Dainty Rose

“The idea had been growing in my brain for some time: TRUE force. All the king’s men cannot put it back together again.” Jocey spits a string of phelgm. “Know what I’m sayin’, girl? My ol’ pa was one of the masons, you know. They fuckin’ ruled this place. King’s still owe me backpay, y’know.” She straightens up, flips her hair, tries to sound healthy and happy as the night elf pass by. “He-eeey! Han’some, amma lookin’ for a par— yeah go on the fuck get goping then, you fucking jerkoff tree fucking hugger!”

She swings from moody to insane in seconds. Jocey is a Real Ess Three, as we call them. Stage three. She’ll be dead in a couple of weeks. Me, I’ve been careful, so far. I haven’t got scourged, not yet anyway. Nah, it’s not the scourge scourge. you won’t get what Jo got from bad grain. You’ll get it from fucking. Healers are pretty much baffled ’cause nothing they try actually works.

Oh, I’m sorry. You didn’t know that, did you? Well, see, some diseases are so terrible that the kings court don’t even talk about them. Besides, it’s mostly sailors, skanks and soldiers that got it.

So far …

(Jocey slept with the son of a noble last night, gone slumming. He’ll be coughing in a couple of days. Trust me.)

Jocey coughs. I don’t like her cough, it sounds like death. She runs a fever. Beads of sweat drips from her hairline, getting caught in her eyebrows. I always assumed night elves were immune to human diseases. You know, if Jocey can catch the plague, what about me?

I try not to think about it. I light a clay pipe – mostly tobacco, because fireweed is expensive – and drag deep. The few grains of fireweed makes my head a little like cotton. Couple of nights ago I managed to snag a draenei trader. He’s known for carrying contraband weed from Draenor. Shit’s good, yo. Tonight it’s simple leaves, he’s gone back to the Big Dee. I miss him, even though he wanted me to dress in a plaid skirt and call him daddy.

“Should’a gone to Westfall when Van was there,” Jocey mumbles. “Should’a … ”

I just nod. Jocey is drunk and sick. She always talks big when drunk and with her fever, well, you know. The only reason I still stand next to her is because she’s my friend. She’s taught me everything. I mean it – everything. I always remember her truths. I won’t ever forget them. There’s just three of them but on the street you got three seconds to make a decision.

It’s a life or death decision, too.

First truth: The Death Knight is the best, male or female doesn’t matter. Death Knights just wants to talk. Sometimes you have to rub them but they really don’t get off from it. They just want to be touched, down there, you know? Get a Death Knight and you won’t have to work for the rest of the night. Just listen, or pretend to listen. Look closely though. Some of ’em wants to hurt you. You know it when you see it. If you don’t it’ll be too late. I’ve been lucky, I’ve only met the talking dead. I always listen to them.

Some people have a lot of words inside them and no one to tell them to.

Second truth: Dwarves are the second best. They never want the “full one”. They’ll be embarassed the whole time. Male dwarves push themselves to come as fast as they can just so they can get out of the situation. Female dwarves fake it. They handle drink just fine, and most of them are so drunk that they’ll pass out before anything happens.

If you want a good nights sleep, get a dwarf.

Third truth: Wax. Yeah, wax is important. Bees wax. You heat it up a bit, then shape it anyway you want. Jocey usually apply one of her lacerations to her forehead. I prefer to just dot some stuff on my lips. Oh right, you wonder why? See, it’s simple: If you look sick you won’t get anyone but Death Knights. They don’t care if you’re stage three because honestly – nothing can be as bad as their so called life. Boils and wounds keep humans away, especially the hu-men. I’m pretty good with the wax and chicken fat.

“Check him out,” I say, nodding at the draenei coming up the street. He’s got a leather backpack slung across a shoulder and his eyes are big, suprised. “First timer, girl.”

I saunter up to him, reach out with a hand and gently tug at his pale blue mage robe.

“Hey, han’some.” He looks down on me. I see it in his eyes. It’s always the same look. A profound suprise. As if he never knew he even had thoughts like that. “I’ll be your girl if you want me to.”

“I … ” He stops, mostly because of the braying voices from across the street. The Slugs Head Inn at Harbor Lane is not a place you want to pass by if you’re not human.

“Go back to the void you fucking demon!”

An empty bottle crash against the pavement. A throng of laughing men outside the inn holds up a rope.

“Don’t mind them,” I say. “Some people don’t change, eh.”

I can’t believe what I see. The tenderfoot bluey strides across the street, hunching his shoulders. Halfway across the street he … darkens. Then things happen very fast. I just watch from the other side of the street, mesmerized, shocked. Such power … I will never forget the screams as the painful words of shadow seared the simple minds of hateful men. He leaves them there outside the pub, writhing in pain, as he cross the street and returns to me. He looks down on me, smiles and say:

“Get rid of the wax on your lips and we’ve got a deal. What’s your name?”

I strike a pose. Gotta sell the wares, right?


“I’m Rose.”

The Dark Night

This is not in any way related to World of Warcraft. Some time ago I jotted down an “as is”-thing, a rather poorly written opening to something … and then I buried it, because honestly? It was just bad. The idea didn’t leave me entirely. Since I’m not well versed in contemporary stuff – I find a lot more freedom in making up my own facts! – the story below sort of transformed … into something else, than that first very bad draft.

I’m actually rather pleased with how it turned out. Should you be so inclined, please take fifteen minutes or something and read it.


Don’t mention O’Leary.

(Seriously. Don’t.)

I think this is the beginning of a grand adventure … it’s one of those ideas that traveled through space, like narativium do, and lodged itself in this scared piece of fatty tissue of mine.

The Dark Night.

(Yeah, it’s a working title, but I had to call it something!)

– – –

Deliah have never seen the dark night.

She’s right though. Nights come slow in these parts. Every night, as if it was shy, sorry to trespass on another day, even if it was grim or rainy or dry or hot. Sure, there’s plenty of different days – but there’s just one night in these parts.

The dark night.

It rolls down the mountainside like an avalanche of darkness. The daylight struggles, of course it does, but this is a battle the Light will lose. The burning brightness of day turns golden in that first frantic battle. Then it turns red, blood red. Then the night comes. Far, far away the glare of big cities paint an everlasting sunset against the horizon, but here … yes, here there’s just the night.

The night is the blanket of the world. It’s a quilt, sewn by hands who know nothing of the day. It’s rolls down across our little town. ”That’s how it’s always been” people in these parts say. Some people say ”It’ll be morning soon …”. They know what it means, you see. It means another day.

With a bit of luck, it’s a new day for everyone.

It’s curious how people, who knows that the night is dark and dreary as they dream of O’leary, whisper ”nevermore”.
That’s a secret! Don’t tell anyone! O’Leary … we don’t speak of O’Leary. They say, in these parts, that if you say his name three ti–


Yet some people like the night. Some people are a bit weird (or so the other people claim, the people of the day). The temperature drops, sometimes it rains even though the day was clear and sunny. The smell of daylight shifts to the smell of night, as if nature herself did some housecleaning. The night smell better than the day. The night smells clean.
The streetlights come on at nine o’clock. It’s always been that way. The first streetlight was installed in 1781, it was an iron basket filled with firewood. A ”mr Pryttchard” was responsible for lighting it. It was supposed to keep the indians out.
It didn’t.

There’s quite a nice display made out of tin soldiers and styrofoam in the library if you want to know more about the massacre of 1786.

These days, and for a long time back, it’s been eletricity. The first electrical streetlight was installed in 1928 and since then there’s been thousands of them. All of them light up at exactly 2100 hours. It used to be that our little town bathed in light but people complained. These days, the streetlights are perfect. They shine upon the pavement in circles of light and the darkness reigns between them.

The system works, so there’s no reason to change the rules (even though night comes earlier in winter than in summer). When night falls, the display windows of the stores, those who got it, turn on their night lights. It used to be that all stores had spotlights in their windows. It used to be that Main Street looked like christmas shopping season, all year around. These days most of the storefronts have aluminum shutters. No more lights, sir, oh no. Just flood lights that come one if someone moves past a motion detector. Like everyone else, we’re scared of terrorists and thieves. Some people blame ”the kids”, others the Hollands (they’re from Away, and they’re black, and in these parts old habits die hard), but such people always find someone to blame and hate.

Pritchards Autos is resplendant with it’s lights, all through the night. Red and green and blue and yellow. Neon signs. Hanging wires so heavy with lightbulbs they sag a good two feet between the chromed steel poles. Lee Pritchard – he can trace his family back to the Light Keeper, Oliver Pryttchard – says it’s a customer support thing. People don’t know this because Pritchard have never told anyone but his husband, now deceased.

He’s afraid of the dark.

His lot is brightly lit. Someone might be passing by and glance at the cars. Maybe they’re walking the dog. Maybe they’re coming back from Pat Malloy’s, walking slowly like people with too much beer and not enough brains usually do. Maybe they spot a car, right then and there in the night. Maybe they want that car.

Well. They can’t have it, not right away.

There’s a chainlink fence around the parking lot. The two story red brick building, with ”PRITCHARD MOTORS & REPAIRS” painted on the wall between the first and second floor windows, have floodlights mounted on it’s slanted roof. Pritchard lives on the second floor. His lights go out around midnight. People think he’sa bit ”quirky”, or ”mad”, because he never remarried even though he’s only fortyfive. Still, someone undoubtedly comes back the next morning – Pritchards is doing good business, even for a small town such as this.

What town, you ask? Ah …

Welcome to Blackwood.

The night rolls in. The streetlights come on. Prichards, Malloy’s, Karpovs Fishing Supplies and a handful of other stores light up their windows. It’s automatic. It used to be the owner or some staff had to turn a switch but you know, that was way back in the 1940’s.

The stores that’s still lit? Those are the stores that trust people in this part of the world. Their buildings sit there, on the edge of the concrete sidewalk, all through the night with the windows lit. Rectangles and squares of multi colored light shimmer upon the sidewalk. When it rains, it’s like looking down a rainbow. In winter, when it snows (it used to snow a lot more), you just wait for Father Christmas to come by. Bells ringing, reindeers and all. It never happens, of course. Father Cee never comes around in his sledge. Even if he does, no one has ever seen him. Here’s a bit of local news for you: In 1963, mr Tim Labroux (he was from New Orleans originally) had his head caved in with a sledgehammer. Labs, as he was called, used to dress up as Santa. It was his wife who did him in. Let’s leave it at that.

Blackwood is otherwise a sleepy little town. Most of the houses goes dark after eleven. The only light you might see is if someone forgot to turn off their computer. There’s not many lights in the windows after midnight. People go to bed early in these parts. Everyone has at least one computer and several other devices but people like the dark in Blackwood. You won’t find much of the blue shadows, not in this town..

Those who are awake, those with the household lamps still on, well … Let’s just say that some people like to talk about those people. Funny that. A hundred miles south you can see the sky ablaze with light from New York Citys arcs, the self-contained small towns in the big city. The largest one, The Trump Arc, is exactly nineteen kilometers high.
Blackwood is rural country though. Time forgot to bring the town into the late twentyfirst century. Look over there, across Main Street. The sign above the doors to Love’s Food is a neon calendar. It spells out the time and date. Right now?
00:26:42. 03 25. 2042. The ”42” after the time is changing of course. 43. 44. 45. 46 …

However, this is an unusual night.

At 00:26:46, the clock on Love’s Food stops.

There’s a light on at 244 Birch Street. It’s an old light. Not many people use that kind of stuff, not these days. The light is glaring. It’s pristine white fluorescents. It spills out through the windows covered with plastic lace curtains and paints rectangles of light on the darkened ground. Tiny pebbles speckled with fool’s gold glimmer on the walkway. The grass appears to be tinged with wite and gold. It’s plastic grass. It’s a bit tacky, sure, but what can you do, eh? Water is expensive these days. Even on the East Coast.

Nathan Rumford lives here. He’s seventysix years old, a retired computer salesman (he started out with Apple). He usually goes to bed at ten thirty, like any decent person in these parts of the world.

Not this night.

He sort of went to sleep two hours ago. He still sits hunched in front of a half eaten bowl of spagetti in tomato sauce, his eyes staring at nothing. That’s why the Rumford House will be available for rent, to ”a woman who is honest, clean and calm. Pets are allowed (no dogs!), good internet connections!”. There will be a telephone number attached to the ad but the ad won’t show up in Weekdays in Blackwood for another three weeks (it’s still a paper newspaper even though they have a site as well). Mr Ferguson, he’s the lawyer in town, will place the ad.

Deliah will call that number.

A damsel in distress


“She looked like something that might have occured to Ibsen in one of his less frivolous moments.”
― P.G. Wodehouse, Summer Lightning

“Would you please stop that infernal music!” For almost a minute, the band played on. Horns blared, violins squeaked. No one heard the haggard voice over the din of dirges, suited for a recently reanimated slightly fragrant mage. Then: “Stop that infernal din! I haven’t got all day!”

There was a “ploink” as one of the violinists stopped. Then there was a “oomph” as a tuba player sucked his mastiscated lips from a somewhat grimy mouthpiece and stared at the apparition with big, suprised glowing eyes.

“I say,” a flutist said, once the screeching notes came to an end. “Someone doesn’t appreciate the fine a– ouwww!”

Dorry smacked him over the head with her cain. Then she glared at all of them, one after another.

“I am not someone to be trifled with,” she said. “A lady can’t even get some decent sleep around here! Oh no, I just wanted to rest my legs a bit, found a nice hole to do it in, the next thing I know? You! Is this what the world is coming to? Dirges? When I was a girl we used to send our elders off with polka and brandy!”

She shook her cain and took a step into the midst of the band. Several minutes later, most of them rolled around on the ground clutching their aching, seeping heads. Dorry looked around across the fallen, content with a good nights work, and then set off.

“I do hope miss Harrowgate knows that I’m coming,” she muttered. “I’m not going to let Death stop me from her tea party, oh no, you mark my words you little wench … Stealing my betrothed, right under my nose, with those long legs of hers. There’s a name for people like you, young lady! It starts with Ssss …” She stopped, sniffing the air. There was a tang of life somewhere, aha! Over there, hiding in a bush. A night elf, busy with winding up a mechanical construct of some sort. It looked like a harvest golem, a small one. A very scared rat bared it’s teeth at the herald of mechanised doom.

“You there!” Dorry cried out. “Leave that rat alone!”

The night elf startled – and then, in an instant, vanished in a puff of smoke. The tiny harvester scuttled around for a bit before it came to a screeching halt in a cloud of smoke and sparks.

“Beware the living … ” Dorry said. Then she made a “tcch! tchh!”-sound with her lips. The rat thought it over for a few seconds but then realised that the world is a dangerous place. Might as well have a mage as a bodyguard.

“I’m going to call you … Rattus!” Dorry nodded. Rattus said “squeak!”. Dorry made a pleased sound, half a grunt, half a chuckle. Then she hitched up her dress, an heirloom, and set off for the putrescent lights and big underworld of former Lordaeron. “Dark Lady have mercy on your soul, miss Harrowgate. For I certainly wont!”

Full metal rogue

“I am Sergeant Caliss, your senior drill instructor. From now on you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be “Ma’am”. Do you maggots understand!?”

Kick ’em hard, right from the start. That’s what my ol’ sarge used to say. I couldn’t believe my luck a couple of weeks ago. SI:7 pulled me out of Shat and sent me on some R&R in Darnassus. There’s a compound there for people like me, for Temporal Operatives. I thought I was done working backwards in time. I thought I was done working, period. Girls like me, with frayed sanity and too many citations in the books, we don’t get second chances. Outland came close to breaking me, you know. Sent back to do this or that, back to a world that died a long time ago … and then they pull me out.

I knew I couldn’t be that lucky. Not for long.

I slept for fortyeight hours upon my return, barely woke up for nature’s call. Everything was a haze. I hardly even knew where I were. Then things cleared up a bit. I’ll tell you later about the compound, but first there’s the matter of Junior.

Andrea Rawls, everyone called her Junior. Fourteen years old, ’cause the army has lowered the enlistment age for years now. First Deathwing took a toll out of the body, then Garrosh got his sacrifice. By the time the Iron Horde stormed through the portal, both the Alliance and the Horde was scraping the bottom of the barrel. Over here, the blue and gold, we got it down to science. Twenty years of age became eighteen, then sixteen, then fifteen. Then – fourteen (we call them “boosters”). There’s a rumor that press gangs enlist the aid of mercenaries and rip the kids out of the arms of screaming mothers. Ugly business, for sure. If it’s true or not, well you know, no one fucking cares. Let’s just say that the Goldshire marshall recently bought himself a new house. A big one.

Meat. We need meat. Some live, some die. In the end they’re all meat. We know it. They know it. I saw it in Juniors eyes. Blue eyes, a bit on the watery side like she was about to cry but had forgotten how. Her face was already old, lips clasped together so tight her mouth was but a stripe across her cheeks. White lips. The humans say you can spot a virgin in their eyes. They’re wrong. It’s in the face. Those who smile, those who breathe through slightly moist lips – those are the one’s who dream of fucking. Trust me. So many recruits grabbed their tiny pole that first night, thinking of me. I know it. I heard them. Then again … it doesn’t matter if you got laid or not, because here in Tanaan, well if you don’t know how to kill?

Everyone is fucked.

I’m well trained. I look for that particular face. The killer face. The solemn, already dead, face. The “I have no dreams of a future miss pinkie with my fingertips on the button”-face. I want dead people. That’s the face of someone who will survive. Life have fucked them already. They know they’re dead, time just haven’t caught up with them. Andrea was one of them. You know what we call them?

We call them the Black Guard.

That’s why your first duty is to make them fear you more than they fear Gul’Dans berserkers. Because trust me – no one wants to be the Black Guard. That greeting up there? That’s my tag line. Those young faces with beards that look like black or blonde pinstripes on their pimpled cheeks lose their luster once I’m done with them. Those young meatshields, some of them have never been kissed. Some of them barely have breasts. Meat, all of them. Boys, girls. It doesn’t matter. Andrea bled for the first time right there, grimacing from cramps but still standing. I punched two guys out, one on her left, one on her right, when they snickered. She knew why she was here. I dare say no one else did. She knew …

They were here to die.

Meat. Smiles fade, exitement turns to embarassment or fear. I don’t care about the one’s who get embarassed. They’ll be dead soon. I single out the one’s who grit their teeth. They’ll be dead later – and later is better than soon. They’re here to make my job easier. They’re meat. I’m the knife.

Junior didn’t flinch.

She didn’t smile, or blush. She didn’t step back, not even when blood spread, not even when the cramps turned her face white. She just stared at me with eyes too old for her young face. For some reason that small detail bothered me. A “One Four”, as we call them. She shouldn’t have that kind of eyes … truth be told she scared me. I was like her, once. A long, long time ago …

She had a scar running down the left cheek, from the ear to the chin. It was an old scar, neatly healed, just a white line down her face. I wondered, when I saw her, what could have caused such a scar. You know the grapewine of Lunarfall, I’m sure. Someone heard something, told it to someone and eventually I heard it. Was it true? Nah. A couple of days later during chow I asked Junior about the scar.

“So, you got cut by an orc death knight stealing your farm chickens, huh?”
“Uh-uh.” She never talked much.
“Dad gave it to me.” She looked up from the plate of grits and stew and stared at me with those pale, watery blue eyes that was too old for a kid. Then she just shrugged, lowered her eyes and kept on eating. Hammering her knife into the grits.

I found her a couple of weeks later, out in the field. Gul’Dan hit us hard at the Iron Front. If not for the meat those damned green animals would have bumrushed all of us, straight into Talador. Less than a dozen vindicators and a couple of hundred infantry dug in right at the broken gates and held the line. It was enough time for “the specialists” to arrive. Junior was still standing, smack out in the middle of the battlefield. Just a kid, she couldn’t even hold a sword right. I walked up to her, walked straight across the still smoking remains of thousands of dead orcs.

“You alright there, private?” I said.
“I’m in a world of shit,” she said, without looking at me. Then she turned her hollow stare at me and whispered: “Seven, six two inches … “She actually hissed as she raised the sword. “Full. Metal. Jacket.”

Her body armor, simple ghost iron because True Iron was too expensive or the grunts, was covered with blood, soot and chunks of orc meat.

“I live.” She said. “Fuck it.”

Then she dropped her sword and clung to my neck, screaming. I tried not to cry. In the end, I didn’t. I held her, staring into her eyes. Ten thousand yards of staring eyes. She grinned at me, it wasn’t a smile. It was facial muscles, too hard to let go. you know what?

I had the same grin.

This is no war for children. When they grow up, what will they be? The question lingered with me for days on end. They sent Junior back to Karabor, the field hospital there is one of a kind. I put in some paperwork and eventually I heard, through the grapewine, she had been “pulled out”. SI:7 caught her.

Two days later I was pulled out as well. Maybe it was that last thing I did that got the attention of SI:7. Maybe someone just knew I was fed up. I broke the siege of Zeth’Gor. 0430 hours I just stood up behind a barricade and said “fuck it!”. then I walked into that monster of a town and carved, cut and danced. Eyes wide. Lips bared. Grinning.

I Vanished and ambushed. I shed my armor, painted myself with blood and ash. Two hundred, eighty nine dead. Men, women, children. Even their pet beasts. I never caught sight of Kilrogg, the bastard was already holed up in the Citadel. I didn’t even know I wanted to kill him. I just … I just wanted to kill.

I painted my face with ash. I smeared charcoal around my eyes. I danced the dance of death with Kilroggs orcs – naked. You want to know what fear is?

Fear is the smell of sweat, beads of stink on the body of an orc as I gutted him, from the pelvis to the ribs, and then disemboweled him with my bare hands. I force fed brutes with their innards. If anyone tells you night elves are kind … they’re wrong. Hate drove me, rode me, the best lover you can have is the smell of blood, feces and fear. I came as I killed.

They pulled me out. I was “losing it”, as the commander said. They sent me back to Darnassus, the Compound.

The first thing you should know about the Compound is this: On the heavy cloth walls in the house carved out of a tree trunk, someone has adorned the environment with “pleasant thoughts”. It’s wooden boards, filled with sentences like “Time Is A Stream: Swim With It!”. Or “History Is Here And Now!”. Or “Temporal Operatives Saved the World of Today Yesterday!”. Or “No One Ever Dies If you Know What Timeline You Are Sent To!”. Or “Chromie Wants it!”.

Fuck Chromie.

Most of us in the Compound are crazy. Most of us fall back on the simple things in life. Sleep. Food. Sex. Pain. We’re time whores, all of us. Temporal Operatives … I’m pretty sure I fucked myself once, going back in time, taking out a wizard with a quick stab in the back, then laying low … I went to a brothel in Dolanaar. I grew up there, you know. Was it me? I don’t know. She was young, she was scared, I had to hold her down and force her to lick. She did a lousy job and I slapped her.

That was me. Once. Crying as I did it but the sentinel who slapped me … never mind. That was ages ago. I grew up. Two years ago I found her, in Astranaar. I fed her with her ovaries (they never caught me). I told you we’re crazy. just like Junior said, I know this now:

I’m in a world of shit. But I am alive.

Casualty List


(naval mission losses, including missing from action – MIA – and/or presumed dead):

Ambershine, Sun (passenger)
Blackpaw, Lin (surgeon)
Blixby, Dixx (engineer)
Boltcutter, Dorbin (sailor)
Boltcutter, Corbin (sailor)
Boltcutter, Orbin (2nd grade petty officer)
Brown, Rufus (sailor)
Derek, Dirk (sailor)
Glllgmmrl (Assault diver 1st grade)
Hamaa (sailor)
Hyte, Emma “Lassie” (sailor)
Iramaa (sailor)
Jerome, Carevin (sailor)
Linkgrease, Trinkle (2nd grade engineer)
Mark, Anthony (sailor)
Mordregar, Geralt (petty officer 1st grade)
Nightshadow, Luna (sailor)
Pinkerbosom, Tinky (2nd grade engineer)
Redridge, Jerome “the Mountain” (sailor)
Rinkley, Algar (sailor)
Romley, Gerhardt (sailor)
Scaffold, Urik (sailor)
Shadowhaven, Tyranne (marine)
Serion, Theodore “Laddie” (captains cabin boy)


Failed naval missions comes with a price.

Remember that.

The Fel Storm

Sometimes a story decides to live its own life …

(This did not turn out the way I thought it would!)

– – – – –

Not far from the Tanaan inlet, the waves, on that frightful night, rushed to their own demise upon the black rocks of Shadowmoon. Outside Saltys small house close to the shipyard, the wind screamed around the buildings.

“Wind’s picking up,” Ravennah said.

“Aye.” Salty said. He drank deeply from his mug of ale. He tried to hide it but both his hands were shaking. “Wind’s like a woman.”

“Say wha’?”

“The shriek … ” He shrugged, burst out in nervous laughter, and then busied himself with lighting a pipe. “It’s the sound … Me herd it, lass. Bad one, this one.”

Fireweed smoke. Sometimes ordinary Dun Morogh tobacco just coldn’t cut it. At least his hands stopped shaking. Then the wind picked up. Something big outside broke, probably one of the scafolds down by the warf. The wind kept shriekeing.


He was a tough one, Salty, no doubt about it. Yet, on that night, as the storm grew into a fel tinged hurricane, eventually he scampered across the floor like a geist and hid in a coal box next to his iron stove. The wind yelled. The wind raged. At last it shrieked like banshees around the eaves. He could take kobolds in stride. He didn’t care much about ghouls. He sneered at orcs and spat a string of tobacco when facing a lich. But banshees.

Banshees got to him.

He was not alone on that terrible night. As the wind picked up and tore at the roof, he couldn’t help himself. He reached out with both his stubby arms and yelled “Help me! They takin’ me, lass!”. In a split second he was back at Lights Reach. Terror is the next stage of fear – on that night, so long ago … before someone tossed him a parachute. He whimpered. “I don’ wanna die ‘ere, lass.”

“This a bad night, mate … ” her voice from across the room, both frightened and reassuring. “Hol’ on ta me, will ya. We be aight, mate.”

Then Ravennah shot a quick glance at the walls and roof. Rain water was already seeping in through cracks. The timber of the cottage, built to resemble a Loch Modan dwarven bunker, was screaming, creaking, groaning. The storm pulled. It huffed and puffed. Splinters, covered with tar and grass, shot through the room like bullets.

“They come for me, lass. I know they are!” Salty covered his head with his arms. His mouth kept on rambling as if he didn’t even know it. “Was a slave in the pit and I’m ne’er goin’ back! So help me Light I kill meself first! Things the’ mad’ me do, lass. Things …” He hick-uped, mostly from the crying, some from the ale. “Oh Light me losin’ it me is!”

“Nah mate, dan’ be daft. Ain’tcha no gonna killa yaself tanight, ‘kay? C’m’ere, lil’ man.”

He crawled out of his hiding place, crying. An old dwarf, one who had survived the Pit of Saron, the Twilight Beach, the street gangs of Ironforge and once a very angry gnome intent on cutting his balls off. He slipped across the floor like a rodent, throwing his arms around her neck and coughed up phlegm and snot in her hair.

Ravennah was not a particularly smart draenei. She wasn’t as pretty as any other, but she knew that when an old dwarf needs a hug, even a stupid draenei will do. It doesn’t matter if she’s not as smart as Yrel. So she hugged him, pressing his head close to her bosom, mumblin “‘ll be ‘kay, champs, sure ‘ll be …”

She wondered though, if anything would be okay.

“I’m so afraid … ” he whispered. “Why you do this, lass? Leave me!”

“Fuck off. ” Ravennah grunted and held him harder. “I’m scared to, chubby,” She stroked his bald head, trying not to cry. “Got a sister out ‘ere ya’kno’ … Sha. Fucking human gonna go to fucking Tanaan in dis wether!?”


“She’s adopted.”

“Oh …” Salty sobbed. ” We’re doomed … ” He coughed. “‘dis be the end of us, lass.”

“Nah, mate. Storm’s gonna blow. Now shut the fuck up!”

“If dis be our last night, lass, any chance of …”

She smacked him over the head.

“Oh, right. Just throwing the idea around.”

“You be aight, mate.” She smiled, planted a wet kiss on his scalp and whispered: “When storm’s over, grab me horns tiny.”

It brought a smile to Saltys face, scared as he was. He looked up at her and said:

“Oh, ‘dis ol’ dwarf gonna make ya scream, lass, got the stamina for it you just trust me!”

“I’ll be ya fuckin’ banshee ‘f ya wan’ me ta,” she said.

From Saltys reaction he clearly didn’t.

Ten clicks off the coast of Shadowmoon a breaking wave cut the Hungry Riverbeast in two. It was fast – so fast no one had time to yell “stand clear!” (as protocol dictated) or even scream for help. First, there was a troop carrier. Then, there was nothing. Just the howling wind and crashing waves, the floating bodies and the debris. No one survived.

Sharenne watched the transport vessel go under. She supposed she should have felt something, but she was numb. Her mind clear, her body stiff. She had to pry her fingers lose from the rope she’d been holding on to as the brig Blue Bird plowed throw the storm surge. The crew screamed and yelled – “We need to pick ’em up, chaps! Pick ’em fucking up! If anyone …”

It was in their tone of voice. They didn’t believe their own words. All of them had seen it. A giant wave of water, tinged with crackling green lightning and fire, had turned the heavy transport into sticks and shrapnel no bigger than a match.

“This is Gul’Dans storm!” she screamed at the crew. “THIS is A FEL STORM!!!”

“Then we’re doomed,” a crewman said.

She laughed at the wind. She laughed at him. She laughed at the fear in all of their faces. She didn’t want to let go of the rope she hold onto, because if she did they would see her hand trembling. She focused on not showing fear – but she was afraid. The water, all around, crackling green and smelling like rotten eggs … the deep green sea …

Sharenne couldn’t swim.

“No,” she said. “Don’t fear the fel!” She turned her face into the wind and drew a deep breath, every ounce of concentration going into her facial muscles. She wanted to retch – but she didn’t. Instead she chuckled and stared at them with her head slightly bowed. Then, once she had the attention of everyone, every single stupid sailor and marine, she growled: “Embrace … THE FEL!”

Of course it was theatrics. She didn’t belive her own words. A warlock walks a tighrope of madness and oblivion. Those who embrace the fel end up like Kanrethad. Demonology is mostly theater, of course. So her balance was impeccpable. She knew they would think she was crazy. Of course they would. Everyone thinks warlocks are crazy. The world accepted warlocks as long as they didn’t behave like warlocks. She had documents to prove she was a mage of the Kirin Tor, but on occasions such as this, it was time to drop the mask and show the world who she really was.

A demon whore (oh shush you! Everyone calls warlocks that!).

“Gul’Dan aint got shit on me!” she screamed – and then let lose a haggard laugh that made some of the crewmen cover in fear. “Behold now! True! POWWA!!!”

Then she ripped off her hexweave dress.

Sometimes, fear is the only motivation that can keep people going. Sometimes, the sight of a naked woman is the only thing that can keep them going. In extreme cases, such as this, the sight of a thirty something female warlock, her skin as pale as alabaster, her breast still ripe and her ass an ass to die for … Well, then there was the Void Lord of course. She called Metaril forth with the snap of her fingers and a terrible whisper. Whatever instant thought some of the sailors had about fucking her silly, as the bitch they all wanted, all of that turned to mental dust as five hundred pounds of shadow showed up and called her “mistress … I’m at your command”.

“Stay put,” She said, then she wet her index finger with her tongue and placed it right on the pubic hairline. “Any of you fuckers want some of this, you better get to work!” She chuckled, moved her finger down a bit and whispered “Ax’arah xia … ”

Half of the crew had a hardon as they clambered up ropes and started work. They didn’t even know why.

“You should not do that, mortal.” Metaril said.

“Oh come on, “Sharenne scoffed as she tried to cover herself in her ripped clothing. “If you had a pussy you’d understand, Met.”

“Please send me back? I do not understand this world.”

“No one does,” she said and sat down. With a heavy sigh, staring at the crashing waves and then at her trembling hands, she lit a pipe of fireweed. “No one does … ”

“Land hoe!” someone cried out.

Sharenne smiled, sucked her pipe and leaned back against a pile of tarred rope.

“Scurry now,” she whispered, as Metaril made a show of force in front of a daring horny sailor. “Scurry. Little men … And call me mistress.”

“I will gladly die for you, mistress!” the sailor said.

“No you won’t.” Sharenne grunted. “You want to live, you don’t want to fuck me. No one does. Now piss off.”


“You know, mortal … ” Metaril sighed. “It’s no wonder people call you a bitch.”

“Do they, now?”

“You have a … reputation.”

“There’s one thing worse than being talked about, Lord Metaril.”

“Is there now?”

“It’s not being talked about.”

“Send me back … ”

“Fat chance, bluey.”

Metaril sighed.

Apocalypse Rogue


Shattrath. Shit. I’m still in Shattrath. Every time I think I’m gonna wake up back in Hellfire. Every day I spend at this inn I get weaker. It’s as if my body is losing it’s agility. I can’t bend as I used to. My work-out isn’t working, probably because I’m in a constant mood of desperation. I drink to sleep. I sleep so I don’t have to wait. See, this is what it’s like being a “temporal operative”. A few weeks ago they pulled me back. I was home, but when I was home I wanted to be over here. When I’m here …

I want to be over there.

My name is Caliss Starshadow. I’m a temporal agent. this is my diary – and I hope no one will ever read it. This is the only way I stay sane. I write. I drink. I stay alive.

Temporal agent … taste those words. It’s like … a wet dream of office speak, deep in the bowels of Stormwinds Old Town. What it means is this: SI:7 is in cahoots with the Bronze Dragonflight and what could possibly go wrong with something like that? Oh, I know there’s a Horde side to it. I’ve met blood elves and orcs in the same game as me. Just like me, most of them are going crazy. Most of them are itching to get out.

They sent me straight into the heart of darkness, hoping that maybe I could find something that could stop what’s happening. To be honest: I’m not smart enough to understand their plan. I don’t think anyone is. Maybe Chromie knows, but I’m pretty sure that Trias has a big question mark above his head.

So I’m here. In Then. In Shit, right. Shattrath. I’m here … pretending that the mercenaries I see and the mercenaries I fuck are all history. Heroes – tales. I slept with a night elf huntress the other night. She was heading for Shadowmoon and was in need of some R&R. Oh, I’m sure she knew I wasn’t from “now”. It’s like I’m walking around in an invisible time bubble. My weapons, my armor – all of it is just too … powerful. It’s to powerful for this world, because this world is already dead.

I hate this place. Send me back, as Grammz, a void walker I once met, said. So I did. A cut through his neck and all that was left was his metal shoulderguards and a echoing whisper – “Back … to the Void!”.

Grammz was lucky. It – I don’t know if rogue voidwalkers have genders – knew already, knew what I have come to realise. Outland is dead. The only thing that keeps it going is violence and sex. I learned that fast. When a world is dying, all that remains are the primal instincts. Kill to live. Fuck to be alive.

I met a goblin the other day. She was on a short stop to my version of Shit. She was on a dragonflight retainer, digging up secrets, all that stuff. She told me about Draenor. She told me about mountains of gold, of beaches made of pearls, layered so thick a handful would make you rich beyond belief. Like Outland, she was full of it. I know that. Still, her tales of paradise kept me going through another set of drinks. She didn’t mind spending the night on a blanket in a tent, with me, in Lower City.

I don’t play by the rules. That’s why SI:7 wanted me. So I didn’t kill her. I should have fucked her, I guess, I could have (she was a “nelfie fan girl” as she said; fuck, I hate that slur – nelfie!). We slept instead, cuddled up for warmth, protection and basic life. You sleep better if you can feel someone’s pulse. She snored, but I don’t blame her. I snored too the first couple of nights. She was jet lagged. Timeline disease, it plays havoc on your system. I slept for fortyeight hours straight when I got here, I didn’t even wake up for a privvy visit (if you tell anyone I’ll cut your damned throat and feed you with your larynx!). Now I’m lucky if I can sleep three hours a night without nightmares. Outland does that to you. There’s three things left in Outland: Sex, death and sleep. I sleep as good as I can. I’m killing anything that wants me dead. I’m visiting “the places”, if you know what I mean. The tents in Lower City, where you can get it on for a silver because people are hungry and frightened. Skin on skin is comfort. If you don’t put up, you’re dead – that’s how it is in Lower City. Might as well get paid for the rape, right?

I’m losing my mind here. I need to get out! I can’t even hear Elune anymore!

We’re dying here, you know. Every day there’s a new story of a chunk of land dropping off. Everyday there’s a story about someone going into a bar or a clinic or a temple, opening up with a heavy caliber in each hand because Death is the only thing that’s left. It’s sort of a sport among the despairing people. Take out as many as possible – maybe death won’t be as lonesome then. Some of the nutjobs I’ve done in – because I’m on contract to do them before they do someone else – have been here for twenty years.

Twenty years of death. No wonder they go nuts.

I’m the sanitation worker of the Naaru. Tell that to your motherfucking draenei friends. Me, a night elf, once called “the scourge of Darnassus”. Yeah … I have a reputation. Deal with it.

I’ve been here six weeks (I think it’s six weeks). I’ve been here, in a world that should not exist. Thanks a fucking lot, Chromie. I need to get out of this place. Killers, fanatics and crazies – this is what the world will look like when it is about to die. I need to see Azeroth again. Some of the people I put down make the Defias look like pre-school bullies. Some of the cults I’ve dismantled over here, in Outland, would make the Twilights blush in embarassment. There’s a broken in Lower City who gorge on filth … let that tell you what you need to know. There’s covens of cannibals. There’s covens of deathspeakers. There’s covens of draenei warlocks … and there’s rumors of an exarch gone mad, hidden away in the bowels of the ruined Auchindoun.

They need to pay me way more than they do if they excpect me to go there. One of the orc beggars close to the temple told me something. I’m not the superstitious kind but his words got to me. He said, he did:

“The dead grows … fearful. Something truly dark … is coming.”

Then he flipped his dreadlocks at me, throwing a handful of scrying bones on the ground, and hissed:

“Prepare yourself!”

See, this is why I drink to sleep. This is why I hope that they will pull me out. FEAR has gotten hold of me. I fear the worst thing possible, for an agent in Outland. I fear … I fear that …

I am not prepared.