Syreena

Peace No Longer

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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.

Edited by Syreena
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“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.

 

 

Edited by Syreena
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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.

 

 

Edited by Syreena

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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.

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