Fynn’s face hurt.
He felt the blood dripping from his chin, the burning sensation that slipped up his cheek and over his ear. He wasn’t sure if he still even had an ear, but that was the least of his concerns. Ahead of him stood three demons, each of them larger than anything he’d ever seen before. One of them held a bloodied scythe. His blood.
They were fast. He was tired.
His armor’s glow had faded in the last few hours.
“Your kind will never win,” the lead demon said, stepping forward and lowering the scythe so close to Fÿnn’s face that he could smell his own blood on the blade. “Death is all that awaits you.”
There was a gasp, a painful gasp, and then the demon furthest back collapsed. There, protruding from his chest, a blade bathed in fire burned at his flesh.
A volley of arrows dropped from the sky, littering the body of the second demon, who barely had a moment to writhe in agony before falling still.
“You’re wrong,” Fynn said, standing up so that the scythe rested against his breastplate. “We will win. We will defeat you and the Burning Legion will finally be undone.”
The demon pulled back his weapon, ready to take Fynn’s head from his shoulders, but before he could swing, those same fiery blades came down, digging into the demon’s collarbone on either side of his head, slicing a deep “v” shaped pattern into his chest.
The demon fell back, and when the dust settled, Fynn saw the dark figure standing atop the fallen enemy with his weapons back in hand, their blades still coated with some kind of magical flame.
“Are you okay?” the figure asked.
“I’m alright,” Fynn replied, finally having a moment to reach up and grab his ear. Thankfully it was there. The blade just missed cutting the top half from his body.
“The cut on your cheek is deep,” Ailyn said, appearing at his side before he noticed she was nearby. She was a warlock, filled with dark magic and corruption, but still a kind soul at heart. She made him uneasy, but as she blotted his face with a damp cloth, he couldn’t help but feel thankful.
Nearby, a dwarf was rummaging through the demons’ belongings, muttering obscenities as he moved from corpse to corpse.
“What are you after?” Fynn asked.
“I’ll know it when ah’ seh it.”
A small light began to glow and the pain in Fynn’s face subsided. The power of the Light had touched him. He turned to see that Ailyn had stepped back, and now the holy paladin Kaiderra was using a spell to mend his cut.
“Thanks for that,” he said with a smile.
“Of course,” Kaiderra replied.
“Well I dunna’ about you, but these demons seem stronger ‘an most. It must be working.”
“I hope so,” Fynn replied. “If we can draw some attention away from Antorus, Iliera and the others will be able to start their assault.”
“Wha’weoore we after in there anyway?” the dwarf asked, brushing his pants off before stepping over toward the others. “This whole planet is demons. We can fight ‘em anywhere.”
“It’s not about the demons,” the dark figure atop the felled demon replied, stepping down and coming toward the others. “It’s about something much bigger than that.”
Fynn couldn’t help but notice that where the man stepped, the ground practically frosted over. He was a death knight. The remnant of a dark time when the Lich King had lorded over the world as a threat to our existence. They called him Dhespair, though Fynn didn’t think that was his real name. The rumor was that he had been a paladin, loyal to the Alliance and a wielder of the Light, but he was mortally wounded at the assault against the Wrathgate in Northrend. His body, broken and poisoned, was found by Arthas’ necromancers, and his life as a Death Knight began.
Fynn couldn’t imagine what that would be like. To be so completely separated from the Light that he had come to cherish.
“Are we gonna blow it up?” the dwarf pressed. “I haven’ seen a good explosion fer sum time!”
“I don’t know for sure,” Fynn replied. “Iliera said it was important. The whole Army of Light is ready for this one. So we need to keep doing whatever we need to do until—”
There was a pop and fizzle in the air, and the group turned just as I, Sionis Sepher, materialized out of thin air. I turned to face them all and gave a sly grin.
“It worked,” I said proudly. “The Legion is moving more troops out of Antorus.”
“What happens now?” Fynn asked.
“The assault,” I replied. “We’re going to start moving our troops toward the staging grounds. By the time they realize what’s happening we’ll already be in position. This is it, everyone. It’s happening.”
“A’right, well beam us up then, yeah?” the dwarf asked.
I waved a hand and a portal snapped open in front of them. “All aboard.”
When Fynn stepped out of the portal, Iliera was the first in line. She wrapped him in a big hug and looked him over for a moment, her smile vanishing when she saw the scar running up his face.
“What happened?” she asked. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” he replied. “Just a little cut.”
“It was huge,” the dwarf said as he was stepping through the portal. “The boy ‘ought to have lost an ear!”
“I’m fine, mooooom,” he said jokingly. “I’m a big boy.”
“I am not your mother.”
“I know, I just… nevermind.”
Iliera pursed her lips, then gave him a gentle smile. “I’m glad you’re back.”
“Me too,” Fÿnn replied. “I’m so tired.”
“You fought well,” Dhespair said, stepping through the portal now. “Your rest is deserved.”
“Thank you,” Fynn replied, smiling at the death knight. “You deserve some rest too.”
“I do not require rest.”
“Well, I will have his then,” the dwarf piped up. “I’ll be needin’ it for the big fight.”
I was the last one through the portal, closing it behind me before taking a moment to brush off my robe. I was dressed in battle regalia, something I hadn’t worn since the assault against the Tomb of Sargeras.
“That’s everyone,” I said to Iliera as I stepped forward. “All extractions were successful. Our troops are lined up and ready to go.”
“We’ll be moving the Vindicaar into position soon,” she replied. “Are you okay?”
“I’m great. Ready to end this.”
She could see we were all nervous. I always got nervous before these kinds of confrontations, but this was a much bigger deal. The day before we breached Hellfire Citadel I had nearly come unglued. A brave and powerful fighter, but a victim of anxiety nonetheless. Now we were going to actually fight the Legion?! At their home base?!
Meanwhile, young Fynn stood tall, looking exhausted, but still filled with the energy of youth that made him so endearing.
“Okay then, everyone,” Iliera said proudly. “Rest up. Eat well. Tomorrow we’re going to the gates of hell.”