Archive for the “Arthas Contest” Category

The third of five winning entries we received for the BBB Arthas Book Contest! Since the first two were quite long, you should be relieved to see that our last three winning entries hewed closer to our request that entries be short little scenes, brief encounters, a taste, a teaser if you will of your vision of your character meeting Arthas. Each of the three approaches the idea from vastly different directions, and this one from Malphailuron of Eredar was one of Cassie’s first favorites. Enjoy!

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“The Bronzes aren’t going to like this.”

“I know.”

“Light guide your steps, Dalgren.”

“Light bless you, Luri, and all you’ve done.”

Dalgren watched as the archmage faded from view, leaving only the quiet, sun-dappled woods of afternoon Tirisfal. It was almost unrecognizable, untainted by the Scourge, and then the Forsaken. The air was fresh, the trees were strong and healthy, the sky was clear and blue. It will be this way forever now, thought Dalgren.

A noise to the southeast drew his attention, and Dalgren instantly recognized the newcomer. The boy was a perfect copy of the ghost-child Matthias Lehner, running headlong through the woods, slashing at phantom orcs with a crude wooden sword. Noticing the imposing, armored figure of Dalgren, the boy stopped, his crusade forgotten as his eyes and mouth grew wide.

Dalgren drew his sword and resolutely approached the child.

How many thousands had died at the Lich King’s hands? How many disembodied spirits wandered the Plaguelands even now, unable to find rest? How many noble soldiers had given their lives in defense of their loved ones, only to be raised in a cruel mockery of life as they turned their blades on their former comrades?

The boy stared up unflinchingly, his face fixed in an expression of admiration and awe. He gave the paladin a shy smile, unaware of Dalgren’s intent.

The glory of Lordaeron, forever shattered by the Scourge. Unthinking cruelty, unmitigated rancor, unimaginable treachery, a hundred sins and vices committed … for what? For earthly power? For dominion over a dead and sundered world? All life, all light, extinguished to sate the ambitions of a single madman?

Dalgren kneeled before the child, sinking his sword into the soft loam, and placed his gauntleted hands upon the kid’s shoulders, and gazed into the blue eyes of his future nemesis.

To undo it all—the needless deaths, the endless months of war, plague, and suffering, the looming threat in the north, his mentor’s defection to the Lich King’s ranks, transformed into a Death Knight. The power was in his hands. Everything he had worked for …

He spoke.

“One day, young prince, you too shall wield a sword Never forget that true strength does not come in arms, nor power in a kingdom, nor valor in command … true strength, true power, and true valor will always rest in a good heart. And nothing—nothing!—will ever change that.”

So saying, he rose and turned from the boy, and walked off through the woods.

“Why didn’t you do it?” Luri asked, dismissing her spellwork.

Dalgren was silent for a long time.

“If I had done it … He would have won. He’s still a child, still innocent of his future crimes. But if I kill him … I’m no better than what he will be. To do this, to be a monster in life, is no better than becoming a monster in death. This is how the Lich King works. This is why he must be stopped.”

Dalgren sighed. “Let’s go home.”

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The second of five winning entries we received for the BBB Arthas Book Contest! I enjoyed the point of view, and the thought behind this one quite a bit, and I hope you enjoy it too! I made a few minor spelling and grammer corrections, to ease the readability a bit. I hope that Cowsareus, a self professed native French-speaker living in Switzerland will forgive me the impertinance.

As told by Cowsareus

“What? Sit and wait?” I asked him. “Why should I sit here and wait?” 
The reply came, quiet and assured. “I have heard of your future, and I know who you are”.

The beast spoke slowly, with a deep voice that identified him instantly as a male Tauren. Some find their voice intimidating, I just think of them as animals with the ability to speak. How could this beast know me and ask me to spend time chatting with him? Did he not see I had merely paused to regain my strength? Did he not understand my pressing need to keep moving?

The Tauren sat down, as if to invite me to join him into listening to his speech.

“You are still yet a young prince, and your presence has been noticed.”

“I’m glad to hear that, Tauren”, I said, interrupting the creature.

“I heard your race has become quite good at spotting the obvious, over the ages. You druids and all your ancestral religion means nothing to me. I believe in myself and the Light. If you came to tell me about Cenarius and the Earth Mother, you are wasting my time.”

The beast continued on, seemingly unbothered by my observations. “I came to find you, young prince, to maintain balance. Your acts are about to have a greater impact on yourself than you know, and the Earth Mother gifted my sight to see further than this day, and I saw you. I speak the truth, young prince.”

You are a fool, Tauren, hours of meditation in your smoky hut turned you senile. You know nothing of me!”

“Your name is Arthas, and you are to become the next King. The nature of your kingdom is not yet decided…  Today you are on a mission to kill many innocent lives. You are heading toward a town infected by the plague, and you intend to kill each and everyone of its people.”

“How dare you speak those words! Are you foolish enough to call me a murderer?”

If you are that well informed about the plague infection, why do you not use your wisdom to find a cure for it, so that we may save this land? And even if I have to slay infected people, can’t you see that it is the only thing to be done to prevent them from turning into mindless zombies, slaves doomed to fight the ones they loved?”

“It is in the balance of life for these people to die. It is not for them to die at your hands, young Prince.”

The Tauren looked at me silently, sitting right in front of me, defenseless. I could slaughter him right here and now, should I see the need to do so. 

I was getting tired of this encounter. I had to reach Stratholme, and this beast that had approached me as I gathered my strength to continue the chase was wasting my time with his meaningless opinions.

“Should I just end his suffering and move on?”, I wondered, growing ever more irritated at the delay. No, a Paladin, a follower of the Light, shall not kill for such reasons.

“So what are you suggesting, Tauren, how shall I save Stratholme and the rest of the country, if I do nothing to stop the spead of the plague, and they are all infected” I asked him. 

“I asked you to sit right here, and wait”.

I was getting irritated. This animal showed no respect, and seemed to have lost his mind long ago. 

Tauren, I have had enough of you. I am leaving, and I suggest you never stand in my way again. I might not be as merciful”. 

It was then, that I noticed a change happening. The sky darkened above us, the grass around us started moving as if shaken by an invisible hand, and yet I could feel no wind on my face. I felt something moving behind me. I felt unsettled, as if nature itself was watching me. 

Then the Tauren stood up and spoke. The voice had changed. No longer did he speak with his ridiculously calm and soft voice. It was as if I could hear a thunder during the most violent storm talking to me.

“Young Prince, I came to find you here before you reached Stratholme, for I have seen your deeds, and I will not allow it to happen!”

“Foolish Tauren, if you came to challenge me, I will fight and defeat you. I am not afraid by this sorcery!”

As I looked around, I saw a multitude of animals had gathered out of nowhere. Deers, wolves, bears, even the branches of the trees were filled with hundreds of birds above us. They all stood or perched quietly, watching us. 

Gathering my strength, I resolved to push aside this beast that dared to try to prevent me from doing my duty.

“I shall grant you a clean death. I hope for you that you are ready for this journey in the afterlife. May the light take you, Tauren!”

I raised my hammer overhead, and unleashing my battle cry, I charged forward. “For the light!”

He did not seem prepared to fight. He never moved. My hammer crushed his bones as I hit him, and before his own blood blurred my vision I saw the pain on his face.  

At that moment, I felt a needle piercing my chest. A very slight, meaningless pain.

I cleared my eyes, and as I looked down, I saw the Tauren’s arm falling to his side, cluthcing a small branch. He had managed to hit me on the chest between the plates of my armor, on the left hand side.  

“What have you done, foolish Tauren? Tried to fight me with a piece of wood?” 

The wound I had received was not even painful. He certainly did succeed in striking me, but if it wasn’t for the blood on my side and the branch he was holding, I would barely have noticed his feeble effort.

“Now, young Prince, you are ready for your journey,” he whispered as he fell.

As the massive body hit the ground, I heard a sound as of a thousand creatures in mourning ripping through my ears. It was as if all the wild creatures that had gathered around were crying at the death of their champion.

A moment later, they became silent and departed, leaving me in peace.

Shaking off the strangeness of the encounter, I shook off my fatigue and prepared for the final push to Stratholme. “People of Stratholme, your Prince is coming to your aid!”

~0~

The young Prince was, indeed, now ready for his journey, not knowing that he carried a seed inside him. A seed planted into his heart, through the death of a noble son of the Earth Mother. 

“For the King’s heart shall be frozen for a time. 
Then the ice will melt, and the seed will bring a new spark of life into him.
And he shall redeem his name and become the King of Lordaeron.”

It was I who wrote those words of prophecy with my own hand so long ago. I have foreseen all of this happening with my own eyes. For the Earth Mother gifted my sight, and I see further than the events of today. 

She saved Arthas, like she saved me. 

From the journal of Medivh, the Last Guardian of Tirisfal

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The first of five winning entries we received for the BBB Arthas Book Contest! I hope you enjoy as much as we did!

As told by Ærynn Lómëhtar

I groan in my troubled sleep and open my eyes. Myrrh is kneeling by my bedside, her head buried in her arms. She is finally asleep, poor child. The plague in those Wintergrasp barrels were potent, making me very ill. Thank Elune… thank the Light that the Argent Dawn can treat this—I shall not turn into undead.

War will always have its casualties. But in times like these, when I am at my weakest, I often bitterly curse my losses. Mórrígan… Oh, my Mórrígan! If only I had not been so foolish!

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It was the eve of the invasion of Northrend. The Beta Expeditionary Force, already there, were already engaged in numerous battles. Fresh from my victories in  the battles against Magtheridon and Gruul, I had grown arrogant. “Ærynn and her stormcrow Mórrígan have a new grisly trophy!”

I had heard that Naxxramas’ hold on the plaguelands was slipping. Of course, with Northrend so threatened, it was natural that Naxxramas would retreat to reinforce their holdings.

But I did not want them to retreat. At least, not yet. I longed to go to Naxxramas and gain even more glory.

A few shared my feelings; all of us found ways to find the hidden entrance deep in the eastern plaguelands. We wanted in before they escaped Lordaeron forever! Oh, what did we hope to accomplish? Those more powerful than we have gone in, and have either returned as embittered veterans or returned not at all. Yet here we were, sneaking into the dread citadel itself, hunting for the glory of bringing back Kel’thuzad’s head.

We all went through the portal, but on the other end was only Mórrígan and myself. Even then I should have heeded the warning in my heart. The sudden gloom was like a physical presence. The sounds of skittering feet and the distant wails of those who were being tormented drove me almost to terror. Walking around the circular vestibule, I found a madman, claiming to be a wizard and high elf (though he looked neither), wailing bitterly about a staff and how it was taken from him and broken.

Summoning my courage (or was it just hubris?), Mórrígan and I attempted to kill some of the giant spiders in one wing. We were thrashed to an inch of our lives, and only by feigning death were we able to escape.

After mending our wounds, I told Mórrígan that we would spend the night at the entrance near the “elf” and attempt to sneak past the mobs. I am quite sure that if I can get close enough to Kel’thuzad, I can kill him, take his head and trigger my hearthstone to escape. Mórrígan, my Mórrígan was not so sure. She was agitated and wanted to fly away—she kept hearing voices all around us.

As we lay down to sleep, I saw a small, living cat looking at us with glowing eyes.

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I awoke in pain and nothingness, that is, I felt unbearable pain everywhere, but I felt that I had no body to feel that pain. I could make out two people talking.

“Yes, my lord,” said a tremulous voice. “Another one of these ‘adventurers’. A nightelf.”

“What fools,” said a loud whisper. “And they are trapped, lich? They cannot get out?”

“No, my lord,” the first answered. “There are… enough of them to fully satisfy the needs of Acherus. It only remains to slay them properly and… transport them.”

“Very good, Lich. Not all of them, though. Some are weak; too weak to even use as ghouls. This one, for instance,” and here I felt a sharp, painful throb everywhere but nowhere, “can safely be left to rot.”

“But, oh…” continued the harsh whisper. “Not this one… Not thisss one.”

“Which, my lord?” his servant asked, confused. “The stormcrow? This hunter’s bird?”

“No… not a bird… oh, no… not a bird. One who has lost… hurm… forrrrgotten herself. Her… true shape… Yessssss… I sssee ssstrength here! Be sure that this one reaches Razuvious. Be sure to begin… persuading her.”

“It shall be done, my lord.”

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Who had they been talking about?

Moments? Days? Weeks? I lost track of time. But, Mórrígan and I, we escaped. Or, rather, we were rescued. My daughter Myrrh and Mr. Vault petitioned an Avatar of the Great Blizzard to free me and all those trapped within. No… those voices were not talking about Mórrígan. She was right there beside me when we were restored. But Mórrígan, my poor stormcrow… she was never the same.

From being the most powerful of my beast companions, she fell into a deep melancholy and never left the stables. Every night, when I went to her, she would look into my face, showing much more intelligence and awareness, and also much more sadness than I have ever known her to show.

My marching orders came late, and I cannot join my guild in Northrend. But I took Mórrígan to the Stormwind harbor, hoping the sea breezes would do her good. Together, we would watch the sun go down behind the tall lighthouse.

A week had passed and I had recovered; Mórrígan hasn’t. I finally got my marching orders, and prepared to board a ship to the Borean Tundra. I had left Mórrígan behind.

As I waited for the ship, a druid walked toward me. She was dark and gaunt, and very sad.

“Ærynn,” she said. “I am sorry, but I must leave. He calls to me… I hear his voice. I… I must obey.”

When I turned toward her, she had already disappeared. I thought she mistook me for someone else, but Myrrh told me later that that was the last time Mórrígan was ever seen. So, he took her after all. Gave her back her senses, then took her.

Since then, I had fought in every engagement against the Lich King. I knew what he turned her into.

He will pay.

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