From the Darkness ((Story))

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From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:52 pm

((Hi all,

I know I haven't posted on the forums in a while. Life has a funny way of taking me away from writing. However, I have a few ideas for a story I created a while ago, and am determined to see it finished.

My apologies to Izdazi and KaijinRhada for starting this story and never finishing it.

Anywho, here goes...))

"Stop fussing and finish your dinner!"

The young boy looked unhappily at the remains of his food. He hadn't wanted to eat - he had been far more preoccupied with the fantasies he had been acting out. His mother had forced him to sit at the table and eat. He would eat, of course, but he did not like to be disturbed from his games. He had been a mighty hero, fighting to defend his homeland from any who sought to destroy it. He has been the strongest and bravest kal'dorei in Ashenvale. he did not fear demons or dragons. Even the elementals scattered before his might.

However, not even the bravest warrior in Ashenvale could concentrate when his mother's persistent voice kept urging him to come back to the hut and eat his dinner. She had greeted the returning hero with a smile that belied her exasperation. Over the past months, her boy had slipped more and more into his games, ignoring his chores and spending more time near the edge of the forest. Their home was situated near Orendil's retreat, and had been since the strange events that had reshaped the land. Driven out of Astranaar by the ever-increasing conflicts between the Horde and Alliance, they had taken up residence in a crude hut near Orendil's Retreat. They had remained there, and life was starting get get back to some semblance of normality, with the boy's games being the one exception.

Now, watching the boy play with his food, and seeing his mind start to shift back to his fantasy world, the mother decided to do something her parents had done to her when she had misbehaved. A mischevious light came into her eyes as she brushed her raven hair behind her long, lobeless ears.

She leaned forward, and said in a low voice, "You'd better finish your meal, young one before the demon of Ashenvale decides to come to us..." Her words were lined with an ominous tone reserved for threats, and punishing naughty little boys who did not eat their supper.

The boy looked up in surprise, broken out of his reverie by his mother's words. He scanned his mother's face for any hint of humor of falsity, but could find none (at least, none that he could comprehend). He leaned forward slightly, his childish curiosity piqued by this new development. His voice was high and tinged with slight worry.

"Mother, what is the demon of Ashenvale?" he asked. His mother only shook her head, and replied in a cryptic tone. "Exactly what I said it was. A demon who roams the forests, taking children from their houses and their beds."

The child was now fully interested. "What does he do, mother? What does his look like? What does he do to the children? How does - " His mother held up a hand to stifle the torrent of questions at its' birth.

"Now, now, don't go asking too many questions until I've told you the story," she began. She also leaned forward, almost nose-to-nose with her son. "The demon of Ashenvale has been roaming these parts for many years now. He comes and goes like a shadow, leaving empty beds and lonely parents behind. It is said that disobedient children are his favorites. He snatches them from his home and makes off with them. They are never seen again."

The child's eyes are wide now. His questions slip from his mind as he becomes more engrossed in his mother's words, which continue like the drone of an insect.

"People say the demon is a black entity from the depths of the pit. He moves silently over the ground, with two glowing red eyes that burn with hate. His skin is charcoal black, and he possesses gleaming white claws and fangs. His horns, which all demons have, are razor-sharp. He does not speak. He lives only for evil, and never pays heed. Just like his victims, like boys who never pay heed to their parents. He will find them, and drag them into the darkness, never to be seen again."

The mother falls silent, leaving the only sound in the room to be the crackling of the fire. The child is silent now, ruminating over what his mother has told him. His eyes are still wide, and the mother smiles. It works, she thinks. This old fable is good for -

"That is amazing, mother!" the young night elf cries. "A demon who steals children! I wonder how many warriors have tried to kill him!"

The mother sighs. Clearly her bluff has not worked. The boy is more excited than ever. Resigned to her defeat, she listens to her son's constant rambling with the patience of a parent, which is an interesting mix of short and infinite. The boy continues on, now ignoring her completely, until a loud noise startles them both into silence.

The mother's head whips around, staring at the entrance to their hut. The door is open, swaying in the breeze which, the mother sees, has only just started blowing. She looks back at her child, and they share a smile and a small laugh of sheepishness. The door often blows open in the wind. They constantly talk about fixing it, but nothing ever comes of it.

The mother sighs once more as she gets up and moves to the door. She speaks over her shoulder to her son. "It is just a story. Now no more stalling. Hurry up and eat your - "

She is yanked bodily out of the hut, vanishing from the open doorway into the darkness of the night. A single scream sounds, which is cut off almost as quickly as it begins. The child, ignoring the chills that spread down his spine, gets up and runs to the door. However, before he can get there, he slips, falling heavily on to his back. He raises a hand, and sees that it is covered by a curious red substance, that seems to be collecting in the open doorway. Loud footsteps sound now. Too loud to be his mother.

A large figure looms in the doorway now. The child, still on his back, whimpers involuntarily. Tears start to fall from wide eyes are he beholds the monster standing before him. He absurdly thinks that his mother got the story wrong, for his demon's skin is not black, but red and furry, twisted and matted with all sorts of foul-smelling things that add to the child's tears. The claws and fangs are not gleaming white, but a sickly, putrid yellow, and caked with the same reddish substance the child now finds himself lying in. The horns are there, true enough, but the eyes are what captures the boy's attention. They are not red, but they are alight with so much bloodlust and evil that the child breaks down into sobs.

Fangs are bared in a wider grin as the demon leans down. A clawed hand slams into the boy's chest, pinning him to the ground. A leering face appears before his, and fetid breath sprays across the child's senses. A voice rumbles close, and it is alight with death and violence.

"Your mother tells the story well, whelp. I am Morvai. I am a demon. She is wrong about one thing, though."

The boy is yanked upright off the ground. He does not scream. His body is too rigid with terror. The voice laughs, a hideous, cruel laugh that drowns out all else.

"This is no story, elf. This is real."

The boy does not scream. He does not have the chance.
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:56 pm


The satyr licked the rapidly congealing blood from his lips as he galloped away from the now-empty hut. His hooves marked a steady beat through the undergrowth as the blood-red demon moved through the forest he had called home for many years. For some time now, he had hunted the forests of Ashenvale, using the trees and foliage to launch unsuspecting attacks on the elves he hated so much. He had seen his share of conflict as well. his body carried countless scars from these encounters. Many had been fierce struggle. However, he was still here today. Morvai Bloodhorn was still here, hunting.

However, if one dared to look closely, one could see that a relatively new series of scars had torn through the demon's hide. Fresh burns littered the fur-covered shoulders and back, and in several places Morvai's fur had been singed off. His face had suffered as well. His left ear had been burned so badly that it was now barely there. His cheek was almost gone, revealing a flash of yellowed fangs. Only a singed, blistered mass existed now, which only served to make the satyr's demonic visage even more intimidating.

Morvai had disappeared from sight sometime during the strange episode that had swept through Ashenvale some time ago. It had started with a dreadlord's corruption of several wells, leading to a surge in Ashenvale's demonic residents. Morvai had played a hand in this, and appeared periodically thereafter, hampering the efforts of those who had tried to fix the problem. However, after some time, he had vanished. Not a trace of the bloodthirsty demon remained.

Morvai had moved to the heart of Ashenvale. As fun as it had been to torment those cretins who had dared to stand up to his ferocity, he had grown weary of those trying to bend him to their own wills. Morvai would bow to no one, and those who tried to make him kneel would soon find themselves missing various, vital body parts. He had washed his claws of the mindless drones, and moved off to his own devices. For a while, he had been content to hunt elves, his preferred prey, but something had happened which even he had not expected.

The land had bucked and roiled, and a roar had been heard, so loud that is seemed that it had echoed around the entire world. Morvai had felt the earth beneath his hooves quake and explode. Heat had blasted him as he leaped from rock to rock. He had seen lava burst from the cracks rapidly appearing in the ground. He had retreated back into the remaining forest, and watched as a massive mountain had risen into the air, spewing fire and molten rock in every direction. Morvai had watched this with a savage snarl. His hunting grounds were now burning.

This was only the beginning. Faced with the loss of his favorite hunting areas, Morvai soon found new creatures to contend with. Burning elementals has issued forth from the changing landscape, and their hostility was unquestioned. many times Morvai had found himself fighting these burning beings who had invaded his forest. He has been pushed further and further away from his food source, leaving his to fight alone against gradually increasing numbers. He had been scorched, burned and wounded countless times.

However, one thing his adversaries had underestimated was the blood-red satyr's sheer ferocity. Morvai had fought with the bloodthirsty glee that had earned him his sinister reputation over his years in Ashenvale. He had fought, he had killed, and he had lived. Now, after many months, he had circumvented the volcano and the elementals, and had found himself back in familiar territory. There were new landmarks and settlements, but this was his forest. He could continue hunting.

Now, as we paused in the undergrowth to enjoy the remnants of his last meal, the satyr glanced east towards the smoking mountain. For once, his manic grin faded, and a thoughtful expression spread across his mangled features. Prey had been scarce, even after his return. He had fed less and less frequently. The animals of the forest, which he could eat of necessity, were dwindling. he did not know why, but that was irrelevant. What mattered to him was that there weren't as many elves for him to butcher. Hunting wasn't as fun when main prey could not be found.

Suddenly, a deep, sinister chuckle issued from Morvai's fanged mouth. He turned his head north, a grin spreading across his demonic features. He had come a decision. If there was no food to be had here, then he would relocate. he would head north, and find new hunting grounds. He broke into an easy gallop, not pausing to clean the now-clotted blood from his claws and fur. He continued chuckling as he moved, his mind already absorbed in thoughts of carnage and gore.

Wait for me, little elves. Your death is coming to you.
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:57 pm

Ever since the cataclysm, which had shaped countless lives, there had been problems in Darkshore. Auberdine was gone, Destroyed by a massive tidal wave that had wiped out the settlement and almost everyone in it. Those who were lucky enough to survive the destruction were able to start anew in the smaller settlement of Lor'danel. However, like most of the areas affected by the cataclysm, those who survived it found themselves in a completely different world, with new hazards that would test their resolves.

One unforseen event that tested the kal'dorei was the recruitment of the previously non-threatening Shatterspear trolls into the Horde. The highly reclusive tribe had been content to stay within their walled valley for some time, seemingly oblivious to the events that were happening around them. However, with the cataclysm came chance. Warchief Hellscream incorporated the Shatterspear into his ranks, and was now using them to extend the Horde's influence into Darkshore. The trolls had slowly began to spread south towards the kal'dorei settlements, with Lor'danel being the first thing they would encounter.

In order to combat this new threat, the kal'dorei worked furiously to halt the advance of the Shatterspear. However, with many night elves losing their lives int eh cataclysm, willing and able military forces were rare. The leaders of Lor'danel had to turn to willing members of the alliance who were passing through on their adventures, luring them to combat the trolls with minor promises of fame, but more commonly with wealth.

Wealth was the reason that three Shatterspear trolls lay dead at the feet of this particular recruit. With his chosen profession discontinued due to personal reasons, he needed a way to put his skills to good use. One had to eat, after all, and gold was gold, however it was earned. So, he had signed up and ventured into the wilderness, in order to cull a few trolls.

Samael Moonskin knelt and examined the lifeless corpses of the three trolls. He had tracked them in their movements, determining their path - a straight line to Lor'danel. A scouting party, no doubt, the slender night elf thought. The first of many. Samael straightened, drawing himself up to his full six feet, eight inches. His pale skin, an unusual hereditary trait that had given his sparse family their name, was streaked with mud and sweat from the day's hunt. A lean, wolfish face with cold eyes regarded the dead trolls with detached interest. This was a job, after all, and it literally paid to be thorough.

Samael had ambushed the trolls as they had moved through the undergrowth of the forest. They had thought themselves clever and undetectable, right up until one of them had become pinned to a tree by the elf's first crossbow bolt. His two companions had looked bewildered, long enough for Samael to reload and fire another bolt, and end another life. The third had met his end by the pale-skinned elf's sword. It was never wise to try and sneak into unfamiliar surroundings, and as good as these trolls were, Samael was better.

However, as Samael bent again, knife in hand, his thoughts turned to a time before the Shattering. Before his unwanted employments as a blade-for-hire. A time which had changed when he had traveled to the nearby forest of Ashenvale, on a personal quest to find out the truth about someone he had cared for.

What Samael had found instead was a deadly web of corruption, blood and war that had lead him headlong into trouble. He had found out what he wanted to, but this proved inconsequential, as more problems had arisen. Once he knew what he had to do, he had not been able to accomplish it. Instead, he had found himself in a bad place turned worse once the cataclysm had occurred, and had suffered for it. Now, he eked out a living killing things for money, all the while watching and waiting for some form of news. Something that would make his purpose worthwhile again.

Samael straightened, his knife sheathed and three bloody troll tusks in his hand. Proof had to be given, after all. As he headed back to where his horse was tied (Samael, in perhaps an odd sentiment for a night elf, preferred horses over nightsabers), his thoughts turned back, as they often did, to the one being whom he would gladly kill for free.

You will show yourself, Morvai Bloodhorn. You will show yourself, and I will be waiting...
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:58 pm

The caravan traveled slowly along the makeshift road, wooden wheels groaning in protest at the load they were being forced to pull. Drawn by a couple of horses and flanked by two more, it moved slower than it usually would, for the road was barely there any more. with the landscape changed beyond repair by the cataclysm, the old, reliable road was now a mass of overgrown earth, covered with vegetation and cracks big enough to break a horse's leg. In places the cracks were filled with flowing waters washed up from the coast.

The combination of these natural hazards made slow going even slower as the caravan lurched around another leg-width crack. The two free-roaming horseman moved next to the cart, one slightly ahead, checking for obstructions, the other next to the cart itself, ever vigilant for the odd stray tree branch, or felled good. They moved slowly past a patch of thick forest, oblivious to all else except their caravan's safe travel.

Eager, hungry eyes watched from the canopy. They swept the caravan, lingering on the coachman. A large branch creaked slightly as weight was shifted to and fro on it. A flash of red fur moved as the sparse sunlight hit it. A clawed hand tightened on the branch, digging into the bark. A yellow set of fangs gleamed as a horrid face contorted into a grin.

Morvai had spent the last few days hunting along the borders of Ashenvale and Darkshore. The game was slightly better than his previous haunts. Mostly young, tender animals that were just again beginning to flourish after the events that re-shaped the world. Morvai had delighted in ending their young lives and feasting upon their still-warm flesh. However, after a while, he had become bored with his travels, and began itching to sink his claws into some real game.

The crimson satyr watched the caravan edge closer from his perch. He saw the two riders, and a snarl of uncertainty creased his features. While considered a bloodthirsty demon who would kill all in his path, Morvai was also cautious. The two riders would pose a problem if they decided to bolt. It was rare for humans to travel through Darkshore. It was long considered kal'dorei lands. They may have been a pilgrimage, or possibly traveling merchants, looking to sell exotic goods from their homelands. Morvai cared not for their goods, nor their reasons for being there. However, he had just seen something very interesting.

The cloth that stood behind the caravan driver parted slightly, revealing a humanoid shape. A hand reached out and rested on the driver's shoulder. A face with an alien caste peered out, said a few words to the driver, who nodded and turned back to the road. The cloth barred his view once more, but Morvai had seen it. There were blueskins in the caravan!

The blueskin race that had appeared a while ago originally meant nothing to Morvai. However, during the events that had forced his self-imposed exile into the forest, he had come into contact with a number of them, and each interaction was fresh in his mind, and set the fires of anger burning in his skull. One blueskin had tried to manipulate him to her own devices, while another had collaborated with the kal'dorei. Morvai grinned savagely as he remembered the second one. What a treat she had been. Morvai had enjoyed playing games, taunting her and her comrades. However, his forced withdrawal had got his blood boiling. Now, blueskin blood was highly valued to him.

Morvai grinned with savage glee as the caravan came closer. There was no doubt in his mind now. He would attack the caravan. He would tear open that flimsy cage and turn it into a coffin. He would bathe in blood. Morvai chuckled under his breath as the caravan passed below him. The sun began to set.
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:59 pm

The full moon rose to its zenith, casting pale light across a ruined caravan. The cloth had been torn to shreds, with goods scattered in all directions. The rent corpse of a caravan driver lay nearby, his chest cavity opened like a bizarre second mouth, gaping into the darkness. A single horse lay nearby, struggling to breath through a torn throat, breath coming with gurgling gasps that slowly subsided, until the animal twitched in its' final death throes, and was still. The body of its' rider, still in his saddle, was wedged underneath the now-dead animal, his head twisted at an odd angle.

A single spark of movement caused the caravan's supports to shudder. A blue hand appeared at the edge. A single figure suddenly spilled from the caravan, hitting the ground with a wet thud. The draenei hauled himself away from the carnage, the dead eyes of his female companion staring after him in a pool of blue blood.

Wet tears fell and mixed with blood as the draenei crawled away from the horrendous sight. The attack had come from above and without warning. Before there was the chance to retaliate, one of the riders was down, and the other had bolted, ignoring the cries and screams that echoed after him. The draenei sobbed. He and his companion had never stood a chance. Their travel had been cut short by a murderous spectre that had killed her with a laugh and a spray of blood.

A crushing weight suddenly slammed into the draenei's back, forcing him into the earth and detritus of the forest. He screamed in pain as the weight twisted, and he felt the cracking of ribs as white stars of pain danced before his eyes. His head was suddenly yanked back as a powerful hand closed on his short horns. Foul breath and spittle sprayed into his face as a heathen voice spoke.

"You're a long way from home, blueskin. Didn't they tell you? There are things out there in the dark. Dangerous things. You should be more careful next time." A deep, sinister laugh sounded.

The draenei felt a flash of pain as his throat opened. Then, darkness.
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:01 pm

"That wasn't called for, long-ears!"

The group of humans stepped forward, out of the doorway and into the cool night air. One of their own lay face-down in the soft grass next to the path. His body reeked of alcohol and sweat. A fresh bruise was in the process of spreading across one cheek. The cause of this injury stood between him and his drunken comrades. They had been drinking since sundown, and were starting to affect the general feeling of calmness that the inn usually peddled. Therefore, action had been taken, in the form of throwing out the largest, rowdiest drunk in the group.

Samael had returned to Lor'danel with his Shatterspear tusks, and had been paid for them. However, he had not received as much gold for them as he had expected. It seemed that with the ever-increasing influx of trolls in the surrounding forests, Samael's 'employers' could afford to lower the price on them. Therefore, the silver-skinned elf had taken up another position, this time acting as security at the Lor'danel inn. The innkeeper had approached him with the promise of gold if he would help remove some 'merrily destructive' humans.

Now, he turned and faced the advancing group of humans. He recognised the type - mercenaries who travelled here and there, mostly providing protection for caravans too small to be robbed, and people who could not afford the services of experienced fighters. They were brawlers, nothing more, and now with more ale than sense, Samael knew that they were no challenge at all.

"Hey, elf!" one of them challenged, brandishing a billy club and dagger. "I think you accidentally threw my friend out of the inn."

"No accident, human," Samael replied, without a smile. "You and your friends drank too much. I simply wanted to make sure you were outside before you began destroying what little light is left in this town."

The humans looked perplexed for a second, as they grappled with the eloquence and formality of Samael's speech. Then, realising that they had been insulted they stepped forward, now intent on putting the uppity long-ears in his place. They moved to surround Samael. However, the elf's deep voice stopped them in their tracks. It vibrated with suppressed anger.

"I would think very carefully about what you're doing, humans. I have endured much today, and am not in the mood to explain to the sentinels how I managed to dispatch a group of drunken men."

These words were accompanied by the slow ring of drawn steel. Samael stepped back, dropping into a fighter's crouch. One of his swords flashed in the moonlight as he brought the curved blade to bear, the point angled towards the centre-most human. His eyes were hard and unyielding. He said nothing more, but his message was conveyed. The human who had spoken took a step back, his shoulders slumping. He wasn't ready for a fight. Not with an elf who would clearly not think twice about spilling blood.

Samael lowered his blade. "A wise decision," he said, sheathing the weapon. "Now see to your friend and get out of my sight."

As the humans complied, Samael noticed another figure standing at the doorway to the inn. It was another kal'dorei, a woman who wore a basic tunic and carried a sentinel's blade at her hip. She held Samael's gaze, and gestured with her head to the inn. Samael nodded once, and after a quick check to see that the humans had vacated the area, he followed the sentinel inside.

At a table in the corner of the inn, the two elves sat down. Samael fixed his eyes on the sentinel, saying nothing. After a moment, she smiled. "You remind me of a hawk, Samael. Never speaking, just watching."

Samael's gaze never wavered. "You wouldn't search for me at the inn unless you had something to tell me, Veretha."

Veretha Starshimmer's smiled faded. "A caravan was attacked close to the Darkshore-Ashenvale border two days ago. Four casualties. One survivor. He made it to Orendil's Retreat and informed the sentinels."

The sentinel fell silent, waiting for Samael's reaction. Seeing none, Veretha continued. "The casualties included two draenei." At this, Samael raised an eyebrow. It was unusual for draenei to travel the roads of Darkshore. If they came at all, they spent only the briefest time at Lor'danel, before moving on by sea or air.

Veretha's voice took on a hard edge. "My unit was dispatched to investigate. We found the caravan." Veretha wavered slightly, her forehead wrinkling in remembrance. "It was a bloodbath. The draenei...there was hardly anything left of them. If their blood wasn't blue, I doubt if we would have been able to identify them."

Samael leaned forward. "How does this pertain to me? Get to the point, Veretha."

She did not smile this time. She also leaned forward, and her voice dropped in volume. "Samael, another attack was recorded a week and a half ago. This one was near Orendil's Retreat itself. A mother and her son vanished from their hut. A similar scenario to the caravan. A lot of blood, but hardly any bodies."

This time, she did get a reaction. Samael's hand shot out and grabbed her wrist, hard enough to make her wince. His voice, low and husky, sounded close to her. His eyes were cold, but he seemed charged. Alive with energy and possibility.

"Veretha, do not lie to me. I am tired of chasing ghosts and spectres. Is it him?"

Veretha hesitated for a few moments, but seeing Samael's eyes, she finally spoke. "It seems to be the same modus operandi as his previous killings. It's the strongest lead we...you... have since that business in Ashenvale."

Samael rose without saying a word. Pausing at the bar, he went behind it, coming out with a travel pack and his crossbows, all of which he slung over his wiry shoulders. His sheathed blade was returned to his hip, and with a slight nod at Veretha, Samael Moonskin walked out of the inn and into the night.

Veretha Starshimmer lowered her gaze to the table in front of her, and her thoughts returned to the scenes of carnage she had beheld over the past fortnight. She would never tell Samael, but she was nervous. Whatever had caused these deaths was extremely dangerous, and she had her doubts that Samael would be able to handle it, even with his skills and single-mindedness.

Be careful, my friend
, she thought. If it is Morvai, he will not make it easy for you. You are gambling with your life, Samael. Do not lose...
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:03 pm

“I don’t know what to tell you, elf,” the human sputtered. He looked exhausted. There were dark circles under his eyes, and he smelled as if he had not changed his clothes in days. Patchy facial hair covered his chin, and his hair fell forward in a tangled mess. His gaze twitched this way and that, and for all his crass bluster, Samael could see that he was afraid.

The silver-skinned kal’dorei has wasted no time in traveling to Orendil’s retreat. Along the way, he had stopped to investigate the site of the caravan attack. He found exactly what he knew he would – a bloodbath. The caravan had been hit, and hit hard. A small troll attack force could have done it, but Samael knew better. One only had to look at the lack of disturbed earth around the caravan to know that the assailant had worked alone, and was extremely good at butchering innocents. Samael lingered no longer than he had to. He mounted up and headed for the retreat.

When he had arrived, he had been greeted with barely-concealed distrust. The sentinels there were on edge, spending all their days fighting the influx of elementals and other unsavoury denizens that were attempting to spill into the night elves’ territory. To add to that burden were two different groups of murders, both of unprecedented brutality. Therefore, when an unknown bounty hunter arrives asking questions, they were understandably sceptical.

However, Samael had quickly convinced them that he was more than capable. His stony façade, coupled with his obvious military bearing ensured that the sentinels at least let him question the sole survivor of the caravan attack. The tall elf stood facing his charge, one hand resting on the hilt of one of his swords. His crossbow leaned against a wooden beam behind him. The human sat before him, obviously uncomfortable.

“I can’t tell you anything,” the human spat again. “It happened too fast. One minute the caravan was moving. The next time I looked back, Wilkes was off his horse, and…” He leaned forwards, head in his hands.

Samael’s face did not waver. His eyes remained fixed upon the human. After a moment, he spoke. His voice was flat and impassive. “Tell me everything.”

The human looked up, his exasperation turning to anger. “Didn’t I just tell you? Twice? I don’t know, you pointy-eared - ”

Samael’s gauntleted fist made a solid thud as it connected with the human’s jaw. The force of the punch caused him to topple off the chair, hitting the floor hard. The human’s eyes glazed over for a moment, then refocused, fear creeping into them as Samael stood over the him, eyes flashing with barely-contained rage. A sentinel appeared at his elbow, her face showing surprise and anger. She grabbed for Samael’s shoulder, only to be shoved back roughly as the silver-skinned elf reached down and grasped the front of the human’s shirt. He pulled his suspect roughly to his feet, and slammed him back down in the chair. The human stared at the elf, a line of blood a trickling from a quickly swelling jaw. Samael leaned in, and his voice was low and threatening.

“Tell me everything, human, before you lose your powers of speech.”

The human, a mercenary who had seen combat countless times, said nothing for a long time. There was no fight in him. The fire was gone from his eyes. Samael had guessed right. This human had seen something which had scared him. Scared him so badly that he had changed. He was no longer a fighter. He was a victim. He leaned forward, tears beginning to run down his cheeks.

“When I looked back, Wilkes was already off his horse. I heard…heard his neck snap as h-he hit the ground. There was so much red around us…”

Samael’s eyes narrowed. “You’ve seen blood before, human. Have the stomach to take it.”

The human looked up, his eyes suddenly dry. “Not blood, elf. Something else. Something red.”

Samael said nothing. The sentinel he had shoved was talking to him, anger in her eyes, but he did not hear her. He pivoted on his heel and walked away from the human, who had returned his eyes to the floor. The silver elf picked up his crossbow and slung it across his back. As he made to exit the hut, two other sentinels blocked his way. “Do not move, Moonskin. You have some explaining to do.”

The kal’dorei bounty hunter’s voice was like cold steel. It cut through the air sharper than any blade. “I know who killed your people.” At this, the sentinels fell silent.

Samael was past them before they could blink. His voice lingered as he vanished into the night.

He is here. “Do not follow me.” He is mine.
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Izdazi on Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:26 am

((
Ahhh. I miss the scary Morvai is. Great to see him back and I hope to see more updates.

Life has a tendency to yank us harshly from our stories from time to time. Welcome back, Mammona. Smile
))
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  KaijinRhada on Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:18 pm

((It's good to see him in good shape. Well, as good a shape as a maniacal demon can be. Razz

Hope to see more!))
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:04 pm

((Thanks guys! I've always enjoyed writing about Morvai.))

The fawn jigged this way and that, desperate to escape its pursuer. Expertly separated from its mother, the young deer was racing through the rocky terrain, having been driven out of the wooded area where it had been grazing. Now, the lack of a sturdy floor to move on was causing the deer to lose its most useful defence – its directional agility.

The small animal stumbled, and it was caught. A clawed hand shot out and struck the deer hard across the haunches, sending the animal reeling to the ground. The hand grasped the deer’s foreleg, hoisting the struggling, squealing animal into the air. Yellowed fangs flashed and bit deep. Young, fresh blood welled up and flowed from the large hole in the deer’s throat. The struggles slowed, then ceased.

Morvai’s head twisted this way and that, tearing hunks of flesh and gouts of gore from the freshly killed deer. He squatted down amongst the rocks, enjoying his meal, and feeling his horrible strength returning to him. He had hunted well in this new land. He had been there for almost two weeks, and had feasted almost every day. The gaunt, wiry frame that he had possessed when he left Ashenvale was giving way to bunched muscle and sinewy strength. Now, as he straightened, leaving the shredded deer carcass to fall amongst the rocks, Morvai grinned savagely. I like this place, he thought. Much better than the fiery wasteland I came from.

The crimson satyr leaped from the rocks, landing lightly on the forest floor. He broke into a slow trot, hooves pounding a steady beat as he moved like a spectre through the undergrowth. His head twitched this way and that, nostrils flaring as he sniffed the breeze. The sun was slowly rising, casting dappled shadows along the forest floor.

Suddenly, Morvai stopped. He cocked his head like a crimson bird, baring his teeth in an involuntary snarl. A new myriad of scents had hit his nose. The scent of elf was the one he recognised at once. He grinned with manic glee as he began to head towards the scent, when a new one made him stop again. It was another scent, vaguely familiar. Morvai could not quite place it, but the elvish smell was too strong for his killing desire to ignore. He resumed his galloping, picking up speed as he headed towards the smells. As he neared the source, he heard the unmistakeable sounds of conflict. Foul breath fogged the air in front his bared fangs. The grin never left his demonic features.

Morvai lives on, scum, he thought. He comes for you.
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:42 pm

The slender blade split the air as it shot towards its target. The blade was thrown high, its’ intended area of penetration the narrow chest of its adversary. However, as it sped closer, the chest twisted sideways, back arching profusely. The blade glanced off the shoulder, carving a small furrow as it cannoned off muscle and sinew. Blood welled up from the cut, dripping to the ground in an increasing consistency. The body hit the ground and rolled, coming up in a fighter’s crouch, sharp teeth bared.

The sentinel faced the troll, sword in one hand, the other still outstretched from when she had thrown the knife. Raven hair fell in a tangled mass across stern features, as well as a trickle of blood from a cut on her scalp. Her helm lay a few yards away, from where it had been knocked off. Her amour was dirty and scratched, and sweat poured from her body. Despite her condition, her gaze was hard. She was a seasoned veteran, who had been in many battles before. Her free hand moved to her blade hilt, and she brought the weapon to bear, darting in to close range, swinging the sword at the troll.

The troll raised his own arm, catching the sentinel’s blow on a strip of wood strapped to it. The night elf’s blade caught and held in the hard oak. The troll whipped the arm back, tearing the sword from the sentinel’s grasp. He pivoted and swung with his own weapon, a sharp-bladed axe. However, the axe met only the space the sentinel had been occupying, and the troll was met with a gauntleted fist that smashed into his jaw. He took a step back, and the sentinel lashed out with a foot, catching the troll’s thigh. The tusked humanoid fell backwards, crashing to the forest floor.

The sentinel reached down and grasped the hilt of her discarded sword, wrenching it free from the troll’s shield. A booted foot slammed down on the troll’s arm, pinning his axe to the ground. The night elf was breathing hard, but she smiled down at the troll. The troll glared up at her, eyes blazing. His short tusks vibrated with supressed fury. His teeth, sharpened to points, were bared in a savage snarl. His axe-hand twitched.

“Don’t even bother, troll.” The sentinel pressed down hard with her leg. “Do yourself a favour and just give up.”

The troll said nothing. The elf’s grin widened. To find a troll alone in this forest was an unusual thing. They usually travelled in small parties around the kal’dorei settlements. She had found this lone troll merely half a mile from her camp, hidden in the undergrowth. In fact, the only reason she had found him was due to a disturbed raven that had taken flight when the troll had shifted his position. Now, she had him on his back, and the voice behind her told her that one of her sisters was on the way.

The elf leaned in and pressed the point of her sword into the troll’s throat, causing a small point of blood to well from it. The troll’s only response was to keep glaring at her, yellow eyes blazing. His body was tense, his muscles taut. He said nothing.

“Lerene?! What has happened?” The sentinel’s partner burst into the small clearing created by the conflict. She was also breathing hard, and her eyes widened when she saw the troll. “Lerene, what - ”

Lerene knew better than to glance back over her shoulder to respond. She could already see the troll tensing, ready to make his move. She pressed her blade deeper, and spoke. “Don’t come any closer. Found him skulking around the encampment. Go back and get the others.” She smiled at the troll. “You will wish you had died in battle, troll.”

The sentinel shouted “Go now! I will wait!”

Silence. No response came. Lerene knew she could not look back. “Do you understand?” Nothing. Lerene’s voice began to sound uncertain. “Sentinel? Nurela?”

A scream rang out from the forest. It was a high-pitched, wailing scream that ended in a choked, gurgling sound. Both troll and elf froze. For a moment, the veteran sentinel known as Lerene remembered her duty, and did not take her eyes off the troll. However, when a sinister laugh sounded from behind her, the sentinel’s gaze broke, and she whirled around, her sword in hand as she turned to face whatever new horror awaited her.

The trees where her companion had entered were slick with blood. It dripped from the leaves and pooled on the ground. Lerene’s eyes widened. She had never seen such carnage, even on the battlefield. Of Nurela, there was no sign. Only an ever-widening smear of blood in the forested landscape. Lerene took an involuntary step backwards, only remembering her situation when it was too late.

A crushing blow from behind pitched the remaining sentinel forward. Her armour had absorbed most of the blow, but the wind was still knocked out of her when she hit the forest floor. She struggled to rise, but a two-toed foot slammed into her back, knocking her back to earth. Her armour creaked and groaned at the troll leaned in, raising his axe above his head, aiming for the base of her neck.

Movement registered in Lerene’s peripheral vision moments before the weight was lifted from her back. Her senses returning to her, she scrambled to her feet, sword in hand. However, the troll was no longer a threat. He lay to the side of the clearing, blood rushing from three large gashes across his face. His eyes were closed, and his breath bubbled weakly from slack lips.

A vice-like grip clamped on to the sentinel’s neck, and her body was hoisted off the ground. A foul smell clogged her nostrils, and a terrible face filled her vision. Yellow fangs bared in a grin. Lerene saw red fur and malicious eyes. With a spray of fetid breath, the creature spoke in a raspy, gravelly voice.

“So close to home, yet so far from help.”

One swipe of dirty claws opened her throat. The second cut her armour from her. The third spilled her heart’s blood. Lerene’s last sight was of her own blood flowing like a river.

It took Morvai Bloodhorn a while to butcher the elf carcass. As he had grown stronger, so had his bloodlust. Once he was satisfied for the moment, he cast a glance at the troll, lying unmoving on the forest floor. With a deep chuckle, he vanished into the undergrowth, leaving nothing but a bloody mess behind.

After a while, the forest began to fill with the sound of elvish voices. Other sentinels burst into the clearing, eyes widening in horror at the carnage that they faced. The troll lay amongst them, blood seeping from his grievous wounds. As distress turned to anger, the sentinels began to fan out, seeking any evidence of the crime.

Through a sheen of red, the troll’s eyes opened.
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:23 am

Samael knelt down, a gloved fist scooping up a portion of blood-soaked earth. He raised the handful to his nose and sniffed. The coppery scent of blood filled his nostrils, coupled with the cloying scent of rain-soaked soil. However, something else reached his senses – the thick, putrid smell of decaying flesh and decomposed matter. Samael’s wolfish face curled, baring his teeth in a wordless snarl. He knew the stench. It was hard to forget it. Morvai.

The silver-skinned kal’dorei straightened, releasing the earth, and brushing his hand absentmindedly on his long cloak. A rustling sound rang from behind him as a trio of sentinels emerged into the clearing. All three stopped when they saw the tall male standing there. The centremost one stepped forward, hand on her sword hilt and face set in an annoyed mask.

“This area is the scene of a murder, Moonskin. You were warned to stay away.”

“I was curious,” Samael replied without turning around. He stepped close to a tree, and examined the blood splashed across a good portion of the trunk. Arterial jet, he thought. When the throat was cut, blood did not seep from the wound, but rather sprayed in a fountain. Based on the amount that has splattered on the tree, and the sheer concentration of the red substance, Samael deduced that the victim had been held while the throat has been slashed open. No other way to explain why the blood has sprayed only into a particular area.

The sentinels were still eyeing him warily. The one who had spoken moved in close and grasped his shoulder. Samael’s hand flew to his sword hilt, and he spun, eyes blazing.

The sentinel did not flinch in the thrall of his gaze. “Vacate immediately,” she said, “Or risk arrest.”

Samael did not move, his eyes remaining locked on the sentinel’s. After a long moment, they darted to each of her companions. His hand slowly released his sword hilt, and was raised, palm up. Samael pivoted on his boot heel, and moved out of the clearing, towards the camp. The sentinels relaxed slightly as the tall kal’dorei male walked away. Samael did not look back.

A fight. A sentinel and a troll. Troll was knocked down. Second sentinel arrives, and is butchered, quickly and quietly. First sentinel meets the same fate moments later. Samael had left the crime scene, not because the sentinel had told him to, but because he had already gleaned all the information he needed to. This was Morvai’s doing. He had happened upon the fight between the troll and the sentinels, and finished it. Two sentinels, one an apparent veteran, and they were slaughtered as easily as baby lambs. The troll was cast aside, so that the bastard could get to the elves.

Samael paused, only just realising two key differences between this killing and the ones before. The first was that this was not an attack upon unsuspecting families or pilgrims. This was the swift, sure killing of seasoned soldiers, who had the means and the dispositions of putting up a fight. And still he did it easily. He is stronger than before. More confident.

The second difference was that there was another present. Another who did not run, but was cast aside by Bloodhorn. A possible witness who had seen the crimson satyr. Not just a glimpse of red fur and an evil laugh, but someone who had seen him, horns and all. The troll was there, and he had not been killed.

Samael stopped. That there was a survivor brought another question to his mind. Where was the troll? Samael Moonskin glanced around, his mind racing with many questions.

Two long grooves on the forest floor told the hunter everything he needed to know. Samael turned and headed into the forest. Now was not the time. He would need to wait.
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:58 pm

“You are not being very cooperative.”

Sharp teeth were bared as the blade was dragged across flesh, carving a bloody path through muscle and sinew. However, no sound issued forth. The blade finished its cut, and was held back, blood dripping down the steel, and seeping between the fingers of the elvish hand who held it.

Veretha Starshimmer stepped back, blade in hand. Her eyes were hard and unyielding. A single lock of hair was plastered to her brow, the rest scraped back into a roughly-tied bun. She wore no armour, only a bloodstained tunic and trousers. Her armour lay nearby. She did not need it at the present time. Interrogations did not warrant it. She faced her charge, her eyes flicking over the tribal features, trying to get a read on them.

The troll sat tied to a chair, his arms and legs bound with solid green rope. His armour (such as it was) had also been stripped from him, leaving him clad in naught but a loincloth. His blue-tinged skin was dirty and streaked with blood. It flowed in a steady stream from the newly-made wound across his chest, and it dripped from his short tusks. His eyes were open, though, and they stared defiantly at Veretha, bright with fury. He had been dragged from the crime scene, held at the sentinel camp, and brought back to Lor’Danel. This was where Veretha had taken charge of him.

Veretha paused to catch her breath. She placed her blade down on the table, rolling her shoulders to loosen them, and headed over to where her amour sat. As she bent to retrieve her sword, she glanced over her shoulder at the troll. He was Shatterspear, that much was for certain. He possessed the long limbs and narrow torso that all jungle trolls had, and his skin tone matched that of the average Shatterspear. Tattoos wound their way across his torso, some set of symbols known only to his tribe (or even to himself). His face was painted, a dark patch running diagonally across his face, which had become smeared and ruined with sweat, dirt and blood. His teeth were filed to points, and thorns had been punched through his ears, painful to affix, since trolls, like elves, possessed no ear lobes. Dark, scraggly dreadlocks were tied roughly behind his head, hanging down to the middle of his back.

It was the troll’s eyes, however, that caught Veretha’s attention. Yellow and bright, they lent his face a saurian appearance, and like the reptiles he resembled, they did not blink. The troll sat there, watching her. She had been at this interrogation for almost half an hour, and he had not made a sound.

Since the cataclysm had freed the Shatterspear tribe from their relative seclusion, the trolls had become an increasing threat to the kal’dorei of Darkshore. That the trolls had been incorporated into the Horde only made matters worse. Therefore, the solution was simple – wipe out the trolls before they became too numerous to contain. Veretha could remember the verdict – how the sentinels, long-serving protectors, had been pushed into the instigation of genocide. She did not like it – there weren’t many who did – but she went along with it. Orders were orders.

The major problem, however, was the troll’s versatility. They learned quickly, and adapted to the forest with a speed that made even the kal’dorei rangers take notice. As fast as the night elves were killing them, the trolls were launching raids on kal’dorei encampments, harrying their supply routes, and scouting military offensives for the Horde. To make matter worse, the trolls were elusive. Those that were engaged were either killed or melted back into the forest. It was rare for a troll to be taken alive.

All this was going through Veretha’s mind as she drew her sword and stepped towards the troll. This was a rare opportunity for information, and she would need to grasp it. Whatever had killed those sentinels had left the troll. Whether this was because the troll was in league with it, or simply because the troll was overlooked was inconsequential. The troll was valuable, and she would get all she could from him.

“You will tell me everything, troll, or your suffering will be prolonged until you beg me to end it.” To punctuate her statement, Veretha swung her sword, which passed in a blur of steel under the troll’s chin, nicking his throat and leaving a small cut. The reptilian gaze never wavered.

The troll said nothing.

The sword flashed again, this time at the troll’s face. The flat of the blade snapped the troll’s head to the side at it caught him in a painful slap. The light, thin blade was not heavy enough to knock the troll out, but the gaze dimmed slightly, before returning to his captor. Veretha stood waiting.

The troll said nothing.

The sentinel reversed her sword, stepped him close and swung hard. The pommel of the blade struck the troll hard across the upper jaw, hard enough to shatter a tusk, and sending a chunk of it spinning across the room. Blood spurted from a broken nose as the troll rocked back in the chair. When he rocked forward again, he was met by the steely gaze of Veretha Starshimmer.

“Do not underestimate me, cretin. I may not be as barbarous as your brothers back home, but I can be just as unpleasant.”

At this, the troll’s eyes flashed. Veretha raised an eyebrow. Hit a nerve there. She straightened, her voice hard. “Back to the blades, I think.”

The troll said nothing.

As she retrieved her knife, a voice rang out from the door to the room. “Sentinel Starshimmer, report to the captain.”

Veretha nodded once, glad to be rid of this duty, but not willing let the troll see that she was. Turning to the bound captive, she offered a tight smile. “Do not go anywhere.”

The troll said nothing.
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:45 pm

“He won’t talk,” Veretha Starshimmer said, wiping her brow with the back of her hand. “I’ve tried everything but magic. He just sits there, staring at me.”

“Then magic is what we will use.” Sentinel commander Kyrene Lakewhisper gazed down at her subordinate, her face a stony mask. “Send for the druids.”

Veretha stiffened. “With respect, commander, we do not know for sure that this troll actually knows anything. He was alone when they found him.”

Commander Lakewhisper dismissed the notion with a flick of her hand. “If he won’t talk, then he has something to hide. The druids will make him talk. We must find out where the Horde are sending the trolls before it is too late.”

Veretha sighed inwardly. She knew that her commander could not be moved on this. Kyrene Lakewhisper was legendary amongst the sentinels of Darkshore for her stoic demeanour, and her rigid adherence to orders. If it was written, it was done. She saluted, and began to exit the room to find the druids.

“Before it is too late, I would wish to speak to him.”

The familiarly deep voice startled Veretha, partially because it was so close. The doorway was blocked by the tall, wiry frame of Samael Moonskin. He was filthy, his face and hair matted with dirt and sweat. He still carried his travel pack slung over his shoulders. His silver skin shimmered slightly in the dappled sunlight pouring from the doorway. His face, as always, was a picture of seriousness.

“And why would you wish to speak to the prisoner, stranger?” Commander Lakewhisper had stepped up alongside Veretha, and was eyeing Samael with distrust.

Veretha turned to her superior. “Commander, this is Samael Moonskin. He is a… friend of mine. He has been working a case nearby.”

Kyrene snorted. “Moonskin. I knew your uncle. A good soldier, but he lacked patience. And discipline.”

Samael’s eyes narrowed. “I did not come here to talk about family. Let me speak to the troll.”

“And again, I ask what possible reason you could have to do so?” Kyrene stepped forward, one hand on the hilt of her blade. A tall woman, she was almost level in height with Samael. Veretha quickly stepped between the two, holding up both hands. She knew that conflict was only a short distance away is she did not intervene.

“Commander, I am sure that no possible harm could come from Samael speaking with the troll. As I said, I know him. He can be very…persuasive. If he could make the troll talk, it would save us the resources,” She glanced once more at Samael. “And the time.”

Commander Lakewhisper considered this for a long time, her gaze passing between Samael and Veretha. Then she nodded once. “Very well, Moonskin, You have ten minutes.”

Samael did not smile. “I will only need five.” He entered the room.

Barely two minutes had passed before a deep, bitter laugh sounded from the room. Veretha and her commander exchanged startled glances, before Kyrene drew her blade and threw the door to the room wide open, striding inside with her weapon ready. Veretha crowded behind her, her sword also in hand.

Samael’s wry smile greeted them. However, the smile did not reach his eyes, which regarded the commander with barely-concealed distaste. The troll sat behind him, bound as he had been before. There were no new marks on him. His face was a mess of dried blood and purple bruises, but his eyes were alight, and blazed with reptilian fury as he regarded the three elves. The three cuts given to him in the attack were closing rapidly, a sign of the troll race’s remarkable regenerative capabilities.

“What have you done, Moonskin?” Commander Lakewhisper stepped further into the room. Her eyes were also blazing as she beheld the silver-skinned elf before her. “What is so amusing?”

Samael brushed past her, heading for the door. His voice was low and uninterested. “This troll will not talk.”

Veretha sighed, knowing full well what would be coming next. Her commander took two strides and grasped Samael by the shoulder. She spun him to face her, and jabbed a finger into the Moonskin’s leather armour chest-piece. “You have wasted my time, you ungrateful wretch. You share your uncle’s penchant for disrespect.”

Samael did not move, but his eyes flashed with anger. Veretha stepped back involuntarily, wishing with all her being that she was somewhere else. Samael had never spoken about his family, but had been known to reward those who did with unmitigated violence. However, Samael did nothing. He merely spoke again. His voice was low, and was steeled with restraint.

“You misunderstand me, commander,” he said, spitting out the word ‘commander’ as if it tasted bad. He jerked a thumb at the troll, who was actually smiling, baring sharp teeth in a gesture of fierce amusement.

“This troll will not talk because he has no tongue.”
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:52 pm

The chirping of crickets and the rustling of branches were the only sounds that emanated from the darkness. It was a moonless night, and the streets were deserted. Torches and lanterns provided the only purchase for the eyes. It was a night of quiet calmness. It was a night that sent many a soul into the vast depths of sleep, content with the day’s labour, and lulled by the simple nothingness of it all.

Veretha Starshimmer may have been the only one in Lor’Danel that did not share that feeling of tranquillity at that moment. Charged to watch the troll prisoner, she shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other. It was not that she was tired – sentinels were trained to stand watch for long periods of time without wavering or moving an inch. It was not that she disliked the duty, for the troll was not the first prisoner she had been in charge of, and if the night saw itself through, would definitely not be the last. It was not even Samael’s startling revelation about the troll. She had encountered many horrible wounds and scars in her time, and the troll’s tongueless jaw held nothing for her but mild surprise.

What made Veretha uneasy was the very person who had revealed this to her. Samael had blown back into Lor’Danel with a single-mindedness that surpassed anything she had seen before. The last of the Moonskins had always been stubborn and focused, but this went beyond anything she had ever expected of him. In the time before Morvai, Samael had always been a good soldier, following orders to the letter, and putting aside all personal feelings for the sake of his duty. He had been a bloodhound, and the military had been his master.

Now, Samael was a loaded crossbow, and he himself was the trigger. Veretha had not shown it at the time, but she had been deeply troubled at his reaction to Kyrene’s taunting of his family. Samael’s lack of reaction may have been seen as restraint to the untrained eye, but Veretha knew better. Samael would only have left the insult alone if he had other things on his mind, and it would have to take something major for the silver-skinned elf to let an insult to his family slip by.

The Moonskins had always been a fiercely loyal family. Although their members were sparse, they always managed to find the time to see one another. When they did, they rarely spoke at length, but there was always a sense of togetherness, one that had many kal’dorei baffled. Even as the warrior family began to dwindle, they remained true to their roots. Veretha had met them when only three remained; Samael, his father Seorele and Dele, Seorele’s older brother.

Seorele and Dele could not have been more different in appearance. Dele was a hulking, muscular elf with arms like tree branches and a barrel-chest. Seorele was tall and slim, with lupine features and a rangy look about him (one only had to look at Samael to know who his father was). However, in demeanour they were nearly identical. Stern, no-nonsense soldiers. They did what they had to, when it was required of them. Duty came first, with family a close second. The three remaining Moonskins remained that way for centuries, and Samael eventually grew into the same traits that his elders displayed.

One day, two hundred odd years ago, Seorele went hunting and never returned. His body was never recovered. Dele himself called off the hunt for it. Veretha remembered the day he did. It was done with the same Moonskin attitude that she had seen in such abundance of late. However, there was a strain to Dele’s voice. A pain that lay just beneath the surface, and the way his eyes had dimmed when they had beheld Samael. Now, we are two.

Samael had left shortly after, unwilling to stay in the same place his father had vanished in. He had visited sporadically, but the visits became further and further between. Then, he had reappeared after news of Dele’s involvement in the corruption of Ashenvale had spread. It was as if he had been waiting. He had gone after Morvai Bloodhorn, the crimson satyr who had been responsible for the near-total destruction of everything Samael knew.

Veretha had no idea what had happened after Samael had left. She only knew that he had returned empty-handed, face a cloud of barely-suppressed rage. He had been working as a blade-for-hire ever since. Veretha hated to see her friend (for indeed, they had been friends before he had left) like this, but she had little choice. She could only watch as Samael drifted further and further into darkness. Further into his all-consuming desire to see Morvai’s head on a spike. Part of Veretha hoped that once all of this was done, Samael would be able to find some measure of peace, and maybe become the elf she once knew.

It was this hope that worried Veretha, on this night that had put everyone else at ease. It was because of this hope that she had done what she had done. It was because of hope that she had nodded her head, giving her permission.

From the closed door of the cell behind her, she heard the low drone of Samael’s voice.
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:22 am

The cell was dark and bare, the only light emanating from a small candle, nearly burned out, that threw shadows into sharp relief. The flame flicked this way and that throwing dappled light over the hunched figure of the troll. He sat in the customary troll crouch. Three heavy ropes wound their way around his figure; one around each wrist, and one at his neck. They were tied fast to the wall of the cell, and hardened with resin obtained from tree sap. They were strong and durable. They were also heavy, and the troll’s head was bowed, fatigue clearly evident in his posture. However, his eyes were bright and glowed in the candlelight, as he beheld his guest.

Samael Moonskin stood across from the troll, one hand resting absentmindedly on the hilt of his sword. His eyes raked across the troll’s face and his bruised and battered figure, the only expression evident on his face being a slight sneer. After a moment, he stepped forward, lowering himself into a stool set before the prisoner. Another stool lay upended to the right of him. He reached out with a long arm and picked it up. He offered it to the troll.

“Seat? It must be uncomfortable squatting like that for hours on end.”

The troll said nothing. Samael grinned, but there was no humour in it. He placed the stool the right way up on the ground before him. “Of course you are not uncomfortable. Vermin like you can stay like that forever. A rat can rear up on its haunches, but is more comfortable squatting in the dirt.”

Samael spat at the troll. The spittle hit the troll on the side of the face. The troll made no move to wipe it away. Samael reached behind him, and drew a long knife. The blade glinted icily in the candlelight. The silver-skinned elf flicked the blade lazily this way and that, his voice a low monotone as he spoke.

“Very well, if you cannot speak then you must be a good listener. Listen well, troll. You are in serious trouble. You were caught by the kal’dorei sentinels. For all they know, you killed a couple as well. This ‘interrogation’ they gave you is simply the beginning. You will suffer, and suffer well.”

Samael lashed out suddenly. His knife buried itself into the stool in front of him. He released the hilt, leaving the blade quivering in the wood. The troll did not react. The eyes stayed on Samael. The elf smiled again.

“One thing you must realise, vermin. I do not care what happens to you. I would be able to endure your tongueless screams with a smile and a pleasant dream as I sleep like an infant. I am not interested in your fate, whether it be rushing you to it or saving you from it.”

Samael’s hand closed around the hilt of his sword, and the sound of drawn steel filled the small cell. The blade flicked out, stopping half an inch before the troll’s face. However, it did not bite deep. Instead, the cold steel lightly trace over the troll’s face, running the path of three almost-healed cuts along the troll’s face. Samael’s eyes flashed as he dug the blade in slightly. His voice was like cold steel.

“I am only interested in whatever caused those wounds.”

The troll’s eyes narrowed.

Samael grinned wickedly. “Have your attention, do I? Yes, I know. I know that those cuts weren’t caused by any blade. Claws caused them. You were attacked. While you were fighting those two sentinels.”

The troll said nothing.

Samael leaned back, smoothly maneuvering his blade back into its sheath. “You see, my captive friend, I am hunting something. Something much bigger and much deadlier than any troll. A demon who kills without mercy and leaves naught but blood and death in his wake. Do you know what I am referring to?”

The troll said nothing.

Samael’s eyes flashed. Quick as a striking snake, Samael’s arm swung in an arc, catching the stool and knocking it over. The wood made a splintering crash as it hit the wall next to the troll. The tribal humanoid did not waver, even when Samael’s face hovered inches from his own.

“Speak, scum. You saw something. Something carved your face up like it was a fat, juicy piece of meat. Something killed those two sentinels, but left you and your worthless life alone. Something big. Something strong. Something red. You saw him, didn’t you? Didn’t you?

The troll’s reptilian eyes held Samael’s own. For a long moment, the only sound was the rustling of the trees outside. Then, the troll’s head dipped once. Slowly. The eyes never left Samael’s.

Samael straightened. His grin faded, but his eyes were blazing. He spun on his heel, and headed back towards the door of the cell. Before he exited, he paused. He glanced back over his shoulder at the captive troll.

“A pity you’re for death, troll. It would have been interesting to see how you would have fared against the demon. I imagine it would have been quite a sight.”

The silver-skinned elf left without another word. The candle flickered as the door shut. The troll, alone now, left his head fall slowly to his chest. Then, after a moment, the reptilian gaze flicked to the right, locking on to the remnants of the stool that lay next to him. Or rather, the object that lay amongst the shards of the wood. A long-bladed knife that Samael had neglected to take with him.
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Mon May 13, 2013 9:13 am

Veretha turned as the door to the holding room opened. Her hand moved instinctively to her blade’s hilt, but she relaxed when Samael Moonskin emerged from the darkened room. The door shut behind him before the sentinel could glimpse the troll bound within. Samael said nothing. He merely inclined his head at Veretha and descended the small ramp on to the packed earth of the path in front of it. He turned left and faded into the darkness. He is heading towards the stables, Veretha thought. Leaving. She thought for a moment about going after him, talking to him before he left, but quickly decided that it would be a waste of time. If Samael did not want to talk, he would not talk.

Veretha resumed her stance, her back to the door, gazing out into the blackness of the night. There was only a crescent moon shining, partially obscured by clouds, and it did little to light up the night. Shadows played around every corner, giving the darkness a moving, dancing quality that set the mind constantly on edge. As Veretha’s eyes scanned the deserted paths and shut buildings, the shadows tried to play tricks with her. She kept her gaze firm, refusing to be drawn in by any childlike fantasies as to what lurked in the night.

Hours passed, with the only sounds being the rustle of the trees, the occasional chirp of a nocturnal insect, and the hurried footsteps of a few denizens of Lor’Danel as the flitted from building to building on their own business. Fatigue began to creep up on Veretha. For all her worrying about Samael, coupled with the interrogation of the troll, she had barely slept in the past few days. Her eyes became gritty with exhaustion, and her back ached from the hours in her armour. She tried to force these thoughts from her mind, but soon was inundated with longings for a bath, and hot meal and sleep. Shaking her head slightly, she placed a hand over her eyes for a moment. Veretha turned towards the door, rubbing the grit from her eyes.

When her hand descended, two luminous, reptilian eyes hovered in front of her face. A long-nosed, tusked face split into a fanged grin, visible even through the wounds Veretha knew she’d inflicted earlier. Behind the troll’s face, the door was standing wide open, the darkness inside the room seeming to leak out into the night. However, the room was now empty. Its former occupant now stood before Veretha, eyes blazing in the sparse moonlight.

Years of training lent Veretha’s hand a reflex that she would never have thought possible. It flew towards her blade hilt. Her mind, so fatigued before, came alive with a countless series of calculations. How far her hand was from her blade. How quickly she could draw it. Where she should aim. What she would do if she missed. How loud she could scream an alarm.

However all these thoughts were ultimately for nothing, for a three-fingered hand clamped over hers, moments before it fully grasped her blade hilt. The vice-like grip tightened instantly, before the troll threw his head forward. Light exploded before Veretha’s eyes as the troll’s forehead met her face. Her own head cannoned backwards, lurching her consciousness sickeningly between light and darkness. Pain flashed across a newly broken nose. A second impact rang out from her lower breastplate as a knee rammed into it. The troll’s leg straightened, turning the knee into a shove, sending the dazed sentinel crashing down the ramp in a tangle of arms, legs and armour.

The air exploded from Veretha’s lungs as she hit the packed earth of the path. Blood gushed from her broken nose as she wheezed, hacked and coughed, struggling for air that would not come. She managed to roll over on to her back, somehow still scrabbling for her blade hilt. Through a red haze of pain, she saw a blade flash in the sparse moonlight. The tattooed troll brought the knife to bear, lowering himself on to his haunches. One leap would bring him, and the knife, crashing down upon the wounded sentinel. Veretha attempted to draw her blade, not wanting to die without at least putting up a fight.

The troll bared his teeth in a silent snarl. However, as the muscles in his legs bunched and rippled, starting his leap, a loud twang echoed from the darkness to the right. The troll paused, reptilian eyes widening. His eyes jerked in the direction of the sound, just in time to see the thick, metallic crossbow bolt shoot by his head an instant later, a high, shrill whistle rang out in the darkness. The troll’s snarl became even more pronounced. He turned and vaulted off the ramp, landing next to Veretha. He spared a glance down at her. His gaze was one of pure murderous intent. However, he turned and bolted into the shadows. Veretha sent a wild slash after him, but by then the troll was well out of her range.

As the whistle was answered by several more, Veretha struggled to breathe. Blood still leaked from her broken nose, and every breath caused a sharp, stabbing pain in her side. She felt darkness closing in, her vision narrowing as her blade fell from slackened fingers. She rolled back on to her back, gazing up at the cloudy, moonlit sky. A face appeared above her; a stern, wolfish face ringed in silver skin. Veretha held on to that face with her mind, as she drifted into darkness.
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Tue May 28, 2013 9:05 am

The silver-skinned elf’s face was bared in a snarl as his blade swung hard at fast. The crimson satyr dodged the blade, hurling his body backwards to avoid the deadly arc of the elvish steel. He landed heavily on his back, smelling the dead leaves of the forest floor. The demon wasted no time, instantly rolling to the side as the sword came crashing down upon the spot where his head had been an instant before.

The satyr kicked out with a snarl, and was rewarded with the dull ring of hoof on plate as he struck the night elf in the knee. The armoured kal’dorei fell heavily next to the demon, the air exploding from his lungs. The satyr immediately drew back his arm, and slammed his elbow into the side of the elf’s head. The kal’dorei grunted in pain, his eyes becoming unfocused.

The demon scrambled to his hooves, lashing out again to kick the elf’s sword away from a slackening hand. A clawed arm shot forward, snaking around the silver neck, as the satyr hauled his nemesis roughly to his feet. Fetid breath sprayed upon the elf’s neck as the satyr’s voice issued forth.

“You disappoint me, elf. I had hoped you would have put up more of a fight. Still, it was fun while it lasted.” A rasping laugh followed the statement.

“Stop talking, demon,” the elf spat through bloody lips. “I grow tired of your voice. Finish me and be done with it.”

“Oh, ho!” The crimson satyr grinned from behind his quarry. “Your words are brave enough, elvish scum. Brave enough to have me believe them. However…”

The satyr’s other arm shot forth, a clawed hand grasping the back of the kal’dorei’s belt. An animal grunt, and the silver-skinned elf was hoisted into the air like a rag doll. Through a haze of pain and blood, the elf heard the demon’s voice.

“I do not intend to ‘finish’ anything, elf. This is only the beginning for you…”

The kal’dorei spared a glance down. A Moonwell stood before them. However, unlike the conventional Moonwells of Ashenvale, the waters of this one seethed and bubbled with green corruption. It was a tainted Moonwell. One of the Moonwells the elf and his companions had come to destroy.

The full enormity of the satyr’s intention hit the elf like a physical blow. His body jerked and fought, but was ultimately helpless against the monstrous strength of the demon. The elf felt himself flying through the air, thrown by the red-furred maniac. He hit the well on his front. He screwed his eyes and mouth shut as he sank into the corrupted water. His armoured hands scrabbled along the well’s bottom, seeking purchase to push his head above the surface. However, before he did, a horrible weight landed on his back, forcing him down. A terrible pressure slammed into the back of his head, holding it under the corrupted water. The silver kal’dorei’s lungs burned with the need for air. His struggled became wild and desperate. However, the demon’s grip did not waver.

As the elf gave a huge involuntary gasp, and the tainted water rushed into his throat and lungs, he heard the demon’s voice like a fel wind from the deepest pits of the nether.

“How does it feel, elf? How does it feel to know that it is hopeless? That for all your martial prowess, for all your elvish arrogance, that you have been bested?”

The clawed hand grasped the back of the kal’dorei’s chestpiece now, and the limp elvish body was thrown from the Moonwell, landing heavily at its base. The voice droned on, heavy with malice.

“How does it feel to become that which you hate so much? How does it feel to know that soon you will be overcome with the lust for chaos and destruction?”

The kal’dorei’s gasping breaths lessened as he lay there. However, this was a secondary concern to the great wad of fear and anger in the pit of his stomach. A sense of foreboding tat spread across his face like a black fire. He raised his newly-corrupted head, beholding the crimson demons who had done this to him. Yellowed fangs flashed in the Ashenvale darkness.

“How does it feel to be corrupted? How does it feel, Dele Moonskin?”

Morvai Bloodhorn grinned. That same horrible grin. “How does it feel to be just like me?
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Tue May 28, 2013 9:17 am

Morvai’s eyes opened to the last vestiges of sunlight over the treetops of Darkshore. He sat up, grunting in displeasure as the darkness closed in around him. It had been such a pleasant dream. The corruption of Dele Moonskin was among one of Morvai’s most cherished memories. The crimson satyr had lived a long time, and had been responsible for the destruction of countless lives, but Dele Moonskin was special.

The demon remembered how fiercely the silver elf-turned-satyr had fought against the raging bloodlust inside him. How his fanatical desire to avenge his own corruption by killing Morvai had spiralled the former commander closer and closer to total madness. So great was Dele’s hatred of what he had become, he had even allied with Morvai in order to destroy the dreadlord who had corrupted him, simply to provide another avenue to kill Morvai.

It was poetry, he thought as he rose, absentmindedly dusting himself off. Truly, there was someone who was too much fun to let die. I almost miss him. Morvai never found out what became of Dele. He had simply vanished during that strange chain of events. For all Morvai knew, he was dead. Then again, he could still be in Ashenvale, howling his madness into the depths of the ruined forest from whence his hell had begun.

Morvai ran a tongue over his yellow fangs. He was hungry, and would need to hunt. He sniffed the air, detecting a small herd of deer a short distance off. As he settled into slow trot, his mind went once more to Dele. Morvai vaguely remembered another silver-skinned elf. One that had appeared to avenge Dele.

Family, Morvai thought as he picked up speed. If only I could find him. Now that would make for some amusing times.

Morvai grinned, long streaks of saliva flowing from his fangs as he sped towards his meal, lost in thoughts of death and darkness.
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:27 am

The Shatterspear war encampment, located north of the ruins of Mathystra in Darkshore, was constructed by the trolls working in conjunction with the Horde. While adventurers came and went, the trolls and their Horde allies worked tirelessly to prevent the further spread of the night elves. However, their alliance of common causes seemed only to scratch the surface of the Horde’s true agenda. There was something else at work. Something beyond the small encampment. However, that something paled in comparison to having the guard against elven attack day and night.
 
The orcish sentry grunted in boredom, his plate armour creaking slightly as he rolled his massive shoulders in it, hearing a satisfying pop as his tired joints received some attention. Beside him, his partner sat with his back against the wooden gate that led into the camp. Both orcs had been assigned sentry duty to the northern gate of the war camp. It was an uneventful job, for the night elf expansion was mainly to the south. Any elven incursion to the north would have to loop around the camp, and a combination of Horde and Shatterspear eyes made sure that didn’t happen too often.
 
“Bloody nether,” the seated orc said. “When we got this duty, I thought it’d be a great time to catch some sleep.” He yawned. “Didn’t think I could get sick of sleep.”
 
His companion snorted. “Like you could get sick of sleep.” He rolled his shoulders again. “They could at least give us something to do besides standing here like a couple of stunned plainstriders.”
 
“Bet the others are having the time of their lives, off hunting elves.” The seated orc yawned again, wiping a small string of drool from his chin. “What’ya say we turn in? Nothing’s gonna happen for a while.”
 
No answer was forthcoming. The seated sentry turned his head, seeking his companion out in the failing light. His playful smile faded as he beheld his companion. The standing sentry had frozen stiff. His hand was on his axe hilt. His gaze was narrowed and fixed on a stand of shrubs a hundred feet away. The shrubs were moving.
 
All thoughts of mirth were forgotten. The orc sprang to his feet, and his jumped forward to be level with his companion. His own axe was in his hand, and his voice was loud in the Darkshore dusk. “Who goes there? Show yourself, or be declared an enemy.”
 
No answering shout sounded in the dusk. The bushes continued to shake. The orcs advanced steadily, axes brought to bear before them. As they reached to bush, they raised their weapons. The lead orc began a war cry, and sprang forward as the bushes parted. However, his swing halted in mid-air when he laid eyes upon its occupant.
 
A slender frame emerged from the shrubs. Reptilian eyes stared impassively at the pair of orcs from beneath an ugly series of bruises. The troll stepped forward one arm curled around his torso, shielding broken ribs from the small impacts caused by his tortured movements. As he moved past the lead sentry, the orc’s nose wrinkled at the smell of damp perspiration and dried blood that accompanied him. Realising he still held his axe aloft, the orc dropped his arm. His voice was harsh and inquiring.
 
“Roar? You look like hell.”
 
‘Roar’ was an inside joke, and a popular one amongst the Horde conscripts who frequented the Shatterspear war encampment. The Horde and the Shatterspear trolls maintained a tenuous alliance at best. This may have been due in no small part to the current warchief’s attitude towards trolls. The unrest between the Darkspear tribe and Garrosh Hellscream echoed through the ranks to surface as a mild dislike and distrust of the troll race. The fact that that Shatterspear were an entirely different tribe of trolls did not factor much in orcish opinions. A troll was a troll.
 
When word got around of a mute troll serving in the Shatterspear ranks, it was only a matter of time before he became the butt of many jokes told by the Hordeish soldiers. ‘Roar’ was the most popular amongst them, and it was only a matter of time before it had replaced the troll’s actual name amongst the orcs of the encampment. His seeming lack of ability to orally defend himself only made the mirth come harder and faster.
 
Even now, as he staggered past the pair of orcs, they could not help themselves. “Roar, what happened? Tell us!” A snicker sounded from the other one. At this, Roar halted. He turned slowly, fixing a baleful gaze upon the sentries. They continued to snicker, ignoring the fact that the troll’s hand had fallen to the hilt of his knife.
 
“Joo two, cut da jokes an’ get back ta watchin’!” A harsh troll voice sounded from the gate.
 
The orcs whirled around. A tall, muscular troll stood at the gate, clad in leather armour upon which an array of wooden fetishes and totems hung. His face was painted, and his eyes radiated a hard air of intensity. He stepped forward, looking down at the orcish sentries, who were now looking slightly more worried.
 
Jor’kil, current leader of the Shatterspear trolls, stood surveying the two orcs with barely-concealed distaste.  The sentries now stood at attention, with one starting to bluster a response. “Sir, we were just about to - ”
 
“Joo were jus’ about to make anotha joke at dis troll’s expense,” Jor’kil spat. “Even though he be hurt an’ showin’ up at da gates lookin’ like he be dead. Get back ta work, an’ leave him ta me. You keep yo’ mout’ shut nex’ time, or joo find out why I be called da Soulripper.”
 
“Yes, sir.” The orcs saluted, but Jor’kil was already gone, with the mute troll in tow.
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:11 am

“He be fine, Jor’kil. A coupla broken ribs an’ some pretty bad cuttin’ an’ bruisin’, but on da whole he not be too damaged.”
 
Jor’kil both acknowledged and dismissed the shamaness with a nod of his painted head. The female troll left without a word. However, the expression on her face was one of mild surprise. It was almost as if she expected worse. He lowered himself into a crouch, his hard eyes shining in the torchlight of his tent.
 
The object of Jor’kil’s scrutiny crouched opposite him. The mute troll’s eyes were closed, and the smell of poultice and fresh cloth emanated from his treated body. Fresh linen bandages wound their way around his torso. A smaller bandage had been tied around his forehead, covering the healing slash marks that patterned his features. He had endured the examination without issue, remaining stoic and immobile as the shamaness had worked on him. His eyes had closed when she had bandaged his ribs – the only outward sign of the pain he was in. They had remained closed.
 
Jor’kil observed a moment longer, before speaking without preamble. “What happened? Did dey get to joo?” The question sounded straightforward, but anyone who knew the Shatterspear leader could read the unspoken inquiry that lay beneath the surface. Did you tell them anything?
 
The mute troll’s eyes opened. Encased in bandaged and swollen brows, they were nonetheless bright and alert. They locked upon Jor’kil. The beaten, bruised head shook slowly from side to side. They eyes flashed as they did, as if the troll were somehow offended at the unspoken question. However, as he breathed an inward sigh of relief, Jor’kil noticed something in those eyes. Something different in the usually alert gaze of the mute troll.
 
The Shatterspear tribe was a small one. They were never as big and extensive as the mighty Gurubashi or Amani tribes, or even the Darkspear tribe. While they lived in their mountainous village, the few that made up the Shatterspear trolls looked out for one another. Growing up in a confined area in a small tribe ensured that everyone knew who everyone else was. Jor’kil, as the Shatterspear leader, knew every man, woman and child in the tribe. He knew their faces, their skills and most importantly their personalities.
 
This was why Jor’kil suddenly found himself feeling uneasy. This new look in the mute troll’s eyes was nothing he had ever seen before. The young troll was always an odd one, near-silent even before the loss of his tongue. Jor’kil had always thought him aloof - a skilled hunter and tracker, blooded enough in battle to earn his name, as was the jungle troll custom, but not much else. Now, with those yellow eyes staring at him, Jor’kil suddenly got the sense that there was something else behind them. Something more. Something dangerous.
 
The Shatterspear leader opened his mouth to speak, but the mute troll rose. He rolled his shoulders once, and looked pointedly at Jor’kil. He pointed to the tent entrance, and inclined his head. Jor’kil nodded. The bad feeling continued to plague him, but without reason to broach the subject, he deemed it wise to leave the mute troll be.
 
“Joo may leave.” The silent troll stepped past his leader, and exited the tent. As the flaps rustled closed, Jor’kil turned back and stared at the flames. They danced before his eyes. He saw many things in those flames, and a fair few of them disturbed him. His tribe was shrinking around him, and they were fast becoming part of a fight they had no business being in. Every one of his Shatterspear children held value to Jor’kil. To that end, he turned and exited the tent, catching up with the mute troll as he walked towards the armoury.
 
“Ja’xak!” Jor’il’s voice filled the air. Several orcs, tauren and trolls turned to look at him, but he ignored them. The silent troll stopped and turned. As the yellow eyes came to rest on him, Jor’kil felt the same feeling he had before. Still, this time he decided to press.
 
“Ja’xak. What else happened when joo be out in da forest?”
 
This time, there was no ceremony. The mute troll simply shook his head, and made to turn away. Jor’kil’s voice sounded again, more insistent this time. “Ja’xak!”
 
Ja’xak’s eyes flashed. He raised a bandaged arm, and placed it over his chest. A clenched fist hovered over his heart. He then raised his fist to in front of his mouth. He curled his fingers, and opened his mouth, straightening his fingers simultaneously. Jor’kil realised then and there. He realised what had happened. He realised what the mute troll was saying.
 
My name is Roar.
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:28 am

"A caravan was attacked close to the Darkshore-Ashenvale border two days ago. Four casualties. One survivor. He made it to Orendil's Retreat and informed the sentinels."

"Veretha, do not lie to me. I am tired of chasing ghosts and spectres. It is him?"

“What? Samael, we’ve already been through this.”

“Is it him?”

“Gods, Samael, is that all you think about?”

“Do not stand in my way, Veretha. I will go through you to get to him.”

“You do not mean that, Samael! How can you be so focused on vengeance as to desert your own friends?”

“Friendship fades. Vengeance does not. Now, stand aside.”

“I refuse! Not until you realise what you are becoming!”

“Wake up, Veretha.”

“What?”

“I said WAKE UP.”


“Wake up, Veretha!”

Veretha’s eyes opened with some difficulty. The first thing she saw was a bright light that hurt her eyes. The first thing she felt was an excruciating pain shooting through her facial features. She grimaced and moaned, but the very action sent more pain ricocheting around her skull. Veretha shut her eyes, and willed herself to focus. Slowly, she opened her eyes again.

The bright light coalesced into several tall shapes clustered around her. The nearest shape turned into a kal’dorei wearing the insignia of a medic. The other shapes remained indistinguishable as the medic helped Veretha sit up. The action sent bolts of pain shooting through her body. She did a quick inventory of her being. In addition to the pain of her face, she felt a grinding, grating sensation whenever she drew breath, accompanied by a sharp shooting pain that could only stem from broken ribs. Other than that, there were some fairly standard cuts and bruises. Veretha shot a glance at the medic, and raised a hand, gesturing to her face. “What - ?”

“You had your nose broken. Badly. The medics think it was a headbutt.”

The voice came not from the medic, but from one of the figures standing around her. Veretha struggled to focus, and in time several sentinels hove into view. The centremost was Commander Kyrene Lakewhisper. It was she who had spoken. Her expression was as Veretha had always known it; serious and stony. The fact that one of her soldiers was injured before her seemed to do little to soften her countenance.

“Sentinel Starshimmer.” She shook her head. “Veretha. You were attacked by the troll prisoner. After dispatching you, he escaped into the forest. By the time we got there, there, only you were left, lying at the bottom of the ramp.”

Memories came flooding back. Veretha remembered the reptilian eyes staring at her, as well as the fanged grin. She remembered to sharp crack of her nose as it had connected with the troll’s broad forehead. She remembered tumbling down the ramp after a stiff knee and a kick. She remembered the blade flashing in the moonlight –

The blade. “Commander, the troll was armed. He held a blade as he attacked me.”

“I know,” Commander Lakewhisper replied. Her face did not change. “His bonds were cut through, cleanly. Only a blade could have done that. That horde degenerate somehow got his hands on one.”

A troubling thought crossed Veretha’s mind. “Commander, surely you don’t think – “

“Relax, Sentinel Starshimmer. You had all of your weapons on your person. You were eliminated as a suspect hours ago.”

Veretha sighed in relief. Then she frowned. He was not entirely happy with the idea that Kyrene had suspected her so quickly. She attempted to lean forward, but the restraining hand of the medic prevented her from doing so. Still, she asked her question. “What happened, then? How did he get free?”

“I had hoped you would be able to shed some light on that,” the commander said. Her gaze hardened a fraction. “Veretha, did anyone else come to see the troll on your watch?”

Suddenly, the full enormity of what had occurred slammed down on Veretha like a herd of Kodos. Her mind exploded with comprehension and her body stiffened. The medic looked at her in alarm as her eyes widened, the sudden intake of breath filling her lungs as her thoughts raced with clarity.

Kyren Lakewhisper leaned forward, her eyes flashing. “Sentinel, what is wrong?”

“N-nothing, Commander,” Veretha managed to say. “Just a pain from my ribs.”

“Commander, I really must insist that Sentinel Starshimmer be allowed to rest. She needs to heal properly.” The medic looked nervously at her patient, who seemed to have gone pale.

The medical kal’dorei may not have existed as far as the commander was concerned. “Answer the question, Sentinel.”

“No one, Commander,” Veretha managed. “No one came to see me.”

Kyrene’s eyes narrowed, but she stepped back. “Very well. Come. Let us give Veretha the rest she needs.” She left the room, with the sentinels following close on her heels. The medic told Veretha to lay back and rest, before she departed as well.

Despite her injuries and her fatigue, sleep was a long time coming for Veretha Starshimmer. She replayed what had happened over in her head again and again, and each time she came to the same conclusion. She wished with all her being that it was not true, but she could think of no other way it had happened. Samael, how could you?
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Mammona
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:10 am

The morning sun was only just beginning to illuminate the forest floor. The branches and leaves of Darkshore filtered the light to such a degree that only dappled patches showed through to the shrubs and detritus that littered the forest floor. Like the pelt of a giant leopard, the spotted contrast between shade and sun acted as a natural camouflage, making the denizens of the forest all the harder to see as they slunk about, each one intent on their own business.

A flash of movement disturbed the nearest patch of sunlight. The faint sound of disturbed vegetation issued forth, only to be significantly muffled by the heavy air and closeness of the Darkshore forest. Still, the sound continued forth. It was a constant sound, not spaced out into intervals, but a continuous, faint rustling. It was a sound of deliberation. Nothing could move through the forest in complete silence. Not with the myriad of obstacles in the way. However, the sound now issuing forth was unrecognisable in its consistency. The constant sound made it virtually impossible to identify its source. Not only did it bounce off the objects around it, it also made it difficult to tell whether the source walked on two legs or four. Friend or foe? Predator or prey?

Roar moved with practised ease through the forests near the Shatterspear war encampment. The Horde military base now lay miles to the north-west. He had left before dawn, carefully picking his way through the forest as he moved towards his destination. He had lingered for only a night since he had been treated, and fresh bandages still coated his wiry frame. However, despite the severity of his injuries, his youth and natural regenerative capabilities had ensured enough of a recovery that he felt only a slight discomfort as he had set out. Even now the pain existed when he moved a certain way, but it was quickly overruled and ignored. Roar had more important things on his mind. Now, as he shuffled through the undergrowth, a hand was raised, almost involuntarily, to stroke the three scars that now divided his facial features.

The wound dealt by the demon that had attacked him was a deep one, and his time as a captive of the elves had ensured that he was weak when the majority of the healing should have occurred. Now, the scars were permanent. They traced along his face, now partially obscured by black and white facial paint, traced in the ritual designs of the Shatterspear. Roar was bare-chested, his tribal tattoos covered with a sheen of sweat from his deliberate pace through the forest. The tattoos were partially obscured by the bandages he still more. He also wore a set of leather shoulder-guards, affixed to which were chunks of hard, treated oak. The oak was carved into still more troll symbols. Simple leather breeches adorned his sinewy legs, and a wide cloth sash wound around his waist. From that sash hung the hunting knife taken from the elves. A tomahawk hung from the other hip, with its twin strapped to the troll’s back. They were well-made and glinted wickedly in the dapples sunlight.

Roar’s painted face was set in a stony mask as he pushed through the changed forest. The cataclysm had changed much, but a skilled tracker could identify changed landmarks and find their way through careful estimation and examination. However, landmarks were not high on Roar’s list of priorities. This was no scouting or raiding mission.

This was a hunt.

Roar stopped. He cocked his head to the side in a movement reminiscent of a large bird, and sniffed the air. The coppery scent of blood filled his nostrils. He exhaled quickly, and glanced around. He sniffed a few more times, turning his head this way and that. Roar lowered himself to his haunches, and examined the ground. A bandaged, three-fingered hand reached down and scooped up a handful of earth. He raised the earth to his nose, and inhaled deeply, closing his eyes as he did so. Abruptly, his hand opened, sending the earth tumbling to the forest floor. The reptilian eyes opened, and fixed upon a small trail that led off into the undergrowth. Straightening, Roar followed it.

It did not take him long to find the source of his investigation. A young deer, lying on its side, eyes open and frozen in a last horrible moment of fear. Roar squatted down next to the carcass, paying no heed to the smell, and examined it. The deer’s throat had been torn open, as had its belly. Roar could see that the wounds had not been made by the teeth of wolves or cats, nor were they indicative of a bear or owl. Now, whatever had killed this deer had done so by hand.

Still, the sheer barbarism of the kill showed that this was no hunter of the elves or the orcs. For one thing, the dead animal still had its skin, and it was too young for most hunters to even consider going after. Roar leaned in closer, poking a hand into the gaping wound in the fawn’s belly. He bared his sharpened teeth as he felt the vacant spot where the heart should have been. Even with the absence of the vital organ, this kill had been more about butchery that sustenance.

A fanged grin spread across Roar’s features. He glanced up from the deer carcass, his eyes almost shining with barely-contained blood fury. They swept this way and that. Finally, they found what they sought. A faint outline upon the hard, packed soil. A large, curving indentation that could only be a hoof-print. At the same time, a fetid, decaying odour reached his nose. It was faint, but it came from the same direction as the print. Roar’s grin stretched ever wider.

Leaping to his feet, the wiry troll resumed his careful trek forward, vanishing into the undergrowth in pursuit of his quarry.
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Re: From the Darkness ((Story))

Post  Mammona on Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:45 am

Roar moved silently through the undergrowth in his careful, deliberate way. However, the slow, studied movements were a contrast to the set of his features and the glint in his eyes. The troll practically vibrated with barely-suppressed blood fury. As the smell of death became stronger, the troll reached up with a quivering hand to trace the scars along his face. His fingers repeated the motion again and again; a seemingly never-ending journey along his rent and scarred countenance. The smell grew ever-thicker in his nostrils. He saw a large, felled oak tree standing up ahead. It had been partially uprooted, and great wooden beams stuck this way and that, dead and pointed ends extending in all directions. Roar reached the tree and stopped. His eyes widened.

The fingers tracing his scars halted at his mouth. The troll bared his teeth, and a string of saliva flowed forth, dropping from his chin to hit the forest floor. Roar’s fingers pressed down on his sharpened teeth. A small flare of pain, and the metallic taste of blood skittered flowed across his tongue. The troll withdrew his bloodied hand, and raised the two small puncture wounds to his forehead. He touched a spot between his eyes, and smeared a small stripe of blood upon it. His hand returned to his side, the small wounds already knitting together and healing.

Roar inhaled deeply, his senses burning with the foul, decayed scent of his quarry. He lowered himself to his haunches, and grasped a handful of earth. Rubbing the soil and detritus between his palms, he grunted softly, the sound mangled and distorted as it passed his tongueless mouth. He stood and stretched, feeling his muscles bunch and ripple. Then, he reached up and grasped an overhanging root. In no time, he was swinging and leaping from root to root, making his way over the massive oak. As he cleared the trunk of the tree, he straightened. His quarry stood before him.

Red fur shimmered poorly in the dappled light, damp with congealed blood. Muscular legs shifted muscled weight this way and that. Long, sinewy arms ended in talon-like hands, tipped with dirty claws. One hand held a half-eaten heart, torn open like a child’s gift. Two long, spiralled horns projected from a heavy skull. A heavy, rank stench surrounded the creature, combined with the faint, acrid smell of something burned. The red pelt was pockmarked with burn scars and old wounds that had healed poorly. Suddenly, the pelt tensed, and two yellow, hate-filled eyes hove into view, locking on to roar with a unique combination of evil amusement and murderous intent.

“You must be truly talented to come after me, whelp,” a hissing, bubbly voice issued from the crimson demon. A fanged grin split the scarred, mangled features, spreading wider. “Talented, or misguided.”

Roar said nothing. Instead, he vaulted from the fallen tree trunk. His arms reached behind him, and suddenly he held two axes held aloft as he sailed through the air towards the demon he had hunted.

Morvai Bloodhorn took a step back, falling into a feral crouch. He discarded the heart he had been feasting on, hurling the rent organ against the foliage nearby. His eyes gleamed with manic glee as he reached up with his claws, ready to impale this young, stupid troll who dared to face him alone.

However, the troll did something unexpected. Rather than crash into the satyr, he had timed his leap to land in front of the demon. Bending his legs to absorb the impact of his landing, Roar sank to his haunches and immediately surged forward. Launching himself from his crouch, the troll drove an armoured shoulder into the satyr’s gut, using forward momentum to knock the demon off his hooves, sending them both crashing to the ground.

Morvai rolled across the forest floor, regaining his hooves with suprising agility. He lashed out with a clawed arm, aiming to open the troll from nose to navel. However, the troll rolled away as well, flipping back to his feet and hopping backwards, leaving the demon’s strike to split the empty air.

Demon and troll faced each other. Morvai bared his teeth in a snarl. “You write your own death warrant, cretin.” He grinned. “Now I am interested.”

Roar said nothing. He merely reached up a hand to once again trace the scars upon his face. He then extended his arm slowly, pointing directly at the crimson satyr.

Morvai bared his teeth once more, and then comprehension dawned upon him. He raised an eyebrow and spat. “Of course. You were there when I killed those two sentinels.” His eyes glinted. “You were losing until I ‘intervened’, as I recall. No matter. Either way, you get the same result – death.”

Morvai snarled, trotting forward slowly. “The only difference is my way will hurt more.”

Roar bared his sharpened teeth, and crouched, ready to leap again. However, before he could, a loud twang sounded from his left. The troll jerked backwards in a reflex, and something flew by his head – a gray blur only just registering in Roar’s vision, before a thump echoed from his right.

Both demon and troll stared after the sound. They both spied the quivering crossbow bolt, buried almost half a foot into the trunk of the fallen tree.

“I would not be so sure of that, demon.”

A tall, rangy figure emerged from the undergrowth. In one hand, he held a crossbow, another bolt already loaded. The other hand rested on a blade hilt. Silver skin glittered in the sparse sunlight. A lean, wolfish face was impassive, except for the eyes. They radiated with a fury borne of years of hunting and searching for the very demon who had caused him so much grief.

Morvai, for once, was taken completely by surprised. His eyebrows shot up. A glob of salive flew from his fangs as he quickly regained his composure, a familiar grin spreading across his demonic features. He uttered a single word.

Moonskin…

Samael Moonskin stepped forward, his face a grim mask of rage. He took no notice of the troll, who stood off to the side, staring at him. Instead, he addressed the satyr.

“Too long have I hunted you, you filth. Too long have I chased ghosts and rumours. Too long has my uncle gone unavenged.”

Morvai bared his yellow fangs. “Too long have you been talking, whelp. Let us get to the good part.” The satyr spread his clawed limbs. “I am here now, Moonskin child. Come at me. Come at me and meet your death.”

Samael actually growled. He raised his crossbow and started forward, when an answering growl issued. It was not Morvai, however. Roar stepped forward, axes raised. Clearly the troll did not appreciate having his hunt interrupted. Samael glanced at him, before returning his lupine stare to Morvai.

The three humanoids – troll, elf and demon – stood in a loose triangle facing one another. Each was bristling with their own weapons, and each stared hard. The three had each endured many trials and wounds to get to this point, and as the sun slowly rose into the sky, it was clear that each meant murder.

Morvai chuckled, and flexed his claws. “This is going to be fun…
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