A man without a purpose Edit
The rain was pouring down over the city of Lordaeron. It was a dark night, the perfect night to stay inside by a cozy fire. Maybe have a warm cup of coffee while reading an interesting book. Down the street was a tavern, usually frequented by soldiers and veterans of war. From inside song and laughter could be heard. The people had every reason to celebrate. The war was finally over and the alliance had emerged victorious. A man made his way through the heavy rain towards the door. He opened it and was met by a warm and cheerful atmosphere. He closed the door behind him and pulled down his soaking wet hood and looked around. The room was surprisingly full of people, both men and women. Some were sitting by the bar, drinking and laughing at each others jokes. Some were enjoying a game of cards by one of the tables, while others were exchanging stories from the battlefront.
“Joe? Hey, Joe!” One of the card players waved at the man who had just entered.
“Why don’t you grab a chair and join us?” The man smiled and removed his cloak, hanging it at the wall next to the door.
“Of course, Benny” He said and approached the table “What are we playing?”.
The mood in the tavern was generally good, except for the table in one of the darker corners of the room. A young man, wearing a battle worn armor sat there, staring at the flickering candle in front of him. There also was a large, nearly empty mug of mead at the table. The young man let out a sigh before lifting the mug to his lips and emptied it in one swig. One would think the sound of people enjoying themselves would cheer him up, but the effect was quite the opposite. It was a source of annoyance. How could they be laughing? Why were they not as miserable as he was? Had they forgotten everything about the damned war already? People had been slaughtered; the country was in ruins, what was there to smile about? These dark thoughts clouded his mind, and the more he drank, the more they kept bothering him.
“…And since then he hasn’t left the house!” One of the men by the bar laughed loudly at his own joke, obviously more amused than the rest of his friends who just shook their heads and smiled.
“What? It was a good one!” He said when he realized he was the only one laughing.
“Of course it was, Roberts. A bit on the edge maybe, but good.” The man next to him said and patted his shoulder.
“On the edge, eh? Say, that reminds me of another story… Have you heard that one with the…” His friend shook his head once more before turning his attention to the person at his right.
“Everything in order, Daniels?” The man referred to as Daniels seemed a bit distracted and appeared to be staring at something on the other side of the room.
“Hm? Oh, sorry sergeant. Could you repeat that, sir?”
“I just wondered if everything was in order. You seemed a bit distant.” The sergeant smiled.
“Well, I am not the only one, sir” Daniels said and nodded towards the table in the corner. The sergeant turned his head and noticed the seemingly depressed, young man.
“Oh? Who might that be?” He said curiously.
“Corporal Waters, sir. We fought together in the black morass.”
“Waters? Why does that name sound so familiar?”
“No offence, sir… But your memory is no longer what it was. Don’t tell me you have forgotten?”
“Forgotten? What is there to…” Suddenly the sergeant remembered. He slapped his forehead and exclaimed “Waters! Of course… Captain Waters…”
“Yes, sir… And that man over there is his son.” Daniels pointed towards the sad figure who had just ordered another round of beer. The sergeant blinked his eyes and turned to face Daniels once more.
“I was not aware the captain had a son.”
“Actually, sir… There were two. He had two sons. That one is his oldest, Tyre I believe his name is.”
“By the Light! No wonder he looks so miserable.” The sergeant got off his chair and headed towards the dark corner. The young man was leaning over the table, supporting his head with his arms. His eyes were still focused at the dancing flame before him.
“May I take a seat, son?” Tyre ripped his gaze away from the candle and glared up at the sergeant.
“Relax, corporal. I just wanted to check on you.” Tyre nodded slowly before turning his attention back to the candle.
“I heard about your father.” Tyre didn’t respond, almost as if he was trying to avoid the whole conversation.
“He will be missed…” The sergeant continued. “A true hero of the alliance” Tyre slammed his fist in the table when he heard these words.
“If he was such a great hero, how come he got himself killed?!” The sergeant blinked in surprise, clearly not expecting an outburst of these proportions.
“What good is a hero if he is dead?”
“Calm down now, corporal…”
“And what if I refuse? You can’t possibly imagine what I am going through right now. No one can…” The tone of his voice gradually changed from anger to despair.
“Is this why you drink?” The sergeant hinted towards the mug.
“What else is there to do?”
“Look, son… You are a soldier, correct? I am certain we can find use for someone like you in the army”
“Sir, to be honest… The army is no longer the place for me. I have seen things I rather would forget.” Tyre reached for his mug and took another swig.
“Very well, it is your choice. I will not force you into anything, but surely you can’t waste away in some tavern? Make something of yourself, find a purpose. The army might not be the answer, but I know there is something out there for you as well. Just don’t lose faith.”
Tyre put down his mug and stared up at the sergeant.
“You could always start by getting yourself a line of work. Provide for your family, you have a younger brother, correct?” Tyre nodded.
“Let me see…” The sergeant got up and headed over to a bulletin board hanging on a nearby wall. He mumbled to himself as he read through the various ads.
“Are you good with your hands, corporal?”
“I… I suppose?”
“Great” The sergeant ripped down one of the posters and returned to the table. He dropped it in front of Tyre and pointed at it.
“How does carpenter sound?” The sergeant said and smiled.
Ten years later – Kaidan’s wedding day Edit
“Tyre, get down from there!” Tyre ignored the shouts from his mother and kept on hammering. He was sitting on the roof of a building he had been working on the past few months. Hopefully it would be finished in time.
“Tyre Waters! Don’t make me come up there!” His mother refused to give up.
“Not like you would be able to anyway…” Tyre mumbled before grabbing hold of another wooden plank. He reached for his hammer and was about to continue when his mother’s voice sounded once more.
“Tyre, please listen!” Tyre missed the nail completely and managed to hit his own hand instead. He shouted and cursed loudly before hurling the hammer off the roof in anger. The hammer landed at the ground a few inches away from his mother, who jumped back in surprise.
“You could have hit someone with that, Tyre!” She yelled.
“What is it, mother?” Tyre glared down at her. “Can’t you see I am busy? Surely it can wait…”
“No, Tyre… It cannot wait.” His mother shook her head and sighed. Tyre could see the disappointment in her eyes.
“Is something wrong?” He said and stared at her in confusion.
“Tyre… It is your brother’s wedding day.” Tyre blinked his eyes.
“No, you are mistaken. That is the 15th."
“Exactly, and you are the best man.” Tyre slapped his forehead and made his way across the roof towards the ladder.
“Why didn’t you tell me sooner? I am not finished with my gift yet. I assumed I had the whole week ahead of me!” Tyre let go of the ladder and started to run as fast as he could.
“Where are you off to?!” His mother yelled after him.
“The rings!” He shouted and kept on running.
Tyre rushed down the street, not minding his surroundings, all he knew was that he was running out of time. An elderly man called his name, trying to get his attention.
“Waters! Hey, Waters! How is that old table you promised to take care of? Finished yet?”
“Not now, Mr. Jones!” Tyre quickly dismissed his question and hurried on towards the trade district where his home was located. It was still early in the afternoon and the voices of traders trying to sell their wares filled the air.
“Bread here! Get your bread here!”
“Half price on pumpkins! Don’t miss out on this bargain!”
All in all it was a busy day as usual. Tyre had to make his way through the masses gathering in front of the various stands and shops. When he finally reached the door to his house he was exhausted but he had no time to take a breather. Up the stairs he went and slammed the door to his room shut. A few moments later the door opened and Tyre, now dressed in his finest suit, stepped out. He was barely recognizable. Tyre was not a man who worried about his own appearance much to his mother’s annoyance. But this was a special occasion; it wasn’t every day his brother got married either.
He was about to walk downstairs when he could hear the church bells ring in the distance.
“No!” He exclaimed and hurried down the stairs, skipping a few steps and slammed the door shut on his way out. It didn’t take long before the door opened once more. He had forgotten the rings again. The stressed man ran around the living room, not quite sure where he left the rings.
“By the Light! I don’t have time for this!”
His frantic search led him to the kitchen where he discovered a small black case containing the wedding rings. He grabbed it and opened it to make sure the rings were there. Yes, there they were. Tyre let out a relieved sigh, closed the case and put it in his pocket. Finally everything was set. He rushed out the door and slammed it shut once more, causing a potted plant to fall from a small table and shatter.
As he ran down the street towards the church a familiar voice called his name, it was Mr. Jones again.
“Waters! How is that table coming along?!”
This time Tyre didn’t bother replying. He had promised Kaidan to be there, and he was not a man who broke his promises easily. Finally he stood in front of the church doors. He took a deep breath, straightened his tie, pushed the doors aside and entered.
Four years later – The fall of Lordaeron Edit
Tyre knocked desperately at the door.
“Kaidan! By the Light! Open the door!”
The door creaked open and Kaidan carefully peered outside. Tyre was standing there with a heavy mace and looked rather terrified. He had several stains on his clothes and dirt in his face. Kaidan looked at the mace and then up at his brother’s face.
“What is it Ty?” Kaidan said and rubbed his eyes. He had been enjoying a nice nap as he often did that time of day and was still drowsy.
“What it is?! How can you not notice?!”
Kaidan was looking at Tyre with confusion in his eyes.
“Get to the point, Ty… And why are you covered in dirt?”
“Just… Get your wife and children…” Tyre sighed.
Kaidan was still standing there like a question mark.
“Be quiet and listen Kaidan… Do you hear that?”
Kaidan remained silent and listened. Screams were filling the streets of Lordaeron and a foul stench filled the air. The scent of burnt wood and rotten flesh. In the distance sounds of a struggle could be heard. Kaidan looked at his brother once again with a more concerned expression on his face. Tyre simply nodded in response.
“Christy! Get the children and come down here! Now!” Kaidan turned around and yelled.
“Go help her, Kaidan… I will wait here. But hurry.”
Kaidan nodded at Tyre and hurried up the stairs. While waiting for his brother to return, Tyre turned around and observed his surroundings. Keeping a watchful eye for signs of the undead monsters that had overrun the city. He had heard of entire cities being wiped out by the plague of undeath, but he never imagined it to spread all the way to Lordaeron itself.
“Alright, we are ready Ty.”
Tyre turned back to the door and looked at the little family. Kaidan was holding a little baby-boy in his arms with clear blue eyes and a blanket wrapped around him. He couldn’t have been more than a few months old. Behind them a young woman with long brown hair was standing. Her beautiful green eyes stared at Tyre, and he could almost sense her fear. She was holding on to a little girl, about three years old with blonde hair carried in two small pig-tails.
“I never wanted your children to experience something like this Kaidan…” Tyre let out a deep sigh. While Tyre was busy talking to his brother, a ghoul who had just finished off an unlucky citizen made its way out of an alley. It looked around and sniffed the air, picking up the scent of the family.
“I know that Ty. You couldn’t help it. None of us saw this coming.” Kaidan replied and smiled briefly before his face turned pale.
“What is it brother?” Tyre wondered and quickly noticed the same look on Christy’s face as well. The ghoul was but a few inches from Tyre’s back, luckily it stepped in a puddle which had yet to dry up after the rain shower earlier that day. Tyre fastened his grip around the handle of his mace and turned around swiftly, delivering a crushing blow to the ghoul’s chest. Christy screamed as the beast fell to the ground, leaving Tyre covered in green slime.
“Thank the Light for rain” Kaidan managed to say after he recovered from the shock.
“We have to leave; there will be more time to talk later.” Tyre said and wiped away some of the slime from his shirt. Kaidan nodded and they began to run, following Tyre towards the gates.
“What about mother?” Kaidan asked as they ran down the street. Tyre remained silent.
“Ty! Where is mother?!”
Tyre could clearly remember the horrible events that had transpired only an hour ago. He had just returned from a small job, repairing an old door for a neighbor and was looking forward to some peace and quiet when chaos broke loose. He could feel the terrible stench of decay and looked out the window in his room. On the streets below the city guards were trying to fend off a small group of ghouls, while civilians ran back and forth in terror. Tyre watched as the guards successfully managed to defeat the monsters. He sighed in relief, but sadly the peace wasn’t going to last.
“A second group has been sighted near the keep! Guards move in!”
The voice of one of the officers of the guard could be heard. Tyre realized what was about to happen and quickly made his way over to his bed, knelt down and dragged out a heavy chest from underneath it. He opened the chest containing old memories from the last war, including his father’s old trusted two-handed mace. He remembered rushing down the streets with his heart racing as he heard the officers issue new orders, sending guards to different parts of the city to deal with the invading Scourge. When he reached the house of his mother he realized he had arrived too late. He stormed into the house only to find her lifeless body. She was covered in blood and had several claw and bite marks all over. One of her arms was missing as well; all that was left was a bloody stump.
“Ty! Answer me!”
Tyre snapped out of it as his brother called out his name once more.
“It is too late Kaidan! If we do not leave now I fear we will share her fate as well!”
Kaidan was too shocked to reply and would most likely have collapsed right there and then if it hadn’t been for his wife and children. He couldn’t give up now, he just couldn’t. He looked over at Christy and gave her a determined nod.
“We will be ok, Christy.” He nearly whispered to her as they finally reached the gates, leaving the city behind them for good.