Zima Stonehammer is a fictional character in the Warcraft universe. Inducted as a Knight of the Silver hand at a young age, he is one of the first dwarves to accept the teachings of the Light. A stalwart crusader, he heads King Magni Bronzebeard's Organization of Kingdom Operations, an order of High Dwarves, whose purpose is still unknown. His tale is one of both Darkness and Light.
Origins of the Stonehammer
In order to maintain his creations, the Titan created one such Earthen, known only as 'Stonehammer' in the ancient archives, to watch over and protect the race. This creation, could somehow manipulate the energy known as 'mana', to tend to broken Earthen, mend their wounds, bolster their spirits, and even recall their broken bodies to animation.
After the Sundering, the Earthen closed off their halls, and so the triumphs and feats of the 'Stonehammer' end there. The archives list nothing more until the Earthen emergence from dormancy many, many years later.
Once the gates to the underground chambers were finally opened, the Earthen had lost their stone like appearance, and had mortal traits. They had become what we now know today as the Dwarves. By this time, 'Stonehammer' had already had many offspring, and had long since passed away, hence the last name that his children would inherit. From there, the family branches and expands to many corners of Azeroth, losing its identity along the way. Many of the family were claimed in the War of the Three Hammers, and many more were lost or forgotten.
Only one direct known descendant of the original 'Stonehammer' is known to be alive today. His name, is Zima Stonehammer.
Zima was born seven years before the year zero of the new calendar, which was marked with the Guardian opening the Dark Portal. His parents, Mikhail Stonehammer and Galina Stonehammer, were serving in the Ironforge Armed Service at the time.
Mikhail was a Thane of the Mountain, a Mountain King. Under the rule of High Thane Magni Bronzebeard, Zima's father was a true champion of Khaz Modan. His mother, Galina, was a young Priest of the Light, serving in the Mystic Ward.
The three lived secluded lives; as Galina took care of young Zima, Mikhail served in the military from time to time when the Kingdom was in need. As a child, Zima had a few friends, namely his best being an Zume Shadowsprocket, a mischievous Gnome orphan who was always getting the two into trouble. Zume's greastest influence of Zima had been primarily introducing to him the art and craft of Engineering.
Another Gnome from the nearby city also would influence Zima's future. Mordo, a small yet brooding lad, would explain to Zima the counter-intuitive nature of the Light, and the forbidden powers of the Forgotten Shadow. Zima would keep this lesson with him for all his life, for ever since then, he would always wonder about its powers.
Zima loved his mother and her pious devotion to the Light, as well as inspired by his father's ferocity and bravery in battle. Both heavily influenced him to aspire to become a Paladin of the Silver Hand; a newly formed group of priests and clerics, whom took up armor and weapons in the name of the Light; a mixture of his mother's and father's professions. Yet, the final push towards this path came during the Second War.
In the 6th year after the opening of the Dark Portal the Horde began their northern offensive against the Alliance forces. The dwarves of Khaz Modan, realizing that the Horde would be upon them in a matter of months, began scrambling together a defensive regiment.
Mikhail and Galina were called upon as well.
The young age of fourteen would be the last Zima would see of his parents. His mother and father flew off together on gryphonback to join the war. He would later hear tales of their heroic exploits in the defense of Grim Batol, Dun Modr, Dun Algaz, and most importantly, their final battle at the very steps of the Dark Portal. It was in this moment that both stoutly gave their lives in order to allow Khadgar to complete the ritual on the Dark Portal.
Zima and the Light
Heartbroken by the death of his parents, Zima Stonehammer immediately decided to pursue what he had only dreamed of as a boy. He embarked on a long and treacherous journey to Alonsus Chapel in Stratholme, wherein he contacted Uther the Lightbringer and the Order of the Silver Hand. Upon hearing the young dwarf's plight, Uther single-handedly agreed to mentor the young Zima and watch over him as he steadily began on his path to the greatest Dwarven Paladin Azeroth had ever known.
And some other force, drew him on. Zima's new affinity for the Light allowed him to 'feel' darkness. And indeed, far north, in some unknown land, darkness was rising. He must be ready to combat it.
After a year under the careful watch of Uther, Zima was inducted into the Order of the Silver Hand. His newfound powers were extraordinary; he was, through pious devotion to the Light, able to channel energies to heal his comrades in battle, as well as punish the unjust, bathing them in the righteous fire of combat. In his own way, he had become the ultimate tribute to his parents: A warrior priest.
He and Zima would travel together to Stormwind, under the order of King Terenas, to train another apprentice: Arthas Menethil. There, Zima befriended Arthas, as their similar headstrong behavior and past relations had much in common.
The three would traverse Lordaeron, only learning more of the Light and its divine powers from Uther. However, war soon began to ravage the countryside, as fanatics began to arise in all corners of the lands. Arthas and his men were charged with its defense, and asked Zima if he was willing to fight by his side. More than happy to oblige, his acceptance was short lived when he was told to return to Khaz Modan.
Pleading with him, almost desperatley, Uther begged Zima to return to his homeland. A strange light in his eyes seemed to be filling Uther's eyes with some sort of omen. With great reluctance, Zima, Arthas and Uther parted ways.
Zima, the Engineer Extraordinare, and the Tragedy of Gnomeregan
Upon Zima's return to Ironforge, he realized that his supply of gold was running dangerously low. Zima was in need of a profession, and Zume was there to suggest their next course of action: Gnomeregan Institute of Technology and Engineering.
Zima had already been a miner his entire life, scouring the countryside for precious metals as a child, so he would have a steady supply of metals to tinker with in school. Thus, with the remaining money that his parents left him, he joined G.I.T.E. and began his studies.
Zima made many, many new friends in this school. His favorite professor, High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque, would teach Zima all of what he knew, and in the end they shared a close friendship. Zima introduced Trixie Wrenchton to Zume, a shy gnomish girl with whom he'd shared multiple classes with. Zume fell deeply in love with, and they were soon engaged. Zima could not have been happier in this place.
However, in the High Tinker's workshop, there was one gnome who profoundly disturbed Zima, along with the rest of the students. High Tinker Gelbin's top advisor, Sicco Thermaplugg, was neck deep in corruption: they all saw it, all except Gelbin himself. He claimed there was some good in him. The rest of the campus, and all of Gnomeregan for that matter, could only take his word for it.
As a senior project, Zima worked with an Elvish Rogue friend from 'across the seas', or so he told, Velis, introduced to many new 'natural' concepts to engineering. He told Zima of ways to incorporate magic into the craft, to give it magical attributes. This would prove useful in Zima's later years.
Not all was as it seemed.
At 15:00 hours, a massive earthquake struck the city of Gnomeregan. Although no one was severely hurt, curious sounds and roars were emitting from deep within the lower parts of the city. Then, wave after wave of Trogg battalions poured from the gaping holes caused by the quake. Hundreds upon thousands, ambushing men and women alike, tearing through machinery, causing complete devastation.
Zima was needed in the council chambers of the High Tinker's court; Gelbin Mekkatorque had called for him personally, along with Zume. There, a committee was deciding on the next plausible course of action. Each plan was drawn out, carefully considered. Most notable, Sicco Thermaplugg's idea was to flood the city with toxic radiation, in order to kill off the remaining trogg forces. Conversation turned to debate, and the room was consumed with argument.
Suddenly, the door burst open as Velis came charging in. Sweating, bleeding from wounds of battle, he informed Zume that his wife to-be was trapped below in the engine rooms, overrun by Troggs. Zume sprinted out of room, grabbing Velis's sword on the way out.
That was the last time Zima saw his best friend, his brother, again.
The gnomes of the court deliberated for hours. When the time came to vote, only the gnomes of the High Court could take part. Zima was asked to leave, much to the disdain of Gelbin.
The chamber doors burst open, and Sicco Thermaplugg walked out with a wicked grin on his face and a large gold embroidered key in his right hand; the air-circulation chamber room's key. Zima's eyes widened in fear: Sicco had succeeded in convincing the council. Zima could only run towards the lower levels, in hopes he could reach Zume in time to warn him of the oncoming gas attack.
Zima rushed to the command post outside the main gate to the lower city. There, the small but effective defense battalion was holding the line against the troggs. Frantically, Zima asked anyone who would listen, but they all claimed they had seen the gnome leap behind the enemy lines and rush towards the lower elevators. As Zima grabbed the nearest weapon, a crude cudgel, he was restrained by the gnomes. An announcement came over the intercom for a full retreat; irridation of Gnomeregan would commence in four minutes.
It took fifteen gnomes to restrain Zima from rushing towards the huge closing metal gate. Zima could only cry out in rage as he saw the green, noxious gas begin to pour from vents and the giant door begin to close.
Alarmingly, not a minute after the lower city had been sealed, the gas began to creep out of the upper city vents as well. Cries of agony and suffocation echoed through the halls, as the cackling laughter of Sicco Thermaplugg echoed over the intercom through the halls of Gnomeregan. A full scale evacuation of the city began, and Zima narrowly escaped with his life.
Heros and Villans of Azeroth
Zima, devastated by the loss of all his friends, the loss of all he cared for in life, turned to the last bit of good in the universe: The Light. This cycle of evil could no longer continue. The ones who dared hurt the good of the worlds must be brought to justice. From that day on, Zima Stonehammer committed himself to upholding what good was left on this Azeroth, and all the universe. If he did not, then who would?
He traveled across the lands, helping, caring, saving. From the barrows of Dun Morogh to the elven lands of Kalimdor, to the chateau of the Blackrock Clan, Zima was there to protect the innocent and bring justice to the damned. He would be the most perfect instrument of the Light.
Fall of the Order
Yet, war was soon to come to lands south of his homeland. Arthas, had slain his father in court, and the undead marched rampant across the lands of the south. Arthas had gone mad, insane with lust for power, and become a Death Knight while trying to defend all that was holy to him. In the process, he had also slain Muradin Bronzebeard, a close friend and mentor to Zima. It was a pitiful tale, and Zima could not bear to think about it. While Zima did fight the encroaching undead, nothing but more death came from the conflict.
And then, tragedy struck. Sir Uther the Lightbringer was slain at the hand of the Deathknight, and the Order of the Silver Hand was broken, scattered by Arthas's rampage. When news of this horrific turn of events reached Zima, he was washed with sorrow. He could nothing now, the Order in which he'd served had been shattered, and the man he knew as his second father, killed at the hand of his close friend. Zima, could do nothing but trudge forward against the Scourge.
Foundations for the Future
The meeting of the self-titled, Aussie-Pwners, as they called themselves, ruled by Lunar, Cer, Summ, and Decadent, would prove extremely influential in his up-bringing as well. The four of them would lay waste to the Horde in Warsong Gulch, and in their triumph for an new order of a guild.
With these men, he banded together a guild with friends and allies he'd met, into the guild Societas. It would prove a turning point into his career.
A notable event, along these travels, was the rescue of a small baby gryphon, Sharpbeak. Ninjalewtz and Pirelli, two powerful members of Momentum required his assistance. The heir to the Swiftwing Flight, the most mighty pack of Gryphons on Azeroth, was kidnapped by the Vilebranch Trolls of Hinterlands. This noble act would impact Zima much farther down the line of his life.
Zima's powers would indeed grow, but to a point. His healing capacities were limited, his training in melee combat was ramshackle, and his power began to falter slightly. Enter Azrieal, and ancient Night Elf of forgotten times, who would show him how the power and will of Nature itself could inspire him. Roberto and Discotaco, two of his own dwarven brethren, would teach him how to survive in the wild and show him how important it was to not only stay attuned to the Light, but the elements of nature as well. Roberto was a childhood friend of Zima's, knowing many aspects of the wild in Dun Morogh, teaching Zima to survive the cold winters. Discotaco would teach Zima how metal could be wielded against the enemy in heated combat. After many disciplined weeks, Zima emerged from the great Elven city of Darnassus a new Paladin: His unyielding training would supplement his prowess in combat.
After becoming a seasoned veteran, the lords of Societas stumbled upon an amazing discovery. Through contacting the Hydraxian Waterlords, they learned of the great Firelord Ragnaros, the first great threat to the denizens of Azeroth. Journeying deep into his lair of Molten Core, Zima and his thirty nine comrades spent countless months, locked deep beneath Blackrock Mountain, fighting for the good of the world.
Only after trudging through the lava filled caverns, combating beasts from the depths of hell itself, did the Firelord finally fall into oblivion. In the face of death, Societas had been triumphant. Inevitably, many new evils returned to Azeroth. The infamous Nefarion, lord of the Black Dragonflight, began his plotting high atop Blackrock Mountain.
And as evil so easily returns to this world, it eventually makes its way into the hearts of men. The records describe of a system, known as 'Loot Council', to which Societas's officers greedily imposed. Soon, items of power were distributed only to the high elite of the council, and the rest of the guild was made to suffer, to slave, in the name of the patriarchy.
Zima and the others would not have it. Corbo, Zima and eight brave souls broke off from the original guild, and reformed. From the burning ashes of Societas, arose a new order: A group, not focused on obtaining wealth, not devoted to greed, but to the good of the world. As the Human Priest Candorus would later say, 'Hey, somebody's gotta kill that dragon!'.
Momentum was founded.
Soon to follow, was the defeat of the dragon lord Nefarion. This new, organized, eccentric group of people shattered all enemies that were thrown at them. Azeroth was struck with a new foe, however. Ancient Old God C'thun arose like a swarm upon Silithus and all of Azeroth. Yet Momentum, lords of battle now, vanquished the Old God within a few months of his rise. The powerful Archmage Renek, proved to be the most potent combatant during the period in which C'thun's carapace was cracked. He befriended Zima as well, and told him much of the powerful vortexes and energies of the Twisting Nether.
Zima and the Redemption of the Pirate, Lunar Aran
Written and Cataloged by Lunar Aran
Throughout his travels, Zima encountered many deviants and criminals, most, he thought, there was no point in trying to redeem, they would simply return to the easiest methods for gaining what it was they sought, Gold. However, there was one who was different. While Zima accompanied Zume to Booty bay, to meet the Gnomish engineering Grandmaster Oglethorpe Obnoticus, he met the most brutal, cunning, and ruthless pirate he had ever seen. Her name was Lunar Aran. Lunar was reputedly the illegitimate daughter of the now dead Nielas Aran former Court Conjurer of Storwind, mate of Aegwynn and father of Medivh and her prostitute mother Alexis Terreth however, she was never recognized as such. Lunar had become embittered and taken her fathers name to openly shame him.
In her early life, Lunar showed great affinity for the arcane arts, however, because of her deep seeded hatred for her mage father, she had decided to head down the opposite path, the path of a rogue. Since making this choice, she has mastered the use of all weapons, and had became a knife for hire in Booty Bay, the most feared of all the pirates in the south seas, she had even mentored the knife fighter and pirate, Catelyn the Blademainly because of her hatred for her father, and her unwillingness to go down the path of the Arcane as he wanted, which she saw as being similar to her own situation. At the time of her encounter with Zima, she was a under contract with the Bloodsail Buccaneers though she was hardly loyal, frequently running them through over minor disputes such as who won a game of darts.
Zima saw a quality in her that he couldn't quite describe, despite her seeming brutality and ruthlessness, she had a noble aura, of someone who was extremely tough, but fair, and sometimes even merciful. The look in her eyes every time she slashed a man in half was the look of someone doing something they didn't want to do, something that was killing them a little inside, something that was only being done to maintain an image of strength.
One night, Zima approached her, when she was alone in the Salty Sailor Inn, she was standoffish at first, but something about the Dwarf Paladin was reassuring, and she opened up to him. She explained why she was doing what she was doing, and how much it hurt her to do it. Zima was relieved, but not surprised, he wasn't cut down, like so many others who tried to talk to her. Over the next few weeks, Zima set about recruiting her into the service of the alliance, eventually she agreed, and moved on from her past of murder, and piracy, joining the warriors of the alliance.
Zima continued to mentor Lunar, he started to teach her about engineering, and remarkably, she took to it like a duck to water, something not common in races other than Dwarves, Gnomes, and Goblins. Lunar was particularly skilled with bombs, and grenades. Lunar then enlisted in the alliance army at Zima's request, as he didnt want to see such skills go to waste, and she was found to be a brilliant soldier, fighting many battles in the Arathi Basin, Warsong Gulch and Alterac Valley. With Zima, and their momentum allies beside them, they dominated battle after battle, Lunar using her masterful grenadier skills to give them the edge, and eventually ascending her to the rank of Field Marshall in the alliance forces.
Lunar had a somewhat strange fighting style, preferring to go toe to toe with her opponents, more like a warrior than a rogue, and had tried many different combinations of weaponry, being one of the first rogues to use maces effectively.
Before the opening of the Dark Portal, Lunar Aran disappeared, and has not been seen since, it's widely believed that her mother was gravely ill, and she abandoned her fight against Kel'Thuzad in order to be at her side, and was too ashamed to return afterwards. Others say she didn't return, as her rogue allies whom she had once fought with, had surpassed her, and she was too embarrassed to return to the fold. There is much speculation as to her current whereabouts, even an unconfirmed sighting near Hellfire Citadel, however, she has not returned to take up the alliance cause, we can only hope she does, and soon, as her skills may be needed in the inevitable struggle against the Lich King. It is rumored Zima still keeps in contact with her, and alone knows her whereabouts.
Kel'Thuzad descended upon Azeroth like a behemoth of power, atop his massive citadel, he commanded The Scourge residing in the Plaugelands. Nothing could stand in his way as his noose around the northern kingdoms tightened... No one, except Zima and his friends of old. Kel'Thuzad put up an enormous fight, many were lost in the ensuing months of conflict within the cursed citadel, but the right hand of the Lich King could not stop Momentum.
Zima had come a long way from where he began. Yet, a dark and terrible future lay just before him.
As the heroes emerged from Naxxramas, exhausted from the months of fighting, armor broken in bits, a warhorn was blown. Unprepared and mostly unarmed, they raised what was left of their strength and fought the oncoming waves of Horde. Zima, awash with fatigue, could only stumble blindly, hammer and shield, swinging wildly against the oncoming tide.
Then, a group of Tauren approached wielding massive battle bludgeons. Zima called out to the Light, attempting to shield himself with divine protection, but the Light did not answer. A mace crashed into Zima's side, and he was thrown yards away from the battle. His attempts to rise only induced laughter in the Tauren, who saw the massive gash in his side. The last thing Zima saw before all turned dark was his guild being torn apart mercilessly by the cruel Horde.
He awoke hours later, struggling to live. He forced himself to crawl, and then stand. His eyes trailed across a series of footsteps, leading away from battle. Some of his friends had retreated, yet still lived. A glimmer of hope passed through him, before his eyes saw the true horror of the scene.
It was a slaughter. The broken bodies of his comrades lie in pieces, mercilessly ravaged, as well as many Horde carcasses. Not all had escaped the wrath of the ambush. Zima broke down tears. He had lost everything. His parents, his friends, his mentor. There was nothing left for him. He attempted to call out to the Light to return his comrades from the Twisting Nether, but to no avail. Their bodies remained still. Their time in this world had come to an end. Zima's blue eyes rose to the sky in rage. Why had the Light abandoned him? How could the Light, in his most dire hour, forsake him?
Zima Stonehammer felt the chains on his rage break that moment. The Light failed to save his parents, failed to save Zume, failed to save his comrades which strode on so valiantly to defend its blessed name.
Suddenly, their came voices in Orcish from behind the fog. There was a series of yells, and Zima beheld a small group of Horde warriors. They pointed to him, their blades still dripping with the blood of the innocent. They roared in their foul tongue, and charged the Dwarf.
Zima's mind broke. He felt no more pain, and was suddenly flooded with a power with the likes of which he'd never known before. It felt dark, it felt cold. It felt good.
He rolled to the side, swiping up a sword from a fallen friend, and cut the first Orc in half. Seeing their ally fall in combat, the massive Tauren lunged at Zima, who simply stuck the sword in front of him and skewered the beast. The Troll's eyes widened in fear, as he turned to flee.
Why should I give mercy, when none was given in return? he thought, and threw the sword like a spear, impaling the Troll, who fell to the ground. As he watched the Troll writhe in agony, Zima heard a dark whisper in his head. It feels good, doesn't it? The power... don't you want more, don't you need more, to avenge your fallen? Then come... come to me.
Zima decided to let the Troll lie in his pain, to feel it course through his veins, and left. He let the voice guide him, control him, and brought him all the way to the Burning Steppes. There, standing at the base of the Altar of Storms, stood the first Deathknight Zima had ever seen. McEgan, Lord of the Forgotten Shadow.
In return for his allegiance, McEgan would teach Zima all he knew of the Forgotten Shadow. He needed McEgan, or else he would never be able to avenge all whom he'd lost. He would have to serve.
Banding together with a group of survivors of the ambush, along with some new additions, Zima was first stripped of his powers of Light. In order to more fully maximize his potential, he would need to be consumed by shadow. He began his training under the infamous weapons master Beeblebrox, who taught Zima the ways of wielding two weapons at the same time, as well as advanced techniques that the shadow could only empower. After months of training under his new master, he was ready to serve McEgan and his insidious needs.
Zima the Fallen had now become one of the most powerful Deathknights Azeroth had seen. Channeling his emotion into combat, he became a senseless warrior, ignorant to feeling. For every Horde he slew, he felt no remorse. Only pleasure.
The voice in his head grew stronger by the days, and a new one entered as well, urging him on, extending his zealotry to new heights. Zima felt as if he knew the voice, yet he knew not why. The Darkness had dulled his senses, so he could not recall exactly from where. The only thing he knew now, was Death.
McEgan was pleased with Zima's efficiency. His stonelike emotion would not crack, and he knew he could entrust Zima with a mission of utmost importance. He ordered him to travel deep within the heart of Orgrimmar, and remain unseen while awaiting further instruction once he arrived. Once Zima was in place, the darker voice returned to his head. It ordered him to traverse the halls, to a place where the voice said his ultimate challenge would lie.
A large, crude, building lay ahead. Long, red drapes adorned with the symbols of the Horde... the same symbols that the Horde wore on the day they slaughtered his friends. He would not have mercy this time. He slaughtered the two guards with two swift strokes of his blade. He pulled back the drapes...
As he stepped into the large, circular room, a dark aura began to fill it. The torches dimmed green, a cold wind began to howl. His grip on his sword tightened as the voice whispered to him. Kill them all.... Zima looked out upon the inhabitants of the room, ready to severe their weak heads from their bodies in the name of...
They were children. Orcs, Trolls, Tauren, Undead, all children. In the center of the room, a Troll woman stood up from her chair, clutching a book she had just been reading. The children screamed and ran towards the center, huddling closely to the teacher.
Zima had to do this. He approached the group, raising his blade. He could cleave five of them with one blow. It wouldn't take long at all to send them packing to the Twisting Nether. He raised his runeblade above his head... Yet he paused... something was calling inside of him to stop...
What are you waiting for?! Slay them all! the voice rang in his head.
The voice. It was the Lich King. Zima's hands trembled, the sword dropping with a loud clang. He had been taken control of by Arthas from the very beginning, and through the window he should have never have left open: rage.
A wave of dread spread over Zima as he realized all he had done, how he had become the very essence of what he was trying to defeat. He dropped to his knees in despair, choking in agony. The voice in his head was roaring with rage, but he could not care. He had betrayed everyone he knew, and the only answer to his plight was death.
Zima realized that he was still in the building, and that the children had long since fled. He knelt now in the middle of a large circle of guards, axes at the ready, to kill this solemn intruder. If there was anything left in this universe for him, let it speak now, before the sharp blades of the Orcs send him into the Twisting Nether.
And then, a magnificent Light filled Zima, empowering him, cleansing him. He roared in pain as he felt the mystic powers of the Forgotten Shadow leaving his body. Shadowbolts seared out across the room in clusters and chunks, as the Light exorcised him of Shadow. A final pulse of Light caused Zima's mind to go blank, and all went dark.
A vision crossed Zima's eyes. There stood, or rather floated, a intricate figure seemingly composed of Light, which whispered in a voice that seemed a like a melody of joy. The being made it known to Zima that it was a Naaru, and that it and it's brothers had been watching him for some time.
The fact that Zima had overcome the corruption of the Lich King, the most powerful entity in all of Azeroth, had proven his true commitment to the Light: That even though mentally and physically corrupted to the core, there was still Light inside of him regardless.
The Naaru then spoke of a distant land, Outland, and that their brethren there would need Zima's help. Zima swore to it, that he would uphold the Light once more, as he did before, this time unaffected by the lull of dark emotion.
Beyond the Dark Portal
Although the Horde still ravaged the Alliance front with tireless reckless abandon, a sort of peace crept over the lands, now that the villains of Azeroth had finally been thwarted. Momentum's pace slowly settled down. As families reunited after being long apart by the wars, new relations blossomed from the lasting pacts.
And so, like that, peace had come at last. A year went by without too much trouble, before Zima began to notice an disturbance in the Light. He also sensed, that with his passing into Darkness and back into Light, he had somehow become more sensitive to both.
When Zima arrived, it was too late. Doom Lord Kazzak had finished the spell, and the energies of the Dark Portal were reactivated. Zima quickly returned to Nethergarde Keep, informed the defense of this alarming turn of events, and that war was upon the Horde and the Alliance against the Legion.
Soon, the second Battle of the Dark Portal took place. After days of struggle, the forces were successful in pushing back the Legion out of Azeroth, the armies of the Horde and Alliance charged forth into the new realm of Outland.
Zima immediately took it upon himself to search out the beings of Light. After venturing across the treacherous Hellfire Peninsula and Zangarmarsh, he came upon Shattrath City, and upon the Naaru who was in his vision: A'dal.
A'dal spoke of his struggle against Illidan Stormrage and the Burning Legion. Zima and his guildmates of Momentum would be charged with the destruction of both. It would require Zima, however, to gain power in combat before he was ready to fight such a powerful demon lord.
Zima also met Kurdran Wildhammer, lord of the Wildhammer Clan based in Hinterlands, whom Zima had presumed dead with the destruction of the original Dark Portal. Kurdran Wildhammer was a close and personal friend of Mikhail, and Zima was proud to know him. He also told Zima that he knew of his noble deeds he preformed long ago, when he saved Sharpbeak. Kurdran's gift to Zima, for his assistance in the plight of the Naaru, and their own lands, would be the Lord of the Gryphons himself. The care of the teenage Sharpbeak would now fall to Zima, as Wildhammer could no longer keep the beast.
Zima embarked on his epic journey to the seventieth circle of power. Traversing all of Outland, he again assisted those in dire need, and brought justice to those who would hurt the weak. This time, with his newfound power, solid will, Momentum, and Good of the universe behind him, Zima would not fail.
As the months passed, Momentum slowly began to dismantle the coalitions of evil in Outland.
Their first target, Lady Vashj, fell with relative ease, followed by Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider. Yet another disturbance was picked up, tracing back to the forlorn Caverns of Time. The Infinite Dragonflight was tampering with the time lines of Mount Hyjal, and Momentum was quick to put an end to their trifiling.
Finally, after many months, Illidan made himself known and the fight for the Black Temple had begun. Days, turned to weeks, turned to months. Momentum plowed their way through Illidan's officers, and one by one, his defenses were dismantled. Cornered alone, Illidan was destroyed by the full vengeful wrath of the members of Momentum. Zima and his comrades were once again, triumphant in the face of Evil.
A Dark Power Rises
Zima constantly traveled through and back the Portal to keep the Alliance front in Azeroth informed of the events in Outland, as well as assist in dealings with the Horde. As he continued his acts of righteousness and good, Zima consistently became more attuned to the Light.
He could sense the presence of Dark and Light all over the universe, ebbing and flowing as the sands of time whispered through the chaos of life and death.
Stonehammer was climbing Mount Khaz on a clear, cloudless day when a sudden Dark feeling passed over him. He shrugged it off, he knew his sense's were almost annoyingly attuned; it would soon pass. And then, a crushing wave of Darkness almost cracked his skull open, as he fell to his knees in pure agony. And then, a vision crossed his mind:
He was flying fast over a vast field of ice, undead warriors and abominations, demons and men, encroaching every inch of the plane. He saw his allies fighting alongside the Horde, unified in the glory of combat. All of them were seemingly pushing their position against a massive pyramid of frozen wasteland.
Zima's vision skewed and spiraled upwards, infinitely upwards, towards the pinnacle of the pyramidally shaped mass. As he got closer and closer, the pain in his skull only intensified. His vision finally came to a halt at the top, hovering in front of a still figure. A familiar chill crept up Zima's spine, as the glanced at the deathly cold armor it was wearing, and a sword that it leaned against heavily.
And then, the pair of eyes opened. Zima's pain was so intense he thought he would die. The eyes glowed a in a blinding blue, flickering with delight. A sickeningly familiar voice filled Zima's head.
Zima...you, your friends, your world, your universe... they will all fall in my Symphony... of Death.
With these words, the Lich King severed their connection. Before he could, however, Zima eyed a small figure cloaked in darkness standing next to his throne. As his vision began to dissipate, he could almost make out the semblance... it clutched hungrily at an aged wooden staff, etched and adorned with runes and symbols... He had seen this staff in the hands of the Guardian Medivh himself... and many years later in the hands of Darth Exodus, a former ally of Momentum and the Alliance. His vision approached closer to the figure, he could almost make out it's face... yet all went black and the fiery pain stopped.
Zima opened his eyes to find himself lying in the snow. Alarmed with this new development, he proceeded down the mountain and reached King Magni Bronzebeard in Ironforge, informing him of what had happened.
After contacting the Explorer's League, a secret meeting was conviened in the chamber of the High Seat. There, it was decided that the threat of the Lich King had grown too large, and a offensive on Northrend, the seat of his power, would be the only plausible action, before the war came to dwarven soil.
All that is known is that Zima would head this 'Organization of Kingdom Operations', and that he would lead them first into the frozen wasteland of Northrend. He would have to leave all that he knew behind him.
Zima and his crew returned from their initial expedition to Northrend in a year's time, battered and broken. The northern wastes had taken their toll on the dwarven lord. He immediately proceeded to the Bronzebeard court to discuss the growing troubles. A copy of the Royal Scribe's account of the meeting has been cleared for public vewing.
Royal Scribe's Entry: Vault I.D. 132142
The High Seat is a flurry of papers and people. The Expeditions remaining survivors have requested an audience with the king. Expedition leader Zima Stonehammer rises from his seat among the Dwarven Lords.
"Lads, there's more afoot in Northrend then we think. My crew and I began our journey about ten moons ago, while the Light still shone bright in Dun Morogh's spring. We landed in Daggercap Bay, and set out towards the Icecrown Glacier. We didn't make it far bef--"
Survivng Dwarf Stenas Stormhammer, rises from his chair, waving his ale madly as he yelled.
"Far?! We didn' make it ou' of the bays foothills ye blunderin' bloke! They were on us like dogs on meat I tell ye!"
Zima eyes Stenas, and he sits down again.
"They came sooner than we expected; The Scourge. Waves, endless waves. We must have fought for days upon end, without break. My powers of the Light began to falter slightly as the darkness closed in around us."
Zima pauses for a moment, his blue eyes shining with energy.
"And then, his voice. He spoke endlessly about the fall of our kind, the fall of all of Azeroth..."
Stenas spoke up, a torn expression on his face
"Imagine a thousand frozen shards of ice being jammed into yer ears', and yer minds eye bein' shown hell and then sayin' it's yer future."
He shakes his head and takes a drink from his mug. Zima speaks again.
"Lads, he's there, and he's waiting. This might be the last evil we will face in our time here. We either take the fight to him, or the fight will come to us."
Upon this remark, chatter arose in the hall. After many hours of deliberation, the decision was finite: The races of Azeroth would charge forth into the frozen hell of Northrend.
And so ends the Epic of the Stonehammer. No one knows what happened to him after he returned to Northrend. Only rumors remain of his fate: Some say him and his team were lost as the cold darkness enveloped them; others say he fell to the will of the Lich King.
But, the true purity in his heart, and utter, selfless devotion to the Light should prove otherwise. There is no doubt that he will one day emerge again, to lead on his Righteous Crusade.
May his legacy live on, where ever he might be. His battle roar still echoes through the mountains and valleys of Dun Morogh:
"FOR KHAZ MODAN"!
Echoes of the Past
Recently, Stonehammer's secret vault has been uncovered. Amongst the Dwarven artifacts, a magic rune scroll collection was found. When unraveled and decrypted, the scrolls would echo words and wisdom once spoke by Zima himself. Only one such scroll has been unlocked, the Encounter with Mu'ru, but the archivists at the Explorers' League have been working to decode the rest.