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Death of a Prince
#1
Gather round my Tribemates and friends, for a tale I have to tell of a rather interesting experiance that I had today in Arathi. It seemed like a simple enough task, collect the sigils, use them to unbind the Trollbane, and return it to Hammerfall. The first sigil was in the hands of the Syndicate, a rather strange human organization that seem to have shadowy intentions which included the enslavement of orcs. It was Draxan and I who first approached what was left of the proud city of Stormgarde, left to ruin since the second war. Our main intent was to hunt the ogres within, but we also needed the sigil. As we approached and ventured through the gate, we sought out the Syndicate first thing. We were ambushed by two prowlers hidden in the shadows. Clever as they were, they were no match to my strength, or to Draxan's powerful magic. I spotted another one of the prowlers hidden within the shadows with the intent of ambushing us as well. He met his death and as luck would have it, had the first sigil on his person. Why the humans entrusted it to such a foolish rogue is still beyond my reasoning. Draxan and I then set off to do battle with the ogres therein, which unfortunately wore the warlock out. We returned to Hammerfall with the sigil, where the troll who appointed us to the task gladly took it and informed us of where the next sigil could be found. Draxan, however, was too worn out to carry on and decided to rest. I laid my staff down as well and waited for nightfall before moving on.
It was with Dispaya's aid that the next sigil fell into my hands as well as the the third. It had been some time since our last adventure together and we figured this one would prove to be noteworthy. We first had to deal with an upstart of an ogre who had been harassing Hammerfall for some time. Dealing with the ogre is a tale in itself, as I found Dispaya to be quite clever while dealing with the over-sized brutes. But that was merely a side trip as far as this story is concerned. After dealing with the ogres, we turned our attention to the second sigil. Broken in eleven shards and distributed among the remaining Stromgarde soldiers it was told to us by the troll. Dispaya and I fought for what seemed like hours, searching every one we slew for missing sigil fragments. We emerged from Stromgarde victorious recovering the missing fragments, but on our way out, we were ambushed by a lone calvaryman of Stromgarde's soldiers. A higher ranking soldier apparently, but he was no match for my strength combined with Dispaya's magic. When he had fallen, I searched through his pockets with the intent of perhaps finding something useful. I saw something sparkle, but I thought it was nothing at first. We travelled back to Hammerfall to have the broken sigil reassembled. It was there that we were told the location of third sigil. To my shock, it was on the person described as the same calvaryman we had just bested outside of Stromgarde's gates! I could've kicked myself for not checking him more closely earlier. We had to rush back, but Hammerfall fell under attack by two Alliance mages who decided foolishly to attack at that time. These pair of mages had been harassing Hammerfall all day as I had seen them earlier before many times. They delayed us from returning immediately to Stromgarde. When we got back to the gates, the calvaryman we had taken down was not where we had left him. Before we could think about where he could've gone, we spotted him charging towards us with reinforcements. Dispaya, clever as always, morphed one of the soldiers. I turned my attention unto the one we thought we had killed earlier. He was a tough opponent, but once again he was no match for Dispaya and me, even with his lackeys with him. While in the middle of fighting, an undead priest and an orcish rogue showed up and helped us put a quicker end to them. With the third sigil in hand, Dispaya unfortunately had to bid me farewell. Much as I wish she could've stayed around, I bid Dispaya goodbye and returned the third sigil to Hammerfall without delay.
How I wish Dispaya could've stayed around for what happened next. It was told to me by the troll back in Hammerfall that the last and final sigil was in the hand of Prince Trollbane himself, the last in his line to carry the name that the trolls hated so much. I was approached by the rogue and the priest Dispaya and I had met earlier and they too wished to have the prince disposed of. Gathering together, we dared to venture back to Stromgarde and fight our way through soldier after soldier to the broken down chapel where Prince Trollbane had taken up shelter in. Tonight a prince would die, the chapel his grave. The prince was well protected by a few of precious guards. All three of us ventured into the chapel and attacked. The guards immediately threw themselves after the priest and rogue, but it was Trollbane himself who came after me. The commotion inside unfortunately dragged in another guard from outside, who apparently was not going to let us harm the prince further. Trollbane was indeed a formidable opponent, probably the most skilled human I have ever faced in hand to hand combat. The priest and the rogue were too busy with their hands full with the guards, I had to face Trollbane for the most part on my own. His sword clashing against my staff, we battled what seemed like an endless fight, the blood coursing through both of us, neither of us yeilding back anything. One of the guards fell, but then the fight took a turn for the worse. The other two guards felled the rogue and then turned their attention to the priest. Trollbane and I were still locked in combat, but it was then he lost his nerve and tried to flee. Unfortunately for the good prince, he found my staff point lodged in his backside. Trollbane, the last of his line, was dead. The other guards unfortunately finished off the priest and turned their attention to me. Upon seeing their fallen prince, one of the guards fled outside in a panic. The other one was not timid. I was drained of my energy and my mana. Was I to yield to a mere human female guard? She attacked me bent on making me pay for the prince's death. I did not think I could hold out after facing the prince, but I was not willing to let up so easily. I fought back relentlessly despite my failing strength, despite my depleted mana, I would not be broken by this human! So close to death was I when it was her that slumped to the ground, defeated. I took a deep breath and sat down to recover my strength when I felt as if I was being watched. I turned and found an alliance dwarf, not bared for war, and apparently had been watching the fight from the shadows. He left thereafter, either out of disappointment that I did not fall, or perhaps fear. The priest and rogue's lives were restored and they were astonished that I had survived such a hard fight. The last sigil held by the prince was in our hands. With all of the sigils together, the legendary blade, Trollbane, the weapon the trolls had feared for so many years was taken out of Stromgarde at last and put into the hands of the Darkspears. I have had plenty of time to reflect on this event and I can only conclude this. I am Valtrinity Alaris, daughter of the mighty Galhorn, proud member of the Ironsong Tribe, and nothing will EVER break my spirit! Let Trollbane's death be a reminder of that.
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#2
Well done sister. It was my great honor to aid thee in the first of these mighty quests. I thank you for your kind words on my behalf and say now that ye are one of the strongest spirits I have met in this world. I am honored to call you friend.

My father would have said, "Those skilled in war subdue the enemy without battle....They conquer by strategy."

It was tactics that saw us through the battle with the Ogre leader. Yet sometimes strategy is not enough and will alone must be enough to force victory.

"In conflict, straightforward actions generally lead to engagement, surprising actions generally lead to victory."

That final guard had expected your will to be broken by your wounds, and yet it was not! It was by will alone that you succeeded.

You fought a mighty battle.
Your father would be proud.

-Dispaya


*quotes based on The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Sing True Ironsong!
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