|The Winds of War|
|Author(s)||Walter Simonson, Louise Simonson|
|Artist(s)||Mike Bowden, Phil Moy, Richard Friend, Sandra Hope|
|Publication date||May 20, 2009|
|Retail price||US: $2.99|
The Winds of War is the 19th installment of the World of Warcraft comic.
In Stormwind City, Varian, Anduin, and Bolvar oversee the preparations for the Alliance's invasion of Northrend when a dense fog begins enveloping city, unsettling many of the workers and guards. Suddenly, a Scourge army consisting of death knights, abominations, frost wyrms, and other undead appears and attacks the capital while a necropolis appears in the sky and a large ghostly figure yells out the Lich King's message to the Alliance. Varian immediately rallies his soldiers to fight back and tells Bolvar to get Anduin to safety. While killing Scourge, the king orders his magi to shield the city and force the necropolis out to sea. One undead tries to strike the king from behind while he's distracted, but Anduin decapitates it by hurling a dagger through its neck. While Bolvar takes the prince up to a nearby tower from where he can protect his father with his bow, Anduin laments that he simply longs for peace.
Meanwhile in Orgrimmar's Valley of Honor, Thrall holds a meeting with Garrosh, Rehgar, Varok Saurfang, Sylvanas Windrunner, and Grand Apothecary Putress. Garrosh accuses Thrall of turning the orcs into weaklings. Believing that the Horde should rule all of Azeroth, he advocates conquering the humans before sending their forces to crush the Lich King in Northrend. Rehgar quietly tells Thrall that Garrosh is close to challenging him. The warchief concurs and decides to force the mag'har's hand by saying that he will not make the same mistakes as Garrosh's father. Provoked, Garrosh challenges Thrall to a mak'gora, which the warchief accepts. The two orcs duel in the Ring of Valor until Saurfang runs in and informs them that the Scourge is attacking Orgrimmar. Thrall and Garrosh interrupt their duel to join Saurfang and the others in defending the city from the undead. During the battle, Rehgar incorrectly concludes that the Scourge must have orchestrated the attack at Theramore to kill Thrall and throw the orcs into disarray before the Lich King's assault.
In Theramore, Jaina, Aegwynn, and Valeera question Garona to find out where Med'an might have been taken. The half-orc informs them that Med'an's kidnapper's name is Stasia, but she is unable to recall anything more and experiences great pain when trying to do so. Jaina warns that they need to proceed carefully, since it could be dangerous to remove any of the deeply embedded magical blocks on Garona's mind. With no regard for her own safety, Garona insists that they continue anyway so they can rescue her son as quickly as possible.
In Ahn'Qiraj, Cho'gall scolds Stasia for failing in her mission, but she insists that she did what she had to do and points out that she has captured Med'an, the most vital part of their plans. Suddenly, the boy breaks free of Stasia's stasis spell and tries to lash out. In response, Cho'gall throws him up on the corpse of C'Thun, where whispers from the Old God begin barraging his mind. Cho'gall is contacted by his tauren spy, who informs him of the Lich King's attacks on cities throughout Azeroth. The ogre declares that with the leaders of the world distracted, it is time for his master's resurrection to begin.
Back in Theramore, Jaina tries to unlock Garona's most recent memories through a ritual. The half-orc begins to remember the orders Cho'gall gave her even though it causes her distress, and before passing out she manages to partially yell the word "Ahn'Qiraj".
Meanwhile, Meryl approaches Theramore on his gryphon and reflects on how he has raised Med'an like his own son. He regrets lying to the boy about his mother and wishes that he would have asked more questions about Med'an's parentage. When the mage spots a Scourge necropolis approaching Theramore, he lands in the city, immobilizes some guards who mistake him for being Scourge, and bursts into the mage tower where Jaina, Aegwynn, and Valeera are watching over the unconscious Garona to inform them of the impending attack and ask where Med'an is. Meryl and Aegwynn are surprised to see each other, and Aegwynn explains to the others that Meryl was a founding a member of the Council of Tirisfal. He was mortally wounded during the Troll Wars but was "forced by circumstance" to survive as an undead, and his purpose has always been to protect Azeroth. Meryl then explains how he came to have Med'an in his care. When Jaina asks about the boy's father, Meryl simply replies that Garona never told him and he didn't think it mattered. In the middle of the conversation, Meryl suddenly realizes that Med'an looks like Aegwynn and begins to wonder what that means for who the child's father is.
The Scourge reaches Theramore. While Meryl would like to stay and fight, he states that his duty is to Med'an first and foremost. Jaina tells Valeera to accompany the mage to Ahn'Qiraj. At first, the blood elf refuses; the Scourge destroyed her homeland, and while Meryl is not Scourge, an undead is still an undead in her eyes. However, she reluctantly agrees after Aegwynn tells her that her fate and that of all of all Azeroth may rest in Meryl's hands. The mage teleports himself and the elf to Ahn'Qiraj, but unfortunately they arrive in the middle of a group of Twilight's Hammer led by Stasia. The cultists immediately attack the intruders, but Meryl begins unleashing fire while Valeera jumps forward, decapitates Stasia, and kicks her body into a nearby bonfire. While Meryl holds the cultists at bay, Valeera runs into the nearby main building, where a weakened Med'an is still tied to C'Thun's body and being assaulted by the Old God's voice. Valeera kills the guards, cuts down the boy, and carries him outside, where Meryl suddenly comes face to face with Cho'gall, who has started to gain monstrous mutations due to his master's influence. Meryl kills the remaining cultists attacking him, but Cho'gall effortlessly knocks the mage unconscious with a single punch. Valeera is left on her own to face the huge ogre, who gloats that he can sense a demon lurking inside her.
Cover by Pete Woods and Tony Washington.
Cover artwork by Pete Woods and Tony Washington.
Cover sample by Pete Woods and Tony Washington.