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The dreams...are true?

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"Who is that in the darkness? Show yourself!", Verissi exclaims nervously.

A familiar voice echoes from the shadowy figure, "I am returning shortly. Prepare for my arrival, young one."

"Father? FATHER??"

Verissi snaps awake, her mouth even more dry than normal. "How could this be?", she mutters while wiping tears away. The sound of her father's voice and his silouette haunted her dreams more often lately...too often to be ignored any longer. She dons her favourite robe and quietly hurries into Waldonnis' tent.

"I know that you are awake, Walter.", she quips, eyeballing her cousin suspiciously.

Waldonnis pops one eye open and tries his best to stifle a grin. "I could never fool you, cousin."

"That's because you never sleep while you are in camp." Verissi tries to smile, but the troubled look of her eyes prevents it from appearing sincere.

"I...", she begins to speak, but Waldonnis speaks over her...

"There's an odd chill in the air lately, cousin, and it is not the chill of a coming winter. A great and terrible power has awoken again in Azeroth and I think we both know what is coming." Waldonnis' forehead furrows as he sits up and looks directly into Verissi's eyes.

"I feel it as well, Walter. I did not want to believe that it was true, but so much has happened lately that the signs can no longer be ignored. The Scourge attacks, heralds of the Lich King about Azeroth, and now Naxxramas has disappeared from the skies above the Plaguelands. I fear the return of the Lich King is upon us." Verissi shudders visibly at the mention of the Lich King. It seems so long ago that her former life ended. Now the memories are flooding back, as are her teenage fears.

Waldonnis reaches out and places a hand on Verissi's shoulder in comfort, but his expression is still solemn...his gaze still unwavering. "We must face him again. He must pay for what he did to you...to us. Perhaps we should return to the Undercity soon and speak with Lady Sylvannas. I have no doubt that the Dark Lady sees this as well and is preparing her revenge. The time is upon us to finally repay our 'Prince' for what was done to us and the citizens of Stratholme."

Verissi smiles weakly and grasps her cousin's hand. "Your wisdom continues to comfort me, Walter. Our friends, both in the Clan, and the combined forces of the Horde will no doubt answer the call. The Sin'dorei commitment is assured at the very least, and I am sure that Lady Sylvannas will secure the assistance of Thrall."

"Indeed, dear cousin. Our time has come at last." Waldonnis sighs heavily, pulling back his hand and scratching his head. "On to other matters. What brings you to my tent this late, Verissina? Surely you did not come here with that sullen look on your face for nothing."

Verissi's eyes dart to the ground, as she breathes in deeply. She's not sure that she wants to bring up her dreams again to her cousin, but she knows that was what brought her to his tent. "I had another dream, Walter...and you know who was in it." Her face follows her eyes, as she hangs her head with embarrassment. She feels like a child that desires her father's return so badly that she sees him in every shadow.

Waldonnis stoops his head to meet her gaze. "I know, Verissina. Since your dreams started, I have been researching and performing some rituals to determine what happened to him. We were told that he was dead, but did they know for sure?" Waldonnis pauses, obviously debating on whether or not to reveal something.

Verissi picks her head up quickly and peers at Waldonnis. "Say it, Walter. What do you know? Do not withhold anything from me. I am not a child any longer and certainly do not need a protector."

Waldonnis shakes his head absently and begins...

"My uncle, your father, did perish, but they never told us what followed that. The campaign against the Scourge cost many lives, as we both know, but it was not only the citizens that were infected by the plague. Many soldiers fell victim to it and...your father was amongst those that did..."

Verissi gasps, "Are you implying that he is Forsaken now? If that is the case, where has he been all of..."

Ignoring his cousin again, Waldonnis continues speaking.

"We both know of his sworn oath to the Prince...that stated 'in life and in death'. I'm sure you recall this since he never ceased to lecture us about a man's word and the value of duty. Unfortunately, he fulfilled his oath and continued serving the Prince even after death...as a death knight."

Verissi's mouth hangs agape, a look of shock replacing her formerly gloomy expression.

"I do know that this is difficult to believe, dear cousin, but please allow me to continue. There is more," Waldonnis states slowly.

Still too stunned to speak, Verissi can only nod.

Waldonnis continues, "We both know of the death knights, and of the devastation they left in their wake during those times, so I will not detail his actions during those times. What I wish to tell you is that he has become strong enough to break away from the Lich King's control. He will still face some difficulties, but the Lich King's will is no longer powerful enough to maintain control over the Knights of the Ebon Hold."

Waldonnis pauses again, making sure that his cousin's eyes are fixed on his.

"My rituals have all indicated one thing with certainty..."

"My uncle..."

"Your father..."

"Tyrandius, formerly in the service of Prince Arthas in both life and death..."

"...is returning."

Waldonnis abruptly stands up, his cousins eyes still following him. Verissi is still too stunned to speak, but manages to close her gaping mouth and muster a dry swallow. She knew her dreams were visions, but although her cousin comfirmed what should be joyous news for her, it was also bittersweet. "A death knight...", she thought. Would he be the same father that she knew?

Waldonnis walks slowly to the tent's entrance, opening the flap slightly and peering out. "I must be honest, Verissina. I do not wish to see him return and you know my feelings. I will welcome him back, as we are family, but I have no love for that...man. He may return and bring honour to our family and possibly the Clan, but he will never redeem himself with me."

Verissi stands up and touches her cousin's arm. "I wish I could change your feelings, but the two of you have always been at odds and I do understand your position, Walter. I ask no more of you than you are willing to give, but know this: he is my father, despite all that has happened and all that he has done in the service of Arthas. My feelings towards him will not be altered by you or anyone. You are my trusted and beloved cousin, however, and even despite this difference in feelings that we have for him, I still treasure your council and the closeness that we have always maintained. I sincerely hope that will never change."

Waldonnis nods and turns to Verissi. "Now it is your wisdom and patience that comforts me, Verissina." The two cousins embrace for several minutes. Having grown up together, they had always shared a bond that others in the family never understood. Despite this rather large difference of opinion, it was obvious to both of them that their bond was still quite strong, which was sure to be comforting in the troubled times that surely lay ahead of them.

"Before you go, Verissina,", Waldonnis says as their embrace ends, "there is one more matter that I wish to ask after. Have you heard any rumours about the return of th..."

"...Kirin Tor?" Verissi snapped quickly, cutting off Waldonnis mid-sentence. "Odd that you should inquire about them at this time. I received word from Rodala's sister that the protective shell that encased Dalaran had disappeared...and with it, the entire city. I could not believe this at first and travelled to the Alterac Mountains myself to view the site. Upon arrival, I was greeted not by a shell or Dalaran, but by a large crater. This is almost certainly a sign that..."

"...the rumours are true about Northrend and the Lich King." This time, it was Waldonnis' turn to interrupt. He ponders the confirmation solemnly for a moment, then nods. "We were once favoured by the Kirin Tor as humans, but now I fear we will be less welcome as Forsaken in their city. I will seek Lady Sylvannas' council on this as well. The combination of these events does not bode well at all. Between Naxxramas moving, Dalaran moving, and the return of...that abomination in Northrend, we must prepare ourselves for the difficult path ahead."

"I should rest," Verissi says wearily, changing subjects, and turns to leave. Pausing as she opens the tent flap, she turns around and looks at her cousin with a faint, but honest smile. "Walter, thankee for..."

"No need for appreciative words, dear cousin. Rest well knowing that your dreams are coming to pass, but be prepared for the days ahead." Waldonnis doesn't return his cousin's smile, but Verissi is relieved by his words. She heads back to her tent and drifts off into a dreamless sleep for the first time in several weeks.

Edited by Waldonnis

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*Pledges herself to be there for both the cousins, that hold such a special place in her heart, as they go through this difficult period*

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*stares off into the distance as if in a trance and speaks softly* Yes, trouble is brewing very near. I will be here for both of you and for the Clan in the upcoming times of need. Together, we will get through this and come out on top. *Curtsies to the Clan members, she mounts her War Talbuck and sets off into the cool night to think*

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Wow V! that was awesome!

*huggles tight*

miss ya! *sniff*

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