The Wrath Gate

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Bricu
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Re: The Wrath Gate

Postby Bricu » Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:05 am

From their spot on the hill, Bricu could see the disaster unfold. The plague mists filled the valley to the north. Worse still, the Vyrkul pushing past the line. It looked like Jolly and the Bull were attempting to rally, but Sunshine was headed into the melee below. Her wonky idea not withstanding, Bricu still had to get enough control of the hill to organize a retreat. He started to bark an order to Beltar and Ulthanon, "Clear the path," but the he found himself face first in snows. His axe was knocked clear from his hand, spinning into debris of the He had heard the arcane explosions behind him, at the witches tent, as Genise, Darrows and Stonemantle each responded to some an attack, but, for a moment, he thought it came from the Bloody Princes gargolyes. The weight on his back, the impossibly strong hands around his neck, told him otherwise. Geists. Where there was one close, a legion would be nearby. In that instant, Bricu knew they were broken. There could not be an orderly retreat. They would have to abandon their posts and flee. One thought burned brighter than the others: Threnn had to escape.

Cursing under his breath, Bricu called up on the light. The geist, dazed but not defeated, fell to its back. Pushing himself up as fast as he could, Bricu squared himself in front of the scourgling and slammed his gauntlet where the geists nose should be. It crumpled to the ground, but he knew it would not belong before it was crawling after him. He scanned the battlefield, his eyes rested on the ballistae perch. The geists swarmed ever aspect of the field. There were four more geists around him, all dazed. He couldn't see Tarquin or Balthazar. Steam, smoke and debris launched from the Witches Tent. Threnn was beset by five geists. One was already crumpled at her feet, but neither she nor the bastards had noticed. Threnn swung her sword at each geist, pushing them back with each solid hit, but she was slowing down with each successive swing. The geists did not tire.

Bricu scrambled back to his axe. He shouted, "OI!" as he stood up, calling the giests around Threnn to him. Bricu looked past the all of the geists and watched as Threnn struck the head off a second geist. He held the axe with both hands, and waited for them to rush to him.

He didn't wait long. The giests lept towards him, landing all around him. Bricu swung out, connecting with one's chest. He brought his axe down on the head of one that landed in front of him. He pulled his axe up to block the talons of the others, but he was not fast enough to block each and every swipe they made. There was no swordplay here, no delicate parries or ripostes. His axework was functional, life--or undead--ending work. Every word uttered was one part prayer, one part curse, calling upon the light to shield him from their claws, to guide his axe to end their unnatural existence or to keep the giests blood thirsty attention on him. One giest lept at him, trying to land on his back. Bricu stepped quickly to the right, letting the geist land where he was. The gore from its sackcloth covered body stained his tabard. Through the melee, Bricu glimpsed his wife. Threnn was surrounded by a soft golden halo as she was channeling the light into him, healing his wounds as he received then. The Light dimmed only when she took a breath to say another prayer. Bricu kept hacking away at the giests, carving a path back to his wife. The geists pushed back, fighting as a pack. They pushed, pulled, clawed and snapped at Bricu from all directions. One by one, the geists fell. As he spun on the last giest, he watched the Light from Threnn's prayers burn the giest into cinders. The path cleared, the two ran down the path to the rest of the Riders.
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Re: The Wrath Gate

Postby Bricu » Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:06 am

Varenna watched in horror as Illithias threw herself at yet another Ymirjar. Unlike its fallen comrade, this one was wielding a two handed axe. One that was taller, thicker and probably heavier than Illithias herself. While Varenna fought furiously, parrying and block the attacks of the scourge surrounding her, she kept her composure. She let the Light guide her arms, trusting in her faith and training to keep her safe while she made her way to help Illi. Illithias did not demonstrate any of the discipline required to survive. She threw herself at the Ymirjar's axe, running under the blade as it slammed into the ground where she was. Illi swung her axes in a cross cut, slashing past metal, flesh and bone. The Ymirjar toppled backwards, but it did not fall. Illithias did not stop running either. She raced into another group of the Lich King's Skeletons, running into their necromancer handler. The skeletons surrounded her, grabbing at her arms, her legs and her hair, trying to pull her down where they could use their sharpened fingers to flay the skin from bones. The Necromancer stood just out of reach of her axes, channeling his own energy into his charges. Behind them all, the Ymirjar regained his balance, bellowing his pain and fury.

Still surrounded by ghouls and geists, Varenna focused her attention on the Ymirjar. She called out to it, her voice enhanced by the Light, challenging it to face her.

"Little Girl, I will crack your bones and drink your marrow! I will paint my face with your blood!"

Varenna gripped her shield tighter and slammed it into blade of the axe. It dug deep into the metal of the shield, but the shield held tight to the axe. She took her sword and ran it through the Ymirjar's skull. His taunting silenced, Varenna continued on to Illithias. She watched as Illithias hacked at the growing circle of skeletons. As one fell to her axes, another would form and continue to slash or pull at her. By the time Varenna had reached her, Illi was slowing from the countless cuts and the skeletons that still clung to her. When she was in an arms length of her, Varenna called upon the light again. Her body was engulfed by the Light, scattering the skeletons to the battlefield. Even their handler briefly shielded his eyes. Illithias quickly regained her footing and lurched towards Varenna. Her teeth bared, she growled at Varenna, before spining on her heel and launching herself, axes first, into the necromancer.
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Re: The Wrath Gate

Postby Bricu » Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:06 am

There was no safe place anymore. The phrase Bricu and Threnn often quoted each other--especially when the began thinking about children--came back to terrorize them. The Line was shattered. There could be no safe, orderly retreat without some semblance of a line. They were flanked, and not by the gargoyles they had feared, but maddened giests that had nearly lept sheer cliff walls. The battlefield itself was awash in thick green clouds of smoke--Plague flungh down from catapults manned by the forsaken. Death was swirling down around them on all sides.

But they ran together. Bricu kept pace with his wife, even though he sorely wanted to stay behind and ensure no new giests could reach them. Threnn, winded but not exhausted, ran down the slope, ever mindful of any last minute escape plan that her husband would enact. One that would that would get her home safe, but as a widow. All she saw were those still trying to rally the line. Jolly, standing now on a mountain of scourge, and Linedan, touring over the field that he reaped with his axe. There was hope--but it was still yards away.

The sound of battle horns caught Bricu's ear. They were not the horns used by the 7th legion, and the Vyrkul had no use for the instruments, given their own shrill war cries. The tones were not the same used by any units associated with the Horde. Someone else was charging the line. Bricu scanned the horizon for their standard, all while holding on to Threnn's gauntleted hand. All around them, the battlefield broke down into chaos. Scourge rushed through the broken line, tearing into the any living they reached. With their attention focus to the battle that was before them, neither Bricu nor Threnn gave thought to the battle behind them.

The first giest landed on Bricu's back, slamming him into the ground. Threnn wrenched her hand free, to keep from being pulled down. She spun on the snow and ice, slamming her shield on to the ground, her hip into the shield. The giest on Bricu's back bent back his epulate and started to squeeze his neck. The giest pulled Bricu up by the neck and slammed his head into the frozen ground. Before he blacked out, Bricu heard the sound of the battlehorn and saw their standard. It was the Eye. Bricu's stomach twisted into knots as his world went black.
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Re: The Wrath Gate

Postby Yva » Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:21 pm

Him.

You are my creation. I took you, molded you, and changed you to prove my sovereignty. Life and death are mine to command, and so too are you, Jakob. I took the common dross that you were, made you strong and unbending, set high in my legions. Your blades sing the north wind; winter courses through you and dances at your whisper. You were reborn those months ago as a soldier of the great nothing - my gift to you, and your inheritance. You are my knight, and you will draw life from this world as one draws poison from a wound.

Open yourself to me and claim what is rightfully yours. End the weak and undeserving. End them now and prove your fealty to your liege lord.


For a moment, Jakob felt his head turning. He felt his impassive blue eyes skim over the Bittertongues – Bricu with his wild eyes, his fists clenched around his weapons, geists atop him, Threnn with her shield, protecting the unborn child growing inside of her – and he felt the lich's loathing rising inside. They were low and weak and beneath Him, they were the discordant notes in the master's grand symphony.

He drew his swords and stepped forward, ever the dutiful knight. This was his purpose, his function now. He was a soldier in his king's war, the only war, destined to slaughter and maim for the greater tomorrow, and these insects would make proper offerings.

A rictus smile spread, his lips receding to a terrible smear of white teeth and spittle.

It's so close, now, Jakob. So very close.

He hefted the swords, a comforting weight in his hands.

And then it all went wrong. The king's voice broke, his hold on Jak's mind shattering with an echoing scream of frustration. Sylvanas's people, the Apothecarium, had interfered, their plague oozing over the cliff sides in a wash of green haze.

Jak staggered to a knee, bile rising in his throat. Realization at what he'd wanted to do, had almost done made him clamp his eyes shut. His stomach rolled, threatening to deposit his meager dinner onto the snows below.

Breathe. Breathe, damn you.

In through his nose, out through his mouth, over and over. The sounds around him, the disaster of Angrathar was all but forgotten as he tried to piece the remnants of his tattered soul together in the wake of Arthas's hold.

Who am I?

Jakob Balthasar. No longer the Lich King's puppet, but a living man, a freed man.

Where am I?

The camp. The Red and Black's camp on the hillside. Far too close to whatever had fallen from the cliffs with enough power to wound the Bloody Prince.

But why are you here?

Guard duty. That was right, with a tinge of sardonic shame. Guarding the tent on the hill.

No, BUT WHY?

Her. He was here for Her.

Who is she?

Black hair, white skin, and lips as red as the river roses of his youth. She knew him. She loved him.

“Yva.”

He stood, having to dig his sword into the ground to gain leverage. Hundreds were running, horde and alliance alike, and the speck that had been the woman - his woman - was gone, lost to the swarm of panic.

Find her.

*****

Her.

Retreat, then, for the first time in her life. Retreat because when death came, that long sought after dream, that thing that whispered promises of peace and respite, she didn't want it. Not now, not in front of Jakob where he'd see yet another piece of his life torn away. She owed him that much.

Death on her terms, then. Not Arthas's. Not the Apothecariums. Hers.

Even in her despair she found the anger, the strength of will that had broken her away from Him in the first place. Brill, seven long years ago, she loosed the parasite that was lich and found her name. That tiny shred had been enough to rebuild an existence from the flickers of her memory. It took her years to piece it together, and as painful as it had been remembering how her mother had bled from her eyes and nose with a stomach swollen with plague, as terrible as it had been remembering how her father had used the shotgun on himself instead of succumbing to the same painful end - Yva'd forced herself to relive every moment so she could claim what little identity she had left.

It wouldn't be for nothing.

Run.

And she would run, wanted to run, but her legs were as frozen to the snows as her victims had been. It was like a dream where you started to get away from the wicked nightmare at your tail, but you couldn't move fast enough, no matter how hard you willed yourself. She was pushing against the current. Crawling then, across the battlefield of Northrend, over the bodies of fallen scourge and fallen soldiers. She turned her head, and through the wash of her tears she didn't know were there, saw the flaps of the red tent on the hill. Garish she had called it before, but now, it was just the color it ought to be, a beacon of hope on the horizon.

She began the long ascent, her fingernails breaking as she pushed over armor and desecrated corpses and squishy blackened things that had fought in Arthas's name. People – men, women – were retreating and screaming, running in every direction. Some brushed by her, some knocked her down as she forced herself towards the hill, but she was undeterred.

This is not how it ends. Not here. My terms. MY BLOODY FUCKING TERMS, MENETHIL.

A kaldorei soldier mistaking her for one more lost to the battle of Wrathgate stepped on her back in his escape. A lash of pain sizzled up her spine, and she arched her head back with a scream.

“Bloody HELL, you fucking idiot.” He didn't stop to look at her, but then, given the circumstances, she didn't expect him to. He was running for his life, as she ought to have been.

She breathed deep, nostrils twitching at the burn and rot and wrongness of the land, and collapsed forward, face to face with the charred visage of what may have been a geist before Genise had unleashed her fury. Its mouth was open in a soundless scream, its chest was caved in where something had run it through.

Or perhaps it does end here, and there is no justice in this world, and you will be forgotten just like this thing that was once a man.

Her “no” was an inaudible groan.

“Yva! Where – MOVE OUT OF MY FUCKING WAY - are you?”

Light and gods be merciful, thank you. Thank you.

*****

Them.

Above the clamor of battle, shouting somewhere to the west, was Jakob Balthasar. She was so happy to hear his voice she started weeping. She tried to make words come, but they just twisted around her tongue and ended up as gut wrenching sobs. She pushed herself up to her knees, her thumb squishing into the eye socket of the geist beneath her. It took at least a half a dozen tries before she could get Jak's name out. She was so afraid he'd not hear her, but somehow, above the cacophony of dreams ending, he answered her, calling her name and cursing.

The curses were the loveliest thing she'd heard in hours.

“Yva! Where the fuck are you?”

His name was a strangled litany, but it was enough, he was coming closer and closer, hollering so loud his voice cracked like a boy half his age. And then he was there. In his fist was the mangled remains of something stupid enough to get in his way, and he tossed it aside, shoving past the frenzied masses until he was before her, crouching to her level. He tore his gauntlet off to streak his hand over her hair, as if the only way he could ensure she was whole and real was this one touch, possibly the most important touch they'd ever shared.

“Oh Jak. I-I . . .” Song and anger and panic jumbled inside of her throat, crushing anything else that wanted to be said.

Before he pulled her face to his chest, before he picked her up into his arms and carried her out of the throng, making for the incline as fast as the body strewn field would allow, she saw his eyes, saw the horrible emptiness and sorrow there, like a light had been ever dimmed inside of him. Whether it was fear or the grotesque horror of this day's end, she couldn't say, and she wasn't sure she would ever truly know.

Some things were too personal to broach. If he wanted to tell her, he would, but she would not ask.

“Ohgodsohgodsohgods,” she suddenly sobbed into his neck, her arms twining around him like he was the last solid thing in her entire world. “Home, Jak. HOME. N-now.”

"Home," he rasped in agreement, pushing through the frenzy, towards the red tent and the Riders and everything dear and familiar.

"Home."
Last edited by Yva on Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Wrath Gate

Postby uthas » Sun Oct 04, 2009 1:24 pm

Threnn gasped at the cold air, pulling with all of her might to draw it in and fill the void in her chest. The muscles in her chest were on the edge of giving up, and within her she could feel the pounding of not one, but two hearts in panic. The jagged and bent bits of her armor bit into the ice, halting her slide, and she awkwardly rolled onto her side, shielding her swollen belly from the geists as she struggled to her feet. Once she had her boots under her, the strangling fear did not end. There was no sign of Bricu, only a mix of dark raggety bodies hissing and leaping. She wanted to shout for him, to scream to the Light and deliver its judgement on those hiding him from her, but, her lungs just wouldn't seem to fill. Sharp pains lanced up her side, and she struggled with the straps to loosen her breastplate. A flash of burnished gold in the sunlight told her where her husband lay, covered in beasts tearing at the metal to find the warm flesh beneath. Threnn found her breath and screamed.

It was not the Light that answered her plea. Death came again for the once dead in the form of a huge armoured bear. The beast's fur was snowy white where it showed through the coating of dark red and black blood and ichor, and atop it rode the dark reflection of the prayers Threnn had shouted. The voice that had stirred thousands, that had led Azeroth to the brink of hope and the pinnacle of despair before falling years silent now rose again, this time in wrath. The roar coming from the black, shadowed helmet seemed a thousand voices wailing from a place so far away it could only be found in the small places within Threnn, those places that existed where her soul wasn't quite large enough to fill the space it had been alloted, the empty place of her spirit. And the scream was answered by others, maybe six, seven in number, Threnn couldn't tell in the confusion. Others that brought a dark tide of their own with them, a wave of cold empty death that rode under the banner of the Unblinking Eye.

The geists were blasted away by these dark riders, six of whom streamed past Threnn, leaving her shaken and nearly alone on a suddenly quiet field of snow. One other remained behind, off of his warbear now, kneeling down over Bricu. Threnn yanked her shield up out of the snow and staggered over to the fallen paladin. As she passed the bear it snarled once and sniffed at her. Uthas straightened and stepped away, letting Threnn slide into his place literally as her legs gave out on the ice. The deathknight spoke, voice a mass of icy tendrils that burrowed into her mind. "He will live."

Threnn cradled Bricu's head in her lap, shielding his face from the sun with her shield. Blood covered his face, coming from a large gash in his forehead, and he'd never grow a completely full beard again with the slice along his jaw, but he was breathing. She looked up at the black armoured figured, and then spat at his feet, more blood that spittle. "If you think this changes anything, you're wrong. Riding in to save the day in one big swoop changes nothing. We know what you are, what you do. You hurt him more than anyone, more than even that damned bloody Prince down there. You'll never hurt him again! This changes NOTHING! This changes no-"

Threnn stared at her bloody left arm, wondering where her shield had gone. Everything was quiet around her. No shouting, no screams of the dying, no sounds of battle at all. Only a distant ringing in her ears. Her breath steamed out of her mouth in front of her eyes, obscuring the blood dripping from her arm. An immense shadow crept across the snow beside her, covering Threnn and Bricu in darkness. She looked up to find out where the sun had gone, and saw the abomination towering over her. She blinked once, long and hard. There was something about this, something she was supposed to do, some way she should react, but nothing made sense. The remnants of her shield dangled from the chained hook twirling in the beast's hand. It grinned at her, and she smiled back unconsciously. There was something sweet in its eyes. The eyes of a child. A child. Her hands moved to her belly as the abomination raised its other arm, holding an enormous cleaver. Threnn gasped as the world rushed back to her. The meathook descended.

And was caught by a gauntleted hand. The immensity of the abomination spoke of an unstoppable force, its enormity crushing all its path. And yet, the small man now standing over Threnn and Bricu held its strength in check, one hand to one hand. It was ridiculous in a way. Threnn herself towered over Uthas by nearly half a foot. But, rather than caving in front of the hulking brutality of the fleshforged creature, the deathknight forced it back, slowly but surely. He stepped in to grab the arm holding the chain, and the true test of might began. Threnn watched in horrid fascination, not daring to make a move and end the contest either way. Neither opponent could gain a vantage over the other. The abomination had the size and leverage, but it was as if the deathknight had the will of a thousand men. The struggle was a deadly stalemate of stasis.

"You know the prayer of Brother Cadvan?" Threnn was surprised. Uthas's voice didn't sound strained. There was no inflection or emotion in it at all, almost as if the deathknight were holding up a board for a friend to nail onto something, instead of wrestling with an unholy nightmare. Threnn sputtered out an affirmative. "Use it while I hold him in place." She nodded in affirmation, then realized he couldn't see her, and then realized she didn't care. She began the chant, and almost immediately felt the Light answer, like it had been waiting on the edges of the field for this chance to rush in. The golden energy pooled in her, filling her bones and flesh with a liquid fire. The snow around her began to melt, and Bricu moaned, but she was so deeply in the force of the prayer that she could not break out even if she had wanted to try. Threnn raised her bloody arm and pointed it at the abomination, watching as a droplet of blood detached from her arm and vanished in a golden spark before it touched the snow. With a final word she released the power.

There was no light. No hammer of fire from the heavens. No bolt of divine justice that leaped from her fingers. Instead, after a moment, both of the combatants simply started burning. It started as smoke, pouring from the skin and metal of the enmeshed fighters. It rose in streams from cracks and bends in their flesh, followed by small spurts of yellow flame. The abomination began trembling now, and great fat baby tears began running down its face. Uthas forced its arms back until there was a cracking of bone, and the beast screamed as a great bonfire seemed to erupt from its mouth and Uthas's helmet. Its scream trailed off as the fire consumed its throat and the head. It collapsed into a pile ashes, the armoured knight falling through it, flames still dancing around his armour.

Threnn sat quietly, holding Bricu and staring at the pile of ashes and metal. A lone geist crested a mound of snow near her, but as it prepared to leap the shot of a rifle tore through its head, felling it. The paladin couldn't see who had fired, but she guessed Ulthanon or Beltar. She couldn't seem to tear her eyes from the smoking remnants of the struggle. When the armour started moving it was all she could do not to laugh. Of course. Uthas stood and began to walk toward the great warbear still waiting for him. He staggered at first, one leg seemingly twisted under him, but as she watched it seemed to straighten and strengthen with each step. He swung up onto his bear and ushered it toward her. "Tell him that is now six meals he owes me."

She watched his back as he rode away, toward the banner of the Eye. She spoke quiet words. "This changes nothing." Even she could hear the doubt in her voice.
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Re: The Wrath Gate

Postby Bricu » Sun Oct 04, 2009 1:58 pm

Warmth spread from the center of his chest down to the tips of his fingers and toes. It jolted him awake, and Bricu saw Threnn smiling over him. For a moment, Bricu forgot the war going on around him. The Death Knight on the snarling white warbear, riding back to the line reminded him of where they were. Threnn's eyes went back to the Knight. Bricu followed them, and he knew which member of the Eye it was. He started to sit up, grinding his teeth as he reached for his axe. Threnn helped him to his feet, shaking her head. "Not now love. We have to go. All of us." Bricu hesitated, watching Uthas ride back to the rest of the Eye, holding open a gap that would let the Riders flee to saftey.

Bricu said nothing. He left his axe in the snow, and took Threnn's hands as she helped him to his feet. Standing, Bricu looked back towards the ruin that was their ballistae perch. There were more bodies of the scourge behind them. The tent used by Genise, Yva and Davien couldn't be seen anymore. Closer to where they now stood was another mound of scourge, the geists that had separated them. Their bodies were both slashed and burned. Bricu could only imagine what had occurred while he was unconscious.

"Love," Threnn said, "We have to get moving. Now."

"Aye." Bricu said with a nod. He picked up his axe and shouldered it before running down the hill.
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Re: The Wrath Gate

Postby Bricu » Sun Oct 04, 2009 1:59 pm

Varenna watched helplessly as Illithias lept into the necromancer, her axes swinging in different directions. One axe went into his staff, the other crashed into his skull. Both shattered into pieces. She landed on her feet and kept running. Varenna called after her, but Illithias didn't turn. She charged, head first, into the mass of skeletons that had regrouped around the shattered staff. Two skeletons reached out for Illithias' legs, nearly sending her to the ground. She kicked at one, giving her a moment to steady herself, but a moment was all the skeletons needed. The skeletons mobbed around her, once again tearing and pulling at her. Illithas could not get enough room to swing either axe, nor could she bring one up to shield her self from their talons.Varenna waded through the mass, calling up on the light to reduce the skeletons around Illithias to ash. She swung her sword at the ones that got to close. Two she bashed into pieces with her shield. Shortly, she was standing over Illithias. Before Varenna could tell her it was safe, Illithias rolled backward to safety. Then she leapt to her feet and lunged at Varenna.
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Re: The Wrath Gate

Postby Bricu » Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:00 pm

Threnn felt the baby kick again as she descended the slope. It was a small comfort--that her baby was still capable of kicking--as she watched the Eye mow down the remaining Vrkyul and Scourge, clearing a path for the Riders. Threnn held her breath as the Red Dragonflight swooped down from the southern edge of the Dragonblight, burning away the Forsaken's green mists. Threnn's heart raced as she heard the sounds of battle were replaced by with the screams of the dying. But at the rally point, she was safe. She could breath normally and find away back home, to the Pig and Whistle, to a warm hearth at the Gilded Rose... She stopped the thoughts from taking hold. There were Riders to account for and wounded to care for.

She looked over the assembled Riders, her eyes resting on Annalea and Fingold, and did a quick head count. Two were still missing. Bricu started to pull her towards Annalea and Fingold when Threnn pulled back.

"Varenna." she said.

"What, yeh don't see 'er?" Bricu asked

Threnn scanned the pockets of fighting, praying that the Varenna was not among the ones screaming on the battlefield. Threnn paused briefly while Annalea and Fingold rushed forward to meet them. Threnn took a step forward, away from Annalea's arms, while she looked for the missing riders.. Then she saw Varenna's tell-tale glow and the figure that loomed over her. The light reflected off of Varenna's shield as moved it in time with the axes swirling around her. Varenna was defending herself against Illithias.
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Re: The Wrath Gate

Postby Bricu » Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:01 pm

Varenna raised her shield and blocked both of Illithias' slashes. "Il-Illithias! Stop!" Varenna shouted at her. Illlithias snarled in response and swung her axes again. Varenna blocked one axe with her shield. She parried the other, beat the haft of the axe hard enough for Illithias to drop her second axe. This didn't stop her. She grabbed her remaining axe with both hands and swung with all of her might at Varenna. Varenna neither parried nor raised her shield. She took two quick steps backward out of the arc of the axe. It slammed into the ground, kicking up a great gout of snow. Still snarling, Illithias pulled back up on the axe with both hands.

"Stop! We have to go!" Varenna shouted. "Illithias! We're leaving!"

Illithias pulled the axe half-out of the snow. She stopped snarling long enough only to spit out, "I'm staying." She tugged once more before Bricu slammed his own axe onto the haft of her remaining axe.

"Get yer arse back t'the fuckin' line long ear. Sunshine, get movin'."

"Not till she moves, Sergeant." Varenna replied.

Bricu stopped short of a response as Illithias leapt at him, fists swinging, screaming in Darnassian. He caught her by the wrist and held her gaze for a moment.

"The fuck yeh screamin' 'bout?"

"LEAVE ME HERE!"

"Fuck this." Bricu said. Then he slammed his forehead into the bridge of her nose. Twice. Illithias went limp, but Bricu held her up by her wrists.

"Sunshine?"

"Yes Sergeant."

"Carry the fuckin' tosser. I'll grab her axes."

"Yes sir."

Varenna took Illithias on her shoulders, and carried her back to the rally point. Bricu scooped up her weapons and double timed it back. Varenna rushed past Threnn, Fingold and Annalea and set Illithias up against a rock.

"Sunshine, sit on her."

"Sergeant?"

"Sit on her, I'm gettin' rope."

Bricu went to the makeshift medical tent and grabbed frostweave bandages. Varenna was kneeling on Illithias back when he returned, and although Illi had not stirred, Varenna still looked uncomfortable. He quickly tied her ankles together, then moved to her wrists. He motioned for Varenna to spin her over, which she did quickly. Then Bricu gently put a hand on her face and called upon the light to heal Illi's broken nose. She awoke with a start, cursing in Darnassian.

"Oi, the fight's over. We lost. Yer safe."

"To the Nether with you, Bittertongue. You stole my chance at absolution." Illithias snarled. She pulled against her bonds, but they held tight.

Bricu glared at her in response. Illithias didn't seem to notice.

"I can join my family, leave this world doing right, not have to suffer through their deaths and my fall and..."

"Yeh fuckin' stow this shite solider." Bricu said. He didn't raise his voice. "If yer life is so fuckin' cheap an meaningless, then I'm buyin' it."

Illithias stopped struggling and looked up at Bricu. "You what?"

"I fuckin'. Own. Yeh. Yer too fuckin' stupid t'see the worth that I do? Fine. I own it. Since yeh threw it away on shite move, I bought it on the fuckin' cheap."

"I am not going to be your property, your slave..."

"Slaves have value. Yeh only got potential. Yer an' investment--since yer too fuckin' broken t'be a person right now. An t'keep my investment safe.... Sunshine?"

"Yes sergeant?" Varenna whispered.

"Keep her in those bandages."

"Yes sergeant."

Illithias cursed again, but Bricu glowered at her. She fell silent after a few moments, but Bricu didn't turn away. Bricu held Illithias' gaze for as long as she could. When she broke, and lowered her head, Bricu continued to look at her.

"If she gets up," Bricu said sternly, "knock her out."
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Bricu
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Re: The Wrath Gate

Postby Bricu » Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:47 pm

(The ending needs work, so it may change)

---
She didn't stay still for long. After a few moments of relative silence once Bricu had walked away, Illithias resumed her struggling against her bonds. The Northman had used a lot of bandage, and cinched it all tight - there was precious little give, and the fabric was already freezing over from the soaked thaw. Varenna still kneeled on her back. Bound and pinned and twisting this way and that, the elf resembled an over-scaled fish thrashing away on dry land.

"Sun... ! Gah... ! Var... ! Varenna!" she barked, voice horse and strained from the angle.

From her vantange astride Illithias' torso, Varenna Sungale turned her head slight and looked down at Illi, addressing the filthy, bloody hair plastered wo her scalp and scarred ears.

"Miss Illithias. Please do try to be still. If you don't calm down, I'll knock you out and tell Sergeant Bittertongue you somehow got free."

Flopping heavily back into the slush and ice, Illithias let out a long, croaking sigh. She had stopped struggling.

---
With Illithias dealt with, Bricu walked back to Threnn. She was flanked by Annalea and Fingold. They were deep in converation, but Bricu managed to catch Threnn's last words.

"We have to see it." Threnn said to him.

"See what?" Bricu asked.

"The battlefield." Threnn said. "We...I want to see what happened."

"Threnny..." Bricu stopped himself. He knew the look. Threnn was set to go to the valley, regardless of what he said or did. From the looks of it, Annalea and Fingold would follow.

"Right. Then we go back. Threnn, stay behind me, Annie, behind her. Fin, anchor the rear."

Two northmen and two southron women descended the rough cut path to the valley of Angrathar. In the distance, they could see Dragon Queen Alexstrasza and her consort Korialstrasz holding court in the ruined valley. The began walking calmly, orderly, like soldiers. It was the smell of the fire and cooking soliders that shattered Bricu's resolve. Anthragar became Stratholme. There were no ruins or burning buildings, but there were soldiers writhing in agony from fire and from plague.

Bricu held out his hand to keep Threnn from running past time.

"No!" Bricu screamed. "Threnny! Stay back!"

Threnn did nothing of the sort. She walked up next to Bricu and looked down into valley. Bricu ground his teeth in response. Annalea and Fingold, whether afraid of Bricu or the view below, stayed back by a dozen paces.

"Oh light. Oh, Gods." Threnn said.

"The plague is burned..." Bricu stopped himself. "We can go."

Threnn continued to gaze at the ruin in the valley. She whispered, "They...They killed... They're screaming."

Bricu watched as soldiers from the Alliance and the Horde writhed in agony. He knew that the luckier ones would die after a few minutes of excruciating pain. The unlucky ones would scream and cry for water or mercy, only to die alone and in terrible pain. The smart ones--the ones Bricu identified with--ran down the goat path. Bricu unclenched his teeth to shout orders at the troops.

"Hold yer ground yeh tossers!"

"There's no ground to hold." Threnn said sharply, "They're all dying."

Bricu gestured to the soliders who had left their shields and swords on the valley floor. "There are ones runnin'. They need ta help with the burned an' the wounded."

"So do I." Threnn said. She marched down the path, with Bricu, Annelea and Fingold in step with her.

Threnn started looking over the soliders, trying to judge which one she could save and which ones were too far gone. Bricu interrupted her.

"Then we can drag 'em t'saftey."

She did not stop to look at Bricu as he spoke. She noticed a solider, Westfallian by the look of her, whose tabard had been burned away. Her armor partially melted to her skin. Her breathing was ragged and shallow.

"They don't have that kind of time." Threnn said softly.

She started to pray, calling upon the Light to heal this woman's wounds. The woman inhaled as deeply as her damaged lungs would let her. The air rattled in her lungs, a sound that Threnn could hear standing above her, and she was gone. Threnn let her prayer end before it was finished.

Bricu walked to her side, putting one gauntlleted hand on her shoulder. "Yer mum ta be. If they don't have the time, then they get The Mercy."

"Mercy?" What fecking mercy?" Threnn said, not too sharply.

It was Annalea who answered her.

"Mine."

Annalea stood, with Fingold at her side, a short distance away from her sister. She held her up a worn, brown leather satchel, full of pockets for vials, herbs and potions. "This is what I'm here to do."

Bricu nodded to her, Threnn paused. His hand still on his shoulder, Bricu whispered in Threnn's ear.

"Come on now love, we've got a job ta do."

Bricu pointed towards the mass of soldiers gathering near the Dragon queen.

"She's talkin' t'em. We need t'hear what she's sayin, aye?"

Threnn looked at the shields of the fallen soldiers around them, and avoided looking at her sister.

"All right." Threnn said, not meeting Bricu's eyes. She looked around the battlefield, trying to look for one person that she could pull to saftey. Threnn didn't see anyone.

"It feels wrong, leaving them." She said finally. She turned back to Bricu.

"We've done what we can..." Bricu said. He pointed out the fires that still burned sporadacicaly across the valley. "These aren't like Stratholme's fires. These are the fires o'the Queen." Bricu said, sounding as sincere as he could. "This lot will go on ta their rest. The rest o'us will just have t'keep workin'."
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