Chapter 13: The Betrayal
"How long until we march upon Light's Hope my lord?"
"Soon, Alyxxal. Soon. I want the Scarlet Crusade to know my wrath." Arthas clenched his fist as he made his statement.
"Shall I march with others?" Alyxxal asked.
"No, but you will keep the rear guarded as to not allow anyone to escape."
Alyxxal and Arthas looked out towards the Scarlet Enclave, ready to make their final stand at Light's Hope. The Scarlet Crusade was making their final stand in their fortress, but Arthas had other plans for them. Any new recruits were to take an army of frostwyrms and decimate them from the sky. In the end, it didn't matter if the Lich King suffered casualties, all he cared about was the Crusade's extinction.
The final battle at the enclave was relatively short, as the battle ended about an hour after it began, bodies of both human and undead littering the field. The Lich King made the motion for the surviving recruits to move towards Light's Hope and to report to Highlord Darion Mograine, wielder of Ashbringer Corrupted. Alyxxal stayed behind until everyone was ready. She kept a watchful eye on the battle from the exit of the Noxious Glade, making sure no one escaped, Paladin or Death Knight.
Present at the battle were a score of new Death Knight recruits, ten thousand undead soldiers, Highlord Darion Mograine, Orbaz Bloodbane, Thassarian, and Koltira Deathweaver. Alyxxal looked on and say the defenders of lights hope, unaware of the small group of death knights awaiting them, as well of the thousands of scourge ready to be risen. Then, Darion broke the silence.
"Death knights of Acherus, the death march begins!" Darion shouted, raising Ashbringer in the air. "Soldiers of the Scourge, death knights of Archerus, minions of the darkness: hear the call of the Highlord! RISE!"
At that moment, the ground shook, and the undead horde started to rise from the ground. Alyxxal gave a smile as she was about to witness history in the making. The utter destruction of Light's Hope.
"The skies turn red with the blood of the fallen! The Lich King watches over us, minions! Onward! Leave only ashes and misery in your destructive wake!"
And so it has begun, the battle for Light's Hope Chapel. Paladins defending their sanctuary were cut down by the legion of undead. The Death Knight army, unwavering by the presence of Mograine. After thirty minutes of slaughter, there was an uneasy presence that filled the air. The ground shook again, but not to unleash more undead, but the light itself exploded from beneath the chapel. Alyxxal wondered what was going on, and who could summon such power. Undead after undead fell, and the army was no more. The death knights surrendered as Highlord Tirion Fordring came out into the field. Alyxxal peered into the distance and noticed Orbaz Bloodbane running into the Noxious Glade. Alyxxal snuck into the shadows and stiff armed him to the ground.
"And where do you think you are going, worm?" Alyxxal said narrowing her eyes. She withdrew her sword and pointed it at Orbaz's throat.
"You're a fool! The Lich King has no plans for these helpless fools! Don't you realize that all he wanted was to bring Fordring out?"
"You lie." Alyxxal slowly started pressing her sword into Orbaz's neck.
"Begone!" Arthas appeared from behind Alyxxal and launched her into a large boulder, knocking the wind out of her. "Orbaz, you best be wise to leave. As for you Alyxxal, I had no plans for you either, but it was amusing that you have done most of my work for me, and for that, you will be allowed to live. As for your powers..."
"You... bastard..." Alyxxal muttered.
"I will be taking them back." Arthas raised Frostmourne at her and started draining most of her powers from her. She screamed an unholy scream and lurched in pain. "I hope you do well to remember that I am the leader of the Scourge, that I am in command. May whatever comes this way takes your miserable life!"
Arthas walked away towards Light's Hope, finishing what he had originally come here for, Tirion's life.
"Touching..." Arthas said, draining Highlord Alexandros Mograine's soul.
"You have forsaken me, bastard! Face the might of Mograine!" Darion charged in, Ashbringer held high, towards Arthas with resounding fury. Arthas quickly drew Frostmourne and batted him away like a fly.
"Pathetic..." Arthas shook his head in disappointment. "He's mine now..."
"You're a damned monster, Arthas!" Tirion exclaimed.
"You were right, Fordring. I did send them in to die. Their lives are meaningless, but yours..." Arthas said, pointing at Tirion. He gave a sinister laugh and continued, "How simple it was to draw the great Tirion Fordring out of hiding. You're left yourself exposed, paladin. Nothing will save you..."
Fordring instantly buckled to the ground, gasping for air as Arthas launched a draining spell on him. The rest of the paladins started to charge in as Maxwell Tyrosus gave the command to attack The Lich King.
"APOCALYPSE!" Arthas yelled out in fury, casting a powerful spell that kills the charging defenders. Now all seemed lost, until Darion started to shuffle behind Arthas.
"That day is not today... Tirion!" And with his remaining strength, Darion threw Ashbringer towards Tirion, who catches it and becomes bathed in the light, cleansing Ashbringer in the process. A surge of power flowed through Tirion, healing him of his wounds. He slowly turned his head up to meat Arthas's.
"What is this?" A surprised Arthas yelled.
"Your end." Tiron grips Ashbringer tight and charges towards Arthas, who begins to turn and run away. Tirion gave a mighty slash, knocking Arthas back about thirty feet into the ground. Arthas slowly got up to see Tirion staring at him. Defeated, Arthas opens a portal behind him.
"Impossible..." groaned Arthas. "This... isn't... over..."
Tirion continued to look at Arthas, unmoving, ready to strike again.
"When next we meet it won't be on holy ground, paladin." Arthas disappears, and the battle for Light's Hope was over, with the defenders winning.
Tirion cast a spell to revive those who have recently fallen to Arthas, and motioned them to listen.
"Rise, Darion, and listen..." Tirion said slowly, getting his bearings straight.
"We have all been witness to a terrible tragedy. The blood of good men has been shed upon this soil! Honorable knights, slain defending their lives - our lives! And while such things can never be forgotten, we must remain vigilant in our cause!" Tirion started to pace around the chapel grounds.
"The Lich King must answer for what he has done and must not be allowed to cause further destruction to our world. I made a promise to you now, brothers and sisters: The Lich King will be defeated! On this day, I call for a union. The Argent Dawn and the Order of the Silver Hand will come together as one! We will succeed where so many before us have failed!" He stopped in front of the Chapel and turned his gaze towards the paladins and the death knights before him.
"We will take the fight to Arthas and tear down the walls of Icecrown! The Argent Crusade comes for you, Arthas!" Tirion exclaimed, raising his hand into the air.
"So too do the Knights of the Ebon Blade... While our kind has no place in your world, we will fight to bring an end to the Lich King. This I vow!" Darion stands up and opens up a portal to Acherus. "Death knights! Let's cleanse Acherus and reclaim it for the Knights!"
"WAIT!" The voice was loud and raspy, coming from the Noxious Glade. Alyxxal slowly crawled out, towards the remaining death knights that stood before her.
"You!" Darion marched towards Alyxxal, picking her up by the throat. "What makes you think I shouldn't kill you here and now!"
"Darion!" Tirion boomed across the field. "Let her speak."
"Put me down, cur." Alyxxal said faintly. Darion released his grip and dropped her to the ground. Alyxxal started wheezing, gasping for air. The blow she took from the boulder was affecting her lungs. She regained her composure and looked upon the death knights. "I know what you're thinking. 'She was closest to Arthas. How can we trust her?' Hear me out. He too betrayed me and left me for dead. I have naught the power I used to. And what of Orbaz?"
"What of him?" Darion asked angrily.
"Where is he now? Surely you didn't notice him run off after the undead horde fell?" Alyxxal grabbed her chest, bringing herself up from to eye level with Darion, who Alyxxal
couldn't tell if he was surprised or still giving her an angry expression. "He ran, yes, and now he's once again a favored pawn of the Lich King."
"Perhaps Arthas will throw him away just as he did with you. What's your point?" Darion was getting frustrated dealing with his tormentor, or at least was his tormentor. Now the roles were reversed.
"I want vengeance. Against Orbaz. Against Arthas. I will serve under you." Alyxxal kneeled on the ground, extending her hand. Amused, Darion laughed as he slapped her hand away.
"I will not take you. What use will you be with your powers gone? You're weak now. Weaker than even the initiates. Perhaps someone will come along and take you in. Maybe Silvermoon? That's right, they wouldn't accept you even if you had your powers and even swore allegiance. You have nowhere to go, Alyxxal. Everyone knows who you are, and when they find you in your current state, they will enjoy killing you. Now leave me be, I have a false king to slay."
Darion walked away and motioned the death knights into the portal to Acherus. Tirion gave Darion a threatening stare before he left. Shaking his head and giving a long sigh, Tiron walked towards Alyxxal, picking her up and healing her in the process.
"Don't mind Darion, young Blood Elf. I know who you really are, or, who you were. Alyxxia of Silvermoon, one of the grandest warriors ever to leave that famed city."
Alyxxal turned her head and looked at Tirion. "Thank... you?"
"I'll tell you what. There is a lot of things I have been hearing recently in that city. Whether you know it or not, a High Paladin has been crowned queen recently, and from what some of my scouts have been telling me, she is looking for people to join her cause. A unity between Horde and Aliiance. To work together to face the dangers of the world. Perhaps they could accept you in?"
"I don't remember much of my past, but I don't think they will take me in to kindly. Why not join with you?"
"Darion will work with me, but how well is another story. So long as he's around, he will find away to leave you on the side to die. You have talents that can be used elsewhere, as well as intelligence. If it will make you feel better, I will personally escort you to Silvermoon."
Shocked, Alyxxal quickly said, "Tirion, you don't have to..."
"Consider it my honor." Tirion said as he bowed. "Know this. I know more about you then you know. I've been watching you for some time, learning everything about you. I didn't think Arthas had this in plan for you. You were slowly becoming more powerful each and every day, eventually, you would surpass even his power. What Arthas doesn't know is that your powers are unique. They will slowly come back in full, and when they do, I will invite you to the final march on Icecrown."
"I... Thank you Tirion." For the first time in a long time, Alyxxal gave a smile that wasn't sinister or of pure evil. She smiled because she had hope. She was betrayed, and she wanted vengeance. A small amount of her former self emerged in this moment. What happened to the cruelty, the pure hate and malice she once held? It wasn't gone, just being held in check. "What time do we leave?"