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Shadows in the night?.... [Stormwind] [Duskwood]
#1
The Calling....

Stormwind… The glowing bastion of the Alliance, recently devastated by Death Wing and his overwhelming power was now on the mend. It was time for the city of the Lion to stand once more. Dusk had claimed the day and the city was winding down while the Taverns were filling up for the long black that was the evening now days…


Our eyes drift outwards over the surrounding walls towards the sounds of bustling tavern music….

Elwynn Forrest was alive on this damp fall night, the year’s harvest was nearing as men and women gathered in Goldshire preparing for the annual harvest festival that was coming in the next few weeks. Torches lit the area beating back the dark with vibrant dancing flames. Dusk was falling earlier now and night had stolen the sun completely as stars took to shine….

Nearing the western bridge just beyond the smith’s forge strode a lone horse clopping along the cobble stone road, its hooves echoing in the surrounding wood. A warm smell of banana bread and pumpkin spice was thick in the air around the small settlement; and sounds of merry making could be heard as carts where set up and people roared over both joke and jest alike. The man atop the horse wore thick leathers and a breast plate made of well-crafted Iron. His hair was hidden by a hood and his face was adorned with a thick black beard. Upon his breastplate was the Lion head of Stormwind, Watchman is what they called him.

As the festivities of preparation continued the Watchman’s eyes were caught by a lone torch in the distance with a perked brow he reined his horse through the small gathering of people towards the eastern road. Moving his hilt a bit closer to the midsection of his belt line he pressed the horse onwards into the dark. He watched as the torch moved further and further away from the settlement before finally vanishing deep into the surrounding woods. With a shrug he turned his horse back towards the Tavern only to have his vision yet again captured by two clearly adolescent figures that resembled boys near the back wall of the Inn. Both wore long blonde hair. They were huddled down and wrapped in dark furs. With a heavy voice the Watchman called out, “Hey! You there!” They jumped seemingly startled but froze at the sound of his voice.


The Watchmen dismounted with force as his leathers rattled. Adjusting his blade he neared the two young boys, “You’d better not be mucking up that wall boys!” He strode over to them. With an outstretched hand he jerked one of the boys up by the nape of his neck, “What’s this?!” He said pushing the other one to the ground, “Carving nonsense on the Inn?!” With squinted eyes he tossed the other boy aside bending slightly at the waist to view the carving a bit closer… His eyes went wide, “Bo-boys…Wha-… I know what this is…” He took a stuttered step backwards nearly tripping over his own feet, cupping his hands he moved to shout, “GUAR-…..”

Without warning the boys where on him with savage intent, one leapt at the man’s upper torso while the other one dashed behind him on all fours. The man caught the first boy with ease but the momentum of the jump pushed him backwards where he toppled over the crouched boy behind his knees. With a heavy thud the breath left his lungs as the air was knocked out of him, he waved a halting hand at the boy atop him though it did little to stop his assault. Before the man could act the boy’s left hand brandished a small dirk which he slid across the man’s throat, over, and over, and over again until it bit into the neck bone becoming lodged. Flailing arms and thrashing feet skittered among the fall leaves that laced the back wood behind the Tavern. The man continued to attempt a cry for help but with his throat slit the only sound that left was the crying whistle of his wind pipe. With dying eyes the man could feel the other boy jump on his legs to keep them from thrashing… Meanwhile the boy seated on his chest finished sawing at his neck with the dirk severing it completely, causing his body to twitch and jerk a few more times as it fought death before finally growing still.

Still clutching the head, the boy on his chest rose, “I really thought we’d have to lure one of the patrons.” He said in a high pitched voice that was choked by the cold night air. The second boy shrugged as he slipped a primitive ceramic bowl from his dark furs. Placing it beneath the man’s freshly cut neck he allowed it to pool with blood. Soon after both boys hurried over to the symbol and each dipped their finger into the swirling bowl of blood, each smiled, the blood looked black against the amber harvest moon high above. Two single words left their tongue as they removed their blood coated fingers and traced them along the carved symbol, “Noct’urea”“Fien’ousea” the symbol vanished leaving behind no trace of its existence. As the boys rose one spoke to the other, “The Calling, he will be plea-…”

Footsteps could be heard rounding the Tavern, and a dim lantern light swayed in tune with the boots. The boys jerked up their dark fur hoods, large wolf heads now draped over their faces. With no hesitation they dashed off into the night with the bowl and dirk in hand….

The only thing found…. Was a corpse of the Night Watchman, with a severed head… That was never recovered. The corpse was taken to Stormwind for burial.


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[Image: 15.jpg]
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#2
The Calling....


Grimault Village was a small settlement just near the southwestern outskirts of Duskwood. It housed a Smith, a Church, and a Tavern as well as several smaller homes. It was well on the way to becoming a good foothold for the Alliance on the border lands of Stranglethorn. Most of the inhabitants were simple pilgrims and travelers from afar that sought to call Duskwood home until the Western Front just south of Stormwind had been settled once more.

It was a brisk Sunday morning, a dense fog clung heavy to the air and the sun struggled to penetrate the thick foliage of the canopy that covered most all of Duskwood. The Pilgrims Bounty was even closer now as those who celebrated it with warm hearts gathered food in their homes. As the dawn broke families gathered in the newly constructed Church as mass was about to begin, they were not numerous only twenty three men and women entered for its first joyous sermon. There was a newly appointed Priest that hailed from Stormwind’s Grand Cathedral and he promised that his light would warm their hearts and fend off the surrounding darkness that clung so heavily to the shadows of Duskwood.

As the families gathered at the Church they spoke heavily of the upcoming celebration and what new wives were expecting children. It was the usual gossip for your average peasant these days.




They took their seats as the door to the back chapel creaked open revealing a handsome young man that nearly took the breath away from the younger women and made the older ones feel as though they were that much further from youth. He was tall and thin and his smooth facial features were set off by a luscious ebon hair knot drawn back atop his head, he turned towards the podium overlooking the assembly, “Good Morning.” They answered back, “And good morning to you.” He slowly opened the binding of the holy text placing his left hand upon the amber colored pages, “We have gathered here on this glorious Sunday morning to celebrate one thing, birth.” With a warm smile he paced to the left of the podium, his hand remaining on the text, “Or rather, re-birth… For in this darkness!” He shouted, “We –have- carved a light Brothers and Sisters.” A grand sweeping gesture of his right hand came over the crowd as he spoke, “Together we have created something so new and innocent here in this land of vile death and horrors. With our out reaching arms and loving hearts we will invoke the light! Say it with me!” He clapped both his hands together as his body shuddered, “Feel ourselves meld with the holy spirit and become one in the light of our great kingdom come.” Both hands flew outwards towards the crowd; they gasped and swooned at his vibrant speech. With both hands reaching he pointed an index finger at each of the pregnant women, “Your children will know greatness my sisters of the light. They will know righteousness.” He moved to place his hand upon the book again, “You carry the ingredients of re-birth inside of you ladies, and each one of you is a vessel of hope!” Bringing both hands together he lowered his head, “Let us pray.”


The congregation followed in timed motion as they all knelt in their pews. With closed eyes and folded hands they listened as his voice echoed throughout the Church, “By your Light we live and by your Light we die. In the darkness it will shine like a beacon of hope to guide us home. We fear not death for within death is life, the rebirth of a soul to our next generation. By your Light we live, and by your Light we die. As we give thanks for another day of life on this your gracious world we ask that you bless us, watch over us, and protect us from the wickedness of the darkness. By your Light we live.” The congregation responded in unison, “By your Light we live.” A smile graced the Priest’s face, “Amen.” He said closing the book.

As each of the Pilgrims opened their eyes before them stood tall dark figures wrapped in heavy robes and black wolf’s fur, their left hands reaching slowly into their right sleeves revealing short curved blades. Voices called out, “What’s this?!”, “Reverend?!” The Priest calmly raised his hands hushing the crowd as they stirred restlessly in their seats; he smiled “Calm your selves Children.” He closed his eyes tilting his head to the side looking up at the ceiling, “Can you not hear it?...” His body shuddered in ecstasy, “He calls…”

With his last words spoken the cloaked figures raked their blades across throats and bellies spilling intestines and shooting arterial spray across the walls like buckets in a bath house. Horrid screams shattered the dawn as blood pooled on the floor, the Priest danced among the chaos of men and women being chased down within the Chapel. Before anyone could reach the door they were all butchered.

The Priest was soaked in red as he looked down at his once white robes, “I always did enjoy a crimson dawn.” He chuckled moving to the center of the room, the men in robes surrounded him. With bended knee he knelt onto the floor that had become a tiny lake of blood. Reaching forward with his right hand and back with his left, he whirled them in the life liquid. His hands began to drawn a symbol in the blood; he spoke two words, “Evernae!”“Invokeous!” The symbol blazed to life with a vibrant glowing force! A smile graced his face as one of the robed men appeared behind him in a flash, with a flick of silver his throat was opened. Death came to call as he fell face first into the blood where the symbol fizzled out of existence. A foul wind howled outside when suddenly the robes fell to the floor as though they were only held up by air… With laughter on the wind the Church burst into flames…. And the call sang out with the dawning of blood…

From the nearby town of Darkshire they could see the smoke rolling through the woods and smell the stench of fresh flesh being cooked over at open flame…



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