The blood-red and black bird circled the Netherbane Site of Lessons, as he did on many days. His shadow passed over the roofless ruins, casting a deeper darkness wherever his wings blotted out the moon. His screech, while familiar to most, was still jarring to those who had never fought alongside him.
On most days, his presence was a comfort--a silent sentinel that patrolled the skies above the Netherbane camp. When he was above them all, there was little need to worry. Only when he descended upon the ruins was there a reason to fear.
Today, the massive carrion bird, much larger now than he had ever been, alighted onto one of the massive branches of the Tree of Remembrance, the tree that marked the bodiless graves of the fallen members of the Netherbane. Its beak, black and razor-sharp, opened.
The scream could be heard for miles, a piercing shriek of announcement, of warning, and of command. Its echo bounced between the trees of the Ashenvale, startling the citizens of Astranaar. It soared its way to the north, forcing the lesser demons of the Felwood back into hiding. It crawled its way south, deafening the orcs who still clung to the Warsong Lumber camp's crumbling defenses. The screech even crossed the turbulent waters surrounding the continent of Kalimdor, piercing its way through portals of both arcane and fel and roaring through the laboratories of both mages and warlocks. It could be heard in Darnassus, Stormwind, Ironforge, and even from within the Exodar.
For those far away from the dense woods of the Ashenvale, the screech was just another sound of nature--just another bird of prey announcing its dominance of the skies. For a very select few, however, it meant something entirely different. It was a call to action; an invitation to death.
The call to war had been sounded. The assault on the Umbral Eclipse was to begin.