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Wherever Dallahath went, he carried his journal. This was an old book of crisp parchment leaves, bound in a weather-beaten cover of rare blue leather. He remembered the first day he had ever found this plain, seemingly inconsequential item that had taken up such a small but significant part of his life.

Young Dallahath had been riding with his mentor, Sir Caderis, the warrior-cleric of Northshire, a prototypical paladin in the days even before the creation of the Knights of the Silver Hand. Tired and saddlesore, the grizzled soldier-scholar and his frightened thirteen year-old ward had spent the entire day gathering up equally frightened farmers and clerics from the isolated settlements in Elwynn Forest, trying to save as many lives as they could before the savage green tide of the Orcish Horde finally closed in around Stormwind. Caderis' face had grown more grim with each passing hour, as he and his young student passed bloodstained fields and burning farmhouses in a graveyard of blackened trees. It seemed as though the Orcs were bent on burning the entire forest to the ground, and were leaving nothing alive. Neither the largest bear nor the smallest bird seemed able to escape their mindless wrath.

Not even Caderis knew how close the main body of the Orcish force had come, but he had known that their raiding parties were still striking down into the Azerothian heartlands with vengeful swiftness. The danger to everyone in the forest was very real, and not even the Abbey of Northshire was safe anymore. That was why Dallahath had been riding with Caderis that day - better that he be a moving target under his master's watchful eye than sitting defenseless in the lightly-guarded Abbey. No doubt Caderis would have preferred to spare his student the horrible sights and sounds of the Orcish rampage...but the choice was no longer his. For all the inhabitants of Azeroth, the greatest and most terrible decisions of their lives had already been made for them - made for them by the Orcs.

Caderis had led his horse as swiftly and quietly as he could, dodging behind trees and moving under the crests of ridges and hills. At any turn they could spot (or be spotted by) an Orcish war party, with deadly results. They had been ranging farther and farther from the Abbey, as the meager rescue patrols from Stormwind grew more desperate to find survivors and bring them to safety. Dallahath had been scared, and he knew his guardian well enough to know that Caderis had been scared, too - not so much for himself, perhaps, as for Dallahath - and wanted nothing more than to go back and try to mount some sort of rearguard action when the Orcs finally did attack. But Caderis had his orders, and regardless of the danger he had no choice but to carry them out.


On the eastern edge of the forest they had come across the shattered and blackened remains of the once-soaring Eastridge Tower. Blocks and chunks of stone and charred timbers lay scattered everywhere, along with the detritus of battle - broken weapons, shattered shields, splinters of rent armor, corpses, and blood. Dallahath had remembered fighting the all too familiar urge to be sick at the sight and stench of carnage, and he would have stayed on the horse, eyes shut and mind rejectful, had his mentor not asked him to help look for wounded. The boy had dismounted with Caderis' help, had taken the reins to lead the horse as he followed the warrior-scholar through the wreckage. Dallahath had been barely seven years old when the war had begun; now, at thirteen years, he was already four inches taller and nearly twenty pounds heavier than most other boys his own age. There hadn't been many other children living at the Abbey, mainly noblemens' sons, who were sent to study with the clerics, learning to read and write, and the ones who had lived nearby were farmboys. Dallahath alone was a warrior's ward, and only he was given military training at the Abbey. Even as a boy, he had kept largely to himself. He studied alone and he trained alone, and did not really have any friends. Dallahath remembered the light mail armor he had worn that day, the short, serviceable sword and equally sized shield he carried, the ones that Caderis had made for him, once he was old enough to use them, when the first rumblings of war on the borders had been heard. Even at that young age, Dallahath had been a squire, doing a much older person's job, when any other boy his age should have been relegated to being nothing more than a page for some pampered noble. Sir Caderis may have been a minor noble, but he certainly wasn't pampered.


The state of the tower hadn't been promising. It appeared as though all the defenders were dead - even the wounded, slaughtered where they lay - and no one had escaped. They seemed to have given a good accounting of themselves, judging from the number of Orcish corpses lying amongst theirs...but it was still a waste of lives that could have been better used elsewhere. As Caderis and Dallahath rummaged around, looking for anything of value that might be able to be salvaged, the boy had spotted a small blue book lying on the ground. Indeed, there seemed to have been quite a few manuscripts scattered about the ruins, most of them charred, scorched, or otherwise torn, no doubt deemed worthless by the illiterate orcs. The book that Dallahath had spotted, however, was almost untouched...possibly because it was unused, empty of text. Dallahath had looked through it curiously after picking it up - then the harsh sounds of Orcish voices had rung out from behind a nearby ridge. Caderis had moved silently, grabbing his squire by the shoulder and leading him back onto the horse. Dallahath had hastily shoved the blue book into his pack as he hurried to remount. Then they had fled, the horse galloping back towards the Abbey as the spears of the war party fell down around them.

Within a day of their return, the last rescue patrols had rushed back to the Abbey with reports of Orcish war parties closing in from all directions. If anyone had been alive in Elwynn Forest up to that point, they hadn't survived the Orcish advance. Caderis had less than fifty guards with which to defend Northshire Valley, and King Llane would soon recall the entire population of the vale to Stormwind...they hoped.

Dallahath had spent that night staring into the first blank page of the blue leather book. He wondered who it had belonged to, and what purpose it had been intended for. Whatever the answers, it was certain that it would never fulfill that purpose. Then a new thought had struck the young man, and he realized. It was up to him to decide what to do with these blank pages. They, like him, had represented raw, undeveloped potential; between these two things, the youth and the book, was the opportunity to see, do, and record great or terrible things.


For over twenty years, in the pages of his journal, that was what Dallahath had done. Everything of consequence that had ever happened to him in his travels, tales and lessons and battles collected from the experience of almost half a lifetime, were scrawled in the burgeoning pages of his worn, blue leather journal...what Sir Caderis and Sir Dallahath both referred to as the Blue Chronicle of Northshire.


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