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Evellin

The Masks We Wear (Story)

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The events of this story took place many months ago. A collaboration between Urivial Beckett and Evellin Stormguarde. Some words' tense were changed to match the flow.

A mounted figure whistled as he flew away from Stormwind. He was flying North, along the water that lead to a chasm between the Burning Steppes and Dun Morogh. Normally he'd have checked around him before entering the chasm... but today he was being lazy. It was holiday season after all!

The man most knew as Urivial Beckett flew himself down the chasm without pause, before suddenly turning left and disappearing. Anyone following him would have to get closer, to suddenly find a small dark hole in the wall of the left side of the chasm. A cave it seemed, with faint light coming from deeper within.

It had been over a month since she'd quit her Captaincy, hoping to find a less stressful life. A vacation, perhaps- just Vlynor and herself. But Evellin had not found her peace; on the contrary, she had grown restless, angry, and most of all, uncertain. She didn't know what to do with herself. Where an iron resolve had once kept her steering her crew in the direction she thought best, that responsibility was long gone. In its place remained an old ache, unsatisfied and unchanging. Eve had become reckless.

There were few mounts small enough to carry her across the sky unnoticed, and so she opted for the device that allowed her to transform into a winged, bejeweled feline, not unlike those that engineers now favored. Limber and dark in color, she could trail behind and maneuver so as to become relatively stealthy, and having a rogue for a husband certainly didn't hurt.

It had been difficult to find Urivial in the Eastern Kingdoms as of late. It seemed he and his Watch had taken to the offensive in Pandaria, and Eve was not quite fool enough to bring herself and seething hatred into a world where it might turn against her. Finally, finally she'd glimpsed him in Stormwind, herself cloaked and masked to avoid easy detection. Now he flew to Dun Morogh, and she trailed carefully after, making certain to avoid following too closely.

Vengeance would finally be hers... she'd corner the bastard alone, and he'd pay for what he'd done. Maybe nobody else believed it... but they didn't have to. She was doing this for herself.

Evellin waited until Urivial had entered the chasm before slowly following. He'd practically disappeared, but it didn't take long to search the walls, and come upon the faint hole in the chasm. Her paws touched down, the metal tapping quietly against the stone... and she followed.

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Evellin found herself going down a long slanted tunnel, deep into the ground. As she got closer she heard a voice... Urivial's. It was much more... real than she'd ever heard from him. More sinister to be sure.

"Happy Winter's Veil 'friend'." His voice sneered, making it clear he was talking to someone... or something. A snarl was heard, and she could hear Urivial chuckle darkly as she crept closer. After a moment a raspy voice spoke up.

"I will kill you Carlos." Said the voice. As she got closer, she would find the open room. Urivial in his shining armor stood facing away from her, a gag in one hand as he stared down at a shocking looking prisoner. If she didn't know better she'd say Urivial Beckett was holding a much more ragged looking Urivial Beckett hostage...Altherion's words might come back to her, then.

Evellin froze at the sight, ducking down and flattening against the wall as she backed out quickly, only to slowly peer in once more. She couldn't quite believe her eyes- this was either a dream, or wishful thinking. Were there two Urivials? ...that must have meant that-

Shit.

That elf-loving son of an ogre had been telling the truth, then? Part of her had always wanted to believe it, of course, but... the other part of her thought she knew that it was just a desire for some sense of justification. No matter how many times she blinked, however, the scene remained before her eyes... and instead of acting on impulse like she usually did, for once, Eve stayed still.

Carlos chuckled in response before backhanding the man in front of him hard.

"Sure you will. After over a year of this, you still have hope? Your sort of paladins make me sick. No pragmaticism, all optimism and righteousness and hope."

As he spoke Eve watched as his appearance suddenly shifted. His hair became close-cropped, his skin became slightly more brown... he was a different person, though he wore the same armor.

Meanwhile Urivial righted himself up, showing that his hands were chained behind his back, from what Eve could see the chains went all the way back to the wall, a few feet behind him. He snarled, his eyes that of a mad animal as he tried to reach Carlos with all his might.

Evellin's jaw dropped and hung open as 'Urivial' turned into someone very familiar. Her memory flashed back to the day she was nearly chased off a cliff and given the choice between death or service to the Highland Marauders. Carlos. Her jaw set and every muscle tensed as she deactivated the magic, her form returning to that of a human woman, though her hands and feet remained pressed against the cold stone in a rigid crouch.

The other man- her brother? That was the real Urivial? And... held here, for over a year, alive? A sudden sense of urgency gripped her heart with jaws of steel. On the one hand, she could leap forward and strike Carlos down now that she had the chance. The problem was, what happened if he used her brother against her? It would do no good to suffer through a hostage situation... and if she lost, what then? Her life- and possibly Urivial's- would be forfeit. Carlos could... not leave them alive to tell the rest of the world.

Damnit, rational thinking, why did you have to raise the stakes like that?

Teeth grinding, Evellin watched on, grabbing a hold of the hilt of one of her swords. Urivial was ragged and worn, but if she could free him, perhaps he'd still be of help. All she had to do was wait for Carlos to step away far enough to deem it safe to attack...

She would notice probably, how stressed the chains holding the real Urivial looked. He must fight against them day after day... but they seemed too strong for simple human strength to break.

She might also notice the runes on his bare arms and neck. Suppression runes from the looks of it. Eventually Urivial's struggles ceased and he fell to his knees, staring at Carlos with utter undisguised hatred.

Carlos ignored it, going over to the side of the cave and pulling food from his bags. He began preparing a meal it seemed for Urivial, basic stuff, but a well-rounded meal. He clearly had a reason to want to keep Urivial healthy and alive.

As Carlos moved to the other end of the cave, the cautious waiting became short-lived, and the Death Knight returned to her usual routines.

Evellin took her chance and stepped out, swiftly drawing her sword from its sheath with a hiss. She darted forward, intending to put herself somewhere between Carlos and Urivial before the former had a chance to react. With more confidence than she felt, she addressed her enemy in a low growl.

"Sanchez..."

There was no elaboration, nor drawn-out speech. That one word, that name, spoke of more hatred than she could ever truly express.

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Yet even then she stood still, almost as if awaiting an explanation.

Her appearance caused utter silence as Carlos turned to observe her, and Urivial just gaped at the sudden appearance of... a death knight?! What was one doing here?!

Carlos' face slowly split into a large grin as he stepped forward.

"Dear... Evellin Stormguarde. I've been wondering where you went. Oh this is just the best Winter's Veil gift ever... what a little family reunion we've assembled."

"I couldn't agree with you more." Her eyes narrowed as she planted herself firmly between the two men, her body positioning sideways as she pointed her sword at Carlos, fully alert. There was no stepping back out of this one. If she died here, nobody would know... they'd never find her body.

"The best Winter's Veil gift, ever. You've a lot of explaining to do, Sanchez."

Carlos grinned, a tad ferally as he drew his sword from his back.

"I don't see why I should explain a damn thing. Really Eve, how do you think this will end? You die here, tonight. For a final time."

He wasted no more words, beginning with a judgment of scalding light energy before rushing in to slash across her front. Urivial could only stare at the two as he moved back a bit. He was fairly defenseless, chained as he was, and he had a feeling this paladin and death knight were going to be using heavy magics.

Evellin braced herself, reflexively warding off the Light with a blast of frost, though it did little to lessen the sting of the holy magic. She brought her sword up, parrying his own blade as she drew the other, unable to bring it out fast enough to go on the offensive just yet.

Her boot, however, was sent in a heavy kick towards Urivial's right kneecap as their swords were engaged, though she couldn't for the life of her remember which one of his legs was weaker, if it even was still a problem... or even if it had been the leg itself.

It was his left kneecap that had been shot out, and replaced with a mechanical counterpart. However, her kick was strong, and she threw him off balance for a moment. It was only a moment, but she would have a chance to do something as he growled angrily, putting both hands back on his sword handle, and swinging it with all his might at her as soon as he could.

Evellin pressed the momentary advantage, thrusting toward the area beneath his arm with her left blade. Regardless of whether or not she hit her mark, her wrist flicked the right blade upward to keep him from completely gutting her. Even with the intervention, however, his blow was powerful, and the blade bit through her armor and into her side. Eve staggered and let out a hiss of pain, eyes glowing brighter with rage.

"I'd wager you're regretting having ever spared my life, Carlos! You should have killed me when you had the chance..."

Carlos snarled in pain as her first sword hit it's mark. His arm glowed with light in that area as he struggled to keep up the strength behind his blow, before disengaging and stumbling back, sneering at her as he settled into a more defensive stance.

"Indeed, I should have you miserable pirate bitch! Utterly useless in every way! You deserve to die for all the times I had to fake a smile at you, act like a loving brother!"

Meanwhile, behind Evellin, Urivial sat against the wall, staring at the two fighters with growing curiousity. If the female died, it seemed nothing would change, so he was not truly fearful. But he felt a glowing, growing well of hope lifting up inside of him. If she could but -win-, he might finally go free? But he'd owe his life to... a deader. He shuddered for a moment before frowning inwardly at himself. For the moment, Carlos was the bigger enemy!

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Carlos' words hit a mark, but a strange one- something dawned on her, the true, budding realization that this man was not- and had never been- her brother. It was not her brother who had attacked her husband, or tried to torture her, or poisoned a guard for being Worgen. It was not her brother she'd fought all these times, wanted to destroy, constantly struggled with. There was no moral whisper in her ear, urging her to make peace with a man who would be her family. There was no Tuuroto here now, scolding her for holding grudges.

Evellin bared her teeth in a wolfish grin, lunging forward with her swords up.

"And you deserve to die for making me endure those slimy smiles, you-" She struck out with her blades then, emphasizing each thrust with a heartfelt insult: "two-faced, yellow-bellied, bilge-sucking slug!"

She quickly had Carlos on the defensive, and the rogue paladin was shocked for a moment, he'd never seen such... fervor from Evellin before. With a snarl he tried to force his way back onto the offensive, but all he did was begin to get sloppy, he was sacrificing protecting himself for trying to harm her... and she'd always been more agile than him.

Carlos hit his mark a few times, but none of the attacks seemed to register on the Death Knight, whose built up frustration had finally ripped through the rusted cage doors she'd so desperately tried to stuff it in. The crimes Carlos had committed only increased in her mind as she realized her own brother was among the victims. Two of her family had met pain at the hands of this... this...

"Flea-bitten codpiece!" She roared, dark magic swirling around her in tendrils, flexing and lashing out with every continued swipe of her blades. They did not seem to provide much purpose but act as a manifestation, an extension, of her own erratic rage. Bluffing, maybe. Or maybe not. "Is that all you've got?!"

The ploy worked for the most part, if that was it's purpose. Carlos lost more and more ground, until one of Eve's blows threw him up against the wall, and he realized he was cornered. Still he tried to respond aggressively, snarling like a wounded animal.

But Evellin was winning, and Urivial's hopes were rising higher and higher... this deader could possibly pull this off!

A muscle in her jaw twitched as she clenched her teeth. The second she had him pinned against the wall, she engaged his sword, the blades ringing noisily as she caught it with the crossguard in an attempt to twist the weapon far enough away to prevent it causing harm. The second blade moved below his chin threateningly.

"Yield!"

Carlos narrowed his eyes, but a moment later his sword fell from slack fingers anyways, his left arm finally fully giving out. He glared at her, completely impotent.

It finally dawned on Urivial though... she would kill Carlos now, he would never get his revenge. That thought led to him blurting out quite suddenly, "Wait!"

Evellin's arm froze, the blade longing to rip into his throat... or perhaps it was simply her own longing. She exhaled through her nose slowly, blowing frost into Carlos' face, and only just realizing how cold she'd grown. It seemed frost magic was beginning to become a bit of a second nature, much to the former warrior's surprise.

Without looking back- she wasn't fool enough to break her gaze away from her prey- she answered a simple, "What?"

The voice of her brother was more than a bit pitiful... broken even. But the hatred was probably slightly unsettling, if understandable.

"H-he, he can't die that -easily-. It has to be worse than that.”

Evellin hesitated. "You're right. He deserves pain..." She trailed off, her brow knitting at her brother's current state, but the worry quickly transformed into anger. "He deserves to suffer a day for every life he's ruined, for every innocent hurt by his actions..." She kicked Carlos' sword away and started to bring her own weapon back. "To make it swift would be... so unsatisfying."

Her lips twitched, but whether it was the ghost of a smile or a grimace was hard to truly say. She thrust her sword forward, armor splitting with a shriek as she shoved it deep into the prone man's chest.

"...but I've learned the hard way not to draw these things out..." Eve gave the blade a savage twist. "...longer than they need to be."

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Urivial stared as Carlos gave one agonized scream and died. He stared and stared at the body, his attention completely off Evellin now, his face expressionless, his thoughts impossible to discern.

Evellin lowered Carlos to the ground, planting a boot on his chest and yanking the blade free. Had she needed to breathe, she might have been panting right now, but there was an eerie stillness to her chest even if her eyes were wild and a little bit crazy. It took a few moments of collecting her thoughts before she could bring herself to turn away, her body rigid. It was just a corpse now... but then, the same could have been said of her, and she'd just killed a man.

"Urivial...?" She swallowed, her mouth dry. It was always dry, she didn't know why now was the time to notice. "Urivial Beckett?"

Her approach was very slow, and very cautious. She'd no idea what he'd been through, and he probably wasn't thrilled that she'd just snubbed his request. Still, after Altherion, she refused to take any more chances playing at prolonged honor, or prolonged justice.

He was still against the wall. He didn't press further against it, to try to get away from her, but he wasn't exactly reaching towards her either. His eyes were focused on her, seeming to assess...

He hadn't believed she was here for him. She'd positioned herself between him and Carlos in the beginning, but ignored him mostly, in favor of spitting out hate at Carlos. He figured she'd followed Carlos here to kill him, not find Urivial...

After a long moment, a raspy, "... Yes."

"I think..." She sheathed her sword and held her hands to her sides, palms up to show that she was now unarmed. Her magic had since faded. "I think I'm a little deader since last we met. And a bit more cut up." Eve licked her lips, not quite certain on how to proceed. She had indeed come here to kill Urivial. Saving him was... an odd twist of events.

"My name is Evellin Stormguarde, but when you and I knew each other, you might have known me as Evellin Beckett."

There was another pause.

"Do you know how I get you out? Did he have a key?"

Urivial stared at her for a long moment before shaking his head abruptly and finally drawing back against the wall away from her, not in fear, but disgust?

"M-my sister? Don't you dare lie to me you vile bitch! Did Kuthoren put you up to this? He already showed me exactly what he did to my sister! Don't you -dare- think you can come here trying to convince me of your lies just because you're similiar to her! I won't be part of your twisted games, if you're going to kill me, get it over with!"

She might remember then a past conversation with Kuthoren... what he'd told Urivial when Urivial had come looking for answers upon his return from Northrend... Kuthoren had thrown a ghoul at him, and called it her. This was fresh in Urivial's mind, after all it was the last thing he did before going after Carlos.

Evellin took a step back in genuine surprise, as if she'd been physically attacked. Carlos calling her a bitch had been laugh-worthy, but coming from Urivial, she found that it... stung. It was understandable, though. She did indeed remember what Kuthoren had told her, but now she felt that she was clueless on how to prove those claims wrong.

"Kuthoren... did kill me, yes. To be brought back as... this." She kept her tone even and calm as she motioned to her eyes. "How would he have put me up to this? Carlos was pretending to be you this entire time, nobody even knew otherwise before... well. Before now. I came here to kill you- him... to kill him... I didn't know I'd be finding you, much less still alive. How could I have known, Urivial? Think of me what you will, but I'm not clever enough to have foreseen this, nor is Kuthoren. Not by a long shot."

Urivial leaned back and seemed to mull this over for quite some time before shaking his head.

"I... alright. I guess I believe you... there is no key, not that I know of. But the chains are weak... and you seem to have some control over frost magic..."

He looks at her, his expression turning for once, terrified.

"W-what has that fucker been doing in my name? In my body?"

"Oh, uh... Well..." Eve came closer now that he'd calmed down, trusting that he wouldn't lash out as she examined the chains carefully. "In general, killing some people, mostly Horde, but also poisoning Alliance guards. He did buy me off of someone else with the intent to torture me... Oh, and he beat my husband, there's that too... All the while managing to become the leader of an Alliance militia known as the Dusk Watch... Oh, he got married, too, but the wife's apparently long gone."

She stopped there to let him digest, moving her hands along the chain until she was as close to him as was safe. The air grew chilled as she fed the metal a steady diet of frost magic. It groaned in protest, presumably as it weakened.

Urivial gaped, completely flabbergasted.

"He lived a life with my body?"

Without a moment of thought he suddenly snapped his arms forward, breaking the weak chains and placing his hands on the collar at his neck, unclasping it and throwing it away from him. Eve would find herself quite suddenly blinded, maybe even thrown back as the light rushed back to him, having been kept from him by the suppression collar for far too long. When she could see Urivial again, the light was more contained, and he was standing, but he seemed so... listless, unsure.

Evellin yelped, caught off guard by the sudden rush of Light. She scrambled back, retreating blindly and running into the cave wall in the process. She rose quickly, keeping her arms in front of her defensively as her eyes slowly adjusted back.

It was almost more awkward than interacting with Carlos.

"Not an entirely dishonorable life... Most... Well, a fair few view you as a hero. Not saying It's sensible, and I'm afraid I've released you from the frying pan only to enter the fire. The Horde despises you."

He seemed concerned for her at that point.

"Are you alright?"

He glanced to the side and grunted.

"I'm not sure I care if the Horde despises me. Carlos took great joy in telling me about Theramore. He liked to think it united his people under him. He also told me enough for me to know to ask this... what will happen, if I go to the church or the Alliance or the Dusk Watch and tell them what happened?"

He looks at her, seeming to know the answer he expected...

Evellin grew silent and listened, nodding faintly at his first question, but finding herself a little stuck on the second.

"I don't know. They'd boot you from the position first and foremost, I imagine. There might be... some chaos. I don't really think anyone knows or suspected differently... Carlos did a relatively convincing job for any who might have not known you." A faint smile tugged at her lips. "Glad to know I was right in thinking my brother couldn't have possibly been such an insufferable asshole." Well, not that she hadn't had her doubts, of course.

On that note, Evellin shifted her weight. A big part of her wanted to rush forward and hug Urivial, which was, frankly, an incredibly strange impulse. The other part of her associated his face with the things Carlos had done, but in the end, that part was quite small, and drowned out by... a budding sense of affection, even though she had little memory of the time before her death. She wondered if this was, perhaps, because the heart had a sort of muscle memory.

Then she remembered she was a Death Knight, and above such sappy bullshit.

"Are you injured at all?"

Urivial shook his head slowly.

"A few bruises, but no... for whatever reason Carlos wanted to keep me in very good shape. Probably had something to do with his potion of illusion changing to show my decrepit body if he let me waste away."

He eyed her.

"So he was able to fool even you Evellin? We grew up together... I suppose he was good at playing the part... but you say he did some horrible things as well."

Urivial shook his head, stepping forward before swaying a bit, clearly not entirely used to standing and walking around.

"I'm sorry, I'm not blaming you of course. It sounds as if Carlos fooled a great portion of the Alliance with his act. C-can we leave now?"

Evellin watched him for a long moment, her brow furrowing at his words. "My memory was robbed of me, as punishment to Kuthoren. I did not- do not remember enough to have known better. It seemed he knew better, and now I know why." She straightened and offered a faint nod.

"We'll go north. To Ironforge. You- he- had a home there, I imagine that's a good place to start. You don't have a mount here, I imagine, so I'll carry you if you can trust me to."

The Death Knight turned, making her way to Carlos' body and crouching down. She roamed his armor, bags and pockets, searching for anything and everything that could be of use or important... but also wary of the traps an engineer might have on himself.

Urivial was behind her rather quickly, and quietly surprisingly enough. He pulled her away from the body.

"Let me." He stated with authority as he knelt down and began working quickly.

"Bastard stole my life from me, made me teach him engineering and jewelcrafting... most of these modifications are done by me... not to mention this was originally my armor."

He said with a growl, as he began to pull pieces of the armor off Carlos, throwing them into a pile. Eventually he pulled a small box from Carlos' belt and activated it, all of the armor and equipment he'd torn from the now barely clothed corpse flying into it. He turned to her and grinned.

"Portable Hole, nice mixture of tech and magic... wish I could say I invented it, but I've never been one to steal credit where credit is due."

He glances around the cave one last time and grunts before looking at her.

"I trust you to carry me, my sister. Besides, you're the only lifeline I have to this world now. Without you, I am lost and dead."

Eve stood back, allowing him to loot the corpse as he saw fit. There was nothing on Carlos that she would have wanted, anyway- a key to his house might have been helpful, but more to Urivial than anyone else. She quirked a brow at the notion that he'd taught Carlos everything. It was relatively good news, she mused. That was one skill he'd not have to learn. Not to mention he was a paladin, and a good one at that.

As Urivial spoke, she glanced down, running her thumb along the bloodied gash in her armor. It was sticky but had already stopped bleeding, mostly thanks to a natural chill in her body. There were a few more cuts in the armor- the whole damn thing would have to be repaired- but nothing seemed life-threatening. She looked back to Carlos, gripped with a strange urge to parade him around as a ghoul...

"You will be living soon enough. You've just got a lot of catching up to do."

The End

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