Originally written September 17, 2012.
Theramore Isle on its day of reckoning was a sight to see, save the thick cover of fog that shrouded the isle, hindering ally and foe alike. Soldiers of the Horde rose from the foggy swamps in waves, breaking upon the isle fortress' walls with relentless blows. Like a phalanx, the Horde moved as one, with individual, tiny, insignificant, lifeless parts dropping from the whole as mortar and arrow rained down from the Alliance ramparts. Blood ran bright and thick in the swamps, then trickled out into sea in red rivers as the day's tide moved in then out of the bay.
It was carnage on both sides. The blue and white banners of Theramore stood stark and apart from the red banners and spilled blood of the Horde. But though stalwart, the Alliance could not stop the red tide. The red spread: it spread with every felled orc, tauren, troll, elf, and goblin; and spread with every fallen human, dwarf, gnome, elf, draenei, and worgen. Even as the walls were breached by the Horde then driven back, a wake of blood red remained, accompanied by rallying cries of captains and moans of wounded soldiers.
Among the chaos were soldiers dressed in white and gold. Their tabards began as white cloth embroidered in gold, then the fabric was dirtied and bloodied as the battle waged. The golden cross of a Templar stretched across their chests. They manned the walls, waged ship battles at sea, chased Horde through the marshes, sheltered civilians in their homes, and tended to the wounded. The cross-bearing soldiers swiftly navigated the battle, trained well and intimately familiar with the isle as if it were the back of their hand. To them, it was home, and for every swing of steel, cast spell, relayed order, the Templars of the Rose defended the isle with a ferocity not yet seen from them before.
Time passed. The red relentlessly spread, but its banner bearers finally retreated. As quickly as the Horde descended upon the isle, the mass disappeared into the surrounding mists. Still, red remained: fallen Horde soldiers armored in red lay where they fell and the blood of both sides stained stone, earth, and water alike.
Among the Alliance and its allies, the air remained tense. Civilians were evacuated, the wounded located and carried to makeshift infirmaries. Some soldiers in blue walked among the dead, sorting through the bodies where they abruptly fell and lifelessly lay.
Among the Templars, orders were relayed: see to the civilians, see to the wounded, eyes on the swamp, locate the Horde, reinforce, reinforce, reinforce the ramparts. The Rose guildstones crackled to life with voices relaying orders, asking for assistance, reporting Horde movement, expressing relief. The cacophony of voices was a comfort, a sign of survival of life for many of the Rose despite the battle Theramore endured.
The moment was short-lived. Suddenly, a cry, then multiple cries of shock and confusion. The voices were overridden by a sharp crack, then the guildstones in all Templar hands went silent. Across Azeroth, the Templar soldiers at faraway posts heard sudden and numerous cries of their fellow women and men, then silence.