This quick little story was inspired by a piece of fanart on the Blizzard site, and by the fact that I think Mr. Lich King is far more dangerous and devious than any of us give him credit for.
The orc was fast. He struck swiftly, with a crashing blow that should have cleaved all but the toughest of hides asunder.
Instead, the orc missed.
The Lich King was faster. Frostmourne ripped through Saurfang the younger as if through air.
He fell. The Lich King hadn’t even moved.
Bolvar was steadfast. He had always been steadfast, the very epitome of what a guardian of the Light should be.
His voice rang out into the dead silence.
“You will pay for the lives you’ve stolen, traitor!”
“Traitor?” The Lich King seemed surprised at the accusation. “Can you not see what I have wrought? A kingdom that cannot die, for it is already dead. A kingdom that cannot be defeated, for it’s people are infinite.”
A massive gauntlet clad hand rose, and the body of what was once Saurfang the younger stood.
“Behold, the gift… of immortality.” The massive orc, born anew into the unlimited power that only undeath can grant, turned to face Bolvar.
Bolvar was ready. After months of preparation, of research, of training, with two equally geared armies at his back, there was nothing Arthas could do to surprise him.
Yet surprise him Arthas did nonetheless.
“He is yours to command, do with him as you will.”
Bolvar had been expecting a lot of things. The nightmarish onslaught of a Death Knight fueled by Arthas himself, perhaps an endless wave of ghouls, maybe a few dozen bone dragons.
But this? This didn’t make any sense.
The Lich King laughed. A laugh devoid of humor, possessing only mockery.
“Did you think you had caught me unawares? Did you think it was even possible to consider war on my very doorstep? Ridiculous. You! All of you!” Raising his sword, he gestured towards the assembled armies. “You are all here because I wished it. Orgrimmar, Stormwind, the legions of undead that infested your families… nothing more than a summons. My summons.”
His gaze turned back to Bolvar.
“And you have answered.”
Righteous fury welled with Bolvar. “You monster! You abomi-”
The words died on his lips. The very air seemed to expire, utterly motionless. He couldn’t speak…
“This entire war you have deceived yourself into believing you are fighting, was nothing more than a means to an end. You are the means, Deathlord Fordragon, and this… this is the end.”
A horrible sense of wrongness filled Bolvar, a heavy, black weight crushing his heart. He knew the feeling. Death. Hundreds of souls cut short suddenly, without warning or reason.
He turned to face the army.
But it was no longer his.
The entire combined horde and alliance force, dead. All of them. Not a single soul left alive. Thousands of undead eyes gazed back at him.
Waiting for him…
“They are yours to command, Deathlord.” Arthas gestured to him. “Accept your destiny, and behold the world at your feet.”
Light grant me strength.
Consumed in righteous fire, he delivered his answer in the most succinct way he could conceive.
The Lich King deflected his blow, seemingly effortlessly.
“Very well.” Arthas turned, leaving the paladin to be torn apart by his loyal soldiers.
He would have enjoyed killing the paladin himself, but Deathlord Saurfang needed at least a little practice.