A/N: Please note that this is of course Fan Fiction, therefore the events described would be slightly deviated from the orginal telling.
And nope, I in fact do not own Warcraft or anything else I write about.
Wayne found the winding staircase to the top floor of the keep difficult to climb under the circumstances. He leaned heavily on his staff and Nollis was close by to steady him should he waver. Shame began to slowly fill him, never before was he resigned to accept help for something so simple. Never before was someone there to help him every step of the way either.
The interior of the castle brought back old memories in Wayne's mind. Memories of being nothing more than a token for the royalty of Lordaeron. Whether he was sent into the fray for diplomacy or full blown war, it was always for the interests and greed of the royal family. The kingdom was only prosperous due to its forceful use of an army and the frightening negotiation tactics against other, more weaker kingdoms. Passing upwards on the stairs, Wayne felt the urge to rip down all the symbols of Lordaeron and grind what was left of the kingdom to dust.
They reached the top floor earlier than the rest. More than half the council was in attendence, they were scattered about the room in different size groups, talking in low voices. Sylvanas and her banshees were busy ripping through desks and various scrolls, searching for any precious information that would help. Wayne limped across the room, Nollis still close by for support.
"That was terrific work with the Dreadlord," a voice said.
Wayne turned to his left to see a familiar Necromancer walking towards him. He was always at council meetings, he was even there on the day they ambushed Arthas as he tried to escape. The Necromancer held out his rotting hand earnestly, Wayne extended his own and took hold.
"I am known as Faranell, of course there is no need to ask for your name. Your reputation amongst the Forsaken is considerable," Faranell said.
"I remember your name," Wayne said brightly. "You were a well known alchemist in your previous life, were you not?"
"Ah yes, it is nice to recollect your own reputation as well. Though it seems like several lifetimes since I have been within a laboratory," said Faranell.
After introducing Nollis, the two were wrapped in discussion until the meeting was called to order. All the Forsaken in attendence, including Varimathras, stood around the large wooden table in the center of the room. The Banshee Queen began by addressing their victory over Detheroc's forces and the taking of the most powerful stronghold in the kingdom. Even giving Wayne special regardfulness before the council on his slaying of Detheroc. Blightcaller met Wayne's eyes from across the table and he nodded slightly with a bit of a smile. The head of the human commander still hung around his neck.
"Now then, current strength of our forces?" asked the Dark Lady to nobody in particular.
"Over two and a half thousand strong, My Lady," said one of the Forsaken.
"Very well, that is enough to ensure that Tichondrius is no threat to us. I am sure the demon will not leave the safety of the capital city walls anytime soon. Is the present that I have ordered for Tichondrius on its way?" asked the Dark Lady.
"Yes My Lady, in the hands of Aleric I am sure the gift will be delievered promptly," answered another Forsaken.
"Our next move is clear, we must take the capital city and finish off the last Dreadlord to claim our supremacy over these lands. The attack must happen soon, before Tichondrius has a chance to increase his defenses," said the Dark Lady.
"My Lady," said another. "You said yourself that the Dreadlord is of no threat to us. Why do we not remain here and bide our time to better train the army?"
"Our forces are already motivated and trained enough to accomplish this task. Any further preparation would only help the Dreadlord," the Dark Lady said.
Maps on the table top were used as a plan of attack against the capital. Several members of the council were instrumental in pointing out weak areas on the castle that could be exploited. The meeting was adjourned little more than an hour later. As soon as the cover of nightfall came, the march would begin.
After an exhausting descent down the staircase, Wayne and Nollis walked out into the snowy courtyards. There Forsaken were being drilled as cohesive groups. Archers were at work with targets. Infantry units were practicing with newfound heavy shields and spears.
During his walk he came across the council member who answered the Dark Lady's question about the gift for Tichondrius. Wayne asked him what it was out of curiosity.
"Oh that," he said. "It is the head of Detheroc with a small note attached...Blightcaller's idea."
Soon after Wayne was approached by a few Necromancers as he sat on a courtyard bench. They pleaded sincerely for his assistance in the stables. Agreeing, he limped across to the other side of the stronghold. Several horses were swaying around like overly animated puppets. The formulas that the Necromancers were using could not fully substain the creature to have independent life. Wayne stepped forward with his wand, and a few twinks of the various spells later, a horse stood upright with its will completely broken. He taught the technique to the others before departing.
The hours ticked down and the sky finally grew dimmer. A vision passed through the eyes of the Forsaken to prepare to march. The final march to proclaim this land for their own.
"Are you ready to go back into combat master?" Nollis asked.
"Well, if the Dreadlord shatters my other leg. Then you will be the one carrying me from now on," Wayne said, suprisingly lighthearted.
"I would not count on you getting close DeLovely," Blightcaller said as he walked past. "I am 0 for 2 and won't walk away from this without slaying a Dreadlord of my own!"
End of Chapter 24