Join Date: Jan 2009
Dude, where's my shirt?
This was meant to cover both battles. I've never thought of myself as being very good at describing battle scenes, so I didn't plan for the battles themselves to be very descriptive. But I gave it a shot and I guess it turned out alright. So this one only covers the battle to acquire the Skull of Gul'dan. Next part is the fight with Tichondrius. I wasn't sure how to write Gul'dan's whispers since only Illidan could hear them, but I just did it the same way it was handled in "Beyond the Dark Portal".
Illidan and Fandral hate shirts.
Less than a third of the sentinels, druids and other soldiers that had accompanied Fandral and Illidan to Felwood remained behind in the decoy base at Constellas. The number of soldiers left to defend it were required in order to successfully fool the demons. Only about half of them had been volunteers, and Illidan couldn't decide whether they had been the bravest or the most foolish of Night Elves. He knew what he had assumed was plainly obvious to everyone: the decoy army was going to be obliterated. It was unfortunate that they could not all have been volunteers, many of those men and women had been hand-picked by Fandral to stay behind. Illidan knew from experience that war was never very just.
Illidan could not help but feel pride in his belief that he had gotten through to the druid. Staghelm understood what the demon hunter knew all along: war requires sacrifice. Fandral had already been prepared to sacrifice his men, but now he was ready to give his own soul to defeat the Burning Legion. He knew that in time, all Kaldorei would learn that you can't hold anything back against pure evil.
The route that Fandral had selected was lengthy and required navigating more difficult terrain, but it proved to not be a very significant challenge for the muscular night sabers that the soldiers rode upon. As they came upon the Legion's encampment, it was evident that the strategy had paid off; The base was only lightly guarded, and the Night Elves felt renewed confidence in their chances of winning the battle.
"Illidan, suggestions?" Fandral asked.
"The winged beasts are known as doom guards. They're strong and sturdy, but awfully slow. Keep them grounded and a group of sentinels should be able to take them down. The large fiery constructs are known as infernals. Their armor is nigh impenetrable, save for one weakness: a small exhaust pocket beneath the chest leaves their core unprotected. Attack it and you will bring them down. As for the felhounds," Illidan added, "They should not be underestimated. They feed on magical energy, so I will be their prime target. However, they are not above having a taste for druid magic should they be hungry enough."
"Very well," Fandral said as he turned to face his soldiers. "Archers, target the felhounds, do not let them anywhere near our position. Druids, root those flying beasts to the ground; and Sentinels, proceed after the volley and route those winged abominations. Illidan, you and I will deal with those infernals. If there are any Satyrs lurking about, engage at will once the other targets are down. Understood?"
The Night Elves raised their weapons above their head and softly spoke an ancient war cry: "Andu-falah-dor!"
As the archers moved into position, Illidan watched the felhounds closely. The demons trusted their loyal hounds to alert them, so the demonic dogs would be the first indication that their surprise attack had been discovered. It was better than he hoped, Illidan expected the hounds to detect that something was amiss, but they were only interested in each other. The felhounds played and wrestled with one another, seemingly oblivious to the battle that was about to rain down upon them. Perhaps they had just fed.
The volley blanketed the outside of the stronghold with arrows. Most felhounds lay dead or dying, while the rest charged forth at the detected invaders. The archers compensated for the speed of the incoming hounds by adjusting their aim and readied for another attack.
Another volley was launched, but the few surviving hounds had increased their pace, putting themselves ahead of the arrows that pierced the ground behind them. The hounds were too close now, and Fandral nodded to the sentinels. The mounted huntresses sped forth, their saber cats pouncing on the smaller hounds, pinning them to the ground so that their riders can deliver the fatal blows. A stray felhound had avoided the attack and charged at Illidan. A large thorny root suddenly protruded from the ground, impaling the hound through the throat. Illidan looked over to Fandral, who nodded at him.
The felhounds had all been disposed of, but the doom guards had taken flight and were approaching the Night Elves. Fandral pointed them out to his druids, "Ground those beasts, now!"
As the druids began to call upon the spirits of nature, Illidan jerked his head to the east, alerted by footsteps coming from within the trees. "Satyrs," he said.
"How many?" Fandral asked, before realizing that Illidan had already sped off on his own towards the direction that he had detected movement. Fandral cast a spell, and a handful of the trees sprang to life, revealing the Satyrs while choking and immobilizing them with thorny roots.
As Illidan reached the location, he launched himself from his night saber and landed in front of the tree line. As he chanted something foreign to Night Elven ears, his hands began to light up with a brightly lit green flame. As he extended his arms towards the trees, the flames sprang forth, igniting the woods and all Satyrs within ablaze. The treants that Fandral had summoned fell to the flames as well. Illidan turned around, relieved that he had stopped an ambush that could have cost his army the battle. Though Illidan could not see Fandral's face, he could hear him growl from a distance. A discussion of ethics would have to wait until the battle was ended.
The doom guards proved more difficult to contain than the druids had thought. They fought back against their thorny shackles with impossible strength, but the druids hadn't needed to hold them for very long as Fandral and the unit of sentinels stormed the base, delivering the killing blows on all of the winged demons. Only four infernals remained.
The infernals pounded the ground, causing an earthquake that disoriented the night sabers and caused them to panic. Some huntresses were accidentally thrown from their mounts, while other cats lost their balance and stumbled into each other. Fandral's druids of the claw transformed their likeness into bears and rushed to their aid. The druids in their bear forms attempted to bring down the colossal infernals, but they were like gnats on a boulder. The infernals shrugged off the bears, while they brought down their mighty fists down to squish the bears into an unrecognizable puddle of bones and blood. The archers opened fire, but none were skilled enough to hit the internal cores of the rock demons at which they had aimed. The arrows flimsily bounced off of the infernal's rocky exterior.
"Save your arrows, you fools!" Illidan said as he sped past the archers on foot and into the direction of the battle.
Illidan dodged a powerful swing from an infernal by rolling forward on the ground, and followed by stabbing his right warglaive into the infernal's core with precision. The leviathan stumbled backwards momentarily before crumbling into rubble. Another infernal charged at Illidan, who uttered a phrase in Eredun before inhaling the demonic energies that animated the construct, causing this infernal to collapse into a pile of boulders as well. The orbs that were once Illidan's eyes glowed a bright emerald green underneath his blindfold. In a single motion, Illidan unleashed all the energy towards a third infernal. The force of the attack swept the infernal off of its feet and into a demonic obelisk, crushing the stone into pieces in spite of the durable material used in its construction. Fandral was there before Illidan, delivering the final blow to the downed demon.
"We must obtain the skull and close the Legion's portal before the rest of their forces return," Illidan said to Fandral.
Illidan received a nod from the druid as the two moved towards the Skull of Gul'dan, encased within a fel stone at the center of the base. Illidan observes the skull with intrigue. "Interesting, I had not considered the "Skull of Gul'dan" to be literal. This "Gul'dan" must have been a powerful being with great knowledge in order for the Legion to be using his essence to open portals to their worlds," Illidan said as he placed his hand to the stone, feeling the power that resided within. "No matter: his fate is of no consequence, with his power I can become stronger than any of Archimonde's lieutenants."
"Hold, Illidan!" Fandral said, earning his attention. "This power was not meant to be yours, I would never trust you with it."
Illidan was furious. "This power can ONLY be mine! You wouldn't know what to do with such power in your grasp! I'll not let you stand between me and my destiny!"
Illidan had raised his weapons, giving Fandral more than enough justification to use his druidic magic to root him in place. "Malfurion ordered me to do what must be done if you were to try anything," Fandral said, "And I have been waiting for you to give me a reason to kill you, betrayer!"
Fandral Staghelm raised his wooden staff that pulsated with nature's magic and pointed it towards Illidan, who did not cower under the threat. Suddenly, the druid found himself rooted and restrained as he had done to Illidan, preventing him from following through with his death blow. Fandral could turn only slightly to see the handful of druids that had cast the spell upon him, while most others were busy tending to the wounded. "Altruis... Loramus... what is the meaning of this?" He demanded.
"I'm sorry, Shan'do," one of them said, "but Illidan is correct."
Two sentinels moved forward to cut Illidan free from his shackles. They kneeled before him. "Lord Stormrage, I am Sentinel Alandien," said the one to his right. "We have seen your true power and understand that the salvation of the Kaldorei - and all of Kalimdor - lies with you."
Illidan was pleased: things had finally worked out in his favor. He had, at last, found individuals that understood him and the sacrifices he had made. Now was his time. He walked past the sentinels and to the altar that held the Skull of Gul'dan. "For my people, I would gladly pay any price or bear any burden." Illidan shattered the fel stone with his glaives and took the skull in his hands. "This power... yes, it SHOULD be mine! With this power... I will destroy the Burning Legion!"
We will see them kneel before you, it whispered back to him.
The power entered into Illidan, and he was transformed. Fel energy flowed through him as though it replaced the blood in his veins. His muscles throbbed with strength beyond strength, nearly doubling his size over his Night Elven brethren. His mind, too, expanded as knowledge from within the skull flooded his brain with information on the legion that far surpassed his own, as well as the knowledge of a new world - Draenor - that this "Gul'dan" had come from. Curiously though, the skull withheld personal information about the being to whom it originally belonged, which Illidan found quite suspect.
"Now you even look the part!" said Fandral as he spat on the ground before Illidan. "Your brother will have you executed for sure this time!"
Your brother doesn't have to know, the skull whispered to him.
Illidan forced the voice into suppression; he would not allow this being to influence him. However, Illidan had to admit that Gul'dan had a point. If his brother would not execute him for this, surely he'd be returned to his prison deep beneath the ground. Illidan lifted his hand towards Fandral, intent on silencing him.
"I was wrong," said Fandral. "There IS a line that we must never cross. You have become one of them, Illidan. We must never become what we have sworn to defend our world against, we must never become like you, demon!"
The word twisted itself around Illidan's mind, the label hurt worse than "betrayer". He wanted to end Fandral more than ever at this point, but it would have accomplished nothing. Illidan knew at that moment that Malfurion had to be there to see what Illidan can do first-hand. He wanted his brother there to see him destroy Tichondrius. It would surely erase all doubt anyone had about his capabilities.
"Go to him," Illidan said as he lowered his hand. "Find your shan'do and bring him here to see me crush Tichondrius."
Fandral was released, and he called to his mount. "Never did I think that I would see the day when my druids would betray me to Illidan Stormrage," he said. Fandral raised his voice, addressing every Night Elf in the vicinity. "He speaks of his love for us, but his only love is power. I have seen his kind many times before. He will betray all of you. I only hope that when the time comes, you are not too blind as to notice."
Staghelm left the battle zone on his own, but he was soon followed by more than half of the army, all who still supported him. Illidan was left with only a fraction of the force that won the battle for Gul'dan's skull. Even with his new powers, Illidan and his small group of soldiers now had little hope of defeating Tichondrius.
Last edited by AndyJP : 09-06-2011 at 10:07 PM.