The fall of Vanlon.
I decided to chance my miserable life and write a Warcraft fic. Guess who it concerns? Yep, you got that right!
It was a dark night in the Western area of the Western Plaguelands. Or at least, the very, very eastward part of the Tirisfal Glades. It was also southernly to the point of trespassing on the Alterac Mountains, which explained the snowy white covering on the rooftops and ground.
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner, the Banshee Queen of the Forsaken, was standing in the center of the town of Vanlon's main hall. Her armour barely made a sound, even though it should have clinked, and somehow she was unnaturally dark, even in the well-lit room. The glowing red coals that passed for her eyes stood out against her blackness, as did the glowing bow she was holding. Several bodies were still lying around, and were in the process of being dragged out by undead soldiers in Forsaken colours.
Up until a few hours ago, the town had belonged to the Scarlet Crusade. They'd felt very high and mighty behind their stone walls and inside their petty fortifications, until the Banshee Queen herself arrived at the front gates. Everything had basically gone to pot from there onwards. All those who hadn't run like dogs had died like dogs. It had been a very short battle.
Sylvanas glowered around, to make sure no one was slacking off. She raised a long eyebrow at a Forsaken who was eating one of the dead crusaders. The Forsaken henceforth dragged his disgusting choice of meal out of the hall.
One more body disposed of with fitting disregard for the deceased's dignity.
Sylvanas turned on her heel, and stalked across the room to where Archmage Darral was examining several dusty-looking books. Evidently, the books were magical. Also evident was their lack of use. Typical of the light-blinded fools of the crusade to distrust the arcane. When Darral saw Sylvanas approaching, he quickly put on a fake smile.
"Well? What of the enchantments surrounding Dalaran? Is there anything that can pierce their cretinous bubble here, or have I wasted my time driving out the crusaders?" Sylvanas barked at Darral.
"Hardly a waste, Dark Lady. At least now the crimson curs no longer hold it."
"It is a waste because I have not enough troops to garrison this fort, and it was acting as a buffer that was preventing the Scourge from moving any further towards the ruined capitol from this direction. Those books had better hold something that makes such a waste worthwhile, Archmage."
"Eer... uh... no, no they don't, I am afraid. They are valuable, but-"
"What do you MEAN, they don't!?"
"Dark Lady, I am sorry, but I doubt there is any way to pierce the shield. It was not my idea to come here seeking these tomes, you know."
"No it wasn't. But you validated the Warlock's claims, did you not? Nonetheless, the Banshee Queen forgives you."
Sylvanas span around without another word, and walked away from Darral. Darral, for his part, almost groaned with relief. He'd expected something rather more painful than a mere conversation from Sylvanas, but as he'd somehow escaped with his life, he chose not to push it, and contained the sigh.
Sylvanas was almost back to the spot where she started, when a small Forsaken, who had obviously been an adolescent in life, came rushing through the doors, and headed directly to the Queen. This would not have been unusual. One did not take his time when delivering news to the Dark Lady. What was unusual was the fact that he was drenched in blood and appeared to be singed.
Sylvanas fixed him with her glowing stare as he approached. The stare said, "What hastens you?".
The reply came quickly. The Forsaken sank to his knees, and began babbling at Sylvanas' knees. The room went quiet, and dozens of curious stares were directed towards the newcomer.
"They... too many... I... Coming here!"
"What? Speak slowly!"
"We... Scouting party... We were patrolling north... Army of..."
Sylvanas was interested now. She picked the babbling idiot up by his shoulder and set him down again in front of her. She squeezed his arm, allowing the sharp fingertips of her metal gloves to dig into his flesh. She glowered at his downturned head, willing him to look at her. And as though mind controlled, he obeyed, staring fearfully back into Sylvanas' gaze.
Sylvanas released him, finished with her questioning. The spell was immediately broken, and the Forsaken went back into panic mode. Sylvanas ignored him, and began issuing orders as the room came back to life around her. There was much babble of "We're doomed" "There are too many" and "We'll never be gone in time".
"Barricade all of the doors. Call all friendly units into this building immediately. Set fire to the other buildings."
"Are we going to hold out in this hall, my queen?"
"Absolutely not. The barricades are a distraction. We are going to have our Goblin support teams rig this place for a journey straight to hell. By the time they get through the barricades, they'll be going with it."
The Forsaken were suddenly buzzing, carrying out their Queen's orders to the letter. Several short green people with long, pointy ears appeared, and began setting up an array of obscenely large bombs in the center of the room. Sylvanas walked to the plinth at the east wall, to avoid spooking the engineers and being blown up. Which would, of course, be unfortunate and annoying. None of the Forsaken bothered to ask Sylvanas were they were going after the bombs were set up and the Scarlet Army arrived. She had led each and every one of them into certain death before, and they'd always come back alive. At least, most of them.
This is part two of the story above. Because it was too long to put into one post. :lol:
Within ten minutes, the hall had been thoroughly barricaded, with stone blocks taken from the rubble that had once been proud stone walls. The siege engines that had been used to bring down said walls were now hidden nearby, and would be returned for at a later date. It was too bothersome to deal with them now.
The Banshee Queen sat upon the magistrate's chair, taping her clawed metal gauntlet on the armrest. The orc shaman she had brought with her had consulted the elements, and reported the army was mere minutes away.
Sylvanas leaned forward, and, raising her voice, shouted down the hall at the Goblins grouped in the center.
"Step on it! I require those explosives to be ready in the next thirty seconds. Consequences if they are not will be dire."
Sylvanas sat back, and, deciding that they were working just fast enough for her liking, turned her attention to the mages working to her left.
"Darral. Is the circle ready?"
"Ready to transport a few, milady, but not everyone in this hall."
"Draw it faster then."
Darral was quick to set about drawing it faster. He'd survived failing Sylvanas once today, and it was very unlikely he'd be as lucky the second time. Particularly if failing the second time meant that they would all die.
Soon, the sounds of hooves were heavy outside. The counter-attackers had arrived. Sylvanas tweaked a long, elven ear as she heard their cannons open fire on her barricades. She placed her chin on her hand, leaning sideways on her chair. A Goblin came rushing up to her, green brow dripping with sweat.
"The bomb is ready, Dark Lady! This place is gonna be the mother of all explosions in five minutes!"
"Eeh, yeah. You said five minutes, miss?"
"I said fifteen, you imbecile."
Without another word, Sylvanas stood. The Goblin took an apprehensive step back, just as Sylvanas had guessed he would. She tensed, and then aimed a sharp kick at the Green midget. The punted Goblin yelped as the kick sent him flying over the wooden railing and well across the room.
"Goblins. You have one minute to increase the power of the bomb by three times. It will have to be powerful enough to consume this building, the barricades on it and most importantly the army grouped around. The Banshee Queen demands it."
The Goblins nodded, and instantly began working. Even faster now than before.
That's what seeing your comrade be kicked like a football will do to you when you're under a meter tall.
Sylvanas folded her arms and gave the mage standing next to her the evil eye. The mage understood and nodded.
"Yes, milady, the circle is finished. I have only to say the words and we'll be back in the Undercity."
"Excellent work, Darral. Consider yourself redeemed."
There were several loud bangs as something or other hit the side of the building- probably more cannonfire. Many of the Forsaken swayed alarmingly as the entire structure shook, but Sylvanas remained bolt upright.
"Kill the lights."
The order was obeyed at once, with all lights instantly being turned off. The white ghostlight that shone out of the Forsaken's eyes were the only points of brightness in the room. All of them turned toward Sylvanas, and she glanced upwards. Unlike most of the other undead around her, she was a Banshee, and as such, her eyes cast a baleful red glow in front of her.
Above her, several other red eyes stared down. Sylvanas blinked. This was the signal for her dark rangers- her most trusted champions, most of whom were also Banshees -to open the windows high above the hall, which they had climbed up to, and unleash a rain of arrows on the crusader army. She had specifically asked her rangers not to shoot to kill, but rather harass the enemy. Even while she'd been giving the order, Sylvanas had known that some of them would be too full of hate for the living to resist killing a few. Not that it mattered.
There were cries and shouts from outside as Sylvanas' orders were followed. The crusaders began attacking with renewed vigour, and the building shook with renewed attacks. Sylvanas' ears picked up hooves; the crusaders were moving closer to the hall. There were several thumps and streaks of red as her rangers dropped from their positions down into the crowd of Forsaken.
Sylvanas opened her mouth and spoke to the mages next to her.
"Take us out of here. Now."
The mages began chanting all at once, and the magical circle lit up with blue light. The light crept out, taking hold of the other Forsaken in the room, as well as Sylvanas herself. The light flared, blindingly, and when it died down, there was not a single Undead left in the room. They'd all gone.
Just as the timer on the bomb hit zero.
The blast began as a small gout of flame, which seemed to shrink down and then suddenly bloomed outwards. The building was blown out from inside. The massive fireball continued to swell, killing many of the crusaders near the building. The resulting rain of debris from the hall itself killed even more, and was followed by a string of afterexplosions as the cannons surrounding the building exploded one by one. All in all, out of the four hundred crusaders who had come to attack the Forsaken holding the building, only eighty remained.
A short way away, as the blasts flared in the inky dark, Sylvanas Windrunner cracked a rare smile. There was nothing pleasant or happy about this smile; it just indicated the Sylvanas was very pleased at the outcome of the situation. The circle had been written to transport her to the hill, so she could watch, and the other Forsaken back to the Undercity.
Sylvanas reared back her head and laughed scornfully into the night. She laced the cackle with Banshee magic, causing it to carry over to the already dismayed crusaders and panic them more. Before they could determine the source of the laughter and come looking for her, the Dark Lady twisted on the spot, and the surrounding darkness engulfed her.
When the shadows slinked backwards to their spots, Sylvanas was gone.
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