I did this for my Horde characters as a bit of a writing exercise and figured that I’d do it for the Alliance (FORTHEALLIANCE!) as well.
So here they are. The immediate reactions of my Alliance characters to the burning tree:
Ceryne Moonwhisper: (Night Elf hunter)
Another arrow found purchase through the Sentinel’s armour, the impact pushing her backwards. She caught herself, leaning forwards and putting her weight onto her front leg. She gripped her spear tighter, looking up to see the undead archer pulling another arrow to his bow.
She took a step forward, her footfalls heavy now, fatigue adding to the injuries she had suffered; two arrows protruded from her torso, one from her left arm and a nasty axe wound still bled from her midriff. Another arrow sunk into her chest, forcing her to a knee as the breath was knocked out of her. She crawled towards the edge of the bridge she had been holding, grabbing onto the side and pulling herself back up to her knees. She tried to stand as a hulking tauren closed in on her, clad in leathers and wielding a long staff, but her legs wouldn’t hold her weight any longer and she fell back to her knees.
“You’ve lost,” the tauren said quietly, raising his staff to finish her.
Suddenly, an explosion in the distance. Then another, followed by another, a staccato of explosions polluting the ambience of Darkshore. Ceryne’s eyes drifted past the tauren and onto Teldrassil, her home. Her eyes widened as she watched the great tree catch fire, tears starting to form at the corners of her eyes.
They wouldn’t. They can’t. It’s not a military target; there are only civilians and non-combatants in the tree!
Ceryne could not control the tears as they streaked down her face. The tauren turned, watching the blaze as the tree lit up the night sky.
“Where is your honour now, tauren?” Ceryne asked, her voice weak as she found it hard to breathe, coughing up blood as she spoke. “Would your Earth Mother approve of this atrocity?”
The tauren turned to look at her, surprising Ceryne as he looked upon her with something she could not quite make out. Regret? Concern?
The tauren glanced back at the burning tree once more and Ceryne looked to the side. She could not see the civilians she had sent off with the other Sentinels, which means they must have cleared the battle.
At least they made it. My duty is fulfilled.
The tauren turned back to Ceryne once again, placing the tip of his staff on her chest.
“You ask where my honour is? It’s here,” the tauren replied quietly, shoving her hard with his staff. Ceryne fell from the bridge into the river below, the flow catching her and pulling her downstream as her limp body was carried away by the current.
Even as she drifted out of consciousness, she could not get that horrible sight from her mind. All she could see was Teldrassil burning and all she could think about was how its occupants, mostly civilians, would be burned alive, screaming their final breaths.
With tear-filled eyes, her reality faded to black as she allowed the river to carry her away.
Elise Dawnsinger: (Human rogue)
Elise had noticed a lot more night elves in the bar that day. She was used to the fairly cosmopolitan population of Stormwind, but this was an unusually high number for the average night. She hadn’t noticed this while playing, but now that she had finished her musical number and was taking a break she really started to see just how many of them were there.
She turned to a night elf who stood next to her at the bar. He was tall, with matted blue hair and he nursed a tankard of ale. He was clearly sad; they all were, now that Elise really started to look.
“Excuse me, but you look rather down. Got any song requests that’d cheer you up?” Elise asked, beaming a friendly smile to the saddened elf.
He turned to look at her, forcing a weak smile as he shook his head. “No, thank you.”
“If I may ask, what’s happened?” Elise answered, bringing her tone down to a quieter, more sombre one.
“They… they burned it,” the night elf said quietly, almost tearing up at the mere mention of whatever it was. “The Horde burned our home to the ground. I lost my entire family…”
Elise rested her hand on the elf’s shoulder, having to reach up a bit due to the height discrepancy. Elise found this difficult. Her mother had always bad-mouthed the night elves, calling them ‘pompous, self important hippies’, but at the same time, Elise knew all too well what it felt like to lose a home to a genocidal force.
She backed up, putting her own drink down on the surface of the bar and picking her violin back up. She had started to tear up a little, the memories of her own loss still stung as they bubbled to the surface. She gently and carefully wiped tears from the corner’s of her eyes, careful not to smudge her eyeliner, and took a deep breath, steeling her own emotions. With one quick, acrobatic movement, she hopped onto the counter, causing heads all through the tavern to turn in her direction. She prepared herself, violin resting between her chin and collarbone.
“This is a song about a tyrant…” she announced, as she started her musical performance once more.
Kaylin Moreau: (Human priest)
“Light be with you,” Kaylin uttered as her hand glowed with a golden aura, warm holy energies infusing with the wounded night elf’s forearm. As Kaylin retracted her hand, the burns that had previously scarred the night elf had disappeared.
“Thank you, priestess,” the elf replied back, her voice desperate and full of conflicting emotions as she grabbed onto Kaylin’s hand.
Kaylin smiled. “I’m no priestess, just a woman who’s happy to help,” she answered with a warm smile, placing her hand on top of the elf’s. The elf was shaking as Kaylin held her hand, calming her slightly as she let go.
Kaylin got back to her feet as she walked through the park district of Stormwind. It was full of refugees who had fled the burning of Teldrassil. All of them were injured, mentally if not physically, and families held each other tightly as they grieved the loss of their home and other loved ones.
She found her hand forming into a fist as she made her way past King Varian’s memorial, looking to the sea. She felt drained, having used her abilities to heal as many refugees as she could.
I left that all behind me. I said I would never use what they taught me again. I promised I would lock her away.
She turned, slamming her fist into the stonework of the back of the King’s memorial as tears streaked down her face. Anger and rage intertwined with sadness for those who lost everything. She breathed heavily as she leaned against the back of the memorial, staring at the stone floor where her tears started to drip into a puddle.
There’s always an exception to the rule. Calling upon the Light to heal was not the only thing they taught us in the Crusade.
Lyra Dawnsinger: (Human mage)
The young sorceress couldn’t bring herself to believe that the Horde was capable of what she heard they had done. Teldrassil. Burned to the ground. While Lyra held no love for the night elves, she was astonished to see what lengths the Horde would go to.
She quickly grabbed her bag and ran out of the house, running for the stockades. She had received a letter in secret from a relative of her mother’s. She was unsure who this Valendris was, but she shared the Dawnsinger surname and her mother seemed to trust her enough with the task of sending the letter telling Lyra that her mother had been captured by the alliance. She had been barred entry before, but this time she wouldn’t take no as an answer.
She needed to ask her mother why the Horde would do this.
However, as she cleared the mage district she noticed a group of guards surrounding a woman. She was bedraggled and looked like she hadn’t eaten in days. As the woman turned the corner at the end of the bridge on the other side of the canals, Lyra caught glimpse of the woman’s face.
These guards were escorting her mother, Anatheia Dawnstrider, towards Stormwind Keep.
Curious, Lyra found herself following. She needed to know why the Horde would do what they did and this was the easiest way she was going to find out.
Plus, she was concerned for the well-being of her mother. She looked half-dead.
Clarinne Wakefield: (Human warrior)
“Wait, so the Horde burned it down?” Clarinne asked, her eyes wide as she looked at her comrade across the table. The Westfall Brigade had been fairly inactive as of late, with the Defias mostly scattered and the fight with the Legion a little above Clarinne’s capability as a soldier.
“Completely. The night elves got beat bad and then the Horde burned Teldrassil, civilians, children and all,” the soldier replied, leaning back in his chair.
“Nah, you’re just trying to fool me. They wouldn’t do that,” Clarinne retorted, a smirk on her face.
“It’s true,” said one of the officers as he was cleaning his armour, “bunch of refugees in Stormwind. Can’t imagine it’ll make our situation any better.”
“Well, shit,” Clarinne uttered, sitting back in her chair, “we going to answer back? If the Horde are committing genocide, I feel like we should be doing something about that.”
“I imagine so, and I imagine they’ll be calling on us too, so make sure you’re ready,” the officer said as he stood up, walking over to their table.
“Oh don’t worry, I’m always ready to punch genocidal freaks in the kisser,” Clarinne replied with a grin.e