I’m skipping around a bit this week for Wrathgate Wednesday. Today’s post is going to feature Bricu and Uthas. In the actual thread, there are a few tense moments between these posts; however, in the area of the short attention span, I thought that this small change up would be a good idea.
Bricu has known Uthas since they were both orphans in Lordaeron. Bricu got Uthas a real job, which led to Uthas meeting his wife, and helped him join the Northshire Abbey just before the entire Third War went to shit. Uthas, in short, decided that the best way to fight Arthas was to create an army of undead and march on the Frozen Throne. He went batshit crazy.
Then he got better.
Northrend might just be Uthas’ salvation. The Wrathgate event was set up to reintroduce Uthas to our RP circle. There was, of course a catch. Northmen can hold grudges that last for generations, and Bricu has called “dibs” on Uthas.
The Vrykuls’ war horns echoed through the valley. They were deafening even at the reseve lines. Bricu put the gnomish glass to his eye and looked down at the battle.
Bugger me. Bricu thought, We’re gonna feel this wave… He threw his cigarette to the ground, then barked an order.
“Oi! Time t’earn our pay!” Bricu straightened his back as he shouted over the sound of battle.
“Isi, Larra , lock them fuckin’ bolts down an’ heave ta them blue balled bastards!” he barked.
“Ulth! Belt! Support the line. Clean fuckin’ head shots on the fuckers on the Bull’s left flank!”
There was banter–typical witty Rider banter and bets–Bricu called out another order:
“Fuckin’ stow yer shite-talk an’FIRE!”
A volley of arrows, bullets and ballistae bolts followed.
“Reload an’ Fire! I want ta see holes in Arthas’ children’s fuckin’ skulls!”
Bricu turned his eyes behind the ballistae. Threnn was sorting through more bandages. Her shield was already out, covering the baby that was due to be born in a matter of weeks. Behind her, three magi prepared a torrent of spells–arcane, fire and ice–to smash through Arthas’ army. Threnn, Stonemantle, Darrows and Crownsilver held his attention for a matter of moments.
A roar to the east, coming from the line, pulled his attention back to the fight. “Ulth, Belt, Scatter. Harry the fuckin’ lines an’ take clean shots! Move! Isi, Lanna, aim the quarrels for the chests, just ‘bove our folks’ heads. Fire at will.”
Isi fired a shot that sheared off the shoulder of a Vyrkul at the front lines. Through the gnomish glass, Bricu watched as the bolt tore through metal, flesh, muscle and bone, and continued onto the saronite walls of the Wrathgate itself. Another quarrel slammed off the wall seconds behind. It carried a still living Vrkul with it. At her Ballistae, Ilarra giggled.
“OI. Brilliant!” Bricu shouted. He kept his eyes to the battle in the valley itself. From this distance, all Bricu could see were the banners of the companies and platoons leading the charge against the Bloody Prince. Most were variations on the Seventh Legion. The banner that caught Bricu’s attention, leading the charge toward a Vrykul rune caster and her bodyguard, was a banner more familiar to him than any of the Seventh Legion’s platoons. It was The Eye. Uthas’ Army.
Bricu watched as seven of Uthas’ warriors, all on horse-back, charged the position of the Runecaster. Bricu, and the rest of Ballistate team, had a clear view of the Eye’s battlefield. From their, he could imagine the details: Uthas would shout out orders, Charge, Dismount, Parry!
“Larra, Isi. Aim this fuckin’ Ballistate ten degree’s north, bring it down fifteen degrees. NOW”
Armed with the gnomish glass, Bricu watched as Uthas’s soliders dismounted–almost in unison–and brought their weapons up to parry the downward swing of the Vrykuls massive axes. Only one of the Eye was too slow to block an axe. Bricu saw it fall to the frozen ground. Another of the Eye parried the killing blow, giving the one on the ground enough time to roll away. The Vrykul’s axes spun and whirled by Uthas’ soliders. The ferocity was mesmerizing to watch. They swung their axes with all of their might, howling for blood. Some even twirled their double-bladed axes over the heads–a tactic that scared off so many of the initial soliders of the Alliance. Their weapons sang through the air and their battle cry was clear over the din of battle.
The Eye did not falter. Bricu watched as Uthas’ soldiers followed through like the trained, hardened fighters he feared they would be. They parried the Vrukul’s powerful attacks, rushed in under their guard and knocked the Vrykul to their knees. On their backs, each one of the Runecasters’ body guard was dispatched with cold efficiency.
When this fight ends, that one’ll begin. He’ll get more folk ta follow ‘im. He’ll want ta talk t’me ’bout it all…
Bricu glanced back to Threnn–she was looking past him, towards the line held by the Riders.
He’ll want ta see our wee one.
Her body guards dispatched, one of The Eye used its fell power to pull her towards them. She cast her runes, calling upon her own magic to shield her from their attacks. The Eye was patient. They blocked her escape and waited for her magic to end.
“Yeh got the targets?” Bricu asked calmly.
“Aye, ‘e git ‘im, but…” Isi spoke
The bolt sailed straight and true…
The frontlines wavered for a tense few minutes when the Black Gate spewed forth its vrykul. Where men quailed, a few dark riders moved in to bring their icy death to the giant warriors, until the men and women returned. Still, there were few of them, and they caused nearly as much fear to those under the Alliance banners as the great slavering undead. And then Fordragon came forth and showed those under the banner of the Eye what they had lost. He brought with him the Light, and the Allied banners surged forward again.
Uthas surveyed the lines, using the speed of his small unit to advantage. They were used to moving in this freezing Hell – the cold and ice slowed them no more than a passing breeze might slow a bull in anger. Only to the thickest of the fighting did they ride. Amidst the shouts and screams and roars of battle, they moved silent, guided by the raised and lowered hand of their leader. Each time they smashed into the enemy, driving them back not with skill of arms or ferocity, but with the simple inevitability of death come to earth. Each time they fought until the lines rallied and pressed forth, absorbing them again, when they would return to their mounts and find their next challenge – though they would not find what they truly sought on this battlefield. That had been lost to them.
When the Runecaster and her guardians came for them, they were ready. The shouting terror tactics of the bearded dead raiders could not chill blood that was already frozen, and without their fear, the vrykul were nothing. Uthas watched them fall one by one, seeing the face of the Runecaster twist into an expression alien to its features. The bold of the great North, the ancestors of man were not meant to be afraid. But this was the end of the world, and the Eye was something new that had not come before, and so fear crept into the hearts of the vrykul and made its insidious home. One of the dark knights raised a gauntleted hand and beckoned the Runecaster. The gesture was almost sweet, a simple flex of the fingers, open palm facing the sky – as if the knight longed for the life still lingering within the tall witch. The power of the North responded to the desire, and drew the witch to the knights of death. Uthas watched as she shouted a few words in her harsh tongue and a great shimmering red shield flexed into being around her. The Eye encircled her and planted their weapons, waiting patiently for the shield to drop.
The rock flew through the air and clunked off the fence post. The dented tankard atop the post rocked a bit, but settled back into place. “Bloody ‘ell!” Bricu swore and kicked at Uthas, who nimbly danced out of the way, laughing all the while. “‘s t’ree ye owe me now, Bri!” The taller boy sighed and picked up another rock. He wound back and hurled it at the metal cup, and both boys watched it sail toward the post, where it missed by a good four feet.
Uthas cackled and fell onto his back, slapping the ground. “Four! Four good meals ye owe me now! Yer tha worst chucker in the t’ree counties Bri! Ye keep up like ‘is ‘n I’ll be eatin’ fer free ’til we’re ol’ men!” Bricu turned and kicked some dirt onto the younger boy. “Yar, yar, laugh all ye want, pipsqueak. I kin still clock ye ‘ard ’nuff ta make ye ‘n orphan all o’er ‘gain.” The redhaired lad bent and picked up another rock, tossing it at the tankard again. He watched as it missed, and scratched at the new fuzz on his chin to conceal his smile. “Argh. Tha’s five meals I owe ye.”
The crimson bubble shattered into thousands of pieces as the ballastae bolt tore through it. The bolt drove sliced through the neck of the Runecaster, tearing it off cleanly with its passing. The body stayed on its feet for a few moments, still gesturing, before realizing that it was dead and collapsing. Without pause, the seven knights of the Eye mounted again and turned as one. As they rode back toward the Alliance lines, Uthas turned his head to the hill where the bolt had originated. Atop the crest of ice and snow, he could see the gleam of plate and bright swish of red hair, prematurely stained with grey. The distance was too far to distinguish features, but life sometimes makes such details unnecessary. Uthas turned his head back toward the fight and again raised his hand, gesturing at a band of five vrykul chieftans preparing to charge a gap in the line. As the Eye began to move again, inside his helmet the Lord of the Unblinking Eye smiled. “Six.”