(OOC note: This story is the result of a roleplay written by my RP partner and myself tonight, and is marked as such. Full credit, as always, to Val’kaeth for feeding me with these dark, yet amazing sub-storylines.)
“Lady Stormblood, have you ever witnessed true misery? Or experienced it, perhaps?”
Anaveya shivers involuntarily, both from their surroundings, and the question itself. Had she? “Yes, I believe I have, many times over.” She murmurs just loudly enough for him to hear, “why do you ask me this?”
“Have you ever felt the true manifestation of fury, of hate? Have you ever truly ever wanted someone to… suffer?”
She glanced at him sideways and inhaled through her nose. Of all the times to ask her that specific question, he had chosen now, inadvertently. This was the one thing that she could answer with absolute certainty, and although there was a lot, an immense amount no doubt that she did not know about him, the same could also be said for her. The question itself she thought about for a moment. She didn’t want to go into it, not into detail, not here. It just wasn’t the right time. Clearly, he had an agenda already, so she would eventually simply respond in short, nodding.
“Yes, and I was robbed of the opportunity to cause such, and it is something that fills me every single day with regret and anger.”
Valkaeth came to a sudden halt, the bottom of the staff of souls slammed into the ground. A pulse of purple energy rushed through the ground from the tool of destruction, a cock of his head turning his glance to Anaveya, an eyebrow raised somewhat as if surprised, as if it was not the answer he might have expected, but he made no comment on it, only asking her another question.
“And if you could get that chance back, to do it as it should have been done, would you?”
Turning his head to glance back down the road, not giving her much time to respond before he’d start walking. He needed to start this ritual, soon, for it was almost witching hour.
There would be little hesitation in her reply. “Yes. I would.”
[Valkaeth]: The long, mostly undisturbed soil of the dreaded Dead Scar cracked and seemed to groan with each step the sorcerer took over the decades old skeletons. As the dark moon made it’s way through the sky to a certain point, the increasing feeling of eyes staring through each of them would become more apparent. The dead always watched over their graves and the evil aura the sorcerer was giving off made even the resting souls grow eerie of his intent.
He stopped, glancing to Anaveya.
“Please, take back to whats left of the cobblestone path, my Lady. I’d hate for you to get caught in the vortex…”
The warlock pulled a scroll from under his sash, unrolling the large fabric to reveal the design cut into it masterfully. Tossing it onto the ground flatly, a vial was soon produced. A clear glass jar, that contained a dark, dark crimson ichor that seemed to glare at the woman and the warlock. Popping the cork, a tip of the glass poured the sizzling liquid onto the design of the scroll, molding to the fabrics of and shaping itself eerily around the design before Kaeth removed the fabric from the ground to display the painted star. Eight sided and outlined with a circle with complicated runes. With the mark made in the earth, the warlock drew his single eye closed.
The whispers of dark prayers constricted the oxygen in the muggy air around them, as if invisible hands began to squeeze their lungs. The grip on the purple staff tightened with each passing moment, a static of violet arcs bounced up and down the shaft of the weapon, zipping between every point of the top of the staff. Crossing his arm over his chest to bring the staff over the shoulder, he’d pause. Waving the staff over the eight bladed star on the ground as black essence seemed to sprinkle across the symbol of unholy. With each glitter of the black, each unholy design seemed to light up with chanting hums. It was not a melodic hum, no harmonizing peace, no, not at all. The natural darkness of the midnight fall thickened, shrouding the trees completely in an abyssal shadow incapable of penetration by the naked eye.
Tunnel vision. They only saw the long, paved scar of misery and unholy death, to the necropolis of the old Scourge base that brought the destruction of their nation. A powerful pounding echoed throughout the walls of darkness, few seconds would pass between each break of the eerie whispers, as if they were in a chamber of unholy worshiping, and each cultist muttered their dark prayers. “Victims of the great shadow…”
Whispers called out, “We call upon your troubled rest; through the destruction of your enemies shall you earn your salvation…” as the pounding of the walls continued and the unholy prayers filled the empty air, constricting the air to a thick, almost strangling sense. Passing souls were around every corner as the bones of the murdered rattled with their answers. Fingers and hands raised from the ground to grab at Kaeth’s feet and fabrics. Ghastly, pale manifestations of horrid misery attempted to overwhelm the sorcerer’s form, trying to drag him into their realm. Knees growing shaky and bending to the weight of the death shrouding him, the staff of souls was quickly raised as a piercing shriek of a banshee warned all those in southern Quel’thalas, but, specifically to Anaveya, the banshee cried. The call of a banshee, the harbinger of death. It was a warning, a message that one close to another only had moments to live. A scream worthy of producing waking nightmares, to make ones skin crawl, to break eardrums, even erase sanity.
The sinful greed of the staff extended it’s shroud of darkness over the weighted spirits pulling at the sorcerer and the wail of the banshee was soon vanquished over the whispering moans of those tormented souls of the elves and the stitched horrors the Scourge used to unleash destruction upon the reclusive kingdom, devoured by the power of the staff, the head glowed with misery and chaos. Those souls pleaded, cried, begged for mercy, to be released, but the cruelty of the sorcerer saw no purpose other than to inflict more agony. Recovered from the weighted souls, the staff was spun before being impaled into the demonic star. That eerie pulsing began yet again, zipping to a concentration of the staff’s very tip producing one bright, white orb circled with purple that floated above.
Meanwhile, the sorcerer pulled a charm from his sash. In the center was what appear to be an imps skull. Holding it out to the side with a lowered elbow, the right hand extended outwards, open palm, tendrils of black began pulling at the purple accumulation at the top of the standing staff. With each moment passing, the charm the warlock held glowed with more purple death. Filling the painted, marked, symbolic skull with miserable souls craving their release. With a short burst of energy that seemed to even slow time for a moment, the sorcerer’s hair blew backwards like a gust of wind lifted it.
A stillness of breath and utter silence as the magic covering the area suddenly dispersed. The chants of cultists’ spirits fled, the pounding of the walls ceased as the shadows themselves released the couple from the abyssal grasp. The sorcerer stood there, hair blown behind his head and sash uncordinated. The charm held in his left hand glared at the woman with hate, anger and angst, as if the souls craved to reach for her neck to break it. After a moment, the sorcerer turned around, the black eyepatch that was strapped over the wounded eye remained intact, but the unscathed eye glowed a bright white with purple accents. Runic tattoos never before revealed flared from just under his eyes to reach to the bottom of his jaw.
‘Glacierwind’… the sorcerer whispered so quietly only he could hear.
The charm enchanted with the purest of evil seemed to slowly quiet down as the essence departed for their salvation. But, the charm still produced the thickest and darkest of eerie auras, pricking the nerves of those too close.
[Anaveya]: Eyes all around, unseen and unheard, but the invasive and overwhelming sense of being watched as they walked through the scar in the moonlight was undeniable. What had he said while they had been walking? That what she was about to witness was no worse than she’d seen before? Those words themselves held with them a certain ominous weight. He’d been quiet for the most part, and he did this, had done this before, more than once, when he’d been clearly only focused on the task at hand or ahead and now was no different. Slow, quiet steps behind him, she answered only the questions he asked, and offered no further comment for the meantime. Guided by his path, she followed until he came to a stop, turning to tell her to move aside, and she did so without question.
A sharp, gleeful giggle behind her alerted her suddenly to the girls presence. She hadn’t realized that the child was nearby, or that she’d been with them at all until this moment and she turned to instinctively reach for her, to pull her close, but Eyla shook her head and grinned at Ana, holding a finger up to her lips.
And she slipped away out of Ana’s reach, giggling again, spinning in circles as she skipped around the outside of the carefully painted circle on the ground that she had watched Kaeth make. She excitedly waited as a child might to receive a gift that they had been desperately wanting for a birthday, or some other such thing, and the woman then remembered that this was no ordinary child, and she would no doubt receive a gift, but it would be monstrous and filled with torment, suffering and evil and she had to remind herself that the child was, after all, at her core, the absolute manifestation of rage and vengeance.
As she watched him prepare for whatever he was about to do, she felt the air grow heavy, and darkness clouded the edges of her vision as her breathing became shallow, a tightness in her chest, her limbs feeling heavy as the atmosphere itself shifted, and it was dark, it was evil, the overwhelming sense of death seeming to fill all of her senses, and it caused her to feel as if she might fall, but she remained steady for now, her eyes on him, because if she remained focused on him, she would be alright wouldn’t she?
Ana would wonder why she was here, and why he would have her witness what was about to come, but she wouldn’t know until it was over and it occurred to her that her trust in him had been called blind before, and was it? She wasn’t going to question it now, she wouldn’t. Blindly, she did trust that whatever his purpose, whatever his reason for doing would not harm her. He was powerful, beyond anything she had ever experienced and seen for herself before, and she both feared it and found herself in awe all at once.
She only vocally cried out when she saw the fingers of the dead grasping at him, coming out of the ground, but when she heard the shriek of the banshee, everything started to spin, and she wasn’t sure what it meant, but she could no longer think, the sound almost deafening in a way that it pervaded all thought, any flight response, any rational thought and it was then that her knees buckled and the heels of her hands came crashing down into the stone, her head spinning, nausea overwhelming her and she squeezed her eyes closed, and started murmuring words that only she would hear, terror and fear overwhelming.
What is seen cannot be unseen. What is heard never leaves ones thoughts.
And then there was silence, and absolute calm, and she looked up at him, eyes wide and uncomprehending. And it would be the one time she hesitated to move, maybe not even so much that it was hesitation but that she were unable. Rocking back on her heels, she wrapped her arms around her middle, shaking her head slowly.
“What did you do? What have you done?”