Kopf's Story

- by Kopfjagger and Lucia

A Dagger in the ChestEdit

Kopfjagger stood over the bodies of the fallen and shivered as the adrenaline rushed out of him as quickly as it had been summoned. Bending over the fallen, he began to feast upon their still warm bodies. He had to regain his strength after the battle. Slowly, the gaping wounds closed. The torn flesh knitted its way back onto his bone and when he stood again, his body was no worse for wear than before he had begun.

Looking over his shoulder, he saw the horrified look on Lucias face. Something that he took for granted struck him finally. He had never been ashamed or embarrassed of having his enemies renew his strength but today, near her, was a completely different story.

He turned away from her and those wide, teary eyes. Cursing himself for the monster that he was, he wiped the gore that surely covered his face on the tabard of one of the fallen. The symbols meant nothing to him, and once he was finished wiping clean the traces of his feast, they were no longer recognizable to anyone.

There was no time to become emotional, or soft, he scolded himself. Quickly he set about cleaning the mess that curiosity had caused and that his blades had ended. It took a great deal of time to remove the traces of death. His eyes met Lucias not once during the ordeal. She sat still as stone, eyes never leaving his work. He lamented what she must think of him. And there was where his mind stayed during the long labor.

She had accused him of being a horrible father. It was his fault that their son had a gimpy arm. His inattention and inability had cost their son full use of his limbs. He was a monster and a tyrant and a bastard. Tiny fists flailed against his chest as tears and anger flooded onto him. There was nothing he could say. She was right on all counts. There was no making up from this one. How could one make up when the wounds would never heal?

With a jolt she felt the Zeppelin begin to turn and slow. They had reached the end of the ride. She glanced at Kopfjagger and held out her wrists to be tied again. Her eyes met his and his shame rolled over him again, fresh and mocking. She just sat there, waiting to continue to where ever they were going.

The zeppelin began to slow and make its final turn. He had spent too much time on cleaning up his mess, and now there was no time left to explain his plan to Lucia. There was never enough time.

The irony of that hit him suddenly. The Forsaken were nearly immortal, their flesh rebound to them after each time it is separated from its spirit. He had undergone that torture numerous times, you now he was out of time.

He turned to face Lucia, to prepare her for what was about to happen when the Zeppelin lurched into its dock. The human mage had her wrists out and a single tear low on her cheek. Three thoughts ran through his mind so close together he wasn't sure which came first. 'What an amazing woman. Do not shed tears for a monster, and at the same time, 'This is no time for crying!'

He quickly covered the distance separating them and knelt in front of her. He put on his leather gloves so that she would not have to feel his cold skin and then he gently wiped away her tear. He looked deep into her eyes and felt horrible for what he was about to do to her.

He raised his hands in a praying motion, as if to apologize and then shrugged his shoulders. He said that he was sorry, but they had not covered that word yet in their impromptu lessons. There was no other way that he could think to do this.

She tilted her head in a curious expression at his actions. Then, as quickly as he could, he pulled out one of his swords, spun it on his wrist and cracked it against her skull, knocking her unconscious.

Gently and tenderly be gathered her and placed her across his shoulder. He rose to his feet feeling her slight frame lying across him. Her body was warm and soft. Her curves were....

There was no time. Never enough time.

He walked up the stairs with his precious cargo over his shoulder. Visions of eating grass popped into his head as he crossed the deck of the zeppelin. No smile slid across his face this time however. When she turned him into a sheep, it did not hurt anything other than pride, which he probably had too much of anyway. His sapping her *must* have hurt and he was a monster for doing it.

He hated that word, but sometimes the truth hurts.

Slowly, as to not jostle Lucia, he made his way down the spiral stairs. Members of the Horde shouted and made rude gestures at his apparent prisoner, but he ignored them. Too many people had seen him carrying her. This would not end well.

Once he was upon the ground he summoned his mount from its stable in Brill. Nearly instantly he was atop his steed. Dr.aping Lucia across its back, he rode slowly to the entrance to the sewers and the 'back door' into the Undercity.

Once he made it to the entrance he released his mount and made his way to some shrubs near the *nearly* secret way into his capital. He laid her down softly onto the ground and placed his head on her lap until she awoke. She had every right to be furious, but no Alliance had ever been into the Undercity conscious. Well, some have tried, but the next time they would visit it would only be in spirit.

He shook his head as he stood guard over her. What in fel would she think of him now? Not only did he kill people who assumed him an ally, but he consumed their bodies in front of her. Now, she would awake with her last memory being of him striking her. He shook his head again. What in fel was he? For so long hate was his heart. But in many ways, that was a simpler life. Hatred was pure and concise. Now he was in a morase of emotions that not only was he unfamiliar with, but they may very well cause him an eternity of creatively induced pain. His sigh was long and resounded in his hollow chest.

Kopfjagger did not understand at first why Lucia did not wake sooner. Usually, when he would sap an enemy, they would only be dazed for many seconds but this was lasting entirely too long. Perhaps since she was not a warrior, she was somehow weaker physically. He had applied his usual force to the blow and he feared now that he may have caused her serious harm. For still, she lay there.

Lucia's head hurt. Simple as that, and yet not simple at all. The left side of her face felt numb and her temple felt swollen. She opened her eyes slightly and grimaced in the dim light. A sickly, sour smell wafted over her.

She squeezed her eyes shut again and regretted it almost instantly as a flare of pain seized her brain. She tried to remember what had happened.

It came back in a flash. Kopfjagger! Scenes flashed through her mind. Him approaching her, strange gestures with his hands, drawing his blade and then pain. Blackness.

She opened her eyes fully and took in her surroundings. A bleak view greeted her. Where was she? It was dark and cold and smelled truly horrid. It dawned on her then. He tricked me! He brought me here and I followed him blindly. What a fool I am! I trusted him!

She moaned softly in despair. I left my babies and let him lead me to whatever horrible fate he had planned.

Kopfjagger must have heard her stir because suddenly he was there. Panicked, believing him to be an enemy now, she scrambled up. Her vision blurring from the throbbing in her temple. Weakly she attempted to fight him back so she could run. She didn't know where she was, but she knew she had to get out. To get away from him, to foul any dark plans he had concocted for her.

She moves. He rushed to her side, to see if there way anything that he could do for her. He barely had time to dodge a feeble swing at his head. She was weakly punching his chest and the side of her head was more swollen than he could have thought possible. Her tiny fists continued to rain soft blows upon his leather breastplate.

He let her pound on him for a few moments and then he slowly put his arms around her middle and a gloved hand rested gently upon the back of her head, away from where he had struck her. Slowly, as her beating fists slowed, he pulled her into his chest. He wrapped his arms around her and held her while her blows slowly waned and eventually stopped.

He held her there for a few seconds and a few seconds only. The smell of his flesh must be overwhelming and he did not want her to associate him with the smell of death. That was the main reason his hands were always gloved around her now. Better she see and smell dead cow then dead human. Slowly, he was seeing the monster when compared to her beauty. It pained him.

Pulling her away from him, which was a most decidedly unpleasant experience, he placed a healing potion into her hand. He pulled the stopper off for her and seeing distrust in her eyes for the first time in a very long while, he took the first sip and then pointed to her swollen temple.

They needed desperately to get inside to find the man that she seeks. If he was still there and alive, there was only once place he could be. Humans did not live long there. There was not time for long explanations. There was time only for action.

While she still held the potion, Kopfjagger took one of his daggers from his belt and offered it to her while pulling the armor away from his chest. She had reason to repay him for his brutality... although it was not meant to be brutal. He made sure that his pale blue flesh was exposed clearly as he offered the dagger to Lucia. The punishment of seeing distrust in her eyes was far worse than a dagger in the chest. But perhaps this would allow her to trust him again.

((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.))

Hells GateEdit

Dizzy, Lucia attempted to strike out at the Forsaken in front of her; to escape from him. He didn't resist. Her pent up emotions, fear, sadness, and longing for her family; missing husband, children left behind, they were all released at once. She pounded on him as he awkwardly held her.

Her emotions became a mixture of guilt and distrust. When her arms finally fell to her sides, she wanted nothing more then to sink to the ground and cry. Her rogue must have sensed this and he held her up.

When she had strength in her body again, he gently pushed her away and put a vial in her hands. She looked at it. She tried to put things in order. Was he an enemy, like she had suspected a moment before?

He took the liquid back and sipped it, pointed to her head and handed it back. Then he attempted to hand her a dagger.

Her head hurt and she was confused now. He exposed his flesh and waited with the dagger extended to her.

Her thoughts rushed. Could she trust him? She looked at the vial then looked into his tortured eyes. Without hesitation she lifted the bottle and drank.

The Forsaken was truly relieved to see Lucia sip the healing potion. That meant that she trusted him again, which would be crucial in these next few moments. It also meant that he was forgiven for hurting her. She would no longer feel the pain that he had caused her.

He knelt before her, chest still exposed and dagger outstretched. The bruise on the side of her head was nearly gone now and the traces that remained were healing incredibly well. Now, if she wanted, she could extract revenge. Well, maybe not revenge so much as a little getting even. He sincerely wished that she would for his own piece of mind, but he was beginning to understand how she worked and did not think that she would do so.

Lucia took the time to puzzle out what had happened as Kopfjagger, on his knees, continued to offer her his blade. Guilt swept over her as she realized how fast she had been to doubt him. At that moment she felt like she was the rotted one. Her firm, smooth flesh was nothing more than gilding over her corrupt soul inside; untrusting and prejudice to any different from her. With incredible grace, though he had selflessly saved her life and guided her here, he had offered his dagger to her and bared his chest.

She pushed the dagger aside and a wave of sorrow washed over her. She wrapped her hands around his head and pressed his head into her form.

Kopfjagger stayed on his knee; his head cradled against her stomach and wrapped one of his gloved hands around hers, resting on the top of his head. He was truly penitent and wanted that to come across as clearly as possible. He could have stayed like this for ages. Her warmth and scent were all that he could feel and sense. It was like getting a quick taste of heaven when all you have known was hell.

Lucia wanted to wither and weep when she thought of the anguish she caused him. With her hand holding his head she was sure they made a picture. Ignorant masses would mock and feel disgust at this pair. Yet a few connected souls would look upon the two of them, human and undead locked in a forgiving embrace and feel the sorrow and acceptance.

There was no time. He forced himself to stand and pull away from her. There was much to do and hopefully little of it involved killing. If he was forced to kill in here, he would never be allowed back into his own capital. When he pulled away, Lucia felt an odd sense of loneliness. Her fingers lingered long upon his chest as he rose and turned to peer down the long, dark tunnel.

So be it. If being an outcast is what it took to make everything right, to please this angel by his side, then so be it. He had been down the path to hell and found it was paved with pain and agony. Perhaps the path to heaven was cobbled with it as well. All he really cared about was standing next to him, her eyes his hope.

He motioned deeper into the tunnel, crouching low so that she knew that was where they were headed. It was dark and lit only intermittently with guttering, black smoke torches. This would lead them very close to the Apothecary and to where he suspected her man was. He did not want to think of him as husband. Their target was just a man they were here to try and rescue.

Kopfjagger began to slink through the mouth of the cave and darkness swallowed him. He could hear Lucia behind him as she too tried to creep through the darkness. When last he made his way through these tunnels there were very few guards. The frequent and constant Alliance raids may have changed that and there were only two options for dealing with them. Lie or kill. Kopfjagger was not a very good liar but he was an excellent killer.

The tunnel seemed to get smaller as it twisted and turned. Somewhere along the way a thin river of sickly ooze had trickled into the passageway. Lucia didn't know what it was but she avoided stepping in it as she followed Kopfjagger. The two of them passed through a section of low ceiling that formed a sort of archway before the tunnel widened. Here he stopped and motioned for her to stay back.

Lucia made herself as small as possible in one of the shadows against the rough cave walls. Snaking through the dusky tunnel under full stealth, Kopfjagger made his way around the corner and could see clearly what lay ahead.

Two guards, recently hired based on their nearly spotless uniforms, and bored out of their minds based on their idle conversation and lazy stances, chatted amongst themselves. The undead rogue knew many of the older guards, but these two were new to him. Lying was possible.

And then he remembered the invisibility potions that he had made. He had intended them for the escape, but perhaps now would be the best time to use them. Quickly, the rogue made his way past the guards to see what lay beyond. The exit into the Undercity and the Apothecary entrance was within meters. Perfect, he thought.

As he made his way back up the tunnel to Lucia, a Bat bearing a rider for destinations unknown flew through the dark tunnel.

'Uh oh,' he thought to himself. Bats were not something he had explained to Lucia.

While still stealthed, Kopfjagger summoned his adrenaline and made a mad sprint towards her, past the guards. He was sure that the guards would not notice him due to the bat and their own boredom, but Lucia may be in serious trouble if the rider of the bat spots her.

Seeing no one around, and hurting from her tense position Lucia relaxed a little and stepped toward the slime. She examined it closely, trying to make out what composed the ooze. A thick, sticky substance, it didn't flow so much as it slugged its way along. She wrinkled her nose. At least she hadn't had to swim in it, she didn't know if she could have done that.

Crouched on the tunnel floor she began to hear an odd sound. Like flapping? She looked toward the tunnel entrance and strained her eyes. They widened until the whites of her eyes seemed to glow in the shadows. What was that!?

Coming straight at her was a monstrous creature with huge, leathery wings and a demons head. As it careened towards her, she made out the distinct ears of a bat and realized that something was riding on it. Riding!

The noise from its wings was almost deafening in the closeness of the corridor. She covered her ears and stamped down the urge to scream. She folded into herself, hands on her head, arms over her ears. She didn't notice the person riding it look down and spot her. The rider made an attempt to turn the mighty beast, but it had its destination and wouldn't turn back. Turning in the tunnel would have been impossible anyway. The huge thing was just overhead when she looked up and met the eyes of an angry, helmeted figure. A spear landed next to her feet with a vibrating twang.

Her heart beating fast she pressed herself against the wall again and hoped Kopfjagger would get back soon. She was lost here without him. Her eyes never left the still vibrating spear.

Kopfjagger found her quickly, squatting in a ball with her ears covered. He had not heard a sound come from her which was a very good thing, but he could not underestimate the rider. She was probably seen but that would have to be handled another day. Smirking at the horrible toss of the spear, he pulled the weapon out and cast it aside. Lucias eyes followed it until it skittered against the wall of the cave and came to rest.

More than likely, the rider would think that one alliance spy was sneaking in. That, or perhaps some local village woman or Scarlet became lost and wandered into the tunnel. There were still humans in the area and they often poked around where they were not wanted. Whichever it was did not matter now. The bat would nod deviate from its assigned course so they had plenty of time.... from that danger at least.

The Forsaken placed his hand upon Lucias shoulder. He grinned at her and, ensuring that his gloves were on, tried to pull her arms down from around her head and stroke her hair soothingly. She was not a child, but she was still afraid. Everyone needed some tenderness when they were afraid.

His daughter continued to protest that she was afraid of the dark. Reassurances that there was nothing there to be afraid of made absolutely no mark on her resolve to be terrified. Smiling despite his efforts to look like a source of strength for his daughter, the doting father sat at the end of the small bed. Gently smoothing her hair, he explained how a little fear is a good thing. Everyone is afraid sometimes. It is how we handle our fears that makes us who we are. After much discussion and a good-night kiss on the forehead, his daughter drifted off to sleep. The soft smile on her lips lasted until she awoke the next morning. Daddys brave little girl.

Kopfjagger did his best to explain that there were two guards up ahead and that their two options were either to kill them, or trick them into thinking that Lucia was a prisoner of his. The invisibility would have to wait for their exit, he decided. This was also to be their way out, the invisibility potions were supposed to make that possible.

The translation was not going well at first. He had hoped to cover this while they were on the zeppelin, but for once the zeppelin was too quick for him. As another bat approached, Kopfjagger motioned quickly to the small indentation in the cave wall and he stood over Lucia. He assumed the position of a guard or scout, using his body to mask hers. He waved up at the bat rider with a warm smile. Undercity is a busy place and this tunnel is not the best location for a long chat with a female human mage.

Turning to her once the bat had flown past, Kopfjagger made sure that Lucia understood the two options very clearly before proceeding. She was going to have to be very aware of the consequences of their upcoming actions and she should have the right to express which she felt was correct or the most logical. Head Hunter is a killing machine and by default will slide into that mode. If there was a better way, surely this amazing woman could find one.

Lucia listened closely, struggling with the translations of what he said. Finally, she shook her head. She did not want anyone to die if it could be helped. She shuddered to think if the situation was reversed and it was her husband on guard duty. As much as she didn't want to be helpless again, she believed the captive ruse would be the best idea at this point.

She wished she could think of some other way, but this place was un-familiar and the consequences too dire for her to fool around with the kind of idiotic plans she always came up with.

The thought of walking among so many of his kind, so many filled with hatred for her people, filled her with dread, but the thought of her husband gave her the resolve to continue. She would do anything for her family, dead or alive she had to know her husbands fate.

She turned to Kopfjagger and waited for the ropes to bind her wrists again. She explained how she really didn't want killing, unless there was no other way. No options left to them. Enemies they may be to her, but she was the same to them, so that put the horde on even ground.

She nodded at Kopfjagger. She was prepared to go deeper into this place. If her husband was in hell, she would go there to bring him out if it.

((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 8
[<---Book 7] [Book 9--->]

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