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One Year

- by Cogitatus


I walked into the Abbey, admiring the architecture and the arched ceilings. such a nice building, I thought to myself as I entered it. The place was new to me and I stopped to look at it in wonder for a minute.

Bringing my gaze back to eye level, I noticed a bald, well-built man in armor standing at the end of the entry hall surrounded by a few people in simple clothes like myself; he was giving orders and directions to them each in turn. Coming closer, I anxiously waited for him to address me.

When he looked at me, he asked "King's honor, friend. What is your business here?"

"I'm Cogitatus from the Stormwind Mage Tower, I'm here to help. I was told I would be expected. Are you Marshal McBride?"

"I am." He replied. I then held out the envelope containing the letter of introduction Jennea Cannon had written for me. He took the envelope from me, opened it, read the letter inside, and nodded. "Glad you're here. We can use all the help we can get.

"Kobolds and Defias have been recurring threats here in Northshire. While not serious threats by themselves, we've been short-handed and we can't allow them to maintain a steady foothold. If you want to help you can start by heading over to Echo Ridge Mine and killing some of the kobolds there. They're the cowardly sort, so as long as you don't show fear and don't let them intimidate you, you can probably pick them off one at a time.

"Hopefully, your efforts, combined with everyone else here, can keep them from gaining the courage to attack the Abbey, itself, in large numbers.

"Report back to me when you've finished that task." The Marshal concluded.

"Yes, Sir" I said, saluted, and went out the door.

Proceeding around and behind the Abbey, I approached the campfires surrounding Echo Ridge Mine. I had sparred with the instructors and other students at the mage tower under controlled conditions, but this would be my first live combat and I was nervous. I spotted a group of kobolds around the same time that they spotted me. As we watched each other, I remembered the words of Marshal McBride, began to conjure a fireball in my hands, and let loose.

The kobold that was stuck came after me, the others scattering for their lives. A second fireball met it halfway, and a third fireball killed it just as it tried to flail it's crude weapon at me.

I stopped and watched it, my staff in both hands ready to smack it if it got up. When it just lay there, still, the thought began to sink into my head: It's dead. I... I killed it. Looking up at the remainder of the kobolds, another thought sunk into my head: They're going to hurt, or help hurt, innocent people if they're not stopped. I had work to do.

----
I walked into the Abbey, admiring the architecture and the arched ceilings. Has it really been a year? I thought to myself as I entered it. The place was familiar to me and I stopped to look at it in appreciation for a minute.

Bringing my gaze back to eye level, I noticed a bald, well-built man in armor standing at the end of the entry hall surrounded by a few people in simple clothes; he was giving orders and directions to them each in turn. Coming closer, I calmly waited for him to address me.

He looked at me curiously for a moment, then he asked "King's honor, friend. What is your business here?"

"I'm Cogitatus from the Stormwind Mage Tower. I'm not sure if you remember me, but I once reported to you, almost a year ago to the day."

"Ah, yes, I think I remember you, now. It has been a while since we last met. How have you been?"

"Life has had it's ups and downs. How are conditions here in Northshire?"

"Still tenuous. We haven't been able to root out the Defias completely and kobolds are still a problem."

"Can I help, Marshal?" I asked.

"We're always short-handed around here, Cogitatus, we can use all the help we can get."

I nodded. "Where do you need me, Marshal?" I asked.

"Our workers were driven out of the Echo Ridge Mine last week by kobolds, again. We need them cleared out if we're going to retake control of the mine."

"Got it." I saluted and left.

Proceeding around and behind the Abbey, I cast spells to enchance the minds of the new recruits I passed along the way. I approached the campfires surrounding Echo Ridge Mine as the kobolds by those campfires eyed me and I eyed them. Putting up an ice barrier around myself, arcane energy began to crackle around my body. The kobolds started stumbling backwards as I calmly walked up to them. Once I was within spitting distance, I let loose with a single explosion of arcane energy, killing five of them instantly and the rest running for their lives. One thought went through my head: This is going to take a while if I have to chase them down.

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