With fiercely beating hearts, we entered the massive gates of Icecrown Citadel. The dark stone and iron complex appeared to brood amid the mountains of Icecrown in the northern area of the continent of Northrend. Having completed the Trials of the Argent Crusade, our band of so-called heroes had been tasked with being part of the vanguard for the attack on the Lich King Arthas Menethil. Supported by an alliance between the Knights of the Ebon Blade and the Argent Crusade, now known as the Ashen Verdict, the way was made clear for us to spearhead the thrust into the very peaks of the citadel.
The Ashen Verdict had done its part. Fighting a pitched never-ending battle, they had secured a beachhead at the gates of the citadel. With a sizable force of soldiers, Highlord Tirion Fordring and Highlord Darion Mograine punched a way into the citadel at the Lower Spire.
Thus was the outpost of Light’s Hammer created, on the blood and corpses of the Alliance’s bravest men and women.
“Look sharp, everyone,” our leader Avierra hissed. She was a human paladin from the Alliance capital city of Stormwind. Even as she cinched her plate armor into place and examined her large 2-handed sword with a critical eye, her lips were moving in a prayer to the Light. “Mal and I will take point.”
Mal was her second, a night elf warrior from the outskirts of Darnassus. He hefted his oversized 2-handed sword in hand and grinned as if this was all just a game. “Hopefully, we run into some lovely damsels that need saving on the way.”
Avierra sighed. Mal’s behavior had always been a sticking point with her but there was no doubting his skill.
Our healing team was led by Brutusk, a draenei restoration shaman, supported by Adialetha, a human holy priestess, and Hotohuri, a night elf restoration druid.
Rounding out the team was Jarvisius, a human destruction warlock, Azmuth, a formerly human unholy death knight, Calimdan, a night elf feral druid, and Jizal, a human retribution paladin.
Oh, and of course there is myself, Bladewisp, a night elf marksman hunter. I adjusted the straps of my breastplate and unlimbered my longbow, a monster of a weapon close to my height in length able to hit the eye of a bull from 100 yards away or slam an arrow down to the fletching in the pallid flesh of an undead abomination. I pulled my helm low over my eyes and leaned against a nearby pillar, awaiting the signal to deploy.
Jarvisius was busy sorting various reagents in the pouches at his belt as he approached me. “You ready for this, Wips?” He seemed excited, almost eager to be off.
I nodded. “I’ve already got an arrow reserved especially for the Lich King’s eye.”
The warlock chuckled, a hollow rattling sound from beneath his dark hood. “We’ll have to get through his minions first, hunter. They won’t go down easily.”
I shrugged. “His servant, Anub’Arak, nearly killed us at the Trial. We still kicked his ass.”
“Let’s not get overconfident, hunter,” Adialetha remarked as she approached. The priestess appeared to be limned in a holy glow. The light seemed to push the darkness of the citadel back for a moment. “I’m certain we’re not the only team of heroes to brave the challenges within, just the latest. Be on your guard. Light help us all.”
“Light help us all indeed,” another voice replied. It was Jizal, who seemed more concerned with bashing heads than praising the Light. The light in his eyes was fervent, almost maniacal in intensity. “And Light help those undead monsters within. Their end draws nigh.”
Our discussion was interrupted by Avierra bashing her sword against the cold stone of the citadel. “Listen up, soldiers of the Alliance! Highlord Tirion Fordring speaks!”
Highlord Tirion Fordring rose from his seat and faced us all. He was resplendent in plate armor that glowed with the power of the Light. “Our march upon Icecrown Citadel begins now!”
Suddenly, seeming to come from the very stones of the citadel, the voice of Arthas, the Lich King, boomed out. “You now stand upon the hallowed ground of the Scourge. The Light won’t protect you here, paladin. Nothing will protect you…”
Avierra raised her sword high and it began to glow with a radiant light. She beckoned and we gathered around her just at the mouth of the portal leading into the citadel’s Lower Spire.
Tirion unsheathed his fabled sword Ashbringer and pointed it at the portal. “ARTHAS! I swore that I would see you dead and the Scourge dismantled! I’m going to finish what I started at Light’s Hope.”
The Lich King laughed. “You could have been my greatest champion, Fordring. A force of darkness that would wash over this world and deliver it into a new age of strife. But that honor is no longer yours. Soon, I will have a new champion. The breaking of this one has been taxing. The atrocities that I have committed upon his soul. He has resisted for so long, but he will bow down before his king soon.”
Suddenly, a new voice rang out. “NEVER! I… I will never… serve… you!”
Muradin Bronzebeard, the Alliance representative for the dwarves, seemed to turn white as a sheet. “That was Highlord Bolvar Fordragon! I thought he’d perished at the Wrathgate. We cannot let the Lich King turn him. Prepare the Skybreaker for an aerial assault!”
The Lich King laughed again. “In the end you will all serve me.”
The dwarf spoke to Avierra. “You’ll need to find a place within from which to board the Skybreaker. There’s a platform just above the Lower Spire. You’ll need to fight your way there. Hurry, we’ll be there to transport you to the Upper Spire. Time is of the essence!”
Avierra signaled. She and Mal moved out closely followed by Jizal and Calimdan. The healers came next, flanked by Azmuth and Jarvisius. As usual, I took up the rear, arrow nocked and bow held at the ready.
Thus we entered Icecrown Citadel, stronghold of the Lich King. Light help us.