Nine Lives

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Nine Lives

Post by Sadok on Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:52 pm

Nine Lives

I watched them leave. Orcs of dented plate, of bloodstained leathers, dull glistening chainmail and fur-reinforced cloth. Axes, mauls, halberds and longbows — their weaponry of choice was no less varied. Yet all of them bore the colors of the Red Blade, and all of them wore the wolf-head in homage to Kraag the Wolfking. One by one, they trudged slowly but purposefully on worgback, still honoring Kraag and Magoth’s accord. They were many, and they were varied; but they were one and they were the same. Such is the wolfpack, where unity is strength. Moving as one, running as—

—running as fast as I could, the rotten wood buckled beneath my hurried footsteps. The battle raged on outside. A mighty raider launched his throwing-axe into the heart of a panicked warden atop a guardtower. He buckled like the wood, dropping long onto the hard ground. Smash! “Tiras noth, ador hir Kirin Tor,” another cried, before he was impaled upon a rusted iron battleaxe. I was young and all I knew of freedom were the tales of lethargic veterans. Until now. Until— smack! A blinding pain as I dropped to my knees. The bearded human wore a scowl and a mask of crimson blood. He carried a curved knife already wet with black-blood. He marched towards—

—marched towards the Plaguelands, and the war-cry was let out. “For the Blood of the Tribe! For the True Horde!” And so on, until their sight and sounds slowly faded into the Hinterlands wilderness, and I was alone. I had not rode with them this evening. I was tired, I mused, far too tired and felt far older and frailer than I was in years. Was it reckless use of the arcane? Undoubtedly. Was it those long, sleepless nights worrying over nothing? Of course. I had run and run, then walked, then limped, then crawled—

—crawled away, crying out to anyone and anything. The leg hung limp, nearly wrenched from its socket. My prized shadow-weave robes were but tattered rags. The garments acquired in the Magic Quarter had perished upon this blood-soaked Barrens battlefield, and the orc wearing them would not be soon behind. Had it been victory? Had the Alliance run us off entirely? There was nothing but a wailing in my ears, perhaps my own. Then a mighty roar, as an orc upon dragon-back slowly drifted over the landscape, scouring the fallen. My arms flailed, attempting to wave—

—wave hit the shore again, lightly drizzling the trolls with its spray. The evening was warm but agreeable, and on the horizon ,the sun was slowly stirring downwards to dusk and rest. I had wisely favored my light tunic over my fur-lined regalia and bulky shoulderpads, but both of my weapons hung sheathed — ever ready. I did feel lighter in body, and lighter in mind too perhaps. Heading towards the dock, I gently inhaled the sea-salt—

—salt poured into the red-raw wound, Strongbrew cackling. I writhed in horrific pain, trying to rock back and forth but held in place by the manacles. The others watched on — Sunbinder and Sharpeye, also tied up; and the draenei harlot in obsidian robes. Strongbrew took perverse delight in my suffering, his jowels rippling back and forth like a grotesque tide of fat and flesh. He spoke gruffly and callously in the common-tongue, and the draenei curled a slight but sinister smirk. I pushed myself against the wall, trying to escape—

—trying to escape from my fleeting worries by focusing on the rolling tide. The sound was soothing. Hsssssh. Pfssssch. Hssssssch. Psst. You. Psst. It was no tide, but a pale orc with one hand leant against the stone obelisk. Nodding lazily at me, he bid me come over to speak with him. Looking wistfully back at the sea, I sighed and turned to face him. He whispered—

—whispered and howled like a dying worg’s whining elegy. Such were the winds of the Blade’s Edge mountains — winds that pierced the eardrum sharper than a knife, drowned sound deeper than the darkest ocean and snapped at skin like a starved worg, stinging the raw flesh with lash after lash of biting pain. The rocks were like the winds. I continued to scale the precarious ridge with chilblain-wracked hands. The slopes were ridden with sharp-needled crags that perforated and lacerated with each desperate handhold. The air was thin. I was fading, and I finally submitted to the jagged barbs, letting them slowly cut into my back—

—back from Orgrimmar, and I cannot believe the corruption within. The Kor’kron have gone mad! Something rotten lies within the heart of Hellscream’s Horde,” he stated, hands clasped restlessly. I squinted slightly beneath my wolfmask, eyeing the pale orc down. Beneath his thick leathers he seemed muscular but lean, with a slight tinge of hunger about him. A sluglike tongue slid from his mouth, slowly wetting his bitten lip before he began again: “I wish to regain my honor. I wish to fight—”

—fight continued, the burly armored orc slashing at me with his axe. I somehow evaded his strike, half-falling backwards out of his reach. My fighting was clumsy and I could not gain enough distance or concentration to begin particularly-effective invocation. But I would avenge Felbane’s threats against Talonslayer and against her unborn pup — my unborn pup. There would be enough dangers outside of the womb without a bucket-head threatening its doom before it was even born. Thwack! I was knocked to the ground as the spiked shield came crashing—

—crashing against the shore again, the sea-spit flying everywhere. It was warm and pleasant, but it was shady and slightly cool behind the stone statue where we spoke. I peered towards the orc, arms folded: “Ghrm. I don’t know how y’found us ‘ere, but I reckon we ‘ave a place fer y’nonetheless, orc.” The lean orc seemed to smile slightly, a crooked fang visible. “I do not know how to thank you, Sadok,” he grinned. “Thank me by not failin’ m— eh, ‘ow y’know me name any’ow? I ain’t given it t’y’,” I intoned incredulously. He simply smiled back, his hands—

—hands were bound in rusted irons that stung the flesh. An ornate triskelion decorated the cuffs. The vrykul were savage, but none could fault their aesthetic, I mused morosely. It had been days since they had fed me, and my sweat-stained rags felt heavier on my bones each day. A deep horn echoed through the chambers, and a behemoth thrice my size threw me to my feet in a single movement. I couldn’t even resist. I was pushed forward into a small battle-ring with a stone floor covered in hay and caked in blood. I looked into the eyes of the anemic human I was pit against, with bone-thin limbs and ribs protruding like daggers. I lunged towards—

—towards me and whispered in my ear. I leant forward and listened, his serpent-like arm slyly wrapping around my shoulder and behind my neck. “Oh, we have ways of knowing. Ways of finding out. Ways of following. You can run, traitor, but you cannot hide.” A slow and sinister smirk slid across his lips as I felt something sharp plunge—

—plunge into the sea, leaping headlong into the misty and murky depths. I was at once stung by the ice-cold waters. I heard yelling and screaming muffled between the crashing waves and creaking wood. The mast broke apart, dropping like a tree upon the ship’s deck and crushing anything in its path. I saw figures suspended in the briny blue — orcs, tauren and trolls alike, flopping and struggling to survive. I had heard this newfound ursine-rock had dangers aplenty, but our voyage here would nearly bring about our collapse—

—collapse onto the ground. In shock, I panted and gulped for air like a fish out of water, not knowing what had quite happened. Excruciating pain sprung from my chest, the blade lodged deep within my flesh. The hungry orc narrowed his eyes and nodded in satisfaction. He slowly kneeled down, his gaunt cheeks and bitten lip coming even with my wide eyes and gasping mouth. “You fancy yourself a wolf, Red Blade? Well, you know what happens to lone wolves. They get... hunted down.” He laughed at his barb, grabbing the handle tight and mercilessly twisting the blade sideways to rend flesh, snap ribs and break—

—break myself out of here eventually. I’ve been captured three times? Four times? I’ve lost count. I was slightly delirious and my stomach was a bottomless hole, but the manacles kept me tethered to reality. Yes, more lives than the cat. I’ve been near-killed near-enough times that I doubt anything will finish me anytime soon. Each blow leaves a mark and each cut has its scar, of course, but I keep living because I can and because I will. Drustai and her human apprentice approach me with a branding-iron drawn. Cruel merciless torture? Oh, not very original at all, this bout of captivity. Perhaps they should spice it up a little next time—

—“time to go, Sharptongue, but we’ll be back for the rest of your traitor-friends.” I could barely hear him. He cackled, remarking smugly: “If the dagger don’t do it, the poison will. Hellscream’s eyes are upon you, you bastard.” Everything was turning a little quiet now, and a little cold and a little numb and my face was slowly drooping into the ground and my hands were reaching out for anything and anybody my chest what a pain what a pain my chest it hurts it is sticking all the way in should i take it out can i take it out what’s happening everything’s going cold i know it is i should call for them will they hear me they won’t hear me they won’t even come it’s over it’s over it’s over i feel cold—


Posts : 275
Join date : 2011-05-03
Age : 24
Location : York, UK

Character sheet
Name: Sadok Sharptongue
Title: High Blade Thur'ruk

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Re: Nine Lives

Post by Drustai on Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:16 pm

Sadok's dead? Sad

[I] Drustai the Necromancer - Outcast
[A] RADM Areyah Conover - Missing in Action
[L] Saphra Emberstone - Felsworn
[H] Atsenkha - Former Kor'kron, Red Blade Tribesorc

" any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself... In all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions."

—The Iron Law of Bureaucracy


Posts : 3194
Join date : 2010-10-10
Location : Gotland, Sweden

Character sheet
Name: Archmage Drustai
Title: The Necromancer

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Re: Nine Lives

Post by Ralegh on Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:57 pm

That was a absolutely fucking amazing story.
Good going Sadok.


Posts : 1225
Join date : 2010-07-21
Age : 25
Location : England, Bournemouth

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Re: Nine Lives

Post by Rashka on Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:52 pm

Ghrmm.. The killers will get killed! I bet on that!..
Also amazing story, very well writed!


Posts : 589
Join date : 2012-08-04
Age : 18
Location : Denmark

Character sheet
Name: Rashka Facebreaker
Title: Champion of Blood, Champion of the Red Blades, & Former Champion of the Horde.

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Re: Nine Lives

Post by erwtenpeller on Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:24 am


Astonishing story. Awesomely written. Creatively structured.


Posts : 6481
Join date : 2011-06-03
Age : 30
Location : Netherlands

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Re: Nine Lives

Post by Swan Emperor Arenfel on Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:05 am

The shifting perspective between Sadok's memories and his current situation were fantastic, a great send-off for a great character.

Mage Pride. /salute

Swan Emperor Arenfel

Posts : 679
Join date : 2010-01-30
Age : 23

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Re: Nine Lives

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