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“No, I feel we do know Varo… Lor’danin, at least somewhat, as we did fight alongside each other in Northrend, after all. And thank you, drake, we will... do our best,” it was at this point that what was going on around her seemed to lose significance, and the time the drake took to turn around and take his leave, Iranda and Barthius also giving him their word as he did so, stretched out for a blurry, muted eternity.
Still, your heroic resolve, all of yours, surely will be a great asset to this band of warriors.
They were seemingly innocent, even motivating words, but the Wing Commander managed to find a new, looming weight behind them. She had no idea how much longer the Patrol was to stay in Deepholm, especially now that they had managed to collect not one, but two pieces of the World Pillar in such a short time. And Sylvanora knew what Vimmi Spannershield was like: she never kept her people in one place for long, regardless of if things where looking up or down, so it was unlikely that the Borean Patrol would remain following the Earthern Ring around once the immediate crisis was dealt with. Even if a traitor to the Twilight Cult were to miraculously appear on their doorstep with the last Pillar fragment right there and then.
Had she just made a promise that she couldn’t keep? To a dragon nonetheless?
“Zis world is worth saving, and zis time we can actually do it!” Sylvanora blinked and glanced to her left, Iranda’s ever cheerful and confidant words cutting through the veil of “Oh cra-“ like a knife.
“You’re right, friend. For twenty years I lived with the knowledge that I wasn’t able to save Outland, perhaps even somewhat responsible for the disaster… And because of that I wasn’t here to defend Quel’thalas from the Scourge… But I am not going to fail a third time!” Barthius had balled his hand into a fist and punched the air with a determined smirk.
Seeing her wingmates – her friends, however unlikely they may be – like this, Sylvanora found that she couldn’t help but push this new dilemma she had worked her way into away to the back of her mind. No, she could worry about that later, because for now she had work to do, sleep to catch up on, and a World Pillar to save.
A life to enjoy, despite the odds.
“How hard can it be? I mean, Deathwing is already half barbequed already.”
Circling outside the Temple on his daily patrol, Vearakus found himself grinning a draconic smirk as he sensed the laughter of ‘his’ mortals reverberate through the fabric of reality.
Lynara awoke in a tent back in the Temple of Earth. There was a shaman standing over her with a smile over his face. “It is good that you have awoken, we were afraid we would lose you. While we could not save your eye we managed to mend your arm. It will take time to fully heal, but it is no longer broken.” He said to her.
“Thank you kind one. How did I get here? Last I remember I was buried under rubble.” She asked while her whole body ached it was no longer as much as it once did. She noticed her armor was off and her body was wrapped in quite a few bandages.
“The Earthen carried you here; your friends looked like they were in no shape to even be carrying themselves.” The shaman said. “I do not know what you did, but with the fragment of the world pillar restored we are that much closer to sealing the rift between the worlds.” He said in a reassuring voice, letting her know that everything she went through and the loss of her eye was not in vain.
Meanwhile back in the past at the Twilight camp.
Ragus nodded as he emerged from stealth as Keys signaled for him.
“You do not understand, you cannot possibly win. Even if you win, it will be to the detriment of our world. Can you not put aside your childish arrogance for a short moment to heighten your priority of humanity? If it means so much to you, to die, I will give you my word...”
“And a promise from Keys is one that you can count on.” Ragus said letting his presence be known. His blades were sheathed, but his hidden blades were ready in case Perfection or the druid tried anything stupid.
Edited by Lynara on 4/13/2012 8:50 PM PDT
Azeroth had been shattered into a thousand pieces, broken and crumpled under a cosmic weight, tossed to the winds and thrown astray into the infinite. This was true in more ways than simply physical, the land had been broken, but the minds and hearts of those who lived upon it were also scattered, peace had been broken and forgotten. The world was a great struggle to find and fit the pieces back into place before it was too late, it was a great battle and an epic conflict, as the confused and defiant races of Azeroth fought each other over the puzzle pieces.
Deepholm was a smaller example, another face of this concept, another symbol of scattered sanity that broke over rocks and washed throughout sentient life. The World Pillar, literally the apex of the world, the one point that held Azeroth together. The Earthen Ring were a final defense, their hands tugged and tired and weary as they pulled the seams of the world towards the center, they payed their blood and tears to keep the world from unwrapping.
Another symbol was born, as a Gnome handed a fragment of this pillar up to an Orc, who passed it to a Goblin. The second fragment, born by a Draenei passed to a Troll was handed down to a Dwarf, and both were regarded with interest. The symbol was furthered as the final pillar fragment graced the temple in the arms of a Tauren, a Tauren flanked by three assassins and a member of the Forsaken, a few others scattered throughout the temple like many of the wounded.
This was the culmination of another chapter in the story, and the silence in the air as Maruut Stonebinder handled the fragments with a spiritual reverence served to further this idea. He held the world in his arms, as he carried them to the shattered pillar. They could not go straight in, no, it was a complex binding process that could take several hours. It would require many of the shaman to go without sleep, but it was necessary.
“Commander Spannershield,” Maruut addressed, his fellow shaman were setting up the ritual but he returned to regard those who had made it possible. He commanded a presence with his mere stance, and it seemed like tides of exhaustion had been lifted by hope as he talked. “Thank you, you have done a great good this day. You must tell of where you found the pillar fragments, we never expected all three to return in one day.”
Spannershield and Maruut had a lot in common, they were both leaders, and they were both determined to give it all even if they had to sacrifice from their own energy to complete a task. Spannershield however, was much more physically broken than the powerful man before her, she needed rest and healing to recover. Her task was also done, she had retrieved the pillars and now all that remained was to heal the pillar. Maruut still had a final battle to wage with the spirits and with the binding.
“The Earthen,” she spoke, her voice cracking as she spoke, “We rescued their Stonefather from the savage Troggs. They granted us their fragment as reward.”
Several leagues away the memory of the Troggs lay under tonnes of displaced stone, a whole cliff having disconnected to hide their taint. It may have been the Stonemother's intention to bury the Patrol with them, but she had not succeeded. It rung with the silence of the dead now, good Earthen souls lay as the Troggs did, as the giants did, a field of buried death now an eternal memory of the conflict. It would all return to the earth now, nothing more than rock on rock.
“The second pillar fragment,” spoke Ruby, her short and wicked Goblin features held in a serious straightness. “Therazane granted it to us, we are expected to close the tear and begone from her world. She did not seem happy to give it up.”
It was true, the Stonemother watched over the temple from her throne with a disgusted concern, mortals handled her precious pillar, mortals who had come into this world and broken it in the first place. Little cultists pranced around defiling her rocks, while others who looked exactly the same ran around trying to stop them. It was a foul game of flesh, and as soon as the mortals in her temple outlived their use they would leave, and if they chose to remain they would find the very ground turning against them.
“The final one,” and Virella now spoke, with a chill and impatience in her voice that could only have manifested from hours trekking along lifeless stone. “We plucked it right from the heart of the Cultist Encampment, right from under their noses. The fools didn't know that even their shadows stole away from them.” She almost grinned at the idea, it had been -fun- a thrill. “The fools, worthless insects of humans. They are likely to attack us.”
“Indeed they are,” Maruut spoke, “We will post scouts all over the ridgeline, we will not allow them to interrupt the ritual. For now, your Patrol should get some sleep Spannershield. You look like death walking.”
And so, the shaman were woken and set to work preparing the temple for the ritual, a few would maintain the pillar while the others set up. The Patrol scattered throughout the medical bay and the sleeping chambers, and even Spannershield reluctantly found herself a bed. Debriefing could wait, for now her bones were straining and her wounds were worn, sleep was long, long overdue. Everything could wait... sleep was necessary.
Lia stood at the entrance of the temple, her scythe propped up against the wall next to her. She had removed her gloves, wrapping bandages that had been dipped in healing ointment (Something given to her by Coron) around them to heal the bruises that had appeared on her skin. She was pretty tired and battered, her armor was covered in dust and grime, she was going to have to give them a good cleaning in the near future. Her long ears twitched as she heard someone approach her, which she then turned to find out that it was the Druid of the Talon, Coron Moonblade.
Core seemed rather unscathed from their last battle, which was rather odd to the woman, his scythe was in it's hold across his back, his amber eyes were warm and bright as she looked at them, a gentle smile was spread across his face, which Lia returned before continuing her task. The Druid looked out over the earth planes "So how are you feeling after the last battle?" he asked. Lia finished wrapping her hand and slipped on her plated glove once more "Tired, but relived never the less. We finally managed to get all three of the fragments of the pillar....that's something to be thankful for." the Warrioress replied.
Coron looked back at the Patrol members and Earthen Ring. The Earthen Ring where preparing for the ritual that would heal the rift in the world, something that a lot have been waiting for in this temple "I guess your right....then again, who knows" he looked back at Lia with a smirk "Anything could happen at this point". Lia giggled softly "Like the Cultist coming to try and stop us? I say let them come, I'm sure we can take them down easily". Coron, who had gone back to staring out over the rocky planes, took a side glance at the woman with a gentle smile.
This woman was interesting to him, for a Blood elf. Her voice soft and musical, her skin tanned that seemed to glisten, shimmering Jade green eyes that never seemed to be devoid of courage and honor. That was the type of person he would want to spend his time with, regardless of race. A mix of beauty and honorable ferocity was something that he rather liked to see in a woman, but he wasn't sure if many of his race would actually agree "Heh...I don't think it's worth it anymore" he thought to himself "I'm a Druid of the Talon, I rather stay neutral when it comes to my fellow Kal'dorei views on other races such as hers" .
Shaking his head, he turned fully to the woman and crossed his arms "Hey...Lia..I was wondering". Lia turned her head to look at him, a warm smile beaming on her face. She decided to lean against the wall before saying "Yes, you were wondering?". Coron coughed a bit before continuing "When all of this is over...maybe you would like to--"
"Llllliiiiiiiiiiaaaaaaaaa! And Druid I still can't remember the name of yet".
"Damn...so much for that" Coron thought with slight annoyance as he turned to see a young human woman jogging up to the two. Lia turned and grinned at the woman "Hello Perfection.." her grin faded as she saw the expression on the Assassins face "...did...something happen?" she asked. Perfection's expression was certainly of amusement, in fact, she looked like she was about to start raving on about something in anger "I had to work...with Her..." she said bitterly. Lia and Core blinked "With..whom?" The Druid asked.
Perfection looked at him as if he had gone insane "The same damn woman you were helping on that Ship when they killed the SEAL team.". Coron cringed and slowly turned back to look over the rocky planes again...or so it seemed. "Keys?" Lia asked, the Assassin nodded slowly, crossing her arms and turning her angry gaze to the floor. Lia sighed and reached out to draw the girl into a hug "Relax, as long as she promises not to harm anyone of the Patrol, we should be fine. Besides..." she pulled back and lifted the girls chin "Your cooperation with them would have proved to her that saving this world is top priority at this current time, don't you forget that".
Perfection grumbled something under her breath but said nothing else.
Coron shook his head "So, she is here?" he asked, looking over to the human, who shrugged "Not sure, probably, seeing as the Earthen Ring are most likely the only real ticket out of this place". The answer made Core cringe again "Hm...I wonder what she would say when she finds out I joined the patrol...". Lia chuckled and light punched him in the arm "Nothing that I feel would be any concern to you. Like she can do anything anyway with the Earthen Ring around, and then you got the Patrol by your side too" she said kindly.
Core shrugged "Maybe, maybe not, who knows". Perfection let out a long, drawn out sigh before looking around the temple "I'm gonna find Lowy....see if I can pester her. She is probably looking around the place for some form of alcohol. I'll talk to you later" she said, turning back to Lia, who nodded and gave the woman a quick hug "Alright, good luck with that". When the Assassin left, the Warrioress picked up her scythe and slid it into it's holder before looking over to Coron "I'm going to see what I can help with around the temple, you going to be ok?" she asked sweetly.
Coron turned and smirked "Yea, I might just go see if the Earthen Ring have any herbs that I can whip up into potions, I'll talk with you later". Nodding, Lia walked off, going to the nearest batch of Earthen Ring to offer her assistance. Coron watched her go, sighing and rubbing behind his neck "Well...may as well get to it" he muttered to himself and walking off in the direction of the stacks of different herbs and powders that the Earthen Ring had. Rest and recovery, that was what was important at this point of time.
Edited by Liå on 4/16/2012 9:01 PM PDT
It had been a long few hours, but handing over the fragment of the world pillar somehow made it worth it just to see the look on the faces of the exhausted Shaman who had been maintaining it. Waraila was tired, although that had not been down to the effort it had taken to retrieve the unassuming object from the Twilight Cult... that had been the easy part of the whole mission.
No the hardest part was keeping Perfection and Keys from killing each other during the mission. Not to mention Virella's presence... a presence she didn't think helped the situation either. The other assassin, she paid little attention to, he seemed to be under the orders of Keys and thankfully he had also kept the peace … so far at least.
Still the druidess smiled faintly “Our task was the easiest, retrieving these fragments. I can't imagine the effort is has taken to sustain the pillar this long without dire consequences for Azeroth. “ she bowed to the shaman as she relinquished her burden. Her words were not trite either, ever since she could remember the Shaman of the Tauren were heavily revered for their wisdom, strength and connection to the Earthmother and Ancestors.. that reverence was deeply ingrained in her culture, regardless of the race of the shaman in question.
Once she was free of her burden she took the time to look over Vimmi, noticing the severe injuries and the bone deep weariness on her friend's face. She had initially been shocked at the sight of the injured but she knew they had been heading off for battle. Injuries were to be expected, although she had not expected the patrol to have taken such a beating. “Vimmi, I will keep watch... there is little we can do now other than to place our faith in the shaman of the Earthen Ring. “ she spoke honestly and gently to the gnome “If the cultists come, then we will be ready for them. It will take them time to regroup and figure out what has happened and how close the ring are to restoring the pillar. We have time. “
That was the hope anyway, Waraila didn't know any more than the shaman did whether the cultists were poised to attack immediately or not. Still she knew from the brief glance she had taken that the Patrol was in no condition to fend them off. Not yet anyway... which also led her to another concern... Keys and her assassin lackey.
Moving towards them she paused, trying to think on how to word what she wanted to say, without being antagonising. She had not forgiven the pair for their actions prior to this brief co-operation but she had enough pragmatic sense to understand that for now the two agents were needed.
“You kept your word” she said bluntly “although that word will have to last longer in order to allow the Earthen Ring to succeed here. If you harm our people, not only will you betray the peace of the Earthen Ring, but you will open up the possibility of the Twilight Cult overwhelming us if they attack before the pillar is restored. “ she began to walk away from the pair “I will ensure that you are not attacked by the patrol for your past deeds for the same reasons.” she added “but I doubt they will have forgiven you for the murdering that group of alliance soldiers. I have not that is for certain, but I understand that your misguided actions are just a small part of the entire reason the patrol exists in the first place. We have seen this too many times before, blind prejudice over true threats to the safety of our world. “
With that she moved away, for now she doubted she would have to restrain Perfection. So far she had kept her cool and Waraila hoped that the assassin would keep on staying that way. Losing her head against someone like Keys would be suicidal, as much as Perfection would probably hate the admission... Waraila couldn't tell which of the two women were better skilled.
Still if the pair did end up having a duel of honour once the crisis was over, she knew that to interfere would be to sully Perfection's honour, something that she could not do regardless of whether or not the duel was going in her friends favour.
Eventually the druidess ended up where those who had been injured in the fighting had ended up, and sighed. No matter what the Patrol did, their members always seemed to come off badly. Still this was something she could help with... for now at least. Slowly she approached some of the healers, and offered her own services, poor as they were, to help.
Explosions rocked around him as Fenris fought, the Forsaken were once again tossing out their canisters of plague and they were forced to retreat. "FALL BACK! We can't f*cking handle their numbers right now!" Shouted the Commander, Fenris turned and ran, knowing this would be the way the battle would continue until they could do something about the Forsaken's artillery. "INCOMING!!!!" Cried some soldiers and suddenly explosions rocked the Forsaken lines as the Company's artillery fired back, forcing the Forsaken lines to halt. Cheers went up from the lines but Fenris knew this was a temporary victory.
"We can't hold like this forever..." He muttered to his friend Degan Anvilmar, the dwarf simply grunted in affirmation. Both knew the Forsaken would not be stopped, it was only a matter of time till they were defeated. "Soldiers live an' wonder why friend..." The dwarf muttered, Fenris shook his head, "No... We won't survive this..." Fenris said closing his eyes with a sigh...
The worgen warrior jolted upright his adrenalin pumping through his body from his dream. Fenris slowly returned to his senses and slumped down, he shook his head, realizing that he had only been asleep. Standing up Fenris started walking around the area they were staying in at the Temple of Earth. He walked around, watching as the shaman moved about doing their work and preparing for the ritual to repair the World Pillar. He sighed as he walked back into their camp and sat back down on his cot, wondering when they would leave.
Sairdna trailed into the temple behind the others, drained. She didn’t remember much of the battles to get the pillar fragment, or what part she had taken in them. It had all blurred together in her memory, leaving a sense of movement, power, and rage. Oh yes, a lot of rage. However, at the moment, those memories felt distant, as though she were viewing someone else’s memories. All the mage wanted at the moment was to sleep. She felt so tired...
“Sairdna!” A voice called out. She turned, smiling tiredly at the druid rushing up to her.
“Are you alright?” He asked, which made the elf chuckle weakly.
’I’m fine, you worry too much! Besides, there are others who need help. I just need some rest.’
Grish smiled sheepishly, nodding in agreement. “You’re right, of course. I just..” He trailed off, shaking his head. “Here.” He said, holding out a potion that seemed more like bottled mist than anything. “Dreamless sleep potion.” Grish explained, smiling as the mage took it. The two parted ways, Sai going over to the sleeping area, Grish to help the healers. “Soldier’s work ends as a healer’s begins.” He muttered to himself.
And they keep making more for you to do. Vi added, eliciting a sharp bark of mirthless laughter from the worgen.
‘Yes, they tend to do that.’ He thought, asking one of the healers who needed help the most.
* * * * * * * * * *
Jozen sighed, staring up at the massive Temple in front of him. He had escaped the Twilight due to some adventurers interference, taking the opportunity the instant it presented itself to him. He had found his gear nearby, and his axe in one of the tents, a cultist standing over it, muttering.
He couldn’t do much with magic without that axe, but he could do enough. Jozen walked away from the camp shortly afterward, his axe in hand and a bewildered cultist spitting out wool.
The treck to the Temple took a while, though eventually he found himself staring up at it.
The voice from before hadn’t said anything, which made Jozen wonder if it had been real.
Shaking his head, he slowly walked into the building, ignoring the cautious stares of the guards. Inside he found that a large force was spread out, seeming to contain at least one or two of each race.
Casting about for someone he could ask about what was going on, Jozen spotted a Night Elf-druid, he guessed-going through a stack of herbs. Walking up to him, Jozen spoke.
“Excuse me,” He began “But, would this be the group that attacked the Twilight Cultists? Because I owe whoever that was a ‘thank you’.”
Lynara awoke again, still in the medical tent, but the kind elderly shaman was no longer watching over him. She sat up, but clenched at her chest as a sharp pain made her lay back down. She remembered him saying that she had a rib then never fully healed from the injury she has sustained when they fell deep into Deepholm. “The fight with the troggs must of hurt it more.” She grunted.
A figure in the room then made himself visible. “Greetings Lynara, I have to admit it is good to see you awake.” It was Ragus, the night elven assassin that cut Lynara across thr throat on the ship. Lynara’s eye squinted, she looked for a weapon but had none, and in her condition she would not last in a one on one fight against him.
“Why in the goddess’ name are you here?!” She growled out, she forced herself into a sitting position to appear less vulnerable. She was in a tent with an assassin that had tried to capture or even kill the patrol members.
“I wanted to be sure you were alright I... misjudged you, not the patrol as a whole, but you. I spoke to the shaman who has been watching over you. He said that you helped recover the other fragment of the world pillar.” He said calmly in just above a whisper so that only Lynara could hear him.
“Why the change of heart? You tried to cut my throat open last time we met.” Lynara growled.
“I... was wrong, I thought you were a traitor, but here in Deepholm I can see that you are far from a traitor... Thank you Lynara Leafblade.” He said with a bow of his head as he turned and left the tent, leaving the wounded night elf with only her thoughts.
She was tired. The journey had been long and required a lot of walking, which for the stout dwarven woman who spent most of her time cooped up in libraries and lecture halls was indeed quite draining. The diplomatic meeting with the Stone Mother had not...quite gone as planned.
She always had an affinity with the forces of Fire, sure...but the Earth was her second favorite element if you held her down and told her to choose something that wasn't Fire. But then, after meeting with Therazane...
…well, suffice to say that she would feel awful for summoning her Earth Elemental for awhile. For him, anyway.
They had completed their assigned task at least; and lugging back the World Pillar's fragment had been anything but easy as the thing was (predictably) heavy as hell. But the shaman took things in stride, making extra sure to take a good look around the elemental plane of Earth as she returned with the other two shamans to the temple...as it would be the last time she ever would see it, most likely.
Once back at the temple, she settled in and began her meditations; she knew that the road ahead was going to be rough. From here on out, she didn't know where the Patrol's Commander would take them, but she was going to make damn sure that she was going to be prepared...even if it meant giving her life to do so.
She wasn't a fighter, that much she knew. She was a shaman of the Earthen Ring; the only combat she'd ever actively seen on the fields of battle had been in Loch Modan and in Alterac Valley against the Frostwolves, and even then only for a brief period of time. How helpful was she going to be in an outfit like the Borean Patrol?
She had many things to reflect on before setting off again...
Edited by Lowmaine on 4/24/2012 10:38 PM PDT
“Light almighty...” the warrior breathes to herself. “I look like sh!te.”
This is really the first look she's gotten at herself in probably the last couple weeks, at very least since hooking up with the Patrol. Normally, she cares little, if at all for things of this nature. Beauty, or the idea of beauty, is something she finds beyond useless and petty. It's something that she is sure is positively oozing from her demeanor and general attitude; her disdain for people who do care about things like that, that is.
But here she was...seeing herself for the first time in weeks. Covered in blood, scratches, scars and dirt. Looking as if she's been to hell and back repeatedly. It was just now dawning on her how much she and the rest of the Patrol have been through. She still feels a bit queasy from being healed. Whatever the Forsaken skeleton had done to her to sew up (literally sew up) her insides had not been kosher...but it had saved her life, and for that she was thankful.
The warrior sits down and lights herself a cigarette, the complete shock of the day's events finally setting in. Suddenly her throat tenses up and locks; she remembers the gas.
She hated gas attacks. It was the one thing that no matter what, would scare the ever-loving bajesus out of her, ever since that day in Western Plaguelands...when Leo was still-
Focus Her mind tells her. It's time to stop grieving. You've done this too long. Even he's tired of it, McCormack
She shudders once and sighs, looking up at the now completed World Pillar. She kept asking herself “was it worth it?” over and over again. Was it worth it? Was it worth Lynara nearly dying? Was it worth losing Clicker, Kreska, or the countless others who fell in battle by her side? Her gaze falls to the chainsword at her feet; what about Turle? Was it worth losing him too?
As Perfection seats herself next to her and taps her shoulder, she remembers what the World Pillar was for. She remembers what they just prevented, how the world was just saved by them, the Borean Patrol; a motley band of mercenaries, warriors and allies of Azeroth. Recognized by neither the Alliance nor the Horde, these people put the safety of the world above their own interests...above their own desires.
And they had came in and helped where it counted.
Except for me the warrior's mind rumbles. I'm here because Stawson wants money
Best not to focus on that for now, she thinks. She turns her head slowly to the rogue beside her, regarding her with an “Oi, Backstabber. Have fun sneakin' around in the dark?”
Edited by Lowmaine on 4/24/2012 10:39 PM PDT
“Is it as big as they said?”
“Can it kill you?”
“They don’t do that you idiot.”
“No, really. My daddy told me some of ‘em can rot your fingers off!”
“Will all of you just shut up?” The brown haired boy whined before he stood up from the ditch they had all gathered around.
“How big is it?”
“Do we kiss it and get rich?”
“NO!” His fingers dug into the mud surrounding him, the torrential downpour threatening to drown him if he were not to take action. The mud swallowed his hand whole near instantaneously as soon as he applied the slightest amount of pressure, and with a squeal of terror he fell back with a defeated plop.
“HE’S GONNA DROWN!” Sounded a high-pitched voice of terror from the very back of the group.
“It’s only waist-deep ya‘ wuss.” The boy coughed, standing up once again. His open palm thrust into the air, barely managing to poke from the surface of the miniscule chasm. “’alp.”
The entire group huddled around all leaned forward and grasped their comrade, hauling him up in a combined effort.
“Well?’ Whatcha got, whatcha got?:”
“How big is it?”
“Do we make soup?”
“I have to go to the bathroom.”
“Alright, alright, alright…” The boy slowly un-cupped his hands, revealing the precious cargo that had been rescued from the mud. A single, lone, non-average sized Bullfrog. It’s croaky thingy was motioning in a way that made it seem like it was inflating and deflating rapidly, most likely out of panic.
A collective coalition of “Whooooa” and “OoOOoOooOoOo” sounded from the all the other boys.
Suddenly, lightning lit up the sky, a roaring clap of thunder sounding soon after. The panicked Bullfrog leaped from his captor’s palms, landing safely on the face of one of the on looking children.
“So, what we goin’ for today Mum?” The boy asked, his walk being hindered slightly by the crate of vials he was hugging to his chest.
“We’re looking for Peacebloom, Alistair. I’ve run short and my suppliers have been quite fickle you see.”
“Mummy, I’m bored.”
“You’re always bored, Alistair.”
“Yeah, but this time I’m really bored. Like, really bored.”
The white haired maiden chuckled slightly before speaking once more. “Jaggo doesn’t whine as much as you.”
“Jaggo is a freak!”
His unfortunate backtalk earned him a strong backhand across the face, almost causing him to drop his cargo.
“We do not speak of family members in such a way…”
With a newly formed bright red streak across his face, the defeated boy spoke. “Yes Mother…”
“So then, then, get this, get this.” The pale boy spoke in so fast a pace his brother could barely keep up with him. “S-She goes to the m-moon, right? And-and-and then, the, the Princess right, she’s all BAM BAM BAM and she be shootin’ these-ese magical things right? So then she goes, to the moon, and-OOF!” With tears forming in his eyes, the pale boy reeled back as his brother’s fist connected with his mid-section.
The elder one looked down upon his sibling with disgust. “Ugh. You REALLY are screwed silly, ya know that?”
“I thought I was bein’ original…” The younger one choked out.
“Yeah, stick to your card games weirdo.”
“Mum said ya’ gots tah be nicer to me. So did Da-” Once again, the boy was cut short, except this time from a jab straight to his jaw.
It had become routine really. Jaggo would try to connect with his elder brother, but he would have none of it. Alistair never asked to be this freak’s only and best friend. Why should he have to suffer through it? So what if he hit him once or twice, if the brat would get the point then he wouldn’t need to do it in the first place!
The pale boy slowly stood up, one hand at his stomach and the other at his nose. “… It’s original tah me…”
“Yeah, yeah. Go and run away from your problems again, Jaggy. You’ll solve EVERYTHING in no time I bet.”
The boy laid in his bed, the moonlight “ALISTAIR” cascading down upon his form. He seemed peaceful, almost “WAKE UP”
… laid there with his helmet in ha- “ALISTAIR”
The floor was textured nicely with rocks, commonly found at the bottom of the Maelstorm.
The walls were a dark shape, almost as if it was apart of a temple of some sor- “ALISTAIR”
The room around him began to fade into existence. A familiar scent of damp scenery and uneasiness hung in the air.
He was… back? Yes, back. Where? Maelstorm-no… UNDER the Maelstorm. Patrols, Patrols. He was apart of the Patrol.
“… Jaggo?” Surprisingly, the only thing he failed to notice was the man in front of him.
“Oh… Oh, uh. ‘Ello, didn’t think that would actually work ya see.” The man tapped a finger to his chin idly. “… Hi.”
Man, brother, brother. Jaggo, brother, yes. “What… what happened?” Alistair placed a plated palm to his forehead. Somewhere along the line he must have drifted off. There was no better explanation at least. His mind just wandered sometimes. And a dangerous side effect it surely is…
“Okay, okay, okay. Uh… Well… I was sittin’ over there ya’ see” The lanky man leaned back considerably whilst supporting himself on one foot. One arm was outstretched toward the entrance, while the other was doing some bizarre windmill motion. “You were just sorta outta there. So I sat ‘ere, waited, waited, waited some more. Then you wasn’t wakin’ up so I got up and yelled at ya’ for awhile.” He placed both feet back on the ground, one hand moving to adjust his top hat while the other tapped his cane on the rocky surface of the floor.
“… I see.”
For a moment, the Death Knight stared off into the distance. He paced several steps forward, then several steps back. His mind was having a bit of trouble wrapping around the situation. He felt exhausted, dizzy, longing, and something gently seeming to tug at his chest.
“How long has it been?” He finally spoke, stopping in front of his younger sibling.
“’Bout a hour. Maybe two. I ‘unno, wasn’t really keeping’ score.”
“You sat here for a hour?”
“I’m very fluent in entertaining myself.”
“… Yes you are.” Again, the death knight brushed a hand to his face, sighing deeply.
His mind began to revaluate his situation once more. Under Maelstorm, correct. Still retaining undeath, correct. With the Patro-
“Jaggo, the Patrol.” He blurted out suddenly. “The Patrol, where did they go?”
Jaggo placed a hand to his beard, lightly scratching at it while he thought. “Uhhh… ‘bout… that-a-way.” He pointed out to the horizon with his cane. “They left pretty quick after ya’ fell asleep.
“They left?” Alistair clenched his fists, being the only sign of angry he found he was able to show at the moment.
“Left WHERE exactly?”
“That-a-way.” Jaggo pointed his cane out to the horizon again.
“To do what?”
“Brother, please mark my words.”
“I’m going to kill you if either of us is alive-”
“Un-alive for some.”
“… If either of us is alive by the end of this, I will destroy you.”
Jaggo did some scribbling on his imaginary notepad. “Okay.”
“Shall we go then?” Alistair asked with another sigh.
“Well they’ve probably moved on by now…”
“So find them.”
Jaggo grinned, rubbing both of his hands together. “Ya’ see, all ya’ gotta do is ask. Ya’ really should stop bein’ so difficult all the time.”
Without another infuriating exchange between the two, Jaggo sunk to the ground. With a bit of flash, smoke, and disgusting bone noises, he shifted to his true Worgen form. A few seconds of sniffing ticked by before he motioned to his elder brother with one claw.
It was going to be one of those days.
The massive, skull-headed battle axe crashed into the chilled steps of the Wrath Gate, causing the mage to leap back from the powerful strike. Around the two combatants the fires of war raged on; horde and alliance alike rushing to battle against the undead forces that endlessly arose from the earth.
The mage stood facing off against a death knight, one of the elite who had arrived with three others, and was beginning to think this being was more then he could handle.. it absolutely reeked of unholy power. The being seemed to be of elven descent, judging from its bodily structure, but its face was hidden behind that hallowed helmet of death..
Varonus brandished his azure-blade once more, glaring at his assailant as the knight pulled its axe from the earth and made another charge at him; bolts of undeath flying from its body directly at the mage, scattering in the air to attempt to corner him and caught off his retreat.
However, adepts of the arcane are not to easily beaten and with a bright flash of violet light a glowing, humming shield appeared around Varonus's arm which he raised to block the oncoming death bolts. As the massive axe was brought into the air again the mage saw his opening, and decided on a risky move. Dashing forward, he ducked under the weapon's swing, grabbed the arm of the death knight, and pulled it and himself closer together while planting the palm of his sword-hand against the knight's chest. A great pulse reverberated around them as a blast of arcane energy shot forth from the mage's hand, sending the death knight flying back through the air and onto its back; metallic clanking was hear as its armor shifted about and its helmet rolled off its face.
Without wasting a moment Varonus raised a hand, and glowing, arcanic chains wrapped themselves around the death knight's arms and legs, holding him down to the ground; the knight struggled wordlessly against the magical hold.
Varonus's eyes narrowed once more as he run up to his downed opponent, raised his sword into the air and prepared to deliver the killing blow... before his eyes laid upon the face of the death knight.
His sword fell from his hand and to the rocky, frozen earth and the battle around him suddenly seemed to slow to a crawl as the eyes of the two elves met. Varonus felt confusion rise up within him, before quickly lapsing into deep sadness; his face turned a shade paler as he felt himself step back from the knight. His mind's focus fell away from him and the chains around his opponent shimmered in and out of existence.
With the arcane restrains weakened the undead knight found its opening. Pulling itself free from the ground and reaching for its weapon, it leapt to its feet and once again brought its great axe into the air. Varonus could only watch in disdain, his body refusing to move, as the terrifying weapon came down toward him.
"Huh!" the elf suddenly awoke with a start, cold sweat dripping down his face and his chest rising and falling with quick, panicked breaths. His vision was blurred slightly but above him he could see the brown covering of a tent, the same material surrounded him as he cast his weary gaze around him. It was at that moment that he felt a sharp pain sting his left arm and ribs, groaning as he turned his head slightly to see the many bandages surrounding part of his body.
Blinking only once, Varonus strained himself to sit up; his body stinging with every slight movement. After a moment he finally forced himself upright and looked around himself, around him were several bedspreads with a few druids and shamans attending to the occupants within them; some gravely wounded, others with bandages similar to his.
"Mnn.." he groaned again, his uninjured hand gripping his head as memories of the prior battle returned to him. The earth troggs had ambushed his party as they went to rescue the Stone Father.. then the earth under them sundered and sent them plummeting into a forest of poisonous mushrooms. The pain of his lungs stinging from inhaling the toxic spores returned to him; he let out a reflexive cough at the thought.. thankfully it seemed the damage done from the spores had been healed.
He couldn't remember when he had apparently passed out; the last thing he could clearly remember was being lifted from the forest and being brought to the night elf Sylvanora and her companions.. the rest was a muddy blur.
Shaking his head again, the elf saw his vision becoming clear again and he looked about the tent once more, trying to find a familiar face; the druids seemed busy enough with those who were in far worse condition then him; he thought it best not to bother them.
Edited by Varonus on 4/25/2012 4:17 AM PDT
(( Edit: Important. I have assumed a timeskip here, just, between hours and days it doesn't really have to be spoken. Just assume the critically wounded can at least recover to walking state if they want. ))
“How long do you think you can continue to employ such recklessness, how many lives can you sacrifice through idiotic leadership before you realize what you're doing?” attacked the sharp sneer cut across Agent Keys' face, she stood across a table with her arms thrust down into it like pillars and her aggressive condescension bearing down upon the Gnome Commander Spannershield with a fury. A fury that seemed to wash against her with the efficiency of a stream onto rocks, dispersing and flowing aside with no effect.
“I do what is necessary,” the Commander replied with her jaw set so hard on itself it threatened to break her teeth. As usual, blackish marks under her eyes gave away the depth of her exhaustion, yet her determined and stable stance worked to counter it. Her eyes had a hollowness to them now however, sunken, as if she was beyond the point where such lack of sleep was natural and it was showing.
“Necessary? Spannershield,” Keys snapped, “You have left nothing but death and ash in your wake, I have delayed my mission to kill you, for the sake of the world, but I am struggling to find reason to justify your actions. You are a danger to the world and it is well within my bounds of logic to kill you right now, you are losing your mind.”
“You wouldn't be able to form the conscious thought to take a step, before you're driving your own fist through your thick skull,” sang a new voice, one of grace and arrogance as the blackly-clad Virella traipsed in and waved her presence around. It brought a look of disgust to the sneer of the SI:7 agents lips, but Vimmi didn't seem to bat an eyelash as she peered over a few more maps and tapped her plated fingers along the stone table.
“If you were not surrounded by so many of your allies, Witch, I would scour your evil from this world in a heartbeat.” Keys spat, fighting the temptation to behead the cursed skeleton, yet her wisdom bested her zeal and she turned instead back to the Gnomish Commander. The woman had stood now, refusing to turn her back on the blood-stained necromancer that paced behind her. “The very fact that you consort with this monster, Spannershield, does not grant you much hope for redemption.”
“Redemption, pah!” the skeleton witch laughed in a loud mocking manner. “You misled moron, if you could bring to bear half the wit your status would imply, it would be evident to you that we are not seeking redemption. If we sought conformity to your insanity, we would remain mindlessly indulging in your slaughter while the world burned around our feet.” The skeleton was gasping ragged whispers of air through her stale maw as she kept her cold dead sockets fixed on the agent.
“Rich, for you to talk. I have witnessed those like you slaughter legions of innocents, you are foul and tainted and you should find refuge in your black magic for you will never find it here,” Keys of course, was no priest and was not condemning the use of necessary arts for necessary goals, her very outfit would be hypocrisy if that was what she implied. It was blood magic, and necromancy, and the abuse of the dead which sickened her. Virella reeked of moral slaughter.
“I need no refuge,” the witch sneered, “I need no redemption or comfort. I am the fear that crawls through your heart, so think twice before you implicate me, fawning lap-dog. I am a God, and there can be no atonement for a God, for one does not seek it. I am above and beyond your petty moral code, and standing of law.” The semi-woman interrupted her own stream of self-pleasuring babbling to raise a hand.
Keys and Vimmi had both felt it to, a faint tremor. Anyone experienced on the field of battle, who had spent a lot of time around portals or who could claim magic aptitude would understand it as the foreboding signal of magic. Keys started glancing around, it was a deep thrum, it was likely some spiritual magic that the shaman were employing. Vimmi grew paranoid, but did not stray for it was not yet a strong enough signal.
Virella however, turned as if probing the air for invisible signs. “Silence,” she hissed, “Even your breathing distracts me.”
Edited by Meep on 4/26/2012 5:29 AM PDT
It was without warning, as Virella traced her fingers over soft air near the entrance of the great temple, her eyes narrowed and immediately the world responded. With a mechanical grind like tearing metal, and an earthen rumble like ruptured earth, the air split open and another realm feel forward into the temple. It was only open for a split second, only a single Cultist fell through the hole before Virella slammed it shut like an opened door.
Like damaged glass, Virella fed bloody veins in towards the rip and the red substance spiraled out from the thin air, as if there was an invisible wall there when there was not. She scowled, and lunged for the cultist who was currently shouting in confusion. There was so little hesitation and so much brutality in her movements, it took the shortest moment to bring the man to his knees as she already had control of the life fluid that ran through his veins.
“Scream,” she whispered, an order, as he was her puppet he had no choice but obey.
“AIEEEEEEE!” a pathetic screeching of a man possessed rung through the temple, the perfect alarm for any who were resting or idle. He screamed until the heartless fingers around his heart let go, and his body slumped lifelessly to the floor. Virella growled, before clicking her fingers and watching the corpse explode into a torrent of blood, blood which she directed throughout the room. It seemed to form a river, which poured into random gaps in the air in an effort to quell them.
“If your feeble minds have failed to grasp,” she shouted, “We are under assault. Portals. Of course. The temporal distortion here is enough to destabilize the temple. I detect numerous-AH-” without warning she balked for a moment, almost stumbling in gracelessness as she thrust both her hands into the air again. With a scowl of disgust, “Clever...” she snapped, her voice quaking slightly. “They're using stabilized foundations for their portals, I'm not going to be able to close them quickly. I can only hold together this room, to prevent the ritual...”
“Virella!” Commander Spannershield snapped, already on the move with a recently acquired weapon drawn. “Succinct Version!”
Virella gave a succinct sigh, before pointing towards the rear of the temple. “I cannot block the portals in the rear chambers. Bad. Guys. That. Way.”
Vimmi slammed her plated fist into her shield, it was time, she had been waiting for the Twilight Forces to attack, but with their usual tactical knowledge (or lack thereof) she had expected a frontal assault, perhaps an army of ravenous fanatics charging sword first down a hill. “Borean Patrol!” she called, “Ambush from within! Protect the Pillar!”
With another concert of metallic churning and a deep earthly rumble, two new portals stabilized in the rear of the temple. Flush against walls, it was as if a mouth in the wall of the temple had torn open and now coughed out masses of twisted elementals and cultists. Great bound earth and fire elementals charged forward, with flaming armaments and boiling bodies, around them scurried under-clothed Twilight Fanatics, with whatever weapons they could grasp they lunged at any living thing that moved.
Only the center of the temple, the ritual, was untouched for the moment, a guard of Earthen Wardens were throwing up a makeshift barricade while others scrambled over towards the back of the temple, to fight off the invaders.
Explosions and the sounds of combat rocked him awake and suddenly Fenris found himself in the middle of a warzone again. He cursed as he realized that he didn't have his armor on and he got down on all fours as he transformed, a blood curdling howl roaring out of him that sent enemies nearby shrieking away in terror. He then jumped from empty space to empty spaces in the fighting areas until he found himself at the armorsmith who had taken up weapons and was fighting with a twilight cultist nearby.
Roaring, Fenris jumped on the cultist and tore out his neck, the human screaming before turning into a gurgling noise and then Fenris stood. Turning to the armorsmith, blood dripping down his muzzle and growling, "Where is my armor?!" And the armorsmith looked up in horror at the Worgen and pointed at a nice pristine pile of gear next to his stand, Fenris quickly started throwing the gear on, ignoring the sounds of battle everywhere as he got into his armor. Once he was fully armored he drew his twin-blades and went straight back into the fight, heading over to the left side of the Temple and crushing the cultists that tried to get through. He stood next to two shamans, one a diminutive goblin the other a Draenei and together they were like rocks against the tide.
"Fight on! Kill them all! Teach them what happens to those who stand against us!" Fenris howled in glee as he drove his twin-blades deep into a cultist and tore them out, shredding the human in two before turning and finding two more cultists in front of him.
It seemed the patrol would never get a break..
Varonus dashed into the inner sanctum of the temple with blade drawn and hood down, stopping to see an army of twilight cultists slowly pouring in through several portals; they were getting desperate it seemed, either that or extremely cocky. This was a stronghold that house both horde and alliance heroes; this could not be a simply attempt to retrieve the world pillar shards. This seemed like more of a distraction.. a diversion while the cultists acted in the shadows elsewhere.
However, the time for pondering would come later; diversion or not letting the cultists attack the temple would result in heavy losses for their side. The elf magus brandished his azure blade and charged past the lines of lightning-weaving shamans and druids and leapt through the air to engage with a twilight warlock.
The human warlock blinked and jumped back as the mage's blade crossed the air in front of him. Glaring to Varonus the dark caster extended a hand to the mage, "You must have a death wish to fight a harbinger of twilight on your own, elf." before that hand lifted slightly into the air, and a dark portal ripped itself open; a gateway to the twisting nether. Varonus's eyes beheld a massive felguard stomping its way out of the portal, before it let out a furious roar as a spiral of dark, ethereal chains surrounded it.
Varonus attempted to stop the summoning, charging to the warlock and taking another swing, however a blast of force sent him back and forcing him to catch himself, giving the warlock enough time to secure his control of the demon.
"Felguard! You now follow my command! Destroy this weak elf, and every shaman defender in this festering hole!" the warlock shouted to his new, demonic slave.
Letting out a loatheful growl, the felguard could only obey as it gripped its massive axe and lifted it above his head, swinging its furiously down to the mage who had become its venue for releasing its now blind rage at being held prisoner.
Varonus's eyes narrowed as he flashed away to avoid the strike, appearing above the felguard and letting gravity take him and his sword down; the sound of flesh rupturing and the pained gurgles of the demon before him confirmed that the elf's sword had pierced its throat.
Pulling himself off the corpse of the demon, he blinked away again to avoid a blast of felfire from the now enraged warlock. "Accursed, sin'dorei pest!" he shouted out before turning around frantically, attempting to spot the mage.
The human's eyes shot open a moment as he felt a great force impale him from behind, casting his gaze down to behold the aqua sword enwrapped in dark blue flames burning through his chest. The warlock's voice skipped and gurgled around what he attempted to say, before the mage behind him kicked the soon to be lifeless body off of his blade.
Varonus narrowed his eyes down to his defeated opponent; his eyes glowing menachingly below that dark hood, "Underestimating a mage will always lead to an early demise, warlock.." he spoke lowly before turning to charge back into battle, leaving the human to bleed out.
Varonus blinked his form through the battlefield until he appeared amongst the other heroes who had gathered in the temple, turning to Vimmi as he prepared to fight off the incoming waves.
"Commander, where is the dark ranger? I didn't see her on my way here." he spoke over the commotion, surprisingly calm as he turned his attention to the twilight cultists once more; launching a volley of arcanic bolts at several assailants whose attention was one others.
Lynara was walking through one of the back rooms swinging her glaive about and stretching her legs when something began to happen. There was shaking in the room then that is when she saw it, the arcane arts of portal magic began to tear into the fabric of reality. Gripping her blade Lynara prepared for whatever was coming through. “Come on.” She muttered, that is when a bound fire elemental rushed in. Her eyes widened as she drove to the left to get out of the elemental’s path. It kept raging forward, but Lynara was concentrated on the twilight Zealots that were now beginning to come through.
She met blades with one of the cultist and the pair began to duel each other, meeting one another blow for blow. “Ambush! We are under attack!” Lynara shouted as she plunged her blade into the cultist’s chest before ripping it out and slashing another cultist’s throat. She hoped it was just this room and they could manage to hold off the attack, but something was telling her that this was just the tip of the iceberg.
As Lynara danced the dance of death with the cultists that attacked her one who originally ran past decided to turn around and charge at Lynara from behind her. As he ran he suddenly stopped feeling two blades pierce into his chest. Coughing up blood his eyes began to grow dark as the form of Ragus Oakblade became visible. The cultist was speared upon his two hidden blades.
“Leafblade you get that portal I’ll get this one! We need to hold here as long as possible!”Ragus shouted as he drew his daggers and began darting from Cultist to Cultist, his poisoned daggers were becoming wet with cultist blood. It would seem for the time being that the pair had two portals locked down, that was until another Cultist came through. This human woman was wrapped in nearly skin tight purple leather with two eye holes and dark runes all over her body.
Shadowy flames began to form in her hands as she shot a bolt at the night elves. Lynara’s good eye widened as she tackled Ragus out of the way as best she could, the bolt impacted the wall behind them and exploded in a torrent of dark fire. “Thank you.” Ragus said as he looked the new woman up and down. “Ok if you think you can keep her distracted I can come up behind her and kill her.” Ragus said as he jumped to his feet, shooting powder all over a cultists face, causing his eyes to burn and his skin to turn red as he collapsed clenching his face.
Lynara picked up a discarded blade from one of the cultists an began to try and hold off two portals worth of cultists, quite a few were getting past her, and handling one portal was bad enough, bu now holding off two while a crazy twilight sorceress was throwing dark fire balls at her was even worse. She would not be able to hold them off much longer
That is when a zealot’s throat was cut and the scorcress was nearly beheaded by Ragus as he began to take on the cultists as they came right out of the portal. “There is no end to them, this is bad!” He said.
“We need to pull back, there are far too many of them!” Lynara responded. She was barely keeping up now, let along killing any.
“Agreed!” Ragus replied as the pair began to slowly move back until reinforcements in the form of elementals and shaman showed up to relive the two. They were given some much needed water and a few minor flesh wounds were healed and bound. “It is good to see that the shamans are holding out. We were beginning to worry.” Ragus said as he sat down. It did not feel good to be watching the fight and not be in it, but in their current state they would be of no real use.
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