Thursday, May 31, 2012

Site Write Entry #21: Cross-faction Hatred

Prompt: May 27, 2012 - Either by dream or thought, your character finds themselves thinking/dreaming about executing one person of other faction. This person could be known, nameless or one person of this server. However the catch is this, your character is thrown up in all the politics surrounding said death. It is going to be public and brutal by your hands. Do you go through with it? Whether you do or don't, who is it and why? What would you (or were going to) do to them?
. . . . . "At least my womb can still bear children, unlike your barren corpse!"
. . . . . White-hot rage exploded across Valdiis's mind, blinding her for a heartbeat - or what would have been one if hers still functioned. The searing rage shoved Colonel Valdiis aside and cleared the way for someone else to step into control, someone rarely seen except when the rigidly regimented and structured death knight lost her grip on the leash of the personality she referred to as the Midnight. That had been the hour the voice began arguing with her, at the beginning.
. . . . . The orc had uttered that statement while hauled up against Valdiis by thick chains covered in ice. She was still dangling from the death knight's grip, unable to stand on her badly mangled feet. Valdiis lifted her left hoof and slammed the titansteel shoe down on the orc's worst foot, the one the Songstress had removed bones from. The orc's scream of pain was a delightful balm to the rage fueling her, but then the foul creature had the gall to pass out. She dropped the heavily pregnant orc on the floor in a heap and stalked out of the underground cell.
. . . . . Already, she was planning how the orc would find her end once that whelp they were researching was delivered. There would be a silithid hive, four stakes and rope, a mallet to break every joint, and copious amounts of honey and bacon fat. It would be a gruesome, slow, painful death. The Midnight relished in the imagery, wallowing happily in the anticipated agony.
. . . . . "I want her woken and I want to be informed when she is able to answer questions again," she snapped at one of the cell's two door guards - Sergeant Kueliig. The lack of accent in her voice and the deeper octave as she no longer strained to push her voice past the damaged throat and palate clearly startled him. Almost no one had heard her speak with that voice.
. . . . . Celuur had. He followed her as she descended into the labyrinth of tunnels surrounding their underground operation. "What triggered it?"
. . . . . Valdiis stopped and turned. "I do not want to talk about it."
. . . . . "Consider it an order." Her General's tone was surprisingly reasonable.
. . . . . Phantom aches she should not have, old wounds which should not bother her flared, and two plate-gloved hands briefly came to rest over her abdomen. She told him, and the Midnight ebbed back into her dark recess.


. . . . . In the ensuing weeks after the completion of the research, Valdiis discovered there were some traitors among the Alliance who cared for the foul greenskin. Although they had run an exceptionally clean black op, the word that it had been death knights who captured, interrogated, and experimented upon Horde captives had gotten out and the Knights were the most prominent group of death knights in the Alliance.
. . . . . Of course, she denied all knowledge of the rumored operation and always turned it to questioning the loyalty of those seeking vengeance for damage done to Horde scum. After all, the Knights had been able to provide their liaison among the Alliance with a cure for the Shadarim's successful plague strain after that operation. No one questioned the loyalty of the Knights of Menethil.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Site Write Entry #20: I Wish I'd Never Met You

Prompt: May 26, 2012 - Who does your character regret meeting and why?
. . . . . Re-acclimation to a world which no longer desired her presence was a long, hard process filled with sorrow and anger, insult and even some grievous physical injury at times. Valdiis stood on a balcony overlooking the Trader's Tier in the Exodar - a ship she'd never gotten particularly familiar with - and stared unseeingly at the strings of arcane lights dripping from the crystal ceiling. Far below, a small speck of a huntress - a brash female who'd crashed into Valdiis's life with flailing emotionality and exuberance, and forced some semblance of compassion from her cold heart - was stomping away, furious at the chilly reception her request had gained her.
. . . . . Once, Valdiis had considered the huntress an adopted sister.
. . . . . Now? She was just another breather who couldn't stand the fact that Valdiis would not lie down and die.
. . . . . Beside her, the Major was silent. He was starting to learn some of her mannerisms and moods, beginning to know when to prod and when to ignore. Right now, he was ignoring her. It was for the best. Her fury still lurked beneath the surface, a hulking, slimy black creature undulating beneath the surface of the frozen lagoon of her reactions.
. . . . . "I wanted to ask you for help with his funeral," the huntress had asked, tears in her eyes.
. . . . . "He lied to me. I have no time to spare for liars. Funerals are for ze livink."
. . . . . Kylea had stalked off, furious. She never would realize that Valdiis was not angry at her. No, it was her adopted father - the one male she'd let herself care about since the murder of her beloved brother - whom she blamed. Blamed for helping her to remember what compassion was, blamed for making her care at all, blamed for promising her his time and disappearing, blamed for dying without ever following through. As she folded her arms across her chest and blew out an entirely unnecessary breath as a sign of releasing frustration, she wished she'd never met Dagone.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Site Write Entry #19: Sleepless

Prompt: May 25, 2102 - Sleepless
. . . . . So many hours had passed since night fell that the campfire was down to smoldering coals, a sullen glow which nevertheless the shaman poked at regularly in the hopes that the faint glow would be enough of a beacon. With the White Lady just beginning to wax in the sky and the Blue Child still hiding behind her because of the confluence, there was little spare light in the sky. She hoped her glowing coals were enough.
. . . . . Tonight's choice had been one of the easier ones - high bluffs overlooking the south of Feralas, the hot springs near the top of the mountain far less populous (indeed, abandoned by this hour) than the easy-to-reach ones below. Given the challenge of many of her choices of campsite, this one was comparatively easy. By this time of night, even the chubby - oh, alright, so he was significantly less chubby since he'd started this mad chase - vindicator should've been able to scale the bluffs and find her.
. . . . . He was late.
. . . . . The Farseer sighed and tugged on one of her dreadlocks restlessly. If her Sight worked on those closest to her, she would have long ago tried to See what kept him, but the spirits were fickle and rarely allowed such glimpses. The last time it had occurred, she ended up taking her old friend Celuur on a spirit journey that could have killed him if she hadn't held the soul link herself. The spirits only gave her Sight for those dear to her if there was true need, and they usually forced the visions; no vision had come, so whatever was keeping her erstwhile delivery of dinner, it wasn't something she was being counted on to do anything about.
. . . . . So she poked at the sullen coals and waited, not quite bringing herself to admit that she was sitting up, sleepless, waiting for a male she couldn't scry because he had become dear to her heart. Not that she'd let him know that.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Site Write Entry #18: Demiurge

Prompt: May 25, 2012 - Demiurge
. . . . . It was four bells past midnight, not quite shy of morning - the sort of hour which peeks blearily out at you from under a wooden crate in the alley and shushes you for thinking too loudly. In short, it was a terrible hour to be out and up to mischief, which is precisely why Miss G. Ulricson, the blinded trader's wife, was doing no such thing. She was simply returning home in her terribly unfortunately slow fashion from a late night of negotiating silk deals with her factor down at the harbor and had miscounted her doors. Truly, she wasn't trying to break in to someone else's house. She even had the key! It was simply hard to put in properly when one wasn't able to see the slot.
. . . . . Magistrate Harvel Taybor had been hauled out of bed in his longjohns by the Stormwind City Guard for a little blind trader's wife who'd miscounted doors? He scowled at the guards behind her, and his scowl was made all the darker for the four a.m. shadow growing on his face. The runecloth bandages over her eyes were barely visible beneath her hood, but the way she kept reaching out to touch things around her - as if reassuring herself of the limitations of her space by feel alone - was clearly the behavior of a woman truly blinded. Besides, he knew Factor MacMillan as a right upstanding fellow who'd be quite put out if one of his deals went sour because Magistrate Taybor jailed his buyer...
. . . . . Twenty minutes and two gold coins later, Miss G. Ulricson was escorted back to her door by the guards - who carefully checked to make sure the number matched her key - and left to her evening. Knowing they were still watching, she fumbled the key into the lock, but managed it and then slipped inside.
. . . . . "Oy," came a soft hiss. "Wot kept ya?"
. . . . . "Guards almost nicked me f'r suspicious behavior tryin' t' get in me own damn door." Ilva pushed her hood back and began unwinding the bandages over her perfectly functional eyes. "Light bless tired public servants, though."

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Site Write Entry #17: Here Comes the Sun

Prompt: May 23, 2012 - Describe your character's favorite weather.
. . . . . Today was perfect, absolutely perfect. The blue sky was cloudless and sparkling from a lemony-yellow sun, glistening on the cobblestones freshly washed by four days of downpour. There was a faint breeze which did not chill in the slightest because of the warm, early summer air, and everyone was in a fantastic mood to finally be out after the rough summer squall of the last several days.
. . . . . Naturally, Ilva didn't whistle as she went about her work, but the urge was certainly there. After all, it was the kind of day absolutely everyone - and the contents of their pockets - was out for a walk.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Site Write Entry #16: Write Anything

Prompt: May 22, 2012 - Write about whatever comes to mind for your character of choice. Anything.
. . . . . Every time she swallowed, she could still taste the vile ichor sliding down her throat. It made eating extremely difficult, and there'd been times when the druid had been so afraid for her health that he forced her to eat. Oh, he'd figured out quickly enough that holding her down to force her to eat was an even worse trigger for the panic than swallowing, so he'd find something she found near impossible to resist and lace it with a potion he brewed that made her ravenously hungry. It was devious and evil.
. . . . . It also worked.
. . . . . Xeremuriis managed to choke down a beef broth as she sat with her back to their campfire on the sandy shore of Azuremyst Isle. The cupcake had been her downfall; she missed baked goods something fierce. Ekanos hadn't seen, but she stole away his pocket knife earlier in the day. The whispers in her head were back, and despite how the potion forced her to eat, she couldn't get the black taste of the saronite out of her mouth.  
. . . . . Careful to not let the fire leave him nightblind, Ekanos watched his charge from a few feet away. Once she'd finished the broth he'd made, she set the bowl down in the sand and dug her fingers in deep. She kept shaking her head from side to side; wet clicking noises and glimpses of her face told him she was sticking her tongue out over and over again, like a cat with some foul substance on its tongue. He bent his head for a moment to make a clinical note in the paper he was writing about saronite poisoning when a faint metallic click warned him.
. . . . . The draenei girl pulled her fingers out of the sand with his pocket knife clenched in her sky blue hand. The fingers of her other hand grasped her tongue, pulling it as far from her mouth as it would stretch. Viney roots torn from a hastily tossed and enhanced seed shot out of the sand and wrapped around the girl's knife hand. Ekanos stood up and crossed the several steps to where Xeremuriis shook and sputtered.
. . . . . "Get it out! Getitout getitout!" she whimpered, straining towards the knife in her hand even as Ekanos plucked it from her grasp.
. . . . . "Not like that, you aren't. Stealing is wrong. You remember this."
. . . . . "I...remember..." She sagged as the weapon was taken. "I hate forgetting me," she whispered.
. . . . . "Here." Ekanos unrolled a leather wrap full of small vials and tossed one into her lap. "Have a sniff. Feel better."
. . . . . Sighing as the roots released her, Xeremuriis scooped up the precious oil vial in her lap - Mana Thistle, this one - and uncorked it, using the scent of her aunt's long ago coming-of-age gift to keep her memory of self intact against the insidious whispers of the Old Gods in her head.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Site Write Entry #15: Itchy

Prompt: May 21, 2012 - Itch, itch. Your character has an itch in the most impossible place to scratch. Where is it and how does your character dramatically solve the problem?
. . . . . Swathed in mottled, dark grey cloth from head to toe, Ilva crept along the roof line in the near total darkness of a new moon. Below her, pacing the cobblestone streets with a clank and clatter which announced his presence even before the light from his unshuttered lantern was visible was a Stormwind City guard. His plumed helmet bobbed comically as he walked from shop to shop down Forge Street in the Dwarven District. Ilva made not a sound and barely a visible motion as she flitted from chimney to chimney, minimizing the time she spent profiled against the night sky.
. . . . . The guard stopped in front of the darkened windows of a bakery and lifted a hand, pressing his helmet against the window as he peered in. Slowly, Ilva dropped down the tar paper roof until she was almost near enough to grab that ridiculous plume. Time stood still as she waited for the guard to set his lantern down on the bench next to the window. Without the lantern shining glare off the glass, he would be able to see better. Sure enough, he set the lantern down. Then he lifted a hand gloved in plate and blue leather, two fingers pointing left briefly.
. . . . . Ilva grabbed the lip of the roof - no gutter to speak of - and flipped herself over it, landing lightly on the padded balls of her leather slippers on the ground just behind the guard. He never heard her drop down.
. . . . . "Nooooorrrm," she whined. "Scratch my back. I ent able t' reach there."
. . . . . The guard turned, scowling through his helmet. "Oy. Get lost, Rabbit. This ain't a jobbie here."
. . . . . "I know we ent knockin' this place." She danced in place on the cobblestone, fidgety as she tried to get one arm behind her back, then switched, then back again. "Norm! Scratch my back!"
. . . . . The Stormwind City guard sighed heavily and pulled his right glove off, reaching out right between Ilva's shoulderblades to give a good skritch. Pity it stopped her sticking her chest out and dancing in place, though.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Site Write Entry #14: Once More With Feeling

Prompt: May 20, 2012 - Your character is given a chance to recall one person from the dead. Who do they summon and what happens? Knowing that time is short before they have to return to the world beyond, what is the last thing you want them to depart with/knowing?
. . . . . It had been weeks and weeks since she'd let him out. He was probably quite sick of flies. But it wasn't magnanimity which drove Rosoe to temporarily lift the enchantment on her erstwhile apprentice - it was practicality. After all, she had promised to provide him training and she could not provide all of it while he was a toad.
. . . . . "You sadistic, rampaging mons-"
. . . . . "Shhh. I will put it back without letting you stretch your legs," Rosoe warned as she sat back on her hooves, out of striking distance of the recently-released adolescent hoodlum she was responsible for. The transformation back to his gawky-limbed draenei shape always left him disoriented, but she wasn't giving the irritable apprentice any free shots.
. . . . . Athanoor glared at her while he tried to remember how his body worked. The evil monster who imprisoned him simply watched calmly, neither offering assistance nor appearing to judge him. It wasn't long, though, before the voices of the dead started pressing against his skull again. Never in a hundred million years would he admit it, but he was usually rather relieved to be hexed back into a toad, because then the dead ignored him. Now, they clamored for attention. But not as loudly as his mentor.
. . . . . "Tonight, you will call the ancestors." One calloused hand raised imperiously to forestall his cry of dismay. "Control it, or it will subsume you. Now, this will be a directed call made with a ritual focus." She tossed a small wooden box at him and Athanoor found himself still too uncoordinated to catch it. His tongue flickered out as if he'd catch it that way, and the box bounced off his chest. Finding his limbs and remembering the use of hands, he picked it up and opened it. The box held a velvet-covered form as if it'd once cradled something short and slender and rod-like, but it was otherwise empty. "The box is the focus," she explained before he even asked, "not its former contents." For quite a time, Athanoor struggled to focus as she droned on about the magic he was to master tonight.
. . . . . The theory behind the magic explained, Rosoe placed her hands on her knees and watched her apprentice begin the ritual call. She had no desire at all to call up this dead spirit, but it was the only ritual focus for this she had; she didn't even know why she'd kept the damn box all this time. Athanoor had to call up a dead spirit she knew for her to judge if he'd performed the ritual correctly.
. . . . . The campfire flared green as her apprentice tossed a handful of loose sorrowmoss into the flames, and heavy grey smoke billowed. Long years of practice allowed her to know the moment her apprentice slipped into trance and pulled down the spirits of the dead, his own body becoming the horse upon which the departed soul rode.
. . . . . "Where- when- who has called me?" Athanoor bellowed, eyes pried wide and unblinking, his voice no longer his own.
. . . . . "It is I, Leaus," Rosoe said quietly, her face carefully blank.
. . . . . "You spy! You wretched traitor! You listener at doors!" Leaus-in-Athanoor went on in this vein for some time, becoming more and more profane and accusatory.
. . . . . "Enough." The shaman's voice held enough command that the angry ghost stilled, shocked by her transformation from the anti-social scout he'd known to the regal magician she seemed to be now. "Tell me, when was your plot to kill the Prophet to commence?"
. . . . . The ritual she had given Athanoor bound the spirit he horsed in such a manner that it could not evade questions. "As early as sunrise, four days from that night," Leaus answered sulkily. "But you have already found that out innumerable seasons ago! You have run spying to your friends in the Light! You have had me killed!"
. . . . . The answer and the following accusations were enough to assure her that Athanoor had indeed called a true spirit from the dead. The plan had been all along to release the spirit at this point, but instead she found herself asking another question, "How did you die, Leaus?"
. . . . . The spirit riding her apprentice spit at her, but the apprentice's coordination was still limited and so he missed. "My own brother Shields carved out my heart because of your betrayal."
. . . . . "As well they should have." Rosoe flicked a hand at the fire, throwing a packet of deadnettle wrapped in Light-blessed parchment onto the coals. The flames sparkled golden as the acrid smoke rushed towards her apprentice, leaving him coughing - and alone.
. . . . . "Well," Athanoor attempted, "did I-" more coughing, "manage it?"
. . . . . "That you did, my little toad. That you did." She reached out to pat his hand and slip a teacup of green tea and honey into his grasp.
. . . . . "Does it always work that way? The truth-telling?"
. . . . . "Only with that ritual." Rosoe looked away from her apprentice, her gaze distant as her voice grew quiet. "And only with those souls not resting with the Light."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Site Write Entry #13: The Animal Companion

Prompt: May 19, 2012 - Your character's favorite animal companion at any point in their life.
. . . . . Soft purple glows gone red with warning. Klaxon sirens. A bone-deep shudder and worringly enduring rumble. Heat. Fire. Debris. Crash. 
. . . . . Diyos had been in the stables portion of the Menagerie where riding animals were kept, feeding his elekk a favored treat - a handful of glowcaps - when sabotage brought the Exodar down. A great deal of luck and a small amount of foresight had saved him severe injury by diving into a nearby empty stall which protected him from the worst as the vessel plowed into the deep earth of this strange silvery-blue island. Bruised and cut but lacking serious wounding, Diyos crawled out from under the partially collapsed stall and plucked a piece of Nagrand hay from his unleashed curls. When he looked up, the shock froze him in place, staring slack-jawed at the devastation.
. . . . . The damage was so great that the vessel had splintered. Not two stalls over from him, the vessel had been sheared clean off, leaving the rest of the Menagerie only O'ros knew where. But three stalls over had been... Diyos gasped, limping out of the wreckage and looking around wildly. "Djemiiliak!" he yelled, "Djemiiliak!" There had been no one else in the section of the stables he'd been idling in; he was looking for his beloved elekk. "Green-Beast-Lumbers-With-Grace!" he called again - roughly the translation of the lengthy Draenei name for the creature.
. . . . . Some several hundred yards from the twisted wreckage the anchorite had crawled out of, he found another section of the Menagerie. The grass around the debris was starting to look a strange shade of red, seeping slowly into the silvery-blue grass of the island. A long, limp greenish-grey appendage stuck out from under a collapsed piece of lithoforming. Frantic with concern, Diyos worked to haul the chunks of fallen stone and crystal off. What he uncovered drew a unrestrained cry of grief from his lips. His stalwart companion of the last ten years, an elekk he'd stabled and tended - with aid of a beastmaster, of course - from a calf, was lying motionless on a large slab of lithoformed wall. Blood - the odd reddish color common to Draenor's creatures - pooled around Djemiiliak's head where a metal bar had pierced into the skull. His elekk was dead.
. . . . . The elekk's ribs moved up and down. He was breathing! Diyos knew this was a vast misuse of his Light-given healing talent, small though his abilities were, and to waste his energy on a creature and not a fellow exile during this crisis was a horrendous sin... But this land was so large he knew only that there was visible shore to his right and land without measure to his left; he needed an elekk to begin the search for his twin brother, Athos, as well as his parents and his elder brother. Clearly, the Exodar was scattered all over if the pieces the Menagerie had become were any indication.
. . . . . At least, that was his official reasoning.
. . . . . Dredging up every speck of talent in repairing wounds he could muster, his prayers to the Light fervent and heartfelt, Diyos laid one hand on the elekk's pierced skull to steady it - and with the other, pulled the metal bar out. A rush of Light and talent left him through the gates of energy in his palms, voluntarily offered to accelerate the elekk's healing process vastly beyond nature's own time frame.
. . . . . Occupied as he was with the healing, Diyos did not notice the strange, brave creature creeping up on the wreckage. No larger than an exiled one's teacup with a tail like a bottle brush and reddish-brown fur, the creature sneaked curiously up on four almost hand-like paws. It sat back on its haunches after sniffing the long, greenish-brown, meaty thing on the ground - and, bravely, did not so much as flinch when the meaty thing sniffed back.
. . . . . The demands of healing so severe a wound so quickly caused Diyos to fall to his knees at Djemiiliak's head. He closed his eyes and rested, utterly exhausted. The furred creature squeaked. In a surprisingly good imitation, so did the elekk. Diyos opened his eyes to see his elekk patting some tiny furred thing with a long bushy tail with his trunk. The furred thing offered the elekk a tiny, rounded, hard brown object, which the elekk immediately picked up with the end of his trunk and put in his mouth. Crunch! The elekk squeaked in pleasure.  
 . . . . What in the Twisting Nether had just happened to his elekk?


. . . . . It was late evening after his first meeting with his new employers, the Modan Company at South Gate Outpost. Diyos rolled his broad shoulders to work out stiffness in them and trudged across the snow, his hooves kicking up little flurries. Where had Jim gotten off t-... Oh. Again?
. . . . . "Dammit, Jim! Get out of that tree!"
. . . . . His greenish-grey elekk trumpeted something between an elekk's noise of dismay and a squirrel's angry chatter. With a forewarning avalanche of snow and several broken branches, thump! the elekk fell out of the tree it had climbed. Diyos allowed himself a much put-upon sigh and braced a shoulder against the beast's side, pushing until Jim managed to right himself in the snow. The elekk's trunk snaked around and patted his hip repeatedly. "Fine," Diyos grumbled, pulling out a handful of acorns from his pocket. "Just this treat, and then we go." Jim squeaked with pleasure and enjoyed his nuts.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Site Write Entry #12: Pathetic

Prompt: May 18, 2012 - Pathetic
. . . . . "Oy, it's closin' time. Wake up." The bartender didn't hesitate to kick the chair the tall, lanky draenei male was planted in. After all, he needed to be budged before he took up root.
. . . . . "Uh. Ah. Huh?" Blearily, the draenei raised his head with an exhale that'd send a plague whelp into the corner to cry in shame. While his tightly-wound brown curls were usually a mess, it was something new to have the entire mass migrate to one side of his head with a poof of Too Much Hair on the left and a flat plane on the right where his head had been on the bar-room table.
. . . . . The dwarf bartender - one of Bruuk's employees - kicked the chair again. "Git on wit' ye."
. . . . . Somewhere, Diyos was quite certain he'd left his hooves, but that somewhere didn't seem to include 'beneath him.' He tried to stand, wobbled, and fell into the table. Blessedly, dwarven tables are sturdy and the draenei was skinny. The bartender tsked and gave him a good shove. "Out."
. . . . . "Right. Right. I'm goin'. I'm- oh Light she dumped me!" Diyos wailed. Entirely unsympathetic - as inert objects tend to be - the door closed behind him. A hiccup knocked him back against the door frame as he tried again to find his hooves. Looking down helped. There they were. Left one forward. Balance. Right one forward. Balance again. Good!
. . . . . He made it about fourteen feet to the stoop of the closed shop next door to Bruuk's. It was somewhere past three bells at night, not long after Brewfest. The anchorite had managed to give his best friend the slip and go get spectacularly drunk in one final purging of emotion over his recent split. He knew he was being rather overly dramatic about it, but Diyos never did do much by halves. Once he'd gotten all the wailing and sadness and the mix of rejection and anger and unworthiness out of his head, he knew he'd be over it entirely. But for now, he wallowed and he was quite content to wallow.
. . . . . "Diyos?" In front of him were four identical elf men. They crouched simultaneously - woah! - and held out four hands to him. "I've been looking all over Ironforge for you. Ooo, we ought to get you some mints. Come on."  
. . . . . Diyos tried to take the hand of the elf on his far left. That didn't work - bastard must've pulled his hand away at the last second. So he tried far right. Still too slow. The middle left worked though, mostly, and he gripped his friend's hand. "Y'know, Ekkerssh, you're a good friend. A goooood friend."
. . . . . Ekanos tucked his shoulder under the tall, slender draenei male's arm and helped steady him as he stood up. "Sure I am. Let me tell you some stories that'll cheer you up. And get you some breath mints."

Monday, May 21, 2012

Site Write Entry #11: Time Warp

Prompt: May 17, 2012 - This is the last adventure for your character through this 'trip'. You are sitting in a group and asked to drink a certain potion. Instantly after drinking it, you are transported to the memory of where your character grew up. What is it like? What does your character see? Do they catch a glimpse of themselves running by as children? After your experience, you open your eyes and realize you are back in the same place as you grew up in. What changed? How does your character feel?
. . . . . "Don't you dare," Valdiis said warningly as Eredis approached with a mug in each hand, steam curling off the surfaces. "You know I think zat stuff tastes like dirty roots."
. . . . . "It's not coffee."
. . . . . "Oh. Vell zen." Her expression was wary.
. . . . . "It's a mix of melted chocolate, milk, and cinnamon." Eredis handed the mug over to Valdiis and sat down on the dock, his oilcloth coveralls squeaking in the still, foggy morning air. "A little something extra I asked Doc Laurenhall for because you said you weren't sleeping."
. . . . . "Are you tryink to drug me, Orill?"
. . . . . "Just a dream potion."  
 . . . . "Eh. Fine." Valdiis took a sip of the warm liquid and closed her eyes, hoping for sleep to finally claim her.


. . . . . A frigid wind blew snow onto the loading ramp as three gawky, barely-grown draenei raced across the frozen snowpack. Behind them, a felhound snapped and snarled, running as fast as its stubby legs would carry it. Sixty yards. Thirty. Fifteen. The ramp wasn't pulling up yet, but it was clear the artificer manning it really wanted to. Ten yards.
. . . . . The felhound lunged and caught Kehael's tail, causing him to fall. A second later, the demonic creature swarmed up the fallen draenei boy and tore at his throat. His scream was short-lived. Instead of running up the ramp, the other two draenei turned and - with strength fueled by the panic and vigor of youth - beat the felhound off with their bared fists. The smaller of the two, a female with short, curly, light brown hair, growled at the felhound and bodily blocked it from her fallen friend while the other gawky draenei gripped under each arm and hauled Kehael the last ten yards to the vessel's loading ramp.
. . . . . "Hurry, Valdiis!"
 . . . . . The female backed hastily away from the felhound, never turning her back on it as she boarded the vessel. The artificer palmed a crystal off his belt and pointed it at the demon, shooting a wide beam of holy energy from the point of the artifact and chasing it back so he could close the ramp. A bone-deep rumble indicated that they'd left the ground - the first real ground Valdiis had ever seen - and were transitioning back into the Twisting Nether again. None of that mattered, though. She was on her knees at Kehael's side, her hands pressed against the ragged tear in his neck.
. . . . . Kehael wasn't moving. He wasn't making a sound. He was just leaking and she couldn't stop it! Some sound, hoarse and harsh, tore from her lips as hands on her shoulders pulled her back. It was her mother, Omii, an uncharacteristically sympathetic frown on her face as she made a maternal shushing sound and folded her youngest daughter in her arms. "That is enough," she murmured.
. . . . . "No. No! You have to heal him! You can fix it! Just call on the Light and the blessings of K'ure and D'ore!" Valdiis didn't understand why Omii wasn't doing her job as an anchorite and fixing the fallen.
. . . . . "I cannot, dear-heart. I cannot."
. . . . . "You can! Fix him! Rulaam," she wailed at her companion as he panted for breath, kneeling at Kehael's hooves, "tell her!"
 . . . . . "He is dead, Valdiis. I cannot fix dead."
. . . . . She didn't understand. Sure, she'd heard the term before, been intellectually informed of it, but death - death happened to other races. Not the exiled ones. He couldn't be dead.


. . . . . Valdiis opened her eyes and stared into her mug of chocolate. "Still no sleep. Just old memories..." She brought her gaze up to Eredis's face, the aged lines of it creased with concern. "Zey keep sayink ve're dead. Ve can't be dead. I don't feel dead."

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Site Write Entry #10: Ahn'Qiraj

Prompt: May 17, 2012 - On your character's second adventure, you are transported to the sands (also known as the wastelands) of Silithus. From there, you are brought to the gates of the fallen kingdom and forced to make it all the way to the room where the Old God once thrived. What is it like in there after all this time? Does it feel eerie or just plain nothing? What does your character do while spending time in this room?
There's Girls, There's Tentacles - We Know Where This is Going

. . . . . This was the last blessed time she was letting Badge convince her to do anything involving deserts. Ever. Again.
. . . . . "It'll be easy," he said. "Just nip in there, nick me a few pieces o' obsidian glass, an' Professor MacGillycuddy's Dark Scryin' Mirrors is in business!" Ilva had nodded her empty blonde head, set her transporter to Gadgetzan, and promised him she'd be back in a day - two if the ships were behind.
. . . . . But no. Noooo. Here she was, ankle deep in a sand that felt more like walking through nettles, trying to find her way down to the ritual room the Tanari guide had told her was lined with obsidian tiles after having gotten off course. She blamed the dog. In her defense, however, it had been a very large, mostly person-shaped, black dog which really seemed intent on keeping her out of the courtyard she'd been trying to cross.
. . . . . Unfortunately, that meant she was now lost. Whatever had gone on here, it was long over with now. A few broken weapons stuck out of the sand, some quickly covered up by the next gust of scouring wind. The landmarks were few and far between, and the guide didn't mention anything about giant person-shaped dogs.
. . . . . Trudging aimlessly, she began to consider firing up her transporter again. But the last time through, she endured an hour-long jag as a gnome with a lisp. It was bad enough being short for a huma- worgen. A worgen. Eventually, she'd change the way she thought of herself...
. . . . . There was a quiet swishy whisper, a gentle sucking sound, and woosh! she was falling through a hole in the ceiling of a very large room, accompanied by a great deal of shifting sand. Luckily, Ilva had quite a lot of experience in tumbling and acrobatics so she landed neatly on the cushiony pile of sand under the hole. All around her gleamed black glassy walls. "Victory!" she cried, leaping off the pile of sand.
. . . . . Squish, came the response. "Squi-...? OH LIGHT!" The sand flew every which way as Ilva dove back into it, scrambling to get away from the rotting, foul, disgusting, slimy, reprehensible thing she'd stepped on. It looked like a draenei's face tendril, but as she followed it back with her gaze, she realized it led to a giant, rotting...eyeball?
. . . . . "Badge, you are so on your own f'r this'un!" Trying hard not to inhale the sharp sand she'd surrounded herself with, Ilva yanked her transporter out of her hip satchel and smacked the big red button - hard.


. . . . . Geordi Lapforge grinned lasciviously as a tall, gorgeous, stacked draenei lady stepped out of the teleporter and bent over to cough up sand. "Wot th'-...? BAAAAADGGGE! I want hazard pay!" She shook a blue fist at the sky and stalked off for the tavern, tail swaying.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Site Write Entry #9: The Citadel

Prompt: May 16, 2012: Your character, for better or worse, is taken on a trip to three different locations. It is unsure why you are there, but your gathering in Stormwind does not begin there. For today's adventure, you are transported to the gloom halls of the Icecrown Citadel. With no direction at all, you are allowed to explored the empty palace once filled to the brim with undead minions. What does your character explore, if anything? How do they feel walking the halls? Is it still cold and cruel as they may have remembered it or been told?
. . . . . Valdiis truly and deeply hated portal travel. It always felt - to her - like her eyeballs were being pulled out through her kidneys and shoved back in via her trachea. Behind the pain and disorientation was the ever-present fear that one day, some feckless and inattentive mage would mix their leylines and send her to the wrong place.
. . . . . Icecrown Citadel was about twelve kinds of wrong place right now. She was directly below the Throne, but down at the very ground floor of the Citadel - an area once guarded by a giant bone construct. The weight of the Citadel pressed down around her, monolithic and silent. The refrigerated corpses of many, many Scourge lay around her - each having simply set its armaments down, stretched out on the floor, and gone to sleep.
. . . . . There was a reason the Ebon Blade sent mostly newly-risen to guard the exterior grounds of the Citadel, and almost never sent them inside - and that reason had nothing to do with the secret at the top of the Throne. It was somewhat more practical, really. The newly-risen - those created on the fields of Icecrown itself and freed at Kingsfall - were much less weary, much less susceptible to the sonorous call from the Throne.
. . . . . Lie down. Lay down your arms, lie down, and sleep. Sleep. 
. . . . . The compulsion was a continuous drone, fed by the full weight of the Jailer's power. Her knees buckled and she crumpled to the floor, fighting just to stay upright. "Not yet," she whispered, trying to hang on to the memories of why she was needed, who she still protected. The hours spent convincing Celuur not to come here, not to give in. Her brothers' faces, her little... She couldn't remember. There was someone to remember, but it was gone now.
. . . . . She was so tired. So very weary of fighting and pain and anger. Didn't she deserve to rest, finally? There was a family, somewhere, to remem-...
. . . . . Valdiis stretched out on the icy floor of the Citadel, tucked her left arm under her head, and went to sleep.

((Naturally, this particular episode would have to be a hypothetical situation and does not actually occur - except perhaps when it's time to retire this character permanently.))

Friday, May 18, 2012

Site Write Entry #8: Attraction

Prompt: May 14, 2012 - Attraction
. . . . . It was, she believed, a bit like being caught in the orbit of a star. You went around and around and around, and all you got for it was much too hot on one side and freezing cold on the other.
. . . . . She was supposed to be studying for her placement practicum so she would be accepted to Dalaran University and allowed to develop her talent for magery, but instead, she was sitting in the bay window of her temporary dorm, staring out at the grassy lawn where the unknowing object of her affections was playing some sort of game with a spinning disc with several of his friends. His coppery hair glinted with highlights of gold in the sun, and his smile was as perfect as if set by Titanic mandate. Every time he stretched up to catch the disc, she was rewarded with a delightful eyeful of his bared chest, slim and trim like the noble quel'dorei he was.
. . . . . So instead of studying, Serathyn sat here in the window, daydreaming about the day he might turn around after catching one of those elegantly floating discs and turn that perfect smile on her. The side of her in the sun through the window glass got warmer and warmer, while the portion shadowed by the angle at which she sat slowly chilled, untended as her daydreaming was far too important.


Dear Miss Dawnward,
It is with regret that the Council of Archmages of Dalaran University must inform you that you do not hold the qualifications necessary to enroll in the University. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

. . . . . Serathyn Dawnward stared bleakly at the letter for another few moments before hissing and throwing the expensive parchment onto the flames in her temporary dorm's fireplace. "Not qualified, huh?" she snarled, "You just wait." Before her access to the University's library could be revoked, she sneaked into the stacks, using no magic as that would trip the alarms, and stole a book: Demons and You: The Dangers of the Twisting Nether. She'd just show those stuffed shirts what qualified looked like.


. . . . . "Honestly, woman, it's like the concept of ice cubes is entirely beyond you. Why do I even bother letting you stay around?"
. . . . . "Because," Serathyn shot an acid look at Tekraen with his perfect smile and coppery hair, "you owe me. And you aren't clever enough to shake me."
. . . . . Tekraen Laurenhall groaned and simply turned his back, walking away from his ever-present traveling companion. One of these days, he was going to figure out just what it was he owed her, pay the debt off, and get rid of her.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Site Write Entry #7: Marriage

Prompt: May 13, 2012 - Marriage
. . . . . The village of Hanglington-on-the-Rocks in the Headlands of Gilneas wasn't actually marked as such on the maps. In fact, it wasn't marked at all. Some forty or so adults and children hardly made up enough of a settlement to warrant notice from the cartographers of the nation. Hanglington-on-the-Rocks had but two claims to fame: it was a half-hour's ride from Gilneas City proper if you crossed the bridge, and there were a fair amount of potatoes there.
. . . . . Mister Derian Baxter, a middle-aged man with sun-leathered skin and work-roughened hands, was just returning home from a visit to the big city on his chestnut mare, Fairflight. His modest home on his modest farm had a barn just big enough for Fairflight and the plow horse, Whomper. It was just short of three bells past midnight, and he rather imagined the missus - Goody Matilda Baxter - hadn't waited up for him to return home. That was fine by him, meant the bedclothes would be nice and warm and he could wake her up gently with snuggling. It also meant, at this hour, that his blessed little scoundrel of a son, Ryule, was also abed.
. . . . . After tending to Fairflight and locking up the barn, Mister Baxter thought fondly of his evening with his favorite gal. She looked right fantastic with all that tumbling and flipping and backbends. He had to adjust the fit of his britches as he crept quietly into the house. After all, the type of mood he was in, the last thing he needed was to wake the little scoundrel and have him wanting to crawl into bed with his parents because he was afraid of harpies on his bedposts again. Like a mouse on farmer's feet, Mister Baxter crept into his own bedroom and peeled off his market-day clothes, carefully hanging them up lest the missus get irate with him in the morning.
. . . . . A bit of moonlight from the window fell on Matilda's round face. Dark brown hair curled across her cheek and her pillow both, and one hand was curled up under her chin. Mister Baxter smiled like a lovestruck fool at his wife. Then again, he rather reckoned he still was, even six years into marriage. Her chair was at the foot of the bed, and he took care to avoid knocking into it as he rounded the bed and climbed in as lightly as possible on his side. Despite the chill on his body from being outside the warm blankets, she mumbled sleepily and snuggled back against him, pressing her back to him. Knowing she'd appreciate it, he curled a hand over one of her thighs and pulled her backwards until her legs pressed against his too. She couldn't feel it, of course, but he could and he knew she'd appreciate the cuddling in the morning.
. . . . . Contented and warm, Mister Baxter smiled as he closed his eyes. In his dreams, his Matilda was laughing and carefree again, without the pain creasing her brow when she was awake. She did cartwheels in the grass and balanced on fence rails like they were broad walls. In his dreams, his Mattie was free again to tumble and play, no longer confined to the wheeled chair at the foot of the bed. His visits to watch Miss Treelily's tumbling girl always helped him keep the memories of how Matilda's body used to move fresh. Watching some other girl do the acrobatics his Mattie used to cheered him up, reminded him of how much he loved his wife - even if she couldn't feel her legs anymore.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Site Write Entry #6: Warlocks

Prompt: May 12, 2012 - Warlocks. Your character comes across one being very obvious and stupid with his magic. What do you do? Do you walk away and pretend it wasn't happening or do you say something, perhaps do anything, to stop and/or encourage it?
(Warning: Graphic violence.)
. . . . ."Ooo, girls, lookit that one! Ent he a fine figure?" Giggling, Hettie nudged her elbow into Ilva's side, hitting the steel reinforcement of her pale blue corset. Behind Hettie, Rowena and Myrtle were trying to crawl up onto the other girls' shoulders just so they could shove their heads down and see through the horizontal crack in the wall the girls of Miss Rivanna Treelily's establishment used to spy on the guests in the lobby.
. . . . ."Let me see," hissed Myrtle, climbing Hettie like a tree. Then again, Hettie was one of those stout, fine-figured ladies with curves like an oak tree - that is to say, not many of them. She was sturdy, healthy for her profession, and easy enough for a waif like Myrtle to climb. Hettie grunted as a knee pressed into one of her kidneys and she ducked so that the girl climbing on her could get a gander at the man in the lobby.
. . . . .And what a fine figure he was. The man was somewhere in his mid-twenties, dark hair cropped close to his well-formed head and covered by a slim top hat with not even a hint of rakish tilt. His face was elegant and refined, not quite as fey as one of them high elves, but clearly the face of gentry. As he handed his greatcoat to the boy who lounged around the lobby expressly for that purpose, a dark purple silk waistcoat over a trim, fit torso covered in a white silk dress shirt was revealed. Myrtle sighed wistfully and Hettie shoved her out of the way so she could get another look.
. . . . ."Light, I hope 'e picks me," Rowena whispered, fanning her cheeks - which had gone a pink visible even under her thick makeup.
. . . . ."Pff, he's probably just here t' collect protection coins," Ilva mused, though she wasn't immune to the fancy man's charm either if her own pink cheeks were a hint.
. . . . .Miss Treelily came into the lobby and had a discussion with the man; the girls never could hear those, and couldn't hear this one either. But when she came into the side room and barked, "Ladies! Line 'em up!" she was more than audible. Like soldiers in a military drill, the girls fell into formation, each displaying a length of stocking-clad leg or a forward-bend for cleavage as her best assets required. The handsome fella came in the room and looked over the girls. It struck Ilva that brown eyes were usually warm...except on this man. His smile was genial, but his eyes were cold. She shivered and was oddly grateful when he crooked a finger at Hettie, who squealed girlishy and skipped off after him.


. . . . .Miss Treelily always shut the place down right around two bells past midnight. That was when Ilva patted dear old Mister Baxter on his middle-aged hand and led him to the door. Arching her back for a moment after she shut the door behind her regular, she groaned happily when her vertebrae popped in short succession at the small of her back. Light, but Baxter liked some odd things... Never got handsy, just liked to watch her do tumbles and acrobatics. It always left her with a right awful crick in her back. Maybe when she got back to their room, Hettie would be a dear and rub her back for her.
. . . . .But the room she shared with Hettie was empty. Frowning, Ilva pulled her linen bathrobe off the wall hook and wrapped herself in it, then went back into the main house to see if perhaps Hettie was still busy with that fancy man.
. . . . .The door was the first give-away. Instead of the door knob turning, it spun idly as if the mechanism had been broken. One good thump to the doorjamb had it free and she pushed the door open. It squelched.
. . . . .In the center of the room was something that used to be a working lady of the night, something that used to laugh and breathe and stand up and offer back rubs and smile. Now... Now it was merely... Ropy strings, glistening dark red, were arranged in a circle around a heap of raw meat. Parts of bone stuck out at odd, incomprehensible angles which no longer had any relevance to how a body was put together, many of the visible ends chewed flat by something serrated which left grooves in the finality of termination. One particularly broad expanse of raw muscle was almost recognizable as a torso - or at least, the inside of one. Outside the circle of innards, a circle had been drawn in more dark red, and horrifying runes she couldn't understand even if she could read were patterned regularly around it. Somehow overwhelming what should have been the smell of charnel house was the smell of brimstone. The fancy man was nowhere to be seen.
. . . . .Ilva's scream brought the entire house running, as well as two night watchmen four blocks away.


. . . . .Warlockery, they said it was. Dark magics meant to mutilate human souls and make contracts with demons. The fancy man was caught, arrested, tried, and convicted. He was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in the city prison for killing one girl - but rumor held he was responsible for ten more. The rumor seemed proven when the killings stopped after he was locked away. It wasn't until after she saw him led away in chains that Ilva felt she could sleep again.
. . . . .The riots in Gilneas when the curse broke out, naturally, ended up destroying the security of the prison. What prisoners weren't eaten by feral worgen or killed each other escaped. After the riots, she hoped - she prayed to the Light - that he'd been eaten by a feral monster. It would only be just.
. . . . .Last Tuesday, Ilva smeared violet pigment over her skin, glued the purple feathers to the tips of her ears, put on her green robes, picked up a basket of flowers, and headed to Cathedral Square to hand them out for free. She liked the smiles she got for her efforts. And the gossip. The gossip never hurt.
. . . . ."Pretty flower for a pretty lady?" She bounded up to a draenei female with a sunny smile and flower outstretched. A smile and a murmured blessing was her thanks.
. . . . ."Pretty flower for your lady, good sir?" She turned and bounded up to a well-dressed man in a dark purple waistcoat over a white shirt. His dark brown hair brushed his collarbone, but looked neatly kept. There was no return smile. He didn't even reach for the offered flower. Just a flat, disapproving stare from those cold brown eyes.
. . . . .Ilva bolted. She ran like the rabbit Norm sometimes nicknamed her. As she ran to ground, she prayed the odd disguise was enough, that he'd never paid enough attention to the rest of the girls in the house, that for the love of all that was holy, she would never, ever run across a warlock again.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Site Write Entry #5: Alive

Prompt: May 11, 2012 - Alive
. . . . . This last job had made her a fortune. There wasn't a snowball's chance in hell that she'd ever tell Badge exactly how much - even half of how much - because he'd roll it into a marketing scheme for khorium-enhanced belt buckles or something like that. She'd play it way down, very under the table, and simply make quiet sure that whenever he needed the coin for something, it was somehow always in his pocket. This sort of fortune could last her a few years if she played it out right.
. . . . . But there At the noisy claims room of the auctioneer's house in the Trade District, the plain trader's wife with the hood over her bandaged eyes handed over her claims chit and then a sack of coin which would make Badge's neck veins pop. It wasn't receipt of the crate which had her smiling as she placed her heavy burden on the wheeled cart so thoughtfully provided, but the mental image of Badge's face turning purple in anticipation of a very long shouting match. It was a very silly mental image which rarely failed to make her smile - and therefore crossed from mental image to physical reality quite often.
. . . . . The trader's wife navigated her cart out and to a secluded alleyway near the Mages' District with surprising deftness for a supposedly blind woman. Once she was well-assured of her safety and relative solitude, she shed her disguise of Miss G. Ulricson and stuffed the robes and runecloth bandages behind the newly-acquired crate. Ilva tugged at her leathers until they resettled comfortably on her frame, then plucked her gnomish army knife off her belt to pry off the top of her purchase.
. . . . . Nestled in a bed of straw was the final component, its aphotic gleam smooth and even, sixteen slender bars of obsidium ready to be worked into bolts and plating. Now, she just had to call in that favor Lilliam owed her for a workspace.


. . . . . Working obsidium was a right pain in the arse. Too cold, and it snapped - brittle. Too hot, and it flowed - amorphic. One entire bar was wasted in learning the precise shade of cherry red the metal needed to be heated to in order to be formed.
. . . . . Once she had it, though, the plates moved fast - it took her about a day. The schematic was good, entirely images and arrows. Her talent for letters might be lacking, but mimicry was her bread and butter, so the designs were quickly transferred and the plating formed, cut and shaped. The bolts took a little longer - about three days, but she wanted each one to be as precisely functional as she was capable of crafting.
. . . . . Assembly took her a further day of work. Any burrs on the articulation had to be filed smooth, any irregularities of form had to be carefully reheated and corrected. The bezels for the jasper took an hour apiece to grind out, file, and set. The innards were leather tubing lined on the inside with embersilk for fire-hardiness. A trap door with protected hinges allowed access to the simple two-button controls and the socket for the energy source - volatile, expensive, dangerous when tightly compressed, electrified ether.
. . . . . As a final vanity, she broke out her expensive metals paints, usually reserved for the top disguise jobs, and she painted a delicate, sunny yellow design on the lightless metal, utterly ruining it for any possibility of stealth. The hinges loosed the trap door. Eight vials of tempered glass with time-delay enchanted wax seals lined up in the chamber. A pop as the first timer expired. A hiss as the electrified ether sped through the innards. A glow from the energy indication chamber on the posterior.
. . . . . Its nose wrinkled. Wire whiskers twitched. Cli-click - obsidium plating painted yellow blinked over sightless green jasper. Another hiss as the pistons engaged and Ilva's brand new mechanical rabbit hopped off the table into her lap.
. . . . . It worked! It was alive!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Site Write Entry #4: King for a Day

Prompt: May 10, 2012 - Your character is presented with an offer far too tempting to turn away. For one day, your character is allowed to be the leader of any race (other than their current one) of either faction. Which race would it be? Why? And what would they do as the supreme ruler?
(It is worth noting that my best friend, dearest love, and partner in all manner of crime is also participating in the site write challenge and that entry #4 here follows quite directly from his own entry #4 posted here.)

. . . . . "Interestink," mused the draenei.
. . . . . "I thought so," replied Eredis as he cast his line back into the water. "What would you do?"
. . . . . "If I took over Undercity?"
. . . . . "Or anywhere. If you were ruler of any group."
. . . . . The small herm of flat rocks balanced on the wood next to her right hip grew smaller by one, and a sharp gesture sent the topmost sacrifice skipping across the ocean waves. "Six!" she crowed, before looking contemplatively up at the sky. "Ze first thing I vould get rid of are zose ridiculously mismatched pauldrons..."


. . . . . The Keep was silent for about ten seconds, not even the drip of blood daring to make a noise after that first startled indrawn breath. Instead, the blood pooled sluggishly on the marble, collecting in her palms as it ran off the spikes of her vambraces onto her gloves and sluiced into the lowest point it could reach - her curled, gloved hands resting on the floor. There would have been counselors to intervene, of course. Guardsmen. Secret agents. Presume it was all dealt with ahead of time; after all, if she really had a plan for handling all that, she'd be implementing it, wouldn't she?
. . . . . Valdiis broke the silence by reaching forward and gingerly removing the horrible, mismatched steel pauldrons of eagle and lion. Honestly. The exiled ones would have to teach their new subjects about symmetry. Respect for the dead would have her closing the eyes of the late King Wrynn, but they'd popped when he'd taken a full blow across the face with her spiked arm.
. . . . . Scratch that, leave one counselor. Some sycophantic little traitor who'd probably made this possible. The rat-nosed human counselor would creep up, all trembles and hand wringing, and ask what the new King's will was.
. . . . . "Get Mathias Shaw in here." The counselor scurried off to retrieve the head of SI:7.
. . . . . Wiping her bloodied palms down her cheeks to mark herself with the old king's blood, signifying her supremacy in battle, she tilted her head towards her right pauldron - perfectly matched with the left, mind you - and the tiny gnomish communication device clipped to it. "Someone bring me ze jar labeled Iron #8 from my vorktable. And a glass jar of curry. I vant ze bloodvorms excitable."  
. . . . . Now that she was King of Stormwind, it was time she found out precisely why SI:7 was harrying her soldiers.


. . . . . "That's it?"
. . . . . "Vhat? I am supposed to be grand and create havens for undead, or cause ze slaughter of legions of my enemy by orderink zem to valk off a cliff?"
. . . . . "Well, something more interesting than getting rid of ceremonial armor and running inquisition on Shaw."
. . . . . "Pff." The draenei illustrated her lack of concern for this further by flopping backwards onto the deck and folding her plate-covered forearms beneath her head. "Clearly, you don't understand how offensive I find ze lack of symmetry."

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Site Write Entry #3: Worthless

Prompt: May 9, 2012 - Worthless
. . . . . Behind number eight Foxfield Lane, Gilneas City, there was a monumental crisis. This just would not do! If someone were to catch her out here with this distasteful mess, there would be all manner of unseemly fuss... But it was a back alley, the rear entrance of the townhomes so upper crust that to get higher one would be licking off the whipped cream, and so there was no one here to see the well-dressed noblewoman and her heavy burden.
. . . . . With quite the unladylike grunt, she heaved the onerous load off her shoulder and into the trash-can. The noblewoman looked left and right warily, still expecting someone to spy her. But it just had to be done! Someone had to take care of the unfortunate incident before the night watch was called in. The dinner party had been going so swimmingly until her reprobate younger son had showed up at the door with a pistol in hand, and her hot-headed elder son had started with the name-calling and oh, it was such a disaster!
. . . . . She wrung her hands and stared down at the abominable failure resting in her garbage bin. Someone would see. Biting back a sob of panic, she shoved her bare hands into the bin and pushed the evidence down farther. That would do. Dusting her hands on the edge of the cloth shrouding her calamity, the noblewoman squared her shoulders and went back inside to calm her guests.
. . . . . Someone had seen. Two muddy green eyes set in a round, cherubic face blinked from the shadows of the retaining wall on the far side of the back alley. From here, she could see a leg still peeking out of the top of the trash-can. Something dark and viscous pooled on the ground at the bottom of it, the color indeterminate now that the lady's lantern was gone. Fear tasted acrid in the back of her mouth, but avarice was sweeter. She wanted to go through that bin. There might be something good still in those pockets!
. . . . . Tiny child's feet wrapped in rags carried her across the alley as fast and noiseless as one of the fat rats which occasionally ended up as her dinner. The liquid pooling on the ground outside the bin stained her foot rags, but she didn't care - new ones weren't hard to find. This shroud might actually serve, once it was pulled free and cut up; it was what was wrapped in the shroud she was after. It was heavy for so small a girl, too heavy for her to lift. Cautiously, using her own little frame to counterbalance it and muffle sound, she laid the bin on its side so she could pull the lady's disaster free and go through the pockets.
. . . . . Sadly, there was nothing of use in them. But even stained with wine and olive oil, it looked like seven-year-old Ilva Swift had her very first pair of pants. And a broken toy pistol to play with! There were even the remains of a cake of some kind wrapped up in the smeared tablecloth.
. . . . . "Mooom," came a wail from the backyard of the fancy townhome, "this birthday party is worthless!"
. . . . . Perhaps for some! Ilva Swift made like her chosen namesake and hurried off with her treasures.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Site Write Entry #2: A Second Chance

Prompt: May 8, 2012 - Somehow by magic, your character is given one shot to redo and/or take back something that happened in their lives. What would they take back? Would your character take the offer or would they decide against playing with fate?
A Second Chance (To [verb] Your [noun] ) - or - I Swear I Didn't Intend to Write Two Flashbacks in a Row

. . . . . It was really quite a pleasant thing that Azuremyst Isle had clean, non-irradiated water again, because while the soaking tubs of the Exodar were quite nice, they had nothing on dunking oneself in the chill rapids of a flowing stream in late spring. Diyos would never call himself an ascetic, but he did indulge in the occasional austerity for austerity's sake.
. . . . . Like today, when his head was so muddled over whether he ought to go back to Stormwind or stick around and find that scary former Auchenai he'd been told to train. A bracing few minutes in the stream were supposed to help him clear his mind.
. . . . . Instead, he was just cold.
. . . . . Grumpy about it, Diyos walked back onto the bank and swiped his towel off the low-hanging tree branch. Toweling off his wildly curly hair, he still couldn't decide if this new duty was really worth the trouble. As he bent his head to see his own hands so he could wrap the towel around his hips without it falling into the mud, his eyes caught the jagged, sky-blue line dragging just beneath his ribs on the right side.


. . . . . It didn't hurt. Not yet. He was still too busy staring in wide-eyed in shock at the youth - surely not more than an adolescent from his gawky frame - who stood hoof to hoof with him, a twisted sneer on his boyish face as his hands were stained a dark navy with Diyos' blood. In the rapidly narrowing frame of the priest's vision, the boy's sudden rage and violence was backlit with the bright red robe of the female crumpled on the floor, her ears and nose leaking the same dark navy which once moved life.
. . . . . Priest and boy stood in a circle drawn in charcoal and blood on the floor of the female's spare dwelling on the edge of the settlement. They hadn't even named this planet yet, and already they were finding their first settlement too confining. Fetid rot filled the air. Not the female, she was quite freshly dead. The smell came from the recently exhumed remains of her mate arranged in the center of the room-spanning magic circle.
. . . . . She'd gone mad with grief, susceptible to the twisted whispers of foul man'ari magics. But as - oh, hey, there's the pain - Diyos was beginning to realize, she wasn't the only one to have gone man'ari here at the edge of town. Vision dimming further, Diyos reached his hands out as if to embrace the youth who'd put the serrated knife into his abdomen. A mental half-step to the side, and the shadows - easy to reach in this ritual charnel house - flowed into him. It was only seasons upon seasons of strict discipline which allowed him to keep the shadow magic's glee in check, making the youth's death swift and clean. One quick shadow spike to the brainpan. The unholy red light in the youth's eyes winked out and his hands dropped away from the dagger, leaving it embedded in Diyos' side as the youth's body toppled over, leaking blood from his nose and ears.
. . . . . Come away with us, the shadows whispered. Your pain will go away. All your pain will go away. It will become someone else's problem. Come with us.
. . . . . "No." With just that word, a word borne of immeasurable time spent being trained by the Hand to refuse, Diyos pushed the shadows away. He was a male of the Light. His work was in service to his people. He did what must be done. A faint scent of spiced honey gone rancid wafted past his nose as the door to the dwelling was yanked open. There were shouts, recognizable as his fellow man'ari hunters. He smelled charcoal. Oh. It was because he was lying on his face on the necromancy circle. He really hoped they didn't bring him back from the dead...


. . . . . Long, thin indigo fingers set on a hand the size of a human dinner plate traced along the scar below his ribs. He'd almost died that evening. And two people did. A female and a youth.
. . . . . Come to us. Retreat, and we will undo your sins, hide your pai-...
. . . . . "No."
. . . . . He was a male of the Light and would not undo his hard work for any magic promise.
. . . . . Realization struck and he sighed at the flowing stream. "Dammit!" he muttered, kicking the bank and getting splashed by the mud he dislodged into the water. He'd be staying to train Elysium's new priest. If nothing else, he would teach the male how to deny the whispers of his old ways.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Site Write Entry #1: Surprise

In a fit of absolute insanity, I have signed up to participate in a writing prompt series on Moon Guard's realm forums. I've been doing a lot of story-telling through the forums lately, and in order to preserve my "site write" entries from eventual forum creep, I'm going to queue them up for preservation here. I'll schedule one a day for the 30 days of the challenge, if I can keep that up.
Prompt: May 7, 2012 - Surprise
. . . . . "Take a squadron out to Blackrock tonight, Commander."
. . . . . "Yes, sir." With a stiffness born of a life-challenged state, the draenei female's plate-gloved hand snapped up in salute at her superior officer. But there were only the two of them around, and she'd learned to grow brave around this man who'd once tried to have her beheaded. "May I ask vhy, sir?" she dared.
. . . . . "You may ask." An insufferable smirk settled in the hardly-visible opening of his greying goatee. "And this time I will answer," he relented, leaning back in the wooden chair built along the lines of a body half his build. For a moment, she feared it would break under the stress, but dwarves make chairs to survive tavern brawls - one plated human was not enough to bother its small, sturdy frame. "There has been word of an expedition of scholars heading down into the old Molten Core, but not word of their return. Given the elemental instabilities in the cities of late and the area's known fire problems, the 1113th was asked to send a retrieval team." The draenei female let her hand slowly drop and return to its usual position folded with its partner at the small of her back as the Major continued, "Fire is somewhat more of a problem for us sometimes, so I am sending a healer from the Icecrown company." 
. . . . . "Ekanos?" She perked up. She rather liked the gentle druid healer and his polite manner; he was much easier to herd around than the cranky old Farseer mercenary from the Major's illicit hired company. 
. . . . . But the Major shook his head. "No. Laurenhall's indisposed. Hangover from Brewfest, I believe. I have a new hire. He will meet you ther-" 
. . . . . "As long as it is not zat cranky old Farseer!" she broke in. 
. . . . . Major Orill almost smiled. Almost. "No. As I said, you will meet the new hire there. Now get that squadron moving. They will make the forges cold if they keep standing out there."


. . . . . Valdiis rubbed her gloved hand across the back of her neck. She didn't sweat in the heat, but her bloodworms got more active as they warmed up and one of them had decided that right between vertebrae C4 and C5 was a great place to set up a salsa dance. Not, of course, that she thought of it in those terms. Consider it a literary device. A not-entirely-gentle nudge was enough to get the little parasite calmed down as she led the squadron of seven's trudge up the ashy side of Blackrock Mountain. The heavy iron door leading inside was open, but then it always was. Her adjunct healer was nowhere to be seen. She turned to address the squadron as they finished the ascent and fell into formation, and that's when one of her Corporals nudged the Private next to him and pointed behind her. The titansteel shoe nailed to the bottom of her hoof squealed on the stone beneath her as she spun.
. . . . . Telaar was always hungry, always low on food. Feast days such as this one were rare, but visitors from Shattrath had brought several crates of supplies. At the unavoidable insistence of her harridan mother, Valdiis was sitting stiffly in one of the round-backed chairs of Telaar's rest and social hall, glowering at the door as she waited for Even thinking the word made her angry. 
. . . . . At least she'd managed to escape with her dignity and avoid Omii shoving her into a dress.
. . . . . And there he was, all broad and tall and a little soft in the middle, like a strong man gone to seed. His armor gleamed as if it hadn't seen hard use in seasons and his short, dark hair was rumpled like he could care less that he'd come to meet a female to whom an arranged marriage might well be in the offering. With a booming laugh and an easy smile, he flopped bonelessly down across the table from her and proceeded to order for the both of them: mudfish. 
. . . . . She hated mudfish. 
. . . . . Dinner was strained, though she suspected he didn't notice it. If she'd stripped down and danced the kamil-amir on the table, the only thing he'd do is complain that she was blocking access to his food. She'd barely touched her mudfish and he was just leaning forward to ask if she was going to eat that when her brother - her nether-blasted, meddling, eldest brother - passed by the table with a smirk and a comment about how she would sleep with anything wearing pants. 
. . . . . The ensuing brawl destroyed two tables, five chairs, one rug, and eleven dinner plates. The gleaming, chubby vindicator's only contribution was to snag her mudfish off the table before she picked it up and chucked it at Zunaadrin. If she never saw the oozy Ortuuze again, it would be too soon. 

. . . . . There he was, all broad and tall and a lot soft in the middle, like a strong man gone to pasture. His armor gleamed as if it hadn't seen hard use in seasons and his short, dark hair was rumpled like he could care less that he'd come to meet a Commander of a military unit paying him handsomely for healing. He grinned broadly and lifted a hand in greeting as she sneered at him. 
. . . . . "You."