“You should stay here,” Jamethera mutters to Mina.
“In Westguard?” The druid pins her with a glare. There is nothing icy about it–Mina is fierce, and restless. She flexes her fingers as if they had claws. “I’m ignoring my order’s commands to even be here right now. I will_be in the field, Jamethera. I will stay in the back for Jander’s sake, but I won’t stay here. I won’t hide.”
“Good thing I modified your armor, then.” Jam shook out the robe, shaking her head at the alterations she’d made. The beautiful lines of her work had been ruined–but, well. It was as protective as ever.
She helped Mina dress, loosening or tightening added ties as necessary to adjust the fit. At least the shoulders and gauntlets had been left alone. The boots she’d widened a little bit–that change also stuck in Jamethera’s craw, but she didn’t have time to make whole new ones. Later.
There would be a later.
“Just be careful. Your heart is already strained. Try to heal with most of your might but not all of it, okay?” Jamethera slid her hand across MIna’s belly one more time, giving the leather one final tweak.
“I will do what I have to do,” Mina said softly.
“At least you stay here.” Jamethera pointed at her elderly snow leopard. “I’m serious, Schneeflocke. You’re my favorite and I love you, but your fighting days are done.”
There was no point in scouting anymore. Where was the enemy? Everywhere, that’s where. Jamethera counted herself lucky that she had been able to fetch Omnom to join the fray. It was a time for murder and mayhem, and the Devilsaur was good at that.
Better in fact than Jamethera herself at the moment, who was hampered by a lack of higher ground. The clear shots she had were few and far between.
She did not notice the snow leopard the shadowed her. Schneeflocke was old, but she had not lost all of her skill. No few horde who may have flanked Jamethera and her wife Illy fell to those old claws.
Devilsaurs, Schneflocke thought with a snort, were stupid. Too stupid for this.
Jamethera found her high ground on the roof of the Inn. She was on the corner nearest the docks, one of many helping cover the civilians as they flee.
“I’m grateful that in the past decade you have found some restraint, my love!” She shouts down to Illyana, who is only almost overextending. The warrior just glances over her shoulder and offers a thumbs up.
The troll who had thought to take advantage of this distraction falls with an arrow in his throat.
Mina is also down below, but tucked up against the building. She catches villagers as they stumble, cradling them close. “Here, no. Let me help.” But she could only heal them just enough to get them back on their feet.
There were so many. Too many. Fatigue clawed at her, making every shot taken a fight in and of itself.
By the time fire forced Jamethera off the roof, Jander was already pulling Mina towards a portal.
Lor’danil was lost.
The entire group reconvined just outside the Temple of Elune.
“Here,” someone says, shoving a cup of water into Mina’s hand.
She blinks her eyes until the pale blue shape before her resolves into the familiar face of Unaara. “Ah–thank you, dear.” Her eyes slide closed as the shaman drifts to the others, handing them water as well. There was still much to be done but…they needed a moment. Just a moment.
Illyana cleaned and checked her sword. Jamethera sat on the ground at her feet, tending some shallow cuts on Omnom’s feet. She glanced up and flashed Rajisa a weak smile when the paladin placed a hand on the beast’s leg and healed him.
“You should save that for them,” Jam said, jerking her head towards the Temple.
“He deserves it, too.” Illy’s sister patted Omnom’s shoulder, but then strode towards the priestesses with a purpose. Mina heaved herself to her feet moments later, and joined them.
It was…frustrating, to heal. Today all Mina wanted to do was sink her teeth into the horde–literally–until the ground bogged with their blood. “How dare they?” she muttered, even as she leaned over one of the Worgen, to better close a slice across his chest. “Why route out civilians?”
Everyone just let her mutter. There were too many to tend to as it was–and mostly, they were just stabilizing the worst of folk before they could be transferred via portal. Maybe Unaara could–
The Tree shuddered, and everyone paused for a moment and exchanged glances. “What was-?” “I don’t know.”
“I smell smoke.” Jamethera stepped into the doorway.
“The wind carrying it over from…from Lor’danil, maybe?” One of the priestesses crinkled her nose as the smell hit her, too.
“No,” Jamethera said, slowly spinning on her heel to stare out across Darnassus. Another rumble made the sun dappled shadows dance. “…no. Houses burning smells different. This just smells like burning…” She gestured vaguely, trying to pin it down.
“Wood,” Mina whispered, stopping her work. “It’s just a green wood burning smell.”
“Right, there’s no undertones of…” Jamethera took a few more steps outside the Temple. “The Tree is on fire. They’ve set Teldrassil on fire!”
Jam and Illyana exchanged looks, then bolted away from the Temple. Everyone not a healer did similar, splitting off to start herding civilians towards the portals.
Jander was still wearily nursing his canteen nearby when the alarms began to raise. He looked terrible, having spent so much of the day right in the heart of the fray. Necessity called for spell after spell from him, for hours on end. Any part of him that wasn’t soaked in the dark crimson of someone else’s blood was thickly coated in soot and cinders. His gloves and sleeves had been completely burned away by the reckless amplification of his own fire spells, leaving blistered and puckered skin behind.
The spellcaster sprung up from where he was sitting and moved to assist the other mages in getting several Stormwind portals open. Despite the fatigue that wracked every muscle in his body, he squared up and strained to execute the spell. Reality gave way under his exhausted insistence, forcing open the arcane doorway that linked the two cities with a shortcut through tangible space. A keen observer would notice it flickering with instability at first, but the mage ultimately managed to steady it
“MINA!” He called out, even though his wife was no more than a few feet away from him. There was no need for him to finish the thought or try to give the command. The wild, pleading look in his eyes made it more than obvious that he wanted her to be one of the first to evacuate.
Mina glanced up, and there was a doubtlessly familiar tilt to her chin that usually meant she was about to dig her heels in. But evacuees began flowing in before she could openly state her intentions to linger.
“I’ll hold it off as long as I can,” Ambrosine said, planting her feet at the base of a bridge. The fire was already close, the heat oppressive. “I’m no frost mage but it’s better than nothing.” She was already cradling one arm awkwardly across her chest–the death knight’s physical abilities were pretty limited at the moment, and the mere act of running had nearly been too much. But by the Light, she could stand there and keep the bridge from going up…
Jamethera and Illyana only nodded and headed towards the nearest screams.
Mina wept as she worked. In essence she took up the same role she had done in Lor’danil–hastily patching up people as they stumbled or were dragged through.
And then Schneflocke strode in. Her fur was scorched in many places, and the snow leopard’s eyes were watering. But two children cling to her, guided through now choking smoke to the dubious safety the Temple was providing. One of them let go and stumbled towards the portals, but the other collapsed where he stood.
Schnee hesitated–then yowled, as Jamethera swept back into the Temple and bodily picked up and threw her old companion through the portal. “And fucking stay there!” It took everything she had to not fall over on the spot, after.
As evacuees poured through the series of portals, Jander dutifully stood beside his, ensuring it stayed open with ragged breaths. Curses were repeatedly murmured under his breath, and even as he kept waving more fleeing people though, his eyes kept getting drawn back to what Mina was doing.
“It’s lost,” Jamethera said, turning to stare at the conflagration. Staring, and waiting for–ah, there they were. Illyana stumbled through moments later, half-dragging Ambrosine behind her. A faint trail of frost still flared up in their wake. “Let’s go. Mina–”
But what Mina was doing was kneeling next to the boy who had collapsed. There was hardly an inch of visible skin that wasn’t starting to bubble up. The smart thing to do would be leave him there, especially since Teldrassil was now creaking and groaning alarmingly.
But Mina–tired, wildly emotional, and drowning in her own sense of futility–wasn’t budging.
“Mina,” Unaara began, taking a step closer. But the druid surged to her feet and weakly pushed the shaman away.
“No.” Mina panted. Honestly, she knew she was being stupid. Her vision was swimming, and her legs had cramped, and she also knew that everyone else, Jander included, was on their last legs.
But she had failed in so much else today, had so many patients die under her hands. And this…this child…
“You. Will. Not. DIE.” Her head dropped forward as she dredged up every last iota of magic she had left, and poured it into the whimpering form at her feet. And as the green light flowed over his flesh, the skin left behind was–well, not healed. The blisters faded and he was able to take his first deep breath since the ash scorched his lungs.
And Mina collapsed in a heap.
Jander’s eyes widened as he witnessed the last gasp of Mina’s energy. All of the air seemed to vanish from his lungs and he struggled to get any of it back. After everything they’d been through throughout the day, that moment felt like the world had stopped turning. He couldn’t even cry out in protest as he saw her figure begin to slump and fall.
Leaving his portal open, the mage abandoned his creation and instinctively blinked forward, sliding on the grassy floor in an attempt to catch the falling night elf. Though he succeeded, it was symbolic more than anything and his efforts did little to help break the fall for her. With a frantic urgency, he put his ear to her lips to check that she was at least still breathing, then strained to stand up and carry her with him.
Jamethera knelt and picked up the child, although she staggered getting back up.
After sharing a knowing nod with the huntress, Jander then turned to carry his wife through one of the portals to safety.