Warcraft Ghostlands: v. 3 (Warcraft: Sunwell Trilogy)

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9781595327147: Warcraft Ghostlands: v. 3 (Warcraft: Sunwell Trilogy)
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"Ghostlands": To Dar'khan's taunting voice, Anveena awakens to the horrific spectacle of wasted Quel'Thalas...now a place akin to the Plaguelands. Dar'khan welcomes her to his former home, remarking on how beautiful it now is. She asks why he has brought her here and he says because it is her former home, too. Meanwhile, Tyri carries Kalec and Jorad toward the very same realm, following Raac, who somehow seems to know exactly where Anveena must be. This is a matter of discussion between the characters, as is why Dar'khan, thought dead, has stolen Anveena but not Raac. Raac, it was, whom they assumed had the link to this Sunwell that the elf talked of. Kalec begins to wonder about Anveena. He recalls her parents and their odd manner and begins to suspect that they are not what they appeared to be. And while they fly there, something else lands in the wasted realm. It is discovered by an Undead, but destroys that monster completely. Then, where it seemed some gigantic shadow, it is now the mysterious wizard seen watching the spheres. Others watch Dar'khan, survivors of the High Elf race who are trying their best to keep their lost land from further corruption by those like the Scourge. A band of about a dozen or so warriors and spellcasters led by Lor'themar Moonsword. He knows Dar'khan, but wonders what evil the other intends for this human. Some of his companions attempt to free Anveena, but Dar'khan summons dead souls from under the earth and has them easily slain. Anveena, however, does escape, but is alone in the bleak land. Violent, unnatural storms buffet the others, forcing them to land. Tyri changes form to be less noticeable. Jorad admires her and while she is Kalec's intended, the paladin's attention is welcome after Kalec's lack of interest. They come across what was once an elven settlement and are attacked by a leechlike undead who seizes upon Tyri. Jorad reaches her first, slicing off its head. They run across Lor'themar's survivors, who tell them of Anveena and Dar'khan. Anveena still wanders. She imagines her parents and reflects on what Dar'khan said. Suddenly, her life seems false. She concentrates, trying to remember childhood events, but instead recalls the shadowy form of Borel, the wizard. As he more and more fills her thoughts, Anveena remembers strange words, about 'the time not yet right' and 'the shell in which to hide'. And in the midst of this, she is confronted by the wizard from the previous two books who, despite his lack of hooded face, lack of beard, and other differences, she immediately senses is Borel. Elsewhere, Lor'Themar suggests the outsiders leave, this still being elven land in his eyes...until he hears the Sunwell mentioned. When Raac is presented as some tie to it, the elf uses his magic, then declares no trace of the Sunwell's power resides in the creature. That verifies for Kalec what he suspected; Anveena is the vessel in which the latent power of the elves now resides...and if Dar'khan frees it, it will be his to manipulate. It will also cost Anveena her existence. Tyri and Lor'Themar argue that she is not real, anyway, merely a facade, but Kalec refuses that. Borel tries to convince Anveena to come with him, saying only he knows the full truth and can reveal it, but far from this dangerous place. He tells her to remember him now and what he did, but Anveena doesn't want to recall such things. Power lashes out at Borel and as it does, we see outlined in his shape that of what seems a dragon. Anveena looks horrified at what she did and checks him. However, even though he is alive (and far stronger than he looked) he is unconscious. And at that moment, Dar'khan seizes her from behind, using her concern for Borel as a distraction. He takes both with him, saying that her companion will be a boon to the spell by which the elf will suck the energy of the Sunwell out of her. With Kalec refusing to give in, the party heads to where Lor'Themar says the Sunwell used to be. As they near, they see Dar'khan at work, with him the horrific corpses of those elven masters slain during his betrayal. When Dar'khan notices them, he dispatches more ghoulish minions and his bat mount. Tyri scoffs at this last, and transforms. She destroys the beast easily, only to be confronted by Borel. Suddenly, Borel transforms also, becoming a monstrously-huge red dragon. His eyes have a pale, ghostly glow, the product of a spell cast upon him by the sinister elf while he was unconscious due to Anveena's involuntary defense. Kalec, Jorad, and the elves battle through ghouls toward Dar'khan, but the numbers raised seem too many. Kalec calls to Anveena to do something, but she insists that she can't. Kalec tells her that she won't because she is afraid of the truth herself. She is the Sunwell's energy. She is not human, her parents were not even real. That explains how they acted and how there was suddenly a complex tunnel under their simple abode. It pains him to tell her this, but he knows that he must. Tyri is desperately holding off the larger red's attack. Of all creatures, Raac comes to her aid, flying in front of the red's eyes. Some recognition comes through. Dar'khan nearly has his spellwork complete. Anveena is surrounded by myriad tendrils of power. Jorad and Kalec are losing ground. Kalec struggles against his collar, but cannot remove it. In the process, he is swamped by Undead horrors. Anveena reacts to this. She flares bright and the collar melts to nothing. Dar'khan, more of a lich than a living being, seizes her, attempting to draw her power into him, but it is too much and he burns away - flesh, sinew, and skeleton, in that order. The undead everywhere are sent back to the beyond. The red dragon shakes his head and becomes the hooded wizard once more. Around Anveena, the region become a beautiful grove full of trees and flowers. As the others approach, she continues to flare bright. She removes Kalec's collar without trouble and mends the wounds of all. Raac flies to her arm. She also knows Borel now - and his other names as well. He is also Krasus, the dragon mage, whose true self is the red dragon, Korialstrasz, consort to the Great Aspect, Alexstrasza. Krasus/Borel, ever watchful over the world, discovered the Sunwell's energy and, knowing the time was not yet right for it to be revealed as whole, guided it into the young female form. He helped her create the parents and home, then made those memories sink deep. Krasus intended to wake those memories when the Sunwell could best be used against the Lich King, but the power began manifesting itself on its own, which drew Dar'khan and Kalec. He offers to do this again for Anveena, but she says that this is where she must be now. Krasus insists that the others must go, but Kalec refuses to leave Anveena, saying she needs someone to be with her and guard her. Krasus reminds him that she is far more powerful than any dragon...but acquiesces when he realizes that Anveena indeed needs some companionship. Tyri demands that Kalec come back, but he says he won't until he is no longer needed. Lor'Themar and his survivors swear to stand guard at the edge of the protected grove, there to keep watch in case somehow someone penetrates the magic shielding it. He is in awe of the entire spectacle. Dismayed but unable to convince Kalec to go, Tyri prepares to leave, Jorad given a ride on her back. As they depart, Krasus reminds both Anveena and Kalec that even though Anveena's power protects the entire grove from the notice of Arthas, they are not without risk staying here. Raac will remain, just in case she should require contacting the elder dragon for guidance or aid. He bids them farewell. Anveena tells Kalec he should leave, too, but he refuses. She finally smiles and takes his hand, guiding him into the wonderful grove. As Krasus, now Korialstrasz, flies overhead, he sees the grove vanish from his view, hidden away from even him. There is hope for the elves in that grove, hope for their crippled land. There is hope for the world.

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