Out of Your League

Being a Farstrider was not exactly as glamorous as Lieutenant Dawnrunner had claimed it to be. Yes, one of the first assignments was to reclaim our land from the vile Scourge, the barbaric Kal'dorei and the sadistic trolls. A noble and just cause, one that I had been privileged to be part of. And as a token of appreciation for Lordaeron's help, my superiors had ordered me to assist in the defense of Lordaeron. Seeing the camps, the hanged and the empty graves revealed all too well the truth about our former.. "allies". A fate of slavery, disgrace and death that the Prince was wise to reject. All in all, re-enlisting had seemed like a good choice. Until now.

Dust. Wind. Cliffs as far as my elven eyes can see. Man-horses and mongrels everywhere. The wisdom of my superiors eludes me. I try, but I cannot see how I can serve the High Home in this ravaged place. I should be waging war against the Kal'dorei in Ashenvale or recovering manuscripts written by ancient masters in Azshara. Not.. scurrying favor with the bull-men.

Airin growls. She has discovered an unusual smell. I slight nod from me, and my graceful lynx bursts into action, her fur-tipped ears perking up. I can feel her excitement, and it's almost intoxicating. Maybe it's one of the Kal'dorei or even a dwarf? Maybe they'll leave me alone if I bring back some proof of an enemy scouting party..

Airin blazes through a narrow passage, and stops to wait for me. There was a small clearing behind the spires. As I catch up, I see that the clearing has been stained red. Airin slowly manouvers past the two bodies, not even stopping to smell them. The bodies belonged to harpies, but I'm having a hard time figuring out what killed them. No lacerations, no crushed bones.. but it's as if there's something missing from them.

Airin growls again. She's found something. An empty bottle. Airin resumes tracking the scent while I examine the bottle. Clearly the type used by alchemists. A few drops of a greenish liquid are still within, but I cannot identify the substance by smell alone, and I am not going to taste it. Beyond the opening lies a sloping path upwards, towards a cave. There is an another bottle at the top of the slope, and yet another at the mouth of the cave. Cries of the harpies echo from the cave. Airin carefully steps into the cave, moving as silently as only the finest felines can. Three more dead harpies lie on the path. Whatever entered here had no problem dispatching them. Airin's ears perk up right before the cries of the harpies crescendo. They are fighting the intruder. I hear sharp claws tearing flesh. Airin continues on her steady pace. She is no stranger to the ways of the hunt. Wait until the prey has tired itself out, then strike. I ready my bow.

The cries stop. With my nod, Airin dashes around the corner, and moments later I hear her vicious growls, a thud and her claws tearing flesh. I run past the corner and aim. Airin has felled a some sort of a humanoid and ripping apart it's back. Torn cloth flies in the air. Airin grabs the humanoid's neck between her jaws and drags it away from the cave wall, allowing me to make the finishing blow. The blood has colored the prey's blueish flesh purple. I see two-toed, bare feet. A troll. My lucky day. But then I hear something I have not heard before.

Airin yelps in terror. It takes me a moment to realize why. She's been impaled by.. something. Her precious blood drips along the shaft of the troll's weapon. Then she yelps as she is impaled yet again. She goes limp, but the beast won't stop. It impales by beautiful Airin again. And again. And again.

"You'll pay for your crimes in blood, beast!", I find myself yelling in my native Thalassian. I release my arrow and immediately prepare an another.. but it was right there.. behind me!

I reflexively shield myself with my bow as I turn, but to no avail. It impales my elbow with something cold. I dive to my left and out of it's sight. I grab my Sin'dorei Warblade from my back, but my elbow is complicating things. I'm having trouble holding it high. I will not be able to do much damage, but this will have to do. I hear the beast's footsteps, and some sort of a grating sound.. like metal on stone. Of course. Not even a troll could have much strength left after that beating. It is handicapped as well. As it walks around the corner, I swing my sword low. Just as I'm about to cut it's feet off.. the blade strikes an invisible barrier, elicting a small hum. I look up towards the she-troll..

Ow! The bitch slashed my face! How dares she?! A low hum reaches my ears and I roll behind a rock, slamming my injured elbow to the cold stone. The patch of stone where I lay just moments before freezes instantly. Great. A troll witch. I look at my bloodied hand.. since when was my blood black? And it's awfully cold in here.. I need a breather to bandage my elbow and then.. the witch will taste justice. I look around, spot an another cave entrance and sprint towards it.


This cut really stings.. what did it hit me with? And how can such a small cut bleed so much? I need to get this quickly under control. With my good arm, I grab a roll of bandages from my pocket and roll it over my face. There. That should stop the bleeding. I take a look at my elbow and to my surprise, I see an icicle sticking through it. I grab the thick end and slowly pull it out. By Sun, this hurts.. After three very long seconds, the icicle dislodges from my elbow and shatters on the floor of the cave. I wrap the remaining bandages around my elbow. After this I will need to pay a visit to a priestess. Or if I'm fortunate, I'll encounter a Blood Knight in a good mood..

I listen to the scraping sound. The she-troll is moving closer, dragging her weapon along the floor. I sneak a peek around the corner. Her tattered robes are stained with her blood. One of the shoulder straps has been torn, and the other one is barely holding the robe together. Blood slowly flows from her neck, and her dreadlock-covered head is resting on her shoulder pad. Good old Airin. Even in her death throes she managed to inflict a mortal wound to her foe. The she-troll keeps her weapon behind her, but it seems like a some sort of a sword. A long one, judging from her posture. Her other arm hangs limply. But how is it still standing, let alone walking? I have seen trolls succumb to less grievous wounds.

She clumsily swings her sword up front, and then drags it back behind her along the floor.. Are my eyes deceiving me? The blade seemed to cut the air itself, revealing the darkness behind. What sorcery is this? The she-troll does it again, and now I see the blade clearly. It's as black as the darkest night, drawing my gaze in..

The she-troll stops. It slowly raises the blade and starts to cut the air.. Gah! She's cutting my face again! How? The cut on my face reopens and black blood seeps through the bandages. Is this the "voodoo" the Forsaken mentioned? How am I supposed to fight that? I turn back behind the wall and try to stand up, but my legs are powerless. Augh! She's doodling on my chest with her cursed blade! I need to get away.. I need to get away.. I crawl along the wall, trying to find an another entrance. I hear the scraping sound again. I turn around to my back.

The she-troll is deteriorating in front of my very eyes. Her robe is moth-ridden and her skin ashen gray. The blood has dried and is as black as mine. The sleeve on her limp arm is torn, revealing her gray bones underneath. One of her ears drops to the floor unceremoniously , but she does not bleed. She keeps swinging her sword in front of her, leaving a trail of black.. smoke in it's wake. The scraping sound is loud, loud enough to tear into my skull..

"I killed you! Stay back! Stay back!"

I blink, and she is standing right next to me. The pungent stench of death fills my nostrils. she raises her sword-arm across her maggot-ridden chest, starts the swing and..

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