The Flames of Life – Chapter Two

September 12, 2009

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I’ve had a dreadfully long and pain time this past week, what with college and everything; that being said, I should have the next chapter out by earlier next week. I apologize for the delay and I’ll be sure to make your extra wait worth it, if anyone still actually looks at this blog.

Thanks for the patiences for those who still look forward to new posts.

The Eastern Wall – Chapter One

September 10, 2009

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Epion, a rather young man in his early twenties with a full head of brown hair, a tenderly smooth face, albeit sweat-drenched from the blistering sun, that always radiated genuine concern and earnest care as he analyzed you with his vivid sapphire eyes, stood upon the ramparts of Stormwind. The young, stalwart defender was overlooking the blossoming foliage of Elwynn Forest with shield in hand—ready to protect his nation from what he knew lurked. They had sent those green-skinned brutes running for the hills the first time, and if they were bold enough to show their dumb faces again, well, we were ready. After bringing a plated-hand up to lift his helmet’s visor, he glanced upward.

The mountain range that bordered most of Stormwind was indeed impressive. It was that time of day he so enjoyed when the sun just barely shone above the peaks, sending its radiance down upon the wondrous city. He followed the rays of sunlight until his eyes met the roof-tops and spires of his Kingdom’s capitol—it was truly a sight to behold. Banners of blue and gold with tenacious Lions, Stormwind’s crest, in the middle hung from every street corner, swaying in the rare morning breeze. The city guard patrolled every street, which was almost always bustling with crowds of people, who were all intent on their own various tasks.

A second assault by the Orcs had been on the minds of Stormwind’s people (and leaders) for the better part of the four years following the Orc’s initial attack. Loved ones were undoubtedly lost in that attack, but people lapse back into complacency, they forget, they move on, and they lower their guard.

Epion turned his back on the city and faced outward, back over the large expanse of wooded groves and serene meadows, of the tall trees of Elwynn Forest. He couldn’t imagine this place being overrun by those green-skinned monstrosities. The fertile vales and shires would be burned down, the forests and farmland would be culled for their engines of war —everything he knew and loved would be decimated or else used for some twisted, newly thought of way to murder. He would vanquish every last one of those animals if it meant the safety of his family was guaranteed.

Epion’s thoughts finally drifted from the kingdom’s strife to his wife and children when a nearby soldier, by the name of Alexander Bernard, spluttered loudly, “L-look! A courier!” and pointed to the south where he had spotted the mounted messenger. The recently daydreaming soldier blinked a few times and automatically remembered procedure, which directed him to blow the Horn of Stormwind. His shaky hands fumbled with the object until he managed to bring it to his lips and with only a moment’s hesitation, let loose a pent up breath of air into the horn. The sound that resonated from that insignificant piece of ivory carried throughout the city—heads turns, conversations went quiet and crowds stopped.

They both watched as the courier’s shape steadily evolved from a tiny dot on the horizon to a distinguishable person upon a galloping horse as it made its way toward Stormwind’s vast gates.

Epion glanced toward his fellow watchman. “I’m going to check it out,” he said, then added after a second’s delay, “stay here.” He began to descend the steady slope leading down from the Eastern Wall.

When he arrived at the gates, the guards posted there were still trying to discern what the winded courier was trying to mutter through the rattling gasps of air and heavy breathing. But finally as Epion took his final steps toward the recovering man, he managed words, “The horde—” he flinched, then attempted to elaborate, “Are coming.”

Silence seemed to be all that was present as both soldiers who were trying to support the courier glanced upward from the man and exchanged wide-eyed looks of alarm. Epion was stunned, but he was the first to recover and, in his fit of panic, disregarded ranks, “One of you needs to inform the King—immediately!” he nearly yelled. One of the soldiers looked on the verge of reprimanding him for ordering a superior around but thought better of it as the other offered the tired messenger’s arm to the idle soldier.  Epion quickly loosened his grip on his shield, letting it fall to the cobble-stone with a clatter. With hands both free, he fulfilled the silent request and grasped the panting man by the arm, freeing the other soldier to sprint toward those who needed to be aware of this dire news.

The sweltering heat was unbearable as Epion remained crouched under the weight of the courier, but steadily, as time went on, the messenger began to hold more of his own weight. When he was able to finally manage a coherent string of words, he spoke in a trembling but distinctly raspy voice, “The army was massive. Huge! It pales the Horde we fought before—things that nightmares are made of!”

Epion blinked at what the man had just said; “Things that nightmares are made of,” seemed to echo inside his head, bringing back memories. . . His son, ever since the Horde’s first assault, was cursed with nightmares about those hellish beasts. It was not enough that those monstrosities murder my kinsmen in their waking hours, but they had to plague my son as well!

Epion returned to his post and told Alexander what was coming, who went off the deep-end over it and the bringer-of-news had to calm him down with steady hands and soothing words. After finally being sure that his friend wouldn’t go ballistic again, he removed his comforting arm around his shoulder and sat near him on a wooden crate. Alexander’s wife was lost to the grubby green-skinned hands of the Orcs, he despised everything about the creatures—Epion couldn’t blame him . . .

It seemed like an eternity that they waited atop the Eastern Wall, watching the distant hills and rises for signs of those vile monsters whilst only exchanging paltry comments here and there.  We noticed the King, immediately upon hearing the news of the encroaching Hordes, had begun to reinforce Stormwind’s defenses.

And as part of these additional defenses, the ramparts they were stationed upon were slowly bolstered by archers, soldiers and catapults. One thing that didn’t appear to change from one voice to another amongst the conversations between the nervous soldiers was their dead, hollowed nature that seemed to plunge you even deeper into hopelessness. But despite their feelings of despair, they continued to make preparations; the wall itself was even fortified by all manner of wooden barricades and timber-made spears.

The men knew, as they prepared, shires and towns were being ravaged and plundered by the Orcish Hordes that cut through anything that stood in its way of conquest. They knew that a scar of mangled debris and corpses was left in its wake, but they also recognized it was their only hope to hold out in Stormwind. It was a hard decision, but a necessary one.

Epion took to staring off into the distance for long periods of time with unfocused eyes—the men would just think that he was looking toward the Elwynn forest, keeping an eye on the coming Horde—with drifting thoughts of his wife. Alexander nudged him with his elbow which made Epion blink and shot a glance toward his friend who quickly explained the interruption of his thoughts, “You okay?” he asked concernedly, then added, “And hey, where’s your shield?”

He looked down into his empty hands for a moment, then looked back, “I— I must’ve left it down near the gates!” He exasperatedly explained whilst staggering upright from his seat and hastily dashed for the ramp that led downward to the gates.

As he clutched at a stitch in his chest, Epion arrived at the gates and halted immediately as he looked up. The lower echelons of the ramparts had even more done to it in the short time after the news had arrived. Knights, footman, archers, catapults and even clerics, the poor souls made refugees by the massacre at Northshire Abbey, were within the ranks of the anticipating army behind the rows of rickety barricades.

He began to wade into the crowds of soldiers while his eyes searched frantically for the shield. He remembered discarding the thing when he went to help the courier— that was near the gates. He began to head in the direction of where the shield supposedly was and after a long minute’s search, he spotted the glinting monochromatic shield with his nation’s crest within the middle of an intricate design. Epion hurried over and went to pick the object up off the ground when he overheard a curious dialogue.

“Did you hear about the King?” Asked a detached, raspy and gravelly voice in the manner usually associated with rumor-mongering.

“What about the King?” quickly replied a second wheezy voice that was considerably higher-pitched than the initial.

“I heard the King was killed,” the original voice rung inside the accidental-eavesdropper’s ears for a second time, “assassinated by the looks of it.”

Epion refused to believe what he had overheard and took up his shield. And as he made his way back up, he wrestled with rebellious thoughts that kept taking him to the most horrifying possibilities and conclusions as to the fate of Stormwind.

Alexander had his head buried into his hands when he returned; Epion didn’t bother to worry his friend even more over the rumor and lowered himself onto a wobbly stool and modeled himself after his comrade, hunched backed with his face hidden in his hands.

After a particularly long lapse of silence, one of the men finally spoke up in the same miserable manner, “There’s no hope. . .” No one denied it; no one had the will to.

If it meant the continued safety of his wife, he would stop these marauding Orcs by himself if he had to . . . Kimberly, my love, I won’t let what happen to Alexander’s wife happen to you . . . he felt an urge to dig up the locket from his satchel. To pry the petite gates open and to gaze inside, to see his wife’s smiling face once more before the gruesome, bloody battle ensued and his life was placed into fate’s hands once again.

The thoughts of his wife were interrupted once more— perhaps fate would have him not think of her any longer—by the catastrophic tumult of pounding feet that announced the eminent arrival of the dreaded Horde. He, with purpose, gradually brought an armored hand to the grip of his bloodline’s blade and unsheathed the glorious sword whilst savoring the sweet grinding melody of it leaving its case.

The chorus of marching feet was joined by hellish cries and furious roars of triumph— did they already think they had won the battle? — The signs of confidence in the Orcish Hordes put the men on edge. Their expression, they were of doubt; they did not think we could win this battle.

“Line the archers up!” or “Prepare yourselves!” were the only distinguishable phrases that could be discerned amidst the panicked shouts and orders that flew across the entrenched defenders behind their makeshift bulwarks of steel and wood. Epion began to take in rattling gasps of air as he crouched below a barricade with shield and sword clutched within his shaky grasp. A look of pain was splattered across his face when renewed shouting began to pick up, but one seemed to drown out the rest as it thundered across the lines, “Our archers have better range than those spearman! Unleash everything you have! FIRE!” Immediately upon his command, the twang of bows could be heard, then the hum of arrows slicing through the air before they drove into the invading Orcs’ heads.

The powerless soldiers who were with bow and arrow exchanged looks of absolute panic— he suddenly gasped sharply as the barricades began to buckle under the unrelenting force of the spears hurled at them by the Orcs. The heads of the crude spears splintered and shattered through many of the temporary bulwark of old pieces of furniture and wood; they even impaled some of his fellow soldiers that were unlucky enough to be behind a particularly rotted piece of wood.

Epion gritted his teeth angrily and unceremoniously slammed his sword back into its scabbard and snatched a loose rock, among many others that littered the stone ramparts he was upon, with the intent of hurling it at the Orcs. He had to do something! He stood up slowly, aided by a gauntleted hand to the rough stone-hued ground, and as his eyes rose above his hiding spot—the timber-made spikes and makeshift barricades of crates and bookcases— he staggered back from the fear-inspiring spectacle.

He only had but a moment to take in the sea of Orcs that stretched all the way to the horizon, their unnaturally green skin, their blood-red eyes, the vastness of the army, before something collided with his shoulder. Pure, agonizing pain ripped into him, a falling sensation, and then a deafening thud.

Delay

September 6, 2009

Update

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The first addition should be ready by next Sunday, or sometime before that. It was unrealistic and I wouldn’t do the first installment justice to pump it out a day after I announced this. But I will give you a preview of what’s to expect:

The story begins before the Orcs decimate Stormwind, and a majority of the beginning will be from the father’s perspective, what he went through and what he suffered during this time period, this is due to the son’s age, which wouldn’t make a very thrilling tale. We’ll switch off to the son at the appropriate age in his life which will most likely be around the time of the second war.

The rate at which I produce will pick up once I get settled into College and the like. Thanks!

Foreword

September 5, 2009

Welcome!

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Firstly, I would like to give a introduction or rather a preliminary outline, which will give this blog purpose. I plan to make this, from the beginning, the complete story of both Apolyon Plagueheart and his father, Epion James Striveheart. Currently their biographies are on Wowwiki, which can be viewed by following this link here or the ones to your right under the “Backstory” category, but I must warn you, they aren’t proof read very thoroughly and really aren’t to the standard I’d prefer, so read at your own risk. While Plagueheart’s story is pretty solid, there are still a few discrepencies that need fixing,  and Epion’s backstory is relatively incomplete (when compared to Plagueheart’s), I hope to flesh it out as I go.

I hope to abide by and follow the original story as much as possible, but while cliche elements flourish, redundancies thrive, and general errors are present, things must be altered and changed accordingly to make the tale that much more gripping and thrilling for the reader.

The general plan is to dish out a new section of the book every week— the day that it’ll be posted on will usually be on Sundays —unless otherwise stated.

Feel free to leave your comments, questions, and/or advise on any  post I make, as well as this one, via the “Leave a Comment »” option at the bottom of every post! And please, spread the word; I really want to get as many viewers, contributors and posters on this blog as possible— thanks in advance!

I’ll keep everyone updated!

I’m also copying this post to another area on the site for easy access; so, feel free to click the ‘About’ link to get the same exact thing.