Thursday, May 7, 2009

Barraccus and Rhokk: Part 2

Alanon studied the letter. "I think you were right to show this to me," he said. "Even though I can't make sense of it either. You're sure about going, Barraccus?" The death knight nodded firmly. "Whatever is going on, if Arthas is behind it then I need to stop it. I can't have a repeat of...." He stopped and swallowed hard. "He won't take another friend or family member from me again." Quae, sitting next to him, put an arm around him comfortingly. "It's rather late for traveling today," Alanon said. "You'll leave in the morning?" Barraccus nodded.

That night as they lay in bed, Barraccus held Quae close. With Alanon and Riatha sleeping in the other beds, they couldn't do much more than cuddle, but Barraccus had felt bad about asking them to stay downstairs another night. He was almost asleep when he felt Quae shudder against him. He reached over to turn her face toward his, then gently wiped tears from her cheeks. "Quae," he said softly. "It will be alright. Nothing will happen to me this time." She sniffed and wiped her eyes. "It feels like I just got you back, and now you're leaving again," she said, just as quietly. "I know," he replied. "Maybe after this we can go somewhere, like a vacation. Just us, for a week or two. What do you think?" She smiled through her tears at him. "I just wish I was going with you," she said. He immediately shook his head. "You're not ready for the Plaguelands yet. You still have some training to do before then." "I know that," she replied, sounding almost angry, and he placed a placating hand on one of hers. "Rhokk's letter said not to tell anyone. I've already broken that part, but it's still best I go alone." She sighed, then pressed against him, burying her face in his chest. "Just make sure you come back in one piece," she told him, her voice muffled. He wrapped his arms around her. "I'll come back, I promise. I will come back."

The next morning he prepared to leave. As he finished fastening the saddlebags to Oscor, Alanon went over some final things with him. "Remember not to eat or drink anything but what you've brought once you get to Tirisfal," the druid was saying. Barraccus turned to him with a wry expression. "Do you think it would really harm me that much?" he asked, and Alanon studied him for a bit. "I suppose not," he admitted with a sigh. Barraccus turned to Quae, who stood nearby. She came forward and hugged him tightly, and he kissed her forehead. When she stepped back, all she said was, "Find him, Barraccus. Find him and get the both of you home safe."

He mounted Oscor and was soon on his way. He pushed the big saber hard, and arrived at Southshore in record time. He left Oscor there; he didn't want to risk his prized mount through the plague-infested lands he would be traveling in soon. Instead, he walked out of the town, then when he was out of sight he stopped and concentrated. Suddenly his deathcharger materialized next to him in a swirl of dark energy. He fastened his packs onto its back, mounted and continued on his way.

He rode north to Chillwind Camp, where he stopped to ask after Rhokk. He found one person that remembered seeing the draenei, who told him that Rhokk had mentioned heading to Light's Hope Chapel, to aid the Argent Dawn there.

Light's Hope. The name brought back memories, mostly ones that he wished would remain buried. He thanked the man distractedly and rode on.

His deathcharger was tireless, unlike Oscor, and Barraccus didn't stop until he was about to fall out of the saddle. He made a hurried camp, left his charger to guard and fell into sleep. He woke after only a couple hours, and pressed on. He reached Light's Hope late that day. It was extremely uncomfortable for him to be there, after all that had happened when he had last been there, but the paladins that remained all accepted him without question. He found a member of the Argent Dawn who had spoken to Rhokk and asked him about the shaman's possible whereabouts. "He hasn't been in for days now," the paladin said. "Last time he was, he headed out in the direction of the Plaguewood. Be real careful, son. He wasn't acting quite right last time. He tried to attack our quartermaster." Barraccus raised an eyebrow at that, but didn't dispute it; if Rhokk's letter was any indication, the draenei was capable of anything now.

He spent the night there at the Chapel, then headed out at dawn. The trip to the Plaguewood did not take long. Once there, Barraccus slowed his mount to a walk and began his search.

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