'RAGE OF THE WILD'
The spirit owl plunged into the canopy with a screech of terror, but the jagged arrow swung wide and the shimmering owl continued to dive into the depths of Ashenvale. The Troll scout cursed as the owl escaped him and he slunk back to the encampment in Silverwind with a shamed bow of his head.
The spirit owl continued to fly silently westward, away from the simmering onslaught of the Orcish war machine. The fluttering, pale form of Dori’thur was caught by Tyrande from afar, even as the bird was obscured by the low branches of the ancient trees. Astride her mighty Frostsaber, Ash’alah, the High Priestess Whisperwind growled softly to her companion while the Sentinel detachment followed in her wake.
The owl brought the terrible news from the west: Silverwind Refuge had fallen. As her owl hung in the still air beside her, Tyrande barked out an order to the Elves who followed her.
“We are too late! Get off the road at once; expect the demon filth to pass us shortly! Bandu Thoribas!” Her rising voice echoed about the glade with a calm certainty; at once the Sentinels vanished into the undergrowth on either side of the path, their silver armour glinting softly in the dim light of the forest.
Tyrande pounced from Ash’alah onto the paved path with effortless elegance. Pressing her head against the hulking Frostsaber she willed her back to Astranaar with a simple message: “The Horde is moving west”. The beast responded with a low rumble and then wheeled around to hammer her way along the western road, the spirit owl followed her form for a short distant, before he glided north, rising towards the towering shadow of Mount Hyjal. The High Priestess frowned as she followed the owl in the cloudless sky and then reached for her bow as she watched her ancient friend fade into the distance. Once the owl had passed out of sight, she rushed into the dense brushwood lying along the side of the roadway.
“How long until they are with us, Sister?” Sentinel Shyela hissed from her position in the wild growth.
“Soon, Sister. Dori’thur believed a caravan was leaving Silverwind at once.” Tyrande glanced deeper into the low growth of the forest, searching for Shyela amongst the tumbling roots.
“I am here, Sister, there are four of us. The rest are on the southern side of the road. Our blades are ready. The ambush is prepared.” Only the glint of her glaive gave Tyrande any idea where ‘here’ was, the High Priestess simply nodded sternly towards the source of the steady voice, before turning her attention back onto the road.
The group must have crouched amongst the knotted low growth of the vale for an hour or so. Tyrande pressed herself up against the slender trunk of a towering tree, resting her polished armour against the rough bark; the archers waited beside her, hidden from sight, their soft breath and murmured conversation masked by the light breeze carried east from the shattered coastline. Tyrande’s thoughts drifted to her friends who now challenged the Burning Rage which threatened to engulf Hyjal. Malfurion was occupied, this she could understand, but Cenarius must have felt the pain of the forest as the Orcs continued to tear apart the sacred groves of Ashenvale. Had his purpose not been to protect all of nature? Were the rising Ancients not enough to defend the Crown of the Heavens? Surely if the Circle were prepared to consort with Orcs, Goblins and even, it was rumoured, some Undead... Surely that was enough to protect the sacred mountain..? She recalled what Cenarius had promised her on their first meeting, an eon before the petty war which now waged all over the world: ‘the forest saves those who seek to save the forest’. Hope still lasted, so long as she had faith in those words.
Crouching in the undergrowth alongside her, Shyela was beginning to wonder if the High Priestess could have been mistaken, the Horde, afterall, were already engaged in Azshara and the newly risen mountain of flame to the east of them may have confused the spirit owl. Perhaps they were cutting a new path through the wild; they may have expected an attack on the central roadway... Doubt filled her thoughts; the Sentinel assured herself that the Horde would not come.
Then the sound of the horn thundered along the path and coarse cries of hatred rumbled after it.
A black Tauren was the first to round the corner and lead the way up the western road. He trudged some way ahead of the main party, his dark pelt armoured in Kodo leather. The towering figure halted once he’d walked some distance, now a stride away from the Night Elves lying in wait. The Grunt sniffed the air and peered into the gloom on the roadside. For a moment, Tyrande was sure he was gazing right at her; she raised her weapon, ready to gut the enemy in an instant, but then the Tauren forced his gaze back down the way he had come and he roared some hateful command. The reply was deafening: a tide of savage cries rippled through the woodland; Kodo bellowed and Wolves howled; birds fled as the canopy shuddered in terror at the oncoming storm.
Tyrande gritted her teeth in fury, uttering an almost silent snarl, filled with unspoken menace. That the Horde had made it this far into the sacred forest was almost unforgiveable; she would allow it no more.
The Horde caravan came into view almost as soon as they had finished their war-cry. Four colossal Kodo, brutes of parched flesh and dull senses, formed the lumbering backbone of the group, each flanked by two Wolf riders and a handful of Grunts. A pair of Goblins waddled along in the heart of the bumbling column, each clutching a pile of paperwork, goggles strapped tightly over their inscrutable frowns. Behind them came a legion of Peons, swaying under the weight of their supplies, a mumbling annoyance passing between them.
Tyrande surveyed all this while crouched beside a fallen branch of the upper canopy; her bright eyes searched for a leader amongst the group but failed to find one. She smiled softly as she realised that this was yet another disorganised rabble: so typical of the Horde.
The first Kodo had now passed the hidden hunters, unaware that it was destined to fall to the fury of Elune. The High Priestess readied her bow for battle, withdrawing a sleek arrow from her quiver and preparing to fire it with the grace of ten thousand years. She turned quickly to her right and nodded once at the four archers lying in wait beside her. In harmony, each one drew their weapon, notching an arrow to the timeless strings of their bows.
“Endu'di Rifa! Death to the defilers!” The shout of the High Priestess was carried round the vale by the Elven archers who sprung from the undergrowth as they flung their first volley at the Horde with unsurpassed precision and an unmitigated wrath. Twenty arrows, in total, sunk into the swelling flesh of the caravan. Chaos followed.
The first arrow to strike had been Tyrande’s, it gnawed into the skull of the largest Kodo with an audible ‘crack’ and the High Priestess watched with unmasked contempt as the monstrous creature swung about wildly for a moment before collapsing onto a Grunt attempting to slit it’s throat, snapping his back and sending a Wolf rider darting off along the road in terror. Another volley followed and the enemy collapsed in terror. Fallen soldiers – most desperately struggling to drag themselves off the road and into the cover of the wayside – littered the ground; most of the Peons had escaped to the east, back towards Silverwind, screeching in horror as they raced away, arrows of shame burying themselves into their bare backs; one Kodo still grunted at the front of the caravan and pushed itself onto its feet, it staggered blindly onward, dripping blood. It was stopped and silenced once a glaive whistled into its rubbery flank.
Silence descended on the scene for a dying heartbeat, only the last pained and ragged breaths of the fallen Horde spread over the road disturbed the mild western wind. The sun was now sinking to the east and dusk was falling upon the forest with a ravenous speed, the shade of the undergrowth wrapped in more shadow still, while the Horde died quietly under the rising moon.
“Such is the fate of all those filth who besmirch the Land of Eternal Starlight!” Tyrande broke the hushed spell that had frozen the Sentinel archers where they stood. Their prey was finished, victory had been effortless, and they cheered with solemn delight as their High Priestess stepped out from the shadow onto the road, making her way amongst the corpses of the vanquished enemy.
“Glory to Elune!” Yelled the first archer to follow her lead back onto the pathway, now awash with crimson stains and splattered with spilled innards. The rest followed and set about plucking their precious arrows from the ruined flesh of their victims. Tyrande knelt to wash her hands in the blood of a fallen Orc, marking her face with the dark ichor and raising her gory hands to the sky, muttering a prayer of thanks for the victory. Each huntress followed her example, praising the stars now hanging in the sky above.
“These savages are useless, it is a wonder they overran the Refuge.” Shyela spat on the face of a tattered corpse as she spoke.
“We should not underestimate them, Sister... Though they are nothing before the power of Elune.” Tyrande still gazed up at the darkening sky, watching as Elune embraced the cool summer dusk.
“Should we pursue those who made an escape?” The hunters were already preparing their bows for another fight.
“No. I do not think it would be wise for so few of us to lead an offensive. Let us return to Astranaar and convene with the remaining forces.” She turned to leave as she spoke, her sight still fixed upward at the growing grace of Elune, smooth plate armour shining in the starlight as she prepared to make the journey west again. What ‘remaining forces’ she hoped to find in Astranaar she did not know. It was a disgrace that Theramore had sent no aid when she had asked, too concerned as they were with a fruitless war in the barren savannah and her ‘allies’ were occupied with the war in Hyjal while Kalimdor was cut apart: the weak Alliance continued to loiter and the Circle refused to defend their ancient charge.
“High Priestess! There is something you must see! Human corpses, carried by the Intruders!” Tyrande snapped her face away from the light of the moon, her thoughts cut short by the sudden interruption of a huntress at the edge of the broken caravan. She darted over to the Sentinel, treading with careless ease over the corpses of the fallen savages.
“What is it, Sister?” Tyrande glanced about the huntress, her eyes settling on the tattered remains of a Kodo, a Goblin slumped next to it, still breathing, still bleeding. Then she caught sight of them, five dead humans, bearing the crest of Theramore, their armour dulled by age and tattered by indifference. Perhaps these were the messengers she had been waiting for.
“Thank you, Sister.” She nodded kindly at the archer who had shouted over to and then turned to deliver another order to the rest of the group: “Prepare to move west!” With that she knelt down to inspect the dead of Theramore, a curious frown crossing her face as she noticed the awful pallor of their flesh. She moved amongst the five of them, silently wondering why their weaponry had not been confiscated and why the Horde had bothered to bring them west. She didn’t have time to cry out as the eyes snapped open. Glowing orbs of hate rested in the sunken sockets and the five corpses hissed in rage as they sprung up all around her with implausible swiftness. A cold dagger pressed itself against her naked throat and a colder hand dragged her up to her feet. Undead, of course, how foolish of her to not have smelt their blasphemous bile... She supposed the blood and sweat of the battle had clouded their scent. She cursed herself for failing to realise that the victory had been far too easy, the Horde – it seemed – would go to any length to ensnare the children of Elune.
The High Priestess looked calmly ahead, her face impassive, her stature magisterial, staring with unseen shame at the Sentinel force she had led into a crude trap. All of her hunting pack had raised their arrows in unison at the Forsaken the moment they had sprung from the ground and grabbed their ruler.
Tyrande could have been a statue, frozen amongst the quivering wretches who had entombed her, but then she threw one of them a look of abject disgust as he wrenched her bow from her unmoving palm. She flinched as the ancient wood was broken in two by the creature on her left and tossed off the road with a sickening gurgle of glee.
The snap of the bow broke the heated tension of the scene and the Sentinels began to murmur anxiously amongst themselves.
“My lady, we will send for aid!” cried Shyela, attempting to keep her voice as steady as possible. She stood at the front of the pack, a glaive raised ready in her left hand.
“Do not move, Elf! Or they shall rip her in two...” the reply – spoken slowly in accented Common - did not come from the twitching horrors which still clung to their beloved Priestess. Half of the elves swung round to find themselves surrounded: to the west of them, on the road back to Astranaar, a massive Orc loomed, flanked by a dozen of the Kor’kron, each wielding a fearsome axe. The Orcish fiend wore a sapphire robe which trailed behind him and ended in a cloud of the deepest shadow. The Orc raised his hand and chanted a Demonic incantation with fervent intensity: with sickening speed, scorching flames rippled through the undergrowth around the road, preventing escape to the north or south. Even his retinue seemed unnerved by this display of power, they shuffled away from the Warlock as he chanted, but continued to keep their axes raised at the Elves; the reek of Fel was almost insufferable.
“That’s enough, Orux, step aside. There will be no need for infernal magic here!” the command came from the Kor’kron standing beside the Warlock, his rank was only distinguishable by the black armour he wore, the rest wore red. The chanting ceased, but the flames still crackled and simmered either side of the Sentinels. Orux glowered at the commander before taking a step back into the conjured shadow behind him.
“What is it you want, savage. Speak quickly or the forest itself shall sweep you away!” Tyrande finally broke her silence, ignoring the blade pressed against her neck. Her voice rose above the rustle of the smouldering flame and she dragged her arms free of the Forsaken as she glared past her people at the Orcish commander.
“It is clear, hunter: you will come with us. Hellscream wishes to hold the Queen of the Night Elves in Orgrimmar.” The commander uttered his reply in broken Common; Tyrande winced at the mention of ‘Queen’ and tried to protest as the Forsaken grabbed her arms once again. Her situation now seemed hopeless, but she could not yet give up: her faith in Elune remained. She glanced up at the starlit night sky, silently praying for deliverance from the cursed hell which surrounded her, which clutched at her ageless form, which murdered her people and burnt her forest. Tyrande, surrounded by the clutch of Death, found herself recalling once again the promise of Cenarius: ‘the forest saves those who seek to save the forest’. The phrase echoed round her mind, mingling with her desperate prayer to the night sky, greater promises had been broken in the past...
The grace of Elune gave her one sign: Dori’thur, glowing with an ethereal beauty in the half-light of the pale moon, hovered in the sky above the group. In his ghostly clutches was a simple, wooden horn... The High Priestess needed to see no more, Tyrande returned her gaze to the Orcish scum before her, stifling a smile of relief.
“The Kaldorei do not answer to the ‘wishes’ of the Defiler Hellscream, nor do I count myself ‘Queen’ of our blessed kind.” Her reply was spoken in a measured tone; her archers muttered in agreement; the Kor’kron took a step toward the group.
“You are in no position to resist, huntress. The flame shall consume you all if you do not lower your weapons.” The Kor’kron ceased trying to shout over the archers between him and Tyrande, he snarled menacingly at the Sentinels, raising his own axe in readiness.
The final cry was spoken swiftly in Darnassian and Tyrande caught the look of confusion on the face of the Kor’kron Commander as an immense white form sprung from a small ridge hanging just north of the road and slammed into the Orcish force, sweeping the Commander off his feet and ripping his throat in two with a swipe of an ashen claw.
The awesome Frostsaber had emerged from the deep forest with such power that three of the Horde were crushed under the impact of his landing. Ash’alah thrashed about as the remaining Kor’kron, dazed by the sudden reversal of fortune, swung their cumbersome axes at the beast. Orux hurried away from the fray, reigniting the Fel-flame inferno as he did so, allowing the furious blaze to bite at the archers still caught between the embattled Kor’kron and the Forsaken.
"Vera, take her away!" the Warlock's final command boomed out with amplified power as he continued to creep off towards the west, three arrows striking his sturdy back as he did so, each with a dull 'thump'.
As instructed, the Undead began to claw at Tyrande’s armour, dragging the Priestess down the road, away from the battle. The knife pressed harder still against her throat and while half the Sentinels began to join in the slaughter of the Orcish brutes, the rest cautiously followed their lady, bows still aimed at the cursed faces of the Forsaken. Tyrande was unable to cry out, the dagger preventing even the slightest movement, but the shining grace of Dori’thur dived down without a command. The Forsaken who clutched the blade - a slight fiend who Tyrande took to be their leader, 'Vera' - was too concerned with the rank of archers following them east to prepare for the strike from above.
The spirit owl clawed at the scarred face of the Undead, otherworldly talons gliding through armour to scratch at deadened skin. The shock of the attack was enough to loosen the grip on the blade and the dagger tumbled to the floor as the owl screeched in fury.
The High Priestess sprung forward at once, freeing herself with elusive ease from the grubby embrace of the Undead and ducking to the floor as a volley of arrows flew with unbridled force at the enemy. Once the arrows struck, Tyrande pushed herself upward once more, swinging round to face the Forsaken in one smooth motion.
Two of them fell as soon as the arrows struck them; they made no sound, only striking the ground with a stifled groan. The one who held the knife to her throat cowered beside her fallen men, clutching at her ruined face as Dori’thur soared off into the night sky, victorious. Before departing, the owl had rested his precious cargo, a slender horn of ancient timber, carved with ancient Kalimdoran symbols, on the road beside his beloved Priestess. Now he vanished again, joining the specks of light strewn across the night sky. Vera, the prey of the owl and the foulest of the Undead, finished wrenching in pain and dragged herself off the pathway with incredible speed, her sickly form turning to shadow as she disappeared into the undergrowth, leaving her 'allies' behind.
“Death to the Unholy! Glory to Elune!” Tyrande screeched at the final two as they attempted to skitter off into the shadow of the forest after their mistress, she drew two slim daggers from her greaves and flung them both outward as she yelled. Both blades glowed as they left her palms, blessed by the moonlight shining down upon the Kaldorei: the power of the Goddess seemed to guide them into their prey. The two Forsaken fell before they even left the road, the Light of Elune flowing out from the sharpened points of Tyrande’s weapons and stunning the two Undead with a shattering force.
“The Warlock escaped...” sighed Sentinel Shyela as she approached her Priestess, her ageless face stretched thin with worry and fear. “He made it into the forest, three arrows in his back.”
“No matter. What was his name..?” Tyrande, rising now from her prayer, wished to make note of every hateful enemy who had burnt the sacred forest and had not yet suffered for such blasphemy.
“Orux. Thrice damned by the archers of Elune.” Shyela peered past the simmering embers into the depths of the woodland to the south of the road, wondering if the Fel-caster still lived, hoping he had been killed by the wild.
“Orux Thrice-Damned... I am sure he did not make it far.” Tyrande managed to mask the note of uncertainty in her voice with a sigh of relief. It had been close. “Come, we must not tally here. Let us rejoice: for Elune has delivered us from death; but make haste: for Her grace must not be tested.” The High Priestess turned away from Shyela and looked up the road to Silverwind a final time. The Forsaken corpses still defiled the road and all about her Orcs, Tauren, Trolls and Goblins lay still in death: their expressions a testament to the agony with which they passed.
“Burn the corpses. They do not deserve burial in this land.” The archers, still slitting the throats of those who still lived, began at once to pile up the bodies of the Horde, lumping them onto the scorched ground beside the road where the infernal magic had devoured the low plant life. Tyrande walked over to Ash’alah and offered a grateful bow of her head as she approached her; the beast lay between the frayed remains of her unfortunate prey, her radiant white coat, as bright as the lost, pearl towers of Suramar, awash with glistening blood.
She pressed her head against her proud companion; the sensation of the soft fur against her skin seemed to wash away the memory of the rotten claws which gripped her holy wrists a moment ago. She knew that her message had been delivered and that Wolfrunner was on her way. And in her hand she clutched a weapon like no other, delivered from the heights of Hyjal into her clutches by the grace of the spirit owl. Once the forces of Astranaar joined her, Tyrande intended to make the Orcish scum pay.
It took only an hour or so to clear the area of any sign of battle. The Horde corpses were turned to ash by the power of Elune, the stench of their burning tissue drifting up into the air as the half-light of twilight turned to the pitch black of night. Two Sentinels had fallen to the Kor’kron axes, and one had been burnt by the Fel flames of the Warlock. Tyrande personally saw to the preparations for burial, lovingly laying the bodies on the road, closing the eyes which had watched the forests for eternity, and she swore to herself that she would wash them in the Moonwell once they returned to Astranaar.
Wolfrunner joined them soon after the Forsaken had been lifted onto the pile of corpses. Dagri, her wolf, was the first to signal her arrival. The lithe creature flitted into view on the western road and quickly joined Tyrande’s group. The wolf settled next to Ash’alah with a low grunt, the magnificent Saber now slumbered amongst the bloodshed she had brought, her maw still dripping blood onto the cobbled trail. Then Sentinel Wolfrunner herself swept into view, astride her own Saber – Korra – who appeared to approach the group reluctantly, presumably unnerved by the scent of Fel, shadow magic and burning flesh.
“Hail, Sister! I must apologise for our delay. Astranaar was struck but a moment before your messenger arrived... The Horde have made it far west.” Wolfrunner’s voice had a calm, melodic quality, which Tyrande had half-forgotten as she approached. The Sentinel was younger than many Night Elves and her tone was one of youthful certainty, a refreshing change from the cynical, wizened advisors who Tyrande struggled with in Darnassus. But her sing-song pitch could not mask the dismay hidden beneath.
“They made it as far as Astranaar? Impossible... The scouting caravan was butchered where we stand.” Even as she spoke, her voice filled with indignant rage, Tyrande knew that she had lost the upper-hand in Ashenvale.
“They have carved another path north, a little to the east of here. Past the Scorched Mountain. Their encampment was only discovered this morning... They call it ‘Hellscream’s Watch’ – perched on the northern ridge overlooking Astranaar Lake.” Raene frowned slightly as she struggled to pronounce the name of the so-called ‘Warchief’, her voice remained steady, but her scowl betrayed her disgust. Disgust at herself, Tyrande guessed, for allowing Astranaar to be outflanked.
“Will Astranaar hold for a while longer?” Tyrande peered at the Sentinel forces who now joined her own group, having followed Wolfrunner from Astranaar. A dozen or so road on saber’s, and more than double that walked on foot, carrying with them long bows and sharp daggers.
“It will. Some of the Draenei have joined us there and reinforcements from Darnassus are not far away... Although-... I am afraid the Circle are-... What I mean to say is that Cenarius is occupied in Hyjal... He has-... He has aband-... He has left Ashenvale.” Wolfrunner hesitated, her face once again wrinkling into a taught frown as she stumbled over her almost blasphemous suggestion.
“Abandoned us? No, Wolfrunner, Cenarius is ever present in the wild which surrounds us. The Circle are occupied elsewhere and cannot help nature everywhere... It is a pity, yes, and almost excusable. I will send word to Shan’do Stormrage once we return to Astranaar. Until then, Sister, Elune will guide us.” Tyrande’s rushed words revealed her anger at the situation and Wolfrunner only nodded slowly in response, the pithy reply to the accusatory remarks was hardly convincing.
“If Astranaar will hold, then we shall head east and strike out at the heart of the Intruders in our land. Splintertree Post shall be besieged by the might of the forest and the Defiler Hellscream shall tremble as we march upon his kingdom.” Tyrande shunted her troubled thoughts aside for a moment more; she raised her voice in defiance and now found herself addressing the entire force, not Wolfrunner alone.
“My Sister, forgive me, but I do not understand how the forest might be roused at once..? Should we not wait, recover and then strike out when we are prepared..?” Wolfrunner’s youth did not prevent her from questioning the High Priestess, she could barely suppress her disdain for the suggestion that they might besiege a Horde encampment while Astranaar burned.
“The forest saves those who seek to save the forest.” Tyrande spoke softly now, but the throng of Sentinels had gathered all about her, some muttering dissent at the suggestion of a march eastward.
“I’m sorry, Sister? The forest is ‘occupied elsewhere’, I suppose?” Wolfrunner no longer hid the mockery in her voice. She continued to pour subtle scorn on the High Priestess, intoning the will of Elune to support her own strategy.
Tyrande remained silent, her face set as stone with the proud, passive gaze of the High Priestess, her hands still caressed the horn gifted her by the spirit owl. She raised the ancient blessing to her trim lips and breathed deeply. Her outward breath drowned out the prattle of Raene Wolfrunner; the rising, bottomless, endless call soared out into the forest and carried itself over the treetops. The Horn of Cenarius blazed out into the wild, and the wild answered with a thousand cries of long lusted vengeance.
The single note continued, a deep, timeless tone which seemed to strike at the very soul of the forest, crashing against the eternal canopy of Kalimdor, rolling out over the hidden glades of the undergrowth, touching the untouched depths of the starlit land. And all about the road where the High Priestess and her Sentinels stood, where the note spun outward from the heart of Ashenvale, the forest stirred and rose to life. A single Ancient of War was the first to emerge, blundering out of the deep forest into the half-light of the moonlit path. It's vast larch form grumbled as it trundled out of the wild, the deep creak of the knotted bark adding another note to the blaze of the Horn; it pondered on, the throb of the wakened wood rumbling like a song in the rising forest.
More followed and beside them lumbered the beasts of the wilderness: bears, stags, wolves. Without pausing to acknowledge the caller, they all marched on towards the east, where the night sky was stained by the red glow of the Orcish fire.
Tyrande Whisperwind finally lowered the Horn, her whole body shuddering from the effort of that single, timeless tone. She knew now that Splintertree would be besieged and she hoped that Astranaar might have time to await the reinforcements from Darnassus.
The last to emerge from the forest was a towering Keeper of the Grove, he stood on the edge of the woodland, calm, golden eyes glowering down at the Elves on the road. Tyrande knew it was Ordanus at once, the Keeper of Raynewood Retreat come to honour his ancient allegiance. She bowed her head in reverence, lowering the Horn to her side. For what felt like a lifetime the Keeper waited in silence beside the High Priestess, an understanding grew between them.
“Sister Whisperwind. The Keeper has been called. The forest answers.” The voice was as strong as the trunk of an oak and as beautiful as the whisper of a willow and it said nothing more, Keeper Ordanus drifted off into the forest once again, vanishing amongst the wild as quickly as he had appeared.
The Sentinels watched the spectacle in silent reverence, their heads now bowed in prayer, their weapons ready in their hands. Tyrande whispered a final hymn of gratitude to Elune and then climbed onto Ash’alah with an elegant stride. The time for peace had passed, now she marched to war.
1. I'm lazy. This has not yet been proof-read for really stupid errors, please offer construct criticism on this front. 2. Feedback is very welcome. It's depressing when you get 0 responses. If you've read it, let us know what you thought, even if you hated it. I don't mind if you want to discuss style (which is clunky) or content (which is completely fictional).
Theramore did NOT abandon the Sentinels, the entire push into the barren wasteland called The Barrens was to force Garrosh to divert forces to there, or else have Human forces on his doorstep.
*Gnomes are kind and friendly creatures, they can make friends with anyone, and why the hate against Gnomes working with the Circle?
We Gnomes helped you Dangit! we want our cannons back!
And you're right about the Gnomes, changing that now to Goblins.
Thank you! :)
The Temple of the Moon was usually a very serene place, the only noises the sound of footwear scuffing gently on the stone floor and the murmur of conversations quietened into almost reverential silence. The Temple was, after all, the very heart of kaldorei religion and as close any could get to their beloved goddess Elune as physically possible. Such was the soothing power of Elune's grace and presence that merely setting foot in the temple was rumoured to calm even the most hot-blooded of people and bless them with good fortune.
Tyrande Whisperwind, however, was not having a good day. She'd tried for so long to be the spiritual leader she felt her people needed, but such responsibility was... trying, to say the least. The robes she had to wear as part of her station as High Priestess never seemed to fit quite right; she longed to wear her armour again and take to the field astride her lifelong companion Ash'alah, to feel the wind and rain against her face...
There was just one problem with doing that--she never had the time, such were her responsibilities. There were always rituals to be performed, prayers to be led, and Elune forbid any of her flock see her looking worried or pensive. Tyrande had to keep a serene smile on her face at all times, even when all she wanted to do was burst into tears or scream in rage or plant an arrow in some orc's skull...
"My love, I cannot allow it. There is far too much at stake here."
And then there was Malfurion--her lover, recently her husband, and foremost among their species' druids. And if there was one thing Tyrande hated more than anything else--more than the serpentine naga, more than the Horde, more than the fiery lords of the Burning Legion--it was Malfurion dictating to her.
"Enough! You do not get to tell me what I can't do!" Her shout echoed off the stone walls, floor and ceiling, growing loud enough to wake the dead and certainly loud enough to attract the attention of everyone in the entire temple.
Malfurion opened his mouth to speak, brow furrowed, but Tyrande spun on her heel and left.
As High Priestess, Tyrande was allowed a room of her own in the rear of the temple. It was a simple affair, just some personal belongings, but the room had served as a makeshift study for those long days when she just couldn't seem to fall asleep.
Visitors often commented on the large wooden chest up against the far wall. Made of solid oak, its wood a deep brown, it had been a gift from Lady Jaina Proudmoore of Theramore after their combined forces--along with those of Thrall's Horde--had laid down their lives to buy the time necessary for Malfurion to lay a trap for the fearsome demon Archimonde.
Tyrande smiled to herself as she recalled the day a rather terrified human courier had brought the chest before her, flanked by four very heavily-armed and scowling women. The kaldorei and Alliance hadn't gotten along very well to begin with, but time and cultural exposure had smoothed over the ruffles caused by that first violent exchange between her forces and what she believed were forest-defiling intruders.
Though the orcish Warchief, Thrall, had talked of peace, he was young and inexperienced. Tyrande had been leading her people for thousands of years before his ancestors' ancestors had crawled out of whatever hole they'd been hiding under. Jaina was likewise young and untested, but she at least didn't make empty promises of peace while her people slaughtered the innocent and proclaimed themselves misunderstood.
But all the orcish aggression in Warsong Gulch several years ago was nothing compared to the war machine Thrall's successor had mobilised the Horde into. Garrosh Hellscream was by all accounts an orc of few thoughts, but all those thoughts seemed dedicated to destroying the Alliance and its allies.
Unconsciously, Tyrande's grip on the quiver tightened into a fist. The Horde's warlike tendencies and traitorous, murderous actions had gone ignored for far too long.
Every time she thought to take the fight to them, though, another powerful group hell-bent on ruining the entire world had made their presence known and prompted those who claimed to have put factional differences behind them to come running to both the Alliance and Horde begging for assistance.
It was getting old, to say the least--the sheer number of priests and paladins who had abandoned the Alliance to court the Horde's favour as well bordered on ridiculous. Most likely joined groups such as the Argent Dawn in the hopes that the Horde wouldn't slaughter them if they won the war.
Ashenvale. Stonetalon. The Barrens. Felwood. Everything the Horde touched, it corrupted and destroyed. Hellscream merely expedited the process that Thrall either seemed unwilling or incapable of preventing. Tyrande frowned, snapping back to reality with a blink and slinging the quiver's leather strap over one shoulder.
"You can't stop me, Furion," she spat bitterly, not bothering to turn to the doorway--and to the intruder she knew was standing there. "Remember, your precious Cenarion Circle are neutral in this war. The Sisterhood, however, isn't."
"I apologise for earlier, my love," Malfurion said. Tyrande reached inside the chest and withdrew a ornate helmet. Once, its metal reflected all of Elune's light--she'd have to see about getting the rust dealt with. "I believe... I have become too used to giving orders recently."
Tyrande knew the feeling only too well. Millennia ago, the great green dragon Ysera had recruited all kaldorei who possessed druidic potential--almost all of them male--for the task of protecting the Emerald Dream from corruption. Those who remained had been forced to ensure their society's survival themselves, and until her dear friend Shandris Feathermoon had taken over the army, Tyrande had led the Sentinels against all those who threatened the kaldorei.
Though she was no longer General of the army and many of the elite Shadow Wardens distrusted her because of what they saw as weaknesses both physical and political--not to mention that little business with murdering a bunch of them--Tyrande hadn't lost her edge. If anything, her faith in Elune had bolstered her abilities--her presence alone seemed to make archers' arrows sharper and deadlier, and she could make her own burst into flame mid-flight.
Her combination of physical prowess and faith-driven mystical abilities had helped Tyrande guide the kaldorei from strength to strength, and had proven invaluable during what the humans called the "Third War."
Tyrande envied them--she had seen far, far more than just three wars. After a while, all the bloodshed blended together into one big memory of constant despair and sorrow--but in the heat of moment, when the arrows were flying and the blood flowing, she felt positively alive.
And that's all I have so far.
@Blayzer - thank you for your own contribution... I'll read it soon... I don't mean to sound rude or picky or pretentious but did you read my own story..? Do you have any thoughts on what I wrote..? Any feedback..? It's nice to see other interpretations of the character, but I'm also hoping for some discussion of my portrayal in this thread. Thanks for posting anyway. :)
22/08/2011 00:58Posted by MaliziaWhen random forumites outperformes Blizzard's actual lore team, you know they've hit rock bottom xD
Or random forumites are actually brilliant..?! Eh?! Eh?! Anyway... Yes, you've pretty much nailed it... Cataclysm Lore is a Cataclysm in itself. And the Tyrande story was the urine flavoured icing on the crap cake.
I guess that was sort of a compliment anyway! So thanks. :)
I guess that was sort of a compliment anyway! So thanks. :)
Don't worry, you hold a standard higher than most people into story writing/rp that I know of :)
Besides, your story is way better then wht 99% of the current players could come up with :P
Still ana wesome story :P
Again, thank you.