Azeroth Darkly (Sneak Peak)

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Azeroth Darkly (Sneak Peak)

Post  Izdazi on Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:10 pm

((This is an excerpt from a story I've had on my mind for a very long time. I hope to get to writing it soon.))



"You had only one duty!" the satyr roared, strings of spittle spraying from his mouth. His harsh voice echoed through the mostly unadorned stonewalls of Bloodwind Keep and all but obscured the sound of the howling ocean-born windstorm just beyond the walls.

The large room where he was addressing the unfortunate group of Wrathguard was expansive, but poorly lit and undecorated. It was a room that had seen much history. Countless treaties had been forged and broken. It had been witness to the births of various deceits and observer to some of the greatest acts of loyalty in the histories of mortals. Many of the surrounding walls had been razed and rebuilt in times in the past.

A great human king had been assassinated here. It had seen the coronation of his son as king. Subsequently, it was the room that the last great human king laid his eyes on deeply before being ushered away in haste by his guards and warriors.

And for the past dozen years, it was under the management of a new power. These walls were the audience to countless treacheries and machinations of horror. It was a room that saw little peace. Most of the guests brought here never departed with hearts still beating.

Indeed, the retinues of quivering Wrathguards surrounding the armor clad violet furred satyr were infusing the room with yet another surge of dread.

"One duty!" the satyr repeated. He paced around, eyeing each of the wratherguards contemptuously. Their dark metallic armor consisted of fel steel plates with gold bands that identified them as elite guards whose sole duty it was to protect the Regent. The most noticeable part, however, were the spaulders, in which a trio of large razor sharp blades were attached.

The satyr's eyes moved to each of the shuddering wrathguards and waited for a response. Amidst the fear they each had for him, he could also see contempt. In the Burning Legion it was an unusual occurrence for an Azerothian Satyr to hold a rank over eredar wrathguards.

Still, no answer was forthcoming. They couldn't even give him the satisfaction of producing a worthless excuse.

Issuing an exasperated snarl, the satyr's eyes locked on the wrathguard with the most contemptuous scowl on his frightened visage and surged forward. With his right arm, he grabbed the demon's neck and squeezed tightly. Then, slowly, he lifted the wrathguard until this clawed feet were dancing in the air.

In desperation, the wrathguard lashed out against the satyr's arm with his claws. The hopeless assault succeeded only at destroying the sleeve of the satyr's tunic and producing sparks. The satyr's right arm was a mechanic construct covered in felsteel.

The violet-furred satyr grinned as his steel fingers effortless squeezed the neck of wrathguard.

"How did you allow this… this … travesty to happen?" the satyr spat out. The wrathguard in his clutches was, of course, unable to respond.

"It… it was the rebels, lord," another of the elite guards chimed in. The satyr's head snapped toward the one who had spoken.

"The rebels? That demoralized and disorganized group of fools who hide in the wastelands of Kalimdor? That crummy band of miscreants who are too stupid to realize they have lost their world? They are maggots and we are the boots that crush them. And yet, you dare tell me that not only did they make an incursion into our Keep, but they took our Regent. The very Regent whose sole duty to protect was your task. Are those the rebels you speak of?"

The wrathguard who had spoken up had fallen silent and nervously averted his eyes away from the enraged satyr. This only served to anger him more.

He directed his gaze back to the wrathguard who was the victim of his mechanical arm and was somewhat startled to discover that his fingers were now laced around the demon's neck bone. Steaming glowing crimson blood that would have scalded living fleshed, poured harmlessly between the steel digits of his artificial fingers.

"The rebels," the satyr muttered before tossing the carcass into a darkened corner of the room. Unseen, but well heard, a group of felhounds began to hungrily devour the corpse.

"They had a sky leviathan," the wrathguard who had spoken earlier quickly added. "They came under the cover of a storm and took out our defenses. Before we could mobilize they had taken the Regent and the false Pack Alpha."

"The false Wolfpack Alpha?" the satyr asked. He'd been on a patrol in the Badlands when word of the attack had reached him. Clearly there'd been several other developments while he'd been away. "The body of the Wolfpack Alpha had been retrieved last year in Westfall. The Wolfpack are no more."

"We found one that matches her likeness in the wastelands of Stranglethorn not two nights ago. She was brought back and the Regent decried herself that it was indeed the Alpha. 'The same, yet different,' were her very words, my lord. Mistress Durnae was in the process of interrogating her when the rebels attacked."

It made no sense. After the battle of Westfall the Wolfpack were no more. The battle had cost of the Legion dearly, but in the grand scheme of things, they had drove the rebellion to the cusp of extinction.

"My lord, the tauren shaman that the Regent was interrogating also died during the attack."

The satyr gnashed his teeth and issued a low growl. The tauren had been the only strong source of information about the rebels and now that he was gone, it would make finally exterminated this nuisance all the harder.

But not nearly the nuisance that the rebels will become if their moral is heightened by the capture of their Regent.

"Also, a half dozen children from the human ghetto were taken in the attack. We assume they were retrieved by the rebels."

The satyr sighed and gave the wrathguard who had just spoken a vicious backhand with his mechanical arm. The demon slid back several feet on the floor.

"Anything else I should know about?" he demanded. The other wrathguards shook their heads quietly.

They need to retrieve their Regent before the rebel sky-ship made it to Kalimdor. If the rebels could attack Bloodwind Keep in their state of disarray, how much more powerful will they become of they're embolden?

But with the Regent missing, her position as steward of Azeroth was in jeopardy. Any number of eredar and dreadlords will be vying for her position in lieu of the power vacuum. There was plenty of contempt among the eredar, for the placement of Overseer Eri’zia as Regent of Azeroth. Others who had accepted the gift the mighty Sargeras had bestowed upon the eredar felt slighted by the appointment of a recently turned eredar from Draenor.

The satyr knew he could put this off, but only for a little while. It was only by the Regent's grace that he had such a position of authority to begin with. With her gone, his assassination was only days away.

He could dispatch the Elite Guard on the Skybreaker to retrieve her while he protected her position, but what if they failed? Their incompetence was already evident.

The satyr only had one option. He had to lead the rescue mission himself. Without his presence at Bloodwind, another eredar will surely assume a position of leadership within hours, but the satyr knew that the Regent can handle such things upon her return. He simply had to make sure that the rescue went successful. That meant, seeing to it himself.

"Ready the Skybreaker at once!" the satyr demanded. "Full complement and full assault crew. Tell the gan'arg engineers that I want better then best speed available. I don't care if they have to flay their gnome slaves alive to get it done! We need to find them before they make it to Kalimdor! Go!"

"Yes, my lord!" the remaining wrathguards exclaimed with more respect then the satyr had heard for years before rushing from the room. The satyr slowly approached the one who had spoken earlier as he still recovered from the backhand.

"Do you know which of the human children were retrieved?" he asked.

"Our informant was quite detailed in his report," the injured wrathguard reported.

"Then, retrieve their families and interrogate all of them. Fathers, mothers, siblings, uncles, aunts, grandparents, their family dog if you they have one. They must have been communicating with the rebellion to know how to send their children away with them. I want to know how they're communicating. Make sure to tell Mistress Durnae that I want Sargeras himself to hear their cries."

"It will be done, my lord," the wrathguard added.

"And once said families have been interred, be sure to send one of the fel reavers into the Ghetto. Give it a half hour to stomp around before recalling it."

"Yes, my lord."

"Now, get out of my sight."

With a scurrying of feet, the wrathguard fled from the former throne room. Alone, the satyr sighed and allowed his anger to replaced with trepidation.

Unlike many demons, he wasn't worried for himself. It was all for his Regent. He wanted her back, safely. He wanted those who dared take her to be punished.

His hoof steps echoed sharply as he walked toward a set of doors. Opened, they led to a balcony that overlooked a once majestic city. Now, though, it was dark and foreboding. The network of canals that once ferried people and supplies through the many districts now glowed with foreboding green taint. From up high, it created the appearance of green veins that spread throughout the city.

He looked to the east and saw the darkened district of the city. There, flickering dots of orange light denoted small campfires where the humans in the Ghetto prepared their meals and huddled for warmth.

"Old Town," the satyr muttered, saying the name that used to denote the district, but had all but been forgotten to by the humans to the hardship of slavery. Now, it was just the Ghetto. Nothing more then slums for the human slaves who worked at the factories. The rest of Bloodwind City had been converted to meet the needs of the occupying Burning Legion.

He looked at the oceans to the west and growled. The claws of his hand, one biological, the other mechanical, dug into the stone parapet. The Regent was out there, stolen away on a mere whim by a rebellion they had thought crushed years ago. The thought of them parading her in their sanctuary riled at his senses. It was disgusting. And now, a new Alpha of the Wolfpack had been found.

They couldn't afford for the rebellion to get a second wind. They couldn't risk losing Azeroth after all it had taken to win this world.

He will find them. They will suffer for this.

Jaou swore it.
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Izdazi
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