The living have a way of being irritating.
This was Matasuntha’s thought as she dropped contact with her friends. She would miss them, but the upkeep was less than the provided entertainment. She hoped none of them would be seriously offended.
If they were, so be it. She had plenty of work to do for the Ebon Blade. The Forsaken were becoming a real nightmare.
She sighed, looking out over the Eastern Plaugelands. She would really miss Synkaa. Their relationship had been an invigorating animation in an existence of reanimation. She wondered if she was in her thoughts.
She shook her head. It was just as well they no longer spoke. The death knight had little time to satisfy the shaman’s unquenchable lust, and that was saying something. They would probably never again mix ice and fire.
Loneliness twinged against her bones, but Nyx interrupted her with a summons. She turned and nodded at the shadeling.
She reported to Highlord Darion Mograine and listened to his assignment, knowing she would be loyal to the perfection of death. For all its monotony, the stasis was better than the perpetual threat of succumbing to natural causes.
Perpetuated by a ridiculous feud in the officership, ravens were leaving the nest in flocks. Fel and shadow! Why did it have to happen after the meeting that seemed to set the stage for a ravenfeather future?
I slap Snowplum on the side with my riding crop, and she shoots higher into the air with a squawk. I am through dealing with these toxic personalities. They are like the leper gnomes that plagued Gnomeregan several years ago.
To fel with them. I am done with ravens for now. Well, full-fledged ravens. I lean forward to stroke the white feathered neck of Snowplum’s ravenesque upper body. She chirps, although the tension in the noise betrays her wariness of my crop. I nod at her, and an eye the color of snowplum brandy watches me hook the accoutrement to my belt.
I give her a hug, feeling her powerful muscles flap the massive white wings, while her staglike bottom-half pumps her legs in unison. She is a shining example of a living creature, and being so close to her almost makes me wish I was alive again.
The sensation is fleeting. I revel in being an undead killing machine. Vivisecting the Horde and traitors to the Alliance, stealing their souls through the icy prowess of Rimsheen, and honing the necromantic runic magic of the unholy path fill me with contentment.
A smirk parts my black lips as I think of all the Horde the Ravenwatch eviscerated. That is the only part of House Ravensong I shall miss, although I am sure I will find such solace amongst my older friends. Indeed, I served as a substitute soldier for the Indelibles when activity was slow with the House. Now I am on my way to meet with their council in Ironforge to discuss officially joining their ranks.
I shall savor the reunion with my other old friends and acquaintances, especially the ones who inspire me to be an engine of cold pleasure. None of them seem to want me to change. Even the Sentinel Commander stopped pushing her potion on me that would temporarily restore vitality to my draenei form.
This is just as well. A temporary restoration to life would not do justice to those that knew me when I was alive. Oh, Vyeraana and Illexya, I will always carry your memory in my frozen heart. And yet, I ponder, furrowing my brows, they are long since dead. If I will be reconvening with my former partners, it would be a disservice to them to not be known as Matasuntha.
“Matasuntha,” I repeat aloud, and Snowplum reaffirms my coalescing feelings towards readopting my birth name. Yes, it is time to set aside the names of my past lovers, those glorious twins who affected me so much that I do not need such obvious keepsakes by which to remember them. I am Matasuntha, not Vyerillexya.
As more distance passes between us and the Lodge, I feel a tug of three strings trying to get me to return. Synkaa, although she had downgraded her membership to mercenary captain, was a strong presence in House Ravensong. I shall miss being her guildmate of sorts, but I will ensure we cross paths in the very near future. The same sentiments extend to Faralos. I am positive we will still engage in bloodsports and ensuing celebratory drinks. We can invite Allestala to our table and have a real party.
I lick my lips. Yes, I will be sure to…reconnect with them very soon. Business before pleasure, though; business before pleasure. That mantra has kept me alive and unliving for over ten millennia and will continue my existence for many more.
Maybe I really can help Lord Revos carry his plan of universal order to fruition. He is exceptionally talented. The other warlocks I met in my recent adventures paled in comparison to him. I hope they would be the first to go in his reordering of the worlds.
Snowplum caws, her head cocked so that she can focus on the ground below us. I follow her gaze to the southern edges of the Arathi Highlands. There is a cloaked figure riding in north from the Wetlands. Squinting, I can see the horse it is riding is skeletal. Perhaps she has spotted Darethy. In that case, I should say hello.
A furious twinkle ignites the eye with which she studies me. I give her a sharp nod. Immediately, she starts diving towards the road. A wicked grin spreads across my countenance. Rimsheen’s hollow voice cackles within my skull. Sometimes business could be mixed with pleasure.
The path of the frost revenant was one of cold-hearted killing, but Vyerillexya could never fathom why it wasn’t a solitary one. Many people still wanted to get close to her icy plate armor and nearly flawless, alabaster skin. She could understand why her sisters in undeath were willing to approach her, but the number of living beings who never ceased their pursuits perplexed her. Even so, she usually welcomed the confusion with lecherous curiosity.
She smirked and ran her tongue over her black lips while recalling the night elf assassin from a few nights ago. They had turned the crypts at Ravenhill Cemetery into their personal bedroom, or wherever it was civilized people were intimate. Vyer was never one for polite behavior or political correctness, even when living. She smirked at her past barbarity as she looked out over the harbor, the water littered with the lingering debris of war galleons. Sex and death truly were the only constants in organic existence.
Since both fornicating and killing had their merits, she had welcomed the break the assassin had provided from the grind of slaughtering Horde. Her blade for House Ravensong, indeed, but the battles had lately been draining. She was studying offensive necromancy, colloquially referred to as the unholy path by by her trainers in the Ebon Blade. Executing Horde was a much more taxing and militant use of necromancy than easing her people into the Void as she had done when she served as an Auchenai Cryptkeeper. It required much practice. At least Synkaa had agreed to alleviate the extra damage she endured while training.
She shook her head, a smile crawling across her face. What would she do without Synkaa?
She gripped the wooden fence post as she tried to think of the answer. A few seagulls flew by the cannon tower. She watched them until they were out of sight. With their disappearance came her answer: she would continue to proudly fly Ravensong’s banner.
Lord Tahl’isar Ravensong forced her to learn runic unholy magic, but she knew the change was for the better. Harlan was also a master of icy destruction. The House didn’t need two frost revenants. Still, Vyer thought as she looked across the cold waters, I will ensure I do not forget the path of frost.
She withdrew from the balcony and descended the spiral staircase. Nodding goodbye Keeper Jaril, she exited and found her ghoul waiting outside. The creature was disgusting but loyal. Its lack of intelligence offended her, but it would serve its function until she raised a replacement.
“Ghoul,” she ordered, “come with me. It is time we patrol Lion’s Landing.”
It bowed. “Me like…shiney.”
Vyer sighed as she flagged down from the skies her new dread raven. His name was Ravenclaw. When she was situated on the giant bird, she snapped the side of his head with a riding crop. Ravenclaw hissed but rose into the air enough to grab the ghoul by its shoulders with his talons. She squeezed her thighs against the dread raven, and he flew up and over the wall of the keep.
The Horde better not be desecrating our fallen, she thought as they zoomed towards the graveyard. I need all the parts I can get for replacement ghouls. She smirked as Rimesheen’s hollow laugh resounded through her skull.
House Ravensong reborn? No, that cannot be true. A raven is not a phoenix, Vyerillexya thought, rubbing her temple. It has to be a totally different guild.
She reclined against her wooden chair, examining the black and white tabards draped in various places on the walls. Yes, this Tahl’isar is a warrior. He was a druid before, was he not? They probably just have similar names, similar inspirations. Ravens were a common breed of birds; common, yet beautiful. They were symbols of intelligence, power, and death. In those regards, they mirrored her existence.
She was home at last.
In fact, she should not have left the first time, but she had thought the Scions of Draenor would make her feel comfortable. As fitting as it was to be among her people, membership was slim. Despite resigning due to lack of activities, she had grown closer to Faralos. May your sister rest in peace, she thought, and then a grim smile overtook her features as she remembered their night together a week after the funeral.
She had made a lot of new contacts, many of them dreanei. She did not need to be in an official order to be close to her people. Still, she craved organized combat against the Horde. House Ravensong served this need with its active, militaristic membership and victory-at-any-cost ethics. It was still disorganized, but the Lords Ravensong had motivation, and several new recruits had finances. With Vyerillexya, Commander Detorstretu, who had also left the Order of the Kaldorei that fateful night, and the other officers, the guild would become an elegant and deadly force on Azeroth, and perhaps even Outland.
“But it won’t go anywhere if you can’t get your head out of the gutter,” Rimsheen’s voice sliced through her mind.
She sighed, and hunched over her paperwork and bottle of winter squid ink. She moved her gloved fingers from temple to raven feather quill. She needed to focus; Rimesheen was right. Currently, she was preparing some documents for Thursday’s meeting. They would be building a foundation for the House.
One of the events they had planned was a formal ball. Many people seemed excited, but there was already bickering about how it should unfold. She wasn’t sure how to mediate the discussion. It wasn’t that she was afraid to lay down the law; she was afraid of being too firm. Her civil servitude in Pax Umbris was ruthless, although it had been successful. Well, it would have been if people actually stayed interested in her efforts.
Luckily, she wasn’t worried about growing tired of the work for House Ravensong. There were already plenty of enthusiastic members, and more people were joining with each passing day. Some of them she had served with in the Order of the Kaldorei. Others had left the Silverleaf Monastery; others like the resplendent Moriyna. She would have to get to know her later. There was something intoxicating about her, even without the leggings that exposed her thighs.
Her fashion reminded her of that worn by Priestess Muurie, another draenei with a sordid past like her own. Rimesheen tried to keep her thoughts from the purple flesh, lusciously long hair, and hooded face, but Vyer slathered her mind all over her body, from horns to hooves. She longed to speak with her, to touch her, and that desire swelled within her until she realized that there a catastrophe explained why she had not seen the priestess in over a week: She could be dead.
“You’ll be dead, too, if you are unprepared for this meeting!” the runeblade snapped.
She growled. Nyx looked up at her and jabbed its tiny shadow arms in her direction. She shook her head, dreadlocks swaying slightly against her bare shoulders. As soon as the meeting was adjourned, she would try to get in contact with Muurie. She didn’t like the idea of putting her own hold when two men were after her life, but the Ravensong leaders had tempers. They would quickly strip away her newly acquired rank of Seneschal if she disappointed them.
Plus, she really was looking forward to the formal. She already had a date. Windcaller Synkaa had begged for Vyer to ask her to go. After making her prove her worth, the death knight gladly accepted the shaman as her escort. It would be a magical time, she knew, but not without the proper preparations.
She started scribbling some notes about the entertainment. Several members had offered to sing. Norvka, yet another draenei priestess, had volunteered to act as Vyer’s assistant. She was not sure how she felt about the proposition. Norvka was already bickering with Harlan about musical options. While she preferred the infighting to boredom, the lack of a solution frustrated her, and soon her attention once more meandered to Synkaa.
Her eyes had a touch of something primal in them, more so than the other shamanic draenei. It made sense, given that she was half-orc. Fortunately, her mother’s draenei genetics were dominant. Her father’s disgusting bloodline only showed in traces, and most of it was in her intense and enrapturing eyes.
Thank fuck that is all I have to deal with, Vyer quietly fumed. She scribbled several angry, incoherent lines, tried to read them, failed, and spit her rage out onto the stone floor of Ravensong’s headquarters in the Aerie Peak basement.
If Synkaa had told her the truth before she was enamored with her, she would have in the very least shunned her. At worst, she would have been a corpse for her pleasure until she had rotted too much and needed to be resurrected as a ghoul. The sentiment earned a hollow chuckle from Rimesheen. She laughed with the sword, and even Nyx tried to get in on the dark humor with its tormented chortles.
When the laughing stopped, the smile remained. She did care about Synkaa. She actually felt like she was starting to love her. The shaman made her feel warmth that the Sentinel Commander was unable to produce. Vyer didn’t blame the purple-haired vixen. The kaldorei and Elune were not what she really needed in a partner.
Not right now, at least. She hoped the night elves would regain their immortality. That would give the two of them time to be together in the future. As an undead with ten millennia of combat experience, Vyer planned on being around for a very long time. With the nearly infinite amount of possibilities unfolding before her imagination, she was sure she would be getting intimate with the Sentinel Commander again.
“Stop being such a whore and plan this damn dance so we can go out and kill something!”
“Silence,” she hissed.
But the blade was correct. She looked at the several dark ink spots she had inadvertently soaked into the parchment while her mind had strayed from the paperwork.
With a sigh, she scrawled some potential nights for the ball. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get the schedule to work. There were too many variables. When would Lord Ravensong wish to march against the Horde? They had already laid waste to the Sludge Fields with the help of dwarven siege engines from Gavin’s Naze. Though a resounding victory, the Ravenwatch knew the Forsaken would be quick to rebuild their vile laboratories. The Banshee Queen would not rest until every last living denizen of Azeroth was infected with the latest strain of plague.
She scowled. “Filthy bitch.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” echoed the sword’s voice in her skull.
“She will meet her permanent death, I swear it. Members of the Eternal Flame and the Scions of Draenor are massing an army as we speak.”
“You’re speaking, and I’m communicating directly with your mind,” Rimesheen said, much to Vyer’s ire. “Regardless, I remember your meeting with Momo and Faralos.”
She stared off into the distance. She didn’t want to schedule the night with the campaign was still in the works. There would be many Alliance organizations involved. House Ravensong would be wise to join the ranks. She must petition the Council for its endorsement at once.
“Focus, death knight. One thing at a time.”
After allowing her memories to briefly revisit the early mornings she had spent with Synkaa in Zangarmarsh that were as steamy as the region itself—the death knight’s frigid form comingling with the shaman’s elemental warmth—she sat up straight and looked at her gathered documents. Folding her bare arms across her revealing leather vest, she chewed on her black lip, her glowing cyan eyes roving over the dwarven architecture while she pondered the dates she had quilled. She finally shrugged, knowing the meeting about House Ravensong’s future would yield more conclusive results.
It better, she thought, as she resumed writing. The organization meant a lot to her. She didn’t want to fail her guild mates, nor did she want to disappoint Synkaa. The formal ball was going to be perfect. She would make sure of that.
(Note: This marks the last post for the February Challenge.)
Thirteenth Entry: The Chill of Hate // Song: “Polar Plateau” // Artist: The Frozen Autumn
Out from the Stormwind portal to Nordrassil, Vyerillexya made sure her armor, Nyx, and her hippogryph, Snowplum, had survived the teleportation with limbs and armor plating intact. She nodded, satisfied the results, and rode Snowplum towards Winterspring, a heavy scowl on her black lips.
She was thinking of last night, when she had discovered Valyseria, one of her former co-leaders of Pax Umbris, among some of the defenders preparing to repel a gathering Horde invasion of Darnassus. After exchanging pleasantries, the druidess mentioned how one of their most promising recruits, a former Twilight Imperial, had vanished. The death knight speculated he had left to live with his sin’dorei mistress, punctuating her estimation with frozen saliva that she sent splattering to the green floor of the bank’s courtyard.
That was yesterday. Today, she was on her way to Frostfire Hot Springs, where she once conversed with the elf and “his” nether drake. One can never own a drake, Vyerillexya thought, nor any half-sentient beast. At least he had made no such claims. She gently patted Snowplum’s head. The hippogryph gave no acknowledgement, but nothing was better than the revulsion her undead state used to produce. Rider and mount, however, had forged an impeteramble bond over the years since the Argent Tournament.
Those were fond memories, but today was not about fondness. They dove down from the mountains separating Hyjal from Winterpsring on a mission of preservation. After the brief partnership with a sin’dorei death knight who had suddenly vanished, Vyerillexya swore never again to mix with one of their kind, unless the blood elf had a death wish. Or if they are already dead, she thought, sneering.
Zooming over the snow, she knew she would do no such thing with this one’s body. Her growing loyalty to the night elves would not allow for it. The only punishment for this kind of relationship–or Light and Shadow forbid, interbreeding–was a quick and painful death.
She brought her hippogryph down on the edge of the hot springs. She saw nothing, although that was just what she was expecting. She was no warscout after all, even though she had done a bit of spying on Sylvana’s forces in the name of the Ebon Blade.
While nothing was in site but endless snow and steam rising from the naturally heated water, she jumped off her mount and sank Rimesheen’s blade several inches into the frozen ground. There she kneeled, both hands on the cross-guard, head rested against the pommel. The hate and fury of both death knight and runeblade swirled together in her mind.
“I am coming for you, you blood elf bitch. You will not taint the kaldorei bloodline!” She snatched up a bunch of snow, stood, and threw it over the steam. The flakes evaporated into the warm mist. Yanking Rimesheen from the icy ground, she once again climbed aboard Snowplum. “Mark my words, your end is nigh,” she hissed and flew off towards Mount Hyjal.
(Note: This is more like a free write than anything else.)
Twelfth Entry: Icy Touch // Song: “From My Cold Dead Hands” // Artist: Combichrist
From my cold, dead hands stems a frigid fate for my enemies. From the same icy fingers comes the shivering touch of pleasure. Why is it that so many of the living wish to experience the pleasures of undeath? Is it a desire of the unknown? Or maybe we death knights are no longer a mystery. Have some of the curious grown accustomed to what we have to offer? Whatever the reasons are, I am not repulsed by the attention. If they do not have the means to mitigate my freezing, diseased touch, at least I know the alchemical processes to prevent the damage. I would not want to infect their minds with unrelenting iciness or corrupt their blood with necrotic energies. Not unless they were sin’dorei that I had tricked into a false sense of security, or defeated in battle, having my way with their bleeding, dying bodies before finally bringing them to the Void where they belong. Woe unto the blood elf that gets with me. He or she will find their bodies violated and mutilated for the pain they have caused my people! Only the Scryer’s are saved from my wrath, my vengeance! Oh, Vonmar, why did the Horde have to kill you? You were an outstanding member of your race. It was a pleasure guarding Yurei’s caravan with you. I hope you are suffering well wherever your spirit has gone. But he was an exception, not the rule. I would much rather spend my time in the company of draenei and kaldorei. Ah, speaking of my people, I hope Trixie is well wherever she is. I have no idea where she could have gone. I hope she has not succumed to her corruption, although, for her sake, the end to her insanity might be a blessing. The same can be said of Ryoka. I fear that the close proximity those two had to one another sent them off the deep end. It is all my fault. I have their fate on my hands. My sorrow at their possessions is one reason I have fled the contact of those I once knew. I have been welcomed with open arms–not to mention other opened pieces of anatomy–by new acquaintances. They appease my endless, frozen lust, but I will never forget those with which I have already grown comfortable. My oldest, dearest friends, living, dead, and undead, I hack the limbs and heads off orcs in your honor! Well, yes, I do so in the name of my unquenchable hunger for revenge, first of all, and, second of all, for Rimesheen’s insatiable love of souls, but, my friends, my lovers, my comrades, old and new, I strike against the Horde for our continued existence. In time, when the Horde has been fallen or scattered, or, anticlimactically, united once again with the Alliance against the Legion, I will cut asunder innumerable demons so that we may continue our exploits all over the worlds! The demons will pay for challenging the might of the draenei and night elves! They will pay for making my life a living hell, and they will pay for always being a nightmarish thought in the back of my now undead state. Yes, yes, I await their return. Ah, my friends, it is so darkly beautiful to have you in my thoughts when I am not giving pain to the Horde. Ah, I cannot fool myself. As sadistic as I am, I like it when some foolish Horde assassin slices my flesh with a blade. It hurts just enough to excite the masochist within me, which in turn activates my sadistic nature. It is a vicious cycle that will overwhelm any Horde foolish enough to cross me. Yes, I look forward to the battle tonight. Together, together we shall repel the Horde from the soothing branches of Darnassus! The scum will have to take the verdant lands from my cold, dead hands!
Eleventh Entry: Space Ghosts // Song: “Futile” // Artist: Velvet Acid Christ
Boats. Repairing and sailing boats. Boats that are limited to the water, and merchant vessels at that. They were not even ships of war. This is what the Commander of the Order of the Kaldorei had the Captain’s Auxiliary Force do two nights in a row. Vyerillexya was unimpressed. The state of the Sentinel ships had been deplorable. The night elves were better off scuttling the ships and building entirely new ones.
What the fuck was the Commander thinking, she fumed as she patrolled around Darnassus on her dark war talbuk, Emberstone. He could have sent us to our deaths.
“Your permanent deaths,” Rimesheen corrected.
“Yes, indeed! And that sand gnome almost sank the boat with us on it,” she answered the verbally telepathic communication, drawing looks of disdain from the posted Sentinels. “Speed holes, in the bottom of a boat? What was he thinking!”
“The Order does not know how to appreciate the races composing the Auxiliary, and persons like the sand gnome almost justify his hostility.”
She lowered her voice to a whisper. “Yes, I know this to be true. And I was ready for that, to be the first troops to battle, the last troops withdraw.” She guided Emberstone onto the eastern bridge in front of the bank of the Temple Gardens. “Yet, he said nothing about doing grunt work suited for a ghoul, like unloading crates!”
“Yes, these foolish kaldorei seem to not realize the immensity of your people’s history.”
An unholy rage started to boil within her. She cropped Emberstone on a portion of his back unprotected by armor plating, and the dark talbuk jolted into a run. “The Commander, he either belittles my talents or misplaces them,” she shouted over the trampling hooves. “Really? Sailing a water-based ship? It was both insulting and annoying. My people have zoomed across the Twisting Nether in technological wonders. Even though I could never pilot one, it was…unflattering to find myself on the crew of such paltry merchant ships!”
The sword’s voice sighed within her mind. “Why you never use your mind to communicate with me. How many times do I have to tell you that It is possible, and would save you the redundancy of shouting?”
“What can I say,” she yelled, “I enjoy the sound of my own voice.”
With another sigh, the exchange terminated. She rode in silence through the Darnassian gates, veered north, and pushed Emberstone towards the Oracle Glade. The raw energy of Enchantress Alanna Raveneye and the powerful moonwell reminded her of her people in a way. It was the combination of strong, ancient minds mixed with powerful magic. The plateau coming into her line of sight was enough to start really soothing her wrath.
It was in the glade she sat and thought about how both races would be much affected by the inevitable return of the Burning Legion. She almost wished the day that she would march against the teeming demons amidst an army of draenei and kaldorei would arrive soon. Many would fall to the Legion, it was true, but she knew she and her allies, old and new, were strong enough to permanently drive back the fel siege from both Azeroth and what used to be Draenor.