A (No Longer Brief) History Of Mort (Book 2)
- - by Unclemort
Mort giggled. And when Mort giggled... Well, yeah, you know the score.Edit
He'd been killing Centaur in the Barrens most of the day and enjoying every minute. Being a Priest wasn't so bad, he'd learned. Oh, sure, there had been a bit of "getting used to", that's for certain. Grumbling, he'd done as the Shadow Priest in Death Knell had suggested and gone about killing the Mindless Ones, growing in power with each kill. After what seemed like agonizing amounts of "Holy", he'd gone back to see the Priest Trainer and been told he'd now learn something which changed his perspective.
Oh, Shadow was alright, then. And when he'd first used Shadow Word: Pain upon one of the Scarlet Zealots, he found himself doubled over laughing while the Human writhed about in agony. Oh yes, this would do NICELY. Very nice, indeed. No longer was Mort limited to that "blasted HOLLY rubbish!" Now he was learning to be a Shadow Priest, and it suited him just fine. He could hardly contain himself when his Mind Blast would rip the skull clean off his kill, or cause it's brains to shoot out its ears like a fountain. Sometimes he'd just laugh himself silly.
He'd also learned some humility. A young Foresaken Warrior had been rude to him, and Mort had challenged him to a duel. It was over quickly, and Mort found himself groveling while the Warrior stood over him, laughing. That, he had decided, would never happen again.
During his first visit to the ruins of Lorderan (and a few moments to savor the glorious pain still lingering in the King's throne room), Mort had run into an Orc and a Troll making their way to the Weapons Master within the Foresaken capital. He'd met an Orc once before, while he was alive. The thing was obviously lost and had thought the Old Human would be an easy kill, seeing Mort sitting on his porch, and charged... Right through the garden. Looking at the bulging muscles and sharp teeth on the one in Lorderan, Mort figured it would be wise NOT to relate this story, regardless of how enjoyable it had been at the time.
Mort spent some time talking with the pair and learned about Orgrimmar and the Barrens. The wide open, dusty plains, the creatures stalking about, the variety of creatures to kill.
"Never have been ter Kalimdor" Mort had said. "Whut's that Goblinish Zeppelin like?"
"Oh, it amazin', mon. Ya can find it outside da' city, up on da' hill out dere. Dem' good at buildin' t'ings, dem Goblin', and da' Zeps, dem don't crash as much as dem used ta'" the Troll, Bikubiku, had told him. Mort was still getting the grasp of Orcish, but found he was learning steadily through frequent use. Bikubiku's accent was very heavy, but they managed to communicate just fine.
He'd been right. Mort found the Zeppelin Tower easily and had traveled to Orgrimmar, then made the journey to the Crossroads. And he'd learned and gained power quickly since that day.
There was so much to do! So much to KILL. And all these new found allies, the other species of the Horde. They fascinated him. In particular the Tauren females... There was SO much of them to look at, and they were SO very female, their armor barely able to contain, well, their ... Parts. Mort had been old when he'd turned Undead, and he'd have thought that his mind was well past wandering in carnal directions, but when he'd first taken in the sight of a she-Tauren in battle, her axe swinging one way while ample bits of her seemed to swing the other, barely contained within the chain mail bikini she wore, he'd very nearly passed out.
And of course, we continue. Mort nearly dies (again), and makes some friends.Edit
It was this train of thought which had Mort's attention right now, for the most part, and he'd begun to get sloppy. He wasn't keeping an eye on his back, and just as he felled a large male Centaur, he heard a sound which turned his blood cold (well, MORE cold than normal). It was the sound of hooves, many hooves, and the evil laughter of Hyena.
An arrow thudded into his hip causing him to howl in pain as four Hyena landed on and tore into him. Mort's mind cried out and turned into a Scream, causing the Hyena to flee and giving him a chance to stand. Running from him were the four beasts and two Centaur, also affected by his mind's Scream. Gritting his teeth he ripped the arrow free, targeted one of the beasts and lashed out, his Shadow Word assaulting it's nerves and searing them with pain. Two seconds later, it's brain burst from its ears and nose and it dropped dead. Another beast was near and fell the same way.
The Centaur, where the hell did those Centaur go?
"Oh Mort you silly bugger... They run right inter that camp o' their mates" he said, seeing now six Centaur warriors galloping toward him. They skidded to a halt just outside of spell range and seemed to talk, their hyena joining them and another coming from the camp. Six full grown Centaur warriors and three of their hounds. Mort couldn't understand their grunting, guttural language, but he had the feeling they weren't thinking of inviting him to tea.
"What're yeh waiting fer, ye Sons of a MULE?! C'mon! Ye want a bit of MORT do yeh?! Wull COME ON! I h'aint afraid o' DEATH, but can any of YEW say the same!?" Mort waved his mace menacingly. "I'm gonner die today, aye... But I'm bringin' a fair number of yer FLEA bitten HIDES WITH ME!" Spittle flew from Mort's mouth and his eyes glowed a bright but sickly green. If Death was coming for him this day, so be it, but he wasn't going to go down easy.
At a loud yell from their masters, the hyena charge with the Centaur right behind. Mort's Holy Shield went up and he blasted the closest Centaur's mind just as the hyena hit. Arrows bounced off the shield, but it wouldn't hold long. Mort swung his mace and sent a hyena rolling, but it got right back up and leapt at him, knocking him from his feet just as an arrow passed through his faded shield and slammed into his shoulder.
Three hyena ravaged his arms as he staggered to his feet, gritting his teeth and beginning to cast what would be his last spell, and for all the sunny day Mort could swear he heard the sound of a storm brewing. "Oh, ain't that just bloody nice..." he thought, beginning to black out, "I'm about ter die... again... and it's going to RAIN on top of all that? That's just lovely that is." What little hair Mort had on his head suddenly stood straight up.
A bolt of lighting struck the hound on Mort's right arm, blowing it into a fine, red mist as it arced to the other two, knocking them off and roasting them instantly. The thunderclap blew Mort right off his feet and he landed with a thud on his backside.
The Centaur barely had time to realize what was happening before it was over.
A she-Tauren, screaming "FOR BLOODHOOF!!" charged them, a large glowing mace in one hand and shield in the other. She was clad in armor Mort recognized as being made from Dragon Scales, some of it black, some blue. One of the Centaur recovered enough from shock to fire an arrow, which ricocheted off her shield and into the forehead of one of his friends. Then she was on him, her mace slamming into his face with such force his head was nearly removed and he fell, and stayed down. She spun and her hands shot out in front of her as if to push at the next attacker, and Mort saw a blast of green light, then the flying body of a Centaur sailed past, slamming into the side of an outcropping of rock.
There was a flash of white light and a Foresaken Mage appeared among the remaining three. With a blast of arctic air from him, all three were suddenly frozen solid, and with a flick of his hands Arcane energy exploded from him, shattering them.
Mort sat, too stunned to move, as the Tauren stood over him. She incanted softly, and Mort's body glowed and began healing itself, the arrow in his shoulder falling to the ground. When she'd finished she sat heavily at his side, reached into a bag on her belt, and pulled out a greasy and rather dubious looking haunch of meat.
"Ham?" she said.
The Mage stood not far off, leaning non-challantly on a runed, glowing sword. "Hello, old man. I'm Noch, and my Shaman friend here is Djuna. You OK?"
The continued tale of a cranky old Foresaken Priest finding his way in Azeroth. Hopefully he won't die (again) too soon.Edit
But the day ain't over...
Mort walked in silence with his new found companions. Or, it should be noted, Mort and Noch walked in silence, since neither of them could manage more than an occasional "You don't say?" and "Hmmm... Fascinating."
"You just have no idea how hard it is to get Centaur off of good Dragon Scale armor these days I mean the time spent scrubbing alone is SUCH a bother but then you need a special cloth to clean it with because an ordinary one just won't do because they will _always_ streak and we can't have that, because I wouldn't want to let anyone down, I have a certain reputation to live up to with so many members of the Horde looking up to me for fashion advice it seems I can't even walk into Orgrimmar these days and not have five or six other Shamen or even Hunters coming up and simply _gushing_ with compliments and far be it from me to stop them, oh heavens no, since word has of course gotten around that, well, I'm not one to BRAG but Cairne Bloodhoof comes to me for tactical advice and you know he loves my Hambach ...."
"Errr... Noch? Does she ever... yeh know... Stop, like?" Mort asked.
Noch grinned. "Yes. When she's eating ham."
"... And of course SPEAKING of ham I only eat the finest these days, none of this _pork_ ham that is just SO Eastern Kingdom, I only eat Dragon ham and when we go and kill Onyxia I plan to cut off the finest choices just for myself and that will be SPECIAL ham and I might share it with some of the Cabal but... *eeep* Did I say Cabal? I meant my friends because there is no Cabal after all."
Mort looked at her. "No wot?"
"Cabal. There isn't one."
"Right. And they're not your friends."
"Oh goodness no! They all simply LOVE me! Except that Norkie, but then he's taken on with this female now so he's not around as much and I happen to think she has him wrapped around her little scaly finger..."
"So there IS a Cabal?" Mort's head was beginning to hurt.
"No, there is absolutely NO Cabal. We don't exist."
"Aye, yes. So... then I'm not really talking to you?"
"You're talking to ME you little silly!" Djuna fairly beamed.
Mort was beginning to wonder... he could make up his "special" spices for her next ham. "Right, now so there is no Cabal..."
"Right" Djuna said.
"And ... you're part of this Cabal..."
"Whut don't exist."
"YES! That's it! Oh what a nice old man you are I'm SO glad those Centaur didn't kill you it's a good thing we got there when we did because I saw that arrow and I'm willing to bet it may have been poisoned..."
"Sorry, Noch? Listen, be a good lad, will you? Tha' trick ye done where ye make sumwon' all froze like an' bursts 'em inter wee little chunks of ice? Could ye do tha' t'me just now? Only it'll save me th' time o' findin' another group of Centaur ter kill me or a cliff t'fling meself off."
Mort heard a little gasp, then a small whimper. He turned to see Djuna, lip quivering and her large, brown eyes welling with tears. "You... You don't like me. Do you? You HATE meeeeeee!!"
"Oh, crap, now you've done it" Noch said with a sigh.
"What? I ain't... Listen, stop yer cryin', Djuner, I don't hate yew, not at all! There there..." Mort tried to put an arm around the sobbing Tauren, but barely went across her armored shoulders. "I don't _hate_ ya', lass, not even a little."
"Then why did you ask Noch to KILL you?!" Tears were now streaming over the soft downy hair covering her face and dripping onto her armor. "You just HATE me I know it!"
"No no, I'm just a stupid auld man is all, I didn't mean t'hurt yer feelins', honest. Yew were BRILLIANT back there, ye know, when them Centaur was about ter turn me inter Hyena-chow. Why I can't remember EVER seein' one o' them Man-Horses fly before but ye hit tha' one feller so hard he like to bounced when he hit tha' rock!"
She instantly brightened and the tears vanished. "YES I did, didn't I? I have to say that I am VERY powerful but I try not to boast. I'm a picture of modesty."
"Of course you are, Djuna" Noch said. "Nice save, Geezer. We could have been here for hours."
Djuna glared at him. "Shut it, worm food."
Djuna stopped and looked around, searching for anyone who might be listening in. A kodo lumbering past paused and cast a very baleful gaze at her as if to say "And... what're you looking at?" With a snort, it continued on its way.
"Well, there MAY be a Cabal" she said, "but it's a TOTAL secret and you can't just tell ANYBODY about it."
"Ah. Errr... OK?"
"We'll take you to Thunder Bluff. The Cabal is meeting there in about half an hour, we'll introduce you."
"Oh, aye... I'm all a flutter" Mort said dryly.
"Are you teasing me again?" Djuna's hand rested on her mace.
"Wouldn't dream of it, Luv."
Thunder Bluff turned out to be like nothing Mort had ever seen.Edit
Thunder Bluff turned out to be like nothing Mort had ever seen. A city of Tauren, set upon the tops of multiple high mesas, interconnected by a series of bridges and reached by one of the most clever and completely insane methods he'd ever seen. Several lifts, powered by pulleys and counter weights. Guards stood at the top of each, holding massive war axes and wearing expressions which made it abundantly clear their weapons weren't for show. Multiple nicks in the blades indicated they'd been used.
Noch explained to Mort about the Cabal. "Well, it's not so much a secret. I mean, other people know about us, of course, but we try and keep a low profile. There have been times we've had to go into Alliance territory on quests, and much as we'd hate to admit it, there are spies among the Horde who will gladly pass information for a quick silver."
Mort nodded and made a mental note that, should the opportunity arise, any spy he found would quickly find his or her brains melting out of their ears.
"We get together sometimes and go out to kill dragons, go into dungeons..."
"Wut, willingly?!" Mort was appalled.
"Of course! It's great fun, and with a good group of friends like the Cabal, NO demon is too difficult, and no Dragon stands a chance. Sometimes we invite others along, folks from other Guilds. They're all to happy to come along."
"Doin' whut?" Mort asked.
"Killing my father" Noch replied casually. "I've been planning on this for ages."
"Kill yer own kin? Love ter join ye." This was something Mort could understand and appreciate. "Nothing like a good family get together and a spot of Patricide, I always say."
"Excellent!" Noch rubbed his hands together. "Oh, I can't wait to see the look on Dad's face, pompous old Paladin."
Mort stopped in his tracks. "Palerdin? Oh, ye should have said. Now ye couldn't keep me away if ye tried!" He liked Noch even more now. "Wos' his name?"
"Mograne" Noch told him. "Scarlet Commander Mograne."
"THAT pillock is yer DA?! I heared about him yonks ago. Real self righteous git, him. Put a whole town ter the sword 'cause they wouldn't attend one o' his services, I heard." While Mort was all for mass murder, it rubbed him the wrong way that it was simply because they didn't want to go to church.
Noch chuckled. "Yes, that's dad to a T. Killed me, actually. Well, more or less. Didn't like my dabbling in Magic. Wanted me to become a Scarlet Cleric."
Mort nodded. Parents could be so picky about the paths their children took in life. "I killed me mum, ye know. Back, oh... Years n' years ago."
"Really?" Noch raised an eyebrow at Mort. "Was she evil? Did she try to force you into a profession against your wishes?"
"No, none o' tha'. She made horrible tea. Couldn't abide her biscuits, either, they were all dry an' crumbly-like. So, one day when I were fifteen, I read up a bit about poisons and her next cuppa was her last. 'Course, after she dropped, I couldn't leave her sittin' there an'suchlike, so I took 'er out back an' chopped the old cow into bits. Put 'er in a stew pot with more o' that poison and fed 'er to me dad an' the lot. Me brothers an' sisters. Complete twits, the lot. They didn't even ask where mum got off to, they just started eatin'."
Now it was Noch's turn to look a bit surprised. "You really are an mean old bastard, aren't you?"
"Aye, thanks. I do me best." Mort beamed.
They'd reached the in, and from it came the sounds of loud discussion and some fisticuffs. Djuna had gone on ahead, and Mort could hear her voiced raised, insisting that someone named Flora wasn't really all that fat. "Uh oh" Noch said, "Ehanu is at it again. Whatever you do, when you see Djuna's Kodo, DON'T call her fat."
"Why?" Mort asked. A moment later there was a loud crash, followed by something Mort had so far never seen: A flying Tauren, who landed in a heap at Noch's feet.
"Hi Noch," he mumbled, face in the dirt, "who's your friend?"
"Ehanu, meet Mort. Priest and from the sounds of it, complete bastard. Mort, meet Ehanu. Shaman and juvenile delinquent." Mort helped Ehanu to his feet while the rogue dusted off his armor.
"Pleased" said Mort.
"Yeah yeah. 'Scuse me, but there is a little payback in order." Putting on a wicked looking set of barbed knuckles, Ehanu charged back toward the inn, only to once more be knocked back to the ground.
Djuna stomped out of the inn, indignation written all over her face. "And THAT'S for saying she's stinky!!!" Turning and flicking her tail, she walked back inside.
"Um, will he be alright?" Mort asked.
"What, Ehanu? Oh sure. This happens all the time. He's always trying to get under her skin. Actually, sometimes he doesn't even try, it just happens. Now come on, it sounds like quite a party in there and we're missing out!"