At approximately 550 words for this one 🙂 Enjoy!
I was glad for the brief chance to centre myself. I’d need it.
I remained on my back momentarily whilst I checked Kal over. Crying at the sudden disturbance, but no injuries. Good. I let out a low whistle that grabbed his attention and beat the ground with the palm of my hand, three steady times. It was my call for Beltheron, my sabre. He was always nearby, but I needed to make sure he was okay.
I sprang to my feet lightly, turning on the spot to see how bad the fire was. I could put the vicinity out, but I had no idea what had caused it – or how far the fire had gone out from the explosion. I blanked my mind, hearing only my stable breathing, and focused hard. Moisture in the air. Steam. Dew droplets on the grass. Soaking in the soil.
It rose up before me at my will, a six-foot wave of brimming water that took all of my concentration to maintain. I let out a little breath as it moved at my command, feeling it stretch like it was one of my limbs, higher and wider until I was surrounding by a gleaming bubble of water.
It burst forth in all directions at high speed, soaking me and eliciting a giggle from my son. But it worked. A great fissure of steam rose up around me as the fire went out and the wave went on for about 10 metres. Cool air moved in to fill the gap, making me shiver a little. I heard the padding of pads by my side as my focus dropped. Beltheron had appeared sometime after the wave had gone, as he was completely dry. I dropped to one knee and ran my hands through his fur, checking for injuries. He licked my face. He was fine, no need to worry. But I look a mess.
I chuckled and kissed his fur, but as I pulled back I stayed on one knee, taking advantage of the clarity of my head to listen. To listen into everything the forest would tell. To really listen, and to know.
And I heard the forest.
Waves breaking on the Zoram Strand. The low twang of a huntress’ bow as she hunted for food alongside furbolg. The sniffing of a stag on a high hill in search of a mate. The frantic chase of a rabbit by a wolf. And further in, the high laughter of dryads. A worried conversation between a Keeper and a wise old nightsaber, anticipating communications from a messenger from Astranaar. Whoops. And south – frantic planning by sentinels at a tower suddenly surrounding by smog and flame. The anguished cries of birds trying to save young from their nests. The low whines of singed animals. The growl of disturbed nature elementals, and the angry hiss of almost-boiled water elementals. The sizzle of corpses. Orc corpses. Goblin corpses. Forsaken corpses. Horde corpses.
Silverwind Refuge. I was almost halfway to it. And the destruction stretched this far. Even here I could smell the bitter smoke from burning bark.
This could be devastating if it wasn’t stopped. Ashenvale would truly live up to its name if there was a forest fire on such a scale.