Darrethy Voidblade

Eclipse: Quarantine

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"I hate excess company, almost as much as I hate wolves."

"Worgs." Darrethy muttered to himself as he knelt down in the central chamber below the Raven's Gate, under lock and key were Darrethy's little attempt at forging the Reliquary of Souls. Toiled over by demons and other magi, this underground chamber was his salvation for demonkind. Yet now, when things were at their most dire, he needed it to sustain his own life. A waterfall of pure blue mana seemed to overflow from sections in the cave walls, pooling into a reservoir just around a tiny little rock at it's center. Undercity and Blackguard banners hung from the wall, and breathing deep was what seemed to be a somewhat living machine on the wall, resembling a metallic ribcage that was chained to the stone and slowly pulsing with untapped energy that until recently hadn't been used, vines and fungus clinging around it.

"You could bleed out the hunger, but you could not bleed out the sin."

Hooves wreathed in fel fire burned at the rock below, nearly melting it in the heat. Darrethy's jet black skin and muscular frame was only covered by the bandages wrapped around his hands and a simple set of fur pants, great demonic wings sprouted from his back that dripped with green fel energy. He had completely transformed his body to handle the intense magical strain he was under, and as he looked at his reflection in the water...he couldn't help but feel like he enjoyed it. Briefly his clawed hand traced his cheek....he was alive, and handsome again, or handsome in a certain sense of the word. A part of him distantly wanted to always be that way, but with an effort of will he resisted.

He moved to meditate, in this place all the magic he needed to sustain himself was within arms reach. The doors were shut firmly for anyone but the Blackguard and Sanctuary, barring that he would leave the Raven's Gate only when absolutely needed. It pained him to leave the task of fighting an Old One in the hands of another, but hopefully they could contain the curse and keep the creature from materializing.

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"You've already broken two Oaths, how are you going to keep this one?"

"I value my integrity." he replied, voice bouncing off the chamber walls "If I cannot keep control of myself here, then what kind of man am I? besides, this time it's an Oath that won't conflict with my interests in any way." he turned over a small blade in his clawed hands, even this place had it's limits and he wanted to be sure not to drain it anymore then need be. Slowly he dug the serrated edge into the meat of his flesh, closing his eyes as he drew a jagged cut up his arm and chanted a brief incantation, feeling the surge of energy into his being.

"That's easy to say when the hunger isn't even a threat, but you WILL have to leave this room eventually."

"Eventually, but not now." Darrethy replied, pulling the blade away...briefly he was thankful that no one was around, he must look absolutely insane "But I will be able to control myself until I return, don't you worry..."

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The sound of footsteps echoed through Darrethy's chamber. They were light and small, and soon followed by the glow of red eyes. An elf walked purposefully, her steps careful as she peered through the chambers searchingly. She wore black and red robes decorated with skulls and glowing red threads, her long hair held back by a noblewoman's tiara. In one hand, she carried a staff that she used to make sure that she did not step into anything that wasn't solid. In the other, she carried a container of muffins.

Eventually, she came upon Darrethy.

"Hello? Are we alright down here?" She asked musically. "I thought that you might be lonely so I've brought you some muffins."

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In the darkness, he grinned and slowly rose from his little island.

He stepped into the glowing blue light of the raw mana around him and moved towards her, unconcerned about his appearance around a fellow Warlock "How sweet, the gesture is most appreciated." he ignored the sensation of flesh reknitting itself as he came over to her, standing roughly nine feet tall in his demonic state "I'm as well as can be expected given the circumstances."

"Seething in the pale light, stirring only to drink from the wealth of magic at your fingertips, really it may as well be a vacation."

Part of him hoped that she could hear that, hear the voice that always seemed to be driving him down darker and darker paths, but most likely she could not. It was not even a demon he had absorbed in some rite...those had long since been consumed entirely into himself, just some fragment of his personality toying around with him.

"And that's far more terrifying, isn't it?"

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The elf smiled at her comrade. She had not known Darrethy for very long, but from what she knew of him he was a humble warlock and member of Sanctuary. His beliefs were similar to her own; a strong sense of self preservation, and the belief that cooperation was the path of least resistance. In short, they wanted to live, though he did not and she knew little of life itself.

The voices of demons were not lost to her long ears.

"Terrifying? No, dear," she said kindly, her red eyes studying his demonic form. He was large, yes, and seethed with fel magic. It was a soothing feeling to one who found solace in the flames. They felt like home. "Though I think you may find that delving too deeply into this wealth of magic might be far less relaxing than you would hope."

His form, however, was familiar to her. Often in the heat of battle, she found herself transforming, though not as dramatically. Horns and wings would sprout from her flesh, but they did not change her face or her body. She was at home within the darkness that called to her. Her eyes, always red, burned just a little brighter as a familiar itch appeared on her forehead and shoulder blades.

"Now, would you like to sit and have a muffin with me?" She asked sweetly, ignoring the itch and the call. "I would like to have a little chat."

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He quirked an eyebrow at that and as the voice suddenly silenced itself, perhaps he needed to be more complete in his consumption...or perhaps some part of him had become demonic, and that was a thought he didn't like dwelling on. "Yes, of course I would." he sat down in front of her and leaned back a little, it was somewhat awkward crossing his hoofed legs in a meditative pose but he pulled it off all the same, briefly recalling how his Huojin friends had taught him how to do so.

"As for the magic here, I would....hope...this is safe, it was designed to be safe anyways. When Shan'do Stormrage first drew up the plans for this well, the intent was to break demons of Fel addiction....not plunge them deeper into it....sadly I had imperfect notes, we could only gather scraps of knowledge after his death."

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She returned his smile and sat down across from him, on her hip, legs sliding to the left. Her frame was so small in comparison to his, it was almost laughable. However his situation was not, and she did not laugh. She put the muffins between them and nodded.

"It seems a very soothing place for our kind," she replied, opening her basket to reveal fresh muffins baked with cinnamon and honey. They smelled like the baked goods of Mulgore; fresh, earthy, and full of life. The kind of thing to remind one of the joys life offered, and not the seductive nature of demons. "Though I wonder what it means to you, to be so deeply buried within it."

Reaching into the basket, she pulled out one of the muffins. In her hand it was large, soft, and fragrant. The weight of it felt warm in her palm. She held it out toward Darrethy, the chopped nuts at the muffin's top gently toasted to a golden brown.

"Here," she said gently. "Have a taste, and remember the world outside of this place. I am sure it misses you."

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He nodded slowly and took it....carefully, he didn't want to touch her....and slowly began eating "I know at least one person does, yes. But to...be down here?"

He paused a moment and thought, his eyes glowing a little brighter green for the briefest of moments "I feel comfortable, to be honest. Buried on the Raven's Gate and guarded by my men in a safe and secure chamber, perhaps when I was living i'd fear the underground...but I find these days I often prefer eating in the barracks dungeon to anywhere else. But I have work to do on the surface, and this place..." he gestures at the raw magic flowing around the small island of rock "Means nothing if I cannot use it to cure the demonkind above. I am too close now, made too much progress....slowly i'v undone the bindings of lesser demons, I can save them...I just need research, and a chance to work."

Darrethy savored the taste a moment longer and visibly relaxed "For now Domixa...my Sayaad...can be my eyes and ears on the surface, our bond is strong and she can take care of herself."

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Her eyebrows quirked at his declaration. "You're trying to 'cure' demons? How very.. kind, of you."

Thinking back to her recent experience scrying, she wondered how many demons would actually want to be "saved". Though many were bound in servitude to the daemonlords, there were certainly those who succumbed willingly.

"Well, don't stress yourself out too much while you're down here. We need to find a cure for your affliction. To be honest, I was curious about how you have been coping, what it has been doing to you. Since the 'curse' only effected elves before, I wondered what it must do to you, as a Forsaken. I am worried that you may be hurt more deeply than my kind. You have already been so hurt, before. It does not seem fair."

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He chuckled "It's practical too, by unbinding them from Sargeras I can secure their loyalty, just as Stormrage did. It's been somewhat difficult, but if I can create a smaller version of the Relilquary then I can at least replicate it for some of those who aren't as strongly bonded. With this I hope to have a way to defend against the Alliance and Burning Legion alike."

"Demons were all at one time mortals, and like most mortals if you break the shackles that confine them then they will tear down their superiors."

Darrethy paused at that for a moment before continuing "As for my suffering, for the moment it's not too bad...as long as i'm down here I don't get the hunger pains, but up there's another story. When I attended Sanctuary's meeting I couldn't help but feel the desire to strike out at Julilee and drain her of mana, I resisted...but it was there."

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"Julilee?"

She paused in thought.

"Why her specifically, I wonder? Though a blood elf, she is a warrior and utilizes less mana than most. Very strange that you would want to drain her, when there were so many others. Almost like a buffet. Hmm.."

Looking around, she felt a certain discomfort with how comfortable the place was. She understood why he would want to stay.

"Well, we can't have you down here forever. Grimal may have an idea for how to combat this 'god', but it's a very dangerous idea and it involves demons. I thought perhaps, as a fellow warlock, you might have some insight."

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"Lovely. Well then, allow me to explain the situation.

"A bit before we discovered this situation with the mana draining and the curse, I was scrying in my room. I discovered a daemonlord up to no good, and thought it warrented investigation. However, I wasn't about to risk myself, so I asked a few other warlocks to watch as I scryed again and interpret what they saw. Apparently, there may be a daemonlord attempting to open a gate in the Blasted Lands for an invasion. Obviously, there are demons who want to invade Azeroth as they have invaded other worlds since gods know when, so I imagined that we should explore the Blasted Lands for any signs of a new gate.

"Grimal suggested, probably as a joke, but.. he suggested somehow allowing the daemonlord and the god, Accalia, to end one another. Of course, this would involve us allowing a gate to open, but I wonder if perhaps it might be possible for us to do that, get both enemies inside, and seal the gate behind. Let them tear each other apart."

She shrugged.

"It's a chaotic idea, but it's an idea. It would take many warlocks to make it happen."

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"It's as good a plan as any." Darrethy replied, rubbing his chin "It's not surprising, Daemonlords try to invade the blasted lands every day, they usually fail but with the Iron Horde there the legion probably saw an opportunity. If need be, I could funnel some of the magic from here even all the way out in Azeroth and use it to assist, it would kill two birds with one stone and as a bonus it would happen in a place out of the way from any civilian holdings."

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She clasped her hands together, red eyes flashing.

"Yes, that is another benefit to this idea. Less people to get hurt, and since the Legion are so keen on wiping out the life on our world, they will immediately be on the offense if that god is there. I wonder how she will handle them? At the very worst we will be left with a victor who is at least weakened. Then we can attack. Either way, we will need enough warlocks to be able to re-seal the portal to wherever they are coming from."

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Darrethy nodded in thought "Of course, of course, I could see if any of my contacts could help....there aren't many other ideas we've had that have any kind of solid grounding. Naheal suggested redirecting the mana to someone, but how do we do it? In theory I could...reconfigure a Sacren Stone to do it, maybe, but where would it even go? and there's poisoning the mana supply but of course that would probably kill the host, and the Grim has no doubt spread the mark to countless Alliance for a fresh drip of mana anyway. So the best idea we have is just physically confronting the thing and hoping we kill it."

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"Redirecting the mana to an enemy could work, if we had someone we hated that much.." She chuckled, shrugging. "I would not object to this, but I do believe that you are right. This thing will find it's way back sooner or later, if we do not kill it. So kill it we must."

Looking up, she took a deep breath and inhaled the air around them. The magic was intoxicating.

"..you know, this place really is nice. You should put some good furniture in here. Make it more comfortable."

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He chuckled "...I might consider it, but in Outland I used to meditate on rock islands so it's just what i'm used to...but perhaps we could." he nodded slowly, reaching out to feel the mana run through his fingers, if for a moment "It's my un-lifes work, it probably has a lot of applications beyond merely curing demons. Something to explore another time perhaps..."

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"Yes, well it would certainly make visiting more comfortable," she said playfully, standing and stretching. "I do hope you feel better soon, dear. Hopefully we can get all of this business taken care of and you can go back to liv.. er, to, your normal routine."

Offering Darrethy a friendly wave, she pointed at the muffins before making her exit.

"You be careful down here. Try not to get too.. demonic. We wouldn't want to lose you to the flames."

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Darrethy chuckled "Daemonology is a double edged sword, there's the threat within as well as without. I think however that I will hold, whatever the case." he took another of the muffins into his hand before turning to the mana pool "Hopefully tonight I will be sated enough to walk into the world again...if only for a little while."

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"They are not dead, they are only sleeping...under the floorboards, in the stone, grasping under the blue water...

"Strip it's soul, deliver it's justice and set the balance right."

"I can't wait to taste it's flesh, to tear at it's fur and pull it open, to drag out the worms in a river of blood...."

Darrethy couldn't help but chuckle to himself as he paced around the little sanctum, the runes on the walls glowing a faint red as blood seemed to ooze out of the walls and drip into the vast wealth of fel tainted mana below. He circled around in his little cage of rock as sounds bounced off the chamber walls "An Old Gods coil is wound tight, I wouldn't be so eager to pull it apart quite yet." he spoke to the voices that weren't there, touching the blood that wasn't real, seeing the runes he shouldn't be able to see before moving back to the center of his island and sitting down. He'd been in this cave for almost a week now, and had left for an all too short amount of time to go and speak to Julilee about their plans for the Old One.

"Possibilities but no answers, I would of preferred to simply rend her to pieces of all those given, cleaner that way."

"She is a blind eyeless insect like all the Old Ones, they cannot help themselves as they stumble blindly to their doom. They don't understand mortals, they simply wander without thought save for their ravenous hunger, she cannot know, not until she is sinking into the depths."

"Drown her with me."

Idly Darrethy was aware that the blood was up to his waist now as he pulled the dagger from the stone nearby, making another incision and feeling the mana surge into his being again. His eyes drifted to the rotted gobbets of flesh, floating bones, and other things just under the surface. "The Voidcallers do not lie, I know what will be." Darrethy muttered, the metallic ribcage on the wall seemed to pulse in time with his heartbeat as more runes appeared on the wall. He was never supposed to be in the room for this long, and hour at most to rejuvenate and that was it.

"The blasphemy of it still sends shivers down my spine! I will hold her heart in my hands as her lifeblood soothes my flesh, the blackened corruption will seep into the cursed earth as I show her the truth of her existence, she will be the second of her kind to taste nothingness."

"Just like the rest, she will bow and break. Our kind cannot be subdued, we cannot be beaten, if the Helm of Domination could not then neither will she."

"The Old Gods are novel but crude, the Night is in better hands now."

He tapped his chin as the blood was above his head now, idly swatting an intestine from his view as his eyes drifted over the stonework. The mark on his forehead burned brightly now but was ultimately pitiful, he had suffered far worse afflictions and he would simply endure this one as he had endured all the others for far longer. As the chamber filled up he couldn't help the distinct sensation of suffocation, despite having no need for air. Yet this time he didn't move, he had stopped moving some time ago, he simply let it come.

"Flesh and bone is weak, yet the demonic is insubstantial and impotent. To master this technique is to become truly something beyond either the Old Gods or mankind, to blend them in order to neither be confined by our fragile reality, nor divorced from it."

"When she comes I will show her the truth of that, and she will be broken like those around me."

"They can die, it is simply difficult. Be pure of faith in the shadow, and I will tear her limb from limb!"

He breathed deep, the red liquid rushing down his throat and filling his stomach to near bursting. He forced his eyes open even though the pressure threatened to simply burst them, then shut them again before counting numbers off in his head.

"...5...4...3...2...1...."

When he opened his eyes again, he was laying back on the stone, a small blanket under him as he stared at the vines on the ceiling. Vaguely he recalled images, words, phrases, thoughts, desires from years ago. They filled his head and danced around his mind, it was moments like this that he felt the most alive.

He'd have it no other way.

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"You have interesting dreams."

Her voice was soft, but to call it gentle would be inaccurate. It held a flatness, a disaffection; yet not a bitterness, either. It was beyond anger or sadness.

Vionora stood in front of the proto-reliquary, between rivers of a blue mana. Her glowing gray gaze was fixed on the Forsaken warlock. If the massive amounts of energy in the room affected her, it was hard to say. The marks on both of her hands did shine brightly, one purple, the other amber.

"Yet you can choose to wake up from them. Do you know what a luxury that is? What a privilege?"

She continued to study him. It was with a distant curiosity; the questions were all but rhetorical. If they never got answered, it wouldn't matter.

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Her gaze slanted.

"When is waking, then? For you, it wasn't even death... nor was it for me, no matter how many times I reached for it. No..."

She paused, reflective. The soft trickling of mana flowing filled the room.

"But you didn't invite me here to commiserate."

The elf crossed to the edge of the pool of mana, not that it was far in the small sanctum from where she already stood. There, she lowered herself to her knees. She was tall for a blood or high elf, and graceful; a contrast to her disheveled appearance.

Then, she leaned forward and brushed the fingertips of her left hand over the mana-pool waters. A spike of purple arrowed out from where her fingertips touched the water. She looked back up at Darrethy.

"The other one wants to capture me; to use me. Do you?"

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He paused, then slowly moved to stand and slowly walk over to her. Briefly he saw how her mere touch tainted the water, and he felt his connection to the place change ever so slightly "No, I do not."

"The Old Ones cannot be controlled, not truly, to do so is foolhardy. You merely are an adversity for Azeroth to conquer, and evil to be overcome."

"The Age of Mortals is here, you will be overcome and broken like countless gods before. That is merely your destiny, no more and no less."

"We will give you your peace when your flesh is torn apart and we feast on your insides, when the corruption stains the floor and the darkness flees your husk only to be burned away by the sunlight."

"You have nothing to offer me, I only have things to offer you. The Old Ones and their slaves could never tempt me." Darrethy replied, briefly looking into his reflection.

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