Bloodwen: Part VIIIEdit
The bat screeched as it glided through the dank air of the Plaguelands. It flew just below its companion, the weight of the Tauren driving it towards the ground. Below, all manner of undead shambled, dark sockets swiveling up as the pair flew overhead.
Tirisfal and the Undercity proved a bit of a mystery. Teake and Sutera arrived with little incident, the goblins piloting the zeppelin chatty as usual. There was no end to their bartering, even so many feet above the ground. The guards within the Glades, however, shrank back at her approach as she descended the stairs. They offered the druid at least a nod, but muttered to one another as she drifted past.
The bloated guardians pressed their bodies against the walls as the pair waited for the elevator. Teake swore he heard them breathe a sigh of relief as the doors whisked shut. The druid could not fathom why such creatures were frightened of the elf, for she was one of them, a proud member of the Horde. She was no threat.
Michael Garrett, the bat handler, was a little more vocal with his concerns.
The spiky haired Forsaken growled as she approached, snapping off a comment insinuating she should return to Silvermoon, to never show her face within the great Undercity. At Teake’s frown, however, he shut his mouth, the movement so quick that he nearly chipped a few of his remaining teeth. The Tauren tried to draw him into conversation, but the handler would have none of it. He took their money, sending them on their way with a scowl.
The tip of the Chapel pierced the haze. The Plaguelands were always like this, held solid in the grip of undeath. He could not remember a time when this was not so, though had heard stories of this once fertile land. So much had changed, so many lives lost.
The bat dipped low, hovering just above the ground so he could slide off. Thankful, the smaller creature took to the post above, draping its weary body over the edge to sleep. Sutera stepped down next to him, her strange, golden eyes taking in the Chapel.
The handler here was about as friendly as Garrett had been. She stepped away from them, away from her loyal creatures, only to return when the pair made their way to the building.
“Why are we here?” Sutera asked. The Argent Dawn soldiers filtering through the encampment offered her weary smiles. After so many hours of fighting the tireless Scourge, the sight of the golden-haired elf lifted their hearts.
Teake held up a metal finger, making his way to one of the vendors. After several seconds of charades with the dwarf, the druid returned with parchment and a stick of charcoal.
For you to remember.
“Remember what, exactly?” she asked. “I have no memory of this place.” A shudder rippled along her shoulders. “I am certain I would, had I ever been in this forsaken land.”
You do not remember the dragon? The red?
She shook her head.
What about beneath the Chapel?
The elf glanced around. There was only one door, and this led to a rather unremarkable room. There were no other entrances. “Beneath?”
I could not follow, so I do not know where or what happened.
As if pulled by an invisible force, Sutera’s feet carried her up the path. Teake followed, watching as her gaze drifted into some unknown memory. Passing by the Argent soldiers, they rounded the building. Standing upon the hill, she stared hard at the ground just at the back wall.
He thought to write something, but suspected the gesture would prove futile.
Sutera’s mind was somewhere else.
The light. So much light.
Sutera raised her hand, shielding her eyes. The stairs rose behind her, ending at a wall of dirt. It was if she had melted through the soil and into this underground catacomb. She took a few faltering steps into the brilliance, the holy energies arcing across her skin.
“It must be done,” the feminine voice said. “It is the final piece of the puzzle.”
She turned. Despite the radiance cutting through the gloom, she could not identify her speaker.
A cold sensation drew her attention to her hand. There rested a dagger. It was ancient, the blade covered in runes that she could not hope to decipher. A single green garnet rested upon its pommel, the stone catching the light and shining with an emerald fire.
“I cannot,” she heard herself say. “The sacrifice is too much, and I am not worthy.”
Then warmth coated her bare hand. The blade was now awash with blood. It gushed over her skin, dripping onto the floor. A deep sigh filled the room, the breath drawn from every corner. The heat swirled about her, seeping into her chest until it burned through her veins.
She wanted to scream. She did not understand what was happening. It felt as if the gods reached down, each grasping at some part of her essence to give a slow, steady tug. She felt herself unravel as she spun, the light from the depths blasting into her unprotected eyes and burning into her sockets.
Every facet of her was laid bare. Every vein pulled loose, every sinew unbound. Just when she thought she could take no more, a cool breeze washed over her, soothing her. Form returned and, with it, an overwhelming weakness. She collapsed, legs no longer willing to support her.
As darkness closed in, the horned head of a Tauren loomed over her.
The red and black naga swam through the depths, his serpentine body twisting as he made his way deeper through the Maelstrom. Tanaris had been a failure, the prisoners and the Tauren engineer escaping his clutches. He and his men were prepared to sack Steamwheedle, readying themselves for a night of screams as they employed their deadly torture techniques.
Bilgewhizzle, their dour Security Chief, was one step ahead of the naga.
Somehow the goblins were able to call the neighboring Sea Giants to their aid. Mortal enemies of the naga, these creatures would often explode into unrelenting fury at their mere sight. It was all Shyv could do to get his men to safety, cursing the pointy-eared goblin all the while.
He hoped dearly that the dreadlord was in a good mood.
As he slithered his way into the building, he noted the large group of Twilight worshippers stumbling down the hall. They had with them a piece of black armor of gargantuan proportion, reeling under its weight. Shyv thought nothing of the sight, nodding to his guards as he rapped on the dreadlord’s door.
“Come, Shyv,” the deep voice called.
The commander ignored the terrible feeling crawling across his scales. He hid his reaction well, for the stationed guards took little notice of it. He pushed open the doors, making his way into the chamber.
“You have not returned victorious.”
He bowed. “I have not. The traitor and the prisoners escaped presumably into Gadgetzan. Steamwheedle was less than forthcoming with their whereabouts.”
“You did not pursue the matter with them?”
Shyv looked around the room, noting the crumpled, black robed figure in the corner. The man’s mouth was open wide in pain, eyes fixated on some point the living could not fathom.
The Nathrezim turned, giant wings brushing against the floor. Its smoldering green eyes studied the commander, scrutinizing him even as the naga stared at the corpse. The dreadlord gave a laugh. “Fear not, Warlord Shyv. You still serve a purpose.”
“The giants prohibited us from attacking,” the naga swallowed.
“It is of little consequence at this point. I suspected you might return empty-handed and so have scried for them. They are within the Plaguelands, no doubt trying to retrace her steps. It is only a matter of time before they cross into the Ghostlands. The naga there will watch for her.”
“And what of me?”
“Gather your troops, for I see a long journey ahead of you. A long, cold journey.”
Shyv nodded, then slithered from the room.
The dreadlord turned back to its task. The map of the Twisting Nether stretched across the wall, small pinpoints of light dotting its surface. Each noted the location of a piece, a fragment that the Twilight cultists discovered. Their task was slow and arduous, for untold evils still flitted through the void.
This one, this corpse resting in the room… His death was not a result of the dreadlord’s anger, much as the Nathrezim led Shyv to believe. No. He and his fellows had been successful in locating another fragment and bringing it to the Maelstrom. Like many of the faithful, however, the magic within the piece was too much for him to bear.
Like a cancer, it destroyed him from within, until nothing living remained.
The demon returned to its plotting. The Master would yet live.
- Bloodwen: Part IX: Frejya/Bloodwen_PartIX
- Bloodwen: Part X: Frejya/Bloodwen_PartX
- Bloodwen: Part XI: Frejya/Bloodwen_PartXI
- Bloodwen: Part XII: Frejya/Bloodwen_PartXII
- Bloodwen: Part XIII: Frejya/Bloodwen_PartXIII
- Bloodwen: Part XIV: Frejya/Bloodwen_PartXIV
- Bloodwen: Part XV: Frejya/Bloodwen_PartXV
- Bloodwen: Part XVI: Frejya/Bloodwen_PartXVI
- Bloodwen: Part XVII: Frejya/Bloodwen_PartXVII
- Bloodwen: Part XVIII - Finale: Frejya/Bloodwen_PartXVIII