( Thanks to Lilthessa's player for the proofread. This is part one to what I'm anticipating will be a three-part arc. )
My final test is in less than a month and I have difficulty focusing on my training now. The only thing I thought about the past few months was getting better. Now, I am worried with discussing my morals and motives with others regarding killing the hostile forsaken around Gilneas. Some people can't move on from that war, and I am one of them. My anger isn't what it was a year ago and I think that it's pretty much gone. I used to kill forsaken out of anger and for revenge but I changed.
Deep inside, I know I shouldn't care of what people think of me, but this is a serious topic and getting misunderstood isn't a good thing. I attack them out of protection because leaving one enemy alive can harm many of my allies and I blame it on my paranoia. This issue's been always going on of course, but it was recently...reignited.
It had been an odd day.
First to be inside the walls of the Cathedral of Light. Since the last time I was there it was to assassinate one of their members.
Like any other day since her return from the Mists, Moriurya was found in the library at her desk with a quill in hand and a journal of parchment before her. With delicate strokes, careful to keep her form and ink the same as the previous page, she recounted the knowledge she had acquired in her short tour in the foreign lands under the Warchief’s command.
She had seen war before, that was nothing new to the seasoned Captain of the 5th Farstrider Company, but fighting in those lands impacted her enough to make her silent when asked.
I won't make the Speakeasy tonight.
The crying of the wind drew Rhianon out of bed that night. Ordinarily, the whisperings of the wind weren’t enough to rouse her from slumber; she had grown accustomed to them, even on Pandaria where a thousand different spirit wailings accompanied each breath of air. This night was different, however, and no matter how hard she tried to will herself back to sleep, burying her face in her pillow, the wind would not leave her in peace.
The first thought that greeted me each morning was pure instinct. I always stretched my arm to my left, searching for Hathrien’s warm body close to mine.
The chill wind off the harbor lifted Echo’s hair, flickering the flame of her lighter as she took a deep draw on a fresh cigarette. She paced, up and down the deck of the houseboat, unable to stop moving. Either Credence or E would be up to check on her soon. Her bike offered no chance for escape, already tied down in preparation to set sail. She would just have to walk, even as the letter of commission in her pocket continued to chafe her thigh.
As soon as she stepped off the gangplank and onto the docks her shoulders tightened across her back. Stormwind had changed in the past months, from a city at last relaxing into relief and rebirth into one mobilizing once again for war. Youngsters grown out of the children of the Third War now prepared for a fourth, just as she had taken up arms after the orcs razed her homeland. They marched in shining columns through the harbor to board ships, and her footsteps fell into the familiar rhythm of their cadence. The march lead her up and into the city proper, along the canals, where she passed civilians with her shoulders squared and her gaze high and narrowed. The beating drums in her head carried her forward as they had for miles upon miles, years upon years.
The letter was brief. Scant, formal phrases - printed neatly.
Echo watched Erzabet’s enthused gestures from across the table, but really had no idea what the girl was saying. Something about her last venture to Wyntersmere, she figured, or something she was looking forward to sharing with her mums on their winter holiday: sleigh rides through snow-frosted trees, big warm fireplaces to huddle around, the way the cooks at House DeWynter made the richest hot chocolate...
Echo pulled her spoon around her cooling soup. She should be bolting it down with her slice of bread so she could get back to packing; they were due to start their journey north as soon as the meal was cleaned up. But she wasn’t tasting the food any more than she was hearing Erzabet’s voice, and her heart was thrumming not from excitement over the promised holiday but rather deep-seated dread stemming from a piece of paper in her pocket.
The only thing she would tell you about fate, is that you couldn’t let it stop you. Always look on the positive side, but don’t be stupidly optimistic and lose all logic. You’re better than that. You’re in control of your actions. If the world around you changes... adapt.
Or die. You know... whatever greased your rotor.
The sounds of battle echoed throughout the little village of the Pandarens as the trolls rampaged with cruel desire. Both sides took losses, and the ground was painted red. The trolls seemed endless, as each one fell two more took its place. The inhabitants of the village were exhausted, weary and their lines were breaking. The end was in sight, the trolls would overwhelm the village.
Before the victory could be claimed, the wind stopped. An eerie feeling enveloped the village; something was there... something insidious. Both sides, the Pandarens and the Trolls slowed their fighting as the feeling took control. They were being watched, something, everything did not feel right. Something was awake...
The rain came in torrents here. I wish I could say that it was what woke me up, but that would be a lie.
The tent was resilient for the most part.
Every intention that he possessed fled at the sight of her. She did not resemble the woman he loved in any physical characteristics, but the earmarks of it were there. A piercing here or there, the subtle slope of her back that bore his sadistic mark and the most telling was that rounded belly that fit snugly in her leather tunic. The flashing eyes of an angry and wary victim.
Faye was back.
Rain poured down making the air in the forest hot and sticky, all the while plastering what curly hairs that had escaped their bindings to her face and neck. Of course, laying belly down in the mud was already unpleasant enough. She could feel it oozing through the overlapping scales of her hauberk and leggings. It was hard to hate the mud, it made her harder to see here in her perch on top of a little hill just above an Alliance camp.
Lightning flashed and illuminated the clearing below. She flinched as the thunder rolled, booming and loud, reverberating through the very earth and her bones. Cyrena squeezed her eyes shut tight as it rang in her ears. It made it very, very hard to work. There was a bolt already laying in the groove of a crossbow she had managed to pick up here on the new continent, and the bowstring was pulled back, taut and waiting. As much of a “vacation”as this was, she was still working for the armed forces of Quel’thalas. Specifically, for General Sunwhisper.
My bare feet slipped across the plush carpet, the same rich purple as the sky on a moonless night. Everything that surrounded me was designed to offer luxury, comfort and escape. All I felt now was a hollow pit that sat cold and unwavering low in my stomach.
For perhaps the thousandth time, I paused in my restless pacing to peer down at the softly pulsing soul stone that I clutched in my palm. It was my only comfort now that he was gone. I traced the pad of a finger across its smooth surface and reassured myself yet again that no matter what, Hathrien would come back to me one way or the other, even if I had to rip the Nether apart to bring him home.
He smirked faintly as he wiped the sweat from his brow; the world was upside down as he rested a few moments only to continue his slow workout.
There is a moment, perhaps in everyone’s life when you realize the most important, or the things you thought meant the most to you actually don’t matter at all, sometimes when things look bleak and you have run out of options, the things you have given up on, might surprise you.
So here I am, sitting in Orgrimmar waiting for news, my captain, Teslaan Dawnfire, though deep down I know he is no Dawnfire, they are a rather unsavoury sort.
Rambling… I do that when I am worried…
Ok, so where do I begin? My life has been a complete rollercoaster ride of bad meets worse with the occasional perk of sweet or decent people, but of all the things that have happened losing my connection to the light was the worst…that is until this morning.
Sierra smirked faintly as she sat up, gently slipping his arm from around her as she turned to peer at him - still as he was last night when she fell asleep on him, a small smile curled on his lips.
“Good Morning,” she felt warmth in her cheeks as she returned his greeting in a soft voice, standing to stretch, “I’ll get a pot brewing.” She crept along, avoiding the mirror between the kitchen and living area as she busied herself. “I’m sorry I kept you, Teslaan. I know you wanted to be back at the capital by now,” she called - the mug in her fingers slipping as his voice responded much closer than she had expected.
“Coffee makes it worth it,” he responded gently - his usual smile playing across his face, as she filled the mug she’d almost dropped, offering it to him in turn. She couldn’t help but grin, “And the company isn’t so bad, I hope?”
Crowds gathered again into pubs, bars, clubs, and even their own homes if they were rich enough, and watched their Kilrogg Screens. A well-dressed, greasy-green haired gnome, and an overweight tauren in a haggard brown suit appeared, sitting at a table with the Orgrimmar Battle Ball arena behind them. The crowd cheered wildly, waiting for the players to take the field.
"Welcome to Battle Ball Week Three, ladies and gentleman! I'm Riggity Whistlenut."
"And I'm Gorwin Blazetotem. We have a special treat for you tonight, folks. In fact, we have two. The first one you're already aware of, or else you wouldn't be watching or listening right now."
(( The following article appears in the morning editions of both the Dalaran Daily News and the Stormwind Evening Standard. ))
Wesley Brennan of Stormwind, a Corporal in the Silver Dragoons, was scouting for Horde activity over Dustwallow Marsh when he was injured and forced to make a crash-landing. He was one of the first to respond to Theramore's cry for help in the face of an imminent Horde invasion, but he was not the only one. They came from all over: the forests of Northern Kalimdor, the mountains of Dun Morogh, and the cobbled streets of Stormwind. Humans, night elves, dwarves, draenei, worgen, and gnomes all answered Lady Jaina Proudmoore's call.
Farooq stepped out of the showers and wrapped a towel around his waist. He was the last one out, and the steam was still thick in the air. He stepped into the locker bay where the rest of his teammates were dressing.
"C'mon Rooq, your hairy ass is dripping all over the place." Treader shouted to him.
Farooq flipped off the little orc, chuckling. "Hell, Grim's got more ass hair than I do." The team roared with laughter when Grim dropped his towel to pat his ass. Farooq shook his head, grinning, and went to his locker.
It seemed impossible, huddled in this little outpost tower north of the ruins. Arcane radiation interfered with the guild stone communications, but many Dragoons were making their check-ins and heading to the rendezvous.
Nore watched Wes sleep next to the solid ghost of his worg. She still wasn’t sure that the ghost wasn’t a temporary construct from the excessive energies still crackling through the air, a shared hallucination formed into a symbol of shared loss and pain.
She hoped that Reave was back permanently. It would break Wes’ heart to lose the worg again. Especially since they still weren’t sure of Skipper’s fate; the foul-mouthed parrot hadn’t been seen since Northwatch.
Swords cannot slash doubt. Armor cannot deflect hatred.
The city was silent.
Rhianon watched as the ships came into the harbor, their faint lights flickering against the leaping waves. She watched as they were moored to the docks and soldiers marched off. Their voices were low and their eyes darted from ship to shore and then back again. She watched them gather on the docks, walking aimlessly between sea and city. And then she walked home.
They had returned a candlemark or two earlier, and she was the only one who had broken off from the group, tired of the discussions. There would be a calm for now, however shaky, but talks kept edging towards the future. Everything that had seemed so shifting and vague earlier in the day had condensed into a reality that almost seemed unbelievable. Beneath every comment, every word, Rhianon could sense the unspoken question.
Was this really happening? No - had this really happened?
Neltharian sat in a chair after setting up a chess board. An empty seat sat across from him. His side was black, his opponent was white. It was a set he had made for him. One side carved from marble, the other out of obsidian. The black was in the form of demons, the Pawns were Void lords, the Rooks were Pit lords, the Bishops: Dreadlords, the knights: warlocks mounted on Dreadsteeds. The King was Kil'jaeden, the Queen, Archimonde. Each were made as he described them to the craftsman. The white however were beings of light. The King was the Naaru A'dal, the Queen was oddly enough Tirion Fordring wielding the Ashbringer. The Bishops were Priestesses. The Knights: Paladins mounted on Chargers. The Rooks: Draenei paladins. The pawns were a number of races dressed in all kinds of armor and weapons.
The stormy winds calm as the western sky brightens. The sun is a molten gold disk, merging into the red and orange horizon, reflected by the ocean waters. Waves rise and fall, as steady as a heartbeat.
As steady as the drum beats echoing in my memories of shattered pink crystals, silvery forests filled with smoke, the cold haze of the marsh where we huddled, trying to live while waiting to die.
Night had fallen on Ratchet and the skies over the harbor town were alight with stars of varying whites, blues and yellows. The goblin-populated harbor town was quiet as shops closed down and torches illuminated the large, wooden piers with yellow firelight. If not for the large number of canvas tents erected on the hills west of the town, a traveler would have thought it was business as usual. Business, however, was not going on as usual. Tonight marked the first night of Ratchet’s use as a staging area for the Horde assault on Northwatch. Teslaan’s company had arrived in force earlier that afternoon and wasted no time securing their position and establishing a base camp in the hills overlooking the town.
(several hours earlier)