Reactions to the Burning of Teldrassil: Alliance

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)

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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?

Sorrow?

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

 

Reactions to the Burning of Teldrassil: Horde

I saw this as a forum topic and wrote… well… a decently sized post. Because it was decently sized, I decided to put it here as well, so here they are.

These are the immediate reactions of each of my Horde RP characters to the burning of Teldrassil.

Anatheia Dawnsinger: (Blood Elf mage)

The blood elf sits in her cell, head in hands as she contemplates what had happened. She had heard from the other prisoners in Stormwind’s stockades that the Horde had burned Teldrassil to the ground. She stop the tears from rolling down her cheek. The imagery brought back memories of Arthas and the Scourge and what they did to her people.

She stood up, making her way to the bars. She had resisted betraying the Horde, trying to wait out the Alliance’s efforts to partially starve and torment her. She was the shell of a woman by this point, malnourished and barely holding onto sanity with a lack of consistent magic to sate the addiction. It was fortunate she had been trying to condition herself these past few decades to at least need less, or she would’ve turned wretched long before now. She knocked on the bars, getting the attention of a nearby guard.

“I’m ready. I’ll tell you everything you want to know about the Horde,” she said in perfect Common, locking eyes with the guard, “I want to defect to the Alliance. Death to the Banshee Queen.”

(Yep, I race changed her to nightborne and she’s full NPC unless Blizz give us high elves on Alliance side. She’s had enough and is defecting)

Laralla, Valendris and Ilareth Dawnsinger: (Blood Elf paladin, priest and hunter respectively)

Unable to betray their loyalties to the Horde, the three blood elven women sit within the estate’s gardens, conversing about the atrocity that had been committed.

“I am totally not okay with this. Ana was right, we should’ve fled with mother all those years ago,” Ilareth says, her posture energetic, but wholly frustrated.

“Be that as it may, we cannot throw everything out the metaphorical window right now, not after everything that happened in the last year,” Valendris advises the two younger women.

“I also can’t fight in a war that is led by a genocidal corpse. I’ve taken vows since our mistreatment of the naaru,” Laralla responds, shifting her seating and clanking her plate armour slightly.

“Remember what happened to Garrosh. We don’t get involved and we wait. I cannot imagine the rest of the Horde will approve of our warchief’s actions. Keep your skills honed and see to Velurria’s recovery so that if an opportunity presents itself, we are in a position to help bring her down,” Valendris assured the other two.

Velurria Dawnsinger: (Blood Elf warlock)

Comatose. Can’t imagine she’d be too happy about it though, especially if it’s the above trio filling her in on what happened.

Cyressa Starsong: (Nightborne mage)

The nightborne waves as her latest customer departs her company, magic scroll in hand. As the blood elf left her sight, she sighed heavily.

“Thalyssra, what have you done? You’ve aligned us with genocide,” she shook her head before looking to the stars. It was a clear night in Quel’thalas and the stars were in full view. “I will not speak out against our new allies. I will continue to follow your wisdom, First Arcanist.”

She looked down to a pendant she wore. Her family crest. She remembered her parents who always pushed her to be better, she remembered her two brothers picking on her as they grew up together.

She remembered the Duskwatch cutting them down for aiding the insurrection.

“Please, forgive me for standing aside this time…”

Warcraft Character File: Elise Dawnsinger

Decided to do something a bit different. Since I haven’t been GMing last week or this week due to scheduling issues, I’ve actually been inspired by the pre-patch of World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth to write some Warcraft based items.

One thing I decided to do was write up character files for each of my major World of Warcraft characters. I originally was just going to keep them on my hard drive, but I figured that I may as well post them up here too. The main reason for doing this is because I never put my full background in my Total RP 3 profile (which is a fantastic RP addon for World of Warcraft) and so the finer details are often lost when I revisit the character or have something obscure come up in RP. Writing this all out will help me by having a point of reference for when this does come up and I can accurately track who knows what and how old each character is compared to the others.

The second thing I decided to do is… Well, just watch this space and you’ll find out. I will say that it’s heavily inspired by Battle for Azeroth and the pre-patch event…

Anyway, here is the character file for today. This is my primary RP character (and it’s fortunate that with the new War Mode system I have fallen in love with Outlaw Rogue, because I have never really been much of a melee dps fan).

It’s Elise Dawnsinger.


Elise Dawnsinger

<Wandering Musician and Freelance Scout for the Alliance>

Elise mog

Name: Elise Dawnsinger (previously Lisette Moreau)

Race: Human

Age: 23

Eye Colour: Blue

Height: 5’6”

Body Shape: Athletic

Languages Known: Common (native), Thalassian

Birthplace: Capital City, Kingdom of Lordaeron

Residence: Elwynn Forest

Family:

  • Charles Moreau (father, deceased)

  • Lilyne Moreau (mother, deceased)

  • Alexander Moreau (elder brother, deceased)

  • Kaylin Moreau (elder sister)

  • Jules Moreau (younger brother)

  • Arinella Dawnsinger (mother through adoption)

  • Valendris Dawnsinger (aunt through adoption)

  • Laralla Dawnsinger (elder half sister through adoption)

  • Ilareth Dawnsinger (elder half sister through adoption)

  • Anatheia Dawnsinger (elder half sister through adoption)

  • Lyra Dawnsinger (niece through adoption)

Notable Features / Items:

  • A small, intricately carved flute. The flute appears to have “for the fallen” and a decorative pattern of thorny vines wrapping around the length of the flute carved into the side.

  • A violin that simply features a short haiku carved into the side in Common:
    “Music is a light,
    A light to pierce the darkness,
    Bear your light to all.”

  • A pendant hangs on a delicate silver chain. The pendant features an arrow amidst intertwined, thorny vines that culminate into a flower near the head of the arrow. The flower is encrusted with small, green gems and the design is a flower native to Quel’Thalas.

Brief History:

Elise, born Lisette Moreau, was born into a fairly affluent family in Lordaeron. Her family made their money in high quality tailoring, creating fancy garments for the nobility of Lordaeron, which turned out to be a very lucrative market as the family prospered, enjoying a comfortable lifestyle and good education for the children. She grew up alongside two brothers and an older sister, being the younger of the two middle children. Elise found her affinity for music and the performing arts from a young age and so her parents put her through singing and violin lessons, as well as dance and theatre, which the thrived in.

However, when she was 10 years old, the Scourge came to Lordaeron. Her parents and eldest brother were massacred by the Scourge as they rampaged across Lordaeron, with Elise only surviving as her father hid her away before meeting his untimely demise. However, she was a 10 year old girl in a Scourge infested land. She hid until hunger and thirst forced her out to move. She managed to stay hidden for a time, moving and scavenging what she could to survive. It couldn’t last forever and she was eventually caught while foraging for food. She ran from the ghouls that chased her through the ruined streets of Capital City, unable to lose her pursuers for good as whenever she lost one, another would take its place.

She was fortunate. A high elven ranger was fleeing south from some political troubles in Quel’Thalas and happened upon the chase, taking down Elise’s pursuers and saving the young girl from a grisly fate. The elf, who introduced herself as Arinella Dawnsinger, took pity on the girl and took her in, promising to get her down to Stormwind. They travelled south, moving through Hillsbrad Foothills, Arathi Basin and down to the Wetlands. They kept off road, avoiding chokepoints where possible as Arinella advised that there were people after her and this was the best way to remain undetected.

However, Arinella’s pursuers caught up with her and a pair of elven assassins ambushed her and Elise. Arinella was able to fend the attackers off, but they left her terribly wounded. She disinfected and bound her wounds before pushing onwards. It was a harsh trek across the mountains to Ironforge, as they couldn’t use the roads through Loch Modan through fear of being jumped by more assassins, but the trek proved too much for Elise as she collapsed, the ten year old girl not built for treks across the frigid mountains of Dun Morogh. Arinella carried her, but combining the fatigue of the trip so far, the freezing temperatures and the wounds she sustained in her battle against the assassins, Arinella was unable to make it either, eventually falling unconscious among the peaks of Dun Morogh.

Elise woke up in Ironforge where she learned that some dwarven mountaineers had come across her and Arinella, who was still unconscious and being tended to by a dwarven priest. Aware of the dangers to Arinella, Elise took it upon herself to keep vigil over the elf who had saved her life back in Lordaeron. Fortunately, no attack came and Arinella woke up a few days later, her wounds healed by the dwarves. At this moment, it dawned on them that they would not make it through the Burning Steppes and would have to take the Deeprun Tram. They were surprised to find no one waiting to ambush them, as it would’ve been the perfect place for it. Thankful for it, they managed to make it to Stormwind.

Arinella adopted Elise officially in Stormwind, renaming her Elise Dawnsinger to deter any potential threats following her from Lordaeron; she also quickly took to training her in the skills of a ranger. She taught her survival skills first, so she would be able to live off the land, but also martial skills so she could defend herself. The pair were not rich and opted to live outside the city, taking refuge in the forests outside the city walls so these skills were key to Elise’s development as a young girl. In addition, Arinella insisted on teaching Thalassian, the language of the high elves, to Elise, knowing from her own experiences that being bilingual was a huge advantage in the world. The reasons for this training became apparent very quickly as Arinella was taken in to SI:7 and was quickly dispatched on missions away from home, leaving Elise to fend for herself.

Naturally, the pair spent a lot of time together whenever Arinella was home, with Arinella progressing Elise’s training every time she returned, however Elise started to develop her own skills during this time she was left by herself. She got in with a rough crowd in Old Town and developed into a competent young thief, learning to pick pockets and locks in addition to adapting parts of her mother’s training to urban environments. Thievery was not something she practised all the time, as Arinella quickly caught wind of this and scolded her for it. While she encouraged learning the skills, she kept Elise under control when it came to using these skills, keeping her from crossing the city guard and getting thrown in the stockades.

One way in which this thievery was kept under wraps was that Arinella taught Elise how to play a new instrument. She gave Elise a wooden, hand-crafted flute with the inscription “for the fallen” etched into the side in Thalassian. She never stopped practising her music and made something of a career from it, earning a decent living performing at taverns, considering she did not have the same level of expenses as most in the city due to her living arrangements being outside the city and totally self-sufficient; she sang, danced and played the flute until she saved enough money to commission a violin of her own design.

The real problem came as she got a bit older. When she was eighteen years old, a charming young pirate captain named Leif Stanton was spending some time in Stormwind. Elise was immediately charmed by the young pirate, who in turn was entranced by her music, and she ran off with the pirate, leaving her life in Elwynn behind. She entered a romantic relationship with the pirate and worked alongside her new lover, plundering both Alliance and Horde targets and performing music for the crew during down time. The pair, along with the pirate crew, made a large amount of money over the next two years.

This would not last, however, as the pirate ship was eventually taken down when Elise was twenty, when they attacked what looked like a trade ship, but turned out to be an Alliance naval vessel in disguise. Most of the crew were either killed by the naval troops and cannon fire or simply by execution, however Elise and her lover were spared as he was identified as the pirate captain and she was incorrectly identified as his first mate due to their relationship. The pair were put in chains and hauled back to Stormwind where they were thrown into the stockades and interrogated.

Elise fervently defended her lover and endured the Alliance’s interrogation tactics until Arinella caught wind of what was going on. Arinella got involved as a means of protecting her daughter, both from the Alliance judicial system as well as the pirate she had been involved with. Arinella walked into the interrogation and simply put a file down in front of Elise. The file showed that the pirate had already been released as while Elise was fervently defending him, he pinned everything on her and walked away a free man. When Elise asked why they were still interrogating her, Arinella simply explained that they couldn’t execute Elise without a confession. Heartbroken, Elise would have accepted the execution were it not for Arinella’s advice through the interrogations. Arinella advised that she should come clean, explain the nature of her relationship with the pirate and appeal for national service, as her skills were in high demand with the constant threat of the Horde.

Elise did just so, admitting to her relationship with the pirate and explaining that was the reason she defended him. Her plea for national service was accepted, which she suspected was due to her mother’s influence within SI:7, as she was kept on retainer for scouting jobs, espionage and military support for the Alliance. She worked for the Alliance for three years as repayment for her part in the pirate raids, earning no pay from the jobs the Alliance gave her and earning her money between jobs through performance again. During these jobs she met with one of her adoptive mother’s biological daughters, a paladin named Laralla Dawnsinger who was captured by Alliance troops and she was put in charge of interrogating due to her fluency in Thalassian. Despite the animosity the paladin showed towards their mother, Laralla still saved Elise’s life just before her escape, after an orc from the Horde rescue team almost cleaved her in two.

She suffered another heartbreak when a meeting was arranged between the Forsaken and the Alliance as an opportunity for families to see each other. Elise, who had never had much love for the undead after what they did to her family, only went to re-affirm to herself that her parents were dead. However, she met with her parents, who had become Forsaken. She was unable to chat too much, as Sylvanas ordered the massacre of every Forsaken in attendance and Elise had to watch her parents die for a second time right in front of her eyes.

These days she continues to perform at taverns in Stormwind, especially now that her national service is up and she can actually earn money from assignments she is dispatched out for.


Elise Dawnsinger features in:

 

The Pain of Loss, The Agony of Reunion

It had been a while since Elise had visited the Arathi Highlands. She was working as a freelance scout for the Alliance military and both met her adoptive sister and was almost disemboweled by an Orc with a rather large axe in the same night. It wasn’t a pleasant memory and she didn’t feel ready to be back here, but the opportunity was too good to pass up; it was almost too good to be true. The Alliance had been in talks with the Horde and had organised a meeting for humans and members of the Forsaken who, in life, were previously related. Elise hated the undead. She saw them as abominations that needed to be put down and she needed the closure. The memories of when the Scourge swept across the Kingdom of Lordaeron were forever imprinted in her memories. She was hiding under her bed when she saw her parents massacred by the endless tide of undead. She needed closure. She needed to know her parents had been granted the peace of death. She needed to attend this meet up to confirm that her parents were truly dead.

When they reached the location of the meet up, Elise immediately flared her nostrils in disgust. The Forsaken had gathered near the wall and the Alliance had gathered up near Stromgarde, but Elise could smell the foul stench of undeath on the air. She would hold back her desires to destroy every last one of these abominations for the sake of her King and his orders, but should the Forsaken strike first she was ready to fight, having strapped a sheathed dagger to her belt, though she had left her armour behind. There was some hesitation, as many saw the undead in the same way as she did and it was likely that nobody present on the Alliance side trusted the leader of the Forsaken, Sylvanas Windrunner, to not pull something here. Slowly, but surely, the two sides met in the middle and started to mingle.

Elise wandered through the crowds, seeing humans and undead talking as people appeared to find long lost loved ones. She saw some speaking briefly before parting ways, unable to accept their differences; Elise thought they were the intelligent ones. It was clear that they could not coexist. It disgusted her to see some pairs and groups rekindling long forgotten relationships; these Forsaken were no different from the Scourge that had destroyed their homes in the first place. Nevertheless, she continued to make her way through the crowd, looking for her own parents and feeling rather content that she hadn’t found them.

That’s when she noticed it. It had been so long since she had adopted the Moreau name. She had fully taken on the Dawnsinger name since Arinella, a ranger fleeing from political strife in Quel’thalas, rescued her from the decaying Lordaeron and brought her south to Stormwind. She had almost forgotten what the family crest looked like, but seeing a ring with the crest clearly depicted caused a tirade of emotions to flood through Elise, primarily fear and anger. She took a deep breath, frowning heavily and making her way over to the Forsaken wearing the ring. She reached into her pack and pulled out her own ring that had been gifted to her minutes before the Scourge murdered her family as she stormed over to the pair of Forsaken.

“That ring. Where did you find it?” Elise demanded, pointing at the ring on the undead woman’s hand. The pair looked at her, a brief moment of silence as they looked into Elise’s rather angry eyes.

“Lisette?” the woman asked, her initial offense at the human’s approach melting away in an instant as she looked at the blonde young lady.

Elise’s eyes widened. She had hoped that they were simply grave robbers and that she was going to need to demand that the ring was returned to her. She had always feared this possibility and simply stood still, staring at the pair of Forsaken. She was at a total loss for words.

“Lisette? Is that you?” the male Forsaken asked as well as they both looked upon her. Even though they were dead, Elise could see the hope in their expressions. It tore at her; she hated all undead for what the Scourge did to her parents. She refused to believe that these monsters were her parents.

“It can’t be…” she muttered, taking a step back from the pair of Forsaken.

“You’ve grown so much since we last saw you,” the Forsaken woman said, taking a step towards Elise. “We always hoped you escaped. It was the spark of hope we clung to all these years.

“No, you’re not my parents,” Elise said, shaking her head and recoiling from the woman.

The woman visibly sunk. “I know it’s hard, but-…”

“No! It can’t be. I won’t believe it,” Elise said, looking away from the pair as tears started to flow from her eyes, streaking down her cheek and dropping onto the grass. She refused to believe that these two Forsaken were Charles and Lilyne Moreau, her biological parents.

“It’s us, Lisette,” the male Forsaken said, taking a step forwards and placing a hand on her shoulder. She recoiled from his touch initially, but then let his hand rest on her shoulder as the woman made her way to Elise’s other side.

“Why?” Elise asked, her head now in her hands.

“We didn’t have a choice. The Scourge raised us against our will, but we broke free when his power waned,” Lilyne explained.

“But you’re…” Elise muttered, raising her head to look at the pair of Forsaken through tear-filled eyes.

“Abhorrent crimes against nature? I know, Lisette, but I still believe the Light has a use for us in this world,” Lilyne answered, cutting Elise off.

“How did you escape?” Charles asked, a look of curiosity, but also concern on his face.

“A ranger fleeing south saved me. She took me in,” Elise answered, sniffing and wiping tears from her eyes as she tried to regain her composure, battling an ever rising tide of emotion that welled up inside her.

“That explains the dagger,” Lilyne said with a smile, “you’ve grown into such a beautiful, strong young woman. We’re both so proud of you.”

“This ranger that took you south, I’m guessing she was a high elf?” Charles asked, examining the necklace that Elise wore, an arrow wrapped in a vine, blooming in a flower native to Quel’thalas at the base of the arrowhead.

“Yes. She’s been good to me. Taught me what I needed to survive.”

“You mean elocution and singing lessons didn’t teach you how to defend yourself?”

Elise smiled, chuckling quietly and shaking her head. “No, I suppose they didn’t. Oh, and call me Elise; I dropped the name when I thought you were dead. No sense in getting caught up in politics when our lands and business was destroyed.”

“I agree. Our family had enemies who could still be out there. It’s safer this way,” Charles responded with a nod.

A loud horn interrupted the conversation, originating from the wall.

“Well, that’s our cue. Sorry we can’t stay longer, Elise,” Lilyne said with a smile, “but that’s the signal to return and we dare not disobey the Warchief.”

Elise looked at her parents, tears once again welling in her eyes, until she noticed some undead making a break for the Alliance lines. She turned back to her parents.

“Why not come back with me? You can’t trust Sylvanas, but we can be a family again in Stormwind,” Elise pleaded, holding her mother’s hand as she turned to walk away.

The pair of undead hesitated, looking back to Elise. “I don’t think we would be accepted back in the Alliance, much like you would not be accepted in Lordaeron any more,” Lilyne replied with a soft smile. “I’m sure we’ll see each other again.”

Elise let go of her mother’s hand and watched as the pair of undead started to walk away. However, she caught the sight of a one of the undead running for the Alliance lines collapse, an arrow through his frail form as he lay still in the dirt. Then another fell. More and more started to fall as she saw Sylvanas’s dark rangers open fire on the undead, indiscriminately firing on both the ones who were fleeing as well as those who were returning.

She turned to face her mother and father again and opened her mouth to yell at them to run, but she was too late. Her father took the first arrow straight through his head, the force of the impact knocking his head clean off his body as he tumbled to the ground. Her mother took an arrow to the torso shortly afterwards, crashing to the ground under the hail of fire from the dark rangers. Elise grabbed her dagger and unsheathed it, ready for one to attack her, but nothing came. In fact, no member of the Alliance was attacked at all. Sylvanas was simply slaughtering her own people.

By the time Elise came to realise this, the dark rangers had fallen back and the Forsaken were quitting the field. Dagger in hand, she started to make her way to the Forsaken lines. She wasn’t thinking rationally; unarmoured and barely armed she marched towards the wall, however she almost tripped on her way. Something had grabbed her ankle. She looked back to see Lilyne, barely moving, grabbing onto her ankle.

“Let go!” Elise screamed, wrenching her leg free, although instead of pulling her leg free of the hand, she ended up pulling Lilyne’s arm out of its socket. A look of horror spread across her face as she did and she immediately turned to kneel next to the body of her mother.

“Live,” Lilyne muttered, managing to shake her head in her final moments before she became still.

Elise burst into tears once more, kneeling between her fallen parents. She couldn’t look away from the sight of them.

“Why? They were returning. Why would she do this to her own people!” Elise screamed, stabbing her dagger into the earth in anger. She couldn’t contain the mix of emotions any longer as the mixture of sadness, rage and frustration came to the surface. She looked up to see the Forsaken one last time as they disappeared from sight, her eyes full of hatred. “If I ever get my hands on you, I’ll make you suffer for what you’ve done, Sylvanas,” Elise muttered as she watched them vanish, white-knuckled fists clenched tightly.

 

A Family Shattered – Part 1

Anatheia lay staring at the ceiling in her accommodations in Dalaran. She had not been able to sleep for the past few days and that night was no different; the sun had long since gone down yet still Anatheia found herself lost in thought. It was regarding her little sister, Velurria. She had received word that her father had brought Velurria to the Broken Isles, despite having heard that the Legion had been defeated and driven back. There was one question she could not answer in a positive light: why? What good reason could their father have for bringing Velurria out to this place? No good could come from it.

Regardless, she was meant to meet her two older sisters, Laralla and Ilareth, and her aunt, Valendris, before heading after them. If her father had brought Velurria here in some twisted hopes of teaching her more about fel magic it was entirely possible that they had both become stronger than they already were. Were Anatheia to meet them alone, she would not last long if it turned to violence. Still, she couldn’t help but think about what might have happened to her beloved Velurria. She had run from the problem for too long and felt like this may be the last chance she would have to make amends for her part in Velurria’s fall to darkness. It constantly plagued her mind what might have happened if she had stayed rather than running to Orgrimmar to take on her duties as a diplomat.

This line of thinking was getting her nowhere. She got out of bed and walked to where her robes were hanging. She had chosen her blue and black robes, as she did not want to stand out as a Horde official while here on personal business by wearing her usual red ensemble. She slipped back into her robes, put her boots and gloves on and walked out the door to her room, down the stairs of the inn and out into the city streets. It was chilly and the cold nipped at her ears and fingertips. She was aware she likely looked awful, but she needed to get some fresh air and try to clear her mind. She stared into the sky and took a deep breath as she reached the end of the road. It was a peaceful night, though she could not shake the unease surrounding her reasons for being there.

“Can’t sleep?” came a voice from behind her. She saw Laralla standing in full plate armour, glaive strapped across her back. Anatheia’s eyes lit up as she saw her eldest sister and she rushed over to give her a hug.

“I’m so happy to see you, sis,” Anatheia said as she embraced Laralla, squeezing her tightly before realising she was being rather improper. She released Laralla from the hug and took a step back, clearing her throat. “I know we haven’t always-…”

Laralla held up a hand. “No need. I’m happy to see you too, sister,” Laralla responded, cutting Anatheia off mid-sentence. “Have you seen Valendris?”

Anatheia shook her head. “I haven’t seen her or Ilareth. You’re the first I’ve seen.”

Laralla nodded. “I made my way here with Ilareth, so she’s here too. Haven’t seen Valendris yet, which is a tad annoying as I want to ask what she knows of the situation.”

“I only have the basics and I’m trying to piece it together myself.”

“I don’t think there’s anything that’s up for interpretation. It’s bad.”

Anatheia nodded. “I thought so.”

“However, I will ask that you do not hate our father for what he has done. As you ran away you have not seen the full picture; this was all born of a frustration and a desire to raise a worthy successor for the Flameweaver name,” Laralla said, eyes locked with Anatheia’s, her tone taking a far more serious turn.

“Not sure I know what you mean. He’s always been cold to me,” Anatheia said with a shrug, looking to the side to avoid eye contact with her older sister.

“It’s best you know the truth and I won’t mince around it.” Laralla stepped forward, placing an armoured hand on Anatheia’s chin, gently turning her head to make eye contact once more. Once the two made eye contact once more, Laralla’s hand returned to her side. “Father is a bit of a tragic tale that I have pieced together over the years. Did you know he originally wanted a son to carry on the family name? He finally got one with our little brother, but alas he had no talent for magic and then proceeded to fall at the hands of the Scourge. You were his hope to carry on the Flameweaver name, but you ran away and threw aside your heritage because you did not agree with his teachings; teachings that he was only giving you to make you stronger and give you a solid foundation when you eventually did take over the family titles.”

“Where are you going with this?” Anatheia snapped, folding her arms tight to her chest and looking away again.

“You need to accept responsibility!” Laralla snapped back, a deep frown on her face. “Our father dipped more and more into fel magic after you left. He grew desperate and only had one more chance to train a worthy successor. He set his sights on Velurria who lacked the strength of will you had. She felt sorry for him and was slowly drawn into the darkness that has now consumed him and I fear that darkness will also consume her.”

“We’re done here,” Anatheia replied, hastily walking past Laralla, though she felt Laralla’s armoured gauntlet grab onto her arm. She turned, locking eyes with her older sister once more.

“You think you’re the only one with scars in this family? How do you think this entire situation has weighed upon me? Our father despises the idea of a simple paladin such as myself taking over the family name. When I brought it up after you left, the way he looked at me…” Laralla said, her tone quietening as she released her grip on Anatheia’s arm. “He cares more about the family legacy than his own daughter. How do you think I feel about that? How do you think I feel about living with that every day of my life and still carrying out his will?”

Anatheia stared at her sister for a moment before sighing, her own expression softening. “I’m sorry, Lara. I try not to give the situation thought, but every time something like this happens all the old wounds open right up.”

“All I ask is that you accept responsibility for your part in all of this. Whether we like it or not, we are all tied to this and we all need to do our part to stop it from escalating any further.”

“Well, I’m here aren’t I?” Anatheia answered before turning back and making her way back down the road.

“Rest well, little Ana. You’re going to need it for what we will likely face tomorrow,” Laralla muttered quietly as Anatheia walked away.

Transmogs: For the Alliance!

As well as seeing Hamilton (which was amazing oh my god!) over my pseudo-weekend in the middle of the week, I decided to double up on making a new transmog for my human paladin, who for all intents and purposes in RP is just a warrior (for now), but I prefer playing a paladin in PvE.

To give a little background, my “paladin” is part of the People’s Militia, or is it the Westfall Brigade since Wrath of the Lich King? It doesn’t matter. She’s a farm girl who joined the People’s Militia back when they were still a bunch of angry farmers fighting the Defias with pitchforks.

However, since getting tooled up by Stormwind and sent to Northrend to help out the NPCs have been given a visual overhaul and I was delighted to find that I could acquire the set in game for my character.

I won’t explain it. I will let pictures do the talking:

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That makes two that I have made in the past week, as those who read my last short story might have seen the other Alliance themed transmog I made on my hunter. Regardless, I will also link them here as this is a patriotic Alliance-based transmog post. Glory to our king!

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Personally, I am quite happy with both of them as while both sets are very Alliance themed and both gals wear the Stormwind tabard, neither set resorts to using the Stormwind Guard cosmetic armour set from Warlords of Draenor. They are more fitting this way as neither are part of the official Stormwind military; one is a farm girl turned People’s Militia fighter while the other is a bard and freelance scout.

I think this weekend I will start work on another piece of Warcraft fiction involving my human “paladin” and her half-sister (my human rogue). While they are not on opposite sides in terms of Alliance and Horde (as both are humans), they are diametrically opposed in their beliefs. Not a great relationship to have during the Feast of Winter Veil, when families should be spending time with each other and celebrating this happy, festive event.

Happy Feast of Winter Veil!

Bonds of Family, part 3

It doesn’t take long for someone else to join me in the tent. I turn, looking over my shoulder to see a male human in full armour, though without a helmet. His armour is slightly better decorated than the rank and file troopers, so I assume he is some sort of officer. I don’t even make eye contact, just facing forward in silence again.

“Stand up,” he says, his voice authoritative as he makes his way to my back, detaching the chains that bind me to the tent, but keeping my hands bound. I just sit there; I’m not about to let this human order me around. “I said stand!” he says again, walking over and dragging me to my feet. “With those ears, I would’ve thought you could hear me.”

“I heard you, human. I just didn’t care,” I answer, looking over my shoulder with a grin.

The human grabs the back of my neck and shoves me towards the entrance to the tent. “Just move it.”

The human shoves me out of the tent and back into the pouring rain. I was starting to dry off, but all hopes of that evaporated as I was met by the heavy rainfall of the Arathi Highlands. It was still late, the plains lit by nothing more than star light and the occasional lantern. The human pushes me out of the camp, up a small hill and over to another group of Alliance. My adoptive sister is among them, a longbow slung across her back. I find myself wondering if it was my mother who taught her how to fight. It’s a shame I won’t find out. It’s clear to me what this is; it’s an execution. I spot the stone they will use as a headsman’s block, there’s what looks like a priest and two other soldiers in attendance. If I was armed and armoured I could probably kill all of these pretenders; luck has surely smiled upon them today.

The human shoves me over to the large stone and the priest walks to the other side, his robes muddied at the bottom. He looks me straight in the eye as one soldier walks behind me while the officer and the last soldier flank me. Elise walks just behind the priest, looking at me with a stoic expression. I wonder if she is still conflicted and I cling to the hope that she will help me out of this situation. For all my confidence, I don’t want to die. Not like this at least; there is no honour in being chained and executed. However, I see that is just a fantasy. After all, we’re on opposite sides of this war. If I were in her position, I would likely be the executioner as well as the priest in this situation. She is my enemy as I am hers.

“You call yourself a paladin of the Holy Light, yet you slaughter men and women in their beds,” the priest says, his gaze never leaving my eyes.

“It’s a military target,” I answer, looking straight back into his eyes. “It was not a dishonourable strike. If anything, it was poorly executed. We four met your fourteen in open combat and yo-…”

The soldier to my right punches me across the face, sending me stumbling aside. The officer catches me and shoves me back into position. It’s at this moment I realise how weak I am in my current state. I lost a lot of blood not too long ago and I still ache from the injuries I suffered in the previous battle.

“That’s enough,” the priest says, a strong, assertive tone to his voice. “Now, elf, you have been charged with murder and abuse of the Holy Light. Do you deny these charges?”

“Of course I do. If I were abusing the Light, do you not think it would turn its back on me? Also it’s not murder if it’s a paramilitary operation in a war. That’s called warfare, priest.”

The priest frowns. “You will face judgement for the lives you have taken.”

“I will be judged for the crimes I have committed, but it won’t be by you and it won’t be for what transpired here.”

The priest looks at the guard behind me and nods. I feel an armoured gauntlet on the back of my neck, pushing me down and forcing me to my knees. This is it. They’ve decided to just get the execution over and done with. My main regret is that I feel that I have not yet managed to atone for my sins. Will the Holy Light take that into account when it comes to my judgement?

I feel an armoured boot on my back, forcing me onto the stone, my head hanging over the other edge. I look up to the officer who has pulled out his blade, then to Elise, then to the priest who is saying a typical prayer to the Holy Light. I know the Alliance’s protocol when it comes to executions like these; even for their enemies they recite a generic prayer. It has no meaning and I think they’re just doing it for show.

I close my eyes and face down. There’s nothing left for me. This is the end.

Suddenly, I feel a shift in the air. I open my eyes in time to see an arcane flash from behind the priest and two hulking figures come charging out of it.

“What? We’re under attack! Protect Father Astrior,” the officer yells, turning to face the charging figures. This is the only chance I will get. I spring to life, jumping into the officer and colliding with his armoured form. We both go sprawling to the ground, but I am unarmed, unarmoured and weakened from my previous injuries. We hit the dirt, but before I can react the officer is upon me. He raises his sword to finish the job, but before he can plunge the blade through my chest he brings it up to parry one of the charging figures. I look up to see Uruda slamming into the human, bashing aside his defences and slamming her axe into the human’s chest, piercing the armour and sending a trail of crimson spilling from his breastplate behind his tabard.

“Laralla, can you walk?” she asks, picking up the human’s sword. I nod as she runs over, getting to my feet. She runs behind me and brings her axe down on the bindings, smashing them and freeing my hands. She thrusts the officer’s sword into my hands. “Good. We’re getting you out of here,” she says before charging off to engage another target. I look over to see Elise standing between Argrok and the priest and in that moment I can see that she was trained by my mother. Her fighting style is reminiscent of how my mother fought the Scourge, dodging and ducking beneath blows. She dodges to the side of his overhead swing, moving to slash at Argrok, but he brings his mace back around, causing her to back off to avoid the powerful swing of the Orc warrior. This isn’t a fight she can reliably win.

Lara Ready

Another soldier charges Argrok and Elise immediately disengages, moving to his flank and ready to strike him from behind. I will give these Alliance credit where credit is due, they work in unison far better than our Orc duo. I charge at the Alliance soldier, coming to Argrok’s aid as they seek to outnumber him, bringing the officer’s two handed sword around in an arc. The blade digs into his armour deep, but I don’t have the strength to pierce the plates. He turns, bashing me away with his shield, but in doing so he turns his back on Argrok who shatters the human’s spine with a powerful backwards swing of his mace.

I turn to Elise and the priest, but see the priest’s body burning as Claude hurls fireballs him, his robes aflame as he stumbles about, screaming at the top of his lungs before eventually collapsing to the ground, dead.

“Come on Uruda. Back to Claude!” Argrok yells, starting to bound back to the mage who appears to be starting a teleportation spell to pull us out. I notice Elise out of the corner of my eye. She has taken out her bow, pulling an arrow from her quiver and taking aim at the mage. I get ready to charge. I can’t let her kill my only way out. I won’t be recaptured and put in chains by these human dogs. She may have been nice to me while I was in captivity, but that was her mistake.

Before I can charge, Uruda barrels into Elise, causing her to lose her shot and hop backwards to avoid the axe swing, though she doesn’t hop far enough and Uruda’s axe slams into her side, piercing the lightweight chain armour and carving deep into her body. Elise drops her bow and immediately buckles, gasping for breath as Uruda pulls her axe out and starts to run towards Claude as well. I watch as the broken human struggles to move, her blood mixing with the wet mud beneath her as she bleeds at an alarming rate. She has mere seconds to live.

I look to the others. Their focus is elsewhere, watching for enemy reinforcements as Claude continues to channel his spell. I look back to Elise as she starts to slow. Time seems to stand still as I come to a realisation; the Light is testing me. Testing my will, testing my resolve, testing my honour. This woman had, in truth, put her neck on the line to at least make what she believed were my final moments a bit more bearable. If the Alliance had known that her reports were a fabrication…

RIP Elise

I extend my hand to her, closing my eyes as I channel holy energy into the girl, closing the gaping axe wound in her side. She looks up, locking eyes with me. “Now we’re even,” I say in Thalassian as she collapses to the dirt as shock and blood loss take their toll. With the wound closed, she should live as long as she receives medical attention in the near future, but she will feel awful; worse than I felt as her wound was a lot nastier than mine.

I turn and run for the other three as I see reinforcements coming up the hill. It’s time for us to leave. “We’re all here. Let’s get out of this place!” I yell as I reach Claude, putting a hand up to conjure a barrier of holy energy around us. I won’t have a stray spell or arrow stop us now.

Claude finishes his incantation and we are pulled through the nether, appearing on the dusty planes of Durotar, just outside of Orgrimmar. I collapse to my knees, exhausted but happy to be back in safe lands.

“Can you walk to Orgrimmar, or are you elves so fragile that I need to carry you?” Argrok asks with a big, toothy grin.

“I will be fine to walk, Argrok,” I answer, grinning right back and climbing to my feet. I look at the Alliance officer’s sword before offering it to Uruda. “Hey, you want this as a trophy? I believe he was the commander of that camp.”

Uruda smiled and nodded. “He was my kill, after all. First we show it to our employer, then Argrok buys our drinks for losing my bet,” she says with a chuckle, looking straight to Argrok.

I start to laugh as we begin our short walk to Orgrimmar. Despite losing my weapons, armour and holy symbol, my first combat job in years was a success. I grab the necklace my mother gave to me, partially to ensure that it is still there. Mother is alive and working with the Alliance. She has taken on a human girl as her new daughter. I must find her. I have so many questions to ask her, but if it comes down to it could I really fight her now? Now that I know what kind of a monster Father is.

It seems the Holy Light has more trials for me in the years to come. I will not waver.

< Part 2

Bonds of Family, part 2

That’s why I’m leaving, sister,” Anatheia says as she turned to face me for what felt like the first time during the entire conversation. I can tell she’s upset, that she’s holding back the tears as she speaks.

Father won’t allow it, Ana. You’re the oldest child with a gift for the arcane, you know he has plans for you to take over as head of the house. Besides, what will you tell Vel?” I reply, a firm tone to my voice despite my little sister’s current state of mind. I don’t want her to leave and I always was the more assertive of us three girls.

I don’t care what father wants. His training is smothering me and I feel I can do more good in Stormwind, rather than sitting safe up here in Quel’Thalas. Our allies need us; are we going to just sit up here safe behind our forests?”

I sigh. “No, of course not. But equally you need to think of the immediate ramifications of you leaving. How do you think Father will react? You know what he’s like.”

He’s the main reason I’m leaving. It’s decided; I leave tomorrow and my bags are already packed.”

Please reconsider. You’re going to tear the family apart over this.”

Anatheia’s expression shifted to one of anger. She tensed up, storming up to me. Is she going to punch me? No, I’ve been here before…

You wouldn’t know, Lara! You don’t know the training he puts me through. You haven’t seen what I’ve seen; how dare you assume to know what drives this decision!” she says, shoving me back. I’m shocked, mouth agape at my little sister’s sudden outburst. I look back to her to see the tears streaming down her cheeks.

Then why don’t you tell me, Ana? I want to help, but I can’t if you’re going to act this way!” I answer, keeping my posture non-threatening. I may be the stronger and faster of the two of us, but in her current state of mind I would not want to push her buttons any more than I apparently already have. She’s either overreacting and she’s unstable, ready to start throwing spells at the drop of a hat, or she has seen something that has changed her life for the worse.

I-… I can’t,” she replies, stepping back again and looking at the ground. She appears to have regained some control over her emotions at least.

Why not? I’m not against you, I just want to find a resolution to this that keeps us together as a family.”

I just can’t, okay.” She looks up at me, sniffing and carefully wiping her eyes. “Good bye, Lara.”

I take a step forwards and reach out to pull her into a warm hug, but she disappears from where she stood, appearing outside the room before rushing off. I chase after her, but when I get to my bedroom door, she is gone.

I wake up to the feeling of raindrops on my skin. It has only just started, as I am still dry for the most part. I feel awful. There’s a sharp pain in my stomach and a dull headache pounds within my skull. I move to get up, but my hands are chained behind my back. I turn over slowly to see a chain connecting me with a hitching post and a couple of horses about five metres away; a fresh pile of horse excrement lies far too close for comfort and I roll away from it a little. There isn’t too much slack in my chains, but enough to get me away from the horse droppings. My armour is missing, as well as my weapon and holy symbol. My necklace remains tucked beneath my clothing, my mother’s family crest; her final gift to me after Anatheia and I renounced our heritage on our father’s side, gave up our titles and claim to land and decided to live with the surname of a traitor instead of a madman. I lie there on my back, wearing just my underwear, a thin tunic, thin trousers and a pair of socks, closing my eyes and asking the Holy Light to guide me. It’s cold and the rain isn’t doing me any favours, starting to get heavier and soak me through. I have no access to a mirror, but I imagine I must look like hell right now.

A few minutes pass before I hear footsteps approaching. They aren’t the heavy plated boots of an Alliance soldier and for a moment I assume the best. Perhaps it’s a fellow Horde soldier here to free me? Maybe I have concussion as I see a woman round the nearby tent and walk over. She’s human, with long blonde hair worn loose beneath a blue hood and blue, lightweight chain armour covered by the tabard of Stormwind. I lock eyes with her and refuse to look away. She walks past me and grabs the chains by the hitching post, crouching down and undoing the lock. She stands, holding the chains and wrapping them around her wrist, while pulling out a simple shortsword with her free hand. She makes her way over to me and places her chained hand on the back of my neck, pushing me forwards. I stumble a few steps, but come to a halt, staring at her over my shoulder.

“Move it,” she says calmly, poking me in the back with her shortsword. I oblige, curious where this will take me. Perhaps she is my executioner. Perhaps she is going to question me. Either way, I would like to get out of this downpour.

She takes me to the far tent and pushes me in, following shortly after.

“Sit,” she says, gesturing at the chair. I feign ignorance, turning to stare at her again and pretending I don’t understand Common.

She rolls her eyes, grabs me by the scruff of the neck and shoves me down onto the wooden chair in the centre of the tent. She then walks to the corner and affixes the chain to the piton keeping the tent in the ground. I wonder if I could pull hard enough and bring this tent down on us? It wouldn’t be especially dangerous, but it would probably get me killed so I hold off for now. I am still curious to see where this goes. Inside the tent, apart from the wooden chair I sit on, is what looks like a hastily set up makeshift desk and another chair. These Alliance soldiers probably weren’t expecting to keep prisoners, hence the very makeshift interrogation set up. Amateurs.

The woman sits opposite me. “So, you have a name, Elf?” she asks in Common.

I still pretend I do not understand.

“Don’t pretend. I know almost all of your kind understands Common, unless you’re a ten year old child which I am quite confident you aren’t.”

I still don’t respond.

The woman sighs, rolling her eyes. She stands up, picking up the chair and moving within spitting range. Wonderful; I can spit in this woman’s face as my final act of defiance if it goes that way. However, what happens next takes me by complete surprise. The woman lowers her voice.

“Fine. Let me extend you the courtesy of communicating in your own language,” she says quietly in perfect Thalassian; even her accent is on point with any well-spoken blood elf. I find myself staring in shock at the woman, as it’s a rarity to find a human who speaks our language.

“Where did you learn?” I ask, narrowing my eyes.

“No, no, that’s not how this works. I asked the first question, so I will be more than happy to answer once you have answered mine.”

I smirk. “Laralla.”

“And your family name?”

“That’s not how it works. I answered yours, so now you answer mine,” I respond with a grin. If this is going to lead to execution, I would rather just get it over with.

The woman cracks a smile, nodding. “Fair enough, Laralla. I learned from one of your kin who you cast out for refusing to resort to fel magics to feed their addictions. Now, surname?”

I nod. “Dawnsinger.”

The woman blinks at me, staring for a moment.

“What? Did I get dessert on my nose?” I ask, grinning.

“No. Now, what were you trying to achieve here? Four of you against a camp this close to Refuge Pointe?”

“I think it’s my turn to ask,” I say with a grin.

The woman shakes her head. “No. You asked if you had dessert on your nose. I happily answered that question, so now it’s back to me,” she answers with a smug grin on her face. I can’t help but smirk at her style.

“Bitch.”

“Guilty as charged. Now, my question please.”

“Simple. I was hired to kick your pampered baby squad back over the Thandol Span.”

“So you’re not official military?”

“Nope. Anyway, that’s two you owe me now, so firstly, what’s the name of the Quel’dorei who taught you our language? I’d like to know so I can pay them a visit later.”

The woman hesitated, before smirking again. “Arinella Dawnsinger. You look just like her.”

No. I refuse to accept it. Arinella Dawnsinger? That’s the same name as my mother. The mother who tried to kill my father and then fled. I thought she was dead; she had to flee through Scourge controlled lands shortly after they destroyed the Sunwell. “She’s alive?”

“From your reaction I would say my hunch was right. She is alive and well, yes. I take it you are related? The family resemblance is there.”

I narrow my eyes at the human woman. “She’s my mother. She tried to kill my father and then fled.”

“From what I’ve heard, your father is a bit of a nut-case,” the woman replied, her tone very to the point.

“You couldn’t possibly understand. Anyway, why are you asking me these questions? Aren’t you going to interrogate me for military intelligence and then take me out back and execute me?” I ask, spitting on the ground.

“Because normally I would relish in conducting an interrogation with a Sin’dorei. I hate your people.”

“But this time’s different because you know my mother, right?” I ask, rolling my eyes. “Please, spare me your f-…”

“This time’s different because this particular Sin’dorei is my sister by adoption. Arinella adopted me as a war orphan. I may hate your people, but family is important to me.”

“Then how about you let me go?” I ask, rustling the chains slightly.

“I can’t. You murdered Alliance soldiers and sister or not, you have to face justice for your actions.”

“So where do we go from here?”

“I-… I’m going to say I got everything I could from you. That you have no intel to give and the strike was orchestrated by independent agents. Your fate is in the hands of the Alliance military and that of the Holy Light.”

The woman turns away, her tough exterior melting away. I can tell she’s conflicted with the situation and not an official member of the Alliance military. A contractor? Perhaps something I can use to my advantage.

“Your name, human? I’d like to know the name of my new adoptive sister before I meet the Holy Light,” I ask, softening my voice. If I’m going to get out of here, she’s my way out, so I need her on side.

The human woman turns to look at me, the conflict clear on her face. She takes a deep breath and regains her composure. “Elise Dawnsinger.”

I open my mouth to speak, but Elise rushes out of the tent, leaving me alone, but still restrained.

At least it’s dry in here.

< Part 1 | Part 3 >

Bonds of Family, part 1

As a preface to this, I will say that I have written and rewritten this three times. I just couldn’t get it right! I still don’t think it’s perfect, but it’s by far the best attempt I’ve had at it. So, I present to you, the first piece of Warcraft based fiction I have written in probably around seven years; last time I wrote any Warcraft stuff I was visiting parents during my university holidays. All names are random and not meant to represent any other characters that aren’t mine. It may be the Warcraft universe, but I still prefer to create my own characters.


It had been a while since I had seen active duty for the Horde. I tried moving into the civilian workforce after the Sunwell was liberated, but I was hounded by ghosts of my past; thoughts of guilt ate at my mind every day for what we, the Blood Knights, did to that poor Naaru. We faltered in our faith and the Naaru paid for it. I tried to take to life as a priest, I tried to take up the blacksmithing trade. Neither were difficult, my previous experience with the Holy Light and my responsibility as a Blood Knight meant I had an affinity for both of them, but I didn’t feel like I was on a path where I could atone for what I did. I kept my body in shape with daily exercise and a training regimen I used to abide by when I was an active Blood Knight, so donning my armour and picking up my spear was no strange experience, even after all these years.

Now here I stand, the Arathi Highlands. Reports indicated that the Alliance has used the conflict with the Legion to push advanced scouting parties closer to our borders and we had been hired to attack one of their camps. We will be outnumbered, but we will have the element of surprise if we play our cards right. The team is comprised of myself, a paladin of the Light, Claude, a forsaken spellcaster, as well as Argrok and Uruda, a pair of Orc warriors. I haven’t known them for very long, but it’s clear there is history between Argrok and Uruda, perhaps even a romantic history with the way they interact, though I am not an expert on Orc culture. Perhaps that’s something to ask my little sister about; her position as a diplomat means she has spent far more time around them than I have.

Watching

I can see the target in the distance. Four tents, with no more than four soldiers in each, meaning at maximum we will be facing sixteen Alliance soldiers. However, I have only counted ten so far, though the others could be asleep. I hear footsteps behind me.

“Is that the camp?” Argrok asks, cresting the small mound I had placed myself on to observe the Alliance forces. Argrok takes a knee next to me, observing the soldiers’ movements.

“It is. We wait for their next patrol to leave and then we strike,” I answer, not taking my eyes off the troops.

“Why not just attack now? Those Alliance dogs can’t stand up to us. They’re cowards,” Argrok says with a grin.

I turn to lock eyes with him, a seriousness piercing the calmness of the Highlands ambience. “Do not underestimate them, Argrok. By my count they could outnumber us four to one, and while they are cowards, they aren’t necessarily poor fighters.”

“Maybe by your standards.”

“I won’t argue the point, Argrok. We attack when the next patrol leaves.”

I turn to watch the camp again, hearing a grunt from the Orc as he gets up and walks off to the rest of the group. I wasn’t used to dealing with Orcs, as when I was a Blood Knight I was surrounded by my own people. We are very different when compared to the rest of the Horde and I can see why my little sister feels like we don’t belong, however this is the hand fate has delivered us and unity with the Horde is what we need to survive after the Alliance stabbed us in the back. I find myself lost in thought, considering what could have been if the Alliance hadn’t betrayed us, if we were still a part of the Alliance. That could be me down there in that camp, about to be attacked by a group of Horde soldiers. Also, I had friends in the Alliance military when we were still a part of it, so those people down there could be former friends.

“Hey, shiny,” Claude says with his usual neutral tone, “what are you doing?”

“What do you mean? I’m watching,” I respond, turning to look at the forsaken.

“Then you’ve noticed Argrok and Uruda heading for the camp talking about, what was it? The one who kills less buys the drinks?” he answers with a dry, sarcastic tone. I immediately turn, looking down to see the two Orcs approaching the Alliance camp. We cannot let them attack by themselves as they will be overwhelmed by the Alliance forces.

“Oh for the love of all that’s holy… We need to get down there and help them or they’re going to die,” I say, turning and making my way off the small mound, brushing past Claude who simply chuckles.

“We could always leave them to their fate. It’s their own fault and if they really want to die, who are we to stop them?”

I turn to face Claude, anger burning in my eyes. They may be stubborn and of questionable intelligence, but they’re our allies. “No. We support them. If we are under threat of being overrun, you pull us out of there.”

“Fine, but we will need to move quickly. The Orcs will not wait for us.”

I rush down the side of the hill, keeping out of line of sight of the camp as I dash after the two Orcs, trying my best to catch up with them. Then I hear it.

“The Horde are here! All forces to the east!” I hear someone shout out, followed by the sounds of combat. The pair of Orcs had already attacked. I discard all thoughts of moving stealthily and charge straight for the camp, spear at the ready. I crest the edge of the steep incline leading down to the Alliance camp, almost sliding down the dirt. As I drop down, I see the two Orcs surrounded by Alliance soldiers. They’re fending them off, but they’re going to get cut to pieces at this rate. I grasp my symbol of the Holy Light, holding my spear with one hand and muttering a quiet prayer as I reach the ground and charge at the Alliance soldiers who have surrounded the two Orcs. As Uruda takes a heavy sword blow to her abdomen, her wound immediately glows with holy energy and seals itself. I will not let my comrades die while I still draw breath.

“Someone deal with the elf!” one of the humans shouts, noticing my contribution to the current fight before Uruda plants her axe through his helmet, crumpling the metal inwards. Claude has taken up position on the ridge and starts raining fire down on the Alliance camp. The hit was going okay, considering Argrok and Uruda has screwed up the planned alpha strike. Then I notice how badly outnumbered we are. Fourteen against four were not odds that I felt comfortable with. I grip my spear in both hands and charge the formation around the Orcs, thrusting my spear into the back of the nearest Alliance soldier. He arches his back and collapses to the floor as I withdraw my spear, turning to parry the sword of another soldier.

Another soldier stabs Argrok in his side, causing him to double over in pain. He brings his mace down on the head of the soldier who stabbed him, crushing the human’s head in a single hit, but he falls shortly after. Uruda rushes to his side, defending him as more of the Alliance soldiers encircle the two Orcs while a four of them keep me preoccupied.

“Claude! Get down to Argrok and Uruda and get ready to pull them out!” I yell as one of the Alliance soldiers slashes across my back. My armour takes the brunt of the hit, but I stumble forwards from the impact. If we stay here, we’re all going to die.

“I’d rather not get chopped to pieces!” Claude yells back. I barely hear him over the sounds of battle and my concentration in fending off four soldiers.

“Just do it. I’ve got you covered!” I call back, parrying two of the Alliance swords with my spear. However, one of the Alliance soldiers slips underneath my guard, driving his sword straight into my gut. I cough blood and grit my teeth, my vision wavers as I notice Claude appear in the midst of the melee. I extend my free hand in his direction, muttering another prayer to the Light and enveloping the three of them in a shield of holy energy. Perhaps this is what I was searching for. Perhaps I have been seeking redemption through my own death. It would be a fitting end, considering all I have done, the atrocities I committed.

My vision grows foggy as I see the golden glow of the shield disappear in a flash of arcane energy. Claude teleported them out. My job is complete. I smile through the intense pain in my gut as the Alliance soldier removes his blade. I keep hold of my spear, but drop to my knees as my legs lose all strength. I don’t have the energy to stand. I feel drained. Like hell am I about to let some Alliance filth kill me off without a fight. I press my free hand to my gut, feeling where the sword pierced through my armour. My blood pours from the wound and my hand shakes as I channel holy energies into the wound, sealing it up. I still feel fatigued, having lost a lot of blood and my head spins, but I am at least no longer at risk of bleeding out. I struggle to my feet, my legs barely able to keep me up. I ready my spear and look for the nearest target.

“Oh bloody hell, nobody finished the paladin?”

“Take her alive. She can barely stand and may be more useful to us alive.”

I swing at the nearest soldier, but he catches my spear on his shield and shoves me backwards. I stumble, barely able to keep my footing before I feel a pommel strike me in the face, sending me crashing to the ground. I lose grip on my spear as I hit the dirt, knocked flat on my back. The sky is blurred and spinning, darkness creeping into my vision. I’d rather die than be taken alive by these treacherous snakes. I roll onto my stomach and try to push myself up, but my arms have no power. I can’t push myself up. Then I feel a hand grab my hair, an armoured gauntlet pulling me to my knees and another pressing a dagger to my throat. I stare at a blurry form in front of me, a figure in blue armour.

“Wait, who the hell is this?” a female voice asks as I lose consciousness, the darkness finally overtaking my vision.

Part 2 >

Planning, planning and… ooh, planning!

I was going to write some fiction, I really was. I had a little adventure to send my little Blood Elf on and everything was planned out. It was going to be amazing.

Then I remembered I run a Stars Without Number game every Wednesday.

Then I remembered I needed to make a map for said Stars Without Number game on Wednesday.

Then I realised I would need to make a whole two maps for said Stars Without Number game on Wednesday.

And I like dynamic lighting.

Then I had busy days at work so I couldn’t build maps or write fiction in between calls as they were just constantly coming in. Working customer service in an arguably understaffed department is really not fun on busy days…

Anyway, I’ve spent a lot of my free time planning for this week’s Wednesday game and it’s going to be amazing! I can’t wait to run it; it’s going to be fantastic. Now, I know my players are out there, so I won’t spoil anything just yet, but it’s going to be great. Probably a bit less RP than last session, as the job my players have taken on is going to involve combat and last session saw no combat at all. We’ve got all that to look forward to, plus some mysteries of a toxic planet to uncover, some caves to explore and some new people to meet! All to help a psychic nerd pass his finals… and 50k credits.

Also, the last “boss” of the job is both dangerous and utterly useless at the same time. I can’t wait to see how -that- pans out…

However, I would feel bad not giving at least a sneak preview of what I’ve been working on in terms of fiction. Here’s a snippet of the first piece of Warcraft-based fiction I have written in literally eight years! I feel so incredibly rusty since I haven’t really written in a universe or setting that isn’t my own design for quite a while.

Military life is a difficult one to leave. I thought I could do it, I thought I could leave that life behind and join the civilian workforce; maybe I could’ve become a priestess as I wanted to all those years ago, before my little sister left and Father pressured me into becoming a paladin. I honestly tried. I tried to pick up the smithing trade to earn a living. It wasn’t that it was difficult, I understood the basics of it pretty well, however I felt useless. I didn’t feel like this was a way for me to repent for what our order did after the Sunwell was destroyed by the Scourge; what we did to that Naaru.

Watching

Stay tuned to find out what’s going down in the Arathi Highlands and why I have an edgy screenshot of my Blood Elf kneeling on a rock. Also stay tuned to learn of the antics that will go down on Wednesday when my players get into the heart of this job they have taken!

Also still going to try and reorganise this website so it makes sense and maybe update some things (not the 40k tactics. I haven’t played in about a year or two).

I also need to think of a witty sign off… >.>