As told by Davlin of Hydraxis, originally published June 8, 2008
Meleah leapt down the cliff face, her elven reflex’s saving her from a gruesome splattering on the jagged rocks below. Agile as only an elf can be, she swiftly moved from stone to stone down the steep embankment. Behind her, thundering with much less grace was Shun’Thrull, an immense ogre. His size alone stopped the rough tumble from being fatal for the monster.
Near the base of the embankment, the ground leveled out and became less rocky. Meleah took this as a chance to slow her quarry. Leaping into a momentum slowing roll, she drew her bow and came around. As the huntress took aim she said a quick spell and released her arrow. If the ogre recognized any threat, he didn’t show it. Ten yards from Shun’Thrull the arrow flashed bright blue and divided into many arrows. This threat had barely enough time to register on the mighty ogre’s face as the arrows collided with him. His shear momentum stopped the projectiles from lifting him off of the ground as they pierced his skin. Perforated at least ten times, Shun’Thrull’s tumble ended at the base of the hill about ten yards from Meleah. He lay as still as death.
Meleah, hunter of the Night Elves knew better and, springing up, sprinted into the woods that lay at the bottom of the rock face.
Behind her, Shun’Thrull arose with a new rage in his eyes, there was no pain, he couldn’t even feel his injuries. Standing tall, he let out a roar that shook the nearby trees, and he continued his chase.
About three month ago, the guild Heroes of the Alliance had received a message that caravans outside of Ratchet had been getting attacked by Shun’Thrull, an ogre with severe anger management issues. Since she was in the area, Meleah had decided to remove Shun’Thrull. Several months of hard tracking had led to this confrontation, almost half a continent away.
For all of her agility, Meleah was losing ground. While her agility allowed her to weave between the trees, Shun’Thrull was crashing through them and catching up.
Risking slowing down, she turned and threw down a trap. Not slowing, the ogre triped it and the ensuing explosion propelled him backwards. Instead of continuing her run, Meleah watched as Shun’Thrull rose again, anger consuming his features, and barreled at her. Meleah raised her hand to her mouth and released a shrill, high pitched whistle. From behind her a large Nightsaber tiger leapt over her and slammed into the ogre’s chest, knocking him back to the ground. When the ogre looked up again, he didn’t see the fangs of a tiger, or the feline face of a Night Elf, instead he looked up into the gleam of a large axe held by a Human Warrior.
“Hi there,” Mustafah said as he brought his axe down with his full force.
Heroes of the Alliance’s High Council was meeting in Westfall, near the haunted lighthouse, their designated headquarters. Meleah stood patiently by Mustafah for her turn to speak.
“Aye, and Kateff? Yee had something to say?” Davlin, recently appointed Guild Master, directed the council’s attention to his advisor.
In his fashion, Kateff stood up on his chair, standing now at about Human height. “All of my questing, and personal searches have been completed. I’m back to stay and as you can see, I’ve stepped aside as Guild Master in order to make myself more available to everyone. I’ve decided to leave the running of things to Davlin. You all know this, but I thought I should make the announcement slightly more formal.” He hopped back down into his chair.
There was a ruckus of cheers from the council and Davlin threw up a wave. As the calls died down, Davlin turned his attention towards Meleah.
“And yer Ogre?”
Mustafah threw a bloody bag, just large enough to hold an ogre’s head, onto the floor before the High Council.
“What ogre?” He asked, grinning ear to ear and bringing laughter to the Heroes.
“We’re ready for our next mission…” Meleah hinted.
Davlin’s face went from mirth to concern. “If ye be referencing yer savin’ of the warlock girl…”
Meleah interrupted. “Time is being wasted! We can’t wait around to save her! We have a plan and we need to act now!”
“Ye know the strain we be under. Heroes be helpin’ in all corners of Azeroth. We ain’t got the people for such a rescue.”
“We’ll go ourselves!”
Davlin hopped onto his seat so that he was standing. “The Council will be allowing ye to go once more Heroes be available. That be me final declaration. If he leave without backup, the Council will be forced to boot ye!”
Meleah stormed from the meeting and stood outside fuming.
“Well?” She turned to Mustafah, who had followed her out. “What do you think?”
Mustafah pulled a biscuit from his backpack and took a big bite. Through chews, he shrugged. “I don’t think, I kill.” He thought a moment and took another large bite. “But, Davlin’s got a lot of bark and not much bite…but…when he does bite, or let’s his wind serpent bite…” He swallowed, “its a big one. So…I’d bet that if we actually save Ameerah he’d overlook the whole ‘disobeying orders’ thing.”
Meleah nodded, “Let’s ride.”
Hopping onto their mounts, they headed west.
The troll outpost was nestled deep in Stranglethorn Vale. They had to hide their mounts about a mile from the outpost and sneak in. Meleah’s nightsaber, Kitty, stalked ahead of them, invisible in the shadows.
They arrived at the outer tents of the outpost and stopped to take their bearings.
Meleah sent Kitty ahead and within a few moments the stealthy spy had returned.
She turned towards Mustafah. “Between us and Ameerah are about 15 trolls, we should be able to sneak by them, but freeing Ameerah will most likely bring their attention.”
Mustafah gripped his axe tighter and held his shield closer. “I don’t like all this sneaking around. Wake me when there’s something to kill.” Meleah frowned at him and signaled to move. Swiftly she darted between tents and trees signaling when it was safe for Mustafah to follow.
About ten yards from the cage holding Ameerah they stopped. There was a guard standing directly in front of the cage. Whispering to Kitty, Meleah sat and waited. Mustafah moved to ask why they were sitting when Kitty sprang from seemingly nowhere and killed the guard before he could make a sound.
As one the pair approached the incarcerated warlock. Ameerah looked tired but healthy. Because of a warlock’s ability to cast spells, precautions must be taken to ensure that the warlock’s magic is kept in check. In Ameerah’s case, the precaution took the form of an acid waterfall, seemingly endless, pouring onto her cage. In order to keep herself safe, she had to keep a bubble of protection on her at all times, draining her mana. The cage was obviously enchanted, for the acid left it completely alone.
The two saviors quickly went to work. Mustafah tossed Meleah his gun and then, using his shield, he hopped onto the cage and diverted the flow of acid so that Ameerah could release her spell. When she had done so, Meleah handed her a flask of Dranic Water to replenish her strength. As Ameerah drank, Meleah stepped back and shot the lock off of the cage. The door swung open and out sprang the former captive, already chanting. Within seconds, an ugly imp had heeded his master’s call. The 5 heroes turned to leave as eleven trolls came storming toward them in response to the gunshot.
Mustafah jumped down from the cage, but not before running his axe under the acid falls. He stepped in front of the gnome warlock and night elf hunter, axe and shield dripping corrosive acid.
“Cover me. Now’s my time to shine.”
With a roar of immense rage, he rushed the attackers, followed closely by Kitty. Meleah, Ameerah, and the Imp launched a ranged volley of destruction. Arrows, fireballs, and shadow bolts flew past Mustafah as he met the charge.
The first wave consisted of 5 large trolls. A swing of his axe took the head off of the first one to his right and knocked the to the newly decapitated troll’s left right upside the temple, taking him from the fight. The other three weren’t dispatched so easily. Catching each of them on his shield, the searing hiss of acid eating troll flesh made Mustafah smile, but as he brought his axe around he saw two of them quickly recover while the third dropped squirming to the ground.
The two survivors of his initial defensive strike launched at him, each carrying a dagger. The troll on Mustafah’s left managed to get through his defenses, and slammed the dagger right into the Warrior’s plate chest piece, snapping the blade. As Mustafah started to bring his axe back from the swing that defeated the first two attackers, he tore a gash along the last troll’s chest. The acid eating its way to his heart in seconds. The troll who’s blade had been broken launched himself at Mustafah, but before he could cut down the ugly menace, the black streak of Kitty launched between them with such speed that the gashes on the troll’s neck seemed to appear out of nowhere.
The next wave consisted of the last six trolls they saw coming. Fortunately, the projectile onslaught from behind the warrior had thinned it down to three attackers. Leaping up, and taking a fireball to his back armor for jumping in the line of fire, he rushed the last three. He parried three sword blows with his axe and shield bashed a troll to the ground, buying him seconds to swing his axe back towards his other two attackers, driving them to parry his blows as well as pushing them back.
Preferring the close fight he dove after them, dropped his shield and axe and took the next two sword swings directly on his plate bracers.
The swings cracked his armor, yet didn’t damage the man beneath. As he flew in past their attack he tackled both to the ground. His first act was to destroy their attack, he did this by jumping up and then stomping down on their sword wielding wrists. He then decided to kill them, bringing his knees down onto their chests he used his falling momentum to pummel his victims.
Blood lust in full swing he turned and launched himself at the third troll, who had been knocked to the ground by his shield. He barely stopped himself when he saw that the troll was now a fried corpse with arrows sticking out of it in several places.
Gathering his weapons he turned to his comrades.
Between puffs of air he said, “Let’s….GO!”
As they turned to leave the way they came, a new surprise awaited them. About 30 to 40 more trolls were standing between them and their horses, all very attentive, and all very angry.
A troll dressed in an ornamental chieftain’s headdress stood at the front sneering. His strength and power over the horde obvious.
Meleah let out a vulgar word and was about to be mimicked by Mustafah when they heard a loud earsplitting screech.
A red blur flew from the sky, wrapped its tail around the chieftain. The chieftain was yanked so fast into the sky that anyone who didn’t know what they just saw, wouldn’t be as elated as Mustafah and Meleah were.
Jaffa, Davlin’s red Wind Serpent was here, and Jaffa never traveled without his master.
Everyone was silent for what seemed like an eternity. The trolls were so shocked that all they could do was look towards the sky where their leader had vanished. As they stared into the air the noted something falling.
The chieftain’s headdress hit the ground right where he’d been standing.
“Aye, he pulled that damnable trick on me twice before I got quick enough to stop him.” Davlin, having appeared out of nowhere was standing between Ameerah and Meleah, looking up into the sky. “I still don’t know what he does with them…”
The headdress had brought the trolls attention back to the enemy standing yards from them. They took one step forward, almost in perfect unison, when a yell in the back stopped them. As everyone looked back they noted that a large portion of the rear flank had had their throats slit by an unseen assassin. As laughter started to erupt near the Heroes, Mustafah turned to see Mummler, rogue assassin leaning down and petting Kitty.
Behind him stood Skystalker and Lyruss. Each of the Heroes with their weapons ready to fight.
That’s when the trolls rushed forward. A shrill whistle from Davlin, along with the call of “Stop ye be playin’ with yer food!” brought a lightning bolt directly between the attackers and their intended victims, landing close enough to one troll to send him sprawling in convulsions.
“Alrighty then,” Davlin pronounced, “ye done the rescuing, lets be gettin’ to the killin’.”
Without another word the entire entourage leapt into the fray. While severely outnumbered the Heroes actually stood a better chance then the severely depleted trolls. Meleah’s polearm crushed several skulls, while Ameerah’s rain of fire covered Mustafah and Mummler’s dual attack on a separated group of trolls, cutting them down in seconds. Davlin, Kitty, and Jaffa worked with no one as they waded through, blade’s, claws, and fangs flashing and taking down trolls by the score. Skystalker and Lyruss, recently back from their own missions, still had the rush of adrenaline with them and brutally maimed 6 or 7 trolls themselves as they came across them.
“Well? What’s the punishment?”
They sat down in the lighthouse, Davlin’s newly claimed home and headquarters for the Heroes of the Alliance guild, while Davlin tried to bandage Jaffa’s wing.
“Sit ye still, ya damned snake. I can’t be mending ya if ye be squirming like a child.”
Giving up he turned towards Meleah.
“Me orders be that ye’d be booted if ya were to rescue without any backup. Ye went in there, yer backup rescued ye. Ye had backup, so no bootin’.”
“Why’d you and the rest come?”
Davlin threw a stick out the window, actually through it, as the window was still shut, frowned, then watched as Jaffa streaked after it.
“I know ye. Ye make the Heroes of the Alliance proud in that ye wouldn’t let an ole blowhard like me slow ya. I meant to follow ya from the start. Just me luck, Kateff and Dezaras went and called in a few of the other Heroes, worried for their new Guild Master. I tell ye, if being Guild Master means that I got to sit back and watch ye have all the fun, then this job’s for the snake. So I went after ye, with some Heroes, and now I can boot ye.”
Jaffa flew in with a rabbit in his teeth.
Davlin cupped his head in mock exasperation as Meleah stood, thanked him, and left.