[Alliance] Chapter Three: Session One

Appearing Characters: Aretain Naris, Arthas Menethil, Ashwynn Menethil, Benjamin Warde, Calia Prestor, Elissa Cross, Falric, Gilveradin Windrunner, Galadin Windrunner, Giramar Windrunner, Jaina Proudmoore-Menethil, Jalinde Summerdrake, Julia Celeste, Kurdran Wildhammer, Lianne Menethil II, Lieran, Loania, Natalie Seline, Remnii, Rhonin Windrunner, Saldor Shallowbrook, Syndrissin Naris, Talath Dawnsworn, Uther Menethil, Valeera Sanguinar, Valimar Mordis, Velameestra Windrunner, Victor Prestor, Voldana


One the first day of the final month of the 632nd year of the King’s Calendar, there was to be held a summit of all the leaders of the Alliance who wish to see and hear of what happened beyond the war. And where representatives can decide what is to be done next. However, in the nearly three months between then and now, summer turns to autumn, and autumn to winter, and with the droves of refugees displaced from Quel’Thalas, the kingdom of Lordaeron faces one of their greatest challenges. As the kingdom adjacent to the elven nation, they are the closest to this conflict. The king and queen of Lordaeron, Arthas and Jaina Menethil, have done everything they can to ensure those displaced by the war have a place to stay, and though the bountiful kingdom has not seen a famine in many years, with so many people, they will be hard pressed, and the winter may just be long and arduous. But they have not lost hope nor faith.

Now within the kingdom, coming directly from the heart of the conflict in Silvermoon, Prince Uther was slain in battle only to be brought back from a traveler from a distant star. As he and his companions spread to the four wings, destiny would bring them back together in time. But for the time being, they went about, taking care of what business they could before war would call for them again.

Remnii spent much of her time learning common and helping the church.

Vel created a manifesto of refugees, and then returned to Dalaran, where she coordinated with Aethas Sunreaver to start rooting out potential warlocks that also escaped into the human kingdoms. During this time, spurred on by this threat, the Sunreavers were formed.

Through the course of time Vel spent with the Sunreavers, she was able to meet with some of the members of the new organization and show them what she learned. She was able to give them a frame of reference of how she had seen the warlocks operate, and the aspects of society they were trying to undermine, and in turn she got a glimpse of the darker aspects of Dalaran. She didn’t see much of it, but some of the Sunreavers were more well-acquainted, and it became a bigger target. No warlocks were found during this time, but she was able to form a few connections with the Sunreavers. From within the fledgling group, there were a few Vel was able to become acquainted with.

She was also able to sell her trace aura spell to the Kirin Tor, and made some progress with her training with Chillheart, as well as gaining alchemy proficiency.

Uther kept a rather rigorous and structured regime between his princely duties, studies, family time, and physical training.

Gil managed to sell several magic items and got the objects needed for Talath to craft him a ring of warmth. In addition, Talath gave him the sending stone that Vel had commissioned, and enchants Gil’s bow to create its own ammunition.

Which Gil is amazed about, and Talath is simply ecstatic it worked. He admits that he took some inspiration from Sylvanas's own bow, Thori'dal. Gil expresses he didn't know what to say, and Talath just asks him to stay safe and try to keep in touch.

The next day, Gil heads out. They all see him off, including Rhonin, Giramar, Galadin, Talath, and Vel. Giramar's new familiar, a small red squirrel, gives Gil an acorn for the journey, and Gil assures Rhonin he will watch out for himself. Though Rhonin subtly implies that Gil isn't the one he's truly worried about, having stealthily shot a glance at Vel. Gil tells everyone to take care of each other and then heads out, heading toward the Hinterlands. As late October sets in, Gil finds himself arriving to his destination. For the most part, he’s largely alone.

October 26th

As Gil approaches Aerie Peak, he sees great griffins carved into the faces of the mountains. He hears the cry of griffins overhead, and sees a flock of three or four flying above, and before him, the stone dwellings of the Wildhammer dwarves.

Scattered about are male and female dwarves both, their bodies covered in tattoos, as well as griffins both saddled and lounging about.

Gil climbs the steep hills of the city, and among the gathered people, an exceptionally tall dwarf catches his eye. On second glance, it turns out she isn’t a dwarf, though she is dressed just the same as the other dwarves. She’s a human with sunkissed skin, and her hair is a deep black braided in the same manner as the dwarves. She is tending to a griffin with grey plumage, and she is watching Gil with the same degree of curiosity that he is watching her.

Gil heads over to her, and she smiles, asking if Gil is lost. Gil asked if this was the home of the Wildhammer, and she confirms, though notes she thought he was looking for Quel’Danil Lodge. She also says that she doesn’t recognize him, and Gil confirms she was from Quel’Thalas, not the surrounding area.

The woman asks what business Gil had in Aerie Peak.

Gil said he was hoping to speak with Falstad, however, the woman said she doesn’t believe he’s around. Last she heard, Falstad had left to head back to Grim Batol in the northern highlands--south of Aerie Peak, past the wetlands.

She asks what business Gil had with Falstad

Gil says he came as a representative. He proceeds to explain the situation in Quel’Thalas.

The woman’s face steels as he explains. She says it wouldn’t hurt for Gil to tell the story to the High Thane as well. Given the situation, she believes that he may be able to make an exception to have an audience. Gil expresses he was hoping that was the case.

The woman asks what his name is, and he introduces himself. The woman acknowledges, then whispers soothing words in dwarvish to her griffin, whose name is Graysoar, before leading Gil into a larger building not too far away.

She greets several other people as they go along. She seems to be fairly well known. A few people tease her about Gil, and Gil pretends that he doesn’t know Dwarven.

Some of the jibes involve “always figured you’d bring back a taller one” to which the woman replies with a variety of “yeah right” and a friendly “fuck off”. In the process, however, Gil does hear her name. It’s Lieran.

Eventually, they come to a roost on the outskirts. There are collections of sticks, hay, stones, and dozens of gryphons about. Several young gryphons are playing, and a dwarf with a bright blonde beard pulls two of the more rowdy ones apart.

Lieran waves down the dwarf, and he greets her. Then notes that he doesn’t recognize Gil. It doesns’t seem like he’s from the Highveil.

Lieran says: Aye. He’s an outsider, gryphon master. He’s come to deliver some grim news.
Gryphon Master Dwarf says: Ah, another Gilveradin, aye? I can pass the news on. He doesn’t like having visitors, but he can make an exception. This better not be one of your games, Lieran.
Lieran says: It’s not.
Gryphon Master Dwarf says: I’ll let the High Thane search ya out then.

Lieran proceeds to talk to one of the gryphons, and introduces the gryphon as Grayfeather--the mother of her own gryphon after she beckons Gil over.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: They’re intelligent, right?
Lieran says: Aye. Smarter than most dwarves you meet.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Not used to seeing so many gryphons, well, everywhere.
Lieran says: Aye. This is their ancestral home. When the Wildhammer clan first came here, they met the gryphons and were allowed to live alongside them. If anything, we owe them our home. We’re more their companions than they are ours, if I’m being honest.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I find that most people who have close relationships with animals feel that way.
Lieran says: I’m certain they do, but these gryphons aren’t just animals, Gil. You should be lucky you’re kind of cute, or I’d be a lot more upset at you for such a mistake. Good thing the dwarves didn’t hear you or your shins will be a lot more sore.

Two hatchlings have approached Gil and started to sniff at his heel, making curious chirping noises. Gil pulls out some rations to hand to them. One of the gryphons snatches it, and the other starts to chase after it. Lieran laughs.

Lieran says: I think you made a few friends, at least.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Generally what I prefer.

After some time, the gryphon master returns.

Gryphon Master Dwarf says: You’re in luck, I was able to wrestle Kurdran into having one last meeting. But I’d not make it too long. He can be a bit grumpy.

Lieran waits behind as the gryphon master leads Gil up a long set of stairs. They end up in a big chamber with two great openings that overlook the valley. They are actually inside the head of one of the massive stone gryphons.

There is no throne. It’s mostly just a stone chamber with a dais. There is another Wildhammer dwarf in the chamber. The only hair on his head is a long orange ponytail. The rest is covering his face with a thick beard. His bald skull is tattooed. A large gryphon wrests in the corner.

Gryphon Master Dwarf says: High Thane! This is Gilveradin. The lad wanted to have important words with you.
High Thane Kurdran Wildhammer says: Gryphon Master, stay here just in case. Alright lad, what do you have to say.

Gilveradin outlines the situation.

High Thane Kurdran Wildhammer says: Well hell. That’s quite the story. Bleedin’ ‘ell. My brother said there was something in the wind. He was always more sensitive. Didn’t think it was bleedin’ demons. My condolences for losing your ancestral home. Yet the Wildhammer clan can’t give ya any real support. The Dark Iron dwarves still be menacing our lands themselves. We need these peaks to be prepared in case they try something, and we need to support our people in Grim Batol.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I understand. At the very least, I wanted to give you the warning.
High Thane Kurdran Wildhammer says: It’s appreciated, but I’m sure your Alliance can handle it.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I’m honestly not sure if they can.
High Thane Kurdran Wildhammer says: Well, to be honest, right now it’s not our problem. We have other problems, and I can’t be sending my folk to be dying in another war when I got problems to the south.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: That much I understand.
High Thane Kurdran Wildhammer says: It’s appreciated. Ya might be one of the only elves that can.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Might be a bit critical.
High Thane Kurdran Wildhammer says: Look ‘ere. I only gave this audience because me brother spoke so highly of you. Don’t overstay your welcome.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I meant the elves were a bit critical. Not you. We’ve hardly been the first to rush to aid.

Kurdran blinks.

High Thane Kurdran Wildhammer says: Right. I knew that. It’s appreciated. That said, I hope the spirits bless ye, and give you fair winds. We only recently reclaimed Grim Batol, and I can understand it will be a long and tough journey.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: You said that Falstad is your brother? Do you know if he’ll be back soon?
High Thane Kurdran Wildhammer says: I can't say for certain. My brother has a bit of a pension to fly off. That’s why he brought some of his battle brothers to help him with that situation down south. Don’t know what happened, but glad the gryphon riders he brought didn’t get themselves killed in his wild goose chase. But can’t say for sure. He is one of our liaisons between here and Grim Batol. There’s a chance he’ll be back once he’s done speaking with the thane there. But I can’t say for certain, or how long it would take.

Gil nods.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: Well thank you for your time, at least.
High Thane Kurdran Wildhammer says: Aye! I suppose you’re like to be heading to that Gatekeeper, aye?
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Not yet. I need to visit the lodge here.
High Thane Kurdran Wildhammer says: Aye. Well good fortune, and may the winds guide you.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Anu belore dela’na.
High Thane Kurdran Wildhammer says: Right back at you.

Gil takes his leave, and Lieran heads to him and asks how it went. Gil said it went about as well as he expected.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: Ultimately, we’re not the only ones fighting.
Lieran says: Well you said you were friends with Falstad, yeah? You can always ask him yourself.

Gil raises an eyebrow.

Lieran says: I mean. What. Grim Batol is all the way in Khaz Modan, but he’s got some pull himself, and chances are he can convince his brother to help. But I dunno, I’m just talking.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I dunno if I would be able to make it there on foot by the time he would still be there.
Lieran says: Aye. It would be a longer journey, and you don’t rightly have a gryphon. I suppose the Highveil elves might have some dragonhawks, but I can’t say for certain.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Unfortunately I can’t grow wings myself.
Lieran says: Well I suppose good luck on your journey. I should probably head out. I was supposed to meet my sister before the end of the night, and if I don’t leave soon I’ll miss her.
Gilveradin Windrunner: Where is your sister?
Lieran says: Oh, Quel’Danil Lodge.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Oh, where I’m heading.
Lieran says: Oh you’re heading there? Well, I suppose it’ll cost you. Not from me, but from Graysoar. After all, she don’t know you, and she don’t like men very much. Well, except for pa.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: And what would she like me to do for her?
Lieran says: Well that’s for you to figure out. Some kind of offer may be good, or just letting her pick on you a bit.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Well, I’m not sure what offering I could make to her.
Lieran says: Well, your arm may be a good first start.

She laughs. Gil blanks.

Lieran says: That was a joke.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I know, but that’s still scary.
Lieran says: Well she could tear your arm off if she wanted. But Graysoar is a good girl. Aye, Graysoar, this elf wants a ride on your back. What do you say?

The gryphon hisses at Gil.

Lieran says: Don’t be like that. He’s a good kid, at least from what I’ve seen so far.

Gil greets Graysoar by name in dwarven. She almost stares into Gil’s soul for a second. Then she stands up and comes over, and she sniffs around. She starts to pick at his armor. Gil just lets her do whatever she wants.

Then she almost stands up straight rather abruptly, and then settles in and gets down.

Lieran looks almost surprised.

Lieran says: Aye. Bit easier than I excepted. It seems she likes you, Gil.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: She wouldn’t be the first lady.

Lieran rolls her eyes.

Lieran says: And there he goes.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: But she is beautiful.

Lieran laughs and climbs aboard, then helps Gil up.

Lieran says: Aye, you can compliment Graysoar all you want, but send compliments at my sister like that and I’ll be tearing you apart.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Ah, not the first overprotective sibling I’ve met.

Lieran laughs and they take off. It would appear Lieran is a bit of a reckless flier. At one point, Gil starts to slip, but Lieran grabs him at the last second.

Lieran says: Don’t be afraid to hold around me waist! It’s not the first time a man’s touched me after all, sheesh!

Nestled beneath the trees, they can see the lodge down below.

With Uther and Remnii, the day has finally come for the entourage from Lordaeron to leave and tour the countryside on their way up to Fort Crossing. Word has likely already reached them of the danger in the north, but a visit from their prince would likely raise their spirits, as well as an introduction from a visiting priest from afar.

It’s to be Remnii’s first true public appearance in the position that would indicate an honored guest. The crown has spread word of her existence, but to see her is another thing entirely. However, riots or the sort were not expected.

Remnii had already bid Raluhi farewell the previous evening at the Lordamere dock.

As they are preparing to leave, Remnii hears a familiar voice. As she turns, she sees, wearing heavier, light-blue silver traveling robes with a bundle of scrolls under one arm, and a backpack in another with a holy symbol attached to it, is the violet-eyed priestess Natalie Seline.

She greets Remnii with a smile. It would appear she is going to be Remnii’s first tutor.

Remnii says: Natalie. I never expected it to be you.

They share a knowing smile, a faint air of friendly sarcasm between them.

Natalie Seline says: Of course. It was the best-kept secret. I am to be your first mentor on your path in the church. I am going to be introducing you to the path of respect. I already have high hopes for you.

Remnii bows.

Remnii says: I look forward to learning from you, Natalie. It’ll be good to have a friend as well as a mentor on the journey, as everyone will certainly be busy.
Natalie Seline says: That’s part of the reason I recommended such a thing. I expect you could learn some things from a representative from Ironforge, but there is time for that later.

Remnii smiles.

Remnii says: It may be good, before it gets too cold, to see the sun, anyways.

Natalie looks up and shields her eyes.

Natalie Seline says: I suppose so, yes. Our mutual friend beneath the church is fascinating, but it may be good for me to get out.

She prepares her horse as well--a black mare, seemingly the same one she rode here from Stormwind.

Meanwhile, Arthas and Uther are speaking, discussing the itinerary.

King Arthas Menethil says: Some of our knights will be heading towards Brill, the Agamand Mills, and some other farmsteads. But we’ll be heading east toward the Eastweald. Once we get to Andorhal, our caravan will be splitting into two. We won’t have enough time to visit all our holdings, but we should try to see to them nonetheless. You, Remnii, Ashwynn, and the rest of our entourage will take the King’s Road, passing through Hearthglen and into the mountains to Stratholme. Meanwhile, we will head east to Tyr’s Hand and hopefully hitting Northdale before going to Last Crossing. I would have liked to be with you, but we have our people to be worried about. And we’ll at least have the better part of two weeks travel together.
Uther Menethil says: Agreed.
King Arthas Menethil says: However, you’ll have to forgive me. There’s a good chance we’ll split up before your birthday.

Uther blinks.

Uther Menethil says: I suppose that’s right.

Arthas grins.

King Arthas Menethil says: I also hope you’ll forgive me for giving your present early.

At this point, Arthas turns Uther around to one of the royal stable hands who is with Radiant. The barding that Radiant formerly had is nowhere to be found. Instead, he is outfitted with a beautiful set of war-ready barding with thick plates across his body, and beautiful tabards of both Lordaeron and the Silver Hand.

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King Arthas Menethil says: I hope it’s to your liking.
Uther Menethil says: Father. It’s incredible!

Uther runs over to Radiant.

Uther Menethil says: You look devilishly handsome, friend.

Radiant almost shakes at the armor, like it’s going to take time to get used to it, but he seems the appreciate the compliment.

Uther Menethil says: Thank you, father.
King Arthas Menethil says: Well if we are riding into a war council, you have to look the part. And I dare say you’ve earned it.
Uther Menethil says: I do try.

Uther goes back to the map and puts his finger down to trace his route to figure out travel time. Judging from estimations, it looks like they will be able to arrive at Fort Crossing in late November.

As far as the entourage that will be going with them, some, like the grand marshal, have already left. Elissa, Arator, and Sir Benjamin will also be with Uther and Remnii, as well as Valeera. Jaina will be staying in Lordaeron to coordinate efforts and work with the Kirin Tor and the remnants of the representatives of the quel’dorei people.

Uther promises Lianne that he will bring her back something nice.

Princess Lianne Menethil says: I’m going to have such a collection. Just make sure you keep coming back to bring them to me.
Uther Menethil says: Of course.

Lianne gives him a hug.

Princess Lianne Menethil says: I love you, Uther.
Uther Menethil says: I love you too, Lianne.

Jaina also sees them off after sharing a tender word with her husband. She says she looks forward to seeing them again soon.

Uther expresses he doesn’t think it will be too long. Jaina says she hopes he’s right, and bids them farewell.

Uther is at the head of the entourage, side-by-side with his father. Falric and Ashwynn are close behind. Remnii is nestled just behind the royal family in the section of honor, riding near sir Benjamin.

Valeera was to meet them outside the city.

Many elves have also taken to the streets to see them off. There is some whispering about Remnii. However, the elvish delegation has already taken off to Fort Crossing.

There are plenty of young noble ladies in the crowd waving at Uther and giggling. Uther has a small golden goatee at this point. At some point, Arthas mused about doing the same thing, but Jaina shot it down immediately.

Many of the trees are starting to turn, and the leaves are falling. They pass farmsteads, people raking leaves and preparing for the winter. Many stop and line the roads in small clusters to see the prince and the king, and the beautiful princess Ashwynn, as well as the strange guest. Even on some of the farmsteads there are elven refugees that had sought out work.

They pass guard towers, and some soldiers join the caravan for a bit only to part ways to head to another barracks.

October 21st

The group arrives in the city of Andorhal, and they see a bustling trade town. As they approach it, all the mills nearby are being emptied, but the granaries stand proud and tall. Benjamin explains to Remnii that Andorhal is almost smack dab in the middle of Lordaeron, and it serves as a hub city and is very prosperous. There are also a number of barracks here.

If anything were to happen to Andorhal, it would paralyze the kingdom, so it is well-protected.

But as they approach Andorhal, Uther spies something curious. There are a number of tents outside the city. It’s another military force camped outside, with the black and orange standards of Alterac flapping in the autumn air.

As they ride closer, Arthas also takes note.

King Arthas Menethil says: You know, if we’re lucky, that may be the main group. I don’t know how many people the kingdom is sending.
Uther Menethil says: We need every man we can get.

As they approach, Arthas laughs quietly.

King Arthas Menethil says: Even better.

He points.

King Arthas Menethil says: You see that?

There’s a beautiful white mare with long fur over the hooves and beautiful Alterac barding, both elegant and utilitarian. But the barding looks like it was made in Lordaeron.

King Arthas Menethil says: I’d recognize that mare anywhere.

It’s Calia’s mare.

There’s another familiar horse there. It’s a beautiful destrier that had not been seen since Durnholde. It’s Victor’s.

As the Lordaeron entourage rides in, they are greeted by a few knights. One of them introduces himself as Valimar Mordis, a baron of Alterac, and he offers to go fetch Calia. They had thought they had missed the Lordaeron entourage.

Before long, sauntering through the camp with his mother behind him, is Uther’s cousin, Victor Prestor. Uther smiles, and Victor greets him with his arms outstretched.

Uther Menethil says: It’s good to see you again. Though I wish it could have been under better circumstances.
Victor Prestor says: On that, we agree.

Meanwhile, Arthas goes right for Calia, and they embrace.

Uther lowers his voice a bit.

Uther Menethil says: I don’t suppose you received my letter?
Victor Prestor says: I did. Is it as bad as it seems?
Uther Menethil says: Worse. I’ve seen it myself, cousin. Our world has seen nothing like this.
Victor Prestor says: I’ll have to take your word for it until I see it myself.
Uther Menethil says: I’ll go into further detail later.
Victor Prestor says: Appreciated. I’ll be reporting back. It’s what we can do to get aid from my lord father. This is the most he was willing to spare presently.
Uther Menethil says: If all of the kingdoms, and Azeroth, doesn’t stand together, we will all fall alone.

Victor then greets Ashwynn.

Victor Prestor says: Ashwynn! Still looking as single as ever!
Ashwynn Menethil says: I see the months have not dulled your humor.
Victor Prestor says: Not in the least.

They also embrace, and Victor goes around to greet the others.

Then Victor’s eyes fall on Remnii, and he freezes for a moment.

Uther Menethil says: Ah! Yes. Victor, I would like you to meet ambassador Remnii. Her people have been fighting our invaders for a very long time.

There’s a moment that Victor definitely looks Remnii from hooves to head, and he crosses his arms, and looks her up and down again.

Victor Prestor says: Well I say. It’s quite the pleasure to make your acquaintance, lady Remnii.

Remnii watches, and nods.

Remnii says: Well met, your majesty.
Victor Prestor says: Please. Technically speaking, it would be highness. Majesty is preserved for people like them.

He gestures to Arthas and Calia.

Victor Prestor says: Victor is fine.
Remnii says: So many titles to learn! In that case, it is good to meet you, Victor.
Victor Prestor says: As far as I’m concerned, a friend of Uther’s, is a friend of mine. Perhaps we’ll be better friends than me and Uther.
Uther Menethil says: I quite honestly owe her my life.
Victor Prestor says: I’m sure. Over time, you will have to tell me how Uther became acquainted with such a beautiful young woman.

Uther then goes to greet Calia, and they also embrace. She expresses it’s good to see the countryside again as she hadn’t really seen it in nearly 20 years. She and Uther share a look, as that same countryside may become embroiled in war.

Calia also greets Remnii and wishes her luck in pursuing the path to priesthood, as she had once pursued that same route before her life took her a different way.

Julia Celeste is also present, and she greets them, as she will be traveling with them as well. She also introduces them to a quiet paladin named Aretain, and his brother, Syndrissin who appears to be a priest.

Arrangements are also made for traveling plans, and it’s decided Victor will go with Uther, while Calia will accompany Arthas.

Later that evening, Arthas approaches Uther with a solemn look. Uther just follows him without any words, and they cross the bridge east of Andorhal, and they enter Sorrow Hill. Many heroes that had fallen were buried here, including Uther the Lightbringer.

It’s a simple tomb with a small chapel that contains a single room. Sconces of gold everburning flame light the way into the chapel as Arthas and Uther pass through it. They are greeted with the towering visage of the statue of Uther the Lightbringer. Beneath it, the man himself is entombed.

There are many offerings. Flowers. Weapons. Holy books. Bottles of meade--namely his favorite kind. An alter is nestled in the back with a simple book of prayer, and a quill where one can write. There are notes folded and cast about, littering the ground in a beautiful mosaic of wishes and hopes to Saint Uther--the most recent of the saints accepted in the Church of Holy Light.

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Arthas steps in. Falric and Ashwynn remain waiting outside.

Uther and Arthas kneel before the statue.

King Arthas Menethil says: I wish you were still here, Uther. We all could use your guidance in this dark time. But in your name, I will bring the Light. I will protect our people, and I will continue your mission. Please grant us the strength.
Uther Menethil says: I’m old enough to know that you were a man, a great man, but a man nonetheless. But still, I imagine you through the stories and the few memories I have, as this 20 foot tall giant laying waste to entire battalions with a single swing of your hammer, protecting thousands of people with nothing but your outstretched palm and a shield of shimmering light. My parents gave me this name, but I swear I will earn it. Please lend me your strength.

There is a moment of solemn silence as they continue to kneel in respect and remembrance. The sun is gradually setting, and the window behind the statue dimming until nothing but the light of the moons above, and the candles and torches, illuminate it.

Uther feels a warmth inside of him, and he leaves his Uther the Lightbringer hearthstone card at the feet of the statue.

Arthas chuckles.

King Arthas Menethil says: You know. If he saw that. If he knew they turned him into a hearthstone card, I feel he would look at it, laugh, and say, ‘You know, I think they made me a little bit too short in this picture!’ Or ‘My beard is not nearly this gray!’
Uther Menethil says: I wish I had gotten to know him better.
King Arthas Menethil says: I only hope I can do him justice. I may not be the Lightbringer, but I carry his tome. I only hope I can do justice to his name, to this, and to you.
Uther Menethil says: Well. Seeing what I’ve seen, father, I think we’ll either do him justice, or we won’t be around long enough to regret not being able to.
King Arthas Menethil says: Lets endeavor to make sure it’s the former, not the latter. Lets get headed back. We have a long road ahead of us.

They almost fear like they are being watched as they leave. Without thinking, Uther looks back at the statue. There’s nothing there, but at the same time, perhaps there is.

As they head over the bridge in the moonlight, the ruins of Caer Darrow on Darrowmere Lake looms in the dark.

October 26th

Gil and Lieran arrive at the torch-lit lodge, and they can hear water lapping at the shore as the gryphon lands. A young woman is sitting near a lantern, and she was started awake by the arrival of the gryphon. It’s another human who looks a lot like Lieran, but the way she carries herself is completely different. She is wearing elvish clothing, and her hairstyle is more elven in nature.

The woman expresses she was getting worried.

Lieran says: Looks more like you were worried about getting some Zs.
Lieran's Sister says: It was only because it took you so long. Who is this?
Lieran says: This? Just some lad I ran into.
Lieran's Sister says: A lad you ran into.
Lieran says: Not like that!
Lieran's Sister says: Regardless. Nice to meet you. My name is Loania. I see you met my sister.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Oh. Yeah. I’m Gilveradin.
Loania says: Pleasure to meet you. I’m glad the sentries didn’t shoot you down.
Lieran says: They must be used to me by now.
Loania says: Come inside.

They enter the lodge.

Loania says: You’re a farstrider, yes?
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Yes.
Loania says: Excellent. My mother is too. I imagine you have business here.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I’m here to deliver… I’m assuming orders. I don’t know. Sealed envelope.
Loania says: Oh. Well I’ll take you to my mother. I’m not actually part of the lodge, I just live here.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Excellent. It will be good to walk on the ground.
Loania says: I imagine. Gryphons can be quite trying. Dragonhawks are much more suited.
Lieran says: If you like swimming in the sky or something!

There is some banter. Then Loania recognizes Gil’s name.

Loania says: Wait. Gilveradin. You wouldn’t be Gilveradin Windrunner?

Gil confirms.

Loania says: Oh. My. It’s like meeting something of a celebrity. I’ve heard so much about your family. It’s so unexpected. I’m sorry, that may be quite awkward to hear.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: It’s fine. I don’t normally get this reaction. But it’s fine.

Loania chuckles and stops in front of a door.

Loania says: This is where my mother and I live. One moment.

She calls for her mother in Thalassian, and also informs her that Lieran is there. The woman on the other side says she doesn’t need to knock.

They open the door, and the quarters show clearly that the occupant is likely a ranger, not just a farstrider, but it’s a bit more homey. There’s a large buck head on the wall, as well as a grizzly bear that was stuffed in the main hall. The decorations are clearly quel’dorei in make, but they are more woodsy.

The woman who greets them seems to be in her middle ages. She’s a proud-looking elf with long brownish hair in a long braid. She’s wearing simple clothing, and her armor is on a stand nearby with her bow.

There are also various books on arcane magic, which is curious.

The woman offers a smile to her daughter and her twin sister.

Loania's Mother says: Welcome, Lieran, I hope you didn’t frighten the sentries. You know better.
Lieran says: Apologies! I got distracted meeting our new friend. Hope you aren’t too upset.
Loania's Mother says: No, it’s alright. You’re a farstrider from the looks of it. I assume you’re here on business.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Yes. I am.

He holds out the letter.

Loania's Mother says: I see. Well. The Ranger-Captain in charge, Saldor Shallowbrook, may be asleep. He's older, even by our standards, so he doesn't stay up as late as he used to. I suppose I can pass it on to my other superior, Jalinde Summerdrake, or we can wait until morning.

The woman notes they already heard of the fall of their homeland, but orders from the Ranger-General should likely be opened as soon as possible. She suggests they should find Summerdrake.

They head outside, and there is a training yard. There is a red-headed elf there, a bit younger than Loania’s mother. The woman stops as they approach.

Ranger-Captain Jalinde Summerdrake says: Voldana? Is there something I can help with.

She see’s Gil.

Ranger-Captain Jalinde Summerdrake says: You. You’re not from the lodge.
Voldana says: Correct. He has orders from the Ranger-General.
Ranger-Captain Jalinde Summerdrake says: I see. And what else does the Ranger-Gneeral wish to levy upon us, as if we don’t have enough to do?
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I… don’t know actually.

Gil offers the orders to the woman, and she almost snatches the missive from him. As she reads, she laughs.

Ranger-Captain Jalinde Summerdrake says: You’ve got to be kidding me?

Gil stands patiently as the missive is handed to Voldana.

Ranger-Captain Jalinde Summerdrake says: The nerve of her to send this. Let me guess, you’re Gilveradin?

Gil confirms.

Ranger-Captain Jalinde Summerdrake says: Of course. And she sends her little nephew to do her dirty work. I apologize. I shouldn’t take this out on you, but this is absurd.

Voldana reads the missive aloud.

Voladana says: Shallowbrook. In light of the recent events that have taken place in Silvermoon, you are to cease your supervision of the Darkspear trolls and let them live their lives. If they wish to continue living in Hiri’watha, they may, or they move elsewhere. We need as many of your rangers as you can afford to move north. We do not have the time or manpower to spend supervising trolls that want to do nothing but live their lives peacefully. Sincerely, Sylvanas Windrunner.

Summerdrake appears to be fuming

Ranger-Captain Jalinde Summerdrake says: So what. I need to give up half my farstriders, and send them north, while keeping a presence here when there are trolls raiding? And no additional assistance? I can’t believe this. This isn’t a forgery? No. Of course not. This is exactly something she would do.
Voldana says: I suggest we bring this to Shallowbrook in the morning and we follow his orders.
Ranger-Captain Jalinde Summerdrake says: Yes, as if he’s going to do anything but listen to her lockstep and have us do her dirty work. But you’re right. It’s a direct order from the Ranger-General. I just hope these Darkspear don’t run off to join their raiding brethren.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I don’t think the Darkspear have enough resources to barely keep themselves alive, let alone be a threat.
Ranger-Captain Jalinde Summerdrake says: Respectfully, farstrider, I didn’t ask you. They are still trolls. We can’t trust them, and we have given them what we could while watching them. And now we have to leave. I just hope they don’t turn on us when they want more. The trolls are resilient, but they have no qualms in taking what they need. They never have. They didn’t 3000 years ago, and they don’t now. So respectfully, I suggest you keep your opinions to yourself. Sylvanas may allow you to give her lip, but I will not. I’ll give this to the Ranger-Captain in the morning, and I’ll see what his orders for us are. Good evening, Gilveradin. Loania. Voldana.

She also nods to Lieran, rips an arrow from a stump, and returns to the lodge.

Voldana says: That was about the reaction I was expecting. Though I was not expecting such drastic orders.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Half our farstriders are stuck behind a wall with monsters.
Voldana says: I understand, and I’m certain that’s very difficult. But Quel’Danil is the furthest lodge from the homeland. Many of the younger farstriders were born here. They’ve never seen the Sunwell nor the groves. Many would jump at the opportunity to protect Quel'Thalas, but for many, this is our home. Jalinde was assigned here a long time ago. I understand why she is hesitant. She trained with Sylvanas once. She believes Sylvanas is only the ranger-general because she is the daughter of the previous one. In fact many among the Highveil elves believe such a thing. Since the lodge in Loch Modan closed centuries ago, this was the furthest reach Quel’Thalas had, but word eventually reached us that we could be forgotten. These orders don’t engender hope, but I will follow the Ranger-General’s orders. She is still our leader, and ultimately Quel’Thalas is still my home.
Loania says: I want to help too. I may not be a farstrider, but you’re my family. You raised me like your own.

Voldana smiles and brushes some hair from Loania’s eyes.

Voldana says: I know. And thank you. Nevertheless, Lieran, Gilveradin, I suppose you need somewhere to stay. You Are welcome to stay at the lodge. There’s plenty of room for you.

It becomes quickly evident they are very understaffed as is.

Loania and Lieran bid Gil goodnight and leave him to his chambers.

Gil talks to some other farstriders about how things are in the area. A few speak quietly. They aren’t harsh, and they are still welcoming, but they don’t seem keen to share information. They are more insular. Gil gets the sense that, while they are elves, they have almost evolved into their own sort of mini-state so far from Quel’Thalas. They almost have a separate identity from the elves in Silvermoon. While they are concerned for the homeland, they also fear for themselves.

The question passes Gil’s mind of when the last time there was a Windrunner present here was.

Gil beds down for the night.

October 27th

The next morning, he awakes to a quiet rapping on his door. An unfamiliar voice calls to him, informing him the ranger-captain wishes to see him.

Gil gets ready and opens the door. There’s another farstrider with a long braided ponytail of chestnut brown hair.

Gil is lead to a room. There’s an older elf there. He’s not quite as old as some of the really old elves, but he may have been around during the first troll wars, or was born soon after. There are some spectacles on his nose as he looks through his paperwork.

Ranger-Captain Saldor Shallowbrook says: You’ve traveled quite a way to deliver this missive.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: It was a bit of a trek.
Ranger-Captain Saldor Shallowbrook says: It’s unfortunate news. Quel’Danil lodge is notoriously understaffed, and we have to rely on our own resources far too much. To request assistance from us is… unfortunate, is all I can say, but an order from the ranger-general is an order from the ranger-general. I’ve already put ranger Summerdrake in charge of the contingent to inform the trolls at Hiri’watha. We will spare those we can, but cannot spare many. Perhaps a dozen at most. I hope the ranger-general will accept our apologies, and perhaps we can send some dragonhawks. But I urge you to inform your aunt Sylvanas, we can use whatever aid possible. While the Gatekeeper serves as a reminder of the threats to our people, there are still things lurking in the forest and it would be good for her not to forget that. I’ll send a missive explaining as much. Can I count on you for that, strider?
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Yes. Of course, though if I may, I would be willing to go the Darkspear to explain the situation.
Ranger-Captain Saldor Shallowbrook says: Your orders are not from me, strider. The aid would be appreciated, but you would have to speak with the ranger-captain.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I meant just go myself and save you the resources.
Ranger-Captain Saldor Shallowbrook says: This is a Highveil order. But the offer is appreciated, and noted. I’ll be sure to include that in my missive to the Ranger-General. Not to mention, it is known those aforementioned Darkspear trolls were sent here partially on your orders. Or rather, by your design. I’ve learned as much by speaking with one of their members.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Yes, I suppose that’s true.
Ranger-Captain Saldor Shallowbrook says: I’m aware. Is there anything else I can help you with? The farstrider volunteers I can spare will leave on the morrow. You are welcome to stay as long as you need. After all, you are a member of our order, even if some forget that. You are welcome to travel with those heading to Fort Crossing if that’s your next destination.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I don’t suppose you would have a spare dragonhawk?
Ranger-Captain Saldor Shallowbrook says: No. We have hardly enough ourselves, and with not a single elf that knows dragonhawk husbandry here, it will likely remain that way. You’re welcome to ask the Wildhammer dwarves for one of their gryphons.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I think they’d sooner feed me to their gryphons.
Ranger-Captain Saldor Shallowbrook says: Correct. It took me long enough to negotiate with them before. This is our home as much as theirs. Anyway. If that’s all, please close the door on your way out.

Gil leaves, then goes to find Lieran. He finds her hanging out with her twin sister. Graysoar is nearby chewing on a dead squirrel.

Lieran says: Hi Gil, how’d your meeting go?
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I feel like most of these elves hate me.
Loania says: Why would that be? What have you done to them?
Gilveradin Windrunner says: They were watching over the Darkspear. That’s more or less my fault.
Loania says: Oh. I suppose I can see what some take offense to that. For what it’s worth, I think what you did was good. They’re good people. I spoke with them briefly. A few of them. The ones that were alright with speaking to me. I’ve gone to Hiri’watha a couple of times.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Yes, well. It turns out there are no spare dragonhawks here. So I’m not sure how I’ll get to Grim Batol.
Loania says: That’s a shame. I’ve been trying to learn how to handle them, but they are difficult creatures.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Yes. They match elves quite well.
Lieran says: So what are you planning on doin’? Are you heading back to that Gatekeeper? I can leave a message for Falstad, especially if you’re his friend.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I might see if I can find someone on their way to Grim Batol who can take me.
Lieran says: That’s possible. I suppose I just don’t know how long that will take ya.
Loania says: Why do you need to speak with this Falstad anyways?
Gilveradin Windrunner says: For one, he may be able to get us the help we need to repel the invasion, and I have a personal matter to bring up with him.

Loania grabs Lieran’s hand.

Loania says: Super-secret-sister-meeting-time?
Lieran says: Now?
Loania says: Give me one second.

The pair get up and talk animatedly. Graysoar looks up at Gil.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: You mind if I scratch you?

The gryphon closes her eye and nuzzles closer.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: Do they do this often?

The gryphon just clicks in response. Gil makes an attempt to use his magic to speak with her directly. Suddenly, the response she said sounds less indistinct.

Graysoar says: Frequently, ever since they’ve known each other.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Oh. That’s so much more clear.
Graysoar says: You can understand me? You are a great curiosity. He who smells of green.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Is that why you were willing to trust me?
Graysoar says: You smell of the forest. And good. And life. So yes. You smell of blood, but you smell too of life. Most men simply smell of blood.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Yeah, I prefer not to kill unless I have to.
Graysoar says: You have a good strong heart. I believe she has seen that. Judging from the way they are speaking.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I am trying not listen.
Graysoar says: Your ears are larger than theirs, but they are used to hiding from them.

Soon enough, the pair comes back, and Lieran looks a bit annoyed, but Loania looks more nervous, but happy. Clearly she won the argument.

Loania says: Um. Gil. If you’re willing. What if I knew a way that you could possibly get to Grim Batol? Without having to borrow gryphon from Aerie Peak? Or a Dragonhawk from Quel’danil Lodge?
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Sounds like there’s a catch.
Lieran says: Aye. Namely that you’d have to drag us along with you.
Loania says: She has a gryphon. I can borrow mother’s Dragonhawk. Perhaps we can ferry you there. I don’t know why, but this news about what happened… you seem like you need help, and the people here don’t seem to want to help you, but that’s not fair. You’re fighting a war just as much as they are, and I’m not doing anything here except trying to learn to be a mage, and learning how to make dragonhawks not bite my hand off.
Lieran says: It’s a long flight. Graysoar has never made such a flight.
Loania says: If you don’t want to, I understand. I don’t know how long it’ll take.
Lieran says: I may be able to figure that out. When me pa went there before it was about a two week flight. We’d be pretty close to Loch Modan. I guess if Loania wants to take you I won’t let her do it herself because she’ll get herself killed, and I can’t have her do that. Family sticks together.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I’m not in a position to turn you down.
Lieran says: Weren’t you supposed to report back to your people or something? I don’t know how long it’ll take to get back, or if Falstad will be there when we arrive.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Sometimes it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.

Loania covers her mouth, but Lieran smirks.

Lieran says: Ya know. I’ll have to take that advice. I don’t think I’m going to get permission either. But I’ll send word back with the next supply line.
Loania says: I’ll have to get permission from my mother. It is her dragonhawk, and I won’t steal it, before you suggest that.
Lieran says: I wasn’t going to suggest it, but that would be funny. Good thing I brought me hammer in case we run into something on the way there.
Loania says: I suppose I should ask here then. The sooner we leave, the better. I’m a bit nervous thinking about it.
Graysoar says: The dragonhawk will smell her fear. She must master her emotions to master the skies.

Only Gil understands her.

Lieran says: Hear that, Graysoar? We’re going to stretch those wings of yours.
Graysoar says: I heard.

Gil chuckles.

Lieran says: What’s so funny?
Gilveradin Windrunner says: She can hear you.
Lieran says: I know. I talk to her. How do you know? You just met a gryphon two days ago.

Gil just shrugs with a smile.

Loania comes back, and informs them Voldana is letting her borrow the dragonhawk on the condition it is fed well and cared for. She also mentions that she’s not that great of a hunter and she may need Gil’s help to feed the dragonhawk in question.

Gil said he can keep them fed.

Lieran says: Anyroad, I’ll meet you at the dragonhawk roost with Graysoar.

Lieran then takes to the skies and heads toward the roost. Loania already has her stuff with her with a bow over her shoulder, as well as a spellbook on her hip.

Loania says: Shall we?
Gilveradin Windrunner says: So you’re a mage then?
Loania says: In a sense. Mostly self-taught. I picked up some things, but I know a few incantations. I’ve been trying to learn more. I was hoping perhaps someday I’ll find our father, but so far no dice. I’ll have to become a lot stronger. Oh, I guess that’s a bit confusing. You may be curious. My father was a knight. We were born in Grand Hamlet, a city near Stormwind. I’ve only been there once to see my birth mother after she passed away. That aside. We were born there, but we didn’t know about each other until we were young women. My mother and her father were friends of my father. They fought together in the Second Troll Wars, but my father never came back. He disappeared. Lieran thinks he’s dead, but I think he may be out there. It may be a bit silly, but my birth mother… I never knew her before she passed. Voldana and Kardan took the two of us in as a favor to our father. When we were old enough, well, actually, we ran into each other without knowing who the other was. Imagine running into your spitting image without knowing the other existed.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I’m used to twins.
Loania says: That’s right! You have a twin sister.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Yeah. But I was talking about my cousins.
Loania says: Oh! I didn’t know about them. It seems twins run in your family.

They join up with Lieran, and Loania whistles for her mother’s dragonhawk. It’s a rather large dragonhawk with an almost silver coloration that turns into an orange-red. It perches on its wings on the ground and croons at Loania.

Loania, in Thalassian, in almost too-perfect diction, speaks to the dragonhawk, whose name is Summerflight. Loania saddles up. Lieran doesn’t use a saddle.

Loania holds a hand out to Gil, but Lieran comments that Loania is a novice, and Gil should ride with her, as Graysoar likes him.

They bicker a bit, then says Gil can ride with whoever he wants.

Summerflight says: The young ones chirp a great deal. I did not know that humanoids had mating seasons.

Gil blinks super slowly, still able to understand.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: So you’re going to make me choose so you can blame me, right?
Loania says: I would never do something so manipulative--
Lieran says: Yes she would.
Loania says: Shut up!
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I tell you what, I’ll flip a coin.
Lieran says: Seems fair. Heads you pick me, tails you pick Graysoar.
Loania says: Hey!
Gilveradin Windrunner says: That was quick, I’ll give you that.

Gil flips a coin, and it winds up with Loania and Summerflight.

Gil looks at Summerflight.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: You won’t bite me, will you?
Summerflight says: I would never do such a thing. You wear green. You are of the same clan as she is. You are allies.

Gil then hops onto the dragonhawk.

Loania says: You’ve made the safer option!
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I did not choose. Fate did.
Loania says: Right! Well fate did!
Lieran says: You won this one, Loania, but I’ll get the next one.
Summerflight says: But let me make this clear. If you harm her charge, I will bite you. And it will be hard. You will be lucky if I try not to do otherwise. Hold on.

They all then take off. They see Voldana looking up, and she waves. Loania waves back down. Lieran takes that exact moment to do a barrel roll before charging ahead.

Loania says: Stop that!

Gil realizes the days are steadily slipping through his fingers. By the time they get back, he will only have about a week to get back from the Hinterlands to Last Crossing.

He may not make it in time.

He sends his sister informing her what he’s doing.

Vel takes note, reminding him that the summit is December 1st, and their aunt is trusting him.

Back with Uther and Remnii, the next morning at Andorhal, the group leaves with their new traveling companions. The entourages part ways.

Arthas tells Uther to make sure his sister rests, and that Victor is not sneaking into any girls’ tents. Uther expresses his father has overestimated the control he has over his companions. Calia also asks Uther to watch out for Victor, as this war has already taken a toll on him.

Calia then bids farewell to the others.

October 31st

Uther’s group heads north toward Hearthglen, spending the next week and a half traveling. Hearthglen is the city that has never fallen, and the home of Tirion Fordring. The lord of Mardenholde Keep, Taelan Fordring, meets them at the gates. It’s the last day of October.

Decorations are erected throughout the city, and children are running about in costume in celebration of Hallow’s End.

It’s also Uther’s birthday.

Outside the keep there are a number of common folk gathering a grand number of sticks and lumber as they create the bottom half of a torso from them.

Despite the grim tone of the decorations, there’s a jovial air about everything.

Benjamin explains what is going on to Remnii. Remnii asks if this was for Uther’s birthday, but Benjamin says no, he just happened to be born on the same day.

Eventually the sun goes down, and Elissa asks Uther if they can go see “it”. Uther says of course, and Elissa gets super excited, as she hasn’t missed a wickerman in her life.

Elissa hastily explains it to Remnii, who is quite confused, and they go to see it outside the gates.

A bunch of others also go, including Victor and Natalie. There’s some chatter because there are two princes in the crowd, as well as the curiosity that is Remnii.

There are also some elves in the crowd as well. Many seem to be as confused as Remnii as this is largely a human custom.

An elder woman is addressing the crowd.

Hearthglen Elder says: It has been 364 years-- I mean days. We have toiled away in our lives. The difficulties and hardships have been grueling at times and jovial at others. All of us have traveled far and wide to make it this far, yet here we still stand. Strong. Together. And resilient. From the poorest of the paupers, and the greatest of kings, we stand together as one. We stand together as one, and have brought forth our burdens to create this!

Her hands glow with a small degree of magic as she gestures at the wickerman.

Hearthglen Elder says: A giant comprised of our hardships! Of violence and strife! And we come here together, when the veil between our world and that of the next, when our ancestors can watch over us. We came here--
Voice in the Crowd says: TO BURN IT!
Hearthglen Elder says: That’s right! We came here to take those burdens and rend them from our lives! To never allow our burdens to overbear us! To burn them away! It will be my honor to leave this today! To dance until the wickerman has burned to its lowest ashes!

She then lights a torch and raises it to the wickerman.

Victor Prestor says: Just one moment!

Everyone looks at him and the crowd parts.

Victor Prestor says: I think we are missing out on a golden opportunity, ladies and gentlemen! Because we are in the presence of someone very important! After all, none but your own high prince Uther is among the crowd! And I’m certain all in the crowd, no doubt all you ladies, are aware our dear prince is more than adept in the sorcerous arts. And I’m certain some who are his greater fans would know today is his nameday. How many times would such an occurrence happen? I nominate you, Uther Derick Menethil, to be given the honor of lighting the wickerman! Who’s with me?

There’s some whispering, and then everyone starts chanting.

Hearthglen Elder says: Oh well, this is quite unexpected! Alright. Come on lad, come, please, your highness.
Uther Menethil says: Well if you all insist.

There’s cheering and clapping, and Elissa nudges Uther forward as well.

Uther faces the crowd, extends his hands out to the side, small flames starting at the tips of his fingers, and then with a big, grand, arm swirling motion, he shoots a firebolt at the wickerman. The chest of the wickerman starts to burst into flames, caught alight.

Cheering begins, and what started as a crowd staring in awe, bursts into song and dance.

Elissa is right in the middle of it, dancing with people she’s never met before.

As the celebration takes off, Uther slips away for a bit, feeling a bit broody.

Remnii is on the sidelines, cheerfully observing. Eventually Victor saunters over to Remnii as he is unable to locate Uther. Remnii mentions she is simply taking everything in, as she doesn’t know anything about anything.

Victor then offers Remnii a gloved hand, as there’s no better time to learn than the present. Sir Benjamin nods encouragingly as Victor whisks Remnii into the crowd. Eventually she is swirled away from Victor.

However, Remnii too slips away, having noticed Uther hadn’t been smiling in his eyes the couple time she saw him. Ashwynn and Valeera are not participating, simply talking idly to each other.

They point Remnii in the direction of Uther, though Valeera said she didn’t want to bother him, and she had to stop Ashwynn from bothering him. There’s a squint from Ashwynn.

Remnii does find Uther.

She asks him how he is.

Uther Menethil says: For my entire life, I’ve wanted to light the wickerman. And now here we are. I’ve gotten to light the wickerman, and all I can think about is what will happen when that barrier falls. I know what I’ve seen, and it weighs on me that this may be the last time a wickerman gets set alight, this may be the last nameday for me, everyone in that village, everyone in the other cities, even as far as Ironforge. Quel’Thalas has already fallen. And if I am not strong enough, that is exactly what will come to pass. And I’ve already been not strong enough. I was strong enough to save Arator, but I wasn’t strong enough to keep him from being captured. I was strong enough to hold that bridge, but not strong enough to survive doing it. And I know that, it make sense to go and enjoy the festival because this may be the last time. But. I don’t know. Maybe I’m avoiding it so there has to be another time.
Remnii says: You know. I can understand thinking like that. It’s taken a host of different people to get me to see things different. And given a room to stay in at the castle, so generously by your family, but all I could focus on is how and why I was not doing more a the exact moment. I knew nothing of the language or the people. I didn’t even know you until far later. Yet no matter what will happen, this will not be the last wickerman that is lighted. Resilience is something that comes seemingly intrinsically with being human, and these celebrations are needed, in my eyes, more not as the last one, but as a reminder of how you are strong. And how there will be another. They will find a way to light a wickerman. Humans have even fought amongst themselves, quite often in the past.
Uther Menethil says: Too often.
Remnii says: Yet here they are. I cannot make everything better, Uther. I come often only bearing grim tidings. Yet I… what struck me about tonight was a will to see a better day. To put your problems in a huge man made of wood, and then light it on fire.

Uther smiles and stands up.

Uther Menethil says: You know. I don’t have many memories of the man whose name I carry. But one thing I remember well was him telling me once that he was afraid. I couldn’t have been more than three. I told him that that wasn’t possible. That he was the bravest man I knew. And Uther the Lightbringer looked down at me and said ‘Lad. When you’re afraid it’s the only time you are capable of being brave.’
Remnii says: Wise words.
Uther Menethil says: I’ve almost forgotten. I think it’s time to be brave.

He holds his hand out.

Uther Menethil says: Shall we dance.
Remnii says: That sounds good to me. But before we go.

Remnii presses something into his palm. It’s a pendant with a chain and the symbol of the church of the holy light on it.

Remnii says: A phrase I have said a number of times is a draenic proverb: Blessed are the torchbearers that bring light to the darkness. Nothing about the word torchbears is singular. To be brave, one must understand that you are inspiring others as much as they are inspiring you. It is a small nameday gift, but also a thank you. I would not be where I am now were it not for your bravery in that moment. Do I want to repeat it? Absolutely not. But may you find light when your time is darkest. Know that the light leads us where we need to be. Also. Elissa and Ashwynn had help in gathering everything, though I made it.

Remnii explains it has 50 charges that does not recharge. It can be used to cast the light cantrip for free among other things.

Uther tries it, and it glows, flashing the symbol of a naaru as it cast light about them.

Remnii says: There is much light in you. Do not forget that.
Uther Menethil says: And if I do, please, remind me.

The two then head back to the party. Both Uther and Remnii are super bad at dancing.

As the last cinders expire, the group are finally drug back by Ashwynn to rest for the traveling the next day.