((A/N: Yeah, I know, most people would rather read my Legend of Zelda fic that is gradually being chipped away at on paper. This was one of those without-rough-draft written fics that I did within an hour or so, sitting at my netbook between classes. This is from my main Guild Wars character's perspective (Danielle Roivas) at the time of the Searing, and also hints a bit at the "Ghosts of Ascalon" and what happens between Guild Wars 1 and Guild Wars 2. So potential spoilers for that. Enjoy and please comment :D ))

I watched Ascalon burn.

It is a nightmare I will forever remember, a single event that tore apart the life I once knew and thrust me into circumstances I never foresaw coming. It changed us all, and I remember it as it was yesterday.

Prince Rurik's flaming sword, Sohothin, sliced through the air. Its target was the fierce Charr warrior we had hunted down to this bunker, Vaatlaw Doomtooth. Blood matted his fur, arrows jutted from his flesh, and his feline eyes carried a look of fierce defiance even as the burning blade sliced cleanly through his throat.

I lowered my bow, breathless from the fight, the bodies of Grawl littered behind me. I was young then, a fresh recruit of the Vanguard who had never been in war but always dreamed of being a great hero as children were prone to do. The side of my face stung where an arrow had nicked me, but I ignored it. A simple scratch could be tended to later. For now, my first mission with the prince had been a success, and the adrenaline had yet to leave my system.

And that's when I saw it outside. In the short time we had entered the cave, the skies had darkened considerably. But these were not clouds laden with rain. There was something dark and ominous about them, something unnatural. Prince Rurik was the first to step out onto the ledge that gave such a breathtaking view of Ascalon City, and I followed behind with a feeling of dread gnawing at my stomach. The color in the sky was changing still, becoming darker. "What's happening?" I murmured under my breath, thoroughly confused by these strange changes.

"I do not know." Prince Rurik admitted, his own eyes scanning the distance as he held Sohothin at his side. "We should return to the city and report to—" He cut off abruptly at a thin line of bluish-white light that shot into sky from a distance away. It was barely noticeable from this distance, but as soon as it vanished the sky began to turn blood red.

"That was from beyond the wall." It had to be, if the light was so far off. And the only thing beyond the Great Northern Wall of Ascalon was the Charr. And then it happened. At first I wasn't sure what I was seeing, my mind believing it to be trickery due to how impossible it was. Giant formations of crystals rained down from the skies, tearing through wood and stone like a hammer through parchment. They landed everywhere, punching holes through the wall that had for so long protected us from our dreaded foes. The grass where the crystals buried into the ground instantly caught aflame, and even from this distance I thought I could hear the screams of people from within the city, screams that were cut off when a falling object slammed into the ground…

All the color drained from my face, my mind not even registering the feel of the simple wooden longbow I held. I couldn't tear my gaze away from the continuing scene of destruction, even as I heard Prince Rurik mutter something beneath his breath by my side. "Dwayna help us all. The Charr… they've found a way through the wall to strike at our heart."

To best describe just how I felt would be equating it to a tempest of fear and sorrow that filled every fiber of my being. I wanted to scream, to sob, because I knew somewhere out there my mother was alone in her home. I dreaded returning to the city and discovering that my beloved and only family member was gone, crushed by one of those crystals and obliterated in an instant. Was she alive? Had she been killed in a split-second, unaware of what was going on? Or did she lie somewhere beneath the remains of a building, frightened and helpless, dying slowly and alone?

The bow slipped from my hand now as tremors wracked my body. What had been a simple mission to hunt a Charr scout had become a nightmare, a cataclysm. I sank to my knees, even as Prince Rurik knelt beside me while his hate-filled eyes watched the destruction that fell upon our home. There was nothing we could do but sit and watch as the Searing came.

And on that day, the world changed.

Land that had been once beautiful and green was scarred by crystal formations that left massive craters about them, the foliage burned away and dead. The Searing had left the kingdom of Ascalon battered, so many dead with their bodies forever lost.

But there was no time to mourn, no time to rebuild. Our enemies were as ferocious lions, and they pressed the attack on our wounded kingdom. What the Charr did not know was that our will remained strong, even in the face of a hopeless battle. The human spirit was a mighty warrior… but that could not save it from the final blow to its heart, its king falling into grief and insanity and bringing the mighty human kingdom to its death.

The Foefire came, but as with the Searing, the spirit of the people remained fierce in defending their home… even when their bodies burned and they remained nothing more than ghosts.

I watched Ascalon burn. I saw my home die.