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"My name is M-Maj. W-who..?" the voice sounded feminine, obviously frightened. Arelius recognized the accent at once to be of human origin. One of the things about being a mage in Dalaran was that you worked with almost every race, and humans were amoung those he worked with.
Obviously not threatening. Perhaps a valuable ally? She was in the same predicament as himself after all. He needed to start thinking with his mind.
"Maj, there is no need to be afraid of me. My name is Arelius, from the magi of Dalaran. I was on my way to the new island in the mist, but I got into a fight with the wrong people. I was knocked unconscious and when I came to, I was abroad this ship, like you. Where are you from Maj? What happened to you? Wherever they are taking us, it won't be pretty. I don't plan on staying there for long, and having an ally or even a friend will make it easier to get away from this place."
He could hear the chains starting to move. They were moving, out onto the deck. At least they would be getting out of the dark where he could see what the hell was going on around here.
Edited by Delonn on 12/3/2012 1:54 PM PST
Warily, she parted her fingers peeking out between them to peer at the deck they stood on --was that an Orc?! Immediately her fingers closed and she made a strangled sound of fear.
"...S-stormwind. I was waiting for my sister's arrival at t-the Harbor. I was bored and l-looking around w-when I saw the p-pirates, they were carrying a man towards their ship...I went to get the Harbor Guards, but....they saw me... I tripped...and...my sister's g-going to kill everyone when she f-finds out---"
Hailla and Sorsim both laughed silently at Adrian's indignant protestation of innocence: such a line seemed to be pro forma in situations like this. They continued listening as their fellow captives introduced themselves as an ex-sergeant and a Death Knight of the Ebon Blade. Sorsim turned his head around and raised a hairless eyebrow at Hailla, which she responded to with a wordless shrug. The Servant turned back around and continued listening.
"What brings you around these parts?" they both concluded in unison. Hailla gave a world-weary laugh.
“Where to begin?” she rhetorically asked. “Well, nice to meet you, Adrian and Octavian. I was actually a noncom myself: I came up through the ranks. Anyway, I got transferred to the special-ops branch of the Blood Crows after a contract went south a couple years back: Seventh Legion wiped out a lot of the platoon, but most of us managed to make it out alive. I've been working with Chan Sorsim,” she gestured ahead to the black-cloaked man, “for as long as I've been in special-ops. So a couple of months back, higher got a contract on a certain weapons smuggler that had upset some of the wrong people. Of course Sorsim and I get sent to track down the troll right after coming off of a really difficult mission, and we wind up tracking him to some Light-forsaken hole-in-the-wall in Ratchet.
“And then,” she continued, lifting her hands to make a strangling gesture in air. “we find out that he had just skipped town to avoid paying some debts to a loan shark. My partner and I started asking around the tavern, buying a few drinks and such, and just tried to see if there was anyone that knew where he had gotten to. After that, it starts to get blurry and we find ourselves on a ship with some... truly delightful company and no idea where we're headed or why we're here. Haven't had a hangover and sh*t up to here like this since the day after basic.” O'Keere started to go on, but Sorsim held up a hand and the lieutenant fell silent. The Servant leaned his head out and turned it to get his first good look at the duo from the concealing shadows provided by his hood. After a second of intense study, the black hood settled on Dristis.
“For the foreseeable future, Adrian and Dristis Octavian, I propose that we not do anything to upset the guards. Patience, after all, is a virtue, and should we not endeavor to be as virtuous as possible?” He finished the sentence with the wry sing-song of a person repeating an oft-heard quote.
Haewen Vennas had had enough of this. She had stood silent in the back as everything had unfolded, and now she was angry. She didn't believe the pirate captain's story about selling them off, what was the point of that? She figured there had to be a million lies told. Turning to one of the nearby pirates, she complained in her rough and distinct Gilnean accent, "You should hardly expect me to believe you're just selling us off. Wouldn't it have been simpler to have just killed us and taken our items of value in the first place instead of dragging us all the way here? There is a flawed logic here. I don't know if it's insanity or idiocy. If you're going to kill us, just get on with it already!"
Haewen had already determined that this was not a smart move. She was chained, which held back her limbs. The druid was missing the staff she normally wore on her back. The Gilnean couldn't shift into her worgen form in the confinement of the chains, she had already tried. She must have shifted forms after she'd gone unconcious. And her humain form was a little strong, but she was only 5'1". It was clearly not the best course of action, and Haewen knew it. But she also didn't believe anything, there had to be more to this than met the eye. The druid was far from stupid.
Since sjhe wasn't stupid, she knew the pirate was likely to strike her, so she braced herself for the blow, but she fixed her eyes on the pirate, determined to watch him as he hit her. Horde, Alliance, Neutral, trustworthy or not, she wanted anyone who heard her to know that she wasn't afraid of these pirates. Many things she may be, but she was not a coward.
It was a dark and warm night in the Dustwallow Marsh as the Grimtotem Clan had been celebrating some sort of festivity that was unknown to John. He was scrunched up real cramped inside of a tiny metal cage. He couldn't move a single muscle, and the position he was in… it was just humiliating. If that wasn't bad enough, some of the tauren had thought it would be funny to torment the poor mage further with wooden pikes or the rattling of cages. It was misery, but that's what you get for getting caught sneaking around camps with people larger and more muscular than you. He'd blast straight out of that cage if it weren't for the magic-suppressing cuffs around his wrists.
"I bet you think this is funny…" John said to the large, black tauren, probing John's side with a stick, torturing him. The pain wasn't bad, but the fact that he couldn't move at all from the impact on his sensitive side was purely uncomfortable for him. "Man… I'd bet you'd make a nice steak… if it weren't for these cuffs, I'd get straight to cooking…" He said with a grin before the bull man snorted and knocked the cage right over, clearly offended. John landed on his side with a grunt, eyes held together as he waited for the pain to subside. "Yeah… walk away… bastard…"
With a sigh, John peeked outside of his cage. He saw nothing but damp pools and darkness, maybe the occasional shift of wildlife in the back, but that was it. He wondered how long he was going to stay in this cage or what they planned on doing with him. Starvation? Execution? Pet mage? All of it was a mystery and John really just wanted out now. Slowly, sleep would creep up on him and the world around him turned black.
About an hour later, John had been woken up due to someone shaking the cage. "God… go bother someone else for once…" His half cautious mind growled out before he opened his eyes to a rather young looking human boy, no older than fourteen. He had pale skin, matted with dirt, seeming to match the rags he wore over his body "What're you doing here? You're going to get hurt." John said to the boy, fluttering his eyes a bit in attempt to clear out his vision. "I ain't the one in a cage, mister. Do you have any food? My mum was killed by the Horde in Theramore." John rolled his eyes. While he felt bad for the kid, he clearly seemed to ignore the fact that he was in a cage. "Strange place to be begging, kid…" He asked before quickly shaking his head, not caring so much any more. "Look, if you can get me the keys to these cuffs, all the silvers in my pockets are yours." The boy nodded eagerly, wandering off quickly into one of the nearby tents.
After about ten minutes, the child had returned with a single key and waved it in front of John's face. "The silvers…" The boy said with a smirk before a sighing John motioned with his head. "First pouch on the left." John, watching the boy quickly snatch the pouch, peaking into it then dropping the key into John's hand and bolting out of the tent. Quickly John grabbed the key, and with a little struggle, managed to unlock the rune-covered binds, instantly dropping to the floor with a thud. John wiggled his free (yet bruised) wrists around, greatly enjoying the use of his hands once more.
It seemed that as soon as his cuffs had been removed, a tauren had returned to tease John once more. The same one, in fact, as before and this time, with a friend! There was a snug grin on the faces of the bulls as they approached the cage, ready for torture. It seems they did not notice that the cuffs were no longer locking John's hands and magic and they were about to regret it…
"Magic's back on!" He called out to them before an explosive force of violet had shattered the cage into bits and sent the tauren flying backwards onto the ground. The first thing John did when he was out of that cage was stretch. Man, did that feel great! He almost got lost in it that he had nearly forgotten that he was still in a hostile environment. The two tauren got up from their daze and charged at John with rage! Quickly, John blasted one of the tauren with a small bolt of purple magic, causing him to crash into support that held up the tent. As soon as this happened, the tent came crashing down and John was sure to make sure he wasn't underneath of it when it started to turn into a blaze of fire due to the pit inside. This was sure to have catch the attention of the tribe and now John needed an escape plan…
It seemed that the entire tribe's eyes were on the cloaked mage as the tent behind him started to burn. John wasted no time making a get away, sprinting to the entrance of the village. John easily outran the tribe that tried to chase after him and they quickly gave up. He grinned, turning to the exit with the thought of being home free, but it wasn't over yet. Blocking the way to exit was a large, hulking tauren, bigger than any other tauren he has seen in his life. He cracked his knuckles and motioned his head back from where John came, offering him a surrender or beat down. John quickly came to a halt and began to back up slowly away from the man. In an instant, a bolt of blue magic had shot from John's finger tips and hit the chest of the bull and in a 'poof' the shape of this hulking man had been reduced to a small, defenseless sheep, trapped on its back. With that out of the way, John jumped over the sheep and made his way to the beach.
John finally made it to the sandy strand that was the northern coast of Dustwallow Marsh. Unlike the sandy, tropical beaches in Stranglethorn, this one was dark, ugly, and scary at night. It also probably had a lot of sharks. However, John needed to somehow get back to Ratchet… somehow… All of his questions seemed to have been answered when a large pillar of smoke rose from a isle off the broken coast. From John's position, it looked like a gang of thugs had been camping out there for the night, laughing and sharing a beer or two around the fire. There must be a boat somewhere that John could use.
John shifted through the shallow water over to the shore of the isle. He crouched down low to the sand, moving in the shadows as he circled the island, hoping to run into a sail boat or anything that floated really. Luckily, there was a small sail boat anchored nearby, all ready to sail. But there was just one problem… someone was already trying to steal it! Quickly and quietly, John darted over to the makeshift dock and upon closer inspection, it was the boy who had saved him from earlier! And he seemed to be in a hurry. "Well… you seem to have things all wrapped up don’t you… a boat and all my coin…" John said to the child before turning to him with a wicked grin. "Ah, just in time… you really are quite the find… I'd know, I've been watching you for sometime now." His voice was much deeper and it certainly didn't seem like it was coming from him, and yet, it was. "Puberty really does sneak up on you over night…" John mumbled before glancing at the man again. He didn't know how he didn't see it before. The boy was actually just an illusion! His shape began to shift horrendously as with most shape changing spells until he was in the form of a lithe, swashbuckler of a man. "Alright boys! Let's get him on the ship!" Instantly, John raised his hands, ready to fight, but it was too late as he was smacked in the back of the head with a blunt object and the world around him faded.
"…and that's how I ended up here! Pretty neat story, huh?" The gray cloaked man turned to the woman who was also chained to the wall beside him, but she seemed to have been put fast asleep. With a sigh, John looked away from her and grumbled. "That's good. I was getting tired of you rambling on about your story…" John looked at his cuffs, sighing. "So much for freedom…" He said, looking around the cramped "living quarters" that was below the deck. The ship was dark and crowded. He really didn't like being chained near other people. He'd rather have been put in a cell where he could wander aimlessly and plot his escape. Here, it was too loud for him to even hear himself think! Eventually, John felt sleep creeping up on him once more and he drifted off.
John quickly looked up to the ceiling from which the voice was produced, awake and groggy. It seemed they had landed… where ever they may be. Suddenly, the guards began to remove them from the wall and lead them up the stairs, during which, John watched a sassy dwarf not too far ahead mouth off a few guards. Where ever they were, John was about to get a glimpse at it soon, as he marched up the stairs onto the deck.
"Well, we are going to get out of here together, Maj." he said, winking. It was obvious if he put on a confident face perhaps he could get her to calm down for a little bit. "You'll meet your sister soon enough."
As he walked out into the light, he could really see just how young the human was. She had to be 16 at the most.
" No wonder she is scared" thought Arelius. "She isn't even considered an adult yet by most humans culture." As he took a look at around, he could see that there were many more captive, all chained together in a line. At the tail end stood Arelius, then Maj, and then ahead of them were all sorts of beings. They all had uniqueness to them. There might be a time that he would have to work with all of them or face death. And death was not an option for Arelius....
Everything was black. The hum of muffled voices and the movement of the shifting ship still wouldn't go away, no matter how hard Annalin tried. She finally reopened her closed eyes, a glare forming on her face, inspecting everyone and everything around her.
Humans, Elves, Dwarves, what-have-you, all in chains connected to the wall, including herself. There was absolutely nothing positive about this. Her weapons had been taken away from her, where they were she did not know. How they were taken away, she didn't remember. All she remembered was being in Ratchet, working on an engineering project on the docks for some goblin, then being ambushed. She had fought, fought hard and well in her opinion, she was just outnumbered. One of the attackers had ended up whacking her in the back of the head. It was all over from there.
Annalin scowled at her foolishness. How was that she could let one little, idiotic mistake have her captured? Now she was on some ship in the middle of some ocean and was being taken to who knew where! She tried craning and moving her neck, but the metal collar around her made that nearly impossible. If only she had a tiny little pick, just one, but the guards had even found that in her boot. They had even tried taking off her mechanical hand, afraid it would be a weapon of some sort. The struggle they had with that was amusing; she had made it so it would never fall off like her old hand had.
There was a guard beside her right now, watching her just in case her hand did come in handy. Oh how Annalin now regretted not doing anything to it, not adding any hidden daggers within the fingers, or poison in the palms. If she had done that, maybe she wouldn't be in this mess.
Suddenly footsteps were heard, Annalin picking her head up and watching for the entrance, seeing a man with a faded coat on, picking up a spittoon and rapier, clanging them together to get attention. Annalin's glare returned in an instant, her lips nearly a straight line.
"Alright, we've reached our destination. Soon, you are all going to be transported from my ship and onto solid ground. From there, you're not my problem any more. So good luck to you."
Annalin mustered up as much saliva as she could, which wasn't much, and spit in the man's direction. It didn't go too far, the guards yanking her around and connecting her to some long chain in the middle of her spitting. It had barely reached an arm's length away. Once she was chained to whatever beings were surrounding her, they all began to move up onto the deck. She felt the chain wiggle back and forth, the dwarf in front of her wriggling about, causing a ruckus and trying to strike fear into the guards.
Annalin curled her lips, stomping a foot. "Oh Light, help! If this damned dwarf is going to be in front of me, complaining the whole time, I'll choke her myself with these damned chains!" Annalin shouted, sneering at the woman. All these voices around her were too screechy, too frightened, too defiant. Her own voice was as well, but she was too oblivious to that reality.
The ship rocked slightly as they approached the land, Lilli was so groggy she could not have spoken a word. Her head spun and she could feel the demonic magic inside of her was dampened. It was almost a relief to be out from the control of the demon inside of her. She could control it most of the time by feeding it with the souls she collected. The dampening effect seemed to have caused the demon to become dormant.
Lilli looked around in surprise, she was chained to a wall in what was obviously a ship. SHe could smell the salt tang and the odor of fish and unwashed bodies. The various voices she heard seemed to come from a variety of folk. She moved and tried to ease the cramp of her limbs in the confined space. Off in a corner, she happened to find herself next to a body. Some poor wretch did not survive the trip.
What little she could remember seemed to be a foggy impression of a meeting with a goblin in Booty Bay. He had been offering her a fortune for her latest batch of potions. They were quite proficient and earned her a good amount of gold. As she concluded her business and turned to go out the door, he sapped her so hard she lost conciousness. The general rule of no demons out in Booty Bay had left her fairly defenceless.
She was able to use her hands to rub her head where the rogue had hit her. It had taken them only moments to tie and gag her. Some kind of shackles were on her wrists to shut off her use of magic. Only being able to glare at them with her fel green eyes, they had laughed as the burly human sailor had slung her over his shoulder and packed her off to the waiting ship. Her demon crazed eyes were too much for them, and she had the misfortune to be then injected with a drug that knocked her out cold.
The Captain of the ship came down and made his announcement, and they were soon being shuffled onto the deck. The guards had seemed wary around her and she smirked as they made sure to gag her. "Ain't taking no chances with this one...she talks in her sleep...sounded demonic to me.."
The gag prevented her from speaking at all, but not from looking from one to another of her fellow prisoners. She noted mostly humans, with some death knights and a dwarf. A sindorei mage was there as well and she noted his name, he did not look her way, he seemed to be helping a very young girl. Lilli shuffled along with the rest until they came on deck. The fresh air seemed a welcome thing to most, to her it did not matter. She did not recognise this place at all. The island, as it appeared to be, was shrouded in mist.
"...I just hope she doesn't kill everybody..." Maj murmured softly, shuddering again. Taking an unsteady breath, she lowered her hands from her face to grip the collar around her neck; it was chaffing and with the combination of her lack of height and her klutz-prone nature, that made it all the worse.
Reluctantly opening her eyes, she peered at their surroundings - Oh Light, was that really an Orc up ahead on the chain? And right there, was that a Forsaken? - and her eyes settled on the misty island they had arrived at.
Drughs dreams were clouded and full of terrors from the war in the north.
On the roof of the world he and his brothers fought against the horrors of the lich king. They were outnumbered, they were battered but they would never allow this to dishonor themselves or the horde. The exhausted company stood alone. The argents whom they fought with had been overrun, their lifeless bodies now adding to the unending tide of darkness before them. With a lusty battle cry drugh rallied his brother, “Lok tar Ogar brothers, we shall not fall in vain beore this endless tide, we shall live on in the songs of our people!” Raising his hammer into the air, the young warrior charged at the head of the column.
His nightmare was abruptly ended when the boat he was prisoner on bucked sharply slamming his head forcefully into a sturdy oaken support beam. For the thousandth time since this journey had begun, the young warrior strained against the heavy chains that bound him, and for the thousandth time all he earned was a sore shoulder. He was not alone in captivity however; mortals of all races and dispositions lay bound in the darkness of the hold. Some struggled, some sat in despair, and at all times the where closely watched by the armed sailors. He knew defiance would gain him nothing but a more severely damaged body. Glancing down at his leg he grunted as he saw blood dripping from the poorly bound leg wound.
He had been content inside the goblin port city of ratchet. He was set to board a passenger barge to return to orgimar in the morning, returning from his most recent patrol of the southern barrens. IT had been quiet, the burned out shell of bael moden lay quite, a constant blight upon the scenic landscape. Soon it would be torn down, rebuilt and pressed into the glorious service of the horde, but for now it was just a shadow of its former glory.
Quietly he sat at the bar, a mug of mead firmly clenched in his hand. Across the bar from him, a group of humans drank and reveled in the services of the pirate city. Why goblins or for that matter the might of the horde allowed such vermin to be so close to the heart land of the horde, he could not guess, but he knew he had not the authority nor the strength of arm to remove them. The goblin held their own authority of the port city, he had seen a few of his brothers try the might of the bruisers, and be overwhelmed. The only reward for their defiance, a severe beating.
Their presence was like a itch he could not scratch, a high pitched squeal that could not be quieted, after another round of hoarse laughter the warrior had had enough. The grip on his mug proved to much its small wooden frame and shattered in the large orcs hand. As the sticky mead spilled over his splinter ridden hand, Drugh bellowed a series of orcish curses that would have made the most weather beaten sea dog flinch. With a look that could have cut steel the orc gazed malevolently at the 5 some of human dogs as he exited the small tavern. The fresh breeze did little to salve his mind or the minor wounds on his hand, however it carried the sounds of footsteps too the young warriors ears.
Whirling around he whipped out his two handed hammer and found himself staring down the five men from the bar, without a bruiser in sight. A feral grin spread across his features as the thought of leaving these five whelps battered and broken, and going unpunished by the authority’s danced in front of his mind’s eye. He would have to be swift. Without his customary war cry the orc warrior charged forward, his small powerful frame sidewinding up the slight incline at the foolish menagerie. Too their credit they didn’t stand idle as he move but fanned out into a loose semi-circle, it mattered not to drugh, whipping his hammer around, the warrior swung the rune side of the hammer down towards the knee of the first man. The swing connected squarely, a sickening crack of steel on bone was music to the orcs ears.
Edited by Jeramayan on 12/3/2012 4:56 PM PST
His opponent incapacitated, he moved onto to the next. By this time however he was being engaged by three of the men at once, and was doing all in his power to parry their wild thrusts. Slowly he was pushed backwards, blows began to land with more consistency, but bounce in effectually off his red and black armor. As his mind raced, a sickening thought came to the forefront of his mind, where was the fourth man? The answer came swiftly. A loud crack echoed through the night followed swiftly by a sharp pain in his right knee causing it too buckle and collapse. As the three combatants started to wail n the warriors body, with fists and boots, his eyes found the four assailant, a pistol smoking in his hand. As he started to slip into unconsciousness, the young warrior thought, what an undignified to loose, a coward wielding a cowards weapon.
The captain came down ordering the prisoners to be brought to the deck. Any thought of escape were quickly squashed as the cold steel of a pistol was pressed to the base of his neck. In his ear, a silky smooth human voice whispered, “I do apologize for the knee, however I found it poetic justice.” As he was hauled to his feet and forced to hobble forward on his wounded limb, he remained silent he would not give the bastard the joy of a response. Clearly satisfied with the one jab his jailor forced him fourth into the light, dazing him momentarily as his eyes adjusted to the new scenery.
The captain spoke, but he did not listen. As his eyes adjusted he looked for an avenue of escape, dominating his view was an island surrounded by heavy fog. He could see dense vegetation as far inland as he looked. That is where he would have to make his escape, he would jump ship if they unbound him, and then he would regroup.
Idly he glanced at the other prisoners searching for a brother or sister of the horde, whom he could gain assistance from. The more he could gather the longer he would be able to survive in the unknown of this island,
Dalfein was growing bored, when was the last time he had satiated the bloodlust that his kind suffered from, about four days I think, he thought to himself. It was nearing time for him to satiate it again, a time he loathed, fortunately if he found battle before the bloodlust took over everything would be peachy, not only for him, but everyone else on this ship. "I hope we land soon I am excited to get this adventure underway, how about the rest of you," looking around at the angry, or in the young girl's case frightened faces made the Death Knight sigh. "Guess I am the only looking forward to this, oh well this is a whole sight better than wasting away in Stormwind waiting for the Ebon Blade to approve my request to go to Pandaria, at least I will have a good story to tell Sam when I see the cat again." Turning his head towards the captain he said, "Excuse me, captain will we be getting our equipment back, you see I am quite attached to those weapons I went through great pains having them made. I would hate to have to come hunt you down for something so petty as retrieving material belongings, makes me look like the bad guy."
The Death Knight wasn't too interested in the rest of the captives though the young priestess being here worried him, and he couldn't vouch for his fellow Death Knights. Were they the merciless killing machines everyone made them out to be, or were they more like him, he couldn't read their minds so he didn't know. From what he could tell everyone here, excluding the young girl were accomplished warriors in their respective fields, what madman would want to anger so many dangerous people at the same time.
It was definitely not what she had expected to happen today... As she stroked the soft hair of her fox, she mulled over just what had gone wrong...
She had been training the young kit how to time himself to land an attack as her arrow sank into her target. Silver was clever, that was for sure, but his long legs made his strides clumsy. She retrieved the arrow she had just fired into a tree, and was walking back when she heard the kit growling at something. She smirked and glanced back, the silver little fox was in full-on attack mode, crouched, tiny sharp fangs bared, and ears flat against his skull. What exactly had brought it on, she couldn't tell. "Get it," she muttered in Draenei. Silver crept forward, placing each black paw carefully onto the dry grass of Westfall, and then, suddenly, took off running.
The huntress laughed and collected her arrows rather slowly, not worried about Silver just yet. As she was picking up an arrow, a loud, high-pitched yipe erupted from the trees nearby. She was sprinting to the sound, not bothering to be silent. If something had hurt her new kit...
And then it all went wrong... The fox was dangling upside-down in a tree by a slender back leg, swinging to try to get free. As she came near, she felt a sort of sting in her side, then her neck. She had just untied her companion when her vision began to blur, and she felt dizzy. Desperately, she grasped at the pendant around her neck, a likeness of her red-eyed cat dangling from a long leather string. But as soon as she found it, her vision failed, and she couldn't recall anything. She heard her fox growling and almost... Screaming. The sound nearly woke her, and she felt another sting in her arm. The sound of her companion faded away.
Next she knew, she was awake on the ship, Silver curled up in her lap, and something around her neck. She stroked the fox habitually, and slowly let her eyes adjust, taking in the sight of all of the other captives. "Sil," she whispered, drawing the fox's attention. "Sil, stand." The fox lazily stood, and she checked over his body for wounds. Though she couldn't see any sort of wound, he seemed to keep his weight off of one of his back legs. She ran her hand carefully along the bones, finding no break. Satisfied he was simply being over-dramatic, she welcomed him back into her lap, and watched the other captives.
Soon, the harsh sound of metal against metal rang in her ears, and she looked over. A man was speaking, though she didn't care to listen really. She idly fingered the pendants around her neck, and found them missing. She growled and searched around her as a guard came. He unchained her from the wall and, despite a swift kick in the shin from her hoof, linked her to the prisoner in front of her, and her fox was kept behind her. "Where are my pets," she growled. A tiny hand signal sent Silver growling loudly, and snapping his jaws at the guard's legs, who had just moved out of reach. She huffed as she was led away, and Sil stopped his 'attack' as he followed the huntress.
She stayed quiet, watching every little detail as she was led above the ship. She squinted in the light, and stared silently at the island.
A loud shifting and crunching noise accompanied by a severe jolting of the ship nearly threw Gareth off his feet. He immediately knew what the dreaded sounds meant: the ship had run aground on the sandy bottom of the bay. “Gripper!" he barked, enraged.
“The fog Cap... I couldn't see how close we was...” the unhappy helmsman replied.
Gareth ran his palm down his face, scenarios whirling in his head as Setra looked on with concern. “I was going to tell them I'm out of this deal, but now we can't leave till high tide,” Gareth muttered to Setra.
“That's hours away,” she replied, chewing on her thumbnail nervously. “What if they don't... take kindly to us refusing to bring them more people? We honestly don't know how many people or weapons they have...”
“I know, I know...” Gareth replied. In the end, he decided that all they could do was continue with the original plan. Inwardly he cursed Gripper, but he knew the blame lay on himself for entering into an agreement with people he had no knowledge of. Even as he brooded, Setra plucked at his sleeve and pointed to the shore, where a single-file line of heavily cloaked people were winding their way from the trees and to the beach. He shook the doubts from his head, it was too late to dwell on them.
At his command, a plank was balanced on the side of the ship, creating a steep but serviceable pathway to the beach. Gareth walked down first and headed toward the “welcome committee.” Behind him came Setra, and behind them came the chain of captives. Wearing a mask of false bravado, Gareth waved to the group that was gathering on the grassy side of the beach. “Hello there! Have I got a shipment for you! The best one yet, in my professional opinion,” Gareth said, gesturing to the chain of captives.
The silent group surveyed the captives, then one who was apparently the leader walked toward the captives. He pushed his hood back to get a better look at the assembled captives, revealing himself to be a gaunt human, his black hair sprinkled with gray. His cold eyes surveyed the group as he sized them all up. He nodded in approval at the power of the death knights, shrugged indifferently at a couple elves. He reached Lia and grabbed her chin in his hand, turning her face this way and that as he looked her over, almost like a man appraising a horse he was about to buy.
Abruptly he released her and stepped back. Turning toward Gareth he spoke in a clear voice. “Not bad, but I can tell this lot has too much spunk for the boss's liking. It will be a pain to break their spirits, but its nothing I haven't done before. The usual payment will be delivered to your ship shortly. I look forward to our next meeting.” He made a hand gesture, and the rest of his group moved into position around the captives, ready to escort them to their destination.
Gareth cleared his throat and replied, “Actually, this will be the last shipment. From me anyways. I'll pass on your generous offer to some colleagues of mine who I'm sure will take up my work happily.” The leader of the group stared at Gareth, who unflinchingly returned his gaze. The contest of wills lasted only a few tense seconds before the island man broke into a friendly smile.
“Of course you're free to leave whenever you wish. But why break our generous contract? Come with me, I think I can convince you to stay with the winning side, if only you see what we have been working on here. You're not going anywhere for a few hours at least,” he ended with a slightly mocking tone, gesturing to the grounded ship.
Gareth mulled it over for a bare second, before realizing that keeping up the guise of friendliness with these mysterious people would keep himself safer in the long run. He nodded and turned to his crew.
“Be ready to sail at high tide, Setra and I are going with these men. We'll be back soon.”
And so the captives were hurried along, still chained to one another. At the head of the line, Gareth walked with the leader ahead of him, and Setra a bit behind.
“You're an intelligent man, Captain Southwind. I could tell when I first met you, or else I wouldn't have contracted you as such an important part of my master's plans. So I don't doubt you'll have no trouble understanding our situation and how necessary your help was. We found this island, uncharted and unnoticed, completely by accident. We were searching for a place such as this, and to stumble upon this island as we did... it was a one in a million chance, and we took this place for ourselves. Our boss said it was meant to be. But he, and we, are not content to sit on an island and farm or hunt until we grow gray and die unknown and unnoticed.”
“He has a grand plan, one that you may know fully in time. But it will be time before we are ready to show ourselves. Before we can, we must be a force to be reckoned with, and we need many hardy slaves to build for us an armada, a secure fortress, weapons, and many other things. We can't be impatient, we can't show ourselves early. We must be ready, and when we are, we shall swoop out along the seas, and no one shall be able to stand between us and complete dominion of the seas.”
Gareth liked what he heard less and less. Was this man and everyone else on the island completely delusional? They thought they had to power to stand against the Alliance and Horde navies, the goblin cartels, and the various pirate gangs that all roamed the seas? If these people were as crazy as they sounded, he was right to get out, the sooner the better.
As he talked the man had been leading them up toward the top of one of the bluffs facing the sea. They were above most of the rest of the island and the man gestured for them to turn around. “See what my leader has done in a few short years!” he said with his eyes shining.
In a valley near the center of the island, a fortress stood half-finished. The small figures of slaves labored along the scaffolding erected near the main building. A large village stood nearby, within the fortress walls, but whether it was for members of the ruling group here or for slaves couldn't be determined. Rock was being hauled from a quarry farther from sight, and along the sea-facing cliffs, enormous cannons were stationed and manned.
“We have worked diligently, but we could have not done so without your help, Captain. And you will continue to help us,” the man said, gesturing toward the seaward side of the cliff. Gareth followed the man's gaze to see his own ship far below, and bobbing about her in the shallows were what appeared to be...
“NO!” Gareth yelled, as he saw about half of his crew being chained up, while the other half lay dead at the hands of the same men that had walked down to the beach earlier.
He whirled on their guide, his hand reaching for the rapier at his waist. Several guns were leveled at him, and he slowly let his hand drop.
“You will continue to help us, Mr. Southwind. Though since you find our generous offer of slave-procurer to be tiresome, you will work as one of our slaves. And we will take your ship and hunt new blood ourselves. Welcome to your new home.”
With that, Gareth and Setra were both disarmed and chained to the end of the line, then forced toward the settlement along with the other captives. After a short march, they entered the fortress walls, and one by one they were unchained, then forced into a deep square-shaped pit. Once they were all inside, a lid made of criss-crossing sturdy metal beams clanged shut. They were all now in “The Pit”. It was a dirty hole that was used to weaken new slaves and break their spirits through hunger, lack of sleep, and the ability to hear the sufferings of the other slaves above them. Misbehaving slaves were also thrown down there to mellow for a while.
“Don't get any funny ideas about escape!” jeered a voice from above. “You wouldn't like to meet our slave-catcher or her pets. Actually, go ahead and try to escape, it's been boring around here lately and I'd love to see one or two of you dragged back screaming and twitching.”
For their part, Setra and Gareth felt a deadly peril surrounding them. Not only from the guards that walked above, but mostly from the now-unchained slaves around them. They stood in a corner, facing outward, ready to defend their lives.
Xoolloon had been thrown into "The Pit", probably a place that new or misbehaving slaves where tortured or killed, who knows. Xoolloon actually didn't mind it, he could feel the death and pain, like they were emanating from the walls.
He found a little spot to sit and made himself comfortable. He watched the other slaves, especially the other Death Knights, trying to get a feel for them. There was one that stood out in particular, Dalfein, who seemed like the complete opposite of himself. Wondering if they were friend or foe. Even wondering if they were like him. Just a mindless machine. Always focused on one goal and one goal only. Never stopping to do anything, just pursuing that goal till he finds his next one.
100 Human Death Knight
Adrian looked back at Dristis after the other two they had met finished. He grinned at his brother, "Don't worry about dead-guy back there. He's always methodical and patient. He's all into that. I cannot make any promises, though. That is, unless my actions would directly affect the group." he shrugged. It was the non-com inside him still. He'd only get reckless if he was sure it would have no negative effects on those under his command.
Reaching the beach, they looked up towards the hooded gentlemen walking towards them. Adrian's gaze wandered lazily around their surroundings, taking in every position that would provide cover or concealment, anything he could use as a weapon or shelter, any areas for him to hide should he be able to escape. His usual activity he did whenever he went anywhere.
Dristis was different. He studied the hooded men silently as they surveyed their new prisoners. The supposed leader was inspecting an elf, and paid particular attention to the Death Knights of the group. He wasn't sure how to feel about this fact, but he remained silent.
The group was led away, along with the ship's captain. Moving up the path, Adrian looked back and saw some of the crew of the ship getting slaughtered. He stifled a giggle at the irony and continued moving. Eventually they were led into a pit and unchained. The Marksman rubbed his wrists and neck, sore from the weight of the shackles. Dristis was indifferent.
Soon after, the captain and his second in command were thrown in as well. Adrian took note of this, and comically jumped from the main body of the group, laughing maniacally at the two who had them captured, were prisoners themselves. He could barely contain himself, falling to his knees and wiping away tears.
Dristis looked on as his brother acted his usual self, grimacing as usual. He couldn't help though, feeling a sense of jolliness that they got their comeuppance.
Erani stirred and awoke once again. She had been drifting in and out of sleep since she awoke to find herself chained to the floor of some creaky old ship. Initially she was confused and frightened, but after a few days she would just spend her waking hours staring blankly ahead as the ship rocked. She wasn't alone in the cargo hold. The was a large variety of other races, Alliance and Horde alike. Humans, blood elves, night elves, dwarves, undead, fellow draenei, even a few death knights. She normally wasn't prone to sea sickness, but the symptoms of withdrawal combined with the rocking of the ship had her fighting back waves of nausea. Now, she could understand them taking away her short sword, but did they really have to take way her cigarettes? Erani let out a long sigh and recalled the events before this whole mess.
She had just gotten into yet another fight with Ascul, though this one was particularly nasty. She had requested to be assigned to the island in the mist, where war was waging. This, of course, was guaranteed to set her brother off. She hadn't intended on telling him but, of course, his connections with the Stormwind guards allowed him to find out on his own rather quickly. He actually came to to the city a few days later to try to talk her out of it. It started out rather calm. The usual lines were said.
"I only worry for your own safety," from him.
"I am no longer a child. I can make my own decisions," from her.
One thing led to another and the next thing they knew, their loud arguing could probably be heard from the streets of the city.
She left, slamming the door to her small home behind her. He tried to stop her, knowing she was probably going to go drink herself into a coma, but she told him she would be staying with a friend for a few hours to cool off. She actually was going to do just that, she swears she was! But her addiction got the best of her. Everything after that was just a wild, drunken, blur. She vaguely remembered wandering the streets late that night, trying to find her way home only to be snatched up in an alleyway somewhere where she finally passed out.
Erani silently cursed to herself and instinctively reached for her cigarettes, only to be reminded, once again, that they had been confiscated. She had centuries behind her and she still behaved like a naive adolescent. She bowed her head and murmured to herself, "I swearr by the Light, if I get out of this, I vill neverr touch a drrink again..." She paused then added, "and this time I mean it." She didn't. Deep down, even she knew that. Her brother was probably worried sick. Erani inwardly winced at the sudden stab of guilt. None of this would have happened if she weren't so damn-
The shout snapped Erani out of her self pity. A few men entered the hold and approached her. She gave them a venomous look, but cooperated as one of them began to unlatch her chain from the wall. The moment she heard that satisfying -click- she surged forward and gored him beneath his jaw, knocking him backward off his feet and releasing his hold of the chain. "They never see it coming," She remarked silently to herself with a smirk. Erani quickly snatched up the chain and began charging for the exit only to be tackled by the other two men and wrestled to the ground with a loud crash. She squirmed and struggled in vain with the two men taking great care to avoid her horns. Eventually, she submitted and allowed them to jerk her to her feet and drag her to to the deck where the other captives awaited. They roughly shoved her forward and latched her chain behind one of them.
(Edit: whoops, I didn't refresh the page in time to see the other posts. sorry!)
Edited by Erani on 12/3/2012 8:40 PM PST
Needless to say she didn't like this place. She kept a wary eye on the death knights and blood elves. She had a natural distrust for them but she had no desire to make new enemies as long as she was stuck here so she opted to simply avoid them for now. She would need allies, in case this got ugly.
Edited by Erani on 12/3/2012 10:08 PM PST
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