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A Declaration of War

Preface

Following Tanriel Vassily's declaration of war on the city of Lordaeron, correspondence was sent to leaders of the Horde - to the Undercity, Orgrimmar, and Thunderbluff - demanding that Sylvanas be turned over to be executed for the crimes that she had committed in the past. These letter threatened that If they chose not to do so, an assault would be made on various Horde outposts, culminating with an attack on the vast Undercity dwelling below the ruins of Lordaeron. When no immediate reply was issued, The Regiment gathered its allies and prepared for war. In the days that followed, tensions between the two factions escalated as attacks were made on numerous Alliance holdings in retaliation to the declaration.

Reproduced in this article are replies made by various authors to Tanriel's initial declaration. Credit goes, as always, to the wonderful writers and role-players of the Feathermoon (US) community.

A Declaration of War

The following messages were posted on banners in all Capitol cities:

Attention citizens of Lordaeron. The Vassily House has hereby declared war on the traitorous nation of Lordaeron. However, High Lord Tanriel Debarae Vassily was born a man of Lordaeron and is prepared to lead the alliance to forgive the past transgressions of Lordaeron should the people unify to adhere to one condition.

- Execute Sylvanas or hand her to the Vassily House for justice.

The people of the once noble nation of Lordaeron have until the armies of The Regiment and The Alliance reach The Undercity to adhere to these commands should they wish to spare their people a war more gruesome.
Attention Citizens of Orgrimmar. The Vassily House has hereby declared war on your allies, the Nation of Lordaeron. However, the Vassily house does recognize the integrity and might of Ogrimar and it's leader, Thrall. No ill feelings or destruction is willed upon your lands and your properties, and High Lord Tanriel Debarae Vassily is willing to try and lead the Alliance to accept a ceasefire for the duration of the war with Lordaeron. The High Lord shall only accept such an agreement, however, if it is delivered to him with the support of Ogrimar's citizens from the mouth or hands of the shaman Guuljana. Should the citizens of Ogrimar choose to ignore this offering, the city of Stonard will be sacked on the 31st day of this month. No further attacks on Ogrimar territory will follow should am amiable compromise be reached. The people of Ogrimar should be assured that the attack on Stonard is only aimed to protect the Alliance's flanks on the march northward. This information is only given in hopes that we will see the integrity and the wisdom of Thrall put into practice.
Attention Noble Tuaren of Thunder Bluff. Under the guidance of Aduin of Stromgarde whom fought with your people against the Burning Legion, Lord Tanriel Debarae Vassily has accepted the importance of doing no harm to the Tauren or their lands. In the upcoming war with Lordaeron, none of your cities or settlements will come under attack. We humbly request that you honor the Vassily Family's wishes not to do war with a noble, ancient people. May the Earth Mother always protect the Tauren.

No message has been addressed to the Blood Elves.

Hodmedod

"Oh tsk tsk tsk...how absolutely dreadful! War and bloodshed and terror...shameful!"

The man named Joseph shook his head dejectedly as he finished reading the large proclamation that had somehow found itself posted in all manner of places throughout the crimson walls of Silvermoon. The one he was currently perusing had been taken down from outside his own home, as most of the others had been torn down by the patrolling guards in an effort to maintain order. No doubt new posters spouting anti-human propaganda would be put in their place within the day.

Joseph curled the paper up and tucked it neatly under a pile of other documents and scrolls. Though he would prefer not to think of such matters, instead enjoying the cup of goldthorn tea now resting in his hand, the man could not help but ponder the situation further.

"I do wonder...perhaps these rather bloodthirsty fellows would be capable of retaking Lordaeron...maybe even rebuilding it! A happy thought indeed," he muttered, taking a long sip from his teacup.

And yet Joseph knew that he would not want his glorious birthplace restored through such violent means. He wasn't the type who could live with the guilt of returning to his homeland after it had been wrenched from those who had made it their new home.

"Diplomacy, I dare say, is the true answer in this case! The pen is far mightier than the sword, and a great deal less alarming to have pointed at you I dare say! Indeed, if more people these days would simply talk through their problems instead of thwacking one another all willy nilly then we'd have a much better society!"

And the man simply sighed, for he knew his dreams of peace would not come to pass. Alas, peace has never been won through peaceful means. So instead of allowing this dreary thought to bog him down he turned back to the troll that lay passed out on the floor beside him and smiled brightly.

"My my, Rajan, I dare say it's time we braided those lovely red locks of yours! Hehe!"

Mesoni

Mesoni looked at the bill he snatched from a stormwind messenger as he puffed on his pipe of mulgore tobbaco.

"Pft... 'ey ne'er learn do 'ey?" He spoke to the corpse of the messenger as he read the correspondance. "Goo thin' I dun' get much involved less 'ere's cash in it fer' me...." He chuckled at the coprse, which was still bleeding profusely from the great many stab wounds he had inflicted.

Mesoni took a big long puff on his pipe and smiled. "Mayeb 'ere's some cash t' be 'ad..." And, walking towards stormwind, he emptied his pipe onto the corpse, a final insult.

Balthasar

...to adhere to these commands should they wish to spare their people a war more gruesome.

The expression on Jakob Balthasar's face did not change throughout his reading; undeath had made his face as glass-calm as still water, and training caulked and sealed it. The Deathstalker had made a study of his contact's reactions, and silently applauded as the young knight grew more and more guarded. He had come a long way from their first meeting, thought Craed Bloodcrow; more and more, he reminded the rogue of the woman who had by all reports trained him...

Sir Jakob let the paper slip from one cold grey hand. "A fascinating thing. Has Her Majesty prepared a response?" His tone was uninflected; he could as well have been asking if Bloodcrow had purchased new boots.

The tall rogue shook his head. "Not of yet. It's scarce been two hours, and truth, I doubt She'll care to at any rate. She's marvelously scornful of threats to Her Royal Self, as well you know. Likely one Executor or another will see to it."

"Two hours," mused the Templar. "You work fast, Craed." His yellow eyes dropped to the paper again, the pinprick glow at the center roaming and scanning the page. "Do you know aught of this Vassily, or his Regiment?"

"A minor noble of some sort. House Vassily was a small name before the War; after?" Craed shrugged. "Some trouble with his Church, the usual sort of Alliance mercenary work...him and a thousand others, Templar. Oh, and there were letters to Orgrimmar and Thunder Bluff too - trying to seperate them. I'll have copies soon enough."

The younger man studied the letter again, his face impassive but eyes intent. "He has to be mad. Execute Her Majesty..." Jakob looked up. "You've done well, Bloodcrow. The Shadow only knows what that pack of asses in the bureaucracy will make of this. I'm to court, to put my services forth for the defense before someone else does." He rose, a touch of disgust crossing his features. "Keep me apprised, and...get a message to Shukir. I don't doubt he knows already, but I want him working with me on this."

"You're worried," observed Bloodcrow with a touch of surprise. "You don't believe this lunatic can win, of course?"

"He can't win." The knight rose, swatting the paper aside. "But we can lose."

Janje

Janje read the note with some trepidation, one of the orcs guards had brought a copy of it to Razor Hill from Ogrimmar. He seemed to not be sure what to do about it, and came to Janje for aid.

She scanned the letter and sighed heavily. She had only just returned to Razor Hill after such a long absence and already things were trying to pull her away from her beloved home. Well, perhaps this time she would be able to stand firm in her goal to spend as much time away from adventuring as possible.

"We must be stre'nthin' da walls o' Razor Hill, an' post double guards fer da while, jus' ta makes sure. I not gonna be leavin'chu'll dis time, if'n dere be talkin' o' war 'roun'. Lesse'm try ta 'ttack Razor Hill, wit'm 'round." she said firmly, patting the orc's arm with a fierce grin. "We be needin' ta does some work on da walls here, annyways. Dis place needin' some blessin' an' some work now dat I's be back!"

The orc nodded, and went out to tell the rest of the guards that they would not be leaving Razor Hill. It made sense, Razor Hill was the last defense against an army coming from the Barrens to get to Ogrimmar. If there was going to be fighting, Razor Hill would need to be well defended, as the last stand.

With a heavy sigh, Janje stared one last time at the letter, and digested the news. Did her talks of peace so many months ago come to nothing? Did no one listen to her attempts to find peace, not war?

Well, in any case, there were more important things to do, for Janje. Bandages needed to be made, births had to be blessed, and the orphans needed to have their booboo's tended too, their stuffed animals repaired and their daily hugs. Let them fight all they wanted to in Hillsbrad, where there was no end to it. Janje had the next generation to care for, the future leaders of the Horde to teach to. Janje had peace to spread, without battle.

Mixler

" - Advisor Nictus also said to make sure you've seen this, boss." Agent Dawnwhisper slid a tattered flier across the oaken desk. Mixler Thaumajinx's eyes widened slightly as he skimmed the poster's warnings.

"Hmm? What's exceptional about this? 'nother demagogue to rouse the local malcontents. They'll wave their swords, maybe hit Tarren Mill, and go home patting their backs on the 'blow struck against the Forsaken!' Either that or go attack Crossroads after the Abominations in the Undercity throw them out. Meanwhile we'll be stuck cleaning up the retaliation, as usual." The gnome snorted. "It's hardly serious."

"The Horde isn't treating it so lightly, sir. We've several reports on increased fortifications. There's evidence the Brotherhood may be involved, unsurprisingly."

"Nertz. I didn't really need this, you know? With Xyne retiring, was hoping we'd get a break for once. Before your time with us, the Guildwatch gathered the largest army since the Third War ended, or at least the largest until the War of the Sand. Our forces hardly made a dent in Sylvanas defences, but the political fallout of our failure was tremendous. We're still dealing with it."

"Yes sir, I've read the report. But, that was years ago. The common soldier of today knows little enough of Guildwatch history." Dawnwhisper nodded briskly.

"Bah! Alright. I'm sure Nictus is already on it, but if the Horde is moving, they know something we don't. Find out what sets this 'High Lord Vassily' apart from any of the other belligerent politicals, his allies, his enemies, what he eats for breakfast every morning . . . in fact, I think I may go and see him myself." Mixler turned and grabbed a floppy crimson hat, clamping it firmly atop his head as he rose to stand. Dawnwhisper frowned in concern, and her kal'dorei eyes dimmed.

"Administrator, are you sure that's wise? One house blatantly challenging the entire Forsaken race . . . he may be unstable. The letter is certainly phrased aggressively enough to ensure their noncompliance. He *wants* an excuse for war."

"Be that as it may Dawn, I've dealt with my share of madmen over the years. Mad trolls too. If he's not a madman, he's a buffoon. The Guilds are already going to uproar when we present this news in Council. Maybe it'd be for the best if it was all just plans and posturing, though some damage has already been done."

"Why then, if he's crazy or a fool, would you go to treat with him at all sir?"

"Ah. Well, there is of course the third option. If he's sane and level, then Lord Tanriel Vassily has a reason to believe he can win against the combined might of the Horde, a reason the Horde is taking seriously. A reason like that, well, a reason like that might just be worth getting behind."

Vont

Citizens of Lordaeron? A fool of a man writing to a dead nation. Vont grimaced as he heard the news, which had reached far off Shadowprey Village by a windrider only moments earlier. Why, which was the most perplexing part of the proclamation, did he address the new nation as Lordaeron? House Vassily though, this house isn't familiar, surely they wouldn't be able to muster an army able to strike the Undercity itself, after all the countless failures made by others in the past? And why just the one house, is it just another foolhardy noble looking to make a name?

Turning away from the jabbering crowd of trolls by the docks, Vont headed for his makeshift room in the inn. The actions of this nobleman, they could tip the minor conflicts to war, and perhaps on an even worse note to Vont, only serve to confirm to the Forsaken that the living would not trust them.

"Voont! Joo heere dah noose?!" shouted Mikiji's voice, as the young troll came running up the slope towards her strange friend.

"Aye, Mikiji," Vont said in a dour note, "he seems mad." Which makes me wonder if he's got the support of the Alliance...

"Mad? Joo tink he be's serious?" the troll's expression suddenly turned to match that of the gloomy forsaken.

"Of course, what's unsettling though," and he paused, "is that there isn't an apparent motive. At least none he's revealing. He could just be some noble looking to make a name for himself, which is all the more dangerous, aye dangerous enough that the Alliance themselves should be worried. The last thing both sides should want is to commit to an open campaign." Not to mention the North, perhaps the fool should keep on marching through the plaguelands and on to the Lich-King.

"Hookies then, so deres gonna be da big fights?" said the troll girl frowning, but suddenly some of her old bravado returned, "'cause I be da mightest warrior o' Shadowprey. And I's can help out!"

The return of the troll girl who became his one friend in the town almost brought a smile to Vont's face. "In any case, you should protect your people, unless you are asked for. Hopefully, there won't be any need for that. Mayhaps we can drum up enough opinion against him within the Alliance that could cause them to stop him from within, I should write several people."

And perhaps a trip to make, which Vont left unsaid.

"Write's dem? Whyzzat?" The troll girl was left slightly confused as the Forsaken entered the inn.

Lapislaz

The imp Ziltal delivered the declaration to Lapis’s room in the Undercity. She raised one eyebrow as her eyes passed over the request.

- Execute Sylvanas or hand her to the Vassily House for justice.

“This man is crazy, Zil. Turn in the Dark Lady to a human? I wonder who this House even is…”

Lapis pulled out a quill and scribbled off two quick letters.

”Deliver those to our rogue friends,” she told the imp sternly. “I will go send the alert to Engoth to be prepared and check with the Brotherhood to see if they have seen the same letter.”

The warlock’s eyes glowed in the dim light as she grabbed her battle gear and tabard and left the room.

Rajan

Grunts and curses issued from Joseph's cozy little home in the Royal Exchange district of Silvermoon. A scowling, bad-tempered troll hop-skipped all around the floor in his underwear, struggling to pull on the last leg of his mail legguards while he tripped over a messy array of pillows and teddy bears. The previous evening's incident had not sat well for him, and thusly he had lost another night's sleep, miserable and dejected beneath a pile of pillows that Joseph had reprimandingly “willed” to squish him. Sourly the troll noted that the necessities of staying with this strange man for an unknown amount of time were losing ground when compared to the malevolent forces that would be working against him without Joseph's constant surveyance. This, of course, is another story entirely...

The troll's corybantic endeavor to dress himself while distracted led him to stumble into a table against one side of the curving wall, sending him, with a yelp, to the floor and the scrolls on the tabletop to scatter unceremoniously. More curses, spouted in the curious (and often deemed “funny”) words of trollish, then a three-fingered hand shot up to grapple the table's rim. Pushing himself to his feet whilst fastening off the leg armor that he had finally managed to clothe himself with, the troll glanced briefly to the untidy mess of parchments on the table with exasperation. Best to try to straighten it all up before Joseph took notice and did something unfavorable to the poor troll. Like braid his hair. Haphazardly stacking scrolls atop each other, continuing to curse in protest under his breath, the hunter took notice of one paper in particular when he reached for it. At first glance it seemed formally written, meant for a wide audience. “Attention citizens of Lordaeron..." And that was where the troll momentarily lost interest. Lordaeron meant undead, and undead meant nothing to him. But he felt a need to look again, to see what was so important for the undead at this time. And so, snatching the parchment from the table, he fell to his rump onto a pillow and scanned the text leisurely.

A declaration of war on Lordaeron. Intriguing. But the troll just scoffed and placed the paper back onto the table. He wasn't one for politics, nor for running willy-nilly to the aid of the Forsaken. Spirits knew they were always getting their skeletal asses into some kind of trouble. They'd be able to resolve the issue on their own, no matter how inhumane they saw fit to proceed with doing so. He crossed his arms behind his head and leaned back, intent on taking a quick snooze and forgetting whatever it was he had just read. But a nagging sensation in his chest would not let him so easily erase it out of his mind.

Slowly rising up to go about snapping on the rest of his armor, he continued to think hard on the issue at hand. Then he suddenly realized something. Orgrimmar would not be attacked unless they came to the Dark Lady's defense. Knowing Thrall and the orcs, however, there was no denying their course of action. And in doing so, his own people would become involved. He held great love for his kin, and if they were dragged into this war then he would gladly take up his bow against the imposing forces.

He briefly glanced down to the announcement, his mind still ticking off the possibilities. If Orgrimmar goes to war, the Alliance would strike back. Razor Hill would fall, for it lies between the enemy and Orgrimmar. And it was then that the troll gasped, his golden eyes snapping wide in painful realization. Snatching the paper from the table, he streaked out of the little abode into the smoothly paved Silvermoon road, whistling for his orange-scaled raptor, Shavo. Clambering frantically onto the saddle the moment the reptile arrived, he wasted no time to shift the animal into motion. It wasn't the potential fall of Razor Hill that disturbed him. It was the village not far away from it: Sen'jin, his home. He had to warn Master Gadrin and Master Vornal, even if they already caught word of this looming threat. And if anything were to happen, he'd be there to defend it, even if it meant giving his life for his people. For the Darkspear.

Dukago

The clay cracked under his feet as he tread. The old road stood overgrown with shrubs and various plants, apparently it hadn't been used much since he was a child. There was a subtle breeze upon the air, the Orc could feel the sand it carried brush against cheek.

Slowly he walked. It had been 33 years since he had traveled this path. What brought him here and what he sought to find, he did not know. An odd chill traveled up his spine as he lumbered forward, sweat dripping from his face. It was a hot day indeed....

The ruin of an old cottage came into view. The once proud home now lay dilapidated and in shambles, a result of the fire that tore it apart so long ago. The Orc paused, attempting to stem the emotions boiling up inside him. How different would his life have been had the Traitor not lead his war band to the house of his family in an attempt to murder his father? Would he still have his mother and sisters, all who died bravely, refusing to give in and yield his father's whereabouts...

Breaking down at the memory of their sacrifice would bring no Honor to their deed. He pulled himself together, forcing his thoughts in another direction. Entering through one of the old doorways, he found himself standing in what was once his living room. Old roof planks now lie fallen, barely supported by the weathered nails and plates that once held them firmly in place. He walked around, surveying what remained of the blackened walls and soot covered floors.

Almost nothing survived, almost nothing....

He felt his boot glance across a small metal object on the floor, displacing it from where it had come to rest all those years ago. The Orc kneeled, scooping it up for closer examination. A small coin sized piece lay in his hand. The twisted metal once resembling a star remained warped and disfigured by the intense heat of the blaze. It was once the necklace of his sister...

The birds in the rafters suddenly took to the sky, startled by an approaching figure. The Orc pocketed the trinket and slowly removed his sword.

"General?..... GENERAL!"

The Orc steadied his hand, replacing the blade with a sigh. "Centurion, what part of 15 minutes alone did you not understand?"

"My apologies sir, but this just in by swift messenger. Directly from the High Council."

The young officer handed the Orc a scroll bearing the official Seal of the Horde, which he accepted with a glare. Directly from the High Council, those words never brought favorable news. Pulling a small dagger from his belt, he broke the seal, unrolled the parchment and began reading...his eyes squinting as he neared the bottom. Once finished he considered for a moment, before re-rolling the scroll and placing it swiftly in his pouch.

"We leave at once for the Capital"

"Sir!" The Centurion saluted and ran quickly to ready the General's routine. The contents of the letter, as expected, brought neither comfort nor joy. Once again the High Council sent for him, which could only mean one thing. His skills in combat were needed once more...

He left the memory of his shattered past in the ruins of his ravaged home, replaced by the thought of tactics and a sure future of combat. He rounded a small hill where his contingent awaited his return and let forth a sharp whistle. A well seasoned and well armored wolf cantered to his side. He mounted and looked back at the place of his birth, perhaps for the last time, before ordering his party to move. His recall to Orgrimmar could only mean one thing, General Dukago of Durotar, High Commander of Horde Legions in the Northern Kingdoms rode for war...

Kunikiko

Kunikiko sauntered up to one of the postings in the Undercity and began to read. Taking out Sylvanas eh? The damn fools may as well try to shout the walls down. Still, it should be fun to watch Sylvanas slaughter the lot of them. Kunikiko spit on the notice, leaving a green glob of phlegm to trail down and smear the letters. flipping on a small dangerous looking gadget she teleported away to Toshley's Station.

Rothgaar

  • Standing over the parchement. Darting eyes read over the words clearly. When the word Sylvanas is seen by the eyes of the Dragon, the rage begins to take him. The familiar glowing blood begins spilling from the eyes, mouth, and noes of the Maji. Smoke begins to build from the form and the eyes glow a deep red.*

"So they dare attack the reason for my return to Mother. So be it."

  • Raising his eyes to heavens, Rothgraar ThriceBorne looks for Mother's guidance. After deep mediation, he bursts into flames that encompass the nearby area. From the wreckage , The Dracos Incarna steps foward. Raising his voice to echo across the lands, The rage cannot be held any longer.*

"I place the Warbanner down NOW! I am DONE with this mortal and what he dares call. who will hear the Warcry and answere?"

"You wanted pain and suffering. I will teach all of purest agony mortal....I shall taste the marrow of their bones as I watch them all burn in my Aftermath."

Roxleigh

A copy of the declaration somehow found it's way into Roxleigh Killgreedy's hands. The Forsaken woman let out a harsh, wracking peel of laughter after reading it. Her spindly fingers pulled the paper away from her face, so that she could look at the writing as a whole. Blonde hair matted from a lack of care swung in thick, almost dreadlocked clumps with the shake of her head.

"Out of touch, arrogant... The Nation of Lordaeron? Are these breathers so twisted with their Light and their ego that they don't even know the Plague happened?" Her grin spread out into a ghastly thing, the holes long since chewed through her own cheeks assuring that the expression quite literally showed all of her teeth.

Energy crackled through the air above Area 52, where the dead woman was perched to do her reading. A wooden rail supported her armored form and an enterprising Goblin was peering up at her axe, where it leaned beside her, from below. Her eyes darted from the ridiculous declaration of war to the green-skinned little man, and she hissed her words down at him. "Touch it and I'll split you in half and decorate the rocket over there with your entrails," she threatened, with a toss of her head toward the engineers working at their pet project. The goblin skittered away.

"These fools want to kill Lady Sylvannas? Let them try," she mused to herself. Once more staring at the paper in her hand, she leaned forward to rest the opposite elbow on her knee. Plate mail clanked against more plate mail. "Maybe it's time to head home to Brill. When I hear of the attack, the ride'll be short to wallow in the pools of gore the Dark Lady will leave in her fury." Roxleigh's tongue crept out of her mouth, not at her lips, but through one of the holes in her cheeks to lick along her teeth.

With a shifting of her armor, she lowered herself to her feet and took a hold on the handle of the massive axe leaned beside her. Without so much as bothering to pick it up, she begin to walk to exit the city. The heavy blade of the axe dragged in the dirt in her wake, the rut it's weight left in the dirt marking her passing.

"This arrogance will make their deaths taste like a dream," she muttered to one of the guards posted at the gates. The goblin bruiser was left confused, looking across the opening to his partner. He only got a shrug for an answer.

Kost

"...if you're making a joke, I'd take care to remind you that your idea of humor is in poor comparison to the rest of you..." Kost snarled, snapping her book closed and resting it across her knees. The blackened ruin of two fingers tapping across the cover. "Say it again, truthfully this time."

"It is as I said, Mistress, what would I get from lying to you over matters such as this?" The Succubus offered a small demure bow, ever an attempt for theatrics in the garb of her robes. "They're hounding about for the Dark Lady's head. And if, of course, you cannot lend me even a measure of your trust, I brought a copy for your own eyes to see." The offered parchment was a sorry copy, hastily written in the demon's hand, but still enough to set a grim frown upon the warlock's face.

"This fool has gone and truly stepped in it with both feet." Kost mumbled, reading over it once more, and once again before shaking her head. Setting the book and paper aside, she steeped her fingers, resting her chin against them. A familiar pose of thought as the demon fussed with her skirts, swishing them this way and that. "This will not be good. And... if I'm seeing this now, I'm sure there's a large enough bundle starting down the hill. This, will not do."

Of course the bloody louts would fight, Tauren and Orcs being honor-bound to their compatriots in battle, Trolls... well most trolls would hardly turn down a chance to a good fight, honest or dishonest, death was death. And the Forsaken... chaotic, some would most likely turn this to their benefit regardless, she remembered the last attempt on the Undercity and the Dark Lady's presence, nothing good came of it.

This would not do at all... and as for the matters of direct diplomacy...

Talking wouldn't do anyone good, stubbornness ran hand in hand with the glory seekers and the dogs of war. Pity. Now for the sake of indirect. This would take some consideration and perhaps a few contacts to minimize the damage.

"And I was having such a pleasant afternoon."

Nictus

"I had no idea you liked cheese this much, Nictus," said Drinlana in an amused voice. Nictus finished pressing the last of his mageroyal seeds into the neatly dug row, and covered it in the rich Ashenvale dirt, then dusted himself off and turned to face the Sentinel.

Drinlana was covered in paint, and had apparently only taken time away from her current project when the post had arrived. She was holding a crate marked "Darnassian Bleu."

Nictus took the crate and with a small dagger taken from his belt pried off the lid. The curious Sentinel peered over his sholder as he removed the wheel of cheese and a note reading "With compliments, -T" and proceeded to also remove a false bottom to the crate.

"Here is the real delivery friend," he said to Drin while pulling out sheaves of paper work; SI:7 files, documents detailing court proceedings marked with the seal of the Holy Church of the Light in Stormwind, and some pages torn from a book of what appeared to be a genealogical account of the noble families of the dead kingdom of Lordaeron.

"So much for the days gardening Drin. If I know Magus Thaumajinx he is most likely spitting lightning and wondering why a detailed report of what this fellow," and here Nictus produced a flier and pointed to the name signed at the bottom, High Lord Tanriel Debarae Vassily, "had for breakfast is not on his desk."

Wryn

The skies of Hillsbrad were overcast with dark clouds, thunder a low rumble overhead as Wryn sat on top of a broken table in the inn in Tarren Mill. Raids, she was familiar with. Her newest home was a popular target for those Alliance who sought blood and glory - "a coward's honor" she called it. After all, they always came outnumbering the Horde there three to one, and she'd never seen a single one of the raiders even remotely close to even her high level of expertise for the area - more like they were so far beyond even herself that she could only tell whether or not she should even chance a battle with one by how high their shoulder-armor was stacked above their heads.

Her faintly glowing emerald eyes scanned the rain-damp parchment, pencil thin brows furrowed from the train of thought that ran through her head. "Execute Sylvanas?" She'd met the woman, spoken with her on more than one occasion - and in those few meetings she'd learned a few things:

1. Valmithras is scary. (Upon asking, she'd learned that even her adoptive 'uncle' Pakar, the Tauren druid, did not want to mess with him.) 2. Sylvanas has no patience for things that irritate her. (Her silver dragonhawk chick, Munchy, had found this out the hard way. Even weeks later, he still wasn't right in the head) 3. There was no way to get into the Dark Lady's throne room besides the long hallway down into the depths of what was once Lordaeron, and that hallway has quite a few guards posted. 4. She never, EVER, wanted to get any of them angry with her.

"...Fools." She patted her Moonstalker's head absently as the beast nuzzled her with his great head, impatient with the way she was ignoring him for that dumb paper. She crumpled it in her hands and tossed it out the broken window into the fire that the Cook had going just outside. "They'll learn quickly enough, though. Once the Horde decides that retaliation is in order... which we will, won't we Fuzz?" She scratched the cat behind one striped ear and he purred with appreciation. "Yes we will~ 'cause we Horde are proud of what we have, aren't we? And we don't like it when that's threatened..." Her voice became a coo as she spoke to the cat, even as a smirk tugged at the corner of her lips. "They won't know what hit them.. We'll go just for sport, maybe stick a few of them with our stinging arrows~ I'll be sure to save some of that Alliance flesh just for you, my dearest pet~" The cat made a low noise in his throat to indicate pleasure, though whether at the thought or the attention she was paying him it was hard to tell - Cats are hard beasts to read in general. She smiled, giggling a little as Fuzzms nuzzled her a little in the side. "Teehee. Yes..." Her smile took a wicked twist as she gave the creature a final pat on the head, slung her quiver over her shoulder and stood, stepping gracefully back onto the worn stonework floor.

"They'll be sorry they ever even thought about starting a war with the Horde."

Valygar

“Valygar, Valygar!”

The mage looks up from his book with a smile and replies: “Come in master Vodor, it is a pleasure to see you again. Come, have a seat and warm yourself by the brazier.”

A troll dressed in dark-blue robes comes into the room. “I be sorry dat I do not be havin’ much time for da chit-chat, noble friend. I be comin’ wid a message of war. It be comin’, ya know.” The smile on the mage’s face is quickly replaced by a stern look. “War is coming, you say? Between who, if I may ask? The Alliance and the Horde?”

The troll nods and takes out a small piece of parchment and gives it to the human. “Here, it be attached to da wall of Orgrimmar, mon. Dem criers be tellin’ more notes simila like dis one be in da odda cities of da Horde”. Valygar reads the note before giving it back and then sighs.

“That was one out of relief, anger and sorrow at the same time, friend. Though the words in the note do indicate war is coming, it is not a statement by the Alliance faction as a whole. It is only done by a group of Alliance nobles, the House of Vassily.” The troll, looking at the note again asks without looking up: “Da house of Vassily? Ya know dem?” “No, not in person”, is the reply, “Thank Elune for that. This will put pressure on the already fragile truce between the two factions though”.

It is frustrating to see that skilled adventurers wage a misguided and blinded war yet again. There are hundreds of forces in Azeroth that wish nothing more than the total or partial destruction of some of the races here. The Burning Legion and the Scourge are the best examples. Yet, all the so called do-gooders can do is wage war upon the Horde. And that while the Alliance and Horde need each other to survive against these forces that threaten us to begin with! The Forsaken are powerful allies against the Scourge, why can’t they just see this?”

Vodor looks up and puts a hand on the mage’s shoulder. “Ya can not really blame ya kin. Ya be one of da few humans I know dat have accepted da presence of da undead Forsaken as a race. Even I had great difficulty acceptin’ dem at first.” “But we both managed to overcome our fears and mistrust”, is the reply. “Why do these so called zealous humans wage war against the wrong group every time?”

Valygar walks to the bookshelf and puts the book in which he was reading on its original place and then looks up still looking at the tens of books on the shelf. “You know, Vodor? I sometimes wonder which side is the cause for not having more than a truce. The Horde that wishes nothing more than the recognition as force, along with their territory and to be respected as such, or the Alliance, in which the humans declare everything that they do not trust as evil, which needs to be eradicated”.

The mage turns to face his friend again. The grim look on his face is responded by a friendly nod of the troll. “If only the Alliance leaders would simply retreat from Hillsbrad Foothills and Arathi Highlands”, Valygar continues, “The former is nothing more than a small group of farms and a village supporting it. There is plenty of opportunity to restart this in Elwynn Forest or Westfall. And the Kirin Tor at Dalaran can survive on their own. They need little help from Southshore. Besides, the few friends I have left in the Kirin Tor indicate that the rebuilding of the city is nearing completion and that they may have other plans with it. The presence in Arathi Highlands is nothing more than symbolic. Stromgarde Keep has fallen and only a small part is in the hands of the Alliance. The nation of Arathor can remain if they want to, but the major force of Alliance guards and civilians should be redirected back to more southern regions.” Valygar frowns. “Forgive me, Vodor, I am rambling on.”

The priest smiles. “Ya words be wise, dough I doubt dey will be heard by dose dat can determine da future of da Alliance mon. Perhaps we be destined ta fight da Alliance ova and ova again? The human mage quickly nods in a horizontal way, clearly disagreeing on the words of his friend. “No, you are partially right in that we are destined to fight, but you are wrong in that we have to fight each other. Instead of that, our true destiny is to fight alongside each other against all that would threaten the existence of the races of Azeroth. The Burning Legion and the Scourge are not forces just one side can tackle.”

Valygar casts a spell causing the note in Vodor’s hand to quickly burn. The startled Vodor quickly drops the rest of note on the ground. “Ya could have warned me, mon!”. Valygar looks at his friend and nods. “May the real longing for war fade away as quickly as the words in the note and may this event be washed away as fast as you dropped the note on the ground declaring it nothing more than a foolish attempt by a lunatic and his allies.”

“Ohw, how I desire for a long-lasting peace between the Alliance and Horde. That both forces combine their strength again just like in Mount Hyjal and in the barren wastelands of Silithus. To face our true foes together as unity, instead of a seriously weakened Alliance or Horde that has no hope of survival and always wondering on the question; what if we joined forces instead of killed each other?”

The human mage walks towards his friend. “Come, my ally. We both have work to do. I will inform my sister who will be interested in hearing this too. If the foolish adventurers suffer a defeat at the Forsaken capital which they will do, they will likely blame the Orcs instead”.

Both go out and climb on their mounts, salute each other and go their own ways.

Ingridius

Ingridius Lorumis grunted in satisfaction, reaching down to carefully pry her weapons from the back of the corpse below her long-dead feet, the hot barren's sun baking her withered and cracked skin. Something the human had said had left a sickening taste in her mouth, a taste that remained long after devouring her foe. Its flimsy human tongue had spilled forth many secrets, but the threat of war had shaken something loose inside her, something that now burned behind her glowing yellow eyes.

The shadows welcomed her again as she stepped out of sight, the journey to the Undercity was long and hard, yet she never lost her focus, the large wolf panting beneath her as it tore across the land. Released from the warm embrace of the darkness, she stretched in front of the notice, burning yellow eyes surveying every word, twice over.

If her heart could beat it would be pounding in excitement, the undead reaching out to trace a long-nailed bony hand across the declaration, as though trying to feel who had written such inspiring words. A creature of silence like Ingridius rarely spoke, but today, today she broke her silence. Reaching up, she pulled back the hood that covered her face, lips spilling forth soft laughter.

Eyes from all around focused their attention on the cackling figure, some in surprise, others in grim amusement. Ingridius cared not for onlookers, she cared for her queen. Once again, she let the shadows take her, drifting out of sight, her gentle laughter echoing down the macabre but peaceful halls.

Time was short and there was much to do.

Rathjinn

Rathjinn laughed heartily as he walked with ferocity towards the small town of goldshire, in plain view of stormwind. His axe in hand, he dragged it steadily against the dirt road creating an eery foreshadowing of the events to come.

"If it's war they want, it is war they shall have." He thought.

Crimson eyes burned with intensity through his helmet, eying the town as he slowly walked ot the town's center. He grinned and lifted his axe to lay gently across his shoulders. He was standing in the center of the town, reading the letter in broken and choppy common. The gaurds stood tense, shield and sword raised and ready to pounce as he read the parchment, neatly formed as they had been trained in a tight circle around Rathjinn; the enemy.

Rathjinn finished, grinned, and dropped the letter. The gaurds started their movements.

"Too slow." Rathjinn thought.

The letter fell gently to the dirt, and whilst it fell and fought air resistance... Rathjinn charged. Three civilians lay waste; cut viciously in half with blood strewn wonderfully strewn everywhere like the paint of life. He smiles as the lust for battle grew voraciously. His eyes turned from a soft green to a demonic red. The gaurds fell in the most brutal form possible- maimed, decimated, halved, armor pieces smashed into bone and flesh. The armor made of thorium stood no chance against the battle blessed axe of Grom Hellscream, Gorehowl. A woman tried to flee, but a small throwing axe was soon to greet her, meeting it's new sheath in her spine- she was thrown to the floor in a flurry of red strings that danced around her as she spun. Every defender fell valiantly, but gruesomely as well.

The letter hit the floor.

The screams of dying women, children and men filled the air like a song of victory. He rushes up to a young human, the same sickening bloodthirsty smile beaming down on that man as Rathjinn took his helmet off.

"Take this." Rathjinn said slowly holding out a letter.

The young man was covered, head to toe in bright red, fresh, blood. His eye's stood wide in fear, pupils dilated to the point where iris was just a question of existence, embracing his death. He did not move. His breathing increased, and he fell to his knees with his head dropped and neck exposed.

Rathjinn reiterated, "Take this, and live."

He dropped the letter into the mans hand, and pointed to stormwind.

With one great and powerful lunge he plants the defiant Horde Banner in the center of the town, on top of the letter, set fire to the buildings, and set back towards his home of Stranglethorn Vale's arena.

Again he trailed his axe, leaving a gruesome reminder in the trail of blood, what exactly it means to wage war with the horde.

The man gently started to walk, in a daze, towards stormwind bearing the news.

Persis

Persis arrived early to the Battle Arena. 'Never be late for your Shan'do' was the first rule she had learned and, as yet, had not broken. She hoped to suprise Drinlana. Needless to say, It was the young Shield Maiden who was suprised, for her honored teacher was already there, dressed in her Battlemail, daggers at the ready.

Persis curtsied to Drinlana, who was already smiling as her Thero'shan approached. The honored student was wearing her favorite Light Golden Plate Armor, imbued with strong magiks, a good choice for the morning was already hot.

"Hello Thero'shan! it is lovely to see you", before walking over to help her Persis stand. Come! Let us duel sweet Persis. Show me what you have learned, since last we sparred". Even as Drinlana approached, Persis noted she was still smiling yet there was a little curl on the right side of her lips, adding to the Warm and proud smile. 'There is more to the morning than just a duel' thought Persis, knowing her Teacher's every Inflection.

Together, The Skilled Silver Sentinel and the young Shield Maiden dueled and sparred, Drinlana advancing to strike with both her daggers, the Emerald Ripper and Blade of the Unrequited. Persis Fought back with Thunderfury and her choice of Shield, the Golden Draconic Deflector.

Many friends and family would often enter the arena to watch. Today was no exception, for the lovely weather meant most of Shardracona's family were outside and enjoying the day. Hearing the sound of Magic metals striking together brought many an audience.

The duel continued for over half and hour, both Kaldorei clearly working hard as the bright hot sun reflected off their armors and sweat lined skins. Eventually, both combatants ceased their practice and both walked slowly together, Persis always to the right Side of her Shan'do, as they entered the Arena Resting Room, and out of the blazing sun.

Sitting down together, drinking freshly prepared spring water from the Estate itself, Drinlana pulled out a folded piece of paper, before carefully unwrapping it to gaze upon it once again. Looking up and over the top of it, she held Persis's bright eyed gaze with her own.

"Thero'shan!" she asked, "Have you ever heard of one High Lord Tanriel Debarae Vassily?"

Evictus

Evictus sighed heavily, as he'd been doing so a lot these days. So much war had been waged, so much struggle and strife, all for the petty whims of beings that were either too power hungry, too stupid, or too crazy. He read the note while sitting on a small boulder outside of orgrimmar, where he ate his lunches.

"Poppa, is dere' somethin' troublin' ye'?" A young troll's voice filled the air. Dakmah, Evictus' adopted daughter, was carrying a large basket of food out to the boulder, where he sat. "Ya' be actin' funny lately."

"War... more war is coming." He sighed again, reading the poster for a thrid time. "Does it never end, Dak'mah?"

"No poppa, it never does." Dakmah replied, know that's what he wanted to hear.

"The humans declare war against the forsaken alone, and yet do not realise the full entirety of what they ask. War upon the forsaken is war upon the horde, and war upon the horde is pure folley." Evictus turned to his daughter, "Don't you agree?"

"Yes poppa." She had set the basket down and tossed a large chunk of meat to her Hyena pet, Shas'kai. "Shaskai here be feelin' it too."

"Yes, even the animals know that it is inevitable..." With a final sigh, he tossed the poster away and began to slowly nibble on a Manna Biscuit as several of the orphanages children began running by. "Ahhh, to be as blissful and care-free as a child." Dak'mah began to repeat after him.

"If only that were a luxury afforded me." Dak'mah grabbed a small hunk of meat for herself.

"I want you to aid in the defense of razor hill, Dak'mah."

Dak'mah's eyes lit up. "Really?!?!"

"Yes, from the human counter-attack, that's going to be their first target on the road up from theramore. I want nothing to happen there to endanger it."

"Yes poppa, I unnerstand."

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