Three days later.
The day was hectic. The Theramore Conference was to be the meeting ground between Alliance, Horde, Blood Elves, Ebon Order, and Night Elves representatives to discuss three items: The Grommash border fortress in Demon Fall Canyon, the remnants of the Legion, and the soul fragment in Sylvanas’ body.
Aidan watched the entrance with growing impatience. He was waiting for Rhonin to talk about the soul fragment and a new mystery. A mental note was made of each figure that passed him as he rested his forearms on the battlement. He sensed his target had arrived.
“You don’t scare me, Rhonin, even with your magical hand,” said an unsurprised Aidan. “Do you have anything to tell me about the fragment?”
Rhonin wasn’t deterred - he knew that Aidan was impossible to scare. Smiling and standing near Aidan he sighed and said:
“Indeed, I do. The fragment itself is powerful enough to destabilize some of our equipment to the point of combustion.”
Aidan only had more questions.
“Why would Arthas use a soul fragment to keep Sylvanas in check and later free her from the Lich King’s control?”
Frustration with this mystery consumed him alongside his memory of combat with the Stygians; the human/black dragon hybrids that he had destroyed drove his questions now.
“It’s the Stygian Crisis all over again. Just a big mystery.”
As Aidan spoke he began to feel his arm shift and spasms of unbearable pain, an occurrence that began after the demise of Deathwing.
“Dammit! One of the worst this year… I will tell you Rhonin, being born frail and having a nethermage for a mother does not make for a pleasant life.”
Recovering from the tremendous pain he continued:
“This burden drives me to wish my own end.”
The pain reminded Aidan of how fleeting a mortal’s existence is compared to those heralding from the twisting nether, how he owes his life to one of those creatures, and how even since the Stygian Crisis his enduring physical pain had not dimished. Seeing Sylvanas happy with her sister and nephews reinforced that her love is the reason he is whole again. He and Sylvanas shared his second burden in the form of terrible memories presenting themselves as nightmares. So many innocent souls were taken by his hand.
“That reminds me.” said Rhonin in a caustious tone.
“Who else knows about the… entity?”
“You, Sylvanas, Vereesa and my father” said Aidan still recovering from the pain.
“Other than that… no one el…”
His words were interrupted by a tremor in the port’s wall section and the sounds of battle. Commoners began to run from the port as a female Eredar came crashing down into the adjacent park. Soon after the ground near the entrance of the park began to tremble and from it came a “crypt lord”-like creature. It was terrifying: taller than an ogre, a crimson carapace, eyes devoid of any color, and already bloodied from the Footmen it killed on its way in.
“Rhonin! Find Sylvanas, Vereesa, and the twins and send them and the civilians to the keep!” screamed Aidan, sensing incredible danger from the creature. “I’ll do what I can here!
With that his swords were drawn.
Rhonin barely had any time to answer as Aidan dashed through the market past Sylvanas, Vereesa, and the twins on his way to the mysterious creature. He had not time to even take a glimpse of his loved ones.
The creature's attention was on the female Eredar. It was moving closer to her and raising its claw to perforate her and finish her off. Aidan arrived in time to parry as the blow fell. He had fought Crypt Lords in the past but this was an entirely different monster. He was unable to draw blood despite several critical blows. The creature struck Aidan on his left shoulder dealing significant damage and forcing him to drop a blade.
Aidan panicked internally but maintained his composure. He decided to apply speed instead of strength as a means to slay the beast – as it had been with Arthas.
He knew he needed to use the entity, the… essence… that powered his abilities. Aidan was reluctant to lose any more of his humanity but that was the same hubris that caused his death and reanimation into a Death Knight by Arthas.
“Use it…” said a mysterious, but monstrous voice voice inside Aidan’s head. “It’s the… only power… that can kill… that monstrosity…”
“No…” Whispered Aidan, fearing the entity. “I won’t lose my humanity.”
The voice grew into a consistent harsh slithering tone:
“The Same thing... you’ve said to me… when you’ve faced… Arthas… Look where… it has… gotten you… boy…. you lost… your life… when you… fought Arthas… your will… when you… became his slave… your innocence… when blood… of innocents… was on your… hands…. the girl…”
“Not. One. Word.” Whispered Aidan through his teeth. “You will not say anything about Sylvanas.”
“USE IT! It’s the only… thing… that can… protect her… boy… and restore… what’s left… of you…. after all…, I… am… you… too…. we are… the same being… you and I… and I’m born… thanks to your… stubbornness…. do you… remember… my name…?”
“Your name is…” Whispered Aidan, pondering about it. “Your name is… Argolzk.”
“No more… once you… accept this… power….” said Argolsk “For I’ll… no… we’ll become… Aidan… again….”
That was what Aidan needed, to be whole again. If he accepted now the voice would vanish into him and he would have his power...
The creature raised its mangled claw to strike again.
Aidan felt a rush of strength. What had been his left arm was now a twisting claw from the nether. The creature attempted to recoil but met its end under the crushing ethereal power that reduced it to a smoldering pile of bone and ash.
Alliance and the Horde soldiers began to arrive.
“What happened here!” said a rough orcish voice belonging to Warchief Thrall. “And… Can you explain what is that arm, human?”
Aidans tone had changed and he was seemingly unaware of who he was replying to:
“Another time maybe, right now we have a guest who might know what’s happening."
He approached the barely conscious Eredar, grasping her by her collar with his human hand:
“EXPLAIN YOURSELF, EREDAR!” Said Aidan with a furious tone. “ANSWER ME NOW!”
“They are coming…” whispered the weakened Eredar. “I must speak with Velen… please.”
The Eredar woman lost her consciousness as soon as she said “please”. Aidan’s frustration was only compounded by the lack of answers. He could feel the rage burning within him. He picked her up taking care not to harm her with his left appendage.
A mentally defeated Aidan addressed those around him:
“Let’s go… I’ll explain my condition once this woman is secured.”
Aidan could feel this weakened Eredar was important... but how?
Who the Eredar was and who she sought would be central to the war that would shake the core of Azeroth as they knew.