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Musings of an Azeroth Mage (Book 12)

- by Archin



-33-Edit

The sun beamed brightly in the sky, sending rays of warmth across the landscape. It was the town of Southshore, bustling as always, and the bright orb in the sky helped the dockworkers unload a fresh load of cargo which had come all the way from Menthil Harbor.

Beneath the dock, the water lapped quietly against the posts which held the structure aloft. Seagulls flew overhead while a few others, too fatigued or lazy to fly any longer, bobbed along the water in the distance, like white specks floating gently with the waves.

While the dockworkers strained with their shipments and sailors exited the ship, a figure lay at the far end of the dock, alone. The figure was a male, dressed in a pair of blue shorts and a white tanktop. His arms were brought up behind his head as he lazed on the wooden planks and his eyes were closed.

Resting upon his chest was a large, black, leatherbound book. The Battles of Stromgarde: Realities of a Struggle was the title of the book and the volume was open wide and rested gently on his chest.

The fellow was not nearly as strong or built as the dockworkers who hefted their cargo a few yards away, but he wasnt a slouch either. His hair was longer and a fiery red that stood out against everything else. A leather strap pulled most of his hair back behind him and a long ponytail, which could be guessed would hang down to his middle back, splayed itself against the wood.

The lads face was clean shaven and bare and his skin possessed a tan hue of a fellow that spent too much time out in the sun. His eyes were still shut and a wily grin crossed the youths face. He appeared to be in his mid twenties. Not much older.

The youth wore no shoes and instead periodically wiggled his toes as he lay, thinking on something, or sleeping lazily.

For the love of God Archin youre going to get yourself killed! a voice boomed over the man lying on the dock. A shadow fell over him as another man, presumably a Southshore guard, loomed over him.

The sleeper opened one eye, squinting due to the brilliance of the sun on a cloudless day, What? he replied quietly.

Those dockworkers hate when people clutter up the dock, lad! And you look like nothing more than a bum sitting on the dock! If they come over and start trouble with you, I wont be stoppin them! the guard replied with a smile.

Archin rolled back slightly, kicking his knees up toward his chest, and then rocked forward onto his feet. Deftly catching the book in his hand he rose and shook his head. His long, fiery hair whipped to and fro behind him, Come on, Nils, theyre not going to start with me. Im a Dalaran Mage, after all! He flashed a cocky grin and winked.

You might be a Dalaran Mage in Dalaran, Nils replied, but youd be fodder to a bunch of angry laborers right now.

Archin smiled warmly and chuckled, placing his hand upon Nils spaulder, I know Nils, Im just having a little fun. Are you on duty right now?

The guard nodded slowly and raised a hand to his thick, brown beard as he gazed down the lane through Southshore, I sure am!

Archin winked at his compatriot, Need a deputy?

Not necessarily, Nils said wryly, but you can come along, if youd like.

The two men strolled down the center road of Southshore, which exhibited the tendencies of a bustling port city. Men and women walked the streets peddling wares while children dashed to and fro, playing street games and pranks. The young Dalaran Mage and the older Southshore guard conversed openly, with Archins arms waving wide and prominently as he told an account of some historical story he read.

The Alliance was at war, but merely in the opening stages of war. Life was still somewhat normal in the cities and villages that were on the outer areas of Lordaeron. The wind from the sea blew through the city, sending papers, feathers, and seeds from plants as well as the ever present flitting through the air and peppering the backs and fronts of those that traversed the trail.

the fact of the matter was, Nils, that the battalion was overconfident when they fought those trolls! The trolls were more battle, and they were hell bent on success! Archin slapped his palm against the front of his book while he told Nils a story of a doomed Stromgarde brigade.

Overconfident, eh? Nils mumbled as he looked at his younger compatriot.

Aye! Overconfidence is the undoing of so many people! Archin smiled enthusiastically as he spoke, energy and excitement seemed to linger upon every word he spoke, I see it in Dalaran all the time! Those Mages, He leaned closer to his friend and whispered quietly, theyre too full of themselves to even pay attention- to the world around them. Its sad. It really is. No one is perfect.

Nils nodded to his friend and waved to a passerby, before glancing back at Archin, Well lad, youll learn that once you hear that youre perfect too much, youll start to believe its true. Ive lived in Southshore all me life and Ive been close to Dalaran, and theyve always considered themselves better than me, thats for sure.

The younger Brey shook his head quietly and stared at the ground, Its a sad state of affairs, really, with a sigh he glanced around, his fiery ponytail whirled in the air and swung itself over his shoulder and trailed down his chest, Ill be different, Nils. I wont think like them. Ive seen how unfair it is. Hell, Im nothing special! My folks worked in Stormwind, but theyre not noble or anything like that. Just hard working and good people. Nothing to be ashamed of, yknow?

Oh I know Archin Nils replied quietly as his gaze fell on a circle of young women huddled outside of a small shop, say Archin I think that girl there is looking at you

The young man whirled around in a far too noticeable fashion and looked at the trio of girls, one in particular, a dark haired girl that was probably in her late teens, dressed in a beautiful blue dress, blushed and waved at the young Mage.

My word she waved at me! Archin muttered as he turned and looked at Nils.

The Southshore Guard grinned, So go say hi to her, Archin. Im sure you get that all the time. Youre a strapping lad, as good looking as he is intelligent.

Archin chuckled, grabbed Nils arm, and yanked him into a nearby tavern away from the women, That may be so, but Im all thumbs around women, Nils, and besides I really dont have much time for a relationship.

Well make time, Archin. Im sure you can work it in to your schedule! Nils grinned and winked.

The two men rounded a table and sat at it. After politely asking for two dwarven stouts, Archin leaned forward and shook his head, Nah to be courting a woman while learning pyromancy is hardly a life suitable for a woman. Besides he flushed quietly.

Youre shy Archin. Nils smiled, amused.

Yeah, maybe a little. The adept chuckled, You know, I can argue down anyone, speak about anything, but get this heart pumping a bit faster on account of a beautiful woman and Im all thumbs.

Most men are like that, Archin, not just Mages. Nils winked as the drinks were delivered and took a draught.

The two chatted and conversed for minutes, though they carried on like two old friends. Archin told crude jokes and slapped his hand on the table, letting out a guffaw and clapping his hands after the punchline. A smile radiated from his face, and from behind his brown eyes the energy of youth radiated, with a hopeful and positive gleam.

Eventually, the barmaid returned to the gentlemen and requested who was paying for the drinks. With a wink at the girl, Archin gazed at his friend, I was buying but he is paying, miss!

What?! Nils laughed as Archin shrugged.

What? I told the cute girl that I was buying but you were paying. Isnt that how it works?

Maybe in Dalaran, Nils said with a smirk, but not here you rascal!

Ill tell ya what, Archin said as he leaned over the table and placed his elbow upon the wooden surface, Ill arm wrestle ya! Best two out of three! And the better man doesnt have to pay!

Nils chuckled and slammed his larger arm on the table, Youre not a Mage at this moment, you cocky bugger

Archin playfully looked at the waitress and then back at Nils, Remember Nils, Im a friend first then Im a Mage! And you, my friend, are going down faster than a Mountain Giant in the Maelstrom

My youth just one of the simpler times when I could not care a wit about anything else, but just my friends and having fun. I guess Ive grown up. Or fallen down.

Nils I remember him so fondly. I miss him.

What an irony. Im a historian. The only history that I hate to study the most at times is my own

-34-Edit

Three murders in two days.

Three lives destroyed in less than forty-eight hours.

My word what am I becoming?

Theyve all happened so quickly that I can barely remember the events that transpired but I will try to write them down.

The first was a girl, a smart mouthed Magess of sorts from Dalaran. I bumped into her in the Park. She was as pompous as ever. She was a fair skinned girl, with a look of ability and ego about her that rivaledwell it rivaled my own. She railed against me while I was talking to Sir Baydon and Aredis, and I wasnt about to let her get away with that.

I followed her to the Cathedral, where she met with the Scarlet Emissary so close to those out of the way catacombs. I grabbed her roughly, told the Emissary she was plagued, and threw her down the stairs. The girl was so stunned, she didnt rightfully know what to do. I swift blow to her skull with my fist, and I had her cowering in a corner.

Nonetheless, she still was stubborn. She managed to drive her knee straight into my groin but she didnt have much strength left. She needed to be taught some humility, and not to be so much of a smart mouth.

I took her hand and held it against the wall and slowly proceeded to pound each finger into dust with my smithing hammer. She screamed and begged me to stop. Her tone was changing. But I wasnt about to let her off the hook so quickly. I hammered her fingers and broke them all on her left hand. I wasnt finished, however, and decided to totally ruin that hand of hers.

I dumped a liberal amount of heavy blasting powder on her hand, and flicked the smallest of sparks at her appendage. That hand was reduced to not much more than a stump.

She struggled and still tried to get free, but her fight was all but gone. When she cried, her tears froze to her cheeks a frost mage of considerable power, no doubt. However, the physical misery I inflicted upon her was not what I wanted I wanted to humiliate her.

I told her that I wanted her to tell me she was worthless. That she was useless. Trash. That a member of the Forsaken was far more important than her. I knew how this girl was, I knew what would harm her the most.

Because it would harm me if I had to say it.

She refused so I decided to harm her more.

I forced her mouth open and placed my wrench inside her mouth and jerked down on the handle, popping her teeth out of her mouth. I did this, in three separate areas of that poisonous mouth. She cried and wailed but when I asked her to say those words she still refused.

Stubborn as hell.

Clearly from Dalaran.

I started to choke her, and the little vixen tried to groin me again, but I caught her knee with my own. I told her that I would kill her if she didnt say it and I asked her if she was willing to die rather than say those words.

She was willing to accept that fate.

So, I did just that. I squeezed her neck as hard as I could and she weakly flailed at me, with one hand shattered to pieces. Her eyes bulged and I watched her face twist in horror as her skin grew red, then blue. Her neck began to give way, buckling between my iron grip

and before I knew it, she was gone.

I disposed her body in a casket and shut the lid. However, before I did so, I chopped off her ear and kept it for myself. I wanted to show Yumeko my handiwork in her absence. I figured she would be proud of me.

My wife awoke shortly thereafter, and I led her to the coffin. Opening it, she was amazed to see that I had the ear to the corpse that lay there. The girl had a thick, dark bruise around her neck I felt sorry for her, but that was quickly eclipsed by my wifes happiness.

Then, victim number two arrived.

Some rickety old woman from God knows where was staggering through the area, looking for her son. The woman had to have been over ninety! I argued with her as she entered, but she caught a good glimpse of the body, and the fact that I had a matching ear. I continues to argue with her while Yumeko stood behind her, when suddenly my wife pulled out her scythe and slashed the woman in the stomach, ripping her wide open and sending blood spilling everywhere.

Needless to say that murder was quick and relatively painless. We dumped the old woman in the coffin with the girl I had killed. I didnt feel bad about this murder; the woman wouldnt have lived much longer anyway if you ask me.

We shut the coffin again, and my wife said she was so happy. She envisioned a coffin, full of dead bodies and a lot of blood everywhere. The image shook and excited me at the same time.

However, the third homicide, the evening later, would be the one that would get us into tremendous trouble.

-35-Edit

My wife and I were sitting calmly in the Jester, minding our own business and enjoying our company. There was not much going on that evening, which was a pleasant change of pace. We sat there and chatted while this girl wandered into the Jester, looking quite lost.

I dont even remember the girls name now, quite frankly, but her drawl gave away that she wasnt from Stormwind. She was looking for the Blue Recluse, but had unwittingly wandered into the Jester instead. Yumeko got some strange flash in her eyes and perked up, seeming awfully cordial with the girl, while I continued to sip my tea.

Sirithil sat at the far end of the table.

Yumeko graciously offered to show the girl where the Blue Recluse was, and I took that as my cue and stood up as well, offering to lead the way. Sirithil watched us carefully, so I also added how the Breys are always willing to help someone in need in Stormwind

I wonder if that was a bit too much?

Anyway, Yumeko and I led the girl into the Slaughtered Lamb instead of the Recluse. The writing was on the wall. I could see where this was going.

Yumeko launched the girl down a staircase deep within the bowels of the Slaughtered Lamb, and then I dragged her into an alcove. She girl thrashed and fought, but she couldnt overcome the two of us. I roared at her, perhaps a bit too loudly, and clearly I would pay the price for my rage a bit later. My wifes succubus held the girl as we went to work on her.

After punching and backhanding the child, Yumeko pulled out a knife and gouged it within the girls side, only to yank it out through her back. She then brained the girl with a wrench and then really started to assault the girl.

My wife she revels in this sort of thing. While I enjoy it to an extent, some of the pain and torture that she inflicts is to such a degree that my stomach turns and things begin to grow surreal. The girl was helpless hopelessly caught in our midst.

The poor thing probably didnt even realize what was going on. How quickly the situation had degenerated into a life and death situation.

My wife carved a considerable amount of meat out of the girls own leg slicing it with her knife and letting it plop to the floor. I wasnt exactly sure what my wife was going for, but she asked me to fireblast the meat.

I obliged. Why wouldnt I?

She then asked the girl to eat it.

Aye... she asked the girl to eat a portion of her own cooked leg.

Obviously the girl refused, and Yumeko tried to force the piece of flesh into the girls mouth. I was quite horrified, but I watched quietly at the spectacle. As the two wrestled, I finally decided to put an end to it and promptly grabbed my hammer and bashed at the girls mouth a few times.

That was really all it took for my wife to force the piece of meat into the girls mouth. However, before she did that, Yumeko took a bite of it herself.

Now Ive railed, constantly, against the Trolls and their barbaric, cannibalistic ways and here my wife was chewing on that very girls flesh.

I did what any man would do: I told my wife to wash her mouth out when she was finished before she even thought about kissing me!

The girl was in a state of shock and just let the meat rest in her rapidly swelling mouth. This was my wifes project, I just simply watched. Yumeko decided to scalp the girl, right then and there! She pressed the knife against the girls scalp, and dragged it painfully slow across her skin, slicing into her flesh and eventually arriving at the same area as before. Then, she ripped the flesh off.

I close my eyes as I write this that image was nearly too much to bear.

The girl had passed out, there was little more she could do. I didnt know what to do with the girl, quite frankly, and Yumeko seemed too interested in her own handiwork to really think about the next logical step.

Logic aye where was that logic that I clung to so very tightly long ago

I didnt know what to do, I was shocked at my wifes cannibalistic actions, the scalping everything. I wanted to destroy the situation as soon as possible, the girl must have been in tremendous misery. So I grabbed a high explosive bomb, shoved it in the girls mouth, lit the wick, and we dove for cover.

That pretty girl was reduced to nothing her blood and parts sprayed against the wall with an ear shattering explosion. Half of Stormwind probably heard it.

After wiping the gore off of myself, I looked at my wife. She was covered with blood. Absolutely covered in blood.

The Lamb is normally uninhabited, so I thought we would run upstairs and wash our clothes. We dashed up the spiral walkway towards the common area, with Yumeko behind me, and as we arrived at the top none other than Sirithil Nightstone was standing there with her little toady Portencia! I nearly tripped and fell into her as I tried to stop myself. My wife gasped, as did I, and I blocked their prying eyes from my wifes bloodstained body with my own.

Sirithil Nightstone is such a pain in my ass if I could murder that woman and get away with it, shed be the next on my list.

well, perhaps after Calithos, Pamandria, Aelannor, that Heinrik and Ill throw Dugald in as well. But then Id make her disappear for good!

Anyway, she was there, obviously looking for that girl for whatever reason, and heard we had run into the Lamb with her. We feigned ignorance, and my wife scurried downstairs and changed.

The exchange, for the most part, was typical. My flowery speech left Sirithil and her toady enthralled, and I masterfully talked us out of any trouble. Before we knew it, the pests were walking out of the Slaughtered Lamb and they were none the wiser.

At least, I thought we were out of trouble. Tell that to me when eight members of the Crimson Hounds Brigade nearly knocked down the door of the Jester and dragged my wife and I out into the cold night the following evening

-36-Edit

All I wanted was some tea. I wanted a quiet evening and to drink some tea.

What I would give for a quiet evening.

Yumeko and I sat quietly at the Jester and sipped our respective drinks when all hell broke loose, quite frankly. Wendall Harken, a Crimson Hound, along with seven other Hounds, came barging into the Jester with their eyes fixated on Yumeko and myself. I stood up curtly, and was not in the mood for any shenanigans.

Harken claimed that we were under arrest for murder. While I knew in my heart that indeed he was right, I certainly couldnt admit to something like that. The employees of the Jester, along with a large number of patrons, ducked for cover while tensions began to build within the tavern. I wasnt going to let them just haul us to the Command Center.

I did what I normally would do. I stood my ground.

A gnome approached us, and I warned the Hounds that if they touched my wife, Id be forced to react. The gnome touched my wife, and I drew my sword and clanged it against the side of her helmet. She responded by waffling me in the stomach with her hammer, and then went after Yumeko.

Wendall stood with a bemused look on his face one that conjured up a rage in me I rarely have felt. I fireblasted his chest without a second thought, and then dove at him and punched him in the face. It felt good to see his head snap back from my sudden blow, but then things fell apart.

A stiff thump to the back of my skull, and Jorngens boot pinning me to the ground, and I was rendered helpless before the Hounds. Yumeko struggled with her assailant, but was similarly subdued, and before I knew it we were bound and taken to the Command Center.

Harken sported a very painful looking bruise by the time we arrived at the Command Center, and the two of us were thrown in the prison cell and chained to the wall. They claimed that they had a witness to a murder we had committed, as well as evidence and testimony. Furthermore, the charges of assaulting the Hounds would be leveled upon us as well.

I railed against them, chained to the wall like an animal. Harken taunted my wife and I and before I knew it a large number of people were upstairs trying to clamber to us. We argued, I threw my barbs and he took them, just as he barbed me as well. Yumeko stayed silent throughout most of the exchange.

Pamandria was present as well, and she glared at me with a hatred that I had seen all too often. She requested that the Hounds leave us alone for a moment, so that she could question us.

I didnt like the prospect of being left at the mercy of Pamandria, but Wendall obliged. The Hounds left, and then the trouble truly began.

She punched me, the little creature, across the side of my jaw. She then berated me and backhanded me, only to punch me again. I howled in pain it hurt and called for the guards. Before she could do anything further, the Hounds had arrived again and could see my wounds and bruises. They quickly pulled Pamandria from me.

The debacle brought Poynard into the mix, and between Poynard, Wendall, and Pamandria a veritable argument over who was in control of the situation began. I simply hung there, angry and seething while I glared at the group. Finally, Poynard left, and after a heated debate between Pamandria and Harken, it was decided that we be let go.

Harken let me post bail, over fifty-two gold and I collected my wife and left. Pamandria was enraged that I was let go, and I attacked her in the best way I could: I smiled.

My wife and I, shaken by the events of the evening and worried for our safety, fled to the Slaughtered Lamb to find refuge. I cannot remember much more of that night, save for the fact that I held my dear wife tighter to my chest than ever before.

We were under fire.

The shots would not end for quite a while.

End of Musings of an Azeroth Mage Book 12
[<--- Book 11] [Book 13 --->]

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