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The Belgarde Family
Chapter 1 - Finding the Lost
"When I was little, I remember playing with a little red hair boy. Eyes a bright blue of bold happyness without a care in the world. My mother, Irene, used to take care of other people's childeren running a sort of daycare mostly for visitors from the north."
That's what Nelinde told her curiously prying friend Ciara many years ago. It was the advent of a large change in Neli's 26 year old life. As things go with nosey women of the exploring and rogueish kind, Ciara went on a search and pushed Neli into digging into her past; starting with her parents' attic.
The Belgarde couple Jacks and Irene had been one of the earliest inhabitants of current Stormwind. After the great wars, 26 years ago, humanity wanted to rebuild the rubbles the Orcs left behind. As pioneers, they moved away from Stratholme to start with a new life and new chances in a town mostly composed of rubble. And new life they created, as the pregnant Irene gave birth only several months later. As parents they were great, as citizens their reputation unblamished. Yet, when Nelinde confronted them with a picture she found in the attic, showing herself playing with a 7 years younger similarly red-headed boy, it was clear they were hiding something. On the back it said in mother's writing: "Nelinde and Matthew".
A terrible secret got unveiled as Jacks eventually, frustrated and annoyed with the torment the memories brought to his wife, exclaimed: "Nelinde!!! Leave your mother alone with these things. It was hard enough for her!". Now he had no choice but to explain. "... the childeren your mother watched were out to swim. The weather was hot, the kids shouting and squeeling, and your mother still only had just two eyes. But at the end of the fun, one was missing: a young boy." Jacks sighed deeply, then continued monotone: "His father, a noble baron from the Altarac region returned a day later, furious. He demanded to take Matthew, our own son, as replacement for the one he lost to hold him ransom till his boy was returned. Your mother was dumbfounded and powerless against a noble, not leaving us a choice. A week later the boy's paled and lifeless body was found down the stream, but we never saw our Matthew again."
It wasn't much, but the hint of an Alterac noble was enough for Ciara to eventually track down a 18 year old red-headed man and confront him with the facts of having a completely different family. The name he grew up with was Belgar Vardus, yet being called Matthew stirred a sense of familiarity. His life as son of baron Vardus ended, a versatile life where he was tutored by a Dalaran scholar in the ways of magic, politics and etiquette, yet introduced to the 'fine arts' of theft, torture and assassination by the baron's right hand in the Syndicate. His new life as Matthew Belgarde was one he had trouble to adjust to. Starting out as a mercenary and trying to aid Nelinde in her tasks a teacher at the Stormwind Academy, he found someone he cared for.
Love. A blessing for most, a disaster for some. It went wrong and made Matthew jump his decission about his new life. He returned, angry and upset, to Strahnbrad, leaving nothing but a note tacked to the Belgarde home. What was once found, was again lost, and Nelinde's heart was broken. It's been a year and yet she hasn't found him back.
Chapter 2 - Loosing the Found
On his way back to Strahnbrad, Matthew got stranded in Southshore, sending a hateful post to his former lover along with quite a sum of gold for 'paid services'. However, the attachment caught some watchful eyes and the content of the note ended up in the hands of a person with dark intentions. The mention of Nelinde in his postage sparked serious interest of her enemies. Afteral, Nelinde was one of those who aided in the attack on Southshore and publicated the whole affair, diminishing the remaining power of the Dark Embrace even further after their heavy losses.
His passion was evident, his pain and hatred a fertile ground, and his versatile skills impressive. After Honoria Detol brought the vindictive Matthew Belgarde before the lady Lashela Greystroke Alania, he was quickly tested and inaugurated as one of the Dark Embrace. His own agenda continued leading to baron Vardus' premature death. The tide turned and the Light dimmed as Matthew once more was reborn back into Belgar Vardus, claiming the lands and title of the old baron as his rightful heir.
A noble title and an education in politics placed him as Lashela's pawn in the Alliance Council. His swift tongue and perfectly masqueraded half-thruths managed to push him into the chairman's seat in practically no time at all. With a double agenda and shielded behind a lack of actual voting right, he managed to manipulate the topics and steer the Alliance just the way he desired. Even diplomatic immunity from the guardforce(s). It was a golden time for the unseen Dark Embrace as it grew in power. In time, Belgar even became Lashela's right hand and trustee.
Though, even this ended as he disappeared from the radar when the Council disassembled and the Dark Embrace began changing.
Chapter 3 - Uncle Renale
Chapter 4 - An Unexpected Family Reunion
(( To be continued ... ))