- --by Niain
A beast fell, a ball of raging fury collapsing to the ground growling with its last breath.
Its breathing slowed, snarls quieting with the wind. Blood ran down his fur, mixing with the snow in a light crimson hue. Its eyes glazed, slowly closing.... It began to shrink in upon itself, taking its size back to what could be considered normal.
And there Niain stood, her cold eyes staring at the dying body from behind her mask. Her leather armour clinging to her lithe form in this barren wasteland of snow, the wind flapping her cape around with each gust.
Already compacted snow still crunched under her casually slow footsteps toward the motionless creature, its bright white fur tainted, falling from him to reveal what could only be rotting flesh. Browns and greens in a plethora of different shades mixed on the once pristine, now hairless hide.
Niain walked until the toes of her boots kicked against the flesh, causing it to crack and break, enveloping the fine leather. Green blood trickled out, and she withdrew her foot with a soft chuckle, wiping the blood off on the beast's fur.
Finally nodding in an approving manner, she flicked her left hand, the glowing fist weapon she bore vanishing as if it had never been there. She reached the fine blade in her other hand to her belt, a narrow metal band fitting the sword perfectly, the blood collecting in a small pool on the band for a second or two before it, too, vanished, no trace to say it ever had been there.
She finally knelt down to her knees with elegance, a hand reaching out to gently brush over the fur - bare, rotting flesh being left in the wake of her fingers as they stripped away the fur with so little effort. She plucked two things from this beast, taking a large beaded necklace from its neck, ripping off oversized, brown feathers. And next its mouth, open wide with pearly, razor teeth peeking out from its muzzle, the long red tongue flopping out to its side. Niain took a small, beaded bracelet with a triangular, tooth-shaped stone and dangled it over the beast's head... .
What seemed to be a white liquid came from the beast in small portions, raising up from every oriface. It oozed from the ears, eyes... nose, it's mouth. Long moments passed as they all converged on the tooth, dripping down it to the razor point. They began to solidify once they reached the tip, taking even longer to finally form a small ball, with a close resemblance to a golf ball.
And she finally drew the bracelet from the beast, pocketing it into one of the various seamless pockets scattered over her pants, leaving not even a bulge. The ball she took, the essence of the beast's soul, the E'ko. She placed it in a seperate pocket, joining several of its own kind and color.
The Elven woman closed her eyes for a moment, counting to herself the number of E'ko she had already collected, and she smiled, feeling to turn them into Mau'ari soon. She gave her pants a small pat over the pocket before she looked around, and found her next target.
Long moments passed, and she simply sat there. Her expression never changed, watching many come and pass, everybody singling out their own targets, killing them in various ways. Niain seemed more than disinterested in their actions, her eyes searching for a particular target. Hours passed and she had hardly moved from her spot, only raising long enough to kill an occasional replacement for the one she had killed previously, taking their possessions and their souls in the same manner.
And then she found him.
An imposing beast, visibly stronger and larger than all the others around him, as if comparing an Elf to a human... it was obvious this was a special beast. His fur a shining, silky white. His bear-ish humanoid form stomping through the snow, leaving indents in the terrain in his passing. Huge muscles covered this toned, superior beast as he patrolled slowly. Drool oozed from his jaw, even more, large teeth filled his mouth... moreso than the others of his kind. This was truly, a unique specimen.. and Niain was going to make him her's.
With a great concentration she closed her eyes, her image shimmering for a few seconds before it faded... and faded, until it vanished. She retreated nearly out of the visual spectrum, only those close enough to touch her even being able to hear her.
She shook her head, her hair thrashing about before it settled into a tame pile as she stopped. Her eyes then locked upon the beast, her footsteps silent, unaltering the snow as she came close to him. Drawing her blades with the same ease she had originally hidden them, she began to lurk, dodging from side to side to avoid the passing traveler or furbolg relative.. until she got to the beasts side.
He felt her approach, and while ruining her initial first strike he spun with a sort of speed foreign to most things of this size. Thrashing his large, ebon claws attached to his arms, it began to slash at the Kaldorei woman. Dodging from left to right, she brought her sword up, slashing across the beast's chest, easily rending his flesh in two, crimson liquid quickly running down and tainting the brilliantly white fur, staining it.
Without much appreciation for that, it roared. A loud, angry shout as it began to strike at her with an even more aggressive temperament. An exceptionally strong sweep of his left arm brought the rogue to the defensive, her hand shooting up instinctively. She kept it from reaching her, though his claws easily caught her wrist, and her hand released, weapon falling to her feet. It was no trick of the light, the monster grinning at her with a full mouth of teeth as it drew his claw back to strike at her once again.
A startled gasp escaped her throat, her arm drawing back, hand forming a fist... useless against this creature's thick hide.
Time seemed to slow, each of the two each exchanging blows to their enemy. His claws tore into her already worn leather, her remaining weapon--her sword--slashing into his various muscles and tendons, eventually slicing it in such a way to leave his left arm limp, muscles dangling from an open wound.. his bone exposed. Yet he still stood, just as Niain did.. fresh wounds scattered across her body.
Finally she crouched low, bringing her sword's point down and forward. She stood, her arm coming up with an added force of her standing. She slashed the beast from the waist up, the tainted blade cutting deep into his body, blood quickly finding its way out of him. She continued the ascent, slicing through bone and tissue without ease, straight to his heart.. which she thrust the cold steel through with great satisfaction.
He quickly began to slow, his body leaning more on the sword for support than his own legs. His remaining blood coming to a stop through the wounds with no driving force pumping them through the veins. With a kick and a pull, she took the blade from his body, thrusting it in the ground for her own support, falling to her knees with ragged breath.
Her hand remained on the hilt of the sword, her arm already bent at an odd, yet comfortable, angle as it maintained a tight grip. The beast still stood for now, if only for a few seconds. With his last breath he fell forward, a final lunge at his executor, though feeble and falling short.
A strong arm caught hers, pulling down on it with dead weight... in a way an arm isn't meant to bend. Seconds passed, and a loud cracking filled Niain's slender ears. If she wasn't in pain before, she certainly was now. The blade thrust easily into the ground, driven in by her and the Furbolg as they both fell. Legs coming out from under her, she came to lay flat upon the cold snow, her face buried deep in the cold, frozen liquid.
With no time to loot the corpse, and certainly no desire to die in their territory. She concentrated her free arm, the other being useless and trapped under her enemy. It staggered down to her belt, slipping a small stone given to her by the Gadgetzan Innkeeper in trade of a Darnassian, and she pressed a finger into it.
How depressing, nobody ever being around when they're needed.
Seconds passed as she vanished, arcane runes being left behind for seconds longer.. only to show she had been there. The blade vanished with her, falling to her feet as she collapsed once again... on the cold floor of the Everlook inn.
Looking up to the innkeeper, she muttered out the promise of gold if he'd help her into bed. She moved with earnest, summoning over two nearby bruisers to lift her none-too-gently, tossing her into a nearby hammock. She just lay there as the innkeeper took out a goblin-sized handful of gold, giving each bruiser a gold each. They all walked away with a look of satisfaction, doing their good deed for the month. With proper compensation, of course.
Niain lay there for hours, thinking.. brooding, sulking. She knew her sword was close by, she had no worries of that. But she needed healing beyond what a simple self-brewed potion or bandage could mend. She needed time, relaxation. This Inn was certainly not the place for either, knowing she'd be ushered out of the place if unwilling to pay the moment the moon rose. She didn't need that.
The only magical places she knew of were Moonwells, and they were far from helpful to her. Priests had long since ostracized her for sending them too much work than they wished for.
She decided to take her time, but to find a relaxing place to rest. Knowing the Moonwells of the Kaldorei were useless to her, she thought of the only option left to her... the pseudo well, close enough to real to ease her mind... even if it was worthless in the aspect of healing.
Lilithia 02:29, 12 November 2006 (GMT)