As the wyvern rose high above Durotar and sped southward the night air turned cold, and Anne felt the chill seep into her bones, threatening to betray the numbness she felt. Still wearing the plain brown dress she favored for fishing, she clutched in her frail fingers the letter that had frozen her to the undead heart. It couldn’t possibly be true… he was so careful in his planning, and so strong… it couldn’t be true….

What had the strange lady said? She had walked into the inn just as Anne was re-reading the letter, trying to take it in… “If we walk the right path, the gods never abandon us.” Anne had always believed that. Surely the words had not been just a… a… mockery of her pain. Fate could not be that cruel.

The full moon hung low and bright over Kalimdor as it always did, illuminating the beauty of the land beneath her through the long flight, but she saw none of it. The world had collapsed to a few charred scraps of fabric folded in a letter and the fear of where they had come from.

She slid stiffly off of the wyvern outside of Gadgetzan. It was a long walk, with hostile beasts stalking through the desert at every turn, but she was undisturbed as her small feet paced off the distance across the sand. Her beloved moon had sailed far across the sky by the time she reached the rocks overlooking the Caverns of Time. She crept along the ledge, hearing the soft beat of dragon’s wings in the distance. Shadows of old bones littered the landscape… and some not so old. Her cold heart gave a sickening slam. It had to be a mistake.

Small and wraithlike, she stole along the rim rock, looking for something that she hoped to the Light that she would never find. Far below, the gentle white moonlight revealed a humanoid shape, crushed and twisted and scorched, with bits of red robes scattered about, and a funny purple hat. Darkness swam before her eyes and she thought she would collapse on the ledge where she crouched, but the next moment she was scrambling down the rocky hillside, a sobbing breath torn from her throat. It must be a mistake…

Kneeling in the sand, she gently brushed the hat aside for a look at the face, but the scraps crumbled in her hands. A wayward ocean breeze blew them from her grasp along with a few scorched strands of teal-coloured hair that were among them. Anne did not hear the beating of the dragon’s wings as it patrolled through its lair, the warning shouts of the an approaching orcish war party as she failed to move from the path of the dragon, or the horrible screech the beast gave as it descended upon the intruder. She lifted her gaze at last as the huge claws ploughed through the remains in front of her, sending sand and bone and charred fabric flying in all directions. And then she knew no more.

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