The older paladin parried another attack and stepped back, giving a bit more ground to the demons and fel-possessed in front of him.  He�d only survived this long because of the wall to one side of him and the cliff�s edge to the other, which was more than could be said for his soldiers.  They lay dead or dying around him, good men and women all of them.  The dead are probably the lucky ones.  His thoughts were grim as he bravely fought on, each heft of his sword straining his waning strength.  Better to die here than let them take me.  Better to keep fighting to give a chance for backup to arrive or the ones who�re dying to finish and join the Light.  He knew in his heart that the signal sent over their coms wouldn�t do any good.  They were too far from any camp for help to arrive in time.  Still, he fought on.

�Get down!�

A voice hissed from behind.  Before he had the chance to respond, something slammed into his back, knocking him to his knees.  That same force used his doubled-over body as a base for its launch towards the enemy.  He looked to see … nothing .  Suddenly, one of the Eredar shrieked, the sound cut off to a gurgling bubble as a great cat appeared from nowhere, its jaws locked around the demon�s throat.  Its body swung around in midair, simultaneously breaking the neck and tearing out the throat of the hapless male as it hit the ground.  A violent growl echoed along the rocks around them as the feline launched itself again.  This time, its outline rippled while airborne, become a massive bear as it crashed into a second demon.  Huge paws swiped at another demon, gutting the creature as it stood while the ursine�s heavy frame crushed the original target as evidenced by the sounds of bones shattering underneath its weight.  The paladin rose, taking a moment to catch his breath as he watched the scene unfold.  The demons attempted to regroup and made a fatal mistake � with their attention taken by the shifting druid, they�d turned their backs to him.  Gathering his remaining strength, he called upon the Light and charged back into battle, cutting down the Eredar closest to him.  The demon called out as she fell before him, reminding the few remaining of his presence.  As they scrambled to deal with an enemy to front and the rear, the druid, back in cat form, swiped at one, tearing through the hamstrings of its target to cripple it.  Sliding deftly out of the way of the falling demon, the druid moved to the paladin�s side, its body forcing him to the wall.  He felt … something building around him, something completely foreign, as he parried another blow.  The wind suddenly picked up, whipping around him to focus on the druid.  A violent gust formed in front of the cat, pushing the remaining demons over the edge of the cliff.  Light help him, but it felt good to hear their surprised yells and anguished screams as they tumbled to the rocks below.

Panting, the paladin knelt to the ground, supporting himself with his great sword as he struggled to regain his breath.  The druid, strangely, rubbed its great head against his leg just like the his wife’s back at home would do.  Uncertain, he reached over to stroke the feline�s mane, just now noticing it looked like … leaves.  It purred, causing the strange runes along its bark-like fur to glow a soft blue.  It backed up, turning like it was walking away, when it stopped and looked over its shoulder at him.  Air rippled around the cat, causing its shape to blur momentarily before it re-solidified into a female worgen.  She watched him with eyes that glowed a strange combination of feral yellow and bright blue.  The paladin watched her warily, not sure she was completely sane as those eyes bordered on the edge of insanity.

�Come.  Templars are waiting.�

He blinked.  �Templars?�

Her head tilted as if in confusion and her eyes shifted a bit more towards madness.  A soft whine escaped her throat as she shook her head and a clawed hand rose to swipe at her ear.  Realizing she might not be able to hear him clearly through his helmet, he rose and removed it before speaking again.  �Thank you for your help, ma�am, but I don�t know what you mean by �templars are waiting�.�

The worgen dropped to all fours, fear, confusion, and pain expressed equally across her features.  �Not him,� she whispered, shaking her head again.  When her eyes re-focused on him, what little bit of sanity they held had disappeared.  �Not him.�  Raising her head, she let out a nerve shattering howl of pain that ended in a scream of agony before she whipped around and tore off into the distance.

Shocked, the older man stared after her before sighing and turning back to his fallen comrades.  

A report of the incident is forwarded to the Templars with an attached letter addressed to Arialynn.

Ma�am,

I didn�t get the name of the druid who helped me but I assume you know who she is.  She seemed a bit troubled if you know what I mean, but she still saved me and my men.  If you could pass my thanks to her if or when you see her again, I�d greatly appreciate it.

Sincerely,

Sgt. Evan Blackston


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