Altherion

Nether Legend ((Closed))

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((Altherion's epilogue to the thread Six Fathoms Deep.))

BOOM.

The massive fist of the arcane construct latched onto his precious Dread ship. Altherion was on the verge of destroying his enemies. He was on the apex of glory. He was--

He was dragged through a portal, along with his ship and Vennathros. Sounds unrecognizable erupted in the darkness. It seemed like electricity had come alive, buzzing about his ears. His final vision, before they slammed into the massive tear in dimensions, was that it seemed to be headed to a blue colored planet. Another location on Azeroth, perhaps? He would easily cull the populace of wherever he landed. He was Altherion! He was invinci--

A board of wood slammed against the Death Knight, the ship starting to tear itself apart as it erupted into this new realm. Once more, a series of odd explosions and curious sounds crackled through his mind. The Arcane Elemental, at least, finally erupted into a magical blast of white light. It flowed over the ship, lines of pure magic splintering boards and tearing away another section of the mast.

The Death Knight looked up and around. The vessel was in an odd, orange tinted atmosphere. Far below, a large ocean of trees and small, crimson tinted buildings lined the landscape.

When the elemental broke apart, they teleported again.

Admiral Tuuroto had flung Altherion and his ilk through an unregulated portal, and as such, they experienced rapid fluctuations in destination.

Visions screamed past in the madness, all the while, the ship continued to tear itself apart.

A world of flame and chaos...

The proud spires of Dalaran, where the worlds largest portal had once lead...

A void of stars, a massive tear, similar to a portal, binding and consuming all matter that fell into it...

A gnomish town, full of inventions, attempting to use Ultrasafe transporters...

A sky of frost, the landscape below seeming to be home, similar to Icecrown, though devoid of undead...

Finally, as the magic began wearing off, it anchored to the one ley line that tethered all of creation. Altherion and the ruins of his ship were teleported into the skies of Netherstorm. Numerous rivulets of magic teared across the sky, the entire area seeming to be the end of all lines of magic. The purple glow was infused into the very land, once called Farahlon.

The blinding glow the arcana of the elemental had left finally faded. This seemed to be their destination. Altherion braced himself against the frame of the captain's cabin, deeming this a worthy death.

BOOM.

The burning ruin of Lixxel's former vessel slammed onto the edge of Netherstorm, the earth dislodging and bringing the ship with it. The two rocketed in a wide arc, flying out into the netherspace between Hellfire Peninsula and Netherstorm. Their rapid descent into the nether was only slowed by the irregular revolutions the chunk of land had created, and so, they would pause their journey, floating in the void itself.

In a mad attempt to send Altherion away, Tuuroto had broken several rules of portal magic. They are stated in Thinking with Portals - A Memorandum on Proper Portal Usage, and are as follows:

Rule #1: Do not create a portal to anywhere but the designated Kirin Tor portal drop-off zones. The most dangerous aspect of the portal spell is its vast potential. We realize it's easy for a mage to create a door to anywhere, so our only way to combat such potentially deadly acts is to make it punishable by death.

Special Issue License D-6 permits open portal usage, but is rarely issued. Speak with your local Portal Trainer about qualifying for this license.

Rule #2: Create a portal in the proper place, and use it in the proper way. Do not create a portal beneath the feet of someone. Do not linger halfway in and out of a portal. The portal is not a garbage disposal. The portal is not a shield. Do not use a portal like an umbrella, or any kind of shelter from the elements.

Do not back out of a portal after partially entering it. Do not try and "grab" the edges of the portal, either from the inside or the outside. A portal does not create "handlebars" to assist usage, and disruption of its boundaries is dangerous.

Rule #3: Never force or trick anyone to go through a portal. Not only is this a great way to lose repeat customers, it's also incredibly dangerous (See Rule #2).

Rule #4: Do not have someone who is polymorphed enter a portal. This has yet to not cause an explosion. This is also covered in "Polymorphic Rules & Regulations."

Rule #5: Do not remove the liquid filter from a portal spell. Portals innately prevent large amounts of flowing water through them so that they can be cast underwater. To allow for water elementals to use a portal, this filter can be omitted when casting. Do not omit this when underwater! We feel obligated to mention Moderately Severe Claims Disaster Case 34-zz: "The Great Lakeshire Drought & The Great Ironforge Flood of 24 A.D."

Rule #6: Standard Portal dimensions are 3 yards, 1 foot, 3 and 3/4 inches tall, 2 yards, 8 feet, 9 and 15/16 inches wide. Double-wide portal creation requires Special Issue License G-16, and is commonly issued to mages with a clean portal record of 8 years or more. Speak with your local Portal Trainer about qualifying for this license.

(( http://wow-tng.org/showthread.php?22998-Six-Fathoms-Deep-%28%28Ask-for-invite%29%29 ))

(( http://www.wowwiki.com/Thinking_with_Portals_-_A_Memorandum_on_Proper_Portal_Usage ))

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Vennathros had risen as Jitters disappeared from on top of him, trying and failing to rise and witness his Lord's Great Work. Instead, he saw only the grasping arm of the arcane monstrosity as it gripped the ship, sending Vennathros tumbling out of the fractured remnants of the crow's nest, and into a bed webs and splinters that had collapsed to the deck of the ship underneath and between the thing's crushing grip. The spider's threads entangled him as the ship was ripped through time and space, leaving Vennathros' mechanical sesnses overloaded and disrupted. He felt the shards of the ship pull at the webs as the ship slowed down, and his senses slowly righted themselves.

Netherstorm? Floating. Spinning. Slowing. Eyes working. Webs. Many webs. Wood. The Lord is nearby. Contact closer. IFF fail to identify. Switching to direct view.

Vennathros' eyes brightened as his mind observed the world through them. He began to struggle with his remaining limbs, in case an enemy had made it through the portal with him... No. Not an enemy. About five feet from the Ranger's head, tangled in the web, was the burned and still body of Kaz'anet, its legs curled in on itself. For a brief moment, Vennathros thought he might be alive again. His eyes felt like they burned, and he wanted to do nothing more than scream at everything. Himself, for not abandoning Altherion sooner, and at the world, for killing his one true friend and connection to sanity. But he couldn't. He no longer possessed the ability to scream, though his throat burned as if he had.

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Boards crumbled to dust as Altherion rose, armored palms having shoved him off the deck of the ship. Great splinters of earth had torn through it, forming a narrow corridor between the Death Knight and Vennathros. The volatile lines of the Twisting Nether criss-crossed through the ship, warping it and causing odd changes in smell, sound and sight. As he rose to his full height, with a turn to view the Dark Ranger, he opened his eyes.

Vennathros would notice several changes. Altherion's eyes burned a dark shade of violet. His armor was similar, a sickly ebon color, as opposed to the blue-black of before. The same magic that flowed from his eyes also radiated along his armor, as if the deep exposure to pure magic had changed him even further from his old mortal form. The crack in his helmet visibly repaired itself as he regarded the Undead, thin lines of primal saronite stitching it together with unholy magic.

The Death Knight then looked upon the corpse of the fallen spider. "Shall I raise it, Minion? A gift for your...loyal service." His voice boomed, one of the few sounds in the void that pervaded all of the reality about them.

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The words barely reached the Ranger's damaged ears. His head turned, bringing Altherion into his field of vision as the mechanisms about his throat wheezed and clicked. His voice box made a sound like a twig snapping before spewing out binary for a few seconds. The binary shifted into a low mechanic growl as he looked back toward Kaz'anet's corpse. His left arm, the only mostly-whole one left, reached out pitifully toward the spider, the charred fingers looking more claw-like than ever before.

The growl stopped with a click, and the clawed hand closed, the arm relaxing. "Yes..."

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Altherion unsheathed his axe with the loud hiss of metal on leather. He paused momentarily, to frown at Vennathros damaged state. "Your voice box can be repaired in time. Your wounds shall be mended with the flesh of our enemies."

"After all..." A loose bolt of magic shrieked into the air, launched from his blade, before it rocketed down. The magic stabbed into Vennathros' pet, reaninating the deceased spider. "Such matters are trivial for creatures like us."

Once the minor spell was complete, the Death Knight looked out into the void. His visage returned to a grim state as he attempted to tear a Death Gate. The portal opened, before it sputtered and withered. The interuption of the shattered ley line meant they would need a physical way to escape, or a savior. The ruined world of Outland seemed farther and farther as their ship glided into the darkness. Could they even reach land? Could they even contact an ally? Could they escape their isolation? Such a matter was far, far from trivial, even for creatures like these.

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Kaz'anet's legs twitched several times before the spider leveraged itself into a roll, bringing it upright. She seemed to pause for a moment before scuttling to her master's reaching hand, clicking her mandibles together in an oddly-excited greeting. The hand turned, two of the fingers barely reaching to scratch the underside of the spider's thorax. He remained lying down, but no longer struggled.

Clearly damaged, but functional, Vennathros' voicebox crackled again, spitting out atonal words. "Most systems functional. Despite lack of gravity, we are slowing. No significant land masses are within detectable range. No objects of a similar size to use to change our velocity. No propulsion system inherit to this place. No means of creating a propulsion system available through technological means. No means of communication via technology..." He paused as Altherion attempted to open the Death Gate. "...No means of magical travel or communication available. Orders, Lord?"

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"Wherever we arrive, be it the Outlands or Azeroth, it must be quick. Are you aware of the wracking pains that ail my kin?" Altherion stared at Vennathros for a long moment, seeming to be a shark that had found a cloud of chum. "If we do not cause harm, do not torture and kill, every few days...Or in my case, hours, then we go mad with agony." Altherion remained on his side of the boat, likely for the Ranger's sake. "Eternal suffering, unless we spread our damnation to the rest. That is the real gift Arthas gave us."

"Your charge, then, Minion, is to find us a way to return. Either that, or something to sate the bloodlust that is sure to overtake me. Lest you end up as the target." The nether lines that floated in the void shifted again, the angled edge of the bow tearing away, seeming to be erased in a flash as the wooden planks floated off into the dark. Vennathros would recognize that both his Master and vessel would soon be entirely unstable.

Altherion ignored him for the briefest of moments, to stare off into the darkness that enveloped them. Venn would note a miniscule break in his armor, at the base of his neck.

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The Ranger's eyes clicked a few times as he processed Altherion's words. His gaze latched on to the seeming weakness in the death knight's armor, but he was not stupid enough to attack in his own weakened state. Instead, he rose to his feet, bowing audibly. "May be able to salvage parts. Create distress beacon. Pretend to be friends, a portal spell malfunction. Use them to return when they come to save us."

He stepped backward, turning to walk away from his Lord. He had a plan, a course of action. He knew what sacrifice it might entail, cannibalizing his own parts to create the beacon. But he had not revealed his full intent to the volatile death knight.

Kaz'anet reached up to tap his passing leg with a single claw. A plan was forming in Vennathros' mind. He looked down at the now-undead spider, and blurted out a hash of sounds, briefly looking back toward Altherion. By this point, he would be honestly surprised if the death knight did not expect betrayal from him. That would not stop him from trying. With thoughts of vengeance in his mechanical mind, Vennathros sought out a suitable surface to begin his work, Kaz'anet watching over him protectively.

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Altherion began to move about the ship, as if searching for something in particular. He would leave Vennathros to his work for what seemed to be hours in the void. Planets, galaxies, even what was apparently entire universes floated past in flashes of odd magic, giving them visions of things that had happened and would happen. It was a truly madness inducing sight, one that would damage the mind of the more fragile mortals. It may dawn on the Ranger that other beings did in fact exist in the Nether, some constantly reforming, others appearing and then vanishing with a flash of green magic.

In his isolation, Venn would also hear the sounds of things being shoved about below deck. Several items were simply tossed out the broken portholes, floating off with the velocity that he threw them. There came a great rattling of chains, before Altherion once again emerged onto the deck. The Death Knight looks back to his ally, inquiring on the progress. With what visible skin showed on the self titled Scourgelord, the Ranger would notice numerous criss-crossing lines of blue magic, as if Altherion was being torn apart. He dropped the chain to the deck of the ship as he waited.

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When there was little to report, the Death Knight nodded. He set down the chain, gathering another idea. Having rummaged about the chestpiece of his armor, he withdrew a series of Saronite grenades. In addition, he found a large plague vial. Leaving the items in a pile, he returned downstairs, only to emerge with a few cannonballs. Through a few small cuts in the brass, he withdrew a line of gunpowder, pouring it into the plague vial before giving it a good shake. He would then set about fastening the Saronite grenades to the vial with the chain he had held for his weapon.

The final addition to his odd construct of metal and explosive was torn from the frame of the ship. The saronite plating he had used to build a ram, the doom of numerous seafaring vessels, was stripped piece by piece. Altherion bent it through a mixture of magic and hacking away with his blade, before he formed it all into an odd shaped cube. The Death Knight slid the plague vial inside, before holding both hands on the dark metal. Unholy magic radiated outwards, filling the container with his magic, before he sealed it away.

The cube was rather small, but it would serve his purposes. As he returned his gaze to the Minion that had been working away, Altherion called. "Vennathros! I wish for a status report. You've had hours to finish your work."

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Vennathros rose, his work as complete as it would be. He stalked to the front of the ship, carrying a rough piece of flat metal, Kaz'anet crawling slowly by his side. Numerous wires crossed the plate, integrating a small arcane crystal at the center. As he spoke, Altherion would notice that the side of the Ranger's head was peeled open, with several wires still hanging from it. "It is... effectively a transmitter, Lord. The arcane crystal that my tracking systems used was still attuned to the magic of the Redblade's spell casters. When power is run through it, it should cause them to feel as if they had cast a spell at its location, or at the very least make them aware of a presence here." With some reluctance, he offered the device. "Either way, it would theoretically urge them to investigate."

His eyes turned to the cube that Altherion held. "It seems you have a plan of your own..."

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"Urge them to investigate? Then the time of our freedom draws near. Your penultimate quest is completed."

The Death Knight had busied himself with setting about harpoons in the interim, and had begun to load them into the guns when the Hunter spoke. He spun the handle of one experimentally, the great chain-shot would easily latch onto the armor of a ship, or through the hide of a whale.

Altherion then strode past the contested area, onto Vennathros' side of the boat, decreasing the amount of space between them with each moment. As Altherion spun his blade, the undead's vision would flicker. The Death Knight drew ever closer, before his hand flashed a brilliant green, and the other undead would lose his senses of sight and movement.

In the haze that came, Vennathros broken sensors would hear the squishy sound of flesh being removed, the clank of metal, and the hiss of magic. Even through the intensity of the void Altherion cast about his Minion's mind, the Dark Ranger would feel a terrible burning sensation.

When Vennathros awoke from his stupor, the first vision he would have was the cold, dead gaze of his master. Due to their proximity, he would also see that the grey skin of his lord was glowing from beneath, small runes lining the flesh over any exposed areas. The crack through Altherion's helmet had also spread further, caked with a dried blood. Before Vennathros could ponder these changes, he would feel a great pain emanating from his chest, which now bore an additional scar, expertly stitched with bits of rope and netting. The explosive Altherion had been working on was nowhere to be seen.

"When they come, Minion, your final act of service will earn a place in Jotunheim's Valhalas." The dark master extended a hand to the lowly creature.

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