Saturday, November 29, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Part 2: Screaming for Blood
I was deeply unsettled by the conflict within myself. I was a weapon of vengeance, serving my Master and striking down those who had betrayed me. Why was executing one who had joined the Argent Dawn, our sworn enemies, so hard? Why could I not sleep at night? What was wrong with me?
But the war continued, and there was no time for self-doubts. We had broken the defenses of New Avalon, pushing the Crusaders down to the coast. I was personally chosen to infiltrate their base at King's Harbor, disguised as a courier we had intercepted. There High General Abbendis, completely duped, revealed her plans to me. She was abandoning Lordaeron, and embarking for Northrend. She instructed me to instruct the Scarlet forces marching from the western outposts to turn back and rendezvous in the North instead. Instead of passing these instructions to them, of course, we instead prepared a trap for the newcomers.
Arthas himself came to supervise the apocalypse we were preparing to unleash on these unsuspecting fools as the marched into Havenshire. Highlord Darion Mograine came to me before the battle. “Vyprania, our Lord has asked me to send him my best knight for a special assignment. I can think of no one better suited than you.”
My heart filled with pride, I traveled to Death's Breach, where this campaign had begun so long ago. There was my Master, tall and indomitable, inspiring our forces while filling the hearts of the Crusaders with doubts. Just being in His presence again, I felt cleansed. No more doubts, no confusion. I knew what I was, and what role I was to play. It was comforting to know that my will was not my own, but His. Arthas gave me a horn to summon a Frostbrood Vanquisher, and sent me to unleash hell. From its back, I blasted the Crusader's ballistae with deathbolts, ripping apart the core of their army and allowing our ground forces to chew up their troops. Those betraying bastards never knew what hit them. It was glorious, seeing their twisted and bleeding bodies scattered on the ground. And when they began to run, throwing down their weapons and shields in a desperate attempt to save their own pathetic skins, I could not help myself. I laughed and laughed and laughed, swooping in again and again to add to the slaughter. The Scarlet Crusade was finished – their evil reign of terror over the Plaguelands was finished!
But within a year we had new enemies to vanquish. We received word that Tirion Fordring, failed leader of the Silver Hand, had allied himself with Argent Dawn. They were marshaling their forces – we had to act quickly to crush them before the became too entrenched. Highlord Mograine led the assault on Light's Hope Chapel, and we had them! We drove them back to the grounds of the chapel itself, and the Highlord was about to strike down Tirion Fordring himelf when-
… something …
… happened …
There was a bright light, and our weapons … grew heavy in our hands. It just was … too hard … and I didn't understand what was happening. The voices in my head, they were yelling at me, screaming, all at once, and I Could. Not. Understand. Them. Then Mograine was calling on us to surrender, even though we had won, and nothing made any sense, it was all wrong, spiraling down, down...
Arthas! He was there! He would make it better, make the voices go away. But, he was all wrong too. He was foul, and stank of death, and he hated us. Despised us. All of us. And Mograine was down, and Fordring was holding Ashbringer, and Arthas was fleeing, and the screaming in my head was getting louder and Louder and LOUDER!
Then, it was over. Quiet. The realization that we Death Knights had been Arthas' tools, his pawns, his dupes, was slowly seeping into our minds. And we had done evil. But Tirion Fordring – he did not hate us. He could have destroyed us, but instead I could sense his sadness for what we had become, and his hope that we would ally ourselves with him against the Scourge.
It did not happen immediately. Mograine and Fordring and the Argent Dawn leaders spent several days negotiating an amnesty, while we Death Knights sat in the field, disarmed, watched by suspicious guards. Several of us went mad as the realizations and memories of our deeds came to us. One orc lay on the ground screaming until they took her away. I saw a gnome tear out his own eyes and hurl them in the direction Arthas had fled in. Myself, I sat quietly, trying to remember the cheerful, happy young woman I had once been. It all seemed so very long ago.
And then, they were done talking. We had a mission – to take the citadel of Acherus back from the Scourge and establish it as a base for ourselves – the Knights of the Ebon Blade. We fell upon the abominations in a frenzy – none of us caring if we lived or died. When the monstrosity Patchwerk came upon us, we swarmed him from all directions, forcing him off balance, unable to choose a target with that simple mind of his, until we got him down. The I climbed upon his chest, and thrust my sword into his heart with both hands.
After, Highlord Mograine came to me. “If we are to survive, we must gain the acceptance of Stormwind and Orgrimmar. They will never love us, but I hope they will at least tolerate our presence. Please, Vyprania, will you go to King Varian for me? I need an ambassador, to present these papers from Fordring on our behalf. You were once a hero of the Alliance, selected by Whisperwind herself – surely he will listen to you. Will you go?”
I looked at my commander. Like me, he had suffered betrayal upon betrayal, good intentions and honest desires dashed upon the harsh rocks of reality. And I could see the strain he was under, trying to lead and protect us, to find a way in a world where we were hated by all, and always would be. The thought of returning to Alliance territory filled me with dread, but I nodded, and accepted the package of documents. I would not let him down, as I had let down so many others.
A portal took me to the gates of Stormwind. The guards had been told to expect me, and so they did not strike me down. But they and the citizens let me know I was not welcome. They spat on me. I was pelted with rotten fruit, and horse dung, and a few stones. One hit me just above the left eye, and I had trouble seeing through the blood. But I barely noticed these attacks. It was the cries of “monster!” and “murderer!” and “Arthas' whore!” that hurt me, for they were all true. Shame for my actions, for my selfish desire to pursue vengeance, for murdering my friends, swelled within me. My breath grew ragged, and I could feel tears welling in my eyes. But I did not weep, for I was still a Death Knight, and my brethren were depending on me to represent them before the king with dignity and strength. So I did not cower before the assaults from the crowd, and I did not break and run, but instead walked with a slow, steady determination.
When I reached King Varian and presented my papers to him, he read them, then glared at me and drew his swords. I thought perhaps he would strike me down, in spite of my ambassadorial status, but when I made no move to defend myself he took a deep breath lowered his blades. “Were it not for this letter from Tirion, you would be a stain upon my floor. Only an endorsement from one of the greatest paladins to ever live could have ensured your survival. We... We will work together against the Scourge. Against the Lich King! “
Against the Lich King. Yes. Someday, Arthas, I swear to you that we will meet again. And I will strike you down for all that you have done, and bring an end to your evil.
Or you will strike me down.
Either way, Justice will be served.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Part 3: Screaming for Justice
Once I had been accepted as a Death Knight, I was shown how to reforge an ordinary weapon into a powerful runeblade. It felt good in my hands, just as my Arcanite Champion had in my former life. And then I was instructed to use it.
In a pit were a number of failed Death Knights – men and women who had accepted Arthas' offer just as I had, but who had proven unworthy to receive the Master's blessing. I was to chose one, release it from its chains, provide it with armor and a weapon, and then defeat it in fair combat. In the pit I saw a dwarf woman, and a human man, and even to my surprise an Eredar. All were bound with the same burning chains as I had once been. Most were subdued, quietly awaiting their fate, but one gnome was repeatedly hurling himself forward to the chains' limit, howling with rage and pain. And then I saw him. Dalek, my former companion, who had disappeared under a wave of ghouls.
He too had been brought to this citadel. He too had been offered the opportunity to exact vengeance upon those who had abandoned us to our fate. And he had failed. Contempt and anger flared in my heart. His failure was just one more betrayal. Yes, this one, this failure, would be my choice upon whom I would prove my worthiness. I unlocked his chains with the key I had been given, and tossed armor and weapons at his feet. “Defend yourself, weakling,” I ordered him.
Dalek looked up at me. “Vyprania? So, they got to you. Well, I'm getting out of here. You can help me, stay out of my way, or ...” he eyed my blade, pointed at his heart. “Die!”
He was fast, and a more experienced fighter than me, and managed to cut me badly several times. But the powers my Master had given me allowed me to wrap him in chains of ice, and flay his soul with shadow magic, and then I severed his sword arm at the elbow. He collapsed to his knees, staring up at me. I brought my sword down, and it was over. As I walked back to Instructor Razuvious, I licked the splattered blood from my lips, and thought that nothing had ever tasted so sweet.
Having proved my worth, I was soon sent into the field under the command of Darion Mograine. He used us Death Knights to disrupt the enemy, tearing past the Scarlet Crusade's fortifications on our deathchargers and sowing terror and panic in the lands to the rear. These farmers and peasants were innocents, worthy of protection. Instead, they had allied themselves with the Crusade, and thus willingly made themselves my enemies. Some stood and fought bravely, some tried to flee, but it did not matter. I remember one woman tried to appeal to my sense of pity: “If you kill me, you make orphans of my children.” I laughed, grabbed her by the throat with my mailed hand and pulled her to me. “Do not worry about your precious ones,” I whispered. “Our ghouls will be eating their brains before nightfall.” Then I flung her to the ground and ran my blade through her heart.
The war continued, and we pushed and harried the Crusade back. We disrupted their mining operations, set up plague cauldrons outside their cities, intercepted their couriers. Once, I managed to infiltrate the harbor at Light's Point and turn the big deck guns on the soldiers assembled on the beach below. I fired that gun until the barrel glowed red and the sands were soaked with their blood.
Soon we had penetrated the walls of New Avalon itself, last bastion of the Crusade in eastern Lordaeron. I personally penetrated the town hall and executed the mayor. Then, I unleashed my powers on the townsfolk who had gathered to demand that he save them from the Scourge. What fools! I could hear their blood singing in my ears as I cut through them, raising their bodies as ghouls to do my bidding. It was glorious.
But, as the city burned around me, I was given one more assignment. The Crusaders had a number of prisoners from some new organization, Argent Dawn. Most had died, but a few yet lived. Knight Commander Plaguefist had saved them for me to execute, as a reward for my outstanding service to the Master. One particularly feisty night elf, he said, ought to be especially enjoyable. Pleased that my superiors thought so highly of me, I drew my sword and strode into the prison house, only to stop dead in my tracks.
The night elf prisoner was Sergeant Nalise, who had been captured at the same time as me. What could she possibly be doing in an Argent Dawn uniform?
“Come to finish the job have you? I's like to stand for … Vyprania? Is it you? Fucking Scourge, what have they done to you? I barely managed to escape with my life that night, but if I had known what they would do I never would have left you there. Oh, little one, I am so sorry.”
I stood there, mute, uncomprehending, unable to think or act. My head was filled with voices, arguing with each other, confusing me, blinding me like a fog.
“You must remember the splendor of life, my sister. You were a champion of the Kaldorei once! This isn't you! Listen to me, Vyp. You must fight against the Lich King's control. He is a monster that wants to see this world - our world - in ruin. Don't let him use you to accomplish his goals. You were once a hero and you can be again. Fight, damn you! Fight his control!”
Outside, I could hear the Commander, wanting to know what was taking so long.
"There... There's no more time for me. I'm done for. Finish me off, Vyp. Do it or they'll kill us both. Vyp... Remember Teldrassil. Remember our mission. Remember hope. There are still those who will help you. Find them!"
The voices on my head grew louder. "Kill! Mercy! Obediance! Loyalty! Vengeance! Justice! Blood!" I felt trapped, confused, uncertain - feelings I had not felt in years.
She raised her chin defiantly, and her voice cut through the fog in my head. "Do it, Vyprania. Put me out of my misery.”
And I did, severing her head with one swift blow and leaving it in the dirt next to her body. As I walked out of the prison house, the Knight -Commander said to me, "You're one cold blooded monster, Vyprania. I salute you, sister." I could taste Nalise's blood on my lips, where it had spattered across my face. And it did not taste good at all.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Our ship dropped anchor off the northern coast of Lordaeron and we were rowed ashore. The sailors were tense and nervous, and departed as quickly as possible. We made our way to the village where we were supposed to make contact with the local defenders. But it was clear that things had gone horribly, horribly wrong. The village was deserted, except for two corpses in the doorway which looked not just mauled, but partially eaten. That night we had our first encounter with ghouls - a small pack which we easily drove off. We would soon learn that this was just the beginning.
Not sure what to do, and with no way to return home, we pushed south, hoping to make contact with survivors. We found towns destroyed by plague, by fires, by invasion. We encountered ghouls, and walking skeletons, and beasts driven mad by foul diseases. And we began to die.
Gallen was our first loss. We were attacked by a swarm of undead, and he was separated from us in the confusion. We tried to fight through to him, but there were too many. We could only watch helplessly as an abomination made of flesh from many people stitched together struck him again and again, overwhelming his bearform strength and crushing his skull. After, we recovered his body and burned it, so that it could not rise and serve the Scourge.
Moonclaw, Tylla's panther, caught the plague and went mad, ripping her throat out before we could stop it. Archers hidden in trees ambushed us, and Xalliope fell immediately. We never found out who his killers were. And Dalek fell under yet another wave of the never ending ghouls – we never did recover his body.
We eventually encountered a band of paladins, members of a new organization called the Scarlet Crusade. They were dedicated to fighting the Scourge and restoring Lordaeron, and we formed common cause. For two months we waged a guerilla war, staging hit-and-run raids on Scourge bases, ambushing their patrols, stealing their supplies. It felt good to finally be performing our original mission. But it was hard. There was almost nothing to eat, for the grain supplies in the towns carried the Scourge, and so many of the animals in the woods were becoming tainted. And I was so tired. We were always on the move, and the opportunities to sleep were few and far between. And when I did sleep, I replayed my friends' horrible deaths, over and over.
And then one night, it happened. The leader of these Scarlet warriors accused us of secretly conspiring against them. Captain Lightwing protested, pointing out how we had fought and bled beside them. But he would not listen, growing angrier and calling us nonhuman monsters. As the argument continued, his troops began to encircle us, their weapons out. Men and women we had thought were our friends! I was shocked and confused. Why was this happening? And then Henrick, a huge, fierce man, smashed her between the shoulders with his big mace. She fell instantly, her neck broken like a twig. "Run!" Narise yelled, and we dashed for the cover of some nearby trees.
And it was there that the final betrayal fell upon us. Nets dropped from the branches, and undead warriors wrenched our weapons from our hands. "Two elves, just as those Crusaders promised," said their leader. "Good. The master will be pleased." And we were thrown, stunned and disbelieving, onto the back of a wagon, trussed up like animals for the slaughter. Something hard struck the back of my head, and everything went black.
I awoke in a dark cell, naked and alone. I was bound to the wall in chains which burned my skin. I could stand or crouch, but no more, and every movement made the chains burn more. I do not know how long I remained there. Sometimes a diseased creature, only barely recognizable as having once been human, would come with a pot of some sort of watery gruel, which it would roughly spoon into my mouth. It tasted foul and I wanted to spit it out, but I was so hungry I swallowed it in spite of myself. I tried to be strong, and wait patiently for an opportunity to escape, but the utter hopelessness of it all was too much to deny. It became harder to tell when I was awake and when I was asleep, for the nightmares and hallucinations at any time. And one day I could no longer take it, but collapsed, sobbing and shaking uncontrollably until I was completely drained. And still my chains burned.
The next day He came. A huge man, with power emanating from him in waves. His eyes burned with a cold blue fire. Arthas, he said his name was. And He offered me release. Release from the physical pain. Release from the pain of memory and failure and despair. Release from he nightmares. All I had to do was to serve Him.
One last spark of defiance rose in me, and I spat out a dwarvish curse I had often heard Sergeant Narisse often use. He laughed. “But I have not yet told you the best part of my offer,” His deep voice rumbled. “I will also offer you the opportunity for vengeance. Upon those who betrayed you. Those who ran away instead of supporting you in your war. Those who sent you and your friends off to die.”
With those words, my defiance died. Yes. Vengeance. They must pay, for what had happened to me, and the Captain, and Xalliope, and all the rest. I would make them pay. I looked into those blue eyes, and nodded.
I could feel his mind reach out to me. And then I was falling, falling into blackness....
I awoke, and the pain was gone. I was standing, unchained, clad in armor. Ready to take my vengeance.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
|Old and Busted||New Hotness|
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Did you know that Lady Prestor was really the dragon Onyxia in disguise??!? I mean, she was right there in the innermost circles of power of Stormwind, influencing policies and, and, and, well, whatever it is they do in the innermost circles. And nobody knew! Not until King Varian came back, just a few weeks ago, and set things right. At least, in Stormwind.
Well, Sunday night some of my guildies got to talking about that, and decided it was time that someone finish that scaly bitch off once and for all, before she could meddle any more. Which I thought was a splendid idea. Serve her right, and all. Then one of them said, "Hey Kinn, want to come with us?"
So there we are, deep in a cave in the Dustwallow Marshes, preparing to do battle with one of the fiercest monsters in all Azeroth. Three decorated heroes, veterans who had defeated Nightbane and Magtheridon and Lady Vashj and Prince Kael'thas. Their epic armor and weapons were glorious to behold. And then there is me, who had defeated ... umm ... some Arakkoa? and Hogger?::gulp::
I did my best to contribute. I hit her with my polearm as hard as I could, and I kept my spellbook handy so I could quickly find the spells that they told me to use. At least, I tried.
Onyxia was tough and fought hard, but we got her down after about 15 minutes or so. And then the rest of the group were so nice, they let me take her head back to Stormwind to present to the king! Wow. I mean, me. Kinnavieve, from Nowhereshire, Elwynn Forest, to go to King Varian. Just, wow.
And it wasn't until I was in the throne room, in front of his majesty and the young prince, that I remembered. Me in my totally frickin' inappropriate armor of the skank. Oh sweet Elune, what do I do?
Now, that is what armor should look like. It protects everything, and it all matches. I even got to have pretty hair. Okay, the beard tickled a bit, and having to strap down my boobs was frickin' uncomfortable, but still. Real-looking armor. I wants it!
And afters I were done, that International Council of Achievement Awarding Buggers done awarded me ten points, on account of me being such a diplomatic flubbernugger.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Mutter mutter frickin plate armor of the horny virgin fanboys mutter Ratshag’s usually inappropriately-dressed female paladin, my ass mutter mutter mutter frickin Blizz mutter ima gonna break someone's frickin' jaw mutter mutter...
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Did I name names? No
Did I allow meself ta be preempted? Yup
Did I think said preemption were clever and amusifying? Hell yeah.
Do I think getting carried away in the spirit of seeing an amazingly vivacious long-legged woman all covered in a fine sheen of sweat and zombie splatter is a legitimate reason fer ta throw years of training and discipline to the wind and go wading inta hand-ta-hand combat at her side, swinging yer own axe of uberosity? Course I does
Does I buy what the crossbow wore out? Not really. Me ranged weapons never wear out. But is a good effort nonetheless
Is BRK still me favorite hunter what ain't got hooves? Absotively
Now that we's got that momentary rumpus out of the way, we can all goes on.
And the rumor what I's gonna post screenshots of Vonya runnin' around in ZA with a Terestian's Stranglestaff equipped, just 'cause the tentacles stroked her horns in that special way she likes, unless she sends 5000 unmarked gold coins ta me mailbox? Totally untrue.
Monday, November 3, 2008
I always like doin' da holiday events, an' dis Hallow's End t'ing was right up mah ally. Good gracious, chile, I didn't go summon up dat Headless Horsemon in de graveyard - dat would be too spooky for a free spirited troll like dis here. No mon, I wen and talked to dem innkeepers and said "Trick or Treat, mon?" And some times dey say "Boo!" and I'd go "Eeeeee!" and den dey turn me inta a cat or bat or pirate (Yarr!) for a bit, and dat was great fun. And sometimes dey give me bag wit' some goodies, an' dat was great fun too. I got masks and candy and magic wands, and den dis one time I got a pumpkin.
A pumpkin, mon, I not lyin'! So I says, Alayda, you take dis here pumpkin ta da Mouse, she bake us up a delicious pie using dat secret family recipe of hers. And den mon, you know what happen? Dat pupkin opened it's eyes. And den it grew legs! And it sarted ta follow me around. So I says "Pumpkin, dis here be yo lucky day - if you can keep up wit' me raptor, you gets ta stay outta da pie pan." And dat pumpkin, he's doing it, so now I got me a special holiday souveneir pet, and I'm pretty happy 'bout dat, mon.
Dis ain't got nothin' ta do wit' da pumpkin, but I just wanted ta show off mah new hair stylings.
Okey-dokey, mon, dat be all. Bye-bye now!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Ummm... what do you mean, 'licious?
Well, you're taller than you were a few weeks ago, by about an inch. And you're definitely filling out that vest more.
Yeah, I wish. Hey, why don't we go over to Thousand Needles and-
Don't change the subject! I know you've been cheating on me!
No! Sweetie, I would never do that.
Liar! Squirrelz told me he saw you getting it on with- with ... quest givers!
But, it wasn't like that! I just, they, I mean, it was, only, you see, I mean, well, horseshoes!
Yeah! Uh huh, horseshoes!
Well, you see, I was just poking around a bit, exploring some, and I came hear to Lakeshire, and these poor people are trying to rebuild their town after Mister Shag's dad and all those other orcs burned it down and ate half the people. And even though they've been working really hard for all these years and they just don't seem to be making any progress at all. And I just felt really sorry for them. And so when this one guy asked me to run over to Westfall to get some horseshoes, it seemed like the least I could do. And then, you see, the foreman, he needed his tools retrieved from the bottom of the lake, well, that was real easy for me to do. And there was the little girl who lost her necklace, and the florist whose garden was being wrecked by a big boar, and-