It should be noted here that I have absolutely no plans whatsoever to follow Blizzard’s established Warcraft lore. If you see anything that is a deviation from established lore, you can be almost sure that I’ve changed it. For whatever reason, I probably like my version of it better.
For example, in Arkenheart’s version of Warcraft, there is no King Variann Wrynn. Rather, there is a Queen Varianna Wrynn. Same personality, just he’s a she now.
Most things are small changes, like spelling Stromgarde with a u, to get Stromguarde. I like it better that way.
And yes, the prologue stuff is supposed to be in anachronistic order.
Alonsus Faol gently closed the encyclopedia he had been reading. The chair creaked as he leaned back, a sound he felt his back would soon make. He rubbed the bridge of his nose, and wondered if he was being punished, tested, or if all this was merely a very cruel twist of fate. Whatever the case, he was too old for it.
Hard to believe that only a year ago he had been a mere bishop at Northshire Abby, tending to a gentle country with a gentle hand. As a southern nation, Stormwind did not even experience winter, only more rain. He spent most of his days tending to the vast library of the Abby, helping young priests and scholars with their works.
It had been a good life. Humble. Happy.
Snow gently floated to the ground outside the window to his small library. He’d heard about snow before. Lordaeron apparently was subject to immense amounts of the stuff. It looked so peaceful, this snow. Such calm. It seemed almost laughable now.
“Uther”. He called for his apprentice.
“Yes, Archbishop?” came the man’s voice from the other room.
Alonsus sighed deeply. “I already told you not to call me that. Please, call me Alonsus. I am undeserving of that title.”
Uther entered the room, concern etched across his face. “Archbishop, you should not talk that way. Your leadership is the only reason any human kingdoms remain standing at all.”
“And what good has that leadership done, really? Stormwind is ash, its people lost refugees. Millions dead, millions more are going to die. We can’t stop them!”
A frown began to creep across Uther’s face. “Archbishop-”
Alonsus stood, grief and anger colouring his voice. “Enough with that title! I fled with the dwarves, I watched my Abby burn! So many gave their lives for me, me, so that I could bring hope! How am I to do that when my own faith is shattered?!”
“Ironforge has been under siege for months now. We haven’t had any word in weeks. They might all be dead now. Stormwind was the mightiest fortress we humans had to offer. It fell in a single night! What hope is there for us, Uther? What hope can there be against an enemy that kills everything for no gain?”
“Alonsus, you must have faith i-”
“In what, Uther? The Light? My priests have been butchered, left to bleed and rot in the mud. We are doing nothing but waiting for their next attack, holding our collective breaths until we, too, are put to the sword! In what should I have faith?”
“Yourself.” Uther answered immediately.
“What good is that going to do…” Whatever rage had filled Alonsus faded into exhaustion. He was getting too old for angry outbursts, too. “I am a soft man born and raised for soft times. A messy divorce, I can handle. A mine collapses, a dozen good men are killed, that is a tragedy I can handle. But this? This? Our entire race is threatened with utter extinction. I am an old failure, Uther, nothing more.”
“I failed you, Uther. I failed our kingdom, I failed my people, I failed your family… all those people who gave everything they had to ensure my survival. What good is it? How far has my own faith carried me?”
“My faith is worth nothing, Uther. The Light has abandoned me, us, to our deaths. I… no. Leave me, Uther. Just leave a broken old man to his books.”
“… What did you say?”
“No. I will not leave. Your faith has left you, I will not. If you do not believe in yourself, then I must be here to do so on your behalf.”
“It was you who said that faith was humanity’s strongest virtue. If our own faith fails us, that is why we have loved ones, to carry that burden for us. If you do not believe in yourself, then, at the very least, have faith in me who has faith in you.”
Alonsus sat again in his chair, nearly collapsing into the welcoming leather. Silence descended in the room. Uther did not move. He merely stood, patient, an unmoving bear of a man.
“Uther, my oldest friend… what have I become?”
“Lost.” Uther answered. “Allow me to show you the light. We have not had contact with the dwarves in weeks, you say. Give me a blade and a horse, I will make contact. Stormwind was our strongest fortress? Give me mortar and bricks, I will build it again. My people are threatened with annihilation, give me a shield, and I will protect every last one of them to my dying breath. I will break the enemies of humanity with my bare hands if I must.
“I have faith, Alonsus. In you, in humans, in elves, in dwarves. In the Light.” Uther lifted his hand, palm facing upward. A powerful golden light filled the room.
“You say we are doomed. I disagree. The knights of Lordaeron have yet to retreat from a single battle. The cavalry of Stromguarde have broken dozens of orc offensives. The orcs destroyed Kul Tiras, so the Tirans live on ships instead. They endure… We, humans and everyone else, will not be defeated, because we have faith, Alonsus.
“’It is this faith, this unbreakable will, that allows us to stand against the darkness when all else has fallen.’ I’m sure you remember who said that.”
“No need to remind me of my own sermons, boy. I am not yet that old.” Alonsus stood once more, steel and fire having returned to his eyes. “Once again I am reminded of why I chose you specifically as my apprentice. Thank you. Apparently I am old enough for despair to grip me now and then.”
Sometimes, when one has lost all reasons to hope, an act as simple as another believing in them is all it takes to rekindle everything. He smiled wryly. He’d written no less than five dissertations on that exact subject.
Alonsus extended his hand, adding his own light to the room. “Uther.”
“I have an idea.”