I apologize in advance for any informalities. This is the first story I have published here on Fanfiction and, thusly, I am new to this. About a year or two ago, I became a member of a online mass-crossover role-play site called 'Celestial Refresh'. While on that site, I created the following story concerning one of the characters I had chosen to introduce to the world. The High Inquisitor of the Scarlet Crusade, Sally Whitemane.
I left the site a while ago, but this story is one I particularly liked. I thusly chose to publish it here and see how well it is received. This is not the entire story, as I have chosen to release it only one segment at a time. Hopefully I will be able to release a new segment once a week until the story is finished. Please, constructive criticism (pointing out what is wrong, why it is an issue, and explaining how to make it better) and reviews are appreciated and desired.
Sixty four recruits stood outside of the Scarlet Cathedral, the chief and prime wing of the four wings of the Scarlet Monastery. Before them, the massive doors to the inner sanctum of the Scarlet Crusade lay; their place of worship and dedication, holiness and devotion to the light. This was the hallowed land, one of the last bastions of humanity and life within what had once been the kingdom of Lordaeron.
Before the recruits and surrounding them stood over a hundred members of the Crusade, all of which had already passed their initiation ages ago. However, today was the day that these sixty four would prove themselves.
"Recruits!" called out a crisp voice. Standing in front of the door, flanked on either side by two of the other leaders of the Crusade, stood their leader. Grand Crusader Saidan Dathrohan. The Grand Crusader was an elder man, his hair already white with age. Or was that its natural color? Throughout the one hundred and sixty six people gathered within the Cathedral grounds, there were two people who possessed the hair coloring. The first being the Grand Crusader, and the second being a young priestess, placed in the fifth row of the recruits, recruit number 36, Sally Whitemane.
At the Grand Crusaders side stood two other people, both men. The first was a brown haired, kind-looking paladin whom radiated justice and purity in the very air around him. It was almost as if he had stepped out of a childs tale. There he stood, clad in crimson and white armor, looking every bit the heroic paladin that he should. He was the Highlord Taelan Fordring, a man holy and virtuous.
The second was fatherly looking priest. A calm, quieting, assuring smile was upon his face. His hair, black as soot, had been shaven off in the familiar and common style of the monk. Everything about him seemed unhostle, friendly. Even the fiery red scarlet armor seemed dimmed down and inviting, like the fires of the nightly hearth. Many knew him well as the High Inquisitor Fairbanks, the leader of the priestly branch of the Scarlet Crusade.
"You have all been gathered, all come from distant parts of Azeroth. Some of you from the lands of Westfall." He said, pointing to the third row in. "Some of you from the shattered, broken lands of Hillsbrad," he swept his hand out over Whitemane's own row.
As he did so, Whitemane's chest swelled with pride. Her homeland was indeed shattered. Durnholde keep was gone, destroyed by the savage orc Thrall. Alterac, the only nation that had stood between them and Lordaeron when the Scourge had arrived, had long since been turned derelict by the orcish Horde during the Second War when they had turned traitor and sided with the monsters. Yet, with no defenses and no training, Whitemane's people had survived. They had fended off the monsters with little more then farming implements, and had succeeded. Whitemane herself, blessed by the light, had slaughtered several undead by herself already.
"And… Some of you whom have seen the plague first hand, lost your homes, your farms, your lands to the plague, fully and entirely." He said, pointing to the very first row, and then continuing to list and label where each row of soldiers had come from.
"Today… You get to draw your first blood." He said, tongue sliding over his lips. "As many of you know, I was once a knight of the Silver Hand. A paladin of Lothar. He would not approve of what I am about to do, and he is dead! This is not the Silver Hand! This is the Scarlet Crusade! There are sixty four of you now, and by the time I am finished, there will be thirty two bodies upon the ground. They can come from either you recruits, or from the hundred gathered to test you. It matters not. What does matter is this. Those of you who survive will be secluded from the world for thirty days. If you show and sign of being possessed by the plague, you shall die. If you survive that, then you will be admitted as the lowest rank of our order. If there are any of you who feel that you will die, leave now." He said firmly.
Throughout the ranks, there was a collected and universal quiver and shaking in fear. This man, their leader, he held power. He held might. And he was vicious. Even Whitemane gulped slightly, gripping the basic healing staff she had been assigned tightly. She had fought undead, monsters and horrors, but would she slay her fellow man?
"Now… Begin." Said the Grand Crusader. The moment he said so, the one hundred gathered drew their weapons and stepped forwards, seeking to fall upon the gathered recruits with frenzied bloodlust.
"Hold it together men!" called out Whitemane as the crusaders advanced upon the gathered recruits. Though she held no official standing as the leader of the smaller force, the courtyard outside the Cathedral was one narrow step short from becoming a field of blood and battle. No one was about to question what seemed to be a decent plan. "All those with heavy shields, form up around those without! Form a protective barrier! All archers and mages, focus your fire on the left side! Break through there and we turn to face the rest!" she yelled out.
The battle was joined in almost an instant as soon as she finished giving her commands. The sound of sword on metal filled the air as the shield of the recruit soldiers met that of the trained and tempered steel of the hardened soldiers. A heavy hail of arrow and fireball pounded down on those crusaders who were to the collective left of the group, forcing them to part and leaving several dead in their wake.
"MOVE" screamed Whitemane, gripping her staff firmly, a holy light glowing along the length of the shaft as she charged forwards at those few whom still remained. One of the soldiers, a scarred veteran of one of the prior wars, drew his sword and charged at Whitemane, the sword held ready to stab the priestess through and through. Whitemane's eyes shot wide open in pain as the sword cut through her side, leaving a long and bloody gash in her flank. She did not scream out, even though the pain burned through her body like a savage fire. Instead, she gritted her teeth in pain as she swung her staff about, smashing the head of the wooden shaft into the back of the soldiers head This caused the releasing the magical energy stored inside the staff and caused holy magic to smite the man who had attacked her, ripping into his body and slashing though the bone in a powerful magical assault.
The man fell to the ground, screaming in horrible, blood-curing pain as he felt his body being rent asunder by the very light he worshiped. A second soldier dared to try his luck against Whitemane. She saw his assault coming however and called upon the light, forming it into a shield that protected her body. His sword glanced off the divine barrier, sparking into the wall. Whitemane wasted neither time nor mercy with the man, instead calling upon that righteous fury which she knew well. Holy fire. The divine flames, burning with a pure and holy light from on high, poured down from the sky, setting the man ablaze with the divine fury and wrath. He screamed in the pain and suffering of the damned, rolling about on the stone floor. Such a commoners tactic would have worked on ordinary flames, but not Holy Fire. The divine flames would keep burning no matter how much dirt was thrown upon them.
With those two out of the way, and whatever men had dared to stay having been dealt with by the raw fervor of the recruits and lying dead upon the ground, those whom were still alive could now turn their fight outwards, safe from assault from behind now that they had the wall upon their back.
The sound of a heavy rams horn filled the air. Instantly, those crusaders whom had been fighting with the recruits backed off, keeping their swords ready to deal with the more fervent ones.
"That's enough! Thirty three bodies by my count." Bellowed out the High Crusader. He rammed the head of his mace into the ground firmly. "Twenty of them were your fellow men, recruits. Men who fought, whom desired, whom lusted for the same thing as you. To see your lands freed from the blight of the Scourge. Yet look at how quickly they died, how quickly they became the fodder for what we despise the most. We do not tolerate fodder for the enemy! All whom die so easily want to die. Those of you whom survived shall be secluded from the world for thirty days. A final test to assure us that you are not of the blight." He said, turning about and shoving the massive doors open, his two compatriots beside him.
"Did you see that Fordring!" exclaimed the High Crusader as he closed the massive doors behind him as soon as all three were inside. "Thirteen of our men! Not the highest, but still higher then most!"
"High Crusader, with all due respect." Spoke the paladin. "While you have your little… blood spot… Neither I nor Fairbanks need to find the same pleasure out of our own men killing themselves as you do."
"Indeed." Said the High Inquisitor, sighing greatly and rubbing his brow stressfully. "If pains me greatly to lose thirty three good men to these bloodbaths."
"Bah! You two are such sops! But did you see that young priestess lass?" said the High crusader, slapping Fairbanks on the back heartily and sending the priest almost toppling to the ground. "She managed to get a plan together quickly, and it was a decent one too! To top it off, she slew two of our own AND called upon that divine fire of yours!"
"Indeed, she is an… interesting girl." Said Fairbanks. "Sally Whitemane was her name… When her month of seclusion is over, send her too me. I may have, at last, found a disciple of my own. It's been far too long since I had one." He said, giving a heavy sigh. "Inquisitor Whitemane…" he tried the name out. "Give her enough time, and she might just make High Inquisitor and take over for me. Ahhh… Retirement. Bliss…" he said, sighing as the trio retreated deeper into the cathedral.