Huntress stories

Lightninghoof, Maelstrom, and The Venture Co
Sungold reflected on what she had learned since she and the other highborne mages had been invited by Tyrande Whisperwind to help cleanse the remnants of corruption from Staghelm's new world tree. Progress had been swift since the blessing by Alexstraza. With Tyrande adopting more formal trappings in the style of Queen Azshara's court before the sundering, perhaps the night elves might yet return to the ancient glories of their civilization.
It's happening.
Ithiliel made the long trek to Darnassus to catch up with Me'lynn and perhaps learn some new patterns. Over her long absence, there had been changes: Malfurion was back, for whom Tyrande had dressed in some strange, elaborate costume, and Staghelm was rumored to have disappeared. There were also rumors of difficulties in Darkshore; perhaps Huntress could help.

There were not so many young elves as there once were, but Ithiliel provided help to the few she found. It was not long before Sungold and Moonsilver joined Huntress, once Ithiliel got permission by mail from Silme to invite them. Ithiliel had paused over Sungold - a highborne mage - but the twins had never been critical of other elven factions, as long as they were willing to fight the Horde, and even Tyrande accepted highborne into her temple now.

When Sungold and Moonsilver recommended a talented young huntress by the name of Stargleem, Silme herself - or possibly Sulime, as Ithiliel had never been able to tell them apart - showed up to induct her into the guild.
As another Day 1 Maelstrom player returning after a long hiatus, I want you to know that running into Silme/Sulime in the wilds is one of my fondest world pvp memories, if for no other reason than the panicked exhilaration of having to defend myself against one huntress while also frantically trying to find the other one.
Sungold toyed with the corrupted water elemental from the corner of the inn's open sleeping room. Just before, she had drawn the attention of an elemental away from the Ancient that had been defending against them. The elemental had glared at Sungold with hatred, paused to heal itself to full health, and then somehow teleported to the inn. It had then seemed confused and found a path over a bridge back to the Ancient, by which it was promptly dispatched. Cereelor had been intrigued and asked her to try to do it again, but she was unable to fully duplicate the feat.

Earlier, she and Cereelor - along with Moonsilver and Stargleem - had eliminated the top ranks in the Shatterspear encampment east of Lor'danel, at the request of the sentinels coordinating the counterattack on the encampment. Sungold had been less confident than the Sentinels that eliminating the Shadowspear leadership would permit complete destruction of their camp - there were too many laborers, overseers, shamen, and no doubt unseen rogues that would be more than happy to move up - but Sungold had done her part.

Cereelor noticed a poster requesting aid for Ashenvale. Silme had mentioned something about Ashenvale when Moonsilver had inquired about becoming a full Huntress, so Sungold encouraged Cereelor to embark on a trip immediately. With their new nightsaber mounts, the trip should be easy if they stuck to the road she had heard about. On the way, they could take a look at Auberdine, which Silme had also asked about.

Before seeing Auberdine to the west, though, Cereelor spotted a small camp of refugees to the east of the road. They had been driven from Auberdine by Twilight's Hammer cultists. The two promised the refugees they would try to extract any survivors still in Auberdine when they returned from Ashenvale.

The road was not quite so easy as Sungold had expected, though. In fact, the land was riven with ravines from the Cataclysm, requiring heroic leaps and even swims from the nightsabers. In one place the road had buckled up into the sky, atop which little peak Malfurion surveyed the destruction. He assigned some tasks To Sungold and Cereelor, which they politely agreed to before continuing on the road south.

Eventually, they reached the west end of Ashenvale. As the poster had advertised, the few Sentinels there needed help fighting Horde incursions. The two travelers agreed they needed to return to help the Auberdine refugees first, but promised to return to Ashenvale when able. As the road back would no doubt be as difficult as the road down had been, they elected to use their hearthstones, and travel again from Lor'danel once rested.
To: Silme

Subject: Report on Auberdine

I am sorry to report that Auberdine has
been destroyed by the Horde's Twilight's
Hammer Clan. Some refugees escaped.
Moonsilver and I raided the Twilight's
Hammer encampment, burt there were
far too many for us to defeat. Still we
rescued on dwarf who had not escaped
with the other refugees, and found only
two dead.

Auberdine is overrun by corrupt
elementals as well as cultists, and there
is one large, dangerous looking
elemental thing over the former dock.
From: Moonsilver

Okay I have a report, not a very positive
report, but a report. So ashenvale is
under attack by the hord. It doese not
look good and one of the trolls is trying
to trace Starglem and I back to the inn in
darkshore. well ashenvale is under
attack. there is fire everywhere and a lot
of troops died. It is still under attack right
now. I'm sorry to give this report that is
not good news.

- Moonsilver


Silme was impressed even more by the breathlessness of the wording than by the content. She wasted no time checking on western Ashenvale. Fortunately, Astranaar was still standing, though the gates were on fire. Maestra's post was well under control, perhaps due to the efforts of the new members. Silme would have to give them field promotions to full members, as they had done more for Ashenvale than could be expected from those who were just guests of the guild.
[Staff Cracking Intensifies!!!!!]
Yarrow could barely remember what she had been doing when she had received the unexpected summons from the King. He'd invited her to a high level conference - how high level she hadn't imagined until she got there and saw the legendary Alleria, with Tyrande sitting quietly as a bystander. There had been conversation Yarrow had only half understood about elves with void powers and lightforged, and who should be approached first for an alliance against the Horde. Then suddenly the King had looked straight at Yarrow and demanded a decision!

There had been a prolonged, embarassing silence as it became gradually apparent to all that Yarrow had little familiarity with the issues in question, and far from the expectation of the others, was unlikely to be recognized, let alone respected by either of the candidate groups. Perhaps Tyrande had realized the issue, Yarrow thought, and perhaps that's why Tyrande had been silent through the entire conversation.

That's how Yarrow had ended up in a crash course in wartime diplomacy, being treated almost as an equal by not only Alleria but the even more legendary Illidan - and also Turalyon and Velen. That's how she ended up being assigned to destroy demons by the dozens and hundreds, occasionally being allowed to help out some poor benighted local when convenient. That's how she had ended up helping to recover an actual Naaru, which she had formerly thought were mythical personifications of primal elements of the universe, like Elune. It wasn't that she actually cared about the Naaru, one way or the other, mind; she was doing it just to curry favor with the right people so they could be asked to help out against the Horde.

She was more bemused than shocked by the confrontation between Xe'ra and Illidan, at least until things had gotten out of hand. Afterwards, with Xe'ra in shards with Illidan on the floor in their midst, she heard Valen remark on being surprised by Illidan's refusal of Xe'ra's gentle invitation.

"I wasn't surprised at all", Yarrow had muttered. She might not know the difference between the light and the void, but at least she knew something about basic elven nature.
Two fallen Naaru, light and dark, had been destroyed; Kil'jaeden and Sargeras had been defeated and the Burning Legion scattered. Illidan had moved on from his differences with Malfurion and Tyrande. Yarrow was not surprised when Malfurion refused to forgive his brother, or even to acknowledge Illidan's part in defending against the Legion; she was disappointed with the similar reluctance on the part of Tyrande. Illidan's third message had not been as personal as Yarrow had hoped, but she kept the alor'idal crystal nonetheless; Illidan had said to leave it by his moonwell, but he had not said when.

In the midst of what had happened, Alleria had led Yarrow to learn, with her and from her, how to use the power of the void without being consumed by it. Yarrow had followed Alleria before, when their unit had pursued the orcs through the Dark Portal at the end of the second war, but that was as a soldier follows a commander; this time, Yarrow followed as a companion, questing for a goal they both desired.

Thus it was, when finally standing before the King again, Yarrow had no doubt: the lightforged were fine soldiers, and Velen's rigid trust in the light alone had softened, but Yarrow's first path was with Alleria. Yarrow would quest with Alleria again, this time for the benefit of their own people directly, and save some few Queldorei from their misguided attachment to the orcish Horde, bringing them back to the Alliance where they had together won the second war, decades agone.

Only after Alleria had saved Umbric and his people from being consumed by the void, and they had together brought Umbric's people back to the Alliance, only after Yarrow stood again before the King, did she also venture to help with the training of the Lightforged. Alleria had taught her this: there was no shadow without light to cast it, and light revealed nothing without shadow. In that balance was the strength and secret of the void.
The twins had been in Stormwind when they received the summons from the King. The Horde armies had not struck in Silithus as expected; instead they had moved on Ashenvale. The King was sending through who he could by portal to Astranaar while he mustered his army. It was a serious failure of intelligence on the part of the Alliance - especially serious because the Horde's interior lines of communication meant their armies would arrive before Alliance forces bound for Silithus - but it was nice that the King was aiding the kaldorei at all; in the past, Stormwind had neglected the kaldorei except when they needed help. Given the urgency, the twins went through immediately; the rest of their huntresses would have to go through when they could - those that hadn't already gone.

When the twins reached Astranaar, however, the battle was over. The buildings were on fire, the citizens evacuated or dead. Malfurion, never much interested in the well being of Ashenvale, had abandoned the town, and the Horde had pursued him north; all that remained were numerous bodies of fallen sentinels, a small contingent of late arriving Darnassian guards whose captain was in a state of shock, and undead rogues perhaps intended as an occupying force. The dazed captain asked the twins if Malfurion had sent them, and the twins explained that no, it had been the human king. The twins dispatched all the rogues they could find, and flew north to join the main body of kaldorei forces.

North of Maestra's post they found Malfurion. He had formed a wisp wall as he had at Mount Hyjal; he had not yet, however, mustered the forces of the forest, and he asked the twins to help do so now. Clearly he was concerned, now that his precious ancients were threatened, as he had not been when it had only been elves being slaughtered in Astranaar.

Working together, the twins quickly rousted some druids, quelled an internal threat from rebellious furbolgs, and liberated some furbolg prisoners that the ancients wanted freed. At the request of an ancient, they also investigated the source of unease the ancient felt, which turned out to be deposits of azerite on an Island off the coat. Silme and Sulime killed a dozen horde that were attempting to harvest the azerite, and obtained samples of the material for the Alliance.

The twins moved very quickly, but apparently Malfurion's wisp wall that had once held back the Burning Legion had collapsed even more quickly against the Horde, and Malfurion had immediately retreated. The twins had been correct for years: the Horde was much more of a threat than the demons were. Malfurion established a new defense line at the Wildbend river, conceding half of Darkshore to the Horde; the twins assisted a pair of ancients in destroying several score Horde.

The natural barrier of the river held the Horde for a time; during this time, Silme and Sulime, along with others of their order, raided south from the river and fought various Horde incursions behind the Alliance lines. In particular, they assaulted the troll settlement in northernmost Darkshore, an obvious base for a potential Horde attack into the rear of the kaldorei forces.
Yarrow teleported into the Krokul hovel as soon as she had heard that the krokul were requesting help; she had always had a soft spot for the misshapen creatures of shadow, and they had certainly helped her when assigned to missions to fight the Burning Legion. As part of the cleanup efforts after the defeat of Sargeras, they wanted her to clear out a few more demons engaged in study of fel powers, and she was on her way.

Nearing the demonic study areas, Yarrow noticed a Horde rogue flying into the area. While they were at war on Azeroth, most Horde were working with the Alliance against the demons on Argus; Yarrow resolved to be careful, but not overly paranoid as she now had to be on the dark shore of Kalimdor.

While fighting into the area, Yarrow again noticed the rogue, who was trying to remain hidden, presumably from the demons. Distracted, Yarrow accidentally let loose a stray arrow at the rogue from a barrage on a demon. The rogue then attacked, sapping and stabbing at her.

Yarrow desperately finished off the demon she was fighting. The rogue's attacks were the fault of her stray shot, and he could not be blamed; she refrained from fighting back, and attempted to convey her apologies through gestures.

Amazingly, the rogue stopped. As Yarrow retreated, she thought: we may be enemies on Azeroth, but at least we can still cooperate against the Legion.
Silme had never been happy about death knights in the Alliance ranks. Nonetheless, when she found herself with the infamous death knight squadron in the Alliance keep, assigned to gain full control of the Isle of Conquest, she resolved to give the assignment her best shot. Most of the others seemed willing to do so too, though one rogue objected vociferously. Strangely, the rogue objected not to squadron's being undead, but rather to the squadron's robotically perfect coordination. Perhaps it was just rogues' natural antipathy to cooperation, Silme thought.

Coordinating perfectly, but incapable of independent action, the death knights headed toward the workshop in the center of the island as soon as the gate opened. Their commander, confident of his squadron's capabilities, asked everyone else to head to other objectives, and in particular the hangar, to prevent aerial assaults by the Horde.

Silme dutifully headed toward the hangar, having heard from others how effective the death knight squadron was in direct combat. Some of the other living, however, mindlessly followed the undead. Fortunately they came to their senses when Silme shouted at them, and the Alliance was able to take the hangar - but not before the undead had annihilated the Horde in record time at the workshop, despite having only two thirds their numbers.

Some quick work by the gnomes and the undead leader was calling for demolisher drivers. Of course, Silme thought, the death knights didn't have the independence of will needed to drive four separate vehicles. Silme quickly put together a glider from a kit Mystshadow had made, and glided down to the workshop to take control of a demolisher.

Soon all four demolishers were manned. Silme waited for the death knight squadron to finish off Horde stragglers. Unfortunately, despite orders and advice, the the other three drivers set off without waiting for the undead, driving toward the small crowd of Horde defending their keep. Silme yelled in vain at them to wait.

Silme drove to the Horde keep along with the death knights. With difficulty - Silme was used to the natural movements of her body in the forest, not the clumsy movements and cumbersome controls of the gnomish contraption - she positioned the demolisher under the tower, where the Horde cannon couldn't reach it, and targeted the gate. She would be giving up the ramming abilities of the demolisher, but she didn't trust her skills at dodging Horde cannon.

Fortunately, only one of the demolishers had been lost while driving through the Horde defenders. The other two demolishers alternately bombarded the tower, the walls, and the gate, and things went well for a time. Silme wondered how the defense of the Alliance keep was going against the Horde.

(continued)
Unbeknownst fo Silme, the defense was not going well. The Horde had taken the docks, and while there were several Alliance who had given orders back and forth to destroy the delicate glaive throwers, apparently none had actually taken on the task themselves. The Horde had also taken the Hangar after Silme had left, and no doubt parachuted into the Alliance keep to bomb the gate from the inside. As a result, the Horde not only breached a gate but also took control of the Alliance keep before the Horde gate had been breached.

The bickering started immediately, with the rogue the loudest voice. The undead team went back to the Alliance keep to protect the high commander, and quickly wiped out the assaulting Horde. Unfortunately, this left the demolishers unprotected, and they were destroyed by the Horde, with Silme's demolisher destroyed last.

Silme managed to escape in the confusion of the demolisher explosion, and returned to the workshop to man another demolisher. She and the guards at the workshop jumped into demolishers and drove them back toward the Horde gate. The Horde took the workshop, but the Alliance took the docks; perhaps there would be glaive throwers to help the demolishers work on the Horde gates this time.

The assault was short lived. With the Alliance guards gone, the Horde used the workshop to produce demolishers of their own, and sent them after the Alliance demolishers. The demolishers dueled briefly, but Horde stragglers from their defeat in the Alliance keep helped supplement their demolisher force, and managed to destroy the Alliance demolishers - and glaive throwers - before their gate was breached.

At this point, fighting was scattered over six locations. The death squadron's inflexibility soon became a liability: the death knights could only be at one location at a time, and soon the Horde controlled all of the island, except inside the Alliance keep. The rogue crowed over the death squadron's deficiencies.

The living Alliance soldiers attempted to regain control of various strategic points, successfully assaulting the docks twice, but unable to hold it. In the meantime, the Horde, unable to reach the high commander, broke open all three gates to the Alliance keep. On the third Alliance attempt on the docks, despite the toxic argumentation incited by the rogue, the Alliance was also able to coordinate a capture of the workshop, and the death knights emerged to help with the assault.

The Horde around the Alliance keep were quickly wiped out by the Alliance death squad, and Alliance regained control. As soon as the death knights left for the offense, however, the Horde overwhelmed the remaining defenders and began the final assault on the Alliance high command.

Shortly thereafter, the Alliance captured the Horde keep and the death squad started the fight against the Horde Overlord. Unfortunately, against just the high commander, the Horde was nearly as effective as the death knights were against the Overlord. The High Commander fell first, and the rogue had the last laugh.
A Tale of Two Battles

Commander Silme entered the well worn tunnel into Alterac Valley, laying out a roast pig for the troops and thanking the warlocks that had provided healthstone wells. As the troops galloped south, she suggested a plan which met with general approval: a rapid strike into the Frostwolf base before the Horde could react, burning the Horde's towers along the way. If the Horde had strong forward defenses, the troops would shift their focus to securing a forward base in the Iceblood area, and casualties would defend the Stormpike base after recovery.

Commander Silme entered the well worn tunnel into Alterac Valley, laying out a roast pig for the troops and thanking the warlocks that had provided healthstone wells. As the troops galloped south, she suggested a plan which met with general approval: a rapid strike into the Frostwolf base before the Horde could react, burning the Horde's towers along the way. If the Horde had strong forward defenses, the troops would shift their focus to securing a forward base in the Iceblood area, and casualties would defend the Stormpike base after recovery.

The offensive encountered heavy resistance in the Iceblood area. Silme rallied the troops for a push to defeat the Horde and establish a forward base in the area.

The offensive encountered light resistance in the Iceblood area. Silme rallied the troops for a charge to Frostwolf village, knowing that sufficient troops would remain in the Iceblood area to secure a forward base.

Silme checked scouting reports as she recovered at the Stormpike Aid Station. The Horde was making expected progress in the Stonehearth area. Contrary to the plan, the Alliance troops had started to set up a base in the Snowfall area. The Alliance would have to hold the Iceblood area to avoid diversion of resources to Snowfall.

Silme checked scouting reports as she galloped into Frostwolf village. The Horde was making expected progress in the Stonehearth area. Contrary to the plan, the Alliance troops had started to set up bases in the Snowfall area and outside Frostwolf village. The Alliance offensive would have to maintain its rapid momentum to capture the village before the Horde could rally there.

The defense of Dun Baldar was going well. Horde infiltrators attempted to burn the north and south bunkers, but Silme assisted successful efforts to recapture them, and led the defense at the bridge. The Alliance offensive had stalled south of the Iceblood area; Silme's pleas to circumvent the Horde forces and proceed to Frostwolf village were ignored. Silme wished that her sister Sulime were available to lead the offense while Silme led the defense; unfortunately the Alliance high command had not made Sulime available for this battle.

The defense of Dun Baldar was going well. Horde infiltrators attempted to burn the north and south bunkers, but the Alliance defense recaptured them. Silme had led the Alliance offensive into Frostwolf village, where they had destroyed the unprepared Horde defense and started to set up a base. Silme would have felt more comfortable if her sister Sulime had been leading the Alliance defense, but the defenders the Alliance high command had chosen instead seemed competent.

(continued in part 2)
A Tale of Two Battles, part 2 of 2

The Horde forces completed their base outside Dun Baldar, allowing them to press into the town. They surged into the bunkers, first the south, then the north. They were repelled repeatedly, but eventually their attacks were so strong that the outnumbered defenses were not able to protect the bunkers. First the south bunker burned, then the north. Meanwhile, contrary to the plan, the Alliance forces had used the time bought by the defense to set up a base outside Frostwolf village instead of within it. Again, Silme wished that the offensive were being led by her sister.

The Horde forces completed their base outside Dun Baldar, allowing them to press into the town. They surged into the bunkers, first the south, then the north. They were repelled repeatedly, but eventually their attacks were so strong that the outnumbered defenses were not able to protect the bunkers. First the south bunker burned, then the north. Meanwhile, the Alliance offensive had completed their base within Frostwolf village, burned both remaining towers, and begun their final assault on the Frostwolf General, Drek'Thar.

The defenders in Dun Baldar had desperately protected the base against the onslaught, but the Horde's superior numbers allowed the Horde to advance inexorably. The defense retreated into Vanndar Stormpike's sanctum, where the stalwart leader helped them slowly whittle away at Horde attackers bold enough to venture in. Finally, the Horde surged into the sanctum in a coordinated attack. Silme was knocked unconscious in the assault, and woke to find herself recovering at the Alliance base at Iceblood. She rode to Frostwolf, and found, as expected, that the creation of an Alliance base outside Frostwolf had caused the Horde to rally within it.

The few remaining defenders in Dun Baldar were overwhelmed by the Horde. The Horde surged into Vanndar Stormpike's sanctum in a coordinated attack. In the south, Silme, who had been helping to prevent Horde defenders from outside the village from interfereing with the attack on Drek'thar, went into the Horde sanctum and joined in the attack on the Horde General.

Vanndar and the Alliance defenders, led by a skillful paladin, had managed to wipe out the Horde offensive. Unfortunately, the Alliance offensive was stuck in a stalemated battle at the Horde gate house. Silme's attempts to rally the troops and lead them up the narrow ramp were unsuccessful in the face of the massed Horde. The prolonged battle continued, but eventually, The Alliance reinforcement stream dried up - apparently the burning of the Dun Baldar bunkers had had more of an effect on recruitment than the Alliance forces' success in bottling up the Horde in their keep - and the Alliance was forced to concede defeat.

More and more Horde surged into their General's sanctum, attempting to save Drek'thar. As she shot them down, Silme realized that the Horde must have stripped their offense to protect their general. The Alliance's offense, strengthened by reinforcements from Iceblood, weathered the Horde's disruption of their attacks on Drek'thar. The Horde general fell, and the Alliance was victorious.

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