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.”
“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!?”
“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.”