Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Beast Of The Highlands

"It's the Beast, isn't it?" asked Graylish Stonehammer.

"Dere is no Beast, mon," replied Ugglethok. "It just be a tale ta scare da newbies."

With a crash, something heavy struck the thick oak door. It held, but the iron nails holding the hinges to the wall groaned alarmingly. A strange white smoke began to enter the room through the gaps around the doorframe and rise toward the ceiling of the room.

"Oh.... this was not in my contract," whimpered Ugglethok's Imp.

"I heard the Beast wiped out an entire company out by Thundermar," said little Petunia Sharpwhistle.

"I heard the Beast eats raw human liver for breakfast," said Graylish, nervously working his totems into gaps in the floor stones.

Another crash against the door. Two nails came loose and flew across the room.

"I heard if you cut the Beast's head off it can just grow a new one," whispered Duncan LeStrange, shadows swirling around him.

"I don' believe you crybabies," spat out Ugglethok.

"All you lot, shut it," growled big Jayla Runehoof. "You all took an oath - think on that, not on some monster that may or may not even exist. Now, whatever comes through that door, you will fight it, to your last breath. Our lives mean nothing next to our duty. Be strong and stop this, or I swear I will kill you all myself."

The door was struck by yet another blow, and it was too much. With a tortured groan it fell into them room, breaking into smoldering pieces. Through the haze of white smoke an armored figure stepped into the room. Jayla shouted and charged, striking the attacker with her shield backed by her huge strength and bulk and driving it back several feet. Savagely she swung her sword down, striking the armored head with a resounding clang. The Imp hurled a fireball at it from the side, splashing the enemy with a blast of heat. Petunia shrieked something in Gnomish Binary and struck at the legs from the other side. It was working - they were going to win!

And then the Beast struck back. A huge mace, swung with both hands, struck Jayla's shield, completely shattering it and knocking her back into the room. White fire swept across the room, burning them all. Swinging back, the mace caught the Imp, flinging him into the air and into the far wall. It fell to the ground in a heap, whimpering "not like this ... not like this..." Graylish called upon the air spirits to unleash a lightning bolt upon the invader, but before he could finish the incantation the Beast turned and looked at him. It was a woman he realized, her face burned and scarred. Her eyes narrowed and she cried out, "Repent!" Suddenly, every sin, every guilt, every bad deed since his childhood filled the Dwarf's mind. He was sorry, so sorry, please, I didn't mean for it to happen, I'm sorry. The fight continued without him as he stood, helpless.

Petunia slid behind the Beast, taking advantage of the smoke and shadows to hide her movement. But before she could strike into its vulnerable back, a new figure appeared. A tall winged figure wielding a flaming sword and appearing to be made entirely of light. With a cry she turned to face it, knives flashing, but they passed through this apparition with no apparent effect. Then the terrible swift sword came down and sliced through her neck, ending the roguish Gnome's life.

Graylish watched helplessly, paralyzed with guilt, as Jayla, Ugglethock, and Duncan tried to surround the Beast and overwhelm it with sword, shadowbolt, and mind blast. But it was no use. She was too fast, too strong. She was spinning, dodging, striking. Ugglethock's staff broke with a sharp crack, then Duncan's head exploded like a mellon when the big mace caught it. Jayla roared and charged again, one last desperate attempt to overpower the Beast. But she slipped to the side and, as the big tauren hurtled past, brought her mace down on the backs of her legs. Jayla cried out in pain and collapsed to the floor. Alone, Ugglethok's courage left him, and he turned to flee, but a hammer of light struck him in the back and he fell unmoving to the floor, his robes burning.

Graylish struggled to overpower the guilt that gripped his mind, to push all those memories back into the dark corners where they had come from. Finally, it began to work. His head was clearing, he could feel his connection to the spirits returning. Now where had that woman got to? He turned, fingers poised to unleash elemental vengeance upon her, but it was too late. He saw that horrible blood-drenched mace fill his vision, then he saw nothing at all.

The Beast stood alone in the room, holding the mace loosely in one hand, surveying the carnage she had inflicted. Slowly, she walked over to where Jayla lay, armored sabotons ringing on the stone floor. She slid the mace under the tauren's arm and lifted, rolling her onto her back. Breathing raggedly, Jayla looked up at the Beast, vision red with impotent anger. Her legs were shattered and she could tell she'd never walk again, let alone fight. She tried to spit at her enemy, but the smoke and heat had dried her throat and she could only manage a rasping hack.

"I want you to deliver a message for me," said the Beast, her voice suprisingly soft. "Tell Cho'gall Kinnavieve is coming for both of him. The world is going to end - for him."

And then the Beast turned, and walked away.


Baade said...

I always love your character stories, and that one was no different. Kinna is badass.

Khol Drake said...


For some reason, that quote just jumped out at me...

Kayeri said...

Kinna makes me proud to play my paladin... :)

Von said...

Nice perspective reversal. It's easy to forget that doomsday cults are made up of people, who do all the things that people do, and don't just eat/sleep/breathe religious fervour.

Siobhann said...

Wow, Ratters! Great story.

SpiritusRex said...

Kinna's pissed and she's armed to kill. Cho'gall is in for a long day at the office, erm, Bastion.

Great story.

Hydra said...

Dear Kinna

Please make sure you loot the corpes. It helps with the cleanup postmortem.

Thank you,
The Janitors

Ratters, always love your words. Thank you for the gifts.

Kauket said...

Excellent story, and like Von, I appreciate the switch of perspective.

It does, however, highlight that in the world of Warcraft, the "bad guy" groups are far more often the ones accepting of people of all races.

Blog_Commenting_Service said...

Opulent Parisian mansions, beautiful Napoleonic era costumes, and creative cinematography wowed me nearly the maximum amount as those dynamic performances by Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce.
watch shameless

devotchka said...

AWESOME. Loved it.