((The rest to be uploaded as and when it is written.))
Danjinn let his gaze wander about the dimly lit room, taking in the wide array of figures scattered haphazardly around the impromptu bar. It had been too long since he had seen so many faces, both old and new, gathered in one place. At first it had been quiet, only those that had broken away from Kalern and his self-destructive organisation. Soon enough it had become a few and then a steady stream of survivors and hidden renegades, coming to Stormwind and more importantly, to Danjinn himself.
Danjinn tore his mind back to his present surroundings as the stuttered voice of Porrick ‘Pecker’ DeGross cut through his reverie. Nodding once and muttering a casual command, the street-boss returned his gaze to the ship’s common-room, unconsciously raising a deathweed cigar to his lips.
Porrick and The Crimson Cog could not have put into port at a more opportune time. Whilst the retired merchant-ship was no longer capable of venturing out onto the Great Sea, it had thus far made for an ideal stronghold. Contested as it was by both Mason’s Underground and the Worker’s Union, it was a curiously fortuitous stroke of luck that the dockside was almost devoid of either faction’s presence. The realisation had not been long in occurring to Danjinn how very lucrative control of the harbour could come to be. Stormwind was one of the largest cities left in the Old World and it was rapidly growing to be a thriving trade-hub, all but a minute fraction of that came through the docks. His grin slowly faded as an unwanted irritation sprung to mind, putting pause to his ambition. Kalern… Predictable and yet so wildly erratic in behaviour. Kalern Mason was a far cry from the trusting fool his predecessor, Malvalon, had been. With him still given free reign of the city, Danjinn could not hope to consolidate his control over the dockside without being constantly beset by fronts and operations put to the torch by Mason’s inbred thugs. With a dismissive grunt, he put the thought aside, it would not matter for much longer. With a mob of armed union workers and his own cut-throats acting as leverage, Kalern would have little choice but to acquiesce to any territorial demand made at the ‘meeting’. Soon the power he oft eluded to holding over the city’s criminal underworld would be reduced to nothing…
'flipping baldy and his stupid pals..' Thought Cermon as she worked at her new job 'Least I got a job out of this whole mess...' She rubbed her neck where she had almost been hung musing about all the good THAT would have done to her.
'Ales ,whisky, firewater, maybe being a barmaid and the pubs waitress wasent so bad...if only this place wasent such a hive of scum and villany...' she mused as she served up the drinks. At least setting baldy's trousers alight had been fun...and ruining that mobsters Bolt had been a rather nice way of revenge.
but unknowingly on the balcony above she was being manipulated as one would a chess peice on its board in the dark ad murky world of the Underground...the Defias...and the Union.
We all have our paths.
The long road from A to B starts off perfectly flawless, not a turn or crossroad to be had. The stones are freshly lain, polished and gleaming with the shimmering glow of hope. As children we’re taught right from wrong, good from bad but it’s only as we grow older, as we steadily make our way along the path that we come to realise that right and wrong are nothing more than matters of opinion. My path has forked and turned more than most, at times I’ve felt as though I’ve walked backward and had to retrace my steps. The faces change, the names change but the people are all the same. Fuelled by greed, lust, jealousy... revenge, it never ends, it never changes, it’s a constant swirling circle and it’ll always be the same.
And now my path leads me here, stood amongst enemies that poorly conceal their plans of ill-will behind inconceivable smiles and loathsome handshakes. Age and experience has granted be the ability to see through their discernible lies as if they were panes of glass. Each of them stood before me as transparent as the next and as eager to turn on me as a rabid dog upon the realisation that it’s run out of food.
Being my only true ally, I often look at myself and wonder where it was I veered off the path set before me. How I wandered so easily into the life I have, I wonder how I came to develop such a flair for taking that which was not mine to take. Be it a stash of coins, an artefact of incomprehensible value or a life. What part of me became so cold, so calculated, and so very, very cunning? Whatever part me of it is, I really ought to shake its hand. I’ll need all it has to offer in the coming days.
Stuck between the turmoil of two men dead-set on killing each other I’ve been forced into declaring an allegiance, an allegiance of circumstance and convenience. Kalern knows this, as does Danjinn and so the bidding war begins. Gold, power, information, the price is mine to name and I have done, more than once. Honour, justice, principality, they are but myths, nothing more than matters of opinion. What they fail to teach you as a child is that between the good and the bad, between the black and the white they sits varying shades of grey. It’s the grey where I stand, I care nothing for these men, their goals and ambitions are as worthless to me as a bicycle to a fish.
So I sit, in the grey, silent in contemplation as I watch the men play their back and forth game of tit for tat, pulling the strings, directing the pantomime and enjoying the show. However, the clock is definitely ticking and the final curtain is ready to fall for each second that passes is a second that brings one of these men closer to death. I can sit here for hours, for days, watching and waiting. Patience was an acquaintance that has grown into a dear friend and as soon as the first man falls, as soon as the last breath escapes his body and his eyes close for the final time – I’ll be there.
I’ll be there to ensure the survivor suffers the same.
We all have our paths, and I’ve chosen mine.
Porrick “Pecker” DeGross sighed, muttering quietly to the gang of rather shapeless individuals behind him he strolled down the street in the thick fog of the night. His face twitching and flinching every now and then. Suddenly a gloved feminine arm shot out from a dark alley and dragged him in by the tie. “Lookin’ for a good time, luv?” Asked the lady, winking invitingly up at him as she pushed towards him. Porrick blinked unknowingly at her, aware of the earlier mentioned individuals huddling up at the entrance to the alley. “P-pardon me, miss?” He asked, trying to pull away. She tugged the tie and grinned. “Y’know, ‘s not common for fellers to walk the streets alone at night. It’ll only cost you a few silvers, luv.” Porrick swallowed and licked his lips nervously. “N-now look here, I’m q-quite alright, thank you!” The persistent lady arched an eyebrow. “No need to be shy, luv. A man’s got his needs,” he pushed away turning his gaze to the floating figures at the entrance. “I c-can handle it,” he whispered hoarsely at them, fumbling through his pockets for his small label less box.
Somletta Midgray Prodshoe peered at the man desperately searching through his pockets. She’d met many odd persons, not particularly unknown to the people of her profession. But she’d met very few who muttered into the thin air begging it to give him a couple of more minutes to get the situation under control.
Porrick eventually fished out the box from a boot, not remember putting it there, he shot the figures a stern look. Quickly opening it and to his horror discovering it was empty. He stumbled around for a bit, trying to gather himself before he took to the only reasonable action he could think of.
Miss Prodshoe got up and blinked, she gingerly picked up the box he’d thrown at her, it was rather plain and anonymous. She turned to look after the man who’d pushed her into the dirt. It was a new dress, rather expensive and all. Damn hooligans, probably some whacky Unioner she thought, shrugging.
Porrick muttered, slapping his face repeatedly while running he tried to focus. Got to stay calm, medicine at the ship. He looked over his shoulders, the shapeless figures seemed be be keeping up.
His face twitched.
Caiden slowly opened her eyes, the brightness of the sun causing her to slam them shut almost instantly. She groaned as she lifted her back off of the tree she had been slumped against and opened her eyes once more, using her hand as a shield until they became accustomed to the morning glow. As her surroundings came in to focus, she realised she was still in Stormwind and had obviously not made her journey home as intended.
The City had begun to quietly bustle as citizen prepared for their day ahead. Spying a familiar figure crossing the bridge opposite her, Caiden dragged herself on to her feet and hid around the other side of the tree. She poked her head around it and watched as Yvar Boots made his way past and headed into the tunnel and out of view. Running a hand through her hair, Caiden looked down to the empty bottle poking out from the shrubbery surrounding the tree. She sighed heavily and brushed herself off, moving quickly to the Command Centre. The taste of alcohol was still strong in her mouth and the smell emitting from her breath caused her to frown. The smell of smoke was still in her clothes, the scent causing her mind to wander back to the previous night’s events.
Caiden had been patrolling with Durner McGowland, the two of them eventually reaching the tavern in the Park belonging to Kalern Mason. They had moved to the entrance and peered inside, the fire that had raged through leaving the building almost unrecognisable. Kalern appeared outside as Caiden had been inspecting the damage, his very presence causing her to burn with anger. The insult fuelled bickering that took place between the two each time they met became tedious and nine out of ten times resorted to some sort of violence.
While wandering around inside, careful to avoid the various pieces of debris scattered around on the floor, she listened absently until her own name had grabbed her attention. Kalern’s accusations that either she or her cousin could have caused the fire made her already frayed temper erupt and after an exchange between the two, Caiden had stormed away from the scene, Durner following closely behind her. Danjinn Sparr passed by them as they walked, giving a brief greeting in the form of a nod as he made his way to the destroyed tavern. Caiden and Danjinn had met some months previously and had something of a complicated friendship. Caiden not being the most trusting of people and Danjinn not being willing to volunteer much about himself only adding to this. Durner had talked Caiden down and they quickly discussed the situation, Durner bringing up some important points that Caiden had missed due to her self indulgent mini rage. They decided to head back and ask Kalern some questions and as they neared the building, smoke plumes wafted out for the space once used as an entrance.
The sound of raised voices was followed by gunshot, Caiden and Durner rushed forward and gingerly made their way into the smoke filled tavern. Caiden used her arm to cover her nose and mouth and dropped to the floor, slowly crawling across it towards the sounds of the struggle taking place. Her eyes stung as she looked through the thick smoke and they darted around for any sign of movement.
She recognised the form of Danjinn lying on the ground beside the remains of a table and reached out for him, roughly pulling at his skin in an attempt to pull him closer to the exit. She was aware of Durner’s voice yelling for her to get out as he helped Kalern escape the flames.
Once outside Caiden knelt down beside Danjinn and inspected his battle worn bare chest, the gaping wound in his stomach from the gunshot bleeding rapidly, causing a small pool to form on the grass below. Her eyes wandered to the upper half of his right arm as Danjinn moved slightly on the grass, something which she thought may be an injury catching her eye.
Her eyes narrowed as she looked closer and discovered it to be a tattoo, the tattoo being that of a cog which symbolised The Defias and identified one as a member. She moved to take off her tabard and tied it around the top of his arm in order to cover the tattoo, hoping the tabard would act as a disguise in the form of a makeshift bandage. Their eyes locked briefly before Caiden pulled herself up on to her feet, her mind racing with a thousand thoughts, none of which made any sense to her at that moment.
The sound of a familiar voice calling her name snapped her out of her thoughts and she slowly turned around to be met by Master Sergeant Smith. She threw him a half hearted salute and nodded to him as he spoke, not hearing the words he uttered. She followed him inside the Command Centre and made for the coffee machine, the cup she poured herself not only making her body more alert but also her mind, leading her to think about the implications of her actions. She rubbed a hand across her head as she watched Smith pull a file out from the shelves and make his way towards her...
Berno patted Ralf on the back with a rough hand. Ralf grinned in reply. Two more Unionists approached, one holding a shovel and the other a hammer; Pint and Brom had arrived. As they drank in the dimly lit pub more and more figures approached. The Mended Drum was the local for Unionists and they frequented it often - one could just sit in the pub and watch as the mass of unwashed workers would assemble. Berno knew that the Union held power. He also knew that the Union would be an instrumental player in this war between the Underground and Defias. While he and his boys didn’t want to fight other humans, he knew that the Union contained the largest amount of paramilitary forces since the Stonemasons. Sooner or later, he would have to pick a side.
Both had their advantages, Berno knew. On a practical level he got most of his gear from the Underground, and they even owned the local pub from which the Union had a discount. He was loathe to pass the discount up. However, on the ideological level the Defias were identified more with the Union. They were just a bunch of workers like the Union who had been double-crossed b the toffs in the city. Berno shrugged and downed his pint, a joke about Ralfs’ mother being an Ogre passing about the table meeting his ears. He gave a laugh. He would see what each side could offer him before making a move against any.
Pain.....Darkness.....Death......funny how things turn out...
Cermon lay drifting in a writingh in darkness...you could almost believe that one part was a very dark midnight blue....or a dark purple...but no...it was all black.
Far above her a large Pink...almost purple rock loomed....
if there was one thing that she had learned from her "Father"...it had been this.
Always have a contingency Plan.
as her back healed and her skull clotted and knitted painlessly in this place she thought hard....
How in Lights name was she going to return the favour?
she uttered a slightly demonic chuckle before puttign her hand over her mouth.
they wanted a warlock?....a "Wizzer" to Toast at the stake?....well for them and only them...she would give them what they wanted....at the Price of as many souls of theirs as she could take.
As long as she had here to retreat to...she could hound them to nothing.
Kalern sits slumped in his chair counting out the days profits that has slowly dwindled since the Defias came back on the scene. In the dark and barely lit room Kalern can make out the outlines of two of his men guarding the door. "Damn Sparr.. 'e won' win this... I was rippin' off nobles an' killin' fer money while 'e was still in nappies.. Bu' every turn 'e's one step ahead 'o me.. Maybe 'e 'as a mage? Or a warlock? Or a seer?.. If on'y I could ge' one who don' mind a bi' o' crime an' murder.. An' other problems.. The Union 'ave taken their crusade agains' mages an' warlocks too.. Sparr 'as the State thinkin' 'e's a goo' guy.. An' 'ere I am wi' my business sufferin fer it.. I need ter make sure the 'ole city sees 'im fer wha' 'e really is.. Bu' 'ow?.. Need ter make Murphy see 'im.. The door to Kalerns office opens and Vincenzo strides over to his desk. "Father theres someone here to see you.. I told them id ask if you wanted to see them or for me to kill them.." "Who is i'?" "MacFarlene." "Send 'im in then." Kalern watches Vincenzo leave the room then opens the blinds looking out over the sea. Kalern looks down on Danjinn's ship and makes a gun shape with his hand pointing at the ship. "Boom yer gone Sparr.. If on'y yer weren' like a cockroach i'd 'ave go' yer by now.."
Garlinad gradually awoke from his position behind his desk, peering at an unknown spill on the surface.
Right... The Union I think are under control... no more riots, just some petty stuff can be kept in check. Mason's dead, sounds fishy, especially considering his brother popped up to take his place in the same bloody day he was gone and he had absolutely nothing on Sparr.
The latter was worrying, far from meaning Sparr was innocent it meant he was cleverer than the other 90% of Stormwind's criminal population, he knew enough to link the name Danny to quite a few things but not enough to have any hope of arresting him.
Then there were a few reports of suspicious activity amongst some of the new members... a rat? Lets see...
Rothgar walked down the street with about eight other union members. He gripped the braces of his shirt and swaggered forth, he felt good. But someone had to ruin his fun, a scrawny looking man in a strange tabard and some mail armour had pushed one of the union members. They now crowded around the man and Rothgar strode forward "apologise." "W-w-what?" the man said in a staggering tone. "Apologise for yer hittin' my mate." "N-no?" That was it. Rothgar met the man with a headbut and he and the others started to kick in. Literally.
Rothgar and several other members must have noticed the gathering crowd outside and so they decided to back off into the alleyway. Leaving the man in a heap. Rothgar and the members were now chatting normally until the man it seems they had just beaten walked in, they dragged him out of sight and then the beating began. "Yer dun' mess wi' tha union!"
My head rolled back as I bit down on the leather piece wedged in my mouth. The woman kneeled beside me wasn’t exactly gentle as she wretched the bullet for my arm causing my eyes to water involuntarily. I closed my eyes, trying to distract myself from the pain and the feeling of sickness in the pit of my stomach, as the woman continued to work on my arm. Voices from downstairs drifted up, I blocked them out. I felt exhausted. Emotionally, physically, mentally. The wound in my foot felt a lot better, Mr Summerlocke, despite being a miserable old bastard at times, was definitely gifted in the ways of the light. I also think he was the first man I had met who only drank milk. We walked around half the City trying to get him this glass of milk and when we found somewhere, I ended up lumbered with a prisoner and a hole in my arm.
The sight of Kalern’s smug face sent me into a rage every time I saw it. Especially tonight, he really thinks he is untouchable. How many times does he think he can push his luck with me without any repercussions? Do people see me as someone who is weak and easy to take advantage of? Started to feel like that recently. Kinley had shown one of them this wasn’t the case, maybe it would make them all think twice next time. I’m surprised he had accepted my offer, I never knew where I stood with him. Sometimes he was nice other times he was aggressive. He had always been like that, even in the Task Force. I suppose that’s just his way. With my arm stitched up, I headed back down into the chaos. Time to go through the motions. I felt like I had been doing that every day since arriving in Stormwind. I didn’t care about Stormwind, why should I? It’s not my home. It’s a convenient place to stay. Being a Guard was a job, I did it because I had to in order to live. I learnt long ago that there was no hope in improving the state of the City, I had almost given up trying. Danjinn and Kalern had been fighting almost non stop for the past couple of weeks, I was surprised one of them hadn’t ended up dead. Their mindsets were the same as many a person in the City. They justified themselves by saying this was necessary for them to live, was that the case? I couldn’t be sure.
The next day I had entered the cell with the intention to talk, calmly. Fred followed behind me and before I knew it, he had turned to me and asked me to give him an order, the order for an automatic execution. I had said yes, not giving it much thought. I watched as Kalern’s lifeless body slid down the wall and slumped to the floor, the grin still firmly plastered on his face. A wave of relief washed over me as well as a sick kind of satisfaction. He deserved to die, not only had he hurt me, but many others in the course of the time I had been in Stormwind. There were enough crimes to fill two sheets against him, it wouldn’t be hard to justify. He had admitted to being part of this Malvalon gang...Fred assured me that was enough to warrant death alone. We took the corpse out into the forest and burnt it. I watched as the flames engulfed it, the skin slowly turning black. I turned my back and headed back up to the City without a second thought. The only think I thought of were the repercussions that would surely come my way.
Sitting in the Cathedral I waited. He was usually around here, wandering around with his gaze almost permanently fixed to the floor in the hope of finding coins. I spotted him and watched him walk to the altar, he slowly lowered himself into a kneeling position and I vaguely heard the whispering of words. I kept my distance for a few minutes before he turned and greeted me. I needed to talk to him, he was old, wise, full of wisdom, even if I didn’t like to admit it to myself. I told him of the execution. He seemed pleased, he said that all of these thugs deserved the same fate. It made me feel better, this was a man of the light telling me my actions were ok, so they must be. Of course they were. Then there was Dan. I didn’t realise that someone could make you feel so relaxed yet uneasy at the same time. That contradiction didn’t make sense. Considering the circumstances though I suppose in a way it did. I saw the tattoo, he knows I saw it. He probably wouldn’t have been eager to spend as much time with me if I hadn’t, he feels like he has to keep me close so I can keep his secret. He told me it wasn’t because of that but of course it was. We can get along, we can talk, I can talk to him easily, he doesn’t have any room to judge me afterall. I do like him. I wonder if he’d be so understanding if the situation were different? I don’t know. Everyone is selfish at the end of the day, I’m no different. It suited me to hide that tattoo for my own selfish reasons.
Would I be considered some kind of traitor? I hope no one finds out about this. I’m not a bad person. I don’t want people to look at me the way they had my father. This isn’t on the same scale as that anyway. I’m probably worrying about nothing. Lucky I got that bourbon tonight that always clears the head. I wonder if I’ll dream tonight..I hope not. It had got better since the source of the plague in Stormwind was found and the last of the ghouls were destroyed. I could have sworn I saw his face at the window of the orphanage that night. If it hadn’t of been for me, he would have never gone to Alterac. Or maybe it was her fault? I don’t know anymore. My heart aches to go home, except there is nothing to go back to anymore. At least I have Yvar and Hal here.
Danjinn’s features contorted into a grimace of pain as he procured the pistol ball wedged into his calf. Kalern was gone, only to be replaced by his equally idiotic sibling. It was galling to think that with the demise of one Mason another could so easily take the prior’s place. Nether be damned, they must breed like rats. Still, he reflected, one thing was certain; if Nero continued to throw his boys into one-sided firefights he would soon enough find himself quite alone. Chuckling, Danjinn let his mind wander back over the events of the day…
‘Save yer silver-tongued bullshit, Mason!’ Danjinn yelled from around the doorframe. The response had been somewhat less than verbal as the space he had occupied scant heartbeats before was filled with flying lead. Risking another glance around the corner into the common-room, his eyes travelled over the bloodied and prone bodies of three of Nero’s thugs and onto to the massive form of Connar Fairseas, hunkered down behind an overturned table. It still managed to astound him at times quite how large the thug truly was, or how much of a pounding he could take. It was no surprise that Nero wanted him so desperately. Finally, his gaze came to rest on Nero himself. Unsurprisingly the craven whoreson had bolted behind the transient cover provided by a mess of overturned furniture, buying himself whatever time he could with pathetic attempts at sedition. The man was truly deluded to think he could steal the loyalties of people Danjinn had known for over half his life with a few ‘stirring’ words of promised freedom. Still, he was hardly worried. Connar had more sense than to jump-ship and Porrick…well, he simply would not. Yes, Nero was truly grasping at straws with his futile attempts at insurrection; fortunately the same could not be said for Danjinn.
Idly, his thoughts flitted to another topic oft on his mind of late, the city-watch. It was a small miracle that Nero or Kalern had not fabricated some flimsy excuse or another to send them sniffing about the Cog. Though any search carried out would be unlikely to find anything more incriminating than deathweed and rum, Danjinn knew it would not take much to provide Lieutenant Smith and his ilk the excuse they craved to haul him off to the cells for questioning. Not for the first time he wished for the guards of old. Sly, greedy and only too eager to broker a deal, the former officers of the city-watch had been so much more accommodating.
Chuckling ruefully as he reached for a conveniently placed bottle of rum, Danjinn returned to his idle musings. Caiden Murphy… He grinned to himself, recalling their first, hostile meeting. True to his nature upon spying the young woman at the bar, Kalern had gone onto make several; somewhat lame attempts at ‘seduction’, only to have himself and Danjinn quickly pegged as common scum. Since then, a shaky friendship had grown up between them, often hindered by wildly contrasting opinions and lifestyles. At first she had seemed little more than a run-of-the-mill Theramorian, obnoxious and bigoted in equal measure, her scathing opinion of Oldtowners and Stormwind in general had made conversation difficult at first, but slowly the dynamics of their relationship had seemingly changed. And then she had seen that Light damned tattoo. Danjinn smiled humourlessly at the thought. Clearly it had set them back somewhat… He had a fairly good inkling of what was running through her mind every time they met. Danjinn could hardly blame her; if their roles were reversed he would have been more than a little suspicious himself. Certainly, he could not risk letting any enmity grow between them, he did not fancy being forced into hiding so early on in the game. As well it was always useful to have a highly placed friend in the guard as had been demonstrated time and time again.
Sighing heavily, Danjinn’s high spirits evaporated as they often did upon reflection. It’s lonely at the top as they say, he smiled bitterly.
Porrick stared at his opponent, it was a tough one. But no matter seize or strength, nobody had an affair with his wife unpunished! He hesitated, did he even have a wife? He threw the muscular man another look and realised he couldn’t really remember seeing him with his non-existant wife in the house he didn’t have. A thin faceless figure slid up next to him and put a hand on his shoulder. “Problems?” it whispered at him. He glared at what he assumed was a she “N-no, I’ve got it u-under control. I won’t l-let this scumbag get a-away with…” he blinked confusedly, scratching the back of his head. “He had an affair with your wife, Porrick,” the figure whispered. “O-oh, yes I thought h-he did. Looks like the t-type.” Porrick glared at the man again, quickly bringing his fists up in a fighting stance before lashing out at him.
The beggar Chuggins looked over at the man punching a casserole, then turning his gaze to the fancy looking and most likely illegally obtained flask in his hand. “Damned if I know, better keep away from the stuff fer a while,” snickering he turned on his heel and went in another direction hearing the faint clang of meat hitting metal in the darkness behind him.
Porrick sucked his teeth, he stood triumphant. The defiling one had gotten what was coming for him. “H-hahah,” he grinned down at him as the man started to shrink and go gray. Suddenly the man was a casserole and Porrick wasn’t standing in the hallway of a mansion anymore. Instead he was standing in a dark alley with a dented cooking device at his feet along with a couple of bleeding and bruised knuckles. His face twitched as he turned to the figures. “W-what?” he asked at them, they remained silent staring intently at him. Porrick quickly opened a front pocket, producing a white pill from the box inside. The figures faded slightly. “I d-don’t have to listen to you!” he cried. They kept staring, silently moving closer. Porrick frowned at them, defiantly downing another pill. That seemed to calm them down as they stopped and sat down. Porrick nodded and pulled out a spoon from a pocket, joining the other versions of himself at the suddenly appearing new table for a drop of tea and the possibility of discussing last night’s game and what to do about Mason. His face twitched slightly.
Standing on the bow of the Crimson cog Cermon looked out into the distance....she watched a passing seagull fly past and keep flying out towards its namesake...she sighed
"If only I was as free as you..."
Damm that Sparr!....Damm Connar!...Damm that knife throwing circus act reject !
Cermon ground her teeth...so. she was a Pet Spellcaster now was she?... unable to leave because of what danjin had on her. with the rise of deathknights everyone forgot about warlocks and that suited her fine...not as if she had wanted to be one....but the moment someone mentioned what she was there would be guards and pitchfork weilding maniacs after her.
All she wanted was to be free.
Being a pest to the rest of them only got her into fights or a large slap on the wrist. it wasent getting her anywhere in the 'agreement'
But....If I sink into what he wants me to become...can I return to normality?...
The decision weighted down on Cermon...she felt angry but the spark of it had long gone from her to fight against what she must now become.
Against the fury of human fear. The desire for ones own existance back. All of it had broken her attitude.
"Congratulations Danjinn Sparr....youve broken me....youv'e cowed me into being your fecking pet..."
Lonely on the bow of the ship and with no one else to hear...Cermon began to cry.
He drummed his fingers lightly on the table top, a soft sigh escaped his lips,
His whiskey sat staring back at him as he let his thoughts wander 'Why did i even join the idiotic war?' He thought to himself. Defias, Underground either way its a pay check but he would never join Sparr's lot..Defias killed his family.
He thoughs wandered to the people whom he had met, Caiden Murphy, the state guard. She was a strange one, always angry and never forgiving. He couldnt quite wonder why she spent so much time with the cool level headed Danjinn.
Ah Danjinn, he had certain type of wit to him, and a sly sence of humor that some didnt understand. He might be the enemie of his paymaster but on different grounds they would probably get on..probably.
Paymaster Ha! The Mason's had been a bane on Clays life for so long he forgot which was which, Nero seemed to be his name now. He really did not like Nero one little bit, as hard as Nero tried he would never respect him or have any sort of friendship. Ah he was to Clay was another annoying face who could think he could control him..fool.
He stopped when he thought next. Kinley. Cat. Now there was a man who Clay respected for some strange reason, they hardly ever talked but Clay took a shine to Kinley after seeing how he treated the Masons, he liked it alot. He was never around to talk to and the only time they did meet a Mason would ruin a friendly conversation. Another sigh esacped Clays mouth.
A gunshot echoed outside, then a scream and a sigh from Clays mouth. He was fed up with this now, the Underground didnt need him anymore..well..he didnt need the Underground, Nero could sign his own death warrent for all Clay cared. He was getting out of this rut no matter what the cost. Freelance shined a new life and he was ready to take it.
Goodbye Split...he needed a new name...but what...
And what is a man but flesh and bone? A life but a series of events put forth by a greater power, a fate unpredicted and oft unwanted.
And what is a man but a series of consequences and coincidence? If this path we walk really does exist then what happens if you wander so far from, that it’s little more than a smear on the horizon?
And what is a man but a primal urge for lust, for greed and for power? What is a man when he loses sight of who he is in exchange for a sack of coin, or a night with a wench?
And most of all, what is a man when all this is taken from him? When everything he knew, loved, owned and desired is pulled from beneath him like a waiter pulling a table cloth out from under a stack of glasses.
And what is a man when he’s pushed to his limit, backed into a corner and forced to do something he has no desire to? If that man is lead astray, deceived, lied to... After all, they say that a cat is at its most dangerous when cornered.
I sit here in the comfort of the shadow, the oil lamp providing little more light than the smouldering tobacco in my pipe. The worn and decrepit floorboards creak and moan under the strain of old age the plastered walls are chipped, cracked and broken away. I often wonder if the thick layer of dust marring every surface is the only thing keeping the building upright, at this height I’ve more than once felt it sway in the wind.
The window is caked in grime and soot as is to be expected in the dwarven quarter. With the edge of my hand I clean one of the small squares outlined by the mismatched leading and peer out across the grey city of Stormwind. Even the heavy early morning downpour does nothing to aid in its cleanliness.
It’s at times like this, when I sit and collect my thoughts through the haze of smoke that I wonder why so many fight for control of something so indescribably hideous. It’s not just the streets littered with the trodden filth of countless horses, it’s not just the alleyways that are alive with vermin and working girls, or the buildings around the old town that all but derelict. It’s the people. The putrid stench of Stormwind brings out the worst in everyone, regardless of race.
I always pitied the man born in Stormwind, the mark of the city forever imprinted onto him, the filth, the squalor, the deprivation. Taking the man out of Stormwind is not taking Stormwind out of the man and for better or for worse it doesn’t take long for anyone else to descend into the life lead by the Stormwind natives. I once heard tale of a child that was lost by his parents and raised by a wolf den mother, if the same story was applied to Stormwind I imagine the wolf would’ve been replaced by a rat.
It came as little surprise to hear of Kalerns death. It was a long time coming and while it was rather unfortunate he slipped away quietly instead of enduring all that I had planned it was somewhat uplifting. Albeit momentarily. It seems that the lifestyle of vermin rubs off Stormwind women just as much as the men and Mrs. Mason must have indeed been a busy woman for Kalerns absence was soon filled in by his brother, Nero.
Nero Mason, even thinking of the name brings a smile to my face. Clad in the same distasteful guises as his brother and with a ‘big’ attitude that has me certain he’s overcompensating for something far smaller; he is more or less no different. He lacks the lower class drone of Kalern, his words are slightly less malformed, but like his brother he still has little to no leadership skills with the majority of his men untrusting and some, plotting against him.
My network of ears and eyes casts a wide net across this cesspool of a city, I hear tell of many things and when you’re as skilled in the way of subtlety and slight of hand as I am, it’s no matter of great triumph to sneak in and around his tavern unnoticed.
It was here, slumped into a corner with a hood covering my face and enjoying a strong drink that I learned of Claytons discontent for Mason, and after meeting the man who can really blame him? Disillusioned with his tales of supremacy and promises of wealth, Clayton was a choice subject to apply my trade. Too often do men draw blades in this city, the art of speech has faded and dwindled and it’s long been forgotten that words, wielded by the right person are in most cases far more dangerous than any blade and far more potent than any spell.
With a poisoned tipped tongue, I fed Clayton, whom was little more that putty in my hands a few choice sentences. Even if he didn’t believe me at first, the seed of doubt was indeed planted within his mind and over time that seed would grow and blossom into a magnificent tree. The skill of deceit doesn’t always need to take a hold on the first blow. You tell a man that his loving wife has been seeking the arms of another in the dead of night and he may cast you aside, he may raise his blade, he may claim not to believe it – but sooner, rather than later, he’ll begin to doubt.
A chill draught blew across the room, the rain splattered against the window with force and behind me she stirred naked in the bed, her body exhausted from the throes of lust. Turning to her for a moment I set my eyes upon her tattooed back and lowered the lanterns flame, letting her rest. She had been a project of mine for some time, it never hurts to have friends in places of power and when blessed with words it makes it so much easier for that friend to be of the female variety. A lesson Danjinn had also learned and I secretly applauded him for a job well done.
Caiden Murphy, marine turned guard, friend turned foe and now sleeping with the captain of a Defias cell. It’d make quite the tale. Like many tales of romance however, they often end in tragedy and this will be no different – a shame, I once had quite the liking for Danjinn until I’d come to learn of his red masked background. I’d always suspected, there was always something niggling away in the deep recesses of my mind but I cast it aside. After all I wasn’t far off of being marked with the cog myself once upon a time.
I’ve plotted for some time. Weighing up the pros and the cons of taking both of their lives but a familiar thought occurred to me – why do something myself when I can leave it the hands of another. It’s of no great secret that Caiden had promised her heart to a mage, a student of the arcane – I’m sure such a man would literally grow quite fiery upon hearing the deeds of his love. An act of ferocious rage the type of which can only be triggered by one we hold dear, what a beautiful ending to another romantic tragedy.
Emptying the charred tobacco ash from the pipe and out of the window it wafted away with the wind and dispersed into the night. Returning to the bed I slid against the woman, her warm naked body tessellated with mine and as I closed my eyes a final thought filled my mind before sleep took me. For I truly was the only cat in a city of rats.
It is in times like these, when crime and unlawful deeds are frequently commited, that a man of my trade becomes a very wealthy man. Afterall, theres not many a fence in Stormwind, or a smuggler of my expertise.
They come to me with their unlawfully gained items of value, and i am more than happy to take it of their hands for a fair deal, before i move to sell it off elsewhere for double its actual value. And thus, i become a very wealthy man.
But theres allways the down side, the chance of being caught. You see, the Guard probably don't much appreciate my trade, makes it even harder for them to recover the stolen items i move when they receive the reports of them being missing.
They probably don't much appreaciate the spot of smuggling i do on the side, slipping in goods whilst avoiding the usual taxes. Its a good trade, even a better market with the growing hostilities between the gangs on Stormwind streets.
I hope to take advantage of this opputunity, make my services known within the criminal world of Stormwind, and hope to make a tidy profit out of the results. And offcourse, become a very wealthy man.
Though, i do find myself troubled sometimes, seeing Stormwind in the state it is in is sometimes hard to accept. I laid my fair share of stones in this Cities creation, a Stonemason back then afterall. To see it as it is now pains my heart from time to time.
What angers me, what sickens me to the very core is that those with the power and the coin to fix this problem.. don't. Why? Because they're greedy, they wont spend a single coin. Afterall why should they? They're safe in their little keep, watching us commoners and peasents go on with our lives in this purtrid cesspool that is Stormwind.
But it doesn't matter, i fair well in my trade and make a tidy sum of gold. And as long as theres thugs on the streets, contempt for the throne and nobility and hatred between the races, their will continue to be crime and i will continue to make money.
And I will become a very wealthy man.
'I die..or you do Mr Danvers' the sly little excuse for a Mason said. I sat back in my chair thinking about what had happened earlier. Why didnt he just let me go..the idiot had it coming...im sure.
We walked past the ships being built to a small boat with crates on while i argued about making a deal with the fool. He had to be so arrogant didnt he!
He pulled crates up pulling out jewels and weapons, fool thought i didnt see him slide a flintlock into his hand, today wasnt going to end well. He walked back to the resting lumber where i sat and listened to him and his life of 'hardship', was i suppose to care?
The Flintlock make a faint clicking sound, my fingers clenched.
'When i die give Mr Danvers my shirt, thats what my idiot of a brothers last words where..did you know that?' He said as i shurged. He swong the gun up and i rolled back as he fired.
My hands flew to my shotgun, a whisper at the back of my mind. Kinleys words. 'You cant kill Clayton' anger seemed to fill me as he kept on repeating it again and again the sound rising.
I loaded the gun in seconds and cocked it. The voice seemed to change. It wasnt Kinley..it was different...trying to convince me it was a good thing Nero was gone.
'You would be free, we would be free' it murmered....We? Why we?
'You know he deserves it...its him or you..him or you...' The voice repeated as i jumped up and Nero span to look at me. I remember my hand stopped dead on the trigger...the voice..cold and whispering 'Do it'
My fingers hit the trigger, the gun exploded as did Nero's Stomach. He fell to the floor and didnt move.
The voice laughed sounding alot like my own now..my mind asking what i had done...but i proved myself...Kinley was wrong...I did it..
I blinked hard, sat by the low lamp with a drink in my hand. It was over, the voice was probably nothing. I was finaly Freelance and Nero was dead.
Life had changed..for better or worse..it had changed