Grown all we can
Sorry for the delays, but writing is coming more and more sparse lately. I know I have a lot of stuff people want me to work on, and I can say I am trying. I just want to wait til I have enough to actually be WORTH posting. Not just a few paragraphs. That being said, here is an update...I am skipping over a few levels...like...10...but still, I think you will get the idea.Sunnydale, California
Willow sat at the table with seven different books opened in front of her. Three of the books were older than the United States and only one was even in English. But that did not deter her. She needed an answer and she would get it.
It was four days after the battle at Glory’s tower. Four days since she got the love of her life back, and four days since her two best friends had been pulled out of Sunnydale and dropped into another dimension. ‘Most likely a Hell dimension.’ Willow thought to herself.
She had no delusions that getting them back would be easy, but she was also not going to give up looking just because it was hard.
“Baby?” Tara’s voice cut through Willows thoughts. “Do you know where Buffy put Dawn’s papers?” she asked.
Willow glanced up and smiled softly. Tara always knew when she needed a break and always seemed to pop up when the time was right. “Did you check in the small file cabinet in her closet? It’s where she keeps the house records too.” Willow supplied.
“Right…why didn’t I think of that.” Tara smiled, shrugging. “Your big brain always finds the answer.” She said, kissing Willow on the top of her head.
Willow closed her eyes. “I know I’ve been distracted, but this…” she gestured to the books.
Tara shook her head. “No one expects you to give up or expects you not to give one hundred percent.” she assured Willow. “They are your two best friends…everyone knows and understands.”
Willow nodded. “Promise me?”
Tara nodded. “I promise.” She said, glancing at the clock. “And in the spirit of giving one hundred percent, you had better get some sleep.” She said softly. Willow started to shake her head in protest, but Tara cut her off. “You have been at this for almost eighteen hours straight. You might miss something vital.”
Willow closed her eyes and nodded. “Just let me finish this passage, ok?”
Tara nodded. “Ok, but seriously, you need to be careful. If you do find them, and you do find a way to get them back, you need to be ABLE to do it.”
Willow nodded. “Give me twenty minutes. Tara nodded and headed upstairs.
‘Goddess let them be safe.’ Tara thought to herself as she headed upstairs. ‘It will kill Willow if they are dead…it will destroy her.’
Buffy looked at Turgren, Selvalersi and Peridar, all eagerly holding their talismans. Xander had just bought his and he seemed fine with it. But Buffy was having doubts. She was still unsure.
“Come on Buff, live a little.” Xander encouraged her.
Buffy shook her head, smiling. “That’s what I am thinking about.” She grumbled. She saw Jahubo grunt, seeming a little offended. “Not that your Wyvern’s aren’t safe…it’s just that flying…I’m not sure about that.”
Jahubo nodded. “You have been trained, and you have passed with flying colors.” he shrugged. “The skies await and you will be fine. Just remember your training.”
Buffy nodded. “Alright, I guess it is kind of necessary now.” She said softly. “Give me the blue one.” She said, passing over her money. Jahubo smiled and handed the blue wyvern talisman over to Buffy.
Buffy inspected the talisman and remembered the first time she got riding training, and the magical mount that came with it, in Bloodhoof Village. She was surprised that the mounts were actually magical constructs, not actual beasts. I guess it made sense, seeing that Turgren owned six of the kodo’s. The feeding alone would break the group.
Instead of the actual animals, the mounts were magical talismans that became a mount at the proper command words. When they were no longer required, they returned to the proper place in their packs.
Buffy looked at Peridar and nodded. “Ok, lets do this.” She smiled. Suddenly, five wyverns came into being around the stables. They looked to the skies eagerly and awaited their masters before moving. Turgren’s mount was, as usual, much larger than the other four. All mounted, the five took to the sky and Buffy forgot all of her fear. It was a rush like she had never felt.
Buffy closed her eyes and relished the wind in her face and her hair whipping around her as she sailed over the red expanse beneath her. She felt free and alive and she loved it. She glanced over and saw Xander smiling at her. He didn't seem to understand why she loved it so much, and honestly she should have been terrified but she wasn't.
Wind Rider Jahubo had assured them, after many lengthy lessons, that their Wyverns would never let them fall. So far he had been absolutely correct. She had never even had cause to fear while she stuck to the beast as it glided across the expanse of Hellfire Peninsula. They had earned the right to learn this skill recently and it made travel much easier. Their wyverns were not as fast as the ones that the city flight masters used, but those were only used to ferry to specific places along a guided path. They would not deviate no matter how much the rider coaxed them to.
Now with their own mounts, travel was faster, safer and opened up new perspectives to things. For one, Buffy was able to see the many horrors the Burning Legion had visited on the world of Draenor and what they had planned if they ever fully invaded Azeroth. There were many heroes here, from both the Horde and the Alliance and Buffy knew that even they would not be enough. The Legion was relentless.
Xander gestured and got her attention, pointing down. She nodded and moved her legs in, turning the reins over in her hand making the wyvern she rode bank sharply and begin to descend. Turgren, Peridar and Selvalersi awaited them below and they had a job to do.
The Horde had set up a presence but the looming structure of the Hellfire Citadel cast a lengthy shadow. It seemed to house orcs that still had demon taint in their blood. These fel orcs comprised the bulk of their self-styled "true horde" and they felt no pity, remorse or had any problem with killing indiscriminately to further the goals of their demonic overlords. One of their leaders resided in the Shattered Halls. A staging point for many fel orc patrols and attacks made from the citadel. Buffy and her friends were asked by Nazgrel to infiltrate and kill the Warchief inside, Warchief Kargath Bladefist. The only problem was, the door was locked and try as they might, they could not batter it down. The Horde soldiers had tried to no avail.
Turgren had contacted them and thought he had the answer. "I just learned how to make these. I haven't really tested them yet." he insisted.
Xander shrugged. "You make good stuff, big guy." he reassured the massive Tauren.
Buffy nodded. "We wouldn't be wearing it if you didn't."
Selvalersi shuffled and pulled her robes tighter around her. "Yes, yes. I am sure your simple cow brain performed adequately." she snapped, in her own way reassuring the Tauren. "Get on with it already."
Turgren nodded and slid the skeleton key he fashioned from a rare ore from Northrend; Cobalt. The bars were expensive and they had only acquired four, but he had been able to make ten keys. He nodded and turned the lock. It resisted, and as he felt that perhaps he had not fashioned it correctly when suddenly he felt the telltale signs of tumblers being moved. The lock popped open, snapping the key. He smiled, discarding the scraps and turning to the group with a gleam in his eye. "Let's go have a chat with this 'Warchief'. "
Buffy grinned, Xander nodded, Peridar shrugged his shield off his shoulder while Selvalersi...she just laughed. Everyone agreed that she was the most terrifying when she laughed. Kargath didn't stand a chance.
Peridar nodded to the orcs lining the hallway and gripped his shield tightly. He felt Buffy and Turgren tense beside him, readying themselves. Drawing on the divine power at his core, he imbued his shield with the radiant energy. He slung the shield, watching it as it bounced from the first, to a second and finally a third orc before arcing back to his waiting hand.
Buffy and Turgren waited a few seconds as Peridar waded into the wave of orcs coming at them. His fury burned as he consecrated the ground, something the demonically powered fel orcs were none to happy about. The Orcs roared, swinging massive axes at the paladin as he rushed into their midst. His shield sparked as they glanced off of the metal and Peridar nodded. As one Buffy and Turgren charged into battle.
Turgren's axes spun like small whirlwinds in each hand. Every rend caused pain, every swing caused a biting cut. The usually gentle Tauren used his natural size and strength to his advantage as the blades tore into the enemies surrounding Peridar.
Buffy was a force to be reckoned with herself. She used only one axe, but it moved as an extension of her. She rended foes all around her, and sundered their armor making it hang nearly worthless on them, cracked and dented in. When they all gathered around Peridar, their rage making them focus on him much more than Turgren and Buffy who were working on the outside of the group, she griped her axe and swung hard, using the momentum to carry her around. The momentum built and she became a deadly bladestorm amidst the orcs. Between Turgren, Buffy and Peridar the orcs started to drop. They were making short work of the foul orcs when Selvalersi sent a shadow bolt searing through the throng, striking a much better armored orc. He was obviously a commander, and he was in the process of summoning reinforcements. Selvalersi's bolt stopped him in mid yell, and he dropped lifeless. Her curses and fel powered spells had already driven him to near death when he started to move away.
The fight was over in under a minute. Xander had hardly had to cast a single spell, just closing superficial damage on Peridar and a minor cut on Buffy when she got to close to a fel orcs axe in her macabre dance.
The group gathered around the orcs and Peridar frowned. "When we finish here, I think it time for us to move on. It is almost..." he shook his head trying to find the words. Selvalersi found them for him.
"This is beneath us. There is no honor to be gained here." she hissed.
Turgren nodded. "Thrall was wanting volunteers for something in Orgrimmar last time we were there."
Buffy nodded. "Plus we can see if any progress has been made on finding a way for us to get home."
Xander smiled, moving up beside Buffy. "I'm sure they're fine, Buff." he said softly.
Buffy looked at the man her once awkward friend had become while here. "I know, but still..."
"It is home." Xander reached for her hand, squeezing it reassuringly. "I get it."
Peridar adjusted his shield and glanced down the hall. More orcs lined the way ahead. "That will be then, this is now. We have a job to do. Let us see it done and move on."
The screams of dying orcs and ogres echoed throughout Hellfire Citadel that night. By morning, there was no sound at all.