|The Misbegotten Adventures of Thomas Hardeck
Author: The Inky Gryphon PM
Thomas Hardeck, down-on-his-luck Undead adventurer, stumbles into a plot most foul - and only the help of a very confused, very grouchy Elf can get him out of it.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Chapters: 4 - Words: 9,150 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 08-07-08 - Published: 04-18-08 - id: 4204269
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Well, this is a little experiment I knocked out while waiting for inspiration for my major project to strike. Please review - even if you hate it! And be brutal, of course. I mean it.
Hope you enjoy :) I. Gryphon
Chapter I – A Little Light Exercise
Thomas Hardeck was running again.
Recently, he seemed to be spending an awful lot of time running. Currently, he was tearing through a large, ugly copse of what might charitably called 'trees', deep in the Eastern Plaguelands. Much to his frustration, the 'trees' were tearing back. He'd already lost his cloak to a particularly spiney shrub, and it looked like his battered overcoat was next in line. Not too far behind him, a small but very keen Scarlet Crusade scouting party he'd had the misfortune of bumping into was hot on his heels in pursuit. Worse, his only defence against them were his legs, as there had to be at least six of them – no way he could fend the group off with his tiny, dented knife.
Technically, he supposed, it perhaps wasn't that surprising that 'Azeroth's-Best-Anti-Undead- Service' were chasing him. He was, after all, Undead.
Thomas had no idea where he was, and so was mildly surprised when he slipped, tripped, and flip-flopped his way down a steep wooded hill. A large plague-mushroom broke his fall, and he scrabbled back onto his feet. His pursuers took the opportunity to close the gap between them a little, waving swords and axes in the air. Soon he was flailing through bushes and ducking tree branches once more, but he wasn't ready for the next hill, either. Once more he tumbled head-first down a slope. This time, however, his fall was broken by a very spikey Blood-Elf.
Letting out an ear-splitting screech, the Blood-Elf flung herself away from Thomas, and he got a good look at her spikey, painful-looking armour he'd nearly impaled himself on. The Elf's scream was answered by the Scarlet scouts, who charged down the hill yelling blue murder. Once more, Thomas took off through the forest, and judging by the metallic rattles and clashes behind him, the Elf had decided to join him. This time, he was ready for the hill. He was even ready for the gloopy stream that (more or less) flowed past the base of it. He sloshed his way across, spurred on by the Crusader's yelling and the Blood-Elf's panted swearing. The forest started to thin, giving him a chance to run at full speed – pretty darn fast. His kind were built for activity. Feet pounding the ground, he headed out towards a long patch of mouldy grass, plated Elf thundering along behind. The situation wasn't as dire as it looked, he'd learnt from past experience. His unnatural stamina would carry him far further than even the Crusaders fanaticism would. Sooner or later, he'd be trotting along by himself again, exhausted humans collapsed in his wake. Whether or not the Blood-Elf would be able to keep up, of course, remained to be seen.
Thomas' sharp eyes caught a glint of fire behind the opposite tree-line. Uh-oh, what's this? The glint got closer, and the murky clearing echoed with the thunder of hooves. He dove to the side as a huge horned and fiery charger leaped from the trees, and a clash to his right told him the Elf had done likewise. Craning his neck, he watched as the charger headed right for the Scarlet Crusade scouts. A figure in dark robes trailing fel smoke leapt from the beast's back, hurling curses and twirling the most evil stave Thomas had ever seen, which was saying a lot, with him coming from the Undercity. A small green figure perched on the robed man's shoulder, firing off blasts of felfire.
"Come on! He can take care of himself!"
The Elf was already on her feet, reaching a greaved hand down to him. She was right, already one Crusader was down, with a further two on the way out.
"Maybe he needs-"
"He's fine, let's go before something even worse turns up."
The Elf gave up and hoiked Thomas to his feet, before hauling him after her. With one last look, the two hurried out of sight.
Thomas trudged along the narrow dirt path, watching as his new companion stumbled ahead of him. Sure, they'd been running for their lives, but surely she couldn't be that tired. Her shoulders, eyebrows, even her ears drooped abjectly. It didn't help that her armour looked three sizes too big, and it's strange design seemed to have been designed for a different type of creature altogether. Her ice blonde hair fell in sweaty straggles from under her helm, and whenever he caught a glimpse of her face he could see her green eyes shining dully through its grille. She hadn't said a word since their unexpected escape, and the silence was making Thomas uneasy. Finally, he plucked up the courage to break the silence.
"I'm heading for Light's Hope Chapel, you going that way too?"
Light's Hope Chapel was a good two day's march away, and the one place in the Eastern Plaguelands Thomas felt he could trust. Both Horde and Alliance adventurers could find work there, and he had a few bits and pieces he'd found on his travels that the artisans who made the Chapel their base might find useful.
"So... you're out here because..?"
Dourly, the Elf replied. "It's the Plaguelands. I'm a Paladin. I fight the plague. Where else should I be?"
"Oh. Right." He took the hint and shut up. This is going to be a long march.