Here it is the last installment of the Create Your Own Azeroth Project. For the Chapter leading up to this post you may want to check out Me & My Ghoul (Link). This is a work of fiction and is intended to be a fun change of pace. Hope you enjoy!
Chapter 4 – A Weary Journey's End
“Get him patched up as soon as possible,” Corrigan says gesturing at the Priest, “we’re going to need him when the scourge catch up.”
“Sir should shouldn’t we go see if there are survivors,” a soldier asks Corrigan
“We can’t risk it, the scourge is too close, we’ll have to move these people on to the next set of caves.” Corringan responds sighing. “Johnson, come here a moment.”
From across the way Johnson says “yes sir” and runs over to Corrigan.
“I have to buy us some time.” Corrigan thinks to himself
“Johnson,” Corrigan begins, “round up the hunters and report back to me.”
“Yes sir,” the soldier replies. He turns on his heel and heads off into the mass of civilian and soldiers.
Turning to one of his men Corrigan asks “Is that Rogue still with us?”
“The one from SI:7 sir?” the soldier replied.
“Yes sir,” the soldir replied. “Says he can’t leave until he gets a good look at the scourge sir.”
Briefly Corrigan wonders just how much of a look the man needs. “Take me to him.”
They find the Rogue at the outskirts of the refugees, patiently listening to the encroaching menace and taking notes.
“Phillips?” Corrigan asked
“I am, and you are Corrigan?” the Rogue asks. Putting down his pencil and note book he turns to face Corrigan.
“I understand that you are with us to gather information about the scourge. As it stands we need to slow down the scourge long enough to get these people to safety. I also don’t have a lot of men left and that cave could very well hold survivors.” Corrigan continues, “I’m sending out my hunters, a small group but they are agile, swift and deadly. I intend to have them attempt to draw the attention of the scourge to the cave and away from the refugees.”
“An intriguing plan, but I don’t see where I fit in.” Phillips responds
“I need to try to recover any survivors that might remain in the cave.” Corrigan replies, “If we can prevent feeding the scourge any more than we already have, while bolstering our own numbers, we’ll have a better chance of getting out of this in a positive fashion. Someone with your training and expertise would be ideal for this.”
The soldier Johnson makes his way to Corrigan though the mass of refugees. He is followed by 5 hunters and their snarling pets. “I’ve rounded up the Hunter’s sir.”
Corrigan turns to face Johnson and returns his salute. “Excellent Johnson,” Corrigan “Tell the Captain to get these people moving on to the next set of caves.”
“Yes sir”, with another salute Johnson turns and disappears into the crows of refugees.
Corrigan turns back to the Rogue and says “Will you assist me in this?”
“It would get me closer to the scourge, and you’ve got a good group here,” Phillps responds, “I’ll go.”
Corrigan nods approvingly at the Rogue and waves the Hunters to come forward.
Once they gather near him Corrigan briefs the Hunters. “You have no doubt heard that the scouting party was attacked. I’m sending Phillips to see if there are survivors and to recover them. I’m sending all of you along with him. I want you to do anything within reason to slow down their advance. Lay traps, pick off scouts, even the use of explosives is acceptable. You are to head out to the cave, assist in the recovery and then return to our group.”
“Aye sir,” the Hunters say in unison. With the Rogue joining them they head off towards the cave.
Corrigan turned on his heel and walking swiftly made is way to the front of the group of weary refugees.
They marched on for hours. Only when they finally made it to the cave did they realize that the forest had become eerily quiet. The sounds of the scourge pursuit are no longer audible over the sounds of the forest.
Corrigan made his way to Rondrey. A fellow Priest had been working feverishly to bring him to full health. “There ye are lad.” Rondrey says to Corrigan as he approaches. “How long was I out? I don’t hear the Scourge.”
“Not long enough,” Corrigan replies. “I sent the Rogue to the cave to recover any survivors. I sent the hunters with him with orders to do what they could to slow them down.”
Rondrey chuckles to himself and says “well it sound like the slowed ‘em down eh?”
“I don’t see the humor in this Rondrey,” Corrigan replies, “armies don’t just vanish, even armies of the undead.”
“I’m sure there’s a reason,” Rondrey says
“I’m just hoping it’s a sign in our favor,” Corrigan says.
The last of the day became the first of the night with no further signs of the Scourge or of the party. Corrigan debated gathering a few men and heading to the cave himself, just to know the full story. Corrigan stands before the fire and paces back and forth.
“Yer pacing won’t make ‘em return any sooner Corrigan,” the Priest tells him, “sit down yer making the people nervous.
Looking to those around him Corrigan indeed sees worry on the faces of the refugees. “No they’ve been through enough” Corrigan thinks to himself. Turning around to seat himself next to Rondrey he looks up and sees the Rogue and the Hunting party. Making their way through the crowd. Behind the party were two members of the original search party. Lionel unfortunately was not among them.
Walking to the campfire the Rogue tells Corrigan, “I think you might want to sit down for this. I barely believe it and I saw it with my own eyes.”
The Rogue relays the events of the day. The party had set traps for the encroaching scourge which drew the scourge away from the refugees and towards the cave. Under Stealth Phillips had entered the cave and found the two survivors. He escorted them out of the cave but he had the feeling that he should venture further into the cave before leaving. Again under stealth Philips ventured into the heart of the cavern only to find one of the great dragons.
Fortunately he avoided detection and made his way out of the cave and back to the rest of the party waiting at the cave entrance. The Hunters were nervous by the time the Rogue had returned. The scourge army was now very close and the Hunters were beginning to think that they wouldn’t be able to slip past them to rejoin the group. Phillips however was struck with a very odd idea. He quickly told the Hunters of the dragon and they formulated a plan. Two Hunters escorted the two recovered from the cave out into the wood. The remaining hunters and the Rogue entered the cave. Before venturing too far into the cave they could hear the scourge forces gathering just outside of the cave.
Once in the presence of the great dragon, the hunters sent in their pets and let their arrows fly. Waking from its slumber the dragon’s confusion grew into a thunderous rage. The Rogue and the Hunters carfully drew the dragon out of it’s den. They made their way out of the cave right into the eager hands of the scourge.
Once nearing the cave entrance the Hunters drew the dragon as close to the scourge army as they could before feigning death. This of course infuriated the dragon who then sought destroy anything in it’s path. Finding nothing but the scourge, the dragon charged into their forces. The Rogue and the hunters quickly and quietly slipped into the cover of the forest, well away from the dragon’s wrath.
With fire, claws, teeth and tail the great dragon mercilessly ripped through the scourge forces. Their weapons and magic proved useless against it’s powerful blows and impenetrable scales. Within minutes a few remaining members of the scourge turned and ran. Those that were not so fortunate were in pieces strewn about the forest floor. Angrily surveying the landscape the dragon searched for more victims. When none were to be found it gave out a mighty roar then slowly turned it’s massive frame and returned to it’s sanctuary in the cave.
The party quickly surveyed the remnants of the scourge forces, and tracked them for a short distance to see if they would regroup and continue their hunt for the refugees. Those of the scourge lucky enough to escape the dragon showed no signs of daring to return to their task.
“We then made our way here.” The rogue finished.
Corrigan stared at Phillips as he let the tale sink in. Before he could speak Rondrey burst out in laughter. “Turning one enemy on another,” Rondrey roars, “truly a Rogue’s plan!”
Despite himself Corrigan began laughing as well. The news of the scourge’s defeat quickly spread through the camp and the refugees cheered the party and the dragon. After a long day’s journey, they had little energy to spare. The cheers died down quickly as all save those on watch, settled in for some much needed rest.