Warcraft Fan Fiction ❯ Turning Red ❯ Prologue: Blood and Water ( Prologue )
The Chronicles of Phoenix Bloodheart 1: Turning Red
by Dominic Sacco
Dedicated to Ash and Crow
Prologue: Blood and Water
“Anger is a wind which blows out the lamp of the mind.”
Robert Green Ingersoll
behaving in ways that are not expected or not normal, often in a way that causes damage
Darkness has fallen and she walks alone; her bloodied boots brush softly across the sand.
The slim elf, dressed in faded red leather, looks up. The moonlight twinkles in her blue eyes as she pauses to soak in the view. The old, beautiful ship stares back, anchored by the water’s edge.
The twilight sky blends with the midnight blue water below, perfectly still and calm, the tide lapping gently onto the shore.
As she takes her first step onto the wooden deck, she pauses. Her former self would be fighting back tears, but she has cried enough. Instead, she lets the pain wash over her and pass by.
She walks slowly around the creaking top deck, brushing her hand across the ship’s rigging and handrail as she does so. Her worn red boots tap gently on the wood.
Upon reaching the helm, she holds the wheel in both hands, her tatty fingerless gloves tightening around it as she looks out across the water for a few minutes. A warm breeze flicks her fiery ginger hair backwards, revealing two long pointed ears. She stares, locked in thought.
She shifts her head to the left and squints. A frown spreads across her forehead as she taps her four fingers on the wooden wheel, one after the other.
With haste, she steps back and leaps onto the ship’s rigging like a cat pouncing upwards - and begins to climb. She moves swiftly, without effort, without conscious thought, and soon finds herself up in the crow’s nest. There, she crouches down low, shuts one eye tightly, and uses the other to stare down through a gap in the wood.
A figure emerges onto the deck below, the spurs on their boots ringing gently across the ship. They walk towards the stairs leading to the ship’s lower deck.
The blue eye peering from the crow’s nest narrows with loathing. The ginger-haired elf stands tall, grits her teeth and pulls a grappling hook and length of rope from her pouch. She swings it over her hand once before releasing. It flows through the air swiftly towards one of the lower masts.
The elf hastily unfastens her cloak, holds onto either side of it and places it over her head. As the hook below loops tightly around a mast, she jumps over the edge of the crow’s nest. Her cape slides down the rope, holding her light body and she moves with surprising speed, the wind rushing in her ears. The elf lets go of the cloak towards the bottom and kicks out her right foot sharply towards the person below her.
The figure dives to the side, narrowly avoiding the attack as the ginger-haired elf hits the deck hard and rolls forward, cushioning her fall.
The two elves rise in sync, turning to face one another. They are of similar height and frame, two silhouettes locked by fate.
They stand still in silence, as fresh rain begins to fall, lightly tapping on the wooden deck beneath their boots. The pair stare into each others’ eyes with disdain, the moment lingering and tension growing as they consider which moves they should make next.
Rage bubbles slowly inside one, hatred in the other, as they begin to circle one another.
The ginger-haired elf speaks, with spite and anger: “After all you’ve done, you dare set foot here as well?”
The other replies with a sarcastic curtsy, the gentle grin on her pale face belying a lust for violence.
Anger swells in the redhead. A sword is pulled from its red and gold scabbard. The other elf follows, removing a lightweight rapier from black boiled leather.
“I look forward to the small ounce of joy your death will bring after what you’ve done,” the ginger elf adds, her voice quivering. “You have taken so much…”
The patter of the rain on wood grows more frequent as it continues to fall, slightly heavier now.
“And you from me,” the dark figure replies. “But I shall take it back tonight, and take your life,” she adds, a smile curling the edge of her lips upwards as the words linger, masking her own hatred and sorrow. “Just like the others.”
The rage boiling beneath red leather reaches the surface, and the fiery elf bellows in anger, her battle-shout hanging in the air as she strikes forward, forcing her enemy into a parry. The pair lock swords and deflect each other’s blows in quick succession as the sound of steel on steel breaks the peace of the water’s edge. The rainfall gradually transitions into a noisy downpour.
The ginger elf’s rage is flowing freely now, her mind losing consciousness, completely seized by the red mist of fury that glazes over her eyes. Her subconscious mind is now in total control of her actions.
Her sword swings hard, with surprising strength, forcing her opponent to repeatedly absorb the blow with her own rapier. The struggling elf in black almost slips on the damp deck.
The golden-hilted sword returns, this time with greater force and speed as she strikes again and again with unrelenting aggression, making it harder for the dark figure to parry effectively and remain standing. Eventually, unable to keep up with the pace of attacks, she stumbles back and drops her sword noisily.
The elf in red looms over her on deck, screaming with fury, wildly pulling her own weapon back as she prepares to strike it forwards one last time with a killing blow.
But rage clouds her judgment; her balance wavers slightly. The elf in black twists her right foot upwards at the last moment, sending the spurs digging into red leather - and the skin of her opponent’s left thigh.
The standing warrior buckles as the elf on the floor sweeps her leg across low, knocking the ginger elf’s feet out from under her. Now it’s her turn to collapse onto the deck and drop her sword as she falls. The pair of rapiers lie just out of reach, both instruments of death lying still, tempting their owners to move and pick them up again, the blades glistening in the rain.
Ignoring the out-of-reach swords in favour of a quicker move, the dark figure spots an opportunity and swings her right leg over her enemy, straddling her. She punches her foe’s face with ferocity and a thin splatter of blood hits the watery deck.
The impact of the punch shakes the fiery elf out of her rage, as she returns to her senses. She looks up to see a face twisted with envy and loathing, and another fist slamming down towards her, right between the eyes.
For a split-second she wonders how she got caught up in such chaos and danger.
Phoenix braces for impact, moves her arms up in front of her face and closes her eyes.