The hour of wrath draws near...
The valiant night elves have been shattered by the loss of their beloved general. The black dragon, Neltharion, has claimed the Demon Soul and scattered the mighty dragonflights to the winds. Above all, the demonlord, Archimonde, has led the Burning Legion to the very brink of victory over Kalimdor. As the land and its denizens reel from this unstoppable evil, a terror beyond all reckoning draws ever nearer from the Well of Eternity's depths...
In the final, apocalyptic chapter of this epic trilogy, the dragon-mage Krasus and the young druid Malfurion must risk everything to save Azeroth from utter destruction. Banding together the dwarves, tauren and furbolg races, the heroes hope to spark an alliance to stand against the might of the Burning Legion. For if the Demon Soul should fall into the Legion's hands, all hope for the world will be lost. This then, is the hour...where past and future collide!
An original trilogy of magic, warfare, and heroism based on the bestselling, award-winning electronic game series from Blizzard Entertainment.
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July 26, 2005
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Excerpt from Warcraft: War of the Ancients #3: The Sundering by Richard A. Knaak
They could smell the stench in the distance and it was difficult to say which was strongest, the acrid smoke rising from the burning landscape or the incessant, almost sweet odor of the slowly-decaying dead lying sprawled by the hundreds across it.
The night elves had managed to stem the latest assault by the Burning Legion, but had lost more ground again. Lord Desdel Stareye proclaimed it a retrenching maneuver enabling the host to better gauge the Legion's weaknesses, but among Malfurion Stormrage and his friends, the truth was known. Stareye was an aristocrat with no true concept of strategy and he surrounded himself with the like.
With the assassination of Lord Ravencrest, there had been no one willing to stand up to the slim, influential noble. Other than Ravencrest, few night elves truly had experience in warfare and with the dead commander the last of his line, his House could present no one to take his place. Stareye clearly had ambitions, but his ineptitude would see those ambitions crushed along with his people if something did not happen.
But Malfurion's thoughts were not simply concerned with the precarious future of the host. Another, overriding matter ever caused him to look in the direction of distant Zin-Azshari, once the glittering capital of the night elves' realm. Even as the dim hint of light to the east presaged the cloud-enshrouded day, he went over and over again his failures.
Went over and over again the loss of the two that mattered most to him -- fair Tyrande and his twin brother, Illidan.
Night elves aged very slowly, but the young Malfurion looked much older than his few decades. He still stood as tall as any of his people -- roughly seven feet -- and had their slim build and dark purple complexions. However, his slanted, silver eyes -- eyes without pupils -- had a maturity and bitterness cast in them that most night elves lacked even under such diversity. Malfurion's features were also more lupine than most, matching only his brother's.
More startling was his mane of hair, shoulder-length and of a unique, dark green -- not the midnight blue even his twin had. People were always eyeing the hair just as they had once always eyed the plain garments to which his tastes turned. As a student of the druidic arts, Malfurion did not wear the garish, flamboyant robes and outfits considered normal clothing by his race. Instead, he preferred a simple, cloth tunic, plain leather jerkin and pants, and knee-high boots, also of leather. The extravagant garb worn by his people had been a telling sign of their jaded lives, their innate arrogance -- something against his nature. Of course, now, though, most night elves save Lord Stareye and his ilk wandered as ragged refugees in muddied, blood-soaked clothes. More to the point, instead of looking down their noses at the peculiar young scholar, they now eyed the green-haired druid with desperate hope, aware that most of them lived because of his actions.
But what were those actions leading him toward? Not success, so far. Worse, and certainly more disconcerting, Malfurion had discovered that his delving into the natural powers of the living world had begun a physical change.
He rubbed his upper head, where one of the two tiny nubs lay hidden under his hair. They had sprouted but a few days ago, yet had already doubled in size. The two tiny horns chilled Malfurion, for they reminded him much too much of the beginning of a satyr's. That, in turn, reminded him too much of Xavius, the queen's counselor who had come back from the dead and, before Malfurion had finally dealt with him, sent Tyrande into the clutches of the Burning Legion's masters.
"You've got to stop thinking about her," someone coming up behind him urged.