[Alliance] Chapter Three: Session Two

Appearing Characters: Arator Windrunner, Ashwynn Menethil, Calvin Cross, Danath Trollbane, Dobbs Rivers, Elanora Proudmoore, Elissa Cross, Esara Verrinde, Falstad Wildhammer, Gilveradin Windrunner, Lan'dalock, Lieran, Loania, Luc Valonforth, Marwyn, Mishan Waycrest-Proudmoore, Nem'aen, Othmar Garithos, Remnii, Seria, Tandred Proudmoore, Uther Menethil, Valeera Sanguinar, Velameestra Windrunner, Victor Prestor, Vittoria Trollbane

As Gil flies over the Hinterlands with his companions, he sees evergreen trees and trollish ruins spanning below. As evening approaches, the small group lands, and Loania and Lieren share a tent.

Lieren and Gil manage to hunt their dinner for the night. Gil observes that Loania has a small amount of magic at her beck and call--namely she has used both prestidigitation and druidcraft, which was a trick she probably learned from her mother. She also conjured a small light using the light cantrip.

The next morning they continue on, and the process continues for several days. It’s rather mundane travel, overall, and with time they cross into the Arathi Highlands. In contrast to the chilly Hinterlands, the Arathi Highlands are sprawling hills and rolling highlands. In the distance there are farmsteads and watchtowers bearing the red and silver standard of Stromgarde. Intermittently, they also observe stones that are placed in particular ways, likely arranged far in the past.

As night falls, they find an abandoned logger’s hut. Gil pokes around the hut, and he can’t tell how long it’s been since anyone was there, but it seems to be clearly abandoned. Everything had been cleared out. However, it was warm, and there was a hearth present without any cut logs.

As Gil examines the area, he uses his primeval awareness, but he senses no humanoids beyond themselves nearby. The night is chilly, with a strong wind, and they opt to stay in the logger’s hut for the night. Lieren chops some wood in the back.

It’s another uneventful night.

Several more days pass, and as they start to leave the Highlands they encounter a small traveling group that they hail. There are two knights, who ask where the small group are headed. Gil responds that they are heading to Grim Batol, and one of the knights comments on the strange companions present.

Gil comments he’s had stranger, but asks if they know of areas that they should avoid, as one of the knights mentions they are in the Witherbark Woods. The knights explain that the woods themselves should likely be avoided, as it’s one of the last places in the Arathi Highlands that the trolls have any sort of dominion over. They’ve been rather difficult to chase out.

The only other threat they mention are highwaymen, though given the dragonhawk and gryphon, it was likely they could avoid them easily. The knight then identifies Gil as a ranger, and Gil confirms.

The other knight comments he had heard that the elven farstriders could shoot three birds with one arrow. Gil comments that it would be rather hard to find three birds lined up. The knight then mentions he heard that they could also talk to animals, which Gil mentioned would be quite a gift.

However, as the knight continued that if he could do so he could tell them why the one horse continues to steal the other horse’s food, and amused, Gil actually does go and talk to the horses.

The horse in question simply says he likes to steal.

The other horse mentions that he’s picky anyway.

Gil informs the knights, and the younger knight then goes to scold the horse in question. Loania asks Gil if he can really talk to animals, and if he does, she asks a bunch of questions about whether Summerflight likes her. Gil answers the questions as best he can, and Loania is clearly simultaneously amazed and super self-conscious about what her mother’s dragonhawk thinks of her.

The knights, when asked further questions, explain the fighting forces in the Arathi Highlands were sparse, and as a result the roods weren’t very safe. The two knights in question were still in the area because of their nearby families.

The group then takes off again and continue their flight. In time, they pass over the Thandol Span, and officially enter Khaz Modan. The bridge over the Thandol Span appears to be dwarven in make, and it’s a bit damaged. There is a second bridge as well, but it looks like it had been completely destroyed.

It has now been eight days after leaving Quel’Danil, and they pass over the mountains into the Wetlands. There are small bog dwelling villages below, but there doesn’t seem to be any expansive settlements. There are some planks over some of the swampy areas, acting almost as makeshift roads.

November 3rd

Finally, they see the winding path that leads to the dwarven fortress of Grim Batol as night settles in again. There’s a light rain that night, with a distant sound of thunder. The group takes shelter in one of the more forested areas that provides cover from the rain.

By the time they land, Loania is shivering quite badly. Lieren seems to be handling the chill fine. They manage to find some place that seems safe and protected enough to bed down.

Lieren is estimating they will likely make it to Grim Batol in about two more days. As they set up camp, Gil mentions one of the other adventures he’s had, and Loania immediately gets excited about the fact Gil may tell them more. Lieren teases her for it.

Gil smiles, then loosely explains he and his companion’s travels during the rising of Zalazane, though he keeps away from any references to gravestriding.

However, as he gets to the end, Gil picks up on some movement nearby. Gil immediately draws his bow and goes to check it out. Lieren also reaches for her stormhammer and takes a few steps after him, while Loania draws her bow and stays rooted.

Gil creeps toward the shrubbery, his bow up and at the ready. However, as he jumps over the shrubs, he sees a flicker in the grass of two eyes peering at him. The creature is pretty dark, and its fur makes it hard to make out in the green, swampy bog.

As Gil takes a closer look, he finds his bow is pointed at a fox with uncharacteristic coloration. Its fur is mostly pitch black with a lighter-colored, swampy-blue color. It watches him from the shrubs, almost frozen.

Gil puts the bow away and asks the fox what its doing there, using speak with animals.

It looks at him for a second, almost perplexed, with its head cocked to the side. It seems like it’s eyeing him cautiously, uncertain as to how he is able to speak with it.

Gil backs away from the fox.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: I’m not going to hurt you.
Lieren says: Aye, Gil, what’d you find?
Gilveradin Windrunner says: A fox.
Lieren says: A fox? And what are you just having a-- right, you can talk to animals.
Loania says: Can I come see it? Or will I scare it away?

Gil looks back at the fox.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: Are you gonna run off?

The fox is clearly paying attention to the other voices, but is still waiting.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: Do you… are you hungry?

The fox shakes its head, still not speaking back.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: Would you just prefer I leave you alone, then?

Gil hears Loania slowly creeping forward. The fox takes a cautious step towards Gil, and as Gil smiles at it, he suddenly hears a scream from behind.

As Gil spins around to look, it seems that Loania is staring at the ground, which has begun to move beneath her. Then there is something deep and resonating as the murky ground moves out from under her.

The creature’s fen-like back is now visible as it emerges, much larger than the terrified human behind it. Its eyes are red, but not supernaturally so, and a collection of vines burbles up from the marsh, ready to swing down at the started girl.

Loania scrambles to her feet and reaches for her spellbook. She mutters out an incantation, and some of the water around her begins to freeze as she casts ice barrier on herself. She then moves back, attempting to move back towards her sister.

The creature swings at her, but misses.

Gil whirls around, and a crystalline light forms into an arrow nocked on the bow Talath enchanted, which then gets empowered further as Gil fires. The blow lands, and he follows up with a second strike, landing another attack.

The fen dweller turns and starts to lumber towards Gil, swinging wildly at the elf. Both of its attack hit, and some of the vines on its arm lash out at Gil, and he starts to get tangled into the creature. His body starts to get pulled into the fen dweller’s body itself, and his sight goes dark and it becomes quite difficult to breathe.

The last thing Gil sees is another fen dweller burst from the foliage and go for Lieren. Lieren attempts to swing at it twice, and both hits connect.

Lieren says: Back away you viney creep!

She whirls on it again, and the fen dweller goes staggering back into the swamp, tripping and falling onto the ground. She then gets between the creature and her sister.

The black fox looks around, and hones in on the fen dweller that swallowed the elf. Then, suddenly, as it leaps forward, its body begins to change shape and it takes the form of a raptor.

It starts to rip into the fen dweller, and Gil sees sharp talons dig inches from his eyes, which gives him just enough time to scramble out. Instead of the fox, he now sees a raptor.

The fen dweller tumbles backwards.

Summerflight takes to the skies and a small cone of fire breath rains down on the creature that had been attacking Loania and Lieren. Graysoar also runs for it, digging at it with beak and claws. Summerflight swoops back around, and takes a chunk out of the creature with her bite.

The fen dweller then stands and swings at Graysoar, sending the gryphon flying backwards.

Gil fires two shots into the fen dweller that had engulfed him, and somehow it’s still alive. An arrow had pinned one of its arms into the muck, and it struggles to free itself.

Gil backs off, and the fen dweller swings at him, but it misses.

Loania takes aim at the fen dweller fighting her and her sister, and she mutters a few more incantations before firing off a chromatic orb at the creature. Icy magic wraps around the fen dweller, but it seems to have resisted much of the damage.

The raptor continues to rake at the face of the other fen dweller, snarling and hissing as it goes for the throat. Finally, the creature sinks into a pile of vines in a vague shape of the creature it was, thoroughly obliterated.

The raptor then looks up and starts to charge at the other one.

Graysoar once again engages with the remaining creature, slamming into and starting to rake at it with her claws and beak again. Gil hears her shouting out war cries and insults at the fen dweller for threatening Lieren. The fen dweller is knocked down again, the gryphon on top of it.

Lieren follows up with two strikes of her own, lightning crackling off her hammer as she beats into the fen dweller. Summerflight makes another flyby attack, and rips off the creature’s entire head. The dragonhawk shakes her head and tosses the head away.

The battle was over.

Lieren stands up and pushes some hair out of her face, then sees the raptor and takes a defensive stance.

Gil is looking at the raptor, which has a similar coloration to the fox that disappeared. The raptor remains still, just watching.

Lieren says: Gil, ya think you’re gonna do that talking to animals thing?

Gil is looking at the raptor really closely.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: I don’t think I need to. Who are you?

The raptor looks up at Gil, and then there’s am ambient glow as wisps of magic come off its form. The tail vanishes, and it takes on a rather tall, more humanoid shape. She looks to be a troll with black hair back in a ponytail. She’s wearing a furred, hooded cape, and blocky, natural armor with wrapped feet. There’s a bag hanging from her back as well.

Loania and Lieren are in awe at this woman that is suddenly standing before them.

Seria says: Da name’s Seria.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Well, I’m Gilveradin. That is Loania, Lieren, Graysoar, and Summerflight.
Loania says: Y-you’re a troll. You weren’t a troll a moment ago. You were a raptor of some kind.

She seems rather flabbergasted.

Seria says: And a fox before dat.
Loania says: Oh.
Lieren says: In any sense, thanks for the assist. Can’t say I’m all that used to fighting alongside a troll, but.

She holds a hand out to Seria. The troll just looks at it, and Lieren lowers the hand.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: Where’s your tribe?

Seria looks at Gil with a glare.

Seria says: Don’t got one.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: O-oh. I’m sorry.
Loania says: Do you, um. Do you have a place to stay tonight? We were in the process of setting up camp.

She gestures aside, and one of the tents was clearly strewn about by one of the emerging creatures. Seria looks around, and extends her arms out.

Seria says: ‘Dis whole place.
Loania says: Right. Um. I guess that makes sense. I guess wherever.
Seria says: You got dat right.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Where are you trying to go?
Seria says: That’s a good question. I’m lookin’ for someone.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Can you give me a bit more to work with?

Seria just sneers at him.

Seria says: No.

Lieren laughs.

Lieren says: Anyroad, ya won’t find anyone in the middle of the night. If you like, you can sleep anywhere here, if you want. We got a campfire. We got us.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I think we’re pretty great.
Seria says: Ya would, elf.

Lieren snorts and laughs.

Loania says: Hey, that’s not very nice!

Loania and Lieren go to continue setting up camp. Gil goes to tend to his injuries, but not before tending to Graysoar. Gil’s magic is a bright viridian green that wraps around the deeper cuts in the gryphon’s body.

Graysoar says: I thank you, green one. The rest of my injuries are superficial. Worry not over them.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: No problem.

As the camp gets set up and watches are arranged, they make some food. Seria stays on the outskirts, just watching.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: Are you looking for one of the other tribes, or? I’m not certain how I can help you unless you give me a bit.
Seria says: It’s not something you can really help me with, mon.

Gil leaves it there and pulls out his lute to play for a bit after he pokes around the creatures. He was able to determine they were plant-like creatures, and potentially some of them could be useful, but it would likely require an herbalism kit or alchemist's supplies of some sort. He did manage to get some of its interior “mulch” out of one, and he got the root stem, two vines, and some more mulch out of the second one.

Loania says: Are you from around here? Have you seen creatures like those that attacked us before?
Seria says: No. I’m not from around here.
Loania says: So you probably don’t know much about those things, huh?
Seria says: I’ve seen enough to know dat they don’t like people in d’ere space.
Loania says: Oh. I guess that makes sense. They probably didn’t like people sticking down in their swamp… or their bodies. I might have hit one of them.

Throughout the night, the group does see Seria taking care of a strange egg that she’s been carrying around. Her hands glow with a soft color, which Gil recognizes as prestidigitation that she’s using to warm it.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: Do you know what’s inside that egg?

Seria just shakes her head. Using his experiences with Vel recently, Gil identifies that Seria isn’t very talkative, and he opts not to push his personality on her.

November 4th

The next morning, Gil asks which way Seria is heading as they break camp.

Seria says: Not really going in a direction, mon. More lookin’ for de clues.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: You could come with us.
Loania says: I think that’s a splendid idea! The more the merrier, and if you’re familiar with the area, you’re better equipped than I am!
Lieren says: Aye. I guess. But it’s not like we have much room on Summerflight and Graysoar.
Seria says: ... I can take care of myself.

There’s a moment of realization between the sisters as they remember Seria can shapeshift.

Lieren says: Right! Well. I guess you can come with us. Though it may be best you don’t show your face in Grim Batol. I don’t know how the dwarves will take it. I might be able to explain it, but, well. How long can you stay in an animal form?
Seria says: Long enough.

The group breaks camp, and Seria takes a running head start, then jumps. In a swirl of energy she transforms into a raven with tealish coloration. She catches up with Graysoar and Summerflight, and then lands on the back of the dragonhawk and sits there for most of the ride.

Another day goes by with nothing eventful.

November 5th

Finally, as the group rounds the mountains, they see more gryphons in the area. And looming before them is a great and massive fortress built into the side of the mountain. It carries the trademark construction of most dwarven facilities, but this one looks more like those of the Ironforge or Dark Iron than the Wildhammer. It also seems to be much more heavily patrolled. There are entire flights of gryphon riders that are patrolling the area.

However, as some approach, Lieren raises her stormhammer, and they see it and leave them alone.

As they arrive at the grand fortress, a few gryphon riders fly in directly before them. The group stands nearly in awe of the great gates, and one of the riders approaches with two other warriors flanking him.

Weapons are not drawn, but they are heavily armed.

High Ranking Dwarf says: State your business. This is not the place for idle travel, and even less so for humans and elves.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: We’re here looking for Falstad.
High Ranking Dwarf says: Aye. I’m certain you are. Lieren, I understand your father was born here, but you can’t just bring anyone here. And you’re not just welcome here for no reason, looking for Falstad or not.
Lieren says: Please sir, it’s for a good reason. There’s been a--
High Ranking Dwarf says: Attack up north. We’re already aware. If that’s all you needed, consider your message delivered, elf. Now you can all turn back around, mount up, and head back to Aerie Peak where you belong, lass. These halls ain’t safe, and last thing I need is for Kardan to wring me out because you got eaten by a skardyn.

The patrol turns and starts to head back in.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: Wait.
High Ranking Dwarf says: Aye, what is it now, boy?
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Can you deliver a message to Falstad?
High Ranking Dwarf says: Sure. What do you need me to tell him.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I need help finding the Scholarly One’s home.

The two dwarves behind the high ranking one looks confused, but the head one pauses.

High Ranking Dwarf says: Sure. If you need me to do that, I’ll send him that message. Don’t cause any trouble. I’ll be right back.

The doors open slightly as the trio heads in. Loania is taking in the sights, as it’s quite magnificent. Before long, the doors open again, and the elite gryphon rider is returning. This time, he’s with Falstad Wildhammer.

Falstad sees Gil and shakes his head, his arms out.

Falstad Wildhammer says: Gilveradin Windrunner, what in the bleedin’ hells are you doing this far south.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Looking for you.
Falstad Wildhammer says: Why the fuck are you looking for me?
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I think you know.
Falstad Wildhammer says: I have questions, that what I have. A bleedin’ lot of them. Come on.

He shoos the elite gryphon rider away, saying they group is with him.

Falstad Wildhammer says: Come on.

He gestures for the group to follow, barking orders to a few dwarves on the way. Seria stays in raven form perched on Loania’s shoulder. Loania is quite excited about this.

It’s literally a city inside, but it isn’t inhabited by city dwellers. It’s all warriors, and many battles look to have taken place inside. It’s very warm and bright inside, and they realize that the roads are divided by a deep chasm where lava flows below.

Falstad Wildhammer says: Welcome to Grim Batol, just about the dankest fortress of any dwarves outside the Dark Iron. If you see a shadow move, you’re better off shootin’ before asking questions. You’re not like to hit one of us. We’re not exactly subtle, see. I know that may come as a surprise!
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I’ll keep that in mind, then.
Falstad Wildhammer says: That was an awfully strange message, lad. I’m wonderin’, is this is the kind of message you want to speak in front of your friends, or is this private?
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Certainly private.
Falstad Wildhammer says: Well, convenient the first place we rebuilt is here.

He gestures at an inn.

Falstad Wildhammer says: They’ll get you fed and you can warm your little toesies by the fire. We’ll come get you once we’re done speaking. I promise I won’t keep ya long.

Loania and Lieren look at each other and nod.

Loania says: Okay. We’ll be here then, Gil. Be careful!

Lieren looks thrilled they can hang out in a dwarven tavern. Seria also stays with the girls. The tavern is rather loud and gaudy. Seria, in raven form, hangs out on the table and partakes of some bread crumbs that were scattered on it. Gil, meanwhile, follows after Falstad.

Falstad Wildhammer says: Alright, lad. One doesn’t just casually drop the name of the Scholarly One to me in particular without havin' pieced a few things together. So start from the top.

Gil notes that, on Falstad’s shoulder, is a tattoo just like the one Gil has on his chest, though it’s well camouflaged among his tribal tattoos. He shows Falstad the mark on his chest.

Falstad Wildhammer says: Well butter me biscuits and call me a Dark Iron. And ya didn’t happen to get that from the old man, did ya?

Gil nods.

Falstad Wildhammer says: Aye. Damn. That’s somethin’ a history, that is. I ah… I’ve got some ill news for ya, lad.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I already know.
Falstad Wildhammer says: I’d say I’m sorry, but that ain’t quite enough to cover such a loss. How much did ya know about him?
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Not enough.
Falstad Wildhammer says: Why don’t you just tell me everything you know.

Gil does.

Falstad Wildhammer says: Aye, that much I know. I didn’t know who he was pretending to be, but I did hear about what happened. And, uh, so… what did you hope to learn by finding me? Just out of curiosity.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I was hoping there was some kind of connection because of the tree you gifted Uther.
Falstad Wildhammer says: Ah! Right! I did! That was a bit of a wild idea. I felt the garden as a whole would benefit, but I didn’t expect it would come back like this. I guess it’s a good thing I did. It’s good you came to find me, lad. I don’t know what I can do for ya, but I can at least answer some questions. As you’ve likely figured out, I’m a member of the dragonsworn as well. Just like you. Albeit not from the Scholarly One himself, aye. He’s not taken another dragonsworn in centuries, many of them. Not sure how many. But certainly there ain't none alive today. Save for you. You might be something of a special case as far as I know, as difficult as that may be. Do you know about the rules?
Gilveradin Windrunner says: My… sister found them.
Falstad Wildhammer says: Ah. You better be careful who you tell.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I didn’t tell her. She found out.
Falstad Wildhammer says: Ah. Keen lass. Well, you should impose on your sister the discretion needed.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Well. She already spoke to one of the others…

Falstad’s eyebrows shoot up.

Falstad Wildhammer says: Right. You bloody Windrunners. Blink for three seconds. Well. I’m sure they told her that she should keep that low. Anyways. Old Tyrannastrasz was the Prime Consort, and the queen, she never lost a consort before. It came as a great shock, and a whole lot of mournin’. It may be a bit for the Flight to recover. He was a right bastard. Stubborn, and he did a lot for a lot of people. Without him they have quite the shoes to fill, metaphorically speaking. How is the situation up there? Your own home? I heard news, but beyond that, I’m goin’ mostly off of word of mouth.

Gil debriefs him the best he can.

Falstad Wildhammer says: Bloody ‘ell. Well I wish you the strength of dealing with what you got to do. I wish I could help, something more concrete. But there’s nothing much I can do. Not as Wildhammer or dragonbsworn, unfortunately. Ya see I can’t really leave. Not right now.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: That’s what the High Thane said, yes.
Falstad Wildhammer says: Aye. I imagine me brother told ye part of it. But I’m working for the Flight as well. One thing in particular I can’t just leave. Ya see, the thane in charge here, Thane Yrden, is a… well uh, he might be in a certain club as well. Yrdenastrasz was the one that gave me the mark, and he's one of the queen’s consorts as well. He was the one responsible for helping us lift the curse that plagued Grim Batol. Without him, we wouldn’t be able to step foot here without being twisted by the dark magics in the halls. It was by their grace we were able to start pushin’ back. Someday, perhaps people can raise families here. It’s a bit too closed in for me liking, but I imagine some would like to return back to their homes.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I imagine it would be quite different from Aerie Peak.
Falstad Wildhammer says: Aye. I was born after the War of the Three Hammers. I never saw this place untouched by corruption, so I prefer a bit more of an open sky. I’m not alone in that o’ course, but… Yrden’s got me doin’ something a bit important, ya see. And it’s not something I can walk away from, and I can’t predict how long it will take me to do.

He’s been leading Gil deeper into Grim Batol. They have passed others, but they have left them alone beyond curious glances.

Falstad Wildhammer says: I think once you see it, you’ll understand why I can’t help you out this time.

They enter a deeper hall, and turn into a large antechamber. Something catches Gil’s eye. There are stones lined up in a fashion. There’s almost a hearth that is made of molten rock that is radiating with warmth. The stones are lain gentle in intervals.

As Gil follows Falstad in, he realizes the rocks resemble a bright gravel color, like red sand. He had seen things like them before. The room, the hatchery, is fully of dragon eggs. Dozens of them.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: U-oh…

Gil just stares for a few seconds.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: I see what you mean.
Falstad Wildhammer says: Aye. These are the dragon queen’s. Some of them were to be the Scholarly Ones.

He gestures to a section of them.

Falstad Wildhammer says: But most of them belong to Yrdenastrasz. He placed me in charge of watching over them, and keeping things safe here in Grim Batol. It’s not exactly something I can turn away from. If only there was a way to be in two places at once, aye? I hope ya understand, lad.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I think I more than understand.
Falstad Wildhammer says: I don’t know what they plan on doing with them. The Scholarly One's. He never got a chance to visit. But at least we can bring a bit of light into these dark times, aye? I assume once the queen returns once she’s mourned I’ll have a better idea of what’s to happen, but for now, for now all we can do is wait, watch, and keeping doin’ what we’re supposed to be doin’.

Falstad leads Gil deeper into the hatchery, and he gently places a hand on one of the eggs. He turns back to Gil.

Falstad Wildhammer says: You’re welcome to stay as long as you wish, but I reckon you may need to return back.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I have about a week before I would miss my date.
Falstad Wildhammer says: I wish Yrden was here to speak with you, perhaps he could lead you down a better path, but that’s the best I can do.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Is there no way to contact any of them?
Falstad Wildhammer says: That… there are, yes, but it wouldn’t necessarily be wise. I would remind ye that the queen has never lost a consort before. She’s mournin’, Gil, and dragons live a lot longer than we do. They love stronger. They hate longer. If I were you, I wouldn’t try and… I wouldn’t try and find them. I know how to find them, aye, I know how to speak with them, aye, I just don’t necessarily think it’s such a wise idea.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Alright then.
Falstad Wildhammer says: Sorry, lad.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I’m not the only person that matters.
Falstad Wildhammer says: Somethin’ you’ll learn, that, the more you get stuck in with these ancient ones, is that everyone matters in their own way.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I take it you’re not free right now?
Falstad Wildhammer says: Well, a stiff drink won’t hurt, and it’s always better to share with someone who shares your plight. Lets head back to your friends. They’ll be safe. They’re being watched.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I’ll drink to that.
Falstad Wildhammer says: Right!
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Though I do have one question. How are you keeping this secret?
Falstad Wildhammer says: I ain’t. Not from everyone. There are others that know, and a handful that have joined us in taking the oaths. My brother ain’t among them, but he don’t need to know about this.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: No, he seems like a one species man.
Falstad Wildhammer says: He’s a simple man. A good one, but a simple one. He’s a good leader, but he don’t need to know what I’m doin’. But there are others within the Wildhammer clan that know of these, and a bit of what you and I both know now. After all, there ain’t no way we would be able to get an ancient red dragon’s help purifying this place without a few people learning.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: No, I imagine that would be difficult.

Gil does ask some other questions, but there is a limit to what Falstad can tell him. However, he does repeat the oath Gil took: This is my gift: compassion for all living things. A drive to protect and nurture them. And the ability to heal that which others cannot, birth what others may not, and love even the unlovable--who surely need such grace more than any other souls.

He also informs Gil that, after the mourning is done, another prime consort will be chosen, and at that point, likely they will be charged with teaching Gil, or Alexstrasza will charge someone else.

Gil also asks if Falstad knows if Noristrasza got out, but he doesn’t know, as he hasn’t heard anything from or about her. When asked, he also informed Gil that Tha’lena was fine as well.

They then head back to rejoin Gil’s companions. Lieren has drunk heavily and is taking it well. Loania has not drank much and is not taking it well.

Over the next few days, Gil does help out some patrols against the Dark Iron dwarves, which Lieren appreciated a great deal, as she wanted to help her people as well.

Over the time Seria spent with them, she also learned that the elf lands were attacked. She chose to accompany them back to Quel’Danil lodge.

November 17th

Upon arriving back at Quel’Danil lodge, they found out that Loania’s mother, Voldana, was sent back north. So Loania wants to go. Lieren also wants to accompany her sister, as she doesn’t want her to go alone.

At some point, when they are away from the Lodge, Gil also mentions the Darkspear to Seria and offers to do a stop over if she was looking for a tribe, as they were taking in trolls from everywhere last he had known.

Seria says: Ya know ‘dere’s a reason I don’t have a tribe.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: I don’t, you have told me nothing.
Seria says: Not exactly like most trolls. And ‘dey don’t take too kindly to my kind.

Upon taking a closer look, Gil realizes Seria’s features are a little bit less hard, and more elegant like an elf. She also doesn’t have three toes on her feet. They are more human.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: I don’t think this particular tribe will care as much, actually.
Seria says: I think they will.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: They are all outsiders from their own tribe in a sense. They come from all over. We could always just meet with them and see before we write them off completely. But it’s your choice. We can also just avoid them.

Seria sits for a moment.

Seria says: Why you so sure of that, mon? Ya think they gonna be so acceptin’?
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Well. I guess I can’t guarantee that completely, but they’re small, they’re pulling themselves back together, and they are all outsiders and outcasts. People who have not sided with trolls every time.
Seria says: You really don’t understand how trolls work, do ya?
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Only from what they’ve allowed me to learn. But I’ve also seen how my own people treat… a half-blood. I met a half-troll before. But like I said, it’s up to you. We can just avoid them completely if you prefer.

However, as they fly over Hiri’watha, they do see the charred remains of some structures that had been burned down.

November 1st-Mid November

The day after the Hallow’s End celebration, Uther’s entourage continues east. They spend several days heading toward the Greenwood.

Victor’s birthday also came and went on November 5th, and he was receptive to pleasantries and a small celebration, but he also seemed a bit introspective much like Uther had been.

Eventually, they arrived in Cinderhome. In about a week, they would likely be in Last Crossing. However, the day they arrived in Cinderhome was also the day of the first snowfall. However, it doesn’t slow their travel. But, in the distance, they could now see the shimmering barrier of the ban’dinoriel.

At some point, Uther did explain to Victor that he died. Victor responded fairly evenly, and Uther also informed him that Remnii was the one that saved his life. Victor asks Uther if he was alright, and Uther confirms. But he also admits he almost bought into the rhetoric that the Light makes one invincible, but in that moment, he handily learned the truth.

Uther Menethil says: If it happens again, I don’t think I’ll be so fortunate to be granted a third chance.
Victor Prestor says: Well, with an ally like Remnii, perhaps you will. But it would be best not to test fate. And you aren’t alone. You don’t need to fight off these greenskinned invaders by yourself. We have kingdoms that can hopefully be turned toward this.
Uther Menethil says: I meant what I said, Victor. If all of Azeroth doesn’t unite against this threat, I don’t think it will be enough.
Victor Prestor says: Then I suppose it’s up to us to ensure Azeroth listens. Just try not to hog all the spotlight, yes?
Uther Menethil says: Same to you, cousin.

During the time that followed, Remnii continued to human-watch, in particularly observing Victor. It seemed that he had sobered up a lot as they neared the barrier.

Eventually, they arrive in Stratholme. The barrier is a mere 50 miles away. The banners of Kul Tiras are also being flown there, as a naval force had arrived in the bay near Stratholme.

As they head toward the docks to discover who was in charge of the Kul Tiran forces, one of the Kul Tiran captains notes Uther. Uther is immediately hailed by the man.

The man seems young, but he’s rugged. The man expresses it’s a pleasure to meet Uther.

Dobbs Rivers says: The name’s Dobbs. Dobbs Rivers. We’ve never met, but I have nothing but respect for the Proudmoore family. I wanted to thank you and your friends. I was told that you and your companions went on a brave quest and put to rest some troll. I just wanted you to know that my father perished in the troll wars, and we lost his tabard and armor with it. But it was returned to us. By you and your friends. My mother never got to put him to rest, but we were able to put his memory to rest the proper Kul Tiran way. She died a few months ago, but not before she was able to. I wouldn’t be able to do it without you. I wanted to give you something. A charm. Something me father gave me. Perhaps it can protect you like it did me all these years.

He hands Uther a small charm wtih the Kul Tiran anchor on it. On the back was carved “Ours is the way of the seas and rivers. So long as you remember that, the water will always be your friend.”

Uther Menethil says: You do me a great honor.
Dobbs Rivers says: It’s the least I can do. I hope this brings safety to you and your companions.

They exchange salutes.

At some point, Remnii was able to identify the charm with the spell identify. The charm can be used once before it becomes a nonmagical trinket. It can be used to cast the water walk spell, water breathing spell, or conjure animals as a third level spell, but it would only summon creatures with a swim speed.

As they continue to the docks, Uther identifies his uncle, Tandred Proudmoore.

Tandred Proudmoore says: Prince Uther. Prince Victor. And everyone else. It’s a pleasure to meet you and see you all again. We got here as soon as we could, and brought as many as we could safely bring.
Uther Menethil says: It is much appreciated.
Tandred Proudmoore says: Aye. I only hope I’ll be up for the task. Can’t say I’ve commanded a fleet during the war before, but I had good teachers.

There is a voice from above, and smiling down at them from above is Mishan Waycrest-Proudmoore, Uther’s aunt by marriage.

Mishan Waycrest-Proudmoore says: You can say that again!

She strides down the gangplank, wearing her full regalia.

Mishan Waycrest-Proudmoore says: I assume you are all headed towards Last Crossing, correct? Once you leave Stratholme, of course.

Ashwynn nods and confirms.

Mishan Waycrest-Proudmoore says: Convenient! I was about to leave myself. I can travel along if you don’t mind the company of two more.
Uther Menethil says: Always room for more.

Mishan informs them that their ground forces were already headed there, and she would be joining them along with her “assistant”.

At that point, scurrying up from the vessel, is Elanora, Uther’s young cousin.

She sees Uther and happily greets him.

Mishan Waycrest-Proudmoore says: A certain cousin of yours thought it wise to stow away aboard our flagship, and so I’ve been putting her to work. So she will serve as my assistant as I represent both house Proudmoore and house Waycrest.
Uther Menethil says: Always better to ask for forgiveness that permission.
Mishan Waycrest-Proudmoore says: So that’s where she got it from.

She glances back at Elanora, who came down to see her cousin. It seems she is getting taller. Victor also ruffles her hair, and greets her cheerfully. Elanora gives him a hug as well.

Tandred Proudmoore says: I haven’t heard of the ban’dinoriel being raised in a long time. It must be as bad as Jaina said.
Uther Menethil says: I don’t know what my mother told you, but it’s at least that bad.
Mishan Waycrest-Proudmoore says: She told us a great deal, including what happened to you. I hope you’re feeling hale and hearty.
Uther Menethil says: Ah. Yes.
Mishan Waycrest-Proudmoore says: We aren’t who you have to worry about. You’ll have to take that up with my mother-in-law. We’ll save the scolding for her.

Uther looks back at Remnii, joke-asking her if what she did could be undone.

Elanora also grabs Uther one more time, expressing she has something to show him. She holds out her hands, and her messy hair almost begins to float a bit like she’s underwater. Her hands begin to glow an aquamarine light, but it has the same heart of the Holy Light. It has an almost watery sheen to it.

She’s effectively using lay on hands.

Uther Menethil says: That’s incredible!
Elanora Proudmoore says: I know, right? I’ve been practicing real hard, and I spoke to a few of your knights. Like that kind Sir Arator! Is he around?
Uther Menethil says: Aye, he’s here.
Elanora Proudmoore says: Excellent. I’ll show him too! He’ll be impressed!
Uther Menethil says: He will. As am I.
Elanora Proudmoore says: Maybe you can teach me a few things before you do your important princely stuff.
Uther Menethil says: I’m not familiar with the art of teaching, but I can give it a shot.
Elanora Proudmoore says: If you don’t want to teach me, maybe I’ll teach you a thing or two, ey?
Uther Menethil says: I believe my knowledge of knots has become rusty.
Elanora Proudmoore says: Well I can assure you that will knot be a problem, ey?

Elanora also introduces herself to Remnii, along with Tandred and Mishan.

After a brief time in Stratholme, Mishan gives a passionate kiss to Tandred. No matter what, he always seems completely bewildered when she does it, but then melts into the kiss. Mishan then departs with the rest after Uther gives a few small speeches in the town square.

They are literally treading the path from Stratholme to Last Crossing, and those very steps were what set Uther on his journey about a half year ago, with Ashwynn, Arator, and everyone else, to the city where they met Elissa.

Yet, this time, things are different. The snow covers the path. Soldiers march alongside them.

November 20th

Finally, on November 20th, Uther’s entourage arrives at Last Crossing. Last Crossing has become a center for war, and Elissa looks happy to see her home, but also has an expression of worry. Fort Crossing is one of the first lines of defense for Lordaeron.

As soon as the entourage approaches, there is a trumpet call announcing their arrival.

And who do they see when the gates open, but the bald head, broad chest, and grin, of Commander Marwyn. He offers a salute as the entourage rides between the knights that had gathered. There are many knights from all over the kingdoms. There are Lordaeron knights, as well as Kul Tiran marines, and a handful of Dwarven warriors that had come with Muradin. There are also some representatives from the Aurum Blades.

However, there are none from Stormwind, notably.

Marwyn says: Prince Uther, it has been far too long, lad! Good to see you!
Uther Menethil says: Good to see you as well, commander.
Marwyn says: Oh please, you know better than to throw formalities at me. Well met, your highness, and my lady.

He also nods at Victor and Ashwynn before turning back to Uther.

Marwyn says: The situation is about as grim as you expect, Uther. We’re getting ready for the summit. Everyone and their bleedin’ mothers have shown up for the action.

He then leans in closer to Uther.

Marwyn says: I assume that there glowin’ lass is the one we heard about, right? Falric sent word ahead.
Uther Menethil says: You have the right of it.
Marwyn says: Well, I hope she has more tricks up her sleeve. Your brothers and sisters from the Silver Hand are already here, though your lord Father hasn’t arrived yet. Along with some priests and bishops and the like. We’re keeping our eyes on the shield 24/7.
Uther Menethil says: Do we have any word from Stormwind?
Marwyn says: Aye. We uh, we got word from Stormwind. King Varian sent his condolences. He will not be present for a multitude of reasons. Not to mention, Lord Turalyon was instrumental in their government down there. But, that does remind me.

He retrieves two rolled pieces of parchment with the royal seal of house Wrynn, which he hands to Uther. Uther wastes no time starting to open them, but Marwyn said he should wait, as there is still an introduction to be made to Grand Marshall Valonforth.

The town hall they arrive at was once the inn that Elissa and her father ran. Calvin Cross’s own standard is hanging there. It’s a blue field with a cross beneath it and angled to the side and two hands shaking above it. As they enter the new town hall, they see the Grand Marshall Luc Valonforth. He is speaking with the baron of these lands, Othmar Garithos, as well as the newest lord among them, Calvin Cross.

Calvin smiles at Uther, and he also sees his daughter nearly vibrating behind him.

Calvin Cross says: Your highness, good to see you again.
Luc Valonforth says: I trust your journey has been fruitful and safe. It’s a pleasure to host all of you here at this fort.
Uther Menethil says: Indeed it was, and the honor is ours.
Luc Valonforth says: Fort Crossing is prepared to engage the enemy if and when it becomes necessary.
Othmar Garithos says: Yes, but if only we had certainty we can feed everyone here. The refugees have already done a number of our food stores. I hope Andorhal can put out enough for all of us, especially with the elves to contend with.
Calvin Cross says: We will do what we can, including opening up trade routes with others. But the Eastweald is a bountiful place, and next harvest season they can aid us. You need only focus on what must come to pass.

Garithos scoffs.

Othmar Garithos says: I suppose you’re right, Lord Cross. I’ll leave such things with you. I do hope that you’re able to make good on your promises.
Calvin Cross says: I certainly intend to try, Baron.
Uther Menethil says: How dire is the situation concerning our food stores?
Calvin Cross says: Not dire at the moment. Many contingents brought their own stores to aid us, but a protracted war could become difficult. The Eastweald is not used to fielding an army, but I believe we will manage.
Uther Menethil says: Perhaps we should refrain from feasting.
Othmar Garithos says: The time for feasting is at a end, and the time for war has come.
Luc Valonforth says: Agreed. There’s much and more to take care of, and we will all do our part. The rest of the representatives should arrive in the next few days.
Uther Menethil says: What can we do in the meantime?
Luc Valonforth says: Moral is always a problem. We haven’t had a true war in nearly 20 years. The people are scared, and they don’t know what lies beyond the barrier. But many of the people here haven’t seen a proper conflict. Any assistance there could be of help, and there is their faith. We are Lordaeron, and while not all are as devout to the Light, any and all shows of that sort would be appreciated.

Valonforth nods to Remnii as someone that may help with that, and Remnii confirms.

Othmar Garithos says: We were told of your arrival. You must be Remnii, A curious choice the Archbishop would allow a stranger into the church, but it is his choice. I suppose you’ll be of use. We will have no layabouts here.
Remnii says: I have no intention of this… laying about.
Othmar Garithos says: I hope not. There’s a war coming.
Uther Menethil says: You need not speak to her of the war, my lord. She’s been living it longer than you’ve been alive.
Remnii says: If anyone, combatant or no, is in need of healing, direct me to them and I will aid in what way I can.

Garithos and Uther are eyeing each other up.

Othmar Garithos says: Very good. I believe the chapel has become something of an infirmary for any that will inevitably become injured.

Other updates are provided about the elves and the like. Many of the elves are at Quel’Lithien Lodge, but most of the leadership is present in Last Crossing, or on their way back to it.

Lan’dalock is present as a representative from the Kirin Tor. Esara is also here with the magisters.

Meanwhile, down in Caer Darrow, Vel is returning to consciousness.

One-Eyed Rower says: Aye. Do you think she died?
Nem’aen says: No she didn’t die, and for the last time stop asking. And if you try to steal my friends things, I’ll boil your eyes in a stew.
One-Eyed Rower says: Can you really do that?
Nem'aen says: I can certainly try!

Vel stirs, hearing the voices. Her disguise self had fallen off, but the hunched back, one-eyed man rowing the boat didn’t seem to notice. The young elf that Vel had met in Scholomance was presently talking to him, but as they note Vel stirring they greet her cheerfully.

Nem’aen says: See? I told you she wasn’t dead! Did you sleep well?
Velameestra Windrunner says: ...Given I don't remember falling asleep, it appears so. How long was I out?
Nem'aen says: A few hours! We're almost there!
One-Eyed Rower says: Glad you weren't dead. Wouldn't want to hide a body.
Velameestra Windrunner says: ...You could have likely just rolled me overboard, if that was the case.
One-Eyed Rower says: Yeah. But if they find it while fishing, they would come after me with sticks again.

The trio arrives on the shore of the lake, Vel reapplies her disguise self, and Nem'aen eagerly hops out. Vel extends some silver to the rower to pay for their trip back to Caer Darrow, which Nem'aen cheerfully states they won't need as they'll be looking for sunken treasure.

Vel asks what they intend to do when they are finished, and Nem'aen realizes the flaw in their plan, and agrees that having a ride back would probably be good. They also tell Vel not to die, as they wouldn't want anything bad to happen to their best-est friend.

Vel promises that she will endeavor to return soon, and Nem'aen gleefully casts water breathing on themself before jumping into the lake, leaving Vel and the one-eyed rower looking at the rippling surface.

One-Eyed Rower says: Should... ah... will they be okay?
Velameestra Windrunner says: If they did what I think they did, you have about 24 hours before you need to be concerned.
One-Eyed Rower says: Ah. Should I get my fishing pole? Will that help?

Vel just fixes the man with a look.

One-Eyed Rower says: No. I suppose not.

Vel hands him the few pieces of silver.

One-Eyed Rower says: Thank you, miss.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Just make sure they get back safely.

The man nods and hobbles off. Vel casts the incantation to summon her phantom steed and then takes off towards Last Crossing.

Meanwhile, Uther is reading the message from Anduin, and the other missive, which is from Anduin's sister, Taria Wrynn II. He had sent both of them letters several weeks ago.

My dear friend,
It is with a heavy heart that I must write, rather than delivering this to you personally. As you have undoubtedly noticed, the Kingdom of Stormwind has not sent a delegation to Fort Crossing. In spite of the news of the demonic incursions beyond the northern border of Lordaeron. While my lord father has sent word as to his reasons to King Arthas and the others, I felt it necessary to respond to your call to arms personally.
As you may recall from your history lessons, if Jaina was ever able to get you to retain any of them, my grandfather, the late King Llane, was close friends with the Guardian. Before they were called away to support Quel'thalas, Sir Turalyon and Magus Khadgar were investigating his disappearance, sensing that his presence night soon be needed. It appears they were right. I now understand that both are trapped within the ban'dinoriel, and the Guardian is no closer to being found.
Stormwind is beset by no short amount of difficulties right now. The diocese of the Church scrambles to fill the greaves left by Turalyon's disappearance, and reports from the territories beyond Elwynn are troubling at best. Cursed forests, black riders, gnoll raiders. Even dragon sightings, if the rumors are to be believed. It was with these dangers that stayed our kingdom's hand.
King Varian truly wishes to send aid to one of our oldest and proudest allies... but the logistics of doing so have proven difficult. Dark Iron clans control the mountains that bar us, and the cold war burns hotter than ever, I am told. King Magni believes an all-out conflict is inevitable. And so at the advice of the Court Conjurer Lady Prestor and the Defender of the Crown Lord Fordring that my father stayed his hand, for the time being.
But do not believe this deprives you of allies. In time, I hope that the king and his council will be swayed to perceive this as a true threat. You are a good and honest man, Uther. If you believe this to be a threat worth our full attention, then I will do everything in my power to make that so.
I do hope to see you again soon sometime, hopefully sooner rather than later. Send my love and regards to your sisters, and to your lord father and Auntie Jaina when you see them next.
May the Light guide you.
--Prince Anduin Llane Wrynn, High Prince of Stormwind
Your Highness Prince Uther,
I hope this letter finds you well. I understand my brother wrote to you, and I wished to express my gratitude as to extending a hand towards me as well.
I will not extrapolate on the excuses that dear Anduin likely conveyed to you, so I will instead cut right to the quick.
The fact that Stormwind has refused to send not a single blade in service of Her ally is an affront to everything the Lion stands for, and I do hope that you may someday forgive us for this grievous insult. You are correct. This world is ours to inherit, and that politics and idle threats have stayed our hand reflects poorly on what I have been raised to believe that Stormwind represents.
You have my solemn vow that I, too, will be aiding my lord brother in attempting to sway the council--and my mother and father--towards supporting the rest of the Alliance, as is our responsibility.
I wish you the best, Prince Uther. Though the Lion may not be by your side in force, two of them, at least, are there in spirit.
Princess Taria Wrynn II

Over the next few days, Uther also is contributing to aid in building fortifications, and trying to inspire others in the process.

Remnii goes to the chapel to help in what ways she can there. However, she also tries to continue learning common.

November 23rd

The entourage from Stromgarde is arriving, with Danath Trollbane at the head. Uther also makes note of another familiar face. It’s Vittoria. Her smile falls on Uther, and her confidence dims for a second, but then she smiles again at him and waves. Uther waves back.

Danath informs Uther that this was all they could bring, and while he doesn’t outright say it, it’s obvious that Stromgarde’s forces are struggling a bit.

Vittoria greets Uther, but doesn’t really say much to him beyond that.

Later that evening, Uther goes to speak with her.

Vittoria Trollbane says: Uther.
Uther Menethil says: Hello again
Vittoria Trollbane says: Uhh, do you have a moment to talk, if that’s alright.
Uther Menethil says: Please. Was this something that should be discussed in private.
Vittoria Trollbane says: Aye, it is.
Uther Menethil says: Come. Join me in my tent.

The two go to the tent.

Vittoria Trollbane says: I got your letter.
Uther Menethil says: I had hoped you would.
Vittoria Trollbane says: I’m not the only one-- I see that Victor and all the others got it too, yes?
Uther Menethil says: Indeed.
Vittoria Trollbane says: But, uh, Victor’s didn’t have a post script, did it?
Uther Menethil says: No. His did not.
Vittoria Trollbane says: Uther, I’m gonna be honest. I wasn't going to come. My father and uncle didn’t want me to.
Uther Menethil says: What did you want to do?
Vittoria Trollbane says: I wanted to stay home. I wanted to help my people, but then I saw that damned letter that you wrote. You’re right, everything about it is right. And, uh, I tried to convince myself otherwise, but I found that I wanted to come and help you. I wanted to help you do this. Accomplish all of these crazy dreams that you’ve got.
Uther Menethil says: Is it such a crazy dream to want to see my world continue? To see my people survive? To see all of Azeroth survive?
Vittoria Trollbane says: To some? Aye. But, I suppose to myself? Not so much.
Uther Menethil says: Vittoria, I know you worry for your people. But I was not exaggerating. At no point. Behind that barrier is a terror unlike anyone on Azeroth has ever seen. There is nothing in our history that compares to what seethes. We are less than 100 miles from the worst threat our world has known. And if we fail here, you, me, Victor, the Bronzebeards, Anduin, none of us will have a people left to worry about. Ours would not be the first world they have torn asunder.
Vittoria Trollbane says: And if we don’t stop them, it won’t be the last. I want to help. I want to do a lot of things.. I, my kingdom… Stromgarde is dying. It has been for a long time. But that won’t stop me for fighting for them, trying to secure a future for them, for themselves. I think that… If I don’t help you I won’t have the opportunity to do so. I hope my people can survive that long.
Uther Menethil says: Well I believe it’s only fair. You’ve come to help me. Once we’re done saving the world, I’ll help you save Stromgarde.
Vittoria Trollbane says: I… Uther I think there’s a way that, there’s one way that I think we could do that.
Uther Menethil says: The thought had occurred to me as well.
Vittoria Trollbane says: Someday I am to be the Queen of Stromgarde. I have not spoken to anyone about this, not even Uncle Danath. Though we share no borders, not yet, I would make Stromgarde a Vassal State of Lordaeron. I’ve thought about this a great deal, our people are proud and won’t take to such change kindly. Alterac is closer. We share a border, yes. Stormwind has a great deal of influence and power… but Lordaeron has been a rock for everyone in the Alliance. It has the Faith, it has prosperity in it. It has you.

Vittoria takes a step closer to Uther.

Vittoria Trollbane says: Aye, it has you. There is no one I’d rather have to save the world, my people, your people… I don’t… I don’t care what you say. I will help you. No matter what. But, I just needed to tell you.

Uther looks down and bites his lip.

Uther Menethil says: Everything you’ve said is correct. But. If we weren’t… prince and princess. Would you still look at me the way you do?

When Uther asks, Vittoria’s shoulders sink. She exhales.

Vittoria Trollbane says: I… I would like to think that I would. But, I-- I don’t know.
Uther Menethil says: Well...
Vittoria Trollbane says: I don’t know how I can prove that to you. I don’t even know if I could prove it to you.
Uther Menethil says: Well. I’m not as concerned with proof as you think I might be. Besides. As long as we’re… up here, I don’t think we’ll be able to avoid spending a lot of time together.
Vittoria Trollbane says: I suppose you’re right. I would say that only if it was under better circumstances, but that rarely seems to happen.
Uther Menethil says: I accept your offer.
Vittoria Trollbane says: What?
Uther Menethil says: I believe I spoke very quickly. I accept your offer.

Vittoria is visibly shocked.

Vittoria Trollbane says: Truly?
Uther Menethil says: I do. Ordinarily I would say I would have to speak with my father, but… I suppose in a manner of speaking, I already have. He made it clear it was my decision. Once we have saved the world, we will save Stromgarde.

Vittoria steps closer to him, right next to him. She reaches down and takes his hand.

Vittoria Trollbane says: Aye. and then we’ll save Stromgarde. And, for what it’s worth, Uther, I can’t say if I could feel the same if you weren’t a prince. Not for certain. But, I can say how I feel about you, rather loudly and rather clearly.

Vittoria leans into Uther. And then he does the grab and dip. She wraps her arms around him, returning his affections both loud and clear.

Seeing as they could die tomorrow… they share a tent for the evening.

November 24th

When they wake up, Uther speaks.

Uther Menethil says: There’s something I meant to tell you before we got distracted.
Vittoria Trollbane says: Aye I suppose we did get a bit distracted, didn’t we. What was that?
Uther Menethil says: Well. Uhm, this isn’t an easy thing. When I aided in the evacuation of Silvermoon...
Vittoria Trollbane says: You were killed.
Uther Menethil says: How did you know?

Vittoria looks to the wound on his chest, the one Velhari gave him.

Vittoria Trollbane says: One doesn’t rightly take a shot like that. I pieced the rest together. Elissa’s not very good at hiding secrets. I spoke to her. It was Remnii, weren’t it? The blue one. The draenei. I’ll have to thank her, then. She saved a lot more than you by bringing you back to us. And she gave me a rather nice night here, I suppose.
Uther Menethil says: I hadn’t even thought of it, but you’re right...
Vittoria Trollbane says: But perhaps we shouldn’t tell her that part.

Vel arrives at Last Crossing later on in the day. She touches base with Lan'dalock. There is a group of elven Kirin Tor Mages. There are also some from the Magistrate. He asks Vel if she felt anything strange with her proximity to the Sunwell.

Lan'dalock says: I have felt a little, as well as influence from the Sunwell. But, we are an exception, you and I. Anyone who spent a large amount of time in the Homeland are starting to feel its effects. I understand you brought this potential to light, along with Magister Aethas.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Yes, that is correct.
Lan'dalock says: Mood swings, sickness, and more. The proximity to the Elflands have affected them.
Velameestra Windrunner says: And likely what is still inhabiting the Sunwell.
Lan'dalock says: If the Fel has affected us out this far, I fear for our brethren trapped in the city.
Velameestra Windrunner says: I do have a couple contacts close to the city. They haven’t noticed anything themselves. At least as far as what has been reported.
Lan'dalock says: I only got here recently. I was born in Silvermoon. We are all High Elves. It’s possible, if you or I could begin to feel effects. I believe the Sunreavers mission may become more necessary with time. The Sunwell may need to be destroyed. Accomplishing that would be difficult.

Lan'dalock informs Vel that she is welcome to help however, and any aid they can provide her will be there. She acknowledges the same offer can be said for her. Any fluctuations have been measured. They’re coordinating with Lor'themar and the remnant of the Magistrate.

Sylvanas has been going between the Lodge and Last Crossing often. Vel mentions she wishes to speak with Sylvanas and her father as soon as possible.

Esara finds Vel soon after, offering her a hug, which Vel does accept. Esara informs her that Lirath has been running around for Sylvanas, and has yet to return to Last Crossing from Quel'Lithien.

Vel asks Esara if she would still be willing to continue teaching her swordplay. Specifically, more of the variety that Esara has been shown to be capable of.

Esara Verrinde says: I’m nowhere near as talented as Kilnar, but…
Velameestra Windrunner says: Give circumstances, covering weaknesses may be wise.
Esara Verrinde: I agree. The art of bladesinging is tricky, but something tells me you’ll be able to handle it just fine~

A bit after, Vel finds Uther and Remnii with Elissa. Upon seeing her, Uther immediately calls to her, but Elissa and he both race each other to Vel. It quickly becomes a massive hug. They investigate the fact she is now wearing a sword on her hip, and Vel mentions it was a skill that she had started to dust the rust off of. Uther and Elissa are both impressed.

However, before reunions can go to far, there is an interruption.

Victor Prestor says: Velameestra Windrunner.

Victor is leaning against a fence post, smiling. But it’s not a bright smile. He’s stressed, and his eyes show as much. Vel immediately tenses upon hearing his voice.

Velameestra Windrunner says: Your highness. I suppose I should have expected you’d be here too.
Victor Prestor says: I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I’m glad we have you on board. Your expertise will be needed.

There is clear tension in the air.

Velameestra Windrunner says: I can only hope. On that note, forgive me. I should see if my father has arrived back yet.
Victor Prestor says: That would be a wise idea, don’t let me keep you. I’ll see you around.

Vel waves a quick goodbye to Uther and Elissa, and nods to Remnii, before she hastily leaves. The tension in the air hasn't broken. Victor saunters over to the group with a shrug.

Victor Prestor says: Seems to be something I said. I do hope I did nothing to offend her.
Uther Menethil says: Hmmmm.
Victor Prestor says: There’s nothing to be done about it.

Remnii thinks, noting how Victor was clearly picking on Vel. She stashes the info away.

Arator and Vel catch up. He inquires about his family, and Vel informs him that she has received word that both Turalyon and Alleria, as well as Vereesa, are still okay. Arator also expresses that he hopes that Vel herself has been doing better, and she confirms, at least to an extent she is able to be.

Valeera greets her, and Vel hands over the potion she had concocted from Meryl's recipe to help Valeera contain the demon trying to possess her. Valeera asks if she can have a copy of the recipe in the event Vel is ever unable to provide it, and Vel complies.

While going over said recipe, Valeera notes that one of the components is demon blood, but she asks nothing about where Vel had likely been able to acquire it.

November 25th (Early Morning)

Vel and Remnii both awaken to a noise. Uther remains oblivious, but Vittoria wakes up Uther with a shake. Something is happening by the gate.

Many people are heading toward the eastern gate. There is something flying in the sky. Something almost golden. There are two small beams of light heading in their direction. Then they realize they are golden wings attached to the side of a brilliant white horse without a rider.

It’s Indomitable. Arthas’s horse.

It comes in for a landing, and it is not a pretty landing. Exhaustion is on its face. Wounds are on it. The horse then slams into the ground, panting.

Everyone runs to him, and the horse has collapsed with exhaustion.

Uther uses lay on hands on the horse. There are a few arrow wounds on it. All his armor is still equipped, there is no evidence of a missive from Arthas.

Uther and Ashwynn exchange worried looks.