Topic [H+A(?)]The Spine Insurrection
The sword's tip was a blur, the Knight narrowly stepping back before his opponent's weapon of choice nicked his neck. A sparring match until first blood it was, though he could hardly tell with the ferocity with which his foe, an aspiring Adept flung himself at the Master. Auburn hair billowing in the wind, the other elf fought with a grin on his lips, pressing his advantage at every turn, even know getting Sorlain flatfooted, his stance faulty, and his left leg twitching.
Two memories flushed into his head as one. The first one was dim, a storm of hammers and lightning, running through his body, breaking armor and bone alike. He had not screamed then, he was among his men, he had strength. Yet when the round went through his thigh, embedding itself in his flesh, he was sure the whole of Tanaris could hear him. He didn't match his supposed rescuers' eyes then, he didn't want them to see him like this. The illusion of power was fragile.
He was on his back foot now, the other elf charging again, shortsword and shield in his palms and the Light flowing into them visibly. For him, this was his chance to prove himself worthy of being a Master. For Sorlain, it was merely a matter of survival, if he failed now, the Order would think him broken. To fall against one so far beneath him was a shameful affair.
Finally an opening presented itself. The Adept dove forward, but pulled his shield too far back for the sake of theatrics. Steel clanged against each other as his blade met Amaran's, Sorlain's sword kept in one hand through the Light alone. Yet even with such an opportunity, he needed more force. The Archon bit into his lip, grit his teeth and brought his right hand to the hilt. A pang of pain followed immediately thereafter.
The pain was unbearable, the Undead indistinct shapes in the distance. He knew Sunshard and the others were there, he had heard them, he had. He only hoped they wouldn't see him, writhing on the ground, barely able to move. He remembered the wretch's grin, the one in red. He looked down at Amaran, twisting the blade further into his shoulder."This'll be your scar from me, elf, one just like the rest. But you won't be able to fight properly with that for months, and when they ask, you'll never tell them it was Barristan who did it. If you do..."
His grip wasn't steady, but the Light gave force enough. He swung his own claymore in an arc, forcing the Adept's weapon out of his hand, to the bewilderment of the growing crowd of awestruck initiates, and the approving gaze of his fellow Masters. The youth looked ahead in shock, as Sorlain brought the cold steel to his throat. For however briefly, the sight made him shudder.
They were going to kill him. They had poisoned him and now Black would kill him. All he saw then was the cold steel of the knife as the fire illuminated it, drawing ever closer. He doubted anyone would understand but he heard himself, and his heartbeat clearer than ever before.
"I don't want to die. I don't want to die." He repeated, time and time again, but it didn't stop, and the edge was at his neck. Black didn't strike however, he just left the slightest of punctures on his neck, the thinnest line of blood running down. Though no one else heard it, Sorlain was sure he heard the Professor laughing.
Amaran repeated those same motions, the images so clear in his head, drawing blood and sheathing his sword, his right arm falling limply to his side. The pain subsided, if slowly, and the Archon looked towards his beaten opponent. The anger was clear, yes, but he hid it well."Thank you for the bout, Master Amaran. It has been an honor." He spoke clearly, giving one of the false smiles he had become so used to over the years.
He knew he could not judge the Adept for his pride, for he had acted much the same back then. It did hurt him however when he saw no fear in the other elf's eyes, not even when the sword was at his throat. It was what he had based his influence upon, the armor and the blade, his demeanor and his voice, all of them were meant to inspire fear in their would be foe, and it was that look that sustained him through the disdain of his peers, as with fear came respect.
Now all he saw, even in the weakest of the Order, was pity for the scarred prisoner of war, a grievous reminder of what happened when one lets his guard down. He didn't want their pity, it irked him far more than any disgust he had ever seen in their gaze.
Aw, we miss you Sorlain. Thanks for a story :3
To answer to Tyralon:
We are not disbanding, that's for sure. Guild will stay, just in case we decide to come back. Some of our members will be around, maybe on other chars, maybe in other guilds. But yes, we are somewhat quitting and yes, this is our bang-style leave.
"For the Uprising, for anarchy, for the Spine!"
The words rang out across the deck of the swaying zeppelin, accompanied by whirling laughter as the Forsaken dived out from the ship. A faint ticking noise confirmed their fears, but before they could notice, the boat cracked in half with fire and kinetic energy which set the massive helium balloon above them aflame, and triggered the entire zeppelin to become one, rolling fireball of death and obliteration. Wood, linen, metal and bodyparts alike drizzled onto the tan mountainside, flakes of conflagration fell like snow onto the soil, burned what scarce, dry plantlife there might have been.
The carnival of terror lasted until the boat of bedlam struck the side of the mountain with one, final clamorous explosion.
Another day in the terrors of the Spine had been made.
Edited by Chloè on 17/08/12 06:54 (BST)
The skies were aflame and roaring. Darkness of the night, their time, her time was disturbed with this raining from above hell. The Den Mother glared up and followed the crashing zeppelin with a long flickering in the night gaze. Pride of twelve behind her roared back at the mechanical creature that dared to challenge them on their territory. The Den Mother snarled shortly and moved forward, away from her cave and towards the hills overlooking the crash site.
By the time she and her pride reached the hills survivors were already fighting for their wounded. Huntress of the Wild inhaled the thick air watching people below - it smelled with fire and burned metal. It smelled with blood and death. There weren't that many survivors, yet they seemed to pose threat - some clad in heavy armor, some equipped with threatening weapons. Beast stretched and sent a rolling through the air roar, that made one of the elves twitch and a troll look around in panic.
" We should move before we get eaten."
Eventually they did move, carrying the wounded with them. She and her pride followed, circling around and snarling lowly through the darkness. Survivors could see amber eyes sparking in the night and it spurred them on, further in the unknown area, until they stumbled over abandoned hut and settled there, hastily making fire. Beasts were still around - in the faint moonlight now and then their hulking feline silhouettes would show up on top of the hills prowling across the area.
The two of them moved away from the camp. Both big and strong, clad in armor. One of them, the elf, was shouting commands before and she knew he might be their alpha. Take him out and rest will shatter. She could smell another hunter in the night, rotting, dark, and she remained away from him, her beastial senses telling her to keep safe from this creature.
Now was her opportunity, the two moved between the massive savannah trees.
Skrag Grimscull and Sorlain Amaran turned around on the low snarl behind their backs. Not only they had wildlife as their problem, but also the pesky undead who kept attacking people and had to be dealt with. But right now their problem was entering the scene from beneath the heavy cover of the night.
The beast facing them was huge. They could easily tell, that this one was a leader - her hulking body reached above Amaran's waist in the collar, the razorsharp claws were out digging into soil beneath the massive paws. Dark golden fur dotted black along the spine, with a few narrow stripes going down her sides - beautiful hide with deadly force of constantly tensing and relaxing muscles beneath it. Beast snarled, a set of big and sharp fangs shown, remaining utterly still on her spot. Her ears were pulled back and pressed down against her head, maw frozen in a threatening grin. For a few moments she kept her amber eyes on the elf before switching to the orc.
She felt his strength being greater and he sheathed the weapon out upon her entrance. The pride behind her formed a half-circle, remaining deep in the shadows of the night, only their eyes letting the two-legged intruders know that beast is not alone. It was a challenge of the night - will they break and be killed or will they stand up and buy themselves this night in peace?
This is their territory.
Orc growled menacingly back, swinging his weapon in front of himself. The Den Mother snarled once in response and her posture changed from aggressive dominance to calm retreat. She just moved backwards, keeping eye contact with the orc, and slowly dispersed in the night with the rest of her pack.
This night the survivors will be safe.
Edited by Mortime on 18/08/12 13:55 (BST)
He who passes the judgement should swing the sword.
Ser Crokford could still hear his father say it. The Lord of Darrowshire. Pretentious coward. Halfway to the kingdom of Stormwind when his sons died fighting for his lands. Still, the man had a way with words. But words are wind. Crokford inspected the folds in the steel of his mithril blade. The mithril were folded hundreds of times upon itself. Spell-forged in Quel'Thalas. The blade was sharp, it's hilt was made of gold-painted truesilver, blue shadowskin leather and cut amethyst to form the symbol of Lordaeron upon it. A man could see his own face in the reflection of it's steel. Crokford saw only a corpse staring back at him with wispy blue eyes of lichfire.
First came an apothecary.
"I never joined the Spine in their betrayal! I was here in the Undercity! I swear it! I'm no traitor! I serve the Queen! Please! Not the darkness!"
"Serve the Queen by dying. Her Grace tolerates no mistakes."
The Forsaken had more to fear of death than the living and more of them would turn craven when their end was near. The robed figure was forced down and his chest laid over a stone block. His neck was exposed, his head in the free air. Underneath his head laid a basket. He was a pathetic sight. Pale, skinny, short, weak and ugly. A nameless deathguard held him down with a plated boot to the small of his back.
Crokford barely sensed the cool breeze whipping at his cloak as he raised his blade, slicing the apothecary's head off in a single stroke upon bringing it down. A black ichor filled the basket after the head, spilling from the neck. The apothecaries' corpse was kicked aside.
"Next." He commanded.
This time it was a deathstalker.
"High Executor, you are mistaken. I was just following orders.. I didn't know Ravenshade was a traitor!"
Ravenshade. The name made him angry. She had played Crokford for a fool. Few succeeded in gaining his trust, she did and then broke it days later. Leaving the knight with an oath of vengeance and a city full of loose ends. Indeed, the previous deathstalker commander left quite a mess. False information, leaks, dissapeared gold and valued items. Half the reports on the Spine gone too. She was the so manyth traitor already. No more. Crokford had gathered all those who previously worked for the Spine to be executed, even if they had long been assigned to a different regiment. Thirty-seven Forsaken of various orders and ranks. Three orcs, five elves and nine goblins as well. Those not present in the Undercity were wanted, with deathstalkers after them.
It took him most of the day to separate their heads from their bodies. Afterwards Crokford felt a strange sense of justice. Executing the undead felt right to him, even if they were his allies. His kind.
He rode back to the Undercity where serveral reports awaited him. He sat behind his wooden desk, taking out a cloth and cleaning his sword. He had personal chambers in the Undercity, carved out in stone. It wasn't spacious, but the place was his. In life, servants used this room to cook water for the mansions above ground. Hot water from a tap, Crokford could barely imagine it. Rich city-nobles found the strangest ways to spend their gold. He had made a cosy place of his chambers. A shelf of rare books he collected, crossbows on a rack of his, pelts of the beasts he hunted (mostly gnolls) and spices, barrels of wine and a hearth. As a Forsaken, one must keep hobbies, keep the mind stimulated by other activities than bloodshed if one wishes to retain their humanity. It is so easy for an undead to become distanced from the world, and from themselves, in such unearthly existance. Nathan Black had succumbed to this, forgotten himself, and he was neither the first nor would he be the last. Crokford, he was so certain, was beyond that. He kept himself engaged with his hunting, his wines and his library. His honour, his religion, and his oaths. These were the things that kept him earthly and preserved his sanity.
He mulled over the papers strewn across his desk, reports of Spine activities. Of note, a detailed set of plans resulting in the destruction of a Horde airship, another of a raid on a certain medical supplier; both of which had come to fruition long after he had these reports on his desk. Another report detailed the failure of Orcish bounty hunters' attempts to take out Snakebite. Nothing new. He knew what the Spine where plotting, he knew where they were and had the means to take them down.. should they strike against the crown. Not yet.
He laid his sword across the table, the flickering torchlight warped in the folded steel of his blade. Dismissing his weapon for a moment, he spied an untouched envelope amidst the rubble of reports. Elven, he could hazard a guess. Very.. Distinctive. Without much ado, he snapped open the seal, revealing no more than a crudely scribed parchment.
Ser Galliard Mortime Crokford,
You are hereby summoned to appear in Silvermoon within three days to discuss the behaviour and progress of Forsaken students.
Loremaster Edanna Kal'es.
Summoned. She used this term to irk him, he knew. Who is she to summon him? Nevertheless he would go. He wished to discuss their progress on his demands. To irk her back, he would be late and arrive with superiority and a vexing short-term note to add. With Sunshard in tow and another favour owed by the elves to the Forsaken. He began to write.
Lady Edanna Kal'es,
I will arrive in Silvermoon this evening, when the clock strikes nine. I expect welcome and duly hope that the Forsaken mages are ready to return with me to Lordaeron. Ensure your colleagues are there.
High Executor Galliard Mortime Crokford.
Edanna had made him cross with her before. She always had something to bring in. Always had some complaint. Always thought she was the better. Her air of arrogance repulsed him. He noticed the way she looked at him as if he were some lowly beggar. She is the beggar.
It is high time I teach this wizard her place.
Still, Silvermoon brought back memories. He should like to visit the great city of magic once more. He had an old memory to pay respects to, there.
Edits here and there to improve clunky wording and correct spelling! A lot of thanks to Rathen for pointing out some flaws and helping me correct them!
Read up more about Mortime here:
It is wonderful to see all these works of fiction appear in my thread!
And I shall now contribute.
"I had a cat once."
Fierce, rolling growl dissipated out across the tan mountain. Tall, dry grass swayed soothingly in the brisk wind that raged up here. The sun was just setting, splaying beautiful hues of gold, azure and purple across the painted sky.
"Lazy little !@#$e."
Lower snarl sounded, and from a thick net of wheat-like tall grass, a tiger sprung out, almost as big as the man onto which it pounced, tearing and rending away at his exposed flesh.
"Didn't catch the mice, was fat, and ate all me food."
A clamour of rotten flesh and bones fell from the perched tip of the tent and onto the distracted Blood Knight. Amber eyes glowed glumly, caked, blood-red hair swung from side to side as the Undead ripped and shredded away at the armored and not skin of the victim.
"But then, 'e was me cat. Was always there when the crops were bad as usual."
Cry of Forsaken and tiger intermeddled. The sack of decay flew off the blood elf, his arm temporarily engulfed in searing Light. He did not linger, sprinting into the night, not witnessing the decapitation of the graceful feline.
The perching rocks overhanging the nest of the pride was somewhat comforting to the crazed Forsaken as he slumped against the largest boulder, placing the 'liberated' arm next to him with the spun threads of rope. Next to him was the hulking beast of a Den Mother, cautiously watching him. After small talk with presumably himself, it laid its 30-kilo head on his lap, and dozed off.
"Admittedly, you're a bit bigger and bit less lazy. The same fat, though."
Cackle of the Forsaken caused a small snarl to sound from the Mother, but it didn't move. It seemed content. Strange image, strange couple, but alas united with the same, hallowed goal.
The survivors must die, for the Spine and for the serenity of the hunting grounds.
Edited by Chloè on 18/08/12 16:37 (BST)
Seems like C. Nightdragon have somehow heard of the zeppelin crash survivors' problems with the lions. Which made her think of the old Barrens song.
It wasn't a crypt, the Shadow told him to seek one out. But it was a boneyard. Many had died here... quilboar, tauren... many. He sat down and closed his eyes as the Shadow absorbed him from his surrondings. The bones that they had crushed beneath their boots, the skulls which had been cracked from the parasites' violent ways and the dark, corrupted dust. As the giant thorns disappeared from his inner view he found himself in his peaceful place.
Gilneas... before it all happened.
He had chosen to speak some common-orcish mix so his fellow terrorists would understand him.
Spirits, come towads me. I am your master now! Thilde, Dell, father. I must continue. I have forgiven myself. I have forgotten sorrow. There is only the Shadow.
The spirits appeared, they looked lifelike and he noticed that he himself was alive in this state. His hands moved to his face, no scars and no rot.
We created your peaceful sanctum so that you can ascend. Somewhere to distance yourself from those who ask for our help.
As his sister approached him he felt happy for the first time. But the feeling was not what the Shadow had wished for and it felt as if someone had nailed him onto a plank and slammed a great nail through his chest.
Thilde, father, where's Dell? I must continue to ascend!
He didn't intend to talk as loud as he did, the Shadow was punishing him. He was not to be friendly with the spirits. He realized why the Shadow had made his sanctum Gilneas, to torment him, to bring out his hatred.
Leoven, the Shadow... i-it... took Dell. Chained him up. In the s-sanctum spirits can harm eachother. You are a s-spirit here too.
His sister stared into his eyes, she had tears in hers.
Second lesson. Never forget vengeance. You are true forsaken, your brother made sure of that. You blamed yourself, it was him. He doomed your family. Your sister spoke truth. You are more powerful, you can easily slay your brother's spirit. Do it.
Edited by Manners on 18/08/12 22:58 (BST)
The lights flickered as the man struggled to get more words onto the piece of parchment, the quill standing still with the tip of it just waiting to move further to complete this piece, meant to be forwarded to someone dear for him.
These interruptions, these yells.. even the sound of the flame burning stops my writing, or is that just me blaming other sources than myself?
The hand slowly moved again, putting down every word with great thought and care. The quill withdrew, being dipped into the small glass container of ink followed with it returning to its rightful place, the letter in progress.
The man's fist slammed into the table in a sign of desperation, the tip of the quill dragging itself unintentionally along the parchment, creating an ugly line of ink with no intention to be there, except to show the reader that the writer sure was in anger, or something else.
I have promises to make before I depart... They have to be done before I go, or there will be no rest.. I promise you.. those loose strings will be cut.
The gloved bony fingers reached over to the light to put it out quickly, leaving the man in darkness.
IC Notice, posters in Thunder Bluff:
The townsfolk in Bloodhoof Village seem to be collapsing with unknown poisoning in fever and with heavy nausea. After quick research it was discovered, that waters around the village were contaminated. The cleansing of the lake has begun, but right now villagers need medical attention and help from all free druids and shamans in the area.
Come and help the villagers of Bloodhoof to fight the poison!
Edited by Relcha on 21/08/12 13:50 (BST)
Official Convocation Document
"We, the Archons of the Convocation, hereby offer our continued assistance to the Undercity during the campaign against the rebel band of Forsaken known as the Spine.
All who are able and willing shall report to ser Galliard Mortime Crokford in the Undercity when they can for this duty, to serve under the command of the Undercity for the duration of the campaign. All unwilling to perform this duty are hereby ordered to stay clear of the entire operation and not get involved.
The Convocation troops are to be treated in a manner respecting their race, rank and gender, and expected to treat the Undercity's troops and commanders with equal respect. Archons will be in charge of overseeing that these conditions are honoured by both sides."
Signed for approval by Archons:
Relcha Kim'belore, Sorlain Amaran, Seth Dorini'Aman
Signed for approval by Undercity official:
High Executor Gallliard Mortime Crokford
-Carrying a stamp of approval from the Lightdawn noble family and the Magisterium of Quel'thalas-
The LAST day of the Spine uprising will be Friday the 24th of August.
THATS IN THREE DAYS! Everyone is invited, everyone is allowed in, everyone must join. Be there and witness the ultimate downfall of the Spinite Terrorist faction!
This made me shed manly tears.
You people are fcking monsters. ;_;
(Rene Nash (Neerashen) was played by me, the Den Mother (Mewara) was played by Chloe. And I must say, this was at first the cutest, then the single-most heart-rending I've done in a while.)
(Oh, and listen this while you read. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHZacO5rOBs&feature=BFa&list=SP77B622BF775E41B7)
“You are all I have left, you know. The Spine forsook me, the living want to decapitate me for blowing up their boat. Believe it or not, you-“
A decomposing, boney hand went across the mane-like collar of the hulking den mother, which in turn emitted a deep, rolling purr in satisfaction.
“- are my only friend. After we’ve kill’d them elves, Oi’ll make a little shelter from the debris and shove the res’ down the moun’en so that you can ‘unt again.”
Once more, the massive beast made a noise – this time, a contemplative, serene growl in the back of her throat.
“It’ll all be good.”
“NO! STAY AWAY FROM HER!” it rang out between the tall rocks in the den. Skittering across the sand came the two-faced undead, but instead of striking at the tall, ominous troll looming over the rumbling body of the fatigued, dying feline, he buried his body in the pelt of it (a feat made possible by the sheer size of the animal), strenuously embracing the gracefully decrepit body in a sorrowful posture. His charred body was still, almost crackling from every beat of dry wind upon the flaked, seared skin. “You have ruined e’rything! She didn’t… Is she…”
The voice faded off. The troll and the elf stood utterly still, watching the drama unfold. The undead had ceased speaking, because he had noticed how the mother had ceased breathing. With a low howl, he hid himself in the neck of the animal again.
Three, talon-like claws went through the dry, barren soil, etching a line into it. The undead next to the paw tutted quietly, and showed the move again.
One bone of a finger into the soil, a quick move down, and voilà, a line had been drawn.
The lion grinned voraciously, and attempted again. Least to say, there was no success – instead of drawing a single line, she had drawn three.
“A’ight, a’ight. Le’s try a face instead, yeah?”
The squatting man drew a smooth circle in the soil, accompanied with a typical face with a happy mouth.
“Le’s make it an elf.”
He made a few squiggles at the top to represent hair, and two, long elongations at each side. Without a doubt, an elf.
The cat suddenly reached over as he finished, and drew a profound ‘x’ across it. Dead.
The zombie laughed heartily, patting the animal roughly.
“A’ight, you try. Draw me a circle.”
The animal did, simply dragging her paw around as she turned three-sixty degrees. Three circles, but nevertheless, she had done it.
The den mother shoved a fist into the soil, making two dimples in the sand. Eyes.
She then swiped her claw across the lower half. It was a mouth, sure, but it was a frowning one.
Once more, the corpse cackled, and roughened the spikey, but soft fur of the animal’s head, just behind the ears, in affectionate strokes.
“See? You can be an artist. You’ll seem sad, tho.”
The undead remained still to the point the two living believed he was truly dead. But then, as they leaned in, they heard him mewling softly in the tufted ear. Promises of everything being better. Promises of everything returning normal. Promises that he will do anything to make it like it was.
The troll nodded towards the elf, which in turn placed a cold, metal hand on the scalp of the nigh-silently weeping undead. Magic accumulated in the air, collected in a bright beacon through the hair, and discharged in a blinding beam of light – incidently, that was the last the rotting man saw before his soul was finally released from the twisted aparathion of a former life. All that was left was greyed, smoldering ash, some of which nestled cosily into the non-moving fur, some blew into the indigo and gold, burning sky with the evening breeze.
Behind the deathly still tail of the once great protecter, a squirming puddle of fur and teeth waved and squeaked. They were now complete orphans, the entire litter of kittens.
The troll noticed soon, and one by one, seized and carefully laid them in soft clothing, to bring with him.
What had once been the height of natural serenity, had now become the graveyard of hope, motherhood and heroism.
He thought he'd prepared.
Daily observations. Transcribed communications. Routine Observations. Lists of daily purchases. Known accomplices. Stacks of personal information. Combat observations. Former instructors. Training reports. Personal holdings. Days worth of potential personnel and materiel calculations, including personal armouries. Interpersonal relations with other Spine and former Apothecarium members. Recreational observations. Full medical and criminal records, both living and dead (where available). Ditto for all immediate ancestors and relations, living, un-living and deceased. Service history. Contents of assigned Undercity bank vaults. Full psychological evaluations where possible. Known aliases. Accurate profile sketches. Distinguishing characteristics. Complete, sourced and indexed records on every single one of them, present and former, un-living and dead. Multiple copies ready to be delivered at moment's notice to all major Horde-aligned military, paramilitary and associated mercenary forces at all times.
He swept the papers from his desk, turning to the others.
Plans for emergency neutralisation/retrieval/interrogation in event of defection to Alliance, Crusade, Argent, opposed Horde, Scourge, Demonic, various Forsaken/Alliance/Horde secessionist and miscellaneous opposed forces. Plans for short and long term investigation on suspicion of formerly listed offences. Plans for rapid detainment in event of revolutionary activity, and short and long term investigation of the former. Multiple contingencies for all foreseeable scenarios, no factor excluded. Cross referenced with all collected information.
It would have taken a mortal man years, perhaps a lifetime, of solid effort, painstaking observation and ruthless research to achieve. Night and day, Hainricht Kaster managed in little over one. Updating information weekly was nothing in comparison, consistent personal observation trivial. Those he hadn't tutored personally, he'd known since the beginning. Some even trusted him. It was an odd blessing, that the need for such a preparation had been blindingly obvious from his earliest days in the Apothecarium. Mentally unsound misfits, recidivists and egotistic demonologists with more faith in their infernal minions than the Forsaken, representatives of the Undercity? Trusted servants of the Dark Lady's will? To him, it was unthinkable. A disaster waiting to happen, inevitable, and the formation of the Spine from the ruins only worsened the rot.
And all his work had been for nought.
Such a contentious lot. Of course he'd assumed they'd break away individually, too prone to conflict for any kind of co-operation even within the Lady's service, they wouldn't stay together a day outside it. Not a scrap of loyalty in half of them, least of all to each other. One by one they'd see an opportunity and take it, and Kastner would be waiting. He knew where they would run, what they would do, how they would fight. Like adding two and two.
None could have imagined a coherent, large scale betrayal. Such wanton destruction, no reason or rhyme. Perhaps the mistake was assuming they each had an agenda, the useless deficits assigned to the Spine over the years. Unmotivated, unpredictable or just plain dangerous to a man, but they all seemed to have their own interests somewhere in mind. Now they were lashing out, mad dogs free of a leash. But like dogs they were sticking together. No one could have planned for this, not even Kastner.
It was Black's doing, he knew. Only one Forsaken was twisted enough to control and drive them towards such an end, like his sister before him. Kastner had always known, always foresaw. They'd brought Nathan Black into this world without any heed for his warnings. But he'd made sure the first thing the wretch had felt was sharpened steel to his throat, the first thing he saw his hard grey face, and the first sound a hissed promise. No one would have taken that from him, not after Felucia.
Hainricht wondered if he'd be blessed enough to make good of his words, and deliver the Plaguemaster a nice little reprise of his rebirth on the way out. Wishful thinking.
In truth, despite his years of planning, of calculations and deductions, he had no idea what was coming. He new only when. He'd not become so lost in artificial prescience he'd lost touch with the present. The old spy knew many tricks, and heard plenty of whispers. Tomorrow. Kastner looked to his timepiece, and wondered what would become of him a day from now.
Too long he'd plotted, succumbed to his own fantasies. He would wait no longer. His sword was sharp, his mind moreso. Steel throughout, cold and unyielding. A great end was upon him, his own or the traitors he had helped create. He would not see the former without the latter. The sun broke, and in the pale light of dawn the best laid plans of Hainricht Kastner burned in a dying hearth.
(( The Spine: -2, say bye to Montague Manners Rude and Emma Ravenshade. ))
The old dusty fireplace crackled when the flame licked the few branches and some broken in half planks – crimson light filled the ruins of the inn with its warm glow. The flame pushed darkness aside just to reveal black and red armored woman standing before the fireplace and watching the fire from beneath the heavy hood. She shifted her weight slightly and looked down at the heavily damaged left forearm – few metal parts and tubes were ripped apart and green ooze along with black liquid were seething from within it. For the past few days of her travel she tried to keep it fixed, but now it seemed that nothing could hold the leak anymore. With a heavy sigh Emma Ravenshade turned attention back to the fire.
Was she waiting for someone or just for the end to come, who knows.
The grim ruins, by now left alone to crumble – no dark rangers, no worgen invaders, the slimes dealth with – welcomed the dark silhouette of a man, crossing the abandoned plains. The green puddles shaded his black coat with gentle glow, making him look like a ghost himself. He adjusted his hat to keep his face in the shadow and protect himself from the cloud of dust dragged by the wind just a few feet above the ground. Looking over his shoulder once he made sure not a single soul was following him and only then he entered through the shaken gap between the broken door and the wall of the inn.
Have he come here to meet someone or just to embrace his end, who knows.
The woman pulled heavy hood off, running one hand through the fainting in saturation red hair and glancing at the man over her shoulder. How long has it been? A year, more? She couldn't remember. This was the place, where she remembered things from the life times. This was the place, where she smiled once and called him 'cousin'. So many days and weeks have passed and yet this discovery, of having someone she used to hold dear, kept her awake. So many times she have pulled the trigger without a single back thought or regret, ending someone's life. And yet every time she looked back and knew, that if she fails there is someone who will back her up, no matter what. No banners, no rules they were under would affect this – those in undeath were brothers and sisters, yes, but a relative soul made the bond stronger.
He sighed and moved over to the woman, stopping nearby and glancing down at the damaged arm. She didn't have long. They didn't have long. Man turned attention to the fire that she lit up and let his thoughts trail off for a moment, until they spoke to each other.
There was no reason to try and run. Even if she would get her arm fixed, the run would not be long. They would be caught eventually, that they both agreed on. The only reason he was here now and not back in Felwood with rest of the team was the fact, that he made a promise to a friend. And he still owed this redheaded fury. The only reason she was here – she promised to never let go anymore.
Better to go together, like brother and sister, than allow each other to be executed or brainwashed.
“ I still owe you that dance from the Ball.”
She flinched shortly in surprise, looking up and nodding once. That he did and the reminder seemed to easen up the mood a little.
“ And I am still bad at it, Montague.”
Quiet chuckle breaking the silence of the room with the crackling fire on the background, followed with the two circling through the room in calm paces, which soon took more speed – enough to make a living person dizzy. Not many people back then could manage to go through this whole dance, being usually drunk and high spirits. She was one of those people, as far as she remembered, always giving up after first two minutes and not being able to keep up even the slightest. It was always him, who would drag out a girl or another out of the crowd and keep dancing until feet would turn numb.
These memories struck her heavily, just as the dance ended. Here they stood, alone in the dark ruins on the edge between unlife and true death. He pressed the revolver to the side of her head, she placed the muzzle of the gun against his chin. Nowhere to run, no reason to run – beyond only the eternal Shadow and path towards home.
Inhaling deeply and pulling the trigger.
“ I'm sure there was smoke rising above the trees.”
The two Deathstalkers moved through the ruins, looking around. Construct Tormentor watched them from the top of the townhall's roof, knowing well enough that they won't find anything, but a set aflame Southshore inn.
He set it aflame after the two thundering shots rolled through the air.
Skittering down the other side of the roof he disappeared in the thick night air, leaving the place behind.
Always been the coward, only attacking easy targets.
Only going into fights I knew I would win.
Running away at the glimpse of danger.
But those days are over.
He glances at the Festerjaw undead army as they are being primed to reorganization.
Even if I would run, with this burnt face that !@#$% elf gave me they would recognize me anywhere.
Hiding is fine, just not when it's all you will ever do.
So running isn't an option, that only leaves one.
Making it impossible to lose.
He finds some blue paper and a crayon like material.
It takes him hours but eventually he draws up intricate schematics.
This is my plan, I need you two to help me build it, this is why we'll win.
I will build the hull, you focus on various weapons.
Using the armor of the Rotface undead army he forges a hull, it's spherical shaped and about two meters wide in all directions.
Once they all finish they mount the weapons onto it.
Then using a system of pulleys, ropes and the natural environment they manage to mount the hull onto a nearly ready Flesh golem which was created out of the Festerjaw undead army.
I call it; The Clavicle.
The final night has reached them, he sits inside the clavicle with the hatch open looking upon the plains of Mulgore with Thunder Bluff in the distance whilst the golem marches on.
This is it, I succeed and get to be unlive another day or I fail and I'll join my brother in arms.
He closes the hatch.
The titan is welcomed by a group of heroes who fight with bravery despite the odds stacked against their favor.
Why don't half these weapons work?! Either the aim is too far off it they jam completely!
Was one of them a traitor?
For a while the fight is going his way, despite the failing weaponry as the Titan manages to climb onto the Spirit Rise of Thunder Bluff.
Part of the group instead begin to focus their attack on the dome but it's heavy plated armor keeps it steady for a while.
At least until the combined effort of heat and cold wreck the plating apart.
Oh no.. no no no no no!
He swears nearly constantly and tries to find any weapons still able to be fired.
It doesn't matter, the titan itself is slain and crashes into a nearby tent.
No! He bangs on the hull of the Clavicle. Help me, somebody!
The titan rolls towards the edge.
I just.. I just wanted to not die!
The Titan falls.
Josephus Darkwood falls.
As he was twitching on the ground, the hound sucking his powers out his own mind took over.
He saw what the Shadow had hidden from him. The places he had called home. His parents' house, his own houses, his small office in Undercity... the boneyards the uprising had brought him to. Then his family, his parents, aunts, cousins, siblings... they were all welcoming him... into the light... but no! He wasn't free, the Shadow reclaimed his head.
We do not waste our time on our reapers to die!
The otherwise calm and smooth voice turned highpitched and angry. He had spent time. He had meditated. He had fought the spirits. He had done it all. He was close. It just needed the Horde sacrifice. A hero, a commoner someone who was only aligned to the Horde. Someone who believed in victory. Or death.
Up, weakling! Fight again! Nevermind your damages!
But he couldn't the hound was pushing him down in the mud. This must've been how it felt. He barely remembered the feeling... his sister and brother... yes. Their deaths messed him up. He knew he weren't as bright as he believed. He had killed, he had run.
He was a man who was not afraid to run, but not brave enough to stay.
And this was what he thought as he was dragged away.
You'll be the message, Shadowcaster. You'll be the message.
Edited by Chloè on 24/08/12 23:20 (BST)
The spell kept swinging further and further up in power. Chloe Nightdragon, the Fiend, as she called herself lately, did not notice time. She was sure Black could hold them off while she was channeling. How wrong she was. She felt it, every single moment of his death to come, just like Darkwood, Snakebite and Nitely before.
The rage welled up in her. Pure hatred that was supressed for so long, the every moment and minute of irritation that were not spilled out in her little fights with these people. These people, her people. She felt Black fall.
“ ENOUGH OF THIS MOCKERY!”
The burning hatred spilled out breaking the channeling and sending the shadow blast forth, knocking and maiming people around her. For so long she was storing the power, not using a single spell. She saw them fall, saw the Shadows creep through their petty flesh, and she laughed, dispersing within the dark thick blanket of shadows.
They fought back. Prodding the beast with their spells, some empowering her with careless actions – here came the voidwalker, it's mere aura feeding her. The shadowfiends pouring from the darkness, attacking anyone nearby, clawing and biting – the Nightmare essence mixing with the living blood clouding their minds and darkening their hearts. They fought each other, while she coiled up in the avatar of the Nightmare Fiend herself. The massive serpent of twilight scales and diamontipped fangs, oozing green poison and glowing crimson eyes.
“ Hahahah, weaklings!”
Succumb to the power.
There he was, only man to ever resist her controls – Sorlain Amaran. She pulled the shadowy body towards him, serpent revealing itself from the darkness and coiling around the knight, repeatedly striking and withdrawing. He stood vigilant, even taking hits with pride and tenacity. It angered her even more.
The more and more lesser fiends spawned. A few of the living kept attacking each other, creating more chaos in the Pools. For just a moment it seemed like a fight they can not win, but then... Then Amaran struck the serpent with the blazing of Light sword into the jaw. The spell coiled up, shuddered and kicked her out down on her knees right next to Black's corpse. She lifted her hand to the mutilated jaw, the ichor seething through her metal fingers. And yet she laughed, seeing them close up on her and break from the control.
Today is the day. Now or never, to the end, beyond the Death itself.
Her hazy laughter faded, when orc struck the dagger through the back of her skull. Just the way she ended Cidé's life. Little he knew, that she pumped herself up with the remnants of the liquid fire before entering the city. The purple liquid mixed quickly with her undeath essence, taking the weapon with it and rapidly spreading purple flames. They took everything on their way – the walls, the vaporizing water, the mushrooms... The two bodies on the floor.
The cavern of the Pools of Vision roared out bright purple fire, shading the night skies with its colors.
Is this the end?