The Tale Of Seraph - Chapter 1

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The Tale Of Seraph - Chapter 1

Postby Itarilde on Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:23 am

The lush forest was quiet at this hour, the nightly stalkers that it had, moved in total silence, stalking for prey. This night though, the silence was broken by voices, or perhaps not exactly broken, the voices were low, and you could barely hear them, unless you stood right next to the speakers and then the tigers, the owners of the voices rode on, would probably sneer at you, or bite your head of, one could never know with tigers..
With their heads close together, whispering, almost as if they were afraid of the local animals overhearing there conversation, the two nightelves didn’t really look like they paid any attention to where they were going, and in fact they didn’t. Trained animals of war, the tigers could easily navigate through the forest on their own. Most of the conversation would probably not be that interesting for the rest of the world, there was talk about childhood, about the past, talk about things left behind and things lost. It was really a conversation among friends, and as such innocent by nature. Parts of the conversation had some interest though, when the subject became about the future, and about death.

This was of course, also on a personal level, and it still only had interest if the person hearing it wanted to know about the future plans of these two specific nightelves, otherwise it was just as uninteresting as the rest of it.

“Do you really think killing him will make it better? The pain you feel will go away and the world will be filled with flowers?” Pub said not really expecting an answer, and after a while she continued herself “it won’t change anything, those wounds won’t heal through vengeance”. She looked into Seraphs eyes as she spoke, the words weren’t new to her, she had said them, what felt like thousands of times before, with some small variation every time, but basically it was the same words, over and over again. When she looked at Seraph, she realized that her skin had grown remarkably pale, even for a nightelf. Pub was worried about her, she had agreed to follow Seraph on this journey of vengeance for two reasons, one of them, was to talk her out of it, the other, to look after her. Many people lose control of themselves when suffering great loss, they become unpredictable and careless and would often charge into fights without thinking of the consequences, like a berserker in a rage. Seraph hadn’t done this, in fact she had done the exact opposite, from being a warm loving person, always bend on spreading joy and laughter among her fellow adventures, she had turned cynical, cold and calculating. Somewhere inside her, she had found a cold blooded killer, and let it out.
Every time Pub looked into her eyes, all she could she was cold emptiness. No emotion, in fact Seraph hadn’t shown a single bit of emotion since it happened. Neither sadness nor anger, it was as if that part of her had just shut down, leaving only a cold and empty shell. Still, Seraph said nothing and the silence between them grew long. As darkness began to give way for the sun again, Seraph twisted her head and looked up at the sky. “Do you ever wonder how your life would have been, if you hadn’t headed down the road of an assassin? What if you had stayed at home? You could have been a peaceful gardener, living sheltered from pain and suffering, tragedy rarely strikes for such people” she said with a droning voice, she wasn’t really here, Pub knew, dreaming away as she often did, of a past she never had and a future that was now lost to her. “I didn’t stay at home, and nothing will ever change that. Do you think your life would have been better if you had never started down this road? Think of the good your healing has brought the world. Would the world have been a better place if you took another road?” Pub replied, she understood why people often blamed themselves when tragedy struck, but this was ludicrous, Seraph had done all she could, and they both knew it. “Perhaps not the world, but my life might have. I would have been spared of this.” Seraph replied after a short while. Though she had a point, Pub wouldn’t let her have it. “It would still have happened, perhaps just earlier if you hadn’t been there.” Pub replied, but Seraph countered instantly “Probably, but I wouldn’t have been affected then” she said, her voice so void of emotions, that Pub was almost afraid of her. “If you really mean that Seraph, then you are truly lost. Don’t throw away the book just because the ending was bad”. Rather deep if Pub should rate her own words, just the kind that stuck to Seraph.
They rode onwards in silence, and after a while a normal conversation sprung up between them again. For Pub though, it never really felt right, there was no laughter in Seraph, no joy, and it really took the edge of most jokes, when they got received with total silence.

The key to travelling, was really the right mounts. The tigers could go on for days without break and Seraph and Pub could easily eat and sleep on the back of their giant pets. They took turns at sleeping, as they weren’t exactly in elf loving areas and not having a guard would mean certain death, more than once they had to change their route to avoid horde camps or just the nests of the local population. Once in a while they would meet people friendly to the alliance and ask them for news. As they drew closer to their goal, the rumors of an army marching across the land became more and more frequent. It also became clear that their target was with that army, which made Seraphs quest a lot more complicated. It was in the middle of a discussion about this, and their new battle plan that they both heard a noise, not a loud one but still a noise. “Sentinel” Pub just stated as she jumped off her mount, and once her feet touched the ground, she was gone. Seraph followed her example jumping off the mount, her body changing shape, when she reached the ground she no longer had feet to land with, instead the paws of a cat touched down and ran into the high grass, and then there was silence.
The tigers knew how to react in these situations, they laid themselves down and where quiet, taking a well deserved rest.
Seraph and Pub converged on the location, where the noise had come from, from different angles. It wasn’t hard to know what to expect, probably a hunter, they usually “won” the honour of being sentinels. Yet even with this knowledge Pub was still a bit surprised when he got a look at the sentinel. It was a dwarf, as Pub approached, the dwarf threw something into the air, and as it reached its zenith, it turned bright red, bathing the surrounding area in a bright unnatural red light, unfortunately for Pub this included her. “Who goes there?” the dwarf yelled, and Pub recognized his voice, how strange to find him out here though. Pub raised herself up in full figure, so that Vinsent could see who she was. Pub had always been the kind of girl, who preferred not to be shot. Vinsent loosened when he saw Pub and then he lowered his gun, just as he did, Pub saw the familiar figure of Seraph appearing a foot behind Vinsent. “You really should be more on guard Vinsent! Anyone could just walk in here” Seraph said, causing a small jump from the little dwarf. Usually that would have been considered a good joke to play on him, and Seraph would have laughed. Now she just stood silent, almost as if she really blamed him for not guessing that there were two of them. She sure had changed a lot.
Both Seraph and Pub were eager to know that Vinsent was doing out here though. Vinsent looked at them with a sly smile and said “You don’t know? It’s not just me! All of them are here. A dragon has appeared, spreading death and destruction." "Who better to handle that, than The Defenders?”. A reasonable explanation, dragons had been showing up strange places lately, and The Defenders of Valor had spent most of their existence hunting down and killing creatures like that. “Unfortunately” Vinsent continued “A group of hordes has decided the dragon is the righteous payment for the terror spread by the Alliance and has moved to intercept us, they believe the dragon will continue towards Ashenvale instead of going for Ogrimmar.” This lightened up Pubs face, that army, had to be the same they where looking for, and now the two of them didn’t have to face it alone, they would have the support of the Defenders. “Take us to them Vinsent!” Pub said, and Vinsent obeyed, as he should when a member of the council gave an order.

When Vinsent came riding out of the forest adjacent to the camp, nobody really noticed, he came and went a lot. When next Pub appeared, surprised gasps echoed throughout the area. She had many friends here and people ran to greet her. Everybody wanted to know where she had been, and what had happened to Seraph, it wasn’t until people asked about it that Pubrealized the mount behind her was empty, Seraph had gone another way. The crowd parted as two came walking towards Pub, one of them was a slender woman, her long blond hair hanging still down her back, even though the wind was both fresh and powerful, she emitted an aura of confidence, ensuring that everybody always did their best when working with her. The other one was an elder gnome, he walked with determined strides and just by looking at him you wouldn’t think he took twice as many steps as his partner, Pub knew them both well, they were the leaders of The Defenders. “It is good to have you here Pub, your expertise is needed” the gnome said as they reached Pub. Pub should have seen this coming but now he understood Seraphs last words better “I still need you Pub, this isn’t over”. Seraph had some kind of plan and Pub was convinced it didn’t involve following the orders from others this time around. “I will help you in what ways I can, but if a battle is to take place, I’m afraid my expertise is promised elsewhere” Pub replied, she could see on the faces of everybody that this wasn’t the answer they had hoped for, but she had made a promise and she intended to keep it. Astaren, the female leader, looked at Pub and said “We will talk about this in private” and as she said, it she moved herself, enough sideways to make place for Pub between her and the gnome. Allowing Pub to walk between them back towards the centre of the camp, where a larger than average tent had been raised, Pub couldn’t help feeling flanked, she wondered why she always allowed Seraph to get her mixed up in these situations.

Seraph knew what would happened when they reached the camp, everybody would try and convince Pub to help them but she couldn’t allow that, in fact she needed to recruit more to help her cause. So she slippedoff her mount when an opportunity showed itself, and then she went towards the druid encampment. Here she knew already who she would find. As expected they where both there and Seraph walked up to them, “I need your help”, neither of them looked surprised when she appeared, no doubt nature had already told them about her arrival, “I need you to help me achieve balance”, they both looked at her and just nodded, then Seraph told her plan. Seraph had no doubt Pub was right now trying to explain the exact same thing to the rest of the council, she knew enough of what Seraph intended, they wouldn’t like it, but they had to accept it. Seraph left the druids having full faith that they would do what she asked of them.
Seraph started making her way back to the Defenders' campsite, she most likely needed to save Pub from the questions now, and Seraph also had to share her entire plan with Pub, not that it was awfully sophisticated.
“And what about me? I don’t get to come on this trip?” a voice coming out of nowhere said, Seraph was startled, she couldn’t believe how much off balance she must be for someone to sneak up on her like that, she had to be more on her guard. “This isn’t a ‘trip’ Firin” she replied, her voice cold as ice, and walked on, Seraph didn’t know why, but something in her prevented her from asking Firin to join her on this suicide mission, “I’m coming anyway, so get used to the idea” Firin simply said and then turned and walked the other way. Clearly, for her the discussion was over, and Seraph just had to accept that, so she did and continued onwards.

No one in the camp was a rookie, everybody had seen their share of fights and everybody knew what to do. When Seraph reached the centre of the camp, where she assumed Pub would be, the camp was as good as gone, people mounting up preparing to move out.
When Seraph was younger, she always thought that power was equivalent with physical size, the real world however, showed her that physical size alone hardly mattered, and part of the proof was right before her eyes, “We found a spot that will let us keep tactical advantage and hide our numbers, besides experience, stealth is our biggest advantage for this fight.” Standing on a table the gnome still looked small, but everybody paid attention to his words, 100% focus on the task at hand, nobody would accept any less from themselves, “The druids will make sure no part of nature gives us away, neither animals nor plants” he continued, pointing to the gathering of druids at his side, “the scouts on the other hand, can't be taken care of peacefully, so we are doing it the old fashion way! So far no horde has seen us and lived to tell about it, so they can only make wild guesses about our real numbers.” He looked to the rogues and hunters, they all seemed to be very pleased with this task. “clear that area” he said to them with a demanding voice, and as he said it a small spike of ice left his hand and pinned itself on the map hanging in front of him, laughter spread among the rogues. They mounted up and rode ahead, pushing their mounts to the limit, only a few hunters stayed behind, these were needed to take care of enemy scouts that could spot the main group while moving. Finally the gnome spoke again “Lets move out people” everybody mounted up, the supplies had been divided into as many packages as there were mages, and as they stood in front of their part they cast some strange spell on it, they then rode out, each with a huge crate of supplies suspended in the air behind them.

Seraph didn’t have a chance to reach Pub before they where on the move and even then there was something else she had to do first, she approached a tall human mage, riding at the front, he rode with a posture worthy of a king, perhaps some would call him arrogant but really he just had confidence in his own abilities, and that was exactly what Seraph needed, “I’m going to do something incredible stupid today, and to get a reasonable chance of surviving I need your help” small talk was good sometimes, but not today, time wasn’t their ally, “sounds fun, I’m in” Linoge said back, his face lighting up in a big smile, “been a while since I caused some serious mayhem”, as if summoned by his words a horse came to ride on Seraphs other side, or perhaps horse was the wrong word to use, this fiery animal wasn’t like a normal horse, its mane burning with bright yellow flames, its hooves leaving behind them patches of burned grass. “Someone said mayhem?” Meladenn said as he fell to his place next to Seraph, “I’m in” also he had showed a smile, in fact he and Linoge looked liked children at a Christmas morning right now. It was something that Seraph actually found a bit disturbing, but to a certain degree she understood them, when you had powers, using them was a great joy, and when it came to mayhem these two had powers unlike anyone else. Seraph explained her plan in greater detail to them, and they both just laughed when she was done telling.
Finally the time had come for Seraph to join Pub, she was riding alone, and probably considering whether she had made a wrong choice by accepting to help Seraph, but Seraph knew Pub would never back out of her word. Seraph moved her mount next to Pubs matching speed with her, neither of them said anything, they just drew strength from each others presence.

The trip was an uneventful one, no one was in the path of the caravan it seemed, a couple of undeads had to be taken down by one of the perimeter guards, but no real threat. When their new camp site came into view, Seraph was convinced everything would go well.
Though I walk a path of darkness, the light guides my feet

"Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep"
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Itarilde
 
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