A plan long in the making

Gennic Revaith was an old hand at doing his research.

Years of service to Lordaeron, and following his undeath, service to the Banshee Queen as a Deathstalker, honed his patience and his penchant for thorough research. After years serving as a silent observer and guard, then an active combatant on the Gilnean front, and finally the Darkshore occupation force, he had some personal leave. Years had passed since his jubilation upon hearing of the demise of his longtime enemy, and now he worked to get the last laugh.

It had started with a rumor, and some eavesdropping onto conversations in taverns and bars. Gennic then moved into long-range scouting, listening, and lifting notices and reports from the pockets of the Alliance couriers. Finding information on his quarry had been difficult, extraordinarily so, considering whom he was targeting. All of his effort, was worth it, to Gennic’s mind at least. He had been beaten, embarrassed, and humbled too many times by the man. Undeath had given Gennic the patience to endure, because he knew the final victory would be his.

It was not until he had found the final place of rest for his adversary, that Gennic decided to enact his revenge. Reaching out for an individual with certain skills, was the biggest risk of exposure he had taken yet. Despite all his reservations though, Gennic was wonderfully rewarded. Donovann Harmarth, his lucky find seemed shadowsent to his aid.

The terms had been agreed upon in the Cleft of Shadows, and for only a small pittance of coin, and a favor in return, Donovann would assist in Gennic’s plan. Parting with a yellow toothed smile, and an admittedly cruel gleam in his eyes, the Forsaken Deathstalker was about to have quite the perfect vacation.

Soon, he would finally get to pay his old ‘friend’, the Stormwind agent Cross, a visit…


It had been ages since Donovan Harmarth had dealt in the type of magic he’d agreed to in any significant sense. Capturing souls on his victims in Soul Gems and Soul Shards to fuel other spells was one thing, but calling one back from beyond was another matter entirely.

The thought crossed his mind, to some amusement, that his father would actually have been far better suited to this particular task, but he was a fool who insisted on living his un-life among the living.

The identity of the target had been a most unexpected delight. Dealing an emotional blow to his son by striking at one of his closest old friends from beyond the grave was too wonderful an opportunity to pass up.

Of course, sending a message to keep Jon occupied alert through Gennic was a nice bonus, as well.

Donovan shook himself from these thoughts. He needed to prepare for such a ritual. He had to admit, he would be rusty unless he prepared himself properly. And for such a golden opportunity, he would make sure he was fully prepared. And of course, he would need to arrange a distraction to ensure Jonathan didn’t catch wind and interfere, as well…

There was much to do.

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(Kae is gonna be so damn mad I swear lol)

Time was his eternal ally, and Gennic Revaith knew to utilize it well. After all, being undead had few perks, but eternal life, and the ability to outlast all his enemies was definitely one of them.

He had long since established a connection in Booty Bay, with several informants who passed him information for coin. Two goblins, a troll, and a very odd human woman had all agreed to feed him their observations in exchange for a small stipend every month. Most of their information was useless. Gennic cared not for the current gossip, or the rumors around town, or even the mercenaries who frequented the port town. Gennic decided to up the payment, and receive a service for once.

Razzik Greesegutt was one of his goblin contacts, who so happened to own a small fishing boat. A former bruiser in the town, now fishing up stolen valuables, and cast away items from ships passing by, Razzik had the means to deliver Gennic and his ally Donovann to Westfall by seldom monitored routes. Westfall was not a high priority to the kingdom of Stormwind, and likely would not be patrolling for a small goblin boat coming up from Booty Bay.

So, Gennic grinned with anticipatory pleasure as he penned the letters he’d need to his commanding officer, telling him of his expected destination in the event of his failure to return, and one to Razzik, to prepare everything needed for the trip. After putting down his pen, and standing from the desk in his tent, he plucked up the communicator dangling from his belt, and sent word to Donovann. “Our vacation plans are finalized, and I eagerly await our expedition. Two days from now, Booty Bay’s warm breezes and clear waters should be an excellent start for our trip.”

Tucking the communicator back onto his belt, he strode confidently towards the entrance of the tent, stopping only to retrieve his backpack from the floor, and exited the flaps to greet the dark night of Darkshore. Hefting his backpack, with a clattering of vials he had been given, Gennic set off to complete his end of the deal, knowing for certain that Donovann would keep his.

Worgen were cunning, cruel, and ferocious enemies, but Gennic knew their savagery all too well. He’d add a few more hides to his collection this night, and leave behind a few surprises that Donovann had given him. Honoring the fallen was something the Alliance did in excess, but wasting good potions found on the corpse? No, they would redistribute the supply.

And what a fun surprise those dogs would be in once they finally figured it out.


The communication came in the middle of some preparations for the trip ahead. A bit of light practice with the type of magic he’d be using, together with preparing a small distraction of his own. Beraine Shatterhorn was by far his most recognisable ally, and Donovan planned to take advantage of that. By deploying her to the warfront at Darkshore, he would be able to provide her with some entertainment, and likely draw Jonathan’s attention. The boy would no doubt begin watching Darkshore closely.

That served his purposes in the coming endeavor quite nicely. His attention would be all the way on the other side of the world from the business with Gennic. Two days, and it would begin. Donovan had reassured himself that he was perfectly capable of the task ahead. It would be interesting to watch events unfold. Most interesting indeed…

Two days to make final preparations, then he needed to make sure he was in Booty Bay. If nothing else, he was all but guaranteed not to encounter Jonathan there.

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Gennic stepped off the ferry in Booty Bay, walking casually into the port town.

The day of departure had come, and he was eager to see it done right. The sun had not yet risen, but the first of the citizens were beginning to rouse and move about. Fisherman, shopkeeps, and harbor workers, all begging to move about the docks and gangways. Gennic took note of each one, discerning who was taking note of a lone Forsaken here in the Eastern Kingdoms, but few did. Neutral towns saw all sorts of folk, and he was just another arrival.

Dressed in simple leather armor, a decent shirt fit for a laborer, and carrying only a single dagger openly, Gennic surprisingly fit into the crowd. Adjusting his backpack straps on his shoulders, he trudged towards a small house tucked into the back of the town, near cliff edge.

Knocking on the door, Gennic waited patiently until a very disgruntled goblin voice called out from the other side of the door. “Hey! Do ya’ know what time it is?! I’m comin’, I’m comin’, hold ya horses!”. The door lock clicks, and swings open, showing a portly, older goblin dressed in a nightgown. “Whadd’ya wa-Oh… Mister Revaith, didn’t know you was comin’ this early.”

Gennic rolled his eyes and sighed, “A nightgown… really? Just let me in and for the love of the Dark Lady, get dressed. I have another coming, and you have a boat to make ready. No?” Walking past the goblin, into the house, Gennic dropped his backpack near the door, and moves to sit in a wooden chair near a small dining table set in the corner of the home. As Razzik shut the door and began walking into a back bedroom, Gennic peered around. It was a small abode, with a sitting area in the front room, a work table set against the wall near the front door, and a bookshelf near the bedroom entry way. Gennic was seated at the only dining table, and the chair was far too short to seat him comfortably.

Razzik came out of the bedroom after a few minutes had passed, dressed in a coarse linen shirt, leather breeches, and rough leather boots. Still in the process of putting on his belt, the old goblin moved to the front door, preparing to open it. “I don’t do this normally, but you’re payin’ and I don’t expect to do this again, capiche? Half up front, as we agreed yeah? I’mma gonna get the boat ready. She’s an oldie, but sweet as can be I tell ya.”

Gennic nodded and grinned, “You’ll have your gold. I promised after all.”

As Razzik disappeared out the door into the early dawn, Gennic waited for a moment before rising to thoroughly inspect the home for any traps, listening devices, or entrances that he had not known about. Finding none, Gennic moved to peer out a window near the front door, keeping himself against the farthest corner, watching for Donovann’s arrival, his dagger in his hand just in case Razzik had betrayed him.


Donovan was a fairly common sight in Booty Bay. He made frequent visits to trade supplies, and meet with various ne’er-do-wells for various reasons. As such, he felt no need to disguise himself or hide his appearance.

His eyes had already confirmed Gennic’s arrival at the location where they were to meet. The Goblin, he could only assume was the ferry to their location. The Goblin had already left, presumably to make preparations, Donovan let himself in with a knock. “Nearly time, then. I’m prepared for the day. Jonathan knows nothing. Our combined distractions are a success. I take it the Goblin I saw leaving is our ride?”

Ephrius Hornetstaff gasped for breath, jerking into a sitting position as their Soulstone returned them to life. Judging by the shattered tree that had fallen around them, their encounter with one specific Tauren Death Knight hadn’t gone well for them at all.

If anything, it had been hilariously one-sided. The worgen winced with discomfort as the healing energies within the Soulstone struggled to mend their flesh, which had been practically stomped flat by powerful hooves after their defeat.

The peculiar warlock-alchemist frowned, shaking their head in disappointment— both with themself, and with how their day had turned out as of a few minutes ago.

From their perspective, it had hardly been a fair fight at all: they’d been kneeling down and trying to identify a potion they’d found on a slain Alliance soldier… when suddenly, they heard a suspiciously intimidating roar. It wasn’t easy to intimidate this suicidally-overconfident and possibly masochistic spellblade.

Standing up to find the source of the noise, they turned around just in time to see a very large… very heavily armored… and very angry Tauren charging full-speed-ahead at them.

The battle hadn’t lasted much longer after that— despite their skill, the warlock hardly had time to react, let alone attempt to go into their Metamorphosis form.

As for what they’d been doing there in the first place, well… they were hardly ever one to blindly trust an unlabelled potion. Especially one that they hadn’t made. And as soon as they’d opened the bottle, their sensitive nose combined with their Alchemical knowledge told them that it definitely wasn’t something as simple as a healing potion.

So when they found the potion while scavenging from bodies after some time incinerating Horde in Darkshore, of course they couldn’t just ignore it! Unfortunately, they hadn’t gotten much time to investigate, after the deadly ambush.

Unsurprisingly, the potion bottle hadn’t survived their encounter with Beraine, having been broken rather early in the brief fight. So imagine their surprise and suspicion when they found another one on a different body… and another one. And each one seemed to be just alike!

After spending a while longer searching some of the various bodies across the area for usable items, Ephrius gave up and eventually made their way to the personal laboratory within their home, managing to securely teleport there with a custom Hearthstone. They had some research to do… but they also felt like they deserved some rest. Because… ow. That polearm had kind of hurt, even to them.


Gennic simply nodded upon opening the door to Razzik’s house for Donovann, “That he is. He should be ready now. He’s smart enough to forget we ever came once we’re done here.” Picking up his backpack, Gennic and left the house with Donovann following behind.

Moving casually down to the docks, Gennic steered the duo to a small, motor driven fishing boat that was idling at the end of the pier. Razzik was finishing some work on the motor when the two undead arrived. “You’re here then! Good good, now let’s get going, I don’t wanna be seen loiterin’ here any more.”

Climbing aboard, and settling in to the small boat’s wheelhouse, Gennic and Donovann sat in silence, as Razzik took the helm. The mooring lines untied, the Shiny Queen, Razzik’s chosen name for the boat, began the journey for Westfall.

Quite a length of time passed, Razzik boredly piloting the craft along the shoreline, up to Westfall. Upon reaching the southwestern coast of Westfall, Razzik dropped anchor and idled the motor. “We’re 'ere. Be quick about you, will ya?” Gennic, shot Razzik a look as he climbed to the shore, “Don’t ever tell me what to do, Goblin. You’re being paid enough for your services and silence. Don’t make me take more than the gold back from you.”

Razzik paled and slid backtowards the boat’s motor. “I’ll be 'ere. Motor’s got a suction problem I’ll work on, so feel free to come back whenever.” Gennic nodded once, before hopping down to join Donovann on the shore.

Gennic, shifted the backpack on his back and scanned the area before looking at Donovann, “We’ll follow the map, get to the site, conduct our business and be on our way. I’ll scout ahead, and defer to you upon arrival. Whatever you require of me.”

As they approached the site, Donovan readied himself. Using the base of his scythe, he began to etch symbols into the dirt, a small circle of power to aid the ritual. While he was reasonably certain of his ability, he wanted to leave nothing to chance.

With the preparations in place, all that was left was to perform the ritual itself. Donovan stepped forward, and began drawing on power to reach out into the beyond. Gathering a host of souls to power their spells was one thing, but calling one specific soul from the beyond was another matter entirely.

Truth be told, this task might have been trivial for a Death Knight, but fortune had granted Donovan this opportunity to strike at one of Jonathan’s closest friends even from beyond the grave, and in so doing strike an emotional blow against Jonathan himself. Not one of his friends or allies was safe from Donovan’s machinations. He had witnessed Beraine’s successful ambush of the… interesting creature that was Ephrius Hornetstaff, even if it had not been a permanent measure. And one of his eyes had even spotted Jonathan himself taking to Darkshore. He was completely oblivious to what Donovan worked at here.

And this task itself, once discovered, would provide Donovan with more time to pursue other projects, once his task here was complete. Every aspect worked in his favor. So long as the ritual succeeded, Donovan had no cause to worry. So long as the soul of Arlston Cross reached the gem prepared by Gennic, Donovan’s efforts would benefit.

There was no need to disturb the grave; this was not the Banshee Queen’s agenda, and Donovan was not overly fond of her brand of turning one’s enemies against their allies. Her method required either trusting, or forcing them to become HER ally instead. Donovan much preferred to simply unleash chaos, and watch from a distance. After all, if they were willing to betray their friend to side with you, who was to say they wouldn’t be willing to betray YOU, as well? No, there were much better approaches, thought Donovan.

While these thoughts flitted through Donovan’s mind, the ritual concluded at last, his musings a convenient, devious distraction used by a devious writer to avoid having to detail the ritual itself. Donovan stepped back, and bowed to Gennic. “Agent Cross is at your mercy, my friend.”

Gennic stepped forward to collect the gem, and the two turned to leave without another word, back toward the boat. The task was done. Donovan was eager to learn what Gennic might have planned.

Nearly three in the morning, and Kaellar was awake as usual. Tonight, he had taken to patrolling—his wife would call it pacing, but what was patrolling if not productive pacing—about the logging camp, the moon lighting what the low lanterns didn’t. His blade and his armor were familiar weights, but he found little comfort in them tonight.

Something felt wrong, had felt wrong for some time now, but he had simply suppressed it; living across the river from Duskwood occasionally disturbed even those without unnatural connections to the restless dead. This was different though, something closer to that instinctive sense of dread that used to precede a costly battle… or something like the Plaguelands ambush that had resulted in his current condition. He grimaced and paused to let his charger catch up to him. “Keep an eye on Westfall,” that stranger had said, but there was really only one thing—one person—worth visiting there as far as Kaellar was concerned.

“Well, Cat. We haven’t seen Arlston in a while.” The undead stallion only snorted and turned west even as Kaellar swung up into the saddle.

The smaller animals of Westfall fled from him and his horse. Even the vultures seemed to know better than to follow a death knight whose ire was up. Catalyst left heavy, faint scorch prints as he galloped, releasing a scream loud enough to wake the dead. Kaellar allowed himself a wry smile at the thought, and let his horse enjoy the charge.

They slowed only once they approached the little, slightly battered graveyard close to Moonbrook. Most of the graves were worn with age, but the one Kaellar dismounted before was still relatively new. The man knelt, prosthetic smoothly shifting beneath his weight. He dusted a few stray leaves away from the headstone. “Been a while, lad,” he murmurs. “Been busy.”

A gauntlet rested on the cool stone, tracing lightly over the name. Arlston Cross. He smiled faintly, but paused. Something was off. Catalyst snorted, stamping a hoof as he sensed his rider’s sudden tension. A bony muzzle snorted faintly over the edge of the grave.

The grass was burnt. And when Kaellar closed his eye, and listened… Nothing. Nothing but the acrid, crawling cold of shadow. His eye snapped open and he stood, following his charger’s gaze. Burnt grass, shadow, and the loss of something that felt very, very important. Kaellar’s eye narrowed, and he swung up into Catalyst’s saddle. That magic was still in the air. The command was silent, but Catalyst answered it with a rear and a charge, cold eyes following the scent of shadow.

Rage, cold and deep, settled in his chest, and the worn letter that rested in a pocket beneath his breastplate felt like ice against his nerve-deadened skin. Someone was going to regret this. Catalyst screamed, mirroring his master’s rage, and galloped on.


The distance to the coast is swallowed under massive, heavy hooves, and the charger skids to a halt, screaming in anger when Kaellar yanks him to a stop at the edge of the water.

Oil, thick and clear on the water, moving just off shore… and south. He narrows his eye. Kaellar pulls his hearthstone into his hand,quick, rapid-fire words into it to several different people. Jonathon Harmarth, Mithara, Turrick, and nearly all other former Terran members. “Arlston Cross’s grave has been defaced, his soul disturbed and stolen. I have an ocean trail leading southward of those who did it. Any who can, me at the coast west of the Gold Stone Quarry.”

Catalyst screams the moment the stone is tucked away, hooves splashing in the surf and freezing the water as his master’s magic flows outward. Kaellar scowled at the oil in the water. Goblins.

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Floating amidst a number of other stones on a wooden shelf, the chime was one the mage hadn’t heard in a very, very long time. She cocked her head at the message, frowning. Minnu had been a bit lost in personal matters at the time of Arlston’s passing, but when the news had eventually reached her had still been immensely upsetting. So many wasted opportunities and chances in that chapter. Bah. She set the quill neatly into its enchanted well—there was hardly an unenchanted inch of space in the rented room in the Bay—and quietly packed things into the appropriate safes. Her clients could wait another day or two.

A small, elegantly penned note was left on the dresser with a generous stack of coin for the sleeping form in the bed before Min settled her pack across her chest and grabbed her staff and the stone, seeking the source of the message. The coast west of the Gold Coast Quarry… She stepped to a corner and began to draw runes against the wood until they glowed faintly, then brighter…and Booty Bay vanished enitrely.

The flash of her reappearance wasn’t nearly as dramatic as it had been even a few years ago. Minnu stood ankle deep in surf, looking up at the death knight upon his mount. “Kaellar. It’s been a very long time. But you called?”

Jonathan had been up late that night, analyzing one of the potions that had been retrieved from Darkshore. He knew his father was behind it, but he had to be certain exactly what it was. He had his suspicions, but any confirmation was better than nothing.

Then came the message from Kaellar. Beneath his fur, his face went pale. Retrieving an old letter from where it was kept safe, he unfolded it to read over it once more.

Tucking it away into a pocket, he gathered his equipment. Before long, the worgen was tearing through the streets of Stormwind, and out the city gates, bound for Westfall.

Cold fury thundered through his mind. Whoever was behind this would pay dearly.

Arlston Cross

Ketlan Stoneheardt and he had never been on best of terms however much her husband had trusted the man. Still, they had a mutual respect and it had pained her the day she’d been tasked to bring his body home. The idea of losing him again, his very soul threatened, unsettled her even more as a priestess.

Snowbeak was tired of being cooped up in Stormwind. Ketlan examined the gryphon’s barding and armor; all the usual checks she’d do before entering any battle zone. They took off southward, a white speck against the sky, as Ketlan kept her eyes to the coast and any signs of trouble.

Eigga set down her hammer with a frown, wiping the sweat from her brow as the ringing of her hammer fades away. Was that…? She grumbles and dives into the box holding her aunt’s few possessions, and finally digs out the stone. She listens intently. Arlston…Arlston…she nods once, and heads to get armored up. Her auntie had told stories of the man, and held him in high regard. The least she could do was offer her help in the matter.

She settles her warhammer in it’s harness on Ironbeak’s saddle before settling in herself, the gryphon leaping up into the air and making it’s way towards the Coast.

It was difficult to pinpoint the feeling, between things, between the stench of constant battle. The air was thick with it. It threatened to choke her. Long gone were the days of sermons outside of the Cathedral in Stormwind. That seemed a distant memory. The confrontation days ago, the reassurance. In all of this, she’d lost sight of things.

In many ways, she was free. Free to serve her purpose as a soldier of the Light, to aid the Alliance in ways she had not been able to prior. She knew that her family was safe. Foravin was with the girls, Daisy and Sascha, the boys long gone from the home. Her place in this war was one of selfishness. The days had blurred together after a time, war had a way of doing that. Her eyes closed and she laughed, “Damnit Eidan, you’re still chiding me from the beyond.”

But the feeling was there. Something was wrong. Her family was -not- safe. Her armored hand reached for the marble heart around her neck. “Brother.” She whispered to the night. Genevra Stoneheardt-Nash took a deep breath before heading through the camp, “I need a portal!” She called to any mage who would listen.

Witheeis frowned as he put his stone away. “What could Kaellar have gotten into that Mithara is sending me along after him…” He sighed heavily as he whistled for his hawkstrider. Looking out he nodded once, and made way for the harbor in Stormwind. He’d take the easier path and run down the coast.

With each step turning the water to ice as his hawkstrider ran at full speed, he could see the area coming into view. He hadn’t been to Westfall at all in the past few months, so he felt a pang of guilt surge through him. He swung down from the mount and into the sand and strode over to Kaellar.

“I don’t know what’s going on, but Mithara sent me, so, here I am.”

Not having been informed of anything besides who was behind crafting the potions they identified, Ephrius sipped some tea while they lied back in a luxurious leather recliner, unaware of the soul-related peril that someone they hadn’t met was in.

“I wonder what my friends are doing! I don’t think I’ve seen many of them in the Recluse recently.”