Writing Prompt: Death becomes you.

Wyrmrest Accord
The moonlight allowed shimmered views of fur, fangs and eyes to be seen; it reminded Torgal of nights when he would watch the worgs hunt wild boars in Durotar. Yes, it was that same unholy and primal glow to those eyes as the light refracted within that he saw in the hues of the worgen; they were the predators, and the Horde were the prey.

Two other orc grunts were the first to go down before the original worgen resumed his assault in the confusion, clubbing Witch Doctor Jaka'jin with the pommel of his blade before gouging an eye with his claw and thrusting the blade itself into the troll's gut. The Darkspear crumbled to the ground, likely having died from the shock of having a blade thrusted through his heart.

When some order finally came to the chaos, it became obvious to Torgal that he and the Sergeant were the only ones left standing. All the others were either felled by the swordsman or his allies.

Oh, how the roles had reversed as they converged like a pack around Korgan and Torgal, but their eyes hinted there was much more to them then that; they were men working in unision for a common goal.

"Grunt! The Kodo! GET TO THE KODO! It's the only way!" Korgan's desperation was so apparently clear in spite of his baleful red eyes.

Torgal realized he was right, though. Using the supporting rampage of the sergeant, he hobbled toward Rempkaha, the beast of burden who had hauled their supplies all around the forest.

With a quick slap, the kodo found itself set on a mad dash away, now free from the bindings which kept it hauling the cart.

"Sergeant! Get on!" Torgal bellowed over the din or snarls and roars, the kodo bashing away any of the worgen who strayed too close with her monstrous horn and strong tail.

Korgan narrowed his eyes; there was no way he was going to let his unit be wiped out. For such to happen on his watch would be dishonorable, and dishonor was worse then death for any orc worth his life.

"I'm not going. Make for The Sepluchre, Grunt. Get yourself patched up and warn them of what has happened here. Then, await the replacements."

"Sergeant! Don't be a fool!" Torgal looked around as he continued circling Rempkaha around, both rider and beast fending off the worgen.


Feeling a mix of guilt and resolve, Torgal reluctantly relented from his attempts to save his superior and watched as the other worgen surrounded him. Strangely though, they formed a ring about him while only a few broke off to pursue the wounded orc and kodo.

Torgal dared not look up as he snapped Rempkaha's reins as tightly as he could, the only sounds to accompany him were that of the wind whipping past his bald head and the growling of the worgen dashing behind them upon all fours, shouting directions and taunts all the way.

The chase felt as though it lasted for hours until the paling rider and the exhausted Kodo made it to The Sepluchre, and for the next several hours, Torgal remembered nothing as his vision faded to black.


When he awoke, he found an Executor of the Undercity questioning him.

"I see." The undead woman's voice was hard and cool, as icy as her touch surely was from being bound within a grave; this assumed she still had a jaw under that mask. "So you were ambushed in the night then? Those worgen are crafty, aren't they...?"

"Hmm." Torgal grunted, looking down for a moment. His arm was heavily bandaged and in a sling, and his legs were somewhat mummified from the ankle down; apparently, he had somehow sprained both of them in the course of the night's events; how he had been able to stand was likely through a sheer will to survive.

"I'm afraid however, Grunt Legbreaker, we've no use for an orc with... ehem, broken legs, pardon the pun." Her tone was dry, almost too polite despite her flat expression; not that Torgal was expecting a welcoming party; she was not only an officer of the Deathguard, but it was well-known the forsaken and their leader had little love for his kind.

"Your ship home arrives tomorrow."

Torgal was simply crushed; any chance that he had at earning honor was gone; he was to be discharged and sent home with a humiliating injury to bare for it, with no tales of glory and battle.

But worst of all, he was starting to realize something:

Everyone was dead because of him. It occurred to Torgal that Kuzzix had likely figured out that he was gone, and had stood to look - and that must have been when the worgen had doused the fire.

They'd been watching and waiting the whole time.

And now, all he had left was Sergeant Korgan's insignia recovered by the Dark Rangers this morning from his body.

Torgal clenched it; at least Korgan had died a hero, even for a fool like him.

It still did not ease his guilt, however; they were all dead because he couldn't obey orders.

All because of one simple decision.
Meanwhile, in Gilneas... the Gilnean people had yet to properly move in and begin restoring their kingdom it its proper glory, but some stayed and held out; among them were the Gilneas Liberation Front and other souls who dared defy the wrath of the Forsaken.

Others were simply grieving fathers and mothers, husbands and wives with an unwavering resolve; and a common mission to see Undercity burn for what they have done to their beloved homeland beyond the wall.

But for now, he wasn't going to think about that; sheathed back into his human form, Alfred Osbertman tried not to think of the events of the night before when he decided to aid the GLF in clearing out a platoon of Horde troops from the woods.

Here and now, it was a time to remember who he loved.

He knelt down before a weathered pair of gravestones; it had only been a year or two, but the monoliths seemed advanced with age with the constant fog and fain; it was like Gilneas wept for her children in exile.

Much like he now wept for his own family as his blue eyes swept the engraving on the stones, studying the first with profound sadness etched in gesture and face.

"Here lies Clayton Alfred Osbertman, jovial and kind son.

Here lies Audrey Rosaline Osbertman, beautiful and loving daughter.

"Mummy and daddy miss you both so very much, our precious darlings. You were taken from us all far too soon by monsters who have given themselves to a life of misery devoid of love. You will not be forgotten, however. Rest in peace, dear children.
- Mr. Alfred Osbertman and Mrs. Rosaline Smith Osbertman, loving father and mother"

It was like a dagger thrusting through his heart as he remembered those words; indeed, Alfred remembered handing the epitaph to the grave keepers with trembling hands, half in despair and half in anger. What father enjoyed having to bury a child, even if far later then their mother?

And then, the dagger in his heart twisted and burned as Alfred turned to the next gravestone; a reminder of sadness, anger and guilt. And shame of it all culminated.

"Here lies Rosaline Smith Osbertman, beautiful lady, devoted and loving wife and mother taken from us at the age of 31. My love, my dear beautiful Rosaline. I don't know who which of those vile undying animals invading our kingdom did this to you, but rest assured my love, your end will be avenged. As will our children; this is my promise to you, love.

I await the day we may embrace one another once again, my dear, sweet Rosaline. Please, forgive me for not being there to save you.

- Mr. Alfred Osbertman, loving husband"

But how Alfred had been wrong, so terribly wrong; at least concerning his wife.

How did one go on living knowing they killed the only thing that made their wife worth it? He still wasn't sure; he just knew it hurt. True, his mind wasn't his own at the time, but the memory was there. As well as the recently awakened memory of his own best friends conspiring to hide this fact from him as he recovered his mind with the aid of Lord Aranas' alchemy.

"Thomas...! We're talking about our best friend...!"

"You know how Alfred gets when he's upset, Geoffrey! Besides... who's going to miss a few of those fetid, rotten bags of misery? We're doing Gilneas and the Forsaken a favor. .. this is for Alfred, Geoffrey. I don't want to hurt him, and neither should you. Okay?"

Alfred took a moment to suppress the sudden desire to cry out in rage, for that would trigger his transformation. No, he would not wear the face of a killing machine, not here. Not at his wife's grave. He wouldn't dare appear before her in that shape.

Even IF that was simply her corpse and not Rosaline proper in that grave.

Still... those Forsaken could never suffer enough. Not for what they did to his son, and his little girl; poor little Audrey must have been terrified. Both of them had to be, even if Clayton likely fought all the way to end.

Alfred started to pray before the grave, and then weep.
The next morning, as a galleon from Durotar rolled into the harbor, Torgal growled at all the oncoming troops as he hobbled his way aboard on crutches, glowering at anyone who dared to meet his eyes.

Somebody would likely ask what he did however, especially if he's seen like this.

"What happened to you, brother? Stumble?" One orc, just as fresh-faced as Torgal had been when he was first deployed here, seemed to be mocking him.

"Take my advice, brother," He met the orc eye to eye, and imparted these words:

"Stay in the camp at night."

(( Sorry for the long read, enjoy. ))
Something I wrote a long time ago when I changed my main's faction... I feel like I'm cheating because I didn't come up with this on the spur of the moment. Sorry :(

Six shadows darted through lush foliage, the quick patter of footsteps and the slightest of breeze gave away their solidity. Long tapered ears and luminous eyes on alert when they paused in a glade, waiting. Two more approached with a salute and the eight moved out; the group of Night elves grew in this fashion until at last they paused on the edge of a handmade clearing.

All twelve moved silently in unison; weapons were drawn at the command of a silver haired warrior at the heart of the band. She took her time, studied the rain laden clouds and smelled the smoke on the air. Another one of the women, the Sentinels, signaled- ten guards and twenty or so peons within the vicinity. More signals and half of the women faded to the sides. This was neither the first nor the last that the Warsong Lumber Camp would see bloodshed.

Lalaith, the silver haired captain, crept forward cautiously and slid her helm into place on her crown. She breathed deep, tension writ in the bodies of those about her. They were ready for the fight.

The breeze picked up and Lalaith gave the command. Three archers stood and drew arrows, their actions were a blur and when the horde sentries fell, the archers were ready again. Thunder peeled and the elves grinned as they spilled out into the clearing upon the ignorant orcs and trolls. A cry went up as the rest of the elves joined but instead of panic it was a returned fury that met their swords. A handful of troll and orcish warriors leapt from the opposing side and entered the fresh din of battle. Just out of sight of what the Night elf sentries could have seen.

The fury of the horde; their colors, the tribal symbols, flashing tusks and harsh sounding language – it was a stark contrast to their attackers. The Night Elf Sentinels were sleek and graceful, calculated and precise cuts; yips and song like calls.

Lalaith leapt and spun over an opponent, her scimitars flashing and dancing in a quick spray of blood. She landed in a crouch to dodge the fire of a totem only to be greeted with the toothy grin of a female troll. Thick copper braids fell in ropes down her green shoulders.

A leap back to regain her composure and Lalaith charged just as rain started to fall. The troll was ready for her onslaught and the elvish swords bounced off a glossy shield. Even when she turned to strike from behind, the troll parried with an axe. The troll continued to smile while Lalaith cocked an eyebrow, both nodded with respect before the true fight.

Ducking and leaping, clashes, gritting of teeth; both waved off help from allies, enjoying the challenge. An easy victory is never something a warrior relishes though as the minutes wore on Lalaith sensed the battle around her. The Elves were falling against the numbers and ferocity of the Horde. Everyone was dripping with mud and the footing was unsteady. Her troll slid to a knee with a grunt and Lalaith slipped as she leapt to attack.
Then there it was and the moment played out achingly slow; the copper haired troll exposed her arm, using the shield to leverage back to standing. Lalaith struck – her sword slicing out in an arch but the rush she should have felt was instead the deepest pain. She looked at the green arm reaching out to her, clutching an axe covered in her own blood. The troll had taken the moment and slid it through the soft and opalescent skin of her belly.

There was no grin or victory cry from the troll as Lalaith's hands dropped her scimitars to hold herself together. Her eyes were wide with the shock of death.

"Lalaith!!" A scream from a companion but she was cut down quickly. The troll repeated the name slowly as the rest of the orcs and trolls cried out in victory. Blood was gushing from the stump of the troll's arm and she gripped it tightly; it would grow back. She turned to the fallen nemesis and continued to repeat the name; it was foreign to her lips but belonged to her now.

Kneeling close to Lalaith, the troll heard a desperate prayer and bowed her head with respect, "Ande'thoras-ethil", some mutterings. "Elune adore…" then more undecipherable words as the elf was wracked with pain. "Dorien, I come." An exhale and she was gone.

A male troll with shaggy white dreads approached the copper haired female and knelt, "Shi..."

"No, I be Lalaith now. Dat be ma juju." She lifted her defiant gaze to meet his and he nodded. Her demeanor softened at the pride he showed her and still holding her arm, they stood. The loss of blood and weariness from the fight caused her to slip and he caught her, lifting her to carry.

"D'bek", she protested but he cut her off. "Naw, donchu go mekken a fuss now, ye hear? Dey won see ye like dis, ju proud warria." And he walked off, Lalaith in stow; only the steady rain and the click of wooden totems hanging from his belt to be heard by ears now deaf to the world.
Courtesan- really nice! Such a minimal scene but the intensity was really apparant. I like how the ending was more subtle and implied than "THEN HE SHOT HER." Your little descriptive touches really painted this confrontation for me. Thank you for sharing.

Arielen- once again I am impressed with your creativity, and also your usage of vocabulary. I know it is not the same Ari from MOKZ but it seems like they have a lot of common ground and you showed not only her savagery but also the harsh life that many soldiers can relate to, mine included. Glad to see you still at writing, please keep it up.

Khumbu- that's ok, maybe tomorrow.

Any- being familiar w your toon already, this was less an insight into her character and more just enjoyable to read. Once again you showed why she is such a formidable, grizzled, mean son (daughter?) of a B and also how important her duty is. Really well done. Anyaka has always been a worthy opponent and I look forward to slaughtering you when I come back and make Astraanar my summer home. Bring Garlando, who is my Ned Flanders. Tell him I said that.

Madican- I have read your character concept here before and was curious, seeing how it is a fairly unique idea. After reading your story, I have to say that while it may be out there a bit, you obviously have a very strong grip on how to work it. Very well written; I really like how it all tied together how his powers work, and for me at least, it is believable. You can really get a feel of how this/these "entity/ies" is alien to human customs while trying to pass as one simultaneously. Also you killed that space goat in a wonderfully entertaining way! Well done.

I will reply to the other ones later; I just haven't had time to read them all. But I am thrilled at what I have seen thus far and would like to commend you all for sharing. You should all be proud of what you have posted here.
Roulette rubbed her hands together then took a step back, pleased with herself. The ominous sky of Netherstorm crackled above and though she was no engineer--not by a long shot--she was pretty happy with the contraption she’d managed to rig in order to measure the effects of certain spells this close to the Twisting Nether itself.

Sparks leapt from the power supply but found no fuel to feed them on the dry purple grey rock. Roulette gave a firm nod of approval, hands on her hips. Yep, this aughta do it. Her private projects up here in Outland were where most of her spare cash went these days. She’d made some great deals with the local Ethereals up in the spire for her nice cozy little lab. They didn’t appear to regret it... much.

Bronvina examined her nails nearby, sighing and bored out of her demonic skull. She’d be mildly more interested if she thought that the possible explosion might take out her mistress, but she’d seen Roulette mix the wrong combination of elixirs enough times to know she’d probably survive it. Unfortunately.

“Alright, Brawny, hold on to ya hat! Or breastplate, whatevah.”

The succubus rolled her eyes which happened to give her a glimpse of something that made her smile. Rou was counting her steps back, not quite sure how the Nether reader would function. Her minion’s smile grew into a wicked grin.

The Goblin noticed it and gave her a puzzled look before bumping into something tall and squishy behind her. This was bad. Draenei ruins were not squishy. She cringed faintly then whipped her head around to look. A gaping maw sporting layers upon layers of teeth and not terribly pleasant breath greeted the Goblin. Roulette arched wildly on the tips of her toes to dodge a laser that shot from its eyes and churned up rock and dust beneath her feet.

“Brawny, you’re supposed ta be on tha lookout, stop standin there all passive an sic em!”

Disappointed that the Beholder didn’t swallow Roulette whole before she had a chance to give a proper order, Bronvina’s smile vanished and grimly she leapt forward brandishing her whip. A sharp crack stung one of its eyes and it bobbed backwards a moment, giving Rou a chance to rocket boot to a safer distance and start casting.

A virtual laser show burst from the multiple eyes, blasting a radius around it and making swiss cheese of Bronvina’s wings as it flew at her. It chomped on the smaller demon before realizing that the bulk of its smoking wounds were coming from the small green and blue shape up on the hill. It burst towards her with a snarl, drool flying. A flaming tentacle swatted at the measuring contraption in it’s way which resulted in a flash of green light that threw both the Goblin and her minion several feet in the air.

Upon her descent Roulette grabbed desperately at the rocks as she almost skidded off the edge of the cliff and into the Nether she was so fascinated with. Panting she pulled herself up and looked around anxiously. Looked like the coast was clear… though her experiment was kapoot. Good Ethereal technology modified by an amateur down the drain. She’d have to set up farther away from the Ruins of Farahlon next time…

“Brawny? You sti-“ She cringed as she was interrupted by bits of Beholder blubber and purple viscous fluid falling from the sky. “Oeeuugh…. Uggh… Brawny? You still heah?” When there was no reply Roulette took a moment to cast a summoning spell.

Bronvina rematerialized physically unharmed but angry and dazed. “Be ready, there could be more of em! I’m gonna see if I can salvage any useful parts.”

Grumbling, the succubus lit up a trembling cigar and followed along obediently.

As she collected the bits and pieces Roulette decided it’d be worth the investment to have a pro calibrate and repair the thing than to do it herself… definitely not her area of expertise. She stumbled over a circle of rocks and found a metal bolt next to an unconscious baby Beholder with a lump on its head.

“Oops… Is it dead?”

Her minion came up behind her and arched an eyebrow. “Only one way to be sure,” Bronvina purred in her deep gravelly voice, lifting a hoof to stomp the foot bomb sized creature.

“Stop! Don’t kill it!” The warlock plodded closer and scooped up the little Beholder. It’s tongue lolled out but it was breathing. Strange! Roulette had never really thought about if demons breathed or not. It was kinda cute in a weird ugly sorta way. Beholders were the only demons she knew of that actually bred, which was odd since they seemed to be sexless creatures. Weird, powerful, clever, sexless demon creatures. Hmm.

“I’m takin it back to tha lab! No Goblin worth her silvah would pass up an opportunity like this!” She emptied one of her bags to make room for the little demon. “Let’s head back, we’ll worry bout this experiment anothah day! Keep on keepin an eye out till Dougie gets heah ta gimme a lift."

"... Yes, mistress."
Wrote that back in Cata, thought it fit the thread. :) Loving the posts! Keep em comin, folks!
The battle went poorly for the Alliance forces. Caught defending a caravan, and outnumbered heavily, only strict discipline had kept them alive in the face of the howling mass of Horde raiders. Troll warriors jostled beside orcish wolf rider. Elvish sorcerers stood in the back of the encircling attackers with tauren druids and goblin marksmen. Cackling apothecaries of the Forsaken stood with a wide space around them as they worked their fiendish alchemy. The mass of Horde surged against the Alliance lines like the sea against the shore, crashing against it again and again, slowly wearing away their ability to resist. And all above the din of battle rose the war cries of the Horde, growing ever louder as victory came nearer their grasp.

When help came, it came in silence. A small group of armoured figures sped over the plain, their strides eating up the ground with haste. They drew near, and without hesitation, slammed into the rear of the Horde ranks. Ten armoured figures, clad in silvery plate from head to hoof, began their grim work. A massive crystal maul rose and fell, crushing the skull of a robed tauren without a word. A greatsword sliced through an upraised arm, and cut heavily into an orc's chest, dropping it bleeding to the ground. The bestial members of the raiding party turned from the Alliance at their center, and turned towards their new prey. With a howl, dozens threw themselves forward at the glowing figures.

Swords and axes sang and crashed from armour and shield. And the Draenei weathered the assault without casualty, and then began to press forward, implacable. One figure, taller than his companions, a long sword of dark violet crystal held in one hand, pushed deep into the midst of the crush. The sword spun, blood splattering from it's edge in torrents. A goblin, a dagger in each hand, rushed at his legs, and was crushed beneath a heavy hoof. A rotten Forsaken charged forward, shield held high, and was turned to dust in a wash of golden light.

As the Draenei fought their way inwards, the Alliance guarding the caravan had surged out, taking their enemies in the moment their attention wavered between their old threats, and the new. They fell back, dying in droves beneath sword and mace. As their attacks against the Draenei failed to crush them, and as they faced renewed fury from their old foes, their morale melted. Only orcs remained to hold their ground for a few moments more, as their erstwhile allies streamed away, before they too broke and ran, heaping curses on their 'friends'.

Arkturas walked over the corspes between him and the caravan leader, nodding in greeting. "Do you need help with your wounded?" He rumbled.

The leader, a Night Elf in blood smeared armoured, nodded. "Thank you. We had thought we were overrun. Please, this way."

Arkturas waved some of his squard forward, but the other half formed on him, and they moved on out of the camp.

"Wait! Where are you going?" The Night Elf calls.

Arkturas paused, and turned. "We will make sure they continue to run. Light be with you."
((And now Shiner.))

Mogu were not easily confused. Yet when the raiding party ascended the steps of an out-of-the-way pagoda in the Vale, next to a pond, they stopped at its threshold when they saw what was inside.

A small thing knelt in the center of the pagoda, a human, with cloth covering her eyes. In front of her was a rather large table with dozens of tea cups filled to the brim with a dark brew. The human smiled, reached for a cup, and sipped once from it before she said, "I've been expecting you. Please, sit."

The lead mogu scowled and strode forward, stopping at the table. Without hesitation he grabbed the table with one hand and hurled it out of the pagoda and into the pond.

The human sipped from the tea cup again. "Fury, hatred, pride."

The mogu grabbed the human's thin arm and shoved her backwards.

She stumbled to her knees and laughed mirthlessly. "Violence too. Yet there is no happiness from that action. No sadness. No lust." She slowly got up and tilted her head. "As alien as the sha in some respects. Even the mantid are more human than you."

The mogu growled and roared out, "We mogu are greater than human! Greater than pandaren! Greater than mantid! Greater than all the lesser races!"

The human tilted her head again. "Greater? Let's see then. Accept my emotions."

Black fire exploded out from within the human and cloaked her in a mantle of darkness. She extended her hand towards the mogu and said, "Take...my hatred."

The mogu's roar of defiance was lost in the rush of flame as it launched up and splashed down over the mogu. Gouts of flickering shadow splattered the pagoda floor and slowly dissipated, leaving nothing behind.

"Hatred consumed you," said the human quietly. She turned towards the rest of the mogu and smiled. "I wonder if any of you can do better?" Darkness congealed from her mantle and swelled up, growing writhing tendrils and sharp fangs. "Take...my sorrow."

Five hours later the Golden Lotus received reports of a pagoda with a sha infestation. Hatred, sorrow, violence, and a very, very large amount of fear. The Shado-Pan searched for the cause but found nothing...except for one empty tea cup set down in the center of the pagoda.
Ooh, I love this topic! Unfortunately it takes me forever to write anything halfway decent, and I'm in the middle of G4 story I'm trying to finish.

I'll be back.

- Forbs
"For Gnomeregan!"
Zeb'urzak winced lightly as the tip of an arrow pierced the flesh of his shin, grazing him and drawing blood. He dabbed the steel of the weapon in the blood, coating it and watching with satisfaction as the bleeding stopped and the wound slowly began to close. He placed the newly poisoned bit of ammunition with the others in the quiver that hung loosely at his side and watched the snarled jungle below his perch among the humid treetops that seemed to catch the steam and smell of decay rising from the floor of the rain forest below. He notched an arrow and waited.

Nearly half an hour passed without incident. Birds gave the branch the troll perched on a wide berth and flitted clear of him. An hour and a half past noon, he saw them arrive. Trundling along the road built by his honored ancestors, breaking the rocks, pointing and gesticulating their ugly squat hands at the carved totems of the ancient ones. Dwarves, sticking their fat noses into histories that didn't belong to them, honored traditions their disgusting earth-turning ways couldn't hold a lantern to.

He would send this Explorer's League to unveil the mysteries of death with their own eyes.

The sound of the arrow leaving his bow was soft and swift, and within moments one of the rams had fallen dead, twitching violently. Another shot and another one of their mounts fell. It took them twenty seconds to locate him in the treetops, and another five to bring their weapons to bear, by then he was gone.

The most masterful kill is the one too slow to notice. An hour later, more pack animals were dead, more food was abandoned, more gear was left behind, and an hour after that, the entire caravan was on foot in the Stranglethorn jungles, seeking uncontaminated food and water.

There was only one place to go, and so they went. Straight to the mouth of the river just as he had predicted. It is easy... he thought to himself, ... to see the future, so long as there is only one future to see. They made camp downstream, set up pots and kettles to boil the water, to kill disease. But poison is not disease, poison cannot be boiled away so easily. And so, in the night, Zeb'urzek found the meat stocks they had spent the previous day gathering and salting, and stood over it, watching the dozy guard made exhausted by the hours long trek without mounts or rations. He stood over the meat, and slit one of his wrists, wincing once more as his lifeblood left his body and dripped over the slowly curing meat. "Blessings of Dambala upon yah caravan, Dwarves..." He whispered to himself in Zandali, allowing himself a very short laugh.

The day came, they ate their breakfasts, swallowed the blood-poisoned meat, and by the time the night had come again, not a single living Dwarf had forded the river.
"Who... Who are you...?"

The voice was filled with fright. Angst. Desperation. A breeze fluttered in from the shroud of night through the open door, sending a single candle's light shining over the terrorized young Sin'dorei's face. Across the room, a silhouette stood against the darkness, slowly approaching the woman that had backed herself into a corner.

"Who am I? Does it matter when you're dead?" The sound of metal against metal, scraping in a cacophonous symphony together, filled the room. Raising sword point at her victim, the silhouette continued to approach, heavy footsteps echoing across the walls. One step. Two steps. Three steps. Whimpers sounded as the Sin'dorei pressed herself against the wall of her own home, frantically looking for a way to escape. Her futile attempts were met with a cruel laugh.

"Come now, little puppet, dance for me... Make this exciting. It would be just too dreadful if this all ended so quickly. You do have a little fight in you, don't you? Or has flower-picking made you soft." The Sin'dorei's breathing became heavier with each step her would-be killer took, her heart's beat thumping in her ears as she found herself frozen in fear, unable to scream, unable to cry, unable to move. The candle's light flickered once more, the light cascading across the visage of a skull mask, covering the murderer's face. The grin was nearly audible underneath the mask.

As sword point approached the woman's chest, she finally snapped out of her fear and in an instant bolted to the side, trying to evade the murderer's blade. A laugh erupted from beneath the skull mask.
"That's it, puppet! Run! It only makes the blood pump faster." Pushing against the wall with little care for the scrapes it'd cause across her shoulder, the Sin'dorei rushed passed a pair of chairs and a table, around towards the bedroom, before finally approaching the open door...

She cried out as she tripped over a stack of crates, falling over herself and landing with a thud on the floor, scrapes and bruises visible through the tears in her fine clothing, as well as the tears covering her face.

"Awww... Did we hurt ourselves?" Step... "You ought to be more careful, puppet. Don't want to spill that blood of yours too much now." Step... "It will be over quick. I'm sure it won't hurt that much." Step...

A shrill cry sounded, filling the night for the briefest of moments, and was cut short as metal parted flesh, piercing an innocent heart.
Leaning over her victim, Ves'reltha removed her mask and tied it to her belt, then produced a series of vials from a satchel at her side. Another figure entered the room before she could go on with her macabre work.

"...Is it done?"

Ves'reltha could only smile warmly, caringly, as she looked towards the new arrival.

"Yes, sister. It's all over. I'll have your blood ready soon... Just relax over there for your big sister, alright?"
Sgatha Jacobs was on edge. Not that that was anything new. Karasang Wilds was beautiful, but the constant bird and animal noises made her nervous. It was hard to get a moment to think in all the squalling. The thick forest could be hiding anything, and she'd never know. And the heat made her helmet an absolute misery.

In theory, she was standing watch. She wouldn't need it. She could lift it off, drop the cowl around her neck, and let her hair dry out instead of sticking to her head with sweat. It was a nice thought. But it remained a thought only. The short paladin shifted her weight, chains clanking, and tried to pretend to herself that fresh skin exposed to the muggy breeze made a real difference. Again. It didn't. The problem with bare skin was that for every finger's width, there was a new species of bug that wanted it.

She might have looked like an easy target, standing on her rock, watching the forest. At least, that was her best guess for why the man took a stab at her, instead of proceeding into the camp. She certainly hadn't seen the orc against the trees, dark brown leathers and green skin, moving in the shadows. She hadn't heard him, either. Sgatha Jacobs only realized she had company when her breeze was interrupted. She straightened up reflexively, and a blade that had been bound for the exposed side of her neck slid with a screaming rattle down the chains across her back.

The paladin whirled, smacking out blindly with her shield. The spikes caught something, then tore free with a sickening gurgle. The rogue was suddenly fully visible, clutching his arm. He threw something at the eyeslots of her helmet. The delicate crystal protected her vision, but she could feel grit sliding down her armor. Sgatha roared, dragging her shield in front of her. She charged at the orc, but he whirled out of her way with a graceful motion, sticking a foot in front of her.

Sgatha went down in a clatter of armor. He landed on top of her, pinning the paladin's axe hand against her chest. She felt the blade against her armpit. If he digs that in, it'll going to be an artery, she thought numbly.

The orc spit out a sentence in harsh orcish. She tried to focus, to remember how to speak it, and at the same time, figure out how to get out of her predicament. He repeated himself, faster and louder.

"Where the hell's your captain?"

Sgatha shook her head, trying to line her tongue up with the words. Memory came quickly. "How would I know?" Her breathing was harsh, but her orcish was good, nearly without accent. She shifted her weight, prompting a heavier prick of the dagger. This time, she could feel blood drawn. She yelped in protest as the big man pulled her faceplate up.

"Don't you lie to..." His voice trailed off. Sgatha used the moment of confusion, flaring with light with a quick word. Her faith shielded her from the stab as she brought her shield around, slamming it into the side of the orc's head. She knocked him off her, then smashed him a couple more times for measure. At some point, she realized the rogue wasn't moving at all anymore. She touched the prayer book at her side, then straightened up, adjusting her armor. Finally, she settled her faceplate back in position.

Then the half orc leaned down, ripping the badge from his chest. Something to show her captain. Assuming someone eventually came out to investigate all the noise. She leaned back against the tree with a long sigh. Light above, she hated this.
Osbertman- I have to say I really, really enjoyed that. The first thing that stuck out to me was how you gave everyone a name. Not just a filler name, either, but like a real one, which to me made it very easy to get into. Each character came alive, and you managed to portray all of your enemies as believable while not vilifying them, which is sometimes very easy to do. The violence was another thing you did well- your way of describing the action made it really easy to get sucked in. As far as your toon goes, you did a great job of showing how he mixed animal ferocity with martial prowess, using both fang and claw AND sword with equal efficiency, and then at the end, you balanced the feral nature of his battle-persona with a nice touch of humanity during that scene at the graves. And the ending tied it all together! Really well done.

Lalaith- Wow! I didn't expect that twist. At first I was impressed by your depiction of the contrast of the factions. The individual battle was done well too; I could picture the two of them facing off in honorable single combat while their peers circled, watching, rooting for their champion. The fight itself was easy to picture, especially the "slow-motion" part- I think a lot of us can relate to that sickening feeling when something goes wrong and you are helpless to do anything but watch. But the part how the troll heard her prayers and took her name out of respect for a worthy opponent was very cool. Good job.

Roulette- That was awesome. Both you and your minion came through as real people, and without ever having met either of you I still feel like I got a good sense of who they are and their relationship to each other. Minions aren't supposed to be buddies, and it was apparant that yours was serving you only grudgingly. Both the setting and the players were described really well- I could see her there in the Nether while the storm raged above, I could see the Beholder gnashing its teeth and exploding in a "lazer show", just the whole thing came alive in my mind. I also like the twist of her finding a new minion to raise after defeating its parent, and you could see the wheels spinning in her head. An interesting take on how you found another servant for your dark arts.

Arkturas- Bad@ss! The setup was great and how you and your troops came riding in to save the day was really cool. You could see how he is a soldier at heart- all-business in battle. As soon as he made sure the others were ok for the moment, he continued to be relentless in his pursuit of the enemy, and that's something I can admire. The battle scene was easy to picture. A very basic story in terms of what actually happens, but in its simplicity you had a lot of depth going on.

Shiner- very creepy! Her dialogue and demeanor when facing the Mogu gave me shivers, and the way her power manifested when she started getting serious was really cool. The whole time she was in control, and the enemy just didn't realize it until it was too late. The last paragraph where all that was left of her confrontation was her teacup was a nice little touch too. Great job!

Forbidra- hurry up!

I will get back to this later, but again, I am so impressed by the talent being shown here- as I am sure the rest of the realm is. Each of you have different styles, and each of you have done wonderfully. Without sounding like a broken record, these are all stories you should be proud of, and I think it speaks a lot about the kind of community we have that such amazingly creative people play here.
Bit of background because this story is mildly out of context; a new recurring villain had just been introduced to house haethon, and she had used and attacked the only person Reshuv still applied any sense of morality to, and she got away and left him righteously pissed. Resh rarely lets drawn out battles happen, he prefers to end it quickly if they're a legitimate threat, so instead you guys get to see what a horrific sadist he is.

It had been a long time since his blood had burned so hot, every second that Reshuv lingered on that witch's actions served to make him more and more furious. It was the first time in a long time he had anticipated the turn of the month, so that he could take out his anger and further another cause.

He stalked Elwynn like an animal in the woods just off the road, eyes sharp for a sign of what he was looking for. "Ten after twelve, even if my clock is off it's certainly the first of August." His eyes locked onto what he sought as his mouth curled into a wicked, razor-toothed grin, the red bandanas of Defias bandits stalking the road. Reshuv quickly summoned his succubus and walked into the road.

The group was talking and laughing, their weapons were clean and their coinpurses empty, it seemed as though they had not wronged anyone lately. 'Still.' Resh thought, 'They have in the past.' He paused for a second, then shook his head, why was he reassuring himself he was doing right? It had never mattered to him before. Unhesitantly, Resh stepped in front of the group as a male of easily six and a half feet walked to the front, "The !@#$ d'you want, wolfie?"

Resh grinned and raised his hand, his voice still brimming with rage, "You." He pointed his hand at him and began to mutter an incantation, before the man had any time to react, to even draw his weapon, Resh launched a soul fire at him. The bandit's cloth shirt offered no protection from the fire, and the impact of the spell left a nightmarish wound, the man's chest cavity had been blown completely away, slabs of flesh and bone laying on the road behind him as a waterfall of blood came gushing, "H-holy %^-*!" Another of the bandits yelled out as the first fell dead.

At the sight of the blood and gore, Reshuv's face curled into the kind of euphoric smile someone would get after sex. The three remaining bandits began to back away as the worgen drew ever closer, "S-!@#$ man, why are you after us? D-did we kill your family or something?" He gave no answer, he simply flicked his hand at the men. Reshuv's succubus, Bronrida, wrapped her whip around the man's neck as she became visible, the other two bandits, knowing their ally was already dead, turned tail and ran as though they were being pursued by a monster. For all intents and purposes, they were right.

The Warlock approached the strangled man, "Bron, shirt." The succubus nodded, kissing the man's neck sensually as she reached down and tore the clothing off the man's chest. Reshuv pointed a single clawed finger forward and slowly lowered it to the man, "Let him look, dear." The succubus nodded, pulling her mouth away from the man and forcing his head downward. The horrified bandit let out an agonizing scream as Resh's single claw pierced his chest, and he began to slowly drag it downward, making an ever-larger wound. The wound sufficient, Resh jammed his entire hand in, brute forcing his way past the unfortunate soul's ribs and taking a firm grasp of his heart, in one pull, he ripped it out and tossed it to his succubus, "A treat, Bron." The succubus licked her lips and bit into the heart as the man watched with the last of his life.

Resh took a moment to lick the blood off his fingers, savoring the metallic taste, "The other two think they got away, they must not know of scent trails." Resh's grin grew wider as he summoned his dreadsteed and followed them into the woods. They had lead him to a camp full of allies, he counted at least ten, "Looks like I'll finish early this month." The warlock let his power flow freely, turning his form into that of a towering demon, the very air around him turning to flame, "Time to get to work." Reshuv chuckled as he stepped out of the shadows, his anger all but replaced by his own twisted form of happiness.

That night nobody in Elwynn slept well, they were too afraid of the noises they heard coming from the woods; howling, laughter, and agonized screaming.
((Hoo boy.

Some of these make for good reads.

Some of them bringing the pulse of battle; some of them evoking the chilled spine of horror.

Osbertman, love the book ends.

Now, I'm a nervous wreck when it comes to writing, so I may or may not achieve something I'm comfortable with.

If it's something about grammar, you have license to be as brutal as your own constitution allows, because I'm a grammar !@#$.

If not, please be gentle.

I will see what I can get ready for tomorrow. Just remember: No promises.))
“What have I done?”

As I reassure myself, I look upon the remains of what had recently been a Sentinel platoon, now dead with various amounts of shadow-induced disease, and all with expressions of utmost horror. Orcs would say it looks like I am lamenting over a victory over the Alliance. But in truth, I am lamenting over a grievous defeat.

“Capture her if possible – kill her if not!”

Don’t get me wrong, I never studied Darnassian. I garnered this translation from the minds of the kaldorei who heard it.

Was I scared? Does the question need to be asked, truly? It did not help that I did not feel completely right attacking them with the Light – they were defending their holdings, and I confess to not supporting the war. Yes, I was very scared indeed.

Unfortunately for all involved, bad things happen when my fear, sorrow, and other such emotions get away from me. I had to defend myself with Shadow magic. At first it was simple mental flaying to dissuade them. At first, it distracted them quite well.

And then a glaive pierced my side.

“Get AWAY!”

That was when I lost it. My surroundings became slightly unfocused and I was aware of a great deal of pain from the night elves. Even as I felt two more glaives graze my side and cut a tendon in my leg, I was more worried about the shadow plague that was swiftly, painfully, inexorably killing them.

My worry for their pain rendered me helpless to stop it, and I felt every ounce of suffering I caused them as it happened. By the time their suffering had been ended by death, I am curled up where I had fallen, my breakfast on the ground beside me. And I am still struggling with my emotions.

“Oh fel.”

By the time I manage to heal my leg and stand, seven medium-sized Sha, by which I mean about 10 feet tall and with matching proportions, have manifested from my emotions. It’s all I can do to best them with the Light, having an empty stomach and shaken nerves – and repressing another wave of shadow.

I am now faced with the prospect of reporting the sentinel encounter to… who, exactly? I’ve been discharged, actually, as a healer. But the Sha need to be reported to the Shado-Pan and I can already see the frustration on Lord Taran Zhu’s face.

“What have I done?”

I had been bested by my own unstable emotions.

((It's done. I just threw this together in the last half hour or so.

True to my word, I'm less than comfortable with it.

But I'd rather not stress over it in the morning, when my brain is half-asleep.))
I love this thread and the talent...

Needs more stories

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