Power in Stories

“There's power in stories, though. That's all history is: the best tales. The ones that last. Might as well be mine.” – Varric Tethras

A Broken Song in Three Voices, Chapter 6


He was in the middle of twisting his daggers into the spine of a felguard when the Banshee Queen screamed. It was the only reason he didn’t drop his blades in abject shock . Sylvanas Windrunner had never been his Queen (the last he had ever openly acknowledged was long dead) and he had never liked the way she ruled her portion of the Horde.

In that moment, though, he believed that she cared for the fate of the Horde and her fellow leaders.

Jerking his daggers free, Necronim rushed forward with others as he saw Vol’jin on the ground, bleeding out, tusk broken. He spun around a felguard being driven to the ground by a trio of druids, ducked under the swipe of an infernal’s massive rock arm, before he and several others were nearly mowed over by a cackling gaggle of imps. As he wrestled one into the ground with one hand around its throat and clawed at another over his shoulder that was trying to dig it’s way through his leathers, Necronim saw Sylvanas heft the troll’s limp form up onto her horse.

And then she sounded the call for retreat.

As the val’kyr swooped down from the skies, picking up those who could not help themselves or lone stragglers, other Horde war horns picked up the cry. With a snarl, Necronim twisted so he could slam his heel down into the frail chest of the imp on the ground before using both hands to tear off the one on his back. As he snapped it’s neck with one swift move, he heard hooves from behind him.

“Where is he?” demanded Caren, her voice frantic and her chest heaving. He noted quickly that she had a wound in her side between the gaps of her simple garb and her own blood was staining her green and brown pants black. “Nec, I can’t find him!”

“I’ll do it!” he hissed before pointing towards the retreating forms of their army. “You go!” When she looked about to argue with him, Necronim snarled, “I’m not losing both of you, Caren! Get the fuck off the field!”

She snarled, baring abruptly feline teeth at him (which was always a severely off putting sight) but did turn and stomp away, her hooves heavily splashing up dirt muddied by blood in her wake. Let her hate him for making her go. He could live with it.

Snarling to himself, Necronim quickly gauged the distance between him and the oncoming demonic legions. Then he scrambled up onto the rocks that some of the Horde archers and mages had been perched upon and looked for the familiar form of the elven mage. Though he saw a lot of red-clad elves amongst those fleeing, none wore the red scarf or bore the familiar crystalline sword of his friend.

“Damn!” he spat aloud and climbed higher, praying ( actually praying, something he hadn’t done in a damned long time) that Hresden wasn’t amongst the dead further down the hill. The demons had already reached that point and if he was there…there was no hope of getting him back now.

“Come, deady!” shouted a white-mohawked troll but Necronim waved him off as he scaled the cliff all the way up to where he could look down and see the Alliance forces. They were forming their own retreat and his dead heart clenched just a little at the sight of the King. His King once upon a time.

Tearing himself away, he started to look again when he heard a wet-sounding cough from somewhere close by. With the focused tenacity of a bloodhound, Necronim followed it as well as the heavy breathing and found Hresden amongst the rocks. The mage’s robes were tattered and bloodstained far beyond recognition and he had his scarf as well as a ripped off section of his robe’s skirt tied tightly around a wound to his right thigh.

“Hello, rogue,” he managed to cough out. Necronim stared for a moment, listening to his wet breaths and hoped that he wasn’t about to carry a dead man home. It didn’t look like he was bleeding internally as there was no blood on his lips but what was he to know for sure. He knew how to kill people, not heal them. “Come to spare me the misery of death?”

Jumping down into the little alcove the mage had tucked himself into between rocks, Necronim replied, “Come to drag your sorry ass home, elf.”

“I’m dead already,” snarled Hresden back, his eyes glowing a little brighter than they normally did. Less like the gentle glow he’d always possessed and more like the fel glow of the greater sin’dorei population.

“Use that fight for living , not dying ,” snarled the rogue back. He then lunged forward and brushed aside the mage’s feeble fight against him, hefting him up where he could get his shoulders underneath the elf’s arm on the side with his good leg. “I intend for you to actually see old age.”

Hresden let out a weak laugh as the fight left him and he gripped Necronim’s shoulder as they staggered forward. “Haven’t you heard, old man?” he asked, trying to keep his tone light despite the pain and fear that could be heard in it. “Seventy is old according to the young pups around now. I’m already an old man to them!”

Hooking his arm around the mage’s waist to half carry him forward, Necronim growled, “Are you seriously going to argue elfy semantics with me while we’re fleeing ahead of the whole Legion?”

“I might die and there will be never time for me to argue with you again.”

“Elf, if it wouldn’t break Caren’s heart, I would leave you here so fast.”

Hresden just laughed before grimacing, a groan of pain escaping his lips as he put too much weight on his bad leg. His hand gripped Necronim’s shoulder tighter as he hissed brokenly, “You know you’d miss me.”

“Like I’d miss a boil ,” the rogue grumbled back.

Somehow they managed to catch up to some of the stragglers who were getting into the last two surviving Horde ships. Necronim heaved Hresden up first, calling out what he thought were his injuries and that he needed a healer. Then a green hand caught his wrist and the mohawked troll from earlier hefted him up onto the side of the ship as a group of tauren and orcs worked to push it away from shore before splashing aboard. A mage standing at the prow of the ship summoned a wind to turn them slowly towards home and pressed them away from shore just as the Legion crested the hill.

“You’s lucky, deady,” commented the troll next to him. He then jerked his tusked jaw towards where Hresden had been disappeared off to and asked, “Was dat elfy really worth riskin’ yo life for?”

Necronim stared at the troll for a long moment before he said simply, “Yes.” Then he climbed over the side of the ship and slowly made his way over there, keeping to the fringes of the milling group of healers above deck. He easily spotted Hresden and settled on his heels just behind the mage as a weary looking tauren priestess cast magic over his wounds.

As the elf tipped his head back, Necronim asked, “Still alive, old man?”

Hresden just smiled at that and the rogue rose, moving away to stand near the bow of the ship where he could see the sails of the others. Caren was somewhere ahead of them, not knowing if they’d made it back. He just hoped she was letting someone take care of her.

Whenever the mage was capable, he’d see if he knew some way to get in contact with her. If not, he’d wait until they docked again at Orgrimmar.

He was good at waiting.

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