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A new land, a new beginning.
#1
The rain in Arathi never ceased. From the first moment Balendys had strode across Thandol Span the water had come down in a constant downpour. It fell in fat, heavy drops that splashed as they hit the ground or whatever was in the way, soaking just about anything in its path. The dwarven warrior panted, her breath misting in front of her as the man's blood flowed into the groundwater like oil and dripped from her axes. Balendys shook as she looked at the carnage, his armour was sundered and his body a bloody wreck. She'd done this. She'd killed her sergeant.

Balendys' mind raced to justify the murder, her breath quickening. It'd happened so swiftly, so suddenly. This stuck-up bully had done all he could to eject her from his squad, practically made her desert. “Private Ironfury! Where is your damned shield?” The shield wall, pah! That wasn't how she fought. They should have utilised her skills, wielded her as the weapon she was, but no, she was another cog in Wrynn's war machine. Despite the body before her the name of the human king made her grind her teeth, a growl rising in her throat. That bloody maniac, he was as bad as that warmonger Garrosh, constantly champing at the bit, charging here, there and everywhere to claim more land, to meet the Horde, to crush his enemies.

Balendys turned and spat, her own blood mixing with the rainwater this time. He'd lunged at her, under the breastplate and torn the chain-mail, pierced her side with his blade. She clenched her fists around the short-hafted axes, trudging away through the mud. He'd had it coming.

She'd deserted in Redridge. The orcs from Blackrock were a constant menace and it was her squad's turn to patrol the hills and crags for the grey-green skinned marauders, it was only a matter of time until they encountered them. The Alliance soldiers outnumbered them, but still the orcs ran on, and Balendys was only too happy to meet them. She threw her shield down and drew her second axe, a war cry on her lips and a mad look in her eye. In the combat she'd seen Emery die, his life leaking from a ragged, fat slice in his neck. She didn't stop slamming the orc's head in to the ground until her squadmates hauled her off.
“What the hell are you doing?” The sergeant roared, his bloody sword still in his hands.
“He killed him! Tore his neck open!” Balendys had roared back, her gauntlets bloody and dented.
“We could have taken him alive, you idiot, used him for information.” The sergeant growled, looming above the shorter, stockier soldier. “Your infernal bloodlust is what killed Private Emery, Ironfury!” She'd torn her arms away from the soldiers that were gripping her, her baleful look enough to warn them away. “If you can't work as part of the unit what use are you? Pick up your damn shield. We'll talk about this back at the barracks.”

The sergeant had given her an earful, her pay was to be docked and her rations halved, if the Alliance was hurting for soldiers so much she'd have been carted back to Stormwind in irons. She stood and stared up at him as he ranted and raved, her lip curled in defiance. It wasn't hard to walk out, Eames was on guard and she'd saved his skin enough times for him to respect her, or fear her at least.

It wasn't until the Wetlands that she thought she was being followed, and crossing the Span confirmed it. A cloaked human in the distance. With his longer stride it was only a matter of time. The sergeant had opted to track her down himself, drag her before a court martial committee. He was a veteran, an old scarred bastard that'd fought in the Second War, his murder would lead to much harsher retribution than just her desertion.

She'd have to leave the Eastern Kingdoms, and her beloved home Khaz Modan was all but forbidden, the Bronzebeards we so deep in Wrynn's pocket they'd sell her out as soon as look at her. Kalimdor, then. It burned to have to leave her home, her people. But this was the world she lived in. She'd find her future over there, even if it did mean traveling to the elven lands. The gash in her side ached, she'd have to get that seen to, that bastard. She turned back to the corpse and rifled through his pockets, has pack. A few silver coins and a fistful of coppers, a ration pack and a tinderbox with an engraved metal plate with his name and the Stormwind Lion on it. A reward for his devotion to duty, maybe. Balendys dropped it in the mud and took the rest. The rain still poured down, washing axes of his blood. She stood and headed back for the Span, there'd be a boat in the Wetlands that'd take her at least to Theramore. The short, armoured figure trod off in to the distance and soon there was nothing but the rain and the shattered man who was just doing his duty.
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