A Diary of Dreams and Nightmares
A story about Aliandra Mandar. Originally published 11/13/2006

Thirteenth day of the November moon.

This series of dreams seems to have more significance than the random flashes of me fleeing Stratholme, which are what I usually dream of. I have recorded them here so that I do not forget any detail. These differ from my usual dreams, in that I could not control them.

I knelt beside the body of a man with brown hair. His black armor sports the crest of a red falcon. He was dead, and tears were running down my face.
I heard myself whisper to a shadowed figure across the room, full of sorrow. "Why?"

That dream faded quickly, and I heard a deep, chill-sounding voice cry out, "We have been discovered, my brothers! Flee, and continue with the operation!"

Finally, I saw a flash of a small rowboat, headed for what I believe was Caer Darrow.

I have been searching through Stormwind's library for any sign of a noble house, or some sort of organization with a red falcon symbol, but it has so far proved in vain.
As soon as I am able, I shall journey to Caer Darrow, and search the ruins for more clues. This last flash of a memory was interrupted by one of those...What did the priests call them?
Oh yes. Seizures.
Luckily, I was able to drink the tincure prepared for me before the seizures kicked in full swing.
But, as always, answers only lead to more questions...

Undated Entry, Some Time After

The entry is written in barely more than a scrawl, a far cry from her normally neat handwriting.

By the nether..I remember everything...
I've got to write it...maybe then the screams will be silenced

The beginning...of the end...
The day I sold my soul...

He arrived in Stratholme covered in flowing black clothes, but his eyes seemed to penetrate into my soul. I felt drawn in by his immense power. He seemed not to notice my presence, so I cast a quick invisibility spell on myself and followed the strange man further. He walked purposefully down Festival lane, but to where I could not say. He turned suddenly down an alley, but when I turned the corner, he was nowhere to be seen. I checked that my invisibility spell was still functioning, and cautiously entered the alley. He was not there. Puzzled, I walked further down the alley. Suddenly, I was slammed face-first into the wall of the alley. My invisibility spell faded out as I lost my concentration.

“Who are you? I know you have been following me for some time.” The strange man said in a voice that sounded like the cold frost of winter. I refused to answer.

“Your curiosity will be the death of you. Tell me your name.”

The force pressing me to the wall started to increase to be nearly unbearable. It was very hard to talk with my face pinned to the wall, but I managed to stutter, “Ali…Aliandra Halwell.”

“And why do you follow me?”

“I…I could sense your power. I wanted to learn from you.”

“I see. But why is a young mage like you so far from Dalaran or another school of magic?”

“I was a student of Dalaran. But I was expelled. They feared the magics I was learning to use.”

“A very similar thing happened to me, many years ago. I see the council has not changed much.”

The magic holding me to the wall dissipated, and I was released from the wall. I turned towards the mage, and took a second to get my bearings. Now that I could see the man better, I noticed that he was incredibly pale, with white hair. His robes were of the deepest black, with some silver rune embroidery.

“Let me introduce myself properly. My name is Kel’thuzad.”

I gasped. “The council said you were dead!”

“The council saying something does not make it so. Let us find some more comfortable surroundings, and I shall make you an offer that I hope you do not refuse.”

I followed him out of the alley, my head spinning. Kel’thuzad was an archmage, but he had disappeared many years ago. Or so said the council.

We came to a halt at the Bayberry Inn. Kel’thuzad bribed the bartender for a private dining room, which we were escorted to. Kel’thuzad shut the door behind me. My eyes darted around.

There was one large table here, surrounded by chairs. Kel’thuzad sat in one of the chairs and motioned for me to do the same. He muttered a spell that I was familiar with, one to prevent anyone from overhearing our conversation.

“Now then. You said you wanted me to teach you?”

I nodded nervously.

He sighed, “Sadly, I am far too busy to take students now.” He continued, despite my sounds of displeasure. “But…there is a place for people like us.”

I had to remind myself to breathe.

“However, it is not for the faint of heart. Nor for the weak-willed. And going there may cost you more than you may realize.”

I chuckled, “I’m a student, I’m already broke.”

He smiled at that, but then continued seriously, “You will be able to perfect your knowledge of the dark magics. What the council deemed dangerous, we see as a tool.”

My heart was racing. A chance to learn more without angering the magi, but instead being applauded by them?

His voice now dropped into a whisper, even though our conversation could not be heard by others. “When the council expelled me from Dalaran, I traveled to the icy reaches of Northrend. I found a being there that is more powerful than the entire council combined. It was he who taught me about the dark magic of necromancy. I shall forever be his servant, in exchange for power beyond your wildest dreams.”

I asked tentatively, “Does he have a name, magus?”

He nodded slowly. “He is called the Lich King. His name is Ner’zul.”

I felt a shiver go down my spine, even though I had never heard the name before. All of a sudden, I could hear a whispering voice from afar.

You are not worthy. Not yet. But you have the potential.

The voice was accompanied by a wave of power that was easily ten times greater than all of the mages in Dalaran.

My power can be your power. Join me, and it shall be yours.

I felt my head spinning uncontrollably.

Kel’thuzad nodded. “You can hear him, can’t you?”

“Yes. By the gods!”

His power now threatened to overwhelm me entirely. Everything in the room seemed to grow darker by the second. I shut my eyes and let myself fall to the ground.

When I awoke, I was lying on a bed. Kel’thuzad must have brought me to one of the bedrooms in the tavern. I blinked to clear my eyes of the tears that the light brought.

Kel’thuzad was sitting near me, holding some water out to me. The lich king’s power had withdrawn while I was unconscious, and I was able to recover.

“How long was I out?”

“Almost an hour. It is nearing dusk.”

I gratefully sipped the water that he had given me.

“By the gods. No wonder the council prefers to think you dead. Such power…”

I trailed off, relishing the experience of the lich king’s power.

Kel’thuzad nodded. “It is by far worth the price.”

Kel’thuzad continued talked, but it seemed not to me. “Yes, are you sure?” A pause. “Yes, I realize that. But so soon?” Another pause. “Your will be done.”

He now turned to face me, and said, “He has offered you a place among us, in his Cult of the Damned. You will be given part of his power, should you survive your training.”

My heart began racing again. I started to speak, but Kel’Thuzad interrupted me. “Do not choose now. I will leave this parchment,” he gestured to a piece of paper on the nightstand. “In a few days’ time, it will reveal a teleportation spell. It will take you to a place where you can enter His service. If you choose not to go, there shall be no consequences, save that you will never remember we met. However, if you choose to go, not only will you gain his power and knowledge, but your every need shall be taken care of. If you are a truly worthy servant of his, he will even ensure you will never die…”

His voice trailed off, and he let a smile creep onto his face.

I asked, “Will you be there?”

He shook his head. “I am very busy nowadays, recruiting people to enter his service. But if you become worthy to serve him, I can guarantee that we will see much more of each other.”

He stood to leave. “You should rest. The power he has is…intense to say the least.”

I nodded, and let myself drift off to sleep. My dreams were of what I could do with the power the lich king offered.

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