So that whole “dumping the dwarves to seek it on our own” thing didn’t exactly work out. When we stepped out of the ship and met some of the friendly vrykul there, subjects of King Aurgelmir, son of Ymiron who took over after his death, the dwarves claimed they are still not absolutely sure where to go and must first check some of the clues they had before. What they did know for sure was that we had to go Dragonblight, and from there, we would look for further clues as to where the artifacts could have been buried. It was undoubtedly a great mystery but if you knew just the right people, you could find out almost anything. So we continued through the Howling Fjord, among the corposes of giant iron monstrosities Loken created in this timeline, and towards Grizzly Hills and Dragonblight.
As we were getting closer to Dragonblight, I noticed the dwarves and the goblin started arguing with each other about something. I began to be worried that they wanted to lose me somewhere as well, but Tarakan reassured me, in his most sensitive way – “not everyone is as treacherous as you”. Not much of interest happened in the short stretch of Grizzly Hills we crossed, but once we got through to Dragonblight, I noticed the crashed wreck of Naxxramas. I was only told that once the Lich was dead and his phylactery destroyed, Dalaran shot Naxxramas down, which crashed on the ruins of the village beneath it. One would expect undead in the remains of such a place in Northrend, but there were none. It seems the Scourge was indeed eliminated to the last in this timeline.
We then followed through Wintergarde Keep and then through the mountain passes nearby. We managed to avoid stumbling into magnataur or any particularly nasty worms – although I must say I wouldn’t mind hunting down some good worm meat. Finally, we emerged from the mountains into the Scarlet Point. Or at least the place that used to be known as such. I don’t know what it’s known as in our timeline, but here they call it “the Frostmourne Point”, after the nearby Frostmourne Cavern. It was clear where the dwarves were leading me. I of course questioned their choice, saying that burying it there would be far too obvious, but they were adamant their only clues were pointing them there. And so there were – near the Frostmourne Cavern, a large Argent Crusade contingent, blocking anyone from entering it. It seemed Fordring is as obvious in this timeline as in ours.
The problem now was how to get in without bringing the ire of the Argent Crusade. They’re the last people we would want to get on our tail, because even if the forces they had there weren’t challenging (which they were) attacking them would get the united Alliance and Horde against us. I know I’m not supposed to stay in this timeline for long after obtaining the artifacts, but it could still prove to be problematic. The dwarves started nosing around the area and finally told me they found a weak spot in the ground where they could dig around the defenses the Argent Crusade made and get straight into the Cavern. Naturally, I agreed and allowed the dwarves to do what they were best at, digging, while I, Tarakan and Arridor just rested for the time being.
Soon enough, the dig was nearly done and we went through the freshly excavated tunnel. It opened straight into the Frostmourne Cavern where sure enough, the sword was sticking out of the stone with the usual warnings, as well as the Plate of Damnation lying beside it in the snow. Not knowing what was about to happen, we quickly proceeded to the artifacts and began preparing the safe removal (without getting your soul devoured by the sword or anything) when we heard a weird noise. Something big was coming through our tunnel.
Suddenly, the opening we made burst out and three wights appeared. Forsaken wights, I might add, which we encountered before while trekking through Dragonblight. Following just after them was none other than Teron Gorefiend, the Lord of Undercity. He was observing us the whole time, knowing that our expedition would find a way around Argent Crusade’s blockade and lead him straight to the artifacts of immense power. More than that – the insignia of the Lich King, which he wanted to become. Carrick Irongrin lost his temper and charged at Gorefiend, only to be intercepted mid-way by a dark energy tendril and quickly strangulated to death.
I tried to talk everyone into leaving immediately, but Tarakan had to play the hero and shot at Gorefiend. The undead didn’t mind the arrow much and simply continued on and took the Frostmourne out of its pedestal. When my brother kept protesting… the foul undead creature simply stuck the sword in my brother’s chest and murdered him just like that. I couldn’t believe what was happening and started just pulling back and screeching uncontrollably. Arridor quickly ran towards Takaran and attempted to bring him back before it was too late but Gorefiend killed him as well. He proved to be the most selfless goblin I ever knew. I will reward our timeline’s Arridor greatly when we come back.
As we scattered around, Teron Gorefiend put the sword down for a moment and took down his hood, only to pick up the Helmet put it on his head. To his surprise, he didn’t feel anything. No sudden surge of power of the Lich King, no special powers over the undead he could execute – not even to raise Arridor to undeath. That’s when Tirion Fordring suddenly appeared, as he likes to do, and announced this was all an obvious ruse. The Frostmourne and the armor are fake, put here to trick villains into this Cavern where they could be dispatched by the Argent forces stationed outside. Gorefiend only cursed Fordring and recalled himself to his demonic circle, somewhere away from this place. Fordring, being sure we came here to stop Gorefiend and failed, resurrected Tarakan, Arridor and Carrick.
I was never so close to losing my brother, the last living member of my family and I must say these events shook me quite a bit. I’m not sure if I still want to look for this blasted artifact, no matter what the dragons might do to me if I refuse. It made me realize that perhaps… there are still people I care about. That perhaps there are things, good things, I admire about others, like Arridor’s sacrifice for my brother. And whether any timeline can use those things as a tool for good.
I don’t know. I have a lot to think about.
Anyway, we’re back at Frostmourne Point now, among the Argent Crusade forces. We’re resting, and my brother (and I, in earnest) are recuperating from the battle. Maybe this world wasn’t struck by global tragedies like the other timeline, but I’d rather have three Burning Legion invasions at once than come so close to losing Tarakan again.