Brandy walked down the sleepy main road leading through Westfall, toward the settlement at Sentinel Hill. She looked down at the letter in her hands one more time, wondering who this person might be…and whether she was walking into a trap. A warlock with her voidwalker out in the open would stand out like a house on fire, especially in a quiet place like this. She made for an easy target here.

Dismiss, she ordered Kraktast, and it was gone. She needed to be at least a bit less conspicuous for the moment.

Still, as she walked into town, her eyes fell on a young woman standing out at the edge of the gryphons’ roost. She smiled down at Brandy and nodded, making her way around and down the large hill to meet the warlock. As she came close, Brandy noted that while the woman maintained a friendly demeanor and smile, her eyes seemed distant… as though her thoughts were preoccupied by matters far away.

“Greetings,” she said with a nod. “You must be Brandy Hale?”

Brandy simply nodded.

“Mallory Everley. So you got my letter, obviously. Please, right this way.”

Mallory led the way to a small old building that would afford some privacy. Stepping inside, Brandy saw a couple of rows of beds and another woman. As they entered, the other woman nodded to Mallory and stepped out the front door, closing it behind her.

“Right… We’re alone now,” Mallory pointed out. “You can either tell me anything you’ve learned from communicating with that demon, or you can feel free to summon him to speak for you.”

Brandy concentrated on the spot next to her, her mind roaring the word Kraktastinto the nether. The voidwalker took shape and immediately set its gaze on Mallory.

What do you want to know?

“What do you want to know?” Kraktast repeated.

“Ah, Kraktast,” Mallory said, beginning to pace. Brandy wondered how the blonde knew the demon’s name. She seemed verywell informed. “I understand your master has you well in hand… Enough that it should be safe for me to ask you a few things.”

“Ask all you want, human,” Kraktast retorted of its own accord. “It won’t help you.”

Mallory seemed unfazed. She pulled up a chair and sat, directly in front of the voidwalker, crossing her legs and folding her arms. “What do you know of the Burning Legion’s plans?”

Kraktast scoffed. “You don’t know?”

A chill came over Brandy. Kraktast looked right at her with all of its hatred, and for the first time, she felt quite afraid of it.

“I don�t have time to play guessing games and match wits,� Mallory growled, her voice barely above a whisper. �Tell me.�

Kraktast laughed. “The portal has just opened. No…more than a portal. It allows them to open their own portals. Brace yourself for your death, little human. Now, they will come and go as they please.”

The room grew dark. Instinctively, Brandy’s eye was drawn to the window, and she began to tremble at what she saw.

The sky was green.

“No,” Mallory whispered, seeing it too, though she looked less surprised than Brandy would have thought. “We’re too late…”

“Too late?” Kraktast shot back. “You never had a chance.”

Suddenly, it felt like the floor fell away from beneath Brandy’s feet, leaving her floating in the air for a terrifying split second, but then it rushed right back up at her, sending her flying across the room. Mallory and the beds were also thrown about like litter. A deafening, otherworldly crash threatened to tear their ears apart. Brandy realized she was screaming, and tried to stifle her voice. Kraktast was laughing.

The warlock reached out her hand and with all her fury, dominated its will.

No! You will serve, to the bitter end! Your kind has much to answer for, and you will be there for it!

Kraktast struggled, but she knew she had it under her control.

Mallory struggled to her feet. “What the fel was that?”

Kraktast’s eyes flared. “They are here!”

Mallory threw open the door. “Oh… Oh my…”

A demonic tower had appeared in the fields, demons pouring from every door and window it had, already darkening the skies. Mallory’s hand went to her face, pushing back her hair and revealing a tiny guildstone clipped to her ear. She touched it, and it glowed.

“The…the Burning Legion…has returned! They’re in Westfall now! Get me reports! I need to know where else they are. Peter, you’re in charge. Get in contact with the Templars. Make sure Stormwind knows…fast.”

There’s no way they could miss those green skies, Brandy thought.

“There’s no way they could miss those green skies,” Kraktast repeated.

Mallory turned a furious glare at the voidwalker. “Do you know where else they are?” she asked.

Kraktast’s eyes flared. “They will be everywhere soon.”

Brandy crept closer to listen, hearing Mallory’s guildstone crackling with static. A woman’s voice came through. She sounded like a night elf. “–major operation here in the Broken Isles! The Broken Shore is lit up like a Winter Veil tree. We’re going to need backup!”

Now Mallory looked worried. “Roger that, Doradrassil. Let me get to safety and get a better view of the situation, and we’ll see what we can do.” She lowered her hand, and clenched her fist as she looked at the demons beginning to pour all over Westfall.

Then, it took a moment for Brandy to realize it, but the priestess began loosening her Darnassian tabard and unfastening her robes, revealing a snug black catsuit underneath. It was riddled with small silver spheres and ampules, and the kindly look of an innocent priestess went away with the robes. The woman who now stuffed those robes into her pack looked far more stern, and more than ready for a fight.

She tilted her head, making a popping sound in her neck, and looked at Brandy, apparently reading what must have been confusion plainly written on the warlock�s face. �I grew up here. This place… It�s not going down without a fight. Stay and fight with me if you want. If you want to run, I don�t blame you, and I�ll try to help carve a path for you. But you�ll have to decide fast. What�s it going to be?�

Brandy was speechless at Mallory�s transformation. But a pang in her heart reminded her of home. She knew what it was like to see one�s home under assault by the Burning Legion. It was what made her who she was today, and she found herself wishing she had been half as prepared back then as Mallory seemed right now. She could sympathize. For all Mallory�s apparent bravery, she knew the priestess had to be holding back her fear. Brandy knew firsthand the terrifying power of the Burning Legion, and she wanted to scream at Mallory to abandon hope and run…but she knew how she�d have reacted if someone else had done that. No way in hell, she�d have told them.

So, she found herself nodding and quietly commanding Kraktast.

�We will fight,� the voidwalker rumbled.

Besides, she wasn�t about to be shown up by a priest.

�Good,� Mallory said with a nod. �Stay close, I�ll keep you safe.�

The warlock couldn�t help but blink in surprise. She�ll keep ME safe? Does she have any idea what…

Mallory was out the door already. Brandy�s thoughts trailed off as she bolted after her, Kraktast alongside. The voidwalker was already mowing down imps in its path with void energies, eager to unmake the demons. At least it truly despised the Legion as much as she did, Brandy realized. When they had a common enemy, that couldn�t hurt.

A squad of demons was advancing on an isolated group of Moonbrook villagers who had been out working some farmland. The villagers were cornered against the walls of a bluff. The demons looked ready to butcher them, until a beam of white-hot fire flashed out of the heavens and incinerated a Mo�arg.

With a furious shout, the demons whirled around to face Mallory, her hand still outstretched. Brandy�s heart caught in her throat. The priestess must have had a death wish. They were far outnumbered, and almost certainly outmatched. Brandy steadied herself and readied for a fight as Mallory and the demons stared each other down for a tense moment.

�Mallory?� The timid voice had come from one of the trapped villagers.

�Get to safety, Jen,� Mallory ordered, her eyes still fixed on the attackers, her face thunderous. �This is myhome, demons. And we are going to kick every last one of you back to the piss hole you crawled out of. Get. Out.Of my town.�

Brandy wasn�t sure who attacked first. Holy fire struck from the heavens as fel fire surged toward Mallory. The priestess was as quick as she was bold, though, and was already rolling out of the way of the attack. Brandy lobbed a bolt of fire at the group of demons herself, pegging one right in the chest. An imp slung a bolt of fel fire in her direction. Kraktast swatted it out of the air and charged forward, leveling the imp in its wake as it dove into the fray. Brandy saw Mallory reach for one of the small spheres on her suit, and a moment later, an explosions rocked the battle, sending a couple more demons flying.

�Traitor!� a terrorguard howled at Kraktast. �Why do you fight with mortals?!�

Kraktast answered with a sickening laugh. �You know I have no love for the woman. Existence itself is my enemy, and I�ll last longer with them. One fight is as good as any other. Might as well start with you.�  

It didn�t take long for the demons to crumple beneath the combined assault of both women and the voidwalker. Brandy felt herself smiling as the Moonbrook villagers ran for cover, one of them sending an admiring glance toward Mallory as they went. But something wasn�t right…

Brandy whirled around as a shadow loomed over her. A doomguard brandished his blades, nearly on top of her already. Brandy scrambled back, but he was much too fast, his stride too great for her to outrun.

She heard Mallory shout in anger as the doomguard raised his arms high, and as if in slow motion, she saw the priestess leap into the air, sailing right at the demon with her…fists? As she reached the doomguard and slammed her gloved fist into his chest, he convulsed with electricity. Mallory smashed her other fist into him. This time, the jolt sent him flying head first into a nearby rock.

Mallory looked with grave concern at Brandy, her gloves still sparking with electricity. �Look… I can�t explain why right now… But you did notsee me do that, okay?�

Brandy nodded. Kraktast tilted its head in curiosity.

�Good,� Mallory said. �Now let�s get moving before more demons head this way.�

Author Rann
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