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Hey-o, friends. I shall be posting my fanfic for Cataclysm here, as a friend suggested.
It mainly centers around my druid questing from Gilneas and then to Hyjal, all the while searching for his father's murderer, Troy Nightfire.
Without further ado, let the games... BEGIN!
To clarify, this takes place two weeks after the Fall of the Lich King.
UPDATE: Profile page created! Link:
Edited by Fangry on 3/30/2013 7:22 PM PDT
Catastrophe, a WoW: Cataclysm Fanfic
Prologue: The Flames of Betrayal
I was in total shock: my associate, Troy Nightfire, had murdered my father, Chikira Darkblade. As I watched my father's lifeless body plummet to the earth, I felt rage boiling within me. Pure, molten rage. Aimed entirely at my supposed "friend" who went and betrayed all of Gilneas.
"NO! TROY! YOU BASTARD!!!"
Those were the words that I recall screaming from my throat at Troy's crime.
How could he do this to us... Well, okay, he may have been a bit snippy and antisocial, but he was a good guy before all this.
Wait a second. Maybe I should back up a bit before all this... I suppose telling you who I am would be a good start, right?
My name is Kioal "Fangry" Darkblade. I'm known as Fangry because I sometimes lose myself in fits of rage when I'm very annoyed or stressed. And then there's my fangs.
You see, I am a worgen, but I was not born this way. Nope, I was purely a human. And probably the only human Druid too. That's 'cause when I was probably seventeen years old, my mother had been killed in a raid upon Icecrown Citadel, the home of the Lich King. My father was one of the only survivors. If I recall, she had been killed in a duel with her corrupted death knight brother, Jaiden Bonefreeze. She had taken his life with her own, detonating a bomb that was hidden in her tunic. I swear, I could hear my dad weeping like a broken plumbing pipe when he told me what had happened. We had both wept for her... Zaihra Leafshadow.
The only family I really had after that was my dad and uncle, who is a tough as nails goblin mercenary. My uncle's name is Isaac Torquebarrel, and, as surprising as it sounds, he was in the raid with my father when my mother died. After that, he swore to help my dad take care of me and help me learn what it takes to look death in the face, and keep looking until it glanced at something else.
Then came Druid training. I remember the looks I received when I was first inducted into the Cenarion Circle. I heard night elves and Tauren murmuring stuff that I could hear clearly, thanks to my mom being a night elf and passing her acute hearing to me.
"A human as a Druid?"
"Unusual for his race. Don't they focus on the Light or something?"
"Enough," an instructor had said to them. "Anyone is welcome to walk the Druidic path, even if they are a race that is unlikely to do it."
Those two sentences stopped all the murmurs instantly, as if someone hit the off switch for them.
I was kind of a social outcast at the time, given that I wanted to focus on my work and training and leave the playtime for later. I didn't make many friends, mostly because I was really shy around strangers and I clammed up sometimes. It's how I was at the time.
And then I met the one woman who could be described as the best thing that ever happened to me in my entire life.
Her name is Tenavra Stormhoof. She was a new person as well, and I could see that she was very timid as I was in this. I figured that since we were alike, I should get to know her and hopefully be friends with her. And friends we became. Throughout my years, we had a sort of special bond that couldn't be broken by anything. We cared for each other as well: giving one of our shoulders for the other to cry on, holding them when they're frightened, soothing them when they're stressed...
You get the idea.
It was only until recently that I've started to have a strange feeling towards my Tauren friend. For whatever reason, I get this funny feeling in my gut, as though there are butterflies roaming about in there. Most of the time I manage to ignore it, but as time went on it became more and more difficult to resist staring at this beautiful woman: her fur was a tan cream color, while her horns were mostly white. Her eyes were the color of amber, and her tail was about two foot long. She had a very soothing voice, akin to fresh made silk, and lips that seemed to be very elegant, which I found peculiar, considering I was a human at the time, and she was a Tauren. Yes, I know all about love between two opposing factions, but I could not help it, she was incredibly beautiful in my eyes.
I suppose that's enough for now from my past. Guess I should return to the present, right? Okay, where was I... Oh yes.
Back to the night that Gilneas and, most importantly, I was betrayed by a single man: Troy Nightfire.
Part One: Shattered
Chapter One: An Unpleasant Surprise
I was having a wonderfully pleasant dream that morning. If I recall, it was about finishing my Druid training and becoming a full-fledged member of the Cenarion Circle, even possibly a leader or strategist! I was kind of giddy with the mere thought.
Unfortunately, my dad wanted me up early, and I whined a bit when he woke me up, saying, "But daaaaaad, it's Saturday..."
"Lazy boy," I heard him say playfully, "we've work to do today, so get dressed and wake up."
"Okay father," I replied, and, stretching and yawning at the same time, hopped off my bed and searched for some clothes. Considering my studies and training, I usually wear some baggy blue leggings, knee high boots, flat gloves, a tunic that exposed my arms, and a lunar crescent above my head. Besides the crescent, all of my attire was made of leather, which I didn't mind, although it was unfortunate to wear during a downpour. Thankfully, there was a light fog today, so I had no worries.
I almost forgot to tell you what I look like, heh. Well, to start, my eyes were a cerulean color, much like the ocean waves. In stark contrast, my hair was a fiery orange, the exact opposite of my father's grey and my mother's white. The same goes for my mustache-beard. My skin was kinda pale, but that was because there was a lack of sunlight of Gilneas to shine upon the denizens. I didn't mind, though, considering I was kind of a nocturnal person. I was not really the most buff person around, but I did have tough muscles, and I could do well in melee combat.
Walking out of my bedroom, I went downstairs to find my father with my uncle, the former drinking tea and cracking jokes, the latter reading the local paper and laughing loudly. I smiled warmly at the two and greeted them.
"Well, if it ain't my man-bear-cat nephew..." I heard coming from my uncle. I laughed at his joke: most of the time, when I'm by myself or with Tenavra, I would always be running about in cat form. Tenavra would also be in cat form, and we'd occasionally play with each other, such as chasing, play fighting, hide and seek, and the like.
"What are we doing today?" I asked, already bored.
"Oh, there isn't much today, just need you to go work on the crops for the harvest," my father replied, smiling at me.
"I've got to go though..." my uncle piped up.
My father and I looked at him. "What for?"
"There's a place in the middle of the ocean, Kezan. There's something my kind need me fer," Uncle Isaac replied, and I understood: his being a goblin meant he had acquaintances there, and since Kezan was populated by goblins like him, he did feel attached.
"Go right ahead mate, I won't stop you," my father said.
"Thank ye kindly."
After breakfast, I walked out the door and made my way towards the fields to check the crops and see how they were. On my way there, I caught up with one of my associates, Troy Nightfire. Like always, he kept to his gloomy self, only talking to others if it was important, like, if he needed something delivered, or had a problem with his tools.
Today, however, he barely acknowledged me, only nodding at me calmly and mumbling to himself before returning to his work, which was guarding the entrance to King Greymane's estate. 'Don't remember him being this grouchy,' I thought.
Then I came close to the farm fields. Breathing deeply and gathering my mana, I started to inspect the crops, only finding one or two corn stalks wilting. Casting a Rejuvanate on them, I turned to leave when I saw Troy running to who-knows-where with with a very strange smile plastered on his face. Curious, I decided to follow, since I did not have much else to do that day. Troy's path ended at a clearing in the woods, and, seeing as he would be furious if he caught me, I decided to shapeshift into my cat form and enter Stealth, blending in with the shrubbery and trees.
I sat there, waiting for whatever Troy had come here for to arrive. Suddenly I heard a rustling sound, and then two humanoid figures appeared, both draped in purple robes and cloaks.
"Did you do it?" one of them asked, a female. It sounded like a night elf.
"Yes," Troy replied, kneeling, "the plan is set. The worgen shall be unleashed upon Gilneas tomorrow night."
I gasped silently. Worgen? Weren't they sealed away with Arugal when he had been defeated?
"Good work, Troy," the other robed figure said, this one a male, an Orc probably.
"May I return to my town now? The King will be suspicious if I stay here for any longer," Troy inquired.
"You may," the night elf said to him. "The Destroyer will have his revenge." Then they bade each farewell before departing.
Suddenly I felt a presence nearby, and a paw come over my mouth and dragged me backwards, away from the mysterious people. I tried to resist, but my captor wouldn't let me go.
I turned my head, and, Io and behold, there sat Tenavra Stormhoof in her tan furred cat form, her amber orbs locked on my azure ones. I relaxed, but then a thought came into my head:
Why was she here?
After a few more seconds, she took her paw off my mouth, and I turned to her before saying, "Why are you here?"
"That's it?" she pouted playfully. "I save your tail from getting caught and all I get is you asking about my presence?"
"You do realize that you're in danger of being caught yourself, right?" I countered.
"Oh, hush. If it weren't for me, you would be in some deep trouble with those guys. Anyway... Mind if I ask why you're here?"
I chuckled a bit. Tenavra was always straight and to the point.
"I saw my friend, Troy Nightfire, come here and decided to follow. And I don't know why, but I think he's about to betray us all."
Her tail coiled around mine in a friendly way as she asked, "What makes you say that?"
"You know about worgen, right?"
"Troy said that Gilneas will be under attack by those monsters tomorrow night. I'm... scared," I explained, shuddering at the thought of those beasts tearing through the streets. "I don't want to lose my father..." I added sadly, thinking of him and my mom.
Suddenly I felt her arm drape across my shoulders and pull me into her embrace, and I belatedly realized she was back in her Tauren form.
"Don't worry, Kioal, it will be alright. I'll be there if anything happens," Tenavra said soothingly.
"Thanks mate," I replied, and nuzzled her. "I've got to go, though, see ya."
"Farewell," I heard her say before I left. Tonight, I was going to question Troy, and I would get answers one way or another.
The sun was just beginning to set when I set off to find Troy. Knowing him well, I guessed he'd be at Stormglen. I grabbed Dreamfang, my nightsaber mount which had been a memento from my mother, and set off for the village.
During the travel, I had begun to grow more than angry at Troy for doing what he did. He was one of Greymane's guards, for Cenarius' sake! Why would he betray us?
Does he sympathize for the Horde? Granted, I had nothing against them, (except for the Forsaken, the lifeless bastards) given that Tenavra and I had a close friendship.
And who was this "Destroyer" guy from earlier in the forest?
I decided to save my questions for when I started the... interrogation.
I hated that word, actually. It just made me cringe a bit.
To my surprise, I found him chatting with ANOTHER of those purple-garbed figures. I hid behind a wall, waiting until Troy was alone.
After what seemed like an eternity, the cloaked figure left, and I shapeshifted to a cat in Stealth to follow Troy to his house.
He was just about to lay his hand on the doorknob when I returned to human form, and spoke, "Troy, may I have a word with you?"
"No," he snapped. Typical of him. "I'm turning in for the night, I'm bloody tired."
From the look on his face, I could tell he was nowhere near exhausted. "Cut the crap, Troy. Tell me what you're talking about with that guy in the cloak."
"It's none of your damn business," he growled, his red eyes staring into my own with contempt. "Leave me be."
"Tell me Troy," I continued, ignoring his warning, "are you thinking of betraying the whole of Gilneas?"
That got his attention. "How do you..."
"I followed you into the forest because you were running near the farms with that smile of yours on your face. Are you really thinking of letting the worgen loose in here!? Innocent people have died to Arugal's pets! You'd have to be insane to bring them back!"
His mouth twitched into a scowl as he snarled, "I am afraid you are too nosy for your own good, my friend. It appears that I will need to silence you... permanently."
In under a second, he unsheathed his blade and charged at me, but I was expecting it, and dived to the left, having him dash harmlessly past me. I didn't have much time before he could attack again, so I scrambled to my feet and started to cast Entangling Roots on him.
Before I could pull it off, however, he got the drop on me and knocked me to the ground, then leered over me as he prepared to drive his sword into my skull. Before he thrust, though, I kneed him in the groin and kicked him off of me, and successfully hit him with my roots, pinning him in place.
"Release me at once!" he barked.
"No dice, mate. I'm not gonna stand aside and have innocent people burn because of you. Now tell me... why are you doing this?"
"Let me go or I will kill you!"
I shook my head. "Fat chance there. You have as much of a chance escaping these vines as you have of leaving without giving me what I want. Now answer the question!"
"NEVER..." he said lowly.
"Fine. Have it your way," I replied. "I'm just gonna leave you here, all tied up and ready to go like a Winter Veil present."
I looked into his eyes once more, seeing his still defiant expression, and sighed sadly as I started to leave for Greymane's estate.
I was furious that he'd do something like this. I could not kill him outright, for that was not the way of the druid, but at least I could leave him immobilized. Hehe. It was kinda funny watching him squirm.
I finally found myself at the entrance, which was flanked by two guards. I knew I shouldn't be out this late, but it was urgent. 'To hell with curfew,' I thought, 'the King has to know.'
I smiled kindly at the guards and was just about to open the door when one of them barked, "Oy, go back to bed, sir! It's late!"
"But I have urgent news," I replied, "and the King must know!"
"It's curfew. Now leave," the other guard said loudly.
"You must understand!" I pleaded. "One of our own will betray us and likely kill us all!"
"Big guy in vines at Stormglen. His name's Troy. He's waiting for the worgen to come and slaughter us all! I trailed him and found him talking with an orc and night elf in purple cloaks. I overheard their conversation. You gonna let me through now?"
The guards looked at each other for a second as I held my breath in anticipation.
"Can't you tell him tomorrow? It's a bad idea to wake a guy like him at such a late hour," one of them finally said.
I sighed explosively at their incompetence. They clearly did not see the danger.
"I cannot. Troy says the worgen will attack tomorrow night."
Their eyes both widened at my last sentence.
"Uh... wait right here," they said, and went inside the building. I huffed in impatience and folded my arms, unaware that there was a presence coming up behind me. I half-expected it to be Tenavra, but it pounced on me and before I knew it, I was trying desperately to keep Troy's blade from piercing my throat.
"Get... get off of me!" I shouted.
"I was right when I said you were too nosy for your own good," Troy growled, a cruel smile on his face. "You should have stayed home, boy."
"And let Gilneas burn? Sod off!" I roared in return.
"Poor, misguided Kioal," he cooed mockingly, still trying to drive his sword home. "You just do not get it, do you? Deathwing will break this world and shroud it in eternal Twilight... and there's not a damn thing you can do."
Suddenly I heard a door being opened, and then came King Genn Greymane's voice.
"What is the meaning of this!? Unhand him, Troy! NOW!"
"You're all going to burn when I'm done here," Troy blared, ignoring him, still intent on impaling me.
I finally managed to throw the blade off and hit my would-be assassin with a head butt, knocking him off and stunning him. Panting, I instinctively crawled backwards towards the King, who had a look of disbelief on his face. I didn't blame him; one of his own guards had tried to kill an innocent citizen.
Troy tried to attack again, but he was warded off when the two guards from earlier aimed their spears at him. Growling, he uttered a simple "You will pay for this," before throwing down a circular object at his feet, which sprouted a thick cloud of smoke. When it dissipated, he was nowhere to be seen.
"Wha... w-what was that?" I stuttered, still shocked from the attack. I've had two, count them, two attempts on my life in a row. And that's just in one night.
"Come inside, citizen. You will be staying with my son and I for the night," His Highness said, putting a comforting hand upon my shoulder.
"W-why? I could j-just walk b-back home," I said quickly, still in fright.
"My men will protect you. What is your name, if I may?"
I hesitated for a fraction of a second before answering, "D-Darkblade. Kioal Darkb-blade."
The King's eyes widened a bit. "Are you related to Chikira Darkblade, the man who helped defeat the Lich King and bring his reign to an end?"
"Yeah. I-I'm his son."
"Well, whatever you've come here for, you are certainly welcome to stay at my residence. I will send a runner to inform your father and have guards posted at your home while you tell me what you need to," the ruler of Gilneas told me with a warm smile.
"Thank y-you... I think."
He helped me up and guided me into his home, which was beautiful incarnate: a crystal chandelier hung high on the ceiling, glistening with radiance. The walls were a dull brown, as was the floor, but the ceiling was in my favorite color, which was light blue. Candles were mounted on holders which were attached to the poles that held the roof up. The stairs at the end of the hall split into two flights, leading left and right. I was amazed at all this, I just stood there, transfixed, until His Royal Highness' voice cut into my reverie.
I was caught off-guard and nodded dumbly, embarrassed. "Where do I sleep, sir?" I asked.
"Please, call me Genn, I'd prefer it if you did. And you'll be using the guest room for the night, if you'd like," he told me with a tone of utter kindness.
"Si-Uh... I mean, Genn. There is something you should know, and I can't waste anymore time," I started.
Greymane rubbed his chin thoughtfully before saying, "Would you like to discuss this over tea?"
"That would be lovely," I replied, feeling thirsty all of a sudden.
"Then by all means, let us enjoy a discussion over tea."
I felt warm from his hospitality, and did not hesitate in telling him what Troy had been doing. It was so relieving to tell the king, I felt I was going to explode from the pressure. Genn was a good listener as well; he did not interrupt once, only nodding and saying "hmm" and "interesting" as I went on.
"...and you know the rest," I concluded.
Genn lowered his eyelids and put his hand on his chin, deep in thought. I wondered what he was thinking about.
"I've always found Nightfire to be a little odd from time to time, but I never expected him to commit such an act of treason... this is very peculiar indeed."
'Thankfully that rat-bastard knows nothing about Tenavra, so she's safe,' I thought happily.
"I agree, Genn. This is too strange to ignore. When I find him, I will-" I started, but he cut me off.
"You'll have time for vengeance later, Kioal. As for now, try to get some sleep, and I will look into it in the morning."
"Alright..." I said, feeling a bit drowsy from the tea and yawning a little. "Your Highness?"
"Thank you. For everything," I told him, and shook his hand with confidence.
"It is no problem, Kioal Darkblade. I only want what's best for my people. I've seen them suffer for far too long... it's for the best that I help their problems."
I smiled again and, bidding him a good night, turned to leave for my temporary bedroom.
I loved my king.
I had a very frightening dream that night.
It felt so real, and vivid, I was half-expecting it to be true. Thankfully, it was not, although it was still scary.
I was standing on a cliff, overlooking a massive crimson hole in the sea. An orc in white garments and beads with a hammer stood proudly, speaking about something, though I could not hear what it was. I looked around and saw Tenavra and my uncle, along with other people I didn't know.
The orc spoke again, "It is done... at last, the Destroyer has met his end. Now, we can begin to heal this world."
The sound of flapping dragon wings came to me, along with a female voice. "You have accomplished the impossible... succeeded where all Azeroth thought you would fail. Before you is the Cache of the Aspects; take from it what you will, for you have more than earned the right."
Another voice began speaking, this one male and elderly. "Although, you MAY want to hurry..."
What was this guy on about?
Suddenly the orc disappeared, and out of the crimson hole came an enormous molten claw, disfigured and bleeding profusely. It crashed down on the cliff my group was on, and another claw and wings latched on to the nearby platforms. Then the loudest voice of all, this one tinged with raw fury and molten anger, pierced the air with a excruciatingly terrifying announcement:
"YOU HAVE DONE *NOTHING*!!! I WILL TEAR YOUR WORLD *APART*!!!!!!!"
Then I woke.
I sat up instantly, practically shivering and in a cold sweat from my dream, shaking uncontrollably. I looked at the clock above my bed: 5:00 in the morning.
"Ye gods..." I breathed.
What caused me to have that dream? It felt so familiar... yet it was not, in actuality. That was some serious deja vu. Did I eat something that did not agree with me recently? I felt fine besides my shuddering. Sighing, I came out from under my blanket and grabbed some nightclothes, then made my way to the bathroom, seeing if I could wash away the fear. Upon reaching the sink, I turned on the tap and cupped the cold water into my hands, then splashed it onto my face, feeling refreshed already. As I looked up, I saw a peculiar form in the mirror. It almost looked... worgen.
Before I could process what it really was, though, it disappeared, gone without a trace.
'Please don't tell me I'm hallucinating,' I prayed silently.
Grabbing a towel, I dried myself off and exited the bathroom - only to run right into King Greymane.
"Oh gods!" I blurted, backing up. "S-s-s-sorry, sir, I-I was washing my face a-and..."
"Is everything alright, Kioal? You look stressed," he said with concern.
I hesitated. Would he believe what I saw in there? Would my dream have anything to do with what's happening?
"I... I had a... nightmare last night," I said finally.
"Care to discuss over tea? That may help," he offered.
"Ye-yeah, that'd be great."
I followed him into the great room, and he poured me some tea as I began to discuss what I dreamt about that night.
"Th-then I saw what appeared in the ba-bathroom earlier... it looked l-like a worgen. But it d-disappeared before I c-could make it out. No trace was left. I re-really hope I'm not going crazy..."
I wasn't shivering anymore, but the stammering remained. It made me feel like a child in the king's presence.
"Do you suppose this was all influenced by Troy?" Genn suggested.
"I don't really know..." I answered, twiddling my thumbs.
"Well, whether he influenced it or not, you can rest assured that he won't be able to get in here. I've placed a bounty on his head today, so you should be alright."
"Thanks... oh, and any news on my father?"
"You're allowed to see him now, but do stay for breakfast. My son makes a very divine goat cheese omelette, and I guarantee you'll love it at first bite."
His joke caused me to laugh a little, and in turn, my composure returned.
I hoped my father was okay.
Chapter Two: Death At Dusk
After breakfast (the King was right, his son, Liam, was a wonderful cook), I bade farewell to the Greymane family and proceeded to my home to check on my father. As I walked, I could already see guards posted around the towers and gates of the city, along with infantry for when the worgen would supposedly attack.
'Those wretched dogs have another thing coming if they think they're going to take this place,' I thought with a small grin.
The fog was still hanging over the city, but this time, I could hear the faint crack of thunder in the distance, and a few drops of water slid down my face that day.
'Oh, bugger. I hate this weather.'
It was noon by the time I reached my home. Opening the door, I caught my father sitting in the living room, drinking scotch and reading one of his novels.
"Father?" I called to get his attention.
"Yes, son?" came his reply.
"The city... it's going to be attacked by worgen tonight. We're gonna have to help evacuate the city."
"What? When did you learn this?" he inquired, standing up and coming over to me after putting his stuff down.
"I trailed Troy Nightfire and found that he's gonna set those beasts loose in here somehow. That traitor... he's going to pay when I find him," I answered, placing a hand over my fist. Oh, yes, he would pay dearly.
"Son... I hate to tell you this... but you're going to stay here when it begins," my father stated.
I stared at him, wide-eyed. "What?"
"You're staying home while I help protect the city, Kioal. I am sorry, but I cannot lose you."
"B-but father, you know what I can do! Please, let me help!" I pleaded.
"Kioal Darkblade," he said firmly, looking me in the eye, "you will do as you are told. Now go to your room, and stay there, until this all blows over. Clear?"
I sighed in defeat. Despite my melee prowess and skills in stealth, there was no way I could turn this argument in my favor. And since I didn't really want to rebel against him, I didn't have much choice. "Yes.... sir."
His expression turned sad, and he embraced me, kissing the top of my head while saying, "I'm deeply sorry, my son. I know how you must feel."
"I just want to do something, anything, to keep those monsters away."
"You will when you get your chance, but it won't be tonight, I'm afraid. For now, please wait for me."
I trudged up to my room and closed the door behind me, sighing heavily at the thought of being stuck here while everyone else does the fighting. I flopped onto my bed and pulled out one of my books to read when I heard a *thump* on my window. Curious, I got up and opened it -
- and I was rewarded with Tenavra in her cat form knocking me to the floor, licking me like her tongue was magnetized to my face.
"Whoa, whoa! Hey! Get off!" I told her, trying to push her off.
"Oh come on, Kioal!" she protested. "Can't a girl show affection to her long-time friend?"
"You have a point..." I agreed, standing up and watching her stand next to my dresser, "but next time, be more formal about it."
She giggled at the sight of me wiping her saliva off. I swear, sometimes this woman was too playful for her own good.
"So I heard you're not going to be able to help defend Gilneas," she said suddenly.
"Yeah. I'm kinda annoyed at it. But I don't want to go against my father's wishes, do I?" I replied. "Besides, I was just about catch up on my reading when you barged in."
"Oh, you and your books. Sometimes I wonder when you WON'T have your head buried in one."
"Watch out, we got a comedian in here," I retorted.
She just rolled her eyes as she returned to her tauren form. "Seriously, why don't you just... go? I mean... it's not like you're incapable."
"That's what I told him. But he just told me to stay here anyway."
I looked at her as a thought about my dream appeared in my brain, and I decided to ask her if she had any similar to mine lately.
"Really? That's strange, I had one almost exactly like yours the other day. You think this may mean something?" she said, twirling her tail around her finger.
"Don't know. But it's mighty weird," I agreed.
Suddenly there was a *WHUMP* outside my door, causing the both of us to jump in surprise.
"Uh... who's there?" I called.
"If there's somebody out there, can you please say somethin'?"
Still no answer.
"Hello? Anyone there?"
Suddenly another *WHUMP* sounded and my door fell over, revealing a very disturbing sight: a Forsaken man, his elbows devoid of flesh, his eye sockets practically empty, wearing pitch-black robes and wielding a huge scythe. "Found him!" he shouted. "Get him boys!"
Two other men, a dwarf and a draenai, entered and tried to restrain me, but they were held back by Tenavra unsheathing her hammer and holding the head in their general direction. "Get any closer and I'll smash your faces in, " she growled.
"What are you bloody idiots waiting for?! Ignore the cow and take the boy!" the Forsaken barked.
'Oh crap. He didn't... oh my. Better get out of here!' I thought, knowing that Tenavra would go berserk when she was called a cow. Before I knew it, my hand found her arm and I dragged her towards the window, and we both jumped.
Fortunately, our fall was broken by a few bushes in the garden under my room's window. After landing, I picked Tenavra up and carried her bridal-style (despite her race, she wasn't really heavy from all the lean muscle on her) towards the city, hoping against hope that the attack hadn't started yet.
"Put me down dammit!" my Tauren friend demanded.
"And have those guys catch up? No way," I replied, still running.
Rain had started to fall down, and by that point, Tenavra and I were kinda soaked.
"Not my fault, mate," I said when she complained. "You're the one who decided to wear light clothing."
After a while, I supposed we lost our assailants, so I put Tenavra down in a secluded area outside the city borders and sat with her there for a bit while we caught our breath.
"You know, that was pretty brave of you to grab me there when that undead guy called me that. You would have been another casualty in my hissy fit," Tenavra finally said, punching my shoulder.
"Well, we WERE in my room. I don't fancy you tearing it up," I responded, laughing a bit. "Boy, these have been the most eventful days of my life."
"Tell me about it... those guys were real spooky. Like... mini Grim Reapers. Anyway, why do you think those guys attacked us?"
"Troy's probably got me on his 'Most Wanted' list, and to him, I'm Public Enemy Number One. I figured he'd do it sooner or later. What irks me is that he knew where I was, yet he's never been to my place recently."
"Maybe he planted a bug there?" she suggested.
"He could have. I don't know. But I-"
The loud cry of a wolf sounded over the area, cutting me off. "Oh no..."
"Oh no, what?" Tenavra asked worriedly.
"It's starting... the worgen attack. I... I got to..."
"I'm coming with you."
I jerked my head back at her so fast I could have caught whiplash. "Say wha?"
"I'm coming with you," she repeated. "Friends have to stick together, right?"
"Uhm... no offense, Ten, but I don't think people will like it if a human was caught walking side by side with a member of the Horde in the-"
"But I'm of the Cenarion Circle!" she argued, putting her hands on her hips, her tail flicking around angrily. "They should let me go. I mean, you guys have druids too, an-"
"Only for helping with healing and the harvest, mostly," I cut in. "They aren't all like me."
"I'm coming with you and that's that, and there's nothing that will stop me."
"Not even bloodthirsty worgen?"
"Nope!" she said smugly, a confident smile on her face.
Her confidence was contagious. I could tell.
"Oh, fine... but you're buying me a drink when this is over."
"Just don't drink yourself stupid, alright?"
"Only if you refrain from drinking yourself stupid," I replied, grinning.
Tenavra and I travelled to the inside of the city, where most of the army was stationed. I worried how people would react when they saw her. Would they try to kill her? Or me? Or would they brand me a traitor for befriending an enemy, even though the Cenarion Circle was a neutral organization?
"Copper for your thoughts?" Ten said suddenly.
"Something on your mind, Kioal?"
"Oh. I'm just... worried how this will turn out," I responded, talking about both the worgen siege and Ten's presence in Gilneas.
"Hey, don't worry. Whatever happens, I'll be with you every step of the way."
"Thank you," I replied.
"Oy! Who's out there?"
We both looked up to see a guard in navy blue armor, wielding a blade and shield, looking at us and squinting. Given that it was night time and dark, I prayed thanks for him only barely seeing us.
"Kioal Darkblade, sir! Can you let us through? I got wounded here!" I called.
"Wounded? Who-" Ten started, but she was cut off as I wrapped my arm around her shoulder and whispered to her that she should pretend to be limping. She did a good job, pretending to moan from the "pain" in her "broken" ankle and leaning on me.
"Oy, Jim! We got wounded here, open the gate!" the guard called, and the gate in front of us creaked open as we dashed in. I gave silent thanks to the guard as the gate closed again, and let go of Ten as she stood up.
"What, did they not include being a damsel in distress was mandatory in the brochure?" she joked.
"Nope, but circumstances call for it," I laughed.
As we kept walking, the sounds of howling wolves became more apparent, to the point that my ears were ringing. "Why won't they just shaddup?" I groaned.
"Mating call?" Ten suggested.
"That's SO not funny," I scolded her, a rather lewd thought appearing in my mind.
"Sorry," she said, her ears drooping flat against her head as she looked down.
"No need to apologize, just tone your humor down a bit."
We went further until I spotted a familiar face - Prince Liam Greymane, on his steed, wearing the Gilneas tabard and light armor, and holding a short sword in his hand. He'd be able to help us. I called his name out and waved to him, and when he saw us, his expression changed into wariness at the sight of Tenavra.
'I hope he doesn't order her death,' I thought worriedly.
"Kioal, it's good to see you. And... why did you bring THAT?" he said, gesturing at my friend, whose eyes narrowed at his tone of voice.
"Lay off of her, she's with me. You know the Cenarion Circle, right? They wouldn't like it if tensions started 'cause of unneeded violence," I explained, trying to keep my voice from sounding angry.
"Right, pardon me. Just keep an eye on her." Tenavra huffed at his last sentence and folded her arms.
"Is there anything we can do? Like, fortifying a position or ferrying supplies?" I suggested, hoping to stunt a conflict.
"The city's been put on lockdown now. We still need help with the evacuation mission, so go look for Lieutenant Walden and see if you can help him," Liam said, and gestured at an area where he saw him last.
"Will do, thanks," I grunted. Gesturing to Ten with a flick of my head, we treaded the cobblestone path beneath our boots, and we turned the corner to see a gruesome sight.
The ravaged corpse of a man, with a pool of blood beneath him, his innards strewn around him. He was bald, with a blonde mustache. His claymore lay quite a distance away from him, which led me to the conclusion that it was knocked away from his hands when he was attacked by... whatever killed him. Then I looked at his back, where deep claw marks resided, angry red slits on the soft blue calm of his armor. Whatever had taken this man's life had to have stunned him and knocked his blade away as it slashed at his back to disable him. The assassin then proceeded to tear his insides apart and leave him here when it was finished.
"Gods..." I breathed, stunned by such brutality.
"You're telling me. Whatever maimed this person certainly didn't mind overkill," Tenavra quipped.
"What do you think?"
"Definitely worgen, looking at these gashes. I've seen many worg claws and how they rake their foes. What confuses me is-"
The sound of claws clashing against metal and flesh, with the same wolf howls from earlier, stopped her abruptly. We looked at each other and gulped, fearful for what lay ahead of us.
"Did you hear that?"
"Y-yeah," I replied shakily. "We should check it out."
With a sigh, we returned to the place where Liam currently at - only this time, he and his men were under attack by furry, bloodthirsty wolf-men, only just managing to hold his ground.
"Kioal, we cannot stay here much longer! We're going to be overrun!" Liam called to me.
"The Lieutenant's dead, sir! What do I do?" I called back.
"It's not safe here anymore! Search for civilians in their homes and get them out of here! I'll rally and lead them towards the Military District!"
"You heard him, Ten. Let's get to work," I announced, turning to her and cracking my knuckles.
"No need to tell me twice," she said slyly, gripping her hammer. "Let's give these sorry mutts a run for their money."
And with that, we began to plow through the worgen horde, cracking skulls and causing general mayhem among them. Tenavra kept them occupied while I helped civilians out of their homes, but as we fought, the battle was slowly, but surely, starting to turn in the beasts' favor.
"Did you see that!?" Ten cried in disbelief. "I kill one of these damn mutts and two more replace him! I don't know how much longer we can keep this up Kioal!"
"We can start running now! I've saved most of the citizens, so we should get going," I yelled back, knocking a beast down and cracking its neck.
"Well, let's GO!"
I took her arm and ran with her out of the market to the Military District, where I assumed Liam had brought the civilians to. Sure enough, I found him still on his horse, leading the populace further south. Confused, I turned to the person nearest to Ten and I, and asked her why they were going that direction.
"There's worgen on this side too," she explained. "We're going to keep moving south when everyone is accounted for. Oh, and I'm Gwen Armstead, pleased to meet you."
"Kioal Darkblade," I returned. "What do we do now?"
"I heard that Celestine of the Harvest requested your presence personally, just a bit farther ahead. She says the winds spoke your name, apparently. You'd best hurry, though; the worgen smashing will be needing you once you're done talking with nature."
I nodded calmly and we moved forward again, reaching a group of people that looked to be exceptionally skilled in the various arts that Gilneans were good at: hunting, druidism, the arcane, etc. The one that got my attention was a woman who was clad in a brown robe, with a hood in the same color, and a feathery mantle resting on her shoulders. Her staff rested on her back, as she was tending to an injured man that was having trouble breathing from his wounds.
"Celestine of the Harvest, I presume?" I said when we came behind her, giving her quite a surprise when she saw me and Ten.
"Oh, Kioal! I was wondering when you'd appear. We are truly blessed with your appearance. Can you help me with these poor guards? They only just managed to escape being ravaged," Celestine said.
Ten and I healed the guards' wounds with Rejuvanate and Healing Touch, and the wounds on them, which should have seriously disabled them, if not outright kill them, closed up nicely. Turning to Celestine, I asked her what the plan was for now.
"King Greymane's royal guard should be farther up ahead. It's about time we met up with the survivors. Seeking safety in numbers is good," she told us.
Thanking her, we stood and proceeded farther into the District, spotting the King on his horse with soldiers flanking him. Smiling, we called to him, and he greeted us with a wave of his hand as we approached.
"It is good that you are here, Kioal," he greeted us warmly. "Who's your friend?"
"A buddy of mine from the Cenarion Circle. Is she okay to help?"
"Well, as long as she doesn't try any funny business, she's fine. Stand down men! We've got an unlikely ally, and I don't need you alienating her."
The soldiers had disappointed looks on their faces when the order came, but I ignored it: if they so much as looked at Ten funny, they'd regret it.
"What's the plan, Genn? Move further south?" I asked.
"Actually... there is something I must tell you," he admitted, and beckoned me to a corner where we could talk privately.
"Lord Darius Crowley has been called many things," he started.
"Rebel. Traitor. Terrorist. Before the civil war I called him... friend.
"I never blamed him for leading an insurrection against me. His land and people were separated from Gilneas by a stone wall... but we had no choice.
"Regardless... Crowley is exactly the type of person we need now. Enter Stoneward Prison and ask Captain Broderick about Crowley's whereabouts. I'd send my own men, but there's still bad blood," he told me.
I understood the order. We needed good men and women right now, and Crowley just happened to fit the bill. Even if I didn't like the guy, I still had orders.
"Consider it done," I responded.
"Let's move Ten."
Tenavra and I set out towards the prison, where the Captain greeted us with a funny look before saying, "What business have you?"
"May we see Crowley? The King requires his assistance," I answered.
Broderick's eyes became as big as dinner plates when I said that. "Greymane wants to save Crowley? Has he gone MAD?"
"Look, we're in need of good people right now, and Darius Crowley just so happens to be part of that group. Care to let us through?" I responded firmly.
"If you want to risk your skin, I'm not going to stop you. Crowley and his buddies are holed upstairs, plotting against Greymane as we speak."
I glared at him as we passed by. He doesn't understand how dire our situation is.
Upon reaching the roof, we were greeted by a group of men, two standing ready to attack, one kneeling over another who was out cold. One of the battle ready members, who had bandages on his hands and an eye patch on his head, glanced our way and narrowed his eyes as we got closer.
"Darius Crowley, please understand, but we need you. Our situation is dire, and even if we all hate your guts, your knowledge and prowess will be needed to combat our foe," I explained hastily.
The one with the patch smiled a bit at what I said. "You are correct. These monsters do not care about politics. Gilneas needs unity now more than ever.
"Tenavra Stormhoof, at your service," she finished for him, bowing respectfully.
"Tenavra, can you see about Dempsey's wounds there? One of those mangy fleabags got him good, and we need a few minutes to stabilize the bleeding."
"Uh, guys? I think we got company..." I started, as loud, guttural growls pierced the air around us.
"Dammit. Young man, I'll be needing your help fending them off!"
"Count on it, sir!" I bellowed, and shifted to Cat form, readying my razor claws for the attack.
Sure enough, worgen started appearing on the roof, swarming around us like flies on a rotting corpse. Crowley and I took the fight to them while Ten began to help Dempsey.
After a few minutes of fighting and bloodshed, the waves subsided. Good timing too, because Ten finally stabilized the bleeding in Dempsey's body.
"Nice work. You've saved a good man's life today, kid," Crowley said to me before whispering in my ear, "Listen. For the first time, I agree with Genn. We must put aside our quarrel. These monsters don't care if you're a patriot or a traitor, it seems.
"Tell Greymane about this, will you? My men will join his. Oh, and, before I forget, there's a hidden artillery stash in Josiah's cellar, not too far from here. Genn will know what to do."
"Thank you, Lord," I replied happily.
I returned to Genn with Tenavra in tow and told him the news. He didn't seem very happy about it, as evidenced by him saying, "Rebel arsenals? In my own city?? What the hell was Crowley up to?"
"Don't know, Your Highness, but we should make use of it as soon as possible," Ten explained.
The king sighed. "It's unnerving to know those weapons were smuggled in here. However, they just might save innocent lives today. Go talk to Josiah Avery and ask him for the weapons."
We set out again, to the cellar. As we entered, what we found took our breath away:
Cannons stacked neatly along the walls, with cannonballs in neat piles next to them. Rifles and shotguns lined the walls as well. But the most disturbing sight was a man in blue garments cowering in the corner, whimpering and muttering to himself. A noticeable bite wound marked his shoulder, and I instantly became fearful. Would he turn at this point?
"Stand here," I ordered to Ten, and carefully, cautiously, made my over to who I assumed was Avery. "Are you okay, sir?"
His head whipped up at me and he started blathering more loudly now. "Get away! Leave me be! I'm a monster!"
"Mate, calm down," I said as I came closer.
"THE PAIN! IT HURTS SO MUCH!!!" he screamed, and then he suddenly began to transform.
In the blink of an eye, he had me pinned on the floor, his newly-grown fangs sunk into my arm. I cried out in agony as he began to worry it, then he let go and looked at me hungrily. Just as he was about to tear my head off, though, Tenavra slammed him with her hammer and knocked him against the wall, saving my life. I was panting heavily as my arm started to bleed.
I stood up and propped myself on a nearby beam as the monster that claimed Josiah lunged again, only to be hit in mid-air with a shotgun blast and landing on the floor, dying instantly.
"That's enough out of him," I heard Gwen Armstead say.
"That... that was... too bloody close..." I panted, still in shock.
Ten helped bandage my wound and heal it so it wouldn't bother me as we went about. However, I had an inkling that I had been cursed the moment those fangs entered my flesh.
Hopefully it would be gone by the time this ended.
I stumbled a little at first, but quickly regained my composure. For now, I'd have to deal with a minor stinging feeling in my arm until I got proper medical attention.
"I'm... sorry that you had to do that, Gwen," I apologized. "I wasn't expecting him to turn."
"I'm as shocked as you are, frankly," she replied with a nod. "But what's done is done. Let's focus on the now.
"I've got men searching for stealthed worgen around here. You should go talk to the King again; my father's arsenal will be more than enough to blast those monsters straight to hell and back."
We thanked her and returned to Genn, explaining that the arsenal was his. Thankfully, he didn't notice my bite wound, which I was relieved to know, because I felt he'd have to kill me if I turned no matter what.
"Right, listen up Kioal. I've got another job for you. There's an important
individual on the other side of the prison, Krennan Aranas. We need to get him out of here before we can utilize the artillery, because he's one of the best alchemists I know.
"He saved my daughter from death when she was first born, Kioal. You must understand why I'm attached to him.
"Here, take my steed and ride out there. When you find him, grab him and return here. Talk to Godfrey; I'll be in Greymane Court," he finished.
"Your Highness, is it alright if I follow you? You'll need some extra muscle
to combat these things," Ten said, which, for whatever reason, brought a pang of fear to my heart. Even though I was assured she'd be safe with the King's men, I was still fearful for her.
"You are welcome to join, Miss Stormhoof. SOLDIERS! Move out to Greymane Court!"
I jumped on His Highness' royal steed and rode out towards where Aranas was. Sure I found him on the opposite side of the prison.
What made my breath hitch was the sight of him dangling in a tree, trying to kick a worgen away from him. The beast wouldn't give up, so I decided to throw a brick at it and scored a nice hit on its muzzle, knocking it down and allowing me my chance to get Krennan and ride back to Godfrey.
"Excellent job Darkblade!" Godfrey praised me. "We'll make doubly sure that Krennan lives after this.
Edited by Fangry on 3/28/2013 9:33 PM PDT
"We're heading to Greymane Court now. I suggest you do the same."
Upon entering the Court, we met up with the King, Prince, and Tenavra. It was good to see they were okay.
"Good to see you could make it, Kioal," Ten called to me.
Suddenly I lurched forward, holding my head and groaning. My vision went slightly cloudy and a voice swam in my head.
'Fools. They are unaware that death is right next to them. Why don't you kill them now? The shadows will blanket this world and all its inhabitants... you'd help by-'
'Not gonna happen. Bugger off,' I snapped at it in my mind.
"Kioal, are you alright?"
"Y-yeah," I lied. "Just a bit of a migraine, is all. I'll pull through."
"Okay then..." she replied, suspicious.
My vision cleared and I could overhear Greymane conversing with Lord Godfrey. From what I could tell, our plan now was to keep the worgen occupied while the rest of the populace left for Duskhaven, as the mountains would definitely cut them off from the wolf-men. Lord Crowley would be holed up in the cathedral with his men, cannons at the ready.
"Genn, may I have a word with the boy for a second?" Crowley said, gesturing at me.
"You certainly can, Darius."
"Something on your mind, sir?" I asked, wondering what he needed me for.
"You know the old saying, 'If I'm going down, I'm going down fighting'?"
"Stay with me and help me round up these dogs. We're going to take out as many of them as we can. When we got enough, we're going to blast them sky-high with these guns. We'll regroup in the cathedral if we become overwhelmed. Understand?'
"Crystal clear, milord," I answered.
"I'm staying too. I can't leave you this time, Kioal," Tenavra interjected, and when I looked at her, her eyes held the feeling of sorrow. I guessed she was worried about losing me as I was her.
"Let's move out!" Crowley shouted.
He and I rode out into the court, where many worgen greedily awaited for their next meal. We started tossing torches in their general direction to get their attention, then rode back to the cathedral as the cannons started firing upon them. It was pure carnage; bodies flying everywhere, blood caking the dirt, shrapnel embedded in ribcages and skulls. I hoped it'd be enough to stem the tide, but soon we were low on ammo.
"Inside! Now! We have to regroup!" Crowley barked, and we didn't need to be told twice.
Once inside, I started feeling progressively worse, no doubt thanks to my bite wound. I had trouble walking at points, my speech became a bit slurred, my vision went cloudy again, and the voice returned.
'Why do you resist? Go on; let them die. Your death will be no different.'
'Quit your yapping! Go die in a hole,' I snapped angrily.
"Lord Crowley, I think Kioal's hurt! Help me!" Ten said, but I barely heard it as I leaned on her. A really loud buzzing noise resonated through my skull, making it difficult to hear others.
"Ten... leave me..." I moaned.
"I will not. You need help, and I'm not going to let you die!" she objected.
"Don't... be foolish... save yourself... I'll be fine..."
Just then more worgen started coming in from the entrance, and a brawl started. Ten led me to one of the water pools on the side of the hall, and splashed the water on my face, trying to keep me awake.
"Get... get out of here..." I told her, gripping her arm like a drowning man to a hunk of debris to stay afloat. As I spoke, my vision became darker and darker, and it became more difficult to resist giving in.
"K-Kioal..." she started, and I belatedly realized she was weeping, as one of her tears fell on my arm. "I-I..."
I smiled, a reassuring smile. "Don't... worry about me, Tenavra... I'll be okay, really..."
She was sobbing at this point. "I... I-I can't.... Kioal... I l-love..."
Suddenly the attacking worgen disappeared. 'That can't be good,' I mused mentally.
"Wait. They've stopped coming... that's not good," Crowley said, looking wary.
"Kioal D-Darkblade... I l-love y-you..." Ten said finally.
I looked at her when she said that. All this time, I've had feelings for her, but I didn't know she'd return them. My heart fluttered at those words as I reached a trembling hand up to caress her cheek.
"I... love you too... Tenavra Stormhoof..." I said weakly, kissing her cheek.
The stained glass windows at the back wall of the cathedral shattered into shards as another group of worgen barged in through them, and at this point I knew we didn't really stand a chance.
The last thing I saw before the darkness took me was Ten's face close to my own, her eyes filled with sadness, mine with fading light.
I held onto that image as I succumbed to the darkness.
Edited by Fangry on 3/28/2013 9:33 PM PDT
Dull pain. All over my body.
That's what woke me up.
At first I couldn't see much, it was bloody dark wherever I was sitting in. I felt metal under my rear and on my back, and at first I thought I had fallen asleep leaning on a wall. Then it hit me that most walls were wooden, not metal.
I got up, and saw I was in some sort of cage, because there were bars in front of me. I didn't know how I got here. Am I in some sort of prison cell?
Then the memories came back.
Tenavra confessing her love for me, and mine for her.
Darius Crowley fighting off the beasts.
That last thought made me jerk my head towards my arm, and I had to suppress a shriek at the sight: it was not peachy pale, like a human, but it was grey-ish blue, with fur covering the flesh. Glancing farther, I saw that my fingers had gotten longer and sprouted sharp claws from the nails. I looked at my lower torso and saw my legs were bent back, like the hind-legs of a draenai, only with animal paw-feet instead of hooves.
I lifted a hand to examine my face, and, sure enough, I felt fangs and a snout there. It was as I feared.
I have turned into one of them.
'I'm a monster,' I thought sadly.
Suddenly I heard the familiar sound of boots on gravel, and looked up to see a familiar face: Lord Godfrey. Suddenly my eyes narrowed and a growl, deep and loud, escaped my transformed mouth.
'You must give in,' the voice came back. 'They will all die eventually. You cannot do mu-'
'AT LEAST I STILL HAVE MY HUMANITY!' I screamed. 'I'll die before I become the bloody savage that I look like right now!'
"So sad..." I saw Godfrey mouth. At that point, the feral beast that was the other portion of my personality made me lunge forward - thankfully, only to be stopped by iron bars. I supposed that I'm not "tame" yet, and I'm lashing out at this point.
"He-he-help m-me..." I muttered weakly.
"I am afraid we are going to have to put this one down, Greymane. It's protocol, you kno-"
"Tell me, Godfrey," I heard a familiar voice cut in. "Those that stayed in Gilneas so we could live... were THEY following protocol?"
'Greymane...!' my scrambled mind managed to piece together.
After a while, presumably because Godfrey had no answer, I think Greymane smiled. "Didn't think so."
Then he came towards the cage, and I had to resist the urge to burst into joyful tears. This man would not give up on me, no matter what.
I liked that.
"Kioal..." he started, kneeling in front of the bars. "Can you hear me?"
"I-I-I n-need h-help," I stammered from exhaustion. "D-do what you need t-to. I w-want to be a-among my p-people ag-again."
"You'll walk among us once more in due time, friend," he replied, holding a bottle with a strange liquid inside. "Will you let me...?"
"Do it, sir. Anyth-thing to retain m-my humanit-ity," I murmured, resisting the beastial urge to kill him. Instead, I focused on the bottle in his hand, inching my newly-made snout forward so he could pour it down my throat.
Nodding once, he cupped my snout in one hand, and put the bottle into my mouth with the other, turning my head up so I gulp it down. I almost gagged when it touched my taste buds; it had the taste of a rotting corpse, covered in sewage and excrement, and a smell that would knock me into next week.
It finally went past my gullet and into my stomach. Suddenly I had the strangest sensation: as if the greatest burden on my shoulders had dissipated. My vision became clear as day. I no longer felt murderous, but I did feel wobbly at points.
"How do you feel now? Better?" Greymane inquired.
"I feel... incredible. You've saved me, my king. I'm in your debt," I replied, no longer stuttering.
"That's good. Would you like to be released from the cage now?"
I heard the squeal of metal on metal as he fumbled with the lock, and suddenly the bars moved from my face. As I crawled out, I was met with the stunned faces of Krennan and Godfrey.
"Krennan," I started. "Whatever you whipped up for me just now... it worked like a charm."
I turned my head towards Greymane and asked, "Where is Tenavra? Is she... okay?"
"Yes, she is a bit shaken, but fine nonetheless. I'm not going to stop you if you want to check on her, seeing as you two are very close. She's in Duskhaven."
I felt my heart flutter at the thought of seeing her again. Every single word I said at the cathedral...
It was all true. I hoped the ones she said were as truthful as mine.
As I walked towards where she was hopefully at, the "other" in my mind kept telling me it was all pointless, and I had to clench my fists and scratch my palms to take my mind off of it.
As I reached a building where she was, I looked around and figured she'd be upstairs. Traveling there, I was greeted by a heart-wrenching sight: Ten on a bed, under the blankets, her body shaking uncontrollably with her sobbing. I hoped she'd accept me as I was at this stage of my... condition.
"Ten?" I called. She didn't answer; I guess she wept herself to sleep in the past few hours.
I moved closer and sat on one side of her bed, putting my hand on her arm and stroking it. "Tenavra..."
She started talking. "Kioal... don't leave me..."
I blinked. Was she dreaming about me?
"Help me, Kioal... I don't care if you look like a monster... I still love you..." she murmured.
Hearing those words calmed the raging tempest in my mind. I needed to show her my love to her as well, so I bent over her while she slept and gently placed my lips upon hers, locking ourselves in a blissful kiss.
Her eyes fluttered open when it happened, and she grew wide-eyed at me on her.
Before I could react, her arms were thrown around my neck and she held me in a loving embrace, sobbing, "Oh, Kioal! I knew you would come back..."
"I meant every single word at the cathedral," I said, hugging her back and stroking her with my hand to calm her down. "Shh, it's alright, I'm here..."
"I love you," she stated after a time.
"I love you too," I returned, nuzzling her. "Are you going to be okay now?"
"Y-yeah..." she said, another tear making its way down her cheek. "Thank y-you..."
"No, I should be thanking you. I wouldn't have retained my humanity without knowing if you were alright," I started soothingly. "We should get going, there're probably things we're gonna be needed for."
I helped her up and we walked out of the building, hand in hand.
I couldn't be any happier.
Chapter 3: The Killing Road
"...are you bloody DAFT? It's suicide to go in there!" I heard one newly turned Worgen, a man, object to the plan to take Gilneas back from the Forsaken.
"Patriotic, you ain't," I growled at him. "We're Gilneans, for the love of Cenarius! Where's your pride?"
"I have pride. I just know when it's a good idea to fight and when it's not."
"Anyone else want to back out?" I called, silencing the man's complaints again. "Because I'm sure we don't want our homes taken by walking corpses. And unless you like the idea of having that witch of a Banshee controlling our city, I suggest you all prepare for the assault. I'll be up front, helping the prince. Everyone else, focus on the Forsaken infantry. Any questions?" I finished, gazing at the crowd of humans and Worgen for their reaction.
"What's up with the cow lady? She's of the Horde. Isn't that-" someone started.
"Watch it. I'm of the Cenarion Circle. Believe me, I'm not as fond of the Forsaken as you are," Tenavra growled, her eyes narrowed at the female Worgen who piped up.
"Moving on... everyone has about twelve minutes to get ready. If you need me, I'll be talking with my father and Ten," I called, and everyone scrambled while I calmly walked with Tenavra to where my father was.
The past few hours have been good ones. After learning that we had come under attack by the Forsaken, I managed to find my father (who had become a Worgen himself and kept his sanity, like me, thankfully) and help mount an army to take Gilneas back from the invaders. So far, we managed to recover the Scythe of Elune and use the three Wells of Balance, Fury, and Tranquility to bring the infected citizens back to their sanity. In doing so, we got control of our own "alter egos": we could switch between Worgen and human forms at will. For whatever reason, I felt it better to stay in my Worgen form, being that I felt more attuned with my Druidic powers, given the feral side of my personality.
"Father," I called, causing him to jump in surprise, but his expression was that of welcome when he saw me.
"My boy, I wondered how you were doing. You have fine leadership skills..." he began, praising me. "I see you've also gotten together with your friend. Atta boy," he added, gesturing at Ten, who giggled as I flushed with embarrassment.
"Dad, cut that out, you're embarrassing me..." I whined, my ears flat on my head.
"I'm only joking, it's fine. As long as I get to fight with my beautiful boy, we'll pull through. Would you like me to join you with the Prince?"
"That'd be fantastic," I replied zealously.
"Count me in too, Chikira. I don't trust these Forsaken people a bit. Especially not Sylvanas," Tenavra said, cringing when she mentioned the Banshee Queen. I couldn't blame her; Sylvanas had a cruel streak as big as the Undercity, the Forsaken capital. Honestly, I have no clue why they were allied with the Tauren in the first place.
"Either way, we're in for a rough ride: I suspect those freak bags aren't going to go easy on us," -'Since when have they ever?' I thought - "so we should be just as tenacious as they."
We only had a few minutes before the assault began, so I said goodbye to my dad and went back to the bridge that led to the city. "I'm bloody nervous..." I muttered.
Suddenly I felt Tenavra's hand on mine, and turned to receive a quick kiss on the cheek from her. "No need to be nervous, hun. I'm with you," she told me.
"I know. It's just that... we could be leading all of these people to their deaths. Not sure if I can-" I started, but she shushed me with a finger on my lips.
"Just do what you need to and it will be alright. I promise."
'I sincerely hope so. I'm gonna need some serious luck here.'
As the time to attack approached, I walked up to the bridge and stood proudly, looking at all the soldiers that were gathered to take the city back. Some wore gazes of stone, while others shifted uncomfortably in their armor. 'Here goes something,' I thought, and waited for Liam to give his speech.
When he was done, nothing happened for a few seconds until -
"HELL YEAH! LET'S DO THIS! FOR GILNEAS!" I heard the male worgen from earlier exclaim. I smiled. Perhaps I misjudged him.
"Let's rock!" I heard my father roar in agreement.
And so it began.
Our first target was a humongous abomination in the Military District, named Goregut. It was difficult at first to take him down, given his size (he was as tall as a small house, I swear!), but when we peppered him with cannon fire... well, let's just say that there's a very hideous stain in the middle of the district now, hehe.
Once that was taken care of, we moved upwards, fighting more Forsaken troops along the way. Their armor may have been more efficient against only human weaponry, but they might as well be wearing silk robes when our Worgen soldiers tore into them. I had to maintain control among said soldiers, however, when they started hurting one another for claiming their "kills". Nobody likes rowdy troops, and I was no exception.
Soon, we made it into the Greymane Court. As we marched in, I saw the one woman who started this hell - Sylvanas Windrunner, the Banshee Queen. As expected, she was flanked by her own banshees and troops.
"There she is..." I heard Liam say, fury tinging his voice.
"This is where she will fall," Greymane called. "Block their retreat Liam! We've got them right where we want them."
The Banshee Queen turned toward us and smiled cruelly, her expression speaking louder than words, but before she could taunt us, Greymane changed into his worgen form and screamed "SYLVAAAAANASSS!!!!" before charging at her. My father and I joined, while Ten kept back.
As we fought, I started to feel strangely weak, as if I hadn't been eating in months. I sensed that Genn and my dad were having the same feeling as well, as their movements were kind of sluggish.
Suddenly Sylvanas wailed, and we all became stunned in place.
"GODS DAMMIT THAT'S LOUD!!!" I cried.
"Enough... let us see how brave Gilneas gets on without their stubborn leader!" Windrunner bellowed, and readied a poison arrow on her bow.
Which was aimed right for Genn's head.
I wanted to push him out of the way, but I could only blink and watch in horror as Sylvanas began to fire. Suddenly, I saw Liam run towards Genn and jump in front of him, taking the poison arrow for him and falling down on his face.
"Liam! NO!" came Genn's outraged voice.
"Oh, what a waste. That arrow's poison was not meant to be wasted on your whelp... we will meet again, Genn. And YOU..." Sylvanas started, suddenly pointing her sword at Ten, who had a frightened look on her face. "The next time we meet, I won't reconsider slitting your throat, you traitor."
"Face us and fight, you coward!" I yelled, only for the former High Elf to ignore me and take off on her horse. 'She's so dead next time we meet,' I thought.
The banshee wail wore off and we were able to move again, while the exhaustion cleared up at the same time. My body stiffened before I started falling, to be caught by Tenavra.
"That witch..." I groaned, rubbing my head. I had a few cuts and bruises here and there from the fighting, and the wail had made my muscles ache.
"We did it, father..." Liam groaned. "We took our city back... we... did it..."
"Another painful loss..." my father murmured, and I agreed. We've lost too many damn good people recently, but Liam would be a crushing blow on our morale.
I sighed. I wanted to punch a wall, but I controlled myself. It'd do no good for me to act berserk after what happened. Despite myself, I had to suck it up and deal with it for now.
"Sir, I'm... sorry..." I apologized to the King. When he didn't reply, I supposed that I should give him a moment to mourn his son.
We entered the building nearest us, an inn, and sat there, recovering from our wounds. We ate while we bandaged and healed each other, and discussed what we were going to do next. My father suggested searching for Sylvanas to see where she buggered off to, and another man, named Tobias Mistmantle, agreed to tag along. As for me, I'd stay here to recover with Ten.
"I'm so sorry..." she said to me while patching me up. I was in one of the bedrooms reserved for VIPs - Very Important Persons - and Ten was taking care of me.
"It's not your fault... blame that witch. I'm going to-" I started, but I got cut off as I grimaced from a stinging feeling in my shoulder. A Forsaken blade had caught me there pretty bad, and it hurt to move my arm.
"Just hold still," she scolded. "I'll be done soon."
Sure enough, she was finished a few seconds later.
"Ten, can you... lay with me for a moment?" I asked her. "I'm freezing, and these blankets aren't doing much."
As soon as I said that, we both blushed. I could see her tail swinging around madly as she did so.
"Y-yeah..." she said nervously, and got on the bed with me under the blankets. I held her with me there as I wondered how far I was going to have to go to see through this war.
At this point, it looked pretty bleak with Liam's death, but I felt that it would get better soon.
Deathfang snorted loudly through clenched teeth. He positively DESPISED the notion of love with every fiber of his being. Couple that with his hatred for Kioal Darkblade and you have a volatile combination.
Before the Worgen, before the Forsaken... he was always abandoned. He didn't even know who his parents were. He had never known what is was like to call someone a mother, or a father. It was just as bad at the orphanage he grew up in; to him, everyone hated his guts, and he theirs. The caretakers and teachers were always snobby when he asked a question or gave an answer. He was bullied daily, and they wouldn't stop, even if he threatened to tell the staff (which was kind of empty, seeing as they despised him). All of this brought him to one simple conclusion:
There is no such thing as "love" or "caring".
Then he met Neltharion, the former Earth-Warder.
The Destroyer took an interest in Deathfang's - formerly Troy Nightfire's - suffering. He had explained to him that this world - Azeroth - was not worth protecting. The Cataclysm would tear it to pieces. No matter what the Aspects did, or, hell, even the Titans, the Old Gods would obliterate this planet and take it for their own.
...For centuries... I have waited. Now, I take flight... the cities will burn... the skies will shatter... the earth will tremble... the seas will rupture... and the whole of Azeroth will BREAK, under the shadow of my wings.
Deathfang recalled the former Earth-warder saying that when he left Deepholm - the elemental plane of earth - and created the Maelstrom, an enormous, firey hole that threatened to rip Azeroth in two. He felt giddy with all the death and destruction. Even now, Thrall, that pitiful "World Shaman," seeks to close the rift and heal the world. It made him chuckle evilly.
Deathwing once told him that to successfully tear the world asunder, there must be confusion and terror wrought among the peoples. His first task was the nation of Gilneas, and he would have succeeded... if that damned druid, Kioal, didn't survive the attack.
"No matter," he scoffed. "He'll be dead soon enough. I must have patience."
Troy became a Worgen himself for his initiation into the Twilight's Hammer. Being a feral monster of the night had its benefits.
"He will regret the day that he crossed me..." Deathfang murmured, a cruel smile on his snout.
He then set off towards where Kioal's father, Chikira, was likely to be at, his gleaming green armor and giant axe sure to slaughter him.
It was going to be a glorious day.
"Sir, we've got something!" came Firecracker's voice over Isaac's audio receptors.
"What is it, Valor5?" the goblin clad in blue armor, electric shoulder spikes, and a gas mask inquired. "It better be good... I'm kinda tied up right now," he added, ducking to dodge a wild Shredder blade aimed at his head.
"I can see Gallywix up ahead, on the docks. He's in his... uh... big... spider-tank thing. Dunno what model it is, but it looks really nasty. I'm gonna file in with the rest of the team when you're ready."
"Better do that, soldier, 'cause I don't think that volcano's gonna wait fer us!" Isaac ordered, worried that the volcano in the Lost Isles would erupt and kill them all before Gallywix could be stopped.
'Ooh! Exciting! We're gonna take on Gallywix!' came Isaac's "brother's" giggle in his head. He remembered when Doomstone was defeated and absorbed into Isaac's body... giving him one hell of an armor upgrade.
'Shaddup and let me SHOOT these bastards,' Isaac snapped, scoring a headshot on one of Gallywix's men with a satisfying *TWANG!*. 'Save the rhetoric fer later.'
Edited by Fangry on 3/28/2013 5:19 PM PDT
The last few days were hectic; after fleeing Kezan when Deathwing appeared, the survivors managed to end up at some place called the Lost Isles. It took some doing, but Isaac and his goblin combat squad, Valor Team - composed of Raindancer (Valor2, second in command, a shaman healer), Stronghold (Valor3, the brawn, a warrior that was friendly with his allies and merciless with his enemies), Flashbang (Valor4, a rogue with exceptional skills in diversion tactics) and Firecracker (Valor5, a gunman that had a liking for explosives) - managed to save many people and lead them to safety. Surprisingly, they found Thrall, the World Shaman and former Warchief of the Horde, with his mate, Aggra. Whatever he was here for, though, Isaac concluded that he had to get them all out of here, and fast. Unfortunately, during a sunset, Gallywix betrayed the survivors and kidnapped most of them, forcing them to mine kaja ore in the volcano.
"This. Sucks," he breathed, heat covering his body while grenades, gunfire, and metal whizzed past him.
"You're tellin' me, sir," Valor2 quipped next to him. She was busy tossing lightning bolts and lava blasts to cut a way through to Gallywix. "I want to go home," she added sadly, remembering her baby brother dying during the evacuation of Kezan.
"We may have to call Orgrimmar our home after this, 2. I just don't see us going back to Kezan, but we'll find our place in the Horde capital, I promise," he reassured her, clapping a gloved hand on her shoulder to cheer her up, her turquoise eyes gazing into his crimson ones under his helmet. Her ringmail armor was sooty and a bit rusty from the combat. Her brown hair remained plastered to her skull with sweat. "Right now, let's just kick Gallywix's !@#$."
"GRENADE! MOVE!" Stronghold shouted, dragging Isaac and Raindancer out of their cover just in time to avoid getting blown to bits from a kaja ore charge. His armor was scarred, and his helmet had been blown off earlier in the fighting to reveal a stern face, green eyes full of danger. His blonde sideburns were slightly singed from a mishap with a flamethrower.
"Valor4! We're gonna need covering fire now!" Valor Leader exclaimed in his mic.
"Roger that," Flashbang responded. "Oy! Muppets! Get a load of THIS!"
The sound of bullets impacting metal rang through the air as Shredders became peppered with gatling gunfire from Flashbang's plane. Once they fell down, 1, 2, and 3 wasted no time in crossing past the path towards the oil rig where the traitorous trade prince was.
"Wait. His spider tank is gonna tear us new ones if we go in by ourselves," Isaac warned.
"Commander? I spotted some vacant Shredders earlier. Maybe we could use them to our advantage?" Raindancer piped up, pointing to where she saw them. Sure enough, there were around four or five Shredders, all offline at the moment.
"Perfect. Let's roll."
"I call shotgun!"
"I'm the leader, and I say, get in line soldier," Isaac grunted jokingly at Stronghold.
"Awww..." Valor3 groaned in mock disappointment.
Once they suited up, they began to plow through the Trade Prince's guardsmen, cutting through them like a hot knife through green butter. Eventually, they arrived at Gallywix's platform, along with Thrall, who held the legendary Doomhammer in his hand.
"Ah, I was wondering what happened to you, Is-UCK," Gallywix taunted, sneering at Valor Leader.
"Yeah, I've been banged up a bit, but that's nothing compared to what we're gonna do to you. Yer gonna pay for betraying us, you traitorous wank," Isaac growled, setting the Shredder to Attack Mode.
"We're gonna you use you for a Footbomb for the tournament next year!" Stronghold cried, aiming his saw blade arm at the Trade Prince.
"My brother DIED on Kezan... and you wouldn't let me save him. I deserve justice!" Raindancer yelled, about to fire.
"Oh, PLEASE spare me the theatrics! I'm the bloody Trade Prince! I. AM. UNSTOPPABLE!"
'We'll see about that,' the blue-clad goblin thought slyly as they dueled.
Isaac almost became fatally wounded when an armor piercing round sliced through his shredder and into his leg, causing him to lose his concentration for a few seconds. He waited for Gallywix to kill him, but instead saw Stronghold smashing the little goblin off his machine, knocking him to the ground.
"Oh, SHI-" he started, before Stronghold grabbed him by the throat and held him there.
"I dare you to finish that sentence, I DARE YA," Raindancer said, her eyes becoming slits.
"H-h-h-hey, I'm sorry! Go easy on me! I'll give you whatever you want, just don't k-kill me!" Gallywix pleaded, his triumphant voice becoming filled with begging.
"Hmm..." Isaac started, tapping his chin with his finger. "How abo-"
"No," Thrall cut in, surprising him.
"The goblins need a leader, Isaac. Right now, Gallywix happens to fit that role, even you hate him with every fiber of your being."
"But... he enslaved-"
"Yes, I know that. I'll have some allies keeping an eye on him for now."
"....oh, fine," Isaac replied in defeat. He really wanted to see Gallywix dead, but that would have to wait, it seemed.
"The Bilgewater Cartel shall become a part of the Horde. There will be a representative sent to inform Garrosh Hellscream. Gallywix, you will remain Trade Prince of the Cartel... for now," Thrall boomed.
"Hooray!" Sassy Hardwrench yelled, hugging Isaac tightly.
"Sassy... I need... AIR!" he sputtered, gasping from her death-grip like vice.
"Sorry," she said, batting her eyelashes at him as she released him. Isaac rolled his eyes; Sassy's attempts to flirt with him fail each time she tried.
"Now what, sir?" Valor5 asked the team leader, walking up the rig.
"We leave for Orgrimmar, I suppose. We're gonna be allied with the Horde," he explained.
"Woohoo!" 5 yelled.
"Awesome!" 4 blared.
"Wonderful!" 3 and 2 barked at the same time.
Chapter Four: Unfinished Business
I always wondered about the wars between the Alliance and Horde. Even in the presence of a massive threat, we still fight one another like that threat doesn't exist. It made me shake my head. Why waste resources on a normal foe when a much larger one is looming over our heads? I dare not voice my opinion though; I'd be mocked and gossiped behind my back, and the rumors of me being a Horde sympathizer would never stop.
Sighing, I turned towards my former instructor, Veralus Dreambreeze, who was busy directing the druids and night elves against the rampaging orcs who were intent on taking Gilneas from us. He was an excellent leader, but even a master strategist like him couldn't hold much longer against bloodthirsty monsters.
"I don't know how much longer we can press on before our luck runs out," he said, his blue pony-tail swaying this way and that in the wind, his brow furrowed. Earlier we had found out that Sylvanas was going to spread the Plague in Gilneas, but we managed to stunt her efforts. The only things we had left to deal with were the Forsaken and Orc troops still running around.
"Crowley's daughter, Lorna, has an idea, sir," I began. "She found a big stash of incendiary bombs from rebel locations. We're gonna use it on the huge gunship out there, since it's the only thing that keeps our civilians from getting out of here."
"And that will be carried out how exactly?" he questioned, a skeptical gleam in his eye.
"A small strike force of hippogryphs, so they won't know what hit them. Will you be alright while I'm up there?"
"I suppose... but you must hurry, Kioal. We can't keep this up all day."
"Don't worry, I'll be quick!" I replied, and, bidding him farewell, took off to where Tobias Mistmantle was, near the hippogryphs meant to down the gunship. Tenavra was there as well, sitting on her own hippogryph mount and preparing for take-off. "Is everything in order?" I asked.
"Yes, we're just about done," Tobias replied to me.
"Good. Hopefully we'll be able to get these prats off our backs.."
"What about us, hun?" Ten inquired. "What will we do after this?"
"Well, I figured we could settle for Moonglade," I answered, walking over and putting my hand on her shoulder, squeezing it. We stared each other in the eye for a few seconds before I added, "And you still owe that drink."
"Memory of a kodo, you have," she stated before hugging me.
I returned it gladly before jumping on my own hippogryph.
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