If I owned Warcraft, Illidan and Kael'thas wouldn't have become generic, stupid evil overlords. So obviously, I don't.
Heads up: I changed Anistrianna's name to Arianna, because the first one was excessively unwieldy.
The wind blew gently through the forest, rustling leaves and stirring the undergrowth. The sound mingled with the soft murmur of animals and the crystal chiming of the wisps, blue spirit-lights circling the majestic trees of Ashenvale. The air was crisp after a cold night and the dew-covered grass shone in the early morning light. In a small clearing, lay the corpse of a great bear. A large, muscular figure stood beside it, breathing heavily. He was covered from head to hoof in brown leather and dull plate and mail. His neck and head was uncovered, showing his scarred, white furred muzzle and the two deadly, forward-pointing horns sprouting from his temples. In his three-fingered hands the tauren held a large, round steel shield and a bloodied mace. Strapped to his back was a huge, black, two-handed axe.
Maurus Ragetotem knelt, muttering a prayer of respect to the bear's spirit and putting away his weapons, before taking out a knife and methodically skinning the giant beast. The hunt had been a good one and the confrontation worth remembering. The bear had fought bravely. His shield was dented and his armor had gotten some hefty scars in the battle. His hands moved almost on their own as he worked on the bear. The battle rage was already fading, and his muscles relaxed as his mind turned towards the forest.
Once more he marveled at the majesty of these enormous, beautiful and untamed woodlands. It was really no wonder the night elves were so opposed to the encroachment of the Horde on their ancestral lands. Maurus could easily understand their aggravation at the Horde cutting down these trees for lumber. Being here, surrounded by nature in its entire wild splendor, the tauren felt content, a feeling he rarely felt in the bustle of towns and cities.
His reverie was broken by something moving noisily through the forest, loudly snapping twigs and crunching leaves underfoot. Carefully standing and taking out his axe, Maurus turned to face the direction of the sound, noting that the creature was apparently coming right at him.
A moment passed and then a humanoid figure with red fur, cloven hooves and large, slightly curled horns pushed his way out of the bushes. Frantically looking over his shoulder, the satyr failed to notice the tauren and ran straight into him. Having braced for the collision, Maurus barely moved, unlike the satyr, who fell flat on his back and only then turned his head in the direction of the tauren.
The satyr's face was a mask of terror, complete panic in his eyes.
"But not directed at me," Maurus thought, placing a hoof on the satyr's chest, cracking ribs and stopping his frantic attempt to get up. The satyr grimaced in pain and the expression of fear was replaced by one of momentary confusion as he seemed to gather his wits. Then the fearful look came back as he finally noticed the tauren standing on his chest. Putting all his weight on the satyr's chest, Maurus swiftly ended the satyr's life, stomping his face in with the other hoof.
Spitting in disgust, Maurus stepped off the gory mess of the corrupted creature to search him for any valuables. Before he could do that though, he noticed the shouts of other satyrs, an odd growl and a smooth, female voice chanting incomprehensibly. Leaving the bear and the dead satyr behind, he sprinted towards the sound of battle.
He rushed through a wall of wet leaves and sparse undergrowth before coming out into a clearing alive with the sounds of battle. He quickly took in the scene. One unarmed satyr was rolling on the ground at the far side of the battle, screaming and trying to put out the flames that enveloped him. Behind the burning satyr stood another, strangely insubstantial and very angry-looking, its ineffectual weapons held at its sides. A third satyr, a warlock apparently, was desperately fending off a red, horned doglike thing, while another, smaller one with two wickedly curved blades walked forward with rigid, pained movements. The target of their aggression was a blonde elf, who was moving backwards, chanting gibberish while moving her arms in complicated patterns.
The thing that Maurus focused on though was the satyr sneaking up on the elf, a black blade in each hand and a completely oblivious target in front of him. Bellowing a war cry, Maurus charged the satyr, startling both him and the elf.
Not taken completely by surprise, the satyr dropped to his back, narrowly evading the sweeping axe and rolling to the side, dodging the downward stroke as well as nicking the tauren's leg. Pulling something out of a pouch at his waist, the satyr threw it at the ground in front of Maurus, a flash and a puff of smoke temporarily blinding the tauren. Jumping away from the elf to avoid hitting her, Maurus swung the axe around blindly, the weapon slicing nothing but air. Before his vision returned, Maurus felt a weight land on his back and the next moment he was roaring in pain as the satyr stabbed him.
Reacting on instinct alone, Maurus dropped to his back, feeling and hearing several of the satyr's bones crack as he was crushed between Maurus' massive bulk and the ground. Maurus rolled off the crippled creature and then brought down his axe, separating the head from the body with a meaty thwack and a spray of blood.
At the edge of his returning vision he noticed the dog tearing out the satyr warlock's throat and the burning satyr lying completely still. Then he suddenly felt the strength seep from his body. Looking up from the headless corpse, he saw a newly arrived satyr frantically gesticulating, summoning fire between his hands. Dropping the now too heavy axe, Maurus rolled to the side, feeling a searing heat as his left shoulder caught fire. Rolling further he smothered the worst of the fire, and got to his hooves again, pulling out his knife and throwing it clumsily at the damnable warlock. The knife flew through the air, startling the satyr as it narrowly missed him. The light around his hands went out as he lost concentration, before he hurriedly launched into another spell.
Maurus charged, pulling out his mace and dropping his shield. An ominous, wailing tone, a blaring of some hellish horn, rolled through the clearing and the shadows under the trees came alive, writhing and twisting like snakes. The warlock radiated menace, his eyes aglow with witch-fire, and the darkness in the trees seemed to move at his command. Sheer terror made Maurus falter, almost stopping, before he focused on his pain and rage, drowning the fear. And suddenly the shadows shrank back from the clearing and the warlock seemed to shrink and became as small and unassuming as the other satyrs. He threw a bolt of darkness at Maurus that numbed his left arm when he couldn't dodge completely, but Maurus barreled through the attack and then Maurus was upon the warlock, swinging his mace with all his strength, breaking the satyr's left arm. Grabbing the satyr's horn with his deadened left arm, Maurus pulled viciously, almost tripping the warlock and opening his back for another blow, which broke the satyr's spine. Then Maurus dropped his opponent and smashed his head with a swing of the mace.
Burned and bleeding badly, he turned and found to his surprise that a satyr was lying on the ground behind him, twitching and grimacing in pain. From the prone satyr, a glowing purple beam stretched to the outstretched hand of the elf, where a dark, pulsating crystal was forming. At the exact moment the satyr went still, the shard solidified and the elf packed it away. Behind her were the rest of the satyrs, all burned, painfully contorted or a gory messes from the attention of her "dog".
For the first time, Maurus got at good look at the elf. Dressed, like most of her kin, in blood red robes with golden edges, she held a black staff topped with a rough crystal at the top, which seemed to glow with a green fire. The same fire seemed to play in her eyes, green as in all blood elves. Her blonde hair was sensibly gathered in a ponytail, keeping it out of her eyes. Her bare arms, especially her hands, were covered in straight scars. Some were faded to almost nothing and others looked like they had only just healed.
She stood with her head held high and her scars borne proudly. Both her pride and her combat prowess was worthy of respect, even if she was one of the magic-addicted blood elves.
The battle haze slowly lifted, making Maurus notice the throbbing in his blistered left shoulder and his agonizing stab wound. He also noticed the sticky feeling of blood trickling down his back. The pain momentarily made him stagger and he ended kneeling, looking at the dead satyr on the ground.
"Well, I suppose I should thank you for your assistance, tauren," the elf said somewhat grudgingly.
"Glad to help," Maurus answered, lifting his head "anyone honorable would have…" he continued, stopping when he noticed the green glowing rock the elf was holding just under his nose. Breathing in, he gagged at the smell of it.
She shrugged: "You're bleeding badly; and burned too, I think. This can take the worst of it".
"What is it?"
"A healing stone," she answered impatiently, moving it back and forth, "it will heal the worst of it. I suggest you take it before I change my mind. It's a long way to safe camps and Ashenvale is crawling with things trying to kill you."
Looking warily at the stone, he accepted it.
"What do I do with it?"
"You crush it."
He squeezed and the surprisingly frail stone crumbled to dust, the green glow vanishing into his palm. Searing heat burned its way up his arm and spread to his whole body, centering on his blistered shoulder and the stab wound in his back. Both wounds felt like they were pushed into open flame, leaving him breathing heavily for a moment. An intense nausea gripped him and he vomited violently, hitting the dead satyr at his feet.
Head swimming, Maurus noticed that the elf's "dog", standing by the corpse, was a far cry from any natural animal. Besides being blood red, with a skull-like head, it had two hornlike protrusions on the front shoulders and a back covered in black spines. It had claw-like hoofs instead of feet, two weird black, curled things on its back and far too many teeth for Maurus' liking. At the moment it seemed to be growling at him for ruining its lunch. A demon then, which meant that the elf was a warlock.
Standing up, he glared at the elf, who had taken a few steps back and was looking at him with a mix of amusement and disgust.
"You could have warned me," he growled.
The elf cocked her head and smirked.
"It never does that to me. But it did help, didn't it?"
Maurus rolled his shoulders cautiously and realized she was right. His back was still sticky with blood and he was incredibly sore, but he was in no danger of dying from his wounds anymore. They weren't completely healed, but now they were more of an annoyance than a threat or hindrance.
Then he straightened, bringing his fist to his chest in the traditional Horde salute.
"I, Maurus of the Ragetotem tribe, salute you, fellow member of the Horde."
Surprise flitted briefly across the elf's face, before she mirrored the gesture. Then she smiled, curtsied elaborately and responded in a slightly mocking tone: "Well, I am Arianna Flameweaver, of the Sin'dorei. A pleasure making your acquaintance, Maurus of the Ragetotem Tribe."
Horns sounded in the distance, startling both elf and tauren. As she quickly searched the satyrs' bodies, pocketing a handful of gold and some small trinkets, Arianna spoke urgently: "We need to leave. That's the rest of the search parties responding. I didn't manage to stop them from alarming the others."
She held up a satyr horn, fashioned into a primitive instrument, before shoving it into a backpack she picked up from the ground. Beside the pack lay a mottled green and brown cloak.
Maurus picked up his discarded axe and shield, fastening them onto his back, keeping his mace in his right hand. "How many are there?"
"Too many. At least three more groups like this one," she answered, donning the cloak.
"And at least one is right behind you", Maurus said grimly, eyeing the satyrs cautiously moving into the light.
Spinning around, the warlock spat a command at her demon, which sprinted growling towards the group of satyrs.
Stepping in front of the chanting warlock, Maurus again took out his shield. He had fought with casters before and knew that the advantage of having them with you vanished the moment you let them get dragged into close combat.
Before the new arrivals got any closer though, the clearing lit up as flaming rocks suddenly rained down onto the satyrs and the hound, eliciting shouts of pain and setting the surrounding plants alight. The satyrs scattered, trying to put out their smoldering fur and avoiding the ferocious hound. Maurus stared, dumbfounded. Then the elf's staff smacked into his recently healed shoulder, making him glare at back at Arianna. She simply glared back, stating impatiently: "The rain and the hound won't distract them for long, run!"
Then she turned and sprinted in the direction Maurus had come from. Acknowledging she was right, he reluctantly turned and followed her, leaving behind the furiously snarling hound and the angry satyrs.
This is my first fanfic and will take place mainly in Ashenvale. I'm planning on stringing some of the quests and events together and will probably also include some amount of Blackfathom Depths.
I'm trying to make logical, somewhat realistic combat out of the combat mechanics in WoW. If you have any ideas on how to improve that, please let me now.
Constructive criticism in general is eagerly welcomed. If you find any spelling errors, problems with pacing or style or other issues, please let me know. I am here to entertain and learn after all.
Edit: Well, this went somewhere else. Get ready for a narrative in opposite end of Ashenvale.