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[Story: The Return]

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The Return
In the dead of a cold, dark night, on top of a dark hill, standing underneath a withered, dead tree, a dark figure waits, with a dark purpose. Clad only in black, inconspicuous robes, and a few exposed bones, he couldn't be easily identified from any other resident of the Undercity.

It felt like an eternity since he'd last visited these grounds in the far western forests, when he first buried that which was supposed to remain forever hidden. A fresh fog spreads across the ground, reminding him of a time long ago, when he met a woman--

He is not alone. Toward the bottom of the hill as he faces down, two ghastly-looking undead labor without pause, digging into the stiff ground with picks and shovels. These two he'd recruited for a few gold to do an anonymous job. And so they worked silently.

He is here because he searches. He's looking for something that he left here a long time ago. Something -the only thing in this world- of which he is afraid.

But not tonight. Now, he needs its power once again to achieve his goals. For all this time, it has been like a voice, calling out to him. Drawing him back to this place, deep in the forest of Tirisfal, within the kingdom of the Forsaken.

Not long now. He thinks to himself. He had to make haste finding this location again. There were reports of new worgen already scouting the territory, not to mention the scavenging, rot hide gnolls, and occasional wondering dead. After that, he had to hope what he left was still in tact. With the foundations of Azeroth coming apart, he started to realize that this place wouldn't be safe for long. He worried the tremors and quakes had tilted the land from where it's supposed to be.

The two laborers are a few feet into the whole by now. A cloud of shadow starts to loom behind the wretched figure on the hill, he seems unfazed. The shadow grows larger, and thicker, then starts to coalesce itself into a similar, darkly-clad figure. The shadow seems to step out of the darkness itself to reveal his full form.

“Father Darkheart,” the first one speaks, “it is good to see you.” The two standing together looks like some abysmal, cultist gathering. One of the undead working on the whole glances up, and pays no mind to the meeting going on.

“You as well, lord,” the second one hisses slightly, then coughs. “I've come to tell you that all the preparations have been made.”

“Excellent, Father. You've safeguarded our investments in secret this whole time. The time is near, and our assets are all prepared. You've done an extraordinary service to your people, Putrias.”

Putrias bows deeply, “I only wish to serve the Forsaken cause,” He glances up to notice the two laborers, “And you? I see you nearly have what you need-”

A scream of horror suddenly crashes through the silence of the night. One of the undead laborers leaps out of the trench that has been dug. He is completely ablaze in fire, covered head to to in what seems to be a liquid blaze, and when he is charred through the bone, the corpse collapses to the ground.

“Probably a trap that was set,” the taller figure on the hill waves a hand with protruding claws dismissively. “It's likely harmless now. Bring it up.” The undead hesitates just a moment as he looks between the robed individuals and back the hole, sizing his options. He then obliges.

“I'll let you finish your work. Dark Lady watch over you.” Shadows fold around Putrias quickly again, and he vanishes.

“Thank you, Father. Dark Lady watch over you,” he repeats the farewell to the silent void, then turns to the hole in the ground.

This is not far from where you were made, is it? The figure silently asks, Yes, when you were conceived by foolish sorcerers, and made with trinkets, the nature and limitless power of which they hadn't even a clue. And now, it is time to serve your usefulness once again.

With a thud, an old chest lands on the ground. The undead breathlessly heaves himself from the hole once again. He stops, awaiting orders, but not going anywhere near the crate again. He glances at it again: mostly old, rotten wood, bronze clasps and hinges. There is text written around the opening in a language he can't understand.

“It's Demonic,” the robed figure descends the hill to meet the chest. “That was the first trap. There may be another spell protecting this. I'll have to check.” Effortlessly, the robed wizard peels away the arcane locks and barriers that held it closed. The text around the opening begins to glow, a deep violet color.

“There's just one last spell... Here,” the undead sorcerer reaches a decaying, clawed hand toward the undead laborer, and before he can react, tendrils of purple energy leap from the bones of the hand, into the undead's chest. The laborer gasps a last breath.

“A fresh soul is needed to properly open it, of course.” As if taking away the laborer's essence, the tentacles withdraw and a withered husk of cloth and bone collapses to the ground.

The locks on the chest snap open. There is a soft creak as the lid opens...

Wrapped in cloth is a book: a moldy tome that seems inconspicuous from the side. The front cover contains a small, greenish black gem, embedded within a gold plate carved with runes of mysterious origins. The Tome of the Accursed.

The tome touches his hand, and his arm suddenly feels warm. He feels it. The cold, numbness of undeath fades for just a fraction of a moment. A shiver trembles through his bones, and the feeling is gone. As it fades, a whisper forms in his ear.

“Greetings, Executioner.”

“Hello, my dear. Let's get to work.”


“What kind of world do we live in when someone like me has to handle my own mail?!”

In the Undercity, a strange abomination, know to most simply as The Doctor flails at a nearby goblin courier, the latter hastily going about their business without comment.

Before making another remark, a figure appears before him: the blackest and most ghoulish-looking undead he has seen in some time. With his good eye, The Doctor can discern it is merely an apparition. He bows in earnest respect toward the ghost, “To what do I owe the pleasure, Lord Deathweaver?”

The robed hallucination speaks: “It is time. Meet me in Brill as soon as possible,” and without another word, the figure explodes in a cloud of green flame and ash.

The Doctor nods...

[We return, 12-28-10...]



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 28th, 2010 03:19 am (UTC)
Did my best.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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