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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12. The Journey Continues

  As the moon slowly rose on top of the skies, the campfire burned brightly around the tents. Laughter could be heard from far away and the clinks of metal mugs echoed far into the trees. "That's quite the tale Targok. Wouldn't have taken you for a Shaman unless you would've told me. Shamanism doesn't seem like your style. You are a mighty Warrior Targok." Targok smiled and nodded to Ome. "You are as wise as they claim, Paladin. It is an honor to drink with you." Targok raised his mug in salutations, as did Ome, Âshe and Hamuul. Âshe took a swig of ale from her mug and looked curiously at Targok, while wielding a smile. "I must admit Targok, it was quite a surprise to see you riding onto the battlefield. How did you manage to recover so quickly? Last time we saw you, you could barely move a finger." Targok laughed. "Indeed. Not one of my finest moments, if I do say so myself. The Troll Druids took very good care of me. Worked their backs stiff trying to mend my wounds. Evidently they succeeded. They told me to seek the mage who brought me there. Kevin put me in your direction. Then it was just a matter of getting here fast enough. I was lucky to arrive when I did. It looked like you all where close to giving up." Ome coughed. "Tactical retreat, thank you very much." Targok and Âshe broke out in loud laughter. Ome gliggled to himself a little bit as well.

  Hamuul had a smile on his face the entire evening. Knowing that there were Heroes in the world, willing to sacrifice everything they have, to save the people that matters. Heroes who are not afraid to face death and spit in it's face. Hamuul felt lucky to be surrounded by Heroes he could call brothers and sisters. He was interrupted in his mind when Ome punched him slightly on the shoulder. "Hamuul, you old cow. Remember that time we almost got ourselves killed trying to open the gates of Ahn'Qiraj?" Hamuul laughed. "I do indeed. You were so eager to stop Ossirian the Unscarred that you almost got yourself eaten by one of those giant bugs. What was it again?" Ome laughed to himself. "Buru the Gorger. That nasty critter almost swallowed me whole. If it wasn't for Hamuul here," he said while swinging his mug in Hamuul's general diction, "I would have been worm food by now." As the laughs and clinks of mugs continued, Âshe stood up and decided to go for a little walk. As the stars danced upon the open black heavens, she looked back to the guys sitting by the campfire still drinking and sharing stories of bravery and valor. She smiled. It had been a long time, since she had enjoyed the company of other Heroes.

  As she walked around the camp, she stopped by the graves made for the dead, who were lost in the defense on the grove. She took a short stroll through the graves, reading the tomb stones. She came across the tomb dedicated to Kirin and read the inscription. "Aspiring Druid, Beloved Child." Kirin was no more than 16 years old. She was taken to Hyjal to see the Druids in action and learn from them. They never felt it was unsafe to send her and many others there. She had chosen to stay by her own free will when the others left. She chose to continue learning first hand. When the elementals started attacking, she had the option to leave. She chose to stay and help tend to the wounded, practicing her restorative powers. Âshe could feel the tears pressing behind her eyelids. She closed her eyes and spent a moment of silence in honor of her. Kirin saved her life. If it was for Kirin, Âshe would have taken the hit of the fireball or the Charhound would have chewed her to pieces. In an almost silent whisper, Âshe made a promise. "I promise you Kirin. I will not rest, until this land is ridden of the everburning Firelord. I will make sure people remember, that you weren't afraid of facing death. You helped the people in need. You did so much, despite your young age. I will make sure people never forget."

  Âshe picked a rose and planted it on top of Kirin's tomb. As she felt her heart fill with sorrow, she walked away and joined the others at the campfire. Hamuul had pulled back to his tent to get some rest, while Targok and Ome were still talking loudly. As Âshe returned to her spot, they poured her another mug of ale. As the drinking continued, Âshe's mind started drifting. She decided from now on, casualties of war would happen, but dwelling on them were not an option, if she wanted to keep her mind intact. As Malfurion reminded her, her father wouldn't want her to dwell on his and her mothers death either. "Remember the dead. But fight for the living."

 

  As the light of the sunrise slowly started lighting up the Grove from over the hills, Âshe was already up. She had volunteered to take the morning watch, to repay the kindness the Druids had shown her and her friends. As she watched the sun rise over the hills, she felt a strong hand on her shoulder. Targok had awoken early and was already prepared to move out in full armor. She tilted her head and he felt her warm cheek gracing his hand under the leather gloves. "You fought well Âshe. I have seen very few Hunters as skilled as you." Âshe couldn't help but smile. Despite her small statue and the fact Targok had to kneel next to her to even be in a good position to put his hand on her shoulder, it was a pleasure to hear people praise her. She even felt her cheeks blush a little bit. "Thank you Targok. You are most kind. But it is I who owe you praise. You saved us all. Had you not arrived when you did with your Frost Wyrm, the battle would have been much different. You came in the nick of time."

  Targok sat down next to her and removed his faceplate. His kind face did not look old what so ever and despite his age and slightly graying hair, he had the physique and strength of a young Warrior, fresh from finishing training. Targok knew how to handle the aftermath of wars and battles. As he sat down, he spoke some of the wisest words Âshe would ever hear. "You know Âshe, when you have seen great many battles and killed as many enemies as I have, war starts taking it's toll. No matter how many enemies I cut down, every time one goes down, two more sprouts from it's death. And this war is no different from the others, specially not this one. The elementals are countless and more are conjured each passing moment. If we do not cut off the head of this snake, we will all perish." As Targok looked at the sun, Âshe could sense his worried mind. "This is why we are here Âshe. We are here to stop these rampant Elemental Lords, before they destroy our world. And even then, a much greater challenge lie behind them, manipulating them like loose puppets, bending them to his will. As long as Deathwing is alive, this world is at the brink of chaos. And it's Heroes like us, who will have to take on the armies of Deathwing and take the fight to his doorstep. That, my friend, is the motivation, that drives me forward, as it should you as well. It is a heavy burden to bear, believe me I know this better than anyone. But in my many years of service to the Horde, I have learned what really matters."

  Âshe looked at him with great curiosity, as he turned his head to look directly into her eyes. "If we do not stand up and defend this world, no one will. And this world is doomed to burn. I will die before I let that happen." Âshe now understood why Targok had received as much prestige and honor as Ome told her, when he found out who he was. They call Targok a Legendary Hero of the Horde, for his many services and victories in battle. Thrall and Garrosh themselves had both publicly declared him a Hero of the Horde, because of the many strikes he had lead and won against their enemies through the years. Neither undead, demons nor humans could stand in his way. Targok was not just another grunt serving his Warchief. He was a true Hero. "Remember that Âshe. Remember that if you were to step down, the forces of evil in this world, will see it as a victory. Do not give them that pleasure."

 

  Ome and Hamuul were discussing the best trail towards the Shrine of Malorne as Targok and Âshe came back from overwatch. Ome waved them over as he was studying the map closely. "Âshe. Targok. Good to see you are both well and alive at this early hour. Hamuul and I was just going over the best route to the Shrine. The Flamewakers still control the path along the lake to the south and we don't have enough troops to push for the Shrine. We need to take an alternative route further down the mountain." Âshe looked with suspicion at Ome. "I get the feeling there's a 'bug' coming up." Ome nodded. "The mountain is incredibly steep and impossible to scale." Hamuul was walking forward and backwards thinking like a machine. "The only other way down is by flight," he then said, "but that's is more than likely to get shot down by the Flamewakers. We haven't had any scouts report back when we sent them down to scour the area on hippogryphs. None has reported back." Âshe walked closer and inspected the map. "What is this structure here? This tall structure in the middle part of the mountain." Hamuul walked over and took a closer look. "That is the Shrine of Aviana. We are currently trying to reunite and resurrect the gods and demigods of Hyjal to help battle the Firelord. We have already managed to free Goldrinn, but Aviana still eludes us, as well as Malorne and Cenarius. Malfurion departed this morning to continue working on locating and figuring out how to bring Cenarius into our world once more. No easy task."

  Ome scratched his beard appearing to be in deep thought. Targok stepped foward and looked at the map where Âshe had pointed out Aviana's Shrine. "Hamuul, do you know if the Druids of the Talon there could give us a lift to the lower parts of the mountain?" Hamuul looked skeptically at Targok. "It's possible, but unlikely. You can always fly down there yourself with your own mounts, but I have the feeling you wouldn't get very far without being shot down by the Flamewaker sentries. If we can find a safe way down however, it's possible. The Druids of the Talon might be able to help with that." Âshe looked around at the others. "Sounds like our best shot. Let's go."

  Hamuul packed away the map and gave it to Ome. "Take it, you're going to need it. I am afraid I need to stay here and tend to the other Druids. I will stay here until the grove is completely safe for these people. And who knows? We might meet again in the future." Ome smiled. "I know Hamuul. It has been a pleasure." They shared a hearty handshake and hug. Âshe approached Hamuul. "Hamuul, it has been a pleasure meeting you and seeing you in battle. Take care of yourself." Hamuul nodded and smiled to her. "You too Âshe. And keep an eye on Ome for me, will you?" Âshe laughed. "I will, don't you worry." After packing up their equipment and gear, they said their goodbyes and as Hamuul waved farewell to them, Ome, Âshe and Targok continued the journey through Hyjal, now with the goal of finding a way further down the mountain, without getting killed in the process. As the three Heroes became nothing more than dots in the horizon, Hamuul looked to the skies, as the heavens once again were no longer filled with smoke and ash, but beautiful and clear blue. The healing of the Whistling Grove, could now begin.

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