For roughly one year, we’ve been posting the collective stories of the Wildfire Riders from the Wrathgate Cinematic. It took the guild well over six months–closer to a year–to get this together. There were a number of place-holder posts on our thread, as Real Life slowly took its toll. By the time we reached the end, most of us had moved on to new RP. We managed to corral folks to finish up a few of their posts; however, most of the stories were finished up during RP Nights on Feathermoon. Heck, I even posted that I’d get back to editing this story….only to be pulled away for other RP.
These are minor failings. The fic we wrote up as a guild and shared with each other is brilliant. As a guild, we were able to share an event together, an event we all did on our own time. We’ll dissect Wrathgate later….but for now, let me share with you the last of the Original Fiction from Wrathgate.
Bricu, Illithias, Varenna, Threnn, Fingold, Annalea
She didn’t stay still for long. After a few moments of relative silence once Bricu had walked away, Illithias resumed her struggling against her bonds. The Northman had used a lot of bandage, and cinched it all tight – there was precious little give, and the fabric was already freezing over from the soaked thaw. Varenna still kneeled on her back. Bound and pinned and twisting this way and that, the elf resembled an fish thrashing away on dry land.
“Sun… ! Gah… ! Var… ! Varenna!” she barked, voice horse and strained from the angle.
From her vantange astride Illithias’ torso, Varenna Sungale turned her head slight and looked down at Illi, addressing the filthy, bloody hair plastered wo her scalp and scarred ears.
“Miss Illithias. Please do try to be still. If you don’t calm down, I’ll knock you out and tell Sergeant Bittertongue you somehow got free.”
Flopping heavily back into the slush and ice, Illithias let out a long, croaking sigh. She had stopped struggling.
With Illithias dealt with, Bricu walked back to Threnn. She was flanked by Annalea and Fingold. They were deep in converation, but Bricu managed to catch Threnn’s last words.
“We have to see it.” Threnn said to him.
“See what?” Bricu asked.
“The battlefield.” Threnn said. “We…I want to see what happened.”
“Threnny…” Bricu stopped himself. He knew the look. Threnn was set to go to the valley, regardless of what he said or did. From the looks of it, Annalea and Fingold would follow.
“Right. Then we go back. Threnn, stay behind me, Annie, behind her. Fin, anchor the rear.”
Two northmen and two southron women descended the rough cut path to the valley of Angrathar. In the distance, they could see Dragon Queen Alexstrasza and her consort Korialstrasz holding court in the ruined valley. The began walking calmly, orderly, like soldiers. It was the smell of the fire and cooking soliders that shattered Bricu’s resolve. Anthragar became Stratholme. There were no ruins or burning buildings, but there were soldiers writhing in agony from fire and from plague.
Bricu held out his hand to keep Threnn from running past time.
“No!” Bricu screamed. “Threnny! Stay back!”
Threnn did nothing of the sort. She walked up next to Bricu and looked down into valley. Bricu ground his teeth in response. Annalea and Fingold, whether afraid of Bricu or the view below, stayed back by a dozen paces.
“Oh light. Oh, Gods.” Threnn said.
“The plague is burned…” Bricu stopped himself. “We can go.”
Threnn continued to gaze at the ruin in the valley. She whispered, “They…They killed… They’re screaming.”
Bricu watched as soldiers from the Alliance and the Horde writhed in agony. He knew that the luckier ones would die after a few minutes of excruciating pain. The unlucky ones would scream and cry for water or mercy, only to die alone and in terrible pain. The smart ones–the ones Bricu identified with–ran down the goat path. Bricu unclenched his teeth to shout orders at the troops.
“Hold yer ground yeh tossers!”
“There’s no ground to hold.” Threnn said sharply, “They’re all dying.”
Bricu gestured to the soliders who had left their shields and swords on the valley floor. “There are ones runnin’. They need ta help with the burned an’ the wounded.”
“So do I.” Threnn said. She marched down the path, with Bricu, Annelea and Fingold in step with her.
Threnn started looking over the soliders, trying to judge which one she could save and which ones were too far gone. Bricu interrupted her.
“Then we can drag ‘em t’saftey.”
She did not stop to look at Bricu as he spoke. She noticed a solider, Westfallian by the look of her, whose tabard had been burned away. Her armor partially melted to her skin. Her breathing was ragged and shallow.
“They don’t have that kind of time.” Threnn said softly.
She started to pray, calling upon the Light to heal this woman’s wounds. The woman inhaled as deeply as her damaged lungs would let her. The air rattled in her lungs, a sound that Threnn could hear standing above her, and she was gone. Threnn let her prayer end before it was finished.
Bricu walked to her side, putting one gauntlleted hand on her shoulder. “Yer mum ta be. If they don’t have the time, then they get The Mercy.”
“Mercy?” What fecking mercy?” Threnn said, not too sharply.
It was Annalea who answered her.
Annalea stood, with Fingold at her side, a short distance away from her sister. She held her up a worn, brown leather satchel, full of pockets for vials, herbs and potions. “This is what I’m here to do.”
Bricu nodded to her, Threnn paused. His hand still on his shoulder, Bricu whispered in Threnn’s ear.
“Come on now love, we’ve got a job ta do.”
Bricu pointed towards the mass of soldiers gathering near the Dragon queen.
“She’s talkin’ t’em. We need t’hear what she’s sayin, aye?”
Threnn looked at the shields of the fallen soldiers around them, and avoided looking at her sister.
“All right.” Threnn said, not meeting Bricu’s eyes. She looked around the battlefield, trying to look for one person that she could pull to saftey. Threnn didn’t see anyone.
“It feels wrong, leaving them.” She said finally. She turned back to Bricu.
“We’ve done what we can…” Bricu said. He pointed out the fires that still burned sporadacicaly across the valley. “These aren’t like Stratholme’s fires. These are the fires o’the Queen.” Bricu said, sounding as sincere as he could. “This lot will go on ta their rest. The rest o’us will just have t’keep workin’.”