Post by Morec0
(( Gilnean Moon (Part 3)
Three days passed after Crowley’s trial with not so much as a confirmed sighting of Northgate movement, let alone a ransom for Blaine. Krista and Ivan had become more and more distressed over their brother’s condition as these days past and had gone to Greymane once more with the request that a full company of soldiers be sent to locate the rebels and force them to surrender and release Blaine. Genn had agreed and sent out the soldiers, and that was the last they were heard of.
“There is no way the rebels are that
well armed,” Godfrey had said in a meeting with the king, Ashbury, Marley, Walden and Krennan also present. “My king, I’m afraid that we all know what was truly responsible for the disappearance of our soldiers.”
,” Genn said sternly. “There is no way that there are that many of them. It is just not possible.” All the same, what Godfrey was suggesting had gone through his mind many times before when this ordeal was just starting; the worgen, the man-beasts that he
had commissioned to be unleashed upon the undead threatening to break through the Greymane Wall by the mage Arugal. He had the best interests of Gilneas in mind when he made the decision, and with the wall protecting them it seemed impossible that the creatures themselves, little more than animals, would be able to penetrate it.
But the proof was overwhelming. Mysterious disappearances, ever-increasing sightings of hair-covered creatures wandering the forests, strange, wolf-like tracks found almost anywhere such prints could be recorded in the soil. He and the other high nobles had done their best to keep such information secret and try to contain the spread of the beasts, but now it seemed that doing so was impossible.
“Milord, I’m afraid that it is, and there is only one thing that can be done now,” Godfrey said. “We inform the army about what they are dealing with and send them to hunt down the beasts. All covert methods of containment we have tried have failed; it is time to go on the full offensive. With the rumors of Northgate rebels still out there it will be easy to pass our actions off as efforts to deal with them; the common people will never have to know.”
Genn looked at Royal Alchemist. “You have been given ample time to study the creatures, Krennan. Based on what you’ve found out, what do you suggest I have done?”
Krennan sighed. “The nature of the worgen is being driven by one of two things; feral instinct and the urge to spread the Curse. I’m afraid that Godfrey is right; if we try to keep the situation as quiet as we have been, if we try to stay on the defensive, their sheer numbers will overwhelm us and all will be lost. If we are to have a hope, your majesty, I believe offensive action is needed.”
Genn stood and walked to the window to look out of his manor over what of Gilneas he could see. It was another cold, rainy day, and if the harvest witches and warlocks were to be believed it would be such for many days. He sighed and shook his head. He thought; what would Archibald have done?
He would have had Gilneas fight for itself.
“So be it,” he said, turning back to face the others. “Lord Godfrey I will leave you in charge of organizing the troops in whatever manner you see fit. The rest of you are to make sure that none of this spreads to the people. Pandemonium is the last thing we need. What was said in this room remains in this room until further notice.”
“Of course, Lord Greymane,” Godfrey said with a bow. “If I may, I will take my leave.” Genn nodded and Godfrey left, the other Lords leaving in turn as Genn dismissed them.
“Milord, there is something else,” Krennan said once the last of the nobles was gone.
“What is it?” Greymane asked.
“I know that you were bitten last night.”
Genn’s face grew as pale as a sheet. How could he have found out? Had he told Godfrey or the others, or anyone else? He had been able to keep the Curse under some kind of control, but it had only been a few hours. Mia… Tess… Liam… What would they do if the others came back to keep the Curse from spreading?
“I… think I can help you, Milord. I’ve been trying to find a way to reverse the Curse ever since its effects were known and… I have developed something that I think will allow you to keep the infection in check.”
Genn nodded slowly. “Tell me more.”
Ivan stood at attention alongside the others in his regiment. In front of them Lord Godfrey sat on horseback, silent but clearly about to speak. Ivan and the others in his barracks had been going through their daily training exercises when their commanding officers had ordered every last one of them to gather for some sort of briefing. Ivan wondered if they were to be sent against the rebels holding his brother captive.
“I have convinced the king to share highly-classified information with you, the soldiers of Gilneas, and only
you,” Godfrey spoke, talking as loud as he could so that every last one of them could hear him. “Make no mistake; if there are the slightest hints that what I am about to tell you were leaked to others not present here, those responsible will be labeled traitors and hanged without trial.”
He paused to let the words sink in before continuing. “The king has allowed me to tell you this; the rumors of the “wolf-men” in the wilds of Gilneas, the spotting, the myths, they are all true.” A slight murmur went through the crowd even as Godfrey continued. “They are beasts called worgen; monsters and murderous, soulless animals, nothing more. However their numbers are great and they have the ability to transform our own people into beasts just like them.
“It is for their reason that you have been gathered here. These beasts have too long been able to roam free, and it is time for them to be put down before any more innocent lives are lost due to them. You are soldiers of Gilneas. You are the best, the elite, the greatest fighters in all of Azeroth. It is for this reason that you will succeed in exterminating each and every one of these beasts.”
He looked at the commanding officer in charge of the soldiers. “You are to take these men and women to the Headlands and hunt down the beasts,” he told the high-ranked soldiers. “Kill any you see and leave none alive, no matter what you must do.” The officer saluted and gave the marching orders to his soldiers, and the troops began to march westward. Godfrey urged his horse eastward towards the second major barracks. The troops there would deal with the worgen in the Blackwald while these dealt with the more active worgen.
Ivan’s mind was spinning with thoughts as he marched slightly of beat but not enough so that it disrupted the column. There were more of those things that he had killed? Whole armies
of them? And by the sound of things they took no prisoners.
Could it be that they were the ones that had attacked Blaine? But that would mean that he was… Light, he prayed that it was not so. He and Krista had already seen their mother and father buried, he did not want to bury his brother, especially in an empty tomb.
Krista bit her lower lip as she focused, twirling her finger in small circles to help direct the spell. After a few seconds she stopped the incantation and picked up her cup of tea to take a drink. It may have been, in all honesty, lazy of her to use magic for such a mundane task as stirring her drink, especially when she had servants to such things for her, but Krista had found that unless she practiced regularly, even in the smallest of ways, her hold on her arcane affinity would weaken.
She had left Dalaran when she turned sixteen, and Genn had begun construction of the Greymane wall five years later, forcing her to As such she had only been able to get so far in her studies at Dalaran, so she supposed that might be the cause for her handicap with magic – although she knew her real handicap lied with her inability to control elemental spells. She could not fathom why, but they always went out of control when she attempted to conjure one – be it flame, ice, or any other.
She thought about what she might have been able to do, though, about said handicap if she had been able to complete her tutelage in Dalaran. She could have stayed in the city instead of returning, of course, but her duty to Gilneas and making sure that her brothers did not get themselves killed was a higher priority to her. It was for this reason that she was both worried sick and furious about the most recent events.
She was furious because of King Greymane’s decision to let Crowley live. The bastard’s insurrection had put Ivan in harm’s way so many times - even now, as he was being sent to deal with rebels belived to be located in the Headlands - and his remaining minions had captured her little brother; the reason she was worried. If Crowley had simply been executed like the Justices had stated the hiding rebels would have surely surrendered immediately and released Blaine as well.
But there was nothing she or anyone could do, not even the king. Even if Greymane decided or was convinced to change his opinion about the matter the sentence had already been passed, and Gilnean law, even for terrorists, would prevent Crowley from being brought back to court to have a new, harsher, more-fitting sentence placed upon him.
She sighed and sipped her tea, looking over to see one of the household maids standing just inside the arched entrance to the dining room. “What is it?” she demanded, her voice not even revealing a hint of respect for the servant- appropriate, as Krista had none for the woman.
“Milady is there anything you require?” she asked, curtsying.
“No, and unless I call for you there will not be,” Krista replied rudely. “Be sure to tell the other servants that. Now be gone, but if you dare leave this estate or go back to the servant quarters to relax before your break I will see to it that you are thrown copperless into the streets.” The maid curtsied again and hurried away. Servants
, Krista shook her head in disgust. They were useful and efficient, but often Krista could not help but wonder if they even had brains in their thick skulls.
She sipped her tea as she chuckled at the thought. All the same, maybe a trip to Light's Dawn Cathedral to pray for the safe return of both Ivan and Blaine. She decided so and finished her tea, setting it down on the table for the servants to clean up and then heading to hail a carriage to reach Gilneas City.