King's Gambit [NaNoWriMo]


Mortals are such fools.

We knew this day would come. The prince had left too many loose ends, left too many people alive bearing grudges against us who would come, inevitably, seeking our destruction. They were too determined, too driven by anger. Too resolute. It was not yet our time to rule.

The Lich King needed to die.

Our dramatic reappearance sent shockwaves throughout their pitiful nations, as we expected. We waited patiently as they began the long journey north, their righteous crusade to see us dead. We could have struck them down, scattered their armies to the winds, had we so desired. But why? Let them hurl themselves against the unforgiving cold of the north, deplete their resources, weaken their resolve. It just left them all the more desperate.

Soon their hearts were weary, begging for resolution, willing to believe anything if it meant the war would be over and they could return to their warm homes, the caring embrace of their loved ones. They were weak...tired. Malleable. The perfect pawns.

When Fordring's fanciful "Ashen Verdict" began laying siege to our citadel, it was all we could do not to burst forth and shatter their hopes, quash their deluded dreams of glory. So tantalizing...so vulnerable. But we forced ourself to wait. Bigger stakes were at hand, more important than a handful of fresh souls.

Finally, they penetrated our inner sanctum and "discovered" Frostmourne left unguarded. Frostmourne. The most powerful weapon at our disposal, left alone for our hated foes to stumble upon? Unbelievable. Even Patchwerk would have thought this wildly suspicious, even more so when Uther's long-dead spirit suddenly showed up with cryptic news.

How does it feel, Uther? Does it ravage your soul to know that your visage was the vital component in leading your former allies astray? The fools are within OUR stronghold, where our power is at its ultimate peak, and yet the mere sight of a familiar face had them stumbling over each other to obey your slightest suggestion.

"There must always be a Lich King," we told them. Poetic. Ominous. And utter nonsense. And yet because this prophetic warning appeared to come from the famous Lightbringer, Fordring's soldiers never doubted its legitimacy for a moment. Even the vengeful Banshee Queen, so obsessed with her unrelenting thirst for revenge, was deceived by our ruse.

We owe our continued existence to you, Uther. Your King thanks you for your services. But you are not alone. Terenas, our father, you also had a crucial part to play. If Fordring's heroes had any doubts left in their minds after making their way to the Frozen Throne, they vanished when you unexpectedly appeared, to "help" them defeat us. Never mind the fact that you possessed incredible powers that you never wielded in life. No, Fordring's lackeys wanted you to be real, wanted desperately to believe that they were destined to succeed.

Losing Frostmourne was a regretful sacrifice, but necessary to complete the illusion. Fordring knew we would never give up the Scourge's most symbolic, powerful weapon willingly...so that is exactly what we had to do. After all, the prince did not gain the full extent of our power upon drawing the sword from its icy tomb - it merely focused his will, directed him to the ultimate prize. His ascension occurred later, when he retrieved our armor and helmet from the Frozen Throne. But let them think our power died with Frostmourne. It will prove to be a fatal error.

It will also be interesting to see how Fordring will be affected by Frostmourne's destruction. Nothing, not even a relic as wretchedly holy and sanctified as the Ashbringer, can fully shield itself and its wielder from such a powerful release of raw, pure evil. You may not feel anything yet, paladin, but the nefarious seeds of darkness have been sown, lurking with you, within your precious weapon. It is only a matter of time, paladin...

After the prince fell, we knew the final warning from "King Terenas" would haunt Fordring's thoughts, that he would reluctantly accommodate Fordragon's final, selfless request, never suspecting his fallen friend's true motives in the slightest. Paladins...so predictable. Like the others, Fordring is too blinded by his own faith and love to realize that the man before him was not the Bolvar Fordragon he once knew...that the Bolvar who fell at the Wrathgate had surrendered to us long ago.

We have annihilated nations. Ruined continents. Countless "champions" have fallen to our blade, the strongest the world could place in our path. All life yields before the Lich King's power! The idea that a mere human could deny us is laughable. But the glimmer of hope that their beloved, noble Highlord still lived...what an irresistible enticement it must have been.

Thank you, Fordring, for doing exactly as we desired. For giving us back our crown, leaving our essence intact, and telling your people that the monster is dead. Once our new host is ready and our strength returned, the world will realize what a fool you are. They will die cursing your name, Fordring.

As for Fordragon...we could not have asked for a better vessel. The orc was too plagued with doubt and concern for his people; the prince, too spoiled and arrogant for our needs. But this one...this one will serve us well.

Consecrated by the Life-Binder's flames, Fordragon's body will survive every ordeal we subject it too, will not be consumed by our overwhelming hatred. No longer will we be confined by the meager limitations of mortal flesh! And his soul is unfettered by the petty desires of our former hosts, and will not foolishly sacrifice victory for personal glory or taunt our enemies, believing himself invincible.

In life, he wielded the Light.

WE DEVOUR LIGHT.

Arrogance. Doubt. Feelings of Entitlement. Fordragon possesses none of these weaknesses, these inherent flaws. Willpower and heart are what drives him. Even now, we can feel his soul struggling against us, scrabbling against the unbreakable wall of our domination. But we have time...eventually we will pervert his convictions, turn his courage to our benefit.

And Fordragon is no leader. He does not have it in him to rebel and overthrow our grasp. He is but a soldier at heart, and a soldier's task is to obey his masters. He will carry out our bidding perfectly.

Already the Horde and Alliance have cast aside their tentative truce and are once again at each other's throats, at a time when neither side can afford open conflict or war. Such stupidity. But we will let them fight over land, squabble over old hatreds, exhaust themselves on trivial altercations. Continue to weaken yourselves, mortals...we will only be growing stronger.

It will take us many years to raise the thousands of lives that now litter this land, but we have an eternity. The world believes we are dead. No one will be here to notice our doings. Azeroth will grow complacent and fat, never suspecting that their greatest triumph was nothing more than a new beginning. Countless fallen crusaders, Vyrkul, and dragons sleep beneath the snow, awaiting our call. And even a fallen Dragon Aspect...

So mortals, enjoy your pathetic time of peace while it lasts. For the next period of this planet's miserable history will be written by the dead hands of the Scourge!

For though we sleep...we remember.

We hate. We LIVE.

WE HUNGER.



Show/Hide Letter Notes

Pertinent Lore:

The Lich King

This letter was a nice chance to share some of my secret conspiracy theories about the Lich King's demise in Icecrown Citadel. It was fun to come up with reasons why everything leading up to his so-called death may all have been part of a larger, grander scheme.

The main thing that has always struck me as suspicious is that we completely trust phantom images that come OUT OF FROSTMOURNE. Out of the Lich King's primary weapon and source of power. Um, is that not just a little foolish? If "Uther" had told us that only the combined sacrifice of Velen, Thrall and Tirion would be able to defeat the Lich King, would we have lined them up and slit their throats? It's so stupid! Yet we trust what could be nothing more than an image of Uther or Terenas, without even a shred of doubt. It's baffling.

When I started to think about, if I was the Lich King, this is exactly what I'd do. Sure, it would be a bit of a risk, but if my plan smoothly, I'd be forgotten, have an unimaginable army to raise (including an UNDEAD MALYGOS!!), and would be able to quietly build and accumulate power without the world noticing for many, many years.

Also, I'd be free of the troublesome personality quirks of Ner'zhul and Arthas, both of which are very alpha male personalities. Instead I'd have Bolvar, who for all his positive qualities, has always been someone willing to listen to orders and obey his master. He doesn't have the ambition and drive that the other two possessed. He's the perfect soldier, yes, but he's never someone who'd run for mayor, if you know what I mean.

The Lich King would also derive incredible, sadistic glee from tormenting the souls of Uther and Terenas, who would know that only by using them as puppets would I be able to pull off the dupe. And how awfully handy that of the thousands of souls that Frostmourne had absorbed, only those two ever broke free. Similarly, what an odd coincidence that Bolvar somehow resisted being corrupted, stirring his allies on to reach him and try to rescue him. Never mind the fact that no one EVER. IN. HISTORY. had ever done that before. It's all too convenient...which to me, raises all sorts of alarm flags.

I also wanted to point out how absurdity of Terenas' powers during the final battle. Magic, mass resurrection, etc. He was not a mage in life! He wasn't a paladin, either. So why does he now have these supernatural abilities? Very unusual.

Tirion's blind loyalty to Bolvar would also be a delicious temptation to turn against him. By not telling the world about the Lich King's survival, Tirion would ensure that they would be unprepared and defenseless when the Scourge eventually re-emerged. It would all be his fault, and I think the Lich King would be absolutely delighted at this ironic, bitter fate for one as hated as Fordring.

Something amusing to note - with all the letters, I tend to "speak" the words in my head, imagining them being said by the writer. So for a few hours I was saying random lines and sentences in my head in the Lich King's voice, seeing how they felt and "trying them on" so to speak. And though I mostly did this for all the letters,I've heard the Lich King's voice so much, so it was really easy to accurately imagine it. I don't know if everyone does this, but I found it hilarious. WE DEVOUR LIGHT. WE HUNGER. Etc. :D

The "WE HUNGER" line is, of course, a reference to the Lich King's famous line: "Frostmourne hungers!"

3 Responses Subscribe to comments

  1. gravatar
    kamaliaetalia

    Wow, Rades, I'm VERY impressed by the variety, the voices, the lore in all these letters... not to mention the speed at which you're putting them out!

    I'm looking forward to seeing what else is in this cache of diaries and letters!

    If you should happen to find yourself running out of stories by the end of the month, here's some bits of NPC RP I've found while running around the world (and a few low-level Alliance quests) that I think you could make something nifty out of:

    * Okla's Necklace -- find Kranal Fiss in the house by Grol'dom Farm in the Barrens, watch until his daughter comes by, then follow her around until she comes back to the house

    * Mogg and Pooka -- one of the houses near the Mor'shan Rampart

    * the Edune & Dunadaire families -- in Ashenvale near the lake with the murlocs in it, look for a cottage with a table out front -- this RP is a rather long loop, but quite entertaining to watch

    * Parker's lunch -- a short quest chain in Redridge mountains with a cute story -- look for Guard Parker and Waitress Darcy to find it on Wowwiki or Wowhead -- I also have screenshots of the whole chain I could send you

    * Gurf's Dignity -- a quest you can do at level 10 on Azuremyst Island after having done the Furbolg Language Totems chain

    * Dragon Riders of Loreth'Aran & Nolkai's Words -- two related quest chains on Bloodmyst Isle

    November 4, 2010 at 7:38 PM

  2. gravatar
    Rades

    Thanks for the kind words! I really appreciate the suggestions but I'm really trying to stick to Northrend NPCs, or those whose stories occurred during the "timeline" of WotLK - almost like a "how did the war against the Lich King affect these people?" sort of idea. If you have any Northrend suggestions I'd be more than happy to take a look at them!

    Maybe an Azerothian edition will be come later. ;D

    November 4, 2010 at 10:45 PM

  3. gravatar
    kamaliaetalia

    D'oh, silly me, I hadn't twigged to the fact that these were all *Northrend" NPCs yet. :P Now I'm even more impressed and excited to see how many different stories you'll find.

    November 5, 2010 at 6:54 AM