Shokkra

Deathrage

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The blind priest was lead through the halls of the personal rooms of Sanctuary's betters. Her steps echoed only by the mage she followed. Ahri looked tired as she guided, stopping only once before Cerryan's room. Her frown deepens when she put her hand on the door. She whispered to the wood before continuing on to the Commissar's room. Ahri knocked once then moved to sit down next to the door. Sen had no intention on entering with the once Confessor and the orc.

Random shuffling sounds signal Shokkra's door opening, the orcess throwing it open and leaning on the inside. She nods at Ronyo and Sen'ahri, tilting her head for whoever's coming in to come in. Her room is a mess for the most part, sheets and clothes strewn across the room like a linen battlefield. The window is broken as is a decent amount of the furniture, drawers smashed against the walls and such. A small armory and weapon rack sits by one side while the other contains a small table and two chairs. The only thing not horrifying in the room are the books, which are somewhat neatly and safely placed around the room. "Come on in."

Thank the Light for thick soled boots, her first steps crunched under foot pulling a twitch from Ronyo, Ahri peeked in. "Careful, Lady Visca, your toes won't enjoy her room." She cautions a low arcane flow whispers around the mage's fingers before the door is slammed shut. Ro stood in the middle of the interior battle casualties, hands folded on the small of her back, "Are you doing well, Deathrage? At least as well as someone in your possession can be."

Shokkra shrugs, grunting as she stepped towards the middle of the room by the bed. "I'm fine. You?" She stepped on something wet and looked down to see a large worm had made its way into her room. She sighs and kicks the dead thing under her bed, to the upside down of the nether.

Ro takes a long silent breath, whispering a blessing of strength on herself as she stayed stark still in the unknown room. "As well as I can be." "Good." Shokkra ran a hand through her greasy hair, throwing off the torn remains of a bed sheet from the mattress. "So I'm like, sleeping and shit, right?"

"More or less," the priest opens the beat up leather bag on her hip, and produces a potion with light green liquid sloshing about in it. "I need you to drink this. It's a dreamless sleep potion. Because we're not actually after your dreams but what’s lurking in your head, this should help things along." She holds the bottle out towards the orc taking careful steps towards where the bed had been fussed with. "Take the whole thing. Shouldn't taste too horrendous."

Shokkra sighs and grabs the vial, downing it completely in a couple gulps and belches horrendously. She stumbles back and plops herself on the bed, holding her head in her hands. "I've drank demon blood that didn't taste that shit. Then again demon blood tasted like power, so." Shokkra set her chin in one hand, remembering. "And victory... and the death of my enemies... and, you know, slavery." She shudders and shakes her head. "Anyway, what now?"

"You wait, shouldn't be long before you start feel fuzzy and warm and want to sleep. Once you do I'll do my own Hocus Pocus and we'll see what's going on in that head of yours. Though, I'm starting to have my suspicions."

Shokkra raises an eyebrow at Ronyo, squinting at her. "What do you mean suspicions?"

"Considering how it comes and goes, and how it seemed to blanket you and Vilmah...I'm wondering if it's not you, but something else." She shrugs, "I don't have anything yet, just suspicions." Shokkra yawns, rubbing at her eyes. "Well I guess we'll just have to fucking see then, won't we?" She lays her back down on the bed, her bare feet still planted on the floor.

"You still with us, Deathrage?" She smiles, leaning forward. A loud, doom impending snore is all that Shokkra replies with. "By the Light, no wonder the Ahri couldn't sleep."

"HAH!" From outside the door.

Ronyo shuffles the orc onto the bed proper, a great feat in of itself before sitting down on the edge of the bed. Ronyo worked silently as she ran her hand over Shokkra's face, searching out her features before putting her cool palm against her forehead.

Ronyo's Light manifested itself in the form of golden and silver shards of melting ice and frost, a calling to her time in the frozen Northrend. The frost etched itself along the priest's fingers as she pressed her conscientiousness into the other woman's. To a Death Knight this process was painful, and dangerous to both the caster and the victi~ patient, a form of mind control. Where Shadow priests strove to dominate, Ronyo chose to allow some of herself to assimilate for a short while, to see and feel through the other.

Shokkra's mind is silent for a while, dreamless and peaceful. After a few moments however, something... changes. Instead of the serene emptiness, now there was more of a void. A darkness that encroached and deepened the shadow of the mind. It quickly envelops the surroundings, tendrils of negative energy wrapping itself around the centerpoint of Ronyo's intrusion. The effect it had was suffocating, Shokkra's breathing became rapid and shallow. A creature comes forth from the shade, born of anger and rage. A monstrosity of darkness and death, blending into its den naturally, only visible due to the white that slashed across it. A Sha, a remnant of anger from a time not so long past that latched itself onto a consciousness in its weakened state and had waited. The beast snarled, bounding from side to side in a zigzag and lashing out at Ronyo.

The apparition of the priest stood like a beacon among the black. She had felt this before, the anger that coils through one's self, festering like a bog. Where Shokkra's had stemmed from, either from anger itself or another sha that had festered into something deeper, she could not tell. However it was easy to see, this was not the corruption that had found itself among those of the library that day.

"Where do you come from I wonder..." She mused, her thoughts projected like a whisper. On the physical word the priest's frown deepens, the spark of Light flairs, seeping deeper into the orc. "Shokkra," she called, "You want the power of the Light? Why? It's always best to banish these things yourself, if I lend you my strength, can you do it I wonder..."

Shokkra stirs, fidgeting under the Light and Ronyo's touch. The Sha continued to bound around Ronyo in the orcess' mind, thrashing through the shadow from whence it came. "I want to be better." Shokkra's voice echoes through the darkness, though the creature of the old gods takes no notice. "I want to believe in something and stand against Azeroth's enemies as something more than a soldier. I want to inspire, and heal, and bring justice to the unjust." The Light around Ronyo grows slightly brighter, the Sha retreating a bit but otherwise continuing its intimidation.

Ronyo’s image shimmers and bursts into tiny fragments of silver and gold then coalesces into twisting ball of Light. "Then take my strength, and show me what YOU would do with it, Shokkra Deathrage. Prove that the Light could one day call upon you."

The ball floats there, waiting for its user to take hold of it.

Shokkra's image forms in her own mind, appearing a few feet behind where Ronyo stood and where the Light now rested. She stepped forward cautiously, every footfall methodical and planned. The Sha rages from its boundary, circling the Light covered area ravenously. The orcess comes before the orb, breathing heavily and reaches out to grasp it. As her skin contacts the ball, a warm glow very slowly starts to spread from Shokkra's fingertips up to her arm, her shoulder down through her chest and up around her head, cascading her in a shimmering light. Even in this lessened form within her mind, the Light felt strong. It was pure and graceful and loving more so than anything else. Shokkra turned to the Sha, the wretch roaring and snarling at her, shadows darkening in a void around and within it.

She snarled back and charged at the creature of destruction, arms moving more into a grapple position than a boxing one. The manifestation of anger slithered and raced towards her, shadow spilling from its maw as it came for her, leaping at  her chest. She had hoped for this, catching the Sha and slamming it to the ground, her Light empowered touch scorching the creature as she pummeled and choked it. A terrible scream pierced the air as the Sha's essence was smote by the Light, its form being torn apart by righteous fire. With a mighty blow Shokkra shoved her fist through the monster's head, the shadow recoiling and deforming around it as the surroundings did the same. Shokkra breathed, keeping her eyes locked on the spot where the Sha had been as the area returned to the previously peaceful state. The orcess fell over to her side, fainting, and the Light vacated her imaginary body, her mindful form disappearing as the ball reformed.

The image of the priest reformed, though dimmed in a way. "Remember, Shokkra you will not always be able to meet anger with anger, live up to your name, be the death of rage. You are a smart woman of war, use your intelligence and keep faith that one day the Light will find you as you have it. However, if you find yourself dark once again remember it only takes a candle's flame to lift the shadows enough to see your path. Have faith in those that light your way."

The image flickered and faded. Outside Ronyo stood and pulled covers over the sleeping orc, the potion should hold true well into the morning. Slowly she made her way out of the room and into the hall. Ahri stood to greet the priest. "You look tired, home?" A smile and a nod were her queue as the mage pulled magic and sent the woman home.

Shokkra slumbered as the priest left, not snoring horribly for once or having terrifying nightmares, just sleeping. As Ronyo vacated Shokkra's mind, a faint flash of something in the darkness appeared for a split second. Giving any thought to it, it was probably nothing. Just a trick on the mind.

Some nights later, the orcess lay in her bed, looking up at the roof as she held the pendant at her neck. It was a blown bullet casing, two names engraved on it. A bloodstone was set inside, something that Shokkra had been told meant friendship forged through war. She smiled at the thought, of sitting on the cliffs overlooking Orgrimmar with her best friend. Of running around Outland looking for beer. Sitting by a small river in Nagrand, having a picnic in firelight. The cold, grizzly wind brushing across their huddled forms by the coast. Fear, naked and bloodied, honest, love, at the manor. The blizzard. Her heart lurched. Shokkra shut her eyes tight, rolling over to her side and pulling the sheet closer to her chest.

The blizzard. It had been a fucking cold night. Shokkra had huddled in a blanket on the Highmountain slopes, to think and to watch the bat riders do their thing. Dora had come down to the same place just by coincidence. The raider had jumped up, shuffling over to the elf and throwing her arms around her. Gave her an opportunity to warm up and to hug Dora. Both were very good things in her mind. They made small talk from the muffled shoulderpads both their faces were stuffed in. Then she asked about… what was going on, and all Shokkra could do was cry. Dora held her, and they rode to the nearest encampment, moving into an empty tent. The storm had started up outside.

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Shokkra screamed at the charging paladin, the human howling back at her as steel clashed with steel. The sound of thunder stormed around them, the dark clouds and shrieking lightning of the Vrykul land more than earning its name. He spat in her face as their weapons met and threw his shoulder forward at her chest, launching her weight into the mud. The orcess scrambled to her feet just in time to sweep aside the knight’s next strike, narrowly avoiding having her chest caved in. The paladin continued his onslaught, pushing Shokkra next to the cliff’s edge where she dug in her feet and refused to move from. The warden tower loomed above the fighting duo, gilnean defenders raining down arcane missiles and explosive barrels on the assaulting undead.

Sylvanas’ finest continued to march forward. An unwavering, unrelenting force of undeath that systematically annihilated all the dogs in their path. The battle was already decided, their outer defences had fallen, it was just a matter of time until a new flag was raised over this tower. The gilneans had grown desperate, seeing their fate before them and had sent their weakest to the doorway. Their stomachs burst as forsaken boots treaded over their corpses and up the stone stairs. Huntmasters and sharpshooters stood in pairs along the rise, blasting lead into the undead advance, shredding armor and rotting flesh alike. Some toppled from the force of impact or had their brains plastered across their comrades, but they did not relent, and the wounded gorged on worgen hearts.

Outside, a few skirmishes continued. The forsaken were cleaning up nicely, ending the torment of the dying and those who surrendered alike. The paladin was anxious to retreat, to get away from this lost fight as quickly as possible before he became another statistic like his allies. He hammered at Shokkra, making significant contact here and there but no real strikes, deflected by her swords or dodged. With a mighty bellow he brought his warhammer down, swinging it downwards at the orcess’ head to end this. She raised a sword to slash at the poorly protected inner elbow of the Knight’s plate and stabbed forward with her other, plunging the serrated blade into his chest. He screamed as his arm was nearly lopped off, his strike losing some of its momentum and aim, instead crashing into the warrior’s shoulder. Falling back, he gripped at his arm and started to chant healing words as the second sword stabbed through his armor and chest with the force of a charging kodo.

 

Looking up at his demise, he spat blood at her feet, cursing her. The massive raider snarled under her helmet and ripped the blade from his torso, pulling blood and intestines with her. He cried out in agony and fell to his side, clutching at his outside insides. The orcess grunted, strapping her swords to her back and kneeling down to the dying man’s face, pulling off her helmet. “You are not worthy of the Light.” She growled the words, punctuating her statement with a spit before him. He only shuddered and closed his eyes as the blood seeped out from his chest. Shokkra grunted, getting to her feet as she latched the helmet to her belt and turned to look at the wreckage. The flag of the Horde was being hoisted on the top of the towe-

 

Something hit the back of her boot. Shokkra turned slowly, her eyes returning to the dying paladin on the ground. His hand was gripped tightly around her shin, looking up at her with overwhelming fury and decades of loathing. “Then find someone… who is.” With the last inch of his strength, the holy warrior shoved his warhammer at Shokkra’s foot as his body went limp and his eyes darkened, into the dream of death. She blinked, looking down at the hammer and the gauntlet around her foot. Tugging her leg free, she knelt down to grab the blessed armament, tracing her hand across the haft and grip. Nodding to herself, and to the fallen warrior, she stood back up, strapping her greatswords to her back and laying the warhammer across one shoulder. She signaled to the forsaken and a bat quickly descended to take the orcess back to Dalaran.

 

The hammer fell hard onto the floorboards. The weight of it did no great harm to the wood, if sounding quite the “thump” as the head impacted. It had been forged beautifully, the emblem of the silver hand worked onto the long sides of the warhammer and holy imagery detailed on the haft. The glow that once blanketed the implement of justice had faded to nothing, reduced to the simple weapon it was when not in the hands of a paladin. Blood had been splattered liberally across the hammer, for the most part centralized on the butt ends of either side. The orc who dropped it there stomped over to her armory and started to strip her armor off. She didn’t usually loot the corpses of fallen adversaries, much less the corpse of a soldier or a paladin, but this was different. He had asked her.

 

Bright gold and silver, the armor was drenched in red and green, the purple tabard that was snugly fit on the orcess’ chest in dire need of a thorough wash. The stand where the armor usually rested gradually began to fill back up, starting with the faceguard. Shokkra unstrapped and peeled off the rest, grabbing a cloth from a nearby weapon rack and cleaning the plate as she went. The demonsteel did eventually resemble a cleaned, somewhat shining look on the mannequin-like stand. Next she cleaned her swords off, the usual dripping of blood coming to a halt as she furiously scrubbed at every inch of the massive blades. Satisfied, Shokkra stepped back to admire her work and nodded, cleaning her hands of the bloodstains and tossing the cloth to the side, landing squarely on the tip of a polearm.

 

Peeling off the bandage wrappings on her arms, the need for them gone for the night, the orcess threw them into the small fireplace, the dried blood attracting the ash. Shokkra sat herself down on the edge of her unkempt bed, tugging off her light cotton pants and pulling her brawling jerkin over her head, both of them being through haphazardly around the tattered room. With a deep sigh, the massive tattooed warrior rolled herself around to the head of the bed and wrenched the blanket over her, kicking out the light sheet that typically went underneath said blanket. Yawning monstrously, Shokkra closed her eyes and tried to sleep. Then she remembered the hammer.

 

Groaning like a teenager being forced to do something monotonous, Shokkra flopped out of her bed and slumped over to the hammer, grabbing it in one hand and dragging the massive thing across the floor. She swept her hand across a large table, plunging the unfinished schematics to the darkness of the floor. Grabbing a particularly messy parchment, she quickly and expertly cleans the warhammer, ever in the dark, and places it squarely long-ways onto the table. Shokkra flips open a chest and rummages around until she pulls out a couple candles and sets them equally on the hammer’s sides, igniting them with the tauren-sized lighter gifted to her several months previous. She stepped back once again and nods groggily at the makeshift altar, tossing the lighter to the side and falling into her bed, beginning to snore almost instantly.

 

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It had been difficult to maintain a steady hold over her unconscious mind since the Sha had been purged from it. The Sha had been such a wonderful tool, it fed off her anger, her hate, her weakness and her sadness, while completely ignoring other, smaller forms of corruption. While the Sha had brought her nightmares, he had watched. Shortly after the siege he had begun to watch her dreams. It proved such an invaluable source of information, even when one was required to sift through the macabre machinations of one so tortured as his poor, dear sister. Fel magic, however, had more than replaced the usefulness the Sha provided. It was unparalleled the amount of control he had now, to discern the truth from the imagination through subtle manipulation. He had learned so much in the weeks since the Sha’s destruction. He knew everything he needed for this exact night.

 

She twisted and tore in her sleep. Sweat had started to pour off of her… well everything really. She thrashed every so often, trying to strike something. Dreams where she ran were a very uncommon thing for the orcess. She was not one to run, she was one to fight at all costs. To break those that sought to break her and then die gloriously covered in their blood. Judging from the way she grunted and mumbled, it was quite the nightmare indeed. Though this was no true nightmare, not as those who had seen the depths and depravity of the realms for themselves. There were only two things that could be honestly called a nightmare, that of the Emerald and that of Twilight. Shokkra had experienced both of them, though only one had really affected her. A terrible thing, the Twilight Nightmare. Potentially lost forever in its hideous wretch of emotional defilement. In that it did its job quite well, and served as the perfect place for undesirables. Shokkra screamed and shot up in her bed, the blanket thrown halfway across the room as she did so. He laughed.

 

She rubbed her face roughly, her eyes darting around the room as her heart pounded, trying to locate the point of origin. After a moment, her eyes adjusted to the darkness and tracked slowly across the walls, then blinked as she saw what she was looking for. He was in his typical black leather, reinforced and padded. His hair stood up straight, the spiked, wicked mohawk looking as psychotic as it ever did. The black mask he always wore was tightly wrapped around his face, you could tell whenever he breathed it was so snugly tied. Two red eyes rested above the mask, almost glowing in the darkness. If it wasn’t for the intensity of them, she might not have even spotted him. Everything else he wore nearly completely shrouded him in the shadow. Even his legs were- wait. The hell? Her eyes moved to his left arm. It was covered in the same black leather. His fingers didn’t glint in the wisp of moonlight as he sat there, completely motionless.

 

“What happened to you?” She said, hoarsely. It could’ve been out of fear or maybe it was so she didn’t wake anyone else, though her scream and his laughter could have possibly done so already. Shokkra slowly moved her knees underneath her, bringing herself closer to his eye-level. Briefly she looked down at his legs again, just to verify that she was correct and they were no longer made of metal. He grinned from behind his mask, uncrossing his legs from their position on the longtable and lowering himself to the ground, making not even a hint of sound. By their ancestors, how did he get his legs back?

 

Her brother brought his right hand before him, holding the holy hammer so that Shokkra would be able to see it. “I never thought that you would seek the Light as your savior, sister.” He spoke softly, as he always did, but there was a hint of something behind his voice. Something she had never heard before, even when he was with his victims. It sounded wrong. Dark. The assassin twirled the massive hammer around in his hand with ease like one might do with a cane. “You know as well as I that the Light does not care for our people. Our parents nearly destroyed the Light’s most devoted followers on Draenor, it will not save us.” It was now she noticed that the candles on the altar had gone completely dark, it looked like the shadows had actually molded themselves to it, a deep void where once Light shone. She snapped her eyes back to her brother, who she could tell was smiling.

 

“Why are you here, Karthok?” She could hear the fear in her own voice, but it wasn’t because she was afraid for herself. She was scared of what had happened to him, what he had done to earn his limbs back. He tsked three times, moving closer to her slowly. He still held the warhammer in his hand, no other weapons evident on his body. But that was expected, he always kept his knives hidden. Though the daggers he wore on his hip were gone as well. The assassin twirled the hammer again. “Isn’t it obvious, sister? I’m here for you.” He extended his arms to either side of himself. “Why else would I risk coming here? A place where if I were found, I would certainly be thrown into the stockades. Or brig, as they put it.” He was just a few feet away from her now, well within striking distance if he lunged. Shokkra shifted, propping herself up on one knee and moving her foot to the floor, the other methodically following suit. He had grown, she realized. He was as tall as her now, bigger actually. In build and height he looked like the pinnacle of an orcish male.

 

The assassin dropped his arms back to his sides. “You see, I have grand plans for Sanctuary. And for Borrowed Time, and the Grim. For the entirety of the Horde and the whole of the Alliance. For all of Azeroth, in truth.” He turned, stepping over to the side of the room slowly and pacing back as he talked. His footfalls made no sound as he moved. “To accomplish this task, I’ll need an army, of sorts. Of course this army must be made to follow my commands exactly, to go above and beyond the call of duty. As I sat at my desk I thought “who do I trust to train an entire army to follow me loyally?” then it hit me. There was of course only one option.” He twists around to face his sister, sitting himself down in a chair next to a table covered in empty bottles and a cabinet. “You.” The assassin set the hammer beside the table, top down, and folded his hands across his lap, his right leg coming up across his knee.

 

She blinked once, her hand reflexively going up to the pendant at her neck. “M-me? Karthok that’s… that’s insane.” Shokkra eyes him up and down again, verifying that she’s not crazy and he really has organic legs again. “I’m a part of Sanctuary. I’m the damn Commissar of Sanctuary, in charge of its defense team. I can’t just drop that to… to go fight your fucking war.” Her gaze hardens on his red eyes, that stare looking back at her. He remains completely motionless, if it weren’t the methodical movement of his breathing he could be easily mistaken as a corpse. His exposed fingers are interlocked resting above his leg, thumbs pressed together gently. The sanguine orbs were locked on Shokkra’s, staring hard at her yet showing no emotion.

 

“Of course you can.” The only evidence that the assassin spoke, other than the sound emanating from the void, was the faint outline of tusks shifting under the black mass that covered half of his face. “Sanctuary would be destroyed by your departure. They would lose a new officer, arguably their most experienced in the art of warfare, their strongest warrior and their most devoted member. Many would be completely crushed by an unexplained, complete absence. They would perhaps even send out search parties, wasting valuable time they could instead be spending fighting the Legion. When you were next seen, at my side, leading my army into battle against the forces of Azeroth, they would be heartbroken, or filled with righteous rage. Either way would work.” He considers the shocked expression on her face and begins to gesture with his right hand as he talks. “You don’t care about Sanctuary. You only required something else to devote your time to with the departure of Warchief Hellscream. Borrowed Time and the Grim were not options, so you chose Sanctuary. You devoted yourself to them and proved your worth time and again. But you don’t care about them. How could you? You are Kor’kron. You are brother to me. Many would hate you solely for that reason. Many do. They could never trust you. They don’t. Kex’ti has yelled and scrutinized your every move since you joined. They did not seek justice for you when you were attacked by Syreena. They humiliated you publicly for starting a fight with a warmonger. Julilee has nearly had you thrown out for threatening one who heralded the near destruction of Azeroth. She has accepted a known traitor, someone who she blatantly expected you to attack, into Sanctuary. Because they don’t care about you. Because you don’t care about them. Because of your true nature, sister. Not to mention your little affair with Isadore Arath’dorei. Without her holding you back, you can be free. ”

 

She stepped back, holding her pendant tightly and gasping. How did he know all of that? What did he- how- She bumped into the small dresser beside her bed. It was true. All of it was true. Kex’ti criticized her for everything she did. For even the smallest transgression he would bring her aside and chew her out for her actions. They hadn’t sought retribution when Shokkra was attacked by Syreena. When Kex’ti was in the room and the Shadowblade had thrown a dagger directly at Shokkra’s chest, nothing had happened. Kex’ti had just healed the wound. Yet when any other guild member is attacked, all hell breaks loose. The entirety of Sanctuary rallies to lynch Syreena, but not for her. When she had the audacity to throw a chair at Syreena in bar, Julilee and Kex’ti showed up to publicly reprimand her and ground her to the Garrison, like a child. When she had threatened to expel a half-breed mongrel from the womb of the monster who heralded the eclipse, they had nearly thrown her out. When Julilee accepted Xerrai into the guild, an orc who blatantly admitted to killing her former commander and betraying the Kor’kron, did the Commander ask Shokkra’s opinion? No. No she just told Shokkra to not attack Xerrai within the Garrison walls, not even bothering to deny that the oathbreaker deserved her punishment. They didn’t care about her. They had promoted her to Myrmidon not because she deserved it, but because they had no one else who could lead a defense team. Someone who could crush the Alliance underfoot. They were weak. But Dora-

 

“Remember who you are, Shokkra. You are Warsong. You are Kor’kron. You are one of Garrosh Hellscream’s greatest warriors. You committed atrocities in the name of the Warchief and did so with pride, for that is what you enjoy. You love to fight, to kill, to maim and destroy, regardless of your cause. But no cause is greater than that of the Kor’kron, than that of Warchief Hellscream. Join me, and we will bring ruin to all the traitors, all the enemies of the True Horde once and for all. We will wreak unimaginable havoc together and we shall die glorious deaths atop mountains of bodies and rivers of blood. You know who you are, Shokkra. You are a monster. Just like me.” He sneered devilishly.

 

The inner turmoil could be seen boiling in her head. He grinned. She knew he was right, for once he hadn’t lied. He had used exactly what ammunition the last year had gifted him, all building to this moment. She would join him once again, and together they would bring havoc and destruction to Azeroth in the name of Warchief Garrosh Hellscream. Or at least, she would. Whatever justification she required for the heinous acts they would commit. People were so easy to control if you knew what they wanted. It was easy to tell too, for most. Wealth, power, affection, strength, knowledge. He tilted his head at the hand grasping at her neck. She was still wearing that pendant. Why? They had fought, she had told the one she loved to leave, that they would simply hurt each other again and again. Perhaps it had been that conversation with the Warboss. Her demeanor had changed slightly since then, room hadn’t gotten any more disgusting. Her drinking habit had been somewhat replaced with chain smoking. He knew she would join him. She needed Dora if she were to refuse, a reason to not go along with him. She had said as much in that tent. Shokkra was regressing, returning to her former ways, her natural ways. There was no way she could remain in Sanctuary as such. It would make far more sense to join him now than later, she would see that. Otherwise, she might be thrown in the stockades or exiled for her future actions. Not that it would really matter in the long run.

 

The assassin unfolded his hands and got to his feet, his face returned to the shadow. She eyed him warily, and bit her thumb. She didn’t need to speak. He could see it in her eyes. She would join him. He smiled and clapped his hands together, turning his back on her and slipping over to the other end of the room, devoid of much save for a small table and a weapon rack. He narrowed his eyes at a point on the wall and shot his hands out at it, his gloves igniting with sickly fel fire and arcing towards the stone. The flames burnt brightly in the night, the room filling with its bright fel glow. Anyone outside would be able to see the magic’s iconic color, the light shooting out from around the doorway. He grinned maniacally from underneath his mask. This was his element now, this was his weapon. The fel. Deadlier than any blade, more resilient than any shield. Shokkra would see the power of the fel, just as they had when they were children in Ashenvale, just as their parents had on Draenor. The name Deathrage would once again become a name to fear, spoken only in hushed whispers quickly silenced by a watchful assassin. Just the thought of the chaos made the warlock laugh. Soon, all of his plans would b- something struck him from the back, blinding, scorching pain slamming him forwards to the wall, the portal half-completed.

 

He whirled around, his body wreathed in his fel flame, his hands billowing demonic fire as they curled into fists. Shokkra stood there, holding the warhammer in her hands, clad in her orcish underwear and her Warsong tattoos, snarling. “I killed hundreds of people. I tortured people. I killed children. I burnt villages to the ground. I flayed people alive and nailed their skin to the walls of their houses. I put traitors to the torch and watched them burn and scream. I let bad things happen to people, I watched bad things happen, I… I did bad things to people. H- horrible things. Things that should anyone of Sanctuary ever learn, I would be immediately cast out or worse. I was a monster, we were all monsters for what we did. We all should have died in Orgrimmar or the Barrens or the Undercity or Pandaria.” She stepped closer to the light of the Fel flame, and from here Karthok could see that she was crying, tears streaming down her face. “But instead, I was forced to endure. To live and survive when I had no right to. When I deserved a worse hell than any demon. I was forced to repent for the sins of my past by living with my memories. I have endured a year in exile, months of warfare against the Twilight and the Horde. I have struck against the most vile version of myself, the distorted vision of my mentor, the oldest and most powerful of the Nathrezim on Azeroth and a year of assaults with the Grim. I have withstood everything from Zandalari Warbringers to the machinations of thousands of years of Dreadlord plotting.” She steps closer, the warhammer glowing with the holy power of the Light, reacting to Karthok’s fel corruption and taint in the room. “What makes you think I would falter now?”

 

Karthok roars with unbridled rage, throwing himself at Shokkra with his fists scorching wildly at her unarmored form. The unnatural flame burns painfully, but she doesn’t flinch. The fuckin’ ripped orcess slams her knee into her brother’s chest, sending the larger orc stumbling a couple steps back. She remains focused, the warhammer glowing brightly in her hands. Charging forward, her feet nearly plowing through the floorboards as she runs, Shokkra swings the hammer sideways towards the warlock’s chest, the distinct crunch of bone cracking through the room. He careens into a weapon rack, blades slicing through his worn armor. Karthok snarls, grabbing the rack and throwing it at Shokkra. It’s too big in too small a space to dodge, and the steel crashes into the nearly naked warrior, a stray edge opening a large gash across her chest. As she untangles herself from the wreckage, the warlock shouts demonic commands, a small meteor crashing through the window onto the bed and exploding into a gaggle of five imps. The pyromaniac demons cackle and begin to launch felfire bolts at the warrior, igniting her back in flame. She screams and kicks a fallen helmet at one, the spike in the middle going clean through the imp’s midsection. Enraged at the death of their brother, the wild demons begin to cast their felbolts again, but before they can finish their spell the tattooed orcess flips the bed they were standing on over, crushing them underneath the weight.

 

The door pounds and the lock begins to give way as someone has clearly noticed all the mayhem going on. The door shakes and creaks with every slam of their shoulder against the wood. As the guard finally busts through he’s met with a row of razor sharp teeth that vault at his face, knocking the orc onto his back and swinging his axe wildly as the felhound tears into him, the tentacles latching onto the small areas of magical worth in the grunt’s body. Another orc with an axe charges in and begins hacking at the felhound, severing tentacles and nearly cleaving the beast in twain as another demon slams the near-corpse of his ally away, attacking the orc. The guard grabs the hound by a tentacle and throws him against the far wall, managing to push inside the actual room. As he does so a human mage somersaults into the room, throwing a lance of ice through the chest of an imp and impaling it to the wall.

 

Shokkra scans the chaos and sees Karthok finishing his work on the portal. She kicks off the carnage of her former bed and leaps towards him, the warhammer gleaming blindingly above her head as she arcs towards her brother. The warlock looks up at the last possible second, and smiles, rolling through the portal and dodging her righteous strike. She lands hard on the floorboards and looks towards the flame on her wall to see a felguard storm through as it closes shut and explodes into the room. The demon’s double-bladed axe cleaves down towards Shokkra, the orcess rolling away from the cut with a hair’s width between them. The mage smiles as she forms a block of ice around the felguard’s feet, immobilizing it. Shokkra, taking the chance to end this madness, whirls the warhammer around in her hands and bashing it into the demon’s head, caving in its skull and leaving the scorched mark of the Light. Quickly darting her eyes around the room, the warrior sees that all the other demons have been dealt with and her quarters are now flooding with guards and mages and more than a few Sanctuary members. She looks down to her warhammer in her hands, the glow of the Light fading as the danger is eliminated, the demonic threat gone. The orcess knew she couldn’t herself wield the Light, much less strong enough to actually burn something corrupted by the fel, but luckily for her whatever vestiges of power remaining in the warhammer were mighty enough to make her strikes destructive against the fel. Her eyes are then drawn to the pendant at her neck, reaching a hand up to it and holding it. Despite all that just happened, she smiles, and takes a seat on the only non-destroyed piece of furniture in the room, leaning the warhammer against the wall beside her.

 

Three of the guards look at one another, nodding to each other as they approach the situation; two bearing the emblem of the Kirin Tor whilst the other seems a new Sanctuary grunt. They walk behind the others; slowly approaching the weakened orcess and her guardsmen. Too late does it seem when fel-serrated blades appear in their hands, making good to assassinate the Commissar.

Until that is, the three of them are encased in frigid tombs of ice. Entering the scene now is the familiar dirty trenchcoat-bearing undead investigator, puffing out a breath of misty ice like one would exhale smoke from a cigar. The other Kirin Tor and Sanctuary guardsman seem still in shell-shock over the occurrence, him nonchalantly strolling forward with an impatient gait. He stops his entrance to to rap his knuckles upon one such demon-cicle, only for it to topple over into shattered shards. "Can't take two damn steps in Dalaran these days without runnin' into a demon mook or two..."

Shokkra blinks, then clamps down on the cigarette in her teeth, shoots to her feet and slams her only remaining chain into the ground as it shatters into several hundred pieces. "FUCKING ASSASSINS TOO?!" She roars and stomps through one of the floorboards. "Fucking hell this fucking night." The orcess rubs her face, taking a long drag and puffing more smoke to go with the fel shit in the air.

 

The forsaken man shrugs, blowing another cool breeze from between clenched teeth as his posse begins gently handing the agents to whisk them away to the Violet Hold. "Welcome to my every day now, lady." If an undead could have bags under his eyes, he would surely have a dozen under each golden orb that stared lazily ahead.

 

Shokkra snorts, kneeling down to the floorboard she broke and rummaging around until she finds an unopened bottle of blood red ale. She grunts as she gets to her feet popping the cork and taking a long drink. "Fuckin' hell if I knew this shit was going to happen tonight I would've drank before bed." Shaking her head, she takes another quick drink before replacing it with the cigarette. With a heavy sigh, she turns her eyes to Dick. "What do you want to know?"

 

Bending down to scoop up one of the assassin's blades, Dick just seems to inspect it as he talks with his gravely voice. "Shit, you an' me both." He grunts, tossing the dagger away haphazardly into the portal that had been conjured up, a squeak of surprise from the otherside. "I CAN'T DRINK YOU CAN'T EITHER, BERAS!" The gumshoe yells beyond the portal, an image of a high elven mage shrinking from sight beyond the windowed rip in space. "Where'd the demons come from...Khagdar has all the portal-sniffers tryin' to pinpoint every nook an' cranny the Legion worms in through."

 

"New enemy of mine, I guess." She mutters, looking around at the wreckage and raising a most curious eyebrow at the portal and dagger, but nothing else. "The assassins I have no fucking idea, but it's not like the list of things that want me dead is small." Shokkra kicks at one of the demonsicles. "Fucking hell I don't know what's worse, the assassins or the demons."

 

"Same thing." Dick grunts. "Those guardsmen were demons in disguise, I'd bet my left testicle."

 

Shokkra snorts. "Fucker really plans for everything. Always what he was best at." She offers the bottle to the gumshoe. "Drink?"

 

A hand holds up in denial, "Gotta pass on that one, like ol' Antonidas used to say...drunk mages is how ya get portals in place ya don't wanna go to." He walks past her, looking around. "Alright, where the demons enter from? Portal, stone, anythin' like that?"

 

The orcess points to the flipped over, destroyed bed and the crashed in place where the window used to be. "Imps came in through there, some kind of fucking meteor." She gestures to the most scorched and slightly fiery part of the wall. "That's where the felhounds and felguard came from. And where the fucker who summoned them left by. Some burning portal."

 

The detective moves inside, he waves his hand over the impact points, arcane energy trickling from his fingertips. He huffs to himself, mumbling all the while before moving to the wall. A notepad is produced, a pencil furiously scribbling findings in his almost illegible shorthand. "Who's the perp? Get a visual on him? What were ya doin' fore this started?"

 

"Big orc. Bigger than most. Fucking ripped, looked like he could slam a tauren into the ground without breaking a sweat. Skin was fel-green, bright and sickly. Eyes were red as the purest form of rage. Hair was done up in a spiked mohawk." Shokkra gestures to the size of the hairdo. "Before he showed up I was sleeping. Nightmare."

 

Scribble scribble scribble, goes the notes as he doesn't even bother to look at his writing. "Alright. Robes? Insignias? Tattoos?"

 

Shokkra shakes her head. "Just black leather. Spotless, probably recently cleaned or it just soaked up any blood that might have hit it. No visible tattoos or insignias, badges, anything."

 

"Alright, so he entered while you were sleepin'...how did the fight go? Tell me how he moved, what he did...did the demons enterin' wake up ya up or did he try an' kill ya in yer sleep?"

 

"Him laughing woke me up. I asked why he was here, he gave some bullshit about needing me for his plans. I told him to fuck off, he came at me with felfire in his hands and started throwing in the demons. He threw a weapon rack at me, I crushed imps under the bed, he got in the felhounds, ran when the felguard came through and the portal closed." She grimaces, running a hand over one of her open wounds. She was bare for the most part, just in her orcish underwear, though her tattoos covered a majority of her skin.

 

"Alright. So. He isn't a professional then." Dick moved over, "Not dealin' with an amateur either based on these quickened spells, personal attack. We can rule out him workin' with the Shadow Council, most likely a former initiate." Dick moved over to the window, scraping some charred bits off with his fingers, rubbing it between two pale fingers. "Cocky, but smart enough to retreat when it came obvious he couldn't do what he needed."

"So. We're dealin' with a most likely ex-Legion fel orc, since the assassins in the hallways prove that they weren't workin' in tandem. The assassins wanted ya dead, but him alive, notes he has a personal vendetta, whereas the grunts just saw a weakened officer to do way with." Dick turned on his heel, shoving his hands into his pockets. "Kay then." He makes a rectangular arcane rune on the windows, which expands across the room. "This room's gotta be locked down an' cited for investigation.:

 

Shokkra grunts, nodding. "Yeah, figured. I'll find somewhere to stay, someone probably has an empty bunk." She takes a drink, flicking the cigarette away as she did so, then looks to the forsaken. "Unless you're going to take me in for more questioning."

 

"Nah, I got more shit to deal with. This ain't an uncommon occurrence these days." He grunts.

 

Shokkra nods again, downing the rest of the bottle. "Find me if you find anything, especially anything to do with the assassins."

 

"Sure thing..." He says, before bellowing at his deputies to pour in and begin combing over every inch of the room.

 

She drops the bottle and heads out of the room, brushing past guards and Kirin Tor. The orcess eventually finds a secluded, quiet spot away from the bustle of her own destroyed room, a small reading area in the hall. Shokkra rests her back against the wall as she slides down, curling up in the corner, reaching up to hold the pendant at her neck, and falls asleep.

 

 

Edited by Shokkra

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