Musings of an Azeroth Mage (Book 10)
- - by Archin
Archin Brey lay in the coffin, just outside of Stormwind. The Mage had obviously experienced a very painful and unfortunate death. His skin had rotted, and his sandy red-gray hair which sat prominently atop his head in his life was now nothing more than straggly bits of fiber. His bones were exposed, and other than his hair, the only positive way to identify the man was his monocle which rested against his eyeless socket. A grub bore out of his other socket, and began to munch through a cheekbone.
Meanwhile, the living Archin Brey stared down at the coffin, viewing his own corpse curled up and in its destroyed state.
Grraaah!! Archin screamed out of fear and revulsion and whirled around, tearing his eyes from the horrendous image and doubling over. Vomit welled up in his stomach and burst from his mouth, splashing on the ground before him.
Calithos smiled, See anyone you recognize?
Saiko slowly walked around the casket to look inside, but Calithos slammed it shut before she could. Archin dry heaved, hard, and whirled around. His face was an image of rage and revulsion.
Leave your parlor tricks for someone of lesser intellect, Calithos! I wont be made a fool of, and I wont fall for your stupid illusions! Archin seethed and stood eye to eye with Calithos. Saiko handed the Mage a flask of water to wash his mouth out, which he did.
Archin, Calithos calmly replied, Im just trying to show you what could happen to you if you continue down the path you are walking.
Archin bellowed loudly, I dont need you to teach me a lesson, you muckraking idiot! And you dont know the path that I walk, nor the consequences that will befall me, regardless of my decisions!
Youre so damned stubborn Calithos said offhandedly.
Saiko watched the two men quietly, choosing not to get in the way.
Oh shut up! You dont Archin began, but was interrupted as Calithos suddenly grabbed the back of Archins shirt and pulled him toward the casket. The cantankerous Mage tripped on the shovel and fell forward, and Calithos deftly opened the lid of the casket so Archin could see inside.
With his head inside of the casket, Archin screamed loudly and kicked his leg, the visage of his own dead body all encompassed in his field of vision. He wrestled with Calithos, off balance and shocked by the image, until finally pulling himself out of the coffin and screaming.
You son of a he stopped himself before openly swearing, restraining himself with the iron will that he possessed. You lay a hand on me again, and Ill blast you all the way to Menethil Harbor!
Calithos sighed, and his expression showed a look of disappointment in Archin, Ill lose my sight for a while, but itll be worth it. Calithos reached out to touch Archin, who backpedaled suddenly.
Hell no I know what you want to do! Dont you touch me! Ill not let you force me to see something that never will happen! Archin stumbled and nearly fell, catching himself against a gravestone, trapped between the stone and Calithos. Archin shot a look at Saiko, Dont you let him touch me, mlady!
Im sorry Archin its probably for the best Saiko quiet replied.
Calithos hand snapped against Archins forehead and his eyes began to cloud over.
Get.. off of me. Archin growled and gripped Calithos forearm, but it was futile.
A Flash of White
Archin Brey stood in the center of the Trade District of Stormwind, the scene a black and white rendition of a possible, unfortunate reality. The girl, Arilie was huddled in a ball before him. Her eye was destroyed, her skin bleeding a putrid, gray blood, her face was battered and her blood welled out of her thin, beautiful mouth. She stood suddenly, mouthing a scream and spraying blood all over herself, and ran.
Large hands gripped Archins shoulder. It was Dugald. Another set of hands gripped his wrists and tugged them behind him, tying them firmly together.
No! Archin mouthed, but there was no sound to his voice, Get your hands off of me!
His weapons were stripped and his monocle knocked from his eye in the commotion. Kiiyue stood before the Mage and knelt, picking up the monocle and looking at him.
You bastard she mouthed.
Get off of me you son of a #@%$!!! Archin roared and clawed at Calithos forearm. His eyes shot open and he stared at Saiko, who watched quietly, Get him off.. of me..please! Archin begged to the Night Elf.
Im sorry Archin she whispered back.
A Flash of White
Archin Brey stood in murky mass of darkness. Before him was a large podium, in which a large, faceless figure stood looming over him. His hands were bound behind him and his bowed.
The Court of Stormwind finds you Archin Brey guilty of attempted murder. You are sentenced to life imprisonment in the Stormwind Stockades with no chance of removal. The voice echoed loudly in the mind of Archin and chilled his very soul.
Archin fell to his knees before the judge, and a figure dashed in behind him. It was his wife! Yumeko, flanked by a fiery, angry Infernal! They had come to save him!
But several muted flashes erupted behind the omnipotent Magistrate, and Yumekos body buckled. Blood welled out of fresh bullet holes in her beautiful frame, and she collapsed dead.
No!! Archin bellowed and jerked suddenly. He closed his eyes tight, the vision of his wife falling before him almost too much to bear. Tears streamed his face. Calithos stood quietly, still holding the thrashing Historian. Saiko watched sadly, unaware of the horror the man was experiencing.
A Flash of White
Archin Brey fell to the floor in the Stormwind Stockade. Gazing up at the men and women around him, they were commoners. Filth. Roughage. Uneducated and undeserving people that neither had the right nor the power to touch him.
But these were not any normal circumstances.
One of theirs had been harmed. One of their own had been brutalized. Now, lying before them, was an all-too-smart-for-himself Mage that was ripe for the taking.
They dragged Archin to a corner of a cell and slammed his back against the bars. A swift blow to the face sent the Mage reeling. A fireblast and the attacker was gone. A fireball, and the second was a writhing mass of flesh.
Frost Nova Blink Flamestrike.
They were falling Archin was winning.
A sly grin crossed the face of Archin Brey. He was right all along. He was untouchable.
The large metal bar that slammed into his skull from a rogue behind him proved otherwise. Slumping onto the floor, Historian Brey was in no position to fry anyone. Archin was lifted unceremoniously up to a standing position, only to be punched in the face and his eye bruised harshly.
Knives were opened up, and the men and women grinned evilly in the direction of the helpless Archin Brey. He was an intellectual! He was a clean, conscious, and rational man.
But no he was not a clean man. Not by a long shot.
They stabbed him in the gut and slashed at his chest, he screamed in abject horror as his blood spilled onto the floor. Thrashing, Archin tried to fight back, but it was useless. The pain, the searing, damning pain that wracked his body proved to only rekindle their bloodlust.
He fell to the floor, and one prisoner looming over the fallen Mage mouthed, Eye for an eye
Dropping a hungry, rabid rat onto the face of Archin, the animal gnawed hungrily on his left eye. The same eye that Archin had taken from Arilie.
For all of his will, his stubborness, his resoluteness, and his inability to accept nor fear anything that stood in his way. Archin wanted, more than anything, to die.
Thankfully, there was mercy in his future. A female prisoner produced a ragged, dirty, metal knife, placed it to Archins throat the source of his power, his spells, his diatribes, his boasting
..and jerked her wrist.
A Flash of Red
Calithos relinquished his hold on the forehead of Archin Brey, and not a moment too soon. The topographer from Dalaran fell back against the headstone and reeled from his latest ordeal. Calithos stood quietly, his eyes clouded over and blind. Archin covered his eyes and tried to stop his bawling while Saiko continued to watch silently.
Archin groaned and whimpered, while Calithos continued to stand.
Dont let that fate fall to you, Archin Brey it is a possibility, but it can become a reality just as much as any other if you continue on your path.
Though he was shocked, he was also enraged. Archin was enraged at Calithos bringing him to this graveyard, enraged that Calithos humiliated him in front of Saiko, and enraged that Calithos had the audacity to try to teach someone as intelligent as himself a lesson.
Go to Hell! Archin growled and lurched forward, belting Calithos square in the stomach. Calithos doubled over, unable to see the blow coming, and fell to his back on the ground. Archin crumpled and fell to his side.
It was an interesting picture, at that very moment. The Dread Seer lying, helpless, clutching his stomach and the Dalaran Mage lying opposite him, in a ball, mentally reeling from his ordeal. Saiko standing between the two, dumbfounded, and the graveyard setting on helped to create a picture perfect image of inconsistency.
You dont look like much of a genius right now Saiko snorted at Archin. Archin ignored her and clawed at the gravestone, slowly drawing himself up to his feet. Calithos too, winced and stood to his feet as well. He wiped his chin of some saliva and reached out, gripping Saikos shoulder for support.
Archin stood up and glared at Saiko. His shoulders slumped forward, his back was bent, and his arms were brought in at his side. He looked wounded and trapped. He looked cornered and caged. He certainly did not look like himself. What the Hell do you know, girl?? You have no right to judge me! He glared at Calithos and then back at her, Either of you. You dont understand! You dont know anything that I have done!
Archin skulked around the graveyard, strafing the two and never letting his gaze leave the duo. I wont succumb to that fate! There are provisions in the works that will prevent my dying, Calithos Blyde, and you know that!
Calithos answered calmly. His eye, the eye that he still possessed wholly, had streaks of tears exiting it, Archin, a man can be alive and yet still be very much dead inside. I want you and your wife and your son to live, Archin Im trying to help
Archin bellowed over Calithos, My son will be a great man! The Breys will make a difference in the Alliance, in Azeroth, and we will be a grand family! He wiped his nose and tried to compose himself.
Saiko scoffed at him, What a wretched father you must be to that poor child
Those words hurt. Archin groaned from mental and physical stress and stared at the grass. Calithos stood quietly alongside Saiko as the two looked at him.
You you have no hard evidence of anything you propose that I did, Calithos none! Just just visions. Archin inhaled deeply and shivered. His conscience and his willpower had been battered.
He stared at the grass and contemplated what do to. He knew the truth, no matter what he said, and it bit into his heart like a dagger. He wrenched out a very soft, I am a good man and worked back his tears. Saiko sensed his impending collapse and moved closer to him, at the same time leaving Calithos helplessly blind.
I know you are Archin. She said softly and gave Archin a reassuring hug. He fell hard against her and inhaled deeply again, regaining his composure. The Night Elf patted Archin on his back.
I am a good man. The words were stronger and more sure. He pulled back Saiko and slowly, his back straightened and his chest swelled with the pride that was more typical of Archin Brey. Saiko walked back to Calithos and offered her shoulder.
You are a good man, Archin. Calithos replied softly, But your losing ground and becoming something that is not very good at all and I am trying to show you that.
Archin nodded and swallowed hard. I I should go. I need to go. He turned and looked behind him and then back at the duo. He did not bid them adieu, there was no proud bow or intellectual quip. He turned and ran.
Nay, he turned and fled.
As he fled that graveyard, Archins mind was heavy with thought. He reeled from concern, fear, and rage. He dashed to his house, slammed the door, and went to bed.
He was scared as he lay in his bed, huddled up in a ball with the covers wrapped around him. He did not look like the powerful man that walked the streets of Stormwind.
And while many would say she was party to the plot, a companion to the heinous crime they had committed, more than anything or anyone at all
Archin wished Yumeko was by his side.
I have been treated to a much needed vacation! A vacation involving my darling wife and myself, relaxing together far away from Stormwind and which has rendered us perfectly devoid of the poisons and the pratfalls that are so readily forced upon us within that abysmal city.
The events leading up to this respite were interesting, to say the least, but enlightening as well.
As usual, Yumeko had a hunger to create terror and trouble within Stormwind, and while I am open to such a venture, I prefer it to be done quietly, and without any discernable line that can be traced back to us. My wife, however, so wanted to brutalize Syddan, that it took everything in my considerable power to stop her from making a horrible mistake. Syddan, the little snitch that nearly got us both incarcerated, does indeed deserve a very painful and unwelcoming end. However, the very moment that little creature disappeared, I know the Hounds would be banging on our door and we would be the primary suspects!
That, coupled with the peasant girl that somehow managed to survive our debacle with her, grants me pause when the prospect of any such troublemaking presents itself.
So we stood there, fuming at one another in the Trade District. We had argued for the better part of an hour and a half, I would say, and the unrestricted travels of a Horde rogue only increased the amount of tension in the city.
Stormwind, that city of which I once called home when I was but a boy, was rapidly engulfing the two of us. While we grumbled to one another, lady Meris strolled around the corner and greeted us. She said something that was startlingly true:
You two never get out of Stormwind, do you?
It had struck me that I had been within the walls for roughly a week. Political intrigue and argument had left my person chained to the city, and it was beginning to wear on me. Meris offered to chat in Booty Bay and leave the dregs of Stormwind society. I was quick to take her up on her offer.
Yumeko, however, had another issue to tend to, and then offered to link up with us. So I bade my embattled wife adieu and Meris and I traveled to Booty Bay to chat. At the tavern, Meris and I discussed the issue of Yumeko briefly. I told her of my attempts to somehow reel her in and keep control of her, as well as the argument that we were weathering at the time.
Meris offered some insight, particularly that perhaps Veras would be able to help her. It does boil my blood, however. The prospect that my wife wont listen to her husband, a Dalaran Mage of over twenty years, but shed listen to someone else however as I grow desperate, Im willing to try anything.
Occasionally, I felt the pull into the philosophical realm of fate and logic and chaos but I tried to steer myself clear of such fruitless ventures, and instead talk about more concrete matters: The Hounds, the Ordo, Calithos Blyde, and the dismal state of affairs that the Alliance found itself in.
Eventually, my wife arrived. She was very quiet at the table that we sat at. Yumeko is a very fiery and opinionated woman, yet she can hide it behind a disarmingly calm exterior. Meris even commented on her silence, but Yumeko simply stated that she had nothing to say at the time.
It was not long before Veras himself arrived at the tavern, and it appeared that he wanted to have a talk with Yumeko. We split off. My wife went to another area to talk to Veras, while I continued to speak with Meris.
The conversation was a lengthy one and it had several twists and turns that were very intriguing. Its been approximately a week since the conversation, however, and I do admit that most of the subject matter has been catalogued into ideas in my head, as opposed to the specific lines of dialogue that Miss Meris presented to me.
Meris presented to me the opportunity to more readily associate with a more, covert and disgruntled group of individuals that were unhappy with the current order. Names she did not tell, nor would she give them away. But simply stating that the pooling of resources from various areas of Stormwind and the Alliance, in which the actors were not subject to the constraints of the Alliance itself, would prove invaluable. Of course, she also hinted to a natural danger that this would entail, insofar as the individuals involved were concerned. Particularly that each individual has his or her own agenda as well and while they would be furthering one another, the personal goal was also of paramount importance.
A game, she said, it was like a game.
Being a Mage of Dalaran for so long, being a Mariner, a Guild leader, and an engineer, I have learned the importance of group work. Of course, I impressed upon Meris that I would not join such an endeavor without my wife firmly by my side.
We toasted, Meris and I, to the possibilities that this presented. It was a stunning moment, standing at the table and clinking glasses. It reminded me of my times in the hull of various vessels while on the high seas it was relaxing. It was exciting.
Yumeko returned shortly thereafter with Veras, and she was smiling broadly. The conversation that they had must have gone well, and there was a look in my wifes eye that denoted s revelation of sorts. Veras stood beside Meris, who was seated, while I stood beside my wife and we faced one another.
There, in the bowels of that gutted ship turned tavern, the Breys let it be known that they would be an ally of this movement. There, in that ship, the mind of Archin Brey and the talents of Yumeko Brey became accessible to those that were of like mind. Of course, the amount of information we had become privy to had increased as well.
It felt good to be part of a group again. I felt more secure. I felt stronger.
Unconsciously, Yumeko and I had somehow reconciled our argument, and we went back to Stormwind reenergized and with a newfound outlook. We curled up in the Slaughtered Lamb, with our little Karkune between us.
With our newfound safety it opened a tremendous vulnerability to the Alliance.
I never thought Id say it but I liked it.
(This entry is a little graphic, but not nearly as bad as the other one. Also, the events leading up to the fall of little Lorace may be a bit skewed in Archins mind.)
My chest hurts. A wound that could have been proven fatal has now been rendered simply sore and bothersome, but I learned a lesson from such a blow.
Aye, it is true, I, Archin Brey, one of the most learned individuals in the Alliance, has learned something new!
The day, yesterday, started out simple enough. I was helping Yumeko slay turtles off the shore of Dustwallow Marsh. Ahh, the shore of Dustwallow Marsh, where my love for that beautiful flower grew and our son was conceived. Ill never forget, nor begrudge that sandy beach, even if the incessant turtles continue to tread along its sands.
Nevertheless, we concluded our gathering of turtle meat and skins, and Yumeko wished to cook in the Slaughtered Lamb. We left the beach and returned to the Lamb, only to find a single, solitary girl sitting at a table.
I was bored, so I decided to strike up a conversation with the girl. Needless to say, she was rude beyond words and haughty to boot! Her name was Lorace and her heritage was three quarters human and one quarter Night Elf. An abomination, if you ask me. An interracial union horrid!
Regardless, I continued to talk to her while she scrawled in a journal of hers. She eventually told me, in no uncertain terms, that I was bothering her and that perhaps she would head elsewhere to write. I simply asked her why she would come to a public place if she was anti-social, and she became so angry with me that she even drew a knife!
By this time, Elilla had joined us, and tensions were rising. The girl insulted my wife, who in turn produced her scythe, and that was one of the last straws. Lorace said she would fight if need be, and wanted to leave. But slowly, the three of us surrounded her. With her knife drawn, she faced me. I told her she could leave, and all she had to do was walk out the door.
When she turned, something overcame me. A rage that I hadnt felt for a while. My hand shot out, gripped the back of her robe, and yanked her off her feet and slammed her to the ground. The girl scrambled to her feet, smarting from the blow, and faced me with her knife. A quick blink brought me behind her, and I booted her in the small of her back and sent her staggering towards the ramp leading into the bowels of the Lamb.
I told her, basically, that I wanted her to go down to the bottom of the Lamb that we had a lesson to teach her. Needless to say, she was hardly receptive to this option. After a brief period of arguing, my hand shot out again and gripped her hair. I grew tired of arguing with the louse, and decided to take her down there myself. Yumeko and Elilla flanked me, commenting on my candor and spurring me on. I warned the girl if she pulled the knife, Id blast her head off, and then dragged her down the ramp.
Kicking and screaming, the girl slid down the ramp while I dragged her. I threw her down the rest of the ramp, into the main training area of the Warlocks. She stood, and I slapped her to the ground and grabbed her by her black hair and dragged her again, commenting to her about how rude she was throughout the entire ordeal.
I sent her down another ramp and dragged her through the catacombs, taunting her as I went, until we came to a flight of around eight stairs. I stood at the top of the stairs and dragged the girl to her feet, only to toss her, headfirst, down the stairs. She hit the first few stairs hard and rolled, screaming, and landing hard on the cold stone at the bottom.
I dusted my hands off, Elilla mentioned how she understood why Yumeko loved me, and I descended upon the girl.
The staircase turned, and another group of eight stairs presented itself. I grabbed the girl and hefted her up and told her that if she apologized to my wife and myself, she would be let go.
She apologized, and amazingly was not babbling like a child. I laughed inwardly, and let her go all right. I let her go right down the next flight. She bounced and rolled again, and curled up in a fetal position at the bottom of the stairs. I descended upon her, gripped her hair, and dragged her further down into the catacombs where no one could see or hear her.
At the final flight of stairs, which numbered about twelve, I offered for my wife to throw her down. Yumeko literally jumped with joy, love in her eyes for me, and grabbed the girl. She threw her down roughly, and a distinct snap was heard as she hit and rolled. Lorace shrieked and lay at the bottom of the stairs.
We roughly booted her and surrounded her, to see what hurt, and her left arm had snapped in half.
I told the girl how this was her fault. How if she wasnt so rude to me and my wife, this wouldnt need to have been done. This was for her own good. I called it a lesson.
I lifted the girl, she begged for us to kill her. She begged us to let her go. She wasnt bawling, but she was terrified. I rolled up my sleeve and belted her in the cheek.
I admit, Im growing old. I used to throw a fairly stiff right cross but this blow staggered her, but didnt knock her over. I was disappointed ahh age why must you catch up to me?
Yumeko had plans for the girl, and I let her have her way. I prefer to be more traditional, and rough, while my wife is the one with the imagination. She grabbed the girl, claiming that she wanted to make her look more like an Elf, and produced the very knife the girl threatened us with.
Holding the girls head, my wife slashed at Loraces ears, severing a sizeable portion of them, so that they now ended in points. Elilla, a bit of a doctor, applied bandages to the ears to stop the bleeding, but nevertheless the deformity was done.
The girl must have been in a mild state of shock. I stood quietly, averting my eyes occasionally as the blood pooled out of the ears. My wife, however, wasnt finished.
Yumeko was annoyed at how brazen the girls mouth was, and decided to take care of that. She produced a bit of thread and a needle, and as the two girls descended upon Lorace, she went to work. My wife, literally, sewed the girls mouth shut. The girl wailed, but it was muffled, as the needle and thread roughly sawed through the meaty bits of her lips, until she was rendered mute, save for the groans and whimpers.
With her shattered arm, slashed ears, and sewed mouth, Lorace had quickly been reduced to a shattered shadow of her former self.
And Elilla hadnt even had her turn yet.
Elilla wished to go next, and produced a small shard of some sort. She broke off a bit of it, and sliced the area between Loraces eyes, opening the wound, and shoving the shard into the wound. It seemed to dissolve and lower itself into the girls skull, and then the wound sealed!
Elilla said it was a corrupted soulshard and if the girl had the potential, it would do the mental work to turn this Warlock into something far more chaotic. I admit, I wasnt too keen on this practice what if they did it to me? What if I wasnt chaotic enough for Elilla or my wife? Would someone consider that?
Bah no one can dominate my mind. I shouldnt even be concerned.
Time was running short, and I was growing antsy. Elilla gripped the girls shattered arm and twisted it, compounding the break and sending the jagged pieces of bone through her skin, sending blood sliding onto the cool stone beneath her.
I lifted the girl and slammed her against the wall, and I told her to listen to me. Pointing into her chest, I told her how this was her fault. How she brought this upon herself, and it was her doing. We taught her a lesson, I told her, in humility and when to be quiet. This was denoted by the sewed lips.
We also granted her the opportunity to join a greater cause for a greater good and I tapped the area where the corrupted shard had entered her skull.
I also warned her not to take these lessons lightly, and tossed her against the wall and let her slump into a ball.
I told her that Humility 102 was an accelerated course.
I tossed her knife across the room, and told her when she learned her lesson, to cut her lips open and speak anew.
We went upstairs, and I dabbed my forehead with my purple handkerchief. I still felt bad for the girl, but not as bad as when we had tortured Arilie. Was a changing? Or was I just more justified this time?
Needless to say, I needed a drink. The three of us walked out of the Lamb and towards the Jester. I was just about to enter the Jester when I saw that I had misplaced my handkerchief! I must have dropped it in the Lamb by the bar when I dabbed my head.
Turning on my heels, I returned to the Lamb only to come face to face with that Ordo wench Pamandria
Little did I know that this confrontation would involve dumping her nearly dead body in the well outside of the Lamb and my own life quickly draining through a deep, sharp wound in my sternum
But that, Im afraid, will have to wait until later
End of Musings of an Azeroth Mage Book 10
[<--- Book 9] [Book 11 --->]