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  1. Yesterday
  2. Val’sharah, 0400: In the soft glow of moonlight, a brilliant flash broke the serenity to reveal the two naked forms of the knights in their successful breakout. The taller man collapsed to his knee in exhaustion, his bloodied and likely broken hand gripped at his right shoulder’s scorch mark from a grazing hit from one of the Assault Golems grazing mana-bolt fire from the chaos of their last little stint at the teleporter. His eyes went down to the disturbed waters from their sudden arrival. Beside him, the much smaller female's bare feet splashed against the stream they landed in. She looked around frantically, black pigtails bobbing as she looked for something familiar. "W-where are we?" She asked quietly, clutching a runeblade axe protectively to her chest. It glowed faintly in the darkness, a bright blue color not unlike her own bright blue eyes. She turned her gaze to the large elf, suddenly hyper aware if his injuries. "Oh geez… you need help!" The Male removed his hand from the blackened flesh, pursing his chapped lips to speak—his throat proved horribly dry, only allowing him the ability to grunt at the moment. Dehydration was kicking in from the blood manipulation. He took his broken and mangled hands to form a makeshift cup, taking a moment to drink in the water before speaking. “Val’sharah.” Kneeling down beside him, the female put her axe head into the ground and leaned on the handle. She watched as he attempted to drink from the stream and winced at the sight of his broken and mangled limbs. "Stop that," she fussed, allowing the axe to fall so that she could use her own hands to give him water. They were small, but they were steady and uninjured. "Here." As he drank from his beaten hands, the muscles within the mangled hand started to slither, re-threading themselves to the bone. He slightly grimaced at the agony from his form using its own fleshcrafting abilities to regenerate from the wound. As such he let his hands drop as he lost most of the water from the warped configurations and the body forcibly moving as needed. He looked as if to protest. Instead came a “…Thank you.” "It's fine," she said reassuringly, allowing him to drink from her hands before speaking again. She seemed less embarrassed than before, the gravity of their situation seemingly weighing down on her as they knelt in the dark. When he drank enough, she grabbed for her axe again and clutched it to her chest. "My name is Cat," she said cautiously. "I don't know if they told you anything about me. They definitely didn't tell me anything about you." “That would be because officially,” his words spoke of a well educated man that commanded respect in spite of this compromising situation. He was clearly a man of the military. “I do not exist. Not anymore.” Cat blinked and cocked her head, attempting to read the older elf through the dim light their eyes provided. "Uh... okay... so... did you die, then? Like me?" She looked him over, as if searching for something. "I guess you can't be a death knight without a runeblade...” “I did die. But I am not quite like you—you are becoming something more like me, it seems.” The death knight's eyes lowered, as if caught in a lie. "Um... sort of. I guess that was the plan all along. I didn't know though," she said quickly, looking up again. "I didn't know they were gonna hurt someone. I was told that maybe if I helped them, they could bring me back to life. Sort of... I guess they did. In a way." “We hurt people for the greater good, Cat. We have always been willing to do what needed to be done for the defense and the preservation for our people. Since the day we rebelled against the Prince, this has been our goal.” He turned to scan the area around them before he began to walk down the river. “It seems I was on the receiving end this time. I understand the logic, but I am no mere foot soldier.” Cat followed close behind, holding her axe in front of her as they walked. She was careful to look down, but the darkness made it difficult to see where she was going. She stumbled more than a few times, cursing under her breath as she regained her footing. "Who are you, then? A-and where are we going?" “We are headed south. And my project codename was The Shattered Son.” The answer was short as she had likely come to expect from him as he continued his march down the river. His eyes scanned the hills above before he began to muse. “…I do not know who chose that designation. They likely assumed they were being clever, given my military record. For all my millennia of service, it seems I will be known for the Civil War, and more specifically—the costly but ultimately successful command I was given in Quel’Danas.” "Uh... oh." Cat bit her lip as she listened to the story, waiting until he reached the end before asking. "...I uh... I was actually not trained until the Scourge came back. During the Northrend campaign. I was only old enough to start my knight training by then, and I died, so... sorry if I don't know you or what you did, but... what's your name?" “I am the former Lord-General Draco Gladius Visca.” "Oh...” She paused, walking, her eyes widening suddenly. "..Oh. OH! Oh you were that guy on the posters! I remember, now! I remember seeing you on the posters when I enlisted!" “That would be me.” A thin lipped expression marred his face. There had to be a road somewhere. “And have no concern; in the later years… what I have done was purposely hidden.” "Uh... oh. Okay...” Cat attempted to follow close enough that her eyes would be on the enormous elf's back. She fought hard to keep them up, but found them drifting south every so often despite her best efforts. "I uh... I'm not sure what it means now, that I have your blood in me. I kept dying after a day or so, the last time. I'm not sure if it'll last longer now, since they used my axe on you. I'm sorry about that, again, I didn't know they were gonna hurt someone... but... if I'm this way permanently, I don't know what it makes me." “The next step in the program. And you need not apologize, I am far more durable than that—and it allowed us a chance at freedom. When we reach the safe house, we will plan our next move.” "What about the Scryers?" She seemed very concerned, now. "I... I mean they did this to me so they could use me as an experiment, and now we've escaped.. Are they gonna come after us? After me? What happens if I wind up having kids, someday?" “They shall come after me, yes. That is a given.” He turns to look at the obviously youthful woman behind him. He eyed her for a moment before continuing. “They will likely desire you as well. Though you are less of a security threat. Follow my command, and when I get my way—that will be a non-issue.”Top of Form Cat blinked with surprise. "Uh... g-get your way? What is your way? What does that mean?" “As I have said, I am a waste as a mere foot soldier. We will not defeat the Legion if we do not utilize our assets to their full advantage.” He heard the sound of galloping and grinned as he squatted for a rock in the riverbed. Cat crouched down quickly, hiding behind Draco's massive build at the sound of the approaching hooves. "Oh shit oh shit oh shit...” She whispered, clutching her axe. The galloping came faster and louder as they hid, Draco’s eyes moved as if to track a calculated trajectory of where the rider was most likely to appear. His broken knuckles cracked and popped back into place as he grasped for the rock. His voice was quiet, “He should be appearing over that hill on the trail within a moment.” His hand toyed with the rock to accentuate his point. “Do you wish to do the honors, or shall I?” Cat held up her axe. "If I do it, I'll kill him," she whispered. "Seems kinda mean... can't we just... ask for help? Maybe he'll be a nice knight..." it was awkward getting close enough to whisper without touching him, so Cat covered near Draco's ear, balanced on her toes. Her breath was warm, but strangely enough for the death knight, so was she. He could feel the warmth of the young woman behind him, a soft allure to a previous life. Something to exploit. They had but one shot before the element of surprise was ruined, then there would be far too much commotion to allow them to remain in the cover of darkness. His eyes left the estimated point of arrival, “Perhaps… Go, get his attention. I will cover you.” Cat blinked, confused. Get his attention? Oh. "Uh... o-okay." Carefully, the death knight moved away from Draco and crept through the brush toward the end of what appeared to be a path. She took a deep calming breath, steadying her nerves before stepping out into the clearing. In the moonlight, her body appeared pale, nearly as blue as her glowing eyes. Completely nude, she held her axe behind her so as not to frighten the rider as much as simply distract him. "..Uh... yoo hoo?" She called out, attempting to appear alluring as she leaned against a tree. The rider was a young man, likely an adventurer running some sort of time sensitive errand for the druids given his equipment and demeanor. He quickly jerked upon the reigns of his steed, forcing the animal come to a full stop. “Woah! Easy there girl, easy!” Cat cleared her throat and remained hidden in shadow. Though her skin was fresh, it retained its dark hue. Maybe he'd think she was a tiny night elf? "Uhhh heeey there... uh... big guy...” she said in her best Common.”Wanna... uh... hug a tree...?" “Well, well…. Seems my luck is changing!” The leather clad adventurer grinned as he dismounted from his steed, of which neighed in protest of this obviously suspicious distraction from their task at hand. “An Elven lass, in the nude, all to myself… truly a land of wonders!” "Heh... Yeah! Exactly!" She said with a somewhat panicked voice, her eyes darting behind the horse in search of her temporary companion. "Just uh... come over here, and we'll uh... hug... The trees..?" “I think we can ‘hug’ more than trees, ba—” The adventurer’s horse let loose brays of panic as it, too, saw the imposing figure of her companion stepping out of the bushes. “—What the fuck?!” "Oh thank gods," Cat said under her breath, grabbing the human's sleeve to pull him in and striking him in the face causing him to crumple upon the ground. He likely never even saw it coming. Her ally had presumably followed suit, the cries of the steed had halted and its form lay on the empty road with its master. “Take what you need from him; we still have a long road ahead of us…” Draco was coated in a fresh spray of blood as he approached the fallen human, his foot pressed upon the back of the rogue’s head as he sneered down at him. “This arrogant little distraction is costing us valuable time; I am unsure how much of a lead we have on our pursuers.” "We'll have more of a lead with his horse, and I don't know about you but I'm not a big fan of riding without pants," Cat grumbled, peeling off the human's clothes. She couldn't help but blush as she pulled off his shirt. "Geez...” She murmured, throwing his shirt over her small frame. It was long enough to be a short dress. "..humans are hairy, aren't they?" “The horse is worth little more than fuel at current.” His wrathful eyes did not leave the human under that lay beneath his bare heel; the weight of such a man was likely enough to be cruel enough. The additional force beginning to be applied would be far worse. “If the man has any coin, take it—he will no longer be in need of possessions.” "Uh... oh...” Cat mumbled, digging for the human's coin purse. She found it attached to his belt, which she also stole. "You're not gonna kill the guy, are you?" “This Human sought to breed with one of our kind, a near-extinct species, and thereby has proven a threat to the continuation of our people. A grave sin and a crime deserving of capital punishment.” With every sentence spoken, the pressure placed upon the back of the human’s skull would increase dramatically as it began to dip into his now-supernatural physical capabilities. “Furthermore, he is a witness to our arrival and thereby a loose end that threatens our mission. We fail our mission, we jeopardize our entire campaign. If we lose the campaign, our world perishes before the Legion. If our world suffers, where do you think our people are left?” As if to accentuate his point, the force applied proved far too much for the mortal man’s skull to handle; with a sickening pop, its contents spilled in a violent fashion upon the road and his once trusty steed. Brain matter, blood and bone all. "Geez!!" Cat winced, jumping back from the gore before it splashed on her. "Are you nuts?? I splayed myself out like a piece of candy, of course he tried to... what did you call it? 'Breed with me’? That's freaking psycho, guy." she added sadly, avoiding looking at the corpse again. "One human isn't gonna lose our campaign… and this isn't how I like to do things." “It is not the Human we had to worry about.” The naked elf squatted over the gore ridden body, his fingers shifted through the mess. “It is the information he would grant my former comrades that would cause complications. Complications cause delays in the campaign, a campaign against the biggest threat this world has even known. We cannot afford either, they cost our people the precious few lives we have left.” As he lectured the young woman his hands scored a shard of the victim’s skull, which was promptly used to slice open his hand. His blood flowed into that spilled, mixing enough to grant him influence over the mess. It began to snake over his fingers and up his arm. “I understand that this may be considered heartless by you and those uninitiated with such trying choices. I pray that you, like my Brother, never have to come to terms with the methods I have had to employ over the years. But everything I have ever done, was for our people. Men like me are why we have yet to become extinct, in spite of the crises and genocides his people have consistently inflicted upon our own. But I will not ask you to trouble your conscious with such, no… perhaps this is where our ways part. At least for now.” "Uh... yeah, okay," Cat said with a hint of sadness in her voice. She seemed unaccustomed to the naked man's sense of cruelty, but not to his sense of duty. "I have a home to get back to… someone who loves me, and friends. Do You? Do you have somewhere to go?" “Not anymore.” The former Lord-General of the Order of Eversong rose to his feet. His eyes scanned the southern horizon. “I died in the service of our people during the Siege of Orgrimmar. It needs to stay that way. Now that I am freed, I can focus on the mission at hand.” His sapphire eyes looked back to the young woman. “Head north, you will find a flight point use the money to get home. And if you find a Magister Frostwhisper, tell him ‘The Son Rises Over Suramar.’ He will figure it out.” "You mean Vathelan?" She asked curiously, eyeing the taller elf curiously. "I'll tell him, but... are you sure you're just going to stay hidden? I mean, with what you... with what we can do, we could help a lot of people, couldn't we? You could come with me, if you wanted to. You don't need to go off on your own." “I am not abandoning the war effort. Far from it.” He spoke over his shoulder as he began his march towards the south, each step spoke of a man on a mission. The blood crawling upon him formed a sizable blade upon his wrist. He was at long last unshackled; the secret weapon the Scryers had been let loose upon the world.
  3. “I have a theory,” Doctor Peacebloom said as she circled Cat’s restraining chair. “Our most recent attempts lasted forty eight hours. The anti-rejection compound introduced on day four was a failure, due to, I believe, test subject number seventeen hundred and seventy seven’s death knight physiology. The Lich King’s hold on our test subject, while useful in her repeated resurrection, is keeping the subject’s body from being able to permanently retain any physical changes.” Cat lay in her chair, stripped as usual, her cold undead body unresponsive to the cold leather beneath her. After two days of living, followed by yet another death, it was beginning to feel routine. Blood injections, electrocutions, fleshcrafting, life, death, rebirth. Having her naked body poked and prodded for science in the hopeless attempt to give the death knight something akin to life. She sighed as the good Doctor prodded the dead veins in her arms, and introduced the long thick needles that would transport blood. “As our efforts thus far seem to have hit a wall, I have devised a new theory. One that involves the efforts of our first successful test.” Cat blinked. This was new. What is he talking about? “Having depleted our resources, I have requested the participation of the Shattered Son himself. With his cooperation, we will have enough to follow through with our next attempt.” His cooperation? Cat’s jaw dropped at the sight of a new person entering the observation room. Doctor Peacebloom held his hands above the floor, where another restraining chair materialized opposite of Cat. In it, the Sin’dorei sat without argument, his glare fixated on the death knight in front of him. Holy moly. He was enormous, as far as elves went. Tall and broad shouldered, his body was a carefully crafted series of muscles, framed only by long lustrous white hair. His face was clean-shaven, aged only with the faintest hint of lines that led her to believe he must have been much older. With the exception of his massive size, the elf seemed almost normal. Except that his eyes, similar to Cat’s, had a blue tint to them. Swallowing down her discomfort, Cat was suddenly very aware of her nakedness in the chair. She fought to keep her eyes away from the naked elf in front of her, managing to only catch a glimpse of what she was sure he could use to bludgeon someone. If she had a pulse, her face would have been red with embarrassment. Tallion and Inquisitor Everryn worked to restrain him, in the same way Cat was restrained. He stared straight ahead, agitation written across his features. Cat attempted a friendly smile at her fellow test-subject, but was met with an icy glare in return. She turned her eyes and avoided his gaze. “We will begin by draining the amount of necessary catalyst, and then will proceed feed it directly into subject number seventeen hundred and seventy seven,” Doctor Peacebloom explained, as he inserted the same needles used on Cat into the other elf’s arms. The needles looked tiny in comparison to his massive veins. Soon the blood Cat was so familiar with began to drain from him, and into the container, which in turn drained into Cat’s body. Doctor Peacebloom approached Cat then, and placed his hand on her chest to begin the defibrillation process. He sent electric shocks into the death knight’s body, sending her reeling back into the chair repeatedly while the blood of the Shattered Son coursed through her dead veins. “Sir,” Tallion said, as he watched the familiar process of Catalinetta’s body being turned inside-out by the arcane infused blood. “Besides feeding directly from one test subject to the other, what makes this process different from our earlier attempts?” Cat clenched her teeth from the pain as she stared ahead, her eyes attempting to focus on something, anything. All she could find were the glaring eyes of the elf in front of her, as his jaw clenched with indignation. Soon, the pain became too much for her to bear silently, and the screaming began. “The difference is that today, we are introducing another element to the experiment,” Doctor Peacebloom explained, approaching Inquisitor Everryn. As always, the Inquisitor stood with Catalinetta’s runeblade axe strapped to his hip. “Foolishly, I did not consider that a death knight’s physiology is not limited to their own corpse. Of course, death knights are provided with weapons upon their rebirth. These weapons contain elements of the death knight’s essence, perhaps a portion of their soul, and enable the death knight to do any number of things. Regeneration, for example. Death knights who specialize in blood magic can use their axe to feed upon blood in order to regenerate themselves infinitely.” Tallion looked curiously toward the doctor. “So… you will feed his blood to her axe?” “Not quite so simple as that,” Peacebloom said with a chuckle, extending his hand to the Inquisitor. “While she is being fed on his blood in our usual way, and her body regenerates, I will simultaneously use her axe to feed on the Shattered Son directly. I hypothesize that this combination will allow for maximum saturation of his self-sustaining blood, and will therefore create a permanent result.” Inquisitor Everryn handed Doctor Peacebloom the axe. The doctor tested its weight, and held it up toward the light to study the runes. Cat’s screams were slowly beginning to die down as her throat was torn apart and rebuilt. “Quite heavy,” he mused, approaching the two elves strapped down to their chairs. “Of course, we needn’t worry about permanent damage. The regenerative blood will allow for a full recovery once we have tested my theory.” Tallion’s eyes went from the huge restrained elf to the axe as realization suddenly hit him. “…sir?” “Take notes, Tallion,” the Doctor instructed, holding up the axe. “We will see if my theory proves correct.” With a strange amount of grace, the axe fell forward, biting directly into Draco’s chest and ribcage. In its descent, the Axe struck with deathly precision not expected from a man of a more scholarly profession. The weight added to the devastation upon flesh before it eagerly bit and drank into its victim’s unique blood that was being infused into its owner. Lethal Force Detected. The Arcane Intelligence designated as Vindicator announced within the head of the giant elf. Retaliation Authorized. WARNING: No Weapon Detected. The Shattered Son grunted in pain as his ribcage threatened to collapse upon itself, the blood splatter beginning to spray. Assessing Assets… Assets Detected. Advanced Fleshcrafting Found. Thick strains expelled forward, yet un-breaking from its host. Blood Manipulation Authorized. “And now we await the resear--Why are you smirking?” Doctor Peacebloom looked at his assistant. “Why is he smirking?” A terrible mistake. Instead of the blood separating from its host, it instead altered its projection. In an instant, the once viscous fluid altered its shape as it altered the flow of its momentum, forming blades; Blades that aimed and then sawed through his arm at the elbow, devouring the blood as he screamed in both terror and agony. But that was far from all. As it converted his life fluids to his own use, the shaped more blades—directed at his shackles. The resulting sound would be like four gunshots firing simultaneously, all four of the blades moving in such a speed that they broke the sound barrier in their assault upon the Shattered Son’s restraints. The Doctor continued to scream in horror at his missing forearm, the Blood Knight pressed a button to activate some sort of alarms, and the Doctor’s research assistant ran. Those were the threat levels in order. Thus that would be the order they would be handled. As soon as he was free, he took advantage of the chaos to strike at the doctor. A punch, albeit slightly pulled as not to kill him, would hit him directly within the jaw. The man would recoil, trying to muster up some feeble defense to stop the Shattered Son, no doubt. But he wouldn’t be granted the chance. The next strike was the Shattered Son’s knee to the man’s chest, knocking the wind out of him before granting a swift end to the conflict as he combined his fists into a single blow upon his back. Threat One Eliminated. Next Target would engage within the very moment he eliminated the first. Too slow to protect his charge, but the Shattered Son had to commend him in his reaction and eagerness to engage. There was a reason he looked down upon the more heavy stance required to wield a two handed weapon. The Shattered Son was a being made of regeneration and undeath, simply used his fist to strike at the blade to hinder its intended trajectory. His post-mortem strength proved enough to for the “Inqusitor’s” off hand to remove itself from the weapon. The weaker hand, as expected, though that was enough. Pain was enough. As his hand removed itself from his weapon, the Shattered Son grabbed it before moving with the momentum to force it in the wrong direction. He only let it go when he could hear the satisfying crunch as it broke between his strength and the weight of the armor. Unfortunately for the Knight, it wasn’t enough. He let go, but he was still armed. The Shattered Son refused to relent, taking the obviously broken wrist, and using the momentum to continue his assault. He moved, unencumbered, behind the Knight as he gripped him before using his strength against Everryn and struck at his shoulder next. The man screamed at the two pronged attack before letting loose his weapon long enough for The Shattered Son to grip and rip it away from him before gripping it with both hands and strike at the back of the Knight’s head, denting the helmet as he knocked him out. Two down, one to go. According to his estimates, the combat could not have proven to take longer than two minutes. Most likely less than that. The Shattered Son let go of the blade of the weapon as he twisted his wrist to grasp the hilt as it began to fall towards the ground. The third target had already begun his retreat, the blast doors had begun to close themselves as the alarm blares within his ears. He gripped the weapon. This was not ideal, being naked… but at least he wasn’t unarmed. The weapon wasn’t particularly significant, though it was better than your standard affair. He looked to his next target as he gave a practice swing. He had a decent lead, but the Shattered Son figured he could catch up to him still. End the last witness, then escape the attempted slavery of himself. There was one miscalculation, however, as he sprinted toward the quickly towards the rapidly closing doors as an alarm blared about the ‘Containment Breach’. He ignored the aggravating pain as much as he could as the Axe devoured his blood as he tried to grab for the fleeing target, his right arm outstretched, only to be caught in the doors as they slammed shut in order to contain the Threat. He could feel the metal grip at his arm, crushing it to the point his grip on the other side was useless even if he were to catch the researcher. He growled in aggravation as he began to pull away from the door. He could hear the bone crack in protest as his unholy strength tried to pull him away. The Agony got worse as his muscles were stripped in order to grant him freedom. At least it was his right arm, his shield arm. Not his left. He growled and snarled in agony as he felt the consequences for his freedom. He didn’t care. He looked down at the blade that slowed him down, and the girl strapped to the other chair. With his left hand, his only hand at the moment, he gripped at the hilt of the axe until he was able to release it from his person. He looked at the woman for a moment, using the Arcane Intelligence in his head to calculate the movements of his next action before throwing the battleaxe back at her, destroying one of her bindings. He growled a quick order, “Free yourself. And be quick about it, we do not have much time to make our escape.” In the several minutes that the Shattered Son spent fighting the Inquisitor, the Doctor, and having his arm ripped off, Cat was spending in recovery from the experiment. The flesh crafting was never a short ordeal; it took her body time to rebuild itself from scratch, and this was no different. By the time she watched her runeblade axe come flying toward one of her arm restraints, the death knight was breathing deeply with new lungs, her mind buzzing with thoughts that were not her own. Something about threats to be eliminated. Memories of the Lich King’s voice stirred in Catalinetta, and she brought a shaky hand toward her forehead to steady herself. It was then that she became terribly aware of her situation; naked, still strapped to a chair, as a huge naked man stood a few yards away with one of his arms stuck in a door. Grabbing the axe with her free hand, Cat began the process of freeing herself. It did not take long, and her axe seemed “happy” with its latest meal. She cast a passing glance toward the unconscious doctor and Inquisitor before running to the big naked man and raising her axe. “…should I uh… take care of that?” The man growled and snarled like a beast caught in a trap, his bones making threats of snapping as he continued to try to pull his right arm free. “They will live, if we get out of here in time. Help me get this door open.” Cat nodded and grabbed one of the doors with her free hand. Despite the breathing and the heartbeat, she noticed immediately that her death knight strength was still with her. She pulled on one of the doors, forcing the gears to break, an obnoxious squeal sounding as she pulled it away from the naked guy's arm. As Cat pushed one way, the man pushed the other thick metal sheet that comprised the door the opposite direction with his good arm. He grunted as his arm fell free, mangled and useless—for now. The Death Knight attempted to avoid her eyes from the obvious, but it was nearly impossible. She cleared her throat and held her axe to her chest, attempting in vain to shield herself. "..w-what do we do?" She asked, panicked. "They're going to come after us if we leave. They know who we are, don't they??" The Shattered Son didn’t even seem to notice the potentially lewd situation before them; his mind was distracted with the threat before them. “They can try.” His left arm held the mangled one, his blood slithering from the wound to begin rethreading the muscles back into place. The air vents in the room would begin to hum before a fog started to roll from it. The male looked at the event that was about to play out. “Hm. Likely some sort of airborne sedative. We have to move.” Cat didn't bother to hide her discomfort, or her fear. She followed behind the "Shattered Son", running despite her constant worry. "O-okay, but where are we going to go??" She asked as they attempted to make their escape. "Out." "But...” She didn't bother asking again. He seemed to focus on the goal of escape, and that is what they would do. Their bare feet slapped against metal as the two naked elves ran through the Scryers' base, winding their way around staircases until they were met with a wall of Blood Knights blocking their way. "..Oh gaddamn it." "Great, more Children that wish to play Hero." The Shattered Son growled. "How many can you take?" Cat sighed. "All of them." “Good.” His voice resounded with what sounded like approval, perhaps even a hint of being impressed. A memory flashed within his mind. He knew what he had to do. Behind the patrol of Knights before them was the checkpoint, the giant set of doors that separated this quarter of the military complex from its central hub. That was where they needed to go. That would be their ticket to freedom. “You handle them. I will open that door.” Typically in a fight, she would at least have her armor to shield herself. Cat’s fighting style relied on her ability to take blows, and without armor, that meant relying on her abilities as a Death Knight. With a deep breath in her new lungs, she summoned forth the power granted to her by the Lich King, and drew from her body the strength of her own bones to shield herself. With her body shielded, she took a running leap and slammed her axe into the ground below the Blood Knights. A rune spread throughout the area, glowing a sickly red color that game off the telltale odor of rot. The Shattered Son waited for her to be primed and to begin to lay her cover fire for his workload in their partnership to begin. He set himself lower to the ground, summoning the darker energies that helped bind the world together to enhance his sprint towards the security door that held this side’s terminal. The putrid smell of death and decay was as good a sign as any. As she advanced, she would likely be caught unaware of his speed behind her, granting him the chance to smack down a Blood Knight before the naked girl with the axe murdered him—saving his life before leaping over the man towards the door. He would have to keep an eye on her as he worked it seemed. Cat stumbled back as the smaller security door was thrown, missing her by a few scant inches. The metal crumpled between her and her would-be victim as she turned to her naked companion and blinked in shock. He ignored her for the time being, quickly accessing the Arcane Matrix of the terminal, the massive double doors containing them rumbled open. The door was open. They were that much closer towards freedom. And she didn’t see the point in arguing. “Whatever,” she said dismissively, rushing to follow him as he headed into the central room of their enclosure. “Let’s just get the hell out of here!” “Agreed.” He walked into the room, scanning the area for a moment. The area was massive, and unfamiliar. A strange sensation when it came to Scryer technology and facilities. He would normally like to study his surroundings further—a lay of the land could prove a valuable asset in terms of tactical command. But there was no time. This was only accentuated by the blaring voice that echoed and surrounding them. “THE SHATTERED SON HAS ESCAPED. I REPEAT THE SHATTERED SON HAS ESCAPED. LEATHAL FORCE AUTHORIZED. DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO LEAVE SOL-ONE.” “Great.” The Son grunted. “We do not have much time. Do you see the central ring?” He pointed to it; there was an odd design upon it. “Get there and stay put. That is our ticket home; I just need to activate it with favorable coordinates. Do you understand?” Cat jumped at the voice and clutched her axe. Turning to face her companion, she seemed both panicked and eager to fight. “Lethal force, he says! Alright fine, I’ll go, just be careful!” “As soon as I set it, I will join you.” He nodded. His voice was less that of a gruff order than he had generally spoken. He waited for her to get to safety before heading into position, his eyes tracing her curves as sped as a blur of flesh, ebon hair and her bleeding axe sped to her commanded spot. He didn’t like how long his eyes lingered, grunting in disproval before heading to the final terminal that was required for freedom. His mind refocused on the task at hand. “Almost free…” The Shattered Son sprinted towards the command terminal, pausing only when he got before it. The other three Quarters within the complex had begun to open. That would have to be the first thing to stop. But how? He awaited a flash of memory as how to activate this device, one of which he hadn’t seen this particular model of before. Knights and Golems were visible now. Come on Vindicator; show me what you have… Before him the screen started to light up. A button labeled ‘Emergency Lockdown’ would appear. That would do. He pressed the button. The doors slammed themselves shut once more. A powerful ward activated on each door, but the Teleporter shut down. That doesn’t work. What now? ‘Teleporter Override’. He activated that button, the lights flaring up around Cat at the central ring once more. It was back online. Coordinates… Strange. Location? Unavailable. At the sight, he could hear Cat panicking from the central ring. She held her axe close against her chest as she shouted to him. “Hey!” Her voice was cracking. “Don’t leave me here by myself!” He didn’t answer, but she did distract him from what he was doing momentarily as he looked down at her location. She was safe. But then he began to hear the violent hissing and crackling of arcane energy being released to his right. He had to hurry; they were running out of time. Map of warzone area: Broken Isles. A map appeared before his eyes, he took his finger and traced where he wanted to teleport them to. He took a moment to consider where one may think he may head depending on the location chosen. He tapped on the map. Val’sharah. If he had any luck, he could find someone who owed him a few favors. Activate Teleporter on a timer 00:02:00. After teleportation, delete entry in datalog. He hoped this would make them less traceable, he couldn’t be sure. He braced himself to sprint once more. Activate. The timer started its countdown…
  4. Last week
  5. Time Shattered

    The bartender may be correct. If I am playing their game, I may be helping them, at least in the short term. I don't believe I am, yet. But if I am to get what I want, I will have to eventually. I must reconsider this. I am always reconsidering this. It made sense in days gone by. It does not make sense any longer. But if it works? If it plays out well? If it plays out in our favor? Even if I help them in the short term, if it ultimately erases them, or even just sows chaos and discord within them? It could be worth years upon years of toil and agony. I will move slowly. I will keep this to the edges. I will not ingratiate myself with their core, only with the periphery. A step here, a greeting there, a gift here, a compliment there, but all the while being who I have always been, insulting them profusely, never letting them think I've truly changed, only that I have a side they did not know, without ever betraying myself and my truths. I can do that. Can't I? Maybe I can't. I still don't know that this is worth the risk. If I were sensible, I would put it all aside while I still can. Unfortunately, it seems I want the possible outcome of it all more than an appeal to good sense would say is reasonable. Not so bad, hm? Oh, how wrong you are. If you can be offended by someone as ludicrous as Nathandiel, I am far, far worse, because I don't use lies to cause offense. I use the truth, and it stings much harder. That in itself is a lie. I do the same as the lunatic. I use lies to provoke, to cause and abuse reactions. I'm simply less vile and more arrogant in the play. To detest all men to the point of violence and not love women in their stead is a curious place for a woman to be? I can understand it, but in my experience, such people have been rare indeed. She only thinks I'm not as bad because I offered to help her kill him if the situation should arise. And because she didn't hear what I would have said of her father after knowing the rest of the story. I never expected to end up discussing the Barov witch ever again. I hadn't even noticed the parallels-- How could I have noticed the parallels? She never informed me of them. In retrospect, those seem like important details, but also in retrospect, I actively avoided asking her connections to the victim she sent me after. I knew something was off, but I expected family or friendship, not... this. Did we kill the Barov? We must have killed the Barov. The Bronze stole this from me. We did. We did, yes? We did. How else could we have retrieved the shard? But I didn't? I wasn't there. Acherontia did it for me. I remember Karazhan. I remember the spellwork to keep her silenced and hearing only silence. I remember the intensity and the difficulty of maintaining it week after week. Wait, I was there. We did it together? I told her I would come alone and then did not. Was that how it went? There was someone else there? No, that was something else. Why can't I remember? I know why I can't remember. I hate fishing for these vague fractured memories that promise nothing. I regained some of what Ninorra did, but this is still lost. Yet... Didn't they happen at the same time? In the same...
  6. Peace No Longer

    Syreena watched Symorick as he showed some signs of life, or at least animation. Would it work? He had been a Paladin in life, and she had always thought that Paladins had some protection from things like this. Malkaris did mention that it would make this more difficult. But the Paladin had also been infested with fel, so the Light had failed him at least one point. Maybe the fel had left him corrupted enough that this would work. She studied him, waiting for him to wake up with an equal mixture of anticipation and concern. If this worked, would it be as planned? Would Symorick be docile and obedient as promised, or would he be as dangerous to her in undeath as he was in life? Or maybe he’d be completely mad after being dead for so long, his mind twisted beyond functioning. She could only wait and see, and hope that Malkaris’s skill in necromancy was as good as he claimed. She had no reason to doubt him, really. Although the Grim warlocks were notoriously untrustworthy and self-serving, most of them were also quite skilled at their job. Finally, Symorick suddenly let out a hacking cough and tried to move, fighting to get his joints to work. “And here I was thinking whatever it was wouldn’t work,” Qabian said with a smirk as his attention was drawn to the stirring corpse. “Then I would have had to kill Malkaris,” Syreena answered mildly, without taking her gaze from Symorick. “Necromancy, while not my favorite bag of toys to play with, is the one I’m most proficient in,” Malkaris argued. The ritual had obviously taken its toll on the warlock though. He seemed a bit wobbly on his feet, and his skin was a much paler shade of elf. “If you ever need a new dog, Qabian….” The mage shuddered. “I had one. Once was enough.” Symorick groaned, trying to open his eyes. “What…what is going on?” Syreena crouched over him, urging him to wake up and making sure her patchwork stitched face filled his field of vision before he managed to get his eyes open. “Do you remember me?” “How could I forget your gorgeous face,” he coughed, recognizing her unmistakable visage even through the changes it had undergone since he’d last seen her. Qabian glanced between Syreena and Symorick with a look of confusion. “You broke it,” he stage-whispered to Malkaris, who was confused as well, but also intrigued. “I’m not that out of practice….I think.” Malkaris used his reality ripping staff of destruction and mayhem as a leaning post, clearly tired from what he’d pulled off here. “Good. Because you are mine now,” Syreena informed Symorick. “And as you and your Professor once tried to make me kill my own people, so now you will hunt yours.” “As you wish,” the dead man responded automatically. A look of frustration grew on his face. He carefully examined his body. “What am I? What have you done to me?” “You’re dead, or I guess…undead. Just like a Forsaken.” “And I am to obey you?” “Without question,” Syreena confirmed. “If you resist, you’ll be filled with horrible pain.” She gave Malkaris a brief nod as he wearily took his leave. “And what if I were to try and kill you?” Symorick inquired. “You can’t. You missed your chance to torture and kill me years ago. You don’t get to do it now. You’re bound to me now.” Syreena grinned cruelly. “Now it’s my turn to torture you.” “You know nothing of torture,” Symorick stated. He actually laughed at her. “Then you will teach me,” she informed him. “Using yourself as the subject.” “I thought this was torture?” “Is it? How does it feel? A former Paladin, Scarlet…now you’re Forsaken.” “It…I feel like I lost something,” he admitted. “I can no longer hear the Light’s call.” “Good.” Syreena didn’t tell him she intended for him to be reacquainted with the Light again very soon. “You will hunt and kill Alliance every day. And once a day, you’ll report to the Grim guild hall to tell me how many you’ve killed.” Symorick nodded, but Syreena continued. “All Alliance. None are spared. Especially not the Aegis or the Empire, should you see any of them.” “That was easy,” Qabian said with a smirk at the new undead. Symorick looked at the elf, seeming to just notice him there. Syreena saw the look and issued further orders. “No hunting, hurting, or killing any Grim. Or any Horde, for that matter…except Sanctuary.” “I have lost everything twice in my life—friends family, and the Light," Symorick told her. "I need not a third chance, but I feel compelled…” “I don’t care what you lost,” Syreena hissed at him hatefully. “I nearly lost myself because of you and your friends.” “My ‘friends’ left me to die in the hands of demons. There is no love there any longer.” “Here’s a secret,” Qabian said with amusement. “There never was any.” “is that why you had so much fel in you…” Syreena mused. “I was possessed by some dreadlord, a passenger in my own body.” “I feel sorry for the dreadlord.” Syreena sneered. “I imagine he is dead, if I was buried, so I do too,” Symorick said. “A shame I had no hand in it.” “I’m glad it killed you.” Syreena thought a moment, then added, “Though I also regret it wasn’t me that killed you.” “Is that why you didn’t leave it in the ground?” Qabian asked. Syreena didn’t answer him, but thought sometimes the elf was too perceptive for his own good. “The Alliance heads will be yours, Syreena," Symorick promised. "Please do leave the method to me. I prefer to make it last. It has been quite a long time since I have tortured anyone.” “Do as you please with the Alliance. And with Sanctuary, if you catch any of them. Just save any elf ears for me.” “Of course,” Symorick said with a chuckle. “If this fails, and he leads some charge of filth to our doorstep, we kill Malkaris?” Qabian suggested to Syreena. The rogue considered and then nodded; the warlock would be a suitable scapegoat should this go badly. “How long have I been dead?” Symorick asked. Syreena pointed to the dates on the gravestone. “Geo is dead too, and I have the Shard.” Syreena briefly considered giving the Shard to Symorick, not even knowing that the girl once tried to use her influence to put Syreena herself into the former Inquisitor’s hands. “He was a fool, blind and careless,” Symorick said of Geo. “The others are smart and will be well hidden.” “That’s what they always think,” Qabian said. “If you ever find them, kill Morg quick if you want, but Marrus….. Make him suffer a slow and horrible death.” Bitterness laced her tone as she spoke of the professor. “Well, get to work. Unless Qabian has further business with you. I have work to do.” “Risky business, taking an enemy out of the ground. But I did it once, and she never did turn,” Qabian said to Syreena when she bid him goodnight. She made a mental note to ask him about that later. Then the mage turned to the undead man. “Go kill them all.” As Syreena took her leave, part of her was pleased to have a new tool for the Mandate that seemed to eager to kill her enemies. Another part of her felt cheated out of seeing him suffer. She'd expected him to hate his new self, or resist killing his former guildmates. Well, there were other ways to make him suffer, she assured herself.
  7. Peace No Longer

    THUNK! Khorvis grunted as the shovel hit something solid through the wet dirt. It had started raining, a light drizzle but with the promise of heavier downfall to come. “Here do be your stiff, Shadowblade. Felmancer.” Malkaris, who had been planning out his ritual, peered into the hole and let out a small laugh. “Weeell then.” “What’s funny?” Syreena asked. Malkaris scratched his head. “He’s uh….” “He’s dead?” Syreena suggested, suddenly wondering at the warlock’s soundness of mind. “Energetically confused,” Malkaris corrected. “I can feel faint traces of two opposing energies in what’s left of him. There were faint whispers of how the Ebon Blade tried to raise a powerful paladin, and how it failed, so I’ve heard along the grapevine. He’s no paragon of the Light or whatever, but there is Fel, and lots of it mixed up in that holy soup of his. How much is this worth to you?” By that question, Syreena got the feeling this may be more dangerous than she expected. She also didn’t care. She wasn’t giving up her chance at revenge on one of the Alliance involved in holding her captive a couple years ago. “It’s worth it. No backing out now. I want him.” Malkaris gave her a look that was part concern and part curiosity, as if she were a crazy person and he wondered what she would do next. “Good,” he said as he tossed her fingernail aside. “I’ll need something stronger. More substantial.” “Like what?” Syreena asked, frowning. “That’s up to you. But if you want control of this thing we’ll be raising, it needs a direct link to you. I assume you’ll want this creature to be capable of its own thought, but bound to your will, yes?” “Yes,” she confirmed with a wicked gleam in her eyes. “I want him to remember what he was.” As the little rogue searched her person for something, after firmly refusing to let Malkaris take one of her few remaining memories of the man they were trying to raise, Malkaris turned his attention to Khorvis, who had been communing with the earthen spirits of Tirisfal. “Khorvis, tell me…when you commune with the spirits, do they ever ask anything of you?” Khorvis reached out with the fury of his spirit while responding to the felmancer. “Aye, there do always be conflict. But we Grim do not relent.” The coffin suddenly splintered, and the roiling earth dragged the human up out of the hole, along with everything else he was buried with. Syreena gathered several items that were tossed up from the grave and slipped them into her pack. Then she frowned in thought and held something up to Malkaris. “Would this work?” She held up a pale purple gem, given to her by Lomani some time ago. “A friend gave this to me. She said this kind of stone is good for soothing the soul. I keep it with me always. Will it work?” Malkaris looked at the purple gem curiously. “That’ll do perfectly actually.” Syreena tossed him the gem, though with obvious reluctance. He rolled it about in his palm, his look thoughtful. “Yes….yes, this will work well.” Khorvis crossed his arms, letting the rain soak through his leathers. The storm above paled in comparison to the turbulence he felt concerning this strange ritual. Malkaris threw some poultices into a green fel fire he had started under the tree, and pulled out a sharp knife. He looked over the corpse trying to see what parts were sturdy and which parts were…decidedly not. After a brief moment, he jabbed the knife into the corpse, just below the navel. Content with the depth, he took the gem and stuck his hand in with it. His arm moved about a little as he fit the gem to the coccyx. Khorvis retreated a step, keeping a sharp lookout for…whatever his imagination may have been conjuring. Once content with the stone’s placement, Malkaris withdrew his hand and waved it through the felfire again. “This will be your anchor,” the warlock explained to Syreena. “Your will will be his will….when you choose it to be, in any case.” Khorvis grimaced and threw his shield to the ground. He rubbed his forearm, as if it were burned. His shield was icy cold. “And if the gem is ever cut out of him?” Syreena asked. “Will I lose control of him then?” “Possibly,” Malkaris said as he pulled some other tools out. “This will ensure obedience, but like most abused animals, it will take time before he realizes he has a will of his own, in the event that does happen. You’ll uh…wanna make sure that doesn’t happen.” He flashed both of his companions a smile before etching runes of necromancy into the corpse, each one lighting up with baleful light before fading, looking like nothing more than scarification. “Hush, human. Your spirit has a home in the cage of pain, hm?” Malkaris was hushing someone that probably wasn’t even there. Maybe. Khorvis growled, his tusks flashing in the crackle of the sky’s lightning display. “I have seen enough. Raise your plaything, Shadowblade. I do know this game too well to wish to see the ending.” The old orc shook his head and drifted away, heralded by spirit wolves on an astral tide. Malkaris complained that Khorvis would miss the best part. Syreena watched him leave, knowing she would probably hear about this later, but for now, she put her concerns aside to focus on the ritual. Malkaris was talking about her dropping some blood over where he placed the gem. She took the knife he offered her, and sliced open her palm. Making a fist over Symorick’s belly, she forced a few drops of blood to fall over where the gem was. “He will kill Alliance, as he once healed them,” Syreena said, staring at the corpse as her blood soaked into him. “He will torture the humans, as he once tortured the undead.” “That’s for sure,” Malkaris agreed. “This creature is going to be a nightmare.” Continuing the ritual, Malkaris placed his palm on the corpse’s forehead and growled an incantation in his native birth tongue, the elven words coming out somehow darker and more savage than one would expect from a silky elven language. The words gained pace, and his own spectral form was wreathed in darkness, wisp light, and sorrow. “Don’t struggle now, little child. The Light will not save you from this.” As he murmured to the corpse, he dug one of his fingers into its left eye socket, teasing out the man’s soul by pushing it out, like a pimple, with his own energies. He extended a hand to Syreena. “This may get a little weird, but I need you to grasp my hand.” “I think this means we’re dating,” he teased, after she closed her fingers around his. Before any protest, he drew on some of the energy of what remained of her soul, and directed it into the corpse, establishing a bond between the gem, the dead, and the master. The corpse convulsed as it began to awaken, groaning faintly, as if from a long distance as his soul was drawn back into its new pain chamber. Malkaris removed his hands from Symorick’s body and stood up, patting himself off and then kicking dirt onto the fel campfire. Syreena wiped her hands on her leggings and watched the waking body. “It’s done?” “When it finally rises, it’s up to you how you want it to see the world. Loss, hope…that’s on you. It will know it lost something. It will start to remember somewhat. You can direct it. Just….don’t direct it at me. Also! Our souls touched slightly. Don’t be surprised if you start having dreams involving my childhood or whatever.” “What?” Syreena asked sharply. But the warlock only gave her a wide grin. Qabian had arrived at some point during the ritual, but had remained quietly observant until it was obvious the deed was done. “Mischief, I assume?” the elf asked as he stalked up to the pair. “Oh. You know,” Malkaris answered. “A little bit of light necromancy. Raising dead people. Making soul puppets. The usual.” Malkaris went on with Syreena about the things she might see because of their brief connection during the ritual. She was not pleased. “Everything has a price,” he informed her. “Reminding me why I don’t mess with…” Qabian motioned at the ground between the two of them, where the corpse still lay unmoving. “…that.” “It was a rare opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Syreena said. “I’m sure.” Malkaris and Qabian bickered a bit, but Syreena ignored them. She was focused on the waking corpse, waiting to play with her new “puppet” as Qabian referred to it.
  8. Time Shattered

    I'm more concerned than I expressed. There is so much risk to raising an enemy that is otherwise comfortably harmless as a corpse. And this one has retained far more of its memory and self than the one I did. Mine was nothing, an empty headed marionette, a body, mindless but mobile, a joke to be had at her expense, not a lesson for her to learn. This one has a taste for something, knows who it was. He might not think they'll listen to him, but they don't need to see what he's become to be manipulated by him. Perhaps he's not smart enough to do that. Perhaps he won't feel the desire. Perhaps Malkaris' work will be sufficient. Too much perhaps. These matters should have a certainty to them or be left alone. But who am I to tell her what to do? I can understand that she wouldn't see death as an impediment to revenge, especially if she didn't get to deal it herself. After all, she wasn't allowed to rest. Why should he be? Then there's the whole idea that burying mostly whole corpses in this world, in that ground especially, is asking for a sequel. If you want it to be dead and stay dead, ashes on the wind or at least a thousand pieces that can't be sewn back together, especially the insides of the skull. But not this one, no. It's not like anyone in their right mind is bothered by desecration. Better to put it through a meat grinder than risk the necromancers getting their hands on it, hm? Especially when the corpse once held a dreadlord? If he speaks the truth, whoever buried him was stupid beyond stupid, or planning for this, neither of which are particularly heartening regarding this turning out well in the end. When I die, I'm coming back to torture whoever's responsible for failing to burn the body. With luck, I'll have the chance to be sure of it myself before it's too late. Curious to see if she'll enjoy my puzzle or hate it. I'm rather more afraid of the former than the latter. Always better to be underestimated.
  9. Peace No Longer

    “Malkaris, report to the Inquisitor’s office. Now.” Syreena’s voice over the hearthstone carried a sense of urgency and authority not often heard from the little rogue. She was pacing behind her desk when the warlock arrived. Despite her impatience, she resisted the urge to just drag him with her to the Monastery and order him to do what she wanted. After all, this wasn’t a typical Grim task she was about to ask him for. Instead, she thanked him for coming and told him she needed a favor. Malkaris raised a brow curiously and there was a playful twinge at the corner of his mouth. “I see by your look, you’re willing to listen to it.” “I’m all ears,” the elf said. And with that, he pulled out a pouch containing a few elf ears. “Qabian wanted me to give that to you, by the way.” For once, Syreena was more interested in the task at hand than in adding to her collection of ears, so she got straight to the point. “If I remember correctly, you have some skills in…making the dead live again.” The warlock stiffened slightly, glancing around unconsciously but slowly, but his curiosity deepened, and his smile widened. “I’ve been known to dabble….” “What is your success rate?” the Shadowblade asked him. “Depends on the task. What would you like me to do?” Syreena arched a brow, feeling her impatience rising again. “Isn’t it obvious?” Malkaris grinned and shrugged. “Well. There’s m ore to the art than just making dead things walk or do a dance. There are requirements, depending. Do you want whatever it is that you’re looking to raise to feel? To remember figments, not enough to know, but enough to torment?” “Oh, I definitely want to torment,” she confirmed. A frost gale blustered through to the office. The tinkle of bone chimes resounded with the sound of footsteps. Syreena looked up and nodded to Khorvis. “Lasher,” she said in the way of greeting. Malkaris also nodded to the orc. “Shadowblade,” he grunted, with a mix of admiration and vitriol. Syreena and Malkaris continued the conversation, going over details. Then Khorvis, having watched the two concoct their plot with an obvious air of distaste, spoke up. “That does sound like something unnatural to me, felmancer. Of whom the fel do you speak?” But it was Syreena who answered. “Symorick Tyrrell. I found his grave. Will you help us dig him up?” “Let me be clear,” Khorvis answered, as he stroked the twin braids of his beard. “I do not know who the fel you still speak of. Will this aid the Mandate?” Although Syreena was disappointed that Khorvis didn’t remember the name, she answered confidently. “Yes. He will kill many Alliance.” Malkaris looked between the two. “For the record, I don’t particularly care if it does or not. It’ll be nice to raise a corpse or two for a change.” Khorvis stomped to his feet. “Fine. Even after so many years here on Azeroth, my Common still do be the stuff of hellboar shit. Tyrrell sounds like a name we may have crossed. I will find a shovel.” Khorvis went off to find a shovel, and the other two left the office as well, still talking details. “Can you do anything to make him be my pet and do whatever I say?” she asked. “That I can,” the warlock answered. “But if you want absolute obedience, I need something of you. A piece of you—a memory, body part, something with meaning…” He pointed at her one remaining ear. “No,” she said quickly. He held up his hands in a “don’t stab the messenger” fashion. “Necromancy ever has been an art of give and take. The more you give, or…borrow, the more you can take.” The little rogue bit off a chunk of a fingernail and gave it to Malkaris. “That do?” Khorvis returned with a shovel. “Where do be the grave of this Tyrrell?” “The Scarlet Monestary cemetery.” “Shall we then?” Malkaris suggested, and the three departed to go gravedigging.
  10. Peace No Longer

    The previous afternoon, Syreena had run out of grave moss while working on an alchemy project. She’d already harvested what was in the Andorhal graveyard, but the moss didn’t grow anywhere in abundance, not even in graveyards, and Andorhal did not provide enough of the stuff to meet the needs of her project. Now, shortly after midnight, she searched for moss in the cemetery of the Scarlet Monastery. Although she was on her guard, she moved with ease. What little that might remain of the fanatical organization here were mostly asleep inside, and she was not disturbed as she pulled moss from tree trunks and gravestones in the moonlight. As she reached for a bit of the fuzzy plant from one headstone, however, her hand paused inches from the stone, and her head tilted to the side as she stared at the carved words before her, her expression suddenly grown cold with hatred. Symorick O. Tyrrell Paladin of the Light ~He burned brightest so we did not have to~ The date on the stone indicated that the man died just before the Legion invasions started. “I’m not even going to feel bad about what Sym’s going to do to you,” a smug human voice echoed in her mind. It was followed by an elven voice, laden with the usual arrogance along with something that might have been awe. “Ah…The famed Scarlet Inquisitor.” Her memories of that time had been scrambled, erased, retrieved, and repaired with varying degrees of success. But the Forsaken were a willful race, and with great effort, she could recall some of the details of her time spent as a prisoner of the Alliance. Now, as she stared with mounting rage at the name before her, she heard the Inquisitor’s own voice, cold and hard and lacking any empathy. “The next time I see you, I will not be so kind.” “Well, here I am, you fellin’, torturing, monster of the Light,” Syreena growled. “And there you are.” Although she was not actually tortured or questioned by the dead man that lay under the stone she was crouched in front of, the threat of him was used often against her during her imprisonment. The threat alone was effective though, especially after meeting him one night there. He towered over her, so she was face to face with a Scarlet tabard worn over a shirt that still bore the red splatter marks of his recent work. “See something you like?” he asked when he noticed her staring at the tabard. “Nothing I haven’t seen before,” she replied simply, minding her tongue. She knew firsthand what Scarlet Inquisitors were capable of, and this one could wield the Light. In the graveyard, Syreena muttered to herself. “Two down, three to go.” And one of those three was indirectly under her influence, even if she couldn’t outright kill her right now. She gripped and regripped her daggers in agitation. It pleased her to know yet another of her tormentors was dead. She wondered how he died. She hoped it was a horrible, painful death, and she was disappointed that she didn’t get to see it. Now, he lay at rest in a peaceful cemetery, under a tree with moonlight filtering down to his grave. She felt cheated. The man was dead, true, but her desire for vengeance on him was left unfulfilled. Or was it? Her eyes narrowed, a telltale sign that the little rogue’s brain was working. After some time had passed, a slow grin twisted her patchwork face and bared her filed pointy teeth as she stood up. “Paladin of the Light, Inquisitor of the Crusade, Doctor of the Aegis,” she crooned wickedly. “You will rest in peace no longer.” Satisfied with her idea, she made her way out of the cemetery and headed for Brill to put her plan into motion.
  11. Earlier
  12. Time Shattered

    I'm not entirely sure why I went back. After the dead man left, I expected there to be nothing worth hearing, just a rambling goblin that apparently some Grim paid a handsome sum at one time or another despite his complete lack of good sense and a terrified illusion, jumping at her own shadow. And I did have to go watch that ridiculous play. It was interesting, but yes, ridiculous. But hours later after checking the auction house, thinking I'd move to the top level and eavesdrop without anyone noticing, there was already drama unfolding. Apparently already over, but unfolding for me at least. I didn't intend to appear as some sort of protector. I've been accused of that with some frequency in the past, but I dislike it and it has never been my role. I did want to make them think twice about attacking, but not because I planned to get between her and danger. If anything, I intended to play the amplifier. If there was about to be chaos, I intended to double it. That is all. But the shadow rabbit wasn't wrong. The Grim do tend to protect their own. No, not protect, but come to their aid. Fanatics know they need other fanatics to ensure their ideals thrive. I only denied confirmation because I know when we fight amongst ourselves, whatever loyalty we have to each other may as well be ash on the wind. I don't know why she seemed to think I would reveal the answers to questions she wasn't even going to ask. I don't know her. She's with Sanctuary. She's not even sin'dorei. I'd rather answer her by filling her skull with fire, but I try not to give the bartender unnecessary work. I've revealed more than is reasonable to Ninorra's child, yes, but for all that is wrong with him, and there is plenty, he is a blood elf. I had to be convinced of that, but I am now. Mostly. The illusion is no such thing. I am often inclined to admit more than I intend when someone asks me questions, but I don't simply ramble endlessly without some point to speak on. The truth is no matter how often Syreena and I trade favors, I will always owe her more than she could ever owe me. I'm the one who left. Does that mean I'll always appear at her back? Hardly. For one thing, I can't usually see her. But I also won't avoid a fray that she's involved in. I hate regrets. I hate that I have them. But I do. They're there. And that's what makes me stand beside her when someone else tries to steal property that she earned, or when someone else tries to placate anger that she earned, or whatever. And she's been through enough. I haven't. Pick on someone you haven't tortured repeatedly yet, hm? The world's worst heroes. They make us look good, and we're too busy being correct to even pretend to be good. The cow's little fire was cute, though. Red dragons, hah. All dragons are a menace to this world. Set them on fire and ride their bones. I was slightly surprised how allergic he seemed to the actual meanings of strength and courage, despite how much he babbled about them, but given how self-deprecating he was, I'm sure he's hopeless. Chooses bad company, at any rate. I... honestly didn't think Syreena's party auction was supposed to amount to anything. I thought it was simply for the amusement at the time. Get her prize money, hand out her prizes, which I then walked away with, so why would I care beyond that. She acknowledged that, too, or at least she said she didn't care what happened afterward either. I know I only paid so that the people I paid for would get nothing out of it. Apparently, the bartender thinks otherwise and believes I owe him? Coffee and books? At least give me a reason to say no outright. I was tempted to simply... play avoidance until he forgets about it, but Syreena thinks I should meet with him. Something dangerous going on? He shouldn't want my advice. He knows what kind of person I am. If he didn't before last night, he does now. I told him. I also told him I wouldn't wear the dress. Given all of that and what came up in the discussion with the Commander, maybe I should cash in on the warlock I paid for. At least get some words out of him, find out what he was thinking, if Syreena and I further consider taking over his project. The rogue is... He'll do. He's determined, intellectually curious, holds his own in a fight, and seems right in the head. He's a little too forgiving in... at least one way, but he's been advised to keep that to himself, and been advised that he might be forced to move past it to move forward, so he's prepared. He seemed a bit quick to offer his brother's life. If you want it yourself, then it's not a sacrifice, is it? That was my problem. What can I sacrifice when they already have everything of mine? But I had instructed him to think on it, so perhaps he's done that. He's already tortured himself, and he's ready to get it over with. We'll see. Moving too fast, though. There may be other tasks waiting for him. I was surprised he wanted to speak to Awatu. It fits the Trial we've decided to forego, and on his own initiative. Good for both of us. I suppose if you view the enemy as a disease to be cured, then peace at the other side seems perfectly reasonable. Syreena, however, doesn't see that any more than I do. She and I were both Alliance once. We know better. We know this doesn't have an end. We know the Mandate is just one word, not three.
  13. The small farm outside of Andorhal was coming along nicely. Syreena was pleased with the progress she was making on the herb gardens, and the workers were scheduled to start tomorrow on digging out a room under the barn for her alchemy lab. As she tended her growing herb garden, she paused to look over her land. Finally, after so many years of living in sewers and tents and inns and the guild hall, the little rogue had finally decided to buy her own place with some of the vast amounts of gold she’d accumulated over the years through various means, most of them questionable if not outright illegal. It was peaceful here, she thought, and although peaceful wasn’t normally her preferred atmosphere, it was a nice change of pace at times. It was especially welcome at her own home when she was working on her personal projects. Just as she was musing about how much progress she could make in her alchemy projects, she heard a strange tearing noise nearby and turned to see what it was. A dark purple portal was opening just a few yards away. A man stepped through the void portal, wearing dark leathers, light hair and facial hair, and a black eyepatch. One of his arms was made of an odd metal now, but Syreena’s undead flesh crawled as she recognized Geodorik Deepwater, the halfling of few words who seemed to oversee security for Eternal Aegis when she was a prisoner there. Her memories of that time were still fuzzy and incomplete, despite all attempts to remedy that, but she did have broken and distorted recollections of Geo’s hands on her as he bound her wrists behind her back, or tied her legs together so she couldn’t run, or shoved her into a cell. Now, judging by the look in his eye and the pistol in his hand, he was here for only one reason, and he wasn’t planning to wait to see it through. Armed with only a garden trowel in her hand, Syreena didn’t hesitate. She threw the little spade at Geo’s face, which was just enough distraction to jolt the revolver’s aim away from her head. She grunted as the bullet pierced her stomach instead, flowing right through her leather armor as if it weren’t even there, but at least that wouldn’t kill her there. Neither rogue wasted any energy on words. Syreena did not bother with asking why he was here, or trying to taunt him with insults, or attempting to intimidate him with threats. Though details were fuzzy, she knew without question that he was all business when dealing with her, thorough, and more than competent. As he raised the revolver for a second shot, Syreena was already in motion, rocking back on one heel to kick her other foot at Geo’s wrist. She felt the impact all the way to her hip, but the gun went sailing through the air. With the pistol gone, Geo drew two swords. As Syreena spun away, she pulled three small throwing knives from slots on her chest armor and flung them at him with deadly precision. He was quick with his swords though, and managed to deflect one of the blades. Another stuck in his armor and did no harm. The third blade, however, landed in the exposed flesh of his living arm. Syreena saw the reassuring sight of crimson blood running down his forearm as she drew two long daggers from her belt. Geo barely winced as he yanked the blade from his arm. Blood sprayed in an arc with the movement. The two stared at each other, and as one, moved in, both raising their blades for attack. Geo had the reach with the swords, but one of his arms was injured, and Syreena quickly took advantage of that, striking that arm again and again until it was near useless to the halfling. Her success did not come without a cost, however. One of her own arms was missing a chunk of flesh, her torso was pierced and sliced, and now Geo had her effectively pinned against the stone wall of the house. His demonsteel arm was raised, ready to pummel her head. He knew that was the only way to do permanent damage to a Forsaken. She ducked at the last second though, and his mechanical fist went through the wall, damaging the arm at the wrist in the process. Geo raised his sword and brought it down at Syreena’s neck, in a strike meant to decapitate the Forsaken. Her own dagger, however, had found its way under his chest piece and pierced the skin there, taking the momentum out of his swing just as it cut through the skin of her neck. Syreena thought this wound to her neck felt different somehow, but she would deal with that later. “I told you I would kill you someday,” Syreena hissed at him. In truth, she couldn’t remember saying such a thing to him, but it sounded like something she would say. Her golden glowing eyes were fixed on his face as she drove the dagger deeper up under his armor, and the tip of the blade went through his heart. This was something she would not forget. She studied him like that for a few minutes before pulling her weapon from his chest. She sheathed one dagger, but kept the other in hand, just in case of...anything. Going through Geo’s armor and pockets, she took any coins she found, as well as any other items that looked useful. The wrist of the mechanical arm was severely damaged after going through the stone wall. She was certain that house was severely damaged as well, but right now, she was more interested in the Eternal Aegis man that lay dead before her. “One down, four to go,” she said softly to herself. She finally put her dagger away and picked up one of Geo’s swords. She lifted it high and brought it down with all her strength at the weak point in the demonsteel wrist. After several tries, the blade finally cut through all the metal and the hand was free for her to take as a trophy. With the hand safely tucked into her armor, she moved to cut off Geo’s head, thinking she was way overdue in sending presents to Marrus and the rest of the Aegis. Before she had the chance to collect his head though, purple flames engulfed the body. The body was quickly consumed by the flames. When the void flames finally died out, nothing remained on the ground except a dark purple burn patch on the ground. Syreena reached up to scratch the side of her neck where Geo had cut her. She was no stranger to a variety of injuries, but this felt different. It was itchy, and, although she couldn’t see it, the color of the wound matched the purple of the patch on the ground. ((Story by Geodorik and Syreena))
  14. Wanted Lore Master

    Zarja! I remember you!
  15. Wanted Lore Master

    Blackhand was made Warchief bout six years before the Orcish horde invaded through the Dark Portal, and then was killed by Orgrim via mak'gora about 3 years after invasion; so about 9 years. Orgrim was Warchief after Blackhand's death for about five years, until he was defeated by the Alliance at the Battle of Blackrock by Turalyon. You could technically count as Warchief in name for the subsequent eleven years after the defeat since none took up the title until Thrall. So either five or sixteen years total. Thrall would become Warchief eleven years later during the interment camps uprising and Orgrim's death at Hammerfell; and remained so until Garrosh's appointment nine years later during the Cataclysm. A reign of nine years. Garrosh would rule until for about 3 years until the Siege of Orgrimmar when Vol'jin is made Warchief. Vol'jin would rule for little over a year until his death in Legion. Sylvanas currently has been Warchief for maybe 6-10 months during Legion, unknown how far BfA extends the timeline.
  16. Wanted Lore Master

    This came up recently with a few of my friends. We couldn't find an answer ourselves. How long has each warchief ruled, starting with Blackhand?
  17. Ill Will (Mature content)

    Warning: Mature content The air out in the Plaguelands was thick enough to taste, a pungent mixture of rotting meat and plantlife amongst a myriad of even less pleasant odors. He shuddered in revulsion and urged his dreadsteed to pick up its pace as he rode through the parched, grassy hills. The path he had chosen was not the easiest but it was less likely to draw attention from the living who had established dominion over the main roads. Even after a decade of warfare, the wilds still belonged to the dead and the diseased. The diseased were the reason that he had come in the first place. When the plague began to spread amongst the humans, the Mossflayer tribe had rejoiced. What group wouldn't be happy to see such misfortune befall a hated enemy? Yet their joy did not last as the very land they sought to reclaim turned into a spoiled prize. As the sickness spread amongst the humans, the land itself became tainted. The desperate need for untainted game drove the tribe into a trap created by the Scourge and their followers, leaving them as another casualty in the developing conflict. The tribe had fallen, but until their dying day they had lived on this doomed soil. If any spirits knew of disease and ruination, it was the trolls who had shuffled off their mortal coil here. For the hundredth time that hour alone he checked the charm he had crafted before beginning his voyage. The knucklebones had been taken from a human corpse and left to soak in a jar; in a cocktail of rotting sludge of plant matter, the venom of the local fauna, and strips of diseased flesh taken from the living dead themselves. He had vomited immediately when the bones had been withdrawn from the muck and even hours later with several layers of leather separating his skin from the stained bone he still felt unclean. It had taken him far too long to realize that that was how he knew it was working. When the charm no longer made him uncomfortable, he was getting further away from the entity he was tracking. A ring of dead trees surrounded a patch of yellowed grass that had been trampled flat with long dead firepit had been dug in the center. Surrounded by bones lying flat on their backs or sides it was easy to guess what had happened. No weapons had been drawn and there were no tracks leading back out of the area. The adventurers had simply gone to sleep, never to wake again. A chill up his spine followed by a wave of nausea left him dizzy. He had arrived at his destination and the momentary relief was soon buried beneath the dread of what came next. He knew not the name of the spirit he wished to bargain with nor did he have a piece of his target; all he had was the charm he used to sense it and what would ultimately be used to contain its blessing. The Amani trolls had a sense of superiority that could not be removed. The spirits here would surely be darkened by the magic that hung over the land like a shroud. His appeal would be blind and filled with guesswork and if that failed he would be at the mercy of the offended spirit. With that sobering thought, he set to work to prepare the area to appeal to the dead. The bones were not cleared from the campsite but repositioned until they were groveling before the firepit. The humiliation of a former enemy would have to be enough to stroke its ego. He withdrew a pair of vials from his pocket, one green and one red. The contents of the green vial were thick and bitter to the point that he had to force his mouth shut and swallow. His body reflexively tried to stop him, a survival instinct against ingesting poison. He would prove he was suffering and unwell, just like the land. He stripped down to his loincloth and reached into the ashes of the firepit. HIs black stained fingers were moist with some unknown filth that had mixed into the ashes. The combination of death and filth was perfect for his means, but it still made his flesh crawl as he painted patterns and symbols in black across his bare chest, arms, and legs. His body became a canvas telling a story of his desire to destroy, the spirit would know this and choose whether or not to make an appearance. He flicked a hand and reignited the firepit with a sickly green flame. Fel was almost universally despised, but the spirits of the land wallowed in sickness and corruption. The magic was merely another form of suffering for them to enjoy. The final piece of his performance came from his pack. Two curved, sickle-like knives with freshly sharpened edges. He held one in each hand, one in a reverse grip, the other in an upright grasp. To mark oneself was to pay tribute, to bleed was to pay tribute. The Loa would see just how far he was willing to go just to draw its attention. He would be damned if he did not make a lasating first impression. There was no need for subtelty. His dance began with a scream of pain as he drew the blade across his shoulder and drew a strip of hide away as easily as one would peel a carrot. The agony did not die with time, it only grew worse as the poison took hold. His veins were growing heavier and itched maddeningly from the inside. Every beat of his heart sent fire through his veins as Syreena's mixture began to spread. His movements were shaky as he high stepped and screamed around the circular clearing. He threw in a spin here and there as he drew the blades across his exposed skin. More bloody lines were dug across his body, more strips of flesh were pulled away and dropped onto the blood moistened earth and speckled the bones. His blood mixed with the filthy ash paint, rendering the symbols difficult to read and meaningless as they ran and smeared across his flesh. It soon became all he could do do stay upright as he throatily wailed a song without words, rhythm, or even meaning. His nonsensical verse was puncuated randomly by shouts of pain as he looked for another unmarred patch of skin to cut open. The flame rose and hissed as he flicked the blood from his blades onto it with violent motions and spins. Unbeknownst to him, the flames had begun to twist and another shadow stretched away from the light. He had practiced the dance and the motions he would take well in advance, but even if he knew the steps it became impossible to follow as his senses became dulled and his body grew weaker. The poison Syreena had given him him left him dizzy and nauseous; he should have expected such a high-quality agent from his friend. He began laughing hysterically as he realized that the one time he would have accepted someone giving him an inferior product was the one time they went above and beyond his requirements, and it was all to hurt him. His steps faltered, his legs wobbled on bones made of jelly, and soon afterwards he crashed to the ground. " Ya try too hard." An amused, wet sounding voice gurgled from behind him. It had worked! Relief washed over him, indistinguishable from the waves of nausea as he struggled to rise. He looked upon the spirit he had called and immediately fell into another fit of dry heaving with his eyes tightly shut. He had seen war, he had seen the dead, he had seen mass graves and mutilation, but the form the spirit had taken was indescribable. His reaction earned another gurgling, wet noise that was nothing short of a violation of what laughter should be. " Well little hexer, ya put on a show to call me an' I be flattered. Now ya can't even look at me? Don't have the stomach ta look upon the dead anymo?" Tahzani forced his head up with sweat stinging his eyes and blurring his vision. The hindrance made the horrid form before him barely tolerable; brown, bloated skin whose surface crawled was all he could make out. He gulped down his bile and spoke with the strongest voice he could manage, " Loa of de Mossflayah. He who embodies this blighted land. I have come to bargain." " As it has been and always will be. Ya honor the traditions calling upon the ancestors... Though ya be far away from home, Revantusk." " Dis land reflects the soul of the one I want exposed." The creature before him let out an intrigued noise and leaned forward, silently commanding him to continue. " She waves her banners and preaches ideals that she forces others to follow, but none of her army does. She be a hypocrite... A tyrant... Irredeemable scum surrounded by filth. I want her to suffer, I want her to scream an' weep, I want her fair features to mirror the rotten core dat i've seen!" " Talkin' about dirty insides, look at yaself. Ah can taste de poison in ya veins, the dirt in ya blood... De taint on jah very SOUL!" It released another gurgling mockery of amusement at the flare of anger that crossed Tahzani's features. " I can do that for ya, but what be in it for me?" The jovial attitude took on an edge of greed and an unspoken threat. If he failed to please this one, the debilitating illness he felt would be a candle to a bonfire. " Ya tribe lay dead or enslaved by de Cult a de Damned an' what remains a de Scourge in dis area. Even as we speak dere be a sect of human holy warriors workin' ta purge de lands of what remains of jah tribe." The amused air that surrounded the plague ridden being disappeared, for a moment he feared he would not get the chance to finish his statement. " Wah be comin'. De Alliance an' de Horde been workin' ta rid dis land a de Legion but it ain't gonna last, it nevah does. An' ah know someone just as eagah as jah ta see Humanity fall. Jah gimme jah blessin', an' de sickness dat brought de Mossflayah such joy can be used against jah enemies once moah. Jah gimme jah blessin' fah dis one elf, an' i'll make suah it gets ta de right people ta be spread amongst de humans. I will give jah vengeance beyond de grave." He could no longer meet the Loa's gaze and his head dropped towards the ground in a gesture of submission. His heart was laboring to beat as the blood rushed in his ears. Every pulse of the organ sent a wave of nausea through his guts and a surge of fresh pain through his blackened veins. " Half for you, half for humanity." The warning was delivered and quickly followed by a violent surge of nausea that sent him to the bloodied mud in a thrashing heap. He vaguely registered his own muffled screaming and the feeling of his heel being brought down upon the brittle skull of one of the begging skeletons. The poison in his veins no longer registered as a cold lump settled in his gut and a feeling of wrongness permeated his very being. The charm found its way to his hands once more; the knucklebones were gone, more accurately they had become part of the liquid. The unnatural, magically induced disease had reduced them to a gelatinous slurry that settled into the bottom of the vial, the amber-brown liquid had become cloudy and threaded with wisps of darker energy that squirmed and wriggled like worms made of smoke. He could taste blood and bile as he reached a violently shaking limb for his bag to grab the antidote. Even as he downed the thick, red liquid he knew that it would only take the edge off of what had become a minor pain. He dropped the empty antidote and reached for his hearthstone. " Get me outta heah..." He whispered hoarsely, invoking the spell. Within moments, he disappeared, leaving behind a sodden, bloodstained, and fel tainted campsite. ***** His skin crawled, cold and slimy in contrast to the burning dryness of his veins and throat. He squirmed on his bed in the grip of a fever dream and pleaded with the unseen as his heels dragged and kicked at the soiled sheets at the foot of the bed. The Forsaken watched him with unease. His wrists and ankles had been strapped down to prevent him from thrashing out of the sweat and blood stained bed. He was covered in maggots that had immediately taken to removing the diseased, dead flesh from around the peeled sections of hide. His wounds were inflicted by tools that had to be wrestled away from the delirious bartender before treatment could even begin. Such wounds were painful but rarely fatal for trolls, but the effects of the wound went far beyond simple bleeding. He had already sent for more maggots as several of the plump white creatures had already curled in on themselves and fallen still. The dead flesh itself seemed cursed. Tahzani's former profession was known to him but he had never witnessed the cost with his own eyes. He had been successful, the tainted trinket was proof of that and had been removed from his person to allow him to recover. Hooked up to tubes and bags of fluid, the pale, dark-veined troll was a sad sight. " Will this solve anything?" He asked the insensate troll. Feeling a dim surge of anger at the carelessness of the hexer. " Will this make either of you happy? ANYONE?" He sighed as the troll released another pathetic whimper and shuddered. The next question pierced the haze of the troll's mind. Everything he had suffered through because of her and for *her*. His ultimate reward for the act was most likely a prison cell for the rest of his days if he was not slain immediately. "Is it worth it?" Selris asked quietly. " No." Tahzani answered with a weak croak. The answer meant for a far broader question than what had been asked. The realization of what he had said sincerely was worse than the pain that left him bedridden for the rest of the night.
  18. Role-Play Guides and Add-ons

    Don't know if I have the gumption to create real guides, but these are some other current oforum stickies? Roleplaying 101: A crash course on characters Roleplaying 102: The Revenge of Society Master Post - Racial Lore Guides: Horde They're... also ancient, and might not apply as much to a quieter place like ours, but they're there.
  19. Role-Play Guides and Add-ons

    These appear to be the only two good links left in this thread. Someone start a new thread with guides to roleplay basics! I had someone asking for some resources today and need some good ones to point folks to.
  20. Picture Thread

    Ever been a Guitar Hero? I have. I was then large painting.
  21. Been out off the game for a little bit now. Too much to do, but I am back at writing now.

  22. Shallow Grave - The corpse and the rabbit-

    Little time was wasted when the group crossed the portal and stepped foot on Dreanor. They arrived on a small island called Ashran, at the aptly named Warspear; the Horde base of operations. Both the Horde and Alliance had setup bases for operations in the area, on opposite sides of the island of course. Even though this Iron Horde threatened all of Azeroth, the 'old fences' still stood in the dealings of Azeroth's native and adopted races. In the Forsaken camp at Warspear Luebella was told that the factions were racing to uncover artifacts on the island. Apparently it had been the site of an Orge empire. Secrets of the old empire, and objects with some magical power, had been found throughout the area. Skirmishes had broken out around the island, each one over control for the archaeological finds that may lay in the ruins. Although the secrets on the grounds peaked Luebella's attention, that was not why she was sent to Dreanor.They made their way to where the Apothecary had set up. Mock, Ottis, and Yurrie waited as Luebella went on to receive her orders. There was movement everywhere; soldiers, mercenaries, merchants, engineers, workers, explorers, healers...and those that took care of the dead. Some came to the land for their King, some for their Warchief. Others came to protect their home, to make a quick profit, to discover a new land, to see a world they had only heard of in the stories of aging elders. A few came for vengeance, a chance to kill. Many that crossed the portal had come to die.Ottis's head darted back and forth with the constant stream of commotion. He watched the various expressions on the faces that passed. His ears strained to try and hear one of the many conversations that walked by, but could only catch short fragments from the surrounding crowd. More than anything he searched the hands of the crowd hoping for a morsel of something to fall close enough to him to snatch. "Just like the vale" Yurrie commented to herself. This place reminded her of the increased presence of the Horde and Alliance forces back in Pandaria after the former Warchief, Garrosh, had all but destroyed the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. "I don' see any G'ummies..." Mock said, turning his head side to side,"... or any lu'kydos". Yurrie put her hand on his shoulder, "I cannot say that I do either" she remarked.Yurrie could hear the heavy steps of plated boots, and the shuffle of a ghoul from behind her. "Alright, we will be going to Nagrand to support a Horde outpost there. The place is infested with Iron Horde and Orges, but gains have been made in rooting them out". Luebella stopped in front of the two, facing them. The ghoul stayed close to its master. "We have a strong foot hold in the area now, and with the Alliance pushing in on their own front we are in good position to begin assaulting the fortifications in the area". "..'nd w'at r' we do'in t'ere? corpse wall fir t'a breath'rs?". Mock didn't sound impressed. "Finally a job you can handle", Ottis was looking up Mock...and ducked in time to avoid a half kick the undead aimed in the rabbits general direction.Lubella stared blankly at Mock. "That's all you need to know. You two will go and secure our transportation with the flight master, we depart in two hours. I will be there after I attend to some other business". With that Luebella quickly turned and started off into the passing crowds; the ghoul quickly behind her." Must be important" Yurrie remarked to Mock as she picked up her pack; Mock scooped up Ottis at the same time. "Al'ays is wi't 'er" Mock said as they stepped into the street and merges with the crowd.
  23. Shallow Grave - The corpse and the rabbit-

    It was early, but the morning sun was already beating down on Yurrie's throbbing head. She had spent the evening drinking. She woke in the barrack bunk Lubella had arranged for her still in her leathers and with her good eye throbbing. She could barely keep it open, and stumbled out of her bunk as she tried to regain her barrings. One of the guards that helped haul her in last night laughed and said it was a game of 'chicken' that had gotten a little out of hand.She couldn't remember exactly what had happened most of the evening, but flashes of groping an orc while others cheered from behind her, an then she was looking up at a ceiling. It looked like the orc was holding another back that was screaming at Yurrie. The orc's wife was not pleased with her. Her head was on fire, and her face ached as she made her way through the gathering crowd of soldiers, merchants and supply carts. No matter what happened next she had enjoyed her short stay in least that is the conclusion she drew for herself. Luebella, Mock and Ottis were near the middle of the waiting formation. As she walked towards them Mock nodded to greet her, and Ottis kept pacing in circles around his feet.Luebella turned her gaze towards her. Her hood, as always, was casting a dark shadow over her face, and her eyes glowed softly. "You're late" she said in a stern voice. Luebella looked over Yurrie slowly. "I see you enjoyed yourself", Luebella was looking at Yurrie's eye,"I hope you have that out of your system". Yurrie nodded, not saying anything.Yurrie went through her pack one more time, double checking her supplies, and few personal items she had kept with her since leaving the Wandering Isle. Mock and Ottis bickered with each other as Luebella addressed some Forsaken soldiers that were nearby.A horn trumpeted loudly, and the crowd fell silent. Ottis stood on his hind legs with ears up. Luebella walked out in front of Yurrie and Mockrabbit."It's time. You two will follow me through. Make sure you don't loose that furball".Mock stooped over and scooped up Ottis, covering the rabbits mouth as muffled noises struggled to escape from Mocks slack jaw.Yurrie looked to the front of the forces, a red portal had been opened, just large enough for two of the supply carts to pass through side by side. A long line formed, and steadily the gathering disappeared through. As she walked to the edge of the portal Yurrie felt the same excitement and anxiety she had felt when she left the isle. If only the hammering in her head would stop.
  24. Shallow Grave - The corpse and the rabbit-

    Mock stood outside of the hut that Luebella was in. It was hard to tell the time in the cleft, it was always dark except for the lit torches, brazers, and a few fires. Here it could always be 'night'. "C'mon....almost...."Mock was working on shaping some wild jade that he had been holding onto for some time. It wasn't often that he took time to cut gems, but he was surprisingly good at it. A remnant from his life before undeath."Car''ful..."The dim torch light was making it difficult for him to see, but he had nothing else to do. Ottis was curled up by a fire the next hut over and sleeping. Luebella was lost in here scrolls. Besides, interrupting her would often lead to a lecture, or a very unpleasant posting for the day, or maybe the legendary wrath of the Death Knights that he had heard so much about. "T'at'll do it" Mock said as he reached in to a pouch on the side of his belt. He dropped a tool in, and then his fingers fumbled through it for a minute as he searched for something else. A small piece of cloth was produced, and was used to clean the stone.It wasn't just gem cutting that he took an inkling to, he was somewhat of a skilled jeweler. Nothing of overly high quality, or finely intricate, bone fingers and a warrior's hand limited what he was able to make, but unique jewelry none the less. He had a small collection of rings, chains, necklaces, and cut stones under lock in his room at Brill.Mock held up the gem next to a torch by the hut door, holding it between his forefinger and thumb. Light from the flame gave the jade a brilliant glow. "P'rfect". Normally he didn't have to think about what he was doing when working at his craft. His hands knew what to do. Sketching out designs for more ornate pieces took a little time, but his drawings for the design looked like they were created by those of a master of craftsmen. Crafting is one of the few times he felt completely content.He carefully wrapped the gem in the cloth used to polish it, and placed it back in the pouch with his tools. He looked over to the sleeping rabbit. Earlier Ottis had gone over to the fire to beg an orc for something to eat. Shooing Ottis away didn't work, neither did taking a missed kick at the rabbit. A thrown stone, a swipe with a walking stick, and threats of putting the rabbit over the fire did not weaken his resolve. After some more cursing, and thrown objects, the orc gave in and gave Ottis some of the broth he had been eating earlier in the hut. It wasn't what he was expecting, but Ottis quickly finished off what was left in the bowl before curling up next to the orc's fire and falling asleep. The orc looked over to Mock. All he could do was shrug his shoulders.Luebella was muttering to herself as she flipped through some pages. Mock guessed that their role across the portal would be a strictly combat one. Looking in from the door Mock could see some scout reports scattered about, and a few maps. The rest he didn't recognize at a glance, but it looked like they would be meeting the orcs through the portal on the front lines. Another day in the trench. Mock stretched his arms down away from his body and arched his back. The loud cracking of ligaments and bone echoed in the area around the hut. Ottis seemed to be dreaming, one of his hind legs tearing at something in his mind.
  25. Shallow Grave - The corpse and the rabbit-

    Ottis was fidgeting on Mock's shoulders, scurrying from one shoulder plate to the other as they and Yurrie slowly surged through the disembarking crowd. The flight had been long, and there is only so much that could keep the rabbit entertained on the enclosed airship. For the time being staring at the faces in the crowds of the zeppelin tower was enough to occupy him."Smells like a barn in here" Ottis said loudly as Yurrie and Mock pushed past a couple of Tauren moving down the tower stairs. They had also heard. One snorted and the other eyed Mock and the white long-ear that was staring back at him as they quickly descended the stairs."Ya best git it our now befir we find Luebella. It's gonna be a long trip I bet", Mock turned to Yurrie. She gave him a nod. "I suspect we will be gone for some time. It is unfortunate I do not negotiate my contracts by the hour. I might buy Brill otherwise, turn the inn into a brew house". She smiled at Mock as he chuckled at the thought.When the trio stepped outside the door of the tower a goblin stepped in front of them, almost being knocked over by Mockrabbit who had been looking up at the wyvern patrol in the sky over Orgrimmar."HEY, WATCH IT!" he yelled at the corpse as he hopped out of Mock's path. "L-Luebella is wait'in for you two. You best get down to the Cleft. Sh-she means now!", he stuttered a little each time he mentioned her. Ottis looked down at the goblin's head, a large bead of sweat had formed and was slowly moving down the side of his face."A little short to be mouth'in off arn't ya?". Mock and Yurrie both turned and looked at the rabbit now standing up on the undead's shoulders. The goblin looked up at Mock and Ottis, slightly confused by the look on his face, "...wha...? y..ou?". He shook his head, the look on his face gone. "You're not a parrot", he grinned, " but I could still stuff ya with crackers, maybe a carrot or two, and have a nice little bbq tonight", the messenger lifted his nose in the air and took a big sniff of the air, "...if ya didn't smell like a stock yard". Ottis coiled up quickly, a flash of red came across his eyes. "BLOODY NIBBLES!" he roared as he pounced at the goblin....only to be caught midair in Yurrie's paw. She was doing her best not laugh at Ottis. Mock, on the other hand, couldn't be bothered to keep his raspy laughter quiet. The goblin was still confused about the rabbit 'speaking', but had a snarky smile on his face now as he stared at the struggling rabbit trying to break free of the monk's grasp. Yurrie and Mock walked past the messenger, Mock still laughing as they headed towards the elevators. Ottis had stopped trying to struggle against Yurrie, "He better not be here when we get back. I'll have my vengeance!". "You'll 'ave to wait until Yur'ie 'ere is gone, when yir baby sit'er is gone ya may git to 'ave yir 'bloody nibbles'". Mock started laughing again. Yurrie snickered and patted Ottis on his head. The rabbit was hanging limply, and disappointed from her arm." I hope your jaw falls off."Yurrie's smile and Mock's laughter quickly disappeared as they approached the elevators. Luebella took a step forward as Mockrabbit saluted her.She nodded at Yurrie, and then to her charge. "I hope your excursion was enjoyable. We cross the portal tomorrow at first light". She looked down at Ottis who was still hanging in Yurrie's arm like a rag doll. "I hope you're ready for a war..." she looked into Mock's eye sockets, " the 'bloody nibbles' for the enemy". She stepped back. Yurrie was slightly puzzled at Luebella's attempt at being lighthearted. It felt uncomfortable...forced."Yurrie, I have made arrangements for you to stay in the barracks this evening", she tossed the merc a small pouch, "this is for your 'enjoyment' this evening". Yurrie caught the pouch, it jingled in her paw. "You two will accompany me in the Cleft this evening, I require a guard while I review my notes before we depart".Mock nodded, and Ottis let our a low, sad 'squeek'.
  26. Shallow Grave - The corpse and the rabbit-

    She had know the warlock for some time. They met after the Ebon Blade rebelled against the Lich King. Luebella had been posted at Vengeance Landing on the coast of the Howling Fjord to assist the Forsaken at the outpost. The warlock had been with her throughout the campaign in Northrend. They had been paired upon her arrival, as he refused to waste his time with the 'weak', and she did not see weakness in the warlock. Together they had killed Scourge, Vrykul, and Alliance. They eventually made their way through Venomspite, Ebon Watch, and finally battling the Lich King's forces at the stairs of Icecrown Citadel. Mikkeh had come to the north to hone his fel magic. Power was what he yearned for, power to ensure the Forsaken would never fall. Power so he would never fall. His loyalty to his own, and the constant search to make himself stronger. Luebella admired that about him. She too yearned to become stronger, be it through her abilities as a Death Knight, or through rank and holdings, power would ensure she would last. After the Lich King fell Luebella swore her services to the Forsaken. The Ebon Blade had no real direction after their enemy was dead, and Luebella felt the strong community the Forsaken fostered with their own kind. Mikkeh would help her rise in the Forsaken ranks quickly, and she in turn assisted him in his studies where she could. Together they grew, and so did their influence. Luebella walked out of the tunnel of the cleft and into the sunlight beating down on Orgrimmar. The street was crowded, but a small bubble of space cleared around her as she made her way through. It had been Mikkeh's influence that had brought Mockrabbit, and the rodent, into her care. She would have thought it a poor joke, something to try her patience, but Mikkeh would not waste her time in such ways. They had more respect for each other than that. The charge was an annoyance, and the mystery of the rabbit perplexed her, but Mikkeh noticed something in the pair that warranted them coming into her care. The elevator came to a stop and Luebella disembarked. The zeppelin towers were crowded. Luebella would not waste her time pushing through more crowds. Yurrie and Mockrabbit would come to her. She had ordered this to Yurrie back in Undercity. She crossed her arms and then stood motionless near the elevator, in sight of the towers.
  27. Shallow Grave - The corpse and the rabbit-

    ((The following picks up after the events of Fetch and Hide'n'Seek)) Thump-Thump.The Cleft of Shadow was sparsely populated. Warlocks had started to return to the cavern since Garrosh's fortress had been cleared out. The warlocks typically found in the cleft had been removed or killed by the former Warcheif's 'True Horde'. Warlocks reminded him of the faults of Orc history, a history he would have liked to erase. Luebella sat inside a hut behind a small table. A few candles flickered inside providing a little light. She held a long piece of parchment in her hands, and was pouring over the contents of the document. Another Forsaken across the table from her stood, tapping his fingers across the flat wooden surface. Luebella rolled the scroll up, and looked up to her company across the table."Our assets could have been more thorough. Reports of Orc warlocks does not come as a surprise". The undead stopped tapping his fingers on the table, and crossed his robed arms. Luebella rose from her chair, scroll in hand. "It is also no surprise that True Horde weaponry is being used, considering Garrosh is on Draenor. Are you here to confirm I am being sent into a meat grinder?"The Forsaken smiled as best he could, considering he had no lips."It's been some time since you've seen action Luebella. Don't tell me you've become...soft".Luebella leaned across the table, looking the messenger in the eyes."Soft? No, I think not". She leaned in a little closer, placing one of her hands on the table to steady herself. "Rusty? Well, I do admit training in the War Quarter is not the same as battering an enemy in the field. Perhaps you'd like to help me with some more 'lively' sparing before I depart? "The robed Forsaken chuckled."I don't think I would be of much service if I were split in two, old friend".Luebella straightened herself back up. If she could smile she would have then, but the flesh on the lower part of her face had given way to bone some time ago. "Perhaps when I return then, old friend". Luebella held the scroll over a candle flame, the edge of it catching fire. She looked down at the burning document, the flames on the parchment quickly danced towards her boney fingers. "Is there anything else you need to tell me?""Only that I am instructed to tell you that you are not to return until the enemy is defeated on Draenor, or unless you are able to acquire something that may be of significant use to us". Luebella placed the burning scroll on the table. The flames licked upward, the light giving the undead faces an even more grim look than usual. A goblin could be seen walking towards the hut with the hurried pace of one not wanting be long in the darkness of the Cleft. She walked round the side of the table and stood next to her 'friend'. "And what of your own personal requests? You didn't come here to inform me of what I already know. What is it that you require?". "If you happen to find anything that might 'help' an old warlock improve upon his mastery of fel magic, I suppose that would be worth a significant personal favor". "I suppose it would", Luebella agreed as the Goblin entered the hut.Nervously the goblin stood in front of the two undead, spitting out his message as quickly as he could."Sorry for tha interruption, b-but the zeppelin from Brill arrived and your guests were on board, so I came here straight away to tell you just like you, er, asked". There was beads of sweat building on his broad forehead. Lubella gave him the slightest of nods and raised her hand to shoo him away. The goblin turned and quickly walked out of the hut. The quick walk had turned into a full run by the time he was a dozen or so feet away.Lubella placed her hand down on the remnants of the scroll, snuffing out the remainder of the dwindling flames. " We shall be departing for Draenor through the next portal with the reinforcements and supplies", Luebella said before saluting the Forsaken. He, in turn, saluting her. "Until next we meet" she said as she walked out of the hut." 'If' we meet again, old friend", he replied as she walked away.
  28. Shallow Grave - The corpse and the rabbit-

    'I'm sorry my friend, but I was told it was a 2 gold flight to get here from Grom'gol, and that is all I am willing to pay". Yurrie forced the two coins into the flight masters hand, and walked away as he continued to haggle her for a few extra silver. She stopped for a moment to look out over the bay a short distance away. The sea breeze continued to be refreshing, even between the whiffs of fish that came with it. "Now, where to start?" she said softly to herself, not that she didn't know. The Inns would be her first stop, as well as some friendly conversation with the local guards. It wouldn't be to hard to locate the Forsaken and his 'pet', one tends to take notice when a corpse seems to be having a conversation with a rabbit.Surveying the area again before she moved she could see there was a commotion on the water. Some small boats seemed to be searching for something in the bay, and a group of guards were heading down one side of the dock. "Well, that was easy" she said, shaking her head from side to side.
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