Sunday, November 28, 2010

Return to Azeroth - A short story from the Adventures of Serebihm

Serebihm sat atop the pier of Rutheran Village, his gaze fixed across the water, pondering the past few weeks. With Arthas defeated and a new Lich King in place on the Frozen Throne, he had fulfilled his contract of service to King Varian Wrynn. He was free to go home. Ah, home. How he had missed the woods of Teldrassil and Darkshores. He remembered thinking of his friends and family only moments before boarding the ship in Valiance Keep. He had been happy then. Little did he know of the events that had taken place only days before his departure from Northrend.

Serebihm surveyed the smoke rising from the Darkshore coast in the distance. 'He' had done this, he thought. He of fire and steel, he who was dormant for centuries but awoke to sunder the world. Deathwing. That's what they called him. He had heard the legend of Deathwing as a child. The dragon driven mad by the Old Gods themselves. He remembered thinking it a myth. Now Deathwing was back, taking his revenge on Azeroth and those who opposed him. Azeroth had paid the price for Deathwing's fury, and what great fury it was. The Cataclysm they called it.

Serebihm knew something terrible had happened when the ship had pulled into Stormwind Harbour. Black, toxic smoke had been billowing from the city, visible from miles out. Citzens were eager to tell the tale of Deathwing's attack. Reminders of that fateful night were everywhere, from the burnt imprints on Stormwind's Gate Towers to the charred hole that was once the Park district. So much destruction, so much pain. After all he had been through in Northrend over the past two years, this was the last thing he wanted to see.
He didn't know why he didn't catch the boat to Teldrassil. Fear perhaps. Fear of seeing with his own eyes of what might have happened to his family. He should have gone home, but he didn't. Instead he travelled to Westfall. He had been there before, many years ago. Things had changed since then. Sentinel Hill was only a small outpost then, not the fortress it was now. In the distance he could see the Vortex, a leftover of Deathwing and the Twilight Hammer's dark magic.

From Westfall, Serebihm had travelled to Stranglethorn Vale. He had been happy to see it mostly untouched. He had travelled here a few years back, in search of the fabled Razzashi Raptors of Zul'Gurub, prized amongst all adventurers. It had taken him numerous attempts to try and catch one, more than he cared to count, but catch one he did. It was on this Raptor that Serebihm had made his way through Stranglethorn Vale. He had visited Zul'Gurub. It was deserted, no sign of the god Hakkar and his crazed troll followers. The troll city lay completely empty. He continued south to Booty Bay. Just like Stormwind so did Booty Bay still bear the signs of Deathwing's Cataclysm. A huge tsunami had slammed into the small coastal community. The entire place was covered in seaweed and dead fish. The stench was unbearable. But Booty Bay was still standing and, thanks to the tireless goblins, still functioning. The ship to Ratchet still sailed and so Serebihm made his way to Kalimdor.

It was here, in the Barrens, the impact of Deathwing's fury was most evident. Serebihm had thought it exaggeration when people had told him the world had been torn asunder. But here he could see that it was true. The Barrens had truly been torn apart, divided in two by a great flaming ravine, now known as the Great Divide. Taurajo was burnt to the ground and Mulgore had closed its great gate.

Instead of turning north towards Ashenvale and home, Serebihm turned his raptor south towards the Thousand Needles. He had been looking forward to seeing the Shimmering Flats racetrack again. Yet  he looked with despair onto the water that now covered the land. A fellow traveller had told him though, the Shimmering Flats racetrack still exists - on water. It was a tiring swim for Serebihm's sea turtle, but a trip worthwhile. The goblins had built a floating base where the racetrack used to be. Serebihm marvelled at their ingenuity. He would come back here again, that much he knew.

From here Serebihm had travelled to the goblin town of Gadgetzan in Tanaris, now a coastal community. Tanaris had also been hit by a tsunami. Steamwheedle Port was destroyed and the water had flooded most of the eastern coast. He never liked Tanaris very much. It was full of giant bugs and ogres, and he had horrible memories of one particularly annoying mechanical chicken. Besides the desert was hot and dry, no place for a Night Elf. Serebihm had decided he would travel to Feralas and  visit Feathermoon Stronghold, the place of his training.

Serebihm had heard rumours that Feathermoon was also attacked and destroyed, So it was with joy that he found it rebuilt on the coast of Feralas. However, it troubled him to find it not just inhabited by Night elves, but also new, different folk. He had heard of the wolf people and their desire to join the Alliance. He had met them before - these "worgens" - in Darkshire, years ago, but the encounter wasn't a pleasant one. The worgens here seemed different though. They were organised and disciplined, trained in the ways of the Night Elves, not the bloodthirsty beasts that Serebihm had encountered that day. Serebihm had been impressed after watching a Worgen battalion in training. These were truly benevolent creatures, dedicated to their studies and extremely skilled warriors.

Having seen the survival and perseverance of Feathermoon had given Serebihm hope. Maybe Auberdine, his home, had also survived, or at least been rebuilt. Maybe his family was fine after all. He had to go to Auberdine, and he had to go now and fast. He mounted a hyppogryph and set off for the Darkshores and Auberdine. As he flew through the Kalimdor skies, Serebihm could only think of his family. He imagined how elated they would be, when he would turn up at their door. He imagined joining his father on a hunt through the woods, showing off his skills with the bow, and he imagined how proud his father would be. He imagined telling the tales of his time in Northrend and seeing the loving eyes and smile of his mother as she listened intently. Of course his family were fine, he thought. They were survivors.

Serebihm had spent most of his young life in Auberdine and its surrounding forests. His family had moved here from Dolanaar to join the conservation efforts of the Cenarion Circle. Both his parents were respected druids within the circle and both had high hopes for Serebihm. However, it became apparent very early, that he did not inherit the magic his parents possessed. And so he became a Hunter, the eye of the forest and agent of the Circle. His memory drifted toward his first companion, Saber, a young moonstalker cub he found here, distressed, by its mother's dead body, killed by passing orcs. He had tracked them down and killed them, avenging the death of the Moonstalker Matriarch. Saber stayed with Serebihm for years and through many battles, before returning to the Darkshore forests to take his place as Patriarch of the Moonstalker pride. Yes, he should very much like to see him again, Serebihm thought.

As the hyppogryph had passed the last of the Stonetalon Mountains, Serebihm's hope had turned into despair as he surveyed the devastation below. Auberdine was gone, annihilated. The hyppogryph had touched down nearby, in the cover of the forest. Serebihm rushed towards the ruins of Auberdine. he moved silently through the forest as fast as he could. There was no signs of life in the town, apart from the odd agent of the Twilight's Hammer cult. In the distance he could see the elemental that was now guarding the harbour. The entire town had been razed to the ground. He reached his home, or at least what remained of it. He stood in what was once the doorway, looking for any signs that his family may have escaped. There were none. "Whoever, you are looking for, friend, they are gone. I am sorry." said a voice behind him. Serebihm had turned to see an old man, frail, dirty, leaning on his staff. " How do you know that!" Serebihm snapped. "Because I buried them" the man replied. "Behind the house." Serebihm ran to the back of the house. Indeed, there were two graves with Cenarion Amulets hanging on the crosses. He recognised them. Serebihm sank to his knees. The man laid a comforting hand on Serebihm's shoulder. "They had no chance. Deathwing attacked in the middle of the night. There was no escape." the man said. "By Elune, I will avenge you!" Serebihm whispered. When Serebihm stood up the man was gone.

Back at the pier, Serebihm turned his gaze away from the distant smoke and looked  to the sky. "I will avenge you!" he whispered. He stood up and turned to the flightmaster holding the hyppogryph. "What will you do now?" the man asked. Serebihm mounted the hyppogryph and turned to the flight master. "The only thing I know" Serebihm answered. " I'm going hunting!".  Serebihm turned the hyppogryph towards the sea. "Hunting? What are you going to hunt?" The flight master asked. Serebihm turned towards the flight master and smiled grimly. "Dragons!" he growled. "Big dragons!" The hyppogryph leapt of the pier, gracefully taking to the air. The flight master watched as Serebihm disappeared into the distance. Then he turned and walked towards the village, shaking his head. "I wouldn't," he muttered to himself.


  1. Oh Nozzz, I needed the tissue box :(

    Death to Deathwing!
    By the Light of Elune,
    I do so swear it.

    I believe the Hunt starts on the seventh!!

  2. sniff, sorry to hear about your family sereb, make sure you kill deathwing and make him pay for every life he took! sub.