She wiped her bloodied dagger on the edge of her cloak, silently surveying the carnage. She and her colleagues had just decimated the demonic camp, west of the Black Temple. This small outcrop of the Burning Legion, however, was merely an appetiser for the rogue troop.
No doubt the demons numbers would greatly magnify as they neared the Temple, that was a certainty, which meant the blood elf and her colleagues’ skills would indeed be utilised to the full. It would involve much bloodshed and, she reckoned, another full day before they reached their goal.
Shelter was required. The familiar turret structures of a Scryers settlement not far from their present location indicated a brief sanctuary. She signalled to the others and together they made their way there.
Shadowmoon Valley in Outland was a dire, dark place, dominated by the volcano known as the Hand of Gul’dan. It seeped and spluttered foul poison - fel. Its vile green rivers stretched across leagues, violating the charcoal ground.
The skies rained with fluorescent meteors, crashing upon the land, birthing enormous stone giants known as Infernals. They heaved and lumbered overland, crushing all underfoot - mercilessly. All manner of demons laid waste to countless Horde and Alliance soldiers throughout the Valley. The battle was fierce, unforgiving, relentless.
Creatures native to the land roamed the barren plains, but they were tainted with the loathsome fel and had mutated into abhorrent versions of their former selves. Such was the legacy of the Burning Legion. Snapping, slashing and tearing at anything and anyone who crossed their paths, the beasts hindered progress to the Temple.
Sitting on the steps of the Inn at The Sanctum of the Stars, Tiene Firefury stared out over the bleak landscape. She could not help but succumb to a feeling of hopelessness.
How had the world come to this? She wondered. It was so far removed from her beautiful homeland of Quel’thalas in Eversong Woods and the stunning Silvermoon City. There, it had been warm, with opulent reds, yellows, and ambers. Lush landscapes covered with rich grasses and trees abundant with vibrant foliage. Beautiful azure seas with white sand beaches bathed in golden sunshine. And the nights had breathtaking starry skies with evening temperatures warm and welcoming. Memories of her youth and more were lamented by a tear tracing over her cheek.
Tiene and her family had survived the Second War, but the real horrors for her began during this - the Third War. The Burning Legion had been creating undead for thousands of years. Through meddling individuals, imbued with powers outlawed by the majority, the undead, the Scourge, was unleashed upon Azeroth. The pestilence ransacked Capital City then attacked her homeland and literally left a scar running all the way across Eversong Woods.
Images haunted her mind. Her breath caught in her throat as she recalled the ultimate betrayal which cost the lives of most of her people. The mystical fount, the Sunwell, which had been the elves’ sustenance and source of power since their arrival on the shores of Lordaeron - was destroyed.
And the horrors had escalated. A powerful Man’ari Eredar, a servant of the Burning Legion, had been summoned to Azeroth, destroying the magical city of Dalaran and also attempted to uproot The Great Tree in Mount Hyjal which had shielded a source of magic for countless centuries.
She closed her eyes and bowed her head, despondent, weary. Even the elves’ prince, Kael’thas Sunstrider, was under scrutiny. All seemed lost.
The High Elves became known as Blood Elves, Sin’dorei, Children of the Blood. This was in memory of loved ones they’d lost at the hands of the Scourge and from the cataclysmic blast of the Sunwell. But, the survivors were greatly weakened.
The elves now had to look to their steward, Lor’themar Theron, for guidance. He was ‘brother’ to Tiene since she was a youngster. Her father had taken Lor’themar under his wing - adopted him in a way - as he was a good friend of Tiene’s brother Duthan, and had no immediate family of his own.
Lor’themar was a born fighter, a soldier, a Ranger, but having been named Regent Lord by his Prince prior to the monarch’s suspected deceit, he had no option but to follow through with the responsibilities the post required of him. An incredibly intelligent man, destined to be a great leader, Lor’themar, nonetheless, did not like politics.
And now, Tiene with her group of assassins, the Shadow Blades, trained members of two guilds, (formerly The Crimson Blades and The Sigil of Shadow), had arrived in Outland to aid in the war against the Burning Legion. The demons had returned in force, their reach, extensive.
However, she was also on a personal crusade and it would soon be time to make a choice. And that choice could change everything. Forever.
Wearily, Tiene moved to a bunk indoors and lay her tired bones down to rest. Her eyes started to close, and in that hazy limbo between sleep and waking, her memories drifted back once more to a more innocent time...