Harry Potter / Warcraft Crossover. A Weapon. A Hero. And now… a loose end. Harry Potter resolves to destroy the enemies who betrayed him on his terms, only to find all his plans torn asunder when he's summoned to a new world plagued with the enemies of his own.
I don't own Harry Potter in any way. JKR has those rights... Also, Warcraft is owned by Blizzard Entertainment, etc etc.
*Author's Note *
I occasionally troll my favorite author's bios on this site, just for the occasional insight some of them provide into what they're working on and how they do it. "The Engulfing Silence" has been publishing on this site for a number of years now, and I've always enjoyed his Naruto and HP fics he's posted. Recently, he's done what many of us secretly wish we had the guts to do and actually published one of his original works of fiction.
If you've enjoyed what he's written in the past, take a look, because I definitely don't regret reading what he's published, and hope the implied sequel is as good as this was. His bio has links to how you can pick up a copy for yourself. Congratulations on Publishing!
Elaine Whisperwind is a cameo OC from "1sniperwolf"s Naruto / Warcraft story and generic 1-shot plot bunnies that I've really enjoyed reading and rereading over the past few years. I may or may not have this character become a recurring background character. I just wish that author would develop some of his Naruto / Warcraft plot bunnies he had. A few of them held a lot of promise and he never went anywhere with them, nor does he have PM's turned on. I really recommend a look-through of the random stories found in his drabbles story, "Next Idea", especially chapters 3 and 6.
*hint*hint* - Someone should adopt them. I've played around with Chapter 3 on my own. Doubt it'll go anywhere, but it's certainly an interesting concept to have fun with for anyone who enjoyed what I've done in this particular story.
Finally, I assume I will get complaints about how I handled Naxxramas and how I breezed by a lot of it. I honestly intended to do more with the place, and add a bit more story based upon the game lore of the zone that I recalled, but then I realized… I HATE NAXXRAMAS. I hated being a Beta tester for it in 2006, with broken doors and boss fights that didn't work, entire servers crashing multiple times a night every time someone attempted Thaddius, and the ridiculous amount of my life I lost trying to figure out the gimmick to the Four Horseman fight. Excel spreadsheets should never be required components to play a video game. I hated raiding the place before TBC came out, and then I hated the place even more when they rereleased it with crap imitations of all the cool stuff that used to be in the zone in Wrath and all the really good novelty stuff taken out.
But… at least when I finally killed my wow account in 2010, I can still say that I had a 'Ring of the Earthshatterer' in my bank. That I never actually wore.
Beta/Collaboration Thanks: Somehow, I've picked up Kathryn518 as a proofreader for this and quite a bit of the other garbage I have sitting on my hard drive. The proofreading has evolved into full-fledged collaboration on numerous projects between the two of us, and it's been a lot of fun. Very good comments and recommendations have sprung forth from this, so I give a very heart-felt thanks.
Inspirations: The Black Scorpion by etincelle047
Chapter First Published: 2014-03-28
Chapter Last Update:
Chapter 15 – My My… Your Staff is So Large…
A sea of undead seemed to pour out of every building up the street from the barricaded square the Scarlet Crusade had made their outpost.
Some shambled… some ran… some crawled… some floated…
Unfortunately, all of them moved towards their group, and it was no surprise that the sheer volume of undead froze every person in fear of the swarm that would be upon them in seconds.
Harry, for once in his life, had no clue how to respond to this, and no magical gimmick to solve the problem they were about to face. Fiendfyre was out, simply because there were too many targets and it would likely spread out of control within seconds when he was under pressure. Dragon Fire would likely turn upon them as well since the city was mostly intact, and there was still plenty of timber to burn in the decrepit buildings.
He looked to the portcullis gate before them that could potentially block access to this particular square. The designers of Stratholme had built in methods to block invading armies from freely roaming through the city, but none had apparently been dropped when the city was sacked by Arthas to prevent the spread of the plague. There was a small doorway off to the side of the gate, and Harry could only hope that it contained control mechanisms to lower the barrier that could stop the oncoming throng of Scourge from devouring them.
As he ran towards the door, he saw that Anya had the same idea. She didn't bother with her bow, and instead there were a pair of elegantly curved twin daggers unsheathed ready for knife work in her hands. They glowed with an ethereal white sheen that Harry idly thought was some enchantment he had yet to witness Kudrii utilize.
The sounds of arrows firing past them was overshadowed by the massive stampede of feet in front of them, Harry dove for the door while Anya positioned herself just inside to protect his back as he tried to drop the portcullis.
"Any idea how the heck you operate one of these things?" he shouted as he stared at the mass of wheels, pulleys, gears, and ropes.
"No clue," Anya shouted back as the first undead ghouls reached her. "But, figure… it out quick, or… we'll be overwhelmed," she managed to say between stabs and thrusts.
Harry relaxed his mind and set about trying to make sense of what he saw. Worst comes to worst, he could always just cut as many ropes as possible with cutting curses and hope the portcullis simply slammed down.
He was about to give up and do just that, when he noticed a few counter weights tied to a specific wheel that was locked in place. He summoned the stopper out from its position, and cast an animation charm upon the wheel. It flew into motion, and Harry heard an answering screech of rusty metal and a loud crash of what Harry assumed was the heavy gate as it slammed into the ground.
Anya had been pushed back into the room by half a dozen ghouls, and Harry assisted her by banishing the group violently into the walls of the guard room they were in, which seemed to cause them enough bodily damage where they now no longer moved.
"Took you long enough," said Anya as she caught her breath, more from reflex than from actual need. "Let's go."
"You're welcome. Glad to have helped," he grumbled, but Anya was already out the door and back in the thick of the undead mass that had managed to make it past the gate before it dropped. The main group of defenders was outnumbered ten to one here, but at least the number of enemies no longer increased.
Some relief came almost immediately though. The reinforcements from the Undercity that had been left behind to occupy the Scarlet Bastion rushed forth at the sound of shouts and evened the odds a bit more, but it was still far from a favorable fight.
'Now what?' thought Harry, as he removed his sword and began to cleave his way through the random Scourge that headed in his direction.
Everyone was too spread out and intermingled with the enemy to use spells. Area of effect spells were out, and Fire spells had just the same amount of chance to spread to his allies as they did to his enemies. There was no rhyme or order to what he saw before him. It was pure chaos. Most of the enemies truly were mindless, but they made up for that fact in sheer numbers.
Then he noticed the rangers were running backwards and firing arrows at the shambling horrors that chased them, preferring to lead groups away and in circles away from the few people who healed the group. Disidra had aided this process even further through dropping an Earth based totem on the ground that slowed the movements of all the enemies down by increasing the gravity under them.
In Harry's opinion, the entire thing was almost comical to watch. Hunters running in circles and occasionally firing arrows behind them into groups of enemies to get them to follow. All it really needed was some Benny Hill music and the scene would be perfect. He almost got mauled twice by random ghouls since he wasn't paying attention when he stopped to watch smiling Dark Rangers as they ran by with zombies completely fixated upon chasing them.
Slowly, the throng was whittled down from hundreds, to a few dozen, to only a few random stragglers. The mess eventually was cleaned up, and Harry decided to relegate the entire episode to a dark corner of his mind, never to be recollected again.
The tired group gathered around Onyxia, Ysondre, Lilian, and Arko, who each sat upon dead Abominations they had killed. "So how do we proceed?" asked Jessir aloud. "We obviously can't go through that gate now…"
Harry looked at the gate, and shuddered. Hundreds of undead were literally packed against it. He had to put silencing spells up to squash the groans and moans they made. A few spells were added to reinforce the barrier as well, just to make sure they didn't crash through under the weight of the mob before them.
'At least they don't mutter 'Brainsss', he thought with a half mad shudder and giggle before he realized what he had thought. 'My sense of humor is really changing around Anya.'
"We could possibly leave through the wall like Harry did to get us in, and circle around to the opposite side of the city," suggested Sylvanas.
Onyxia had enough of that suggestion though, "Do we really need to go over there? There's nothing of value that's going to be down here in an occupied city that won't be found in the quarter-mile-wide flying pyramid that's two miles southeast of here."
Harry nodded his agreement in silence. The presence of the Necropolis Naxxramas by Stratholme meant that any true up-to-date intelligence about Scourge movements wouldn't be found here, but rather deep within the plagued hallways of the floating undead stronghold.
A casual glance saw quite a few other people agreed with the statement, and Sylvanas and Jessir did as well. "It's settled then, though we cannot simply leave without clearing out the undead from this city."
"How about we just firebomb it after we're done with the other place," asked Ysondre, with no small amount of glee in the statement. Onyxia's eyes rose in anticipation of the implied dragon-fueled destruction as well. They all had witnessed Harry add wards to their new forward base that would fire-proof it. Onyxia and Ysondre would have free-reign to level the city without worry of allied casualties.
"We'll debate it once we're done," said Sylvanas in her strong commanding tone, and that was enough to put a wet blanket on the two dragons pyro-induced fantasy.
The implied statement of these words slowly set in with the group, which immediately dampened all sense of happiness or satisfaction gained from their most recent survival.
'We're about to break into Naxxramas. How the heck do we do that?" he thought suddenly in exasperation. 'It's a bloody flying pyramid. How the bloody hell do we get in?'
"We should probably avoid breaking our way in," said Anya in one of her serious moments. "Unless you want to crash the place into the ground and then deal with it there."
"No, we should capture it intact," said Harry quietly without thinking.
Everyone's attention turned to him, but he was already off in a fantasy in his own mind. He imagined them flying Naxxramas out of the Plaguelands after their victory. The pyramid then pulling up to Undercity or Orgrimmar, rolling down a make believe window and asking, 'Pardon me. Do you have some Grey Poupon?'
As he started to giggle uncontrollably, he felt himself get smacked upside the head by Anya. "What is wrong with you? And what would we do with a flying pyramid anyways?"
Harry just gave a lopsided grin, "Oh, what wouldn't we do with a flying pyramid?"
"Such a man," muttered Jessir. "You would search all of Azeroth just to find a second one, wouldn't you? Then you would do something stupid like hold races like those thrice-damned Goblins do in the Shimmering Flats down in the Thousand Needles territory with their suicide rockets."
He felt his eyes widen involuntarily in glee at the thought of racing flying pyramids across the sky like one would hold a broom race, but the thought was quickly smashed down and he shook his head.
'Just where did all these crazy thoughts come from anyways?' he wondered.
"I think he's coming down now," said Disidra with an eye raised. "He was giving all of the Rangers strange looks as they distracted the zombies… I think you all broke him for a bit."
"As amusing as this is," said Sylvanas finally as she broke her gaze from Harry and returned it to the group, "we do need to get back on topic."
She fixed her gaze in the direction she knew Naxxramas lay in wait, and continued to speak aloud as she voiced her thoughts. "As I can think of it, we have two ways of entering Naxxramas. There is a structure the Necropolis will have lowered to the ground to teleport cargo and troops in and out of it while it is in an area. There is also the possibility of infiltrating it from the air, though how we would do such a thing is beyond me at this point."
"Go in the front door or sneak through a window someone may have left open?" said Jessir. "The front-door may not be that bad an option, if one considers the size of our group. Harry can also stall or block off passages to prevent us from being swarmed once an alarm has been sounded."
"We have had some luck going right in the front doors of places," said Arko aloud. She jerked her head towards Onyxia, who merely snorted at the memory. "People tend to not think their enemies will actually do it."
There was silence as the group as a whole pondered the choices. Harry knew the Dark Rangers would likely come to same conclusion as a unit as his own small group of friends. He looked around, and saw everyone had a steely glint in their eyes, all of them focused upon Sylvanas and Jessir.
The Banshee Queen turned to the Darnassian Sentinel, and simply asked, "Front door?"
The Sentinel nodded.
"They stole your people's teleporter for Darnassus," Harry whispered to Jessir and Arko as they arrived inside of the floating pyramid.
Jessir shrugged as she scanned the surrounding area for threats, "Teleportation magic like that has been around for thousands of years. I'm sure they stole it from some broken down relic they found somewhere around Azeroth that had been long forgotten about."
The group spread out through the anteroom, and Harry got a better impression and idea of just where they were. The teleporter was likely a unidirectional transport device, and now they were exactly in the middle of the Necropolis. They arrived in a mirror image of the tiny pyramid-like structure used to gain entrance to the pyramid that had been deployed upon the ground, which had wide ramps instead of steps which would allow for easy movement of cargo.
The tiny structure they appeared inside of was actually inside of a much larger room. It had four massive hallways, going in each cardinal direction, and Harry could only assume each led to a different quadrant of the four sided Necropolis. Harry knew his role, and swiftly moved to each of the massive thoroughfares to begin his efforts to close them off. At each junction, no less than a dozen Dark Rangers covered his back as he quietly worked and sealed the hallways.
Just as the last archway was filled over with transfigured bricks that were enlarged to be a few meters thick, there was a shout from a corner of the large room.
"There's someone alive here… he's injured!" shouted one of the Dark Rangers.
The group shifted towards the voice, and Harry saw something he would have never expected to see inside this Necropolis:
A Highborne... that wasn't dead.
Harry had learned over the many long months he had been on Azeroth that there were multiple kinds of Elves.
There were Night Elves, who were worshippers of the Moon Goddess Elune, and the main group that defeated the original Burning Legion invasion of Azeroth 10,000 years previous.
Then, there were High Elves, who were originally Night Elves who refused to give up their use of Magic, and sailed East and made their home in Quel'thalas. Eventually the High Elves were all but slaughtered by Arthas during his Scourge advance half a decade earlier, and a large portion of the survivors renamed themselves Blood Elves after they were betrayed by their Human allies in the Third War.
The Blood Elves had no problem consuming demonic energies to stave off their addiction to Magic, while there were still some High Elves who existed out there that refused debase themselves with such actions.
Finally, there were Highborne.
These were the remaining survivors of Queen Azshara's fanatical Sorcerers and Nobleman that originally helped the Burning Legion invade Azeroth 10,000 years ago. Harry, Arko, Jessir, Disa, and Kudrii had met a small group of them in Dire Maul when they searched for information on the Arko's Quel'serrar blade. Those Elves, were somewhat peaceful, though they likely would have killed anyone who insulted Azshara or demanded access to their arcane knowledge.
But that contingent within Dire Maul was a small isolated group. The remainder lived free in isolated places throughout Azeroth… and most were megalomaniacs who sought only to increase their own power and subjugate the world beneath them.
And since this one wasn't in Dire Maul, it would not be hard to guess what kind of Highborne this one was.
The intruders gathered in a loose circle around the man. He was an extremely tall Elf, with effeminate flowing white hair and eyes that glowed a sickly yellow. His cloth robes were extremely well tailored, and the layer of dirt and blood splattered across them still could not mute the richness of the blues and purples the fabrics held.
After a few moments, the Highborne finally noticed that he was not alone, and seemed to focus directly upon Harry. He groaned in effort as he leaned forward from his spot against the wall and attempted to speak.
"There may still be time... Listen closely, mortal."
He coughed wretchedly, and a few people stepped back as to not get spittle and blood upon themselves, "Through time and across the Nether I have searched. Deals made with a host of evil and villainy so wretched..."
The Highborne coughed even more and attempted to block the expulsion of blood with his hands.
After a few deep breaths to calm himself, he continued, "Would you... would you believe that even Elune has turned her back on me, Human? To die here, in this manner now?"
Sylvanas, while interested in the Elf's crimes, was not at all up to the task of listening to his theatrics, "What are you talking about, Mage? Speak clearly!"
"My name is Tarsis Kir-Moldir, remember that, Blood Traitor!" His sudden outburst was muted, but his eyes drifted to the ceiling as he began to sob, "The things I have done... such horrible things..."
"Why have you done such horrible things?" asked Harry quietly and without emotion. He didn't want to distract the man from his ramblings, in case he had vital information. He just wanted to keep him talking.
"I am Highborne, Human. That has no meaning now to someone like you, but there was a time, though… there was a time when this world was ruled by Highborne. Ten thousand years past..."
"And what does that have to do with your crimes?" asked Sylvanas impatiently.
"I would have it back, Witch. Atiesh. From it… from it I would create the Highborne anew. I would have had it all back. Even the Queen..."
"You would bring back the woman who damned your own people and my ancestors? You're insane," sneered Sylvanas, as she had quickly had enough and felt no need to hide her disdain of the dying creature before her any longer.
Tarsis lunged and attempted to grab Sylvanas by the collar, but was stopped by Arko and Onyxia, who pinned his arms behind him. Even in a completely submissive position, and bordering upon death, his eyes suddenly screamed with an unimaginable power.
"Insane am I? Then listen closely, for more insanity is about to escape my lips. Within this citadel you will find my life's work: Every fragment of that legendary splintered staff is here."
This caught most of the group's attention. "What staff do you speak of, Mage?" asked Harry.
He looked Harry square in the eye with his sick foul yellow orbs and said, "Atiesh, The Greatstaff of the Guardian. The staff handed down through the ages by each of the Guardians of Tirisfal. The staff that was corrupted by Sargeras. The staff used by the last of the Guardians. The staff of the innocent betrayer… Medivh."
The name brought vastly different emotions to those present. Medivh was arguably one of the most hated Mages in the history of Azeroth. After falling completely under the possession of the Fallen Titan Sargeras, he brought the Orcs to this world in the First War, but then redeemed himself after his death when his ghost rallied the warring races of the planet against another invasion by the Legion. Encountering his name now, while in the face of the armies of the Scourge brought unsettled murmurs from most of those present.
Medivh was not a simple concept to discuss. He was simultaneously a victim and a destroyer. A man who was possessed even before he was born by the Avatar of the Fallen Titan, Sargeras. A being who only achieved his redemption through his efforts after he had died.
"You said you would have it back," asked Jessir. "What does that mean?"
Tarsis's eyes light up suddenly, and an unhealthy, almost orgasmic grin swept his face. A grin of one who was far behind the threshold of insanity.
"I held it once... I held it despite the warnings of the Kirin Tor. I held it in my very hands... Power unending. Power to do what I desired, and as I desired. And just as quickly, it was taken from me when I was discovered in that deep vault. But I had tasted... and that taste was all that it took. "
"What happened to the staff?" asked Harry, who could easily admit he wouldn't mind getting the staff for member of his group like Kudrii. "How was it splintered if you held it whole?"
The wretch's eyes faded, and his face took on a look that very nearly resembled despair, "It was lost when the Violet Citadel fell at the hands of Arthas... it was…splintered… into forty-two pieces. The mindless undead didn't know what they had at first, and many mistook the pieces as trinkets, and took them as spoils of war, as did the scavengers who searched the wreckage afterwards."
"So how did that lead you to Naxxramas then, Mage?"
Tarsis Kir-Moldir tried to respond, but began to cough again. When he had settled himself, he said, "Kel'Thuzad has put forth considerable effort in attempting to reform the staff. The pieces were once scattered across this world, from Kalimdor to the South Seas. I myself held twenty of the pieces at one point in time - until they were stolen from me by Kel'Thuzad's minions. It is why I am here.
"That's not good," said Jessir as she glanced at Sylvanas who nodded her agreement. "So Kel'Thuzad holds all of the pieces?"
"Haven't you been listening to me? No, I very much doubt we would be having this conversation had Kel'Thuzad reformed the staff. Kel'Thuzad holds the head. His underlings hold forty splinters. The last piece, the base, was uncovered by Brann Bronzebeard. He hid in the deserts of Silithus… hoping the corruption of the Old Gods would hide him from his pursuers… hide him from the gaze of the Scourge."
He coughed again, more violently than ever, but stopped when he smiled a bloody grin as he reached into a pocket of his robes and held aloft what looked like an ornate wooden capstone.
"Bronzebeard was no… no match… for the might… of the High…"
Tarsis Kir-Moldir last words were cut off as the yellow light in his eyes died and he slumped over.
A collective sigh escaped over half the group as they relaxed their held breaths, and the rest rubbed their foreheads. Not only were they dealing with the primary necromancer of the Scourge, but they now had to deal the possibility he could gain a staff of monstrous power if he only gained the single innocuous piece of wood in front of them.
"Whatever we do, we can't let Kel'Thuzad have that base," said Jessir into the silence.
"I can take it back to Tyrande," Harry said. "That's about the farthest away we could possibly take it from here and still have the person be someone we could trust not to do something with it."
"Plus our people's leadership owes Harry big time after he helped find Shando Stormrage," added Arko. "They would definitely protect it for us until we asked for it back."
Everyone looked to Sylvanas, who looked at the capstone as it lay a few inches from the dead elves hands on the floor. She was silent in thought for only a few mere moments before she spoke, "Much as I would love to say we could safely send the base to the Undercity, the words of the Dreadlord inside the Scarlet Bastion trouble me. There are still traitors amongst our people, and we do not know how high up the hierarchy they are."
She reached down and picked up the stone. She weighed it in her hand for a moment, before she extended her fist to Harry. "Give it to Tyrande, but make sure it's inside something that only you can open, and that you can track it down if it is stolen. We cannot afford that piece falling into the enemy's hands."
Harry gave a mock salute after he accepted the stone, then he turned and Shadow Stepped into a darkened wall.
Moments later, he emerged from a shadow within the Second Floor of the Temple of the Moon in Darnassus. His appearance immediately garnered the attention of all the Sentinels and Sisters of Elune in the area, and all drew the bows and swords without hesitation and pointed them at Harry.
"Uh, Hi?" he said lamely, only to hear a loud raucous laughter from beyond the throng of guards.
Jaelyn Evensong walked past the group, her helmet in one hand, and a large smile upon her face.
"You sure know how to make an entrance, Mr. Potter. What business does the savior of Shando Stormrage have with us today?"
Apparently, his identity wasn't immediately known to most of the guards, but upon hearing his name, all guards immediately dropped the weapons and returned to their previous positions, though most kept watchful eyes upon Harry. He could tell that none expected him to attack. This seemed more like adulation instead.
"I need to speak quickly to Lady Tyrande. I have an object I need to entrust to her care for a short time before I head back to our group in the Plaguelands."
If Jaelyn questioned the strange request, she did so only for instant, because she turned almost instantly and beckoned him forward. His tone must have impressed her, because there was none of the usual playfulness or flirtations that he had come to expect from Jaelyn. It was pure business.
"Come, this way to the High Priestess."
She led him quickly up to the second level of the temple, where he once again found Tyrande in the same spot as he first saw her. She stared sightlessly out the main window of the temple out across Darnassus. The only difference this time was Malfurion was seated comfortably nearby on a sofa that had been moved in for his use. Apparently, he still had not fully recovered from his ordeal at the hands of Staghelm.
Tyrande heard their approach and smiled warmly at the sight of Harry. "Greetings, Runemaster. I did not expect to see you back so soon. Word from our spies was that your group would be deep within the Plaguelands by now."
Harry nodded, "It's good to see you as well, High Priestess. And yes, we are in the Plaguelands, which brings me partially to why I've come today."
He pulled the staff base from his robes, "The Lich Kel'thuzad is apparently trying to rebuild the staff of Medivh. He has all the pieces except this base. I came to see if you would watch over this to ensure that if we somehow fail while in Naxxramas, that he does not get his hands on this final piece."
Tyrande stepped forward and took the base of the staff. She turned it over carefully in her hands, and Harry knew instinctively that she didn't just look at it now with merely her eyes. All the powers of the High Priestess of Elune and over 10,000 years of experience were being applied as well.
"This was once a very well-known Highborne staff. Made long before the Sundering. If such an artifact were to be restored and brought forth in the service of the Scourge, it would be a devastating threat to all life."
She looked up at Harry, and stared at him with burning white eyes, "I will keep this piece safe, until they Scourge knock down the gates of this city or you come to rebuild the staff yourself."
"Thank you, Priestess." Harry quickly created a box to place the artifact in, and Runes were applied so that it would only open if Harry applied his own blood directly to the locking mechanism.
Footsteps drew their attention to Malfurion, who had slowly stood up and walked his way over. Tyrande moved to guide him back to the sofa, but he merely waved her off.
"Now, what's this I hear about your forces being in Naxxramas?" he asked gruffly.
"Yes sir," Harry said, not knowing where the deferential attitude came from, but distantly realized it was because he now talked to someone, just like Tyrande, was over 300 times his age. "I was going to return there immediately."
Malfurion glanced at Tyrande, who turned to Jaelyn, "Champion Evensong, wou-"
Jaelyn cut her off before she could finish, "Request permission to detail twenty Sentinels to go Naxxramas and join Mr. Potter's group, M'Lady."
Tyrande smirked, "Go. It sounds like Mr. Potter is under time constraints."
Jaelyn responded by lifting a horn from her belt and blowing three times. Sentinels began to pour up the stairs, and all of Tyrande's hidden guards appeared as well.
Jaelyn spoke when all were assembled. "I need twenty volunteers who will travel with me to the Plaguelands to assist Mr. Potter's group with destroying the primary Scourge stronghold in the Eastern Kingdoms."
Before she could continue, Harry added, "You would be fighting alongside a very large contingent of Dark Rangers and Forsaken troops, as well as Sylvanas Windrunner herself. If you have a problem with that, I certainly won't look down on you. But I would only ask for people who can work alongside them with no possibility of anger or bias clouding their judgment."
Every sentinel in the already crowded room stepped forward to volunteer.
"Bugger me," mumbled Harry as he realized the size of the portkey he was going to have to make.
"We shouldn't have let him go all the way to Darnassus," said Jessir quietly, which broke the tense silence that had descended ever since Harry had departed.
"He'll return," said Sylvanas automatically. She believed the words, and they came automatically. Their utterance also stymied any drop in morale they had endured in the twenty minutes since Harry had left.
A loud whoosh sound was heard from the transporter in the center of the room. Without hesitation or thought, Sylvanas had an arrow notched within her bow and aimed directly at the central structure of the room.
"Hello?" came Harry's voice loudly. "I'm back… and I brought friends with me."
"Friends?" asked Jessir.
"Yeah," said Harry as he stepped out into the open. "Apparently, the way we handled the Green Dragons and Nefarian spread like wildfire through Darnassus, so when the opportunity came to join another adventure like we're having, they all fell over themselves to join."
Another whoosh came from behind, and Harry spoke over the ever-growing noise. "Jaelyn and twenty Sentinels and sisters of Elune are here to help."
The group turned to see a fully armored Jaelyn and her wolf familiar step off of the transporter, and subsequent whoosh sounds announced the arrival of additional reinforcements. Jessir ran forward to greet her mentor, and the rest of the group stood fast to wait for the expanding group to settle.
Harry however, turned to Sylvanas and asked, "Did you two decide which direction you're leading us to first?"
She pulled her gaze away from the large group and nodded. "Jessir and I discussed it. There are four quadrants, and each appears to be devoted to a different aspect of the Scourge war machine. One contains their Plague stores and distributors, another is for the creation and training Death Knights, a third is devoted to the construction and deployment of various Abominations, and the fourth is occupied entirely by Nerubian cannon fodder and their overseers."
Her gaze returned to Jessir as she walked forward with Jaelyn, and Sylvanas continued once Jessir was within earshot, "We decided to take down the Plagued section first, since it's destruction would benefit us the most in the long-term if we're forced to withdraw at some point."
"We should leave a detachment here to guard the transporter, and ensure our escape route isn't cut off," said Jessir. "Especially since we now have the reinforcements to properly set up a base camp here."
Harry looked towards Jessir and Jaelyn who had just joined the conversation. He had told Jaelyn in advance that this was Jessir's and Sylvanas' show. Jaelyn merely responded with a faint smile that spoke volumes of how proud she was of her apprentice.
Sylvanas nodded, and said aloud, which quickly got everyone's attention, "Anya. Elaine. Divide the Rangers into two squads, and each of you will lead a group. We'll alternate groups that guard the transporter and that move with the assault group as we sack each quadrant of the Necropolis in turn."
"Jessir, I'll divide our troops as well, so that there's a mix and our people and they aren't fighting the entire time," said Jaelyn before she headed over to her squads that were now all finally inside the floating pyramid.
It didn't take long for the groups to be divided up and a rotation to be established. Some simply could not be convinced to rotate out on occasion for rest, and those included all of Harry's main group.
The primary demolitions group moved off to head towards the Plagued wing, and Sylvanas made one last glance back at her second in command, who would stay back for to guard the transporter this rotation.
"Watch our backs, Anya," she said.
"It'll still be here when you get back, My Lady."
Anya watched as Harry tore down the bricked-over wall that led into the storage areas and labs for the Undead Plague. A hail of arrows from Dark Rangers and Sentinels flew through the newly opened gap as soon as it was opened, and the Ghouls and Gargoyles that had amassed behind the barrier were driven back forcefully. Harry had been asked by Sylvanas to manifest and direct a small bit of Fiendfyre to begin the purge of the area as they slowly moved, and the group surrounded him as he slowly stepped forward and pushed the cursed hellfire towards the targets to consume.
"He is quite impressive," said Jaelyn quietly as she watched the scene.
Anya turned to her counterpart for the Night Elf forces. All Dark Rangers, when they had been alive and members of the Farstriders or Rangers, had heard of the legendary Night Elf hunter duo of Jaelyn Evensong and Shandris Feathermoon. Now, when standing next to one of them, Anya felt a bit intimidated, knowing that the ancient smiling elf next to her was at least on par with Sylvanas, and very likely exceeded her General's abilities
"Yes… Yes he is," she said in return before she turned her gaze back towards the now distant group.
'They are making excellent time apparently,' thought Anya, as she realized it was now going to be a boring wait for the main group to cleanse the first wing of the fortress and then return to swap out troops with Elaine's group. She was just happy that everything had been successful since their expedition left the Undercity, and the overwhelming force and skill brought to bear against the mindless Scourge occupied territories thus far had been adequate.
"I'm surprised so many of your people volunteered to join this expedition, considering the Forsaken are part of it," stated Anya with no malice.
Jaelyn nodded, "I'm sure there might've been a bit more reluctance to join, if anyone but Harry were involved. He showed up out of nowhere with those Shadow Council documents and plans. Who knows how many lives that saved amongst our people, let alone across Azeroth. Then he leaves Darnassus after a day, only with Arko and Jessir in tow. This whole group of theirs started with three people."
Anya nodded, the story of Harry's arrival to the world had been summarized a few times by people she had been around, but she had yet to hear the full story straight from him of some of their initial adventures.
"Then," Jaelyn continued, "he somehow organizes a counteroffensive within Ashenvale, against Demons our forces fought only to a stalemate for the past five years. He brokered a peace with Onyxia, made inroads and arbitrated a tentative alliance with the Greens and Blacks, then took down Nefarian. Finally, he takes a mini vacation in Darnassus after the Nefarian business, only to identify a traitor at the highest echelons of our government, and then helped save Shando Stormrage from a terrible fate."
She turned to Anya, and spoke in a deadpan voice "Now he's here, trying to push the Scourge off their major footholds within the Eastern Kingdoms. Can you really believe our troops wouldn't be falling over themselves to see one of these adventures first-hand?"
The Dark Ranger could only nod her head in agreement. "I just thought there would have been more tension from your folks. I've visited Moonglade… but only once. I did not receive a warm welcome."
Jaelyn sighed and gave an annoyed twitch with the corner of her mouth. "Tensions are rather high there," she said softly. "Many of the Druids who have dreamt there recently have not returned. The Nightmare that infests the Dream has affected many, and they are fearful that someone might take advantage of the situation and attack those who are unable to defend themselves."
"But then again," she continued with a much lighter tone to her voice. "You're forgetting one of the lessons a fighter is supposed to learn in their old age through experience," Jaelyn said, and the humor now left her voice. "Today's enemy is tomorrow's ally."
"Who are you calling old, Grandma? I may be two and half thousand years old, but you're at least three times that."
"Quit your frowning. You'll just give yourself more wrinkles."
Jaelyn's and Anya's familiars both watched this exchange initially, then laid down and ignored them.
"I guess we're not interesting enough for them," said Anya as she nudged her faithful lynx pet.
The Night Elf did the same, only to for her companion of the past four centuries kick her back. She chuckled for a brief moment before she became serious, "How are you holding up. I would think many of you Rangers would be chomping at the bit considering who's upstairs in this place."
Anya nodded, "Trying to stay focused, and not let my anger cloud my judgment. Kel'thuzad is… a sore spot for everyone here, and he was present when most of us were personally executed by Arthas and raised as Banshees near the waters of the Sunwell."
Her senior in experience nodded with understanding. "He will not escape today, Anya. Just keep your focus, and trust those around you to do their jobs, and we will be victorious today."
The Dark Ranger stared as if she hadn't heard though, lost in her own thoughts. Finally she whispered, "He took everything from us. He convinced Arthas to keep us alive until the end. It was a sick game to him. For three days and nights, Arthas marched our bound and tortured people before all of the captured Farstriders, killing and raising each of them one by one in front of us. He forced us to stay awake and watch as we heard the screams of terror as my people were killed and their corpses piled in front of the necromancers and turned into slaves. When he was finally done with all of the civilians and regular troops, he dragged each of us to an altar, and turned us into banshees."
Anya turned to the Night Elf next to her, and her red eyes seemed to smolder with an even deeper fire than normal, "He will pay for what he's done."
Harry was frustrated and angry. They had scoured the first quadrant down to the structure's underlying bulkheads with Fiendfyre. With the destruction of the weapons and chemicals inside that sector of the pyramid, they had removed almost all of the unused Plague stores from that region of the planet. After that task was done, they had marched upon the Nerubian and Abomination wings. The spiders were slaughtered with absolute minimal effort due to the Arania Exumai spell, and the only thing that limited their progress was ensuring Harry didn't exhaust himself.
The group endured minor casualties from the experimental Abominations they tackled after that, and all their injured were portkeyed directly to the Undercity for medical care before they would portkey back to the transport pad outside the Necropolis to return.
All that was left before they could ascend to the control level of the Necropolis and deal with Kel'Thuzad was to clear out the leadership of the Death Knight's military oriented wing. Harry had initially been excited to enter this area. With the revelation that the Scourge's mind control spells that had been placed upon Lilian Voss had weakened, Harry had imagined the possibility existed to free many of the Death Knights from unwilling service.
It was unfortunate that many served the Scourge willingly.
Fallen paladins that had deliberately joined Arthas' crusade vastly outnumbered the number who had been forcefully conscripted into the Scourge ranks. In fact, from what Harry could tell from their fragmented minds as they checked each one they encountered, those who had fought tooth and nail to retain their minds were most often used as cannon fodder to protect Icecrown itself, far from the Eastern Kingdoms continent where the current front-lines existed resided.
Arthas was apparently concerned of another mass-rebellion, and wanted those most likely to join his enemies to be far from the front-lines and those that could welcome them.
That was not too say they were not slowly gaining allies. For every single member of the expedition injured, Harry ultimately turned four members of the Scourge to their cause by releasing the shackles upon their minds. But it was the failures that slowly dragged down the morale of the group. Every time they encountered a new Death Knight patrol on horseback in the massive hallways, the collective wince that reverberated through the group froze his heart every time he had to reluctantly announce, "This one can't be saved."
What made everything worse was that there was a Death Knight school inside the Necropolis. They found a massive Death Knight, whose muscles would've made a steroid-frenzied body builder from Earth jealous with envy, and this Instructor was found to have no shackles upon his mind at all. The former human wanted to kill others, and delighted in nothing more than passing on his beliefs and techniques to the acolytes that surrounded him within the mockery of a dojo that he trained his subordinates.
Immediately after the souls within the Death Knight school were laid to rest, they encountered one of Kel'Thuzad's chief architects of the Plague in an area meant to indoctrinate newly risen knights who refused to willingly follow the Lich King's rule. Sylvanas had told them of the former members of the Kirin Tor who had become Kel'Thuzad's subordinates in Death: Heigan the Unclean... Noth the Plaguebringer…
…and the former mage who's now permanently dead corpse they stared down upon as it lay unmoving upon the ground. Gothik the Harvester
He had been the most disheartening member of the Scourge the group had faced yet. Many of the newly freed former Scourge Death Knights and Mages vividly remembered serving every whim of the madman, and rushed to meet him in battle the moment they had seen him.
They were repaid for their blind rage when the flesh literally was stripped from their bones and their now possessed skeletons and spirits immediately turned directly back towards the group to attack. Harry's group was saved from this fate solely because most of their fighters were ranged archers and the only ones close enough to him to perform such a deed now were Onyxia and Ysondre. Since they were dragons, it took far more power than Gothik could muster to turn them into undead thralls.
Their reward for the assassination of Gothik, in addition to a few ancient enchanted weapons that had somehow found their way onto his minions, was another piece of the Guardians staff. The staff now seemed to be complete, except for one last piece about 2/3's up the shaft. Unlike a broken wand, the staff seemed to just absorb magic, and a few meticulously casted Reparo charms had left them with two lengths of staff, simply missing one final piece to join them.
They were now back within the familiar outer ring of hallways that were just within the outer borders of the Necropolis' base. The structure was square shaped at its lowest point, and an outer track circled the Ziggurat, linking the four major quadrants via an outer ring, though the connections were blocked in places with huge sewer systems filled with liquefied plague.
They had explored the hallways that connected with the other three quadrants, and cleared them of any Scourge that wandered them. It seemed to be a staging area to deploy troops, and it was in their best interests to ensure that the majority were wiped out while their group had them confined within an enclosed structure like the pyramid.
Eventually, the last hallway was filled with unmoving Scourge, and they found themselves outside massive doors that apparently led to the Death Knight leadership. Everyone knew which foes likely remained beyond these doors, and it was with a combination of fear and anticipation that Harry waved his wand at the doors after an order was given by Sylvanas.
The great doors opened, to reveal a massive room. The smell was dank and musty, as if the air had not been disturbed inside for some time. The room was littered with dark alcoves, and the center was dominated by a massive ornate raised dais.
Upon which stood the Scourge's Four Horseman of the Apocalypse.
Harry, along with everyone else, had been previously briefed specifically about these four powerhouses. Each one was capable of laying waste to entire armies, and all four of the monsters were here before them.
The four were extremely powerful Paladins in life, who had fought the Scourge to their dying breath. Each raised and forced into mind-numbing subservience to the Scourge. They were Kel'Thuzad's personal assassin team, though the targets they assassinated tended to be whole armies or fortified minor cities instead of individuals.
Sir Zeliek, Lady Blaumeux, Thane Korth'azz, and Highlord Alexandros Mograine.
The last was of particular interest to Harry, since he had already heard so much about the man's deeds in life, and the betrayal of his own son that lead to his death.
It was simultaneously the man's moniker, as well as the name of the utterly massive sword held aloft by the stoic looking undead dressed in red. A quick glance at Fairbanks revealed the man gripping his staff with a force that might otherwise shatter steel. His eyes never strayed from Mograine, who seemed almost oblivious to their presence.
It was Harry's first view of the legendary sword he had heard so much of over the past month of travel. He could see the once pure ball of holy energy embedded in the massive blade, now corrupted into a disease-ridden orb whose foulness could be felt from over fifty yards away. He could understand now why Arko held such fascination with the blade, and promised himself that she would have that holy relic in her hands once they had purified it.
However, their entrance had not gone unnoticed.
The White-Armored Sir Zeliek spoke first, and seemed to wish the party to flee, "Invaders! Cease this foolish venture at once! Turn away while you still ca-"
His warnings were cut off with the silky amplified voice of the only woman of the group, Lady Blaumeux, "Come, Zeliek. Do not drive them out. Not until we've had our fun!"
It was then the corpse of the Ashbringer spoke for the first time. If Harry could describe it, it would be as if it were rocks slowly grinding and then given an actual voice. The power behind the words raised the hair on his very neck. The man simply had presence, even beyond what Dumbledore and Voldemort had when they spoke to their minions, "Enough prattling. Let them come. We shall grind their bones to dust."
The blue-armored female clucked her tongue in a sound of annoyance, before she muttered, "I do hope they stay long enough for me to... introduce myself."
Zeliek though, was beside himself at the idea that the group had not left yet. Unlike the others, who had been broken and belonged to the Lich King in both mind and body, this man was still remained in control of his mind, "Perhaps they will come to their senses... and run away as fast as they can."
The last horseman, and lone dwarf amongst the group of former humans, finally spoke, only to yell in response to the un-Scourge-like warning that had been directed at the invaders by the White-Armored Zeliek, "I've heard enough a' yer snivelin'! Shut your flytrap before I shut it for ye'!"
Mograine, flashed his power, and Harry actually felt his ears pop at the change in air pressure, "Conserve your anger. Harness your rage. You will all have outlets for your frustrations soon enough."
'What the hell have we gotten ourselves into here,' Harry thought.
"Take down Mograine first!" shouted Sylvanas as the all four of the Horsemen reared back upon their undead steeds and charged the group. Onyxia and Ysondre charged into the fray, followed by Lilian and Arko.
Onyxia kicked Lady Blaumeux off of her mount as she seemed to fly forward and sent the undead shadow using paladin fifty meters across the room with the force of her kick.
"Separate them," Onyxia's voice bellowed over the sound of fighting. "Knock them off of their mounts if you can."
Harry was completely torn about which direction to go as Onyxia dragged Blaumeux to a far corner, Ysondre broadsided Zeliek into another, and Lilian Voss performed an acrobatic leap upon Thane Korth'azz's mount before she roughly gripped the startled dwarf by the beard and threw him clumsily off it.
Arko was the unlucky one to face the legendary Ashbringer, and Harry forgot the danger all the others were in so he could assist his first friend from this planet.
Alexandros Mograine was almost instantly dismounted by a volley of almost forty magical concussive arrows that flew forth from the Ranger's and Sentinels arrows into his face and chest. He barely held on to his corrupted sword as his body impacted the ground, and he was then promptly divested of the priceless relic as Harry summoned it and promptly ducked to prevent being stabbed by it as it flew by.
'Accio Sword' will never take down me!' he roared to himself in triumphant glee as he fired a sticking charm to the sword so it would be stuck to the ground for the remainder of the battle.
Attacking and turning potential allies within Naxxramas had become a time-worn process for the group, and more concussive arrows continued to rain upon the former Scarlet Highlord as Arko continually bashed the face of the now unarmed corpse with her shield. Mograine clumsily attempted to fight with his fists, but the continued impacts of arrow and shield kept him in a constant state of confusion.
All of the actions led up to one moment served up by Harry, who pointed his wand at the man and began a slow methodical motion with his wand before he pointed and whispered, "Vincula Anima Sublato."
He immediately felt the familiar tug within his mind as he fought a long-distance battle with the Lich King over his servant which ended in seconds. Harry had performed this spell dozens of times so far within Naxxramas, and by now it was down to nearly a science as he freed another slave of the Lich King. The distantly held cage of enslavement snapped like a steel wire under too much tension, and mental commands that forced the Ashbringer to fight ended immediately.
Alexandros paused as he was halfway through swinging a heavily armored gauntlet at Arko. The confused pause was familiar enough to all present that they immediately ceased fire and ran towards Lilian without a second thought to assist her as she continued to pummel and toss the diminutive dwarf around her corner of the room. Harry distantly heard Fairbanks loudly greet his old friend as the main body of allies ran towards Lilian.
The dwarf, despite his smaller stature, was built like a brick shithouse and continually called his signature move down upon the group even as he himself flew through the air after each toss from Lillian. Magically conjured flaming meteors constantly dropped upon their heads, and it was everything they could do to avoid a fiery death. A near constant barrage of flame freezing charms ensured there would be no barbequed Sentinels, Dark Rangers, or Sisters of Elune.
"Nobody tosses a Dwarf and lives to tell de tale, Lassee!" he screamed at one point when he regained his bearings after a vicious throw by Lilian.
The Dwarf had no wide area attacks besides the Meteors, which had been successfully neutered by Harry's quick spell-casting. He charged down Lilian, who side-stepped his wild drunken attack and grabbed the three and a half foot tall armored corpse, and slammed him into the ground.
Despite being completely punch-drunk, the Dwarf had still not given up, "I'm gonna enjoy killin' these slack-jawed daffodils when I get mah hands an ye!"
Sentinels and Rangers rushed forward to pin his arms and legs, while Lilian used his beard to yank his head up.
"Not the beard!" he whined like prissy school girl, before all he knew was darkness as Harry began to fight the effects of the Lich King's mind control upon him.
Sylvanas knew within her heart that Zeliek was a potential ally of great strength. His prowess when he had served the Light in both the Second and early Third Wars was nearly as legendary as the Ashbringer, who now slowly regained his senses and mind fifty meters behind her. Each of the Four Horsemen were legendary warriors, any one of whom would be an excellent addition to the Forsaken as they fought the Scourge.
But right now, his self-righteous whimpering and warnings had Sylvanas wanting nothing more than to mount his head upon her former throne back in the Undercity.
"Will you shut up!" her composure broke as she fired another arrow into the heavily armored shoulder of the arm that held Zeliek's cursed runeblade. "I agree with the filthy dwarf… quit your sniveling. Now, Beg for your miserable life!"
She was about to fire a charged Black Arrow straight through Zeliek's head, when she heard an amused voice right behind her.
"Oh, is that his new nickname? Snivelus was always a name partial to me when I referred to one specific annoying person in my past. Have you found a new candidate to replace him?"
She turned her head to see Harry a few feet behind her along with the rest of the Sentinels that had just finished freeing the mind of the Dwarf Knight.
"Just… deal with him," she ground out with clenched teeth. "I may kill him if I'm around him much longer."
She watched the 'Human who wasn't Human' smirk at her, green eyes alight with mischief and framed with sweat from his exertions, before he turned his gaze to Zeliek, "Your wish is my command, My Lady."
The desire to watch another potential addition to the Forsaken ranks regain his mind almost distracted her from her duty, but Zeliek's constant begging had ground upon her nerves, and she wasn't sure if she could stop herself from caving the Paladin's skull in even if he was on the same side as her. Instead, as Harry raised his wand arm, she turned and jogged towards the last of the Four Horseman
In the second war, Sylvanas had encountered Colette Blaumeux during one of the few occasions that the Knights of the Silver Hand had defied orders and attacked the combined Orc and Troll threat to help her former people defend Quel'Thalas. Blaumeux had been amongst the ruling council of the Order, and when one of the Human regional governors who had no knowledge of her identity and rank attempted to browbeat her into following orders, she almost summarily executed the man on the spot for treason.
She was politically astute enough to recognize killing someone that highly ranked in a time of war would not likely go over well, so she settled for the next best thing. She broke both his arms and planted her war-axe between the man's legs.
The strike between his legs wasn't for intimidation purposes though. The man sang soprano for the rest of his days.
Sylvanas remembered drinking to their victory afterwards with the Paladin along with the rest of the Farstrider's leadership. Blaumeux had sworn an oath that day, that despite whatever petty Human was in charge of the region, she would always be there to help defend the Eastern edges of Lordaeron that bordered Quel'thalas. Colette had spent nearly a month recuperating from the war amongst the Quel'dorei, and Sylvanas was left on numerous occasions cursing the heavens for bringing a friend into her life that would likely die at less than 1/10 of Sylvanas' own age. They departed on good terms, swearing to visit each other in Stormwind or in Silvermoon in the future.
It had been the last time she had seen her friend in life.
Sylvanas had heard rumors of what had happened in Northdale. Blaumeux had part of the last vestiges of Human resistance in Lordaeron during Arthas' northward march. Rumor had it that Blaumeux personally destroyed an entire Scourge Legion of troops, before Arthas himself entered the fray and cut down his former comrade before he drove his own army towards Silvermoon City.
Now, the demented being before Sylvanas could hardly be recognized from her friend who had long ago shared a drink and oath in victory with her.
She shook her head to clear the thoughts that could possibly lead to her death. A quick glance around revealed the new powers Colette had gained from her service to the Scourge. Black voids grew from nothing on the ground, and all who happened upon them cried out in paralyzed agony before their comrades tackled them out of the small zones of death and decay to free them.
She raised an arrow along with many of her comrades and fired a volley over Onyxia's shoulder. Onyxia herself seemed greatly amused by the Paladin's abilities, since she believed there was no greater Shadow ability than her own flames when she mixed her sorceress' magic to imbue them to create Shadowflames.
"Oh hell yeah!" she heard Harry's familiar voice say from behind her once again.
She glanced at him, to see he wasn't looking at Colette, but at the shadowy Void Zones upon the ground. "I have got to learn how to make those," he said in almost childlike glee.
Sylvanas quickly smacked his head to get his attention, "You won't learn anything if you don't release her."
Harry actually gave a sheepish grin before he pointed his wand at Blaumeux and angled for a shot past Onyxia. She heard his whispered incantation, and watched as Colette went rigid and collapsed on the ground a few moments afterwards.
Sylvanas didn't hesitate to run forward and turn her one-time friend over. The cowled and horned battle helm was removed from the now freed former Scourge member, and Sylvanas gasped when she saw her friend's face for the first time in almost a dozen years. Her skin was pale, and its color was only surpassed by her hair, which had changed from its former blonde to a shock white. Her normally brown eyes were dazed and glowed a virulent albino-pink as they tried to focus upon the face in front of her.
"Sylvanas?" she whispered, and it seemed to be a question born of both hope and desperation as the woman reached for Sylvanas' face.
"Colette," said Sylvanas, who for once could not keep a grin suppressed as it formed upon her face.
"You came for me?" Blaumeux rasped out after a few moments.
"We may be dead," said Sylvanas. "But my vow to you still holds true."
"And mine to you," said Colette.
Sylvanas looked up, suddenly aware that there may have been witnesses to her break in composure. However, the Rangers and Sentinels had dispersed through the room, securing the area and the door back out to the Ziggurat's outer ring. She reached for Colette's dropped weapon, and pulled her friend up to her feet.
Blaumeux took a few shaky steps, almost like someone who had been bedridden for ages and suddenly found the need to move. At this point, the only people who remained in that corner of the massive room were Harry and Onyxia. Jessir had realized Sylvanas needed time alone with her former friend, and had taken charge of the expedition as they prepared to move out.
Eventually, Blaumeux had the presence of mind to look around, and her gaze fell upon Harry. "You are the one who removed the leash upon me?"
Harry nodded, and Colette bowed in return. "I thank you for freeing myself and my comrades from our enslavement."
Loud and heavy footsteps broke up the moment, and the three other members of the Four Horsemen approached, followed by Jessir.
"I give my thanks as well, though Kel'thuzad will be far from pleased with what you have done," said Mograine without preamble.
"Well, he won't have to live with that disappointment for long," said Jessir, as she joined them and stood shoulder with Sylvanas. She turned to her co-leader and said, "The group is ready to move out."
"Understood," said Sylvanas, who then glanced at Harry. "Did you find any additional shards of the staff here?"
"No," said Harry with a sigh, then abruptly turned to Mograine, "Unless one of you four have the splinter of wood we're looking for."
Mograine lifted an eyebrow, before he reached between two plates of his chest armor, "I assume you mean this."
The undead powerhouse handed Harry an unassuming piece of chipped wood. He quickly retrieved the two sections of staff they had recreated thus far, and with a few deft wand movements, one solid pole of wood repaired itself.
Harry's group stood transfixed, waiting for something to happen when the fully formed meter and a half rod solidified, though Onyxia was the one who commented first, "It doesn't appear to have gained any additional power yet. It must still require both the head piece and base."
Harry snorted, "What did you expect, trumpets and holy lightning from the heavens?"
"Hey," said Jessir with a smile, "We saw the holy lighting when we met with Tyrande the first time."
"True," Harry shrugged, before he turned back to Sylvanas and Jessir. "Are you ready to finish this?"
No words were necessary. The hardening of their eyes spoke for themselves.
They were set. Each of the outer corners of the Ziggurat had contained a control lockout that activated the teleporter to the command level of the vessel. Tension amongst everyone present had risen since the Four Horseman had been freed, especially they all became aware that Naxxramas had begun to move and was apparently now enroute somewhere, though no one had any clue where
No one knew where the vessel now travelled, nor did they know if the aircraft actually had any external weapons left to attack whoever they now travelled towards. The visible stores of plague had been destroyed, as had nearly all of the troops that were amassed on the lower levels. The main worry was that the ship was now on its way to Northrend, directly to the lair of the Lich King.
"The Horsemen were only allowed upon the command level once," said Blaumeux as the group encircled the inner transporter while they made their final preparations. "There was a massive cavern, that was conspicuous in how empty it was, beyond which was a hallway that led directly to Kel'thuzad's throne and command center. He communicates directly with the Lich King there."
Sylvanas nodded, and glanced at Jessir, who nodded back. Jessir turned to the group and spoke louder, "We have no idea what we'll find once we're through. Don't crowd the transporter pad, but don't move too far forward either."
Jessir looked to Onyxia, who nodded at the signal. She nudged Ysondre, and the two Dragons led the way onto the transporter, and were followed a few seconds later by the rest of the expedition.
Harry felt the familiar sensation of displacement that was unique to this world's transportation devices, and regained his senses just behind Onyxia and Ysondre, who stood upon the threshold of a massive frozen room.
The room the transporter opened upon was huge, easily twice the size of the Great Hall at Hogwarts. The room was covered in foot thick ice and snow drifts, and Harry could barely see the other side of the darkened room or the ceiling. The only light came from high above them, filtered through ice-over windows that bathed everything in a dull-blue glow.
No one moved, because both Onyxia and Ysondre had their arms out to bar the way. Both were sniffing the air, their eyes narrowed in suspicion.
"Anything?" asked Jessir, who had moved alongside Harry along with Sylvanas.
"Yes," said Onyxia in a harsh whisper. "I smell bones. Dragon bones."
Harry closed his eyes and counted backwards from ten to calm his suddenly racing heart. There was no questioning what they were about to face. Bones inside a Necromancer's paradise couldn't possibly mean anything but what his darkest thoughts now envisioned lay before them.
"Frostwyrms," said Sylvanas with a growl. "Do you have any idea how many."
"A half dozen small ones, or likely one incredibly large and ancient one," said Ysondre. "The smell permeates the air too much for it to be anything less."
Harry knew what his luck would turn the situation out to be. The group could handle a half dozen smaller dragons. One Ancient Dragon though, possibly larger and more powerful than Onyxia… that could be a problem if the thing was already undead.
"It's more than likely the remains of a Blue," said Onyxia quietly, gathering most of their attention. "Their corpses are scattered throughout most of Northrend after what my Father did to them."
"In that case, it will serve no good to try and free it from its enslavement," said Sylvanas. She turned to Harry, "The Blues believe they are the only ones who can safely wield Magic on this world, and they are forever at odds with all who deign to harness the energies their Flight is tasked to preside over. If you were to free it's mind, it may turn on us simply for using the Magic to free it."
Before Harry could nod his understanding, mists suddenly began collecting in the room. They rose from the snow drifts that seemed to have randomly collected around the room. Movement and shifts could be seen within the mounts, and suddenly large bones began to appear as the drifts collapsed. The bones slowly circled the room as they rose into the air, and a shattered Skull, twice the size of the engine of the Hogwarts Express assembled in the center of the room.
"Move it! Spread out!" shouted Jessir. "Don't get caught bunched up when that thing reassembles itself!"
No one needed to be told twice. The various archers spread to the outer walls of the cavernous room, firing arrows at the larger pieces as they tried to delay the assembly of the behemoth that slowly reformed before them.
Onyxia and Ysondre led the charge towards the skull itself. Both seemed to be dead-set upon smashing the skull back into bits before the rest of whatever dragon this was re-assembled itself. They transformed into their Dragon forms halfway to the skull, but Harry could tell they would be too late. His own bludgeoning spells ricocheted off of it's surface, and it seemed to be wholly immune to whatever Magics he threw at it.
The various pieces of the massive skeleton were flying at speeds almost beyond his ability to see now, and the circular arcs they traversed became smaller and smaller. A few unlucky Sentinels and Archers had been blindsided by smaller pieces of bone, and were knocked unconscious as they were thrown against the walls. The group lost even more members as people were detailed to drag their unconscious forms to safety.
When Onyxia and Ysondre were only few meters from the skull, a blinding flash of blue magical flames erupted from it. There was suddenly an afterimage of a massive dragon burned into the retina's of Harry's now closed eyes. After a few seconds. he squinted his eyes open, to try and see what they now dealt with in the middle of the room. The flames had dimmed, which revealed the now assembled skeleton of a massive undead Blue Dragon.
The dragon was easily one and a half times the size of Onyxia. Its entire body was skeletal, with the barest remnants of sinew and flesh clinging to its wings. A massive engine of broiling blue fire was contained within its skeletal ribcage, and the sickly blue flames covered most of the zombified dragon. It was concentrated most heavily within the dragons skull, and its burning blue eyes stared at Onyxia and Ysondre as they both regained their bearings.
It roared a challenge that was immediately answered by the two living dragons, which set in motion the clash between titans in earnest.
Harry began cycling through any spells he could think of, and few had effect upon the monstrosity. He turned to see what, if any, success the archers had, and noticed they fared just as poorly as him. He reached the pommel of the sword behind his right shoulder, when a shout garnered his attention.
"Use Viper Stings!" shouted one of the Sentinels. "Drain its Magics!"
'Well, that's one way to negate a magical protection,' Harry thought dryly as he tried in vain to come up with a magical way of assisting the group against the massive guard dog Kel'Thuzad had apparently reduced the Blue Dragon's skeleton to.
"Do you have any way to negate a protection such as this?" asked Anya as she ran over.
"Only thing I can think of to consume the magic is Fiendfyre, but that isn't an option with Onyxia and Ysondre on top of the thing," he shouted back as he fired a Bone Breaker combination at a spot on the Skeleton where he saw a Hunter had just fired a magic draining arrow.
The shattered bone that resulted was noticed for a split second by Harry, who was about to yell in triumph, when his attention was drawn elsewhere.
The massive Frostwyrm suddenly extended its monstrous decayed wings, and coiled like a spring, before it leapt forty meters into the air. It hovered there in the center of the room, its mouth in a silent roar as a magical discharge became quite visible within its mouth.
"Oh, fuck me," muttered Harry as he took a step back.
Anya was even quicker to realize the likely outcome of this attack, "Everyone take cover!" she shouted at the same time as a few of the other Rangers who also realized what they were about to face. She wrenched her head around as her eyes searched for any debris shaken from the walls they could hide behind. They both ran towards a nearby large fallen piece of masonry that had been dislodged during the fight.
A scuff on the ground and a squeak of pain brought both their attention to the area they had just vacated. Kudrii was there on the ground, holding her ankle in pain. Before Harry could even move or summon her, Anya had vaulted to the fallen priest and, in one fluid motion, grabbed the girl by the waist and hurled her towards Harry. The impact knocked Harry backwards a few steps behind the boulder and onto his back
He raised his head up just in time to see Anya's fright-filled red eyes widen even further in horror as her body was quickly encased in a solid block of ice over a foot thick.
Harry's mind went blank. He could hear Kudrii's whimpers due to her broken ankle, but it was all secondary to the fact that Harry had just watched another person he was willing to call a friend, die in front of him while he was helpless to intervene. He was well aware that every task his small group of friends on this world had engaged in was incredibly dangerous, but, up to this point, no one had been seriously or permanently injured.
Up until now.
His head snapped towards the huge skeleton, as it landed loudly upon the ground and resumed its fight with a quickly tiring Onyxia and Ysondre. Anyone who was in close proximity to the Frostwyrm seemed to be drained of their energy, and the two Dragons were taking the brunt of the undead Dragon's focus. The group was making progress in bringing the creature down, but it didn't seem like their efforts would be enough to destroy the behemoth before their side incurred massive casualties.
Harry glanced at Anya again, and he could see her unmoving eyes inside the ice. He was tired, he was angry, and he refused to allow any more people he considered friends to die when he had a chance to stop it.
He looked at his side at the shadow cast by the debris he and Kudrii hid behind, and took a deep breath. 'It's now or never.'
Without warning, he plunged his arm up to the shoulder into the Shadow, before he quickly removed it. His robe-clad arm was now completely black, with a pulsing mass spread over it that quickly took over every inch of his body. He looked down upon the… armor he had not seen in years. The armor that quite honestly frightened him to his core, but it was already too late to second-guess this decision. The change had already begun.
The transformation was called Black Metamorphosis. It was the pinnacle of known Shadow Manipulation, and something he had only used in combat once before. He had learned the ability with only hearsay and rumor to guide him in its recreation after it had been lost to the Earth for millennia, and was certainly one of his most dangerous tools, both for his enemies and himself.
His vision quickly evolved to see only black and white as the darkness finally encapsulated his head, and then his sight inverted. Light was dark. Night was bright. He glared at the undead construct and felt nothing but rage for the thing that faced the two female dragons he had developed feelings for, and that had possibly just killed one of his newly found friends.
A midnight-black foot was raised and took one step forward, but when it hit the ground, it sank into the minuscule shadows between the rough flagstones that comprised the floor. He felt himself spread out everywhere and nowhere. The Shadow and everything it touched within the world, for the next few minutes, was now his domain, and this skeletal nuisance would now pay the price for daring to exist and for further daring to harm one of Harry's friends.
Onyxia had long since run out of ideas on how to end the un-life of the former Dragon before her. More and more, she realized that her and Ysondre's role in this fight had been reduced to preventing the Frostwyrm from rampaging over her allies, and hoping they could come up with an idea to stop this thing since she could not.
She was about to attempt to launch a Shadowflame to a previously untried section of the Frostwyrm's flank when a movement from the corner of her eye drew her attention.
Something moved rapidly from where she knew Harry had stood not a few moments ago. The Frostwyrm turned at that moment to land a broadside upon Ysondre, and Onyxia couldn't help but turn her head at that moment. Whatever it was, it sank into the ground, and black tendrils grew at an incredible rate across the ground towards the Frostwyrm.
It looked like nothing she had ever seen before, and she knew intuitively she shouldn't go anywhere near whatever it was. With great effort, she pivoted rapidly, and slammed her spiked tail into the face of the Frostwyrm, simultaneously driving it back and giving her room to retreat from the approaching Shadow.
She had backed away a few steps when the shadow reached the undead guardian. It reached each of the four legs and began to travel upwards. Instantly after the shadow began its upward trek upon the Frostwyrm's legs, it slowly began to sink into the Shadow beneath it.
"Ysondre! Back away from it!" she roared as she retreated even further from the now half enshrouded skeleton. The Sentinels and Dark Rangers had also stopped firing, and merely stood in both shock and fear as they looked upon whatever malignant presence had manifested to assault their foe.
Within seconds, the darkness had covered all of the former dragon, and it slowly began to sink into the void that now was centered below it. As it sunk, sickening cracks were heard as the bones of the once great behemoth were forcefully torn asunder and separated.
The magical fire that was centered in the Frostwyrm's chest slowly sputtered, and was then altogether smothered by the encroaching darkness. When the final bit of blue flame died and was replaced with the darkened void of the Shadow, the entire skeleton shuddered for a brief instant, then shattered. The falling pieces landed in the morass of darkness below it, then slowly began to sink.
Within seconds, there was nothing that remained of the massive Frostwyrm, except the lake of Shadow in the middle of the room, which slowly shrank and coalesced into a shape. It grew arms, legs, and then finally morphed into the shape of a Human.
Then the Shadow suddenly scattered like falling rain from the body of Harry Potter, who slumped to the ground to the screams and horror of nearly all present.
Harry awakened slowly, and the first thing he realized was that his head throbbed mercilessly. The second realization to come to him was that almost every inch of his body was hypersensitive to some extent, and the pain he registered there was only a close second behind what he felt from his head The question of what on Earth had put him in his current state slowly began to form in his befuddled mind, and then suddenly became startlingly clear.
'Oh yeah. I used That,' he thought with a quiet sigh.
He had used Black Metamorphosis, something that he honestly should never have done unless he had gone through a few hours of preparation beforehand.
'Still,' he thought, 'I lived through it, so Lady Luck does occasionally smile my way still.'
His last conscious thoughts, before he withdrew from the massively draining technique, were on how he had dismantled the great Frostwyrm's skeleton, and then banished the ground dust of its remains across Azeroth's Shadow Plane.
Voices and noise slowly grabbed his attention, and his eyes opened as he fully returned to the present. There were excited whispers, and even a bit of celebratory shouts heard amongst the group around him. He saw a few Sentinels a dozen meters away, who were releasing the clasps upon their armor for better comfort as they sat down. The male and female Night Elves were completely blasé about their partial nudity, and far more concerned with stretching their sore limbs.
He noticed the room he was in was quite unfamiliar to him, and realized that they were definitely not within the Frostwyrm's lair where he had lost consciousness. It was a massive circular room, with a hallway on one side, and an oversized gaudy throne on the other. There were multiple alcoves that lined the walls, and within each were various supplies and cargo stored for use.
Harry had been laid carefully against a wall upon some straw, with a cloth cloak from a Dark Ranger pillowed under his head. The expedition itself was spread out, celebrations in some areas, and quite planning and discussion occurring with others.
"He's awake!" shouted the familiar voice of Kudrii, who apparently was only a few feet away from him, unseen since he had been laying down at the time.
She quickly approached and began to cast additional healing spells upon him, which caused him to feel slightly better. A jug of conjured restorative magical water was handed to him, and Kudrii simply said "Drink" at his raised eyebrow.
As he gulped down the liquid magic, he saw the main leadership of the raid approach, and saw that everyone appeared to be uninjured. He checked to make sure those he considered part of his burgeoning family were all present and seemed to be unharmed. However his eyes settled on one familiar form. Anya was headed his way along with the rest of the approaching group.
"You're alright?" he asked her. Surprise filled his voice as he flashed back to that moment, where her eyes widened in horror as her body was encased in ice. He couldn't contain the half-grin that formed on his face at seeing the sarcastic undead Hunter nod her head, though her expression remained unreadable.
"Yeah, once you did… whatever the hell it was that you did…and I only know second hand since I couldn't see it, the ice block shattered when the Frostwyrm… was destroyed.," she said.
Harry frowned as he realized his error. The enchantment must have broken upon the death of the Frostwyrm. His thoughts were interrupted by the angry voice of Disidra, "Speaking of which, just what the hell did you do? The spirits have said that you were so weak that you almost perished using the magic you did to take that thing out!"
"Indeed," said Onyxia who stood next to the angry Shaman with her arms crossed and a frown on her face. "You overextended yourself again with risky magic. You did it when we rescued Vaelastrasz, you did it when we assaulted the Scarlet Monastery, and you've done it once again here."
"You can't worry us like that again, Harry," said Jessir in a quiet tone filled with authority as she knelt down beside him. The worry in her face was clearly mirrored on nearly every face that surrounded him. Even Ysondre, with her eyes covered, simultaneously bore an expression of extreme worry and more than a little anger over his current state.
"I'll try to not use that again… at least until my stamina when using the Shadow is back to where it was," he quietly said. Harry felt about as tall as a child did at that moment under the glares of the women there. "The only excuse I can make is that I just lost it when I saw Anya get frozen within that block of ice."
The woman in question stepped forward a frown on her face as she peered down at Harry, who still had yet to get up. Just when everyone thought she was about to give Harry a sarcastic remark, she took a knee and wrapped her arms around him in an embrace.
Harry had just frozen in surprise. One thing he would never have said about the Forsaken is that they were a physically affectionate group. Therefore, the embrace was more than a bit of a surprise. He had just barely relaxed into her arms, and began to wonder just why Anya didn't have the signature dark cloak of the Dark Rangers draped over her shoulders, when he felt her slam a half-armored fist into the top of his head.
"Don't do that again, idiot!" Anya shouted in sudden bout of anger between hits and smacks on the top of his head.
"Anya," said a voice from behind the woman in question. Anya stopped her assault and turned around to look up from her kneeling position and saw Sylvanas with an unreadable expression on her face and her arms crossed.
"Stop hurting him," Sylvanas didn't say anything more, and just met Anya's eyes.
The fight had been a rather jarring for all of the participants. Everyone present had been stunned at the Human's display of power. The power of the Shadow wasn't unknown to Forsaken, especially with Church of Shadow gaining such a large following over the past few years. But to see it used in such a manner had shocked everyone, even Harry's long-time companions. To quite literally rip apart a powerful and ancient Frostwyrm, one that had been imbued with enough magic to withstand the attacks of two dragons, a company of Forsaken, and a company of Kaldorei, was a task none could've dared dream a single person would accomplish.
Further, Sylvanas could see the looks that been exchanged more and more between members of the Forsaken present. This was as much, if not more impactful, than the comforting hand Harry laid on the shoulder of the Forsaken woman they had freed from the torture chambers of the Scarlet Monastery. They had just witnessed a Human, who was so upset by an attack upon a Dark Ranger, that he had retaliated and utterly destroyed the dragon in his rage.
As Sylvanas gazed back towards her Rangers, she could still see the murmurs and whispered conversations that likely focused upon the unprecedented event that had occurred against the Frostwyrm. When Anya had heard what happened to the dragon, she had been visibly shocked to her very core. From that point forward, she had not wandered any more than five meters from Harry's side, and insisted on guarding Harry's unconscious form during their successful assassination of Kel'Thuzad.
Sylvanas herself wasn't immune to such odd thoughts either. A Human who cared about the fate of a single Forsaken. Her people had only known disgust and violence from Humans in the past five years since they had regained their freedom from their enslavers. A Human with this kind of reaction to them was world-shattering in its implications, especially with how well connected he was diplomatically to the other major races.
Anya met Sylvanas' eyes for several long moments. Sylvanas and Anya both looked like they were going to say more before Anya turned back around to face Harry. Sylvanas also saw Harry's eyes upon the two of them even now, and thought it prudent to redirect his curiosity, "We do need his mental facilities intact after all, if he's going to be pondering ways of restoring our people to life."
The angered Dark Ranger planted one final light punch into Harry's shoulder before she stood. None of the blows had truly hurt, but collectively they did manage to fill his head with an annoying buzzing, which was already on top of the way his entire body ached.
Harry realized there would be no true sympathy coming from those present, as all seemed to be a bit upset over the condition he was currently in.
"So what happened?" he finally asked with half a prayer in mind that it would make them forget about his reckless behavior.
Jessir was the one who spoke up, "After you did your little collapsing act, and made all of us think that you'd died for a bit," and here she paused to give him one final glare, "we went on to the throne room." She waved an arm around airily to signify where they were now.
'That explains the fifteen foot tall golden throne,' thought Harry as he glanced at the monstrosity.
"Kel'Thuzad was somehow talking with the Lich King as we entered, quite loudly, not that did him a bit of good. The room was big enough, so Onyxia and Ysondre just transformed and breathed fire on him. A few hundred arrows exploding in his face finished it all. End of story."
At Harry's quirked eyebrow and small snort of disbelief at how anticlimactic the end of this excursion was, Onyxia said, "It wasn't nearly enough flames to get us excited, don't worry." Then, she gave an amused smile, "Though, we have those clusters of undead, and overrun farmsteads we skipped on the way here, plus the Scarlet encampments. I'm sure Ysondre and I could have fun with those instead."
"Really," said Harry, still dumbfounded. "That was all it took to finish the bastard?"
It didn't seem right to him that the mighty Kel'Thuzad had a monstrosity like that Frostwyrm guarding him, yet he himself died so easily to Dragon Fire and explosive arrows.
"That's it," said Onyxia as she politely buffed her nails, before she turned and pointed across the room, with a look of disgust crossed her face as she did so. "Other than that."
In the middle of the room, surrounded by a few sentinels and Rangers who had yet to remove their gear or weapons, was an object that practically screamed 'phylactery' to Harry's senses, though it was four times the size of the one they found within the corpse pile in Andorhal.
"Dragon Fire not enough again I take it?" Harry asked.
Onyxia shook her head, while Ysondre responded, "We tried everything we could think of. Nothing we know of can even scratch it. Onyxia remembers a few rituals to slowly strip the protections from it, but Kel'Thuzad is strong enough that he will likely reform long before we research, much less complete those."
"How much time do we have before he's back?" Harry hesitantly asked. He really didn't want to have to use Fiendfyre right now. He was tired, in pain on top of being hypersensitive, and his mental control wasn't exactly solid at the moment.
"It'll likely be a day or two before he reforms," said Anya.
Harry hesitated a moment before a solution came to him, and he smiled, before he reached for one of his shrunken trunks. He found the one he sought after and expanded it, ignoring the burn of his magic in his arms in response to the extremely weak Engorgio he had cast. He opened one of the compartments and dug around inside. The suddenly appearing trunk, and loud noises Harry made as he rummaged around in the deceptively small space attracted the attention of nearly everyone within earshot. It had been several years since he had needed this item, so it took him a bit to locate it. Finally, he found what he wanted.
He pulled out an ornamental sword made of true-silver. Its hilt was encrusted with rubies, some of which were the size of small eggs, and it looked far too ornamental to be a real sword.
Knowing he had everyone's attention, he spoke up as he explained, "This sword is quite famous back on my world. Over a thousand years ago, it was commissioned by the one of the founders of the school I attended. It was enchanted to be retrievable in certain conditions by anyone who would fearlessly protect and defend others. It's also made from a type of metal that absorbs any kind of magic or substance that fails to destroy it."
"When I was 12, I used it to kill an 80 foot snake. In the process, it was coated with the most virulent venom that exists on my world. A venom that is capable of destroying any magical object it encounters."
Gingerly, he reversed the grip and presented the handle to Anya.
"I witnessed you risk your own life to save Kudrii's. I think you should be the one to finish Kel'Thuzad for good."
Anya didn't reach for the sword, and merely twitched an eyebrow at the sight of it, "You call that a sword? It's a toothpick."
Harry rolled his eyes at the observation most people made when they first saw the legendary sword. "It takes the form most helpful and needed by a given person from the first time they touch it. I was twelve years old when I first gained possession of this. Did you really think a twelve year old Human child would be able to wield a six foot claymore? I didn't know anything about how to use a sword beyond 'pointy end goes in the bad monster'."
He continued to offer her the sword until she finally relented and reached to grip it. The moment her fingers touched the hilt, it transformed from a thinly bladed Rapier-like form, without a protective hard-guard, to an sword with a blade that was much wider. Harry in fact almost dropped the blade as it suddenly weighed quite a bit more than it had just seconds ago. He looked on in shock over the completely new design that the sword has chosen to take.
Rather than a short narrow blade, the sword took on a thicker form, the blade took on an asymmetrical shape, one in which the blade narrowed slightly, then widened before coming to a curved point. It was clear that where before, the sword was really only good for fencing and thrusting, this new blade was built for swiping and slashing the enemy in quick strokes that would leave enemies maimed from gruesome wounds.
"That's… alot better," said Anya as she raised the jeweled sword up and took a few tentative swings. "It feels much like a weapon I once owned long ago. Only… the balance on this is perfect."
Anya's expression was one of surprise. When she had seen the weapon Harry was holding it had certainly seemed to be a sword that was more decorative than one that could be put forth to any real use in battle. However, after she held it aloft in her hand, she was quite certain it was the highest quality weapon she had ever held.
She raised her eyes and looked towards the Phylactery as it laid innocently upon the ground. Everyone present made a path for her as she approached the Urn that contained the spiritual remains of the former mage who had directed Arthas as he laid waste to all of Lordaeron.
"Should I stab or swing?" she asked aloud after she had gazed down at the container for a few moments.
"I doubt it matters," said Harry.
Anya nodded, and lifted the sword above her head. She swung down and roared as she did so. The pain, misery, and fury of nearly a decade spent as an undead unleashed as she did so. The sword cut cleanly through the urn, and with little more than a dull blue of fading enchantments, and the merest whimper of sound, the Phylactery of Kel'Thuzad was no more.
When nothing else monumental happened after its destruction, the group actually started to laugh, and there were more than a few claps on the backs of their nearby comrades as they realized Naxxramas was now truly conquered and theirs.
Anya went directly to Harry in order to return the sword, but he refused as she attempted to hand it to him. "It's yours. I have enough mementos of my world, and that's one that I honestly don't have any attachments to."
He conjured her a basic scabbard to fit the sword that Anya could use for the time being, and after some hesitance she accepted the sword graciously. Harry felt his magic still burn when he used it, but it was certainly getting better as he moved around. Before he could finish his conjecture on how long it would be before he fully healed, he felt, more then saw, Anya draw him close and kiss him on the lips.
Harry was a bit in shock and was unsure how to react. He was acutely aware that everyone in the room was now fixated on the Forsaken Dark Ranger kissing the lone Human in the middle of the room. He mentally distanced himself from the knowledge that she was technically undead, and just focused on the fact there was a female kissing him at the moment.
He was about to lean into the kiss and had just begun to bring his arms up to her back, when she pulled away. His eyes never left hers as she slowly distanced herself, and he was surprised to see the smallest of smiles on Anya's face. Normally, she would have a sarcastic smirk or taunting leer as she spoke with others. But this seemed to be glimpse at the woman still buried deep within the tormented Dark Ranger.
When he looked around, and noticed most people's attention was still upon him and Anya, that attention was broken by a cry of glee from Jessir.
Everyone turned to look at Jessir, including Harry and Anya, though the Night Elf in question had her focus entirely on Onyxia. "HA! I told you so! You owe me 100 gold and a foot massage!"
Onyxia was glowering, "No, Kel'Thuzad is dead. So I only owe you 50, and no foot massage.." Onyxia pointed at the shattered remains of the the phylactery, though she still seemed rather miffed by the whole thing.
Jessir shook her head, still grinning smugly, "Huh uh, I bet you that they would kiss first, and they would do so before we left Naxxramas. You lose the full amount!"
Onyxia huffed and grumbled, turning away, and becoming aware of the stares that the two of them were receiving. She suddenly turned and glared at Sylvanas, "Why couldn't you kiss him? Damned Banshee Queen. You were the sucker's bet to get with Harry first!. He spent half his time these past few months staring at your chest and ass."
"But the rest of the time he stared at Anya's… when he wasn't looking at ours, that is," said Jessir smugly.
Harry spoke up if for no other reason than to get the focus off of the two of them before things went completely out of control with Jessir and Onyxia driving the crazy-train. It had been months since he had first heard Onyxia mutter those ridiculous lewd comments while in Orgrimmar, and right now the associated visuals were repeating in his head with both Sylvanus and Anya as the stars, "So I take it we've stopped moving?"
Nods from all around answered him, and Sylvanas clarified, though it was easy to see she was still mentally distracted with the kiss they had all witnessed and Onyxia's outlandish statements, "We were apparently enroute to Northrend. The vessel had almost made it out to sea when we stopped it. We've turned it around now to head back to the Plaguelands to start destroying the larger pockets of Scourge."
Another stray thought crossed his mind, "Did you find the headpiece? It wasn't destroyed in the Dragon Fire, was it?"
Jessir reached between her cleavage, and pulled out an ornate wooden headpiece, adorned with numerous totems. She handed it gingerly to Harry, who was already removing the repaired staff from another of his trunks.
As he accepted the carved headpiece, he quietly told her, "Oh to see the things this has seen."
"You've seen them," she said with a smirk, that quickly faded. "Though, nearly not enough over these past few weeks. We need a vacation."
He nodded as he added the headpiece to the staff and carefully repaired the place where it had been snapped off, "When we're done here, we're definitely taking some time for ourselves."
"Azshara?" she asked, and Harry could see some hope in both her and Arko's eyes. All of the other members of their 'family' made no secret of listening in on the conversation and being interested in the answer as well.
Harry nodded slowly. "Yeah, that's what Onyxia suggested. Most of you know this world better than I do still. So I trust your decision and I agree with it. We'll clean the place up, take over, and then ward it to high hell. It'll be our new home."
"So what is the fate of the staff, now that its mostly complete and all that remains is the piece entrusted to Tyrande?" asked Sylvanas.
"Well," Harry said as he gripped the now almost completed staff in one hand and tried to twirl it a bit. "Kudrii is honestly our only real 'staff-user' that we have with us. I guess I could potentially use it, but that sort of weapon doesn't really appeal to me. Disidra could use it, but I'm not sure if she would be comfortable with it either."
A quick glance at Disidra had revealed a emphatic shake of her head at the idea of her using the powerful staff.
Harry nodded, and continued, "The only other magic users among our little group is Onyxia and Ysondre, and I got the feeling they were more interesting in pummeling things at the moment."
"Or lighting them on fire," muttered Arko loudly, and both Onyxia and Ysondre shared a fanged grin between them.
"So Kudrii shall be in possession of the Staff of the Guardian once it has been reassembled," reiterated Sylvanas, and she gazed sternly at the young Draenei female. "That staff has the potential to bring health to stricken, or lay waste to armies. Guard it with your life once it is complete and in your possession. Many will covet it for its power, and they will do anything to acquire it. Remember what just a brief exposure did to that Highborne we encountered."
As Kudrii nodded her head with understanding, Harry tucked the nearly complete staff away into one of his trunks. He then asked aloud, "So where are we flying this piece of junk?"
It took three days to successfully visit every known Scourge and Scarlet Crusade encampment that existed within the Plaguelands. The documents, maps, and reports they had procured within the Scarlet Monastery, the Scholomance, and Stratholme, when combined with intelligence acquired through the interrogation of captured Scarlet Monastery and Scholomance leadership proved invaluable. They even detoured north into the Ghostlands, and destroyed the Scourge fortress that ruled over most of the territory and gave the even further north Silvermoon City periodic troubles.
Slowly, over the course of those final days together, the disparate members of their traveling group gathered in the lower platform that served as an entrance to the floating pyramid that was Naxxramas. Harry had to do what he only rarely did and give thanks to Hogwarts, since learning to transfigure water into rum as a first year was both a challenge and the gateway to drunken debauchery as a Wizard.
Harry had come a long way since first year, and had provided barrels of Fire Whiskey and a close approximation to an example of Cenarion Spirits and Eversong Wine. The Elves, both the Night Elves and Dark Rangers, were head over heels with the wine and spirits, while it was mainly the Dragons and Harry who imbibed the whiskey.
Combine that with a nearly unending supply of runic bombs Harry had leftover from Earth in case his initial plans to fake his death failed, and somehow the destruction of the different farmsteads and major pockets of scourge had evolved, or devolved rather, into a drinking game. The fact that no one could clearly explain the rules seemed to matter to none present.
Harry vividly recalled an argument between Sylvanas and Jessir over the two runic bombs they had just sent over the side to the gathering below, and over who's bomb had destroyed more Scourge. They had called Kudrii, since she was nearby, to adjudicate the dispute. When a flustered Kudrii had nervously said that Sylvanas' bomb had destroyed more, the stoic Queen of the Forsaken had actually giggled, much to the shock of all observers. Sylvanas had then insisted, through chanting the word over and over, that Jessir take a shot, to the laughter of those very same observers; including Arko, who couldn't seem to stop her own laughter.
They had also learned that it was not a good idea for intoxicated dragons to attempt to fly. The less said about that the better. The initial batch of casks of fire whiskey Harry had made mysteriously vanished before the end of the first day, and no one had to even guess how that much alcohol disappeared at once.
With the destruction of these outposts, the Scourge's ability to direct their forces within the former Lordaeron territories had been decimated, and the Scarlet Crusade war machine had been severely crippled. The best part was that no one had even needed to leave Naxxramas while they flew over each target except Onyxia and Ysondre, and that was only because of boredom. The ability to drop the runic bombs Harry had provided, while Naxxramas didn't even slow in speed, made the last part of their trip quite simple. The most challenging part of the whole trip tended to be where to fly next, as the desire to reduce backtracking began to rule their decision making process.
There were obviously still massive amounts of Scourge forces in the area, but they were leaderless and without direction or solid footholds. The Forsaken could likely begin a sweep of their territory if they allocated acquired enough forces to completely retake all of the land for themselves. The pros and cons of such a campaign were debated by both Sylvanas and Jaelyn, who rightly pointed out that Stormwind may simply wait for the Forsaken to extend themselves too far, then move in themselves with fresh troops.
Once the fighting was completed, the Sentinels and Sisters of Elune who had joined them began to portkey back to Darnassus in small groups.
The last person to depart was Jaelyn, who had immensely enjoyed her time spent fighting alongside the Dark Rangers and Sylvanas, and didn't depart without sauntering up and making her demands and intentions towards Harry known to all.
"When exactly is the next time you will be in our city?" Jaelyn practically purred.
Harry answered truthfully, if absently as he considered the the unasked parts of the question, "Probably in a few days actually. We'll need to go there to restore the staff. Then we'll need to ask around to see if your people have any records and maps of the ruins in Azshara. That will be okay with Lady Tyrande, right?"
Jaelyn's response was slow in coming, She gave Harry a sultry and blatant look as she had only half heard his response to her question. She was too busy running her eyes over his form in appreciation, since he had removed all of his armor for the first time in her presence as they were leaving. Harry had donned military fatigues and a muscle shirt, which apparently provided a view that pleased the Hunter greatly.
"Harry," she whispered as she drew close and once again, seemed delighted in the effect her whispers in his ear had as a shiver ran up and down his spine. "I expect you to make time to visit me while you're there. Jessir needs to prove to me in person she's kept up with her lessons, after all."
The Night Elf departed last amongst her peers, her arse shaking in exactly the same manner she had teased him with the last time they departed back in Darnassus. He watched her port out, an amused half smile on his face, and turned to see the same grin reflected upon Jessir's visage as well.
"So?" Harry asked as his grin widened. "Will you be accompanying me to the review with your former Master in a few days?"
"We'll see," said Jessir, her voice positively smug. "You're implying that you will have any energy at all to 'review' with Jaelyn. After all Harry, you have been neglecting all of us since we started this little expedition, and the girls will want their needs satisfied."
As Jessir left the room, in a style unnaturally similar to her former master, Harry could only think of one thing. 'Night Elves truly are the perfect women.'
"Well, that's it," said Onyxia as she gazed out from the controller's station in the highest room of the Necropolis. "We're here."
Everyone looked to Sylvanas, who instead looked to the now-freed Four Horsemen, "Is everything secure?"
Each of the horsemen nodded, and Highlord Mograine spoke, "Yes, we have gone through each of the quadrants and ensured there are no more Scourge forces lying in wait anywhere. This vessel has been cleansed of all mindless undead."
Sylvanas glanced at Jessir, who nodded her satisfaction at the report. Sylvanas then turned back to Onyxia, "Then, I would say the only thing left to do is drop the loading platform down to the ground so we can leave."
Onyxia channeled some magic into a rune in front of her, and waited until a light blinked on, "It's done."
"Then let's get out of here," said Jessir.
The large group of Dark Rangers and those whom Harry had manage to accumulate during his travels navigated the maze of Naxxramas back down into its underbelly, where they transported back down to the surface for the first time in a week. Despite the fact they were now outside the ruins of a destroyed kingdom, the mood of most lifted as they were no longer within a craft where unspeakable horrors had been inflicted upon its former residents.
They were not alone when they arrived a hundred meters from the entrance to the Ruins of Lordaeron. It seemed like nearly the entirety of the Forsaken people wasthere, Nathanos out in front followed immediately by the familiar ruling council of Undercity's various trade quarters.
As Harry had been one of the first down to the ground, and more appropriate folks like Sylvanas weren't down on the ground quite yet, Harry decided to at least amuse himself in the mean time, he stepped up close to Nathanos, with an innocent expression and said loudly, "You don't' mind if we park this here, do ya?"
Nathanos blinked, then actually snorted, "I doubt we could stop you and your companions if we wanted to."
Sylvanas arrived at that moment and quickly bowed before Nathanos, "Mission complete, my Lord."
She spoke with a mirth-filled smile, something that looked quite foreign on her face to many of the Forsaken present, but not altogether unfamiliar to members of the expedition who had seen the expression more and more over the past few weeks.
If Nathanos was shocked by his former Leader's, and now subordinate's, behavior, he didn't outwardly show it. He merely nodded and then glanced around unconcernedly at the people behind him, who were split between stares and quiet murmurs over the spectacle.
He turned back to Sylvanas, and said, "Ranger General, would you and your companions join us inside? Between the new guests in our dungeons, your unique mode of arrival, and some of the new allies you apparently have brought with you, I'm very interested in the details of your mission."
Sylvanas glanced back instinctively at Harry and Jessir, before she nodded in assent. Nathanos wasted no more words, merely turned and headed back into the city.
Harry followed Sylvanas as she lead their group into the subterranean Undercity. The trip was a bit disconcerting, because Harry couldn't help but hear the murmurs from the people surrounding them. Harry had grown used to channelling magic into his ears to improve his hearing so he could match the elves he had surrounded himself with.
The positive reaction the gathered Forsaken people had implied that the major reason Sylvanas had enlisted with their group had already paid major dividends. Her people were getting the legends and the heroes that she had hoped for in spades. Sylvanas herself was obviously a hero, but the mysterious and stoic Dark Rangers that followed her implicitly were also now elevated in status because of this campaign.
The fact the Four Horseman walked with the group was nothing short of awe inspiring for most, and the four ready-made heroes would go a long way to providing 'names' to the Forsaken.
The generally uplifted mood of the civilians was also reflected by the current state of the Undercity itself. Harry noted that, in the two months that they had been within the plaguelands, the Undercity had lost all previous signs of battle that had occurred when the would-be rebellion had been put down. There were still signs here and there of the brief conflict, but the former catacombs actually looked brand new in some places, and the Forsaken appeared to be taking pride in their city rather than leave it in ruins.
However what truly drew Harry's eyes was that, wherever the procession went as they followed Nathanos to the Royal Quarter, people looked up rather than away or at the ground. Every group of people they saw within the underground city looked up in surprise when they saw the group, and displayed an open reverence that no longer contained the aloofness and the general feeling of unwelcome that was formerly directed interlopers within their domain.
Once more they were guided into the inner sanctum of the Royal Quarter, to the familiar meeting room with the large table. The same well dressed Forsaken members of the Council were present: Bethor Iceshard, Christoph Walker, Father Lazarus and Jeremiah Payson. Nathanos wasted no time with formalities as he took a seat and gestured for all present to do the same.
Harry settled into a chair next to Sylvanas, noting that Jessir settled in the chair on his other side, the rest of his group settled in behind, content to stand, while the Dark Rangers remained close to Sylvanas. Harry also noted that the Four Horsemen filed in as well, settling against the wall, though they got plenty of looks from those gathered.
Nathanos looked around while everyone got settled before he spoke, "I'm not sure where to begin. Never before has a quest or mission been given with such a scope as what you accepted, nor has any one group returned with tidings such as yours which have affected the region to the sheer scale which you all have."
Sylvanas opened her mouth to begin to describe what they had accomplished, but Harry cut across her before she could get a word out. "I don't suppose we could use the mirrors and get in touch with the other leaders, so we only have to explain this once?"
Nathanos regarded him silently for several moments before nodding slowly. He gestured for one of his guards, who left and immediately returned with one of the array of mirrors Harry had enchanted before he left Orgrimmar. He had gone far beyond his original concept of just a few mirrors per person, and created a circular cone like structure, which would only display whoever is speaking across all mirrors connected at a given time.
Within moments, the leadership of the Orcs, Trolls, Tauren, Blood Elves, and surprisingly the Night Elves, and Draenei were all present and visible.
Before they could get to the report, Tyrande spoke up, "Thank you for allowing us to join the discussion."
It was Thrall that spoke up in reply, "We wouldn't be here at all without your willingness to assist in the first place, not to mention the fact that you refrained from any assault when we were dealing with internal… issues. With the demons gone, you could have wiped out our outpost there but you did not."
Tyrande smiled mildly, "I won't take credit for most of that, Harry Potter is the one most responsible for those actions."
Harry sighed and just barely managed to keep from rolling his eyes at that statement. Everyone could hear a bit of the amusement as Tyrande once again focused credit and attention on him.
Before further discussion could break out, Sylvanas smoothly misdirected attention and spoke up to lead the report, with members of the Dark Rangers filling in details occasionally. Introductions were made of the major new allies they had acquired, and the sight of the Four Horsemen in the background behind Sylvanas definitely left more than a few mouths open in shock.
In the end, the leaders of the various factions were both happy and at a loss on how to proceed. None had, even in the wildest dreams, expected a campaign to cleanse the Plaguelands of the foulest of the Scourge anytime in the near future. When they did ponder the situation, like all tacticians occasionally do, their estimates always projected it would require armies that numbered in the thousands, and Sylvanas' and Harry's groups had done this in two months, and without significant casualties.
Not only did they accomplish this nearly impossible feat, but somehow the group had come back with more allies. The most unbelievable part of which was mere presence of the infamous Four Horsemen, whom stood in silent vigil throughout the entire report, demonstrating beyond a shadow of a doubt that all four when in complete control of their facilities.
The minor details such as the prisoners taken, and the hostages rescued were almost ignored by the sheer scope of the entire affair. Some things were dwelled upon with scowls at the implications, the largest being that the Scarlet Crusade was being led by a Dread Lord.
Upon the conclusion of the briefing, Tyrande, speaking from Darnassus, surrounded by Jaelyn and Malfurion, was the one who spoke first, "I find it telling that we have had more interaction with the leadership of the Horde, in the past few months, than we had with the leadership of the other Alliance factions for several years."
Harry interjected solemnly but firmly, "One can never have too many good friends or allies."
There was silence around the table as each person pondered the seriousness of the words, but didn't know what to say next. It was Tyrande that spoke up once more, "You seemed to be asked this question often, Runemaster, but what will you and your group do now?"
Harry glanced at Sylvanas, and then Jessir, then said, with a low chuckle "We need a vacation."
Chuckles were heard from every mirror and nearly all present within the room in the Undercity. Harry continued when the mirth had somewhat died down, "We will likely travel to Darnassus next. I wish to request access to your archives, and review maps of Azshara before and after the Sundering if they exist. According to our dragon allies, the remnants of the Ley Lines that were once powered by the Well of Eternity are still quite strong, and could provide as a decent base."
"A decent home," corrected Jessir automatically.
Harry looked at her and smiled, before he turned back to the mirror of Tyrande, "Yeah, a home."
There was a bit of laughter from Thrall at this point, "Yes of course. What else would you do for a 'vacation'? Clearing out a territory filled with Naga and the remnants of a magical hating Dragon Flight. Sounds like the perfect bit of rest and relaxation to me."
Harry shrugged lithely, "We want a place to call a home of our own. Since my… group is made up of different races, it doesn't feel quite right settling in any one of the capital cities, no matter how welcome we may be in any of them." Harry said before anyone could protest his statement.
"You realize that even if you clear out the Naga, and if the rumors are true, any dragon that may be up there, by choosing that area you may be vulnerable to pirate attacks, or incursions from any other groups. I know Stormwind would love to get a foothold there since Durator has eluded Admiral Proudmore for so long, and you would not have the natural defences of any one of our cities." Cairne spoke up, his gravelly voice carrying a gravitance that caused all present to listen.
Thrall interjected quickly, making sure that his friend's statement wasn't misunderstood. "Orgrimmar is close by and we would of course do everything we could to aid you. But you would still be vulnerable."
Harry's response was a smile that was almost feral, "When we clear out the area and set up our home. I will make sure that no one will endanger us. No one will be able to enter uninvited. I almost feel sorry for anyone who tries to assault our home after I finish what I have planned to protect it."
That statement was met with silence all around. Harry's words carried a weight of warning to them, and there was surprise all around at how confidently Harry spoke.
Sylvanas took this time to speak up as she turned to Nathanos, "Speaking of this home, I wish to continue what we spoke of months ago, given our success in the Plaguelands. With your permission I would like to stay with them on a permanent basis. Wherever they chose to go."
Before Nathanos could nod, Colette Blaumeux stepped forward from the shadows behind them as well, "I would seek to join them as well. I swore in life to protect Sylvanas and her people just as she swore to protect me when we were on the same battle field. I wish to continue to honor that pledge."
Anya knew that Sylvanas would join Harry's group before she had even made the request. There had never been any doubt in her mind that the former Banshee Queen's behavior, which had taken a sharp turn since the rebellion had been put down, was due solely to her desire to join this group of… she honestly didn't know what to call them.
They were misfits. While two or three of them might have worked together naturally, the group was so completely disparate they should have been trying to go a dozen different directions, yet the opposite was true. They were flighty and joking, yet incredibly dependable. They were naive, yet experienced. They were complete strangers to each other before Harry had blown through their lives, but now, she would almost call them…
Anya watched the slight smile that adorned Lady Windrunner's face as The Blightcaller granted permission for her to join Harry's group. Anya preferred the way Lady Windrunner behaved now. It was as close as Sylvanas would likely get to the woman she was while the Ranger General of Quel'thalas.
Leading the Forsaken people, preventing the Apothecaries from destroying all life upon Azeroth, guarding their borders against Humans hell-bent upon 'cleansing the impure.' She bore all the burdens and lead her people through all of it, yet it was obvious it had taken a toll upon her.
She still remembered the first conversation she had privately with her upon returning from Orgrimmar. Elaine and Anya had listened in shock as the details of the group's recent exploits were extolled, and then needed to sit down when Sylvanas revealed that their new target would ultimately be Kel'Thuzad himself, but only after they had eradicated the rest of the Scourge Leadership within the Plaguelands.
It was a bold plan, and Anya was surprised to see how well the group adapted to new circumstances as they travelled. The Scarlet Crusade was taken on almost on a whim, and then was considered merely secondary objective that was added then destroyed by the group. No more would self-righteous zealots dog the steps of the victims of the Lich King's plague. Bit by bit, yard by yard, Tirisfal, then Lordaeron would become a safe place once again for her people.
An interruption from the back of the room, drew her eye, and the second non-surprise of the meeting occurred. Colette Blaumeux was a human who should have been born a Quel'dorei. The idea that she would wish to join and follow Sylvanas was a foregone conclusion. She quite vocally didn't like the Human leadership when she was Human. Now that she was an undead, the idea that she would have any loyalty to her former people was almost laughable.
Anya looked out across the room. To the leaders of the Forsaken, to the faces of the distant leaders and advisors of the Horde and Alliance. None of this would be possible if it weren't for Harry Potter.
She looked for a long moment at the Human. A Human who had honestly thought her truly dead at one point in Naxxramas, and had been so enraged by that belief that he single-handedly destroyed a Frostwyrm that over twenty Rangers, twenty Sentinels, two dragons, and over a dozen support fighters couldn't kill themselves. He gave her the closure she needed, when he had handed her the ability to destroy the Lich's final bonds to this plane.
And he had not even flinched in one of the rare moments her emotions overcame her, and she had kissed him in full view of the entire expedition.
She wanted to stay with Sylvanas, and see the things she would see. She wanted to continue to verbally spar with Jessir and Onyxia. She wanted front-row seats to whatever craziness the group decided to tackle next.
She wanted to stay with Harry.
A quick step forward, placed her next to Sylvanas at the table, and she directed her words to Nathanos as well, "I would request to join them on a permanent basis as well."
At the looks of shock that decorated the faces of those not on the expedition, and the unsurprised looks of everyone who was, Anya added, "What? Someone has to keep them out of trouble."
Sylvanas felt relief when Anya made the not-so-unexpected move to join the group. Colette's presence was a bonus, but Anya would be the crutch she relied upon as she attempted to the final steps to integrate herself into the group as they ventured forth into new and unfamiliar adventures. The Rangers had been part of Sylvanas' life for almost 700 years before her death, and the Dark Rangers had been with her every since then.
To have at least one with her as she joined something where she wouldn't be the immediate leader was comforting. She was half afraid all of them would volunteer to join her, but she knew the group would be satisfied that at least Anya would be with her. With their absence, Elaine would easily slip into the role of their leader, something that had long been denied her with Sylvanas' presence already in that role.
She glanced back at the array of mirrors which allowed for an unprecedented amount of communication between leaders who normally wouldn't speak face to face without dozens, if not hundreds of armed warriors present for protection.
The Prophet Velen's countenance was unreadable, just like she had expected from someone as ancient as the nearly 30,000 year old Draenei. She saw thinly hidden amusement upon the High Priestess face at Harry's situation, and even more reflected upon Thrall's.
Tyrande, once again, was the first to speak after silence had somewhat returned, "So I can alert our guards and sentries to expect your group soon?"
Sylvanas turned when Harry immediately spoke up, "Not for at least a few days. I expect we'll need to spend a few days here in the Undercity packing things for Sylvanas and Anya. Plus…" he glanced at her.
The look he gave her was strange. It seemed to search her soul for the briefest of instants to find something. For the first time in as long as she could remember Sylvanas found herself nervous at the thought of being judged, much less found wanting. After several long seconds Harry's face relaxed as if he found whatever it was he was looking for. Even then, he seemed to hesitate at his next words before he turned back to the mirrors.
Harry's voice was firm though filled with concern, "Sylvanas mentioned at one point in our travels that her family home in the now Ghostlands had been overrun. I assume Anya has such a place that is significant to her, and that Colette had one as well wherever she was last stationed. If it's something they want, I believe I would like to take the group to retrieve anything of particular value to them if it still exists, be it personal or family valuables before we venture to Darnassus."
That was certainly not what she was expecting. Personal effects had long since lost their meaning or value to her. Her oldest sister had been lost to Draenor decades prior, and her youngest had whored herself out to a Dalaran mage and had apparently ran from her duties to begin birthing babies like a broodmare.
The idea of visiting Windrunner Spire was something that honestly never occurred to her. Her family was gone, as were all of the attendants and vassals that once worked the surrounding lands. But it did hold pleasant memories for her, though the thought of tainting what she recalled of the past with the home's current state was certainly something to give her pause.
"Well, I look forward to your upcoming visit. I'll arrange for quarters for all of...," said Tyrande, and something in her voice made her look up. She saw Tyrande look straight at her, and she nodded, " including your three newest companions."
The Orc and Blood Elf gave their final regards as well, which left only Carine Bloodhoof of the Tauren still connected via the mirrors. "I hope to see your group in our fine city soon, Runemaster. May the Force be with you."
She watched the mirror go dark, and then saw first the bewildered confusion, followed by the absolute shock that crossed Harry's face until he seemed to remember something. It was shock that quickly gave way to amusement as she felt Harry's positively helpless laughter begin to escape his frame. His reaction drew every eye at this behaviour, though he promptly waved off their inquiries and simply apologized, before Nathanos gave his final dismissal.
The group as a whole thanked Nathanos for hosting them while they collected Sylvanas' and Anya's belonging. They were almost all out of the room, when Harry stopped to make a final request.
"Oh, and before we leave," Harry added, which drew everyone's attention to him. "I'd like to learn how to make Portals."
Cast of Characters:
Arko'narin – Alliance. Night Elf, Warrior. Former Sentinel of Darnassus.
Jessir Moonbow – Alliance. Night Elf Hunter. Former Sentinel of Darnassus.
Kudrii – Alliance. Draenei, Priest. Budding enchanting trainee.
Disidra Stormglory – Alliance. Draenei, Shaman. Former member of an 'infamous' guild wiped out attempting something a bit too much for them. An outcast looking for a home.
Onyxia – Black Dragonflight – Brood Mother. Most powerful daughter of Neltharian, Aspect of the Earth. Was caught impersonating the fake daughter of her father's fake human persona within Stormwind, and now has a death contract out on her head from the King of Stormwind.
Ysondre – Green Dragonflight – Lieutenant of Ysera. One of Ysera's four most powerful sons and daughters. Was corrupted in battle with the 'Nightmare', a power of the Old Gods to sway the minds of others.
Sylvanas Windrunner - Horde. Undead, Hunter. Former Faction Leader of the Forsaken. Former Ranger General of the Sin'dorei, was killed in Arthas' invasion of Quel'thalas. Her soul stripped from her body, she was reformed into a banshee. When her mind was freed from the Lich King's control, she took control of a nearly dead High Elf woman's body, supplanting the soul inside and permanently controlling the body like a puppet.
Colette Blaumeux - Non-aligned Undead Paladin. Former Paladin and member of the Order of the Silver Hand, she fell in battle during the early stages of the 3rd War.
Anya Eversong - Horde - Undead Dark Ranger. Former High Elven Ranger of Quel'Thalas under the command of Ranger General Sylvanas Windrunner. Turned to a Banshee by Arthas, and later freed from his control in the aftermath of Illidan's failed strike upon Icecrown. She is one of Sylvanas' chief lieutenants.