War Stories

Niqi curled her small frame into Ælithil’s side. There wasn’t much to do at the fortress while they waited for news that things were safe. They’d been there for several days and Kalimè was now permitted to come and sit out in the small pond. The others had gathered nearby and lit a fire. Out of curiosity, or perhaps boredom, Kali had asked Silannah what her favorite war stories were. By the end of the third, Niqi was so horrified she wanted to crawl inside and hide beneath her blankets.

Sensing this, Tindomiel reached out and placed a hand on the girl’s knee. Gentle soothing light flowed from her fingers until the Ren’dorei relaxed. “Silannah has been on the front lines of many wars. She’s seen a lot. And her tales often turn towards the glorious fighting and gore.” She cast a pointed look at the ancient warrior. “Sometimes the tales are less gruesome,” she reassured.

“And not as exciting,” Kali pouted.

“I think you have had enough excitement for a few. Let’s bring it down a little before rising up again, shall we?” She leaned over and handed the injured girl a cup of hot broth. “Let’s see, Forosuul and I certainly had our share of adventures over the years. But I think our time in Ice Crown Citadel was the most memorable.”

Forosuul winced. “We were there for what seemed an eternity at the time. Truth be told it was a couple of months. But try as we might, Arthas’s forces kept pushing us back. We’d gain ground and they would push us back half the distance.”

Tindomiel nodded, her white hair falling into her face. She pushed it back with a finger and continued. “Foro and I were responsible for working with the newer and less experienced healers among our numbers. Some of them…well, let’s hope they have improved.”

“They were awful, Tindo. Just admit it,” he laughed mirthlessly. “But it was what we had to work with. It didn’t help that the Horde had sent their own forces in and they were attacking us along with the Scourge.”

Silannah grunted off to the side. “You should have known that was going to happen. Stupid to think otherwise.” She reached over and skewered a piece of meat off the fire. “The Banshie Queen wanted vengeance. You were gonna take her glory.”

Forosuul laughed aloud. “Her glory?” He shook his head, “We didn’t care about the glory of it. Arthas needed to be stopped.”

The priestess raised her hand to calm them. “Either way, we had to fight both for some time until we were able to secure a safe zone within for our unit. We got everyone patched up and re-evaluated our position. It was then that Foro discovered we were actually just outside the door that led to the Frozen Throne. We’d been so distracted trying to break through all the enemies, we didn’t realize we had found it.”

The demon hunter’s hand came down gently onto her shoulder. “We were nearing the end. We took a short while and prepared. I don’t know that any of us really expected to make it.”

“I know I didn’t,” she agreed.

“So-so what happened?”

They all turned to see Niqi’s curious eyes peering at them. Æl shook a little, stifling his laughter.

“Foro and I discovered that we could roll our healing spells together. We ended up being able to overlap and layer everything. The troops could go on without having to stop for intense healing. Arthas tried everything he could, but in the end, we defeated him.” Tindomiel rose and moved to check on Kali.

Niqi shook her head. “That’s it? You just…defeated him?”

Æl burst out laughing. “I think Aunt Tin is trying to soften the story for you, Tiny.” He wrapped his arm around her, pulling her close. The Ren’dorei scrunched up her nose, blushing in embarrassment.

“It was a very long fight, with a lot of things to avoid. But for Tindo and I, we were mostly focused on keeping the others safe and energized. The hard part was on the troops.” He picked up another log and added it to the fire. “Now…who’s next?”

Silannah started to speak again when a guard came running over. He handed Forosuul an envelope and left after a quick bow. The Patriarch opened it, reading silently as the others watched and waited. “My love, what is it?” Tindo placed her hand gently on his arm.

“Iasea has left Stormwind. She joined the troops heading for Lordaeron,” he answered quietly. He sat there quiet for a moment before looking them all over. “Eli saw her board the ship. I think it is safe for us to leave.” The shared relief among them was palpable.