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Vasilius

The Fall of Darrowshire - The tale of Vasilius Forgehammer

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These past few days I have been haunted by the memories of my past. I have come to realize that my power is growing and soon I will be strong enough to fulfill promises made long ago. Though I have followed the light all throughout my training, I fear the vengence within my heart will soon become to great to manage. My life was taken away from me, and at that moment, I vowed I would not rest until I repay one soul lost for another...

But you look bewildered. I have not shared my tale with you have I? Then perhaps you should take time to read this...

(hands you a worn and ragged leather journal)

The story within these pages is sadly the only of its kind...for I am one of the only ones left to tell it. Not even the remaining Redpaths of fallen Darrowshire can tell this tale. I was there to the very last moment, well after they had feld to find safety with the other few lucky townsfolk.

So please, take your time and read. When you are finished, I will try and answer any questions you may have.

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Third day, Selune - Spring

Father taught me how to make Runed Copper Boots today! Now I can make the whole set and send it off to my brother Cyrus over in Stormwind. I know that the Imperial infantry have much better equipment than this, but I promised Cyrus I would send him my first full set of armor to show him my progress. He says when I do, he’s going to bring it over to Brother Davil of the Silver Hand to see if I could apprentice there and learn to become an armorsmith! How exciting is that! But even if that did happen, I couldn’t leave father and mother. Darrowshire is such a small town, and if I leave, who will help during the winter months? Oh well, maybe it is best that I try not to get my hopes up. There is still a lot of work left to do around here without me day-dreaming about become a REAL blacksmith. I don’t think I’ll ever live up to father’s reputation. He has been making armor since the start of the second war. He was even asked by Turalyon himself to repair the fallen shield of Anduin Lothar after the battle of Blackrock Spire!

I don’t know, I kind of wish something as exciting as a war was going on. I know that is a terrible thing to say, but things here are so boring nowadays that I just wish I could have been a knight, fighting Orcs and destroying magical portals. Nothing like that ever happens here in Darrowshire... The worst we get is the occasional story of some sickness hitting towns across the land. Leave it to small townsfolk to make a big deal about a cold! I bet you my brother Cyrus already has a whole bag of Orc tusks from all the places he gets to go to on patrol with the Imperial infantry. Well anyways, mom is calling for supper so I’d best be heading down. Maybe later tonight Jonas and I will get to go down to Felstone’s field and push over some of his cows again!

~Vasilius

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Twenty-first day, Selune - Spring

Sorry I haven’t written in a while, things have been rather busy around town. I’ve been hearing more and more from travelers passing through that some plague has been affecting several towns throughout Lorderon. Nobody knows for sure, but people say it might be because of rats getting into the grain shipments coming out of Andorhal. We had a town meeting about it a few nights ago and it was decided that we don’t receive anymore shipments from there until this whole thing blows over. We have more than enough food in the storehouse to last our family for a few months, and the people have been growing crops in the commons ever since the last shipment of grain spoiled when the silo leaked. Father says it’s really nothing to worry about as long as we take care around incoming travelers and ration our food a bit.

I also got a letter from Cyrus today! He said that King Terenas Menethil II has sent him and his men along with a few brothers of the Silver Hand to investigate the situation in Andorhal, but he too says it is nothing to worry about. I just hope the other stories I hear aren’t true! Jonas says that he heard some of the people who have been getting sick from the grain have died, only to come back as ghouls moments later! He’s probably just trying to scare me, like when he told me that if I say "Kilrogg" three times with my eyes closed, they’d fall out! But I’m not a baby anymore, I’m 16!

~Vasilius

(Several pages are missing. You skip ahead to the next legible entry)

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First day, Tiras - Autumn

When will Cyrus get here!! When I last heard word from him, He and Brother Davil were on their way to aid us after pulling out from Andorhal! How can all this be happening?! Arthas killing the king, his own father! Then the destruction of Andorhal by him and his undead minions! These truly are our darkest days!

Captain Redpath has stationed the local militia around the outskirts of town to defend against the wandering undead. So far there hasn’t been anything serious coming our way other than a few shambling skeletons or ghouls. But he says that this is just the calm before the storm, and we shouldn’t get too comfortable. As much as I want to go out there with him and fight those things, I have to stay here in town and make sure mom, dad, and the other townsfolk are ok. Should one of those things sneak through the lines, no one here would be able to defend themselves for long. I guess all the sparing with Cyrus will come in handy. I just hope I don’t actually have to use it...

...I hope Cyrus comes soon. I’m starting to get scared...

~Vasilius

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Third day, Tiras - Autumn

Cyrus is finally here, and he and Brother Davil have arrived with some of the other Paladins of the Silver Hand! They say that before Arthas ravaged Andorhal, Brother Gavinrad battled him for quite some time before he was overpowered by him and his undead army. It seems many other Brothers of the Silver Hand have been slain by Arthas as well. Brother Davil says that the order may never be the same now with the loss of so many prominent members, but those who remain are more than enough to combat the evils of the undead scourge. I sure hope they are right. Cyrus and Brother Davil have been talking with Captain Redpath about the next step in keeping the town safe. With the new strength of the paladins, I’m sure we can keep whatever comes our way out of Darrowshire!

Cyrus says I need to start practicing my swordsmanship some more. He says the time has come to defend everything we hold dear and love. If the undead break through our forces, then everyone in the town will be lost.

Darrowshire stands in its final hours...may the light protect us all.

~Vasilius

(There is a gap between entries. The next recorded date picks up several weeks later.)

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Fifth day, Dathos - Winter

Death. I am surrounded by death. I cannot recall much of what happened past that fateful night, but what I can tell you is that all I have loved, all that I held dearest to me, has now been ripped from me by thousands of undead monsters and...him. Darrowshire is no more. All that haunts my mind now are the horrors that took place during that night... We had received word that the armies of the undead had arrived in force, led by the Ghoul Lord, Horgus, and the Death Knight, Marduk the Black. At first, Redpath’s militia, with the help of the paladins of the Silver Hand managed to stave off wave after wave of Horgus’s minions. It seemed like the day was won, that was until Horgus himself entered the battle. Knowing his power, Brother Davil alone confronted Horgus in the field and fought valiantly with him for what seemed like ages. Cyrus and Captain Redpath had rallied the men further into town to draw the scourge away from Brother Davil and prevent him from becoming overpowered.

Although Brother Davil managed to cleave the beast’s head from its body after the long battle, he was mortally wounded and fell. I ran with Cyrus to carry him back to the safety of the town while Captain Redpath and the rest of the militia kept the other undead occupied. Brother Davil entrusted his libram to my brother and I shortly before his passing, asking us to ensure its safe arrival at Stormwind Cathedral. It was also at that moment that we turned to witness that vile creature, Marduk the Black, riding upon his undead stead into battle. Wielding that monstrous blade, I watched as he cleaved a path of destruction through the remaining militia. Captain Redpath, grabbing the polearm off one of the fallen soldiers hurled it through the air, stabbing Marduk, and knocking him from his stead. It was not a moment before he lifted his sword to strike Marduk, that the Death Knight grabbed Redpath and with a swift, terrifying motion, tore lose his very soul and turned it black as oblivion itself.

What I saw then was not the man I had fought along side of, but a dark and twisted man, who’s evil spirt corrupted the hearts and souls of all his men still standing. At that very instant, the remaining militia turned on the few paladins still standing, slaying them as they attempted to guard the women and children left in the houses. Cyrus told me to help mother and father, as I watched him charge Marduk. With the power of the libram, Marduk could not use his evil powers against my brother, and knowing so, I glanced back to watch as their two blades clashed.

By the time I had reached the town, it was too late. The homes...my home...lay ablaze, fueled by the screams of the innocents trapped within. I do not remember how many of my former kinsmen I had slain after that moment. What I do know is that the hatred and rage I felt did not subside after the eleventh or twelfth man I cleaved in twain...

After I had done all that I could, I rushed back to try and help my brother fighting against Marduk, but when I arrived, it was to witness the hilt of Marduk’s blade pressed through Cyrus’s chest. It was then that I charged at Marduk, knowing full well the fate that lay in store for me, but was pulled aside as one of the remaining Dwarven captains, untainted by Redpath’s evil, took up his enchanted shield and lunged at Marduk. As he withdrew his blade from my brother and cast it upon the shield, the air cracked with thunder as the sword shattered and fell. I know not the name of that dwarven captain, but I will never forget his actions. Losing his sword, Marduk was forced to retreat from battle and allow his remaining minions to finish the battle. I ran to my brother side to find that although he had been severely wounded, he managed to stand and ready his blade. As I looked up, a new wave of undead soldiers charged towards us. As I turned to face my brother, I felt the sting of two arrows hit against my back. As I fell, I remained lucid enough to watch my brother carry me off, limping into the woods, as that noble dwarf captain suited on his helmet, and charged head first into the oncoming wave of death. I then passed out...

When I awoke, I found myself in a ward in Hearthglen. I was told that a contingent of Scarlet Crusade paladins came across me lying unconscious along the banks of Darrowmere Lake. They found nothing other than myself and a blood-covered libram tucked between my arms. There was no sign of my brother. They told me I could stay only long enough to recover from my wounds and then I must leave. The Scarlet Crusade trusted no one, not even the paladins of the Silver Hand, of being untouched by the plage of the scourge, and it was no different with me. I was lucky enough not to have been slain on the spot.

My wounds quickly healed, but I was left with nothing other than the spare clothes they had suited me with. None there showed any sort of sympathy towards me, but treated me with a sort of indifference, that which you would pay to a stray dog looking for scraps. They had taken Brother Davil’s libram, saying such a relic of power was lost in the hands of someone such as myself, and placed it so their paladins could read from it and draw strength from its teachings. But my stay there was not completely scorned. There was one there, a woman named Olisa, who tended to my wounds. She was a paladin there, but unlike her fellow brethren, she didn’t hold fast to their zealous ideals. Little by little, in secret, she taught me the ways of the light. I learned the basic skills required of a paladin and was outfitted with a weapon, though crude, able to defend myself in my future journeys. Before my due time to leave, she told me of an abbey just outside of Stormwind where I could learn more along the path of light and become a true paladin. I hope one day I can return and repay her for her kindness and compassion.

I have now reached the border of Elwynn Forest and Redridge. This will by my last entry within the pages of this journal. From this moment on, my life will be told by my deeds, not my past. Though it was import I had kept a record of the events that led to where I am today, I will never forget the promise I had made myself the very moment that creature pulled his blade from my brother. With every ounce of strength that I have within my body, I vow to slay Marduk the Black, that cursed Death Knight, and avenge my family and home!!

I know not the whereabouts of my brother, or the condition that he is in. If he is alive, then I promise I will find him. If he is dead, then I will discover where he remains. But if he should have somehow become something....else....then I promise that I will lay his soul to rest, by my blade...

Finally, I vow to find Lady Olisa and retrieve Brother Davil's libram and fulfill the promise I made to him before his death...

These are dark times we are facing....I only hope it does not consume me before my tasks are done...

~Vasilius

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