Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Watching you!
Hi guys, I'm back
I've been quite busy I tell you. Hopefully there will be an update to TDE soon. Although I'm not sure people actually follow it
I was writing this earlier today for the competition. With a 1750 word limit I figured I could go wild....I was wrong.
Anyway, the first part was my entry for the second competition (albeit a little edited as I no longer have a word limit).
Part two is here, and there will be a part three and four to end this story. Part three will be submitted for the competition before I edit it into here.
Hope you guys like it
Renascence (part 1/4)
Reflections (part 2/4)
Magina held up his right fist signaling a halt. Behind him, the light sound of his rangers’ footsteps ceased immediately.
“You were right sir,” said one quietly as he examined the trail. “He has been here.”
Slightly burned trails of leaves veered off the path in many separate direction all which led deeper into the part of Ashenvale now overrun by Scourge. The taint was so strong he could almost see it. Over the years, he had managed to acquire and hone to perfection a new kind of sight. It wasn’t perfect, but by using his other senses, especially sound; he could piece together his surroundings.
A fork, thought Magina, yet another of his tricks. He paused and inhaled slowly as his mind flashed back ten years.
“My new trick Gin, behold!” said his brother as arcane magic flowed through him in massive torrents.
Magina stared in awe as his twin created a seamless illusion of himself. It was perfect, except he knew that his twin’s illusions could make no sound.
“Ready or not, here I come!” one said as the pair launched themselves at him.
Magina raised his sword to block Boar Rushing down the Mountain only to find his opponent’s edge pass right through his. Twisting to avoid the second blow, he lost his footing and fell. He froze as he felt the cold blunt steel of the training blade press into his neck.
“Got you!” his brother grinned as he offered a hand up.
“Impossible, when did you switch…” Magina started but was interrupted by the sound of slow clapping from behind.
“Orders sir?” asked the ranger, bringing him out of his reverie.
Magina frowned as he felt the sunlight sifting through the giant trees warm his skin. “South, it was always south,” he mumbled to himself.
“I am blind not deaf Captain,” he snapped.
“Dispatch a messenger to Lady Moonfang,” he said slowly. “Tell her that I was right and to send reinforcements immediately. Meanwhile, you and the rest are to follow the trail southward.”
“Are you sure sir?”
“Those are orders Captain,” Magina snapped. “Do not question me again!”
The ranger was far too young and inexperienced to lead a squad, thought Magina, too young for this accursed war, too young to die. But then, aren’t we all. He sighed.
“Yes sir!” barked the Captain and saluted. But the Sentinel known more commonly as The Anti-Mage was already gone.
“I think you are finally ready boys,” said their father gravely as he approached the dueling pair. “It is time for you to learn the secrets that form the foundation of our clan’s power.”
Magina felt excitement overtake him. Instantaneous short distance travel! Its method was a secret coveted by many. Mastering it was also the step to recognized adulthood amongst clan members.
Holding up a hand, two scrolls materialized out of thin air. “It is forbidden to speak or write down the secrets. Your late grandfather prepared these for you two. I hope you both understand and appreciate his sacrifice. A drop of your blood will release the seals. The scrolls will burn soon after they have been opened, and you too will be bound by the oaths.”
Snatching a scroll, his brother asked “What happens if we break the oaths?”
“To break the oath means death.” replied their father sternly. “This is not a game. The secrets within the scroll you are now crushing so carelessly in your fist define our clan at its basest root. I hope you understand the gravity of the matter.”
“That is why the clan does not consider one an adult until he too has learned the technique of Blink,” he continued. “Now I will leave you both to plunder its secrets. Don’t do anything stupid or reckless.”
With a parting smile and a popping sound, their fathered turned and disappeared.
The Anti-Mage was a whisper in the wind as he ran swiftly along the burned
trail. His footsteps left not a trace on the soft ground. He could not see, but he could feel the setting sun’s warm rays brush his left as he moved from tree to tree. The trees here were now twisted defiled and rotten. They smelled appalling but even that could not mask the reek of dark magic.
Both the trees and the trail ended abruptly. Magina could hear the sound of a heart beating before him and felt his own quicken.
“Well well, look who’s here,” said a soft sultry voice that Magina remembered well. It hadn’t changed a bit.
“If you’re looking for your brother again,” the alluring voice continued. “He’s not here anymore.”
“I see,” said Magina quietly as his mind hurled itself back in time.
“He’s not here anymore,” Akasha said, her pretty face smirked back at him.
“Where is he?” demanded Magina stepping forward.
“That information is…quite sensitive,” she drawled. “It will cost you.”
“What do you mean,” asked Magina pausing.
“Hmm, a kiss I think,” Akasha said thoughtfully. “Yes.Iit will cost you a kiss.”
“I have no time for your games Akasha. Just tell me where he’s gone!”
“A kiss!” she pouted.
“Okay fine, just one.”
He felt her hands cup his face and closed his eyes. Suddenly, ear piercing shrieks filled his head. He stumbled backwards away from her in pain.
“By Elune, what did you do!” he gasped as he looked up. She wasn’t there.
Something nicked him on the shoulder and he spun around to see her casually wiping a throwing dagger.
“Goodbye Gin,” she said as he blacked out.
“You see?” laughed Akasha, bringing him back to the present. “I didn’t know you had such wit, Gin.”
“It was not a joke.”
“Aha, very serious are we? You’re no fun Gin, always so serious.”
She seemed different. Different from what he remembered. His new acute senses warred with his memories. Her image was fuzzy – were those wings? He shook himself. But the image would not fade. Akasha refused to materialize as the Night Elf he knew.
“You seem different,” he said slowly.
“Beauty has always had its secrets,” Akasha replied cryptically. He could tell she was smiling. He lost interest. After all, what did he care what she looked like?
“Where is he?” he asked, back on track.
“That information—,” she began.
“It doesn’t matter.” Magina growled. “The death of one traitor is as good as another.”
The Anti-Mage reached towards the familiar nether. His weaves were so quick it was almost instantaneous. He drew his weapon as he felt the two vertexes connect. He stepped.
His blade slashed downwards through thin air.
“My my, someone’s angry today.” Akasha said from behind.
Impossible, thought the Anti-Mage. When did she move?
Spinning around, the Anti-Mage attacked again, his blade following the heartbeat. This time, his blade was brushed aside by what felt like solid air.
“Hmm, is it just me, or does your blade carry an extra bite these days,” said Akasha without the usual trace of mockery. She stepped towards him.
He sensed what was coming next, and blinked backwards immediately.
“Ah, you still remember that one. A pity your brother asked me to let you live that night.”
Was it his imagination or did she sound out of breath?
“What do you mean my bro—”
Magina fell to his knees as his world was ripped to shreds, leaving him completely blind. The scream was not a mental one and it broke through Magina’s shields and shattered his eardrums.
He felt her hands cup his face. “Any last words?” she whispered softly in his ear.
How is she so fast?
The Anti-Mage smiled as his weapons fell to the ground and disappeared. “I don’t make the same mistake twice.”
With screams echoing through his head, the Anti-Mage vanished from her arms.
The refugee camp stretched from one horizon to the other. It had been a natural disaster- the great fire some were now calling it. The flames had engulfed almost a third of the forest. Thousands were forced to flee their homes. But neither the refugees nor their plight were what had his attention at the moment. Not all of them anyway. One could hardly blame him. His eyes were captivated by the young beauty bathing in the river below his perch. He watched as she attempted to untangle her long raven black hair. Bet Gin would wish he were here now, he thought.
He didn’t know what gave him away, but suddenly she turned and looked straight up at him. Frozen on his perch atop the branch of a great oak, he stared back dumbly. She smiled, completely unashamed of her state of undress, and beckoned him down. He didn’t come down. Not with any semblance of grace anyway. As if on cue with her crooked finger, he lost his footing and tumbled out of the tree before falling into the river with a splash.
“I seem to be having trouble untangling this mess,” she explained when he finally spluttered up for breathe. She gave her hair one last tug in exasperation. “Care to help me?”
Not believing his luck, he grinned back at her like an idiot. “Of course I will.”
She turned her back to him, offering him her tangled mess. It wasn’t too bad, he thought as his fingers easily straightened and disentangled her curls. She could have easily accomplished the task herself. He smiled as he realized the truth behind the offer.
“My name is Akasha, what’s yours?” she said seductively as she turned to face him. Her deep blue eyes were mesmerizing.
He was lost in those eyes. “My name is…”
“Terrorblade,” said the voice softly from behind him. He ignored it and slammed his fist into the mage again. The mage collapsed to the ground gasping for breath and clutching his stomach.
“Terrorblade!” she said again more insistently. “Stop it. He’s going to hemorrhage if you keep hitting him.”
“I know what I’m doing,” he snapped angrily. He picked up the mage by his once fine robes. The human hung limply in his grasp like a rag doll.
“Last chance human,” he snarled. “Where is he?”
There was no response. The mage’s eyes had rolled to the back of his head. He was either dead or unconscious.
“Now look what you’ve done,” she chided. “He was the only one who might have known. Now we’re going to have to—”
She was cut off as Terrorblade’s hands began to glow a sickly toxic green. The mage’s body quivered in his grasp as life force was injected into his beaten body. With a shudder, the mage was forced awake.
“When’d you learn to do that?”
“Last chance human,” Terrorblade repeated ignoring the voice. “Where is Tirion Fordring?”
“Fuck you!” The mage held up a red jewel. The gem shone darkly in the light of the setting sun. He smiled triumphantly as it started to glow. “See you in—” he never finished his sentence. He didn’t finish because he was screaming in pain. His hands dropped the jewel as they clamped shut over his ears. It didn’t help though, because his mind was already dead.
Terrorblade dropped the corpse to the floor. It lay there twitching, the effect of injected life. Or mind trauma, he wasn’t sure which.
“I hate it when you do that,” he said turning around to face Akasha. “It’s disturbing.”
“And I hate it when you ignore me,” she pouted. “Besides, you killed him first.”
“No I didn’t,” he protested.
She glared at him.
She glared at him. “What do you mean ‘stop’?”
“He’s my brother Akasha,” he said. “He wasn’t against us. He has nothing to do with this.”
“He will be,” she said angrily. “I know his kind. He will turn on us in the end.”
“We will deal with it then,” he replied. He paused before adding, “Besides, I doubt he would ever find us.”
She waved her knife at his unconscious brother. “He will,” she repeated. Her knife moved again and this time pointed at him. “And you my love,” she accused. “Are a being foolish. How can we get away from this cycle of hatred, if we leave behind loose ends like this?”
She turned away again and focused her attention on his brother. “Wait,” he said desperately.
“I can guarantee he won’t find us.”
She cocked her head. “Go on.”
“How strong was the sedative?”
“Strong enough,” she replied. “He won’t wake for anything till tomorrow at the earliest.”
Crouching down, he took Gin’s sleeping form and put both hands on his face, thumbs over his eyes. “I’m sorry brother,” he whispered. “This is for your own good.”
He closed his own eyes and pressed his thumbs downwards.
The Soul Keeper had raced northwards through the night. His orders had been clear: Leave the front and return to the throne. A small part of him felt uneasy at such strange orders, but orders were orders, and orders from the Lich King were rarely explained. They were only followed.
Through one of the windows in his mind’s eye he saw Akasha appear before him waving. His clones were as perfect as they could be. But it was impossible to listen or hear. He could hear and feign sound if he was within twenty paces of the clone. But as that wasn’t the case, he had another method of communication – lip reading.
Guess who sprung the trap? Akasha asked with a smile. As always, seeing her beautiful face set his heart racing.
You should have let me kill him ten years ago; we could be together right now.
His mind reeled in shock; he could feel his image flicker as he lost control. That’s impossible…
Mmmmm whatever. She licked her lips. I’ll deal with it.
“I’ll deal with it,” said Akasha confidently, as she brushed her long raven black hair behind her ear. She leaned in close and kissed his cheek. “Don’t worry so much.”
“But you said so yourself, the sonic waves may be unable to resonate. I haven’t learned enough yet,” he protested feebly.
Akasha drew back and look him in the eye, “Don’t you trust me? I know you can do it.”
“But—” his protests were cut off as she kissed him on the lips. “For luck,” she whispered softly into his ear. “Today’s a big day for you. I’ll be watching.”
She stepped back out of his reach and melded back into the shadows. Gathering his courage, he headed for the clearing.
Gin was waiting for him, sitting cross-legged in silent meditation, like they had been taught. Gin had always been the favored son –the lucky twin. That would change today. Stepping into the clearing he pasted a smile on his face. “I learned a new trick, Gin!”
Terrorblade caught himself from his reminiscence as his boots dipped into the wet stream. The river that now divided Ashenvale marked the midpoint in his journey. It was nearing daybreak, and he still had some distance to travel before he reached the edge of the forest and the safety of Scourge barracks.
His powerful legs carrying him swiftly forward, his twin moon blades strapped to his back, he glanced down at the blood red gem in his fist. The gem shone darkly in the dim light of dawn. He had recovered it from the mage earlier. He had only tapped the gem twice since then. Both times, his enemies’ charred remains had been barely recognizable. It was, he gathered, one of the rare weapons that grew to match the strength of the wielder. He knew he had barely scratched the surface of the gem’s capabilities.
Terrorblade’s steady run slowed to a stop at the bottom of a cliff. The stream had split across both sides. With a sigh, he started around the cliff face. It was a small detour, but it was a delay he may not be able to afford. Not for the first time, he wished he could also blink. Yet it was a decision he had never regretted for long.
He watched his father disappear with a parting wave. His fist crushed the scroll in his hand. Death was the penalty. A part of him understood, to some extent, that this was how each generation chose their deaths –like his grandfather and one day, his father. He had made up his mind. Akasha was right, he would break this cycle. Ignoring his brother, he stormed off into the forest.
“You heard father,” Gin called from behind. “Don’t do anything stupid.”
He turned, with the pasted smile back on his face. “Don’t worry Gin, I won’t.” Gin looked like he was going to say something but thought better of it.
As he left the clearing and returned to the sanctity of the forest Akasha hopped down from her perch and wrapped an arm around him. “Well well, didn’t I tell you it would work?”
He smiled at her, bewitched. “Yes Akasha, thank you.”
“Mmmm,” she agreed, kissing him again before glancing down pointedly at the scroll crushed in his fist. “Don’t you have something to show me?”
“It’s a little complicated Akasha,” he said slowly. “If I tell you what's inside, I will die.”
“So don’t tell me,” she said nuzzling his ear. “Just let me see it.”
“But—” she kissed him again before whispering something in his ear. His eyes grew wide and he glanced at her face. For the first time noticed a feral hunger in her eyes. Somewhere in his mind, he registered it as a hunger for power, not for him. It screamed caution at him.
“Mate with me then, we are of age,” he said. “Once you are one of us, there will be no secrets.”
She pulled back and looked deep into his eyes. It was a cold calculating look. Then she smiled and put her mouth to his ear. He thought he had never been as happy as he did when he heard her words. His mind still screamed that something was wrong. But he didn’t care. Not today. Today, it was he who had the love of the most beautiful elf he had ever met, and not his brother. Today, he was the luckiest elf in the world.
Wordlessly he pricked his finger and let a drop of blood land on the seal. The enchantment that protected the scroll unfurled and a web of magic twirled out of the seal and wrapped around him. It lingered for a brief moment before fading. This was the binding spell. Wordlessly he handed the unsealed scroll to his future wife. He smiled at her. “I cannot betray what I do not know.”
It was daybreak when Terrorblade finally reached the top of the cliff. The detour had been long and the climb had made him weary. A splash from below caught his attention. He glanced down through the dim light of dawn and saw nothing. However, the stream betrayed a path of disturbed waters leading directly away from him. Someone had been there recently. His mind processed these thoughts in a fraction of a second. It led him to only one conclusion. Spinning around, he saw his brother materialize in front of him, a pair of axes glinted in his hands.
“This ends today, brother!” he growled and lunged.
Retribution (part 3/4)
Terrorblade’s free hand whipped back then forward. Behind him, Terrorblade was vaguely aware of birds fluttering away as the axe met one of his hastily drawn moon blades.
Stumbling backwards from the blow, he barely managed to hold onto his sword. “Gin,” he gasped. “How?”
“How?” asked Magina. His lip curled into a smile. “How what? How did I know where you were? How did I escape that slut you sold yourself to? Or was it how come I can see while wearing a blindfold.”
“All of them, Gin,” said the Soul Keeper. He paused before adding, “I saved your life that night.”
“Saved my life?” Magina sneered. “You destroyed me. You left me bleeding on the floor. If healers hadn’t reached me, I would have bled to death!”
“Akasha is not a slut. She is my wife, and she would have killed you that night,” said Terrorblade. “You do not even know why we acted as we did. You were always the prize of the family. I was always in your shadow. I hated you.”
“That’s ridiculous,” Magina said. “You were always one step ahead of me. Spells that took me hours to grasp, you mastered in moments. Father was always asking why I couldn’t be more like you! Father always trusted you, and you killed him.”
“I love Akasha, Gin,” said Terrorblade. “Our family would not allow a match between us merely because she is common born. I tried to ask Father for his blessing, do you know what he said Gin? He told me that I was a fool, that he would disown me if I…” he trailed off eyes narrowing. “Only with the Scourge have we found acceptance, the Lich King understands our suffering, and only he has offered us shelter in his mercy. In return, we fight for him.”
“And what do they call you these days? Terrorblade? How does it feel, to betray your clan, your race? All in the name of love?” demanded Magina. “Do you want to know what kept me going all these years? Vengeance. Knowing that one day, I would exact vengeance upon the one who stole my sight and disgraced my clan.” His axes started to twirl.
“Brother, don’t!” cried Terrorblade, raising his own blades instinctively. “I do not wish to fight you too!”
“You are not my brother,” shouted Magina, “You are a traitor!”
As Magina charged, the dark jewel in Terrorblade’s hand glowed brightly. Dragging out power from its master to defend him, it focused the arcane energies into a red beam of lightning. The bolt impacted Magina straight in the chest—and dissipated.
Magina howled in agony. He felt like he was being turned inside out, his body was being heated at an incredible rate. It was almost as if his blood was boiling. Dropping his weapon, he did the one thing he had instilled into himself through years of practice. He blinked.
Terrorblade lay sprawled on the ground, having stumbled forward as Magina’s fist connected with the back of his head. He seemed content to lie there as Magina recovered from the Dagon. He knew its name, and although he had never seen it in action, had heard of it. Almost everyone had. The Mages of the Kirin Tor had recently uncovered its properties from crystals that were found only in the Outland. As a weapon, it was deadly. As a jewel, it was worth kingdoms. How Terrorblade came to possess one, he shuddered at the thought. A mage would die before giving one up.
“I’m sorry brother,” said Terrorblade from the ground.
“You are not my brother,” snarled the Anti-Mage as he retrieved his weapons.
“Well,” replied Terrorblade, “Maybe it’s for the best. After all, it has been made clear to me that you must be removed from the equation.”
Magina froze at those words, his back to his opponent. It was almost as if Terrorblade had only now decided to kill him. Could it be possible?
Terrorblade sat up slowly. “You see brother, over the past ten years; With the exception of Illidan, I have delved deeper into magic than any other Night Elf has in over ten thousand years. My mastery of the arcanes specializes in Life itself. To be able to bring back someone recently deceased, or simply heal them, is reflected by my ability to also bleed them dry.” He continued in the same bored manner as if he had given the speech countless times before. Slowly, he raised his hands and pointed them at Magina. “In short brother, it is truly a trump card in combat.”
Fel green beams connected the twins. Magina felt his energy being rapidly sapped out of his body. He couldn’t blink, not yet. As a last resort, he brought his axes together with a thundering clash, and disappeared.
The link was broken, and three Anti-Mages now stood before Terrorblade. He was stunned. Magina had never shown interest or any real adept towards the arcane. He was always more interested in physical prowess. To create not one but two illusions at the same time was simply impossible for him.
“I know what you’re thinking, Terrorblade. You see, we managed to capture one of yours a while back, a Fel Orc who called himself the Chaos Knight. Nessaj was a brute, more brawn than brains. Like me. But he was able to enter different dimensions and bring his other selves back with him.”
The Magina on the right held up his twin axes. “The Manta allows me to do the same.”
The three charged as one. The quiet of early morning was shattered as blades clashed. Terrorblade’s curved moonblades were longer, and he was just able to defend himself with the extra reach.
The Boar Rushing Down the Mountain was met with Parting the Silk. Terrorblade stepped backwards rapidly. Cat on Hot Stand blocked Tower of Morning. Seeing an opening, Terrorblade quickly switched to The Falcon Swoops, and was rewarded with the feeling of blade meeting flesh. His elation was short lived however as he felt the other two scratch through his defenses. An axe opened a wound in his stomach. Unable to stop himself, he dropped his weapons to clutch his midsection as screamed in pain.
He was dimly aware of the Anti-Mage impaled on his sword disappearing. Another one did too. His brother stood alone before him, axes firmly in hand.
“Who are you to judge me,” said Terrorblade quietly, still clutching his midside.
“I said, who are you to judge me." Terrorblade snarled, "We are no different. Nessaj was well known. His skills involved dark magic. Black Arts. Your quest for vengeance has led you down the same path, Gin.”
“No,” whispered the Anti-Mage.
“Yes.” Terrorblade’s hand shot out and grasped his ankle.
“The conditions are met,” he said grimly. “The sundering has begun. Prepare to die. Brother!”
Nothing happened. Slowly, Magina unhooked Terrorblade’s grasp around him. Kicking him into a kneeling position, he positioned his axe above Terrorblade’s exposed neck.
“No, you’re wrong. Our father was the judge. Our clan the jury,” Magina said tonelessly. “I am only the executioner.”
“How?” mumbled Terrorblade.
“Whereas you bleed life, I bleed mana,” replied Magina in the same toneless voice as he raised his axe. “Now it is too late. That, brother, is a true trump card.”
The axe came swishing downwards towards its mark as a horrible screech filled the air.
Redemption (part 4/4)