Freezing (Moved From ProBoards)

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Chrystenise
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Freezing (Moved From ProBoards)

Postby Chrystenise » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:36 pm

Night.

The feel of the chill in the air was permanent and bitter cold, like the knifeblade in the dark as it edges across your skin. Frozen in place stood the tall winter trees, ice coating them, glistening, as though rain had fallen and forgotten to leave. Creaking in the icy wind, frozen arms stretched out high into the sky, the trees seemed to be screaming. Icicles, stuck from their leaves, seemed as though they must drip blood.

I watched as the wolf came padding from the dark. His sunken yellow eyes burned dull like gas lamps; his nails were like rusted saws as they clicked in the snow. Steam rose from his ruined black coat as he stood there, panting, staring at me. Even in the darkness I could see the start of the Plague in him, in the blackened, stinking drool that fell from his lips; in the pus-filled open wounds that festered on him. I felt no fear.

The wolf stared.

My own furs flapped open with the wind as I jerked into movement. I let them slip free to the ground in a puddle as I raised up my arms, and stood there, naked and blue in the cold. The blue didn't bother me. I was always blue, and would have been disturbed at anything else. My dark hair swept back in long waves as the wind caught it too.

The wolf howled, a long razor note up my spine, and it charged. I screamed in response as I ran to meet him; it was my land now, not his. The sounds lingered in the bottom of the valley, my voice and his, and for a moment I could not tell the difference. No matter.

The claws ripped from my fingers, glistening. The black fur swept down my skin in velvet ripples. I dropped to all fours in my run as my legs and arms changed shape, and my scream became a roar as the predator's fangs filled my mouth. Too late the wolf realized his mistake. I lashed my long tail in glee as I tore him apart.

Later, drenched in blood, I shifted back. I was starting to get used to it.

I miss my sisters.

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Chrystenise
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Re: Freezing (Moved From ProBoards)

Postby Chrystenise » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:44 pm

Prelude to Her Passing

Sometime in the near-distant future...

The night was cold - winds whipping about violently as a light drizzle pelted the streets of Old Town in Stormwind. Nearing midnight, all was but silent now, save for the ruckus and blaring noises erupting from the Pig and Whistle, the loosely-acknowledged 'home base' of the Wildfire Riders.

Tiny feet dragged heavily up the stairs and into the building, slow and shaky in their movements as if the being they moved for was near the point of collapse. They rounded the corner and approached the inner steps, stopping a few feet before the main table.

It was Isi Underhill, The Scarlet Fox, The Hexblade... The walking dead?

She was slumped forward in tattered battle-leathers, scabbed and infected wounds raked across her once-perfect flesh, and her entire left arm was black with frostbite, said hand clutching tight to a fighting knife as if it could not possibly let go. He rhair was deshevelled and knotted, hanging wet before her filthy face, which was streaked with tears.

The assembled Riders just kind of stared at her in shock as their first reaction, and she took a step closer to the table, wincing with the movement. And then another, and few more, before she was standing before them all, shuddering heavily.

"I..I'm sorry..." She spoke abruptly, interrupting the first of the Riders who gestured to ask if she was well.

Following her words, she dropped a duo of items upon the table before them all - a pair of familiar glasses, and a small, red crystal, items both belonging to the recently missing Genise Crownsilver.

The silly girl, without warning, fled from civilization and into the Northern wastes, bent on proving herself to those she loved dearly, and feared no longer lover her as she did them.

And this was all the Underhill girl recovered after a month of Genise missing?

"I'm sorry..." she repeated herself again, beginning to cry even worse now as she turned and slowly dragged herself from the tavern, completely shrugging off any chance of help made in her direction, disappearing soon into the dark alleys of the city to lick her wounds.

The battle that ensued just to retrieve what she did was so brutal - she was lucky to be one of the two to survive.

Isi had left the Riders with something important though - something probably none of them wanted to face...

A hand reached out to take the crystal that had became known as Genise's 'Arcane replacement of the typical gnomebox, now with more features!' and it came to life, the recording of harsh, howling winds filling the ears of those sitting around it.

"Hello, whoever, hopefully my Rider family, but hopefully no one at all. Because if you've gotten this, it's the most dire of results in my expedition into Northrend. Hehe, that's so cliche..."

A sudden hush fell over those seated in the tavern. Even the Langstons got quiet, and Elly quit dancing to listen in.

"I've seen so little since my arrival here, but it's been nothing short of harsh. Already, I've been confronted thrice by a war band. Forsaken and some sort of humanoid, led by an imposing woman. I fought them once, and escaped with my life and many of them slain. She's so powerful though, wields a sword the size of something Chrystal would swing, all the while drawing upon frost magicks near the skill of some lesser wizards."

"They're on my trail, they never rest... I only fear the worst if I don't find a vantage point at which to take out that woman who commands them. I miss you all so much, and am beginning to regret this."

"I..I only hopes it makes you all think of me as you once did. As the brave, courageous young sorceress who fought with a passion that blazed brighter than her magicks. Not as the aloof, flippant, absent-minded whore so many have called or suggested me as being in the recent months. Light, I'm so cold... I..I just, never wanted any of you to dislike me. I always tried to make my family love me as much as I loved you all."

"Please give Atera a hug for me? Tell her that mommy loves her, and that will never change, even in my death. And when she's old enough to understand... Please tell her that mommy was brave, and did what she did for the good of mankind. Tell her... That being a good person isn't accounted in personal worth; it's accounted in the worth those you love see in you."

The room remained silent as she spoke, no movement at all, save for the hands of Ilarra Stormrunner, who slowly slid the sorceress' glasses into her hands, holding them close.

"They're coming closer now - I have to go. Ilarra, my partner in business, keep the Feather going, I suppose it's yours now. If this is the last you all hear of my voice, please know that I love every one of you, and that never changed, no matter how outcast I felt. I love you..."

A sudden explosion erupted from the recording, and an all-too-familiar, mousey battlecry sounded from the throat of the young sorceress, followed by hissing and screaming.

*click*

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Chrystenise
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Re: Freezing (Moved From ProBoards)

Postby Chrystenise » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:46 pm

Earlier This Week...

"Genise, the soulstone is fading, we should correct that, just in case!"

"Oh, right, dear. Go ahead."

Genise absently gazed about the rail system of Gnomeregan with a wary gaze. She'd taken a shine to assisting Illyana the Warlock in her adventuring through the Stormwind Active Adventure Training Group. Such an innocent lass for someone in her late thirties and very determined to put forth the effort needed to do the right things.

She was so sweet, you'd never know she was a warlock-- there was no evil in the girl at all.

...

A cruel smile subtly crept over the lips of the warlock as she slid her black-glowing hand to Geny's cheek and cupped. Genise shrieked in pain and slammed back against the wall, shuddering violently as the shadows slid into her body, infusing with her blood and aggravating that terrifying addiction of hers. Illyana grinned and pressed further, depleting her reserves of magick and opening wounds about her form to award herself with more - until finally, Genise collapsed to the floor, limp and shuddering.

Illyana cackled softly and wearily in triumph, and dropped to the ground, fainting from the agony of her own self-inflicted wounds.

Hours later, Genise stirred, trembling as she rose to her knees, staring out over the railway and down at the battered warlock, who gently spoke with fear and confusion when Genise climbed to her.

"Why? What did I ever do to you..? Why Lady Crownsilver?"

...

"She's hurt badly, please, care for her," Genise spoke wearily as she collapsed to the floor of the Cathedral, the warlock rolling from her arms and to the floor.

A priest rushed over and placed a hand on Genise's shoulder as she stumbled to her feet, "You as well, Genise, you're hurt."

She merely scowled and flung his hand from her shoulder, muttering something pathetic and stumbling away, nearly toppling over as she made her way from the cathedral.

...

Telredor, mid-day...

"Geny?" Ilanna Stormrunner quietly asked as she approached the magess, who stood at the ledge of the mushroom city, soaked to the bone, and eyes clenched shut.

She wouldn't say much, as she shivered and shuddered, still feeling the effects of the day before.

"Geny, what's wrong?" the round-a-bout of the conversation carried on for several minutes with Genise never really speaking much, or answering much, until finally, she opened her eyes...

"I relapsed..." She lifted her gaze to Ilanna, which held an eeried, pale-green glow about what used to be the whites of her eyes, an effect usually reserved to those of elven sight, but apparently very visible now before Ilanna Stormrunner, who sighed softly, tucking a soaked, pink strand of hair behind her ears and drawing Geny into a hug.

"Come on, babe, let's get you out of this weather..."

And she took Genise down to the middle of the city, to the home Ilarra had recently purchased - clothed her, dried her, and spoke with her at length about the situation the day before. She convinced the Sorceress of Elwynn that she was not terrible, or bad, or that she in no way meant to injure the Warlock girl.

She convinced the mage that she would battle this, and get past it, and as soon as Larra got home, she too would ensure the mage of their full support.

...

She slipped into her lab the next morning, still shivering, her eyes still alight with the glow, and onto a stool beside a close-by table, covered in books and all sorts of the half-baked magickal experiments she was becoming well known for amongst her upper-class peers.

Raya, her curly-headed young assistant had crept in behind her, sensing something wrong in the demeanor of her usually-cheerful teacher. She watched quietly as Genise flung a mess of the toys from the table and onto the floor, extending a hand and violently clenching a fist, tugging inward at the air as a pile of books exploded from the shelf, two of them landing perfectly on the table before her - and the others crashing to the floor.

"Ge..Genise?" Raya quietly asked, taking a cautious step forward - the tiny heels of the sandals Genise had gotten her for Winter's Veil clicking quietly on the floor.

The sorceress' hair danced chaotically into the air as her head whipped halfway around, and she shouted, "What?!" A force accompanied her harsh voice, causing bottles to rattle and the windows to shake - even blowing back Raya's robe a bit and forcing her to frightfully take a step back.

Raya whimpered softly and pushed a mess of curls from her eyes, which sprung right back into place as she shrugged, speaking in a tone so full of the same innocence the Sorceress herself once showed in life, "You... Look unwell. Would you like some hot cocoa?"

Genise sighed, and slumped in defeat as her fingers clutched at the half-opened book in her hands. Closing her glowing eyes, she whispered softly to her assistant.

"That would be lovely, Raya. Oh, and... Bag up all my enchanting dusts, and send them to a woman named Ashaia Daneigh. Send thirty gold with it, and a letter asking her to store it for me, she'll know what to do."

Raya smiled gently, and dipped her head in a nod. "Yes ma'am." And went to scoot away from the room.

"Raya?" The assistant stopped as her teacher spoke, and responded, "Yes?"

"You're a good assistant, and friend. I'm sorry I've been so crude to you lately."

A wide smile came to the young woman's lips, and she scurried from the room without another word. Genise turned back to her book, cringing in pain as a spike of agony drove through her mind; oh how she desired the taste of magick right now...

"I have to get away from you," she quietly murmured and turned back to her book, 'The Geography of the Frozen Wastes'.

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Chrystenise
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Re: Freezing (Moved From ProBoards)

Postby Chrystenise » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:46 pm

"Miss Crownsilver, are you okay?"

"I'm fine, Rayala, dear. Shouldn't you be resting before your examinations tomorrow?"

Raya sighed lightly as she leaned against the doorway to Genise Crownsilver's study, the laces of her modest gown twirled between her fingers. Genise Crownsilver was everything Rayala wanted to become in the following years of her life. She was successful, sexy, intelligent, and powerful. She had a life of adventure and drama, endless stories and and memory of places no normal being could hope to ever see.

Men and women alike desired her, and even a good few members of the nobility treated her like she was someone; even if it was just to get perks within the Silver Feather. Genise Crownsilver was some kind of amazing role model for the young Rayala Alleria.

The budding teen most definitely did not envy the sight before her this night, however.

"I..I was just... You've been hacking and coughing again..."

Genise was slumped at the desk of her study, shivering weakly. Her eyes were sunk back, and her skin pallid. Before her sat a cup of steaming liquid, and beside it, a pile of pinkish, flaky soul dust. Taking up a spoonful of the dust, she dumps it into the cup, weakly stirring it as she coughs, and then responds.

"I'll be fine, dear... You go and rest." She coughed weakly once again, whimpering. "I want you to do well tomorrow, yeah? We'll pick you out a new outfit, something silk, with new shoes if you do."

Part of being like Genise Crownsilver was being partial to fine clothing. Rayala wanted to resist and stay with her mentor, but she knew from nights past that it would do no good. Sighing softly, she nodded, and slowly began to back out of the room.

"Can we pick something from the Secret Shoppe?"

Genise smirked, amused. "Why, did you finally get the nerve to invite the Alexston boy out?"

"Weeeeell... He asked me, actually."

Rayala blushed and tittered softly, fixing her duplicate-of-Genise's glasses on her nose as the Sorceress of Elwynn responded light-heartedly, "Make him wait then, it's better when you wait. Taking something from the Shoppe isn't going to halt anything at all - trust me."

Raya's eyes widened and she blushed darker, "Of course! Not as if I'm old enough to indulge in such behavior yet anyways, miss Crownsilver."

Genise rolled her eyes. She knew more than people give her credit for. Coughing out soft laugh, she lifted a hand, waving over her shoulder.

"Uh-huh. Go now, bed."

"Yes'm, I'll see you in the morning."

Rayala gave one last look upon her idol, and smiled lightly. Soon, Genise was left alone, with her special brew. Waving her hand weakly, and drawing a tome to the desk before her, she sipped from the cup as the pages opened and unfolded to her desired reading; so lazy!

"I have found it," she quietly whispered, mouthing the words on the pages before her. "I have found the siphon to draw this curse from my blood. No more will the magick rule me, but I shall rule it."

Genise took another sip of the drink as the page turned. Already her skin was becoming healthy appearing, and her face more lively. It didn't do much to help her eyes, as a faint, green slow spread evenly through the whites.

"I have no name for this fungus I found. I'm in a distant, frozen land, far to the north of where the elves reside. A large, barren wasteland that appears to me as some sort of open tomb for deceased dragons. It was taken from the corpse of a slain dragon of the blue flight. No doubt, something of a release of the magick in their blood."

Genise's eyes widened. She knew about this book already, and had been studying it for weeks now. This high elven man who had claim to the discovery of a cure for arcane addictions. She had thought to meet him in person, though sadly, his life was taken years before in battle. All that remained were scattered notes of his findings.

"Like a sponge, it drew the addiction from my blood. I grew sick, for nearly two weeks, and feared I had been poisoned after ingesting the fungus. One morning, I awoke though, and I had never felt better before. As if all impurities in my blood were destroyed. It was truly turning over a new leaf, and my casting had not been affected in the slightest."

Genise groaned longingly for a release from her addiction. She knew it was becoming her downfall, and it had to be cured... There was still so much to do in life.

"I tried to harvest more of the fungus, but only managed to few more pieces. It seems to grow very rare, and upon mid-decayed corpses. Nothing fresh or too old had the growth upon it. To any and all suffering as I once suffered, I urge you to find what I found. It is truly joyous."

North of the elves meant only one place. Genise sighed, and finished her drink. She knew what had to be done. People wouldn't understand, no one would let her do this.

But she was going to, regardless...

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Chrystenise
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Re: Freezing (Moved From ProBoards)

Postby Chrystenise » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:48 pm

The words of the blonde rogue, Tarquin rang quite true when he spoke to the sickly Genise Crownsilver. She simply spent too much time these days looking into the guild from the outside. Her lifestyle had changed drastically in the past year and a half - and she went from a meager adventuring sorceress to someone who was seemingly important.

Loved by many in the Elwynn forest, which she fought so hard for against the Blackrocks, she soon became a known name around Stormwind. Finding a failed relationship with two different men of nobility (at differing times); the now deceased Andrew Wishok, and the now imprisoned Anthony Ridgewell, Genise secured her plans in opening the Silver Feather Social club.

All had looked well for a while, but Genise was hiding a secret. The allure of the arcane had taken hold of her, and she became severely addicted.

For the sake of her child, she's fought hard to cure this addiction - and recently came upon such a hopeful cure. A special fungus which grows within the decaying corpses of blue dragons. Sadly, the only readily available source would be found in the Dragonblight, a place in the frozen wastes of Northrend.

As her attempts to travel became increasingly well-known, her desires to not be followed north by her family grew troublesome. She needed a way to cure herself, and not be coddled endlessly during it all.

Thus, she sought help outside of the Riders - finding a man by the name of Alton Jerrish. A former member of SI:7, Jerrish was a most competent candidate for a recon mission such as this. The price was quite steep, and Genise gave him half his worth up front.

Danger was cast overhead however. Being a man who was more concerned with retiring early than he was making a name for himself, the question arose from Tarquin himself if the man could be trusted. Would he take the coin and run? Perhaps he would, and in addition sell out Genise's addiction to certain people who could surely ruin the upstart commoner turned wealthy merchant.

The speculation grew even more dangerous however, as the seeress, Ilarra Stormrunner herself had such a dream of this man betraying her beloved friend.

She could not let that happen.

Good man or not, Alton Jerrish wouldn't have the chance to bring harm to all Genise had worked for. He had to be stopped in one way or another...


The scene is set at the Menethil docks, out near the water on a stack of crates, a slender, slightly tall man sits, bundled in thin leathers and a rather large cloak. The weather is slightly chilly this night, and he keeps himself warm within in his cloak, a plate on his lap, and meat on the plate. Despite his roguishly handsome features, he has a bit of an unkempt beard growing in. Surely preparing to keep himself warm in the climates to come.

As he takes a bite from the meat on his plate, his green eyes narrow, glancing sidelong as one of the shadows cast by his lantern takes a seat on the crate next to him. A long leg extends and crosses over another, the faint silhouette of a foot dangling off of the end of it. A ghostly hand reaches up to adjust the strap of a dress, then moves down, squeezes fingers between round, shadowy cleavage, and withdraws a squashed packet of cigarettes.

Smoke flares off a match.

"Niceish sort of night, innit?"

"Aye," Alton quietly responded, eyes looking the tall, elven woman over as he lowers his meal down onto the tray. "Weather's perfect, great view of the stars."

"Gotta love those stars." A slight smile like an accident on canvas; a brief plume of smoke from the cigarette. "Don't believe I've seen you around here before."

Wetting his lips, his posture raised slightly, and his brow quirked. A man like Alton Jerrish didn't survive a decade in SI:7 off gullible actions - and when confronted by this; a woman of such form, grace, and the scars to make an Arena Warrior blush with shame - it was time to be on your guard...

"Passin' through. Reckon ya gotta reason t'be so high on me?" he asked, in a polite, but cautious tone.

"That I'd have." Another ghost of a smile, then disinterested silence, the cigarette rising to dark lips again. Light glitters on the rims of the shadow's glasses as she smokes.

"An' I kin it don't involve a bed." He smirks faintly, seemingly just a man with one hand now as the first of two disappears almost too subtly. "'Ow can help, miss?"

"Oh, a bed, huh? I'm flattered," says the shadow, and giggles faintly-- just a bit unsettlingly, too high pitched. "Where'd your other hand go, Alton darlin?"

"He's a bit skittish around pretty poisons," he quietly responds, his expression keeping neutral. "If this is bein' about the dame with the flamin' locks, piss off, ya ain't gettin' my contract."

"Oh, deary me. You're on quite the wrong track there, luv." Another giggle, like icicles on a blackboard.

"Well. More or less, anyhow."

He nods his head gently, brow rising as the tone of the Shadow's laugh chills over his skin. His hand relaxes faintly, but his posture remains guarded.

"I'm listenin'..."

"The redhead's a friend of mine."

"Shoulda guessed that, I kin smell 'er on ya."

"Yeah, she's got good perfume. Mr. Jerrish, I'll get to my point. How come you're on this contract?"

Alton sniffs lightly, readjusting his posture in an assuring manner, touching a visible hand to his chest.

"'Cause she was lookin' for someone good at their job, an' the pay she's tossin' is worth the risk."

Alton sniffs lightly, readjusting his posture in an assuring manner, touching a visible hand to his chest.

"'Cause she was lookin' for someone good at their job, an' the pay she's tossin' is worth the risk."

"Providin' I live? I'll retire m'happy arse in Booty Bay."

The shadow shifts position finally, uncrossing her knees and crossing her ankles in their stead, heeled feet angling sideways on the dock. She pauses, then carefully tucks her cigarette behind an earringed ear. "Did she happen to make an agreement with you regarding you being discreet about the mentioning of her business?"

His brow raises as she turns, and his eyes give her a full one-over; he is a man, after all. "She didn't - she suddenly worried about it?"

"I am."

He dips his head in a nod, tucking back a strand of sandy-blond hair behind his ear and speaking quietly. "Ain't my business to sell out a generous host, but if it's gotten ya worried, I kin be pursuaded."

"Persuasion, huh?" A softer giggle, more calculated, as the shadow very casually arches one long leg.

His eyes carefully wander, and a smirk crosses his features as he responds, "Money is the preferred option. Nah need in sellin' yer dignity to a nobody."

The shadow gives another of her odd giggles, then smiles playfully. "What are you, sly? Well, I see. Even so, got anywhere private we can go to talk?"

He finally lets his defense down, slightly, in the form of an amused laugh. "Sly, eh? Na so much. But when a gal of yer caliber shakes her tits at me? She's up ta somethin'."

"We're private enough here, ain't no one aroun' at all."

"Yeah? So, what, you want me to just drop my dress out here in the open, hm?" The smile stays firmly in place, playful, slightly shy, and creepy as hell under the shadows.

"Now yer tryin' to make me famous." He chuckles lightly, lifting up a small portion of the netting beside him on the crate.

"Only way I'm goin' naked in a room with yer mysterious self is with ya tied up."

"Mm, no, I don't think so. Tell you what..." As if on cue, one of the straps on her dress slips off her shoulder. "C'mere and give me a kiss, we'll start with that."

His eyes wander again, and he pulls in a deep breath, his voice low with warning as he speaks, "Jes' keep yer hands where I kin see 'em, aye?"

"It's the shadowy bits, innit? Poor thing, all intimidated. C'mere." She keeps smiling, like a crocodile.

"Heh..." He slowly leans forward, one hand still hidden, and stops just before those poisonous lips, speaking quietly. "Ya don't trust me one bit, lass."

"Not an inch." Her lips purse; she winks.

"Then why the games?" He doesn't move as he asks, eyes locked on the shadow elf's.

"'Cause you're cute." A hand trails up Alton's shoulder. "If I'm doing my friend a favor, I may as well do my ownself a favor too, hm?"

"Now yer bullshittin' me." He chuckles, and finally leans in, lips locking against Ilarra's in a firm kiss! What could be considered a 'devious grin' comes to Ilarra's lips, and shadows slowly form overhead. Moaning softly, she slides a hand around the back of his head, fingers tangling within the rogue's hair...

Alton had been prepared to fight off any attack from this exotic woman, but he was anything but prepared for what he had faced that night.

Losing your memory can be hard, especially when someone else is deciding which memories you're losing.

Luckily for him, he awoke in an alley the next day, no recollections of the job at hand, or the large pouch of gold that was now missing from his side. Apparently, that was an amazing party he put on at the Rose the night before. Time to go and find some coffee for the headache.

Ilarra herself knew Genise would be disappointed. But ultimately, she knew the sorceress would understand her concerns.Having the gold back would help as well - explaining to the tax collectors where the sum of ten-thousand of the Feather's gold went was not going to be an easy task for Genise.

Nor would be recovering the fungus without endangering those she loved. It'd happen somehow, however - it'd have to happen.

For Atera's sake.

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Chrystenise
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Re: Freezing (Moved From ProBoards)

Postby Chrystenise » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:49 pm

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"Good afternoon, miss Crownsilver."

Adrian Baroft looked up from his papers with a faint smile coming to his lips. Proudly, he smoothed out his jacket, bearing the emblem of the Scarlet Crusade.

"Please, have a seat and we'll get started."

Genise nodded, smoothing out the hips of her tight, long-skirted dress, and settled into a seat across from the Scarlet diplomat. She flashed him a soft smile, crossing her legs and folding her hands over the small handbag that was now in her lap.

Lacing his fingers together and resting them on the desk, his eyes followed the sorceress' movements until finally he spoke. "I understand you've shown interest in a diplomatic mission with the Scarlet Order into the frozen North?"

"That is corrected," she responded, dipping her head in a nod.

"May I inquire as to why you'd prefer such a journey, being that you're so well-to-do here and now?"

Genise nodded again, and took in a gentle breath of air. While her main reasons were her own, she knew they'd not be well received. The Scarlets would want to hear things in their favor before risking the bad press of having a semi-famous Stormwind citizen die on one of their expeditions.

"Well, mister Baroft," she calmly answered. "As a citizen of Stormwind, and well-traveled adventurer who has many friends from the Northlands, the destruction of the scourge has become a personal goal for me. I'd be more than glad to assist the Crusade in this goal."

"I can assure you the Scarlet Onslaught is more than capable of handling the scourge. I'm unsure that it makes much sense to risk negative publicity on the Crusade if something were to happen to you."

Genise sighed softly, she expected such words. Fortunately for the Sorceress of Elwynn, magick was the only thing that made her so well-known.

"You're missing the point, mister Baroft." Genise spoke in a pleasing tone, having subtly leaned forward just enough to alter negotiations in her favor as she continued.

"Publicity is exactly what you want, dear. Having me on the expedition can only help things in your favor. Madame of the Silver Feather and well known Sorceress working with the Scarlets in Northrend? Such an obvious show of trust and willingness to work along-side the Alliance is sure to look good for your people. And trust me, facing what I've faced in the past three years - you're not going to lose me to a few zombies, dear."

Adrian did his best to not grumble in response to Genise's words. While she was right on certain points, it was still a risk. Between shaky Alliance relations, and the girl's association with Tarquin Ap Danwyrith and Chrystal Kaleigh - a set of ill-received names to most Scarlets, the possibilities of a miniature war was quite a big one. Already blushing in response to the woman's wiles though, he really had little choice but to think with the wrong head.

"Give me time to consult with my superiors?"

Genise smiled, nodding gently. "Very well, mister Baroft."

Adrian smiled, and tucked a strand of blond hair back behind his ear, gesturing casually with his hand, "Perhaps a discussion later this eve, over dinner?"

Genise smirked, adjusting the glasses on her face. Somewhere deep inside her mind, the sounds of a fishing reel played loudly like music.

"I'd be most delighted, mister Baroft."

"Please, just Adrian."

"Mmm, Adrian. Should I expect an escort?"

"At nightfall."

"Excellent, dear. I'll see you then."

++++

Dinner was of no real importance that night. Genise played herself, and Adrian, as many men, was deeply intimidated, thus a gentleman. Completely swayed by the charms of the sorceress, it was agreed that she would, indeed, travel north with the next ship.

It was a week ago to this day that she left, leaving behind a letter on her desk, addressed to Rayala.

Dearest Student,
It is with a heavy heart that I say good-bye.
I've gone north, to the frozen wastes of Northrend, and I
can only hope for a safe return. My addiction has grown
too strong for my mind to control any longer. There is no
hope for me now. There is only one means of beating what
has consumed me. I venture to the Dragonblight, in search
of the decaying body of a blue dragon. It is there that my
savior shall be found. It is there that I will become once
again proud to call myself Genise Crownsilver.

The others will not understand, so i have not
informed them of my journey. I leave that in your hands,
as well as I leave you with the tasks you made clear to me
that you are ready to handle. Aryk will watch over my dear
Atera, but as of now, my part of the Silver Feather is in
your hands. You are smart, talented, and such an
amazingly beautiful you woman, you will possibly surpass
even my potential one day, and make me proud of you.
I go now, Madame Rayala Alleria, and I trust you to not
fear for my safety. I shall return soon, I promise.

Love Always;
Genise Astera Crownsilver

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Chrystenise
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Re: Freezing (Moved From ProBoards)

Postby Chrystenise » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:50 pm

"She's gone, and she's not coming back."

"No."

Ilarra Stormrunner turned her back to her own shadow as she undressed for bed. It laughed at her.

"You're a very silly woman."

"I'm a girl still, thank you. You're the old one. And silly is as may be, besides." She slipped naked under the covers and raised a hand between her breasts, touched her fingertips to the pendant there. "I'm still the one in charge tonight. Go find her." The shadow snarled sharp kaldorei teeth at her, then vanished.

She rested her head back against her pillow. It was the softest she'd been able to find, like fluffy air, but it still felt too hard. Her hand closed around the pendant.

There'd been two of them, both cut from the same shadow pearl by the best jeweler she'd been able to find, carefully shaped and polished into twin crescent moons. She'd worked the magic, hung them both on strong chains, and kept one around her neck as a symbol of her faith. The other had been given to Genise as a Winter Veil present. She'd told Genise it held a tiny piece of her shadow; a little part of her to carry with her always. She'd carefully not mentioned to Genise that, for a person– a seeress– with a strong sense of self, sending a little part of themself with someone else would make that someone else quite easy to locate.

The above paragraph is what's known as plot exposition. Usually it occurs in the form of dialogue, one character "in the know" explaining to the cast's resident clueless character exactly what is happening, but this isn't a requirement. It's a rather good trick, isn't it?

The situation sucked, but at least she'd seen it coming...

She closed her eyes...


Ice crackled on the ropes and wooden railings of the Bloodspear as it churned through dead seas, ever northward. The scarlet sails had been frozen nearly rigid, but still the ship sailed on in quiet night.

Down the hatch, down a narrow creaking corridor, to a room...

The cabin, one of many, was built tiny— to make room for many. In the narrow, uncomfortable bed, wrapped in furs and a thick blanket, Genise Crownsilver was fitfully finding sleep. She was accustomed to better.

She stirred as the silhouettes of familiar arms pulled her into an embrace, as insubstantial soft lips touched her cheek. She murmured in her sleep. "Not right now, Larra. Gotta make the ship in time..."

The lips touched at her ear. "You're aboard it, beautiful. Wake up."

Genise's eyes fluttered open. She blinked, then rolled over, squinting without her glasses. The shadow smiled at her. She smiled back sleepily.

"How'd you get here?"

"You brought me. I'm shadow projecting." Wispy fingers reached and touched between Genise's freckled breasts, pointing out the black moon pendant nestled there.

"Oh... Right, heh."

The magess blushed and sat up in bed, touching her own hand to the pendant. "I couldn't bring myself to leave it behind. Made me think too deeply about if I never came back."

"Promise you'll keep wearing it?" The shadow's fingers rose to touch a freckled cheek.

"Of course." She smiled and squinted harder to see the shadow. "Just don't use it to send anyone after me."

There was a pause. The shadow's voice sounded again, echoing slightly with indignant pain.

"Why didn't you tell me you were leaving, Gen?"

"Because I knew you'd attempt to stop me." Genise sighed and pulled her knees up under her cheek. "You wouldn't have let me leave, 'Larra. You and I both know that."

"You didn't even leave me a goodbye." Pained was joined by betrayed. "I had to find out from Raya!"

Another pause; they stared at each other. Genise managed a hopeful smile.

"What did you think that last night we spent together was?"

"A... a goodbye, of course. I mean—" The shadow paused to light the silhouette of a cigarette, frowning. "I mean, I knew, but you could have at least told me. Was a letter too much to ask? You left one for the girl." A plume of smoke shot up from the shadow's lips, scentless and textureless.

"You'd have found it too soon." Genise whimpered; her voice raised slightly. You always notice when something is out of place!"

"So you just left? Without a word. Why are you even going?"

The dramatic moment dropped on the room like a hammer, possibly one made of lead. Genise's eyes lowered, as did her voice, falling to barely a whisper.

"Because I'm losing my hold. It's coming much faster, and if I don't fix it immediately I won't live to see Atera's third birthday."

"Gen— Love—" The shadow's voice went pleading. "Why didn't you let me come with you?"

"Because you're all making a much larger deal of this then it is." The magess hugged tighter around her knees. "What could possibly go wrong in a place where nothing is alive? One quick pluck of some fungus, then I portal myself back to Stormwind. But if I bring another, and something does manage to go wrong, how do I accept responsibility if they can't escape?"

"...How long did it take you to work out that bullshit?"

"Longer than it probably should have taken..."

Genise started to cry, just very lightly. The shadow's face softened, and she tossed aside her cigarette– it evaporated into ordinary darkness– then pulled Genise into a soft hug. Freckled cheeks buried against the shadow's shoulder.

"I never wanted this to happen to me. I only wanted to become better..."

"Please come back, Gen?" The shadow's hands rubbed at her back. "Please? We'll work things out, I'll help you, we'll take an expedition and go in force. Please?"

"I can't do that, Larra." Genise sniffled, then sobbed again, whimpering mousily. "I'm a capable woman!"

"You're the most brilliant and talented woman I've ever met. You're also going into the most dangerous place in the world... There's a reason there's nothing there that's alive. Gen, please, let me help..." The shadow's voice was both soothing and desperate.

"If I go home now, 'Larra, there might not be enough time for me."

"Why've you got to make sense all the time?"

The sat together for a while in silence. Genise's tears gradually increased.

"Goddess, you're scared, aren't you," said the shadow, compassionately. Genise shuddered with another soft sob. "Shh, hey— listen?" The mage's gaze slowly rose again, red and watery. The shadow kissed her.

"I'm gonna be honest, these next few moments. Okay? Completely and truly honest."

Genise nodded, sniffling. The shadow pursed her lips a moment before continuing.

"We're in a story right now, a pretty compelling one. This is the story of the brave, beautiful young sorceress, going valiantly into danger to save herself, protect herself from unfair circumstances so she can stay with her daughter, her other loved ones. 'S a damn good story, but... stories like this, one way or the other there's a chance this's the last that we'll see each other for some time. So I'm gonna tell you exactly how I feel, because I'm not going to have the angst of Never Expressing My Feelings, even if you did try to sneak off without a word."

Genise nodded again; swallowed against further tears.

"I love you, Genise Crownsilver. Passionately and painfully, love that burns away my mind with terror you'll be harmed, that puts my in bliss when we're near each other. I came back from being dead, and the very first person to be kind to me– the one who's never stopped since– that was you. I wish to Elune I was there with you." Another pause; a gentle thumb brushing away tears. The shadow peered into Genise's eyes. "Understand?"

Genise promptly started crying again.

"Hey, stop that— I wasn't done. Gen..."

Genise squeaked mousily. "Sorry." The shadow kissed her again.

"Shh, it's okay. You already knew that first part anyway, the second bit's more important. 'Kay?"

"Okay..."

"Good. Here's this, then— We are going to see each other again. You are going to get through this, you're gonna be fine. I know this because I know you, Gen Crownsilver, and you're as afire as your magic is. You burn rather a great deal too brightly to have your light snuffed out by a bunch of lame snow and death and dragons, and well besides that, you're the hero of this story. Heroes don't die." The shadow smiled. "Also, I'm a seeress— I'd know, right?"

"Who'd ever have thought the girl mothers warn their children about would be right?" Genise managed a small laugh as the tears streaked her cheeks.

"You would've. Not like you'd ever listen to warnings like that anyway. Trust me, right?"

"Mhm..."

"Believe me?"

Genise nodded weakly. "I believe you."

"There's my love."

Silence for a few moments, then the shadow winced. "I can't keep this up too much longer, you're too far off. Damn boat keeps moving, too."

Genise looked up in time to see the shadow's silhouette start flickering. "Within the week. I'll be home within the week."

"You'd better be." The shadow smiled a blurring smile. "I love you, Gen."

"I love you too, 'Larra," Genise whimpered.

"A week, right?" The blurring increased and the smile became more pained. The shadow was barely solid now. "Promise?"

"A week, I promise... Maybe a week and a day!"

"I'll be waiting..." The shadow's voice echoed tinnily, then dopplered into the distance. Her hugging arms went soft at the edges and blurred through Genise, then disappeared entirely along with the rest of her.

Genise cried quietly.

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Chrystenise
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Re: Freezing (Moved From ProBoards)

Postby Chrystenise » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:51 pm

Duskwood was dark, for three reasons. First, it was Duskwood. Next, it was night, past three in the morning. Finally, it was dark because of the storm.

It was a good storm. It had found a dark night to have all to itself, and it wasn't about to let an opportunity like that go to waste. Lightning zigzags flashed to earth between dead trees, sheets of cold rain insantly putting out the fires they caused.

The Night Watch, as ever, went solemnly on their rounds, waterproofed leather cloaks worn atop their blackened chainmail. It was too wet for cigarettes. On a night like this, one of them, Lieutenant Alexander Tregaine, was grateful he had the night off.

He was spending it, at the moment, asleep and naked facedown in his bed. Half underneath him, also naked, was the vividly crimson-haired girl he knew as Isi the mechanic. So far, she hadn't had the courage to disillusion him of this.

Thunder crashed over head. Lightning flashed white through shuttered windows, the wind howled like the air ducts in the coldest corner of Hell, and a sudden knocking banged loudly against the front door.

Pan back to the bed. Lieutenant Tregaine remains asleep, very soundly asleep. The girl known to almost everyone but him as Isi Underhill, Scarlet Fox, is no longer to be seen. Her voice can be heard, however, though it's difficult to tell from where.

"Fek, oh fek, they've come t'collect!"

The loud knocking continued, punctuated by more thunder, even louder. Lightning strobed the front entry, and Isi stood behind the door, now wearing a loose silken greenish robe. The dagger in her hand glinted silver in more lightning.

She slammed the door open.

"The nether ya want, fektard, I'm gonna cut yer ass!"

Rain and wind splashed the tiles under her feet. The storm, knowing a good thing when it was on to it, chose that moment to flash more lightning. It illuminated the ragged figure of a night elf in a soaked black dress.

"Hi."

Rain and tears streaked transparent on Ilarra's glasses. Gloved arms wrapped around slender shoulders as the rain continued to blow against her.

Isi's eyes shot open wide. She glanced nervously over her shoulder towards the bedroom, then jumped into the rain with the priestess and shut the door behind her. "Larra, the hells ya doin' here?!"

"He'll stay asleep. Let me in." Ilarra shivered and rubbed her hands against her shoulders, head bowed. "I need your help."

Isi eyed her for a moment, then swallowed lightly, nodded, and opened the door again, backing inside with it. "A'right. C'mon in..."

"Thanks, darlin."

The door shut behind them, muting the sound of the storm. They stood together in the dark. Isi could hear her friend's teeth clenching together to keep from chattering.

"...Can I git ya anything, kit?"

Ilarra barked a sardonic laugh.

"Yeah, you can. Genise."

Isi groaned. "Look, Larra. Two gals fightin', s'one thing. But when a head-fekker an' an elemental chef with a pension fer overcookin' are fightin'? I ain't touchin' that."

"You didn't hear, then." Ilarra's fingers shook as she withdrew the sodden packet of cigarettes from its place deep in her cleavage. She picked out a dryish one, then glared at it until it burst into flame.

"Nah, I ain't. What's up?"

Isi watched the cigarette tremble on its way to Ilarra's lips. The end turned to ash as the elf inhaled then coughed smoke.

"She's gone." She closed her eyes. "She went to Northrend."

"That fekkin' airbrain! The hells she do that for?!" Isi pinched the bridge of her nose, groaning.

"Some damn reagent for her sickness." Cigarette smoke began piling on the ceiling. Ilarra paused. "Someone needs to go after her."

Isi cringed. Her emerald eyes met Ilarra's blank silver ones.

"Me..?"

"You're faster than I am."

"Crafty, resourceful, quick-witted, tiny an' prone t'freezin'." Isi tried to tear her eyes away in avoidance of guilt. It didn't work.

"Sneaky as all hell, hard to see like a ghost, and can get there much quicker than I can."

The silver eyes were like spotlights. Isi groaned pathetically, withering in them.

"What am I gonna tell Xan?"

"Maybe you got called away on business. Please, Iss?" Ilarra's ears drooped, the silver ornaments piercing through them jingling lightly with the movement. Smoke curled around the ragged tips. "Please?"

Isi lowered her eyes. "Silly broad really outdid herself this time, aye?"

"Yeah."

Ilarra's shoulders shook lightly, and she looked away, tears in her eyes. The manipulation worked, and Isi groaned again.

"Fek... I'm gonna need some information, an' some cash t'get supplies, aright?"

The large pouch formerly held by one Alton Jerrish gave a very heavy clank as it dropped to the ground. There was obviously enough gold inside it to take care of both Isi's requirements, and then some. The thief stared at it, then grumbled.

"...Dammit, I'm gonna die in Northrend."

She moved into the living room and began uprooting the hiding places for her things— gadgets, trinkets, weapons; the tools of her trade. Ilarra followed her, watching blandly.

"People dying in Northrend is what I'd like to avoid, darlin."

Isi nodded as she pulled a large shotgun from under the cushions in the couch. "Is she gonna come willingly, or do I needa bring somethin' to knock 'er out?"

"If you can, help her get what she's after. Some lichen or something, should be easier for a thief than for a sorceress. Otherwise, yeah, knock her the fuck out."

Isi's head dipped in another nod, and she reached back under the cushions, withdrawing a heavy mallet. She stared at it for a moment, envisioning an angry Genise Crownsilver, then shoved it back under the cushions and pulled out a bigger mallet. She then moved to a bookcase and shoved several books aside, revealing a set of bracelets adorned by both whirring machinery and a variety of glass spheres in several colors. She picked one out with a sphere the color flame, and held it up.

"How cold, 'zactly, does it get up there?"

"Freeze-your-tits-off cold." Ilarra's eyes followed the bracelet.

Isi paused, then glanced into her loose robe, then grabbed a second, identical bracelet.

"Enchanted, are they?" asked Ilarra.

"Nah, machiney stuff. Heat generators. Jus' gotta be careful, they sometimes get too hot. Rather risk a one-third chance than a sure-fire freezin'-t'-death, though."

"Right." Ilarra stared at her cigarette without really seeing it. "Gonna hate me for this one, Iss?"

"Meh." Isi wandered into the kitchen and piled her equipment on the table, then turned back and patted Ilarra on the side. She couldn't reach the night elf's shoulder. "Geny's my gal too, kit."

Ilarra nodded and gave her a weak smile. "Need anything else from me, then?"

Isi paused. Her eyes traveled down the hall to the bedroom door.

"Yeh, actually. I do."

"Name it."

"If I make it back— make sure I quit lyin' t'Xan."

"No ifs, and it's a deal."

"Right... S'a deal, then." Isi nodded and reached into a desk behind Ilarra, pulling out a small sack, then turned back to her pile of equipment and started shoveling it in. "An' when I bring 'er back, kick the fekkin' air outta her head, ayuh?"

"Deal."

Ilarra smiled a sad smile and turned to leave, trailing smoke. Behind her, she heard Isi sigh.

"Hells, I'm a second floor type, not a ranger..."

"Better learn fast, then."

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Chrystenise
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Re: Freezing (Moved From ProBoards)

Postby Chrystenise » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:51 pm

Ilarra's shadow leaned against the wrong wall of her bedroom, watching her as she climbed back into bed. It laughed at her cruelly.

"So that's it, then? Just gonna send her off after her, no remorse or nothin'? I liked Isi, you bitch."

"She'll be back." Ilarra's head hit her pillow once again, but her eyes didn't close. The damn pillow felt too soft this time.

"Yeah, but Genise won't."

"You don't know that."

"I do, and so do you. Can't escape that, much as you'd like. You're too smart, and we're both proper fucked." The shadow reached between its cleavage and took out the shape of a cigarette, then lit it with the silhouette of a match. Wisps of black smoke climbed up the wall, dimensionless and scentless. "So my question is, why send her at all?"

"'Cause I don't trust myself." Ilarra reached under her pillow with both arms and bunched it up under her head, groaning tiredly. Arms still extended, she let her eyes trace the scars on one of her shoulders. "I've been wrong before, so've you, and so's Elune. And I have to hope."

Ilarra flopped on her side. Her arms fell in front of her, then hugged at the second pillow resting in place where Genise should have been. She sighed and closed her eyes. "So fuck off."

The shadow watched her face. "Question."

"Some of us need to actually sleep sometimes, you know." Her eyes opened again, narrowed into angry silvery slits.

"Yeah but, question." The shadow tilted her head to one side curiously. "How come you're sending Isi instead of going yourself? We both know you could get to Northrend just as fast as she could, despite what you told her. Maybe faster, even."

"For the same reasons Gen shouldn't be there. 'Twixt the Plague and the Scourge and the Blue Flight, magic's dangerous to use that far north. It goes wonky-shaped."

"Good answer. That's not the reason why, though."

"You already know why, don't play with me."

"I want to hear you say it."

Ilarra snarled. The shadow pouted, then giggled at her.

"Come on, please?"

Ilarra sighed tiredly.

"...Because even a worker of shadows has some shadows so deep she won't tread in them, and Northrend's the deepest. It's worse than the deeps in the Hand of Gul'dan, much worse than what's left of Zin-Azshari; there's more darkness, more hatred and pain, than the both of them combined."

The shadow smiled. Ilarra looked away and continued, though her voice fell to a whisper.

"...Because if I go into Northrend, it isn't going to be me who comes back. It'll be you." She looked back and bared her teeth again. "Can I sleep now?"

"Hell, I ain't stopping you."

"Thank you!" Ilarra squirmed and faced her back to the shadow, dragging the spare pillow along with her. The shadow smirked and lit another cigarette.

"Sweet dreams, darlin."

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Chrystenise
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Re: Freezing (Moved From ProBoards)

Postby Chrystenise » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:54 pm

Image

A gasp forced itself sharply from the lips of the Sorceress of Elwynn as she fell to her hands and knees behind a giant, flame-scarred
boulder. Her robes were tattered, and her hair deshevelled - and darkened stains of ichor covered most of the young woman's form in one area or another. Crimson streaks accompanied said stains, and there was no sure signs of the blood being hers.

A sharp, hacking cough followed, and she spit blood into the snow before whimpering in pain. A shaky hand clutched tight at her side-bag as she drew it around before her, spilling the contents onto the ground.

She'd dispatched the entire group, they had to be gone... But they keep coming back. The same faces; the same walking dead.

She was too weak for this fight. Fighting the addiction for the past week had completely drained her, and the last two hours of chase and defend had put her to beyond the limits of her body. She had to survive though; she had to make it home. She promised.

Sorting through different array of fetishes and potions, her hand clutching desperately at a small, fiery-hued crystal, the object well known as her 'arcane-improved gnomebox'. She had to speak one last time - promise or not, she had to let them know. Just in case.


"Hello, whoever, hopefully my Rider family, but hopefully no one at all. Because if you've gotten this, it's the most dire of results in
my expedition into Northrend. Hehe, that's so cliche..."


A faint crackle behind her, and she gasped, quickly turning to see nothing more than a small critter of some sort chasing it's prey. For
a moment, she envied the thing, whiching it were her in that position.

"I've seen so little since my arrival here, but it's been nothing short of harsh. Already, I've been confronted thrice by a war band.
Forsaken and some sort of humanoid, led by what could only have been a death knight. I fought them once, and escaped with my life and many of them slain. The knight's too powerful, though, wields a sword the size of something Chrystal would swing, all the while drawing upon frost magicks near the skill of some lesser wizards."

They're on my trail, they never rest... I only fear the worst if I don't find a vantage point at which to take out that knight who commands them. I miss you all so much, and am beginning to regret this."

I..I only hope it makes you all think of me as you once did. As the brave, courageous young sorceress who fought with a passion that
blazed brighter than her magicks. Not as the aloof, flippant, absent-minded whore so many have called or suggested me as being in
the recent months. Light, I'm so cold... I..I just, never wanted any of you to dislike me. I always tried to make my family love me as much as I loved you all."

Please give Atera a hug for me? Tell her that mommy loves her, and that will never change, even in my death. And when she's old enough to understand... Please tell her that mommy was brave, and did what she did for the good of mankind. Tell her... That being a good person isn't accounted in personal worth; it's accounted in the worth those you love see in you."

They're coming closer now - I have to go. Ilarra, my partner in business, keep the Feather going, I suppose it's yours now. If this is the last you all hear of my voice, please know that I love every one of you, and that never changed, no matter how outcast I felt. I love you..."


Her words were suddenly cut short as she felt the grip of a talon-like hand on her shoulder. Jerking her back roughly, she dropped the stone, and her glasses. In her clawing resistance, she managed to grab a potion and a small chain fetish, crying out in pain. Quickly spinning to face her foe, she shoved her fist into its gut, unleashing a powerful fireblast that practically melted the animated golem, sending the remaining bones clattering and rolling down the hillside.


Cringing in pain, she spun back around to face the oncoming moans and wails of the walking dead. The same ones she had destroyed thrice already - limping and dragging along towards the young sorceress.

Whimpering, she popped the top from the potion and quickly quaffed it down, appearing slightly refreshed as several of the wounds across her body closed and disappeared.

"C'mon then," she cried out demandingly, ripping her sword from it's scabbard, and squeezing the off-hand fetish tight in the other.

The scourge beasts poured forward over the rocks and towards the sorceress, who swung her sword in a wide arc, flames rushing across the ground and sending the entire, burning first wave flying back into the rocks, destroyed and useless. Genise groanbed softly as more poured in her direction. Taking up the sword and fetish, she dropped to her knees, eyes clenched shut, and lips moving as she began chanting a very swift-spoken and fluid ritual.

The scourge closed in. She could feel their hands grabbing and clawing at her flesh. Undeterred, she continued to chant. Something blunt struck her in the head - but she didn't move. Even as the trickle of blood from the blow wetted her lips, she refused to stop. It was her last chance; there was no other escape now.

The snow melted around her knees. The scourge attempted to take and pull the mage away from her position, but she didn't move. Her chant finished, and she suddenly screamed.

It wasn't a shrill, mousy shriek. It was really more like a roar.

One after one, the scourge began to ignite and crumble, ashes upon the rock beneath them that was now lined with cracks, glowing with molten heat, like the waves of a paladin's divine consecration.

Desperation is a powerful motivator...

Three Days Earlier...
Image

"Indulge me," the dockhouse clerk said, "You don't seem like someone who'd typically come out to a place like this. What's so important that someone of your obvious breeding would want, or even need, to plant yourself in the middle of a hellhole like Northrend?"

Genise paused in her steps and slowly turned to face the voice of the woman who had escorted her from the docks of the tiny port settlement, away from the chaos that was the port. She wasn't really in the mood to talk - the weather was worse than Dun Morogh's, and the cravings of her addiction were weakening her further with every passing day. She just wanted to get this done, return home, and go back to her dearly missed family.

A pleasant smile forced it's way across her lips as she turned back to the woman, glancing her over. She had a friendly though manicured look; her bearing was that of a harried quartermaster, and when she had greeted Genise earlier, she had been scrawling on a tablet, making occasional jerks of her head across the dock traffic, and back to her writing, as if her frenzied shorthand was sorting out the near-pandemonium.

"Oh, um..." Genise stammered, "I'm here with the Scarlet Envoy," The woman adjusted the fur cloak upon her shoulders as she shifted on heeled feet. (Author Note: Yes, even Genise's boots have heels.)

The woman nodded, though she eyed the red-haired sorceress with a clinical expression.

"I'd advise keeping a low profile around here," she said, "your people talk a good game about setting differences aside, but agreements with the Dawn notwithstanding," She gestured across the port, "Everyone is still watching their backs around the Scarlets. But, since you're here, I can see about getting you whatever information it is you need so that you can be on your way."

Genise smiled, hair whipping wildly amidst a gust of wind. "Oh, heh. I'm not really here to poke around much or anything." She shrugged, "I'm just... well, a diplomat of a sort, a...good will ambassador, you know?" A soft laugh passed by her lips, "Probably won't even notice that I'm here!"

The woman smiled good-naturedly, though it didn't quite reach her eyes, nodding her head. "Glad to hear they've the consideration to send someone decent, then." She grimaced, "If you ever tire of their...unique...brew of overzealous dogmatism and adolescent bullying, you ought to try a few of the noisier establishments in town. Your friends have a noted aversion to good company."

Genise bit into her lip, watching the woman pensively. The sorceress was usually very good at reading people, but there didn't seem to be much to her, really--if anything, given her harried and slightly flushed appearance, and the cheery attitude that seemed only somewhat forced, she seemed eager to be conversing with someone other than a sweaty dockworker or a military adjutant; a few minutes away from the noise below.

She decided; she might as well say something. She wouldn't last another week at this rate, and needed to find the Dragonblight.


"Well, to be perfectly honest," she slipped a hand into her robe, drawing out a rolled-up map. "I'm not a Scarlet myself."

The woman's thin brow perked with interest, and her lips tugged upward slightly at the corners, "Naturally. They can't stand on their own feet. What're you helping them with?"


"I'm more or less... Well, eye-candy, I suppose." She laughed softly, hips shifting in a slight pose - perhaps overdoing her attempt to be friendly, but Genise was Genise. "I'm actually on a personal mission for myself, and decided to help them along the way here, in exchange for a reliable ship to this land."

The woman gave a slight chuckle, eyeing Genise and folding her arms. "Your business is your own, but what is it you're after?" She tilted her head slightly, flicking her gaze in something not entirely unlike a wink. "Trying to make contact with Dalaran?"

Pegging Genise immediately as a spellcaster was nothing unusual. The gilded spellbook and the highly ornate sword on her hip was a good enough indication for a guess.

Genise's brow perked in interest, making a mental note; she hadn't known that Dalaran had any interests here at all, but that might be handy to know now.

"Oh, no, um..." She unrolled the small map and handed it over to the woman, tapping at the surface with a long nail. "Could you show me the quickest road to the Dragonblight?"


The woman's brow furrowed slightly as she eyed the young sorceress, and, calmly unfolding her arms, she placed her finger on the map, tracing a path as she spoke, "You're here, the Dragonblight is there..." She grimaced, "but the place you want to be is still probably right where you're standing...relatively speaking. I can't recommend a trip there, unless your reason is that dire."


Genise eyed the woman, who looked upon her with a worried expression, her lower lip tugging back as she bit into it. "I can promise you that I wouldn't be going if I didn't have to, miss."

The clerk eyed her for a second, narrowing her gaze and tilting her head to the side, as if attempting to read her, before smiling ruefully and shrugging. "Your funeral," she finally said, "In any case. Is it something special you're looking for? ...other than death by a variety of novel means?"

Genise laughed nervously, "Just a certain herb that grows there, and only there." She rolled up the map, and began organizing her gear, securing things in place with visibly trembling hands, mumbling, "making a special potion, heh..." She stopped fidgeting, and looked up. "I should be on my way now, though, miss... Miss, uhh, I'm sorry, I didn't get your name. I'm Genise."

"Mary." She gave Genise's hand, after proferring her own, a firm, friendly shake, and clapped her on the shoulder. "No stopping you. Best of luck, Genise."

Genise smiled, and turned to leave, but Mary spoke up, "Before you walk out there, you might want to stop by the barracks near the gates and get a chart showing you a waystation or three." She glanced over across the port, where a transport of Alliance-liveried men was disembarking. "You should probably get a bit of rest before you go, too."


Back to the Battle

There hadn't been any rest.

A sudden rush of brute force knocked Genise from her feet, sending her sprawling across the rock with a loud grunt. Opening her eyes, she barely had time to groan, before having to roll away from the smashing maul of the giant...the vrykul?...above her. She rolled away twice, then thrice to escape the blows, and expended a fireblast into the giant man's chest, sending him sprawling, but he shook himself off as if completely unfazed.

Getting to her knees, Genise's eyes went wide. Not because of the way the vyrkul shrugged off her spell, and was dusting snow off of himself as he glared at the smaller woman - but at the dark figure that loomed over the melee.

The death knight gazed straight down at her, mounted as it was on a decrepit steed who's eyes alit with a frigid blue, a black shape against a swollen moon, reached up with a gauntleted hand and pulled back the rune-enscribed cowl that concealed her face. Genise thought she was hallucinating.

It was Mary. The clerk from the port.

The pleasant conversation, the helpful advice - what had that been about? A ruse? What had she possibly let slip? Was she somehow set up for this?

Genise Crownsilver was angry.

"That...that's IT!"


Genise cried out with all the fury her mousey voice could muster, ripping her sword from it's sheathe - perfectly in time with a
powerful gust of wind that sent her hair and tattered robes whipping into the air.

"Well, I'm impressed," The knight's voice was blithely conversational. "Shame you couldn't just lie down earlier--this could have gone much more cleanly." The death knight glanced at the fuming vrykul, and then cast her gaze about the scattered tide of carrion. "Take her. Alive." With that, the skeletal steed reared up with a hollow whinny, and both beast and rider were gone from the hilltop.

The hulking vrykul, alongside a trio of staggering ghouls, advanced.

"Take me, then!" Genise shouted in retort, and swung the sword upwards, gripping the blade with one hand, a faint trickle of blood oozing over the blade as she began to chant - the broken, sharp-tongued words of the ignan language.


"Reth tu maga Zoern! Sunep'kosach gi os Mastrosum - Toro Ra... Torrath'unt!"

A wave of heat washed over the area as Genise's sword erupted into flames, as did the mage herself. It quickly subsumed however, in it's wale an imposing figure, skin tinted red, streaked with dark veins, muscles showing at every curve, and her eyes aflame. The vyrkul himself stalled, unsure about the situation now, and the unfamiliar invocation of the sorceress.

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Strength of the Firelord.
All mana is drained, as is a fragment of the caster's psyche.

The caster of this ritual abandons their sorcerous ways, trading them for the prowess of a warrior of equal strength. The caster's might and dexterity are increased to match their wizardly intellect, and they become a warrior of the same prowess. All blows can ignite the target, searing flesh and bone as quickly as any spell. This lasts for five minutes.


Someone had obviously indulged in the essence of fallen Ragnaros, even after warned against it. Nobody tell Tarquin, he won't be happy!

"Oh, wonderful..." the death knight's voice, over the inferno, rasped at the reeling vrykul and cowering ghouls, "Stop simpering! Take her down or I'll end you myself, cowards! You don't want that!"

The vrykul steeled itself, lowered it's gaze upon the humanoid inferno that was Genise, and charged.

The ensuing fury would have given the likes of Chrystal Kaleigh reason to be proud.

Again and again the Vrykul lashed out with a massive, heavy axe, aiming for some part, any part of the flaming sorceress. Again and again the weapon passed harmlessly through the flames, and warranted a white-hot slash from the molten blade it wielded.

It is a testament to vrykul stamina that the giant still stood after being pyroclastically vivisected.

Before it fell to steaming pieces.

Of the surrounding ghouls, nothing remained at all, the moldering flesh ignited simply by proximity to the inferno.

Genise Crownsilver collapsed with a groan. That was it. Her last resort.

And the death knight stood over her. In blackened, baroque armor, gazing down with passionless eyes set in deceptively soft features, now twisted sardonically.

"That was impressive, if melodramatic. I'm afraid, though, that you're coming with me now." The sardonic twist fell away from her lips, "We have a need for you."

Genise whimpered. Even if she didn't want to give up, she really had no choice. It couldn't end this way, it was too soon. Imperfect. The heroes in the novels never went down this way. They excelled, and succeeded, no matter the situation.

"Don't try to play the heroine, girl," came the biting, almost-too-insightful remark, "It's only going to make you look petulant. You're played out."

Petulance be damned.

Genise Crownsilver was the heroine.

With a half-mad cry, Genise swung the sword upward - but it was caught and forced down by the death knight's massive blade. Undeterred, she forced herself to her feet, against the down-thrust blade, and staggered backwards, nearly tripping, reared back, and brought her still-steaming weapon down towards her enemy's skull.

The death knight caught it again with her massive blade, moving with contemptible ease, holding her own weapon almost negligently in only one hand.

Genise dropped to her knee once more, gasping desperately, clutching her sword in both hands. Mary leaned down, mockingly, and stroked a metal-encased finger through Genise's desheveled hair.

"You're just going to ruin yourself, you know."

Genise snarled in protest, and flung the sword up again with sudden force. A thin line of blood drew itself across the knight's cheek.

With almost exaggerated astonishment, the woman reached upon to touch the otherwise-negligible cut, the blood barely visible on the black metal of her gauntlet. She scowled, it was the same sort of scowl you might see on someone who's just been asked to fill out a bit of extra paperwork, or has been sent to bed without dessert. She scowled, and placed her other hand on the hilt of her sword.

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It's strange when an obvious course of direction is interrupted, say in this instance - the lady death knight had Genise beat - it's obvious. Or perhaps not, as the simplest of arcane trickeries can sometimes turn the tables.

Genise cried out an incantation as she gathered herself, a wave of cold blasting outward and encasing her foe's feet in ice. The sorceress exhaled sharply, staring dead into the stunned death knight's eyes, as she attempted to move her frozen feet with little luck.

The fiery mage whispered, "this isn't over," and turned away and blinked across the terrain.

But no sooner than Genise could realize that her bag and hearthstone had been ripped away in the recent battle, she felt a sudden whoosh of air.

The death knight stood a good thirty paces away, empty hand extended towards her. The giant sword, hurled with amazing force, smashed blade-first into the ice beneath the sorceress' feet.

And the world went white.

The death knight, stomping the clinging ice from her greaves, trudged forward, and almost tenderly extracted her runeblade from the ground before the frost-encased sorceress, who's expression was as shocked as it was frozen.

"Game."

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