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Sojourn
#1
~~
A great Red stretches farther than I can see
It does not want me here.
Filled with slit-eyed jade figurines
They do not want me here.

Horizon holds a silver scythe
She does not want me here.
Though far I try to hide away
I see its glint draw near.
~~

The great steel beast rose before me, and I tried to picture Old Orgrimmar in my mind. It was as if while Azeroth suffered, the city only grew stronger. I had heard of Hellscream's reign--reign being a more appropriate word than leadership-- and the city seemed to reflect the orc's... charming personality. Halt. The thought stopped the skeletal horse beneath me instantly, and I carefully removed myself from the saddle. My aching joints groaned as I hit the ground, and I absentmindedly stroked the pale, sunbleached bone of the horse. It did not react to my touch, and though I did not expect it to I could not help but feel a pang of sadness.

I unsheathed my staff, using it to help support my trembling legs as I gathered my thoughts. I muttered a mantra of focus from my youth in effort to elevate my consciousness to a state appropriate for spell-casting, and almost instantly I was aware of the arcane energy around me-- in the air, in the soil, and in myself. I brought it forth, channeling it into my fingertips and to the runes carved into my staff, causing them to shed a black-violet glimmer onto the cracked earth, my robes, and my steed. The spell escaped my lips in not but a whisper, and I touched the staff to the ground. The energy shot across the ground and formed a circle around my horse's feet, and I began to walk away as its white bone turned to writhing shadow and sank into the soil.

With each passing day since I awoke, my strength returned. I do not know if I will return to my former power, but at this moment I am merely thankful to be alive. I do not know where I am going.

--

The gazes I had drawn by the orcs and goblins unnerved me as I entered Orgrimmar, and I wondered if the necromantic corruption of my soul and body was highly evident. There were three orcs and two goblins seated around a fire; two of the Orcs looked to be of the spiritual sort, and one wore the armor of an engineer. I mistook her for a tall goblin at first, honestly.

The goblins were chatting up a storm about 'trikes' and certain details of the apocalypse, and as I shambled to the counter and ordered my water I could feel their eyes boring into my back as if searching for oil, or something equally crude. Though I felt worried they did not like me, or certainly would not like me, I turned to join their circle in hopes of learning about the world's state.

They talked for a while, needing only the occasional prompting from me to spur tangent on tangent about the sunken Ratchet on the Rocks, or Twilight's Hammer cult. All the while, I could see the female spiritual orc glance suspiciously at my broken form. When they left, part of me felt relieved, but part of me felt afraid. Early in the conversation, I had forced myself (despite misgivings) to use my true name, and I hoped they would not speak ill of me.

"I feel as though my presence might have caused our orcish friends to leave." I murmured after the last of the three orcs had gone."

"Nah, 's gettin' late. Probably just went off to sleep, I'd bet. I might turn in myself, actually." I nodded,

"You're probably right." I didn't catch his full reply, but I thought he'd said something about resting his bones, and I chuckled in reply with an old proverb my first teacher had used, "Guard your bones well, for they are a weapon in the right hands." The female goblin raised her brow, and she went on her way. I did not mind, because I needed to rest my bones. I had a journey to make.

I retired to the upstairs, and meditated until I fell into the same, dreamless, half-conscious sleep I'd been accustomed to since the ritual's failure.
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