Notify Message
Forums
Page 1
Search
#10536023 Jan 16, 2015 at 11:55 PM
Members
3 Posts

Harold Brook


The midday sun scorched down upon the litter-strewn streets of Moonbrook. The empty shacks and tattered buildings stood idly by as various figures shuffled inside and out and through the streets. Dust was kicked up and choked the lungs of passerbys as a man stood outside a beaten tavern in need of many repairs.

But those repairs wouldn’t come, Harold thought, not in these times. Too costly and expensive. Most buildings in the almost-defunct town of Moonbrook were falling apart, but its citizens still dwelt within the city. Those who were not homeless were poor, and those who were not poor were down under their luck. Harold glanced across the street into an alley to see someone being robbed. Robbed of what, he thought. There’s nothing to steal. But it happened all the same, and no one did anything about it. No one ever did, of course, because then they’d in turn be robbed of what they didn’t have, and so the vicious cycle would begin over again.

Harold turned and entered the tavern, trodding in with heavy steps out of the sun and into the shade. He eyed the various patrons - some in rags or bags, and others in torn shirts and trousers. He stepped up to the bar in the corner and looked a bald, scarred man in the eye. The bartender spoke up, “Wot can I get ye’?” He spoke with a southern Westfallian accent - one that Harold did not have.

“I suppose… a flagon of mead?”

“We ‘ave water an’ rum - tha’s all.” The man spoke through half-rotted teeth, but that wasn’t too out of place. Harold placed a copper coin on the counter - worth more here than it actually was - and took his meager drink upstairs into a small room. He heard lewd noises to the room next to his, and opted to ignore them and gather his thoughts.

Frankly, he was tired of these hard times, as were most. He’d had enough of hunger and poverty these past few years. His wife and him had barely eked out an existence by repairing broken down wagons, barrels, and even buildings. Though they barely made enough to support their two children, they were alive, and that was what mattered. Rachelle was nearing thirteen years, and Landon ten. Both had been humbled by being poor, but they still had their own fiery personalities.

The noises in the next room grew louder and interrupted his train of thought. Harold pounded the wall separating them, hoping to silence them, but he received only a shout of contempt:

“Shut the fuck up!”

Harold wasn’t sure what to make of it, so he laid back on his beaten down bed, trying to focus again. In truth, he wasn’t sure who to blame for his countries’ current state. Most fingers pointed to Stormwind and its’ leaders, but the Defias, even though now defunct, could definitely bear some of the weight. Harold himself served during the war in Northrend. At the time, it was the perfect thing: free food and room, and pay could be sent back home. Many of the downtrodden had enlisted. Many had died. The horrors still haunted him occasionally, but at least he made it back. To what, though? Once the war was over, there grew a sudden lack of employment in anything. To make matters worse, the Defias returned and a massive crag ripped across the westlands. Both issues had settled, but the homelessness hadn’t.


The next day Harold walked through the streets once again, trying to find opportunity. It appears others had the same idea; many ambled aimlessly on, hoping to find some nonexistent saving grace. A man dressed in a dirty apron and trousers lay slumped against the tavern wall. He was either sleeping or dead, Harold didn’t know. What he did know was that the man across the street had a red bandana on. And he hated that. Anger began to rise up within Harold, but once he saw other red bandanas form from amongst the buildings he repressed it.

With the Deadmines being the Defias’ headquarters, it wasn’t uncommon to find remnant gang members skulking around. These four appeared to be harassing an old man and his cart, which was filled with mostly dirt and trash.

“Cough up wha’cha got, geezer.” One said. Another brandished a knife as a silent threat. The elderly man had no choice but to be complacent, offering them his cart to take from. Other eyes began spotted the robbery, but quickly looked away, not wanting to be the next victim. Harold couldn’t look away. He wasn’t sorry for the old man, though. After all, he should’ve known not to come to Moonbrook if he didn’t want to be robbed. Harold himself was actually robbed last week. Still, though he’d been hardened by battle against the scourge and trolls and iron dwarves, something about these assholes ticked him off.

Suddenly the tavern door flung open, kicking up dust everywhere. Harold coughed several times, blinking his eyes through the cloud.

“But I don’t wanna g-”

“Shut the fuck up.” The man, whose voice Harold recognized as his loud neighbor last night, was yanking his womanly companion by the arm. Not only that, but he was also sporting a loose red mask around his neck. Harold gave the man a stern look, not afraid to passive aggressively voice his opinion. The defias looked Harold in the eye, “The ‘ell you want?”

“Are you the man who wouldn’t be silent last night?” Harold asked. The woman complained, but Mr. Defias yanked her over:

“Shut up,” the Defias said to her, and then turned and leaned into Harold real close, “Yeh? What of it?” He had shaggy medium-length black hair, and a rough stubble, and his breath stank like some unworldly garbage.

“You’re not the most polite man.” Harold sarcastically spat. He could tell this thief was getting angered, and he loved it. Badbreath, as Harold mentally dubbed him, coughed up a laugh, turning to his companion to laugh with him, though she only slightly grimaced in his presence.

“Yeah? Ya’ insultin’ me?” He hacked up another chuckle and turned to the other four defias thieves across the street, “‘Ey, boys! Heh, this guy’s got a problem wit’ my manners.” The four ditched the old man and strode across the dirt road. The blood flushed from Harold’s face for a minute, but he tried to act smartly here. And, the smartest thing to do, he decided in three seconds, was to blindside Badbreath with a punch across the jaw.

The defias crumpled to the ground, unconscious. His woman friend shrieked and bolted back into the tavern, and the other four stood in shocked silence. Harold, now with building courage, stood and faced them. He doubted his chances against four men, but he was a soldier, though jobless, and they were four cowards masquerading as brutes.

The four instantly pounced on Harold, drawing knives and clubs from their bodies. The first one swung his club high, so Harold ducked as he lowered his shoulder to ram it into the man’s stomach. This knocked the wind out of him and sent him sprawling, but a stinging pain tore across Harold’s shoulder as a blade cut a gash in it, “Gaaah!” Taking a step back, Harold regained his composure. Two were on the ground, and three were facing him. Also facing him was a gathering crowd. And who could blame them? It wasn’t every day someone stood up to the Defias. The three advanced, but their coordination was lacking substantially. Harold threw up a hand to catch a crude club, which while painful, was better than taking it to the face. A swift punch to the face disarmed the defias, and Harold used his newly gained weapon to block another club to the head.

The anger and rage was back; soon Harold’s mind became a frenzy of thoughts. He channeled his anger at the defias, at Stormwind, at the Scourge, at Westfall, at everything in every blow. He struck left and right, up and down. The club cracked across a masked man’s head, shattering his skull. A kick landed against Harold’s knee, but his adrenaline was already flowing, and he returned the kick with his own, sending the attacker flying backwards. The knife-wielder found Harold’s side with his blade, but an elbow to the temple silenced the man forever. Two of the defias saw the losing battle and scrambled to escape. Harold would pursue them, but the crowd that had gathered began to gang up on the thieves, and they didn’t make it out.

The whole thing seemed to last five seconds, but Harold found himself bleeding over the corpses of two Defias with dozens of impoverished people looking at him blankly. One woman in a dirty dressed stepped up, “Who are ya’?” Harold took several more deep breaths.

“Harold,” breath, “Brook.” Silence greeted him for several moments until people in the crowd began to cry:

“Harold!”

“Yer a hero, Brook!”

“Harold Brook!”

Harold would’ve normally humbly declined their appraisal, but his anger and frustration remained. Pride swelled in his chest, and he called out:

“People of Moonbrook!” Silence returned. “Are you not tired of this dirt? Of this grime? Of this hunger? Are you not tired of the Defias? Are you not tired of Stormwind?!” Shouts of agreement met his words. A massive man stepped out of the crowd. Well over six feet tall, he towered over the heads of the commoners. He called out in a deep voice:

“We are tired, Harold Brook. But what can you do about any of this? What can we do? We are a beaten people.” Harold eyed the man up and down before asking his own question.

“What is your name, friend?”

“Marcus Wall.”

“What we can do, Marcus, is rise up.” Looks of confusion arose throughout the crowd, but Marcus listened intently, “Yes. Rise up! What is the cause of our plight? Who are the engineers of our travesty?”

“The Defias!”

“Stormwind!”

“The King!”

“Aye, Stormwind! It’s Stormwind!” Murmurs of agreement resounded in the area.

“And where are Stormwind’s armies?” Harold was still bleeding in two places, but he strode back and forth, ignoring the pain, “They are beyond the portal! On a different world! Who mans their forts? Who guards their borders?!” Harold was almost shouting at this point, “If we are to grow and prosper, we must act now! We cannot stay on this fallow land. It is our homeland, yes, but are your children not already starving? If we are to survive, we must seek out better pastures.”

“Where can we go, Harold?” Harold let the silence sit for a moment before replying.

“Elwynn forest.”

“That’s madness!”

“The king’s lands?!”

“Listen, friends!” Harold held up a hand, “His armies are gone, and we are many. Together, we are strong. Stormwind has fought a continuous war for many years. Its’ men are tired are weary; its’ people spent. Do you want a better future?!”

“Yes…”

“Yes, we do!”

“Aye!”

“That future will not be bought by complacency and lenience! We must fight for our future!”


Harold knelt down in the tall grass on top of a rise overlooking Sentinel Hill. It was night time, almost pitch black out. He wore a crude breastplate and his usual tattered clothes. Beside him knelt Marcus Wall, who also was previously a soldier. Behind the two lie two hundred pissed off poor people armed with spears, pitchforks, and hatchets. Before him lie the stronghold of Sentinel Hill, manned by fifty men. Harold turned from the view to give the signal for attack, but a messenger approached, “Sir, you need to see this…”



Moments later, at the base of the rise, Harold looked up towards an armoured knight sitting atop a horse. Behind him stood a large mass of other armoured men bearing banners of crimson and gold.

“Harold Brook,” the rider spoke, “I am Sir Edand of the Westfold.” Harold blinked for a moment in the darkness.

“Pleasure to meet you, I suppose.”

“I’ve heard of your deeds in rallying the people of Westfall, Harold Brook. My lands and people have suffered along with the rest.” He took a moment, “I come to offer my aid - three hundred armed men, ready for war.” Harold almost choked at the thought.

“And what reason have you, Sir, for supporting me and my cause?”

“I am a loving patriot of my homeland, Mister Brook, just as you. I see those under my watch suffer and my lands broken. I’ve heard of your charisma and leadership. Though you may be common, I will place my faith in you. Perhaps soon enough others will as well.”


Within minutes the signal was given and the attack commenced: ropes were slung up the walls and patriots of Westfall began to ascend them. Arrows pelted the land, and soon the alarm was sounded. Guardsmen shambled out of their barracks half asleep, and many were cut down in the process. The gates were busted open and Sir Edand’s troops began to funnel in. The small village within the walls was looted, and its occupants scattered; the poor had no sympathy for those under Stormwind’s protection. The whole battle lasted minutes. Harold and a dismounted Sir Edand, followed by Marcus Wall strode up the ramp leading to the tower.

The commander in charge stepped out, “Rebel scum. You realize this endeavor is folly and your actions futile.”

“Where is Gryan Stoutmantle?” Edand spoke.

“In Stormwind on official business. You rats will not reach hi-” Marcus Wall silently stomped up the tower’s steps. He wrapped his arms around the man’s head and snapped his neck instantly. The body crumpled to the ground. The hundreds of westfallian soldiers began to gather at the base of the ramp, looking up at the tower. Harold stepped out in front of them, the many torches illuminating the area, “Friends, patriots of Westfall! We’ve taken the Hill!” Shouts of victory resounded in response, “This is just the first step on the path to brighter future! We must gather our strength, and soon… Stormwind will know our might!”

Down below, shouts of victory began to form into the words:

“Hail, Harold Brook, King of the West!”

+0
Page 1