Prelude to Part III:
(Written by Jarrick)
“Shields up, arrows!” Jarrick shouted over the roar of the marching outside the gate. Arrows rain down from somewhere unseen deep in the marsh, splintering wooden shafts and skewing steel tips down the face of their shields. “Again!” He roared as shields raised skyward protectively above them.
The sound of arrows soaring from the heavens and connecting with their shields was nearly deafening, like a heavy spring rain upon a tin roof. As the assault subsided, he looked around him to the group he led. All standing, all safe. These were impeccably trained soldiers, men and women that he had trained for years within the confines of Theramore. Some of the finest defenders Theramore has ever seen.
He would take one last gaze over port city before the battle would forever change this landscape. Amidst the strong lines that stretched the courtyard, he spotted Sigmar’s dull, yellow armor and keen obsidian blade. Nearly impossible to miss even from a distance. Though Sigmar’s attention was elsewhere, he gave a small nod to acknowledge his presence and formed a grin.
He spotted Sielic atop a wall nearby, his trained intently on the encroaching Horde. Another small nod of acknowledgement, just moments before the wall shattered and crumbled to the ground.
A gate was falling.
Another gate was falling.
“Men, on me!” His voice boomed across the wall, commanding his unit of soldiers hastily down the ramp and at a full sprint across the courtyard.
The gate before them spewed splintered wood as debris blasted the surrounding area. It was nearly impossible to see what odds marched through that gate amidst the chaos, but regardless of what was there, they were fighting. They had no choice, and there was nigh a moment to waste.
“Onward to victory! FOR THERAMORE!” He roared furiously, voice booming across the courtyard once more as he led his charge into the fray. The shadowed outline of the bloodthirsty Horde pushed through the gate as they rushed headlong to greet them. Steel to steel, leather and flesh. Chaos. Anger. Pain. Cries of anguish filled the gateway as both ally and enemy met their final fate.
He drove his blade deep into the solid chest of the large green warrior before him, warm thick blood gushing from the wound as he withdrew his steel. The orc would not fall so easily though, and he penetrated its sternum with a second blow to finish the job.
Beside him his warriors stood strong, never giving an inch even as their enemies pushed with incredible force. Though fear had flickered in some of his comrades eyes, it was only for a moment. That fear transformed to steadfast determination as the realization of what lay on the line struck their hearts. They would die if they didn’t give this fight their all, as would all that sought to protect.
The battle raged in the gateway for what seemed like an eternity, and the body count was beginning to show it.
His blade slash horizontally across the chest of another encroaching enemy, blood flowing like a river. Enough of a cut to weaken the foe beyond defense, and one last blow claimed him the victor. It was short lived though as the gateway into Theramore was barraged with flames, eventually forcing them to retreat into the courtyard. It was here he fought back to back with his fellow Templars, giving way to the valiant defensive they mustered to drive the forces of evil from their home.
He exchanged blows with what felt like hundreds of enemies, felling more than he could count and receiving countless blows to his own body. His rage fueled defensive dulled that pain though, and every connecting strike he dealt, every blow he received in return just fueled that rage more, turning him into the finely tuned weapon he had pushed to be his entire life.
This was his home.
This was his family.
This was his life.
Blood, sweat and dirt covered his face as he tore his shield straight through the skull of an approaching forsaken, a mess of splintered bone giving way to a decapitated body. His eyes rose to chaotic scene around him as he gritted his teeth with a look of grim determination behind his mess of sweat matted hair and dirt covered face. Though chaotic, one thing was very apparent.
They were winning.
He lunge towards a group of enemies held at bay by his very own comrades, fluidly falling in to fight as one well oiled machine.
– – – – –
When the battle finally ended, he found himself making his way towards what remained of the stables. A dull yellow set of armor rested heavily upon the weary shoulders of an older man which he had known for many years now. Though both visibly worn from the battle, they were able to find some light in their victory, even finding a laugh in Sigmar’s severe lack of ear.
Not many were lucky enough to walk away with such small injuries.. Not many were lucky enough to walk away at all.
He sheathed his blade and saddled his nearly-destroyed shield, finding himself beside Sielic and Sigmar near the wounded. The battle was over, but very little was said between the three. He let out a deep sigh of relief, his chest expanding and falling as the air left his lungs.
And then it happened.
It was all a blur from the reactions of those around him, but a portal opened before him that he knew he had to take. Sigmar and Rynarth had already gone through, and when he turned his gaze to Sielic, his eyes caught the shadow in the sky. It was quite apparent why that portal had opened. A zeppelin emerged from the massive fog that started to overtake Theramore, and the payload it carried was undeniable.
As the bomb let loose and begin to fall, Jarrick jumped through the portal while grabbing Sielic by the wrist, wrenching him full force through the portal as he went.
The warm, muggy marsh air of Theramore quickly evaporated into the cold winter sting of blustery winds and heavy snows.
Wherever Sielic had taken them, it certainly wasn’t the Kingdoms.