Get the Desktop App for Battle.net Now
- All your games in 1 place
- Log in once
- Automatic game updates
[Ghostlands] Weeks Earlier...
Jorsca for a moment stood in silent awe of the immense iron gate that stood eternal watch between the ghostlands and the witch's dark estate. It moved, and the boy did not, it's heavy doors separating with the languid melancholy of a hanged man twisting on a moaning wind and the screech of unoiled joints. The young man's heart blinked, seizing as the squeal of grinding metal spoke to him, the gate's slow motion like the mouth of a deathbed whisper: this gate does not protect the estate from the ghostlands, it told him, this gate protects the mundane horrors of dying Quel'thalas from the truly creeping darkness of Ms. Bellamorte. As quickly as the moment had come, the insisting rush of reality overtook him, snapped back to attention by the hollow, rattling percussion of the cold-iron wall settling back to a flush bulwark of interlocking filigree. The icy splinters of fearful excitement prowled up the shadowy hills of his spine, sinking into the cavern of his mind, there coercing his arm forward enough to press his fingers against the unwelcoming metal portal. The rough burrs of the wrought iron bit into his hands mercilessly, and the amid the protest of the crying hinges, the massive B set between two doors split and he stepped from the comparative safety of the undead no-man's-land into the decaying memory of the family that built Synnaquin.
[Darkmoon Island] Months Earlier...
The burning grip of his southward facing eyes gave the young fortune teller a clear and predatory view of the island's main thoroughfare; the slow parade of insanity that was Azeroth's citizens, and Darkmoon's clientele. Reclined against the creaking wood of a generations old chair, within the shadowy embrace of his cozy black tent and wrapped in the antique coils of passed down finery the youth sat. While his eyes reached out into the milling crowd, he experienced the carnival for the first time through their easily read faces; the cruel inherited skill for picking suckers giving him an easy door into their heads. Through their smiles he tasted the warm sea bitten air as it mixed with the smokey caress of frying sausages, churning with the delicate clouds of spun sugar and the tangy yowl of spilled beer. As if for the first time he scuffed his shoes through the tilled dust of the promenade, the weight of gold in his pocket biting his leg at the passing of each stall until the scalding little disks could be happily exchanged for a moment of insignificant yet irrepressible delight. So transfixed he was, that he barely noticed the mournful shadow of a thin woman slipping between carriages and carts, the dagger point of her one good ear whipping around as her scarred face basked in the autumn glow of his tent's beckoning torch.
“Curious about the deeps of the occult, miss?” he smiled, his fingers thumbing across a fantastic dance of the faire's famous cards. Flashes of charm sparking glimpses of embers, “Step right up and have your fortune told.”
“It would be amusing to consider an orphan such as yourself able tell anyone's future,” she jabs him with a lustful smile, the rush of her words breaking over the waves that tumbled past his fingertips, “But I am interested to see what you say.”
“Have a seat my dear,” he bid with an offered hand, it's deck milling brother still cutting stones, “Your pretty scars tell me already that you are not my normal clientele. I will take my time... reading you.” he gave her half-lidded eyes another taste of his silvered smile, polished under an endless tide of faceless and curious seeking the soothsayer. No sooner has her delicate frame touched the opposing chair did the soft winds fall, his fingers blurring in a hurricane of motion. Each card falling to the woven red tablecloth with an earthquake of force, shaking it with the climax of each simple motion. His eyes blank and his mind in a trance the cards lifted from the deck with a volcanic force, not selected but guided by his hand to the tapestry of oracles, “You are plagued by something,”
“Yes, aren’t we all?” she chided with a skeptical tease. Her fingertip stretched up to the corner of her lip while the others tucked under the pale cut of her small chin, “For example, it's hard to deny the slow looks of longing that you cast outwards while you attempt to steal my gold. It tells me that you are hungry for something that you cannot have, but we're not here to read your fortune.”
“A knight that never rescued you.” he whispered as the card rockets to the table, his words rising like the bubble of a forgotten kettle, “Bound together by beautiful death. But you are pursued. A dark rider, blackness on an endless steed.” his words blurred together into a tsunami of painted truths, “You grip the world, he can't find you if you never let go. Don't let go.” he pleaded with her, his eyes focused on nothing as he touched her hand. Growing rigid and still in a repressed response, her pallor fell into a waxy mirror of her recognition.
“You are a fool. An amusing fool,” Her words curt, reflective of the stinging impact on the hearth of her never mended heart, “Your talent exceeds this place. It's a shame you will never pursue it.”
“A great distance spread when the blue knight sang his black song. He's foreign now, and locked between two face--” he began, never able to finish the offending prediction. The litany of arcane insight savagely cut by the smash of the woman's scarred hand upon the middle of the pile, scattering cards as easily as the slaughtered trance. Silent in the eye of her rage's storm, her miniscule pupils felt like augers into his newly awoken mind.
“If you ever realize your worth and leave this place, find me...” she hissed a dagger of promise into his pounding ears, her words slashing through the whimsey of the carnival's rediscovered company, “I will give you the power you deserve.” His jaw slack, the pure night of the trance replaced with the jarring vibrancy of the faire, Jorsca barely nodded in response. His understanding only bubbling to the surface as her hand pulled away from the graveyard of predictions to reveal a rectangle of black paper burdened with an address and a single word, 'Bellamorte'.
The damp walls of the deep northern cave shimmered, sparkling with the yellow echos of worthless torchlight. Jorsca breathed deeply, trying to focus his eyes past the orange ball of liquid fire that danced through the cave's darkness a forearm's length from his tightly clenched fist, but the earth here was covetous of her mystery and the night that wrapped around him was a hungry ink. It swallowed every leap of the fire, coiling up around his torso like the colds hands of a dead lover.
“This is my workshop.” an increasingly familiar voice stroked the point of his ear from the haunted yards ahead, where he knew she walked unhindered by the a clumsy beacon of a torch. He began to wonder if this darkness really was swallowing the light, that it was all to keep him 'in the dark'. The apprentice tried not to laugh at his own joke as Synnaquin's voice once again rose from the black, “It's... home.” She smiled, and at once the young man realized that he could see her thin lips curl up into her pale cheek. The musky darkness had drained away more quickly than it had set in, the true dimensions of the haven growing to nearly twice the size he'd dared to guess. From the rocky floor around him great spires rose up toward the hanging earthen teeth that threatened him with vertigo, the entire stone cathedral seeming to rise up around her.
The whole of it seemed like the maw of a whale shark, from his grandmother's story books, carved from the living rock simply to be her stage. Synnaquin moved and he followed, the black curtain of her robes dusting the naked rock at the exhale of each wide-step. Her stride was long and elegant, as if her simply moving from one end to the other were the transition of a ballroom dance. Jorsca could only stare as her arms raised above her head to stroke a tiny purple gem he struggled to see through the cavern's trickster shadows. He knew immediately what the thing was, so gingerly hung from a flashing embersilk thread; a soul stone. Her fingertips wrapped around it, and another, gently squeezing them like young g!!@#s on a vine, and when she spoke to him now she sang, “These, these are slices of friends I ripped open. Little baubles of payment for putting my fingerprints on their souls.” she sighed, her sensual motion crashing into a rigid stare of utter promise, “Touch them and there will not be enough of you left for your vagabond grandmother to wail over.” Jorsca nodded abruptly, his eye only briefly drawn to the image of a face slithering across the dark purple crystal.
“Who is that?” he asked, steeling his voice to show no fear of her entirely legitimate threat. Her face softened, turning back to the sphere as it rolled from her palm to swing slowly before her broken alabaster mask of her placid face,
“My love, Jericho.” she pushed the name from her mouth as if the noise burned her tongue. She paused to breath, pulling another living gem toward her basking face by the point of a crooked finger. So much like a great spider she seemed here, the pluck of a silk chord between her and the company of her helpless prey.
“And that?” Jorsca asked, his eyes flashing with the sudden realization that each swinging orb of reflected light beyond the reach of his fire was another stone.
“This dark one, with the shard missing.” she tilted her head as if to feel a hand across her thin cheek, “...Iloam.”
“These are all...” her apprentice whispered in a perverse shadow of awe overlapping disgust in the presence of her stolen menagerie.
“My family.” she hissed.
Edited by Jorsca on 5/9/2012 7:03 PM PDT
Threats of violence. We take these seriously and will alert the proper authorities.
Posts containing personal information about other players. This includes physical addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and inappropriate photos and/or videos.
Harassing or discriminatory language. This will not be tolerated.