The End of Mulkanus and Ogden
- -by Ogden
(( Posted with permission from Mulkanus and Lindi; thank you both for letting me play in your sandbox. ))
Mulkanus, Ogden called gently, Mulkanus; wake now.
The chamber was dark, Mulkanus chained flat on his back, and Ogden feared he was too late. It had taken him years to do it, but he had found his friend, though it may have all been in vain; Mulkanus appeared dead. Deep underground beneath the Mannoroc Covens ruined temples dedicated to profane sacrifices and worships, they had imprisoned him and kept him concealed from the rest of the world.
Tilting his head to listen, Ogden risked slightly raising his voice. Mulkanus. He jostled the elder Taurens shoulders.
Ogden was relieved when he heard a deep rumbling sigh in the back of Mulkanus throat; he was alive. Slowly, Mulkanus came around waking fully as if from a sleep bordering death. Ogden? he rasped, weakly, then smiling feebly, Ogden what are you doing here?
Ignoring the question, Ogden reached into his pack and retrieved a healing elixir then skin of water; Mulkanus was weakened from malnutrition and abuse, and at his age, both weighed heavy on his body. It didnt appear that Mulkanus could stand much less fight; he would need a strengthening potion then as well. Setting the drinks aside, Ogden went to work on Mulkanus bonds.
Though Mage by trade (finally, after returning to his living body), Ogden had been taught a thing or two about picking locks. His youngest daughter, Wyst, had taken to the Roguish arts and was already one of the most respected in Azeroth. Ogden taught her even dark gifts could be used for good, just as he learned when undead and able to use only fel magic; he was proud; she had learned those lessons well. He was a bit clumsy with his daughters tools, but the clasps fell open with a quiet click.
Helping Mulkanus sit upright, Ogden pressed first the healing elixir into his hands, then the water. Somewhat disoriented and still not quite cognizant, Mulkanus drank down what was proffered without thought or protest. Ogden listened carefully; hoping their luck continued; the passageway outside Mulkanus cell remained quiet.
Come, my friend, Ogden urged, its time to go home.
The healing elixir began to work its way through Mulkanus body, clearing his mind and healing his wounds. Ogden put another potion into his hands, this one for the strength of a lion, which Mulkanus gulped down in a single toss. Thunder Bluff?
Ogden nodded and closed his pack. As soon as the potions took effect, he would cast his portal spell and they would be again safe.
Lowering his eyes and answering in a reverent tone, Ogden said, She died three years ago under Meos comforting gaze just the way she wanted; in the Grove, peaceful, finally to rest. She awaits you as Wyst awaits me.
Mulkanus lowered his head, and nodded once. He had hoped she would still be alive, that he would see his Lindi on this side of the Earthmothers kitchen once more, but it was not to be; she had already gone on to a better place and was preparing to meet her husband again. Mulkanus, the potions invigorating him, extended a hand to Ogden in a silent request for help up. The size difference between the elder Druid and Troll made that pull impossible; but it was not about helping Mulkanus to stand and they both knew it. The potions working their magic and coursing through Mulkanus veins had strengthened him to arise on his own; that he asked Ogden to help was a silent acquiescence and gratitude for being worth finding.
Shaking his head and rolling his shoulders, feeling well enough to travel, but not quite himself , Mulkanus asked, You have a plan?
Ogden nodded, Portal to Thunder Bluff; coming up.
Snapping the rune and invoking the spell, a portal shimmered into reality before them, promising to take them from that place to the safety that was Thunder Bluff; promising to take them home. For a couple minutes, the old friends joked.
After you, Ogden offered.
Nonsense, Mulkanus responded, After you.
Bah! Ogden answered, I insist, after you.
The portal dissipated. Well, Ogden remarked dryly, That gives new meaning to winking out. He snapped another rune and invoked the spell again. This time, when the portal shimmered into reality, Mulkanus pushed Ogden through before he could say anything. Inhaling in anticipation of seeing his clan again, Mulkanus walked into the portal.
The world he stepped into was not Thunder Bluff; rather it was a ruined temple of the Mannoroc Coven in Desolace. Looking around confused, he found himself surrounded by Orc Warlocks of the Burning Blade. Were going to Thunder Bluff then? Mulkanus asked Ogden sarcastically.
Apologetically, Ogden responded, That was the idea. They must have done
So we are joined by the great Mulkanus Cloudchaser and the idiot fool Ogden, one of the Orcs spat, just in time, too. We need blood for our rituals and youve now provided that twice over!
Mulkanus stepped close to Ogden and whispered, It seems there will be a fight.
Ogden nodded and whispered back, Are you up for it?
Looking down at the tattered rags he was wearing his armor had been stripped and destroyed eight years prior Mulkanus grinned, So this is what it feels like to be a clothie.
Handing Mulkanus a dagger, Ogden replied, Not quite, but you will feel it soon enough.
Taking the dagger and extending his hand again, Mulkanus caught Ogdens attention. I dont have the words.
Ogden clasped arms with his friend and nodded with a sad smile, Nor do I, my friend.
Kill them! spat the Orc, Kill them both!
The circle of Warlocks began to close around them and they stood back-to-back. Any idea why you are so interesting to them? Ogden asked, preparing his spells and keeping an eye on the approaching felhunters.
No one spoke to me since my capture, Mulkanus responded, I never even saw the guard that dropped food and water into my cell.
There was no more time for words then; the battle had begun. Shifting to Dire Bear form took more from Mulkanus than it should have; but hed been chained for eight years, his mana drained dry by some accursed geis; that he could shift at all was testament to the might of his strength.
Though vastly outnumbered and despite one severely weakened, the two friends fought bravely and took many Warlocks and Warlock pets with them as they fell. Mulkanus fell first losing the bear-form as he did. He did not stop fighting though until the dagger was cut from his hands. Ogden stood over his friend, viciously flinging arcane and fire and ice in defense of himself and his friend, but he could not stand for long under the focused fire of the Warlocks. As grievously wounded as was Mulkanus, Ogden fell next to his friend, gasping his last breaths; dying.
The Warlocks cried a victory cry and taunted the dying friends. Ogden closed his eyes and concentrated on reaching through his hearthstone. He found Mulk, Mulkanus namesake, standing watch over the clan and Ogdens daughters in Thunder Bluff. I have found him, Mulk, Ogden gasped, but we are confounded.
Who?! Mulk raged through the hearthstones connection, Who has done this!?
Opening his eyes, Ogden asked the celebrating Orc, Why?
Smirking in victory and sneering in response, the Orc answered, The Cenarion Circle never forgets its enemies.
Zihasi, Mulkanus gasped, understanding after eight years, finally after eight years, what his captivity - and impending death - was for. The attack on his clan, the imprisonment; all nothing more than vengeance for standing with Zihasi against the machinations of the Circle. There was honor then in this death after all, and the Orc had inadvertently granted it.
Ogden was whispering back through is hearthstone to Mulk, We are at Mannoroc Coven in Desolace. Apparently the Cenarion Circle is behind this all of this.
Do not seek for our bodies, Mulk, Ogden instructed, seek to undo the Circle and its alignment with the Burning Legion.
Ogden cut him off by silencing his hearthstone.
Your daughters, Mulkanus whispered, blood leaking from his lips.
Ogden nodded, They knew when I left I may not return and I would save them hearing their father die. And they are with Mulk; he knows of the Circle and will tell them.
Sighing with labored and fluid-filled lungs, Mulkanus rasped, Then it is finished.
The Orcs raised their daggers and repeatedly plunged them hilt-deep into Mulkanus and Ogdens bodies. It was, indeed, finished.
Their eyes closed on the ramparts of the natural world; old men and old friends; dying at the hands of their enemies; and then opened in the spirit world. They stood as young men there; virile; dangerous; strong. Waiting to greet them were their mates, Lindi and Wyst, radiant in their youth and beauty, flowers in their hair and shining eyes of welcome; both rushed into their husbands arms to kiss and welcome them home.
And so began their next adventures.