Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Menethil: Call to Arms.

"In memory of the pre-Burning Crusade WoW, when being 60 was godly and shamans, the bane of Alliance. ^^"

Errath the mage grimaced at the menacing black clouds rolling forth from the north, the constant flashes of sorcery confirming that this was no ordinary storm. From his vantage viewpoint on the hill overlooking the rapidly forming formations on the battlefield, he could see that the same unease affected the experienced warriors hardened as they were by countless battles. Yet they moved nary a muscle, their faces impassive, the sense of expectancy and tension, palpable.

Daemonara, his warlock ally, gave a little sigh and uttered," This storm isn't natural, it's a creature conjured by their shamans and druids." "And none of your kind aided in its summoning?" Errath couldn't resist jibing. "No more than any of you flashy mages could ever comprehend the Shadow." she snapped before continuing in a more even tone." I would recognise it otherwise." He nodded. "Magic is but a tool that has no master. They will be here soon." Turning, they silently eyed the approaching storm.

In the past few months, the damned Undead had together with their Horde allies, the Orcs, Taurens and Trolls, made an unprecedented push south of Undercity, the Undead Capital, for more land in an effort to consolidate a foothold in Khaz Modan and ultimately Azeroth. The small Alliance force at Refuge's Point outpost in the Arathi Highlands were caught unaware by the invaders and despite fighting vailantly, were soon overwhelmed through sheer numbers but not before getting off an urgent report of the perilous situation to Ironforge. The Arathi Highlands fell quickly and as the Horde advanced south into the Wetlands, even the irascible Darkiron Dwarves had to vacate their stronghold in Dun Modr. Unchecked, the Horde turned their attention to Menethil Harbour, the last major Alliance stronghold in the Wetlands. Should Menethil fall, the path to Ironforge & Stormwind, the Dwarf & Human capitals respectively, in the south would be clear and the Alliance lands be in great peril.

Broken from his reverie by commotion in the valley below, Errath spotted a brigade of Paladins riding in hard on their warhorses on the road from Ironforge. They were greeted with ragged cheers for arrogant and aloof as paladins occasionally were, they were always a succor to allies in battles, a bane of the undead and a counter to the mysterious magic the Horde shamans employed. Magic none in the Alliance could wield. Emerging from the gates of Menethil, the Night elf hunters and druids, fresh from the voyage from Darnassus in the east, were greeted with the same enthusiasm. Any help was welcome and the nightelves like all gathered here, had responded to the urgent call to arms.

The druids took up positions beside the cadres of priests and mages while the hunters melded into the shadows with their pets as they disappeared into the nearby forests. The warlocks stood apart whispering in a small group, the occasional imp a dead giveaway. The rogues as usual were no where to be seen.

"It's starting." Daemonara whispered, clutching her wand tightly. Errath leaned on his staff and as he looked on, the grey mist seemed to thicken and shimmer, the ether heavy with the taint of magic. The priests and druids led by Courtesanna must have sensed it too for they were gesturing feverishly with their hands as they uttered silent incantations. The mist shimmered more rapidly then abruptly broke as the priests managed to dispel the enemy's spell to reveal the Horde army. With a bestial roar, the invaders surged forward and were rewarded with a resounding cry as the warriors and paladins charged to meet them head on.

The battle was on with the ring of steel on steel echoing out and screams as friend and foe alike were struck down. The roiling black clouds unleashed occasional bolts of lightning that struck at nearby Alliance warriors, sending a few running away in panic but the priests were healing and aiding the injured as half the druids worked to negate the storm, the others shape shifting into bears and panthers before running in to join the battle.

Numerous pillars of flames appeared in the enemy lines, radiating outwards to consume the hapless ones in their path as the mages started to wreck havoc and unleash fiery destruction. A few braver ones moved closer to the front line, sending coruscating waves of flame into the enemy ranks or unleashing freezing winds. A number were cut down by the Horde shamans and their deadly chain lightning which scythed through multiple enemies. But the Horde had mages and priests too and they were wrecking as much chaos in the Alliance lines.

Suddenly, a shrill whistle rang out, discernable even over the sounds of chaos and all forms of beasts burst forth from the forest, panthers, bears, vampire bats, even the occasional Giant Turtle and hurtled towards the Horde Mages, tearing through their ranks, even as the hunters emerged, raining arrows and bullets down on them. Caught unaware, a number of mages were cut down where they stood before they rallied and focused their attention the new threat. Errath could see the usual fireball arcing out of the mess and smashing into a hunter, the beasts were however making life difficult for the mages who found it hard to fend them off while blasting their masters.

The priests noticing their predicament made a move to aid the mages but were abruptly ambushed by a dozen rogues who materialised amidst them and promptly began to assassinate them. The priests fought back and Errath saw a couple of rogues fall but the priests were frazzled and the Rogues had the element of surprise and more priests fell even as the mages cried out for healing which never came.

On the battlefield, the warlocks had appeared and summoning their demonic pets, had waded into battle with them, afflicting enemies with decripifying shadow spells and wrecking mayhem on both sides. Imps, Voidwalkers and Succubi were engaged in an orgy of blasting, mauling and whipping as warlocks of the opposing factions clashed. The shamans noticing the predicament of their mages and priests disengaged and split up to help their beleaguered allies. Looking at Daemonara, Errath nodded. She knew what she had to do.

Whispering a harsh incantation, Daemonara thrust her hands upwards and fire rained down from the sky pelting the enemy with flaming brimstone. The shamans faltered, desperately summoning totems to counter this sudden onslaught. Errath smiled. Unlike his fire wielding colleagues, he had always preferred its icy counterpart, the power to freeze the life out of enemies, even shattering their mortal bodies, hugely appealing. Raising his hand, Errath summoned the power of frost and unleashed a mighty blizzard, raining down icy destruction. The shamans were sent reeling and the plaintive cries of the enemy could be heard calling out to one another, lost in the sudden storm, as one by one the warmth and life in them fled.

Herrpay, a warlock of great power ran to the center of the rapidly faltering Horde line and opened a gateway into the Void from which flame and fury poured out, spilling around him in a storm of destruction. Though injured by the intense heat, Herrpay's spells and equipment protected him. The same could not be said for the Horde who fell like chaff in the wind.

As one, the remaining survivors of the erstwhile formidable Horde Army broke and fled. Or at least attempted to, for they were hampered by the severe chill in their bones, some even freezing on the spot. Cheko, Herrpay's eccentric mage lover, pursued them with a vengeance and unleashed frequents blasts of arcane explosions. The raging blizzard soon claimed the lives of the rest even as the warriors cut down the remaining foes.

Gazing down at the carnage below, bodies littering the charred and frost covered valley, Errath laughed at the victory on hand. The Horde invasion had been halted and it would be sometime before they would pose such a dire threat again. The Horde had again underestimated the Alliance, perhaps they would learn. Perhaps.

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