Ranavos

First Strike ((Open))

Recommended Posts

Guileless son,

Each day you grow older

Each moment I'm watching my vengeance unfold

For the child of my body, the flesh of my soul

Will die in returning the birthrigh--

When Ranavos Abner stepped close to the pillar where which the hunched figure resided, the harsh lullaby would cut short—likely to the relief of the many crowds gathering within the War Quarter, whom had the displeasure of such an abrasive offense of music to ring within their ears. Above him, in the canopy of stone and shadow, the figure stirred with a small rotten chuckle. Down from its perch came the first exposure to the dreary ambient light of the Quarter with fingers of bone that had become sharpened into talons. “How nice it is to see you once again, Little Prince.” The voice hissed and rasped as it crept down the pillar in a way that resembled a spider leaving its cobweb home, revealing inch by inch the owner of such a terrible voice. Talons gave way to tightly bound and stained hands, rotted leathers, and at long last… the bagged head that cocked to the side as it looked over the man before it as it stopped its sprawling descent. It was uncertain what happened underneath that brown stitched linen sack which adorned the creature, and the voice too rotted away to determine an affirmation of its emotion, but for a moment or more it stayed there in silence as maggots fell from its grotesque visage.

And it was only when the maggots fell to the ground where they attempted to flee as they were no longer bound to their host, that the eyes from the bag remove themselves from Ranavos. Likely an uncomfortable endeavor, being eyed by some creeping cretin, that it broke the silence in that dreadful voice once more. “You do look so much like your Father…” It began as it continued its skulking to the ground level to join the man who was forced to look up at the creature. “Yess, you have his face. That of a Ruler. Of a Visionary. …Do you share His Visions, Little Prince?” The linen-covered head tilted the opposite direction from before. And then it shrugged, its joints popping in the action, just as did its fingers as it climbed down, it being close enough to hear now. “But… for now that is neither here nor there, is it Little Prince? You have caused such a Mess, you have almost lied your way out of it… But not quite yet, eh?” As it slumped from the pillar down next to Ranavos, the same harsh cackle of a chuckle came from under the bagged head that was kept on regardless of movement due to the cord wrapped along the neck. “I heard your little… scuffle, Little Prince. And it seems you need help.” The milky-white eyes looked over the man for a moment before giving a small nod. “It is such a good thing that despite His disappearance, your Father has allies—allies you are to inherit.”

The Geist-creature’s hazed over pupils looked at the Prince for a moment longer before looking beyond the Pillar that gave them a small amount of cover from the gathering of Kor’kron on both sides of the bridge where their fallen comrade had met his explosive demise. “Quite the mess indeed,” the tongue clicked teeth under the bag. They were assembling in an impressive grouping now, ready to finally mobilize to find the culprit. Stupid and slow as they were, the time for idle chit chat seemed to be drawing to a close. “We should get going, Little Prince. Come, I’ll take you where they sought profit from your Father’s genius and his labor.” The masked figure pressed Ranavos against a wall with it, still hunched in such a fashion it still seemed indistinguishable as male or female as it waited until a pair of Kor’kron guards to walk past them. Hiding in near plain sight, they did not think to look upon the other side of the pillar—for now at least, they were cutting it close. And the Geist knew it. “Follow,” it gave in a whisper-growl before stalking the pair from behind, its eyes moving between other crevices and the guards.

When the guards passed a stockpile of supplies that were in tidy crates piled high, the Geist saw its opportunity. It snagged a scurrying rat, hid out of view behind one the crates before crushing its skull as to make it scream in protest before it died. This, alerting the two guards, allowed the Geist to move behind another set of crates where it could get their backs to it, and then it moved for the kill. Wrapping it’s gnarled bone-talons around the Male’s throat from under the helm it sunk them in, gripped hard around the trachea, and then pulled in one solid motion. The other one—the female—was startled by the sudden execution of her comrade, and raised her axe to defend herself. But before she could, the Geist kicked her with its clawed feet, cutting her arm and knocking her down as the Geist grabbed the dead Orc’s axe and brought it down on the helm of the female, crushing her skull. “Up the crates.” The Geist hissed as it dragged the two corpses into the slime filled canals under another bridge. The corpses would be invariably found, but not before the Geist and the Prince were well on their way and out of view. When satisfied that they were sufficiently hidden, and upon wiping the blood upon its molded leather armor; the Geist bounded up the crates and past Ranavos, clinging to the pillar the crates surrounded.

It would be but a quick and short leap to grab upon an overhanging that, like just about everything in this damned city, was craved with such motifs of death and despair. They used to not be so bad, if the Geist remembered correctly. They were crypts, but with a strange flash of memory, the Geist looked upon them with slight annoyance as a worm crawled from one of the eye sockets of the hood that was tied to its head. With a shake of its head, it gripped Ranavos’s hand to help him up and guide him to the hidden hall in the lightless reaches of the ceiling. Within this crawlspace, the Geist seemed to know exactly where to go, taking quick and sharp turns from time to time before slowing to cross a scaffold here or there while ensuring the Little Prince did not fall, all while remaining out of sight of the guards looking for the perpetrators who had done some murdering of a few Orcs today while humming the dreadful lullaby tune the entire way. After some time navigating the labyrinthine halls and corridors of the Undercity, and several run throughs of the song, they would find themselves outside a giant door that had seen better days. Here there was the unmistakable Tri-pointed star of Infection, albeit faded and seemingly nearly scratched out, facing them in same secreted area near the Royal Quarter. “We are here, Little Prince, where your Father schemed for your family. For their freedom and well being, though some may scorn him for his actions… he did what he had to. For his Family, and for his Vision.” The Geist motioned at the door again, only to stop Ranavos as he tried to enter the Grand Hall of Infection. With its gnarled bone-claw of a hand rested upon his shoulder, it spoke. “Wait, Little Prince. Before you go in, you must know something.” The Geist’s milky-white eyes stared directly into Ranavos’s, “When trying to find your place in the world, you will find there are only two positions available at any given time: That of the Slave, and that of the Master. The Scourge, in punishment for your Father’s enlightenment, tried to force him into Slavery. As did try Keraph Xalascant, and he will try to do the same to you. Be careful, for is this how you would wish to honor Him? For his Heir to his Throne to become a Slave to one of his rivals? Use what power he can grant you, but never forget who you are—what destiny you belong to. Somewhere inside, your Father has left you a gift, buried where Xalascant cannot get it. Find it, and when you desire your allies once more summon me… Number Seventy-Six.”

When Number Seventy Six had said its piece, it released Ranavos from its hold and stepped back as to no longer hinder his calling from the other side. When Ranavos opened the doors to the chambers of the once powerful and prestigious elite force for the Dark Lady, smoke would fill the air behind him. And if he looked for Seventy Six, the Geist would be long gone… It was time for Ranavos Abner to stake his claim to both his Legacy and Destiny.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The doors creaked open as the Little Prince entered Infections Grand Hall, a quick look over his shoulder had confirmed that his savoir had vanished. A soft smile crept upon his face, he now had no lingering doubts about Venedict, he was surely a god among mortals. To have such a powerful servant looking after him, one with such power and grace even for a Geist, It is truly a blessing from his father. More shocking is that Ranavos had "inherited" that servant, one can only imagine what else he had gained.

Lord Ranavos slowly nodded as he saw the last of the remaining smoke fade away. "I shall keep your words in mind."

His footfalls echoed though the Hall as he continued on his way. It was time to search for this Keraph character and gather his knowledge and what he had to offer, then, when Keraphs attention is occupied, he would have to search for these Gifts that Seventy-Six spoke about. That speech about the Slave and the Master still lingered in his mind. Ranavos mentally vowed that he would not become the slave, he would make his father proud and continue his legacy, he must not disgrace the Abner family name by submitting to anyone.

"Hello!?" His voice bounced and echoed though the halls in hopes to catch Keraphs ears.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bella watched at the Death Knight shuffled from sight, turning her attention to the pool of blood and the four Orc’s that were walking up to her. She made sure to do her best to hide the cuffs on her wrists; it would make anyone wary of trusting her. Several orc guards showed up and much to Bella’s luck no Forsaken had arrived just yet. The largest of the orc’s stepped forwards looking from Bella to the blood, he slowly turned his head back as he spoke. “What happened here?” His voice was deep and gruff, Bella was under the impression he was doing it in attempted to strike fear into the female.

“Forsaken guards sure know how to move when it counts. They already got the guy.” She motioned to the blood that was no starting to seeps its way into the cracks of the cobble stone. “I mean.. they are just bones.. not hulking fat brutes.” The elf muttered under her breath, perhaps the orc heard, he turned his head to look back at her before picking his chin up to look down his brood and previously broken nose at the Huntress. “We are going to needs to take you in for questioning.” He sneered, the yellowish teeth showing under his lip as two orcs croms from either side of him at the huntress. Bella’s eyes widened for a second, “But why?” She backed up a bit, her hands no longer behind her. “Lookie there, the pinkie already has cuffs on her, let’s take her in.” The sick look on the orc’s face caused Bella to lower herself into a defensive stance. Her eyes narrowed and became distance and cold, some would say soulless. She had seen that look in other men’s eyes and it never led her to good places.

The two orcs rushed towards, grabbing at her arms in an attempt to pin them down, and as if on que Bella pushed up from her crouched position, bringing the face of her mail boot into the jaw of the guard to her left. While the kick did not cause the orc to lose his grip, it did make him lose his footing, and the Huntress’s knee into his thigh. The orc cried out, the Charlie horse was enough of a distraction for Bella to wrench her arm free. The next motion was fluid, and seemed to have been many times. Stomping her heel into the ground shoot an arrow from her boot into the air, grabbing it she took the arrow head and drove it into the arm of the female guard holding on to her. Snapping the arrow off at the hint she jabbed the now splintered shaft into the women’s neck. Before she stood a large black mass jumped over her, its paws barely touching the ground before launching itself at an orc in front of her. Orion’s fangs punching holes into his armor, ripping at the layers before the air was thick with the smell of blood again.

Only one orc remained and he was now trying to curl himself up into a ball. “Oooriiiooonnn” Bella’s voice was low, and the wolf’s name came out in a melody. “Let’s take him… out..” Her lips curled into a smile, she looked throw the hair that covered her face before tipping her head up. Orion padded around the guard, Bella following a similar pattern. Her fingers slowly dancing around the rims of her boots as they continued to circle, blood dripped from Orion’s fangs and it seemed to echo around them in the inner corridors. Bella motioned to the hound but grabbing an arrow in either hand, within seconds the wolf knocked the orc to his back so his master could deliver the final blow. Bella’s arrows hit their target, slamming into the orcs thick neck and pushing through into the bottom of his jaw then to the roof. Bella stood on his chest, panting heavily before tsking at the orc. “Stupid green skin.. you’re leader is next..” Slapping her hand against his check as it grew colder before standing back up and brushing herself off.

“We need to make tracks Orion.” She pointed to the pool of blood from the Death Knight and gave the command. “Find ‘em.” The hound tooks a sniff around the blood, his tail wagging as he picks up a scent, looking back at his master affectionately, in the world of this wolf pack the Huntress stood at the alpha, but Bella knew that without the wolf she would be nothing special.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nika pressed back into the shadows as she watched Ranavos approach the pillar. It worried her to see him risk so much by coming here, and she silently urged him to leave. If he were to get caught.. she wasn't entirely sure how she could help him.

Movement above Ranavos caught her eye, and she looked up towards the top of the pillar in time to see the wretched creature descending towards him. She stared, transfixed, as the geist's rasping voice reached her. Threads of memory stirred the fringes of her mind. There was something deeply horrific about the creature that dragged up a tangle of emotions that she couldn't quite reconcile.

She watched in silence as the geist easily dispatched the two guards, before leading Ranavos up the crates. She finally willed herself to move, and followed them as closely as she dared.

Soon enough, they had arrived at the entrance of Infections guild hall. Nika eyed the symbol on the door as she lowered herself to a crouch, just within ear shot of the two. She studied the twisted creature as it said its parting words to Ranavos.. and then promptly vanished from view. This left her even more uneasy.. even afraid.. but at least Ranavos seemed relatively safe, for now. Her mouth opened to call out to him.. but she silenced herself at the last moment. Confronting him now would no doubt only cause an argument, and put both of them in danger of discovery. So, instead she waited. Ranavos opened the door of the guild hall and entered.. and only after he was out of view did she dart quickly forward. Her hand flashed out, just barely catching the edge of the door before it would close. She took a steadying breath.. unsure who or what she would find inside. Carefully easing it open enough to slip through, she entered behind Ranavos and hurried for the nearest cover she could find. Stepping close to a bookcase, she flattened herself against the wall, just as the door quietly clicked shut behind her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Without warning, from the far end of the hall flew a heavy two-handed axe, whizzing just past Ranavos' face and lodging itself into the large double doors that lead back into the twisting corridors of the Undercity, effectively sealing the exit from anything but a concerted effort to escape. From the shadows of the great hall's far corner stepped out Lord Keraph Xalascent, idly flicking a strange glowing coin between the bony fingers of one hand while dragging the sharpened claws of his other across the long wooden table that ran most of the length of the hall as he walked slowly and deliberately towards the one who had claimed to be Venedict Abner.

"The King Fallen,

His Dominion Divided,

To Combat The Usurper,

The Prince Shall Rise."

Keraph spoke in a measured tone to convey a sense of importance in the words, but he himself seemed somewhat exasperated by them. By the time he had finished, he was more than halfway to Ranavos. "So Venedict fancies himself as a king. His arrogance is unsurprising, as is his opinion of himself over those he owes loyalty to. I could never fathom why he was unable to pay greater fealty to those responsible for his freedom in undeath, and to those who helped enable his success." With the way the warrior was speaking of Venedict, not addressing the one in front of him directly as such, Ranavos may have started to grow worried that his cover had been blown. As Keraph continued, now within arms reach of the impostor, he took the coin between his thumb and forefinger, letting Ranavos view it more easily. It was adorned with the crest of House Abner, and surrounded by numerals one through seven, the first glowing with an eerie light. "And you must be the Prince, then. It certainly explains the similarity in appearance, as well as your abhorrently suspicious behavior in the city proper. He spoke of you once or twice, but did not think that I would meet you myself. Venedict was ever keen on keeping his toys to himself." He smirked, eyeing the lich up and down, bemused by the similarities with his erstwhile 'subservient'.

After a moment of unnerving silence, Keraph spoke once more, tapping his skeletal claws against the table and continuing to flick the coin in his other hand. "Well then, if you have come to me instead of fleeing in cowardice, you must see some manner of virtue in making yourself known to me. What would that be, I wonder? As I am sure you are concerned, I will offer you the assurance that so long as you do not attempt anything idiotic, I will refrain from tearing you limb from limb and feasting on your remains. I may even be willing to lend you aid in some capacity, provided my benevolence is returned in kind by some manner of...service. Venedict spoke highly enough of you that I would not neglect your potential. However..." He grit his sharpened teeth as he ceased flicking the coin, taking it into his palm as his bony fingers curled into a tight fist. "I do not appreciate being lied to so brazenly."

And with that, Keraph threw a punch aimed squarely at Ranavos' jaw.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The sharp shock of pain caused the lich to cry out as the plated punch made a direct hit. Ranavos should of seen this coming a mile away. The way the Warrior spoke and approached him, all gave away signs that he was pissed. It would not best not to anger him further. Ranavos fought back the nagging pain and regained his footing from the assault, standing proudly and facing the warrior with a determined look in his eyes that mimicked much of his father.

"I am sorry that I had lied to you. If I had told you who I really am, you would of slain me on the spot and so would the Orcs and the Blood Elfs." He could feel his blood oozing out of impact spot, yet he made no motion to tend to the wound. The plated fist must of sliced clean though his flesh. "My Father, Lord Venedict Abner, has directed me here and to you so that I may... Better myself and prepare for what is to come in my future during his absence." He crossed his arms behind his back, still standing strong as if trying to intimidate the warrior by his sheer noble-like presence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nika settled herself within the shadows, and took the next several moments to assess the situation, while Ranavos wandered deeper into the room. At first glance, she didn't see signs of anyone else, and it appeared they were alone. But she kept hidden, for now. This was the first time she had seen the guild hall of Infection, so she took full advantage of the opportunity to scope out her surroundings. It seemed to offer plenty of cover, which was helpful. She was just about to step away from the wall, when the hurled axe flew past the bookshelf and embedded itself into the doors she had just entered through. Frozen in place, she stared at the heavy axe.

"The King Fallen,

His Dominion Divided,

To Combat The Usurper,

The Prince Shall Rise."

The voice drew her attention, causing her body to immediately tense and her eyes to narrow. She leaned out a little bit further from her spot next to the bookcase and watched Keraph make his steady approach towards Ranavos. Only then, did she realize. She had been here before. Long ago. Her eyes narrowed further still as the memories returned to her.

"Tell me girl, are you happy with your life? Your friends and loved ones despise you, think you a murderer..."

Her lips curled back from her teeth in a snarl, and she edged her way along the wall.. stealthily approaching where Keraph confronted Ranavos.

"And you must be the Prince, then. It certainly explains the similarity in appearance, as well as your abhorrently suspicious behavior in the city proper. He spoke of you once or twice, but did not think that I would meet you myself."

The coin flipped in Keraph's hand, tossed into the air and deftly caught. Nika's feet never made a sound as she drifted her way from one shadow to the next.. drawing ever closer.

"Or will you steel yourself, shed the weaknesses of your fragile form and stand beside us at the head of Her armies? Vengeance against those who cast doubt upon you.... ."

She had passed Ranavos and Keraph now.. keeping well out of their peripheral vision as she circled around behind Keraph.

Flip. Catch. Flip.

"I may even be willing to lend you aid in some capacity, provided my benevolence is returned in kind by some manner of...service. ..A blessing that you may or may not even be worthy of, but one that you will recieve, nonetheless..."

Her eyes glittered like ice as she stared at Keraph's back, searching for any weakness or vulnerability in his armor. Her eyes drifted downward, just as he balled his fist and swung out at Ranavos, striking him in the face. His cry of pain seemed to echo her own, from so long ago. A red haze of fury washed over her and she trembled with the effort not to launch herself at her enemy right then and there. Somehow, barely, she managed to keep her temper contained while Ranavos pulled himself upright and faced Keraph. Distantly, she felt a surge of pride in him.

She could hear him speaking, but the words sounded far away.. scarcely able to follow what he was saying. But he had Keraph's attention at the moment. And in the Warlords brief distraction, Nika silently slipped forward. Planting her foot solidly on the ground, her other knee bent and her foot shot out- slamming the flat of her foot into the back of Keraph's knee with every bit of strength she could muster.. hopefully, causing it to buckle forward and send the warlord tumbling off balance. Only then would Ranavos see her as she appeared directly behind Keraph Xalascent, her eyes reflecting white hot anger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trudging through the city’s many tunnels, many of which seemed to have some level of odd, thick green slime that the huntress was starting to think that not even the Forsaken inhabitants knew what it was. She was following the hounds who’s nose was tracking the scent of the death knight she had just covered for. Occasionally the pair would have to stop and hid themselves with in plain sight. At one point Bella, stripped the table cloth from a vendor’s standing draping it over her head and over the bridge of her nose, this made her look like the Forsaken tending to the herbalist’s stall.

“Excuse me, but do you have anything to cure this?” The Forsaken pointed to a rotting and maggot infested spot on its rib cage.

Bella’s knees wobbled and her eyes rolled back some, but she never let her disguise fall. Letting the moment of pure and utter disgust pass and found two roots and shoved them at the Forsaken, “Mash these up and apply to the… wound?” Bella wasn’t sure if it was a wound or just the nature of being a Forsaken. The Apprentice had been watching the interaction and did what they could to aid the confused customer. The coast was clear and Bella could finally drop the fabric, folding it neatly on the table before setting off with Orion again.

The two would end up back tracking a few times before Orion’s tail started to wag happily and he took off into a run. “That’s it! Good Boy Orion!” Bella did her best to keep up as the green ooze swirled around her knees. She picked her feet up high as she attempted a slow run through the tunnel. Finally at the end Bella looked around them confused. All there was in front of them was a grate, on the other side Trisful. “Did he make it way out of the city? That seems odd..” Bella placed her hands on her hips as Orion pawed at the grate, letting out a loud bark Orion sat down, a bone between his teeth. “Wha-!” Bella’s ears perked up as she watched the wolf. “You mean… We just… FOR A BONE!” her arms flailed widely as she motioned them walking all through Undercity, “This is coming out of your treat money!” She pointed down to her oxidizing boots. “Do you understand these are ruined now! “ She kicked her heel of one boot into the side of another and the now frail mail dented with far too much ease. Bella’s ears drooped as she glared at Orion. “Track the Damned Knight Orion!” She pointed back into the city before ripping the bone from between the wolf’s teeth. Orion growled and tried to snap to get the bone back missing the huntress’ hand narrowly. As the beast walked back the hunter jumped onto his back making sure her feet stayed out of the slim as they continued to trek.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keraph smirked as he watched blood drip from the gash on Ranavos' face, satisfied that his message had been conveyed. Moreover, he was impressed with the lich, who had not allowed himself to lose composure or offer up cowardly apology and false platitudes. He spoke plainly and directly about his reasoning and intent, and held a sense of entitlement towards whatever power he sought to gain. The warrior did not yet respect or even fully trust Venedict's devoted 'son', but the display of discipline was a good start.

That is, until he suddenly found himself toppling forward.

As a sharp pressure knocked the skeletal warrior off his balance, Keraph lurched forward towards Ranavos, reactively clutching the collar of the lich's greatcoat to steady himself and hissing as he pulled downward sharply, breaking his own inertia and slamming Ranavos down onto the cold stone of the great hall. The lich was already a target to Keraph, who immediately assumed that he had orchestrated whatever ambush was occuring. He spun around as he pulled downward, swinging widely with his free hand to grasp or claw whoever was behind him, but his strike found no purchase as his attacker deftly dodged, expecting some manner of retaliation. His next strike was momentarily interrupted as he now had full few of his ambusher: Nika Davies, the 'daughter' of Venedict who had once before set foot in Infections halls, under vastly different circumstances. Keraph's scowl mutated into a vicious sneer as he recognized his prey, and ignoring Ranavos entirely, charged forward at the rogue with sharpened, bony claws bared.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The air in his lungs was knocked out of the lich as his back made contact with the stone floor. He snarled at the Warrior, thinking that he was attempting to ambush him, but then his theory was proven wrong as he saw Nika standing near as the aggressor. He did not know why or how Nika had followed him here, but due to her reckless actions, Keraph would most likely see this as a planned ambush and slay them both on the spot.

First things first, protect Venedicts daughter. A quick Blink spell gave him enough distance behind the charging warrior, a second spell was cast as shadowy tendrils raced to grab him. If successful, Keraph would be yanked backwards towards Ranavos, sparing Nika from her attacker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The moment Nika's foot connected with the back of Keraph's knee and buckled it forward, Nika danced back out of reach. Keraph was a skilled warrior, and she knew his reflexes were as sharply honed as his blades. But any satisfaction she might have felt at seeing him go down was stolen away when he lashed out and grabbed Ranavos- sending him to the floor, instead.

Her scowl deepened as Ranavos hit the stone floor, but her eyes remained trained on Keraph as he quickly recovered and spun to face her. Their eyes locked, and she saw the immediate recognition register in his expression. When his face twisted in rage, she didn't falter for an instant. Dropping to a defensive crouch, her eyes met his in open challenge. It didn't seem to matter to her that he was in full armor, and she wore nothing but loose fitting, lightweight cloth. When he charged towards her, she rushed forward to meet him.. already angling her body for an attack. Her hand dipped into a pocket and flung outward, sending a spray of sand towards his eyes.. just as Ranavos sent his tendrils of magic to yank the warrrior away from her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fight was on, and Keraph could not be happier about it. His twisted grin widened as his glowing eyes met Nika's, seeing the challenge in the human's gaze, and for the moment he seemed to forget Ranavos altogether. "You've come back to our hallowed halls my dear. I am honored." The skeletal warrior mocked the rogue, his dry, raspy voice dark with vile intent. "Have you reconsidered my generous offer? I would be pleased to rid you of the weaknesses of flesh, should you only pledge fealty to me." He surged forward, bounding at her with claws bared and no desire to arm himself further. To prove his strength without the aid of weapons was a rare treat for the veteran warrior, and he was ever so eager to show the human girl the advantages his Forsaken form held over her weak mortal flesh.

He would not get his opportunity. As he closed in on Nika, his hollow, glowing eye sockets almost entirely unaffected by her feeble attempt to disorient him, just as he swung an open hand of sharpened claws at her face in the hopes of marring it a second time, he felt himself get wrenched backwards. Incensed as his prey grew further from him, he snarled as the death grip brought him back towards Ranavos, who's presence he now recalled with much anger. Swinging his still-moving arm around as he twisted towards the lich, aiming to catch him off guard in the moment that he was brought close, he gripped his target's neck with his bony claws, pressing the sharpened ends into Ranavos' flesh and hissing with unbridled fury as he lifted the lich upward and in full view of Nika.

"So, you would think to ambush the Warlord of Infection? Was this your grand plan, "Prince"? Betrayal? You will pay dearly for thinking that you could best a champion of the Dark Lady so easily."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nika had been spared for now as the Warlord focused his attention on Ranavos, who was surprised to see such a skeletal fellow lift him into the air with little effort, but once again the lich had found himself gasping for air and at the warriors mercy. He gripped Keraph arm, clawing at his gauntlet in an attempt to make him let go all the while attempting to speak. "I- I swear by the Titans... I have... not planned this." The burning urge to breathe slowly enveloped him, clouding his vision. "Her actions... Are... Hers alone. Why would I... P- Put her up against... A Champion such as yourself?"

His face showed a twinge of disgust when Keraph mentioned the Dark lady. Rage boiled inside of him, but Ranavos resisted the urge to cook the warrior 'alive' in his protective steel furnace.

There was very little the lich could do. He shot a glance at Nika, showing an expression of worry, for he did know know how long he could keep her safe or if Keraph would listen to his words.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nika darted to one side when she saw Keraph draw back his arm for the strike that was directed at her face. Ducking her head, she threw up an arm to block his slashing claws, only to blink in confusion when he was violently jerked back away from herself. Now that Keraph's attention was centered once again on Ranavos, the initial flare of her temper had a chance to recede to a manageable level.

She scowled as Ranavos was lifted up into the air, and listened as Keraph made his accusations. "Ambush?" Her voice carried towards the two from where she stood across the hall. This time, she didn't cling to the cover of the shadows as she so often did. "This is by no means the first time I've watched you without you being aware of it, Keraph. And if you knew anything about me, you'd know that I always work alone."

She stepped around the table, walking towards the two of them with her eyes focused, unwavering, on Keraph. "I didn't even know he was here. And he certainly didn't know I was." She continued her advance, brazenly putting herself well within arms reach of the warrior.

Coming to a stop in front of Keraph, she looked past Ranavos to meet the Warlords stare, and smirked bitterly. "And did you forget already? You made your 'offer' to me before, and I rejected it because unlike you, I'll never become some 'servant' to your Dark Lady. You have nothing to offer me other than to become what you are- a brainwashed, soulless husk of what you used to be."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The decrepit warrior snarled as Nika approached him, but inclined his head lightly in appreciation of her brazen disregard for personal safety. "I did not know that I had such a personal admirer in you, Nika. You may scoff at my generous offer, but clearly you must hold some manner of regard for my blessing if you are so intent on observing me." Ranavos still hung from Keraph's clawed grasp, but the warrior paid him little regard and his grip loosened somewhat as he spoke with the rogue. "But surely you do not expect me to so readily believe that this little outburst was not planned by the two of you. Locating and gaining entry to the halls of Infection, making an effort to gain what little trust I have to offer, conditional though it may be, and striking from the shadows whilst this one occupies my attention..." He shook the lich as indication as he referred to him, little caring for what pain or discomfort might be caused. "...it is all far too 'coincidental' for me to simply let down my guard and trust in the weakling experiment of a mad necromancer and his erstwhile, violently stalker-like 'daughter', though I am sure that too was more a fantasy in Abner's head than any manner of truth."

Keraph clicked his tongue behind his sharpened teeth, evaluating the rogue a moment longer for any immediate threat or sign of aggression, and with a hissing sigh tossed Ranavos down beside her, pulling his hand back to grip and draw the wickedly curved greatsword at his back and planting it firmly in the ground before him, ready to strike if there was any indication that the fight would continue. "If the two of you are here in an attempt to take from me my un-life, I will meet you both with all the strength and fury I possess, and neither of you will leave this city as anything but mindless drones under the control of Her Highness." His burning eyes travelled between the two humans, a seething sneer almost daring them to take him up on his challege. His gaze was especially focused on Nika as he continued. "You see before you a 'soulless husk', brainwashed into the service of the Dark Lady. I am, and have ever been, a loyal knight of Lordaeron, and it is of my own will and volition that I defend my kingdom to a second death, if that is what is asked of me. I hardly expect either of you to recognize or respect the face of -true- loyalty, of a dedication to duty so strong that it transcends death itself. This is what it means to be Forsaken, to serve as part of a bond of lost souls forged from the dereliction of former 'allies', of loved ones turned away in revulsion. To damn those who would -dare- think to damn us, and treat them as the lesser creatures that they are for thinking that they stand above us." He spat his words derisively at the two, his contempt for a world that would forsake an entire kingdom clearly seething through each darkly articulated sentence.

"Now, if there is any meaningful purpose for your presences within my hall then you had best make it clear, and quickly, lest I deal with you both for the sheer amusement of it."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bella continued to trail behind the wolf, who by now was limping along. After being led astray from the scent trail for a bone the beast had learned better then to waste his master time, even more so when in a city full of dead and rotting things that made her want to vomit at every turn. The elf was muttering to herself as well, going on and on about her boots and the damned dog. “Perhaps a cat would be better!” she finally shouted. Orion’s ears fell back against his head, which lowered as well; this went on for a while as the two followed the scent of the death knight and as they got closer Orion’s steps became more muffled. Bella’s matched the wolves, figuring they were closing in, each foot fall softer then the next. She peered around the corner, noticing the door. “Odd place for a door, wouldn’t you say Orion?” She leaned up against the door, listening to the conversation inside.

She listened to the group for a while, her ear twitching as the Forsaken spoke of the “House of Abner”, Bella recalled the R.A that was inscribed on the spider like robots in Silvermoon. Bella looked at the door, even with her full weight on it the door didn’t move. It was all falling into place though and she knew she had to get inside. Once the Forsaken had finished his speech “Alright ol’ boy let’s do this.” Suddenly Orion grew to twice his side and rammed at the door. The axe that was jamming the door fell and clattered to the floor, which bell made quick work of covering up with her clapping as she rounded around the side of the now shrinking beast. The sound of her clapping filled the hall, that was after the clanking of the axe stopped echoing of the walls. If the group turned to look they would find her leaning against the now open door, rolling a rather large piece of wood the splitered off from the door under her foot. She shook her head, sniffled a fake sniffle before straitening up, flicking her finger across her cheek as if pushing a tear out of the way. “You speak of loyalty yet you leave the human’s alive.. the one that did damage to the city you swear to protect… Something isn’t quite right there..”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally released from Keraphs grasp, the first thing the lich did was gasp for air while still on the ground, if he really was alive he would of suffocated due to the long conversation Nika had with the warlord. Guess Nika lacked a sense of urgency when it comes to saving her 'Brother'. It took Ranavos a moment to regain his composure before standing up and dusting himself off. He gave Nika a pouted look and mumbled "You didn't even try to catch me." All joking aside, he grabbed Nikas shoulder and pulled her back behind him in a protective manner. Nika cannot survive an encounter with a warrior of Keraphs caliber, the best option for her is to run if a battle broke out. Solving this situation peacefully would most likely not happen due to Nikas reckless ambush, but solving it though combat would be even worse.

Ranavos could surrender... To kneel down before the warlord and pledge loyalty, but that would dishonour Venedict. The other option is to fight, but knowing his combat skills, Ranavos would most likely lose and Venedicts gift would be lost to him, and telling Keraph the truth would have the same outcome....

... Ranavos smirked as a plan came to him. He would have to press his luck against the warlord, but if this plan didn't work, Nika and Ran could always do what they do best. Run away.

"I am not very fond of being called a weakling, nor a failed experiment. Which is why I came here in the first place. I wish to make Father proud, but how can I do that when everyone thinks me to be a weakling?"

He tiled his head slightly to the sound of crashing, leveling his gaze to the elf who now entered. That damned elf is going to be a problem... The Arcane started to dance around his right hand, slowly forming a vague outline of a weapon of some sort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nika's stance was much less aggressive as she listened to Keraph make his speech, and she regarded him with something closer to curiosity than the open hostility from earlier. Her chin lifted with stubborn defiance as he planted his sword into the ground. "Don't assume that just because you're the 'warlord' of Infection, that I'm the least bit intimidated by you. I-"

Her speech was cut off when Ranavos grabbed her and pushed her back behind him, which brought a deep scowl. Her mouth opened to further her rebuttal, but her words were once again cut off by the crashing sound of someone trying to batter open the door. Her reflexes were so quick, by the time the door flung itself open, she had dove to the side and was already concealed within the shadows. Scowling deeply at the intruder, she sized up the elf and wolf before darting a look quickly back towards Keraph and Ranavos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keraph was amused by Nika's open defiance, and by Ranavos' determination to be seen as a true power. He still saw potential in both of them, if not as loyal allies then at least as tools to be used. And given the opportunity, he knew just how and where he would put their skills to the test, though he did not feel confident that the situation would arise. The young 'Prince', perhaps...the warlord still felt that the First Prophecy sent by Venedict was a sign that this young 'son' of his would be of great use, should he be strong enough to take the power that he felt he deserved. The rogue however was a loose cannon, a wild card. Keraph appreciated and perhaps even respected her stubborn defiance, her headstrong attitude and her...violent tendencies, but he did not trust her even remotely, and knew that given the chance she would likely make another attempt on his 'life'.

He smirked wryly as Nika professed her lack of fear, and listened intently as Ranavos spoke his piece. He began to respond, to tell the lich that if he did not want to be called weak or treated like a failure, then he would have to prove his strength, and secure his victory. He was cut short however as the doors to Infection's hall burst open in a loud clang of metal and clattering of wood, and the lithe elf he had seen earlier stepped into his hall with her pet, carrying on sarcastically and making accusations towards the warlord.

"This is Forsaken business, elf, in a private chamber no less." The warrior's face turned to a sneer as he addressed the third trespasser he'd been made to deal with today. "And you have just done as much damage to Forsaken property as this human has, as far as I am concerned. However, it is not my charge to protect the bridges and doors of the Undercity; I am no mindless thrall on guard duty. And the only casualties of this attack have been Kor'kron orcs, which I am sure none here will mourn. My intent with this human furthers the interests of the Forsaken, for whom I have authority to act, and as such he is my ward and is under my protection." He spoke in defense of Ranavos, somewhat unexpectedly to even himself, but he could not risk matters growing more complicated by some elf parading the human around the city when every Kor'kron who claimed to control it was looking for him.

"I trust you have not brought with you the attention of our 'gracious' overseers, and you will be compensated if you continue to keep them unaware of this situation. But before that, you will tell me what has brought you here and why you would think that it was a good idea to burst into the private chambers of a champion of the Dark Lady. Right now you are just as much an invader as the human is, and I am well within my rights and abilities to deal with you lethally for your trespass." He growled the warning to the newcomer elf, lifting his jagged sword and pointing it at her to punctuate his intent as he hissed at her. "Speak."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She couldn’t help but smirk as the Forsaken continued with his protection of the Human, which was in blatant disregard to their Horde standard. She shifted her weight a bit as she listened to him talk, folding her arms over her chest. Her shackles were visible as she did this but they were soon hidden once her arms actually folded over one another. “Calm yourself Forsaken, I would never let the green skins in on something like this. It does not concern them and frankly.. I killed the few that did try to question me.” Orion, now back to regular size was pacing behind her, a low growl could be heard as he did. Bella made no attempt to sooth him, since she was not sure how this would play itself out. She did however raise her right foot slightly and in doing so activated the automated arrow launcher. While using an arrow against the Forsaken’s sword would do little good at least she would go down fighting.

“Frankly I don’t give a rat’s ass about the humans, though one appears to be missing.. I am however trying to clear my name of treason.” The sneer that crossed her face made her features twist to an unappealing point. “I am wrongly accused of trying to overthrow the Lord of Silvermoon. While I am trying to over throw someone, it is not my own people or those that actually do good for the Horde. Just the toddler that thinks he can stomp his feet and get whatever he wants regardless the cost.” Perhaps her hate for Garrosh was what drove her to speak out since she did not know who the Forsaken stood with. She would assume the Champion of the Darklady would hate the demon blooded fool as much as she did. “Either way.. that human attacked Silvermoon." She pointed at the Death Knight, "Bringing him back would clear my name so I would be free to make plans. The other is none of my concern."

Orion continued to pace, his tail flicking wildly and his hair standing on end. His gaze was on the Forsaken, any move made would result in a lunge from the wolf, unless his master showed other wise. While the room remained tense, Orion remained on gaurd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"You will have to find some other way to clear your name, for you are not leaving with this one." The warrior inclined his head slightly at Ranavos. "If you attempt to take him by force, you will not leave at all. You seem to be free enough to be causing trouble in my city, so your 'redemption' can wait." He narrowed his eyes, inspecting the elven huntress for a silent moment of contemplation before speaking once more. "However, if you wish to do something -meaningful- in your crusade against our dear Warchief, then we may have matters to discuss. That you have already dealt with a few of our overseers, and have done so without managing to get yourself killed, gives me confidence enough that you are suited for what I have in mind. And trust me when I say that what you would be doing will strike a palpable blow against the 'toddler' you so despise."

Keraph turned his back on the huntress, shifting his focus to Ranavos while scanning the dark crevices of the hall for any sign of Nika. While he could not spot her in the shadows, he knew that she was still slinking among them, watching, listening, and perhaps waiting for another chance to strike. When he spoke to the lich, he made sure to make it apparent that his gaze was directed into the shadows, that his words reached the other listener in the dark. "As for you, little 'prince', you will be assisting me in this matter if you wish to prove your strength and do well in the name of your father. If you are unwilling, then you will not be welcome in my halls any longer, and will lose the generous offer of protection that I have bestowed. At that point, little will stand in the way of your elven friend here claiming you in her 'quest for redemption'." He raised his arms slightly in faux reverence for a task that was truly important to the huntress. "Acquiesce, and you will prove yourself worthy of my time, and will reap the benefits therein. And more importantly..." His gaze shifted to the shadows once more. "You will be safe. From those within and outside the city who would seek to do you harm, and more importantly, from me."

The warrior turned back to the elf once more. "If you are interested in what I have to say, elf, come in and for fel's sake shut what remains of the door. If you are not, then be so kind as to shut the door anyways, and be on the other side."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The moment the elf huntress had burst through the door, Nika made an immediate beeline for the darkest shadows she could find. It was deep in the back of the room, near where Keraph had emerged to begin with, where she now turned and took stock of the situation. The fact that the woman was a huntress put Nika more on guard, and she kept a close eye out for the wolf that accompanied her. Hunters seemed to have an uncanny ability to flush Nika out of hiding, if she wasn't very careful. Plus, she wasn't immediately sure if the elf was alone or not.

As Kakabel confronted Keraph, Nika studied her a bit more closely. She had seen her around before, she thought. Perhaps in Orgimmar. Although the two of them had never spoken, she looked somewhat familiar. Too much time had passed for any specific memories.

But Keraph's next words drew a look of genuine surprise from Nika. Ranavos.. under his protection? She had been worried that the arrival of Kakabel would further endanger him. That Keraph would be quick to hand the both of them over to the elf and any guards that might accompany her. But this.. changed things.

She was still careful to keep a healthy enough distance from Kakabel to not yet be seen.. but quietly, she neared where Keraph stood with Ranavos. She listened without interruption as the debate continued, taking note of the shift in conversation. But all the while, she edged nearer to Keraph. When she knew she was reaching the threshold where he'd soon spot her, she kept her movements slow and relaxed. Her open hands hung limp at her sides, indicating no sign of hostility. She crossed almost casually in between him and Ranavos.. close enough that they could see her, but not near enough to reveal herself to the sharp eyed huntress. As she passed Keraph, she briefly met his eyes, giving him a searching look before turning away again. She brushed past Ranavos, letting him know she was near.. and continued to stand slightly off to the side of Keraph.. remaining just at the very peripheral of his vision.

She kept a watchful eye on Kakabel and the wolf, but made it pretty clear that she didn't appear to have any intentions of further attacking the warrior. Nor did she seem too concerned about the fact that he could easily strike her down in an instant. But she remained concealed for the moment, unsure if Keraph wanted her to stay hidden, or make herself known.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Keraph gave his speech to the three in the room turning his body and head addressing all of them but also cleverly using the speech to keep an eye on everyone, his shadow seemed odd. If not paid any mind it seemed normal but if watched closely things did not add up, his movements were closely matched but not exactly as a shadow should. Thinking there was no better time to reveal himself,Rykor slowly stepped from Keraphs shadow as if were a door itself. First a boney foot and leg then followed the rest his forsaken frame which was clothed in a cloth robe and hood.

Rykor Blight was known among the people of Undercity for his work for the Dark Lady. His duties of interrogating any persons captured by the Forsaken forces were know to be very effective. Being able to access the minds of people to instill fear, corruption and even pain was a mystery to most but a gift he was given in part of his "rebirth". Even with his powers he was no match for large groups of armed guard so when the Kor'kron came to over see the city Rykor seemed to just vanish. Indeed vanish from sight he did by taking his shadow form and mirroring none other then the warlord himself. Time to aid Keraph more so then he had been doing by keeping the curious orcs confused and mindless to any connection to infection they might have otherwise stumbled upon with their time in the city.

"Do not be angry with my disapearence or invasion of your privacy Warlord" Rykor bowed his hooded head towards Keraph. Rykor did not expect a hostile reaction from Keraph but he was not known to be predictable in the past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"He is under my protection."

Those words echoed in the back of his mind, evoking old memories. Urivial. Urivial said that to him as well, back when the mortals wanted him dead. Urivial, his enemy at the time, stood up in his defense to protect the lich from harm. Ranavos kept silent, letting Keraph do all of the talking. Most likely if he had opened his mouth, this whole situation would break out into a huge fight. He was impressed that Keraph even stood up for him, perhaps Venedicts gift was a new servant?

Another voice of a newcomer caught his attention. A Forsaken by the looks of it. Now, this Grand Hall was getting a bit crowed. Both the elf and the new forsaken could be working together. Ranavos felt a sense of dread due to all of these fighters gathering around him, now he has more people here trying to claim his rightful gift.

The spell that he had been channeling the entire time had been completed. The hefty, hybrid of a weapon had fully formed into his hand, the heavy hammer part of it clanged to the ground. "You seem to be getting very popular, Keraph."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Her brow furrowed at the Frosaken declined her attempts to take the “Prince” back to be judged for his crimes. She tilted her head, calculating her next move, even if she and Orion could take the two heavily armored fighters before her, there was a third one that she could not see, most likely it was a rouge and if either one of them got sapped or stunned it would be game over. Not only that but all the fighting might alert the guards and it was quite obvious no one here wanted any of that. Her mind started down another path, if she did work with the Forsaken, perhaps the Dark Lady would pardon her. Out of all the leaders on the Horde the Dark Lady and her Lord had the closest bond.. if you could call it a bond that is.

His speak caused irk to cross her face and when she got ready to open her mouth to retort she quickly closed it again. Bella’s age was attempting to work against her, being so young made her quick to mouth off even when someone was attempting to help her. Instead she took a deep breath before continuing.

“Seeing how you are offering Human’s protection from your own kind, it could be assumed that you hold a higher office then your quarter show. If I help with your plans, which seem to cross with mine as well would you be able to stop my family from persecution. That is all I ask out of all of this.” She unfolded her arms, placing them in a friendlier manner at her side. Her weight was still shifted to one side however in case of a sudden attack from the rouge that she could not see but could faintly hear from time to time.

Just as the huntress and the wolf behind her began to calm down there was a sudden voice and appearance of yet another forsaken.”Holy Fel! There are more of you.” Bella took a step back, she could hear the gears and locks activating on her arrow launcher. “Gods…” She gave the group a sheepish grin as her hand flew from her side in just enough time to stop the arrow from rising to far from her boot, the tip digging into her palm. With the sudden commotion Orion though it was time for them to fight once again, just as the beast readied himself to lung Bella turned and pointed at the beast. “Down!” Her voice was low, but commanding and the wolf did just as his master said. His form laid against the tile, groaning his protest as he did however.

She looked back to the group, not sure what to expect as blood dripped from her finger tips. "About the door..." using her good hand she pulled out a small box from her belt, placing it on the floor it transformed itself into a small gnome looking construct that went to work on fixing the door.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead