Saturday, 11 June 2011

Short Story: Of The Allegiance- Life Debt

Apologies for the lack of content this week, RSI leaves me without the use of my right hand, and learning to use a PC with my off hand is a slow process. So until I can spec' into titans grip, I leave you with another RP offering.

This is the second of the short stories written about the serving members of The Allegiance, specifically the life debt that binds two Deathknights Vicheal and Berthanas with the Night Elf Druid; Selenfai, and the lives of Deathknights, before and after The Lich King.

Of The Allegiance
Life Debt

Selenefai tried her best to remember what her Shan'do had taught her, clear her mind and allow the earth to whisper to her, then call on it to provide... for this was the way of the druid, and for the druids the earth certainly did provide. The pale skinned night elf leaped back, the ground before her once again heeding her desperate cries and rising as a solid wall of stone to thwart her foul assailant for the fourth time.

It was all very well and good, she thought bitterly, to call on the earth with a clear mind sitting in a moonlit glade in Darnasus, it was quite the other thing to try and do it while beset by monsters from beyond the grave, and in a land so sick the tree's can barely stand, let alone aid her. Giving in to the elements of Druidic teaching she always felt more at home with, Selen' focused on her rage and shifted into a powerful feline, leaping on the foul ghoul that beset them and rending it to pieces with her claws.

"So much for harmony with nature, reaching out to the earth spirits," her comrade teased.
Selen' shot the second night elf an unimpressed look only cats can give, and shifted back into human form.
"I don't see you having-at these vial things" she retorted at Vei'chal, the priest of Elune with whom she had been assigned to work .

The pair had been part of a larger group, sent by the Cenarion circle to use their abilities to help reclaim the dead western plagued lands of what had once been Lordaeron, but since their arrival they had spent less time healing the land, and more running hard across it. Land that had been 'taken back from the scourge' a day before was now a cut off pocket behind the enemies ever increasing lines. They had been out numbered and in death, betrayed by former friends, rising to un-life as fresh enemies.

Now the priest and the druid where all that remained, and any hope of healing the land was lost, for as the white haired elf now admitted "I've always been a fighter before a healer"

"That's as may be young Selenefai but if we are to have any hope of surviving this with our lives we must create a sanctified area to rest and shelter, out of this diseased and wretched land." Vei'chal preached, as was his way, as a learned priest of Mother Moon. Selen' simply nodded with due reverence.

"Now, can you assist me as I..." but the grey haired elf would not get to finishes the days lesson, for he was struck down by a huge paw that swatted him to the ground. This bear, however, had saved the old elf's life, even as another had tried to take it. Selen' had seen the plagued undead bear as it had been about to strike, and instinctively taken its shape as her own.

It was becoming clear they would soon have to run again.

"It... er... appears, I, owe you a life debt" the older elf said rising to his feet shakily "we must..." but the -now bear- that was his female colleague growled an interruption as she sniffed the air. Soon the priest could smell it too... fresh decay.

A deathly howl filled the air and the weak sunlight was blotted out as a huge behemoth of composite dead flesh appeared from the greenish mists. The abomination raised a dead tree in a hand as big as Selenefai's bear form, and swung. It's attack would never land however, as a war axe whistled over the heads of the elves and imbedded itself in the foul things face.

"Death to the Scourge!" the cry went up, and was echoed by a dozen other voices.

Suddenly the two were joined by many, a regiment of men charged from the fog that hung permanently in these parts. At their head, leading the charge, a fearsome human warrior with shock of chestnut hair, and a second war axe identical to the thrown one. The newcomer literally leaped Selen' in her ursal shape, and, with a thunderous war-cry, cleaved at the undead horror beyond.

Under 13 blades, the thing was soon slain. The priest regarded the new comer, with glowing silver eyes, "and now... it would seem, we owe you a life-debt, human... I am Vei'chal, Elune bless you"

"Well thank you Night Elf, now I suggest you and your pet... oh... " the human warrior stopped, for what he had taken to be a travelling pet, was unfolding in a shimmer of emerald magic into the shape of a tall, slender, woman, with skin like porcelain and hair of spun silver. "... my lady, I beg your pardon... I, am Commander Berthanas, of 15th company Stormwind Guards. I was saying it might be best if you and your friend here come with my men and I" the warrior recovered, offering a hand to help the newly revealed druid to her feet.

At that moment however the sun was obscured for a second time, this time a huge flying pyramid plunged them into shadow, and seemed to draw the dead with it like a tide across the land... the living where soon surrounded.

"Back to back!" the warrior cried, pulling his first axe out of the corpse monster "Fight to the last man!"

The druid awoke with a start, a cold clammy sweat clinging to her pale moonlit skin. That dream again! Every night it came, every night she had been haunted by that memory, ever since she had arrived in the east.... It had not, however, been the dream that had woken her, Selen' realised...

"Druids! to arms! protect the chapel!" bellowed a huge Tauren from beyond the stained-glass class windows of Lights Hope Chapel.

She was soon outside, and saw that once again she and her friends where surrounded by an army of the walking dead!

Once, the young druid would have changed forms and charged in blindly, but she had been walking a different path of late, instead she called on the spark of life that still lingered in the earth and channelled it to her fellow druids and human guards, feeling their pain and willing their bodies to re-grow.

Unlike the last time she faced the undead, however, this time they were winning, their lines, not just holding, but cutting the beasts to ribbons. In fact, Selen' noticed, as suddenly as the monsters of the grave had begun there attack, they had aborted it... the ghouls stopped, collapsed where they stood, or turned on their fellows...  finally, when not a corpse stood to threaten any, a pair of figures strode out of the gloom. Clad head to toe in black metal, they drew gasps and curses from the druids who had charged to battle, but from Selen' they caused only a gasp, for she would have sworn she had seen these men in her dreams mere moments earlier...

"When you said we should turn our new found power against the scourge, friend, I did not realise you meant it quite so literally..."

She surged forward, it, it was a human, and a night elf, could it be... it was... "good sir Bertha..." but she was silence as the man raised a hand "Bert will be fine these days my lady, and this is Vichael" he gestured to the elf "I'm afraid I never did get your name".

"S... Selenefai" the druid whispered "I, I feared I would never see you alive again!" but now she did gasp, because the figures had stepped into the moonlight. Their eyes where ablaze with eldritch energy, their skin alabaster white, hair ashen.

"Well in a manner of speaking..." the one now named Vicheal offered with dark humour.

Selenefai felt she should turn and flee from the two living statues, her face betrayed her for a moment and she saw the expressions of the newcomers turn from delight at reunion to apparently familiar disappointment...

"Fear not my lady, we did not realise you where here... I would not have wanted you to see me, us, like this... we shall take our leave"

The -once- human bowed low and made to leave, but...

"No! ..." The young druid nearly shouted "I told you once before I owed you a life debt, and you will always have that allegiance." the three regarded each other for a moment then the human let out a laugh that both amused, and sent shivers down the spine.

"Forgive us..." Selenefai's once, and perhaps future comrade begged "but, we seem to hear that word a lot these dark days"

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