Previous Journal Entry: https://trg.network/a-quiet-lunch/
It has been some time since Matthyas and Gorramn sat down for lunch. Days turned into weeks and just as quickly turned into months as they both continued to fight the Legion. Occasionally they found the time to send letters to keep in touch with their exploits and coordinate their efforts. They rarely spent time together when Argus decided to darken the skies of Azeroth. Matthyas found a renewed sense of purpose with his fight against the Legion when he met the Army of the Light and became an honorary member. To show his commitment, he was adorned with a new helmet with small, bright glowing wings. From his work, he felt a wonderful sense of belonging. With a new outlook on the war, an improved demeanor, and confidence that his friends and family will finally be avenged after all this time, Matthyas felt like he was at the pinnacle of realizing his power. His work with the Templars bolstered those feelings further. After years of wandering around, he finally felt like he had a home and this home was something he would protect with all of his power.
His adventures today took him to a desolate, barren place on the planet Argus known as Krokuun. The sky was mostly blotted out with thick clouds that highlighted a gloomy landscape devoid of life. There was no shortage of massive corridors filled with rocks, stones, stalagmites, and the hordes of Legion creatures occupying them. Matthyas reached one such corridor and began searching for one creature in particular. The Army of the Light sent him to slay a beast known as the Tar Spitter and he began his search in this corridor. He explored the eastern area of the land and found one corridor that branched into many and each one looked the same.
After several minutes of twists and turns as well as some backtracking when he reached dead ends. He soon found his quarry, a green and grey, wretched, and twisted looking creature. Its large eye fixated on the Paladin’s imposing blue, silver, and golden armor. Its mouth drooled at the sight of what looked like a potential meal and its broken teeth began to chatter. Matthyas drew out his enchanted blue glowing sword and a large matching shield readying for battle. He raised his sword, readied his shield and let out a bellowing warcry as he charged at the creature with nary a thought of hesitation. The creature used its long extended limbs to swipe at the Paladin, hitting the large shield each time with a bang that echoed through the narrow area. Each time the creature would strike the shield, Matthyas’s sword swiped at the creature, successfully cutting away a piece of it each time.
After a few tense rounds of repeating his defensive death-through-a-thousand-cuts tactic, the creature began to look more desperate as it started to lose its green blood from the wounds the paladin had inflicted upon it. The Tar Spitter formed a crude fist with both arms, swung them back, and in a ferocious charge, smashed the Paladin as hard as possible. Matthyas held his shield up to protect himself, but the force of the impact forced him to crouch down as he braced himself. After several seconds of reeling from the attack, he was able to use his shield to push the twisted creature back, causing it to stagger backwards, nearly losing its balance. The creature clinched its fists again, but Matthyas responded by jumping up as high as he could with his sword pointed at the creature’s throat. It was over in a flash as the sword sliced up its neck and foul fel-tainted green blood gushed and spurted out on the ground and the Paladin’s right shoulder guard. The creature stumbled as it let out a loud gurgling sound and fell upon the ground uttering a final dying breath as green blood oozed from its wound and flowed into a small pool of dirty water.
“Another victory for the Army of the Light! With every fel-corrupted creature slain, it’ll be that much easier to cleanse this world of the Legion and the scars they left on this planet! I should check back with Turalyon to see what other reports he has for me.”
A putrid smell suddenly filled the air and Matthyas felt himself go tense as the hairs on the back of his next stood suddenly. He recognized the warning of impending doom and ducked at the last split second to avoid a serrated blade. When he turned around he looked up and saw a Legion’s Wraithguard, staring at him. The imposing figure was tall, at least 9 or 10 feet. He had large muscles bursting out of every open area of skin. The creature’s armor was clad with a mixture of leather armor near the open areas of purple skin, and plate armor covered the larger parts of his chest, shoulders, and legs. He had a large, curved black sword with a crooked jagged edge.
He snarled at Matthyas, “Foolish golden insect! I’ll squish you hard for meddling with the Legion’s plans!”
The creature charged at Matthyas and the Paladin countered using his shield to block a flurry of attacks. He swiped at the Wraithguard, but it only chinked his armor as it landed on the harder plate pieces. The Paladin lunged forward with his shield in order to knock the Wraithguard off balance, but it didn’t work as the creature held his ground.
The Wraithguard looked down at the little human. “How you’ve slain some of our best soldiers, I’ll never know. But in the end you’ll all belong to the BURNING LEGION!” His booming voice echoed through the cavern as he used both hands on his sword to swing with such a force it knocked Matthyas’s shield out of his hand. His shield sailed across the bleak cavern, landing several feet away. Matthyas stumbled but was able to keep his balance and sword as the blue glow hummed with more intensity. He sweated profusely as he felt cooked under his helmet. He did what he could to keep standing, but exhaustion began to overtake him with this new foe taking advantage of his previous battle to press this surprise attack.
The Wraithguard prepared to charge the weakened Paladin when a shadowy figure approached behind him. The figure raised what looked like a large cleaver toward the Wraithguard, and aimed it at its leg. A loud crunching sound followed the attack with the Wraithguard screaming in pain as it lifted his foot to try to kick out whatever hit the exposed joint on his leg. His efforts were in vain as the shadowy figure launched itself up high and made a roaring screech as it attacked the creature’s face. Stunned, Matthyas watched in interest and horror at the ferocity of the dark figure’s attacks.
“Go for the area between the creature’s hips and legs and we’ll finish him!” A dark, echoing tone filled the air as the shadowy creature spoke out.
Matthyas shook off his stunned look and pointed his sword up toward the weakness in the armor the figure told him about. He almost slipped on the blood that stained the ground from earlier but he successfully lunged and plunged his sword deep into the opening. The hilt of his sword was snatched away by the Wraithguard’s enraged and painful twisting and screaming. The demon began to collapse as it made one last bellow before hitting the ground with a loud thud. Green blood gushed out profusely as it bled to death moments later.
The Paladin looked around for the shadowy figure but it was already gone. He shouted, “Who are you? Why did you help me?”
The figure’s distinct tone barely reached his ears, “A friend. I will watch over you from the shadows. You’re too important in this war to die.”
On the ground there was a thin piece of black clothing that didn’t match anything the Wraithguard had. Matthyas collected it, carefully placing it in an empty hexweave bag, He pulled his sword from the Wraithguard, picked up his shield from the ground, and raised his hands up high as he activated an emergency signal beacon. In a blinding light, Matthyas was teleported back to the Vindicaar. There, he reported what transpired to the High Commander Turaylon. He was told to wait until they have further news before deciding what to do next.
“I don’t think I can wait for them to find something out. I’ll need help. Perhaps she could help me, she’s a hunter after all.”
A few hours later, Matthyas approached riding his steed to the entrance of the hunter’s guild in Highmountain known as the Trueshot Lodge. He took off his helmet and placed it on his lap and reined in his steed which had golden flames around its hoofs and was armored with thick golden, silver barding.
A leather-cladded elven hunter approached the Paladin. He reached for his bow and readied an arrow before stating, “What is your purpose here? No one, besides hunters, are allowed inside!”
“I am here to see Shernis Windstalker. I’m a friend of hers. Is she here and available?”
“I can check. What’s your name?”
The elven guard didn’t even bother with a reply as he immediately turned his back and walked up through the gate to investigate the human’s claims. Matthyas always felt hunters weren’t the most social type of people, but their tracking skills were renowned and exactly what he needed.
Several minutes later, a night elven huntress appeared at the gate. She had a helmet strangely shaped almost like a hippogryph. Her long, dark-purple slender night elven ears poked out of it which rested below the helmet’s own metallic antlers. Her blue lips smiled as she beheld the sight of the Paladin before her. Matthyas dismounted from his horse and left his helmet on the saddle.
“Ishnu-alah. Matthyas. It’s good to see you!” She replied with a distinctive night-elven tone.
“Shernis, how have you been?’ He calmly replied.
“Thanks for asking! I’m good. I’ve finished learning the intricacies of Suramar tailoring and sold a few vestments to help fund the war effort. Have you been as busy on Argus as I have?”
“Indeed. The Legion continues their assault, but my faith in the light and in the Templars have never wavered since the Legion’s latest series of attacks and invasions began. I think it is only a matter of time before they are gone and we can finally know everlasting peace on Azeroth.”
Shernis chuckled lightly, “Always the dreamer. You’ve always been that way, even when I first met you in Darnassus all those years ago. That’s good, and it seems to serve you well.” Shernis smiles and bats her eyelashes, which for a night elf is anything but subtle. She then inquired, “I am surprised to see you since we went our separate ways years ago. What brings you here?’
“I had an encounter in Argus that confounds me.” He explained his battle with the Tar Spitter, the Wraithguard ambushing him, the figure that helped him, and the piece of black clothing he found that he presumed came from the creature assisting him.
Matthyas continued, “I have no idea who he is, but I want to know. In this war effort, we should be working together and not cryptically. Coordinated attacks and teamwork are quintessential to this war effort. If there’s more than meets to eye with this mysterious ally too, I want to know as well. I can’t assess if he is a potential ally or a potential spy unless I find him and figure out why he’s helping me.
Matthyas offered her the piece of cloth, extending his hand. As she grabbed the cloth, he unknowingly touched her hand for a few seconds. She politely pulled her hand back. “Hmm, I might be able to use this to help track them down. I will consult with the other hunters here and see if a scent can be collected and shared from it. I’ll send a eagle to you when we’ve found something. Also, I’ve heard these Templar you’re with and they intrigue me. We hunters can be lonely, but as you’ve pointed out, times are changing and we have to change with them. If I were to join their ranks, that wouldn’t make you… uncomfortable given our past?”
A nervous look appeared briefly on the Paladin but he shook it off as quickly as he could. “The past is the past. We should look toward the future if we’re to win this war against the Legion once and for all. The stakes are too high to do otherwise. If you wish to join the ranks of the Templars I’ll send word that I know you and you’re interested. Another ally and friend would be welcomed.
Shernis smiled and approached Matthyas, who felt somewhat sweaty and nervous and she got closer. She walked right next to him and gently kissed him on the cheek. “I’m happy to hear that, my friend. I will contact you when I have some news. Until we meet again. Enshu falah nah!”
Having turned as red as an apple, Matthyas bowed his head and rode off into the sunset with his steed, eager to know more about the mysterious figure.
Note: A special thanks to Zenmonic for once again taking the time out of his busy schedule to assist me with this.