never make it to Ironforge, with all the undead roaming Silverpine and the orcs that held most of Arathi. And such major settlements were the answer to possibly going home.
And yet, the villagers saw their salvation in the two girls, now named Sansa and Arya.
Another night they waited, and yet this time, no one transformed when the moon rose. It was seemingly the very presence of the two was somehow canceling the curse. And the very next day, the entire village, a good four hundred people stormed the dark fortress overlooking the village – Shadowfang keep. As hundreds of worgen came out rushing to meet the human attackers, all of them transforming back into sensible human, the castle fell quickly. It has fallen into a massive disrepair, yet with the increasing number of Forsaken assassinations, at least the women and children would have a safe place to sleep.
That was two years ago. In the short time the humans of Silverpine had united, following the girls that slowly accepted and were accepted by the people around them. Not long after Shadowfang keep fell, an envoy from Ambermill arrived, seeking to further bring closer the two surviving human settlements in the cursed forest. There were little connections between the settlements, Pyrewood remaining isolated due to their well-known nocturnal state while Ambermill was more concerned with helping Dalaran rebuild. Yet now, with both the Pyrewood worgen 'under control' and Dalarin rising into the sky and leaving for Northrend , the two parties can finally turn to one another.
It was when a report came that most of the undead stationed at the Sepulcher had left for Fenrir isle that both parties decided to act. The forsaken outpost been barely anything but a crypt with a broken-down iron fence, it was an easy victory for the overwhelming attackers. Yet even in the wake of their first victory against their unliving enemy in many years, the humans of Silverpine knew that they cannot match the full force of the Forsaken, should it be unleashed against them.
As the undead were still reeling back from surprise loss of central Silverpine, the humans, inspired both by an idea from the two girls and the example of the kingdom to the south, erected a wall with the help of the Ambermill mages. At first, it was just series of wooden spikes along the lengths of the river that cut from the mountains to the west all the way to Lordamere lake to the east. And yet, using the natural sloping of the river valley, the humans were quickly able to build a wall of stone and wood. With the countless undead raids, they were good at rebuilding, if not anything else.
With the undead threat to the north taken care of, for the moment, the Silverpine residents began cleansing the land. The many farmsteads still inhabited by mindless zombies or gnoll, or the hundreds of worgen still let loose in the wilds. The worgen were captured and brought before the girls, who have taken to living into the run-down keep, all of them regaining their humanity. And yet, even with the increase of all of population from all wild wolf-men, the human-controlled Silverpine residents barely numbered forty-five hundred. But a handful to the tens of thousands soldiers that the Forsaken could field.
The following months, there was a quiet tension building in the air around the ancient forest. The people were happy to have regained a part of their freedom and above all else, humanity, yet many feared for the response of the banshee queen. As the wall was strengthened and farms replanted, an event took place in the now restored single castle of the land.
The crowning of the twin queens of Silverpine.
It would have seemed strange to an outsider, the people crowning two girls, not even old enough to be considered adults by any stretch of the imagination and yet, this was the will of the people.
It was Arya's idea to attack the Sepulcher when news of the Forsaken host leaving it reached the keep. The petite young girl quickly earned the loyalty of the men, from the way she strove forth in the face of the enemy, to her unmatched accuracy with the bow. Her flame-haired sister, on the other hand, made many suggestions that the people in power, at the time, quickly took to heart. The girl suggested trading the pine wood that the area had in plenty for resources that they lacked at the moment, primarily food. Distant Hillsbrad was ideal for that goal and the villagers of the much more fertile land were more than happy to part with little of their food in exchange for the long, strong, straight pines that the former worgens offered. Barely an year after the skirmish at the Sepulcher, a shipment of weapons had arrived from distant Ironforge through Southshore, the friendly dwarf envoy jokingly saying it was a gift to the two wolf princesses, the rumors of Arya leading the men through the dense forest with a bow in her hand and a massive wolf at her side had reached far across the Eastern Kingdoms, the one of the fair maiden of Shadowfang with an equally large wolf not far behind.
The people had taken the dwarf's words in a different meaning and not before long hundreds of residents from the newly-reclaimed alliance territory were pushing for the two girls to take leadership of the land.
And but a few weeks after the dwarf's visit, twin identical crowns of pine, silver and amber rested upon the young girls' heads, massive white banners with grey wolf heads appearing on the towers of the new kingdom's capitol.
And yet, hard times were just around the corner for the new kingdom. With Hillsbrad been incorporated into it, the main and only connection to other allied states remained Southshore. And that connection was severed when a Horde fleet blockaded the small town's port. To further add insult to the small crippled kingdom's injury, a forsaken army moved down from Alterac and sacked Tarren Mill, forcing men who were previously part of different villages' militia and now formed the army, to abandon Thoradin's wall, the far-most eastern border of the kingdom and retreat as far back as a lone tower, but a few kilometers away from Southshore. Some hoped for aid from the Wildhammer dwarves, yet the flying clan remained high up in the Hinterlands, not bothered and not bothering anyone.
A month after Tarren Mill fell, queen Arya led a small host numbering just two thousand men, most of them recruited from Soutshore and the surrounding land, against the Forsaken in Hillsbrad. With the hard truth that the kingdom could not field any more men and their state of isolation, it was a must win scenario, least Southshore fell and all of Hillsbrad along with it.
Through stout hearts and hard dwarven steel, victory was won that day and the Forsaken pushed back to Alterac, yet the kingdom lacked the power to hold their newly-recaptured town. Seeing the faces of her men, Arya gave her order with a heavy heart: To strip the small town of all valuable… and burn it to the ground. For a girl barely reaching twelve, it was hard enough been queen on itself, yet with the heavy situation she was put in, her task was weighing heavily on her usually enthusiastic and energetic spirit.
Sansa Stark was looking out of a window in her solar in Shadowfang, a rather nostalgic name for both her and her sister. As she was looking down into the ever-increasing Pyrewood Village, refugees from Tarren Mill still flooding in, footsteps echoed behind her as someone entered the solar uninvited. Knowing who it was without turning, she sighed heavily as he heard the sound of wood hitting wood, Arya having dropped her bow on the table before taking a seat in the chair that usually Sansa occupied. With Arya still pursuing her dreams of been of warrior and refusing to be a proper lady, it was left mostly to Sansa to run the small kingdom, a task for which the girl felt enormously unprepared, even if in the end, it was a kingdom of three, no two, small towns and a couple of villages.
"An envoy arrived today." Began Sansa breaking the silence. When it was infront of strangers, she was reserved when she talked and responded only if she was sure she would sound certain and courteous, just as her septa had taught her. But when it was just the two of them, the flame-haired queen allowed her uncertainly to show.
"He came from Ironforge, yet stopped at Gilneas." She continued, Arya, who up to now have been playing with both Nymeria and Lady, instantly fell silent and grew tense. She had her suspicions when she saw the shape of the zeppelin leaving from in between the treetops on her way home.
"So will those cowards finally help us?" asked the silver-eyed girl.
"King Genn Greymane congratulates us on our victory in the fields of Hillsbrad and as a gift sends us one hundred muskets along with an ornate rapier for you." Sansa gestured to a stand in the far end of the room where a unquestionably beautiful rapier with silver guards and a wolf head tassel stood. The younger queen rushed with childish glee to examine the weapon before coming back to her senses.
"And will he finally open the gate?"
The silence that met her question angered greatly Arya.
"That old IDIOT! With the wall to the north constantly been reinforced, Hillsbrad is the battlefield. With just a thousand more men, we can push back to Thoradin's wall and all the way to Alterac!" Arya was breathing heavily, trying to calm herself.
"I ordered it burned…" barely whispered out the girl after awhile. She did not want to admit it, but just the very creatures she fought against gave her nightmares. Her father, when he rarely spoke about the rebellion, told of great armies, numbering in the tens of thousands, not these little companies of a handful of men. It almost made her feel like this was some sick joke. But it wasn't. The smoldering ruins in the Hillsbrad fields are a proof to that.
Having to burn down a small town which but a month before was inhabited by people, families, her subjects, people she should strive to protect, was hard on her, especially with how when they finally entered the town, they found the streets filled with unburied corpses and on the town square, the Silverpine army saw a chilling sight. Human experimentation.
"There are still some good news." Spoke up Sansa, breaking Arya out of her musing. The older sister turned around, her hands clutched in front of her chest, her face showing rare happiness that Arya had seen only in a few occasion in the past few years. Their crowning and Hillsbrad joining their kingdom been some of them.
"The 7th Legion and the Westfall Brigade will try to break the blockade on Southshore on their way to Northrend, the Horde having recalled some of the ships from the blockade for their expedition north."
"That's… that's great!" exclaimed Arya, nearly jumping up and down, rushing to hug her ever-proper sister. Here they were in a place so foreign that they were proclaimed queen, yet she still wanted to keep to her mannerism.
A knock on the door interrupted the happy moment, the two direwolves moving out of the doorway.
"Enter." Called Sansa after composing herself from her sister's assault. As the elder daughter tended to the intruder, Arya went back to examining her new sword, softly running her finger along the wolf's head tassel and wandering will she ever see the endless planes of her home again.
"Mi'ladies." Addressed one of the guards, judging by the leather armor that he wore and single glaive that he carried.
"A messenger just arrived from the wall. The Warchief is there and requests an audience with either of the queens." He said, extending his hand, a parchment clutched within it.
Sansa rushed to take the letter, her heart filling with fear.
If the warchief is there, a lot of soldiers were there with him. And while the wall is new and sturdy, it is just a wall on a steep river bank. If the orc gets impatient, as she heard they easily do, he might go berserk and commence an assault.
"Tell the men to prepare, we leave immediately." Said Sansa, after quickly going over the letter written in common yet clearly by someone not experienced in writing it, the blood-red Horde seal marring the bottom of the letter.
"Sansa?!" asked Arya surprised. The younger queen was sure she would be the one going. It is always her traveling while Sansa stays to run the kingdom.
"This is too important to leave to you and your wolf blood to ruin." Said the orange-haired girl without any venom in her tone. Arya noticed it, but did not like it even if she did realize that she is indeed, as their father used to say, wolf-blooded.
Yeah, yeah, another new story.
Before you all ragequit, Sansa and Arya's power to remove the worgen curse is tied with the way that they came to this world and it is just it. They have no additional power. How they came might be explained later down the line. And this will later go into Game of Thrones universe. Just take a look at both world maps and you will see how :D.
Additional notes, Tarren Mill is originally sacked by the scourge and later controlled by the forsaken, but in the Sunwell trilogy, which is this weird semi-canon thingy, Tarren Mill is still human controlled.
The wall that I mention is build north of the Sepulcher along the southern bank of a river there. It is not as big as the Greymane wall, but it is bigger than your average castle wall.
If someone from the Warcraft lore community can point me to a reliable source of population numbers, I would be extremely grateful. I just cannot find something consistent.
As for Guilneas, I see no reason for someone not been able to go there with a zeppelin. Guilneas's defenses are rifts to the south and that freakishly-big wall to the north.
Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed it and reached the end of the story, some of the sentences were rather off plus the whole idea is, compared to other fan-fictions, rather crazy.
Thank You for reading.