It was another cold and dark day in the rocky underground of Krokuun in the nearby planet of Argus. While the land was almost completely desolate there was some remaining beauty with a clear crystal pool with some blooming purple flowers. A nearby demon hunter could only sense a dead, decaying, and failing world as he could hear and smell pits of fel that bubbled and bursted spewing out thick green pus. A tall, square-jawed, blindfolded, glaive-wielding, heavily-armored Kaldori demon hunter, Leomias Deathtalon looked as formidable as any Legion soldier. Like many of his brethren, he lacked subtlety and was eager to dispense with anyone or anything who served the Legion. With the war against the forces of Sargeras coming to an end at the siege of Antorus, he felt especially eager and pressured to do his part before it was too late. While freed from the confines of the Vault of the Wardens, his injuries from fighting the wardens before being imprisoned were more extensive than the other demon hunters, forcing him to rest and recuperate more while his brothers and sisters quickly gave their lives in the beginning of this war. It left Leomias bitter, angry, and worst of all helpless. That same kind of helplessness was one he felt a lifetime ago when his father, mother, and two sisters were brutally murdered during the Legion’s 2nd invasion.
His introspection was interrupted when he saw a small, red, bipedal creature carrying a large backpack. The creature was undoubtedly a Wyrmtongue, one of the lowest lifeforms of the Legion. While the creature was casually walking around, Leomias was quick to react to its presence with a surprise attack that ended with his warglaives impaling the creature’s stubby neck. It gurgled and fell quickly. Leomias rummaged through his backpack looking for any clues where he could find more of the demon’s kind when he heard the soft footsteps of a creature approaching. He readied himself in a defensive posture when he noticed the creature emitted not an aura of darkness, but something else he hadn’t expect.
The creature was covered with blue feathers outlined with gold, it had a lion’s head with a golden mane, and the edges of its wings, mane, and paws emitted light. He looked straight at Leomias and projected a sense of calm and greetings. Leomias felt strange that he could sense the emotions of this beast since he rarely cared what anyone thought except for his fellow Illidari. “Who are you? What are you!?” He demanded.
An image formed in Leomias and like a play and it presented a story. He could see the creature flying with others of its kind. Smaller ones, bigger ones, different colored ones, and then the Legion’s soldiers came. He could see the creature itself was barely able to escape the destruction as the sole survivor. He could sense the sadness of the creature as it mourned, and later its rage and anger at the Legion for taking everyone that he loved.
Leomias fell to his knees. He felt something had not known in many centuries, empathy. The experience left him bewildered as he asked, “So, you’re an orphan like me.”
The creature nodded quickly. He emitted a low roar but it was audible enough for the long-eared elf to make out, “I’m Roshan.”
“Roshan, so that’s your name great beast? We seem to have a lot in common despite, you being a creature of light, not a minion of the Legion.” He said with a touch of derision directed toward what Roshan was.
Roshan shook his head quickly. An emotion of disgust was projected toward Leomias showing that the thought of becoming a soldier of the Legion was unthinkable.
“I do not know where you came from, but your timing is impeccable. I am attempting to track down a Legion base to bring it down upon their wretched skulls. You may help me if you’re brave enough, otherwise stay out of my way!”
The creature took a little offense at Leomias’s abruptness of but nodded his head in reply and began to follow Leomias. Their search didn’t immediately yield any quick results but after an hour of climbing rocks, tunnels, and caves, the two of them stumbled upon a large den of Wyrmtongues and dark red Eredar soldiers equipped with thick and varied types of armor. The den had a large cache of exposed weapons of swords, armor, spears, shields, cannons, and guns.
By using his other senses, Leomias was easily able to grasp the situation as if he could see as clearly as Roshan did. “There must be a hundred of them here. If we could destroy them and take their own weapons against them, this would surely be a boon to the war efforts. I don’t think the two of us can do it alone. We need reinforcements.”
Roshan nodded quickly and urged the demon hunter to start heading back to the Vindicaar, he projected his emotions to Leomias and reassured him he knew friends that could help ensure the destruction of this base.
“You’re not alone are you? Hm. I suppose any enemy of the Legion should be a friend of mine, or at least an ally that can thin their numbers. Let’s go, Roshan.”
“Not so fast heroes.” The voice from behind them spat out the words.
The two spun around coming face to face with an enormous blue felguard and sizable swarm of Wyrmtongues. Leomias cursed himself for not sensing them earlier, perhaps his time locked away or in recovery had dulled him.
The demons voice boomed echoing off the stone walls around them. “I wouldn’t worry about telling your ‘friends’ anything. Minions seize them!” He pointed at the heroes and the dozen upon dozens of Wyrmtongues rushed forward.
Leomias immediately rushed headlong into the largest gathering of Wyrmtongues he could find. His muscles bulged and his green tattoos lit up brightly as he raised himself several feet off the ground. He howled in pain and unleashed twin beams of green from his eyes slicing a dozen of the Wyrmtongues in half. Go Roshan! I shall clear the way!” He called out in his booming demonic voice.
This great beast deserves to live. I was careless and will pay the price, but I refuse let another die with me!
Roshan ran forward into the wake of death left by Leomias’ attack. Some of the Wyrmtongues attempted to block his escape, but they were quickly dispatched by swipes of the beast’s mighty paws. In one instance he manages to knock one demon into group of others like a bowling ball to pins. Leomias leaped ahead of the beast and stuck down the last few demons that were blocking Roshan’s path. Clear of the swarm the beast took one last glance over his shoulder as he made his exodus. Leomias had been overwhelmed by the sheer number of Wyrmtongues upon him. If as the dragged him to the ground kicking, scratching, and biting; Leomias still fought with everything he had. Roshan stopped, looked at Leomias, and whined.
“GO! My fate is sealed!” Leomias shout echoed through the cavern as he was buried under by the swarm. Roshan ran disappearing in some nearby caverns.
Leomias didn’t know how much time had passed, but he could feel himself regaining consciousness. He lay still as he assessed his situation. He immediately felt the chains on his arms and legs that bound him to the ground. He could sense many dozens of demons around the perimeter which were same ones that captured him, the same weapons and armor caches that he noticed in the base earlier, and no sign of Roshan.
That creature, Roshan, must have got away. I doubt he’ll bring help. It’s just as well I suppose. I failed so many of my brothers and sisters I deserve this fate. The best thing I can do is to try to take as many of them with me as I can.
The blue Felguard was with a Wyrmtongue with a parchment of paper. He looked smug and satisfied and began to dedicate to his minion,
“Send word to the Legion that the base remains secure and that we’re ready to attack Army of Light and allied bases as soon as possible. Let them know that I also captured a demon hunter we could possibly turn as a weapon of war to our side. They should send us inquisitors to assess and start the process. They might bring along a succubus too to assist in breaking his will.”
The Felguard’s instructions were interrupted when he heard a voice way off in the distance. At first even Leomias couldn’t discern what that was. But the voice got closer to the base and he was able to start picking up the words.
“Roshan, where are you? Slow down! I’ll give you some Roshy snacks if you behave!”
“Roshan. Is he nearby?” The captive demon hunter wondered.
As the voice got closer to the base the Felguard shouted, “Assume defensive positions! Intruders are coming!” Wyrmtongues scout and engage the intruders. Incapacitate them with your traps if you can and bring them to me, alive!
Several minutes passed and Leomias felt anxious. He could hear some roaring and the sounds of fighting but couldn’t make out much more than that. The Felguard noticed Leomias stirring.
“Ah you’re awake. Well, you might have some company soon to make your, imprisonment more bearable. If you proclaimed your allegiance to the Legion now though and bring me these intruders’ heads, I would help you unlock the demon within you, and you would know power beyond imagining!
Leomias sneered, snarled, and spit at the demon’s face, “You took everything from me! You won’t take my body and soul!”
The Felguard laughed and he wiped off the spittle, “Such defiance is always so refreshing. I will be sure to be there when they break you and savor every moment you’re tortured, and in that moment when you completely give up, you will become one of us and then…”
A roar filled the cavern and interrupted the Felguard’s loud musings. Roshan was back but with a person, a Paladin with golden wings on his helmet, a mix of dark blue and gold plated armor, and a fiery blue sword that spewed out controlled blue flames.
“Ah so this is why you brought me here Roshan. This is who I need to help?” The person pointed to the bound demon hunter.
The Felguard shouted, “Legion, attack!”
A ravenous horde of Wyrmtongues and Eredar remained in the base and the Felguard himself grabbed a large axe with a twisted wooden handle. Leomias predicated this rescue attempt would be doomed right away, but a couple of minutes later he was shocked at what he witnessed as the great beast, the Paladin, and his fiery sword cut and burned through the Legion as if they were merely paper mâchés. Roshan used his paws and tail to knock down some of the legion’s creatures. He followed his maneuver with a vicious chomp on a few unsuspecting heads. The Paladin and Roshan worked well together like seasoned veterans in this war where everything was at stake. Finally the Felguard pushed aside a few survivors and attempted to charge the Paladin. The Felguard was of an enormous size, at least several feet taller and wider still compared to the Paladin, and in his arrogance he thought he could use his own sheer size to break the Paladin’s defensive stance. He lifted his axe high in the air and swung it at the Paladin, but instead of hitting the Paladin’s armor, a sphere of light that was surrounding the Paladin was broken instead. In that instant the Paladin raised his hands up high and a blinding light caused the Felguard to scream in agony. In that stunned moment Roshan ran in front of the Paladin, the Paladin hopped on, and Roshan flung the Paladin sending him high enough to cut a burning hole through the Felguard’s vulnerable head, sending the colossal soldier down with a thud.
“The Legion…will prevail.” He uttered with his last dying breath.”
Leomias thought, “Amazing. This Paladin would make a worthy Illidari. I never would have thought a non-Illidari was capable of such ferocity.”
The Paladin approached the bounded demon hunter. He raised his fiery sword up high and was able to cut through the chains that held him. He then extended his hand, “Roshan was very worried about you. I am Matthyas Lionheart, a Templar of the Rose, honorary, member of the Army of the Light, and Paladin of the Argent Crusade!
The demon hunter cautiously grabbed his hand as Matthyas helped him up.
“I am Leomias Deathtalon, Illidari. Is this great beast who calls itself Roshan yours?”
Matthyas chuckles, “That’s a question I get asked often. No, Roshan is not mine. We are allies, but more than that, we are friends. I rescued him from the Legion. They were trying to train him and torture him into a weapon of war.”
Leomias chuckled, “Amusing, the Legion in their arrogance attempted to do the same to me. At least they paid for their stupidity.”
Matthyas pondered, “Very interesting. The Legion grows more desperate to turn anyone or anything they can get their hands on into fuel or weapons since the war is almost over. I see a lot of similarities with you and Roshan. I share a lot of them as well. Roshan is an orphan like me and we…”
Leomias interjected, “Are you like this great beast, an orphan?” He pointed at Matthyas.
Matthyas nods with a grim expression, “Yes. During the 2nd invasion the Legion took my wife, son, parents, grandparents, everyone else in my family, my neighbors and my friends. My son ended up surviving, more or less, but at a heavy cost.”
Leomias nodded and cliched his fists, “The Legion will never pay enough for the lives they took from all of us! Their blood will never replace the loss of my parents and my sisters during the 2nd invasion. Roshan seems to have a knack for finding orphans.”
Matthyas chuckles and pats Roshan on this head, “He sure does.”
Roshan replied by gently licking Matthyas’s face. He laughed and even Leomias with his stern disposition couldn’t help but crack a smile.
Matthyas looked at the demon hunter intently, “You’re welcome to go where you wish. If you need another friend in this time of war, I’d be happy to consider you one.”
Matthyas extended his hand, and after a few seconds the demon hunter accepted, shaking his hand.
“We have a lot in common with our hatred against the Burning Legion. You fought with ferocity that I only thought my Illidari and I had. I think we can bring our loved ones the justice that they deserve, together.”
Matthyas smiles, “I would enjoy that very much.”
Leomias questioned, “I know all about the Army of the Light, I’ve heard of the Argent Crusade, but I haven’t heard about these Templar of the Rose.”
Matthyas replied, “They are some of the best and finest people I’ve come to know. We even have a few demon hunters within our ranks. We are united too in our desire to end this war against the Legion, and to send them back into the abyss from whence they came!”
Leomias grabbed some his hairs on his small purple beard, “Hm interesting. Perhaps I will seek them out with your guidance.”
The three exit the base and head back to the Vindicaar and alerted the Army of Light where the base could get the weapons and armor left behind. The war continues to destroy many, but among the conflict new friendships begin to bloom.