Saora's Benediction 13 Saora plopped to the ground. She stared at the man, numb and exhausted. Another person she'd failed. She hiccupped, trying to cover a sob. The Light in her was nearly gone. She wouldn't be any help much longer. She felt so worthless. A strong hand clasped her shoulder, "Saora?" It was Onyxe, worry shining in his eyes. Saora smiled, touched, and patted his hand. He smiled back and knelt beside her. He muttered a prayer, blessing the body. Motioning to his cousin, he took hold of the man's shoulders. Grifton whispered his own blessing and grabbed the legs. Together, they turned him over. Onyxe swore, "A paladin. The bastard possessed a dead paladin." "How can yeh tell?" Armod squatted close. "His clothes," the Dwarf pointed at the faded cloth, "are of an old uniform given only to paladins of a specific high rank. He would serve as chief military advisor and sheriff of h
Saora's Benediction 12 "Saora!" Onyxe called back, sweat pouring form his forehead, "do yeh need ta rest?" She shook her head, "Just keep going!" He frowned but charged up the steps of a nearby ziggurat. The undead general at the top screamed curses at him, firing bolts of frost and ice. Saora quickly charged a heal, wiping away any pain her friend felt. She glanced over her shoulder and glared at the sun beginning to disappear behind hte destroyed city. They were running out of time. As exhausted as she was she couldn't rest. They had to keep going. They had to save the prisoner. The general screamed once more as he fell, his body hacked apart. Grifton muttered a prayer and plowed a glowing spell through the fiend's head. He wouldn't get up again. Grifton, Armod and Endy entered the ziggurat to clear out the cultists hiding inside. The remaining Dwarf hurried back to Saora and Verita. "This's three," he panted. "
Saora's Benediction 11 Saora eyed her two patients carefully as they prepared to leave the tower. She'd been so worried she couldn't sleep before fully healing the Elf. Endy had watched carefully, the same measured look in his eyes she'd seen in Verita's. "I guess people really do look like their pets," she giggled. The panther purred and almost smiled. Now, with the little light the sun cast on the Plaguelands, Soara could see their strength had not been affected. They were back to 100%. She prayed they would not see such drastic injury in the city. Verita kept the horses at a brisk gallop. Saora had to clutch Grifton's waist to keep from falling off. She didn't mind though. It kept her close enough to hear the Dwarf hum old bar tunes to himself. She smiled, closing her eyes. Happy memories brushed her mind, like camping in Darkshire, partying in Stormwind, even the tricks her new friends had played on her for so many seasons
Saora's Benediction 10 They reached the tower with no more interruptions. Demon hounds and a few ghosts gave chase but Verita's horse led them safely away. The Dwarfs had to physically restrain Saora to keep her from going back to the road. They tried to comfort her, tried to stop her tears, but they were so filled with guilt they couldn't keep up the optimism. It wasn't long before all of them lapsed into a sullen quiet, dully watching Armod as he unsaddled the horses and started a fire. No one could force food into their stomachs. Saora refused to be near anyone. Instead, she huddled against the tower's crumbling walls. The panther's screams kept echoing in her mind. Everywhere she looked, she saw Verita motionless in the dirt. It was her fault. She'd suggested the road. She'd caught, no DEMANDED, the red Rider's attention. She'd been so useless and stupid. Now Verita and the cat were dead, her palomino had vanished and they had no idea who to reach Stratholm
Saora's Benediction 9 "Eastwall Tower. The road is just on the other side." Soara looked up the hill they'd reached at the tall white structure on top, "Looks more like ruins than a tower." "Everything does in the Plaguelands," responded Verita. "Because of the Scourge?" She didn't get an answer. She didn't think the Elf disliked her. It's possible she just wasn't friendly. Saora remembered all the other Elves she'd met in her journeys. Some were good some not, but all of them were are least polite. This one, this Verita, spoke as little as possible. Small talk to break the ice was pointless and consisted of Saora talking to herself. Silence at least made her look sane. "We should rest here," Grifton called from behind. "We can use the tower's shelter as camp." The lead horse turned around and continued walking backward so the Elf could face the Dwarfs. Saora couldn
Saora's Benediction 8 "What happened here?..." Armod growled deep in his throat, "Now you see what the Scourge does, Saora. Everythin' 'round them dies, even the land." He was right. The Plaguelands had almost no vegetation. The ground was a deep red, showing even the dirt was cursed. Their gryphons flew them safely past horrible sights, from rotting ghost towns to cursed green lakes. It was terrible. A deep sadness engulfed Saora. "Passin' the Crossin'!" Onyxe called. "Watch yer back!" The gryphons soared over a hill and revealed Corin's Crossing, a large village of deserted, crumbling buildings. Crawling over every inch of the town were creatures that shouldn't exist. Banshees wailed in doorways, their see-through hands tearing wild, purple hair from their heads. Corpses with bits of flesh and muscle peeling away from their bodies wandered aimlessly along the roads, several glancing up h
Saora's Benediction 7 After more than a year of missions, assignments and quests, Saora thought she'd be better prepared for another summons to Stomrwind's cathedral. But as she climbed the steps, she felt the same old nerves returning. The thought of standing before someone as blessed as the High Priestess Laurena made Saora feel completely inadequate. It was like arriving on the first day of school to discover all the other students started six months prior. Not exactly encouraging. She edged through the open doors, keeping close to the wall. Perhaps no one would notice her and she could get in and out quickly. She swallowed and stepped into the main room. "Greetings, Sister Saora! Good to see you again!" Saora cringed but managed a weak smile, "Greetings, brother. Light be with you." The young priest beamed and stepped aside. She glanced around. Every pair of eyes was on her. She groaned, tugging at her ceremo
Saora's Benediction 6 The sword at her neck tickled Saora again, "Bag on the ground, priestess." She swallowed, struggling to hold back tears. They'd tricked her, even after all the warnings. How could she be so stupid? "Now, if you please," Rolf growled. The bag thunked to the grass. "Scout. Check it out." The boy, Scout, saluted mockingly, "Aye-aye, Cap'n." He shoved his bloodied arm into the pack. The cloak came out first. Scout sneered at it, wiping his face clean. Saora's stomach lurched, like she'd been punched by an invisible hand. Running the fabric through his hair, he tossed it aside with a whoop. The small wrapped package from the man at Northshire's gate was clutched in his stained fingers. "Stop!" Saora reached forward, "That isn't--" Something solid whapped against the side of her head. Stars burst in her vision. She blinked twice. When had she fallen to the ground?