The Life of the "Good Doctor"

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The Life of the "Good Doctor"

Post by Dr. Haluthious Vouten on Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:01 am

Those Warm Few Days

Prelude

“Dampness lingered. Mist had rolled into the Glades as the corpse stalked. It felt quite at home in the halcyon of the mist… undetected… and lost. The corpse moved silently, yet if anything it was sluggish and moved with a certain facetious nature.
Sanity and insanity were meaningless now, yet insanity offered more comfort to this so called being. He was lost - some would say aberrant, but now he was hell bent on returning to the abyssopelagic comforts of the shadows. The corpse began to utter a poem of the past with a cold graven voice. Perhaps for comfort? Perhaps to remember… or was it to forget? Or perhaps now the memories would not lie still…

“Dawn that broke with warmth, no pain,
Our nation as one, we sang his name,
Fearless we stood, our heads held high,
We lived, we grew, we survived.


Then he came to bring us shame,
Brothers of blood we cried with vain,
Readying ourselves we questioned why,
We watched we feared, we sighed.


Arm in arm we stood so brave,
Dressed in honour to save our name,
All was lost, as we fell to our graves.
He watched, He slaughtered, He destroyed


Once we stood for glory’s name,
Now all is cindered and purged by flames,
Now we stand as the rotting band,
We lived, we died,
We survive.”

With a shift of its tired limbs the corpse found itself looking out upon the newly expanded Brill from the Overlook of the Apothecarium’s Brill complex. Impressive though the sight was, the corpse’s crude eyes slinked North East following the slight breeze the Glades had ensnared on this unremarkable day. To anyone else present they’d only be greeted with the rather disappointing sight of a gnarled tree, but to those deluded folk they would not appreciate what lingered behind this particular tree. The tree’s dull leaves swayed in the gentle breeze - as the leaves parted a flag was glimpsed for a brief but undeniable second in existence.

The Crusade’s flag – fluttering with the might of their “Holy Anthem”.

The corpse pondered for a while, comforted by his shrewd thoughts. Impatient – his fingers drummed on the railings of the Overlook. The dull thud of his hollow fingers added timpani of clicks and thuds to the orchestration of falling rain drops.

Suddenly, his hands locked onto the railings of the Overlook. Without any detectable change in the current state of affairs, a wicked sneer began to crease his stitched grin. It spread like a wild fire, growing and growing with crazed intensity. The strings holding his putrid grin pulled taught with the strain of the dead muscle. From the top of the Overlook came a wheezy cachinnation… Yet it grew… Before long a spine chilling cackle echoed over Brill.
Today, -his- revenge would be exacted with the upmost cruelty.






Chapter one:

The sun rose over the great walls of the city, its orange glow hit the tinted glass of the cathedral. I sat up in my bed and turned my head to the window. Dawn began to beam though the shabby windows of our house, its rays began to creep up the bed linen as if it was an attempt to stalk us. I followed the apricity of the yellow sunbeams as they hit my wife. The rays of light hit her golden hair; it seemed to re-radiate the warmth sending a fuzzy glow bouncing around the room. I gave a gentle smile while pulling my shirt on. The room was now coming into full light, my eyes scanned the room. It was small but it was well equipped, and wasn’t exactly fit for the aristocracy but it did us fine. I stood up carefully. Beside our bed was a small crib, inside it our little boy. His name was Senri and was only of three years old. Long golden locks flowed from his head, he looked so much like this mother, but he had my nose. I moved swiftly across the room attempting to make as little noise as possible.

“Be careful Haluthious” the voice spoke from behind. I jolted my head quickly. My gaze moved to the bed where Lidia, my wife, was sitting up in bed – obviously I was not as subtle as I thought. Her deep sapphire eyes bore into me with concern.

“It's only a meeting Lidia to see how we should ...progress, no harm will come.” My voice was quiet, but enough for it to heard. As compensation I gave a small pressed smile in an attempt to comfort her, worrying had always been her nature.

“Haluthious, you are aware things haven’t been quite right round the city. There has been rumours.” She tilted her head, her golden locks flopping to one side.
“Haluthious, it may be ‘Just a meeting’ and it may be important to you, it is to me too. It is to all of us.” She pushed herself off the bed; she walked towards me, her white night gown fluttered behind her. She pulled herself beside me and stroked my face.
“The Light will provide for us as we seek perfection in ourselves, but we mustn’t force the light to be a shield for our fragile bodies all the time.” Her voice was quiet, conveying her fear but her priestly nature still rang clear.

“I’m beginning to think it’s all this priestly business that makes you so stressed.” I took her hand with mine and brought it slowly down and gave a slight grin. “I know the rumours and I know the risks, you kno-.” Lidia raised her other hand and placed it over my mouth.

“That’s enough, seeing that you can’t be persuaded take my prayer beads. It’d comfort me that you had something of purity on you, should you were brutally murdered” Her lips tightened slightly before she pulled them into a weakly forced smile. She removed a golden beaded prayer-necklace from her chest and forced it into my hand. Indubitably it was pure, the quality gold it had been crafted from had no imperfection within a mile.

"If it comforts you, then I guess it’s worth me taking them,” I said through an impish smirk before turning swiftly on my heel.


The street was cold despite the calming rays of the sun. It had been true that ever since the return of the Prince that the other cities in Lordaeron had crumbled to an unknown plague, many thought the city could brave what was to come. But even now in the glorious capital many had started to die. I drew my cloak closer to my figure, with my hands inside my cape I rested my hands on the hilt of my blades. I could feel the heavy prayer necklace dangling from my belt.

The cathedral loomed before me. Its white spires towered above the city, with the flags of Lordaeron tapered to them. The great steps before the cathedral were lined with people. On the highest step before the entrance were the Knights and Priests. The Knight's silver armour shone in the sun giving the crowds a sense of their divinity, each of them with the tabard of the hand – perhaps for old time’s sake - considering they had been disbanded by the Prince. The Bishop stood in the centre of the step, lengths of pure white cloth lined his figure with the signature tabard of Lordaeron.

“People of Lordaeron!” projected the bishop. “This has been a grave time for our nation, with attacks from orcs and now this vile plague comes to our great walls and attempt to break us and sweep us away.”

I peered about the crowd, it seemed smaller than usual. The higher ranking families of the city didn’t seem to be present which was extremely strange. I looked again searching for Lidia’s family, the Murkwoods. They had been one of the oldest and richest business family of the city and a highly devote family to “The Church of the Holy Light”, explaining Lidia’s induction into the priesthood. My attention returned to the bishop.

“We must remain strong in this time. Preparations have already been made for us to leave the city by Lady Proudmoore, for it is expected that this city will experience the most trying times of its existence in the coming week an-.”

“STOP! STOP!” Through the crowd rang a cry. From the crowd appeared a fleet of guards flanking a servant of the royal household. The servant ran to the top of the steps, his garments appeared to be encrusted with blood.

“I-It’s Arthas... The The King has been murder by Arthas!”

Silence rang through the crowd; no one dared speak as the messenger continued.

“The Aristocracy has been murdered by his captains, Falric and Marwyn, I-In the Night, t-they were taken! AN-And there’s more! The city has been compromised. They’re coming! THE SCOURGE!”

Utter chaos broke, screams of terror broke out everywhere. In all this impending doom one thought hit me; it was as if something had just clenched my heart and dragged my soul to the core of the Azeroth itself. In my mind rang the words “The Aristocracy has been murdered”. Lidia’s family was dead. My eyes darted in desperation about the crowd in case they were present; my search was to no avail, reality had no place here now.


“SILENCE!” boomed a voice. The brouhaha ceased. The crowds' eyes moved as one to one of the Knights, his hammer held high in the air. His eyes bore into the frightened people, criticising them individually.

“The Order of the Knights will remain at this city until it falls. For the servants of the Light” he looked sharply round to the bishop. “The Knight’s request you make a move to the Monastery North-east of this point. It will be one of the remaining bastions against the threat and allow us to carry out our essential work.”

The bishop simply bowed. His airs had grown cold; it had seemed that this coming threat had snuffed his “motivation speech” he could no longer hide that the preparations to leave the city had been too slow. The crowd seemed restless. In each of my directions I could see the sharp and frightened breaths of every citizen. This was not just fear; it was as if we could predict what was to come and what would become of us. The common pretences of society had been shattered. This was to draw on the savage morals each citizen had beneath the facades of society, to cut their own family down... It was us... Or them.

“We are people of Lordaeron” began the Knight. “We are... Strong...Vigilant and we each have dignity and pureness burning in our hearts. No matter the threat and no matter how bleak the chances of survival are we must remain strong. For without strength we are hollow shells of flesh and by the lights name.. you are already –dead-. We are of Lordaeron! The Light will be you shield!” With these final words all of the present Knights raised their hammers, they were ready but alas it would never be enough.

Coldness now drifted through the streets, the populous unsure and frightened by the news of certain death. I turned on my heel.

“Doctor?”

I turned around, I had my hand on the hilt of my blade, one could not be too careful now. As I turned round the face of the Knight who had spoken greeted me.

“Haluthious Vouten is it?"

“Quite so sir, how may I assist you?” I uttered the words quickly; I had no wish to be here now, not now... Not after all this and certainly not with this babbling idiot of a Knight.

“You and your family have been requested to go to the Monastery. Your wife, Chaplin Vouten, or Lidia Murkwood will be a valuable tool. As well as you, Haluthious. Your arcane knowledge, I am told, is vast your and diplomatic skills may be of great use to us in the coming days, it appears we will need to seek our old allies. Your wife will have been already informed of her new calling. I trust you will make your way there as quickly as possible?”

The Knight vexed me, his babbling was of little comfort. Tools? I was a tool. What happened to the sanctity of human life that his "religion" so boldly taught? More shocking was the lack of compassion, they had asked my young family to stay in a land that was going to be shaken to its foundations. My thoughts turned to Senri, the Golden Age of Men was over -his life would be a death sentence.

I ensured my face did not say any of these messages, it would have been unwise.

“If that is your wish sir, I will obey.”

....The knight simply nodded.

As I stepped over the threshold of my house Lidia was the first thing I saw, her expression distraught. Red lines of grief covered her face were she had rubbed away the tears. She placed a hand on my shoulder.

......“I know.”

The Blood That Ran Scarlet
No one came… Not a soul… Even the souls trapped in the Monastery made themselves dearth. Our attempts to ignite the alliances of the past had failed. As the scourge closed in all our methods of sending out our idealistic pleas for help dissipated. Here in my lab I stayed, listening while the once “Knights” descended into madness. They had begun to quarantine members of our small populous, believing them to be ill, not one of them returned from the quarantine. I should know - the screams of those sorry souls always found their way to my lab. It was often cited.
“When in doubt, slaughter.”

The war against the Scourge war-machine was not as illustrious as they had hoped. Our inchoate forces were limited and crazed, unbeknownst to them. Yet we had found enough time to rebrand ourselves in memory of our beloved. We were now “The Scarlet Crusade” - a Crusade to march alongside the Light and remove the atrocity of the Scourge from the world, or so they boasted.

The propaganda of this Crusade was sickening and deluded. It saddened me greatly to realise how dilute we had become- how the race of man when all of Society’s bounds had dwindled was nothing but the “Hollow shell of flesh” that headstrong Knight warned us of. The polite social mores man once had, had been swiftly killed off. I was trapped.. Imprisoned by my own people’s illness within a light-sworn bastion we now called “The Scarlet Monastery” with the darkness of man’s heart pouring out around me.

Upon arrival at the Monastery, Lidia was promoted to Inquisitor, from then all communication between us ceased. She had a duty, a duty of purging those she deemed sick. I was shown to my quarters in the Library of the Monastery, I was told to find a cure for this plague. To most people this could be bearable, a haven of protection against the Scourge – but I was not granted such an opinion

“Hardship… yes… A hardship - that is how I would define my life…”

For exactly a month from when we first arrived at the Monastery word reached me that Inquisitor Vouten had purged the youngest “tainted” they’d ever found. They said it looked like a small boy, only of about three with long golden locks. They said it was Senri.

They need not have told me. His screams, like so many others, had already filtered their way to my forgotten recluse. How hysterical they first were, then blood curdled and finally.. The silence.

A funny thing... –fate-… How it was such an unknown quantity vexed me. It was a being of frippery.

Crestfallen… I felt cheated that fate had taken my wife from me and now my son too. My beautiful darling was now a rampaging demon with a divine goal - at least Senri would not have to live through the rest of her misguided actions. Fate, singled me out, isolated me, yet allowed my consciousness to remain. I could only estimate the reason for this - to criticise the actions of the others?

Fate was but a cruel one sided sword. It amused me greatly how after the rise of the Scourge, it was not the Scourge that was the bane of my miserable life, but the men and women who claimed to be its victim.

After news of the death of my son my thoughts grew lugubrious. I was a shadow of my former self. A shadow forced against a background of scarlet. I sought for help. The light did not hear me, why would it? I already had enough qualms with that so called pureness. Sadly my vast arcane knowledge left me stranded and what good would my alchemy do, it was hardly a tangible science anyway.

The days, like my thoughts, grew dark and I left myself with little options. After countless logomachies I still remember standing before that dagger. The dagger I sought to end my life. It was a quick little blade – nothing fancy. Yet the relief it granted me… Oh the pain… A fitting way heralded the ending of my life

Regretfully - I was found in time and healed. I believe the total number attempts amounted to three before Inquisitor Vouten arrived at my doors.

Inquisitor Vouten waltzed in with a sense of aplomb; the pretences and the hyperboles around her were so very different to my Lidia. Nor did Inquisitor Vouten look like my wife. White, scarlet and gold robes draped her figure. On her chest, close to her heart in an apposite scarlet colour was the crest of the Crusade. The sight would have been remarkable despite all that I noticed were her golden prayer beads resting in the palm of her hand - the beads my Lidia had given to protect me.

Her gaze, through blood shot eyes, neglected all the warmth they once carried. It was replaced with a battle hardened steel. Lidia had died and been replaced by this demon before me. Her voice no longer quiet or gentle echoed with high and cold ring.

“Doctor Haluthious Vouten… You neglect your work –and- the sanctity of human life. This is an insult to your brothers and sisters who so willingly become one of the mindless Hordes. Are you not aware that they fight for our beliefs and our existence?” Her voice was emotional. The love she once had for me apparently had shifted into the love for her “divine duty.”

“Inquisitor Vouten.” I shifted from behind my bench to face her. “You have evolved into something I no longer recognise. You are as putrid as the damned themselves! You and your –blasted- duty are misled. You –murdered- our only son…”

Her gaze remained cold and no emotion crossed her face as I spoke as if she did not hear. She turned on her heel.

“You have been deemed ill. You are to be removed from this sanctuary. May the light have mercy upon your soul.”

It happened as soon as she said the words. She turned so quickly I could not have retaliated. The flash of light was all I remembered before darkness took me.

At last I was free - all earthly bounds had been broken. This was what I had been bereft for so long. The darkness was comforting and I relished its freedom. There was no cold or warmth just an eternal sense of completion. In all my dreams I would never have dreamt how this darkness was not chthonic… it was a haven.

A noise caught my attention, the sounds of hoofs on cobbled stone. With a tug of my heart I could feel my senses returning, adrenaline coursed through my veins, cold sweat lined my brow. I was alive and the world was pulling me back to consciousness.

To my dismay my eyes opened. My vision was at first blurred, but the unmistakable gloom that now filled the Glades poured into my eyes. As my eyes adjusted, the once powerful city of Lordaeron stood in decadence. It was a dystopia - rumble lay everywhere and the stench of rot wafted through its hollowed streets. I picked myself up slowly. I was weak, my body tender and the raw ache of tiredness prevented my mind from functioning. Only one thought slipped through the wall of disorientation and pain. That I was alive…

As I picked myself up I was aware of another. It was behind me, flanked by two beings of death. As I turned to face them it was apparent who they served. A coloured hue swirled about the rider, enveloping them in an aroma of decay. They stood motionless, as if their blackened armour was of impervious stone. It was intriguing to note that we both stood there for some time, both of us analysing and calculating - postulating the purpose of each other. The rider clearly was aware he had an advantage; there was no haste for action.

It’s odd, how when one is faced with the gravity of a situation like this that sense organs simply do not work. It crept up on me as if it was something vague, but slowly the realisation came- there was something in my hand. As my final act before certain death and enslavement - I looked down.

In the dull light of the Glade they still beamed their lambent gold sheen.

It was Lidia’s prayer beads


Last edited by Dr. Haluthious Vouten on Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:02 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spacing required attention.)

Dr. Haluthious Vouten

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Re: The Life of the "Good Doctor"

Post by Guest on Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:24 am

((Love this story, Hal. Will there be more now that the 'good' Doctor Haluthious returns?))

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