Friday, June 22, 2012

A Strange Voice in Shattrath

((Archiving a written IC reaction to an in-game RP to save it from forum creep.))

. . . . . Driven to the extremity of loneliness, the decayed, angry adjunct smith for the Light's Blade left his elekk Thubaab with a bucket of glowcaps to keep him happy and braved a forty-minute walk to Shattrath City. He hated it there - all those memories and ghosts haunting the place - but he needed the company in ways he had not comprehended when he was living. Never again would he be the gregarious, social creature of his last twenty-seven thousand years... Yet he found his grip on himself faltered if he spent more than a few months in isolation.
. . . . . A rock jamming into the crevice of a permanently-cracked left hoof forced him to stop just shy of the northern bridge into the city. He cursed as he bent to dig it out, and that's when he heard the whisper: "Death is so vivid in my mind now that I fear it has drowned out the memory of anything else. When will we be free? Is anyone coming?"
. . . . . Hadeon glanced skyward and - well out of earshot of the bridge guards - muttered a response in flawless Orcish which was both vocal and a mental sending, "Retz? Quit messing with me. I thought we agreed you would shut up." There was no reply.
. . . . . The stone cleared from his hoof, he set out across the bridge, stopping halfway to peer down at the Lower City below. A ghost bloodied in vivid, glistening navy was milling in the throng of living traders and refugees, and made his stomach - or what was left of the icy, decayed mass where it would have been - roil. "Damned cesspool city," he muttered in Draenei, ducking away from the edge of the bridge before the ghost could look up and notice him. Once across the bridge, he headed around to the nearest entrance to the Terrace of Light. The walking dead man had stood before A'dal twice; it was agony, sheer skin-flaying agony. Standing in the entryway with part of the wall to shield him, he grit what remained of his rotting teeth together against a burn like lying face-down on the coals of a forge and tried to remember what it felt like to bask in the Light.
. . . . . Then it came again, several voices whispering at once: "To find the stalker, you must ask the earth she walks upon. Beg the wind she is carried by. Bargain with the water she bathes in. And beseech the fire of her heart. The answers shall come in the land of the ancestors..."
. . . . . Hadeon looked skyward again and backed away from the entry to the Terrace, his large, gnarled hands coming up to press the linen wrappings around his biceps into his cracked skin. Wasn't me, goat. Angrily, he hissed and backed away farther, heading towards the Scryers' Tier as he thought fiercely in Draenei towards the unknown source, Nether-blasted ghosts! Get back to the Lower City cesspool where you belong!
. . . . . And then the tenuous mental connection he held to the Light's Blade erupted into activity, assailing him with more voices - all of which had heard the same speech about this stalker. It almost felt like the days of sharing cramped spaces on the vessel with his vindicator detail. Before he could stop it, a sob tore from his parched throat. The noise itself was enough for him to clamp down on his control, strap some mental steel to his backbone, reassert the chill of death on the soul trapped inside. Still, the terrible maw of solitude gaped behind him, ready to shred his control again. Tentatively from behind the thick mental wall he kept between himself and his comrades, he reached out for the first time in...ever: "Would you like aid?"

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