Before the Storm (World of Warcraft)

A Novel

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An all-new, official prequel novel to The Battle for Azeroth, Blizzard Entertainment's next expansion to the critically acclaimed World of Warcraft videogame.

Azeroth is dying.

The Horde and the Alliance defeated the demonic Burning Legion, but a dire catastrophe is unfolding deep below the surface of the world. There is a mortal wound in the heart of Azeroth, struck by the sword of the fallen titan Sargeras in a final act of cruelty.

For Anduin Wrynn, king of Stormwind, and Sylvanas Windrunner, warchief of the Horde and queen of the Forsaken, there is little time to rebuild what remains and even less to mourn what was lost. Azeroth's devastating wound has revealed a mysterious material known as Azerite. In the right hands, this strange golden substance is capable of incredible feats of creation; in the wrong ones, it could bring forth unthinkable destruction.

As Alliance and Horde forces race to uncover the secrets of Azerite and heal the wounded world, Anduin enacts a desperate plan aimed at forging a lasting peace between the factions. Azerite jeopardizes the balance of power, and so Anduin must gain the trust of Sylvanas. But, as ever, the Dark Lady has her own machinations.

For peace to be possible, generations of bloodshed and hatred must be brought to an end. But there are truths that neither side is willing to accept and ambitions they are loath to relinquish. As Alliance and Horde alike grasp for the Azerite's power, their simmering conflict threatens to reignite all-out war-a war that would spell doom for Azeroth.

Praise for Before the Storm

"This is easily the best book in the World of Warcraft series, and I don't say that lightly. . . . It's so much more than a tie-in novel. . . . It's a beautiful book."-Blizzard Watch
"This is easily the best book in the World of Warcraft series, and I don't say that lightly. . . . It's so much more than a tie-in novel. . . . It's a beautiful book."-Blizzard Watch
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  • Chapter One


    Rain fell on the somber throngs making their way to Lion's Rest as if even the sky wept for those who had sacrificed their lives to defeat the Burning Legion. Anduin Wrynn, king of Stormwind, stood a few steps back from the podium where he soon would be addressing mourners of all the Alliance races. He watched them silently as they arrived, moved to see them, loath to speak to them. He suspected that this service honoring the fallen would be the most difficult he had endured in his relatively short life not just for the other mourners but for himself; it would be held in the shadow of his father's empty tomb.

    Anduin had attended far, far too many ceremonies honoring the casualties of war. As he did each time-as, he believed, every good leader did-he hoped and prayed that this one would be the last.

    But it never was.

    Somehow there was always another enemy. Sometimes the enemy was new, a group springing up seemingly out of nowhere. Or something ancient and long-chained or buried, supposedly neutralized, rising after eons of silence to terrorize and destroy innocents. Other times the enemy was bleakly familiar but no less a threat for the intimacy of the knowledge.

    How had his father met those challenges time after time? Anduin wondered. How had his grandfather? Now was a time of relative quiet, but the next enemy, the next challenge, doubtless would arrive all too soon.

    It had not been all that long since Varian Wrynn's death, but for the great man's son it felt like a lifetime. Varian had fallen in the first real push of this latest war against the Legion, apparently slain as much by betrayal from a supposed ally, Sylvanas Windrunner, as by the monstrous, fel-fueled creatures vomited forth from the Twisting Nether. Another account from someone Anduin trusted contested that version, suggesting that Sylvanas had had no other choice. Anduin was not sure what to believe. Thoughts of the cunning and treacherous leader of the Horde made Anduin angry, as they always did. And, as always, he called on the Holy Light for calmness. It did not serve to harbor hatred in his heart even for such a deserving enemy. And it would not bring back his father. Anduin took comfort in knowing that the legendary warrior had died fighting and that his sacrifice had saved many lives.

    And in that fraction of a second, Prince Anduin Wrynn had become king.

    In many ways, Anduin had been preparing for this position all his life. Even so, he was keenly aware that in other, very important ways, he hadn't truly been ready. Maybe still wasn't. His father had loomed so large not just in the eyes of his youthful son but in the eyes of Varian's people-even in the eyes of his enemies.

    Dubbed Lo'Gosh, or "ghost wolf," for his ferocity in battle, Varian had been more than a powerful warrior superbly skilled at combat. He had been an extraordinary leader. In the first few weeks after his father's shocking death, Anduin had done his best to comfort a grieving, stunned populace reeling from the loss, while denying himself a proper chance to mourn.

    They grieved for the Wolf. Anduin grieved for the man.

    And when he lay awake at night, unable to sleep, he would wonder just how many demons in the end it had taken to murder King Varian Wrynn.

    Once he had voiced this thought to Genn Greymane, king of the fallen realm of Gilneas, who had stepped in to counsel the fledgling monarch. The old man had smiled even though sorrow haunted his eyes.

    "All I can tell you, my boy, is that before they got to your father, he had single-handedly killed the largest fel reaver I ever saw, in order to save an airship full of retreating soldiers. I know for certain that Varian Wrynn made the Legion pay dearly for taking him."

    Anduin did not doubt that. It wasn't enough, but it had to be.

    Although there were plenty of armed guards in attendance, Anduin had put on no
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Einband gebundene Ausgabe
Seitenzahl 304
Erscheinungsdatum 12.06.2018
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-399-59409-0
Verlag Random House LCC US
Maße (L/B/H) 23,6/15,9/3,5 cm
Gewicht 500 g
Verkaufsrang 15880
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