Ninorra

Eclipse: Blood Pact

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"Wake up."

The body didn't stir. It lie on the ground, emaciated, bones protruding through papery discolored skin. Bellamé prodded the corpse with her toe, lips pursed with exasperation. There was impatience in her red eyes and a tremble in her hands. On the ground, the body of a felblood elf lie dead, her essence drained, her life long since past. Bellamé kicked her one more time, but the subtle sound of bones cracking were all that answered her.

"..gods damn it," the elf muttered.

Since being sequestered in her garrison for weeks, Bellamé had grown gaunt. Her once well coiffed hair lie in unkempt curls, and she didn't bother to perform her weekly manicures. She remained in her demon form for longer than usual, horns protruding from her forehead, wings on her back. It felt more comfortable. Why bother changing back?

It was daybreak, and she was already starved. It would be easy for her to simply call upon some demons for mana and feed from them, as the felblood elves had done, but she wasn't quite that desperate. Not yet. The hunger, however, gnawed at her from every direction. It demanded that she answer, and she saw no way to do so than to leave her garrison and travel. Somewhere, she'd find some creature with mana to drain. Hopefully, she thought to herself, it would be a creature worthy of a slow and painful death.

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Vilmah stood at the precipice of a hill in Nagrand. She had been there for weeks, separated from her friends and family, her hearth stone hidden in a bag she left behind.

Every once in a while, it struck her. The fire, screams and pain of a battle long since fought would erupt in her memory and demand that she remove herself from society. It was either that or bury herself in blood fury, allow the curse of Mannoroth to consume her and become the same orc that might have fought for supremacy in Nagrand. She had been close, this time. In highmaul, the fought ogres. An old foe of her race, it shouldn't have been any issue, but she witnessed the death of a comrade. Vilmah didn't even know the orc who fell beside her, his head smashed into the dirt like a ripe melon. It might not have phased her, but one of his eyes remained. It stared up at her in accusation. How is it I fell and you still stand? You're not half the warrior I was.

The orc stepped back. The battle was over, and the group claimed their prize, but she did not join them. Nausea ate at her stomach and Edmund, whimpering despite his enormous size, nuzzled her hand. Without thinking of the consequences, she mounted the wolf and kicked his sides, prompting him to run. He ran through Highmaul, through bodies of the dead, through bones and blood until she couldn't smell their corpses any longer. Finally, with the sounds of steel and spells behind her, she stopped.

Nagrand was beautiful, but her heart still raced. Sliding off of Edmund's back, she vomited into the grass and waited for the nausea to pass.

"..it may take a while, this time," she said to the wolf.

He lay down beside her, and waited for the orc to make camp.

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Grimal had had enough. Been gone far too long from his lover. The weeks without her had been driving him mad. Her responses of 'I'm fine' and what not was no longer sufficient. Darrethy was barely surviving and he seemed to have far more resources than Bellamé had access to. Riding up to her garrison he entered into her main hall, ignoring the protests of the guards. He found a withered and broken corpse of an elf in her room, the tint if the skin revealed her to be a Felblood. "Fel... Bellamé you damned fool.."

He grabbed his Hearthstone and summoned Greedhun, the Fel Hunter looking up at him, "Find Bellamé." The beast understood and turned out the door sniffing and following the trail. Novok was summoned and riding after him. He spoke into the stone, seeking her, "Bellamé, where are you.. I see how you've been surviving.. I'm not pleased but I know you did what you had do. We'll find you something else.. And I found the druid that cursed you, I'm nearly ready to get him. I said I wouldn't do it without you, bit if you've been absorbing that much fel energy we need to get you help.."

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The Spires of Arak.

It wasn't a particularly perilous place, not when Bellamé was at her full strength. Here, there were plenty of arakkoa with mana enough to keep her satiated, but she had to drain them completely or they would run and tell the others. Or so she assumed. For the past few weeks, she hid herself within one of the homes of the arakkoa outcasts. A small hut, abandoned by it's owner, it did not show any signs of life besides her footprints. The bodies of those arakkoa she'd drained for sustenance were hidden elsewhere for wild beasts to tear apart.

Bellamé herself dressed in their clothes, wrapping her thinning body in the oversized shrouds and decorative feathers. It had been so long since she'd been at Ninorra's garrison that the memories of bathing were all but lost in her desire for mana. Somewhere in a pile of her robes was her hearthstone. Voices still spoke, but they brought nothing but angry tears to her eyes. One voice in particular spoke specifically to her, but she no longer had the courage to answer back. The few times she'd caught glimpses of herself in water, what was reflected revolted her; matted hair, bony face, and the telltale sign of felblood elf mutation. Though if that were simply her warlock talent, she could not tell. Horns and wings remained with her always, now, and the voices of demons whispered between her ears.

Eventually, as always, she heard the sound of movement.

Peering out from the hut, she saw arakkoa. Here, no doubt, to torment their outcast brethren. Bellamé could swear that she could smell the mana on them, that particular sensation of magic that promised to fill a void that constantly emptied.

"Closer, little bird.." She whispered hoarsely, tiptoeing out of the hut, her wings pulled in tightly toward her frail looking body. In her hands was the scythe, a weapon from her time in the garrison, now chipped and rusted where she hadn't cleaned it properly. "Just a little closer.."

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'There you are.. My beautiful soul.. Look what this damned curse has done to you..' Thoughts rippled through the Forsaken's skull. Greedhun had tracked his lover down at last, and none too soon, whispers of all the cursed becoming more raving and more hungered was not a good sign for her state.

He'd arrived hours ago, but he dared not approach the small abandoned shack she was hiding in, not yet. He was set up a good distance away, out of detection range, the magnification and different sight modes of his goggles, including one lense he'd salvaged from an old pair of x-ray specs allowing him to watch her with ease. Grimal decided to wait, cloaked with another one of his engineering devices. Waiting for her to feed on whatever she could catch..

The Arakkoa landed not far from him and began to approach the hovel. Grimal merely watched, readying another device, a net launcher, this would be for the bird, making sure it would not escape Bellamé's hunger. Though he loathed allowing her to feed like this, it was better for the both of them. If she was sated from the bird she would be less willing to try and drain him. Also being less stressful on her, she wouldn't be fighting the inner voices as much, struggling to not hurt him. At least that was his plan.. Though he realized at this point she'd not cursed anyone and basically become a parasite. The option of letting her curse him to take some of the strain off of her was one of the ones he was willing to try..

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The arakkoa had extremely sensitive eyes. They could see colors that no other creatures could see, and could sense danger quick enough to escape. Fortunately it was distracted by the shiny piece of jewelry that Bellamé had placed on the ground, right outside the entrance of her hut. The arakkoa stooped over to examine it, and couldn't react quickly enough to fly away when a sudden blow to it's skull rendered it unconscious. The enormous bird creature went down without a groan, now merely a pile of bright plumage in the ground. After a few careful moments, Bellamé stepped outside of the hut and kicked it. No response.

With a deft hand, she went to work. Using fabric she'd braided together to form a rope, she bound the arakkoa's limbs and dragged it back into her living space. Once they were out of the open, Bellamé reached for the curtain of fabric she'd fastened to the hut's doorway and closed it off to the world. In the darkness of the hut, the blood elf could finally relax. Shedding her robes to reveal a body ravaged by mana sickness, she wore the remnants of her old clothes and spread her wings just enough to surround her prize. Kneeling in the ground, with both hands on the arakkoa's skull, Bellamé took a deep breath and began to feed.

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Watched the careful precision his lover had laid the trap, only now noticing the gem, when the Arakkoa bent to examine it. She still had enough sense to set traps like that, she was still reasonably sane. At least that was his hope. The X-ray lenses was employed and he watched her kneel and feed. He waited a good long while, fifteen, twenty minutes and then stood, shaking off his cloaking device.

With cautious steps he approached the hut his scythe was drawn, and he moved quietly as he could. The blade was facing himself, if there was a struggle he wouldn't risk wounding her over him. Using the butt of the shaft he pushed the curtain she'd drawn over the doorway aside.. And in his right hand the net launcher was raised, only to make sure she didn't lunge at him, if she did he'd pull the trigger and a heavy fel weave net would trap her, he'd got it enchanted to contain demons and the fel. It would hopefully hold her should things go awry. "Bellamé my dear?" A shadow blocked the door, his voidwalker stood in the way, and wouldn't allow her to escape.

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"Bellamé my dear?"

The blood elf's ears twitched. Hovered over her victim with enormous wings spread as far as they could go in the small hut, Bellamé flinched at the sound. Without thinking, she backed into a corner, using her wings to cover herself until she was hidden from him by the indigo leathery flesh. Her bright red eyes glowed in the darkness as her slow ragged breath came in audible huffs.

"Get out," she said in a gravelly voice, unused to speaking to anyone but herself for these long weeks. "Get out before I hurt you."

The mana in him was far brighter than the arakkoa. The fel magic that she knew so well was an intoxicating flavor, and she was already fantasizing about how delicious it would be to drain him. The guilt was just as palpable. That she could see herself hurting him was an inexcusable offense.

"Please," she begged, drawing her wings in closer. "Just leave me alone."

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"You know I care about you far too much to let you keep on like this... Look at yourself Bellamé. You need help, if you keep this up you will go full fel blood and you know that. Though at the same time I don't have much to offer except myself.." He'd given this a lot of thought, but a few things they could try had dawned on him.

"I'm not sure how to fix this but I have a few ideas.. And if they fail you can curse me, that will take some of the strain off of you so I hear. First, we return to Outland, I could probably make a miniature mana forge.. Maybe it could siphon some of that fel taint from you if calibrated correctly. There are also pure mana cubes we could snatch. But we've got to do something, leaving you to your own devices has not helped." He reached into his bag and pulled out a pair of elbow length gloves, tossing them in front of her. They had been crafted by Grimal and were a deep crimson to match her eyes with black stitching. "Put those on and let's go I trust you, you're stronger than the hunger. I know you are, even if you don't believe it yourself.."

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Bellamé stared at the gloves. They landed just within sight, though she opened her wings a little to see them better. They trembled weakly as she shaded herself from his view.

"I didn't want to be a bother to anyone. Or hurt anyone. That's all," she said quietly, her voice scratchy and tired. Timidly, she used the edge of her wing to drag the gloves toward herself. "If you think we can do something without me hurting anyone, I'll trust you.. but.. would you mind if we went back to my garrison first? I don't want you to see me like this."

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"I've already seen you darling, and it's alright. You're ill. You don't have to be perfect, Fel knows I'm not." He said with a chuckle. As she picked up the gloves from the ground he stepped towards the living barrier she'd made for herself of her wings. Unfortunately their reunion was about to be interrupted, a voice seething with hatred roared from the shadows around them.

"FOOLS... MORTALS... YOU THINK YOU HAVE DEFEATED ME?

YOU CANNOT DEFEAT ME IF YOU CANNOT OVERCOME FEAR ITSELF!"

Grimal froze, they'd been found all the way out here? "Fuck, Bellame give me your hand!" Beneath the pair a massive maw opened from the shadows and into the darkness they fell. Grimal reached for Bellame with his right hand, a hand, her wings, anything to try and stay together, regardless if he was cursed. His bone tipped fingers almost managed to grab her wing tip before shadows lashed out, tendrils curling around his arm and and wrenching it back with a sickening crack as it was dislocated and with a pained shout he fell away from her into the abyss.

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