By the looks of it, Westfall had been a warzone for the whole evening. Bodies everywhere, with the land colored crimson from the blood. Sure, I had heard the rumors about the rose. I had heard the rumours about the Blackrock Mountain. But the Firelord would not let the mountain erupt. Not while he had something to lose. Nevertheless, the fairytale had served it's purpose, and provided an excuse for the bloodshed.

I had been scouting the area, gathering intelligence on the parties involved, patrol routes, response time, that kind of thing. Picking off one guard here, one guard there, keeping them on their toes.

Then they showed up. Three dwarves. From the Dwarven Rifle Squad, according to their insignias. They started to take aim at me. With a slight tug of Windclaw's harness, I was already upon them by the time they fired. Two of them fell easily, but the third.. He retreated to safe range while I killed his comrades. He was smart. His bullets were filled with potent poison. A poison I was too familiar with. I could feel my powers being drained. Even the simplest incanations were proving too tiresome. I needed rest, badly. With the last of my powers, I conjured a barrier of ice around me and head for the mountains. The local peasants were emboldened by my retreat, and ran after us. I did not get far. Just outside the town, I felt a sharp pain in my right ankle. The dwarf had shot right through my ankle. The bastard. Crippled, the peasants caught up to me.

I don't know how many times I lost conciousness, but every time I was awoken with piercing pain. The dwarf still stayed in safe range, shooting whenever I seemed to gain an edge over the peasants. I flayed on them with my wand on my other hand, and my staff on the other. The bearded bastard kept me crippled, like a source of some grim amusement to the jeering peasants. A few warriors, a gnomish demoncaller duo and a few others. It took me hours, but one by one I sent the peasents running. Only the demoncallers and the dwarf remained. Their spells burned my flesh, while my mind was tormented by the poison. They were getting thingyier. All I had to do is to feign exhaustion. I could not catch them with my ankle. I need to get them up close. And then..

One of the demoncaller gnomes found my sluggish movements quite amusing. He waited until I took aim on him with my wand, and then ran behind me. He became bolder. He waited until the last moment, and then dodged the bolts. The dwarf was reloading. Just a bit closer.. NOW!

I let my wand drop to the ground and grabbed my staff with both hands from the bottom end. I swung it around me wildly. I hit him right in his elbow. Realizing that he was too close, he started running. Too late, little man. My next swing hit him on his right leg, causing him to lose his balance. I limped on to him. He tried to scamper back on his feet. Too late, little man. Way too late. Do you think I'm some animal that can be prodded and taught tricks? I'll show you..

I grabbed a better hold on my staff and drove it straight down on him, like a spear.

The staff sunk to the back of the gnome, accompanied with two very satisfying crunches. Now the other. He starts to run, but too late. I pick up my wand. The bolt of ice hits his back, and he slumps down. The dwarf took aim, but the only sound that came out of his rifle is "click". He looks at me in disbelief. He runs. I return to the impaled gnome and pry my staff off him.

I need rest. But after that, I will go after the dwarf. And then.. I will find out just how much he likes games..