Once again the buzz of insect wings stirred the air

Valstann gathered a detachment and Fandral watched his son depart. Shiromar worried that their forces were divided, but she understood the necessity of the action.

For the next few days Shiromar and the others battled wave after wave of silithid streaming from the hives scattered throughout the land. Still, the Qiraji remained unseen. A feeling of dread began working its way under Shiromar’s skin; she felt it a bad omen that the silithid’s masters had not appeared for so long. She worried over the fate of Valstann, and at several points throughout each day, during lulls in the continuous butchering she spied Fandral quietly looking back over the horizon, anxiously anticipating his son’s return.

On the third day as the noon-day sun reached its zenith, the Qiraji appeared, their numbers reinforced. Once again the buzz of insect wings stirred the air; once again interminable multitudes crested the rim of the horizon. They spread out before Fandral and the others like the shadow cast by a giant cloud obscuring the sun… and stopped. Fandral formed his lines and stood at the forefront of the ranks as Stormcrows circled overhead and Druids in bear form clawed the dirt in anticipation, all watching intently. Moments later the ocean of insects parted, and the hulking form of the Qiraji general approached, carrying a wounded figure in its clawed appendage. It proceeded to the front of the Qiraji lines and held Valstann Staghelm aloft for all to see.

Gasps spread throughout the ranks. Shiromar felt her heart sink. Fandral stood mute, knowing that Southwind had fallen, and fearing that his son may already be dead. He cursed himself for allowing the boy to leave and stood, frozen by a mixture of fear, anger and despair. Within the general’s claw, Valstann stirred and spoke to the general, though he was too far away to be heard. At once the spell that had fallen over Fandral broke and he bolted forward, followed by the night elf forces, but the distance was great… and even before the Qiraji general acted, Shiromar knew they could not reach Valstann in time.

 

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