|Through the Mirror Darkly|
Thargas taking on the Dark Irons
|Artist(s)||Jon Landry, Jerome K. Moore|
|Publication date||July 16, 2008|
|Retail price||US: $2.99|
Through the Mirror Darkly is the 9th installment of the World of Warcraft comic.
Lo’Gosh, Valeera, Broll, and Thargas make their way to Ironforge via a circuitous route through the Wetlands. And back in Stormwind, Prince Anduin suspects all is not as it seems with his father, King Varian.
Lo'Gosh, Valeera, Broll, and Thargas are making their way through the streets of Menethil Harbor, with Thargas mounted on a ram, Lo'Gosh riding a horse, and Broll — transformed into a cheetah — carrying Valeera on his back. Thargas decides that since Lo'Gosh's mysterious enemy will likely expect him to travel from Menethil to Ironforge by sea or air, it'll be safer for the group to instead take the longer land route through the Wetlands. An old woman approaches Valeera and offers her a fel dagger. Desperate for any energy source, Valeera touches the dagger and is overwhelmed by the sensation. Broll, however, swipes the dagger out of the old woman's grip and rushes out of the harbor, taking Valeera with him. Lo'Gosh and Thargas follow them out into the Wetlands.
Meanwhile, in a dark room, a hooded lady meets with the blood elf warlock Vendellin Soulfire and hires him to assassinate Lo'Gosh. Vendellin requests an extremely high fee for the job, demands that he receive the entire sum at once, and reveals that he knows his employer for what she is. The hooded figure complies but warns him not to fail in his mission, or he will see her as she truly is.
In the Wetlands, Lo'Gosh's party fight off a pack of raptors. During the evening, they cook some of the beasts' meat over a campfire, but Valeera refuses to eat. Broll tells her that even just the withdrawal effects from touching the fel dagger will be difficult. He offers her some medicinal herbs, which she refuses. At the campfire, Broll tells Lo'Gosh and Thargas that while night elves use only natural and divine magic, blood elves revel in the use of arcane and lately even fel energies. Valeera will inevitably crave darker magic and experience painful withdrawal, but it might be for the best that she goes through the worst of it out in the marsh, where there are no further temptations.
The next morning in Stormwind Keep, King Magni Bronzebeard meets with King "Varian" and Highlord Bolvar to discuss the threat posed by the Dark Iron dwarves, who have left their capital in Blackrock Mountain and begun infiltrating the Badlands, Wetlands, and Dun Morogh. Magni dismisses Bolvar's concerns about the Blackrock orcs who are threatening Lakeshire, considering them to be no great threat, but insists that the Dark Irons are treacherous and may soon threaten Thandol Span. Lady Katrana Prestor enters the room and provokes Magni by mentioning his daughter Moira's rumored relationship with Dagran Thaurissan and asking why he hasn't gone to war against the Dark Irons. She then points out that it would be unwise for Stormwind to get involved in a personal feud between two dwarf nations, a sentiment that "Varian" (who has so far seemed distant and uninterested in the meeting) agrees with.
Meanwhile in the Wetlands, Lo'Gosh's party approach the mountains and prepare to begin their climb toward Ironforge when they are suddenly ambushed by a group of Dark Irons led by Gunnar Flyntrock, who reveals that the Dark Irons have captured Thargas' brother Hjalmar and are holding him under torture. Lo'Gosh and Thargas clash with the Dark Irons head on while Broll and Valeera try to watch each other's back. While in , Broll is felled when a Dark Iron throws an axe in his back. After a short battle, all of the Dark Irons are slain except for Gunnar. Before expiring, he tells Thargas that Hjalmar is being held at Thandol Span and gloats that once the two brothers are dead, the Anvilmars will be no more.
In Stormwind Keep, Magni angrily prepares to leave the city, telling Bolvar that the Varian he knew would never have handed over his kingdom to "some scheming tart". Anduin overhears the conversation from his sword practice session and is knocked down by his tutor while he's distracted.
In the Wetlands, Lo'Gosh helps remove arrows from the injured Broll's body. Valeera notes that Broll could have shifted to his druid form during the battle but chose to remain in Bear Form to shield her, and that she was so nervous she couldn't throw her daggers straight. She apologizes to Broll and promises to do whatever he tells her to get better, as long as he doesn't die. Recovering, Broll shifts back to night elf form while Thargas points out that the group is still several days away from Ironforge. However, Lo'Gosh refuses to leave his old teacher Hjalmar in the Dark Irons' hands and resolves that the group will head to Thandol Span to rescue him.
In Stormwind, Magni and his entourage prepare to leave on the Deeprun Tram when he is suddenly approached by Anduin, who confides that he too has felt something wrong with his father, before the conversation is interrupted by Varian and Katrana's arrival. A dwarf informs Magni that they've just received word that the Dark Irons have claimed control of Thandol Span from Longbraid and his men. Magni asks Varian if he'll finally send reinforcements now, but changes his mind and decides that the dwarves will handle the matter themselves. Magni sends for a dirigible to fly straight from Stormwind to the span. Disappointed in Varian, Magni internally resolves to seek out the "Lo'Gosh" that Jaina believes in to see what he's really about.
Back in the Wetlands, Lo'Gosh's party are stopped on their journey when Vendellin Soulfire arrives on a dragonhawk and approaches Valeera, offering her fel energy. When she gets close, Vendellin afflicts her with the Mark of Kathra'natir. He then turns to the others, afflicting Lo'Gosh and Thargas' mounts with fear to cause them to run away in panic. Broll calls on the winds to sweep away Vendellin's dragonhawk, but the warlock responds by sacrificing the life essence of the grass around him to conjure a large doomguard that attacks Thargas and Broll. Vendellin turns to Lo'Gosh and afflicts him with painful magic, but the human quickly recovers, to the warlock's shock. A few yards away, Broll summons huge roots that snare the doomguard and pull it beneath the swamp, while Lo'Gosh severs Vendellin's head from his body with a single blow from his sword.
During the night, Broll attemps to comfort Valeera, whose skin has grown sickly pale and covered in fel runes. Valeera says that she can feel the curse's fel energy crawling through her soul and that she is too befouled and filthy to bear it. Crying, she begs Broll to help her, and he promises to do all he can.