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Kopf's Story

- by Kopfjagger and Lucia



A New BountyEdit

He tried to hold in his pain, but he could feel the scorpid venom seep through his body. The arrowhead dug its way into his lungs with every tiny movement. It was agony and growing worse each time he hacked. There was no control any longer. His mind, no longer focused on Lucia, had surrendered to the pain that his body was sending him.

The Forsaken one could hear Lucia and feel her near, but it was like the sun in the arctic; you were aware of it, but it seemed distant and offered no warmth. He looked up into her eyes, those beautiful, clear eyes that had given him strength before. She was looking over his back and he could feel her tug out the last arrow, the scorpid arrow.

And then he tingled all over. Little sparkles seemed to dance from his toes to his head. And then he felt incredibly cold as a wave of icewater crashed over him... through him. And then he felt a wave of warmth wash through every fiber in his body. It was nearly enough to make his wretch again with the sudden changes and the dramatic differences.

Yet, he felt whole again... or at least as whole as he has felt in a very long time. Small, tender hands found their way onto his back with a bandage. He was not sure if the warmth came from the magic in the bandage or from the knowledge that Lucia was the one helping him.

Kopfjagger sat up, feeling renewed, invigorated. His head lifted as he stood and greeted Slathar warmly. Then he noticed that Lucia had become rigid. Following her gaze, he saw the Tauren that had her undivided attention. Looking back at Lucia, he saw her nod. Then the Tauren nodded and dismounted.

Kopfjagger took a large step forward, placing himself between Lucia and the Tauren warrior walking towards them. The Forsaken pulled out his twin blades and let them sway as he assumed the most arrogant, deadly stance he could imagine. He had won many battles before they had started, simply by making himself look as lethal as possible. The would-be foe often took a look at the Forsaken and fled. He knew that the Tauren would not flee, but if the bull was afraid, he would not think clearly and that would be all the advantage the seasoned rogue would need.

Kopfjagger did not nod at the Tauren. He did not bow or wave or salute. He just stood there as the Tauren approached. There was either going to be a fight, or a very brief conversation. Either way, the Forsaken and his precious Lucia were going to walk away from this beach. Slathar was welcome to come as well, but to hell with everyone else.

Lucia watched from the corner of her eye as Kopfjagger stood and spoke to Slather for a moment. She saw him as he glanced at her. Her focus was still firmly on Tauren on the ridge. Moments later the warrior was on their beach and Kopfjagger shifted back to being her deadly rogue. Swords drawn, he stood before her and waited. Agonizing moments passed as they all stood on the beach and measured each other up. Lucia knew that if the Tauren attacked, she would not be a bystander. She had sworn to fight with him from now on and she would hold to that vow no matter what it took.

The Tauren glanced past Kopfjagger at her and he shifted in his thick plate armor, a weary sigh escaping him. Deftly Kopfjagger stepped into his line of vision and waited, swords poised to strike at the slightest indication of threat.

The Tauren grinned and spoke to him, "Greetings rogue. I have heard of you." The deep, low voice of the Tauren sent a small shiver down Lucias spine. "That is, if you are really the infamous Head Hunter?" Kopfjagger never moved, his blades still swaying. Glowing eyes locked on black.

This is a hefty price on your head, and a most displeased Lady that wishes to have it. Your.fondness for the human has clouded your judgment it seems Your Lady seemed particularly interested in obtaining her as well. Double the price was offered for the both of you, alive and delivered to the Dark Queen herself. What do you think of that Head Hunter? The Tauren crossed impossibly thick arms across his chest.

Lucia watched the exchange of words, not understanding the orcish at all, she moved up behind him and gently tugged on Kopfjaggers waist. Softly she spoke to him in common, hoping he understood enough of it to get her meaning, "Come on, lets go." She didnt want a skirmish; she was tired of them occurring between their people.

It was at that moment that a stray thought flitted through her mind. Quickly she dismissed it but it kept creeping back to her and teasing her. Was it possible?

The Tauren spoke again, the orcish rough, "Surrender forsaken one. It is best for you and the human to come willingly. If you do not, I will not kill you. I will kill her."

Kopfjaggers mind raced while his blades swayed confidently. A bounty? How could... why... Damn! He cursed himself for not realizing that of course there would be a bounty on his head. But for Lucia to be hunted as well... that was unacceptable.

Lucia whispered her desire to leave into his ear. He just shook his head. There was no running from a bounty. The only way to outlive a bounty was to make the bounty not worth the taking. The only way he knew how to do that was to put fear into every heart that would ever consider taking it.

The Tauren made threats. Idle threats, but they showed courage nonetheless. Kopfjagger had to smile at the warrior. Such a fool.

"Am I wearing red? It seems that bulls only charge out of stupidity when there is red clothing involved. Charge, bull. Come and die."

Damn warriors can cover a lot of ground in no time flat. His head rang from the Tauren's rush. The sounds of battle rang around him, but soon enough, he was off to the side, slashing his swords through the cow-man's armor. The enemy was down on one knee, the smell of burning hide filled Kopfjagger's nostrils. Rage burned in him. It was a rage born out of love, protection and jealousy. He would defend his love at all costs and nothing, not even the Dark Lady herself, was going to stand in its way... or in his.

Kopfjagger had his swords against the throat of the Tauren, ready to slit the arteries that carried the precious lifeblood through its body. What was that? Save him?

Kopfjagger kept his knee in the back of his enemy. The Tauren's head was lifted as high as it could go in a vain attempt to ease the pressure of the burning blades on his neck. Kopfjagger shook his head at Lucia and let the blades slice through the neck of the Tauren. Blood showered him as the Tauren went limp onto the ground. A feeble gurgle signaled the end of his life.

Kopfjagger motioned for Lucia to follow and said in common over his shoulder to her, "There is a bounty on our heads. Where there is a bounty, there are fools who seek to claim it. There is no rest until we reach Moonglade. If he did not die, than others would think they too could come and try and claim their prize. I will not have it. I will not have you taken from me."

He spoke as they made their way north, out of Southshore and away from the battle. "We must get to Moonglade. It is the only neutral place I know. The only truly neutral, that is. The war matters not there."

He looked over his shoulder and noticed that she was not following him. He turned to face her. She was still several yards away on the beach, looking at the Tauren. He quickly ran over to her and turned her to face him; to look away from the Tauren.

"My heart, we must find peace," he said softly to her. "It is not here. It is not now. Peace will come, but we will have to fight our way to it." He paused and looked into her eyes.

"My blades will rest soon enough. I shall bury them to never be picked up again, for as long as you live. But now, my precious heart, we must fight our way through this accursed battleground to reach the promised land on the other side. Weakness now will mean our end before we have reached that which we have already fought so hard for."

He was not getting through to her. It was plain by the look on her face.

"Lucia. My dear Lucia. I never hoped to love again, but I love you completely and with everything that I am. That love will conquer all this world can throw at us as long as we are willing to fight for it. Soon, that fighting will be over and we will be at peace. But for now, we must battle on. Come with me my love. Come with me to Moonglade... to paradise... to peace."

((This part of the story was written in partnership by Kopfjagger and Lucia. I have the honor of retelling it but at least half, if not more, of the creative power comes directly from Lucia even though her name does not appear to the left of the post. *bows deeply to Lucia* Thank you, Lucia, for letting me retell our story, I hope to do it justice.))

Questions Without AnswersEdit

Lucia tried to urge Kopfjagger away, to leave the tauren where he had fallen. With a nod of the head and a quick movement he severed the warriors head. Kopfjaggers eyes dulled back to their normal yellow before he slowly lowered his blades and turned to her. Lucia stared at the dead enemy. A bounty? She loved the idea of being safe with him in Moonglade. The words he spoke filled her heart with joy, nothing but peace and happiness for them after this, but first she had to know.

She turned to her love and shook her head, she did not understand. Kopfjagger? she started but then paused to look down once more at the dead warrior. The sand slowly absorbed the blood of the huge Tauren.

Why is this happening? Why must they hunt me.. us? Why have we done to them, that they try to kill us at every turn? I have never harmed them, why must we die? I dont understand.

He motioned for her to follow him, but she couldnt will her feet to move. She had to understand. Again she looked at the Tauren and she began to wonder about him, his life. Did this Tauren have a wife? Children as well, perhaps? Would they be waiting endlessly for him to return to them, like she did? Did he see the offer of money as a way to solve his problems, only to be killed for it?

She tried to image her own son, caught in a war he did not start and dying. Lying on the sand as it slowly soaked up his life. She shuddered at the possibility.

Kopfjagger came over to her and tugged on her gently until she began to walk away from the body. Lucia was in despair, he had said more would come. They would not stop hunting them, a human and an undead. As hard as she tried, they would be only so much she could withstand before she failed and then what?

There had to be a solution, one that they hadnt thought of. Her thoughts touched on a small glimmer but again it was lost when he began pulling her along the beach. Not consciously aware of her own motives, Lucia spoke again, softly, Kopfjagger? How did you become this way? I mean Undead I know it was a plague, but.Do people still become like thistoday?

She watched him frown as they moved along, no longer on the beach and Lucia was not sure he would answer her. She was growing unsure of a great many things. Kopfjagger, she knew, would always be there for her. It was the rest of everything that she began to doubt.

"You ask me questions I have no answers for, my heart" Kopfjagger replied as they moved through the terrain between them and their safety. "More arise each day. Some are not allowed to return to their flesh after their spirit is torn from their bodies. The 'how' and the 'why' of it are beyond me and I do not dwell on it. Some things are best left unknown, my heart. For me, how the Forsaken come to be are one of them."

They moved in silence for a while but he had to know. "Why do you ask? You are the light of my heart and I will find this out for you, if it is what you seek. We shall have plenty of time to speak and explore such curiosities once we are safe in Moonglade." His eyes rarely stopped their endless scanning, back and forth across the horizon and every bush. When they did stop, they always found hers and lingered until he forced them to continue their seemingly endless search.

"Oh!" he burst out. I nearly forgot to mention. The tunnel into Moonglade is guarded by some nasty little furry things. Furbolgs or some such name. They are basically huge, sword wielding rats. Once we are close, stay close to me and we shall arrive safely."

He was constantly looking over his shoulder, checking on Lucia and their surroundings. He would not be ambushed, he would not be caught off guard. He would protect her at all costs and he would ensure that they arrive safely at their little sanctuary. He did not notice, however, how quickly the day was slipping away. There was no need for him to keep track of time when he was alone. His prolonged captivity had taught him how to go days and even weeks without noticing time pass at all. He was not accustomed to having a human traveler with him and although he was not being rude, he was also not taking into account the weakness of warm flesh and soon, Lucia was reaching the end of this days adventure.

Slathar was closely following Kopfjagger and Lucia. He had passed out of sight again and had come back as they headed for Moonglade. He didn't want to make his presence known yet. There were reasons, some of which he did not want to reveal even to himself. But, he resigned to himself, his curiosity was definitely winning over any feeble protests at this incredibly long journey. The other reasons, those at least that he would let himself think about, were just excuses to feed his curiosity.

She was tired. The strain of the emotional and physical battles began to weigh down her legs. In fact, her whole body felt heavy. As she walked behind Kopfjagger, Lucia half-closed her eyes and almost nodded off on her feet.

She was saved from falling over when she bumped into him as he stopped suddenly.

Swiftly he set up a small camp and eased her gently toward a little shelter created naturally by two intertwined trees. The trees had grown separately until later they had leaned in towards each other and began to interlock their branches. Now a hollow was created by the twin tree lovers.

There was no fire. It was still not safe enough to trust that it would not be noticed. Lucia shivered slightly as she curled into a ball with her back against the tree and fell deeply asleep.

In the darkness, tiny little fireflies flitted about, each searching for a love of their own.

In her dreams, Lucia once again touched upon a solution to their problem, but it was quickly driven out as happier images replaced the crazy idea.

((This part of the story was written in partnership by Kopfjagger and Lucia. I have the honor of retelling it but at least half, if not more, of the creative power comes directly from Lucia even though her name does not appear to the left of the post. *bows deeply to Lucia* Thank you, Lucia, for letting me retell our story, I hope to do it justice.))




End of Kopf's Story Book 23
[<---Book 22] [Book 24--->]

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