Vilmah

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About Vilmah

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    http://www.asoundofthunderband.com
  1. Rules: 1. Roll a 100 sided die (can be done digitally) 2. Your (main) character is now the race dictated by the results of your roll. If you roll your current race, you must re-roll. The point is, after all, to write something different! 3. Write a short story (500 - 2000 words, or 1-4 standard pages) involving your main character as this new race, and how he fits with the Horde or Alliance. Does being another race change your character's personality? Does it change their objectives? If the race they are changed to does not allow for the same class they were originally, how does that change your character? What aspects remain at the heart of your character that will translate if they are another race entirely? Note: Participants can write up to 2 stories to enter into the contest. 4. Post your story as its own separate thread with the tag (Race Bending Contest) in the title. Ex. Minny Fibblebottom's Lucky Day (Race Bending Contest) Example: Vilmah Bloodborne is an orc. I roll the die and get a 75. Suddenly she is a tauren! I write a short story about Vilmah the tauren, while utilizing her personality but in a completely different context. I also include (with the story) a short description of the original character, to offer some context for readers unfamiliar with them. Note: This description of your original character does not count toward the character limit of the short story. 1 - 7 Dwarves 8 - 15 Orcs 16 - 23 Gnomes 24 - 31 Goblins 32 - 39 Humans 40 - 47 Trolls 48 - 55 Night elves 56 - 63 Pandaren 64 - 71 Draenei 72 - 79 Tauren 80 - 87 Worgen 88 - 95 Forsaken 96 - 100 Blood Elves The 1st place winner will receive 10k g in prize money in-game, with 2nd and 3rd place winning 5k g and 3k g respectively. The deadline is Sept. 1st. The winners will be chosen by Sanctuary (H), Twilight Empire (A), Borrowed Time (H) and Night Vanguard (A) representatives by September 7th. Good luck!
  2. TNG Con... 2018!

    So just to jump on the New Orleans bandwagon, I'd like to suggest the following: Accomodations: Omni Royal New Orleans Just a few blocks from Jackson Square, we'd be right in the middle of everything. They have 3 suites available, the largest of which holds up to 25 people. We would be a block from Bourbon Street, which is where all the mayhem happens. We would be within walking distance of just about everything you wanna do in New Orleans, from graveyard walks to haunted tours to the Voodoo museum. I have a whoooole list of things we can do besides these things, but if we go in an offseason (say winter, January maybe) we will get low prices and it shouldn't be too hot for all you sweaty people.
  3. Secrets

    Vilmah winced as the Inquisitor reached into Cobrak's mind, the orc's body visibly jerking as he attempted to fight off the mental invasion. "Now now.." the demon chuckled, digging deeper. "I can make it worse. I can rip your mind apart to get what I want. What are you hiding, 'Boss'? What secrets are you clinging to?" Cobrak said nothing, merely seething in contempt for the demon as he roared spittle in his face. His first defense failed, revealing information Cobrak secretly wanted him to find; things he wanted to protect falsely to better hide away the defenses and plans of his people. Dragon's Roost was vulnerable still, what defenses they had would not stand up to a demonic invasion. Cobrak would sacrifice his privacy and pride to protect them....he had to. The first memory bubbledup as Cobrak snarled; the memories awash with humans clad in plate with adorning anchor emblems emblazoned on their uniforms, a sign of the Kul Tiras nation. Hatred broiled throughout his being at the sight, the humans overseeing a constant ebb and flow of ragged orcs, some on the verge of starvation and death as they were forced to do grueling labor. Ores and gems mined and processed by the greenskins, whilst enduring the abuse of their pinkskinned overlords. Cobrak growls as a memory surfaces of one of the guards ripping away a newly-blossomed orc female from her work, the cries of pain sounding along with the painfully familiar slappings of flesh being forced upon another body. The process kept on in a dismal play, each day shown worse than the last. Only until the scene turned standstill as a particularly painful mmeory bobbed to the surface with a youngling's cry of "MOTHER!" Two guards had seized what seemed to be a scarlet-haired orcess and began to drag her away to a fate much like the female from before, a plaything for their amusement. Eyes locked onto that image, the world immensely larger through his eyes at such a young age. Green hands shook at a decreiped robed figure, spurring to action. "FATHER! FATHER! THEY'RE TAKING HER! FAAATHER!" The sight became blurred, water boiling his eyes as the figure stared ahead as though comatose. The red had been burnt out of the elder's lone eye, the orc naught but a husk of what he was supposed to be. A growl surfaced to mimic the older orc's, as he dashed off to pursue the two humans. Vilmah wasn’t sure what to expect when the Inquisitor started his work. She didn’t imagine he join her subconscious with Cobrak’s, but that was exactly what he did. Why? She wondered, as she watched Cobrak experience the pain of loss that would shape his life. Why make me see this? Then the idea struck her; to keep an eye on her thoughts. She and Cobrak couldn’t plan an escape if their thoughts were visible. “Excellent guess,” the Inquisitor said to her, vocalizing his confirmation of her theory. “It is interesting how far back he wanted to take his secrets, is it not? The weaknesses of his little port, the desire to protect his men, that was the first thing I could see… but this weighs more heavily in his mind. Something that happened so very long ago. So interesting.” Vilmah found herself snarling, a reaction that felt strangely out of character for the typically calm blademaster in training. “Leave him alone!” But the Inquisitor didn’t stop there. “Eventually,” he chuckled, diving deeper into Cobrak’s mind. “For now, I am having too much fun.” Cobrak seethed again, roaring his fury as he locked his lone eye onto the demon's, not a trace of fear but purest fury as he tried unsuccessfully to force the demon out through sheer force of will. His efforts were met with another wave of pain that assaulted his mind, more thoughts to be stolen. The mining camp was in flames, an infernal blaze that tipped the skies as the same shortened field of vision came now, hurrying along with a shorter scarlet-tressed orcish child being dragged along behind him in an effort to keep pace away from the cries of death and mutilation. "Put the greenskins down before they revolt like Blackmoore's." A whisper was heard, a human's speech coming through panicked thought. Images flashed of their escape through madness and hell, dodging between orcs and humans clashing. An orcess shoving them both through a small tunnel in the wall, too small for herself, the two fleeing to secure a small boat to sail away. Fleeing for their lives, these two orclings were with tears in their eyes as tey cried out for the family and friends left behind. There was more, in the forests they landed upon, came a being that which the demon could see many many strings of emotions entailing; a dark iron man, with rotund belly and a laugh much like Cobrak's. A rifle slung onto his shoulder that was a pitch perfect match for the orc's as of now. Cobrak tried to fight again, to protect the sanctity of his adoptive father, to keep his memory from being tainted by demonic hands. "Me name's Broden," The dark iron said, leaning down to survey the two little orcs, grin wide. "Ya kin come 'ome wit me iffin ya like."(edited) “How very touching,” the Inquisitor sighed. “But ultimately useless. Your little jaunt down childhood memories does little for me. Now…” the demon leaned in closer to the bars. “Tell me what you’ve really got hiding in there. Tell me what shames you so. I can feel you sweating. Something with great power had you cowed. Show me.” The orc growled more, hattred broiling still as though it would allow hima reprieve from this desecration. Images flashed, time spent among dark irons; a family clan ousted by its kind to live on the surface to make do with mercenary work. The family grew with more outsiders; trolls and tauren and soon...two black-haired humans that made Cobrak's anger bubble over at the mere sight of. Morinth. Jaster. Betrayers. Accepted, welcomed...the hatred he bore before dimmed over time, blossoming to love as Cobrak's younger lips met the human's. The orc cried his fury at the demon who so invaded, his shame on display now. A memory came, eyes that once burned with fire were snuffed and never to reignite; a pool of blood gathering on a desk much like the Cobrak's of today. An axe belonging to the orc embedded in Broden's back, but it was a pinkskinned hand who clutched its handle. A devious smile framed towards the haunted surprise of Cobrak as he surveyed the scene, Morinth's grin broke only to scream. False panic filled her system as harrowing cries filled the halls. "HELP HELP! COBRAK'S KILLED BRODEN!" "Betrayal?" The Inquisitor chuckled. "But it is more then that, isn't it? That woman. That woman has something, doesn't she? Tell me how useful she is, little orc." The demon bore down. "Show me why she is so important to you." He groaned in pain, more memories flooding out. Slaying Jaster, the brother; stealing away Broden's rifle whilst fleeing Morinth's shrieks of vengeance and his former family. A game of the hunt ensued, the two coming to blows whenever they met. A ruthless shadow organization at her command, as well as seemingly clones and duplicates of herself that shared one mind. An overlapping image of a Morinth scarred beyond recognition imparting her will onto numerous human designed in her youthful, flawless image; all bearing an eye that glowed like a crystal borne of the Void. The crystal. A shard of something greater that allowed her to take minds as she pleased and usurp her will into them. A legion of Morinths made from unwilling servants; girls plucked from the streets and orphanages, altered by the gem's presence and surgery to resemble her, aged artifically until they could be worked upon. Boys and other races' souls consumed by the gem to feed it. Cobrak growled, fighting back harder as when the demon pressed further in regards to the crystal. "Ah haaa...." the Inquisitor said happily, his little bony hands fluttering. "There we are! What is that? A crystal? A treasure of incredible power? Show me! I would love to see this trinket!" He resisted, if but for a moment, before laughing. Through the pain he managed to laugh as he showed the memory of where the crystal was located; in the middle of a lava pool, disintegrated into nothing as it and the upper half of Mornth's head were submerged beneath it. "Oh... well, that is a shame," the Inquisitor sighed. "Oh well! Your turn!" He said to Vilmah, turning his eyeless gaze toward the orcess. She didn't seem even remotely prepared for it. Vilmah's entire body jerked forward as the demon focused his attention on her subconscious. In an instant, what felt like chaos was projected into his mind. Flashes of blood, steel, screaming, and overwhelming pain. Above all, the orcess' mind seemed as if it were flooded with one thing; war. Cobrak snarled, feeling drained but definitely not out of the fight, "Oi...piece...o' shite....kinnae me none anymore...kin ya?!" The Inquisitor ignored Cobrak. Physically, anyhow. If he heard the other orc while picking through Vilmah's mind, he didn't make it clear. The three were strangely linked during the ordeal, though the Inquisitor himself kept his mind mostly blocked. If anything, both orcs could see him reel from the outright displays of violence in Vilmah's memory. It wasn't the blood, really. Nor was it the pain. It was the sheer amount, piled up year after year. Born and starved in Hammerfall, surrounded by death. Following Thrall to Durotar, only to be subjected to the military training that would shape her into a killer. Rejecting that killing instinct, inheriting Sanctuary shortly after coming of age. Leading a handful of those willing to fight for honor and justice. Betrayal at the hands of Garrosh Hellscream. More death. More blood. Vengeance. "What have we here?" The Inquisitor chuckled as Vilmah's memories led him and Cobrak into Grommash Hold. She was standing beside humans. Cobrak growled once more, powerless to stop the inquisitor. They went in deeper. The Inquisitor followed the threads of Vilmah’s brain to a room in Grommash hold. She killed the Kor’kron guards. She killed the Kor’krons inside. She killed them all indiscriminately until they lay on the floor and she stood staring at them. That was when she noticed something. “No,” the memory muttered. The Inquisitor laughed. The Kor’kron were female. One of them appeared thicker in the middle. “Amusing, but ultimately worthless information,” the demon chuckled, moving in deeper. The Sanctuary guildhall. The security. Vilmah had a hand in it all. “Here we are,” he sighed. “Now to see what you pests have to work with.” The orc snarled more, glancing away from the memory. It was war, you can't pick and choose who you kill in battle. He growled to himself, looking at the eredar a brief moment. The Eredar seemed distracted by a conversation. They glanced at Cobrak and Vilmah every so often, if only to make sure that they were still breathing, but otherwise talked quietly amongst themselves. Cobrak sent a glare towards them when locking eyes, baring his fangs before looking over at Vilmah. Vilmah was still focused on the Inquisitor. Or at least, he was focused on her. Both of the orcess' hazel eyes were locked on his as she stared into his eyeless face. "And I see here your progress on the Broken Shore.. and what's this? A vault? A vault full of relics? Well, that is useful..." It was then Cobrak felt a familiar instinctual tingle at the base of his skull. A familiar call that made him grin discretely as the Legion ship suddenly echoed with a large, terrible thunk like something had collided with it. Cobrak growled in rage, the whole of his body suddenly being encased in a feral aura of pure bloodthirst. The walls of their cells suddenly began to heat, a molten glow forming on its wall suddenly to burst open with draconic fire as Emberscale roared its fury to the two Eredar. Both beastmaster and drake were wrapped in the same aura. The heat of the drake was more than enough to scald Vilmah's skin, shocking her into action. Whatever made up the ship's walls was torn apart by heat and teeth. Stumbling backward, the Eredar and Inquisitor scrambled to escape from what was beginning to look like a very bad situation for themselves and every other demon on board. Luckily for Vilmah and Cobrak, the drake also managed to break through the chain holding their manacles to the wall. Unfortunately, the bars were still in place. "Quick! Have him take down those bars, Cobrak!" Vilmah said quickly, jumping to her feet with the chains still bound to her good arm. Cobrak whistled sharply, commanding as the proto-drake ceased its fire to peer at the two orcs. From off its back leapt a flash of fur and lightning as Skoll barreled into the inquisitor's back, snarling as it began tearing into the demon. Emberscale hissed in response, it moving in with its mouth to rip off the bar, snapping it to scrap metal with its powerful jaws. Freed save for his legs still bound together, Cobrak leapt at the inquisitor alongside Skoll. Even without mobility, he could still fight as he and Skoll literally began tearing apart the invasive demon. Vilmah ran past Cobrak and the Inquisitor, running straight for the Eredar. They were both weaving spells at the two naked orcs, but while their shadow magic hurt it wasn't enough to combat the pure adrenaline coursing through the diminutive orcess. Still bearing a calm expression, she grabbed the female Eredar's skull with her one hand and shoved it into her companion's. A violent crack of skulls signaled their almost instant demise. The Eredar went down with a thud, limp in a growing pool of blood. But Vilmah wasn't done. Still naked, she looked around quickly to get her bearings and saw what looked like a row of cells much like the one she and Cobrak shared. "I'm getting my arm!" She shouted to Cobrak, her chain scraping against the floor as she ran for what looked like a storage room on the other end. All Cobrak could hear was the agonizing shriek of the inquisitor as Cobrak placed two rough hands on its skull-like head, a foot on its spine as he began to pull. It hissed and clawed the ground as the hunter forcibly removed its head with a sickening sloughened sound as his spine decided to come along with. The hunter roared his fury, a hand slamming to his chest as he bore his prize. The beastmaster lagged along behind the blasemaster, Skoll remaining behind with the drake to make sure their escape did went unhindered. Cobrak would not leav this place without Broden's rifle. As she heard him running behind her, Vilmah understood that Cobrak was near. Most of the other cells she passed were empty, but those that weren't seemed to contain corpses. Silently, Vilmah considered that they likely would have been next. At the end of the hall, she came to the storage room. Yanking open the door, an array of different objects tumbled to the floor; clothes, weapons, armor. Her arm sat on a shelf beside her sword and scant armor, which she grabbed to pull on immediately. "We gotta go before they find out he's dead," she said while pulling on her armored pants. It was then that she noticed the collection of bombs left in a container on the floor. Vilmah blinked once, her mind made up. "Maybe we do one last thing, first." Cobrak looked around in the storage room, desperately searching. When he saw his beloved runed rifle he practically leapt at it, scooping it up to secure it within his grasp as though it would be an insult should anyone else touch it. He sighed in relief, fidning his armor as well. Fighting in the nude was always an interesting experience, but soemthing he'd rather not happen as a common occurence. "Aye, betcha money that wasnae e'en tha commander o' this ship." Cobrak stated, following her gaze to the bombs. A grin forms on his face as he holds up the demon's removed head, "Oi, dinnae think they'll mind us borrowin' sum...will ya, guv?" His voice became a falsetto mimicry of the inquisitor, as his arm made its jaw dance like it were talking. "Oi oi, go right 'ead, fer yer trouble." Vilmah carefully grabbed four bombs, two for each hand. "Can your drake fly us to different spots on the outside? Probably be a safer bet than trying to two-man our way through this place." "Aye, Ember kin git us round..." Cobrak grunts, tossing the head away with a chuckle. "Let's do it, then," Vilmah nodded, checking to make sure she retrieved all of her things; arm, armor, sword, bags. Once satisfied, she made back for their cell and Cobrak's waiting drake. Emberscale lounged on the improvised entrance he had made, clinging to the wall like a bat at rest. Skoll tipped his head up to view the runty female, a low growl murmuring from him before Cobrak reapeeared right after. Showing Vilmah into the saddle to ride behind him, Cobrak whipped the reins to make the crimson drake teeter off the the ship to spiral into a graceful glide, whirling back towards the ship. "I'd says tha engines an' tha bow! Thass where we'll do mos' damage!" Cobrak called over the wind. "On it!" Vilmah shouted back, aiming with her arm. She squinted through the wind at the engines, considering the implications of getting too close during the explosions. "Get some distance! I can chuck 'em at the engines with my arm!" "Git 'em set an' ready ta toss then!" he yelled back as he veered Emberscale to performa quick strafing run. Vilmah waited for the drake to get just close enough that she could reasonably aim. Her mechanical arm, while newer, she understood to be a little stronger than she was used to. She squinted toward the engine for a few seconds, then hurled the bomb as hard as she could manage. It went further than a normal arm would have managed, and sailed through the wind into the ship to create a small explosion. "Got it!" Cobrak laughed uproariously as the ship went up in flames when the bombs went off, the ship being sucked back into the nether as the entirety was engulfed in violent explosions. "GLORIOUS! AHAHAHA TAKE THAT YA FEL-FUCKIN' SODS!" Vilmah didn't laugh, but she seemed content enough with how things worked out. She kept quiet as Cobrak guided them away from the exploding demon ship, holding on to him and the drake with her good arm. Emberscale veered away, back towards civilization. The moment turned awkwardly silent as Cobrak stared ahead. Moments ticked by without a word between them. "...Wut ya saw, that dinnae leave tha ship." Cobrak finally said. Vilmah's face was stoic. She stared at the scales of the drake's neck. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she considered talking back. Cobrak was used to having control and it irked her. However, the chilly breeze over her nearly bare chest was a reminder; patience. The way of the blademaster. "I don't know what you're talking about," she said calmly, her voice monotone. "I didn't see anything." Cobrak decided that was good enough. The less who knew about his secrets, the better. " Good..." He said, careening the drake back to land at Vengeance Point.
  4. Secrets

    Cobrak hated being put in a situation that he could could not control the flow of. To be put solely on the mercy of “ifs” made his stomach curl, and a new rage blossom in his heart. It was akin to his days as a slave, to merely wait for the oncoming whip to snap at him. The thought made a fresh new flutter of rage blossom in his heart as he awaited the arrival of their superior. Once again, the Inquisitor arrived. The demon didn't acknowledge the two Eredar as he floated toward the bars, but grinned at Cobrak and Vilmah as if he had nothing better to do than entertain himself with the two orcs. "I see you have both grown comfortable," he said casually. "I would suggest that while I pluck the secrets from your subconscious you do not attempt to fight me. My associates will keep you from harming yourself. Wasting my time will not stop me, and you will only delay the inevitable. My advice is that you simply enjoy the ride. If you behave, I may let you live a while longer." The two Eredar smirked at one another as Vilmah squirmed in her place. "I have no intention of behaving," she growled, staring at the Inquisitor. "Is that so?" The demon chuckled. "Well," he grinned at Cobrak. "I'll just have to start with your friend then." There came a low rumbling snarl from deep in Cobrak's throat, but it was a tired one; a lion in captivity who could no longer muster the feral pride in its new cage. Mind-delving torture was nothing new, another retched filcher who sought to plunder his brain for secrets would end up like all the rest. Vilmah turned to look at Cobrak. He seemed resigned to his fate, though she knew better than to think he would simply give up and allow the Inquisitor to steal all of his secrets. Still, she couldn't imagine what kind of secrets the mercenary would have, anyway. His type was typically shameless. He clearly felt no guilt in regards to killing, or war, so what kind secrets did the Inquisitor want? What would he want to find? "Why bother with him?" Vilmah said sarcastic sneer. "He doesn't have any secrets worth finding. He's a mercenary. What, do you want to find his recipe for gnome pot pie?" Cobrak's secrets were his alone, but for at that moment he needed the bait of those secrets to lure the inquisitor in for more. Thoughts ran through his head of a scene where he could maybe let the demon parcel his mind, let himself snap his finger to him out of the magical trance; then focus on the inquisitor... No fleshy bits for him to bite or turn into, no blunt force strong enough he could use to daze him. The two eredar posed the biggest problem, as even if he could take down the interrogator, those two would simply lash him back. Then Vilmah spoke, and a curious gaze was sent her way for the briefest of moments. This was too familiar of when he and Faelenor were in Lazhio's clutches, each laughing and abusing their tormentors in a contest to see who could help their comrade out more by being the center of attention for torture. The idiot was probably going to get herself killed. "She ain't e'en worth yer time. She's a low caste officer in 'er own guild." He grumbled. "He doesn't know what he stalking about," Vilmah argued, struggling against her bindings. "He hardly knows who I am. You do, though," she insisted, glaring at the Inquisitor. "You know why you brought me here, and it wasn't for some stupid pissing contest over importance. You want secrets? Go ahead. I have plenty, and none of them will help you." Cobrak grunted a little, letting his teeth flare once more to bare before the looming demons. "Ya know, I got mental implants from tha best minds in me company.... Let tha woman go an' I'll turn 'em off..." A bluff, since his deal with Lazhio evaporated those mental wards anyway; he didn't expect them to even bother thinking about the deal, just another part in the act. The Inquisitor and his associates laughed, clearly amused by the two orcs. "Enough.. enough!" The demon said in between chuckles. If he had eyes, they would be full of tears. "You're both remarkable in your idiocy. I'm going to reach into both of your heads and rip out what I want. There's no need to see who will be first, but since you both insist on being so selfless, I'm going to pick the one with the loudest mouth." Without another word, the Inquisitor turned to Cobrak and extended a hand in his direction. Within moments, pain shot through the orc's body, traveling from the base of his spine up toward his brainstem and throughout each nerve ending. "Now," the demon commanded. "What's on your mind, little orc?" With the pain came a surge of bestial anger, throbbing up his spine that made his eye practically glow with bloodlust. Much like partioning soldiers to make a false front to die so others could live, so did he make his focus as such when it came to his beasts' link; he hid it away and made a show of defense towards his most preciously guarded secrets. "G..UTT...IN'...YA...." He managed to growl, before his mind was seized.
  5. Secrets

    Cobrak hocked a loogie at one and laughed, eager to rile them up. The eredar both laughed, the male stepping far enough away from Cobrak's projectile to let it land in front of his hooves. "Look, Xer'ci. He's angry," the male chuckled, grinning at his companion. "They said they would be ugly, but they didn't say just how ugly. How am I supposed to heal in these circumstances?" The female smirked and shook her head. "Just close your eyes and pretend he is your mother, Seyyir." Seyyir punched the female gently in her shoulder. "Bitch. Come on, let's get this overwith." The two eredar faced Vilmah and Cobrak. Their eyes glowed a little brighter as they focused their magic toward the orcs, healing their heads and their small wounds. It didn't take long before both Vilmah and Cobrak felt perfectly fine. Cobrak orc growled still, understanding that the healing was just the beginning of what would most likely be strenuous torture. He knew he had to be patient for a proper chance to strike, but he had to keep up an act that he would be defiant lest they become suspicious. More abuse was hurled their way, words and curses that would make a goblin sailor blush. Remarks about their mothers fornicating with fel boars were particularly descriptive. Despite his goading, the Eredar seemed less inclined to actually interact verbally with Cobrak. Once they finished healing them, the two stood aside but didn't leave. Vilmah regarded this turn of events suspiciously. "Don't mind us," Seyyir said with a chuckle. "We're just going to supervise this interrogation. Make sure you don't do anything stupid while it happens. Just in case," he added with a wink. Vilmah stared straight ahead, her mouth shut. She didn't bother looking at Cobrak, who she was certain would have something to say about that. Cobrak’s mind pondered. An angry opponent was easier to deal with, especially since they would be overseeing the torture now. How to make these shitbags angry? Had to be something deeply personal. He tried their families and appearances but that wasn't doing any good. That's when an idea came to him. Grinning to himself as he decided on a gambit that might spark true irritation. "Whass tha matter draenei?! Gonna 'ang back an' 'ide be'ind yer Prophet, ya red-skinned Naaru-suckin' goats?!" One thing that they would hate, as he remembered from his days working for the Aldor. These demons hated being referred to as their Light-worshipping cousins. The Eredar paused, blinking at eachother before bursting into laughter. Seyyir wiped a tear from his eye and nodded toward Cobrak, grinning. "That one, we'll have to make sure he lasts past the interrogation. I want to have fun with him when it's over." Cobrak kept on his laighter, hiding his fristration that he could not anger them. These guards were competent. How could he rattle them? He shot a look at Vilmah, giving her an eye-laden shrug as though to say, 'I tried'. Vilmah returned Cobrak's look dubiously. He was obviously trying to rattle them, but it didn't seem to work. For the first time, she felt appreciative of his attitude, the way he tried to take control of their situation. It was a strategy she could understand, needing to be in control. Being chained and at the mercy of someone else's plan clearly irked him.. "Stop it, Cobrak," she sighed, like someone who was tired of fighting. "What's the point.." Cobrak grunted, sneered before falling into a similar melancholy. The fight had been taken out of him, it seemed. Well, at least the front of him trying to put up a fight would be taken well. As Cobrak acquiesced, Vilmah prayed he would understand her meaning. If we're going to win, we have to lose, she thought to herself. He was clearly in the possession of a typical orcish temper, as evidenced by his behavior. She hoped that his submission would lead their captors in a direction that would give them the advantage. "I think they're ready, Xer'ci," Seyyir said with a smirk, nodding toward Cobrak. "I can see why this one is so angry. Having a female in charge must be incredibly emasculating." Xer'ci punched Seyyir in the shoulder. "Is that why you're such a shit?" She asked dryly, moving to lean against the wall with her arms folded. The Eredar looked down toward the hall. "Keep your mouth shut. Here h comes."
  6. Secrets

    Vilmah tilted her head toward the approaching figure; an Inquisitor. Not quite as small and weak as the ones they dispatched of, earlier. This one projected an eerie presence, his toothy grin unwavering in its amusement. “I was wondering when you would open your eyes. It makes the process smoother, when you are conscious. There is less risk of damaging other parts of your brain while I sift through it.” Cobrak snarled, looking like he would bite if it got any closer; hackles raised as he bared his fangs. "I'll fuckin' gut ya ya shit-'eapin' fel-fuckin' gnome-lovin' piss-'jockin' twat! C'mere an'-" Cobrak launches into a tyrad eof abuse, shouting and cursing at the demon. If he made it angrier, maybe it would focus on him more and let the orcess trip him up or something. The Inquisitor grinned at Cobrak, entertained. He let the orc vent his rage before speaking again, his voice so smooth it was nearly comforting. “How very amusing,” the Inquisitor chuckled, glancing toward Vilmah from behind the bars. “And you? Do you have anything to say?” Vilmah’s expression was sour, but she didn’t throw a barrage of insults. Her rage was centered, a single space in the middle of her chest. “Fuck. Off.” The Inquisitor laughed again. “Very well. I will give you two a little time to grow accustomed to your surroundings. Your brains must be inflamed. That will not do for the activities I have planned. "No,” he grinned at Cobrak. “You two have wonderful secrets. Boss, Warboss. You should be glad it will be me extracting them. I may even let you live to see them put to good use.” Without giving them a chance to respond, the demon floated away. Cobrak seethed more, spitting as best he could at the retreating demon. "Thas right, fuck off!" He bellowed after, snorting. His eye turned critical then, frowning as he thought. "Hm." he muttered, thinking now. He knew who they were, meaning they specifically had been targeted. They were being kept alive to be mentally expunged, meaning this was no ordinary demon, this was a very much high-ranking one that could plan and strategize. "...Bastard's a shite jailor. Gave way more than I would." Cobrak muttered as he looked around, given time to think. The chain were too heavy to break...at least by him. he began looking a ttheir surroundings, trying to piece together if they were still on land or secured away on of the Legion ships. “I don’t think he thinks it matters what we know,” Vilmah sighed, putting away her rage for later. “He has us bound and jailed. There’s no clear way we can escape, given our lack of resources. He’ll expect us to struggle, maybe plan an escape. I can guarantee they already have a plan in place, should that happen.” "Thass why I'm thinkin' o' one now." he mutters, closing his eye once more to concentrate. He could feel Skoll's presence nearby, it was hard to discern where though. The worg had gone into hiding as Cobrak thought he would, stalking after them. The beast alone could not aid them, maybe another one could. An instinctual command is given through their link, the worg's presence retreating until he could no longer tap into it. "...Jus' 'ang on....might be a while, but I'm workin' onnit." Vilmah wiggled her fingers. She only had one arm, which meant they wouldn’t expect her to break out easily. How much did they know about her and Cobrak? Enough to know their rank, their history, and probably their abilities. “They’re going to expect you to use your animals to help us,” she said with a calm realization. “They know who we are. They know what we’re capable of. That’s a weakness on our part. The only way we’re going to get out of here is if we do something they won’t expect.” "They dinnae know alla 'em." he commented back as he kept looking around. "But that dinnae mean I'm gonan rely on that lone..." he muttered as he began looking at the orcess to appraise her. Without weapons, they were without a great deal of fighting strength even if they break free. Still, a fighting chance if... No, he shouldn't think about that. He needed to bury that thought deep down lest the inquisitor find it. "Right then..." he said, looking around. Vilmah took in another deep breath. “Cobrak,” she said carefully, her tone as even as the situation would allow. “We have to let him get close. We have to let him get close enough that he lets his guard down. That’s how we’re going to get out of here. By letting him in.” "That doesnae mean we kinnae keep lookin'." he stated back, "Aye, that do be a best bet, but I dinnae like ta rely on one plan lone...er e'en two." He sayid, looking toward the door. He positioned himself oddly, shifting his hands to grasp around one of his fingers. "'Ate doin' this..." he mumbled, knowing it would be the only way out if he seized their minds. Turning her head toward the other orc, Vilmah frowned at his muttering. "What are you doing?" "Pain. Pain anna lotta o' it breaks through mind shite." he answered, knowing well enough how to best mind-takers. "So when 'e comes back...bes' git ready when 'e tries to take our minds." Vilmah smiled a little, lowering her eyes. "You think breaking a finger is gonna do that?" "Done it fore." he said, almost looking like he would shrug. "S'ow I got free o' shite like this fore." "You've had this happen before?" Vilmah asked with raised eyebrows. Cobrak grunted, "Aye...not from demons, but from 'umes." "Humans," she repeated, chewing on her lip thoughtfully. "How'd they get into your head?" Cobrak did not feel the need to mention it was one human. "Powerful gem, sum ol' relic...could rip part minds." “I see.” Vilmah considered what that might mean. If Cobrak had experience with having his mind prodded, would it make him more or less likely to crack under pressure? What kind of secrets did he have, that the Inquisitor would be so eager to get his hands on? She thought better than to ask those questions. Whatever Cobrak was hiding, she at least trusted that they were for the benefit of the Horde and worth protecting. “Cobrak, I know a thing or two about pain. If they go for me first, I know what to do. If you see that happen, do what you have to do to break us out of here. Can you do that?” "Aye, I may think ya're bit o' a sod, but I ain't bout ta leave any Horde be'ind." he said, damning what everyone otuside his company thought him to be. "So trust me sayin' we'll git outta 'ere wit our skin intact." He stated, rolling his shoulder. Vilmah sighed and tossed her head back, flipping a few strands of loose hair out of her face. "Well.." she muttered. "..I guess that's not the worst thing I've been called," she said with a little humor. "Try bein' an ex-Grim, ya'll find a whole new world o' insults." he states, trying a weary laugh.(edited) "Please... you think I don't have history with the Grim?" Vilmah tried to fold her legs in a more comfortable position, wincing as the chains cut into her skin. "I led Sanctuary when we were still seen as traitors for being loyal to Thrall. The Grim gave me shit every step of the way. They were weird that way. On the one hand, their own leader taught me everything he could. But his members didn't make it a secret that they wanted me dead. Every day. Because I didn't want to help them burn orphanage buildings or hunt farmers. But you can bet your ass that when they asked us to join them in the Molten Core, we went." "ya think its jus' tha Grim givin' shite?" He stated, looking back at the orcess. "Juli's tha only damn Sanct I found who dinnae try ta spit on me er'ry chance they damn well git...Lookin' down from tha ivory towers, paradin' an' grandstandin' that tha rest o' us dinnae know better..." Cobrak snarled, snorting his anger still. "Shite, ya wanna know 'ow this whole bloodbath thin' started wuz when a Sanct straight up tried ta murder a Grim...Oh, an' tha resplendid damn idea o' defendin' an Alliance military base from a Grim assault!" he huffed, trying to cool himself back down. "Only thing worse than Syreena be Kex'ti...both them shitebags 'ave attacked more Horde than anyone else I know." “Well I don’t know much about Kex’ti,” Vilmah admitted. “I was gone when Juli reformed the guild. I was gone when she married Kex’ti, made him an officer.” Why she was gone, Vilmah didn’t have the strength to admit. “I don’t know what you’re talking about when you say ‘ivory towers’. I don’t know what that’s like. The Sanctuary I knew was small, just me and my Bloodsworn. We didn’t have the numbers to be cocky, and we certainly didn’t have the time or the energy. We were just trying to survive with our spirits intact.” Again, she shifted her legs. “Most of us didn’t make it.” Cobrak grunted, easing back to try and relax himself. "Well, s'changed...Juli's a good woman anna good commander...but gods damned iffin 'er choice in 'usbands makes no sense." He grunted, looking back over to the orcess. "S'changed then from wut ya know...I 'eard wut 'appened durin' Garrosh's rule, went up in flames....Remember gittin' a bounty fer you lot fore I signed on wit tha Grim...Remember burnin' it too, figgurin' out when Hellscream lost 'is damn mind." There was a moment of quiet reflection as Vilmah’s lip trembled. Closing her hazel eyes, she took a few steadying breaths. “Yeah, well, we saw that firsthand. We had to scatter. Those bounties didn’t end with the burning of our hall. They followed us, especially me. Nojinbu wound up in Pandaria, so consumed by rage he needed their monks to help him out of it. We had to send our daughter away. Our human daughter. So she’d be safe.” Opening her eyes again, Vilmah glanced at Cobrak. “I don’t hate you, or your company. I think we have a lot in common. What scares me is that there might be more, and I don’t want to see that happen.” Cobrak's eye turned down, remembering what it was like to feel so betrayed by someone he had looked up to... Had believed in. The Warchief's betrayal did not just hurt his enemies. "...A lotta people ask why we keep kids from the Alliance....lott apeople say they're slaves...er trophies." Cobrak's eye turns outward, staring off towards a direction he knew his home was. It was as natural to find it, so purely engrained into his being. "...We find 'em...sum were test subjects....fer those 'umes I said fore..." His eye withers as he remembered the day Naheal's draenei spy had found them, some starving, days away from dying. "...Others we took in cuz they 'ad nowhar else ta go...Dalyia's father made a lotta enemies...Alliance an' Horde both....enemies that wouldnae 'esitate ta kill 'er ta git at 'im." “I don’t begrudge your willingness or your want to help them,” Vilmah said quickly. She could tell there was sincerity there. “I think maybe I’m just worried that no matter how safe you think you can keep them, it’ll never be enough. Well, that’s life in general though. I think I feel the same way about everyone. She swallowed down the bitterness rising into her mouth. “I’m a little paranoid. After what happened, I can’t stop thinking of every risk. I’m sorry if I projected that on to you. It wasn’t my intention to make you feel like I was looking down on you. I don’t have the right to look down on anyone.” The orc nodded back, "...Truth be...sumtimes I look at them....Look at them an' remmeber tha humes who took way my clan...my people." He takes a deep breath, "An' I remember tha hate. I remember hatin' them...I'll ne'er not hate humans..." He admits it like it were a curse, frowning. "...But me kiddos...tha kiddos we got...they willnae know that hate with them round....They'll not become like me...so pat o' ya lot lookin' down is right...Dinnae mean I like it..." Vilmah found herself frowning a little. “You think they’re not going to know hate, but that’s one thing you’re wrong about. They’ll know. They always know. I was born in Hammerfall. Some of those humans, they tried to be kind. Like you. They tried to be kind, but there was no way they could hide the way they felt. You have noble intentions, Cobrak, but if you feel hate for their kind, they’ll know. Don’t underestimate them.” "Thass why tha others who dinnae be tha ones who care fer 'em mostly." he replied, soon bringing out a small chuckle. "...Cept Dalyia...tha lil' pup...keeps tryin' ta butter er'ryone up." The laughter rang out, a little truer with genuine affection. It died down soon enough, Cobrak dimming some. "You have plenty to live for," Vilmah said in a resigned voice. "I'll make sure I give you the chance to get out. I don't think I need to remind you to aim to kill, but just in case - don't give him the chance to retaliate. As soon as you see an opening, go for it. Take him down any way you can." "Wut? I been through a shit ton worse than this, I ain't givin' up till me arms an; legs be blown off!" The orc snapped back, almost grinning in challenge to the world. "E'en then I'll bite an' spit till then." Vilmah smiled a little, closing her eyes to prepare. "I believe you." Cobrak rolled his jaw, wishing he had his pipe. "Good...cuz we's both gittin' out 'ere...cuz I need a drink after this an' I 'ate doin' it by meself." "Last time I drank with an orc, we ran naked through the Darkmoon fair," she said without a hint of shame. "I don't know, Cobrak. You think you can top that?" Cobrak cocked an eyebrow, "That passes as normal back 'ome." A grin formed on his mouth, completely humored. Vilmah laughed a little, her voice strained. "Okay. Then let's get out of this. You've already seen me naked, anyway." Cobrak laughed too, if far a cry from his normal guffawing. "Congrats, ya kin join 'alf tha women in tha Aldor now an' brag bout seein' me buck nekkid." Rolling her eyes, Vilmah smirked to herself. "Pass. My mate isn't too keen on me going full regimental blademaster, he probably won't be happy if he hears you saw me like this too." Cobrak quirked his head, "Aye, troll ain't 'e?" "Drakkari," Vilmah answered gently. "One of the best killers I've ever known. Now he's a monk." Cobrak remained silent, suddenly looking up and down her body and seemingly very puzzled.... then again Xaraphyne and Fhenrir were a similar conundrum, so he didn't press the question. "Ne'er knew any frost trolls who werenae batshit crazy....but interestin'." "His tribe, the Frostbite trolls, they were destroyed by dwarves," Vilmah shrugged. "They weren't like the ones in Northrend. Nojinbu is the most honorable troll I've ever known. Most honorable member of the Horde, period." Cobrak grunted in affirmation, "Hmh. Seems a lil objective that statement." The orc chortled under his breath. The orcess grinned. "Yeah well, he ruined me for orcs, I'll say that. And he showed me that our people tend to have some pretty shit opinions when it comes to other races. That's why when Garrosh showed his true colors, I knew we were in for trouble. How he could do what he did to the trolls, and the Forsaken.. I couldn't bear it." Cobrak soured, "Fuckin' shite....Iffin 'e 'adnae gone fuckin' mad we woulda won tha war..." The orc grumbled, "I thought 'e wuz gonna finally wipe out tha Alliance after Theramore...Tha trolls were right ta rebel....Vol'jin wuz a good leader." Vilmah clearly felt pain with the mention of Vol'jin. "He was the best of us. The Legion.. they took the greatest thing we had. They're going to pay for that. Starting with this Inquisitor." Cobrak nodded, looking out to where the demon vanished. "...Aye, mebbe then we'll go THEIR world an' fuck up THEIR shite..EH?! Ya 'ear that fuckin' gnome-suckin' jacklobbers! Gonna run back ta yer 'ome an' string alla ya up!" There comes a bloodthirsty laugh as he yells. Vilmah blinked at Cobrak. He was certainly loud, but at least he was in good spirits. "Right.. just give me a few to get over this headache." Cobrak grunted, spitting that he did not get any attention from the shouting. He looked back over at Vilmah, cocking an eyebrow. "Magic's still ringin' in yer 'ead too?" "Yeah.." She muttered. "I have a feeling he's letting us cool down because it's more difficult to pick through our head when it's damaged." "Aye....like bleedin' out a carcass fore skinnin' it." he muttered, suddenly feeling uneasy. Like sensing on oncoming blizzard did his instincts prickle to an approaching presence. What answered his instincts wasn't an Inquisitor. Rather, it was a pair of Eredar, one male and one female. They regarded the two orcs with a chuckle, but said nothing to either of them. They seemed content to watch the prisoners squirm.
  7. Secrets

    The silence was deafening. There was usually always some sort of white noise. People talking, birds singing, the sounds of metal clashing against metal. The sounds of life and violence. Silence was a strange thing to come upon for someone so used to an unquiet life. It made it easier to hear her own heartbeat, which was slow and plodding, as well as her own breathing, which felt shallow in her chest. Ragged. It was difficult to breathe, and that was what woke her. That and the pain. A solid dull ache in the base of her skull, damage from the shadow magic that incapacitated her. Vilmah opened her eyes to see a blur of gray as her eyes adjusted to the dim light. Memories came trickling in; the fight, the demons, Cobrak? She wiggled her fingers, but found only one hand responded. Slowly looking toward her left, she saw that the newly crafted arm created by Gunheya and Dessim was gone. “Shit..” she muttered, reaching for the stump only to find that her remaining arm was restrained, as were her ankles. Both were connected by a series of chains and manacles, which she now saw were bound to the wall behind her. Solid stone all around, bars in front. The cold air signaled that she’d been stripped, and looking down she saw that all of her scant armor was gone, leaving the orcess bare, without even her chest wrap or a pair of underwear. “Shit,” she grumbled again, squeezing her eyes shut to refocus herself. The pain was still there, floating in the back of her head like the ghost of failure. Upon opening her eyes and finding the cell a little clearer, she looked around again only to find that she wasn’t alone. Beside her, also stripped and bound by chains, was Cobrak. Vilmah took a deep breath and cursed for a third time. “Shit.” Ears quirked to the sound of profanity, his breath sifting in like sand through a strainer. His lone eye fluttered open only to close again at the aftershocks of magic hammered dull throbs in his mind. His teeth grated with a low growl as he sucked in air. Nostrils flared as he tried to move, finding his wrists shackled behind his back and legs clamped together. How could he be captured again? Again to be tormented. Again was he caged and chained, and again did he feel the bestial rage that boiled within him at the audacity to try to contain him. He would sooner die then let another Morinth or Lazhio torture him. Death, was not in the itinerary, he had a family to return to. He needed to settle before his struggling tore his wrists off. What was the last things he remembered? Attacking warlocks... then the orcess.... then demons... then... the rage overtaking him and- and he now had a partner in this cell he now noticed. Of all the people to be stuck with... could be worse, he supposed. Could have been Kex'ti. "Hrngh." Cobrak grunted, snorting as he tried to carefully wriggle out of his bindings. "...Whar be we?" Vilmah’s loose purple hair covered half of her face, hiding her irritation at the situation that brought them together. She wasn’t particularly fond of Cobrak, or most orc males in general for that matter. She could practically feel the anger boiling off of him, the kind she worked so hard to suppress as a blademaster apprentice. “I don’t know,” she said evenly, her voice straining to remain calm. “The last thing I remember was being hit with shadow magic.” Deep calming breaths. Vilmah attempted to center herself, to consider their situation more critically. Getting their bearings seemed the best first time. “Are you injured? They took my arm, and our armor, and our weapons.” Shifting in her bindings, she considered the strength of the chains. Strong though she was, she wasn’t exactly capable of breaking metal with her bare hand. The mention of his beloved rifle gone made him almost snarl, if only to spite the pain ringing through him. Whatever that demon was, he was going to find his own head shoved up his ass! A breath followed as he closed his eyes, his body moving how it could to locate any injuries. His side immediately shot a flare of pain as he did so. Enough to warrant a cautionary signal in his mind. "...Fine.. mebbe got a rib ‘er two busted." he grunted, neverminding the fact that they were both naked as the day they were born. A thought brewed in his mind as he began reaching out with his natural beastial prowess. "...No critters round." He says after a few moments. "Not e'en a damn rat...." He grunted, trying to branch further out to contact the instinctual bond he shared with his beasts. "Do that an' ya'll be useless inna fight." Cobrak warned as he became almost meditative. He sent out his mind's eye to connect with something, anything; only for the shadow magic to throw off his concentration. He snarled and snorted like an angry bull, shaking his head as though making to charge. "Gimme sum time...I kin..." He was cut off when a third entered their delightful little conversation. “Oh good, you’re awake,” came a haunting familiar voice.
  8. The Fog of War

    Vilmah blinked, as if confused by the sudden declaration. When he put his helmet back on, she finally understood what was happening. "Ah! Therrien! Good fight." She said happily, taking a few burdened steps to catch up before she gently slapped the human on his enormous plate shoulder with her one working hand. Despite the heavy hook in her back and the chain wrapped around her arm, she still seemed in a good mood. As they walked, Vilmah reached for the straps holding her mechanical arm in place, and using her one hand, unlatched it. The broken thing fell to the sea water with a loud splash, revealing the stump of her left arm, removed at mid-bicep. She picked up the prosthetic and regarded it sadly before shoving it into one of her magic bags. It was a long walk back to Valdisdall, and Vilmah was steadily losing blood from the hook in her back. She cleared her throat. "Therrien?" She asked politely, turning to one side to point at the enormous hook that pierced through her, a steady trail of blood rolling down her back and into the water. "Need uh.. need help. Or die. Probably." Rorrek did not stop the measured and slow pace through the mire for some time, even after Vilmah spoke. In silence he trudged forward whilst seeking to keep wary of his surroundings. Eventually he halted his steps and stood there gazing upward toward the ever present fog. He turned slightly and looked back to Vilmah. The man's solemn and fatigued face could be seen through the gap in his helm due to their proximity, and it wore a most grim expression. The Knight was quite aware of the predicament of the orcess and had been since the brief glance he stole before, and yet he did not appear to hold supplies on hand to adequately handle the situation. He looked again forward as if measuring the distance yet to be traversed before Valdisdall was reached. They had come far from the outcropping where their stand was made, but there was still too much ground to cover before even attempting the steep and winding cliffs... He sighed in frustration whilst his brow furrowed, and after some moments of silence more seemed to come to a decision. Rorrek thrust downward the cleaver that was not acting as his crutch into the shallows, the blade jutting upward and still. He then gestured with his now free gauntlet toward where Vilmah stood. "Wait," he commanded and set off in another direction by himself. Soon he vanished into the mists completely beyond the sight of the Blademaster. Vilmah didn't waste time as she was asked to wait. Her one arm reached into one if her magic bags and pulled out a roll of bandages, thick and strong enough that it could stop most bleeding. Holding one end with her teeth, she carefully guided the bandage around herself, covering the hook even as it remained inside of her to at least slow the bleeding. She was breathing heavily now, and the fog was making it difficult to see in combination with her blurred vision, but she continued until the bandages were spent. Once finished, she walked toward the blade her temporary companion left behind. It was not the sort if blade one saw every day, and that he would leave it behind intrigued her. She made a note of it, and waited as he instructed, watching the distance for more enemies. Time seemed meaningless while within the unnatural mists of the Kvaldir. All that could be vaguely told was that a lengthy amount of waiting had passed since the man ventured into the fog at his crippled pace. Eventually something stirred from whence he had departed. A slow and uneven splashing, as if of cautious footsteps, approached Vilmah while still wreathed from her sight. An eerie blue glow could gradually be seen emerging more clearly from the haze much akin unto a wisp. The shape which accompanied the light ambled slowly toward the orcess into view and fortunately proved to be none other than Rorrek again. Within one gauntlet was a crude torch which kept the ghastly blue flame atop it, the source of which most likely of the bonfires and lanterns about the now deserted Kvaldir encampments. As well, pressed between the torch handle and his plated hand, were strands of hanging moss that had been clumped together. Rorrek controlled his pained and arduous breathing with an effort as he walked until he stood behind Vilmah. "Kneel," he spoke directly and waited. Vilmah had seen enough field doctors to know where this is was going. She sighed and laughed to herself, doing as the human instructed, kneeling in the water. "Not too bad," she said, grinning through the pain. It was clear she was straining to keep her composure. "Need stay pretty." Rorrek immediately afterward embedded his remaining cleaver upright in the water as the one before. A moment was required to ensure his stability and footing, the fractured bones within his side perpetually aching. A cold sweat had accumulated upon his brow from the continuous exertion which bordered upon fatigue. Regardless, he set to work at once. He reached beneath one pauldron and retrieved an ornate horn which displayed intricate scrimshaw designs upon it. The wooden stopper at the wider and sealed end was deftly removed, and at once came forth the pungent scent of blazegrease again. He then opened slightly the palm which held the torch and clump of moss as to allow the drier portion kept at the center to breathe. The open lid of the horn of oil was pressed to the dry moss and, with meticulous care, upended for a single fleeting moment. As a result a minute amount of the highly flammable substance doused the moss beneath before the horn was sealed and stowed away again. Rorrek paused. He then reached for his waist and unsheathed the scramseax knife at his side. He reached over Vilmah and offered the handle horizontally before her lips. "Bite." Vilmah took the blade thankfully, a dozen or so jokes running through her mind. There was something about horrendous pain and the threat of death that seemed to inspire humor in the orcess, though she could not appropriately translate it to Common. Instead, she lowered her head and said "thank yiu" as clearly as she could in the human tongue, and put his knife between her teeth. The Knight then affixed his gaze upon the still jutting hook which tore unto Vilmah's back, assessing the angle and position carefully. His obscured expression would tell of one preparing as such was certainly necessary for when the horrid blade was removed. The bleeding would be profuse and undoubtedly worse than now. He would need to act swiftly once the deed was done. Rorrek's cold gauntlet pressed against Vilmah's shoulder and then pushed lightly downward to guide them forward slightly so that their posture was not so steep. His steel clad fingers peeled down the recent layer of bandages that Vilmah had wrapped about herself and the hook. He then clasped the end of the hook where its base met the wrapping chain. "Were only Brianna here..." he muttered beneath his breath. "Endure," he then said firmly aloud. He wrestled with the hook and eventually angled it free, allowing it to fall limply and hang by its chain. The flow of blood increased as expected and he proceeded accordingly with all due haste. The previously oil doused clump of dried moss was compressed in his grip and then pressed into the wound to staunch the stream. The Kvaldir torch was then lowered as he took a step back. The wicked embers of the drowned marauders emanated an icy chill, but would ignite the oil nonetheless. The brittle portion of moss caught fire and instantly erupted into violently consuming flames of bright orange as the blazegrease ignited. Rorrek grimaced again as he watched briefly, allowing the abrupt fire to cauterize the outer layer of the wound from within. Yet, he did not allow the orcess to burn for long. The torch was cast into the water and the remaining moss dipped thereafter beneath the surface. This was thence compressed as well and then pressed with some force atop the charred kindling within Vilmah's wound to smother the flames. Rorrek held the damp and makeshift poultice to her burned flesh for several moments. It was a pitiful and desperate procedure which would need to be cleansed soon, lest the orcess succumb to infection. But... at least the bleeding would stop. He eventually lifted his gauntlet, leaving the moss thereabouts to seal the harshly cauterized injury. The bandaging was pulled upward to cover the clump and set it in place. For her part, Vilmah kept still throughout most of the procedure. She was clearly used to pain, as evidenced by the scars littering her exposed skin. Her back was already a collection of stab wounds, bullet holes, slashes and burns. Vilmah bit down on the blade she was kindly provided with and closed her eyes as the hook was removed from her, blood gushing down her back threatening to force the orc into unconsciousness. She swallowed down the pain, even as she felt her tusks dent the metal in her mouth. For all its agony, the hook removal paled in comparison to the burning. Now, she grunted, deep in her throat, forcing herself to take the pain quietly to avoid signaling their position to more unseen enemies. It was especially difficult, as her self control slipped further away with the blood loss. When it was finally over, she dropped the knife into her hand and wiped her mouth, shaking with cold and fatigue. She took a moment to gather her strength and stood on trembling legs, her skin pale. Turning to face the human, she handed him his knife with her one hand and nodded solemnly. "Thank you. I.. owe debt." Rorrek mused on their words while assessing their composure and sheathing the knife. There came forth a grunt of acknowledgement that preceded his response. "Canst thou walk?" he inquired tiredly. He watched attentively through the mounting haze of pained exhaustion. She was certainly in worse shape betwixt them, but his form was upon the verge of collapse as well in spite of his discipline. Instead of waiting for a response, Rorrek saw to the retrieval of his cleavers and came to stand beside Vilmah. The right blade was quickly set to use as a crutch again. He partially lowered the shoulder nearest them and gestured with a nod for her to approach and perhaps take hold of his pauldron. "Come," he spoke and waited so to set their pace toward their destination once she took hold. Vilmah blinked at the offer, but wasn't really in a position to argue. She put her one hand on his shoulder and allowed herself to lean on him enough that she could walk. Laughing a little at their situation, Vilmah offered the Knight a smile as they trudged through the water; two heavily injured warriors from opposing factions, clinging to one another for survival. "Anyone sees," she said with a scratchy voice, her breathing labored as they moved. "Orc, human, no kill eachother. Good thing. No good injured, but, good no kill eachother. Just like Thrall say." Rorrek remained silent for a time as they set off slowly toward where they might depart the sodden grounds of the Kvaldir. He concentrated upon regulating his breath as his chest burned with each inhalation that stirred his heaving injury. Eventually a rather dry chuckle came from deep in his throat, though it waned soon after. "Yes, I suppose... Good."
  9. The Fog of War

    For a moment the warrior lost consciousness and did not notice the enormous feet which stomped slightly above his head. The Kvaldir that had stood rightmost of their encirclement had approached his senseless body, their malicious grin to have appeared upside down to Rorrek were he awake. He began to rouse beneath the water and with blurred vision glimpsed the shadow that descended from above. Adrenaline coursed through his battered form and his muscles reacted instinctually, lifting the flat of his still clutched cleaver upward with both hands. The long axe haft crashed against the blade and the ripples of force cascaded painfully throughout his person. A strangled cry of torment escaped his lips and became muffled through the foul water. Still, the axe had been stopped from cleaving his breastplate in twain. Further fortune followed as the Kvaldir could not pull his axe free, the curved end having been caught against the underside of Rorrek's cleaving sword. Without hesitation, in spite of the mounting pains his body exuded, his right gauntlet dove for his waistguard. There sheathed was a scramseax, the sidearm a simple and single edged knife. The smaller blade was drawn, point downward, to which Rorrek then pulled himself upward the shallows whilst shouting through the blinding pain of his ribcage. With effort he twisted and drove the scramseax unto the Kvaldir's lower stomach and forced it downward unto the giant's groin. With another desperate mustering of strength he twisted the knife and continued its descent down the drowned vrykul's innermost thigh. The Kvaldir knelt beneath the abrupt wound as his footing buckled and in such sealed his fate. The knife was withdrawn from its diseased flesh and stabbed unto the far side of the Kvaldir's neck which was now stooped within reach. It collapsed and became naught but foam and blood again. The remaining two Kvaldir began their approach before the Knight could stand and regain his stance. There were two Kvaldir left; one wielding a shield and mace, the other with a chain and hook. As the latter approached the knight, he raised the chain and spun it in a wide arc. His prey was in the water, injured from the look of it. Vilmah grit her teeth in frustration, pain radiating from the wound in her side. She bit her tongue as the salty sea water stung her exposed flesh and tightened her grip around the sword gifted to her from the Valarjar. With a deep breath, she ran full-speed toward the two Kvaldir, screaming at the top of her lungs. “Lok’tar ogar!!” It was enough to grab their attention. The chain wielding Kvaldir turned from their downed opponent and instead swung an enormous hook in Vilmah’s direction while his companion ran for her with his shield held in front. Vilmah would have to think quickly on which to engage first, and seeing as how one was not as heavily shielded, she decided on that one. Taking a deep breath, she ran for the shield bearing Kvaldir as if she were going to engage him. He ran toward her, shield first, and attempted to bash the orcess in the face. Unfortunately, with her being so much smaller, the Kvaldir did not have an easy target. He lunged into Vilmah’s direction, finding her gone by the time his feet hit the appropriate placement. She’d used her size to her advantage, and rolled to one side to let the Kvaldir speed past her. Confused, he rounded on the orcess and watched as she sped toward the only other Kvaldir left standing. Unshielded, he swung the chain in the air, waiting for an opportunity to strike at Vilmah. She was fast, but her boots were waterlogged and the cut in her side was beginning to sap her energy. The chain came down hook-first, threatening to latch itself against Vilmah’s neck. She rolled to one side and avoided the chain, but wasn’t fast enough to avoid his companion running full-speed into her from behind with a shield. Vilmah went down into the water, face first into a rock that planted a deep gash into her cheek and jaw. “Patience,” she muttered, a mouth full of blood and seawater. The Kvaldir loomed over Vilmah, his shield raised to strike down against her bare back. She took a deep breath and grabbed the same rock that struck her face, only to slam it down on one of the Kvaldir’s knees. He roared with pain and hobbled to one side, giving Vilmah enough time to swing her sword up and into his groin, slicing up into the giant’s stomach. The Kvaldir roared with rage and pain, swinging his mace toward the tiny orc as she dove through his legs and into the water before he fell forward on to his knees. It wasn’t long before he collapsed on to his face. There was one left. Before she had a chance to acknowledge him herself, the chain came crashing down on Vilmah’s shoulder and wrapped around her body. The hook lodged itself into her back and tore at the muscle, eliciting an angry scream from the orcess as she felt her mechanical arm buckle beneath the chain. It was made of a strong material, plated to disguise its robotic design, but the chain was made of a thick rusted metal and found its way into one of the gears. Gritting her teeth, she clenched her jaw and made a quick decision as the Kvaldir yanked to chain to bring her toward him. Her shoulders pulled tightly to her sides by the chain, Vilmah grunted with effort as she raised her mechanical arm, the artificial strength pulling at the muscles in her back. Knowing that it would be damaged beyond repair, she continued to spread her arm until the chain was loose enough that she could turn her body and unwind herself, though the hook was still in the meat of her back. Jaw clenched, she ran for the Kvaldir, surprising him with her sudden boldness. Vilmah’s mechanical arm hung uselessly to one side as she used her good arm to swing her heavy sword at the Kvaldir, who dropped the chain to grab at the blade hanging from his side. It was down to one-on-one combat; an orc with one arm, and a Kvaldir with two, each opponent with a sword. Vilmah was bleeding heavily into the water, and she knew that if she couldn’t take down this last enemy quickly, he would overcome her. “Patience,” she said to herself, knowing well that time was something she did not have much of. So which was it? Patience or haste? Or both? The weight of the chain was holding her back, and she only had one arm. It was either drop her sword and pull out the hook, or stand and defend herself. “Patience,” she repeated. The Kvaldir ran for what he assumed would be an easy kill. The small orc was bleeding out, and she only had one usable arm. Vilmah raised her sword to block a downward slash, her good arm strained with effort. This was where she remembered her training, those months spent meditating in the garden with her sword held aloft by that same arm. If she could hold that pose for hours on end, she could block this attack. She could also kick him in the groin. The Kvaldir stumbled back. Even as his leather codpiece took some of the impact, Vilmah’s plate boot was hard enough to break bones. Her desperation was palpable, and as the Kvaldir took a single step backwards she was already rearing back her sword to slash at him again. The pain of her kick was distracting, but not enough to block her sword. They traded blows for a few more swipes, Vilmah’s body aching as she looked for some kind of opening in the Kvaldir’s stance. Blood was heavy in the water, and her vision blurred. Desperate to end the fight, she used one last trick up her sleeve and quickly turned her body sideways. Still broken but not entirely useless, her mechanical arm was heavy enough to still do damage. It slammed into the Kvaldir’s side, distracting him long enough for Vilmah to smash the butt of her sword into his jaw. The telltale sound of bone cracking gave Vilmah all the signal she needed to repeat the gesture, beating his face with the heavy weapon until he was disoriented enough to kick into the water. The giant flailed as he fell backwards, his face a mass of battered meat that was soon covered by seawater. Vilmah shrieked as she plunged her sword into his throat, ending what was left of the Kvaldir’s life. She stumbled, glancing toward the knight. The adrenaline from the fight was beginning to wane, pain radiating from the hook still tearing at the muscle of her back. Sliding her sword into its sheath, she reached for the hook and felt it with her good hand, panic setting in. To rip it out would mean more blood loss, and very likely death. With a deep breath of effort, she grabbed the chain instead and wrapped it around her arm before staggering toward the knight. The orc was a mess of blood and metal, but she approached the knight with a relieved smile all the same. “Kvaldir dead. Us alive,” she said with a delirious sounding laugh. Rorrek had managed to stand once more in the midst of Vilmah's skirmishing, the wearied warrior using his remaining cleaver much as a crutch for the side which took the hefty blow. His stance radiated exhaustion, his form slightly hunched in favor of his fractured ribs. His armaments glowed no longer and the fire atop his swords had long since been extinguished. He knelt with his back turned to Vilmah as they approached while retrieving the remaining cleaver that had been lost before. Through gritted teeth he lifted himself again, managing such with the majority of his weight upon the blade supporting him. He shook his helmed head from side to side solemnly as he turned to face the orcess. "No," he said flatly. He gestured with one sword toward a pile of seaweed and coral where one of the Kvaldir had been felled. "They shall rise again." With that thought in mind Rorrek began to lamely walk toward the direction of Valdisdall. However, he halted before passing the injured Blademaster. His gaze held a cursory sweep of their wounds. After a moment of silence he buried one cleaver end down into the shallows and mud so to remove his helm. The armored man revealed his weathered face at last to the orcess and thence spoke his name. "Therrien," he said. After meeting their eyes for a time he nodded once in gratitude before donning his helm again. The cleaver was pulled from the soggy grounds and he began to slowly make his way through the fog.
  10. The Fog of War

    Vilmah's face was a mixture of surprise and delight. The knight's blades illuminated her grin, which she wore even as she sprung forth from the rocks in an explosion of blinding speed. With Rorrek's distraction of light, she was able to speed past him undetected. Small and wiry, the orcess ran for one of the Kvaldir, her own sword held in front at an angle to sweep through the humanoid's enormous body. In an instant, the water was clouded with entrails that tumbled from his belly. Shock clouded his judgment and he attempted to hold on to them, intestines coiling in his hands before falling into the water below. He splashed along with them soon after, but Vilmah had already made her way to the next one. In her haste to make an end to the enemy, she was an example of orcish ferocity, if not orcish arrogance. The Knight was dazed in turn for several moments as he came to register the sheer audacity of the orcess. Rorrek could hardly comprehend the recklessness in spite of how his temperament had changed since coming to the Broken Isles. A tremor ran through his form as the sounds of battle once more caused his blood to rise. His visage hosted a fierce grimace as the contrast in tactics left the foul taste of perceived complacency within his mouth. Nonetheless, he knew better than to throw himself unto the throng as well. The situation was far from his liking, but an opportunity had arisen from Vilmah's deftness. The Kvaldir were still momentarily caught in disarray. This brief chaos would not last forever and soon the wiry orcess would be fell upon and overwhelmed. And so, Rorrek sought to prolong the air of confusion. He descended the ramp of stone partially with his cleavers lifted overheard before stomping firmly and swinging them in unison in a vicious downward arc. The Kvaldir chosen had lifted their rot encased spear too slowly to prevent the blow from striking true. The cleavers dug unto the giant's shoulders, growing suddenly in weight as to bite deeper of their black blood and brine. Rorrek knew well now how to compensate his stance for this strange shift in heft, stepping to the side and back with his farthest foot whilst pulling the cleavers free. The wide serrations ensured that the wound would be widened upon departure. The peculiar steel grew light once more as soon as flesh could no longer be tasted. Rorrek then quickly stepped back upon the rise of stone while holding his still flaming weapons widely apart. "Valarjar!" he shouted furiously, the name of the Kvaldir's despised foes ringing from his lips as a battle cry. His voice drowned out the cries of anguish from his recently maimed opponent that could no longer lift their arms. In all the maneuver and shout encompassed but fleeting seconds after Vilmah had asserted herself among the Kvaldir ranks. His intentions succeeded as their enemy stood divided. Now several were enraged and well focused upon him while the others farther back were seeking the swift intruder among them. One of Vilmah's ears twitched at the sudden sound of a battle cry. "Valarjar!" She heard him cry, a deep masculine voice that in some ways reminded her of the orcs who taught her. The smell of blood and burning oil filled her nostrils, an intoxicating smell that kept the orcess smiling as she ran between the three Kvaldir looking for her. They were dazed by her speed, but not enough that they could not raise their arms against her. With both hands, mechanical and flesh, she held on tightly to her sword and allowed its weight to carry her as she spun in a circle that hit all three of them at once. Surprised by her recklessness, the attack caught one in the side, giving Vilmah the opportunity to kick him with a massive boot. Down, but not dead, she leapt into the air and came crashing down to stomp his skull into the rocks beneath the water. Behind her, the other two were already attacking. A spear went in for her bare midriff, slicing into the meat of her side before she had time to dodge. Snarling, Vilmah turned her sword in her hands to stab backwards, catching the spear wielding Kvaldir in the thigh. This, however, left her open to the third, who swept down upon her with a scimitar-looking weapon who's edge boasted jagged notches that could easily saw through bone. Ducking, Vilmah rolled forward into the water, plunging headfirst to disappear between the Kvaldir's legs, her sword strangely left behind. The two Kvaldir looked around, confused, one of them struggling to remove Vilmah's sword from his leg. In the time it took him to yank it out, Vilmah was already up and behind him. A huge rock was hurled toward his skull, breaking it on impact to send him splashing forward. Vilmah retrieved her sword. One left. Again that frail and sickly horn sounded from the mist, the call seeming to embolden the Kvaldir which remained. The burning oil atop his blades had dissipated some of the all encompassing fog as to reveal their number further. Six faced the outcropping where Rorrek stood atop whilst two others turned about from the middle toward where Vilmah still contested the final straggler at their rear. He cast a wary glance briefly upon the surrounding mists to see if others aided their odd dozen. The distant signal heralded the second charge. The Kvaldir which had been blinded and forced back initially seized his agonized comrade that could no longer hoist their arms upward by the strappings of his chest. The wounded Kvaldir was thrown forward upward the incline as the former advanced from behind with a rusted cutlass raised. A guttural war cry tore from his brackish throat which resounded among the other giants that sought to overwhelm the stones in their sudden surge. Their advance was inevitable, but there was no moment to ponder these grim thoughts. The Knight side-stepped the injured Kvaldir thrown towards him whilst dragging the blades of his cleavers against the giant's stomach as he passed. The long rotted bowels spilled forth before the whole of the Kvaldir's body dispersed into sea water and weeds, this spilling over his armored form. The Valarjar vestments smote with heat as the runes and stones throughout glowed as hearth coals. The motions of his burning swords mirrored this appearance as he meted a dirge of flaming steel before him. Hewn was the upraised arm of the Kvaldir which led the charge by the elbow pit, their dilapidated cutlass and severed limb clattering against the rocks. The maneuver was followed through with a horizontal swing of the opposite cleaver which saw the foe decapitated thereafter. Again came the wash of brine and water as but leather and coral remained. Rorrek maintained his position in spite of the high ground growing then more slick, viciously striking out at all that approached. He was forced to dart to and fro as to ward the remaining four from rising. He would be overtaken. This knowing urged his body onward into a zealous frenzy, one particular flurry of fire and metal sundering the fingers of one Kvaldir's reaching hands unevenly. Inwardly he thanked the forge of the Skyhold for these miraculous weapons as their length and weightlessness were all that now stood between him and a watery grave. He needed to hold long enough for the orcess to perhaps cleave her way through the two that waded toward her and the final quarry she kept. Then the remaining four before him might be flanked and caught betwixt them... Seven remained. "Patience," Vilmah said to herself, watching the Kvaldir in front of her as he charged. It was a tricky thing to have when outnumbered, especially in circumstances where one's enemy knew the terrain so well. With the fury of an animal, the Kvaldir charged and Vilmah remembered Blademaster Ronokada's lesson; patience. Watch for an opportunity. Do not allow the enemy's fear to become yours. Switching hands with her sword, she ducked low and waited for the Kvaldir to strike with his cutlass. It was an overhead blow, one she expected, and she had enough time to raise her sword to keep it from biting into her shoulder. What she did not notice, however, was the knee rising toward her bare sternum. The Kvaldir caught Vilmah with his surprise, sending her splashing back into the water, a stone jutting forth catching her at a kidney. The Kvaldir took only a few steps toward her to finish the job, only to find himself staggering. Looking down he saw the culprit; a knife, small and vicious, deep in the largest vein of his inner thigh. It was the sort of wound that bled like a geyser, spraying all over Vilmah as he approached. The Kvaldir took two more steps and raised his cutlass, then fell on his face beside her. There was no time to gloat. In an instant, two more Kvaldir closed in on the orcess and opened their mouths to scream in her face, an act of rage and intimidation. Vilmah smirked through her blood-soaked face and answered their scream with her own, a high pitched shout that caught the Kvaldir off guard just long enough for Vilmah to swing her sword in a wide arc. "So many for just us two!" She yelled in orcish, laughing to herself. "You Kvaldir don't like to fight fair, do you?" Another wide slash, dodged by the two Kvaldir who both raised their swords at once. "Well lucky for me," Vilmah said to herself, crouching low. "I'm used to it." A burst of speed and she was off, bounding between the two Kvaldir to hack and slash at their bodies, pausing only to meet their attacks and dodge them both. She was smaller, and faster, an advantage she was used to. Their large hulking bodies splashed enough water around that she could almost make herself invisible through the spray and mist as she waited for an opening. Finally, she found one; as the Kvaldir faced one another, with Vilmah between them, she ducked low and dove through their legs just as one slashed down and the other slashed to the side. Instead of killing the orc, the two found themselves injuring one another. Vilmah, scrambling to her feet behind one of them, buried her sword into his back. He fell forward on top of the other, who struggled for a few moments before the water aided in his rapid blood loss. With the back of her hand, Vilmah wiped blood and matted hair from her eyes. She turned to the knight, her eyes widening at the sight. Four against one. "Four against two," she said to herself, running for them. "Better odds." Rorrek could not notice the impending charge of the Blademaster while staring down such dire straits. He was a ghastly sight, covered in putrid water and arterial spray. The largest of the four Kvaldir before him stormed the steep incline with unexpected deftness, the giant wielding forth an immense and untended claymore. The Knight lifted his cleavers in response whilst crossing them in guard as to impede the blow. The foe's blade caught where his swords met and the shockwave numbed his wrists amid their gauntlets. From Rorrek's peripheral he glimpsed dark shapes speeding past as the others took advantage of the brief stalemate to flank him. The high ground was compromised and there was from then no other choice but forward, lest he be hewn down where he stood. The man among giants summoned his strength to turn upon his heels, allowing the claymore skid along his cleavers while pulling them back during the turn. In the same motion he used his momentum to kick from the slope and ram the entirety of his weight against the towering Kvaldir through his shoulder and back. The sudden impact and slickness of the stone incline caused the Kvaldir to tumble backwards and send them both reeling into the shallows below. The Knight was the first to rise from the water with a gasp, his cleavers instinctively honing upon where he knew his opponent to have fallen. The Kvaldir lifted himself partially in time for the nape of his hunched neck to meet Rorrek's steel as would a guillotine. Again the cleavers seemed uneager to be wrested from the flesh of their enemy, shifting in weight to be far heavier in contrast than before. This stalled Rorrek momentarily whilst another Kvaldir rushed him from behind. The cleavers were eventually pulled from the already dissolving body, and yet it was too late. From the right moved a veritable obelisk of a shield, iron-rimmed and soaked through, that brutally collided with the cleaver he held. The weapon was knocked aside unto the stones. Rorrek's remaining cleaver sought to halt the Kvaldir's flanged mace which swung wide from the left, yet the strike was a feint and prelude to the bludgeon's end being jabbed against his mail clad stomach. The wind was knocked from him and Rorrek grasped for breath, but was unable to regain composure before another vicious blow of the truncheon struck his left side. The scale mail which girded the sides of his torso buckled beneath the Kvaldir's strength. The bruising which ensued was naught beneath the anguish of his ribs which then fractured. The Kvaldir reeled back with his shield arm and struck upward against the bowed head of his smaller foe, sending Rorrek stumbling backward into the shallows again. His grip miraculously did not falter upon his remaining blade.
  11. The Fog of War

    The drowned morass beyond the ruins of Tideskorn Harbor clamored with the sound of battle. A warband of mortal warriors had descended from the Valarjar post of Valdisdall to cull the Kvaldir which perpetually amassed throughout the fog ridden marsh. They had waded deeply from the cliffs and toward the mire until the tower from whence they had come was lost to sight within the mist. The Kvaldir were not long to emerge. The fighting was brutal and swift with the tide turning in favor of Helya's foul servants. The formation of the warriors had broken, and retreat was sounded. However, not all could answer or follow suit with how scattered their band had become... One such left behind was a Knight, Rorrek Therrien, bearing Valarjar armaments of bronze and gold. Within his gauntlets were held apart immense cleavers which were wielded with peculiar ease that was belied by their size. The runes and stones upon his weaponry shone fiercely through the chilling fog. His sabatons waded through the water in silence whilst he kept wary watch upon his surroundings through the restricting view of his helm. His course was clearly made toward the cliff face beneath Valdisdall as to regroup, but this was not to be. Looming shadows within the fog soon halted his steps. The Kvaldir were closing in on his position and soon would have him surrounded. He was forced then to retreat further into the marsh in the hopes of evading the marauders, lest he be caught alone. The warrior eventually came to an outcropping of stone jutting from the water and mud. With effort he hefted himself atop this formation, thereafter surveying the fog downward and around the rocks. He could faintly still hear the sound of far off blades clattering from distant skirmishes. He was not the only one that was unable to follow the retreat, and yet such echoes were quite far from where he stood now... He waited and considered his options. The fog was dense and brutally cold. It had a way of seeping into one's skin, through clothes, through armor. Without either, it bit into flesh and hung there with dripping moisture. It would be easy to lose grip of a weapon in the dense fog, but fortunately for Vilmah Bloodborne, her plate mail covered gauntlets were padded enough to keep hold of the enormous Valarjar sword she used to fight off the Kvaldir around her. She'd been sent to help thin Helya's servants, along with many others from the Horde who fought for coin and glory alike. Clad in what most would have considered an indecent amount of armor, the orcess splashed through the foul seawater and fought with the speed and ferocity of the Blademaster she trained with. She wore only plate covered pants, boots, and gauntlets. Her left arm, mechanical from mid-bicep, was held to her body with a series of leather straps across her chest and back. Her torso was, for the most part, completely bare save for the fabric wrapped around her chest. Like most Blademasters, she would forgo upper body armor. Unlike most Blademasters, however, she was female. Quick though she was, the Kvaldir soon outnumbered her. Vilmah sped between them, hacking at their bodies with her weapon and taking down enough to clear a path toward what looked like a decent place to lick her wounds. Sinking her sword into the meat of a Kvaldir's shoulder, she kicked him into the water and ducked through the mist to make her escape. There were a few wounds on her side and shoulder that she could bandage, though she cursed the fog and its tendency to make everything wet. Moist bandages were even more uncomfortable than wet boots. Rorrek crouched low as he heard the distant sounds of combat resume, his sight honing in upon the direction from whence came the splashing and hurried approach. His muscles grew taut beneath his armor whilst he stared piercingly to glimpse any impending silhouettes nearing his position. The outcropping of stone he had found purchase upon afforded him both the high ground and cover should he desire. The footfalls hastened and soon a shadow emerged. The Knight immediately dropped from sight, concealing himself by the angle of the rocks opposite to this impending presence. The footsteps were not as heavy as any Kvaldir he had encountered. He pondered for a fleeting moment if it was another that had been caught within the mists, severed from any possible retreat. He slowly began to rise until he stood atop the stones and in view once more. His stance was bent, cleavers held at the ready, should he need initiate the attack with urgency. However, the sight beneath him led to a wary pause. Through his helm the man watched warily the orcess in silence, observing every facet of their person as to glean all that he could. She was not among the warband of mortal Valarjar that he had accompanied. Her garbs seemed to be vaguely familiar to him, but Rorrek could not place exactly that she resembled. He stood wordlessly while poised for battle should they prove foe and waited for them to take notice of his person above them. Vilmah caught sight of a rock formation in the water. Somewhere dry to dump the water from her boots and bandage her wounds seemed almost too good to be true. She glanced back to make sure that the Kvaldir behind her were gone, and ran for the tallest of the rocks to climb. She was a small orc, smaller than many humans, though her green skin and tusks were a dead giveaway for her race. Using her good arm for most of the work, she grabbed hold of the cold rocks and scrambled her way from the water. Once finally done splashing, she took stock of her situation; momentarily safe and hidden behind the fog, but for the most part, surrounded by Kvaldir. Muttering to herself, she slid off her boots and emptied them of the water she'd collected while running. A fish fell out of one and splashed gratefully back toward its home. Vilmah wasted no time and went about bandaging herself, though the wet air dampened the thin strips of fabric almost immediately. They weren't deep cuts, but they would eventually scar. Additions to her growing collection, which covered most of her bare torso and cris-crossed her throat. "Well this isn't the afternoon I expected," she said to herself in Orcish. The Knight, seeing as he had emerged upon the higher stones whilst Vilmah began tending herself, remained unnoticed. He continued to patiently observe downward as his brow furrowed in thought as to translate the brief muttering of Orcish. Rorrek did not relinquish his prepared stance or guard in spite of the orcess' vulnerable state. Eventually, after piecing through the foreign words, he responded aloud in a measured tone in common. "Yes... unexpected." Vilmah jumped at the sound of another voice, slipping precariously close to the edge of her rock. She managed to catch herself before splashing after the fish, and hanging on with her mechanical arm just long enough to regain her balance. Carefully, she approached the origins of the sound. Your typical orcess may not have understood Common, but Vilmah had enough experience in her short lifetime to understand and communicate a few words. Looking at the Knight, she raised her eyebrows in surprise and gave a careful wave. "Sorry," she said carefully in Common, the rest of her words somewhat muddled and broken. "Not know there. Kvaldir run. Wet. Bad." He made certain that there remained a respectable distance between them as he judged Vilmah's person. The sudden amount of surprise the orcess displayed was certainly not expected. Rorrek straightened himself as combat did not seem imminent, lowering slowly his great cleaving blades. He turned the handles within his gauntlets so to hold the weapons downward and rest their curved ends against the stone. Yet, his plated hands did not rest against the pommels and instead remained gripped as to indicate the ability to immediately return to action if need be. After a short time of contemplating an answer again came from his otherwise statuesque form. "Surrounded," he spoke simply. His hidden eyes then glanced toward their large sword for a moment. "Foe?" he inquired toward them now that they stood face to face. His knuckles shifted atop where he gripped his blades should the answer be unsavory. Vilmah blinked, searching through her vocabulary as he spoke in simple terms. The Knight's body language certainly helped. Shaking her head quickly, she lowered her own sword in a show of good faith. Time would tell how foolish a move it would be, but she was used to being wrong. "No. No foe," she replied, using her mechanical hand to hold the sword as her good hand pointed toward her own face. "Vilmah. Sanc-ury. No foe, All-ance. Honor." Rorrek's helm tilted slightly to the side as his thoughts caught upon one word within their broken speech. "Sanctuary?" he spoke clearly and with gradual enunciation. There was a shift in the atmosphere about him as if the orcess was then regarded much differently. However, this subtle change did not dispel the apparent wariness which girded him. "Twilight Empire," he stated. He did not return his name. Vilmah blinked and digested the words. They were familiar, but unknown to her. She gave a helpless shrug and shook her head, smiling in spite of the situation. Despite her scarred and somewhat dischevelled appearance, the orcess seemed even more young as her tusks helping to deepen the dimples in her cheeks. "Okay, Twi-li. You okay fight?" She asked, nodding toward the mists, where the Kvaldir could still be heard a short distance away. "Find here, very bad," she attempted to explain, using her good hand to illustrate the situation by sliding her thumb across her scarred throat. The Knight understood. He shifted the cleavers within his hand from their resting and unto a more readied position at his sides. His person indicated no injury as of yet, though the grand armaments were riddled with shallow cuts and indentations. Yet, he did not seem to agree with her explanation. He lifted one cleaver in the direction he assumed Valdisdall to be. "The way is shut," he affirmed. The cleaver was moved to gesture as well toward the mist around them. "Surrounded," Rorrek repeated. He then tapped the end of the cleaver against the stone beneath them. "High ground. Wait." Vilmah cocked her head as she attempted to decipher the meaning of his words. He didn't seem to be in any rush to move, which she understood as his signal that they shouldn't attempt to fight their way to freedom just yet. Nodding, she tapped her sword against the rock and pointed down. "Wait," she repeated, rolling her eyes and smiling as if to suggest that she did not enjoy waiting. "Wait cold. Wet. No good," she explained, indicating toward her bare torso, shoulders, chest and arm. "Blademaster bad clothes pick." The warrior could not relate, fully armored as he was, nor had he any articles to offer the orcess. The softly smoldering runes which were engraved throughout his armor and cleavers seemed to further attest to his person being far more suited to venture unto the unforgiving cold. He shrugged his pauldrons with brief sympathies as naught could be done. Rorrek made to speak again, but he then abruptly ceased his words and listened. A slow tide of shuffling could be heard approaching from all sides of the outcropping of rock. Intermingled therein could also be heard the clattering of chains and the dragging of nets. "Kvaldir," he spat under his breath. He crouched slighty once more and stared out into the mists. "Blademaster, hrm?" He pondered aloud. "...Good." Vilmah's ear twitched at the sound of nearby water being disturbed. It was followed by deep voices, which she quickly recognized. With her back to the rock formation, she crouched down low and held her sword in an angle above her head. The lack of armor allowed her to move in such a way that she could position herself close to the stones, making her small body even smaller within the rock's crevices. Turning her hazel eyes to the human, she flashed him a grin with almost impossibly white teeth and tusks. "Good," she repeated. Rorrek glanced back toward the jutting stone where he had concealed himself briefly before, though the musing was dismissed as soon as it had come. His gaze craned upward to the farthest end of the outcropping. The stones were steep and tall, enough to perhaps halt the Kvaldir entirely from approaching from behind. The Knight's armaments did not afford him likewise usage of the rocks as Vilmah displayed and so he stepped forward and prepared himself for that to come. The shapes slowly emerged in a semi-circle before where the two had made their stand. Yet more silhouettes shifted in the fog toward the farther sides and back of the stones. The Kvaldir grinned as their brackish line formed with cruel instruments kept in hand. However, they halted in the distance and did not immediately approach. Their prey held the high ground and with two present it would be difficult to overwhelm either at once. None of the cowardly drowned men were eager to be cut down as the vanguard assuredly would be. Vilmah looked toward Rorrek and pointed toward the human before she slammed her fist against her chest, a gesture she hoped that he could translate. Larger and more covered than she was, he would be able to take the brunt of their attacks while she picked off the Kvaldir individually. "You go," she mouthed silently, then pointed at the approaching enemy, then dragged a thumb across her throat. "I kill." Rorrek watched Vilmah's gesturing and understood at once. Yet, the Knight again found himself at odds with her reasoning and instead but stared with eyes that shone of disagreement through the opening of his helm. It was in that moment that he began to regret his former words as he remembered exactly why so few Blademasters remained. Admittedly that she proposed called to his heated blood as to cleave unto foe despised, striding boldly forth with wrath in hand; however, his experience combating the Kvaldir reined him back to his senses. He remained firmly where he stood, refusing to surrender the high ground and wade unto the marsh just to be overwhelmed at the hand of giants. It was this hesitation that provoked the Kvaldir as they saw their opportunity. A frail sounding horn was blown and the coral encrusted vrykul surged forward. Though, some purposefully fell behind in the pace of the charge as to allow others advance before them. Rorrek cursed beneath his breath as the splashing figures forced his attention forward again. He lifted one cleaver forward and pointed it toward the incoming enemies. The other immense blade was held near the hilt of the former with ease in spite of the length, attesting to the enchantments therein. He waited for the foremost Kvaldir to begin his ascent upon the stone outcropping and leveled his swords at the vrykul's eyes. It was then that the warrior struck along the edge of the former sword with the latter as one would strike flint. An eruption of flame ensued as the oils which coated the cleavers ignited. A cascade of embers were thrown forward, blinding the Kvaldir which formed the front of their advance and forcing it to stumble back into the water below. The others gave way and stepped back before the display and shower of flames. The air became suffused with the pungent scent of blazegrease that emanated from his weapons, an odor perhaps familiar to Vilmah as the tactic originated from the Blademasters themselves.
  12. The Way of the Blademaster

    As Awatu and Vilmah approached the bridge, it became glaringly obvious that the drogbar had been waiting for them. On the other side, shamans and boulder hurlers waited for the signal to attack the intruders. A few larger drogbar, armed for hand-to hand combat, threaded themselves in between the shaman. Vilmah watched as they seemed to gather around a common area, as if protecting something. Vee waited expectantly at their end of the bridge. "You might be right about an ambush," Vilmah said as she watched the drogbar edge closer to the bridge. "But it looks like there's something over there they don't want us to get to. This cave is big enough to fit ten times the amount we see in here, so if we go over and they're all waiting to get the jump on us we might not be able to fight them all off. Could be a messy trap." Looking around the cave, the orc's gaze guided her to the ceiling. Enormous stalactites hung down, secured by the ages. Squinting at their formations, Vilmah turned to Awatu and raised her eyebrows. "How many do you think you can hold off with that shield? I think I might have an idea." Awatu followed her gaze up towards the ceiling, spotting the stalactites. When she asked her question, he had an idea of what she was thinking. With a grunt, he turned back towards the bridge. "As many as it takes." he said, slamming the axe against his shield, sending and echoing ring through the cavern and a challenge to the Drogbar. Rather than charge in, he strode with caution and determination onto the bridge. One of the forward Drogbar began to walk onto the bridge as well, giving wary looks to his brethren before snarling viciously at Awatu. Almost immediately he was struck with a glowing hammer to the jaw, sending him reeling back into the others. Awatu raised his shield once more and continued his steady walk across the bridge. Awatu steadied himself before rushing forward, slamming into a Drogbar. It reeled from the blow, recovered, and move onto the offensive. One clean swipe with Awatu's axe split its skull in half, and its body crumpled to the ground. The rest of the Drogbar were gathering around the Tauren, and he held his shield and axe ready for their assault. A small grin worked its way onto his muzzle. These worms shall know of Peace... As Awatu worked his way through the mess of drogbar, Vilmah rushed into the remainder. They were disoriented by the crash of stone and reeling, their shamans attempting to commune with the spirits through the disturbance. It was enough to give Vilmah an upper hand, and the orc managed to get the literal drop on one of the shaman by jumping down and crashing into his skull with her boots. The creature grunted as she broke his jaw on impact, body crashing to the ground. With one swift motion, reminiscient of Blademaster Ronokada, Vilmah thrust her sword into the shaman's throat and silenced him. Blood oozed to the ground and trailed from the end of her blade, blinding the other shaman as she swung it toward his face, blood splattering into his eyes. Quicker than the drogbar could blink, she advanced on him and thrust her sword at the larger creature's innards, spilling his guts. The shaman attempted to call upon the spirits to seal his wounds, but Vilmah was able to punch him in the throat with her mechanical arm faster than he could chant. With the two shaman down, she looked for Vee. The mechanical squirrel had run past her and was standing in the same area the drogbar had gathered around before. There was a strange dip in the earth, a crack just large enough for a drogbar's hand. Running to the squirrel, the orc looked inside and saw that the crack went down a few meters, just wide enough for her to fit inside. "They must have just thrown it in there," she said to herself, peering into the hole. It was dark and cramped, but somewhere near the bottom, something metallic glittered. Vee cocked its head and jumped into the hole, only to jump out again. The eye was larger than its body and impossible to retrieve for such a small automoton. She'd have to go in herself. Swallowing down her apprehension, she looked across the canyon for Awatu and waved. "Hey! It's in here! Finish them off, I'll go in!" Awatu made no motion of acknowledging Vilmah as he was busy slashing and blocking. One Drogbar overextended his reach, creating an opening for an attack. The axe came down on his elbow and severed the meaty arm from the rest. The Drogbar screamed and fell backwards as another quick strike caught him across the chest. Others moved in to attack but were buffeted away by the shield. One more attempted to attack from behind, but Awatu noticed the approach and swung around with his shield wide, catching the enemy in the jaw. A large tusk flew off into the dark cavern, the Drogbar clutching his jaw and growling menacing words at the Tauren. "You will-" the Drogbar began to speak, but was cut off by a brilliant blaze of light emanating from the Tauren. The brightness staggered the Dragbar, blinded by the powerfully bright light in their dark home. As they each rubbed their eyes and groaned, there were screams that were cut off. One by one, they were struck down. Axe blow, hammers forged from the sun, a shield slam into the skull or gut. One remained, rubbing the blindness from his eyes, he blinked and looked upon his fallen brethren. He dropped the stone club and fell to a knee. Appealing to a sense of honor or mercy. "I surrender... I am beaten. Take me prisoner. I am-HURK!" His words were cut short as the axe, blade pointed upwards, was thrust into his abdomen. Awatu leaned forward, the pleading eyes of the Drogbar looking into his own. "No." he muttered, then ripped the blade upwards, spilling the innards out onto the stones. Another quick slice and the head was severed from the body. They were beaten, utterly so, and Awatu stood away from his fallen foe. He turned back towards the hole that Vilmah had disappeared into where the Eye of Huln had been hidden. _____________________________________ Vilmah slipped into the hole, her sword on her back. The way down was narrow, so narrow that as she slid down with her feet, her back pressed against the stone and her sword besides it. Taking a deep breath, she scrambled down further, the passageway just tight enough for her body to wriggle through. As she slid in deeper, the ground passing her eyes, claustrophobia began to eat at the orc’s subconscious. Vilmah couldn’t remember having ever been frightened of tight enclosed spaces, but the walls of stone around her were cold and dark. She felt her vision blur for a moment before shaking her head and moving on. Outside, the sound of battle had stopped. Awatu was thorough in his killing and would be there, if only to keep any other drogbar from the hole. A cold sweat broke out on Vilmah’s skin as she imagined the possibilities. If Awatu wasn’t there, a drogbar could easily put a boulder over the opening of the tiny chasm. Looking up, she saw the fading light and continued edging downward, her heart pounding. Soon, her pulse was the only thing that she could hear. Cold rock scraped her bare stomach, back and sides. Grasping for stones to help her down, the sweat of her palms forced her to slip for a moment and slide down a few inches, causing a long scratch along her abdomen by a jutting rock. She was deep in the earth, now. Surrounded by silence and stone, her own heartbeat the only sound. It would be easy to die in that hole, she realized. To slip forward, be buried alive. Images of her impending doom rushed to the front of her mind as she reeled from the dizzying height. “No,” the orc grunted, her teeth clenched. “Get ahold of yourself... Vee! Down here!” Swallowing down her fear, Vilmah continued crawling forward. The mechanical squirrel bounded down after her, then in front of her, until it landed at the bottom. Its tiny green eyes glowed just enough to give Vilmah a target, and with them guiding her, she shimmied down further until finally, she reached the bottom. Dropping down to the floor with a “thud”, the orc realized that the chasm opened to a larger area. A smell reached her nostrils, then. Something sour and bitter. Inside, it was too dark to see much besides the small area Vee’s eyes illuminated. The squirrel sat on what looked like a large decorative silver plate. Reaching down to retrieve it, Vilmah saw that it was actually in the shape of an eye, and around the size of her face. A tauren-sized belt buckle. “The Eye of Huln,” she said to herself, stuffing the trinket into her side bag. The enchanted bag opened further than logically possible, allowing her to stuff the enormous piece inside. With a few deep calming breaths, Vilmah looked for a piece of rock to help her back up the opening. Vee leapt on to the orc’s armored pants and crawled up her shoulder, using it to boost itself up the chasm. As the squirrel climbed up, its eye light was cast a bit wider. Vilmah reached up to grab hold of the rocks above when something in the cave caught her eye. Pausing, she blinked and waved Vee back down. “Over there,” she instructed the automaton. Vee followed her commands and bounded toward the spot Vilmah indicated. Its eyes shone over a mass of what looked like long white stones. The orc’s eyes went wide when she realized that they weren’t stones, but bones. wrapped in decaying flesh and fur. “Aw hellfire,” she whispered, her legs turning wobbly. The ground she stood on, Vilmah realized, was not a place to store stolen treasure. It was a tomb, and she was surrounded by the decaying corpses of tauren that the drogbar had thrown inside. Fighting the urge to retch on the desiccated corpses, Vilmah waved Vee back up toward the hole. “Vee, let’s get out of here,” she said quickly, her hand trembling as she reached up the hole to hoist herself up again. It was the fastest she’d ever climbed, and with the death below her, Vilmah felt more than grateful when a living tauren greeted her at the mouth of the entrance. Breathing raggedly, she crawled from the hole, visibly shaken, and took a moment to compose herself before waving at Awatu on the other side of the bridge.
  13. The Way of the Blademaster

    With a gentle pat on the hip, Vilmah sent her wolf off to hunt. The animal wasn't particularly frightening-looking, more like a shaggy dog than the worgs most orcs were seen with, but when given the command he bounded off naturally. Reaching back with her good arm, Vilmah grabbed for her sword, but did not unsheath it. She seemed to stretch her arm with the motion, warming up her muscles before heading into danger. Before her, Vee stood at attention, waiting to lead them inside. The mechanical squirrel was silent, but its tail bounced back and forth. With another nod to Awatu, the smiled at Vee and let it lead them both toward the mouth of the drogbar cave. Shield and axe at the ready, Awatu made his way to the cave entrance. He paused, listening for any sounds from within. Voices, footsteps, or anything else that would alert him to a presence just beyond the darkened cavern. Giving a quick glance around before moving forward, Awatu ensured that his companion was prepared to press onwards. One steady breath before heading into the darkness, he moved swiftly for his size across the stone floor into the dim torchlight of the cavern. His eyes adjusted to the dim light, sun spots dancing across his vision for a few seconds. A pause, keeping alert to any enemies that may be further into the cave. Luckily the Drogbar are not much larger than him and these tunnels would accommodate a creature of his size. He glanced behind him, keeping a tab on his companion and awaiting the guidance of the small mechanical squirrel. By now, Vilmah had grown used to someone else taking the lead. Though she had fond memories of vanguarding, days and nights spent with her mechanical arm tirelessly holding a shield to defend her friends, now her role lie in taking care of their enemies instead. The 'dirty work', some referred to it as. With Awatu in the front, she kept her eyes and ears alert for disturbances, waiting for anything; a drogbar, a falling rock. The cave itself was massive, large enough for the tauren but more than enough space to fit dozens of the drogbar themselves. It grew darker as they continued onwards, Vee scurring carefully over rocks as he led them to what appeared to be a fork in the tunnels; one went right, one went left. Vee led them to the right tunnel, and as they walked on, the sound of low gravelly voices could be heard. "Aw hellfire," Vilmah muttered to herself, the familiar sound of the earth shaking meeting her ears. "Watch your fe--, er, hooves!" She shouted to Awatu, as the ground reached for them from below. Fortunately, she was fast enough to keep the stone hands from grabbing her legs. Vilmah lept from corner to corner of the tunnel, looking for the source of the earth's calling. A few yards away, a drogbar in long frayed robes stood with his hand outstretched. Knowing a shaman when she saw one, Vilmah unsheathed her sword in mid-stride and rushed the earthcaller. The shaman commanded a volley of stones toward both the orc and the tauren, a few striking Vilmah in the face. It wasn't enough to deter the orc, and she hastily slashed at the drogbar's abdomen with her enormous sword. The earth heaved and Awatu stumbled as stones wrapped around his hooves and ankles, ensnaring the Tauren as Vilmah darted ahead toward a robed Drogbar. He snorted and a flare of reddish-orange light swirls around his legs, the hands crumbling to gravel as the blessing of An'she granted freedom of movement. Awatu continued moving forward, picking up momentum as the earth returned to its natural state in his wake. Holding his axe aloft, he muttered a word in Taur'ahe which unleashed a blade of light arcing towards the Drogbar, just over Vilmah's shoulder. The light burst across the jaw of their foe as he released a pained howl. Awatu turned quickly, checking the way they have come for any enemies seeking to flank them. The distraction of the shaman was just enough for several drogbar rock-hurlers to close off Vilmah and Awatu's exit. In front, Vilmah fought the shaman. Behind, the rock hurlers began doing what they were best at - hurling rocks, directly at the massive tauren. They didn't seem intimidated by the fact that he was heavily armed, or the power he demonstrated. The drogbar sent enormous boulders flying at the tauren, grunting with the effort. Meanwhile, the shaman attempted to call upon the earth spirits to fend off Vilmah's attacks. She hacked through the stones he summoned, shards of rocks flying in all direction until finally she backed him into a corner. Without hesitation, the orc swung her sword at the creature's thick neck, severing its head from the rest of its body. Blood splashed back on to her torso and face, staining the plain cloth she wore over her chest. Looking back to Awatu, she caught sight of the rock-hurling drogbar and ran for them. "Hold their attention," she said, bounding past the tauren's shield. "I'll get rid of them!" The boulders, while stout, were merely a hindrance. The ground shook as cracks of light filtered through the tunnel, divine power taking hold and consecrating the ground underneath the assailants. Another boulder flew but was tossed aside by the heavy shield, another burst of light softening the impact as it rolled over Awatu. He growled and focused his gaze on the nearest creature. "Worms... Defiling the Earthmother... burrowing into her flesh.... Know the wrath of Her chosen people!" With a quick thrust, a blazing disk of light whipped through the cavern, bouncing off of drogbar skulls and the stone walls but avoiding Vilmah altogether. The shield of light dissipated as Awatu advanced upon the closest enemy, dazed by the sudden impact. Its eyes focus on the Tauren just in time for a mighty stomp from Awatu's hooves to shake the cavern and crush the foot of the Drogbar. It shrieked and reeled from the blow, an axe strike following swiftly behind, tearing at dense flesh. Awatu kept the Drogbar controlled, allowing VIlmah a chance to engage from an advantageous position. For her part, Vilmah tried not to let Awatu steal her attention as well. Well, he's distracting, I'll give him that! She thought to herself, edging into the drogbar boulder hurlers, her size giving her the advantage against their huge mass. Sliding beside one of them, she hacked into the enormous creature's legs, the blade sinking into bone and muscle, forcing the drogbar to fall and drop the boulder on top of him. Not one to waste an opportunity, Vilmah executed the downed enemy by sinking the tip of her sword into it's throat. Checking back on Awatu, she saw that he took care of one of the two remaining boulder hurlers and ran toward the other. As she closed the distance, the drogbar managed to catch her with a rock hurled directly toward Vilmah's face. Fortunately, the orc knew a thing or two about dodging rocks. She leaned back and slid on both feet, the boulder rushing past her face with a rush of wind, and landed a heavy kick directly into it's thrower's kneecap. The orc's heavy boot caused the drogbar's leg to snap backwards, forcing it to fall to the ground with a howl of pain. Regaining her stance, Vilmah stabbed the drogbar's chest and twisted, tearing apart lungs and ribs with the teltale sound reminiscent of snapping tree branches. Within a few seconds it was dead. She looked over at Awatu and wiped blood from her face with the back of her right hand. "You alright over there, Awatu?" The light faded from the ground and Awatu's shield, pulling the cavern back into darkness. He rolled his shoulders and tilted his head, turning towards Vilmah. "All is well." he said, turning around and looking down further into the tunnel. "They know we are here. Best to make quick work of this before more arrive. How are you faring?" Vilmah smiled broadly and gave Awatu a quick salute. Her upper body and face were stained with blood that was just beginning to dry. Keeping her sword unsheathed, Vilmah nodded to Vee. "Just fine on my end. Lets hope they haven't called in for reinforcements or this could get messy." The squirrel took Vilmah's unspoken direction and continued running down the tunnel. After a few yards, they came to a large canyon within the cave with a stone bridge seperating Awatu and Vilmah from the other side. Thankfully, there were no drogbar on their end. Unfortunately, that meant all of the remaining drogbar had gathered on the other side, and were quickly preparing themselves for a fight. There looked to be at least ten of them. "Weird," Vilmah said with a furrowed brow. "How come there are so few down here? You think there's something up?" Awatu glanced around, looking across the canyon, then down into it, then along the edges. "I imagine an ambush. Or some other trickery." He snorted as he peered at the opposite side of the canyon. "Whatever their tricks, they will soon know Peace." he said, brandishing his shield and axe, preparing to fight his way across the bridge.
  14. Because of You...(writing prompt)

    Because of you, my life was changed forever. There was a path once, a well-planned path that I thought I could follow, but that path is gone now. You made me make choices I never thought I'd have to make; choosing between friends, and family, and whether or not I could ever be the person I wanted to be. Because of you, my friends are dead. Because of you, I had to look inside myself and find out just how ugly I can be. Because of you, I know just how deep that ugliness goes. Because of you, I will never know what it's like to feel secure, or safe. Because of you, everything burned. I can't keep blaming you, though. You're dead. It doesn't matter if all these things happened because of you. Because of you, I grew up.
  15. The Way of the Blademaster

    The ride to the Drogbar settlement was mostly silent between the orc and the tauren. Vilmah had her mind mostly on the task and tried to think of ways in which she might need to defend herself underground. As her blademaster training required her to wear no armor over her torso, she felt unnaturally exposed, more so next to the heavily armored Grim beside her. Every so often, she glanced over at Awatu, wondering if he withheld any prejuduce against her, despite their earlier agreement to ignore old wounds. His tabard alone brought back memories of Bloodscream, their old late night chats about war, orcs, and the Horde. Trying to focus on the mission was more difficult than she realized. The Drogbar were a simple folk, but possessed incredible strength and resilience. Awatu had fought his fair share of them in the earlier campaigns against the Underking and learned not to underestimate them. Especially the ones with some wits about them. They reminded him of large Dwarves… A shame, really, that they would not consider allying themselves with the Highmountain and the Horde. Though a few defectors fight alongside the Highmountain Tauren, most of their people have chosen a course that opposes that of the Horde and of the Mandate. As the ride progressed, Awatu’s thoughts circled around potential encounters in the tunnels and possible counters to Drogbar forces. Alone, he could handle a few or more on even ground. But they would have an advantage within their stony home. He looked to his side and sized up his new companion. She was rather small compared to her kin, and the mechanical arm alone was odd. Years of gauging Supplicants and comrades-in-arms had shown Awatu that appearances could be deceiving and that this young Orc displayed a sense of determination and strength despite her stature. Still, she is was anomaly that he hoped to understand, like many who did not fight under the banner of the Mandate. Her weapon was solid, yet she lacked the typical armor or attire of a soldier, apparently preferring mobility in her assaults, which was compounded as he looked at her weapon again. It was large and not suitable for quick strikes, at least from what he could gather. He spoke, breaking the silence that had thus far fallen upon their travels. “You wear little armor. For what purpose? Would a large weapon with heavy strikes not leave you open to counter-attacks?” he asked, curiosity borne upon the question rather than condescension. Vilmah snapped back to the present as Awatu’s voice cut through their silence. She glanced at the tauren and smiled, her tusks creating dimples against her cheeks. “Sure, but I’ve sort of gotten used to big weapons like this by now. Blademasters wear no armor on their upper body for a few reasons, mobility being one of them, but mostly it’s sort of a… a defiance, I guess you could say. Against death. It takes two things to go without armor near your vitals; bravery and insanity. We sort of meant to have both. That’s why Blademasters wear the flag into battle, to show our enemy just how crazy we are, and to be a beacon for our allies.” Looking forward as they approached the drogbar settlement, she tightened her grip on the reigns of her own mount and took a few calming breaths. “I’m in training to become a Blademaster because I saw how they conquered their own fear, even after so many of them were killed. I know the feeling of having your family struck down all around you. The Blademasters didn’t let it stop them from being some of the greatest warriors the Horde has ever known. So, I’m doing my best to follow in that tradition.” “Blademaster-in-training? Intriguing.” Awatu pulled back on the reins, leading the mount to land along a rocky outcropping, out of sight of the entrance to the Drogbar caverns. He remained still for a moment, eyes roving over the craggy cliffs for any scouts. Satisfied that they were not being watched, he dismounted and tethered the large wyvern to a leafless tree jutting out from the bare rock. He took a moment to readjust his armor, arms, and equipment. Giving Vilmah a nod, he spoke quietly. “Stealth will be… difficult. We must be swift and deadly, surprise them and throw them off-balance before they have a chance to gather strength and retaliate. Unfortunately, we do not know where they have hidden this artifact and their tunnels can be… complex.” He appeared thoughtful for a moment, his mind racing to determine strategies, possible counter-strategies, and contingency plans. Vilmah looked over the entrance and furrowed her brow in thought. Biting down on her bottom lip, she orcess used her good hand to fish around in one of her pockets and retrieved what looked like a small jumble of mechanical parts. “Vee, wake up,” Vilmah said to the pieces. They came together in her hand, forming a small mechanical squirrel. Glancing between her and Awatu, the artificial creature wagged its tail and awaited orders. “We need you to do something, Vee. Go into that cave, and look for a treasure, okay? It’s gonna be small, made of iron. Looks like an eyeball. You have to be careful, don’t let anyone see you. Then when you find it, come back and tell us where it is. Got it?” The squirrel blinked in response, and leapt from Vilmah’s hand. Scurrying toward the drogbar cave, it disappeared into the deep cracks. With a shrug, Vilmah turned to Awatu. “Little guy comes in useful, sometimes.” Awatu frowned at the mechanical beast as it scuttled away. He snorted, expressing his distaste. "Gnomish... tools." He watched as it disappeared into the cavern before settling back behind the outcropping, awaiting the return of the mechanical scout. "Orcish," Vilmah corrected, grinning. "An orc made it, anyway. Not me. A friend." Watching the cave for any disturbances, the orcess absent-mindedly scratched her mechanical forearm. "Bloodscream used to do that sort of thing." Awatu wiped a hand down his muzzle, an exasperated sigh escaping him. "Ah, yes. Bloodscream and his... contraptions. He went missing for a short time before reappearing by falling out of the sky from... wherever his lab... exists." A quick look over the boulder for any signs of the mechanical squirrel or a curious Drogbar before Awatu resumed his kneeling position. Vilmah laughed quietly, keeping her voice down. She looked at Awatu with raised eyebrows. "...has he been back, recently? I was hoping I'd see him. Apparently another of our warriors went asking about me to him, but he was gone by the time I came back. Heh... we used to go into the Molten Core together. Us and Abric and all the rest of them." A tiny glint of metal could be seen cresting the rocks. "He returned when a portal was opened to Draenor." Awatu said with a grunt, shifting his weight. "I believe he was... intrigued by the invasion of the Iron Horde and the nature of the portal and alternate timeline. A subject that I do not completely comprehend." he said before standing to look over the boulder once more. "It's not exactly my specialty either," Vilmah said with no small amount of irritation in her voice. "Though Blood was always into our history. It was him who told me it was possible that one of my parents could have been mag'har, and he was right. I think he was a lot smarter than he liked to let on. You're lucky to have him." The tiny metal fragment made its way back to the tauren and the orc. Vee scurried through grass and rocks and came to a stop in front of Vilmah, its tail wagging excitedly. It said nothing, but pointed a tiny robotic hand toward the cave. "Looks like we have ourselves a trail," the orc said with a smile, turning to Awatu. "You ready?" "I am always prepared." he said, giving a nod and tightening the straps of his shield to his arm.