Ashes And Arrows: The Bright Fire

A novel involving my former WoW character Ashe and her adventures.

After the horrid destruction of Kezan caused by Deathwing tearing through the heart of the world we know as Azeroth, Âshe finds herself in the great Horde city of Orgrimmar. A stranger to these lands and with her entire family perishing to Deathwing's destructive power, she has sworn to carry on the legacy that is her family, many generations of proud Hunters. She soon find herself drawn to help heal the lands hurt by the Cataclysm and gets involved in a long journey, taking her far and wide to areas she could only dream of.

I want to point out, while there is ALOT of lore and actual facts from World of Warcraft involved in this story, there WILL be inconsistensies, seeing as it is still fanfiction, so do not take it serious.

Disclaimer - The name Ashe is in fact not stolen or nicked from League of Legends. I've had the name for roughly 10 years, ever since I started playing World of Warcraft back in Vanilla Beta.

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1. Flashbacks

The disaster of KezanA mere fraction of our race now exists, the rest is history. I never thought I was going to survive something of this magnitude. Still, the day, the hour, the exact minute and second, is stuck in my mind, rolling as an old, dusty movie before my eyes every time I close them. Reliving it. Haunting me. An endless nightmare of seeing your closest friends and family perish before your very eyes and knowing, that there is nothing you can do to stop it.

 

  Another restless night. The moon was still high in the sky, when Ashe awoke from her unstable state of sleep. Her mind filled with the horrific pictures and memories from the destruction of Kezan. She rubbed her eyes and arose from the small mattress in the razed tent, that she had been given when she first arrived in the slums of Orgrimmar. Once a great city, it is now tainted by Warchief Garrosh Hellscream, Thrall's successor, when passed the mantle to assist the fight against Deathwing, as the new Leader of the Earthen Ring. Ashe already had a close encounter with the massive dragon, who was once known as Neltharion the Earth-Warder, one of the five Dragon Aspects, leader of the Black Dragonflight. She narrowly escaped her own demise by trading all her riches to Trade Prince Gallywix, who saved her from assured death, a decision she regret  to this very day. Just the mere presence of the dragon made the earth quake and shiver in fear. The elements themselves seemed to cower and flee by the sight of him.

  Ashe let a hand run over her most valued possession, a weapon she managed to steal back from the Trade Prince after they were rescued by the Horde on the Lost Isles. The bow was solid oak wood, finest craft ever seen from the elven lands of Teldrassil. This bow had been passed down to her through many generations and she would die before she let anyone claim it. This memento, this legacy, was all that was left , the only memory she had, of her family. She was all that was left, to carry on the family's bloodline. The thought of her parents made a tear roll from her eyes, past her cheeks. She looked into the sky, watching the stars dance upon the dark heavens. Ashe knew in her heart, that no matter how much she beat herself up over loosing everything back on Kezan, she had to move past this, as hard as it may prove to be. A quick downward glance landed her sight on Jim, her trusty animal companion, snuggling up at the end of her mattress like a good wolf. She smiled. Jim had been with her ever since her first training as a Hunter. She remembers the moment clear as day.

 

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  Ashe: "No dad, I want THAT one!" 

Ashe's father Damian shook his head in shame. For roughly 3 years had he been training his daughter to know the basics of being a Hunter and was very disappointed.

  Damian: "I told you darling, if you want to stand your own ground out there, you need to tame a bear."

Ashe put on a very unsatisfied frown.

  Ashe: "No!" 

Snatching the steak out of her fathers hand, she rushed towards the wolf a few meters away from their hiding bush. First Damian was rather scared and was prepared to fire his bow in defense, should the wolf prove harmful, but after noticing the wolf not moving an inch by the sight of his daughter running towards it, he slowed down and stopped to gaze upon, what would appear to be a very unusual union. Ashe's soothing voice in combination with the very tasty piece of meat, seemed to appease the wolf rather well and they took well to each other.

  Damian: "Well I'll be damned. For a moment there I was wondering if he was going to swallow you whole." 

Ashe smiled and looked at her father as he approached her slowly.

  Ashe: "He has peaceful eyes. I don't think he would harm anyone unless he had to."

Even at a very young age, she had incredible knowledge and had studied the ways of the Hunter to an extreme extent. Damian was rather surprised. Apparently he had underestimated his daughters capabilities and kind heart. 

  Damian: "Well, he's not hungry anymore, what do you say we give him a name and go play with him a bit?"

Ashe looked with wide eyes at her father. 

  Ashe: "Good idea dad, I already have a perfect name. Your name is going to be Jim."

Damian broke out in laughter and the wolf tipped his head looking at him with a curious expression on his face.  

  Damian: "Whatever you say honey, it's your pet."

 

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  Ashe stroked Jim's silk soft fur with her small green hands. The local Orc women had helped clean and wash Jim, after he managed to get himself stuck in one of the tar pits during their relocation. Now his fur felt as if he was a fresh puppy from his mother. She stood up and stretched her body. She was still rather stiff in her muscles after sleeping on the very comfortable mattress provided. She appreciated being given a bed and a tent for a few weeks. As of the first survivors to arrive, she was one of the few lucky ones with shelter. The unlucky ones were forced to sleep on the ground and it sickened her to see. Not because the Orcs didn't provide enough relief, but because they arrived in large numbers, with not enough housing for everyone. Everything has a limit and Ashe knew this. She grabbed her quiver and mounted it on her back, closing her straps and putting on her belt. She took the bow and in the same motion, Jim raised his head instantly, as if danger was close. Ashe smiled and petted him gently on the head.

  Ashe: "Don't worry boy, I'm just going for a walk. Stay here and keep my bed warm will you?" 

Jim gave a low growl followed by a yawn and crawled his way up on the mattress where he curled up in a little ball.

  Ashe: "Good boy."

  Jim went back to sleep, while Ashe decided she wanted to explore the city and the surrounding areas before dawn. She wandered down the road of the Troll district, greeting the guards and getting strange looks from random people, murmuring in the corners of the streets. Ashe was used to being the one watching from a distance, usually concealed, but now, the roles had been reversed and she felt like helpless prey, in a new and strange environment. She was far from comfortable. She took a tour through the city, noticing adventurers everywhere. Despite the time of day, the city was brimming with lights and a few of the surviving goblins from Kezan had already started to set up shops and assisting the existing citizens everywhere. She smiled and thought to herself, that even though they had barely survived Kezan, people didn't lose hope. The life in Kalimdor, in Orgrimmar, was a new start for them. A time to begin anew and to at least, help repair the damage Deathwing had done to the lands of Azeroth. While Kezan certainly was a disaster, it wasn't even close to what had happened all over the continents.

  Ashe decided she had to prepare for the day ahead, by getting some food supplies and repairing her armor. The poor leather vest, pants and shoes she was wearing, would not do her much good here. Ashe was raised in a village outside the main city, located around the Trade Prince's stronghold. A place where the goblins had not harvested the wood and valuable minerals, only to turn the water into tar pits with asphalt roads. A piece of land untouched by industry polluting the air. In this village, you only had what you could make or hunt, a life she very much enjoyed. Ashe was used to not having a lot of resources, to make due with what she had, so despite her armor disadvantage, she decided to go check out the wildlife nearby. She exited the city through the western gate, leading into the Barrens, a place with plains as far as the eye could see. The plains had been separated by the destruction of Deathwing into a Northern and Southern part. The sky was clear, with both the stars and the moon providing more than enough light for tracking beasts for food.

  Ashe: "Time to do what I do best - Hunt." 

 

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