Shattered

I wanted to post this for a long time, I began it the day before 4.0 launched, when our imaginary world was shattered forever, but was struggling with what to do with the story. It seems to have gotten out eventually, as one of my friends stopped playing and I felt like giving his character a part in the story. It’s the story of my characters during the Cataclysm. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

——-

Neferna woke up and didn’t remember were she was at first. The room was different, the ceiling lower, the light dimer than what she was used to. They were in Stormwind. They had arrived yesterday morning and had been busy since. Between two elemental attacks, they had to find some accommodation but in this period of feasts, families gathered in town and no inn had room for them. Neferna had met the archdruid and they tried to find a solution but it appeared that a lot of refugees from the villages around had also fled from the elementals attacking their houses to seek safety behind the walls of the city.

After a few hours looking for a room, Neferna had come back to the guild hall to find her sister and her partner arguing. The mage wanted to invite them in his family house, it was small but there was a spare room, and the huntress was stubbornly refusing to be dependent on someone, even her beloved one. The idea that she was actually afraid to meet Ron’s parents crossed Neferna’s mind but she didn’t let that thought pass her lips. After realising there was no other solution, the three of them, the wolf on their heels headed toward the mages district. The two old people leaving there were nice and discreet, and, to the night elves relief, didn’t ask any embarrassing questions. When the old man found a toy and started playing with her wolf, he totally won the heart of the huntress.

The room was indeed tiny. There was barely room for a bed, a chair and their two huge chests… There was a tiny fireplace and a tiny window. The night elves loved tiny windows in towns : Nefernet used to sleep during daytime and preferred dark rooms. The day had been long for the young druid, and as her sister went out to check on the drakes and her wolf, she went to bed and felt asleep at once.

And now, it was morning, she began to hear the city waking up as the streets filled with workers and passer-bys. From were she was, she recognised the speech of one of those cranks, lecturing the citizens with their end-of-the-world theory. They were proliferating these days around Stormwind with all these elementals attacking towns and villages. The earth was regularly shaking and many druids and shamans were very worried. Something was threatening in the near future.

But this morning, everything was calm, as calm as it could be in the huge capital city. Neferna sat on the couch, and then she saw her sister sleeping peacefully in the chair in front of the fire. She smiled. She hadn’t seen her sister at peace like that for a long time. She tried to forgot her worries about the world ending and her nightmares of a world shattered in flame and chaos she had these days to watch her sister sleeping like a child.

Nefernet had not been the same since she came back from Ulduar, and battling the Lich Kind had not helped. War was over now but there was still a tiny shadow in her sister’s eyes all the time. The child she was died in the old Titans prison. The huntress had always been the older sister, caring for her younger, fragile sister. She looked strong, used to talk rarely, made decisions and took actions quickly for the both of them, if surrounded by friends, she would burst in husky laughers sometimes, but she loved to be alone with her wolf, in the wild, hunting. Now, she talked even less, if possible, and didn’t laugh any more. She would spend hours alone on the roof watching the stars.

Maybe she should begin to fight for herself now, Neferna thought. She had always had a weak health but was still able to stand in battle. Druid medicine and magic had made wonders.

Nana, as her sister used to call her, got up. After putting some wood in the fire, she found some paper and ink in her chest and put a note on the bed : « Busy with the druids today, see you at sunset. Take care. »

——-

Nefernet woke up in a start. Her wolf was pulling her blanket, whining and behaving strangely. The huntress get on defensive at once. Suddenly, the ground began to shake violently. The earth tremor was the worse she had ever experienced. It lasted many long minutes while she couldn’t move, huddled up on the floor after having slipped from the chair, her wolf in her arms, while everything around her was shaking badly. When it stopped at last, she got up on her shacking legs and looked around her. One of the logs had slipped form the chimney and she put it back in. The wolf was whining more than ever and she tried to get him up on his legs but he wouldn’t move.

At this moment, she noticed sounds, yells and howls coming form the street. People were getting out of their houses, looking for loved ones, calling for help. It was the middle of the afternoon and many people were busy outside. Her senses came back to her instantly. She grabbed her bow, put in a bag some bandages and some vials she found intact in her sister’s chest. That’s when she realised her sister was not in the room. She turned pale. Then she saw the message nonchalantly thrown on the couch. She stormed out of the room, the wolf tailing her as he decided he didn’t want to be left alone, pathetically whining, his tail under his belly, never letting more than 2 inches between him and his mistress ankles.

Downstairs, Nefernet found the two old people shaken but not injured. The old man was already cleaning the floor from broken crockery while his wife was getting bandages ready to help people outside. She opened the street door and discovered a stricken town. The sky was dark and smoky. Tiles were all over the streets. People were running everywhere, calling names, some people were laying around, injured by falling objects from the roofs or windows. Some priests and paladins were already outside helping and healing people. While running in the streets of the Mage district, she also met some druids and shamans from the Earthen Ring helping.

She met with Ron in the middle of the street, he was safe, but worried for her and his parents, after being relieved about their health, he explained he was in the guild hall with some guildies when it happened, everyone was safe and already helping around.

– Have you seen my sister ?

Ron’s face darkened.

– Wasn’t her with you at home ? I haven’t seen her the whole day.
– She said she was seeing the druids today.
– Right, druids district this way.

They ran down the street toward the canal. At the moment they went under the district gate, the ground began to shake again. And in the west, they saw a huge dark form flying in their direction. It was a dragon, the biggest dragon they had ever seen. It was flying at vertiginous speed toward the city. When it was near, they saw it was a black dragon, burning in the inside, they could see the furnace in his chest. He flew over the city, setting some houses in flames. When it flew over the huntress and the mage, they sensed a gust of burning air in their face, and Nefernet felt her heart throbbing.

The dragon left, laying only flames, ashes and sorrow behind him. The air was smelling of sulphur and an acid rain began to fall from the sky. People were running everywhere, some were jumping into the canal to protect themselves from fires destroying the houses. The wolf was howling to death at Nefernet’s feet. She was standing there, looking with horror at that big hole in the ground where the druids district was. She felt like she was falling in an endless precipice, swirling thoughts overwhelmed her, this was not possible, her mind could not process that her sister, that second part of her soul, may be laying there among the rubble made of earth, stones, wood and ashes that was falling into the sea below.

Nefernet stood there staring at the hole in the ground for what seemed like ages. When her brain seemed to work again, it was like in a dream, or rather a nightmare. She was vaguely aware of Ron shaking her and her wolf nibbling at her fingers. Someone else was here, she saw a familiar red-head woman getting hold of her as she collapsed.

——-

She was walking the great halls of Ulduar alone, someone was whispering over that corner. Or was it in her head ? What was she doing here ? Fear took her, there was someone lying on the floor ahead of her. It was an elf with white skin and white hair, beside her laid a mage with white hair, and she recognised him, then she saw someone else, a woman in heavy plate armor, she wasn’t breathing, her face was strangely blurred but Nefernet felt it was someone important for her, and further, she saw a dwarf laying face down, and a gnome, and an elf women with a weird angle with her neck, and other dead elves and humans she knew were loved ones even not seeing their faces.

Tears began to pour down her face. And the voice in her head became more distinct. It was a mad laugh, and the voice was saying : they are all mine, and you will be soon, mine, Death took them all, I’m coming for you now huntress, come, join your friends… Kneel down before the god of death !

She woke up in a start. Someone had slapped her. Hard. She was sweating and shaking. Her cheeks were wet with tears. The red-head woman was standing in front of her, and around her, several people had shocked expressions on their faces, mixed with being worried for the huntress. The sound of the slap had silenced everyone in the room.

– Stop whining or I’ll slap you again, said Poukie.

And she walked away. Nefernet was back to her senses. She was in the guild hall, nearly everyone was around her. Some had small injuries, but everyone looked fine. The warrior’s behaviour nearly brought a smile on her face. Most people used to feel offended by it, but Nefernet liked it, she knew it was because she was awkward showing her feelings. Poukie had always been there for her in hard times, she was always first to run into battle, her red hair flashing on her armour.

Nefernet felt all the looks on her. She didn’t like to feel the centre of the attention when she was weak. She sat up on the couch. Her wolf was at her feet, looking worried.

– I’m fine, she lied, more to the wolf than anyone else.

She knew she should do better to persuade people of it, but it seemed to be enough to let them go back to their business. Many of them were sleeping in the common room, as inns had no room for them. Near the couch, she recognised the priest armour of the black young woman leading their small guild.

The two druids of the guild had news for her. It seemed that strange things were happening at Mount Hyjal and they sent some druids to Moonglade that morning. They still had no news, either good or bad, from those who had left, but the rest of  the druids left in Stormwind, like the two of them, were working on something near the castle and were safe. Her sister was among those who teleported to Kalimdor and they should get news as soon as possible. She had asked the two guildies to pass the message of her departure to her sister.

It looked like her sister had her own battle now. Nefernet stood up as her leader walked into the room. She had the huntress armour and weapons in the arms. They understood with a glance. Her place was with the guild. They had a new war to fight.

Publicités

We are ready…

The three girls were packing. The Lich King was defeated for a few weeks now and Northrend was slowly healing the wounds the Scourge had done. Dalaran was buzzing with people getting ready to get back home. The small room the two sisters were renting for two years was in a terrible mess, even more than before. The young draenei was ready for a while, but she hadn’t much to pack. She was living at her master’s place, where she had been in apprenticeship of jewelcrafting for a few months. She was now watching the two night elves sorting their possessions in huge trunks, putting some goods aside, leather mostly, that they could sell before leaving. Soon they would be en route to Kalimdor, the two sisters had received a call from their father, he needed them in Darnassus. The rest of the guild would be following very soon, getting back to Kalimdor or Eastern Kingdoms.

The young draenei was remembering what happened to her in the last few months. She had left Exodar after meeting some weird gnome lady looking for a jewelcrafter. The gnome entered the master jewelcrafter shop here, and came directly to her. She explained she was looking for an apprentice jewelcrafter ready to go to Northrend to join her clients. It would be well paid, her expenses would be covered, her apprenticeship sponsored. In return, she would have to provide the gnome’s masters with gems, and learn to fight because it seemed that Northrend wasn’t exactly the safest place in the world and she would be asked to join the battle… She had two months to learn some fighting skills of her choice and join the Alliance forces in Northrend. The gnome gave her some starting funds, a letter with a name and an address, and she left before the young draenei even had time to tell if she accepted the deal…

Meesha looked at the letter : « Nefernet, Silver Enclave, Dalaran ». The seal was made of green wax and in the shape of a tree. She did not dare to open the letter, she put it in a safe place and left the shop, went directly to the shaman master and paid for a new apprenticeship. Then, she bought everything she would need to travel and fight. Two days later, as she was ready to leave Exodar for good, a messenger gave her a huge parcel. In it, she found the finest mail gear she had ever seen, some good quality fur, weapons, an amulet,  and a note : « Our mistress Nefernet thought you might like those in your travels, use them well. »

That’s how it started. During those months of learning and travelling, she never met her employer but her name (and gold) seemed to open many doors. And one day, she was on the ship to Northrend. Someone was waiting for her in Honor Hold inn. A mage with white hair and kind look despite his fiery armour. He welcomed her, asked if the travel was good and made her a portal to Dalaran. In Dalaran, he left her in front of the Alliance inn before heading to the Kirin Tor tower.

It was late afternoon, the inn was packed with people, some in bright armour sets, some with mismatched pieces of unidentifiable gear. One thing was certain : the country here was in war, all she could see were fighters. The innkeeper indicated the room were the night elf lived. Meesha went upstairs and knocked on the door. She didn’t know what to expect, the few night elves she had met in her travel seemed quite hermetic, but she was ready to show the gems she could cut, her master jewelcrafter was quite happy with her and she was confident. The door opened wide, and a young night elf in a green dress with long white hair and albinos skin was looking at her with piercing silver eyes. A strong smell came from the room, made of herbs and leather, and some animal. The night elf smiled and before the young draenei had time to say a word, she began to talk, barely pausing to breath :

– Hey ! You’re Meesha ! I’m Neferna, welcome to Dalaran. Nefernet just woke up and she’s out for her « morning walk », you don’t want to talk to her *before* her walk… She’ll back in a minute. So how was your apprenticeship ? You look good ! Are you hungry ? I’m starving… We’ll have breakfast downstairs. This is our room, I’m an alchimist, and a druid by the way, I was brewing some potions, that’s the smell…

The young shaman was listening from the doorstep, and observing the small room. The only lights came from the tiny window and the fire. The place was very austere : one big bed, a table and 4 chairs, the fireplace, two huge trunks, and weapons lined up all over the walls. On the table, she could see herbs and flasks, a brewing bowl, the cauldron was rippling on the fire. One of the trunk was disappearing under a huge pile of furs and various leather pieces. The druid looked very young but was talking with confidence.

– You’ll be living at your master’s place in the crafters quarters. And you’ll meet the guild soon too. They are great people, some are … special, but everybody is worth to meet.

– You talk too much Nana…

A deep voice came front behind Meesha who jumped when she felt the wolf at her feet, a huge black wolf, who quickly inspected her boots before entering the room and taking possession of the rug in front of the fire. The druid shut up instantly.

The night elf who had talk pushed Meesha inside. She hanged her bow on the wall.

– Your bags and weapons, here. Sit here.

She indicated the corner of the room, and then one of the chairs, as she took another chair, turning her back to the window. The first thing Meesha noticed about the young huntress was the feline power emanating from her. She had dark green hair tied in heavy plates in a bun on her neck. She looked very alike her sister but there was some sadness and severity on her face the druid had not. When Meesha crossed her eyes, she felt chilled, for they were cold like ice, and observing her closely. Those eyes have seen much, she thought.

– Can you fight ?

Meesha noded. Her tongue seemed to be glued to her palate.

– Good. Go on with your training, come back to me when you are ready.

And she got up, and out of the room, the wolf on her heels.

Neferna smiled and invited her for breakfast. The elf explained how life was, here in Dalaran, that if she needed help, the guild would be there for her. In the next weeks, she discovered another facet of the huntress, she was in charge of the guild while the leader was away, she had have a few problem in her previous guild, she was a very good hunter, she also was someone very protective, of her wolf, her sister, her friends and guildies. Now, she knew the hunteress would never let her down.

And today, the three of them were packing to go back to Kalimdor, Meesha would be flying with the druid and Nefernet with her wolf as usual. She was invited at their father’s place, and was quite eager to discover Darnassus. Their father was a druid and it seemed that something was underlying, for in his letter, he looked worried and secretive. And as a shaman, Meesha could sense things too. Something would happen soon. And they should be prepared…

A summer night

A little story with the two sisters AND a flying dwarf like I promised, enjoy.

Nefernet felt dirty. By her side, Sethi was breathing painfully. The battle had been the hardest they had ever done and the brave wolf was badly hurt. He was limping and wining softly at each step. She took him on her shoulders to walk the remaining of the way home.

The summer night was clear and the moon was full and high. The streets of Dalaran were crowded even at this lately hour, and the air filled with fireworks. The Summer festival was at its full swing and the people she crossed in their summer outfits stared at her dark mail armour covered in blood, slime and dust with a sidelong look. She didn’t care, her only concern was dressing her wolf’s wounds and taking a hot bath.

The inn was lit and the common room was crowded, people singing and dancing, beer flowing from the barrels on the bar. Nefernet frowned, looked like the bath will have to wait. She followed the wall and get up the stair at a quick pace, just pausing to ask the overwhelmed waitress for some hot water and a meal. She entered the little room she was sharing with her sister. Neferna wasn’t here. The room was filled with the smell of plants littering the small table along with empty vials and Nefernet recognised some pigmy oil in the little cauldron. The only light in the room was the faint blue glowing of the alchemist’s stone and the starlight coming from the little window.

She gently laid down Sethi from her shoulders on his couch and stroked him to check for broken bones. One of his front legs had a weird angle, and he had several open wounds with a disgusting aspect. The hot water arrived at this moment and she used it to clean Sethi’s wounds before bandaging them. The wolf licked her hands giving her a grateful look before going to sleep instantly.

Nefernet began to put off her armour slowly, piece after piece. The fight had been rough on it too. It would cost her a fortune to get it repaired. She took out her gun and began to clean it with an oily rag but her hands were shaking badly. Her arms were aching and she had numerous cuts and bruises all over. Her head was buzzing and things around her were a little hazy.

The door banged open and the light flowing into the room blinded her for a second. Neferna was standing on the doorstep in a light green dress.

– Hey Sister ! she said giggling. Where have you been ! Come on with us, Gotri drank so much that Darkminus made him believe he can fly and he’s presently standing on the bar, flapping his arms and trying to take off. It’s so funny if you could hear him !

Nefernet gave her a funny look.

– Are you drunk ?

Neferna’s smile disappeared at once.

– No I’m not drunk, I was just cheerful but as usual, you spoiled it. You’re like an old hag. And since you joined this guild, you’re worst !  You’re so serious and boring when you come home. And anyway we have so few time together now and you spend it complaining ! I’m fed up with you ! I am going out tonight and will get drunk to the point I will believe I can fly too and you can stay here if you wish, I don’t care ! Or go with your new friends, if they are so interesting ! But leave me alone !

Blind to the blank look her sister gave her, she turned away and strode out of the room. The moment she crossed the threshold, Nefernet said with an exhausted voice :

– We killed Yogg Saron tonight.

Neferna stopped at once.

– You what ?

– We killed Yogg Saron.

Neferna turned back and closed the door quietly behind her. And this time, she looked closely at her sister, more closely than she had done for weeks. She realized how her eyes and cheeks were hollow. Her blue skin was covered with filth and blood. There was a big dark blue bruise on her left upper arm and another on her forehead. But what shocked her most was the strange look she had. There was a dark light in her eyes she had never seen before. And big tears were running down her face.

– Oh for Elune’s sake !

She just couldn’t say more. She took a piece of cloth and began to clean her sister’s face with gentle moves. More bruises appeared, and older wounds. Nefernet wasn’t moving or even talking anymore and she realized it was because she was too weak to do it.

Neferna searched in her flasks a few seconds and poured some wine in a glass, with a few drops of potion.

– Drink that tonic. And let me help you with those bruises and cuts. Is there other wounds I can’t see ? Any broken rib ?

With a few words of magic she healed her sister and helped her drinking her wine. A few colours came back to her face and she murmured :

– Sethi’s wounded too. His front paw is broken I think. Please help him too.

Knowing that her sister would not rest or eat while her wolf was injured, Neferna crouched beside the sleeping animal. The paw was not broken, it was just a bad sprain she healed easily. While she was there, looking for other wounds, Nefernet began to speak. Her voice was hoarse, as if her mouth and throat were as dry as parchment.

It whispered things in my head… Horrible things… So many voices I heard…

Neferna shivered, she felt the hairs on her neck rising. She turned around. Her sister was starring blankly at the wall, this strange and dark spark still dancing in her eyes.

– Do you still hear them ? The voices ?

– No. They are gone now. The monster is dead. Or at least it’s under control again.

– What do you mean by « under control » ? You just said it was dead.

Nefernet looked at her sister.

– Do you think you can really kill the god of death ? I don’t know. It looked dead but…

Neferna could answer nothing to that. Instead, she took the wet cloth again, and resumed washing gently her sister’s face. Nefernet closed her eyes and relaxed a little.

Then she took out the remaining pieces of her mail armour and taking another rag, she washed her entire body, and it felt like the battle was drawing away. Neferna healed every cut or bruise they found. The young druid was amazed at the number. Many of these injuries were not from tonight. She realised that her sister had been through very bad times these past weeks, without complaining once, without letting anyone know how hard it was.

Once they were finished, Nefernet put on a simple linen dress and let her sister untie her hair and wash it. Neferna realized she hadn’t seen her sister letting her hair loose for months. It was waist-long now, of that dark green that Neferna envied so much.

– Your hair is so beautiful ! Why do you hide it with such a tight plate and chignon !

Nefernet smiled and her sister realized she hadn’t seen her smile for days.

– I can’t fight properly with my hair loose on my eyes. How do you expect me to aim right ?

– There will be no fight tonight. And I know you can aim with your eyes shut anyway…

Nefernet smiled again.

– You sure ?

– Oh yes ! And put on that beautiful dress of yours, the purple one. It suits you so much. Let’s get some summer brew and …

– I’m not sure I want to drink or go out tonight… I’m not really in the mood.

– Well don’t drink then… Don’t worry, Gotri drank well enough for both of you… Darkminus saw to that… You don’t want to let the two of them together too long…

The name of the gnome brought another smile on Nefernet’s face. Despite Darkminus being a crazy gnome engineer who had blown up his house more than once, and moreover a warlock, he was one of her more faithful friends.

– Yes, sure, who knows where the dwarf could end if Darkminus is around… Didn’t you said he was learning to fly ? I thought you were the only one giving him flying lessons ?

Nefernet had a malicious smile on her face and her sister blushed. The druid tried to change the subject, even if she was quite happy, her sister seemed to recover from the shock of her last battle. She found the dress she was seeking in her sister’s stuff, a dark purple silk dress with golden embroideries. Not convinced, Nefernet accepted to wear it nonetheless.

A clamour came from the hall the exact moment the two night elves left their room. From what they could get from up there, it looked like the news of Yogg-Saron’s defeat had reached the tavern and people were celebrating more than ever. The noise was rising in the common room, and more fireworks were exploding outside.

The two sisters climbed down the stairs. A few people recognised the huntress and pat her on the shoulder as she passed, congratulating her. She didn’t even know them…

She could see a few fellow guildies among the crowd. Some saw her and waved, she waved back and followed her sister who led them to the inn’s backyard. The garden was crowded too but many familiar faces were there. First she saw Gotri. The red-bearded dwarf was dancing on one of the table, an hilarious gnome on his shoulders. Whatever the two of them were saying, the crowd looked delighted and was cheering them for more.

Nefernet could see many friends around them but her gaze stopped on one man, a mage, standing near the wall, smiling quietly at his friends masquerade. She loved that human. She knew humans lives were short as candles but who knows, maybe her life would end soon too, with the war all around. She had better love now than never.

His name was Ron and he was the first to notice the two sisters. His smile changed to a loving one when he saw the huntress and sparks came out of his hand when he waved at them. He began to elbow his way in the crowd.

From where he was perched, Darkminus had a broad view of the garden and he followed the mage’s gaze. When he saw the two sisters, he waved widely at them. He bellowed something in the dwarf’s ear who stopped dancing, waved with glee at the two approaching night elves and as soon as they were near enough, jumped down the table and ran toward the back of the garden, the gnome still clutching at his head and cackling maddeningly. Nefernet, her friend, her sister and the crowd followed.

There, something was hidden under a cloth. From where he was, still perched on the dwarf’s shoulders, the gnome made his announcement.

– Tonight, before your very eyes, I, Darkminus, will make this dwarf fly without any magic involved ! You waited the whole night for me to reveal my new invention, a brand new and very unique flying machine, fleuron of the gnomish aeronautic art.

Saying that, the mischievous gnome directed a wink at Nefernet. Knowing that this kind of look from her friend was often followed by loud bangs, sparks and heat, the elf made a few steps backward, quickly followed by her sister, the mage Ron and a few of their friends she spotted in the crowd.

Darkminus climbed down from the dwarf’s shoulder and pulled on the cloth. It revealed a simple wooden box on the top of which a velvet chair had been attached. The box was quite big and the drunk dwarf struggled a little to climb on it, refusing any help from the crowd, until Darkminus show him there were notches in the wood of the box to enable him to climb.

– Are you ready my friend ? Asked the gnome. Let’s get you some altitude !

Darkminus get a small objet from his pocket and disappeared behind the box. There was a faint « pshhh » and the gnome ran from behind and out of sight.

The crowd was silent, waiting, some people chuckling nervously. The only distinct sound was that « pshhh » coming from the box.

Suddenly, the box blew up, projecting the dwarf and his chair high in the sky, propelled by a huge red rocket. Many smaller fireworks were hidden in the box and came out flying in every direction, exploding with loud bangs, raining sparks on the panic stricken crowd and filling the air with light and smoke. Some went flying through the inn’s windows and cries of surprise or pain could be heard when the rockets exploded inside the building.

Chocking with the smoke and laughing, Nefernet lift a watery eye toward the sky, looking for the dwarf. She heard Ron mutter a few words of magic, looking at one point in the sky, and then she saw him. The dwarf had lost his chair, whose fragments littered the lawn, having luckily killed no one. He was falling slowly, thanks to Ron’s spell, and laughing loudly. He landed softly as the last rockets blew up here and there. A roar of applause greeted him and he was surrounded by people hugging him and giving him more beer.

Nefernet looked for any sign of the gnome but he was nowhere to be seen. She sat down around a table with her friends who were commenting the dwarf’s performance. After a few minutes, she found Darkminus staggering under a tray filled with summer brew. He was followed by the angry innkeeper pointing the tables to him. Once his plateau was empty, he followed the innkeeper inside, stopping just the time to send a wink to Nefernet. She smiled. It looked like the gnome had found a new job, at least until the cost of the damages he had done were paid.

Eliah

This is a story for the writing contest, at Ego’s blog. I wrote it in French first and tried to translate it in English. I hope I managed to translate the emotion too.

———————————-

Cette nuit d’été était étrange. Un silence pesant reignait sur la forêt. Eliah était inquiète. La vieille louve surveillait d’un oeil attentif les deux fillettes elfes qui gazouillaient à la lumière de la lune. Elle pouvait sentir l’orage venir, ses rhumatismes commençaient à la faire souffrir. Eliah soupira. Il y avait longtemps qu’elle ne partait plus à la chasse avec son amie et cela lui manquait. Elle passait désormais de longues nuits à surveiller ses deux rejetons, si faibles que s’en était pitoyable. L’une des deux enfants cependant, celle aux cheveux verts de jade, se tenait debout depuis peu et courrait déjà partout, rendant ces nuits beaucoup moins reposantes.

Cependant, cette nuit, ce n’était pas les escapades des enfants qui l’inquiétaient. Non, une angoisse sourde la tenait, un mauvais pressentiment. Ne tenant plus en place, la louve commença a faire les cent pas dans la clairière, aux aguets. Cela faisait trois nuits que son amie était partie chasser seule. Depuis la naissance des petites, elle ne s’était jamais absentée aussi longtemps.

Tout à coup, les poils de sa nuque se hérissèrent. Elles étaient observées. Elle vit d’abord les deux petits yeux rouges et méchants du grell dans la pénombre, sa peau verte et crasseuse se confondait presque avec la mouse qui couvrait le sol. Il bondit vers les fillettes alors que la louve s’élançait vers lui. En un bond il était là et avait attrapé l’une des elfettes qui hurla, en un deuxième bond, il allait disparaître à nouveau dans l’ombre, emportant son butin, quand Eliah le vit tomber comme une masse, fauché en plein élan par une flèche à empenage blanc qu’Eliah connaissait bien. Menelie apparut alors tenant son arc d’une main et son épée de l’autre. L’elfe avait l’air exténuée, elle était blessée au flanc gauche et pouvait à peine marcher.

Elle se précipita vers sa fille rescapée du démon et l’installa à califourchon sur la louve, elle fit de même avec sa deuxième fille, puis elle les sangla avec une lanière de cuir et les chassa. Elle fit signe à Eliah de fuir, loin, sans s’arrêter, sans revenir. D’autres démons approchaient. Il fallait qu’elles survivent.

L’orage éclata enfin. Après avoir plongé une dernière fois ses yeux dorés dans ceux argentés de Menelie, Eliah s’élança droit devant elle. Elle filait comme le vent entre les arbres. Elle courrut toute la nuit, et continua d’avancer pendant le jour, malgré la douleur sourde dans ses muscles et celle plus intense encore dans son coeur qui lui disait que la compagne de toute sa vie avait succombé. Elle avait envie de s’arrêter et de hurler vers le ciel son désespoir et sa solitude.

Lorsque la lune se leva à nouveau, Eliah ne pouvait plus avancer. Le chagrin l’accablait. Les deux petites sur son dos pleuraient doucement, épuisées et affamées. Au détour du ruisseau qu’elle suivait, la louve aperçut un feu de camp. Elle s’approcha. Un elfe de la nuit la surveillait plein de méfiance, qui se transforma en surprise quand il réalisa la nature du fardeau que transportait la louve. Il s’approcha doucement, détacha calmement les enfants, et avec des gestes rassurants, leur tendit à chacune un morceau de pain.

Eliah refusa la lanière de viande séchée qu’il lui présenta. Elle avait accompli son devoir. Elle ferma ses yeux ambrés qui déjà se voilaient. Le museau dans la mousse épaisse de la forêt, elle tendit son esprit vers celui de Menelie qui l’attendait dans l’au-delà, où elles chasseraient désormais ensemble pour l’éternité.

———————————

This summer night was strange. The silence was heavy in the dark forest. Eliah was worried. The old female wolf was keeping a sharp eye on the two young night elves babbling in the moonlight. She could feel the storm coming, her rheumatisms were beginning to ache. Eliah sighed. It was a long time she wasn’t hunting anymore with her friend and she missed that. She now spent her long nights watching over her friend’s two offsprings, such weak creatures they were, it was pitiful. One of the two children, the jade-green haired one, could stand on her feet now and ran everywhere already, making these nights much less restful.

However, tonight the girls escapades were not what worried her. Tonight it was an unspoken anguish, a bad premonition. The wolf began to pace around the clearing, on the watch. It’s been three nights her friend was gone hunting alone. Such a long absence never happened since the girls were born.

Suddenly, her hackles began to rise. They were being watched. First she saw the two small, red and cruel eyes of the grell in the shadow, its greenish and filthy skin blending with the moss covering the ground. It jumped to the little girls while the wolf dashed forward. With one jump, it was there and it caught one of the girls who yelled. With a second jump, it was going to disappear with its prize when it was mowed down in mid-air by an arrow with the white fletching Eliah knew so well. Melenie entered the clearing, her bow in one hand and her sword in the other. The elf looked awful. Exhausted, injured on the left flank, she could barely walk.

She rushed to release her daughter from the demon and installed her astride the wolf. She did the same with her second daughter and strapped them on the wolf’s back with a leather thong. Then she chased them away. She waved Eliah to flee, far, without pausing, without coming back. More demons were coming. They had to live.

The storm was there. After sinking for the last time her golden gaze into Menelie’s silvery one, Eliah dashed forward. She fled like the wind between the trees. She ran the whole night, and went on during the day. She ran despite the pain in all her muscles and much more pain in her heart, telling her that her lifetime companion was dead. She wanted to stop running and howl to the sky her despair and her solitude.

When the moon rose again, Eliah could go no further. The grief was too heavy. The two little ones on her back were crying softly, tired and hungry as they were. Along the little river she was following, the wolf saw the light of a campfire. She came near it. A night elf was watching her approaching, first with suspicion, then with surprise when he discovered her burden. He came near and loosened the children, and with slow and reassuring moves, gave them some bread.

Eliah refused the dried meat he offered her. She had done her duty. She closed her already veiled amber eyes. Her muzzle in the soft and thick moss, she reached out her spirit toward Menelie’s, who was waiting for her in the after-life, where they would now hunt together forever.

Anna’s Friday 5 : Time is on our side

Anna, at Too many Annas, runs every Friday an RP game with 5 questions about your character on a specific theme. Last week, it was about time, and I found the questions quite inspirating inspiring. Let’s send the two sisters exploring their time’s habits.

Is your character usually early, on time, or late?  What does he or she expect from other people with regards to time?

Nefernet likes to be early. She likes to be prepared. She hates being the last one arriving somewhere. She is more like a scout. Neferna don’t care being early actually. Who cares, except Nefernet ? But she doesn’t like to be late. 

Is your character a morning sparrow or a night owl?  Is this their nature, or have they trained themselves to it?

The sisters are Night Elves. This race mostly lives at night. Nefernet is an early owl actually. Up in the late afternoon, she will fight her best at sunset. She really hate being up in the morning, the sun is too bright. Even living with a human could not change her nighty habits.  Neferna prefers daytime though, oddly. She loves sunshine, especially in tree form. Her druidic life made her more used to daytime living that most of the Night Elves.

Does your character carry a time-keeping device? (watch, pocket watch, chronometer, gnomish buzzbox with digital clock peripheral)

What is a clock ? Some gnomish sillyness ? Moon, stars and sun are well enough to know the time.

How does your character deal with the Bronze Dragonflight – does he or she take them seriously?  take the Caverns of Time seriously?

As much as she respects the Red Dragonflight, Nefernet doesn’t like Bronze Dragonflight, they are just another source of conflit. When asked to do some quest for them, she just does her duty, even if it’s a nasty one like burning Stratholme or enable the orcs to invade Kalimdor. She went through the battle at Mount Hyjal in Cavern of Time and it made her sad. It remembered her the day the tree blew up and how it threw her life upside down, how the earth shoke in her little village, destroying many houses, and the following days when some families heared about their sibbling’s deaths. And a few months later, she was moving with Barhom and Neferna to Teldrassil to help building the new capital.

Neferna is more curious with the Bronze Dragonflight but mostly because she’s so curious about everything. But like Nefernet, she won’t trust them.

What does your character eat for breakfast on a “normal morning”? (whenever that “morning” happens to take place)

Nefernet like having apples with some dried meat for breakfast, she likes the sweet/salty taste. and that’s easy to carry, easy to conserve in you bag for weeks. She share the meat with her wolf who loves that. Neferna never eat meat. For breakfeast, she will have some milk with fruits and bread. She loves putting some honey in her milk and drinking it with some raspberries.

Séthi is happy !

(My first post in English… Please be nice… ^_^ )

It happend two weeks ago. Nefernet came to Darnassus. I thought she had some business to do here. She allways comes and visits me at her father’s home when she is in the vicinity.

I love her visits ! She allways takes some time to play with me. I know she will be gone in a few hours with Noé, the yellow cat, leaving me to take care of her old father. As if the old gruppy druid needed any care… I’d rather take care of her. I know she goes back to war every time she leaves Darnassus. It’s just so sad to watch her go away. I’m so sad I cry for hours, until the father comes and shouts me to stop whining because the neighbours are complaining…

But the other day, she had serious business here. She took me along to visit her master, the old grumpy hunter with that old grumpy black dog. He doesn’t like me (the dog, not the master…). He keeps telling me I’m too young to understand The Hunt, and war and everything. Pff, I have been to war too… A little… Over there in Outland where I was born. But it’s true, for serious encounters, I mean, very dangerous ones, my mistress takes Noé. He’s a strong and experienced warrior.

But the other day, I was watching her packing her things, trying hard not to cry in front of her, but instead of departing along with Noé, waving goodbye, she took me with her ! Ooooh I was soo happy  ! Ooh yes ! I was on the hunting road with my mistress again !

I don’t exactly remember what happened to me this very evening. She used this strange stone that makes everything black before my eyes and feeling deezy and whoosh, we’re somewhere else. We were in this strange town, floating in the air. Not many trees there, I don’t like this town. We took a griffon and headed south. And there I was in front of this strange and scary flying fortress…

I looked around. Spiders, undying horrors in every corner… Uh oh… Ok, I suppose Noé is just over there and I will be a good boy and go back to town. No ? Really ? Ok, this is bad. This is war and I’m not prepared. I’m too young for this…

And there were other people there too. Many strangers. Actually I knew no one except that nice human mage my mistress loves. Where were her usual comrades in arms ? Where was the calm and nice paladin Askarhi, and the pretty Tati, and the nice little elf Ryuan, and the tree druid Naturelha, and the big and funny Lupurius, the Draenei ? Where were they gone ? Dead ?

As I begun whining softly, feeling so afraid and alone, Nefernet took me in her arms.

« Come on boy ! Don’t be afraid, don’t be sad. These people are our new friends. The others are not lost, they’ve taken their own path and I followed mine. Look, Ron is here. And do you remember this elf hunter ? We met her in Outland ! She’s our leader now, be nice with her. I count on you to behave tonight, to be brave and strong. »

And I felt better. I could feel the sadness in her voice when speaking about her friends, and her hope in the future with this new compagny. Oh yes I will do my best tonight !

And I did ! Once in the evening, Nefernet was very anxious. She explained me numerous times : « Follow the tank. Be careful, there is poison shooting out of these gutters. It’s very dangerous. I’m very serious. And be on my ankles when I ask you ! No running around the Big Ugly Heigan while he’s on this platform ! » And she was dead serious. And she was right to be. These poisons are so painful. But her magic kept me alive during the whole fight. And we killed the Big Ugly.

The rest of the night is in a blur of green light. We went home tired but pleased with the good fight. Nefernet knows I need a bit more training, these fights are tricky, and she wants me to be able to pull my own weight. But together, we are stronger. We will rid Azeroth of the Scourge. Yes, just Nef and me… Yes, i’m just that happy to fight again.

Promenons-nous dans les bois…

Voici un texte écrit pour un concours rôleplay sur le forum de guilde Délire Boréal un peu avant la fin de la guilde. Un petit détour par l’enfance de mes personnages…

Les deux fillettes, enfouies sous les aiguilles de sapin, observaient avec intérêt le traquelune qui s’approchait à petites foulées rapides. Seules deux paires de longues oreilles dépassaient du tas de feuilles et leurs yeux argentés brillaient dans l’obscurité. Nefernet sentait sa sœur jumelle trembler de peur ou d’excitation. Neferna avait toujours été la plus craintive des deux mais sa curiosité l’emportait toujours lorsqu’il s’agissait d’accompagner sa sœur dans la forêt pour observer les animaux. Il leur fallait alors user de toute leur imagination pour camoufler ses cheveux blancs et son teint albinos.

Nefernet n’avait pas peur. Elle connaissait bien cette vielle lionne, gardienne de la forêt. Elle savait qu’elle rentrait à sa tanière après une nuit de chasse. Sans doute consciente de la présence des deux elfettes, elle passait cependant tranquille, rassasiée.

Tout à coup, elle s’immobilisa, aux aguets, fixant un point sur la gauche des deux enfants, puis elle feula de douleur. Nefernet réalisa alors avec horreur qu’une flèche rouge à empennage noir était fichée dans son flanc. Neferna, apercevant la flèche à son tour cria et sa sœur la vit se dresser hors de leur cachette et s’élancer vers l’animal dans un élan de pitié. Se précipitant à sa suite, Nefernet la rattrapa juste au moment où le satyre déboula dans la clairière.

Deux fois plus grand que les fillettes, il leur parut gigantesque, du haut de ses longues pattes musclées aux sabots fourchus, il avait la peau rouge, presque noire, des yeux de braise et des cornes noires et luisantes au milieu d’une crinière rousse. Il tenait d’une main un arc court, et de l’autre un cimeterre ébréché et rouillé. Lorsqu’il aperçut les deux elfettes pétrifiées devant lui, son expression passa de la simple excitation de la chasse à la convoitise et à la cruauté. Sa proie n’était plus la même.

Nefernet réagit la première. Agrippant la main de sa sœur, elle la tira de sa transe et s’élança entre les arbres, juste au moment où la lionne attaquait le satyre qui ne s’était pas méfié de l’animal blessé. Nefernet courrait le plus vite possible, droit devant elle, tirant derrière elle sa sœur qui avait habituellement toutes les peines du monde à la suivre mais à qui la peur donnait des ailes.

Les branches et les ronces lui griffaient le visage et les bras, glissant sur leurs tuniques en cuir. Neferna trébucha, et en l’aidant à se relever Nefernet entendit distinctement un bruit de galop derrière elles. Elles reprirent leur course effrénée. Nefernet ne reconnaissait plus la forêt, elle s’était perdue. Elle ne savait où trouver de l’aide ou un abri. Fermant son esprit à toute autre pensée, elle courrait, tel le guépard, entrainant derrière elle sa sœur terrorisée.

Les bruits de sabots se firent plus proches, et des flèches commencèrent à siffler au dessus de leurs têtes. Jettant un coup d’œil derrière elle, Nefernet aperçut le satyre à quelques dizaines de pas en arrière. Son flanc gauche saignait, la lionne l’avait sans doute blessé, mais il courrait encore nettement plus vite que les fillettes.

Tout à coup, Nefernet sentit le sol se dérober sous ses pas. Elle n’avait pas vu le ravin caché par les arbres et les buissons. Elle chuta de quelques pieds, entrainant sa sœur dans sa chute, et elles dévalèrent pêle-mêle la pente faite de sable et de gravats, s’arrêtant en bas dans un nuage de poussière. A la grande surprise de Nefernet, leur chute avait été amortie par quelque chose de moelleux. La chose bougea alors, réveillée en sursaut par les deux elfettes tombées de la falaise. C’était un ours. Un gros ours passablement grognon d’être dérangé avant même que l’aube soit levée qui les fixait d’un petit œil noir et brillant de malice.

Au dessus d’elles, le satyre avait découvert le ravin également, mais dressé sur ses pattes arrières, proche à le toucher, l’ours occupait tout leur champ de vision. Il grogna et balaya les deux fillettes d’un coup de patte, les envoyant rouler sur le côté, puis il chargea le satyre enfoncé jusqu’aux genoux dans le sable.

Se relevant douloureusement sur ses jambes flageolantes, Nefernet frotta ses paumes maculée de sang et de poussière sur sa tunique avant de tenter de relever sa sœur qui, secouée par de gros sanglots, cherchait désespérément son souffle. De grosses larmes traçaient des sillons blancs dans la poussière qui maculait ses joues. Ses jambes refusaient de la porter. Nefernet elle-même sentait la tête lui tourner.

Derrière elles, le combat entre l’ours et le satyre prenait fin. Se retournant, Nefernet aperçut des tatouages sur les épaules de l’animal qui, triomphant, achevait le satyre d’un coup de griffe. Le combat terminé, l’ours se dandina tranquillement vers les deux elfettes. Sous leurs yeux ébahis, il se transforma alors en un grand elfe de la nuit, à la silhouette assez trapue et aux cheveux bleu-nuit. Le druide sourit aux deux fillettes apeurées et s’approcha. Il les examina afin de vérifier qu’elles n’étaient pas gravement blessées puis demanda à Nefernet de lui raconter ce qui leur était arrivé.

Le récit le rendit soucieux. La présence de satyres aussi près du village ne présageait rien de bon, il fallait avertir la garde rapidement. Se transformant à nouveau, il fit grimper les fillettes sur son dos et c’est à dos d’ours qu’elles rentrèrent au village, épuisées mais triomphantes.