I might as well make it official and state that I’m back in Azeroth. I had some money as a gift and a shop happened to have the collector’s edition Cataclysm in stock and well, you can surmise the rest.
For the time being, I’m just a ‘weekend warrior’ and both Wai and Corvai remain in retirement. Instead, I have faction changed my original Horde main and here is a little story that I wrote when faction changes were introduced.
The only change I’ve made since publishing it originally is the origin which used to be Lordaeron but is now Gilneas.
The first thing that I became aware of was a dull beating. It was felt more than heard. It resonated through me.
Something familiar and yet not.
Thudthud. Thudthud. Thudthud.
And yet it was, there was no mistaking it. My own heart was beating again, something that it had not done in…well it seemed another life ago. It was another life ago. What was going on?
“Ma’am?” A voice interrupted my train of thought and the darkness was pierced by a dazzling light. “Ma’am? Can you hear me?” The light coalesced after a short while as I blinked a few times and resolved itself into two distinct forms the sight of which gave me two more shocks.
My newly beating heart was practically thundering now and something must have registered on my face or perhaps I shrank back which caused the one standing, leaning over the other to peer concernedly at me, to hit her companion sharply on his metal pauldron.
“You’re scaring her, you great lummox. But waking up and seeing you leaning over me would scare the Light out of me too. Move and give the poor woman some room, you oaf!”
All of this was said in a friendly tone and with a smile as her companion flashed a wry grin and rolled his eyes but nonetheless got to his feet from his kneeling position and stood next to the woman.
What shocked me initially was that both were human, in full armour over which they wore a tabard whose design seemed familiar somehow. There were also armed, but strangely, their swords were in their scabbards and neither made any move to draw them.
Something was going on here but I had no clue as to what. Before I could try and work out what, the woman removed her gauntlets and extended a hand, her palm upwards. “Can you stand, ma’am?”
I tentatively reached out with my own hand and could feel myself blanch as it came into view. The flesh was healthy, practically glowing with life. Not remotely withered or desiccated. Was this a dream? No, her hand as it clasped mine certainly felt real. I could feel the calluses on her hand and the strength in her as she bent further to place her other hand under my elbow and pulled me to my feet.
She held on to my hand for a short while whilst I teetered uncertainly but released it as it came apparent that I wasn’t going to faint, although still reeling from the numerous surprises I had in the last few moments, that would not have surprised me had I done so.
Pulling on her gauntlets, handed to her by her partner the smile on her face was replaced by concern. Or rather, the concern had always been there but now came to the fore.
“Can you tell me what happened, ma’am?”
I met her gaze with a mute one of my own and tried to rack my brains for an answer. Shaking my head, I could feel my hair move, my hand automatically going to brush an errant lock behind my ear. The fact that it was full and thick registered only dully but somewhere in the back of my mind a voice was screaming with a mixture of shock, horror, joy that I was alive! Human again! But I couldn’t be…I…
“Oooh, I think she’s going to be sick.” This from the male as both moved to the side of me, grasping my arms to support me as the wave nausea rolled over me.
“Breathe, ma’am. Slowly, in through the nose.” I complied, instinctively, my mind churning with too many thoughts to actually think coherently. “Hold it. Now, out through the mouth, slowly. Slowly. That’s it.” This went on for awhile, but it helped and the feeling passed and I was released to stand on my own again, a canteen being thrust into my hands by one of them. There was no hesitation as I brought it to my lips and drank greedily, the water warm, but still refreshing.
I think I must have emptied it as I stood there panting with my eyes closed, pressing the container against my cheek. It may have only been water, but it certainly helped as I could feel strength returning. What’s more, I could feel the essence of my power beginning to course through me in its familiar way. That, at least, had not changed. Whatever else, I was still what I was at my core.
Breathing normally, I opened my eyes and held out the emptied canteen which was taken by the male guard who peered into with one eye, almost mournfully, before shrugging and hooking it onto his belt.
Opening my mouth to speak, nothing would come at first. Closing it and trying again, I succeeded. “Where am I?”
Jerking his chin to something behind me, I turned at the gesture and gasped for there was no mistaking those high walls, crowned by battlements and the only gap was for the huge gates through which, a steady stream of people were flowing to and fro, watched over by guards dressed in armour similar to the two with me.
There came a hearty chuckle and I could hear the pride in his voice as he said “Yes, ma’am! Greatest city on Azeroth and pride of the Alliance and seat of His Majesty, King Varian Wrynn, the Light illumine him!”
I turned and looked at him and then to his fellow guard, bewildered. “How did I get here?”
They exchanged a look with each other and shrugged, almost in unison. “We don’t know, ma’am.” He replied. “We were on duty at the gate when one of the local lads came running to us and told us about you.”
The woman continued the story. “So we came over and found you here, lying on the ground unconscious. There was no smell of drink about you and we couldn’t find any lumps on your head and you seem to have your pack so I guess you weren’t mugged. You can’t remember?”
As before, I just shook my head. I had no reason to lie, I couldn’t explain it. Looking down at my hands, turning them over to examining the back of them and then the palms, my eyebrow quirked. What could possibly explain this? This was beyond anything that I knew.
I needed some time to absorb this. To think things through.
“Ma’am? Can you at least tell us your name? We might have to report this, y’see.”
That much, at least, I knew and could give them. “He..” I stopped suddenly and smothered the sound with a cough. No, I couldn’t give them the name I’d chosen for myself upon waking after apparently dying from the Plague that coursed through my homeland in Gilneas. After all, what kind of parent would give their daughter the name of ‘Hellvira’? No, that would not do at all. So I gave them another. Not a lie, but a name from my previous life. The one I was born with. The one I had when I died and before I was forsaken by the likes of the two stood before me.