After an attack by Dalaran Mages in the Plaguelands, Munio fled to the Drunken Kodo - which was not only open, but was frequented by his friends from Curse that night - after brief cousel with them, he took matters into his own hands...

The Cost of Betrayal

A bizarre thing fell upon Dalaran that night. A thick, cold fog. It was odd because the great shield around Dalaran protected the now nearly reconstructed city from the elements, except for those intentionally produced. Tirrius assumed that one of the other Archmages had been feeling a bit bored and produced it as a joke, or a refreshing reminder of the outdoors that some of the people missed. In any case, it was there, and there wasn’t much to do about it.

Down in the streets, a reclamation team of five was working diligently in one of the quarters still untouched. This had been one of the first parts hit by the Scourge, and was one of the last to be repaired. The old tower stood as an ominous reminder of things unfinished. It stood as a shadow over the rest of the city, and was one of the only towers to withstand the invasion. It also seemed that the mysterious fog that had set in was emanating from the tower, making it an even more frightening figure on this night. The men worked their way, door to door, checking the inside of each home for valuables, tomes, artefacts, anything that could prove useful. For the most part, the home had been overrun and gutted by the Scourge, claw marks through every item in each home, but they eventually came upon a peculiar place.

As the first man came in, he discovered the home was nearly intact. Excluding the door, which seemed to have been bashed in, there was no damage to any part of the mid-size townhouse. Above the fireplace, a portrait of a family hung, perfectly intact. A son, a mother, and a strangely familiar father stood behind them. His hair was a deep blue, as were his eyes. The whole team came in with their packs, and began taking the numerous things left behind. The fog began to creep inside the house, but the men took no notice, it was not their job to worry about the artificial weather, it was to essentially loot what was left, and return it to the Archmages. This home unlike the others was a gold mine. Several tomes of the arcane, from training manuals to studies of paranormal activity, even a few artefacts that seemed to emanate power. By now, the whole house was full of the fog, which seemed to thicken as time went on.

Wood hitting stone. One of the men jumped and turned around to see only the fog. Clutching his pack, he called out – “Guys…”

“Over here. It’s just a little fog, we’ll meet outside where it is thinner.”

“I can’t see the way out.” Another answered. The assumed leader answered again.

“Follow the bloody walls if you have to. It’s just fog. Nothing else.” Frustrated with his men, the leader began making his way out. He knew the door to be to his immediate right, he had not moved far since he came in. He walked towards the doorway, and slipped on the top step. He fell down the five steps and landed on his chest. The fog was no thinner outside. Thunk. A staff hitting the ground. He quickly scrambled to his feet. The sound of wood dragging along the ground. He grew colder. A blade unsheathing. “Who – who’s there?” he quivered.

“We’re still inside sir!” one of his men said. The leader groaned.

“Who’s there?” He whispered. He felt a chill upon him he never knew before. His throat burned from the cold, and his body became numb.

“I am here.” Calmly and kindly said a man in a cold voice. He felt the blade upon his heart – and then there was nothing.

“Sir? Sir?!” Said one of the men inside the home. Suddenly, the fireplace became aflame, the men slowly came around it. “I’ve never felt so cold.” They all huddled around it. Footsteps. “Oh sir, you’ve come to join us ‘ave you?” The man turned around to see masked man – his eyes aglow with a blue hue.

““Sir” will not be joining you.” A freezing sheet of cold blasted the men, and they all fell to the ground. One by one, the masked man stabbed them in the heart – save one of them. The masked man took his blade in his right hand, and cut the last worker along his left cheek, and then hit him in the head with the handle, knocking him out cold.

The day after, the fog had lifted, and Tirrius was called to the reclamation camp – it was at the edge of the unfinished quarter. “Sir, we had a team of five go missing last night in the fog, they haven’t returned, no one will go back into the quarter, the say it’s cursed.”

“Cursed?” Tirrius hated that word.

“Well you see sir, this is one of the first places hit by the Scourge, and it is the most damaged. Last night we sent our first team into this part of the city, and they disappeared. Already we’re having rumours going around, but there has always been a rumour about the Tower.”

“You’re kidding right?” Tirrius said in his usual kind manner. The officer began to get edgey.

“Well, it was the only tower to withstand the invasion, they say a lone Scourge is hold up in there, and stalks the quarter at night.”

“And this came about when?”

“A few weeks ago, when we started clearing out the outlying homes. Where you could see the Tower from.”

“And already you have people refusing to enter, only one team was brave enough to go in – on the night with the fog no doubt – and they somehow vanished into thin air – or into the fog – and now you are slowing down work and no one is even willing to go look for these men?” Tirrius grew angry.

“Yessir.” The officer gulped. Tirrius sighed.

“I’ll be back in an hour.” He began walking toward the tower.

A body lay in the street. Tirrius blinked and he was before it. A stab wound in his heart – a quick way to die. Tirrius had an odd feeling. The burned and broken homes were all around him, but he had been here before. He looked to his left, and saw a perfectly preserved home that was oddly familiar. He walked up the steps and looked into the home. Four men lay dead around the still burning fireplace, when one coughed.

Tirrius rushed to him, taking no notice to his surroundings. The man was blue with cold and the left side of his face bloody. Tirrius reached for his handkerchief and wiped the blood from his face, revealing a long thin cut along his left cheek. Tirrius felt his own scar and shivered. “Who did this?” he said sternly to the last worker.

“The… the… the eyes!” He exclaimed and he fainted. Tirrius became frightened. He laid the man down and stood before the fireplace. A portrait hung before the fireplace – one of his apprentice and his family. He noticed a note on the hearth. Quickly he opened it. It read:

This is the cost of your betrayal.

Tirrius knew immediately what it meant. He left the home and ran down the street back toward the reclamation camp.

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