Prince Anduin Llane Wrynn followed his father, King Varian Wrynn, at the training grounds of Stormwind City, bored out of his mind. The king was visiting the military area to discuss the current situation of the Horde and the rumours of a mysterious continent which has revealed itself after Deathwing’s awakening on Azeroth. Anduin wished he would spend his afternoon concentrating on his studies of priesthood, yet his father insisted that Anduin should join the tour and discussion given by Admiral Taylor, stating that - as a king - even a pacifist one, Anduin should learn to participate to military conversations and the young prince couldn’t disagree with his father.
“We have reports that Horde ships have been sailing south of Maelstrom, Your Majesty.” Said Admiral Taylor, walking a few inches in front of the King. “An expedition is planned in the same direction as we speak.”
Anduin was walking quietly at his father’s side, followed by two royal guards towards the Command Center, he saw men and women training on large dummies made out of thick oak, hitting them with full force, throwing knives into them and shooting with arrows. He shuddered for a quick moment, recalling his difficult training of swordsmanship a while ago when he visiting Khaz Modan. During his time in Ironforge however, Anduin discovered his true calling in life: to be a priest devoted to the tenets of the Holy Light. He was aware his father had a hard-time approving his choice, claiming that a king must be a warrior, yet Anduin believed he walked the right path without being a master in sword fighting.
“How many Horde ships exactly, Admiral?” asked Varian in a grim voice, clearly not fond of the news.
Taylor opened his mouth to speak but was interrupted by loud swearing which was heard from the entrance of building, right on front of the Admiral. In a blink of an eye the door was opened with large force, hitting the stone wall powerfully, a muscled man with short black hair and a thick beard, exited first, walking backwards, his hands carrying the head of a heavy, training dummy.
“Careful, careful, careful!” repeat the man, followed by a young woman who carried the other end of the dummy.
“Repeating it, won’t help!” spat the woman at him. She grunted, clearly struggling to carry the large dummy. The both soldiers exited the Command Center, wearing the formal blue-metal Stormwind armor, with the Alliance’s lion symbol on their tabard. The woman had light brown, sand-like hair color, its length only down to her chin, a portion of the left side of her hair was braided. Despite wearing the armor it was visible she was petite and she had quite an unusual, yet elegant, thin silver nose ring around her right nostril.
“Let’s just put it here.” Paused the man lazily, ready to drop the dummy and not wishing to carry the heavy, silly looking dummy.
“The captain ordered to replace the one you decapitated, which is down by the gates, so move before I shove it up your arse!” Judging by her sweaty face and heavy breathing, she was exhausted and evidently unhappy of the task she has just received.
“Kathanna!” scolded Taylor. “Watch your language! You’re in the presence of the Royal family!” his face red of embarrassment. It wasn’t uncommon for the recruits to sometimes talk unpleasant between each other, even Taylor himself would admit that he swore and insulted around his comrade-in-arms, however he didn’t want to give the impression to King Varian that he let his soldiers be so… improper.
The young lady reacted at her name being called out, making her drop the training dummy on the floor; first rule of the Stormwind soldier: drop any task you have when you’re being called out by a superior.
“What sir?” she approached, distinctly not paying attention to Taylor’s observation.
“You...” murmured the Admiral “are in the presence of the Royal family, behave yourself!” Kathanna’s eyes grew big and she peeked behind Taylor’s shoulder as a pink color overcame her cheeks. Anduin released a small snicker at Kathanna’s attitude towards the other soldier, not everyone could show such a comeback to someone twice their size. The prince forced to compose himself when his father gave him a disapproving look.
“Oh… my apologies, Your Majesties.” She bowed deeply in front of the King and the Prince. The king remained silent, and Taylor unsure how to respond to Varian’s reaction, instead he gave a small cough and watched as Kathanna ran away and resume to carry the training dummy with the male recruit.
“It was an entire fleet of Horde warships, my King.” Resumed Taylor, ignoring the incident and entering in the hall of the Command Center. Varian examined the table in the middle of the room, which had the map of Azeroth spread across it. Small wooden models of Alliance ships were placed on the map, into the direction of the uncharted landmass shrouded in dense mists, as it was described by the scouts.
“If there are natives on that land, we indent to have a diplomatic affair with them.”
“The Alliance could use more allies.” Agreed Varian.
A thought occurred Anduin, he saw an opportunity to leave Stormwind again, explore Azeroth and learn its beauty. He rarely had the privilege to leave Elwynn Forest, aside from formal meetings to another capital city of the Alliance, Anduin has truly not seen much of Azeroth. The Prince already knew what answer he would receive from his father however he was confident he could change his mind.
“Father, if it’s truly a diplomatic mission, then allow me to join as well.” The king hesitated, Varian has lost much in his life, he wouldn’t want to risk losing his only beloved child.
“I know, it’s dangerous, but I will have the royal army at my disposal, won’t I?” interrupted the Prince, he addressed to Taylor this time, and the Admiral was taken by surprise by Anduin’s proposal.
“Y-yes, Prince Anduin, if you insist of joining this mission, then you’ll have the best soldier at your flagship.”
It took more discussion and slight arguments, Anduin lost the track of time. But in the end, King Varian agreed and Anduin would embark the royal flagship Vanguard by the end of the week.
Kathanna was disappointed and angry at herself, Admiral Taylor left weeks ago for a mission across the seas, saying he’s taking the best of his soldiers with him.
And Kathanna wasn’t one of them.
She angrily swung her sword, hitting the massive dummy with her entire strength. With every hit she would enrage more, and with each rage, she would hit harder.
“I have news.” Came a female voice from behind. Kathanna recognized it instantly and turned to see her friend and comrade-in-arms, Eredes. The two women have been friends since the first days of Kathanna’s training as a soldier, unlike Kathanna who pursued the way of a close combat, Eredes, was mere a Northshire cleric when they first met.
“News regarding what?” Kathanna asked, unwilling to pause from her training.
“The remaining recruits of Admiral’s Taylor squad and some members of SI:7 are being assembled together as team for a high priority mission. There have been some… casualty with Admiral’s ship.” Eredes spoke in a calming tone as a priest would always speak, while brushing some of her red hair from her freckled face. “Admiral Taylor's last transmission came from somewhere in the southern seas, then it vanished…” Continued Eredes in a dark tone.
“What are you saying?” Kathanna plunged her sword into the hard soil and turned around to face her friend.
“We’re being sent on a rescue mission.”