Tag Archives: Lakeshire

[Raw Draft] NaNoWriMo 2011 – Chapter 9: Battle Plans

14 Dec

I participated in NaNoWriMo, and here is the END of the story I wrote this year.

That’s right, this was the last chapter I wrote. And it’s a cliffhanger. Unless you count the end paragraph that sums up where the rest of the story would go. >.>


Brulee and Creme have made it to Lakeshire, though Creme is hurt and randomly unconscious. A cast of local characters lead Brulee to a makeshift infirmary in the Inn, where she heals up Creme some. Then the cast of local characters lead Brulee to the mayors office, where she explains what all is going on (‘The orcs aren’t Horde, and they’re working with the Defias!’) She then tells them about a battle plan using some of that Rethban ore to blow stuff up. How did she know it would blow up? I don’t know. How did she know it was there? I guess she saw it while she was on the cliff, because everyone knows Draenei have eagle eyesight. … *cough*

Anyway, after running about with the locals for a bit and making sure they prep for the attack the next morning, she goes to check on Creme. The girl is fine, and also gambling. They have a little talk, and prepare themselves for the big battle the next day. The End!

Yup, I was phoning it in. Sorry. (Not really). But I’m sure you’ll be reading more about these two in the future!

Chapter 8: Free Falling

“She has been shot,” Brulee murmured as she and another, a human man of the town, pulled Creme to shore.

“Looks like,” he said. “I’m surprised you actually made it here without taking more injuries. You both must be crazy.”

Brulee opted not to comment on this as she scooped up Creme in her own arms – making sure to keep the wound arm to the outside. “I need to treat this wound. Is there-”

“Right this way,” the man interrupted. He started walking towards the main town area away from the lake’s shore. “I’ll get someone to take my place,” he called out to another one of the guardsmen who was on the shore with him. The other nodded.

“Bought time for a rest anyway,” he said to Brulee.

They walked not too long to get into a nice homey place.

“This is the inn here. We’ve been keepin’ most of the injured here ’cause of the nicer accomodations.”

“I see,” Brulee said as they entered.

The nice tables that had once been in the dining area – and it must have been the dining area, judging from the nearby bar that had remained in one of the corners – had now been pushed aside or removed for building barricades, no doubt. In its place were many rolls of blankets, many of which were occupied by various people who were likely injured.

“We’ve been usin’ the inn as our infirmary, seein’ as we usually don’t have this kind a trouble. An’ the midwife’s house is too far out and too small,” her guide rambled as they stood in the entrance. “Oy, Bri!” he called across the room to a woman who was tending to someone, “We’ve got another ‘un.”

The woman, who looked fairly young but older than Creme, if Brulee were to judge (but who was Brulee to judge these things? She had such a time trying to guess a human’s age), spun part way around to look at them, still kneeling. She tucked some of her blonde hair that had wandered in front of her her view behind her ear.

“An’ hello to you too, Jordan. Is there another attack or…” Bri started, still well across the room.

The man shook his head. “No, not exactly. Just a couple travelers come to warn us that we’re in imminent danger of attack.”

“Well that seems rather obviously now doesn’t it.”

Jordan frowned. “No, they mean-”

“Ahem.” Brulee interrupted. Creme was still in her arms, injured. She didn’t have time for them to jibber jabber away right now.

“Oh. Right,” Jordan said. “Bri, you got space for one to rest here? She got hit while they were headed into town.”

Bri nodded. “Oh yeah. Still no room upstairs, but I think there’s a few empty blankets over there if that’ll work.” She pointed to her right, their left.

“Thank you very much, Miss.” Brulee said curtly and walked over through an aisle of the blankets there.

She could feel all of their eyes tarting at her, at least the folk who were awake. The man, Jordan, and Bri’s conversation clear across the room had certainly woken up quite a few of the injured. Most had bandages on but were well enough to talk amoungst themselves it seemed.

‘I guess Draenei are not as common here as well then,’ Brulee thought wryly. She knew some had come to the Eastern Kingdoms, of course, but they were apparently still rare enough outside of the major cities.

She gently laid Creme down on an open mat and went to check the girl’s wound.

“I’ll just be going to find the next watch,” Jordan said from teh doorway. “I’ll be back in a few.”

Brulee nodded absently. Right now she needed to focus on healing.

‘Poor girl. She looks utterly exhausted. I hope I did not push her too much. If this puts her off from future training…’ Brulee frowned. Proper training was always a must for mages, lest they accidentally call upon the wrong powers and called attention to the Legion.

She removed the ruined fabric from around teh area of the wound. It was still bleeding freely, though she would soon put a stop to that. Reaching out with the Light’s power, eyes half closed, she felt that the wound had not been too deep. It seemed to have missed bone as well, which would make this much easier.

Gently, she called upon the Light’s power some more, feeling it swell into her hand and then into Creme’s wound. She coaxed it to help knit the flesh back together and to have it form new muscle and skin yet again. The healing would not be complete, not with her level of skill, but the wound would be closed and well on her way to healing.

There. It was as good as she could under the circumstances. Brulee slowly exhaled, and with that let the power of the Light fade from her hands.

“Oh, so you can channel the Light too?”

Brulee jumped a bit. She hadn’t expected Bri to come up behind her like that.

“Oh! Uh, yes. Yes I do. Do you do too?” Brulee asked, turning towards the human and standing.

Bri shook her head. “Oh no, I just work with bandages. We don’t have many here who know how to heal with the Light as you just did. Would you be able to help out with the injured? We got many here that could use a little helpin’ a long but our healers are tapped.”

Brulee was a little surprsied. She had never thought her healing was good enough that anyone would be needing her to do it. The town must be in dire straights, though it looked like that already.

“I am sorry, but I am not the most skilled in healing myself. Only minor wounds such as that are within my skill-”

“I’m pretty sure we’d take any sort of help to get people out there and fighting. And that didn’t look so minor to me.” She gestured at Creme.

“She will still need some time to fully re-cooperate but it at least has been sealed.”

“Well I-” Bri started but then Jordan showed up at the entrance, immediately waving his arm at Brulee.

“Miss Draenei! The Magistrate wants to see you in the war room, pronto!” He yelled, again with no regard for sleeping patients, who were now buzzing about with various conversation or complaints. Bri was definitely shooting glares at him as Brulee excused herself from the room.


The war room, as it turned out, was another building down the road that apparently normally functioned as their town hall. The Magistrates office had been set up with a rudimentary map of the surrounding area with various household items placed around to mark troops and such.

“Ah, it is most nice to meet you, Miss…”

“Brulee. Paladin Brulee,” she responded. Might as well remind them that she was trained in combat, even if she was foreign looking to them.

“Paladin Brulee. It is a pleasure to meet you,” said Magistrate Solomon. “Were you sent by the capitol? Are there reinforcements on the way?” He sounded so eager and desparate. Brulee felt bad that that wasn’t the case at all.

“I am afraid we were not sent here by Stormwind and there are no armies that I know of that are here to stop this assault.”

Those in the room, including a couple of Stormwind guards that had been stationed here, Jordan, the Magistrate, and a few other more war seasoned citizens, groaned in disappointment. It would have seemed like the obvious reason why she came there.

In fact, one of the guards even pointed that out. “Then why would you and your friend even attempt to reach town through the Horde orcs outside if you were not bringing us news of help?”

“Even though we did not come with additional help, I am not without news.”

“Do tell,” said a gruff looking old man. He was one of the citizens, she was sure, as he was not wearing a guard uniform and was not introduced to her quite yet. The Magistrate only introduced himself, in fact. He seemed a bit self-centered in that regard.

“First of all, the orcs are not members of the Horde.”

“Ha!” the gruff man exclaimed. “You’re obviously not up with teh times. Of course they’re part of the Horde – whyelse would they be wearing Horde symbols and planting Horde flags in their camps?”

“To try to start a conflict, I am thinking. I have learend first hand that these orcs are not part of the Horde.”

“From who?” asked the Magistrate.

“The Horde itself.”

“So you’re an agent of the Horde then?!” the older man said. He reached for his sword, but one of teh guards stayed his hand.

“Of course not, Gerald,” snapped the female guard. “Draenei are our allies. I am sure she can explain.

And so Brulee quickly summarized what exactly had happened earlier that day. Her storytelling, it seemed, was convincing enough.

The Magistrate rubbed his chin. “So… the Horde spies – in our territory I might add – are convinced that these are not their soldiers?”

“Yes. I would likely agree with them, as all of us were attacked.”

“And you came here because you wished to tell us about this little revelation?”

Brulee nodded. “And it seemed like the best option at the time, without us having any supplies.”

“We are a little light on supplies here as well, though the lake has still been providing us with some food, when they haven’t been attacking us full on and we’ve had time to fish some. But still it is getting hard to feed everyone…”

“Won’t have many left to feed at the rate they’ve been pushing the attacks,” Gerald accused.

The Magistrate glared at him as Brulee continued to speak.

“But along our way over hear, we overheard a camp speak about how the orcs were in leage with the Defias.”

Nearly all the room jumped to attention when she mentioned that. “The Defias?” the male guard asked. “What all did you hear about that?”

Brulee informed them of what they had heard. Apparently the Defias were as bad as Creme was letting on, because it led to a whole new set of discussions.

“But if we know that the Defias are going to ‘save’ us, could we not just surrender?” the Magistrate asked.

“Orcs wouldn’t just let us surrender just like that” Gerald said. “I have no doubt that even if they are under the Defias finger that they wouldn’t slaughter the people just for fun.”

“He’s right,” the male guard chimed in. “And even if we did just surrender, I think the Defias would get suspicious.”

“But what good is knowing about this if we aren’t to surrender?” the Magistrate exclaimed. He threw his arms up in frustration. “It’s not like we can beat them!”

“Actually…” Brulee said, holding up a finger, “I am thinking that you can.”


They took another short walk across to the other side of the town; Brulee, the Magistrate Solomon, the two guards, Gerald, and Jordan (who Brulee suspected was just tagging along for the gossip he would have afterward sto tell, as he seemed to not be contributing to the conversation much).

“This building here is the Blacksmith’s, yes?”

“That’s right,” the Magister said. “Kara and Karen work here. Not the most skilled in making weapons, even though we’ve tried a bit, if that’s what you’re driving at.”

Brulee shook her head, and looked around. The torchlight showed a large pile of a material that looked somewhat familiar.

“And this here?” she asked, pointing at it.

“Why, that’s Rethban. Loads of it, but it’s not meant for weapons or shields. Much too weak for that.”

Brulee bent over and felt some between her fingers. It was almost like coal, but was very similar to another material. She grinned.

“This, my friends, is fine explosive material. I was sure I had seen some from the cliff above. I am sure you can free the city with this.”

“But how?”

(( Brulee explains a great plan involving blowing things up. The village commences in implementing that plan)).


It was late in the evening – or morning, as it may have been now – when Brulee finally went to the in  to check on Creme. She found the girl sitting up, awake, and playing some sort of gambling game with a few other patients. Her left arm had been put into a sling, she noted, so at least that was beneficial.

“And it looks like I win again,” Creme said. She grinned as she scooped up the copper coins – where had she gotten copper to begin with, Brulee wondered – from the pile in front of their group admid the groans of the four other players. She then noticed Brulee.

“I’m gonna have to sit out the next hand or five,” Creme said.

“Good,” said one of the other players. They all had a chuckle, including Creme, as she stood up to talk with Brulee in a quieter corner of the infirmary. There was quite a bit of activity going on, considering the time.

“I was not aware you were the gambling type,” Brulee said, raising an eyebrow.

Creme merely shrugged. “It’s a fun way to pass the time.”

“In the middle of the night?”

Creme grinned. “Well with all the noise going on out there with your bomb making hardly can rest tonight, least the ones who aren’t to badly hurt.”

Brulee chuckled. “I suppose you all have heard about this foolish plan of mine as well.”

“Yup. One of the guard-type came in hollering about it to Bri there.”

“I am just hoping it will work.”

“Yeah, me too.”

“… So, how is your arm feeling?” Brulee asked, leaning over slightly to better inspect the wounded arm.

Creme scrunched up her face. “It’s stilla bit sore. But I guess it’s mostly healed up, thanks to you.”

“It was the least I could do. I am just sorry that I had left you out there to be shot at. I wasn’t thinking that they would notice you farther away from shore.”

“There miiiight have been a fireball that accidentally went off in the water that made them notice me too.”

“I see.” So that’s what the noise had been. “Even so, I am thankful that you made it through alright. And you see, there are spells that are handy besides fire ones, no?” Brulee grinned.

Creme, of course, looked away. She looked a bit red faced as she said, “I guess so,” in a tone that wasn’t very resentful at all.

“But I think that we both should get some rest before the sun rises again. Tomorrow will be a very busy day.”

Creme grinned. “Yup, I bet it will be.”


((And so the next day they went out and the town resoundingly beat back the orcs. Creme and Brulee went to inform Stormwind of all of this, and then investigated why the Defias were working with the orcs. And they eventually solved the mystery and Creme gained her freedom from the Necklace…  but Brulee decided to stay in Stormwind! And they still hang out and stuff because Creme is still on probation, just not a necklace one! The end???))

[Raw Draft] NaNoWriMo 2011 – Chapter 8: Free Falling

13 Dec

I participated in NaNoWriMo, and here is the continued story I wrote this year.

We left off with Brulee falling off a cliff! This chapter switches back to Creme’s point of view (I was very tempted to leave it at Brulee’s point of view, because it may have been more fun to have her think about falling while she was falling, but I digress), where she sees Brulee fall of the cliff and reacts instantly to save her. Turns out that yes, she does remember how to cast feather fall and therefore jumps off the cliff to feather fall them both down to safety.

They then have a series of heartfelt talks (falling off of cliffs seem to beget those things), and eventually determine that going to Lakeshire is the best course of action, once Brulee calms down a bit. There is more talking on their way there. They are almost found by a group of orcs, who are working with the Defias! The orc and Defias have a loud conversation of their plans, which Brulee and Creme decide to tell Lakeshire about ASAP!

Once they reach the edge of the lake by Lakeshire, Brulee has Creme cast Feather Fall on them so they can run across the water to get to the town. And they do so, though a little fireball mishap alerts some orcs to their arrival and they get shot at. Creme takes an arrow to the arm, and then ridiculously swims under the water using an ice tube to breathe. Because that’s the first thing you would think to do if you were underwater being shot at if you were a fire mage. … This is what happens when I’m writing late at night trying to get my wordcount up. Worst. Idea. Ever.

Anyway, she gets to shore and passes out, because blacking out is the easiest way to transition to another scene, apparently.

I will note that so far, Creme seems to be way more ‘badass’ in combat than Brulee, when I would think the opposite would be true. Still, I wanted Brulee to fall off the cliff because A) Brulee is afraid of heights so it makes it more interesting, and B) Creme can use feather fall to redeem herself (and learn more about her abilities to cast non-fire magic!) Character development all around!

And again, the number of typos in these later chapters is probably higher than the other ones, as I was getting a bit worried I wouldn’t finish on time. And I think I had a cold during these last few chapters too. I was feeling a bit better while writing this chapter, though.

Chapter 8: Free Falling

It was funny, really. How one moment you could be shocked learning the orc who kidnapped you was the same one who helped out your dead mom escape from a ruined city, and the next you’d be fighting for your life when some different orcs attacked.

Brulee had moved her away from the edge, towards back from where they came earlier, when one of the Horde people shouted. It was probably that creepy undead felllow; he wasn’t up on the cliff earlier, which suited Creme just fine. They had heard about the Scourge in the North and what they did, even down in Stormwind. It woudl’ve been pretty hard not to know about it, given the refugees that had poured in from the North, with their stories of folks who came back from the dead to terrorize them. Creme had hoped to never see one in her life, let alone hordes of them. And then the damn things that captured them had one in their group. It gave Creme the creeps. And it knew it too, the bastard. But Brulee didn’t want them to cause a scene by trying to escape or nothing. Which made sense; they were definitely out armed earlier.

But none of that really matter now, because they were under attack by a different set of orcs. Creme supposed it would’ve happened one way or another. The town of Lakeshire was definitely under attack, and they definitely would have wandered right into it if they had continued on their journey without interruption the next day. Just seemed a bit unfair that they had to get kidnapped before they faced them this time. At least they might’ve been expecting this… just not so soon.

The big orc and Brulee both pulled out swords and charged forward to meet their attackers. From the way Brulee had moved her aside, Creme guessed she didn’t want her in any of the combat. Certainly a noble sentiment, one that Creme appreciated for a short moment as the Draenei took on two orcs before another one went right for Creme.

Luckily, those few moments were enough for her to prepare herself. She had been waiting for an excuse to lay on with the fire spells and this seemed like a pretty good time to do so. She wasn’t gonna be caught off guard like she was last night.

IT was a large orc that was charging her. Some sort of warrior, if Creme was to judge. His lack of armor certainly made her think that, but mostly the fact that he was mindlessly yelling as he charged her wielding a giant battleaxe that made her suspicious.

“No mercy,” Creme thought grimly, before letting lose the fireball she had waiting in her hands.

Her aim was right on (it always was in school, even if the spell never turned out quite right). It blazed and roared right into the Orcs chest. Whatever he had been expecting from this scrawny human it certainly wasn’t some sort of fire. The orcs face controted from surprise at seeing the fire to pain as it seared his flesh. It barely slowed him down.

Seeing that the orc was still coming, Creme shot off several quick blasts of searing flames; super heated with bursts of boiling hot air. The grass singed as the fire went over it, and the orc staggered under the blow of each one, succumbing to the shock and burns.

Creme sent another fireball his way for good measure. The orc crumpled to the ground in a burning heap.

“He’s dead. Probably dead. Funny, I never thought the first thing I’d kill would be an orc, of all things.” Creme thought, trying to keep herself from shaking.

She looked around. The other orc was taking on a good three at once, and the Tauren was… was casting some sort of spellwork against another set. Some thorny vines of some sort had wrapped around the feet of several more orcs further away, holding them back. Their faces were contorted in rage at not being in the thick of the battle, no doubt.

But where was Brulee? Creme turned around – hoepfully no one would jump her in the meantime – and saw her Guardian fighting two orcs at once near the cliff’s edge. And it was in that instant Creme saw the two swing together, knocking the draenei off the edge of the cliff.

“No!” she cried, racing forward. The two orcs had just turned around and were surprised to see her racing toward them.

There was barely any time for her to process exactly what she was doing as she charged him. Later she considered all of it rather foolish. They swung at her as she raced forward but she dodged their sideways strikes by going under, simultaneously setting their feet on fire. That was always a good trick, especially when the heat got ramped up like she just did.

She was sure she could hear them yelling in pain, and secretly hoped they would fall off the cliffs themselves, but really had no more time to worry about such things at the moment because she just ran off the cliff herself.

It was on purpose, of course. She had to go save Brulee.

Of course, Creme did have some self doubts about her whole plan, but in her defense, it was made up right there on the spot when Brulee had fallen. “Guess in situations like these you don’t get too mcuh time to think things through.”

It looked like Brulee had fallen pretty far already. Creme needed to get a bit closer for her plan to work. She tried to make herself fall faster by making herself more aerodynamic. As she did so she prepared the spell.

The spell itself was pretty simple. A feather fall. Just made you as light as a feather so you’d drift down in case you fell from somewhere pretty high, or didn’t want that jar you just dropped to smash on the ground. The people at the mage school taught it pretty early on, since it was a nice simple non-attacking spell that taught all sorts of prinicples of magic Creme could really care less about right now. She had used it before, especially when she first learned it because what’s more fun than jumping off of roofs with your friends while you’re super light and scaring all the passerbyers?

“Hopefully I still remember how to use it or we’re both goners,” Creme thought.

A second or two ticked by and she was close enough to Brulee to cast the spell, as the ground loomed ever closer beneath them. She thrust out her hand at Brulee and willed the magic to work ((its magic ahahaha))).

“And it did! Praise the Light!” Creme thought as she zoomed past a considerably alarmed and puzzled Brulee, who was now gently floating down the remainder of the way to the ground. “Now I just need to do the same thing for me.”

Her mind went blank for one panic filled second as she tried to summon the same power that she did just a moment ago with NO FIRE coming out of her fingers this time! Another seemingly long second was spent channeling the energy for the spell, and then finally she too was gently floating into the valley below.

She looked up to track where Brulee was. Further up, and moving further a little further away from the cliff than she was. Hopefully they wouldn’t have any trouble finding each other.

Her journey down ended short, however, when she ran into the tops of one of the pine trees down in the fields below. Creme swore, because the tree was rather prickly and she would’ve rather landed straight on the ground. Instead she had to untangle herself from the branches and give a hop to float down some more, since at least the spell was still in effect.

Finally she touched down on the ground. About fifty yards away she saw Brulee landing as well, the draenei collapsing in a heap on the ground.

Creme jogged over to her.

“Il gul Sha, O azgala o gul aman!” Brulee said breathlessly as Creme got near. The draenei was sitting on the ground, limbs akimble, one hand over her chest. She was breathing heavily and shaking.

Creme tilted her head to the side. The draenei was obviously speaking a different language, but it didn’t sound like the Orcish she was hearing earlier. Maybe it was whatever Draenei usually spoke? It sounded kinda flowing, not as harsh as the Orcish was to her ears. She still couldn’t understand it though.

“Uh… what?”

Brulee’s eyes looked to unfocus slightly before focsing again on her. “Oh… I am sorry… I was uh.. I was just saying … I was saying that I thought I was dead.”

“Yeah. I guess it was kinda a close one, wasn’t it?” Creme responded, trying to keep it light. She turned around to gaze up the cliff they fell – or in her case jumped – off of. Looked up and up and up to the top. Creme gulped; it was amazingly high. Suddenly she felt she made a really stupid decision to jump off; what if her spells hadn’t worked?

There was a little smoke from up on the cliff, but it was high and far enough away that Creme couldn’t hear any other sounds of the battle. She hoped that the Horde members could handle themselves well enough not to fall off a cliff.

“Pretty high though wasn’t it?” Creme said, before slowly sinking to the ground next to Brulee.

The draenei nodded. There was a moment of silence again. Brulee had started rubbing one of her horns with one of her hands; the other was trembling slightly. Creme situated herself on the rough grass, crossing her legs and trying not to be obnoxious and let Brulee collect herself some more. Even from their short time together she hadn’t seen her mentor so shaken.

“And she definitely has the right to,” Creme thought. “Most people don’t have someone handy around to stop them from falling to their deaths when they’re pushed off a cliff by some freaky orcs.”

Brulee first broke the silence between them.

“Thank you. I owe you my life.”

Creme turned to stare at her, surprised. Had anyone ever said anything like that to her before? Ever? Thanked her for any of the risky heists they had taken? Sure they might’ve thanked her, but no matter how many rough situations they had been in, it had hardly ever been life or death. What should she say back?

As quick as she turned to look, she turned her head away to hide the blush that was creeping across her face. “It- it was nothing. I just couldn’t let you get too far away ’cause of these stupid necklaces.” She uncorssed her legs and brought them up to rest her head on in a grump fashion.

“We shall have to see about these necklaces then, when we get back into town,” Brulee responded. Creme was surprised to hear that, that was for sure. But she didn’t turn her head to ask more. If Brulee felt that it should be removed, it didn’t mean that the Warden or any of them did. And it’s not like she had seen out her whole punishment or anything, really.

“I must be admitting,” Brulee continued, her voice quavering slightly, “I was not thinking of what would be happening to you when I had fallen. I suppose it is… selfish? Yes, selfish of someone to be so focused of their own worries at a time when they are beliving they are dying. … Thinking of my sister… praying for a miracle to happen that I may not perish in what would actually be rather embarrassing. I had been knowing the cliff was there but I was not paying attention as I should have been.” She chuckled lightly, ending in a sigh. “I am out of practice, just as Sister Lakosha said.”

“She’s rambling,” Creme thought ((stating the obvious)). She kept looking away though. Hearing someone ramble was embarrassing enough; watching her would make it even more embarrassing for the both of them.

Brulee continued to prattle on. “And then the Light answered my prayers, even as I was panicking in the air. You came down as well with your magic! I was so suprised to see you falling – I was almost not sure how I had stopped falling util I saw you stop falling as well. I was not sure if you were going to stop yourself as well. Did you fall off as well? Pushed off?”

Creme shook her head no. “I, um, jumped.” She sat up some to face Brulee, since it seemed she was done rambling for the time being.

The draenei’s eyes widened. “You came after me on purpose? You threw yourself off the cliff?”

“Uh, yeah. I guess so. I mean I’ve sorta done this kinda stuff before. I mean, using the Feather Fall…” Creme scratched the back of her head.

“Remarkable that you would even do so to help me! A thousand thanks to you, friend! A thousand thanks!”

“Friend? Are we friends? Does she think of me as a friend?” Creme’s thoughts felt guilty. But would she have thrown herself off a cliff for anyone who wasn’t a friend?

Brulee continued to speak, apparently unaware of Creme’s guilty conscience and still full of adrenaline. “I am not sure if I would ever willingly go off a cliff, even if I was knowing how to float down from one. I am not a, how you say… friend? No, fan? A fan of heights. Just looking down from there made me very nervous and afraid. And then as if to prove that I was afraid of them I was knocked off from them!” Her hands were thrown up in exasperation. “I do not wish to be climbing up a hill again, whether or not I have my savior mage with me or not!”

All this hero talk directed at Creme was making her decidedly nervous. She better show Brulee quick that she was no good for battles or nothing or else this would get out of hand and everyone else would be wanting to make her do even more helpful things. Not really what she was looking for.

Though if word got out to the Warden how she saved Brulee’s life – and she woudl bet that Brulee would tell him the story each time he asked – maybe her sentence -would- get reduced so there would be less time for her to have to wear the stupid necklace.

But why did she feel guilty for even thinking about doing that?

She decided to change the subject to avoid any more of those complecated feelings.

“Sooo… what’re we going to do now?” she asked.

“I am not so sure. Most of our things are either at their camp or with our horses up there…” Brulee eyed the cliff and Creme did too. Nothing seemed to have changed; she couldn’t even see anyone up there. Maybe the other Horde members had been defeated. A lump formed in her throat. It would’ve been nice to talk to the Orc who knew her mom, and now he might be dead too.

Brulee continued. “And I am not so sure what would be a good plan next. I was thinking that I would have been dead by now but I am still here. So this may require some thinking.”

Great. Brulee was usually the one who came up with whatever they were going to do next, and here she was addlebrained from a little fall. Okay, a big fall. But that probably meant that she had to think of what to do next.

“Well…” Creme started, thinkihng out loud, “I guess we really have three options. We could go back to Stormwind, or we could go try to find the Horde camp to get our stuff and regroup there, or we could try to go to Lakeshire.” The last one seemed a bit farfetched in her mind; they had just seen that Lakeshire was pretty much surrounded by an angry orcish horde.

“Hmm…” mused Brulee. “I am not sure how we could get to either Stormwind or the Horde camp. My understanding of the land here is not as good now that we are off the road.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean. I don’t think I could really point out which way Stormwind is in,” Creme added, slightly sheepish.

Brulee pointed off to her left. “I am thinking it is over there but I am not sure the mountains are passable if we were to be walking that direction. And since our horses are up on the cliff, or scattered about by the attackers, we would have to go by foot with no food or water. Unless we were to find some.”

Creme stuck out her tongue. “Eww. I don’t think I could tell if some plant was edible or not.”

“You could always be hunting something to eat, yes?”

“Hunt something? Me?”

Brulee smiled. “And it would be pre-cooked would it not? With all of the fireballs?”

Creme tried not to look amused at that statement. “But then I would need to like sneak up on them or something right?”

Brulee nodded. “Yes, you would be needing to do that. Hunting does take much patience, and I am assuming you have not done too much of it ever?”

“Food is sold in stores or on carts.”

“Hm, indeed. Then it would be hard to be traveling very far without knowing many directions. And I am not knowing about what you think, but to be attempting at finding the Horde camp after falling for some time, we would be having to take a long way around, yes? Unless you can make us float up a cliff?” Brulee giggled again; she seemed to be having a case of the sillies after the fall.

“No, I don’t have nothing that makes me go up.”

“Then it would also be taking a long time to get there and they may have moved the camp while we have been gone or have been taken over by the bad orcs.”

Creme frowned. “I guess if they found us up here, they might ahve found the toher Horde camp…”

Brulee nodded. “It would have many problems for us if we were to go back for our supplies and then found that the camp has been overrun and we are attacked again. If we were to even find the camp. I am afraid I was not paying as close attention as I should have to wher ethey were taking us, though I am afraid I may have forgotten anyway after a fall like that!” She laughed again.

“Um, yeah. I guess…” Creme said. She was afraid where Brulee’s logic was leading them.

“And I am not saying I am wishing much harm upon our Horde friends up there, and I am certainly hoping that they have defeated the orcs, but they likely are thinking that we are dead and it may be best for now if they keep thinking that. Especially since the ones at the camp may not be so friendly if we were to approach them, yes? So I am thinking that since these other options may be harder for us to easily travel to without being found by some of these bad orcs, that we should go to Lakeshire.”

There was a pause. Creme sucked in a big breath of air and let it out.

“You know when I mentioned that we maybe could go to Lakeshire?”

“Yes? I am aware of you mentioning that.”

“I didn’t actually mean for you to want us to go to Lakeshire. Because of all of those orcs. You know. The bad ones. Surrounding it. With a blockade.”

Brulee waved her hand dismissively. “Yes, yes. I know there are many orcs there surrounding it. But since we know they are there we can easily deal with the problem.”

“You have a plan for dealing with them?”

“I am sure one will come to me.” Brulee set a hand on her knee and pushed herself up into a standing position. Creme continued to stare at the draenei like she was crazy.

“So we’re going to Lakeshire… with no plan on how to get in there through a blockade… and no plan once we get in?!”

Brulee tapped the tip of her left horn with her left hand, grinning. “Ah – I never said I didn’t have a plan for when we got into there, yes?”


<walka walka walka>

Of course the plan wasn’t as easy as Brulee had laid out. Lakeshire hadn’t seemed that far away when they were on the cliff, but it turned out it was taking them a good amount of time to get there. Creme was getting pretty tired. They had been walking for almost the whole afternoon. The sun was getting pretty low in the sky.

Brulee glanced back at her. The draenei had definitely calmed down since after the fall, and was leading the way with gusto. Too much gusto, in Creme’s opintion. Brulee knew how to walk and walk fast she did.

“Are you needing a break?” the draenei asked her, sounding a little concerned.

‘No doubt she heard my heavy panting,’ Creme thought, slightly embarrassed. She was a city girl, after all. Marching through the hills of Redridge was a little harder than a leisurely storll (or quick sprint) across the city of Stormwind. Made her feel a bit out of shape though, to have the Draenei who was obviously older than her be able to walk around longer than her with no sign of exertion(though by how much older Brulee was than her she wasn’t too sure; obviously old enough to learn orcish from before the orcs came to this world, which was before Creme was born. But a lot of things happened then and a lot people were way older than her. Brulee didn’t look it, though. She had heard that they lived like a long time like teh Night Elves did, which was cool when you first thought about it, but then your would realize how much it would suck to be a teenager for like a hundred years or something. Not cool).

“Um, yeah. I Guess. IF we have the time,” Creme said, slowing down her walking pace a bit. She didn’t want to lag them behind just because of her. She was sure she could soldier on if needed. But a break would still be nice.

“Oh yes, there will be some time. I do not think we are very far now from the lake, and we cannot be entering the town until it is dark out.”

Creme nodded and tried to slow down her breathing some so she didn’t sound quite so out of breath. She wasn’t too sure if approaching the town at night was the best idea, but at least they woudl be less noticed in the cover of night by both the orcs and the townspeople – and hoepfully the townspeople wouldn’t mind them coming ashore much at all in the night and hopefully wouldn’t shoot at them.

Brulee looked around and picked out a nice rock to sit on. Creme followed suit on another nearby convenient rock and caught her breath.

‘Ew, I’m sweating a lot too. And it isn’t even that warm outside. Does adventuring usually mean this much running around? Maybe not. We did have horses before. I didn’t like them at first but after walkin’ I think I’d prefer fallin’ off allt he time!’ she thought to herself, wiping off her brow with her hand, and then grimacing at feeling the sweat there. She wiped off her arm on her pant leg. And then she frowned, trying to look like she meant that because it looked like Brulee was about to laugh at her antics or something like that. She seemed extra giggly from after falling off the cliff. ‘Maybe she’s usually like that when she’s not on duty watching some human kid or something. Maybe I’ve just been holdin’ her back ’cause she’s got a sense of duty and there’d be something she’d rather do but I’ve messed it all up for her and this is a chore…’ That would make more sense, it would. Only Paladins and Guards would be crazy enough to link themselves to a troublemaker in an effort to redeem then. Weird.

Her breath caught up with her again. “I guess we can go now,” she said. Creme made no movement to get up though.

Brulee leaned back on her rock. “I am not in a hurry right now. As I was saying, we are not far from the town now. We can sit around some more. I too am thankful for a rest. We had been walking for a good time just then.”

“Are you sure we’re close?” Creme asked suspiciously, eyes narrowing slightly as she looked over to Brulee for once.

Brulee nodded decisively. “I am quite certain. We had passed a landmark I had seen from the cliff and it is not too far from where the lake was, and we shall be crossing the lake in the night time when it is safer.”

“Safer, right… Wait – you saw something that looked like a landmark from way up on that cliff?” Creme asked, surprised. She made out the various orcs camps from that distance, but barely. The orcs had looked super small, and even the town’s buildings were too. “There was no way you could see any really good details up there, could you?”

Brulee looked surprsied right abck at her. “But of course! Everything was crystal clear for me, down to the last detail of the camps and the town. Of course I was not thinking that we would be approaching the town at that point, but a few of the details of the land stuck with me even after the falling.” She tilted her head to side a bit. “Was it not as clear for you?”

Creme shook her head. “No one could see that far without a spyglass or something.”

Brulee pursed her lips. “Hm… Perhaps no human could.”

“So that’s what your glowy eyes are good for huh? Seeing long distances?”

“And they can light your way in the dark,” Brulee smirked. Creme stifled her laughter. She didn’t want Brulee to think she thought she was funny or anything. That would be giving the wrong impression for sure.

But there wasn’t much else to do besides talk right now anyway, if they were waiting for the sun to set.

“So… ” Creme started, “you have a sister?”

Brulee smiled and nodded. “Oh yes, I do. She is called Shamundi.”

“Just Shamundi?”

Brulee nodded.

“Sounds like a funny name to me.”

“And ‘Creme Stonemason’ is a funny name too, to me,” Brulee snapped back lightly.

Creme felt herself blush slightly. “I guess it would be weird for you, huh. I mean, it’s pretty weird one for a Southerner too.”

“Southerner…? Oh – you are meaning someone who is from the Stormwind area?”

“Yeah. The name I got i more common up north. I guess Mom took a liking to it when she was up there.”

“Ah yes. But you see, there would be reason to think anyone’s name would sound funny if ti came from an area not near you, so you would be learning to keep quiet on such things.”

“Um, right.” Brulee sounded a bit irratated. Savign her life or not, I guess making fun of a name was a touchy kind of thing. And it was her sister’s name of course. That probably was more special than other types of names.

“So… what does yoru sister do? Is she a paladin too?”

Brulee smiled again; Creme supposed talking about her sister was still an okay topic then. The draenei shook her head as she spoke. “Oh no, Shamundi never had the patience or the interest for learning more about the Lgith’s powers. She never was very adept at controlling the Light as many of us are. Plus, she always thought the teachers were stuffy.”

Brulee smiled as Creme giggled to herself. “Ha… that’s what I’ve always thought to.”

“Oh? And you think I am stuffy?” Brulee said, suddenly looking serious.

“Uh…” Creme opened her eyes innocently. Maybe Brulee didn’t like her laughing much at all. “.. er… no? Maybe? No?” she said at a poor attempt at placating the draenei.

Brulee’s face cracked into a smile. ‘Ah, she was faking!’

“I am glad you do not see me as too stuffy. Shamundi would always tease me about these things when I was studying the books so much. Yes, she would tease me about it, as did my brother Alee.”

“You have a brother as well?” ((Though we may have covered this already earlier but I don’t remember right now))

“I did, but was killed during an orc attack.”

“Oh. Um. I’m sorry to hear that.” Creme said.

“Thank you. Many of our people have suffered from the orcish rage and lust for battle. Your to. Is that not why your mother had traveled to the north?” ((would brulee know this?))

“Yeah.” Creme nodded.

They were quiet for a moment. Creme was caught up in her own thoughts about orcs and such, how they caused so much trouble for people who would normally never meet. What a strange coinsidence that they would end up on the same planet, crash landing there.

“At any rate,” Brulee continued, “my sister kept her studies focused on the more material aspects of this world.”

“… like what?”

“Oh, the um… tinkering with metals and other things? The uh… how you say… mechanical things?” Brulee made some fiddly motions with her hands.

“… Engineering?” Creme supplied.

Brulee smiled brightly. “Yes! That is the word – I had forgotten it. Engineering. That is what she did. She fixed things like our holoprojectors and engines and other such mechanical things, and would sometimes make new ones. Exploding bombs too, she liked making those. I am sure the two of you would get along nicely, because she is usually so full of energy and you both like to set things on fire. … When appropriate.” The last bit was added on as what seemed to be an administrative afterthought to try to prevent furhter trouble from Creme.

“Haha, sounds like a lot of fun.”

“It is much fun for her. I never understood half of the things that she would talk to me about when she worked on such things. Engineering is mostly a hobby for many of our people, so perhaps that is why the more common terms were not shared as much outside of those who became experts, as many of us devote our lives to the Light. However, we all understand the need for the technology engineers produce.”

Well that was an interesting tidbit. “Oh, so most of your people are Paladins then?”

Brulee shrugged. “Or Priests. At least those who are adept at channeling the Light are. All… or almost all Draenei have some connection with the Light. It is just stronger with some than others.”

“So… all of you can heal and stuff?”

“More or less. Just rudimentary stuff come to the untrained though, such as healing of a bruise or minor scrape. The more complex wounds, they are requiring a more skilled hand or else the wound is made more worse.”

“Huh. That’s pretty cool. So the ones who aren’t as skilled with using the Light, they just do other things?”

Brulee nodded. “Of course. There are many roles for everyone to fill in the world, as you know. Many become warriors of some sort to protect the villages, like my brother did, alongside the Light wielding Paladins and Priests. And those who are comfortable safely wielding the powers of the Nether also fight with magic as Mages as well, such as what you do. We have faced many dangers as a people, from the Bruing Legion to the orcish hordes. Defense of our people was put at a premium. I suppose the times have been changed now that we are upon Azerothn and we have our many Allies to help and be helped by. I am sure it is a more peaceful time for our craft people. They are our engineers, as you say, and our tailors and our jewel makers. Embellishing things with jewels has always been a rather pleasant thing to do for ones armor.” She leaned in with a smile on her face. “Though I do not think any of those other types of jobs are glamorous as being a Paladin.”

“I suppose you wouldn’t.”

“Indeed.” Brulee looked up at the sky. “I suppose I have been talking long enough and you have been resting enough too, yes?”

Creme nodded. They had been sitting here for awhile, hadn’t they.

“Then let us get going,” the draenei said. She stood up, brushing whatever the rock may have left behind from her own behind and tail. It still boggled Creme’s mind that the draenei had tails. She had played around in her mind of trying to pull on Brulee’s but would imagine it would only make things horribly horribly worse for her if she did. Like shocks via the necklace worse. She wouldn’t put it past Brulee to do something like that iehter. If someone pulled on your tail it would be like someone pulling on your hair only worse, she suspected.

Creme got up too and started after Brulee, who was leading the way again. That was probably for the best, it was getting pretty dark out since the sun was almost down, and since Draenei could apparently see better in the dark… well, it just made sense.

“So… where’s your sister now?” Creme asked, trying to keep the conversation going.

Was it just her imagination or did Brulee’s back get straighter when she asked that?

“She… is in The Exodar,” Brulee responded.

“Oh. Um. Is she working there?”

There was more silence.

‘Did… did I say something wrong? We were just talking about her. I don’t see why she ahd to get all uptight about her now.’ Creme thought to herself.

“She…” started Brulee, but then she stopped speaking again. They were still walking though. Creme decided to let her sort out what Brulee was going to say. Maybe they were all out of sorts and had a fight or something.

“My sister… has been very ill. Since The Exodar crashed here. She was caught up in some of the worst of it and has been in a sleep ever since.” Brulee’s words were said with a tight voice and broken inbetween. Creme involuntarily gasped. No wonder why Brulee had spoken so fondly of her, and had been so hesitent to speak now. Creme never had any siblings, least not any real onse. But if someone she was close to at the orphanage got into serious trouble like that… a lump formed in her throat.

“Jeeze, you just can’t catch a break can you,” she murmured under her breath.

“Hm?” Brulee asked sharply. She hasn’t heard apparently, her head moved slightly to the side but the most Creme coudl amke out was one of her glowing eyes, overpowering the rest of her face.

“Oh. Just sayin’ I’m real sorry to hear that. I hope she gets better soon.”

Brulee nodded. “I agree. I had been waiting for her to wake up but-” She stopped speaking and stopped walking. Creme just about ran into her.

“But what?” she asked, sounding annoyed. The last thing she wanted to do was to run into a giant draenei carrying a huge ass sword on her back.

“Shh!” the Draenei said. Her head tilted to a side and then dodged towards some bushes to the left, grabbing Creme’s arm as well and pulling her roughly into the cover.

“Ow! Hey, what is-”

“Shh!” Brulee said again as they crouched down into the bushes.

Creme glared at her, but lowered her voice down to a whisper. “What, did you hear something?”

Brulee nodded, her eyes slitted. Probably either to keep them from being to bright in the dark… or because she was glaring at her for stating the obvious.

‘Well I didn’t hear nothing,’ Creme thought, just as there was a snap of a twig not to far ahead of them, followed by the sillouette of an large Orc, lit up from a latern behind them.

Creme’s eyes widened as she tried to make herself even smaller in the itchy bush Brulee had pulled them into, all with trying not to make another sound. Thank the Light that the orc up there didn’t pop up when they had been walking or else the sound of her breathing might’ve given them away!

They watched the latern lift up, moving from side to side. The orc was obviously looking for something; possibly even them? Hopefuly whatever landmark Brulee had seen wasn’t another orc camp of some sort.

“Do you see anything?” said a male voice in perfect Common. Creme nearly jumped in surprise from hearing that – there shouldn’t be any Common speakers outside the town.

The orc turned. “Thought I herd some noise,” the orc rumbled in less than perfect Common. It was heavily accented.

A second figure appeared in the lantern light some distance ahead. It was a human, wearing some sort of black leather, probably. But more improtantly, this human had a red mask across his face.


The human peered around the area. “I don’t see anything except some stupid plants. It was probably some animal or something.”

“Bunnies no talk.”

“Yes, that’s very astute of you.”

“I heard talk. I tink.”

“And I ‘tink’ that you should get back to camp where you should be guarding us from actual dangers, should they stumble across. Stick with the plan, o’ buddy boy.” The human slapped the shoulder of the orc.

“I been tinking dat da rewards haven’t been comin’ as soon as you sed dey would be.”

“The plan requires patience, my friend. They town is on their last legs. When tomorrow morning comes around, you all push through and round everyone up, give them a good scare. Take their loot. And then… we come and ‘chase you out’ like we planned. You get the rewards, we get the thanks of the people. And if they don’t thank us… well, at least we get the town.”

“But what if we kill all dem?”

“We still get the town. It will make a great base of operations..” The voice trailed off. It appeared that the human was leading the orc back to the camp.

They stayed still for quite some time afterwards, ears, straining to hear any more sounds from anyone else from teh camp they apparently stumbled close to. It was quiet.

Brulee was the first to move out of the bush. Creme stayed in it as the draenei looked around. The sun had completely set now, only the twilight lights in teh sky.

Brulee waved her hand for Creme to exit the bush, and so she did. The two of the scurried off in a slightly different direction set by Brulee, away from the camp but still, presumably, towards the lake and Lakeshire itself. They moved quietly at a much faster pace for Light knows how long before Brulee finally slowed down.

“I think it is safe to talk here,” she said, keeping her voice low. Creme took a couple of quick steps up to walk next to Brulee, for easier conversation.

“I am not sure what they were speaking of,” Brulee continued, frowning. “But it does not look very good for this town if there are humans working with the orcs. That seems very strange.”

Creme nodded, even though Brulee probably couldn’t see that. “Yeah. The Defias. They’re up to no good.”

“The Defias?” Brulee asked.

“Yeah. They’re… well… I guess they’re a bunch of renigade theives, now. They don’t like Stormwind at all.”

“Is that so? They are bandits, then?”

“Yeah… I’ve heard a lot of them are usually out in the woods. And over in Westfall. But I hadn’t heard of them out here before.”

“You seem to know much about them for being from the city.”

Creme shrugged. “Sometimes they try to drum up support from some folks in the city.”

“Would not the guards-”

“They aren’t doin’ it out in the middle of the streets where the guards are. They do it, you know, secret like. In the back alleys, where people who know about them or would be in favor of them would go.”

“In favor? Not many are in favor of thievery.”

“That’s not what they do – what they say they do, at least. They’re against the Crown ’cause of the riots.”

“Riots against the Crown? They are motivated by some politics?” Brulee sounded rather shocked from all of this, even with keeping their voices hushed.

“It’s complicated. I think it has to do with the Stoneworkers Guild. They were rebuilding the city. And they thought the Crown said they were getting paid. Except the Crown never paid them. And then there was riots.”

“Was this something recent?” Brulee sounded concerned.

“No. Happened when I was a kid.”

“Oh. And the Stoneworkers…?”

“Left town, driven out. One or the other. They formed the Defias. To get back at the Crown and get their payment. But it’s been some time. They’ve turned more to petty crimes than ones against the Crown itself. It hurts more of the people who didn’t go with ’em.”

“Hm… Oh. I believe we are here. At the lake.” She slowed down even more.

In front of them the lake stretched out. Creme could see Lakeshire not to far away across the Lake. They had torches going. And on either side were the orc encampments. They seemed generally peaceful now. It was likely both sides were resting this evening, for the big attack they now knew was going to happen the next morning.

<Get across the lake. Next chapter is time for preparing for battlez!>

“So now what?” Creme asked. “We swim across this lake? In the middle of the night when it’s dark. And cold.”

“That is not what I had in mind.”

Creme crossed her arms. “And what did you have in mind then? Finding a boat? I’m sure all those orc camps would be just happy to lend us one. Or were we going to just sneak through them?”

“That is not the plan at all. Don’t be silly. The plan is for you to get us there.”

“Me? You must be jokin’. I can’t get us there, it’s not like I know any teleportation or nothin’-”

Brulee put her hands out to stop the whining. “No no, it is not that. It is using the Feather spell. It was making us light as feathers, yes?”

Creme nodded slowly, dubious.

“So all we are needing is for you to be casting that spell again on us, and we shall tiptoe across the water into the town.”

“But don’t they have those barracades up? And like… be expectin’ orcs showin’ up on the water too and shoot at us and stuff?”

“Do not be worrying about that so much. I am thinking we can persuade them not to be shooting us at some distance away, and we can safely make it into town without attracting too much attention from any of the enemy encampments. Hopefully.”

“If you say so…” Creme said. She wasn’t too sure this plan would work, especially since she had never tried to walk on water with a feather fall spell on before.

“And if worse comes to worse I am sure we could swim over there,” Brulee added cheerfully.

“More like freeze to death.”

“I am very sure that the Light would keep us warm! Now then, if you would like to be focusing on casting your spell we shall see if this plan is holding water, as you say.”

“Making puns already, are we?”

Brulee sniffed. “I will have you know I am mastering the playing of words when speaking the Draeni language” ((or… not. Really she says:))  “Puns? What are you meaing?”

“Nevermind,” Creme muttered. Before the draenei could ask what she meant by that, Creme briskly started preparing the spell. “Alright, I’m gonna try castin’ it now.”

A moment’s concentration on the spell – and making it not be a fireball -and Creme carefully aimed at Brulee. The draenei glowed lightly for just a brief second as the spell settled into her.

“There. Try it out.”

Brulee did so, carefully stepping one foot – well, Creme supposed it was actually a hoof – out onto the water. It stayed on the surface of the water. The draenei moved her other hoof to the water, and it held above the surface too. She bounced a bit and didn’t sink.

“It seems to be working then,” Burlee said. She turned her head to look at the town, eyes narrowing. “It does seem to be some distance away. Will you be alright casting this spell many times?”

“Um… maybe. I haven’t done too much practice doing continuous casting stuff though…”

“Then we will have to keep a brisk pace across the water. It should not be too hard as it seems to be a very calm lake, but I am not one to be looking forward to swimming while wearing full armor.”

Creme nodded and then cast the spell on herself. It was weird seeing her hands glow so much without flames popping out. Plus she had never really noticed the glow of the Feather Fall spell before. It was pretty subtle, but I guess always got lost in the light of the day… or the heat of the moment when falling down. Usually paid more attention to the ground and not to whether there was a little extra hint of light.

She stepped out onto the water and then freshened up Brulee’s spell as well. “Let’s go.”

Brulee led their jog across the water at a brisk pace. There was no talking now, just gentle splashing noises as they went over the top of the lake. The lake was very calm, just like Brulee said it was. Creme still watched her footing though. It seemed a bit more slippery to walk on water than ground, but that sorta made sense. Plus she didn’t want to fall into the water, ’cause she reckoned if she did she’d have even more trouble casting the spells, and if she stopped casting the spells they would sink down.

And boy was the spell casting hard to keep up with, especially while running. Even though it was getting chilly out, sweat from both the jogging on concentrating on the spellcasting was dripping down her forehead not even halfway to the town.

‘And now it’s Brulee’s turn for a refresher…’ she thought to herself. The draenei was starting to sink into the water a little bit, a sure sign that the spell was weakening. Brulee’s pace didn’t slow down though, a sure sign that the Draenei trusted her… or the draenei was just really sure of her footing. Or didn’t even notice herself sinking into the lake. Or…

‘Focus!’ Creme thought. She glanced down at her hand to see that instead of the plainer arcane spell that she had already subsconsciously summoned a fireball instead of the proper feather fall spell.

“Oh fer crying out-” she said. Angrily she cast the fireball into the water on her right. It was a small one, but enough to light the area a bit before it burst into steam behind her.

Brulee heard the loud hiss from the steam, twisting about to her right while still moving forward. “What? What was-”

Creme gritted her teeth. “It was nothing,” she forced out. Concentrating, she produced the proper spell and cast it upon Brulee.

‘And now one for me.’ She knew she had slowed down some but at least Brulee had too, after hearing that noise.

“We are not too far now,” Brulee called over her shoulder. “You are doing very well.”

Creme didn’t respond. She was too tired to be talking out loud right now.

‘Says the draenei running with ease. She’s probably just patronizing me for not being as fit, for barely knowing how to do a simple spell like this. I guess Sarah was right after all, wasn’t she. That it might be handy to practice. But who woulda thought I’d be in a jam like this?’

“Oh dear. It seems that the town has noticed us already,” Brulee said. It soudned a bit quiet from where Creme was standing since the draenei was facing forward this time, apparently staring at the town and them who noticed us.

‘That… was probably my bad for not concentrating hard enough. They must’ve seen the fireball and then us ’cause not much else happens across the lake, right?’ Creme carefully conjured up the next feather spell for Brulee, making sure there wasn’t mistakes this time.

Brulee apparently noticed the slightly glow of the spell being recast, because she shouted “I think I can be sprinting there from here. I will let them know we are not bad as they can welcome us to the village.” She started to take off.

“But-” Creme called, for a moment trying to keep up. But Brulee’s warrior, er, paladin training was evident as the draenei easily pulled away.

“Do not worry!” Brulee cried out, her voice fairly distant. Creme slowed down her jog some, watching the Draenei charge the village in the distance. She was running as straight as an arrow… and then was dodge something? Was it arrows? And then the draenei raised up her arm and a dazzling light emitted from it. Wings lit up her back and the area around her was clear as day.

‘Well if my fireball didn’t alert everyone in the area to our presence than that damn well will’ It was one thing to let the villagers see that no, you weren’t some orcish invasion from the sea, but Creme was pretty sure that the orcish camps on the sides would see that too. She quickly recast her feather spell on herself and picked up the pace.

And not a moment too soon. She felt a shapr gust of air brush past the back of her head. IT mussed her hair. A quick glance towards the subsequent splash confirmed it was an arrow that went right for her head – and almost got it too! Judging from the angle it didn’t come from the town either. That means the orcs must see ’em too.

She nearly fell over onto the water in her effort to hurry up and not get shot at. A few more splashes from arrows popped up in her general location, apparently less accurate than that first shot. There were probably a good number of them aiming at her. Creme started running in an erratic pattern and speed; partly ’cause a funny moving target was harder to aim at, and partly because she was losing her balance while running on water.

Up ahead, Brulee had apparently made it to the village shore with no more trouble. Maybe she was talking with them up there at first, but she turned and pointed out to where Creme was and then obviously saw she was running for her life from something.

‘Good to see she’s at least a bit concerned.’ Creme thought. A few more arrows whizzed by. Quite a few of them were falling short. If she got a bit farther over, maybe they would get out of range. Or maybe when she got closer to the town they’d be out of range too. Brulee had the big light show but no one was shooting at her or the people who wer eon the shore.

It looked like Brulee was trying to go back out on the water but someone was holdling her back. Talking?

An arrow went close to her head again. She instinctivly ducked and kept moving forward. But finally her luck ran out as another arrow pierced her arm. Creme cried out in pain and stumbled to the water’s surface. And then fell through it.

‘The spell worse off! Damn damn damn, it hurts!’ Creme thought. She cluthced at her arm, still under the water and tried tugging at the arrow. It came out with little resistance. The water stung and the wound felt warm against the cold water. She winced and almost cried out again, if it wasn’t for all that water she would otherwise be breathing.

Creme forced open her eyes. The water stung them too, but most of her attention was more focused on the pain in her arm. And trying to get a way out of this situation alive.

She couldn’t see much with the lack of lighting. There were some blurry lights ahead, where the town was. That’s where she would have to go. Aftter getting some air. She moved towards teh surface but then an arrow plunged into teh water right where she was about to go up. It didn’t go very far down, thank the Light, but it might be more complicated if she were to surface.

‘But I need air – wait! That spell. If I can just alter it a little…’

Creme let go of her her her wound with her good arm – her right one (which was for the best since that was the arm she prefered to cast spells with) – and twisted it a bit, calling once again the arcane powers. This time she was going to focus on the ice, the water. She was in a lot of water, after all. She just needed a way to get the air without being seen.

‘First to make a pillar…’ A thin column of ice sprung forth from her hand, from the water around her.

‘And then tho hollow it.’ Ice manipulation was some of the work her teacher had her work on before. She never liked it, but it would come in handy now. If she didn’t run out of breath before she finished.

She couldn’t see it happening, but she could feel the center of her icy creation hollow out from her hand up. She made sure the top went above the water before it finished, and then placed the still sealed bottom part to her mouth. It was very cold. She hoped it wouldn’t freeze to her lips. Her right hand still held it and she opened up the bottom part.

‘Air! Sweet air!’ Creme sucked at it greedily at first, until she realized the tube was starting to melt. She redoubled her concentration on keeping the power flowing through to keep the creation from melting in the water. The water was cold but not as cold as the ice itself.

A few more arrows crashed in the water above her, but she ignored them, instead swimming steadily with her legs propelling her towards the town lights.

It took her a few minutes at least to get to shallow water where she could stand. That was probably out of range of the archers. She stood up, dropping the ice tube and letting it melt, coughing and sputtering from the water that got in, and shivering from the cold and pain. She kept walking more or less towards the town.

Creme heard a familiar voice shout “There she is!” but was too tired to acknoledge it. All the spellcasting she just did must have worn her out far too much. The second someone approached her she fell into them, blacked out.

[Raw Draft] NaNoWriMo 2011 – Chapter 7: Negotiations

5 Dec

I participated in NaNoWriMo, and here is the continued story I wrote this year.

Brulee wakes up the next day after the attack on them the night before, surprised that she isn’t dead. Creme is with her, and it turns out they had been captured by some members of the Horde! Luckily, Brulee still knows Orcish from back when Draenei used to trade with them, so she’s able to talk with them. Turns out they didn’t mean to attack them the previous night — it was just a horrible misunderstanding and  an accidentally fired arrow. Yup. Not only that, but the Horde wished to warn them that Lakeshire was under attack by orcs! And no, those orcs weren’t part of the Horde, but the people of Lakeshire thought they were! They had sent off a letter to Stormwind to tell them ‘hey, that isn’t us’ but were still scouting the area. Before any further plans were made, some of those attacking orcs snuck up on them and attacked the Horde, Brulee, and Creme! Worse, they were on the edge of a cliff, and Brulee was knocked off! And that’s the end of the chapter.

So here’s where I was trying to make up where the plot would go even more, as I hadn’t really decided what globe-trotting adventure Creme and Brulee would get into. When I was first thinking of their story, I thought that perhaps The Missing Diplomat questline would function. However, I don’t think I ever actually finished that with them before Cataclysm, and I’m not to familiar with the specific events. However, I did remember the questline involving Brother Paxton, and thought that would be enough of a springboard to get some adventuring going on.

However, I’m not sure that I will leave it as Lakeshire being under attack (or even include a scene with the Horde). I do want their story to work with the in-game RP on Feathermoon, and if I say ‘remember that time Creme and Brulee stopped that attack on Lakeshire?’, a person who lived in Lakeshire might be like ‘no I do not’. This might be hard to rectify at any rate, since I’m writing this as events that happened during WotLK, which means it’s a little dated and hard to ‘fit in’, especially if I were to ask folks if they wanted a part in this story. But I think I can worry about this another day.

Another problem with adding in a second language scene is that I had been using brackets to denote my OOO notes in the story, usually when I would take a break and wanted to easily remember what to write next. And then I used brackets to denote they were speaking Orcish. It confused me a few times, when I wondered why my note looked suspiciously like dialogue… since it was actually dialogue.

The number of typos in these later chapters is probably higher than the other ones, as I was getting a bit worried I wouldn’t finish on time. And I think I had a cold during these last few chapters too. Colds certainly leads to fun while writing!

Chapter 7: Negotiations

Her head was throbbing when she woke up. Brulee started having flashbacks to several chapters ago I mean the few short years ago when she had landed on Azeroth. But the pain she felt today was much less.But why was she head in pain? They had been going to Redridge, to Lakeshire, and then they had set up camps and then.. . Oh yes. The attack. The attack of Orcs, of all things. She had been fighting them but she was overwhelmed.

But I appear not to be dead, Brulee thought. How odd.

She groaned slightly, unbidden from her but headache was strong enough.

“Oh good, you’re awake,” Crème’s sarcastic voice said. It mostly sounded as surly as it usually did, though there was an undercurrent of worry in it.

“Indeed,” Brulee groaned. She tried bringing up her hands up to her head but found them stuck, bound behind her back.

Instead she gently cracked open her eyes. It was bright out; judging from the light it looked to be the next day, during the midday. Their surroundings looked vaguely familiar, though it wasn’t an area they had passed through before. So they were still in the Redridge mountain area. They were in some sort of encampment, or at least at the edge of it. There were a few tents amoungst the small group of trees they were in, a simple stone campfire, a few supply packs lying around. Near them lay their own supplies, and if she was hearing things right their horses were nearby too. There was no sign of their apparent captors, thought.

“What happened?” she asked, and then grimanced at the sound of her voice some more. It was croaking from being so dry.

“I was gonna ask you that,” Crème replied. Her voice didn’t sound much better. But at least she looked well enough, from what Brulee could see. A little dirty and her hair was all over the place, but not more worse from wear than she was.

“We were attacked by some Orcs but I got overwhelmed during the fight,” Brulee said. “I am pretty sure they had snuck one of their number up behind me and knocked me out.”

“Yeah, they knocked me out too. My head is killin’ me.”

“Agreed. I would do more to help but my hands are tied.” Brulee lifted her amrs up slightly from behind her back to demonstrate. “And I have just woken up now so I am not knowing what happened after I was knocked out.”

“Well I’m guessing they took us to this camp of theirs,” Crème said with an obligatory eyeroll. “I’ve been awake for an hour or so and I’ve seen ‘em walkin’ around a lot. I think they’re all doing some more plotting or whatever the Horde does when they get prisoners.”

“Oh! They are part of the Horde?”

Crème nodded. “Most of ‘em were wearing some sorta red tabard with a picture on it that  I’m pretty sure is the symbol of the Horde.”

“But we are not at active war with the Horde! What business do they have capturing citizens of the Alliance?”

“Pretty sure a concept like ‘active war’ isn’t held by all of them, otherwise they wouldn’t be attacking us, would they.”

“But this is Alliance territory. It would not stand for them to be here.”

“Well there weren’t very many of them. Only ten or so.”

“That is true.. .” Brulee said. In fact, she noted there were less than she was expecting during her skirmish with them the previous night.

“They tried to talk with me earlier, when I woke up,” Crème continued. “But I didn’t understand anything they were saying. It was all gibberish to me, and I guess they didn’t understand the Common I was speaking. Well, at least not very much. They had one of them cow people with them and they had a few words they could say that I understood, but it was all really heavily accented and some of it didn’t make sense. They gave up after awhile.”

Whatever questions Brulee wanted to ask her ward had to be put off for the moment, for one of their captors walked back to the area of the camp that they were in. It looked to be like a common Orcish soldier, if Brulee was to be the judge of things.

<Hey! I think the Draenei chick woke up,> he shouted in Orcish, turning to face where Brulee assumed the rest of his companions were. Brulee was pleasantly surprised to realize she still remembered some of the orcish she had learned when on Draenor. This would make it much easier to communicate.

The rustling of branches and twigs alerted them to the arrival of some more members of the Horde; two more orcs, a tauren, and an undead Forsaken. Brulee kept her eyes on their enemies, though she could see Crème stiffen at the sight of the Forsaken. Who could blame her, seeing the dead walk? Many in Stormwind has shared stories about the fall of the north to the Scourge, and no matter whether they worked with the orcs or were mindless creatures of violence, they were always viewed as the enemy. (The Forsaken was apparently used to reactions like the one Crème had. It waved and grinned at her, creepily.)

One of the orcs looked young, like the one currently in the camp. She had more decorative mantles than the other one though. The third orc was grizzled and old; Brulee could see his eyes had the red taint upon them. She had later learned that demons from the Legion had corrupted their former trading partners, before they had left to attempt to conquer Azeroth. Later the demonic forces that controlled them were removed, but signs of the taint that once existed in them remained.

The Tauren, a towering presence even for being female (usually lesser in stature than their male counterparts), stayed farther away from them, arms crossed and watching as the two newcomer orcs approached. The older male stayed in the lead.

He stopped a few feet from them, looking between the girl and the Draenei. His eyes seemed to linger an extra long time at Crème. Brulee could see that the girl was trying her best to not freak out and keep her usual too cool for you demeanor. Emphasis on trying.

<Do you speak Orcish?> rumbled the leader orc. He seemed resigned to the fact that their troops were not as equipped to speak Common as he had hoped. BRulee was sure that their earlier conversation with Crème was discouraging. But he obviously had some hopes that she could speak Orcish, and he was right to do so.

<I do speak some, yes,> Brulee responded. She could see Crème boggle at her out of the corner of her eye.

“Wha- you speak the same as them?” she squeaked.

“Yes. We used to trade with them, you know.”

“With the bloodthirsty orcs?”

“They weren’t always bloodthirsty-“

<What are you speaking about?> the orc interrupted. He looked unhappy that they were speaking freely. He obviously couldn’t understand the Common that they spoke.

<I am explaining why I can speak Orcish, Mister…?>

<General Stormblade,> he corrected. <Please focus on our conversation for now, Miss…?>

<Paladin Brulee. A pleasure to meet you under such nice circumstances. May I ask as to why we are captured and bound in a territory where you have no juristdiction? This could be considered an act of war.> She watched as the Orc frowned; possibly partly from her accent. It was rather atrosious.

<Hrn. I apologize for the situation. We were thinking of a way to peacefully ask you questions at your camp, but Bonecrusher here was playing with his bow and arrow – against orders I may add – and happened to shoot at your tent.>

Brulee raised an eyebrow. The orc that had called the others over did looked particularly chagrinned.

<And you expect us to believe that?>

<It is farfetched, I know. But we mean neither you nor your companion any harm.>

<Then why are we still bound?>

<Your attack against us, while justified, was rather violent. We wished to talk to you to get a truce before letting you go.>

Brulee eyed him for a moment. It all sounded very suspicious, especially considering how much they fought back. But it was true that she did strike first, didn’t ask questions later.

<Very well. Undo our bonds so we may talk.>

The orc stared at her again, no doubt thinking the same things that she was about their conversation.

<Fill in your companion and then we shall do so. And no weapons for you, either.>

<That is fine.> Brulee then turned to Creme. “They say they just wish to talk and will undo our bonds.”

“Just wish to talk?! After knocking me upside the head and then tying us up here? I doubt it. They’ll kill us in a a minute, no doubt about it!”

“I am not so sure. He seems sincere enough, for an Orc. And his friend does appear to be stupid enough to accidentally let loose an arrow. So we shall let them undo our bonds. Do not be attacking them when they do so. We shall see if talking is all they wish to do. If so, all will be well. If not, we cna fight better with our hands free, yes?”

Creme nodded. “I guess so…”

Brulee nodded and turned her head to the Orc General. <My companion understands the situation. If you would kindly untie the bonds?>

General Stormblade grunted in acknowledgement and waved a hand forward. The two orcs deftly moved forward and cut their bonds. Both started to rub their wrists to ease the tension there.

<What do you wish to speak about that would require you to kidnap members of the Alliance?> Brulee asked the General pointedly.

<Kidnap? We did… well, I suppose you could view it as such. But this is a longer story. Come sit at our encampment to discuss it, unless you would prefer to stand here.>

<We can talk here.> Brulee said. If it came down to another fight, she felt that this environment would be safer, especially if there were more of them elsewhere.

<Very well. Let me explain the situation then. Feel free to translate for your companion as needed.> The General glanced at Creme.

“He’s going to explain what’s going on,” Brulee said. “I will explain the important parts to you.”

“Like the part where they beat us up and why they did that? Because that would be swell.”

“Indeed.” Brulee said to her. <Please go on,> she directed at the Orc.

General Stormblade nodded yet again before launching into his explanation. <As you may be aware, there is a set of Orcs not associated with the Horde; a clan of former Dragon controllers. A subset of them live not far from your Alliance town of Lakeshire. There presence was noticeable, but did not concern Horde affairs. And I am guessing that their presence ws not large enough for the Alliance to go take care of them.>

He paused in a few places to allow Brulee to translate his words.

<However, they have recently amassed a seige of some sort against Lakeshire, a seige.>

<Why would that be of concern to the Horde?> Brulee asked, confused.

(( They had received a missive! ))

<Apparently they had managed to get word out of town that this seige, caused by these random orcs, was actually an organized attack by the Horde!>

Brulee squeezed her fists tight. <Which would explain your presence here.>

THe orc sighed. <WE are here because of that letter that was sent out. Apparently your Alliance cannot spare an army to route their supposed Horde foe. They sent a missive to Orgrimmar asking us to cease our attack or they woudl be forced to attack us.> He snorted a laugh. <We were quite surprised to hear that we had infiltrated the middle of the Alliance territory with an army that didn’t exist to attack a town that we had no reason to be attacking. That is why we were dispatched, to investigate the situation.>

Brulee raised her eyebrow. <That is a likely story, I am sure.>

<It is true,> interjected the female orc. Brule presumed she was second in command. <We would not mount a scouting expedition here of all palces if it were not. The real action is in Northrend.>

That, at least, was true. Brulee vaguely recalled that the reason she was sent to Stormwind in the first place was because so many of the Alliance were sent to Nrothrend. If that was the case, it would make sense that the Alliance couldn’t protect their own people.

“They’re probably right about the Alliance being unable to send an army,” Creme supplied after Brulee finished translating that part. “Stormwind’s always been letting peopel further out fend for themselves.”

“Really? They could not spare some of their forces?”

Creme shrugged. “Guess they figure if you live farther away you’ll be tough enough to fend for yourself.”

Sounded rather rough. Brulee knew that her people would not leave each other in their times of need. She supposed those humans had a different mentality.

<So the Horde could not muster an army to root out the pretenders?> she asked.

The Genreal replied again. <We didn’t know at the time what was going on here. We’re just a scouting party. If they were Horde troops we were to give them orders to cease their attack. IF they were not… well, we were to report back. And we are quite sure that they are not members of the Horde.> The orcs exchanged nods.

<They were very aggressive when we attmpted to make contact with one of their camps,> supplied the female commander. <And after we dealt with that encampment, we took a good look at their supposed Horde symbols. The flags and tabards were old and tattered. It was apparent they had been stealing older supplies from somewhere. Some of the symbols and colors used were even outdated from the ones issued to current soldiers.>

The General nodded in agreement. <We’ve already sent our mage back to Org with our report that these orcs are not ours and we’re waiting for a response. I’m sure that this report will be sent off to the Alliance as soon as possible.>

<If that’s the case, why did you attack us?> Brulee asked, apparently exasperating the Orc some more.

<We had only wished to talk to you to see if you had heard of any trouble happneing to Lakeshire. We haven’t seen anyone come up the road there of late and wished to ask some questions.> he said.

<Well, we have seen a few other sets of humans,> the woman orc chimed in. <But most of them ran away when we tried to approach all peaceful like, and Paweh’s Common isn’t as good as she thought it was.> She gestured back at the Tauren, who looked a bit embarrassed.

<I ken at least write common fairly well,> Brulee heard the Tauren mumble.

Her comment was apparently ignored as the orc General Stormblade went on to explain more.

<But you are one of those Draenei. When Reggie-> he indicated the undead <- scouted you headin toward Lakeshire, I figured you might be able to understand Orcish, given our… history.>

<I suppose you guyessed right. But approaching our camp at night? Armed with arrows which you shot at the tent?>

<Sorry,> mummbled Bonecrusher.

<He’s not the brightest. But Reggie was unable to report back to us until night fell and he wasn’t sure where you made camp until he saw the fire. We appraoched late and were discussing the best way to appraoch you without starting anything but…>

<Obviouysly you failed at that regard.> Brulee finished for him.


<So is the attack on Lakeshire all you wished to talk to us about? We thank youf or the warning, but we still have pressing business to attend to there…>

The General gave her a stern look. <It woudl be foolhardy for you to go to Lakeshire without a force large enough to route the enemy. The other travelers we have seen were captured or killed by those renigades around, or ran from there. MEanwhile the entire town isn’t captured yet, but is complete surrounded. I am doubtful that any of their people have managed to sneak through he blockade.>

<You were merely wishing to warn us of the danger?> Brulee asked. She put a hand on her hip, doubtful about their intentions. Though they still hadn’t turned on them.

<Well, we were also hoping you could report the situation back to your capitol, in case you arrive there before our own message does. After all, it would be more believeable coming from Alliance members than those from the Horde.>

<And we are just supposed to take your word for it and wander back to Stormwind? I think not.> Brulee scoffed.

The General’s brow furrowed tightly; he looked quite annoyed. <Fine then. We shall go scout Lakeshire yet again so you can see with your own eyes what has befallen the town. Your things are in the main camp. Gather them up and eat and then we shall move out.>

He turned to address the rest of his troops about this turn of events as Brulee filled in the last part of the conversation to Creme.

“If they are tellin’ the truth, it sure would explain why none of the letters have been delivered ((though why would those letters be returned and the letter carrier wasn’t explaining why they couldn’t deliver them? Maybe this ie being kept hush hush)) and he hasn’t gotten any of his ore.” Creme said, still rubbing her wrists some.

“But I have my doubts if they are telling the truth. I shall feel better once I have my sword and armor once again.”

“Sure. I really don’t like the looks that old talkin’ one kept giving me either. It was kinda creepy.”

“Yes, I was noticing that. But he doesn’t seem to wish to cause us any more harm or inconvenience us much more further, so we shall go ahead with their plans for now.”


The orc was true to his word. They collected their armor and weapons. Brulee made sure to equip herself with all of her armor, that she did not have that evening. She also had the time to patch up the bumps on her and Creme’s head by using the healing power of the Light.

After their break they left a few of them at that camp, lest their messenger return and find them not there. General Stormblade and the Tauren Paweh led, both riding wolves (they did better in this territory than Kodos, Paweh had quietly explained). Brulee and Creme both rode their horses. The dreaenei had a hard time convincing the human to ride her own mount, but if they were to make a break for it, she would feel guilty if she left the other horse to the captors. And apparently the girl learned faster under pressure, because she hadn’t fallen off yet. Brulee kept her ahead of her, so she could better monitor the girl’s progress on the horse, just in case she fell so she could easily helped her before one of the Horde members decided to.

Leading from behind them was the rogue, Reggie. He was on an undead horse, which Creme did not like the look of (Brulee didn’t either, but she didn’t make it obviously as such). The undead did keep his distance from them, either out of respect for Creme’s apparent uneasiness or because there was some strategic advantage to lagging behind. Maybe both were applicable reasons.

It was mid-afternoon when Stormblade held up his hand, calling for a stop.

<We’re here,> he said. <Across this lake we can see the town of Lakeshire, and we can see what is happening there from here safely. Well, relatively safely.>

Brulee dismounted and walked over to Creme, who was still on her horse. “Come now, we can see what is going on from here,” she said quietly. She held out a hand for Creme to hold as she got down. Creme used it but uttered no thanks. It was a step up, though, as at least she didn’t ignore the hand as she no doubt would have before.

General Stormblade and Paweh had already crept forward to the line of trees and bushes at the cliff’s edge. Their journey had taken them high into the mountains; a short conversation with Creme had confirmed that Lakeshire was indeed ‘thataway’ and you ‘could probably see it from up higher from teh mountains around it, yeah’ which was more or less a solid confirmation that they weren’t being led astray, coming from her ward. It was no surprise, then, that the path they had chosen to take led upwards to a cliff edge in the mountain range.

She and Creme moved up to the foliage lining the cliff as well, taking up a position next to the Tauren.

Stormblade gestured off to his left and downwards. <See? This is the city.>

Brulee and Creme both followed his gaze. She had to squint a bit against the sun’s glare, and because they were so high up, but the damage below was clear – Lakeshire was definitely under siege.

Tall baracades of some material, msot likely wood, surrounded most sides of the town, except the areas that bordered the water. No wait, there were some stakes pointing out from there, small but pointy enough to stop any who wanted to swim to shore before a defense could be mounted. There were the remains of a dock there, either torn down to build up their walls or destroyed in some sort of attack.

Outside the borders of the town were many encampments. They were on all sides, but most especially on the road and bridge that was the main route that went past the town.

<At least fifty of them waiting outside the town,> the General said. <And we know there are more patrolling the nearby roads and such. Do you believe me now when I say that the town was under seige?>

<Yes, I do. But are you sure that these are not Horde troops?> Brulee asked, doubt in her voice.

Stormblade growled in frustration. <Of course! Otherwise we would stop this madness.>

<Some of us don’t want full on war with the Alliance,> Paweh added.

<There are more important things going on in the world right now,> Stormblade said. Brulee wasn’t too sure if he actually was against fighting the Alliance, but certainly against attacks on a town such as this.

<I am surprised to hear that you would not wish such attacks to be done on villages of innocents,> Brulee said, glancing at the General with hard eyes. If he had assumed that she could speak Orcish, it was well enough to assume that he knew of the attacks orcs did against her unsuspecting people, driving them into hiding.

He moved away from the cliff’s edge and stood, eyes still locked on Brulee’s. <Times have changed, Draenei. The demon’s blood no longer fills our actions with unending rage and need for battles. I had felt it drain even as we had gone through the portal to this world, and if I could change anything it would have been to stop our slaughtering of the innocents, the ones who were not warriors.> His face softened for one moment before the grizzly winkles appeared in full yet again. <But I cannot, and now can only try to protect the innocents in this world who are not prepared for the vigors of battle.> He looked at Creme again. The girl was ignoring their conversation, focused still on the sight of Lakeshire. Most likely she was tuning out all of their prattle anyway, as it was in a language she did not understand and was likely to never really want to learn anyway.

Brulee stood too, brushing off some dirt from her knees, only after backing away from the cliffs edge. It was a little too high for her comfort.

<That is very admirable of you,> she said, trying to keep her voice light and neutral. To not betray her anger at him, for all the suffering so many families – her family – had suffered because of his race.

If he had heard his irritation, he said nothing about it. Instead, he merely turned his attention to Creme and the Tauren, who were still surveying the town.

The stood there for a few minutes before he spoke up again.

<This human you travel with… she looks familiar to me.>

<Oh, she does? Is that why you’ve been looking at her so much?>

<Yes. Have you noticed much?> He seemed a little concerned.

<Yes, or I wouldn’t have pointed it out.>

<Hrn. I suppose so. Yes, she reminds me of another human that was her age years ago, when we first came to this planet. It was sometime after the destruction of their city… I was with a scouting party and we came across a small group of humans fleeing.>

<And did you slaughter them without mercy?>

The General shot her a fierce glare. <Watch your tongue, Draenei. Do you think I would be speaking to you of slaughtered innocents? That would lack tact.>

<I would not put it past you.>

Stormblade sneered at her, but continued on with his tale. <The demonic influences were lessened, and they were obviously not looking for a fight. I had our scouting party gurad them overnight and escort them to some routes I knew were safe from less… kind orcs who were still filled with bloodcraze. I had befriended one of them during this time, a young human girl. She was a sharp one. Think she even picked up a snatch of Orcish during that week. She’s the one that reminds me of that one there.> He pointed at Creme.

<What was her name?> Brulee asked.

<Hrn… I believe it was something like… Elize?> The orc sputtered out the foreign name. Apparently Creme had been paying attention to their conversation because her head shot up, eyes shifting warily from the Orc to Brulee.

“What did he just say?” Creme asked suspiciously.

“Oh. General Stormblade was just telling me that you reminded him of another human he had met once, someone called Elize.”

Creme stood up sharply. “Elise? Did he say Elise?” Her eyes were opened wide; she seemed very surprised and nervous.

<Yes, that’s how you say the name,> Stormblade said, nodding to Creme. <Does the girl know this human?>

Brulee quickly translated this as Creme continued to ask questions of her own.

“What did she look like?” Creme asked. “Brown hair? Brown eyes? About this tall or so?” She was very frentic as Stormblade provided affirmative answers. Both he and Brulee were surprised at Creme’s sudden interest in their conversations.

Brulee eventually tried to calm Creme, holding her shoulders to keep her from wiggling about and to focus their conversation. “Creme, calm down. Do you know who he is talking about?”

The girl’s face was pale. “Yeah,” she said in a barely audible voice, “I think he’s talking about my Mom.”

It was Brulee’s turn to be surprised. She mentioned this tidbit of information in orcish, while still holding Creme.

<What a coinsidence,> murmured the General. Even the Tauren had stopped watching the village to pay attention to this soap opera drama (though it appeared the undead was sulking off somewhere where they couldn’t see, being a proper rear guard).

“Are you sure?” Brulee asked quietly, searching Creme’s eyes. The human looked about ready to cry.

Creme nodded. “Y-yeah. Mom had told me a few times about when she was escapin’ from Stormwind, csome Orcs found them. But they were good Orcs. And she made a friend. … She always said she wanted to meet him again someday but-” she cut off, obviously holding back some tears. Brulee tucked her gently against her armor and rubbed her back.

Stormbalde was frowning. <What is the matter with her? Is everything alright?>

<Her mother had passed away years ago,> Brulee said quickly. The orc nodded, understanding.

<I am… sorry to hear that. I would have hoped to meet her again someday under nicer circumstances. It is an honor to meet her child.>

Brulee translated quietly as Creme collected herself. She was trying not to cry, so there were only a few tears for her to wipe away.

Then from down the path from which they came there were some noises. All of them turned their heads to look down that way.

<We were followed! Incoming!> came a cry from Reggie. Brulee couldn’t see him, but that didn’t mean his didn’t mean his warning didn’t hold true. Their group quickly prepared for battle. Creme looked confused for a moment.

“What’s going on?”

“We’re under attack. Prepare yourself,” Brulee said quickly.

“Wha?” came Creme’s reply, but she ignored in favor of pulling out her sword and moved forward in front of Creme a bit, away from the cliff edge. The General too pulled out a sword and charged forward, while the Tauren hung back some. No matter.

They did not get far before a small group of orcs burst through the foilage; Reggie was nowhere in sight.

<We have you now, spies!> shouted one, charging at the General.

Brulee had no time to pay attention to how he handled his foe, because two of the orcs charged at her. Her brought up her sword sideways across her chest, parrying their overhead swings. Using the momentum of their strikes she turned sideways, causing them to pass her due to their charge. Well, the one who struck the end of her sword passed her; the other held his ground. He attempted to disarm her by bring his sword up rapidly while it was still under hers, but she lifted her sword out of the way and attempted to swipe below his feet. He stepped away.

She could hear the other orc behind her charge at her again. She dodged sideways and this time parried his blow. They exchanged a few more swipes at each other, dancing about the clearing.

She realized too late, when one of the orcs started grinning widely, that she had moved dangerously close to the edge of the cliff.

She planted her hooves firmly as they both in tandem struck her sword. She blocked, but her hooves slipped. The backmost one slipped off the edge of the cliff.

The attackers did nothing but turn away as they watched her teeter at the edge of the cliff and fall with scream.