[Story] Story a Week 42

[[ Prompt: A tragedy that ends in romance

I was boring and re-used characters again, though I’ve written these events before and I don’t think they actually happened on the same day. Creative license! ]]

Sath’alor sat on a cot in the healers’ tent, waiting for one of the mages to make a portal to send him back to Silvermoon. It seemed they had been gone for a long time, but he couldn’t be sure. Every breath caused him to wince in pain. The man healer had been the one to look him over, press on his ribs and tell him that some were broken. Sath’alor had been bandaged tightly all around and told to report to a healer in Silvermoon if any further problems presented themselves. He knew he’d been lucky. When the proto-drake staggered back onto him, he was sure he was dead. Sath’alor had heard the sickening crunch as some of his ribs gave way, felt the crippling pain surge up his side. But someone had pulled him out from underneath and escorted him to the tent. He barely remembered it himself, until he was lying on the cot with Hethurin’s sister looking down at him. She didn’t scold him, but he scolded himself plenty. How stupid could he be, standing too close to the drake like that? What did he expect to happen? Now he was being sent home before he’d even really had a chance to help. It wasn’t even their war, this was between one orc and the rest of Kalimdor, but the elves had been dragged into it, all the same. No one really wanted to be there, and the conditions were terrible. Things had been much better back in Pandaria, but still there was some allure to the idea of being sent home as a war hero. That certainly wasn’t happening now.

Many had been injured in the siege, and worse. Every day rumors went around the camps about a unit being exploded from the crude iron bombs, or crushed in the tunnels beneath the city. It was a lot more difficult to hold onto his dreams of glory when Sath’alor heard about those. One of the newest rumors concerned a siege machine that had been driven over a unit of archers. That one was especially disturbing because it could very well have been his own unit. Judging by the commotion in the other healer tent, Sath’alor knew something must have happened since he’d come in; whether it was that or another incident.

When he awoke, he still wasn’t sure what time it was, but the sky outside was a great deal darker. He was no longer alone in the tent; one of the other cots was occupied and a man stood beside it. Sath’alor thought it must be the healer at first, and indeed the man’s hands lit with a soft glow in the darkness of the tent. But he was much older, his hair a dark brown rather than the other healer’s pale blond. He looked familiar, but Sath’alor couldn’t place him. The woman on the cot lay very still, he could not even see the rise of her breathing. He did recognize her; she was one of Hethurin’s sisters, who was a ranger as well. He knew very little about her, except that she once served in Eversong, and had a small baby back at home. He was no healer, but it looked as if she might not make it. She would need much more sophisticated healing than they could offer here in this dusty tent. It all struck Sath’alor as very unfair if she should die, leaving her child alone before he even really got a chance to know who she was. He doubted very much that she had come here seeking any kind of recognition — if she had a small child she should have been exempt from fighting though. Maybe it had been her choice, as it had been his.  

On his way out, the old healer glanced at Sath’alor and nodded briefly. They didn’t speak, but he could see the worry etched in his features. Sath’alor did not often pray, but now he did, that the mage would arrive quickly and the other ranger would survive to see her child again.

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