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Into the Monastery

NOTE: The names Andreas and Lazar are fictional. Any characters with these names have nothing to do with this story.

We built up a camp just around 400 yards from the Monastery. We rode for half a day so far, so we needed rest, especially our human companions. Although we already killed the scouts, the campfire was weakly lit - we didn't want attention in the middle of the night. A slight constant breeze was blowing from where the silhouette of the castle could be seen, bringing a scent of rottenness. The old trees hardly had any life in them - not as if any had around Tirisfal any more... I feel sorry for them, although I would lie if I said I felt much sorry for the city of Lordaeron.

I looked around. Beside me, Demistaris was gazing into the trees. Him and me have been traveling around in the Eastern Kingdoms for many years, seeking to help the youngest race of the Alliance; we are rangers from Darnassus, aiding our allies throughout the world. This time we were required to enter the Scarlet Monastery to gather information about Herod, a man of high rank in the Crusade. This was a highly dangerous task, and that is why we needed help.

Further away from us sat Andreas, polishing his immense hammer. He was a paladin from Stormwind, from what I know, so I presumed this was personal to him. He was said to be a skilled leader. Tonight, he can prove it.

Next to him, also from Stormwind, stood Lazar, a sorcerer. His blue roble slightly flapping in the wind as he was leaning on his staff, looking concerned. He obviously wasn't as experienced as Andreas.

Even further away, out of the range of the firelight sat a figure I knew nothing about. He hasn't introduced to us, nor was he wearing any tabard I could have recognised. In fact, he hasn't spoken a word since we met. He must have been a thied or a bandit, as many as they are out there these days. I couldn't read anything off his face, as he covered it with a piece of cloth, but his eyes were dark and empty. I had a bad feeling about him, I was sure we would have been better off without him.

'Faraeth, listen.' Demistaris nudged me in Darnassian. Andreas was going to speak. He stretched out a piece of old paper on the ground; a rather sketch-like plan of the Monastery. 'We are going to enter here...' he spoke in a deep voice as he pointed to what looked lika a side-entrance. His finger ran down through the corridors until it restid at a larger hall, a shape of a circle.

'We are informed that Herod is in this room... most possibly. We must gather as much information about him as possible!' he said, but I knew he meant 'kill him'.

Andreas scrolled up his map and picked up his hammer, shining in the moonlight. Demistaris fastened his identical scimitars to his side and stood up. I also lifted up my sword, pulsing blue - it has been enchanted by gnomes. We were ready to go.

Andreas marched at the front, followed by Demistaris, stepping with ease on the dry ground, then me, Lazar, with an expression of fear on his face, and the thief, sneaking at the back. We approached the building quietly but at a steady pace.

A guard stood at the door. Andreas turned back to speak, but before he could have done so, the thief ran at the guard and cut his throat at an amazing speed, and I'm a night elf. The guard fell to the ground with a blunt 'poof'. He died in silence.

We entered. The corridor was empty, but I heard footsteps from beyond the left-hand turn. There were two of them. Andreas and Demistaris rushed forwards; the hammer crushed a skull, spilling stains of bood on the paladin's white tabard; a swit turn, and Demistaris' blade pierced through the other one's heart. He moaned quietly and died.


Scarlet Monastery

We progressed slowly towards our destination, assassinating every enemy and doing our best to disguise the corpses. I saw the fire in Andreas' eyes as we fought, and the fear vanishing in Lazar's, as he cast spells endlessly.

We reached Herod's room. Light came through from under the two-winged door. Andreas, his tabard more red than white, turned to Lazar.

'You must gain courage, Lazar' he said. 'If we stop Herod, we can prevent hundreds of human deaths.' He closed his eyes and murmured: 'May the Light bless you...'

Just as he closed his eyes, I saw the tragedy. A soldier, hiding behind a statue, waiting for this moment only, ran towards Andreas, blade high in the air. I acted as quick as I could, parrying, the strike, but I still heard the paladin shout. I saw the look of glory in the ambusher's eyes before I sliced his head off.

I ran to Andreas. He was gritting his teeth, as blood spilt from his shoulder. It was a deep wound, but not fatal. I cleaned the cut before bandaging it, which stopped the bleeding, at least. 'You stay here, and wait for us' I said.

'No' he answered immediately, pain rushing through his face. 'I've sworn to fight'

I have heard this sentence too many times and it never ended well. Nevertheless, I nodded, because I knew how important this was to him. Andreas took a deep breath and stood up, holding his hammer in the left hand.

Lazar's hand started to fill with fire; it grew and grew until it left him in a form of a fiery rock, speeding through the room and bursting the door open.

They were expecting us. Four soldiers faced us as we ran into them, I could hardly block their blows. The thief was attacked first, he went off, dueling with a warrior, blades sparkling. Me and Demistaris were fighting three, backs to each other, Lazar throwing spells. I prayed he wouldn't miss and harm one of us - most of them ended up exploding on the wall, through windows or in bookshells. Andreas took on Herod.

What happened from now on, I can hardly remember. Demistaris has already killed one, but suddenly, another joined the remaining two, fighting us - the thief nowhere, apparently he has abandoned us. A sense of worry grew in me. Andreas was attacking Herod, hammer swinging in front of him. The villain has easily dodged him. Two were down, two left. But we still didn't have the chance to help the paladin.

Another one was down, so I looked up. Andreas swung towards Herod, but he got out of the way again. Andreas' hammer got stuck into a table, and he was struggling pulling it out. Herod smiled and raised his axe.

'Embrace the light, paladin! he said, and struck down. I was unable to believe this was happening. How could have, the strongest among us all, fall so easily. Andreas' body was lying motionless on the ground, his hammer still stuck in the wooden table.

Then, suddenly, Lazar cried 'RUN!', and a moment later I saw why: around ten or fifteen soldiers rished through a sidedoor. From the corner of my eye I saw the mage running out of the room. I knew there was nothing to do.



We ran out, following Lazar. I was afraid that our chain mail armour would tell the enemy where we were running, but I could not do anything about it. We hurried into an empty room.

'Quick, shut the door' whispered Lazar, and I did so, leaning against the rotting wood. The sorcerer got out a piece of stone from an inner pocket, and started murmuring strange words. I didn't know what he was going to do, but Demistaris looked relieved. A moment later, I understood why: In front of Lazar, all the objects started to distort, warp in a spiral shape. Slowly a blue-purplish hole formed in the centre of the spiral. It was a dimensional portal, we were saved. I would not have thought that he would be able to perform magic of such high standards. 'Go!' he said.

'But... where does it lead?' I asked.

'We have no time, just go!' So I took a deep breath and left this damned place for ever.

  • Faraeth Malenior
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