Bryanne’s Diary November 5th 2008 (earth date)

Dear Journal,

The Scourge are gone. Whether or not we defeated them is another matter. It’s morning right now and usually my favorite time of day as the sun comes up over the mountains and illuminates the snow covered trees, but not today. Today the sun is masked by the smoke from the funeral pyres. We don’t normally burn the dead, but with the fear that some may rise as Zombies it is what is thought to be best. It is somewhat easier because those that left instructions all requested a Pyre rather than the customary burial for the same reason.

The only brightness right now is that my father is home for a short while and he brought his bear Ima with him. I guess I should record the events of the last few weeks. Someone has to tell the tale of those who we lost.

We spent most of the last two weeks readying ourselves for an attack. Weapons were cleaned, sharpened and polished. When we weren’t standing watch at the pass or sleeping we worked on building barricades or sharpening our combat skills. Even poor Felix Whindlebolt helped out by building bombs and mines. After the first few days we stopped getting supplies from Ironforge and Kharanos. Adlin Pridedrift and Hands Springsprocket both said it was too dangerous as there was a lot of Zombies appearing in Ironforge and occasionally Kharanos.

Shortly after that Hegnar Rumbleshot arrived with a wagon load of ammunition and explosives as well as a Mortar Team. He had decided to come to our valley since he hadn’t seen many supplies headed our way. Needless to say this good fortune lifted our spirits. It was the last we had.

Yesterday morning the alarm spread through the valley: “Zombies are approaching!” We all grabbed our weapons and ran to the pass. I managed to get up on a rock where I had a good view into Dun Morogh. What I saw was a dark wave lurching towards us. “Everyone remember, if ye get infected try to run to the rear so I or Branstock Khalder can cleanse you!” Shouted Bromos Grummner, our leading Paladin in the valley. Those of us who had the ability to attack at a distance readied our weapons to try to hit the approaching zombies as early as possible so as to keep them back. There was little to do but wait now.

Our defense was set up a short distance back from the entrance to the pass. The plan was to force any attackers to funnel in so only a few could try to attack at any one time. This made it easier for us to defend the Valley and would hopefully limit our casualties.

Just as the mass of Zombies got close to the pass several of them suddenly burst into flames. The work of Alamar Grimm and his cadre of Warlocks no doubt. Then it was my turn. Shouldering my rifle I fired in concert with the rest of the Hunters of Chillbreeze Valley. Then Marryk Nurribit and his mages let loose with their spells as well. The mass of zombies appeared to fall back, but then I realized that it was an illusion caused by our all firing at once. As I reloaded I heard a cry from the rear: “Mortar Combat!” and the mortar team fired. The explosion ripped a large hole in the mass of zombies, but just as quickly it filled in. I fired my rifle again and prayed that we had enough ammunition and that someone would come to our aid soon.

Our first casualty took me by surprise, Virina Crystalseeker was a quiet priest who was standing near me trying to cleanse those at the front of the line. Suddenly I heard a wet splat near me and looked over to see her staring straight ahead with a small axe dripping green ooze sticking out of her head. I stood and yelled “Casualty here!” and turned to resume to firing. Out of the corner of my eye I saw someone drag her corpse off. Then something took my leg out from under me with the force of a charging Boar. I looked down and saw an axe similar to the one that had killed Virina in my thigh.

The sensation was rather odd, I didn’t feel pain at first it just looked strange. Then the wound started to burn hotter than the forge in Ironforge. “I’m injured and infected!” I cried while starting to crawl to the rear. Suddenly several sets of strong hands grabbed me and I was carried to the back. Branstock Khalder was on me almost immediately removing the axe and bathing me in a light similar to what I’d seen when I’d scrapped with Rostislaav. The fire in my leg disappeared and a steady throbbing pain took its place.

“Ye best stay back here lass.” Branstock advised “we canna do more for ye cause we need to save our energy for cleansing the infected.” “I willna sit here like an invalid when I can still do some good on the line.” I protested. I reached into my pack, produced a few linen bandages and proceeded to bandage my leg tightly. “This may not be perfect, but if we dinnae hold that line it won’t matter.” With that I lifted my gun and started hobbling back to the front stopping only long enough to pick up some extra ammunition for anyone who needed it.

The battle had gone for hours with no signs of letting up. While we were holding we’d lost enough that it was a certainty that we couldn’t keep our defense up much longer. I tried my best to push the thoughts of death and undeath from my mind and focused on bringing the zombies down one at a time. That was when the rumbling started. It started a deep roar and the ground shook harder as the sound got louder. I heard a few say “Plague Tanks” I didn’t know what they were talking about, but it didn’t sound good.

Almost as fast as the noise started it stopped and was replaced by sweet sweet music to our ears. We heard the blasts of heavy rifles, the crackling of high level magic spells and the zombies seemed to lose interest in us almost immediately. It was almost as if as one they became afraid. I remember thinking how unusual that was when my thoughts were interrupted by a throaty roar and a flash of white cutting a wide swath through the zombies. I knew that roar! I only knew of one creature that sounded and fought like that and that creature was my Father’s bear, Imagonneatu!

I watched as Ima finished his run turned and repeated it on the way back. I may be wrong but it looked as if Ima was enjoying himself. Even the mortar team was awed by the level of destruction he was causing. Then we started to see figures pushing into the cave wearing armor the likes of which I’d never seen. There were more animals than just Ima with them: cats, bears and strange, fat, waddling Owl-like creatures I had never seen before. What really shocked me was the trees that were walking with me, what kind of sorcery was this?

The zombies were steadily pushed back from our barriers and back out to the valley. Behind the main force was a team of Warlocks who brought fire down on the fallen zombies while their Imps continually blasted those zombies still moving with fire bolts. It wasn’t too much longer before the only noise left was the crackling of fires and the groaning of the wounded and dying behind me. Then the cheering started.

I couldn’t bring myself to joining in. I was relieved, but I had seen so much death in a very short time and nearly died myself. All I could think about was the look on Virina’s face after the axe had killed her. I sat down, clutched my rifle to me and started to cry.

I don’t know how long I was sitting there. It was Ima’s soft huff in my ear that broke me out of my session of despair. I looked up into the Big White Bear’s face only to get licked. That’s when I saw my father approaching.

“I shoulda known ye’d be in the thick of this Bryanne, from the looks of ye I’d say this is yer first battle.” My father sat down and gently slipped an arm around me. “I cannae make it any easier fer ye lass, every one ye lose hurts. Ye just learn to deal with it a little better as time goes on. Or ye get really drunk.”

My father had a point, so I decided to try to bury my sorrow by finding out more about this group he was traveling with. I watched as one of the bears approached Bromos Grummner then I could not believe what I saw next. The bear transformed into a Night Elf! “Greetings I am Keruil Eyllis-Rae, leader of The Silver Fang. I offer any and all assistance to you and your brave fighters here.” His voice was deep and smooth as velvet. “Dad, what is that Night Elf, how come he can transform?” “Ah, not met a druid yet hae ye? That is Keruil the leader of our group, come I’ll introduce ye.” My father stood up and pulled me up with him at which point my injured leg gave out and I nearly pulled him down. “Why lass you’re hurt! Let me get someone to take care of ye. Sit back down and wait here.” With that my father was off with a flash.

A few moments later he appeared out of the crowd again with what I was sure was a Dranei female. The difference between them and Rostislaav was that while he had a powerful build they had lithe slender build. Coupled with their blue skin and glowing eyes they were absolutely hypnotic.

“Bryanne I’d like ye ta meet. Alyesia is a Shaman and will fix yer leg right up fer ye.” “Please, just lie still and I vill have your leg fixed in a moment” She said in a smooth husky voice that was just a hypnotic as her appearance. In then a green light formed around her and shot to me. The feeling was a combination of a warm bath and taking a dip in the lake. After a moment it ceased and I looked down to see that other than the hole in my leggings there was no sign of my injury. I stood and it felt as good as new. “I dinnae know how to thank ye Alyesia, tis better than before the fight I think.” “Thank me not darling, it is but a small repayment for all your father has done for me.” We were interrupted by Keruil calling for Alyesia, “Sounds like I am needed elsewhere, I shall see you soon.” With a quick kiss on my father’s cheek she was off.

“Did you ever tell her about that time ye found that crate of Ogre Grog in the Badlands?” “We not be speaking of such things daughter.” My father said emphatically “Oh so ye hae a girlfriend now do ye?” “I’m not quite sure. We get along quite well, but she could do much better than the likes of me. Then there’s the fact we’re from different worlds.”

I sat and pondered this. It had been 6 years since mom’s death, but it seemed like my Father was still carrying a torch for her. I wished there was something I could do, I just had no idea what. My father broke the silence first. “Well we best be seeing what we can do to help clean up this mess. I imagine there will be a celebration brewing in the next day or two.”

Without another word we both went to work. My father, along with his compatriots pitched in wherever they could. They were an interesting group to behold, I had never thought Humans, Dwarves, Gnomes and Dranei would work so well together. But work they did and while it was obvious they had a rank structure they all treated each other as equals.

After the dead were gathered and the pyres prepared, the members of The Silver Fang set up camp. I tried to get my father to join us in Anvilmar, but he refused saying it wouldn’t be right. He did at least agree to let Ima stay with me. There was something different about Ima now, at times it almost felt like he was trying to say something to me. Maybe it had just been too long since I’d seen him.

After the camp was setup we gathered to pay our respects to the dead. I looked at those I knew and those I had called friend and wished that none of this had happened. Once again the Scourge had taken from me. Along with Virina Crystalseeker we had also lost Grimmhaur Coppercutter. Just a few years from coming of age, but his abilities had already shown a potential to become a legendary Dwarven Warrior. Gan Stonemelter, drawn to the light he had flourished under Bromos Grummner’s training.

Then there were the Gnomes. So few left after their betrayal in Gnomeregan yet their positive outlook, quick humor, and quirky habits of tinkering with everything were a constant source of amusement. Today Marta Rotabelt, Jemma Hydroscope, Tansy Electrowedge, Bubulo Turboscope, Sicco Thermotorque, Wizzle Cyclochain and Herble Graviwinch have joined their dead.

As we gathered before the pyres Bromos said a few words, followed by Marryk Nurrbit. Then Keruil Eyllis-Rae said a few words followed by a Dranei who I believed to be named Saemaara. Then we lit the fires and after sitting for a bit we all went to our respective beds. As I lay down I once again felt something from Ima. Whatever it was I felt very relaxed and immediately fell asleep.

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~ by beastclaw on February 19, 2009.

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