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  1. 2 points
    The doors buckled under the repeated impacts of the Legion's infernals, living battering rams that they were, struck against the doors over and over. They barely held on, kept repaired and closed by the various druids who were trapped along with what remained of the Horde's army and their Sentinel allies. The civillians were huddled in the center room, cramped, crying for many, praying for others... There was nowhere to go. No one would save them. No one would bring them solace. Among them was, of course, Resileaf. She stood motionless and without a word near the sentinels, who grimly awaited their deaths... They had prayed many times over, and had, for the most part, resolved to their deaths. Morale was nonexistent. Some were even starting to think that they should just let the demons enter and finish the job to end their suffering. That was how low the depths of despair brought them. Resileaf didn't feel much better. She rolled her guildstone in her fingers, wondering if she should tell everyone her predicament... If she should let them know that this was probably the last time she'd speak to them... "What was the point?" She raised her head as she was addressed, to look at one of the surviving sentinels. She recognized the one who had questionned her decision to aid the Horde, looking at her with an accusatory look in her eyes. "You said we weren't coming here to die... But what was the point in the end? What business did we have involving ourselves in this? We're going to die here, for nothing!" The Priestess of the moon did not answer right away. The sentinel wasn't wrong... They were probably going to die here, and they wouldn't have died for anything. It would give them no advantage against the Legion, no one would survive thanks to their sacrifice either. But... "We involved ourselves because we decided to put aside our grievances and protect our world from the Legion, sentinel. What I said is that we were not meant to die for anyone or anything... Not that we wouldn't. I know it's not much solace in this situation... But we did not do a bad thing by being here either. We helped the city hold longer. We protected innocents from the Legion. We-" "We're dying for nothing! We didn't save anyone! All these people will die, and we will have been able to do nothing to stop it! We're... We were useless, commander..." Her voice began to break, tears streaming down her cheeks. Crack There was a sinister creaking sound coming from the gates as they very nearly broke apart. The Legion wouldn't be stopped for much longer. An orc soldier approached Resileaf and whispered into her ear. "Sentinel commander, we have to prepare for the worst... Get your sentinels to the gates for a last ditch defense." Resileaf nodded, and the orc left. The sentinels couldn't do it... They were depressed, despairing... They could not hold the line. Not without hope. She had to do something. Taking her most commanding voice, she spoke to her assembled soldiers. "We NEVER die for nothing, Sentinel! We fight against an enemy that desires nothing less than the destruction of our entire world! Our sacrifices have never been needed more than now! You want to know what we're dying for? We're dying for the glory of Elune, to destroy the demons in all their forms, safeguard our lands and deal a blow to them that they will never forget! We have no hope of victory? Then cast aside your hope! Fight without fear of death, fight without a care! Fight to kill demons, until not a single one is left standing! And if we do die? Then we will gladly give our souls to the Goddess! Let Her watch over Her chosen people, and bless them with Her divine power until we are all gone! She will safeguard us, She will shield our souls from the demons, and bring us to Her side when we have fallen to protect Azeroth! They think they have us trapped? That we are as rats in a cage, easy pickings? Then let us bring the fight to THEM! We will ride out of this place, to fight in the open, to kill under the gaze of our Goddess, and when our time has come, to feel Her embrace take us into the stars! Now get up, Sentinels! Our time may be now, but it will not come while we cower in fear!" The sentinels seemed dazed for a moment, bringing Resileaf to wonder if she had overdone it and gotten too fired up. But then, without a word, and with renewed resolve in their eyes, the Sentinels took their weapons, and went to the entrance of the keep. She followed them there, to find the orcs already forming a battle line in front of the badly battered doors. The High Overlord turned to her as she approached and gave her an approving nod. Looks like he had heard her... She noticed that several of the civillians and wounded had been given spare weapons. They were not in a state to fight... But none of them were going to wait in this hole to die either. She couldn't help but smile at the sight. Everyone facing the Legion as equal, to protect what they held dear to them... Her fingers held her guildstone again as she sent her thoughts into it. "Twilight Empire... I call to you in this day to give you what I think are my final farewells. I am trapped in the Crossroads, with demons surrounding me and death looking certain. I am sorry that I must leave you all like this, as the war against the demons begin. I hope you can also forgive me for leaving you all like this. Know that I have never been more proud of being part of an organization than I did in the Empire. I send you a last prayer in the hopes that you endure this war and live through it. Remember me while you kill demons in the future... For the Twilight Empire." She slipped the stone back into her pocket, then took hold of the heart-shaped locket around her neck. She clutched it for a moment against her heart. Tessi... I'm sorry... She let go of it, then took hold of her glaive as the door buckled against another hard impact. Saurfang paced in front of it and addressed his soldiers. "Warriors of the Horde! Sentinels of the Alliance! Show those demons our fury! Let them hear our warcries, as we cut through their ranks, and die in glorious battle against them! Victory or Death! Lok'tar Ogar! For the Horde! For Azeroth!" The doors burst open. As one, the Horde warriors let out a terrifying roar that shook the foundations of the building, and charged against the demons as they tried to do the same. Taken off guard, the felguards were driven back instantly and cut down. The second wave behind them fared no better. Resileaf followed the orcs as they bursted out of the building, into the open, striking at every demon unlucky enough to get in their way. Resileaf among them whirled her glaive around masterfully, slicing through demonic flesh and bone and claw and fang alike, spraying fel blood all around her. The army charged on in the middle of the city like an unstoppable tidal wave of steel until finally, they arrived before the leader of the current invasion, a wicked dreadlord who stood before them with his arms crossed, grinning down at them. "How noble and inspiring! The doomed army, rather than wait for death in their hole, come out in the open to earn an heroic death! Trying to earn the songs of the future bards then? How foolish... Look around yourselves! Witness our infinite army!" Resileaf examined their surroundings... And saw that what they had done in the end was cut through merely a small part of the demonic army. Rather than mass in front of the keep, they had spread around the area, and massed a small number of themselves in front to let the assembled forced cut through them easily until they became surrounded by the rest. Almost immediately, the troops changed into a round formation, to face all sides. The dreadlord laughed wickedly. "You only now notice! Do you understand now?! Aah, mortals... So easy to manipulate... You make heroic speeches, you charge into battle recklessly to go out in a blaze of glory, and in doing so, you play right into our hands! Your souls burn so bright, it will be such a pleasure to extinguish them... Your time has come, little mortals. Make peace with your gods, or don't. It will make no difference in the end." With a twisted grin, the demon raised his hand, and the demonic troops began to advance, slowly, purposely, towards the assembled army, closing in and keeping them trapped and surrounded. That was it, then. There was nowhere to escape to. This was how it was going to end. Resileaf closed her eyes and smiled. She had had a good, long life. She had hoped for it to last longer, to protect Azeroth in its time of need. But that was fine. She had no regrets. She would take out a few more of the demons, and let the Goddess take her. Raising her weapon and going into a battle stance, she watched the demons slowly approach them in an intimidating formation. Just a few moments more, the Dreadlord would lower his arm and signal everyone's deaths. She tensed up, focused intently on her opponent, and... "Citizens of Azeroth." Everything stopped. The demons, the Dreadlord, the Horde and Sentinels... They had all heard that booming voice that seemed to come from within their minds. This was... "Today is the day we turn the tide." Hope began to swell in the defenders again. Could it be it? Could this be finally the miracle they had been waiting for? "Today is the day that we re-take our world." The Dreadlord's face twisted in anger. "And send the Legion back to the hell that spawned them." He roared and lowered his arm, to send his army at the mortals. They charged in anger, but met only a wall of blades and shields. "Our path is clear." One by one, the demons fell, unable to strike down their enemies. "The Pillars of Creation await." They tried so hard to overwhelm them. Even the Dreadlord jumped into the fight in an attempt to take down the mortals who dared face the Legion. But to no avail. "On the Broken Isles!" A wave of magical energy flowed over the entirety of Azeroth. Unleashed by the teleportation of Dalaran, it made the Legion ships shimmer in the air, and the demons it spawned found themselves weakened and on their knees. The Dreadlord roared in anger. "Fine then! Enjoy your pointless victory, mortals! We will deal with your mages, and then come back for you! The immortal Legion will destroy you all, fools!" One by one, the demons teleported away, brought back into the capital ship flying overhead. The Dreadlord was the last one to go, his eyes burning with rage as he disappeared for good. Slowly, the Legion ship began to fly away, leaving the Crossroads behind. There was silence in the city for a moment. "We... We won..." Resileaf didn't know who said that. Maybe it was her, but she couldhave just repeated it, as those words spread throughout the army, with growing joy among the soldiers. Before long, a cheer spread in the entire army, and roars of victory echoed in the city square. The civillians still in the stronghold slowly began to trickle out as the sun shone again over the Barrens. Orc and Night elf and Tauren and Troll alike cheered, embracing one another, crying in joy and laughing in relief. Resileaf could only fall to her knees as her strength left her. Her heart was beating like crazy, and she could not stop herself from letting the emotions wash over her. Victory... Victory at last. They had bought enough time. They had won. She took hold of her guildstone to speak into it, although she realized as she did that she wasn't certain what to say anymore. In the end, she could only speak three little words. "I am alive."
  2. 1 point
    (( My thread for Resileaf's Legion stories. )) The incessant buzzing of the airship had faded long ago from Resileaf's ears. The flight from the Broken shore had gone without any issues. They flew back in Stormwind's direction, and the elf could see that everyone appeared to feel the same. Everyone was silent, even the wounded as they were tended to by the priests. No... They were not silent. She just couldn't hear them anymore. She couldn't hear anything because her mind was still filled by the screams of agony of Varian Wrynn as Gul'dan tortured him to death. His screams had resonated even above the thunder of the fel lightning that crashed around them. Even above the rotors of the airship as it fled the scene. Above the screams of rage of Genn Greymane as the King's life was extinguished. Or maybe she was still hearing the screams of Tirion Fordring as a massive demon destroyed his Light barrier before the assembled armies. He too was gone... He too was another victim of the Legion, another hero gone forever from the world. Or maybe those were the screams of all the soldiers who perished during the initial assault. Those too wounded to continue fighting, who had to be left behind. Those who fell from the airship when the fel reaver grabbed it like a toy. Maybe those were her own screams of fear, of terror when death stared her in the face. When she herself hung to her dear life to the airship, watching with disbelief the ridge that the Horde had abandonned, sealing their defeat. She had truly started to believe then that she would die without ever knowing why they had left them to die. She couldn't tell anymore what she heard. Maybe everything at the same time. Maybe she just imagined them. It wouldn't have been surprising that she had gone deaf from the battle. It was like every other moment had someone yelling an order in her ear, or the explosion of a spell or siege weapon happening near her. She felt dulled to emotions, unable to react to anything near her. She did not even notice that they were now hovering above the docks again. They had arrived, and the wounded were being shipped off to the cathedral. Some of the survivors were staring at the horizon and pacing aimlessly. Perhaps they were already looking forward to payback? Or were they also in disbelief about the situation? She could see a lot of survivors with thousand yard stares sitting on the deck, much like she was. ... But eventually, she had to leave. She mechanically walked over to the side of the airship, looking down to the docks far below, and then whistled for her hippogryph. The beast, which she had left at the docks before taking the ship that took the reinforcements to the Broken shore, recognized her voice, and flew up to the airship to find her. She mounted it wordlessly, and flew back down into the city. The news of Varian's death had already spread throughout the city. The trade district was gloomier than it had ever been. Perhaps fittingly, a heavy rain fell over the entire city, adding to the feeling of desperation that filled the air. Even the sky wept for the fallen king. Resileaf found herself soon by the edge of the lake within the city. She did not remember why she had directed her mount there. Maybe to escape the cries of mourning from the citizens? Or the screams in her head? She sat by the edge of the lake, not bothering to care about the muddy ground. It was the least of her concerns. What she wanted now... Was peace. She closed her eyes and waited. She needed to silence the screams, just as she had in the wars before. The first battle was always the hardest, when the brutality of your enemy was laid bare before you. When the ashes fell and the first fires were extinguished, this was when the time came to strike back, when her heart was hardened and her resolve strengthened. It had happened during the Third war when the Warsong orcs rampaged across the forests of Ashenvale and slew Cenarius. It had happened when the Horde had destroyed the school her daughter had studied at. It would happen again now. When next she fought, the demons would know the fear of ten thousand years of battle experience unleashed against them.
  3. 1 point
    Syreena had heard about the brawl in the Wyvern’s Tail a few days ago. As she heard it, T’suro had come in and started trouble with Khorvis. A fight broke out, and Khorvis lost a tusk. Baal and a couple other Grims broke up the fight, and ran Sanctuary off but were injured in the process. Syreena did not take attacks against the Grims lightly. Since hearing the news, the little rogue had been prowling around Orgrimmar and Warspear, looking for an opportunity to remind the purple people that aggression against The Grim would not be tolerated. She found her first target along the beaches of Warspear. A female elf she’d met at the last Cantina. Sanctuary. And Cerryan’s mate. Sen'ahri sat in a secluded little section of Warspear, having found a semi-quiet spot near the water and slightly far away enough for the din of the hub to be partially muted. She was in simple clothes, the only real flavor to it was the bright purple and gold of the Sanctuary tabard that hung loosely around her. The make shift table was low to the ground, the pole that kept it up right half sunken into the high tide of the water that lapped at her bare feet. Her boots sagged on the table as she sat hunched over a book, an odd spherical puzzle in her hand. She would turn and spin the halves of the object, study it then jot something down in the book, completely engrossed in her progress. Even as the sun hung low with a fire's blood and her feet ankle deep in wet sand, she kept to her studies, ears flicking every once and a while, but mostly limp and droopy as she concentrated. It had been ages since someone last passed by, either in wayward passing or intent. She was alone, and dumb as ever. With the step of one practiced at remaining unheard and unseen, the Shadowblade moved silently over the wet sand until she was directly behind Sen'ahri. She leaned forward, placing a blade lightly against the elf's throat and her lips close to her ear. "Hello, elf," she whispered into that elegant ear. Sen’ahri flinched hard, nearly jumping out of her skin, the sting of the blade on the tender flesh of her throat stinging less than it should, adrenaline starting to pump through her blood. She recognized the voice, though her memories had to search for the woman they belonged too far slower then she would have perhaps liked. Though as the image of the undead woman flittered into her thoughts she knew she was out classed. She was a mage, sure, but where most of her people practice for combat, she had used her time learning of the past... and its people. It was the trickle of red that tickled her skin that slammed her thoughts back into reality. Slowly she sat the pen and the puzzle down, hands flat on the table fingers splayed. She didn't say anything at first as her eyes closed trying desperately to quit the tremble that had over taken her. The fight the day before with Cerryan echoed into her thoughts, a bitter taste running on her tongue from the thought. "That's right," Syreena whispered approvingly. "Keep your hands right there where I can see them.” “What do you want?” Sen’ahri said, her voice giving away more fear then what she had intended. “Hm," Syreena said and then paused, as if thinking on the question. She tilted her head back and forth in time with tipping the dagger back and forth as well, rocking it gently against Sen'ahri's throat. "I just want peace, same as you purple people," she finally answered with a deceitful cheerfulness in her voice. The frightened elf flicked her gaze around as much as she could, trying to find someone, anyone to signal to, to raise an alarm, anything. She just had to keep the woman talking, that’s what they always said, keep them talking, get them to monologue get them to spill their guts to save your own. Peace? Peace was easy, but this wasn't the way for it this wasn't how you got it. "I also want this," Syreena hissed as she licked the outside of the elf's left ear. She raised her free hand, holding the twin of the blade at the elf’s throat. Sen’ahri’s lips parted to speak, to ask questions, to say more, but her words were soon gone as she felt the blade slice through the skin and cartilage, severing the ear from her head. To the undead's credit, her blades were sharp, impossibly so, before the pain registered the appendage was gone. Reaching to pick up her small, bloody prize from where it landed on the table, the Shadowblade removed the dagger from the elf's throat and took a step back, quite pleased with herself. They teach you to be calm, to keep a level head and a mind like a vice when using magic, that using while emotional did little but hurt yourself and those around you, but the only one around Sen’ahri now was Syreena. In a pop of displaced air and magic the mage was gone, standing facing the other woman with wide wild eyes. A shaky hand reached up to touch the unprotected hole, her palm coming back a bloody mess, the long slender pink spear of flesh she expected to feel; missing. The gore streamed down her face and neck, making a mess of her clothes and shoulder as she tried to stop the bleeding. trying to get the ringing out of her...her.... Her vision warbled as tears started to sting, her hearing drastically muted on her left side. Syreena tilted her head, her gaze fixed on the bleeding hole in the elf's head. Then she giggled softly and lifted the severed ear up to her lips, giving it a tender lick. The mutilated mage rose her free hand to cast a spell, lances of Ice starting to form around her then haphazardly flung forward as she tried to stumble away, the magic puttering out mostly before getting to their target, or off the mark by more than a mile. She was a researcher, not a harden battle mage. The rogue’s giggling grew louder as the ice pieces flew harmlessly about her with no real aim or force. "Ooh, a snowball fight?" With a childish playfulness, Syreena pulled out a magic snowball and threw it at the mage. The ball of snow smacked the woman in the chest. As she registered what her attacker had thrown, a horrid look of confusion claimed Sen'ahri's face, causing Syreena to laugh harder at the expression. Her one hand still covering the hole, the other slowly starting to cast a simple teleportation spell. More in test to see if the rogue would even let her leave, the cast taking more time, her hands shaking too hard. Having already accomplished her goal, the Shadowblade made no move to impede the elf’s escape. “You're a monster,” the mage said, her voice sounding half muffled. Syreena put on her best innocent face and pouted a bit. Then she grinned wickedly. “Rawr!” Sen’ahri flinched at the sound, dropping the spell once again, only to be quickly picked back up again. Then, with the soft sound of displaced air and magic, the mage was gone. Later that day, Syreena had Lilliana stitch the elf ear onto her own head where, eighteen months or so ago, her left ear was removed after losing a battle with another Sanctuary elf. ((Written by Syreena and Sen’ahri))
  4. 1 point
    The Shadowblade tore through the darkness towards her prey, but her poisoned blades never found their mark. Through the murky shadows outside of the room they were in came a searing ray of energy, illuminating the keep's derelict stones as it arced a path directly towards the Forsaken attacker. The beam pierced Syreena, slowing her momentum as Cerryan spun on his heel in anticipation, swinging his glowing golden greatsword at the off-guard rogue. It pressed into her flesh, further pressing her at the wall away from him, and while the cut was not deep the wound burned with brilliant holy energy. The magical whir of a hulking and very much active arcane golem sent heavy steps toward the chamber, but the sentry was unable to clear the entrance through the corridor. A miscalculation on the part of the incensed paladin? Syreena hissed in pain as the Light from both the beam and Cerryan's sword burned her flesh. Much to her surprise, and disappointment, she had lost the advantage of surprise, but she still gripped her daggers as she regained her footing and began pacing around the room. When she got too close to the doorway, however, the golem's eyes glowed red a second before laser beams shot from them toward the rogue. Syreena rolled away and came up to her feet again. Her movements were stiff though, pained by the Light burns. She got to her feet, glaring at Cerryan. "New pet, little purple elf?" Without waiting for an answer, she lunged at him, one blade poised to deflect his sword and the other aiming for his face. Cerryan grinned wickedly, but did not respond as he met her blades with his. Her intuitions were right, and as his blade locked with one of hers, her other was free to slice, cutting a gash across the paladin's face and leaving stinging poison clinging to the wound. He hissed as the pain bit into him, taking a swing at the rogue which she deftly parried, and another which she dodged handily. In turn, she rewarded his hasty attacks with a series of stabs running up his side, each leaving more debilitating poison in his veins. He slowed, his guard less strictly maintained and his motions growing sluggish, but still he came at her, golden blade slicing at her once, then again, and over, providing the rogue with dangerous but potentially fruitful opportunities to counterattack. Syreena's golden eyes gleamed cruelly, even though her body still burned with the Light from his first strikes. "What's the matter, pretty elf? Getting tired already?" The little rogue grinned, her gaze traveling, briefly but meaningfully, to his single ear, and ran her tongue over her lips. "Then let's end it!" She launched herself at him, both blades aimed at his throat. Cerryan finished uttering a prayer under his breath and the toxins plaguing his wounds at once fell away. As the rogue rushed him with her vicious blades he stood to unleash an aura of blinding light that filled every corner of the room with a burning golden glow. When the stinging incandescence had faded, the paladin had launched his own rush at Syreena, low to the ground with his blade aimed for her midsection. Angered shock filled the Shadowblade's glowing eyes as his burning holy weapon pierced her, and they were both propelled towards the far wall as golden wings of holy light unfurled from Cerryan and aided his surge forward to drive his blade deep into the wall, pinning Syreena against it as searing holy energy coursed through her withered undead form. He drove the weapon as far into the stone as he was able, channeling every ounce of divine wrath into the vile assassin before releasing his sword and launching himself backwards. Even after his hand left the weapon, arcs of golden light continued to wrack her body. The Shadowblade gasped hoarsely, her daggers clattering to the floor as she reached to grasp the sword that held her to the wall. She tried in vain to pull it out, but she lacked the strength to pull the blade from the stone wall behind her. The Light from the paladin had scorched her skin, and the Light from his sword burned her from the inside. Her mouth gaped soundlessly, and when she looked at the Sanctuary elf, her eyes were wide with shock. Her squirming only made the pain worse, but her struggles were already beginning to slow. Cerryan stared coldly for a long moment as the source of so much suffering and conflict in his and Sanctuary's life writhed in agony against the righteous vengeance that kept her pinned, then casually brushed aside a few rogue strands of golden hair behind his intact ear as he caught his breath. He stood tall, bloodied and a little wobbly, but he looked at her finally, wearing a well-practiced and abundantly warm smile. "Light keep you, Syreena." A shimmering shell of protective holy power surrounded the paladin as he ran his thumb across a small glowing stone. At the doorway to the chamber the large arcane golem, resplendent and marked with the ornate heraldry of House Visca, pivoted to face the room beyond and returned to an inactive state, blocking the door behind it. "May it keep you here forever, in the name of Peace." He was gone, and the Shadowblade was left alone in divine misery. ((Written by Syreena and Cerryan))
  5. 1 point
    The courier departed as the Shadowblade began reading the letter he had delivered. A moment later, the note fell to the ground in a crumpled ball next to the mailbox outside the Wyvern’s Tail. “As dumb as the Scarlets,” she muttered to herself irritably. “Can’t tell the difference between Scourge and Forsaken.” Then the little rogue grinned evilly. She had always thought Cerryan to be a coward--rich, handsome (if one looked at his good side, that still had a long, elegant ear), arrogant as all elves were, but a coward. She and Lilly had once cut off one of his ears, and he did nothing about it. She’d seen him use his hearthstone from the safety of his shields to run away when confronted with Grims. Now, the prissy purple elf was upset, and in his anger, he had challenged her. She considered whether it might be a trap. It was possible, Syreena decided, that she might show up in the Ghostlands and find Kex’ti, Shokkra, and Julilee waiting for her instead of a lone prissy elf. More likely, she decided, she would get there to find that Cerryan had already fled with his remaining ear that she so wanted for a trophy. She would go, but she would be cautious. Several hours had passed while Syreena traveled to the Ghostlands and searched for her target. She hated the elf lands, as she hated the elves, but still she searched all the buildings she could find with the typical stamina and persistence of a Forsaken. She was beginning to think she was right about him running away before she found him, if he was ever here to begin with. Then she came upon an old Farstrider barracks beneath the boughs of a twisted white tree. The little rogue rubbed fresh poison onto her blades before sneaking into the building. Finally, she found Cerryan in a holding area of some kind. She remained hidden in the shadows and surveyed her surroundings. The building was in ruin. Bricks and stone were lying on the floor beneath holes in the wall. Scattered shards of colored glass littered the floor. A few arcane golems lay about in disrepair, still and silent as statues. She saw no sign of anyone else nearby. She looked back at her target. Cerryan stood in the center of the room, facing the doorway as if waiting for her. He looked her general direction, but she saw no indication that he knew she lurked in the shadows there. He held a large golden sword in his hands. Syreena grinned; he looked like he really did mean to fight her. Picturing what he would look like without his remaining ear, she slid through the shadows. She emerged from the shadows directly behind the elf, her poisoned daggers slicing towards him.
  6. 1 point
    There were too many... "Another wave incoming! Brace for impact!" An explosion shook the ground just outside the shield around the Crossroads. Another of those abyssals had landed before the gates and approached them while the defenders were still fighting against the last of the previous demonic wave. "Get that right flank tightened up! Get some healers to get our soldiers back into the fight!" Resileaf's body nearly moved by itself at this point. She felt like a machine, firing arrow after arrow, blasting every demon that dared show its face back into the oblivion it had crawled out of. She had lost count of how many she had slain. Everybody had forgotten. This endless army came without end, snarling, laughing, roaring for blood. Any other army would have broken and routed weeks ago. The demons? They never stopped. It was fortunate that they trusted so much in their own strength and brutality to care about strategy. With the Crossroads the only major holding standing in the Barrens, they attacked it relentlessly. There were too many. "South side is falling back! Get some reinforcements there!" The defenders fought bravely. They had to. If they faltered, no one survived. Everyone's life relied on someone else. Any weakness meant another soldier died. Any recklessness endangered the entire city. "Sentinel down! Pull her back before she's overrun!" The casualties were tremendous. More than half of the Horde soldiers and Night elf sentinels were dead or too gravely wounded to fight. Even with the forces remaining in the Barrens assisting them, their numbers were now fewer and fewer. Too few. Each soldier lost was replaced by ten demons who struck with increased ferocity at the remaining troops. This battle could no longer be won. And yet they could not stop fighting. "Breach! Breach in the walls! Get someone to plug it back up!" Gritting her teeth, Resileaf blasted the abyssal with a final blessed arrow, stunning it long enough for the rest of the troops to bring it down, causing it to crumble into cooling pieces of rock. She turned toward the breach in the wall, seeing troops scrambling towards it. Various demons were charging out of it, into the desperate defenders. Looking back to make sure this entrance did not need her help still, Resileaf sprinted towards this new breach, immediately preparing an arrow. She lifted her bow as a felguard knocked an orc grunt on the ground and lifted his axe to split him open, and with a single well-placed shot right between the eyes, struck him down just in time. Still running, she grabbed the orc's arm and helped him on his feet, and nocked another arrow, only to be forced to use her bow as a makeshift shield when a felhound pounced at her. She fell to the ground, the beast kept from biting at her throat by her holding her bow against it. It snarled and snapped, and she tried to reach for a glaive on her belt, only for the same orc she had just saved to slice the felhound in half with a single swing of his axe. It was his turn to help her on her feet, and she gave the green man a grateful nod before they both went back to the fight. More and more demons were pouring out of the breach. Too many. Thankfully, a shaman arrived just at that moment to aid the defenders. Calling upon the spirits of the earth, the tauren mystic made the ground under the bridge suddenly surge higher, creating a stone wall to replace the partition that had been destroyed and blocking any further demons from entering the Crossroads. The rest of the demons, without any assistance or place to flee to, fell with ease, ending this particular crisis before it became too problematic. "More breaches! Troops to the breaches, plug them back up! Drive back those demons!" There were too many... Still too many... Resileaf looked to Overlord Saurfang, in the town square, shouting orders at the top of his lungs whenever a new crisis popped up. His attempts to keep everyone fighting were commendable, but there was only so much a single man could do. "North side cannot hold on! We must pull back!" "East side is about to be overwhelmed! Our support is gone!" "South side under heavy fire! The Legion is too powerful!" She looked to the city's gates. The Legion numbers came overwhelming. They had fought too long, suffered too much... They could no longer hold against the invaders. Even with the shield, they could not keep the gates protected anymore. "The shield is coming down! I repeat, shield down!" Resileaf's eyes went wide. This was the absolute last defense they still had. Without this shield, then... The translucent, shimmering force field that had been held by the druids and shamans dissipated, the spellcasters simply too exhausted to continue. The effects were almost immediate. Demons began to appear within the city itself, the airship launching a new barrage of fel fireballs over the defenders. Chaos erupted as the soldiers were forced to react to this sudden event, putting even more pressure on the gates... There were too many... "All soldiers, retreat to the bastion! Everyone to the command center! Get everyone, now!" Resileaf sprinted back towards Overlord Saurfang, dodging a felguard's axe and retaliating by cutting through his leg with her glaive, crippling him. She did not pay more attention to him however as she arrived at the old orc. Looking around, she saw the remaining troops desperately trying to make it back to them, fighting through the demons. The demons appeared even faster now, infernals crashing into buildings, into amassed troops... She saw the other Priestess of the Moon, surrounded by demons, yelling at her sentinels to run to safety. Her name was Anaya, she thought... She was too far away... Resileaf had to look away as an eredar warlock began to tear her soul right out of her body. Her screams though, she could not ignore. Screams... There were more and more of them as soldiers were cut down in their retreat. There were too many... She began to haul a wounded orc into the keep, remarking that it was the same she had just fought alongside at the breach. His face was disfigured, both eyes cut by the same wound that went across his face. She brought him to the room where all the wounded and the civilians were kept. There were so many of them... Huddled together, trying to reassure themselves, caring for the wounded as best as they could, doing anything in their power to aid their protectors. Soldiers poured into the keep, archers covering them by keeping the demons at bay until as many soldiers had returned as possible. The gates to the keep were closed and barred. More planks of wood were brought to reinforce the doors, even as they began to buckle and crack against the demons' battering outside. Cenarion druids quickly began to also reinforce the doors, using their magic to keep the wood strong. Resileaf looked over what soldiers were left. So few had made it back... So many had been killed, and what was happening to them even now? If the Priestess of the Moon's fate was any indication... The dead were being desecrated even now. What had it all been for? She looked over the Sentinels that were left. Of the squad she had brought, only a quarter was left. The rest was wounded or dead. She had to look away. She could not face them. Her promises before the battle... What were they for anymore? They were trapped, huddled in a building, surrounded on all sides by demons, and there was not going to be any rescue. There were so many...
  7. 1 point
    Cerryan was himself on the way back from aiding Orgrimmar's latest defense against the Burning Legion. The golden-haired paladin was weary from hours uninterrupted on the front lines, keeping as many fighters as he could alive and able to keep swinging. The constant fighting was wearing the defenders down, and it was all Cerryan could do to keep morale high and casualties low. He was increasingly struggling to succeed at either, and it was having a frustrating effect on his already strained psyche. Finally, he acquiesced to withdraw from the battle lines long enough to recover himself, physically and spiritually. He was on his way through the rough, rocky streets of the capital city of the Horde, riding somewhat aimlessly on his armored talbuk just to remind himself of what he was helping to keep safe. He rode through the Valley of Honor, his eyes lingering on the Wyvern's Tail where he planned on ending his trip. He moved past it for now, into the Drag and en route to the Valley of Wisdom, where the sound of rushing water and the company of perhaps the Horde's wisest and most sensible members would help ease his tense anxiety. This was not to be, as while he was heading through the Drag he heard the weak call for help on Sanctuary's channel of communication. “…attacked…Cleft of Shad-….” The Cleft of Shadow, it had to be. Fortunate that he was so close already... “Cerryan.....mate’s…..ear…. Need….heal….” He pulled hard on his reigns, bringing the noble talbuk to a quick turn as he coursed as fast as he could down the darkened passage that lead to Orgimmar's most shadowy district. It took Cerryan a few moments to find the injured Orcess. It was a small gathering of onlookers that drew him to the wounded warrior, and he pressed through them hastily to find Kanda on the ground, gripping her freely bleeding stomach unconsciously. He knelt beside her, coursing healing light into her wounded form. His free hand fumbled for his communicator, finally gripping it and speaking hastily. "Sanctuary, Kanda has been gravely injured in Orgrimmar. Send guards and medical staff from the guild hall immediately." His brow furrowed as he whispered a fevered prayer to the Light. These injuries are severe...another demon attack in the city itself? He struggled to keep up with the bleeding, his healing not accomplishing as much as it should to close her wounds. He flinched slightly as he realized why this was. Poison...not usually a part of the Legion's usual arsenal. Something isn't right... The paladin uttered a different prayer, expunging the toxins from Kanda's body. The warm, healing light seemed to work more quickly now that it was not opposed by further damage. Cerryan just needed to move her hands to get a better angle on the worst of the damage, but they were gripped tightly against her. He applied gentle pressure to move them, one hanging on a bit tighter. Something was clenched in the hand, something that slid out along with the arm as the paladin finally cleared the area and began surging shocks of holy light to stop the bleeding as fast as possible. He used his free hand to pry at the orc's clenched one, and as the sliced appendage slipped free from her hand and into his, he was at once overcome with sickening nausea and trembling emotion. His eyes welled as they narrowed, his blood pressure rising sharply. Quickly, the mending wound was wrapped tight for compression, and Cerryan let out a cry of anguish as he laid his hands on the downed fighter, coursing a massive surge of holy light into her. He stood up, drained and weary, his face blank and unfocused, and he coldly pressed through the crowd without saying a word. He was gone by the time Sanctuary's responders had arrived. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ A short time later, a bloodstained note is delivered to the Shadowblade's hands with the speed and precision that could not have come cheaply. The writing was rough and hasty, with an anger-filled tone that betrayed the writer's possible instability. You little murderous shit This is over, Syreena. I will kill you I swear I will. No more hiding behind oaths or behaving for the commander, I will kill you myself and on my own. Come find me in the Ghostlands. Your rotting corpse will fit right in among the dead that your kind brought to our lands. Come find me. -Cerryan
  8. 1 point
    Explosions shook the inn, the Legion's siege growing in violence with each passing day. Resileaf, the other Priestess of the Moon and one of Saurfang's commanders were discussing the current events in a private room so they could coordinate their work together. It had been several days since Resileaf's return, and not once had the Legion paused in their attacks since then. The Crossroads and the Barrens were under constant siege, meaning that a change of strategy was required. The Orc commander unfolded a map on a table, showing the entirety of the Barrens and the many villages that dotted it. "The High Overlord has decided that it was no longer possible to protect the entirety of the Barrens. From now on, our efforts will be focused solely on the protection of the Crossroads." Resileaf and the other Priestess glanced to each other, before turning back to the Orc. The Priestess was the first one to speak. "But won't this mean abandonning your people who do not live here? Without aid, they will not be able to stand against the Legion." "What? No, we are not abandonning anyone. We are sending troops to rescue them even now. We will bring them all back here, in our most fortified building. The Legion can destroy their homes as much as they want, but our people will live on to rebuild afterwards." Resileaf nodded satisfyingly as she studied the map. "That is good. No matter how much they taint the earth, as long as the people live, we can rebuild." The Orc commander nodded as well, then pointed to the Crossroads. "That's right. Now the main point is of course the protection of this city. Thanks to the Cenarion druids who came with you and the shamans we already had, we have decided to erect a forcefield around the Crossroads that will prevent the Legion from teleporting directly in our streets. From now on, every attack will come from outside our walls, so our fortifications will actually be of use. We wanted to know what kind of fortification we could erect for your people to fight most efficiently from." Resileaf rubbed at her chin thoughtfully. "You already have a watch tower constructed near the south end of the Crossroads, so I will send the bulk of my Sentinels there. They will have an easier time firing at invaders, or watching for attacks coming from somewhere unexpected. If you could have something high built on the northern side as well, we could protect the two main entrances with ease." The Priestess agreed wordlessly, so the Orc continued. "Then this shall be done. Now, a matter of obvious importance is the number of troops we have. The past couple of days have not been kind to our armies, what with those ceaseless attacks interfering with the rest of our troops. We have sent word to Orgrimmar, but we have little hope of reinforcements from there since the north gate is under constant assault. What about your armies?" The Priestess spoke up. "We sent a messenger of our own a day ago. I expect her to return any time now, hopefully with a fresh squad of Sentinels. If she does, I believe we would have the numbers necessary to rotate our troops and pull this defense off for a good month. Plenty of time for the mages of Dalaran to-" She was interrupted when the doors burst open, and a Sentinel, the messenger they had sent, entered the room. Resileaf could tell from her troubled look that she did not came back with good news. "Terrible news, Priestess! Our armies have been caught in the fight against the Legion and cannot send any more reinforcements! The demons are attacking in great force!" Resileaf had a terrible feeling in the pit of her stomach, but she had to ask this next question. "Where are they attacking, Sentinel? Where are the demons striking in our lands?" There was some hesitation before the Sentinel answered. (Spoiler tag for Legion spoilers) There were disbelieving gasps from both Resileaf and the other Priestess, and even the Orc seemed speechless. "This cannot be! Not now! Oh, Elune protect us..." The Priestess grimly looked back at the map. "Then we are on our own... Commander Ravenwing, we must focus on the task at hand. There will be time to mourn later, once we have protected this place. With the defenses we have, without reinforcements from either Orgrimmar or Darnassus, we must face our enemies more carefully than ever. No single life can be thrown away and wasted. More than ever, the endless numbers of the Legion will be our greatest threat." Resileaf took a deep breath and nodded, forcing herself to be calm. Emotions would hamper their efforts... "It's alright... We have the advantage of experience and fortifications. Our backs are up against the wall, and we know we only have to buy time. Just enough time for the Kirin Tor to figure out how to beat back the Legion. We just need to have faith..." The Orc let out a sigh and rolled up the map. "Faith will not kill demons. Courage and steel will carry the day. I wouldn't put so much trust in the wizards anyway, there is nothing that says they will know everything above all. I wish you the best of luck, I shall report to Overlord Saurfang that we can expect no reinforcements. I shall see you on the battlefield." The commander then left the room, leaving Resileaf, the Priestess and the messenger alone with the rumbling noises from outside to accompany them. Resileaf was silent for a bit, thoughtful and worried. None of them said a word, not knowing what could ever be said in this situation. Finally, Resileaf left the room next, heading outside to watch the battle taking place... As the Orc commander promised, a protective field had been erected around the entire city to prevent the Legion's most powerful weapon, teleportation, from working. It gave them the advantage, but no advantage could make a battle easy, especially not now. She closed her eyes, and held a locket hanging around her neck for a moment. When she opened her eyes again, it was with renewed confidance. It was not their final stand. They WOULD get through this and win this war. She had promised it to her Sentinels a few weeks ago, and it was up to her to keep up that promise. They just needed time.
  9. 1 point
    Satisfied that she’d made Sanctuary pay for the attack on Khorvis, Syreena considered the matter behind her now. The Grim had recently been ordered by the Commander to withdraw from their garrison in Draenor and return to the guild hall in Tirisfal Glades. The little rogue returned to the Forsaken lands with mixed feelings. A few days after unpacking her things in the old guild hall, Syreena still felt something wasn’t quite right. Brill, Undercity, the Glades—all were home to the little rogue. She should have felt safe and comfortable. Instead, she was nervous and irritable. Finally, on her way into Undercity one day, Syreena realized what the problem was. Just south of the city, in the middle of Lordamere Lake, sat Fenris Keep with its basement cell. She landed her wyvern on the wall overlooking the lake. On the island, she could see a colony of murlocs, and some sick wildlife, but she saw no movement on the walls of the keep. The Shadowblade nudged her mount off its perch and flew toward the island. From a safe height, Syreena surveyed the grounds of Fenris Isle. She saw no sign of the keep being inhabited. No Hillsbrad refugees milled about. No Alliance patrolled the walls. No black and white banners flew at the gates. After a brief hesitation, she signaled the wyvern to land, and she dismounted, tethering the beast to a tree. She approached the entrance cautiously, staying to the shadows, even though she couldn’t see or hear anyone nearby, and retraced the steps she took that day while she followed Sanctuary members in to check on the condition of a Grim who had been captured by the Alliance. The place was deserted, and had been for some time, by the layer of dust coating everything. The basement was empty. There was no sign anyone had ever been there. In her mind though, she heard the echoes of the past. “SURPRISE BITCH,” the Halfling rogue had called out when he pounced on her, knocking her out of the shadows. “Apprehend her!” Julilee had ordered, as she moved to block the stairs, trapping Syreena in the basement with the humans. “Excellent,” Kex’ti had said to the little rogue after conversing in Thalassian with the human in charge. “Then you will take Tesonii’s place?” “Stop,” Kargron said sternly. “There is no honor in this.” “Forsaken know no honor,” another Sanctuary elf spat. “Strip her,” the human leader ordered after Sanctuary had left the little rogue alone as a prisoner of the Alliance. “Let’s make sure she’s not hiding anything in any interesting places.” * * * * * * The next day, Syreena was in Orgrimmar, on her way to fight demons at the back gate. As she rode through the Drag, she saw a familiar face near the orphanage. For several years in a row, Kanda had been Syreena’s orphan during Children’s Week. When the orc was old enough to leave the orphanage, Syreena brought her to the Grim garrison and gave her a home. When Syreena gave Kanda her first mission—to retrieve for her the ears of the Sanctuary commander—Kanda instead joined the purple people. Betrayer, she thought as she glared at the orc. All of them. Purple betrayers. She waited, concealed in the shadows, until Kanda left the orphanage and headed through the Drag down into the Cleft of Shadows. Syreena followed, until they were in a relatively isolated spot. Then the Shadowblade lunged at the other rogue with her daggers drawn. She stabbed the orc’s exposed lower back. Kanda staggered, but she recovered quickly, whirling around to face her attacker as she took one of her axes in hand and raised it in a defensive stance. She felt blood trickling under the waist of her leggings from the wounds on her back, and she could feel her muscles slowing and stiffening around the wound from the poison that had coated the blades, but she gave no indication that she was in pain or otherwise affected. She simply watched the Grim rogue. “Traitor!” Syreena hissed. “I took you in, and you betrayed me for them!” “There was no honor there,” Kanda replied evenly. “Honor?” Syreena giggled. “Your new purple people have no honor! Even you purple orcs. Ask Kargron. He knows.” Syreena lunged at Kanda again, but the Sanctuary rogue was ready this time. In one move, she turned, avoiding the Shadowblade’s attack and slicing her axe across Syreena’s side hard enough to bite through both leather and flesh. Syreena spun, ignoring her own injury, and swiftly retaliated, her daggers a blur as she came at the orc. Kanda, however, was already in motion. She had launched a grappling hook to the roof of a nearby hut and was pulling herself up. She turned to face her attacker. Every movement was an effort with the crippling poison slowing her muscles. She flicked her wrist, and a hidden engineering device in her bracer sent a small pistol into her hand. She aimed it down at where Syreena was a moment ago, but the Grim rogue was no longer there. The Shadowblade stepped through the shadows, reappearing on the hut’s roof behind the orc, and again stuck her poisoned daggers into Kanda’s back. She twisted the blades viciously. The green skin, and the flesh beneath, were ripped apart and blood spurted. This time the orc stumbled, and Syreena kicked her off the roof. Kanda twisted in the air, a pained grunt escaping her as she landed on her wounded back on top of an awning made out of a bear skin. She lifted the pistol and fired twice. One shot hit Syreena, slowing her as she advanced. Syreena stepped off the roof with her daggers held in front of her. Kanda lifted her axe to protect herself, but, because of the crippling poison, her movements were not quick enough to save her. Syreena landed on Kanda, using the momentum to drive her daggers into the orc’s belly where the armor didn’t cover her. She grinned wickedly as she drew each blade downward through the abdominal wall, then sideways, opening up the orc’s gut. Kanda shuddered, a wheezing gasp escaping her. Then she felt teeth in her gut wound as the Forsaken lowered her head and began eating her. She struggled, weakened from poison and blood loss, and finally Syreena lifted her head and crawled up to Kanda’s face, blocking the orc’s field of vision with a bloody grin. The Forsaken lifted a dagger to the side of her own head and sliced off the pink elf ear that was stitched there. “Have an ear, Betrayer,” Syreena whispered menacingly, roughly shoving the severed ear into Kanda’s belly. “It used to belong to Cerryan’s girlfriend. Don’t worry, I’ll get another one. Another purple one. Many, in fact.” Until now, Kanda had accepted that she was going to die. Death in combat was an acceptable, honorable death. But now, as this hideous monster threatened others, anger rose up in her. She saw red as blood fury descended upon her. With an angry roar, she lifted her axe one more time and bashed it against Syreena’s head. The Forsaken yelped and tumbled off the awning, out of sight. For several moments, Kanda waited, fighting to stay conscious, expecting the Grim rogue to return to finish her task. As the blood fury receded, the pain returned. Kanda realized that Syreena didn’t need to come back to finish the job; the bleeding and poison would do that for her. The elf ear was still sticking out of her belly as she fumbled for her communicator. “…attacked…Cleft of Shad-….” She coughed weakly, then managed to get a few more words out before losing consciousness. “Cerryan.....mate’s…..ear…. Need….heal….”
  10. 1 point
    Wind howled at the summit of Ironforge mountain, blowing snow all over the slopes. Resileaf slowly opened her eyes, which was actually a surprise to her, considering the last thing she remembered was plummeting to her death. As her vision came back to her, she was welcomed by the orange glow of a nearby firecamp, crackling despite the wind. Sitting next to it was a short, hunched over figure covered by a green cape with a cowl. It turned to her as she stirred, and a dwarven voice addressed her. "Ah! Ye finally awake, lass! Welcome back to the world of the living!" The Night elf grunted a bit as she rubbed at her head and managed to give a better look to her surroundings. She was laying on a bedroll, in a small makeshift camp near the top of the mountains. She could see the spot she had fallen on not far away, as shown by the depression on the snow, so she had to figure she hadn't fallen from very high, and she could thank her survival for this. Well, half of it. The other half was sitting in front of her, holding a piece of meat on a stick over the fire. He was an old mountaineer, face creased with quantity of wrinkles, a long, white beard, and a large rifle held against his shoulder so it didn't fall in the snow. Although she couldn't see his lips well under his facial hair, she could tell he was smiling. "I saw ya tumble from yer gryphon while ye were flyin' overhead. Good thing ol' Hormiir was here to help ye out, no?" Resileaf sat up, feeling a little soreness in her muscles, but considering the alternative, she was very lucky. "Y-yes, thank you. I'm sorry to have imposed on you. It looks like I must have... Slipped and passed out while flying." The old dwarf started laughing heartily. "Slipped an' passed out? Lassie, ya don't have ta lie to me! I shook you over when I got ta ye, and ya didn,t even stir! Thought ya were dead, but then ya let out that snore, and I saw yer face, and I can tell ya haven't slept fer days! Ya one o' those heroes who travel all o'er the place ta fight the Legion, no?" Resileaf could only smile embarassingly at the dwarf's perceptiveness. "Well... Not exactly. I do fight the Legion, but I'm part of the Sentinel army. I command a unit of Sentinels who have reinforced the Crossroads in the Barrens. I left my unit to attend to personal matters and was returning to them now, before I... Fell asleep, I guess. I had intended to rest on the ship from Menethil harbor to Kalimdor." The old dwarf nodded as he pulled the stick away from the fire and smelled the meat over it, nodding in satisfaction at the smell that came back to him. "Interesting. I didn't know ya elves had the intention of helping the Horde, ya know? Thought yer forests had suffered tae much fer it." He handed the stick to Resileaf so she could eat what he had cooked, and she accepted it gratefully. It was grilled boar, and she found it to be quite to her taste. "It may look like it... But we can't let the Legion get a foothold. Otherwise, everything we've worked for is pointless. They'll destroy our forests themselves." The old dwarf nodded again and took a drink from a flask that she supposed was filled with beer. "That's noble enough, lassie. Can't say I'd mind having a few of them Horde fighting alongside us rather than against us here in Dun Morogh. I been lucky ta just patrol the mountainside, but I can see them Legion ships flying about, opening portals and whatnot. Dangerous business, all that. At my age, ya can't go running around like crazy. Ya can't go around not sleepin' either! Someone of yer military experience, ya should know, I think!" A wave of shame went over Resileaf. The dwarf was right, she had been too stubborn at the moment she should have been the most careful. How shameful it would have been to die from falling off her gryphon... "I suppose that's true... I really intended to take my rest on the ship so I would be able to get to my destination as fast as I could. The longer I am away from the battlefield, the more I risk arriving too late to helping my people. I underestimated how long I could keep my eyes open, I'm afraid..." The dwarf pulled out another flask and threw it over to Resileaf, who caught it. "Ya certainly did, lass. I understand having to go somewhere quickly, but if yer not in the state, ya should at least get something to be able ta do it. Drink this, fer example. Can make ye feel more awake than anything else I know!" Resileaf opened the flask curiously and took a smell. "Oh? What's this then?" Another wide dwarven smile answered her. "Coffee!" The two of them discussed with one another for a few minutes before, with a loud screech, a gryphon suddenly landed next to them. The same that Resileaf had dropped from. The sight was enough to surprise her into silence! Hormiir laughed at her reaction. "Oh, I didn't tell ye, did I? Yer gryphon actually stopped when ye fell to check on ye! That's actually rare, ya know? They be trained ta just go from one place ta another and not stop fer anything, but that one actually was worried fer her rider! Yer a lucky gal, ya know that? Ya fall from a distance not too far, I find yeh not long after, and yer gryphon comes back ta check on yeh. Yarp, ya got some good fortune there." The Night elf smiled and stood up, standing before the gryphon. "I really am fortunate... I can only thank Elune for keeping an eye over me here." The dwarf let out another guffaw. "Har! If Elune has a face, ah can guarantee yeh she'll be prettier 'n me! But I getcha, lass. Ya should probably get back to work 'fore yer people miss ye. Be safe, yes?" Resileaf turned back towards Hormiir and bowed before him. "I thank you for your aid. I hope to return the favor some day. I wish you the best in this war." The mountaineer nodded and waved her goodbye as she climbed on the gryphon's back. "And you as well, lass. Be careful out there, these things are looking quite nasty." With a final wave of her own, she tapped the gryphon's back, and she lifted off the ground to fly away from the mountain, towards her initial destination. A couple of days later, Resileaf arrived back at the Crossroads. It was very lively there, with the Horde and Alliance soldiers back in formation. Everyone seemed fresh, and that included her. The ship ride gave her the opportunity to get some actual sleep, without the endless noises of demons appearing and attacking. She didn't even have any nightmares to make her wake back up. For the first time since the invasions had begun, she slept well. When she arrived at the Crossroads, she was therefore wide awake and ready to fight. She approached the commander of the troops who came to her aid, a Priestess of the Moon as well, and saluted. The other elf nodded appreciatingly. "Welcome back, Commander Ravenwing. I hope your travels went well, because now we must focus on the next Legion attack. We've just defeated the majority of their forces, and their leader is poised to strike directly. Be ready!" She nodded and entered the formation, drawing her weapons. Even as she did, a bolt of fel lightning fell in the middle of the city, and from it appeared the massive form of a dreadlord. The fight was on. It was not the first Legion commander Resileaf had faced. With the combined forced of the Alliance and the Horde, they tended to be dealt with without too many casualties. But there always were some. They came with overwhelming power, flinging spells and weapons that cleaved the earth. It took everything everyone had to dispatch one... And they all knew they'd come back afterwards. But what other choice did they have? At least they could be relieved to know that it would be some time before they came back. Resting as much as possible, recovering from their wounds until the next invasion... That was all they could do. After a harsh battle, the dreadlord was finally slain. High overlord Saurfang himself made the killing blow when the Dreadlord was forced his knees by slamming his weapon through its chest armor. It dissipated quickly, and the soldiers cheered and let out warcries. They began to relax, let down their weapons, and check on the wounded. Resileaf herself went to find her own soldiers, to figure out if they had lost anyone. By chance, it looks like casualties had been kept to a minimum. Many wounded, but no deaths. She could call this a miracle of some sort. It had to mean that things were getting better! As she saw her soldier reassemble, she noticed that one was looking up with a confused look in her eyes. Before she had time to ask her what was wrong or look that way herself, she pointed up to the sky. "Isn't that supposed to leave by now?" Resi followed her finger, and saw the Legion ship still flying above them... She was right, they usually left the battleground after the Legion commander was killed. Why was it still... Her eyes went wide as she figured it out. The portal on the Legion ship reactivated. "High Overlord! Legion attack incoming!" The old orc paused in his congratulating of his troops, and his head snapped upwards to the looming Legion ship, as the bombardment resumed. She saw his own eyes go wide, and he shouted orders. "All troops to battle stations! Get the wounded to safety and prepare to fight!" There was a lot of confusion from the grunts and sentinels, then surprised cries as the fireballs erupted in the city again. They quickly regrouped and went back in battle formation, with Resileaf and the other Priestess shouting orders over the crowd's noise. It was the first time the Legion did not even wait between their invasions. Things were getting worse.
  11. 1 point
    Resileaf had felt terrible about leaving the front of the Barrens. She feared that disaster could strike while she was gone, that some of her troops could perish, that death was just around the corner. Reinforcements had arrived. Sentinels from the Kaldorei army and druids from the Cenarion circle had both come to the aid of the Horde at the Crossroads. It was a mighty army, more than Resileaf had hoped for. With the demons so seemingly focused on attacking the Horde - perhaps as retaliation for their past transgressions? - the elves could remove some of the protection they used to have elsewhere. All for Azeroth, they made sure to tell the orcs, but no one had complained. There was more cooperation taking place than she thought possible. It made Resileaf feel hopeful that they indeed had not abandonned them at the broken shore. Surely there was more to it than it seemed. Leaving the Barrens was due to the Empire's weekly meetings. The commander who had come to take her place had insisted that Resileaf make her way to Stormwind to assist to it. Even if she was a commander herself, she was first and foremost a member of the Empire. Leaving while there was a lull in the fighting was not going to spell disaster after all. Even if the meetings themselves were rarely eventful. This one was no exception. There was the induction of a new recruit, a night elf tinker, from what she could guess, and the warlock Cymbidia joining the Keepers. Rorrek had handled it in an uncharacteristically cavalier way. For a man who, when he spoke, usually was so eloquent she could barely understand what he said, he had in two short sentences inducted her. Obviously, Brianna's wound had affected him deeply, and Resileaf could not blame him. In the midst of those ceaseless attacks, it seemed like a waste to meet every week in such a way. Perhaps it was, but unity was still important. If they stopped meeting, then they might as well not be an organization anymore. There was also the matter of the demon hunter who watched the meeting for the second time in a row. Although everyone was free to watch, they usually did it openly, not sneaking from the second floor of a church. Not to mention, why would a demon hunter have any interest in the Empire in the first place? They were focused on fighting demons only, weren't they? She didn't seem hostile, but there was cause for curiosity on her motives. Those were the thoughts swirling through her mind as she walked through Ironforge, her vision blurry and her footsteps uncertain. She was exhausted. The last attacks had barely given her any time to rest, and she couldn't remember when was the last time she had a full night of sleep. She had to stop every five minutes to lean against a wall, rub her eyes, try to keep fatigue out of her system in any way possible. She probably looked drunk, because most guards she passed by pointed discretely at her and spoke something in dwarven that she was pretty sure were mocking comments about not being able to hold her liquor. However, she was mostly left alone. They were not worried about a lone, drunk elf, and in those trying times, they probably understood the need for someone to drink. If only drinking was all she did. She sure felt like she could use a mug sometimes. Anything to get her mind off of things... "Is there someone with priest powers in Ironforge? We need someone at Councillor Smartgear's office!" When Pralea's panicked call came on the guildstone, all fatigue was immediately left forgotten. She picked it up straight away and asked where to go. She rushed to the address she was given, and found the old gnome laying on the ground, clutching at his chest in pain, with Pralea kneeling next to him with a panicked look in her eyes. After a quick examination, the priestess understood that Tinox's heart was beating irregularly, symptoms that she believed was called a heart attack, an ailment that was for all intents and purposes unknown among Night elven society due to their extremely long lives. Although she did not know the exact reasons that caused it, she knew enough to understand how to treat it in the absence of a trained doctor. Using her magic to dull the Councillor's pain, she instructed Pralea to cut his robes open so he could breath more easily, to move his body in a sitting position, then to fetch pain-reducing medecine while she kept her spell active. After a few tense minutes, Tinox's heart finally went back to beating normally and the pain left completely. It was all Resileaf could do to hide the shaking of her hands and the shallowness of her breath, and not just due to the nervousness of the situation. Casting magic was a tiring affair, and in her current state, it left her even worse for the wear. When she left Tinox in his office for the night, to sleep on a camp bed he had there, it took all Resileaf had not to pass out in the streets. Her eyes couldn't stay open, she constantly stumbled over her own feet, and pretty much everything that was in her way was an impassable obstacle. Somehow, she found her way to the flight master of Ironforge and bought a passage for Menethil harbor. The dwarf showed concern and tried to keep her from leaving in her state, but she stubbornly refused, repeating that she would sleep on her boat to Kalimdor. After a back and forth of a few minutes like that, he finally accepted to let her go. She was soon in flight, the gryphon's powerful wings carrying her outside of Ironforge, into the cold air outside. The first breath of cold air was however filled with sulfur, results of the Legion's siege in Dun Morogh. The devastation was wide-reaching, with many places scorched with felfire. Resileaf could have seen everything, but her eyes were closed. The cold air and the gryphon's movements were not enough to keep her awake. She started sliding off her mount... And fell. She woke up with a start as she began freefalling off the gryphon, and the last thing she saw before oblivion swallowed her was the pure white of the snow under her.
  12. 1 point
    Resileaf slumped against the wall and slowly let herself slide down to a sitting position, sighing tiredly and rubbing a sore spot in her side. Another Legion invasion thwarted, and thankfully to little cost to her troops. The battle for the Barrens was still ongoing... Oh, it hadn't been days of unending invasions, of course. The Legion sent an invasion force every once in a while, sometimes less than four hours between each, but it often gave her and her troops some time to recover from the fighting. She and her Sentinels had been given lodgings in the Crossroads' inn by Overlord Saurfang as thanks for their continued support, with express orders to the Horde military and population to bring no harm to them. Despite this, the majority of the Sentinels remained among themselves so as not to tempt any enterprising thug to try and pick a fight with them. Incidents had been kept to a minimum, and the Night elves had been surprised that they had been given a rather warm welcome. It appeared that either through genuine gratitude or fear of reprisal by Overlord Saurfang, the Horde had given very proper thanks to them, bringing plentiful rations, and particularly cold water, something that was very important in the killing heat of the Barrens. Resileaf looked over her assembled Sentinels, and found herself sighing inwardly again. A quarter of her troops had been lost in the early days of the invasion. Many of her Sentinels had never fought a demon before, and had been taken off guard by their fighting style. Half of those Sentinels had been killed on the battlefield, the others were too wounded to fight. Some, who had lost limbs or had to have them amputated to stop a corrupting wound from afflicting them further, were crippled for life. Despite the best priest and shaman healing magic that could be brought, a limb could not be regrown unless you were a troll. That was why those breaks in the fighting were so important. This was very tiring fighting, not only due to its frequency, but also because the Legion sent incredibly powerful troops in an attempt to overwhelm the defenders of Azeroth. Resileaf had received news of fighting in Azshara, mainly before the gates of Orgrimmar, in Tanaris, putting the city of Gadgetzan in danger, in Dun Morogh, besieging Kharanos and Ironforge, in Westfall, to cripple Stormwind's food basket, and in Hillsbrad, to attack the Forsaken of Tarren Mill. The death toll, although thankfully not as massive as it could have been thanks to the efforts of heroes of the Alliance and the Horde, as well as the invaluable aid of the Illidari, was nonetheless steadily climbing. She had heard many a Legion commander bragging that their army was infinite, and that it was just a matter of time before they overwhelmed Azeroth. There was truth to their words... But Resileaf felt confident anyway. Other reports indicated that the Kirin Tor was completely focused on the task to beat back the Legion. Dalaran had been moved near the tower of Karazhan, the Council of six was debating to allow the Horde back into the city to keep a concerted front united against the Legion... There was hope. A fleeting smile found itself on her lips as she leaned her head back against the wall. She couldn't relax, but she could rest for a bit... Until the next attack, she needed only a few hours to recover her stre- The door suddenly burst open, and an Orc grunt entered the room breathlessly. "Sentinel Commander! The Legion has returned! They are attacking the Crossroads again!" Resileaf's eyes snapped open and she looked at the orc in surprise. "What? Already?! It's barely been an hour!" Despite her protests, she quickly began to gather her arms, and the other Sentinels were quick to follow. "Yes, I know! It took us completely off-guard! But our far seers are reporting that they are increasing the frequency of their attacks! And they are attacking Dalaran!" Resileaf froze in place and looked up from her preparations as a malevolent chill went down her spine. Dalaran was under attack... At about the same time, her guildstone crackled to life, and she heard the cries for help of several members of the Empire who were in Dalaran even now. Her fists clenched and she found herself gritting her teeth. Just as she had started to hope, the Legion had appeared to read her thoughts just to then dash them violently. If Dalaran fell, then... She looked back to her Sentinels. They were not in a good shape. They were drained and tired from the constant fighting, and had barely had any time to recover from the last attack. Resileaf went to one of her scouts. "Ride back to Ashenvale. Request reinforcements from the Sentinel army. Tell them we need fresher troops to rotate to. Ride the fastest nightsaber we have, and do not stop for anything. Quickly, before the Legion's attack spreads through the Barrens again!" The woman nodded, and left the room quickly while the other Sentinels assembled and lined up before Resileaf. She turned to them. "There is no time to rest, Sentinels! But do not let your fatigue slow you down! Take a deep breath, drink a last flask of water, and focus on the task at hand. We will show the Legion that no matter how many times they attack, they will do nothing more than strengthen our resolve!" As one, the Sentinels shouted an 'Aye!', and they followed Resileaf outside of the inn, to form ranks with the Horde troops once more, just as the Legion airship floated above them and started launching fel fireballs towards the ground, troops teleporting into the city quickly afterwards. Warcries of 'For the Horde!' and 'For the Alliance' were shouted through the streets, and the war began anew. Resileaf had a sinking feeling, however... That it would get worse before it got better.
  13. 1 point
    The wind howled over the Barrens as lightning and thunder raged in the sky. The plains were covered by the turmoil of the storm. Animals and humanoid alike hide in their lodgings to escape from the tempest, hoping to be spared by its ravages. But it was no natural storm, far from it. The sky was streaked by green lightning as fel fireballs rained from the sky, launched by an immense ship that loomed just under the clouds, themselves tainted by a foul green color. The Burning Legion was invading, and the Crossroads were at the center of it. They said that the eye of the storm was the calmest part of a hurricane, but in this case, it was the deadliest. Upon the edge of Ashenvale and the Barrens stood a squad of Night elf sentinels, armed and ready for combat, awaiting the advance of the demonic invaders. They sat on branches, crouched on small hills with their bows drawn, sat huddled against their nightsaber mounts, nervously scanning the horizon for the first sign of demons to come. At their head, Resileaf stood motionless, hood obscuring her face from sight. Everyone was silent and hidden, as it was the strength of Night elves to keep to the shadows and surprise their enemies when they least expected it. Heads perked up when on the dusty road appeared a duo of nightsabers, upon their backs the scouts that Resileaf had sent to get a report on the situation. The Priestess of the Moon stepped off into the open to signal to them to come to her, which they did a few minutes later. They dismounted and saluted before her, speaking their reports in low voices. "Commander, we have caught sight of the Crossroads. It is under heavy siege by the Legion's capital ship flying above. It constantly bombards the city with felfire, and demons are summoned within the streets themselves to attack the inhabitants. Furthermore, we have located several areas in the region that have distinct signs of fel corruption appearing. We think that the Legion intends to summon there the same structure that have been seen to appear from thin air in Azshara." Resileaf nodded. This was pretty much as she suspected would happen. "What about the defenders? How are they holding up?" "They are in great peril, but fighting the best they can. Mercenaries and heroes both have sent their support to the Crossroads to protect it, including Alliance ones." This gave Resileaf a bit of a pause. The Alliance aided the Horde even now? Surely the news had spread by now that the Horde had abandonned the battlefield in the critical moment, forcing the Alliance to also retreat to prevent being overrun. This retreat was directly responsible for Varian's sacrifice. To hear that some in the Alliance still attempted to aid the Horde in their time of need was surprising, to say the least. But then again, things had been exactly like that before. Resileaf made her decision then. "Sentinels! Prepare to ride to the Crossroads' assistance!" There were surprised gasps and murmurs. Protecting the Horde? Almost every elf had a grudge against them for their ceaseless attacks on Ashenvale in the past, so Resileaf understood their hesitation. But there was no time to hesitate now. Not with the Legion attempting to gain a foothold on Azeroth. One of the Sentinels had the courage to speak up then. "Commander Ravenwing! Surely you must not be serious about this... This is the Horde! They have caused nothing but death and destruction since their arrival on Kalimdor! And just a few days ago on the Broken shore, they abandonned us! How can you even consider cooperating with them! Let the Legion wipe them out, so that we no longer have to worry about their attacks again!" Resileaf did not answer for a moment as she glanced up in the sky, to the Legion's capital ship... It seemed to be moving across the sky now, launching bolts of felfire over the landscape. The land itself was beginning to warp as from the corrupted ground burst giant pillars, summoned upon this world by bolts of green lightning. "Watch, Sentinel... Watch the corruption of our enemies spreading... The Horde has caused us much harm in the past, that is true. I know that as well as anyone else here." If not better, she also thought. "But this is bigger than our grudges against the Horde, as much as they deserve it. If we remain idle and watch the Legion take a foothold on our world, it is as though we had joined the Legion ourselves. We will be responsible for the destruction of our lands, of our people, of our families... Know this, times are changing. This is the biggest invasion the Burning has ever launched since the War of the Ancients. No longer can we be satisfied in our own ancient blessings that have protected our world from harm. No longer can we remain insular and fight on our own. We must look back to the Third War, to our first combined battle with the Alliance and the Horde. We must remember the sacrifices commited that day, because we will face a force even more powerful than back then." There was another pause as the Sentinel thought over Resileaf's words, then tried to argue against her again. "But Commander, is it... Is it truly something we should consider? Fighting with the Horde? Cooperating with Demon hunters? What could ever be next? What could justify these terrible actions?" Resileaf waved her hand at the scene unfolding before them. The appearance of more demons upon the Barrens. "This is what awaits this entire world if we do nothing. They will not stop here, and we will not be able to stop them either. They will burn through Ashenvale. They will corrupt Teldrassil. They will enter Darnassus and kill our entire families. We will not condemn our families because of our pride and grudges! If it can make you feel better, we do not fight for the Horde. We fight for Azeroth first, then for the Alliance. We win for Azeroth first, then for the Alliance." Silence fell again... The Sentinels looked to Resileaf for more, because they all know that there was one more thing to say... Finally, in a low voice, the Sentinel asked what they were all thinking. "Commander... Who will we die for?" Flashes appeared in Resileaf's mind. Katelle's face when she had told her about Myaka's death. The pain and sorrow she had seen in her. Rorrek's pain-ridden expression during the latest meeting while Brianna was wounded, cursed and bedridden... When she spoke again, it was softly, painfully. "Sentinel, we do not go out there to die. We fight to protect those we care for, but under no circumstances must you think that dying is an acceptable outcome of the coming battle. Too many people will be hurt to hear of it. The pain of losing someone you care about... It is beyond anything you can imagine. Do not force this pain upon those who care about you. We fight today, so that everyone returns home to their families... Even the Horde. This is not our last stand. We WILL win this war." The Sentinel gave a final nod, then bowed to Resileaf, whispering an apology. The rest of the squad immediately went to work to prepare themselves for the ride into the Barrens. Resileaf herself mounted on her personal hippogryph and drew her bow. She turned to her Sentinels to watch them mount up. "Now to me, Sentinels! We ride to show the demons why it is that we have always defeated them in the past! Let them hear the whistling of your arrows and feel the sting of your glaives! Destroy them all!" Her hippogryph let out a piercing screech and flew in the air as the Sentinels let out warcries to ride out in the Barrens and cut a bloody swathe in the demons' ranks.