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clys

Ashes to Ashes, Flesh to Flesh

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Clys stood naked before a small stone table, her brow furrowed in concentration. Her shriveled form was full of determination, her eyeless face focused upon her task. She let her boney fingers surround a faintly glowing orb that sat upon the table's hard surface between a line of candles. The corners of her mouth curled up into a soft smile. She was pleased.

"Yes, I'm getting closer now," she murmured, reaching for a small container and removing the lid. Opening the container, she drew forth a wet-looking, rather formless blob of what might have been living tissue. She carefully placed it atop the orb, which shimmered for a moment. The blob expanded to cover the top of the orb, and then disappeared, as if soaking into the surface. The glow from the orb brightened and pulsated.

"Now, to test it," she said aloud, wrapping her hard fingers around the orb and bringing it close to bare chest. Gripping the orb tightly, she bent her head close to it, whispering quietly. The orb grew even brighter for an instant, and time for Clys seemed to slow to a crawl. A searing pain enveloped her, starting at her fingertips and moving rapidly up her arms and across her body. She arched her back, opening her mouth in soundless agony. It felt like every cell of her body was screaming in protest, wave upon wave of unendurable pain sweeping through her. She felt her body go rigid. She was unable to move, unable to breathe, unable to scream. A dense blackness encompassed her, separating her from all awareness of her surroundings. She might have lost consciousness, but the pain would not let her. There was nothing she could do but stand there, her entire world nothing but the burning agony which drove out all thought.

After what seemed an eternity, but had in fact been only a second, the burning began to recede, replaced by a warm tingling that spread from her heart, as though following the path of her veins and arteries, swelling through her organs and outward until it reach every extremity. She felt her heart begin to beat strongly in her chest. Her flesh seemed to swell and grow, covering her bones, filling in her form, as sweet warmth spread throughout her body. She felt her hair soften against the back of her neck, falling down into two natural braids on either side of her head.

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She realized she was crouching, and slowly stood up straight, blinking her eyes rapidly. In sudden realization she reached to touch her face. Soft, warm fingers met the wet tears upon her cheeks, and her eyes widened in surprise. She gazed at her hands, flexing them in wonder.

"Gods! My hands...my...my eyes! My eyes are back! I can see everything! The colors...oh gods the colors!"

She turned a little circle on her tiptoes, feeling her muscles ripple down the length of her thighs and calves. She jumped slightly on the balls of her feet, laughing out loud at the feeling of her breasts bouncing on her chest.

"Where's my mirror! I must see myself!" she exclaimed, the sound of her voice strange in her ears, smooth and liquid sounding.

She gasped as she looked into the wall mirror. She reached up to feel her face, hardly believing it was real. She ran her fingers out along the edges of her ears.

"Oh my, they are much too long, but... by the darkness, I look like an elf again... too night-elven, but still, but still..."

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She did a quick somersault, followed by a backspring, luxuriating in the feel of her flesh, the memories of what it had felt like coming back in a great flood. It had been so long! She had become so used to being shriveled and dessicated, so used to being cold. Tears of joy ran unnoticed down her face.

"I better take a blood sample. I need to know what's going on inside me."

She cut her palm with her dagger, drawing in a sharp breath at the immediacy of the pain. She had forgotten that, too. She filled two small vials, capping them carefully, and then placed a few drops onto a transparent dish, pushing the dish under a gnomish magnifying device. She peered into the device, adjusting the focus.

"Damn! The reagent is working, but it's being consumed so rapidly! I can actually see it being used up! But that means... Aw, shit!"

Clys stood and went back to the mirror. She wrapped her arms around herself, as if trying to hold herself together. She could feel it starting. It began at the ends of her fingers and toes, and swept rapidly through her body, every cell collapsing upon itself, the flesh shriveling and pulling back from her skeleton. Her eyes dissolved into nothing, leaving two empty sockets. Her hair lost its lustre and color and hung limply down over her now-short ears.

She sighed, her shoulders slumping as she put her boney hands to her face. After a moment she straightened somewhat, squaring her shoulders.

"It worked. It worked. I was restored. But the reagent is used up too quickly! I must get more, and find a way to slow the usage. Damn the difficulty, I'll get more. I don't care. It's progress, yes, definite progress."

She sat down in a hard wooden chair, drained from the experience.

"I saw colors again," she whispered. "Oh gods, I saw colors again. And I could feel my heart beat."

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Clys called, and Lovely answered, coming to meet at Booty Bay. They exchanged a few pleasantries, and a drink, and then got down to business.

"I have something I need to do, very soon," Clys said, looking into Lovely's eyes. "I need to know if you will stand with me, and help me, as you said you would."

"I wish to help you, Mistress, you know that. What does it involve?"

Clys grinned just a bit. "First let me show you what I've accomplished thus far. Watch me closely."

Taking her orb from her pouch, Clys activated it, allowing the glow to engulf her body. There was the seemingly endless agony, which she knew lasted only a moment, but felt like hours, and she could feel her flesh disentegrating and reforming around her. To Lovely, the change seemed instantaneous, and Clys stood before her in full elven form.

Lovely's eyes widened, and she smiled.

"You look...wonderful! But, what do you need me for?" she asked.

Clys sighed. "I wish to make this more permanent. It only lasts a short while. I need to work up a better reagent. I need some special ingredients. You can help me obtain them."

Lovely nodded. "Tell me what you need, then."

Clys leaned close and whispered into Lovely's ear. Lovely's jaw dropped in surprise and shock.

"You can't be serious!" Lovely exclaimed.

"Of course I'm serious. As serious as life and death itself. Will you help me?"

Lovely dropped her gaze to the floor. "I cannot. And if you try this, I will have to stop you, Mistress. I am sorry."

Clys frowned deeply. "Is that how it is then? Your word means nothing, after all?"

Clys turned away angrily. "Fine, then. If you breathe a single word of this to anyone, you will regret it. And if you try to stop me, I will kill you."

"Yes, Mistress. I know," said Lovely softly.

For a moment Clys stood there with her back turned, considering. Perhaps she should just kill Lovely now. What stayed her hand?

"Oh, before you go, Mistress... I have this letter for you from Lupa."

Clys turned back and took the letter from Lovely's outstretched hand. A slight snarl formed on her lips, and then she strode off, saying nothing more.

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Lovely stood inside the tavern, watching Clys walk from the room. Clys disappeared as she walked away, as she normally did. She could be anywhere, Lovely thought....Watching as always.

Lovely still hadn't forgotten the time in the Blasted Lands when Clys had punished her. As powerful as Lovely was, she knew she was no match for Clys. Yet something had to be done.

Clys had an opportunity for life....A full life. Yet the price was too horrible for Lovely to stomach. She felt ill, and angered that her mistress would put her in this situation.

Why, Lovely asked herself...Why had she told the secret of her ressurection from unlife? Surely she could have just left Lovely alone and gone about this wicked business with the help of others.

There was no sense in trying to play "what if" games. Clys had told Lovely what she intended to do. It was pure evil...and Lovely had told her no.

Lovely walked out of the tavern, seething with anger. This had to be stopped. Promises or no promises, Lovely would find a way to stop her mistress from carrying out this plan. If it meant her death, then so be it. The time drew near to plan, and to figure out how to defeat Clys. This cannot be allowed.

Lovely walked on the docks, passing the bruisers without looking at them. She stood and looked at the ocean....at the bay, deep in thought. Her fists clenched and her lips furled as her mind raced with decisions to be made.

A group of horde began to whistle at her and make suggestive motions at her. No, she had no time for this nonsense. She had to return to Stormwind to think. and the idiocy of the more immature members of the horde had grated on her last nerve.

Lovely looked at the group of Horde, and at the goblin bruisers who walked by. Her eyes settled on a Tauren, and she lifted her arm, throwing a concentrated blast of light at the bovine figure. Within a moment, he was dead, much to the surprise of the surrounding horde.

The Bruisers immediately attacked Lovely, but she calmly conjured a shield of holy force and activated her hearthstone. They beat on the shield with no effect, and in a few seconds, Lovely had transported safely back to Stormwind.

Sitting on her bed in the inn, Lovely began to think about her options. The coming days would be complicated to say the least....

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Clys creeps carefully and silently through the streets of Stormwind, unnoticed by the throngs that go about their business there. She is looking for someone, but there are too many people. She investigates the main square, the Cathedral area, the Canals, the Park. She does not find the person she seeks.

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Well, fine then, she thinks. I'll just mail the damn thing. It would have been nice to present it in person, though. Her lips curl into a rather menacing smile.

Later that day, Kittsu goes to the mailbox with a small package, addressed to the paladin Lovely. Inside the package is another package, and inside that, another, 6 of them in all, each wrapped carefully with colored paper. Inside the final, smallest box is a scrap of paper, folded many times to fit into the small space. On the paper is a single symbol, which exactly matches the brand on the back of Lovely's neck, and a single word.

"Remember"

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Lovely finished opening the last package and looked at the symbol. A shiver ran down her body as she gazed upon it.

Clys.

But what was this? Clys was more powerful than Lovely...there was no question about that. Why send her this message? Lovely had kept her word, and spoken nothing of the meeting the two had in Booty Bay.

Remember.

Yes, Lovely remembered. Clys was her mistress, and she could not bring herself to attack her, but she had to put a stop to Clys' plans. The end result would be good, but the process was pure evil, and as messed up as Lovely considered herself, a line had to be drawn somewhere.

She scribbled a note to Clys, and put it in the mail.

"Dearest Mistress Clys,

I serve you, but not this plan. I think you still favor me, or else I would already be dead. Please consider this my plea for our friendship to remain, even though I must stand in your way. I will do my best to search for an alternative way to bring you back to life....On my honor, which you know to be good.

Yours,

Lovely the Tainted."

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A letter comes back, written in what appears to be blood, but might be simply red ink.

"Silver Girl,

You are right, I should simply kill you. I myself am not sure what stays my hand. Perhaps it is some premonition of things to come, some inner knowledge of your place in the scheme of things.

Or perhaps it is simply that I know you will die anyway. Think on this, my dear, before you throw this all away. What I seek, I do not seek only for myself. Imagine yourself 20 years hence, 30, 50, 80... Your flesh will wither and wrinkle with time, and your days of dancing carefree and naked will be long gone. Your silver hair will be nothing but gray wisps. Your strength will fail you, and you will fall into your grave to rot.

And as you do, I will watch, unchanged.

Do you not see? I wish to prevent this! It is not only for the restoration of my own flesh I strive. It is for everyone who holds themselves close to me. It is for Danlily. It is for Kittsu. It is for Smegmar and Rayeth and Serrine and Maudib, and all the others of the Immortalis. And it is for you.

Help me, and I will save you. Turn away, and you will age and wither and die like all the others. If you really do not care what happens to you, then think about Brardith. Think about Kittsu. Or Rhowen. Would you really consign them all to death, when they could have been saved?

~Mistress Clys"

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Lovely returned from her journey into Scholomance and found the letter from Clys waiting for her. Upon perusing it, she sat back and began to think.

The denizens of Scholomance were foul in their evil, and showed no compassion whatsoever to those who entered their halls. The undead ruled that place, rotting in an endless dance of death. Lovely had seen it up close, and it was not pretty.

She sat the letter from Clys down, and casually walked in front of the mirror. Looking into the reflection, Lovely saw the visage of a girl who was barely 21 years of age. Clys was right...Her beauty would fade...She would get old and die and rot.

Was this so bad?

It was normal for people to age....To die...Even the Night Elves were beginning to discover this. Thinking of the situation, Lovely knew in her heart that Clys had died. No matter the circumstances, Clys was dead. She had lived her life, and now was stuck in an un-life.

Lovely undressed, carefully removing the pieces of plate from her figure as she watched herself in the mirror. She was beautiful...Flawless. She could stay this way forever...but was the price worth it? For the price of immortality, Lovely would have to give her soul...Her goodness. She would be no better than the undead of Scholomance. Would she truly be beautiful then? On the outside, maybe, but on the inside she would be rotted and hollow to her core.

Choices. It always came down to choices.

Lovely had made some bad choices in her life. She had caused others to suffer, and had made herself suffer as well. She had driven away those who would love her, and destroyed those who truly did.

Now she was at another crossroads. The choice was simple.....Good or evil....Which to choose. But this was a choice that was lifelong....This was a choice that would be everlasting, whichever way she chose....

Lovely reached up and felt the brand Clys had placed on the back of her neck. Her fingers seemed to tingle as she ran tham along its scarred surface. She then sat and scribed a letter...

"Dearest Clys,

I know what you must do. I will not stand in your way. While I wish no part in seeing what you have to do, I will say nothing of it, and will not stop you. I will join you in immortality. I only ask that you not mention the process to me again...for I fear if I think of it much more I will go mad.

Let me know how I can aid you in the future, mistress. Your will is mine.

Yours always,

Lovely"

Lovely held the letter in her hand....Staring at the ink as it dried. As horrible as it was, she had made her choice. She strove to do good, and knew this was wrong and evil, but she could not resist the temptation. She could not resist Clys. She wanted to always be beautiful...and perhaps with immortality, she could be both beautiful and good at the same time....She would have an eternity to make up for the evil acts she would not stop. The lives of those she would save would surely outnumber the sacrifice that would be made to ensure this....

Lovely sealed the letter, and perfumed it with her scent, and dressed in her finest garment. She then gave it to one of her loyal translators and it was sent to Clys.

Afterwards, Lovely sat in her room and wept.

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Clys nodded as Danlily read the latest note from Lovely to her. She put an arm around Danlily and pulled her in tight.

"You see, dear one? It all goes as I surmised. We should send Lovely a gift, I think, something to show her that we appreciate her loyalty. What do you think it should be?"

"How about a doll?" Danlily said, an evil twinkle in her eye.

"Oooh! Yes, a nice elven baby doll, with long hair and those big glass phosphorescent eyes! We can get one in Booty Bay tonight!"

"I'm sure she'll love it," Danlily said, reaching out uncharacteristically to ruffle Clys' ratty hair.

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Lovely settled in her room at the Gilded Rose, and stretched out on her bed. The day had been a busy one, and she had shed much of the blood of her enemies....The shower under the waterfall had made it all better, and now she wore a gown of silk as she looked at the ceiling of the room.

As she thought of the day's events, her eyes shifted to the corner of her room. There was a package sitting in her chair that she hadn't noticed upon entering. Curious, she picked it up and inspected it.

It was wrapped in the same type of paper that Clys always used. Lovely shivered for a moment, and then began unwrapping her gift.

As the paper slid away, Lovely felt her heart shake with shock and anxiety. Inside was a doll...an elven doll. It looked at Lovely with wide porcelan eyes and hair of white, and Lovely fainted at the sight of it.

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Moments later, Lovely brought herself back to being awake, and looked at the doll again. It seemed to stare at her with its lifeless eyes, mocking her. Lovely had played with a doll like this as a child, and now that memory was torn to shreds due to the actions of Clys.

No....Not Clys. Clys had given Lovely the choice, and Lovely had chosen to do evil....Evil by lack of action. Now this elven doll looked at her, showing her the guilt of what she had done....

Lovely snapped. Standing quickly, she grabbed the doll and flung it across the room. It bounced harmlessly off the wall and landed on the floor, still staring at her.

Lovely screamed. Why wouldn't it stop looking at her?! She grabbed the doll once again, slamming it into the mirror on the wall and shattering it. One of the eyes of the doll fell from its head as Lovely smashed the doll again and again into the remains of the mirror.

She then looked at her hand...Covered in her own blood, but covering the doll as well. The little elven doll....broken and bloody....

Lovely clutched at her chest and dropped the doll, grabbing the wall with her free hand. Tears streamed from her eyes as she lowered her head and breathed deeply. Several minutes passed, and she began to calm herself. She looked at her hand, which was covered in cuts, and used the light to heal it. Looking at the battered and bloody doll, she knew that she couldn't do the same for it...Or for them.....

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A page from Clys' journal:

The attack on Stormwind tonight went very well, very well indeed. We planned it to produce confusion and diversion, and this was accomplished. There were two main raiding parties, one outside the gates of Stormwind, led by Gorthok, and another that was summoned secretly inside the basement of the Cathedral, led by Rayeth.

Both groups performed admirably. The battle at the gates was vicious, and as we planned, drew the attention of the Alliance forces. They were busy driving off the attackers, and the inner city was left unguarded.

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The battle inside the Cathedral also set of the alarm bells, causing futher confusion among the Alliance about what was happening. The attempt on the Archbishop was brutal, and unfortunately he was not slain, but the purpose was still served. The Alliance was looking elsewhere.

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During this chaos, I and Marroc slipped unnoticed into the Orphanage. We were faced with only a couple of guards, and no other Alliance forces ever even knew we were there.

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While Marroc kept the guards busy, I slipped into the back room. There was my goal... the infants, in particular, elven infants. I was easily able to steal two of them. They are asleep at the moment, in my laboratory.

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Tomorrow I will continue my experiments. I still need to find a way to lengthen the time on my flesh restoration potion. It works so well! And yet it doesn't last. I believe that the hearts of these infants will provide me with the needed reagent.

So, tomorrow I will remove the hearts from these babies. I will be swift, the hearts must still be beating when I add them to my mixture. Then, we will see.

I am very pleased with how this turned out. Very pleased indeed.

The only black mark, and really it is not one, is that Greyward did not perform their task. I had hired them to shout misinformation during the attack, to confuse the Alliance further. They did not do so. I will have to get my money back from them. They are unreliable, it seems. Too bad. But in this case it didn't matter. The Alliance were fooled, and I have the infants. That is all that matters.

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((Awesome work....Unfortunately, I had to help a friend move last night, otherwise I would have been able to perform my task. I didn't get home til 1 am. I hate when RL messes up a game event.))

Lovely returned to Stormwind...She was late. Her excursion into the Un'Goro Crater had not gone as planned, and on top of that the horde had attacked the griffon master in Gadgetzan, delaying her return home.

Lovely was angry...She knew Clys would be disappointed in her. Hopefully the rest of the Greyward had shown up to perform the mission. She quickly penned a letter to Clys, telling her what had happened, and put it in the mail slot.

((That was the only IC thing I can think of this early in the morning...hehe. I hope Clys doesn't punish her too bad.))

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EDIT:

((Due to the wishes of players involved in this storyline, the guild Sanctuary, will not be involving itself in the story any further. Nor will any of our members.

We apologise to anyone who may have been inconvenienced.

Grisch OOC ))

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Long strides carried a clearly irate Rhowen through the streets of Stormwind. The 'Ward had completely failed in the job they'd been hired to do. The night before, she'd been spitting nails over it. But as the next day drug on and more information reached her ears, the hot-tempered Kaldorei was starting to simmer over a completely different fire.

"Bad work, even for the Horde," she muttered under her breath. "Taking children is bad work for anyone."

She plowed into the inn she called home, demanding a pen and paper. The letter she had written lashing her guild for their negligence, for their poor performance, was torn up and tossed into the fireplace. She dipped the quill into the inkwell. While she had no love for children, it was bad publicity any way you cut it. Lips worked over words as she wrote.

"Dear... "lady"... Clys..."

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I think its clear that I was just mentioning we might want to have a little party with refreshments for the poor little buggers...Elves love the outdoors, so I thought Barbecue...

Always maligned the Forsaken are...

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Later on the evening of the theft:

Clys grinned as she carefully mixed the ingredients, the orb open on the table before her glowing faintly with power. Inside the orb a reddish fluid moved about, seemingly of its own accord.

"And now, for the final ingredient. We shall see if this works as I have calculated," Clys muttered to herself.

She took one quick look around the room of her laboratory, as if checking to be sure no one was watching, even though the place was a complete secret. Only she and Danlily and one undead servant knew where it was. And the servant was mute.

"Now, I must be swift. Two hearts, still beating, into the mix!" she cackled.

The two elven infants were lying in a crib next to the lab table. They had been fed by the servant when Danlily complained about their squalling. But now they were drugged and completely unconcious. Clys leaned over them, undoing their clothing and exposing their chests.

With swift and precise movements, she took a razor sharp scalpel, and as quickly as she could work removed the heart from one infant, and then the other. They felt nothing, and did not move. As each heart was removed Clys placed it, still beating, into the fluid inside the orb. When she was done she stood back for a moment, watching as the ingedients seemed to mix themselves, the hearts slowly being assimilated into the rest, until the fluid itself seemed to beat, beat, beat.

The orb glowed a bit more brightly and Clys smiled. Yes! Now to test it! She drew the orb up close to her body and concentrated upon it. The glow of the orb swiftly grew and enveloped her body. She felt the now-familiar agonizing pain as her flesh disintegrated and reformed around her. She opened her eyes, and looked down at the dead babies, seeing the red of their blood for the first time. Red! Color! All of her vision was restored once more. She sighed with pleasure.

She stood nervously and watched the clock, timing the reaction. It would last much longer this time, she was sure of it. Maybe it wouldn't fade at all! Maybe she had done it!

As the five minute marker approached she grew fidgety. This was it. The reaction had always faded after five minutes before. How long would it last, now? She watched the hands of the clock, tick, tick, tick. Five minutes! Five minutes, five seconds! It was working! It was lasting longer! It was...

At five minutes and 10 seconds, the effect faded again. She felt her flesh shrivel again to its undead state. She moaned, NO!, as the color left her vision and her eyes dissolved, leaving only the empty sockets once more.

Clys pounded her fist on the lab table in anger.

"Ten seconds! Only ten more seconds!? That's all I get for all this work?"

She lashed out with her foot and kicked over the crib. The dead infants rolled out onto the floor. She slammed the door open and bellowed down the hall.

"Come clean up this mess! Now!"

Then she stomped out into the night, fuming.

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