They don’t send me on these away missions often. As the main healer of our humble establishment, they prefer to keep in backup. So I sit there in my room and spend most of my day reading and occasionally treating a minor bruise or a cough someone caught and is then convinced he’s dying (I’m looking at you, Hwarnë). Sometimes, something interesting happens. I remember when we got attacked by that Iron Horde task force and the darfellan guest stepped right into a patch of poison Aeresham dropped, so I had to work my non-existent ass off to treat an alien poison on an alien individual. I’m not complaining, I like a good challenge. It’s different when I get to go on a mission. The field healing magic may not be exact and leave some ailments untreated, but it’s an interesting change of pace.
Yesterday, I was sent on a mission with some of our primary combatants. I didn’t have anything important to do in the few hours before, so I came down to mission control and discussed with the boss some of our past healing experiences. Arakkoa or djinn, you’d be surprised how similar it all is. All of us stand behind the lines and work our mana off to help the fighters, and get blamed for some hunter not getting out of fire. Anyway, I was sitting there, sipping coffee, when the rest of the group arrived and was ready for their briefing. Some time ago, gnomes from the Gnadra Confederacy wanted us to find their captain, known by the name of Matus T. Manks, and rescue him from the Xa’tac homeworld. Apparently, with all their advanced technology and magic, they were still afraid of going to the spooky undead world.
We crossed over with Balerok, Gornn and Hwarnë. The world was as dreary and unnatural as we were told. Particularly biting was that dry, unpleasant wind. I know what you want to say. You’re a djinn, Mehrzad, you should like all kinds of wind. Well, you are wrong. First of all, there are different kinds of djinns and most of us prefer some moisture. It keeps you in better circulation and makes you more active overall. There is a group of djinns who are all about dry and scorching air, but they’re a strange minority. And the wind on Xa’tac may not have been very hot, but it was definitely very dry, and filled with small grains of bone dust. At first you’d think it was sand in the air and under your feet but it was unmistakably grey and had this unpleasant texture bone dust has.
We saw some of those “natural undead” we were told about. Nothing of danger to us, but I was curious if our healing magic would work beneficially to them. I mean, they’re undead but they’re natural at the same time. It’s interesting. Well, we continued on and we spotted two felguards, with a felhound, who somehow failed to spot us. Hwarnë went on, sneaking around them, trying to hear something of use to us. Besides being obnoxious to each other, they mentioned seeing something called a “kyton”. We didn’t know what it was yet, so we didn’t think much of it. However, our conversation was finally picked up by them and they attacked.
I stood in the back and did my job and from that point of view, it didn’t seem like we were in much danger. They say felguards are tough and dangerous, but they fallen pretty quickly. A few backstabs and smashing fists of a gronn dealt with them quickly. Unfortunately, half of our group decided to hide and for a moment I feared for my life. But then, the felhound smelled Balerok out and started going after him. The dragonman threw a stink bomb (I still have a bit of its stench on my tunic, thanks for that, Balerok) and disoriented it just long enough to get the demon killed. Then the felguards died and we could continue on.
The big palace down the street was suspiciously well preserved for an ancient, abandoned ruin. So when we infiltrated it, we were very careful about not getting spotted – as much as one can avoid notice with a towering gronn accompanying him. The building was rather poorly guarded – it seems the Burning Legion doesn’t care too much about this world after all. Hwarnë went slightly ahead of us and tried to listen in on the rooms. Most were empty, but finally she noticed a conversation. An eredar was talking with some mutilated humanoid covered in metallic chains. Then, felguards brought in three gnomes and the eredar began soul-draining them or something, I don’t know warlock magic. He boasted something about the power the Legion will bring “them” (the chain-swinging maniac’s people, it’d seem). That must have been the kyton we heard about before. A new race trying to become demons, one already as maniacal as demons are.
We thought it would be prudent to avoid an eredar and a new kind of demon and continued down the corridors leading to the dungeons. The demons there were keeping guard over the ruined world for some reason. I don’t know why, from what I heard most worlds the Burning Legion conquers get abandoned, unless there is something of value there. Given the way the Xa’tac quickly fell to the Legion I wonder, how much of their magic must still be lying in those ruins, and how much did the demons already plunder? Anyway, we went down those corridors, dealt with the remaining guards who were just as inept as the previous ones and reached the dungeon.
We found the gnomes, who were mostly still fairly healthy in the dungeons. Well, they were malnourished and exhausted but a few quick spells brought them on their feet. But before I healed them, people started debating how to free them. Hwarnë wanted to pick the lock. Balerok started thinking about some caustic acids to burn the metal bars and Gornn… well, he just smashed the doors out and the gnomes came out. I can’t deny, simplicity sometimes works best. So we were healing them and informing them of the way back out, when someone joined us. As you might expect, it was the chain-wielding maniac from before, thankfully without the eredar behind her.
She was a rather disconcerting persona. She kept calling us toys she will enjoy breaking and was swinging chains everywhere. She swiped Balerok’s feet once, making him fall over. She tried the same with me, but my feet aren’t real so it didn’t work. Then she kept pulling in and pushing away people attacking her… it was a chaos. Balerok was shooting at her with that small gun of his, but most bullets merely bounced off the chains wrapped around her body. I shielded and healed my people as much as I could, and finally a combination of fire magic from various members of our group, including the gnomes, heated up the chains which allowed us to concentrate the attacks. Finally, she died with a scream that was disturbingly ecstatic. Obviously, more guards could hear this spectacle so unless we wanted a whole demonic legion on our backs, we had to get out quickly.
Thankfully we got back without much trouble. I think the eredar spotted us briefly because we narrowly avoided a rain of green meteors and had to avoid three infernals that weren’t there before. We made it to our extraction point and quickly closed the passage. The gnomes were overjoyed about escaping their captivity at long last. Most of them camped it out just outside our living quarters on the Island, but Manks and Sprocket spent the rest of the evening talking to the boss, certainly talking about his, and our, rewards. In the end, it was a pretty heated mission. I hope I will get to experience more of them, with less demons and chain-swinging maniacs. That was by far my least favorite part.