Author's Note: Ashbringer fic (Alexandros and Tirion, and the sword itself). I am basing some of the lore on the comics, so if you consider those to be AU, then this is AU. Alexandros finds the shadow orb and creates the Ashbringer, with the help of the other members of the Order of the Silver Hand. Some true AU, because I deviate from the comics/in-game scene in which the "orb" of the Ashbringer is created. Some Renault/Sally Whitemane, because I like Renault and think he doesn't get enough lore in game. And who doesn't love Whitemane? "Arise, my champion!" yes, she is psycho for Renault. I have no clue how old the characters are/were, so consider it AU or use your imagination. Tirion is not a pedo! He is just trying to comfort Darion! No Tirion/Darion slash in this chapter. Story relies on the Ashbringer-is-actually-a-halfdead-Naaru guess that some fans have.

Darkness and Light

Alexandros attempted to shove his gauntlet on his mangled hand, with little success. He eventually gave up, settling for shaking out his cloth shirt to cover it. Touching the shadow orb had been a grave mistake, indeed. The paladin would never again be able to hold a sword if he could not find what he wanted to find. The orb's antithesis. Everything it was not. With his good hand, the paladin picked up the iron chest containing the evil orb and returned to Lordaeron.

Some time later, after much consideration, he showed the orb to other members of the Order. There were gasps, some even making the symbol against evil and backing away from Alexandros. Alexandros took the gauntlet he hand finally managed to shove on away from his hand, demonstrating what the orb did with a mere touch. Again, more gasps, more signs against evil.

Only one paladin was not shook up about this. He appeared more...curious, than anything. An older man, and yet not a higher ranking paladin. Some shit about honor, which prevented him from becoming a leader in the Order. His honor would not allow...blah blah. Alexandros did not care at the time. The older paladin strode forward, reaching toward the orb, then shaking his head and glancing at Mograine's mangled hand.

"Alexandros, perhaps we should attempt to heal-" the paladin began.

Mograine cut him off. "This wound was made by pure shadow. Pure evil. I doubt even Uther could heal my injury. No, do not even attempt it. A lesser paladin such as yourself would surely be consumed by the darkness."

The paladin nodded slightly, stiffly. His green eyes still lingering on Mograine's hand, and the shadow orb. His auburn-brown hair slid over the green eyes for a moment, concealing his stare. Alexandros shook himself. The weaker paladin had a powerful stare, almost as if he were able to stare into one's soul, despite the fact that he was not even a lord of the Silver Hand yet.

Mograine cleared his throat, looking away from the dark-haired paladin. "I propose that we attempt to...find its opposite. Surely, if pure shadow exists, then pure Light must as well."

The paladin who had wanted to try and touch the orb earlier spoke up. Mograine finally recognized him. Tirion something. "Perhaps this is just my belief, but aren't the shadow and the Light merely two sides of the same coin? We should-"

A snort from Isilien interrupted Tirion. "The Light and the shadow are not the same. Nor will they ever be. This is why you never amount to anything within the Order, Tirion! You cling to your beliefs as if they were a lifeline!"

Tirion and Isilien glared at one another for a moment, before Tirion turned his gaze away from the priest.

Isilien smiled, turning his back on Tirion. "Now, Mograine, we should do what must be done. This abomination must be destroyed." Isilien raised glowing hands. A shock of white light pierced the shadow orb, Isilien's ability to cast holy smiting spells was legend.

A gasp of surprise rippled through the room when the orb did not split in half or 'die'.

Mograine stared at the orb, jaw dropped. " consumed the Light! The Light! No such-"

Tirion stepped forward. "Impossible!" He raised his own hands, casting a shock of holy light at the orb, which it again absorbed.

The shadow orb was now pulsing with a mixture of both shadow and Light. Mograine glanced sideways at Tirion. Perhaps the older paladin was correct...perhaps the Light and the shadow WERE simply two sides of the same coin, merely needing pushing to get to the other side.

Soon, the others were casting spells at the crystal, attempting to either destroy it or see exactly how much light it could absorb. There was a blinding flash as one of the Order's members cast a final spell. The shadow orb no longer lay within the chest. An crystal of Light floated above the table, bathing everyone with its calming presence.

Heart pounding, Mograine reached out. Isilien caught his arm. "What are you doing, man? The last time you touched it-" Isilien gestured at the paladin's mangled hand.

"I must know. I NEED to know." Mograine brushed the priest's grip off him and, without thinking about it, touched the crystal. A gasp tore through him as the entire room lit up. Peace, calm, paradise...Alexandros' eyes rolled back in his head. can end this...the struggle...the Light will protect you...It was a disembodied voice, but he knew it was Light. Pure Light. Mograine stumbled back, as strong as the temptation to go with the Light was.

"I... It... It is beautiful. What I felt when I touched it... The Light coursed through me and I through it... It healed my spirit. I felt the Light...I saw it." Mograine closed his eyes, almost wishing he HAD gone with the Light. It had felt so...peaceful.

Isilien gasped, grabbing Mograine's arm. "Your hand! It healed your hand! It-it healed an injury brought on by pure Dark magic!"

Mograine hesitated... "From this blessed crystal, we can forge a weapon. A weapon unlike any other. It will hold inside, a piece of each of us. Our power, our Light. It shall cast down the undead, and leave only ashes in its wake." Mograine trailed off.

Tirion stepped toward the crystal. He too touched it. Unlike with Mograine, the room was not bathed in Holy Light. Tirion's hand merely rested on the crystal as if it were just a piece of ore. However, the lesser paladin's eyes were closed. After a moment, Tirion pulled back. He raised a hand, saluting the crystal.

"The Ashbringer..." Tirion whispered.

The others looked at him, a bit confused, but followed suit and mumbled "Ashbringer" in return, apparently accepting the name that Tirion gave the Light crystal. The crystal did not appear to have the same affinity for Tirion that it did for Mograine, but, somehow, it had...what, given the paladin its name?

No. Why would an object of such Holy Light speak to a lesser paladin like Tirion? Mograine sighed. It didn't matter. Perhaps BECAUSE he was a lesser paladin, he wasn't as in tune with the Light like the rest of them, and did not get the full backwash of the Light. A pity, almost. Tirion had it in him to be great.

Alexandros closed an iron chest around the crystal. "I need to take this to the dwarves. Only they can forge such a powerful weapon. The weapon forged...the...Ashbringer," here, he glanced at Tirion, "will be the end of the Scourge, the undead. Speak of this to no one, my comrades."

Chef Jessen barreled out of the kitchens, shouting epithets at Mograine, telling him to shut his yap and brandishing a skillet as if it were a sword. Tirion snorted at the chef's antics and turned his back on his paladin and priest friends. Or rather, superiors. They were his superiors, whether he liked it or not.

What he had felt when he had touched the crystal, the Ashbringer...was indescribable. He hadn't experienced such an explosion as Mograine, simply a feeling of peace. Unending peace, happiness. The Light wanted him. Wanted him to go with it, to paradise. He had explained that he could not leave his wife, his child, his home, unprotected.

It had almost seemed as if the Light, the being within the crystal, had smiled, had understood, had knew EXACTLY what he was going to say. It did not try to pull him or force him, and then it had given him its name. At least, the name it used amongst humans. Its true name...Tirion knew that as well, but it was good indeed that Ashbringer was the name it chose to use. That was far easier to pronounce. He wondered what a being of pure Light was like. Did it resemble the shimmering crystal that Mograine was going to turn into a weapon?

The paladin sighed, shook his head, and headed upstairs to the room he had rented with his son. Karandra was staying in Mardenholde, but Taelen had insisted on coming. Even though he was only seven years old, Tirion knew that Taelen was a very strong-willed boy. He hoped his son would one day use that strength for the good of others, at the behest of the Order and the Light.

He watched his son play with a toy paladin's hammer, that Tirion had given him. Taelen waved the little hammer around, making silly noises and laughing. Tirion shook his head, smiling at his son's happiness, and left him in the inn to enjoy his hammer, heading outside. He very nearly bowled over a mage from Dalaran on his way out.

The mage, a dark haired younger man, glared at him darkly and continued conversing with his companion, leaning against him almost intimately. Tirion blinked a few times, then ignored the mages. Surely he'd never have to deal with them again. The dark haired mage had felt...wrong, however. Something he couldn't describe. He shook it off as nothing and strolled around Southshore, enjoying the peace and calm.

Several children ran past. Tirion recognized two of them. One was Alexandros's eldest son, Renault. He was a bit older than Taelen. His younger son, Darion, was closer to Taelen's age. Tirion wondered where Darion was currently. He was not playing with his brother. It didn't matter. He looked at the little girl with white-blonde hair that was following Renault around with an almost obsessive expression on her face.

She was panting and Tirion wasn't entirely sure it was from all the running. The way she eyed Renault...if they weren't children, Tirion would surely think she was wanting something more from him than simply to 'play heroes'. Tirion shook his head, turning from the antics of Renault Mograine and Sally Whitemane. He noticed another child nearby, sitting under the shade of a tree, watching the playing children. This one was about Taelen's age.

Tirion approached the young boy, finally realizing that it was the youngest son of Mograine, Darion. He sat down, not caring if his armor got dirty, wanting to know why the child was sitting alone.

Darion eyed him pensively. "Renault doesn't want me to play with him. He says I'm annoying. He says he only wants to play with Sally and Jimmy." Darion scratched at the ground with a toy sword, one that he had brought apparently in hopes of playing with his brother and friends.

"Sally isn't even that pretty. She's just a stupid girl. Girl's can't fight." Darion was pouting. Tirion patted him gently.

"If your brother doesn't want to play with you, why not play with my son? He's alone in the inn. He doesn't have any friends here, I'm sure he would enjoy the company." Tirion smiled at the youngest Mograine.

Darion glanced at his toy sword, continued to scratch the ground. "I doubt he would. No one wants to play with me. They don't like me." Darion sounded profoundly sad. "Renault blames me for mom's death. He says I killed mommy." Darion's lips trembled slightly.

Tirion knew of Darion's story, of the loss of his mother. "You didn't kill your mother. Her death was unavoidable..."

Darion angrily interrupted him. "If I weren't here, mom would be. Renault wouldn't hate me. I'd rather just be dead if it would bring mom back. I don't care." Darion's tears fell into the dirt, marring whatever design he had been making with the toy sword.

"Young master Mograine, please don't listen to them...please, for the time, put it out of your mind. Come, play with my son. Taelen would love a 'sparring' partner." Tirion smiled slightly.

Darion wiped his tears away quickly, gulped and nodded. Apparently he now just wanted to get away from the happy, smiling children, Sally, Jimmy, and his own brother. Tirion guided him to the inn. None of the others were there, except Isilien.

The priest bowed slightly to Tirion. "Lord of Mardenholde, welcome back. The others have dispersed. Your son was wondering where you were." The priest gestured to Taelen, who was sitting at a bench near Isilien, waving his toy hammer a bit.

Isilien smiled. "I like your son, Tirion. He has spirit. Much more so than you, I'd like to think. Someday, perhaps, I would like to take him under my wing." With that...insult/compliment, Isilien strode out of the inn.

Tirion stared after Isilien, slightly annoyed. He was a great priest of the Light...if that was the path Taelen wished to take, then it seemed there was no other for the task of teaching him except Isilien. Still, the paladin couldn't shake a dark feeling he had, hearing the priest's words. Almost a...foreshadowing of some type.

A premonition of dark things to come. Perhaps Archbishop Benedictus in Stormwind would be a better choice to train his son as a soon as he'd thought that, the Light in him immediately said 'no way in hell' for some reason.

Shaking his head, Tirion introduced Darion and Taelen. Taelen smiled at Darion and asked if he wanted to play warriors. Tirion's lips twitched. Darion no longer looked depressed and lonely, but happy, at last, to have a friend near his age that he could play with. Tirion and Alexandros may not have been close, but perhaps their sons could be.

He sat down in a nearby chair and ordered water from the bartender. The bartender passed him a glass of clear, crystalline water, likely gotten fresh from the well outside. It was cold and satisfied a thirst he hadn't known he'd had. This Ashbringer business somehow left him with an odd feeling. Not good, nor bad...just...odd. He splashed some of the water on his face. The ice cold did little to help him shake the feeling that something was wrong here.

The paladin glanced back at his son and Darion playing. Taelen was batting at Darion's toy sword with his own toy hammer, attempting to disarm the young boy. Tirion couldn't help but laugh at the children's antics. Darion actually looked happy. Mograine's youngest son...why was he so depressed? Tirion knew that Alexandros loved both his sons and did not in the slightest blame Darion for his wife's death.

He sighed, stood up, and kissed Taelen on the top of his head, asking the bartender to watch them for a moment, he was going outside. The bartender nodded and kept his eye on the children. Tirion headed outside again. He leaned against the wall of the inn, observing Southshore. The picture of peace and calm. One would never know they were in a war against the undead and the orcs.

"Tirion! What are you doing out here? Isn't your son in there?" Tirion jumped slightly at the voice. It was just Alexandros.

"Aye, your youngest son looked lonely, so I took him to play with Taelen. The bartender is keeping an eye on them while I get some fresh air. Sir, I spoke to Isilien earlier...he was wanting to take Taelen under his wing...said he had it in him to be great."

Alexandros nodded. "Darion is...a bit of an odd child. Renault will go far. Even now, look at him..." he gestured to Renault, Sally, and the boy named Jimmy. "Renault is even now playing the paladin, with little Sally as his priestess and Jimmy as his second. They will make quite a team, when they are older. If they remain friends, that is." Alexandros smiled slightly.

"As for Isilien...well, Tirion, that is an honor, a compliment, when such a great priest like Isilien thinks your son could be great. I know you want him to be a paladin, but if the Light wants him to be a priest, a priest he will be. We cannot question the Light."

Tirion shook his head. "I was not questioning the Light, sir. Never. Just...wondering if Isilien's heart is in the right place, is all." The paladin stopped talking. Isilien and Alexandros were friends and it wouldn't do to insult him here and now. "Forget what I said. Anyway, our sons seem to like each other. They play well together."

"Yes. Darion will be great, when he is older. Perhaps Taelen and Darion will be great friends, just like Renault and Sally." Alexandros smiled proudly, he loved both his sons and wanted them to be great. "Paladin or priest, I know Taelen has the Light in him, as much as Darion does. Anyway, enough about our pride and joy...what do you think of my idea?"

Tirion blinked. "What idea, sir?"

Mograine sighed. Tirion was dense sometimes. Another thing likely preventing his succession in leadership in the Order. "About the...Ashbringer, becoming a great weapon against the undead."

"I think it is a good idea. However, I do wonder, is that crystal, the thing we turned from the void to the it really meant to be a weapon? I felt peace, Alexandros. Peace, not war. The Ashbringer, if anything, I felt that it wants peace." Tirion stopped, realizing how stupid it was to say that he felt an inanimate object wanting anything.

Alexandros tried to stop himself from laughing. "It is a shard of Light. A crystallization of pure Light. But it cannot think, feel. Why not forge it into a great weapon?"

Despite sounding stupid, Tirion had to answer. "Did you not feel a presence within the crystal, sir? A...something that had a mind of its own?"

Alexandros simply stared at the lesser paladin. "I...have no idea what you're talking about, Tirion. If you're hearing voices, perhaps you and Isilien should have a little chat...a good Smite might bring you to your senses." Mograine shook his head and walked away.

Tirion sighed. He knew he shouldn't have mentioned feeling a presence within the shard. Everyone already thought he was odd. Now he had cemented the feeling with the great paladin Mograine.

A squeeling Taelen ran out of the inn, and hid behind Tirion's legs. He was holding Darion's toy sword and his own toy hammer.

"Papa, he's chasing me! I won his sword, fair and all, and he thinks I cheated!"

Tirion raised an eyebrow at his son. "DID you cheat?" He had to ask.

Taelen glared at his father. "No, papa! Darion is just really bad with swords!" The little boy giggled.

Darion exited the inn, glaring at Taelen and looking sulky once again. Tirion knelt in front of Mograine's son. "You'll get better. Taelen is older. That is the only reason he was able to best you. When you're older, perhaps you will have a real sword of your own. Or a hammer, if that is the weapon you choose."

Darion smiled slightly, his blue eyes lighting up at Tirion's words. Tirion apparently had a calming effect on the young boy. He knew he was good with children, but it usually only extended to his own son and occasionally the children in Mardenholde that his wife liked to babysit.

He dearly hoped that someday Taelen and Darion would be good friends. They could do great things together, as young, powerful warriors of the Light. Perhaps even defeat the Scourge for good. If Alexandros made this weapon, surely he would pass it on to his sons. Perhaps Darion would indeed use this Ashbringer some day. Perhaps, if the weapon's ownership were based on other criteria, Taelen could use the sword. Tirion shook another odd feeling off. They were like irksome flies today.

He'd never had a hint of prophet or seer in him, and yet he couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong here. That somehow, Darion and Taelen would never see each other again after today. That Taelen would never touch the Ashbringer. Perhaps he was only thinking such things because, after all, the Ashbringer was a Mograine weapon. He had little to no doubt that Darion would wield it someday.

And yet...he had felt a connection with the crystal. He would say that he doubted even he would wield it in years to come, but his feelings said otherwise. Part of his Light-essence was within the crystal, after all. He had felt its presence, its mind. Knew it wasn't just a 'weapon' or 'shard', but a living piece of the Light. And it had touched Tirion's soul. Spoke to him, and he to it. At least, mentally, unless what Mograine said was true and he was touched in the head.

R/R. More chapters, because I want to expand on the Ashbringer stuff. And finally some real Tirion/Darion slash, not just hinted at or implied. Those two are perfect for each other. XD