Monday, June 25 What manner of hell is this? I scarcely believe what has happened, and I try every minute to convince myself that this isn’t real. I awoke several days ago not far from here, weak as death, cold as a winter’s night, with a nasty bump on my head the size of a bird’s egg. I was laid out in a mausoleum, and my arms were crossed upon my chest! Someone had made a fateful mistake: I’m not dead yet. I crawled up the stairs and into the light to find a world that looked all wrong: the shadows of the trees were too dark, and the moon in the night sky was painfully bright at the same time. I begged some food from a ragged-looking fellow at a nearby building and collapsed into a deep slumber. Waking, I explored the village. It is unknown to me, and the locals speak a peculiar dialect. I asked directions to the inn, and they directed me to a nearby town, several miles away through a fearsome wood alive with furtive shadows. From far away I heard a lute playing an ominous tune. I followed the strange music to a squalid town set at the foot of a large hill, nestled by the woods. I struggled to remember what had brought me to this place, but was answered only with incredible pain in my head. As I’m still very weak from my injuries, I will rest here at the inn a few days more while I try to remember everything that has happened. Wednesday, June 27 The sun is dim today and gives no warmth, and I’m in a foul mood. All my life, the forests and the woodland creatures have been the joy of my heart, so I went for a walk in the hills north of town (more of a stagger, really, as I’m still quite weak), but this dark forest holds no soothing songs for my soul, and the creatures are all vicious and surly. I slew a boar, intending to cook it, but I was so hungry that I gobbled its tough flesh raw as I clawed it from the carcass with my bare hands. The weakness is still overwhelming, so I’ve returned to the inn to rest and remember. I remember traveling to the Plaguelands. My dear nephew, Conalach, had asked me to accompany him into the old ruins of Scholomance, a prospect I didn’t relish. My brothers and I had long since scoured the place of evil, but Conalach told me that a party of adventurers had ventured into the ruins and had not returned. Knowing his tendency to exaggerate, I suspected that he was merely fascinated by what must have seemed the irresistible lure of a haunted mansion. But seeing that he was determined to investigate, my sister, Shelagh, begged me to go with him. Our journey from Darnassus was tedious…and my mind is still clouded with a thick fog. Must rest. Thursday, June 28 My mood grows grimmer by the day. Apparently I’m so weak that I lack the strength to shapeshift! This enrages me. How can I be sundered from my forms? It’s astonishing. This damned sickness, whatever it is, may be the death of me yet. My head throbs mercilessly and my limbs are very weak. Small wonder that someone mistook me for a dead man! It occurs to me that I’m lucky to be alive. In the meantime, I’ve paid out most of my meager silver to a local charlatan to train me in some rather dubious spellcraft. The spells he taught me were weak, and I thrashed him for a fraud and left him bleeding by the road. My brethren would surely be aghast to learn that I have dabbled in the dark arts, but there is no other course if I am to fend for myself in this wretched place. Soon I must set out for the city to see if I can acquire a wand for a reasonable price. I thought I saw Conalach in town today, but it wasn’t him. Still, I wonder what has become of him? I’m scared to know the answer. Since his father’s death in Molten Core, the boy has been like a son to me. And being my sister’s son, he favors me in many respects. I remember Conalach leading the way into the crypts, our footsteps echoing quite loudly in the empty halls of the Scholomance. We searched the Reliquary and found nothing but ruined tables and dusty scraps of paper. I was about to suggest we leave when suddenly a bonewarder popped up from out of the shelves nearby and attacked Conalach. I dispatched it quickly and Conalach laughed nervously, trying to hide his fear. “Yeow! That was nice work, Uncle!” He brushed soot off his armor and regained his composure. “So! The undead have begun to return! We must inform the arch-druid at once.” “You tell him,” I said thickly. “I can’t stand him, as you well know.” Fandral Staghelm may be the leader of my order, the Cenarion Circle, but he’s a jerk of the first water. “He’ll just tell you he’s too damned busy. ‘Why are you bothering me? Can’t you see I’m too important to talk to you?’ I wish Thrall would stick a shiv in him and put him out of our misery.” Conalach snorted with laughter but stopped abruptly, shocked by my words. “Ye Gods!” he said, “I can’t believe you could say such a thing! Out loud, anyway.” Ah, yes. I remember it now. And if I felt guilty, it was only because I dreaded to think of the scene that would ensue should Stag-head ever catch wind of what I had said. His spies are everywhere. I suppose I didn’t really mean it. But it was a thought. Saturday, June 30 A fog still clouds my mind, and a pitiless coldness has enclosed my heart, a fitting response to the cold sun and the dead sky. I find the inhabitants of this forsaken little town to be quite irritating. Several of them have challenged me to fights, and in battle my wrath spills over like a white-hot flame. May the cold hand of death claim them all. One of them has mistaken me for his long-lost cousin and insists on calling me ‘Freddy.’ I assured him I was not ‘Freddy,’ and that there were no congenital idiots in my close family, but he persisted, so I tore his face off. It hardly seemed to faze him, and he followed me around, taunting me with the name ‘Freddy.’ Now the rest of them have taken to calling me that in an effort to goad me to further heights of rage. My name is not ‘Freddy.’ My name is… By the Old Gods, can it be I’ve forgotten my name? I can almost hear it as the wind whispers through the trees. If only I could clear my head and stop the pain. I’ve saved enough to purchase a slave to do my bidding, a strange creature by the name of Haththang, but he’s a useless thing, and the lash of a whip is the only thing he understands. We leave soon for Darnassus, but I confess: the thought of the place fills me with a nameless dread which I don’t understand. I rack my brain hourly trying to recall what happened in Scholomance. I was ready to leave that crypt after the bonewarder attacked us, but Conalach wanted to scout further in. “We have to inspect the rest of the rooms,” he announced, “We can’t return without finding out the full extent of the infiltration.” He was suddenly mindful of some bizarre sense of duty where before he had none. His young mind had never acknowledged anything more pressing than chasing female blood elves in a drunken stupor, flirting with them at the risk of his very life. Suddenly he wanted to play the brave warrior. I’m afraid he was trying to impress me. We went deeper down and examined the Chamber of Summoning and the Ossuary, where we found the badly decomposed remains of an elf maiden. The stench was overwhelming. Conalach threw up, but determined to go on down to the last basement. Sunday, July 1 Feeling a renewed sense of purpose, I covered 30 miles today, whipping Haththang every step of the way. The sun seemed to cook my very flesh. We fought off numerous attacks from bandits along the road, and were eventually forced to detour through deep woods thick with bears. Very tired, but I think my strength is beginning to return. Made camp in a secluded hollow well away from the road. Killed a wild man for dinner and feasted on his brains. Whipped Haththang some more for good measure. As Fandral sometimes says: beat your servants every day; if you don’t know why you’re beating them, they do. I still have no idea where I am. None of these lands are familiar to me. Where in hell am I? -midnight I was just dreaming of the Scholomance and woke with a shock. I was creeping down the stairs into the Headmaster’s Study with Conalach at my back. Strange sounds came from the rooms around us. “They’re here,” he said to me quietly, sounding scared and excited. I felt a sudden sense of dread. There was a hideous scream from Barov’s Room… I think we’ll travel by night from here on. The light of the moon pleases me. Sunday, July 8 Auberdine at last. It has been a horrible trip, and along the way I’ve been beset with more trials and adversity than I’ve ever encountered. But none of that matters now. My illness grows worse, and I fear it will claim me at the last. My wounds are festering. The true horror of my situation has dawned slowly over this last week, and the only thing that has kept my feet on the road to Darnassus is the knowledge that I have nowhere else to go. My condition so disgusts all reasonable people that I’ve been driven from all civilized lands, driven from town to town, attacked everywhere I go. I travel by night so that my horrid illness is concealed under my cloak. I wonder how my reception in Darnassus will be? Surely Fandral Staghelm knows of my utter hostility toward him by now. I cannot truly believe that he has never noted it before, and I’m certain I could never conceal it from him now, so hot does it burn within. And he is a symbol to me of all the Night Elves: all my people are so blind, so arrogant, so utterly repulsive to me in every detail. I think of them now with a bitter hatred for all the wrongs they have done me. They’re almost as bad as humans! Perhaps this illness of mine was sent by a kind providence, for my separation has given me time to think long and hard on the many faults of my kin. I cannot think of a good reason to return to them. Unless it be to kill them. And I’ll start with that idiot Conalach, may the Scourge take his soul. I will admit it at last, for I feel no more need to deceive myself: I am forsaken.