Journals of Alhazred

Fiction based on the World of Warcraft game setting

Monday, January 23, 2006

Of Defias and Honor Betrayed Pt.3

Journal Entry

A fortnight to the day saw the fulfillment of my vow. Using my contacts within the Border Guard, I was able to locate four stalwart adventurers that shared my desire to see the back of the Defias broken.

Garibaldi was a promising mage whose sister had been defiled and murdered by a band of the thugs one lonely night on a stretch of the Elwynn road while making a journey to Stormwind.

Morrison, a battered and embittered young warrior whose twin brother had lost his life while safeguarding a caravan from Redridge, with a desire to fill the void in his soul with a river of blood.

Nathaniel the Priest, who forsook his vows of holiness and left his peaceful monastery to walk a path of vengeance when the young nephew he believed would follow him into the clergy was killed during a pilgrimage to the chapel of Northshire.

Ginner, a well trained rogue from Stormwind’s Old Town, rounded out our party. Cynical and prone to seemingly cruel acts, his generally self-indulgent life had come to a screeching halt when his wife, an equally accomplished rogue in her own right, had meet her fate at the end of a Defias knife after a disastrously failed burglary attempt of a Defias outpost.

We each entered the mine not with some glorious vision of heroism or civic duty, but in the service of Death. Thoughts of vengeance and retribution insured that no quarter would be given and even Nathaniel, the most likely to be conflicted with our path, showed a surprising ruthless practicality.

No, of them all, my own reasons for the slaughter we wrought were less than pure. Oh, I was true in my conviction to put to rest the spirits of Edward’s victims, but in the deepest part of my heart I knew I fought for another reason entirely… Edward’s madness resonated closely with an anger that had been with me for many years. As I watched the kingdom I was born to degenerate in decadence and the common people that were it’s backbone ground under the thumb of royal indifference, I found it all to easy to see the seductive lure of VanCleef’s rage. Given the power and will to make a change, I could not say that I would not rationalize the same acts in order to effect change.

Edward was a shadowy mirror of my soul posing questions to my conscientious that I was not ready to ask of myself. More importantly, he was a potential rival to any future plans I might have for power. His death would serve well to open door into the halls of power that my calling would normally close, so practicality if nothing else demanded his destruction. It was with these thoughts in mind that I followed my companions down into that den of corruption.

The upper level of the mine was an extensive network of excavations. As we moved deeper into it’s depths, we uncovered warren after warren filled with the bustling activity of lower level members as they sought the dredges of the precious metals that the mine still possessed as well as making even more room for new members and equipment.

Once the first of the miners turned his pickaxe on us, the killing began. After a time, I simply stopped caring let alone counting the dead. From tunnel to tunnel we moved burning everything we left behind till eventually we came upon the mine foreman. A massive ogre by the name of Rhahk’Zor. Under normal circumstances, he might have been a formidable opponent, but with the killing fury driving us one it was but the work of minutes before he joined his workers in death. The ogre had been guarding a heavy wrought door that separated this new portion of the mine from the old tunneling.

After Grinner used his specialized talents to neutralize the door, we found ourselves in a cavern filled with goblins running here and there hard at work in what was obviously a lumber processing station. As we watched, a huge lumbering mechanical golem came into view carrying a massive timber in its claws. So strange was the contraption, that it was a few minutes more before we noticed that a goblin appeared to the be directing the machine from a seat within what would have been it’s head.

Garibaldi took the initiative, standing and firing balls of flame into the wood works, as he made his way toward the golem-like construct. We quickly fanned out around him and started killing goblins as fast as they could throw themselves at us. So caught up in his need to burn, Garibaldi was almost brought low by a swipe from the lumbering monstrosity till Morrison intervened. While the warrior kept the attention of the driver, Grinner stealthily climbed the up the back of the thing and started ripping out cables and whatever parts his hands could reach. It seemed mere moments, till the machine started to spark and smoke. Grinner jumped from his precarious position just as the thing lost its balance. Jumping from his seat, the large goblin was able to roll to safety as his creation crashed to the ground. Of us all, it was Nathaniel that reached him first and with a swing of the heavy hammer he kept at his side, caved in the goblin leaders head.

As we moved farther into the mine, we eventually came to what appeared to be a smelting works. The sheer amount of industry that had been erected within the mines was startling. Once again, we were confronted with goblins busily rushing to and fro at their task. We engaged these workers with the same pitiless determination we had used to dispatch their brethren and it was not long before the bodies were once again piled high.

We eventually came to another massive door deep within the bowels of the mine. After Grinner’s attempts to get us past this obstacle met with failure, we made use of some of the blasting powder stored in the tunnel behind us to breach the door using of all things a mammoth bronze cannon not unlike those used aboard ships of the line. After the cannon made splinters of the door, we were confronted with an astonishing sight… A gargantuan cavern in which a huge heavily armed ship floated. Everywhere we looked, we beheld crew loading provisions and weapons. It appeared that Edward’s grand scheme was to eventually take to the seas not only to disrupt the shipping lanes, but also to bombard the walls of Stormwind while lying off the coast. Judging from the size of some of the cannons this plan, while obviously the product of a demented mind, may very well have been feasible. With this secret bolthole leading out to the Great Sea, Edward could play a cunning game of cat and mouse with the royal navy that would have disastrous repercussions for the kingdom’s already shaky economy.

What followed next was a dizzying fight to the ship. Defias pirates rushed us seemingly from everywhere. I remember ripping souls from my attackers as quickly as my mind could think of the words. Faces were a blur as we smashed them down in our run to the ship. By the time we reached the boarding ramp, I was saturated with the stole energy of who knows how many fallen and could feel their agony like a sweet dark wine that had me almost drunk with the godlike feeling of power it conferred. At that point, I could not have stopped the slaughter even had I been willing, so tight did it have me in its grip. My companions were much the same, all caught in the vise like grip of battle madness. I remember the fight through the warship as much of the same. One thing I learned was that in the midst of such carnage foes loss their individuality as each is equally deserving of your next strike. The cook, first mate and captain all fell before us like the rest of their crew till eventually the captain’s quarters and our real prize was before us.

The final moments of VanCleef’s life were lived as violently as the rest it. Though he fought with skill and passion, the outcome was assured the moment we gathered toward this end. I know some enterprising bard is not doubt at this moment frustrated that I would not provide forth coming details of that last battle, but I have no desire to afford Edward any tainted glory even in death. I will say that such was my blood fueled hatred by the end, that I chose to inflict the most sever vengeance it was in my power to enact. With hardly a thought, I ripped him from his body. While negating the chance of resurrection, it was also in my mind to deny him the dark embrace of the afterlife. No, his sentence was pain and an unending quasi-life. To this end, as we made our way out of the cove to the coast, I stopped long enough to throw the crystal containing his screaming soul as far out to sea as my arm would allow. It still fills me with an unwholesome delight to this day to picture him at the bottom of the ocean, screaming out his madness into that deep forgotten darkness for all eternity.

After returning Edward’s head to Sentinel Hill, I parted company with the party. No fond fair wells were exchanged between us. We had each done what our demon’s demanded of us, and while not people I would call boon companions, I still wished their souls some rest from the pasts that haunted them.


By the hand of Abdul Alhazred
Vizier of the Conclave of Warlocks.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found a link to your site, from the WoW warlock forums. I just want to say your writing is masterful. I really enjoyed the perspective of your character. I loved the spin on the soul shards and the way you describe battle scenes. You keep me enthralled. I'm defineately bookmarking this and visiting as often as possible. Keep up the fantastic work, I can't wait to read more.

Delailah
Realm-Detheroc

3:33 AM  

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