Trial of Combat: The Battle for Gilneas

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Trial of Combat: The Battle for Gilneas

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Alathir Malanath blinked at the sudden lightning strike that pierced the dark skies over Gilneas, temporarily able to see the battlefield as he waited for the landing ship to finish docking. Sitting atop his dreadsteed, Malanath watched with relative disinterest as Khorvis Bloodstar outlined his plans to take the lighthouse in the distance. Soon enough, the docking was complete and the battle began. Malanath fell in beside Ayemae, his most trusted ally, if he ever allowed himself to truly trust anyone, and nodded grimly as they followed behind the orc's charge. They reached the lighthouse quickly, and overpowered the two defenders there with ease.

"Now, we head for the waterworks and to victory!" shouted Khorvis, already back atop his steed and heading away.

Malanath quickly called his dreadsteed back to his side, preparing the follow the orc. Looking back over his shoulder, however, revealed a small, huddled form racing to the recently planted Horde flag at the base of the lighthouse. Looking forward again, he saw that the rest of his war party had already raced ahead, following their leader's orders without hesitation.

"Just like an orc to charge headlong into the next fight before this one is quite over." muttered Malanath to himself as he sighed and returned to the lighthouse. The attacker, who could only be a gnome by his short stature, stood at the base of the flag, struggling to reach up and tear it down. Malanath called fel flames to his hand, a mere cantrip, and casually tossed a tiny bolt of fire at the gnome, inturrupting the fool's attempt.

The gnome was not caught completely unprepared, however, as a form appeared to Malanath's side, a lovely, winged form that flicked her whip menacingly towards him.

"Ah, a fellow practictioner!" cried Malanath as he began casting. Perhaps this will be more interesting than I thought, he mused to himself as he completed his spell. The succubus vanished behind a cloud of green energy, as the banishment took effect. "Then again, perhaps not." he muttered. Looking back at his adversary, the gnome was deep in his own casting, a spell Malanath knew all to well. "Much too slow, novice." said Malanath to himself as he prepared his counter. Before the gnome could finish casting his fearing spell, Malanath drew his athmae across his forearm, drawing out a stream of long-dead black blood as he did. Channeling the pain and anguish of the cut, Malanath struck terror into the heart of the gnome, who screamed and ran off, his own spellcasting forgotten. The undead chuckled to himself as he once again called fel fire to his hand, a massive green bolt this time, directing it to seek out the gnome as he ran. The chuckle turned into a cackle as the gnome, fully engulfed in green flames, flew across the nearby stream to land in a charred pile on the far side.

Malanath turned back towards the waterworks, looking around just long enough to see a group of Alliance reinforcements streaming down the hill towards him. Pausing just long enough to send his thoughts to Ayemae, he prepared himself for battle.

"Tell that thick-skulled simpleton leading us to return to the lightouse, there's battle plenty to be found right here!" the warlock thought. Not waiting for a reply, Malanath began casting as the first of the Alliance fighters came into range. A dwarf warrior charged in, only to run away in terror, struck by the same spell Malanath had used to disrupt the gnome. A human paladin came next, despite the flames the warlock had been directing at him, and the undead fell back under the man's vengeful assault. Opening a small hole in the twisting nether, Malanath grinned and disappeared, returning many feet away from the confused paladin, and loosed another bolt of chaotic fire, ending the paladin's attack. Sensing a surge of arcane power, the warlock turned to see a Kaldorei mage summoning a massive ball of fire, clearly intending to return the favor. Calling upon the dark power that had sustained him for so long, Malanath directed it outwards to form a shield of dark energy. The warlock grinned as the mage's blast of fire slammed ito his shield and disappated harmlessly.

"Do hurry, dear Ayemae. My tricks are not infinite..." Malanath sent more urgently this time, knowing that he could not hold out forever against such odds. Indeed, the dawrf warrior was back, unleashing his full fury upon the warlock, shattering bones and rending flesh. Malanath concentrated through the punishment, focusing on the several Alliance members attempting to tear down the horde banner, and opened a rift in the nether directly overhead the group. Screaming out of the tear, a red meteor crashed down, knocking the hapless Alliance to their knees. Malanath took great pleasure in their aghast faces as they watched the massive abyssal rise from the crater. Sensing their desparation, Malanath rushed past the raging dwarf and into their midst, unleashing a howl of demonic speech, sending the massed Alliance running in all directions. The warlock blinked then, and looked down at the axe head buried in his chest, as he dropped to the ground, finally succumbing to the wicked dwarf's strikes. His vision failing, Malanath saw the Horde banner still standing, and Khorvis and the rest of the strike force returning to the fight after their victory at the waterworks. As the remaining alliance forces formed up to battle the newcomers, the warlock drew upon the power trapped inside the small purple stone he always kept near. Fel power surged through Malanath's broken body, reknitting broken bones and fusing his withered flesh back together. Malanath stood once more, and laughed his defiance at death as Khorvis reached the front ranks.

"About time." muttered the warlock as he unleashed the full fury of his power upon the Alliance, incinerating those that were lucky enough to avoid falling prey to Khorvis' deadly axe or Mohan's precise shooting. The Alliance defenders were no match for the combined might of The Grim's warriors, and quickly fell under the attack.

Khorvis howled in victory as the Alliance fell back in defeat, his gaze settling upon Malanath for a brief second, and the warlock could not shake the feeling that the orc seemed somewhat disappointed that he still stood. Malanath shrugged and called back his dreadsteed, preparing to return to the guild hall and report their success to the High Inquisitor.

The endless embrace of death; such is ever the fate of fools and heroes.
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