The Battle for Halaa Edit
by Khalis of Sentinels
Chapter 1: The Nervous Quartermaster Edit
Flying gingerly into Halaa, Khalis floats town to the quartermaster to do some business. At first blush, everything looks normal in the regularly peaceful centerpiece of the picturesque landscape of Negrand.
Flashing a polite smile at the quartermaster, he notices an uneasiness in the normally jovial Dranai. "Are you alright Davian? You look like you could use a vacation".
Peering over Khalis' shoulder at the guard, the quartermaster gives a subtle nod towards the back of the building. As the quartermaster quietly shuffles behind the building, Khalis sneaks a peek at the guard who's stoic stare tells no tales.
Following around the corner, Khalis spots a visibly shaken Dranai checking over his shoulder. "I'm telling you this because I know you and the people you run with have a reputation for protecting Alliance assets."
"What is it man, what's the problem?" Khalis asks.
"Rumors mostly, but I'm hearing them a lot. I've heard that the Horde is planning an offensive on Halaa."
Khalis smiles as he rolls his eyes. "The Horde in Halaa? Seriously man, that's what you are worried about? I was right, you do need a vacation friend. We've never had any problem fending off those pesky bands of silly raiders. You know this, you've been..."
"Not this time." Davian interrupts. "I hear this one is big, and I mean big. I overheard a troll talking about how you people in the Alliance act like Halaa is your birthright, and how if the full force of the horde were brought down, then they would take Halaa, and never let the Alliance take it back. It sounded like they were planing for a war."
"A war you say? Why haven't the guards said anything about this?" Kales asks.
"I tried to warn them, and begged them to call for reinforcements, but they say they can handle what ever comes here, and that they don't want me to panic the Halaani people with my so called doom saying, and to shut up about it before they shut me up. I was talking to Cendrii that sells drinks over there, and he agrees with me, and he says he has proof. Listen, I have to get back before the guards get suspicious and start hassling me again."
"I'll check it out friend, and don't worry, we'll take care of you. Those pants you managed to get for me have served me well. I won't forget you." Khalis says as shakes the hand of the nervous Dranai."Be well friend"
Walking up to Cendarii, he senses the same uneasiness that he did in the Davian. "Quartermaster Vaclav sent me to ask about some sort of proof"
"Perhaps you'd like a bit of Halaani Whiskey sir" he says in a strange voice.
"I said Davian sent me about..."
"Halaani Whiskey is what you want human." Cendrii chirps.
"Halanni Whiskey sounds good." Khalis says with an impatient roll of the eyes.
"Good day sir" the vendor mumbles as he turns toward his next customer.
Stepping away from the abrupt encounter, Khalis inspects the small flask that he just purchased. As his finger slid across the bottom of the flask, a small torn parchment floats to the ground. Bending down he sees what appears to be gibberish scribbled on it. The markings look a bit like the symbols that his Dranai friends use, but not quite. Inspecting the back side he sees writing that does recognize.
"Friday, 19:00 hours of this realm, the Horde shall once and for all strike down the Alliance dominance of Halaa, and claim it as a Horde asset from that point forward."
Just then, as he was reading, the note was snatched from his hands. Looking up at the guard with the parchment crumpled in his hand, Khalis barks "Hey pal, what's your problem. Don't you know better than to anger a Pyromancer?"
"This is not your concern." the stoic guard commands. "We have everything under control. A hoax like this only incites panic. This is nothing to worry about, it's Halaani business. Move along human".
"If I didn't like doing business here, I'd take you down myself for your sheer arrogance. I'll be back for you." the angry Mage growls as he mounts his gryphon.
"Surely," he thought "The Horde can't put together a serious threat to an Alliance outpost. Maybe we should be ready nonetheless. If the Horde thinks that they can push the Alliance around, and hide behind the Durotar truce, they are in for a rude awakening."
Chapter 2: Arrogance and Honor Edit
Standing on the edge of the hippogryph pearch in Telaar, Khalis survays the beautiful Negrand prarie fully aware of the horrors this seemingly peacull landscape will soon see. As the wind gently flutters his cape, he hears a voice break his moment of contemplation.
"I said are you alright?" The voice cackles again.
"Sorry Fergu, my friend. I didn't mean to ignore you" Khalis says as he collects his thoughts back into the present. "I have a lot on my mind at the moment."
"I can see that. You look like you've been to hell and back."
"Yeah, the Infinate Dragonflight have little tollerance for people interfering in thier plans. I was lucky to get out of there before Aeonus had me as a trophy. I hope Sparik is around today. It looks as if my equipment could use his touch. Be well my friend."
As Khalis slowly walk across the vilage, the quiet crunching of the dirt under his feet reminds Khalis to enjoy the quiet that will soon be broken. "Sparik, my good man, I need you to work your magic, so I can work mine."
"Lots of Horde around today" Sparik says as he deftly works the edge of the mage's sword. "There's rumors of trouble up in Halaa."
"Yeah, nothing we can't handle, I'm sure. We have spies running recon up there alreaday. We'll be prepared for them." Khalis assures the jovial blacksmith. "I'll be back for my helm, I need to go buy some arcane powder."
"Sure thing, I'll have 'er fixed up fo you when you get back."
As he gently arranges the powder into his bag, Ogir asks "Are you going to do somehting about that? They are taking over Halaa."
"Yeah, I know. We'll go handle it in time. I want to teach those guards a lesson about asking for help. Maybe they will learn a little humility by the time we get there."
"Whatever, but you know that the Kurenai value order, and we won't stand for a Horde encampment so close to our village." Warns the vendor.
"No worries, there are normally not more than 5 of them, easily handled with our superior numbers. I'm off to check in with the recon team. Be well friend."
As he sees his friends,Shyde, and Fiir break over the horizon, he is joined by the mighty warlock Xenu. "It seems like everytime we all get together, trouble follows." Khails says with a sly grin.
"Yeah, no kidding" Shyde says as another ten Alliance fighters show up Dominion and otherwise. "There's only 7 of them, and that guard that you told me about is face down in the dirt, along with the rest of them. What a bunch of Marys. I did manage to get a hold of that Tauren Jiki that put the hit out on Xenu though. Looks like I'll get to keep that bounty for myself."
"Well then, we may see reenforcements from Reckless Will, so we'd better hurry." Warns Fiir
Chapter 3: All Halaa Breaks Loose Edit
"Alright, we'll attack from the south, and the west in two groups. Establish a base camp to attack from, and set up a wyvern post to bomb from above." Xenu instructs the Alliance troops. "And remember, if you fight with dishonor, your corpse will be left for the vile undead to feed upon."
As Xenu, Shyde, Fiir, Ranulf, and Khalis approached the western entrance to Halaa, the Horde attackers engaged the Alliance force in the south. As much as he hate to sacrifice allies, he knew that their unselfish act would allow the establishment of the western firebase. In little time, Khalis and Ranulf were in the air reigning fire upon the new horde guards that had poached Halaa. As Khalis flew over Halaa, he noticed that Xenu's concerns had been realized. The Horde had indeed mustered reenforcements. This became highly relevant as Khalis returned to the west firebase to find it being attacked. It looked like Xenu, Fiir, and Shyde had things under control, so Khalis, and Ranulf took to the skies again.
As the last guard fell, Xenu called for a charge into the heart of Halaa. The growing number of Alliance troops felt quite confident of the impending victory. Just then, Khalis caught sight of a shadowy figure, and was griped with terror. As he fled the Priest Hatoxin, lightning coursed through his body from the hands of Tamakamai. As The mage fell to his knees, smoldering from the lightning strike, he worried that he'd underestimated his foe. Lacking the strength to fight, but not the will to live, Khalis gathered the last of his strength, crawled over the edge of the cliff, and slowly fell into the valley below. Safe for a moment, he called for his gryphon to take him to safety. Flying as fast as he could to a floating island over Halaa, he sat and bandaged while he munched on Croissants.
Chapter 4: The Escalation Edit
Looking down on the battlefield, Khails saw an immense Horde army defending the town. It would be impossible to retake the town with the current Alliance force. The call went out to all willing, and able Alliance fighters, and many answered.
Regrouping to the south, the Alliance pushed to again take the south firebase, and begin bombing the new guard in town. The constant bombing in town made it quite inhospitable for the Horde, so they moved en masse to the Alliance firebase to the south. Charging headlong into the fray, Khalis quickly found himself the target of a hunter's bow. As the arrows collected in his chest, shoulders, and back, his vision began to blur, and his legs became weak. As darkness began to take him, he became filled with regret that he could not finish the job he started. Hi face in the dirt, Khalis saw the tunnel he had often heard about.
As he began to walk toward the light, he felt a force pulling him away from it. His eyes flashed open as his empty lungs gasped for air. Looking up at a friendly Druid, he gave a quick nod as he raised himself to his feet, and realized that was indeed surrounded by Horde defenders. Mostly by instinct, he quickly froze the enemy around him to buy time for his escape. As he fled past his frozen enemy, he faded into invisibility, and down a path into the valley to again mount, and find a safe place to regain his strength and composure. Again the Alliance was routed, and had to regroup. The Horde guard did however fall under the bombing leaving the town unguarded again. Once again, the Alliance regrouped, and gathered all of it's strength for one final push for honor, and glory.
Chapter 5: The Last Stand Edit
The attack this time would come from the east, and no time was wasted in seting up camp. This would be a close combat face to face battle, and would be won by a gut check on the front line.
As the Alliance army swarmed across the swaying rope bridge, the Horde braced it's self for the onslaught to come. The Alliance force splashed upon the Horde like the waves of the ocean on a rocky beach. The sky became darkened by storm clouds, as explosions of fire and lightning eminated from the crowd of fighters. Khalis' ears became deafened from the sounds of swords crackeling against shields, and howls from victims as daggars are twsisted into their backs. Almost as quickly as it started, calm fell over Halaa again. Khalis stood in the middle of town among his cheering comrades, piles of blood spattered Horde bodies at thier feet, smoldering, and wet from the melting ice shards that had run them through. As the last members of the Horde were hunted, and run out of town, Khalis knew that this day would belong to the Alliance, even if by only a thread. The next time, he wouldn't make the mistake of underestimating the enemy.
Epilogue: War Is Upon Us Edit
Back in Shattrath, Khalis and Shyde sat sharing a drink, and battle stories, and compared stacks of battle tokens given to them by the greatful Halaani.
"I found this too" Shyde brags, holding up a bit of parchment.
"Found?" Khalis asks. "Where did you *find* that?"
"Oh, I found it in Jiki's pocket." Shyde replies with a sly grin.
"Let me see that. This looks familiar. I can't read the writing, but it looks like the note that the Halaani vendor gave me." Khalis recalls.
"Here, take it, and see if you can get it translated. Maybe it'll be plans for their next attack. If it is, we'll be ready for them this time."
"Yeah, we'll knock them back to Durotar if they try this kind of thing again. Be well friend, I'm off to find a way into The Arcatraz" Khalis says with a salute. "And be careful, I'd expect Reckless Will to look for revenge on you. Call me if they do."
"They better be wearing a plate shield on their back if they come after me." says Shyde. "See you later."
As Khalis flew to Cosmowrench, he stared at the parchment and wondered what secrets these strange markings held, and what it was that the Horde had in store. What ever it is, Khalis hoped that the Alliance would have the cunning, and intestinal fortitude to push them back.