Synopsis Edit

Little is known about the origins of this book, the simple leather-bound volume was found on the littered floor of the cathedral by a group of adventurers performing a routine investigation of Stratholme. The volume was taken back to the Stormwind library where it was marked as "a soldier's account of the Second and Third Wars," and only consisted of Chapters One through Six.

Since then, however, another volume recounting the life of the soldier after the Third War was donated to the Library which has begun to mass produce the volumes to stock the shelves of historians across Azeroth and beyond with the help of a nameless benefactor described only as a Mage of the Kirin Tor.

Excerpt Edit

“Seek to understand, not only the world around you but the deeper meaning of yourself,” the aged man stood upon the pulpit of the small chapel speaking in a deep, steady voice that belied his extensive years. In the pews sat a small congregation, mostly consisting of heavily armored men of which many could barely be called so as they watched through youthful eyes. A man in his mid-twenties sat amongst several older soldiers accompanied by three others his age, listening in reverence.

“In that understanding you will find the ties that bind you to the universe, do not shirk your emotions soldiers for those very feelings will serve only to strengthen your bonds. You must strive to bring Good both to yourself and those around you, Good works through you will influence the world and inspire a new era of the Light. Through the Light we will vanquish the evil that treads on our soil, we will rise up and show it that we have no fear for the Good in us all will prevail.”

The older man smiled to the crowd as a father might smile to his children, a satisfied nod followed by a motioning to an armored man perhaps in his late thirties. The man stood, he held a captivating aura that most in the pews seemed to give more reverence to than the teachings they were just being given, eyes fell upon him as he spoke, “Thank you Archbishop.”

The man stood beside the pulpit, looking over each of them in turn with a pleased nod, “You have met the expectations set for you within the field, and for that you will be rewarded. But,” he leaned heavily against the railing that separated the dais from the congregation, “in this reward comes great trials and even greater expectations. You will leave this place as Knights of the Silver Hand, it is our sworn duty to protect our people and you will be expected to do so with fervor. You will come to understand the Three Virtues that Archbishop Faol was speaking of:

Respect, both for your comrades and for your enemies. It is a fool who does not adequately respect his foe, for in this respect comes understanding and in that understanding lies victory. We are the sword and the shield of our people, to respect their freedom we must vanquish those who would take it away.

Tenacity, a lifetime of servitude to the Light and your people. Some of you are no stranger to this, even greater though are your number who are fresh-faced and eager to rise to the challenge. Until we rejoin our ancestors it is our duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves, in this mission there are not holidays, when you take on this mantle it becomes you and you become it.

Compassion, in all that you do. Friend and Foe alike, you will be required to live this virtue to its full definition.” The man stopped and regarded them all for a moment before nodding, on this motion the first row of people stood in a raucous harmony of shifting steel, “We will begin now.”

Hours later, a young Vardann stood upon the cobbled pathway leaning against the railings that overlooked the port, he idly traced his fingers over the filigree of the new tabard while watching the ships set sail. Sometimes, dreams can become reality.

But so can nightmares.

Preface Edit

Compassion Edit

“A Leader must know compassion, both for her allies and her enemies,” Vardann spoke in reminiscence as he gazed from the parapets to the swarm of Scourge assaulting the Keep. He watched, with another, as new soldiers and adventurers alike amassed on the beach to toss nets at the flying vermin, bringing them down to the ground where they could be more adequately dealt with. Idly he scratched his cheek just beneath the eye patch, a motion that had become more subconscious than anything of late.

“Compassion,” she breathed.

“Compassion,” he nodded.

Respect Edit

“Kagg ogar ruk’grom uruk tar!” Vardann was taken off his feet by the charging Orc, his blade coming free of its sheath just in time to deflect the upward crescent of the massive axe from decapitating him, instead causing the blade slice shallowly over the right side of his face across his eye. He yelped in anger as he rolled to his feet, his blood spilling generously on the putrid soil of the Plaguelands. He’d expected scourge and had been searching for the necropolis when the Orc had gotten the ambush on him.

Tightening his grip around his blade, he bared his teeth in indignation and annoyance, focusing his good eye on his foe. He was prepared for the next attack when it came, the axe coming in low from the side allowing him to twist his blade catching it just beneath its arc pushing his weight into the haft to throw the Orc off balance. His attack pulled the orc closer to him, unsteadily, allowing him to place his knee forcefully into his opponent’s side sending him reeling to the ground with a guttural roar. Though large, the Orc was surprisingly nimble and had recovered to his feet quickly.

Circling each other for a moment their attacks continued anew, each feverishly launching blow after blow in attempt to best the other. Vardann brought his blade up to stop the downward arc of the axe, a motion that sent stinging vibrations up his arm into his shoulder for the sheer strength behind the blow, a growl escaped him as he kicked the Orc in the mid-section, putting some distance between the two. Once more the Orc charged and this time Vardann pivoted his body to the left, bringing the flat of his blade down forcefully onto the back of the passing Orc’s skull sending it sprawling to the ground in front of him. He stood over the disoriented Orc for a moment, his blade hefted as if to deal the final blow before he lowered his blade, shaking his head.

Neither had time to ponder the gesture, however, before a mass of Scourged fiends poured into the site of their brief melee. Quickly Vardann pulled the Orc to his feet, both standing back to back as the scourge numbers around them began to grow. The Orc grunted as if in distaste, speaking in broken common, “Warrior. Honor. We fight. Together.” Vardann looked over his shoulder at his much taller foe-turned-companion and let a half smile break his stony features, “Lok’tar Ogar.” They shared a grin before leaping into the oncoming mass.

Tenacity Edit

“Don’t be so suspicious Vardann,” Setis said in a bemused fashion as she walked past Vardann who had quietly been standing by as she met with a new, term used loosely, ally. Vardann chuckled as he moved to follow her, “Suspicious? I make no efforts to conceal my presence, I have agents to do that for me.”

“Indeed,” she laughed.

They walked along the pathways away from the docks toward the Cathedral, “Allied with those eh?” Vardann said with a touch of disgust to his voice, very uncharacteristic of him as of late. “It is mutually beneficial and you -will- afford them an ounce of respect,” she replied tersely. He chuckled a bit, humorlessly, “How about I simply don’t kill them?” As they crested the steps into the cathedral she spoke in a tone best described as a verbal eye roll, “Better that you simply don’t talk to them.”

“Aye, I think I can manage that.”

Old Wounds Edit

“Evil! Scourged!”

The shouts of the crimson-clad men and women echoed high above the sounds of clashing steel, louder still came the sounds of their cries cut-short with a sickening gurgle. Vardann tore through the massing soldiers with reckless abandon, his eyes filled with blind rage as he fought Scourge and Human alike whilst his city burned around him. His blade sunk home between the steel-linked armor plating of zealous woman who had charged him, a liquid-suction sound filling the air as his blade came free and her limp body clattered onto the cobbles.

The flames kissed his skin but he did not feel their warmth, he made no recognition of the fear in the eyes of those who fell under his blade nor the ravenous growls of the undead that bit at his heals.

It did not matter, they were dead, and this was his world now.

Chapter One Edit

If I only knew then what I know now, then the outcome would have remained exactly as it does today.

I was only a boy when it all began, far removed from the troubles of that First War with only whispers of a darkness birthed in the southern nation of Stormwind. I never knew the devastation caused at the hands of the Old Horde, long before the Warchief Thrall opened the eyes of his people to their past. As such I never understood what it was to hate, that came much later. My father was a master swordsman and an honored officer in the Lordaeron Naval Command, my older brother soon to follow in his steps. As was our way, all sons given lessons of history and swordplay, education in both mind and body of all things past and present. Training us for the greater good of our Empire, they called it.

When my father was not instructing us how to properly handle our steel, my time was spent in the libraries under the tutelage of Archivist Dabran learning of strategy and past history. I was taught of the glories of Arathor, our ancestors, and their trials against the troll nation. As our future allies, the Elves, fought against the onslaught of the troll armies our ancestors would vie for supremacy within their own tribes. Soon, the Arathi saw the threat of the trolls, the implications that their defeat of the elves would have upon their own kind, and so began to bring the other human tribes under their rule. A six year battle in which they would outmaneuver and outfight their rivals would eventually end in their victory, and so the mighty city-state of Strom was formed.

Of course, this is history, but it is imperative knowledge in understanding how those of my generation were educated and to what purpose we were expected to perform. We were bred in the image of our ancestors, who fought and demolished the any invading army that would seek to end their way of life, in their case the trolls. Never give an inch and take miles, as my father used to say. Though we focused not solely upon the victories, for the frailties were as much of importance to us so that we would not repeat what mistakes had been made.

After the threat of the troll armies dissipated, Strom would remain the center of Arathor even as city-states began rise within the nation. Gilneas, Alterac, Kul Tiras, and Dalaran among these. It was in these city-states that we can give thanks for much of what we have today, the very Navy that my father serves for is a famed product of the Kul Tiras. Those city-states would also branch out into new civilizations, exploring on behalf of Arathor that would later lead to the discovery of a new race of people to our kind, the Dwarves, kindred in our love for battle and storytelling, we would form a bond with them and later learn many secrets of metallurgy and engineering. As time marched forward, the lords of Strom grew weary of the acrid climate of the southern nations and yearned to move into the northern lands.

The heirs of Thoradin, last of the Arathi, would argue against the abandonment of Strom which would serve to displease their people who were also eager to move northward. With the people in tow, the lords would move their nations far to the north of Dalaran leaving their ancient city behind, founding a new one which would become known as Lordaeron. The lands as far as the eye could see would too take this name and the great city would become a center for religious travelers and all who would seek peace and security. What remained of the Arathi would travel far to the south, distancing themselves from their former people, past the mountainous Khaz Modan finally ending after many a long season in the northern region of the continent that would name Azeroth and finally, founding the kingdom of Stormwind.

There were those who would remain at Strom, which we now know as Stromgarde today, but the once mighty Empire of Arathor was no more.

We learned these lessons well, taking the teachings we were given as any studious boy would (which is to say, little to not at all), after all, what was the point in looking to the past when we had our future ahead of us. We are foolish in youth.

Chapter Two Edit

I was born in Stratholme though my parents had a home in the Capital City as well, so much of my time growing into adulthood was split between the two cities. I am a son of Lordaeron.

It was the year of our King 597, I was 16 years old, when I first laid eyes upon Lord Lothar last son of the Arathi bloodline as he led what remained of his beloved Stormwind through the gates of Lordaeron. He brought news that the southern kingdom had been crushed by the green-skinned invaders and all that remained had rallied and journeyed with him to Lordaeron. I sat on a parapet listening over hushed crowds as the leaders of the seven human nations convened within the great hall discussing the threat of the invading armies. A momentous occasion, all in Lordaeron knew that in the wake of this tragedy what was once only a passage in history was becoming reality, the nations of Arathor united once more, under the command of Lord Lothar now known as Supreme Commander of the Alliance.

This was only the first, however, as with the aid of his lieutenants Uther the Lightbringer (who I had come to idolize), Admiral Daelin Proudmoore (my Father’s high commanding officer), and Turalyon he was able to gain the alliance of even the Dwarves and High Elves. There was a certain charisma about Lothar and his lieutenants that both commanded respect and fear, I remember wondering what their enemies must feel when they stare down the barrel of their resolve. Not even a year later, I had been enlisted into the Army as an footman and prepared to leave the only home I had ever known for the first time. I will not dare say that this concept did not frighten me, however, it did not have the impact on me that it should have (if only I knew what was to come), I was eager to serve my homeland. Indeed, I was young and foolish.

To this day I feel it was the longest foot march I have ever had the pleasure of taking part in, not in distance but in the anticipation of what was to come.

I was with Lothar’s force in the Hinterlands when I was to receive my first taste of combat, it was euphoric. As though a haze had taken us over we fought like madmen, failure was not an option for it meant certain death for the loved ones we defended. Many days passed without respite, I watched men I had grown up with fall under the weight of Orcish axes, I saw the legions of trolls allied with the Horde and it brought to me thoughts of battles waged long ago. Led now by the son of Arathor, the Lion of Azeroth, soldiers from our great nations fought for our survival, if I were a poetic man I am sure there were many sonnets that could have been formed from our deeds upon the battlefield. I have never been given much to prose, however.

How much time had passed was a mystery to me, perhaps a fortnight into the battle I found myself taking up the banner of my first command, necessity. My unit had suffered an ambush and been separated from the main force of our Army, Captain Azalas was in his command tend going over strategy with his lieutenants when a stray ballista from the surrounding orcish forces left a crater where our commander once stood. What happened next has never been clear to me, I recall searching blindly through the smoke and flames for our standard, I know not why I was looking but everything within me screamed it was vital to our survival, such a trivial thing really. As my hands fell upon moist entrails and destroyed limbs I willed myself forward until I felt my fingertips clasp tightly upon the silvered shaft of our battle standard. I know not what words I spoke, but what remained of our unit rallied to me in defense of our wounded.

Our foes fell upon us heavily, forcing us to bear the weight of the tidal wave upon our shoulders. Our small contingent was not enough to bear the full weight of the coming hordes alone but we fought as valiantly as we could to keep them from advancing further, slowing them but not stopping. Our comrades with the main force must have noticed our disappearance and a detachment had been sent for us, it was fortunate to say the least as without their aid we surely would have been crushed. I remember as though a dream, our return to the main force, I gave my report to the commanding officers and was vaguely aware of them prying the battle standard from my fingertips. I do not remember them pinning the rank upon my tabard nor anything else afterward.

Over the course of the year leadership became easier, though nowhere near akin to the second skin that it appeared to be on our commanding officers. Even still, I would like to think that my men held for me the same respect that I did for them, and in the end that is what is important in leadership. Without the respect and devotion of your allies you will be lost, and such is only won through deed and duty while showing them such in kind.

News of Turaylon’s victory in the Elven forests of northern Lordaeron lifted the spirits of the men fighting beside us in the south, it would seem any doubts one may have had to Lothar’s decision were washed away by this. Better news still, our men and even myself were so overcome by this that it seemed to infuse us with an almost otherworldly fervor, urging us onward as we pushed our foes further south across the Thandol Span. We lost many in that battle but in the end victory would be ours.

Chapter Three Edit

Greatness, my son, for victory and for Lordaeron.

On the eve prior to our advance across Thandol Span, I saw my father for the first time in many months. Our commanders and lieutenants, as well as the under lieutenants including myself, congregated in the command tent to discuss our strategy which would begin with a siege upon the Horde island fortress upon Tol Barad, to do this we would require aid from our Naval forces. It was then that my father entered the tent flanked by two of his Captains, the recognition was instant and I could see the brief moment of bewilderment in his eyes as they fell upon me. I remember feeling guilty over the sense of pride that welled within me as his expression changed to proud approval upon spying the rank insignia upon my tabard. Would that circumstances had not required urgency I am certain we would have spent the night drinking and regaling each other with our experiences.

As it was, however, our reunion would be nothing short of military business as I watched my father discuss with Commander Lothar the current positioning of our fleet in the Great Sea. A handful of our veteran contingent would be leading the charge of a small unit off-ship, storming the beaches of Tol Barad as our fleet waylaid the gates of the fortress with cannon barrage offshore. I learned that myself and my unit would be boarding my father’s ship and would be a part of the landing party, familiar pangs of guilt struck me as I felt excitement welling up within me at the opportunity to show my father the man I had become in such a short time. In truth, the same nervousness welled within me as it always did on the eve before great battle but over time I had learned not to discredit the training and courage of my soldiers.

The following day we set sail piece meal toward Tol Barad under banners of Kul Tiras ships that often passed the causeways even in this time of war in hopes that the orcish Horde, accustomed to seeing the trade ships, would think nothing more of our ships that the perceived threat they felt from the merchants. Our hopes, however, were ill-conceived for once in sight of the shoreline we were able to see that the Horde had made adequate use of their resources in preparing for our arrival, our fleet met with an opening salvo before we could position ourselves accordingly.

I could see from the main deck, as we boarded the landing vessels, explosive charges being detonated beneath the already turbulent waters of the sea causing our ship to rock mercilessly as we attempted to cross the planks. I recall taking note of the sediment of the ocean floor rising to the surface and thinking that if we did not succeed the Horde would strip our world to its core until nothing remained. This thought strengthened my resolve when I thought of my loved ones in Lordaeron and my comrades here with me. Taking heart in this I steadied myself and entered the landing vessel.

By the time we reaches the shore the artillery had already begun their furious salvo upon the gates which seemed to be taking the Orcs by some surprise at the sheer weight of our blows. When our unit finally landed I had to steel myself against the vision of destruction that lay before me, leaving brutal impressions on my mind that will never leave it. Blood, flowing freely from the parapets of the fortress littered with horribly mangled corpses, mingled with oil from the ballista engines stationed on the walls giving birth to the image of the very fortress itself as a massive, living monstrosity bleeding its lifeblood onto the rocky shoreline beneath it.

The Horde themselves had walled themselves within the gates of the fortress content to attack us from afar with their engines of war. The shore itself was unaccustomed to foot travel as was evidenced by the rocky terrain that made our ascent to the gates difficult, nevertheless we persevered and made our way to the newly opened gates of Tol Barad, our off-shore comrades had completed their end of the bargain and now was the time for us to return the favor. The melee was torturous but as far as options went we knew that victory would be our only conclusion, Tol Barad would be far too instrumental to our fleet in laying the grounds for invasion of Dun Modr, the primary base of support for the attacks upon Thandol Span. Reclaiming Khaz Modam from the Horde lay n the hands of our ability to take Thandol Span, it was as though a massive game were being played and we were the pawns positioning ourselves to overcome the other. The battle was bloody, but in the end, Tol Barad was ours.

Our victory in Tol Barad set the stage for all that our commanders had hoped, our fleets regrouping as here for the final invasion of Dun Modr. My unit crossed the great Span with the rest of our army under cover of salvo from our Navel comrades, the final push leading us to victory over the Horde and solidifying our position to retake Khaz Modan. Ensured of our victory over the Horde Lothar ordered several units, including mine, to return to Lordaeron and take a brief respite before aiding in the final push against the remnants of the horde in the north. I was reassigned to Uther Lightbringer’s command and would set sail the morning after our victory at Dun Modr. I saw my father before I left, I recall him gripping my arm as a comrade-in-arms and as a proud father, “Greatness, my son, for victory and for Lordaeron,” were the words he said to me.

I never saw my father again.

Chapter Four Edit

I’ll never forget, I’ll be yours until my last breath leaves me and beyond. I have married my people, and in that nuptial pledge my undying love and devotion to protect you.

My return home was sweeter than I had imagined it would be, to once again taste the crisp air of Lordaeron on my tongue was a bliss befitting of an eternity in paradise. My comrades who had remained upon the battlefield were on my mind as always but I allowed myself to slide into the reverie of a soldiers homecoming with the friends that I had left behind. It was in this brief respite from the battlefield that I became more aware of my feelings for Nyela, the childhood sweetheart I had come to know very well and was elated to find that those feelings were returned. Wishing to waste no time, as a soldier’s life is forever on the battlefield, our nuptials were quick. Now married, my wife and I celebrated our marriage in our home of Stratholme, but the celebration would be cut short by news of a rebellion of the citizens at Tyr’s Hand.

Once more I was called back to Lordaeron, I arrived just as news of our forces in Khaz Modan was being spread. We suffered many losses and for this I felt a deep regret, the men whom I had grown with suffered without me, all the while I celebrated a glorious homecoming. Regret, however, would quickly be replaced with concern as I learned the nature of the uprising of the citizenry at Tyr’s Hand. Our forces were mobilized immediately to quell the uprising alongside the Knights of the Silver Hand in hopes to bring some protection to the populace while the rest of our forces would search out the Horde war camps and destroy them. Had it only been as simple as that.

Upon arriving at Tyr’s Hand we were immediately aware that not all was as we had expected, and the Horde itself was not the only problem that we would face. We later learned that the nation of Alterac had been aiding the orcs in concealing a mining facility by sending their spies into the city to incite the rebellion. Our forces were left with no choice but to bring swift retribution to our brethren who would seek traitorous actions in lieu of our cause. This brought me no pleasure and though I know that all was for the greater scheme of our efforts I could not help but feel a sense of betrayal to my people in my own actions. Though I was not in overall command, I had experienced one of my first command decisions of many that would leave a sour taste in my mouth, such was the way in times of war.

Fearing for the safety of Lordaeron, I gathered my men and set for the walls of our great Capital while our remaining forces remained in Alterac to root out the remaining rebels and put finality to the Alterac betrayal. It was a long forced march that nearly claimed many of my men but as I did then and always will, I commend their patriotic resolve to defend their homeland, it was by this resolve alone that we were able to stay our course and reach our destination. What we found left an ache in the hollows of our stomachs, our capital was under siege by a massive invasion of the Horde presumably the result of the opening left by Alterac’s betrayal, our suspicions confirmed. We found an encampment of our army just outside of the siege to which I joined my men to.

The siege had begun not long after we had left Tyr’s Hand to return and had been waged for many days, though our armies fought with bravery we did not have the strength to compete with their immense numbers. Stromgarde had successfully cut off the Horde’s reinforcements, executing Lord Perenolde in the process, but it was simply not enough to contend with the numbers already here. There had, however, recently been new developments in the Horde army movements that were opening an opportunity for our armies to strike. In reviewing the battlefield maps it seemed that a great deal of the Orcish army had broken off in pursuit of another, smaller, warband that had begun to cross the sea to the south. Agreeing that now was the time to strike our armies gathered and in a final stroke of battle, obliterated what remained of the Horde armies outside of our city walls.

Assuming our allies in the south fared well, all of Lordaeron celebrated this as the final deciding battle in which the Alliance of Lordaeron proved victorious over the Orcish Horde. Much later, as the celebrations drew to a close we learned that our allies had indeed been victorious, the battle had been won on the steppes of Blackrock Mountain, but, at a great cost.

Lord Anduin Lothar, the Lion of Azeroth, Supreme Commander of the Alliance, had fallen.

Chapter Five Edit

In the end, War always exacts its price.

The loss of our commander impacted us all, but most of all my family pushed to its breaking point with the recent turn of events. My comrades returned with news of the battle at Grim Batol where even though we emerged victorious our losses were dire. Our armies pressed onward into Khaz Modan shattering the remnants of the Horde, rounding them up for the quickly forming internment camps. Lothar and Turaylon continued southward to pursue Hellscream and his Warsong Clan as the fled deeper into Azeroth, a third of our army remained in Khaz Modan to continue the efforts in rooting out the shattered remnants of the orcish armies. What they did not anticipate, however, was a large force of the horde still occupying the norther wastes of Khaz Modan which we later learned to be the Dragonmaw Clan led by the dread warlock Nekros who also controlled the dragon queen Alexstrasza. Of course, at the time I knew nothing of dragons or the five flights and their purpose, I only knew that the force commanded by the orcs was mighty.

Nearly a year had passed from the time of our victory at Dun Modr to the death of our beloved hero and in that time Nekros took advantage of his seclusion, building an army within the secret depths of the Wildhammer Dwarves’ Stronghold, Grim Batol. The internment camps initially had trouble containing the savage Horde but after several costly uprisings were able to successfully re-establish control. We suffered attacks from the renegade war camps that had not yet been ushered into imprisonment, which we speculate were the result of internal conflicts incited by Nekrosh and his minions. One such attack would forever change my life when from the depths of Grim Batol the power of the dragons, prisoner-allies to the Horde, would be unleashed upon our forward base camp.

My father had been at this camp meeting with the ground Commander to discuss extraction of our armies and return them to Lordaeron in the wake of our impending victory. I was told there were no recognizable portions of the camp remaining after the attack, the blow hit me harder than any I had ever taken in combat. I became painfully aware that I would never see my father again and that I was in some way responsible for not having remained in the southern territories at his side. Presently, with a rational mind, I know that there would have been nothing I could have done and would more likely have joined in his fate but at the time it is hard to convince a young soldier not to feel the guilt of comrades dying in their place. Though the nation celebrated the end of the conflict, we all did so with hearts heavy at the loss of so many loved ones.

In the immediate months following the war there was much celebration and mourning , taking leave from the battlefield I returned home to Stratholme where my father was given a burial befitting an “old dog of the sea.” In truth, I do not remember much of the ceremony or the months following, I suffered the malady of a young man returning home from his first war.

In reacquainting myself with companions I had known since childhood I found myself in an alien environment. I could not alleviate myself of the guilt that weighed upon my mind which began to evolve into more severe problems. A certain edginess took control of my emotions which inhibited me from releasing my guard long enough to have even the simplest of conversations with an old friend over a mug of ale, I could see faceless monstrosities around every corner that I turned or alley that I passed. I would take critical note of my surroundings, on alert for ambush, and slowly began to lose my ability to trust in my friends and family an incredible sense of detachment filling me. In time these feelings subsided and I was able to see things for how they truly were, I am thankful that through this time my love, Nyela, stood by me. I was told that this was not uncommon for soldiers ushered off to war for the first time and that I had handled it better than most, I am still not convinced of this.

I watched as my homeland grew into the prosperous nation that I had known as a child. I had been officially promoted to Lieutenant and remained a devout military man for the next several years though I never saw combat on the scale that had begun my career. In my time at home I toiled in the fields of my family and spent as much time as I could with friends, most especially my wife, before I would be deployed to my next assignment. I remember the way her golden hair took on the shade of the sun at midday, framing her face in such a way that I could not dream a sweeter vision. Our love was reaffirmed with each new day and though no marriage is without its small trials, the repentance we gave each other for our upsets was well worth the trial.

As time passed, and more of the orcish hordes were rounded up and placed within the internment camps. Word was delivered that the camps were beginning to overflow, and as such we were forced to construct new camps in the plains south of the Alterac. However, properly maintaining and supplying the growing number of camps would prove to be a costly enterprise and so our King, Terenas Menethil, levied a new tax on the our nations. At first our people understood the need to keep the threat imprisoned but as time grew on the understanding faded while it became widely perceived that food was taken from the mouths of good citizens in order to fill the stomachs of our enemies. This tax, along with increased political tensions over border disputes, created widespread unrest. It seemed that the fragile pact that had forged the human nations together in their darkest hour would break at any given moment.

Indeed our grand Alliance was falling once more into the pattern of civil war amongst our peoples as it had before the threat of annihilation had crested our doorstep. Our leaders began to bicker and argue over land and power, the people now even more heavily taxed as Tarenas had convinced the Alliance leaders to lend money and labor to aid in rebuilding the shattered kingdom of Stormwind to the south. Political and economic stress began to fracture our leaders’ faith in the Alliance and many believed their kingdoms would be better off seceding. Worse still, with Lothar no longer alive to hold their allegiance, the elves returned to Qual’Thalas effectively separating themselves from the Alliance.

But in the wake of the departures, Gilneas and Stromgarde among them, many of our allies reaffirmed their loyalties to Lordaeron which seemed to quell a fair amount of the unrest of the people. Though our present seemed to be recovering, it was our future that would prove to be our undoing.

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