Magic. It had been a constant need for the group as they drudged along the Dead Scar. Quel'thalas lay in ruins. The Sunwell destroyed by the Scourge. The only hope they had left was true death. They had watched their brothers and sisters be slaughtered, only to be brought back as mindless ghouls. They'd been wandering for nearly two months.

Victory. It had been the stronger of the needs. But as they moved further and further south, their numbers dropped. Their spirits dropped.

Eventually, it left only a young courier.

The courier, a young girl, determined to run south, to the camp of Kael'thas Sunstrider. If nothing else, the Prince of the Sin'dorei could honor the fallen. She just had to get to him.

Kael'thas frowned. Dalaran would fall soon, he could feel it. Something more important, however, tore at his core. The young girl that had run from Quel'thalas had passed out on arrival, hoarsely crying out that she had an urgent message for the prince. The High Priests had gone to her immediately, and even a Magister.

The girl, Norastra, had wounds all over her legs and neck, as though something had chased her down. Her face was singed with smoke; her fingers burnt from many failed spell attempts. Norastra's face was covered in sweat and blood, but no tears. The High Priest commented on how she looked like the ghouls prancing around outside their camp.

She woke from unconsciousness immediately with shrieking.

It took some time to calm her down. Fear, fueling her existence, quickly went into explaining how the walls of Quel'thalas had crumpled, how the noble ranger general had been captured, then brutally murdered. How the strongest warriors and mages had fallen into death's embrace. The explosion of the Sunwell that disintegrated the hopes and bodies of the few remaining.

Even that did not encompass the most horrible of things.

The fact that hundreds of men and women died, their glorious home annihilated, and their world utterly shattered—it could not compare to the disgust that all those who fell now stood again. As living dead.

As the same damned creatures that sat outside their camp, slobbering on their walls.

Kael'thas rubbed his forehead, needing to ask Norastra more, but having too much heart to do so. An older priest pulled him aside after a few moments of awkward silence.

"My Prince," she stated carefully. "The girl, she's not going to make it through the night."

Kael'thas blinked a moment, looking over his shoulder at the sobbing girl. Was it really necessary for yet another one to die? Another young, innocent person had to fall to this war no one wanted?

He shook his head and returned his gaze to the priest. "How long has she?"

"I doubt she'll see the moon rise, Prince. However, the most disturbing…is that her wounds were cauterized with some sort of plague."

"She is doomed to become a slavering ghoul," Kael'thas muttered, turning his gaze back to Norastra, suddenly coughing.

"Yes, milord, I think she—"

Norastra caught on fire, her eyes glazed, but a timid smile across her face. Kael'thas muttered a small prayer for her soul, igniting her corpse as it fell to the ground. A small coo sounded from the ceiling and Al'ar descended into the ashes, chirping sadly.

"Now, Norastra, you can rest in peace knowing you won't be brought back as an opponent. When the walls of Quel'thalas reign again, a statue of you will be made in the finest gold. A hero, not only to the Quel'dorei, but to everyone," he whispered. Slowly, he turned away only to have his eyes fall on two stern women arguing with his guards.

"Night elves…" he growled. The priest nodded solemnly. She quickly turned back to the remains of Norastra to give proper blessings. Kael'thas, bitter and annoyed, stood in silence, listening to the rising voices of the two women.

"Maiev, would you just shut up!" the darker haired girl hissed. She wore all the trappings of a High Priestess, so Kael'thas assumed she was so. The other girl, Maiev, growled back, barely managing to hold her temper.

"I would, High Priestess, if you would stop clinging to a long-dead friendship. Illidan Stormrage, the Betrayer, must be found, and must pay for what he did!"

"You are jaded, Maiev, by clinging to a pointless vengeance! If you can hold onto that, I certainly can hold onto my relationships. At least my friendship is based on something real."

Kael'thas couldn't help but crack a smile. These two women were older than he was and acted as though they had barely gotten out of their cribs. The name 'Illidan Stormrage' struck him, though. He remembered his father speaking of the Well of Eternity, and of his grandfather being scalded—almost to death—at the making of the second one. Amusing as the ladies' spat was, it was hardly time to watch a catfight. Confrontations at this point would only endanger more people. More elves.

He stepped out of the shadows and bowed to his two most intriguing guests. The High Priestess bowed back; the other just scoffed and crossed her arms.

"You," she growled, "are going to find Illidan Stormrage and stop him from killing us all."

For a moment, the entire encampment was silent. Then, Kael'thas laughed.

"And you have what charge over the Prince of the High Elves?"

Maiev's jaw dropped and she turned to glare at her temporarily tolerable companion. Her eyes glowed with a fire that informed Kael'thas her comrade had not told her of his status. Mentally, he applauded the Priestess. This woman needed all the humility the world could shove down her throat.

"What Maiev meant to say, Prince Sunstrider, is that we need your help, if you can spare it. There are rumors that Illidan…well, that he isn't entirely on our side."

"I see," Kael'thas replied. Maiev's face was so folded in on itself in rage he couldn't help but smirk. "You request my aid in protecting the world from a possible madman, then. Very well, I will assist you, if only because staying here will spell out all our doom."

Kael'thas woke with a start. He was sweating slightly, and the room around him took just slightly too long to fade back into view. Something bright green flickered from the other side of the room, and he squinted to try and see it.

"You overslept again, Kael'thas."

"Lord Illidan…" he muttered in reply. He couldn't remember the night before, which meant he fell asleep alone. Even after four years, he still struggled to stay awake through the nights, in which Illidan couldn't sleep.

"No time to apologize. Simply work to be done. Breakfast will be brought to you by one of the Succubi. Don't forget to tip her. You look like you need to."

Before Kael'thas could respond, Illidan left. He blinked a few times, wishing he'd spoken quicker. Succubi were lovely creatures, and certainly a good way to fulfill more immediate needs. Kael'thas, however, didn't have such needs. In fact, the only reason he had needs was from dreaming about his current lord.

He sighed and pulled on a robe, brushing his hair while he waited for his meal. One day, he would get the nerve up to tell Illidan Stormrage that he wanted more than just an alliance or friendship.