Arthas: Rise of the Lich King by Christie Golden

Arthas: Rise of the Lich King by Christie Golden

Author:Christie Golden
Language: eng
Format: mobi, epub
Tags: Video & Electronic, Fantasy, Fantasy fiction, Video games, Quests (Expeditions), General, Fiction, Imaginary places, Swordsmen, Games, Adventure, World of WarCraft (Game), 2009, Science Fiction, Media Tie-In, Good and evil
ISBN: 9781416550778
Publisher: Pocket Books
Published: 2009-04-21T07:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Northrend was the name of the land, Daggercap Bay the site where the Lordaeron fleet made harbor. The water, deep and choppy with an unforgiving wind, was a cold blue-gray. Sheer cliffs were dotted with tenacious pine trees soaring upward, providing a natural defense of the small, flat area where Arthas and his men would make camp. A waterfall tumbled down, crashing in a billow of spray from a great height. It was all in all more pleasant a place than he had expected, at least for the moment; certainly not the obvious home for a demon lord.

Arthas leaped from the boat and slogged onto the shore, his eyes darting about, absorbing everything. The wind, keening like a lost child, stirred his long blond hair, caressing it with cold fingers. Beside him, one of the captains of the ships he had commandeered without consulting his father shivered and clapped his hands together, trying to warm them.

“This is a Light-forsaken land, isn’t it? You can barely even see the sun! This howling wind cuts to the bone and you’re not even shaking.”

Vaguely surprised, Arthas realized that the man was right. He felt the cold—felt it knifing into him—but he did not tremble.

“Milord, are you all right?”

“Captain, are all my forces accounted for?” Arthas didn’t bother to answer the question. It was a foolish one. Of course he wasn’t all right. He had been forced to slaughter the populace of an entire city in order to stop a worse atrocity. Jaina and Uther had both turned their backs on him. And a demon lord was awaiting his arrival.

“Nearly. There are only a few ships that—”

“Very well. Our first priority is to set up a base camp with proper defenses. There’s no telling what’s waiting for us out there in the shadows.” There, that would shut the man up and give him something to do. Arthas lent his assistance, working as hard as the men he commanded to erect basic shelter. He missed Jaina’s handiness with flames as they lit fires against the encroaching darkness and cold. Hell, he missed Jaina. But he would learn not to. She failed him when he most needed her, and he would not hold such people in his heart any longer. It needed to be strong, not soft; determined, not aching. There was no place in it for weakness, if he would defeat Mal’Ganis. There was no place in it for warmth.

The night passed without incident. Arthas stayed awake in his tent until the small hours of the morning, perusing what incomplete maps he had been able to find. When at last he fell asleep, he dreamed, and it was both joyous and nightmarish. He was again a youth, with everything in the world to look forward to, riding the glorious white horse he so loved. Again, they were one, perfectly paired, and nothing would stop them. And even as he dreamed, Arthas felt the horror descend upon him as he urged Invincible to make the fatal jump.



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