He floated above the ravaged ground, the troops of death tailing directly after. Destruction, decay, all was broken and destroyed in Stratholme. Kel'thuzad looked at the ravaged ruins with glee. Of course this would be more than the perfect place to put Naxxramas.
"Halt. Begin summoning the ziggurats immediately. I want the necropolis raised by today's end."
The multitude of cultists that had followed him departed, followed and guarded by the legions of pestilent monstrosities to guard them in their task. Kel'thuzad, the Archlich of the Scourge, was now alone. He had nothing to do but wait until Naxxramas became operational.
Kel'thuzad let out a sigh as he once again passed his malevolent gaze over the broken remnants. Of course the town never got the chance to rebuild and it had been one of the Scourge's centers of operation for some time, but after Prince Arthas had gone to help his master and then fused with him, the need to strengthen the Scourge's defenses had become necessary. Kel'thuzad had felt the fusion. He had cowered in fear and awe at the amazing power that had been birthed in a millennium second and then, nothing. His master lay dormant and silent, yet still omnipresent.
He looked at the ground. He was no longer mortal, no longer tethered to so many necessities of the living such as sleep and food. How was it, then, that he felt an emptiness, small as it may have seemed? The power, yes, the power was a satiable medium and his master was truly the supreme being, but still Kel'thuzad hungered for more. He hungered for something many undead would not care for, but then again no other undead had been given so much free reign as he, the most trusted of the Lich King's lieutenants. No, what he most desired now was companionship.
How could he be alone? He had the armies, the Cult, and his master
but the undead were blank slates of drool and gibbering nonsense, the cultists so afraid of him that they felt anything more than the necessary would cost them their eternal life, and he in turn was too fearful of the Lich King to truly hold a conversation with him. This sort of emotion never washed over the Archlich when Prince Arthas was around. He was his king, his peer, and ultimately, Kel'thuzad had even heard from the man himself, his friend. but now Arthas was gone, elevated above him. Once again he realized he was without an equal, with everyone either below his rank or above him in the form of godliness, and he felt alone because of it.
Leaving his embittered thoughts to himself, the large skeletal lord did not notice at first the small motion. Probably it was a cockroach or a mouse or some sort of lesser life form (or dead form), but then he felt a tug at the hem of his robes. Had he eyebrows, he would have quirked them curiously, but Kel'thuzad had other means to show expressions. He looked down with bored curiosity.
At where his feet would have been was a cat. He was a Siamese, he observed, playfully batting at the phantasmagorical essence that spewed from him, occasionally catching its claw on the dark materials he wore. At first, Kel'thuzad was enraged. How dared this thing, this breathing, happy creature, toy with him like he was a rodent? The archlich felt the necromantic energies readily building at the tips of his fingers. He would vanquish this
creature that dared go near him, unafraid, so very openly. The leader of the Cult of the Damned paused, confused. He leaned down and picked up the cat with his bony fingers, staring at it directly in the eyes with his own ice-like stare. The cat batted at the air in front of him, determined to paw his boney face.
"You are not afraid of death, are you, little beast?"
Kel'thuzad had seen cats, of course, killed many of them himself, though their deaths were not on purpose and ultimately of no concern to the Scourge. He'd seen them flee from their armies. He'd seen them do what the living did: cower before the Scourge rather than willingly submit. Why, then, was this cat different?
This one had ambition. He had determination. In him, Kel'thuzad saw himself: the sole member of his society willing to search that which was dangerous, that which was considered monstrous and chaotic by all others. Kel'thuzad saw in him the desire to learn more, to discover what this dark and mysterious presence was that was before him This cat was a master of his race, the one that did not fear death and did not cower before it, but embraced it, played with it as if it were a friend, hand in hand. The other cats
those fools didn't know what they were thinking. He'd show them, show them all the error of their ways, show them who truly was to be feared!
He nearly dropped the cat by accident, so elated by his realization. He let out a maniacal cackle of happiness. Yes, this cat was a living creature, but not all of the Lich King's servants were undead. The majority of the Cultists were living men and women that had pledged themselves willingly to the master. At last, someone to share everything with, someone who would hear him as a friend. Even an old necromancer turned immortal lord of the dead needed the loving care of a pet.
"You will be my most cherished servant," he told it. "You will lay at my side and watch as we crush the upholders of the Light, those who oppose the will of the one true king. Join me and I will make you as feared as myself for as long as your existence coincides with my own!"
The cat rolled over and stared up to his new friend. Kel'thuzad bellowed happily. "It is settled, then! Now, I need a name for you, something I can remember, something fearsome. Something that makes me shiver when I hear the name, that will make my enemies shiver along with me. Ah
this will do. You shall have the name of the second most vile being to ever walk the face of Azeroth. His fist was like iron, his choice absolute, his judgment without mercy or exception. You shall be named after the man who made me toil in desperation during my youth and very nearly forced me to live in the streets, cowered me to do his bidding."
With both hands, Kel'thuzad scooped up the tiny package. Grinning terribly, he declared,"He was the landlord of Dalaran Apartments, Mr. Bigglesworth!"
The cat mewed cheerfully. Kel'thuzad rubbed the now-named Mr. Bigglesworth's head. "Now
I mustn't keep you from the other cultists. I must ensure they do not accidentally find you without my knowing and treat you like any other common cat."
As if on queue, one of the cultists appeared before the archlich. "The zyggurats are ready, my liege. What is your
?" He looked, no small bewilderment in his face, as Kel'thuzad and Mr. Bigglesworth both stared down at him, their eyes wide with judgment and superiority, Kel'thuzad's skeletal fingers grazing easily over his pet's fur, inciting a symphony of purrs.
"Prepare to summon Naxxramas and when you do, mobilize our forces inside," he ordered. The cultist nodded, a bit worried, before turning around. "My lord, would you like me to dispose of this
furball for you? I see no reason why you shou-"
A blasting chill burst forth and Mr. Bigglesworth hissed in complaint. Kel'thuzad apologetically whispered to his companion before turning, his wrath obvious, at the intimidated, paled husk of a man that was the messenger. "You will not, under any circumstances, lay a single finger on this creature. This is a decree for every last member of the Scourge: should any harm come to this devote servant of the Lich King, you will pay the price by feeding Naxxramas' soul forges with your own! Go, spread it now, and let it be known that his name is Mr. Bigglesworth!" Nearing the point of fainting out of fear but not daring to else his fate be decided for his incompetence, the messenger rushed away, yelling the name and Kel'thuzad's decree to the top of his lungs.
Kel'thuzad looked at the round, cuddly face of his beloved companion. "Welcome to the Scourge."