Thraeda coughed and rolled over. She tried blinking her eyes, but her vision was blurred, indistinct. She closed her eyes again, trying to focus instead on listening. Quiet footsteps, whispers, moans of pain, cries of lamentation and anguish. A room… made of stone? That didn’t make sense, given where she just was.

She blinked her eyes again and her vision slowly began to focus. At first things appeared as a blur of light grey stone and indistinct shapes, but as her vision cleared, she realized she was in some form of infirmary. She tried to get up, but was met with a vicious pain in her midsection, as well as a tingling, almost numb pain along her arms and face. Slowly she managed to sit upright.

A Lightforged Draenei moved to her bedside quickly, muttering, “Thank the Light… we had thought that we would lose you, warrior.”

Thraeda shook her head, “I’m harder ta’ kill than tha’… wot happened?” She asked, still a bit confused. She looked over herself assessing her situation.

The Lightforged Draenei healer confirmed her own assessment, “You were in Teldrassil as the Horde commenced their bombardment… I do not know much else, but you were brought here with many burns, deep cuts, bruises, broken bones… the list goes on. I would say I am surprised that you survived such a beating, and the burning of the city, but you Dwarves seem a resilient people.”

The Draenei’s words seemed to help her lock her recent memories back in place. She remembered the bombardment and seeing the massive tree on fire. She remembered using her shield like a makeshift battering ram to smash through blocked doorways to free the trapped civilians inside. She remembered the screaming, the terror, and worst of all, the smoke. It stung her eyes, made it hard to see, and even harder to breathe. She remembered blacking out, but that was it. Between then and now was missing.

“So they did it, they bloody did it…” was all Thraeda could say. For a moment, it felt like her mind and spirit were stuck in a whirlwind of conflicting emotions and thoughts. At once she was furious beyond reason, as she had been before when she had given up on the Light and sought her own death for her failures, but she was also filled with deep sorrow for those innocents she couldn’t save. Her mind and soul cried out at once for salvation and for vengeance, and for a period of what felt like days, she merely sat there and tried to sort it all out in her head.

“Excuse me, what do you think you are doing?” The Lightforged healer spoke again, interrupting her thoughts.

Thraeda turned her head to the woman, as if a bit confused, until she realized that she was strapping her burnt, shattered armor back on over her already bandaged and broken form, and grasping her hammer and shield. Something in her told her this was what needed to happen, and she felt the calm surety of the Light bolster her strength. Despite the pain, she continued to gear up, even if her equipment was badly damaged.

“I’m going back there ta’ bring justice ta’ the bastards wot did this. An’ by th’ Light itself, I will see it done.” Thraeda spoke, her voice sure and true, her brow set and her jaw tight.

The Lightforged Draenei just sighed, “I would try to stop you, but I lost count of how many soldiers I have treated who said almost the same thing and marched off anyway. Light bless you, Paladin, and Light watch over you. Come back in one piece, I am sure the Alliance will need all the soldiers it can find in the battles to come.”

Thraeda just grinned and nodded her thanks to the Lightforged Draenei, then set off for the nearest boat to Darkshore.

(( Been a long time since I’ve written anything like this, so forgive me for shaking the rust off! ))

Author Thraeda
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