Demons were closing in on all sides. The retreat had been called as nothing more than words shouted against the Horde�s horn blaring in the distance.

�FALL BACK!� The command had finally reached her position. �FALL BA-� A loud thump resonated in the area, shaking the ground as bone and skin popped. A demon, unlike anything Esreiella had witnessed, lifted a heavy hammer with the remains of an Alliance commander soaking the head.

The terror was real. For all her practice, all of her mention of being fearless and strong willed, and for every battle she had fought, nothing had struck her quite so much. It was cold to the pit of her stomach and cut so deeply. What little color had been her cheeks had faded. Her mind urged her legs to run, but they wobbled, weak like jelly.

She had arrived at the battle so strong. Demons had crumbled before her, turned on their own kind, and faced the absolute of banishment. Fel fire rained from her hands, washing over forces in blankets of punishment. Such a nerve had to be rewarded justly, and many felt the sting of her power; but there were too many.

Only so many had crossed the seas to storm the shores, but the armies of the Burning Legion seemed endless. No matter how many fell, devastation was at every turn from the smoldering bodies to the cries of anguish from the mortal wounds. Hands reached out for healing, for help, for some form of hope that they would not die on such blackened, godless soil.  There was none.

Those who could began to retreat or fought harder. The few that stayed bought time for others to fall back, but their efforts to push back the waves of demons were nil at best.

Panic clouded their heads. Esreiella gasped for breath as she forced her legs to move. On the ashen sand it was so difficult and she stumbled. She scrambled as armor, screams, and roars sent a confusing cacophony onto the field. A metal boot slammed into her back, another brought an odd pop out of her left hand, but a kind grasp clutched her under a pauldron.

Esreiella glanced to her savor. Merely a woman in Alliance armor shouting for Esreiella to get to her feet and tugging her by the pauldron. Never had anyone looked so angelic before, but what light that shone began to turn green. They both scurried with the retreat, trying in vain to move from the growing shadow of a fel flame cannon blast barreling down to the shore.

The crash was deafening and sent Esreiella and her savior sprawling. Burnt hair and skin sizzled and filled the air, but the woman had never let go of Esreiella�s pauldron.

The warlock as dazed, her limbs shaking, and the world was ringing. Ships in the sky were departing while ships on the sea were pushing away. She could hear the bells ringing as captains shouted for their crew and engines roared overhead, all of which was muted in her ears.

Not like this, Esreiella bargained with herself. As long as she was alive there was a chance, and there was so much she would fight to keep. Her body did not willingly cooperate at first as she began an awkward crawl away from her dead savior. A small prayer went to the Light for the woman dead on the shore before the warlock put her lips together. Her feeble attempts at a whistle ended in little more than air and sputtering.

Broken nails and scraped fingers plunged into wet sand as waves rolled towards her. A shrill sound pierced the din of devastation as she shoved herself up to her knees. An ethereal roar responded with the buffet of wings as skeletal claws reached for her body. She raised her arms high, offering herself to the safety of the frostbood�s talons.

Her arms fell like dead weight as white caps raced under her, but a smile worked its way to her lips. She had survived. That was all that mattered as the drake rushed for land. Her eyes shut as thoughts of previous days entertained her mind.

A sudden cry and shudder from the frostbrood jolted Esreiella awake. The blast of fel fire from an invasion force cannon sent the drake veering in a different direction. He made a hard turn and a dive to avoid the next. While the ringing was still present, she could hear Draxion�s distress clearly. Her limbs were still sluggish and tired, and the pains of the retreat had made themselves blatantly apparent.

Another flash of green illuminated her world before she turned to glance at the golden coast that had become their destination. Immediately she recognized it as Westfall, but the forces the Legion had brought in were vast. From her vantage point, nestled within the claws of the drake, she could see the demons littering the terrain. Some were small pinpricks, but others were massive, nearly as tall as their structures.

Heat and sulfur grazed close to the drake, bringing the travel over the waves to a sudden stop. A cry of surprise left both of them as talons faltered and the drake released his mistress. The bones of safety were replaced by air as she watched the drake spiral off in a separate direction.

The ocean was the next to catch her when she lost sight of the frostbrood. Warm waters enveloped her form and slowly she began to sink with arms raised towards the surface.

The sea is a jealous lover, Esreiella thought to herself as she watched the light of day slowly grow darker. I have taken one of her men. This is appropriate�

A brief flash of violet light pulsed under the waves. The need to draw breath became irrelevant and she thrust her arms downwards. Her legs kicked, albeit weakly, to propel herself to the surface.

But not today. She was absolute in that thought. The Legion had not yet claimed her and the sea would not take her either. There was too much to live for still and too much to fight for. For life, Azeroth, love, and those she called her allies. This would not be the end, and she was very firm on that idea as she broke to the surface of the waves.

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Author Esreiella
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