The brutal siege of Orgrimmar may be over, but Garrosh Hellscream, the most infamous orc on Azeroth, has yet to face justice. Bound in chains by his enemies, the deposed tyrant of the Horde must now answer for his crimes. Alongside renowned leaders from across Azeroth, you will bear witness to his long-awaited trial.
Visions of Garrosh’s past atrocities are presented in vivid detail for all to see. But as history is revisited, old grievances and bitter memories come to light, and those in attendance begin to wonder if anyone among them is truly innocent. Mounting tensions and rising enmity steer the court to the brink of chaos . . . as the world waits with bated breath for the verdict on the war crimes of Garrosh Hellscream.
War Crimes, the new World of Warcraft novel by author Christie Golden, follows the dramatic events that grip Azeroth in the wake of the siege of Orgrimmar . . . and delves into long-buried secrets that may have been best left uncovered. Pick up your copy today to learn just what the future holds for the residents of Azeroth and the recently dethroned warchief of the Horde.
To learn more about the new novel, check out the WoW Insider interview with Christie Golden, and read on for a sneak peek at a chapter from the book.
Excerpt — Chapter 12
There was still some time left before court resumed. She always thought better in her own realm; in the Undercity, beneath lowering skies and surrounded by the Forsaken, who entrusted themselves to her guidance. She would let them, let her home, inspire her.
She approached the mage assigned to the court, Yu Fei, and requested a portal. Just as Yu Fei had finished murmuring the words of the spell and an image of the Undercity appeared before her, another pandaren, whom she did not know, raced up.
“Lady Sylvanas,” he said, “my apologies, but I was instructed to give this to you!” He pressed a scroll and a small package wrapped in blue cloth into her hands. Stepping back quickly, he bowed. Even as Sylvanas opened her mouth to inquire who had sent said scroll, the air shimmered around her and she manifested in her quarters.
They were spare, as befitted one who did not linger overlong in them. Sylvanas Windrunner no longer needed sleep as such, though she did come here from time to time simply to be alone and to think. She had few belongings: a bed hung with heavy, dark drapes; a desk with candles and writing materials; a chair; and a single shelf lined with a half-dozen books. Select weapons were displayed on the wall within easy reach. She needed very little else in her present existence; and she did not keep much from her past one.
Curious as to who might be sending her a missive and a package, and cautious about opening them, Sylvanas inspected the scroll thoroughly. She sensed no magic from it, nor did she notice any telltale signs that would alert her to poison. The scroll was sealed with red wax, but there was no identifying mark. Turning her attention to the package, Sylvanas noted that the blue cloth was an item commonly sold in all major cities. She shook it gently, and something clinked inside. Sinking down on the soft bed, she then removed her gloves, cracking the seal with a fingernail.
The handwriting was elegant, the lines few:
Once we were on the same side.
Perhaps we can be again.
Sylvanas narrowed her eyes speculatively, trying to think who this mystery person might be. The handwriting wasn’t immediately recognizable, but it was somehow familiar. She had a rather lengthy list of people who had turned against her, or whom she had defied. Amused, she unwrapped the parcel and opened the small wooden box.
Her chest contracted, and she dropped the package as if it had bitten her.
The banshee stared at its contents, then rose and unsteadily made her way to her desk. Her fingers shook as she unlocked a drawer. Here, untouched for years, was all that remained of her past. There were only a few items; decades-old letters, arrowheads from significant kills, some other odds and ends; the detritus of a life.
And a small box.
Part of her urged her to throw the new gift inside this drawer, turn the key, and forget, again. No good could come of this. And yet . . . .
Holding the box, she returned to the bed. With unwonted gentleness, Sylvanas lifted the lid and gazed at what was inside. An adventurer had found this, several years ago, lying among the ruins of the spire where she had fallen. It had been returned to her. The memories it unleashed had nearly broken her then, and threatened to do so now.
Such a small thing, to have such power over the Banshee Queen: a simple piece of jewelry. Sylvanas picked up the necklace, letting the cool metal rest in her hand and gazing at the blue, winking gem that adorned it. Gently she placed it down next to the one she had just received.
They were a perfect match, save for the gemstones; hers was a sapphire, this was a ruby. Different too Sylvanas knew, were the inscriptions.
She opened hers and read: To Sylvanas. Love always, Alleria.
Alleria . . . the second of the Windrunners to have left them. First had been their brother, Lirath, the youngest of them all, and perhaps the brightest. Then Alleria, lost beyond the Dark Portal in Outland.
Then . . . .
Sylvanas shook her head, reclaiming her composure. Of the Windrunner immediate family, she was certain of only one who yet drew breath.
Sylvanas opened the ruby locket, knowing what she would find, but needing to see it with her own eyes.
To Vereesa. With love, Alleria.