The End of Dormancy
Death did not bring peace and silence. It brought the horrid stench of blood, sweat and entrails. It brought the sound of gurgled bubbles, dripping crimson and the warrior’s ragged breathing. Most of all, it left Farwyn burned, aggravated and unsatisfied within a green circle of putrid magic.
Willpower and experience proved themselves invaluable as he buckled down his chaotic thoughts and reignited his practiced focus. It spurred to life his stoic figure that stood amongst the bloodied carnage in the center of the cavern and as natural as preparing morning breakfast, the warrior went to fetch his spoils.
His sword was secured upon his back and he assessed himself quickly. His stomach was uneasy and his body felt fatigued from the cantrip, but already his fortitude was beginning to shake it off. His gauntlets were ruined and his hands bruised, but that was minor. The worst of it were the scores of burns he knew dwelled underneath his charred and rapidly cooling armor. A few segments, especially along his right side, already showed angry blisters and raw bleeding skin through the unprotected gaps where the leather had singed away.
It’d take too long to pry some of the armor off and I’m not leaving it here.
Far knew he was going to regret keeping his armor on. The actual metal was touching his skin in several places with the underlining gone. Already he could feel the throbbing twinge of pain from it sticking and tearing into his wounds as the heat wore off. He didn’t have time to deal with it though, not when he was still in a cave laced with magic. The warrior would just have to ignore it until he was back outside in relative safety and away from any possible reinforcements. Easier said than done of course, but unluckily he had plenty of experience with injuries, especially magical burns.
He squatted down amongst the unrecognizable dead duo, rifling through their robes briefly to find nothing. That was a little bit of a blessing even as it was frustrating, leaving him to stand and survey the large, pulsing green circle carved into the ground. There were skulls, feathers, bowls and a few other decorations in several spots along the circle. Reagents of some sort, he guessed although the warrior was hardly an expert. He wasn’t about to collect trivial crap. Instead he focused his attention to a brilliant verdant green crystal in the center.
It had been smoothed roughly into the shape of an orb and as the warrior took a few steps towards it, even the yellow-green light of the cave couldn’t mask the flicker of a dark hue within. The flitting shape at its core reminded him of black fire caught within crystal, although every breath or so it appeared to flutter. The patterns of the ritual runes carved into the ground all but screamed that this green sphere was important.
I don’t know what will happen if I destroy it and as much as I hate this shit… can’t deny it might be useful. What in the fel were they doing?
Farwyn sized up the orb before he turned and went towards one of the bodies. The wet sound of warped plate groaning and clashing together echoed in the cave, eliciting a wince from the warrior. Magical fire, fel or not, was such a pain in the a-
-A ritual gRiNdInG and tEaRiNg upon bOnEs and fLeSh-
A hot knifing pain jolted through his body. His pulse became a gong thundering in his head. Again, the agony crackled through him like two points of lightning colliding into his core. It all but crippled him in a precious instant, sending him falling to the floor. His knee smacked the ground first followed by a fist as he swayed to the side. Farwyn gritted his teeth and silently screamed in protest, as sheer stubborn willpower and adrenaline kept him kneeling.
A cold sweat doused his body and he fought against the waves of torment, until finally it mercifully receded into a dull throb. Farwyn staggered out a coughing breath and his eyes surveyed his surroundings, the lingering fel magic all but assaulting his nose now. His composure still held, but a nipping reminder chilled him. This was an awful lot of the right kind of wrong magic.
Farwyn swore out loud as he forced his body to move again. He ripped a large clump of cloth from the dead cultist’s robe with decisive motions before returning to the sphere. He was committed to his plan of action and deftly he tossed the cloth over the orb. It was wrapped up rapidly, preventing actual contact with its surface before he tied it tightly to his belt. Then soon the heavy stone thudded against the side of his leg as he finally walked away from the cavern and out of that blasted cave.
The rain greeted him with steady metallic taps as droplets assaulted his armor. It was both a relief to his perspiring body and a bane to stinging open wounds. His footsteps were dragging a little and he could feel the hands of fatigue weighing down upon his shoulders from the single terrible episode of pain and adrenaline rather than the fight itself. That fact pissed him off almost as much as the nervous sensation tingling from his old markings.
He was all too aware of them now. They felt hot, not warm. The tender skin near the old lacerations suddenly felt itchy. His shoulders and stomach tingled uncomfortably, but the veteran soldier scolded himself as he hastily broke into a labored jog and splashed through the mud. A whistle escaped his lips, calling for his dutiful companion.
Of course he was hot- he had been assaulted with fel fire. He was uncomfortable and had been jarred, so the unease was only natural. The warrior was just over thinking everything and what he needed to do now was get the hell out of Desolace. That was made more apparent as the ground rumbled and he paused, glancing over his shoulder to see a yellow fire burst within the cave like a glorified bomb. Stones erupted from the mouth and the entrance collapsed, some of the rocks whistling by the warrior although one in particular slammed into his back.
Farwyn was sent sprawling forward off of his feet and he hit the wet ground hard. Well, if there are nearby covens, they certainly know something is up now. A graveled sigh escaped the warrior as he arduously began to pry himself from the mud, fighting against the slop. His uneven footing had him sliding at one point and nearly stumbling again with the world spinning around him until finally the warrior labored to stand upright. The hulking form of his wolf came into view as Farwyn concentrated on his breath and once more trudged forward to meet his companion.
He was banged up and burned, but he’d be alright. Over all, the contract had been undersold but that was just business. Now all he had to do was get the hell out, avoid any possible cultist friends and get to the nearest zeppelin or boat. Easy stuff, he convinced himself, just one foot after another.
And the markings are fine. I’m feeling perfectly alright. Nothing I haven’t dealt with before, yea? A little fel magic probably bothered’m a bit, but they were pawns in that cult. So stop thinking about it. It’d take real knowledge from one of their kind, right? Right. If not that, then it’d at least take a horde of demons and their ilk to make it active again and I’m not about to find that in Azeroth anytime soon.
So don’t be stupid, Farwyn.
It’s still dormant.
It’ll stay dormant.
[Fin | Outro Music]