So, I finally got around to writing a story. Figured I may as well post it here, as it has to do with one of my characters.
It's the first story I'd written in ages, I might be rusty. All criticism and scrutiny appreciated - I'm unsure about the prose and word choice, worried it might be distracting, but you will probably be the better judges here.
Shitty Slovakian Story: A Slaughtered Lamb
A scarlet glimmer creeps beneath the pale moonlight. Amidst a forest of brick wall and wooden roof. A woman, form and feature hidden beneath a gray and crimson robe. A kind of decisive calm surging through her every move. She carried neither torch nor lantern. Content to slither through the shadows like a snake through tall grass. Unseen. Her destination shining warmly in the distance. Even now, when the last of the drunkards had stumbled from their drinking post, the Slaughtered Lamb remained open.
The same old man sitting behind the counter, scabbing at a mug. He cast the secretive woman an idle glance, and received a faint smile in return. She began to wonder if he ever slept. In the mornings, perhaps, when neither drunkard nor sorcerer saw need of his services. She'd gone past the counter and down the coiling stairs, into a dank cellar, air thick with the stench of sulphur and iron. Fire and brimstone. Fel and decay.
Whereas the tavern upstairs were empty, here, dozens of strange men and women intermingled. Speaking, cackling. Clad in rags and ceremonial robes, armor and doublet. Human, elf, gnome. Even the dwarvish kinsmen found their place. None seemed all too bothered by her presence - an idle glance here and there, some lingering longer than others. All but idle curiosity. She took up post in the far corner of the room, hands clasping behind her back, a tiny smile upon her lips, as it always were. The auction ought begin soon.
It was a rare occurrence and an opportunity unmatched for fledgeling warlocks such as her. The Auction, in which anyone might sell queer artifacts and tomes, be they of their own making, or found within decrepit crypts and dungeons. Today's was special in particular. For with the Legion's return reaching its apex, there would surely be insidious knick-knacks aplenty.
She caught herself watching a peculiar exchange between short, eccentric gnome in a witching hat, speaking to her dwarvish cousin. The former seemed beyond irritated.Apprentice and master, perhaps? Yet her observations of them were cut short, for unto a shoddy-looking podium in the middle of the room came a man. Human, surely. Clad in pale robes, a cowl hiding his features with a kind of shadow that seemed to suck all light from around him. He spread his arms, bellowing in a voice of neither man nor woman, queer and distorted:
"Kra'zhul!" Silence! In the demons' own language, his word became law, as though draining the room of all sound. They all froze, the eccentric gnome's mouth still moving, silently sputtering what She could only assume to be some long-winded, fancy-worded rant at her apprentice's expense. All eyes soon turned towards the man.
"Friends, teachers, apprentices and associates," his voice continued, now undisturbed by the crowd's idle chatter. Strong and booming. "We gather here today after our longest absence to celebrate the eve of our assault upon the Broken Shore. Soon, the forces of Legionfall shall storm the Tomb of Sargeras and land a decisive blow to the Legion's plans!" He made a pause, arms spread, and then, a grin unseen, yet heard in his voice, he spoke: "And we? We will have eldritch plunder to last us many a lifetime."
An applause and the speech continued, yet She no longer listened. Lost in her own mind. She saw herself upon that stage, speaking to men and women of immense power. Silencing them, be it through spell or authority alone - she did not think to test which was the case. The high warlock, as she took to calling him, spoke for what she felt was perhaps far too long. Catching up those that remained off the Isles with a patronizing smirk. Boasting of the Black Harvest's accomplishments and the Netherlord's immense power. Join us was all She heard. Pondering, then, whether their numbers dwindled and the Harvest had grown desperate enough to recruit the rabble of Stormwind's covens. Or, perhaps, they merely sought control over all forms of warlockery. An order large enough to span Azeroth, the low-ranking Acolytes and Invokers feeding the Council all that they knew. She admired them, really. A grouping of six of the world's most powerful warlocks. Names known and feared and despised throughout Azeroth and the Nether alike. She would join them one day, she thought. She swore. If not in allegiance and partnership, then in reputation and infamy. In legacy.
The speech came to a close. The warlock left the podium and whatever curse or weight had been placed upon those whom wished to speak was lifted. Conversations resumed, though now in hushed murmurs. All watching the podium, stull. Soon enough, the first of many salesmen climbed atop. The Auction was a long ordeal. Sold were orbs formed of the essence of powerful demons, accursed weapons and jewelry, ancient artifacts and protective garbs. All were unique, intriguing, yet none She deemed worth their price. Not yet, at least. She'd begun to lose faith, until a gnome came atop, carrying in his stubby hands a large, green crystal. A piece of Legion tech, the boisterous gnome explained. His voice high and grandiose.
"Taken from the body of the slain arch-Inquisitor Kizvaresh, this magnificent data-crystal contains incantations! Herboirs! Beastiaries! Maps and much, much more! All deciphered and translated from Eredun into common by yours truly." the tiny humanoid grinned, his handlebar mustache curling upwards and nearly stabbing into his large nose, bowing deeply. "Betting starts at one hundred sixty-five gold!" he chirped. She hissed a silent curse - even with her brother's assets at her disposal, She could not afford that. And so, She merely watched a a betting war broke out amidst the warlocks. Watched and watched. The price soon climbed to nauseating heights, and was at last won by a nobleman She stood opposite to. Her gaze lingered upon him, staring him over - a young human, with a lamb's disposition. An apprentice like her, She could tell, as ambitious as she was, willing to squander his family's gold upon his illicit, addictive past-time. It was perfect.
Once the Auction had finished, no other artifacts catching her attention quite as Kizravesh's data-crystal, she approached the young nobleman. Under the pretense of a false name, eyelashes aflutter. She fawned over his might, his wealth and his indubitable power. She begged to become his apprentice and gasped in false surprise as he revealed that he, too, was no master warlock. Jests and sweet nothings were said, and soon the two made for his home. Hand in hand. Her hair, red as blood, swinging wildly as they burst into his room in eachother's embrace. Their kisses crazed and ravenous. Dancing like animals in heat.
She sat by the young noble, a quaint smile upon her lips. She was still dressed - himself in the nude, tied spread-eagle upon the bed. Mouth gagged. His glossy eyes stared lifelessly at the canopy above. Throat slit. Six more stab wounds dotting his chest, forming a neat hexagon starting below his throat and ending 'neath his ribcage. Blood drying on his lips. His soul had been gathered in the form of a single, purple, glimmering shard. An eternal prison - at least until she chose to sacrifice his essence. Condemning him to nothingness. She fiddled with the dagger she'd slaughtered him with, already cleaned of blood. It took very little to convince him into such seemingly innocent play. A ploy she found worked almost without fail.
Satisfied, she stood up, moving towards the wall where he so haphazardly cast the crystal in his ravenous attempts at lovemaking. Instead of falling and shattering, as she feared it might, it floated above ground. She grasped it in her hands, running her digits along its form as though mother stroking its beloved child. A fel-green light pulsated within. She thought it pulsated stronger for her than it did for him, that the crystal beckoned. No. -Begged- her to learn its dark, eldritch secrets, but surely that was but a narcissistic delusion of a woman overjoyous with her victory. With the green crystal in hand she made her way from the man's home, uttering a quiet incantation in Eredun. Her form shimmered, and to those from afar it became unseen. A simple trick, amidst the first ones she'd learnt.
There would be an investigation, surely, once his family found his body in such a humiliating state. They would mourn and outrage. Word would spread soon after, commoners would scoff and giggle. Their family would live in the shadow of this incident for decades. Reputation ruined. Gold pouring out of their coffers as though leaking ale as detectives and diviners alike would be paid to find Her. All would fail. With the only witnesses of their closeness being a precious few warlocks, partaking in an illicit auction beneath the Slaughtered Lamb and herself having done nothing to leave a trace of sympathy behind, she was certain her secret would be well-kept. Perhaps even praised.
A nigh-invisible shimmer creeping beneath the rising sun, she smiled at the thought. Walking amidst the empty canals of stormwind, each step exuding a kind of victorious determination. By the time they might have the faintest trail, She would be long gone. Plucking away at lute-strings in some downtrodden tavern at the edge of Elwynn, her patrons none the wiser.