It has been so long, the figure brooded, I will never return to Azeroth.The figure had no colour left, he looked frail, fragile. His shape remained unchanged, but the eyes showed the true measure of the soul. This one was on the edge of defeat. He had spent much of his time reliving old memories of shenanigans and life. He remembered receiving word that Lyna had been found in Pandaria. He remembered never finding her. He remembered struggling to survive with the others after the teleporter had malfunctioned in their escape from Theramore. He remembered Theramore. He remembered Deathwing. His mind traveled further and further back, through the entire Dragonblight campaign. The time of The Lich King, and the Scourge. Setting foot through the Dark Portal. He remembered the Plaguelands, Redridge, Duskwood, and Westfall. He remembered walking Stormwind’s walls. Hillsbrad, Alterac. Not only places, but faces too.

 

Tyrilyna, Shira, Janderius, Arialynn…

Kanta, Jarrick, Koryander, Rynarth…

Maliki, Alekxander, Jaffar, Nyres…

Sigmar, Balroon, Vendon, Harple…

 

So many faces attached to so many memories, but he delved further back still. So much time to pass.

 

Velhari… Monroe… Veras… Calithos… Thurl…

 

So many memories accompanied these faces. Moments of anger, sorrow, hatred, betrayal, disappointment, and happiness. Love and shame, too.

 

He remembered his father, his mother, his brother. They had died, and he had lived, but here was his end, too. Such a failure. His memories flipped past as a storybook’s pages. He settled on the next in line. His Alliance military days, before the Phantom Legion, before the Templars. The drums of war beat a rhythm most died to. It was a village in Hillsbrad. The Alliance had been resupplying and stopped off. Bands of orcs, trolls, and others roved the hills. It was a zone of conflicts with Alliance and Horde settlements close.

 

The village was small, a few small buildings made mostly from wood. The people here tended to the land nearby, growing crops and maintaining an orchard. A small unit of Alliance footmen arrived, led by a Knight. The soldiers were lightly armored with leather armor. Metal armor had to be earned in service. The Knight wore serviceable steel plate. He rode a warhorse, bred for war and armored for the same. A man took up the rear, red hair standing out from the small unit.

 

The unit took shelter and ate the food offered them. They were grateful. It did not last. As the light began to wane, drums were heard. A warband of the Horde must have been nearby. The sunlight fell against the warband, and the Alliance unit looked out upon a force nearly ten times larger than the small reconnaissance unit. Orcs and Trolls filled the lines with Forsaken and Tauren dotting the warband. The soldiers looked for the Knight, only to find his horse and his person missing from the village. The villagers reacted fairly passively, unmotivated.

“Why should we leave?” The farmer, Donn, spoke up. “We are only farmers. We are not the soldiers they want to fight. We will just not get in their way.” He nodded somberly, as if speaking words of utmost wisdom. The villagers all blindly nodded with the man. The red haired soldier walked up and knocked him into the dirt.

 

“You only live if you run. You only get a chance if you run. If you leave this all behind and flee. The Horde have no concern for innocents! They do not care that you bear no arms against them! They do not wait for a captain to cry havoc before pillaging and destroying EVERYTHING! The Horde are always in a state of havoc! They will kill you, they will kill your wife, your children! They will burn your homes and your crops!” The man spat on the ground. “You only live if you run. The only chance we have is to run.” The soldiers all held passive looks upon their faces. None felt confident in outrunning the Horde. They were on foot and the warband surely contained wolfriders.

 

A man with golden locks stood up. He spoke, “My name is Eric,” he announced to the villagers. “We will break from the village, and split into three groups. Two of us will swing north, two will swing south, and two will run straight. Divide yourselves up and we will see each other again in Southshore. Stay quick on your feet and offer up your prayers to the Light now.” Donn and his family gathered together and divided themselves up as they were told. Eric and Valk took Donn and his wife north, Sielic and Mull took the eldest and youngest son towards the south, lastly, Brigg and Burns took the daughter and the uncle straight out. They torched the farmhouses as they left, hoping the flames and smoke to obscure their movements.

Rikard and Therin followed Sielic and Mull as quick as they could. Near as anyone could tell, the warband had descended upon the farmhouses but not further. Sielic hoped, fervently, that this remained the case…

Author Sielic
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