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Of surf and Turf

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The farther south they traveled, it seemed, the brighter the sun got. It had only been a week since the pair of them had left the forests surrounding Stormwind, but Ryona and Lyona were already missing thier green shade. Not to mention the even cooler reaches of Iron Forge.

"A dwarven lass wasn' meant for this kinda sun-soakin'." Grumbled Lyona as she shifted in her armor and grew increasingly annoyed with the hot wind. It kept blowing her long brunet braid around and whipping her in the face with it. "Ah'm bakin here."

"Aye." agreed Ryona, her twin sister. "Blessed be tha light, but this is a wee bit rediculous."

The weather in Westfall was not what it use to be. What was once rolling hills of crops swept by ocean breezes, was now a parched wasteland of withered grass and hot dust. The sisters had come south looking for work, perhaps a small wage for teaching the children a few simple prayers or a basic scripture, but found the people of Westfall's pockets to be as dry and dusty as thier fields.

"Let tha bandits have tha dust bowl if theh wan' it so bad!" Huffed Lyona, marching along the coast a few feet ahead of her sister.

"Tha Light guides tha Alliance forward, no' backward, sister. We should be lookin' te help these people, no' abandon 'em."

"An here Ah thought we should be lookin' fer clams."

"Ye don' ever listen do ye? We're lookin' fer tha hooligans keepin tha farmer's from lookin fer clams! Why else would two dwarves be walkin' tha beach? Do Ah look like ah wan' a tan?"

"Oh, Ah'll give ye a tan, ye pasty wench. Tan yer hide all tha way back to tha abbey!" Shouted back Lyona as she stumbled forward. her shortness of stride giving her obvious problems walking on the soft sand.

But an equally smart reply didn't come, and Lyona suddenly realized she no longer heard her sisters footsteps crunching the sand behind her.

"Ach, now where'd she go?" Lyona mumbled to herself as she turned to look for her twin. "Always runnin' off."

A short distance back, squatting to the ground in her robes, like a child who had found an interesting shell, was Ryona, her two braids almost scraping the ground as she peered downward. A curious look vexed her face, as if she were trying to figure out a puzzle and not liking any of the answers.

"Watcha got there?" Shouted Lyona, running back. "Ah thought we weren't lookin' fer clams."

"It ain't no clam, sis. Ah think its an arm. Wha's left of it."

Ryona was right. Half buried and caked in bloody sand was an arm, not severed, but torn off. The white joint of the elbow jutting out of the tattered edges of pink flesh. It was fresh and still bleeding.

"Ugh. Somthin's been snackin'." Noted Ryona.

"Snackin'? Ye mean eatin'? An arm?"

"Aye, Ah think the arm's jus' wha's left. Look at tha bite marks." Ryona stated with apperent disgust, pointing out the chewings with a narrow stick of drift wood.

"Murlocs." said Lyona gravely, gripping the long haft of her mace and looking behind her nervously.

"Ah don' think so. It don' look like tha teeth was sharp, an Ah don' think murlocs would be 'avin leftovers, an Ah'd think there'd be more bits an blood around."

"Well people don' eat people, sis. If it wasn' a fish head, then wha' ye think it was?"

"Ah'm no' sure", Ryona stood, scratching her head perplexed."Bu' Ah think we better-"

"Ryona! Move! Now!"

Ryona had always been instinctively fast when it came to protecting herself. Some would even call it twitchy. She flinched at any sudden movement, always had. As a child, her favorite prayer had always been the Prayer of Preserving Light. She liked how it sounded in dwarven best, and had practiced it obsessively, over and over, until she could sum it up in a single word. The dwarven word for shield.


For something seemingly made of nothing but shadows, its fists crushed down on Ryona like a hammer to anvil. But instead of snapping her neck like a twig, its blow deflected in a spark of light, sending her crashing to the ground. Her impact spraying sand like water.

"Prepare to be sen' back to where ye came from, demon." Growled Lyona, swinging her great maul with both hands in a giant arc abover her head. "The hard way!"

The dark bolt caught Lyona in her ribs, knocking her sideways. Her chest screamed in agony as the shadow magic coursed into her. Whirling around to recover her balance, Lyona locked gazes with her attacker. It lurked an arrow's-shot away, its limbs shriveled and wasted, yellowed bones protruding through withered gray flesh. It was almost human. Almost. But any thoughts of its humanity were erased in an instant upon seeing its eyeless face. It grimaced at Lyona, its jaw gaped open, hissing a challenge. Ryona would have to do for herself, Lyona had her own problems now.

Instinct took over. Lyona hated this vile creature. Not because it attacked her, not because its dark minion attacked her sister, but because it was. Everything she believed in, everything she was made of, hated this...thing. It had to die, and this time, it had to stick.

There were no more witty remarks, no challenges, only rage. Fury took Lyona as she charged down the beach with speed that surprised even her. No more did her small feet struggle with the sand, but instead carried her swiftly toward her enemy, her mace reaching far behind her, as if to summon up every ounce of its crushing power to rain down on this abomination.

Ryona struggled to regain her feet. The impact had knocked the wind out of her and she spit sand, gasping for breath. Everything suddenly went black. She had not passed out, she knew. Something was blocking the sun. The next blow rolled her sideways and into a boulder worn smooth by waves. Dizzy but still in one piece, Ryona knew she had only moments to gain a presence of mind. Her shield would not hold out forever.

The rock face had broken her momentum and she used it to brace her self. Standing she finally managed to face her assailant. It was huge. Back-lit by the blazing sun of Westfall it stood at least eight feet tall. Standing stuck Ryona as being incorrect, for the demon had no legs, but was held up by some unseen force. It rippled with dark energy and even though Ryona could actually see through its shadowy form, she had felt just how solid it really was.

Ryona knew she had one hope. It was a gamble but it was all she had, and it just might spare her for a bit longer. She closed her eyes and focused, reaching out with her thoughts toward the dark being, searching for its mind. If it had a mind... It did! It was small, unthinking, alien, but it was there. She clutched it, grimacing in disgust as she did so. Forcing her thoughts close to it, in her mind Ryona leaned in, as if to whisper something softly that only the demon could here.


In an instant the void walker responded. Its form convulsed and immediatly turned to flee. Fear gripping its most basic instincts, it had no choice but to run.

Finally able to stand fully, Ryona looked towards the sound of battle, and didn't like what she saw. Lyona was leaning back, in what Ryona knew was a defensive stance. Lyona was never defensive. She always, always attacked. Her mace was swinging in wild arcs but none of her swings were making contact. An evil light was escaping from her and racing into the undead. It was draining Lyona's life away, or worse yet, her soul.

Then Ryona saw it, or was it felt it, or maybe both. Lyona had done it! She had done it and was now holding off the warlock, buying her sister the time she knew she needed. This warlock had been judged by the Light, and Ryona was to be the executioner. Lyona had passed on a protective seal to her opponent, a prayer of battle. But instead of preserving the warlock in the Light as it had for Lyona, it would now be its undoing.

Again, Ryona closed her eyes. Trying to focus.

"Hurry!" She thought, interupting her own consentration. "Hurry ye fool! Tha' demon won' run forever!"

Ryona forced all thoughts from her head and began to cant a prayer. She needed to focus now more than ever. For a moment she forgot everything around her. The heat, the sun, the demon, the warlock. It all melted away. She was back in Northshire now. Back at the abbey. Aunt Maisie was there, the twins adopted care taker, and closest thing to a dwarven mother they had ever known. Lyona was there too, they were playing on the floor in front of the fire. Food was cooking. A hearty lamb stew, Ryona's favorite. Aunt Maisie was singing as she cooked. She always sings when she cooks. Everything was happy. Safe. Good.

Then "it" was there. The warlock, hissing and cursing everything around it. It did not belong there, did not belong in this happy place in her mind, and Ryona knew it. She had put him there, just as a goblin puts a flame to black powder, to watch the chain reaction.

The discord was immediate. The child-twins screamed, Aunt Maisie screamed. All that was good and innocent in the room ripped apart. The scene in her mind exploded into a whirling vortex of light, angry at the discord the undead had brought to its happy place. How dare it corrupt this innocense! Ryona could not contain the energy it released, nor did she care too. It shrieked from her toward the abomination, focused into a peircing beam by Lyona's holy seal, the way sunlight does through a gnomish lens.

The undead was struck dumb by the impact, it had never been hit like this before. Its bones could be mended, flesh renewed, this it knew. But this wound, this hit something deep inside.The very spirit of its being had been smited. So taken aback was it by the force of the attack, it never had a chance to react as Lyona's mace head crushed its skull down into its ribcage. The impact shocking its body with holy energy. It died, and this time, it stuck.

The demon howled in a voice that was both a roar and a whipser. Its link to the physical world had been broken. The soul fueling its existence shattered. It screamed and frantically rushed at Ryona, clawing desperately at her in one final attempt to end her life before being ripped back into nothingness. Then it was gone.

Lyona flopped to the ground, utterly exhausted from the fight.

"Ye alright lassy?" Ryona asked her sister, her face framed in deep concern.

"Aye, Ah'll live." Winced Lyona checking herself over hoping nothing was broken, or melted, or worse.

"Then would ye mind movin yer fat arse. Yer sittin on tha arm."

"Oooh, well Light save the bloody freakin' arm then!" Lyona snapped rolling off to the side, to exhausted to stand.

"Well would ye look at that! Tha Light does work in mysterious ways now."

Ryona bent down, snatching the arm out of the sand, apperently forgeting her disgust with severed limbs for a moment.

"Looks like are work is done here, sis." Ryona cheered, pointing to the defias tattoo etched across the the half eaten forearm.

"Well then, ain't that somethin'. The skellie solves our bandit problem, an we go an solve the bandit's skellie problem. An here we didn' even thank tha rotten bastard." Lyona's sarcasm was apperent as she reached over and smacked the dead warlock once more for good measure.

"Jes one thing ain' sittin right with me, sis." Ryona said thoughtfully.

"was tha'?"

"Wha' was a fersaken doin' all the way south in Westfall?"

"Gettin a bloody tan, what else?" Lyona half snickered. "Ye think to much lass."

"Aye, Ah guess yer right." Sighed Ryona, knowing her sisters answer would not be the end to this mystery.

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((This story was inspired by our first PvP encounter with Ryona and Lyona. A UD Warlock on the beach of Westfall...obviously. The timeline of this tale takes place just as the twins start looking for work in other ways besides preaching and teaching. Before they convert to a "smiting for smackers" or the "Being pious doesn't pay" policy they have today. I hope you enjoy.))

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