Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dragonblight 04

Two Months Ago

"Mouse? Mouse, is that you?"

The dead girl turned her head toward the voice. A group of adventurers were huddled around a small fire, keeping warm and roasting some meat on a spit. One of them had stood up - a Blood Elf, red-haired, tall for that race. Polished plate armor shone under the fur cloak he wore over his shoulders, suggesting he was one of their "blood knight" paladins.

"Hullo, Sir Tyrasstale. It has been a while."

"Come, won't you join me and my companions? We have enough to share with an old comrade."

The dead girl looked at the line of undead stretching ahead of her - guards, soldiers, alchemists, support personnel, all waiting patiently for the bowl of cold gruel that made for a typical meal here at the ramshackle town known as Venomspite. She looked back at the spitted rabbit.

"Ssure," she shrugged, and stepped out of line. "Why not?"

Tyrastale looked much as he had when they had fought against the Scourge at Tranquillien. Some grey hairs at the temples, some lines etched into his face. But the wear and tear of an adventurer's life had not diminished his rugged good looks; perhaps they had even improved them. Whatever. It wasn't like the dead girl cared, she reminded herself. She was pleased, though, to see that however he hadn't spent the past few years lounging in some hookah den in Silvermoon.

As she approached, he held out a hand in greeting. His grip was firm, confident, and didn't flinch at the touch of her cold, bony fingers. "Introductions," he said, pointing to the people sitting around the fire in turn. "This is Raladigia, Bayorne, and Darush, whom we have to thank for this lovely venison. Friends, this is Mouse. She fought with me on the campaign to liberate my homeland from the Scourge."

Various nodded greetings, and Bayorne, a big brown-and-white Tauren, sawed off a hunk of meat and dropped it onto her tin plate. It was charred on the outside and bloody in the center, but still tasted far, far better than the commisrary's gruel.

As they ate, they swapped war stories. Tyrastale and Bayorne had been partners since meeting in Hellfire Peninsula during the Outland campaign. The other two had joined them at Vengeance Landing, and they had been pacifying the Lich King's Vrykul allies in the east, just as she had been driving back his Nerubian allies in the west. They had just arrived at Venomspite the day before.

"It is a good sign that we are now meeting her in the middle," said the green-skinned orc Darush. "Means we've broken that flubbernugger Arthas' forces for good. Any day now we'll be smashing the gates of his citadel, mounting his head on a pike, and getting out of this frozen hell."

"Ya, it'll be good to be goin' home," replied the troll, Raladigia. "I miss mah husband and our two little ones. Gotta get da job done first, though."

"What brought you up here?" the dead girl asked.

"Gold. What else?" answered the troll. "Gotta pay the landlord, and the last two harvests ain't been dat good. And when you're good with a sword, there's always some ready ta pay."

"You know it." Bayorne held out a big meaty fist, which Raladigia laughingly punched. She was a tall woman, but even her hand was dwarfed by the tauren's.

"Speaking of gold," said Tyrastale, "Mouse, we were just talking about the bounty the High Executor has placed on General Abbendis' head. We think we could could get to her, but it would be a lot easier with a fifth. I'm thinking someone that knows her way around the shadows and is a quick hand with a dagger would be just what we're looking for. Think you'd be interested?"

The dead girl looked at him with empty eye sockets and grinned. "Killing Scarletss? Yesss. Yes I think I would like that very much."