Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Burning Crusade: A Gnome's Tale

(A Gnome's Tale is an ongoing player fiction story, following the ingame exploits of Cyndre and Abryn. The complete story to date can be found here. Enjoy!)

Shadows flickered and danced upon the walls of the quaint Inn room, as a stiff yet otherworldly breeze swirled the Hearth flames about. The Inn at Honor Hold was a small establishment, never intended to accommodate the vast numbers of adventurers who had sought its refuge. Rooms had been booked, but the lovely Night Elf had ephemeral charm that few men could resist, and the Innkeeper had been convinced to make arrangements for the odd pair.

Cyndre stared into the flames lost in thought. The first few weeks in these lands had been hectic indeed. Militiae Templi had arrived with much fan-fare as they had served aside many of these fine soldiers in the battles for Silithus and against the forces of the Lich King. Many of their company were Exalted with the Cenarion and Ardent Dawn factions, and thus their reputations preceded them and they had been welcomed with open arms to the front.

Feasts were boisterous yet short lived, as the fel orc and demonic forces pushed hard upon the beleaguered armies of Azeroth. Parties of Militiae forces had been dispatched quickly to weaken the enemy, gather resources and destroying key elements of the orc offensive. They had seen great success, and Honor Hold was spared from the onslaught, as the orcs regrouped and gathered in their dire stronghold at Hellfire Citadel.

Startled from his reprieve, Cyndre turned to face his beautiful companion as she entered the small room. Abryn's blue glimmering robes had run crimson with the blood of countless soldiers, and the constant flow of casualties into Honor Hold had left her with too many stains and too little sleep. The Priestess was skilled in the healing arts, but she was growing weary of the constant need of healing and too few healers to assist the wounded. For every one she saved, two could not be, and the sadness in her eyes mirrored a heavy heart.

"I was told you had been assigned the mission," the Elf maiden whispered.

"Yes," responded the somber Warlock. Cyndre knew she would not be pleased to stay behind, but the need in Honor Hold infirmary was too great. Abryn's healing prayer's had saved the Gnome more times than he could count, and he knew that she feared the worst, were she unable to travel with his party.

"A dragon is terrorizing our forward shock troops, and the infantry can not progress up the Path of Glory, with it flying overhead. We must dispatch the beast and return with it's head to display upon the bastion of Honor Hold, and strike a blow against the enemies moral," continued Cyndre. "The company is stretched thin on these many fronts, and I have the talents to Weaken the Ramparts of Hellfire Citadel. I must go."

With that, Cyndre gathered his gear, blew a kiss to his beloved and headed out. His companions were waiting for him on the road.

The ride was short and quiet as the companions steeled their minds to the horrors they would face in the terrible orc stronghold. Elyane the Mage meditated, collecting her thoughts and preparing her spell components for the coming battle. Nommos the Paladin whispered prayers of thanks to his gods, and Blessed the adventurers to aid them in their quest. Nefasu the Druid gazed into the maw of the Citadel, a Feral gleam reflecting deep in his Elven eyes, and lurking in the shadows, the devilish Sendrak, leader of the Militiae Warlocks rasped curses while clutching a stolen Soul in his bony grip.

Cyndre was pleased. A fine group this was, of the highest caliber. They were sure to prevail and the glory and Experience would hone his mind and body and prepare him for what lay ahead in this war torn land.

The companions made quick work of the outer defenses upon the Ramparts. Nefasu called upon the great spirits of nature and assumed the Bearform, Mauling his victims and holding their enemies on the defensive while the companions assailed them with spells of great power. Sendrak and Cyndre commanded their demonic allies to hold the gathered forces of the orc legion at bay, while Elyane Sheeped and froze them in place.

Reaching the perch of the fel beast, the companions gathered their strength for one final battle. The beast's deadly breath scorched the fur of Nefasu, but Nommos held his wound at bay, while the casters hurled Bolts of Shadow and Frost into the beast's scaly hide. As the creature expired it hissed a curse upon them, foretelling of their deaths at Matheridon's hands. They shuddered at the prospects, but cheered their victories!

After claiming the beast's treasures and its head, the companions began the journey back to Honor Hold, marching proudly to the tune of the infantry forces cheers that lined the paths to the outpost. Their Reputation with these people was growing... their power was growing by the day... they could sense the future held great adventures and powerful treasures, and they were glad.

Cyndre looked at the pride in his companions eyes, and smiled... they carried the manner of heroes, and the Militiae Templi were heroes indeed.

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