In the Shadows: A Warcraft Story
After the Siege of Orgrimmar…
The sun began to set as the red dust in the air settled back onto the Durotar ground. The Alliance and Horde were victorious in retaking Orgrimmar from Garrosh Hellscream. As a show of gratitude, Warchief Vol’jin invited the Alliance to enter, sit, and drink inside the walls of Orgrimmar as a temporary truce.
Jaina Proudmoore’s hatred for the Horde had been growing for centuries. Where she once was open to a peaceful resolution to the conflicts between Horde and Alliance, she now wanted to see them eradicated. Garrosh Hellscream's destruction of Theramore was the very last straw for Jaina. She scoffed at Vol’jin’s offer and pleaded with King Varian Wrynn to dismantle the Horde here and now.
“You know they are a problem, My King. You know what needs to be done,” she implored.
“Jaina, is Azeroth to never have a moment’s peace?” Varian asked rhetorically. His dark hair was messily pulled into a ponytail with wild hairs about, framing his face. The warm wind picked up speed, blowing long strands into his face, brushing against the scars. “It’s just a moment of peace. Do you not smell the boar roasting? I don't know about you, but victory makes me hungry for fresh cooked meat."
The same wind ignored Jaina’s platinum locks, leaving her ice-blue eyes visible; her rage could be seen in the depths of the blue. Her eyes were, indeed cold. “Azeroth will have peace when these monsters are brought to heel,” she quipped. And like that, she disappeared, revealing that behind her were a pair of vengeful, glowing red eyes--the Banshee Sylvanas Windrunner, had her bow at the ready. But with Jaina's teleportation out of Orgrimmar, the Banshee Queen lowered her bow.
“This is far from over,” King Varian Wrynn said, whilst walking into the inn with Vol’jin.
“Relax, mon. We can resume our quarrels lata. Although, I’d rather negotiate peace instead of quarrel. Drink,” insisted Vol’jin, grabbing a pint from the barmaid and handing it to Varian.
“That’s not what I meant,” Varian replied. I fear there will be another threat to Azeroth.” He sat down at the bar next to Vol’jin.
“There will always be threats, mon. Someone will always be greedy for more powa. Someone will always want vengeance. And then, there will be someone who will want to destroy all of Azeroth.” He looked over at Sylvanas Windrunner, the Banshee Queen, leader of the Undead. She stood talking to her champion, Nathanos Blightcaller, Lady Liadrin, and Lor’themar Theron, trading jibes and war stories.”And some—you just don’t know what they will do.” Varian looked at Sylvanas as well, understanding Vol’jin’s meaning. Before he changed his gaze, his eyes met Sylvanas’s. She raised her glass to him and nodded with a smirk. Varian lifted his mug to her in return, with a stern face.
“The whole of Azeroth will have your hide if you reanimate Wrynn, my Lady,” Lor’themar joked.
“And I have an arrow for every last one of them,” Sylvanas responded in kind.
“No doubt my arrows will be among them, My Queen,” Nathanos added.
“They will all be dead by the time you fire your first shot. But I appreciate your offer,” Sylvanas teased dryly.
“Glad to see nothing’s changed, Sylvanas,” Liadrin laughed, referring to Sylvanas’s and Nathanos’s competitive nature with each other. “Not even death can keep you two from trying to best each other!”
“May the best always win,”Sylvanas said, raising her glass to Liadrin in a toast. Liadrin did the same. Sylvanas took one last drink and excused herself; she was fond of solitude. She knew no one trusted her and she did not care, for she trusted no one except her champion. It was easier that way. The only thing that mattered to her was keeping her people safe and ensuring their continuity. She walked outside the gates of Orgrimmar into the night. There was something calming about the night that soothed her rage, at least temporarily. She could think clearly and plan and just be.
Soon after, the Alliance forces began to clear out, heading to the docks to board the ships bound for the ruins of Theramore, where they would make camp. Vol’jin escorted Varian to the gate to see him off.
“Your hospitality won’t be forgotten,” Varian said with a stern face. “But make no mistake. We do have unfinished business.” Vol’jin smirked slyly.
“I’ll be seein’ ya.”
King Varian began to walk to the ships. He turned to look behind him one last time, seeing Vol’jin had already disappeared. But in the far distance he saw the silhouette of a lone ranger sitting atop a warhorse. He turned around to investigate. As he moved closer, he saw that it was Sylvanas. He put one hand on Shalamayne, ready to draw.
“You and your entire army would be dead already, if that were my intention,” Sylvanas said to Varian as he approached her. “Warchief gave you ale and safe passage. I’m just enjoying the solitude of the night.”
“You need to leave Gilneas, Banshee,” Varian demanded.
“You forget where you are, Varian. Look around you. You’re in no position to make demands of me.”
“I am not making demands, Lady Sylvanas. This is me being diplomatic.”
Sylvanas smiled deviously. “How noble. You still think me a Lady. Though, I respectfully decline. Don’t miss your boat, King.”
Varian stepped closer. “This doesn’t have to get messy. Pull out of Gilneas.”
Sylvanas dismounted, standing taller than the human before her. Her blood red eyes stared down Varian’s steel blue eyes. Though she wore a smirk, her eyes were all fury. And in a voice just shy of a whisper, she responded, “No.”
Varian was irate, but he controlled his anger, swallowing hard. He took one step closer to her and she backed up. The Banshee Queen could hear his heart begin to beat faster. He took another, slowly, and she backed up once more. The closer he stepped to Sylvanas, the more he felt the coolness from her dead body. The moonlight danced across his grimaced eyes with each step until Sylvanas had backed into a tree. “You will leave Gilneas. I will do everything in my power to reclaim Gilneas for the Alliance,” he said through clenched teeth.
“You do that.”
Varian’s face inched closer to Sylvanas’s, as if gravity was forcing him closer. “I could kill you right now and no one would be the wiser. My blade could slice through you and no one would find you until after I got on the boat and sailed away.” The warmth of her breath surprised him, though he did not flinch.
“I could shove this arrow into your heart. Then have my val’kyr resurrect you to join my forsaken. Would you like that, Varian?”
“No,” he whispered as he pressed his lips against hers. “Not at all.” He grabbed her face in both of his hands, sliding them down to her shoulders. Her skin felt nothing like the undead. Her skin was very much alive, soft to his touch as her own hands lightly grazing his skin, their way to his neck and up to the back of his head. She grabbed his hair and pulled his head back.
“Gilneas is mine.” She pulled him closer once more and their lips collided once more.
“Greymane wants vengeance for his son. I will help him get his vengeance and reclaim his home.”
Sylvanas’s hands moved down to Varian’s chest. “And what of my vengeance for my people?” She kissed him once more, then pushed him away. She turned her back on on Varian, walked over to her warhorse, and mounted. “See you on the battlefield, Varian.”
“Yes, you will.” Varian turned and walked toward the docks to set sail for Theramore.
“Just so we are clear, Varian. We are the Forsaken. We will slaughter anyone who gets in our way.” She rode into the gates of Orgrimmar, disappearing into the darkness.