Friday, September 11, 2009

In Honor Of The Fallen

(In honor of the memory of 9/11, I offer a second tale from Azeroth today. I hope you enjoy it and remember that no matter where you are, who you are... someone has at one time died so that you might live.)

A father and his young son stride across the sun-dappled pathway leading up to the ruins of Stromgarde. This once proud stronghold of the Arathor lay now in ruin and disuse, having been destroyed some eight years ago during the third war, it's former might and strength but a fading memory in the minds of the soldiers who fought there in defense of their homeland. Spirits of the dead still haunt the stones, and are never far from the minds of the people.

It wasn't one of the major battles of the war. It had been destroyed by the Syndicate, a shady criminal organization, not the scourge. Heck, the scourge barely even paid it much attention, except to use it as propaganda in their quest for the fall of the Eastern Kingdoms. Look at how weak these eastern humans are, they would say. Surely their civilization does not deserve the prosperity they've had. The time for the Lich has come.

Yet, even today, cries of "Remember Stromgarde!" can be heard upon the battlefield, rallying the sons and daughters of Arathor. Yes, the League of Arathor remains strong. It persists in its struggle against the oppression of the scourge and in support of the Alliance. An entire generation of Arathian men share stories of the old days by firelight, before Refuge Point became their home, and war their occupation. Tanners, cobblers, masons they were. Now, soldiers.

The father stops, pointing out the front gate to the boy, and gesturing as if to describe where two proud towers once rose on either side of the gate, reaching to the sky as if to defy the hold of the very earth they grew out of. What a sight they once were, he tells his son. How glorious was the city in it's prime.

Only rubble remains now, a shadow of what once was.

"Remember Stromgarde!" they cry, and the father now echoes the sentiment to his son. Never forget what happened here, he says. Never forget the sacrifices made on this field.

The son nods, soaking it all in. He looks with wide eyes upon the rubble that he has only ever known as rubble. Tiny tears escape from the corner of his eyes and he thinks of the mother he lost in the war. Tiny tears, yet they are all he has to offer as fitting tribute to that very first woman he loved. The woman taken from him far too early.

Raising his tear streaked face to the sky he bellows "For The Alliance!"

A single tear slides down the father's face, and he puts his arm around his son. Slowly, reluctantly they turn their backs on the past, and head back home.

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