We found ourselves in a version of Stormwind far more diverse than we would guess. Cities were full of races delegated to be monsters normally. Furbolgs, arakkoa, mogu, even races that are part of the Horde were walking freely in a human city. Walking across the Gilnean District that took place of the park, we found a Worgen scholar and asked him for some details. Krasus was one of the first people I asked about, and the scholar was certain Krasus was an elven archmage of Dalaran who disappeared mysteriously some time during the Cataclysm – around the time he died in our timeline – and Rhonin was still the Grand Magus. Even more surprisingly, Broxigar was still alive and well, and an advisor to Warchief Dranosh Saurfang. All this pointed to the fact here they never went back in time. That resulted in some vastly different personalities… which apparently resulted in Alliance and Horde working together?
From what I hear, people of all races are found working with many factions that we would find odd. The Forsaken, for example, are not formally part of the Horde, but enjoy support of many adventurers from both sides of our timeline’s imaginary divide. Even humans occasionally work for them, including an infamous bandit Blackthorne. The blood elves are in a similar situation – only tangentially allied to the Horde, they have a non-aggression pact that prevents an open conflict with the Amani. The night elves are said to fiercely defend their forests from anyone harvesting them, be they human or orc. It is an odd world, everyone is allied but everyone keeps falling into small conflicts with people around them.
But let me tell you their story in the proper order. They say that despite minor conflicts here and there, like Warsong Clan attacking night elves in Ashenvale, the Alliance and Horde worked together against most major threats. When the Gurubashi and then the Qiraji arose in different parts of the world, forces of both factions fought these threats together. The Might of Kalimdor was the first major united force that put some of the old conflicts behind them. But it’s only in Outland that their timeline starts growing really odd.
When the new Burning Legion attack was repelled by the united forces at the Dark Portal, Azerothians were at first surprised at seeing the fel orcs fight the Burning Legion as well. Illidan Stormrage himself appeared before the leaders of Azerothian forces and assured them he means no ill will to them and that his own demonic forces should be left alone. For a time, the mortals worked with the Illidari, until some of the blood elven forces began to attack them, including attacking the blood elves that came to Outland from Azeroth, seeking Kael’thas. Well, unsurprisingly, their Kael’thas is just as much of a traitor as ours and successfully pitted the Azerothians and the Illidari against each other. Before the ensuing misunderstanding was cleared, war has erupted and Illidan decided to blow up his Mini-Well of Eternity he made in the Black Temple. If he succeeded, all of Outland would have been destroyed, but it would also deal a fatal blow to the Burning Legion. Because Illidan was willing to throw the hatchling out with the bathwater as always, Malfurion had to wake up and step in. Illidan died by the hands of his brother, calling out Tyrande in his last words.
Unfortunately, because Illidan’s plan was stopped, Kael’thas survived and went on with the same plan he had in our reality. He attempted to summon Kil’jaeden in the Sunwell, but was killed and Kil’jaeden was pushed back in the last moment. Velen restored the Sunwell with a piece of M’uru much like in our timeline, which led many of the remaining Illidari to work with the blood elves. Notably, when I asked about Zul’jin, I was told he’s very much alive and part of the Horde, constantly arguing with Vol’jin about the proper course of action.
Here comes the part I was particularly interested in. The Lich King came out of hiding and attacked on schedule, forcing all the major factions to attack Northrend. In this timeline, everyone was fighting as one allied force, dealing much stronger blows against the Scourge. When the Battle of Angrathar came, the Scourge was much more desperate. Putress betrayed everyone as he did in our reality, and hid in the Undercity. Unfortunately, this time Sylvanas did not have full support of the Horde and was killed by Varimathras. When the Horde intervened, they consulted the Alliance and put Master Apothecary Lydon in charge of the Undercity, with proper Kor’kron Oversight.
Battle of Angrathar was a much smaller blow to the Azerothian forces than it was in our reality, neither Bolvar Fordragon nor Dranosh Saurfang being there. However, by then a great majority of the Scourge was destroyed with few means to replenish their numbers. In the following months, their remaining forces were depleted and Arthas made his last stand in the Icecrown Citadel. As the united forces swept through the fortress, there was very little Scourge left. Arthas was killed after giving everyone a tough battle and his armor and the Frostmourne were hidden away somewhere, to prevent the rise of another Lich King.
The following events were of less interest to me. In the wake of the Cataclysm, Teron Gorefiend mysteriously re-appeared and toppled over Lydon’s regime, taking over the Forsaken, styling himself as “Lord of the Undercity”. In a desperate attempt to expand his power, he attacked Gilneas but was pushed back, with night elves helping freshly-worgen Gilneans. He remains in power, albeit only by the ties to the Horde he wishes to renew. The Cataclysm happened as normal, with mostly the same results. Thrall made Dranosh Saurfang his successor, leading Garrosh Hellscream to storm out in anger.
After Deathwing was defeated, peace ensued for quite some time, but the Alliance, Horde and their allies were unaware that the Zandalari found Pandaria in the meantime and resurrected the Thunder King. The mogu and the Zandalari swept through that land, enslaving the pandaren again. The renewed Mogu Empire would remain undiscovered if the rebel warlord Garrosh Hellscream didn’t stumble upon the land while escaping from the Horde forces. While in Pandaria, the mortals pursuing Garrosh as well as the grief of enslaved Pandaria caused resurgence of the Sha, which were however swiftly defeated. A small group of mogu formed a Free Mogu Nation, headed by none other than my good friend Yu Gwai, and decided to challenge the Thunder King. Hellscream was defeated and court-martialled to death in the middle of that campaign, while Lei Shen was slain only very recently, by Lorewalker Cho (his personal archivist slave) using the Thunder King’s own power against him. Yu Gwai crowned himself King of the Free Mogu and along with Kang Bramblestaff, proclaimed the new Emperor by Shaohao, rules Pandaria.
After the lengthy history lesson I needed to orientate myself in the realities of that world, I set out to find someone who might know where the Lich King’s insignia were buried. After only narrowly missing my alternate self in the arakkoa veil on the Stormwind City Outskirts, I found a group of three dwarves and a goblin, another acquaintance of mine named Arridor Boombringer. The dwarves’ leader, Fenella Darkvire, claimed she knew exactly where the insignia were buried and would accompany me for a hefty sum. I agreed, hoping the Dark Iron isn’t trying to fool me. If she is, well, I wasn’t going to pay her anyway.
Right now we are on a ship bound for Northrend. Hopefully by this time tomorrow I will know enough to dump the dwarves (and their goblin) and seek the artifacts on my own.