Sunday, August 23, 2009

In Which Alanon And Quae Have A Talk

Quae stared at the goblin in disbelief. "I only need you to keep her for a few hours. You're charging enough for a month's care. How do you figure that out?" she demanded. Nearby, her recently-acquired frostsaber lay quietly in the Tanaris heat, looking around lazily and yawning every now and then.

The gobbo stable master stared back at Quae insolently. "That's our price, lady," he said. "Ya got a problem with it, take it up with the big boss." "Okay, where can I find him?" she asked. He smirked. "Undermine." Quae stared again, then said a few words that would probably have shocked any of her siblings if they had heard.

They were interrupted by the postman, another goblin, who tugged on Quae's sleeve and presented her with a letter. "Yer mail, lady," he muttered, then shuffled off. Quae watched him go- did the gobbos run the whole place?- then looked to her letter. It was from Alanon.


I would like to talk with you at your earliest convenience. I'll be at home.


She blinked, then read it again. What did he want to talk about? And why did he sound so... formal? That usually meant he was troubled by something. Quickly she ran through a mental list of everything she had done in the last couple weeks. She certainly hadn't done anything. Neither had Barraccus as far as she knew. Her curiosity piqued, she turned around quickly- and almost crashed into the darned stable master, who had been trying to read over her shoulder. She looked at him coolly. "You're in luck," she told him. "I'll need to take her with me after all." She walked over to Moon, who quickly stood at her approach, and swung up into the saddle, then touched her heels to the frostsaber's flanks and headed toward home.

* * * * * *

Alanon paced restlessly in the house. He still wasn't sure about writing to Quae, but he didn't know their cousins well at all, and she did. He just hoped she wouldn't give him too hard of a time about this. He almost jumped when he heard her ride into the yard, then made himself stand still as he waited for her to come in.

She looked rather irritated and disheveled when she walked in. Uh oh, he thought. Trouble with the goblins again, I bet. She plunked herself down in a chair and began muttering. "Stupid greedy greenskins. I bet if they could package the world and sell it off, they would auction it to the highest bidder with no qualms." Yep, goblins. She shook her head, then looked at him. "Hey big brother," she said in greeting. "I'm here, what did you want to talk about?" Suddenly he was at a loss for words. "Umm," he stammered. "I was, ah, wondering, um, if you could, maybe, ah..." Quae looked at him in amazement, one eyebrow slowly raising. He stopped himself and took a deep breath. "You know our Stormwind cousins better than I do," he stated. "Would you, maybe, mind talking to Kal for me?" He waited to see how she responded.

She stared at him, and slowly a knowing grin spread across her face. "Are you being serious? You're actually interested in someone?" She chuckled, then abruptly stood and went to the door, looking out at the sky. "Quae," he said flatly. "What are you doing?" "Checking for flying pink elekks," she replied. "Or, you know, the trees turning upside-down or something." She came back in with a huge grin, and sat back down in her chair. He gave her a sour look. "I'd like you to be a little more serious, Quae," he said, but she paid him no attention. "So who's the lucky girl?" she asked him, then suddenly looked at him. "It is a girl right? You're not going to try marrying a bear or something like Pitch did, are you?" He frowned. "Pitch did not-" Stopping himself again, he took another deep breath. She just waited, looking at him expectantly. Finally, his face expressionless, he simply said, "Arien."

Quae blinked at that. "Kal's friend?" she said. "Wow, that is a surprise." He glared at her, but she was ignoring him again. "So what did you want me to do?" Alanon rubbed his face with both hands, then sat down on another chair nearby. "I hardly know her," he said. "I mean, we've talked, but nothing really about each other. Mostly just about whatever we were doing at the time. So, would you just talk to Kal a bit for me? I'd like to know more about her." Quae blinked at him again. "And why can't you just talk to her yourself?" "I..., I just can't," he said. "Not yet, at least." "Well, the first thing you should know," she told him, "is that Kal and Arien are best friends. They don't have any secrets from each other. Which means if I talk to Kal, Arien will hear about it." Alanon looked a little sheepish. "Well, that would be an easy way to let her know I'm interested," he said quietly, then shook his head. "But that's a coward's way out. I couldn't do that to her." He groaned, rubbing his forehead with one hand.

Quae watched him, finally growing serious. "Alanon, why can't you just talk to Arien yourself? She's not hard to talk to, you just said you already have, sort of." "I...," he trailed off, and she studied him, understanding dawning in her eyes. "It's because of last time, isn't it?" she asked softly. He just looked at her. "Listen, big brother," Quae said seriously. "Arien isn't going to run away just because you asked her, oh, where she grew up or something like that. She's a bit tougher than that." "I, I think I know that," he said quietly. "So what is wrong, big brother?" she pressed. Alanon opened his mouth and closed it again. Finally, "What if she doesn't want to be with an elf? Or a druid?" The words sounded forced, and she could see he was having a hard time with them. She reached over and patted his knee. "Why would that be a problem, eh?" "Quae, look at me," he said. "I'm almost eight thousand years old, but do I look it? Even after Nordrassil fell, we haven't aged much at all. Will she want to be with someone that will outlast her that much? And what if I get called back to the Dream again? What if I get stuck there, like Malfurion? Even if that doesn't happen, I'll still be gone for who knows how long. What if she can't accept that?"

Quae looked at him for a minute. "That's what happened last time, isn't it? That's why she left you." He stared at her, and she could see the pain he still felt in his eyes. She gently squeezed his knee again. "Okay, I think I know what your problem is," she said. "Think about this a second, Alanon. How is this different than worrying about getting killed in battle or something?" He was silent for a minute, staring at his hands in his lap, then he looked up. "I didn't really think about it that way," he said sheepishly. "Obviously," Quae said dryly. "So, is that any different?" "I suppose not, not really," he said slowly. "Although I'm still going to have to explain things to her. I don't want any more... misunderstandings." Quae grinned and patted his knee again, then leaned over and hugged him. "There you go then. Now all you have to do is talk to her." Alanon glanced up at her. "Quae, thank you," he said softly. "Don't mention it," she replied. "It's not often I get to give my big brother advice. I need to treasure the moment." She grinned impishly at him as he snorted.

At that moment his buzzbox crackled, and Arien's voice came over the frequency. "Hello? Um, Alanon, you there?" Quae gave him a look that practically pushed him over to the box. He picked it up and looked at her nervously, then pressed the button. "Arien, hello. I'm here." "Oh hey," she said quickly. "These druids here in Zangarmarsh need me to help some lost friends, would you be able to come watch my back?" He couldn't quite keep a smile off his face as he replied, "Sure, I'll head right over."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Alanon: Endings and Beginnings

The dark, smoke-colored cat reclined on a branch high overhead, looking over the little Oracle village below. Alanon had returned to his feral side a few weeks ago, and was still adjusting a bit. But as a Druid of the Wild, he had to keep all his skills sharp, so he had turned away from spell-casting except for occasional healing when he and his companions ventured into Ulduar. He was comfortable with his feral skills again, although he knew he was not at his full strength yet. That would come with time.

He kept an eye on the Gorloc tribe he had befriended, but his thoughts were wandering far off to each of his family members. Rhokk was in Northrend now. They all still worried about him a bit, but whatever hold the Lich King had had over him seemed to be gone. He still had nightmares from time to time, but he didn't let them stop him from heading North.

"We've done what we can here," Alanon had told him when the shaman was leaving. "Now I believe the rest of your recovery is up to you. Just keep in mind what Crison told you, and you should be fine."

Rhokk wrote him regularly, keeping them all up-to-date on his progress, and seemed to be doing well.

Quae was still running between Feralas and Tanaris most of the time. She had confessed that she didn't like the goblins much, but they paid well. She and Barraccus were doing very well, spending almost every weekend together, either at home or off wherever their whims took them. Barraccus had recently spoken of a little house he had found for rent in Winterspring. Alanon had a feeling that the house in Ashenvale would be a bit emptier soon.

The death knight was now in Icecrown. Quae was worried about him, no one could miss seeing that, but she seemed to have more confidence in his ability to keep himself safe. Barraccus had managed to avoid most of the Alliance-Horde conflict, staying close to his Ebon Blade comrades and working with them in their own efforts against Arthas. Alanon had seen him several times at the Argent Crusade's tournament as well, where he seemed to be enjoying himself.

Pitch had suddenly gotten a sense of responsibility, and was now helping out in Outland and making his own plans for Northrend. He had somehow gotten a gnomish device which he called a "camera," and had sent Alanon several pictures. One was of Pitch himself, in the shape of a bird; he was incredibly excited about his new flight form. Most of the other pictures he had sent were taken from high above the ground. He had recently gone into the fel orc's Hellfire Citadel with a few others, one of which had been Arien, a human paladin that lived with their cousins Kal and Riatha.

Thinking of Arien now sent a little shivery feeling through Alanon. He had met her some time ago, when Kal had asked him if he could help her out in the sunken Temple of Atal'Hakkar. That had been right after he had gone feral, so he thought that it would be good practice, to refresh his skills a bit. Arien had been a bit reserved at first, but had quickly warmed as they went through the temple, killing the trolls her paladin instructors had told her to. She also proved very capable, as she had been surprised a couple times by wandering patrols when Alanon had been occupied, and had to dispatch them herself. After the first time, he had stopped worrying about her.

She had also proven to be quite pleasant to be around, and by the time they were done he found himself thinking about her quite a bit. When she had contacted him several days later, saying that she had to return to the Temple, he had quickly agreed to help again. This time they had to stop the troll god Hakkar from attempting to return to Azeroth, where he would undoubtedly take as much of the world as he could under his bloody rule. It had proven to be easier than either of them had thought; Alanon speculated that the vicious god's repeated attempts to return were actually weakening him.

Arien had returned to Outland immediately after, and Alanon had escorted her down to the Dark Portal, talking with her the whole way. After she had gone through, he stood and stared at the Portal for a long time. It had been a very long time since he had felt this way. He had been betrothed to a human once, little over a century ago, but she had broken it off after realizing what it would mean to be married to an immortal, and a druid to boot. It had taken him a long time to get over it, and afterward he had been happy to live a solitary life, excepting his siblings. He never spoke about it to anyone, although he knew that Kelesaria had told Pitch and Quae about it. They all respected his wishes and never spoke of it either.

A commotion at the edge of the village distracted him from his musings. He watched idly as a small band of Frenzyheart wolvar attacked, like they did several times a day every day, and were repulsed. He looked over the Oracle warriors, judging if any of them could use some healing, but they all seemed fine. So he returned to examining his feelings.

He liked Arien, that was safe to say. She was warm, bright, and fearless when faced with a battle, not to mention fun to be around. But he would not call it love, not yet. It was too soon, and he had no idea what she felt. Plus his long life had taught him that caution was usually a good thing. He would watch and wait for now; Arien was young still and wasn't going anywhere. He could wait.

The cat stood and stretched, ignoring the long fall if he happened to slip, then suddenly changed to a large, purplish bird. Alanon flapped his wings a few times, then took off, heading east toward Icecrown.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Shaurria: Feral

I finally found a song for Shaurria. "Field of Innocence" by Evanescence fits her so well it's almost scary. Lyrics-

I still remember the world from the eyes of a child
Slowly those feelings were clouded by what I know now
Where has my heart gone?
An uneven trade for the real world
Oh! I, I want to go back to believing in everything
And knowing nothing at all
I still remember the sun always warm on my back
Somehow it seems colder now
Where has my heart gone?
Trapped in the eyes of a stranger
Oh! I, I want to go back to believing in everything
Where has my heart gone?
An uneven trade for the real world
Oh! I, I want to go back to believing in everything
Oh! Where? Where has my heart gone?
Trapped in the eyes of a stranger
Oh! I, I want to go back to
Believing in everything
I still remember

This story is mostly to explain a bit about how it fits her. I hope it makes sense. Enjoy!

Shaurria lay in her favorite corner of the Park, her paws twitching while she slept. Windstar lay nearby, watching over her adopted ward. She still worried about the younger druid at times. Shaur had come a long way from the frightened bear she had escorted to Westfall, but she still had some ways to go before she could be considered "cured" of whatever had made her that way.

Shaur's lip curled in a faint snarl, and she gave a low whine, almost inaudible to any ears but a cat's. Windstar kept her watch, and wondered what she might be dreaming about.

* * * * * *

Shaurria ran through the trees, eager to see her parents and tell them the news. She could still remember the Great Bear Spirit's words to her, and how it felt the first time she had changed to a bear herself. She had just learned it a few hours ago, but it felt... right, somehow. She came in sight of Starbreeze Village, and abruptly skidded to a stop and stared.

The village was overrun with furbolgs. Shaur looked around everywhere, but she could see no elves. What had happened? Then she noticed the shapes scattered on the ground, and terror gripped her. The shapes were night elves. Fear called the bear shape she had just learned, and she crept through the village carefully, keeping to shadows along the houses' walls and trying to ignore the scent of blood heavy in the air. There were not many bodies, but to Shaur, it seemed that the whole village might have been slain.

She reached her own house at last and stopped outside for a moment. Her parents had to be okay. They were probably trapped inside, too frightened to come out, but the three of them would be able to get out of the village to safety. She crept around the corner and through the front door.

A big white furbolg turned from where it had been pawing through the shelves, a strange red light in its eyes. Shaur froze in fear, then saw the twisted bodies at its feet. Her parents.... Her grief and fear combined, forming a blind rage, and she roared at the furbolg and charged.

Hours later, she found herself wandering in a place she recognized as the Moonglade, still in her bear form, her claws sticky with blood. She could not remember where it had come from, and when she reached the shore of Lake Elune'ara, she changed to an elf and quickly washed the blood off. Then, her mind still in shock, she kept wandering.

You don't have to be alone. Come to me, little one. The words echoed in her head, and it took her a moment to realize she hadn't heard them with her ears. Dazed, she followed the voice to a huge panther, who sat and waited as she walked up. Do not fear, little one, he said again into her mind. I will take care of you. Shaurria curled up against his side and cried herself to sleep.

* * * * * *

You have the talent for the feral path, although whether you have the temperament remains to be seen. The Cat Spirit sat and regarded her as she stood before him. I can teach you, but it will not be easy. Shaurria thought of her parents, and her grief gave her determination. "I can do it," she said. I won't fail again, she thought.

* * * * * *

Shaurria cowered on the ground before the Great Cat Spirit, her neck scruff bleeding from his bite. You're still not quick enough, he said into her mind. When I'm teaching you, I am not your friend. I will not go easy on you. Now get up and try again. Shaur whimpered softly, but obeyed.

* * * * * *

Shaur crept through the undergrowth silently, nudging aside any twigs that might snap and betray her presence. The deer she was stalking nibbled on a bush, unaware of its danger.

Cats make better hunters than bears, the Spirit had told her with a haughty expression. But you are not quite ready for that yet. You must learn to care for yourself- predators are solitary, independent of others. Keep your friends close, for you never know when you might need them, but remember- depend on no one but yourself.

* * * * * *

Shaurria basked in the sun, shining down between the tree branches onto the Park's thick grass. Arvoss would be there soon with their picnic lunch, same as he had for the last few weeks. She had noticed that he didn't eat much, leaving most of it for her, but she never said anything. It was his choice, and the hunting in Elwynn was spare enough that Shaur took all the food she could get. Arvoss said she was having a growth spurt, but all she knew was that she was constantly hungry.

But it was more than the food that she waited for. Arvoss himself had somehow become very important to her. She felt... safe, when he was around, a feeling she hadn't had much since her parents had died. It was still too soon for her to call him "father," but that was close to what it felt like.

* * * * * *

"Come with me to the Pig tonight, Fuzzy," Windstar said. Shaur agreed despite her mood. The Cat Spirit had finally taught her to change to a cat, but then had given her some very unexpected news.

You can take my shape now. You no longer need me. You need to be with your own people; you have been wild long enough. Go, but remember, a part of me will be with you now. Go find your own path, little one. Shaurria wanted to protest, but her old fear had suddenly returned with his words, closing her throat, and all she could get out were a few muffled mews. He simply stared at her, his eyes distant and not at all like the comforting gaze that had been normal for all these weeks. So she finally turned away and went out into the world. Alone.

Now she followed Windstar, the only creature left in her world that she knew and trusted, up the stairs in the Pig & Whistle. 'Star led her to a table where she stopped and said, "Hello Frazle, Arvoss." Shaur looked up, her curiosity getting the better of her.

They were death knights, both of them; she could see that from the icy blue glow of their eyes. She had met a few death knights before, however, and none of them had hurt or frightened her. She sniffed at the gnome, Frazle- he seemed friendly enough, and had an interesting smell, a mix of oil, metal, and the food he was eating. Then she turned to the human, and met his eyes.

Arvoss looked back at her, studying her as she studied him. After a few minutes, he cracked a grin, showing the laugh lines around his mouth and eyes. Behind the glow she could see warmth, and something else, something that pulled at her and made her trust him like she had trusted no one except 'Star. He was as lonely as she was.

She found herself staying close to him the rest of the night. The budding friendship was sealed when he went off to the kitchen and brought back a big dinner for her, watching over her while she ate.

With a full stomach and an evening where she had a chance to relax, she slept very well that night. The next day she was just starting to get hungry when Arvoss showed up again, with a picnic lunch which he shared with her. She wound up tagging after him for most of the afternoon, as he went out to mine in the Elwynn Forest, then returned to Stormwind. He showed her how to smelt the ore and bring out the pure metal, though she didn't show much interest. She soon curled up to sleep near the forge, lulled by the heat and the sound of his voice.

* * * * * *

The lunches became a daily occurrence, with Windstar joining them on occasion. Then Arvoss bought a house in Ironforge, and after a few days he invited her to come see it. "Kitten," he said as she sniffed her way around the house. "Ah ken ye got no place ta stay 'cept for th' Park, an' if ye ever wan' ta, uh, stay 'ere, well, ye're welcome ta make this yer 'ome." Shaur paused in her sniffing and looked at him, then purred.

* * * * *

"Shaur, kitten, Ah dinnae wan' ta be stickin' mah nose in, but if ye ever wan' ta talk about annehthin', Ah'm right 'ere," Arvoss told her one day. They were sitting in the Park, their lunch finished and the basket packed up. She glanced at him, but he didn't look at her, as though afraid to make her nervous. "Uh, Star an' Ah ken tha' ye 'ad sommat bad 'appen, an' we wan' ta 'elp ye, if ye ever need it." Now he looked over at her, but instead of a night elf he found himself staring at a cat, her way of saying that she didn't wish to speak at that time. He sighed softly. "Kitten, ye cannae be 'idin' from things foreveh. Ye'll 'ave ta speak o' it sometahm, or ye'll neveh 'eal from it," he told her as gently as he could. She looked at him coolly, then stood and turned away. Arvoss stared down at his boots. He figured she would go off now, like she had the first time he had brought this up. She had avoided him the rest of that day, although she had been back the next when lunchtime came. Now he thought she would do the same.

He heard her move away, and sighed to himself, then suddenly he felt a bump on his back. Shaur rubbed up against him, purring, then nudged up underneath his arm. As he put his arm around her shoulders and grinned to himself, he thought that perhaps he had won some small victory this time, at least.

That's it for now, although I want to write more. Will be continued, hopefully with pictures for the next part!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 12 with no computer...

I think I'm slowly going nuts.

And my thumb drive died too. My dad has been in computers for as long as I can remember, and he's never heard of a thumb drive going bad. I'm starting to think I'm cursed.

I did get my RP night last week, and boy-oh-boy was it a busy one. Shaurria's friend Aleros was there and he started playing with both Shaur and my sister's druid Windstar. There were a LOT of druids there, a few of the others asked a few times if it was kitty night. >.>

There was a death knight there also, who decided that he HAD to talk with a paladin, the pally being a semi-regular that Shaur kind of knows. Now, this pally is socially-challenged enough to make Shaur seem normal by a long shot, and this death knight was not helping at all. It took Shaur, Windstar, another death knight, and another of the regulars, a warrior, to get him to take a hint and leave the pally alone.

The part that the dude needs for my computer was apparently bought from Ebay, which means who knows when he might get it. I'm still kinda hopeful that he may have gotten it and is working on it now, but I haven't heard anything yet.

I can't raid on my dad's PC, because I get an average of about 5fps anywhere. In Dalaran, of course, it's much, much worse, so I'm avoiding it whenever possible. So instead of instances/raids, I've just been leveling. I did get to use my sister's computer yesterday, which was much better. Barraccus hit 80 yesterday, I was going to do a post then but got a little distracted... by getting into 2 heroics and a 25-man Naxx run. Heroic Strat had nothing for him, tho he got a gloves upgrade from Chromie's quest there. Second heroic was Trial of the Champion(?), where he got 3 nice shiny purples. <3

After his level 80 training he was short only 40g for his epic flying, and after the instances he had it. His gryphon Berk has gotten some armor. Now he's broke, so I'm gonna be doing some farming on him and Alanon both for awhile.

Shaurria is up to level 32, and Pitch is 61. I haven't done much on Pitch for a while, but he'll probly get a turn soon. I'm still planning on getting Taurros to 80 next, but right now I'm feeling kinda uninspired to play my horde toons. I'm not entirely happy with the server they're on, even tho I love my guild, so it's hard to focus on them for long. The reasons behind me being unhappy are a topic for another post, tho, so I'll leave it at that.

My sister has been playing her pally Arien mostly, she is almost ready for Outland. We're kinda planing a little something between Arien and Alanon RP-wise, but haven't worked any details out yet. I'll probly be doing a story on them sometime soon.

Working on a longish one for Shaur now, since Arvoss' Darrowshire story is kind of stuck. I'll post it as soon as it's done, maybe later tonight. We'll see how it goes.

Can't think of anything else to add, and I'm itching to go play. Til next time Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Day 5 with no computer...

But my dad got one of his back (he had 2 that needed repair about the same time mine crashed /boggle?) so I am currently installing WoW on this one, since my bro's is all wonky. It's installing pretty fast, but it's taking forever just cause it's so big. It wouldn't bother me so much, except...

It's RP night on Feathermoon, and I'm missing it! /cry. It is at 97% as I'm typing this and it's after 10pm, so I figure my night's pretty much shot. Shaurria is gonna miss her weekly ear-rub-begging.

My computer was not ready on Monday obviously (duh!). It only needs a clip so the motherboard(?) can be mounted inside the case, then I believe it will be finished. It's taking so long because he ordered the part on Friday, and of course no one ships anything over the weekend... I'm hoping desperately that it will only be another day or two.

Going to get off the interwebz so I'm not using up bandwidth. See ya in Azeroth soon, I hope!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Day 3 with no computer...

I'm on my sister's pc right now. I really ought to be playing since she'll want it back soon, but eh. I've also used my brother's a couple times, but there's something wonky going on with his graphics, so playing on it is....difficult, to put it mildly. Been on Taurros mostly while I'm on it, since I have all his hotkeys memorized.

Haven't heard anything yet about my new computer, but I'm still hopeful that I'll be able to get it Monday. I would love to have it be all ready to play on by Tuesday' RP night on Feathermoon. If it isn't, I may hijack my bro's again.

Pitch was about 4-5 bars from level 58 last time I had played him, so I leveled him up yesterday and got him to Outland. Where he promptly got 2 more levels. Yep, he's now 60 and is flying around getting all his discovers. I'm debating getting him his dual spec, so he can start tanking if it's needed (he is pure kitty right now). Gonna think on that some more before I actually do it, tho.

And here is Pitch, in his birdy form, with Zeth'gor in the background.

Keep fingers crossed that the new PC is ready soon! :) -Happy Hunting!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I didn't really mean it, but...

Apparently I scared my computer by mentioning I wanted to kill it, because it died last night. I spent all afternoon playing with no sound, then before I went to bed I tried rebooting it to see if the sound would come back.

I hit restart, Windows shut down, and it started to boot back up and.....

Blue screen.

So I have hijacked my brother's computer to type this up, and will be computer-less this weekend (unless I can "borrow" my sister's like I did last time). The good news is my new PC should be ready by this weekend, so I'll hopefully get it Monday. ^_^

And I am LOVING the new druid forms/colors. Wanted to show off my two babies, because they are the awesomest.

First is Pitchblack in his teddy bear form. He is so cute in this picture, I want to cuddle him. :P

And Taurros the tauren, who will soon be my next level 80 (I hope). Maybe not as cute as Pitch, but he looks so cool now. ^_^

That's it for now. I'm not holding my breath about getting my new PC after what happened last time, so you'll see me when you see me. Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Going to kill my PC bbl

It's Tuesday.

The patch is all ready to be downloaded and installed.


I can't install it because there's not enough room on my flipping hard drive!

Trying to clear up space right now, will update again later.


Okay, it's installing now. But I had to remove Runes of Magic to make room, so once again, WoW is the only game on my computer. Sometime I might make a list of all the games I would like to be playing, but can't because of my frickin computer problems. It's old, it's laggy and slow, and now there's no room left on the hard drive. WTB new computer please! /endrant.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Arvoss: Darrowshire, part 1

So here's part one, this is what I've finished so far. I'll post part 2 as soon as it's ready. Enjoy.

It was hard to go back, harder than anything he’d done before. Well, what’d ye expect? he asked himself. It dinnae even look like ‘ome naow. The farms and fields, hills and trees that he had known when he was alive had been sickened, twisted and mutated by the plague that had run rampant ever since the Bloody Prince had brought his Scourge army through. Some of the trees even resembled giant mushrooms now. The wildlife was gone except for those animals that fed on death, and they too had grown twisted and dangerous.

Arvoss topped a small rise and reined Shade to a stop, then looked around carefully, trying to see beneath the corruption and find familiar landmarks. S’not far naow. Little bit more ta th’ north, though. He tapped his heels to his mount’s flanks and moved on.

There was nothing left of the farm but the gutted remains of the house and one silo, still standing despite the rot that permeated everything. He stopped a good distance away, for he could see the movements of several undead loitering around the buildings. He sat on Shade for several long minutes, just looking, and remembering…

Standing in the farmhouse doorway, watching his wife play with their toddler out in the yard. Teaching his son how to weed the garden out near the back door, not many years later. Watching with tears of pride in his eyes as that same son, now in his early teens, waved goodbye and walked away, heading to the capital and the start of his training to join the ranks of the Silver Hand. Standing in the doorway yet again, waiting for the wagon that would take his wife’s body to the small local graveyard, after she lost the battle against the lung infection that had plagued the area all winter.

What are ye lookin’ for, auld man? Neither o’ them is goin’ ta come out runnin’ ta greet ye, no’ afteh all this tahm.

At last, he reined Shade around and rode away from his home of nearly thirty years. He did not look back.

The graveyard was right where he remembered it. He noticed the small Argent Dawn camp absently, but paid them no attention; they similarly ignored him after determining that he was not a threat. The stone marking his wife’s grave was not hard to find. He brushed away years of dust and grime, then sat back and read it to himself. Emelee Torbrynn, it said. Beloved Daughter, Wife and Mother. He looked at the stones nearest, but did not see his son’s name. And ye wouldnae find it, either. If ‘e was killed then, there’d’ve been none left ta bury ‘im, nor mark th’ grave. Ye’re an auld fool, Arvoss. He allowed himself another minute to look, then returned to where he had left Shade nearby, mounting the charger and riding north. He had one more stop to make.

The smoke and ash from Stratholme were visible from across the small lake that served as a moat. He swung down from Shade’s back and dropped the reins; the loyal deathcharger would not go far. Arvoss stood and stared at the remains of the city that had been the place of his birth, and his death.

The ceremony that officially inducted him into the Order of the Silver Hand, held here instead of the capital by special request. Marrying his wife in the same cathedral. Following his Prince into the plagued city to carry out a task that his heart screamed at him not to do.

Arvoss shuddered under the rush of his memories, but was unaware as his mind went back in time, to seven years ago.

His hammer feeling heavier and heavier with each blow. The Light becoming slower to answer his call, until it seemed it was no longer there. The townspeople beginning to fight back, making it harder to strike them, instead of easier. Finding himself cut off from the others, surrounded by an angry mob. The feel of the knife slipping through the vulnerable spot in his plate armor, under his armpit, and finding his heart. Darkness falling over him, along with a cold that has since lodged in his soul and would not leave.

After almost half an hour, he finally pulled his gaze away from the ruined walls. He listened one last time to the howls of the undead inside the city, then walked back to his deathcharger.

Now he finally headed south, to his intended destination. Perhaps he would find some of the answers he sought in Darrowshire.

* * * * * *

The town was quiet; no undead, no ghosts that he could see. Like th’ battle was sae terrible tha’ nothin’ wants ta be near, he thought. He stepped up to the inn and peered inside, but saw nothing. Returning to Shade in the town square, he took one last long, searching look- Was nae point ta comin’. ‘S nothin’ ‘ere but dust. -and suddenly spotted a flicker of movement from a house off to the side. His runeblade in hand just in case, he went to investigate.

He was not truly surprised to find the little girl. “Hi, my name’s Pamela,” she said, trusting and innocent. “Have you seen my dolly? I think I lost her. My daddy’s gone off to war, I wonder when he’ll be back.” He listened to her prattle on with half an ear, his mind wandering again. ‘S no’ only th’ soldiers tha’ suffer in th’ war. Th’ innocents left behin’ ‘ave as much a ‘ard tahm o’ it, more often ‘n no’. Sae tell meh, auld man, d’ye ‘elp ‘er? Or do ye go off on yer foolish quest ta find th’ man ye used ta be, th’ man tha’s dead an’ gone? He straightened up and looked down at the little ghost-girl. “Aright, lass,” he said finally. “Where did ye say ye left th’ dolly agin?”

He wasn’t surprised either to see that the doll had been torn to pieces and scattered across the square. But as he bent to pick up the first piece he found, something materialized and rushed him. He recognized it as a haunt as he straightened and drew his runeblade-

He called upon the Light, feeling it fill him with warmth and power, ready to be used to strike his enemies or to heal his comrades. There was nothing like it in the world...

He came back to himself in an instant, but it was still enough time for the haunt to reach him and stretch out its spectral claws. He could feel the chill of the thing. ‘S no’ a chance for ye. Mah chill is jus’ as strong as yer own. He whispered a word, and the runes along the blade blazed white and cold as he cut through the ghost and watched it shrivel and die, with a final agonizing shriek. He stood there breathing heavily for a few moments more, then lowered his weapon and continued his search.

Thread and needle he got from his kit in Shade’s saddlebags. A few minutes work and the doll was passable, at least. Neveh was good at tha’ sort o’ thing, he thought ruefully as he placed it on the ground at Pamela’s feet. “Annehthin’ else Ah can do for ye, lass?” he asked her. “Well, I miss my family. They left me here and told me to stay and wait for them, but it’s been so long. Do you think you could find my aunt? Or my dad?” the little ghost asked him. “Aye,” he said. “Ah think Ah can do tha’.”

Marlene Redpath’s house was in the middle of Scourge territory, so Arvoss harbored no false hopes as he went inside. “’Ello!” he called. “Anneh one in ‘ere?” She glided into view, studying him intently as he looked at her in turn. He could see right through her, same as her niece. “Ye’re Marlene?” he asked unnecessarily. She nodded. “What brings you here? You’re not dead, but neither are you precisely living.” “Ah’m ‘ere for yer niece, Pamela. She misses ‘er da, an’ Ah’m tryin ta find ‘im for ‘er.” The ghost’s eyes widened. “Pamela? Is she still alive after all this time?” “Ahh, nae,” he answered, shuffling his feet uncomfortably. “She’s kind o’ in th’ same shape ye are.” Her face fell, then she suddenly looked up at him sharply, hope in her eyes.

“I wish that my brother could go back to her, but it’s impossible. Joseph was corrupted by a death knight during the battle and turned into a monster. But perhaps you can help change all that. There is a gnome, Chromie, who is staying nearby in Andorhal. Go to my brother’s grave and find his wedding ring, and take it to her. Please, for his sake and for Pamela’s.” He stared her in the eye for a minute, then slowly Arvoss nodded and left the house.

The grave wasn’t hard to find; it was the biggest one in that section of the yard. He dug through the dirt and found the ring. As he stood, he noticed a strange light forming on top of the headstone. The light took on the shape of a human male, who looked at Arvoss sadly, almost desperately. Arvoss stared back expressionlessly. “Ye cannae ‘urt me nor fright me, son. Ah’m already dead,” he said, then turned to go. As he did, he heard a voice tickling his mind, faint as the evening breeze. “Save me…” He shivered as he pulled himself back into Shade’s saddle and turned toward the ruins of Andorhal.