A Quest Completed

May 1, 2006

They stood upon the barren edge of the world, a small army that had forged into the heart of the wind-blasted desert.

They had long since passed from civilization. They had left behind, to the distant south, the howls of the battle that still raged with the Qiraji. They had passed by the distant camps of the abyssal cultists, who practiced their dark worship from one end of the earth to another. They had forged their way through the primal elemental forces that lay claim to the earth and sky, and now stood in sand-covered ruins amidst howling winds and shifting sands.

“So, tell me again why we’re out in the arse-end o’ bloody nowhere?” Adun, the company’s commander, shaded his eyes from the blistering sun overhead.

The heavily armored dwarf beside him shrugged, and looked carefully at the mystical bindings and other assorted items held before him. “This be where th’ mage said t’ meet him. He’s the one as plans to unravel the mystery o’ all these pieces.”

“And what mystery exactly is that?”

A smooth, oily voice cuts through the howling winds. “A mystery… of power.”

The sandstorm that raged across the waste dies down, revealing broken rubble, ruined housings… and a man, clothed in red. Gray of beard, he yet stood amidst the ruins with a palpable aura of power. Arcane symbols adorned his robes, and his eyes were flinty steel.

Pyreson Flamebeard stepped forward, his cache of trinkets in hand. “Highlord Demitrian,” the dwarf rumbled. “I have come as agreed. Now what power might be unlocked within these items?”

The Highlord wore a smile that did not touch his eyes. He gestured across the sun-ravaged land, where crackling elementals of electricity blasted over the landscape. “Look to this ravaged field and know the power that the elements hold, dwarf. That is the power contained within those bindings.”

The members of the company glanced amongst each other, then looked up as the dwarf stepped forward. He handed over the items in question. “Very well. Make good on your promise, then, mage. Me friends are liable to be a mite upset if we be walkin’ away empty-handed.”

Demitrian’s smile did not fade. If anything, it grew larger. He took a step back, and almost seemed to sneer at the sheathed weapons and mystical garb arrayed amongst the band. Turning his attention away from them, the Highlord held up one long, strangely scarred hand.

His words were almost a whisper, and barely reached the ears of those closest to him: “Even in dreams I did not dare foresee this day…”

The air began to crackle.

The runes scattered across the ruins glowed with a faint, blue light. The glow intensified – and streamed across the ground to coalesce in Demitrian’s hand. He released the bars of elementium, forged from the most powerful of metals – and they floated freely in the air.

The mage abruptly closed his hand into a fist, and the elementium began to shift and twist, melding together, forming a perfect sphere of shifting metal.

Demitrian raised his other hand, and the twin bindings given to him shattered. A silvery luminescent thread rose into the air, and then wove into the sphere, threading in and out of its surface countless times. Moments later a glow arose within – the burning essence claimed from the corpse of Ragnaros, the Firelord himself.

Within the sphere that essence changed. Glowing flames died down, and crackling thunder and lightning arose. The sphere itself rose into the air as it absorbed the lightning, it became enshrouded in a weave of pure incandescent power!

Demitrian spoke, his eyes gleaming with a silvery light. “Behold, mortal…”

His voice rose, echoing with the thunder itself.

“BEHOLD HE WHO IS OLDER THAN EXISTENCE!”

“BEHOLD HE WHO HAS FACED TITAN AND GOD ALIKE!”

“RISE MY MASTER! BREAK FREE FROM YOUR BONDS!”

The men and women of Dragon Tears cursed in unison as the world exploded amidst lightning and thunder.

Blinking his eyes, Pyreson waved one hand in front of his face, trying to clear the effect of the flash. A sound echoed behind him, and slowly, the dwarf turned. He could make out, nearby, the others who had came with him, rapidly drawing weapons, preparing spells.

And beyond them…

A towering figure a hundred feet high. Storm clouds roiled within his eyes, lightning crackled across his flesh. The howling winds bowed before their master…

Thunderaan, Prince of Air, had been reborn.

Lesser heroes might have fled before such a sight. Might cut their losses, and called upon magics to return them to safe havens.

As one, the men and women of the company set themselves for battle.

Pyreson drew his trusty blade, and felt his shield slide quickly into position. Through his billowing beard, the dwarf grinned, stepping forward. “We’ve killed a god or two ourselves, elemental. Let’s see what you’ve got!”

The prince turned his gaze upon the heroes arrayed against him. What may have been a smile passed over the elemental’s face. He reached his hand into the air, where the orb of lightning still remained. Within it, the elementium had grown a hundredfold in size – and now its shape altered, stretching out in both directions, shifting into a holt, a handle, and a twin-pronged blade. Power crackled over the weapon, and Thunderaan grabbed the gargantuan sword eagerly with a single hand.

Then brought the devastating weapon down with the speed of lightning.

The first blow nearly broke Pyreson asunder, as he barely caught it upon his shield. The ground shattered upon all around him, and he felt himself sink a foot or more into the ground. Electric power and biting wind tore into him, and for a moment, he knew despair…

But only for a moment.

Soothing energy flowed into him from a dozen sources. The electric burns faded, and new vigor strengthened his arm. With a mighty effort, he hefted his shield and turned the blade aside, and watched as it scored a line of destruction across the hilltop on which he stood.

Looking up, he matched eyes with the elemental prince… and in them, he saw his enemy’s fear. Lifting his voice in a tremendous below, he called out over the thunder, “Strike! Him! DOWN!”

The battle raged on. Blades tore into silvery-gray flesh. Frost and fire, shadow and flame all blasted into the whirling tornado of a godling. Arrows streaked through the air with uncanny accuracy, finding small weaknesses in his armor and driving home, one after another.

Thunderaan retaliated in kind. Lightning tore through the company time and again, blasting bodies and stunning those it struck full on – but none fell. The gods of light, the forces of nature were both called forth to bolster the company against his power – and all stood strong against his raging might.

“Heh,” The dwarf smirked. “Almost too eas-“

The elemental’s sword swung around with shocking speed. Pyreson barely parried the blow, and staggered back from the sheer force of it. His shield was torn from his side, and as he steadied himself, he saw Thunderaan’s blade rise again.

He started to lift his own sword – then saw it had been blasted apart. Nothing but shards remained.

Above him, Thunderaan laid both hands upon his weapon, and drew the weapon high…

The final blow never landed. None saw who delivered the killing strike, nor did it matter – countless injuries had torn into Thunderaan’s newly reborn body. The vessel was still new to this world, and not prepared for such brutality. The energy contained within proved to be… too much for it.

A blast of light burst forth out of the elemental’s chest, then another. Seams of energy began to race around his body, and his eyes grew wide in fear. He opened his mouth – to scream? To cry mercy?

He never had a chance, as the energies that had restored him to life exploded in a blast of mountain-shattering power. The company was thrown to the ground by the force of the blast… and Thunderaan was consumed entirely.

A pool of rapidly fading energy sunk into the ground – and spinning down and slamming home in the center of it was Thunderaan’s blade itself.

Pyreson felt something resonate in the air as he rose to his feet. He stepped towards the crackling sword of energy – and as he reached out, it again shifted, the elementium shrinking in upon itself… and coalescing as a blade in his own hand. The energy within it was erratic, though, as though it was struggling to retain its form.

A whimper caught the dwarf’s attention. Amidst the deafening silence in the aftermath of battle, the broken sobs of Demitrian were easy to make out. Marching back over to the lying wretch, Pyreson reached out with his free hand and forced the treacherous mage to his feet.

“No! Please, do not harm me! Take it! Take the blade!”

The mage frantically gestured as he spoke, and the glowing blue glyphs across the ruins flashed – and then faded into obscurity, their energy spent. It raced into the sword, and the dwarven warrior felt the sword solidifying at their touch – and binding itself to him.

“Please,” whispered the former Highlord. “Please leave Demitrian to reshape his pathetic life!”

Pyreson dropped the man. “We not be wastin’ our time on this one,” he muttered, looking to make sure all others had made it out of the battle intact.

The company of Dragon Tears stood untouched. They had already dusted off and bandaged their wounds, and none had fallen to permanent harm in the scuffle. They looked on, grinning with him, and Pyreson raised the blade high – “One legend, today has fallen… but now another shall arise!”

Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker, crackled with power amidst the stillness of the desert skies.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: