- For gathering professions, see Profession. For the World of Warcraft Comic installment, see The Gathering.
The Gathering was an event in the Arathi Highlands of the Eastern Kingdoms that occurred after the Argus Campaign but before the Burning of Teldrassil. When it happened, it was a historic event that allowed both Forsaken and humans to mingle in peace, but the cease-fire was short-lived. The event ended tragically.
King Anduin Wrynn sent an invitation to the Horde Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner via Alonsus Faol, who was originally raised as a Forsaken. Alonsus traveled to the Undercity and delivered the missive to Sylvanas's champion, Nathanos Blightcaller. The Champion of the Banshee Queen immediately traveled to meet with Sylvanas as she was discussing the creation of Azerite weapons with Jastor Gallywix at Gallywix's Pleasure Palace.
The invitation asked Sylvanas for a one day, 12-hour cease-fire, from dawn until dusk, in the Arathi Highlands so that family and friends torn apart by Arthas Menethil's Scourge rampage during the Third War could once again meet. She initially rejected the idea because of her own experiences trying to reconnect with her living sisters, Alleria and Vereesa, and how all it did was stir up ghosts best left at peace, and proceeded to crumple the missive. However, Nathanos convinced her it was an opportunity to "gift" this event to her people so that when she wanted to conquer Stormwind, her people would be more admissible to the idea, either because they would hate the living even more or, he theorized, they would see it as an opportunity to bring the loved ones they thought they'd never see again into the Forsaken. Sylvanas agreed that Nathanos made a good argument, uncrumpled the missive, and accepted the invitation. She, however, stated that only the members of the Desolate Council would attend the meeting. Sylvanas also saw this as an opportunity to befriend King Anduin and then take Stormwind.
Sylvanas then returned to the Undercity to lay specifics of the meeting - each member of the Desolate Council was to provide five names of people in Stormwind. The Banshee Queen, Blightcaller, and 200 dark rangers were to be stationed at Thoradin's Wall, while 200 Alliance soldiers at Stromgarde's walls. 25 Forsaken priests and 25 human priests mounted on bats were to be patrolling the meeting field located halfway from both structures. At its center were to be Archbishop Faol and his assistant, a disguised Calia Menethil, leading the meeting. In case of a sudden retreat, a horn was to be sounded and the respective faction banner was to be lifted, saying the participants to return to the Thoradin's Wall and Stromgarde Keep immediately. In terms of exchanging gifts, each item was to be examined and placed on a table. The items would then be collected, checked and later distributed. Touching their counterparts was also allowed. The topic for discussion was their previous shared life. The Forsaken's existence with Sylvanas in the Undercity and humans' current life in Stormwind was not to be discussed and the two priests were to make sure of it. The rules did not include spies so Anduin used SI:7 and Sylvanas the Deathstalkers to observe and report the opposite faction's actions.
Just prior to the start of the meeting, Warchief Sylvanas and King Anduin met. He wanted her to confirm that she would harm no Alliance member, which she complied she wouldn't.
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The participants left Thoradin's Wall and Stromgarde and walked towards the spot of the meeting. As they arrived, they placed their gifts on tables and waited. Faol gave them last a chance to leave and five humans did so. Alonsus then called the names of the participants and they reunited. Some, however, left upon being called. Calia, joyful, thanked the Light for this moment. She then joined Elsie Benton, the Desolate Council's Prime Governor, and prompted her to wave to the young Stormwind king standing on the walls of Stromgarde Keep. Upon witnessing this, Anduin understood this was Wyll Benton's wife, waved back and even bowed. As Sylvanas witnessed this, she almost sounded the horn to retreat but stopped herself.
As the day went, Parqual Fintallas recognized Calia Menethil beneath her hooded cloak and saw it as a reason and opportunity to defect into the Alliance. He asked Calia for a blessing and whispered to her, saying, "We need you now. It's time. You'll see. Be ready." Shortly after, Parqual, his daughter Philia, and the Felstone family began to walk towards Stromgarde Keep, where the Alliance were stationed. As Calia saw this unfold, she revealed her true identity and took it upon herself to try to convince the other Forsaken on the field to join the Alliance, first speaking with Elsie.
Sylvanas caught wind of the defection as it unfolded before her as she stood, watching, on Thoradin's Wall, shortly thereafter, one of her priests came to her stating Calia Menethil, heir to the throne of Lordaeron, was the reason for the defection. She called back the Forsaken on the field and let loose her dark rangers on bats. Sylvanas ordered her dark rangers to kill all Forsaken present in the field, including those running back towards Thoradin's Wall.
Sylvanas proceeded to mount her own bat and killed Calia Menethil before Anduin could reach her.
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The Desolate Council members who were rejected by their living relatives and returned to Sylvanas before the Gathering began were spared the slaughter. Sylvanas remarked that they were now truly desolate and that she trusted them.
Following the event, the deceased were buried in the Arathi Highlands at an unnamed graveyard.
Propaganda by the Scarlet Brotherhood claims that the massacre never actually occurred and that Anduin and Sylvanas staged the event in order to drum up sympathy for the Forsaken and to lure out, murder, and raise Calia.
| Wyll Benton
(represented by Anduin Wrynn)
|Husband and wife||Vellcinda Benton|
|Philia Fintallas||Daughter and father||Parqual Fintallas|
|Emma Felstone||Mother and sons|| James Felstone|
|Osric Strang||Friends and professional rivals||Tomas Gray|
|Unknown||Mother and daughter||Annie Lansing|
- Many other unnamed participants.
- ^ Before the Storm, chapter 31
- ^ Before the Storm, chapter 19
- ^ Before the Storm, chapter 20
- ^ Before the Storm, chapter 22
- ^ Before the Storm, chapter 29
- ^ Before the Storm, chapter 28
- ^ Before the Storm, chapter 30
- ^ Before the Storm, chapter 31
- ^ Before the Storm, chapter 33
- ^ a b Before the Storm, chapter 34