World of Warcraft (c) Blizzard Entertainment
Lady Alistra thought it would be a quiet return to Acherus after the Fall of the Lich King. She had been co-coordinating resettlement efforts with the Ebon Blade's Quartermaster, Duchess Mynx. Unfortunately (and typically), it didn't all go according to plan. One Death Knight, whose identity no one could determine, had brought back a pesky souvenir from the conquest of Northrend, or rather, a whole clutch of Frostbrood Whelplings.
So instead of training her initiates in new ways to poison and slay their enemies, she'd instead been forced to recruit almost the entirety of them into rounding up the wretched little beasts.
"Oh stop squirming damn you!" She spat, wrestling one particular mongrel in her arms. One of its eyes were cracked, and it spent more time trying to bite off Alistra's hand. Thankfully, Saronite gauntlets weren't so easily broken.
"Looks like you have your hands full, sister." Koltira approached, very clearly amused. "Good thing the Highlord is still at Dalaran."
"Shove off, Koltira." Alistra snapped back. An initiate ran up to her quickly taking the whelp and dashing off to void knows where.
"I don't suppose you'd care to explain what's going on?" The Elf muttered, watching the curious exchange.
"What does it look like?"
"Someone's trying to start a collection."
Alistra threw her hands up, vexed at her fellow elf. Her tone oozing with sarcasm. "I'm so glad you find this amusing."
"Oh - beyond words. How often is the Lady Alistra caught off balance?" A third voice joined the two elves. Koltira turned at the sound of the human approaching, accosting him with an almost friendly smile.
"Thassarian. I thought you were in Stormwind."
"I was. And now I'm here."
Lady Alistra grumbled, folding her arms and glaring. "Amazing I haven't cut your tongue out yet, Human."
"Touchy." Thassarian noted, teasingly.
Koltira barked out a laugh. "Don't mind her. There's a - whoa!"
The three Death Knights ducked, just missing a pair of minor drakes swooping down on their heads.
"Those are undead whelps; why are there whelps in Acherus?" The Human Death Knight had the most peculiar dumbfounded expression. "How did they even get here?!"
"Your powers of deduction have always amazed me, Thassarian." Lady Alistra muttered, rising to her feet once more. Just in time to see Amal'Thazad, the resident self-proclaimed Arch-Lich of the Ebon Blade float across the room in a hurry, spewing curses at a whelp with some kind of leather bound tome in its jaws.
"I never thought I'd see the day where Amal would look so frazzled…" Koltira muttered, watching the Lich hurl an ice shard at the elusive undead critter.
"If the Highlord comes back and sees the necropolis in such a state, he'll have all of our hides." Lady Alistra grumbled, folding her arms.
"Wait, no! Don't bring me into this." Koltira protested immediately.
"Nor I. I've only just returned, thank you."
"The Highlord wouldn't know that." The implied threat hung in the air, the Master of Unholy's lips split into the most vicious little grin.
"You would not…" Thassarian shot back, matching her grin with a glare.
"Oh I would." Alistra chuckled, a dark glimmer in her eye. "Now stop yapping, and get helping."
"But the Highlord could be back any minute! You seriously expect us to round all these damn pests up that quickly?"
"I suggest the both of you get started. Now!" Her voice snapped like a cane, sending both Death Knights scurrying in fear. Neither wanted to face the wrath of an annoyed Highlord.
"The withdrawal from Northrend is proceeding. What of those garrisoned at the Shadowvault?" Highlord Mograine asked, surveying the vellum. Walking along side him was Lady Alistra, looking particularly fatigued for one of Acerhus' instructors. The Highlord dismissed it. There was much work to be done with Bolvar's accession to the Frozen Throne, it was only natural it wear on everyone involved.
"A small garrison remains, a few elite guards and smiths are well enough to man it. With the Bone Witch's help, and a new legion of drakes under our command, it should remain well defended." Alistra replied crisply.
"I want those Knights rotated every two months." Mograine told her firmly. "Next rotation, I will have some of Thorval's initiates take up the guard. He's always saying his initiates complain about the lack of field experience."
"It will be done, my lord."
"Very good." Mograine nodded, they approached his chambers and he opened the door. "Now onto the matter of-..." The Highlord cut himself off, motionless and silent at… something inside his workspace.
"Highlord?" Lady Alistra peered at the human, then over his shoulder and her unseating heart lurched in despair. Inside, on the Highlord's desk was one of those blighted whelplings! Napping without a care in the world!
"My sincerest apologies, Highlord!" Her panicked voiced startled the creature awake, though Mograine himself remained silent.
"They appeared only a few days ago. I thought we had rounded them all up - I'll dispose of this immediately." A raised hand stopped her before she could move.
"That's quite alright, I'll deal with this problem myself." Mograine paced into his office, fixing the Whelpling with a stare.
"O-of course, Highlord. Suffer well." Lady Alistra quick led ducked out of the room, closing the door behind her. For a brief instant, she honestly thought she saw the ghost of a smile on the Highlord's face when that damn whelp appeared. The Unholy instructor dismissed it as ridiculous.
With her departure, the Highlord sighed and reached for the buckles of his armour. He quickly and effectively relieved himself of the plate armour and chain mail underneath, slumped in his chair and stripped down to his pants and undershirt.
"Do you enjoy terrorising my subordinates? They have jobs to do, you know."
The whelping give a happy sound before flapping its wings once, landing in Darion's lap and nuzzling his chest. Annoyed, Darion lifted the creature up and sat it back down on the table, leaning forward with an accusing finger in the whelpling's face.
"Don't." Darion told to it sternly. The creature's stubby arms reached for his finger, playing with it for a moment before trying to bite it. And with those jaws, it would have snapped his digit clean off.
"Oi! No. Bad." Darion snapped his hand back, glaring again. The whelp gave a distorted whimper, lowering its head.
"Acting cute won't help you here. I already know you're cute. Now, sit." The Death Knight commanded sternly. As instructed, the Whelping sat back on its two hind legs. A pair of bright blue eyes expectantly starting up at him.
"Alright Frosty, you and I have to revisit the ground rules."
Original note: Because I love the idea that even cute undead critters can thaw a grumpy undead Highlord's heart. Inspired by and gifted to Levicoptart of Tumblr. :)
So, I've decided to repost most of my Warcraft stuff to this website. Its only two fictions so far, but I've recently reawakened my passion for Warcraft's Death Knight lore, as shown by 'A Path Not Taken'. Keep an eye out because I intend to start writing for Warcraft once again.
I welcome critic and commentary.