She sat up.  This was good.

There was grass under her legs and it tickled, and that fact surprised her.  Honestly, grass never tickled – it sometimes scratched and often crunched and usually there was armor and most of the time she never noticed.  It also tickled her butt, and that was … concerning.

She blinked.  Twice.  Looked down, and in the sudden realization that her armor was missing, she also realized that her horn was chipped, and it was the latter that caused greater concern.  Oh that is not good and not fair and oh I hope that grows back and now I will not be pretty anymore and at least they did not cut my hair.

The last drew a deep sigh of relief.

She stood, hooves crunching in dead grass, looking at the sky and the land and the maggot crawling under the dead tree nearby and sighed.  Plaguelands.  Of course it was the plaguelands.  

And then it struck her… her runeblade was missing.  This caused no moment of panic, the Draenei casting around herself quickly, reaching out to will the blade to her hand, and shivering when it did not come.  Her mild expression faded quickly, replaced with a sudden, angry snarl – she could feel the weapon. East and up.  Acherus – nothing else was up in such a notable way; it was the Gnome.  She knew it had to be the gnome, and she would kill him, and she would stick his head on a spear and throw it into the sun, and she would then blow up the rest of him and feed it to the Quartermaster and that would be the end of that.

Stomping, she headed that direction, hooves pounding into the dirt as she went in the direction of her runeblade, hands shaped into claws, and pale skin almost luminous against the tainted, orange vegitation around her.  

The first attack came within an hour, when a trio of feral ghouls decided the moving thing was probably tastier than no thing at all, and then she had some ragged clothing and a new set of claw marks on her shoulders and belly.   She felt crippled, without her runes – but she was still strong and fast and, honestly, it was not fair even if she was not what she should be.  The next attack was a pair of nightgaunt gargoyles, attracted by the scent of death and her motion – from these she ran, spatters of magically-charged acid boring holes in the ground on either side of her until she found shelter under an outcropping of rock where they feared to go.

She found a pretty stand of Arthas’s tears there, and picked a few while she was waiting.

When Lights’ Hope came into view, her steps faltered; she could still feel the ground beneath her, and how the Plague curled around the light beneath, hungry, testing, ever pushing – but never able to completely take over.  Crossing that threshold was as painful as it always was – a shock of something underneath her, pressing up at her hooves, grudgingly accepting her presence and yet anathemia to her.  It distracted her enough that she forgot to answer the challenge of the young Argent Dawn paladin guarding the path, and the smashing of the hammer was an utter surprise.

He lashed at her with his relatively rudamentary command of the Light, while she tried to get a word in edgewise, “Wai-

*FOOM*  “You will not pass!”

“But I –”  


“Please don’t it is –“

… when her hard-won clothing burned away in an ill-timed assault, she decided this had gone on long enough.  Ducking back from the next swing of his hammer, she swatted him in the helm and plucked the weapon out of his grip.  Her hand abruptly burning, she turned and flung the weapon away, watching with satisfaction as it tumbled end over end down the hill.

“That was NOT very nice and it was very painful and now I have nothing to wear and you are very irritating and you will stop and you will say you are sorry or I will kick you.”

She was definitely irritated.  She growled at him.  

He blinked at her.  His gaze went to her chest, and he flushed and looked away, stammering something.  

Once the sergeant-on-duty sorted things out, she certainly did not mind nearly as much.  SHe had a new robe that was only a little bit patched and not at all long enough, but that was fine because she certainly did not intend on wearing it long.

The Forsaken who managed the gryphons of Acherus kept at Light’s Hope for the convenience of the Knights that visited snickered at the sight of the tall draenei with the very irritated expression who stomped up and demanded the use of one of the undead animals.  She gave him a withering look, and he stopped.

Her runeblade calling, she rode up, into the sky, eyes firmly fixed on Acherus above.   


3 days later:

The undead gnome still hung from the western spire of Acherus, his undergarments not /quite/ torn through from where they held him aloft.

Still, he giggled, grinning at the landing platform below. “Worth it.  So totally worth it.”

Author Aunne
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