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Old 06-28-2012, 01:25 PM
Slaman Slaman is offline

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Default Operation: Lich King

Hey all,

This is my first attempt at writing anything in the Warcraft Universe (also my first attempt at fanfic in any sense). I got the idea to write the entire story of my WoW character over the course of playing the game for 8 years just because of how pivotal the player is in the sense of the game. Since writing that entire saga would be a massive undertaking, I decided to start with pivotal battles that were epic the first time I accomplished them. Once I get a collection I might try to patch them together into a full story. While trying to write gameplay into a story, it does sometimes seem a little far-fetched, but I try to assuage that by not including myself in EVERY little thing that happens, even though my character has done it in-game. Still, being in the force that silenced Old Gods, defeated elemental lords, killed important figureheads such as Illidan, Arthas, Deathwing, etc, I feel like the story of one of these soldiers would be an epic tale. This isn't Middle Earth we're talking about here, but Azeroth, where war is all that's known and the best fighters do the impossible every day. I feel like an elite group of soldiers that serve as a spearhead for the major engagements in Azeroth would consistently be involved in major undertakings, without any recognition from the public, much like Special Forces teams on Earth.

So without further ado, I present part one of the final assault on the Lich King. Please let me know what you think, I want to hear it if you think it's boring and uninteresting

P.S. - The names are all based on actual guildmates who were part of the 10-man team I led into ICC and their character personalities tend to match the personality of the player. While this is something that adds to the story for me and those 9 other people, I hope it adds some depth for a random reader as well.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Quote:
As his raid group stared at the fabled Spire of Icecrown in wonder and anticipation, Sam walked over to the paladin, who was solemnly staring at the ground, arms crossed, with his shield across his back, and his mace hanging at his waist. The holy knight was the only one of their company who did not have his weapons drawn. Sam had only recently met Joseph Cann; it was by complete chance that they had charged into Icecrown Citadel side by side in the initial assault. After each of them had saved the other's life multiple times in the intense battle in the bottom chambers of the Citadel, they quickly formed a friendship forged in the heat of battle. As Sam came closer to the heavily-clad holy warrior, he realized that Joseph's eyes were closed.

"Joe," Sam whispered. He wasn't sure he should interrupt what he was sure was a prayer, but what he had to say was important if they had any hope of succeeding in the coming task. "Joe, I don't think I can withstand his attacks using only my skill with a sword and shield. He has bested the likes of Illidan and Kael'thas in single comba-"

"How many times will I say it before you acknowledge that my name is Joseph?" interrupted the templar, opening his eyes slowly to stare straight ahead. "I'm not just your generic village priest in a can that you can go around and call by nickname. Honestly, you would think that I was commanding a brick." His gaze shifted toward Sam. "Now what are you babbling about?"

Sam wondered why he always took so much offense when he didn't call him by his true name. Paladins and their rules, he thought, shaking his head. "I think you'll have to bear the brunt of his assault if Tirion needs backup. I don't see how I can survive without the Holy Light directly aiding me. If you falter or need assistance I will back you up as best I can, but I think I'll be better suited to handle whatever he's sure to summon to hinder us." Sam was an immensely skilled warrior, but he had been near the Lich King before and had felt the overwhelming feeling of dread when the Lich King focused on him. He was afraid that if he felt that again at this crucial juncture, he might fall prematurely and ruin Azeroth's best hope at ending the reign of Arthas.

"If you believe in yourself and your cause is noble, the Holy Light is always with you. But I understand your concern, and I agree that against the dread blade Frostmourne, it may take more than just martial prowess. Hopefully whatever vile beings he brings into the fight will prove differently. I will do as you see fit." With the authority that Joseph always put behind his words, Sam commonly forgot that it was him and not Joseph that had been put in charge of the group. This was no exception. After Joseph accepted his orders, Sam turned aside and reflected on the path that led him here. As a result of his victories across Azeroth and Outland, he became well-known for his ability to overcome great odds. As a long-time member of an elite troop of soldiers banded together by the leaders of the Alliance to spearhead every important engagement, he always seemed to be doing the impossible. Although many of his deeds went unheralded. He had vanquished foes many wouldn't even dream about lifting a finger to and accomplished tasks that should not have been humanly possible. Most of these accomplishments were never formally acknowledged due to the nature of them. The only times he had received recognition were in his battles against the Horde in open warfare and during the recently held games in Icecrown to find a suitable force to deal with the Lich King. Politics, he thought to himself. Something I could never be a part of. In hindsight, it was probably best that way, since he didn't think he'd be able to handle the popularity otherwise. I definitely wouldn't be able to continue doing this...

He thought of each of the other nine highly capable people who had accompanied him on this mission. His long-time friend Orin Orala, a mildly obnoxious dwarf who had the rare ability among his kind to channel the elements. His talent and wit had been part of Sam's endeavors for too long to remember. Kate Ivorey, a priest whose quiet demeanor undermined her fiery devotion to the Holy Light and whose presence was welcome whenever there was a hard fight in store. Kynne Willowbreeze, a druid who had also been present in many of Sam's task forces. Her knowledge of the restorative powers of nature always helped to make a battleground seem less dreary. Michael Jollner, another paladin and long-time member of the task force that was not afraid to follow soldiers into the fray to support them with his strength in the Light, occasionally smiting foes on his own with a quick jolt of holy energy. Charlie Hyx, a mage that had proven his battle prowess by consistently turning his opponents into unrecognizable masses before they even had a chance to act. Harold Yamichi, a warlock that was deemed by many to be unstable, but turned out to be an invaluable asset when his destructive tendencies were channeled toward deserving enemies. He was consistently useful to break the fighting spirit of the many foes they had faced. Arthur Ginsan, the former nobleman and soldier of Lordaeron, turned into a mirthless fighting machine by the Lich King. He had been their inside man throughout the Assault on the Citadel; he had also been willing and able to do things noone else would have considered. And lastly, that damn rogue...

As he sat lost in his thoughts preparing for the fight, Tirion, along with a Night Elf dressed like one of the Lich King's geists, arrived from Light's Hammer at the bottom of the Citadel. After withstanding the frigid and brutal assault of the undead dragon consort Sindragosa, his team had succeeded in felling the final lieutenant of the Lich King. He had quickly sent the most discrete member of his group to inform the Highlord that only one more foe remained. Although Archibald Duskhallow, or "Archie" as he was known, was far from discrete when he wasn't being serious. Which was most of the time. As he walked behind Tirion, he moved with the awkward lope that defined an undead geist.

"Sir Fordring." Sam nodded his head in acknowledgment then abruptly turned his attention to Archie. "Archie, you can stop acting like the damned Scourge now. You're escorting the Highlord of the Argent Crusade; I doubt you're fooling anyone."

"Maybe I just enjoy walking like that," Archie replied in an even tone. Sam had never met an elf quite like this one, but he had grown used to his antics in the many operations he had performed with him.

"I've been telling him that the whole time since we left the Hammer. If he wasn't so competent I never would have even considered letting him join this team." Fordring began to say something else, but was cut off by an overbearing voice.

"Face now your tragic end." The Lich King's voice invaded his mind. He could tell by everyone else's face that they heard it too, but they stood, unwavering. A think bank of fog emanated from the enclosed area underneath the Spire.

"Ah...I guess we all need a little lightheartedness at this moment though, eh?" Archie raised his barely visible eyebrow behind the hole in his headcover and stuck his tongue out at Sam from behind Tiron as the Highlord sighed and continued. "Long have I waited for this day, Sam. Are you and your allies prepared to bring the Lich King to justice? We charge on your command."

My command? Sam looked around at his team and saw them all looking at him determinedly. What have I done to have the Highlord believe he follows my command? "We are prepared, Highlord. Let us battle for the fate of Azeroth! For the light of dawn!"

His enthusiasm was met by a grating chuckle echoing in his mind that sounded like a horse being dragged across gravel. Tirion nodded and with a grim expression, stepped forward into the eerie fog that filled the chamber at the bottom of the Spire, the legendary sword Ashbringer in hand. Abruptly, he was gone.

Orala let out a gasp, "What the bloody 'ell is that fog, then?"

"Calm yourself, dwarf. It is a simple illusion from the ice to hide a portal. I imagine it is an easy way up to the top of the Spire. The Lich King seems to have invited us personally to his humble abode." Hyx looked at Sam as he spoke the last words, waiting for an order.

"We would be no better than the Scourge if we were to decline such a generous invitation." Sam smiled as he stepped forward into the fog. As he felt the familiar disorienting sensation as he passed through the portal, he heard Archie grumble.

"We didn't even bring a dessert..."

Last edited by Slaman; 07-16-2012 at 11:44 AM..
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:45 PM
Slaman Slaman is offline

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Default Operation: Lich King Part 2

Here's the second part of the story and the beginning of the fight against the Lich King. I have always imagined what some of the fights in WoW would be like if they were executed in more realistic fashion (as opposed to video game mechanics), and did my best translating the in-game fight into an action-packed real-time combat scenario. This part of the story encompasses phase 1 and phase 1.5 for anyone that has done the in-game version. The only game mechanics I left out were "Infest" and "Pain and Suffering," not to mention a decrease in the number of times "Shadow Trap," "Necrotic Plague," and summon undead are used. I hope the words can accurately portray the action that happens in my head, as well as maintain a believable premise. Also, I know it's "against the rules" to have main characters in Warcraft lore use dialogue, but I grabbed all of Tirion and Arthas' quotes directly from their in-game lines, so it's safe to say that they stay perfectly in-character.

Quote:
Immediately Sam was shocked by the frigidness. After spending the past year in the frozen wastes of Northrend, he could not understand why he was suddenly so cold. Especially with the heavy plate armor he wore that was intentionally designed to be manageable in cold climates. Throughout the assault on the Citadel and its outlying posts, he had found pieces of armor that were meant for the Ymirjar Lords that were under the command of the Lich King. He used the forges in Light's Hammer and his skill as a blacksmith to resize the already-made armor into something he could wear so the harsh climate wouldn't affect his fighting.

Except it didn't work here. He found he had dropped to one knee upon arriving on the other side of the portal. The cold seemed as if it emanated directly from his bones instead of seeping in from the outside. He fought to maintain his composure as he stood up and looked around. Tirion stood in front of him, staring up ahead at a rise in the landscape. A harsh wind blew and threatened to knock Sam off balance. He suddenly realized he was on a platform that seemed to be exposed to the harsh winds of Northrend. He glanced to the left and saw spires rising along the edge of the platform. This is the top of the Spire. He had a vague feeling that should mean more than it did. Standing straight now, he looked forward past Tirion and felt a fury begin to rise within him.

At the top of a short flight of stairs was a massive cluster of ice. The Frozen Throne. He stared in awe for a brief moment before allowing himself to move on. In the starkly cut throne sat the Lich King. He appeared to be lounging, with Frostmourne sticking out of the ice in front of him. The Lich King began his grinding laughter as Sam's eyes shifted to the two makeshift spikes rising on either side of the throne. High above the throne, strung up by his wrists and ankles in the gap between the spikes, was a man. Or what Sam thought was a man. It was a humanoid shape, but the surface of the body seemed to be breaking apart, and what was underneath appeared molten. The head hung forward and the strain on his limbs seemed to be at the point of ripping him in half. If not for the unique pattern of what remained of the man's breastplate, Sam would have been at a loss for who or what was in the air above him.

"Bolvar..." he heard Jollner say under his breath from behind him. The area around the paladin gradually became less frigid as a strong holy aura began to emanate from him. Sam noticed the area become lighter around Tirion, then looked behind him and saw the same around Cann and Ivorey as well. He noticed a glow form around Hyx that he knew was a nearly invisible shield of fire. Kynne seemed to be drawing in heat with her hands at her sides from some unknown source. The dwarf Orala had pulled out a small fire totem from his belt and set it down in the middle of them all. Ginsan stood as if there were nothing else in the world than the Lich King. Sam knew the death knight couldn't feel the cold and envied him. He looked back at the Lich King as the laughter stopped.

"So...the Light's vaunted justice has finally arrived," began the Lich King in a scathing rumble. "Shall I lay down Frostmourne and throw myself at your mercy, Fordring?"

The Highlord responded quickly in a growl. "We will grant you a swift death, Arthas. More than can be said for the thousands you've tortured and slain."

"You will learn of that first hand," replied the Lich King, standing. "When my work is complete, you will beg for mercy -- and I will deny you. Your anguished cries will be testament to my unbridled power."

"Man, he's always so arrogant," broke in Archie.

"So be it. Champions, attack!" As Tirion bounded forward, he got no further than two steps before the Lich King whipped Frostmourne from the ice and pointed it at him, freezing him in a solid block of ice.

As the rest of the group hesitated, the Lich King continued, "I'll keep you alive to witness the end, Fordring. I would not want the Light's greatest champion to miss seeing this wretched world remade in my image."

Sam was confused for a brief second as to why they were not also frozen before he was aware of Cann rushing forward from beside him to meet the Lich King's advance at the bottom of the stairs.

"Come then champions, feed me your rage." The Lich King's voice resounded through Sam's bones. He noticed Cann was almost to the Lich King. As he stepped forward to test his blade against the legendary frozen armor, he suddenly noticed the area in from of him become darkened by shadow. Ginsan, moving beside him, threw out his arm with axe in hand to stop Sam.

"Shadow trap," he heard the old soldier rasp. Within a second the trap seemed to expel air and suddenly a circle of shadow five yards across appeared on the ground.

"Nobody touch that!" yelled Sam. "Watch out for shadow traps!" As he stepped around the blackened area, he saw Cann engaging the Lich King in a flurry of attacks and light. Hold on, Joe. From the right side, a fireball exploded against the Lich King's raised arm. Sam was unsure how Hyx had moved to the side so quickly. He looked behind him and noticed Jollner standing near Ivorey and Kynne, all muttering under their breath and making various hand gestures, calling upon their respective strengths to support the paladin in front of the Lich King. Yamichi had his head angled down with his hands in a summoning posture to call for his demonic assistance. Orala was finishing placing his final totem to support his attacks. Archie was nowhere to be seen. If he chickened out on us now... Sam barely had time to think before he saw Joseph fly backward a few feet and land on his back near the edge of the dark circle.

"I'm good, I'm good." The paladin rolled and rose to his feet with a grunt. Sam noticed he had a large dent in his shield. As they turned back toward the Lich King, tendrils of shadow escaped from a skyward Frostmourne and entered the floor of the platform. Ghouls began to crawl up from seemingly nowhere out of the solid floor. A twirling bolt of pure void flew past Sam's head from behind him as he rushed to meet the ghouls. Cann bull-rushed his way through the group of ghouls in a bid to get back in front of the Lich King. Ginsan ran around to get an attacker's angle on his former master. As they came closer to the Lich King, he stopped the summoning and flicked Frostmourne at the ground near the support group. The throng of ghouls began to move toward Sam as he turned to see a massive undead Ymirjar Lord emerge from the ground next to the chanting druid. I have to get its attention, he thought, fearing for Kynne's safety. He quickly threw his sword at the bulk of the creature as it was straightening itself. The point of the blade stuck in its torso, and it bellowed as it turned toward Sam and began to lumber toward him. Sam felt the bony hands of a ghoul begin to wrap around his shoulder as he whirled to slam his shield in the face of the undead trying to bring him down. It fell back as the rest hesitated briefly, their glowing eyes fixed on Sam.

Sam roared a challenge to keep their attention as he sensed the massive Ymirjar approach behind him. As the shambling horror raised its weapon to attack him, Sam leapt toward it and lowered his shoulder as he slammed his weight into its chest. He wrapped his fingers around his blade and withdrew it from the undead's rotting flesh in a whirl as he fell back to the ground on his side. He rolled back onto his feet to see the enraged creature stagger back clutching its shoulder. It moved toward him again and swung its arm like a tree branch. Sam raised his shield and felt a quick burst of energy as the Holy Light coursed through him. The blow made Sam's arm go numb for a few seconds and he noticed a large chunk missing from the metalwork on the outer part of his shield. He was convinced that without the quick reaction of one of his healers, there was no way he could have withstood the blow.

"I don't know how long I can hold all of them!" Sam shouted as he threw another ghoul off of him just before dodging a downward slash by the giant undead. He heard the sonic discharge and saw the flash as a bolt of lightning arced from Orala's open palms toward the Lich King.

A shrill cry from Ivorey made Sam nervous, but he didn't have time to spare a glance to see what happened. Within a few seconds he was aware of her stumbling toward him. He turned to look at her as he deftly parried a swing by a ghoul and swung his shield around to knock it back.

"What are you doing? These ghouls will tear you-" he stopped and stared as he saw her face. Her eyes were darkening rapidly and her features became more and more gaunt as she stumbled near the ghoul that Sam had just thrown to the ground. She threw her arm above her head in a cleansing gesture and immediately stood straight. Sam thought he saw the space between her and the ghoul shimmer, as if the air suddenly became hot. As she slowly backed away, the ghoul began to claw at its face, clearly writhing in pain.

That's one hell of a disease. I guess Arthas would probably know how to make a good one by now. He glanced at Ivorey as she watched the ghoul.

"Good thinking!" he yelled. She flashed a smile at him before running back toward the other healers as Sam continued to fend off the remaining undead. As he jumped over a low sweep by the Ymirjar Lord, he noticed the plagued ghoul begin to crumple. As it fell to the ground, it deteriorated and Sam saw the air shimmer again as the plague transferred to another ghoul. I can get rid of them all without even attacking them! He began to feel slightly better about his predicament as he heard Ginsan, who was cautiously circling the Lich King. Cann seemed to have been thrown a few yards back again.

"More ghouls!" Ginsan croaked. The Lich King raised his sword again and repeated his previous actions as Cann closed in on him again. Another shambling beast crawled from the floor near Hyx, who was pelting the Lich King with fireballs in an attempt to break through his enchanted armor.

Well it worked last time... Sam threw his weapon at the new Ymirjar Lord as he heard Archie announce his presence.

"Who ordered sliced ghoul?" the rogue laughed as he appeared out of seemingly nowhere and produced knives from various folds in his leather armor. He threw them in a fanning pattern at the flanks of the mob of ghouls to herd them toward Sam. As Sam noticed his new foes approaching, he checked behind him, wondering what had happened to the ones he had been fighting. He saw the first Ymirjar Lord down on one knee, struggling to stay in control. All that remained of the first batch of ghouls was a smattering of rotting flesh on the ground. He spun to catch the blade of the new Ymirjar Lord to redirect the blow away from his head. As he began to take on his new opponents, he felt something seep into him from behind. Immediately, he knew the plague had transferred to him. He tried to cry out as he sluggishly blocked a swing from a ghoul. The new Ymirjar Lord bellowed, and Sam staggered backwards, falling on his side. Within a second, a ghoul leapt on top of Sam and attempted to bite down through his neck guard. Sam managed to stick an armor-plated fist in the Ghoul's mouth, but he didn't have the strength to do anything more.

"Sam!" Jollner's voice seemed muffled as he heard the paladin's exclamation. Abruptly, Sam felt the sickness leave him and rolled to the side with the ghoul still grappling him as the Ymirjar Lord brought his blade down in a lethal arc. Quickly ridding himself of the squirming ghoul, Sam retrieved his sword from the ground where it had landed after falling from the open wound in the back shoulder of the large undead he had impaled. He heard Kynne chanting in ancient words, almost singing, as he slowly felt rejuvenated, his strength and fortitude returning. He turned to withstand his attackers until the plague overtook them again. Suddenly, the Lich King moved to the center of the platform in three quick strides.

"I will freeze you from within until all that remains is an icy husk!" the Lich King snarled as he thrust Frostmourne into the sky. A blinding white flash lit the platform as a blistering wave of cold pulsed from the sword. Sam staggered, temporarily losing feeling in his extremities. He glanced at the Lich King, who was preparing himself for another blast.

"To the South! Away from him!" Sam hoped everyone could hear him. He can't possibly continue this for long. As he ran toward the edge of the platform, his undead attackers followed - they apparently wanted as much to do with the cold waves as he did. Another numbingly cold blast crippled him as he reached the outer edge. He fell forward onto his hands and knees before regaining feeling and moving to the edge. A few feet from the precipice, Sam suddenly got a sense of how high up the platform was. He fought off vertigo as he noted that the cold blasts could not reach him while he was on the edge. He turned to face the remaining undead, and was surprised to only find the Ymirjar Lord and two ghouls, one of which was writhing on the ground. Out of the corner of his vision, he saw a frost orb floating from the center of the platform. As it got near the large demon summoned by the warlock to assist them, the orb exploded, and the demon was launched up and away from the platform to fall to its death below.

"Hyx, get rid of those orbs! Don't let any near us!" Hyx turned to follow Sam's command and began blasting the orbs as they emanated from the waves of cold by the Lich King. Sam fended off the attacks of the Ymirjar Lord until it was affected by the plague. Once he saw the massive blade fall out of its quivering hand, he called to his healers.

"The plague will be on me again soon!" Just as he finished the sentence, the Ymirjar Lord fell forward onto its face and the air shimmered in front of Sam. He was only affected for a brief second before it was quickly dispelled by someone. Sam saw the air above him seem to coagulate as the plague hovered before it dispersed completely. He breathed a sigh of relief, then turned to see who had made it to the edge with him. He saw Cann kneeling down, breathing heavily in an attempt to catch his breath. It seemed the entire company was there, but the sight at the center of them was not what Sam wanted to see. Orala was kneeling with a grimace on his face. An off-white, vaguely humanoid outline seemed to be stretching from his back. Before anyone could think what to do, the raging spirit emerged fully and stood behind the dwarf, looking like a color-deficient clone. It let out an ear-piercing shriek and raised its hand to hit Orala from behind. Sam rushed forward, hoping the spirit had a physical manifestation he could slam into with his shield. Sure enough, the spirit stumbled backward as Sam's shield connected with the apparition's head and shoulder.

"Why, you lil' wet-bellied gnoll-lover, I'll rip off your shield-arm for that!" The dwarf raged as it moved toward Sam, throwing a punch with its bare hand into Sam's shield. Sam was shocked that the punch held as much force as a full swing from a warhammer. Before the dwarf spirit could act again, Ginsan arced his axe through the air, expunging a dark splotch of disease and death toward the spirit. It hit the dwarf squarely in the chest, causing it to fall to its hands and knees momentarily, hacking and sputtering.

"OCH! That shenanigan was uncalled for, you slimy excuse for a..." The dwarf's insult was cut short as Yamichi unleashed a swirling bolt of shadow directly into the dwarf's back.

The spirit howled as it fell forward again, catching itself before falling onto its face. "Nobody asked you either, you worthless sack o' tuber roots!" The dwarf pushed itself upright again, struggling to advance in any direction. "I'll have all o' you defeated, jus' soon as I get me some ale! You first, you weak-armed fool of a pala..." The rambling of the spirit was cut short as Archie sprinted from a good twenty yards away and buried his daggers in the spectral kidneys of the dwarf. The raging spirit of Orala arched its back with a grunt, then dissipated into the air. Orala, still on a knee, let out a breath and began wheezing heavily.

"You are one angry dwarf," quipped Archie, examining the spectral residue on his daggers.

"Well, maybe if I di'nt havta' put up with the likes o' you, I'd be..." The Lich King's resonant bass cut off Orala's retort.

"Watch...as the world around you collapses!" Plunging Frostmourne into the center of the platform, streaks of light appeared in the ice, branching out to the edge of the platform. Sam quickly became aware that the edge they were standing on was just a large ice formation, and did not have metal beneath it.

"Back to the Lich King, quickly!" Sam ordered in a panic. Everyone ran back toward the center of the platform as the six-foot thick ring of ice they had been standing on collapsed and fell from the top of the spire.
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:42 AM
Slaman Slaman is offline

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In case anyone's reading this, I finished the last part. It's pretty long, but since most of it is dialogue that happened in game, there's not that much actual content. I enjoyed writing this at the least, so hopefully someone enjoys reading it!

Quote:
Cann moved back in, shouting wordlessly and raising his mace to deliver a deathblow to Arthas as he knelt with Frostmourne deep in the floor. The Lich King pulled Frostmourne from the ground with inhuman speed and swung it at the head of the hammer in the paladin's hand. The impact caused the mace to fly out of his hand and skid across the ground a few yards away. The paladin rolled the opposite direction, avoiding the quick backswing of the Lich King. Sam could not find a way to engage the Lich King without hindering Cann's combat. The Lich King turned as a large mass of molten lava hurdled toward his back from behind him. As it impacted his dark armor, it spread out across the metal and instantly turned to soft rock, rapidly cooling as a result of coming into contact with the legendary frozen armor.

Orala grunted in disgust as he prepared to unleash the elements again. The Lich King utterly ignored a blast of shadow to his leg from Yamichi's direction as he pointed Frostmourne toward the air and called more servants.

"Valk'yr, your master calls..." the Lich King's summon made Sam cringe inwardly - he had faced the insidious Valk'yr before and his spirit sank as he thought of the prospect of fighting more than one at a time. Cann had regained his hammer and his senses and bolted toward the Lich King from the side. The Lich King, showing fatigue for the first time thus far, raised the hand not holding Frostmourne with a grunt and thrust his open palm in the paladin's direction. Shadowy tendrils erupted and closed around Cann's torso, causing him to stagger and fall to his knees, dropping his weapons to clutch his chest. No! Sam sprinted forward as fast as he could and slammed headlong into the back of the Lich King with his shield. His dreadful opponent staggered forward and Sam ducked to avoid the sweeping counterattack from Arthas. He heard Cann scream in absolute pain on the ground, a sound he never expected to hear from the soldier of the Light. He saw a bright flash of Light surround the ardent defender as he met the Lich King's gaze to face him in combat. Any fear Sam had felt before now vanished as he kept his will steady. So it comes to this. As they sized each other up, the Valk'yr arrived.

Dashing from high above like a falcon catching its prey, it struck before anyone saw it. Grasping Hyx by his throat in a headlock, the mage struggled to break the corporeal grip. Being caught off guard was not something a mage planned for, and his years of mental training had not given him the physical strength to break free of a situation such as this. The Valk'yr moved toward the edge to drop the mage off the side, but was slowed due to the struggle. Sam knew he should do something, but it was a small voice that he did not heed at all, due to the opponent who stood opposite him. He was vaguely aware of Ginsan sending a freezing blast toward the Valk'yr as the Lich King flicked Frostmourne toward Sam's left leg. It was an awkward strike, meant to test Sam's quickness. He lowered his shield to his side to catch the blow and dropped to one knee to put his entire weight behind the shield, expecting the unnatural strength behind the quick swing. Just as soon as he felt the jarring impact on his shield, he turned to catch Frostmourne with his own sword as the dread blade quickly arced back around the other side of him. He redirected the blow with a resounding clang. Arthas stepped back and his icy blue eyes glowed intensely. Sam thought he almost seemed satisfied that his attacks were rebuffed. Why would he possibly be satisfied by that?

There wasn't much time to think before Jollner yelled from behind him. Sam risked a glance to the side and noted that Hyx had been freed from the grasp of the Valk'yr by Ginsan. The Valk'yr struggled to gain altitude as it flew away from the glowing axe of the death knight, one of its legs maimed. A large black splotch of inky shadow was on the ground where Hyx struggled to his feet. As he glanced at it, it seemed to grow larger. Sam heard the distinct clap of air as Hyx showed up twenty feet away from the dark shadows in the blink of an eye. As he engaged the Lich King in combat once again, he heard Ginsan rasp that the Shadows would grow larger if they came in contact with life. Sam repeatedly engaged the Lich King, each time deflecting or avoiding his attacks. The continued barrages from the combined efforts of the magic users did not seem to have much effect on the Lich King's armor, and Sam began to wonder how they could get through.

On the third engagement with the Lich King, he finally caught a breakthrough. Sam, knowing Arthas would be overconfident with his superhuman strength, acted as if the last blow from Frostmourne had made his shield arm go numb. He let his shield hang at his side and limply grasped the hilt of his sword. As Arthas lunged forward to plunge Frostmourne into Sam's exposed chest, Sam spun away from it and brought his sword down with a powerful backhand on Arthas' right legplate, devastating the armor there and leaving a wide rent in it. He heard more than saw Arthas' counterstrike and tumbled forward underneath the wide swing as the Lich King roared in anger. Turning around to jump to his feet, he finally felt the dread creep in from the back of his mind as he saw the Lich King raise his palm toward him. The shadowy tendrils burst forth as Archie leapt in from the side to bury a dagger deep in Arthas' upper thigh, where Sam had opened his armor. Sam heard Arthas roar again before his vision was shrouded in pain.

He lost control of his senses, and found himself immersed in an unbearable torment. Pain like he had never felt. He was aware enough to tell that nothing was happening to his body. There were no wounds, no breakage. As he writhed on the ground, he knew his soul was what was being destroyed. In a span of a second, Sam's path to this moment flashed before him. He remembered why he, of all people, was here at this moment. To defeat the Lich King. To end the life of two tortured souls and at the same time countless others, which would thereby save the lives of thousands more. He remembered in that instant that this was their only hope. That if he failed, all would be lost. Gathering his will in that brief second or two, Sam fought to ignore the pain and felt his soul come back into contact with his body as he stood and tried to gather his senses again to make his last stand.

The life-giving magics of his healers coursed through him as he surveyed the fight and saw Cann engaged in combat once again with the Lich King. Archie knelt on the ground trying to pop his shoulder back into place, presumably a result of the new Valk'yr that was now flying away from him, shrieking as it burned from the the fire magic of Hyx. The previous Valk'yr was locked in a trance as it hovered above them. A stream of sickly green magic came from its hand and connected directly into Jollner's chest. The paladin struggled to remain upright as he channeled the Light into himself to keep himself alive. Another blotch of defiling shadows now covered a good portion of the platform as he saw Yamichi trying to run out of it. He glanced up to see a third Valk'yr poised to strike. He tried to shout, but before he even got the first part of a word out, the Valk'yr was upon the warlock. The ancient winged spirit flew toward the edge, purposely taking the route over the shadows on the ground.

"I can't get to him!" shouted Sam. "I need ranged attacks on that Valk'yr!" Orala and Hyx turned, but their incantations took too long, and the Valk'yr neared the edge. Sam felt the all too familiar pang of guilt as the Valk'yr released its hold on Yamichi, letting the warlock fall to his death. As he fell, he suddenly vanished from the air and showed up in a ritual circle that he had prepared at the beginning of the fight. Sam breathed a sigh of relief through his bewilderment and made a mental note to ask the warlock why he had never teleported before. Meanwhile, the Valk'yr rose to join the two others as it shied away from the magical attacks of Orala and Hyx. Ivorey was now locked in a fight for her life with the second Valk'yr, and Sam watched in horror as the third channeled its sickly green energy toward Kynne. His heart sunk as he saw the Lich King again raise his palm to shoot the dark soul reaping tendrils toward Cann. Sam rushed forward in an attempt to distract the Lich King again to give Cann a chance to survive. Cann dropped to his knee and a blinding column of light shot down from the bleak sky as the paladin struggled to keep hold of his soul. Sam heard the Lich King grunt with disgust to deflect Sam's attack once again. A powerful two handed swing connected with Sam's shield and sent him on his back. The Lich King chuckled as he thrust Frostmourne into the air again, calling on the blade's eldritch magic.

The blast hit Sam while he was still on his back. The sheer force of the wind was enough to take his breath, not to mention the unbearable cold that mixed with his increasing fatigue. I'm not sure I'll make it to the edge this time, he thought, panicking. He jumped to his feet and willed himself toward the edge and whirled to block the blast with his shield when he heard the grunt of effort as the Lich King sent a blast out. He heard the distant cry of the Valk'yr as they flew away from the cold as well. He arrived at the frozen edge of the platform after the third blast and saw the rest of his party on their hands and knees, trying to regain their compsure.

Before he could recover his strength, he felt a sharp pain in his back, as if someone had buried a dagger in his spine. Eyes watering in pain and immobilized by what was happening, he caught himself on an elbow and watched as a ghostly white embodiment of himself began attacking Archie. He had a vague feeling of himself shouting at the rogue, saying something about how he never wanted this. The limber Night Elf was able to avoid most of the attacks, and struck back as best he could with his daggers. He was aware of Jollner doubling over in pain as Cann leapt from the side to deliver a deathblow to Sam's raging spirit. As soon as the spirit dissipated, the pain in his back subsided. Sam rushed to Jollner and engaged the spirit that was now fully formed behind the paladin.

"Never any credit!" the spirit of Jollner said as it dodged a forehand from Sam. "I keep everyone intact, and they yell at me because they still get scars and feel pain! Well now I'm done, you can just..."

The spirit's ramblings were cut off as Sam slammed his shield in its face. It fell over, and Ginsan followed quickly with a decapitating blow from his axe. Jollner stood again and began apologizing, but Sam didn't stay to listen. Yamichi was sprawled out on his stomach, and a spirit was behind him, trying to run after Orala. It cackled maniacally as Orala ran away from it, imbuing it with the element of fire as he moved. Sam ran to intervene between the two and took a hit from the spirit that knocked the wind out of him and sent him onto his side. He covered his body with his shield as the cackling spirit sent its foot down into Sam's chest. The shield didn't seem to help much and Sam gasped for air. He saw the spirit become engulfed in flames completely before he felt his lungs take in air again. He got to his feet once more with the help of the healing magics of the druid. He saw Cann and Archie bring down another spirit further away that was in the likeness of Ivorey. Vision blurred from fatigue, Sam turned to look at the Lich King and saw that the platform had glowing cracks in it again.

"MOVE! Back to the middle!" Sam bellowed as he rushed to get away from the edge just as it began to collapse. He looked down to make sure he still had footing on an intact floor, and when he looked back up, a frost orb was moving toward him and was already no more than a foot in front of him. Knowing he was about to die, Sam closed his eyes; he didn't want to see how high up he was even if he was falling to his death. He felt the heat and saw the flash of light through his eyelids as it was incinerated by Hyx just in time.

"For Lordaeron!" Cann engaged the Lich King again with a warcry. This fight has already taken long enough, Sam agreed in his thoughts.

"This ends now, Arthas!" Sam ran out of another dark splotch on the ground to finish the fight, adrenaline giving him enough energy to ignore his fatigue. As he neared the Lich King, he saw Cann become surrounded once again by swirling shadows. Cann soon became infused with a cool blue glow, which Sam knew was a blessing from Ivorey to suppress pain. Swinging his sword at Arthas' head, Sam felt his forearm go numb as the Lich King brought Frostmourne up to stop its momentum. Before he could recover from the shock of the blow, the Lich King kicked Sam in the chest, sending him flying backward a few feet. Groaning as he slowly rolled to get back up, he looked up to see Arthas grab Ginsan's axe haft mid swing with his left hand and hold the death knight in place, while at the same time pointing Frostmourne straight up into the sky. Spirits erupted from the tip of the blade one after another until there was a large group floating around above Arthas' head. Finishing the summoning, Arthas threw Ginsan's axe to the ground, Ginsan going with it. Sam was already on his feet, moving to intercept again. As the Lich King turned to him, palm forward, Sam was expecting it. He dropped to a knee and raised his shield to cover his entire body. The shadowy tendrils rammed into his shield and tried to go around, but Sam found that they had some kind of physical form as he shook his shield vigorously, causing them to fall to the ground. Fire and lightning covered the air above Sam as he fought desperately to get another hit in on the Lich King. The spirits shrieked as they were burned by the magic. They slowly began angling toward each person. Some of them winked out of existence as the elements unleashed by the mage and shaman overwhelmed them. Soon, one reached Kynne and exploded in front of her, causing her to fall and cry out in pain. Sam heard the screams of others as the vile spirits reached them and released their ghostly energy as a bomb. After they had all exploded, the entire raid group was fighting to recover from the pain.

Meanwhile, Sam continued to spar with the Lich King, getting bruised and battered while doing nothing to the inhuman combatant he was facing. After getting pushed back once again by the Lich King's attacks, the Lich King thrust Frostmourne forward, pointed directly at Sam's chest. Sam saw a stream of shadow enter the left side of his torso and felt it constrict around his heart. His breath caught, and he froze in fear that he might destroy his heart if he moved. The Lich King laughed, cofident in his power.

"Frostmourne...hungers..." Arthas grimaced through the strain of the spell he was maintaining on all ten of his opponents. Sam felt the same soul ripping pain from before as he lost control of his body. The only thought he had was absolute fear as his consciousness drifted toward the point of the outsretched runeblade. As his vision swirled around, he saw ten bodies fall limply to the ground, dropping their weapons.

Sam's consciousness snapped back in after what seemed like an eternity, and he found himself standing in a mostly circular room, similar to the platform they had been fighting on. The broken walls and the floor were coated in ice, and the horizon was pitch black. He looked around and saw his nine companions next to him with a bewildered expression that he was sure mirrored his own. Suddenly, a humanoid shape formed in front of him. It looked like an old man, garbed in royal clothing, every part of him nearly the same color as his snow white hair. The last thing to form was the royal crown on his head, which was a dead giveaway to who it was.

"You have come to bring Arthas to justice? To see the Lich King destroyed?" The voice of King Terenas Menethil II was still strong, even through the anguish and torment he had endured. Sam nodded, dumbstruck.

"First, you must escape Frostmourne's hold, or be damned as I am; trapped within this cursed blade for all eternity." The King looked up and Sam saw the giant mass of swirling spirits, same as the ones they had just faced. Except now there were hundreds of them, and they all moved toward him.

"Run!" Sam didn't wait to see if everyone followed. He ran forward, away from the spirits as they exploded where he had just been. A new group appeared ahead of him, and he cut to the side to avoid those. They exploded behind him as more and more spirits came from the black void that surrounded the room. Sam barely avoided wave after wave, and he saw the rest of his group doing the same around the room. Before long, his breath became ragged, and his legs began to lag behind when he told them to move. He doggedly stepped around an exploding spirit, and ran face first into one just as it exploded. It knocked him flat on his back, where he lay for a moment as he temporarily blacked out. He opened his eyes again and slowly rolled to his hands and knees, his ears ringing as his vision went in and out of focus. He could see a spirit floating toward him, but he had no strength to move out of the way. Just before it got to him, he felt himself get pulled back away from it. The force was too swift to be a person, and he felt like he was being sucked down a drain as he saw the room with the spirits fall away underneath him. He closed his eyes to avoid the sickness he felt at the sensation.

Then he felt a sharp pain in his chest and opened his eyes to find himself sprawled on his stomach with his cheek touching the cold ice-covered floor of the platform on top of Icecrown Spire. He could feel the cold surrounding his heart and fought for a moment to control his breathing. It seemed like he hadn't ever appreciated how nice it was to breath in air, even if it was cold and hurt once it was in your lungs. He did a slow push up and raised his head to see everyone around him trying to recover from being inside Frostmourne, just as he was. His gaze fell on the Lich King, who had fallen to a knee, using his sword to hold his weight.

"Argh...Frostmourne, obey me!" grumbled the Lich King, struggling to hold himself up. He had clearly not expected them to come back out, and had therefore spent a great deal of energy to steal their souls. With a yell to stifle the pain he felt in standing upright, Sam channeled his rage into a barrier blocking the weariness and pain. He knew this was the only opportunity they would get.

"Now! For Azeroth!" He got there first, driving his sword at a downward angle toward the Lich King's shoulder. Although Arthas raised his fist to deflect the blow, Sam connected, destroying the ornate metalwork of his shoulder plate. Arthas followed with his other hand, punching Sam in the side and sending him to the ground off to the side. As he struggled to get back up, Archie moved in swiftly and planted a dagger in the Lich King's exposed shoulder before he was also sent flying from a backhanded blow to the stomach. Magics from all three spellcasters flew in from all directions and broke through the enchanted armor. Arthas growled in pain and wildly attempted to swing Frostmourne at nobody in particular. Then Ginsan moved in from behind and buried his axe in the plate on the Lich King's back. Arthas roared and arched his back, falling forward to catch himself with his hands. As Ginsan raised the axe to deliver the deathblow, the Lich King stood with a speed that should not have been possible and swung Frostmourne with his good arm to knock Ginsan's axe to the ground. Ginsan stared in confusion at how quickly Arthas had moved despite his injuries as the Lich King spoke in a calm, but still terrifying voice.

"Face now your tragic end," Arthas smiled as he gestured in a sweeping motion. Sam felt almost nothing as he fell forward onto his knees, then felt as though he was falling into a pit as his body cascaded forward onto the cold floor.



***



Somewhere in his remaining consciousness, Sam knew he was dead. He looked down and saw his body in a heap on the ground, surrounded by nine others. A man in dark, shrouding armor stood hunched over and breathing heavily among the dead. He grasped a large sword in his hand that seemed to be glowing with dark magic. Sam felt like he should remember who it was and what had happened here, but he felt too apathetic to try and figure it out. He hovered there, watching. That seemed like what he was supposed to do. Seemed like what he was meant to do. Just watch and wait for the rest of eternity, never actually doing anything.

The man in the dark armor straightened and began to speak, his deep rumble seemed to pass right through Sam's thoughts.

"No questions remain unanswered. No doubts linger. You are Azeroth's greatest champions! You overcame every challenge I laid before you. My mightiest servants have fallen beneath your relentless onslaught, your unbridled fury...Is it truly righteousness that drives you? I wonder." There was a hint of human curiosity in the man's voice underneath the inhuman rumble. He turned toward a large block of ice jutting out of the ground on the other side of the platform.

"You trained them well, Fordring. You delivered the greatest fighting force this world has ever known...right into my hands." A note of satisfaction now entered his tone as he continued. "Exactly as I intended. You shall be rewarded for your unwitting sacrifice."

The man turned his back to the ice to look at the dead bodies sprawled around him. He raised his glowing sword into the air, favoring his shoulder. Wisps of dark matter escaped the sword and flew into the bodies on the ground.

"Watch now as I raise them from the dead to become masters of the Scourge. They will shroud this world in chaos and destruction. Azeroth's fall will come at their hands...and you will be the first to die." The man laughed as heartily as his deranged voice would allow. "I delight in the irony."

Sam felt a brief pang of sorrow before his passive state returned. He could not remember, but he felt as if it was something he did to cause this. He watched as the shadow energy continued to stream from the sword into the bodies. A glint of light caught the corner of Sam's vision and he shifted his gaze in that direction. He knew that nobody spoke, but he heard a voice in his thoughts speak clearly.

"Light...grant me one final blessing...Give me the strength...TO SHATTER THESE BONDS!" The last words echoed through Sam's consciousness, and he began to feel something other than the overbearing sense of apathy. A surge of light bright enough to hinder his vision erupted from the block of ice. As the flash subsided, he saw a shining man standing amidst the shattered blocks of ice, wielding a massive square edged sword with a hovering disk embeddeded in the back edge that seemed to radiate light. The man paused for a moment, gathering his senses and fighting through the cold before fixing his eyes on the other man, who was lost in a trance with his spellwork. With agility that betrayed the white beard and hair on his head, the man ran forward and leapt into the air over the man in dark armor, bringing his sword of light down across the middle of the upraised runeblade, shattering it with a clang that shook Sam's senses. The man in dark armor hunched forward, staring at the ruined blade in his hand with disbelief. Struggling to stay standing, the man fought to speak.

"Im...possible..." The man's will visibly faltered as he shook his head.

"No more, Arthas!" The other man's angry voice cut through Sam's mind like the first light of dawn. He began to feel more, a sense of hope. "No more lives will be consumed by your hatred!" Sam wanted to act, he wanted to be there shouting alongside the man with the shining sword.

With sword at the ready, that man stood and watched as thousands of streaks of light began to erupt from the pieces of the sword across the ground and still in the other man's hand. Soon, the entire platform was bathed in unnatural light as the streaks began to swirl around the dark plated warrior. The air seemed to roar as the light formed streams of energy, slowly lifting the man helplessly into the air. He yelled in anguish, kicking and swinging feebly as his feet left the ground, knowing deep down that there was nothing he could do. He stopped struggling when the form of a man appeared in front of him, looking up at the man under the crown on his ghostly head.

"Free at last!" The man's ethereal voice seemed to be a shouted whisper as he looked up at the hovering man in awe. "It is over, my son. This is the moment of reckoning."

His son. Arthas. Memories began to flood back into Sam's consciousness as he saw the ghost of Terenas begin to cast a spell.

"Rise up, champions of the Light!" On the last word, the King's hand rose in a flourish and the Light flooded Sam's vision.

***

He opened his eyes to see the intricate scrapes and scratches on the ice, and he wondered what caused each one. Then the pain flowed back into his body like a river breaking through a dam. He groaned as he rolled to his side, where he saw his companions behaving similarly. My companions. The Lich King. He yelled as he quickly stood, whirling around to take in the sight he knew was there. Sure enough, suspended in the air among the spirits of Frostmourne, was the Lich King. All of Sam's pain and weariness vanished as he saw his helpless foe in front of him. He started forward as fast as his nearly spent body would take him. He heard Tirion's voice crack as the paladin shouted a cry of victory for all those lost to this vile being.

"THE LICH KING...MUST...FALL!" The high crusader of the Light stepped forward, sword in hand, to end the reign of Arthas. As the spirits parted to let him through, Arthas slowly moved back toward the ground to be on a level with the Highlord. With ragged breaths, the Lich King's voice sounded even more grating than usual.

"Now I stand, the lion before the lambs...and they do not fear." Ashbringer plunged through the Lich King's chest, but he showed no semblance of fear or pain. Tirion pulled the sword back out slowly as the Lich King surveyed Sam and his group. "They cannot fear." His eyes focused intently on Tiron as the spirits lifted away from him, causing him to fall forward onto his hands and knees. The impact caused him to grunt, and his helm fell forward onto the floor, clattering away from him. Sam saw ice-colored hair and a long nose as he watched Arthas Menethil reach for the helm weakly. His strength completely sapped, Arthas collapsed onto his side, where the ghostly spirit of his father caught him in his arms, allowing him to face upwards. Arthas grasped at his father's chest in desperation.

"Father? Is it...over?" Arthas' voice was now a only a whisper, the growl of the Lich King gone. He sounded...afraid, Sam realized. So part of him did survive. Terenas closed his hand around the plated gauntlet on Arthas' arm.

"At long last," said the last King of Lordaeron with sadness. "No king rules forever, my son." Arthas' eyes lost focus as he fought for breath.

"I see...only darkness...before me." His eyes rolled back and he sighed his last breath as his hand fell to the ground. Terenas set his son down and stared for a moment at his remains before he spoke, his voice taking on a note of conviction.

"Without its master's command, the restless Scourge will become an even greater threat to this world." He stood, turning his attention to Tirion, now in front of the rest, all gaping in disbelief. The King's pale face was grave as his pupil-less eyes stared into Tirion's.

"Control must be maintained...There must always be...a Lich King..." The sky flashed and a loud rumble shook the Spire as Terenas and the thousands of souls imprisoned in Frostmourne passed on. Shielding his eyes with his hand, Tirion slowly moved toward the helmet that lay a few feet from Arthas' body. Sam could only gape as Tirion lifted it in his hands to peer into the empty eye sockets.

"The weight of such a burden," began Tirion forlornly, "it must be mine. For there is no other to..."

"Tirion!" A labored, growling voice broke in from behind them and Sam whirled with weapons at the ready, thinking the Lich King might not be dead. He instead saw the ruined remnants of Bolvar Fordragon sitting on the slab of ice that was the Frozen Throne. The mis-shapen mouth forced Bolvar's words out, fighting to make his vocal cords cooperate. "You hold a grim destiny in your hands, brother...but it is not your own."

Tirion stared in horror, just now remembering that Bolvar was there, and seemingly surprised that he was alive and able to speak.

"Bolvar! By all that is holy..." His words trailed off as if he did not know what to say.

"The dragons flame...sealed my fate," said Bolvar, knowing that he had to offer some explanation. "The world of the living can no longer comfort me. Place the crown upon my head, Tirion. Forevermore - I will be the jailor of the damned."

As Bolvar spoke, Tirion turned away from him, shielding the helm from Bolvar as if his former ally was trying to take it by force.

"NO, old friend. I cannot."

"DO IT TIRION!" The Higlord's last words were drowned by Bolvar's outburst. "You and these brave heroes have your own destinies to fulfill. This last act of service...is mine."

Slowly, going against every fiber of his being, Tirion turned back around and looked at Bolvar, sympathy covering his face. He stepped cautiously toward the throne, frowning.

"You will not be forgotten...brother," said Tirion quietly.

"I MUST be forgotten, Tirion!" said Bolvar loudly. "If the world is to live free from the tyranny of fear, they must never know what was done here today."

Tirion, now directly in front of Bolvar, hesitated a few seconds before he nodded silently. He placed the fabled Helm of Domination on Bolvar's blackened head. Bolvar kept his head bowed as the platform began to shake. Chunks of ice and metal fell from the spires around the platform as a dark golden glow flashed in the eyeholes of the helmet. The gem set into the metalwork on the brow of the helm abruptly changed from blue to orange as Bolvar slowly raised his head to look at Tirion while he backed away in wonder toward Sam and his group.

"Tell them only that the Lich King is dead..." Bolvar's voice was strong now, the sound of authority that Sam remembered from Bolvar's time as Regent Lord and Commander of the Alliance armies in Northrend. However, as he continued, it gained another edge. A sound that made Sam cringe as it merged with Bolvar's to create a new one.

"And that Bolvar Fordragon died with him..." The ice of the Frozen Throne rapidly expanded as it encased Bolvar completely, locking him in place. The glowing eyes were bright as ever as the noise and commotion reached a deafening level.

"NOW GO." The new voice of the Lich King echoed through Sam's mind, just like it had when Arthas was the vessel. He felt tears streaming under his helmet and his vision blurred as he looked toward Hyx, who was shouting for everyone to gather close. While Hyx bowed his head in concentration with everyone else in a tight circle around him, Sam heard the final command from the Lich King vibrate through every fiber of his being.

"LEAVE THIS PLACE - AND NEVER RETURN." He closed his eyes as Hyx's teleportation took effect, and wondered if he would ever want to open them again as they hurdled away from that terrible place.
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:12 PM
Feathers Feathers is offline

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Your first attempt at fan fiction? You must have written something else, then, because it's quite good. I especially liked the battle scenes. You worked in the in-game dialogue very smoothly.

It would be interesting to write a story for each major battle. Maybe not have the same character(s) participate it each, but just to chronicle the adventures in Azeroth. Of course one of the problems with that is that most of your readers will already know how the story ends. You might play around with some drama for the champions involved.

Anyway, I can't think of any particular criticisms for this story off the top of my head, other than I got a little confused as to which character was which - probably I don't know the characters very well. It's hard to introduce so many characters in such a short space, but I know you need them all to fill in the 10-man raid. I don't know a good way to handle that other than to let most of them fade into the background. Sam was a little unsure of himself, but he did seem to take charge which fit the role perfectly. He was a leader but he was human, too. I loved Archie, he was so unique.

Keep writing. You've made a good start.
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:50 PM
Slaman Slaman is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feathers View Post
Your first attempt at fan fiction? You must have written something else, then, because it's quite good. I especially liked the battle scenes. You worked in the in-game dialogue very smoothly.

It would be interesting to write a story for each major battle. Maybe not have the same character(s) participate it each, but just to chronicle the adventures in Azeroth. Of course one of the problems with that is that most of your readers will already know how the story ends. You might play around with some drama for the champions involved.

Anyway, I can't think of any particular criticisms for this story off the top of my head, other than I got a little confused as to which character was which - probably I don't know the characters very well. It's hard to introduce so many characters in such a short space, but I know you need them all to fill in the 10-man raid. I don't know a good way to handle that other than to let most of them fade into the background. Sam was a little unsure of himself, but he did seem to take charge which fit the role perfectly. He was a leader but he was human, too. I loved Archie, he was so unique.

Keep writing. You've made a good start.
Thanks, I really appreciate it. And no, I haven't written much of anything other than when I was forced to in school. I suffer from a lack of original ideas, which is why I'm writing in this style. I hope to write others that serve as prequels that introduce the characters better, so you'll know who is who by the time battle scenes roll around. As I pointed out at the beginning, all these characters are based off the people that played them. I really didn't alter their personalities much at all. Sam is myself, as I was forced into a raid leader role when I didn't really want it, since I had been around the longest and did the work to bring a 10 man together after our 25 mans started to fall apart. We succeeded quickly, and I got multiple complements on how well I fulfilled the role, even though I thought I was doing a terrible job. And as for Archie, I wish he was still around because he was a really fun guy to raid with .

Also, for other battles that I write, some of the heroes will be killed during the fight, tying into the whole story (since they stopped raiding or stopped playing at a certain point). Because of the mechanics of the Lich King fight, there wasn't really a way to incorporate that.
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:06 AM
DarkAngel DarkAngel is offline

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You may have heard of my reputation as the self-appointed editor and critic of this forum. Sadly, that's been suffering noticably since I started trying to write original work, and WarCraft, and edit (and look for a job). Let's see, it only took me a month to get around to this. So, yeah, my apologies if you were counting on this.

Just scanning the first paragraph, it's clear you know what you're doing. Perhaps that's what you meant by "first attempt at writing anything in the Warcraft Universe." Still, there are a few points I feel compelled to make.

First, "raid group," "kiting," and other gameplay terms have no place in a work of fiction, save perhaps for humor. As the meme has become, "You're ruining my immersion!"

On the first sentence, I'd be more careful about how much you try to cram in at once. A lot of people get caught up in the "this is so awesome" factor of writing. I can tell you from personal experience this is a surefire way to produce crap. You'll produce a lot of it, but it'll still be crap. Don't be afraid to slow down, especially here at the beginning, where accesibility is of paramount importance. If the reader never gets past the first few sentences, everything that follows is irrelevant.

On the subject of openings, I usually begin by describing the environment. Such descriptions help the reader to put him/herself in the position of the characters, thus establishing immersion, the key to getting readers "hooked."

"No one" is properly two words, but it's nature as a single concept makes me favor the unified "no-one." "Noone" is just confusing.

My computer doesn't like the sentences starting with 'although,' even with comma separation. Perhaps 'however' would be better.

One of the finer points of writing is a rule best described as "show, don't tell." Jumping into the middle of a story is inadvisable (though it may be nessecitated by the short story format) because you tend to end up with a lot of "catching up" at the beginning. A list of "X had happened," "Y had happened, etc. is boring, the last thing you want in the introductory phase. A good author will find ways to slip this information into the story without breaking step. Perhaps the raid group should be discussing the hell they've just been through, even if they are exhausted and beaten down. This also establishes their roles and personalities far more effectively than simply stating them.

Given his 'highlord' title, "Lord Fordring" might be more appropriate, though he might've gone by "Sir Tirion" in days gone by. The previous Highlord of the Silver Hand was addressed as "Lord Uther" in War3.

Wierd. "Archibald Duskhallow" sounds more like a Worgen. Yes, I know you didn't pick these characters.


So that's my running commentary on the first post. I have to say, your grammar and punctuation is quite possibly the best I've seen on these forums. There were perhaps two relatively minor issues in the whole three-page segment; you clearly have substantial experience at putting words on paper. The points that need work are the finer ones, which tend to be subtle, hard-to-explain things like the tendency of characters to be stiff and stereotypical. Remember, everyone has a past that makes them respond in certain ways. The story is not about what happens to the characters; it's about how they react to it.

That said, this meets my apporval. Above all, keep writing: practice makes perfect.
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:23 PM
Slaman Slaman is offline

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Thanks for the tips Dark. Part of the reason the beginning sucks is because I actually plan to write much more in the sense of what happens before and after this. In my grand scheme, this is just a chapter or two in the whole thing. If I ever write it all, this would be edited a bit to fit in, and you would know the characters much better by then.

I felt weird saying "raid group" at first, but then I realized it's actually a legitimate name for a group of soldiers fighting through a stronghold. But I guess due to WoW, the term takes a different meaning and "ruins the immersion." I'll probably change it to something like "strike team" or "task force."

As for Archie's name, that was the first adaptation that came to mind from the character's name (which was "Archemedusk," we called him "Archie"). Since writing this, I started developing rough outlines of everyone's backstory and I realized "Archeme" would not only be a suitable name, but probably more fitting for a night elf. I haven't changed it yet, but I might depending on opinions I get from others. I'll probably add the compendium of backstories for each character as an appendix to this, just so you can know the characters better before reading this particular story.

And honestly, this is the first creative work I've done in three years, and the first that I wasn't forced to do. The only writing I've done in between is technical papers and such. Though I do read a lot of books, so that probably helps. But I appreciate the complements, it's good to know that my first effort isn't a total failure .

Edit: Would you believe I wrote this in a simple text editor with no spellcheck? Don't ask why...
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Last edited by Slaman; 07-26-2012 at 03:29 PM..
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