Didn’t have the time to write this before WoD launch day. Here’s a snippet of what my paladin was considering before she delved into the Dark Portal. ))
Tick, tick, tick. The mantel clock kept time above the hearth. The fire flickered from embers, clutching to the remnants of the wood in the fireplace. The hour was late and the clock sent constant reminders, like a metronome counting a never-ending beat.
She sat across the crib, the shadows cast from the hearth slowly dancing over the walls. Within the crib and safely tucked beneath knitted blankets was a dark-haired little boy, not even two. He slept soundly, not knowing he was watched, his chest lifting and falling in the lull of a child's deep sleep.
She watched, wearing a simple linen nightgown. She watched silently, no word crossing her lips, just her eyes on her son’s slow, steady breathing and dreams she shouldn't see.
Her armor waited, stacked neatly on the stand in the far corner. A worn hammer and shield hung close by. Even in the dim light, a streak of red was visible across the weathered, beaten shield. It was painted like a wet brushstroke now completely dried, flaking at its edges and turning brown. The hammer bore similar streak. It was the only color of red in the room.
Life left the orc’s eyes as her shield pinned him to the ground. His dented skull bled, the light from his eyes fading as quickly as the blood flowed. It was over in seconds, then his eyes went lifeless altogether, not even the sky reflecting from them.
Arialynn rose from fresh corpse and turned her eyes to the armaments ahead. They stood, jutting from the red, sandy earth, jumbled iron pikes placed where none belonged. More orcs streamed between them, screaming fury and death in their guttural tongue. Gripping her hammer and shield hard in hand, the lady knight met them once more, trading blow for bow with her metal armor blazing and Light streaming like gold lightning from her upraised hammer.
The wounded soldier gasped beneath her hands. The Light enveloped his wounds, binding the torn flesh and ligaments while battle waged unabated around them. His armor and tabard were flayed open, stained red. Arrows fell from the sky, descending as sharp rain, and the lady knight lifted her shield and crouched over the soldier, covering them both. The soldier screamed, his cry swallowed by the scene of war around them.
In spite the arrows, an orc charged, unheeding the rain of death. His eyes set on the soldier and his healer, his axe cocked for a sweeping blow as snarls of death sounded from bared teeth and tusks.
Gritting her own teeth, Arialynn paused only long enough to cast a shield of Light around the soldier then rose in one smooth motion, her hammer raising to connect with the orc’s chin. As he reeled backward, shattered teeth gnashing together, the orc roared in rage, bearing down on the lady knight and her charge once again.
Arrows pelted them all, falling harmlessly around the soldier encased in Light, embedding deep into the lady knight’s shield, and boring even deeper into the orc that attacked without mind to the danger that closed in all around them from his own kind.
She stood, stooped over the array of reports strewn over the table, its legs dug into the rust-red sand of the ground. Breathing in the air of the Blasted Lands was akin to breathing in metal, each breath felt arid and piercing, like the very dust of the ground was intent to kill as much as those who waged war atop it.
"Scouts say there’s a way to close it, but not here. They already tried that with the last one. It can be turned off from the other side, if it even can be turned off at all," a courier adorned in Alliance blue and gold stood before her table, hands clasped in front of him.
"And those who go through the Portal?" The lady knight asked him.
"Left behind. There’s no guarantee in getting back," he replied, his voice solemn.
"Aye then," she spoke after a long pause, her eyes on the red square of the Dark Portal etched on the maps on her desk.
Tick, tick, tick. The clock sent its steady reminders of time passing by. Arialynn sat in the chair across Taran, watching him soundly sleep. The fire faded from the embers, taking the light of the room with it. The drying red streaks on the hammer and shield waited in the corner; it was the only color of red in the room.