Focus Shall Not Fail Part II
- - by Saidivh Bedwyr
Part II the MeetingEdit
The party trudged on till they came to a tunnel leading to a barricade. Another quartet of sentries greeted them as they arrived, along with a herald who addressed Saidivh personally. "Welcome, milord, to the Scarlet Bastion. The other nobles and lords eagerly await your arrival in the great hall. The Grand Crusader forgives you for your lack of haste in arriving, but still I would make haste to the meeting." The herald spoke.
Saidivh replied "We were delayed by an undead ambush, I would thank you dearly if you made that clear to the assembly as I make ready for the meeting."
The herald bowed, "As you will, Milord," and left to inform the council. Saidivh dismounted Urien, and handed him off to the stable hand that had been standing with the Herald. Saidivh confronted the sentries and the crimson guards who had escorted him. The group was discussing the rumors of the Scourge invasion that was undoubtedly immanent. "Be on the lookout for Scourge war parties. If my escorts had not told you already, we came under attack by a large group of them earlier, along with an abomination." The sentries looked at one another with a look of disheartenment in their eyes, till the Crimson Captain spoke up "We will go clean up a tad, and then we will join you here at the Barricade." Immediately they seemed to gain more heart. "As you will, Milord," One spoke up "You would be more than welcome here, if what you say is true, about the war bands and abominations." Saidivh bowed and took his leave, as the crimsons followed him till they reached the barracks. He found his way to his quarters and changed out of his soaked leather tunic and cloak into a comfy, loose-fitting scarlet robe, and made his way to the great hall.
The Hall was abustle with activity. Squires, servants, and pages ran back and forth between the kitchen and the hall carrying plates bearing Goldenbark Apples by the bushel, roast venison, quail, many flavors of pie, and large jugs of wine and mead being carried about and dispersed amongst the royal blood of the Crusade. All while they yelled and argued with one another about different things: The Syndicate in Alterac, the Worgen of Silverpine and outlying, the Scourge and the rumors, the Forsaken and all the other adventurers attacking Stratholme and the Monastery in Tirisfal. Not to mention the tensions between one another, political rivalries. They were as much at war with one another as with the Crusade’s enemies. Anonymous nobles shouted at one another as Saidivh walked through the door, as the heralds introduced him. The heralds were drowned out by the disputes. His arrival went unnoticed, save by few he knew personally.
"The Crusade numbers 12,000 members. We can weather an assault if one comes. We are a strong people!" One stated matter of factly.
"Can we weather an attack when each soldier slain rises again against us? The Scourge grow stronger with each fallen foe. Every man here with a head on his shoulders knows this. We must not stand idly by believing we can fight them in our current state! We must take precautions," An elderly sounding man spoke.
"What would you have us do, Guy? Hide in holes in the countryside striking like snakes from the tall grass? I will face them on the field of battle, like a REAL man," Another insulted.
"Do not doubt my readiness to fight, Malakai, I will bear a sword and shield as quickly as any crusader here. The Light wills it, but not all battles are determined by the Light. Numbers, the absence of disease and our resources also play a major part in a battle’s outcome. We need good strategists and tacticians to plan each strike, not just charge blindly into battle like a madman, that will merely deliver us into their hands all the quicker. Fear will not affect a foe with no will of its own," The man named Guy said. "We must evacuate the leadership to places where they can plan in safety. Less than half of this city is blessed by the Light, the rest lay in the shadow."
"Then I suggest the leadership take leave under escort to Hearthglen to the West, or Tyr’s Hand to the South." Saidivh said loud enough for all to hear. "If the reports are true than they will likely land here in the Eastern Plaguelands, and here we are cornered. In Hearthglen messages could be easily relayed to Tyr’s Hand, which is just southeast of Corin’s Crossing. Not only that, Tyr’s Hand would be easily defended, with its high walls and massive gate, as would Hearthglen, where the only possible way to reach it’s gates is through a treacherous mountain pass."
They spoke amongst themselves in hushed tones for a minute, all eyes occasionally glancing at Saidivh. They knew of his battle at Hearthglen, and of his more recent battles abroad. "Who would take charge of defending Stratholme?" A third noble thought out loud, "If all our leadership is in Hearthglen, and Tyr’s Hand, how could such an endeavor be accomplished?"
"I will take command," a man who could only be Captain Melrache replied. "Lies!" another called out "That daft fool defends the land outlying the Monastery, and here hardy folk from all over Azeroth are venturing in freely and slaughtering our brothers there!"
The room then began fighting over a new subject: Who would defend Stratholme while the noblemen fled to safer holdings?
The fighting went on for 10 minutes, while Saidivh quickly ate his fill. He had just begun to leave, thanking the servants as he did so, before one spoke above all others, the voice that could only be Mograine’s. "I say Saidivh sees to the defense of Stratholme in our absence." The room became silent, as some nodded in agreement, and others stared on in amazement. Amazement that Saidivh was elected to defend the Bastion, and that Mograine did not nominate himself. "Trust your ears for you heard me correctly," he said "I believe Saidivh and I should see to the defenses. Our combined might will see that the Bastion remains pure. I know Saidivh, he aided in the Monastery’s defense several times in the past, and has been true friend. We will defend the Bastion, and you may ride with peace of mind till the invasion passes." Once again the nobles spoke amongst themselves, till one spoke on behalf of them all "And if you should fail?" He asked
"If we fail, we will die." Mograine responded.
"Then it is settled, Saidivh Bedwyr and Mograine the Scarlet Commander will defend Stratholme whilst the Royal Blood retreat to safer cities. We will return when we receive word, but if we do not receive word in one week’s time, we will send men to recover your bodies for burial and honors. This council is adjourned, you may return to your quarters." All the men and women stood, and raised their glasses of wine, as did Saidivh and Mograine. "For the Crusade!" They cried, and drank their spirits. Mograine and Saidivh raised their glasses, and said the pledge to each other. And drank to each other’s health.
Saidivh and Mograine left the hall, speaking of old battles they had fought together, like they were old friends, which they were. They also spoke of strategies on how to aid in the defense of their half of the city. "The Porticullus can only hold back so many, and the Enemy will be free to fire arrows through the holes amongst our warriors." Mograine stated.
"Truly," Saidivh replied, "We will have to raise a sort of barrier to prevent projectiles from being fired through, both arcane and otherwise. Also, the tunnel leading to the bastion will need more fortification. We will need to scavenge through all the nearby boxes for building materials, and resources. To ensure we have what we need to sustain a long siege."
"Old friend," Mograine said "We will not be suffering a siege, we will suffer an attack. They will not hold back and wait for us to starve. They will wear upon our walls like water on rock. There will be no rest for us, so we need to prepare defenses, not supplies."
Saidivh considered this, and agreed. "What you say is true. In the morning we will prepare, for now it grows late and my mind is weary. Till the morning, Milord"
"Till morning, friend." Mograine said, turning to leave to his quarters. Saidivh arrived in his room, adequate at best, but he longed to sleep in his room in Menethil harbor. He longed to sit around the fire with his friends from the South, and share stories and humorous tales around the campfire with them all. He wanted to see Felena, and Mirabela again. He sat at his desk, leather-bound book before him. He started to write again, where he had left off, but he could think of no words. He could not tear his mind from Felena and Mirabela. He knew that if he were even to be blessed with one of them, he would have to choose whom. He remembered what he had heard, Mira was seeing another man. He could tell by how she carried herself, she was in love. That man had brought her more happiness than he could ever dream of doing. He commended the man, and in his mind blessed them both, wishing them the best of luck. He took the letter he had written for Mira, and removed his seal from the envelope, removing his ring from inside. He then resealed the letter, and cast it in the fire. He watched the ink melt and smear as the parchment curled in on itself and smoldered before bursting into flame. He then looked to the letter he had written to Felena, still deep in thought.
'I should rest, it will all be easier and clearer in the morning.’ He thought, climbing into bed after changing. He closed his eyes and surrendered to slumber, falling fast asleep...
End of Focus Shall Not Fail Part II
[<---Part I] [Part III--->]