Of The Allegiance
Uulen clung to the gryphon's wet fur as they broke the veil of the storm which hung over Elwynn Forest. Strange weather for this season, She mused, but then she had never been this deep into alliance territory, having spent most of her time since beginning her training as a mage, either in The Exodar or with the Night Elves (what ever they may think of users of the occult...).
The young Draenei tutted inwardly at herself as her stomach tingled with nerves, Stormwind City, centre of her peoples adopted friends, The Alliance... were that she was seeing it for the first time not in the middle of a torrential down-pour.
The gryphon hesitated and screeched a protest just outside of the Flightmaster's nest, it was clearly disturbed by something, but in the driving rain it's fur and saddle where fast becoming slick, and gale-force winds threaten to hurl the sapphire skinned girl from the beast, so she kicked it on, and clung to the beast as it swept over the lake and into the stone archway.
Immediately Uulen knew something was wrong...
The Cathedral bell peeled not with melody, but with unending urgency. The usually bustling Flight-Point was deserted, what gryphon remained hunkered down in their cots, the Flightmaster was at the far end of the Point, talking urgently, she now saw with some surprise, to one of her people. No, as she approached she realised her mistake, not exactly one of her people, their ancestors, original denizens of the now lost Draenor. This one, she recognised from his simple robe, was a shaman of the Earthen Ring.
“Quickly child, this way, flee!” the alien shaman called to her, even as the air behind him rippled and gave way to a mystic portal... but Uulen had never fled in her life...
The mage tore out onto the access ramp and leapt off the stones, dropping into the straw of an abandoned gryphon cot below. Rain stung her eyes as it ran in rivulets off her horns, but she could see the shapes of guards, they scurried here and there but mostly they clanked away from her, because between Uulen and the humans towered unbelievable manifestations of water and air, Elementals, she realised, but these where not the gentle avatars of Azeroth's primal forces, more like violent forces of nature, bent only on destruction.
Instinctively the young woman worked her hands and murmured a protective spell (if nothing else, to keep the downpour out of her face), but immediately wished she hadn't, as one of the water-formed beasts sensed her, sniffed the air for the source of the arcane energies, and turned on her.
Adapting her efforts mid-cast she thrust forward her hands and loosed a fiery blast at her would be attacker... only to see a small hiss of steam for her efforts.
Upping her game Uulen sprinted for cover, hurling fireball and pyro blast back at the aquatic assailant, but again her efforts earned her nothing but brief eruptions of vapour.
“I'm out of my element” she sighed to herself with dark humour. Blinking away from the wooden crate she had moments before been hiding behind, as it was smashed into so much kindling. She let the momentum of the re-location spell lead her into a flat out run and swung in behind a masonry post as a torrent of water hammered the other side of the stone. “Think Uulen... think” she berated herself, digging in her mind for something not fire-mage related. Offering as little of herself as she could she turned her head and thrust her hands out from behind cover, inverting her usual magical temperatures and launching what she hopped was a half way decent bolt of frosty energies... it had the desired effect and the water elemental's liquid body slowed as it crystallised.
Uulen was far from safe however, even as she rest her head on the wet stone and let out a sigh the breath was taken from her and formed itself into another angry form, this one composed of raging winds and the debris they swept up.
The young Draeni dived through the violent winds and rolled to her hoofs the other side, twisting to face the new threat Uulen realised she was trapped, her tail touched stone and described the solid wall behind her, and the very air itself coalesced into her destruction before her.
For a moment it sounded like the world came to her as if she where under water, only a sharp ringing could be heard, then...
Another sharp sound punctuated the chaos, and the air elemental dissolved with an anguished sigh.
For the first time Uulen saw the source of the ear-splitting noises, she had missed it at first as it was below her eyeline... A dwarf, with thick black hair and a braided black beard, blew smoke off his blunderbuss. She would have said he was young, but as she had only ever seen middle-age and ancient dwarfs, and admittedly not many of those, It was hard to place. What struck her most about her saviour however, was his tabbard, under large shoulder plates and mail armour, sat the same Golden sword and shield motif on royal blue, that her own robes bore...
“You shot it?” she stammered, for although a brown dog, nearly as big as he was, stood barking at the storm a few paces behind him, she could see no other way he had dispatched her attacker. “you shot thin air?”
“Dwarven engineering lass, gimme' the reet shot I can shoot a'athin'!” he beamed proudly “Crag” the young drawf said thrusting a weathered hand out for her small delicate blue own “Uulen, fire mage initiate of the Exo...”
“aye, I know where ye space-goats is frum lass,” he winked “now, by Magni's beard lets get outta here!” the dwarf said, taking her arm and dragging her through a tunnel towards the river, the large brown dog following on.
“You tabbard...” Uulen panted, “You're sworn allegiance to Varlen also?”
“Varlen? Is that big'un claiming to run the whole Allegiance noo?” crag laughed even though he was having to take two huge strides for every one of her nimble reversed-kneed steps.
“You swore to always defend Varlen did ye? And he you, that's how it works right enough, but we're a wee bit bigger'an that lass, Thems who wears the colours o'thee Allegiance swears an oath to always come to the aid o'...” but he wouldn't get to finish that sentence, as a fist of water burst from the surface of the canal and hammered the bridge they stood on
Uulen spluttered as she fought to tread water amongst the rubble of the bridge, even as her robe became as heavy as lead. She could see Crag's faithful canine companion was already paddling at the forming water elemental barking it's challenge defiantly
“Bugger' powders wet” she heard behind her... some how, the stoat creature clad head to toe in metal was swimming better than she could in her robes. Truly the stories she had heard did not over state the prowess of the dwarfs.
At this point, however, the waters became strangely chill, a fierce, ethereal coldness, that ceased the heart even as it froze the surface of the canal. As if fingers of Northrend reach out to take them. Crag was the first to catch on and pulled his form onto the new ice sheet even as he hurled a strange looking explosive from a pack spilling over with bizarre mechanical creations. “Huh' wondered when them's'ad show up” he huffed.
Uulen wheeled round to see who her new found alley could be referring too, and under the shadow of another bridge, maybe 100 yards away, 2 pairs of eyes approached, 4 points of chill blue glowing light. As they stepped out of the bridge's shadow and into the gloom of the storm she made out a Night Elf and a Human, clad head to toe in dark plate. They strode easily over the ice that seemed even now to spread out from them, as their boots softly crunched the new permafrost.
“Fer thee Allegiance?” Crag asked off hand, the night elf nodded the human snapping off a mock salute... they did indeed, Uulen noted wear the same gold on blue... they where then, all four, oath bound to each other.
“On you?” the elf asked
“No you have this one” the human grinned drawing two vicious looking blades who's edges coated with razors of ice.
“Come here” The elf simply commanded extending his hand... purple and black lightning leaped from his grip and the elemental menace that had been baring down on them was suddenly ripped away. It flew towards the new pair for a moment before exploding into a million droplets as it struck the elfs giant hammer.
The threat negated, the two newcomers greeted Uulen and her short friend
“Vicheal” the elf said simply, extending an armoured hand to her, with, what she now saw was ashen white skin.
“Berthanas” Crag announced happily, shaking the humans hand eagerly “Good te'see ye again, this here is Uulen, she swore the Allegiance with Varlen she says, don't know how she’s not bumped into a'o'one'o else of us before now”
But their introductions where cut short as stormy grey day gave way to blackest night, and where once a cold rain soaked them, suddenly a wall of heat struck.
From behind them there was an almighty crunching of stone, as if thunder had wrought asunder a mountain. In the distance, where once had stood the twin towered gates of Stormwind, now towered two huge legs of fiery black.
All four heads turned their gaze up, up, a seemingly impossible shape and size to resolve in one field of vision, but there it was, where once there had been mighty towers, their towered a dragon, black as the twisting nether, veined with molten red fury... It through back it's massive head and howled of pain, and vengeance, and rage.
Uulen felt a metal hand press her gently backward... Crag silently slid shot into his muskets barrel and patted his companion's head as the dog coward at his heal. The human nodded at the elf, the former sheathing the smaller blades and producing a much larger one... the smell of blood filled the mages nostrils. Of to her left a dead guard pulled itself to it's now undead feet and shambled to the elf's side, although no one had taken their eyes from the remains of the towers.
The human cast a glance back over his shoulder, glowing blue eyes assessing them each, and, apparently satisfied with what they saw, he turned back and bellowed:
“FOR THE ALLEGIANCE!”