Officer’s Journal # 1392
One would think that the Horde would have taken heed to the lessons learned from the previous warchief, and not allowed the current one to repeat their mistakes. It is not so. With Garrosh, who obliterated Theramore and defiled the sacred lands of the Pandaren. Now it is Sylvanas, who has set the Night Elves homeland, Teldrassil on fire.
Her military was watched constantly as she shifted troops around and many theories were debated as to her strategy as well as her endgame. From the force buildup at Crossroads in the Barrens, it led us to decide that she were to move on Silithus in an attempt to secure the massive Azurite deposits therein. Apparently, we were wrong. Her forces moved north and assaulted Astranaar in Ashenvale; then on to Darkshore where they were temporarily stymied by Malfurion himself, the forces he could call on in short order. We rerouted the fleet sent to reinforce Silithus instead to Darkshore, with orders to make all haste. However, it would be too little, too late. Sustaining heavy losses, Malfurion with the assistance of some heroes of the Alliance managed to retreat to Lor’Danel and made preparations to begin another delaying action. It was then that I and Etsiyona Bearwalker arrived via a mage portal to provide assistance. My orders were to defer to Malfurion’s leadership as he would know the terrain and our allied forces intimately, however I had my doubts. When I broke the news to Elli however, she made her opinions very clear and plain in typical fashion. “This moron doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground you shit in. You should take charge, Ace.”
Once our lines were set and fortifications were being constructed, I looked at the forces arrayed with us and suggested a few changes once our reinforcements arrived. All seemed calm for the moment. The ‘wisp wall’ that Malfurion had summoned was doing it’s job to keep the numbers of invading Horde soldiers low, while the breaks in the terrain due to Deathwing’s rampage created multiple choke points and denied easy access to several venues. A few Awakened Ancients also lended their hand, or branch as it may be, to help. After one last walk, I informed Etsiyona that we should retire for the evening and be back at first light. She declined, citing that she wanted to ‘scout ahead,’ which meant she would be most likely doing solo attacks upon the invading Horde. The change in her attitude was to be expected, but I was unprepared to dealing with her in a half-feral state once we arrived. I had to speak to her forcefully in the manner of a superior officer berating a junior one for her to snap out of it. Etsiyona once referred it as being my ‘Grand Marshal’ voice.
Upon returning to Lor’Danel via portal at first light, I was immediately attacked by several Horde soldiers. After dispatching them, I took stock of the situation around me. A Night Elf Captain reported that the Horde had managed to go through Felwood and scale the granite walls that bordered it and Darkshore. Falling in on us behind our lines to the north, we were now pressed on both sides. I called to Etsiyona via the link that we shared, and Malfurion sounded a general retreat to the shores of Darnassus under Teldrassil. Shifting to her owl form, Etsiyona and I rode as escort to the few ships still left seaworthy. The Horde immediately set fire to the settlement, and the smoke could be seen for leagues away.
Once we landed, I evaluated our combat effectiveness. Out of the token force that Malfurion had managed to bring up, even less were ready for another battle. All of the Ancients were lost, along with the majority of the glaive throwers. We had few archers, and even fewer fighters. But behind us stood the entirety of the Night Elven homeland, with all the able-bodied and experienced sentinels that had known centuries if not more of conflict. Relieved smiles and comradely slaps were exchanged as we believed that now we were the ones in a position of strength. “Let them come, we will feather their bodies with arrows until they look like owlkin!” shouted on Night Elven archer as she tested her repaired bowstring.
Then the first shots from the Horde’s firepults struck. The flames spread quickly, generating thick smoke. Using buckets of water only seemed to increase the flames’ spreading rather than extinguishing them. After only a few moments, the whole of Darnassus was aflame. Some took refuge in the Temple of Elune, where the priestesses had managed to open and maintain a portal to Stormwind for people to escape to. Etsiyona and I stayed behind to search for more survivors and managed to rescue quite a few before the smoke and fumes became too much. We were assisted by a Gilnean native by the name of Aseyeri and his pet wyvern. The priestesses elected to stay behind until the end, maintaining the portal for anyone that would make it to the temple even as it was finally engulfed in flame.
Stepping through, the interior of the Mage Tower in Stormwind had been converted into a sort of urgent care facility where the ones that were in dire need of healing or binding were being seen to, and the rest to another section of Stormwind. Looking around at the Night Elves there, some still, others crying out in pain, and others simply standing or sitting staring at nothing; a feeling of tenseness flowed over me. My shoulders hunched as if I were about to attack, or be attacked. I could hear my teeth grinding and a low growl escaped my lips. Etsiyona looked at me in suprise at the growl, and said my eyes were glowing a bright white-yellow and my face had the expression that I was beyond anger. I didn’t realize how hard I was gripping my weapon until my fingers began to ache. All I could think of was how to deal justice and retribution to the Horde, and in specific, their Warchief.
Even now, as I write these words in my journal, I can still feel that … urge. To kill her, to kill all involved. I have felt like that once before in my life, and it was when Jylie and my first daughter died to scourge infection. Do I dare walk down that dark path once again? For it nearly cost me everything I now hold dear once, it may do so again.