Post by Neonhyper
The Striding is coming! The Striding is coming!
'Bout time, eh? I'm sorry, this chapter really came slowly to me, and because my brain lacked creativity after I wrote 'Shades of Grey', I kind of lost it when I typed up this one. I hope you enjoy it and the coming chapters just the same, though :)If you missed the last chapter... or the chapter before that... or the chapter before that...
The fourth day of fighting set over the Dragonblight. A blood drenched sun cast scarlet light over what little remained of pure white snow. Fading into morning, the silver moon thanked the new day. Night would finally be rid of the endless slaughter once more. Below, the forces of the Horde and the Alliance were dwindling on both sides, but neither seemed to have lost many more than the other.
On the third night a few commanders pulled back to their main bases to formulate a plan. Captain Greyhoof was among the handful to retreat to Agmar’s Hammer. He had sent out a group to wrench control of Wintergarde from the Alliance. They hadn’t returned, and he wanted to know what had become of them.
“I... I d-don’t know where they are! They haven’t reported back!” The troll stammered as Greyhoof barked for information on his agents.
“Useless!” He barked.
“He might not know anything, Greyhoof, but I sure do...” A chilling voice echoed from the air itself. The body it came from was matched up as an undead appeared to the side of the tauren commander.
Greyhoof shoved the unknowing troll off to the side as he turned to the Forsaken rogue, “I hope you have something to say to me.”
“Aye, I do, but you may not like it.” He grinned slyly, “We managed to get into the town, but were easily overpowered, they had more defenses than we expected. The other four you sent with me are dead, and Strider’s been captured. Fortunately, the fools think disarming her will keep her down and out of the fight.”
“They don’t know Strider then.” The tauren responded, “You, rogue, get me a competent mage from somewhere. Meet me in the keep...” Greyhoof then walked around the troll on the ground and headed towards Agmar’s fortress.
The Forsaken showed his rotting teeth to the troll on the ground in a cruel grin, before helping the poor guard to his feet, “Looks like we’re breaking Strider out.” He cackled, walking out to where the injured members of the Horde were in the town.
Eligor slammed his fist onto the desk, “You let the fifth assassin escape?” The paladin looked up at the footmen that had reported the bad news. Both men were shaking like the Captain had just told them they would have to march into Icecrown Citadel alone.
“Unfortunately...” One began, before the other interrupted, “He vanished right in front of our eyes!” The first man shoved the second, “He threw down a smoke bomb and blocked out vision!” “Then he shanked me!” “Hey! At least he didn’t cut you across the face!”
“SILENCE!” Captain Dawnbringer shouted, causing the two bickering soldiers to quiet down and wait for what Eligor had to say to them, “Now we have an escaped undead who should have been dead long before he managed to leave.”
The two soldiers gulped, and began shaking again under their superior’s harsh gaze, “W-we’re sorry sir! It was an accident sir!”
Eligor glared, “An accident that will cause us a mess of trouble in the future! The elf is still locked up, I do pray?”
“Yes... yes... yes she is... but... she’s getting restless and nobody wants to go down there...” One of the footmen stuttered.
“Weaklings! You all can’t even stand up to an elf without any weaponry!” Captain Dawnbringer set his palm against his face in annoyance, “Well then... Luther is still here isn’t he? He’s a loyal soldier; get him down to those cells. He may be injured, but I don’t think his leg is going to keep him from being able to watch a blood elf for a few hours.”
Both men looked at each other and then nodded at Eligor, “Sir, yes, sir!” They then proceeded to run out of the room, glad to get away from the commander for a while.
She had been stuck in the basement, trapped behind iron bars for a day and a half now. There hadn’t been any guards during the second half of that time period, but there was no way she could have escaped. Finally the Alliance had decided to send her a proper jailor, or what they thought was a proper jailor.
The man was the same one she had spared on the battlefield a few days ago. Unlike when she first saw him, he was limping as he walked. He took a seat in a chair across from her cell, and there was about an hour of silence before he even began talking to her.
When he asked for her name, she simply replied ‘Nasia’. It didn’t matter if he knew her actual name; nobody that fought with her used it. He called himself Skyblade. Luther, Skyblade. She pretended to care, but then there was silence for a while longer. Neither of them spoke.
Eventually Luther raised his head and looked at her, “Why did you let me live?”
“Let you live? You were about to cleave me in half out there!” She snapped.
More silence settled over the jail room as both parties took in what they had learned from the short outburst. They were quiet still, until Luther began talking more. Nasia noted that he was rambling, as if he didn’t really know what he was saying to her, but just wanted to talk. She wasn’t quite sure if he was annoyed by the silence, or he wanted her to get more comfortable with being locked up.
As time went on, he switched from meaningless babble to stories about his own life. He told Nasia of his daughter, of his wife, and his deepest pains. She would have ignored him, but for some reason she listened this time. Luther’s stories were a mess, sometimes he had to stop talking because he couldn’t bring himself to finish... but he eventually continued.
So she just leaned back, and listened.
The Forsaken assassin found himself another of his kind who practiced the arts of the arcane. He was smart enough to know that sending a blood elf mage to rescue Strider was most likely a death mission for the mage or for the person they were trying to break out to begin with. The rogue debriefed the other undead, who nodded in understanding about what he was to do.
As the assassin left, the mage began channeling arcane energies into a portal. With the Nexus and the Blue Dragonshrine so close, it was easy to bring the power together into a place of his own choosing. The basement of the barracks of Wintergarde is where he was supposed to find Strider.
He took one look around Agmar’s Hammer, before marveling at his twisted, circular, doorway. The gateway pulsated with pure magics, and within it he could see the distorted image of two figures within a room. With a grin, the Forsaken place his hands on the edges of the portal and stepped through.
Luther was still talking; he had moved his chair so that the back was against Nasia’s cell bars. The elf was still listening; she was pacing at the front of her prison. They were both getting tired, and Luther didn’t have much more to say about himself. He was disappointed that Nasia wasn’t sharing anything, but then again, he didn’t expect his prisoner to want to say anything to the jailer.
On the other hand, Nasia had gotten around to realizing that he was smitten by her.
Time passed, Luther had eventually stopped talking, to Nasia’s relief.
“Hey... I was wondering—“ He began, but on the opposite side of the room a shining silver, blue, and purple mass appeared. It shifted, contorted, and expanded into what seemed to be a disc shaped...
“Portal!” Luther cried, before he found an arm jerked around his mouth. Nasia had stuck her hand through the bars to shut the warrior up.
Out of the portal came a Forsaken mage, who bowed before Nasia, “Strider.”