Enjoying the cool breeze as he rode the griffon from Stormwind, Acele briefly closed his eyes and smiled. Every day seemed a little calmer, a little more … normal since he had retired from active duty.

After explaining his recent ‘condition’ to his peers and superiors, an offer was made for him to quietly leave the military scene. Enough for his wife and children to live comfortably and in peace, he made the rounds and returned to civilian life. Seella certainly seemed happier that he was home more, not to mention Datalya and Leitha.

A shout broke his reverie, eyes snapping open to focus on the ground below. He spied guardsmen fighting what appeared to be undead. <Undead? Here? Where did they come from?> Letting the griffon land on its own by the flight master, he was beset by men and women in armor rushing in every direction. Grabbing the arm of one to stop them, he asked: “I saw undead while I was flying in. What can I do to help?” The guardsman opened his mouth to retort but took a closer look at the lightforged draenei wearing armor and wielding a tri-bladed polearm with an ease that spoke of years fighting. “Come with us, they’re at the crossroads between Redridge and Duskwood. They just … showed up!”

It was then that Ace’s guildstone chimed and the Justicar started speaking. Her tone seemed calm and unhurried, but he knew better. She called for the Templars to head to their base in Northrend, Westguard. Once she was done speaking, there was silence for a moment. Then another voice, one he recognized from long ago spoke up detailing where to go for an expedited mage portal to the same keep. Shaking his head, he put the stone away and chased after the guardsman he had just spoken to.

——————————

Once the last undead stopped twitching, Acele moved among the guardsmen still living, looking for the one he spoke to at the start. Finding him sitting on a stump catching his breath, Ace stood nearby. “You fight well, guardsman. Where did your sergeant go to? I need to speak to him.” The man pointed to a body nearby, laid out in a row with several others. “That’s him, or what’s left of him anyway. I was right under him in rank so I guess that’s me now.” Taking a deep breath and expelling it, he looked up at the draenei. “We would have been in a bad way if you hadn’t happened to show up. My name is Drake. What is yours?”

The lightforged draenei smiled gently at Drake. “I am Acele Walkinson.” Drake’s eyes went wide. “But you’re –”

“Dead? Yes, I seem to get that response every so often.” He chuckled. “I am retired from active service though.” He looked around at the carnage. “Although that may be a temporary thing.” Hefting the polearm up to his shoulder, he spoke in a low tone. “We must report this to Stormwind. I will carry word while you shore up the defenses here. Light willing, this is just some random event. A necromancer out playing with their minions that got out of control, perhaps.”

Drake nodded, standing up and saluting smartly. “Thank you, sir. It was an honor to meet you.”

Ace returned the salute and grinned at him. He whistled sharply and in a flash of golden light his steed stood nearby, pawing the ground and snorting; as if ready to charge into battle once again. Mounting the charger, it leaped into the air and galloped off towards Stormwind. His grin fading once out of sight of Drake, Ace pulled the guild stone out and spoke quietly into it.

“Seella, round the kids up and head to Sentinel Hill. Pack for an extended stay, in cold weather. A Templar mage will meet you there to give you and the children transport to Westguard Keep. I’ll explain later once I see you again.”

Author Acele
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