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RiktheRed21

Briseidis Val'roya, Elven Eyes (Race-Bent Contest)

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            Brinnea Velmon was a commoner in the human kingdom of Lordaeron in the years leading up to its destruction. She grew up on stories of the kingdom’s brave defenders and their exploits in the Second War, both in Azeroth and in the Draenor Outlands. She craved tales of her father’s magical prowess, and was thrilled at the idea that one day that power would be hers. But that all fell apart when the Scourge came. She lived long enough to get a taste of her own family – a husband and newborn daughter – and then the undead took her away to be reshaped as a death knight. Her choosing was a mistake – she was destined for an afterlife as a mindless ghoul for the Scourge army, but somehow, she ended up in the wrong pile. She was a gentle, kind spirit with dreams and goals. She had few ambitions, but she clung to those few like a fish to a hook. She refused to give up on them even after her transformation.

            This is not her story.

***

            Briseidis Val’roya smoothed a strand of her ghostly white hair over a long, pointed ear as she placed the last stitch in a rug she’d spent the past two months working at. She had lost faith a few times that she would ever get it right, but at last it was in a condition she was proud of. Bright blue eyes lighting up with excitement, she sprang up and ran to her master’s station. She leaned over the table, her pale grey sleeves brushing the tapestry the man was busying himself weaving.

            “Master Thaelos, I finished it!” she announced, “You were right all along, it was the thread, not the material.” Thaelos Silkblood looked up and lowered his half-moon spectacles to look at her. He regarded her with a knowing smile that said to her ‘Of course I was right, silly girl. I’ve been making better rugs than that for hundreds of years.’

            “Well done, Apprentice,” he said instead, kindly, “You’ll be replacing me in no time.” Briseidis smiled, pleased at her master’s kind words. He always knew what to say to make her smile. She thought he could weave smiles better than tapestries, at least until she took a look at one of his masterworks. It didn’t take long for her to change her mind.

            Reani, the other apprentice, burst into the shop suddenly. She carried a roll of fine parchment in her hand and a satisfied smile on her face. She was a pretty girl, Briseidis had to admit. Her short-cropped blonde hair caught the light like goldenweave and bobbed as she ran like a fine, flowing robe. When she spoke, her voice sounded smooth as silk: “Master, the harbormaster has agreed to your request! We’ll be receiving regular shipments of mageweave, just as you wanted.”

            The master’s kind smile grew at the news, but Briseidis’ excitement wavered. Securing trade was Reani’s domain where Bris handled manufacturing. She mostly stitched together what the master was too busy to concern himself over – menial things such as stockings and undergarments, gloves and cloth linings for boots, sometimes a few simple cloaks and robes. But what the master lacked was a good instinct for requisitions. Reani had that, as Thaelos’ wife once had, before she left him and his business to start a new one with a different man. Bris tried not to feel envious of Reani, but she was an asset. Bris was merely a charity case.

            “Fine work as usual, Apprentice,” the master said to Reani. “Let me take a look at the agreement. We have much to discuss, my dear, but first we should toast this success. Briseidis, please go downstairs and get me the bottle. No deal is truly complete until it has been concluded with a glass of wine.” He and the other apprentice began discussing business Bris did not entirely understand. The white-haired girl made her way downstairs wordlessly, hoping that silence would mask her disappointment. The brand-new rug was forgotten.

***

            Briseidis sat at the same table she always did, in the same tavern they had always visited together. She held an undisturbed drink in her hand – the master’s favorite vintage. Her icy blue eyes regarded the deep, wine red color without a hint of emotion. Then the goblin entered the room, looking nervous and fidgeting with a small roll of paper between his stubby green fingers. He took a seat without ever meeting Bris’s cold gaze.

            “Did anyone follow you?” she asked, staring at him without blinking.

            The goblin was sweating through his embroidered black robe as if he were running through a desert. He replied, his voice barely above a muttered whisper, “Nobody. I don’t think…I don’t think she suspects.”

            “I’m not paying you to think, I’m paying you to know. This won’t work without certainties.” Briseidis tapped a finger on the glass she held. Small chips of ice formed on the edge of the transparent surface. The goblin’s fidgeting sped under her unflinching watch. “What can you promise me, Kozlok?”

            He cleared his throat and handed over the small scroll. She took it under her hand but didn’t pick it up. “She’ll be there, at that time, expecting another shipment from me. It was a good deal, you understand me? I would never think of breaking a contract if you hadn’t made such a…lucrative offer. Where did you get that much coin, anyhow? You running a business?”

            She smirked at the goblin, and replied simply, “Inheritance.” She stood and placed the drink down on the table, the glass slightly chilled but untouched by her lips. The goblin watched her now that her eyes were cast at the note in her palm.

            “So, when do I get the money?” he asked nervously, “I expected you to bring it here, or at least give me an I-owe-you statement.”

            “You’ll get it when I say you will,” she answered curtly, returning to staring at him harshly. “If she gets a hint of what I’ve planned, this whole arrangement is off. You won’t see a single copper.”

            The goblin smacked his lips, trying to work up the courage to argue. He finally said, “What if you just make a mistake? Then I get nothing and my business is put at risk. I need some kind of assurance or something.”

            “Your assurance is my word, which I never go back on. As for mistakes, I never make mistakes. Not anymore. You’ve seen me in action.” The goblin nodded, still not meeting her eyes directly. She started to walk out, unwrapping the scroll. He called after her softly.

            “So, what’s with the wine? You didn’t take a sip.”

            “A wise man once said that every good deal should be concluded with a glass of wine.” She turned around and walked out, reading the note in her hand.

            Sunsail Anchorage by the docks

            Midday Tomorrow

            Two guards

            She wears a red sash across her eyes

Bris rolled the note up and stored it in her pocket. Just one more day until it was over.

***

            Reani and Briseidis sat across from each other by a campfire. Theirs was one of many that dotted the dark landscape in the ruins of the city they once called home. Reani spoke first, bitterness prevalent in her voice, “They took our home from us, Bris. You know it has to be done. The Prince is doing what is best for us.”

            Bris didn’t look at her, hiding away her eyes by looking at the dark, dead ground. “The fel is dangerous, Reani,” she muttered tiredly. “We shouldn’t use it so lightly. It can change us. You’ve seen what it can do to people.”

            “We aren’t using it lightly, fool girl!” the other apprentice spat back at her, “It’s our only option! Don’t you want to fight back against those mindless freaks that took our home? That took Master Thaelos?”

            Bris would have wiped the tears from her face, but since losing the Sunwell, she barely had the strength left to do much of anything. She hardly ate or moved all day unless the Prince decided their camp needed to relocate. She knew Reani had already started tapping into the fel magics some of the mages had been showing to the elves. The blonde girl’s normally blue eyes were starting to look greener every day. Bris replied, her mind growing foggy as she did, “I just…don’t want us to…lose who we are. I only want Silvermoon…to remain as beautiful as it is in my dreams.”

            She started nodding off. Reani sighed and moved to her side of the fire, wrapping a blanket around her friend tightly. “That is all that’s left of that Silvermoon, sweet sister. Only dreams.”

***

            Briseidis watched Reani and her two Broken guards exit a portal by the docks, just as the note had said they would. The sun shone high overhead, just as she expected. When this was over, the goblin would get his money, and it would all finally be over. She drew her curved saber and stepped out, pale white armor glittering in the sunlight.

            The first Broken draenei shouted out as he spotted her. His weapon was drawn by the time she death-gripped him off his feet. He slid to a stop before her, lying on his back. Her saber pierced his heart and froze him inside out. Reani gaped at her angrily, a red sash over her eyeless sockets, glowing with a fel green tint. Briseidis yanked her blade from the dead Broken’s chest and pointed the curved tip at the second guard at Reani’s side. White frost splashed across the demon hunter’s side as she sidestepped away from her guard. The Broken gasped desperately, trying in vain to catch a breath. Bris knew it was pointless, that his lungs were frozen straight through. It wasn’t the first time she’d killed that way.

            Reani’s glaives were in her hands. She lunged forward with a wordless, savage shout on her lips. Bris expected that. Reani always lunged first, and asked questions after cutting the foe to bits. The first glaive glanced off the edge of her saber expertly. The second swung short of her gorget, slicing air like shearing a sheet of cloth. Reani growled, bearing teeth like a wolf’s fangs at the woman who was once her friend.

            “You thief! Betrayer!” the blonde, horned elf screamed as she slashed and ducked, weaving about Bris like a dancer doing her steps. The blue-eyed knight countered with steady steps, not as graceful or quick, but just as expertly practiced. Saber and glaive met with the clash and shriek of metal on metal. “You stole the money! You plotted against me! Tell me why!”

            Briseidis said nothing. She was busy watching for her opening. Reani made a wild cut to clear distance. Then, her red sashed face glowed with a deadly fel heat. Green flames erupted from her face, directed at Bris. All the while, the demon hunter shouted at the top of her lungs, “TELL ME WHY!

            Briseidis surrounded herself with a shell of green runes. The flames died on contact, but her body’s power grew. Green fire cooled to blue frost. Bris had found her opening. She lunged through Reani’s flames and sliced at the woman’s gut. Her saber sang like a winter breeze, cutting through leather, skin, and guts. When the flames had died out completely, Reani was kneeling, her glaives fallen to the ground as she clutched her glistening red cut desperately. But Bris didn’t stop now. She could see Reani sliding a hand towards a dagger hung on the back of her belt. The blue-eyed elf aimed a cut at the back of the demon hunter’s neck. The impact was held back from full-strength; she didn’t want to kill her too quickly. Instead of snipping off her head, she cracked her vertebrae. She would be alive a little while longer as the frost fever quickly spread across her spine.

            Reani fell to the ground, paralyzed. Bris kicked her so she would face straight up towards the high noon sun. She looked down at the bleeding woman. White frost stole the color from her neck, and quickly snaked its way across the rest of her body. The green glow was dying out in her eyeless face. The red sash had been burned straight through, revealing empty holes in the blonde woman’s head.

            “Why?” she managed to croak as frost choked the breath from her throat. Bris wondered how she could explain it all. Explain why she had stolen their master’s inheritance and used it to plot Reani’s demise. Why after her friend had reappeared from years of imprisonment by the Wardens, she had been unable to face her until now. Should she explain that she couldn’t trust the Illidari who claimed to be protectors of Azeroth? Should she explain how she had always felt jealous of Reani for getting the master’s close attention, and all of his inheritance? How after she had fought and bled to protect the blood elves, and Reani had betrayed her and their home both to follow Illidan, an outsider and a betrayer? She said none of those things. She knew not a word of it would make a difference to the dying woman she had once called friend. There was only one thing she could say before she drove her sword down into the demon hunter’s heart and snuffed that green flame out forever.

            “For Silvermoon.”

Edited by RiktheRed21

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