POCKET BOOKS, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
Copyright © 2000 by Blizzard Entertainment
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First Pocket Books Ebooks Edition December 2000
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Cover illustration by Bill Petras and Chris Metzen
Visit us onthe World Wide Web: http:/ /www.SimonSays.com To my folks, Pete and Kathy Metzen, for all their love, support, and encouragement over the years.
To Team Hamro— Sam Moore, Michael Carrillo, Mike Pirozzi, and Daniel Moore, for always reminding me of what “epic” really means.
To Walter Simonson, whose portrayal of a certain thundergod defined everything I value as an artist and a storyteller.And last, but not least— to all of my talented brothers and sisters at Blizzard with whom I’ve had the distinct privilege of building the greatest worlds in computer gaming. This one’s for you, y’all.
OF BLOOD AND HONOR
POCKET BOOKS NEWYORK LONDON TORONTO SYDNEY SINGAPORE
One -A Clash of Arms Two -Unanswered Questions Three -A Warrior’s Tale Four -The Chains of CommandFive -A Trial of Will Six -A Sort of Homecoming
Seven -The Drums of War Eight -A Perfect Circle About the Author
A Clash of Arms Asoft, cool breeze blew through the upper branches of the mighty oak trees of the Hearthglen Woods. A peaceful quiet had fallen over the tranquil forest, leaving Tirion Fordring alone with his thoughts. His gray stallion, Mirador, trotted at an easy pace alongthe winding hunting path. Though game had been strangely scarce for the past few weeks, Tirion came to hunt here whenever the opportunity presented itself. He preferred the grandeur and crisp air of the open country to the musty, confining halls of his keep. He had been hunting in these woods since he was a small boy and knew their numerous, winding trails like the back of his hand. This was theone place he could always find refuge from the burdens and bureaucratic pressures of his station. He mused that someday he would bring his young son, Taelan, to hunt with him so that the boy could experience the rugged majesty of his homeland for himself. Lord Paladin Tirion Fordring was a powerful man. He was strong in both mind and body, and was counted as one of the greatest warriors of hisday. Though he was slightly over fifty years of age, he still looked as fit and dynamic as he had when a younger man. His signature bushy mustache and his neatly trimmed brown hair were streaked with gray, but his piercing green eyes still shone with an energy that belied his years. Tirion was the governor of the prosperous Alliance principality of Hearthglen, a large forested region nestled at thecrossroads between the towering Alterac Mountains and the mist-shrouded shores of Darrowmere Lake. He was respected as a just governor and his name and deeds were honored throughout the kingdom of Lordaeron. His great keep, Mardenholde, was the center of commerce and trade for the bustling region. The citizens of Hearthglen took great pride in the fact that the keep’s mighty walls had never fallento invaders, even during the darkest days of the orcish invasion of Lordaeron. Yet, of late, Tirion was disgruntled to find a different kind of army scurrying worriedly through the halls of his home. In recent weeks the keep had been overrun with traveling dignitaries and representatives from the various nations of the Alliance, who passed through Hearthglen on their secret diplomatic errands....