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#12281010 Apr 13, 2016 at 05:17 PM · Edited over 3 years ago
Officer
79 Posts
(( Tales of Great Deeds done by Rangers of the past. This is the first of many I hope to create. They can also be found here.))

Jökululf, the Winter's Bite

It was during the Age of Conquest for a still young Kingdom of Stormwind that settlers raced across the landscape, hoping to carve out a place of their own to prosper. In the mountainous ranges of Riverrun, now known as Fairpeak, settlers were being terrorized by an unnatural force. Sheep herders would find some of their flock frozen solid, sudden snow storms were often heralded by an icy, howling wind. Cold climes were nothing new to the brave souls who lived around the base of Mount Hymetus but this went beyond that. Even in the warmer months of July and August, the residents were sometimes surprised by a five inch snowfall overnight. The Rangers of Fairpeak, an order of expert huntsmen and trackers, answered the call for aid.

Several months passed as they followed lead after lead, finding naught but dead ends. A Ranger by the name of Nathaniel Troke braved the dangerously cold night to stake out one of the larger sheep pastures that were frequently hit. With no fire to give his position away, Ranger Troke kept a dutiful watch for three nights straight before he finally saw what no others had. Shortly after midnight, snow began to fall and accumulate in a small span of time, the howl of the wind blew in his ear. Frightened bleating and a sharp and short cry sounded from the pasture. His eyes peering through the haze, Nathaniel could not discern the cause until he noticed one of the sheep oddly moving across the pasture. I was then he noticed two blue glowing orbs above the sheep. Focusing his gaze on the area, he was able to make out the faint outline of a giant wolf. No one had ever seen the beast because it nigh perfectly blended in to the snowfall that followed its presence!

Nathaniel slowly drew his bow and some arrows intending to bring it down unaware. He was not even mid-draw when the wolf stopped, dropped its prey and growled in his direction. It had somehow heard the string draw from roughly 150 yards. The wolf charged suddenly, its cold eyes boreing into his. Before he could finish the draw and fire, the wolf was upon him. Now up close and personal with the wolf, he was in awe at its size; at least a man and a half tall, the wolf easily dwarfed even the largest of the Kingdom's destiers. As the wolf lunged at him, he attempted to block the attack with the only item available to him at the time, his bow. Its mouth open for the bite, Nathaniel jammed his bow in its maw but it was only a momentary reprieve as the massive jaws snapped the bow in two like dried kindling. Taking the opportunity, Nathaniel dove under the monstrous beast to its flank. Unphased, the wolf barked at him as he passed, releasing a cold blast of air that he could swear slowed his movements briefly.

"Could this be...? No, it's just a myth told to make sure children come inside when the sun sets. Stories about Jökululf, the Winter's Bite, have existed for centuries, " the Ranger thought to himself as he tried to devise a strategy. Exhibiting speed and agility extraordinary for its size, Jökululf spun about to reface Nathaniel and lunged again. This time, the Ranger leaped straight up at the last moment, his feet landing on its snout. Jökululf snapped upward, attempting to toss Nathaniel helplessly into the air but the quick-thinking Ranger let his knees buckle and rolled down onto the wolf's back. Grabbing a handful of fur to steady himself as he came to the shoulder blade area, the wolf thrashed and rolled about trying to dislodge its unwelcomed rider. In spite of the crushing weight of the wolf as it rolled on top of him, Nathaniel held tight for he knew anything else would result in his death. When Jökululf became upright again in order to try and shake him off, Nathaniel took the chance to draw his short sword. Steadying himself, he thrust the sword with all his might into the base of the wolf's skull, burying the sword up to the hilt.

A brief yelp escaped the giant wolf's mouth before it collapsed to the ground and moved no more. The snowfall stopped and beams of light broke through the clouds, one such beam shining on the corpse of Jökululf. Able to safely view the massive wolf, Nathaniel marveled at the creatures innate beauty. He removed the glove from his right hand and ran his fingers through the soft white and grey speckled fur. His eyes downcast, he whispered, "I'm sorry." In this moment he realized a hidden truth, Jökululf was female...

"...My life has been one prolonged hunt."

BTag - Reigns8762#1110
Add me if you wish, just tell me who you are, please. :P
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#12306518 Apr 20, 2016 at 10:41 AM
Officer
79 Posts
Ignarian, the Shadow of Redridge

After the Second War, the Stormwind Army spread itself across the southern continent to reclaim its lost lands. In Redridge, the Army met a cunning foe they could not catch, let alone defeat. A mature black dragon, known as Ignarian, the Shadow of Redridge, preyed on the people of Lakeshire. Its attacks were seemingly random, the dragon attacked at dawn, midnight, high noon, even four o'clock tea time, there was no discernible pattern. This alone was enough to keep the towns folk on edge, rattling the nerves of many, some to the point of nervous breakdowns due to the constant mental stress. But, in addition to the irregular attacks was also the direction of the attacks. North, south, east, west, even dive-bombed from straight above through the clouds, Ignarian took great pleasure in the mass confusion he wrought by attacking from any given direction and leaving just the same.

Attempts to defend against the attacks were swiftly dealt with. Ballistae emplacements were destroyed, supply carts were picked up from the bridge and dropped in the lake, supplies being ferried were scuttled, and any gryphon became a snack for the dragon. At a loss and running out of options, the Army contacted Ranger-Lord Paxton Redbrooke of the Ranger Order of Fairpeak. With their renowned ability to track and slay any beast they're sent after, the Rangers were Redridge's last hope.

With most of the Rangers already deploying with the Alliance Expedition, Ranger-Lord Redbrooke sent a team of brothers to heed Redridge's call for aid. The brothers Finley and Ken Botrel packed their bags and hit the trail towards Redridge. Ken, a bear of a man, stood at 6'2". He was known for his tracking skill, having once tracked a hawk back to its nest 2 miles away through heavy woods, or a wolf's den from a single hair shed at a sheep ranch. Finley was not quite as big, being only 5'7" with an average build. But what he lacked in size he made up in perception. He had eyes like an eagle and a deadly aim. He was well capable of shooting a coin out of a man's hand from 200 yards or spotting an unnaturally bent blade of grass in a fallow field.

Together, the brothers journeyed to Redridge, entering at a place called Three Corners. As they approached the town, they came upon the dragon in the midst of another one of his attacks, sowing chaos among the village. This time, he came from the east, diving into the lake and coming back up shortly with a rather large shark in his claws. He proceeded to use the shark akin to a bomb, dropping in into a house causing havoc as it thrashed about. While the townsfolk were busy dealing with the shark, Ignarian continued his work by blasting what few fishing boats were on the lake and drenching the boardwalk in front of the Townhall with fire. Satisfied for now, Ignarian headed southward, flying overhead the two Rangers. Finley fired an arrow at the dragon, scoring a hit in the soft creases of its rear right foot. A roar of pain and outrage bellowed from the beast as it wheeled about in search of its attackers. But it found no sign as the brothers hid in an alcove along the ridge line just south of the town.

Ignarian circled the area several times spewing balls of magma at anything that moved. Some of the large spiders, a rabbit or two, even a tree whose only crime was swaying in the breeze. Flustered, the dragon headed east along the ridge line. The brothers followed suit, Finley spotting several droplets of blood sizzling in the grass and Ken following the trail as if it were drawn on a map. They stalked along the southern ridge line bordering the area once called the Black Morass but now known as the Swamp of Sorrows. As they passed the central valley, they noted several small camps of black-skinned orcs they would report later. Coming upon Shalewind Canyon in the southeastern corner, they noted a sizable cave entrance midway up the cliff side.

Finley and Ken chose a nearby peak to scout the cave and to verify the dragon's use of the cave. A few hours later, Ignarian was seen exiting the cave clutching the carcasses of a few cows and flew towards Lakeshire, undoubtedly dumping off his dinner scraps onto the poor folks back in town before returning to his cave. With a small window of opportunity, the two Rangers retreated back into the safety of the nearby forests while they planned their assault. It was pointless to bring the Army, Ignarian would see them marching towards his home and simply relocate likely killing many men and women in the process. No, they had to do this themselves. But how?

Scouting the area as they tried to come up with an idea, Finley spotted some wreckage along the shore line. Among the debris they found a ballista, whose base had been shattered, and a few bolts along with what appeared to be the remains of a wooden cart. This was no doubt a resupply cart intended for Lakeshire to replace one of the lost ballista but didn't quite make it. Ken and Finley worked to remove the remnants of the base, leaving just the upper portion. Ken hefted the ballista onto his back while Finley loaded himself with as many bolts as he could reasonably carry. They waited until night fall before making the trek back up the mountain to their previous location.

In the morning, the brothers staged themselves for Ignarian's emergence from the cave. Ken knelt down and provided himself as the base for the ballista. Finley cranked the string back until it caught on the catch, and then loaded a bolt, intensely watching the cave entrance for sign of movement. Shortly after dawn, Ignarian strode out of the cave and stretched his massive wings out wide. A more perfect shot would never present itself. But just as Finley was sighting in and began to pull the trigger, a shout of alarm sounded as an orcish scout from the nearby camps spied them up on the mountain. Startled and his attention diverted, Finley's shot went high, hitting the mountain above the cave and sent an avalanche of stone tumbling down towards the dragon, who took to the sky to avoid injury. Finley pulled out his knife and flung it at the orc, a expert throw as the knife pierced the orc's eye, entering the brain cavity and silencing the orc for good. But the damage was done. Despite having caused a cave-in blocking the dragons home, Ignarian was now fully aware of their presence.

Finley and Ken skittered and slid down the mountainside, dodging the barrage of balls of magma Ignarian was spewing at them. The forest provided minimal protection here as the dragon was rather content to burn the woods down around them. But it gave them just enough time to reload the ballista Ken was still toting along. As Ignarian circled the forest in search of his new prey, the brothers calculated his pathing to set up a shot. This would likely be their only other chance. As Ignarian banked towards where the Rangers were positioned, they stepped out to get a clear shot.

His quarry presented themselves for the kill. He inhaled deeply, intent on ridding himself of these pests. On the exhale, Ignarian sent forth a massive blast of magma towards the Rangers. Knowing their soon to be fate, the brothers stood their ground, willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. Finley, Ken and the ballista were reduced to molten ash and burning timber. Slightly dazed from his own exertion and his prey momentarily in a blind spot caused by the hurtling ball of magma, Ignarian was unable to see the ballista bolt that was fired in tandem with his attack. He attempted to veer out of the way, but was too late. The ballista bolt slammed into him underneath his wing shoulder sending him careening into the cliff side of Stonewatch with enough force to snap his neck. Ignarian's lifeless body plummeted into the raging river below, the current of the lake-fed river pushing the corpse over the waterfall and sinking into the pool below.

The town of Lakeshire was saved. They had seen the battle, but when the Rangers failed to return the next day, a contingent of soldiers were sent to find them. As they travelled, they cleared out the camps of orcs they discovered along the way. When they arrived at the location of the Rangers, they discovered the grim truth. There they found the charred remains of Finley and Ken Botrel, brothers together to the end.

"...My life has been one prolonged hunt."

BTag - Reigns8762#1110
Add me if you wish, just tell me who you are, please. :P
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