Family Bonds: Part 1
The Untold Story of the Defias Brotherhood
Deep below the farmland of Westfall lies a dark, vengeful organization—The Defias Brotherhood. Led by Edwin Vancleef, this group of exiles wait and plot for their revenge on the very place that they rebuilt. Being the biggest threat to Stormwind, the Deadmines were discovered and Edwin was defeated by a group of adventurers. That grim day was the end of the Defias; however, the clumsy "heroes" made a fatal mistake.
"Daddy! Why can't I go hunting with Cass?!" roared a very upset little girl—Vanessa Vancleef, Edwin's second born child. She had long, naturally straight black hair, and rosy skin. Her blue eyes were charming but commanding, just like her father's. At first appearance, she seemed gentle and frail, but she was quite the scrapper. Vanessa always stormed through the Deadmines, challenging other Defias to arm-wrestling matches while her big brother, Cassius, was out hunting and patrolling.
"Honey, I've told you multiple times. There's bad guys out there that want us dead. You look too much like your handsome father to venture out into enemy territory. Even though you are strong for being so young, you won't be able to last a second against them. Cass takes after mom's looks. He has a soft look to him which makes it easier for him to act as a farmer or a wanderer," Vanessa didn't seem reassured by her dad's lecture. Edwin sighed. "Plus, I can't take the risk of you trying to fight every person with a gold lion on their chest," He said with a wink. Vanessa laughed and decided to go play with her friends.
Edwin sat down in his quarters and rubbed his head. He looked over at a golden locket which bore the picture of his deceased wife. He turned it over around in his hands and rubbed the top of the locket as though it was her hair. "My love. This would be much easier if you were able to be here by my side. I know I always promise this, but I will until the day I die. I will see to it that your murderer is disposed of." A single tear ran down Edwin's cheek. He kissed the locket and went out on his rounds.
A snarling alpha wolf and her pack surrounded a young, gentle boy. He stood with confidence as he waited for an attack. Two knives danced around between his fingers as he stood. Finally, two attack simultaneously, lunging at both his sides. The youngster ducked and thrusted both of his weapons deep through their necks. Instantly, he pulled both knives out and threw each one square in the eyes of two separate wolves. The pair let out an ear piercing cry before they fell.
The alpha glanced over at her fallen children. Her head dropped and so did her guard. So the young man thought. He took the opportunity to rush the wolf. Right before he managed to reach his defenseless enemy, the alpha vanished in an instant and reappeared behind her target. Her eyes glowed a fearsome red color. Before he could react, the raging, black wolf opened its mouth and lunged right at his nape. An intense pain shot through the child as he roared in agony. The end seemed to be approaching him. With his stamina drained, he fumbled around his pocket and unveiled a curved, wooden dagger. "I won't die today, Father," he whispered to his blade as he spun around with a heavy swing. The tip pierced the alpha's eye. Cassius winced as he felt it pop through his weapon. The mother wolf jumped back and pawed at her face.
"I owe my sister a coat and my brethren meat. Your time is over, worthy adversary," Cass casually said as he walked to the injured wolf. He stepped behind, placed his hands on the sides of her head and murmured, "You've suffered enough today."
On the ship of the Deadmines, a concerned Edwin paced around the deck. "He usually doesn't take this long. It's always a simple mission. Check the crop, harvest, and hunt some game."
He rubbed his brow as Vanessa ran across the bridge yelling, "Daddy! Daddy! Where's big brother?!" Right before her father could answer, Cassius finally emerged from the hidden cave entrance. He bore two wolves on his shoulders and two underneath his arms. His pack was overflowing with meat and hide. A pair of Defias helped him transport his earnings onto the ship.
"Sorry for the wait father. I—"
"Why....were you in Duskwood? You know that place is extraordinarily dangerous, yet you still ventured there. Explain."
Cassius saw Vanessa tuck her head in the corner of his eye. He knew that he couldn't explain his promise he made with her. "I was out in the field and found a mighty boar. I chased it as fast as I could, but I soon realized that it wasn't running from me, but a pack of wolves. Before I could retreat, I was surrounded. I am sorry, father. I had no idea that just the very outskirts of Duskwood were dangerous, as well."
Edwin peered at the loot laid across the deck and back to his son. "It seems there was an alpha wolf as well. You managed to defeat her as well with no scratches." Cassius tried not to wince at the sudden pain he felt after being reminded of his injury. "Hm...well done Cassius. Even though you are as gentle as your mother, you are mighty like your father! Get some sleep my son. We will feast when you awake."
Cassius retired to his quarters and flew onto his bed face-first. A knock resonated off his door. "Come in," mumbled the boy through his pillow. The door creaked open.
"Big brother. I'm sorry I got you in danger."
Cassius sat up and smiled at his sister. "Don't worry Van! I made a promise and I kept to it." He nodded over at desk at a clean, newly made black coat. Vanessa's eyes widened. Her jaw dropped and stayed in that position for some time. Time seemed to be frozen for a moment to Cassius as he watch his sister's reaction. "Um, you can put it on now. It has no use being stared at." In a blink of an eye, Vanessa dove at her brother. She hugged him super tight around his neck, almost choking him.
"Thank you so much! It's so beautiful! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" Running out of breath, Cassius tapped on her head. She gasped as she noticed her brother suffocating. "Sorry about that," she said as she tried her best to be adorable enough to be forgiven.
"It's OK Vanny. Go out and play now, but be careful with that coat! I don't have enough hide to repair it."
"OK! Sleep tight!"
"Intruders in the goblin workshop! Defias! Cookie! Mr Smite! Battle stations now!" Cassius shot up from his slumber.
"That sounded like father," he said as he armed himself for combat. "Oh man, I got to find Vanessa." Frantically, the young man dashed through all the commotion in a rush to his sister's room. He kicked in door to find that she was not there. "Damnit. Where could she be?!"
He rushed to the deck and bumbed into his dad. "Cassius! You go—" "Father! Where is Vanessa?! She is not in her room!" "She's safe. I have word that she is being hidden in a casket near the entrance. Scouts have informed me that the enemy breezed right through. Their main focus is me. There isn't much time until the enemy gets here. I need you to take the back exit and hide amongst the farmers until I send a scout to fetch you. This is an order!" Cassius, perplexed with a barrage of emotions, pulled himself together, saluted his father and took off. "Rain down hell on them! Glory to the Defias!" Edwin bowed his head. He smiled as tears streamed from his eyes. "I'm sorry my children. Please live long for me. Live long for your mother. Live long for the both of us."
Cassius ran for his life through the farmland of Westfall until he reached his usual meeting ground in Sentinel Hill. A place were farmers knew and welcomed him. There was also a small camp of Defias brothers northwest of the area in case of emergencies. There were dangers for Defias in the heart of Westfall, for the great tower in Sentinel Hill based highly experienced soldiers of Stormwind.
When young Cass approached the area, he noticed an army of guards surrounding the tower. Cass studied his surroundings so he could mimic the nearby farmers. However, there were none to be found. Nothing but soldiers filled the area. The boy quickly turned around and tried to find a different area to hide.
Every part of Westfall was littered with Stormwind men. There was no place to hide. Cassius started to worry. The more he roamed, the closer he found himself near Duskwood forest. He didn't want to resort to it, but he would be held in for questioning if he were to be caught. Cassius sighed. "It's either dire wolves, spiders, and creepy things, or getting tortured to death." With that, the young man ventured yet again into the forest.
Vanessa tried to hold back her sobs as she endured the screams of the fallen Defias as she sat in a hidden barrel. Even though the enemy seemed to pass by, she still waited. She didn't dare move an inch. After 10 minutes past, she finally peered outside the barrel. Vanessa gasped at the view. Splatters of blood painted the cavern walls. Defias brothers and sisters were decimated. The young girl was frozen in shock. She didn't know what to do or what to say or even what to think. All she could do was stare in disbelief.
"We are almost to the ship! Push on, men, and let no one survive! Edwin's head will be ours! For Stormwind!" This roar snapped Vanessa back into shape. She shook her head, feeling silly for being so weak to be frozen in fear like that.
"Come on Vanny, get a grip. Dad needs help no matter how small he thinks you are!" She whispered to herself as she walked to a fallen friend. She grabbed two daggers and a red Defias mask. She armed herself and set off towards her home—the Deadmine's ship.
Just as she arrived to the ship, she froze in shock yet again at the sight that stood before her. A rugged adventurer who wasn't even a Stormwind soldier stood in victory over her father's corpse. Edwin's head was raised in the air as the man cried, "For the Alliance! Let it be known this day that Edwin Vancleef of the Defias has been slain in the name of the king Varian Wyrnn!" The rest of the adventurers cheered in celebration and the group departed towards the back exit of the Deadmines.
Vanessa ran to her father, crying in anguish. The closer she got, the faster she ran. "No. Not like this. Not father. Why? Why is this happening? Where is Cassius?" She looked down at Edwin. His body and a puddle of blood were the only remnants of him. She wasn't even given the honors of seeing his face one last time. "Father's gone. Cassius vanished. All my brothers and sisters are dead," Vanessa bawled. "I'm all alone. I'm all alone. I'M ALL ALONE!"
When Cassius first entered the forest, nothing exciting crept up on him again. Relieved, he found the main trail and walked until he could find shelter for the day. Or night? In the dark forest, there was no indications of night or day. It was only darkness all the time. "I'll wait a few hours and then go back. There's no way Defias can find me over here, so it's up to me to know when to get back." Cass murmured to himself as he carefully strolled through the dense forest.