Genn focused, trying to keep the memories out of his jumbled mind. A tumbling goblet. Wine spilling on a stone floor, like blood. Not again. They could not distract him now. They couldn’t weaken him here. Finally, he yanked hard on the bulk as the night elves pushed.
Crack! The debris crashed down. Genn tossed his body to the doorframe. A night elf sailor began to fall, but then he was able to find a grip. They were free!
“Thank you. We had begun to accept our deaths.”
“Never be so accepting of things uncertain, night elf. Follow me.”
Quickly several of the sailors scurried downward with him. Thick plumes of smoke churned from below.
“Where are my wife and daughter?”
“Your who?” a bloody-faced sailor asked.
“You… are King Greymane?” another night elf added.
“Their quarters are below, but we have not seen them. Sentinels were charged with bringing them to the bow, but—”
“No one has seen them or heard from them…. They were in the starboard cabins.”
Genn’s mind raced to the tattered Sentinel bodies he’d seen when he first entered the ship. The image was quickly replaced by another flash of seething memory: a group of Sentinels lying in a pool of gore at Keel Harbor in Gilneas. The Sentinels had been slain by Forsaken Deathguard. Those undead monsters that served the Banshee Queen had been in league with a renegade worgen cult focused on the absorption of Genn’s lands.
Genn and the sailors hurried through disintegrating hallways. They could feel the ship slipping more and more. It was happening rapidly now in long, gut-tugging jerks. Climbing downward, they passed the bodies of the dead Sentinels.
“Below and to the left. Rescue boats will be waiting out the window. Go now!” Genn pointed down the smoke-stuffed hall to the cabin he had entered from.
“Your wife’s cabin is lower, near the stern decks. Good luck, and thank you,” the sailor said.
With that, Genn released his grip and let himself drop down, through the hall, through the smoke. It was a bizarre feeling to drop through the ship. He could see water rising below, up the hallway.
“Help us!” It was a woman’s voice. It was Mia’s voice. Genn knew it instantly. He reached out his hand, clasping a doorframe, stopping his fall.
“I am coming, my love!”
Genn scrambled down a soaked corridor. White wash splashed in through portholes. He could barely see through the thick layer of smoke and ash that choked his view.
“Husband!” Mia shouted. She was ahead of him. He just had to keep pressing on.
“Hold on! I will not lose you!” The memories were invading faster now, once again, shattered images of Liam’s wounded body in his arms, a goblet cascading down the floor in the war room, spilled wine. He fought them back—no, not now!
As the memories dissipated, he smashed down a door and pushed his way into a cabin.
“Father!” Tess, his beautiful daughter, grabbed him tightly. Behind her lay Mia. Her leg was bent at a sideways angle, swollen and purple: clearly broken. “Mother… her… her leg is shattered! I couldn’t leave her…. When the ship was hit, the dresser smashed into her and—”
“Go, both of you. Go, my loves… go while there is still time. Please just leave me here!” Mia was struggling to remain coherent despite the pain.
“I will not leave you, Mother!”
“We will not leave you. Not ever!” Genn rushed to Mia’s side and scooped her tenderly into his arms. She cried out from the pain, and the sound tore at Genn’s heart. Her leg dangled limply.
“Shhh… there now, my love. I will get you out of here. You must hold on.” Through her pain, she gave him the wide-eyed smile that always brightened up her entire face and crinkled her button nose. It was the smile that had made him fall in love with her all those years ago when they had first met at the Royal Aderic Banquet. She was going into shock from the pain, but her smile was still radiant. “Grab onto my back, Daughter. We must make haste!”
Tess wrapped her arms around his burly frame, and with a focus he had not felt in days, Genn charged into the smog, holding onto Mia with every fiber of his being. The decks were virtually flooded, and the hallway leading toward the bow was submerged. With one arm he pulled himself forward, lumbering upward, with Tess helping to hold onto her mother. Slowly but surely Genn willed himself and his family onward.
“Hurry, Father: the water is rising!”
Genn didn’t look down. He could hear the urgency of her tone and knew the water would be upon them soon. Seeing it would not help.
Turning down a corridor, they passed the Sentinel corpses and bolted toward the cabin he had entered from. But before Genn could take another step, his stomach dropped. His wife and child’s screams ripped into his ears but were muffled by the loud crackling whine of the Elune’s Radiance plunging deeper. Time was not on his side, and with one last burst of energy he raced as fast as he could toward the exit.
Outside of the porthole he could see the lifeboats huddled close together, receiving the final few survivors. The currents knocked the skiffs into one another, and Talar maintained a delicate balancing act as he received the saved. Genn could see the sailors he had previously rescued now on the skiffs, alive.
“Talar! The queen is injured. You must help her and the princess!” Genn yelled, his voice bullying its way through the winds.
“Drop them down. I will retrieve them! We can heal her!” Talar shouted back, impressed with what he was seeing.
Genn looked to his left and right. These two women were what he had to live for now. No nation, no son. They were his everything. “My love, it’s going to hurt terribly when you fall. If I could stop this pain, I would. You must be strong.”
“I can endure any pain if you are near me, husband. I love you… always. Now let me go.”
Genn smiled, then he let her drop through the porthole, and she splashed into the ocean. “Tess, you must go. Help your mother!”
Tess gave him a crooked smile, tears starting to well up, and then she pulled herself through the porthole and leaped into the sea.