The roaring thunder fills the sky as the lightning snakes along the clouds, the short moments of time where Harok looks up are greeted by the ever darkening clouds. He sighs deeply as he pushes forward on his adventure. The deep forest seems never ending, the muddy ground grips his hooves. The flash of lightning is the main thing that keeps him on the almost non-existent path.
The sound of creeking metal hinges follows the wind through the trees. The once calm forest had now become a creation of nightmares. Rotten lampposts, wrecked fences and ruined houses. Between the trees, the darkness allows the beasts of the forest to lurk, the branches growing close together. Walking safer ways seemed too late now, he had decided on the shortcut.
Harok lets out another deep sigh of depression. Been not long since the fall of Taurajo and he had been seperated from the other villagers.
During the heat of battle, few Tauren fled Taurajo in time or were aided by the few who were able to make it. There were images of the burning huts, the turned over camp and his dead family. The anger held a furious flame, but he knew that there was no chance if he stayed. The Alliance had attacked his home, inflicting horrors upon his race, and they did not even regret it. His family was among the first to fall.
A tear forms as his head is fixed on the horrible memories, but is quickly wiped away by his hand.
The sky breaks in tears as Harok looks up, recalling what the Earthcallers once told him. When the rain falls heavy with no drop of warning, then the sky is weeping over the actions of Azeroth's beings - the sky is now crying over the loss of families, Taurajo.
The rain quickly turns the swamp into a shallow lake, reaching his knees, the water is cooling him down. Washing away the ashes on his hooves, it wraps around his legs calming and gentle. Harok now understands why the Shamans chose this path. The water brings life and death - but without ruining the land completely. A swamp can still grow, a marsh can allow branches to spread, roots to crawl. But fire had only done more worse than good, taken his home, taken his land. Slithering flames along the dry grass, catching anything that could hold a memory.
He clenches his fist hard, blood forming between the small openings, but he did not have a care. The feeling of life had forsaken him. He opens his hand to reveal a small figure. It wasn't of the religious kind, looks like a small Tauren. The figure is the last thing Harok held, the last time he saw his daughter.
Harok was a proud Tauren himself, not sharing anger or hate with travellers or explorers. His family had been loving and took all who sought shelter, welcoming them to the calm life of The Barrens. His fur was deep brown, clean and well kept not because he was anything special, but to make himself out to be the hero of his child. She had found it amazing that Harok was the only Tauren in the family with white horns, herself having darker horns, even her mother had such. He was really her hero, a proud warrior of the Taurens. She was going to make small figures of the many heroes walking Azeroth, Harok among them, she said as she left the tent.
His daughter had run out to find more tin among the traders. They were planning to make more figures, and this would be her first attempt at jewelcrafting - small metal toys. He was so proud. She did not spend one moment to think on herself, she had already found a use for her toys.
Harok's arms become limp in grief, falling along the sides of him. The firm grip on the toy is released, falling into the water. The small sound was heartbreaking. His hooves do not allow him to stop, splitting the branches as he fights his way deeper into the marsh, leaving a slight trail of broken branches, a feeling of no care.
The clanking sound of his shoulder armor hitting the ground, echoing through the forest, the water rinsing the surface of the plate clean. Leaving the scent of death to flow off the armor and mix with the pure water. The darkness envelops him as he mumbles words of grief and anger, disappearing from the road.
Alesria reveals herself from the bushes. She had been searching days and nights for the few Taurens that may have survived. A pure light from her spell separates the darkness, making her eyes catch the glimpse of the small figure. She looks around calmly, her elven hears perked for a short moment. There was no danger. Slowly she is led towards the water, letting it slowly be pushed aside by her spell of shielding. A moment of breath is all she needs, clenching her fist as the spell is released. Letting the nimble fingers be enveloped by the cold water as she moves closer to she shining metal. Gently wrapping her fingers around it, Alesria looks at the tin figure. The figure is that of a proud Tauren. Alesria smiles for a moment, then a warm feeling crosses her cheek - a tear of sorrow.
The tauren she had followed to the marsh is a heartbroken one. She shakes her head as the connection of Elune forces her to re-live the memories caught in the figure. The pictures are so intense, ashes, fire, heat, screams of sorrow and losses. Her head is a mess during the connection, she cannot believe that the ones she called her allies had formed this much horror into what seemed a sweet memory. She feels the joyfull laughter of a tauren child, but pierced with the screams of the same sweet being.
Alesria falls to her knees, tears running in what must have felt like rivers. Shuddering in the dark she feels she has to find him.
"By Elune, he can not be allowed to tread this lands in his condition", the words are uttered in a worried tone.
Her weakened legs push her up from the ground, the feelings from the connection is slowly flowing out of her. Yet she can't let the thought go. The light spell forms bright, penetrating the darkness. She sets off in a fast pace through the path of broken branches and stepped down grass.
The beams of light spread through the trees as Alesria runs towards Harok, hoping to catch him before the feeling of life finally let go of him.
"Elune, shine upon me. I need your aid!", she whispers as she passes the trees and pools of water. "He is part of Azeroth, struck of the cruel fate. Show me the way to the tormented tauren soul".
Her spell of light suddenly leaves her hand, floating infront of her, the prayers had been heard. The small orb shines as bright as daylight, floating through the forest, showing Alesria the path to the mind of the tormented.
The lightning crackles along the sky for a while, minutes feel like hours. Harok had stopped at a clear pond, now looking at the mirrored image of himself - or the rest of himself. One of his tears releases itself from his beard, dripping into the small water pond, making the image disappear. A flash of horror is revealed in Harok's eyes, the pool showing the images of the events that he had fled from.
"CURSED IMAGES OF DEATH! HOW DARE YOU TORMENT ME MORE THAN I AM!"
In furious anger and grief, Harok punches into the pool of water. The sheer force of the punch makes the water splash around him, relieving him from the torments that it was inflicting.
Harok gets up on his hooves again, tired steps dragging him along the dark forest. Bumping into the trees as he tries to move through the forest, grunting at each hit, his hide getting bruised and cuts opening. He has lost all will to live - once a father and the defender of lands, now the shell of his previous existence.
He stops at a dark pool, the rain heavily falling upon him, breaking each moment of an image in the water. Harok falls to his knees, exhausted and broken. Holding himself at the water with one hand, trying to lean down to drink.
The strength must have been ripped away from him through recent events, as his arm gives away, not able to hold him up - he falls into the pool. Unable to muster the strength to react, the mind to get up, he lays head first into the water.
A deep exhale escapes from his mouth, the rain slowly filling up the pool of water, slowly covering his head. His brown eyes closing slowly, letting the dark fall upon him. Taking another victim.
A last tear falls from his eye, followed by a breath of lost hope.
The orb of light pierces the darkness, closely followed by Alesria. Her heart stops beating for what seems a long time, as the orb has found the tormented soul. Floating over the beaten, bruised and cut tauren body, she stands trembling in the open. Tears run along her skin. With a forceful reaction, she pushes herself closer towards the tauren. Lifeless on the ground, he is no threat for anyone. His aura seems dim, no shine of life but only fading more into the dark.
Another forceful reaction, jumping through the opening of the trees towards Harok. She lands in the water, carefully folding her arms around his body, holding him close to her. Watching over him as his aura slowly leaves his soul.
"By Elune, I pray for hope. In the name of their Earthmother, I beg for assistance. I can save this tormented soul, it is not yet his time. Life may be fleeing from his soul, but bring the light back into him," she whispers into his eears. Holding him in her warm embrace.
"Do not fall victim to death, tauren. Fight and form new memories, fight for the spirits of your family," her tears running along her cheekbone. Following the smooth purple skin of her skin.
The orb of light starts fading away until it shatters into small sparks, landing on the ground with a glow as strong as candles.
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