"Led by the mighty Archimonde, scores of demonic soldiers now march across the lands of Kalimdor, leaving a trail of death and devastation in their wake. At the heart of the fiery invasion stands the mystic Well of Eternity -- once the source of the night elves' arcane power. But now the Well's energies have been defiled and twisted, for Queen Azshara and her Highborne will stop at nothing to commune with their newfound god: the fiery Lord of the Burning Legion...Sargeras. The night elf defenders, led by the young druid, Malfurion Stormrage, and the wizard, Krasus, fight a desperate battle to hold back the Legion's terrible onslaught. Though only embers of hope remain, an ancient power has risen to aid the world in its darkest hour. The dragons -- led by the powerful Aspect, Neltharion -- have forged a weapon of incalculable power: the Dragon Soul, an artifact capable of driving the Legion from the world forever. But its use may cost far more than any could have foreseen.
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October 26, 2004
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Excerpt from Warcraft: War of the Ancients #2 by Richard A. Knaak
The voices whispered in his head as he moved through the huge cavern. Where once they were but an occasional occurrence, now they never ceased. Even in his sleep, he could not escape their presence...not that he wanted to do so anymore. The huge black dragon had heard them for so long that they were now a part of him, indistinguishable from his own twisted thoughts.
The night elves will destroy the world...
The Well is out of control...
No one can be trusted...they want your secrets, your power...
Malygos would take what is yours...
Alexstrasza seeks dominion over you...
They are no better than the demons...
They must be dealt with like the demons...
Over and over, the voices repeated such dire things, warning him of duplicity, betrayal. He could trust no one but himself. The others were tainted by the lesser races. They would see his decision as a danger, not the only hope for the world.
The dragon unleashed a puff of noxious smoke as he snorted at such treachery from those who had once been his comrades. Though he had the power to save everything, he had to be careful; if they discovered the truth too soon, it would mean calamity.
They must not know its secret until it is beyond their altering, he decided. It cannot be presented until the spell must be cast. I will not let them destroy my work!
Huge claws scraped fresh the rock floor of the cavern as the scaly behemoth entered his sanctum. As massive as the dragon was, the rounded cavern dwarfed him. A molten river flowed through the center. Massive crystal formations glittered in the walls. Huge stalactites hung like swords of doom from above, while stalagmites grew from the ground so sharp that they looked as if they waited for someone to be impaled upon them.
And, in fact, such was the case with one.
Teeth bared, the great black dragon peered down at the puny figure struggling to free himself despite the stony spike thrusting up through his heaving chest. The remains of a tattered, black and bloodred robe and fragments of ornate, golden armor hung around his oddly-shaped torso. High, goatlike horns thrust from his skull and the crimson visage resembled most to the dragon a long skull with a wide, fanged maw. The eyes were pits of darkness that immediately tried to suck the behemoth in, but they were no match for the will of the creature's captor.
In addition to being impaled, the horned figure was bound by thick, iron chains to the cavern floor. The chains had been set especially tight, pinning the demon to the stalagmite and keeping his limbs spread downward.
Constantly the captive's mouth moved as if he furiously shouted something, yet no sound emerged. That did not keep him from trying, however, especially when he saw the dark leviathan approach.
The dragon mulled over his prisoner for a moment, then blinked.
Immediately the cavern chamber filled with the venom-laced, rasping voice of the creature. " -- is Sargeras! Your blood will flow! Your skin he will wear for a cloak! Your flesh will feed his hounds! Your soul he will keep in a vial, ever to torment at his pleasure! He -- "
Blinking again, the dragon silenced once more his captive. Even still, the demonic figure continued mouthing threats and obscenities until, finally, the dark behemoth opened his huge jaws and exhaled, enveloping the prisoner in a searing plume of steam that left the latter shaking in renewed agony.
"You will learn respect. You are in the presence of my glorious self, I, Neltharion," the dragon rumbled. "I am the Earth Warder. You will treat me with the reverence which I deserve."
The demon's long, reptilian tail slapped at the rocks below. The mouth opened in what was obviously more silent blasphemies.