Scourgelady (melee offence officer)
Joined: 17 Oct 2007
|Posted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:50 pm Post subject: The Edge of Shadow
|The Oratory of the Damned. Seja remembered this place, dimly however, as she did all things before the light had sheared through her mind and cleaved the malignant control of the Lich King from her. The entry hall into Icecrown Citadel was imposing indeed, a cavernous vault, speared through by a double row of carven pillars which stalked off into the dim distance, holding aloft the vaulted and arched roof far above. Seja wondered about that. What was the purpose of such elaborate décor? Who was Arthas trying to impress with this creation? Because it was indeed an impressive sight … but it was also sad in a way. It brought back memories of other pillared halls, of white marble, the autumn breeze rustling the fallen leaves and bringing in the laughter of children playing in the city streets.
Seja shook her head slightly, as if to dislodge the half-remembered ghosts of a past life. Around her, the discarded trappings of war lay about the hall. Spiked caltrops, broken helms, dinted shields and snapped longbows. Piles of chain mail, racks of weapons, even tents had been pitched in the shadow of the towering walls. This was Light’s Breach, the first toehold the Argent Crusade and Ebon Blade had managed to get inside Arthas’ monstrous fortress. Of people however, there were but a few. The battle had moved on, further into the forbidding depths, and this place which had known nothing but the clash of arms and screams of the dying was now almost quiet. That was good. Some things were best not done in the sight of others.
One side of the hall had been given wholly over to the Ebon Blade. Their distinctive black sigil hung upon the walls and pillars, and forges and anvils had been set up to repair the weapons of those fighting, that they might not lose a moment which could be better spent battling the undead minions of the Lich King. Plenty of time for rest in the grave. Or perhaps not, as many had discovered. Seja walked towards the line of forges and anvils at the back of the camp with a forced, measured gait. It was a walk she had made many times over the last few days, and every time she had been tempted to break into a run. Every time she had resisted. After all, she had waited years for this chance. A few more days were nothing.
She rounded the corner of the last tent and cast her gaze along the tables and work surfaces. A motley assortment of broken armour and blades greeted her eye. She sighed a little to herself, and turned to go, before something caught her eye. A torn and faded black tabard had been laid across the bottom of the last bench, by one of the rune forges. But a tabard was not a weapon of war, why would someone care enough to send it here for darning? There was something underneath it? Probably just another assortment of garbage, Seja told herself. Nevertheless she crossed to the table with a few quick strides and pulled the cloth aside with a vicious tug, half prepared for another disappointment. The cloth came away easily, but the half imagined sweepings and litter beneath it had turned into the lines of a monstrous battle-axe.
Seja looked at the weapon curiously as it lay cooling beside the forge. It was an ugly creation, in truth, its mismatched halves betraying its mongrel parentage. The elaborate gilt and supple leather grip of Light’s Vengeance had been all but destroyed in the furnace heat of the rune forge, the shaft nothing more than a blackened corroded ruin now. The blade however, was quite different. Fully five spans across, the saronite of which it was formed had been polished to a mirror-sheen, or perhaps has always had that appearance. The oily surface seemed to play tricks with the light, bending and distorting the shadows on its sides, the shades and shapeless forms twisting and writhing across the surface as if in mortal agony. The edge itself had the dangerous glimmer of a razor, honed beyond the point of deadly sharpness. All in all, a disturbing and dangerous weapon, perhaps as much to its wielder as to a foe.
And it was all hers. She exulted in that. Hideous though it was, this was her creation. Her labour and toil had been poured into making its forging possible and into it she had poured her hatred, malice and lust for vengeance. To her, it was a thing of beauty.
“Not much of a looker, is she?” Selaphiel was leaning against the pillar behind her. “Referring to the axe, of course. Not you.” Seja had not heard the elven woman arrive. Perhaps she had been there all along, watching her. Seja misliked that thought, conscious of the childish glee she had felt on seeing that the weapon had finally been finished. That was a private face she liked to keep to herself. If it was known how much of a personal vendetta this had become to her, the task would doubtless be given to someone less involved. Less … rash. That could not be allowed to happen. Seja bit her lip and stayed silent.
“I heard you went to a lot of trouble to have it made.” Seja could feel the other woman’s eyes boring into the back of her head. “I asked our friend Darion what it was for, but you know how he is for playing his cards close to the chest.” Selaphiel uncrossed her arms and sauntered over to stand next to Seja. “So I did a little digging of my own. A weapon forged from the remains of Arthas’ own warhammer. Now that -is- interesting, isn’t it? And all these other items too … it sets a girl to wondering, oh yes.”
Her hand shot out and gripped Seja’s wrist with crushing force, before pulling her uncomfortably close. “You wouldn’t be playing your sister false, would you now? Not after all we’ve been through, surely. That would make me very upset indeed. Upset and disappointed.”
Seja slipped her free hand up the other woman’s wrist and curled her fingers around Selaphiel’s. The elven woman was a good twelve inches taller, but Seja found her gaze and met it. No words were spoken. A dozen heartbeats passed with neither so much as blinking, but then both moved together. The elven woman looked away first, releasing her grip and leaning with both hands on the table. Seja massaged her wrist and watched her quietly.
“It should have been me, you know.” The elf’s voice had changed, somehow. “Mograine should have chosen me, not you. My kin are the greatest warriors he will ever know. Ten thousand years have I honed my skills in war. I will not be passed over for some -child-, and a woman at that. Look at you.” Selaphiel spat and sneered. “You with your soft hands and weak wrists and short human body. What do you know of battle? You should be whelping your brats in some hovel far from here, not pretending to be a warrior. You make me sick.” With that, Selaphiel turned and fled. Seja made to go after her but a voice from behind checked her step.
“Let her go, girl. You can’t help her.” Mograine detached himself from the shadows and walked over to the table where he stood alongside Seja. They both stared at the axe. “I knew you’d come to check on it, as you have every night since you returned with what I tasked you to find. Know that this is merely the beginning of the road you must tread.” He handed over a sealed scroll. “Your next task is detailed within. Be cautious, for a weapon such as this will be as deadly to its bearer as to a foe if mishandled. Keep it hidden and safe. The citizens of Dalaran will not take kindly to its presence.” He turned away and strode off for a few paces, before looking back over his shoulder.
“Be wary of that elf.”