(Remember that Choose Your Own Adventure thing I was telling you about? Here is my part in the story. You really should check this out from the beginning so head over to “Choose your own Azeroth: Prelude” at Hardcore Casual!)
Corrigan was shocked at a moment of hesitation. He felt his body weight shifting towards Nataliah when he knew the right move was to aid Rufus.
“What’s wrong with me?” he thought as he forced himself to move in the direction of the fading fury of his Dwarven friend. “Get yourself together!” he scolded himself out loud shaking his head to clear the Rum induced cobwebs. His building confidence of just a moment ago had shattered like a dropped frail and empty vial.
“Rufus!” he bellowed as he lunged in his friends direction. The line was beginning to falter, his men were swarming into the gap and he had lost sight of his target.
The roar of the battle that seconds ago seemed remote now pounded into him like molten lead. The raw stench of the Scourge, both dead and alive, clawed its way into his mouth and nose so savagely that, for a moment, he almost retched. Bodies mutilated by the horrors of battle from both sides lay in his path. He saw far more of his own soldiers laying dead, bleeding and dying than of the Scourge.
“This is going badly…very badly…” he muttered.
Surging forward Corrigan sent out healing, indiscriminately, to his soldiers as he ran. Nameless soldiers in his command. Soldiers to whom he knew he had not been a good leader to in the past months and he could see it in their faces as he passed. He saw not the brightening of their eyes, the look of hope and encouragement that he had seen in past battles when he took the field. Now he saw only disdain, panic and worst of all, hopelessness.
As he ran around a knot of fighting, sending healings and blessings out as fast as he could, he finally laid his eyes upon Rufus. The Dwarf was covered in gore and seemed to be bleeding badly from a deep wound in his left side. He was swinging his massive battle axe clumsily with just his right arm. He glanced at Corrigan, his beard soaked in filth, with a look of exhausted disappointment…a look that delivered more pain than a knife in Corrigan’s gut.
“Hold on you Dwarf bastard, I’m almost there…”
There were two soldiers with him, trying to carve out some room for the mighty Dwarf. Corrigan was three strides from being in range for healing and he could feel the grime on the battlefield squish under his feet and hear the screams of his men as he ran.
A Scourge fighter broke through and rushed with impossible speed at Rufus. A nearby soldier spun and impaled the foul creature on his sword but the momentum carried it into the soldier knocking him brutally to the ground and pinning him there. With its final strength the Scourge unceremoniously ripped out the soldiers’ throat before it died.
Rufus staggered back and dropped his axe for he no longer had the strength to hold it. He was awkwardly trying to pull his dagger from its sheath when he tripped in the carnage on the battlefield and fell into the muck like a tired child.
Corrigan, just now finally in range, frantically started to send healing to Rufus as the Scourge broke through the line. The sudden collapse of his men and the resulting explosion of the enemy through the hole reminded Corrigan of a landslide he had witnessed as a boy. One second everything was as it should be and the next there was a wave of unstoppable destruction and chaos. The Scourge instantly fell upon Rufus and tore him limb from limb in a matter of seconds. Rufus was no more.
Razor sharp emotion threatened to overwhelm Corrigan as he bellowed for reinforcements to close the hole. The mangled body of his friend had been trampled into the mud on land now occupied by the Scourge. He had no one but himself to blame. The rum the night before and the distraction with Nataliah had cost Rufus his life.
As the battle rages around him the screams and moans of his dead and dying troops assault his ears. The defensive line is buckling as a whole and failing altogether in spots. Corrigan must put his grief and biting guilt aside and make a decision…
(The next chapters from the choices below will be online on 4/29/09!)
Considering the line is failing and the battle is going poorly should he fall back to defend the people during their escape leaving his men to their ultimate fate? Go to MeandMyGhoul.com.
Should he charge ahead rallying the men and show them that their true leader (albeit a tad hungover) is back amongst them ready to fight and die with them on the line? Go to Hardcore Casual.
Thanks for reading!