Archive for May, 2009

A Cold Day in Hell

Posted in Erubadhron's Journal on May 30, 2009 by necrolepsy

I’ve been rocking an empty crib. I have been for the past two months. I don’t know where she’s gone since the wedding, or why she took our only child with her. All I know is that night after night when I wake up, her side of the bed is still untouched. Morning after morning, there’s nobody there to greet me when I wake. The house is silent, and all I hear are the echoes of my own footsteps as I go from room to room, staring into empty space.

I miss her, if I could ever have believed myself capable of it. I had hardly thought I’d ever marry, but Faylilith had a way of talking to me that made me see things… differently? She opened me up, and asked me to share everything. I tried some days to tell her who I had been before she met me, but it was a long time ago that I last made so foolish an attempt. To try to tell her what I did in the name of the Horde… I can’t help but wonder if it in some way contributed to what I do now, roaming from room to room as my time to be spent with her sifts by, disappearing into that maw of infinite depths that makes the past. Tonight I sat again in the nursery, by the crib which remains unused. It’s a cold night for so late in the spring time. The raindrops land fat and heavy against the glass and in the streets outside. It’s three in the morning, but I feel as though I’ve only just gotten here, and I’ve always been sitting here.

My hand fell from the side of the crib tonight. I cried for the first time since… I can’t remember when. I’m hollow from without, and I see it in the mirror whenever I get ready for the daily routine. I’m as empty within, and tonight for the first time someone has taken notice. I can’t keep this up any longer. I’m slipping. And what scares me the most is that I don’t know where I’m slipping to. The bottom of my long slope is shrouded in darkness, and I feel that without a hand to grab, I’ll slide until I end up where I had long ago predicted I would.

It’s no secret that she hasn’t been around. It’s no secret that I go home alone every night, and leave home alone every morning. It’s no secret that sometimes I’ll be caught in the midst of a reverie when I was supposed to be having a conversation. Mostly the memories of the war in Outland return to me… but sometimes, when the world grows quiet and fades away, and all I can see is the infinite blackness of the end… a laugh rings in my ears, faint and sweet like the scent of the newest flower after winter. An image of a red-haired woman in a fair dress, her skin, her eyes and her lips all calling to me. Everything moves so slowly when I’m caught up in it, and I’ve only relived a few precious moments before I am returned to the waking world, only to find that minutes, or even hours have passed.

Tonight was the first night I’ve cried, and the sound was lost even to me as the rain came down and struck noisily in the street. The nursery is as dark and cold and lifeless as ever, and I stand in the window, looking down to wait for the carriage that would stop at my door and leave but two small figures to rush to safety in here… with me. But the only carriages are few, and they all rush by in their hurry to be home. None of them stop for me.

Erubadhron Valorbane

Razorfen Kraul

Posted in Erubadhron's Journal on May 26, 2009 by necrolepsy

It has been a long time since my last entry, and with good reason. For the past few weeks I have been deep in Razorfen Kraul, as the Tauren call it.  A priest whose name I don’t recall had asked for the assistance of an accomplished and seasoned veteran who could assist him in accomplishing his goals. Naturally I was the best candidate. It was a long flight through the Barrens. Longer than I remember on that sunny day sometime a couple weeks back.

The windrider touched down after nearly an hour and a half in flight, and it’s only natural that such a vast expanse of rolling plains would induce a sort of transic experience that would leave one lost in reverie as the scenery rolled past. It was then that I was visited by my charge, A Forsaken priest. He seemed eager enough to get on with the fighting… I still approve of his eagerness. Before him I had merely assumed that all members of the Cloth were weak in both body and spirit, but his convictions have shown me otherwise.

We continued on our travel to the Kraul, and it took little time to get to our destination. I wasn’t expecting what would come next. Despite all that I’ve acquired and obtained in my travels from artifacts to power, I did not anticipate what would happen. Even now the memory is fresh in my mind as I write this.

Expecting a battle as I know battle, I went up to the mouth of the cave and unleash a torrent of fire upon the first of the pig-men that I saw, wondering how many more times I’d have to assault it before it collapsed. The flames sloughed the flesh from the bones and cooked it in a single devastating blow, and the foul creature barely had time to cry out. My hunger came forth then, keening itself on the absolute chaos I could unleash… and I did so. With the priest at my heels hard pressed to keep up, I rained devastation as I descended deeper and deeper into the cave. Each group we came upon wasn’t expecting me, for I met them with such terrible force that they did not have time to sound the alarm, regardless of how their screams echoed in my ears.

My flames desired more to consume, even after the pig-men had been burned to mere cinders and their ash was swept away by the howling winds circulating through the caverns. Minute after minute, hour after hour and I could not stop myself even if I wanted to. The flames flew from my fingertips, and if the priest had ever needed breath in him he would have collapsed long ago. They had approached me I presume, though I only have the word of the priest. Some of them had been bold enough to come right up to me and attack me, but they had barely been able to hurt me.

I was so lost in the furious slaughter that by the time we had reached the end of the tunnels I was breathing hard. I was nearly doubled over, and if there had been more to meet in battle I would have pressed on until I collapsed unconcious. As it was though, I was done.

Rather, I thought I was done. The priest then raised a hand, and extended a fleshless finger in the direction of a hut standing alone, a silent sentinel lit from within under the night sky, for the end of the cavern had opened into a gully, and the stars shone down upon us as we stood there in the dark. I could see the rest of the Kraul ablaze yet, smoldering from the path of vengeance and fury my companion and I had walked in the midst. It left us with but one of the creatures to stand against me. It emerged from the hut, and called forth my destruction. It claimed great power, and the ability to devastate me as I had never seen before, and yet even as it spoke I could see it tremble in the firelight. I heard the warbling voice, and I knew then that the undead Scourge could feel fear.

That information sparked something in me, and even as it spoke on in bravado I loosed a single spell. The fel-green fire lashed with ruthless ambition as it screamed toward the creature, and I know not which was louder for the creature and the spell howled with such passion that they melted into each other. The one Chaos Bolt was enough, and the priest and I stood over the fallen body moments later. The unstoppable bolt had eaten a hole through the creature large enough that at the most extreme edges, only an inch or two of flesh held the body in a single piece. There was no blood, for as it had eaten through the searing flames not only cauterized the wound, but burned off all the clothing and fur and charred the skin nearly to ash.

I noted with a smirk that it must have been a very painful way to die. Even so. my exertions over the past few hours had worn me out, and after kicking the body off the platform I took residence in the hut for a few short days. There I recovered my strength, and after composing this entry I’ll be returning to those who know me. Even as I look longinly toward my hearthstone, I could swear I still smell the smoke of the flames, hear the screams of the dying. I could never tell those I know what I feel when this happens, but…

I hunger for more.

Erubadhron Valorbane

Nightmare

Posted in Erubadhron's Journal on May 12, 2009 by necrolepsy

I thought it had gone away. It always come back the day I think it’s gone for good.

The Black Temple. Dusk. An army comprised of both the Horde and the Alliance stand outside, and though the tension is thick between the two factions, we march boldly into the underbelly of the structure which holds the origin of our collective misery for the past year. Working in tandem, we are an unstoppable force that is a chaotic smattering of spell and steel which fells beast after beast.

My sister, Aumsadhana, stands near me. Her hands and mine work in some sort of unstudied synchronization which leaves each opponent little more than piles of ash and bone tinged with the distinct mark of shadow magic and smelling faintly of brimstone. The crowd begins to thin, and the army which had once been so easy to defeat now becomes an endless tidal wave of destruction. At points it is pure darkness illuminated only by the flaring of a Mage’s fire, a Paladin’s holy light, or some other display of monochromatic energy. A sensation which I have never let appear on my face keeps my body and mind from working flawlessly as one. Fear runs like a painful vitriol through my blood. Fear for my own life. Fear for my sister. Fear for all those around me. There are others I know in the seething mass of mortal races, but none I deign to guard so dearly. Sparks leap from my fingertips again, for a count well beyond what I can only predict.

Sweat pours down my body as we move from room to room, some falling behind and others dying as the minions of the dread Demon Illidan cleave their own mighty paths through our party. In the distance I see a flash of red hair, a demon in front of it. I move without thinking, and a pillar of flame engulfs my target before it can swing a massive axe at a Ranger I only recently learned to call “friend”. I hear nothing but a faint buzzing, but the horror of it all comes rushing to long and slender ears as I realize I had lost track of my sister in that short time. My feet carried me, eyes scanning every face around me in the swarm and press of bodies eager for destruction, either theirs or the enemy’s. Suddenly a lock of raven hair floats out from beneath a hood, and I see her a few yards off.

We are only just into the room… a room I will not soon forget in this lifetime. A great vase floats across, speaking in horrors and emotions as the faces upon it stare in every direction. One had told of it to me before we’d ever crossed the threshhold to meet A’dal and learn of his mission into The Black Temple. “The Reliquary of Souls,” he had called it. One face gave way to another, and another. My sister was gone from my sight again, but my concern for my own life does not afford me the luxury of searching for her. Everything becomes mechanical, and I forget myself. Words issue from my lips, and flames and shadows from my fingertips… but they are weak. With no sense of self, my power wanes and slackens. Even so, with the terror of such great foes to face, another of the Demon Illidan’s Generals falls before the combined might of the mortal races of Azeroth. And yet…

The bodies move on, our fallen comrades revived who can be. I cannot fall far behind, lest I succumb to being the prey of the shadows which lurk behind us, picking off the stragglers. And so as the mass moves on, I fall into step though my eyes are no longer on the prize at the top of the Temple. They are on every face I pass which has fallen by the wayside, eyes frozen open and body askew. Bloodied and broken, each body does not reveal itself to be Aumsadhana, though in many ways this only magnifies my impending fear as much as it works to sate it.

The time ticks by, and before long I am standing before a liberated Akama with a small wound to my abdomen which no healer is kind enough to notice. This is the sort of injury I am used to. It is the kind I can ignore. The one beneath the surface is screaming at the back of my head, and threatens to destroy me from within though. I cannot stand this injury in the depths of me. It is all I can do to press on even as my blood pours from the wound, weakening further my resolve. I only give in to the repetition of flame and shades, and my assault does not stop despite how weak I become. It is only as I drop to my knees am I noticed, and suddenly I am restored. Yet, it is only the outside, the frame which is healed. And though I stand at the end as a victor in this terrible struggle, it is hollow to me. A sea of faces flows from the front gates of The Black Temple, and though I stand outside watching every single head that streams from between the wreckage of the great Reaver and Guardian of the gates, I see no sister.

Though after that I returned to the antechamber and began my search, my dream does not afford me the luxury of the time it took to go from body to body. Each face from within, paled from the loss of their crimson essence, flashes before my eyes in quick succession, and only comes at me faster. The world begins to spin, and I feel as though I’ll vomit as the faces slide by in their incessant whirlwind. I wake up then.

I always wake up then, sweating and cold, shivering despite how warm the room feels to me. The dread of that place does not leave me. It has never left me. No matter what I do… no matter how I revel in the glory of the kill, no matter how I take honor in the virtue of assisting others, no matter what little corner I hide in it is always there, and the eyes of that foul dream pierce further into me than any weapon ever could. I wonder if I shall ever see Aumsadhana again once in a while. It is fleeting, and the memory only inspires my ire at the next person to approach me… needless to say, I find myself wondering quite a bit.

Erubadhron Valorbane

Wrangling a Wild Wyrm

Posted in Erubadhron's Journal on May 7, 2009 by necrolepsy

With the taste of defeat so fresh in my mouth, I returned to the Sons of Hodir to assist them in preparing for all out war against the denizens of Ulduar. It is with little interest that I pursued my new activities, for the fruits of my labor bore next to nothing when I assisted the Stormlord Thorim. Seeing my lack of enthusiasm, one of the giants approached me. He gestured above, and I looked to take in a spear of impossible size wedged and bound between two crystalline spires of dizzying height. He then told me of Hodir, and honor which they held in being the caretakers of such an ancient artefact.

I had helped build and maintain the Helm of Hodir, so it was with a certain passive and unsought interest that I steadily grew interested in his story. It was over before I had the chance to cross that line into a dreamy state of half-listening when he thrust a similar spear to me. This one of course was much smaller. Ideal for my height. Attached to the base of the shaft was a chain, ridiculously long. Were it not for all the hard work I’ve done carrying Azeroth on my shoulders, I wouldn’t have been able to use it the way I did, let alone carry it.

I must say that for a wielder of the Arcane energies of the world, I am not without some strength of my own. Most of the heavily armored types see spellweavers as skin and bones in cloth, but today I put on a show that would stun any disbeliever. I disrobed to nothing but a shirt, underpants, and moccasins so that I would not freeze my feet off. Oh, if only my friends and family could have seen me. I was not the first that day or even that week to attempt this stunt, but I was among the few to do it successfully. I raised my arm up and back, and threw the spear deftly until it hit a large blue Wyrm resembling the Proto-Drake I saw in the Pinnacle of Utgarde Keep. It was a nasty brute, and required all my strength as I snatched the chain… just in time for it to heft me clear of the ground. Hand over hand I made my way to the beast and gripped the underside. It shook and clawed at me, and it was all I could do to keep hold with one hand as I hefted the spear in the other.

I cannot say how long or how far we circled, but the Sons of Hodir watched me from the ground, and told me the battle took only a minute or two. It felt much longer. I had driven the spear into the belly of the beast various times, and I could feel it weakening. I climbed quickly, my own muscles burning as I leapt into the maw of this great beast. It struggled to bite down on me, and my legs and back ached as I fought against it to pry the mouth open ever further. My prize was down the throat and just a bit above, and with a single thrust I stabbed the brain up through the internal cavity. My arms and legs gave out, and I do not remember anything after that. When I awoke, I came to my senses and realized that the drake had fallen on the second highest steppe in Dun Niffelem, and that the jaw had cracked. I had tumbled into the snow, and the one who had given me the spear had come to check if I was dead or not.

I shook off what little snow had fallen on me, though whether the shaking was under my control or not I cannot say. All I know is that as the life came rushing back to me and filled my awareness, I had never felt so… absolute. I had killed that hulking beast with my bare hands in the ultimate contest of wills. Even the extended battles in Naxxramas paled in comparison. The blood had stained my shirt, hands… even my face. I knew now how the Orcs truly felt in a battle. The primal rush was not only thrilling, but cultivated a battle lust… raw and untamed. I wanted more, but the Lorekeeper said I should rest. For once, I considered this one to have wise counsel, and took it upon myself to seek lodgings.

…I can’t wait to do the same again tomorrow.
Erubadhron Valorbane

Fury of the Storm

Posted in Erubadhron's Journal on May 5, 2009 by necrolepsy

It’s cold. It’s always cold in the Storm Peaks.

I’ve just spent days working with various other members of both the Alliance and Horde, as well as the Sons of Hodir to cement a relationship with the Stormlord Thorim. Naturally, it’s all gone to pot.

After days of carefully orchestrated assaults and maneuvers, a single battle culminated between Loken and Thorim. One assumes that the well armored and well-armed Thorim would win of course. Fortunately, he turned out to be a fantastic nitwit who lost most of his vaunted power by leaving his house. I’m still astounded by that simple fact.

Meanwhile his drake, whom I risked life and limb for, turned out to be nothing but an overgrown cat with wings who cowtowed to Loken at the first sign of a real fight. Really, I sometimes find myself wondering why I bother working for anyone but the various evils that plague the lands of Azeroth. Then I remember that I, along with hundreds if not thousands of others, assisted in the defeats of the many villains that I would join were it not for their zealous nature in pursuing the destruction of all things. It’s a hard line to walk when you hold contempt for both sides of the fight.

Perhaps someday I’ll have the chance to return to the Academy I was so fond of and a part of for a short while. I would welcome the opportunity to teach and to spend my time in pursuit of further knowledge… instead of huddled in a hollow halfway up a mountain while a raging blizzard keeps me from leaving the very relative comfort of this temporary shelter. Ah, but the firelight begins to die. With any luck, they’ll find me huddled over this journal and frozen while spending my last breath spewing curses about every living creature that got me in this predicament.

Erubadhron Valorbane