(written from the perspective of Ekaterinae)
Another long day of training done, I sat down at the fireside of the guild hall of The Illuminati. Although all I wanted to do was sleep, there's always work to be done when preparing to tackle the greatest menace Azeroth has ever seen in the Lich King. Tonight there's some stitching that needs to be done to repair my robe, as well as a few pieces of armor to enchant for my fellow warriors.
Two of my closest friends joined me at the fireside. Cazaldora curled up next to her favorite companion Cicero, while Gaurin popped into the chair next to me after another shapeshift. As Cazaldora worked on some gemstones with her simple grinder, Gaurin began sharing tales of taking on all the trials of our latest triumph in the Trial of the Crusader. Although the primary lieutenant of the Lich King Anub'Arak had finally been dealt with once and for all, I knew Gaurin was just trying to cheer us up from the days of drudgery since that triumph. However, all that will change as the newly formed Ashen Verdict is poised to lead us into Icecrown Citadel for the final battle.
Just then, a hooded figure veiled in shadow came bursting through the doors of the guild hall. "I come seeking The Illuminati."
Ruach, a fellow healer and one of the leaders of our guild stepped forward. "Aye, you have found The Illuminati. What is so important that brings you to our halls?"
The mysterious figure paused briefly, "The Leadership of the Alliance has a special assignment that must be completed, and they believe The Illuminati is the right group for the task. You must go back into the mighty halls of Ulduar and..."
Ruach interrupted the visitor - "Ulduar? But we are making final preparations for the most important battle in the history of Azeroth! We cannot turn our backs once more to the Lich King and play with the keepers of the old gods. And who are you to order us away from our destiny?"
Although you couldn't see her face, I could read the frustration growing in the visitor's voice: "Well to be honest I don't know that you are up to the task, but when the kings of the Alliance insist, you do not say no. While the Lich King is a grave threat, the entire existence of Azeroth is at risk from a far greater enemy."
Cazaldora looked up from her newly cut rubies to say "A far greater enemy? This whole time we have been tracking down and eliminating all the agents and friends of the Lich King. The first minion Kel'Thuzad and his necropolis Naxxramas have fallen. Arthas's closest ally Anub'Arak has been slain. And even the old god Yogg-Saron has been killed, cutting off the endless supply of corruption and Saronite Ore for the Scourge. Why would we ever need to go back into the prison of a dead old god who poses no threat?"
The visitor snapped back "You are supremely arrogant if you think you've killed an old god for good. but that's neither here nor there. The entire world may be destroyed thanks to the careless actions of your group in taking down Loken, and although your own stupidity is to blame"
Cazaldora jumped into action with Cicero bounding towards the visitor...
"SILENCE!" The room fell as quiet as death as Vowain, the esteemed leader of the guild stepped into the front of the room. "While you shall not come into our halls and insult us, please explain what the leaders would have us do."
Continuing on, the visitor explained: "Although Loken was indeed the Watcher of Yogg-Saron who became corrupted and allowed Ulduar to fall, he also served a more important role than any of the other watchers. You see, Loken was in constant communication with the Titans who imprisoned Yogg-Saron. The Titans allow us to inhabit Azeroth and keep any corruption in check. When Loken was slain in the Halls of Lightning, that connection with the Titans was severed, and they have sent Algalon the Observer to determine if Azeroth has been overcome with corruption. With the Lich King's minions all over this continent, Algalon will certainly re-originate Azeroth to remove the corruption forever unless we can stop him."
Cazaldora, having calmed down slightly, now looked upon the visitor with genuine curiosity. "By re-originating Azeroth, do you mean wiping all life off the planet?"
"Yes" the visitor answered sharply. "As you can see, there is just slightly more on the line than the battle we face in Icecrown."
Vowain inquired "so Algalon is residing in Ulduar?"
The visitor shook her head. "Not exactly...Algalon has set himself up in the Celestial Planetarium, which is only accessible with the blessing and sigils of the remaining Keepers Freya, Mimiron, Thorim, and Hodir. Unlike when you faced these Watchers before, now you must convince them you are worthy of the task of taking on Algalon. To do so, you will need to defeat the bosses of Ulduar again, this time in such a way that impresses them."
Ruach stepped in "But how do we know you are not just making this story up and working for Arthas instead of our kings?"
With a heavy sigh, the hooded visitor slowly pulled back the hood covering her visage. A hushed gasp filled the room as the light revealed the face of Averlaine, a holy paladin who previously joined and left the ranks of The Illuminati.
"You? How can we trust you who left us on the steps of the Crusader's Coliseum?" whispered Vowain.
"I do what I must for the improvement of Azeroth, whether that is directly assisting the kings of the Alliance or leading warriors of the Horde into battle. The Light does not discriminate about the means to the end, and you of all people should understand that Vow."
Although Vowain was clearly hesitant to commit himself to the words of Averlaine, some of us were quite a bit closer to the paladin and could tell the honesty in her voice. With a quick glance at Gaurin and myself, Cazaldora stepped forward once again. "I trust you as always Averlaine. I will lead this battle on behalf of the the Alliance and The Illuminati, and I am certain we will be proud to lend some of our very best warriors for this highly important task while Vowain continues to prepare for the siege upon Icecrown Citadel."
With a surge of pride and renewed purpose, I jumped up from my stitchwork at the fireside. "I indeed will join Cazaldora in this battle to save Azeroth. I know with the power of the light and the holy spirit, we will prevail over this Algalon."
If only I could be so sure in my heart of hearts. But putting on a good face to support my close ally was crucial. I turned and prayed for support from other members of the guild. Sure enough, a few other proud and strong warriors stepped up immediately behind Cazaldora and myself. Among them were Arturias the warrior, Graystreak the mage, Atleen the paladin, Rhodaria the shaman, Lucivelle the mage, Miraelle the druid, Sihnon the hunter, Allastra the warlock, and Eukari the death knight. All of a sudden, I knew we could succeed.
With another quick nod to Gaurin, I turned and gave a quick wink to Cazaldora.
The Hunt Is On...