Purging of Vengeance

Stonewrought Dam. Loch Modan. Dwarven territory. There he is. The first. He is making his rounds around the dam. That murderer! How he has the gall to..

"Calm yourself. He iss a target. Nothing more, nothing lesss."

But.. this monster has killed dozens of trolls with his own hands! He should suffer!

"SSilence. Get into possition and sslay him. Deny yoursself of any pleassure."

I sigh. Slayrith is right, of course. I walk to the edge of the ramp leading to the dam. He is coming back and vanishes behind a pillar. I am in his blind spot. I count his footsteps. Frost begins to form on my hands. One. Two. Three. Now.

Just as he passes the pillar, my frostbolt hits his right arm. The hammer is frozen into his hand. He first looks at his hand in disbelief, and then looks up to me. The second frostbolt smashes right into his beard, and his mouth is frozen solid. He tries to scrape at the ice with his left hand. He is not dead yet, but he cannot breathe through the ice.

"Thiss target is finisshed. Move on to the nexxt."

But he is not dead! I should..

"No. Nexxt."

I sigh, turn around and dive into the lake. By the time he finally expires and is found, I am long gone. Mountaineer Haggil is done. The next one is at Thelsamar. I find Mountaineer Cragg riding leisurely along the road. The war has been good for him. He has his own ram now. The smug..

"Ssilence. Get into possition. Do not harm the beasst."

Why? It's trained for war. It has probably cracked many..

"Irrelevant. Thiss beasst hass nothing to do with you. Proceed."

Cragg loses his balance and tumbles to the ground as his mount suddenly shrinks into a sheep under him. His helmet clangs loudly against an exposed stone. Before he has any chance to drag himself up, frost creeps up his legs and along his back. He swings his hammer in a wide arc towards the ice grasping his legs. The blow shatters the ice. He picks himself up and starts running towards Thelsamar.

"Do not let him get away."

The fool is already dead, he just doesn't know it. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. One by one, the glowing bolts dart from my hands. One by one, they hit the running dwarf in the back. The fifth pierces the backplate and the dwarf arcs back momentarily, before falling into the ground. A small pool of blood forms up under him. Several dwarvish yells are heard from the village.

"Better. Off to the nexxt."

Once again, the lake hides my movements. Even if they had seen me enter the lake, they would not follow me. Heavy armor is not known for being an advantage underwater. I circle around Thelsamar and head south.

The Valley of the Kings. The next target is talking to an another dwarf. His back is turned against me. My fingertips tingle with frost. I aim.

The frostbolt hits the back of his skull.

"There iss no need for me to sstay any longer. You can finissh the resst yoursself."

I grab Windclaw's whistle from my pocket and use it. I would have to move faster now. The other dwarf looks in disbelief while Mountaineer Zaren slowly topples over and shatters his frozen skull on the cobblestones. I ride next to him and slowly turn my head towards him. He hesitates for a second, and then starts running toward the bunker. I whisper into Windclaw's ear and we're off. By the time the word is sent to the next watch station, I'll already be past it.

Sounds of dwarvish yells and warhorns echo behind me. Two targets left. The dwarves of the watch station were not prepared for my arrival. Their rifles were unloaded and their steamtanks shut down. One vigilant one tries to shoot me from the bunker, but is nowhere near hitting me. I vanish into the corridor. Dun Morogh and it's forests. The tanks are useless here, and the riflemen will not catch up to me. There is enough time.

Kharanos. Ironforge Guard Stoutfist is stationed here. I instruct Windclaw to hide near the trees. I would need to move quickly. The troops from the watch station would not be here in a while, but Kharanos has it's own defenders. Stoutfist is apparently talking to some traders. I start to cast my spell. He turns his head.

Like expected, he would not succumb as easily as others. He blocks the frostbolt with his shield and starts walking towards me, exposing as little as possible from himself. I hurl an another frostbolt, aiming at his brittle shield. It shatters from the impact and turns into a deadly shower of frozen steel shards. Most of them embed themselves into his platemail. One scratches his right ear. He does not flinch. The traders run into the inn to alert the others.

Now that his protection is gone, Stoutfist starts running towards me. He drops his shortsword and grabs the battlehammer from his back. He reads my movements and stops just in time to avoid my Frost Nova. He jumps over the ice and aims for my head, but I am no longer there. His hammer hits the ice harmlessly.

Before he can turn around, an another frostbolt hits him on his right leg. He staggers to turn around, and barely manages to bring his hammer in front of the next frostbolt. Mobility and weapon gone. He has lost, and he knows it. The next frostbolt shatters both his leg and his hammer. A large frozen shrapnel from the handle of the hammer impales him. Several more guards run from the inn, their rifles locked and loaded. I blow into my whistle. These are better marksmen, and almost hit Windclaw. Four targets gone, only the last remains. While they search for me in Dun Morogh, the final target is exposed. I ride into the valley to lose my pursuers.

The gates. Captain Steelhand knows something is coming. He has several other guards with him, barking orders to secure this and be on the lookout for that. Someone is starting up the steamtank close by. His eyes dart around, looking for the intruders. As expected, he spots me from my vantage point.

Steelhand had led the assault to my village so many years ago. His troops had slain my people and burned my village. He is no less vigilant and no less deadly than then. This was the time of vengeance. But vengeance was something I could not afford anymore. They were no longer my people. I were no longer a Frostmane. This was not a murderer I'm facing. This is a target. The other four are not.

A shot whizzed past my left ear. Another crumbled to frozen dust shortly before hitting my right elbow. I blinked behind them and touched the ground. Steelhand realized what I was doing and tried to shove the stock of his rifle to my stomach. But my shield prevented it. I stretched my hands out, and the snowfall seemed to quiet down for a moment. The other dwarves raised their shields.

The spiral of razor-sharp ice shards needled Steelhand. He was bleeding heavily, but did not give up. He dropped his gun. With one smooth motion, he grabbed his battlehammer and slammed it into the ground. I had not seen that coming. Taking advantage by the thunderclap, the others drawed their battlehammers as well, and freed their legs from the ice. I was barely able to encase myself in ice before their hammers hit me.

It is strange how quiet it is inside the ice. One. Two. I can hear the dull thuds while the dwarves pound on my icy sanctuary. Three. Four. They had started to pound on a single spot, and several cracks were already visible. Five. Six. The cracks widen. Seven. Eight. Final moment of tranquility. Nine. Ten.

The ice cracked, but unlike the dwarves thought, it cracked outwards. Frost caressed their legs again, and the winds quieted down. This time Steelhand's armor could not stand the onslaught. What remained was hardly recognizable as a dwarf. It is done. Five targets. The other dwarves had nothing to do with this. My task is complete, and there is nothing that binds me to Dun Morogh anymore. Before the others could free themselves from ice, I was already well beyond rifle range.

Slayrith's plan had worked. I could not be distracted by my thirst of vengeance in battle. I had to be able to concentrate, no matter whether the target was a dwarf, human, or other. Slayrith had tracked down the whereabouts of the five surviving members of the Night of Flames. I had to kill them to get my vengeance. But when I had it, I had to deny myself any pleasure of it. I had to stop thinking about them as mortal enemies. I had to stop thinking about them as enemies or allies based on their race. If they aid me in my task, they are my allies. If they interfere, they are enemies. Simple as that.

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