World of Warcraft
The Siege of Uldaman
Long ago, long before the world of Azeroth had become what it is now, before the might of the Burning Legion and the curse of the Undead Scourge, there were the Titans…
The Titans were a race of beings that were charged with a purpose: to shape worlds in their image and to ensure that life could swell within the worlds' reaches. As such, they travelled to many worlds beyond the great dark, casting aside demons and imprisoning them within the Twisting Nether; a great arcane storm that connected different worlds together and provided power to the greater races…or corruption…
During this age of chaos, the Titans found the land of Azeroth. The land's elements were scattered about and destruction was hard at work. This was because the land was under the control of the Old Gods, monstrous creatures who were masters of Elementals and rulers of all that lay in their path. During this dark time, the Titans chose to eliminate the Old Gods, and imprisoned them deep within the lands of Azeroth.
At this time, the Old Gods wished to create beings out of living stone to help them in their work. These became known as the Earthen, but it is believed that something went wrong. Due to the interference of the Old Gods, the first generation of Earthen, as well as much of the second generation, was locked away deep within gigantic Titan vaults, left to remain dormant for all time.
It was from one of these vaults that the ancestors of the Dwarven race came forth into the mountains of Khaz Modan. Believed to be near the location of Ironforge, the Dwarves have always been considered masters of the earth, and their obsession over their ancestors and their creators knows no bounds. During the time when Azeroth was besieged by the Orcs, who were slaves of the Burning Legion at the time, the Dwarves were amongst the first races to answer the call for help from men, and provided siege engines and gunpowder for their allies.
It has been many years since the Burning Legion had attempted to invade Azeroth. Now that the Dwarves have nothing else to do, they are hard at work once more seeking answers to their creation. They had turned up little facts about their origins, and the hope of finding answers was beginning to slip from their Dwarven grasp…
During the third war, a Dwarf by the name of Brann Bronzebeard, youngest brother of King Bronzebeard of Ironforge, had founded an expeditionary force called the Explorer's League. This League was given the task of finding answers to the Dwarves' creation, and had members from all across Azeroth. Rumor has it that the League even has members of the Horde on its side, as Brann Bronzebeard is a fellow who believes in second chances for the races under the Horde's rule.
A section of the League had managed to uncover Titan ruins to the north of the region in the Eastern Kingdoms known as the Badlands. This mighty city seems to be teeming with Titan knowledge. Rumors circle about that this is the location of the fabled Discs of Norgannon, an artifact that holds information about the creation of the Earthen and, through it, the origins of the Dwarven race.
However…runes in the entrance of the chamber reveal that a great evil sleeps in this place; one that knows no bounds. To make sure that they would remain safe, the Explorer's League sent an expedition force of several Men, Dwarves, and Gnomes into the Titan city, to further explore it and ensure that nothing evil sleeps in its halls…
…they have yet to return…
Prospector Darian sighed, wiping sweat from his brow as he looked up from his work. An entire tablet of the wall in the entrance of the great Titan city had been completely cleared away thanks to his work; the sand and dust wiped away to reveal the beautiful picture carved upon the wall. It depicted a Titan father holding his two sons upon a throne, while the mother looks on from the smaller chair she sits upon in front of the father. The scene depicts creation and guardianship; how the Titans created life, and how they set their sires to guard their creations. Runes encircled the entire carving, providing useful information for the Explorer's League.
Darian looked proudly at the carving; glad that he had finally wiped away all the sand and dust that had kept it hidden for untold ages. He gazed upon its features to make sure that he didn't leave out any flaw, picked up his tools, and made his way back to his tent, where he would write his findings and quickly work on another wall.
Darian was an average-sized Dwarf. He had a standard brown beard, which he left untied and hung in knots on his shirt. One of his most notable characteristics was the fact that he had long, greasy hair, which he kept in a dwarven braid to keep out of his face. His mustache was thick like the rest of his hair, and he had big green eyes that were commented to be like green pools, always seeking to be filled with knowledge.
Prospector Darian had been working with the Explorer's League for years. He was a part of Muradin's expedition force to Northrend before he got sent back south due to health problems. He was amongst the first to discover the secret to Muradin's death, and his regret was that he didn't remain behind to save the Dwarf prince from his untimely end.
Ever since then, Darian had been working his way up into higher ranks in the Explorer's League. Now he had been given charge of an entire expeditionary force specifically focused upon the Eastern Kingdoms. Darian has managed to make several dig sights searching for Titan Ruins, but none of his discoveries were greater than that of Uldaman. Though Brann Bronzebeard was the one who discovered the entrance, it was Darian who discovered that it was a Titan city, and it was Darian who found the key to open the gates inside.
And it was he who sent the first expedition inside; an expedition which had yet to return.
Darian wrote down his findings in his prospector journal when there was a knock on his tent pole outside.
Darian turned around to see a Dwarf with a big black beard leaning upon his tent post. Darian smiled as he looked upon the face of the Dwarf, and gave him a big hearty slap on the shoulder.
"Ryedol!" Darian said, "It's good to see ya, lad! What news of Hammertoe's Dig? You taking care of it like he asked?"
"The dig's doing fine, old friend," Ryedol said, "I came here to see if the fool's back yet. Any word from the expedition at all?"
Darian's smile faded, and his face looked rather grim. "There's been no word," Darian said, "Not in the last two weeks. I don't know what's wrong, lad. There doesn't seem to be hide nor hair of them anywhere that we can see, and due to the Dark Iron incident I've stopped asking messengers to go in to look for them. I don't want those b*stards catching us all unawares and stealing this dig for their fiery master."
Ryedol nodded in agreement. "The Dark Irons have been getting pushy these past few months," the Dwarf said, "Our scouts reported that their men have been heading north from their fortress in Angor a few days ago. We found it rather suspicious. Unless it was a raiding party heading north to Loch Modan, I fear that they could be trying to find this place.
Darian nodded, turning to a map on his table. The map was one of the Eastern Kingdoms, pointing out the different regions of the tremendous continents of Lordaeron and the Khaz Modan mountain range, as well as the Kingdom of Azeroth to the south. Darian glared hard at a single label that said, "Blackrock Mountain," which was the infamous home to the Dark Iron Dwarves and their Elemental commanders.
Blackrock Mountain had been the ancient home of the Dark Iron Dwarves for centuries. The land had been at one point green and good, but centuries of war and the summoning of the hideous monster, Ragnaros, the region south of Khaz Modan had become a wasteland called the Burning Steppes, and Blackrock Mountain was transformed into a volcano of massive wrath and destruction. Since that time, the Dark Iron Dwarves were slaves to the fire Elementals, and served Ragnaros with as much fanaticism as the Scarlet Crusade.
The Burning Steppes was home to more than just the Dark Irons. The monstrous Black Dragonflight had also taken residence there, fighting a continuous war with the Dark Irons for dominance for Blackrock Mountain and the Burning Steppes. The Alliance and the Horde both want the war between the two factions to drag on as long as possible, for whoever managed to win the fight would take the fight to the rest of the world as the dominant power in all of Azeroth. Until that day came, both the Alliance and the Horde were content to be just spectators in their fighting match.
"Those damn Dark Irons would be the death of us all," Darian commented as he stared at the map, "At the rate that we are discovering Uldaman, I'm afraid that they'll try something sooner or later."
"I'm even more afraid of those Black Dragons," Ryedol stated, "What if one of their squads manages to find this place, or even one of their massive Wyrms. If any of them get down here, it won't be long before the whole of the Badlands become just like the Burning Steppes."
"Aye," Darian said, pounding a fist on the table, "Sometimes I wonder which is the greater evil; Ragnaros's slaves or those putrid lizards?"
They both stood there for a while until a man suddenly came up to the tent.
"Prospectors!" the man said, "We've got a situation!"
"What is it?" Darian asked as he walked to the entrance of the tent.
"It's the expedition, sir!" the man said, "One of their numbers is coming this way!"
A gnome ran as fast as he could. He was running like crazy, fear in his eyes and haste in every step. His clothes were torn to rags and his staff was cut into two pieces.
"CLOSE THE GATES!" the Gnome shouted at the top of his lungs, "EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY! CLOSE THE GATES!"
Two Dwarf sentries looked puzzled at what the Gnome just said, but they quickly shepherded the little Gnome inside before they began shouting similar orders of closing the gates into Uldaman. With a great and mighty groan, the stone doors into the halls of Uldaman closed as Dwarves and Men alike pushed hard upon their carved surfaces. The Gnome, jittery and tired, was half led, half dragged by the two sentries as they took him to Darian's tent.
Prospector Darian and Ryedol brought the Gnome to a seat. Ryedol waved a hand over the Gnome's eyes to test the Gnome's reaction.
"He's in shock," Ryedol said, "Somebody get me some ale! We need to wake this guy up so we can see exactly what the situation is."
The man from earlier quickly did as he was told, heading over to the cook's tent to get some ale. Darian stared hard at the Gnome before providing a few of the answers.
"This is Oggy Stonehammer," Darian said, "He's one of the mages sent in the expedition. He was supposed to be the archivist of the event. I've never seen him like this before."
The man came with a flagon of mead. Ryedol quickly took it and gave it to the Gnome who, while still in his shock, quickly drank it all within five gulps. The Gnome mumbled for some more, and Darian asked the man to get some before speaking.
"Ogg," Darian said, "It's Darian. Look at me. Where are the others?"
Oggy's lip quivered as he stared blankly outside of the tent towards the door into Uldaman.
"Ogg," Darian said, "Wake up. We need to know what happened. What did you see? Answer me!"
Oggy mumbled something unintelligent at first, but then began to speak.
"Dead," he said, "They're dead."
"Who are?" Darian asked, "Who's dead? What did you find? What's inside there?"
"They…woke up," Oggy continued, "Going to…kill us all…dead…"
"Who woke up?! Did you find the Discs of Norgannon? Where are the others?!?"
"DON'T YOU GET IT?!?"
Oggy suddenly jumped out of the chair, knocking it over. Ryedol and Darian backed away; surprised that someone that small could knock a chair twice his size over so easily.
"They're dead, damn it!" Oggy said, panting as he continued, "THEY killed them! The Dark Irons, the expedition, it all didn't matter once THEY woke up! We're all going to die, just like the rest of them, and I think, deep down, we all know it!"
Oggy panted and suddenly collapsed flat on his buttocks. Ryedol bent down to help the Gnome back to his feet. Darian turned as the man with the mead returned with a fresh flagon. Darian took it, gave it to Ryedol so he could help Oggy some more, and turned back to the man.
"I need you to get two of our best War Rams," Darian said, "We have to warn the Alliance about what's happened here. I'm calling an emergency meeting with the highest official in the area!"
"Yes sir!" the man said. He quickly ran over to the stables on the southern end of the camp. Darian looked down at the map of the Eastern Kingdoms and quickly began devising a plan of action for a meeting place…
His ultimate decision was the only Alliance-free area close enough to Uldaman to reach: The town of Thelsamar, northwest of the Titan city, in the region of Loch Modan!
To be continued…
Kerian: Today begins a new age for WoW fanfics. I've noticed that the majority of them are not very good or involve mostly the Warcraft games. This changes as of now...as The Seige of Uldaman is at hand, and a new world awaits...
Disclaimer: World of Warcraft is owned by Blizzard Entertainment, and I am not affiliated with them or any other company affiliated with Blizzard and/or World of Warcraft. I do not own World of Warcraft, and my writings are strictly non-profit (duh...lol).