This is Part of Angrethar, the story of The Battle for the Wrathgate from Aelflaed’s point of view. You can see all of the posts in this story on the Story Archives page, by searching for the Wrathgate category, or through this link.
Aely lost track of time – between fighting off the stragglers that made it over to Fordragon’s flanks, rushing water and bandages to those on the field, and keeping her own feet in the din, she didn’t know if it had been moments or hours or days.
A pair of ghouls broke through the line to her right, yelling gibberish and flailing towards the makeshift area that the better equipped healers were using. “OI! FECKIN’ TOSSERS!” She screamed, slamming one of them in the face with a shock of Holy Energy, and crashing full force into the second. A whirling mass of greatsword, holy light, and angry, red-headed vengeance completed the job, leaving two sets of shredded body parts back underfoot. She went to get an elven archer back on his feet, catching her breath.
The snow fell thick over the battlefield, the newly dead falling alongside the reanimated, but still they pressed forward. She flung Holy Light at everything she could reach, friend and foe, knowing it would warm and heal the men but burn and kill the undead. Her voice was harsh, raw with yelling and ragged breath. Her arms ached from supporting the wounded off the fields only to turn and have to fight her way back. Still, she went on, slashing her way through the straggling ghouls and skeletons to find another wounded soldier. A drop of water against the tide.
“Death Knights – hold your ground!”
A coarse shout rang out from an Alliance commander – and a resounding yell surged from the soldiers on that flank. Aely paused, waiting to hear the expected horror usually wrought by Arthas’ chosen, only to have shouts of surprise instead.
“The Ebon Blade – Give room!” “Give room, and assist!” “Fall in behind and keep moving!”
She whispered a prayer, knowing that Bertrand was likely among them – fearing for the hollow look in his face. But his fate was his own, between him and whatever afterlife awaited those who were neither living nor dead. She didn’t have time for more than a passing hope as she knelt to close the eyes of a young woman, grimacing at the head wound that had taken her life.
Without warning, pain seared through her consciousness.
Bandages, greatsword, and concentration toppled with her as she sprawled forward into the snow, blood rushing in her ears. She rolled, praying it was away from the attacker and watching as the axe sunk into the ground beside her head. A gruff yell, and the skeleton’s chest cavity crumpled from behind, followed quickly by a sickening crunch as its arm was wrenched out of socket, useless.
A scruffy, russet beard, followed quickly by a grinning Dwarven face came into view. “Watch nae, lass, or ye’ll be joinin’ em – cannae focus on healin’ an’ lose sight th’ battle!”
She sat up. Blood welled up from the soft space between her gorget and shoulder armor, warm against her skin. She pulled off the armor, binding her shoulder with bandages and a prayer, her left arm tingling as she closed the wound and flexed her fingers.
“Yeh’ll be alright?” The Dwarf offered her a hand.
“Ayeh, jus’ need a moment.” She strapped the damaged spaulders back on, and then took his hand and leveraged herself back to standing.
Wrapping her fingers around her necklace, she closed her eyes – By the Grace of the Light, may your brethren be healed; By the Strength of the Light, may your enemies be undone. And may the Light bring you Peace. – took a deep breath and opened them again, heard the cries of someone wounded, and went back out onto the field, cradling her arm.
So the battle raged up to the doors of Angrathar, and the undead were pushed back. Even the great legions of Ymirjar warriors fell before the onslaught of Alliance and Horde.
And then there was silence again. Somewhere a man was shouting, and Aely recognized Highlord Fordragon. She was far to one side, and his words were indistinct, but the challenge in his voice rang clear. She stood on a broken wagon to get a better look. Someone called for a medic, but her eye caught another red and white baldric heading that way. Then nearer…
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