Previously:

In the Shadow of the Mountain

——————–

Jarrick burst through the portal, his blade immediately finding purchase in the back of a demonic infiltrator.  “An.. ach.. kyree..” it gurgled as the blade tore through its chest and it dropped to the ground.

Grace was second to emerge, her blades crossing silently through the neck of another demon, its headless body collapsing at her feet as fel blood squirted like a geyser from its stump.

Both of them had come from battling the Legion in Kharanos on the other side of the portal before word had reached their ears that Stormwind was under attack.

“Get to the Keep and find the rest of your agents.” Jarrick commanded.  “I will handle the Cathedral.”

Grace fidgeted, looking at Jarrick hesitantly before giving him a nod.  “We’ll return.  Be safe, Marshal.”

Without another word he raised his shield and rushed past the terrified citizens that ran the opposite way, diving headlong into the demonic forces that poured from the Cathedral.

——————–

“Marshal!”  A gruff voice shouted from behind him.

Jarrick deflected the blow from one of the smaller Fel Guards before twisting his blade in its gut.  Fel blood seeped from the wound and the demon grunted, raising its axe high to take another swing at the Marshal.  As the axe fell, Jarrick tore his blade clean through the right side of the demons abdomen, its entrails spilling out onto the Cathedral steps and effectively halting the offense.

He twirled his blade to clean it of the fel blood and looked over his shoulder.  Somehow, Granis and a couple of his warriors had managed to utilize the dying portal before it had dissipated.  A welcome sight.

“Cannae let ye’ have all th’ fun, can we?” The dwarf grinned.

Jarrick’s expression softened ever so slightly as he nodded back to the dwarf.  “Join in old friend, there are plenty of demons for all of us.”

Granis hollered like a kid in a candy shop, wasting no time getting to work as he fell in step with Jarrick, his two dwarven apprentices Garrett and Hansgard following in his stead.

“Where in tha’ nine ‘ells is the rest o’ tha’ guard?!”  Granis shouted as he drove his axe through the knee of a demon.

Jarrick parried the incoming blow and delivered the coup de gr�ce.  “I can only imagine that the Keep is under attack and that they have fallen in to protect the King.”  He turned and drove his shield squarely into the face of another approaching enemy.

Granis simply grunted as he drove his axe into the skull of another attacker.

As they approached the landing atop the Cathedral steps the terrified screams of those within grew louder.  From outside, it was impossible to tell how many demons resided within the Cathedral, but innocent lives were at stake within the Cathedral walls and Jarrick would stop at nothing to see them safe.

The four of them pushed the demons to the outside of the landing as defenders from elsewhere in the square rushed inside.

“‘Scuse me gentlemen!” A gnome squeaked as she rushed by.

“Wait!  Wait!  You can’t just go in there Beep, you’re too little!” Another voice rang out behind him.

They had bought enough time for some of the defenders to enter unscathed.  Now it was time to finish the job.

“Your flank, Swiftaxe!” He shouted over the commotion.

Granis turned and with a mighty heave he lodged his axe in the abdomen of an Eredar.  Garrett followed up on the rear and buried his axe deep in the Eredar’s back.

“A-rul shach kigon!” it roared in agony.

Granis and Garrett had effectively buried their weapons so deep within the demon that they could not wrench them free.  The Eredar cackled maniacally at their misfortune and began to cast an incantation that caused the entire district to darken.

Jarrick saw his opportunity and brought his shield about with such force that a sickening crack echoed through the square, breaking the Eredar’s jaw and halting the incantation.  Somehow, raw fel energy continued to surge around the demon and the darkness persisted.

It was only when Hansgard, the last of the dwarven warriors, rushed the Eredar by leaping from the stairs and burying his axe in the skull of the demon, that the incantation would cease.

The unfortunate truth was that the demon had accumulated such an incredible amount of power in such a short period of time and the resulting blast of fel energy directed at Hansgard was so terrible that when it struck the dwarf, his body began to disintegrate immediately. Hansgard would not see his ultimate sacrifice in vain, however, and against all odds, his axe connected.

As the demon dropped to the ground, so too did Hansgard.

“HANSGARD!  NOOOOOOOOO!”  Granis ripped his axe from the abdomen of the demon and rushed to Hansgard’s side.

By the time Granis had reached him, Hansgard’s body had already disinegrated beyond recognition.

“Hansgard.. Ye’ damned fool..”

Granis slammed his fist against the hard concrete.

“Hansgard.. Hansgard.. why..”

Jarrick knelt down next to Granis and placed a plated hand upon his shoulder.

“We will not see Hansgard’s sacrifice end in vain, old friend.”

Granis gritted his teeth, a single tear rolling down his cheek.

“Ye’ bet yer’ arse we’ll avenge ‘im.. I’ll kill EVERY LAST DEMON that rained their sorry arses down on Azeroth if I’ve gotta.  I’ll swear me life on it!”

He nodded solemnly.  “Then let us start here. Today.”

Granis exhaled deeply and grabbed his axe, wiping the single tear from his face and turning to face the Cathedral door.

“As ye’ said.. Marshal.. Let’s go an’ finish this.”

——————–

The inside of the Cathedral was pure chaos.

Defenders had barricaded the room to the right of the entrance and made their final stand.  He counted twelve demons in total, as well as a few very fierce defenders holding the barricade against the demons within.

“Granis, Garrett, spread out and assist those that are currently fighting.  We will clear the Cathedral and find where these demons are coming in.”

Granis nodded, motioning for Garrett to follow in his stead.  “Kill a whole lot’a these bastards, Marshal.  They deserve nothin’ less.”

He nodded, sweeping left while the two dwarves took the right.

——————–

They made quick work of the demons within the Cathedral.  The strongest of the demons had been dealt with in the Cathedral Square and cleaning up inside of the Cathedral had become more of a courtesy than anything.

Granis and Garrett had congregated by the barricade to aid the wounded.  As he approached, Granis gave him a solemn nod.

“We gave ’em an’ old what-for there, din’t we?” Granis said gruffly, an underlying hint of sadness in his voice.

He nodded to the dwarf, his eyes sympathetic to his plight.  “Aye, that we did, old friend.  Hansgard would have been proud.”

Granis exhaled and shook his head.  “Damnit, Hansgard.. Why’d ye’ have ta’ go an’ be a hero..” He began to trail off as he knelt down and absentmindedly began to bind the wound of another defender.

“There is still the matter of the demonic portal within the Cathedral.”  Jarrick said, bringing Granis back to reality.  “Stay here with Garrett and look after the wounded and the civilians.  I will head to the catacombs to see if I can locate the portal.  When I find it, I will call for you.”

Granis turned, resting his forearm on his knee and looking up at Jarrick.  “Alright then, Marshal.. Ye’ just dun’ go bein’ a hero like ol’ Hansgard, ye’ hear?”  He shook his head as he spoke.

“You have my word, Swiftaxe.”

The dwarf nodded and turned back to the wounded defender.  “We’ll see ye’ soon, Marshal.”

——————–

Continued: A Light in the Dark (Part II)

Author Jarrick
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