Wolfheart (World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Book 3)
Richard A. Knaak
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In the wake of the Cataclysm, conflict has engulfed every corner of Azeroth. Hungering for more resources amid the turmoil, the Horde has pressed into Ashenvale to feed its burgeoning war machine. There, acting warchief Garrosh Hellscream has employed a brutal new tactic to conquer the region and crush its night elf defenders, a move that will cripple the Alliance’s power throughout Azeroth.
Unaware of the disaster brewing in Ashenvale, the night elves’ legendary leaders, High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind and Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage, conduct a summit near Darnassus in order to vote the proud worgen of Gilneas into the Alliance. However, resentment of Gilneas and its ruler, Genn Greymane, runs deep in Stormwind’s King Varian Wrynn. His refusal to forgive Genn for closing his nation off from the rest of the world years ago endangers more than just the summit: it threatens to unravel the Alliance itself.
Varian’s animosity is only one of many unsettling developments in Darnassus. An uneasiness creeps over the once-immortal night elves as the first of them fall victim to the infirmities of age. While they cope with their mortality, tensions flare over the reintroduction of the Highborne, formerly the highest caste of night elf nobility, into their society. Many night elves are unable to pardon the Highborne for the destruction unleashed millennia ago by their reckless use of magic.
When a murdered Highborne is discovered on the outskirts of Darnassus, Malfurion and Tyrande move to stop further bloodshed and unrest by appointing one of the night elves’ most cunning and skilled agents to find the killer: the renowned warden Maiev Shadowsong. Yet with all that is transpiring in Darnassus, the Alliance might be powerless to stop the relentless new warchief Garrosh from seizing the whole of Ashenvale.
never sent a party this deep in this region, and certainly not one of such size. She would have to send word to the general as soon as possible. For months, Shandris and the high priestess had been awaiting some act by the Horde that hinted of a change in the delicate balance between the two factions. Haldrissa now believed she had witnessed that very act. But what does this incursion augur? the wounded commander wondered anxiously. She had no answer. Still, whatever form it would take, the
more, the subject of Admiral Daelin Proudmoore a delicate one. His obsession with the orcs had led to his untimely death in battle against the half-breed Rexxar during the storming of Theramore’s keep. Rexxar, in whose veins ogre blood also flowed, had not wanted the admiral’s death, but Daelin had given them no choice. Admiral Proudmoore’s daughter still mourned him, even though his actions had forced her to side with the Horde over her own father. The high priestess hesitated, then asked, “And
should never have left her for so long in charge of Illidan’s imprisonment.” “I should have realized more than you, my love,” the archdruid countered. “He was my brother. My twin.” To Jarod, he explained, “When Illidan was liberated—after so many millennia—it was as if her entire life had been for nothing. Her greatest purpose had become keeping him imprisoned. Maiev was all but shattered.” “Yes, that would be how my sister would react. There was never a greater love for her than her duty.”
“Where did this happen?” The worgen again bared his teeth. “Not all that far from where you met your disaster. That was why I was near: I wanted to study the place where she died to see if there was any clue that would help us avenge her.” “And was there?” “The only clue was the trap that nearly did you in, night elf.” The Gilnean’s ears flattened. “There’s no more I can tell you.” The finality in the Gilnean’s tone made it clear that Jarod should not try to push. The night elf understood. “I
for those she loved. If Varian hoped to redeem himself to her memory, he would have to do the same. Varian steeled himself against the images of her death, doing instead what he knew she would have hoped of him. He was right to grieve, but he also had to move on . . . and learn. Most of all, he could continue to learn from her life, use it as the example of how he should confront all of the issues he continued to face as a father, man, and monarch. . . . Balance . . . Again the voice startled