Falling to his knees in front of the Death Knight, Bolingar looked around. Amberis was dead. The warlocks were already occupied with her resurrection as a Scourge warrior. Drimurr burned alive in flame. Her cry of pain was both terrible and sad. She tried to fight fire with the help of light magic, but he only burned it harder, fanning the flame more and more. Soon completely covered with an all-consuming flame, her charred skeleton collapsed to the ground. The paladin looked plaintively at the death knight. But Hassara pointed with an evil smile on her face. The man turned his head. There the Riverey stood on her knees. Blood poured from her mouth, eyes and nose in a plentiful stream. Before her eyes closed, she stretched out her hand to the paladin in a silent supplication and finally collapsed to the ground.
Suddenly, the death knight stepped aside. And Bolingar saw the body of Lassara. The eyes of the magician were already extinguished, and her body was dry like a mummy. Suddenly her eyes lit up with a ghostly light. She barely got up from the ground, turned her bloody head to the paladin.
Bolingar collapsed from the bed, his whole body was in a cold sweat. He looked around. It was a deep night outside, rain was drumming on the roofs of buildings outside the window. Realizing that for today the dream is clearly no longer shining for him, he went down and the first floor of the tavern. The Darkshore Tavern was not as popular as the Lion Pride Tavern. But it had its own unusual charm. She attracted all sorts of strange and interesting personalities. And the paladin was more convenient to stop here, since he had previously served in Darkshire. He was known and respected here. Twilight reigned below, the candles were extinguished, and only heat came from the fireplace and light. Some guests went over drinks and fell asleep right at the tables, and the bartender was no better than them: he fell asleep right behind the bar. Right sleepy kingdom. But the paladin was given three days, and Bolingar boldly singled out one of the three days. He certainly deserved it. The paladin took a couple of gold from the bag and looked around them. He was disgusted to take money from the hands of this monster. But gold can always be used for good. He again threw the remaining gold into the bag.
However, this nightmare that haunts him …
After such a crushing defeat, where Lassara died through his fault, a calm rest clearly does not shine for him. He will not be able to sleep peacefully until he has finished this business to the end. Denying weakness after a long and tiring trip, Bolingar set about packing his satchel. The road ahead was not close. At dawn he will set off.
On the morning of the apocalypse in the city of Darkshire did not happen. The paladin said goodbye to the chief of the guard and set off on a journey that promised to be long.
Sitting in the saddle and slowly moving towards the Arhok tower, the paladin indulged in thought. And there was something to think about. His life over the past few weeks has been very eventful and eventful. Although he did not fully understand why he needed all this. But he seemed to feel that he had to intervene. That only he can solve this sad conflict. Formally, he was no longer a paladin, but this did not prevent him from continuing to fight on the side of the world. And so that they would not think of him in his orden, no matter who they considered him, he was not going to justify himself and curry favor with them. He simply continued to do what he thought was right.
The paladin also reflected on what happened in Er’teron, and especially on the phoenix. All that the paladin managed to put into a single puzzle is that the phoenix owned almost all the magic in Azeroth and was a very powerful magician. But then the paladin remembered that he had heard some strange words when they first met. Perhaps these words were in the native language of the phoenix? And this means that he was already with them then. With Drimurr. Perhaps then he was hiding, who knows what the archmages can do.
The paladin thought a little about the death knight. In part, he even understood her. Perhaps if such a tragedy had happened to him, he would have also weakened in spirit and succumbed to darkness. Indeed, even defenders of faith, such as he, can fall into heresy, to say nothing of ordinary beings who do not know what is light and what is darkness. Nevertheless, Bolingar was delighted with her sister, Riverey. How much persistence and faith in a bright future were in it. After all, she really believed that her sister could not only be saved, but healed. Paladin really did not want to disappoint her, but sooner or later she would have understood that this was not treated. Whatever Drimurr says.
In this last fight, he remembered a lot of things. The fact that Hassara already had an ice serpent subordinate to him greatly frightened him. For they certainly can’t cope with such an enemy. But here is the prince of the Nerubs. He has done quite a bit against the death knight. And his farewell words … Is it really so sad there that even nerubs want to overthrow her?
Bolingar was so lost in thought that he did not even notice how he drove through the foothills of Hillsbrad, where he usually tried to be on his guard. But apparently all forces were focused on the campaign against Lich. Just as quickly he drove through the silver bor, approaching the Tower, when suddenly the gates of demons formed next to it.
The paladin was in shock. Without losing a second, he galloped to the tower itself. Portals were opening wider, but the paladin did not care about them, most importantly, getting to his friends in the tower. Jumping off the horse, the paladin tried to open the door, but it was locked.
— Sorry, River. But your life is much more valuable to me.
It was with these words that he broke a wooden door with a hammer. The castle collapsed with a bang, and now the passage was free. Jumping over several steps, he reached the residential upper floor. Deciding that there was an emergency now, he did not knock, but simply opened the door with a sharp blow of his fist. She swung open with such force that she hit the wall.
The paladin almost dropped the hammer. In front of him was a hunter. A ring of darkness revolved around her throat, preventing her from breathing. She was choking! Zverago tried to fight the curse: he clutched his paw into this ring and a completely different energy began to pass through it. Healing. A pale green radiance flashed across the ring of darkness, as if streams of the magic of nature and darkness tried to throw each other out of this ring. The condition was unstable. At first, the green stream abruptly captured a large half of the ring, but then just as rapidly losing power under pressure from darkness. And so in a circle
The Riverey, being no longer able to resist the dark magic, collapsed on the purple carpet and lost consciousness. The paladin, without losing a second, left the tower. And very on time, demons were already flocking to the tower entrance. The hellhound was the first to attack the paladin. She pounced from the back, but with a sharp movement he threw her off himself and nailed her with a hammer. Then the paladin was attacked by a demonic guard equal in strength to him. The guard swung an axe to strike and at that moment missed a blow with a hammer. However, he did not even stagger, and his ax hit the paladin’s hammer. The paladin was able to fend off the demon’s attack. Bolingar did not know the spell for exorcising demons, and exorcism worked only on the undead. He had no choice but to incinerate the creation of chaos with light magic and hammer blows.
Suddenly, a ball of fire flew right in front of the paladin. Small demons galloped around him and shot at him with small fireballs. But he could not be distracted from his opponent, and therefore the only thing left for him was to hope for his magical defense that she would withstand the damage from fireballs. The guard was superior to the paladin in strength, but inferior in skill. Bolingar carried out a series of swift attacks and, with the final maneuver, launched a blade of light spell that pierced the demon’s body directly from under the ground.
But that is not all. The place of the dead guard was taken by the elemental of darkness. Fortunately, even though he looked incorporeal, the blows of the hammer, backed by the magic of light, were very painful for him. However, the enemy also did not stand like a mannequin. He repeatedly shot arrows of darkness into the paladin. And, along with demon fireballs, this stream of magic was enough to break through the paladin’s defense. She collapsed right in front of her eyes. Meanwhile, the second hound jumped from behind, tearing apart the paladin’s armor. A few more guards came out of the portal. And in the end, before the largest portal slammed, an infernal came out of it.
The paladin was so bogged down in battle that he did not notice the enormous numerical advantage of the enemy. When the paladin finished off the elemental, he looked around. A whole horde of demons went on him alone. He could not cope with them alone, but there was nobody to seek help from. So he thought.
The ground next to the paladin was shone with bright light, his hammer began to crackle with gold lightning. His eyes lit up with a golden light. And on his head a ghostly, but no less dazzling crown shone! The paladin felt the tremendous power that the light bestowed upon him in this difficult hour. And now he could not lose this fight. These forces were given to him with one single good purpose — to punish evil!
Now, ignoring the enemy’s blows, the paladin inexorably and inexorably mowed down the enemies. Demons scattered from one blow of the hammer. And even the infernal could not harm the paladin. His monstrous blows were blocked by a shield of pure light. And the paladin’s blows crumbled a stone, despite the hellish fire covering the inferal. When he was also broken up, a warlock appeared right in front of the paladin near the gate. The paladin met with one of the warlock cults in Darkshire and remembered that the warlock is the highest dark mage. This title was equal to the Archmage. But even such a strong warlock was no longer an obstacle to Bolingar. The paladin went towards him with a quick step, already lifting his hammer. He saw very well how the sorcerer prepares some unholy spell. His hands were covered with black magic, which was curled into a ball of black energy. And when the spell was ready, the warlock released a bolt of chaos into the paladin. Bolingar was ready to repel this blow, for he had the forces of light with him, and nothing dares interfere with his justice. But then an explosion of a bolt threw him back to the tower.
Although the paladin was not hurt, it seems that the powers of light were exhausted, and the divine shield no longer covered the paladin. Now everything depends only on himself.
He was dressed in black robes, stooped, a helmet in the form of a skull of a raven completely hiding his face.
— I don’t care whose soul you came for! You won’t kill anyone today! — The paladin shouted back.
Warlock grabbed a purple stone and, breaking it in his hand, sent an unstable curse on the paladin. Shadows spun around the paladin. They, like an invisible hand, broke his body, squeezing more and more. But the paladin was a strong character, and his pain can not be stopped. A ray of light shone in Bolingar’s hand, and the next moment a radiance of heaven fell upon the paladin. The curse was dispelled.
— She’s interfering with the plans of the high lich! She must die! — Croaked the warlock.
— That’s why she will survive! And you will die! — The paladin answered in righteous anger.
Bolingar was finally able to close the distance and hit the warlock with a hammer. However, he, despite his worthless appearance, did not flinch. After striking a second blow, the paladin realized that the warlock was surrounded by a black shield, which was immune to physical attacks.
— Hah. You’re so worthless. Just like Hassara. You are the same vandal who decides everything by strength, — the warlock laughed
— Are you one of the servants of Hassara? Did she send the killer to her sister? Does she really lack the courage herself to meet her?
— Serve her ?! Ahahahha. You are funny. No, I serve her master, the high Lich. What about Hassara. You’re right, paladin. The thing is that this dog has not the courage to finally deal with his family problem. Therefore, Leach entrusted this matter to me. Since she herself cannot raise a sword at her sister, then I will. Hassara will prefer to constantly avoid this problem. Ugh. It’s disgusting. And what did the high Lich find in her?
Wanting to get at least some more information from the warlock, the paladin tried to drag out the conversation.
— Something she does not look like a real death knight, judging by your words.” Is she really avoiding the Riverey, so as not to harm her?
— She is not afraid of harming her, She is afraid of looking into her eyes, — the warlock grinned. — She is only in public, menacing and fierce. But in reality, a child enclosed in himself. Sits and howls in his room. Unbearable! When she plays her part, I hope Leach gets rid of her. In the meantime …
At these words, the warlock again cast a spell. The paladin was engulfed in fire. The pain was unbearable. But out of the corner of his eye, the paladin noticed that bones were hiding beneath the mantle. This is the Forsaken!
And the warlock was also covered with fire, burning alive. Warlock grabbed a green stone and swallowed it quickly.
— We’ll meet again, bastard! — He shouted goodbye and disappeared.
Having caught his breath, Bolingar rose again to the tower. The Riverey was already conscious, but still lying on the floor, panting. Zverago laid her paw on her shoulder. Healing magic flowed from his paw to the hunter, gradually restoring her breathing.
— He escaped, — the paladin reported.
— Let him run away. Hassara will send a new assassin, — Riverey growled, clearing his throat every now and then.
Seeing no reason to hide what he learned from the warlock, the paladin retold everything to Riverey, giving Zverago time to heal her.
The huntress listened to the paladin with bated breath. Her eyes filled with hope. She shone all over.
— So is it true ?! I knew! I believed in her, and not in vain! She is afraid that for her there is no turning back. But I will prove to her that she is wrong! There is always a way out! — in a fit of fiery speech, Riverey tried to rise.
But the paladin’s heavy hand on her shoulder lowered her from heaven to earth.
— Celebrate early. Did you have any plan for the artifact? — The paladin tugged at her shoulder.
— Yes you are right. Founder of the city of Arhok, Loretal. His tomb is not far from here, in the ghostly lands. Of course, I was not used to plundering the tombs, and even that is disgusting. But his blade is a very powerful artifact from the third war. In addition, Loretal became famous as a fighter with the undead, and all his weapons are directed to fight the manifestations of the undead in all its forms.
— The River. Are you sure going to the blood elf lands is a good idea? They don’t really like us, — said Zverago.
— You think a couple of blood elves will stop me? — Riverey was clearly surprised that Zverago counted the blood elves generally it an obstacle.
— Don’t underestimate them, River, — said Zverago.
— Well! Let’s not waste time! — Riverey grabbed a satchel lying on the carpet, and headed for the exit. Bolingar and Zverago could only follow her.
Already throwing a saddle on her saber-toothed, Riverey quickly outlined the route for them.
— We drive through the foothills of Hillsbrad, then turn near the old tower and through Alterac we get into the western plaguelands directly into Andorhal. As soon as we cross the bridge, for a small fee, an old friend of mine will be able to take us straight to the ghostly lands.
— Wait, what about … — Bolingar wanted to say, but he was immediately interrupted:
— Don’t worry, paladin, All the expenses are on me, — Riverey interrupted him.
— I actually mean undead patrols …
But nobody seemed to listen to him.
Riverey and Bolingar rode on horseback: she is on a saber-toothed, he is on a horse. Zverago caught up with them in the form of feral. By the way, he did not hurry to change the form at all. On the way, they met a small detachment of the Forsaken. But the River, not getting down from the saber-toothed, managed two to punch their heads out of the bow, the rest hastened to get out of the way, because to fight with two equestrian warriors and a huge beast was an extremely unreasonable choice.
Having finally reached the Old Tower, they stood at the fork. While the paladin was spinning the map, the Riverey accurately pointed the way. However, she lived here all her life, whether she should know a short way.
Alterac was an extremely unfriendly place. But Bolingar felt great. After all, Alterac was built on a snowy peak. The Paladin so wanted to jump off his horse and just lie in the snow. But alas, he could no longer afford this. Not by status, and not by age, it only remained to enjoy the view. Although Bolingar was the only one of their company who had a fur upholstery under his armor and a fur cloak in addition, apparently the others did not feel the cold. The paladin began to envy the fact that Zverago and Riverey did not need to wear a huge and heavy fur jacket. One has fur, the other … also has fur. Both are fast and frisky. He moved with difficulty like a mannequin. However, it never bothered him to wave a hammer.
And then suddenly Zverago, who was racing ahead of everyone, crashed into invisible networks. From all the destroyed houses, bandits screamed and whistled.
— This is a syndicate! The Riverey cried out.
The paladin dismounted from his horse. Oh yeah! Finally a fight where he has an advantage. Although far from numerical. They were surrounded by a detachment of 8 bandits. But they were all pathetic raggers. Bolingar and his companions were ten times more powerful than each of these thugs.
The Riverey without even jumping off the saber-tooth again pulled out its bow, and arrows whistled in the air. Zverago, too, was not long in coming. The paladin didn’t even look back as the thieves were turned into bloody mincemeat.
— We don’t have time to stand on ceremony with this scum, — Riveraey said. — They paid in full for their inability to choose a victim.
Having passed the mountains of Alterac, the heroes arrived in Andorhal. Here, the Scourge army was still rampaging. Even Riverey listened to the voice of reason and agreed that it would be wiser to get off the road and not go ahead. Having spent a lot of time and making a detour, the heroes reached the bridge. But still, this hook is much better than going ahead through Andorhal. And despite the hot fervor of the heroes, going around was faster in time, which they did not have so much.
Near the bridge, the heroes met a very strange company. Behind the gilians, a worgen and still very young dwarf and blood elf sat quietly and peacefully around the fire. The company is very wonderful. But the paladin looked around his party of heroes and realized that in the world he was not the only one looking for adventure. Riverey talked about something with a worgen and gestured for Bolingar and Zverago to the bonfire.
— Hi everybody! My name is Fiona. And these are two of my boys, Tarenar and Gidvin. We also go to ghostly lands, so I’ll even give you a discount, — Fiona winked.
— An interesting company, — Zverago said looking around them. — Even more delusional than ours. — With these words, Zverago instantly received a slap from the Riverey.
— Not scary. This has not offended me for a long time, — Fiona dismissed. — He is not the first to say that, and not the last. Have a seat! — Fiona pointed to a small fallen log near the fire.
Bolingar sat on the edge, while Zverago sat next to the log. A piece of pork was hung at the stake.
Gidvin, as soon as he saw the guest next to him, instantly handed his portion to the paladin. It was even embarrassing for Bolingar to take food from him, even though he himself suggested.
— Take it! I’ll take a slice for myself later, — with these words he forcibly shoved a plate of bacon into the paladin’s hands.
While Riverey and Fiona were discussing something, like two old friends, Tarenar jumped up and ran screaming to Zverago.
— Wow, huge cat! Cool! — to say that Zverago was embarrassed, was to say nothing.
— Can I pet him? — with hope and delight asked Tarenar.
Zverago looked at the Paladin. A silent request was read in his eyes. But the paladin only with a smile on his face shrugged. These are children.
As soon as Tarenar’s hand touched Zverago, the dwarf instantly jumped from the log.
— I also want to! — Gidvin shouted, running up to Zverago.
Bolingar watched with a laugh as two guys could not share the feral. At the same time, no one asked Zverago his the opinion.
— Boys! Get off the druid! — Fiona shouted, but no one heard her either.
— Nothing wrong. Let them play, — Zverago said through clenched teeth, with a simulated smile.
Suddenly a tear swept across his cheek. His breathing quickened. And he was lost in thought. He even stopped paying attention to the fact that both children tugged at his paws, ears and tail.
— Is everything okay? — The paladin asked carefully. He did not expect these two children to bring Zverago to tears.
— Everything … Everything is fine, — he said with difficulty. — So … Memories. It’s okay, — having calmed down somehow, he again smiled at the children with a more sincere smile.
— We can … — The paladin wanted to say.
— Let’s not talk about it, — Zverago interrupted sharply.
— Is it true that you can turn into other animals?! — cried out Gidvin.
— Turn into a dragon! — Supported Tarenar.
— What? The dragon? Are you kidding me? — Zverago answered with a smile. — It’s too cool even for me. And in general, transformation requires a lot of strength.
— Well, at least something! — the children screamed together.
Zverago laid a paw on Tarenar’s combed head, and when he removed it, flowers bloomed on his head.
— Suits you! — Gidvin cried out, laughing. — And I always said that you are a princess!
— But I am more beautiful than you, a walking barrel for beer, — Tarenar answered offended.
— Calm down, boys. — Fiona and Riverey returned back to the bonfire after a long conversation.
— It’s getting dark. We will advance together at dawn. In the meantime, spend the night here, — said Riverey.
— Hurray! — Gidvin and Tarenar shouted in one voice.
— They love guests, — Fiona said with a smile, shrugging her shoulders.
The elf finally lagged behind the poor feral and ran to the hunter.
— Can I shoot from your bow again?
— Have fun! — With these words, Riverey took off her bow and quiver and gave them to Tarenar.
— A true paladin fights evil in melee combat! — Gidwin protested.
— Paladin? — Asked Bolingar in surprise. — Do you want to become paladins?
— Yeah, — they answered at once.
And here Gidwin caught sight of Bolingar’s hammer.
— How I did not immediately notice! You are a paladin! — both immediately ran to Bolingar and stood up hastily, saluting.
— At ease! — Waved the paladin.
— And what trips have you been to? — Gidvin sat next to the paladin. — You are obviously a seasoned warrior.
Paladin and would like to tell something. But alas. In his adventures there were no feats. Only tragedy. All his journeys did not end in a heroic way. And sometimes it’s very deplorable. And then he realized that he could not do without a сup of good old Dwarven beer. Having drained the mug to the bottom with almost a sip, he began to recall one of the most beautiful stories that seemed to him, where warriors of light, knights conquer evil without fear and reproach. Of course, omitting the unnecessary and tragic consequences of the campaign.
Bolingar was so carried away by his slightly edited story that he did not notice how not only Hydwin was already sitting next to him, but also Tarenar in an embrace with a bow of the Riverey. Indeed, a real story with unexpected twists is always more interesting than fairy tales in books. Let it be slightly embellished. Zverago, sitting by the fire, slowly gnawed a piece of meat on the bone, now and then looking from Gidvin to Tarenar and back. Riveray and Fiona started again about something of their own. It feels like they could chat forever.
Finally, darkness fell on the plaguelands. Gidvin fell asleep right next to the fire, cuddling in a pillow lying on a log. Tarenar spread a sleeping bag closer to feral. Still, a hunter would have come out of it much better than a paladin. He did a good shot from a bow, although he was still far from mastery of the Riverey.
— I will stand guard. Have a rest, — said Riverey.
Bolingar invited her to share duty. But she flatly refused. However, the paladin was still determined to get up in the middle of the night and change it. Coals mixed with bones burned out in the fire. Despite the extreme diversity of the company, they all had fun. Especially two young paladins greatly pleased Bolingar. He hadn’t laughed like that for a long time. Such a ray of happiness was so necessary for him, like a breath of fresh air. Indeed, in his life for a long time nothing good and cheerful happened. Sheer disappointment.
Something rustled in the night darkness. Despite a good ear, the Riverey did not react at all to this. But the paladin became more vigorous than ever. Carefully opening his eyes and not giving the appearance that he woke up, he looked around. Zverago was sleeping next to Tarenar. Bolingar tried to peer into the darkness from where the sound had swept. But he could not make out anything.
After waiting half an hour, the paladin finally calmed down and fell asleep. What then very much regretted.