Thrall, wise shaman and the warchief of the Horde, has sensed a disturbing change…
Long ago, Azeroth’s destructive native elementals raged across the world until the benevolent titans imprisoned them within the Elemental Plane. Despite the titans’ intervention, many elementals have ended up back on Azeroth. Over the ages, shaman like Thrall have communed with these spirits and, through patience and dedication, learned to soothe roaring infernos, bring rain to sun-scorched lands, and otherwise temper the elementals’ ruinous influence on the world of Azeroth.
Now Thrall has discovered that the elementals no longer heed the shaman’s call. The link shared with these spirits has grown thin and frayed, as if Azeroth itself were under great duress. While Thrall seeks answers to what ails the confused elements, he also wrestles with the orcs’ precarious future as his people face dwindling supplies and growing hostility with their night elf neighbors.
Meanwhile, Varian Wrynn of Stormwind is considering violent action in response to mounting tensions between the Alliance and the Horde, a hard-line approach that threatens to alienate those closest to him, including his son, Anduin. The conflicted young prince has set out to find his own path, but in doing so, he risks becoming entangled in political instability that is setting the world on edge.
The fate of Azeroth’s great races is shrouded in a fog of uncertainty, and the erratic behavior of the elemental spirits, troubling though it is, may only be the first ominous warning sign of the cataclysm to come.
October 19, 2010
The sound of rain beating on the tightly drawn hides covering the small hut was like that of a drum played by a swift hand. The hut was well made, as all orcish huts were; no water seeped inside. But nothing could close out the humid chill of the air. If the weather turned, the rain would become snow; either way, the cold damp penetrated to Drek’Thar’s old bones and kept his body taut even during sleep.
But it was not the cold, not this time, that caused the elderly shaman to toss and turn.
It was the dreams.
Drek’Thar had always had prophetic dreams and visions. It was a gift – a spiritual sight, as he no longer had physical sight. But since the War Against the Nightmare, the gift had grown teeth. His dreams had worsened during that dreadful time, and sleep promised not rest and refreshment, but terror. They had aged him and turned him from one who had been old but strong into a frail, sometimes querulous elder. He had hoped that with the defeat of the Nightmare, his dreams would return to normal. But while the intensity had lessened, his dreams still were very, very dark.
In his dreams, he could see. And in his dreams, he longed for blindness. He stood alone on a mountain. The sun seemed closer than normal and was ugly and red and swollen, casting a bloody tinge on the ocean that lapped at the foot of the mountain. He could hear something… a distant, deep rumbling that set his teeth on edge and made his skin prickle. He had never heard this sound before, but due to his strong connection with the elements, he knew that it indicated something terribly, terribly wrong.
A few moments later the waters began to churn, surging angrily now at the foot of the mountain. The waves grew high, hungry, as if something dark and dreadful stirred beneath their crashing surface. Even on the mountain, Drek’Thar knew he was not safe, knew nothing was safe, not anymore, and he could feel the once – solid stone shuddering beneath his bare feet.